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April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish.’

French Soldiers Protecting Jewish Sites Receive Death Threats

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

French military personnel guarding Jewish sites in Paris are learning first-hand what anti-Semitism feels like.

The soldiers guarding a Jewish school in a suburb of the French capital have received death threats at least twice in the past two weeks.

In the first incident, a man drove in a car past the soldiers as they stood outside a school in Montreuil, shouting, “What does a Kalashnikov bullet in the head do? Does it bleed?”

A police source quoted by Le Figaro said the man also praised the recent terror attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery before escaping the scene.

The car drove away, but was later tracked down by police and the driver, approximately age 27, was arrested and detained overnight but was released the next morning.

The previous Saturday night, a similar incident occurred in the suburb of Le Raincy, according to the France Soir daily. Two soldiers standing guard outside another Jewish school were also threatened by a man pretending to hold a gun, who then fled the scene.

At present some 10,000 French military personnel are deployed around the Paris region following a wave of terror attacks on Jan. 7, 8 and 9 that were aimed at Jewish and non-Jewish French citizens alike.

Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I am a Dallas Cowboys fan still recovering from our playoff defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, or should I say, the instant replay booth.

Still, football is like life—not always fair. And even the lead-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl has lacked fairness, as the media is obsessed with deflated footballs. Fans of the sport are not enjoy-ing the sidebar stories that always accompany the lead-up to the big game.

When the Patriots and the Seahawks took to the field on Sunday, the conversation before, during, and after the game still involves “Deflategate” or “Ballghazi” (pick your media label). What will be missing for the second time in recent New England Patriots’ Super Bowl memory is Myra Kraft sitting with her husband, team owner Robert Kraft. She left us in 2011 after a battle with cancer.

Myra Kraft was a mensch is every sense of the word. It’s a sad disservice to her memory that the ebullience of viewers across the globe—not just Patriots and football fans—will be dampened because of a victimless and irresolvable non-scandal.

Stories about the Kraft family, especially Myra and her global philanthropic impact, would have made for informative and inspiring television.

With the Super Bowl having taken place during the same week as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, it was beshert for Myra’s team to be playing in front of the world.

The granddaughter of Lithuanian Jews who perished in the Holocaust, her life serves as a re-minder that Hitler failed in his bid to exterminate the Jews. A mother of four and grandparent to eight, she and Robert Kraft have already contributed greatly to the survival of the Jewish people. But it’s their contribution to humanity that should inspire us to honor Myra’s memory as the world is watching her team play in the world’s greatest sports spectacle.

I’m sure Robert will tell you that making his wife president and director of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation was a no-brainer. She was all about community and volunteerism. When he bought the team in 1994, she feared it would interfere with their charitable giving. He allayed her fears by explaining, “We will do more for the community if we run this franchise correctly.”

A year later, she began serving a seven-year stunt as the first woman chairperson of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Myra’s name was synonymous with charity in the Boston community. She served on the board of the American Repertory Theatre, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Brandeis University, from where she graduated in 1964.

Robert and Myra have donated more than $100 million to charity. But their most important con-tribution will ultimately be to the Jewish people and Israel.

Understanding that “the next generation deserves a strong connection to Israel,” the Kraft family established The Myra and Robert Kraft Passport to Israel program.

Described as “a unique savings plan to help parents send their children on a life-changing teen Israel experience, the program is designed so that the community, the synagogue and CJP (Bos-ton-based Combined Jewish Philanthropies) help families make a trip to Israel during the high school years a reality.”

Robert and Myra also support American football in Israel—and yes, there was a big party planned for football fans in the Jewish state. It’s a safe bet to say that the overwhelming number of American football fans in Israel cheered on the Patriots, since the Kraft family is responsible for the sport’s growing popularity there.

In 2005, the Kraft Family Israel Football League was established under the umbrella of the American Football in Israel non-profit organization. Beginning in 2000, and with a renovation in 2005, the Kraft Family Stadium became the only football arena in Israel.

France Forces City to Allow Burial of Charles Hebdo Terrorist

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

French officials overrode objections of local officials who were forced to allow a secret burial Friday night for one of the radical Islamic terrorists who murdered a dozen people at the Charles Hebdo magazine offices two weeks ago.

The mayor of the city of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said last week he would “categorically refuse” to allow the family of Said Kouachi to bury their terrorist son in the city where he lived before police killed him and his brother.

“I don’t want a grave that serves to attract fanatics. I don’t want a place that promotes hate,” he a French radio station on Thursday.

City officials backed down in the face of orders from the national government. “Given the risk of disturbance of the peace and in order to quickly turn the page of this tragic episode, it was decided to do the burial quickly,” the city said.

The terrorist’s wife did not attend the burial because she did not want to be followed by journalists.

Two other terrorists killed by police in a gunfight following the Islamic terror spree in Paris have not yet been buried. Kouachi’s brother Cherif will be buried in his native Gennevilliers, outside Paris in an anonymous grave. City officials said they will “avoid all risk of disturbance to the peace and to preserve the town’s tranquility.”

