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Eight Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah with Teens

young-adults - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
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.

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A Comprehensive and Updated LGBTQ Hanukkah Gift Guide!

LGBTQ - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
BY SHIRA BURNS for myjewishlearning.com, reprinted from Keshet Blog. Note, this article appeared in 2016.


This year Hanukkah happens to begin on Christmas and end on New Years. With all that’s happening on your calendar, it can be hard to find a time to go shopping for those you love– so we’ve done it for you! Below you’ll find clothing, decorations, books, and more for the queer Jews and allies in your life! (Click on each gift to find out where to purchase it)

Let’s start with the card and the candles:

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Remembering the Great Czech Jewish Harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
Mark Glanville for Mosaic


Růžičková, who died in September, survived both Hitler and Stalin to become a brilliant interpreter of J.S. Bach—and the only person to commit his entire keyboard oeuvre to disc.


I was loaded on a wagon. My mother was left behind. A gust of wind came and took this piece of paper from my hand. And my mother, who knew how much it meant to me, started to run after this piece of paper and the other girls took her hand and pulled her up into the wagon where I was.

The words are those of the great Czech Jewish harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, who died on September 27 at the age of ninety. The episode recounted here is one among many riveting moments in a recently released documentary film, Zuzana: Music is Life. Hers was an adolescence and young adulthood that encompassed the full horror of the Holocaust, followed in turn by the brutal oppression of Soviet Communism, followed in the inspiring fullness of time by personal and musical vindication hard won and thrillingly deserved.

And the “piece of paper” that was so precious to her? It was a fragment of the Sarabande in E Flat Minor from the English Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. The teenage piano student had kept it close during her internment at Theresienstadt, where her father had died of typhus. The wagon onto which her mother was hauled and thereby reunited with her daughter was carrying its transport in the direction of Auschwitz.

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Tunisian Spiced Squash Soup

jewish-food - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 


Butternut squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, pumpkin…after awhile, all that squash and pumpkin kind of looks and tastes the same. Which is why I came up with this slight variation on a classic butternut squash soup: same roasted butternut squash, but with a Middle Eastern twist.

And I must give credit where it is due. While I am pretty picky about my cookbooks, especially kosher cookbooks, I do love Saffron Shores which inspired this soup recipe.

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Hanukkah Reads

children-and-families - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
From Jewish Book Council. Find more great Hanukkah ideas, articles, crafts, and recipes check out our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Eight Nights of Stories ProsenPeople series


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8 Books to Preorder Over the 8 Nights of Hanukkah

jewish-books - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By Nat Bernstein, Jewish Book Council


Back when we first started the Eight Nights of Stories series here on The ProsenPeople, I mentioned a childhood friend’s family tradition of gathering to hear stories read aloud by the light of the shamash after lighting the other candles each night of Chanukah. (You should read it, really, it is a lovely post. There’s a Harry Potter reference in there for the true fans and everything.)


That same childhood friend is about to be a published author. His debut novel, Anna and the Swallow Man, comes out January 2016 from A. A. Knopf, and friends, it is a very, very good book. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either: Jewish Book Council’s entire staff has been coveting our shared advance copies since they arrived from the editor, and laudatory reviews are beginning to roll in across the publishing playground.


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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Sleep deprivation causes neurons to nap, Israeli study finds

israeil-news - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
By SHOSHANNA SOLOMON for The Times of Israel


Researchers say that the longer we stay awake, the slower our brain gets, damaging visual perception and memory associations


You may be staying up way too late every night scrolling through Facebook, but your brain cells aren’t necessarily along for the ride.


Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) together with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say that when we are sleep-deprived, the activity of our brain is affected because individual neurons slow down, damaging the brain’s visual perception and memory associations.


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Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families

interfaith - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


What is Hanukkah?

View a PDF of our Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families 

Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. It's celebrated for eight days and usually falls in December. The traditional observances of Hanukkah are lighting a menorah, or ceremonial candelabra, spinning a top called a dreidel and eating fried foods. Though it is religiously minor, Hanukkah is a popular holiday. It's a happy festival in the winter, so it provides what seems to be a universally needed break from the dark and cold. It's a holiday about Jews winning a war, which is not the usual subject for a Jewish holiday. The third reason is obvious: for Jews in Christian culture, Hanukkah is the closest Jewish holiday to Christmas.

