Skip to content


May Agudagram 2024

Seven Holocaust survivors whose lives were affected by the October 7 onslaught on Israel are preparing to attend this year’s March of the Living event in Poland. The march, which the March of the Living nonprofit holds annually at the Auschwitz former death camp on Israel’s national Holocaust memorial day, Yom Hashoah, is set to happen on May 6 this year, with the October 7 delegation leading. Bella Haim, grandmother of the Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped during the attack and later accidentally killed by Israeli troops in Gaza while trying to escape; Danit Gabay, who was with her children at Kibbutz Re’im during the terror onslaught; and Daniel Louz from Kibbutz Be’eri are among the members of the delegation. They are among 55 Holocaust survivors set to attend
the march, along with thousands of Jews, many of them members of youth movements from This year’s event also features a commemorative march in Budapest to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the destruction of Hungarian Jewry, organizers say.

April Agudagram 2024

The hold of the holiday of Pesach on the people of Israel is one of the remarkable historical facts of our people. After all, over thirty three hundred years have passed since the Exodus from Egypt. Throughout human history, great events have been forgotten, simply because of the passage of time and the
remoteness of that event from
current society. Even those historical dates that are yet remembered – July 4, Bastille Day, most other national holidays – have been transformed by time and society into less of a commemoration and remembrance than of being merely a day of leisure and no work. All of this certainly points out the uniqueness of Pesach and its continued influence and meaning in Jewish life and amongst all types of Jews.

March Agudagram 2024

Passover in July and Rosh Hashanah in January? That’s what could happen were it not for the
ingenious invention of the Jewish leap year. That’s because lunar calendars like this one work
beautifully until the end of the year when the 12 lunar months will inevitably miss the solar
year by an 11-day shortfall. It wouldn’t take long for such a disparity to wreak havoc with the
holidays; hence, the specter of a snow-covered Rosh Hashanah.
And the Torah makes it abundantly clear: Passover must be “in the month of springtime”
(Deuteronomy 16:1) and Sukkot must fall at harvest time when “God will have blessed you in
all your crops and in all your handiwork.” (Deuteronomy 16:15).

February Agudagram 2024

These are some of the places I
recited Kaddish with my
fellow mourners: grocery store
aisles, airports, restaurants,
cafes, subway stations, ATM
lobbies, cars, street corners,
doctors’ waiting rooms, the
beach, the woods, my office, my bedroom, my kitchen, my daughter’s gymnastics gym, my son’s flag football game, and the middle of Park Avenue with traffic blaring around me. I stopped to say Kaddish while in the midst of cooking, cleaning, working, driving, answering emails, tending my houseplants, doing errands, running in the park, and biking over the Manhattan Bridge. At various points in the compressed period since both of my parents died—my father in March 2021, my mother in November 2022—alarms dinged on my phone throughout the day to alert me that a minyan was about to begin.

Winter Agudagram 2023-24

New Year’s Day arrived to cheers from thousands in New York’s Times Square, where a sparkling crystal ball descended to start 2024 with hope for some even as the world’s ongoing conflicts subdued celebrations and raised security concerns across the globe. “It’s beautiful,” Corin Christian of Charlotte, North Carolina, said of the scene seconds past midnight as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” blared from speakers in the square and many in the crowd held cellphones in the air, trying to capture the spectacle.
There were snapshots of joy from country to country as the new year was welcomed with optimism that its days will bring more joy than sorrow. In Times Square, Tyrell Jacobs, 27, and Sarah Crayton, 26, arrived from New Orleans 15 hours before midnight and got engaged in streets packed with tens of thousands of people counting first the hours and then the minutes until midnight. “It’s definitely a must-see,” Crayton said of the colorful cast of strangers nearby in tall hats blowing noisemakers even before the ball dropped. “At least go once, you know, just to experience the magic.” A small army of thousands of police officers worked to keep New York City safe, just as heightened security had done in the cities midnight hit first. New York has seen near-daily protests sparked by the Israel-Hamas war.

November 2023 Agudagram

Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7 was thousands of miles away for Jewish teens in the
United States — yet they have found themselves caught in a crossfire of opinions, misinformation and anger about the situation ever since. JTA Teen Journalism Fellows interviewed their peers about what they have been hearing and feeling over the last three weeks. Our reporters discovered that many high
schoolers were afraid to go on the record, saying they feared aggravating tensions or didn’t want to get “canceled” within their community. The ones that did agree to talk, however, say they are doing their best to stay strong and feel united, not divided. Some of the teens interviewed expressed their concerns about antisemitism while others offered insight into what’s happening in their social media circles.

Register NOW for Upcoming Zoom Course: “The Poetry and Music of the Psalms”

Register now for the upcoming interactive Zoom course presented by Cantor Ramón Tasat in conjunction with the Hazleton JCC, starting Friday October 27th, 2023 from 12-1PM, weekly for 4 weeks. We invite invite you to join us for an upcoming lecture series presented by Agudas Israel’s Cantor Ramón Tasat in conjunction with the Hazleton JCC on “The Music and Poetry of the Psalms”. The interactive & musical lectures will be broadcast live on Zoom as well as recorded for registered participants. The cost for the course is $20.  “We are all overwhelmed by the tragedy that has befallen our beloved State of Israel. During this difficult time, the Psalms provide us with moments of great inspiration, passion, introspection and beauty. Join us for 4 Fridays starting Oct. 27th from 12-1 p.m on ZOOM to connect together as a community to discuss the ideas expressed in the text and sing beautiful musical settings that enlarge the already vibrant meaning… Read More »Register NOW for Upcoming Zoom Course: “The Poetry and Music of the Psalms”

October 2023 Agudagram

The origins of Sukkot are found in an ancient autumnal harvest festival. Much of the imagery and ritual of the holiday revolves around rejoicing and thanking God for the completed harvest.
Beginning five days after Yom Kippur, Jews are supposed to dwell in a special hut, or sukkah, during this week-long celebration. According to rabbinic tradition, these huts represent the tents in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt. The festival of Sukkot is one of the three great pilgrimage festivals (chaggim or regalim) of the Jewish year.

September 2023 Agudagram

We can differentiate between the
Shofar of Elul, which is primarily
a wake-up call, “Wake up, you
sleepers, from your sleeping, and
those of you who are in deep
slumber, arouse yourselves from
your slumber. And Return to
Hashem!” By the end of Elul, we
are, hopefully, fully awake and
ready, or at least aware, of the
“Fear and Trembling” required by
Rosh HaShanah in democratic America comes with complicated strings attached. They present us with huge political and moral choices between self-protection and fighting for what is right in the greater society. That’s why Daniel can be such a powerful model for us. He rises so high in the court of the king that the latter calls upon his wisdom and good counsel before all his nobility. Yet the favor that Daniel curries with Belshazzar doesn’t prevent him from severely chastising Belshazzar for his wrongdoing. Daniel serves the king, but he serves God and God’s truth even more.