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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘CALIFORNIA’

Sen. Schumer: Democrats Are on the Cusp of a Golden Era

Friday, July 29th, 2016

New York Democratic Senator and one of Israel’s greatest friends on the Hill Chuck Schumer says he is getting ready to assume the mantle of Senate majority leader Come January 2017, because, he told Politico Thursday night, “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”

“The American people are yearning for action and I do believe that our Republican colleagues, if they lose this election by quite a bit and I think they will … our mainstream Republicans are going to say they cannot let the tea party run the show,” Schumer said.

Several Democrats shared similar predictions with Politico. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, slated to chair the Finance Committee should the Democrats win the Senate, said, “In the first six months of 2017, we are really going to deliver on some key issues that are going to show what governing is all about. It would be legislative malpractice to not have a major roads and bridges and ports and infrastructure effort early in 2017.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wants Schumer to change the restrictive filibuster rules that cost her a signature energy bill back in 2014. “We need to change the rules of the Senate to keep one person from dragging things out and to keep having every vote require 60,” she said.

The November 8 election will see 34 of the 100 Senate seats up for a vote, with Democrats running 10 seats while Republicans have 24 seats in the running. However, only 9 Democratic seats are in contention, having already secured California (both candidate are Democrats). The Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014 and have a majority of 54-46 seats.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Schumer have had to deal with getting Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to drop out of the senate race, following allegations by his ex-wife Lolita Grayson that she had called the police on her husband multiple times for domestic abuse over a 20-year period. Grayson denied the accusations.

David Israel

‘Photography Activist’ Udi Goren Shares the Beauty of Israel with US College Students

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

A freelance Israeli photographer discovered his passion for visual storytelling upon his return home to Israel after studying in the United States.

But it was a personal crisis invoked by the 2014 war in Gaza that motivated Udi Goren to set out on a two and a half month journey along the Israel National Trail as a form of self-exploration and detoxification from friction and discord.

World-renowned as one of the world’s best, toughest and most beautiful long-distance hikes, the trail stretches 700 miles from Israel’s Lebanese border up north all the way past Eilat in the south, close to Israel’s border with Egypt.

Along the Israel National Trail with visual storyteller Udi Goren.

Along the Israel National Trail.

As the first professional photographer to have walked and documented the Israel National Trail in its entirety, Goren has used the experience to give talks across the United States and Israel, passing along the knowledge he has gained from his travels to a new generation of students.

“Through the trail and through my own personal story, I actually tell the story of Israel,” said Goren. He has translated his lecture into both English and Hebrew in order to reach a larger number of students, culminating his tours with a visit back to his alma mater, Brooks Institute of Photography in California.

Having successfully transitioned from despair to hope while walking the trail, Goren offers his course as a way to “help students experience Israel beyond the headlines, allowing them to hear a firsthand account of his physical and mental journey.” He also aims to impress his audiences with his breathtaking photographs of the national monuments, mountains, creeks and Israeli landscapes that he encountered along the trail.

Visual storyteller Udi Goren conveys the beauty and the majesty of the Land of Israel through the lens of his camera.

Goren conveys the beauty and the majesty of the Land of Israel through the lens of his camera.

The next step for Goren is to publish a first-ever photography book about the Israel National Trail, and then find other ways to share his experiences with students. He said he hopes to add more visuals to his discussion, including video content, to build a faster-paced, more engaging presentation for high school students.

As Goren travels around the world to speak with students about his experiences on the Israel National Trail, he offers aspiring young photographers some sage advice. “Stay focused, know where you’re going and try to plan out milestones on your way there.”

"Stay focused and know where you're going," says visual storyteller Udi Goren.

“Stay focused and know where you’re going,” says Goren.

A self-described activist who endeavors to make an impact with his photography, Goren also encourages the students to realize that “when done right, photography and storytelling can bring forth great changes.”

Goren’s Israel National Trail photographs can be viewed by clicking here.

Hana Levi Julian

California Congressman Wants to Kill Contracts for Companies Aiding BDS

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Ca) testified at a hearing of the State Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss AB 2844, legislation authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, that would prevent the state’s public entities from entering into contracts with companies that participate in discriminatory practices as part of a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions policy against Israel.

“This is both a civil rights bill and a foreign policy bill. It is important that the state do all it can to combat discriminatory BDS practices. If adopted, this state law would be in full accord with a 40 year policy of the United States to prohibit the boycott of Israel, and it would help combat a new effort to unfairly demonize an ally of the United States by denying it the opportunity to conduct legitimate commerce, trade and investment with the US and international firms,” said Congressman Sherman.

