By Rich Cohen for Tablet Magazine
The scattering of African-Americans named Cohen in the NFL is just the tip of a deeper American Cohen tale
In my house, we are forever on the lookout for outstanding athletes named Cohen. We believe such figures will open our minds to alternate futures and possibilities. We have enough lawyers and endocrinologists, enough journalists and accountants. We have plenty of criminals, but they tend to be of the white-collar variety. We want people who can advance the ball, play the body, work above the rim. Which is why I was so pleased when the Chicago Bears, my favorite football team, selected, with a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, its second “Cohen” in five years. There’d been Landon Cohen, who’d played 13 games as defensive tackle for the Bears in 2013. Now there’d be Tarik Cohen, a fleet running back. He was ours and we’d take him—“Tarik Cohen Had Some Bears Fans Searching for Jewish Connection,” is how the Chicago Tribune headlined it—though he did not fit the profile of a typical congregant of North Shore Congregation Israel.
By Jenna Weissman Joselit for Tablet Magazine
How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits
If there’s one thing the American Jewish community has in abundance, it’s critics. “There are no colors gloomy enough to paint too morbidly” the present condition of the Jews, notes one of their number. A “baleful fog of indifference hover[s] over Judaism,” chimes in another. The synagogues are empty, more “grand vacuum” than grand house of worship, and young people today are “loud in dress, louder in commonplace and empty words,” or, worse still, apt to be “atheists, agnostics, or nothingarians,” adds a third and then a fourth naysayer.
Sound familiar? You’ve heard it all before, I’m sure. Even so, it might come as a bit of a surprise to learn that every single one of these observations dates from the late 19th century.
by Shira Feder for The Forward
A ban on the Jewish and Muslim methods of ritual slaughter of animals in Belgium’s northern Flemish region went into effect on January 1. The region’s capital is Antwerp, home to approximately 20,000 Jews.
This is just another step in a larger trend across Europe — which we’ve mapped out below, with individual restrictions and Jewish population numbers:
By Roya Hakakian
The horror and hope undergirding Jewish life in post-Revolution Iran
Among the world’s endangered minorities, Iranian Jews are an anomaly. Like their counterparts, their conditions categorically refute all the efforts their nation makes at seeming civilized and egalitarian—and so they embody, often without wanting to, all that is ugly and unjust about their native land.
But Iran’s Jewish community does something more. It also embodies the nation’s hope, the narrative of its resistance and struggle for a better future—one that has been on the brink of arriving ever since the revolution in 1979. To understand why Jews continue to remain in Iran is to understand the tortured tale of Iran. Nowhere else can the stubborn continuity of a minority stand as a metaphor in the elegy of a nation’s downfall.
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas,
By Jo Ann Gardner for The Forward
The seven species are pomegranate, grapes, dates, figs, olives, wheat and barley.
Why do we eat fruit of the Seven Species on Tu B’Shvat?
The Seven Species of the Bible are a central feature of the celebration of Tu B’Shvat, which this year occurs in late January. The reason usually given for eating foods from this group, especially its fruits, is that they are symbols of God’s creation, and that by eating them we give thanks to Him and reaffirm our ties to the Land of Israel.
(RNS) — The brutality of anti-Semitism in several forms dominated the top 10 news stories related to Jews and Judaism this year. But there were important and even happy developments as well.
1. The Tree of Life synagogue shooting
The “slaughter of the innocents” in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October was the single worst anti-Jewish attack in U.S. history, with 11 worshippers killed (among them were two of my cousins, Cecil and David Rosenthal). The swift public revulsion and denunciation of the massacre cut across all religious, ethnic and racial boundaries and resulted in a vast outpouring of support for the American Jewish community.
By Ushi Derman for Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People
You can tell a lot about religions by their archetypal protagonist. Generally speaking, Christianity is fond of pure, untarnished guys, those who turn their other cheek. The Muslims adore men who sacrifice their lives to reach paradise, whereas the Buddhists respect he who can live an entire life doing one thing – avoiding. Avoiding over eating, uninhibited sex, alcohol and drugs, and life in general.
And Judaism? Well, it certainly resents the character of the agonized martyr. Jewish protagonists are deliberately portrayed full of flaws, bursting with drives and passions, just the opposite of saints. Abraham is manipulative, Isaac is limp, Jacob is hypocritical, Moses stutters, Joseph is arrogant and vindictive, Samson is impulsive and Salomon is a hedonist.
By Sara Toth Stub for Tablet Magazine
Israel’s kibbutzim start taking in African asylum-seekers and their families
L. left her home in Ethiopia more than a decade ago, when she was still a teenager, hoping to find work in neighboring Sudan. But instead she was kidnapped, taken into the desert of the Sinai Peninsula by human traffickers, and finally apprehended by Israeli officials on the border with Egypt.
“I am still haunted in my head from this whole ordeal, everything that happened in the Sinai,” she told me, declining to give more details.
Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!
Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.
Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.
Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!
Did you know...?
Did you know that Cantor Linda Sue Sohn, Temple Aliyah’s B’nai Mitzvah Tutor, has been a contributor to the Torah Stitch by Stitch, a world-wide project the goal of which is to cross stitch by hand the five books of the Torah. Among her contributions to TSBS is Exodus 15:5-8, Parshat Beshalah. You can see a picture of her work here (popup window).
Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!
If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].
Shabbat and Weekday Services
|Shabbat Morning Services||9:15 am|
|Sunday Morning Minyan*||9:00 am|
|Monday Morning Minyan||7:00 am|
|Weekday Evening Minyan*||7:30 pm|
* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education. Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.
Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2018-19.