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Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

Still small, and iconic, early Somerville chavurah reshaped American liberal Judaism

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — To certain first-time visitors to Havurat Shalom, the congregation’s prayer room may look remarkably familiar.

From the macrame Jewish star adorning the ark and the Middle Eastern-style lamp serving as a ner tamid to the pillows on a bare floor and the sparely decorated walls, the room looks exactly as it does in a photograph from The Jewish Catalog, the do-it-yourself Judaism guidebook published in 1973 that brought the then five-year-old Havurat Shalom a measure of fame.

At the time, the image suggested an innovative vision of Judaism, stripped of pretense and focused on cultivating a tight-knit sense of community and direct devotional experience. Today, the room looks as if it had been preserved in amber.

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Features

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical Islam

Pro-Israel Muslims seek peaceful alternative to radical IslamJEWS around the world were inspired last month when Arab-Israeli teenager Mohammad Zoabi cloaked himself in an Israeli flag and spoke into a bedroom video camera, “I am an Israeli and will remain an Israeli. Israel will remain a Jewish and a democratic country.” What few realized is that within days after the video went viral, Israeli police arrested three men in his own family for plotting to cause him harm in retaliation for the piece. His cousin, Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, called h...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:52 )

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Features

Dutch Christians defend Israel

Dutch Christians defend IsraelAMSTERDAM — Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Divon nodded approvingly as he surveyed the small army of 50 men and women fighting for Israel. Around a conference table in an office in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert, 30 volunteers were writing and collecting pro-Israel materials and transferring them to an editor who posted them on social networks. Nearby, the graphics department churned out glossy logos and catchy memes that compared weather forecasts from London — partly c...
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Features

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir

Diary from former shaliach, Shaul Amir‘The fighting could have been over by now if we would use the same tactics our enemies use’ July 18. Just came out of the secure room. The longest siren since the beginning. Three interceptions of the Iron Dome above us. Thinking of the absurdity of this round of violence. We started the ground offensive for humanitarian reasons. Yes, it sounds crazy but hear me out. We have the ability to flatten the Gaza Strip from the air (remember what happened to Dresden in the Second World War?), but...
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Features

The two sides of the (retired) Alan Dershowitz

The two sides of the (retired) Alan DershowitzCHILMARK, Mass. — Alan Dershowitz’s house is a bit of a mess. Most of the rooms in his Martha’s Vineyard home are cluttered with half-unpacked boxes filled with items from his Cambridge house, which he and his wife emptied recently and sold after he retired from his Harvard Law School professorship in June. Dershowitz himself wears a few days growth of gray beard with his black track pants and a faded blue T-shirt that says “Martha’s Vineyard” in English and in Hebrew letters, look...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

British Jews, Muslims issue joint statement for peace and tolerance

Marcy Oster Jews and Muslims in the United Kingdom issued a joint statement, calling for peace in the Middle East, and “constructive dialogue” between the two groups in Britain. ... [Link]

Jordanian report: Netanyahu, Abbas met secretly in Amman

Marcy Oster Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met secretly in Amman days before the current cease-fire with Gaza, a Jordanian daily reported. ... [Link]

New Birthright program opened for Hebrew-speakers in U.S.

Marcy Oster Birthright Israel and the Israeli-American Council will offer a new Birthright program track for Israeli-American young adults called IAC Shelanu. ... [Link]

PA calls for countries to investigate citizens who serve in IDF for war crimes

Marcy Oster Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki called on foreign governments whose citizens serve in the Israel Defense Forces to investigate them for war crimes in Gaza. ... [Link]

Cleveland State University signs agreement with University of Haifa

Marcy Oster Cleveland State University and Israel’s University of Haifa have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize their collaborative relationship. ... [Link]

Israeli company ReWalk to make public offering

Marcy Oster The Israeli company ReWalk Robotics will sell public shares for the first time for a device that enables people with spinal cord injuries to stand and walk. ... [Link]

Arab-Israeli killer in Michigan prison seeking deportation to Israel

Marcy Oster An Arab-Israeli immigrant to the United States who is serving a life sentence for murder has sued the U.S. government in a bid to be deported to Israel. ... [Link]

Israeli civilian injured by Syrian mortar on Golan Heights

Marcy Oster An Israeli man was wounded when a mortar shell fired from Syria struck Israel’s Golan Heights. ... [Link]

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