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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony announcing the winners of the Wolf Foundation award, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on Jan. 16, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Rosh Hashanah 5781: Only together

My fellow Israelis, tonight I am speaking to you on the eve of the State of Israel’s second lockdown, and I ask you to open your heart to me and to what I have...
Israelis shop at the outdoor market in Ramla on Sept. 17, 2020. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

At Rosh Hashanah, Israel’s population hits 9.25 million

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel’s population stands at 9.246 million people, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported, marking an annual population growth rate of 1.6 percent (150,000 people). The past year...
Israeli police at the entrance to the neighborhood of Ramot in Jerusalem as Israel enforces a lockdown and a night curfew applied to some 40 cities throughout Israel that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, Sept. 13, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Rules for Israel’s second lockdown

The Israeli Health Ministry, Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office released a joint statement on Wednesday detailing the final list of regulations approved by the Cabinet for the nationwide lockdown scheduled to go into...
U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Nov. 14, 2018. Credit: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.

In pre-5781 phone call, Trump warns ‘Israel is in big trouble’ if he isn’t...

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that the Jewish state will be in trouble if he loses the presidential election. “Whatever you can do in terms of Nov. 3 is going to be very...
An Israeli police officer outside of a synagogue in Jerusalem as the government imposes coronavirus restrictions, April 5, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Rosh Hashanah prayers during lockdown: A guide for perplexed Israelis

Synagogues across Israel were busy on Wednesday making preparations for Rosh Hashanah prayer services under the shadow of coronavirus and public-health restrictions. The Health Ministry has issued clarifications for its regulations on holiday prayer, with...
Mayim Bialik. Source: Twitter.

Mayim Bialik joins LA ‘Shofar Wave’ to bring Jewish community together for Rosh Hashanah

On Sept. 20, L.A. Jews can welcome in 5781 with the Shofar Wave. Created by the religious leadership at IKAR, people will stand on street corners throughout the city and blow the shofar, thereby creating a “wave”...
Or Olam Synagogue in New York City. The Conservative congregation will be using livestreaming and Zoom, and have parts of the services pre-recorded to “replicate as best we could services as we had them in the building even though we’re out of the building,” the synagogue’s rabbi, Eugene Wernick, told JNS, September 2020. Source: Facebook.

How High Holiday services and arrival of 5781 are going to look across America

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, also known as the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim (“Days of Awe”), one of the prayers reads: “Who will live and who will die … Who by plague … .” “Most...
Shaare Zedek medical worker wearing protective clothing takes a swab from a woman to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 10, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

As nationwide lockdown looms, Israel’s corona tally, number of serious cases climb

A nationwide lockdown in Israel seems inevitable with a deciding cabinet vote scheduled for next week as the number of new coronavirus cases hit a new 24-hour record from Thursday to Friday, with more...

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...
A view of the Central Synagogue in New York City. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Synagogues grapple with putting changes in place for High Holiday services

As fall arrives and the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, prayers are very much needed, say rabbis across the Jewish spectrum, even if individuals and families cannot make it to...