BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy is a wilderness-based recovery and treatment program for Jewish young adults.
BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy guides Jewish young adults on individualized journeys of self-discovery and healing. Through nature-based therapy, BaMidbar is a stepping stone to independent, healthy, adulthood.
By Nicky Blackburn for Israel21c
Student ambassadors from all over the United States descended on Chicago to take part in an ISRAEL21c hackathon.
At a conference room at theWit hotel in downtown Chicago, the ideas were coming in thick and fast. At five different tables, 25 students from colleges across the United States were sharing thoughts and suggestions about how to take ISRAEL21c content and turn it into innovative social-media campaigns.
Outside it was snowing, the temperature hovering around minus 6 degrees Celsius in true wintertime Chicago fashion, but inside was a hive of warmth and activity, the room abuzz with original and creative proposals.
BY YOSEF NEMANPOUR for newvoices.org
There are a surprising number of labels that a Jewish person can use to describe their Jewish identity. It can range anywhere from the typical “Orthodox,” “Conservative,” and “Reform” denominations, to “Jewish Science” observances.
The practice of affixing labels to Jews has become so pervasive that the concept of separating those labels from Jewish identity seems impossible. In reality, however, the heavy emphasis on Jewish denominational factions is relatively new. Moreover, although Jewish denominational stereotyping might seem intuitive or automatic, it often involves a far greater cost than benefit, both to those labeled and to our communities at large.
BY RABBI JOEL MOSBACHER from ReformJudaism.org
What do lobbyists do during a government shutdown?
Most might stay home. But if you are an intrepid, well-prepared, passionate teenage Jewish lobbyist, you find a way in.
That’s what eight teenage members of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, NY, did yesterday, after they had spent the weekend preparing to lobby as a part of the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
They had worked all weekend, learning about the current political issues on Capitol Hill and about what Judaism and Jewish values say about those issues, as well as considering how they themselves had been personally affected by them. They spent hours preparing impassioned, personal, Judaism-infused lobbying speeches.
While most contemporary Jewish authorities believe ear piercing is fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex when it comes to extensive piercings or piercing other body parts.
Does Jewish law allow body piercing? While most contemporary Jewish authorities believe that ear piercing is generally fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex when it comes to extensive piercings or piercing other body parts.
The principal issue of Jewish law raised by body modifications of all types is the traditional prohibition on damaging a human body.
Some contemporary authorities have also raised concerns that piercing can run afoul of Jewish values of modesty (tzniut ) and respect for the body as created in the divine image.
However, most rabbinic authorities give at least some weight to contemporary mores, in particular the fact that body piercing is understood today not as a sign of bodily denigration, but as an act of adornment.
Tamar Cohen for Fresh Ink for Teens
Judy Blume’s books teach us real-lessons about growing up.
Bildungsroman: the German word for a coming-of-age novel. A prime example of this? Judy Blume's “Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret.” Beloved by angsty teens and middle-aged women’s book clubs alike, Judy Blume seems to have completely mastered the art of coming-of-age in fiction.
Growing up with an irrational fear of dogs, I found a sympathetic fellow in cynophobic Sheila, of Blume’s “Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great.” I know many classmates of all genders whose love of reading began with Blume’s the “Fudge” saga, and, of course, an entire mother-daughter book club's worth of girls who learned the emotional process of menstruation from Margaret and her friends.
by: Sheila Levy for Fresh Ink for Teens
Everyone faces adversity at some point in life, so learning how to cope is extremely important.
“Dancing in the rain” — the phrase that kept coming to mind as I sat in a room filled with my closest friends. As the hours went by, eyes watered and voices cracked, we continued to think about those four words. Inspirational story after story, chills started running up and down my body as we spoke about the deceased. The group healing was helpful and allowed us to think about how we can dance in a world that is filled with rain; how can we have a positive perspective on life when all we see is the negative.
BY JUDITH TYDOR BAUMEL for myjewishlearning.com
How this Hungarian Jew became a national heroine of Israel.
One of the more poignant songs included in many Holocaust memorial convocations held in Israel, is a short poem, set to music, known popularly as “Eli, Eli.” The four-line poem, actually entitled “Walking to Caesarea,” was written by one of the more mythological figures in contemporary Jewish and Israeli history, Hannah Senesh (Szenes), whose short life and death have propelled her into the pantheon of Zionist history.
