Israel is at war, and over the last few weeks, I have received requests from across the globe from friends, family, friends of friends and friends of family, asking me if I know any ways that they can help Israel in her time of need. There are so many ways to help, and particularly for those not in Israel and who are therefore not able to send physical items through local collections, here are some reputable websites through which you can donate:
As tensions are mounting in the Middle East, global attention is focusing on the region. Hadassah of Greater Philadelphia is presenting one journalist's take on the current situation.
New York Times bestselling author Ari Shavit looks at Israel's past, present and future in his book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Even the title of the book reveals that Shavit does not view his homeland through rose-colored glasses. He shares his own personal narrative as he explores Israel's unique challenges and accomplishments.
Twenty missiles were discovered hidden in a school run by the United Relief and Works Agency in Gaza during an inspection. UNRWA apologized to Israel and issued a statement condemning the groups responsible for this action.
This friday, Hamas supporters will be demonstrating against Israel in front of the Israeli consulate. Join your community in a Philadelphia United for Israel counter-demonstration to this anti-Israel demonstration.
Date: July 18
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Location: The Israeli Consulate, 1800 John F Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Jews and Muslims will fast together tomorrow, July 15, in a one-day Fast for Peace timed to correlate with the traditional fast days in both the Jewish and Muslim communities.
The American Muslim magazine has joined with The Philadelphia-based Shalom Center headed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow in widely publicizing the call, urging Muslims and Jews to join in "serious and sorrowful conversations," and for an iftar meal, breaking of the fast of Ramadan which will also conclude the Fast for Peace.
In Philadelphia, the annual Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation group will also be hosting a gathering of dialogue on July 15th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Al Aqsa Mosque, at 1501 Germantown Avenue, followed by an iftar.
Families in Israel are once again hearing incessant alarm sirens and racing to bomb shelters as Hamas launches hundreds of rockets from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians. No nation would, nor should accept such attack without firm response. I support Israel's right to defend herself against threats to her citizens and efforts to restore quiet to the region.
PhillyIsrael and the Zionist Organization of America are planning a rally for the community to show its support for Israel this Friday, July 11, at noon. The rally will be held on the corner of 19th Street and JFK Boulevard.
Israeli children running to shelter from Hamas rockets, 2012.
— by Steve Sheffey
As Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said last week, "Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization and should be treated as such."
The kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teenagers: Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha'ar, was, as Schneider said, "an outrage and shows the cowardice, brutality and lack of humanity of the perpetrators."
Israel can and must track down the murderers. Israel must also do whatever is necessary to stop Hamas rocket fire from Gaza.
We get so many of our eating habits from when we are children, that it is important to teach them good habits at a young age. It seems that childhood obesity has become a national epidemic. In my granddaughter's school this year, junk food was forbidden with lunch. The rule was a protein, a veggie and a fruit. No chips, pretzels or cookies. Lunches became more difficult when the school became a peanut free zone, and we now had to think harder about lunches. The no snack rule permeated the school and because it was a school-wide, the children learned not to expect junk food. Teaching children these good habits helps them to live a healthier lifestyle. It also helps your children avoid being overweight.
Mourning was, and is, the proper response of individuals to such crimes, not misguided attempts by vigilantes to exact "revenge."
— by Leah Zagelbaum
Reports of arrests of members of the Jewish community in connection with the recent murder of an Arab youth, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, should fill us all with revulsion.
The Jewish faith does not tolerate violence other than in self-defense and condemns murder as a grave crime. To take the life of an innocent human being is not only an indefensible, evil act but, here, brings our people down to the level of our most implacable and cruel enemies. It is a chillul Hashem, "desecration of G-d's name."
(ALEPH) Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Alliance for Jewish Renewal, passed away peacefully in his sleep the morning of July 3, 2014, at his home in Boulder, Colorado.
Growing up in Vienna, Schachter-Shalomi partook of numerous Jewish movements flourishing at the time — secular, Zionist, intellectual — well beyond his family's Belzer Hassidic roots. Fleeing the Nazi onslaught, his family eventually made their way to New York in 1941. There, he studied to become an Orthodox rabbi and was ordained by the Lubavitch Hassidic (Chabad) yeshiva in 1947. The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, made him an emissary to college campuses.
From the Pews: The Presbyterian divestment votes doesn't look like harmless nonviolent protest from Israel.
