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BY SPENCER WELLS for newvoices.org
On January 9th, 2018, Blaze Bernstein’s corpse was discovered in a shallow grave in Lake Forest, California. Bernstein’s murder came in the wake of the year that had, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the largest single-year increase of anti-Semitic incidents on record. Bernstein was a 19-year-old gay, Jewish man. His alleged killer is 21-year-old Samuel Woodward, a peer of Bernstein’s from high school. According to an investigation by ProPublica, Woodward has been involved with the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group with a violent history. (Among other evidence, ProPublica obtained photographs of Woodward at a Atomwaffen meeting, including a photo in which he gives a straight-armed Nazi salute).
By Inbal Sinai, NoCamels
The Israeli art scene is dynamic and diverse, reflecting the start-up nation’s spirit with an abundance of creativity and daring. It boasts a lively ecosystem, located mainly in Tel Aviv, which has recently seen a shift to the south part of the city due to gentrification, and is host to numerous art museums, alternative spaces, studios, and galleries displaying sophisticated work.
BY LIZ RUEVEN for The Nosher on MyJewishLearning
This gently seasoned beef and barley mushroom soup is a cold weather classic. The simple ingredients come together to form a comforting, glistening and nutritious dish that will fill your home with aromas like what you remember from grandma’s kitchen.
BY MELISSA COHEN for Kveller
I lost my son yesterday. It was only for 10 minutes, but still. We were at the apple orchard, and I had stopped to take a picture of my youngest daughter by the morning glories. When I looked up from my phone, my son had gone. There were hundreds of people around — kids and carriages and grandparents and stands with kettle corn, pre-picked fruit, and pumpkins. It was chaos, and I had no idea where he was.
By Charles Darwent for Jewish Book Council
Interviewed in 1967, Josef Albers, nearing eighty, was asked why he had spent nearly two decades at a small liberal arts school in North Carolina, having previously been a Meister at the Bauhaus (and would later become head of the design department at Yale). After a measured pause, Albers replied, “My gratitude to Black Mountain, [that] they had saved us from the Nazis.” His wife, Anni, added quietly, “In fact, we had to leave because of my background.” On both counts, they were not alone.
By NoCamels Team
Israeli Professor Hossam Haick of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology was awarded the European Commission Innovation Prize last week for his invention of the SNIFFPHONE, a device that uses nanotechnology sensors to analyze particles on the breath and is able to pinpoint to exact diseases, like certain kinds of cancer, pulmonary and even the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases.
BY RABBI JOSHUA E. PLAUT on MyJewishLearning
What attitudes toward Christmas tell us about modern Jewish identity.
For the majority of Americans, December 25 is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but for Jews it is a time to consider ones relationship to the wider society. Some Jews have chosen to adopt the Yuletide festivities. Some have emphatically rejected the rituals and symbols of Christmas. Still others have sought ways to meld Christmas and Hanukkah.
BY RABBI SHEFA GOLD on MyJewishLearning
Starting the day with gratefulness opens the heart to the blessing of wonder.
I gratefully acknowledge Your Face; Spirit lives and endures;
You return my soul to me with compassion; How great is your faith in me!
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ רוח חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ah-nee lifanecha, Ru-ach chai v’kayam, she-hechezarta bee nishma-tee b’chemlah rabbah emunatecha.
By Viva Sarah Press, NoCamels
Water could be the source for hydrogen-fueled cars one day in the near future, thanks to continued scientific breakthroughs such as a recent one by Israeli scientists.
Researchers led by Dr. Arik Yochelis and Dr. Iris Visoly-Fisher of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Prof. Avner Rothschild of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, say they have identified a missing mechanism for an environmentally friendly way to split water molecules in order to produce energy without the need for an outside catalyst.
by: Barry Pitegoff for Jewish Sacred Aging
“Know where you come from in order to know what your legacy will be” is the lesson in The Talmud, Pirke Avot, 3:1.
We used to know where we come from through gathering together for family reunions, special celebrations, Passover Seder, Chanukah, American (and Canadian) Thanksgiving, picnics and the like. These linked us to our living relatives through face-to-face contact.
The person in the family who organizes these events is called the “kinkeeper.”
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
Cornell Tech's Roosevelt Island campus will supply the talent for the retail giant's new headquarters.
After the Wall Street crisis of 2008 hit New York hard, Mayor Mike Bloomberg was looking to diversify the Big Apple's economy by transforming it into a haven for the tech industry. One of his first initiatives was a 2010 contest to find a new college that would serve as the epicenter for this tech boom. The winner was Cornell Tech, a joint collaboration between Cornell University and Israel's Technion Institute.
By Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, Ph.D. for ReformJudaism.org
Jewish Self-Definition: One Size No Longer Fits All
Jewish assimilation — the loss of followers through attrition, absorption into other faiths, or the practice of no faith — harks back to Joseph, the first Israelite to live in a diaspora. In Mikeitz, we read how Joseph adopted Egyptian customs and clothes, took an Egyptian wife, and was given the Egyptian name Zaphenath-paneah (Genesis 41:45), a sign of acceptance into Egyptian society. Joseph gave his firstborn son the name Manasseh, meaning,“God has made me forget all the troubles I endured in my father’s house” (Genesis 41:51), and his second son the name Ephraim, meaning,“God has made me fruitful … ” (Genesis 41:52). Joseph’s children could informally be called “Amnesia” and “Success.” Their identities highlight the struggle of living at the intersection of two cultures — one uniquely Jewish and one that competes for a Jew’s loyalty and allegiance.
by Michael d'Estries for FromtheGrapevine
Learn all about the martial arts craze that's beloved by celebrities and hardcore exercise enthusiasts.
