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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘PARK’

Join the Crowd Funding Campaign to Strengthen Oz veGaon [video]

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

At the Oz veGaon nature preserve we are preparing for the challenges of winter and the strengthening of this strategic point overlooking the Gush Etzion Junction with a special fundraising campaign   These days, the Women in green movement is starting a broad-based fundraising campaign to finance preparations for the stormy winter days at Oz veGaon and to reinforce its security arrangements.

Women in Green Final from CauseMatch on Vimeo.   The heads of the movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar explain the matching campaign that will take place during a period of thirty hours, beginning this coming Tuesday December 20th 2016. It is a mass fundraising drive to finance the reinforcement and strengthening of the preserve that was established more than 2 years ago in memory of the three youths that were abducted and murdered (Gil-Ad , Eyal and Naftali, hy”d) on the night that it was discovered that they had been murdered.

The Three Boys   “With the help of thousands of youths and volunteers, the preserve has become an active educational-tourist site and a thriving and flourishing cultural center. On the night that the bodies of the youths were found, we went up to the place and found it abandoned and neglected, used for criminal activity and drugs by the youths from the Arab villages in the surrounding area, and a place where people from these villages had used as a trash heap”, say the two women. “Since then, thousands of volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the work of preparing the place to become a nature preserve.

Children at Oz veGaon   Garbage was removed, paths were paved, tourist and recreational equipment were set up at the place, the Forester’s House in the center of the preserve was cleaned, improved and designated as a synagogue.  The volunteers and youths who came from all areas of Israel, and even from abroad, showed their love for the Land of Israel with their hands and feet, and the place became a center to visit and enjoy the accommodations for tourists, visitors and soldiers that serve in the Gush Etzion area”.

Children at Oz veGaon   Along with cultural events, a Torah study house for women, family events, large holiday events and lectures and speeches that have been held at the place, one can also find among those who have come to the preserve over the past two years, public figures and spiritual leaders, politicians and statesmen, among whom are Ministers Naftali Bennett, Yariv Levin, Miri Regev, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and many others.   Click Here to Explore this Campaign.   People who pass through Gush Etzion Junction on their way to the communities of the Gush and South Hevron Hills testify to the dramatic change that has taken place since the preserve was established. “The obvious Jewish presence at the place radiates security. The residents of the communities of the area go on foot to the place feeling safe, also because of the expanded Jewish area of contiguity”, say Katsover and Matar and note the involvement of Gush Etzion Council and its acting head in assisting Women in Green with the preparation and realization of the preserve.   With the approach of winter, Women in Green invites members of the general public to mobilize themselves for the project of strengthening the preserve and to join in funding the acquisition of essential means to defend the place and continue its activity.

Oz veGaon in the Snow   As we were making plans for the fundraising campaign, it was reported in the media that a gang of terrorists was captured from Beit Fajjar, the Arab village next to the preserve. As was ascertained in their investigation, both were involved in preparing Molotov cocktails and improvised weapons in preparation for carrying out terror attacks. This would have entailed throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Oz veGaon and the Migdal Oz community. “The security apparatus at Oz veGaon requires a serious upgrade; additional security lighting and security cameras are necessary to ensure the safety of the many visitors” state Katsover and Matar.   LINK to the Campaign: https://www.causematch.com/en/projects/wig/?ref=269   “We call on the public at large to come to our aid and to join in the project of strengthening the preserve. Winter conditions on the hills of Judea combine bitter cold with frequent power outages that make it difficult to keep the paths lit and to provide adequate heating at the preserve. Against all of this and the hostile Arab villages in the area, as well as the threat of terror arson, we will not weaken and we will not surrender. This is precisely the time when we need your help in maintaining and strengthening the place”, say Katsover and Matar.   The two women enumerate the objectives that they have set for the fundraising campaign:

  1. “Acquiring  a generator that will boost the lighting at the place and enable much stronger security and defense at the preserve,
  2. Acquiring security cameras at strategic points around the preserve,
  3. Renovating and strengthening the peripheral security lighting; organizing security arrangements at the preserve compound,
  4. Repaving the paths around the preserve in such a manner that will enable passage for security vehicles to arrive in case of need,
  5. Acquiring fire extinguishing equipment to cope with the threat of  arson”.

As noted, because of the offer of special matching that the movement has received – all money that is donated toward these objectives will be doubled by donors who wish to remain anonymous. However, the campaign is “all or nothing” – only if the target amount is reached by the end of the thirty hour period of the campaign will the donations be doubled, but if the amount is not reached then even that will not be donated, and we at Women in Green prefer not even to think about this possibility.   Children at Oz veGaon

Every donation will have a strengthening effect, and now, every effect will have double the influence. Don’t minimize the benefit of any donation – even some tens of shekels. Every shekel will be doubled and bring us another step closer to the goal of the campaign”, say Katsover and Matar and emphasize: “the fortification of the preserve and strengthening of the communities in general is the appropriate and Zionist response to the wave of terror that the Jewish People has been contending with in recent times. We call upon you to join us in this campaign for Oz veGaon”.

Click Here to Donate.

Jewish Press Staff

Brooklynites to Protest Vandalizing of Jewish Beastie Boy’s Brooklyn Park

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

A Brooklyn Heights playground named after late hip hop group Beastie Boys’ star Adam Yauch was vandalized with swastikas and the words “Go Trump!” on Friday. Yauch, who was Jewish, died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47.