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Origins of Hanukkah

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
From History.com. This video is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more great videos, articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 


Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of Jewish people over religious persecution.


The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

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8 Ways to Make Your Hanukkah More Eco-Friendly

green-living - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
myjewishlearning.com


Green tips for the Festival of Lights.

 

Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights, thanks to the one-day supply of oil lasting a miraculous eight days. In the spirit of this resource-preserving miracle, here are eight suggestions from the Jewish environmental organization Hazon for making your Hanukkah celebration more environmentally sustainable.

Use locally grown potatoes and onions, and fry them in organic oil.
Potatoes and other root vegetables are in abundance during the winter, and buying food locally cuts down on the greenhouse gasses from transporting food. Stop by your local farmers market and stock up prior to making your Hanukkah latkes.

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Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Who Saved Israel in 1947?

featured-articles - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am

Martin Kramer for Mosaic


The usual answer is Truman—but it could just as easily be Stalin. In fact, thanks to Zionist diplomacy, it was both; and therein lies a lesson for the Jewish state today.


November 29 marks the 70th anniversary of UN General Assembly resolution 181, recommending the partition of Mandate Palestine into two separate Jewish and Arab states. On that day in 1947, millions of listeners sat glued to their radio sets to follow the voting. The outcome set off spontaneous celebrations among Zionists everywhere, for it constituted the first formal international endorsement of a Jewish state.

To celebrate the anniversary, Israel’s embassy to the United Nations is restoring the hall in Flushing Meadows, New York—today the main gallery of the Queens Museum, then the meeting place of the General Assembly—to its appearance in 1947. The announced plan is to reenact the vote, with the current ambassadors of member states that voted “yes” recasting their ballots.

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Vayeitzei

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am

Genesis 28:10−32:3

By Rabbi Bradley Artson, provided by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, for MyJewishLearning.com

Children And Deferred Dreams

 

Reflected in the names of her children, Leah grows to recognize her own worth, independent of Jacob's feelings for her.

 

We all dream about our lives, our families and our destiny. Born into a world we did not create, motivated by hope, energy and drive, we spend our childhood and adolescence absorbing wonderful stories of adventure, heroes and fantasies.

And we dream. We dream of achieving the highest ideals of our fantasy life…of being president, landing on the moon or becoming a star. We imagine ourselves as wealthy, or famous or wise. Venerating a galaxy of admired adults, we imagine ourselves as one of them, as one of the best of them.

In the fantasies of children, life has no end; possibilities, no limit. And we are not alone in spinning those dreams. Children may aggrandize themselves, but they do so with the active consent and encouragement of their parents, grandparents, teachers and a supporting cast of thousands.
 
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Why Israel has world’s highest percentage of teenage EMTs

young-adults - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
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.

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A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

LGBTQ - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
From OffBeatBride.com


It was important to both of us to represent both of our faith traditions, and to incorporate our vibrant, polyamorous, queer, trans communities as much as possible. We had a huge wedding party (14 people!) because there are so many people who are incredibly dear to us…

My partner is a bearded, genderqueer, transfeminine person, and it was really important to us to be visible and proud about our relationship because so many people think that people like us can't (or don't deserve) to find love and happiness. Caleb rocked a gorgeous wine-colored wedding dress, while I went with a more traditional white gown, and we did our damndest to show the world that love like this will not be hidden.

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Orthodox Modesty Culture Under Fire As ‘Sex-Positive’ Spaces Emerge

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
BY HANNAH DREYFUS for jewishweek.timesofisrael


Orthodox Vagina Monologues expands, days schools re-examining modesty education as Weinstein effect lingers.


Ayala Tiefenbrunn, a 21-year-old design student at FIT and an Orthodox young-married, took the mic in front of 75 people a few months ago. She took a deep breath and launched into a personal essay about her tortured relationship with birth control.

While acute communal and social pressure dictated that she and her husband start “trying,” her young age and professional aspirations kept her dutifully on the pill. But, she said, the choice isn’t easy. “Every time I don’t see a friend for a few months and she’s pregnant, it hurts a little — I so want to be there.”

