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Who will obtain justice for Alberto Nisman?

Jewish Israeli News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 10:30am
Subject to relentless death threats, the brave investigator who proved Iran and Hezbollah orchestrated the 1994 AMIA bombing, the worst act of terrorism ever carried out in Argentina, has been found dead in his home in Buenos Aires. Decent people should be appalled
BY DAVID HOROVITZ for The Times of Israel
On August 14, 1993, in Mashad, Iran’s second-largest city, the Iranian leadership’s “Committee for Special Operations” or “Omure Vijeh Committee,” convened to discuss its ongoing problems with Argentina — and specifically the flamboyant president, Carlos Menem

Reorienting Argentina’s policy, moving his country closer to the West and to Israel, the Syrian-born Menem had severed the hitherto fruitful partnership between Buenos Aires and Tehran on all matters nuclear, first suspending and then terminating the training of Iranian nuclear technicians in Argentina and the transfer of nuclear technology to Iran.

Iran had brutally shown its fury at Menem’s betrayal in 1992, when it organized the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, in which 29 people were killed. The August 1993 meeting determined that a further terrorist assault on Menem’s country was necessary. A Buenos Aires-based Iranian “diplomat,” Mohsen Rabbani, had flown in for the meeting with a list of three potential targets. AMIA, the multi-story Jewish community center office building, was the first of the three to be discussed, and it was approved.

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Jewish Radio and TV in the US and Israel

Jewish Radio - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 1:00pm
We're adding Jewish Internet TV into the radio mix.  For our first offering, check out TJC, The Jewish Channel

To hear quality Jewish music, news and other radio programming, visit these stations online:

Israel National Radio An online broadcast from Israel of the latest news, music, comedy and more all live and in English. Part of ArutzSheva.Jewish Rock Radio Jewish Rock Radio broadcasts contemporary Jewish rock music from all over the world.  It has moved over to an app format for both Droid and iTunes.  

WJEW Streaming from Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  An unusual station in that its run entirely by the teens of its congregation, Temple Israel.  The station plays a tight mix of Jewish music from Hip Hop to Israeli and contomprorary Jewish service music.  Interviews with Jewish artists such as Matisyahu and talks shows by Jewish teens for Jewish teens.

ShoutCast.com is a free Jewish Internet Radio site with popular online radio stations playing a variety of Jewish music on MP3s.
Nachum Segal Network

The Nachum Segal Stream is now online 24/6 and is always free! See the Stream Schedule below. Now you can stream Jewish music and shows all day / everyday.

Arutz Sheva is a full website along with radio programs on topics from music, to comedy, life lessons, Torah, Temple Talk and so much more. The full website offers past newscasts as well as listening live in addition to the full range of news and topics on Judaism.

WUST Jewish Community Radio A gem of a local program out of Washington DC.  This one hour broadcast on Sunday mornings from 10-11 with Estelle Deutsch Abraham is a lively mix of songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and other languages from Jewish traditions all over the world.  Estelle often gives her own spin and features words and concepts of the day.  It’s also available to listen any time online.
New York Jewish Radio New York Jewish Radio has it all, from children’s programming, to news to a variety of Jewish music.Jewish World RadioFrom Central Florida, Jewish World Radio is an Orthodox station that provides Torah teachings, news, kabbalah and music in English, Spanish and Hebrew.
Too Jewish RadioA station originating in Tuscon, Arizona, this show is broadcast weekly by Rabbi Sam Cohon and highlights everything interesting in contemporary Jewish life and features music, the arts, culture, comedy and inspiration.  Too Jewish is a blend of information, irreverence, and exploration of all things Jewish in the 21st century.  The show has featured such prominent guests as Neil Dedaka, Kinky Friedman, Elie Wiesel, Lily Tomlin, Peter Yarrow, Nina Totenberg, Gabrielle Giffords, Rabbis Harold Kushner and Shmuley Boteach, Matisyaho and many more.
JVeltRadio A link to free streaming Jewish music with many stations and streams.

