“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

NY Bar Mitzvah Boy Helps Israeli Kids

In the Yud Alef neighborhood of Beersheba, a tough neighborhood mainly home to immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union, the children still can’t believe their eyes – the old basketball court at the Rimonim elementary school in the middle of the neighborhood was transformed overnight to a stunning brand new court. Even more […]

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In Ukraine Town, Bar-Mitzvah and Shabbat Prayers, 70 Years Later

For the first time since before World War II, the small Jewish community in the Ukranian town of Netishin held prayer services this past Shabbat – and celebrated the Bar-Mitzvah of the grandson of the community’s last rabbi, 70 years after it had been scheduled to take place. The religious revival in the town is […]

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I Know My Son… Insights on Suffering & Adversity

Vayechi: Vast cosmic secrets appear couched in the dramatic events surrounding the deathbed blessings bestowed upon Yosef’s two sons Menashe and Ephraim by our saintly forebear Yaakov. The cryptic narrative seems to alert the reader to uncanny Divine insight on the part of Yaakov, the purveyor of the blessings, regarding the future of the two […]

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Mourning Noah Pozner, the Jewish Boy Whose Life Was Taken too Soon

Six days after the funeral of six-year-old Noah Pozner, his family is taking stock of the gifts sent to them by strangers all over the world. There’s a stiff teddy bear in a brown overcoat and hat accompanied by a note from a woman who says the bear gave her great comfort when her mother […]

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Dvar Torah Vayechi: The Reverse

Jacob gives some blessing to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Menashe, and crosses his arms so as to effect a modification of the precedence of the firstborn (Genesis 48:13-19) — not altogether surprising, since anyone paying attention for the last few months can plainly see that the firstborn status among the children of Abraham has […]

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A Few More Stories for the Road

As I prepare to leave my position as JWA’s Director of Public History after more than 12 years here, my mind keeps returning me back to the summer day in 2000 when I first stepped into the offices of the Jewish Women’s Archive. At the time, I was a disgruntled graduate student, disillusioned with life […]

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Jewish lt. Governor to Replace Hawaii Senator

Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz was named on Wednesday to fill the US Senate seat left vacant by the death of fellow Democrat Daniel Inouye. Schatz, 40, was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie, also a Democrat, to succeed Inouye for the two years remaining in the term. Because Schatz and Inouye are from the same […]

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Haredi Women Threaten not to Vote

The Shas and United Torah Judaism parties may have joined forces over the petition filed against them over the exclusion of women in their Knesset lists, but not everyone in the ultra-Orthodox public shares the opinion that Jewish religious laws ban women from serving as parliament members. A group of haredi women believe a woman […]

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SWC Issues Travel Advisory for Copenhagen Amid Warnings

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel advisory last week for Denmark in wake of warnings by Israel’s ambassador advising Jews and Israelis to refrain from wearing kippot, religious symbols, and speaking Hebrew on the streets of Copenhagen. “It is intolerable that any Jew should have to hide his or her identity on the streets […]

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Eliminating Hebrew from U.K. Schools Would not Spell the End of Jewish Education

Last week, Britain’s Jewish community stirred debate about  the government’s proposal to exclude Hebrew from its list of recognized languages for primary school education. Under the proposal, only seven languages would be recognized as compulsory learning for primary schools, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Latin and ancient Greek. Hebrew was not included. When I first heard about […]

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Braving a Botoxed World: A Mother’s Tale

In the recent Disney/Pixar film, Brave, a young princess defies an age-old custom and fights to make her mother understand that she is not ready for marriage. I know you’d rather not think of the Disney princesses at all, but we live and breathe, and shop at Target, so I contend—if forced to choose among that […]

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Is New Year’s Eve Jewish?

Is the celebration of New Year’s Eve allowed in accord with the Jewish religion? No, not in Haifa, Israel, according to the rabbinate there. They say that a New Year’s Eve party is an act of “Idol worship,” as JTA reports: Haifa rabbinate forbids New Year’s Eve parties JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Haifa rabbinate has […]

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Rabbis Offer Plan for Non-Orthodox Prayer at Wall

Two leading national-religious rabbis have expressed support for accommodating non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, dean of the Hesder Yeshiva in Petah Tikva, said one solution could be to designate different hours for Orthodox and non-Orthodox prayer. “Jerusalem is at the heart of the Jewish people, and if we want all of […]

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Bnei Menashe in Israel: ‘It’s a Dream’

Fifty-three Jews who claim to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe immigrated to Israel on Monday from their village in northeastern India, celebrating their arrival in a special operation after a five-year struggle to get in. The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in […]

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Rare Find of Temple Era Artifacts near Jerusalem

The discovery, like may others, was made during road excavation, this time at a new section of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway, known as Highway 1. The archaeological site is known as Tel Motza, at the Motza turnoff less than five miles west of Jerusalem. A ritual building and a cache of sacred vessels date back […]

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Shluchim Prep for Peak Giving Season

With the end of the fiscal year quickly approaching, people are hurrying to make their final donations of 2012, and many shluchim are looking to be the lucky receivers. Fun facts: · 41% of all giving occurs in the last few weeks of the year. · 33% of December donations occur on December 31. · […]

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Netanyahu to Jewish Agency: Find Solution for Non-Orthodox Women at Western Wall

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Jewish Agency to find a solution for non-Orthodox Jewish female groups wishing to pray at one of Judaism’s holiest sites. An official said Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, to look into the matter. The official spoke anonymously according to government […]

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Dear Heshy: I Saw a Frum Woman Wearing a Bikini and Covering Her Hair!

