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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Drawing with Rockets

Monday, November 19th, 2012

In years to come, when peace reigns, maybe sky drawing with rockets will become its own art genre. For now, these appear to be the trails of Arab rockets shot at Israel and the Iron Dome rockets that rise to meet them. And together they form a Star of David.

We could try for a crescent moon, I suppose, but it would take many more rockets on either side…

Incidentally, I got this photo from our correspondent Lori Lowenthal Marcus, who tells me she saw it on an IDF re-tweet, so we both hope it’s real. Otherwise it’s just a cheap shot.

Should break some Arab terrorist’s heart, though…

To Tell The Truth: An Unlikely Scenario

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Despite public surveys that show the general public largely opposed to negative campaigning, the overwhelming majority of candidates in contested races have refined this strategy almost to an art form.

And why not? After all, many of these same polls also conclude that this type of campaigning – whereby the candidate too often distorts his or her opponent’s record while spewing venomous personal attacks – works, as seeds of doubt regarding the opponent’s fitness for office are planted in voters’ minds.

But imagine if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney discarded this strategy in favor of saying what they really think and what they offer the American people.

Under this unlikely scenario, here is what I’d like them to say. We’ll begin with President Obama:

I have been accused by some political detractors of supporting economic policies that have a distinct socialist bent.

Well, if governing with compassion by advocating the creation of a society that benefits the American people by equalizing the social status of all Americans makes me a socialist, I proudly plead guilty.

If ensuring that as many Americans as possible have the basic necessities of daily living, even at the cost of taking more from those who have made it and giving that share of the pie to those who, for whatever reason, have not, makes me a proponent of income redistribution, I will proudly wear the title of the “Robin Hood of American politics.”

If the cost of solving today’s economically challenging times is to spend beyond our means, a strategy nobody really likes but one that is sometimes necessary, then I will propose in a second term more stimulus spending and more entitlement programs. Yes, there are times in a nation’s life when the government must spend, even when resources are scarce, to protect the have-nots.

I realize that some describe this policy as an irresponsible means of spending other people’s money and mortgaging the fiscal future of the next generation. But, if reelected, I will continue my policy of deficit spending to rescue America from an economic catastrophe that I inherited from my predecessor – something I apologize for reminding you of yet again.

The protection of Social Security in its current form from insolvency and the maintaining of Medicare and Medicaid for our nation’s seniors and disabled are areas I will pay particular attention to in a second term. And if adequate resources in the national treasury are lacking to fix these impending problems, I will yet again tax the wealthy Americans among us.

And my justification for this is simple: If the ultra-conservative chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, concluded that it is within the government’s right to force one American to provide health insurance for his or her fellow American through higher taxes – as he ruled recently when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of my universal health care legislation – then surely Congress and I can see to it that certain Americans, namely high-income earners, pay whatever is necessary to secure a better future for the most vulnerable among us.

If a judicial champion of conservatism like John Roberts says that any type of taxation can be left to the discretion of the executive and legislative branches of government, its imposition on anything those branches deem necessary to improve America’s human condition should logically be supported.

And speaking of government’s legal right to impose necessary revenue enhancers on taxpayers, government must have the same right to impose mandatory regulations – similar to my administration’s health care legislation’s rules – on businesses that unfairly profit off the backs of American workers. And my administration, in protecting workers’ rights, will determine what constitutes unfair profits and act accordingly.

My general philosophy of good government at work is this: The longstanding general business principle of putting greed over equality and profit over compassion must go by the wayside. For as President Woodrow Wilson once said, “we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.”

* * * * *

In the national security and foreign policy realms I will continue to punish the guilty, as my order to kill Osama bin Laden and my policy of using drones against terrorists in Pakistan has demonstrated. But my overall goal remains what it has always been: a secure international peace that will stand the test of time, through the values of decency and humaneness that made and that keeps America great.

Which Are You?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

I watched them tear a building down;
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a mighty heave and a lusty yell,
They swung a boom and a side wall fell.

I said to the foreman, “Are these men skilled
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just a common laborer is all I need.
And I can wreck in a day or two
What it took the builder a year to do.”

