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  • In Search of a Better Life.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    He was only twelve years old.  All he had was a bike and a kiss from his parents.  He left his village in Iran to travel to the capital in search of a better life.  He died surrounded by his children and a loving community at 86.

    If you showed up late to his memorial and missed...

  • How to fight anti-Semitism online?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    3 weeks ago

    What do you do when you see hate speech on your Facebook or Twitter feed? Do you calm yourself down, swallow the bitter pill and move on, or do you comment bravely and report the image/page/user/group?

    For Israeli student Shay Amiran- Pugachov, fighting anti-Semitism and hate...

  • Enough Is Enough: Fighting For The Soul of Our Country

    By Beit T'shuvah

    3 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As I ponder the events of the past two weeks, I am scared for the future of our country and our world. Not scared that we will no longer exist, rather, that all we will do is exist! This fear comes from Ferguson, Har Nof, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Damascus,...

  • Israeli ambassador to the UN said “J’accuse” to the global community

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 25, 2014 | 8:20 am

    Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, slammed members of the UN for their hypocrisy and double standards regarding Israel. At the United Nation's annual commemoration of their vote on the partition of the British Mandate 67 years ago, as part of the international day of...

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  • More concerts, an historic soccer moment, winter Gay Pride festival and more…This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 24, 2014 | 8:22 am

    An historic moment for our national soccer team

    The Israeli national soccer team beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0 Sunday as part of the 2016 Euro qualifiers. This win is an historic moment for the team and a moment of joy for all Israelis, since this is a big step towards its first...

  • Giving Voice to the Voiceless

    By Beit T'shuvah

    November 14, 2014 | 12:26 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovtiz

    Last night I was honored to be an attendee at the Premiere of Food Chains, a movie depicting the struggle of Farm Workers to be recognized as human beings and be treated as human beings. The movie follows the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their “fight”...

  • Hearing My Truth

    By Beit T'shuvah

    November 12, 2014 | 10:21 am

    By Tricia Nykin

    As I sit here and ponder the words that I choose to share today, I am reminded of an ongoing theme in my life; do I give you truth or a story that slightly veers off that path, but may be more appealing?

    This past Saturday I organized the screening of a film at...

  • Reliving the horror: sparks of a third Intifada bring back memories from almost a decade ago

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 11, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Growing up in a (relatively) small central town in Israel, hopping on a bus to Tel-Aviv with your friends is a must-do when you’re a teenager looking for a way to express your recently acclaimed adulthood. During the holidays (and sometimes in school days,) it is considered “cool”...

  • 19 years since the murder of Yitzhak Rabin – we can’t let democracy die

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 4, 2014 | 11:55 am

    Where were you on the day Yitzhak Rabin was murdered?


    This is a question every Israeli can answer. We all remember that night, November 4, 1995. A big rally took place in the heart of Tel-Aviv, under the title "Yes to peace, No to violence." In his speech there, Prime Minister...

  • Why Jews Should Celebrate Halloween!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 30, 2014 | 5:44 pm

    Growing up in Iran, I did not have any of the electronic gadgets my children enjoy today.  Instead, what I loved was my neighborhood.

    On weekends, and during long summer days after school, we would run in the streets, unsupervised.  We would randomly join a local soccer match...

  • Admit One: Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 22, 2014 | 2:11 pm

    By Nicole Goodman

     

    There are many cultural norms in our generation that are aimed to attack individuals. In the past, I believed that people who went to the movies alone signified that they were lonely, unwanted, and straight up creepy. This is until I became one of them.

    ...

  • Preparing for the Ebola, making noise in Hollywood, going vegan and more - this week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 20, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Vegans in Ramat-Gan

    On Monday, tens of thousands flocked to Ramat Gan National Park for the second year in a row, and lined up to taste “the best” vegan malabi, try on a pair of vegan shoes or take home a box of vegan condoms. Animal rights activists, natural- food lovers and the...

  • Here I Am. Where Are You?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 17, 2014 | 11:17 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As my first blog of the new year, 5775, I want to talk about hiding. For me, this is the original sin in the Bible. Whenever we feel less than, whenever we feel wrong, we hide. God is calling out to us every hour of every day the same word God called out to...

  • In a perfect world, the UK Parliament would have looked different

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 15, 2014 | 8:20 am

    In a perfect world, George Galloway would have been removed from office, and Mike Freer would have stayed and fight. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world…


    In the past couple of days, headlines here were all about the UK, and its House of Commons' controversial vote to...

  • How to Choose a Lifetime Partner

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 13, 2014 | 10:24 am

    When asked about a potential lifetime partner, I always offer the same litmus test:  “Is s/he kind?”

    The most important aspect of a person’s character is kindness, the filter through which all acts of love and courage are expressed.

    “How do I know if he is kind?”  The question...

