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January storms of dust, rain and snow blanket Israel

israeil-news - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am

By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
 

Winter has arrived full blast in this corner of the Middle East, bringing joy to skiers and snowboarders; headaches for commuters.

Dust storms, torrential rain, snow — and a bit of sunshine, too – are in the mix this week in Israel as January brings unusually wet, cold weather.

The storms, along with colder temperatures in mid-week, are forecast for the entire region stretching from Turkey through Israel to Jordan.

Continue reading.
 

IFF Parenting Series, Lesson 3 - MAKING A MENSCH

interfaith - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


Recently, InterFaith Family began a wonderful parenting email series. In addition to receiving emails, you may also sign up for their private Facebook Group. It is a place where parents (and prospective parents) in interfaith families can ask questions, share resources, support one another, etc.

 

To sign up, visit here.

 

It's Tu BiShvat: Plant A Tree In Israel

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am
FROM JNF

 

For over a century planting a tree in Israel has been a wonderful way to remember a loved who has died or honor a loved one for a celebratory occasion.

Tu BiShvat, the Birthday of the Trees, is a wonderful time to continue this tradition.

 

Continue reading.

For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. 

New sustainable way to create plastics from seaweed

green-living - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am
By ISRAEL21c Staff
 

Israeli discovery overcomes need for fertile soil and fresh water in the creation of eco-friendly bioplastics by using saltwater seaweed.

Everyone knows plastic is bad for the environment. That’s why bioplastics – plastics made from renewable sources like plants or old waste – were invented. But these bioplastics can’t be created everywhere since the plants they use require fresh water, a scarce resource in many countries.

One such country is Israel, which does not have a surplus of fresh water. Other countries suffering from the same problem are China and India, whose size and resulting plastic consumption is very bad news for the planet.

Continue reading.
 

Why They Stay - The Jews of Iran

featured-articles - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am
By Roya Hakakian


The horror and hope undergirding Jewish life in post-Revolution Iran


Among the world’s endangered minorities, Iranian Jews are an anomaly. Like their counterparts, their conditions categorically refute all the efforts their nation makes at seeming civilized and egalitarian—and so they embody, often without wanting to, all that is ugly and unjust about their native land.

But Iran’s Jewish community does something more. It also embodies the nation’s hope, the narrative of its resistance and struggle for a better future—one that has been on the brink of arriving ever since the revolution in 1979. To understand why Jews continue to remain in Iran is to understand the tortured tale of Iran. Nowhere else can the stubborn continuity of a minority stand as a metaphor in the elegy of a nation’s downfall.

Continue reading.

Shabbat Shira - Beshalach

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

Exodus 13:17-17:16 


BY HILLEL GRUENBERG, for JTS


Israel: Between Tears and Songs


Beshallah holds special importance for me and my family—it was the parashah of the week of my son Zeke’s bris three years ago, and that of the week of my wedding to Yael two years before that. Under the huppah, my rabbi (and brother-in-law) Aaron Brusso referenced the Zohar’s likening of the parting of the Red Sea to a wedding for having weeping on one side of the event and singing on the other (Zohar 2:170b). Between the tears and songs, however, lies the Children of Israel’s experience of actually traversing a supernaturally divided sea, one of immense physical insecurity as they walk in the sea knowing that at any moment, the “waters that were to them a wall from their right and their left” (Exod. 14:22, 27), והמים להם חומה מימינם ומשמאלם could come down, crash, literally liquidating everything in their midst. However, this physical insecurity is only one part of the equation.

Read & Listen.

Outside Hillel, Northeastern Jewish Students Struggle After Rabbi Leaves

young-adults - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am
BY HANNAH BERNSTEIN for newvoices.org


This is part 3 in a series about politics, identity, and Jewish community on college campuses. Click here to view part 1, and here for part 2.

 

Ben Novak came to Northeastern University in 2016 from a Catholic high school in Kingston, Massachusetts. His father was raised Jewish, and his mother converted to Judaism before he was born. Novak wanted to find his own Jewish community in college, a place where he could grow.

Continue reading.

In a first, a transgender person is campus president of this Jewish sorority

LGBTQ - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am
Elliot Draznin is the president of a Jewish sorority but does not identify as a woman. (Courtesy of Draznin)


BY JOSEFIN DOLSTEN for JTA


(JTA) — In December, the Jewish sorority at the University of Cincinnati elected a new president. The new leader was a founding member of the campus group who was highly involved in Jewish life at the university.

But the 21-year-old’s election was surprising in at least one way: For the first time, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi, or SAEPi, would be led by someone not identifying as a woman.

Continue reading.

How going to synagogue regularly turned me into a dumpster diver

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

CNAAN LIPHSHIZ for JTA


AMSTERDAM (JTA) — I was recently offered a handout while rummaging for food in a heap of trash as my two small children looked on.

It happened all because I wanted to start attending synagogue regularly.

 

Continue reading.

New law excuses Brazilian Jewish students from exams, classes on Shabbat and holidays

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am



RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A new law in Brazil allows Jewish and non-Jewish students to skip school exams and classes for religious reasons.


The students are permitted to be absent on any date in which, according to their religious precepts, the exercise of activities is prohibited, according to the legislation. For Jewish students, it means Shabbat and holidays such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


Continue reading.
 

