Jewish Federations Applaud Congress for Supporting Israel

Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Federations of North America applaud the United States Congress for passing resolutions that support Israel’s right to exist. With majority support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it is clear that the America stands with Israel at this difficult time.

Jewish Federations Mission Touring Israel’s South in Expression of Solidarity

More than two dozen American Jewish communal leaders are currently touring communities in Southern Israel in an emergency solidarity mission of the Jewish Federations across North America (JFNA). The mission is an effort to visit locales directly affected by rocket attack and to demonstrate that the North American Jewish community stands alongside the people of Israel at this time.

America’s Largest Jewish Environmental Organization, Hazon, Takes Root in San Diego

Hazon, the world’s largest Jewish environmental organization, joins the North County Jewish Hub, a Leichtag Foundation Initiative based at the Ranch in Encinitas. Hazon, Hebrew for vision, was founded in 2000 in New York, and adds North County San Diego to its regions alongside Philadelphia, Boulder/Denver, and San Francisco, as well as the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires.

$200,000 Matching Grant Announced at JFNA Summit on Health and Long-Term Care

Washington, D.C. – The 2014 Health and Long-Term Care Summit brought health care leaders from across the country together this week for two days of strategic thinking, planning and advocacy. Convened by The Jewish Federations of North America, the HLTC Summit brought together lay and professional leaders from a wide range of fields to discuss pressing health topics; among them Medicare & Medicaid reform and behavioral health information technology.

Israel Action Network Applauds Modern Language Membership for Rejecting Baseless and Discriminatory Anti-Israel Resolution

New York – Following a long and often contentious process, the membership of the Modern Language Association (MLA) announced today that the membership failed to ratify a resolution criticizing Israel for “denials of entry to the West Bank by U.S. academics” traveling to Palestinian universities. The Israel Action Network (IAN) applauded the membership for “choosing to honor academic freedom and integrity by refusing to ratify this baseless and discriminatory resolution.”

Michael R. Bloomberg Receives Genesis Prize Honoring Life Achievements in Public Service, Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship

Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was honored by hundreds of dignitaries from around the world as the inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the Jerusalem Theatre. The evening’s celebration was emceed by the iconic comedian Jay Leno.

Jewish Federations Applaud Senate for Resolution Honoring Holocaust Survivors

In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Senate passed with unanimous consent a resolution honoring the contributions of Holocaust survivors to the United States. The Jewish Federations of North America lauded the Senate for passing the resolution, noting with pride the work being done in coordination with the federal government to assist and provide for survivors living in need.

Michael R. Bloomberg Kicks Off $1 Million Global Competition

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced that the inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate, Mr. Michael R. Bloomberg, has chosen to invest the $1 million award to create a global competition, named the Genesis Generation Challenge. The new competition will strive to find – and fund – the next big idea that would measurably better the world.

Butterflies in Majdanek: Multimedia Poem About March of the Living

Teen Emily Dubin processed her experience on the March of the Living with BBYO Passport through a heartfelt, multimedia poem. The poem conveys the impact of the experience through raw emotion and reinforces that this an important experience to have in order to “never forget.”

ADL Poll of Over 100 Countries Finds More Than One-Quarter of Those Surveyed Infected With Anti-Semitic Attitudes

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released the results of an unprecedented worldwide survey of anti-Semitic attitudes. The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism surveyed 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories in an effort to establish, for the first time, a comprehensive data-based research survey of the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment across the world.

Jewish Federations Applaud President Obama’s Commitment to Holocaust Survivors

Upon accepting the Ambassador for Humanity award from the USC Shoah Foundation, President Barack Obama stressed Wednesday the importance of providing care and assistance for Holocaust survivors living in need. The Jewish Federations of North America, which has led the effort to implement such programs, applauded the President’s speech and reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to raising funds in support of survivors.

“How Israel Can Win the PR War” Event in NYC

At a time when Israel is increasingly experiencing negative media coverage due to the breakdown in the peace talks, people throughout the New York region are being urged to attend a special conversation on “How Israel Can Win the PR War.” This event will be held on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East 87th Street, at Madison Avenue. It is being presented by the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU) together with The Jewish Week.

Twelve Bar-Ilan University Women Recognized Among 100 Most Influential Women in Israel

Bar-Ilan University had the highest number of women recognized in Women magazine’s Academia and Education categories among all Israeli universities. Women, which is published by the newspaper Makor Rishon, selected 12 Bar-Ilan affiliated women on its recent listing of religious Zionist women in Israel who have reached the highest ranks in their fields.

