Intifada or not, Palestinians have anger without leadership

The Palestinians have a strategic decision to make. If they launch a third intifada, what is their ultimate goal? How will they prevent it from failing like the last two? Will it leave their people in a better or worse position, during and after its execution? Palestinian leaders, whether nationalists or Islamists, don’t care about the day-to-day welfare of their people. They view the Palestinian population as an instrument of struggle, rather than as a collection of individuals and families who aim for a better quality of life for themselves and their nation, writes columnist Ben Cohen.

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Analysis, Israel, Opinion.

Muslim call to prayer, or Arab call to violence: a terror timeline

Every day now, Eliana Rudee wakes up to news of more murders around Jerusalem. Outside her window, she hears screaming, and as her stomach twists in fright, she wonders whether she is hearing yet another Arab attack against Jews. Over the Jewish holidays, five Jews were killed in terror attacks in and near Jerusalem. And other than the Israeli media, the world is silent. In her latest "Aliyah Annotated column," Rudee provides a timeline of the recent violence in Israel.

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Aliyah Annotated, Israel, Opinion.

On Syrian refugee crisis, Jewish community moves from words to action

American news networks swung their cameras towards Syrian refugees crisis in September, resulting—predictably—in a good deal of hot air from politicians. But talk is cheap. Food, shelter, and healthcare can be more expensive. Enter the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees, a 20-member subgroup of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee that has raised $300,000 for Syrian refugee relief in the past month alone. “Once made aware, the Jewish community has been quite responsive [to the refugee crisis],” said Will Recant, head of the coalition. “I’m personally very proud of the response.”

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under Features, U.S., World.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked talks Temple Mount, Iran, U.N., Henkin murders

In the midst of a perfect storm of major Jewish and Israel news stories this week, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked—a 39-year-old rising star in Israeli politics—had no shortage of talking points for both a speaking engagement in Boston and an interview with The topic that was freshest in everyone’s mind Thursday was clearly the Palestinian terrorist attack in Samaria, in which the armed wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party murdered Israelis Eitam and Na’ama Henkin in a drive-by shooting in front of the couple’s four children. “I think this [attack] is the result of Mahmoud Abbas’s incitement, like what we saw yesterday at the [U.N.] General Assembly,” Shaked told “His speech was full of lies and anti-Semitic statements. It was really sad that he got so much applause in the U.N.”

Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Israel, News, U.S..

Seize the day: a sermon in memory of Na’ama and Rabbi Eitam Henkin

In a sermon given by Rabbi Barry Gelman at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston during Shabbat morning services on Oct. 3, days after Palestinian terrorists murdered Na’ama and Rabbi Eitam Henkin in Israel, Gelman says that in the spirit of the Henkins, we should stop asking and start accomplishing. 


Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Opinion, Jewish Life, Israel.

Refresh your Hanukkah dessert table with pastry chef Paula Shoyer

It is a truth universally acknowledged thatwe can never get tired of Hanukkah latkes and sufganiyot (the holiday’s deep-fried jelly doughnuts). But there’s no harm in adding some culinary variety to this year’s Festival of Lights. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer offers a doughnut recipe with a twist as well as two alternative recipes that are great for Hanukkah and will satisfy any sweet tooth. 

Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Hanukkah, Food, Special Sections.

Hanukkah karma? A miracle cancer recovery for Baruch Nissan Snyder

William (Baruch Nissan) Snyder is a vibrant 12-year-old boy. He loves baseball, football, swimming, riding his bike, and playing video games. He laughs heartily, his gigantic sense of humor shining through—with one hand on his special dog, Asha. But like his Hebrew name, William is a blessed miracle. Each day of this cancer survivor's last 10-and-a-half years has been a miracle. tells his story.

Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Hanukkah, Special Sections.

8 ways to celebrate Hanukkah that don’t involve gifts

Hanukkah gifts are all the rage when it comes to the kids, but how can parents infuse more meaning into the Festival of Lights? offers eight ways to celebrate the holiday that don't involve presents, ranging from crafts projects to dreidel tournaments to re-enacting the Hanukkah story.

Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Hanukkah, Special Sections.

