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Posts Tagged ‘director’
As residents of areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy struggle to pick up the pieces, Americans and their Israeli loved ones thousands of miles away from the aftermath are getting free emotional and psychological support to cope with the disaster thanks to experts at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek Medical Center.
Director of the neuropsychology unit and chief psychologist at the hospital – and Hurricane Sandy evacuee – Dr. Judith Guedalia, coordinated the relief effort with Drs. Gary Quinn and Dani Kahn of the Jerusalem Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute (using a proven psychological intervention to treat trauma and stress) to provide free treatment with volunteer Israeli-licensed and certified EMDR therapists.
Interested clients are encouraged to call (02) 666-6682 to make an appointment.Malkah Fleisher
Shabbat Chaye Sarah in Hebron isn’t a normal Shabbat. It’s an experience.
Yesterday, according to conservative estimates, over 20,000 people visited this holy city. Here in our offices, this event began weeks ago; planning for the multitudes. Many man hours and much money are invested to ensure that the day will be a success. And as much as we want, and need rain, we sort of hope that this day will remain dry.
My Chaye Sarah began on Friday, wandering around, hoping to get some good photos. Being that the main events are on Shabbat, I have no way to photograph the occasion. (That’s really my only regret about this wonderful day.)
Toward early mid-afternoon the tents start popping up on the lawn in the park across from the Cave of Machpela. Men, women, kids of all ages, can be found camping out. I spoke to people who’d come from Netanya and Akko to sleep in a tent on the ground because “this is the city of the Patriarchs. It’s ours.” On Friday night, walking back from amazing evening prayers at Machpela, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Families pitched tents on the road, between parked cars and opened up small tables from which to enjoy their Shabbat meal. Young children, swathed in winter jackets, sat around such tables, eating, singing and enjoying the festivity.
Evening prayers are unbelievable. Various minions – prayer services – spring up on the lawn outside, in the courtyard, and inside the building. Thousands upon thousands descend on Herod’s 2,000 year old structure to offer Shabbat prayers. These worship services include song and dance, true joy. More than one group includes dozens of people who have flown into Israel from the United States and Europe, for 48 hours, to participate in this massive celebration. It is indescribable.
During meals, huge tents were filled to capacity. People hosted, some more, some less. In my apartment, aside from filling our bedrooms (in one, three older married women slept together), our living room floor contained four guys and the couch bedded my friend Moshe Goldshmid, whose family has been coming to us for about 14 years for this Shabbat. Moshe’s grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Goldshmid, was murdered in Hebron during the 1929 riots. For meals, another visiting family joined us.
Others hosted literally dozens, eating in shifts (and maybe sleeping in shifts too). After evening meals many participated in political panel discussions, including numerous Israeli MKs, ministers and Rabbis. Visitors toured all day and all night. Saturday afternoon my friend Noam Arnon led a huge tour in the Casba. Simcha Hochbaum guided a huge group throughout the Jewish neighborhoods. I had two tours of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, showing the uninitiated the wonders of ancient-new Hebron.
I must also mention: Friday afternoon we dedicated a memorial room to our dear friend, Herb Zweibon, founder and director of AFSI, Americans for a Safe Israel. Herb was a genuine friend of Israel, and especially of Hebron’s Jewish community. AFSI’s executive director, Helen Freedman led a group of about 25 friends from the US for a week-long visit in Israel, and to Hebron for this Shabbat. We all gathered at the new “Zweibon Hall,” at the entrance to the ‘Hezkiah neighborhood,” here in Hebron to dedicate this room in Herb’s memory.
Late Saturday afternoon I participated in the ‘3rd meal’ with our friends attending via Hebron’s US branch, the Hebron Fund. The fund’s new director, Rabbi Dan Rosenstein, asked me to speak with the group for a few minutes. I asked them to take their “Hebron Shabbat High’ back home, to convey it to others, and to be ambassadors for Hebron’s Jewish community, getting the word out, letting other know what Hebron is really all about. They are all, as much as we are, ‘keepers of the keys,’ insuring Hebron’s Jewish future forever.
By the time Shabbat ended, everyone was exhausted, but the day hadn’t yet concluded. I sat with my AFSI friend in our Beit Hadassah apartment, answering questions and discussing various issues common to all of us for about an hour. Only later did I have the luxury to collapse.David Wilder, Tazpit News Agency
Dr. Orly Weinstein, deputy director of Soroka hospital reports that one of the IDF soldier’s injured in the anti-tank missile attack against their jeep is still in very serious condition.
The hospital just finished operating on him for his head and eye injuries. He’s more stable than he was when he was first brought in, but he’s unconscious. His life is still in danger.
The second soldier that was brought to Soroka is now listed in moderate condition, and Dr. Weinstein says the operation to remove the shrapnel from his eyes was successful. He was moved to the ICU.
