I attended my second cousin's sons (Nathan) Bar Mitzvah. I attended morning Shabbat services at Krieger Schechter where Nathan became Bar Mitzvah. I also attended an evening party for him, where the photo was taken. It was very special to see the how a young man is entering in adulthood and accepting the mitzvahs and we as Jews are living on in a new generation. The parents have a similar background as me immigrating to the United States with a limited education about our heritage but it shows the kids can learn from an early age and continue our traditions.
I attended a lecture by Charlie Harary which was attended by a lot of people and it was presented by the local learning center Etz Chaim. Harary is a great speaker and he was able to tell stories that helped me relate to the journey of being closer to G-d and other people. He was telling the story of Joseph and how he became a "successful" Jew and how he was communicating with G-d.
I attended a live Torah class at Etz Chaim with Rabbi Shlomo Porter. It was my first ever live Torah class and I enjoyed it very much. We went over the Parashat about the female captive. I have attended the high holidays at Etz Chaim for the past 3 years and will do so this year with Rabbi Porter. From the learning, we discussed so many aspects about Jewish life and learned the background about the parashat which evolved into discussions about marriage and temptation. I loved it and will be attending Rabbi Porter's Torah learning on Sundays on a consistent basis.
I attended a lecture called "The Anniversary of Creation" with Harold Gans. Harold Gans is one the authors of the Torah Code papers. It was hosted by my learning center called Etz Chaim. I choose to attend this event because I thought it would be interesting to learn about creation with a scientific perspective, especially since the holiday Rosh Hashanah is coming up. The lecture did not disappoint. Mr. Gans gave us a very detailed explanation about the universe in a scientific way and then in a Torah perspective. He was able to discuss the common ideas that people have about reconciling science and faith.
I volunettered for Baltimore Brain Tumor Walk. I found out about this opportunity from the Jewish Volunteer Connection of Baltimore website, which is a website from the Associated which helps connect volunteers to Jewish related organizations/causes. The Jewish Volunteer Connection is having an event called a Day to Unite which involved many opportunities to volunteer. I decided on the Brain Tumor Walk because my father had pancreatic cancer which metastasized to his brain, causing brain tumors and multiple brain surgeries. I helped setting up and giving out t-shirts and water. Yes, I would volunteer again.
I hosted a Shabbat meal for my mom and myself. We both lit the candles and did the proper prayer for the lighting and start of Shabbat. There was Challah and grape juice and I tried to do the blessing for each. I do not have any experience but tried from my experience to perform it correctly. I served Chicken with rice and corn. My mom and talked about Shabbat and had an immense gratitude for this beautiful event.
I read two articles that dealt with anti-Semitism related to European soccer clubs. One incident involved 2 Italians fans booing the Israeli national anthem and giving a Nazi salute and the other was about Polish soccer fans burning Jewish related items and waving anti-Semitic banners. I know that modern Europe is very anti-Semitic and it is shocking and saddening that it even spreads to the sporting world. Sports are supposed to be a fun pastime that brings people together and all the articles talk about is hate towards the Jewish people. I agree with the author to the fact there is severe Anti-Semitism in Europe now and days and it is not a friendly or safe place for Jews even in the sports realm. One of the incidents did occur in Israel which is disheartening because the Italian fans traveled to Israel and still spread their hate in the host country they visited! This expanded my understanding of the topic of European Anti-Semitism by confirming the fact that as Jew it is a place that is continuing to be unwelcoming. I truly to appreciate the beauty and history of Europe but as Jew need to be aware of the changing and dangerous views of the people and governments.
I choose the memory stick/flash drive invented by Dov Moran from Tel Aviv, Israel. I am proud of this contribution because it completely changed the way data is moved and stored. As a professional, I can easily move/save information and work at different locations. It is much easier to use a memory stick compared to a CD or floppy disk. It is also more secure than using e-mail.
I am most interested in hearing from
Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon. He is the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and former Defense Minister, retiring from office in 2016. I think it will be interesting to hear from someone that was in one of the highest political positions in Israel. The military and defense of Israel is so vital to the land it will be fascinating to hear and meet a person with such a great responsibility. I already have a great respect and admiration for the defense forces and would like to know about it more. From attending the conference, I hope to continue to celebrate and further spread ideas and knowledge about Israel. I hope to meet different Jewish people around the DC area.
