Why do we mourn on Tisha B’Av?

destruction_temp_2_galleryA beloved father and husband embarked on a long journey overseas.  The ship upon which he traveled was reported lost at sea. The vessel was presumed sunken, and all of its passengers dead.  The man’s family was shattered.  His friends were shocked, but with the passing of time their memory of him grew dimmer and dimmer.  His family though refused to be consoled and never stopped grieving. After some time, seemingly out of nowhere, the man returned home alive and well.  All of his friends were delighted and wished him well.  His family though, was ecstatic and celebrated jubilantly.  The home that for so long was filled with bitter mourning was now filled with overwhelming joy.

We Jews are in the midst of a period of morning.  Each year three weeks of the Jewish calendar, beginning with the 17th   of the month of Tamuz and culminating with the 9th of the month of Av, are designated as a time to reflect and to actively grieve over the destruction and loss of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem because during these days Jerusalem was sieged and the temple was burned to the ground.  Many of the mourning practices are similar to those of a person who has recently lost a loved one.  We don’t make weddings or listen to music.  Many don’t shave, take haircuts, or buy new clothing.  On the last of these days, Tisha B’ Av, Jews around the world will fast, sit on the floor, and cry.

Why all the tears?  What do events that happened thousands of years ago have to do with me?

The Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple, was a remarkable edifice.  Architecturally it was one of the wonders of the world.  What we lost though, was much more than a building.  The Beit HaMikdash was the place where God’s presence rested amongst our people.  With the destruction of that special resting place within his people, God’s presence, in a way, was removed.  Our relationship with God became more of a long distance relationship than the close intimate one we once enjoyed.  God is still actively involved in every aspect of our lives, but some of the benefits of closeness have faded away.  What God’s presence afforded us, as much as anything else, was quality of clarity in life.  Think about any trial, tribulation, challenge, or difficulty we may encounter in our lives.  What is most troubling about that challenge?  Is it the difficulty itself?  Is it the pain we that we experience?  If we honestly reflect we may realize that what really challenges us is that we simply don’t understand why we are being challenged with the trial at hand.  We lack the clarity to see the whole picture.  God’s presence would illuminate our lives and allow us to see and understand.

This is why we cry.  For thousands of years we have sat in exile.  Not simply expelled from a land or evicted from a precious place but love sick for an intimate relationship with our creator that has very much slipped away.  A relationship we once knew that once allowed us the vision needed to properly navigate the obstacles of life.

Our sages tell us that in a future time, Tisha b’ Av, the saddest day of the year will turn to a joyous festival.  Like the family who refused to forget their beloved father, always pained by his absence, may all of our people be filled with joy and celebration when God’s holy presence returns its proper place amongst us, his children.  Speedily in our times.


The Chosen Online Daters: JewDate – The Web Series

Noah, the protagonist of the JewDate - The Web Series

Noah, the protagonist of the JewDate – The Web Series

We’ve all been there- or at least contemplated it.  Online dating.  Jewish online dating.  Who doesn’t know at least one couple that met through OK Cupid or Jdate?  In the past few years, online dating has gone from being taboo to socially acceptable, even encouraged.  But online dating doesn’t come easy, there are mismatches and awkward moments galore (or so I’m told…).  It was only a matter of time before a truly awesome web series was created about the Jewish online experience.

JewDate, a new web series, chronicles the highs and lows ( a lot of lows) of Jewish online dating as it follows, “A young man’s perilous quest to find his soul-mate through online dating.”  Signed up for “JewDate” by his best friend to help him get over a girl who has friend-zoned him, NJB Noah navigates through his fair share of dates-gone-wrong.  While the dates are hyperbolic, anyone who has been on a set up, online, or blind date can identify with Noah.  Refreshingly, the series does not rely on tired Jewish stereotypes for its humor.

In addition, all music included in the web series is featured on the JewDate website.  You can also follow the series on Facebook.

Only four episodes have been posted so far so we’ll have to wait and see if Noah finds his b’sheret.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Finance/Business Analyst, CAR2GO

The finance/business analyst intern will assist the CEO in management of company’s finances.

CAR2GO is a car sharing service in Tel Aviv and Gush Dan. Members of the service can access a fleet of diversified vehicles. Cars be taken from a few hours to a few days, and customers only pay for what they use. Fuel, parking, insurance and all the hassle is on the company.


