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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘aliyah’

Steven Sotloff’s Parents to Light Public Menorah in His Memory

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The parents of Steven Sotloff, the Jewish journalist who was beheaded by a member of ISIS, will light a public menorah in Miami in his memory.

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff will light the first candle of Hanukkah Tuesday night at the Chabad center in Miami.

“Steve was a proud Jew who always enjoyed the holidays,” his father, Arthur Sotloff, told Chabad.org. “It was one of his defining characteristics.”

“Chanukah is a time we commemorate the vanquishing of our enemies who tried to deprive us of our right to live with Torah,” Arthur Sotloff said. “The Maccabees fought for Judaism, and Steve fought for the values they endowed us with.”

The directors of the Chabad center in Miami, Rabbi Yossi and Nechama Harlig, got to know the Sotloffs during the Shiva period for their son. They decided Hanukkah would be the appropriate time to honor the slain journalist “who sought to bring a little more light and truth to the world,” according to Chabad.org

Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, was abducted on Aug. 4, 2013, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey. On Sept. 2, ISIS released a nearly three-minute video online titled “A Second Message to America” showing the beheading of Sotloff.

Sotloff published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in various publications, including Time.com, the World Affairs Journal and Foreign Policy. He also freelanced for The Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report magazine.

It was revealed after his death that Sotloff, 31, held Israeli citizenship. His connections to Israel and the Jewish community reportedly had been sanitized from the Internet and social media in order to keep the information from his radical Islamic captors.

Sotloff, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, made aliyah in 2005.

His parents have established The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to provide scholarships for journalism students.

New York Female Lone Soldier Overcome Cancer to Be IDF Officer

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Rotem Chiprut, a ”lone soldier” from New York, has shown the IDF how much she is a real fighter by overcoming cancer and a discharge from the IDF to return as an officer

Under the heat of the Negev sun, Rotem was one of officer cadets standing at attention with their weapons in hand after having completed their officers’ training course after four months of intense training in leadership, management, and professionalism.

Her story is unique, one of a young how has proven Herzl’s phrase, “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Originally born in New York, Rotem moved to Israel at the age of just a few months. After spending 12 years growing up in Israel, her family moved back to the United States where she finished high school in New Jersey.

Upon completing high school, Rotem planned to follow the same path as her friends: attend a college and study for a bachelor’s degree. She began the process of registering for university when her family took a trip to Israel. “I saw the soldiers on the street and realized that people my age were all a part of something bigger,” she remembers. “I also wanted to protect my country and be a real part of my country.”

After a long discussion with her parents, Rotem immigrated to Israel with the goal of joining the IDF. “I was so excited to enlist,” Rotem recalls. “When I first put on my uniform I was so proud of myself. I said to myself ‘I came here to do something, and I’m here. I did it.’”

Rotem serves in the IDF as a lone soldier – one whose parents live outside of the country. “I am technically far from my family and home, but I am always at home here in Israel,” Rotem proudly states.

In the middle of her service, Rotem decided she wanted to become an officer. During her processing for officers’ training school, Rotem went for a physical and blood test when she got news that changed her life forever.

“They sat me down in the doctor’s office and told me that they found out I had cancer in my thyroid gland,” she recounts stoically, “and that I needed to leave the army to have surgery.”

“When I found out I couldn’t continue the officers’ course I cried a lot because [the Officer Training School] is the place I wanted to be and it was really important to me.” Shortly after, Rotem underwent surgery on her thyroid gland, was discharged from the army, and sent home to rest for two months.

“Every day I felt I wanted to go back to my base. I didn’t want to be at home for two months; I really wanted to be in the army.”

Recovery and Re-enlistment

“Little by little I understood that I wouldn’t be able to join the army with the same status I had before,” Rotem discloses. “They told me I could join the army as a volunteer but not with the same job.”

After writing multiple letters and appealing to various army offices, Rotem got word that she would be able to re-enlist with the same position in the army. She not only did she get to re-enlist, but she also would be allowed to attend the officers’ training course even though she had missed the deadline.

“The moment they told me I had cancer, I didn’t think about my health at all. It sounds crazy, but I cried not because I had to undergo surgery, but because I had to leave the army,” Rotem added. “I knew I would be ok and that everything would pass, but I didn’t know if I could rejoin the army, and that was the reason I came to Israel and the reason I left everything behind [in the United States].”

