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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘among’

Emilie Schindler: Righteous Among the Nations

Friday, December 9th, 2016

On October 5, fifteen years ago, when Emilie Schindler died in a hospital near Berlin, only a few people knew that the world lost a woman of great courage and compassion. While her husband Oskar, the hero of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning movie “Schindler’s List,” was lionized the world over for his spectacular rescue mission, Emilie’s role in the daily acts of kindness and self-sacrifice in saving Jewish lives remained largely unrecognized. Her remarkable, quiet commitment was eclipsed by the more visible activities of her flamboyant husband.

Oskar and Emilie Schindler’s extraordinary story was brought to public attention in l982 when Thomas Keneally’s award-winning book, Schindler’s Ark, was published in England. The Australian novelist embarked on a mission of quest into the life and times of the couple after an incidental visit to a luggage store in Beverly Hills owned by a “Schindler survivor.”

Emilie Schindler

Emilie Schindler

“Beneath Pfefferberg’s shelves of imported Italian leather goods,” the author reveals in the introduction, “I first heard of Oskar Schindler, the German bon vivant, speculator, charmer… and of his salvage of a cross-section of a condemned race during those years now known by the generic name, ‘Holocaust.’” Fascinated by him, the author undertook an extensive research project entailing hundreds of interviews with “Schindler Jews” from the U.S.A., Israel, Australia, West Germany, Austria, Argentina and Brazil, and with the Schindlers’ wartime associates, reading letters and documents deposited at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and traveling to locations like Cracow, Plaszow and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Based on material these yielded, the author compiled a remarkable record of rescue “at a time when prudent people thanked their lucky stars for their birthright and kept their eyes averted.”

Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German, moved to Cracow in the wake of the German occupation, and soon became the head of a major industrial concern and a powerful Nazi with influential contacts. One of those contacts was the commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp, Amon Goeth. Through visits to the camp, Oskar Schindler became aware of the atrocities the Jewish inmates suffered. In order to alleviate their plight, he worked out a scheme of requisitioning Jewish workers for his factory and, with the help of Emilie, was able to shelter and eventually save 1,200 Jews, a great number of them snatched from the jaws of Auschwitz’s gas chambers.

Witness after witness told of how Emilie Schindler nursed them back to health. “Emilie worked as quiet as a nun in the clinic,” Keneally wrote. “Those who were well… scarcely noticed her. But to the dying, she was more visible. She fed them semolina, which she got G-d knows where, prepared in her own kitchen.”  Jewish women prisoners suffering from dysentery diagnosed by the Jewish doctor as beyond help recovered under her care.

“Mrs. Dresner was brought in, as were dozens of others who could not eat or keep food down. Two girls as well as Lusia the optimist were suffering from scarlet fever. Emilie spooned semolina into Mrs. Dresner for seven days in a row, and the dysentery abated… The teenage Janka Feigenbaum was put in there; she who had bone cancer and would die in any case, even in the best of places. She had at least come to the best of places left to her. Lutek, Janka’s brother, at work on the factory floor, sometimes noticed Emilie moving out of her ground floor apartment with a canister of soup boiled up in her own kitchen for the dying Janka… When Lutek’s glasses were broken, she arranged for them to be repaired. The prescription lay in some doctor’s surgery in Cracow, had lain there since before the ghetto days. Emilie arranged for someone who was visiting Cracow to fetch the prescription and bring back the glasses made up… One wonders if some of Emilie’s kindnesses… may not have been absorbed into the Oskar legend…”

Oskar Schindler died in 1974 and was buried in a final tribute on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl. In 1993 when Yad Vashem bestowed upon Emilie Schindler the “Righteous Among the Nations” award, the unheralded heroism of the quiet, unassuming German woman born in a small Czechoslovakian village finally received belated recognition.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Yad Vashem to Honor Two Belgian Righteous Among the Nations Posthumously

Monday, November 21st, 2016

On Monday, Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center, held a ceremony posthumously honoring Joseph and Marie Andries from Belgium as Righteous Among the Nations. Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of Righteous Among the Nations and Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Jacob Türkel presented Dr. Francoise Rampelberg, family member of Joseph and Marie Andries, with the medal and certificate of honor. Holocaust survivor Benno Gerson, and Serge and Stefan Goldberg, sons of the late Anni Goldberg, attended the ceremony.

