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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

Newton Mayor Launches Fight Against Anti-Semitism

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The mayor and school superintendent of Newton, Massachusetts launched a new initiative to battle anti-Semitism in city schools.

The move follows a series of anti-Semitic incidents that have dogged the school system since last April.

Mayor Setti Warren and Superintendent David Fleishman together announced the new protocol in a statement to media on Friday. A civil rights consultant has also been hired to facilitate the program.

The strategy aims to prepare administrators to respond to hate speech and educate students on the significance of such language.

The most recent incident occurred at a basketball game in which fans of the visiting Catholic Memorial High School yelled a chant at Newton North High School students, “You killed Jesus! You killed Jesus!”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was immediately brought into the picture, along with Newton city police and other officials.

Three anti-Semitic incidents were already under investigation, including two at F.A. Day Middle School that inexplicably had gone unreported for months.

Hana Levi Julian

Cambridge Synagogue Welcoming Syrian Refugees, Anti-Semitism and All

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

(JNi.media) The non-denominational congregation Eitz Chayim in Cambridge, MA, has issued a statement welcoming refugees to their midst and urging the US government to accept more Syrian refugees, The Boston Globe reported. “We are reminded of our own relatives who sought shelter not that long ago, only to have country after country turn their backs on them,” members wrote, and offered concrete help to families who will resettle in Massachusetts in the near future.

“It was not so long ago that our people were stranded and no one particularly wanted to take us in,” Rabbi Liza Stern said. “How dare we not do something?” Stern confessed that some of her members worried that the largely Muslim refugees would hold anti-Semitic views, but said they decided not to be “governed by our fears.”

About 1,300 refugees have settled in Massachusetts since October 2014, according to the Globe—some 350 from Iraq, 271 were from Somalia, and only 52 from Syria. The synagogue held a meeting on Yom Kippur, when they decided to act on behalf of the next wave of refugees. “As a Jewish community, we are acutely aware of the corrosive effects of stereotyping people by religion, and feel particularly moved to reach out to the largely Muslim refugee population fleeing Syria,” they wrote.

Stern said she had no doubt “that this will be a groundswell,” she said.

According to B’nai B’rith International, there are four million Syrian refugees who have escaped war and dire living conditions and an additional seven million Syrian citizens displaced within their country’s borders. The organization notes that “the migrant crisis is no genocide,” even though “some refugees are Christians fleeing religion-based persecution,” since, for the most part these refugees are “simply caught in a terrible crossfire of civil war, starvation, chlorine gassing, and barrel bombing,” and are not fleeing a Holocaust. Nevertheless, BBI says, “it is our shared history of persecution and flight that compels us to act.”

It is expected that the US will accept 85,000 refugees next year and 100,000 in 2017. According to the Globe, the Syrians, like all refugees, will undergo a lengthy screening process before they can enter the US, so that the first arrival may not actually set foot in America for a considerable period of time.

David Abromowitz, the Eitz Chayim member who initiated sparked the effort, said he felt “an overwhelming sense that this was something we should do.”

JNi.Media

Mass. Gov. Baker Declares Sunday ‘Celebrate Israel Day’

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared Sunday, May 31 as “Celebrate Israel Day,” when thousands of Israeli Americans, Jews and supporters of Israel are to attend the Celebrate Israel Boston Festival sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Israeli-American Council Boston Chapter.

Gov. Baker noted that Israel remains “a tremendous partner, economically and culturally,” to the state, that “one of the largest communities of Israelis outside Israel” lives in the state.

The festival of Israeli music, art, dance and food will feature two stages of internationally known musical talent, children’s performers, including recording artist and rising Broadway star Neshama Carlebach and Ethnix, one of the biggest Israeli rock bands

 

 

 

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Liberman Calls for Terrorist Death Penalty Like Massachusetts, and Opens Door to Joining the Coalition

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

PM Netanyahu is probably beginning to realize that 61 to 59 is going to be difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Not because members of his coalition are going to vote against coalition positions, but because it means that everyone will have to be in the Knesset for every single vote, including the Prime Minister. No sick days, no vacations, and no important meetings in the White House.

MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) is probably realizing how lonely it is in the opposition, sitting with MKs he has no ideological connection with, but is still upset with how the PM treated him.

Liberman has begin sending out trial balloons. He said on Saturday that he would join the coalition if there were specific changes to the coalition’s guidelines. His position now isn’t that different from the position he took when he turned down the Prime Minister’s offers of various high-level ministries. But he also made sure to point out how poorly Netanyahu is mistreating his allies, even within the Likud.