Yosef Mendelevitch Visits City Where He Was Prisoner of Zion

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Former Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevitch made an emotional return to the city where he was imprisoned in the 1970s to join hundreds of Jews from across Russia for the 4th Annual Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) in St. Petersburg this weekend.

St. Petersburg claims the second largest Jewish community in Russia today with about 100,000 Jewish residents,

Mendelevitch was held in a Soviet prison after being arrested for leading the 1970 “Operation Wedding,” a Soviet Jewish operation to steal a plane from then-Leningrad’s airport and escape to Israel. After gaining his freedom, he made Aliyah to Israel.

Mendelevitch recounted his experiences in Operation Wedding, recalling celebrating Shabbat in the Gulag and describing his feelings about returning to St. Petersburg.

“I spent a lot of time in this city but only as a prisoner, so I don’t know it at all,” he said. “I’m certainly not nostalgic. The Land of Israel is the only place to which I have an emotional attachment.”

Jewish Federation to Join 76ers for ‘Jewish Heritage Night’ [video]

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The Philadelphia 76ers’ annual Jewish Heritage Night will be presented for the first time by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia on Monday at a game with the San Antonio Spurs at 7:00 p.m. (EST).

During the first quarter, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia officials Naomi Adler and Bernard Newman will accept the Sixers “Heroes Among Us” award. Proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle, presented by SugarHouse Casino, will benefit the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

At halftime, a special rendition of the HaTikvah, will be sung by Ashley Colabella, and local Jewish war heroes Sol Goldstein, Bernie Lens, Allan Silverberg and Alan Vogenberg of the Fegelston-Young-Feinberg Post 697 of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. will be honored at center court for their service.

Kosher food will be available, but there will not be a booth for Aliyah.

Speaking of aliyah, wouldn’t it have been nice if the 76ers and the Federation had hosted an Israel night last February,when Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw was introduced to the Philadelphia 76ers during their practice, as in the video below the picture of Miss Israel?

Miss Israel during at surprise visit to a 76ers training exercise last February.

Miss Israel during at surprise visit to a 76ers training exercise last February.

Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’

Friday, November 28th, 2014

American rabbinical students from the Conservative movement studying in Israel were prevented from holding afternoon prayers with men and women together in the Knesset synagogue, JTA reported.

Haaretz reported that the decision was handed down by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and the students were offered alternative place to pray. Reform and Reconstructionist students also were in the group at the Knesset, where the synagogue is designated as Orthodox.

“A lot of the students were very upset and shocked,” said Rabbi Joel Levy, director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who submitted the request on behalf of the students, told Haaretz. “You’d think that the Knesset would be a place of ingathering of the Jewish people, but actually we learned that it has boundaries that don’t include liberal Jews. Paradoxically, this decision served as an appropriate end to our conversation about religion and state in Israel.”

(One wonders if they are equally as upset and shocked that no Jews are allowed to pray on Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.)

So here we go again. The Knesset implicitly a place that is not for the “ingathering of the Jewish people” because the synagogue is Orthodox.

Not only that, but “liberal Jews” are not allowed.

The minute they throw around the term “egalitarian prayers,” Orthodoxy has three strikes against it.

Once Judaism is defined by secular values, it becomes a monopoly of the liberals, who are tolerant of everyone who accepts them and then close the doors on anyone who challenges their power.

Power is what the argument is all about. It is the same issue that is behind the Women of the Wall movement, which gathered hundreds of thousands of supporters in the United States but which in practice cannot come up with more than a few dozen people –perhaps 100 on a sunny day – to demonstrate,  whoops – pray,  at the Western Wall once a month.

So here comes the Masoriti movement to the Knesset, where it wants their students to have a real spiritual experience and pray – men and women together – in the legislature’s synagogue.

When the Orthodox Jews set the rules, it is called a monopoly.

When the “liberals” set the rules, it is called democracy.

It would be interesting to know if the students at the Knesset have an afternoon prayer service every day, or is it only when they visit the Knesset?

And if they do, why cannot they respect the sanctity of the lace where there is a minyan of Jews every day, three times a day, instead of grabbing headlines for their “egalitarian” agenda that they think is “modern” and superior?

Okay. We gave them their headlines, just like we did with the Women of the Wall.

I wish the students an enjoyable visit in Israel but ask, “Why is it that Orthodox Jews make up such large numbers of those who move to Israel?”

