Jewish Federations Awarded Funds for Groundbreaking Holocaust Survivor Care

New York – The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is proud to announce that the United States Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the organization $12 million over 5 years, pending the availability of federal funds, to advance innovations in person-centered, trauma-informed supportive services for Holocaust survivors. This award will help Jewish organizations and …

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Eric Michaelson joins Jewish National Fund as Chief Israel Officer

Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced that Eric Michaelson, former executive vice president of Nefesh B’Nefesh, will serve as JNF’s new Chief Israel Officer reporting directly to CEO Russell F. Robinson and manage logistics, operations and develop partner relationships for the 114-year old organization.

NA’AMAT USA Attends International Solidarity Conference in Israel

Leaders of NA’AMAT USA joined representatives of the organization from Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Argentina, Uruguay and Israel last week for the first NA’AMAT International Solidarity Conference in Israel. The delegation, led by national president Elizabeth Raider, were special guests of the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin during the conference’s opening session on February 10.

The Covenant Foundation Announces New Grants

The Covenant Foundation announced $1.6 million in new grants today as part of its mission to support and advance excellence and impact in Jewish education. Across the spectrum of Jewish educational venues and approaches – from community centers and digital labs, to day schools and synagogues – this new round of grants underscores a commitment to innovative work that is redefining and strengthening the scope, reach and depth of Jewish education.

URJ Announces Two New Vice Presidents as 2020 Vision Takes Shape

Amy Asin and Miriam Chilton to play new, key roles Contact: Annette Powers 212-650-4154 DECEMBER 12, SAN ANTONIO, TX – At the organization’s North American board meeting today, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Rick Jacobs introduced two new vice presidents who will work with him to implement the Union’s 2020 Vision. “As …

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The Israel Institute Internship Programs

The Jim Joseph Foundation-Israel Institute Internship is a paid summer internship in the U.S. open to current college sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in Israel-related work. The Steinhardt-Israel Institute Internship Program is a paid yearlong internship that places recent college grads at top Israeli think tanks. For more information, please visit:

Take action for women’s rights to birth control

The officers and board members of NA’AMAT USA, a national and international organization promoting the welfare rights of women, children and families in Israel and around the world, strongly oppose the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case allowing employers to refuse to pay for birth control coverage.

Bar-Ilan University tops Israel Consulate General in NY’s list of Operation Protective Edge analysts

A quarter of the Operation Protective Edge analysts on the Israel Consulate General in New York’s recommended list for media and community relations officials come from Bar-Ilan University. They are Prof. Efraim Inbar, of Bar-Ilan’s Begin-Sadat Center, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, of Bar-Ilan’s Political Science Department, and Prof. Yaffa Zilbershatz, Deputy President of BIU.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Times Square to Light Up for Orthodox Feminism

New York, NY, November 12, 2013 – Times Square will be showing off a very different kind of superstar tomorrow: the heroes and heroines of Jewish Orthodox feminism. In advance of the upcoming 8th International JOFA conference, titled, “Voices of Change”, a special Times Square billboard will display five of the most valiant women and …

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For Immediate Release: JOFA Conference Set to Tackle Social Changes in Orthodoxy

For Immediate Release: JOFA Conference Set to Tackle Social Changes in Orthodoxy October 31, 2013, New York City – The Orthodox community will be addressing the issue of “slut-shaming” for the first time in a large public forum at the upcoming International Conference of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. This is one of many …

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JOFA is Proud of Rabbi Asher Lopatin and Ashamed of the Rabbis Denouncing Him

A group of Orthodox rabbis recently made a statement supposedly on behalf of the Orthodox community. We would like to make it clear that despite their pronouncements, they do not speak for us. In fact, we find their letter to be an embarrassment to the religion that they claim to represent.

JOFA Statement About the Arrest of Rabbis Using Violence to Force Men to Grant Their Wives a Gett

Recent news stories regarding divorces being obtained through violent and criminal means have caused concern about how the Orthodox community is dealing with agunot, women chained in unwanted marriages. JOFA responds to these concerns as follows: We unequivocally condemn the practice in which rabbis, under the guise of freeing women from their dead marriages, are …

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Thousands to Gather in Jerusalem for “Signature Event of North American Jewry”

Thousands of Jewish community leaders from across the globe are preparing to convene in Israel for the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly, Nov. 10-12 in Jerusalem. With 140 speakers – half of them women – from the political, philanthropic, business, religious and cultural worlds, the GA will gather over 3000 participants from 93 different communities across North America, Israel and Europe – including the heads of the Jewish communities of France, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Belgium, Italy and the Czech Republic – to join the “Global Jewish Shuk: a marketplace of dialogue and debate.”

