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Taglit-Birthright Israel is back and just in time

June 4, 2021 Taglit-Birthright Israel is back and just in time By Barbara Sofer Over the past two decades, more than 750,000 young Jews from 68 countries have toured Israel under the auspices of Birthright Israel. We locals got used to seeing the Birthright Israel buses traveling around the country, carrying ebullient university students on their …

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Independence Day: Forks, flypasts and the joy of being Israeli

April 23, 2021 Independence Day: Forks, flypasts and the joy of being Israeli By Barbara Sofer The smooth sand warms my bare soles on the long expanse of Ashdod’s Eleventh Neighborhood Beach. No sign of the recent tar pollution. Israel’s southern beaches were less badly hit than the northern, but not a tar clump remains, …

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Passover preserves the memory of Jewish people’s past voyages

March 26, 2021 Passover preserves the memory of Jewish people’s past voyages By Barbara Sofer There comes that moment of frustration when preparing for Passover that I need to sit down with my copy of Bread and Fire. Obviously, no bread recipes here. Bread and Fire is a collection of Jewish women’s writings edited by writer Rivkah …

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Israel: We must not teach history, but instill memory

February 25, 2021 Israel: We must not teach history, but instill memory By Barbara Sofer Jewish educators, most notably our contemporary Jerusalemite master teacher Avraham Infeld, insist that it’s not history we need to teach the next generation, but memory that we must instill. Says Infeld: It’s not what happened in the past that matters …

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Considering conversion: From Texas church songs to Israel hassidic tunes

February 12, 2021 Considering conversion: From Texas church songs to Israel hassidic tunes By Barbara Sofer  She used to be the minister of song in a Texas megachurch, but now she’s an aficionado of hassidic melodies in Israel. I’m thinking of this remarkable story as the women of the Chabad movement mark the 33rd anniversary of the …

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