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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘community’

Julie Menin Announces Campaign for Manhattan Borough President

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Julie Menin, former Chair of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, today announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Manhattan Borough President endorsed by more than 200 grassroots community leaders from communities across the length and breadth of the borough.

“I’m running for borough president because I believe my strong track record of leadership and solution driven approach is what is needed in the challenging times our borough faces. As Manhattan builds – and rebuilds – we should create good jobs and affordable housing for people who live in every part of the borough.

“Every parent should be able to send their child to a nearby school that meets their needs. Every family should have access to great parks and playgrounds in their own neighborhood.

“Every New Yorker should have a voice in decisions that affect their community.”

She added: “Making sure that our growth benefits every neighborhood will take leadership, common-sense solutions and the ability to bring people together. That’s been my record as a lawyer, small business owner and community leader, standing up for what’s right and getting results.”

Menin is a community leader and mother of three young children who is known for helping lead downtown Manhattan’s recovery after 9/11, helping lead the charge to build three new schools, exposing government waste and taking on the big battles to protect our democratic principles.

Having completed fundraising for the 2013 race, Menin’s campaign launch is focused on her grassroots support. She has announced a schedule of 200 “Menin Meet-Ups” and will be drawing on a volunteer list that is already over a thousand New Yorkers long.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Harvard Students Receive Anti-Semitic Invitations for Social Clubs

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Invitations to a fictitious club saying “Jews need not apply” were slipped under the doors of students living in the Harvard University dormitories.

The flyers enclosed in the sealed envelopes discovered early Friday morning invited the students to the inaugural event of a new undergraduate social club, or finals club, called The Pigeon, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported. The flyer also said “Seriously, no f***ing Jews. Colors OK.”

There are eight all-male and five all-female Harvard finals clubs, which are not recognized by the university and which have been accused of promoting “an exclusive and dangerous social environment,” according to the Crimson.

The dean of Harvard College, Evelynn Hammonds, wrote in an email statement on Friday that the flyers were “deeply disturbing” to her and others in the Harvard community. Harvard College is one of two schools within the university granting undergraduate degrees.

“They are not a reflection of the values of our community,” Hammonds wrote. “Even if intended as satirical in nature, they are hurtful and offensive to many students, faculty and staff, and do not demonstrate the level of thoughtfulness and respect we expect at Harvard when engaging difficult issues within our community.”

The Crimson also reported that early Friday morning, two Northeastern University students who vandalized a menorah located on the Boston campus were identified on a surveillance video and will face disciplinary action.

JTA

The Hezi Family – Formerly Of Moshav Gadid; Now Of Ein Tzurim Caravilla Site

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

The family: Carol & Shmuel Hezi and their six children, Asnat, Eitan, Amichai, Vardit, Harel and Maital

Background: I, Carol, was born in the States and grew up in Canada. I always assumed I would live in Israel one day. My second visit to Israel was as a university student – I planned on studying there for a year – then I met Shmuel, a native Israeli, and we got married. I completed my degree in Israel, and we began looking for a permanent home. We moved to Gush Katif when our oldest daughter was one year old. We lived in Kfar Darom with ten other families while our moshav, Gadid, was being built.

The house was tiny and the water in the taps was not drinkable–not dangerous, just not potable, so we used the tap water for washing and we always had a big pot of drinking water sitting on the kitchen counter. My mother-in-law wasn’t happy that we had to carry water into the house like she had done in Yemen, but I looked at it as my chance to live like a pioneer for a few months. The “few months” stretched into two years…

Our second child, a son, was born in Kfar Darom. Shmuel was a farmer; he grew flowers, tomatoes, and peppers for export, and later, bug-free lettuce and greens for the local market. He also worked as an agricultural advisor for one of the companies specializing in bug-free produce. When we first moved to Gadid, it was all sand, no roads or paths to walk on, just sand. Our four younger children were born in Gadid. The community was like an extended family. I never had to warn my children not to talk to strangers–instead I had to explain what a stranger was, because they had never met any.

