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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘OAKLAND’

Pro-Palestinian Activists Blockade ZIM Ship at Port of Oakland

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The glimmer of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State, or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) may have already reached America’s shores, although U.S. citizens might not yet realize it. Dock workers at the port of Oakland have been afraid to brave the ire of Islamist protesters in California, and instead opted to stay off the job.

It appears that weeks-long planning by Palestinian Arab immigrants, their descendants and supporters who hate Israel and the Jews has paid off; the consolidated group of some 70 organizations has essentially seized control over the port in Oakland, California.

For the second day in a row, pro-Gaza protesters led by Palestinian Arab groups successfully blockaded the Piraeus, a ZIM Integrated Shipping Services vessel, at the Oakland port.

Demonstrators said they were protesting Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. But more than 300,000 Israelis are still internally displaced by Hamas terror.

Operation Protective Edge was launched to silence the incessant rocket, missile and mortar fire that has rained down on southern Israel for years.

Several hundred Oakland protesters gathered again in a picket line Sunday after the ZIM vessel docked at about 5:30 pm. That was some 24 hours after it was forced to circle in the Pacific Ocean to avoid a mob of thousands at the same port the previous day.

A few dozen police officers monitored the picket line, according to KTVU TV, which interviewed 26-year-old Mohamed Shehk, media and communications director of the Oakland-based ‘Critical Resistance’ group.

“As a Palestinian, I have always been a strong supporter for the Palestinian cause for liberation,” Shehk told the news outlet. He added that he also supports ‘various movements of liberation around the world.’

“We will not stand for the murdering of Gazans,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the blockade, said protesters, is to stop the company from unloading at the Port of Oakland altogether. They plan similar blockades against ZIM in Tacoma and Seattle, organizers said.

The ILWU dockworkers’ union chose to honor the picket line and refused to unload the vessel. It’s not the first time; a similar blockade against ZIM was backed by the union in 2010.

Oddly, Saturday’s massive anti-Israel rally was covered only by independent bloggers and the UK-based newspaper, The Guardian. And Sunday’s blockade was covered by KTUV and KPIX. It didn’t even raise a blip on the national scene.

On Saturday, activists gathered early at a nearby transit station, the paper reported, led by 21-year-old Palestinian Sameh Ayesh, a member of the San Francisco-based Arab Youth Organization.

One of those involved in organizing the demonstration, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) executive director Lara Kiswani, said her organization was currently discussing “how to escalate our tactics.”

The paper reported that as protesters reached the port entrance, a line of police officers was standing in formation. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the mob shouted, playing on the recent news coverage of police brutality against rioting protesters in the town of Ferguson, Missouri following an lethal incident of police brutality.

Speaking with The Guardian, Shehk tried hard to link the incident to Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza. “On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” he said.

Gimme a break.

Swastika Adorns California Politician’s Head in Hate Fliers

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

In liberal Oakland, California, some people still hate Jews enough to blanket a neighborhood with fliers on which they have emblazoned a swastika of the forehead of a nominally Jewish politician.

Or maybe it’s a kind of tribute to Holocaust education that a swastika is such a symbol of hate that for some it simply represents evil, or plain old banal “bad.” Just a few months ago, also in Oakland, fliers with the picture of another councilmember with a swastika on his forehead was plastered on lamp posts.  That council member is a hispanic, who is Catholic.

The Jewish Press caught up with Libby Schaaf, the councilwoman who was the latest victim in the swastika flier series, late on Tuesday afternoon. The fliers were put up in the very early hours of Monday, Jan. 20.

Schaaf said the symbol drawn on her forehead was “hurtful,” but that it had gotten a lot of attention and she wanted people to know that Oakland is primarily a diverse community which is very proud of its acceptance of different cultures.

She explained that although she was not raised Jewish, her father was born Jewish and she always had great respect for and pride in her “Jewish ancestry.” And, she said, “that symbol on anyone’s head is anti-Semitic.”

When asked whether there has been any response from the Jewish community in the area, the council member was openly enthusiastic.

“There has been a fantastic outpouring of support and concern from the local Jewish community,” said Schaaf, “and Rabbi Meyer May called me twice to check in on me.” The council member was very impressed that Rabbi May, executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, had taken time out of his busy schedule to call her and express his concern. The main office of the Wiesenthal Center is in Los Angeles.

