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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘home’

Tenufa Bakehila: Much More than a Home Repair Project

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Tenufa Bakehila is a unique non-profit organization that provides the opportunity to deepen our service to the Jewish people. Affiliated with Livnot U’Lehibanot, this 501(3)(c) non-profit organization produces a longterm and profound impact on poverty-stricken sections of Israeli society. Thousands of Israeli families currently live in poverty, and TenufaBakehila is on the scene to restore healthy living conditions through home repair in 8 cities across Israel. An equally important component of their organization’s work is that their services also empower families to achieve independence and self-sufficiency. So this is not just a home repair project—the organization digs deeper with their in-house social worker paying attention to the families’ personal struggles.

Tenufa Bakehila was founded 23 years ago and has changed the lives of close to 4,000 families, with 237 families assisted last year. So far over 27,000 volunteers have helped with the project.

Two of our current projects:

A combat soldier and his family are living in dire housing conditions. The family is composed of a struggling single mother with 3 children, one of whom is the combat soldier. The apartment is full of problems—walls are peeling, the ceiling needs to be fixed, and there is no proper lighting. Tenufa Bakehila fixed these things, and additionally, painted the walls and ceilings, installed a shower rod, lighting fixtures, and connected the family to a donation of a new oven and stove.

Tenufa Bakhila is also working with an Ethiopian family in NesTzionathat has a soldier son. The cabinets are crumbling and falling apart from water damage, the drain system is broken and leaking, and the countertops are broken. TenufaBakehila is at the scene and ready to remove a wall, construct new kitchen cabinets, and install a new countertop. We will also update the entire drain system, fix a leaky faucet, retile walls, and arrange a new plumbing system for the washer.

A recent case of a Jerusalem single mother with several children—she was in a terrible financial situation trying to manage to support her family on her own. With the help of Tenufa Bakehila’s social worker, she was enrolled in an employment course, and following that course she is now in a computer training course. Our social worker reports that she is “happy, motivated, and so hopeful” now that she has a bright future ahead of her, a future which involves being financially independent and having the ability to support her

Guest Author

A Home Away From Home

Monday, June 6th, 2016

When people hear the word corner, or pina in Hebrew, many of them have a negative association – the corner of the classroom to which misbehaving children are sent. I know of a pina to which thousands of Israeli soldiers flock each week in order to relax, unwind, eat a snack and talk. It is called the Pina Chama, “the warm corner,” and it is situated at the Gush Etzion Junction.

The Pina Chama was born out of two tragedies. In February of 2001, Dr. Shmuel Gillis was returning home late at night from his work at Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem to Karmei Tzur in Gush Etzion. He never made it home. Arab terrorists fired at his car, mortally wounding him. He left five children and his wife Ruti.Hershberg-060316-BBQ

Ten days later, Tzachi Sasson was driving home to Rosh Tzurim in Gush Etzion. He too was murdered by Arab terrorists. He left a young widow, Ossie, a social worker who works with victims of Arab terror and their families, and two young sons.

During shiva, Ruti Gillis came up with the idea of the Pina Chama. Ruti explained why she chose the idea of a Pina Chama in order to help perpetuate her husband’s memory, “There were two layers to this decision. The first, perhaps unconscious, reason at that time was to do something positive instead of expressing my tremendous anger. The second reason is that Shmuel worked as a doctor in the army reserves. He wasn’t just a doctor to the soldiers; he was also a father to them. I thought to myself, ‘There are so many soldiers. How can I help make them happy?'”

About one month after Ossie Sasson’s husband was murdered, Ruti called Ossie and told her about her idea for a Pina Chama. Ossie told Ruti that she would like to help. Ossie told me, “I joined the effort because Tzachi used to give food to the soldiers stationed at check points and to the soldiers at the gate in Rosh Tzurim. When we had a family dinner or get-together Tzachi would run with a plate of food to the soldiers at the gate nearby… In addition to perpetuating Tzachi’s memory, I wanted to do something for our hardworking soldiers. I wanted to repay them in some way.”

Hershberg-060316-Dining-HallThe Pina Chama, run entirely by volunteers and donations, began running on Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day of 2001. Its initial structure was very modest. Volunteers stood inside a shipping container and distributed refreshments to soldiers who stood outside. Nava Eizik and Becky Avner from Efrat are the overall coordinators of volunteers and their shifts. At present there are between 400-500 volunteers.

Enthusiastic volunteer Arlene Chertof of Efrat says, “The guys are sweethearts. I love volunteering here. Even a soldier without a kippah will ask, ‘Is this pareve or dairy?’”

It isn’t only Jewish soldiers who visit. Nava described how Druse soldiers come in and praise Israel, the Jews and the Pina Chama. “It’s wonderful to meet all sorts of people and to learn about them,” said Nava. “I thrive on it. It is such a positive experience for everyone. People learn to respect all kinds of people… We get soldiers here who have never met ‘settlers’ in their lives. Their picture of us changes for the positive as a result.” Shirli Epstein said the experiences at the Pina Chama are good for PR. “We’re helping our image. It raises our profile in a positive way.” Ruti Gillis states, “The Pina Chama is a place without politics.”

