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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

International Jewish Unity Day Ceremonies Hosted by Pres. Reuven Rivlin

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

More than a million and a half people participated in International Jewish Unity Day commemorations around the globe on Wednesday (June 1), marking the second anniversary of the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens, Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Sha’er and Eyal Yifrach.

Now in its second year, Jewish Unity Day is an initiative of the Jerusalem Unity Prize created by the families of the three boys together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Gesher. Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize are designed to bring together all elements of the global Jewish community to demonstrate the sense of national collectiveness which defined the Jewish people in the wake of the boys’ kidnappings.

Global events were planned for 25 countries and include programs in over 100 cities with an expected participation of 750,000 people. Unity Day is working with 160 different partner organizations to coordinate the 200 different events in schools, synagogues, community centers and parks.

In Israel, an expected 850,000 participated in official government, school and private events on Unity Day, June 1st, highlighted by the award ceremony for the Jerusalem Unity Prize at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

In his comments at the ceremony, President Rivlin said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day allow us to salute the togetherness which exists in society- both out of choice and out of tragedy.” The award salutes the accomplishments of individuals and initiatives who have prioritized unity within the Jewish community.

This year’s winners include the Global Schools Twinning Project, an initiative of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Together, Hapoel Katamon Sports Club which uses athletics to bring together diverse groups within Jerusalem society, Kesher Yehudi (The Jewish Connection), which works to bridge social gaps between Israel’s secular and haredi populations and the youth programs of Bnei Akiva together with the Noar Haoved V’Halomed and Dror Yisrael, which unite youth of diverse backgrounds in cultural and social programming.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the Chair of the Prize Committee said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created to promote the value of togetherness among the Jewish people. The 2016 winners of the Jerusalem Unity Prize demonstrate the very best of Jewish unity through their work to bridge gaps and strengthen ties among the Jewish people. I am confident that each of this year’s winners will continue their impressive work as ambassadors for Jerusalem and the Jewish world and will create a brighter future for the Jewish people.”

The families of the three boys said, “We are deeply appreciate of the level of support that we have received in enabling unity to become the lasting legacy of our sons. While the tragedy of their deaths can never be lessened, the fact that their memories are helping to build a better and strong Jewish world is deeply inspiring.”

Hana Levi Julian

Families of 3 Martyred Yeshiva Teens Meet With Netanyahu, Barkat for Unity Day Preparations

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The families of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014 by Hamas terrorists two years ago, met Monday (May 30) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The gathering came in advance of the Day of Unity organized by the families to commemorate the lives of their sons and their unity that coalesced around the families during the days of the desperate search to find them.

Although the search ended in tragedy, the families decided to mark the day with an everlasting memorial to the unity of Jews coming together for good, in a Day of Unity.

Each year the families present an award to those whose lives and actions best demonstrate these characteristics in Israel and around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Issues Stop-Work Order against Waqf Temple Mount Bathrooms

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

On Tuesday the PM’s office instructed the City of Jerusalem to issue a stop-work order against a project that has been under construction for two years, converting an ancient Ottoman structure near the compound’s wall into bathroom stalls and showers for use strictly by Muslim worshipers.

According to Israel Radio, Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday assembled Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, and Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, to discuss the offensive Waqf project on the Temple Mount, because it endangers rare archaeological treasures.

The move was appropriate, especially since the Waqf had been constructing those bathrooms, as well as carrying out other projects for two years now without a license. The only question was how come the PM’s office waited for two years to act, after being bombarded with complaints by archaeologists, including the Israel Antiquities Authority, regarding the irreparable damage caused by the Waqf?

It was Yehuda Glick, now an MK, who in 2014 caught Waqf officials red-handed in the act of drilling through the ancient stones of the holy site, using heavy machinery. “They saw me coming and immediately tried to hide. It set off warning bells for me and I started filming straight away,” Glick related back in 2014. “They tried to hide, and then shouted to the policeman who was there that I could not take pictures without their permission. The policeman ignored them.”

David Israel

Pres. Rivlin Understands Arab Students’ Dilemma on National Symbols, Anthem: ‘Must Be Addressed’

Monday, May 30th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin is seeking a way to find the “shvil hazahav” – the golden mean – wherein everyone can find something to agree upon in Israel’s national symbols and anthem.

