Why We Still Mourn the Temple

By Ami Farkas

Photo: Jack Hazut

Photo: Jack Hazut

The fast of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz – the 17th of the Jewish month of Tammuz – fell on Tuesday of this week and began a three-week mourning period over the destruction of both of the holy Temples that once stood in Jerusalem.

There are five events that occurred throughout history on the 17th of Tammuz that are the cause for the fast: On this date, the first tablets containing the Ten Commandments were broken by Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai and witnessed the sin of people worshipping the golden calf; the daily sacrificial offerings in the Temple ceased when, under siege, the Jews could no longer obtain the sacrificial animals; Jerusalem’s walls were breached; Apostomus, a Roman governor, burned the Torah in Jerusalem; and, later,…

Posted in: Jewish Holidays / Learn / religion

The Fellowship Dedicates New Ethiopian Spiritual Center in Jerusalem

Thanks to The Fellowship and our supporters, the Ethiopian Jewish community in the city of Jerusalem finally has a spiritual center to call their own.


On June 23, the newest Fellowship House was dedicated in a ceremony attended by Rabbi Eckstein and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The Fellowship House Ethiopian Spiritual Center will serve as a place of worship, where the community will be able to pray 3 times a day. It will also serve as a home where the young and old of the community can gather for enrichment activities, community events, and other functions to help advance the community and make them feel at home in Israel.

See more pictures of the dedication ceremony here.

Posted in: Ethiopian Immigrants / Help / 

Chameleon Soldiers: Camouflage in the IDF

Three years ago, the IDF’s Counterterrorism Training Center introduced a special department dedicated to the art of camouflage. Since then, the Center has thoroughly incorporated camouflage into its training. In addition to preparing soldiers to rescue civilian hostages and operate effectively in urban combat, the Center now trains them in advanced camouflage techniques.


What is camouflage? More than just a type of design on uniforms, it is the strategy of arranging objects to prevent an individual or group from being noticed. This can be done by using materials such as fake branches, face paints and colored tarps. Through their training at the Counterterrorism Training Center, the soldiers eventually become equipped to blend into all sorts of environments, including mountains, desert and snow.

Preparing a site for camouflage Preparing a site for…

Posted in: Israel's Defense / Learn / The Israeli Defense Force

The Magic of Havdalah

Talia Eckstein

Havdalah Service 14th c. Spain.

Havdalah Service 14th c. Spain.

When the sun has set on Saturday evening and the Sabbath has departed, my family performs, what I believe to be, one of the most beautiful of all the Jewish traditions, that of  the Havdalah ceremony. The Hebrew word Havdalah means “separation”— signifying the separation of between the holy and the mundane, between light and dark, between the sacred and the profane, and between Sabbath and the weekday. The experience is meant to give us comfort as we mourn the passing of Sabbath until the coming week.

The Havdalah ceremony utilizes each of our five senses. We turn the lights down and make a blessing on a multi-wick candle to commemorate the creation of fire, we feel the heat emanating from the fire we thank God for granting us its illuminating powers. We make a blessing and…

Posted in: Learn / Religions Jewish FAQ's / 

Helping a Single Mother Care for Her Family

Used as Sasha Substitute 10-1-10 T.sasson 1161.JPGSasha came to Israel from the Ukraine. Her husband passed away two years before she made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), leaving Sasha to care for their two daughters.

Though Sasha is grateful for her new home in the Holy Land, the transition hasn’t been easy. She has had to learn a new language, find work, and raise two children on her own. She and her girls live in a run-down one-bedroom apartment in a public housing building.

Last year Sasha’s washing machine broke down, making life very difficult for this young mother. Since she had no money to repair it, every week Sasha saved what little change she had in her pockets or that she found around the house to take to the laundromat. This was a very inefficient and costly way to provide clean clothes for her…

Posted in: Guardians of Israel / Help /