News

Ellen Goldstein Retires From BBYO After 24 Years

You don’t have to look for long at the young leaders in our community’s Jewish organizations before you find one who got their inspiration and their start in their “BBYO career,” as many BBYO alumni call it, from Ellen Goldstein, BBYO’s area

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A New Community for Jewish Singles

Eighteen months ago, the life I had known ended. Though my fantastic wife of more than 50 years suffered from Parkinson’s for a long while, her sudden passing was still completely unexpected. Fortunately, I had, and have, wonderful family and friend support. However, relatively quickly it hit me that virtually everyone with whom I had more than an incidental relationship was a couple. And while we could still have a connection, the dynamic had somehow changed. When some activity was being planned by one or another of my circles, I was no longer first on its mind. I felt I had to keep giving reminders that I wanted to be included. I recognized this was happening, but didn’t have an idea of what to do about it.

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Kenneth Schorr Retires: A Lifelong Commitment to Legal Aid and the War Against Poverty

On April 26, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls presented the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award to Kenneth Schorr at his Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (“The Advocacy Center”) retirement celebration for exemplary service to the state. This followed on the heels of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Justice Center in 2020, recognizing Schorr “for his decades of leadership in legal services, as he tirelessly defended the interests of underrepresented North Carolinians.”

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Ethiopian Aliyah Resumes

Dozens of leaders from Jewish Federations of North America on a delegation to accompany 180 Ethiopia olim to Israel Wednesday, following a special three-day mission in Ethiopia.

During the mission, the leaders met with community members awaiting aliyah in Gondar and Addis Ababa and visited sites of historical significance for Ethiopian Jewry. The leaders were joined by other officials from the Jewish Agency for Israel, Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), the WZO and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

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First 2022 Birthright Campus Trips Arrive in Israel

New York, NY (May 4, 2022) — A group of students from the University of Florida (UF) arrived in Israel this Monday, marking the first of many Birthright Campus Trips this year. The contingent is one of 28 student groups arriving this week. A total of 14,000 students from nearly 900 universities and colleges in North America are expected to land in Israel in the coming weeks.

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ADL Develops Algorithm To Track Antisemitism on Social Media

March 10, 2022 (JTA) – When it comes to antisemitism on social media, the algorithms governing the major platforms shoulder some of the blame for their reach. But the Anti-Defamation League hopes to fight the spread — by creating an algorithm of its own.
The Jewish civil rights group announced Tuesday that it has built a system called the Online Hate Index, describing it as the first tool ever developed to measure antisemitism on social media platforms. The program can sift through millions of posts quickly to detect antisemitic comments and aid in their removal.

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Local Artist, Tara Spil, Creates Passover Egg for Charlotte’s SHOUT Festival

Tara Spil, a local Jewish artist featured in the September 2021, Charlotte Jewish News, brought her talents to the Greater Charlotte area in a big way (literally — the piece is four feet tall) in April with her “Passover Egg” at the SHOUT Festival. When she saw the call to artists from SHOUT organizers for Easter eggs to adorn Romare Bearden Park during the festival, she knew Jewish culture and Passover needed to be represented.

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Clergy and Community Leaders Launch North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association

Clergy and community leaders from across North Carolina will join together on Tuesday, April 12 at 2 pm online to launch the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association (NCJCA).  This new organization of rabbis and cantors of various streams serving congregations, organizations, and the broader Jewish community of North Carolina will promote the interests of Judaism and the Jewish people in North Carolina and throughout the world, serve as a collective voice of the North Carolina Jewish clergy community with due regard for the autonomy of the individual clergy person, and support members in professional and personal growth. Congresswoman Kathy Manning and other North Carolina leaders will share words of congratulations.

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April Is Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Jewish Family Services and the LJCC Support Patients and Caregivers

The month of April is set aside each year to spread awareness about Parkinson’s, the neurodegenerative disease that affects seven to 10 million people globally. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, about one million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. This number is expected to rise to 1.2 million people by 2030.

