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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Chabad Lubavitch’

Chabad Creates Jewish Welcome Centers for Brazil Summer Olympics in Rio

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries have spent months working on preparations for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Chassidic Jewish group is just about ready to greet the tens of thousands of Jews who are expected to be among the hundreds of thousands of people flocking to Brazil for the competition.

There will be three separate Jewish welcome centers to greet some of the 40,000 Jews expected to arrive for the games. At least 10,000 of those spectators and competitors are believed to be Israeli.

The centers will be staffed by four rabbinical students from New York, according to Chabad.org, among a total of 12 rabbinical students in Rio for the games.

The students speak numerous languages — English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian — to make it easier to communicate with all the Jewish visitors expected to stream into Rio.

Anyone looking for kosher food, a minyan or help with the language can head to one of these three welcome centers to ask for assistance. The storefront on Av. Nossa Sra. de Copacabana.581.Ioja 3 will be manned by Chabad-Lubavitch of Rio, according to Rabbi Ilan Stiefelmann, right in the center of Copacabana. There will also be one at Chabad Rio’s main center in the Leblon neighborhood and a third at the Chabad center led by Rabbi Yosef Simonowits in Barra da Tijuca, in the Rio neighborhood to the newly constructed Olympic stadium, where most of the sporting events will take place.

All three centers will be stocked with kosher food, tefillin, and prayer materials. On Shabbat there will be special food, including wine and challah, as well.

Rabbi Yehoshua Goldman, co-director of Chabad of Rio told Chabad.org that representatives of Israel’s Paralympics team already called his office this past February. As a result, his synagogue — Beit Lubavitch Rio De Janeiro — will host an official Shabbat program for the team, including accommodations for the observant athletes and staff.

Goldman and colleague Rabbi Eliyahu Haber were also appointed by the Brazilian Olympic Committee as two of the three Jewish chaplains to the 2016 Summer Games. They have already ensured the Jewish room at the Olympic Village will be staffed by rabbinical students and stocked as well as the three Chabad welcome centers.

Although the Brazilian Olympics Committee has reportedly supported the rabbis in their application for a kosher food concession stand at the Olympic Stadium, however, permission has not yet been granted by the International Olympic Committee.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Program Launches Opioid Overdose Prevention Project

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

A quiet inter-cultural substance abuse prevention program run by a Chassidic organization from the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York has just launched a new opioid overdose prevention training program.

It’s the first Jewish program in New York State to register for such an issue.

But Operation Survival – the sponsoring substance abuse program that was launched in the mid 1980s by the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE) – has been in the business of breaking Jewish taboos for years.

It was the first program to run a joint substance abuse prevention project with the neighborhood’s African American and Carribean American communities; the first Jewish organization to acknowledge that drug abuse cuts across all worlds.

The new Overdose Prevention Program features drug prevention education and overdose response training. By the end of the training, individuals will be able to identify risk factors for overdose, recognize signs of an overdose, perform techniques to stimulate someone who appears to have overdosed, and correctly administer Naloxone. Free Naloxone kits are available for those that complete the training.

Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioid overdose. It is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.

“Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It occur in every community. We are working with leaders in both the African American and Jewish communities and we stand united in the war against drugs. We share this common cause,” said Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education.

Opioids encompass a wide range of legal painkillers as well as illegal narcotics such as heroin. Prescribed painkillers, often made with synthetic sources, include oxycodone (OxyContin, Fentora, Percocet and Percodan, which also contain acetaminophen) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet and Norco).

According to the CDC, in 2013, more than 16,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, and more than 8,000 others were related to heroin. Naloxone is a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of prescription opioid and heroin overdose, and can be life-saving if administered in time.

“Opioid overdose is no longer uncommon and we can’t offered to ignore the problem. Our goal is to provide prevention education, overdose training, and make Naloxone available to all who need it.” said Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, program director at Operation Survival.