Greetings, thought would like this…my family and I are hanging by the pool…and there is this obvious young Lubavitcher long beard, baseball cap and his wife with a perfect Israeli Style Tichel/kerchief not one hair showing ….yet in a tiny bikini!!! What’s with that?? Bikini is ok? but she cannot show her hair??? I get […]

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A Very Jewish Christmas

There are many things I don’t love about Christmas. First off, those ridiculous fake antlers that people put on their cars. And that infernal Salvation Army bell ringing – whywhywhy do they keep ringing at you no matter how much money you put in there? I swear I’d drop a fifty just to be able […]

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Lost Jewish Tombstones Found in Greece

In a find that local Jewish groups have described as highly significant, Greek police said last week that hundreds of marble headstones and other fragments from Jewish graves destroyed during the Nazi occupation in World War II have been recovered. The 668 fragments were found buried in a plot of land in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second […]

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‘Odd Couple’s’ Jack Klugman, Son of Russian Jews, Dies

Jack Klugman, a son of poor Russian Jewish immigrants who rose to fame as an actor on “The Odd Couple,” has died at the age of 90. He portrayed a slovenly sportswriter on “The Odd Couple” television show and a tough medical examiner on “Quincy, ME.” Klugman’s attorney Larry Larson told AFP the actor died […]

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DVDs for Bedridden Children

Once again, a family’s generous gesture results in providing educational and inspirational DVDs to enhance the lives of bedridden children and adults. In an effort to perpetuate the memory of their mother Mrs. Chanchy Bruk A”H, whose second yahrzeit was on Zayin Teves, The Bruk Family has undertaken to subsidize the cost price of a […]

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Adam Greenberg, Jewish Baseball Player, Signs Minor League Deal with Orioles

Jewish player Adam Greenberg will resume his professional baseball career after signing a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Greenberg, 31, signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles and will work to get a spot on their Class AAA farm team in Norfolk, Va. Chosen by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of […]

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Honoring Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Today is the secular anniversary of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the preeminent theologian of the 20th century (his yahrzeit on the 18th of Tevet is next week). Many of my teachers at The Jewish Theological Seminary were students of Heschel’s and were highly influenced by his thinking and writing. In Heschel’s memory I share my favorite […]

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Centennial Study of Famed Chassidic Discourses Continues

Students of Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic thought worldwide are continuing to mark the centennial anniversary of a monumental series of Chassidic discourses by the fifth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Dovber Schneersohn, known as the Rebbe Rashab, with new materials and classes continuing to appear both online and in print. The discourses—collectively known as Hemshech Ayin Beis—were given […]

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Satmar Offers Israelis Cash for not Voting

The anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidic sect intends to pay every Israeli who promises not to vote, regardless of his or her religious affiliation. According to sources involved in the move, each person submitting their identity card and driver’s license on Election Day will receive $100 in cash. Last week, it was reported that one of the […]

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ADL Welcomes Hungary’s Actions to Penalize Hate Speech

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the Hungarian government’s approval of an amendment laying the groundwork to hold members of parliament accountable for hateful remarks. The approval by Hungary’s parliament came in the wake of anti-Semitic statements made by Marton Gyongyosi of the neo-Nazi Jobbik party, who stated on the floor of the parliament that “it […]

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After Newtown, Jews Lead Renewed Push on U.S. Gun Control

A Jewish community strongly supportive of gun control plus Jewish lawmakers eager to enact new gun control laws may bring Jews into a lead role as the nation debates federal measures to rein in mass murders at its malls and schools. The new openness to legislation and other measures following the slaughter of 26 elementary […]

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Sharing Stories, Inspiring Change

Last week, Rabbi Scott Perlo wrote a provocative article in the Washington Post in which he addressed the continuing discomfort that many Jews—even liberal, gender-equity-supporting ones—feel about female rabbis. He suggests that this puzzling phenomenon may be due to the central place nostalgia holds in many people’s feelings about Judaism. It comes as no surprise […]

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Bar Mitzvah Boy gives $13,000 to Troops

To celebrate the day he became a man, a Los Angeles 13-year-old donated a sizable chunk of his bar mitzvah gifts to help mend injured American war veterans and active duty soldiers. The University of California Los Angeles’ Operation Mend program recently accepted a $13,000 donation from Joshua Neidorf, following his Jewish rite of passage. […]

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