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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘COLORADO’

Colorado Springs Synagogue to Relocate for Yom Kippur After Rosh Hashanah Fire

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Chabad of Southern Colorado will hold its Yom Kippur services at the local Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs, and are looking for alternative locations for their Sukkot and Simchat Torah, due to extensive fire damage to their synagogue.

Rabbi Moshe Liberow told KKTV that last Monday, just minutes before the congregation was to begin Rosh Hashanah services, they heard a loud bang and smelled smoke. While the congregation hastily made its way out of the building, Rabbi Liberow and a few of the congregants were able to get the Torah scrolls and prayer books out and took them to the rabbi’s home a few blocks away.

According to the KKTV report, the congregation may not be able to return to its building, as parts of the roof fell in and there’s extensive damage inside as well.

“Of course there’s been sadness, but sadness doesn’t bring growth, sadness doesn’t change things,” said Rabbi Liberow, stating: “We have to be optimistic, positive and, as our sages teach us, think good, be good, do good, increasing the goodness more and more.”

The Rabbi thanked the synagogue’s gentile neighbors for lending a hand in carrying damaged furniture and other articles out of the synagogue.


Knesset Committee Quarrels with Anti-Drug Officials over Colorado Legalized Weed

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, chaired by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), is interested in drawing applicable conclusions from the legalization of soft drugs in Colorado.

“It’s been four years into the legalization in Colorado and the sky did not fall,” Zandberg said during the committee’s meeting last Monday. “When things are legalized, the assumption is that more people smoke legally and report it.”

Dr. Adi Inbar, from the Knesset Research and Information Center, presented the figures of the first year of legalization in Colorado: “The main conclusion is that it is too early to determine the effects of this move, the future trends and its implications on other places”.

Dr. Yossi Harel-Fisch, Chief Scientist of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, said, “The result deriving from meetings of professionals from all around the world is that not enough time has passed to draw conclusions. We are worried about some trends – Colorado is unique also within the US for its high rates of drug use over the years. According to the figures, Colorado is placed first among the 50 states in marijuana use among youth aged 12-17.”

Harel-Fisch presented additional figures showing an increase of 32% in the number of students who are expelled from school due to drug-related issues, as well as an increase in marijuana use among students, a 30% rise in emergency room visits due to the use of soft drugs and an increase of 44% in the number of people killed while driving under the influence of soft drugs.

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) said, “It is strange that people from the Knesset Research and Information Center say that there are no unequivocal figures, and yet the Israel Anti-Drug Authority presents unequivocal facts. It creates an uneasy feeling.”

Dr. Harel-Fisch replied that “The rates are not precise and therefore do not prove a causative relationship. There are many interpretations but no clear conclusions.”

Committee Chairwoman Zandberg replied: “It is unclear why cannabis stands for itself, it should be considered the same as any other substance on the list. While we see a moderate increase in cannabis use, we see a rise in designer drugs which cause harm. In Colorado figures show that the crime rate is declining, as is the number of road accidents. . . . and a new figure shows a drop in the use of medicine parallel to the increase in cannabis use.”

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) stated that “The main concern is for children and teenagers, and the question is whether legalization was made alongside an educational plan. During a visit to the Geha Mental Health Center yesterday, I was told of an increase in the purchase of the ‘Nice Guy’ drug, which causes a rise in violence towards staff and mental patients.”

Orit Shapiro, Head of the Prevention and Education Division at the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, noted that “over the past few years we have found that some youths are confused as to what is allowed and what is not dangerous. Legalizing would have immediate implications on the use of drugs – if it is allowed by law, then it must be fine.”

In response, MK Zandberg said, “There is an improper situation here, and you claim that the discourse is harmful. We are trying to have an intelligent discussion — alcohol is a more dangerous drug than cannabis, designer drugs as well, and my feeling is that because cannabis is considered criminal — you cling to the horns of the altar.”

MK Dov Khenin (Joint List), said “Criminal law today does not reduce cannabis purchase, but it [negatively influences] the attitude towards criminal law. We must reexamine the policy and should begin with no incrimination. It will enable us to combine criminal law with the symptoms which should actually be tackled”.


Top Jewish Foodies at ‘Devil’s Thumb’ in Colorado

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Top restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, cookbook authors and other Jewish food world stars are at The Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for a three-day “Harvest” festival.

The learning and cooking event is aimed at serving up Jewish cuisine as the next major global food movement, and Jewish food leaders will explore such critical challenges as humane meat and kosher dietary guidelines as part of a dialogue aimed at enriching Jewish cuisine as a global food trend.

The Harvest issued applications by invitation to 60 participants who represent a Who’s Who of Jewish food professionals, including writer and tour guide Katharine Romanow; acclaimed chef and author Ann Cooper; Goodie Girl CEO Shira Berk; wine expert Alexander Fox; cookbook celebrity author Joan Nathan; Gefilteria founder Jeffrey Yoskowitz; Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, one of The Harvest’s partner organizations; and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation Vice President Lisa Eisen.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli-Style Security Measures Launched at US Theater Chains

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

At least two movie theater chains in the United States have begun to use Israeli-style security measures to keep their guests safe.