One guideline change Liberman suggested is the death penalty for terrorists. He pointed out that even Massachusetts, a capital of liberalism and higher education, decided on the death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.

Liberman wants the guidelines to include: having the “Jewish-National State” law passed, equal sharing of the security burden (draft), the death penalty for terrorists, and building in Jerusalem and the Settlement blocks.

Will this power couple two realize they need each other to succeed, or will they let everything fall apart?

Jewish Press News Briefs

El Al to Fly to Boston Next Summer

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

El Al Airlines will begin flying in and out of Boston three times a week with a 216-seat Boeing 767 plane starting next June, the company announced Tuesday.

The flights will leave Israel at 12:30 a.m. and arrive in Boston at 5:45 a.m., similar to the popular 1 a.m. flight to JFK.

Similarly, the return flight will leave Logan Airport in Boston at 3:05 p.m. and land in Ben Gurion Airport at 9 p.m. the following day.

The addition of Boston to the New York, Newark and Los Angeles routes reflects the growing economic links between Israel and Massachusetts, which sent a large trade delegation to Israel earlier this year.

“The appetite for it runs deep. The excitement about it is broad, and we are convinced that both the load and the yield will be as good for El Al as I know the route will be for us,” said state Gov. Deval Patrick.

Approximately 200 companies with connections in Israel operate in Massachusetts and employ nearly 7,000 people, mostly in the health care and high-tech industries.

El Al formerly has operate flights from Baltimore and Miami but later suspended them.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Study: Israeli Companies Added $6.2 Billion to Mass. Economy

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Companies with connections to Israel contributed $6.2 billion to the Massachusetts economy last year, a new study found.

The study, released on Thursday, was conducted by the consulting firm Stax and supported by Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. It found that, when accounting for other business spending, the full economic impact of companies with Israel ties contribute $11.9 to the state economy. Revenues from this sector are growing three times as fast as the overall state economy.

“Massachusetts has become a home away from home for Israel’s innovation economy,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said.

The rapid growth is a bright spot in the state, with revenues growing three times faster the Massachusetts economy overall, the report finds. When factoring other business spending, the economic impact grows to $11.9 billion.

Massachusetts is now home to more than 200 companies with ties to Israel, up from 78 three years ago, according to the report. The businesses, which range from information technology to life sciences and software, employed more than 6,600 people in 2012.

Israeli entrepreneurs are attracted to Massachusetts because of its high concentration of top tier academic and research institutions, a highly-educated workforce, access to venture capital and concentration of high technology industries, the study found. The higher education factor is evident in the fact that nearly one-third of the Israeli-founded companies were started by Israeli alumni of Massachusetts colleges, the study says.

 

JTA

Book of Psalms Printed in US in 1640 Sold for $14.2 Million

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

A copy of a 393-year-old Book of Psalms published by Puritans in Massachusetts has been sold at an auction by Sotheby’s for $14.2 million to American philanthropist and financier David Rubenstein, who plans to lend it to libraries.

Known as the Bay Psalm Book, it is believed to be the first book ever to be published in the colonies that later became the United States of America.

Approximately 1,700 copies of the book were printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known then as the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and only 11 are known to remain.

Nine of them are in libraries and museums, and the Old South Church in Boston disposed of one of its two copies in the auction, which has made the church a lot richer.

The church’s minister Rev. Nancy Taylor said earlier this year, “It’s a spectacular book, arguably one of the most important books in this nation’s history.

Referring to the tiny size of the book, she explained to the Associated Press, “This was a utilitarian book to sing praises to God, so you wanted to be able to fit it in your pocket and take it to church. It probably would have belonged to a single family. It’s a hymn book, made for hard use, to be sung from and held by children, mothers, fathers, widows, widowers, and… who knows? I’m sure it was in the hands of quite a few Puritan worshippers.”

The Bay Book of Psalms fetched a high price despite its containing several printing errors, such as the word “pslame” appearing on the right hand of the page while “Psalm” appears on the left side. It also uses inverted coma instead of apostrophes and has several typographical errors.

For comparison, the last time a copy of the Bay Book of Psalms was sold was in 1947, when it exchanged hands for $151,000, a higher price than other book at the time.

Tuesday’s night sale makes it the most expensive book  ever to be sold in the United States, breaking the previous record of $11.5 million for a compete four-volume first edition of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” also sold by Sotheby’s.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/book-of-psalms-printed-in-us-in-1640-sold-for-14-1-million/2013/11/27/

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