Roi Abecassis has been appointed to the post of director of World Bnei Akiva by its World Council.
He is the current deputy director and formerly was the Bnei Akiva emissary (shliach) in Scandinavia.
Abecassis learned at Yeshivat Har Etzion and has a degree in Law and Political Science. He also has served as the Director of the Hagshama Department in the World Zionist Organization.
He will replace Rabbi Noam Perel, who served his four-term after leading the Bnei Akiva yeshiva high school in Susiya, in the southern Hebron Hills.
Speaking after his appointment, Abercassis said, “World Bnei Akiva will continue to deepen the roots of Jewish children throughout the world, connecting them to Israel and encouraging Aliyah. I am excited to develop our relationship with our communities around the world, and creating links with new ones.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not involved in organization religion, will toss his hat in the political rang today and announce he is challenging Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.
We would write that he is throwing his kippa into the ring except for the faint possibility that he even owns one.
Vermont Public News (VPR) reported, “Sanders will release a short statement….and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks…. Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.”
Sanders is an Independent and a vocal critic of “corporate America” and the government’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
A socialist, the 73-year-old Sanders wants to make campaign finance reform, climate change and the rich-poor gap as the center of his campaign, and he will focus on the proposed TPP to try force Clinton to declare whether she supports or opposes it.
Sanders might be exactly what the United States needs, someone who is not afraid to challenge the “billionaire class” instead of cooperating with it while the middle class, as in almost every other western country, fells it is becoming an endangered species.
His being Jewish is not going to win him any points from Orthodox or even the Conservative Jews.
Sanders, born in Brooklyn, once volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz after university, an experience which may have bolstered his socialist views.
As for Judaism, he is not actively involved, and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press reports:
When it comes to the impact of religion on his life, he said, ‘I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis,’ and he described the pope as ‘incredibly smart and brave.’
A quote from Pope Francis also graces Sander’s Sanders for President Facebook page.
Judaism and being Jewish are not part of his public face. The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote last January after an interview with Sanders, “With a series of observations about the Jewish history of rootlessness and oppression, Sanders begins to describe the role of his lower-middle-class upbringing in forging him into the Congress’ only self-described socialist.
Sanders boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress last month. He has deep roots in the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements but has tried to remain neutral concerning Israel.
He said a Town Hall meeting in Vermont last year that Israel “over-reacted” to Hamas missile attacks but noted that the terrorist organization attacked from within populated areas and wants to destroy Israel.
If it is good news that this Jew is running for president, pray that he beats Clinton so he can lose the big race.
Below is a video of Sanders explaining why he boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow over the passing of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Monday.
“Rabbi Lichtenstein’s knowledge found expression in his literary works. He served generations of students,” said the Prime Minister.
He added, “When I gave him the Israel Prize a year ago, I saw before my eyes a great rabbi, teacher and educator, a Zionist man, sharp-witted and a keen thinker. Rabbi Lichtenstein will be remembered as a Zionist-Torah leader of the highest order, who raised thousands of students at the Har Etzion Yeshiva in the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shvut.
“He loved the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”
Israel, France and the United States have sharply criticized Pakistan’s surprise release of the alleged mastermind terrorist allegedly behind the 2008 attacks on a Mumbai hotel and Chabad Center, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were among six Americans and 160 others killed, including six Americans.
Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said:
Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, also Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre – the Nariman [Chabad] House – were targeted.
This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners.
The United States said it was “gravely concerned:” after Lakhvi walked out of jail on Friday. French President Francois Hollande, was hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the reelease was “deeply shocking.”
Modi said: “There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”
State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at the daily news briefing Friday, “Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”
Lakhvi was released after a Pakistani court suspended his detention. He had been arrested one week after the attacks.
Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons, an animal rights advocate and philanthropist died at his Palisades, California home Sunday at the age of 59 following a four-year struggle against colon cancer. He won nine Emmy awards in his career and helped launch The Simpsons, now in its 26th season. Simon, who was Jewish, donated his wealth to charities and established the Sam Simon Foundation for saving dogs and training many of them to help the blind and other handicapped people. He also funded a food bank in Los Angeles.
His career began with a script he submitted to ABC for its “Taxi” program. ABC liked it and later hired Simon. After other successes, such as “Cheers” on NBC and “The Tracey Ullman Show” on Fox, Simon, worked with James L. Brooks and cartoonist Matt Groening to create The Simpsons.
“With ‘The Simpsons,’ people didn’t know what they were gonna see,” Simon once said. “They didn’t have a clue.” The show was given time and free reign to flourish by the fledgling Fox network, which desperately needed a hit. “I don’t think you get that sort of creative freedom with any broadcast shows today.” He left The Simpsons team in 1994 with a fortune in royalties that earned several million dollars a year and which he donated for his foundation and other causes. “I have a desire to help animals,” Simon said in an interview with Reuters in 2014. “It’s my money and I get to do what I want with it. It’s an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life.”
Below is a video of some of the funniest moments on The Simpsons.
Arsonists damaged a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem’s Old City in the pre-dawn hours Thursday, and spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti.
No one was injured, and damage was minimal.
A Greek Church archbishop said two people who hid their faces three a flammable liquid at a bathroom in the seminary, located on Mt. Zion (Hat Tzion).
He said there have been previous threats from people whom he described as religious Jews.
Newspapers in the United States carried a report of the fire, which further blackens the image of Israel and of Orthodox Jews.
Another attack, this time on a mosque in Judea and Samaria, was reported Wednesday.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat vigorously condemned the apparent arson attack and said, “There is no room for such deplorable activity in Jerusalem. We must eradicate this behavior and bring those responsible to justice.”