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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘chance’

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.


Carl Schrag, Israel Campus Beat

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

Jewish Press Staff

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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.

Shelley Benveniste

Jackie Robinson: A Real Mensch

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I was lucky enough to have met and interviewed many Hall of Famers including Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams and Stan Musial.

I also had the chance to meet and gab with many of the stars from the old Negro Leagues who went on to play in the major leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier – Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige. But I never had the chance to meet Jackie Robinson.

I did, though, meet Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s elegant, graceful widow.

From everything I’ve heard on the baseball beat, Jackie Robinson was a credit to his race – the human race. More important than being a great athlete and ballplayer, he was intelligent, articulate, and above all a great husband and father. He was, in short, a genuine mensch.

Robinson was only 53 when he died in 1972, old before his time, racked with diabetes and nearly blind.

This year baseball is celebrating the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier. It was April 15, 1947, when Robinson became the first openly black man to play in the major leagues.

Ebbets Field was a ballpark of small dimensions and limited seating capacity of some 32,000. Only 25,623 paid their way in to see Robinson’s debut on Opening Day in 1947, 4,000 less than the ’46 opener. But the Dodgers went on to set their all-time Brooklyn attendance record of 1.8 million in 1947.

The only black man in the majors excited fans that year by batting .297 with 12 home runs and 29 stolen bases, more than double anyone else.

Calling the games on radio that year for Brooklyn was Red Barber, a man steeped in the prejudices of his era and place of birth. Barber was born in Mississippi and moved with his family when he was 10 to central Florida.

“I saw black men tarred and feathered by the Ku Klux Klan…. I had grown up in a completely segregated world,” Barber recalled in his book 1947 – When All Hell Broke Loose in Baseball.

Barber thought about quitting. After all, a Southern gentleman in 1947 couldn’t be expected to work for an organization that would treat a black man as an equal. But Robinson wasn’t an equal – he was superior to most ballplayers at the time, superior as a player and as a man.

Robinson went to college and starred at UCLA in basketball and football before serving in the army. He earned the rank of second lieutenant and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and Fort Hood, Texas, where white officers wouldn’t give him a chance to try out for the baseball team.

After being turned in by a bus driver to military police for refusing to sit in the rear seating area, Robinson faced a court martial for disobedience but eloquently won his case. After receiving an honorable discharge, and with the doors closed to blacks in many fields including professional baseball, Robinson joined the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1945.

Fair-minded men at the time tried to promote the integration of blacks in baseball without success. Boston Jewish councilman Isidore Muchnick threatened to pass legislation to ban Sunday baseball in Boston unless the Red Sox granted a tryout to three Negro Leaguers.

A tryout was arranged for three players from different Negro League teams – Jackie Robinson, Sam Jethroe and Marvin Williams.

The tryout was originally scheduled for April 12, 1945, but that turned out to be the day President Roosevelt died. Vice President Truman was inaugurated as president and Roosevelt was buried in Hyde Park, New York, on Sunday, April 15. The day of FDR’s burial, British forces liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where 16-year-old Anne Frank died the previous month.

The following day, April 16, the three Negro Leaguers came to their Red Sox tryout at Fenway Park. Jackie Robinson was the most impressive of the tryout trio, prompting Red Sox manager Joe Cronin to tell Muchnick he hoped the team would sign Robinson. But the Red Sox never followed up and would become the last major league team to field a black player – some 14 years later.

Robinson went on to star for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945 and attracted the attention of Brooklyn Dodgers boss Branch Rickey, who followed Robinson’s activities off the field as well. Rickey was convinced he had found the right man to break baseball’s unwritten color barrier and signed Robinson to a contract in early 1946 and assigned the infielder to the Dodgers’ top minor league club in Montreal.

Red Barber was also following Robinson’s progress. It was just a matter of time before Robinson would be up with the Dodgers and Barber was mulling over quitting.

“I didn’t quit,” Barber related in his book. “I made myself realize that I had no choice in the parents I was born to, no choice in the place of my birth or the time of it. I was born white just as a Negro was born black. I had been given a fortunate set of circumstances, none of which I had done anything to merit, and therefore I had best be careful about being puffed up over my color.”

Irwin Cohen

Chevra Kadisha Forum Says Ministry’s Plans for Mass Burials ‘Problematic’

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Israel’s Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) has rejected the government’s plan for mass burials in the event of a mass casualty incident, and submitted an alternative plan to Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai on Sunday.

The Chevra Kadisha Forum, in a letter to Vilnai, challenged the Interior Ministry’s 2011 plan, which mandates temporary burial in coffins at temporary cemeteries as well as the option of transferring bodies to cooling facilities until they can be identified and final resting places can be arranged. According to the Interior Ministry’s plan, such transfers would not take place during the national emergency itself.

According to the Forum, which is headed by Wolf Rosenberg and brings together the 12 major chevrot kadisha in Israel, the Interior Ministry’s plans are “problematic from a halachic and humane perspective.”

