Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here are the highlights from their public address:
Netanyahu: Well, John, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Jerusalem. You're an old, personal friend and a longstanding friend of Israel. And that friendship was demonstrated in President Obama's historic visit here in March ... We'll discuss Iran. We'll discuss the terrible harm to stability in Syria. But above all, what we want to do is to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians.
Yesterday, by a vote of 99 to 0, the Senate passed a resolution condemning Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The resolution also supports Israel's right to exist and reaffirms our country's close relationship with the Jewish state. After the votes were cast, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez said in a press release:
Iran's provocative actions threaten not just regional stability, but pose an existential threat to our ally Israel, and clearly are a very real threat to U.S. national security. Iran's leaders must understand, that unless they change course their situation will only get worse. Their economic struggles and international isolation will only grow.
Two Jewish women, Anna and Fran Simon, both of Denver, Colo., became the first same-sex couple to be issued a Civil Union, license at a midnight ceremony on May 1 in the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder. Rabbi Steve Booth participated in the rite, as well, having long-served beside them as an activist in this cause. In fact, it wasn't the Simons' first marriage ceremony.
On May 20, Stephen H. Frishberg welcomed the 2013 inductees to the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. As Chairman of the Board, Mr. Frishberg recognized each individual's contribution to the field of sports in Greater Philadelphia.
The 2013 inductees include Ellen Barkann, Bob Brooks, Larry Brown, Fred Cohen, Josh Cohen, Ron Cohen, Bonnie Kay, Marc Rayfield and Pillar of Achievement honoree, Jed Margolis. In addition, the 2013 JCC Maccabi Games' Team Philadelphia Graduating Athletes received special recognition.
Urban gardening is one of the hottest trends in Philadelphia. Even brown fields are being reclaimed with the use of elevated hydroponic planters. In addition to growing their own fruits and vegetables, many people are savoring the unique flavors that it is only possible to get from heirloom seeds. In his book, Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia, Bill Best, who was a professor at Berea College, provides a guide for obtaining, preserving, and sharing heritage and heirloom seeds. He introduces us to the people who have dedicated a lifetime to safeguarding our historic seeds.
The Jewish community of Philadelphia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the State of Israel with a parade and festival on Sunday, May 19, 2013.
Marchers in the parade organized at 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, near the Free Library of Philadelphia Main Branch. The parade began with a motorcycle color guard, followed by an ambulance from the American Friends of Magen David Adom. At that point, a handful of demonstrators holding a sign with anti-Israel slogan released black helium balloons to express their displeasure.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday that Ira Forman will serve as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Forman, a graduate of both Harvard and Stanford Universities, previously served as Director of Congressional Relations for the Office of Personnel Management during the Clinton administration. He led the National Jewish Democratic Council for fifteen years. Secretary Kerry made the announcement as he released the 2012 International Religious Freedom Report.
Response after the jump from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
In a year of acclaimed documentary films about the Middle East, Yael Melamede has achieved an unusual distinction: she is the first Israeli in the history of the Academy Awards to produce an Oscar-winning movie: Inocenete. The movie, which won the Oscar for best documentary short last February, is not about the Middle East. Its subject is a homeless teenager from San Diego with an outsize personality and an extraordinary artistic talent.
We've seen such extraordinary work out of Israel in the past few years, films like Footnote, The Gatekeepers and Five Broken Cameras, which attest to the creativity and urgency of artistic voices in the region. I'm honored to be the first Israeli producer of an Oscar-winning movie, but I know I won't be the last.
Steven Page, musician, and former lead-singer, guitarist and principal songwriter for the internationally acclaimed pop band the Barenaked Ladies (BNL), grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, feeling like he was the only Jew in the neighbourhood, and thus an outsider. He began his search into his ancestry with the goal of uncovering why his Jewish identity has played such an important part of his life.
Memorial Day is observed so differently in the United States from how it is done in Israel. Having lived in Israel for two years while volunteering for the IDF, I find the all-American celebratory long weekend and barbecue incongruous.
When I visit my grandparents' graves in Rishon LeZion, I always stop at the military section. I pay my respects at the grave of my neighbor who fell in 1975. I check the other tombstones for familiar last names of friends and acquaintances. I only know one person who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the American Army. While I always go "down the shore" and prepare a grilled dinner, I also add a symbolic Jewish dish of condolence.