The inspiration for me to go on Birthright and then on Israel Recharge is my love of Israel and my roots. I have been to Israel as a little girl and have always felt a connection to the land and the people. Both trips did not disappoint and was like water to a deep seed that I had within in me. I have always understood what Israel means and to experience it is the most amazing fact. I feel deep connection when I am in Israel and I want to keep learning and growing within my Jewish identity for the rest of life.
See the introduction that I posted on facebook.
This movie is about a thief that get recruited to steal a technology that allows users of a suit to become the size of an ant. In the process Scott Lang becomes the superhero Ant-Man. The Ant-Man suit technology allows Scott to become the size of an ant. Scott does become a hero in the movie. The movie can be seen through a Jewish lens by comparing Israel and the Jewish people to Ant-Man. Ant-man is small but makes a huge difference in the movie. This is directly related to the Jewish people. The Jewish people are the size of an ant compared to other populations but have consistently not only survived, but made immense contributions to humanity through out its history. Despite the odds against surviving against mega threats, the Jewish people are still here. The state of Israel can also be directly compared to Ant-Man. A small country that has survived and flourished despite the dangerous threats it always faces. The character of Ant-man is a great metaphor of the Jewish people.
Jurassic World is a mega blockbuster that revisits the idea of genetically creating and altering dinosaurs in today's modern world for the public to consume. The genetically created dinosaur becomes to smart and escapes its compound and sets off a chain of events where the park and the people are in danger due this dinosaur and other escaping. An idea in the movie that can be seen through the Jewish lens is the idea of humans interfering with nature and acting like G-d. In Jewish belief, there is only one G-d that is control and oversees all nature. Humans can't act or behave in that manner. We are here to live as humans and have unique struggles that make us mortal. We can not believe that we are perfect or interfere like we have supreme control because the consequences could be disaster for everyone in a way that we can't come back from. This is what happened in Jurassic World, the scientists behaved like G-d and the result was death of people's lives and the complete destruction of the park.
I decided to like this organization because it provides a way for young adults to help their community while connecting with people and having fulfilling Jewish experiences.
I decided to like this organization because the mission of having IDF soldiers lecture and discuss the Israel situation and educating people who are interested in the topic is crucial. I support this organization because I believe that it is important to support the troops and Israel.
I decided to like this organization because it directly helps Israel and has great environmental and social programs that help Israel and the Jewish people. I have donated to the Jewish National Fund and have planted a tree through the organization.
The video that I watched was "Hope for Heroism". The link is http://www.aish.com/v/is/Hope-for-Heroism.html. The resource that was used was Bring Israel Home and Aish. I decided to watch a video about Israeli soldiers because I always here about Israel and the military on the news. Also, the Israeli Defense Forces have a respectful reputation, but I do not know much about the military on a personal/human level. The video was inspirational to me because it was about injured Israeli soldiers and about the organization "Hope for Heroism". It is an organization that helps injured soldiers while creating a cycle of injured soldiers helping each other. It is so inspirational to know what what the soldiers have to go through in Israel. It is especially touching due to the fact that everyone in Israel has to participate in the IDF so in one way or another the whole population lives with the effects of being in the military and war.
I decided to like this organization because it provides a great resource for people to stay connected and go to Jewish events in the tri-state area. I live in Baltimore and could always visit New York and this is a great resource meet new people and reconnect with people as well.
I decided to like this organization because it has a unique mission to support students in universities to spread and educate the pro-Israel voice. This a great mission to start to spread and educate people in a university setting where ideas are always discussed and fostered helping individuals create their own opinions.
I decided to like this organization because it give young adults an opportunity to go back to Israel and participate in an experience/program that is the right fit for the individual. This is a great resource for young adults that come back from Birthright and want to go back to Israel!!
I decided to like this organization "Onetable" because this is a wonderful opportunity for every Jewish person to experience Shabbat dinner. Some people might not have the opportunity or know anyone that can host a Shabbat dinner and this organization connects people.
I decided to "like" this organization because I like the fact that they are an educational organization that gives people films and classes to help learn.
