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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘home’

Coming Home: Jewish Secondary Schools Opening in Düsseldorf, Munich

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

A Jewish secondary school will open in the city of Düsseldorf in western Germany on Wednesday, and a Jewish high school will soon open in Munich, bringing the total number of Jewish high schools in the country to three, the World Jewish Congress reported. Until now, Germany’s only Jewish high school has been in Berlin.

Out of the 522,000 Jews who lived in Germany in January 1933 only 214,000 remained by the end of 1939. On May 19, 1943, Germany was declared Judenrein (clean of Jews), with no Jewish high schools. Now we’re back to three, and counting.

Some 40 fifth-grade students will make up the inaugural class of the newly founded Albert Einstein Gymnasium in Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine Westphalia. For now the new school will be housed in temporary accommodations, with a new school building scheduled to be completed in five years. Some 90% of the new school budget is funded by the North Rhine Westphalia state government.

“We are convinced that Jewish life has a firm place in Germany,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the news agency DPA. Whenever there are enough students to open such a school, that’s “a great gain for the Jewish community,” Schuster said.

Schuster, a physician, was born in Haifa in 1954. His father David Schuster emigrated to Palestine in 1938, and both of his mother’s parents died in Auschwitz. The Schuster family returned to Germany in 1956. Josef went to school in Würzburg and studied medicine at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. He became a specialist in internal medicine after training at the Juliusspital. Since 1988 he has maintained a private practice in internal medicine in Würzburg.

Josef Schuster is well aware of the risks Jews living in Germany are facing. He told the newspaper Welt that many refugees seeking to live away from the ISIS persecution nevertheless come from “cultures in which hate toward Jews and intolerance are fixed components,” and that as a result, “sooner or later we will not be able to avoid [setting limits]” on refugee migration into Germany. He said he feared that if the influx of refugees in Germany continues at the present rate, it will become “increasingly difficult” to integrate migrants and “pass on our values.”

Meanwhile, the 7,000 strong Jewish community of Düsseldorf, Germany’s third largest, after Berlin and Munich, have established the new school as a way to pass their values to the next generation of German Jews. The school will offer eight hours a week of Hebrew and Jewish subjects, which non-Jewish students will also be allowed to attend.

JNi.Media

Sanz Hasidism’s Secret Revealed: How Couples Buy a Home for $660 a Month

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

It’s no secret that the Haredi sector in Israel is suffering from a terrible housing shortage which is only getting worse. But according to Walla, at least one Hasidic court has found a solution. Apparently, young newlyweds in Sanz are able to buy apartment in the “periphery” which is Israeli code for not in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa or anywhere along the coast, for up to $185,000 without making a significant down payment.

Sources in Sanz are saying the problem is not an apartment shortage but a money shortage: few young Haredi couples are able to come up with the minimum down payment of about $80,000. Which is why at Sanz they launched the Build your Home program that helps every young Sanzer couple buy their own apartment for about $660 a month (2,500 shekels).

The couple would be directed to look for an apartment in T’veria, costing up to 700,000 shekels ($185,000). Each pair of parents must pay in about $6,600, and the Sanz gmach (loan society) kicks in a $93,000 interest free loan, and aids the couple in applying for an $80,000 mortgage from the bank. Since the couples qualify easily under Israel’s system of housing points, they should qualify for a mortgage loan that would pay for the new apartment. The couple only has to pay back about $660 a month — $265 to the gmach and the rest to the bank.

According to Walla, in Sanz about 120 couples get married each year, and there’s a backlog of about 200 new couples. However, according to a source in Sanz, the new program currently has about $14.5 million at its disposal, which should suffice to find housing for many couples. So far they say they’ve found housing in T’veria for about 300 couples.

The upside is, of course, modern housing at a low cost. But Haredi couples are used to living near their parents and close to the religious and educational institutions they grew up with. Moving to a new, remote community, although with many of their movement peers, is the sacrifice they would have to make. Halbershtam said practically all the Haredi movements in Israel are following the Sanz example, he’s being asked to assist Sephardim, Lithuanians, and Hasidim in setting up similar systems. “The housing shortage is like cancer, and we have found the cure,” he said.

