Israel and the Refugee Crisis

Today, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the Jewish world celebrates Tu B’Shevat, the holiday that marks a New Year for the Trees. This is the season in which the earliest blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. This is the […]

JCC Executives See Israel Beyond the Conflict

Just a few weeks ago, a group of 21 leaders from 12 JCCs embarked on a Jewish journey, which began at David Ben Gurion’s burial place in Israel’s desert and ended in modern Tel Aviv. This journey was part of JCC Association’s Boarding Pass initiative, which encourages JCCs to be the lead organization within their […]

Israelis in America or Israeli Americans?

If you approach an Israeli in the street and ask what he feels about Israelis leaving the country to live overseas, his answer will probably demonstrate a negative attitude. This attitude is beginning to change, but not completely. In the early days of the state, for an Israeli to leave the country was considered something […]

Let’s Focus on the Positive

Tomorrow, the twelfth of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, marks the eighteenth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Large memorial services are scheduled to take place this week in Israel and across the Jewish world. Since that dreadful day, Rabin’s assassination and the changes within Israeli society that preceded it continue […]

40 Years After Yom Kippur War Brings Reflection

On the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Jewish world paused for 25 hours for self-examination and reflection. For Israelis, there is a sense of national reflection as well: Yom Kippur brings back memories of a traumatic war that left open wounds. This year’s Yom Kippur marks the fortieth […]

What Can Israel Do to Combat Academic Boycott?

What do super star soccer player Lionel Messi and Professor Stephen Hawking, world-renowned theoretical physicist, have in common? The answer is Shimon Peres, Israel’s president.  A few weeks ago, Professor Hawking pulled out of Facing Tomorrow, the annual conference held in Jerusalem and hosted by Israel’s president. The meeting features major international personalities and attracts thousands […]

The Maccabiah Is an Expression of Jewish Pride

For weeks now, the highways leading to Jerusalem from Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv have been decorated with the faces of Jewish athletes participating in the largest Jewish event ever, the Maccabiah. The aura of festivity only grows stronger in Jerusalem, where the opening ceremonies will take place. Jerusalem of Gold is now Jerusalem […]

The Torah as a Way of Life

Just two days ago, the Jewish world celebrated Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  It is noteworthy that the holiday is called Hag Matan Torateinu, the time of the giving of the Torah, rather than the time of the receiving of the Torah. The […]

Yom Ha’atzmaut 2013

Today, Israel and the Jewish world observe Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. The State of Israel paused for two minutes at exactly 11:00 a.m. as a siren wailed to mark the beginning of Yom Hazikaron’s ceremonies. Israel and the Jewish world mourn the nation’s 23,085 fallen soldiers […]

Rabbi Menachem Fruman and the Israeli Elections

Zelda, one of Israel’s great poets wrote “Every person has a name that his enemies gave him and his love gave him… Every person has a name that the sea gave him, and that his death gave him.” (from a longer poem “Every Man has a Name”) Sometimes, it’s enough to participate in a man’s […]