The video that I watched was "With IDF Lone Soldier from Texas". The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWu1xcp9bog. The resource that I used to find this video was Bring Israel Home, which used the Israel Video Network. I decided to watch this video because I support the IDF and respect what the soldiers in the fact of risking their lives for the freedom and protection of Israel. I learned that a lone solider is a soldier that does not have immediate relatives in Israel. I find it inspirational that Golani Brigade is an American that decided to join the IDF. It is also heart breaking that he lost his friend and shows that real people do lose their lives and it is not just a statistic. The video strengthened my support and respect to the IDF especially to the people who voluntarily join to support Israel.
The video that I watched was "Israel's Quest for Peace". The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35XYd8Afwt4&feature=player_embedded. The resource that was used to find this video was Bring Israel Home. I decided to watch a video about this topic because I think it is important that people know the Israel has always wanted peace and the media can be very bias. Something that I learned from this video that ever since its creation, Israel has always wanted peace. Israel has consistently defended itself and has always offered peace. The Arabs have also consistently turned down any solutions or offerings of peace. It is important for us to support Israel in every way and to be educated on the fact that Israel wants peace and spread the message.
The story is about the time when Dr. Yaris was a medical student and was doing rotation. The rotation that she discussed was the surgical one. She discussed the nature of surgeons and the surgical field, especially her chief of staff, Dr. Rosen. The attitude of the surgeons and the field in general was a hard one and very desensitized to the patients. It was all about the medical aspect of the profession. There was a patient nicknamed "Yoda" that left an impression. She was an elderly patient from Mexico that had a very calm and almost serene presence. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and which the surgeons responded with wanting to do a Whipple surgery. There was an interaction where the surgeons were examining her and were all focused on the medical side, all wanting the experience of performing the Whipple, while Yoda stood there peacefully. Yoda would die from pancreatic cancer. Dr. Yaris then meets Dr. Rosen three years later at the oncology department at a private hospital. Dr. Rosen's 36 year old sister was there for cervical cancer. She died the next day and discussed with Dr. Yaris how difficult it was to be on the other side of cancer. She later on received information on a required seminar for the medical school she went to called "Morality in Medicine: How to Apply the Human Touch to Surgery." I liked the story because it shows that through our experiences in life we can become desensitized and loose focus on the important things in our lives. The story showed through life experience we do change and can become aware and grow. Sometimes we believe that it is impossible to change, but life and G-d will always give us opportunities to do so. A time where my family experienced real change was when my own father got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had the Whipple procedure. This story really hits home because that was a life changing event for my family. My father was always the one who took care everything and provided for our family. I always looked up to my father as well. Seeing my father battle cancer for 4 years broke my heart and made me feel real loss. I changed because I understand how precious life is and how difficult it is to lose someone you love. It changed my family to the core because we had to live with a family member with a serious disease. At the end my father was not the same person and this really changed me. It made me and my mother stronger and forced us to see what is important in life.
This video was inspirational and I took away from it that as individuals if we try our best then G-d will do the rest. I took away that G-d is our father and loves us so much. G-d also knows what is in our inner selves. An individual should strive to improve and have a relationship with G-d. It is at the point that if we do things in the best our ability and "get clean" G-d will take care of us and meet us half way. The story is inspirational for Yom Kippur due to the fact that I do try and want a relationship with G-d. The feelings that do come at Yom Kippur should be respected but we should also be aware that G-d knows what is our hearts and loves us.
The video that I watched was "This Israel: Resilience". The link to the video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q2nLAWVzU4
The resource that I found this video was Bring Israel Home. I decided to watch this video because it sounded inspirational. I do know about all the hardships that Israel always faces and it is noted that our people have always showed resilience. I found the video very inspirational and uplifting. I learned that as a whole the people of Israel are positive and take their hardships and always try to turn it around. Living in a place that has a risk of danger makes the Israeli people appreciate life and try to help others. I love that Asael Lubotzky almost lost his leg and life but found a way to become a doctor and help others. This does truly show the spirit of the Jewish people.
The article that I read was "Open Sesame: A User's Guide to Tehina". The link is http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/food/1.620776.
