israel

Here for the Year – Against All Odds Students with special needs who participate in OTS’s Elaine and Norm Brodsky Darkaynu Program face many more challenges than their mainstreamed year-in-Israel peers. If this is true during a regular academic year, then it’s all the more true in 2020 – the year of COVID. “The obstacles …

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Silver Linings: Building New Strategies in the Face of COVID OTS’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity offers Israeli Jews who identify as secular an opportunity to explore and reclaim their Jewish heritage through communal programming based in the local community centers.  But what happens when the community centers are closed because of COVID? As the …

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Yachad: Connecting Jews to the High Holidays, their Heritage and Each Other The High Holidays are a time when Jews of all backgrounds seek meaning and opportunities to connect – even Israelis who identify as secular or who may feel alienated from synagogues and Jewish institutions they view as “religious.”  During this uniquely reflective time …

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“Rabbinical attacks on Reform Jews are a recipe for delaying the Mashiach” At the first Makor Rishon “Am Olam” International Conference on the Diaspora, OTS President and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander gave a TED Talk about the importance of developing a common language for all of world Jewry, for the sake of our …

Read more“Rabbinical attacks on Reform Jews are a recipe for delaying the Mashiach”

RKB Letter to Omer Yankelovitz

“A Time to Reconnect” An open letter from Rabbi Kenneth Brander to MK Omer Yankelevich, Israel’s newly-appointed Minister of Diaspora Affairs 5 June, 2020 Thousands of years ago our nation was exiled from our country by our enemies. The Jewish people dispersed in all directions, building homes and communities, establishing synagogues and houses of study. …

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Spending the Year in Israel – Our Way Arutz 7 News | 30 October, 2019 On Monday, October 28th, this year’s cohort of the Elaine and Norm Brodsky Darkaynu Programs arrived at Ben Gurion airport. The chaperoned group was greeted by peers who had arrived earlier, as well as administrative staff, madrichot and madrichim holding …

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Amlat class of 2017 at Michal's wedding

“Life in Argentina is simpler, but Israel is worth the hardship” Since the inception of the Amlat program at Midreshet Lindenbaum about a decade ago, 30% of its participants – about 100 young women – have made aliya.  “It is true that my family does not live in Israel and it’s difficult being alone,” says …

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Sheva Chaya demonstrating glass blowing to New Orleans community

Israeli artist Sheva Chaya joined OTS Amiel BaKehilla‘s third delegation to Cherry Hill, NJ; Charleston, SC and New Orleans, LA where her breathtaking glass-blowing presentations successfully engaged community members through the creation of beautiful Jewish art from Safed.  OTS Amiel BaKehila’s delegations to small and mid-sized communities across the Diaspora create a lasting connection to Jewish tradition, …

Read moreA Thousand Words – November 5, 2018

Photo of cover article on Ethiopian students at Machanaim in In Jerusalem magazine

Living in Hope and in Limbo Their hearts are in Israel; their bodies remain in Ethiopia. Will the story ever have a happy ending? by Maayan Hoffman August 31, 2018 Photos by Marc Israel Sellem Getachew Gebrei described his new yeshiva as a “light of Torah – wow!” Gebrei, an engineering student, is one of …

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If These Pages Could Talk Rabbi Kenneth Brander 27/07/2018 A number of years ago, my parents began preparing to leave the home they’d lived in for decades. But at a certain point, my siblings and I realized that nothing was being packed. My father would open a drawer, look at what was inside, and a groundswell …

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The Disintegration of the Chief Rabbinate

July 4, 2018 The Disintegration of the Chief Rabbinate by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin   From the very beginning of the establishment of our Jewish state, it certainly was assumed that the institution of the Chief Rabbinate would have control over the religious services provided by the state: marriage and divorce, kashrut and conversion, at the very …

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