Refugees: The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society runs programs and classes at its five camps for Darfuri refugees in Chad.

HIAS Still Aids Immigrants, but Most Don’t Resemble Sergey Brin

When Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and now the 26th richest man in the world, left the Soviet Union as a 6-year-old Jewish refugee in 1979, it was the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society that secured American visas for him and for his family and settled everyone into a new home.

Structuralist: Claude Lévi- Strauss redefined views of primitive society.

Lévi-Strauss: He Changed How We See Culture, but Ignored His Own

For Lévi-Strauss, as for other Jewish anthropologists, there was another dimension to being a cultural outsider: It drew them to a sympathetic view of simpler cultures, which most of their contemporaries viewed with disdain.

Sanctuary: Rabbi Robin Nafshi with Monty, a resident at the Seer Farms animal shelter.

For Pets, a Temporary Shelter From the Storm

By founding the people-centered animal sanctuary Seer Farms, Reform rabbi Robin Nafshi is creating new avenues for animal-loving Jews to connect their faith with their furry friends.

Family Silver: Plymouth Hebrew synagogue in England plans to auction its rare collection of religious ornaments, including the Torah finials and pointer above.

Synagogue Auctions Its Silver Judaica

The oldest Ashkenazic synagogue in the English-speaking world, built in Plymouth, England, in 1762, plans to auction its rare collection of religious ornaments. It’s a move that has drawn criticism from a heritage group about the wisdom of selling the family silver.

Fresh Start: Jerry Silverman is the new leader of the umbrella organization, now entering its 10th year.

Fiscal Challenges Face Federations

The umbrella organization for Jewish community federations seems to have the stars aligned for a fresh start: a new name, a bright logo and an A-list lineup of speakers, including President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at its annual General Assembly, which will take place in Washington from November 8-10.