About 9,000 Haredi couples get married each year in Israel, and their inability to come up with the down payment for their own home forces them to waste years worth of income on rent, instead of investing this money in acquiring their own place. The new programs, should they proliferate throughout the Haredi population, could liberate all of them. They would also help populate the periphery, expanding and bolstering Jewish settlement across the country.

David Israel

The Perfect Holiday Gift: New Missile Alert System from Home Front Command

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

The IDF Home Front Command on Thursday revealed a private home siren that provides real-time warnings in case of a missile attack, Globes reported. A collaboration of the Home Front Command and Beeper Communications Israel, the home warning kit will be offered for sale to the general public this fall, but the cost is not yet finalized.

Home Front Command Planning Department Commander Col. Itzik Gai explained the value of the new product saying that the windows in most homes are closed with the air conditioning working in summer and in winter, making it difficult to hear the sirens. The new device will improve the chance that members of the household hear the alerts in time to evacuate to their safe rooms.

The Home Front Command has already pushed for the development of apps that provide real-time warning about incoming missiles via mobile phones and home computers. The new, personal warning system offers an enhancement of those apps. “The national siren system will continue to be the bulldozer for delivering warnings to the public, but the personal systems will be supplementary components,” Gai told Globes.

The Home Front Command divides Israel into 264 siren areas in which an alarm is activated as soon as a missile’s flight path and landing have been analyzed. In the area where the missile is expected to hit, the alarm system will be activated. Like the apps that were already in use during Operation Protective Edge two summers ago, the new home warning system will kick in only if a missile threatens the user’s particular area, leaving everyone else to continue with their daily routines.

“We’re already thinking about delivering an earlier warning focused on a single square kilometer,” Gai said, adding the signal could be sent to a smart watch.

JNi.Media

Israeli President Welcomes 50,000th Oleh Brought Home by Nefesh B’nefesh

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

A group of 233 Olim (newcomers) landed Wednesday morning in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport on an El Al Boeing 777 chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh to begin new lives in Israel. The flight celebrated the Aliyah of the 50,000th newcomer through the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, which was founded in 2002. Among the newcomers were 75 “lone soldiers” who will become Israeli citizens and volunteer to serve in the IDF. The flight was a collaborative project of Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, JNF-USA and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar.

More than half of the 75 soon-to-be soldiers are young women. Rebecca Glanzer, 22, from Brooklyn, NY, graduated recently from Columbia University with a degree in economics and is hoping to serve in the IDF’s Artillery Brigade. “I have been looking forward to making Aliyah and serving as a lone soldier in the IDF for so many years, and it is so crazy to me that this dream I had in high school is finally being realized,” said Glanzer. She then explained: “What drew me to Israel was the community and sense of belonging that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Being the 50,000th person to make Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh only affirms for me that I am part of something bigger, joining the thousands of people who took the opportunity to live a more meaningful and more Jewish life in Israel. I can’t believe it’s finally happening.”

The flight included a diverse mix of people from 22 US states and one Canadian province, including 24 families, 78 children and 10 medical professionals. The ages ranged from three and a half weeks to 85 years old.

Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 50,000 Oleh Rebecca Glanzer with (L-R) Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, and Tony Gelbart, co-founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh / Photo credit: Shahar Azran

Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 50,000 Oleh Rebecca Glanzer with (L-R) Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver, and Tony Gelbart, co-founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh / Photo credit: Shahar Azran

“This is such an honor for me to join you at this special moment, The moment you have all come home,” President Reuven Rivlin said at the ceremony welcoming the group. He continued, “You are no longer Jews in exile, you are now all Israelis. Each of you, young and old, men and women, have fulfilled the dream of 2000 years, you have made Aliyah.”