Aleeza Ben Shalom has always happily served as a networker or a "connector," bringing together people whether it was about housing, cars or furniture. Her successful connections, made through her Shabbat hospitality at her family's table and her volunteer work for the SawYouAtSinai dating website, have led her to launch her business, "Marriage Minded Mentor," in February 2012. To date, she has brought 14 clients to the wedding chuppah and another eight are engaged.
Her 132-page book, Get Real Get Married, hit the stores today (Tuesday). With clients from the observant community, her shortest match took four months from introduction to marriage (Those two really knew what they wanted!), while the longest match took about nine months. Her clients in the general public need more time.
Cyberbullying has become a widely discussed topic both inside and outside of schools, with anti-bullying legislation heading to the desks of people like Florida Governor Rick Scott after clearing the Florida House and Senate in April 2013. Other states are following suit, and Montana is currently the only state with no anti-bullying legislation on the books.
In today’s age of digital, with more adolescent exposure to television and Internet than ever before, it's not hard for children to find channels through which they can victimize their peers. Satellite packages alone come with 285 channels, stated Slackware, making it difficult to control what content our kids are exposed to. That leaves it up to parents and lawmakers to try to prevent cyberbullying.
Continuity Elusive at Top of Nation's No. 6 Community Ira Schwartz, departed abruptly in early May, marking the fourth time the federation has lost its top professional leader since the early 1990s. That's unusual among big-city federations, where successful executives often last decades....
Philadelphia's federation announced Schwartz's departure late on May 3, a Friday afternoon. A statement and story published in the federation-owned Jewish Exponent disclosed no details about why Schwartz was leaving, saying only that the separation was effective immediately.
This month we set a new world's record. By "we", I mean the world. The world set a new record and this is not the sort of accomplishment we should be proud of.
On May 9, 2013, the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million.
The NOAA has been recording CO2 levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory since 1956 and two things are clear: a natural annual variation of 5-10 PPM, and a steady increase from year to year.
By studying ancient air bubbles trapped in ice cores, scientists are able to determine CO2 levels much further back, and we can see how exception this period since the beginning of the industrial era has been.
In fact, according to researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the last time the Earth had so much CO2 in the atmosphere was during the Pliocene era over three million years ago.
Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as much as 415 parts per million (ppm) during the Pliocene. With that came global average temperatures that eventually reached 3-4°C (5.4-7.2°F) higher than today's and as much as 10°C (18°F) warmer at the poles. Sea level ranged between 5 and 40 meters (16-131 feet) higher than today.
Of course, at the record breaking clip with which we are releasing carbon into the atmosphere breaking the 415 PPM mark will be no challenge indeed. According to the International Energy Agency, we will reach 650 PPM even if we stop burning coal and replace it with natural gas.
It is therefore appropriate that Ira Glass chose this week to devote his show This America Life to climate change.
After years of being stuck, the national conversation on climate change finally started to shift — just a little — last year, the hottest year on record in the U.S., with Hurricane Sandy flooding the New York subway, drought devastating Midwest farms, and California and Colorado on fire. Lots of people were wondering if global warming had finally arrived, here at home. This week, stories about this new reality.
ComedySportz players Jason Stockdale, Olivia Ciacci, Julia Frey and Matt Lydon competing for the Red Team.
— by David Dritsas
It may be cliché to say that laughter brings people together but if the cliché fits, well, I say you might as well wear it and wear it proudly.
When I was recently asked to write a an article for The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, I struggled a bit with what to say that didn't seem to be too much of a pitch for ComedySportz Philadelphia, the local improv comedy company I worked at for 12 years. But then I thought, "Talk about the community. That's a nice hook."
After all, the Jewish community has been a strong supporter of ComedySportz throughout its 20-year history, something for which both our Jewish and non-Jewish cast members and staff have been extremely grateful.
The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Adolph and Rose Levis Museum (PJSHOF) will be celebrating its 16th anniversary by honoring nine new individuals at a reception to be held on Monday, May 20 at the Gershman Y.
The 2013 inductees include Ellen Barkann, Bob Brooks, Larry Brown, Fred Cohen, Josh Cohen, Ron Cohen, Bonnie Kay, Marc Rayfield and Pillar of Achievement honoree, Jed Margolis. In addition, the 2013 JCC Maccabi Games' Team Philadelphia Graduating Athletes will receive special recognition.
On Manhattan's Lower East Side, in a series of four nondescript brick tenement buildings, sits the Streit's Matzo factory. In 1925, when Aron Streit opened the factory's doors, it sat at the heart of the nation's largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, in a rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, it remains as the last family-owned matzo factory in America. This place is filled with history and tradition, and not only in the sense that the recipe for their product is 3,000 years old.
