Israeli teen emissaries to be newest link in Tucson-Israel chain

Under the auspices of the Weintraub Israel Center, Leah Avuno and Bar Alkaher, Israeli teen emissaries who will arrive in Tucson in August, hold a Skype conference with local Jewish educators. The teens are known as “Shinshinim,” from the Hebrew letter “shin’’ that starts each word in the program’s Hebrew title, “Shnat Sherut Shlishit” (third year of service). (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)Under the auspices of the Weintraub Israel Center, Leah Avuno and Bar Alkaher, Israeli teen emissaries who will arrive in Tucson in August, hold a Skype conference with local Jewish educators. The teens are known as “Shinshinim,” from the Hebrew letter “shin’’ that starts each word in the program’s Hebrew title, “Shnat Sherut Shlishit” (third year of service). (Courtesy Weintraub Israel Center)

A year of service will soon begin for two Israeli teens and their work will bring them here to Tucson. Leah Genei Avuno, 17, of Kiryat Malachi and Bar Alkaher, 17, of Shimshit will arrive here at the beginning of August and they cannot wait to dig in. They are both excited and nervous about their upcoming year, which they’ll… Read more »

On Adventure Bus, memory takes back seat to experience

Handmaker Advventure Bus participants and volunteers listen to a docent at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, May 6. (Angela Salmon/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)Handmaker Advventure Bus participants and volunteers listen to a docent at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, May 6. (Angela Salmon/Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging)

Angela Salmon, a program coordinator at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, doesn’t mind if her clients don’t always remember her name. She doesn’t mind if they sometimes have to search for the right words. When she and her clients are together on the Adventure Bus, a program for… Read more »

Emanu-El debuting ‘Hebrew@Home’ remote learning

Rabbi Batsheva Appel, center,  shown repairing a Torah with students in January 2014, says distance learners will be in the physical classroom one day a week to preserve a sense of community. (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El)Rabbi Batsheva Appel, center, shown repairing a Torah with students in January 2014, says distance learners will be in the physical classroom one day a week to preserve a sense of community. (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El)

Temple Emanu-El’s Kurn Religious School will implement a new distance learning strategy to increase Hebrew school engagement in the upcoming academic year. Called Hebrew@Home, it will allow students in third through eighth grades who live in remote locations or cannot make it to the school for other reasons to… Read more »

Pro-Israel heavyweights press hard for 2 states

President Barack Obama sits next to Alan Solow at a meeting with Jewish leaders at the White House, March 1, 2011.  (Pete Souza/White House)President Barack Obama sits next to Alan Solow at a meeting with Jewish leaders at the White House, March 1, 2011. (Pete Souza/White House)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In a rare and sharp split with Israeli government policy, a group of Jewish community leaders want to get a proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the next president’s desk. Two complementary U.S. and Israeli working papers to be launched next week propose… Read more »

We need to put the Yizkor back into Memorial Day

Flags planted by Jewish War Veterans of the United States Cleveland Post 14 at Zion Memorial Park in Bedford, Ohio, in honor of Memorial Day, 2015. (Jewish War Veterans of the United States, via Facebook)Flags planted by Jewish War Veterans of the United States Cleveland Post 14 at Zion Memorial Park in Bedford, Ohio, in honor of Memorial Day, 2015. (Jewish War Veterans of the United States, via Facebook)

NEW YORK (JTA) — In Israel, when the two-minute siren sounds at 11 a.m. on Yom Hazikaron, the Jewish state’s Memorial Day, the nation comes to a halt. As we saw just two weeks ago, cars on streets and highways pull over, and drivers and passengers get out of their vehicles… Read more »

Dems’ panel drafting platform includes critics of Israel, friends of Israel — and a BDS backer

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, left, embracing philosopher and social activist Cornel West in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 14, 2015. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, left, embracing philosopher and social activist Cornel West in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 14, 2015. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Democratic Party platform drafting committee is top heavy with veterans of political battles over Israel — some friendly, some critical, and including at least one major backer of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The Democratic National Committee named the committee on Monday, a day… Read more »

Anti-Semitism charges stir the calm waters of bucolic Oxford

A Jewish student speaking during a debate featuring Alan Dershowitz at Oxford's Chabad Centre, Nov., 1, 2015. (Courtesy of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters)A Jewish student speaking during a debate featuring Alan Dershowitz at Oxford's Chabad Centre, Nov., 1, 2015. (Courtesy of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters)

OXFORD, England (JTA) — For a city that has made headlines recently for its anti-Semitism problem, Oxford has a pretty laid back Jewish scene. On a recent Friday night, dozens of recognizably Jewish families and students wearing kippahs were enjoying the afternoon sun as they strolled to one of Oxford’s two… Read more »

House passes bill protecting circumcision, ritual slaughter as international religious freedoms

An infant being carried before his circumcision at an Orthodox synagogue in Berlin in 2013. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)An infant being carried before his circumcision at an Orthodox synagogue in Berlin in 2013. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bill unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would extend religious protections to advocates of circumcision and ritual slaughter as well as atheists, addressing what its sponsors describe as an increase in religious persecution in recent years. The bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of… Read more »

Modern Orthodox dating gets a close-up in new web series

Leah Gottfried in a scene from the first episode of "Soon by You," a web series she created and directs. (Dignity Entertainment)Leah Gottfried in a scene from the first episode of "Soon by You," a web series she created and directs. (Dignity Entertainment)

NEW YORK (JTA) — “There’s no such thing as a bad date — there’s just a funny story,” says Jessica Schechter, a 28-year-old modern Orthodox woman who teaches acting in New York City and lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. There’s the guy who took her to the action… Read more »


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