In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
When traditional Jewish sources, stories, and spirit are given a boost by technology and the creativity and enthusiasm of 120 young Jews, plenty of good things happen.
Outside Tel Aviv last week, the ROI Summit for Young Jewish Innovators provided both a showcase and an incubator for the new ideas and visions that are percolating among Jews in Argentina, Belarus, India, Sweden, El Salvador, and a host of other Jewish communities around the world.
The mission of the ROI global network, philanthropist Lynn Schusterman signature project, is to provide critical funding, training, and support for a variety of new ventures that have the potential to strengthen Jewish communities, deepen Jewish commitment, and build a better Jewish future.
Since its launch in 2006, ROI has helped support new Jewish ventures such as Challah for Hunger, Moishe House, PresenTense - and Jewcology, a web portal for Jewish environmentalists.
“Jewcology means that if you’re one of the only Jewish environmentalists in your community, you don’t have to be alone,” says Evonne Marzouk, founder of Canfei Nesharim, which provides a Torah based approach to understanding and acting on the relationship between traditional Jewish sources and modern environmental issues. Marzouk, in Israel from Silver Spring, Maryland, and her 17 global partners received a $50,000 ROI grant to create a virtual hub where Jewish environmentalists can share ideas and resources inspired by Torah - and build a self-sustaining community that can affect real change.
The faces of ROI creativity and social entrepreneurship: Mathue Roth; Evonne Marzouk; Sarah Lefton and baby Levi. (Photos: Adi Cohen)
“We live in a fast-paced world and tend to address short-term problems,” says Marzouk. “But Torah wisdom has us thinking longterm.”
That eternal wisdom is also what inspires Sarah Lefton and Matthue Roth, producer, and editorial director of G-dcast.com. Their ambitious mission: to raise worldwide Jewish literacy by making Torah texts accessible to all using entertaining media, including animated video shorts that explain and interpret the weekly parshah.
Launched in 2008, G-dcast has had hundreds-of-thousands of video views, all earned without any marketing campaign. This means word-of-mouth is drawing the crowd.
“My mother’s friends, who still wrestle with email, are telling my mom about it,” says Roth, who lives in Brooklyn. “So I call it a success.”
Impressed by G-dcast’s accomplishments to date, ROI gave the project a grant in April to support new videos about the Jewish holidays. They are also working on a DVD and curriculum guide for teachers, and a crowd-sourced project to translate G-dcast videos from English into Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, and Italian.
“We believe that substantial learning can and must happen through online media,” says Lefton, holding her six-month-old son, Levi.
ROIer Ziv Maor is a newscaster on the newly established radio station Galei Yisrael, based in Givat Zeev, north of Jerusalem.
“I did some research,” says Maor, a passionate Zionist, and a member of ROI’s global network. “I studied 30 Israeli movies made between 1988 and 2008, and only two of them were pro-Zionist, while 13 of them were critical of Zionism.”
Why do Israeli tax dollars, which flow through the Israeli Film Fund, help support movies that bash Israel? “Because the people who control the money – the cultural elites here – believe in this message,” says Maor, expressing his personal views.
In response, Maor is trying to develop movies of his own that deliver a positive message about Israel. One, called Otot, is about Israeli pilots who battle aliens from outer space. He calls it the first Zionist sci-fi flick.
In the autumn, Maor is setting up Mahar, a Zionist College in Kibbutz Reshafim, near Bet Shean, with a curriculum of political science, Zionism and Jewish values. Instead of paying tuition, students will work the land.
“There’s far too much self-loathing in Israel,” says Maor. “But there’s a renaissance too. The Zionist movement is still alive, and so is the dream.”
At the ROI Global Summit this week, it certainly seemed that way.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/at-the-roi-summit-its-back-to-the-sources/2010/07/28/
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