- Written by JTA STAFF
JTA – What made headlines (in Israel, the U.S. and around the world) in 2014? Here’s JTA’s annual news quiz:
1. Palestinian officials apologized to Czech authorities after the Palestinian envoy to Prague, Jamal Al-Jamal, was killed in an explosion in his home because:
a) a cache of illegal weapons was discovered there.
b) the explosion damaged a historic Czech cemetery.
c) the ambassador’s residence was being used by Palestinian militants as a safe house.
d) Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, blamed the explosion on the Czech government.
- Written by admin
The January/February show in the Gallery at Temple Habonim features 36 works by 21 artists, all members of the summer LLC (Lifelong Learning Collaborative) Plein Air class. The show will open with a wine and cheese reception on Jan. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. and will continue through March 5. Among the displayed works are Helen MacDonald’s, “Trio,” in acrylic, Bob Martin’s, “La Bruja,” in oil, and Joan McConaghy’s, “Sailing School,” in oil.
- Written by HILLARY SCHULMAN
PAWTUCKET – One year ago, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Congregation Beth Sholom, Temple Emanu-El, and Temple Beth-El launched (401)j, Rhode Island’s Jewish young professional collaborative.
Originating as an online community, (401)j created cluster groups such as D’var in the Bar, Rosh Hodesh, Mah-jongg, Singles Group and Pastrami on RI to engage more young Jewish community members, forming lifelong friendships and a stronger investment in the local Jewish community.
On Dec. 18, (401)j celebrated one year of success at the Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket with Foolproof beer, and latkes provided by The Chubby Chickpea.
- Written by JENNIFER ZWIRN
On Dec. 7, approximately 250 enthusiastic community members gathered at Temple Emanu-El to celebrate the success of the Jewish Alliance’s 2015 Annual Campaign.
Susan and Ed Odessa and Judy and Mayer Levitt co-chaired the event. Judy Levitt announced she just happens to be a distant cousin of Joshua Malina, the evening’s keynote speaker.
A Hollywood actor and passionate advocate for the Jewish community, Malina shared his experiences on how to remain a mensch in Hollywood and entertained an admiring audience with stories about his Jewish upbringing, his career as an actor and the intersection of his personal and professional lives.
His stories ranged from funny (he credits performing the Heimlich maneuver on Aaron Sorkin for kick-starting his acting career) to inspirational (he begins each day reciting the Modeh Ani with his family), and he addressed everything from his education at Westchester Day School and Yale University to his career in Hollywood. He also discussed the important life lessons and Jewish values he learned from his parents that have built the foundation for his successes and have contributed to his advocacy for the Jewish community.
- Written by Fran Ostendorf
The National Council of Jewish Women, a nationwide organization with a proud history of social action, advocacy, volunteerism and philanthropy, is at a crossroads in Rhode Island.
On Dec. 11, the leadership of the Rhode Island Section mailed a letter to the membership asking them to vote on whether or not to end the group’s 106 years of advocacy for women, children and families in Rhode Island.
The letter reads, in part, “…we are saddened to inform you that at this time we do not have members who are willing to assume the responsibility of leading this Rhode Island Section. Therefore, with deep regret, the board has voted to disband the Rhode Island Section.”
Nan Levine and Ellie Elbaum, co-presidents since 2008, say they can no longer lead the group.
Elbaum and Levine say they want the community to know they are not happy about this outcome. Both women have been active members of NCJW for many, many years, serving in numerous capacities. “It was a tough call,” says Levine. “I’m very sad. I love this organization.”
- Written by ALISA KOTLER-BERKOWITZ
Marli Scharlin, Brown ’16, had an idea. Actually, she had a lot of ideas. When we first met on the steps by the Main Green in early September, she shared all of her creative, out-of-the-box, innovative ideas. As a new Engagement Intern through Brown RISD Hillel, she partnered with Hillel to make her ideas a reality.
The Engagement Internship through Brown RISD Hillel offers students the opportunity to create a project with a Jewish connection that will engage their greater networks on campus. Throughout the year, the 10 Engagement Interns meet weekly with staff and students to participate in project management, group support and Jewish learning.
- Written by Fran Ostendorf
Students in grades 1-8 stepped up to the challenge this year: Let us know what Hanukkah means to you and your family.
A panel of judges examined each of the 90 entries we received in the 2014 Hanukkah Art and Writing Contest, sponsored by The Jewish Voice and Touro Fraternal Association. They chose what they thought best represented Hanukkah this year. Art was judged on creativity. Writing – on what got the message of Hanukkah across. Judges were Fran Ostendorf, editor of The Voice, Tricia Stearly, advertising sales manager of the Voice, Irina Missiuro, writer and editorial consultant for The Voice and Steve White from Touro Fraternal.
- Written by Lindsay Chancellor
On Dec. 7, the women of Temple Beth-El’s Sisterhood, along with members of the Providence community, gathered to enjoy an afternoon of fashion, food and philanthropy at the first ever Right Off the Runway event.
Co-chaired by Cheryl Greenfield and Joie Magnone, the donor event aimed to raise funds for congregational and community programs including the Religious School, the Ronald McDonald “make a meal” event and scholarships for youth leadership and outreach. Additionally, a portion of the funds will be put toward a special project at the temple. Magnone says: “First and foremost we hoped that people would come and have a really great time, but we’re also looking to raise as much money as possible so we can put it all back into the community.”
Greenfield, who also acts as the Sisterhood’s co-president, felt compelled to coordinate the unique fundraising event after a chance meeting in March with Yemi Sekoni, artistic director of Lights Fashion Philanthropy. Headquartered in Cranston, Lights Fashion Philanthropy is a fashion-driven event and entertainment company that helps charitable organizations increase fundraising efforts while promoting local boutiques and up-and-coming designers.