17
Apr

A Story of Devastation and Triumph

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

Every Holocaust survivor is a living reminder of one of the most important historical lessons of the past hundred years. They are testaments to the anti-Semitism that engulfed Europe during the first half of the 20th century, a hatred that inflicted unprecedented horrors on the Jewish people. Yet as the community of survivors grows older and passes away, we are losing the only living proof left to remind us where this intolerance of Jews leads.

Reading historical accounts of concentration camps, visiting Holocaust museums, and watching movies about Nazi Germany do educate the next generation about the horrors of the Holocaust. But none measure up to a glance at a survivor’s tattooed arm, or the pained look in their eyes.

Every Jewish family with roots in Europe has relatives affected by the Holocaust, and these stories must be…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / Europe / Holocaust Remembrance Day
17
Apr

We All Stand and Remember

(Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/ASHERNET)

As yesterday was Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein wrote about her experiences on this moving observance for those who perished and those who survived:

It’s been 70 years since the Holocaust ended, but I have spoken to countless Holocaust survivors who are still haunted by the ungodly stench of death and burning bodies.

It’s been 70 years since the concentration camps were liberated, yet they are still so alive in the mind, spirit, and consciousness of my people.

It’s been 70 years since the world first vowed “never again,” but with the recent increase of anti-Semitic acts that has occurred, it seems like that vow is already being forgotten.

Cars stop. Schools stop. Markets stop. Meetings stop. The stock market stops. And for a moment, we…

   
Posted in: Israel / Jewish people / The Fellowship
15
Apr

A New Perspective

(Photo: flickr/fabiomiami)

(Photo: flickr/fabiomiami)

This Passover, I decided that along with the leavened bread I was biblically forbidden to eat, I would also take a break from my daily intake of world news. I felt I needed to get away from the endless cycle of disturbing headlines, if only for the week-long holiday, and focus on my wife, my children, our extended family and friends, and most importantly, God.

I thought, hoped, and prayed that after seven days of immersing myself in the holiday spirit, I would come out of Passover with a fresh perspective, one in which my conviction to raise a Jewish family in our land, would override any concern of our enemies’ intent, and where my faith in God would overshadow any fear for the future.

When Passover had ended and I dropped my children off at school, I…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / exodus / faith
2
Apr

The Anxiety and Ecstasy of a Jewish NBA Fan

(Photo: wikicommons/ Erik Drost)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Erik Drost)

Last year we reported on the decision by David Blatt – a successful Jewish basketball coach in Israel – to become the head coach of Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. Grantland’s Amos Barshod writes about the ups and downs faced by Jewish NBA fans who cheer for Blatt and his team:

When Blatt was hired, it was an interesting variant on a classic feel-good story: small-town boy makes good. Except in this case, the small town was Tel Aviv,1 and the boy was a 55-year-old fellow who’d spent more than two decades as a head coach at Maccabi (an Israeli team), Dynamo St. Petersburg (Russia), Benetton Treviso (Italy), and the national squads of both Russia and Israel. For many Jewish and Israeli American fans like…

   
Posted in: Amos Barshod / basketball / Cleveland Cavaliers
25
Mar

Flying to Redemption in the Holy Land

(Photo: Baz Ratner)

(Photo: Baz Ratner)

When today’s Freedom Flight touched down in Israel, Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein was at the airport to welcome the new olim (immigrants) to the Holy Land. Yael writes of the wonderful homecoming she witnessed – all made possible by The Fellowship’s faithful friends:

As I waved my Israeli flag, sang Hebrew songs based on words of the Bible, and danced with the younger generation of Jewish Russian immigrants, I realized that the timing of this Fellowship-chartered flight is very appropriate. Just one week before Passover, the holiday when we celebrate the Israelites going from slavery to freedom, these Jews experienced their very own redemption. They came from a life of fear, danger, and war in what many people call the biblical land of the north, to the ancient homeland of…

   
Posted in: Aliyah / Israel / olim