“I know the decision to make Aliyah is not easy, leaving behind family and friends, looking for work, starting in new schools, learning a new language. There are challenges ahead but we are all here to support you and help you build your new home,” the President said.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver told the newcomers that “the State of Israel salutes the young people who chose to leave their comfortable lives in North America in order to make the greatest contribution to the country’s national security and its people. I congratulate them and the other Olim who make Aliyah as a result of the cooperation between the Ministry and our partner in Aliyah, Nefesh B’Nefesh. I’m confident, and I promise, that the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption will accompany these Olim and take care of them throughout their entire integration process.”

Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, pointed out that “every single family and individual we bring to Israel who decides to make Aliyah is such a special thing for us as an organization, but when you see so many brave young men and women from North America sacrifice so much and voluntarily leave their families because they feel a yearning desire to serve in the IDF and defend Israel, that’s powerful.”

He reminisced how “back in 2002 when Tony Gelbart and I founded this organization, we couldn’t have imagined bringing 50,000 Jews from North America to Israel to fulfill their dreams and the dreams of the Jewish people. And we’re not stopping anytime soon.”

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said, “We are proud of our partnership with Nefesh B’Nefesh, and every new planeload of North American Olim strengthens and enriches our country. The immigrants arriving from the United States and Canada are coming not out of distress but rather out of excitement to take part in the greatest national project of the Jewish people, said. We must ensure that the State of Israel remains a place in which every Jew feels at home, a place that ignites Jews’ imagination and strengthens their identity and security. I would particularly like to welcome the dozens of young people who are choosing to build their lives in Israel: your success is our success, and your future is our future. Welcome home!”

Gary Vitkin, CEO of Tzofim Tzabar Olami, said, “The touching stories of the participants are inspiring and encourage us to continue to give them the warm hug that they deserve, these young adults from all over the world come to Israel to serve in the IDF as Lone Soldiers. One of the most meaningful accomplishments of Tzofim – Garin Tzabar that is in collaboration with The Jewish Agency, Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Kibbutz Movement and Nefesh B’Nefesh is the unique dynamic that is formed by the teens is made possible by these organizations and I am happy to see that this success is translated to building a future in Israel.”

JNi.Media

Welcome Home [photo]

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

233 North American new Olim arrived home to Israel this morning, Wedensday, August 17, 2106, on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah flight.

Approximately 50,000 people have made Aliya with NBN since it was established.

The honor of being number 50,000 was given to Rivka Geltzer, 22.

Geltzer has a degree in economics from Columbia University in New York, and will joining the IDF. She received her new Teudat Zehut (ID card) directly from President Ruby Rivlin.

From the photos you can see that around 75 of the new Olim will be joining the IDF.

What more can we say beyond, “Welcome Home!”

NBN Aliyah August 2016 1

NBN Aliyah August 2016 3

NBN Aliyah August 2016 2

NBN Aliyah August 2016 5

NBN Aliyah August 2016 6

NBN Aliyah August 2016 7

Photos by Ehud Amitun / TPS

Photo of the Day

Home Sweet Home?

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Baby-boomers who were fortunate to know their grandparents were likely regaled with stories of life in the shtetl and early 1900s New York. One common denominator between our Old World and New World ancestors was the crowded living conditions, with families often consisting of six or more children sharing a dwelling space of one or maybe two bedrooms. In fact, some kids shared beds with several siblings at a time – and even a bathroom with other large families on the same floor.  Somehow they managed to thrive in these crowded conditions but the dream was to earn enough money to own a home with lots of rooms to accommodate children and guests – often relatives brought over from Europe.  It was not unusual for elderly grandparents to live with a married daughter and her family or her to take in unmarried siblings for extended periods of time.

Many families did eventually achieve this goal, even if it took a generation or two to do so.  So successful were a significant number of individuals that the term “monster home” was created to describe the huge houses that sprung up like weeds, replacing the smaller but decent-sized ranch houses and bungalows that were purchased.  Some were remodeled with additions, but many were demolished and replaced by multi-leveled houses with four bedrooms and an equal number of bathrooms. Some homes were even built with a self-contained Pesach kitchen, swimming pool, den, family room, “granny suites” and guest rooms.

