Sephardic Vogue

ROTA, Spain — While setting up a synagogue at the American naval base where she works, Ahuvah (Amanda) Gipson made something of a bitter-sweet discovery. Rifling through a storage area at the sprawling American-Spanish military complex Naval Station Rota in 2012, Gipson, a former naval outreach professional who now teaches off base, found three dusty… Read More

Alphabet Soup

The announcement last week that HIAS, the century-old Jewish immigrant and refugee aid organization, will relocate its headquarters from New York City to Silver Spring is just another sign that the Jewish organizational universe is changing. Once known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the agency has responded to the end of Jewish refugee immigration… Read More

President Praises Community Efforts to Free Gross

December 17 remarks from President Barack Obama on the release of Alan Gross: “I wanted to begin with today’s wonderful news. I’m told that in Jewish tradition one of the great mitzvahs is pidyon shvuyim. My Hebrew’s not perfect. But I get points for trying. But it describes the redemption. The freeing of captives. And… Read More

Statement from Gross on Return Home from Cuba

Upon returning home from five years of imprisonment in Cuba, Alan Gross had the following to say: “Chag Sameach.  What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America.  Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today. I want to acknowledge the extraordinary and determined efforts of my wife of… Read More

What Matters Most

TEL AVIV — This government was supposed to be different. During the last election campaign in 2012, Israelis seemed to tire of the existential issues that have plagued the country for decades. Barely anyone talked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Long-simmering social tensions over the rising cost of living and the economic burdens of the underemployed… Read More

Yesha Council Pushes for Alternative Solutions

Israelis living in the West Bank have a message to politicians and world Jewry: The two-state solution is no solution. Members of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization that represents the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and, up until the 2005 Israeli disengagement, Gaza, have ramped up outreach in an effort to open up dialogue… Read More

A Safe Haven

TORONTO — When Dan Charbit and his wife, Gaelle Hazan, moved to Montreal from Paris two summers ago, it was meant to be a temporary fix — a yearlong attempt for Charbit to reboot his stalled career as a special-effects artist in Quebec’s thriving film and television industry. They agreed to fly home if the… Read More

Soldier for His People

ST. PETERSBURG — Through the backseat window of a black KGB car, Yosef Mendelevitch could see university students his age hurrying to take their finals. It was June 15, 1970, and the 23-year-old Mendelevitch had just been arrested along with 11 accomplices for trying to hijack a plane to escape the Soviet Union. On the… Read More

Behind the Scenes

EILAT, Israel  — Zili Grossman did public relations for “half the hotels” in Eilat, she says. She was the mayor’s press adviser. Her job took her to festivals, bowling alleys, theaters and miniature golf courses — the gamut of tourist attractions in Israel’s best-known resort town. After a career shift, she opened up a fashion… Read More

A Revelation

Given that half of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust came from Poland, many descendants of Polish Jews may be surprised to learn about the current hospitable environment for the Jewish population of their ancestors’ country. Poland experiences far less anti-Semitism than the typical European country and is home to a burgeoning… Read More