Schaaf said that “as a public official, I cannot let experiences like this cloud my judgment or curtail my activities.” However, she felt it was oddly fortuitous that the hateful incident occurred on Martin Luther King Day. “I was able to take my children, ages six and eight, to an event commemorating Dr. King, and really stress to them how important it is for everyone to work hard to express their tolerance and their love towards others.”

The council member said she and her husband had not yet had the chance to sit down with their children and discuss what happened in their community, but they plan to.  Still, the coincidence of the fliers being posted on Martin Luther King Day, and her position as a public servant, “just gave me an even greater incentive to continue working to help create a just society.”

It remains unclear whether the Oakland police are going to categorize the incident as a hate crime.  Schaaf said she told them she didn’t want any extra resources devoted to the investigation, as there are so many other concerns on which they need to focus.

Schaaf has represented Oakland’s District 4 since 2010, and is currently running for mayor of Oakland.

Jewish Councilwoman in Oakland Targeted with Swastikas

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Fliers hung in the Oakland, Calif., Montclair  neighborhood of Jewish city councilwoman Libby Schaaf show a swastika drawn on her forehead.

The fliers hung district represented by Schaaf read, “Stop Schaaf. Stop the DAC” (domain awareness center) — a reference to a city plan to build a combined surveillance center for police and firefighters.

Schaaf, who reportedly plans to run for mayor in November, told the Bay Area News Group that she was surprised to be targeted over the issue. She has been critical of building the center, though she has voted to proceed with the project along with a majority of council members.

“As a person of Jewish heritage I found this particularly hurtful. As an Oaklander I found it shameful,” said Schaaf.

Police are investigating the incident, but it is not known if it is being investigated as a hate crime.

Most of the posters have been torn down or the swastikas were covered with black marker.

Last year, similar posters with swastikas targeted a Latino councilwoman.

Anti-Circumcision Group to Picket ACLU’s Marriage Equality Rally

Monday, July 15th, 2013

San Francisco anti-circumcision activists are planning to picket a campaign for marriage equality by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU )in Oakland Wednesday evening because the civil liberties group opposes circumcision bans.

The reasoning is based not only on mixing apples and oranges but also making them equal, just like boys and girls are born equal – from top to bottom.

Here is a civil liberties group campaigning for equality in marriage but is being picketed because it does not support the argument that there should be gender equality in the law that protects girls from circumcision.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has organized a screening of “The Campaign,” and members of Bay Area Intactivists said they will protest outside the event venue” to condemn the ACLU’s work denying boys equal protection from genital mutilation.”

The ACLU’s sin, in the eyes of anti-circumcision activists, is that it argued that the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Bill a ballot initiative two years ago to restrict non-therapeutic circumcision to consenting adults  violated the right of parents to have their sons circumcisions, according to Jewish law.

The ballot proposal never even reached the voting booths because  a San Francisco judge ruled that state law preempts the city from regulating medical professionals.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi removed the measure from the ballot in her order, stating, “The [California state] statute speaks directly to the issue of local regulation of medical procedures and leaves no room for localities to regulate in this area.”

But if you already are going to change the facts of life and disregard certain bodily differences between girls and boys, then why stick to other facts?

IntactNews, which reports on the “genital integrity movement,” reported that the removal of the proposal from the ballot was “squelching democracy by denying voters their voice.”

In other words, democracy is when you win and it is anti-democratic when you lose.

Once that reasoning can be understood, everything becomes clear.

Federal law protects girls from genital mutilation. IntactNews points out that the law does not stipulate any “religious or cultural exceptions.” If there are any readers who know of a religion that considers circumcision of girls a mitzvah, please raise your hand.

Following the court ruling striking the anti-circumcision proposal from the ballot, California passed a law making it illegal for local authorities to ban or restrict circumcisions. The ACLU backed the law, making it persona non grata for the activists.

By the way if you want to demonstrate against the ACLU next week, be warned that, according to Intact, “a limited number of signs will be available [but] you are also welcome to bring your own sign.”

Exclusive Interviews: Anti-Israel ‘Peacenik’ and Assaulted Israeli

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Frank H. Ogawa Park is a huge public space in Oakland, California.  It is located where San Pablo Avenue converges with Broadway and 14th Street, and is across from the Oakland City Hall.  Ogawa Park was named for a civil rights activist who was the first Japanese member of the Oakland City Council.  But Ogawa Park was “renamed” by Occupy Oakland protesters to “honor” Oscar Grant, a felon who had been imprisoned for drug dealing and weapons offenses, and who was shot by Oakland police 1n 2009, while resisting arrest.

