A Social-Justice Oriented Gap Year Program: Tzedek America

Posted on April 17th, 2017
From GrokNation


Mayim (Bialik) spoke with Emily Heaps, a participant in the premiere class of this new program


Mayim Bialik: What is Tzedek America?

Emily Heaps: Tzedek America is a social justice-oriented gap year program. All of us who are in TA just graduated high school; we are all eighteen or nineteen and we live together in a house with an RA (residence advisor) supervisor. We come from all across the US. We learn to take care of a house and cook and manage our finances, and for the year we are here, we choose to be part of a social justice-focused internship. Another part of the program is that we go on trips. We just went to Phoenix; we’re going to Guatemala soon* to do social impact work. And since TA is a Jewish gap year program, we do a lot of Jewish learning with different teachers and organizations; we go to different synagogues and spend time with different families to learn about how different Jews observe.

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Students At Toronto University Adopt Broad Definition Of Anti-Semitism

Posted on April 10th, 2017
By Marcy Oster for The Forward


The student union at Ryerson University in Toronto has voted to adopt a broad definition of anti-Semitism.

The definition adopted last week includes the denial of the Jewish right to self-determination, the application of double standards to the State of Israel, the comparison of contemporary Israeli policies to that of the Nazis, and the use of symbols or imagery associated with classic anti-Semitic tropes, according to Bnai Brith Canada.

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Twinned college radio shows get Israelis and Canadians on the same wavelength

Posted on April 3rd, 2017
BY DANA WACHTER for The Times of Israel


Through Radio Gesher, students at Western Ontario University and Sapir University in Sderot become on-air pen pals, sharing personal stories and pop culture


Maybe it’s a matter of the grass being greener on the other side, but university students in Canada and Israel seem to disagree on which country has the hotter guys.

In a recording from students at Sapir College in Sderot, one student radio host tells students from the University of Western Ontario that she visited Canada once, and she was struck by the beautiful men she saw in the grocery store.

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PBS Panel Discussion on BDS: University Students Indoctrinated to View Jews, Israelis as ‘Bad,’ Palestinians as ‘Victims’

Posted on March 27th, 2017
by Lea Speyer, the algemeiner.com


Identity politics are leading to the indoctrination of university students to view Jews and Israelis as “bad” and Palestinians as “victims,” a prominent American social psychologist warned on Monday.

Jonathan Haidt — professor of ethical leadership at NYU’s Stern School of Business — made this assertion during a panel discussion on PBS‘ “Charlie Rose,” with guest moderator Dan Senor — co-author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle — and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

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Three Rules for a Better Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Posted on March 20th, 2017
By Mark Oppenheimer for Tablet Magazine 


Jews do the milestone event all wrong. Here’s a quick, and meaningful, fix.


About a dozen years ago, I traveled across the country crashing bar and bat mitzvahs, from Arkansas to Alaska. I sneaked into one swank New York City bar mitzvah party by posing as a security guard. I stealthily trailed a deluxe coach in my station wagon to figure out where the 13-year-olds were going for the after-party. I got mistaken for one of the hired dancers. I ate a lot of free finger food. It was all research for my book Thirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America. In the end, despite all the pop-culture ridicule that the bar and bat mitzvah come in for, the TV and movie depictions of bitchy, prematurely mature adolescents at lavish parties (e.g. in Sex and the City, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and many more), I argued that bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies—despite not being in the Torah, not being required, and being widely derided—are valuable coming-of-age ceremonies, and there’s a good reason that Jews who do almost nothing else Jewish nonetheless think that maybe their children should do this crazy thing.

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