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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish.’

Jewish Fashion Magazine Targets Orthodox Women

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The one-year-old, glossy, high-end Hadar Orthodox women’s fashion magazine is capitalizing on Orthodox Jewish lifestyle becoming more upscale and will publish its third edition just after Purim.

The magazine is the brainchild of a Yeshiva University Stern College for Women graduate and the product of hers and a good friend’s creativity and entrepreneurship.

“I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Bari Weizman, owner and content director of Hadar, who explains that her magazine embodies the essence of the modest Jewish woman while exploring her desire to remain current and fashionable.

The idea came to Weizman one Shabbat when she was schmoozing with her sister about how all the little girls in their hometown of Monsey were wearing the same headbands with big, poufy bows, and the women were dressed in the same black boots on their walk to shul.

“I started thinking about all of these different fashion bloggers and how there is such a big interest in the Jewish community to add more fashion into one’s wardrobe, instead of just putting a Kiki Riki [shell] under everything,” Weizman tells JNS.org.

As she grew more excited about the idea she reached out to a former colleague, Shevi Genuth, and invited her to be a partner. Genuth now serves as editor and publisher of Hadar. The team also recruited Jessica Gugenheim, one of Weizman’s family friends, as fashion editor.

Gugenheim, who lives in Manhattan, describes the magazine as individualistic. “I don’t think our style is trying to follow any certain drum,” she says. Gugenheim looks for a combination of elegance and high-fashion at price points that are affordable for the average Orthodox Jew, who likely has to pay for day school and feed numerous children.

“I love working with pieces from H&M or Target and making them [the models] look like they just walked off the runway,” she tells JNS.org.

The magazine uses the developers’ religious friends instead of professional models, although flipping through its pages of spiked heels, creative layering, and trendy colors, one would never know.

Gugenheim worked previously at Anthropologie, a popular national retailer. There, she says, she “dressed the customers.” While each client had her own concern – a petite figure, recent weight loss – she says finding fashion for Hadar is a more sophisticated challenge. Hadar only features skirts, long sleeves, and high necklines. Gugenheim, who has a degree in art history, works with national brands to get samples that fit the frum bill.

“I just see fashion as a different expression of art,” she says. “As opposed to painting on a canvas, the designers are painting with fabric.”

Her first fashion tip: confidence.

“Anything you wear with confidence will look better,” she says.

But can Hadar Magazine survive the huge transformations occurring in all media sectors, from media owners to modeling agencies, from marketers to advertisers? Media channels are becoming more fragmented and the consumer is more empowered than ever before. Individuals become media in their own right, through blogging and social media. Is there a place for a new print magazine?

In the Orthodox community, says Weizman, the answer is yes. Using an iPad or a Kindle on Shabbat is still—and will likely always be—forbidden. Hence, the Orthodox community turns to print. Hadar reader Yonina Leibowitz of Monsey, NY, is one example.

“During the week, I don’t have time to sit and read a magazine,” Leibowitz tells JNS.org.

“I work full time. On Shabbat, I read all my magazines, the books I want to read. I don’t think print will really go out of style in my community,” she says, noting that she looks to Hadar for clothing trends she can easily put into practice.

Abbas’ Removal of Religious Identity from ID a Two-Edged Sword

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that “the part that defines the religion of the Palestinian citizen has been erased” has been erased from identification cards.

Hassan Olwi, a director in the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that the decision was made a few days ago in accordance with PA law upholding religious and racial equality.

Removing religious identity may be aimed at undermining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” After all, if Palestinian Authority Arabs are not defined as Christians or Muslims, then why Israelis should be defined as Jews, Muslims, Christians or whatever?

More interesting, “religious and racial equality” apparently does not include allowing Jews to live in a future Palestinian Authority country.

However, Hamas, views the announcement exactly in the opposite.

Hamas official Taher Al-Nunu charged that Abbas “is preparing the way for the execution of Kerry’s plan which demands that the Palestinian Authority absorb Jewish settlers into the Palestinian society as binational citizens of its proposed state,” the terrorist organization’s website stated on Monday.

Kerry Lauds ‘Tolerance’ in Indonesia Months after Synagogue Leveled

Monday, February 17th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Indonesia for its religious tolerance on Monday, six months after the last synagogue in the country was destroyed.

“Yesterday, I had the privilege of going to the Istiqlal mosque,” Kerry said at a press conference during his visit. “And it’s my pleasure to not only say good morning to everybody here, but as-salam alaykum. It’s my honor to be a guest at this remarkable house of worship, the third largest mosque in the world, the largest in the region, in Asia, and really an incredible monument to faith and to the power of worship and the ability of people to come together and worship.

“And what is really important, I thought, was to see just a short distance away the spires of the cathedral, which really is a symbol together of the tolerance that exists here in Indonesia, a very, very critical asset and one that we admire Indonesians for embracing. Much of the world could learn a great deal from your tradition of religious tolerance and pluralism, which is so clearly embedded in the DNA of Indonesian people.”

End quote.