Join the World of Ideas in New York City


If you could spend a week with some of the world’s leading experts on some of the world’s most interesting topics—U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, economic theory, Jewish thought and history—which ones would you choose?  You should give some thought to this pleasant dilemma, and soon, because a new series of funded seminars that will take place in New York City this fall makes the question more than academic.

The Tikvah Advanced Institutes will give accomplished individuals of any nationality, from a broad range of professional disciplines, the chance to participate with fellow professionals and leading thinkers in their choice of advanced courses on policy and Jewish thought, on a schedule designed for people who do not have much time to spare.  The seminars will take place over periods extending from four days to four weeks; and participants will be given stipends of $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the seminar’s length, to cover their travel, lodging, and investment of time.

The faculty roster features professors at leading universities, renowned rabbinic scholars, and former government officials who have held top-level positions in the fields they will teach.  The extraordinary list includes Elliott Abrams, former Deputy National Security Adviser to the U.S. President; Uzi Arad, former head of Israel’s National Security Council; Ruth Wisse, professor emerita of Yiddish literature at Harvard; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University; and Yuval Levin, founding editor of National Affairs.

The Institutes will provide time for study and consideration of big ideas and great texts.  Faculty and participants will delve into some of the foundational questions of modern society, exploring American or Israeli grand strategy, the ethics of modern war, and the theory, critics, achievements, and problems of democratic capitalism.  Advanced Institutes on Jewish issues and questions will probe the biblical and Jewish views of human nature and study the great leaders and key decisions that have shaped Jewish history and the Jewish State.

The Tikvah Advanced Institutes are a project of The Tikvah Fund, a New York-based foundation that specializes in educational programming in Jewish thought and public policy.  As with the Fund’s Tikvah Fellowship, a year-long fellowship that offers young professionals a funded period of work and study, the Advanced Institutes have several aims: to provide useful knowledge that participants can apply to their professional endeavors, to create a network of leaders who will work with Tikvah and with each other to advance the interests of the Jewish people and the Jewish State, and to provide a gateway for men and women who may wish to take a major new step or pursue a significant new direction in their careers and lives.

Application deadlines are approaching soon.  So, click here to get more information and apply.  If you have more questions, please contact


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Top 10 Most Patriotic American Films Since 1776

topUNITED STATES OF AMERICA – (@TheComedyNews) –   It is that time of year where the patriotic Americans come out in droves to celebrate their country’s independence from Great Britain in 1776.

And the only thing more Patriotic than watching high-budget patriotic films is making a top ten list about them.

Honorable Mentions

Braveheart (1995) – Although the film does not depict Americans winning independence, it is still a depiction of a group of oppressed rebels kicking some British Royal ass.

Super Size Me (2004)- Big Macs are basically synonymous with America. What can be more patriotic than eating copious amounts of McDonald’s for a month?

Almost Heroes (1998)- A big fat American, Chris Farley, beats the British (and Lewis and Clark) in a race to the Pacific Ocean in 1803. His public relations team is not that good, so Lewis and Clark end up taking all of the credit.

Glory (1989) – America’s favorite truant student grows mutton chops and leads America’s first all-black military regiment against the Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army.

Top Gun (1986) – Unnecessarily glorifying Tom Cruise is pretty damn American.

Armageddon (1998) – When the end of the World is upon us, a team of American deep-sea crude oil drillers led by Bruce Willis will save the day.

Ghostbusters 2 (1989) – The Statue of Liberty takes a stroll through Manhattan, and then destroys the ceiling of a goulish art museum.

Miracle (2004) – Kurt Russell shows the world that a bunch of college boys from Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin can whip the Soviets in their bread, butter, and borscht: ice hockey.

Top 10 Most Patriotic American Films Since 1776: 

10) True Lies (1994) – Arnold Schwarzenegger has to stop Key West from becoming the next Hiroshima.

9) Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008) – The sequel to the greatest road trip film of all time features a Homeland Security agent asking, “Is it freedom o’clock?”

8) The Patriot (2000) – This is the only film on this list that actually depicts the Revolutionary War.  Mel Gibson defeats the Redcoats and helps America win Independence.  In an alternate ending only on a limited edition DVD, Mel Gibson gets beaten to a bloody pulp by a regiment of his own Jewish soldiers.