The walls are covered with plaques, photos, banners from the various army units and drawings sent or brought in by the soldiers to show their appreciation. Nava has encountered many soldiers who want to pay for the refreshments so a tzedakah box was added.

On Israel Independence Day, Pina Chama hosts a barbecue. Last year over 900 soldiers enjoyed the barbecue, either by being at the Pina Chama or having the food brought to them by volunteers.Hershberg-060316-Package

Ossie summed up what is so special about the Pina Chama when she told me, “There’s something in the Pina Chama which warms the heart. Everyone finds the good. The place reflects the positive side of people.” Ruti said, “The Pina Chama is a place of love for one’s fellow man. It is a place where connections are made.”

Often projects begin with excitement, expectation and hard work, but they peter out after a while. Keeping up the momentum is difficult. Baruch Hashem, the Pina Chama has been going from chayil to chayil (strength to strength and no pun intended) with no signs of losing steam. May Hashem grant everyone involved with this wonderful chesed project much strength and success.

 

If you would like to help support the important work of the Pina Chama, please contact Ira Hauser at limjts@gmail.com.

Adena Hershberg

NJ Resident Convicted of Setting Fire to Synagogue, Rabbi’s Home

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Lodi, NJ, resident Anthony Graziano, 24, on Friday was found guilty on 20 counts of terrorism and faces up to life in prison, for vandalizing and firebombing Jewish synagogues and a rabbi’s home in 2012. Graziano’s sentencing will take place in July. Graziano was charged together with his friend, Aakash Dalal.

The two attackers started a fire in the Rutherford, NJ bedroom of a rabbi, who was asleep at the time, as were his wife, their five children and the rabbi’s parents.

Graziano’s attorney argued that his client did not wish to harm anyone, and he plans to appeal.

David Israel

Yankee Come Home: Knesset Marks 100 Years of Jewish-American Involvement in Israel

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

The Knesset on Wednesday marks 100 years of Jewish-American involvement in the pre-state Jewish community and in the State of Israel, with a series of committee meetings and events. The special day is an initiative of MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp-Labor), head of the Lobby for US-Israel Relations.

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, headed by MK Tzach Hanegbi (Likud) will hold a debate on “US Jewry as a strategic asset for Israel’s security”; the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, chaired by MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu), will discuss US Jewry’s contribution to the advancement of weaker populations in Israel; the Education, Culture and Sports Committee, headed by MK Yakov Margi (Shas), will discuss the contribution of American Jews to educational enterprises and community centers in Israel; and the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, headed by MK Avraham Neguise (Likud), will hold a debate on US Jewry’s contribution to the settlement of the Land of Israel, the absorption of immigrants and the immigration of youth to the country.

During the day, an exhibition titled “Stripes, Stars and Magen David” will be launched in the Knesset’s Chagall Hall. Initiated and curated by the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa, the exhibition celebrates the ongoing commitment of American Jewry to the welfare and prosperity of Israel. It features 100 selected photos outlining the depth and breadth of Jewish American contribution to Israel, ranging from education, medical and social services, to financial support and political lobbying.

Later, a ceremony will be held in Chagall Hall in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, and Richard Sandler, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America.

JNi.Media

Uri Ariel Promises to Lower Housing Costs

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Minister of Building and Construction Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said that he plans to lower the costs of buying an apartment, according to an article in the Israeli economic paper, Calcalist.

Ariel said that currently it takes an average of 140 monthly salaries to buy a home. He plans to lower that down to 85.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Miracle in Ashkelon: No One Home When Missile Hits

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A missile fired by Gaza terrorists struck a home in Ashkelon Wednesday afternoon in the Ashkelon coastal region district.

It was a direct hit.

But the People of Israel can add this to the list of miracles with which they’ve been blessed during Operation Protective Edge, because no one was home when the missile struck the home of the Messer family.

“We had just left a few minutes before; I don’t know, we just had this feeling,” Alon Messer told a reporter for Army Radio in an interview a few minutes later. “My wife and I took our baby daughter and we had barely gone, when we heard the siren, and then the ‘boom!’ It was so close, we just knew somehow it was our house — and sure enough, when we came back and looked, there it was.”

The house had just been built, his wife added. “It was barely a year old,” she mourned. But despite the damage, no one was physically injured. Residents around the area were understandably traumatized in response to the event.

Close to 100 rockets and missiles were fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza since Hamas violated the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that was still in force Tuesday afternoon as Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators continued to work towards an agreement to end the destruction.

Israeli representatives were immediately recalled from the talks, however, as soon as rocket fire was aimed at Israeli civilians, violating the agreement some eight hours before the cease-fire was due to run out.

