More than just a comfortable, safe place to daven

More than just a comfortable, safe place to daven

Standing up to the darkness and the shifting winds of change that threaten to destroy our youth By: Ilan Preskowsky The town of Lakewood, New Jersey is known for being home to one of the United States’ most significant Orthodox Jewish communities; a community centred around nothing less than the world-renowned Beth Medrash Govoha, the largest yeshiva outside of Israel. Unfortunately, so prestigious a community is hardly exempt from a problem that challenges communities throughout the Jewish world. Literally hundreds of teenagers and young adults from this yeshiva community have…

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Making kids superpowerful

Making kids superpowerful

Teaching our children how to cope with life’s challenges By: Paula Levin Lara Noik and Tova Goldstein are extremely busy professionals, wives, and mothers, but despite all their commitments they are plotting a revolution. “We want to take over the world…starting with Glenhazel,” jokes Goldstein. Both qualified social workers, the two are energised and motivated to do far more than is possible in a day because they have a calling: to address the mental health crisis affecting adolescents. “Schools across the country are seeing an increase in mental illness, addiction,…

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Thou Shalt Innovate

Thou Shalt Innovate

Sharing the inspiration and hopeful story that is Israel By Chandrea Serebro If ever you wanted to hear good news about Israel, skip the small fry and head straight to thought leader and author Avi Jorisch, who took it upon himself to shout it out to the world. It came to him with a bang, quite literally, when both he and the people of Israel spent the summer of 2014 rushing in and out of bomb shelters during the Israel-Gaza conflict Operation Protective Edge. “This experience had a deep impact…

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Israeli innovation – A peek into Israel’s fast and furious, world-changing innovation across all areas.

Israeli innovation – A peek into Israel’s fast and furious, world-changing innovation across all areas.

By Chandrea Serebro Two Israeli start-ups (Nucleix and Medial EarlySign) are making great strides developing blood tests for diagnosing early stage lung cancer. Now, Savicell, a third, is achieving a 91% success rate. Early detection gives the patient a 50-80% recovery chance. At late stage it is only 4%. Israeli start-up Scade Medical has patented a prototype scanner to diagnose early stage melanoma. BlueSky is based on DOSI (differential optical spectro-polarimetric imaging) technology invented by Ofir Aharon, whose mother contracted melanoma. It has already saved seven lives. Israeli start-up Diagnoz.me has a…

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The Lion of Zion

The Lion of Zion

Remembering Ari Fuld, a life that continues to inspire, and the beautiful song written about him by a South African youth By Chandrea Serebro Israel lost its lion last year. World Jewry, including South Africa, mourned on 16 September and everyday thereafter. The day that Ari Fuld, a 45-year-old American-born Israeli, was murdered by a 16-year-old Palestinian terrorist, Khalil Jabarin, in Gush Etzion. With his dying breath, after sustaining mortal stab wounds, the Lion drew his weapon, scaled a fence in pursuit of his attacker, and shot the terrorist to…

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Naale Elite Academy

Naale Elite Academy

Making dreams of living and learning in Israel a reality for South African teens By Ilan Preskovsky It may sound like a ludicrous pipe dream, but for South African Jewish teens between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, an opportunity awaits to finish off their high school careers in Israel with the added benefits of a free initial flight to Israel and fully-subsidised tuition, medical aid, room and board, pocket money, and a whole lot more. Naale (a Hebrew acronym meaning “children coming before parents”) is an international programme that,…

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An Englishman in sunny South Africa

An Englishman in sunny South Africa

Dayan Boruch Rapoport retires from the Beth Din after 33 years of devoted service By Chandrea Serebro When Dayan Boruch Rapoport looks back 33 years to the start of his career here in South Africa, he realises – not without a chuckle, characteristic of his dry English sense of humour – that he was not quite as experienced then as he is today, both in religious and legal matters, which a lifetime of learning and growing has kept him on top of, but also when it came to people. As…

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Bringing out every person’s potential

Bringing out every person’s potential

The Chev and Boston City Campus and Business College have teamed up to up-skill members of the Chev’s protected employment By Chandrea Serebro There isn’t a parent who doesn’t spend his life trying as best as he can to set his kids up for success in everything that the child will do, from personal to professional and back again. And the best place to start, everyone will agree, is through education. Indeed, our very own Madiba said it best when he acknowledged that education is power. And it is with…

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Making the Torah sweet for everyone

Making the Torah sweet for everyone

Some new approaches that help students of the Talmud enjoy their studies By Ilan Preskovsky While the Tanach may be the bedrock and “point of departure” for Judaism as both a religion and a culture, it is the Talmud (especially the Babylonian Talmud or Talmud Bavli) that is the best encapsulation of how Jews for the past two-thousand years have related to the Torah and, thus, how we have lived as Jews. The Talmud Bavli was compiled in the sixth century CE (the less-used Jerusalem Talmud or Talmud Yerushalmi was…

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Ready to take on the world

Ready to take on the world

Matrics let us inside their heads, sharing their thoughts on a variety of topics By Chandrea Serebro Name the top 3 game changers in the world today? Jasmyn Lawson; ATTN:; and Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Jasmyn Lawson is a black female programmer who is the former culture editor of Giphy (yes, that Giphy, that provides us with all of the gifs on the internet). Women, especially women of colour, are notorious for being marginalised within the computer world, but Jasmyn is changing the face of our internet by making it…

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Tapping into teens

Tapping into teens

Thoughts and advice from our youth By Chandrea Serebro What do you hope to see in the world in the future? My hope for the future, specifically for our country, is to see greater safety and freedom. Open access to public transport – safe, reliable, and cost-effective. Wouldn’t a bus or train to school be nice? Why are youth important today? Youth are important today because, in a digital world, our youthful optimism, energy, and desire to connect to each other in a real and social way is essential for…

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True kindness: Giving someone what he lacks and cannot attain for himself

True kindness: Giving someone what he lacks and cannot attain for himself

By: Robert Sussman Each time we daven Shemoneh Esrei (aka the Amidah, or standing prayer), we say in the very first bracha that Hashem “recalls the chasdei Avos (the kindnesses of the Patriarchs)”. What kindnesses are we talking about? And to whom? Our Sages teach that Avraham’s defining characteristic was chesed (kindness), Yitzchak’s was din (judgment), and Yaakov’s was emes (truth). While the Torah is replete with episodes of Avraham’s chesed, as well as how Hashem tested him regarding that trait, the chesed of Yitzchak and of Yaakov is less…

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When all else fails

When all else fails

The world in which we live often stands at odds with the timeless values of the Torah and the prevailing atmosphere of violence and utter disregard for human life and property which have come to be the norm everywhere is certainly no exception By: Robert Sussman Following the recent Pittsburgh massacre, Hashem yikom damam (may Hashem avenge their blood), debate raged in the US over whether Jews should begin carrying and training with firearms as a “deterrence” to future such incidents, Hashem yerachem (G-d have mercy). So, it’s worthwhile to…

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