An area in the Park is specifically designated for public expression; it has been the scene of many boisterous protests, including the long-term occupation by Occupy Oakland, last year.

Last week a perfect example of what so much of the anti-Israel movement is built on, was on display in Ogawa Park.  In this “free speech” park taken over by “peaceful” protesters of all kinds of oppression, a young woman who was drawing a message of peace was physically assaulted, cursed out with the foulest possible language, and thrown out of the public park by people who claim to be, and are referred to by the mass media, as “peaceful,” “non-violent,” “free speech” activists.  In truth, they are frequently abusive, intolerant, violent anarchists who believe the highest form of expression is provoking violence with what is usually aggressive resistance, but occasionally spills over into outright violence.

This is what happened.

On Wednesday, March 13, there were several anti-Israel events taking place and banners raised in Ogawa Park: one banner advocated the boycott of  a company that does business in Israel and with which the state of California does business, another was for the International Solidarity Movement, a virulently anti-Israel group.  The third one is the focus of our attention.

This third banner was in honor of Tristan Anderson, a California member of the International Solidarity Movement who was severely and permanently wounded when participating in a riot to protest the security fence in Ni’ilin, Samaria, on March 13, 2009.  The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as a “non-violent,” “direct action” organization committed to “helping the Palestinians resist the occupation of Palestinian lands.”  More on the ISM and Ni’ilin later.

The event associated with Anderson was called “Justice 4 Tristan,” and the banner shows a white dove – the symbol of peace – flying near his name.

“THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIVE” PROVOKES VIOLENCE BY THE “NON-VIOLENT”

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

In the late afternoon, Channa L., a 22 year-old from a rural part of Washington State, who made Aliyah in 2006 and who completed her IDF service in January, came to Ogawa Park.  Channa told The Jewish Press that she knew there were going to be some anti-Israel events happening there, and she went with a friend, Daniel Wencel, to see what it was about.

Channa met Wencel and his son when she volunteered in Israel on a Sar-El program.  It was then that she fell in love with the country, and after signing on for a second three week session, Channa decided she would make Aliyah.  After completing her military service, during which she served in a combat intelligence unit, Channa came back to the States for a visit with her family and her friends, including the Wencels.

After arriving at the Park on Wednesday afternoon, Channa told The Jewish Press, she went up to several people and asked them about what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

“It was so strange – they didn’t even want to talk about it, they just kept telling me to ‘Google’ it,” Channa said. “It was as if they weren’t interested in educating anyone, maybe even themselves,” she continued, “it was almost as if they knew it was just propaganda and didn’t want to get involved with someone who might have different information.”

“They didn’t have a peaceful message,” she continued.  “When someone told me they wanted to ‘tear down the state,’ and I asked, ‘what state?’ they told me to ‘Google’ that also.”  Channa’s conclusion was that all they were interested in was demonizing Israel and Israeli soldiers.

