“We all want to hear children’s laughter and see hope in their eyes”

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On days where conflict, terror, fear and hatred blacken our sky and cloud our lives, we must appreciate every beam of light that illuminates caring, empathy, humanity and hope. Almost 68 years have passed since the founding of Israel, nearly seven decades of endless, almost near-hopeless attempts to live in peace with four million Palestinians, […]

Common Language

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Today, Dec. 15, is known as Zamenhof Day and is celebrated annually by users of Esperanto. Exactly 156 years ago, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof was born in the town of Białystok in the Russian Empire. Zamenhof was a Polish Jew, physician, inventor, and writer. But he is most widely known for creating Esperanto, the most successful […]

Teens connect to Israel, their past, and their future in ARTEL

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By Jonathan Fass In May, the first cohort of the ARTEL Teen Fellowship met for a shabbaton. This group of 21 Russian-speaking teens from Marks JCH spent that time exploring the intersection of their Russian and Jewish identities and their connection to the Jewish homeland. Central to the weekend was a hands-on project where teens […]

Hanukkah Message, in light of Israel’s upcoming elections

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  Tonight the Jewish world will light the first candle of Hanukkah, a holiday celebrating the Jewish rebellion against their Greek oppressors. Hanukkah has come to symbolize our everlasting struggle against oppression throughout our shared history. Two weeks ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni of […]

A Reflection of the JCC Movement Solidarity Trip to Israel

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Two weeks ago a group of 15 leaders from our JCC Movement embarked on a special journey in Israel to express solidarity with the people of Israel in the aftermath of the war in Gaza this summer. Our journey took us through Israel’s emotionally scarred south. We met unbelievable people who live their Zionism daily. […]

What autumn winds cannot blow away

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Israel’s fall brings the first rain and wind, and tries to wash away 50 days of fighting and the memories of the long, painful and frustrating summer war we fought against Hamas. But Mother Nature’s attempts to blow away summer nightmares aren’t very successful. A few days ago we took our family to Shlomo Artzi’s […]

Update from JCC Israel Center

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A Shabbat message — of memory and mercy For 11 Israeli families, and for many more in Israel and around the Jewish world, today is a day of sorrow. Forty-two years ago, in 1972, the XX Olympic Games were held in Munich, Germany. The atmosphere leading up to the Games was filled with tension as […]

Update from JCC Israel Center

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A Shabbat of peace — and of hope How wonderful it is to write this update now that the 50 days war in Gaza is behind us. A war that took the lives of 71 Israelis, including today’s last casualty, Netanel Maman, who was critically wounded a week ago. When the rocket hit he was […]

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Operation Protective Edge — Day 28 The 50th day of fighting between Israel and Hamas brings incessant rocket fire toward Israel’s south and Israel’s center. So far more than 100 rockets have been fired at Israel today, some causing major damage. One of the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in Ashkelon while […]

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Update from JCC Israel Center

Bnaya proposing to Gali in happier days.

Operation Protective Edge — Day 46 Since Hamas renewed firing missiles on Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of rockets have been launched at Israel. Some have made direct hits, including, very sadly, a four-year-old child who was killed. This was only just announced, but today’s missiles from Gaza also hit a synagogue in Ashdod earlier today that injured three, […]

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