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
17
Mar

Lofty Lessons from the Lowest Place on Earth

(Photo: flickr/nas)

(Photo: flickr/nas)

Last Thursday I had the privilege of attending a friend’s wedding. The groom was a childhood friend who recently moved to Israel from Santa Cruz, California. While we lived thousands of miles apart for over two decades, we managed to stay in touch and kept the bond of friendship alive.

Though my dear friend and I have very similar backgrounds, our lives have taken somewhat different paths. I’m a pretty regular middle-of-the-road kind of guy, while my friend is anything but mainstream. I got married in the U.S. in a typical wedding hall, wore a suit and tie, and had a formal reception, but my friend Levi took a different approach to his nuptials.

Levi and his wife Alisa got married along the shore of the Dead Sea. Wanting to connect their wedding union with the land of…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / Dead Sea / God
11
Mar

America and Israel in the World Today

Last week, Rabbi Eckstein addressed a group of The Fellowship’s donors and board members in Florida. Watch him speak about the concerns that Israel and America share in today’s world.

Posted in: America / Israel / Rabbi Eckstein