Newsletter Issue #7 December 7, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and polarizing political voice Tony Kushner, was awarded $100,000 for “Creative Citizenship” at The Nation Institute’s Annual Gala last Dec. 5 in New York. Kushner was recognized for more than his work alone. Independent of his art, Kushner is known for his daring political views, especially as they concern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces inaugurated the first military mikveh in history, at the southern Air Force base in Ovda. The ceremony was attended by the donor who transferred $100,000 for the ritual bath’s construction, as well as senior Military Rabbinate and base officers. The project was launched after women living on-base complained about having to travel 60 kilometers (37 miles) to Eilat every time they wish to immerse in a mikveh.

Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Jewish Children Museum will be adding a brand new fourth floor. Once entering one of four vibrantly colored canvas entrances, and you’ll immediately find yourself at ease in Abraham and Sarah’s cozy tent. By March 2012, around a million visitors will feel the same way when they get up close to “The Ancient Story of a Modern People.”

One man placed his gluttony to good use by raising Hanukka gelt for charity. A 31-year-old Beit Shemesh man is collecting donations for dozens of organizations by going on a donut binge. It started out as a gentlemen’s bet two years ago regarding which one of my neighbors could eat more sufganiyot [jelly-filled donuts] between Rosh Hodesh Kislev and the end of Hanukka, eventually turned into a beloved annual fundraising campaign.

Earlier this year, the absence of female images in advertisements prompted a public outcry. But in the last few days advertisements that features women started to appear on billboards in parts of Jerusalem. The television show “Hatzuya” has put up ads that include women, although they appear to be limited to non-Haredi neighborhoods. The National Transplant Center, will be relaunching its ad campaign in Jerusalem with women included.

In secular society, chesed is considered a positive attribute but it is not something regulated or legislated.  Jewish tradition kindness is a significant value. In fact, the Chafetz Chaim wrote an entire book called Ahavat Chesed, in which he codified the numerous laws pertaining to this middah.

So what have these NBA stars been doing with their newly found free time? NBA player Jordan Farmar has been playing in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Farmar, has spent the NBA lockout playing in front of sellout crowds at Yad Eliyahu Arena. NBA basketball players got a much longer summer vacation than they expected because of the lockout.

This is just a little post to give you some crafty inspiration. I made a bunch of yarn wrapped vases for a community get together, I actually completed the look by wrapping a braid around each vase. I can say that the braids themselves looked fabulous as is! I think it could look fabulous, maybe with some shiny metallic fabrics mixed with other colors? They’re so simple to make and they look great right now!

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