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Posts Tagged ‘chance’

Obama For Sale

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/obama-for-sale.html

Summer is traditionally a weak shopping season, but lately the bargains just keep on coming. First there was an offer to have dinner with Obama and now a chance to have him there in your family photo. You can bid on an opportunity to wish Obama a happy birthday in person with the present that he likes best… money.

The prices are reasonable, and there are so many ways to buy Obama. You can play the dinner lottery or ask your wedding guests to gift to Obama. The Barack Obama website accepts all payments, Visa, Discover, Master Card, foreign donations and stolen credit cards.

The opportunities are endless. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, major disasters; everything is just another reminder to give till it hurts. All you have to do is click one of the many buttons beneath the color-tuned hues of Instagram photos of Obama or his worse half smiling while the country slides deeper into poverty and debt.

There’s a reason that they call America “The Land of Opportunity.” Sure it’s gotten a lot harder to come here and make a fortune with your own business, but buying time with the man at the top has just gotten a lot more affordable. You may not have the big wallet of a Warren Buffett or a George Soros and you won’t cash in to the tune of a few billion dollars like they did; but for 25 bucks you might end up briefly exchanging pleasantries with the man who is slowly sending you to the poorhouse.

The designers are working overtime digging up retro fonts that summon up the image of a more prosperous America. There are so many Obama portrait shirts that they will be filling up landfills for generations. More likely, they’ll be shipped over to the Third World, along with all the other surplus clothes that people donate once the trend has passed or they no longer fit, and, somewhere in an African village, children in the year 2021 will run around playing in “Obama 2012″ t-shirts and Islamic terrorists in the Sahara will execute rebellious women while wearing “Forward” shirts.

You can get a “This is Change” shirt that lists all the things that Obama has done on the back, but the text is too small to read on the website, so, like ObamaCare and Obama 2012, you will have to buy it to find out what’s in it and on it.

There’s a collar for cats that says, “I Meow for Michelle” and an 85-dollar Vera Wang tote bag with Obama inside a scrawled heart. There’s an Obama-themed dog collar, to express the relationship between the administration and its lapdogs, and a t-shirt with an all-red American flag that has a distinctly Soviet feel to it. There’s a 65-dollar polo shirt designed by rapper and Farrakhan supporter Russell Simmons; which is just a generic polo shirt with a small Obama logo.

A Joe Biden cup holder sits next to a knit Obama dog sweater, a silver Obama brooch, an Obama basketball jersey, an Obama University hoodie, which has a seal but no motto, along with beanies, keychains, more dog collars, water bottles, tumblers, lanyards, cuff links, duffel bags, tube socks and a dog bowl with the Obama logo inside for your dog to drink out of.

Obama isn’t just a politician; he is a Walmart of useless crap. A one-man Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch and Ed Hardy with enough t-shirts, polo shirts and bandanas to outfit a small army of young men and women with more credit card limits than taste. And upstairs on the third floor of his cyberspace Target, you can find a plethora of 90-dollar reusable canvas bags from major designers that have become the stamp of consciously responsible consumption.

You can buy Obama and wear Obama all over your body. You can read Obama at the beach, stick him on your toddler, your dog and your cat. You can cover your car, your house and your barn with his stickers. And, if you are truly lucky, you may even win a chance to spend 72 seconds in his presence before you are firmly ushered out to go back to your Obama 2012 car and drive back to your Obama 2012 yard sign where your dog is barking for food in his “Obama Best Friend” collar and then sit down to read through the Help Wanted ads in the paper while wearing an Obama Hope Lapel Pin.

Peace and the President’s Conference: Can a Realist Believe in Miracles?

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

When I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming Miss America. I wanted to wear the crown, the sash and stand on the huge stage in a sparkling floor-length gown talking about world peace. As I got older, I realized that the likelihood of that dream was slim, but still took pride in carrying around the regal air of positivity. I looked on the bright side and did what I could to make sure the grass on my side of the fence stayed a bright Kelly green. As I walked around the President’s Conference today though, I couldn’t help but feel jaded. Despite President Peres’s plea last night to stay strong about peace, people today were finally saying out loud that it just is an impossibility. After assessing the situation with greater depth each day, I realize that I have a better chance of becoming Miss America than the Middle East does at achieving the serenity it needs.

Sure you can call it cynical, but it’s the truth being expressed by more and more people. We had the chance to speak with Irwin Cotler today, a Member of Parliament for Mount Royal from Canada, who believes in a two state solution. He calls that term short-hand though. He believes that a two state solution is one that involves two states for two peoples. The Israeli government has to recognize the Palestinian state for the Palestinian people and the Jewish people need to be legitimized too. While this could potentially solve problems, it is clear that the chances of this happening are nearly impossible.

