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  • Recording of kidnapped teen’s emergency call released

    2 weeks ago

    The recording of the emergency call placed by one of the kidnapped teens was officially released after a leaked copy spread throughout Israel on WhatsApp.

    “I’ve been kidnapped,” a teen, identified by his father as Gilad Shaar, is heard whispering in the call made at 10:25 p.m....

  • Israeli mosque entrance torched in suspected price tag attack

    April 18, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    Israeli police are investigating the torching of the entrance to a mosque in northern Israel and the spraying of anti-Arab slogans on its walls.

    A security camera at the Abu Bakr al Sadik Mosque in Um al-Fahm filmed three unidentified men wearing masks spray painting “Arabs out”...

  • Israelis pay to send deported African kids to school in Uganda

    By Simone Wilson

    March 26, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    Among the 1,000 students who attend two brightly painted boarding schools in Kampala, Uganda, is a group of 72 South Sudanese children who speak perfect Hebrew on the playground.

    “It is unbelievable,” said Alex Gumisiriza, head of academic programs at the Trinity Schools Uganda...

  • Recognizing the ‘Jewish State’: Two definitions, two implications

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 19, 2014 | 11:33 am

    Two more views on the issue of calling Israel the Jewish State:
    The problem won’t go awaySymptoms of neurosis 

    There are two ways to characterize the State of Israel in Hebrew. One is Ha-M’dinah Ha-Y’hudit (“The Jewish state”) and the other is M’dinato shel Ha-am Ha-Y’hudi...

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  • Finding God in neighborly kindness when disaster strikes

    January 15, 2014 | 4:07 pm

    “The epicenter of the earthquake was under our kitchen. The house jumped 10 feet in the air, and my wife and I woke to the beautiful view of the San Fernando Valley,” Rabbi Ed Feinstein, 59, of  Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, recalled with dry humor.

    Feinstein’s experience, as it...

  • Watch: Shaquille O’Neal speaks Hebrew

    January 14, 2014 | 10:27 am

    So a rabbi and a former NBA star walk into a trade show…

    Seriously though, Michigan rabbi (and JTA contributor) Jason Miller, actually did run into Shaquille O’Neal at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last Tuesday.

    Inspired by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons‘...

  • Growing tradition: Tu b’Shevat

    January 10, 2014 | 1:20 pm

    Would you throw a birthday party for your child at 3 a.m.? The Jewish New Year of the Trees, Tu b’Shevat (the 15th of the Hebrew month Shevat), falls in the dead of winter. Instead of colorful flowers or delicious fruit, deciduous trees are barren of even leaves!

    But this strange...

  • Harry Style’s 2014 New Years resolution: Learn Hebrew

    January 7, 2014 | 11:18 am

    Hebrew school-dreading children everywhere may have a new and very surprising source of inspiration. According to the Daily Star, One Direction’s Harry Styles has taken up Hebrew lessons.

    “Harry’s made it his mission to learn to speak and write Hebrew,” a source said, adding that...

  • New Israeli detention center falls flat

    December 17, 2013 | 9:56 am

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    After three days of walking in the cold and snow, many of them on hunger strike, 150 African asylum seekers were forced onto buses and taken back to the new detention center in the Negev desert. The detainees say they want...

  • Poem: Sound Advice

    December 4, 2013 | 4:10 pm

    You have to know
    who to talk to:
    choose a dry
    cistern
    so that what is said
    is kept there;
    like the rabbi’s
    knowledge
    never leaking out,
    it will remain sweet
    as water in a sealed pit.

    Bor sud, in Hebrew, is a water-proofed cistern, or sealed pit, which holds all the...

  • Iranian regime’s propaganda use of Jews would make Goebbels proud

    By Karmel Melamed

    December 4, 2013 | 12:08 pm

    Two weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that roughly two dozen Iranian Jews took part in a “pro-nuclear rally” at the United Nations office in Tehran. The report indicated that the Iranian Jews held Torahs in their arms and also signs in Hebrew and English proclaiming their...

  • Magical music of the Middle East

    By Rick Schultz

    November 22, 2013 | 4:13 pm

    Almost two years ago, while watching a YouTube video of Mohammed Fairouz’s “Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra,” Neal Brostoff, a visiting lecturer in Jewish music history at UCLA, had an idea. The concerto sounded “surprisingly Jewish,” he thought, and not just because the soloist...

  • Iranian Jews hold pro-nuclear rally in Tehran

    November 20, 2013 | 8:51 am

    Iranian Jews holding Torah scrolls demonstrated in Tehran in support of Iran’s nuclear program.

    Demonstrators, who also held signs in English, Hebrew and Farsi, rallied Tuesday in front of the United Nations office in Tehran, according to The Jerusalem Post. They denounced...

  • ‘Israeliness’ may be the answer for secular American Jews

    November 6, 2013 | 1:37 pm

    The recent Pew survey of American Jews caused a flutter in the organized Jewish community.

    The survey raises a number of questions about the efficacy of Jewish institutions, leaving professionals and donors alike in a position of uncertainty regarding their investments in the...

  • Spying for Mossad, Israeli author never forsook fiction [Q&A]

    October 22, 2013 | 4:44 pm

    For retired Israeli spy Mishka Ben-David, writing fiction was a realization of artistic aspirations he had long suppressed.

