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  • Paddling the Mediterranean
    Local man navigates many-legged kayak trip from Spain to Cyprus
  • A friend indeed
    Intergenerational program at JCC enriches seniors, children
  • Recycling his roots
    Musician Billy Jonas talks about music, the environment, and Jewish life
  • Off-Broadway offers theatrical Yiddishkeit
  • Unity from tragedy
    Local group goes to Israel to show support, share grief and love
  • Local writer tarnishes the golden child syndrome
  • ‘The Law of Return’
  • Community stands with Israel at bergenPAC
  • No light yet
    ‘Remember – she’s 2’
  • Mississippi burning, remembered
    Puffin marks jubilee of Freedom Summer


Statements from the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

A statement from the president and CEO of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades

Today the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades learned that the Bergen County Prosecutor has filed charges against a former camp counselor. This counselor, who is a minor, was immediately suspended by the camp upon learning of the alleged incident. We continue to cooperate fully with the local authorities in their investigation.


NCSY summer programs make adjustments

Despite missiles from Gaza, Orthodox Union Israel trips for teens provide fun, opportunities

“It’s gorgeous up here,” said Alisa Neugroschl, one of 550 North American teens taking part in eight summer programs in Israel sponsored by NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union.

The Bergenfield 16-year-old was speaking from the Upper Galilee, far from the Hamas rockets raining down on Israel’s southern and central regions. “They’re keeping us up north for safety reasons, and we’ve been doing touring and hiking,” she said.

Operation Protective Edge officially started just one day before the campers arrived in Israel on July 9, but the missile fire had been intensifying over the previous week. David Cutler, NCSY’s director of summer programs, saw that a fast and major overhaul of the programs’ carefully planned six-week itineraries was necessary. Certainly the teens would not be able to run a day camp in Sderot, as students have done other years, now that the Code Red sirens were blaring constantly there.

The Sderot kids did, in fact, have their NCSY fun day, but it was in Jerusalem rather than in Sderot. In cooperation with a social-welfare organization in the Gaza border town, a full bus of children came for the day.


Going home as a lone soldier

Young American-Israeli Tenafly woman talks about her choices

Doctors Orna and Arie Rosen did not intend to “get stuck” in the United States for 28 years.

They expected to return to their native Israel soon after coming to America to gain experience in their subspecialties. However, they ended up working here — he as a head and neck surgeon in Hackensack, she as a neonatologist at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in the Bronx — and raising their two children in Tenafly among a large Israeli expatriate community.

But it seems that now the second generation is leading the way back home.

Earlier this week, Orna and her daughter, Roni, flew to Israel on separate flights. Roni was one of 108 future “lone soldiers” on a Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight making aliyah through Tzofim Garin Tzabar, a program intended to ease the way for Israeli citizens living abroad who choose to return to perform military service with their peers in Israel.


Working with lone soldiers

Young Teaneck woman recalls summer at Michael Levin center

Lone soldiers — Israel Defense Force members whose parents do not live in Israel or cannot support them — have been much in the news this harsh summer.

Estimates put the number of lone soldiers at about 5,800, and add that at least 750 of them are American. Two of those lone soldiers — Max Steinberg, 24, from California, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, from Texas — died this summer as they fought for Israel in Gaza.

Despite the idealism that brings young recruits to the IDF, and that sustains them as they fight, it is a hard path that they have chosen. Luckily, there are organizations, including the New Jersey branch of the Friends of the IDF, that work to meet some of their needs.

In Israel, the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin provides, as its vision statement says, a “warm, supportive, inclusive community for lone soldiers … before, during, and after their service.” The young man whose name the center carries, a Philadelphia native, moved to Israel, joined the IDF as a lone soldier, and died in Lebanon in 2006 at the hands of Hezbollah. He was 21.


Killed in the name of God

Fair Lawn scholar studies medieval Jewish child martyrs

“Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago,” read the headline in ads signed by Elie Wiesel and placed in newspapers around the world by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Our World organization. “Now it’s Hamas’ turn.”

But that may be stretching the truth.

In the 12th century — not even a thousand years ago, making it recent by the standards of Jewish history — Jews boasted of making martyrs of their children, deliberately killing them rather than allowing them to be converted to Christianity.

It was an era in which Jews were besieged by Christian mobs demanding their conversion or death, a horror recalled by the radical jihadist army of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and its massacres of non-Muslims.


Genesis launches competition for the next big Jewish ideas

It is now open season for those who would like a chunk of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s change and think they have a big idea up their sleeves.

On Tuesday, the Genesis Prize Foundation announced the launch of the Genesis Generation Challenge, a competition offering 10 awards of $100,000 each to teams that can successfully present innovative projects “guided by Jewish values to address the world’s pressing issues,” according to a foundation statement. Teams must have approximately 10 people and be led by someone aged 20 to 36.

The money for the prize, which originally was announced in May, had been awarded to Mr. Bloomberg as the inaugural Genesis Prize recipient. Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, promptly regifted the money to Genesis. He sat on the competition model after first pledging the money to encourage Israeli-Palestinian trade, changing his mind at the urging of the Genesis Prize Foundation.


How Obama and Netanyahu can make up

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are not the best of friends. That seems pretty clear by now.

But after reports of cut-off phone calls, tough talk of “demands” and eavesdropping during the Gaza conflict, it may be time for them to figure out a way back to steadier ground.

JTA asked an array of experts on the U.S.-Israel relationship what the two leaders must do to restore a relationship that both say is critical for their countries.

Deus ex machina: A crisis will bring us together

Aaron David Miller, a Middle East negotiator under Democratic and Republican presidents, remembers the last such breach between U.S. and Israeli leaders, when George H.W. Bush was president and Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister. That one was worse, he said. That is, until Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.


Noshes: celebrity names in the news


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25 February 2011
7 January 2011
20 February 2009


Temple Beth El Re-Dedication
4th Annual Kosherfest Culinary Competition 2011
Kehillah Partnership Pilot Program


Teens from Sha’ar Communities met with Jack Antonoff of the Band FUN, pictured back row, center, to talk about Jewish identity. Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Sha’ar facilitated the discussion as part of a series,  “Teens 2.0: Hitting the Refresh Button on Jewish Identity.” Courtesy Sha’ar

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