by: 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.
By Emma Davis for Jewcy
And finding solace in Judaism.
I met Vladimir Mukhotaev, 28, at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, where he helps low-income New Yorkers access food stamps. After he provided translation for an article I was reporting, I asked him about his path from Russia to the United States. He explained that he had followed his husband to New York and had never planned to leave Russia. I was intrigued: how could he feel so warmly towards his homeland as a gay man? And what had led him to Jewish social work after he was raised Eastern Orthodox? Vladimir’s story is below in his own words.
I was born in Russia in 1989. My native city is Orenburg, which is very close to the Kazakhstan border, but I moved to Moscow when I was 10.
By Elhanan Miller for Tablet Magazine
Hebrew studies are now legitimate in the desert kingdom, but demand is low—so far
A strange post made the rounds on Saudi Arabian social media in recent weeks. It claimed that the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” included a line lauding Jews for coming to the Land of Israel to intimidate the Canaanites, Babylonians, and Egyptians and chop their heads off.
BY NATE BLOOM for Jweekly.com
"Rise,” a musical drama based on the nonfiction book “Drama High” (2013) by Michael Sokolove, 61, premiered on NBC on March 13. Sokolove grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a blue-collar community that has long been in an economic slump. Josh Radnor, 43, plays a character based on Lou Volpe, a Levittown high school teacher who ran an acclaimed theater program for 45 years. Radnor, the former star of “How I Met Your Mother,” is a practicing Jew and a practicing musician. He is currently playing in a band with Australian Jewish musician Ben Lee, 39, and the two released a CD late last year.
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
From sweet to savory, from halloumi to harissa, the flavors of Israel prevail as a top cuisine this year.
The newest food trend to watch for this year? It's Israeli cuisine. That's according to San Francisco-based consulting firm AF&Co.
This diverse, somewhat hard-to-define cuisine is rich in flavor and depth, marked by dishes like falafel, hummus, shakshuka, shawarma and more.
Papa Plony is obsessed with beating the Baloney family in the annual relay race. But when Yasmin flakes out on practice, and a new team member shows up with an unexpected physical difference – he panics. SHABOOM! The Sparks come to the rescue with incredible upsie-downie magic, including an upside-down rainbow ramp, a giant stuffie and a lesson in showing kavod, or respect. Tune in and find out who wins the race. Kol hakavod!
with Michael Dobkowski for Jewish Book Council
In (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, Jonathan Weisman explores the disconnect between his own sense of Jewish identity and the expectations of his detractors and supporters. He delves into the rise of the alt-right, their roots in older anti-Semitic organizations, the odd ancientness of their grievances―cloaked as they are in contemporary, techy hipsterism―and their aims―to spread hate in a palatable way through a political structure that has so suddenly become tolerant of their views.
Michael Dobkowski: In many ways your book is about Jewish identity and experience in the Trump era. How has the American Jewish experience changed―generally, and for you, personally?
Jonathan Weisman: I grew up in a very Reform household. Although I was raised to identify as Jewish, I—like many Jews of my generation—drifted away, in part because Jews had become entirely comfortable in a pluralistic, liberal democracy that seemed to be progressing inexorably toward tolerance and acceptance.
By Patricia Corrigan for Jweekly.com
For young adults born into interfaith families, defining their Jewish identity is complex and finding acceptance often is difficult. The burden is even heavier for mixed-race individuals.
Take Victoria Alara Alcoset, 47, born to an Ashkenazi Jewish mother and a Catholic father with Native American and Mexican-American roots. Brought up Catholic, Alcoset said she “gravitated toward Jewish religious practice in young adulthood.” But when she planned her adult bat mitzvah, a rabbi suggested she first convert.
Holocaust Remembrance Day falls this year on April 12th
Surviving the Holocaust
Beside slaughtering the Jewish people, the Nazis also tried to break the Jewish spirit. We have heard many times how the Jewish soul survives even in the darkest of times. This video presents one account that needs to be told.
From United With Israel
With nearly 70 years of experience making the desert bloom, Israel remains at the forefront of cutting-edge water technology used the world over.
