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WRJ 2015 Mission to Israel: An Ever-Evolving Landscape

by Rozan Anderson and Lizabeth McOsker Perhaps you followed our travels on Facebook a few weeks ago as six of us from the WRJ Executive Committee traveled to Israel. Our delegation included WRJ President Blair C. Marks, First Vice President Susan C. Bass, Vice President Abigail S. Fisher, and Executive Director Rabbi Marla J. Feldman. […]

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A Blessing for My Niece on Her Bat Mitzvah

by Sharon Mann To my dear niece, Although I am unable to be with you in person on this special day, I will be with you in spirit, thinking of you as you are called to the Torah for the first time. As I sit at my home in Israel, far from you, I am […]

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The Right to Wear a Kippah in Israel

by Liya Rechtman I don’t remember the first time I skimmed my skull with a bobby pin and pushed a circle of knitted white cloth and strands of hair into its metal clasp. Wearing a kippah felt like a natural extension of the Jewish history I was learning and the Hebrew grammar and vocabulary that was […]

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Left Out: News from the Western Wall

by Jonathan Edelman When I had the chance go to the Kotel, or the Western Wall, I was able to walk up to the men’s section, find an open section of wall, and run my hands over the coarse, grey stone that I’d heard about ever since I learned the letter aleph. I had an […]

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I Want a Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel!

by Doris Schyman On October 24th, Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, 12-year-old Sasha Lutt of Beer Sheva read from a Torah, completing the first ever full bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Irina Lutt, the proud mother who moved to Israel from Russia when Sasha was just a baby, looked on and supported her daughter during […]

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An Arizona Congregation Forms a New Kind of “Israel Bonds”

by Bonnie Golden This article originally appeared at the Arizona Jewish Post. It highlights the experience of one woman with the WRJ-Israel Twinning Program.  Jews of a certain age might share similar early impressions of Israel. In Chicago, where I grew up, the young congregants at Lawn Manor Hebrew Congregation were inculcated with a firm commitment to […]

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Living Near a War Zone

by Rabbi Ayala R. Samuels Several friends and family members have sent emails with words of support and empathy, and have asked about my thoughts and experiences during this time of war. It is hard for me to reflect upon my reality in a coherent and insightful manner. It is even more difficult to be […]

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Reflections on the National Leadership Assembly for Israel

by Rosanne M. Selfon with Sharon K. Benoff, Jeanne W. Kahn, Rachel Maryn, and Helene H. Waranch Inspiring, exciting, honored and distinguished… these words describe how our five WRJ representatives to Monday’s National Leadership Assembly for Israel felt as they joined several hundred Jewish leaders from across North America at the National Press Club in […]

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Thoughts from Israel as “Operation Protective Edge” Continues

by Rabbi Stanley M. Davids As the tragedy in Gaza and throughout Israel continues to unfold, it might be helpful to share some of our personal experiences and feelings.  You certainty don’t need our letters to get the latest facts on the ground, though it is obvious to us that much of what is being reported as facts by multiple sources throughout the world may fall […]

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Under Siege: Jerusalem

by Resa and Rabbi Stanley Davids We made Aliyah on February 22, 2004. We were sitting in our taxi happily chatting about our decision to center our lives in Israel when we approached our new home. As we slowed to make a turn, we looked right and saw a destroyed bus stop. Earlier that day, […]

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