Last October, the JTA quoted a Ditch news site as reporting that Indonesia’s last synagogue was destroyed following a large number of anti-Israel protests. The Beth Shalom synagogue in Surabaya on the island of Java was sealed by Islamic hard-liners in 2009, according to the Jakarta Globe.

”Reports of the synagogue’s destruction have appeared in the Indonesian media since May and were confirmed last week by Indoweb.nl, which quoted the director of the Surabaya Heritage Society as saying that he intended to protest the demolition in talks with government officials,” according to the JTA dispatch,.

“It is not clear by whom and when exactly the building was demolished,” Freddy Instanto told Indoweb.nl.

The City Council of Surabaya was in the process of registering the building as a heritage site. For that reason, Instanto said, the building “should have been protected.”

Situated in in eastern Java, the small synagogue was built in the 19th century by Dutch Jews when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony. It had white-painted bricks and a Star of David painted on the front door.

The first Jews arrived in Indonesia in the 17th century with the Dutch East India Company. During the 1930s and 1940s, the community grew due to new arrivals fleeing persecution in Europe.

About 20 Jews are estimated to be living in Indonesia today.

”Reports of the synagogue’s destruction have appeared in the Indonesian media since May and were confirmed last week by Indoweb.nl, which quoted the director of the Surabaya Heritage Society as saying that he intended to protest the demolition in talks with government officials,” according to the JTA dispatch.

“It is not clear by whom and when exactly the building was demolished,” Freddy Instanto told Indoweb.nl.

The City Council of Surabaya was in the process of registering the building as a heritage site. For that reason, Instanto said, the building “should have been protected.”

Situated in in eastern Java, the small synagogue was built in the 19th century by Dutch Jews when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony. It had white-painted bricks and a Star of David painted on the front door.

The first Jews arrived in Indonesia in the 17th century with the Dutch East India Company. During the 1930s and 1940s, the community grew due to new arrivals fleeing persecution in Europe.

About 20 Jews are estimated to be living in Indonesia today.

World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor Stars in Oscar-Nominated Film

Friday, February 14th, 2014

In her 110 years, Alice Herz-Sommer has been an accomplished concert pianist and teacher, a wife and mother — and a prisoner in Theresienstadt.

Now she is the star of an Oscar-nominated documentary showing her  indomitable optimism, cheerfulness and vitality despite all the upheavals and horrors she faced in the 20th century.

“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” a 38-minute film up for best short documentary at the Academy Awards to be handed out next month, begins in her native Prague. Alice — everyone from presidents on down calls her Alice — was born on Nov. 26, 1903 into an upper-class Jewish family steeped in literature and classical music.

A friend and frequent visitor was “Uncle Franz,” surname Kafka, along with composer Gustav Mahler and other luminaries.

Trained as a pianist from childhood, Alice made her concert debut as a teenager, married, had a son and seemed destined for the pleasant, cultured life of a prosperous Middle European. But everything changed in 1939 when Hitler, casually tearing up the Munich accord of a year earlier, marched his troops into Prague and brought with him his anti-Semitic edicts.

Her public concert career was over, yet the family managed to hang on in an increasingly restrictive existence in the Czech capital.

In 1943, however, Alice and her husband, their 6-year old son Raphael (Rafi), and Alice’s mother were loaded on the transport to Theresienstadt. The fortress town some 30 miles from Prague was touted by Nazi propaganda as the model ghetto — “The Fuhrer’s gift to the Jews,” with its own orchestra, theater group and even soccer teams.

With the full extent of the Holocaust still largely unknown, Alice took her deportation with relative equanimity, as was typical for many European Jews.

“If they have an orchestra in Terezin, how bad can it be?” she recalled asking, using the Czech name of the town.

Alice soon found out, as her mother and husband perished there. Alice was saved by her musical gifts and became a member of the camp orchestra and gave more than 100 recitals.

But her main focus was on Rafi, trying to make his life bearable, to escape the constant hunger and infuse him with her own hopefulness.

“What she did reminded me of Roberto Benigni in the Italian film ‘Life is Beautiful,’ “ said Malcolm Clarke, director of “The Lady in Number 6.” “He plays an Italian Jew who pretends to his young son that life in the camp is some kind of elaborate game for the boy’s special amusement.”

Liberated in 1945, Alice and Rafi returned to Prague but four years later left for Israel. There she taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and performed in concerts frequently attended by Golda Meir, while Rafi became a concert cellist.

Alice said she loved her 37 years living in Israel, but when Rafi, her only child, decided to move to London, she went with him. A few years later Rafi died at 65, but the mother remained in her small flat, No. 6, in a North London apartment house.

Nearly all of the film was shot over a two-year period inside the flat dominated by an old Steinway piano on which Alice played four hours each day, to the enjoyment of her neighbors.

Originally the filmmakers considered “Dancing Under the Gallows” as the film’s title before going with “The Lady in Number 6.”

It was a wise decision, for the film is anything but a grim Holocaust documentary with Alice’s unfailing affirmation of life, usually accompanied by gusts of laughter.

Her health and speech have declined in recent months, and she no longer does interviews. But in a brief phone conversation, conducted mainly in German, Alice attributed her outlook partially to having been born with optimistic genes and a positive attitude.

