Archive for : Israel

Monday Link Roundup

Happy Monday and day after Mother’s Day! However you spent your time yesterday – hanging out with your mom, your kids, or your friends, or just celebrating the beautiful May Sunday, we hope it was spectacular. To help ease you back into the week, here is your dose of inspiring posts (including a couple mom-focused stories) from around the web.

  • The Huffington Post shared a Q&A with philanthropist and humanitarian-extraordinaire, Melinda Gates, where she muses about the importance of her mom (and other strong women role models) in her own life, and what’s going on in the field of maternal healthcare across the world.
  • The JTA included an op-ed calling to elevate more female rabbis into leadership roles – and to celebrate the distinct gifts and perspectives women rabbis have brought to Jewish tradition.
  • eJewish Philanthropy reports that The Shalem Center in Jerusalem received a generous matching grant to establish Israel’s first liberal arts college – one focused on learning, service, and leadership.
  • The Forward and Southern Jewish Life magazine both included coverage about the ongoing tornado clean-up in Alabama (and elsewhere in the South), and how Jewish groups are stepping in to help.
  • Jspot, the blog by Repair the World grantee-partner, Jewish Funds for Justice, featured a video of a recent flash mob in New York City, promoting workers’ rights.

Honoring Yom Hashoah and 9/11 – with Remembrance and Service

Today is Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day – the official day of commemoration for the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. All across Israel and in communities throughout the United States, people are pausing to remember and to honor those lost with special services and gatherings. In Israel, for example, residents observe an official moment of silence at 10am.

My own first Yom Hashoah celebration, which I experienced as a college freshman at the University of Oregon, included a rotation of Hillel students reading aloud the names of victims on the campus quad. They read continuously all day and well into the evening – and I came back to listen several times in between classes, and really any time I could. Hearing the names recited in that way was a powerful, visceral reminder of the magnitude of our loss.
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Celebrate Art and Human Rights with Jewish Heart for Africa

On May 3rd, celebrate art and human rights at a photography exhibit in New York City hosted by Jewish Heart for Africa – an organization that works to bring sustainable technologies from Israel to rural African villages.

The one night exhibition, which will be held at the Broadway Gallery and is co-sponsored by the World Energy Forum, the Center for Technology and Economic Development and the Mission of the Republic of Malawi to the UN, will feature award-winning photographer Peter DiCampo’s series, “Life Without Lights.”
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Help Close Israel’s Achievement Gap with Masa’s Teaching Fellows Program

Hey college grads – have you ever thought about teaching English in another country? Now Masa Israel Journey and the Israeli Ministry of Education are joining forces to create the Israel Teaching Fellows program.

Outstanding college graduates aged 21-30 are invited to apply to teach English in underprivileged communities across Israel, during a 10-month service program starting in August, 2011. Like many developed countries, Israel struggles with educational inequity and underperformance of some students, especially in low-income and under-served communities. Volunteering with the Israel Teaching Fellows program will allow participants to play an important roll in students lives and share with them valuable English language skills to help them on their academic and professional journeys.
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Link Roundup: Passover Edition

Tonight Jews around the world, along with their family and friends, will sit down together at Passover seders. They will drink four cups of wine, sing Dayenu and hide the afikomen. And most importantly, they will tell stories about searching for freedom. In that spirit, here is a special Passover and freedom-themed collection of stories from around the web.

  • The Forward published four powerful op-eds on Freedom: AJWS president, Ruth Messinger writes about nourishing the hungry, Rabbi David Wolpe writes about the freedom to education, Rabbi Shmuly Boteach writes about abolishing evil, and Douglass Rushkoff writes about freeing the world of inequities.
  • eJewish Philanthropy posted a story about how virtual, online seder tables by VirtualSeder are providing help for hospitalized children in Israel. Relatedly, USA Today writes about how the Lone Soldier Center in Israel provides US immigrants in the Israeli army with a Passover table.
  • JTA shared an article about President Obama’s Passover message, which called for the alleviation of “the suffering, poverty, injustice and hunger of those who are not yet free.”
  • Across the pond in England, The Guardian shared a special podcast on freedom featuring comedian David Schneider, Maureen Lipman, Amy Rosenthal and Rabbi Jeremy Gordon.
  • And, just for fun, JibJab lets you create personalized, Passover-themed e-greetings to send to friends and family.

Responding to Conflict in Israel with Service

After a period of relative quiet in Israel, the region has recently seen a renewal of violence – from the murder of the Fogel family last month, to last week’s surge of fighting and rockets between Israel and Gaza. In a bit of hopeful news, yesterday Israel and Hamas discussed a possible ceasefire, but calm has not been restored to the area as of yet, and the long-term prognosis is, of course, still tenuous.

This renewed violence is devastating for peaceful citizens on both sides of the conflict, and also for American Jews watching from afar. Meanwhile, there are both immediate steps that need to be taken to aid victims of the violence, as well as long-term action necessary to usher in the peace that, ultimately, is our goal.
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