Gold-winning American Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman has accepted an invitation from Israel Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein for her and her family to make their first visit to Israel.
Raising a child with developmental disabilities has often been compared to an “unplanned journey,” taking you to places you never imagined you would go. After our son, Danny, was diagnosed with global developmental delays at the age of 13 months, I found myself learning a whole new vocabulary, meeting with many medical professionals and special-education teachers and aides.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday tapped Jewish-American donors for more than $1 million, ending a trip to Israel that aimed to show he would be a better ally than President Barack Obama.
There are many things that come to mind when the words “bachelor” and “party” are said in the same breath, and often the sum of this equation is not pretty. Despite Hollywood’s depiction of this rite of passage as a final gasp of protracted adolescence (from the Tom Hanks camp classic “Bachelor Party” to the “Hangover” movies), there are men who are not interested in acting silly (or worse) for its own sake.
Spurred by a record-breaking number of foreign tourists who visited the Holy Land during the first quarter of 2012, Israel’s burgeoning hotel industry is gearing up for a busy summer tourism season by sprucing up their facilities and offering a variety of titillating vacation packages.
The Anti-Defamation League is accepting applicants from current high school sophomores for a program bringing diverse students together to learn about the Holocaust and ways to fight prejudice. The centerpiece of the Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission is a free trip to Washington, D.C., in November, where 100 students from across the country will tour the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Sweden's foreign minister canceled a scheduled trip to Israel.
Nearly 160,000 young Jews from North America have taken part in Taglit-Birthright Israel, a 10-day free Israel trip aimed at revving up their Jewish identities.
What's more enticing than a free trip to Israel? A free trip to Israel tailor-made for your interests.
Birthright Israel has received many more applications for its upcoming trips than it has spaces available. Approximately 14,000 young Jews applied for 8,000 spots in the program's spring/summer trips this year in just the first 12 hours of registration Feb. 8.
"Mayor Villaraigosa said many times during his campaign that he would lead a trip to Israel," Weiss said in a phone interview. "He feels a strong connection to Israel."
As a city woman whose family is unaccustomed to "roughing it," I planned our family vacation to involve a lot of nature but no sleeping on hard ground. That's what made El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara the perfect place for us: It's camping for people who like staying in Hiltons.
A two-hour drive north of Los Angeles, El Capitan Canyon is a former private campground that was transformed five years ago into a plush nature resort on 65 acres heavily populated with oak and sycamore trees. It allows guests to savor a rustic environment, but with down duvets and gourmet coffee for the coffeemaker.
Stretching along the popular beachfront area of Miami, approximately 650,000 Jewish residents support more than 100 synagogues, several Jewish community centers and abundant kosher restaurants, including authentic Thai food. The South Florida city even employs a full-time kashrut supervision department.
I recently returned from Florida, where I spent the Kwanzaa break (I've coined a new name for the winter break that I hope will sweep the nation) with my parents. Actually, they used to be my parents. Now they're my son's grandparents. I was once my mother's middle child, her youngest son, one of three apple-cheeked children around which her world revolved. Now I'm just the thing that brings the grandchild during the Kwanzaa break (I think the name is catching on).
On Feb. 10, 40 Jews, Christians and Muslims will embark on a joint "spiritual pilgrimage" to Israel and Jordan. The trip will focus solely on religious themes common to all three faiths. The author, an Egyptian-born engineer, is one of the trip's organizers. You can learn more about the trip and follow its progress at www.abraham.la.
We just returned from a trip to Italy, concentrating on the provinces of Puglia and Campania close to Naples. It is a region that we enjoy because of the diversity of the foods and wines available.
It's popular sentiment these days that Hollywood has turned its back on Israel. Recent visits by actor Jason Alexander, action hero-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a concert announcement by Madonna indicate a few stars are still looking to show their support.
Michael Borkow had done the Israel tourist thing before, and wanted to spend his week's vacation volunteering in Israel.