Do the Reform and Conservative Jews visit Israel and go “home” because there is no mixed seating in the Knesset synagogue?

Israel to Ease Absorption, Employment for Immigrants from France

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Israel’s government cabinet decided Sunday to clear obstacles to the absorption of new immigrants in the labor market, in particular, those from France.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Aliyah and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver today described the decision to members of the French Jewish community in Israel.

“We want to see masses of Jews coming here,” Netanyahu said. “I appeal especially to the Jews of France; this is a community that I know, love and appreciate. We see you today not only as brothers and sisters but as our very flesh.”

That being the case, he pointed out, one would wonder why the government makes it so difficult for Jewish professionals to start over in Israel.

“Why don’t we allow Jewish professionals — and they have a splendid community in France, the talents and charms of which I have learned to recognize, who can make a tangible contribution to Israeli society, to the Israeli economy, and to Israeli security — to do so?” Netanyahu asked rhetorically.

“As a first step, we decided today that by January 1 we will demand that all Government ministries simplify, cut and shorten procedures” so as to allow French Jews to gain approval for a range of credentials already earned in fields, professions, degrees and diplomas, the prime minister said.

“I think that this is essential; it is essential to other communities too, we are doing this as well. This should have been done decades ago but we are doing it now.

“I think this is very important and I reiterate and say one thing: This is your home, this is your state. This is a personal decision but I want you to know that we await you with open arms and we want to roll out the red carpet so that you can come and join in building up our country and in ensuring the future of our people here in our land.”

A business attorney who helps investors move their portfolios told The Observer in September that anti-Semitism in France is responsible for rising migration of wealthy Jewish families.

“France is a weird country because it has a large Jewish and large Muslim population, so there is a real tension, a real undercurrent of hostility and a threat. Now, it has become a lot easier for people to become a lot more open about their anti-Semitism and hate,” Marlen Kruzhkov said. “Even a year ago, they were shocked.”

The United States is a terrific place to do business, Kruzhkov said, with less tape than Israel, and provides great opportunity for investment. But the bottom line is, “the driving force is the anti-Semitism,” he emphasized, adding that an estimated $1.44 billion has moved from France to New York due to the rising hatred against Jews so far this year alone.

Now add to this the “jihad” factor — the issue of Islamic “holy war.”

At present there are between 3.5 to five million Muslims in France, representing between five to ten percent of the population, according to the Euro-Islam website. Islam is currently the second most widely-practiced religion in France, after Roman Catholicism.

Intelligence and law enforcement personnel in France are becoming increasingly concerned about Islamic radicalization as hundreds fall prey to the seductive call of murderous jihadists via the mosques.

For example, Islamic convert Maxime Hauchard, 22, grew up in Normandy a mild-mannered young man who liked movies and motorbikes. But last week he suddenly appeared as a cold-blooded killer with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, wielding a Kalashnikov with two other men. The second in the trio seen in a video online burning their French passports was 26-year-old Abou Ossama al-Faranci, according to a report published in La Depeche du Midi.

‘There is a War against Jews on the Internet and on the Streets’

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

“There is a war against the Jews on the internet and on the streets” in Europe, European Jewish Congress (EJC) president Dr. Moshe Cantor said Saturday night, hours after an Antwerp rabbi was stabbed in the throat while he was walking to synagogue.

“Until there is a crackdown on incitement to hatred and anti-Semitism, then more people will believe that these types of attacks are legitimate,” Kantor added.

The EJC called on authorities across Europe to provide Jewish communities with a sense of security after the latest attack.

“Jews in Europe have lost a normal sense of security that worsens with every attack on Jews and Jewish institutions which are taking place with alarming regularity,” according to Kantor. “As citizens of Europe, it is the responsibility of the authorities, political, judicial and law enforcement, to ensure that Jews feel free to walk the streets in the open and live their lives absent of the fear these attacks generate….

“At the root of these attacks is the ongoing incitement against Jews from across the political spectrum and radical Islamists,”

When will European leaders take action, real action, against the radical Islamic threat to the continent?

A good guess would be that the time will come after Jews leave for Israel, if not elsewhere, and the Gentiles become next target of Muslim fanatics, who are rapidly emerging as the de facto leaders of Islam.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/there-is-a-war-against-jews-on-the-internet-and-on-the-streets/2014/11/15/

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