Archaeology finds shed insights into Exodus says Bar-Ilan University scholar

In the video “A Passover Story: Archaelogy & the Exodus,” Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman, of the Zalman Shamir Bible Department of Bar-Ilan University, discusses how the Book of Exodus and the Passover Hagaddah use the language and imagery of the Egyptian pharaohs in order to explain how Hashem freed the Jewish People. He explains how recent archaeology finds shed greater insights into this issue.

Reform Summer Camp Offers Incentive Program for Jewish Military Families on Active Duty

The Union for Reform Judaism has launched an innovative Camper Incentive Program for Jewish Military Families on Active Duty. The program will be offered at the URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi, which has served more than 10,000 Jewish children since 1970. Incentives vary in amount from $250.00 to $3,000 per child, based on the military rank of the parent(s) and the child’s age.

Book Release: And God Spoke These Words: The Ten Commandments and Contemporary Ethics by Rabbi Rifat Sonsino

Rabbi Rifat Sonsino has helped thousands of readers find God, and uncover the truths and legends behind the foundational myths of Judaism. Now, his new book by URJ Press explores one of the best known–and least understood–texts in the Bible: the Ten Commandments.

Jeffrey Richard to Lead American Technion Society

The American Technion Society (ATS) has announced that Jeffrey Richard, of Riverdale, N.Y., will become the organization’s new Executive Vice President in May, following a nationwide search. Melvyn H. Bloom, who has led the organization for the past three decades, will become Executive Vice President Emeritus. Mr. Richard, a fundraising professional with more than two …

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Rabbi Sperber of Bar-Ilan University advocates for agunot rights

Speaking in New York City, Rabbi Daniel Sperber decried what he views as the “radical move to the extreme right” by many rabbis dealing with get issues. A world-renowned Torah scholar at Bar-Ilan University, Sperber said compassionate solutions should be found within Jewish law to help agunot.

Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education Experiences Show Increased Potential for Jewish Engagement

Experiences that blend Jewish learning with the outdoors, food, and environment are attracting a growing number of diverse Jews to meaningful and inspiring Jewish life, reports the first-ever national survey on Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) —Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE). The report, released today by a group of six major funders and Hazon, examines the history, programs, professionals, and participants that comprise JOFEE experiences. Leaders of JOFEE are eager to share the key findings and continue a conversation about its potential for growth and for Jewish engagement.

Justice, finally, for Holocaust-era ghetto workers after Merkel-Netanyahu meeting

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced, during her recent visit to Israel and after discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that Germany will dramatically
expand its Ghetto pension (ZRBG) program by eliminating all deadlines associated with this program.

Jewish Federations Strongly Criticize New Tax Reform Proposal

Washington, D.C. – Today, a new tax reform plan was unveiled in the House of Representatives that could significantly decrease contributions to America’s charities. The Jewish Federations of North America questioned the need for several provisions that would negatively impact giving in the bill proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), saying that the proposal would impact the ability of the charitable sector to help those most in need.

ADL: Sovereign Citizens Create Vigilante “Grand Juries” in Latest Attempt to Flout the Law http://ow.ly/tQ0Ev

Adherents of the sovereign citizen movement are forming their own vigilante “grand juries” in counties across the United States in an attempt to exact pressure on local government officials to accede to their anti-government demands and whims.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors domestic anti-government groups and reports on their activities, has noted with concern the attempted formation of numerous so-called “common law grand juries” or people’s grand juries” in various counties across the country.

Hazon announces Eco-Passover theme for annual Passover retreat at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

With Earth Day falling on the Eighth Day of Passover this year, Hazon has announced ‘Eco-Passover’ as the theme for Isabella Freedman’s annual Passover Retreat, both to enjoy the holiday and to explore the relevance of Passover to our collective responsibility to care for the planet.

Disability Advocates from Across Country Convene on Capitol Hill

Economic independence and protecting the rights of people with disabilities at home and abroad were the top items on the agenda today as disability advocates from across the country converged on Capitol Hill for the fourth annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. The Jewish Disability Network’s members and advocates met with congressional representatives to convey the necessity of passing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and approving the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A Modern App for an Ancient Tradition

A new tool from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance is turning a millenia old practice into something accessible to everyone. JOFA’s Megillat Esther App (available for iOS and Android) is a one stop shop for learning the trope, practicing entire portions and reading Hebrew and English translations of the text. Gone are the days of sitting …

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ADL Praises Italian Government’s Strong Condemnation of Anti-Semitic Incidents

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Italian authorities for their strong condemnation of two anti-Semitic incidents in which pig heads were sent to a Rome synagogue, the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Israeli embassy on January 25, two days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

ADL Equips Pine Bush, N.Y. Community with Tactics to Confront Anti-Semitism

In response to reports of anti-Semitism in the Pine Bush, N.Y. school district and elsewhere in the town, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has brought its Confronting Anti-Semitism program to Orange County in an effort to empower and equip the local Jewish community with constructive and effective responses to anti-Semitic incidents and stereotypes.