Israeli water technology has revolutionized desalination, recycling, and irrigation practices throughout the world. Indeed, Israeli-pioneered techniques are used in locales from India to the United States, helping farmers produce greater yields and improving water security.
AP Photo/Markus Schreibe
April 12 is Holocaust Remembrance Day
By DANIELLA J. GREENBAUM for Commentary
Memory and Judaism are inseparable.
Yes. That’s the answer to a question posed by the headline of Shmuel Rosner’s latest piece in the New York Times. Yes: Israeli students need to visit Auschwitz. All Jewish students should. Plenty of non-Jews, too.
By Nathan Abrams for The Forward
For years, British television has been blighted by stock-in-trade Jewish stereotypes. Audiences have had to endure legions of Jewish mothers, Hasidim and Jews who sound like they got off the boat in 1910 whether they’re 10 or 110, and whether it’s 1910 or 2010!
This Saturday, April 7, 2018, is the last day of Passover for Jews in the Diaspora
Deuteronomy 14:22 - 16:17 & Numbers 28:19 - 28:25
Like the reading for the second day, it catalogs the annual cycle of festivals, their special observances, and the offerings brought on these occasions to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Eighth Day's special connection with the Future Redemption is reflected in the Haftorah (reading from the Prophets) for this day (Isaiah 10:32-12:6).
Morning service. Half-Hallel is recited. Two Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark. The Yizkor memorial service is recited following the Torah reading.
From The Jewish News
When should parents be concerned? Experts share some warning signs.
We don’t often talk about teen mental health around the dinner table or on the phone with friends or colleagues. Maybe we fear being labeled “bad parents” if our teens are diagnosed with mental health issues. It’s something we must have done wrong. Maybe whatever our kids are going through is just a “phase,” something they’ll “get over” in time.
By Susan Minuk for CJN
Canadian Young Judaea is launching a new overnight summer camp for LGTBQ Jewish campers called Machane Lev.
Machane Lev, which will be Canada’s first Jewish camp for LGBTQ youth, will be housed at Camp Shalom in Gravenhurst, Ont., and will run from Aug. 19-26, for kids aged eight to 16 years old. Machane Lev is committed to being an inclusive Jewish summer camp that celebrates identity, encourages creativity, enhances leadership skills and evokes a love for Israel and the Jewish community. Machane Lev mean “Camp Heart” in Hebrew.
By Mark Oppenheimer for Tablet Magazine
This is what happens when well-meaning philo-Semites and assimilated Jews, the kind of people who run schools like Friends Seminary, have more respect for imagined Jewish sensitivities than for Jews’ actual history and culture
If there is one lesson to be learned from the sad, strange tale of the firing of Ben Frisch, it is surely this: If you want to make a Hitler joke in the classroom, do it at a Jewish day school.
Who says Passover food has to be boring!
Now that the Seder is over, what are you going to eat? How about Matzah Tacos? Spinach & Green Herb Pie? Cheese Blintzes? Moroccan-Inspired Carrot Tsimmes?
You can find all these recipes featured in Jvillage Network's Passover Holiday Guide. We've even thrown in a couple of yummy desserts: Matzo Toffee and Orange Sponge Cake.
Are you looking for something to do with the kids with all that matzo you thought you needed? Make a matzo house! It's fun, and yummy, and helps get rid of all that matzo.
Jewish Book Council; Mark Sarvas is the author of Memento Park: A Novel. He is blogging here as part of Jewish Book Council's Visiting Scribe series.
"I’m a terrible Jew," I used to say—by which I meant that I was wholly ignorant of tradition, taking a sort of perverse pleasure in the shock value of the comment. I was raised by postwar, secular European parents who decided they’d had enough of religion. I didn’t know Sukkot from Shavuot, and we grew up with Christmas trees and Easter eggs. Researching this essay, I learned that into her teens, my younger sister thought one of our parents was Catholic and one was Jewish. I remember being asked to sign the ketubah at her wedding (her husband was observant), and looking blankly at the rabbi when he asked me my Jewish name. He ended up coaching me, with some reproach, through a hastily imitated Hebrew “Moishe.”