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Vayshlach

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am

Genesis 32:4−36:43 

 

BY JONATHAN MILGRAM, JTS


Wrestling the Angels and the Demons within Us


In this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Vayishlah, we read of the patriarch Jacob’s journey home with his family after freeing himself and his entire clan from his father-in-law, Laban’s, control. Along the route, Jacob prepares himself for his eventual reunion with his older twin brother Esau, whom he fears to be vengeful. Right in the middle of the parashah, in between the description of Jacob’s preparations and his actual meeting with Esau, Jacob is involved in a transformative experience: a physical struggle with a stranger. He comes out of the encounter newly named “Israel” and, at least temporarily, limping.

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Hillels and Israel: How Campus Jewish Communities Are Grappling with Polarizing Politics

young-adults - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
By HANNAH BERNSTEIN for newvoices.org


This is part 1 in a 3-part series about politics, identity, and Jewish community on college campuses. 


On the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 2015, a new wave of violence arose in Israel. Often referred to as the “stabbing intifada,” it led to both Palestinian and Israeli deaths.

A world away, the American Jewish community was watching. Brooke Davies was beginning her junior year at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The local Students for Justice in Palestine organization was holding a vigil for the Palestinian victims who had died in the attacks. In solidarity as the chair of the local J Street U chapter, a pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian political organization, Davies decided to attend. She marked “Going” on Facebook.

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Jews Must Support The Trans Community — Our Lives Depend On It

LGBTQ - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
Becky Silverstein for The Forward 


The Facebook messages usually start with a shy “Hi, Rabbi Becky,” though sometimes it is more direct: “Can I ask you a question?”

They almost always come from the transgender and gender-nonconforming young people I know through my work with Keshet’s LGBTQ and Ally Teen Shabbatonim.

Read more: 

Coworking Spaces With a Jewish Bent

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
By Flora Tsapovsky for Tablet Magazine


They still have shared conference rooms, free Wi-Fi, and after-work parties. But they’ve also got kosher kitchens, sukkahs, and a commitment to Jewish values.


This month, coworking giant WeWork opened its first Jerusalem location. As part of its advance promotion, WeWork opened a temporary coworking space in a sukkah downtown a few weeks before the opening, combining a celebration of Sukkot traditions rooted in ancient times with very modern trappings, from free Wi-Fi to evening parties with DJs and bartenders. As offbeat as this might sound, it could serve as a metaphor for a direction that coworking spaces and Jewish communities are taking—toward each other.

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25 Years of Loving ‘The Nanny’

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
By Elyssa Goodman for Tablet Magazine 


Fran Drescher’s legendary character has been leaving high-heel marks on our hearts since 1993


On the evening of Nov. 3, 1993, Fran Fine traveled over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffields’ door. And by now, 25 years later, you know all too well what happened next. She was there, of course, to sell makeup but the father saw more: that she had style, she had flair, she was there; and that’s how she became the nanny.

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A New African Tradition for Hanukkah

jewish-food - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am

This recipe is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

 

By Joan Nathan for The New York Times
 

For Meskerem Gebreyohannes, all of the Jewish holidays bring doro wat, a luxurious chicken dish she makes with slowly cooked onions and a red chile sauce layered with flavors from the African spice trail.

Despite growing up in a Jewish family in Harar, a city in Ethiopia a few hours by car from Somalia, she never celebrated “modern” holidays like Hanukkah.
 

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SUPER EASY HANUKKAH DREIDEL CRAFT FOR KIDS

children-and-families - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
From the Blog, What We Do All Day

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


This simple dreidel made out of recycled materials is a super easy Hanukkah craft for kids. Every child loves spinning the dreidel and like most kids who celebrate the Festival of Lights, my boys have a slew of dreidels. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to make your own (especially when it doesn’t take much effort!).


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Bellow, His Biographers, and the “Quivering Schmucks”

jewish-books - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
By David Mikics for Jewish Review of Books


Saul Bellow’s books, admitted his admirer Barney Singer, attract “an awful lot of nuts, a lot of quivering schmucks. . . . But I think I took the cake.” Singer, a young historian at the University of British Columbia, said he read Herzog at least a thousand times during the 1970s. He wrote Bellow hundreds of letters, often containing freewheeling accounts of his own love life (“all of a sudden, broad-wise, it doesn’t rain but it pours”). About twice a year Bellow would send Singer a brief note or a few lines on a postcard. One of his letters read, “No wonder you like Herzog—you resemble him, being always after yourself, a kind of self-persecution. Objectively, that’s funny. Sub., not.”

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Israeli device lets wheelchair-bound groom stand under chuppah

israeil-news - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c


‘You made our night as close as possible to perfection,’ writes newlywed to makers of the UPnRIDE smart wheelchair, soon to go on the market.


Forty days before his marriage, a wheelchair-bound Israeli man named Adir wrote to UPnRIDE Robotics sharing his dream to stand under the chuppah (wedding canopy) with his bride, Liat.

CEO Oren Tamari invited Adir to company headquarters in Yokne’am Illit to try the UPnRIDE 1.1 mobility device, now in transition from research-and-development to market.