West Coast Happenings

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Events In The West: This Shabbos, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, university professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, is the scholar-in-residence at Yeshivat Yavneh… February 26 is International Agunah Day. Accordingly Bnai David-Judea in L.A. is hosting a program, co-sponsored by YICC, Beth Jacob Beverly Hills, YULA, Bais Bezalel, Happy Minyan, Shalhevet and Westwood Village, entitled, “Preventing the cycle of pain” with Rabbi Jeremy Stern of the ORA, an organization that helps women who are agunot. Alexandra Leichter, Rabbi Paul Gelb and Leah Rosenfeld, a former agunah, will be featured… On February 28 David Feifel is speaking at Congregation Adat Yeshurun in La Jolla. His topic: “The Human Brain, an Owner’s Manual”… On March 1, West Coast Chabad Lubavitch is hosting the 30th Siyum HaRambam in a grand, citywide celebration at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Skver Visits L.A.: All yearlong chassidic rebbes visit L.A., but none with the entourage of the Skverer Rebbe. On his recent visit, his first since 2006, he was accompanied by close to 300 chassidim. Jews in the La Brea-Hancock Park area housed as many as they could, but 144 of the devotees spent Shabbos dormitory style in Bais Yaakov classrooms that were converted in order to provide them with all their physical and religious comforts. Those comforts included bedside netilas yadayim equipment. Food was brought in for the group and served for all Shabbos meals at Congregation Shaarei Tefilah’s Kanner Hall. The gym at Yeshiva Ohr Eliyahu was transformed into a chassidishe shul, complete with bleachers and huge banners welcoming the rebbe and proclaiming the event’s uniqueness. Hundreds of people attended each Shabbos davening, and more than 1,000 people participated in the Friday night tisch. The rebbe also conducted a special Monday night tisch at Congregation Bais Naftoli. While the community benefited greatly from the visit, it turns out the chassidim took something home with them as well. During their Shabbos afternoon stroll, a group of chassidim stopped to admire the esrogim growing on a tree in someone’s courtyard. The chassidim requested and were given permission to return after Shabbos to pick some of them. They indeed came back after Shabbos and picked the tree bare. So this year on Tu B’Shevat, in addition to esrog jam from Israeli or Yanever esrogim, the residents of Square Town also enjoyed delicious esrog jam from California.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Dovid and Jessica Leiser, a son (Grandparents Barry and Dena Gres)… Zev and Lisa Wiener in Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Dr. Isaac and Geri Wiener)… Dr. Jonathan and Sarah Prostak of Denver, a daughter (Grandparents Joe and Myrna Strapp)… Allen and Dassi Kahn, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Seymour and Carole Perl)… Zak and Sarah Isaac, a son… Andrew and Rachel Geller, a son… Levy and Bracha Katz, a son (Grandparents Ellen and Ilan Paz; Fred and Debra Stepen; Jerry and Miriam Katz)… Dovid and Jessica Leiser, a son (Grandparents Barry and Dena Gres)… Moshe and Revital Rubin in Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Dr. Daniel and Brenda Rubin; Great-grandmother Bea Hershkovitz)… Koby and Maayan Hagai, a son… Jason and Melissa Goldstoff of NY, a son (Grandparents Dr. Mark and Deborah Goldenberg; Great-grandparents Andrew and Yvette Gardner)… Yehuda and Rachel Rabinowitz of Fairlawn, NJ, a son (Grandparents Dr. Josh and Debbie Rabinowitz)… David and Julie Iskowitz, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Robert Leeds, son of Fred and Dina Leeds.

Mazel Tov – Engagement: Rachel Schultz, daughter of David and Debbie Schultz, to Daniel Small of Teaneck, NJ.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Rabbi Akiva and Chani Naiman, a son.

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Engagement: Elizabeth Ravkin, daughter of Ilya and Tzippora Ravkin, to Moshe Glasser of Teaneck, NJ.

Congratulations: Eli Filler, son of Vic and Stella Filler, on receiving semicha.

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Motti and Mina Perlstein of Cleveland, OH, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Eliezer and Pnina Pflaster)… Moshe and Nechama Zucker, a son… David and Annie Statman, a son… Yehonaton and Malka Schwarzmer of Far Rockaway, NY, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Shmuel and Malca Schwarzmer).

Mazel Tov – Engagement: Yehuda Stepen, son of Ilan and Ellen Paz and Fred Stepen, to Aviva Goldhaber.

DENVER, COLORADO

Mazel Tov – Births: Dr. Jonathan and Sarah Prostak of Denver, a daughter… Moshe and Nechama Zecharyia, a daughter (Grandparents Daniel and Jill Goldstein).

Events In The West

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Events In The West: From December 26-30, Yarchei Kallah, with Kollel Mercaz HaTorah, takes place in the beis medrash at Beth Jacob Beverly Hills… On January 7-8, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, will be the scholar-in-residence at Young Israel of Century City.

Safety: The light at Oakwood and La Brea in the Los Angeles La Brea-Hancock Park area has five seconds for “Walk” and 15 seconds for “Don’t Walk.” Jewish community leaders and several rabbis from institutions in Paul Koretz’s council district met with the councilman about this issue and other community issues about six months ago. They requested Koretz to increase the combined crossing time from 20 to 30 seconds, as is appropriate for a major intersection. This would give more time for the elderly and infirm to cross. So far, though, nothing has been done to change the time. Recently, 88-year-old Berish Landau, who used a walker, was killed crossing the street because he couldn’t cross quickly enough. Rabbi Shmuel Jacobs, a rabbi at Yeshiva Rav Isaacson (Toras Emes), who helped Landau cross the street on a daily basis in order for him to daven Shacharis at Congregation Bais Yehuda, was seriously injured but is recovering.

Kosher Updates: The banana bread and cinnamon flavors of Quaker instant weight control oatmeal are dairy, even though there is not yet a “D” on the box.

