Birthright Connection

February 2013

uGeW Inititative

This newsletter was brought to you by the uGeW Initiative. The uGeW Initiative seeks to create meaningful, dynamic opportunities for students to engage in BIG questions of campus life. uGeW seeks to provide the tools to GW students who seek to cultivate their own sense of Jewish identity - on their own terms and in a way that will reverberate for many years to come.

Israel News

Tensions with Syria

Last Wednesday, Israel carried out an airstrike near Damascus that was filled with anti-aircraft weapons on its way to Lebanon's unit of Hezbollah. Due to this attack Syrians near Damascus called out in protest, saying now they fear attacks from not only Hezbollah but Israel as well. Due to Syrian President Bashar Assad's poor response to the conflict, many people are saying it is time for the president to stand up to Israel. Want to read more?

Opinion Question: UN Ruling on Israeli Settlements, Fair or Unfair?

In the harshest ruling against Israel since obtaining the 1967 borders, the UN condemned Israel's settlement policy and called for the removal of all Israeli Settlements.

Lucky Winter Birthright trips...Netanyahu joins Birthright's mega Bar-Mitzvah event

Written Jan 7, apparently Netanyahu spoke at the bar-mitzvah mega event a few weeks ago to over 3,000 Birthright participants. He spoke about Israel of course being their homeland, and then went into talking about Israel's contribution to medicine, science, and technology and stressed Israel's desire for real peace.

Election Results

Israel held its elections on January 22, and Benjamin Netanyahu won again as Prime minister. There was a lot of drama regarding the amendment Tal Law, which makes Haredi (ultra-orthodox Jews) immune to the army draft. The tension got so intense that one party, Kadima, almost withdrew from the government, forcing Israel to go into early elections. Luckily, however, that did not happen, and the elections occurred in January as usual.

GW Involvement


When: Mondays @ 5:15

Where: Hillel 2300 H St NW

Resident Yoga instructor Sarah Waxman brings you on a mind and body journey. $18 for the entire semester, $5 drop in rate. Want more information?

Candles and Cocktails

When: Feb 8, and 22 @6:30

Where:FSK 310 and JBKO 615

Come join uGeW interns Hali Simons and Kiana Davis for shabbat dinner and good company!

Jewish Lit Live

When: Feb 9 @ 7:00

Where: Marvin Center 308

Jewish Lit Live is a platform for shared interests in Literature, Culture & Jewish-American writing. Hosted authors include emerging leaders, international bestsellers, and UN-Award Winning Writers, e.g. Michael Chabon, E.L. Doctorow, Nicole Krauss & Erica Jong. This months artist is Nadia Kalman!

Shabbat Shalom Dinner

When: Stay Tuned

Where: Ivory 606

The inaugural Shabbat dinner was Feb 1 and a huge success! Join uGeW interns Tabitha, Nechama, and Max Deem for delicious food and drink to bring in the holiday. Stay tuned for its second time this month.

Birthright Registration opens February 13

Birthright is opening February 13, so make sure you encourage friends to sign up! If anyone you know if thinking about it or unsure, have them contact Liz Moses (

DC Happenings

Wizards Jewish Heritage Night

When: Feb 6 @ 7:00

Where: The Verizon Center

Come watch the Washington Wizards play the Knicks with discounted tickets (only $17) for members of the Jewish Community) Contact Pete Sekulow at for ticket sales.

Volunteer for BBYO International Convention 2013

When: Feb 13-17

Where: Depends.

For any BBYO alumni out there, you know how much for those conventions were. There are a ton of fun volunteer placements and the organization would really appreciate it. Even if you can only volunteer one day, check it out! Want to volunteer?

"Silent Games" at ReelAbilities Film Festival

When: Feb 12 @ 7:00

Where: George Mason University

ReelAbilities is a really cool festival that promotes stories of people with disabilities. Silent Games follows the Israeli deaf soccer team and their incredible journey. Click for more information

Screening of "Eli and Ben" at Bridges to the World Film Festival

When: February 18-22 @ 7:00

Where: Click for for information

Ben and Eli is a film about growth between father and son. The Bridges to the World International film series is a statewide month-long initiative in recognition of the states global reach and a reflection of those connections in Maryland. Want more info?