Jewish Federations Applaud White House Appointment of Envoy to Holocaust Survivors, Announce Federation Effort to Address Budget Shortfalls

The Jewish Federations applauded the White House appointment of Aviva Sufian as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services, while also unveiling a new national Federation effort to boost community programs for Holocaust survivors, led by veteran Federation philanthropist Mark Wilf of New Jersey.

ADL Says The Economist Owes Full-Throated Apology for Printing Hateful Anti-Semitic Cartoon

Saying the Economist“cannot repair the damage of publishing an anti-Semitic image with only half-measures,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the editors to issue a full-throated apology for an editorial cartoon depicting President Obama as hindered in his efforts to reach an agreement with Iran by the machinations of a United States Congress under the control of a nefarious Jewish lobby.

ADL Welcomes Introduction of Essential New Legislation to Protect Voting Rights

The Anti-Defamation League welcomed the introduction of legislation to revive and strengthen important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). Last year, in Shelby County v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key portions of the VRA, essentially gutting the heart of the law. The legislation introduced yesterday, H.R. 3899/S. 1945, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, among other things creates a new formula to determine which states and jurisdictions will have to “pre-clear” voting changes with the federal government.

ADL Publishes Digital Version of Foxman Introduction to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”

In response to a surge in digital downloads of e-book editions of Adolf Hitler’s biographical manifesto, Mein Kampf, and in anticipation of the expiration of the book’s Bavarian copyright in 2015, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has made available on its website a digital version of an introduction to the English translation written by Holocaust survivor and ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

Jewish Federations Applaud Senate Hearing on Support for Holocaust Survivors

The Senate Special Committee on Aging today heard Holocaust survivors, their family members and Jewish community professionals call for social services to help low-income survivors live in comfort and dignity in their homes and communities. The Jewish Federations of North America praised the committee’s Chairman, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ranking Member, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), for convening the panel on this pressing issue.

ADL: MLA Has Given its “De Facto Imprimatur of Legitimacy” to Anti-Israel Boycott Campaign

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage and disappointment over the one-sided roundtable discussion convened at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA), which supported an academic boycott against Israel.

The JM26 – Events, People, & Ideas That Have Made a Mark in 2013 – From The Jewish Museum

NEW YORK, Dec. 26, 2013 – The Jewish Museum in New York City is launching the first annual JM26, a thought-provoking and entertaining list of 26 events, people, and ideas that have made a mark in 2013. From an activist bar mitzvah boy arguing for marriage equality to limited edition Katz’s Deli sneakers and President …

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ZOA: Abbas’ Fatah Threatens To “Crush Zionist Enemy” & To Kidnap Israelis In Order To Extort Release Of Jailed Palestinian Terrorists

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a U.S.- and European-designated terrorist group and armed wing of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, the dominant party controlling the Palestinian Authority (PA), has threatened to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to extort the release by Israel of convicted and jailed Palestinian terrorists in Israel.

Branding a Nation: One Village at a Time

After winning their recent UN Innovation Award, US-based non-profit Innovation: Africa (iA) was honored yet again, this time with the Wharton School’s Social Media Leadership Award in the category of Nation Branding. They were recognized along with other leaders in the field such as American Airlines, Dell and Chase.

New Milestone for Technion and Cornell

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cornell University President David J. Skorton, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie today formally executed a 99-year lease between the City of New York and Cornell Tech, which will pave the way for construction of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, exactly two years after Cornell and academic …

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Israel Action Network Calls American Studies Association Decision to Adopt an Israel Boycott Resolution a Violation of Academic Freedom

Following an unusual and troubling process over the past few weeks, the American Studies Association (ASA) today announced its endorsement of a resolution by its National Council to institute an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the organization. The decision represents a narrow fraction of overall members, approximately less than 20 percent of ASA membership took part in the vote. Further, it follows a condemnation of the boycott by eight former presidents. Geri Palast, Managing Director of The Israel Action Network (IAN), a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, issued the following statement.

Hazon to help renew and strengthen the Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education (JOFEE) movement in San Diego, CA

Hazon has received a grant from the Leichtag Foundation to place a staff person at the North County Jewish Hub located at the Ranch in Encinitas, a property recently purchased by the Leichtag Foundation that serves as a nexus of sustainable agriculture, social justice, and community development.

