I recently had some of my best friends over to my small New York apartment and we made fresh Challah! This is something we had been talking about doing long before my Birthright trip and I was so glad to finally make it happen. AND they all tasted GREAT!
A bunch of us met up recently and went to K-Town for Karaoke! We even had a few out of towners. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up post trip. And we all live in the same city and can be friends, it's the best!
I interviewed the intern at the theatrical production office I work for, Adam who moved here from Tel Aviv a year ago. He is 21 years old and moved to New York City to be an actor and have a different life. We had a detailed talk about his time growing up in Israel. He told me about the scary times of war and how his family handled this as well as joining the IDF and all that meant to him. He even went on two Birthright trips as a solider. He has so much pride for his home country and gave me such a different, unique perspective!
I listened to Neil Lazarus's podcast. Neil spoke to us in Israel about the Middle East and Israel's currently policies. I was extremely interested by his unique lecture style and immediately gave his podcast a listen after returning to the US. I'm loving what I hear so far!
I called Rabbi Paul Jacobson today of Bergen County, NJ. I had a sudden death in my extended family this week. I have been feeling anxious and numb and wanted to talk to him. He gave me lovely words of wisdom and made the mourning process easier. We said the Mourner's Kaddish together.
I lit a candle at my Birthright pal Dan Friend's Shabbat dinner he hosted for all of our NYC based group members. I do not have a photo as we were trying to keep Shabbat. Shabbat candles signify the unity we feel during this weekly tradition. Lighting the candles is the official reminder that this time of rest has begun.
I attended my Birthright pal Dan Friend's Shabbat dinner at his home. It was attended by most of the NYC based folks from our group and we had the best time! Dan cooked for all of us and did a great job organizing. It was the first time we'd all been together in a large group since the trip. We had a great time and can't wait to do this again!
I was spending Shabbat at my Birthright pal Dan Friend's home with a bunch of my group. I volunteered to bring dessert and being the baking nerd that I am, I went all out! I made Brownies with a layer of cookie dough and oreos on the bottom. Everyone enjoyed!
I purchased my pink Mezuzah in Jerusalem on Birthright. I proudly hung it in my living room before my bedroom door after returning from my trip! I blessed it and am so glad to have it in my home!
I read the article "Winter Olympics 2018: 5 Jewish storylines to watch" by Gabe Friedman on JTA. I got great incite on the Jewish presence in the upcoming Winter Olympics. Israel will have its largest team ever which is an amazing achievement! There are also many athletes making Olympic history and playing for Israel! Outside of Israel, Jason Brown will be making a splash in Figure Skating for America as a Jewish presence! Can't wait to watch!
I just liked Moishe House on Facebook at their West Village NYC location. I'm having a great time learning about what they do and hope I can participate soon!
After returning my Birthright trip, I chose to give a portion of my $250 deposit back to Birthright. This trip was like nothing I ever could have dreamed, and am so glad I finally did it. I hope that my contribution has a positive impact on the organization and that it can help another Jewish individual experience Israel. This trip is one of the best things i've done and I hope it can help connect another young Jewish individual to their heritage and ancestors!
I downloaded the Jake TV app and thought it had a lot of interesting content. I watched the HaTikvah/America the Beautiful video. It "America The Beautiful" seamlessly, I enjoyed watching. It was very thought provoking and made me think about Israeli and American values and how we aren't as different as we think.
I downloaded the Hebdate Hebrew Calendar app and think it is a great addition to my phone library. I very much value my cultural Jewish identity and want to partake in as many holidays as possible. This app will make it easier to have the dates available for me so that I can plan and partake!
I downloaded the Learn Hebrew, Speak Hebrew app as my Birthright trip inspired me to work on my skills. I've always retained by reading of Hebrew but can't speak it very well. I liked the app but felt it was semi misleading. It claimed to be free but then insisted on payment for much of the content. Never the less, it seems like a great app and I may decide to pay should I want to use it to improve my knowledge.
I just liked Bring Israel Home on Facebook. It is a great extension of my Birthright experience and am glad it is giving a way for my 40 person group to meet again this summer! The challenges have been fun!
I liked OneTable after my Birthright friend Dan Friend decided to host our upcoming dinner off it. I think it is such a cool idea! You can organize a dinner on it-private or public, have your guests RSVP and then the company gives you $ credits to make it the best dinner possible! I hope my group continues to use it for upcoming Shabbat meals!
I liked Masa Israel Journey, after being inspired by their talking during my Birthright experience. Although it is not a program that would be suitable for my career choice, I think it is a great initiative. I love that it creates jobs, schooling opportunities and internships for those connected to Israel and considering a longer stay or making Aliyah.
