“Inspire your Intellect” – the Seventh Limmud FSU US Festival Opens Today

Photo from Limmud FSU 2014 New Jersey (eJP archives)

Among the approximately 1.7 million Jews living in New York and the US East Coast are nearly 300,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Reaching out to this Russian-speaking population, is Limmud FSU whose annual festival opens today in New Jersey. The event, like all Limmud FSU events, is organized, planned and managed entirely by volunteers and is a unique opportunity for young Russian speakers to connect or reconnect with their Jewish heritage and identity; to create their own educational and social program; and to meet up with hundreds of people like themselves who share the same interests and concerns. Limmud FSU, founded nearly ten years ago by Chaim Chesler, brings together young Jewish adults in all the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as those with Russian-speaking … [Read more...]

IsraAID First Aid Group to Bring Relief Items by Boats to Remote Islands in Vanuatu

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Tongoa, Vanuatu - As the IsraAID team walk up the path, the chief of this small village on the remote island of Tongoa breaks down in tears, explaining ‘it’s been ten days since the disaster, and these are the first supplies we have received.’ In this village of 42 households devoid of a road access, only 4 structures remain standing, and starving locals lined up in the sun with excitement as the IsraAID team, together with the Tongoa parliament representative and a team of local volunteers, distributed over 40 tons of rice, flour and drinking water. The situation was the same all across the islands of Tongoa and Mataso, as the IsraAID team traveled from village to village to distribute supplies to struggling and desperate communities. In total, the team visited 12 villages and all 8 schools on … [Read more...]

TOM:TLV Harnesses Cutting-Edge Technology to Design Affordable Aids for Disabled

This system allows people who are paralyzed from the neck down to turn pages in a book. Photo courtesy ZOA Productions.

Dozens of innovators and makers gathered in Tel Aviv last week for TOM:TLV, a three-day technology marathon where participants built models and prototypes of aids for people with disabilities. The organizers intend to develop these products further, making them available for widespread use in the near future. TOM:TLV brought together technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities who developed ideas and products that address the challenges of people living with disabilities, their family members, and health-care professionals. The make-a-thon took place in a specially designed workspace at Tel Aviv port’s Hangar 11 and featured advanced technology including: 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, and CNC machines (computer-operated milling devices). The closing event … [Read more...]

Keshet and Association of Independent Jewish Camps to Partner on Inclusion Program

Keshet, an organization, which provides community-based educational, recreational and vocational programs for children, teens and young adults with varying and multiple intellectual disabilities, is partnering with the Association of Independent Jewish Camps (AIJC) on a comprehensive pilot program to help establish integrated programs for campers with special needs. The pilot, which will launch this year with three AIJC camps, will include consultation, camp visits, staff training, weekly calls during the summer, family and camper intake. This program is made available through the support of the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation. … [Read more...]

New Initiative Launches to Promote Global Jewish Service

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Tel Aviv, Israel - Mar. 22, 2015 - The Alliance for Global Good, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Pears Foundation are partnering to launch OLAM, a shared platform to promote global Jewish service - volunteering and service learning, international development, and social justice advocacy - in order to support communities in need around the world. OLAM will serve as a field-building resource, championing, coordinating and educating for the benefit of existing organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. It will expand the global Jewish community’s awareness and philanthropic support of these fields; build and strengthen practitioner networks to facilitate sharing knowledge and best practices; and grow the number of volunteers and practitioners and direct them to Jewish … [Read more...]

First­-ever Hebrew Festival in North America Has Launched in New York

Hagigah Ivrit

The biggest celebration of the Hebrew language ever held in North America kicked off a week ago in New York City with an ambitious two­ week series of programs and experiences for scholars, students, culture vultures, and families throughout the New York metro area. The Hagigah Ivrit festival features a broad array of literary, culinary, musical, cinematic, educational events, as well as several ongoing exhibitions and special programs for young children, that will engage their audiences in the beauty and history of the Hebrew language and culture. The festival, which runs through March 30th, is sponsored by The Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America, the World Zionist Organization, The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, and the Israeli­American Council. For a full … [Read more...]

Rose Community Foundation Announces Grants from 4th Q. 2014

During the fourth quarter of 2014, Rose Community Foundation awarded 302 grants totaling more than $6.8 million. Of this amount, $3,471,364 was awarded for 57 grants from Rose Community Foundation’s program areas to nonprofit organizations, government agencies and projects that support the health and well-being of the Greater Denver community. Donor-advised funds housed at the Foundation approved 245 grants totaling $3,347,721. Rose Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $225 million since its inception in 1995. Jewish Life grants included: Hillel of Colorado (Denver): $69,760 for consultants to provide strategic and real estate planning, coaching, and an executive search process. Jewish Family Service of Colorado (Denver): $97,500 to hire consultants to provide … [Read more...]

Institute for Jewish Policy Research Releases Jewish Families and Households Report

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The Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), a London-based independent research organisation, has released "Jewish families and Jewish households Census - insights about how we live." This is the fifth report JPR has published using data from the 2011 Census. Unlike the first four which analyse the data through the lens of individual Jews, this one looks at the Jewish population through the lens of Jewish households - or Jewish families. That is to say, it works to ascertain with whom Jews live throughout the various stages of their lives, thereby throwing light in new ways on the very concept of the Jewish family, arguably the most important dimension of Jewish existence. Major findings include: There is no such thing as an identikit Jewish family. Almost a third of all Jewish … [Read more...]