Francesca Segal to Receive Harold U. Ribalow Prize

Acclaimed author Francesca Segal joins an illustrious list of awardees today as Hadassah Magazine honors her with this year’s Harold U. Ribalow Prize. For the past 30 years, Hadassah Magazine has honored an author who has created an outstanding work of fiction on a Jewish theme, and Segal will be honored December 4th in New York.

Jewish Federations Applaud Advancement of Older Americans Act in Senate

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) today applauded a key Senate committee’s support for the Older Americans Act, including a provision requiring guidance for care and outreach to aging Holocaust survivors – an issue critical to Federations and the Jewish community.

Head of NCJW Program Nominated to Israel’s Task Force to Examine Gender Issues

Continuing progress toward elevating women’s voices in national Israeli policy, Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid announced this week that he has named Professor Hanna Herzog to a panel that will study gender inequality in the national budget. Herzog, who will be the academic representative on the task force, also serves as chairperson of the NCJW Women and Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University, a program of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Hadassah Launches Women’s Leadership Board

In a move that will help make Jewish causes more relevant to the next generation of Jewish women across the country, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, announced today the launch of a new Women’s Leadership Board to advise the newly formed Hadassah Leadership Fellows Program.

Israeli President Shimon Peres to Speak at JFNA General Assembly

Israeli President Shimon Peres will speak next month at the General Assembly (GA) of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) in Jerusalem. President Peres will be interviewed on stage, and participants at the event and around the world will have the opportunity to ask questions through President Peres’s Facebook page.

Jewish Federations Announce $14.3 Billion in Endowment Assets

Jewish Federations’ planned giving and endowment programs grew dramatically in 2012, according to a just-released annual survey.

The Jewish Federations of North America annual survey of endowment development showed Federation/Jewish community foundation-managed endowments increased a hefty 7.6 percent from the prior year’s survey, underscoring charitable endowments and contributions have continued to play a major role in furthering Jewish philanthropic giving.

A Century Later, New Discoveries About the Trial of Mendel Beilis

Now, a century later, Chabad-Lubavitch historian Eli Rubin has unearthed new information about the trial of Mendel Beilis that remained unknown to modern-day researchers of the trial. Some of his discoveries were recently published on in an article titled The Tsar’s Scapegoats: Beilis, the Chassidim and the Jews.

ZOA: Sec’y Kerry’s Statement that Israeli/Palestinian Peace is “Important” to “Regional Security and Stability” is Nonsense

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement, following a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas in London, saying that “a final status agreement [between the Israelis and the Palestinians] is important in enhancing regional security and stability throughout the Middle East”

NFTY Institutes Attract Unaffiliated Teens: Teens Build Special Skills While Exploring Jewish Identity

NFTY, the Reform Youth Movement, has embarked on a series of new initiatives aimed at attracting teens who may not typically attend their traditional programs. NFTY Institutes offer teens specialized programming to enable them to explore niche areas of interest that are taught through a Jewish lens or in a Jewish environment.

Kerry’s Proclaiming An “Unbelievably Small” Attack On Syria Deserves Unbelievably Small Support

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for stating yesterday, with regard to the prospect of the U.S. launching military operations against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, that the U.S. will be promoting “a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort … unbelievably small, limited kind of effort”

Masa Israel Journey and Israel Action Network Launch New Fellowship

Masa Israel Journey and the Israel Action Network announced today the launching of their inaugural Masa-Israel Action Network Fellowship, in which alumni of long-term, immersive Masa Israel programs will gain insight about the state of Israel advocacy in the United States and receive tools to help them counter the assault on Israel’s legitimacy in their communities. The goal of this volunteer Fellowship is to offer young adults a unique opportunity to engage in supported, hands-on work in their community.

NCJW Joins in Celebrating March on Washington Anniversary

he National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today announced its endorsement of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington. The 2013 march will not only honor the commitment of 250,000 marchers 50 years ago but will seek to build support for progress on several issues that NCJW has long supported. These include jobs and economic justice, voting rights, workers’ rights, criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention, women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBT equality, environmental justice, and increased opportunities for youth.