Extended family members of Benno Gerson and Anni Goldberg were reunited at the ceremony thanks to the efforts of Yad Vashem during the research process for this recognition.

Following the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938, Luser-Ludwig and Pepi Gershonowitz decided to leave Germany. They first sent their daughter Anni to the Netherlands, and then followed with their son Benno. Eventually the family settled in Brussels, Belgium.

When the deportations from Belgium began, in 1942, the Gershonowitz family decided to separate from their children in order to save them. Seven-year-old Anni and five-year-old Benno were brought to the home of Joseph and Marie Andries in Anderlecht. On September 24, 1942, Ludwig and Pepi were arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where they perished. Several months later, the Andries family and the children moved to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, where they remained until the end of the war. Joseph and Marie Andries were childless, and at some point separated. The two children remained with Marie, who continued to care for them lovingly. Benno remembers calling Marie Andries “mamake” (“mother” in Flemish). Life was simple, and Marie sometimes received help from her relatives, the Rampelbergs, who provided her with some additional food.

After the war, contact was established with a relative of the Gershonowitz family in the United States, and in 1947 Anni and Benno left Marie Andries’ home and sailed to New York. In 1983, shortly before Marie Andries passed away, Benno travelled to Belgium and visited his rescuer one last time.

On December 23, 2015, Yad Vashem posthumously recognized Marie and Joseph Andries as Righteous Among the Nations.

JNi.Media

Israeli Provisions Causing Rift among Syrian Rebels

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Shipments of food supplies from Israel, bearing the names of well known Israeli brands, have been the source of much strife in Arab media and Arab social networks, most likely because this is the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day and think about food more often than usual. The provisions, including packaged rice and wheat, reach the Al-Quneitra district, which is dominated by the Syrian opposition. But while some rebel groups welcome the Israeli support, other groups, some of which are affiliated with President Assad’s regime, have attacked the initiative, saying that “it’s an insult to receive food from the Zionist entity which is oppressing the Golan.”

The Golan Heights, a hilly stretch overlooking lake Kinneret and Israel’s civilian communities, used to be the spots from which Syrian soldiers would target Israelis down below like fish in a barrel for 19 years, until Israel put an end to the madness by capturing the hills and denying the Syrians their target practice.

Pictures of the Israeli food products have reached the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which cited a source on the ground in southern Syria that claimed Israel has been supporting the rebel groups there since 2013, after Jordan had closed off its Syrian border. Obviously, the groups who don’t get to share in the Israeli made rice, wheat, tea and Canola oil describe the haves as traitors and Zionist collaborators.

Israeli food products in Syria

Israeli food products in Syria

Revolutionary Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan last week issued a strong condemnation that went: “We condemn the insult our people have sustained in the liberated Al-Quneitra district in the form of food supplies awarded by the Zionist entity which is repressing the Golan which was sold out by the regime.” The RMCQ was particularly upset because the revelation of the Zionist food supplies came close to the part of the year when the anniversaries of the 1948 and the 1967 wars take place, in May and June respectively.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi cited a local activist who said the food is being hauled into Syria by members of the Free Syrian Army, after they deliver their wounded to hospitals south of the border, in Israel. It appears there are many Syrians who are delighted and grateful that Israel has been so supportive. Fahd Al-Mousa, head of the liberated Quneitra district council told the newspaper that only Israel has been a reliable ally for his people.

“Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution we haven’t found a way to bring the injured and hurt into any Arab country,” Al-Mousa stated, adding that only Israel has opened its gates to them. “And there are packages of medicine, milk for babies and additional foodstuffs that enter the district from Israel,” he said. Compared with Israel’s consistent support, he said, help from the gulf emirates had been sporadic.