7) South Park Movie: Bigger, Longer And Uncut (1999) – America fights Canada over a petty dispute about cartoon profanity. And when you can’t decide on a good villain to unite against, always be sure to default to Saddam Hussein.

6) Saving Private Ryan (1998) – If films could fight a war, Steven Spielberg’s epic World War II film would duke it out with Shakespeare In Love (1998) for the Academy Award for Best Picture…and then lose for some reason.

5) Beerfest (2006) – Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” This film is the epitome of what it is to be young and careless in America— chugging obnoxious amounts of beer to prove who is the coolest kid in high school.

4) Die Hard I-IV (1988-2007) – Bruce Willis defeats the Germans twice and puts down two rebellions in America. Yippee-ki-yay [Mister Falcon].

3) Independence Day (1996)- Bill Pullman gives the greatest wartime Presidential address since Gettysburg. And the combination of the Fresh Prince’s witty one-liners, the annoying bastard from Jurassic Parks I and II, and Randy Quaid destroying a 9-mile-diameter spaceship dramatizes America’s ability to fend off an alien invasion. In the immortal words of Captain Steven Hillard, “Welcome to Earth!”.

2) National Treasure (2004) / The Rock (1996) / Con Air (1997) – Nicholas Cage is what every American jockstrap bonehead aspires to be:   explosive, awesome, and a buried in a slurry of box office cash and rotten tomatoes. These films include fire, car chases, convicts, gratuitous gun usage, and Disney-esque happy endings.

1) Rocky IV (1984) – The perennial underdog, Rocky Balboa, battles Communist Russia’s top boxer—a steroid receptacle named Ivan Drago.  While behind enemy lines in the U.S.S.R., Rocky wins the Cold War without dropping one nuclear bomb. Ivan Drago, on the other hand, goes on to serve as the inspiration for Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Hulk Hogan, and other patriotic American heroes and role models.

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


Volunteer with GTJ and JFGH at the Air and Space Museum!

On July 21st, Gather the Jews and Jewish Foundation for Group Homes are teaming up to go on a tour of the Air and Space Museum. 25 GTJ volunteers will accompany residents of Jewish group homes on a guided tour.


What: Tour of the Air and Space Museum w/ Jewish group home residents
When: July 21st, 12:45 – 3:00 pm
Where: The Air and Space Museum,  Independence Ave at 6th St, Washington, DC 20560 (meet outside the entrance)

RSVP by filling out the Google form here. We only have space for 25 so RSVP soon! Email with any questions.




Soldier Pick-Up Station


This event was co-sponsored by The Israel Forever Foundation.

As many Jewish girls, I have spent my life dreaming about the Israeli Soldier. Not just because of the way their uniforms hang so perfectly, but because they wake up every single day risking their lives for each one of us.

When I was 6 years old, my dad picked up a *hitchhiking IDF soldier on the side of the road as we exited the mountains of Jerusalem. He explained how nowhere else in the world should I ever pick up a stranger. But here in Eretz Yisrael, it is a mitzvah because every soldier, whether we know him personally or not, is playing a role in our safety as a Jewish people.

I now look back and remember sitting in the middle seat with my sister to the left, and a man with his M-16 digging into the side of my leg on the right; and that man who to me seemed so incredibly mature and brave at the time, was really just a young kid not much older than myself.

aliayhAs we all know, Israel inspires young souls, and it was 8 years ago this summer that I made aliyah in pursuit of strengthening my connection to Israel. During my two years I had many friends just like me who had finished college or unversity and moved to Israel with a tenacity for Zionism. Some of us spent our days soaking up the Tel Aviv sun, while others were on army bases, training and preparing. And while I had childhood dreams of being compared to Hannah Senesh for my heroism as a paratrooper, the army track would certainly not be my calling.

After a lifetime of flying back-and-forth, longing to feel like an Israeli, along came the Disengagement in 2005, followed by the Lebanon War in 2006. Suddenly my friends, my age, who had become my family away from home, were literally standing on the front lines.

One of Israel’s greatest beauties is that we are all one nation. No matter who you meet, what city you go to, you always know you can find a friend.Therefore, Lone Soldiers are not defined as individuals who are alone. Rather, Lone Soldiers are identified and unified by their common contributions of personal sacrifice.