Our house – then: We eventually added on to the house in Gadid. It wasn’t fancy but it was large, and usually full–my parents came on extended visits, Shumel’s family and friends from around the country came as well.

Our eldest daughter married and she and her husband rented a house in Gadid (one of the houses built by Ariel Sharon) in what became the “young neighborhood.” Their first child was born there and my daughter was nine months pregnant with her second child when the soldiers came to take her from her home.

The family’s home in Moshav Gadid

Day of uprooting from Gadid: Our two eldest boys doing their army service – they were sent home for a couple of weeks to be with the family. Luckily, their units were stationed elsewhere and were not involved in the expulsion. Still, it was very hard for them.

Our house – now: We were in hotels for 10 months. Now we live in a “caravilla,” a cardboard house that is well on its way to falling completely apart while we finish building the new house. It’s also very crowded when all the kids are home. Our daughter (who now has four children) could not get a caravilla here–they are at another site–so when they come for Shabbat, there are wall-to-wall people…

What we left behind: The community in which we had lived for 26 years. The trees that were finally tall enough to build a tree house in, the garden with fruit trees (one of my sons brought a laundry basket full of unripe mangos to his hotel room), the greenhouses, our livelihood, the sand dunes, the sea, the Beit Knesset – basically our whole way of life.

Feelings toward the State: Betrayal. We were, after all, encouraged by the State to move to Gadid in the first place.

The biggest difficulty: Economics. We finally have land again, but my husband and I are really too old to start rebuilding greenhouses and be farmers again. That’s for the young and healthy. Nor do we have the financial means to invest and rebuild.

Have you built a house? We are in the process of building a house now. This is not something I thought I would have to do again. It was more fun the first time.

Jewish Press Staff

Arch-Terrorist Khaled Mashaal Returning Victorious to Gaza

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

One of the world’s most prominent terrorists, Khaled Mashaal, since 2004 the “main leader” of the Hamas terror organization and the head of its political bureau since 1996, is going to make his first-ever visit [source: Washington Post] to the Gaza Strip this week.

WaPo is calling this “a sign of increasing boldness” after Hamas “held its own against an Israeli military offensive” and will be his chance to “congratulate its leaders and fighters for battling Israel” according to a senior – but “careful” – Hamas official in Gaza who “spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concern.”

It’s a propitious time to take a look at some of the open silliness that routinely affects media “experts” when they deal with the practitioners of child-murder.

Mashaal recently enjoyed a well-publicized on-air interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in which she reflected the spirit of honest journalistic enquiry as she asked him: “Is it useful to kill civilians?“:

“Let me give you the truth… We don’t target the civilians… The resistance does not target the civilians… We are ready to accept a purely peaceful way, as long as we obtain our demands… Our people is the victim… The offer must come from the attacker [Israel]…”

Noting that Ms Amanpour – like most on-camera reporters – evidently lacks the background information to demolish his absurd response, he presses on:

“I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return [meaning the entry of millions of Palestinian Arabs into Israel]…”

Somehow, the terrorist has been understood as implying that Hamas – whose declared, uncompromising, principal goal is to destroy Israel – has abandoned its ideology and is ready to accept something more moderate.

Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh understands Mashaal better than most Westerners, and has no qualms about stating clearly what is happening. Even while Mashaal was on CNN, his Gaza-based Hamas colleagues were talking – in the Arabic language – about continuing the fight against Israel until the “liberation of all our lands, from the sea to the river.”

Writing for the Gatestone Institute think-tank on Friday [“How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone“], Abu Toameh re-states the one essential principle that outsiders keep avoiding and/or denying:

“Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe? And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state “only” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem? …Mashaal’s remark is nothing but an attempt to mislead the international community into believing that Hamas has endorsed the two-state solution and is willing to live in peacealongside Israel… Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran. Unless Hamas changes its charter, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement’s campaign of deception.”

He goes on to point out that the one true construction of Mashaal’s statement is the opposite of what is being spun out of his words: Hamas knows it cannot achieve its goal of destroying Israel for now and will therefore take whatever land it can get from the Israelis… and then continue the fight to “liberate” “Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”.

