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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Federation’

Biggest Ever Merger Unites Two NJ Jewish Federations

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

A massive merger between to United Jewish Communities federations will create a powerhouse of influence and funding for Jewish programs, projects, and social services in New Jersey.

The United Jewish Communities of MetroWest, based in Whippany, will join forces with the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, in Scotch Plains, combining the efforts of the two groups into the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ serving Essex, Morris, and Union counties, according to a report in the Star-Ledger.

According to the report, the new group will serve the needs of approximately 125,000 people.

The decision came in light of previous collaboration between the two groups, their involvement in sister cities in the Negev, as well as the US economic downturn.

Backlash Against Inclusion of BDS in Israel Day Parade

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

A major backlash against a UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) decision to permit groups encouraging Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to march in the upcoming Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City has led to a campaign to oust the groups from the event.

“A coalition of community Jewish organizations urgently calls on all friends of Israel to make their voices heard,” an e-mail from an organization called JCC Watch reads. “We urge everyone to raise your voices and call the UJA-Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).  Urge them to stop these groups from marching in the Israel Day Parade and hijacking a pro-Israel event for their anti-Israel purposes.”

Those who participate in the campaign will be responding to news that the New Israel Fund (NIF) will be participating in this year’s parade, despite funding projects that many see as aiming to delegitimize and weaken Israel, both socio-politically and economically.

NIF is a funder of various organizations which have urged divestment from Israel, including Mossawa, Adalaha, Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Social TV, and Women Against Violence.

The NIF marched in last year’s parade, along with Israel Apartheid Week supporter B’Tselem , Rabbis for Human Rights, and  Partners for Progressive Israel, which has called for a boycott of all products produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria.

JCC Watch founder and member of the newly established Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade Richard Allen stated that “it is not surprising that the UJA-Federation is pushing these bash Israel groups to march in the June 3, 2012 Israel Parade.”  He accused several senior members of the UJA of being involved in anti-Israel work, including one officer he says worked with Noam Chomsky on an anti-Israel project and another he says gave $1 million in UJA funds to the “George Soros-funded political group”  Jewish Funds for Justice.

Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) Executive Director Helen Freedman decried the participation of the BDS groups, noting that when her organization wanted to march in the parade with signs promoting Jewish sovereignty over all the land assigned to the Jewish people in biblical texts, her group was denied. “We were turned down because we were too “extremist” and our banners in support of a whole Israel – yisrael shlayma -were not welcome,” Freedman said, according to a letter from her posted on the website of activist Batya Meidad.

Supporters of the campaign to oust BDS groups from the annual New York City parade are being encouraged to call or e-mail Board members of the UJA Federation of New York.

Members of the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade include Allen of JCCWatch, Rabbi Steven Axelman of Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Beth Gilinsky of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Eli E. Hertz of “Myths and Facts”, Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek, and Rabbi Eli Kowalsky.

Not Exactly A Collector’s Item, But…

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

As noted here last week, the Monitor is coming up on its tenth anniversary as a weekly column. The very first Monitor ran the week of July 3, 1998, and on the chance that some (a few?) readers might be interested in what the maiden voyage looked like, it appears below.

From the beginning the Monitor decided on a Take No Prisoners approach, skewering the media – and, at times, politicians and other newsmakers – in quite unambiguous terms.

One note before we get to the actual column: The Monitor has no idea how Sue Simmons’s name got into the heading of the second item. The veteran news reader, still a fixture on WNBC here in New York, must have arched an eyebrow or pursed her lips in a manner the Monitor found most offensive shortly before the column went to press.

Fed Tabloid Slings It From The Left

Pop quiz: Which one of the following newspapers, in a front-page headline trumpeting the Israeli government’s decision to incorporate some (Jewish) suburban areas into Jerusalem proper, employed the deceptive – and politically loaded – term “land grab”?

A) The Village Voice
B) The Amsterdam News
C) Al-Ahran
D) The Jewish Week

The answer, sadly, is D, and is just the latest indication that the Federation-subsidized tabloid is in the midst of one of its politically-correct silly seasons, as when it farmed itself out earlier this year as the house organ of the Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy.