On Sunday, Rivlin acknowledged that the national anthem, ‘HaTikva,” stirs the hearts of the nations Jews but as such does not do the same for those in the country who were not born Jewish — and this issue must be addressed.

The president acknowledged while speaking with Jewish and Arab students at Jerusalem’s Himmelfarb High School that one “can’t expect loyal Israeli citizens who are not Jewish to say that they have ‘a Jewish spirit yearning deep in the heart’ (quoting from the lyrics on the anthem) because they are not Jews. Maybe their spirit is yearning for their country, but not as part of the Jewish People because they are not part of the Jewish People,” he acknowledged. But the dilemma is not one that is easily remedied, Rivlin said.

Rivlin made the remark in response to a question by an Arab student who asked if it was possible to change or add anything to the symbols of the state, so that Arab citizens can identify with it, and feel a part of the country.

The president deferred to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who had accompanied him to the school along with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “This dilemma must be solved by Israeli leaders, one of whom is sitting right next to me,” he said. “The question you are asking needs to be on the national agenda in the next generation or two. This is a dilemma we cannot ignore. It needs to be addressed by leaders, by members of Knesset who were chosen by the people,” Rivlin said.

“At this point, where we have to base the existence of the State of Israel on a Jewish State, and a democratic one, we have to hold on to and strengthen the Zionist dream which comes with and often causes friction with those citizens who are not Zionist,” he went on.

“I await the day that every Israeli citizen can identify with the State of Israel and not just the deep, important idea of the 2,000-year-old quest of the Jewish people to return to their homeland.”

Hana Levi Julian

Attacks on Jews at Ancient Cemetery Cause Israel to Beef Up Security

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Jerusalem Municipality Finance Committee approved on Tuesday the transfer of 1.5 million shekels (nearly US$400,000) to reinforce security at Jerusalem’s ancient Mount of Olives cemetery following a rash of violence against Jewish visitors and vandalism of Jewish graves. On the same day, an Arab-Israeli man was sentenced to prison for attacking Jews on the Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, dating back 3,000 years to the time of the First Temple – and is still in use today. It houses some 70,000 tombs from different historical eras, including the graves of many prominent rabbis, writers, and political leaders.

The cemetery is surrounded by Arab neighborhoods such as A-Tur, Ras Al-Amud and Al-Sawana. Many Jews have been targeted over the years in and near these neighborhoods while making their way to visit the cemetery. Additionally, many graves have been torched, smashed, or sprayed with graffiti.

The new plan is intended to improve the personal safety of those ascending the mount and to prevent vandalism and desecration of the graves. It will include the construction of fences, installation of gates, and placement of additional security measures in the area of the mount.

“The Mount of Olives is a holy place which is very important to the Israeli people,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement. “We are obligated to preserve its sanctity and the safety of its visitors. We will not allow it to be harmed and desecrated.”

Also on Tuesday, Khalil Jayousi, a 21-year-old resident of A-Tur, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for organizing and leading violent riots on the Mount of Olives during which pipe-bombs and firebombs were thrown at Israeli civilians and security forces.

The riots were held in the summer of 2014, following the murder of Jerusalem-Arab teenager Muhammad Abu-Khdeir by Israeli extremists and Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Fireworks, rocks, and explosives were hurled at a Jewish home and security forces who were guarding it. In one case, fireworks were also used to attack Jewish drivers in their cars.

According to three detailed indictments filed against Jayousi at the Jerusalem District Court, he purchased and supplied arms to dozens of teenage rioters, and also actively participated in the violent riots.

Jayousi, who recently served a prison term for similar offenses, was convicted of aggravated assault, carrying and manufacturing weapons, and negligent and reckless use of explosives. According to the indictment, his actions were motivated by a desire to attack Jews.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Benny Gantz, Natan Sharansky Named to Jerusalem Unity Prize Committee

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gants and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky have joined Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on this year’s committee to choose recipients for the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

Nominations are now being accepted for the prize, now in its second year of awards to those who are recognized for fostering Jewish unity. The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created by Mayor Nir Barkat to promote unity among the Jewish people. It was conceived with the Shaer, Frenkel and Yifrach families in memory of their sons Gil-ad, Naftali and Eyal, whose kidnappings and subsequent murders became a turning point in Jewish communal relations.