Netanyahu Says His Son and Non-Jewish Girl only ‘Study Together’

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The son of Benjamin Netanyahu simply is only “studying” with his non-Jewish Norwegian girlfriend and is not dating her, sources in the Prime Minister’s office told the Shas Haredi party.

Earlier this year, a picture of Yair and Sandra Leikanger, 25, who both study at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, showed them together, and he recently visited her in Norway.

Prime Minister Netanyahu now denies the earlier report that he told the Norwegian Prime Minister in Davos last week about the relationship, which was headlined in Norway’s newspapers.

Aryeh Deri, head of the Shas party, told an Israeli radio station after the initial report, “I know friends of mine who invest tens of millions and more, hundreds of millions to fight assimilation in the world. If God forbid it’s true, woe to us…. It is no longer a personal matter — it is a symbol of the Jewish people.”

Whether Prime Minister Netanyahu has carried out damage control or the couple really has nothing going on between putting theirs together to study, the shock waves are enough to convince Yair to find another study partner, or, if h really s dating Sandra, to start her on the road to an Orthodox version.

JTA contributed to this report.

Anti-Assimilation Group Begs Bibi: Break up Son’s Dating Non-Jew

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The Lehava Organization for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday to break up his son Yair’s relationship with a Norwegian non-Jew.

Yair Netanyahu is dating Sandra  Leikange a fellow student, Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, The Jewish Press reported here earlier today.

Citing the Prime Minister’s late father Ben Tzion as a “Jew and a Zionist who brought up his children with Jewish values,” the organization’s leader Benzi Gopstein wrote in a letter, “It is hard to believe that someone like you would let assimilation through the front door. The repercussions of your son’s actions are far-reaching… What kind of example of this for the son of the Prime Minister of the Jewish State that invests millions of dollars to prevent assimilation in the Diaspora, when assimilation is happening in his own home?”

Gopstein asserted that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father “would turn over in his grave at the actions of his grandson” and said that even if his non-Jewish girlfriend were to convert, it would not be out of sincerity for Judaism.

Yair Netanyahu actually would be following his father’s example. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s second wife,  Fleur Cate, who  converted to Judaism. They divorced after three years.

Yair is the son of Netanyau’s third and current wife, Sara.

The Prime Minister has made recognition by the Palestinian Authority of Israel as a Jewish state a red line for any future agreement. Presumably, if Yair’s friendship with his blonde-haired Norwegian girlfriend blossoms into marriage, she will convert, and also presumably, in an Orthodox conversion.

That would be an interesting test for rabbis. Jewish law frowns on conversion and demands that a prospective convert show his or her sincerity and ability and desire to live according to Jewish law.

Yair’s  girlfriend reportedly is from a family of Christian evangelists, and her sister lives in Israel, not as a Jew.

Netanyahu’s Son Dating Norwegian Gentile

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Yair Netanyahu, son of the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is dating a non-Jewish girl from Norway, media in Sweden reported after the Prime Minister informed Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the relationship at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Yair and Leikanger met at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, where both of them are studying. Her family is from an evangelical Christian community, and Sandra’s sister lives in Israel.

After the Norwegian press had picked up the scoop, Leikanger removed the couple’s pictures from her Facebook page. The press also couldn’t find out whether there had been special security arrangement in place while Netanyahu Jr. was visiting her in Norway.

The newspaper Grimstad Adressetidende asked Conrad Myrland, head of the With Israel for Peace (MIFF) organization what he thought about the young couple’s relationship, and he said, “This is good news and it’s nice that Netanyahu could tell Norwegian journalists about it” during his visit.

Myrland also said he did not think this would have any political significance.

Wanna’ bet?

If Prime Minister Netanyahu really wants Israel to be recognized as a Jewish state, and if Yair and his blonde girlfriend Sandra Leikanger become husband and wife one day, she may have to go through an Orthodox Jewish conversion.

Also, it’s the Norwegian parliament that decides who gets the Nobel prizes; if Netanyahu now has the inside track in Norway, he could actually arrange for the peace prize to go to John Kerry, provided he walks away and doesn’t come back.

So, as always, crisis creates opportunity.

Gratulerer. Google says it means Mazal Tov in Norwegian.

To the Kikes Who Should Die’ Message Stuck to Jewish Deli

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The owners of a Jewish deli in Albuquerque found an anti-Semitic death message stuck to her establishment’s front door on a mailing label.

“To the Kikes who should die,” the message stuck on the front door of the Nosh Deli said, KOB Eyewitness News 4 in Albuquerque reported.

A second label read, “To the Kikes who gave me a black eye.”

It is the first time her store has been targeted, owner Alisa Turtletaub told the news channel.

The FBI is investigating the incident, according to the report.

Susan Seligman, New Mexico Anti-Defamation League regional director, said it is the first reported anti-Semitic threat in New Mexico in the last couple of years, though white power prison gangs were active 15 to 20 years ago.

She believes the attack was perpetrated by an individual acting alone.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/to-the-kikes-who-should-die-message-stuck-to-jewish-deli/2014/01/23/

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