JAFI Official Talks Ukraine Realities

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For a Jewish community that is just beginning to find itself, the turbulent situation in Ukraine is putting the culture in jeopardy. “There is a feeling not only of unrest, but shock,” said Roman Polonsky, director of the unit for Russian-speaking Jewry of the Jewish Agency for Israel. “When Jews become targets … it’s very… Read More

First the Vote, Then the Ads

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An organization claiming to represent Reform and Conservative congregants has published full-page ads in Jewish newspapers across the country blasting their denomination’s leaders for supporting the inclusion of the “pro-peace pro-Israel” group J Street in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. While the criticism of the religious leadership is clear, it is… Read More

Eye On The Future

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Israel’s business community has increasingly turned eastward toward booming Asian markets — so much so it was recently reported that in 2014, Israel is expected to export more on an annual basis to Asia than it will to the United States. Fittingly, then, Asian countries had a major presence at the prestigious MIXiii — Israel… Read More

Under Scrutiny

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After two intense days of religious ceremonies in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, unscheduled photo opportunities, and debilitating traffic arrangements, Israelis and interfaith relations experts are trying to attach the appropriate symbolism to Pope Francis’ visit to the region. Nearly every stop made by the pontiff was subjected to simultaneous scrutiny… Read More

Opening the Tent

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By now, almost everyone who pays attention to Jewish American trends has heard — many times over — about the Pew Research Center’s recent survey on the state of the American Jewish community. The results of the survey, which show soaring levels of intermarriage, declining levels of synagogue affiliation and low birthrates among non-Orthodox Jews… Read More

An Israeli Olympic equestrian?

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YAGUR, Israel — The crowd was sparse and admission was free. Pop music from 10 years ago blared from loudspeakers. A few families sat on bleachers near the athletes, who hopped over a low fence when it was time to compete. The Israeli Equestrian Championships wasn’t the most obvious place to look for an accomplished… Read More

Congressional Dealings

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The killing of a major pro-Israel bill in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week has ignited another round of finger pointing between Democratic and Republican senators, with both sides accusing the other of playing politics. Committee chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) pulled the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (S. 462) from the committee’s… Read More

Stevenson University President Reports from Israel

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A major reality check came for Kevin Manning when a young mother who lives on a moshav near the Gaza Strip spoke about what everyday life is like with rockets flying overhead and a constant sense of fear for her family. “When she goes to Jerusalem and tells them they don’t have to be afraid,… Read More

Standing Their Ground

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BRUSSELS — Hunched over a small island of memorial candles for the victims of the attack on the Jewish Museum of Belgium, Paul Ambach is lost in thought. “Once again, Jewish blood in Belgium, which is no longer Belgium,” said Ambach, a well-known Jewish musician from Antwerp, as he stared at the candles Sunday from… Read More

Jewish Agency Helps Ukranian Olim with Flights to Israel Amid Airport Battles

The Urina family of Donetsk pictured at their hotel in Dnepropetrovsk before their JAFI-facilitated flight to Israel.

The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) facilitated an alternate flight to Israel for six Ukrainians after fighting erupted near the civilian airport in Donetsk between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels following the country’s presidential election on Monday. The group of six, including a couple from Donetsk with twin baby girls and a couple from Mariupol,… Read More