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Celebrating Two Faiths Without My Parents’ Blessing

interfaith - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com

 

By Sheri Kupres


Thirteen years ago I married a Catholic man from Chicago. I was raised as a Conservative Jew north of Boston. We met through mutual friends when I moved to Chicago. Prior to getting married, my husband and I agreed that we would pass along both of our religious beliefs to our children; we both had strong ties to our religious traditions and wanted to share these with our family. We had joined an interfaith couples group, based in Chicago, to help us discuss and navigate issues that come along with building a dual-faith family. We weren’t sure how this would all turn out but we were committed to this plan.

While we have achieved a lot over the past 13 years, it has been a long road filled with challenges, doubt, guilt as well as learning, joy and celebrations.

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Hanukkah Fast Facts

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
 
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

 
From the CNN Library


Here is some background information about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.


In 2018, Hanukkah will start on December 2nd at sunset and will end December 10th, at sunset.

Facts:

Hanukkah begins on the eve of the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev and lasts eight days.
The starting date on the western calendar varies from year to year, but usually falls between late November and late December.

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Long-lost songbird reappears after 50 years

green-living - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
by Ilana Strauss for FromtheGrapevine
 

The return of the blue-cheeked bee-eater has birders buzzing.
 

There's a catchy new song whistling through the natural world, and it comes from a rare, beautiful songbird. The blue-cheeked bee-eater was sighted by bird-watchers in Israel for the first time in 50 years this October.

“All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, a flock of some 30-40 blue-cheeked bee-eaters appeared over the Yerucham Lake Park. There was no mistaking them as their colors and calls filled the air,” Eyal Shochat, academic manager at Hoopoe-Yerucham Center of Ecology and Ornithology, writes in the Israeli Birding Porthole. “The blue-cheeked bee-eaters are rare spring migrants at Yerucham and this was the first time ever they showed up here in fall, quite a distance from their traditional migration route in the Jordan Valley.”

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A Brief History of Modern Hebrew

featured-articles - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am
from BimBam.com


An Introduction


Hebrew spoken today is not the same as the Hebrew in the Bible. But how did Hebrew come to be anyway? Watch our video to learn a brief history of Modern Hebrew featuring Joshua Mallett.


Watch Video.

 

Vayeitzei

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am

Genesis 28:10−32:3 


By Dena Weiss for Hadar


ONCE UPON AN EYELASH


When we meet our foremothers, Leah and Rachel, we immediately learn about their appearance. The verses tell us specifically that Rachel was beautiful and Leah, less so. What motivates these verses and descriptions?  Why does the Torah need to testify to how unattractive Leah is? The answer helps teach us a crucial lesson about Leah and through her story, about the nature of lashon ha-ra, of harmful speech, itself.  

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This Jewish Teen Is Fighting Opioid Addiction in a Powerful Way

young-adults - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
BY ABBY SHER for Kveller


Diller Family Foundation

The Diller Tikkun Olam Awards recognize 15 Jewish teens each year for their extraordinary community service work. Tikkun Olam, which means repairing the world, is exactly what these teens are doing - showing incredible innovation, creativity, and leadership in their communities and around the world. Kveller is proud to partner with the Diller Foundation to share their amazing stories.

There were almost 70,000 fatal drug overdoses by the end of 2017, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Each one of those deaths was uniquely tragic — and Stephanie Reifman wants their stories to be heard.

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Orthodox Judaism and LGBTQ Issues

LGBTQ - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
From MyJewishLearning


Efforts to make the community more compassionate have stopped short of sanctioning gay relationships.


The liberal Jewish movements have undergone dramatic shifts in their approach to gay, lesbian and transgender Jews in the past two decades, but among the Orthodox the changes have been far less dramatic — and in many quarters, virtually nonexistent.


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A Message to My Compatriots in the American Left From Across the Pond

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
BY AMANDA BERMAN for JewishJournal


The Pittsburgh tragedy made real the worst nightmare of American Jewry. Our community is now examining how we got to this frightening place, with anti-Semitism more pronounced on both the right and the left than it has been in decades. We now dread: Is this just the beginning? Are things only going to get worse? We only have to look across the pond see the writing on the wall.  

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Fill Up My Cup... Mazel Tov!: Bar Mitzvahs on Television

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
From the Blog Pataphysical Science


During a recent Shabbat dinner conversation with my friend Emily (@Stagemaven on Twitter), the topic of the best bar mitzvah episodes of television shows came up. She mentioned that someone should write a blog post about that and I kept it in the back of my mind. But then I heard about the January 18 episode of Saturday Night Live in which Drake's monologue had him talking about his bar mitzvah (he's Jewish!). And then I watched the February 11 episode of New Girl, in which Schmidt tries to pick up a Hebrew school teacher at a bar mitzvah, and the February 27 episode of The Crazy Ones about the ad agency having to throw a bar mitzvah for a client's son. So these all seemed like signs that I should go ahead and write that blog post. Thanks for the idea, Emily.

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46 PASTA DINNERS READY IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS

jewish-food - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
Jamie Geller for JoyofKosher


If you love pasta as much as us then you will love this selection of 46 pastas you can make in 30 minutes or less any day of the week.  

Pasta for a month anyone?

Check out 46 quick pasta dinners perfect for busy nights.

 

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In Pittsburgh, Stars of Hope Bring Comfort to the Community

children-and-families - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
Kveller Staff


On the police barricades outside the Pittsburgh synagogue hang stars painted with messages of love and support for the Pittsburgh community.

In Pittsburgh, just days after the awful synagogue shooting, we spoke with Jeff Parness, the founder of the Stars of Hope organization.

 

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