Opening the Window to Spirituality

Kabbalat Shabbat 2019

Opening the Window to Spirituality Shabbat in Israeli society is often viewed as a day of conflict, not a day of rest. The perception amongst many secular Israelis is that the religious are unwilling to allow any public transport or the opening of any public places of entertainment, thereby forcing many people to stay at …

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How was this Pesach Different?

How was this Pesach Different? For generations of Jewish children, one of the highlights of the Pesach Seder has been standing on a chair and reciting the Four Questions. And yet – in the Jewish state of Israel – the concept of the Ma Nishtana does not ring a bell with many young children from …

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Yachad Jewish Identity Coordinators: “Go, gather all the Jews…”

“Go, gather together all the Jews…” (Megillat Esther, 7:16) – Celebrating Purim Together Though gourmet Hamantaschen make their appearance in the trendiest Israeli bakeries and everyone dresses up for the holiday, Purim for many Israelis has little meaning beyond face-painting or getting intoxicated. How can we connect Israelis with no interest in the synagogue to the …

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Tu B’Shvat: Celebrating Shared Roots

Tu Bshvat activity

Tu B’Shvat: Celebrating Shared Roots In this generation, the holiday of Tu B’Shvat may be more important than ever. Where Jews traditionally ate dried fruits of the Land of Israel to demonstrate our yearning to return, today we also eat ripe fruits, to illustrate the abundance and blessing apparent in our return to Zion. Together, …

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145,000 Israelis Embrace Heritage with Joy, Meaning and Unity

Family at Sukkot workshop

145,000 Israelis Embrace New Year with Joy, Meaning and Unity OTS’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity brought the beauty of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah to more than 145,000 Israelis this year through their annual “Holidays are for Everyone” initiative, designed to ensure that Jewish traditions are accessible and meaningful for all …

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Lighting Candles in all the Worlds

Lighting Candles in all the Worlds

The long, lazy Friday afternoons of Israeli summer are being imbued with meaning as hundreds of Israelis partake in Yachad Program festivities celebrating the coming of Shabbat. In community centers and parks across the country, Yachad’s 32 Jewish Cultural Facilitators are inviting Israelis of all ages and backgrounds to welcome the approaching Shabbat through music, …

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“Ten Commandments” – Yachad 2018

Can you recite all Ten Commandments? How do they impact on your daily life? These are some of the questions that OTS’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity posed to Israelis of all ages and backgrounds during the week preceding the Festival of Shavuot and on Shavuot night itself. The activities were part of a nationwide initiative …

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Limitless Love

Limitless Love to counter Baseless Hatred: Tisha B’Av 2017 What relevance can a fast marking the destruction of the Temple 2000 years ago possibly have for modern secular Israelis? How can one really be expected to mourn over something one has not personally loved, cherished or revered? This past Tisha B’Av, Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad …

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Strong Links in the Chain

“I cannot fall asleep, I keep looking at the photos from this evening’s ceremony and phrases from the various things that were said keep popping into my mind. I see my grandmother’s face before me and my mother’s, and I feel happy, somehow… safe? Because I know that my precious daughter, Lihi, has embraced her …

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Enlightening Lag B’Omer

“Lag B’Omer is one of the Jewish festivals celebrated by all Israelis, not just the Orthodox,” notes Eran Yunger, the  Yachad Program Jewish Cultural Facilitator in Tel Aviv.  “No matter where you go in the weeks leading up to the festival you’ll see kids dragging wood to the site of their bonfire and preparing for the …

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From Holocaust to Renewal

Israelis embark upon a period of National days after Pesach, beginning with Holocaust Remembrance Day and continuing with Memorial Day and Independence Day one week later. The transition from somber days of personal bereavement and national mourning to the unbridled celebration of Yom Haatzmaut creates an intense, emotionally charged mood throughout the entire country. The 32 Yachad …

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“Leaving Egypt” – Yachad 2017

“‘Ima, I left Egypt today!’ That’s what my nine-year-old son told me when he came home from the Yachad Program‘s pre-Passover activity,” says Bat Yam resident Sigalit Golan. “It was both moving and strange for me to see how the Passover story brought a spark to his eyes because for me, as a child, Passover was …

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