This article introduced to the food tehina, which I have never heard of until this article. Tehina is sesame seeds that are processed in different ways including "sifted, soaked, washed, dried, roasted (or not)...". It is is a versatile and healthy food that can be used in different combinations according to recipe and personal taste. The article also includes a recipe for basic Tehina and more complex one. I agree with author in the fact that he is informing people of the different possibly unknown foods to the readers that could expand their cultural reference. The author expanded my knowledge of Israeli cuisine. I have never heard of Tehina and it made more aware of the fact there are different foods that I have never heard of and want to try in Israel.
The article that I read was "New Israeli device enables jet to take over if pilot passes out". The link is : http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/New-device-enables-jet-to-take-over-if-pilot-passes-out-406069
The article was about a new technology created by a start up called LifeBEAM that is a monitoring system for military pilots. The system monitors different functions of the pilot and if it senses that the pilot does not have control over the plane it will initiate an autopilot. The article discusses the extreme physical and physiological conditions that pilots face and how it can ultimately save lives. The technology is still in development in coordination with the Defense forces. I agree with the author in regards to this new technology can save lives and that it is helpful for the pilot to possibly have a "safety line' if conditions occur that he/she can't control. This helped expand my knowledge that Israel is continually developing and in the front line of all technology including military.
The movie is the final installment of the Hunger Games franchise. Mockingjay Part 2 is the Katniss’s last stand against president Snow and the capitol. The world in which Hunger Games is set is a post-apocalyptic world where the county is divided into districts. The capitol is a the center (politically and economically) of this world. The country is forced to participate in the “Hunger Games” every year where 2 individuals are chosen from each district to fight until there is a survivor. This is a popular and televised event which is a tactic the Capitol imposes for control over the other poorer and more suffering districts. This all changes when Katniss is chosen from district 12 and wins the Hunger Games and ultimately initiates a revolution through the land becoming leader (the face and hope) of the of the people. This movie is the final show down. I have really enjoyed the Hunger Games movies, in part because of the character Katniss. The movie can be seen through a Jewish lens by the imagery through the movie of the poorer districts which can compare to the ghettos of Europe during the WW2, but also with the character Katniss. Katniss as a leader can been seen through a Jewish lens by being compared to all the great modern and historic leaders of the Jewish people. She is complex and doesn’t necessary want to be a leader, through out the movie she struggles with her role. This can be compared to some of the great biblical leaders including Moses, who was reluctant leader but still was able to lead the Jewish people to freedom. In modern times, it is all the leaders of Israel, who always have to make the difficult decisions to uphold and defend Israel. There is always a threat to freedom and the Jewish people there and the leaders can be compared to Katniss because they are making a stand against the oppressors of freedom which would include Hamas.
The movie is a continuation of the Terminator series. It involves the same characters including John Conner, Sarah Conner, Kyle Reese, and the terminator/ T-800 (Arnold). Personally, I did not enjoy the plot of the movie and thought it was a little confusing at times. As always the action is great, but did not like the idea that hero that we knew about in the old movies of John Connor was the villain in this movie. In Terminator Genisys, the movie starts in 2029 where there the machines are eliminating humans. The humans are put in work camps and are being exterminated, which directly made me see it through a Jewish lens. The imagery is very dark and you see the humans getting tattoos. This directly made me think of the holocaust where the Jews were trying to be exterminated and sent to concentration camps. Of course, during the holocaust it was dark and the world was at war. The imagery and ideas of race extermination is directly linked to Jewish history. It is unfortunately something that humanity has lived and this movie creates an even bigger picture of what would happen if all humanity was being exterminated.
I was out with my friends in the evening and I was around 25 years old. We met up with a couple of people that we causally knew and were talking to them. The topic came up about us being Jewish. As the evening continued, one of the people was extremely intoxicated. The person brought up Hitler and how Hitler was an amazing leader and that his writings were "genius". They also mentioned other genocides and how he doesn't understand why we can't get over it. This person definitely wanted a reaction from me. I can not explain how sick that made me, that a person not only was a sympathizer but was so open about it! I did not give this person a reaction at all. I politely left the situation and asked my friends if we could leave and we did. This experience made me realize how so many people are ignorant and don't want to care or know about anything else but themselves. I picked this picture because I am proud of the strong leaders of Israel. They have guided us and protected us against people that won't acknowledge history and want us destroyed. I was lucky to grow up in a Jewish area and all my peers were Jewish so as adult, I am still shocked that people know and care so little.