“The troubling increase in overdose deaths involving fentanyl shows that there is more we can do to educate providers and the public about the risks of opioid misuse and abuse,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “These new initiatives show the City’s commitment to reducing opioid overdose deaths, which are preventable.

The National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education established Operation Survival in 1988 to provide Student Assistance Programs and workshops in drug prevention in local Yeshivas and Public Schools. The Crown Heights based program also networks with other agencies to disseminate information to educators, social service and medical professionals, clergy. Operation Survival has been credited with bringing the racially diverse community together in common cause.

Those who are interested in registering for overdose prevention training, and a free Naloxone kit are asked to contact Operation Survival at 718-735-0200, or email the project at overdose@operationsurvival.org.

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Semitic Protesters Demand Kremlin Outlaw Chabad in Russia

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

In the city Perm, about 870 miles east of Moscow, a crowd of 100 people gathered last weekend to demand that Moscow outlaw the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Russia. It’s not the first time anti-Semites in Perm have tried to rid the city of Chabad, and Jews.

The event that ignited this particular protest was the grant of a plot of land to the local Jewish community, headed by a Chabad emissary, by the government. No fees were charged for the transfer of land.

Last Saturday, the protesters appeared with picket signs that read, “Liberate Us Russians from Chabad” and “Chabad Out!” Another protester held a sign that showed just how deeply ingrained his anti-Semitism really is: “Chabad Settlement Is Over The Line: 1547.”

The reference is to the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan the Terrible, who rendered a decision in 1547 to ban all Jews from living and/or even entering his kingdom, because they “bring about great evil.”

In 2013, unidentified vandals hurled a firebomb at the synagogue in Perm in attempt to torch the Chabad-affiliated Jewish house of worship.

That attack came just a day after a popular Russian blogger had written a vicious post slamming a ceremony bringing a new Torah scroll to the local Perm synagogue. “Lubavitcher Chassidim will host a torch parade in Perm and demand to close the streets to traffic,” the blogger wrote, as translated and related by the Shturem website.

“Three hundred guests are expected to attend, including guests from the U.S., Israel and Russia. Economist Mikhail Doliagin stressed that these are Lubavitcher Chassidim who sued Russia in the United States, and managed that the verdict with a monetary fine for holding the Schneerson Library in Russia. Instead of giving Chabad privileges, all Lubavitch activities should be banned throughout Russia.”

The talkbacks on that article reflected the virulent anti-Semitism that is usually masked by politically-correct public diplomacy.

“All pro-Russians must band together. They all the intellectuals out, now they want the books as well.”

“Chassidim are a religio-political sect that worships the dollar, meaning the USA. Their agenda is to destroy Russia, through lies and deceit that they propagate in the media.”

During a meeting in Moscow with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder this past Tuesday (April 19, 2016) President Vladimir Putin said,“Russian Jewish organizations are making a substantial contribution in the cause of domestic political stability in Russia, for which we are very grateful.”

Putin has been directly and indirectly responsible for the allocation of land grants – free of charge – to numerous Jewish, Christian and Muslim community and faith groups. Some of those grants came as restitution for property stolen during the Soviet era.

Hana Levi Julian

Official New Kosher Tartan Created by Scottish-born Chabad Rabbi

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The only Scottish-born rabbi north of the border, a Chabad emissary, has created an official kosher tartan after 300 years of Jewish history in the country.

Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, who ministers to an independent Orthodox congregation in Glasgow, said he worked together with Mike Wilson, a registry official, to design the new tartan. It is officially registered with the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

Better, it’s already available in a variety of prayer shawls, kipas and other items. An invitation has been extended to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK for a fitting with a kilt in the new kosher tartan.

Official kosher Jewish tartan registered to the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

Official kosher Jewish tartan registered to the Scottish National Register of Tartan in the name of the Jewish Community of Scotland.

The new tartan is a kosher non-wool/linen mix that meets the requirements of shatnez: the Torah law that prohibits Jews from wearing any mixture of wool and linen in garments.