But I believe that the up-and-coming generations will not live in the grand single-family homes many of them grew up in. That’s because housing in cities and towns in the New York area, in Toronto and other urban areas is becoming a luxury, and fewer and fewer middle to upper-middle income families can afford to buy homes in what we would term geographically-desirable frum communities in North America.

In Toronto, for example, blessed with a large and rapidly growing Orthodox community, the average home is well over $1,000,000. Even fixer-upper homes that are falling apart, but that are located in heavily populated frum neighborhoods, sell for that much. The cheapest homes in the not-as-popular Jewish areas are still an out-of-reach $700,000-800,000. I imagine that in Brooklyn, Queens, the Five Towns and Los Angeles the real estate has also skyrocketed to out-of-reach levels even for “comfortable” families.

A generation or two ago, young married couples would rent an apartment for several years and with money saved, and perhaps some financial help from their parents, they would buy a starter house. Gradually as their family grew, and they became more established in their businesses and professions, they moved into a bigger home.

Those days are over.  For those families who may earn an impressive $120,000 a year, home ownership is out of reach even with the current very low borrowing rates.  Even if there is money for a down payment, 10% of  $1,000,000 is still a formidable $100,000. With tuition for two kids running somewhere around $25,000, how can they afford the monthly mortgage payments which are thousands of dollars a month as well? And then there are the high expenditures of being Orthodox: kosher food, sheitels, Yom Tov clothing, shul membership, as well as real estate taxes, car payments and upkeep, income taxes, etc.

Some couples may have wealthy parents, but if they have three or four siblings who also need or will need houses one day for their own growing families – well several million dollars doesn’t go that far anymore.

What I already see happening is that young families are staying in rental apartments and some are buying two or three-bedroom condos or co-ops. They will either have to limit the size of their family to live comfortably in their small living space – or live as their great, great-grandparents did once upon a time, with wall-to-wall humanity if they opt to have large families.

Cheryl Kupfer

Al-Nusra Front Changes Brand Name, Severs Affiliation with Home Office

Friday, July 29th, 2016

The leader of Syrian rebel organization Jabhat a-Nusra, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, on Thursday announced the severing of his group’s ties to Al Qaeda. In his first video broadcast, which was later carried by Al Jazeera, Al-Julani said that his organization will now be named Fatah al-Sham, and will have no outside affiliations. He explained that the move was a measure to enhance unity in the ranks, and thanked Al Qaeda for supporting his move.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who replaced founder and original CEO Osama bin Laden, gave his blessings to the move in an audio cassette. Jabhat a-Nusra, the largest rebel army in Syria, operated from its inception as an offshoot of Al Qaeda.

Al-Julani told the Al Jazeera audience that the move was “a response to the wishes of the people of al-Sham (Syria), to remove a possible excuse the Russians and the Americans might use in bombing and expelling the Muslims of Syria under the guise of fighting Jabhat a-Nusra, over its loyalty to Al Qaeda.

Abu Mohammad al-Julani is the nom de guerre of this mysterious man, whose real name is only known to the Al Qaeda leadership. The name is a reference to the Golan Heights, which Israel liberated from Syria in the 1967 war. Back in 2013, Syrian state television reported that al-Julani had been killed near Latakia, but a year later he released an audio statement in which he promised to fight the “United States and its allies” and urged his men not to accept help from the West in their battle against ISIS — so the Syrian state-run news agency SANA withdrew its report of his demise.

He is commonly known as “al-Sheikh al-Fateh” — the Conqueror Sheikh. In October 2015, al-Julani called for indiscriminate attacks on Alawite villages in Syria (the Alawite is an offshoot Islamic sect, to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs), saying, “There is no choice but to escalate the battle and to target Alawite towns and villages in Latakia.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/al-nusra-front-changes-brand-name-severs-affiliation-with-home-office/2016/07/29/

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