Christmas Carolers Sing ‘Burn Kikes’ on Romanian Television; ADL Calls for Gov’t Action

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reacted to a broadcast on Romanian public television featuring Christmas carolers singing a folk tune about the “damn kikes” who should be burned, saying the segment was a “perverse” display and “reminiscent of the anti-Semitism that pervaded Romania prior to and during the war, which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Holocaust.”

Jewish Federations Welcome Vice President Biden’s Announcement to Support Aging Holocaust Survivors

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) welcomed Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Centennial luncheon to launch an initiative together with the Jewish community to address the needs of Holocaust survivors living in poverty in the United States. This announcement follows years of conversations between the White House, Members of Congress, and Jewish Federations and Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies to address the social service needs of Holocaust survivors through fundraising and legislative efforts such as the RUSH Act.

ADL Mourns the Loss of ‘A True Hero of Conscience’ — South Africa’s Nelson Mandela

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today mourned the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the courageous leader who dedicated his life to ending apartheid and building a free, multiracial and democratic South Africa and, by example, a more equal world.

ADL Honors Elie & Marion Wiesel with Jabotinsky Award for Courageous Jewish Leadership

Elie and Marion Wiesel, the husband-and-wife team whose courageous crusade against forces of hatred and intolerance has spanned many decades, crises and continents, and who continue to exercise tremendous moral leadership on the international stage, have been honored by the Anti-Defamation League with its distinguished ADL Jabotinsky Award for Courageous Jewish Leadership.

Israel Action Network Urges Opposition to Recommendation by American Studies Association Leaders to Members to Adopt a Resolution Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions and Scholars

Today, in a move condemned by numerous prominent academic scholars throughout the country, including eight former presidents and multiple ASA prize winners, the National Council of the of the American Studies Association (ASA), its governing body, recommended that its membership adopt an “ill-advised” resolution supporting an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions and scholars in a vote to be completed by December 15, 2013. The Israel Action Network (IAN), a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, issued the following statement.

ADL: 2012 Hate Crime Statistics Report “Seriously Flawed”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed profound disappointment at the failure of more than 25 percent of the nation’s law enforcement agencies to provide the FBI with their hate crime numbers, calling the lack of participation by many jurisdictions “a significant setback in the progress our nation has made in hate crime data collection over the past decade.”

ADL Says Iranian Leader’s Harsh Rhetoric Against Israel Casts ‘Ugly Pall’ Over Geneva Talks

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the latest harsh rhetoric coming from Iran’s supreme leader, in which he referred to Israel as an unclean rabid dog and a threat to the world, “casts an ugly pall” over the nuclear negotiations currently taking place in Geneva.

Light My Fire: The Jewish Museum’s Hanukkah App 2.0 Available for Free

New York, NY – The eight day holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown on Wednesday, November 27th. The Jewish Museum’s Hanukkah app, which debuted in 2012 and has now been expanded, is available for free in the App Store and on Google Play. The app is perfect for those without a menorah, travelers, students, or …

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Op-Ed: Barely Time to Wait: Could the Grateful Dead Be Part of the Response to the Pew Study?

In a time where the Jewish community is once again shaking its head and wracking its brain in light of a Pew Study that shows that the Jewish community is increasingly disassociating itself with Judaism itself in terms of ritual and observance, a program like Blues for Challah – the Jewish Grateful DeadFest – stands to shift from novelty to strategy.

For immediate release — Ofir Ben Shitrit to perform at the JOFA conference

November 18, 2013, New York City –  Ofir Ben Shitrit, the 18-year-old Israeli singing sensation whose participation in The Voice  led to her suspension from her religious school, will be performing at the upcoming international conference of JOFA, The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance on December 7 at John Jay College. Ben Shitrit, whose second-place win …

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Remarks at Knesset on Nov. 12, 2013

The second session of the Knesset Caucus for Israel-US relations, held by M.K Dr. Nachman Shai in cooperation with the Ruderman Family Foundation, was held on November 12, 2013 at the Knesset in Jerusalem. The session focused on “Jewish Dialogue 2013: What are the boundaries and limitations?” Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi David Stav were guest speakers. These are Rabbi Jacobs’ remarks.

Hadassah Pledges Relief and Aid to Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

In response to the deadly typhoon in the Philippines that has already left tens of thousands of innocent victims dead and countless others suffering, members of the worldwide medical community have joined together to do all they can to lend a helping hand. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has pledged to do everything in the organization’s power to aid in medical relief for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.