In addition to headlining the Jerusalem story with words that would have done Pravda proud, the Fed tabloid has in recent weeks assumed the role of counsel for the defense in the matter of John Roth, hired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to head its Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

Roth, whose past writings seem to equate the Israeli treatment of Palestinians with the Nazi treatment of Jews and the rise of Ronald Reagan with the rise of Adolf Hitler, has been on the receiving end of intense criticism since the nature of some of his views came to light.

However, in striking contrast to the English weekly Forward, which took the lead in reporting the story and publishing strongly-worded editorials on the subject, The Jewish Week not only came out in support of Roth, it went so far as to accuse Roth’s critic of “McCarthyism” – an epithet, like “land grab,” long favored on the Left.

Who says the alternative press is dead.

Who Needs Sue Simmons When There’s Al-Jazeera?

Of all the unexpected changes he’s instituted in the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s most lasting legacy may well be an independent all-news television station that is steadily picking up viewers from all over the region.

The station, al-Jazeera, has been in operation since November 1996 and is easily distinguishable from conventional television channels in the Arab world by its iconoclastic reporting and refusal to toe a particular party line.

With its coverage of imprisoned dissidents and exiled political figures, its free-for-all-debates (which have included bitter denunciations of Islam for holding back progress in Arab countries) and reports on widespread corruption in Arab governments, the station is creating something of a stir.

“Al-Jazeera has shaken Arab society,” the editor-in-chief of the London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi told the Associated Press. “It is a political democratic earthquake; people love it and trust it.”

Naturally, al-Jazeera has its share of detractors, as does the Sheik himself, who overthrew his father in 1995 and in short order established commercial ties with Israel and abolished his state’s censorship agency.

A Saudi engineer quoted by the AP predicted that because of al-Jazeera, Arab governments soon will be dealing with a completely different mindset among their citizens: “People now look differently at the world around them. It has made a concept that is not part of our culture – debate – a part of our lives.”

Letters to the Editor

Friday, October 1st, 2004

Federation Follies

It was nice, in an ironic way, to read Arlene Peck’s op-ed column “Not One More Dime For Federation,” Aug. 20).

Just three days before I received the issue of The Jewish Press containing Ms. Peck’s article, I got a call from the New Mexico Federation asking for a donation. I told the woman who called that I was not going to give any more money until Federation started acting more
respectful to observant Jews and stopped printing anti-Israel articles in the local Federation newspaper, the New Mexico Jewish Link. (The editor of the newspaper is not even Jewish!)

The woman who called was taken aback and asked if I would talk to the Federation president. I said I would, but he still hasn’t called.

Rita Getty
Tijeras, NM



Who’s A ‘Fanatic’? (I)

Professor Steven Plaut referred to the late Baruch Goldstein as a “fanatic” in his Aug. 27 front page essay “Gush Katif Memories.” Baruch Goldstein was no more fanatical than the great Irgun hero David Raziel, who broke the yishuv’s policy of self-restraint by bombing Arab
buses in retaliation for the slaughter of Jews.

If Prof. Plaut knew the nuances of halachic warfare, he would know that the laws of milchemet mitzvah are exceedingly cruel. Presumably he would have referred to Yehoshua as a fanatic also. I would hope that in the future Prof. Plaut would avoid Rechov Raziel, lest he
inadvertently pay tribute to a fanatic soldier of Israel.

Daniel Fuchs
Far Rockaway, NY



Who’s A ‘Fanatic’? (II)

Baruch Goldstein “a fanatic”? How could you, Mr. Plaut? I always look forward to reading your columns in The Jewish Press and agree with almost everything you write. Therefore I never thought the day would come when I’d feel as betrayed as I did upon seeing the epithet you used in reference to a man who was an ish gibor – a mighty man of Israel.