I have the Waze app on my iPhone. The picture is a cropped screenshot of the app on my phone. I am proud of this contribution because it is a real time map that allows users to provide information on traffic and accidents. It will always show the fastest route according to road conditions. All the contributions are from users of Waze. Waze started as a community project in Israel with the goal to ensure the best free content available. This by far the best map app compared to Google and Apple it will always give you the best route.
I decided to watch this video because I found the title of the video interesting. I have been to Israel and it is such a beautiful land. I would love to discover a place that “very few people know”. The video did not have any commentary but there was a brief description stating it was Apollonia National Park and shows aerial views of an old crusader city. Israel never ceases to amaze me with how there are landmarks that stand the test of time. Israel holds an immense and rich history that is fascinating. I can’t wait to learn and visit. The video also showcased how beautiful the natural landscape is.
The title of the video is “Hamas: By the Numbers”. The link to the video is http://www.standwithus.com/video/. I chose to watch a video about Hamas because the topic of Gaza and Hamas is constantly in the news and I want to gain information the situation. The situation in Gaza is a difficult and sad situation. The ideology of Hamas is to solely destroy Israel and they do not care who dies including their own people to continue their ideology. Hamas is beyond dangerous and violent and it is disturbing the amount of violence and death that they cause. Instead trying to help their own people they want to destroy themselves due to hate. The statistics that are involved are staggering due to the small size of Gaza and Israel. It also proves how selfish and hypocritical the leaders are when they are rich and send their own children away to have better lives.
This is the preparation of matzo ball soup. My mom and I decided to cook this because it is delicious and my favorite soup. The cooking process was not difficult. It is my mom's recipe and it with her guidance I completed it.
The title of the film is "Israel: The Case for Israel: Democracy's Outpost". Although i do have general history and understanding of Israel there are some points that were new to me and were fascinating. I learned that there have been times that a 2 state solution has been considered, but always broke down due to the Palestinian side. i also learned about how Palestinians can petition the Supreme Court and many times they have won. I also learned that the UN directly attacks Israel's human right record more than any other country. I also learned that Jews were moved from Gaza in 2005. The film taught me that may outcries and claims against Israel are the modern way of showing Anti-antisemitism. Also, i thought it was interesting that it was noted that terrorists hate Israel because it is viewed as an extension of the USA rather than a popular view that Israel brings terrorism to the USA.
What happened at Mount Sinai?
How did this podcast help clarify a topic you've been struggling with?
The podcast that I listened to was “What happened at Mount Sinai”. I decided to listen to this podcast to coincide with Passover. Sacks discusses how important the Torah is to all creation. He discusses many points including Moses and all the different lessons that can be learned in today’s world. He includes the discussion about why the order of the written Torah is not in chronological order. He also discusses Abel and Cain.
How can you apply your newfound knowledge to your everyday life?
Sacks discusses many topics that can be applied in everyday life including the fact that we ca improve every day and that we as individuals should always strive to improve. He also discusses human interaction and that we should always strive not argue and act like we are better than other people. He also states that a mitzvah should always be done with intention and performing a mitzvah with a negative intend helps nullify it. He also discusses to make smart decisions to avoid trouble instead of having the “will-power” to avoid it.
Would you listen to a podcast by this presenter again?
Yes, this is my second podcast from David Sacks. He has interesting topics that are discussed in a complete manner.
Listen to the full podcast & include the link to the post.
What are the Major Denominations in Judaism?
Then, write about the following:
- How did this podcast help clarify a topic you’ve been struggling with?
I listened to the podcast “What are the Major Denominations in Judaism?”. The podcast helped introduce the different denominations in Judaism and gave a brief history about the how the denominations began and topics related to the Jewish identity/nationality/religion. They also briefly introduced the different modern denominations that exist today.
- How can you apply your newfound knowledge to your everyday life?
I can apply the newfound knowledge to my everyday life due to the fact that I grew up and live in a Jewish area. All my life I have had friends and interacted with all different “denominations” of Jews. It is was nice to know some brief history about how that has started and that in the end we are all Jews.