In a conference emblazoned with messages about the need for optimism, it could be a mood killer to be the pessimist in the room. But it’s a debate that’s making it into sessions focused on more than the political. “The difference between pessimists and optimists is that they are born the same way and die the same way but live differently,” according to Mr. Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe in France. Levy made the audience laugh with that response during the What’s New in New Media plenary, after he was teased by moderator Dr. Yossi Vardi for being so positive. He said that what we are today has nothing to do with what we will be tomorrow, and has high hopes for the future of technology.

Mr. Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom Group also shared some upbeat news. His venture fund made an investment in Israel for the first time, and he spoke at the conference as a part of his first trip to the country. Those firsts are echoed in the entire notion of new media’s role in the future. The ability to completely transform everything is what new media is about, according to John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems Inc. Chambers suggested thinking like a teenager, that young people know where the future of this new media lies better than anyone. Although uplifting, the session didn’t feature any groundbreaking information, only reiterated the importance and ubiquity of connectivity. But it will take way more than technological advancements to put a positive dent in the Middle East crisis. While connecting Arabs and Israelis through smart phones is obviously far more favorable than warfare, the thought is just too far off the radar screen to even fathom.

Despite my negative attitude about dove-like peace descending on Israel anytime in the near future, I will say that Israel’s strength is clear and its defense force is the best chance we have at maintaining stability in its citizens’ everyday life. Because of the military, Israelis and tourists alike can walk around and feel safe. Indeed, it’s unfortunate that an 18 year old boy or girl should have to serve in an army, but it’s a harsh reality that Israelis both accept and are passionate about. That spirit is what will keep Israel not only existing, but flourishing. I think David Ben-Gurion said it best with the quote, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” With what Israel has been through, it’s a miracle that the nation is still standing today. Miss America or not, let’s keep that positivity coming.

Playoffs: Lakewood Heimishe Bake Shoppe, Segwayz advance

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The playoff seedings are set, and tension is at a climax, heading into the All Star Israel Softball League post-season. The Wild Card round games will be played this weekend at Kraft Family Stadium, with the semifinals next weekend. The two teams to emerge will then play for the coveted Holyland Series Championship Trophy.

The top two seeds, Café Rimon and Bagelsbergs, e arned first round byes. For Rimon, the week off comes at the perfect time, giving star pitcher Yaacov Ehrlich a chance to recover from a minor injury.

In Ehrlich’s absence from the mound, reliever Yanky Itzkowitz filled in ably, earning two wins in two weeks, and allowing a total of only four runs. League observers have pegged Rimon as the championship favorite, after their recent 23-2 landslide win over Bagelsbergs clinched the top seed, and gave them a perfect undefeated record in the regular season.

Segwayz and Lakewood Heimishe Bake Shoppe earned the right to face each other in the Wild Card round, after successful regular season campaigns placed them in the 4th and 5th seeds, respectively. Each has reason to believe they can win it all, especially after evenly-matched meetings with the two top seeds. Lakewood was the only team to give Rimon a real nip-and-tuck dogfight, while Segwayz won a nailbiter over Bagelsbergs.

Perennial contenders Lobos are sitting pretty as the third seed, awaiting the result of the final regular season game between the Brooklyn Lightning and Jerrys’ Kids. A win for Brooklyn would advance them to face Lobos. Should Jerry’s Kids successfully play the spoiler, Torah Tidbits would land the final spot.

Rethink Everything

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I’m spending this week with 11 students who will work this summer as members of the staff at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. They’ve all just completed their first year of college at a range of public and private universities. They spent much of our first day together sharing impressions of how Israel is perceived at their respective schools.

Their stories ranged from a sense of wonder at the positive impressions many students have of Israel (or the lack of negative impressions) to frustration at what some perceive to be the link that has developed between “liberal” and anti-Israel. All of them had stories of encounters with students who either knew little about the country or depicted Israel in ways that its supporters would never recognize. One sounded proud as she announced that she had corrected a professor in class when he wrongly stated that Israel gained independence in 1947. Another was disappointed that his dialogue with a Saudi exchange student led only to frustration.

All of these students could have been spending their summer — or at least the days before they leave for camp — sleeping late, hanging out, and disengaging from everything that occupied them all year long. And who could blame them? After a year devoted to studying, researching, writing, speaking, organizing, responding, refuting, experimenting and doing everything else that 21st-century students do, they could surely be excused for thinking they deserve a break.

These 11 students, and many others, understand things differently—that summer break is more about shifting gears, and less about shutting down for the season. If all you do all summer is unwind, you’ll miss some of the opportunities presented by three months outside the classroom and away from your campus. Summer is the ideal time to recharge your batteries, to earn some money and tally new adventures, but it also presents a chance to deepen your understanding of things that matter to you and causes that occupy your attention when you’re at school.

