Emergency Response to Typhoon Haiyan: Ways To Give

The Jewish Federations of North America are mobilizing a communal response to the super Typhoon Haiyan, which has wrought widespread destruction in the Philippines. JFNA on Nov, 10 opened a mailbox for Federations to support relief efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is raising funds for relief efforts. JDC is consulting… Read More

Keeping The Conversation Going

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The pope is almost a mythical figure, a person with celebrity status. But Pope Francis is a humble, genuine man of the people, according to Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka. He first met Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, in the 1990s at a celebration of one of Argentina’s two independence days, where Rabbi Skorka… Read More

A Sense Of Awe

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For Rear Adm. Herman A. Shilanski, director of the Assessment Division of the U.S. Navy staff, sharing his Judaism with both those in uniform and civilians is a part of his service to his country and to God. On Nov. 9, the Shabbat before Veterans Day, he will be able to do both. Throughout the… Read More

‘We Want To Hear From You’

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Ten years ago, when Michael and Susie Gelman chaired the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North American in Israel, the focus was on security and solidarity. Susie Gelman remembers that it was during the second Intifada, a time of terror attacks, and many American Jews were staying away from Israel. The GA brought… Read More

Up In Arms

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Ninety-nine years after the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, one of the most poignant symbols of Armenian suffering is being held hostage — by the White House. The prisoner is an 18-foot-long rug. It was woven by 400 Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon as a gesture of appreciation for America’s assistance to… Read More

‘Tell Your Story’

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While it may not seem like the breaking of glass windows at Jewish-owned buildings by the Nazis would have inspired any creativity at all, two upcoming concerts at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda prove that it takes a lot more than that to quiet art. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, more than 300… Read More

On Deaf Ears

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“I could scarcely believe that such a thing could occur in a 20th-century civilization,” President Franklin Roosevelt declared in the wake of the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom, which devastated the German Jewish community 75 years ago next month. Most Americans, like their president, were appalled to read of Nazi stormtroopers burning down hundreds of synagogues, ransacking… Read More

Sound Advice

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It’s clearly stated in halacha (Jewish law) what is required of an able-bodied person to fulfill hearing- and speech-related Jewish mitzvot. When there is an exception, interpretation of the law is required. Situations where people with disabilities rely upon devices to help them hear and communicate are exceptions. So said Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, rav of… Read More

Matisyahu Teams Up With Mobile Company For Chanukah App

Matisyahu is inviting children to join him in a musical celebration. Matisyahu’s Happy Hanukkah Jam-Along app was released for the iPad on Thursday, Nov. 7. He teamed with Mibblio, the creator of a musical storybook app, to create his own similar app featuring one of his hit songs. “For ‘Happy Hanukkah’ to be developed into… Read More

Notes From The Spirit

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They’ve been compared to musical acts such as the Indigo Girls and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but local trio Ayelet HaShachar brings a unique blend of musicality, spirituality and religious devotion that sets them apart. Ensemble members Shalomis (Shelly) Koffler Weinreb (guitarist, percussionist, vocalist and composer), Lisa Aronson Friedman (pianist, composer and vocalist) and… Read More