Community

Herb Meister with grandson Ethan ThalerHerb Meister with grandson Ethan ThalerWhen you think of the word tradition, what comes to mind for most people is Tevye the milkman from “Fiddler on the Roof.” When I think of tradition what comes to mind is Jewish Eldercare of Rhode Island’s longtime volunteer Herb Meister.  Herb has been visiting nursing homes as a volunteer for Jewish Eldercare of Rhode Island, a Jewish Seniors Agency’s outreach program for more than 15 years.

Cara Mitnick makes some phone calls. /Fran OstendorfCara Mitnick makes some phone calls. /Fran OstendorfWith winter seeming to begin later than ever, the Jewish community in Rhode Island “bundled” together to help those in need on Super Sunday, Jan. 11.

Rhode Islanders answered the call to help ensure a strong Jewish future. More than 60 volunteers gathered to raise $97,108, propelling the 2015 Annual Campaign past the $2.5 million mark. The volunteers thanked donors for their past support and were able to reach out, engage and bring many more people into the giving community. In the spirit of a new year, the community was reminded to give back, thus creating a communal atmosphere.

PROVIDENCE – On Jan. 7, leaders representing virtually every faith in Rhode Island marched from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Frances Street to the State House. The uphill march, to the beat of drums in cold weather, was meant to symbolize the day-to-day struggle to get by.

Yehuda Yaakov makes a point during his speech Jan. 11. /Jewish VoiceYehuda Yaakov makes a point during his speech Jan. 11. /Jewish VoicePROVIDENCE – Israel is a diverse country and that must be a focus for the country’s long-term success. That’s what Yehuda Yaakov, the Israeli Consul General to New England, reminded more than 200 people Jan. 11 at the Dwares JCC.

“Our civilians are Muslim, Christian, Jews, Druze and a whole host of others in our multicultural mosaic,” he said. Twenty percent of the Israeli population is not Jewish, according to Yaakov.

In fact, 20 percent of the students at Technion University are Israeli-Arab and 35 percent of students at Haifa University are Israeli-Arab, he said. Both are internationally recognized academic institutions.

Liliana Fijman /PHOTO | Irina MissiuroLiliana Fijman /PHOTO | Irina MissiuroLiliana Fijman is an artist, although she would probably cringe even at that broad definition. She thinks that artists are branded as eccentric and doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. Instead, she is looking to maintain her integrity and break stereotypes. “Appearances are misleading. I’m a rebel. I stay on the fringes.” Her personal philosophy is applicable to her work.