For all these reasons and more, I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to pay tribute to these young men and women. On June 20, 2013 in Washington, DC, I again had the honor of coordinating our Annual Israeli Wine Tasting event for The Lone Soldier Project of The Israel Forever Foundation Wine Tasting with The Embassy of Israel.

Military_advisor_Permanent_Mission_of_Israel_United_NationsYet again, the room was filled with people from around the DC community who were welcomed into the Jerusalem Hall by Captain Ronen Nimni, the Israel Naval Attaché to the United States, as well as the Military advisor to the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, who articulated the importance of Lone Soldiers and their courage to leave home and defend our land.

When we launched The Lone Soldier Project in the spring of 2012, our first event focused more on the concept of “What is a Lone Soldier?

For the 2013 event, the theme delved deeper into the reality of “What does it feel like to be a Lone Soldier?” depicted through an intergenerational conversation with former IDF Lone Soldiers, Jack Porat and Aaron Kaplowitz, who while serving almost 30 years apart had such similar stories and a magical chemistry between them that was instantly visible to the crowd.

Jack Porat is the son of Israeli parents who immigrated to the United States in the 1960’s. After high school, Jack decided to make aliyah and enlist in the Israeli Army where he served as a tank driver in the armored core from February 1983 to June 1985, during which he was served in Lebanon for 1 ½ years.

Aaron, Ariana, and Jack

Aaron, Ariana, and Jack

Aaron Kaplowitz works as the Communications Director at the Embassy of Israel in Washington DC. Aaron enlisted in the IDF in 2006, after graduating from Boston University with a degree in journalism.

After this inspirational evening, I think of my friends who have served, are serving, and will serve. I rally for all IDF soldiers because I Stand with Israel.

I rally for Lone Soldiers because I have always strived to do my part, and I truly thank you for doing what I myself,
could never do.

*Please note:
While it used to be a common practice – culturally accepted and socially encouraged – to pick up soldiers, hitchhiking in Israel is now forbidden for all soldiers in the IDF as a result of kidnapping attempts.

Don’t miss the photos from theIsraeli Wine Tasting event for The Lone Soldier Project™!


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – Kim Jong-Un Refuses to Comment about Acting Career

upPYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA – (@The Comedy News) – Kim Jong-Un, heir to the North Korean Supreme Leadership throne, has kept quiet about his previous career as a Hollywood actor.

“Kim Jong-Un can neither confirm nor deny his role in the 2009 Oscar-nominated film, Up,” announced Kim’s publicist, William Morris.

Entertainment writers have long-speculated that Kim did indeed play a supporting role in the film Up as Russell, a portly, jovial young kid with father issues that latches onto a senile old man named Carl Fredrickson–played by former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

The late Coach Paterno had also refused to comment on his role in the critically-acclaimed film, Up.   (SEE STORY)

According to, there is no listing for Kim Jong-Un’s brief acting career—most likely due to threats stemming from North Korean officials.

The rumor going around Hollywood has been that even though Kim’s late father, Kim Jong-Il threatened producers to cast his son in the film Up, he also required producers to expunge all records of his son acting in the film—promising a nuclear holocaust upon the Western Hemisphere for noncompliance—excluding Canada, though, because hockey and curling are now the fastest growing sports in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Still, the 28-year-old Kim’s publicist is ambiguous with his statements about his life before politics.
“Let’s just say, hypothetically, that Kim was an actor, arrrrright?” The publicist continued, as several large guns appeared pointed at his head.  “Let’s say the young Kim was indeed a 245-pound jolly jelly-belly cream-puff fluff-muffin son-of-a-little-bitch actor with a smile as big as China—would you honestly think that at a time like right now, when his father just passed away, that he would start hogging the all the media attention?  C’mon!  You media-types are simply cruel, and you must be eliminated.”
Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.

True Love vs. True Lovin’ – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 68)

computer-loveWhen it comes to online dating (or dating in general, for that matter), people’s intents run the gamut from finding a pen pal to looking for true love (I prefer to work with these people!) to meeting someone for less than a long-term encounter, if you catch my drift.  And there are dating sites out there that satisfy each of these very different objectives.  But how do you know which one(s) to use?

On one end of the spectrum, when searching the market of love, there is actually a site that exists called Horny Matches.  (Maybe it’s more of a meat market of love in this case.)  And on the other end of the spectrum is eHarmony, which claims to be the top site for the number of marriages created by an online dating site, based on a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive in June of last year using data from 19,131 marriages from 2005 to 2012.