Imagine a world in which every newborn child receives a voucher toward early childhood Jewish education and a free trip to Israel.
That's what philanthropist Michael Steinhardt asked 4,000 delegates to the North American Jewish federation system's General Assembly to consider earlier this month.
The "Newborn Gift" would be part of an overall investment in strengthening Jewish education that Steinhardt is proposing. He told delegates that he was willing to contribute $10 million to the project, which he called the Fund for Our Jewish Future -- on condition that his contribution represent no more than 10 percent of the total fund.
In other words, the former Wall Street tycoon was challenging the audience to raise at least $90 million for Jewish education in the Diaspora.
It suddenly occurred to me that the Holocaust was an attempted silencing of the Jews. While World War II was decades ago -- and the camps were liberated -- the quiet lingers. We're so far away from it all in the United States. In Poland, the wounds are still raw and it isn't something that the locals are comfortable talking about.
On our trip we took the students to the city of Lublin, and we visited the once-famous and beautiful yeshiva, Hachmei Lublin, founded by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the renowned pre-Holocaust spiritual leader.
In the sprawling Southland, I've learned there's more to the rules of attraction than "How You Look," "What You Do" and "What You Earn." There's "Where You Live."
Didgee is looking forward to the day he can leave the quarantine cage to snuggle up with his two Sheilas in the shade of a eucalyptus tree, and learn to say "Shalom" as well as "G'day."
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, is a time to recall the miracle that occurred more than 2,000 years ago, and celebrate the discovery of the small amount of oil that burned for eight days, the amount of time needed to prepare pure oil from the local olive trees to rekindle the flame. That miracle is the focus of the Chanukah celebration that begins at sundown Friday, Nov. 29. Was it also a miracle that this event occurred at this time, since the months of November and December are the usual time for the olive harvest?
Nearly twice as many residents as last year intend to participate in the We Stand With Israel trip next month, Federation Executive Director Bunnie Mauldin said,adding that "despite what's going on politically or war with Iraq on the horizon, our aim is the same."
The trip is an opportunity for people to show their support.
I recently returned from eight days in Israel. After months of reaching for the newspaper first thing each morning and follow with online searches for even more recent events, I felt a strong need to go to Israel and see firsthand how things were going. I was nervous before I left due to the constant photos of destruction and despair. It is the first time that I blessed each of my children before departing on a trip.
I have heard people refer to the process of meeting someone as "the dating minefield."
A bus trip to visit two Tijuana synagogues this spring provided an irresistible opportunity to learn about two distinctly different Jewish communities in a bustling border metropolis where Jews number fewer than 1 percent of the city's 1.2 million residents.
By far the more unusual of the two shuls was Congregacion Hebrea de Baja California, made up almost entirely of converted Mexican Catholics, including its leader, a charismatic non-ordained rabbi, whose resume includes a stint as a Methodist minister. Carlos Salas Diaz, an imposing man in a dark suit, who welcomed us warmly into the temple's brightly lit sanctuary, looks like the successful businessman he continues to be and at least two decades younger than his chronological age of close to 70.
Back in October, 60 UCLA students learned that over winter break they would be going on the trip of a lifetime. They had been chosen from among hundreds of applicants to take part, virtually for free, in UCLA Hillel's Birthright Israel contingent. The Birthright program brings thousands of Jewish students to Israel for 10-day tours that encourage them to discover their own Jewish identity. The 1999 trip had received glowing reviews. But in December 2000, one-third of the UCLA slots were suddenly up for grabs.
At 16, I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that my daily outfit of choice was a drab army jumpsuit I bought at a thrift store. It zipped up to my chin, and that almost wasn't far enough forme.
A mission to Israel that's billed as the largest ever in the history of the Los Angeles Jewish community is scheduled to take place between Nov. 1 and 10 of this year. About 500 Southern Californians are expected to participate in the Golden Anniversary Community Mission, which is being coordinated by the Jewish Federation Council in commemoration of the Jewish state's first 50 years.