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For teen, being bullied led to Validation Project

For teen, being bullied led to Validation Project

Teen Hero

NEW YORK — For Val Weisler, freshman year of high school was marred by tears and unhappiness as classmates bullied her daily for being shy and withdrawn.

“I was a different person and I didn’t feel comfortable,” said Weisler, now a 16-year-old junior at Clarkstown High School South in West Nyack, NY. “I was hiding myself and hating myself. I didn’t feel welcomed.”

She soon realized, however, that “there were so many other teenagers who had bigger problems than me.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:40 )

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Features

Does working out keep you Jewish?

Does working out keep you Jewish?FOR Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated one million American Jewish members of more tha...
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Features

Teen dances and shakes to fight Parkinson’s

Teen dances and shakes to fight Parkinson’s Teen Hero NEW YORK — Zoe Butchen didn’t know much about Parkinson’s disease the night her dad, Jeff, told her and her brother at their kitchen table of his recent diagnosis of the disorder. “I didn’t know what it was or what it meant,” said Butchen, 14. “But I thought that there had to be some way that I could get involved.” Inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — and the Taylor Swift song “Shake it Off” — she decided to post a video to social media of herself dan...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:40 )

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Features

Palestinians are embracing yoga

Palestinians are embracing yogaJERUSALEM — Inhale your arms up into warrior one. Exhale and extend your arms into warrior two. I followed the instructor’s soft but firm voice as she led me and five other women through the yoga poses, and the deep breathing helped to calm my nerves. The large tiled room was gently lit through white curtains that masked the busy city life outside Farashe Yoga. Farashe is Arabic for butterfly, and the busy city outside the studio’s walls is Ramallah. Exhale into your reverse warrior, th...
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Features

Para-chaplain volunteers learn how to ‘be there’

Para-chaplain volunteers learn how to ‘be there’MARGARET BALLONOFF, a para-chaplain for Jewish Family Service since 2009, is refreshingly at ease in her own skin. Grateful for the challenges and rewards inherent in volunteering, she radiates undeniable self-fulfillment. The primary responsibility of a JFS para-chaplain is comforting the living, whether depressed, lonely, isolated, or desirous of a little Shabbat serenity or Chanukah cheer. Most para-chaplains lead Jewish holiday and Shabbat services now. But Ballonoff has taken on the mos...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Obama learns his lesson about Jewish toddlers

Ron Kampeas Or maybe Shabbat’s a lot more fun than the seder when you’re 4. ... [Link]

Obama: I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.

Ron Kampeas President Obama says his criticism of Israel is born of the high regard with which he holds Israel — and the expectation he has that Israel live up to the values it shares with the United States... [Link]

Lady Gaga accepts ADL award on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation

Gabe Friedman Pop star Lady Gaga accepted an award from the Anti-Defamation League on behalf of her nonprofit Born This Way Foundation. ... [Link]

World Bank: Gaza economy on ‘verge of collapse’

Gabe Friedman Gaza’s economy, stifled by the highest unemployment rate in the world, blockades, poor governance and a series of military conflicts, is headed towards a “collapse,” a new report by the World Ba... [Link]

Obama: I criticize Israel because I care about Israel

Ron Kampeas Defending Jews from anti-Semitism is necessarily entwined with criticizing some of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, President Barack Obama told a Jewish audience. ... [Link]

Dutch restaurant says it erased Israel from map for culinary reasons

Cnaan Liphshiz The owners of Rotterdam’s Le Souq say they replaced Israel with ‘Palestine’ on a map because of their passion for Palestinian food. ... [Link]

How to build an American shtetl — See: Bloomingburg, N.Y.

Uriel Heilman Shalom Lamm is developing a playbook for setting up an American shtetl. The problem is some of his new neighbors in Bloomingburg claim he used bribery, fraud and corruption of public officials to do s... [Link]

Switzerland defends funding for Israeli leftist group

Cnaan Liphshiz Breaking the Silence is scheduled to bring an exhibition to Zurich with federal, municipal support. ... [Link]

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