If campus Israel activists spend much of the school year planning activities, building coalitions and spreading information, summer offers the chance to step back from the tactical realities of daily activism and take a longer, more strategic view of the situation. Reflect on what you did in the past year: What might you have done differently? What can you plan for next year? How can you ensure that you return to campus better informed and better prepared for greater success? And what can you do to ensure that new leaders are prepared to take over for the old-timers? (After all, nobody will be around forever, especially not on campus!)

Whether you’re spending the summer at camp, in Israel, backpacking, at the beach, working or doing anything else, make the effort to challenge yourself, to learn something new, to read a book or to learn from someone whose opinions and experiences you respect. Set a goal of returning to campus better prepared to impact the campus Israel environment, even if it means rethinking every detail of what you’ve done in the past.

Summer break is a great privilege — one that gets shortened dramatically after you enter the working world — and great privileges should not be squandered. Find the balance between leisure and focus, and cherish every experience.

One more note: After closing our recruitment season, ICB is screening an excellent set of applications for our 2012-2013 reporting internships. Soon we hope to introduce our newest reporter interns to you, our readers. Through the summer, please continue to send us comments, suggestions and story ideas! Email me at editor@israelcampusbeat.org.

 

Stuff Couples Say! Stuff My Date Says!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Beineinu and Choice of the Heart (COH) will be holding their annual Symposium this Thursday night, May 17th, at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem. With well over 100 singles and young couples already registered, organizers may have to close the doors if maximum capacity is reached before the event starts.

Beineinu, which is the Singles division of the International Young Israel Movement – Israel Region, runs year-round programming for orthodox and traditional singles from throughout Israel in the 28-42 age range. These well attended functions are frequented by new immigrants from around the globe together with native Israelis.

Choice of the Heart is aimed at getting new marriages off to a great start and solidifying the relationship between husband and wife. COH offers courses and workshops designed to cover topics that couples usually have to deal with in the first year/s of marriage that can become stumbling blocks such as: communication, finance and more.

Micki Lavin-Pell, Director of Beineinu commented: “We are very excited about this event. The early registration shows that singles and couples are looking for guidance in dating and relationship building. We are happy to be here as a much needed resource. Beineninu, in its two years of existence, has proved to be the organization of choice for singes in Israel thanks to our interactive and dynamic programs.”

Sherrie Miller, Director of Choice of the Heart stated: “In South Africa the equivalent  of our workshops is a pre-requisite to getting married under the Rabbanut in an attempt to make sure that every marriage has the greatest chance of success. Choice of the Heart strives to do the same here in Israel.”

The event will begin with a keynote address by Dr. David Ribner – Professor at Bar-Ilan University  and co-author of ‘Et Le’ehov’ followed by workshops led by Sherrie  (“Communication – make your partner your BFF”) and Micki (“How to avoid marrying a Jerk or Jerkette”) for both couples and singles.

If you would like further information or to cover the event on Thursday May 17th starting at 7:30 PM contact: Daniel Meyer – iyimisrael@gmail.com/ 0544826649

38,000 Palestinians Take Teacher Exams to fill 1,400 Vacant Positions

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that around 38,000 people in the Palestinian Authority on Saturday took exams to become public school teachers.

The exams are highly competitive, and the Palestinian Authority ministry of education will select only 1,400 candidates to fill vacant teaching positions in its schools.

The exams started at 10 a.m. in 150 halls across Judea and Samaria, PA ministry of education official Mustafa al-Audah told Ma’an.

The highly competitive selection process means many applicants may sit the exam six or seven times for a chance at a teaching position.

Writing A Torah In Memory Of Rabbi Dovid Bryn

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Usher Bryn, brother of Rabbi Dovid Bryn, z”l, fills in a letter together with his son Jonathan.

Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday, April 29, at Chabad Chayil Synagogue in Highland Lakes to pay tribute to South Florida’s Rabbi Dovid Bryn, z”l, and launch a project of writing a new Sefer Torah in honor of the rabbi’s 10th yahrzeit. Community members and local rabbis shared their memories of the legendary leader and his amazingly personality and accomplishments.

All in attendance had a chance to write a letter, filling in the first few pesukim of a Torah that will take a year and a half to complete. Every two weeks or so there will be a siyum completion ceremony of a parshah in another home, enabling the host/parshah sponsor to invite their friends and give them all a chance to write a letter.

The completion of the Sefer Torah will be celebrated together with the completion of the new Chabad House building, scheduled to break ground soon. A documentary of the rabbi is also in the works.

If you have a story you would like to share or if you would like to get a letter or parshah in the Dovid Bryn Sefer Torah, go to www.RabbiDovidBryn.org or call 305-770-1919.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/writing-a-torah-in-memory-of-rabbi-dovid-bryn/2012/05/10/

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