Jack and Rita described the chaos of arriving at Auschwitz. They describe their fear and confusion and how they felt like cattle or like they were on a conveyor belt. They didn't feel human. They were both separated from their families during the selection process.
Rita described that she was mesmerized by Menegle and thought was handsome enough to be a movie star. This was the first time I had ever heard that type of description. It was a reminder that evil can hide behind any face.
Every historical document of the holocaust is meaningful. As time goes by it is important to remember that this horror happened and ensure nothing like it happens again. The most meaningful part of their story to me was their discription of how confused they were. Today we learn about Auschwitz and we know what went on there. I think something I often forget is how confused everyone must have been. They didn't know what was going to happen, how long they would be there, and if they would ever see their family again.
Every Holocaust testimonial is inspiring. I am honestly always shocked that anyone was able to horrific events.
The most meaningful moment on my Birthright trip was when we visited Jerusalem. I grew up learning about the first and second temple in Jerusalem as religious stories. When I visited the western wall and took a tour of the excavations of the old city it really sunk in how rich the history if the Jewish people in Jerusalem is. I don't think I fully understood the gravity of this until I saw it with my own eyes. I think it is important for Jews to go on birthright so that they can really understand how connected we are to the land.
My first attempt at making hummus was very unsuccessful but this time went better. I added more tehina and less backing soda. I think the most important thing that I did this time was use the blender on the lowest setting rather than pulse. Cooking hummus is pretty easy and now that I figured it out I will definitely make it more often. I also added chili powder to the recipe to give it some kick.
So I just moved into apartment alone so I don't have nice Shabat candles and had to use birthday candles. I have never done the prayer for the end of Passover before so it was really excited to learn something new.
My favorite Passover recipe is matzo ball soup! I either make the chicken broth with my mother (because I don't know the recipe and don't have the patience for it) or buy it from a local store. For the matzo balls I make matzo meal (or buy it) and mix it with two eggs and a quarter cup of vegetable oil. I let the mix sit in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes.Then I wet my hands and ball up the mix into 1in balls and drop them in boiling water. Lastly I cover the pot and let it simmer for 20min. Yes I plan on making this dish over Passover. In fact I've made two batches already.
For the second night of Seder I went to my old preschool teachers house. I went to preschool at my synagogue so a lot of of other synagogue members were there. Since I've been away from school so long I haven't seen these people in a while. The most meaningful part of this Seder was getting together to celebrate with my local Jewish community.
For the first night of Seder I went to my aunt and uncles house to celebrate with my grandparents and cousins. I really enjoyed the experience especially because I got to spend it with family. My favorite part of the Seder is that everyone at the table gets to contribute to the service.
I made some chocolate caramel covered matzah for the seders I am attending!
I think I may have too much Matzah!
My mom didn't want to be in the photo but we light the Shabbat candles after my first week of work. It was very meaningful to welcome in my first Shabbat as a fully employed adult. I felt more connected to my Judaism because I made the choice to spend my Shabbat back at my childhood home with my parents.
I celebrated Havdalah after my first week of my new full time job. I think it was extra special because I got to close my first week of my job and prepare for the second one. I like having a consistent schedule and I am excited to add Havdalah to my weekly routine.
I cooked these humantashen with my friends for Purim. I forgot to upload the activity when the Purim challenge was up but I think it is still an Israeli recipe. Humantashen were a lot of fun to make and not as hard as I thought it would be. I will definitely make these again next year
I chose to cook this chickpea and tomato dish because the spices looked good. I almost doubled the spices because I love spicy food and it turned out great. It took a little while to cut everything but it was an easy and tasty recipe.
I chose to try cooking Israeli salad with mint because during my birthright trip I loved eating the salad. I love how refreshing it is which is especially nice in the winter here. Another plus is that the salad is fairly easy to prepare.