Motti Kahane, president of the humanitarian organization Amalia, told Ynet that in southern Syria there may be more than 50 different rebel groups, each of which runs its own fundraising and receives its own supplies from five different countries. Amalia would like to serve as a go between for all the donated goods and food that come in, and to dispense them fairly and equally through the Quneitra crossing between Israel and Syria, which is normally closed.

JNi.Media

Israel Among Top Five Countries on WHO 2015 Life Expectancy Chart

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Only 22 countries around the globe have reached an average life expectancy at birth greater than 80 years, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, which would suggest that if one is planning to retire abroad, one should consider those countries most seriously.

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Global life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), ranging from 60.0 years in the WHO African Region to 76.8 years in the WHO European Region, giving a ratio of 1.3 between the two regions. Women live longer than men all around the world. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.5 years in 1990 and had remained almost the same by 2015 (4.6).

Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic, and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 2000-2015 increase was greatest in the WHO African Region, where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV.

As to the friendly global race of whose citizens get to live longer, the top countries are, in descending order: Japan – 83.7, Switzerland – 83.4, Singapore – 83.1, Italy – 82.7, and Israel – 82.5. The US did not make the 80+ club in 2015, with only 79.3 years’ life expectancy. Neither did the Russian Federation – 70.5.

Israel’s neighbors are definitely not ideal locations for retirement: Egypt – 70.9, Jordan – 74.1, Lebanon – 74.9, and Syria – 64.5 (if you’re lucky). Nigeria stands out with 54.5 life expectancy, along with Angola – 52.4, Burkina Faso – 59.9, Burundi – 59.6, Cameroon – 57.3, Central African Republic – 52.5, Chad – 53.1, Guinea – 59, and Guinea-Bissau – 58.9.

So, here is the list of world countries where you’ll get to grow older than 80, barring unexpected circumstances:

Japan – 83.7
Switzerland – 83.4
Singapore – 83.1
Italy – 82.7
Israel – 82.5
France – 82.4
Sweden – 82.4
Canada – 82.2
Luxembourg – 82
Netherlands – 81.9
Norway – 81.8
Malta – 81.7
New Zealand – 81.6
Austria – 81.5
Belgium – 81.1
Finland – 81.1
Germany – 81
Denmark – 80.6
Chile – 80.5
Cyprus – 80.5

JNi.Media

Pew Survey: Support For Israel Eroding Among Younger Democrats

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Earlier this month, a Pew Research Center survey examining attitudes about foreign policy among the U.S. electorate found that Americans continue to strongly favor Israel (54 percent) over the Palestinians (19 percent). Yet the survey also indicated a number of trends that suggest a possible erosion of the long-held bipartisan pro-Israel consensus.

Notably, while figures show sympathy for Israel has remained relatively consistent over the past few decades, there has been a slight uptick in sympathy for the Palestinians, 14 percent to 19 percent, from July 2014 – with a substantial increase in support for the Palestinians among respondents ages 18-29, also known as millennials.

At the same time, Pew’s data confirmed a partisan divide on Israel. While support for Israel among Democratic voters has remained steady over the past few decades – 44 percent in 1978 compared to 43 percent today – there has been a sharp rise during that time in Republican sympathy for Israel, 49 percent to 75 percent, and a modest gain among independents, 45 percent to 52 percent.

Only 33 percent of Democrats who describe themselves as liberal support Israel, while 40 percent sympathize with the Palestinians.

The survey revealed a further divide within the Democratic electorate itself. Hillary Clinton supporters were more likely to sympathize with Israel than the Palestinians, 47 percent versus 27 percent, while Bernie Sanders supporters favored the Palestinians over Israel by 39 percent to 33 percent.

“Evidence has been accumulating for some time of a division among Democratic voters over Israel,” said Dr. Theodore Sasson, senior research scientist at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University. “The left wing of the party is more critical of U.S. support for Israel.”