Jews from all walks of life came together in an unprecedented display of solidarity to pray for the safe return of the boys at that time.

In partnership with GESHER, the award was designed to harness that spirit of national unity and inspire continued work to bridge divides within the greater Jewish community. “Benny Gantz is a natural leader whose resolve carried the Israeli military through the tragic period following our boys’ abduction and the subsequent campaign in Gaza,” the Fraenkel, Shaer and Ifrach families said in a statement.

“Natan Sharansky serves as the ultimate symbol of Jewish heroism and courage whose personal story has inspired millions.

“Both of these figures therefore exhibit the traits which inspire pride and unity within the modern Jewish experience and we feel deeply honored to have them as part of this effort.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal home and capital of the Jewish people and the very symbol of the power of our unity. Historically, Jerusalem was not divided into tribes and the gates of our city have always been open to all. The Jerusalem Unity Prize is a modern celebration of that very power of the Jewish people coming together,” said Mayor Nir Barkat.

Gantz welcomed the appointment. “My position allowed me a unique perspective to appreciate the power of national unity,” he said. “I truly believe that the security of our future, as a People and as a country, relies on the strength we possess when united. I am excited to be able to encourage and support those who believe in the importance of working together, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of the Jerusalem Unity Prize committee.”

Sharansky added, “Jerusalem serves as a bridge between our People’s dream and our reality, and is the very realization of our national aspirations. The city unites us in times of victory as well as tragedy, reminding that when tragedy strikes it is incumbent upon us to rise and unite in action, in giving back and with mutual respect for all.

“I salute the Frenkel, Shaer and Yifrach families on this remarkable initiative and it is an honor to have been invited to be part of the program.”

Nominations for the Prize will be accepted via the Prize website until February 4, 2016. Prizes of up to 300,000 NIS total will be awarded in three separate categories of unity initiatives on the local, regional and global levels.

In 2015, awards were presented to Brigadier General Ram Shmueli, Harav Chacham David Menachem, Nifgashim B’Shvil Yisrael and the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand. The 2015 Unity Prize was awarded in June on Unity Day, where over 1 million people participated in educational and entertainment events worldwide.

Unity Day this year will take place in early June 2016 with programs already being scheduled across the Diaspora. “Unity Day proved itself as not just a welcomed program but indeed a necessary one whereby the Jewish world was reminded of just how much we can achieve when we put our differences aside and focus on our commonalities,” said Anat Schwarz Weil, director of the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

“There is no doubt that we as a people face many challenges- indeed to our very existence. So it is all that much more important that we rally behind this initiative so that we can be a stronger and more united Jewish people.”

Jewish Press Staff

Histadrut Labor Union Files Grievance in Jerusalem Over Layoffs

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

The Histadrut Labor Union started the secular calendar year with a warning to the Jerusalem municipality that it will file a grievance over the layoff of 170 sanitation workers.

That move is the first step towards starting a job action that could eventually paralyze the entire capital, if the union continues to proceed with each step in the typical work slowdown process.

“We are talking about cutting off the food supply of workers who are in the weakest position, a complete breach of trust when dealing with a group of workers,” said the Histadrut in a statement.

The move followed the city’s fight to save the jobs of more than 1,000 other sanitation workers, and up to 9,000 others in the city.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said last week there was no choice, given the refusal of the Finance Ministry to transfer funds to the city budget to support ongoing services. Calling the cuts “unbearable,” Barkat warned that if the government did not find a way to help, the city’s budgets for “social services, education and culture” would also be affected.

Last Thursday the Finance Minister agreed to allow the Jerusalem City Council to keep all the workers except 170 on the municipal payroll, and even to hire others.

But the grievance to be filed by the Histadrut will allow city workers who are union members to take unified action. Under the terms of a grievance, workers can participate in anything from a work slowdown to a full-scale strike after a period of two weeks.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/histadrut-labor-union-files-grievance-in-jerusalem-over-layoffs/2016/01/03/

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