  • What’s Your Sukkah?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 10, 2014 | 9:47 am

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    Jews argue.  It’s written into our history; it’s written into how we approach life.  Why is that? Well, Judaism wisely understands that the truth is manifold.  A does not have to equal A.  A can be B, A can be C, or any other number of possibilities, and...

  • Building for a better future - check out the new student village in Sderot

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 8, 2014 | 8:50 am

    Sukkot is all about houses, and having a sense of place, even when you’re far away from home. On this Sukkot, I am proud to tell you a story I recently heard, of a new form of housing that is currently forming in the Israeli city of Sderot:


    After over a decade of living under...

  • Google against Antisemitism, fighting Ebola, an action movie in TLV and more…This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 6, 2014 | 8:24 am

    Google’s future plans of fighting hate-speech

    Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, was presented with the ADL International Leadership Award, and expressed his hope that one day there might be a more exciting option for dealing with hate speech: artificial intelligence. He...

  • G’Mar Hatima Tova – We are SEALED in the BOOK OF GOOD!

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 3, 2014 | 10:28 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Dear Community,

    It is with great Joy and Gratitude that I send this Yom Kippur Message. As I looked back at last year’s message, I can say that my goals of improving were reached. I improved myself and made less of the same errors and fewer new ones in...

  • My Yom Kippur Lesson

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 2, 2014 | 8:48 am

    Yom Kippur is our time to reflect, think and ask for forgiveness. Not because we have to, but because we want to. It is our time to look back at all the times we were so convinced we’re right that we let our fingers type or our mouth speak harsh words towards others. Sometimes, it...

  • Ghosts in the classroom: A Yom Kippur message

    October 1, 2014 | 9:16 am

    There are ghosts in our classrooms.  Listen closely, and you can hear the generational echoes reverberating. 

    The grandfather of a second grader struggling with math was a renowned professor at MIT. The child who dances at the Kotel on his eighth grade class trip remembers his...

  • “Heil Hitler” at the heart of London - an open letter to the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 30, 2014 | 8:53 am

    Not sure if it was because of the growing anti- Semitism or constant terror threats, but when my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to London, my initial and immediate response was "but I don't want to die."  Since tickets were already booked, we boarded the plane, extra carefully,...

  • A Year of Gratitude: Shana Tova U’Metuka

    By Beit T'shuvah

    September 24, 2014 | 10:55 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As we approach this new year of 5775, I am grateful to everyone who, over this past year and years, has helped me on my journey with words and acts of loving-kindness. These have taken the form of encouragement, kudos, criticisms, and rebukes. All have...

  • The magic of the Jewish holiday season!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 23, 2014 | 8:37 am

    Israel is a Jewish and Democratic state. Most of the year, this definition is complicated and disrupting, but during a few weeks every year – it is beautifully simple and unifying all religious streams on the Judaism scale. It happens during the Hebrew month of Tishrei, when we...

  • Preparing to Marry God: A Near-Death Experience.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 21, 2014 | 11:59 am

    Today is a good day to die!

    In sharp contrast to the upcoming New Year celebration of 2015, where people party as if they will live forever, and dance to music focused around the “booty,” the Jewish New Year is a simulated near death experience, it’s focus the soul. 

    We...

  • Committed to Being Perfectly Imperfect

    By Beit T'shuvah

    September 19, 2014 | 10:34 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As I sit here, in Bridgeport, Ct., getting ready for a weekend as a Scholar In Residence, I am in awe of where my life is today. I laugh at and pinch myself every day, realizing how awesome and crazy my life is. I get to hang out with smart, deep people; I...

  • A Soul under Construction.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 11, 2014 | 9:09 am

    We are not born perfect- into an imperfect world.

    At birth we start with a cry.  Our grand entrance is with closed fists and our exit with open hands.  We circumcise our newborn males. Life is an exercise in humility.  Our hearts are shattered again and again as God seeks our...

  • Our battle against Hamas is far from being over

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 10, 2014 | 9:24 am

    “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” (Golda Meir. Statement to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 1957)


    In the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Defense Forces successfully scared Hamas back to the dark caves...

  • Asking For My Own Forgiveness

    By Beit T'shuvah

    September 5, 2014 | 1:46 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    It is another one of those nights! I woke up after 4 hours of sleep and could not go back to sleep. My mind started racing and I just now figured out why: I am in the middle of my Inventory for Yom Kippur. I have a form that looks at how I take actions that...

  • For the Love of Israel -Q&A with the young people who made Aliyah during Operation Protective Edge

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 5, 2014 | 8:34 am

    This summer, in the midst of a military operation in Gaza, while rockets whistled over our heads, a group of 300 young North Americans landed in Israel, their eyes lit with excitement. Those young folks, ages 18 to 23, made Aliyah with the purpose of starting a new, independent...

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