- Would you listen to a podcast by this presenter again?
I would listen to the presenter again. The presenters have a natural ease about them and feed off each other naturally. The other topics that the presenters have seem interesting and I will surely check out another podcast.
I choose to celebrate Yom Kippur by fasting all day and spending the day at Etz Chaim for services all day until it was time to break the fast. I found that the services at Etz Chaim meaningful because there was a learning aspect for beginners through out the day. I broke the fast with my family. It was extra meaningful because my grandfather died a week before the high holidays. I have been present for the Yitzkor Services for my father who passed away in 2012 and this time I was able to be present for my grandfather as well.
Your Holiday Experiences: Rosh Hashanah Experience- 5 points
I celebrated Rosh Hashanah by going to services at Etz Chaim for both days. I did hear the shofar. On the first evening of Rosh Hashanah, I went to my cousin's house. At her house we observed the Jewish new year by having a family dinner. Yes one of the traditions that we observed was to dip the apple in honey. The most meaningful time was going the services because there are special sessions that are for learning and it taught me about Rosh Hashanah
1. Choose a podcast that interests you from the resources posted below.
2. Listen to the full podcast & include the link to the post.
3. Then, write about the following:
o How did this podcast help clarify a topic you've been struggling with?
The podcast discussed the Jewish calendar and the months of Adar and Nissan and how they coincide with Purim and Passover respectively. The month of Adar is associated with concealment and Nissan with revelation. Sacks talks about how society could be in a period of Adar in general and that when the mashia? comes it would be Nissan. Sacks also talks about the world was created during Nissan and that it was destroyed before it was created how we know it. This thought could correlate with people and that it takes multiple efforts to succeed and this notion is not an accident. G-d would not do anything by mistake or accident. Everything in our existence from planets to atoms are seemingly exact to exist. He also correlates that we are in the tip of the iceberg in regards to technology so in many ways we are in an Adar.
o How can you apply your newfound knowledge to your everyday life?
I would apply this concept of it takes multiple efforts to succeed because nothing can come easily in this world without effort and just because the first time something doesn’t happen, one should keep trying.
o Would you listen to a podcast by this presenter again?
Yes! I enjoyed listening to David Sacks his topics are interesting and he discusses points so that they are easily understandable but at the same time essential and meaningful.
Which video did you watch?
The Charlie Harary Show: The Ingredient of Success – Episode 001
Please provide link to the video.
Describe what you learned from the video.
The video is a lecture about what is the ingredient of success. Harary says that everyone has this one ingredient which is apparent in a young child and that is desire. He says when one has a desire then success will follow. One must desire to success to achieve. He also talks about being the best version of ourselves. At some point there is a shift from having internal desire for something to being more concerned about image and wanting the desire to fit in. Ending in a point about cultivating our own desires rather than being worried what others deem “successful” or want us to look like.
How has what you learned changed or altered your Jewish identity?
I found the lecture inspirational in regards to allowing one to listen to their inner voice and not being afraid to have the passion to achieve what you want instead what other think.
Which video did you watch? Session 1 – The Four Unique Features to Jewish History
Please provide link:
Describe what you learned from the video.
The video is about integrates the author Paul Johnson’s,who wrote “History of the Jews”, reason for writing the book which includes 4 unique characteristics which is why he a non-jew wrote his book. It is relevant because the video takes Johnson’s 4 characteristics as the introduction to the history of the Jews. The four unique features that were described are universal relevance (basis of other religions), the riddle of the Jews ( how have the Jews survived human history), world history (Jews are part of every major part of history), and philosophical component (We believe history has a purpose and humanity a destiny).
How has what you learned changed or altered your Jewish identity?
It makes me want to learn about the history of my people. The four unique features that were mentioned are fascinating and are unique. It is very important to know my history in order to plant the roots that are needed to live.
I decided to plant a tree in the memory of my father. My father has always passionately supported Israel and this is a way that I can give him a living memory by being part of Israel.
I donated to the general fund because all the causes are important and donating to the general fund ensures that the donation is used for whatever is needed.
I donated to Birthright. Birthright was an amazing experience and i love the mission/purpose of the program. It is so important to always be connected to Israel.