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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

Compare Obama’s Rosh HaShanah and Eid-ul-Fitr Messages [Video]

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

President Barack Obama laced his annual Rosh HaShanah greetings with political overtones, in stark contrast to his message to Muslims last July on their Eid-ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

President Obama reminded Jews that the “Book of Life is open.” Assuming a posture as a Jew, he added:

As millions of Jews ask God to inscribe their names in that Book we recognize how much lies beyond our control.

It was a pointed reminder to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that besides God, there also is President Obama who pulls the strings when it comes to world affairs, such as the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The President then preached peace, which he said is “hard, but right now the book is open.  Not just for God but for us.”

That is a theme that was totally absent from his speech to Muslims in July, when he noted:

The end of Ramadan is a time to reflect spiritually, build communally, and aid those in need. While Eid marks the end of Ramadan, it marks a new beginning for each individual – a reason to celebrate and express gratitude on this holiday.

President Obama then devoted nearly half of his greeting to talk about how millions of Muslims go to mosques for prayers and then have “festive gatherings, gift exchanges, and feasts among friends, neighbors and families.”

He emphasized how “the diversity of traditions paint the vibrant images we see from around the world capturing the spirit and excitement of Eid – colorful dresses or white garments decorating the masses of people standing in lines for prayer, lanterns and ornaments lighting up bazaars and neighborhoods, intricate henna designs painted on hands of young girls and women, and an abundance of delectable foods and aromatic cuisines.”

Then he boasted that Eid-ul-Fitr now is a an official holiday in New York City public schools, and he praised Muslims for helping to raise money “for  the churches burned in the wake of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina” by a white racist.

The greeting to Muslims was absent of any reference to radical Muslim violence, peace in the Middle East, or the nuclear threat from Iran. It was a typical patronizing greeting made by every leader to partisan groups.

Now let’s go back to 2009 for President Obama’s first Rosh HaShanah greetings:

I want to extend my warmest wishes for this New Year. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu – may you have a good year, and may you be inscribed for blessing in the Book of Life….

At the dawn of this New Year, let us rededicate ourselves to that work. Let us reject the impulse to harden ourselves to others’ suffering, and instead make a habit of empathy – of recognizing ourselves in each other and extending our compassion to those in need.

Let us resist prejudice, intolerance, and indifference in whatever forms they may take — let us stand up strongly to the scourge of anti-Semitism, which is still prevalent in far too many corners of our world….

And let us work to achieve lasting peace and security for the state of Israel, so that the Jewish state is fully accepted by its neighbors, and its children can live their dreams free from fear.

All of that was absent from this year’s greeting, which also did not mention anti-Semitism and certainly not anti-Zionism, lest he prompt reminders that Iran’s idea of peace is a world without Israel.

President Obama was elected on a motto of “change.”

He has fulfilled his promise.

He indeed has changed.

Hareidim Keep ‘Liberal’ Zionists in Minority on Rabbinical Courts

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Hareidim claimed victory by blocking the appointment of three “liberal religious Zionists” to the country’s 12 regional rabbinical courts.

There now are 22 judges, 7 more than in previous years, but only eight of them are from the national religious community.

The other 14 are divided equally between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim

Absent from the national religious sector are three rabbis from the Tzohar organization, which was termed as “reform” by Hareidim in a report by the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website.

Preparations for the voting for judges were made last week with a secret deal that was made between Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is not religious but who has close ties with Hareidim, and Ashkenazi and Sephardi Hareidim.

Kikar Shabbat reported that aides to Steinitz and Hareidim met at a Givat Shaul gas station in the middle of the night last week to close the deal after an understanding that “it would be better to cooperate rather than lose appointment to ‘liberal religious Zionists.’

Degel HaTorah won five judges, and Agudat Yisrael won 2. The voting committee rejected a Chabad rabbi.

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel Announces Retirement

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel has announced he plans to step down at the end of his current term, and possibly earlier if a successor can be found before 2018.

The announcement was made by Joel, 65, in an email sent to YU alumni, staff and students on Thursday.

