Articles written by Maayan Jaffe Hoffman

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How to make your own Passover haggadah

(JNS)-The Hebrew word "haggadah" means "narration" or "telling." As the Passover seder's instruction manual, the haggadah is perhaps the most important tool for fulfilling the Passover mitzvah of... Full story


6,000 Christian pilgrims celebrate Sukkot with Israel

(JNS)-A whopping 7,000 faces and hundreds of flags of every color painted Israel's capital on Thursday, parading through the streets in the 2018 Jerusalem March. The diverse participants, decked out... Full story


Faith and fasting: A look at the practice ahead of Yom Kippur

(JNS)-Fasting is the most commonly known Yom Kippur ritual. According to a 2016 Pew survey, 40 percent of American Jews and 60 percent of Israeli Jews fast on the Day of Atonement. Of course, fasting... Full story


Fire kites sting Negev honey farms just before Rosh Hashanah

(JNS)-When you drive into Israel's Sha'ar HaNegev Region in the northwestern Negev, the fields are burnt and black. The trees are broken, and the smell of acrid smoke stings the eyes and nose. "It is... Full story


Beneath the surface: The untold story of Americans unearthing Israeli archaeology

(JNS)-Can archaeology bring biblical history to life? According to historian and Deputy Minister Michael Oren, it depends who you ask. Speaking at a June 10 Jerusalem event celebrating the opening of... Full story


Nine ways to celebrate the High Holidays without stepping foot in a shul

There is a lot of beauty to the traditional synagogue experience. However, a traditional High Holidays service just does not speak to some-especially many young adults. "Buying seats for the High Holi... Full story


Why Europe's far-right political parties are gaining ground

The refugee crisis, escalating terrorism and dissatisfaction with the political elite are blamed for the current rise of Europe's far-right political parties. Such a revival has not been seen since... Full story


Ben-Gurion University Institute tackles water shortage, hygiene in developing countries

Israeli water experts believe by 2050, almost half of the world's population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. What's causing the shortfall is population growth, which leads to a... Full story


Facial recognition-first line of defense?

At around 1 p.m. on a cloudy day in April 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 74, pulled into the rear parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and opened fire. Shouting anti-Semi... Full story


Can 'open source jihad' be stopped? Israeli conference searches for solutions

It was Oct. 27, 2015, shortly after 10 a.m. Two terrorists from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber boarded an Egged bus in the East Talpiot area. One was armed with a gun, the other with a knife. They started shooting and stabbing... Full story


Understanding the 'human evolution' of a Hamas terror leader's son

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef and author of a 2011 New York Times bestseller memoir, recently re-emerged in news headlines when he spoke at the annual... Full story


At Israeli confab, searching for 'silver-bullet solutions' to Europe's migrant crisis

The influx of migrants and refugees into Europe has presented that continent's leaders and policymakers with some of their greatest current challenges. Those challenges "defy silver-bullet solutions,"... Full story


Jewish author's 'messy' draft transforms into rock star novel on Amazon

"Writing is a messy process," says author Elizabeth Poliner. "People who don't write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like." But readers wouldn't know "what a mess it... Full story


Sykes-Picot at 100: Mideast chaos highlights the perils of drawing borders

One-hundred years ago this month, British colonel Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Marie Denis Georges-Picot divided the Middle East loosely and arbitrarily between Great... Full story


Matzah mania! Who knew that mixing flour and water could be so nuanced?

How hard can making matzah be? Mix flour and water, and bake. Actually, there are various ways that one can go about producing matzah-and the results are all a little different. When you're standing... Full story


Purim pairings: Seven easy and fun ways to combine costumes, mishloach manot

Groggers, candy, and music. A story that involves royalty, a beauty pageant, and the antagonist getting hung on a tree. And let's not forget the costumes. Purim is a joyful holiday that children of... Full story


The Western Wall prayer decision and the shifting Israel-Diaspora paradigm

The Israeli government’s passage of legislation that authorizes egalitarian prayer in a soon-to-be-created 9,700-square-foot, NIS 35 million ($8.85 million) section adjacent to the southern part of the Western Wall (Kotel in Hebrew) has been c... Full story


Road improvements, research buck stereotype of dangerous Israeli driving

Honk. Honk. Hoooonk. It’s the sound of the Israeli street. Israelis have a reputation for aggressive driving, no doubt. But according to the 2014 Road Safety Annual Report, 263 people lost their lives on Israel’s roads in 2012, a 40-percent decrease... Full story


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