Press Releases

First-of-its-kind Israel Experience For Teenagers To Launch This Summer

Credits: Jacob Perman

This summer, high school students from culturally and religiously diverse backgrounds will have an opportunity to experience Israel like never before. On July 6, 2016, Israel Teen Fellowship (ITF) will set off on its inaugural trip with twenty pioneering teenagers who are interested in a non-traditional glimpse at the richness and uniqueness that comprise the land of Israel. To do this, ITF distinguishes itself from other Israel-experience trips in two important ways: (1) students from any faith or background may participate, and such participation is encouraged; (2) the program’s itinerary includes activities, meals, and projects with a diverse group of Israeli teens including Jews, Arabs, Bedouins, Druze, Ethiopians, and Baha’i.

Michael Dorfman, ITF’s Executive Director, emphasizes, “The Fellowship does not assume or require that its participants share a certain level of knowledge about Israel, as some other trips do. Instead, our program strives to provide a high level of nuanced ideas about Israel’s complexities, which any teenager will find accessible, welcoming, and engaging.”

“The trip is designed with inclusiveness, openness and respect in mind.“Dorfman continues, “Our goal is to provide the opportunity for young people to partake freely in an Israel experience, where they’re free to engage with others who have disparate beliefs or different perspectives; free to question their own beliefs; free to bridge divides; free to think critically and learn; and free to deeply engage in an experience that will remain with them for a lifetime, possibly shaping their worldview and/or belief system.”

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The educational philosophy of the Israel Teen Fellowship is that teenagers thrive on a balance of authentic learning experiences, real interpersonal connections, the enjoyment gained from trying new activities, and engaging in safe risk taking about important global issues. Whether they are exploring the underground ancient bath house in Nazareth (hidden beneath a souvenir shop), sleeping in a tree tent) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, touring the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or visiting the Al Jazzar mosque in Akko, the Fellowship’s expert guides and educators will enhance participants’ experiences with fascinating information that encourages them to ask questions and develop their own unique relationship with Israel. The 2-week journey is designed to maximize teens’ interest in Israeli society, culture, and history, and increase their understanding and appreciation of Israeli music, Middle Eastern food, and Israel’s unique geography and politics.

The cost to participate in the 2016 Israel Teen Fellowship is $3,850. A primary aim of the program is that it remain affordable and barrier-free for all those who would benefit from its multicultural Israel-based experiences.

Fellowship applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis at

Michael Dorfman is the Founder & Executive Director of Israel Teen Fellowship and the Director of Education at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange, NJ. He can be reached at

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Maplewood Police Blotter - Man Arrested for Package Thefts

April 20, 2018

April 5 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:15 p.m. officers responded to the Extra Supermarket on Irvington Ave on a reported shoplifter. Jean Legerme, age 21 of Newark was detained by security for attempting to leave the store without paying for several items. He was arrested, taken into custody and later released after being charged on a summons.

April 5 - Shoplifting; At ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Theft and Burglary Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of April 19

Theft - An East Orange resident reported that on Tuesday, April 17, at approximately 9:20 a.m., actor(s) unknown stole some tools from a construction site on Valley Street. The stolen tools, valued at over $500.00 were a Makita brand drill set and electrical saw.

Burglary to Auto - An Irvington resident reported that on Thursday, April ...

41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance Held on Sunday

April 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The 41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance was held on Sunday, April 15. The march assembled in Spiotta Park on Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood, and was called to order with the blowing of the shofar.

Local elected officials who attended included Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Maplewood Township Committee member Dean Dafis, and ...

Water Main Break on Baker Street in Maplewood Wednesday Morning

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Shortly after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Maplewood police reported receiving a call from a commuter on his way to work who noticed a small geyser of water in front of 34 Baker St., next to the driveway to the Maplewood Country Club. 

According to Maplewood police, they requested assistance from New Jersey American Water to shut off the water, but as of 7:10 a.m., ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 10:30 AM


Do Good, Feel Good, Have Fun!

Giving Back

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

First Congregational Church, Guild Room, Montclair

A Healthier New Jersey: The Murphy Administration ...

Government Health & Wellness

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly


Essex County Announces Partnership with Nine Local Charitable Organizations

April 20, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Essex County will participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ...

Kiburi Tucker Sentenced to 38 Months in Federal Prison

NEWARK, NJ - Kiburi Tucker, a longtime friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the business partner of a Newark woman who admitted to tax evasion last year, was sentenced today to more than three years in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion, federal authorities announced. 

Kiburi D. Tucker, 43, of Newark, pleaded guilty in November before Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares after ...

Amazon Works to End Stigma of “Free and Reduced” Meals at School

April 21, 2018

FLORENCE, NJ – There is a widely unknown problem in schools all over America: a stigma among many children who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Rather than face the peer pressure of receiving breakfast or lunch through this federal program, many choose to remain hungry.

To help eliminate the practice, Amazon has partnered with Share our Strength’s “No Kid ...

Endangered Bog Turtle Plods Through Senate Towards Official Designation as State Reptile

TRENTON, NJ - The endangered bog turtle is one step closer to being designated New Jersey's official state reptile, following State Senate approval of legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and inspired by students from Princeton.

Riverside Elementary School Students Kyle Grzmala and Hayah Mian, and their teacher Mark Eastburn, joined ...

Class Act Performing Arts Studio presents "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" at SOPAC

April 22, 2018

Class Act Performing Arts Studio’s senior Musical Theatre Company members will perform “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Thursday, May 10th , 2018 through Sunday, May 13th, 2018 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

Set in 19th-century London, this thrilling musical tells the story of barber Benjamin Barker, now known by his alias, Sweeney Todd, and his ...

Author Visit: Peter Golden at Millburn Library

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to welcome acclaimed journalist, novelist, and historian Peter Golden on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 7:00pm, to discuss his new book, Nothing is Forgotten.

Featuring Peter Golden’s signature “vivid characters and strong storytelling” (The Washington Post), Nothing Is Forgotten changes our understanding of the ...

South Orange Fencer and Origin Athlete Victoria Pevzner Captures Silver Medal in Poland

11 year-old fencer Victoria Pevzner placed second in the U-13 Girls’ Foil event at 2018 Challenge Wratislavia, an international youth fencing tournament in Wroclaw, Poland, March 22-26, 2018.

The 13 year-old and under’ girls foil event included over 180 competitors from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and ...