Our Soldiers Speak is an interesting page that i'm glad i've found. It gives a very important perspective of the IDF, one that more should see. I had gained a great one during my time on Birthright and this has strengthened it even more!
I downloaded Kosher Near Me and am so glad I did. Being a New York resident, I have many Kosher and Jewish style restaurants to pick from. I came back from this trip liking Falafel and hummus for the first time though and was yearning for some new Kosher Israeli Options. I found Kosher Deluxe and had the best falafel! The app had a lot of ad's but is still a great idea!
I downloaded JSwipe, this was an app I had deleted prior to the trip and decided to download again. I like that the app lets you have preference towards Jewish denomination, Kosher or non Kosher, and list your interests in detail. I've already had some great conversations and am glad I downloaded it again!
I researched Ahava. My family has been using Ahava products for years and it was cool getting to be at the Dead Sea recently and see where it all took shape. Ahava makes all of their products with all natural ingredients, no added chemicals. I think American companies can learn from Ahava, they will have more customers due to having a hypo allergenic product!
My Hebrew name is Yakovah Leah. I am named after Jacob and Leah, two of the strongest people in the Jewish religion. I definitely consider myself a strong person. Yakovah means 'pleasant and diplomatic' and Leah means 'ruler'. These suit me well. As Producer and a friend, I strive to make connections and in my career being diplomatic is key. I think I definitely act as a ruler within my chosen career, not in my personal life!
I have fond memories of reading the four questions at every Passover until my little brother was old enough to take over. I felt such a sense of duty being able to manage this part of the Seder. I almost looked at it as an acting job. It's so exciting now for my Brother and I to help our small cousins, as they take over this responsibility. It's so important!
I think the Shema is such an important prayer and one i've known since I was a small child. The Shema unites all of the Jewish religion, no matter the sector. We are reminded why we are Jewish and how our people struggled to make this religion what it is today and our coming to Israel.
I downloaded the app, One Table. The app connects people to Shabbat dinners. It's great if you're looking for dinner and even a private one. My birth right trip colleague, Dan Friend is hosting a Shabbat dinner next week & had us all sign up on it! The organization even gives $$$ credit so that he can plan the best dinner possible. How awesome!
Birthright has made me want to re explore my Jewish identity. My temple closed when I was 14 and my family decided not to re join another Synagogue. I have always still been culturally Jewish but lost sight of myself spiritually. This trip has made me want to re evaluate that. I wan to find a reform temple in NYC and start going once a month again. I also have a friend on the JCC young patron's board who is looking to get me involved in their offerings!
Birthright was almost something I didn't partake in, a thought I can't believe now. I feel so connected to my Jewish background after this trip. The Western Wall was something i'll never forget, Mt Herzl was spectacular, sleeping in a tent, Shabbat in my homeland...I could go on and on. What a privilege to be on this trip and understand my religion like this.
I had my Bat Mitzvah in May 2004 as a 13 year old. It was a powerful experience, but one I feel I didn't truly understand for years to come. I studied my torah portion but was more excited for the party. In the years since, i've truly identified with my Jewish background; partaking in charity and making my family proud. The Bat Mitzvah is so important to your life as a Jew, but somethinng that you really don't understand right away.
I think the Water-Gen is such a cool invention, one I learned about during my time in Tel Aviv. I think it is amazing how the machine creates clear, purified water from thin air. It has helped war sites become clean areas in regards to water, and isn't just a cooler you will find in an office.
I went to Junior's deli this week, one of my favorite Jewish spots in the city. I had an amazing bowl of matza ball soup and a fresh latke. One of my favorite thing's about being Jewish is the cuisine, so it is always a treat to have an amazing meal!
Today, I donated to my favorite charity, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. As a theatre professional, this not for profit is vital to my industry. It helps with all sorts of health initiatives, not just AIDS and supports the senior arts community. I am always at awe of the special work this organization does and will continue to support it.
I visited The Jewish Museum in New York and am so glad I did so. This museum is one of the only of its kind in the NYC area. It is special as it encompasses both Jewish history as well as a very vast section on the holocaust. By the time I left, I felt emotionally invested in my religion and ancestry in a way like never before.
I will never forget going to The Western Wall on my Birthright trip. I went on Friday evening during Shabbat and again on Sunday afternoon and it's easily one of the most inspiring things i've done thus far in my life. In Hebrew school, you learn about the wall and never picture it as a real place but more mythical. I prayed at the wall, put a prayer into the wall and just felt so lucky to be there. It was truly one of the most important moments of my Jewish life.