I am moving to a new area soon and I don't know a lot of people or other Jewish people in the area. I hope one table will help me meet new people in the Jewish community
I researched Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. This company was founded in Jerusalum in 1901 and is now an international pharmaceutical company. Teva makes generic drugs that are more affordable than brand name options. According to their website 1 in 7 general prescriptions are filled with a Teva product. I find this company inspirational because generic prescriptions can help so many families afford to take life saving treatments and preventative drugs.
I downloaded Kosher Near Me because I was curious where there were kosher restaurants near me because I don't live in a highly Jewish area. The only places close by that came up were grocery stores but I did learn that there is a parve bakery 13 miles away. Other than the bakery I will have to drive into Philly for kosher restaurants. I would recommend this app to a friend only if they lived in a Jewish area.
I could find Learn Hebrew. Speak Hebrew. for my iphone so I decided to download Doulingo to try to learn Hebrew. I set the app to the beginner setting. The beginner setting expects you to read Hebrew without the vowels. I don't remember how to do that so I would not recommend this app to a beginner like me.
I recently gave a donation to Penn State's Dance Marathon better known as THON. This organization raises money for pediatric cancer research. I went to Penn State and THON was a big part of the university's culture. Penn State can get a bad reputation for being a party school but it was always really nice to see the students unite for this cause every year.
I downloaded Jswipe because I am moving to a new area soon and I want to meet more Jewish young adults. I learned that with dating apps you have to write a bio and that is really hard. I had to reach out to a friend from college who has more experience with dating apps to help me.
After I went to services on Friday night I went to dinner with some people from the Synagogue. The mother of my friend from Hebrew School invited me to eat Mediterranean food with them. It was a really great experience because since I left for college I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with them. There were ten of us total. One girl from my brother year in Hebrew School was there and she was able to tell me about how she was moving to Israel in the month to make Aliyah. She hopes to get a position in the International Relations of the IDF.
The next dish I tried was couscous. I love the couscous I ate in Israel so I was hopeful for this dish. It was relatively easy to cook however the recipe called for pearled couscous which was a different type of couscous then what I had in Israel. I think next time I make this dish I will make it with regular couscous.
The next dish I cooked from my brother cook book was humus. I love humus so I was really excited to learn how to cook it. I thought that it would be the easiest of the dishes I chose to try but I turned out messing it up. I followed the recipe but it takes too strongly of garlic and baking soda. I also over blended it in the blender. I hope I can do better next time.
My brother spend a a trimester in Israel a few years ago and brought back a cookbook. For this challenge I decided to try a few of the recipes out. The first dish I made was tebouleh because it had mint and a lot of vegetables in it. I learned that bulghur wheat expands a lot when you soak it and made way more then I expected.
I cooked the chickpea and tomato salad because I love chickpeas and spicy foods. The cooking process went well and this dish was easy to make. I would make this again but I would probably add even more mustard and cumin to make it more spicy.
Havdalah is probably my favorite weekly ceremony. I find it very peaceful and meaningful. I like that the point of Havdalah is meant to separate Shabbat from the coming week. It is bittersweet that Shabbat is ending but we are hopeful for a good week ahead. I am someone who likes to hold on to the mistakes I have made in the past. Celebrating Havdalah reminds me to learn from my mistakes but leave the past behind. Instead of dwelling on the past, I should move forward towards working for a better future.
I attended Friday night services with my mom at Kesher Israel Congregation. This is the synagogue we belonged to as I grew up. It was my first service with our new Rabbi and we also at a guest speaker that night. The service was nice and the speaker was really interesting. He spoke about how is the responsibility of the Jew to not just pray to G-d about the world but actually take steps to make the world a better place. I would definitely go to services again. My favorite part of the night was when the community sung Yigdal to the tune of the Eagles fight song.
I chose to make an the Zataar Mint Israeli Salad because when on Birthright I loved to eat the Israeli Salads with almost every meal. The cooking process involved a lot of chopping but the end result was tasty and lasted a while. I chose not to include olives and feta cheese because I don't like either.
