Author: Toby Klein Greenwald

Women Bridging the Gap

Naama describes how supportive they were of each other, with total collaboration for the benefit of the soldiers.

Searching for Heather Dean

In a new memoir, a former entertainment journalist shares why she gave up a glamorous career to pursue newfound dreams in Israel.

A Book Out of the Ashes

Where did Yoram get the faith, the strength to be able to say “gam zu l’tovah” after the devastating fire?

Rochel Sylvetsky: From Community Activist to Editor of Leading News Site

The word “eclectic” is the one that jumps out when exploring the world of Rochel Sylvetsky—her upbringing, education and career path. She is one of the editors of, and a seasoned reporter and columnist for, the English-language Religious Zionist news site Arutz Sheva (Israel National News). Sylvetsky was raised in New York’s Lower East Side […]

Sivan Rahav-Meir: Orthodox with a Hashtag

The trendiest place to be every Wednesday night in Jerusalem is not a ‘60s Anglo bar or a rock concert, but the packed hall of Hechal Shlomo, where journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir expounds on the weekly Torah portion, flowing freely between Ramban and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen […]

Who is a “Settler”?

There is a common misconception that all residents of areas that were liberated during the Six-Day War are Orthodox, or of a particular political bent or that their towns are all “bedroom” communities. In fact, the residents of “yishuvim”—the Hebrew word for any settlement but which has come to refer to those in Judea and Samaria—are mostly “ordinary people,” with no greater a percentage of those on the fringe than in any locale; the only difference being that yishuvim are usually under the world’s microscope.

The City of Four: Kiryat Arba

Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, Hy”d and his eighteen-year-old son Netanel, Hy”d, of Kiryat Arba, were murdered by terrorists on November 13, 2015, near Otniel (south Hevron Mountains), on their way to the Shabbat chatan of Ariel Biegel. He was due to marry Yaakov’s daughter, Sarah Techiya, four days later. I remember thinking, after the initial shock and horror, that they would probably have just a tiny and sad family wedding.

Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Cooperman

The OU mourns the passing of Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Cooperman, founder of Michlalah Jerusalem College for Women.

In recognition of Rabbi Cooperman’s extraordinary contributions to Jewish women’s education, we are highlighting this article from the Spring 2014 issue of Jewish Action that detailed his life and achievements.

2002—NCSY Leaders Then and Now: Marc Belzberg

He definitely gets around a lot.
You can find investor/entrepreneur Marc Belzberg, in his large kippah and sandy-colored beard, hosting 300 people at a Haifa hotel. They are all men, women and children whose families have been struck by terror, and Belzberg and his Belgian-born wife, Chantal, are there as the founders of the OneFamily Fund, a fund that provides help to these suffering families.

The Miracle Worker Behind JobKatif: Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon

  Rav Rimon founded JobKatif to help former residents of Gush Katif find jobs. Today JobKatif provides employment coaching and counseling, business mentoring, professional retraining courses, academic scholarships and other services. Gush Katif was an agricultural success story beyond anyone’s dreams. Four hundred farmers were responsible for 95 percent of Israel’s bug-free lettuce and greens, […]

The Significance of Gaza in Jewish History

Gaza is located within the boundaries of Shevet Yehuda. Avraham and Yitzchak lived in Gerar, located near Gaza. In the fourth century, Gaza was the primary Jewish port of Eretz Yisrael for international trade and commerce. Yonatan the Hasmonean (the brother of Yehuda HaMaccabi) conquered Gaza and settled there in 145 bce. At various times […]

The True Rav Ovadia

Journalist Toby Klein Greenwald speaks with Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau, one of the foremost experts on Rav Ovadia Yosef. TG: What was Rav Ovadia’s true opinion about the religious significance of the State of Israel? BL: He wasn’t different from most of the Jerusalem rabbis who were the talmidim of the Vilna Gaon, such as […]

Rebels in the Holy Land

Sam Finkel, inspired by what he learned when visiting the Eran Shamir Village Museum of Mazkeret Batya during a tour guides course, spent five years researching and writing a work of nonfiction that reads like a historical novel—the stuff

Yona Baumel, Man of Faith

This past Shavuot, Yona Baumel, eighty-one, returned his soul to his Creator, without his son Zecharya having been returned to him. Zecharya and five other soldiers were missing after the chaotic battle in the Lebanese village of Sultan Yakoub, marked by a Syrian ambush of the Israeli forces. It was June 1982, at the beginning […]

Breezes of Hope: A Tapestry of Scenes Creates a Vision for the Future

Sixteen years ago, I published an article in Jewish Action entitled “Breezes of Redemption.” It was reflective and hopeful, and predated the second intifada, the Expulsion from Gush Katif, the Second Lebanon War and endless reports of corruption in high places. Among the large national issues, I also wrote about my daughter, our first child. […]

My Sister, My Home, My Life: The Story of Ruthi Cohen

“We gratefully thank You… for Your miracles that accompany us daily.” (Shemoneh Esrei, Siddur) The first of the Ten Commandments, “I am your God,” is more of a statement than a command. With it, God inculcated our belief in Him so that we are able to sense His presence—even in mundane phenomena. This is the […]

The Siege and Fall of Gush Etzion

View of the reconstructed Kfar Etzion Courtesy of the Kfar Etzion Archives During the months bridging the vote on the partition plan (November 29, 1947) and the birth of the State of Israel (May 15, 1948), Gush Etzion came under siege. The defenders of Gush Etzion were the only ones who stood between the Jordanians […]

Making History

Personal memories of landmark historical moments. Map of Gush Etzion, 1947: Some twenty kilometers from Jerusalem, nestled between Bethlehem and Hebron and among numerous Arab villages, were the four kibbutzim of Gush Etzion: Kfar Etzion, Massuot Yitzchak, Ein Tzurim and Revadim. Today, Gush Etzion consists of seventeen communities and nearly 40,000 residents. November 1967. It […]

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Boxes with Rainbows

This is their answer to Saddam Hussein, I thought. He sends Scuds, they want to learn Torah. He threatens us with annihilation, they draw rainbows on boxes.