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Israel celebrates Independence Day. Illustrative photo via Shutterstock.

73 fun facts about Israel

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Israel has the highest number of altruistic kidney donations per capita in the world: 1,005 in the past 11 years, and counting. The oldest tree in Israel is a jujube tree in Ein Hatzeva...
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Dessert Pays Tribute to Shoah Victims

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Base Recipe: Eva Giesener, z”l;  Research and Recipe Twist: Jeffery Giesener Yom HaShoah 2021. So many memories of my mom and dad. Mom passed in 2011 and she would have been 93 this year. Dad...
By zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel, via Wikimedia Commons

Commemorating Yom Hashoah in Verse

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It can be a deeply humbling experience to hear personal accounts of the Holocaust. For those of us born in the relative safety and comfort of post-war America, Yom Hashoah is one day. Survivors would relive...
Kyiv Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich leads the memorial ceremony and inauguration of the symbolic synagogue on the site of the Babi Yar Nazi massacre. Credit: Courtesy of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.

Rabbis, Jewish world leaders unveil symbolic synagogue, prayer space at Babi Yar

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Marking Yom Hashoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day on the Jewish calendar—the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center unveiled the very first Jewish prayer space on Thursday. The symbolic synagogue structure was opened at a ceremony that included special prayers led...
Chaim Luviner serving in the IDF's Armored Corps. Credit: Courtesy.

From the Holocaust to the IDF: Grandfather and grandson share a story of survival...

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As Israel prepared to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, a grandfather who survived the Nazi atrocities in Poland and his grandson shared a powerful story of survival and continuity. Chaim Luviner, born in 1933 in Poland,...
Six of the Bernstein siblings taken in Ylakiai, Lithuania, February 1933. Top row, from left: Arye-Leib, Ida and Benzion; bottom row, from left: Rivka, Menachem and Hinda. They were all murdered in the Holocaust except for Ida, who immigrated to Eretz Israel (Mandatory Palestine) on Feb. 5, 1933, taking this photo with her. Credit: Yad Vashem.

Yad Vashem online exhibit emphasizes the power of family

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The world will mark Yom Hashoah—Holocaust Memorial Day—on April 7-8 with particular attention on the 80th anniversary of a campaign against the Jews of Eastern Europe that was nothing short of mass murder. This...
Alex Healing

The most unlikely Passover seder

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On the eve of Passover, I was one of 13 people driving through the rolling sand dunes between Abu Dhabi and the remote Arabian Nights Bedouin Village on the way to celebrating a most...

Recipe: Gluten-Free Brownies for Passover

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Recipe: Eva Giesener , z”l;  Recipe Research and Twist: Jeffery Giesener  “Mit Nuts or Ohne Nut’s”… That what my Mom used to ask us as she always made two batches of her delish brownies for...
Sephardic Passover customs include Bibhilu, a Moroccan ritual. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

Sephardic envy at Passover time

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Passover is here, and I am triggered. Every Ashkenazi Jew gets a little Sephardic-envy this time of year thinking about all the rice our fellow Jews will be eating while we suffer through a kitniyot lockdown....
pixy.org

This Passover, a song of thanks

It’s hard to believe that only a year has passed since Passover of 5780 (2020). Since the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafner of blessed memory reinstated the tradition of the Priestly Blessing some 50...