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California teen shares passion for sports with special needs kids

California teen shares passion for sports with special needs kids

WASHINGTON — As a little boy growing up in Mill Valley, Calif., playing baseball meant the world to Tyler Barbee.

“When I was a kid, baseball was my life,” said Barbee, now a 17-year-old high school senior at Tamalpais High School.

But he also knew that his love of the sport couldn’t be shared easily by his brother, Conner, who is four years older and has autism.

“I wanted him to be able to participate, but there wasn’t an environment for him to succeed,” Barbee recalled.

Six years ago he helped start Challenger Baseball & Basketball, a sports league for children with special needs.

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Holiday Features

The Sabbatical year — what is it?

The Sabbatical year — what is it?TEL AVIV — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shmita, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course, its politics. The genesis of Shmita is Exodus, which commands the Israelites, “Plant your land and gather its produce for six years. But on the seve...
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Features

Student program builds ties across racial lines

Student program builds ties across racial linesST. LOUIS — On the evening of Aug. 12, after two consecutive nights of clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., Mikal Smith rose to address a community meeting in the neighboring city of Florissant. In front of Gov. Jay Nixon, Obama administration officials and community leaders, Smith spoke off the cuff about his own experiences as a young black man — the constant need to be aware of his surroundings, for example, and the indignity of being questioned by the police for no ap...
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Features

Prague chief rabbi retires for a literary career

Prague chief rabbi retires for a literary careerPRAGUE — When the novel Altschul’s Method hit the shelves in Czech bookstores this March, it was hailed as a brilliant political and psychological thriller combining elements of science fiction, alternate history and Jewish mysticism. But it became a true literary sensation when it was revealed a week later that the book’s supposed author, Chaim Cigan, was a pseudonym for Karol Sidon, the longtime chief rabbi of Prague. Sidon had explained that he was writing under a pseudonym mainly to ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 02:48 )

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Features

Report from the Israel that Americans never see

Report from the Israel that Americans never seeI walked into the synagogue, as I have on hundreds of other Friday nights throughout my life. Except this time, I was quickly approached by an elderly man wielding a six-foot staff who immediately questioned whether I was in the right place, or whether I was looking for another synagogue. After confirming that this was the Ethiopian synagogue, I affirmed that indeed, it was my intended destination. I was then asked my name, origin and purpose in being there. After explaining I merely desired to ...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Yemen minister dedicates award to country’s Jews

Anthony Weiss Yemen’s minister of culture is donating an international human rights prize to the country’s tiny and persecuted Jewish minority. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Stop reckless sponsorship of anti-Israelism

Sara K. Greenberg Corporations and universities should not lend mainstream legitimacy to such a radical and odious movement as BDS. ... [Link]

And the only state without a Chabad is…

Julie Wiener As of this year, Chabad-Lubavitch — hosting its annual gathering this weekend in New York — has a permanent presence in 49 states. So which one is the holdout? ... [Link]

Several injured in West Bank clashes

Cnaan Liphshiz A soldier and several Palestinians were wounded in Friday riots across the West Bank. ... [Link]

Two Jews lightly wounded in Jerusalem stabbing

Cnaan Liphshiz A stabbing attack, which the victims said was committed by Arabs, happened outside an eastern Jerusalem yeshiva. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Behind social entrepreneurship, a surprising force

Julie Wiener Religiously affiliated supporters of Jewish innovation are involved in Jewish life, know what they find most valuable in Judaism and want to find ways to share it with others, this foundation director... [Link]

Report: Iranian envoy to return to Tehran ahead of nuke talks deadline

Cnaan Liphshiz Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will consult with his country’s leaders on nuclear negotiations. ... [Link]

Do you know a teen who deserves a shout-out?

Ami Eden We’re looking for teens whose social action work is worthy of attention — to highlight in our Teen Heroes column. Please send your suggestions to teens@jta.org. ... [Link]

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