The other two soldiers are being treated at Barzilai hospital and are listed as lightly injured.Jewish Press News Briefs
Abraham’s legacy, still alive and well, is the crux of our existence, not only in Hebron, but as a people, in Israel and around the world.
A few years ago, following one of his last visits to Me’arat Hamachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs, as Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu entered his car, the other door opened and two people literally pushed their way into the vehicle, one civilian, the other in uniform.
The civilian, a senior employee at the holy site, said, “Rabbi, I’m sorry to do this, but this man, a border police officer, works here very hard and greatly helps the Jewish people. He has a problem. He and his wife have been married many years and have yet to be blessed with children.”
Rabbi Eliyahu looked at the man and responded, “He should continue to help the Jewish people and next year he will be witness to salvation.”
A year later his daughter Miriam was born. The border police officer’s name is Shuchralla Morav.
Much has been written about Hebron’s relationship with security forces, be it police or IDF. As much as we say about our good, positive relationships with them, we are unfortunately generally not believed.
The roots of our national essence, in Hebron, begins with Abraham and Sarah. They were known as people of chesed, that is, overwhelming loving-kindness and generosity. Our sages have taught that we must express the attributes of our Creator: as He is kind, so too we must be kind. The primary examples of kindness are Abraham and Sarah.
Abraham’s compassion was not limited to “his own.” Numerous stories are told of his assistance to strangers, many of whom worshiped idols, the very antithesis of his life and ideology. Yet this did not prevent him from offering them food, drink and a place to sleep.
The present Jewish community of Hebron tries to continue walking in the footsteps of our illustrious Forefathers, learning from their deeds, and acting accordingly. Therefore, when Rabbi Shalom Alkobi, then director of the Machpela authority, realized he had an opportunity to seek a blessing from one of our generation’s most righteous people, he did so, without thinking twice.
And the rabbi’s blessing was received and came to pass.
Morav, as he is called, served at Me’arat Hamachpela for 17 years. Living in the north, several hours from Hebron, he wasn’t able to spend enough time with his wife and young daughter. Recently he was transferred to a position much closer to his home, allowing him to enjoy his blessings.
But, after 17 years of service, we couldn’t allow him to leave without a proper parting. So a few days ago, a large group from Hebron, as well as a few of his former commanders, surprised Morav at his home for a farewell party. All facets of Hebron’s community were represented: Rabbi Hillel Horowitz and Noam Arnon, Baruch Marzel, Rabbi Shalom Alkobi, and others.
The celebration began with a number of speeches recognizing Morav’s contribution to dozens of Hebron events, including mass gatherings of tens of thousands of visitors. Everyone present articulated words of gratitude, which was expressed also in several gifts presented to him: an original painting of Me’arat Hamachpela by Hebron artist Shmuel Mushnik, and a certificate of appreciation, signed by all present as well as Hebron’s mayor, Avraham Ben-Yosef, Hebron’s director-general Uri Karzen, and the director of the regional religious council, Yosef Dayan.
How did Morav relate to his years in Hebron? In his words, “It was an honor… the sanctity of the site was above any and all other considerations.”
Shuchralla Morav is not the first and only officer honored by Hebron’s Jewish community. A long list of police , IDF soldiers and officers and commanders are among those who are tangibly appreciated as a result of their tireless efforts to maintain a safe and secure Hebron, allowing hundreds of thousands of people, of all races and religions, to visit Israel’s first Jewish city and holy sites.
Surely, we do not always see eye to eye, but then again, neither do husband and wife always agree. You learn to agree to disagree. However that doesn’t prevent mutual care, respect and love. So too with the courageous men and women whose presence, hard work and shared esteem lead to positive, fruitful relationships which can last for many years.David Wilder, Tazpit News Agency
While Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on East Coast Jewish communities, another storm eleven years ago made serious political waves in the Jewish world.
It’s not unusual for Jewish organizations to clash with United Nations agencies over issues related to Israel. But in 2001, Jewish groups’ concern for Israel drew them into an unusual battle with the UN over the naming of a hurricane.
When a tropical storm’s winds reach 39 miles per hour, it is given a name, and when it hits 74 mph it is classified as a hurricane. The names are chosen by a 25-person committee of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which meets annually and approves a list of names for upcoming storms.
The list approved in early 2001 included “Adolph” and “Israel.” In retrospect, one might think those choices would have raised some red flags, but committee chair Max Mayfield, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, told a Jerusalem Post reporter at the time: “We have four billion people on the planet, and you are the only person I’ve ever had express a concern about the name Israel.”
Mayfield defended the choice of “Israel” as “a good Spanish name.” He also argued that Adolph is “not the German spelling, and there are a lot of good people with the name Adolph, too.”
Jewish leaders strongly criticized the choice of names.
