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San Francisco's Frena Bakery. Source: Google Maps screenshot.

San Francisco’s only kosher bakery praised for hiring former prisoners

The sole kosher bakery in San Francisco has made headlines for hiring formerly incarcerated employees. The nickname for Isaac Yosef’s Frena Bakery is the “Lifer Bakery.” Yosef has hired more than 25 ex-prisoners at his bakery...
Cole and Ella Emhoff, stepchildren of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, attend the 59th presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2021. Credit: DOD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II.

How many American Jews are there, and does it really matter?

This past weekend, the White House Passover seder was hosted by America’s Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born lawyer is the first Jew to be a spouse of a vice president, as well...
The national drive to improve reading skills and levels of education among children is fueling interest in children’s books. (Photo: Kalimat Publishing)

What I’ve learned teaching Jewish texts in the UAE

In 2011, on one of my first trips to the United Arab Emirates, I sat in on a class taught by then-New York University president John Sexton on law and religion at NYU Abu...
These phylacteries were found in a bunker unearthed in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. Courtesy: Shem Olam Faith and the Holocaust Institute.

Hidden bunker discovered in Warsaw Ghetto

A bunker containing 100-year-old tefillin (phylacteries) hidden from the Nazis in World War II has been discovered in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. In recent years, Polish authorities have begun to demolish buildings inside...
Women from the Cochin Jewish community perform on stage during a culture event at Bar-Ilan University. Photo by Victor Yitzhak, Cochin Jewish Heritage Center.

Meet the Cochin Jews: Israel’s oldest Indian community

Whatever way you look at it, the Jewish community of Cochin is an ancient one. If you rely on traditional lore, the Jews of the city of Cochin in southwestern India can trace their roots...
Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson with a Birthright group. Photo: Courtesy.

Love and generosity: A farewell tribute to Sheldon Adelson

On a Friday morning, slightly more than six months ago, we convened a transatlantic Zoom call. There we were, the deputy editor of Makor Rishon, Orly Goldklang from Ofra, myself from Jerusalem, and Sheldon and...

Want to change the world? Begin in the Jewish home

Jewish tradition cites Rosh Hashanah as the day on which the world was created. The day on which the creation of the first man was completed and, in effect, humanity was created. On Rosh Hashanah,...

Fearing coronavirus spread, chief rabbi upends key Rosh Hashanah ritual

A key ritual ahead of Rosh Hashanah has been effectively banned by Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau this year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Tashlich, a prayer during which Jews symbolically throw their...
Amy reading her first bracha. Credit: Courtesy.

‘And your God will be my God’: For one Jewish convert, the wait is...

“I’m so thrilled to be a part of B’nai Israel and to have finally found my place with the Jewish people, after nearly 30 years of asking and searching.” These are the first words Amy...

The Caged Lion

This year, the 3rd day of Elul, the yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, falls on August 27. In addition to having been a master in all disciplines of Torah and a great...