Slingshot Salutes Innovation of Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues
This week, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF) was named among the Top 50 Jewish innovators in Slingshot’s 2010-2011 guidebook. The Task Force, proudly co-chaired by JDC’s CEO Steve Schwager and housed here at JDC headquarters in NYC, is a diverse coalition of over 90 Jewish organizations dedicated to educating the Jewish community about issues facing Israeli Arabs—20% of Israel’s population—in support of a secure, just, Jewish, and democratic state.
JDC Goes to Washington
As part of JDC’s work in Washington, Board members and staff traveled to our nation’s capital for meetings, culminating in a session with White House officials. Susan Sher (First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff) and Danielle Borrin (Associate Director of Public Engagement), who serve as President Obama’s liaisons to the Jewish community, engaged with JDC representatives to learn about our work.
Romania Celebrates Opening of 4th JCC
This past Sunday, October 10, the city of Timisoara opened the doors of a new Jewish Community Center (JCC)—the fourth in Romania following others in Bucharest, Oradea, and Iasi. More than 300 people attended the opening celebration, which included a concert followed by an “after-party” for local Jewish youth.
Celebrating Jewish Culture in the Streets of Ukraine
It’s not every day you see a sign promoting Jewish activities on a busy street corner in Ukraine. But this week in Kharkov, an estimated 10,000 people are experiencing the sights and sounds of Judaism in the city’s Days of Jewish Culture celebration—a project run by the local JDC-supported Beith Dan Jewish Community Center. The festival, running October 3-10, highlights the richness and variety of Jewish culture through music and dance performances, workshops, concerts, art exhibitions, and other engaging activities for all ages.
In Belarus, the Face of Jewish Poverty
Here at JDC we often stress the fact that we endeavor to save lives every day, one person at a time.
JDC & Susan G. Komen for the Cure Promote Breast Cancer Awareness in Bosnia
Today, more than 3,000 Bosnians will hit the streets of Sarajevo in honor of breast cancer awareness month. JDC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are hosting their third annual Race for the Cure. The event brings together people of all backgrounds including those from the Bosnian, Muslim, Croatian, Jewish, and Serbian communities. The funds raised at the 2010 Race will be used to distribute immediate post-surgery medical kits to women and provide free mammogram checkups for those who are uninsured.
There’s No Place Like Home
As we reported last week, two Torahs handed over to JDC by the New York District Attorney were to make their way to new homes in Sofia, Bulgaria and Belgrade, Serbia. Timing is everything and government representatives in New York for the UN General Assembly enthusiastically offered to personally escort the Torahs back to Europe.
NY District Attorney’s Office Hands Over Rescued Torahs to JDC for Overseas Communities
In time for Simchat Torah next week, Jewish communities in Sofia, Bulgaria and Belgrade, Serbia will each get a very special delivery about which to rejoice: a torah. The two Torahs, which were stolen by a Brooklyn man and ended up in the hands of the New York District Attorney’s office, are being donated by JDC to these Eastern European communities. In Sofia, the Torah will help replace scrolls stolen from the synagogue 10 years ago. In Belgrade, it will be the first kosher Torah used since the breakup of Yugoslavia when Jewish community assets were divided.
From Stanley Abramovitch: Yom Kippur in a DP Camp
As Yom Kippur descends upon us, Jewish communities around the world prepare for the traditional holiday customs: pre-sundown meal, synagogue services, fasting, breaking the fast…and of course, intense personal reflection. However, Day of Atonement rituals were not always so easily understood or embraced.
Hasidim Make Rosh Hashanah Pilgrimage to Ukraine
We at JDC know well that Rosh Hashanah traditions can take on their own unique flair from one country to another. A recent article in Slate shares that for the 35,000 Hasidim (ultra Orthodox Jews) that embarked on the annual pilgrimage to Uman, Ukraine (125 miles south of Kiev where the Breslov Hasidic sect’s founder, Rabbi Nachman, is buried), it was an inclusive and nearly 200-year-old “pray, eat, love” fest.