Articles written by Larry Luxner

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2 Jewish teens harness the power of their peers to address social problems - and spark a movement

In mid-2021, as the COVID pandemic raged, high school student Lily Messing noticed that the social ills plaguing her native Tucson, Arizona - including domestic violence, drug abuse and homelessness...

 By Larry Luxner    News    May 12, 2023

A new destination for troubled Jewish youth trying to kick drug dependency: Cyprus

TEL AVIV - Young people with substance-abuse dependencies often face a stark challenge when trying to overcome their problem: Any kind of lapse is seen as a failure, and if they backslide even...


Carnegie Hall concert to honor Japanese diplomat Sugihara

For most of his life, Chiune Sugihara received little recognition for the dramatic actions he undertook as Japanese vice-consul to Lithuania on the eve of World War II: the rescue of some 6,000 Jews f...

 By Larry Luxner    News    January 27, 2023

In Haifa, a university serves as a base for Arab-Jewish coexistence - and a place to tackle global problems

HAIFA - On a recent chilly morning, six Israeli Druze women gathered in a room at the University of Haifa library to discuss the joys and frustrations of living in a modern, Jewish, largely secular...


Unique therapy program offers troubled Jewish youth a distinctly Israeli alternative

KIBBUTZ HAZOREA, Israel - Throughout high school, Ben rarely did his homework, struggled to complete school assignments and used marijuana on a daily basis. Frustrated with his situation, Ben, 18,...

 By Larry Luxner    News    December 23, 2022

Hereditary cancers aren't just a woman's problem

Bill Harris, a veteran Los Angeles photojournalist, didn’t think much of it when one morning in 2012 he woke up and found a tiny blood spot on the T-shirt he’d slept in. The next morning, he found blood in the same place on his chest — and...


Did you enter a Jewish building, event or program this year?

When Jewish summer camps unexpectedly had to cancel their summer programs two years ago after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and before vaccines became available, they faced sudden financial ruin. Jewish...

 By Larry Luxner    News    January 28, 2022

The new Florida? Record number of US retirees relocate to Israel in 2021

TEL AVIV - A few weeks ago, Joel Tenenbaum, 81, and Marilyn Berkowitz, 84, arrived in Tel Aviv on an El Al flight from New York ready to start their new lives in Israel.  They had met through JDate...


This unique Chanukah program celebrates a world of Jewish miracles

Ten years ago, Illya Buzunov never could have imagined that one day he'd be teaching Jews around the world how to prepare potato latkes.  Until 2014, the Ukraine native didn't even kn...


Shultz hailed by Jewish leaders for helping free Soviet Jews

TEL AVIV - On Feb. 11, 1986, Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky - freed after enduring nine years in Russian prison on false charges of treason and espionage - stepped off a jet that had carried him...

 By Larry Luxner    News    February 26, 2021

A need for disability advocacy

When Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1963, he performed while seated - a consequence of the polio that left him unable to walk without leg braces or crutches...


Israeli researchers use novel methods to seek treatments for deadly pancreatic cancer

By the time Barbara Goodman was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in October 2001, there were already 30 tumors in her liver. "We knew we were in for a pretty tough battle," recalled her husba...

 By Larry Luxner    News    January 15, 2021

US immigration to Israel holds up in 2020 despite pandemic

TEL AVIV - Emma Caplan, 23, was seven months into her job teaching English at an elementary school in Rishon Lezion in March when the coronavirus pandemic compelled her to cut short her yearlong...


For the few Jews in West Virginia, one of America's most struggling states, the pandemic has offered silver linings

WHEELING, W.Va. (JTA) - Surrounded by silver crucifixes and Christmas ornaments, Samuel Posin and Joan Berlow Smith sell vintage jewelry and myriad tchotchkes at their church-turned-boutique gift...

 By Larry Luxner    News    November 6, 2020

Renewed US Jewish interest in Zionist Congress

(JTA) — A virus forced the World Zionist Congress to go virtual for the first time since its founding in 1897. But that didn’t stop last week’s gathering, held once every five years, from being any less crucial — or less contentious — for...

 By Larry Luxner    News    October 16, 2020

As Genesis Prize goes to a vote, its impact on Jewish causes grows

Doron Almog, a former head of the Israeli Defense Forces' Southern Command, was one of the heroes of Israel's 1976 hostage rescue operation in Entebbe, Uganda, and winner of the 2016 Israel Prize for...


New center sheds light on Babyn Yar massacre

Raisa Maistrenko will never forget Sept. 29, 1941 — the day Nazi troops rounded up the Jewish residents of Kyiv, Ukraine, and marched them to the Babyn Yar ravine on the city’s outskirts. “Leaflets were posted saying that all the Jews had to ga...

 By Larry Luxner    News    August 14, 2020

Israeli scientists identify new culprit behind cancerous growths: tumor-specific bacteria

REHOVOT, Israel - Despite their reputation, most bacteria are harmless. Many are vital to human life. Others, however, cause infections that lead to fatal diseases ranging from tuberculosis to...

 By Larry Luxner    Features    July 24, 2020

This Jewish college offers a fast track to careers in medicine and health

Eitan Glucksman often wakes up at 4:30 a.m., putting in 15-hour days as a first-year urology resident at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. The father of two has a grueling schedule...

 By Larry Luxner    News    March 13, 2020

Hundreds of Russian-speaking Jews gather in Vienna for unique festival despite anxiety

VIENNA-Few events feature both wiener schnitzel and kosher wine, songs from the classic Yiddish "Bey Mir Bist du Scheyn" to the bluesy "Georgia On My Mind," and uplifting Shabbat services and debates... Full story

 By Larry Luxner    News    October 25, 2019

Israeli researchers at forefront of fight against breast cancer

TEL AVIV—About 2.1 million women worldwide developed breast cancer in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. Last year also saw some 627,000 fatalities due to breast cancer—nearly all because their cancer had spread to distant organs.... Full story

 By Larry Luxner    News    October 11, 2019

Israel gives new hope to patients with multiple myeloma

TEL AVIV-Shlomit Norman was only 42 when doctors diagnosed her with multiple myeloma-a bone marrow cancer with no known cure that rarely strikes people under the age of 65. At the time, the youngest... Full story

 By Larry Luxner    News    July 12, 2019

At Israel's first student-run health clinic, the mantra is health care for all-and it's free

HAIFA-At the Ruach Tova Health Center in this northern Israeli city, three medical students are hard at work trying to keep up with the steady flow of patients. Nicole Kasher, a third-year student... Full story

 By Larry Luxner    News    May 31, 2019

These young American women are moving to Israel to serve

JERUSALEM-Miriam Serkez, 20, a medic in this capital city with the Israeli emergency medical service Magen David Adom, immigrated recently from New Jersey. Serkez's job is part of her national... Full story


Unusual gap year-program is grooming new kind of European Jewish leader

BERLIN—Vanessa Roth planned to go straight to law school after graduating high school in Trier, Germany. But when she saw a flier at her local synagogue advertising a Jewish gap-year program offering professional training within a Jewish milieu,... Full story


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