When Avital Avraham, 17, of Sherman Oaks arrived in Israel earlier this month with plans to make aliyah and join the Israel Defense Forces, she said she was “honored that Israel is opening their arms to me even though I wasn’t born here.”
Israel’s government agreed to expedite the arrival of the final Ethiopian immigrants waiting to come to Israel.
A Jerusalem court ruled that Israel could deport South Sudanese migrants who entered the country illegally.
South Tel Aviv remained calm but tense Friday after recent violence aimed at African immigrants.
HIAS is distributing $330,000 in scholarships to 139 immigrants in the United States and Israel. The scholarships will help fund higher education for the immigrants. Sixty of the recipients live in the United States.
Faina Dorfman, who immigrated to Israel from Uzbekistan hoping that her only child would have a better life here, walks along a stretch of beach just south of a tattered seaside disco called the Dolphinarium. Ten years ago, a young Palestinian detonated a bomb packed with nails and bullets as he stood amid a crowd waiting to be let inside for a night of dancing.
When David Portowicz was a new immigrant to Israel from Brooklyn in the 1970s, he began research on poverty in Jaffa that would lead to his life’s work: the creation of a nonprofit organization that now serves thousands of disadvantaged children and their families. A doctoral student in social work at the time, the small NGO he co-founded in 1982, the Jaffa Institute, today is a veritable force of nature with 35 programs and an annual operating budget of $6 million. The institute runs afterschool activity centers to help keep kids off the streets, offers university scholarships for 170 graduates of Jaffa programs, has shelters for runaways and even provides music lessons.
More than 335 immigrants from Ethiopia arrived in Israel on a special Jewish Agency charter flight. The Falash Mura, Ethiopians who claim family links to descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago, arrived Monday and Tuesday on Ethiopian Air Lines charter flights. They are the first Ethiopian immigrants to arrive in Israel since November because of an aviation dispute between Israel and Ethiopia. Israel's Cabinet in November approved a plan to bring about 8,000 more Ethiopians to Israel over the next four years.
The final 1,000 new immigrants for 2010 are arriving in Israel.
Israel began construction of a barrier along its border with Egypt.
"In my country, it was always war. I saw people dying. I saw people without arms, eyes, hands -- without heads," Mustafa said. "We finally got away, but I was upset."
The last official airlift of Ethiopian Jews was scheduled to land in Tel Aviv tonight, bringing to an end a state-organized campaign that began nearly 30 years ago and brought in some 120,000 immigrants from the east African nation
The 60th anniversary of the State of Israel is a good time to reflect on how this young country has progressed during its mere six decades of existence. Its economic growth, its leading role in technological advances and its presence in world affairs are all impressive, but most notable to me is the transformation of Israeli food from mundane and unknown to cutting edge and creative. Modern-day Israeli cuisine reflects ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity.
By 1939 some 2,500 German Jews had relocated to Los Angeles, and by 1941, when the United States entered the war, their number had grown to 6,000, making Los Angeles the second-largest center of German-speaking Jews in America. As the German Jews made connections with the L.A. Jewish community, two immigrant businessmen came together to form The German Jewish Club of 1933.
There is a saying that in Ireland there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet.
On our visit we experienced a tangible expression of this in Kenmare, where perfect strangers went out of their way to help us get our laundry done and then volunteered to drive us back to our hotel when we couldn't find a taxi.
Israel may allow 1,400 additional Ethiopian Falash Mura to immigrate to Israel.
For a certain nostalgic segment of the Jewish community, Chanukah wasn't official until KCRW-FM general manager Ruth Seymour narrated her lively "Philosophers, Fiddlers and Fools" program at this time of the year. This noble tradition has now come to an end, but KCRW (89.9) has come up with a worthy replacement in "Only in America," which will air over five days in one-hour segments, Dec. 3-7 at 2 p.m.
In her intricately plotted story, Gilmore deftly weaves fact into fiction as she traces the fortunes of three intertwined families of Jewish immigrants in early 20th century New York. The result is a compelling portrait of hopes, both realized and dashed, that explores questions of identity, self-invention, women's roles and the definition of success.
Indeed, immigrant communities often struggle with loyalties to the social mores of their old country and their new one. In the world of philanthropy and volunteerism, many Jewish leaders have learned that immigrant Jewish communities also have attitudes different from their American-born Jewish brothers and sisters. Those attitudes stem from the political systems and types of communities from which they came and what was expected of them in their native lands.
Letters to the Editor.
It's hard to believe that as recently as the early 1900s, my great-grandmother lived in a harem; marketing, cooking, washing and cleaning side by side with the other wives who shared her husband's bed.
Imagine that you live in Latin America and you're Jewish. Typically, you and your family would belong to a full-service Jewish club with cultural, recreational, educational and athletic activities for all ages. The club is reasonably priced, promotes Jewish identity in a secular manner and is the backbone of your social life.