JewishBroadcast.comMostly music, run by an Orthodox constituency, so music is heavily influenced by various Hassidic sects but also cantorial and contemporary Jewish (male) music.  Also broadcasts under the moniker Yidlive.JewishRadio.comContains a list of some of the Jewish radio resources on the Internet.Punk Torah RadioPromotes music from Jewish artists all over the spectrum: rock, pop, indie, commercial– with or without Jewish subject matter.  Its mix features music from JDub artists Girls in Trouble, DeLeon, CAN!!CAN, Sagol 59, and The Sway Machinery. Other artists/bands include Matisyahu, Mirah, Rilo Kiley, Animal Collective, and more.

The Forward Hour For all you Yiddish lovers out there, the Forward, yes the once Yiddish publication, carries a host of radio programs, current and archived, for your Yiddish listening pleasure.

Why my grandfather – and my dad – marched in Selma

Jewish Israeli News - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 9:23am
Rabbi Leon Jick heeded Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to action and set an example for future generations.
By Zoe Jick in Haaretz

My late grandfather, Leon Jick, a Reform rabbi and a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, was among the cohort of clergy who took an active role in the civil rights activism alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On June 18, 1964, my grandfather and several other rabbis were arrested in Saint Augustine, Florida for their participation in integrated prayer at a local restaurant. The group then penned a letter from jail titled "Why We Went."

Later, when Dr. King sounded the call for clergy to participate in the march in Selma, my grandfather not only made immediate travel arrangements, but also invited my 15-year-old father to join him. In doing so, my grandfather demonstrated that his own involvement was not enough: He wanted to set a dugma ishit, a personal example, to ensure that the allegiance he felt to the civil rights movement would be passed as a value to future generations.

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Torahportion Reform - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Exodus 10:1−13:16

Learning and Acting on the Lessons of the Exodus
D'var Torah By Rabbi Peter S. Knobel for ReformJudaism.org

In this portion the plagues come to a devastating end. The final plague is the death of the first males born of humans and animals: only the Israelites are spared.

 Moses said: "Thus says the Eternal: Toward midnight I will go forth among the Egyptians, and every [male] first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the first-born of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; and all the first-born of the cattle." (Exodus 11:4-5)

The plague of the death of the firstborn is deeply disturbing. The loss of human and animal life appears to be extremely cruel. At the time, it seems to have been the necessary condition for the liberation of our ancestors from Egyptian slavery. The stark irony is that the liberation of human beings from slavery almost never comes without the loss of life. Rarely are oppressors willing to relinquish their power peacefully. They seem hell-bent on inflicting death and devastation not only on those they oppress, but also on the whole population under their control. In this portion we can envision God as having warned Pharaoh and his courtiers nine times with increasingly severe consequences. But it is only after God destroys all the firstborn males that Pharaoh gets the message.

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Torahportion Recon - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Exodus 10:1−13:16

Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Humility vs. Humiliation
This week's Torah portion, Bo, includes the final three plagues brought against Pharaoh and Egypt as well as the first Passover seder meal (observed by the Israelites as the horror of the tenth plague coursed through Egypt). The parashah ends with the Israelites starting their journey out of Egypt after having lived there for 430 years.

The story is familiar. And yet, as with all narratives of the Torah, if one pays attention to the text with one's heart and soul one can find a myriad of truths within it. Just as no two people are exactly alike, neither are two truths.

The truth that I became mindful of while reading the parashah was sparked by Exodus 12:31-32. After the horror of the tenth plague has been visited upon Egypt Moses and Aaron are summoned to Pharaoh's house where Pharaoh says to them, "Up, depart from among my people, you and the Israelites with you! Go, worship the Lord as you said! Take also your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone! And may you bring a blessing upon me also!"

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Torahportion Conserv - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Exodus 10:1−13:16

Ready For Renewal
Like the Israelites who left Egypt and faced the terrifying choices of freedom, modern Jews face the challenge of responsibly establishing new guidelines and directions for the Jewish community.
By Rabbi Bradley Artson, provided by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, for MyJewishLearning.com
Ours is an age of unparalleled uncertainty.

While we ransack the past and its accumulated wisdom for guidance today, we also know that the degree of change in every aspect of our lives is without precedent. Groping in the dark, treading uncertainly down a path not previously taken, modern humanity doesn't know its destination and isn't even sure it is enjoying the trip. And we have good cause for our doubts.

