U.S. Jewish Young Adults React to the Gaza Conflict

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies has released "U.S. Jewish Young Adults React to the Gaza Conflict: A Survey of Birthright Israel Applicants." This study examines the reactions of a diverse group of Jewish young adults (applicants to Taglit-Birthright Israel) to the 2014 conflict in Gaza. The report compares their responses to the opinions of young adults in the U.S. The findings are based on a survey conducted in early August 2014 of a sample of U.S. based individuals who applied to the trip - both participants and nonparticipants - from 2011 to 2013. Survey questions focused on media consumption, opinions about Israel's and Hamas' action during the conflict, and support for Israel. From the report: The present survey was designed to understand the reactions of Taglit-Birthright … [Read more...]

Newly Released: Israel Studies Report and Directory

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies has released the "2012-13 Israel Studies Report and Directory." The Report and Directory builds on the work of previous directories through inclusion of aggregated course enrollment data and identification of faculty. A key change is the recognition and addition of upper-level Hebrew language courses as Israel-focused. The Directory this year documents three important findings about the field of Israel studies: growth in the number of Israel-focused courses, albeit at a slower rate than seen in the past; the importance of institutional and external support for professorships, chairs, centers, and programs to prepare scholars to teach in the field; and student demand for Israel-focused courses in enrollment numbers and the number of faculty teaching about … [Read more...]

Keshet Awarded $250,000 for Inclusion Training

Keshet Boston Leadership Summit; photo courtesy Jordyn Rozensky/Keshet.

Keshet, a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life, has been awarded $250,000 by the Jim Joseph Foundation. The funding will support the expansion of Keshet’s signature training, The Keshet Leadership Project, to Jewish organizations in New York and Los Angeles over the next two years. The Leadership Project is a multi-service program that convenes, trains, provides resources for and supports Jewish institutions to become more inclusive of LGBT individuals and families, with a particular focus on youth. The Project is designed to impact the policies, programs and cultures of Jewish institutions by supporting the leaders of those institutions to make sustainable change over time. For … [Read more...]

Roman Vishniac Archives Now Online

The International Center of Photography (ICP) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have announced a joint project to make photographer Roman Vishniac’s vast archive available to the public and researchers. Together they developed an innovative digital database to facilitate unprecedented access to the archive, which includes 40,000 objects and spans more than six decades. Vishniac created some of the most enduring images of eastern European Jews immediately before the Holocaust and later pioneered techniques in photo microscopy. This collaboration represents a unique model for the future of archives and information sharing between institutions with wide-ranging missions. The database, which is accessible to the public at vishniac.icp.org, already includes all of Vishniac’s 9,000 … [Read more...]

Fifteen Youth Leaders Honored with $36,000 Each for Repairing Our World

The Helen Diller Family Foundation has awarded 15 young Jewish leaders the 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards in recognition of their exceptional leadership and commitment to social good. Recipients convened recently in San Francisco, where each teen was awarded $36,000 to support their future philanthropic vision or educational pursuits. The event provided recipients with the opportunity to meet and engage with socially conscious peers. The awardees’ passion for making a difference inspired them all to create and lead their own dynamic social action projects, from student-run clubs that raise funds for critical cancer research to initiatives that support and empower low-income families. One highlight of the afternoon was the debut of a special documentary-style video tribute that featured … [Read more...]

Looking to the Future, Mumbai Chabad Center Reopens Tomorrow

A renovated Chabad Center in Mumbai, India, devastated in a 2008 terrorist attack, will enable continued growth in Chabad activities in the city, which have been ongoing since the tragedy.

By Dovid Margolin In November of 2008, Islamic terrorists entered the Chabad House run by Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg in Mumbai, India, and murdered them and four of their guests in cold blood. In the immediate aftermath of the gruesome attack, photos of the smiling couple were transposed with images of their crying 2-year-old son, Moishe, and the bullet-riddled shell of the Jewish center the Holtzbergs had built in the heart of India’s largest city. Despite the devastation of an attack that paralyzed a subcontinent and transfixed the world, Chabad’s crucial work in Mumbai continued unabated. The goal, say those who were involved with ensuring Chabad’s presence in Mumbai, was to make certain that the Holtzbergs’ work of spreading goodness and kindness by offering Jewish programs of every … [Read more...]

United Synagogue Receives Grant to Launch Inclusion Initiative

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, with support from the Ruderman Family Foundation, will launch an initiative to transform Conservative congregations into truly inclusive communities for people with disabilities. Through the grant, United Synagogue will work with its affiliated kehillot to develop comprehensive visions and action plans on inclusion. The goal is to create congregations where everything - from the entryway to the bima, from education programs to prayer services, from social activities to the very attitudes of congregants and leaders - allows people with disabilities and their families to participate fully and comfortably in congregational life. “Many of our kehillot have begun to meet the need for inclusion, primarily in the architectural arena. But few have been … [Read more...]

Stop the Sirens Campaign Allocates $16.8m for Current Needs

Kids try to stay positive while a rocket warning keeps them in a Sderot bomb shelter.

As a follow-up to our post last month, eJP spoke with Susan (Susie) Stern, JFNA's immediate past National Campaign Chair, about the allocations that have been made through the Stop the Sirens Campaign. Through August 18th, $16.8 million has been allocated to support "needs needed right away." And while the situation on the ground has been changing on an almost daily basis, the allocations process has been generally looking at needs for a two week basis and is focusing on needs up to Rosh Hashana. Here are some highlights of current allocations: One of the most important area of needs is trauma support where thirteen years of siren blasts have taken a significant toll. In towns like Sderot, 28 percent of adults and 94 percent of children are showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The … [Read more...]