Dr. Jonathan Rynhold, director of the Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish People at Bar-Ilan University, said that generally the American public’s sympathy toward Israel has been growing since 2000.

Yet Americans have become more divided over policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those divisions “increasingly line up with the main ideological and political divides in America,” he noted.

“Since younger Americans are more liberal, and each generation is more liberal than the previous generation, they are less sympathetic toward Israel and more inclined to believe that the U.S. should adopt an even-handed approach toward the conflict,” Rynhold told JNS. “They are also more critical of Israel’s use of military force against Hamas and Hizbullah.”

“I doubt the level of hostility [in America] will reach the levels we see in Europe,” said Brandeis’s Sasson. Rynhold echoed that sentiment, saying the gap on Israel between the American left and the European left remains wide.

“American liberals are far more sympathetic to Israel than the European left,” Rynhold said. “The gulf remains huge. The debate in the U.S. is over siding with Israel or being even-handed, and that goes for the Democrats as well. Whereas on the European left, the debate is over [being] anti-Israel or even-handed.”

Yet fears persist about the growing liberal electorate’s views on Israel, especially among younger Americans.

“Over time, as the percentage of liberals among Democrats increases, the party’s support for Israel could well become more conditional on what they perceive as Israel’s willingness to support a two-state solution and perceptions related to other liberal causes inside Israel,” Rynhold said.

(JNS)

Sean Savage

Shiloh Musings: Bibi’s Among USA’s Top Ten Admired Men

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Yesterday I blogged wondering if Donald Trump has a chance to win the United States Presidency. American polls keep saying that he hasn’t, but in the latest UK-based YouGov Most Admired Men in the USA Poll, Trump is #8

Barack Obama 10.3% Michelle Obama 7.5%
Pope Francis 8.2% Hillary Clinton 6.0%
Bill Gates 6.5% Ellen DeGeneres 5.9%
Stephen Hawking 5.2% Malala Yousafzai 5.6%
Billy Graham 5.2% Condoleeza Rice 5.4%
Bernie Sanders 5.0% Sandra Bullock 4.9%
Jimmy Carter 4.4% Barbara Bush 4.5%
Donald Trump 4.1% Laura Bush 4.3%
Dalai Lama 3.7% Elizabeth Warren 4.3%
Benjamin Netanyahu 3.7% Angelina Jolie 4.0%
George W Bush 3.5% Oprah Winfrey 3.6%
Johnny Depp 3.4% Meryl Streep 3.3%
Bill Clinton 3.3% Queen Elizabeth II 3.3%
Ben Carson 3.1% Kate Middleton 3.2%
Warren Buffett 2.9% Sarah Palin 2.8%
Jon Stewart 2.3% Taylor Swift 2.7%
Brad Pitt 2.2% Celine Dion 2.6%
Ted Cruz 2.0% Carly Fiorina 2.3%
Mark Zuckerberg 1.9% Emma Watson 2.2%
Mitt Romney 1.9% Jennifer Lawrence 2.0%

And take a look at who is two places under Trump, it’s our very own Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu!

Do you remember not that long ago when Netanyahu was invited by the Republicans to speak to Congress and the Democrats had fits? Obama and his cronies fear Bibi, because Bibi has points that POTUS and staff can’t or don’t want to answer.  You may very well know that I don’t agree with everything Netanyahu says or does, but he’s certainly much better than the American President. And Netanyahu’s knowledge of World History etc is unbeatable.

It’s interesting that, with the exception of Trump, all the other Republicans are less popular than Bibi is. This poll does show that the American Left is strong. Obama, Sanders and even Jimmy Carter are ahead of Trump.

Yes, for good or for bad, it is just a poll. Don’t forget that. Still food for thought….

Batya Medad

It’s Official: You Can Be a Non-Jewish Rabbi

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Over the past few years, Reform and Conservative Judaism have been struggling so much with the notion of ordaining women rabbis and gay rabbis, that we, the spectators (innocent bystanders?) of those struggles have completely lost sight of an even more challenging notion: can they ordain gentile rabbis?

