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Menorah Behind Bars

– Reflections from Aleph Volunteer Bassy Frankforter It was trepidation and an overwhelming fear of the unknown that accompanied me on my visit to Danbury Federal Correctional Institute. I was entering uncharted territory, a place that has most typically been visited by men; I was walking into a prison to share some Chanukah joy and […]

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RV’s, Rabbis and Rosh Hashana

The trailer was packed, and the gear was loaded. The three men jumped in, excited for the journey that lay ahead. Only they weren’t setting out on an ordinary camping trip. there would be no hikes or camp fires or beautiful sights to see. Just barbed wires, iron fences and concrete walls. But despite the […]

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COMPLETELY OUT OF MY ELEMENT

When a husband goes to prison, everybody suffers. But unlike him or his children, his wife is not only traumatized. She is now also burdened with a seemingly-impossible task: to raise the children and simultaneously earn enough money to support the family—alone. With the primary breadwinner behind bars, that task is often enormously challenging and […]

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MILITARY CHAPLAINCY TRAINING PROGRAM AND SHABBATON

Approximately 100 Jewish service-members from the United States Armed Forces and Allied Forces attended Aleph’s 9th annual Military Chaplain/Lay Leader Training Course and Shabbaton in Florida this past February.  Attendees included active, reserve and National Guard members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Veteran’s Administration and Civil Air Patrol services. Military spouses and their children were invited […]

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A Quest to Visit Every Jewish Inmate in America

The mattresses had been much thinner and harder in his former prison, which lacked air-conditioning and was full of gang activity. So why did L.S. (who is currently serving time in Kansas) want to transfer back there? Because at that first correctional facility, he said, a rabbi would occasionally come to learn with the inmates—and […]

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Project Tikvah

The Aleph Institute is pleased to announce receipt of a $250,000 Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) to support Project Tikvah, its innovative program that serves troubled youth facing incarceration or already in prison due to addiction or mental illness.   The Foundation’s Cutting Edge Grant supports new […]

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Handcuffs Behind My Father’s Back

They understand the least yet often suffer the most. Children whose parents are in prison experience fear, confusion, shame, and isolation from situations completely out of their control and comprehension. With neither warning nor explanation, they witness armed police officers enter their homes, handcuff their loved ones and disappear with them into the unknown. As […]