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Local Artist, Mike Wirth, To Present at Conney Conference on Jewish Arts

Charlotte Jewish artist and Queens University professor, Mike Wirth, has been selected to present his artwork and ideas on Jewish Futurism at the 8th biennial annual Conney Conference on Jewish Arts, part of the Conney Project on Jewish Arts now in its 17th year. The national conference will take place in Madison, Wisconsin, from March 27 to 30. Mike will be presenting alongside nationally recognized Jewish creatives, curators, and academics.

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Oscars 2022: The Most Memorable Jewish Moments

(JTA) — The Oscars went on as usual Sunday night — although you wouldn’t know it from the morning-after conversation. A violent altercation between celebrities became the most-discussed moment of the evening (more on that below), and general reviews for the show itself were dismal, full of criticism for its slapdash presentation and pre-taping of several awards categories. But there were a few Jewish moments to be had in the three-and-a-half-hour evening.

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Connecting on Federation’s Super Sunday

Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte’s Annual Campaign is well underway with close to $1.3 million in pledges from over 500 donors as of March 15. On the heels of the Main Event, the campaign team has been busy contacting donors to explain why this year’s $5 million campaign is special and why it is so important to achieve this goal.

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Who Are Ukraine’s Jews, and How Is Russia’s Invasion Affecting Them?

(JTA) — All of the posturing and fears and hypothesizing became reality early Thursday morning in Ukraine, as Russia launched a full-scale armed invasion by land and sea. Tens of thousands of Jews live in Ukraine, making it home to one of the world’s largest Jewish communities — one with a complicated history, tainted by persecution and upheaval, that is tangibly affecting their response to the attack. Here’s a breakdown of who they are, where they live and what they are experiencing.

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Foundation of Shalom Park Task Group Focuses on Diversity and Equity

While confronting continuous operational challenges posed by the pandemic, the Foundation of Shalom Park (FSP) spent 2021 working on an issue of equal or perhaps greater long-term importance to the campus community, namely, establishing a common understanding and practice around principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

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What Now for the Afghans Who Have Arrived in Charlotte?

By Amy Lefkof
By chance, Temple Beth El (TBE) member Samantha Foodman’s husband, Adam, owns a huge truck. That truck proved critical to Foodman’s induction into the world of refugee resettlement. In late fall of 2021, TBE sent out an all-points bulletin to its congregants listing various ways to help Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (CRRA), the local affiliate of HIAS (formerly, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), including a request for a truck to haul furniture to apartments for newly arrived Afghans. Enter Adam, Samantha, their three teenage boys, and a visiting house guest.

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Israel To Plant 450,000 Trees in Cities in Effort To counter Effects of Climate Change

January 24, 2022 (JTA) — Israel’s cabinet approved a plan to plant 450,000 trees in the country’s cities to mitigate some effects of climate change by offering more shade and cooler temperatures.

The plan, which is predicted to cost about 2.25 billion shekels, or $716 million, will be carried out between now and 2040. The goal of the plan is for 70% of sidewalks to be shaded by trees.

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Urge Congress to Double Funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program

On Saturday, January 15th, a gunman entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, holding hostages who were there for Sabbath worship for much of the day.  We are grateful that all four hostages made it out safely, and thankful for law enforcement, first responders, and the security training that our partner Secure Community Network provided to this community.

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Nancy Spielberg Featured at Main Event as Federation Kicks Off 2022 Annual Campaign

This year’s Main Event kicks off Federation’s 2022 Annual Campaign with a milestone goal of $5 million. Co-chairs Ana Bonnheim and Lindsay Muns are excited to announce that they will welcome Nancy Spielberg as our featured speaker on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Please join us in person at Temple Israel or virtually as Nancy helps us celebrate the influence of Federation through personal anecdotes using stories of her own experiences.