And then somewhere in the middle lie the sites we know and likely have friends (or ourselves) on:, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and, of course, Jdate for our crowd.

In an interview with Markus Frind, the founder Plenty of Fish, the largest free online dating site (over six million unique visitors last month!), he said that he recently decided that men using online dating purely for sex are ruining it for everyone else looking for a meaningful relationship… so he’s getting rid of them.  (I guess when you’re the founder, you can do that, huh?)  How, you might ask:

– Get rid of the “intimate encounters” option on the site.
– Limit the e-mail functionality so that you can only send e-mails to people who are within 14 years of your own age.

As he said in an e-mail to all members on May 20th, 2013, “There is no reason for a 50 year old man to contact a 18 year old woman [sic].  The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hookups.  Anyone who tries to get around this rule will get deleted.”  You know what happened next?  There was a 15% increase in sign-ups after this announcement.  I guess he was on the right track!

That brings us to the question: Should sites advertise their intent, or should they be all-inclusive of people looking for any type of relationship?  Should there be a versus a  Or should it be up to individual users to decide what they are looking for?  Thoughts, comments, and questions are welcome.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.


Pedal Forward and Bicycle Distribution in Tanzania

CGIUMatt Wilkins founded Pedal Forward and is currently a grad student at GW.

After winning the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative University Commitment Challenge, I made a commitment to donate 24 bicycles to impoverished areas of the world. When my friend Marisa Ranieri (B.A. ESIA ‘12) told me she was moving to Muyenzi, Tanzania to teach English in a secondary school for a year, I had my target location. With the help of SEAS, I was able to exceed my goal and donate 35 bicycles through The Tumaini Fund, a charity that sponsors AIDS-affected orphans in the region. The bicycles address the basic transportation needs of isolated communities around the world by allowing easier access to water, education, and health care. After months of fundraising and working out logistics, I hopped on a plane ready to distribute the bicycles I had donated.

P1010808I flew into Kigali, Rwanda, a city filled with African culture with and Western comforts. After 7 hours of riding in a crowded bus, sharing a 5 seat car with 9 passengers and their bags, and sitting on the back of a motorcycle through the dirt roads of Tanzania, I had arrived in Muyenzi, a village of 200 people situated in the Northwest region of Tanzania. Transportation around the village consists of either walking (most students at the Muyenzi Secondary School do 16 km of this every day), riding a bicycle if you are lucky enough to own one, or if you have some money to spare, catching a ride from the one person in Muyenzi who owns a motorcycle. It is unfathomable but true that the closest wall outlet to charge your phone from Muyenzi is 50 km away, and that the trek will take an hour and a half on the back of a motorcycle.

IMG_1437I traveled via motorcycle to Kibogora and Ndomba Secondary Schools, where I distributed the 35 bicycles I had donated. The students were selected based on the following criteria: distance walked to and from school daily, academic merit, and classroom behavior (based on feedback from headmaster), and entrepreneurial drive (e.g. using bicycle to transport crops for sale at local market). It is hard to comprehend the importance of a bicycle to a student in these villages, but to put it in perspective the annual income for a person in Muyenzi is $95. I had given these students something that would cost over a full years year’s work.

While in Muyenzi, I also had the opportunity to teach mathematics and science at Muyenzi Secondary School. When I told the students I had studied engineering, one student raised his hand and asked me if I knew about physics. After I responded yes, the student pulled out a physics workbook he must have had donated to him (physics is not taught at Muyenzi Secondary) and asked if I could explain a simple Ohm’s Law question to him. Since the students understood chemistry, I explained to him what voltage and current were in terms of electrons and explained how to draw and solve the simple circuit. The student now fully understood Ohm’s Law and could solve a simple circuit, yet had never seen electricity before.

I am inspired to continue to improve the lives of those in need. I had such a rewarding experience distributing bicycles to Kibogora and Ndomba, and am humbled by the level of poverty I saw, yet encouraged by the attitudes and efforts of these young students.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Marketing Coordinator, Tzunami

Marketing Coordinator, Tzunami – Provided by Career Israel

Tzunami Inc. is seeking a marketing coordinator with experience in online and social media marketing.


