• The Language of LGBTQ Pride in Israel

    By Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, Director of Israel Engagement LGBTQ Pride marches began as a way to continue the struggles and victories symbolized by the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Annually, on various dates mostly in June, LGBTQ communities organize events across cities in the U.S. and around the world. Properly understood, […]


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  • 5 Ways to Observe Yom HaZikaron Outside Israel

    By Kate Bigam Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, is a deeply somber time in the State of Israel. Writes an American Reform cantor who took her sabbatical in Israel, In Israel, it’s personal. There is nothing remote or symbolic about Yom HaZikaron for Israelis. It is the day when you remember specific people in your family, or […]


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  • Bearing Witness Today: Delayed Grief and Yom HaZikaron

    By Rabbi Seth L. Bernstein, D. MIN. Of all the curiosities surrounding the Jewish calendar, I continue to be startled by the fact that only during these Omer days – between Passover and Shavuot – do Jews have back-to-back commemorations of sadness. Soon after Passover, we commemorate Yom HaShoah only to be followed by Yom HaZikaron. Each year, depending on when Shabbat falls within […]


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  • 10 Ways Jewish Israelis Will Celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut This Year

    By Nadav Savaia Because Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) fall back to back on the Hebrew calendar, Independence Day festivities begin almost immediately after the mourning and solemnities of Memorial Day. As Memorial Day ends, Jewish Israelis will… Celebrate in the streets: That evening, Israel’s cities will provide hours of endless entertainment […]


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  • A Spiritual Journey Inside and Out

    By Rabbi Rich Kirschen, Director One of my favorite teachers is the Quaker author, educator, and activist Parker Palmer. Parker Palmer has this remarkable ability to speak about “Meaning & Purpose” and why we need to transmit these values to the next generation. For many of us, another name for “Meaning & Purpose” is Spirituality […]


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  • The Four Questions I’m Asking About Israel This Year

    By Chelsea Feuchs I have very little artistic ability. Throughout my childhood, I tried my hand at photography, drawing, singing, clarinet, dance, and musical theater, but to no avail. Considering all these failed attempts, I was shocked when I finally stumbled upon an outlet as an adult to successfully express my creativity: cooking. I began […]


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  • In Every Generation: Four Questions from the Early Days of the Kibbutz

    By Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, Director of Israel Engagement, URJ Mah Nishtanah! As Passover, we ask, “How is this night different than all other nights?” Well, yesterday Israelis went to the ballot boxes, and today we know the outcome. One’s answer to this age-old Jewish question, as applied to today’s current events, is obviously connected to where you […]


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  • Lessons During a Trip to the North

    By Rabbi David Wilfond, Director of Education One of the things that makes the NFTY in Israel educational program of such a high quality is that we train our educators (mechanchim) for six months prior to the summer. Yesterday, we completed a three-day trip to the Galilee and Golan to learn how to make these […]


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  • Next Year in Jerusalem!

    Every year during the Passover Seder we say “Next year in Jerusalem.” Let’s make it a reality. We believe every teen should have a meaningful, memorable Israel experience, and it’s not too early to start thinking about next summer! Know a 9th grader who is looking forward to their camp trip next year, or a […]


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  • Two Simple Words

    By Erica Barish, Assistant Director There is a popular saying these days, “home is where the WiFi connects automatically.” For me, home is determined by a different kind of connection. Specifically, there is a connection – a feeling – that I have when I am in Israel. It is a feeling of happiness that I […]


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