The Forum wrote that it would be able to provide a proper and permanent burial even during a national emergency, through advanced and standardized planning. Crucial to its plan is the provision of a permanent reserve of 10,000 vacant burial plots designated specifically for national emergencies.  “All work would be performed by chevrot kadisha. Allotment of these reserves would occur on the national level, from the north to the south, and the land used will be from areas adjacent to or nearby existing cemeteries, so that the necessary infrastructure and facilities will be well-prepared for emergencies.” Such a plan would require “the state to unfreeze lands adjacent to cemeteries and designated for expansion, and expedite approvals for designated lands or cemeteries.”

The Forum lamented that “as it stands now, there is no chance that chevrot kadisha would be able to to perform the necessary tasks. The system would collapse within minutes. This is a nightmare scenario of which the chevrot kadisha are not ready to participate.”

The Forum added that “this solution will spare the grieving families the added pain of exhuming the dead from makeshift cemeteries to permanent ones, will spare another burial and all the accompanying trauma. Our solution preserves the dignity of the dead as well as result in significant financial savings.

Solomon Burke

Prominent Turkish Muslim Leader Sends Passover Blessings to the Jewish Nation

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Adnan Oktar (also known by his pen name Harun Yahya), a prominent Turkish intellectual and religious leader with a mass following, has communicated and met personally over the past decade with many Orthodox rabbis from Israel and abroad, expressing his friendship to the Jewish nation and his reverence to the Torah.

Oktar has sent via the Jewish Press his blessing to the Jewish nation on the occasion of Passover:

While we remember the Prophet Moses’, peace be upon him, exodus from the oppression of the Pharaoh, and God’s help during this amazing journey, we pray for the blessings of God upon all His servants. May God send His Mashiach soon, and bring the days that we can altogether make Korban (sacrifice) in peace and joy in the Holy Land.

[God said:] And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.

And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence you took the calf (for worship), and you did grievous wrong. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright. (Quran, 2:49-53)

Back in 2009, I conducted a short interview with Adnan Oktar over the email, which I will bring here. It is important to note that while our relations with official Turkey are at an unprecedented low, there are prominent, religious Muslim voices inside Turkey, which offer friendship and empathy to the Jews and to the Jewish state.

Yanover: First, may I congratulate you on your vision for peace in the Middle East and, indeed, the world, and on your staunch campaign to promote the values of Monotheism. A religious Jew, I am touched when I encounter reason and compassion among the nations, and your life’s work gives me hope for the future of humanity.

How pragmatic is your vision for a united Turkish-Islamic Near-East? Do you see it as coming to pass under the rule of a Divine redeemer, or is it a plan to be accomplished by people in this pre-Messianic reality? If it is the latter, you must be aware of the obstacles in many Muslim states to the development of democratic institutions and efficient, corruption-free state bureaucracies. How would you overcome these difficulties?

Adnan Oktar: Every day, important and positive developments regarding the formation of the Turkish-Islamic Union are taking place, although the real establishment of this union will take place under the leadership of Hazrat Mahdi, peace be upon him (the Muslim version of the Redeemer – YY). According to the information handed down from the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, Hazrat Mahdi, peace be upon him, will unite the fragmented Turkic and Islamic states and establish a great and powerful union.

Under his leadership, the Turkish-Islamic Union will be a union of love and friendship. Every state will preserve its own constitutional structure, but there will be full cooperation in defense, trade, science, art, love and brotherhood, as well as the beauty and abundance brought about by that cooperation. Hazrat Mahdi, pbuh, will be instrumental in the Turkish-Islamic world delighting in love, depth, compassion, peacefulness, art and beauty, and in scaling the peaks of modernity and nobility. And the devotion and love felt for Hazrat Mahdi, pbuh, will be instrumental in all disputes being resolved in a matter of minutes. As a requirement of the moral values of the Qur’an, the Turkish-Islamic Union will be one that attaches great importance to democracy, laicism and freedom of ideas, and these values will acquire increasing importance in all the states affiliated to the union.

Things that seem to be obstacles on the path to the establishment of the Turkish-Islamic Union are unimportant. The coming of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), the unification of the Turkish-Islamic world, the spread of moral virtues and the glory of Allah being praised everywhere is Allah’s promise. It will certainly be made good. Allah’s promise is true and Allah does not break His promise.

Yanover: Your love for all monotheistic people is clear and admirable. But while Jews are devoid of a directive to convert others to our faith, the very foundation of most Christian denominations is the command to bring others into theirs. Is it possible for God-loving men to live in peace with a large Christian element fomenting such aggressive intentions? Would it not spell constant tension and unrest within the community of God?

Adnan Oktar: It is natural for members of all faiths to think their beliefs are true and to defend them. Jews, Muslims and Christians have a perfect right to defend and tell others of their beliefs. However, it is of course unacceptable to try to force anyone to be a Christian or compel anyone to be a Muslim. Such a thing has no place in Islam. In verse 256 of Surat al-Baqara, Allah reveals, “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.”

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/prominent-turkish-muslim-leader-sends-passover-blessings-to-the-jewish-nation/2012/04/08/

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