Blogs

Last Chance: Hirshbein's Drama, Now In English

“On the Other Side of the River” opens promisingly: eerie bell-like music plays softly, and the set, three flats covered with stiffened, rippling gray gauze, seems to suggest a cave receding in the distance – until the lights come up, transforming them into a river, in a beautiful union of lighting and scenic design. 

Jane Cortney as Mir’l. Courtesy New Worlds Theater Project. Hunter Canning

A Chanukah Miracle For Allan Gross

"Hag sameach."  Those were the first words of the newly freed Alan Gross at his Washington press conference Wednesday afternoon.

After five years in a Cuban prison for trying to smuggle Internet equipment to the communist country's tiny Jewish community, he was freed as part of a dramatic change in relations between Havana and Washington..

Gross gave special thanks to the Greater Washington Jewish Community Relations Council and its executive director, Ron Halber, for their ongoing campaign for his freedom.

Meet King David At The Metropolitan Museum

 Elie Wiesel describes the Bible as “the pull of my childhood, a fascination with the vanished world, and I can find everything except that world.”

I feel much the same way, which is why the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age” so thrilled me. The premise of the exhibit isn’t Israel or the Bible.  Rather, it explores cross-cultural interaction and global communication during the Assyrian Empire from roughly 1200 – 400 BCE, the time period that many major Biblical events took place. 

"House of David" inscription, ca. 830 BCE,Israel Antiquities Authority, courtesy of The Israel Museum. Meidad Suchowolski

Eight Ways To Build A More Inclusive Community

It’s Chanukah, and we’re thinking in eights. Here are eight steps we all can take towards making a more inclusive community for people of all abilities all year long.

1. Use People-First Language: The words used to describe us have an impact on our lives. One important change that many of us can make is to shift how we talk about people with disabilities — doing so helps to shift our perspectives and see the whole person. Put the person before the disability. David is a child who has autism, not an autistic child. Click here for resources to help guide you in using people-first language.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

An Exchange Of Gifts

I became aware of this man – I’ll call him Joe – as he often sat across from me at the cafeteria-style eatery we both frequented. Around four decades older than I, he was no shrinking violet. If I had my daily paper spread out to the side of and behind my bagel, egg and coffee meal, he’d say something like, “Do you think I could have a couple inches of the table?” 

Rather than get annoyed, I liked his feistiness and I would quickly move my paper to give him as much room as possible.

Alan Magill

Chanukah Resources For All Children

Chanukah is here! Have your children forgotten the blessings since last year? Do they need to brush up on their Chanukah skills? Do you need some activities for that Chanukah bash you are throwing? Look no further!

Below is a list of resources for everything you will need to make Chanukah accessible and fun, for everyone:

Learning about Chanukah. Courtesy of Gateways

Zeldin To Co-Chair House GOP Israel Caucus

Congressman-elect Lee Zeldin of Long Island, the only Jewish Republican in the incoming 114th Congress, was elected co-chair of the 100-member House Republican Caucus. 

Other co-chairs are Reps Peter Roskam of Illinois, Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Leonard Lance of New Jersey. 

Roskam, in announcing the appointment, stressed the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel but made no mention of the search for peace with the Palestinians.

Light Up, It's Chanukah In Washington

Joe Biden won't be riding the cherry picker to the top of the National Menorah Tuesday afternoon; instead he'll light the a symbolic shames candle from the ground while others will ride up to light the first candle of Hanukah for the 4 p.m. ceremony on the Ellipse behind he White House.

Lost And Found Klezmer

Whiny trills of klezmer music reverberate from the towering coffered ceiling of the Museum at Eldridge Street as five firmly concentrating Israeli musicians connect deeply to their Jewish roots through the song of klezmer. Their focused brows and eased smiles signify the technicalities and synchronous timing of their music, as well as their delight in performing it. This is 12th Night Music, a quintet of highly creative classically trained Israeli musicians.

Clarinetist Avigail Malachi accompanied by Elad Kabilio on cello. Anna Shneyderman

Holiday Gifts For Children Of All Abilities

Chanukah is a time to spend with friends and family lighting candles, eating delicious foods and exchanging gifts. When buying gifts for children and adolescents with autism always ask parents for gift suggestions. They can tell you about the child’s dietary restrictions, interests, and strengths and weaknesses. If you do not feel comfortable asking parents for holiday shopping advice, observe what toys, games, books, electronic appliances the child seems to enjoy. Parents will always appreciate having another one of their child’s favorite item readily available in case it is damaged. 

Dr. Frances Victory
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