Consider the degree of changes that this century alone has witnessed. At the turn of the century, a mere ninety years ago--a single lifetime really--wars were fought using foot soldiers, ships and bullets. Tanks, planes, missiles, nuclear bombs, space satellites, submarines, all of these techniques of killing are new to our time.

Advances in Science

We think nothing of picking up a phone and calling anywhere in the world, we schedule a flight halfway around the globe and get there within hours. We are preceded by the forms we had our office fax, which arrive there with the speed of the spoken word!  If we like something we read, we copy it--no big deal. Few type anymore, at least not into typewriters. When I was a freshman in college, only the wealthy students had electric typewriters. Now everybody has their own personal computer.

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Living with my French cousin exposed me to the fears of Jews living in France.

Teens - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Anti-Semitism Is A Real-life Drama
by: Sarah Nahmias in FreshInkforTeens

In September I went with my school to protest the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “The Death of Klinghoffer” at Lincoln Center in New York City. A woman approached me and asked what Klinghoffer had to do with the Met and what our protest was about. I explained to her that in 1985 terrorists hijacked an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, and shot and killed the wheelchair-bound passenger Leon Klinghoffer. The Met’s fall schedule included an opera that the protestors believed romanticized his murder and glorified terrorism.

Opera is one of the most highly praised, expressive and influential forms of art, and the people who attend are sometimes ones who shape our society and influence public perceptions. Here is a renowned opera company in New York City portraying an incident that says, “Terrorists? They’re not so bad.” Yet, the woman I was talking with didn’t seem bothered. She said we shouldn’t be making such a big deal about the opera because there isn’t any anti-Semitism in America to be worried about. I said that her claim may pertain to Jews in America, but not Jews throughout the rest of the world.

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Students from Across US Visit Israel on Leadership Mission

Students - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
By: Jspace Staff

A group of campus leaders from 16 universities across America traveled to Israel on an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mission, giving college students an up-close look at the complex issues within Israel and the Middle East.

The 18 pupils in the annual ADL Campus Leaders Mission to Israel spent eight days in Israel from December 30 to January 6 where they visited Christian and Jewish holy sites, met with decision-makers, government and military officials, diplomats, journalists, religious figures, business people, Israeli and Palestinian students, and ordinary Israelis, both Arab and Jewish.

“Our mission enables some of America’s best and brightest campus leaders to better understand modern Israeli politics and society, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an appreciation for the complexity and nuances of the region.” said Michael A. Salberg, ADL Director of International Affairs. “Many of the students have a great deal of legitimate questions regarding the intricacies on the ground, and this is an incredible opportunity for them to delve right into it and experience the essence first hand.”

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Transgender woman denied entry to Western Wall

LGBT - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Ynet News

After being banned from women’s section of holy site, Kay Long approaches men’s section only to be yelled at and told to enter section that had already rejected her.
When Kay Long came to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday she naturally approached the women's section - as her life as a man seemed like a far-off piece of history. However, at the entrance to the holy site she was approached by one of the organizers at the women's section and was denied entrance.

Entering the men's section was out of the question for Long, who does not identify with the male gender any longer. Therefore Long was forced to give up on her visit to the Western Wall and her wish to place a note between the ancient Jerusalem stones. "God will also hear me from another place," said Long.

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An Expecting Mother of Twins Seeks Advice

Kids - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Maurie Backman for Kveller

I recently wrote a piece (OK, more like a rant) about the strange and often unhelpful advice I’ve been getting from random strangers with regard to my twin pregnancy. But then I realized: What better place to reach out for actual twin advice than Kveller? So with that in mind, I’ve compiled some questions that have, until now, sort of just been floating around haphazardly in my head. If you’re a parent of twins, please be so kind as to help this mama out!

1. Is exclusive breastfeeding realistic?

That’s the route I took with my son, but how exactly does it work with twins? Do I force them to eat at the same time? Take turns? And what happens when they’re old enough to squirm away? Do I just one-hand each of ‘em and use all my strength to keep them in place while praying that some of my milk magically winds up in their mouths?

