Honoring Hannah and Protecting Our Planet in Her Memory

Hannah Weiss People across North America are boosting their sustainability efforts to honor a beloved member of our community, Hannah Weiss. The 19-year-old perished in a plane crash in Costa Rica on New Year’s Eve 2017, along with her parents, Mitchell and Leslie, and 16-year-old brother, Ari, who was a USY chapter president at Congregation B'nai Israel in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Weiss family members were wel...

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Women, Mothers, Rabbis, Trailblazers: Juggling Identities and Roles in the Masorti Movement

The Masorti Movement in Israel—a Judaism that preserves observance and tradition while recognizing how modern life in Israel is lived—is blessed with women rabbis of intellect, energy, and spiritual commitment to Torah, egalitarianism, inclusion, and community. Their varied backgrounds and experiences enrich their kehillot and communities. From Israel to France and the former Soviet Union and beyond, these women blaze a ...

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Bimah Buddies: Nurturing Inclusion, Spirituality and Confidence

Greta Loewenthal and Marcus Weller at Purim. It started with a dance. Greta Loewenthal knew there was something special about the young boy she met years ago at Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation in Northfield, Illinois. “Marcus Weller has been a part of my life since I was a child,” recalls Greta. “On Friday nights, we used to dance together during services because I thought he was a cute little boy, and I e...

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The Story Behind
Israel Story

Mishy Harman behind the microphone. Mishy Harman is on the phone…again. No, he’s not securing an interview for his award-winning podcast Israel Story, he’s speaking to his parents for the seventh time today. Nothing’s wrong, he’s just checking in. His brother and sister average four calls per day with their parents as well. “For us, it’s wonderful to have three great kids,” shared Dorothy Harman in an Israel Story ...

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Get Your Water Bucket Ready! Reimagining Shavuot in 2020

Any ordinary year, a Shavuot celebration—the holiday that began as an agricultural festival and later evolved to honor the giving of the Torah to Moses at Mt. Sinai—might have looked like this: reading the Book of Ruth, staying up all night studying the Torah, and eating cheesecake and other dairy foods. But 2020 is far from ordinary. In this year of a worldwide pandemic and stay at home orders that are just now s...

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High School Grads Opt for a Gap Year in Israel

With so much uncertainty about what college life will look like this fall, an increasing number of high school graduates are opting for a gap year. A gap year provides students with the opportunity to defer college for one year to continue to learn and grow. For Jewish teens, living and studying in Israel can fulfill a dream of spending time in the Jewish homeland and deepening one’s connection with their faith. Yonah...

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