The Regal Entertainment Group launched its policy of checking bags of guests as they enter its theaters around America this week.

The move comes in the wake of an attack this week in Nashville, Tennessee, when a man with a hatchet, pepper spray and a pellet gun attacked a family of three inside a movie theater before police arrived and finally shot him dead.

Two weeks ago, another man went on a rampage inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. He shot and killed two people, wounded nine others and then turned the gun on himself during a screening of the film, “Trainwreck.”

Also this month, Colorado movie theater murderer James Holmes was sentenced by a jury to life in prison for slaughtering 12 people and wounding 70 others at a midnight premier three years ago.

Regal Entertainment Group acknowledged that checking the bags of its guests before they enter the theater is “not without its flaws” and inconvenient – but provides better security.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company operates 570 theaters around the United States.

Checking the bags of people entering a building is not new to Israelis – in fact, it has been a basic standard operating procedure in the life of the Jewish State for decades. Millions of lives have been saved as a result. Clearly that fact has begun to seep through the American consciousness.

A second theater firm, Northeast-based National Amusements Inc’s Showcase chain, has started a similar policy.

Showcase announced on its website this month that it will ban guests from bringing backpacks and packages into its theaters, and reserves the right to search bags and pocketbooks. The policy, which started August 7, will continue “for the time being.”

Hana Levi Julian

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Legalizing Marijuana Would End Black Market, Says Israeli Study

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Legalizing marijuana would generate more than $450 million annually for the Israeli economy, according to  a new study released by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

The black market for cannabis in Israel currently is worth $707 million annually, and legalizing the sale of grass, if taxed like cigarettes, would blow $268 million into the government’s money pot. In addition, it would save law enforcement agencies $198 million since they would not have to spend money to smokers of weed.

The study found that approximately 275,000 Israelis, 4 percent of the population, used marijuana in the past year, only 26 percent of Israelis support legalization of marijuana, while 64 percent opposes it.

In the United States, slightly more than half go those surveyed support legalizing grass. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 20 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. However, the Obama administration last week gave the green light for Colorado and Washington to carry  out their laws to permit recreational use of marijuana.

The Justice Department said it would bring charges on marijuana only in certain cases, such as distributing it to minors.

The announcement “demonstrates the sort of political vision and foresight from the White House we’ve been seeking for a long time,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group.

The Justice Department added that it is watching Colorado and Washington closely to see  if they can properly control marijuana use.

President Barack Obama has said he smoked grass when he was young, and a federal survey has found that 42 percent of Americans age 12 and older have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

The financial gains for states – and Israel is not being ignored,

“Recognizing the enormous financial gains that would come from legalization demands that the government take a serious look at the proposal to legalize cannabis use under specific guidelines,” said Yarden Gazit, who co-authored the study in Israel.  “There is no disputing that if the public is able to get past the wholly negative misperceptions associated with marijuana usage and appreciate the potential benefits with limited social or healthcare costs, this is an idea that needs open-minded and serious re-examination at this time.”

News of the survey coincided with Canada’s launch of controlled medical marijuana, an industry that is expected to be worth more than $1 billion in the next 10 years. Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for years but has been highly regulated. Now it is available by mail-order with a doctor’s approval.

Besides all of the arguments  over whether marijuana is a drug that can lead to addiction, the underlying desire for governments to legalize it is money.

“We’re fairly confident that we’ll have a healthy commercial industry in time,” Sophie Galarneau, a senior Health Canada official told the Canadian Press.  

The Green Leaf party in Israel has been trying to get into the Knesset for years to push its agenda to legalize pot. In early pre-election polls, it usually receives support that puts it on the brink of winning the minimum number of votes to win Knesset seats, but when the real ballots are counted, it always loses out.

The pro-marijuana campaigns in the United States may generate new enthusiasm to legalize marijuana in Israel, where liberal leaders  almost always turn to American for cultural guidance.

Portland, Maine media reported Wednesday that supports of legalizing recreation marijuana will start promoting their agenda on city buses, with a message that grass is a better and safer alternative to alcohol.

Critics have complained that the campaign should not be on buses because children ride them to school.

Portland’s voter will go the ballot box in November to decide on a proposal to legalize marijuana by 2016. I

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has targeted Maine and nine other states in its campaign to legalize grass within three years.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Colorado Floods Close Boulder Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

A killer flood in Colorado submerged a synagogue and a rabbi’s home in Boulder County, and the Chabad synagogue rabbi is thankful that Torah scrolls were saved with the help of students from the nearby University of Colorado.

“Thank G‑d, the students have been immensely helpful moving the Torahs and other sacred items to higher ground” before Yom Kippur,” Rabbi Yisrael Wilhelm told a Chabad website.

Several deaths have been reported, and 500 people are unaccounted for, with more rain expected Sunday from Denver to the Wyoming border.

Thousands of people have been evacuated or have fled their homes during the flood that has drenched some areas with up to 14 inches of rain, seven times the average amount for the entire month of September.

JTA contributed to this report.




Jewish Press News Briefs

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