Be inspired by Mayim Bialik and 5 other young individuals who followed their passions - hip hop, environmental sustainability, TV and more - to overcome challenges and effect change. See how they stood by their convictions and find out what it takes to make your own mark.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Due 5 activities worth 15 points and earn 10 bonus points.
AboutThe 100 Point Challenge is an opportunity for returning Taglit-Birthright participants to TRY a variety of Jewish activities, find those activities that they LOVE and want to continue to LIVE. Bring Israel Home participants can choose to complete any Jewish activity that speaks to them to earn 100 points. 50% or more of the American participants in a participating Taglit-Birthright bus must earn 100 points on the Bring Israel Home website within three months after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to earn a Bring Israel Home reunion. The Bring Israel Home 100 Point Challenge is divided into two milestones. Participants must earn 50 points within the first month of returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to qualify for the following milestone. After achieving the first milestone, participants have two months to earn their final 50 points of Jewish activity. The milestones are clearly outlines below:MilestonesMilestone 1: 50% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 50 points of Jewish activity in the first month after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience. Milestone 2: 50% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 100 points of Jewish activity in the two months after achieving Milestone 1. Travel Stipends*:
Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the State of Israel - engage with its history and people, get the facts on Israel's hot topics and discover why Israel is so central to world news and politics. In Israel Inside/Out, animated diagrams and interactive footage give you an insider's view into one of the world's most intriguing and mystifying countries – no airfare required.
The series features commentary from world-renowned experts on Israel and the Middle East, including Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz and Princeton professor Bernard Lewis.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Go behind the scenes of popular Hollywood movies with Cinema: The Jewish Lens – an innovative and inspiring film-series blending Hollywood and Judaism.
Watch scenes from classic and contemporary movies and discover Jewish wisdom together with actors, film critics and world-renowned Jewish thinkers.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Shabbat in Israel give you a taste of something delightful?! You can continue to keep that feeling alive by completing the Shabbat badge. Complete the two activities below and earn an additional 10 point bonus!
What is happiness? Am I happy? Can I become happier? What do happiness and Judaism have to do with each other, anyway?
Get the answers to these questions as well as the secret to being happier with Jerusalem U's new series Habits of Happiness featuring world-renowned Positive Psychology expert Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Complete these activities to go on a hevily subsidized Israel 2.0 Trip or Internship program. Complete the all activities below to earn a 10 point bonus (in addition to the activity points)!
Get Jewish wisdom with your personal Torah trainer. Learn Jewish philosophy, history, traditions - or anything that interests you! Click here to apply to Partners in Torah. Watch this video to see more about Partners in Torah. Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Complete the Sabra badge to learn about what life is really like in Israel.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Judaism 101 provides a broad overview of Jewish thought and insight. Course topics include Love and Relationships, Achieving Success, Gossip, Kabbalah, the History of Jerusalem, and Jewish Contributions to World Values.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge.
Masa Israel Journey is the leader in immersive international experiences in Israel for young adults (18-30). Masa's diverse portfolio of study abroad, internship, service learning, or Jewish studies programs help you grow—as a person, a professional, and a leader— while also developing a robust global professional network. Since its founding in 2004, over 120,000 young people from more than 60 countries have participated in Masa Israel programs.Earn 10 bonus points by completing this badge. Note: Masa Israel Journey is intended for North American participants only. Unfortunately, Israeli participants are not eligible for Masa.
At The Maimonides Fellowship, you will have the opportunity to meet with like-minded peers with a choice of over 100 locations nationwide. The program meets 1x a week for 10 weeks and includes an exciting Shabbaton Weekend Retreat. The weekly meetings include FREE food, along with dynamic discussion on HOT topics relating to Israel and Judaism. Upon completion, Fellowship participants typically receive $300-$500 CASH or a FREE/Highly subsidized trip!
Take part in interactive classes from the comfort of your own home with the JU Max online learning program. Classes are all live, online, and interactive with top notch presenters. Participants who complete the entire class will be eligible for a FREE TRIP BACK TO ISRAEL and can also receive college credit*. NOTE: JU Max is only available to students and young professionals who do not live near a local Maimonides Class option. To see the list of local options, CLICK HERE.
Classes are Monday evening 9-11PM EST.
The next course runs from Feb 12 -April 16.
CLICK HERE to learn more and access the JU Max application.
To earn the Cyber Badge (bonus 10 Points), you need to be accepted to the program and provide proof of attending the first 3 classes.