In fact Mashaal said just that to Christiane Amanpour:

“Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhabited by the Palestinians from a long time ago… but because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and Hamas, have agreed on a program that accepts the 1967 borders.”

Mashaal is not alone in putting things this way: first they take the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem. Then they use these as a launching pad in the process of eliminating Israel. Mission accomplished.

Abu Toameh again:

Hamas is engaged in a subtle campaign to win the sympathy of the international community by appearing as if it is ready to abandon its dream of destroying Israel. Mashaal’s remarks should be seen in the context of a new Hamas tactic aimed at turning the radical Islamist movement into a legitimate and recognized player in the international and regional arenas. Those who have been misled into believing Hamas’s lies should be referred to the movement’s charter, where it is clearly stated that “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it…”

They know this. But they continue to ignore it. Why spoil a neat and compelling narrative by introducing facts?

Visit This Ongoing War.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Road To Recovery

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Dear Brocha,

Thank you so much for your column and for shining light on this matter.

Addiction has been gnawing at the souls of our community for a long time. Yet, it still remains a disease that is swept under the table.

At first, when I found out that my wife of 21 years was addicted to pain killers I was relieved!

She has been suffering mood swings the likes of which I had never seen before, since our three-year-old son passed away about six years ago.

Soon after he was niftar, my wife fell into a deep depression. She went to doctors who prescribed painkillers to help her cope with his death. Apparently, once she was hooked my wife began taking cocktails of medications without my knowledge. As a result, our lives turned from tragic to chaotic.

We went from grief counselors to marital therapy. However, my wife’s behavior kept getting more erratic. She went from being a warm, caring & loving mother to a paranoid, angry & depressed person whom none of us recognized.

One day, our twelve-year-old daughter came home and found my wife passed out on the floor.

She called Hatzolah, and it was at the hospital that I was made aware of my wife’s addiction.

My wife was frightened that she had a seizure and agreed to go to a rehab to get proper treatment. I was told that her having been found passed out on the floor by our daughter was her rock bottom.

My wife is presently at an out-of-state rehab where the goals are to wean her off the drugs, and then teach her proper coping skills.

The last couple of weeks have been tough on all of us.

My children are ashamed that their mother is a drug addict – and miss her and how she used to be.

I am having a tough time coping with the guilt of not having realized how much she was hurting, and what was truly happening to my family.

Evidently, my drug of choice was to throw myself deeper into my work.

I am beginning to see that I was numbing myself in that way, and wasn’t there for my wife and children when they needed me most.

I have been attending Al-Anon meetings and placed our children into therapy. We are all trying to heal. Yet, I see it’s a slow painful process. The facility my wife is in will be hosting a “family program” next weekend. Thus far, I have already attended two family Sundays by myself and have found them to be highly informative and helpful. My wife looks better each time I see her. Her spunk for life seems to be coming back and I am really hopeful that we have just received a new lease on life! For this upcoming family weekend, my wife’s counselor wants me to bring our children.

Truth be told, ever since my daughter found my wife on the floor, she does not want to have anything to do with her. When my wife was in the hospital she didn’t want to visit, and is refusing to come along for the weekend visitation. When I try talking with her about it, she tells me that her brother’s death affected everyone in the family, but only her mother chose to be a “druggie.” I don’t know what to do? Do I force my daughter to visit her mother? I feel that if she would see for herself how hard her mother is working on her recovery, and how much better she looks, she will be able to let go of some of her anger and resentment. Do I force her or try to trick her into coming?

Trying to keep my family together

Dear Trying,

I feel so sorry for your predicament. My heart goes out to you and your family.

I am also very grateful and impressed that you are so forgiving and understanding of your wife’s addiction.

Addiction is a disease and is treated in the medical community as one. However, socially has yet to accept it as such.

Although your daughter is still young in age, she was obviously forced to grow up very fast.

