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April 06, 2020

Yarzheit in the time of Coronavirus

The question for my family in Tel Aviv of whether we should move up our flight in order to be in Canada in time for the unveiling quickly replaced itself with how many of my siblings, who live closer to my father in Toronto, would be able to attend the ceremony – if one could even be held.

Israel was one of the first countries to impose strict isolation rules.  Canada and the United States didn’t take long to follow suit and shut borders.

We were and are locked out. We are also locked in.

January 16, 2019

Clowns brighten up the days of the underdogs

More than 30 years since I left grade school, I’m back roaming the halls and stairways, visiting classrooms and teachers’ rooms, exploring courtyards and other areas of schools. This time around, I’m not stressed about marks or worried about friends, and I don’t care if I’m trendy or fashionable enough. My clown name is Oshi, and I’m there to infuse fun and good.  

December 04, 2018

Send in the Clowns: Israel is home to the world's first educational clowning initiative

No one wants to be the school embarrassment. Well, almost no one. For educational clowns, being the blundering idiot and class failure is actually an objective.

Educational clowns are the newest colorful characters on Israel’s flourishing therapeutic clowning scene. Similar to medical clowns, these red-nosed buffoons assist in reducing stress and anxiety among students, teachers and other educational staff in the school setting as their counterparts do in a medical center.

June 17, 2018

Hire the neighbors: Could Israeli-Palestinian Tech Initiatives Prove To Be A Win-Win Arrangement?

Israel’s tech talent shortages are a well-known problem, and the government and local businesses are constantly coming up with new initiatives to train programmers and coders to fill this need.

Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs believe they have a “win-win solution” for the growing mid-level tech talent crunch in Israel: Hire the neighbors.

Israeli volunteers care for world’s refugees

According to a UN report, 130 million people are affected by conflict and disaster across the globe. Israel, though a small country, has a big presence when it comes to humanitarian aid  and has rallied round refugees from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Rwanda, Chechnya, Indonesia, Haiti, Burma, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Kenya, Palestinian Authority territories and many other places.

To the refugees – even those from countries with no ties to Israel – it doesn’t matter that assistance comes from Israel. It matters that there is support.

Turning Israel’s desert into a teaching experience

Midway between the Dead Sea and Eilat, in the heart of the Arava desert, the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) is growing entrepreneurs.

AICAT, located in Sapir, has hosted over 10,000 undergraduates from across Asia and Africa at its 10-month agriculture work-study program over the past 20-plus years.

Students from Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Ethiopia, South Sudan, East Timor, Thailand and Indonesia come in August of every year.

Ordinary Israelis take extraordinary action to help Syrians

Private initiatives by ordinary Israelis continue to gather much needed clothing and medical aid for the Syrian people. A crowdfunding campaign to bring emergency supplies to embattled Syrians is also ongoing and has raised over $190,000 in four days so far.

The recent charity drives by Israelis for their Syrian neighbors come in the wake of the tragic outcome of the fall of Aleppo to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and further atrocities suffered by citizens.

Teaching the world to grow food more wisely

“Nearly 25 percent of the world’s population lives in poverty and we have the knowhow to help. We realized there was an opportunity to create a school and share our knowledge of high-tech farming practices,” AICAT Director Hanni Arnon said.

Established with the mission of bringing in students from underdeveloped regions, AICAT has partnerships with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Partnership2Gether, MASHAV and CINADCO-The Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Because of JNF and AICAT, we’re getting the knowledge and experience we need to rebuild our country,” said Binod Ghimire, an AICAT student from Nepal.

Syrian refugee creates website to thank Israelis

Aboud Dandachi says the world should know about 'the assistance given to Syrian refugees by Israeli and Jewish organizations and individuals.'

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