Archive for February, 2011

Dancing with Neev: Round I

February 28, 2011

What a day!  Nearly 60 degrees in Central Ohio today.  A great respite from the cold, cold winter we’ve been having.
This gave us a chance to be OUTSIDE for our first Israeli Folk Dance lesson with Neev Granite!
We had a decent turnout, lots of fun, and look forward to Round II on March 27th!


J Street’s “Giving Voice to Value”

February 24, 2011

This weekend, J Street, a lobbying group which bills itself as “pro-Israel and pro-Peace” will host its second international gathering “Giving Voice to Values.”  The group says this conference will provide opportunities to explore the convergence of Jewish and democratic values.  They invite participants to come “learn, challenge and question and advocate” in sessions with titles like, “A Continued Quest for Statehood: A Palestinian View” and “Creating the Space: Pro-Israel and Pro-Peae in Congress.”

OWU Junior and Hillel Vice President Jared Shaner will be among 500 students attending the conference.  Jared was selected to receive travel and lodging funding from J Street.  We’re covering his reduced admission.  In return, Jared will be filling us in on what he learns during his time in Washington, listening to talks by and rubbing elbows with:

Reporters from major new publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post;

Scholars from various think tanks including The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Center for American Progress, Appleseeds Internationl, and the Peres Center for Peace;

Members of the Israeli Knesset, U.S. Advisors on Middle Eastern Affairs, and Israeli and Palestinian Activists.

The full program is available at

Dance, Dance, Revolution

February 21, 2011

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Take a study break.

Get some exercise.

Dance away the winter blahs.

Sunday, February 27th @ 4Pm, OWU Hillel will host the first of three Israeli Folk Dance lessons with Neev Granite.  Neev is originally from Israel, but has lived and danced in the U.S. since the early 1990s.  We’re hoping to attract a large and diverse crowd – to keep our energy levels up and share our heritage with the OWU community-at-large.

While Israeli dancing is native to Eretz Israel (The Land of Israel), it is a popular pastime for Jews around the world.  Drawing on other traditions – primarily Yemini and European Orthodox Jewish dances – Israeli folk dance was created in the early 20th century as part of the Zionist movement’s efforts to create a homeland for the Jews.

A good, brief history of this development can be read here.  As an art educator and a Jew, I find it interesting that Israeli folk dance was created and practiced as a means of brining people together, to build a shared culture and sense of community.  The steps are as easy to learn as the Macarena, so you have no excuse not to give it a try!  (Check out the videos below if you don’t believe me.)

I wonder, How might these dances bring our community together?

Come dance with us and find out.

OWU Hillel dancing Yesh Lanu Tayish (We have a Goat) @ Culture Fest 2010

Mayim Mayim (Water Dance)

Challah for Hunger – Round 3

February 18, 2011






All systems go.

With a solid schedule of what needs to get done at a Challah for Hunger bake-off in place – mix dough and let is rise (3PM), measure dough into 8 oz blobs (6PM), braid and bake (6:30-8:30PM) – we were able to churn out 100 loaves of Challah bread last night!

For the second time, we baked with folks from the OWU Nashville Spring Break Mission Team.  This group is raising money to subsidize their service trip to Tennessee next month.   They will help victims of the Cumberland River flood of May 2010.  One half of today’s bake sale will go towards their trip.  We look forward to partnering with other mission teams and student organizations in the weeks and years ahead.

Click here for a behind the scenes video!