And I thought to myself as I went my way,
“Just which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life by the rule and square,
Or am I a wrecker as I walk the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?”

When I read this anonymously written poem, I immediately thought about self-confidence. Do you work brick by brick to build your own self-confidence and those of everyone around you or do you use a wrecking ball to knock it all down? Granted, it is a lot quicker to wreck things than it is to build them well.

But, self-confidence is essential to a healthy, happy life. Self-confidence is needed in order to create meaningful friendships, apply for competitive jobs, and parent our children with assurance and ease. Perhaps the most important reason we need to believe in ourselves is that if we do not, we will teach our children that it is okay to put themselves down as well. This can ultimately lead to a rejection of self.

First, let’s discuss how to build your own self-confidence.

Focus on the positive. Obviously, no one is perfect, but every one of us has positive qualities that we can build on. Even if overall you are not happy with who you are – you can definitely come up with qualities that you appreciate about yourself. Perhaps you are a wonderful organizer, a great listener or an excellent cook. Make a list of the things you like about yourself and schedule activities that bring out those qualities during your day.

Some examples:

If you are a wonderful organizer: Volunteer to run a fundraiser for your shul or school.

If you are a great listener: Visit the elderly and listen to their stories about the past.

If you are an excellent cook: Cook meals for the new mothers in your neighborhood or for the less fortunate.

Engaging in activities that you feel competent in (and that are additionally helpful to others) will help build your self-confidence.

Treat yourself. Every now and then, remind yourself that you are worth it. Depending on what you can afford (both time and money), give yourself something you love: a massage, an hour of babysitting to read your book quietly, a fast walk outside to clear your mind, or an extra two hours of sleep. Treating yourself will signal to your inner “wrecking ball” that you believe you have value.

Once you begin to work on your own self-confidence, it might be time to focus on your children as well. Do they say things like, “I am so stupid” or “I can’t do anything right”? If so, they could use some help figuring out how to build themselves up.

Child psychologists and educators often suggest the following steps:

Avoid labels. Instead of saying, “You are so smart.” Say, “When you figured out how to read that sign without any help, I was so impressed with how much you have learned.” Or, instead of “You are a kind and sweet girl” say, “Remember the time when your sister Faigy was crying and you went over and sang her a song to make her feel better? That was so nice of you.”

Engage in their strengths. Just as you should do for yourself, talk to your child about the things she feels she does well and then help her do those activities regularly. For instance, if your daughter is artistic, sign her up for an art class after school or on Sundays. If your budget does not allow for afterschool activities, consider investing in some art supplies that will be hers alone so that she can feel special.

Int’l Festival Brings Morocco’s Sacred Music to Jerusalem

Monday, September 10th, 2012

The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival recently brought a new tradition to the holy city. For 24 consecutive hours, artists and musicians from Israel and abroad, shared a variety of musical traditions last Thursday, September 6, through the wee hours of the next morning.

Centered at Jerusalem’s Tower of David, the festival venues were chosen to reflect a message of inter-faith unity and sanctity at historical venues reflective of Jerusalem’s diverse faiths.

Musical events and shows were held at Zedekiah’s Cave in the Old City and Notre Dame across the road from the New Gate. In addition to taking part in a Slichot workshop, festival participants also had the opportunity to tour the Ethiopian, Franciscan and Armenian morning prayers at the Church of Holy Sepulcher.

The music festival featured esoteric, meditative and ceremonial music from Azerbaijan, Iran, Africa, Morocco, Iraq, Brazil, and India as well as a Sufi dance workshop. The festival opened with Persian music and chants performed by two Iranian musicians based in Canada, the brothers Kiya and Zia Tabassian who played and sang together with Israeli percussionist Zohar Fresco.

Other international artists included Morocco’s Hassan Hakmoun and his New York-based ensemble, who performed ancient African Islamic folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants of West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago.

Speaking with Tazpit News Agency, Hakmoun described his childhood growing up in Marrakesh, Morocco. “I grew up in a musical family in Morocco. My mother is mystic music healer and I learned the Gnawan musical traditions from a young age.”