8 de-‘light’-ful gifts for 8 Hanukkah nights

Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights. On each night we light one more candle to remember the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple. But there are more ways to create light than using Hanukkah menorah candles. offers a list of eight gifts, one for each night of the holiday, that are guaranteed to light up your friend or loved-one’s Hanukkah.

Posted on October 4, 2015 and filed under Hanukkah, Special Sections.

Jerusalem’s Christian Zionist Super Bowl

Black lights and sensational music. Dancing. Prayer. Charity. A march of thousands of colors from more than 80 nations—a march in solidarity with Israel. In essence, it’s Jerusalem’s Christian Zionist Super Bowl. Such was the scene of the 36th annual Feast of Tabernacles conference and celebration, hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) from Sept. 27-Oct. 1. The event brought more than 5,000 people to the Israeli capital, including more than 50 pro-Israel Christian parliamentarians and government officials from more than two-dozen countries. Several African nations sent a large delegation of cabinet ministers and members of parliament to officially represent their countries. “The vast majority of Zionists around the world are not Jewish, but Christian believers in the Bible that want to stand with Israel,” said Calev Myers, founder of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, at the Feast. “We need to equip them.”

Posted on October 2, 2015 and filed under Christian, Features, Israel.

Amid Oregon shooting, Israeli research may identify potential school shooters

In the fourth shooting at a U.S. college campus since August, 10 people were killed Oct. 1 when a 26-year-old gunman opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon. Many would be surprised to learn that part of the solution to the American school shooting epidemic might be found in Israel. School shooters present a challenge to both forensic psychiatry and law enforcement agencies. But new research by Prof. Yair Neuman, a member of the Homeland Security Institute at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), is showing promise. Together with James L. Knoll, a forensic psychiatrist at State University of New York, Neuman says he has developed a personality profiling technique that automates the identification of potential school shooters by analyzing personality traits that appear in their writings. 

Posted on October 2, 2015 and filed under Features, Israel, U.S..

What American Jews can do in response to the Henkin murders

The heartbreaking murder of Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama, gunned down by Palestinian terrorists in front of their children, will generate tear-filled eulogies and anguished recitations of tehillim (Psalms) throughout the Jewish world. As they should. But then what? Columnist Stephen M. Flatow, whose daughter Alisa died in a 1995 Palestinian terrorist attack, suggests some concrete steps Americans can take to respond.

Posted on October 2, 2015 and filed under Israel, Opinion, U.S..

Syria sizzles, Lebanon stinks: another complex day in Israel’s neighborhood

As untouched mounds of trash piled up on the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, in recent months, with no one coming to clean it up, a social movement began protesting under the motto “You Stink.” This “garbage crisis” has led to violent clashes between protesters and police and has showcased the broader dysfunction of the Lebanese government. Operating on a parallel track with domestic unrest, fighters from the Lebanese Shi’a Muslim terror group Hezbollah—a longtime enemy of Israel—are reportedly joining Iranian forces in providing ground support to complement Russian airstrikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil-war torn country. Besides its involvement in Syria, Hezbollah has been a domestic political force in Lebanon. How has Lebanon’s internal strife affected Hezbollah and the terror group's approach to Israel? puts together the pieces of this complex regional puzzle.

Posted on October 1, 2015 and filed under Features, Israel, News.

South African chief rabbi counters dual citizenship proposal, but not panicking

Anti-Zionists are targeting South Africa, but hold tight and wait to see what happens, South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein tells regarding reports of an impending dual citizenship crisis that may affect his country’s Jewish community. Discussing an early-September call by a deputy cabinet minister and senior official in the ruling African National Congress party that the government should look at changing current laws to ban South Africa’s citizens from holding dual citizenship—which would prevent them from fighting for the Israel Defense Forces—Goldstein says that South African Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba “called a press conference and said the government is not really considering changing the law…so I think now is not really the time to scream from the rooftop—at least not yet.”

Posted on October 1, 2015 and filed under Features, World.

What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?

“What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site of the Jerusalem Biennale, as part of an installation called “Betrothal.” With exhibits taking over seven of the city’s most interesting public spaces, the Biennale adds a fresh dimension of culture and innovation to the city’s more traditional Sukkot activities.

Posted on September 30, 2015 and filed under Arts, Features, Israel.