Singles: From January 12-15, Beth Jacob Beverly Hills will host the International Shabbaton for Young Professionals, featuring psychologist and author Dr. Gary Neuman. Women Only: On January 21, Beth Jacob Beverly Hills will feature a Shabbos lunch for single women ages 50-68… Have you had any exasperating experiences with websites? KosherWoman.com, a website for Jewish women – from the least observant to the most observant – has, among their many pages, interesting material on Jewish lifestyle topics and a page that lists troublesome websites and the specific problems surrounding them. The website states that it will only remove an entry when the problems are fixed.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Boaz and Sara Esther Goldman of Romaima, Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Jeanne Litvin and Rabbi Mel Teitelbaum; Rabbi Dr. Simcha and Miriam Goldman; Rabbi Eliezer and Pnina Pflaster)… Shmuel and Felice (Gottlieb) Barak, a son (Grandparents Dr. Emmy and Jennie (Lewkowicz) Gottlieb; Kalev and Eileen Barak; Great-grandfather Joe Lewkowicz)… Aaron and Ita Tomaszewski, a daughter (Grandparents Joe and Gerda Tomaszewski)… Ariel and Sara Bluma Fine, a son… Ephraim and Michelle Nissenfeld of NY, a daughter (Grandparents Barry and Dena Gress)… Avi and Shuli Steinlauf, a son (Grandparents Peter and Liz Steinlauf)… Yitzchak and Sara Alyesh (Grandparents Ray and Shoshana Alyeshmerani; Binyamin and Gila Zaghi)… Avy and Sandra Azeroual, a daughter.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Josep Schnitzer, son of Avrumie and Maryjo Schnitzer… Dovid Witkin, son of Howard and Marnie Witkin.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Frumie Goldberg, daughter of Rabbi Moshe and Devorah Goldberg, to Boruch Diskind of Montreal, Canada… Shayna Firestone, daughter of Marc and Beth Firestone, to Dovid Herzka of Flatbush, NY… Eli Hendeles, son of Moise and Angela Hendeles, and Sandy and Barry Goldman, to Sharon Feder of Englewood, NJ… Dr. Maurice Garfinkel, son of Joseph and Marlyn Garfinkel, to Tova Levin, daughter of Irv Levin… Dr. Tovy Haber Kamine, son of Bernard and Marcia Kamine, to Dr. Rebecca Barron, daughter of Drs. Alan and Ros Barron… Basya Gruman, daughter of Rabbi Dovid and Feige Gruman, to Chaim Zemel of Miami Beach.

Mazel Tov – Weddings: Moshe Stewart, son of Rabbi Eliyahu and Bryna Stewart, to Chani Richter of Monsey, NY… Robbie Silverman, son of Nachi and Hedy Silverman, to Ariella Winter, daughter of Jeff and Shaindy Winter… Eli Lehman, son of Kenneth and Libby Lehman, to Rivky Frankel of Lakewood, NJ.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Ash and Mindy Berla, a daughter. Mazel Tov – Engagement: Yael Friedkin, daughter of Gerald and Miriam Friedkin, to Matt Kovner. Mazel Tov – Wedding: Elana Jagoda, daughter of Jeff and Joanne Jagoda, to Saul Kaye.

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Aharon and Chana Kestenbaum in Yerushalayim, a daughter (Grandmother Esther Kestenbaum). Mazel Tov – Engagements: Jessica Light, daughter of Donald Light, to Evan Silverberg… Daniel Stahl, son of Willy and Jean Stahl, to Dr. Ariella Schwartz of Staten Island, NY.

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Aharon and Shelly Striks, a son (Grandparents David and Miriam Striks; Al Lebovic and Barbara Lebovic)… Boaz and Sara Esther Goldman of Romaima, Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Eliezer and Pnina Pflaster; Jeanne Litvin and Rabbi Mel Teitelbaum; Rabbi Dr. Simcha and Miriam Goldman)… Netanel and Tova Chait, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi George and Dr. Lisa Lintz).

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rachel Goodfriend, daughter of Mark and Elaine Goodfriend, to Gabriel Saadat, son of Elias and Janet Saadat of Beverly Hills, CA… Benji Samet, son of Dr. Michael and Bracha Samet, to Raissa Sosnow of North Miami Beach, FL.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/west-coast-happenings/events-in-the-west-3/2011/12/22/

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