Issue 31

Friday, August 01, 2014

Israel News

From grizzly bears to Gaza rockets: Alaskan olim head for Israel

(JTA) – Rebecca Scoggin lived in a lot of places growing up: Juneau, Nome, Fairbanks, Homer, Anchorage. But except for the two years she lived in Seattle after high school, she never lived outside Alaska. At least she hadn’t until a few months ago. Inspired by a Birthright trip she took at age 19, Scoggin decided to pick up and move to Tel Aviv.

As chapter closes, Peres hailed by Knesset

JERUSALEM (JTA) – In the midst of a grinding war in Gaza, a sometimes near-empty Knesset gallery was packed recently for an uplifting moment: what probably was the final political act of Israel’s elder statesman. Shimon Peres – former Israeli prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister and now former president – stood before the Knesset for the last time as a public servant on July 24, just prior to the inauguration of his successor, Reuven Rivlin.


Book Review: Making the text holy

Most scholarly books about the Bible focus on dating the different sections of the work and debating whom the authors might have been. Michael L. Satlow, a professor of Religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University, addresses a different question in his fascinating and provocative “How the Bible Became Holy” (Yale University Press): When did the biblical text attain sacred status as the word of God?

Nearly lost Yiddish language increasingly popular among Jewish college students

For those who try to get in better touch with their Ashkenazi Jewish heritage by studying Yiddish at the college level, there are challenges – but those can be outweighed by the nachas (pride or pleasure) of rediscovering the nearly lost language.


Invest in Jewish children

My wife, Suzy, and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward.


Sneakers on Tisha B’Av: when spirit and letter collide

The wider world of traditional Judaism is moving in fits and starts toward a renegotiation of the terms of halachic observance. At question is the importance of social change in the understanding and application of the legal logic of the sages of old. In the last several years, voices from within the Orthodox fold have raised a formidable challenge to certain established norms of Jewish life and law, especially regarding the possibilities of female religious leadership.

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