Etz Jacob prides itself on accepting children who would not otherwise get a Jewish education. Rabbi Rubin Huttler of Congregation Etz Jacob founded the school in 1989 as a haven for new immigrants flooding into Los Angeles from Russia and Iran.
This week's Torah portion creates a picture of the 12 tribes of Israel marching over the wilderness terrain in well-organized troops, the divisions of Judah to the east of the tabernacle, Ephraim on the west, and the other tribes assigned to positions in between. An army of men, women and children who once marched hunched over from intolerable service to Pharaoh were now marching upright, in formation, in service of God, with banners streaming above them, as it is written: "The Israelites shall camp each with his standard, under the banners of their ancestral house" (Numbers 2:2).
In Los Angeles, as in other American cities where Jews have moved out en masse from their old neighborhoods, they not only left dwellings behind, they also left behind synagogues, social centers, stores and street corners that connected them to a certain time in their lives and to a particular era in their collective past.
When Fairfax resident Yasmine Noury boarded an El Al flight late last year, she joined the growing ranks of North American Jews who immigrated to Israel in 2005.
>Speaker after speaker at the recent immigration march in Los Angeles told the 500,000-strong primarily Latino crowd that racism and anti-immigrant sentiments lie behind the debates on Capitol Hill about border enforcement. This was the focus at the march and subsequent student walkouts, even though the House and Senate have debated competing immigration reform legislation, which has included discussions of some sort of guest worker or amnesty plan.
It is not only illegal immigrants for whom the Passover tale holds appeal. The story of the Exodus can be easily updated for any of the numerous people in the Third World seeking freedom from oppression.
Some things never change. We all know the storyline. Moses was expected back after 40 days in heaven where he was receiving the Torah. But he was late coming back on the 40th day: "And the people saw that Moses tarried [boshesh], in coming down from the mountain" (Exodus 32:1).
John Fishel took his seat on the jetliner and glanced across the aisle. Seated near the president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles was an Ethiopian woman. Resplendent in traditional garb, she cradled an infant in her arms and looked lovingly at her toddler son seated beside her.
Perhaps no single party outside the Israeli government is as vital to Ethiopian aliyah as the American Jews committed to help paying for it. So this month, when the United Jewish Communities (UJC) brought a group of 100 people from America's wealthiest Jewish communities, including Los Angeles, to the straw-and-mud huts of one of the poorest countries on earth, it was a signal to the Israeli government that American Jewry is serious about its own role in bringing Ethiopians to Israel.
Inside this cavernous barn with Persian rugs draped like curtains over the back walls of the elevated stage, there are no mobsters or secret cells from what we can tell. There are just ordinary citizens, but that doesn't stop the host, Jordan Elgrably, a svelte man in a black shirt, from saying, "All those who are working here for Homeland Security, please raise your hand."
At one point the neighborhood was considered so dangerous, people were afraid to walk the streets at night, but now it is experiencing something of a renaissance among Jews and non-Jews alike.
We had no idea if we would be the only ones to brave the cold and damp but were pleasantly surprised; about 30 people made up our tour.
Vincent introduces us to three women who illuminate three very different aspects of the shameful reality of white slavery that existed in Latin America between 1860 and 1939.
The two-day event over Chanukah, dubbed "Light Up the Negev," was organized by the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF) with the express purpose of "selling" the Negev to Israel's youth.
"Real Zionism is to encourage all to move to the Negev and the Galilee," said Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit, adding that the key to developing the peripheries lies in improving transportation to the center of the country. Efficient transportation, he said, will change the periphery into suburbia.
"Who We Are: On Being (and Not Being) a Jewish American Writer," edited by Derek Rubin (Schocken Books, 2005), an Israeli-born professor who teaches in the Netherlands, collects 29 essays by Jewish American writers, some of which were previously published, others reshaped or written for this collection.
For once, it would appear that Jews, Judaism and Jewish interests are not the target of violence in Paris and in so many cities across France. After a surge in anti-Semitic hostility and incidents in recent years, that comes as something of a surprise. This time, it appears the rioters are burning their own cars and neighborhoods, rather then aiming their anger at the symbols of some outside enemy.
Competition for postings to Los Angeles is fierce within the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and two young diplomats who made the grade, Yaron Gamburg and Gilad Millo, have joined the staff of the consulate general here.
As a student at Cal State Northridge more than 30 years ago, Aron Hasson wrote a paper about the Sephardic synagogues of his ancestral homeland, the Greek island of Rhodes.
The Tabach family left the settlement of Gadid last week, ahead of the Israeli withdrawal. Settlers who hadn't evacuated as of Monday were given 48-hours notice to leave, on threat of eviction.
