In order to gain an appreciation for what soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces do, students in grades 5 through 8 participated in an informative Yom Ha’atzmaut program at Gesher Yehudah Yeshiva. Reservist Yossi Tenami described what it was like to go into the army to fight for the land and people of Israel.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) announced that Fifth Avenue will turn blue and white on Sunday, June 2, from 11 am to 4 pm, as 28 floats with musical performers, 17 marching bands and 35,000 marchers entertain hundreds of thousands of spectators for the largest celebration of Israel in the world, the Celebrate Israel Parade. This year marks the 65th Anniversary of Israel’s Independence.
Several hundred people living in Uganda practice Judaism by choice. They aren’t exactly “Jewish” but they want to be. They understand that their isolation from other Jews keeps them from learning all the rules and commandments, yet they still strive to be the best “Jews” they can be. The community of Abayudaya, the people of Judah; was founded in the year 1917 by a man named Semei Kakungulu.
For seven months, Holocaust survivors and YOF students got together to prepare for a Holocaust memorial program, which was anything but typical. When the program began, 10 Holocaust survivors were tenderly escorted to seats on the stage by their teenage partners, who proceeded to reenact stirring episodes from the survivors’ own lives, accompanied by narration from the survivors themselves. The youngsters had heard the stories during their weekly sessions.
Kehilath Jeshurun recently invited me to the Ladies Night Cooking Demons-tration and Dinner by Kim Kushner, at Congregation Edmond J. Safra Shul of Manhattan (Safra).KJ and Safra are prominent Upper East side synagogues.The proceeds of the evening went to Project Leket, a group in Israel which delivers fresh produce to over 290 nonprofit organizations serving Israel’s needy.
by Rabbi Pinchas Allouche
Celebration to Devastation
On April 15, at 2:50 pm, the Boston Marathon came to an abrupt end. Two explosions ripped through the finish line, killing at least three and injuring 176 innocent beings, turning a sunny day of celebration into a gloomy day of devastation.
The American Sephardi Federation recently conducted a survey aimed at finding archival collections related to Sephardic, Mizrahi and Bukharian Jews held in synagogues, state archives, cultural organizations, or by individuals in six Mid-Atlantic and New England states.
They learned that somewhere in New Jersey there is a collector who owns a rich collection of correspondence—about 800 pieces, mostly written in Ladino—that originated in Vienna and the Ottoman Empire between 1840 and 1940. Almost all of the correspondence comes from merchants, but not all of it deals exclusively with business matters. Some is about family issues. The collector’s name has not been made public.
Celebrating Israel’s Holiest City
Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem Day — is the most recent addition to the Hebrew calendar. It is celebrated one week before the eve of Shavuot. Although Jerusalem has been considered the capital city of the Jewish people since the time of King David—who conquered it and built it as the seat of his monarchy—there was never a special day in honor of the city until the Israeli army took over the ancient, eastern part of the city on the third day of the Six-Day War in June 1967.
The National Museum of American Jewish History is collaborating with The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (Clal) and its Rabbis Without Borders Program to launch a new initiative, Sacred Stories: A Living Commentary on the Hebrew Bible and American Jewish History.
Last month Ahi Ezer Yeshiva was full of excitement, learning, and fun. The school celebrated in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut. Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Masalton, said a perek of tehilim for the soldiers in Israel, and spoke to the girls about the importance of Yom Ha’atzmaut and how special Eertz Yisrael is to the Jewish nation. The Holy Land is a place where we can do so many mitzvot, and visit so many tzadikim and holy places. Eretz Yisrael is a place of kedusha (holiness)! All Jews have a special closeness and feel connected to Israel, no matter where in the world they are. We all have a constant yearning to be there.
For several years, the SAFE Foundation has been talking to children in our community about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. They are always happy to hear from young adults who have heeded their warnings and have chosen to abstain from these substances. They recently heard from three young community members who they are very proud of.
Eating a dairy meal on Shavuot has become an enduring tradition, but what’s the reason for this? If you check seven sources you’ll find seven different answers. Thus we’re not going to explain why we eat dairy on this holiday, we’re going to provide some sumptuous dairy dessert recipes instead.