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More than 100 young Israelis convened in the Knesset's spacious auditorium two weeks ago. They came to hear a lecture on the legislative process, and appeared to be very keen on hearing what the lecturer had to say, taking extensive notes. This was the first day of 'classes' in what has been dubbed the 'Knesset Academy for Parliamentary Aides.' The new institution is the brainchild of Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who has also renamed the job. From now on parliamentary aides are to be called 'parliamentary advisers.'
Updated: Jun. 10, 2015
It’s been a long time coming, but Limmud, the global Jewish learning movement, will hold its first big bash ever in Tel Aviv this week. More than 120 sessions are scheduled for the two-day event that opens Thursday morning and will be held at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Ruth Daniel Residence in Jaffa. According to local organizers, hundreds of participants have registered to participate in Limmud TLV, though barely a handful among them from outside the country.
Updated: May. 21, 2015
To make for a rich Tikkun Leyl Shavuot experience, Limmud Chavruta Team volunteers have compiled Chavruta study materials on the theme of 'Revelation'. You can study these sources in pairs or in groups anywhere - at home, in a community building, in a coffee shop, or even outdoors, if the weather is good enough! And do share this with others or use them with your community. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers, simply enjoy the learning, knowing that fellow Limmudniks around the world are learning the same texts in their communities.
Updated: May. 21, 2015
Many American Jews – third and fourth generation immigrants – carry within them the distant echo of their parents’ and grandparents’ Judaism. They know that there are stories to tell but can’t remember the major plot lines let alone the sacred details. They know that there was a Jewish song that guided and propelled, that healed and held for many generations, but they have no idea how to access the memory of that song. Our grandparents and great-grandparents came to Ellis Island clutching sacred books, memories, recipes and traditions. Their children tossed them overboard to become American, go to drive-ins and play baseball. But now many of us, uber-American, find ourselves wondering if there may have been anything in those forgotten books that could help us navigate life’s most challenging questions.
Updated: Apr. 15, 2015
To celebrate Limmud’s 35th year, eJewishPhilanthropy is offering a look into Jewish communities around the world, through the eyes of Limmud volunteers. Limmud, the global grassroots Jewish learning movement which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1980, is today in 80 communities and 40 countries. This installment focuses on Limmuds in Jewish communities with ancient roots in central Europe which had been under Nazi occupation followed by Communist domination and are today seeing a renaissance – Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland.
Updated: Apr. 02, 2015
The typical Jew in a Western country today may be a highly educated professional, but is Jewishly only semi-literate. His (or her) Jewish education was from a Sunday school, or afternoon congregational school. Forgetting about the quality of that education, it is extremely limited in its intensity, and usually not much reinforced at home or by the suburban environment in which so many Jews live. Many Jews cannot read Hebrew at all; of those who can, many can sound out the words, but without comprehension. Is this “The People of the Book?” Is it any wonder, then, that with so much Jewish illiteracy, so many Jews feel estranged from Jewish life, and do not have a strong stake in raising Jewish children?
Updated: Feb. 12, 2015
Young people of Russian background, coming from secular homes and with little or no formal Jewish education, are considered among the most unaffiliated and at-risk of American Jews in terms of Jewish identity. But a comprehensive new study of that cohort finds that a Brooklyn-based program founded in 2006 to address the problem has produced some striking results.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2015
Historian Deborah Lipstadt, Best-Selling Author Ari Shavit and Hollywood Comic Avi Liberman to Join Thousands at Limmud Conference 2014
Thousands of Jews from 27 countries are converging at Limmud Conference 2014. Encompassing “Jew Year’s Eve,” the global movement’s flagship learning festival will take place at University of Warwick in Coventry, from December 28, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015. Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, best-selling author and Israeli political analyst Ari Shavit, and Hollywood comedian Avi Liberman will join former Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevich, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky, and Palestinian human rights activists Aziz Abu Sarah and Bassem Eid.
Updated: Jan. 01, 2015
Judaism is a religion that starts in the home. From the signs we put on the doorpost to our houses to the way we eat, interact with guests, and celebrate the cycles of the week and year, the home serves as the focal point for our culture, religion, and identity. From November 14-16, 28 residents, alumni, and community members of Moishe Houses across Europe and the Former Soviet Union, from nearly a dozen different countries, gathered on the outskirts of Budapest to discuss ‘What exactly makes a home Jewish?’
Updated: Dec. 23, 2014
On the surface, the tour looked much like a standard Birthright Israel trip: Participants celebrated Shabbat in Jerusalem’s Old City, swam in the Dead Sea and ascended the ancient mountain fortress at Masada. The trip was mostly free and organizers were prepared with follow-up programming after the participants returned home. But the nearly 200 women who arrived in Jerusalem last week weren’t there for one of the free 10-day Jewish identity-building trips that Birthright has operated for more than a decade. They were participants in what has been described as Birthright for Jewish moms, an eight-day tour of the Jewish state for mothers.
Updated: Dec. 21, 2014