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Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — To certain first-time visitors to Havurat Shalom, the congregation’s prayer room may look remarkably familiar.

From the macrame Jewish star adorning the ark and the Middle Eastern-style lamp serving as a ner tamid to the pillows on a bare floor and the sparely decorated walls, the room looks exactly as it does in a photograph from The Jewish Catalog, the do-it-yourself Judaism guidebook published in 1973 that brought the then five-year-old Havurat Shalom a measure of fame.

At the time, the image suggested an innovative vision of Judaism, stripped of pretense and focused on cultivating a tight-knit sense of community and direct devotional experience. Today, the room looks as if it had been preserved in amber.

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Features

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical Islam

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical IslamJEWS around the world were inspired last month when Arab-Israeli teenager Mohammad Zoabi cloaked himself in an Israeli flag and spoke into a bedroom video camera, “I am an Israeli and will remain an Israeli. Israel will remain a Jewish and a democratic country.” What few realized is that within days after the video went viral, Israeli police arrested three men in his own family for plotting to cause him harm in retaliation for the piece. His cousin, Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, called h...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:52 )

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Features

Dutch Christians defend Israel

Dutch Christians defend IsraelAMSTERDAM — Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Divon nodded approvingly as he surveyed the small army of 50 men and women fighting for Israel. Around a conference table in an office in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert, 30 volunteers were writing and collecting pro-Israel materials and transferring them to an editor who posted them on social networks. Nearby, the graphics department churned out glossy logos and catchy memes that compared weather forecasts from London — partly c...
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Features

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir‘The fighting could have been over by now if we would use the same tactics our enemies use’ July 18. Just came out of the secure room. The longest siren since the beginning. Three interceptions of the Iron Dome above us. Thinking of the absurdity of this round of violence. We started the ground offensive for humanitarian reasons. Yes, it sounds crazy but hear me out. We have the ability to flatten the Gaza Strip from the air (remember what happened to Dresden in the Second World War?), but...
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Features

The two sides of the (retired) Alan Dershowitz

The two sides of the (retired) Alan DershowitzCHILMARK, Mass. — Alan Dershowitz’s house is a bit of a mess. Most of the rooms in his Martha’s Vineyard home are cluttered with half-unpacked boxes filled with items from his Cambridge house, which he and his wife emptied recently and sold after he retired from his Harvard Law School professorship in June. Dershowitz himself wears a few days growth of gray beard with his black track pants and a faded blue T-shirt that says “Martha’s Vineyard” in English and in Hebrew letters, look...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

An artist reclaims Jewish sites in Kosovo

Ron Kampeas In a performance attended by Kosovo’s president, artist Elana Katz scatters powder around a ‘forgotten Jewish past.’ ... [Link]

Polish Jews split over plan to exhume massacre victims

Cnaan Liphshiz A planned Polish investigation of the 1941 massacre in Wasosz is pitting the religious imperative of protecting the dignity of the dead against the desire for historic justice. ... [Link]

Leading Likudnik Gideon Saar stepping away from politics

Marcy Oster Interior Minister Gideon Saar, touted as the favorite to succeed Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, said he will “take a break” from politics. ... [Link]

Lone soldiers’ parents being brought to Israel for holiday visits

Marcy Oster The parents of 77 lone soldiers in Israel who fought in the recent Gaza operation are being brought to Israel to spend the High Holidays with their children. ... [Link]

At 2014 U.N. General Assembly, ISIS likely to dominate discourse

Uriel Heilman Gadhafi and Chavez are gone, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be theatrics at this year’s U.N. General Assembly. ... [Link]

‘With Jews we lose,’ reads one Senate candidate’s slogan in Ky.

Uriel Heilman Robert Ransdell, a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate from Kentucky, is campaigning with the slogan “With Jews we lose.” ... [Link]

Joel Levy named president and CEO of Center for Jewish History

Marcy Oster Joel Levy is the new president and CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York City. ... [Link]

Cool Bries: Trailblazing cheese whiz prepping special holiday fare

mbrodsky A self-dubbed “Cheese Guy” in suburban New York City has earned praise for his dairy creations. And he has something special planned for the High Holidays. ... [Link]

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