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The Charlotte Jewish news. (Charlotte, N.C.) 19??-current, February 01, 2011, Image 2

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The Charlotte Jewish News - February 2011 - Page 2 y ^ Birthright December 2010 % % i % % i JEWISH FEDERATION NEWS I i I % I % % % % % By Mor Green, community shlicha “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father s household to the land that I will show you. ” (Genesis 12:1- 2). In December 2010, I took a group of 39 Jewish students from ages 18-22 to an NC Hillel Birthright trip to Israel. Unlike other trips that I have ever taken as a native Israeli, I got to expe rience Israel through my stu dents ’ eyes. I want to thank the Jewish Federation and The Leon Levine Foundation for giv ing the students and me the gift of the ten-day trip. I have asked two students to share their expe rience with you: My name is Amy Fine. I’m 21 years old, from Charlotte, and a junior at Appalachian State University. Taglit- Birthright Israel was the trip of a lifetime. It was filled with beau tiful sights, amazing food, fun activities and lots of learning. In just ten days I got to see more than I could’ve imagined, all the while, learning about Israel’s rich history, culture, and gov ernment. We hiked up moun tains and tasted wine in the Golan Heights, floated in the Dead Sea, rode camels in the desert, shopped in Tel Aviv, and prayed at the Kotel in Jerusalem, and those are just a few of the activities we partici pated in. Of course, this trip wasn’t just about seeing all the tourist sites, it was also about becoming closer with Judaism. I’ve always known that Israel is a holy place for the Jews, but I didn’t get to feel the true con nection until I took this trip. Sitting in the very room where Israel became an independent nation and a Jewish state was mind-blowing and leaning my head against the Western Wall to pray, like so many of my ances tors had done before me, provid ed a feeling I can’t even begin to explain. Looking out over the old city of Jerusalem, walking through the National Cemetery on Mt. Herzl, and feeling the wind blow against my face as Ohad, our amazing tour guide, told a story about the strength of the Jewish people on Masada were just a few of the moments that lead me to find my place in our homeland. Perhaps my favorite part of the whole trip was getting to share in the cele bration of the B’nai Mitzvah of six of my new friends. Watching them being called to the Torah as young adults made me proud er to be Jewish than ever before. However, I didn’t just make new friends on this trip, I expanded my family. Between the great staff and my fellow “Birthrighters” I am thrilled to say that I now have 42 new fam ily members who will always be close to my heart. Ten days just wasn’t long enough. Special thanks to The Leon Levine Foundation My name is Drew Daniller- Varghese and I was bom and raised in Austin, Texas. I am a junior at Davidson College — the reason I was eligible for this Shabbat Candle Lighting FOR Febuary 2011 Friday, February 4, 5:36 PM Friday, February 11, 5:43 PM Friday, February 18, 5:50 PM Friday, February 25, 5:56 PM JEWISH^ FEDE^RATIONS OF nSFATFH CHAHtOTTF The Charlotte Jewish News 5007 Providence Road, Suite 112 Charlotte, NC 28226 Phone {voice mail after office hours) Office 704-944-6765 FAX 704-365-4507 email: An Affiliate of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte Amy Krakovitz - Editor Advertising Sales Reps: Jodi Valenstein, 704-841-4040 & Rita Mond, 704-366-6632 CJN Editorial Board Chair - Bob Davis Members: Bob Abel, Evelyn Berger, Jeff Epstein, Ann Langman, Linda Levy The CJN does not assume responsibility for the quality or kasruth of any product or service advertised. Publishing of a paid political advertisement does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate, political party or position by this newspaper, the Federation or any employees. Published monthly except July trip. I was raised in a relatively traditional Jewish home, Shabbat dinner at the grand parents every Friday, summer camps at the JCC, had my Bar Mitzvah, and just recently ended my second and final term as President of Davidson’s Hillel. My point is I was not lack ing in my Jewish identification or expo sure. It was important, yes, but not necessari ly any greater than my identity as an athlete or a student. My trip to Israel changed that. I have never felt so closely connected to any people as I did to my Taglit-Birthright group, including our eight Israeli sol diers and our trip leaders. The best analogy I can make was that it felt similar to being a member of a successful athletic team. I felt a powerful trust and bond with my group as a whole. I know part of the connection was discovering Israel together. Yet, it is difficult to translate into words this feeling of mutu al discovery. Maybe it was the group’s first Kabbalat Shabbat together on top of a cliff on Kibbutz Manara, where I felt a wave of emotion that I could not hope to explain. Maybe it was listening to the faltering voice of Ellay while she bravely told us the story of her friend who lost his life in the line of duty. Or when I felt the reassuring hands placed on my back when I could not keep my composure in Yad Vashem, watching video footage taken by the American soldiers who liberated Auschwitz. It was all of these moments and more. It was the power of touching history at the Kotel, or laughing our way through another lunch The December 2010 Taglit-Brithright group from Charlotte. of shwarma, or acting like a proud parent while snapping pictures of our group’s six mem bers who decided to become B’nai Mitzvah. And many of the six who decided to become bar/bat mitzvahed repeated the same refrain — that they could not have imagined any other group of people to share their day and moment with them. By the end of our trip, our group had become one family. And so I return to my first thought: Thank You. Thank you for allowing me to explore an amazing country with a superb and unique blend of people. Thank you to The Leon Levine Foundation for introducing me to a new branch of my family tree. ^ JEWISH^ FEDE^RAT10N§ OF GREATER CHAHLOTTE Local, Global, Eternal Attention All Charlotte Teens This Will Change Your Life This 2011 summer, join teens from all over the Southeastern US for an incredible trip to Israel through Federation’s Partnership 2000 program. For two weeks, travel to Israel and meet peers from our sister city, Hadera-Eiron. During that trip you will stay in their homes, travel the whole country, volun teer, go sightseeing, and leam about the history and leadership and culture that make our homeland such an incredible place. Then, bring your Israeli friends back to Charlotte to stay in your home for two weeks while the party continues. While in Charlotte you will vol unteer all over the city, tour parts of Charlotte and the Southeast, and participate in leadership training programs. The experience not only looks terrific on your college resume, but will truly change your life. For more information, please contact Mor Green or Sarah Ferrin at the Jewish Federation (704-944-6757). ^ CONTENTS Jewish Community Center pp. 22, 23 Federation News PP- 2-3 Levine-Sklut Judaic Library... p. 24 Community News pp. 4-11 Dining Out p. 25 Women’s Page pp. 11,12 Youth ...pp. 26, 28, 30 Schools pp. 12-15 Mazel Tov p. 29 Synagogues and Congregation pp. 16-18 Travel p. 30 Jewish Family Services pp. 20, 21 Op-Ed p. 31 I would like to make a contribution to demonstrate my support of The Charlotte Jewish News. Name Phone ( ) Address City State Zip Enclosed in my check for $ $18.00 Basic Annual Subscription $25.00 Friend $50.00 Patron $100.00 Grand Patron Other Mail to: The Charlotte Jewish News Voluntary Subscription Appeal 5007 Providence Road Charlotte, Nc 28226

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