Why I walked out by Aur Shalev Merin

Walking out of school

April 20th marked the 19th anniversary for the Columbine shooting, one of the most famous school shooting incidents in the US. All across the nation, teenagers organized walk-outs protests – leaving school at 10:00 am in an effort to call for gun control regulations. Aur Shalev Merin, an 8th grade student from Redmond wrote about his experience and the reasons for his walk out:

People talk a lot about how they want things to change, gun rights especially. But that is all that they do, they talk and talk. Carl Jung once said, “you are what you do, not what you say you do.” If you say that you do something, then do it, don’t just sit around saying things that you won’t do. I think that you can spend your time better by doing then by talking, but if you say that you are behind something, then be behind it 100% percent! read more

Trezoros – The Lost Jews of Kastoria

Kastoria, a picturesque small town in northern Greece, situated between mountains and lakes, was home to a vibrant Sephardic Jewish community who lived in peace and harmony with its Christian neighbors for hundreds of years, even during the occupation of the area by Italy in World War II.

Seattle local, Leah Watts, shared the fascinating story of her mother, Nina Elias, and her family who originated in Kastoria. Nina’s family fled back to Kastoria from Yugoslavia in hopes of surviving the war, but the Nazis' entrance in 1944 sealed their fate. Only a few months before the liberation of Kastoria by Greek guerrilla units and the end of the war, the entire Jewish community of about 1000 people, was transported to Auschwitz, along with Italian families who helped them. 14-year-old Nina, her mother Mila and the cousins Lena and Beni, were among the only survivors. read more

Ronen Tverya doing Stand-up in Seattle

Up until Recently he was known as the Real-estate Master, selling properties in Tel-Aviv, but now he is here in Seattle, pursuing a career in Stand-up comedy. Let’s meet Ronen Tverya.

When did you start doing stand-up?

My love for the stage started a few years ago when I started doing improvisation. Going on stage without any ready material, working the crowd, it made me open up and discover myself. After that I went to Anat Barzilai acting school, where we held a comic show in the Tzavta theater. I also performed in bars and clubs and even in English stand-up nights in Tel-Aviv, hosted by Shahar Hason (coming to Seattle!) I decided this is what I love to do. read more

Give back to the world by Aur Shalev-Merin

Aur and friends, Photo by Steve Nelson

This summer, I went to the Dominican Republic for a service trip with eight other students from my school through the EF organization. I felt that as I’m turning thirteen and it is my bar mitzvah year, I should start giving back to the community. I realized that today’s connected world is simply one big community and we should help those who are struggling. The trip lasted for eight days and was one of the most eye-opening experiences that I have ever had.

We arrived at the Dominican Republic capitol of Santo Domingo where we learned about the country’s unique background and history as the first European colony in the Americas. It was heart-breaking to see the poverty on the streets. Half of the country doesn’t have access to clean water, or basic healthy living conditions and lives on less than a dollar a day. read more

Chabad Hebrew School – Bellevue’s ETC

Tradition! Photo by Alyssa Braunstien

Going to school on a Sunday morning? Most kids would say no thanks. But how about baking challah? Or crafting your very own menorah? Or meeting friends and learning how to read Hebrew together through songs and games? Now this sounds like fun!

Chabad Hebrew School or CHS in Bellevue offers a full morning of Jewish and Hebrew learning with interactive activities that will boost your child’s sense of belonging to the tribe. The group classes are age appropriate and the lessons are fun-filled, with songs, games, arts and crafts and special holiday surprises. Parents can also join a class and learn too or enjoy some quiet time, grab a coffee or catch up on errands. read more

Eitanim Seattle – Connecting to the Israeli Start-up nation

Photo by Nicole Jevons

When was the last time you met a group of teenagers that were eager to learn? Who listen intently in lectures and get excited to work on complicated projects? In the IAC Eitanim program this happens every month with fascinating meetings where Israeli-American and Jewish-American teens connect to each other, strengthen their identity, bond with Israel and develop ideas and solutions to current issues.

The deep connection to Israel is done via hands-on project-based learning that is all about Israel, our cool and exciting start-up nation. There are IAC Eitanim programs all across the US, each group chooses 3 out of 5 suggested projects. Seattle Eitanim chose to concentrate on developing activism tools, that can be harnessed for any good cause but specifically to help students answer BDS activity in college campuses, improving the Israeli tourism website and the “Memory in the living room” project – connecting youth to the Holocaust memories. read more

Alexander Muss International high school in Israel

Take a break from High school without missing a day of school! Enjoy the sunny beaches, the amazing scenery of the dessert, the Jerusalem mountains, Jerusalem! Tel Aviv! And so much more of the history and current pulsing intensity that Israel offers while attending a fully accredited international high school.

Alexander Muss International high school is your chance to experience Israel like never before. Join a group of Jewish youths from across the globe and attend high school in a private campus, centrally located in Hod Hasharon. Small classes allow for one on one teaching so that you don’t miss any material and even get ahead of the game. read more

Hagar Levi – Esthetician Peach & Harmony SPA

Me-time? Yes, please! Photo by Hagarr Levi

When I was little I never quite got it when my mom said she was going to get a facial. Why do you need to go to an esthetician to apply moisturizer? Now that I’m all grown up I know better. A facial or a visit to the esthetician or SPA is a special gift to ourselves, the ultimate me-time and an oh-so needed break in our hectic daily routine.

Hagar Levi, licensed esthetician and owner of Peach & Harmony SPA in Redmond, provides this break and so much more. The cozy SPA is the perfect place to relax and enjoy pampering facials that will leave you glowing inside and out. Both men and women will enjoy Peach & Harmony treatments and there is also acne treatment especially for teenagers. read more

IAC Gvanim Seattle – Interview with Tal Shaked

Seattle, it’s raining outside, just an ordinary evening and a standard meeting room of a big hi-tech company. In the corner, freshly chopped Israeli salad, hummus, pickles and falafel, a tasty hint to what is about to unfold here: About 15 Israelis that have lived in the US for quite some time, sitting together to study Talmud, Bialik and Yehuda Amichai, opening their minds and their hearts, sharing laughs and tears and enjoying every minute.

This is the IAC Seattle Gvanim chapter. The Gvanim (in English shades or highlights) program is a unique program for Israelis living in America who are interested in their Israeli-American identity, Jewish and Israeli values and culture, and community engagement. After a successful implementation of the program in the San Francisco Bay area, IAC decided to adopt the program in other Israeli communities across America. read more

Camp Solomon Schechter

Ready for an unforgettable summer? Photo by CSS

Overnight summer camp is an All-American tradition. Imagine a clear lake, surrounded by reeds and water lilies, with a private sandy beach and all the amenities: diving board, pedal boats, kayaks, water trampoline, and SUPs. To get to the beach, you walk through a large lawn shaded with beautiful trees. Now add a soundtrack to this idyllic scenery – laughter and joyful cries in Hebrew and English of kids having the time of their lives in an unforgettable summer. Welcome to Camp Solomon Schechter, one of the oldest and largest Jewish summer camps in the state of Washington. read more

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