Israel

‘I Love Israel, But Does Israel Love Me?’

Signs of growing disconnect between U.S. Jews and Israel evident at global Jewish think tank conference.

05/27/2015
Editor and Publisher

The four hours of discussion on U.S.-Israel-diaspora Jewry relations was winding down as the dinner hour approached at the annual JPPI (Jewish People Policy Institute) Brainstorming Conference last Monday afternoon in Glen Cove, L.I.

Gary Rosenblatt

Riskin at Risk?

Chief Rabbi of Efrat says he would defy the Chief Rabbinate if they attempt to dismiss him.

05/26/2015

Though the Israeli Chief Rabbinate might want him out, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, isn't going without a fight.

Rabbi Riskin says he would defy the Israeli Chief Rabbinate if they attempted to dismiss him. JTA

Shavuot In Israel, Black Hebrews Style

05/19/2015
Staff Writer

In Israel, Shavuot, a one-day holiday, is a time of family meals topped off with cheesecake, picnics and excursions to the seashore, all-night study sessions in Orthodox circles and the recitation of the Hallel prayers in many synagogues.

Getty Images

Mideast Peace: Search and Rescue

The coalition guidelines Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented to Knesset on Wednesday revealed more by what they did not say that what they told about where he wants to lead his newly minted right wing government diplomatically.

The guidelines offered only vague language about peace and made no mention of the two-state approach or any new diplomatic vision or peace initiatives for the Netanyahu's fourth term.

Instead it offered what the Jerusalem Post defined as "a rather anemic clause" declaring:

Turning Pain Into Joy On My Daughter's 4th Birthday, Part 2

Editor's Note: We are sharing Chen Amira's beautiful blog in two parts. Click here to read part one.

I thought to myself that the place where Neta feels most comfortable and safe is the swimming pool. For two and a half years now, Neta has been having hydrotherapy treatments at the pool at Beit Issie Shapiro and her progress there has been enormous. I thought how fantastic it would be if we were to expose Neta's cousins to her strengths and abilities: that they could see that she is not a baby who doesn't speak and is dependent on her parents; that they could see for themselves how independent she is in the water; how she swings with complete confidence on the rope in the pool and how, with flippers and a floatation belt, she can swim and move forward on her own.

The author and her daughter. Courtesy of Chen Amira

Turning Pain Into Joy On My Daughter's 4th Birthday, Part 1

Editor's Note: Today we are sharing part one of a mother's beautiful blog. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.

As far back as I can remember, I have always loved and awaited my birthday. When August arrives, I am already full of expectation, even though I was born at the end of the month. So much so that when my siblings want to tease me, they say to me: "If August would only come already …" My birthday is my day: I spoil myself on that day and do things that I love. I enjoy the attention from those around me and feel very special.

Since my Neta was born, her birthday is a complex and tumultuous day for me. I want to celebrate and be happy in the way that I know birthdays to be, but I cannot help hurting. On this day, the chronological age that we "celebrate" and according to which we place candles on the cake confronts the developmental age that she has reached.

Snubs

Jimmy Carter was in Israel last week.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu let it be known he wasn't interested in seeing the former president, 90, who he considers hostile to the Jewish state.

Carter responded by saying meeting with Bibi would be "a waste of time" because the Israeli leader "does not now and has never sincerely believed in a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine." Rubbing it in, Carter said Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal is not a terrorist and is "strongly in favor of the peace process."

Why Doesn't Natalie Portman Display Her Oscar?

In a recent interview, the Israeli-born actress sounds off on filming in Israel, Bibi, anti-semitism and Alan Dershowitz.

05/07/2015
Web Editor

If the Harvard degree on her wall, brilliant kop and incredible acting abilities wasn’t enough, Natalie Portman just gave bubbes everywhere another 100 reasons to love her. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter she opened up about her deep connection to Israel, her debut film, and why she doesn’t put her Oscar on display.

Natalie Portman on the set of her new film, 'A Tale Of Love And Darkness', in Jerusalem last year. Getty Images

Ultra-Orthodox Mayor Cancels Bar/Bat Mitzvah For Disabled Children

Editor's Note: We were shocked and saddened to read this news story from Israel and wanted to share it with "New Normal" readers.

The ultra-Orthodox mayor of Rehovot has cancelled a special bar- and bat-mitzvah ceremony for children with disabilities that was scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Israeli city's Conservative synagogue.

Baltimore Mom's Lesson For The Middle East

It struck me while watching that heroic mother in Baltimore emphatically educating her son (see it here) about the perils of rioting and throwing rocks at police that she should be a role model for Israeli and Palestinian mothers.

Toya Graham saw her son Michael, 16, on TV and immediately went out on the streets looking to literally knock some sense into his head.

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