This article originally appeared in the Forward, June 25, 2014. Reproduced from there by permission of the Forward.
— by Jane Eisner
In a hotel ballroom in Jerusalem jammed with journalists from all over the Jewish world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a rambling speech that covered everything from Iran's nuclear ambitions to an Israeli cow that he claims produces more milk than any other cow in the world. Really.
But I want to focus on his riff about the Presbyterians.
— by Alex Lipton, Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region
Following extensive searches led by the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police, the bodies of Eyal Yifrach (19), Gilad Sha'er (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16), who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on June 12, 2014, were discovered today in the area northwest of Hebron.
A community memorial service will be held today, July 1st at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Mikveh Israel, 44 North 4th Street, Philadelphia.
All of us, who for the past 18 days have been hoping and praying for the boys' safe return home, grieve today along with their families.
The three Israeli teenagers kidnapped in the West Bank earlier this month still have not been found.
The Palestinians have been celebrating the kidnapping with "The Three Shalits" campaign, named after the previously-kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in which they picture themselves holding three fingers in the air.
The Palestinian Authority (PA)'s president, Mahmoud Abbas, called for the return of the kidnapped boys, saying that the kidnappers were trying to destroy the PA. And yet, one cannot help but conclude that the sick celebration of the kidnapping, which included this appalling cartoon on the PA's website, is the result of the constant anti-Semitic incitement against Israel that has occurred for decades throughout Palestinian society.
Sunday, June 22 at 3 p.m. at the Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia.
For Tickets, call (215) 923-0210. For information on Goodwin's shows contact [email protected].
The Society Hill Playhouse will feature the theatrical monologue, "Golda Meir: A Life of Purpose" this Sunday, June 22 at 3 p.m.
The play will be performed by Rene Goodwin. In addition to being an actress, Goodwin is a singer and vocal coach. She trained in London, and has performed in Japan and throughout the Eastern U.S.
Before her one-woman show on Golda, Goodwin has researched, written and performed shows on women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Parker and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. But as she said in the interview, Golda is dear to her heart.
— by Alex Lipton, Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region
Israel is engaged in an intensive operation to return the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West Bank by Hamas terrorists Thursday night: Gilad Sha'er (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), who has dual Israeli-American citizenship, and Eyal Yifrah (19), to their families.
The kidnapping validates Israel's assessment that the pact between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas would strengthen Palestinian terrorist organizations, push peace further away and destabilize the area.
Hamas does not need any reason, excuse or incentive to murder and kidnap Israelis. Terrorist attacks are Hamas' raison d'être. Dozens of attempted kidnappings have been foiled in the last year alone.
In forming this technocratic government, Hamas agreed to conditions it was never previously willing to accept, such as giving Abbas veto power over all ministers and approving the formation of a government in which it has no ministers, which is why this unity government might succeed.
— by Steve Sheffey
The pro-Israel community is concerned about the new Palestinian unity government.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), a lifelong advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, a supporter of a two-state solution, and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement on the subject last week:
I remain deeply concerned that the Palestinian Authority continues to move forward with a reconciliation government that includes the internationally-recognized terrorist group Hamas. Hamas continues to advocate violent action against Israel, and its political leadership refuses to recognize Israel.
Hamas' participation in a unity government raises serious doubts as to the Palestinians' commitment to a negotiated peace with Israel and raises significant questions regarding future U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.
While I support efforts by the Palestinian Authority to form government institutions capable of representing the Palestinian people, a unity government with Hamas, without Hamas agreeing to the "Quartet Conditions," which includes renouncing violence, recognizing Israel and honoring past agreements, will hinder the peace process and will not result in a future Palestinian state.
President Abbas must understand the two-state agreement can only be achieved through good faith negotiation with Israel. I hope he and his government will take the steps to further the prospects for peace for his people and the region.
Last March, the school board of the Perelman Jewish Day School held a meeting at which they decided to dissolve the teachers' union. This was done with no negotiation, no discussion and no participation of the people whose lives this would most directly affect: the teachers.
The board decided unilaterally to have each teacher negotiate his or her own contract, with tenure and seniority being eliminated and a general clause in the new handbook stating that any teacher could be terminated at will, with no due cause.
Perhaps one of the troubling aspects of this non-negotiation termination of the union is in what has happened to the once-warm and caring relationship that the teachers shared with parents and board members. People who once had close friendships are now avoiding each other and do not even make eye contact.
