More than 2000 years ago, the Maccabees rebelled against the Syrian Greeks and miraculously defeated them, liberating the Jews from pagan rule and re-entering the Sacred Temple in Jerusalem. They immediately set to work, purifying the Temple and renewing the ancient services. But when they tried to light the Menorah, they discovered that there was only enough pure olive oil to last one day.
November 2, 2020by Sondra Baras I am often asked about the origins of CFOIC Heartland. People are particularly intrigued at the thought of an Orthodox Jew heading up an organization called Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. I always respond that the idea was a Christian one but I launched the organization’s Israel office and turned
October 6, 2020by Sondra Baras My father passed away three weeks ago. He was 94 years old and during his final months, he had sunk into the depths of dementia and no longer recognized me. It had been many months since I had been able to have even the most rudimentary conversation with him. In a
September 1, 2020by Sondra Baras Even though summer weather continues in Israel until well into October, as August draws to a close and September begins, we mark the end of summer. Probably because school begins on the 1st of September. So last night, a few friends of mine got together to mark the end of
August 14, 2020 by Sondra Oster Baras A Deal Whose Outcome Is Still Unknown Yesterday, we were all surprised to learn that the United Arab Emirates, a key Gulf State, is planning on signing a peace treaty with Israel to include full normalization of relationships. The White House was very involved in the process and
August 11, 2020by Sondra Baras A few weeks ago, we held our first annual CFOIC Heartland Conference of Judea and Samaria communities. This was a dream of mine for some time — to gather together in one room the representatives of all the communities we work with as well as the various mayors, to share
July 7, 2020by Sondra Baras The world is in crisis. The COVID19 pandemic has not only not gone away but in many places, including in Israel, the situation has become more serious. While draconian measures helped ensure that the spread of the virus would be maintained at relatively manageable levels, the economy suffered immeasurable harm.
By Sondra Oster BarasMay 19, 2020 https://youtu.be/uLUGcLD_qp4 I was a child in the US in 1967, but I remember vividly the excitement that we all felt when Jerusalem was liberated. And the talk in my house, school and synagogue, was all about the new / ancient places that Jews were now free to visit – Hebron, Shiloh, the
For those of you who wanted to come and visit with us, or are seeking a more intimate, direct connection to Israel and to us, the people of this wonderful land, we created this film for you. We can’t visit with you in person but we wanted to stay in touch.
There are many statistics that I love to remember on Israel Independence Day — that we are the only western country with a growing birth rate, that we are the only western country that has more trees today than we had 100 years ago, that we consistently rank as one of the countries with the highest happiness index, that we have one of the best air forces in the world — imagine that only 72 years after that rickety four-plane group.
This year, Israel Independence Day was different. Our synagogues have been closed for weeks and our prayer gatherings are limited to just a few people standing on a street corner. There were no public gatherings, no popular singers on public stages. We stayed home and yet looked for ways to mark this special day. Israel