An unparalleled musical production featuring 39 Jewish music superstars made its worldwide debut Thursday at the Jewish Children's Museum in Crown Heights. "Unity for Justice" is a unique display of solidarity for the family of incarcerated Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, whose sentencing of 27 years in federal prison last year has led to a thunderous outcry by the Jewish community and a number of government officials. The project serves as an innovative campaign for financial support of the Rubashkin Defense Fund, drawing mounting online interest by the hour.
When Dr. David Shashar of Ramat Gan was called out to serve in the Paratrooper reserves during the Second Lebanon War of 2006, his goal was to help heal wounded soldiers. He never thought that he would become one himself. When two Hizbullah anti-tank missiles hit the house he was staying in, killing nine soldiers, he was among the 30 to be seriously injured. Dr. Shashar was hospitalized for the next three months in an attempt to save his arm from amputation. He underwent numerous reconstruction operations over the next three years, a number of which were in Boston's Beth Israel Hospital. The Ministry of Defense referred him to ROFEH International - a comprehensive medical referral and bikur cholim service founded by the Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, zt"l.
Lost amidst the controversy surrounding the proposal to reform Israeli conversion law is its impact on thousands of former Soviet Jews who immigrated to Israel in search of religious freedom after three generations of Communist-imposed atheism and anti-Semitism. The American Jews who have fomented opposition to the bill are unwittingly following in the footsteps of the former Soviet oppressors.
What sets the Jewish people apart from the rest of the world is our ability to infuse everyday life with kedushah, elevating the mundane to a higher plane.
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.
This summer 17 Yeshiva University students participated in the Center for the Jewish Future's New Orleans Service Mission. As part of the mission students had the opportunity to engage members of the community ravaged by Hurricane Katrina just five years ago learn about their current challenges and help rebuild.
Forty-three engagements and counting. In the three years since its founding, YUConnects has tried helping alleviate what is known to many as, "the shidduch crisis."
The Ann Arbor community welcomed a brand new Eruv with open arms-which will soon be pushing strollers to shul, just in time for the delightful summer weather. The Eruv envelopes much of the community surrounding the University of Michigan Hillel Orthodox Minyan neighborhood, and parts of student campus housing.
"The crown of our head has fallen, woe to us" (Lamentations 5:16). As my family and I commemorate the first yahrzeit of our dear father and zaidy, Rabbi Aaron Chomsky, zt"l, the void in our hearts remains pronounced, while our determination to practice the values he imparted to us remains stronger than ever.
The idea of SeeYouOnShabbos.com popped into Rabbi Benzion Klatzko's head one morning. Wouldn't it be wonderful, he thought, if a website could be created that would allow Jews from all over the world to find a host or invite guests for Shabbos? He knew that there needed to be a concerted effort to connect individuals and families.
Last week, a quiet revolution took place in the Judean Hills outside Jerusalem. One hundred and twenty parents and children from the Former Soviet Union visited Israel for the first time to participate in a groundbreaking mission. The children, ages 12-14, were all prospective students of Lezion B'rina and its sister school Bat Zion, located in Beitar and Jerusalem, respectively. For nearly 20 years, the Lezion B'rina Institute has been a second home for hundreds of Russian Jewish students who have left their birth land to seek a better future in the Jewish homeland.
After more than a decade of devoted research, Hayim Tawil, professor of Hebrew Studies at Yeshiva University (YU), has completed what he describes as his magnum opus. Tawil's achievement has scholars from across the world lauding his An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew as a defining accomplishment in the field of biblical study.
"No, you must be realistic. You can only claim to be pro-peace when what you promote really can lead to peace." Her gentle, but assertive, voice startled me as it rose with conviction. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, initiator of Z Street, was answering my question about what J Street believes in that she does not.
Those of you who've been reading my postings over the years might remember my strong bonds to Gush Katif, and particularly to Kfar Darom. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, I find myself flipping through photos that I took, prior to its destruction. It is very difficult to view the pictures; my guts begin churning and sometimes it's even worse. The displacement of so many people, the abandonment of our land, and the catastrophic consequences, culminating in 8,000 rockets fired into Israel, the Gaza War, and of course, the present challenges of Goldstone were so totally unnecessary. All of these results were predicted, time and time again, before the expulsion, but were totally ignored by Sharon and Co. It is still beyond comprehension.
Ohel is well known in the New York area for the foster care programming it has been providing for over 40 years, along with its mental health services to individuals and families, and its services to the developmentally disabled through its Bais Ezra programs. Ohel also provides substantial training to professionals, and workshops and seminars to the community at large.
The state of marriage in the Orthodox community is hard to gauge, but the Orthodox Union, in alliance with the Aleinu Family Resource Center, took up the challenge last year by engineering an online survey taken by thousands of married observant Jews.
I stood on the dusty road leading to one of the innumerable resting places of the pious people of Israel. Having said my prayers, though never enough, I waited somberly for a taxi to appear. I leaned against the palm tree to escape the sun's enthusiasm. It was a Jewish palm tree, planted by Jewish hands in the Jewish land. I was on the left side of the sturdy bark. On the right, rested an elderly woman topped by a colorful kerchief. She was like many others I have walked beside in the Machaneh Yehudah marketplace, like many others I sat beside in the white plastic chairs before the Western Wall, like many others who minded their own humble business and worked hard for their share in life.
The young adult clowns of the Long Island-based charity Lev Leytzan, a medical clowning troupe, returned recently from an 11-day humanitarian mission to Romania and Israel to celebrate Chanukah.
Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI and Manhigut Yehudit recently conducted its latest Chizuk Mission to Israel. These missions are designed to cover as much of the contested land of Israel as possible in a jam-packed week of visits to all parts of the country. We visited the Binyamin area, the Shomron, the northern Shomron, the Galilee, the Negev, Hebron - and of course, Yerushalayim.
You've heard of podcasts. Now there are "Godcasts." A week before Rosh Hashanah, Jewish World Review founder Binyamin Jolkovsky launched JWisdom.com, featuring a daily audio shiur in 11 minutes or less. Lecturers from around the world, including Rabbis Jonathan Rietti, Nosson Scherman, and Abraham J. Twerski, deliver the short inspirational talks - or Godcasts. A week before Rosh Hashanah, Jewish World Review founder Binyamin Jolkovsky launched JWisdom.com, featuring a daily audio shiur in 11 minutes or less. Lecturers from around the world, including Rabbis Jonathan Rietti, Nosson Scherman, and Abraham J. Twerski, deliver the short inspirational talks - or Godcasts.