Thanks to the Vetri Foundation's program, our school's dinning room is no longer a cafeteria. Our new philosophy is to prepare family-style rustic food with good ingredients. Family-style seating, in which teachers and students eat together, has helped encourage a willingness to taste and discover new foods. Conversations around the table encourage manners, tasting, and engagement with both classmates and teachers.
David Broza, one of Israel's most famous singer-songwriters and peace activists, will be performing in Bryn Mawr on May 25 as part of the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series.
Broza was born in Haifa, Israel. He grew up and was educated in England and Spain, with the latter notably influencing his songwriting. He served in the Israeli Air Force's "Positivity Team," and meanwhile performed with his guitar in cafes in order to earn money. His talent gained attention, and he was offered a record deal. He writes and plays folk rock.
Pennsylvania has become a state with a significant majority of voters registered as Democratic. Yet, our Congressional delegation, state Senate and state House of Representatives are all at least 60% Republican. A substantial part of the explanation to this is an adroit political redistricting: "packing" (squeezing the opposition's votes into a few districts) and "cracking" (splitting pockets of opposition voters into separate districts where they cannot form a majority) to preserve the dominant party.
This quick weeknight pasta dish is a delicious and elegant first course for any occasion. Be sure to use a good quality smoked mozzarella, because it is the main ingredient of the dish. Smoked mozzarella has a lot of advantages, because it lasts for a long time and can be added to sandwiches, soups, stuffing, and pasta. It's a great addition to anything that you'd like to enrich and enliven.
According to an article in eSefarad ,"A decision by the ultra-orthodox rabbi Nissim Karelitz recognizes that the Chuetas of Mallorca, who were persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition and remained a distinct group within Mallorcan society until the 1970s, had the right to call themselves Jews." How do Sephardic Jews view this?
Some in the Sephardic community ask themselves, "who is this Ashkenazi rabbi to make that decision?" They believe that the Chuetas of Mallorca never stopped being Jews. Even if they did not practice Judaism, they preserved the Jewish identity by avoiding intermarriage at all. Mallorcan Secret Jews (Xuetas) are halachically Jewish, since they did not intermarry for centuries.
Imagine that you are walking through the desert for 40 years. Day after day, week after week. You and 20,000 of your closest friends and tribe's members move through the wilderness, in hopes for a better life.
You get hot, and then cold, and then hungry, and then tired. Shelter comes and goes. Everything appears to be wide open. The uncertainty of the wilderness seems disorienting, yet exhilarating. To restore some order and structure to the wide-open landscape, you — well, all 20,000 of you — try to build a holy space in the desert using specific measurements and materials, and lots of detail. "Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so, as though we were making the first step towards disaster," explains English Professor Dr. William Bridges in his book "Transitions: Making sense of life's Changes."
On a recent trip to the supermarket, I bought some beautiful ripe, red strawberries. I wanted to make something cold, sweet, creamy, fresh and fruity for Shavuot. I came up with a great combination for a light dessert, or snack.
I washed, hulled and halved some juicy strawberries. Then I opened a container of plain greek-style yogurt, and drizzled in some honey for sweetness.
Wednesday, May 1: A 2-year-old girl in Burkesville, Kentucky was shot and killed by her 5-year-old who was playing with his .22-caliber rifle, and also on Wednesday, a 6-year-old girl in Florida was shot by her 13-year-old brother.
Monday, May 6: A 13-year-old boy in Oakland Park, Florida shot his 6-year-old sister with a handgun.
Tuesday, May 7: A 3-year-old boy in Tampa, Florida fatally shot himself with his uncle's gun. Also, on Tuesday, a 5-year-old in Texas shot his 7-year-old brother.
Wednesday, May 8: 2-year-old boy in Corsicana, Texas fatally shoots himself in the head.
Friday, May 10: A 12-year-old boy in Camden, New Jersey is shot in the face by an 11-year-old friend.
Yesterday, Saturday, May 11, a five-year-old boy in Denton, Texas was shot in the head with a rifle by his eight-year-old friend.
Deaths of children this young are tragic and totally unnecessary. Trigger locks, biometric fingerprint ID safeties or simple gun vaults can and should be used to prevent unauthorized access to firearms.
As Steve Sheffey writes:
The real scandal in Washington is not the four brave Americans killed in Benghazi, but the thousands of Americans killed each year right here at home by handguns. Maybe the Republicans should hold hearings to find out why that is.
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