By Letty Cottin Pogrebin for Tablet Magazine
As an educator and feminist activist, Alice Shalvi has been a major force for decades. At 92, she shares her life story in her new memoir, ‘Never a Native.’
Alice Shalvi, now 92, is the most famous Israeli whom the average American Jew has never heard of. Revered Hebrew University English professor, principal of the Pelech school, founder of the Israel Women’s Network, rector of the Schechter Institutes, intrepid feminist activist, prominent advocate for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and winner of multiple honors—among them, the Israel Prize, the country’s Nobel—Shalvi nonetheless remains virtually anonymous in the mainstream Jewish world.
By Eetta Prince-Gibson for Hadassah Magazine
Overjoyed, Esty Shushan stands in the august corridors of Israel’s Supreme Court and emotionally embraces her friend and colleague. “We won! We made history.”
“This is for all haredi women! For all Israeli women! For our daughters!” her friend, Estee Rieder-Indursky, responds.
CONSIDERING INTERFAITH RELATIONS BETWEEN JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS: AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK J. RYAN, S.J.
BY JOSEPH PREVILLE, for World Religion News
WHAT BINDS JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS TOGETHER IN A FAMILY OF FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP?
Rev. Patrick J. Ryan, S.J. considers this question in his wonderful new book, Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God (The Catholic University of America Press, October 2018).
Ryan takes a close theological look at Jews, Christians, and Muslims through their eyes, texts, and experiences. He also shares his reflections on his own experience as a Christian in the company of Jewish and Muslim friends. Ryan writes that “we Muslims and Christians and Jews may live together more fruitfully and more peacefully if we recognize the polyvalence of Abraham, the polyvalence of great concepts like faith and revelation, community, and the path of righteousness.”
Most Jewish prayers are recited at regular intervals or on specific occasions, but a few are said in circumstances that are anything but routine.
Most Jewish prayers are recited at specific and regularly recurring times. Think of the blessings said upon waking in the morning, or the specific holiday liturgies, or the blessings recited before and after food and drink.
But some are recited on rarer occasions, or upon seeing or hearing something that isn’t routine. Below are eight of these prayers and blessings you might not have encountered before.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Affiliate of Israel’s Paulee CleanTec applies Israeli technology to high-rise buildings for clean, odor-free disposal of solid waste.
Paulee CleanTec of Tel Aviv has announced that its affiliate company Epic CleanTec of California won the grand prize in the Climate Innovation Showcase at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
The Epic system uses Paulee’s proprietary technology to separate out all the solid waste generated by occupants of a high-rise building and convert it into dry, odorless, sterile, organic fertilizer for landscaping. The system also redirects the building’s used water to toilets, irrigation and cooling towers.
By STEVE NORTH for The Times of Israel
Strangers across the globe share in some unexpected lessons when one reporter’s mother rediscovers a long-lost cookbook handwritten in ancient German script
NEW YORK — I had to stifle a laugh as I read the list of ingredients for the almond cake. Along with the almonds, sugar, eggs, flour and baking soda was this unexpected ingredient: “A touch of mice.” The recipe had been translated for me from the original German, but what could that mean?
BY ELIEZER B. DIAMOND, JTS
To the best of my knowledge, Hayyei Sarah contains the only instance in Tanakh of a parent asking his child’s wishes. Laban and Betuel cannot come to an agreement with Abraham’s servant—who we’ll call Eliezer—about whether Rebecca should remain in Haran for a time or depart immediately to Canaan. And so, they ask Rebecca to state her preference. Contrary to her family’s express wishes, Rebecca decides to leave immediately.
By Jenny Singer for The Forward
It was mid-week, and dreary, and the millennial dating panel was my third Jewish non-profit visit of the day. I had already finished a day of work at the Forward, and gone to a meeting at a synagogue, and by the time I rushed uptown to the offices of the UJA-Federation, I was exhausted and a little resentful that I’d agreed to go — who exactly was the audience of a weeknight panel of random “dating” professionals, thrown by a Jewish non-profit? Over-involved parents? Truly desperate singles? I hoped for the event to include crackers, or punch, or something, envisioning sitting with about a dozen others in folding chairs in a threadbare church basement.
Editor’s Note: It is difficult to introduce something unfinished. Vetch is, as far as any of its editors know, the first journal devoted entire-ly to poems by trans people.
We founded Vetch to combat a few problems. The greatest is silence, a dearth of published work by trans poets dealing with trans themes (a silence which makes no sense, considering the trans poets currently at work).