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Saving Jewish Graves

Traditions - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Salvaging a Pakistani-Jewish Identity
by Erica Lyons for AsianJewishLife.org
Karachi’s Magen Shalom Synagogue was demolished in July 1988, to make way for
the Madiha Square shopping mall. The majority of Pakistan’s Jewish community had already dwindled and left this now hostile environment and the remaining Jews there live in virtual
anonymity. While the history of the
community has been documented, there are few remaining monuments. There is perhaps though one seemingly unlikely champion for this lost community, Faisal Benkhal. He now chooses to be identified by the adopted name Fishel and he has taken on the task of attempting to preserve, clean and restore the Jewish cemetery in Mewah Shah Karachi.

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Categories: All

The Holocaust Survivor Klezmer and Multicultural Band Does Las Vegas

Jewish Music - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Performs with B’way star Dudu Fisher for casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, IDF legend E. Lebovitz, former camp inmates
By Louie Lazar for Tablet Magazine

This past April, Saul Dreier, a retired real-estate man now living in Coconut Creek, Fla., read an article about the death of Alice Herz-Sommer, a 110-year-old survivor and accomplished pianist who’d survived a concentration camp by playing music. When Saul read it, he woke up his wife—he had an idea. “Clara!” he cried, “I have to do something!” He told her about Alice’s life story and that he wanted to start a Holocaust survivor band in her honor.

“You’re crazy,” his wife said.

A few days later, Dreier, who was born in Krakow, and survived Mauthausen and two other Nazi concentration camps between 1942 and 1945, approached his rabbi after Shabbat services. He repeated the story he’d told his wife and explained how he’d felt inspired to start a band.

“You’re crazy,” his rabbi said.

After thinking about it, Saul concluded, “I don’t care who says what crazy, how crazy, I’m putting together this band.”

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Lamb Supreme Cholent

Jewish Cooking - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
By Shannon Sarna for MyJewishLearning.com

Lamb shanks and special spices like coriander, tumeric and paprika gives this cholent an extra flare.


3 lbs lamb shanks
4 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 onions, diced
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cups water
Fresh mint and parsley (optional) Continue reading.

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I Was Shamed For Breastfeeding in a Synagogue

Family - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
B.J. Epstein for Kveller

I’m not a religious person, though being Jewish is meaningful to me. So when on a recent visit to see my relatives in the States, my wife, daughter, and I were asked to attend Shabbat services with them, we agreed. I thought it would be a nice opportunity to connect to my background. But by the end of the evening, I deeply regretted going, and I wish I didn’t feel that way.

The issue was not about the religiosity of the evening, or the specific prayers offered or songs sung. It wasn’t about the cheesy but sweet music played. Or even the lateness of the evening, considering we’d just flown from the UK to the US and could barely keep our eyes open. The issue, surprisingly enough, was breastfeeding.

For me, Judaism is about family. I think of Jews as being family-oriented (not, of course, that people of other cultures or religions aren’t also family-focused; I just find that Judaism means family to me). So I assumed that families, and all that families entail, would be warmly welcomed in synagogue.

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A Zionist Novel

Jewish Books - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
The Betrayers: A NovelBy David Bezmozgis
Little, Brown and Company, 240 pages

Note:  Last week's blog about Soviet authors included mention of Bezmozgis

by Marat Grinberg for Commentary

Though he is often grouped with other American authors of Soviet Jewish lineage, notably Gary Shteyngart and Larisa Vapnyar, the novelist and short-story writer David Bezmozgis bears little relation to either or to anyone else. Stylistically, his prose is laconic. Aesthetically, he shuns postmodern games. Thematically, he does not fetishize the Soviet past or dwell on it obsessively. Most important, Jewishness is central to his work. Rather than treating it as something negative and superficial, or as an occasion for a mordant joke, Bezmozgis imbues Jewishness with rich meaning—historical, cultural, psychological, and moral. His first novel, The Free World (2012), is an uneven but unflinching work that depicts with tragic and poignant honesty a family of Soviet Jewish immigrants stuck in Rome on their way to America. Bezmozgis’s second novel, The Betrayers, firmly establishes him as a rare voice of moral seriousness in current American literature—and as perhaps the only philosophically Zionist novelist now at work in America.

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What is The Mothers Circle?

Interfaith - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
The Mothers Circle is an umbrella of free educational programs and resources for women of other religious backgrounds raising Jewish children within the context of intermarriage or a committed relationship. These five Mothers Circle programs explore the “how-tos” and meaning behind raising Jewish children, empowering mothers through education and support, and reminding them that the Jewish community is there behind their choice to raise Jewish children. You can sign up to learn more and request materials at the bottom of The Mothers Circle homepage.