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Israel Will Likely Administer a 4th Dose of Coronavirus Vaccine to Seniors, Immunocompromised and Healthcare Workers

(JTA) — Israel will likely begin administering a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to seniors, immunocompromised people, and healthcare workers in an effort to stem the spread of the Omicron variant.

The move was recommended Tuesday by the panel of experts advising Israel’s government on the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had been hinting at the possibility of a fourth shot and embraced the recommendation in a statement Tuesday.

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Steven Spielberg, Tracee Ellis Ross Among Jewish Golden Globes nominees for 2022

(JTA) — The Golden Globes won’t be televised, but there will be Jewish honorees — among them two directors at different stages of their directing careers.
After numerous controversies have rattled the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — from a “culture of corruption” to not a single Black member — NBC decided it will not be airing the annual film and television awards show this year, and its future is unclear. But the association went ahead with announcing nominations Monday and plans to name winners Jan. 9.

Here’s what you need to know about the Jewish nominees for the 2022 Golden Globes.

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Federation Announces Milestone $5,000,000 2022 Annual Campaign Goal

Each year, Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte’s (JFGC) Annual Campaign is critical to fulfilling its mission as community builder and convener, fundraiser and grantor, and sustainer of Jewish life and Jewish identity for Greater Charlotte and beyond. Each year the community’s generous donations enable Federation to meet the needs that sustain our community. And each year, leadership immediately begins the process of planning for the following year’s campaign.

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JCRI’s 4th Annual Welcoming the Stranger to the Table Will Focus on Local Afghan Resettlement

A perfect storm: a pandemic, a shortage of low-income rental housing, and the arrival of evacuated Afghans needing a place of refuge. In the coming months, Charlotte will be one of six North Carolina cities to resettle Afghans, many of whom are coming under the umbrella of “humanitarian parole” rather than with refugee or SIV status. And many of these Afghans at the time of lease signing will be unable to show proof of income three times the rent and will have no credit history and no social security number.

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Jewish Federations Respond to Haiti Disaster

When a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, on August 11th, Jewish Federations, working through the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), mounted an immediate, large-scale humanitarian effort to save lives, heal the injured, and rebuild homes.

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Behind the Badge of Shalom Park Security: Security Fund Supports Comprehensive Program

A well-planned and implemented security program and well-trained security team are critical to the health and vitality of any Jewish community of any size. But for a large, multi-building campus like Shalom Park, the challenges, efforts, and cost are greater than with most. A 54-acre campus that serves as the center of Jewish life in Greater Charlotte, Shalom Park is the largest Jewish communal environment in the country.

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3 Jewish Baseball Players Could Make or Break the 2021 World Series

(JTA) — The World Series is upon us, and there are likely more Jewish players in this year’s edition than there have been in decades. The American League champion Houston Astros, who ousted Chaim Bloom’s Boston Red Sox last week, feature star slugger Alex Bregman. The National League champion Atlanta Braves boast an impressive duo of Jewish players: pitcher Max Fried and outfielder Joc Pederson.

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Grand Outdoor Concert Celebrating Unity and Light on the First Night of Hanukkah

A grand Jewish holiday concert will be held on the first night of Hanukkah, Sunday, November 28, at Symphony Park in SouthPark. The internationally popular California group 8th Day will be performing with a spectacular song and music festival that will lift your spirits and ignite your soul.

The theme of this Hanukkah concert is Jewish Unity and Pride, Celebrating the Light of Hanukkah.

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What’s Next for Generations at Shalom Park

By Karen Knoble Generations at Shalom Park is an exciting project bringing an adult living community inside the vibrant multigenerational setting of Shalom Park. “Generations” references an important Jewish value — L’Dor V’Dor (from Generation

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Charlotte Educators Teaching in Israel

The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte recently committed funds to sponsor six local educators to travel to Israel this summer to teach English in its partnership region of Hadera as part of TALMA, the Israel

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