“Jews have always had a positive relationship with Scotland,” Jacobs said. “Scotland is one of the few countries where there is no history of persecutions. There are also a lot of Jewish ex-pats around the world with links to Scotland.”

The design incorporates blue and white, the colors of both the Israeli and the Scottish flags. The central gold line represents the gold from the Ark in the Biblical Tabernacle and the ceremonial vessels. “The silver is to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law and the color red is for the traditional Kiddush wine.” There are seven lines in the central motif and three in the flag representations – both numbers of great significance in Judaism.

International attention has been drawn to the new tartan, Jacobs said, and to the design which has managed to weave together both Jewish and Scottish culture.

The idea for creating an official Jewish tartan dated back to 2008 with a Glaswegian dentist, Dr. Clive Schmulian, who discussed the possibility with Jewish Telegraph editor Paul Harris at a charity dinner in Glasgow. Schmulian was wearing a Flower of Scotland tartan kilt at the time, and was asked if there had ever been a Jewish kilt or tartan. Eventually one was produced but is no longer made.

The Jewish presence in Scotland dates back to the late 17th century, although the current population is comprised mostly of descendants of immigrants who arrived in the 1800s. Most Jews live in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Hana Levi Julian

NYPD Evacuates 770 After 911 Gets Bomb Threat

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

A bomb threat called in Tuesday night to New York’s 911 emergency switchboard forced a complete evacuation of “770” — the World Headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch, based in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

The call was allegedly traced back to a “psych ward,” according to a police source quoted by COLLive.com, but “we’re still taking all precautions,” NYPD reportedly said.

Just a few hours earlier, police and counterterrorism experts had met with the heads of Jewish schools and organizations in the neighborhood for precisely this reason: to talk about potential terrorist scenarios and the measures that were in place to prevent and deal with them.

Around the same time, “770” had been filled with senior citizens for a “Chanukah Hakhel” program to celebrate the holiday. (This year Chanukah falls on the year of Hakhel, when Jews of old were commanded to gather together for a special reading of the Torah by the king of Israel himself.)

The local Crown Heights civil Shomrim security patrol assisted with the evacuation, working together as translators in some cases with members of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit.

The officers were needed to explain the urgency of the situation to non-English speakers in various languages: what needed to be done, and why, as quickly as possible. “Everyone cooperated and the building was successfully evacuated in quick and orderly fashion,” according to CrownHeights.info.

People were allowed to re-enter the building after police completed a walk-through and inspection.

Hana Levi Julian

Chassidic New Year’s Celebrations Cheer Up Israel, Cities Around the World

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

In hundreds of towns and cities throughout Israel Monday night, Chabad communities gathered to celebrate the Yud-Tes Kislev, the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.

It’s known as the Chassidic New Year, and is celebrated with great joy among Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim and many others as well.

The date marks the day in 1798 that a Czarist commission acquitted and freed from imprisonment the first Chabad Rebbe – Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the “Alter Rebbe” – on charges of subverting the government and aiding the Ottoman Empire. The date also marks the anniversary of the passing of the Alter Rebbe’s mentor, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezerich, in 1772.

This year is also the Hakhel year, when in ancient times, Jewish men, women and children would gather in the Temple in Jerusalem to hear the reading of the Torah by the king of Israel once every seven years, following the year of Shemittah, the sabbatical year.

Israeli Jews gathered to sing, dance, join in a festive meal, speak words of Torah and Chassidic learning; “farbreng” – a Yiddish word meaning to gather and celebrate – in every community where Chabad exists.

In the northern Negev city of Arad, Mayor Nissan Ben Hamo was the honored guest at that community’s Yud Tes Kislev farbrengen, where Jews from every walk of life were seen. The mayor took the opportunity to add in his remarks a reminder to participants to attend the next day’s rally against the government plan to locate a phosphate mine near Arad, which the city’s residents vehemently oppose. Celebrants applauded the mayor’s passion for helping his city, and his clear appreciation for their heritage.