“I shudder to think how terrible it would be in Muslim countries in the Far East if they found themselves suffering from a storm by that name,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Zuroff said there was “terrible irony” in the use of the name Israel since “the Nazis forced Jewish males who did not have what they considered to be a distinctly Jewish name to add the name Israel as a middle name.”
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, concurred. “How about Jesus?” Foxman asked. “That’s another good Spanish name. They wouldn’t name a hurricane Jesus, would they?”
As for “Adolph,” Foxman told the Jerusalem Post that “in the lifetime of [Holocaust survivors] still alive, to name anything [Adolph] by an international body is offensive and hideous.”
The WMO’s website acknowledged that naming storms after people is not a universal practice. Storms in Asia, for example, are not given people’s names because “the practice of naming storms, which usually bring destruction, after persons appears to run counter to Oriental sensibilities.”
Thus, in the western North Pacific region, storm names are chosen from lists submitted by 14 affected countries. Most of those names are animals, flowers, or astrological references.
UN officials at first refused to reconsider “Israel” or “Adolph” on the grounds that the committee had no established mechanism for altering lists between annual meetings. In fact, at the time of the controversy, Tropical Storm Adolph was already gathering strength 250 miles southwest of the Mexican coastline.
In response to the protests, however, the WMO soon reversed itself and agreed to change “Israel” to “Ivo.” Ironically, the storm named Ivo, which appeared off the coast of Africa that August, never made it beyond the category of tropical storm and caused no damage.
Likewise, although Adolph did reach hurricane strength, it never made landfall and thus caused no damage either.
Jewish leaders chalked up another victory. But some pundits were less than sympathetic.
“It’s understandable that some Jewish leaders and worrywarts said ‘Oy Vey’ when they learned of a United Nations commission’s decision to name a hurricane ‘Israel,’ ” wrote Jonah Goldberg, contributing editor of National Review.
“I guess it would be better if the United Nations – a notoriously anti-Israel body – hadn’t opened the possibility of headlines such as ‘Israel Wipes Out Thousands in Manila’ or ‘Miami Without Power for Second Day, Thanks to Israel.’ ”
“But come on,” Goldberg continued. “Jews have enough to worry about…. It may be bizarre, stupid and insensitive. But is this the most important battle for Israel or Jews right now? There are actual battles taking place in Israel right now. Wailing and moaning about the politically incorrect name of a hurricane will not change that fact at all…. If the National Director of the ADL can’t find an injustice greater than a misnamed hurricane, he’s not looking hard enough.”Dr. Rafael Medoff
JERUSALEM – More than 100,000 American voters in Israel cast their ballots for a presidential candidate, with nearly 80,000 of them having submitted a ballot provided by iVoteIsrael, a local non-profit organization that spent the past few months aggressively encouraging American expatriates living in Israel to register and vote. The remaining registered voters cast their ballots via the absentee route.
Due to what was expected to be a tight race for the White House between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, Israeli-based representatives of both political parties said that the overseas vote could possibly influence the final tally in some battleground states. The iVoteIsrael organization estimated that 7,500 Americans living in Israel are registered in Florida, and 3,500 in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.
According to an exit poll conducted by iVoteIsrael among 1,572 voters who cast their ballots in Israel, Romney received 85 percent of the vote. But Democratic Party representatives in Israel charged that the poll was skewed since iVoteIsrael was successful in registering mostly traditional and Orthodox American voters, whose political leanings are considered to be more conservative.
Similarly, American immigrants living in Israel might have an impact on a possibly changing political landscape in the January 22 Israeli elections. At least three Americans are vying for viable positions on various Knesset slates. Primaries for most of the major Israeli political factions will take place in the coming weeks.
The most well known English-speaking candidate is affluent former hi-tech whiz Naftali Bennett, who served from 2006-2008 as then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff and is a former director general of the Yesha Council. Bennett, the 40-year-old son of American immigrants, is a leader of the rightist My Israel movement.
Bennett is virtually guaranteed to garner enough support to be placed among the top five slots on the Jewish Home Knesset list. According to recent polls, the merger between Jewish Home and the National Union could bring the reinvigorated religious Zionist political faction up to 10 seats in the elections. Jeremy Gimpel, who is originally from Atlanta and who has gained a local and international Internet audience as co-host of the “Tuesday Night Live” talk show in Jerusalem, is also running for a feasible slot on the Jewish Home Knesset list.
Staten Island native Daniel Tauber recently announced his candidacy for the 35th spot on the Likud Party’s primary list, which is reserved for “young political activists.” The 29-year-old lawyer-turned-politician is the executive director of “Likud Anglos.” As the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu are running a combined Knesset list in the upcoming elections, Tauber’s chances of entering the Israeli parliament would be a long shot.Steve K. Walz