Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Elana Sztokman


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  • These 18 American women are extraordinary Zionists, says Hadassah

    Elana Sztokman|May 31, 2024

    By Toby Klein is no stranger to standing out and challenging the status quo. She successfully navigated coming out as gay to her Orthodox community, chose to do her doctorate researching Holocaust education at the University of Arkansas and spent time doing abortion advocacy work in the conservative southern state before becoming program manager for the Jewish LGBTQ+ advocacy organization A Wider Bridge. But Klein's work advocating for Israel since Oct. 7 has made her stand out like never...

  • Birthright trippers visit Israel during war

    Elana Sztokman|Feb 16, 2024

    When Alon Fishman visited Israel in early January on a group trip, it wasn't his first time in the country. But Fishman, 23, had never seen Israel like this before. When his Birthright Israel group arrived at the Western Wall, they found it uncharacteristically empty, and the plaza featured a new memorial with the names of the 1,200 victims of the Oct. 7 attack. For Fishman, a native of Rockland County, New York, the muted visit was a poignant reflection of the times - and a powerful emotional...

  • Food rescue group switches from gleaning to helping farmers

    Elana Sztokman|Dec 15, 2023

    Yariv Hagbi, a farmer whose family has been growing produce in the area of southern Israel near Gaza for generations, spent part of Oct. 7 fighting terrorists who broke into his family home in the town of Yakhini. That Saturday, his brother, Yizhar Hagbi, and several other relatives were killed. Since then, the entire community of Yakhini has been displaced, but Hagbi stayed behind because he's determined to save the family farm - despite all the grief, shock and devastation. "At a certain...

  • Alice Shalvi pioneered religious feminism in Israel

    Elana Sztokman|Oct 20, 2023

    (JTA) - I first met Alice Shalvi, the mother of religious feminism in Israel, in the mid-1990s during a meeting of ICAR, the International Coalition of Agunah Rights, a coalition that she founded to advocate for women denied a religious divorce by their husbands. She was in her early 70s at the time and had been fighting for agunah rights for 20 years. I was in my mid-20s, and new to the cause. I was there as co-chair of Mavoi Satum, which a group of us founded in 1995. This coalition was meant...

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