As an intern, you will be responsible for performing market research and providing insight on new market entry. You’ll execute and analyze the success of marketing campaigns and advertisements. The Marketing Coordinator will also be responsible for online and social media marketing – updating our blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. You’ll have the chance to work with the marketing manager to develop case studies, direct marketing templates, customer appreciation letters and interpret customer purchasing statistics.

Tzunami Inc. is a leading provider of Microsoft SharePoint Migration solutions. Tzunami Deployer, the company’s flagship migration tool, saves up to 90% of traditional migration time, lowering labor costs and providing quick access to more accurate content. Offering a user-friendly solution to real-world business challenges, Tzunami Deployer effortlessly transfers data from older Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM).


A New Minyan in Columbia Heights!

chJune 22, 10am in Columbia Heights

Perhaps you have a sense that something is missing from your shabbat mornings.  Perhaps you want to try something new.  Perhaps you would love to davven somewhere if only it started later or was closer to home.

Dining room davenning is participant-led, fully egalitarian, with lots of singing, bringing our full selves, good flow with gentle build up to exciting energetic moments and then wind down to grounded quiet places, not saying every word in the siddur (unless you want to), mostly Hebrew, some intentional English (or other languages), creative interaction with torah, flexible musaf.

Email for exact location


GTJ Satirist Brian F. – 9-Year-Old Gets Downgraded for Spelling June, “JEWNE”


MILWAUKEE, WI – (@The Comedy News) – Nine-year-old Brian F. (name redacted due to age restrictions) received quite a surprise when he got his graded U.S. History test back in Mrs. Teller’s third grade class.

“I was the only one in the class to get 100% of the questions right, but I spelled June wrong, so I got a 90%,” explained Brian.  “I spelled June with a ‘W’.  It should have a W anyways.”

Brian’s initial defense was that he recently started Hebrew school so he has ‘Judaism on the mind’ more than usual.  Still, his teacher did not budge on Brian’s egregious spelling error and insisted that the grade remain the same.

Later that week, after asking his babysitter Matt for advice, Brian wrote a note to his teacher contesting the grade once again:

Dear Mrs. Teller,

Mark Twain once said, “I don’t give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way.”

Please change my grade.

Sincerereelrely,  (sic)


Mrs. Teller’s response to this note was forcing Brian to do one month of indoor recess for using the word “damn”.

Brian responded with a written statement in Crayon:

“but by then, school will be over, we don’t have school in the month of JEW-LIE.”

Jewne month of jew june


Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at  Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Project Coordinator, African Refugee Development Center (ARDC)

At ARDC, you will be able to design your own internship based on your background and interests, as well as the needs of the organization. There are a variety of different paths that you can chose from: teach classes in English or other subjects; serve as a social work case manager; assist in day-to-day operations of the women’s shelter; help as a research assistant for the Assylum Application Assistance project; and more.

The African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) was founded in 2004 by African refugees and Israeli citizens to assist, support and empower refugees and asylum seekers in Israel.


Alicia Keys to Preform in Israel Despite Petitions, Letter from Alice Walker

aliciaDespite petitions against the show, Alicia Keys is still scheduled to preform in Tel Aviv on July 4.  A delegation representing a coalition of over 500 organizations delivered a petition with 12,000 signatures to the headquarters of Keys’ non-profit, Keep a Child Alive, which supports children and families affected by HIV in developing countries.

In addition, Alice Walker wrote an open letter to Keys asking the singer to reconsider.  Walker compares the boycott of Israel to the Civil Rights movement and condescendingly tells Keys to, “Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already.”

Walker also informs Keys that, “Under a campaign named ‘Brand Israel’, Israeli officials have stated specifically their intent to downplay the Palestinian conflict by using culture and arts to showcase Israel as a modern, welcoming place.”  Ido Aharoni, Israel’s consul general in New York, responded directly to this accusation in his own open letter (Read the full letter here):

For decades, dozens of countries, cities and regions all over the world have engaged in a “branding” process — a comprehensive attempt to present an attractive image of a place, which should lead to increased tourism, foreign investment and export.  “I Love New York” is part of one such campaign.

No other country has ever been criticized for engaging in this common practice of courting tourists and businesses.  Only in Israel’s case is it — for some reason — deemed a demonic exercise of the “Israeli propaganda machine.”

Despite pressure to cancel her performance, Keys has stated, “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”

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