Turning ideas into action at our first ambassador retreat
By Nicky Blackburn for Israel21c
Student ambassadors from all over the United States descended on Chicago to take part in an ISRAEL21c hackathon.
At a conference room at theWit hotel in downtown Chicago, the ideas were coming in thick and fast. At five different tables, 25 students from colleges across the United States were sharing thoughts and suggestions about how to take ISRAEL21c content and turn it into innovative social-media campaigns.
Outside it was snowing, the temperature hovering around minus 6 degrees Celsius in true wintertime Chicago fashion, but inside was a hive of warmth and activity, the room abuzz with original and creative proposals.
Labels Are for Food, Not Jews
BY YOSEF NEMANPOUR for newvoices.org
There are a surprising number of labels that a Jewish person can use to describe their Jewish identity. It can range anywhere from the typical “Orthodox,” “Conservative,” and “Reform” denominations, to “Jewish Science” observances.
The practice of affixing labels to Jews has become so pervasive that the concept of separating those labels from Jewish identity seems impossible. In reality, however, the heavy emphasis on Jewish denominational factions is relatively new. Moreover, although Jewish denominational stereotyping might seem intuitive or automatic, it often involves a far greater cost than benefit, both to those labeled and to our communities at large.
What Do Teen Lobbyists Do During a Government Shutdown?
BY RABBI JOEL MOSBACHER from ReformJudaism.org
What do lobbyists do during a government shutdown?
Most might stay home. But if you are an intrepid, well-prepared, passionate teenage Jewish lobbyist, you find a way in.
That’s what eight teenage members of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York, NY, did yesterday, after they had spent the weekend preparing to lobby as a part of the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
They had worked all weekend, learning about the current political issues on Capitol Hill and about what Judaism and Jewish values say about those issues, as well as considering how they themselves had been personally affected by them. They spent hours preparing impassioned, personal, Judaism-infused lobbying speeches.
Can A Jew Get Body Piercings?
While most contemporary Jewish authorities believe ear piercing is fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex when it comes to extensive piercings or piercing other body parts.
Does Jewish law allow body piercing? While most contemporary Jewish authorities believe that ear piercing is generally fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex when it comes to extensive piercings or piercing other body parts.
The principal issue of Jewish law raised by body modifications of all types is the traditional prohibition on damaging a human body.
Some contemporary authorities have also raised concerns that piercing can run afoul of Jewish values of modesty (tzniut ) and respect for the body as created in the divine image.
However, most rabbinic authorities give at least some weight to contemporary mores, in particular the fact that body piercing is understood today not as a sign of bodily denigration, but as an act of adornment.
Are You There, G-d? It’s Me, Tamar
Tamar Cohen for Fresh Ink for Teens
Judy Blume’s books teach us real-lessons about growing up.
Bildungsroman: the German word for a coming-of-age novel. A prime example of this? Judy Blume's “Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret.” Beloved by angsty teens and middle-aged women’s book clubs alike, Judy Blume seems to have completely mastered the art of coming-of-age in fiction.
Growing up with an irrational fear of dogs, I found a sympathetic fellow in cynophobic Sheila, of Blume’s “Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great.” I know many classmates of all genders whose love of reading began with Blume’s the “Fudge” saga, and, of course, an entire mother-daughter book club's worth of girls who learned the emotional process of menstruation from Margaret and her friends.