A Tu B’Shevat Recipe That Brings the World Together

jewish-food - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

 

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

 

By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine 


This quinoa salad combines Andean grains with Asian fruit to make a colorful vegan medley for the holiday


On my most recent visit to San Francisco, I ate a symphony of persimmons. At Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ famed shrine to local food in Berkeley, the bright-orange fruit was shaved paper-thin over salads, pureed with sugar, eggs, and cream to make the perfect persimmon pudding, and served whole in a copper bowl to be easily plucked for a fresh and delicious dessert. At Hardwater, a Bourbon bar opened by chef Charles Phan of The Slanted Door fame, I ate crispy Brussels sprouts coated with a persimmon and mustard jam. While at Greens Restaurant, a wonderful vegetarian eatery started by Jewish chef and now cookbook author Deborah Madison, I ate the best quinoa salad I have ever tasted, served with—you got it—persimmons.

Read & Watch.

Super Easy Chocolate Bark for an Easy Tu B’Shevat Craft Project

children-and-families - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

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

 

From Chai & Home


You know if it’s after Hanukkah I’m looking to melt some Hanukkah gelt! Like I’ve written before, there is something about melting gelt that makes it taste so much better. When in gelt form, the chocolate is so dry and flavorless, but when melted it tastes like the finest Belgian chocolate. No fooling. You tell me if I’m wrong. Anyway, this year the kosher candy store where I  buy my gelt only had pareve gelt, much to the disappointment of some kids at my Hanukkah party (yes, I refrained from “In my day, we were happy to get any gelt at all” even though I was very tempted.) In previous years I’ve made 4 fruits bark, fondue, and used it as icing, but this year I was feeling particularly woodsy so I was just going to melt it down and make it bark-like with a bit of texture. It is super easy to do and makes a great Tu b’Shevat craft project.

Continue reading.

The Bookshelf: JWA’s 2018-2019 Book List

jewish-books - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

 

From the Jewish Women's Archives

 

Are you looking for some thought-provoking or fun reads for you or your book group? 

Check out the many wonderful titles from the Jewish Women's Archives.

ADAMA OPENS GLOBAL R&D CENTER IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL

israeil-news - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am
A researcher works at ADAMA's new global R&D center in Ne'ot Hovav. (photo credit: NATALIE COHEN-KADOSH)


BY EYTAN HALON for JPost


The new research complex will focus on all stages of development, from basic chemical research to the development of active processes and materials, and to a final product for farmers.


ADAMA, the world’s leading generic crop protection company, inaugurated its multi-million dollar advanced global research and development center on Tuesday in the southern industrial zone of Ne’ot Hovav.

The Tel Aviv-headquartered company, acquired by Beijing-based chemical company ChemChina in 2017, will initially welcome more than 100 researchers and chemists to its new agricultural research hub, and is expected to expand in the future.

Continue reading.

Interfaith Families Increasingly Jewish

interfaith - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am
By STEWART AIN for The Jewish Week


Palm Beach County finds two-thirds of such couples raising Jewish children.


At the same time the rate of intermarriage among non-Orthodox Jews continues to rise, so does the percentage of such couples who are raising their children as Jews, according to Jewish population surveys conducted in recent years.

Continue reading.

Tu B'Shvat: What Is A Birthday For Trees?

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

This video is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


From AlephBeta 


What Is Tu B'Shvat And Why Do We Celebrate?


Every year, we celebrate the strange Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat – according to the Talmud, it’s a birthday for all of the trees born in the previous year. And not just a birthday – it’s really a “new year” for the trees. How odd is that? In this video, Imu Shalev breaks down this strange holiday to uncover what Tu B’Shvat really means to us today. Discover how Tu B’Shvat is actually all about gratitude to our Creator, for the fruits of the trees.

Watch video. 

The Relevance of Celebrating Tu B’Shevat

green-living - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

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


By Paula Maccabee for Hadassah Magazine


Many of us dismiss Tu B’Shevat as a tree-planting holiday for children. And for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, the holiday often falls during the depths of winter, making the “New Year of the Trees” seem misplaced. But Jewish learning and our natural environment require that we reclaim Tu B’Shevat—which this year begins the evening of January 20—as an important holiday to celebrate our relationship with Creation and take responsibility to protect the web of life on Earth.

Continue reading.

Why We Eat the 7 Fruits on Tu B’Shvat

featured-articles - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, 


By Jo Ann Gardner for The Forward


The seven species are pomegranate, grapes, dates, figs, olives, wheat and barley.

Why do we eat fruit of the Seven Species on Tu B’Shvat?

The Seven Species of the Bible are a central feature of the celebration of Tu B’Shvat, which this year occurs in late January. The reason usually given for eating foods from this group, especially its fruits, is that they are symbols of God’s creation, and that by eating them we give thanks to Him and reaffirm our ties to the Land of Israel.

Read more: 

Bo

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:00am

Exodus 10:1−13:16 


BY JOEL ALTER, JTS


Miracles of Biblical and Everyday Proportions


Last week, God pummeled Egypt unprecedentedly with hail:

The LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire streamed down to the ground, as the LORD rained down hail upon the land of Egypt. The hail was very heavy—fire flashing in the midst of the hail—such as had not fallen on the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. (Exod. 9:23–24)

On the combination of fire and ice, Ibn Ezra comments that this was “a wonder within a wonder.”

As this week’s portion opens, Moses and Aaron announce:

Continue reading.

At the Jewish Media Summit, a Focus on Young American Jews

young-adults - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:00am
BY LEV GRINGAUZ for newvoices.org


Though 150 journalists and bloggers from 30 countries had gathered in Jerusalem for the Israeli Press Office-sponsored Jewish New Media Summit in late November, American Jewry was very nearly the only subject of conversation when discussing the strained relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.

 

Continue reading.

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