First Person

Jewish women can build homes — literally

Nancy Mellan

As Jewish wom­en, we come from a tradition that honors our role in home, family and community. In the Eshet Chayil Shabbat blessing recited by husbands to their wives, we are honored: “A good woman, who can find. She reaches her hand out to those in need. She is… Read more »

After the fire: A Torah’s trip to a secular kibbutz

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (JTA) — We land at Ben Gurion Airport in the heat of winter, on the first day of Chanukah.  At 11 a.m. Dec. 2, already it is 82 degrees in Tel Aviv — unusual weather for the rainy season in Israel. And it will get hotter. Much… Read more »

How a new Israeli attache renounced his U.S. citizenship

Eric Groner says he revoked his U.S. citizenship with a "heavy heart" when he became Israel's minister for economic affairs to the United States.

TEL AVIV (JTA) — After being named Israel’s minister for economic affairs to the United States, Eli Groner was required by U.S. law to revoke his U.S. citizenship. The following is the statement he submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv upon his renunciation. Because I love America,… Read more »

Shoshana Hebshi: My day as a suspicious person

Shoshana Hebshi

TOLEDO, Ohio (j. weekly) — When I wrote an article nine years ago about going on a press trip to Israel, I was just beginning to explore the implications of my Arab-Jewish heritage on my life. The trip was eye opening for me in many ways, chiefly because it… Read more »

In Moscow and Jerusalem, young and old tell stories of courage, inspiration

Audrey Brooks with a child at the Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center near Jerusalem. (Courtesy JFSA)

The story is in the stories. That’s what I learned with 100 others from 37 other communities on the Jewish Federations of North America’s Campaign Chairs and Directors Mission to Moscow and Israel this summer. I heard stories of inspiration, intrigue, courage and hope. I learned that just as… Read more »

Struggling to maintain normalcy amid the terror

I am suffering from Periodic Missile Stress Disorder (PMSD), which is being aggravated by the world’s indifference to my situation. Once again sirens sounded last night in our sleepy town of Meitar and the non-stop booms of missiles falling in nearby Beersheva could clearly be heard and yet we… Read more »

Journey to freedom: Reflecting on the King memorial

Rabbi Robert J. Marx, with glasses, is pictured with the Rev. Martin Luther King in the 1960s.

CHICAGO (JTA) — Time affirms what heroism discerns. The dedication of a statue in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is a belated yet significant tribute to a man who did so much to redefine the meaning of our democracy. Make no mistake about it, there was… Read more »

Hand-washing spurs focus on small moments

I usually think of hand-washing, germaphobe that I am, as a necessary part of my daily routine. I will admit to washing my hands or using hand sanitizer probably more often than most, but nonetheless it is not something I give much attention as part of creating a space… Read more »

AIPAC conference is exhilarating, essential

Billie Kozolchyk

My husband, Boris, and I always anticipate with excitement the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but we could not imagine the magnitude of this year’s event. For the first time, there were more than 10,000 delegates including 1,500 students. Among the students were 215… Read more »

First Person: A Mother’s Day meditation rooted in Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz

Hadassah Rosensaft is flanked by her future husband, Josef, left, and Earl Harrison, President Truman's special envoy, at the Bergen-Belsen camp, July 1945. (Menachem Rosensaft)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Sunday, May 13, 1945, five days after the end of World War II in Europe, was Mother’s Day in the United States. At Bergen-Belsen in Germany, however, there was nothing for my mother to celebrate on that day as she took part in the ongoing… Read more »

Visiting the family of the Hamas terrorist who tried to kill my wife

David E.H. Gershon

What should I buy for the children of the Hamas terrorist who tried to kill my wife? I’m sorry, some context is needed. Let me explain. In the summer of 2002 Hamas, targeting both Israelis and Americans, struck a cafeteria at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The blast, triggered by… Read more »