Married at 19, Tiefenbrunn addressed an audience of young, predominantly Orthodox women; she wore a silver and blue head wrap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a layered top. Later, she confessed, “I constantly feel guilty because I’m on birth control.”

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Music Man: A Talk With Benj Pasek

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
By Rahel Musleah for Hadassah Magazine


As part of the award-winning songwriting team Pasek and Paul, Benj Pasek’s star has risen high this year. The duo won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars,” from the film La La Land, and six Tony Awards (including Best Musical and Best Original Score) for Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, the story of a high school’s reaction to a suicide. Next up, The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, opens in movie theaters on December 25. Pasek, 32, is now working on Disney’s live-action film adaptations of the animated classics Aladdin and Snow White. A resident of Manhattan, Pasek grew up in Ardmore, Pa., and met his collaborator, Justin Paul, at the University of Michigan, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater. His father, Jeff Pasek, is an attorney, and his mother, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, is a developmental psychologist who loves music. She was his date at the Academy Awards.

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Better Than Falafel? Israel's Sabich Sandwich Has My Vote

jewish-food - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
DANIEL GRITZER for seriouseats.com


I'm convinced that one of the world's greatest sandwiches comes from the Middle East. And I am most certainly not talking about falafel. My obsession is the sabich, a pita sandwich stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini sauce, and Israeli salad and pickles. To me, it's not even a contest.

I've never really understood the fascination with falafel. In theory, I should love it—chickpeas are my favorite beans, and deep-fried...well, I love deep-fried so much that I'm now using it as a noun. But falafel has yet to win me over, with even the moistest versions way drier and more crumbly than I want. Pack it inside starchy pita, and...I just don't get it.*

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Use Thanksgiving to teach kids about blessings, Jewish values

children-and-families - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
By JWeekly Correspondent


Thanksgiving brings to mind pleasant images of roasting turkey, pumpkin pie and family gatherings. Perfectly compatible with Jewish observance, the holiday is a traditional favorite of Jewish families.

It always falls on a Thursday, never on Shabbat. The classic main dish is a turkey, available in kosher form. And gratitude for one's blessings is a religious impulse that all Americans can share.

Moreover, popular historical interpretation holds that the pilgrims modeled Thanksgiving after the biblical harvest festival of Sukkot. Whether or not this is accurate — a historian friend of mind considers it an American midrash or creative interpretation — it creates a comfortable association between Thanksgiving and our Jewish heritage.

In that vein, here are a few ideas to make Thanksgiving even more special for your family:

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Raped By Carl Jung, Then Murdered by the Nazis

jewish-books - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
By Phyllis Chesler for Tablet Magazine


But the theft and erasure of Sabina Spielrein’s intellectual legacy by the psychoanalytic establishment may be an even more troubling crime


In August 2012, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, a protest took place critiquing a plaque that memorialized the 27,000 “citizens” who were systematically shot in a two-day massacre by the Nazis during World War II. Russian officials had removed the original plaque, which had honored the mostly Jewish victims, and replaced it with a revisionist plaque honoring only “citizens.” The precious Jewish souls, the doctors, lawyers, poets, scientists, librarians; all the parents, children, and grandparents, murdered specifically on account of their ancestry—were gone, literally overnight. Among them was Dr. Sabina Spielrein, the pioneer psychoanalyst, a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, the first child psychoanalyst in the world, (yes, even before Anna Freud), and the founder of Moscow’s Psychoanalytic Clinic.

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‘Rock stars’ of the IDF: Israeli soldiers go on tour to educate the masses

israeil-news - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
By CATHRYN J. PRINCE for The Times of Israel


Groups seek to put a human face on the Jewish state while countering misconceptions and anti-Israel activists


The questions come fast and furious for Israel Defense Force reservists Keren and Haitham, who goes by the nickname Tom.

“How do you show your support for Israel on campus?” “How does training and combat affect you?” “Do you have to live in Israel to show your love for it?”

About 40 students sit inside the book lined beit midrash, or study hall, of Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE). They have more questions than time allows. Still the pair does their best to answer each one clearly, concisely and completely.

This is the second to last stop on a nearly three-week long Israeli Soldiers Tour, or IST, through New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Along the way the two, whose last names have been withheld for security reasons, met students at University of Hartford and cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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