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News From the Land

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A New Hebrew Month is Upon Us

The Hebrew calendar is a lunar one and it is based on the monthly cycle of the moon rather than on the annual cycle of the sun. A solar year is 365 days and the months are merely a convenience — dividing the year into 12 roughly equal periods of time. The lunar calendar, however, is based on the renewal of the moon which happens regularly every 29 or 30 days. The lunar year, therefore, is roughly 11 days shorter than the solar year.

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Second Annual CFOIC Community Conference

Today, at our Second Annual CFOIC Conference of Communities, we handed out over a million dollars to more than 30 communities and several regional councils for security and community needs. These are funds that you, our trusted friends and supporters, have contributed during these past few months. Some of you donated small sums, whatever you could manage to give. And some of you donated larger sums. But all of you took part in this. YOU deserve our thanks.

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Knesset Presentation

An Update from Israel June 14, 2021

For most of the last two years, Israel has been embroiled in an ongoing election campaign, with four elections taking place in less than two years. Most of the time, we were governed by transition governments and for a short time by a permanent government that only lasted a few months. It has been chaotic, to say the least.

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Trying to Understand the Violence in Israel

We are Still Fighting the 1948 War

Israel experienced a totally new reality during these past few weeks. A reality that could have been expected, a reality that some might even say was an obvious development. But at the end of the day, we woke up one morning and realized that the Arab-Israeli Conflict that we have been talking about for decades, was far worse than what we may have hoped. That whatever progress we thought we made in the past 20 years may well have been cosmetic at best, or at worst a deliberate manipulation of the Israeli psyche.

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Israel mourns her dead at Meron

A terrible tragedy happened late Thursday night. As tens of thousands of people were exiting a major prayer gathering at Mt. Meron to celebrate the Lag Ba’Omer festival, a bottleneck was created, a few people slipped and fell, and in a domino cascade hundreds were crushed and trapped. Forty-five people lost their lives that night, including children and teen-agers, and hundreds more were injured.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 6, 2021by Sondra Oster Baras Tomorrow night begins Holocaust Remembrance Day.  It is a day of mourning, of memory, of identification with the victims of the most heinous crimes in the history of humanity, the brutal murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany.  Restaurants, theaters and places of entertainment close.  Memorial ceremonies are

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Judea and Samaria must Continue to Flourish!

by Sondra BarasMarch 2, 2021 A report was recently published with updated statistics on population growth in Judea and Samaria.  The numbers are so encouraging!  There are more than 475,000 people living in Judea and Samaria today, representing a growth of close to 3% in 2020 alone and a 17% growth rate over the last

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Esther, Mordecai and the Challenges of Exile

Each year, Jews all over the world celebrate the holiday of Purim. They celebrate the miracle of salvation as described in the Book of Esther, with special prayers in the synagogue, public readings of Esther, festive meals, gifts of sweet food packages to neighbors and friends and charity to the poor.  There is a spirit of

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Street Prayer Services

February 2, 2021by Sondra Baras Prayer is central to Judaism.  Jews pray to G-d, talk to G-d, sing to G-d, informally and whenever they feel the need.  Perhaps the Jew best known for his informal talks with G-d is Tevye, the milkman, from Fiddler on the Roof.  My favorite is when he turns to  G-d,

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Israel Deserves Better Leadership!

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. 

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The Lesson of Hanukah

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. 

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