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Kate Bigam


Jewish students sitting on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC by candlelight

“A good week, a week of peace. May gladness reign and joy increase…”

These are the words Reform Jews sing during Havdalah, the ceremony observed Saturday evening at sundown to mark the end of Shabbat. We gather together to sing and to pray, passing around a snifter of fragrant spices to soothe the soul as we say goodbye to Shabbat, the day of rest, and welcome a new week.

Joining in Havdalah services at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., made for some of the most powerful and profound moments of my Jewish experience. Last Friday evening, as I watched videos of neo-...

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Protesters hold shields and Confederate flags at an alt right rally in Charlottesville Virginia

During Shabbat, our day of rest, terrible events took place in Charlottesville, VA. A "Unite the Right" protest organized by the alt-right turned bloody, violent, and ultimately deadly as tensions escalated, fights broke out, and one attendee drove his car through a sea of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring dozens more. Headlines and videos out of the event are shocking and painful: Protesters donned Nazi imagery, heiled Hitler, and held signs bearing statements like "Jews are Satan's children." Holding torches and Confederate flags, they chanted "Black lives don't matter!" and "...

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A blurry photo of a female mixologist shaking up a Grape Mans Cocktail at a crowded bar in Herzliya

We're a little bit more than a week into the month of August, bracing ourselves for the first taste of fall and already preparing for the upcoming High Holidays (Rosh HaShanah is just six weeks away!) Amidst political headlines and other stressful news of the sort, here are a few light-hearted, good-natured Jewish reads for the week.

Summer's not dead yet! Israel21C shares recipes for three refreshing cocktails of Israeli origin, all perfect for sipping beach-side or from the cool comfort of your air-conditioned living room. Sure, you may not serve your Jerusalem of Gold beverage "on... Read More

Laughing college students sitting together on a college green

Headed to college this fall and want to know where to find the best Jewish activities on campus? Or maybe you're an underclassman who's just thinking about what schools you'd like to apply to when the time comes. Either way, The Forward's first-ever college guide is a great place to start. The guide was created by two young Forward staffers "whose own diplomas are as fresh as their memories. They spent months collecting data and crunching numbers, surveying campus professionals and speaking to students, parents and alumni, to create a comprehensive picture of what Jews take into...

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Hand holding and swirling a glass of red wine while sitting at a picnic table

What Jew-ish news stories are you enjoying this week? Here are a few on my radar, a nice distraction from the more serious issues going on in the world:

In Nicaragua, 114 individuals have formally converted to Judaism, nearly doubling the small country's small Jewish population. At least half of them claim Jewish ancestry, and most have been studying Judaism for at least five years. "I feel at home,” says one young man whose ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity during the Inquisition. “This was for me like a dream." Missing your own summer camp days? Alma has rounded up a... Read More


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