Blogs

Israeli-American Camp Embraces Autistic Boy, Increases Camper Compassion

No one had ever asked to take a selfie with Yarin, a 19-year-old boy with autism. But when his mother arranged for him to spend one week at the Israeli-American Council’s Machane Kachol Lavan summer camp, the resulting understanding and friendship changed everyone.

Camp Ramah Darom’s Tikvah Program: Hope for the Future

Editor's Note: As the cold of winter approaches, many parents are thinking about summer and what camps are available for children with disabilities. This week we'll share several blogs about Jewish camping for children and teens of all abilities.

When I was first invited to staff the new Tikvah inclusion program at Camp Ramah Darom and was asked to describe it, I said, “The Tikvah program provides additional support to campers who may not be able to succeed on their own.” Even though I had worked with programs for kids with disabilities in the past—both in schools and in summer camp settings—I realize now that when the summer began, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of support.

2015 Campers at Ramah Darom. Courtesy of Ramah Darom

Shooting The Jewish Sow

Evil and rebellion lurk beneath the surface of Ilit Azoulay’s “a 7th Option,” on view at the Andrea Meislin Gallery. Initially, the single photomontage looks like a building undergoing renovation. On second look, it is a bizarre assortment of objects -- a shrunken head, a carving of a “Jewish Sow,” a pile of stones at a worksite and more. I thought I stepped into someone’s weird dream.   

Ilit Azoulay, "Seventh Option," 2014. Courtesy Andrea Meislin Gallery

Why I'm voting for Ben Carson

1.  He loves Jews.  Why else would he credit Joseph with building the Pyramids as grain storage silos? He knows what he knows and is too smart to be confused by the facts. "Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," he said.  Would Dr. Ben lie to us?

2. He saw the arrangement of the 13 5-pointed stars on the $1 bill as a Magen David, thereby establishing US support for Israel dating back 151 years before the founding of the modern state of Israel.  That's commitment.

Guns For Terrorists And Frying Bacon

In his Oval Office address Sunday evening, President Obama called for universal background checks on gun purchasers and to "make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun." He called it "a matter of national security."   It would seem like a no brainer.

But Republicans would have no part of it.

Multiple Chanukah Events For Jewish Deaf Community

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared at chabad.org here.

One of the primary lessons of Chanukah is to increase in light and goodness. This certainly seems to be the case for the deaf Jewish community in the United States, where an expected 700 people will celebrate at no less than four different giant menorah-lightings.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, the first night of Chanukah, Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff of the Jewish Deaf Foundation was joined by faculty and students for the third annual public menorah-lighting ceremony on the campus of Gallaudet University, the Washington, D.C.-based liberal-arts institution where all programs and services are geared for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Jewish Deaf artist Hinda Kasher. Courtesy of Chabad

Israeli Synagogues To Mark ‘Accessibility Shabbat’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An “Accessibility Shabbat” will be held in communities across Israel.

The program being held this coming Shabbat is designed to highlight the need for greater respect for the handicapped and disabled within the religious community, and in Israeli society in general. The initiative is being spearheaded by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization.

The initiative was launched via a video campaign demonstrating the Shema prayer recited in sign language is being held in coordination with the International Accessibility Day on December 3.

12 Tips For Holiday Hosts Who Entertain Guests With Sensory Challenges

Editor's Note: I was delighted to be a resource for this article that originally appeared on Carestarter.co. Great ideas to support your guests at upcoming Chanukah parties!

Holiday season is now upon us. Maybe this week you are packing your bags to hit the road to attend a family dinner or perfecting your shopping list as host of the perfect event. Maybe you’ve worked hard planning your holiday menu, taking into account guest food allergies and vegetarian preferences.

You think a lot about your guest’s experience, I challenge you to consider your guest’s surroundings, specifically of the sensory variety.

Seasons Readings For Kids

For Chanukah 2015, young readers are treated to romance in the Atlas Mountains, stories of the real lives of Israeli kids, tales of helping others in this holiday season, easy-to-follow recipes and, as always, new spins on the Maccabee story.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

A Fresh Look At Einstein

One hundred years ago this week, Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity, forever transforming the way we think about space and time. Since then, so many scores of books have been written about this great scientific luminary that you might well ask—why the need for another biography of Einstein? 

Courtesy Yale University Press
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