Congressman Sherman is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. He has a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), as well as from the Humane Society which has awarded him the “Humane Champion” award for five consecutive years. In 2007 Sherman introduced the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,” with regard to large financial entities.

Sherman’s legislative record received a 100% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2011, a 100% rating from the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 2007-2008, a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign in 2009-2010, and a 98% rating from the NAACP in 2009-2010. Sherman has earned a 100% rating from NARAL Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters.

Sherman has been a strong supporter and advocate of the US-Israel relationship, consistently supporting aid to Israel. In 2004, Sherman first introduced the US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act providing grant money to joint ventures between American and Israeli academics and private sector companies that conduct research and develop energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

On July 9, 2014, Sherman appeared as a guest commentator on the Al-Jazeera America’s network, where he went after the Qatari rulers who are the owners of Al-Jazeera, criticizing them for funding Hamas. Sherman said, “Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime… Of course it’s a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

Sherman and his wife have been members of Valley Beth Shalom, a conservative synagogue in Encino, California, for many years.

David Israel

Dr. Irving I. Moskowitz, 88

Friday, June 17th, 2016

The Jewish philanthropist, Dr. Irving I. Moskowitz, has passed away at the age of 88.

Dr. Moskowitz was born in New York, in 1928, but grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the 9th child in a family of 13 children.

After becoming a doctor, he moved to California and began getting involved in managing and buying hospitals, eventually expanding into Bingo clubs. He was last living in Miami, Florida.

In 1968, he founded the Moskowitz Foundation which helps people in need, in the US and all over the world.

Dr. Moskowitz is best known for his generous philanthropy to Israel, often working with Israeli organizations such as Elad and Ateret Cohanim in their work to restore Jewish life in eastern Jerusalem. He also helped establish the Beit El Yeshiva and Arutz-7, and of course the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism which bears his name.

Due to his extensive philanthropic work in building Israel, he has been compared to Montefiore and Rothschild.

Besides eastern Jerusalem, Moskowitz also helped buy land in Gush Ezion, Gush Katif and the Ramat HaGolan.

Dr. Irving Moskowitz is survived by his wife Cherna, 8 children, 42 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

He will be buried on Monday on the Mount of Olives.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Police Arrest Women of the Wall Director for Torah Scroll Violation and Catch 22

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Police arrested Lesley Sachs, Executive Director of Women of the Wall, as she was exiting the Western Wall plaza with a Torah scroll Tuesday morning. Sachs was detained for “disturbing the public order,” although, according to the WOW’s own report, the prayer service of about 80 women at the Kotel was “relatively quiet and uneventful” on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Apparently, Police accused Sachs of smuggling a Torah scroll into the women’s section.

According to the WOW email, the incriminating Torah scroll was lent to WOW executive board chair Anat Hoffman by Peter and Lawrence Michaels from Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California, in memory of their parents, Ann and Rudy Michaels. Hoffman, who flew from Sacramento to Israel with the Torah scroll in her arms, related that on her journey she ran into her flight’s all-female team of pilots, Captain Wendi Shaffner and First Officer Katrina Mittelstadt, who were moved by the small Torah. The email did not specify what or where they were moved to.

“Though we believe that the Torah was handed down to women and men equally at Mt. Sinai, and though women and men both sacrificed their lives and loved ones for the reunification of Jerusalem, in 2016 Women of the Wall struggle for access to Torah scrolls at the Kotel,” the WOW statement lamented. Of course, these dear women could access as many Torah scrolls as they wished anywhere else, including at the Reform section of the Kotel a few yards away, but over at the Women’s section of the Kotel it was No Torah for you, ladies, which, apparently, defied the equality promised to women at Mt. Sinai. Not the one on Fifth Ave., the one in Sinai.

The email also accused Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the state-appointed administrator of the Kotel, of creating a “Catch 22” for women: “he prohibits entrance with private Torah scrolls and refuses women access to the 100 scrolls he holds at the Kotel for public use in the men’s section.” But that’s not a catch 22, which was described by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel by the same title via the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch 22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

Rabbi Rabinowitz simply doesn’t want women to read out loud from the Torah at the Kotel because he interprets this as a desecration of halakha. As the WOW email confirms, he has the right to interpret it this way because he is the state appointed official in charge of interpreting Kotel-related issues.

The real question, not asked by WOW, is how come Sachs was picked up at the end of the Rosh Chodesh prayer session in which she openly defied the law, and not while she smuggled it in, or while the women were reading from it?

