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Compassion for the autistic

Compassion for the autistic

WASHINGTON — Watching his cousin suffer both socially and academically from the effects of autism inspired Zak Kukoff at an early age to help other children diagnosed with the condition.

“I could see that [children with autism] wanted to be a friend but didn’t know how to be a friend,” said Kukoff, now 19.

For his Bar Mitzvah project in 2008, he enlisted the help of a psychologist to start Autism Ambassadors, a peer-led program that teaches children (the “ambassadors”) how to interact with their autistic peers.

Using role-playing activities, the ambassadors are taught about autism, with an emphasis on empathy and compassion for those with the condition.

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 June 2014 02:13 )

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Features

From Birthright to the world

JERUSALEM — Its leaders call it a “historic development,” a “paradigm shift” and a “change in the relationship” between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. But when it comes to the details of the Joint Initiative of the Government of Israel and World Jewry, key questions have yet to be answered — including what it will do and who will fund it. Conceived last year as a partnership between the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency for Israel and major Diaspora Jewish bodies, the initiativ...
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Features

Dallas teen notices when help is needed

Dallas teen notices when help is neededWASHINGTON — As a young child, Dalya Romaner learned to appreciate her surroundings and lend a hand when people were in need. “I am very fortunate,” said Romaner, 18, a high school senior at Yavneh Academy in Dallas. “And I appreciate the people who have made my city and community what it is. I learned that I need to notice what’s around and when [people] need help.” For the past two years, Romaner has led Helping Hands for the Homeless, a student-run nonprofit that a Yavneh stude...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:50 )

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Features

Will a new community campus save Wilkes-Barre?

Will a new community campus save Wilkes-Barre?WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — There once was a time when the Jewish community in this Pennsylvania city just west of the Pocono Mountains was thriving. That much is clear from a quick tour. The sanctuary at the local Orthodox synagogue, Ohav Zedek, seats nearly 1,000. Temple Israel, the Conservative shul, has two huge buildings — a hulking sanctuary and a three-story school. There’s a Jewish day school, a JCC with its own bowling alley and a Reform synagogue with multiple sanctuaries. But there’...
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Features

Holocaust glimpse takes a lifetime toll

Holocaust glimpse takes a lifetime tollMemorial Day feature Since 1945, April 6 has come and gone 69 times. Leon Tulper has dreaded each and every one of them. “Come April the 6th, I don’t want to talk to anybody,” Tulper says in the cluttered chaos of his soon-to-close place of business. “I don’t even want to see my family, nothing. It’s like embedded, like somebody inserted something in your head that automatically on April 6, you’re through.” April 6, 1945 was the day that Tulper, at the time a 20-year-old rad...

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 May 2014 03:22 )

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Shabbat Times

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