Archive by Author

Anat Hoffman’s Biennial Address: “More Than One Way to Be Jewish”



[Editor’s Note: This address was given by Noa Sattath on behalf of Anat Hoffman, director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, on Saturday night at the URJ Biennial.] Anat lost her voice. Despite all the remedies and chicken soup suggested by many in this conference, she can’t speak. […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Jacobs Goes to Jerusalem



Last week, I was proud to welcome to Israel our partner from the URJ, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. We visited the Knesset together and we had formal meetings with nineteen Knesset Members from both the left and the right. Rick expressed the URJ’s love and commitment to Israel. It was an opportunity for Knesset members to […]

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Spectacular Chutzpa



An open letter to Rabbi Miri Gold Dear Rabbi Gold, I’m writing you today to beg for more of your patience.  I know you and your congregation, Birkat Shalom, believed that winning an unprecedented verdict in May 2012 meant that you would receive a state salary like all male Orthodox rabbis in the Gezer region.  Our […]

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Israel Has Election Fever



The holidays are over and Israel is open for business. The relative quiet that characterizes the chaggim has been replaced by the type of chaos that only politics can create. Israel is going to have early elections on January 22, 2013. The Knesset will be dissolved and Israelis will have a chance to vote for […]

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Victory in Court for an Unlikely Hero



Ariella Marsden is a hero. This brave 15-year-old girl from the town of Beit Shemesh recently won a landmark court case that shook the ultra-Orthodox world. One day, riding home from school on a public bus, Ariella took a seat in the front of the bus. A few ultra-Orthodox men also boarded the bus and […]

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A Shameful Day at the Western Wall



Yesterday four women were detained at the Western Wall, each for wearing a tallit. The authorities say they were disturbing the public peace according to regulation 201 A4 of the Israeli legal code. The punishment for this crime is six months in prison. They also broke regulation 287A by performing a religious act that “offends […]

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From Jerusalem to Maple Lake: Anat Hoffman Visits Camp George



URJ Camp George in Canada doesn’t pay a water bill. This is my 4th summer as faculty at URJ Camp George, and I can’t get used to the absence of a water bill. While in Israel, the water bill is one of the biggest expenses in our movement’s summer camp (Havaya), Camp George simply pumps all […]

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How is this box different from all other boxes?



Ask anyone in humanitarian aid circles what is the most useful tool for fundraising and the answer will almost always be “the camera.” Whether or not it is possible to raise funds without taking photos of people in often desperate situations is the question that now rocks the Israeli NGO community. Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s Minister […]

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A Tree Grows in Beit Shemesh



After a surprising snowfall in Jerusalem last Shabbat, this week we got a preview of spring. The sun was shining and the wildflowers were in bloom. There are few things more beautiful than a field full of wild tulips, primrose, and cormorants. For many years it was an Israeli custom to pick these flowers and […]

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