“I am well into my 13th year of the presidency and the 28th year of leading Jewish educational institutions,” Joel wrote.

“When I accepted a third term as president, I informed our chair, Henry Kressel, that it would be my last.

“As we now are poised to advance, I have asked chairman Moshael Straus to begin the process of transition and to identify and recruit my successor. This wonderful and committed lay leadership deserves to have the time to be deliberate in that process.”

Earlier in the day on Thursday (Sept. 10) Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System announced they sealed a landmark deal between the two that gives Montefiore operational authority and responsibility over Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein).

Under the agreement, Yeshiva University remains responsible for academic oversight, including the granting of degrees. YU also runs a satellite program in Israel.

Jewish Teen Punched in the Face by Anti-Semite in Paris

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

A gang of three black men attacked an 18-year-old Jewish teen in a Paris suburb on Tuesday.

The victim, Ruben Am, was punched in the face by one of the men, who he described as a “tall black man,” and who he said called him a “dirty Jew,” according to the report by the French watchdog group, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA).

Am suffered several cuts to his face from the beating, BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan reported. The attack, which took place near the Robespierre metro station, began when one of the men approached Am asking for a lighter, and then asked him about his religion.

Am answered that he was a Moroccan Muslim, sensing a threat. But he was punched in the face anyway, with his attacker asserting that he could not be a Muslim since he attended the Daniel Mayer Jewish vocational school. Clearly, he had been followed. The attacker called him a “dirty Jew” and was then joined by two others, also black, Am related. Both concealed their faces with hoodies, Ghozlan reported, adding that all three fled the scene shortly thereafter.

That same day French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on the country’s Jews to remain in France, and vowed that authorities would protect them from anti-Semitic attacks.

Nearly 7,000 French Jews quit the country in 2014, choosing instead to make a new life in the State of Israel.

During an address before several hundred at the Synagogue de Nazareth in Paris in honor of the upcoming Jewish new year, Valls said, “The fears are present. How can we deny them? No one will condemn those who leave for Israel – but they belong here.

“Without Jews, France will lose its essence.”

Aliyah Rises 13% Since Last Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Immigration to Israel is up 13% compared with last year, with most of the rise from France and Ukraine among 97 countries whose citizens made Aliyah.

Approximately 3,600 Jews from North American have moved to Israel since last Rosh HaShanah, approximately the same number as the year before,

In the past 12 months, 29,500 Jews made Aliyah, compared with 26,000 in the Hebrew calendar year of 5774.

Most of this year’s immigrants came from the former Soviet Union – 14,100, compared with 10,800 last year – and from Europe, from where approximately 9,000 people came on Aliyah, 600 more than the previous year.

There was a modest increase in Aliyah from South America.

The two largest sources of Aliyah were France, with 7,350 immigrants compared with 6,700 in 5774, a 10% increase), and Ukraine, with 6,900 immigrants compared to 4,600 last year, a 50% increase.

The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption have been running programs in both countries in order to encourage Aliyah and remove barriers to the immigrants’ integration in Israeli society. Aliyah from Russia also saw a significant 23% increase with the arrival of some 5,900 immigrants this year compared to 4,800 in 5774.

Also in Europe, some 690 immigrants arrived in Israel from the United Kingdom, a 13% increase when compared with the 612 who came last year. Some 400 arrived from Italy, a 30% increase, compared with 300 last year, and 290 came from Belgium, similar to last year’s figure.

Immigrants to Israel came from 97 countries across the world. One immigrant each came from Andorra, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Slovakia.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said:

For the past few years, the majority of immigrants to Israel have been coming from free and democratic Western countries. These immigrants’ free choice to live in Israel, and their preference for Israel over other countries, is the true triumph of Zionism.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin estimated that Aliyah in the civilian calendar year of 2015 will be the highest in a decade, with 30,000-35,000 new immigrants expected.

Thousands of the new “olim” are young college graduates in engineering and technology, and more than 1,000 are doctors and other medical professionals.

The three most popular destinations in Israel were Tel Aviv-Yafo, which welcomed some 3,500 new immigrants, the coastal city of Netanya with 3,400, and Jerusalem, which some 3,000 new immigrants made their home in 5775.

European Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

European leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to fight anti-Semitism, according to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), who received greetings from the heads of most countries in the EU.

Margolin was the recipient of holiday greetings from Europe’s leadership ahead of the upcoming Jewish high holy days, particularly Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins next Sunday night.

The continent’s leaders are seeking to “reinforce with Europe’s historic Jewish communities and reaffirm their commitment to fighting the wave of anti-Semitic acts that have blighted cities across the European Union,” Margolin said.

Messages of support and solidarity were led by France’s Francois Hollande, who departed from the secular protocol of the French Republic to send his new year wishes to European Jewry. The French president offered a firm commitment to fight “against all words and acts of an anti-Semitic nature, and to allow everyone to live together, without exception, with the same values of freedom, tolerance and community”.

French Premier Manuels Valls added his “readiness to fight against anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism and intolerance, and to tirelessly support European initiatives designed to defend the values which shape our democracies”.

Austrian President Heinz K. Fischer spoke out in support of “the common interest of Jews in Europe.” Fischer said he sought to renew Austria’s ties with the Jewish State by way of its commitment to “the safeguarding of Israel.”

He added that Austria remains committed to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Europe and the world, and to the “safeguarding of minorities including the Jewish community in Austria, which has always strongly influenced our country’s culture,” he added.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also reaffirmed his “excellent relationship with the Jewish community in Belgium.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recalled his country’s endorsement of a joint statement on anti-Semitism at an informal meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last January.

“I share your concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe,” he said in his message to European Jewry. “This scourge affects Jewish communities first, but in essence it is a threat to society as a whole,” he added.

EJA General Director, Rabbi Margolin thanked the European leaders for their wishes and commitments.

“Rabbis and community leaders across Europe report that in light of the growing anti-Semitism and nationalist atmosphere there has been a significant decline in the number of Jews who take part in community activities,” he said.

“However, Jewish communities are working hard to help Jews attend Rosh Hashanah services. Major security measures are being taken and we can report that there is a relative increase in the number of Jews who have expressed their intention to attend synagogues over Rosh Hashanah with their families, compared to last year. “

In Manchester, England alone, anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 80 percent in 12 months, according to a report issued by the Community Security Trust earlier this year.

A 17-year-old boy was beaten unconscious in an attack by three men who attacked him and three other Jews this past Saturday night. The boy remains hospitalized with a suspected brain bleed. The three other victims, ages 17, 18 and 20, were also verbally and physically assaulted but did not require admission to hospital.

New Shanghai Park Commemorates WW2 Jewish Refugee Community

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) A Jewish Memorial Park was inaugurated last week in the Fushouyuan cemetery at Shanghai’s Qingpu District, to mark the 70th anniversary of the War and the survival of the Jewish Refugees who fled to China from Eastern Europe. According to Shanghai Daily.

A memorial stone was unveiled in the park, inscribed with the name of Ho Fengshan, a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who risked his life to issue visas to more than 3,000 Jews. The stone is also inscribed with the names of 24 famous Jews “who had contributed to the development of Shanghai.”

Israeli Consul-General Arnon Perlman called for preserving the memories of Shanghai’s Jews for the benefit of future Chinese generations. “This is something that is very, very important to remember for all of us — whether it’s Jews, Israeli or Chinese — to remember the friendship between China and Israel and between Shanghai and Israel,” Perlman said, according to shanghaiist.com.

The park authorities have began an outreach effort to Jewish communities worldwide, to locate tombstones of other Jews who may be buried in Shanghai, as part of a plan to place all the local Jewish graves in the same park, “as an important memorial venue for both offspring of the deceased and the public to remember the history and the friendship between Chinese and Jewish people,” Shanghai Daily reported.

A Shanghai Jewish Memorial Cultural Fund is being planned to support infrastructure development, maintenance and expansion of the memorial park, as well as to launch non-governmental studies “to preserve historical memories shared by Chinese and Jewish people.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-shanghai-park-commemorates-ww2-jewish-refugee-community/2015/09/08/

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