Hana Levi Julian

Henry Shaw & Names

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

What’s in a name? My late father had an only sibling called Henry Shaw. We loved our Uncle Hashy as we called him. He was huge, almost six-and-a-half feet tall, and had to stoop to get through the doors of our house. He had a deep but soft bass voice and a wonderful sense of humor. He was a marvelous raconteur, steeped in Yiddish culture and the intricacies of internal Jewish political warfare in Eastern Europe. His greatest impact on my life was the range of experiences he introduced me to, from Chazanut to Verdi’s Requiem, from Hillel Zeitlin to AJP Taylor, from Martin Buber to Bertrand Russell. He was less charismatic than my father, less combative, but a much more approachable person.

He qualified in social studies at London University and spent his life devoted to the Jewish Community, first in London in the Association of Jewish Youth, then running Hillel House in Endsleigh Street, London. He and his devoted wife, Sybil, provided a home from home for thousands of Jewish students from around the world for over twenty years. I saw most of him in my own student years and he was very supportive and encouraging. But then they ‘disappeared’ from my life and went off to Australia to take over the Hillel Foundation of Victoria which involved the Melbourne and Monash Universities. Five years later Henry switched to academia to help establish a Jewish studies program at Prahran College. His work eventually morphed into the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization at Monash. Sybil died in 1978, but Henry flourished until 1996.

I am writing this piece because this week is his Yahrzeit. But also because I am embarrassed to admit that I never found out why he adopted the surname Shaw. Which leads me to the issue of Jewish surnames. We Jews never really took them very seriously. Napoleon’s civil reforms insisted that everyone had to have a surname. Previously non-Jews had Christian names (yes, that’s what first names were called in Britain until the sixties) and Jews had Jewish names on to which occasionally one added a location or a profession. When the law of the land insisted on surnames Jews usually took their profession, the town they came from, or a Latin version of a Hebrew word like Benedict or Priest. Amongst themselves they invariably used only Hebrew names, until the process of acculturation took hold. This explains why Jews tended to be rather cavalier about changing their civil names or having them changed by others.

My paternal grandparents came from Radomsk. My grandmother was a Bialystock, the name of a Polish town. My grandfather’s family name was a more Russian, Rozrasowski . During the great migrations of over a hundred years ago, lots of migrants took or had simpler or more western names given to them as they came through immigration. You have heard of the old Jewish gentleman called, improbably, Shawn Fergusson because when he arrived at immigration in a state of exhaustion and shock and was asked his name he said in Yiddish, “Shoyn Fergessen“ (“I forgotten.”). Or the Chinese man called Moishe Greenberg because as he came through after a Jewish migrant and gave his name as Sam Ting, they thought he meant “the same thing”.

Seriously, when the Rozrasowskis came to London in the early part of the twentieth century the family simplified its name to Rosen. They must have thought it would sound more English! There were five girls and four boys. The boys decided that they’d rather be known by their first names, so as to differentiate themselves. That was how my Grandfather Shlomo came to be known as Mr. Solomons. Indeed his tombstone in Dublin (where he moved during the Depression) gives his name as “Mr. Sydney Solomons (Rosen)”.

My father was always known as Rosen, but his elder brother Hashy became Shaw. Was it to sound more English, or actually Irish? Shaw is a popular Irish name. When his parents moved to Ireland this was an era in which when getting a job or an apartment with a Jewish name was as difficult as getting one with an African name fifty years later. Or was it just a play on Henry’s nickname Hashy? One family tradition had it that he had lost his papers and got an Irish passport on the black market. The most improbable was that he had accidentally killed an anti-Semitic drunk in a fight and carried his name as a penance. Who knows? He never gave me a straight answer.

But if you think this story strange, let me tell you about my maternal grandfather, Moishe Yaakov Cohen, known as MJ. He was born Moishe Shumacher in Uman in the Ukraine. As a boy he emigrated to Tredegar in Wales. There he was taken under the wing of a relative whose name was Cohen, who had become the godfather of Jewish peddlers servicing the isolated Welsh mining villages of the Rhonda with haberdashery and other supplies that the miners paid for in installments. The peddlers went out on foot on a Sunday with goods provided by Mr. Cohen and did not come back till Friday to spend Shabbes together and make up the minyan. It was suggested to Moishe that if he had the same name as the boss it would inspire confidence. So Moishe Shumacher, the Levi from Uman, became MJ Cohen. Soon he did well enough to set himself up in business on his own in Manchester as MJ Cohen, General Draper (a fancy name for selling odds and ends). Later he transferred to Cardiff. One day he sent a letter back home on his notepaper inviting relatives to come and join him. When they read the invitation they had no idea who MJ Cohen was, but they did recognize the word “General” and assumed he’d been promoted in the army and had changed his name to Draper. Which explains why we once had relatives in Manchester called Draper.

All these people I have mentioned here only had one Hebrew name from the beginning to the end, names that linked them directly to their heritage of millennia. Their surnames were secondary, like a chameleon’s skin. But they, like my Uncle Hashy, were and are all proud and contributing members of the Jewish people. As far as I am concerned that’s what counts.

Jeremy Rosen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/henry-shaw-names/2013/08/18/

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