Dr. Goldstein was privy to murderous plots being hatched by the so-called peaceful worshipers in that mosque, and he acted upon the rabbinic dictum “If one comes to kill you, arise and slay him first.”

To make amends to the blessed memory of Dr. Goldstein, Mr. Plaut needs to issue a public apology to the family of Baruch Goldstein (may Hashem avenge His servant’s blood).

Moshe Rosoff
(Via E-Mail)

Steven Plaut Responds: I am taken to task for describing Baruch Goldstein as a “fanatic.” In Genesis 25:9, Isaac and Ishmael bury Abraham together in the Hebron cave, Ishmael letting Isaac go first in noteworthy politeness. Isaac did not pull out an assault rifle and gun down
Ishmael while he was praying there. A Jew who guns down unarmed praying descendants of Ishmael in the same spot may be deserving of adjectives other than “fanatic,” but I
doubt The Jewish Press would print them.



Kerry’s Got Him Sold

What Mayor Koch left out of his analysis of the presidential campaign (“President Bush Deserves Our Votes,” front page essay, Aug. 20) is that Israel, more than anything else, needs secure internationally recognized boundaries.

The boundaries between Egypt and Israel and Lebanon and Israel are internationally recognized and are virtually terror-free. Everywhere else, Israel exits under cease-fire lines, some dating from 1949. Bush has done nothing to encourage the firming of Israel’s borders because he has not facilitated real diplomacy. A Kerry presidency will encourage diplomacy - it’s one of Mr. Kerry’s stated goals.

Bill Clinton, whom Mr. Koch admires, came very close to achieving an internationally recognized border between Israel and the Palestinians. Had he been successful, it would have completely undermined the Palestinians? claim to be living under “occupation” and the world would no longer treat them as freedom fighters.

Kerry would be better for Israel than Bush. Kerry would try hard to complete the Clinton initiatives.

Ira Greenfest
(Via E-Mail)



Divine Retribution?

I’m sure the one-and-a-half million Jewish children slaughtered by Hitler are comforted with the knowledge that they died because their parents and grandparents “talked and socialized” in shul.

Armed with his exclusive direct line to Heaven, reader Yoseph Gross (Letters, Aug. 20) seems challenged by the notion of humility. There always will be some who maintain that the Holocaust was a result of Jews transgressing the laws of the Torah – Divine Retribution
based on several Torah warnings (Leviticus 26; Deut. 28) that the response to widespread violation of God’s laws will be Divine curses. But Rabbi Yeshaya Karelitz (the Chazon
Ish), a Holocaust survivor with more credibility than Mr. Gross, challenges, in an extraordinary statement (Yoreh Deah, Hilchot Shechitah 2:16) this gloomy conclusion:

“(Such laws) only applied at times when the Divine Presence was clearly revealed such as in the days when there were open miracles, and a Heavenly Voice was heard and when the righteous would operate under direct Divine intervention which could be observed by anybody. Then the heretics were of a special deviousness, bending their evil inclination towards immoral desires and licentiousness.

“In such days there was (the need) to remove this kind of wickedness from the world, since everybody knew that it would bring Divine retribution to the world (including) drought, pestilence and famine. But at the time of “Divine hiding,” in which faith has become weak in people, there is no purpose in taking such action (harsh measurements against heretics and violators), in fact it has the reverse effect and will only increase their lawlessness and be
viewed as the coercion and violence (of religious fanatics.)”

This statement is very important, and ties in with an observation of Rashi’s that the expression “His work is perfect” must be understood to mean that God would never “overreact,” that His judgments would be tempered and balanced, stirred with compassion and sweetened with
mercy.

The Chazon Ish differentiates between that ancient generation – one of miracles and faith, when not to believe was deliberate rebellion and vicious heresy, and therefore worthy of Divine punishment – and his generation - one of secularism, doubt, confusion, little faith and less knowledge, breaking the Covenant not from deliberate malice but in ignorance and, therefore, despite Mr. Gross’s offensive hypothesis, totally undeserving of any Heavenly wrath.

Joe Bobker
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-71/2004/10/01/

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