Avraham, Isaac and Diana Tkacenko live in Kazakhstan with their older brother, parents and grandmother in an old, run-down house. /JDCAvraham, Isaac and Diana Tkacenko live in Kazakhstan with their older brother, parents and grandmother in an old, run-down house. /JDCSecond in a series of three

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) provides relief to the world’s poorest Jews. Those who are in dire need of assistance turn to the JDC for food, medicine, clothing, home care and heat. This assistance is heavily depended upon by economically vulnerable seniors and families living in places where few or no other social services exist. The JDC aims to help these seniors and families find their way to self-sufficiency and break the poverty cycle.

A group of students plan their project. /Ariel BrothmanA group of students plan their project. /Ariel BrothmanCRANSTON – It shouldn’t be a big deal when two communities come together to make art and meet new friends; something so seemingly pure and light-hearted shouldn’t be seen as a necessary step towards preventing hatred and increasing awareness. But the reality is that we live in a world where it is important to be proactive about seeking out the truth about people who are different from us, because the real truth is that they’re probably not that different at all.


The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation are partnering to honor outstanding Jewish educators in greater Rhode Island. Nominations are now being accepting for the 2015-2016 school year, for the Lea Eliash Memorial/Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Please contact Lawrence Katz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the link to the nomination form or more information. Nominations are due by Feb. 24.


Understanding our ancestral connections, our family’s genealogical roots and their stories constitutes the foundation of our very being. We can truly appreciate where we’re going when we know – and appreciate – where we’ve been. Honoring our heritage is honoring our past, and honoring our past is honoring our future. I believe in the phrase “it’s in the genes” and that we should think about our heritage, listen to stories about it, tell stories about it and write about it. This is what I did in this story from my book, “Pathfinding,” told to me by my late father.

Seven Rhode Island community choirs will present “Singing The Dream,” a musical tribute celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 31, at 4:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Providence. More than 150 voices from Shir Emanu-El of Temple Emanu-El in Providence, Grace Episcopal Church, Prism of Praise Community Gospel Choir, Providence Gay Men’s Chorus, Central Congregational Church of Providence, Shireinu – The Jewish Community Chorus of Temple Sinai in Cranston and HaZamir Providence, will honor and commemorate the great American civil rights leader. The choirs will sing gospel hymns, spirituals, Jewish hymns and contemporary compositions.