“This is my second time in Israel,” added Hakmoun, who performed in Tel Aviv in 1994. Hakmoun, who is Muslim, believes that people can live as one. “When you come to Jerusalem, you see churches, mosques and synagogues, next to each other. There is a peacefulness here that you never see on TV.”

“The most amazing part of this city, is seeing how the footsteps of all the world’s major religions have passed through here—the prophets actually walked through these neighborhoods,” said Hakmoun.

Hakmoun moved to the United States in his early twenties with his family and made his first U.S. musical debut at the Lincoln Center in 1987. He has since then performed widely across the U.S. and internationally, and produced several albums, fusing traditional Gnawan music with American sounds, and making the Gnawan musical and dance tradition a popular element in the American music scene.

“In Morocco, Gnawa music wasn’t so popular when I was growing up, but thanks to the major Gnawa World Music Festival that was spear-headed by the senior adviser to Morocco’s King Mohammed, André Azoulay, who is also Jewish, our traditional music has become much more appreciated in my home country” explained Hakmoun.

Playing the sintir, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood, Hakmoun sang soulful and spiritual Gnawan rhythms with his ensemble, to a mostly Israeli audience at the Tower of David on Thursday night. Of the many chants, and songs that were played, Hakmoun also included a prayer for peace for the region.

After School With Highland Lakes-Chabad Chayil

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

The new school year has started and Highland Lakes Jewish Center-Chabad Chayil is again offering its award-winning after-school program for students from public schools in the area. Children who attend Highland Oaks Elementary School, Ojus and Aventura Charter School must register this week to guarantee their spot.

Chabad Chayil sponsors Miami-Dade County’s number-one rated after-school program. The program is open Monday through Friday for boys and girls ages 5-12 and offers Hebrew, Jewish holidays, traditions, art, ceramics, martial arts, music, drama, tikun olam, homework help and more. There is also a chess club, bar/bat mitzvah classes and occasional trips.

To register, apply for a position or to learn more about CHS, go to wwwHebrewSchool.info or call (305) 770-1919.

Balabasta Nutty Summer Festival

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Just in time for its 100th birthday, the ever-evolving Machane Yehuda market has transformed itself once again, this time into one of Jerusalem’s hottest summer cultural venues. On Monday nights throughout August, the shuk hosts “Balabasta” (literally, “come to the shop-stall”), a centennial carnival of sorts, complete with street performances, a collaborative wall-of-origami project, live video art projections, watermelon giveaways, chili eating contests, concerts, giant puppets, sets by DJs and bands, produce carving workshops and the first-ever “Shuk Olympics.”

It’s a veritable cacophony of music, art and food – with many of the cafes and restaurants staying open late to serve the crowds and culinary tours of the shuk’s hottest kitchens. The Hagigit collective, which strives to bring art to a wider public audience, is organizing production-set photo shoots (pictured, with white backdrop) and walking around in costume throughout the Balabasta events.

Read and see more.

Colorado Shooter Was Camp Counselor for Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

James Holmes, the Colorado graduate student who is suspected of killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58 others on Friday during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,”  worked as a camp counselor in Los Angeles County in 2008 that was run by Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters (JBBBS), the group’s CEO told NBC4 on Saturday.

James Holmes, 24, worked as cabin counselor at Camp Max Straus in the summer of 2008, according to Randy Schwab, the CEO of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Schwab’s statement read: “It is with shock and sorrow that we learned of the incident in Aurora. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families and friends of those involved in this horrible tragedy. On behalf of Camp Max Straus I want to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences.”

Schwab said that, as cabin counselor, Holmes was in charge of the care and guidance of about 10 children. His role was to ensure that the children had a “wonderful camp experience.”

According to Schwab, Holmes helped the children in his care “learn confidence, self esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes.”

His statement continued: “These skills are learned through activities such as archery, horseback riding, swimming, art, sports and high ropes course.”

Camp Max Straus is a nonsectarian program for children ages 7-14, which is run by Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Los Angeles.

Holmes is not Jewish.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/colorado-shooter-was-camp-counselor-for-jewish-big-brothers-and-sisters/2012/07/21/

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