I really wanted to download hebdate but it is only made for androids and I have an iphone. Instead I searched "hebrew calendar" in the app store and found that there are other options. I chose to download "Ulitmate Zmanim". The app shows the Hebrew date, the torah parsha, and when holidays begin and end. I sometimes have trouble keeping track when the Jewish holidays are so I hope that this helps.
I felt so blessed that I was able to go on my birthright trip. I met so many great people and had an amazing experience. Because of this, I wanted to give back to the organization so I donated my deposit.
Passover is my favorite Jewish Holiday because it is the only one where my family travels to Maryland celebrate the Seder with my extended Family. With my busy schedule this is sometimes one of the only times that I get to see everyone. One of my favorite Seder memories happened about 8 years ago. My cousin was about six and this was one of the first time we were all together after my grandmother was officially declared cancer free. Everyone in my family was being really silly and more relaxed because of the prognosis. My grandmother usually home cooks everything but this year, with everything being so crazy, she store bought a few things. My little cousin decided that she would only eat the charoset. She started acting really strange and we couldn't figure out why. Then we looked at the charoset packaging and saw that there was red wine in it. We think my 6 year old cousin got drunk because she would only eat the charoset.
My family moved to our current house when I was in 2nd grade. At the time I got to pick out a mezuzah to hand on my bedroom. Of course I picked a dolphin mezuzah because I was obsessed with dolphins. At the time, and still today, I was so excited that I could blend my religious identity and my other passions together.
It was difficult to get a picture of myself washing my hands but I was able to find a way to pour water from the cup onto a hand with only one hand. This was my first time washing my hands for a spiritual purpose rather than for hygiene. It centered me before I ate my breakfast (hopefully cheerios count as bread). This ritual turned the mundane task of eating cereal before my day into a serene experience. It allowed me to be more mindful while I ate and begun my day.
I was 13 when I had my Bat-Mitzvah in my local conservative synagogue. I spend years preparing for my Bat-mitzvah to learn to read Hebrew, trope, and all the prayers for Friday night and Saturday morning services. On the day I lead services, read torah, read haftorah, and gave a speech. My torah portions was from the book of Numbers and called Bemidbar. In the parsha Moses is commanded to take a census of the Israelites. In my speech I talked about my chosen Mitzvot which was kindness to animals and to help the disabled. Prior to my Bat Mitzvah (and after) I volunteered at a theraputic riding facility.
In my local jewish community having a bat mitzvah was a expectation. I never felt like I had a choice in the matter and I was very stressed out about the preparation. I was a very shy child and was not comfortable singing or speaking in front of a crowd. In retrospect I am very glad that I did it. It was very meaningful to go through that process with my peers and to celebrate the milestone with my family. I think Hebrew school and my Bat-Mitvah also helped me build character.
My Hebrew name is Miriam. In the Torah, Miriam was Moses' older sister. In Hebrew Miriam means rebellious coming from the root "meri". The stories in the Torah show the Miriam was a strong woman who was not afraid to rebel against the status quo when she felt it was unjust. I was given this Hebrew name at birth. My English name is Maxine because I was named after my great grandfather Morty. Morty's Hebrew name was Moshe (Moses). My parents claim that they picked Miriam because it started with a "M" or "Mem" (in Hebrew). I wonder if it ever crossed their mind that Miriam was related to Moshe in the Torah.
When I was interviewed by El Al to get on my flight to birthright I was asked to speak some Hebrew. I couldn't think of anything to say except for "Shalom". My interviewer asked why after 7 years of Hebrew school I could not even speak a sentence of Hebrew? The truth is that I haven't thought much or used the Hebrew I learned all those years ago since I my Bat-Mitzvah. I was saddened and ashamed by how much knowledge I have lost over the years.
I hoped that my Hebrew would come back to me as the trip went on but it didn't. All the Israeli soldiers on our bus could speak and read English, Hebrew, and at least one other language. This experience has inspired me to try to learn Hebrew again. I want to be able to communicate better with Israelis the next time I visit Israel. I also want to be able to better connect with my Jewish heritage in the U.S. I think understanding more Hebrew will help me better connect with the religious aspects of my Judaism.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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