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'Where are you, oh my hamsa?'

'Where are you, oh my hamsa?'

THANKSGIVING WAS a cold, snowy affair this past November. I cleaned off my car several times that afternoon in order to see my way clearly to Chris and Lisa Leppek’s house. From there, they would transport me to our host’s residence in the Highlands.

As people made final preparations to depart, I was sitting on the couch when I felt something slip from my neck. It was the chain that held my hamsa — and the hamsa was gone.

I searched the floor and retraced my footsteps through the living room. Then I went to my car. Heavy snow covered the ground. If my hamsa was buried beneath those rising white mounds, I would never find it.

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Features

A man's view of childlessness

A man's view of childlessnessDOZENS IF not hundreds of books have been written about the childlessness of Jewish women — and the stories are told from their perspective. But in his recently released volume, The Pater: My Father, My Judaism, My Childlessness (Toby Press), Elliot Jager explores a topic that to his knowledge has never been deeply examined before: childlessness from the vantage point of Jewish men. “Pater” is the Latin word for father. The author, a former editor at the Jerusalem Post, tackles his relati...
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Features

One-armed soldier rejoins IDF combat reserves

One-armed soldier rejoins IDF combat reservesJERUSALEM — The hardest part was loading the assault rifle. That’s not because he was a newbie, unaccustomed to the workings of a Tavor rifle. Rather, 1st Sgt. Izzy Ezagui had lost an arm in combat. He’d overcome seemingly insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles and got a posting on a base in the Negev. His next challenge began: He had to prove he could still fight.
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Features

Hummus with a side of politics

Hummus with a side of politicsTHE HAGUE, Netherlands — Like many Israelis in Europe, Yuval Gal and Muawi Shehadeh decided to market their hummus restaurant specifically to health-minded vegetarians. A Jew from Tel Aviv and an Arab-Israeli from Nazareth, the duo this year began peddling their native country’s signature chickpea paste at an eatery in this city called Love & Peas, which Gal, 36, says specializes in “green, healthy foods.”
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Features

Hollywood's Holocaust survivors share their memories

Hollywood's Holocaust survivors share their memoriesLOS ANGELES — The Hollywood Reporter is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust with a feature on survivors who went on to careers in American entertainment. The project, released on Dec. 16 online and in print, includes emotional, revealing video interviews with the subjects, including director Roman Polanski and producer Meyer Gottlieb. Director Steven Spielberg, the founder of the USC Shoah Foundation, wrote an essay for the feature. Below is a look at some of the s...
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‘Birthright for Jewish moms’ reaches out to Spanish-speakers

Marcy Oster BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — A Cuban delegation will for the first time participate in the “Birthright for Jewish Moms” trip to Israel, as the sponsoring group works to expand its reach in Latin Am... [Link]

Thousands visit West Bank tomb of biblical Joshua

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Jewish Israelis entered the West Bank Palestinian village of Kifl Haris to visit the tomb of the biblical figure Joshua. Also buried in the northern West Bank vill... [Link]

Report: Substantial decrease in violent attacks against Jews in 2015

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — There was a substantial decrease in violent attacks against Jews in 2015, but an increase in “institutional anti-Semitism” and “slander against the Jewish Peo... [Link]

NATO invites Israel to open official mission at Brussels headquarters

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — The council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has invited Israel to open an official mission at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. In the alliance’s announcement ... [Link]

Israeli troops come under mortar fire from Gaza

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli troops came under mortar fire from Gaza while performing engineering work near the border fence. The Israel Defense Forces responded to the Wednesday morning attack by ... [Link]

After Ted Cruz drops out, Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president

Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee for president after trouncing his opponents in Indiana, driving Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, out of the race. Bernie Sanders,... [Link]

Buoyed by haredi growth, Jewish school enrollment in NY up by 4.4 percent in one year

Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA) — Enrollment in New York State’s Jewish day schools and yeshivas increased by 4.4 percent last year. According to data compiled by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council from st... [Link]

Undercover video of Hasidic principal handling boy prompts sex abuse probe

Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA) – The story is an all-too-familiar horror tale: An adult in a position of power – in this case a Hasidic school principal – is accused of sexually abusing a child in his care. But... [Link]

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