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Man with Asperger's is award-winning activist

Man with Asperger's is award-winning activist

NEW YORK — When Ari Ne’eman was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 12, his life changed.

Administrators at the Conservative Jewish day school that Ne’eman had attended for years said they were not comfortable serving an autistic student, so he ended up transferring to a “segregated special-ed school.”

Later, instead of attending the local neighborhood high school that was a five-minute walk from his house in East Brunswick, NJ, he traveled an hour and a half to a special-ed school that had “drastically lower academic standards” and a vocational prep program that seemed more focused on saving money than on providing meaningful career help.

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Features

Sid Shafner helped liberate Dachau

Sid Shafner helped liberate DachauSid Shafner, 93, is reading the newspaper alone at a corner table at Brookdale Mountain View. Sitting in a wheelchair, he blends into the crowd. No one would suspect that 70 years ago he was one of the first US soldiers to liberate Dachau. Sid, who received two Bronze Stars for bravery in WW II, has a sweet disposition that dismisses sentimentality. He enlisted in the army at 18, fought in France and Germany, and lived to tell the tale.
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Features

'Operation Soap Dish' earns honors for teen

'Operation Soap Dish' earns honors for teenWASHINGTON — With her $4.50 weekly allowance, Adena Rochelson wanted to fill an empty shelf at a local food pantry near her upstate New York home with toiletries and cleaning supplies. After soon realizing that she would need more funds and supplies, Rochelson — then a fourth-grader — launched a social action project that would raise awareness of the shortage and provide much-needed toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste and soap to nearby shelters and food pantries. “I realized that involv...
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Features

Pomegranate juice a vehicle for chasidic help and healing

Pomegranate juice a vehicle for chasidic help and healingNEW SQUARE, NY— Get Rabbi Shulim Greenberg talking about the health benefits of pomegranate juice and he sounds like a homeopathic nutritionist — with a Yiddish accent. Every January, the chasidic charity run by Greenberg obtains some 40,000 pounds of California pomegranates, squeezes them into juice and ships the product in eight-ounce plastic bottles to ailing Jews. The recipients — mostly residents of the Orthodox strongholds of Brooklyn, Lakewood, NJ, and New York’s Rockland County...
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Features

Hand in Hand: Israelis and Arabs learn together

Hand in Hand: Israelis and Arabs learn togetherWHEN PRESIDENT Obama lit a menorah in the White House last month, it was a colorful olive wood menorah made by Hand in Hand students after arsonists burned down a first grade classroom. Labeled in Hebrew and Arabic, the menorah listed values such as equality, peace, education, friendship and freedom that characterize the school. Two ninth-graders, one Jewish and one Arab, were on hand to light the menorah. Jews and Arabs in Israel attend separate schools and study mostly in their native langu...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Burt Shavitz, Jewish co-founder of Burt’s Bees, dies at 80

Gabe Friedman The Jewish beekeeper grew the company with his business partner, and his scraggly, bearded image became the face of the brand. ... [Link]

Amid their country’s financial crisis, Greek Jews struggle and brace for more turmoil

Gabrielle Birkner The Jewish community of about 5,000 is grappling with how to provide emergency assistance to Jews in need, with Holocaust survivors particularly hard hit by the debt crisis in Greece. ... [Link]

Jordan Farmar returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv

Gabe Friedman The Jewish NBAer, who won two league titles while with the Los Angeles Lakers, had played 16 games for the Israeli club during the NBA lockout of 2011. ... [Link]

U.S. mayors call on European counterparts to condemn anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster Mayors from New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and Boston have signed on to the American Jewish Committee initiative. ... [Link]

Report: Woman denied entrance to Western Wall for wearing kippah

Marcy Oster The woman, an American, refused to accompany a guard to the police station and was escorted to the taxi stand outside the Kotel, the Women of the Wall group said. ... [Link]

Clinton says campaign will talk up countering BDS

Ron Kampeas The Democratic front-runner in a letter to Haim Saban said she will seek the Israeli-American entertainment mogul’s advice. ... [Link]

6 Bedouin-Israeli teachers arrested for promoting ISIS

Marcy Oster Several of the men charged, all from one Negev town, planned to fight with ISIS in Syria, according to the Shin Bet security service. ... [Link]

Efrat’s Riskin: Chief Rabbinate should have more inclusive outlook

Marcy Oster The chief rabbi of Efrat said the Chief Rabbinate never attempted to reach out to him directly to explain the reason for the unprecedented delay in extending his tenure. ... [Link]

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