OU Staff

Adding Some Heart Post Birthright

July 8, 2015, by

Birthright Israel has changed the face of the Jewish community, but what happens to all those college students once they come back? They’ve been exposed to the truth of their beautiful heritage, but how do they stay connected once they leave the shores of Israel? Birthright Next was established by the Birthright Israel Foundation as

How to Make a Shiva Call

July 8, 2015, by

Shiva calls are a part of the fabric of Jewish life. But how do you make a proper a shiva call? Who doesn’t recall that time when you visited someone in mourning and had nothing to say? Kveller posted this article about how to properly make shiva calls. Some points include not trying to cheer

Pee Wee Herman’s Father Fought for Israel

July 6, 2015, by

Know this guy? Well, here’s something you might not know. Pee Wee Herman’s father, Milton Rubenfeld, was a legendary air force pilot during World War 2. When Israel declared its independence in 1947 and was attacked by its Arab neighbors, he, along with five other Jewish American pilots, donned their fatigues and fought for the

Patents … There’s a Great Future in Patents.

July 6, 2015, by

If you try to keep the Jewish Sabbath, you might have heard of KosherSwitch, which is supposed to allow observant Jews to flick switches without violating Shabbat. KosherSwitch looks like the clever brainchild of Rube Goldberg and Erwin Schrödinger. When you flick it, you’re raising a tiny plastic gate inside, which had previously separated a

Lipa Schmeltzer Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.

July 6, 2015, by

It is amazingly hard not to love Lipa Schmeltzer. The former Skverer chasid  has been banned, blacklisted and almost banished; but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves and producing some of the best Jewish music out there. Tablet Magazine’s Joe Winkler spent a day with the pop star, whom the Daily News

Sir Nicholas Winton, British Schindler, Dies at 106

July 1, 2015, by

Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler,” died today at 106. Winton, a stockbroker, ferried 669 Jewish children out of occupied Prague as “the one-man children’s section of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia.” He organized eight trains and then found homes for all of the children in England. As the BBC notes, his death

Jerusalem Family Finds 2,000-Year-Old Ritual Bath Under Living Room

July 1, 2015, by

Home renovation usually entails picking paints, buying furniture, and dealing with contractors. For the Shimshoni family living in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, it meant calling in archaeologists after stumbling upon a perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old ritual bath under their living room. Last week the Israel Antiquities Authority finished excavating the subterranean bath, which archaeologist Amit Reem

The Stories Behind South Korea’s Love of the Talmud

June 25, 2015, by

If only yeshiva and day school students were as enthusiastic about the Talmud as South Koreans. The New Yorker’s PageTurner blog has a fascinating article about the popularity of the Talmud in South Korea. It’s kinda wild and corroborates what many of us heard as rumors. The writer, Ross Arbes, also does his homework and traces some

The World’s Betrayal of Israel

June 24, 2015, by

It was the month of January 2005. That Saturday night, a 17-year-old girl, by the name of Ayala Abukasis, was walking home with her younger brother, Tamir, in the southern city of Sderot in Israel. As they were walking, Ayala heard the shrill of an incoming Qassam missile fired from Gaza unto her city. She

One Country That Loves Jews? Kurdistan

June 22, 2015, by

Here’s some good news amidst all rising anti-Semitism across Europe and the Middle East. One place that likes Jews? Kurdistan. The autonomous region in Iraq seems to be quite fond of Jews and Israel, according to this interesting (but all too short) op-ed in the Forward by Seth Frantzman. “Old peshmerga fighters cradling AK-47s reminisced