The Yad

On Point With Today's News

Israel Angst Gets Personal

He may have traveled over 5,700 miles, but my son Zack is just a local call away.

That's because these days, for a relatively modest fee, you can give your kid a cell phone with a "virtual" U.S. number, creating something of a bizarre illusion that he is just a train ride away in the 646 are code rather than on another continent with a 972 country code.

Kaparos: It's Complicated

Around the Christian holiday season, one often hears an old-fashioned song about the fate of the fowl destined for the festal board: "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat."

Of course, for Jews -- especially Ashkenazi ones -- the humble chicken is often the holiday bird of choice around the new year: it's suitable both for consuming and for flinging about in an act of atonement called "kaparos."

An anti-kaparos storybook in which the chickens band together and flee their shtetl.

Auschwitz' Musical Geography

Auschwitz has a musical as well as physical geography, contends a Stanford University doctoral candidate in German studies. It helped the guards maintain control, and helped prisoners resist.

Using survivor testimonies and camp administration records, Melissa Kagen has mapped the music of Auschwitz: what was played, who played it and where.

A Stanford doctoral candidate has mapped Auschwitz' music: both forced and free.

The New Face Of Israeli Diplomacy

At a crowded Starbucks in the center of Houston, an Israeli two years ago described her life as a pioneer.

Belaynesh Zevadia, native of Ethiopia, had served as Israel’s first Ethiopian-born diplomat.

More News You May Have Missed

In the last few days there has been a steady stream of news reports saying that an Israeli Jew claimed responsibility for the incendiary anti-Moslem movie said to have touched off rioting in several Arab nations.

Yes, Israel, There Is Life in Galus

If you are reading this, you are probably Jewish, and there's a good chance you live outside of Israel. But maybe you didn't know that Jewish life exists where you are, and that is sometimes even interesting, and important to understand.
After all, the Israeli media says it didn't grasp this, until now.

The Israeli press recently realized Jewish life outside of Israel is newsworthy.

Gone — And Forgotten

The producers of “The Price Is Right,” the longest-running game show in US TV history and one of the longest-running shows of any type, sponsored a 40th anniversary program last week.

Conspicuous by his absence was Bob Barker, the show’s host for its first 35 years, a multiple Emmy winner and arguably one of the most recognizable faces on TV.

Bob Barker

Israelis' Golden Moments

A few weeks after Israel’s Olympic athletes returned empty-handed from London, where they did not win a single medal at the Summer Games, some Israeli representatives are making it to the podium in the same competitive arenas. This time, in the Paralympics.

The Israeli Paralympic Team, 2012.

Some Schools Have Such Chutzpah

Labor Day is over, the school year has started and with it, so have the expectations from some schools that parents volunteer their time either in the building or after school hours.

I appreciate both my own good fortune in having children at all, and I recognize the merit of other parents who devote themselves to supporting their children’s schools.

But I want to at the same time call out the schools that still harbor this expectation of parents.

The word is chutzpahdik.

Schools should examine the assumptions behind their expectation that parents have time to volunteer.

Rabbis, Thank Your Teachers! And Read Telushkin

Me, I’m a simple Yid. A rabbinical school dropout, even: JTS ’99-’00.

I don’t have the text skills of my classmates who finished the program. I don’t pray as fluently as I would like. But I am not entirely without resources, and one of my favorites is Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s "The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-By-Day Guide to Ethical Living."

For a better world, cite your sources.
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