Hannah Senesh was born in Budapest on July 17, 1921, to a wealthy, distinguished, and assimilated Hungarian Jewish family. Her father, Bela Senesh (1874-1929), who died when she was a child, had been a well-known writer and dramatist and her mother, Katharine, an elegant homemaker. Having been given a modern Hungarian education, Senesh was exposed to anti-Semitism during her high school years, propelling her to learn more about her Jewish origins. It was at that time that she discovered the Zionist movement, joining a Zionist youth movement and learning Hebrew in preparation for immigration to Palestine.
Sruli Fruchter for Fresh Ink for Teens
The conference taught me how to broaden my political activism.
At the beginning of junior year, I became a fellow for Write On For Israel, a program that uses the lens of journalism to educate students on how to become pro-Israel advocates. Not only has the program given me a greater understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through monthly seminars, but I recently had the opportunity to represent Write On at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) High School Summit.
I felt nervous attending such an important event; after all, the goal of AIPAC is to maintain and strengthen the U.S-Israeli relationship through direct involvement in America’s political process. But Write On has given me a nuanced understanding of the conflict, and taught me to sift through the facts and the fallacies to develop my perspectives on Israel, so I felt ready.
From Jerusalem U
This video is part of a series titled “Hear Me Roar,” promoting Jewish values and showing the world that you can find a bright spark of goodness in any person.
Young, beautiful Zo Flamenbaum found herself stuck in an unhealthy codependent relationship. She hated how he treated her, how he treated her friends, how she felt around him. But she still couldn’t leave. This was not run-of-the-mill boyfriend girlfriend stuff. In this video, she talks about the courage it took for her to walk away from an emotional dependency and take back her life after so long.
In her video, Zo talks about dealing with dependency, bad relationships, depression and meds and finding the bravery to face how disconnected she was from herself.
by: Noah Phillips for Fresh Ink for Teens
As Richard Spencer takes to college campuses, I reflect on The Unite the Right rally.
When a car fatally plowed through a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, the world took notice. Rallies and marches orchestrated by white nationalists, like alt-right leader Richard Spencer, and neo-Nazis plagued the city, awakening the country to the persistence and prevalence of hateful ideologies. Perhaps most troubling is that the multi-day rally in Charlottesville was far from an isolated incident; on that same weekend, nine other white nationalist rallies were scheduled across the country and chants of “Jews will never replace us!” echoed through the United States.
BY: RABBI ELIZABETH ZELLER for ReformJudaism.org
With eight nights to celebrate, Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday for families to enjoy together – especially if there are teens in the house or in your extended family. Teens are old enough to understand the lessons of the Hanukkah story, so it is an opportunity to talk about the value of driving out darkness with light, of standing up for your beliefs, even when others might not agree with you, and of coming together and celebrating our religious freedom through compassion, thankfulness, and community. It’s also a great time to have some fun. Here are eight ways to involve the teens in your life in the celebration of Hanukkah.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Sixty percent of the volunteer staff of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency-response network, are teenagers.
When the dispatcher alerted them about a two-week-old baby who’d stopped breathing, 16-year-old Ori Cohen and his Magen David Adom crewmates were right nearby with their ambulance. Working quickly under the guidance of the crew’s senior emergency medical technician, Cohen and his fellow volunteers restored the infant’s breathing and whisked her off to the hospital. The doctors said she’ll be fine.
Cohen is one of 11,000 Israeli teenagers working voluntary shifts on MDA ambulances throughout Israel – making up a remarkable 60 percent of the volunteer staff.
By Dani, an 11th grader on eJewishPhilanthropy
Talk loudly and talk a lot, because communication is first step on the path to healing.
Hope is a powerful thing. Hope inspires change. Hope – hatikva – is the reason our Jewish people have survived and thrived in this hostile world for so long. Hope is the ability to look past the darkness of the present and see a brighter future. But when a person loses hope, loses that ability to imagine an eventuality in which anything could ever be alright, it becomes difficult to go on.
I know this because I barely survived four years living without hope. For those four years, I was stuck alone in a dark, empty room, seriously contemplating just getting up and checking out before I realized that those who loved me – my friends, my parents, my rabbis – were only a phone call away. It is an experience I would not wish on anyone, and one I wish never to repeat.
by JerusalemU.org for aish.com
With no friends and no future in sight, Ben cried himself to sleep at night, even contemplating suicide. But then he had a revelation that changed everything.
“When everyone else has given up on you, it’s hard not to give up on yourself.” Ben is a fighter. And there are others out there. People who seem so ordinary - yet contain a hidden greatness. Watch the rest of Jerusalem U’s Hear Me Roar series, and meet young Jewish heroes who have overcome staggering obstacles to reveal their inner strength. Support Bullying Prevention Month, World Day of Bullying Prevention, National Stop Bullying Day, and Anti-Bullying Day - let’s put an end to bullying!