It is not yet known what will be done with the body of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed five people, including four hostages, at a kosher market in Paris.

France still is reeling from the terror spree, trying to maintain a posture that will not offend Muslims or label all of them as radical Islamists.

A  Paris administrative court ruled that Paris police were in their rights to ban an “Islamists out of France” rally planned for Sunday.

One of the organizers, “Secular Riposte,” announced it will hold a press conference instead of a rally, but Resistance Republicaine, a co-sponsor of the banned demonstration, said it will hold anti-Islamist rallies in southern France.

Jews in France and Belgium have been thrown back 70 years to the Nazi era. French Jews prayed in a private home Friday night because they could not be guaranteed safety to worship in a synagogue.

Police in Belgium were deployed in areas that could be targeted by terrorists, especially the Jewish quarter in Antwerp.

Approximately 150 paratroopers guarded synagogues and the Jewish Museum in Brussels after Jewish schools closed their doors Friday because of warnings of possible attacks.

Bnei Brak is Charlie: Photos from Eulogies

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Eulogies for the fourth Jewish victims at the attack on a kosher deli in Paris last week were held in Bnei Brak Tuesday. Photos by Flash 90.

Grieving mourner.

Grieving mourner.

Coffins arrive at airport.

Coffins arrive at airport.

Eulogy tent.

Eulogy tent.

Rabbi delivers eulogy

Rabbi delivers eulogy

Van carries coffins.

Mourners at can  carrying coffins.

Picture of terror victim with tallis and tefillin.

Picture of terror victim with tallis and tefillin.

charlie victm in tallis and tefillin flash 90.

 

Nearly 4 Million People March in France Against Terror

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Upwards of 1.5 million people participated in the anti-terror march in Paris on Sunday.

World leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, linked arms as they marched 1.9 miles through France’s capital from Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation.

Many of the family members of the victims led the march alongside the world leaders.

A minute of silence was held before that march began for the 17 victims murdered over the past 3 days.

5500 French police and military personnel have been called out to protect the city.  2200 of them just to protect the route of the march.

The presence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas was out of place at an anti-terrorism rally, considering Abbas’s role in the Munich Massacre, his decision to name streets and plazas in the Palestinian Authority after terrorists, and his paying salaries to terrorists in jail.

Update #1: LeMonde says that up to 2 million people are at the march.

Update #2: Up to 3 million people are at the march throughout France.

Update #3: Estimates now say that close to 4 million people across France marched in solidarity against terrorism.

 

Today is a Fast Day and not ‘Happy New Year’ Day

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Fast of the 10th of Tevet is today, January 1, and Chief Rabbi David Lau has asked Jews all over the world to say the mourner’s Kaddish prayer in memory of Holocaust victims.

He emphasized that with the ever-closer eventuality of the death of Holocaust survivors 70 years after the end of the Nazi death machine, there are less relatives alive to recite the prayer.

The fast marks the day on which the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem began in the year 588 BCE, an event which eventually led to the destruction on the Temple 20 years later and the first exile from Israel.

The fast day, which is observed from slightly before sunrise to after sunset, is commemorated shortly after Hanukkah.

The Chief Rabbinate 64 years ago, declared that the 10th of Tevet also is “Holocaust Day” in memory of the Nazis’ victims whose date of death is unknown.

“According to Jewish Law, if the day of death is unknown, a relative chooses which day on which to say Kaddish.”

The government-mandated Holocaust Day is in Nissan, a month when Jewish law does not allow public eulogies. Israel’s secular media, along with foreign media, have a field day every year photographing Haredim who walk while others stand at attention when a siren sounds nationwide to mark Holocaust Day in Nissan.

Haredim also have a problem with the custom of standing at attention, which they consider a non-Jewish custom.

The same media fail to note that in the Hebrew month of Tevet, Haredim mark Holocaust Day, as well as fast, while most of the secular part of the country acts as if nothing happened, except for this year, when they also party without realizing that the day marks the circumcision of the same man in whose name millions of Jews have been massacred over the centuries.

Jewish Film Star Luise Rainer Dies in London at 104

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

German-born Luise Rainer, the first movie actress to win two successive Oscars for best actress, died on Tuesday at the age of 104 in her home in London.

She was born in Duesseldorf and grew up in Hamburg. Rainer’s family escaped Nazi Germany and Hollywood talent scouts found her when she was a stage actress in Vienna.

She moved to the United States in 1935. Her first Academy Award was for a relatively small part in The Great Ziegfeld  and the second for the role of a poor Chinese farm wife in The Good Earth, in 1936 and 1937 respectively.

Rainer identified herself as an Austrian because of the taint of being a German, but Hollywood did not give her serious roles. She moved back to Europe in 1943 and lived most of the time in Switzerland but had a plush home in London.

Rainer also entertained for U.S. soldiers during World War.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-film-star-luise-rainer-dies-in-london-at-104/2014/12/31/

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