In a final episode of Heller’s book, the Catch-22 rule is described to Yossarian, the main protagonist, by an old woman recounting an act of violence by soldiers: “Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”


David Israel

Young Jewish Congressional Candidate Warned, ‘Get Out of My Country, Kike’

Monday, June 6th, 2016

A young Jewish Democrat running for Congress in California is still being been inundated with some of the most vitriolic anti-Semitic harassment any candidate may have ever received — and the attacks are continuing on a daily basis. The latest installment appeared on the website of the white supremacist neo-Nazi Daily Stormer on Monday.

Erin Schrode, 25, is attempting to overtake incumbent GOP Representative Jared Huffman in the state’s second Congressional district. But in that effort, she has been forced into the position of fighting not only the average campaign battle, but one in which she must show her mettle under what could be real life-threatening fire. It certainly is traumatizing on a daily basis, without doubt, and any candidate who can hold up under such an attack would be a formidable opponent indeed.

Commentators on the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi blog run by white supremacist Andrew Anglin, posted Schrode’s personal cell phone number and email address online, thereby making her available as a target for a massive “deluge” of anti-Semitic abuse last week. That alone may be grounds for criminal prosecution — but the FBI has said little about it.

Schrode told Buzzfeed that she found it necessary to alert law enforcement due to the level of harassment she was forced to endure, and yet, police say they can do nothing more but increase their patrols, because this kind of thing falls within the purvue of the FBI.

At one point, she received a voice mail message with the sound of someone hissing. Online, one message she received read: “Get out of my country, kike. Get to Israel where you belong. That or the oven. Take your pick.” There have been other epithets and a number of caricatures as well. Local police have beefed up their patrols but there is little more they can do, they say. This is an FBI issue.

“Local police confirmed that the FBI are the ones who should handle this type of threats,” Schrode said. But it’s not clear what, if anything, the FBI is doing about the harassment.

Probably not much – and it is not clear how much they can do, considering American “freedom of speech” laws. But publishing one’s personal details on the Internet without their permission is certainly illegal — ISIS is being tracked for that in New York by the very same Federal Bureau of Investigations that is saying so little about this anti-Semitic harassment in California.

Meanwhile, on Monday’s home page of the anti-Semitic blog, there appeared a disgusting photo of a hissing weasel, with the headline, “Hissing Jew Candidate Erin Schrode is Crying About the Troll Army.” Clicking on the link takes one to an article and a photo showing the animal facing a snake, with the caption, “Jewess Erin Schrode about to get owned by the Stormer Troll Army.”

“Last Friday (sic) the Daily Stormer reported that a Jewess was running for congress (sic) in California. The heros (sic) of the STA (Stormer Troll Army) have since begun a dialogue between her and our people. You know, to foster understanding and cooperation.”

The article continues with an increasingly menacing tone, plus a photo showing the small animal dead, hanging from the mouth of a heron.

“The STA is a professional organization, and is known to lay waste to their enemies with ruthless efficiency. Schrode is a Jew, and as such will support Jewish interests if she’s elected to congress. (sic) Whenever sh**lords try to run for office, they have to brace themselves for a media storm of hostility. Jews and shills must learn to fear a similar reaction when they attempt to infiltrate our leadership positions…. Meanwhile, we have like 12 different strategies, all of which are much better than their “waahhhhhh, feel bad for me, my grandpa got turned into a lampshade by Hitler and now people are saying mean things to me on the internet” strategy….Important Note: I just always assume these Jews are lying when they talk about death threats, because no one ever gets charged. But I will remind you all: don’t send anyone death threats, or threats of any kind. I know you all know that. But it’s good to remind you: don’t ever do anything illegal. Trolling is not illegal, despite the efforts of the Jews.”

Hana Levi Julian

More Competition for Israel’s El Al Airlines

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Israel’s national airline is about to have more competition on its Tel Aviv-United States route. United Airlines announced Thursday that it will increase the frequency of its flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco.

Currently United flies the route three times a week; but on October 8, the airline plans to launch daily flights on Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The new daily Tel Aviv – San Francisco route is bound to attract numerous business commuters and dual citizen immigrants. These passengers often find themselves forced to land in New York and then continue their journey onward with a second flight to the West Coast.

United Airlines Israel managing director Avi Friedman told Globes business news, “The decision to add flights on the San Francisco route was a response to strong demand for the route among consumers during the few months since it was launched.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/more-competition-for-israels-el-al-airlines/2016/05/26/

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