Blogs

“Fumbles to fluency”

The Jewish Week caught up with Sharon two months into her aliyah journey. To read about her adventures fro the beginning, click here.

Ulpan courses — the Hebrew immersion regimen offered in (and now out of) Israel — are certainly as intense as they're advertised to be.

Following a year and a half of once a week prep at Ahuva Tal Hollander's New York-based Ha-Ulpan, I took a six-week intensive course at Hebrew University's Jerusalem ulpan this summer. Now, however, that I've officially immigrated here, I'm taking advantage of the five-month free ulpan to which I am entitled as a new citizen.

The beginning of the journey

Hi, I'm Sharon Udasin. After three years as a journalist for The Jewish Week in New York, I decided to take a risk and immigrate to Israel, something I had been thinking about pretty consistently for a couple years.

I had little interest in Israel and the Middle East until I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2007 and reluctantly had a taste of the “Birthright Kool-Aid,” so-to-speak.

Turning Facebook Profile Pics Purple

 As Facebook has become more popular (500 million people is popular, right?), there have been several status update gimmicks. Some are just to be fun (dopplegangers) and others are funny with a cause (women posting their bra color in support of breast cancer research).

Now, the gay-rights organization GLAAD has come up with the idea of making your Facebook profile pic purple in support of LGBT Youth.

Status Updates & Profile Pics to Support Causes

InterfaithFamily.com's Big Week

 My friend Ed Case of InterfaithFamily.com is having a good week, and I am not just saying that because he lavished much praise upon me last week on his blog.

He managed to place 18th in the Jewish Federations of North America’s Jewish Community Heroes Campaign, making him one of 20 semifinalists in the contest. Plus IFF, along with the Jewish Outreach Institute and several other groups that promote a more welcoming, inclusive and accessible Jewish community (including Jewish Milestones, Be’chol Lashon and Keshet), made the annual Slingshot list of 50 innovative Jewish organizations/startups.

New Pollard talk in Jerusalem, but will it sell in Washington?

 I'm hearing more and more rumbles about a possible effort  by the Israeli government to win the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, now in his 25th year in prison.

Contrary to earlier reports, the talk doesn't center on a trade – releasing Pollard in return for an extension of the West Bank settlement moratorium, a major sticking point in the continuation of the recently restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Maybe I Will Marry the Cab Driver's Son

The cabbie was asleep at the wheel.

Or so he looked when I slid into his car idling in the hotel driveway and waved goodbye to my visiting girlfriend.

Friday Night TV

A Modern Orthodox friend of mine who is a loyal Yankee fan cringed the other day when I asked if he might leave a TV on to watch the opener of the American League Championship Series, with the Bombers facing Texas in Arlington.

Bleak assessment of the next Congress: more gridlock ahead

Think Washington is gridlocked today? Wait until January, when the new Congress takes over.

Bitterly polarized politics and an environment in which compromise is a four letter word promise even more paralysis when the next Congress convenes and President Obama starts the second half of his term with even more Capitol Hill tsuris.

Changes at ADL

Today brought the news that Jess Hordes is retiring after more than two decades of service as ADL's Washington director.

I've always felt a special affinity for Jess; he took up his position about the time I started writing a Washington column for Jewish newspapers, and he was more than helpful to a rookie trying to make sense of  the convoluted world of Jewish politics.

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