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Amplify Israel Spring 2022 Project: Books with Jewish Representation

By JumpSpark No Comments

When a person thinks about Judaism represented in literature,they often think of Holocaust books. Many of these books are incredible and definite must-reads. However, sometimes we could all use a more modern Jewish story that focuses on more than the mistreatment of our people. For this project, we decided to compile a diverse list of books featuring Jewish characters in a modern-day society. We all deserve to see ourselves represented, and this is a good way to do so.

  • My Year Zero

By Rachel Gold

This book is about a love triangle, and one of the characters is Jewish 

  • Dancing at the Pity Party

By Tyler Feder, 

In this graphic novel, the main character tells her story ten years after her mother’s death. She is also Jewish and writes about her experiences.

  • You Asked for Perfect

By Laura Sliverman

The main character, Ariel Stone, is Jewish.

  • Books by Becky Albertalli
    • Becky is a Jewish author who features Jewish themes and character is her books. 
    • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda series and spinoffs (Upside especially), all have diverse representation of Jews of all races, genders, sexualities, etc.
    • What If It’s Us series
    • Kate in Waiting
  • Fever King (series)
    • By Victoria Lee
    • Two of the main characters are Jewish

Other books we have heard of:

  • Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
  • As If on Cue by marissa kanter
  • Today, Tonight, and Tomorrow  by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • It’s a Whole Spiel- anthology of Jewish stories

A Day in a Life as an Israeli Teenager

By JumpSpark No Comments

Hi! My name is Oria Yosef, I’m 11th grader and I live in Yokneam Illit. 

My day starts at school at 8:30 and sometimes I study on zoom. My two majors are physics and biology. After school ends at 15:30 I’m going home. I eat lunch, rest a little bit, then I do my homework. When there is a test coming us soon, I study for it. 

I volunteer at MDA (Magen David Adom, an emergency organization in Israel). I’m also a guide in the scouts.

I like to read books, listen to music, dance, going shopping, design clothes, and travel in Israel and abroad. Now that I’m in 11th grade, there isn’t a lot of time to do all these things because there are many tests (for example, Bagrut exams). I used to dance twice a week, but because of school I stopped dancing and hope to get back to it really soon.

I also like to spend time with my friends, we like to go out , places like restaurants, and the movies when we can. When the day ends, I like to watch a tv show or a movie before I go to sleep.

My Gap Year Journey

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I’ve recently begun my journey into Jerusalem after 4 months in Tel Aviv. Through the months in Tel Aviv I learned about the differences of culture, ecological aspects in industrial cities, and how to manage living with various people. We visited various Palestinians and settlers in the west Bank. Seeing both perspectives and narratives of the situation was very interesting. During my time, I worked on a farm in Bat Yam. The farm was sustainable and seeing a farm in an industrialized area was a unique experience. Living with various people from across America, the UK, and Israel, had its difficulties, but mainly had its moments of learning. Not only did I understand different people’s perspectives, but also household differences between one another. Overall my Tel Aviv experience has been a time for me to grow and find my identity at exponential rates.

 

My Gap Year in Israel

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My gap year has been absolutely incredible so far. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to live in Israel for the year, and I am truly seeing and doing everything I can.

My school is located in the Old City of Jerusalem just a three-minute walk from the Kotel. I can actually see the Kotel from the balcony of my school. It’s difficult to put into words just how special and spiritual it is to be that close. On Chanukah, our entire school lit menorahs at the school window overlooking the Kotel, and it was such an incredible and spectacular sight. We also have amazing restaurants close by with the best falafel and shawarma in Israel. I enjoy learning in my classes every day and connecting to my Rabbis and teachers.

While growing up in Atlanta, I learned so many amazing stories in the Torah. This year I have been able to see exactly where all these events happened. We went on a school trip to Chevron, the place where the matriarchs and patriarchs in the Bible are buried, and visited the graves of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as those of Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

Another incredible experience was a three-day trip to the Negev in the desert. We spent our days exploring and learning about the land of Israel. Each day we had the opportunity to focus on making a closer connection with our own selves, our peers and with G-d.

Next week we are going to Poland where we will visit the concentration camps and see the atrocities of the Holocaust up close and personal. I cannot even imagine what that will be like.

There are not enough words to describe this incredible experience I’m having living for a year in the holiest city in the world. In the short four months I’ve been here, I’ve already made lifelong friends, grown, matured and learned so much. I am certainly looking forward to the rest of the year and more amazing adventures.