Brocha Silverstein

The Trial of a Rasha

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The trial of of accused sexual abuser Rabbi Nechemya Weberman is underway. I thought I would post a few of my thoughts about it. First let me excerpt the following quote by Anna C. Salter PhD from Rabbi Yakov Horowitz’s website:

1. It is perhaps not surprising that predators who have never been arrested are so successful in fooling people. They simply take on the lifestyle and manner of genuinely nice people, and it is understandable, if tragic, that we can’t tell the difference.

2. It is a misconception that child molesters are somehow different from the rest of us, outside their proclivities to molest. They can be loyal friends, good employees, and responsible members of the community in other ways.

3. Offender self-reports have dubious validity, especially when the offender’s self-interest is at stake. The only rule for deception in sex offenders I have ever found is this: If it is in the offender’s best interest to lie, and if he can do it and not get caught, he will lie.

I have little doubt about Rabbi Weberman’s guilt. And I am encouraged by the over 40 people who have so far shown up at the trial to show support for the victim. I am also encouraged by the number of people who have responded to the request by Rabbi Horowitz to post a comment on his website in support of the victim. I encourage everyone to do so. She can use all the support she can get. Her character is being attacked. It is a typical ploy of defense attorneys to attack the character of an accuser at trial so as to undermine their credibility.

I posted a comment of my own there. It isn’t much but it’s the least I can do in support of a victim of sex abuse. I am also glad to see the name of Rabbi Chaim Twersky, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of HTC in that list of commenters. He posted a comment of support for the victim. That takes courage. He is one of my local heroes for many reasons. He just added another one by doing that.

Bearing in mind the American tradition of innocent until proven guilty, I will wait until the end of the trial to pass final judgment. But the facts of the case are so revealing that one would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to think this man is innocent. And yet his community and its rabbinic leadership is either all of those… or they simply don’t care. That’s why they had a fund-raiser for a supposed defense fund and raised a half million dollars. Which they promptly used to try and bribe the victim to drop the charges and leave the country.

Not only was the victim not tempted to take that money, but the four Chasidim who tried to bribe her were arrested for trying to do that. Thank God! These “good people” will probably serve some time for their “altruism.” And their families will suffer. I’m sure that there will be fundraisers for them too with all kind of appeals to sympathy for the plight of these “Frum” Jews and their families. And of course there will be attendant accusations of Antisemitism that are always attached to the courts if they are convicted and sent to prison. But that’s another conversation.

One of the things almost always heard – especially in places like Williamsburg (where Rabbi Weberman lives) is that one should never believe an accuser that is no longer observant. Especially when she is rebelling from the very community that she accuses of sex abuse and protecting the abuser. That is in fact the exact argument being made by the defense. From theNew York Times:

Lawyers for Mr. Weberman, however, argue that the young woman fabricated the allegations because she was furious at Mr. Weberman for what she thought was a betrayal of her trust. At age 15, they said, she had revealed to Mr. Weberman that she had a boyfriend — a serious breach of the community’s stringent rules — and then, a defense lawyer said, she concluded that he told her parents about it.

“There was only one answer,” said George Farkas, the defense lawyer, “vengeance and revenge against Nechemya Weberman, and through this, to bring down the entire community that either supported him, or of which he was a part.”

Harry Maryles

ADL Commemorates its Centennial by Honoring Bain Capital Executive

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

On its 100th year, the Anti-Defamation League  is recognizing Lavine’s immense civic leadership and influence to affect positive change in our community. Their press release states: Lavine believes strongly in giving back to his community. Together with his wife Jeannie, Lavine has helped create, grow and sustain numerous organizations focused on improving the lives of children and families around the world.

“It is fitting that we commemorate ADL’s centennial in New England by honoring Jonathan Lavine, who embodies the very principles that have defined ADL since 1913,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “He is a champion for those who need support, and for those who may be bullied or discriminated against. We are delighted to have this opportunity to honor and thank him, to acknowledge his exemplary leadership, and inspire others to follow his extraordinary example of service to the community.”

Lavine is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors, the fixed income and credit affiliate of Bain Capital, one of the leading global credit and distressed debt managers, with approximately $19 billion of assets under management.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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