Israel traded more than 1,000 prisoners, many of whom with blood on their hands, for Gilad Shalit, whose conduct prior to his capture was not exactly heroic.
— by Steve Sheffey
Should we have traded five Taliban prisoners for one U.S. prisoner of war? It is amazing that we are even asking this question.
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is rarely accused of being soft on terrorism, negotiated with Hamas and traded more than 1,000 prisoners, many of whom with blood on their hands, for Gilad Shalit, whose conduct prior to his capture was not exactly heroic.
These are painful decisions, but countries like the U.S. and Israel do not leave their soldiers behind, and certainly not run a character and fitness test before deciding whom to rescue. General Dempsey was right when he said about Sergeant Bergdahl, "Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty."
Virginia 7th District
28,898 44.45% Rep. Eric I. Cantor
36,110 55.55% Prof. David A. Brat
Cantor calls Anti-Semitism the "darker side" of the Republican caucus, April 2012.
Cantor calls Jewish tendency to vote Republican the bane of his existence and reveals the Republican version of tikkun olam (CBS 60 Minutes, January 2001).
When Eric Cantor (VA) was elected to Congress in 2000, he and Benjamin Gilman (NY) were the only two Jewish Congressmen caucusing as Republicans in the House of Representatives. Gilman retired in 2003 after his district was dispersed, leaving Cantor as the only Jewish Republican in the House.
At the time, two Jewish Republicans served in the Senate: Norm Coleman (MN) and Arlen Specter (PA). However, Coleman was unseated in a close election by Jewish comedian Al Franken (MN) in 2008, and Specter switched parties in 2009 and then was defeated in the 2010 Democratic primary by Admiral Joe Sestak.
Cantor has risen to great prominence. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2011, and was widely seen as the likely successor to John Boehner as Speaker of the House.
Accordingly, as the House's second-ranked Republican, Cantor would have had no problem winning the general election yet again this year. His only danger was being defeated in the Republican primary. Even that seemed extremely unlikely: Cantor is ranked in the most conservative fifth of Congress by the DW-Nominate Scores based on his voting record, so he seemed like a good fit for his district.
Cantor spent $5,700,000 in the primary against his opponent David Brat, a Tea Party activist and obscure economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, with a mere $231,000 at his campaign's disposal. In the final public polls before the election, Cantor led by 13%. In fact, Cantor's internal polling projected he would win in a 34% landslide. Accordingly, he spent election day raising money for other Republicans rather than campaigning for himself.
Nevertheless, with the light turnout for the primary, Cantor was perhaps not sufficiently extreme: He was upset by Brat, 55.55% to 45.45%.
In a span of 92 years the Rebbe traveled from his birthplace, the city of Nikolayev, Ukraine, studied in the cosmopolitan cities of Berlin and Paris, where he earned degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, and finally settled in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. It was there he reluctantly donned the mantel as the Seventh Lubavitcher Rabbi and humbly assumed the title of the Rebbe.
Prior to his "coronation" he had already attained the stature of a spiritual magnet who attracted into his sphere of influence a warren of world leaders, as well as ordinary people who sought his wise counsel and blessings. More than a biography, this book relates historic events bonded with personal insights and coupled with private moments, which bring the reader to yichudusim, private moments of consultation, with the Rebbe.
The members of the Women's Committee of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology were inspired to collaborate on one of the best books I have had the pleasure of acquiring this year.
Culinary Expeditions introduces its readers to culinary artifacts from around the world, culled from the Museum's amazing collection. Each artifact is accompanied by a recipe that reflects the culture of its provenance. All proceeds from the sales of this book will directly benefit the Museum.
In our increasingly internationalized world, this book is the perfect gift for any occasion. Learning about each others' cultures and foods helps us all connect with each other.
The Federal Communication Commission is allowing public input on their new internet regulations which would allow internet providers like Verizon and Comcast to dictate what kind of content would be easily accessible over the internet.
Without the requirement to treat all data equally, big internet providers would be allowed to block or slow down access to any website whose ideas they do not like, or simply whose owners do not pay extra to be part of the "fast lane."
Websites like the Philadelphia Jewish Voice could be silenced if they express views not in line with the company's management. Please join the over 50,000 Americans who have heeded John Oliver's call and shared their thoughts on the matter with the FCC via email or the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System.
Do you value your continued access to alternative sources of information? Learn what you can do after the jump.
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