To cut a long story short: they can and they have. The Reform movement has done, and as a result, I believe, has placed itself outside the Rabbinical Jewish tradition regarding the fundamental notion of who qualifies as a Jew.

I became aware of this complete and, presumably, final split between Jews and the largely American Reform movement after receiving a link to Seth Berkman’s piece in the Forward: Angela Buchdahl, First Asian-American Rabbi, Vies for Role at Central Synagogue. The article praises Angela as an example of diversity, who “walks among the pews, greeting congregants before Friday night services at Manhattan’s venerable Central Synagogue,” where she faces “a mélange of Jewish faces, including blacks, Asians and Hispanics,” in a “diversity that reflects the emergence of an American Jewry of unprecedented ethnic breadth.”

Had I known nothing more about the above paragraph, I would have been beaming with pride over it. In the shuls I attended on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, spotting an African or a Hispanic face was always such a source of pleasure. As a tiny nation and an even tinier religious group, we prize every gentile who embraces our faith and goes through the sometimes grueling process of becoming one of us.

Except that Berkman cuts to the chase right at the opener, making clear that no such grueling effort was involved in Angela Buchdahl’s joining the Chosen People: it turns out that the diversity she so praises at that Reform gathering is “embodied” by Buchdahl, who was “born to an Ashkenazi, Reform Jewish father and a Korean Buddhist mother.”

Exactly 30 years ago, in 1983, the Reform movement in America adopted the bilineal policy: “The Central Conference of American Rabbis declares that the child of one Jewish parent is under the presumption of Jewish descent. This presumption of the Jewish status of the offspring of any mixed marriage is to be established through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people. The performance of these mitzvot serves to commit those who participate in them, both parent and child, to Jewish life.”

It should be noted that outside the U.S. the Reform moevement is yet to adopt the sweeping “presumption of Jewish descent” doctrine, but they do, by and large, offer “accelerated conversions” to children of a Jewish father.

Hadassah Magazine, which Berkman quotes in her story, featured a profile of the Korean born Angela Buchdahl, the first Asian American to be ordained as a cantor or rabbi and the first woman to attain both positions.

For Buchdahl, according to Hadassah magazine, key Jewish values include “a spirit of genuine inquiry and multiple opinions; our whole method of study and nondogmatic spirit; the dignity of every person and the fact that we are all created in the image of God; the ability to know what it is to be a stranger and to have been a slave—and to force ourselves to embody that understanding in every generation.”

Far be it from me to criticize such fine and noble notions, but it is difficult to recognize in that amalgam anything uniquely Jewish. Absent is the idea of fulfilling the mitzvot as a divine agenda. It’s all about getting along with others and respecting them, not so much about applying Torah laws to one’s daily life.

Indeed, the more the Reform movement is reinventing itself, the closer it gets to Christianity. She’s been active, among other things, at Auburn Theological Seminary, “an interfaith platform to address global issues and build bridges across religious traditions.”

“Angela is an extraordinary religious leader,” Rev. Katherine Henderson, Auburn’s president, told Hadassah. At a gathering for a Presbyterian group last year, Buchdahl “led worship that was completely authentic for her as a Jew and yet completely accessible for this group of Christians,” says Henderson. “We were all able to praise God together!”

This reporter is known to be flippant, so I very much want to avoid being flippant about this story. I don’t think we should denounce people like Angela Buchdahl, or condemn the Reform movement for its straying so far out of the Rabbinical Jewish tent. But we should remain steadfast in not calling any of these people and the nice things they do “Jewish” in any way at all. We’re already not permitted to set foot inside their houses of worship. We should probably stop calling their religious teachers “Rabbi” – perhaps “Reform Rabbi” will do. And we should look forward to the time when calling someone “Reform” would simply mean a really nice non-Jew.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-official-you-can-be-a-goy-rabbi/2013/08/14/

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