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Tu Bishvat is Coming February 4

Holidays - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am

Sustaining Resistance: How My Everyday Practices Make My Everyday Activism Possible

Going Green Jewishly - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
By Yaira A. Robinson for Zeek

  •     “We do this because the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning.” —Sandra Cisneros

We do this — the work of tikkun olam

Because the world we live in is a house on fire: Racism. Hunger. Economic Justice. Climate. Education. Domestic Violence. Poverty. More.

And the people we love are: Oppressed. Attacked. Desperately poor. Sick. Afraid. Hungry. Vulnerable. Suffering.

Burning. The people we love and the world we live in are burning.

Sometimes, this is how it feels — like the world is on fire — and in the face of systemic racism, climate change, or the widening gap between rich and poor, it’s difficult to see what difference my individual actions could possibly make. I pour my heart into work for a better world, often with no tangible immediate results.

I suppose I could just watch TV and drink beer. Or maybe go shopping, like all the advertisements tell me I should. (Yes! What would make me really happy is a diamond bracelet!)

That’s not real, though. Escapism and consumerism don’t solve anything — least of all, the questions or yearning of my heart.

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Wagner and the Jews

Feature Article - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:00am
Two centuries after the great composer’s birth, his anti-Semitism remains a bitterly contested issue. Perhaps that’s because neither his defenders nor his detractors have come to grips with its, or his, true nature.
By Nathan Shields for Mosaic Magazine

In 2013, as the classical-music world lurched from crisis to crisis, with orchestras on strike and opera companies vanishing into thin air, the bicentennial of the birth of the towering German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) offered a brilliant exception to the prevailing gloom. Productions of his operas filled houses from Seattle to Buenos Aires, and the great companies of Europe and the United States vied to present ever grander stagings of the colossal 15-hour cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. At a time when so many preeminent musical institutions are collapsing into bankruptcy or labor disputes, Wagner is one institution that seems to endure.

Yet Wagner’s powerfully continuing appeal in terms of dollars spent and seats filled is only a part, and the less important part, of his enduring significance. Wagner has always been remarkable not only for the breadth but for the depth of his impact, a depth that can be measured both by the intensity of the devotion that his works inspire and by the fact that his devotees have included many of the intellectual and political elite of Western society. When his fame was at its zenith in the latter part of the 19th century, his most fervent admirers were as varied as the young Friedrich Nietzsche, the poet Charles Baudelaire, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who helped to bankroll Wagner’s great festival in the northern Bavarian town of Bayreuth.

Today the Bayreuth festival, dedicated exclusively to Wagner’s works, stands at the apex of German cultural life, counting Chancellor Angela Merkel among its regular guests, while the years surrounding the recent bicentennial witnessed an outpouring of reflections on and encomia to the composer from figures as divergent as the Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek and the Pope.

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No more apologies for Israel

Jewish Israeli News - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:44am
By Steve Frank for The Jerusalem Post

I have recently returned from a visit to Israel and can report that the state of the State of Israel is excellent.  How, one might ask, can this be when Israel fought another deadly round of war in Gaza just this past summer and random acts of terrorism in Jerusalem suggest another intifada may be imminent?  When the President of the United States inexplicably, but consistently, singles out Israel as the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East?  The answer lies in my confidence that the people of Israel have the courage and wisdom to do what is necessary to ensure their own security - - regardless of what others may say or do.

Israel is the subject of severe criticism on many fronts.  It is attacked for its “occupation” of the West Bank, for its building of Jewish “settlements” in that territory, for its construction of a security wall to thwart terrorist attacks, and for its “disproportional” response to rockets fired from Gaza at its citizens - - just a few of the common charges directed at Israel.  It is characterized as a racist, apartheid society.

Of course, these, and other similar slanders against Israel are simply wrong as a matter of fact.  But I won’t go into a rebuttal of these baseless claims here or anywhere else for that matter.  I have come to believe that the time for an apologetic defense of the State of Israel is over.  Indeed, Naftali Bennett, a popular Israeli leader, recently launched a  pro-Israel “no apologies” media campaign.  I’m on board. 

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