If you're someone who desires a workout with a purpose beyond just getting in shape and losing weight, you're going to want to take a hard look at Krav Maga.
The self-defense system, a form of martial arts invented in Israel, is quickly becoming a popular discipline for building strength and getting fit. It's also an inclusive physical art, capable of transforming people of all sizes and weight classes into powerful self-defense gurus.
Monday, December 24, 2018 in NYC at Stage48
‘Tis the Season to be Jewish…
Now in it’s 12th year, A Christmas Eve Jewbilee brings together over 1,000+ gay Jews from around the world (& the goytoys who ❤️ us) to celebrate Christmas Eve in a whole new way!
This year, we’re taking over 3 floors of Stage48 (ok, well the 3rd floor is coatcheck – but we all appreciate a mega-well staffed coatcheck!). DJ Nandi spins the top American & Israeli pop tunes throughout this santa-less night. New performances this year w/creative direction by Jared Bradford.
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine
The comic’s new Netflix special is a masterpiece of emotionally honest, intimate, and hilarious comedy
Contemporary American comedy is, with very few exceptions, a jittery mess. If you want to understand why, pick any five comics who worked between, say, 1930 and 1990, and listen to their acts. Styles, themes, and temperaments will vary, but one thing does not: They are telling you the truth.
The golden age of American comedy was golden because it reflected actual lived experience. The personas of the greatest American comedians, down to their signature tics, were rooted in their own, often gut-wrenching, personal lives. The way Rodney Dangerfield shifts uneasily on Carson’s chair, crossing and uncrossing his legs and fixing his tie twice a minute? It’s not shtick, or, at least, not entirely; it’s the vestigial anxiety of a poor Jewish kid who saw his father twice a year, sold ice cream on the beach to make ends meet, and didn’t find success until he was 46.
From Bon Appetit
This recipe is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
For Hanukkah, Michael Solomonov, chef at Zahav in Philadelphia, PA, makes these doughnuts. "One year my staff and I realized that with tweaking, our challah dough has all the characteristics of really good doughnut batter. Now this version inevitably makes an appearance on our Hanukkah menu at Zahav. When we fill them with fresh quince paste, it’s the classiest jelly doughnut." If your jam is too thick, a few pulses in a food processor will loosen it up—no need to add water.
From Martha Stewart Living
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
These vellum Hanukkah decorations make daytime shine. The small template makes a 5-inch star; the large one forms a 7-inch star.
Continue to Martha's site for directions and templates as well as materials needed.
By Gloria Goldreich for Hadassah Magazine
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah By Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.
All of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah is a one-of-a-kind book, capturing all the delights of Sydney Taylor’s classic story of five spirited sisters, “all girls—all of a kind.” In Jenkin’s new adaptation, it is 1912 and the family is preparing to celebrate the Festival of Lights in their tenement apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The neighborhood throbs with excitement.
By Leah Rosenberg for IsraelUnwired
Airbnb made a terrible decision and chose to boycott Israel. Brooke Goldstein calls them out for doing something completely illegal.
Airbnb’s Discriminatory Decision
Airbnb is, or rather was, a popular company that people use to book lodging in homes and in places all across the world.
Jews use them. Israelis use them. Or maybe in past tense it should be “USED.”
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com
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.
For more resources, continue here.
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Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?
Beth El is getting a new playground! If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground." If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!
Wednesdays during the school year
@ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects
For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.
We have a very special service January 18 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his heroic work.
We will be joined by our talented 5th grade class and singer-songwriter, LEA.
Come for a fast and fun night of trivia, food and comaraderie on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Beth El. Adults and teens (7th grade and up) can play! The cost is $35 per person (includes: dinner and participation), BYOB. Bring cash to buy optional extra chits to help your table become the champion! Separate, supervised Kids Night Out - $10 per child (6th grade and younger; includes casual dinner, movie & games). RSVP: by Monday, February 18, Advance Ticket Sales Only. Register here Questions: Contact Anne Levy, [email protected] Proceeds will go to the Beth El Playground Fund.
Please sign up for Ushering at Beth El for Friday Night Services
This is a great opportunity to see and meet fellow congregants.Please use the link to sign up:
Support During Shutdown
As the frustrating government shutdown drags on, we extend our sympathies during this anxious time for you and your family. While Beth El Hebrew Congregation is not a direct service provider, we can offer temporary dues relief until the shutdown has ended. We hope this resource list can be an asset during this difficult time and pray for an immediate resolution:
What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits: https://tinyurl.com/yd3v7w29
A Furloughed Federal Employee’s Guide to Filing for Unemployment: https://tinyurl.com/y9qltsjt
U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: tps://tinyurl.com/y8sg3mum
Alexandria Center for Economic Support: https://tinyurl.com/yd66o7mj
Coordinated Services Fairfax County: https://tinyurl.com/y8f9e4vg
Local Restaurants Offering Free or Discounted Meals and More: https://tinyurl.com/ybmozmt3
There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.