A Jewish Festival of Sport

Opening of the Maccabiah games

Opening of the Maccabiah games

Yesterday evening some 30,000 spectators filled Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem to welcome over 9,000 Jewish athletes who have come to from every corner of the world, including Israel, to participate in the 19th Maccabiah Games. The opening ceremony, which are held every four years, were attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and several ministers.

The organizers had also managed to arrange and screen warm video messages from President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The US delegation with over 1200 delegates was by far the biggest overseas delegation. The Israel delegation numbered nearly three thousand participants.  At the other end of the scale was Albania, Croatia, Curacao, Bahamas, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Scotland and Poland – each with only one competitor.

This year the games will introduce, for the…

Posted in: Culture / Athletics / Learn

The 92-Year-Old Skydiver

We love this incredible story about 92-year-old Aaron Rosloff, who planned to celebrate his birthday by jumping out of plane as part of a fundraising mission! Rosloff’s commitment to helping others is truly inspiring. Over the course of his lifetime he has given philanthropically to dozens of organizations – from the Red Cross to our very own International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

He spent his past two birthdays jumping out of planes as part of a fundraising mission for the South Brunswick Food Pantry in New Jersey.

He planned to celebrate his 92nd birthday, July 3, with a third jump, but after he broke his ankle in two places during last year’s landing, friends and family pleaded with him not to skydive again. The charity flipped: Instead of raising money for Rosloff to jump, people were donating for him to stay grounded…

Rosloff sports a trimmed goatee and speaks…

Posted in: Help / The Fellowship / Learn

Solemnity and Hope on Tisha B’Av

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Continued unrest in the Middle East and the resurgence of anti-Semitism around the globe remind us that threats to Israel and her people are as present today as they have been for millennia. It seems fitting, then, that beginning sundown on Monday, July 15th, Jews around the world will fast to mark one of the most solemn days in the Jewish year – Tisha B’Av.

On Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, we remember numerous calamities that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. On this day in 135 C.E., the Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Israel’s Roman conquerors. In 1492, the King and Queen of Spain issued an order expelling all Jews, thus eliminating one of the most vibrant and largest Jewish communities in Europe. In 1942, the Nazis began deporting Jews in Poland’s Warsaw Ghetto…

Posted in: Jewish FAQ's / Jewish Holidays / Rabbi Eckstein

Stolen Books Returned Seventy Years After The Holocaust

Seventy years after the Holocaust, Christoph Schlegel, the grandson of a Nazi officer, finds books in his home that were stolen from a Jewish man during the Holocaust.  A search leads him to Moshe Hofstadter, the only surviving son of the books’ owner.

Avraham Hofstadter, who was killed in the Holocaust | Photo credit: Courtesy of Yad Vashem

Avraham Hofstadter, who was killed in the Holocaust | Photo credit: Courtesy of Yad Vashem

Four books stamped with his name, the only tangible keepsake that Moshe Hofstadter has of his father Abraham, who was murdered by the Nazis, were returned to him in a moving ceremony at Yad Vashem on Wednesday.

The return of the books marked the culmination of an unusual sequence of events. Three years ago, Christoph Schlegel, the grandson of a senior…

Posted in: Holocaust Survivor / Learn / 

Archaeologist for a Day

Just under the surface, Israel’s soil is rich with ancient history dating back thousands of years. The “Dig for a Day” program offers a rare opportunity for participants to dig and sift through some of thousands of ancient caves located in Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park, in the hopes of finding pottery and various other remains. The caves were made in the Hellenistic period, about 2,200 years ago, and are found near Maresha, the ancient capital of the biblical Edom and possible birthplace of King Herod the Great. Watch to find out more about this incredible archaeological experience.

Posted in: Archeology / religion / Learn