In Jerusalem, Yud Tes Kislev has become a three-day affair at the International Convention Center with a giant Chassidic book fair, farbrengens, classes and other activities. The main event will feature an address by Rabbi Yoel Kahn, revered expositor of many of the Torah teachings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. There will also be a special session with Hebron-based Chassidic artist Baruch Nachson, whose renowned paintings are seen in collections and galleries worldwide.

Thousands of yeshiva students gathered Monday night to “farbreng” at the Center, where Chassidic vocalist Avraham Fried led the crowd in singing traditional “nigunim,” Chassidic melodies dating back decades and centuries. Another farbrengen with Fried, likely to be even larger, is scheduled for Tuesday night as the celebration continue. Tickets were sold out long ago and even scalpers do not exist for this one.

The Jews of Kharkov, Ukraine have the custom to travel to Haditch, the grave site of the Alter Rebbe, every year on this day. The group this year is being led by Rabbi Levi Raices, head of the city’s yeshiva high school, which makes the trip along with the wider community.

In Brooklyn, NY celebrations are being held in numerous neighborhoods, including one in the central Chabad neighborhood of Crown Heights, exclusively for women. At Yeshiva University in Manhattan, students are selling Chassidic books in advance of a farbrengen to be led by YU mentor Rabbi Moshe Weinberger and Chabad scholar and teacher Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe.

Hana Levi Julian

Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis Gather at NYC’s Largest Banquet

Sunday, November 8th, 2015
More than 5,200 rabbis and communal leaders from 86 countries are sitting down to schmooze over dinner at the Big Apple’s biggest banquet as the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries gets underway Sunday evening.
Not only is the event New York City’s largest sit-down dinner, it is also North America’s largest Jewish event. It is also one of the only opportunities during the year that one can grasp the magnitude of the global phenomenon of today’s Chabad  movement, and experience some of the spirit that is driving it.
 
As a courtesy to our readers, JewishPress.com is broadcasting the event live:
 
<script language=”javascript” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://embed.chabad.org/multimedia/mediaplayer/embedded/embed.js.asp?aid=221818&width=auto&height=auto></script><span style=”clear:both;” class=”lb” id=”lbdiv”>Visit <a href=”http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/default_cdo/aid/591213/jewish/Video.htm“>Jewish.TV</a> for more <a href=”http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/default_cdo/aid/591213/jewish/Video.htm“>Jewish videos</a>.</span>
The hearing-impaired and deaf Jewish community is participating in the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries this year via simultaneous translation of the evening’s speeches in American Sign Language., organizers told JewishPress.com.
Translations for the hearing-impaired are also being projected in the banquet hall at the converted South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and on the Chabad.org webcast.
 
The annual group photo of every Chabad emissary from around the world has become a mainstay of the four-day-long conference that culminates in the long-awaited banquet. The tradition began with a few dozen rabbis in the early 1980s, but it has long since grown to become a logistical feat with not a few acrobatics involved. The photo eventually makes its way around the world to places that many readers may not even have heard of — and some of the new emissaries may not even have known existed, until they were assigned to their posts!
 
Another strong mainstay of the annual gathering is the traditional pilgrimage to the final resting place in Queens, New York, of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson zt’l and that of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe,Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson zt’l.
Visitors waited for hours in line, praying as they prepared to deliver their handwritten requests for blessings for themselves and their communities, beginning with their arrival last week.
At the banquet, Mumbai terror attack survivor Moshe Holtzberg, now age 9, was set to lead the crowd of thousands in the recitation of psalms.The world came to know little Moshe through grainy footage of his Indian nanny rushing him to safety during the terrorist attack that took his parent’s lives, and his cries for his mother during a memorial event held days later that pierced hearts everywhere.
Seven years later, Moshe now lives with his grandparents in Israel, and he has participated in events such as the international conference with confidence and aplomb, born to the environment and raised by Chabad emissaries, as were his parents before him.
Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thousands-of-chabad-lubavitch-rabbis-gather-at-nycs-largest-banquet/2015/11/08/

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