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New director for education and engagement at Ohef Sholom

September 14, 2018

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Stephanie Ben Simon has joined Ohef Sholom Temple as director of Education and Engagement (DEE). As DEE, Ben Simon will develop and oversee a dynamic program of education and engagement for the entire congregation, creating educational opportunities in alignment with the temple’s values at every stage of the life cycle. In partnership with OST’s clergy and lay leadership, she says she is developing membership and programming plans with the goals of attracting prospective members, integrating new members into the Ohef Sholom community, as well as engaging existing members.

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Mark Zuckerberg posts video of himself blowing shofar

September 14, 2018

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(JTA)—Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a video of himself blowing a several-foot-long shofar.

Zuckerberg executed a perfect tekiyah- teruah-shevarim combination on the twisted ram’s horn as one of his daughters is heard crying in the background.

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Simon Family Passport to Israel grant helps area teen with month-long trip

September 14, 2018

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This past summer I spent a month in Israel with 32 of my best friends, while meeting 52 new friends, on the most amazing trip of my life. We did all the typical activities you do when traveling to Israel, like floating in the Dead Sea and climbing Masada, but the fact that I was doing it with 84 other 16-year-olds, some whom I knew and others whom I was getting to know, made it all the more special and meaningful.

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Israelis want American Jewish help in promoting religious pluralism, study finds

September 14, 2018

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(JTA)—For years, American Jewish groups have agitated for more religious pluralism in Israel. And year after year, the Israeli government has acted as if the country’s demographic and political realities make any kind of substantial reform impossible.

The latest version of an annual survey disputes that claim: It shows that Jewish Israelis disapprove of how their government handles religious issues. It shows that they want more liberal religious policies. And it says they want American Jews to intervene in the debate.

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Michael Cohen’s most Jewish moments

September 4, 2018

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A Jew makes news, but does that make it Jewish news?

Take the case of Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty Tuesday, August 21 to fraud and campaign finance improprieties, directly implicating his former boss, President Donald Trump. Cohen, whose father survived the Holocaust, began his education at a yeshiva day school but transferred to the Lawrence Woodmere Academy. He once described himself as an “agnostic Jew.”

But little else in his story connects him to Jewish life in an interesting or newsworthy way.

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Additions at JFit intend to improve member health and gym experience

September 3, 2018

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Over the past month, JFit at the Simon Family JCC, has established new programs and classes—including a massage therapy service. “I’m always looking for new opportunities for the JCC to improve our services, whether it’s a new program, equipment, or talented instructors,” says Tom Purcell, membership and wellness director. New programs and services at JFit [...]

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Hydrox, the original kosher sandwich cookie, is accusing Oreo of sabotage

September 3, 2018

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(JTA)—You know what Oreos are.
They’re two delicious chocolate cookies sandwiched around a creme filling. Oreos also come in Double Stuff, vanilla, birthday cake and pumpkin spice (really).
There is debate on how they should be eaten, but everyone knows they’re best when dunked in milk.
What you might not know is that Oreos are just a copycat of Hydrox, a sandwich cookie first sold in 1908, four years before Oreos appeared on shelves. Even though (or maybe because?) they were second, Oreos came to dominate the market, becoming a fixture in America’s grocery stores.

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The seven best Jewish obituaries by New York Times writer Margalit Fox

August 13, 2018

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New York Times obituary writer Margalit Fox announced she was leaving her position after writing farewells to more than 1,400 notable, notorious or downright unusual people over a 14-year span. Fox intends to turn to book-writing full time. Among the highlights of her time on the “dead beat” were obituaries of Jewish newsmakers, which like so many of her obits stand out for the vividness of her prose and the humor she sometimes brought to solemn moments. Here are some standouts.

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Inclusion a priority at Congregation Beth El

August 10, 2018

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Congregation Beth El is opening its doors; that is, opening them wider. Recognizing that while the congregation prides itself on its hospitality, there are many ways in which the community feels it can be more actively welcoming. To that end, plans are underway to make members and visitors more comfortable. The congregation intends to upgrade [...]

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PJ Library delivers books to homes of young children

August 10, 2018

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Created in December 2005 as a Jewish engagement and literacy program for Jewish and interfaith families with young children, PJ Library sends free Jewish children’s books and music on a monthly basis directly to families’ homes. PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a North American Jewish non-profit organization. Children may start [...]

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