    Ben-David had a doctorate in Hebrew literature and four books published when the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad recruited him in 1987. He agreed to...

  • One Israeli creation for the weekend- an exclusive interview with Tomer Adaddi

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 18, 2013 | 1:28 pm

    Tomer Adaddi is an Israeli award-winning composer, pianist and musical producer, who has worked and collaborated with international musicians such as Andrea Bocelli, Mercedes Sossa, Il Volo, the Tenors, Michael Buble' and others.


    He was born in 1983 in Raanana, Israel, and...

  • This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 30, 2013 | 12:09 pm

    A moment of humor

    Iranian President Rouhani acknowledged the Holocaust and then backed down. The Israeli embassy in Washington decided to respond with humor, and made a new LinkedIn page for him… The parody LinkedIn page refers to Rouhani as “President of Iran, Expert Salesman,...

  • Yigal Kipnis on Yom Kippur War’s lessons

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 24, 2013 | 11:44 am

    Yigal Kipnis is an Israeli historian; since 1978 he has been a farmer and a resident of the Golan Heights. He teaches at the University of Haifa and researches the settlement geography and political history of Israel. Kipnis also served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force for 31...

  • Shirly Brener: Through the lens — starkly

    September 3, 2013 | 2:13 pm

    An argument between actress Shirly Brener and husband Bruce Rubenstein turned quickly from a loud debate with each side trying to prove a point, to this: 

    “Honey, wait a minute  — I’ve got to grab the camera.” 

    Brener rushed to get the video camera from the couple’s Hollywood...

  • Making cookies ... And a difference

    August 28, 2013 | 5:39 pm

    Left destitute overnight when the Nazis confiscated his life savings in 1941, Ben Lesser’s father, Lazar, used a 100-pound bag of flour and some salt — a housewarming gift from a friend — to bake pretzels for the local bars in Niepolomice in southern Poland. 

    While his family of...

  • Refaeli takes on Waters over boycott letter

    August 21, 2013 | 1:17 pm

    Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli tweeted in Hebrew that she no longer wants to be associated with British rocker Roger Waters after his open letter calling for a boycott of Israel.

    “Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows. If you’re boycotting —...

  • Holland’s largest Hebrew bookstore shutters doors

    August 14, 2013 | 9:13 am

    One of Western Europe’s largest Hebrew bookstores closed in Amsterdam as its former owners prepare to immigrate to Israel.

    Samech, located in southern Amsterdam, has been supplying Hebrew-language books to members of Holland’s Jewish community for nearly 40 years and possessed a...

  • An accidental theologist tackles Muhammad bio

    By Roberto Loiederman

    August 7, 2013 | 10:33 am

    In 2010, Lesley Hazleton was asked to give a brief talk about the Quran. 

    “As far as I was concerned, I was talking to those several hundred people in the hall,” Hazleton said in a recent phone interview. “I certainly had no idea that a nine-minute video about reading the Quran...

  • At Western Wall, showdown between two women’s groups

    July 25, 2013 | 11:52 am

    On the morning of July 8, at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av, the Western Wall plaza was a cacophonous mess.

    Women of the Wall, the activist group that holds women’s prayer services each month at the site known as the Kotel, loudly sang festive prayers at a spot far from...

  • Iranians in Canada caught using fake Israeli passports

    July 25, 2013 | 9:31 am

    Seven Iranians were caught using fake Israeli passports at Vancouver International Airport.

    The Iranians, whose identity is unknown, were posing as the Solomons family from the central Israeli city of Rehovot, according to reports. They may have been trying to take advantage of...

  • On Tisha b’Av, feeling the loss from the flames

    July 10, 2013 | 1:01 pm

    On Yom Kippur, we ask “Who by fire?” Sadly, this year at Tisha b’Av, we already know the answer — the 19 firefighters who perished in Arizona.

    “This is as dark a day as I can remember,” Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement.

    Unknowingly, the governor connected me to the mood of...

  • Drug dealer makes “Aliyah”

    By  Tom Tugend

    June 30, 2013 | 9:55 am

    Here’s a little quiz: Suppose a movie titled “Aliyah” came out; what would you expect to be its main theme? The answer would probably depend on the time period.

    In the 1920s and ’30s, “Aliyah” would have been about Diaspora Jews settling in Palestine, where they became bronzed...

  • From ‘scared child’ to Miss Israel

    June 24, 2013 | 10:41 am

    When Yitayish “Titi” Ayenew, the first black Miss Israel, was a young orphan who moved from Ethiopia to Israel, it was learning the Hebrew language that turned around her fortunes.

    “Then, I was a scared child,” Ayenew, 22, told students at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen...

  • The Power of Language: Cultivating Positive Emotions

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    June 19, 2013 | 8:30 am

    Language affects the heart. When we’re surrounded by others who speak negatively, it can really affect our mood and disposition. Are we aware of how much negative language there is around us?

    A generation ago, psychologist James R. Averill analyzed 558 emotion words with...

  • Woman of the pomegranate

    By David Suissa

    June 12, 2013 | 12:26 pm

    Sharon Nazarian has a mysterious quality about her. I’ve bumped into her occasionally over the years, but never long enough to have a real conversation. I always knew she was highly educated and a big lover of Israel, and that a few years ago she founded the groundbreaking Nazarian...

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