By JTA from CJN.com
British Jews are applying for German citizenship in dramatic numbers, seeking a second European Union passport under a law designed to repatriate Jews whose families lost their German citizenship under the Nazis.
The number of Britons seeking German citizenship rose from 43 in 2015 to 1,667 last year.
Noam Vazana’s Moroccan-born grandmother used to sing to her in Ladino. Listen as Vazana (aka Nani, the nickname her grandmother lovingly gave her) performs a whispering and velvety version of the Ladino classic, Morenica (“The call of the brunette”).
Vazana has plans to record the world’s first Ladino pop album under Vazana’s stage name, Nani — her grandmother’s nickname for her.
By Yotam Ottolenghi for The New York Times
A long stint in a lot of oil transforms the green into something totally different — or maybe its truest self.
Tunisian Jews make a condiment called pkaila or bkeila, which is extraordinary. It is prepared by cooking down plenty of spinach for hours in a generous quantity of oil. The spinach — Swiss chard is often used as well — loses all its water, and very slowly fries in the oil, resulting in a small amount of greasy paste as black as crude oil, which is used to flavor all kinds of soups and stews.
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
Research suggests kids with moms who eat peanuts while breastfeeding are less likely to develop allergies when they're older.
When it comes to peanut allergies, there's a growing body of knowledge that points to early exposure as a highly successful prevention method.
And now, the evidence mounts, with a new study from researchers in Canada that suggests children whose mothers eat peanuts or peanut-based foods while breastfeeding are less likely to develop the allergy themselves.
By David P. Goldman for Tablet Magazine
Taking on the New Atheists, Scott Shay’s new book sparks a conversation about the existence of God
Scott Shay is a banker, not a rabbi or professor. He’s a founder and chairman of Signature Bank, a New York lender catering to local middle-market businesses and one of the financial success stories of the past decade. He dedicates a large part of his time to Jewish community work—the Chai Mitzvah movement, the local Jewish Federation, his Modern Orthodox synagogue Kehilath Jeshurun—and in 2006 published a well-received book about Jewish outreach and engagement through community initiatives.
Three Israeli companies were among 50 ventures selected by TIME Magazine for its list of 50 “genius companies” for 2018 published late last week and available in newsstands.
It is the first annual “genius companies” list by the esteemed American magazine, known for its hard-hitting cover photos. The publication said it asked its vast network of editors and correspondents “to nominate businesses that are inventing the future,” and evaluated candidates “based on key factors, including originality, influence, success, and ambition.”
By Ari Feldman for The Forward
The Conservative movement’s central authority on Jewish law has announced that rabbis can attend weddings between Jews and non-Jews.
The decision overturns over four decades of assumptions that the movement’s rabbis could be kicked out simply for being a guest at an interfaith wedding. Over the years, rabbis skipped out on countless weddings of close friends and family members lest they get found out, and end up sacrificing their careers.
The smallest and youngest of the so-called "big four" American Jewish denominations.
Reconstructionist Judaism is a politically and religiously progressive Jewish movement that is the smallest and youngest of the so-called “big four” American Jewish denominations. It encompasses roughly 100 synagogues in the United States and a handful overseas and is the only one of the major movements that was established in the United States.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
The two-step process uses lightly heated solvents to extract organic compounds, while simultaneously removing heavy metals with chelating agents.
A new process under development in Israel could provide the economical, earth-friendly solution many industries seek for cleaning up soil, sludge and sediment polluted by their activities.
By The Scroll for Tablet Magazine
Meet ‘Roland,’ a German house painter on his way to Tel Aviv to volunteer renovating houses for Holocaust survivors
It’s not often that a Hasidic rabbi’s Facebook post goes viral but that’s what happened Wednesday when Rabbi Zalmen Wishedsk uploaded a photo that showed him smiling next to a man he identified as “Roland,” his neighbor in the window seat on a flight from Switzerland to Israel.
BY AMY KALMANOFSKY, JTS
Women of Faith
Abraham passed God’s litmus test of faith. God commands Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac to the land of Moriah and kill him. Faithful Abraham does not hesitate. Genesis 22 may be the most loved and hated story in the Torah by every reader, no matter what their faith. Certainly, generations of Jews have struggled to make sense of this story, and of the father and God it portrays. Rashi, the 11th-century French commentator, cannot bear to think that God intended Abraham to kill Isaac. He writes: “God did not say ‘kill him [שחטהו],’ because the Holy One Blessed Be He did not want him to kill him. Rather, God commanded Abraham to “bring him up [להעלותו]” with the intention to give Isaac the status of being an offering” (on Gen. 22:2).