Women of the Wall, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut

Women of the Wall, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut

Baruch Kraus is the Principal of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. In these weekly postings, he gives a description and rundown of what the group is doing day to day, which he hopes sheds some light on what the EIE experience is like. As many of you have seen on our Facebook page, Ten Minutes of Torah, and the RJ blog, we were at the Kotel for the historic event on Monday at the Kotel, when the Women of the Wall read Torah from a full-sized Torah that is part of the collection of Torah scrolls for use at […]

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Juliet Pesner and Anat Hoffman

An American Teenager Helps Make History at the Western Wall

Juliet P is a high school junior from Newton, MA. Rarely does a 16-year-old Jewish girl from suburban Massachusetts get the chance to look back on her day and recognize that she helped make history. She didn’t just talk about it or write about it; she actually experienced it, and all before 9:00 a.m. On Monday, April 20th, 2015, I participated in an event that will hopefully mark revolutionary change in the Jewish world: Women of all Jewish denominations brought a full-size d Torah scroll onto the women’s side of the Western Wall and, for the first time in history, conducted […]

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Celebrating an Historic Rosh Chodesh with Women of the Wall

Celebrating an Historic Rosh Chodesh with Women of the Wall

Ariella Kronish is the Director of Jewish studies for NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. I woke up bright and early on Monday morning to head to the Western Wall with my students, participants in the NFTY-EIE study abroad program in Israel. At 7:00 a.m. sharp (OK, maybe we were a few minutes late…), we joined Women of the Wall for prayer services in honor of Rosh Chodesh, which marks the beginning of the new month of the Jewish calendar. We were tired and hungry, but also curious and enthusiastic – and we had no idea of the excitement that lay […]

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Commanded to Survive: Understanding Jewish Life Before and After the Shoah

Maya S. is a high school sophomore. She is a member of Temple Shalom in Newton, MA, is active in NFTY-NE, and attends URJ Eisner Camp. Before 1933, life for the Jews in Europe was filled with rich Jewish culture. Jews often lived in shtetls(small Jewish villages) or chose to assimilate into secular society. For the most part, life was good – until Adolf Hitler. Soon, they became victims of the Nazis, whose macabre mission was to exterminate the Jews and all others who did not fit their vision of a purified race. I recently spent five days on a trip […]

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Pesach and Hiking from Sea to Sea

Baruch Kraus is the Principal of the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel. In these weekly postings, he gives a description and rundown of what the group is doing day to day, which he hopes sheds some light on what the EIE experience is like. Our kids had a great Pesach week, staring with the Seder at families, hiking and camping out in the Galilee, and ending Saturday night at a Mimouna celebration in the city of Modiin. Mimouna, a North African custom, is an end-of-Passover festival that is native to the Moroccan Jewish community. The celebration symbolizes not only the […]

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Why I Love Teaching at NFTY-EIE

David Alon is a Jewish History teacher with NFTY-EIE. Today he writes about why he loves teaching for the program. “David, you should really teach this stuff. Seriously, this should be your job somehow, to teach people about Israel.” Those were the words of my good friend Ora back in 2004, not long after we had made aliyah and were studying together in Hebrew ulpan. It was true, I always had a passion for learning about Israel and going on tiyulim around the country. It seemed to make sense to me that everything I learned about Jewish history could surely be […]

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The Only Blinding Light

Rudy B. is a junior from Berkeley, CA. She is a member of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, is active in NFTY-CWR, and goes to Camp Newman. Last week, she traveled on a pilgrimage to Poland with the Spring 2015 class. She writes about her experiences. I think back to 2 weeks ago, and I try to find the words to write about Israel’s exciting election day, our visit to ancient crusader castles, or our time exploring the mysticism in Tsfat. However, no matter how hard I try, my mind is clouded with thoughts and images from this past week, […]

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What are You Grateful For?

Vivien Braly recently traveled to Israel on the Spring 2015 Parents’ Pilgrimage with her husband, daughter, and father, visiting her son Jonah. She shares some reflections from her visit. A bumper sticker I often see around my Northern California town says “What Are You Grateful For?” It’s a reference to the Grateful Dead (meh…a band I’ve never fully appreciated) but the sentiment I love. Being grateful. I always flash to my children’s faces when I see it. It is the face of our eldest son, Jonah, who I’ve been missing lately. He left for the Spring 2015 NFTY-EIE High School in […]

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