In speaking about illegal aliens, President Bush says the time has come to bring "millions of hard-working men and women out of the shadows."
However, Republican leaders in Congress claim that Bush's proposals would reward lawbreakers. They soon plan to pass legislation tightening the legal and physical screws on illegal immigrants. The idea is to make the bill veto-proof by tying it to emergency funding for U.S. troops in Iraq.
For me, the issue is of more than passing interest. It was to California, long an immigration battleground, that I came to the United States in 1941 as the only child of illegal aliens.
Jahangir Javaheri lived a full life in Iran as a pharmaceutical retailer, complete with a nice car, large house and the esteem and satisfaction that came with being a leader within the nation's small but cohesive Jewish community.
Obesity has reached record rates among children and adults, bringing with it increased risk for developing diabetes and related health problems. In addition to the more than 18 million Americans currently living with diabetes, another 41 million are considered prediabetic, and are likely to develop the disease unless they take action.
In her new book, "Diabesity: The Obesity-Diabetes Epidemic That Threatens America -- And What We Must Do to Stop It" (Bantam), Dr. Francine R. Kaufman describes how reversing these trends requires efforts from all levels of society.
Lev Nussimbaum lived as though life were theater, inventing an identity, dressing the part, shifting scenes, seeking audiences everywhere. He thought he could keep rewriting the ending, believed he could talk his way out of anything including his Jewish past, but ultimately he could not.
Irvin Kipper may be 88 years old, but he still loves wooden blocks and Tinker Toys.
In fact for 60 years, "Kip"
has spent his days thinking almost exclusively about dolls and trains and stuffed bears, because he owns Kip's Toyland in the original Farmers Market.
Kipper just can't stay away from his store.
"The few times when I haven't gone to work, I feel like I'm kind of lost," he said. "I might do a few things around the house, but I think, 'What am I doing here? I should be over there working.'"
And work he does, Monday through Saturday, still making sure that his customers find that special toy for their children or grandchildren.
"Annulla: An Autobiography" tells the story of Annulla Allen, a woman born in Lvov, Galicia, who survived the Holocaust by passing as Aryan, and eventually immigrated to London.
It's 4 p.m. "Erev Christmas," and 21-year-old Adam Bodenstein is still rushing around his home in the Pico-Robertson area. He has yet to take a shower before Shabbat comes. In four days time, the Modern Orthodox UC Berkley graduate, who grew up in a Conservative household, will board a flight at New York's JFK Airport that will take him to his new home -- Israel.
But this is no ordinary El Al flight. This is Nefesh B'Nefesh's (NBN) eighth flight (and first-ever winter flight) in three years.
North American Modern Orthodox Jews say they can explain their connection to Israel in one word: Torah.
"It's an organic existence. An Orthodox Jew grows up and believes that Eretz Yisrael and the people of Israel are one. The fulfillment of Torah is Eretz Yisrael," said David Cohen, director of Orthodox Union (OU) activities in Israel. "It's not about connection. It's who we are."
When young Princeton engineer Jerry Estrin arrived in Haifa on a slow immigrant boat in late 1953 to build the Middle East's first computer, he faced just two problems: There were no parts or tools, from vacuum tubes to soldering irons, available in Israel, and there was no staff -- trained or otherwise.
In the late 1970s, a time when Jews in the United States had arguably achieved more status and social acceptance than in any previous era of their long Diaspora, American Jewish groups began work on a project that culminated in 1993 with the dedication of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Knishes, brisket, borscht, flanken and overstuffed corned beef on rye. Imagine American Jewish food, and one envisions Ashkenazi fare brought by the 2.5 million Eastern European immigrants who settled here between 1881 and 1921.
Judaism has a long, complicated, fascinating history, and no chapter offers developments more unique than those written in the 350 years since the Jews first arrived in America.
Sam Kermanian is one of many Jewish Republicans in Los Angeles reaching out to immigrants on behalf of President Bush, yet perhaps the biggest news of all is that such committed immigrant activists in the Republican Party are no longer red hot news.
Kermanian, an Iranian Jewish immigrant, is still rawly aware of how people's lives in his native Iran are under the strict control of Islamist radicals.
American Jews have long been among the staunchest supporters of civil and immigrant rights. Jews stood at the forefront of the civil rights movement and continue to account for a disproportionate share of American Civil Liberties Union members.
When obstetrician-gynecologist Ludmila Bess and her husband, a civil engineer, immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1977, they came with only $600 in their pockets.
Local leaders were keenly interested in the unknown and unexpected name prominently on display when the Samueli Jewish campus opened recently in Irvine.
Business at Eitan Salman's music store has fallen 80 percent over the last decade, but it's not altogether a bad thing: Mizrahi music has grown so popular in Israel that it no longer is the exclusive domain of mom-and-pop shops like Salman's but is sold even at Israel's Tower Records outlets.