Colors: Blue Color

Summer vacation took on a higher meaning, when a group of young women from Emet’s Fellowship and Step It Up programs were inspired to expand on their Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael. After an intense semester at college, the students chose to explore their heritage and devote more time to Torah study. Ms. Shira Fendel, Emet’s Women’s Director, traveled to Israel to guide and unite the Emet students, some of whom were learning at Neve in Jerusalem and others who were there on vacation. She spent over a week creating memorable programming to make their experience as impactful as possible.

There are a total of 36 psalms that are introduced with the word Mizmor.  The simple meaning of the word “mizmor” is “musical accompaniment,” but the root word zameir also means “pruning,” as in “tizmor karm’cha–prune your vineyard” (Sefer VaYikra, Parshas B’Har).  A tree cannot flourish if its vitality is sapped by damaged bark and diseased branches.  Cutting away the undesirable portions assures the continued growth of a thriving tree.  Without regular pruning, a tree will fail to produce fruit.  The same concept of pruning a plant to increase growth also applies to spiritual development.  Proper pruning involves identifying and ridding ourselves of undesirable traits and modes of action that sap our energy.  Such inner work is difficult, but its rewards are unequaled.  

Shai and Maayan Ben-Eli traveled the farthest - 5,863 miles from Yerushalayim - to attend the STAR-K Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar, held in the agency’s Baltimore offices, August 5-7. The Ben-Elis are being groomed not only as STAR-K mashgichim for their upcoming move to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, but as the agency’s emissaries to the once-thriving Jewish community.

With the passing of over 70 years since the events of the Holocaust, the Jewish people are at a critical juncture in their history. The events of the Holocaust are close enough that we can speak to witnesses and survivors and hear stories of horror, hope, and liberation, yet they are far enough that it is challenging for today’s generation to truly comprehend its magnitude. With tremendous foresight, Yad Vashem was established in 1952 with the goals of educating the world about the Holocaust and mining through history to create a comprehensive understanding of the world during the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps the most important part of Yad Vashem’s mission can be explained in one word: education.