Mark Halawa’s fascinating journey to Judaism, entire IDF unit donates hair to children with cancer, NGO Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center volunteers train next generation to defend Israel, and much more!
By Michael Ordman
THE JEWISH STATE
Ex-Kuwaiti Muslim is now an Israeli citizen
Mark Halawi has just received his Israeli citizenship. He was born and raised in Kuwait but moved to Jerusalem (via Jordan, Syria and Canada) when he discovered that his mother was Jewish and had married a Muslim during the British Mandate.
IDF soldiers donate hair for cancer charity
An entire IDF unit has donated its hair to Zichron Menachem – an Israeli charity that supports children with cancer. Children with cancer often lose their hair when being treated with chemotherapy. Hair donations are used for hairpieces to help children feel beautiful.
Internship for protecting Israel
Israeli NGO Shurat Hadin of legal volunteers has had an overwhelmingly positive response to its Weissblum Internship Program to train Israel’s next generation of leaders in the public-legal arena. Last year was only for Israelis, but this year anyone can apply – and applications are flooding in.
Sabbatical year agreement with Jordan
Israel has signed an agreement to boost imports of Jordanian agricultural products during this coming year following Rosh Hashana. Every seventh year is “Shmita”, the time that Torah states that land in Israel belonging to Jews must rest and lie fallow.
Bar Kochba will go to the stars
When Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe flies to the International Space Station next year, he will carry a 1,900-year-old coin from the Bar Kochba Jewish rebellion against the Roman occupation of Judea. Bar Kochba is Hebrew for “son of the Star”.
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