Tweeted photos show the swastika and slogan that were spray-painted on the playground equipment. Parents reported the vandalism to Democratic State Senator Daniel Squadron on Friday, and his staff notified the Parks Department and police, according to a Squadron spokesman, who said that Parks Dept. employees scrubbed the equipment on Friday night.

Two police officers were stationed in the park on the night between Thursday and Friday, but, apparently, were not aware of the vandalism.

Adam Nathaniel Yauch (1964 – 2012) was an American rapper, musician, film director, and human rights activist. He was best known as a founding member of the Beastie Boys. He was also known by his stage name, MCA, and the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér. His father had been raised a Catholic and his mother was Jewish. Yauch was a practicing Buddhist.

State Senator Squadron sent out an email inviting New Yorkers and the media to join him on Sunday at the Adam Yauch park on State Street (between Columbia & Willow Place), at 11:30 AM, “to stand against hate in our backyard, our city, and our country.”

Squadron will be joined by Beastie Boys member Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Brad Lander, elected officials, community and faith leaders.

JNi.Media

Park Slope Food Coop – Stick to Food, Not Politics

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

When the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn was founded in 1973, it had a worthy mission:  to make healthy and affordable food available to everyone who wanted it.  But recently, the Coop appears to have lost its way.  In April, it suspended four loyal, long-time members for a whole year – three of them members from the Coop’s inception.  The reason?  Allegedly, the four disrupted a Coop meeting.  But in reality, they were singled out from among hundreds of Coop members who vociferously objected to a hateful and bigoted anti-Israel presentation at a Coop meeting, which was aimed at getting the Coop to boycott an Israeli company called SodaStream.

This wasn’t the first time that an anti-Israel boycott was proposed at the Coop; the membership had already considered and soundly rejected one in 2012.  But the Israel-bashers were persistent, this time displaying inflammatory anti-Israel photos at a Coop general meeting.  The photos weren’t verified, they had no context, and the boycott proponents did not even establish their connection to SodaStream.  Members at the meeting reported that not only was Israel viciously attacked; Jews were, too, with outrageous and incendiary comments like “Jews are aggressive toward black children.”

The four suspended Coop members were no doubt passionate and vocal about their objection to this anti-Israel boycott effort, and they had good reason to be: A boycott of Israeli products such as SodaStream would violate New York State law and could subject the Coop to liability.

New York’s Human Rights Law prohibits boycotts based on national origin, among several other protected categories.  The law doesn’t require evidence of a formal boycott campaign; it’s enough if there’s a pattern of conduct that commercially disadvantages members of a protected class, which describes the anti-Israel vendetta at the Coop.The four suspended Coop members were no doubt passionate and vocal about their objection to this anti-Israel boycott effort, and they had good reason to be:  A boycott of Israeli products such as SodaStream would violate New York State law and could subject the Coop to liability.

Boycotts that protest unlawful discriminatory practices do not violate the Human Rights Law, but that exception couldn’t possibly apply to a boycott targeting SodaStream, a company that exemplifies fairness and peaceful Jewish-Arab co-existence.  When the SodaStream factory was located near Maale Adumim – an area in Judea (part of the so-called “West Bank”) under Israeli control according to the 1993 Oslo Accords, and an area that would likely be included in Israel in any future peace deal with the Palestinian Arabs – approximately 500 Palestinian Arabs worked at the factory alongside Israeli Jews, receiving equal pay and treatment.  The factory even had a mosque for Muslim employees.  The Coop was targeting SodaStream for one reason only:  It’s an Israeli company and the boycott promoters are hateful and hostile to Israel, which is precisely what the law is aimed at addressing.

Recently, New York State made its prohibitions against anti-Israel boycotts even stronger.  Last June, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to prevent state agencies and authorities from engaging in or promoting “any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory Palestinian-backed Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in New York State.”  The Coop isn’t a state entity but it does receive both state and federal benefits.  In addition to the federal money it receives from the food stamps that some customers use, the Coop has been authorized by the state to operate as a non-profit tax-exempt organization.  The Coop thus doesn’t have to pay taxes derived from the revenue it collects.  Given these benefits, it is difficult to believe that New York State would indulge a Coop decision to target and discriminate against Israeli companies, including SodaStream.

These kinds of liability concerns prompted the GreenStar Food Coop in Ithaca to reject a boycott of Israeli products.  The coop’s legal counsel wisely concluded that the boycott could render GreenStar liable under the Human Rights Law.

The four members’ vehement rejection of the Park Slope Food Coop’s anti-Israel boycott efforts made sense for a second reason:  Targeting and boycotting the one Jewish state in the world – and the only thriving democracy in the Middle East – flies in the face of the Coop’s own Mission Statement.  The Coop purports to be committed to “oppose discrimination in any form,” to “make the Coop welcoming and accessible to all,” and to “lead by example” and educate about such topics as “cooperation and the environment.”  The four members, together with hundreds of others who also opposed a boycott of the environmentally-friendly SodaStream, strongly reacted so that the Coop would stay out of a complicated political situation and remain an accessible place for everyone.

The absolute injustice of the Coop’s suspension of its four loyal members led the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to intervene and urge the Coop to first, reinstate the members immediately and second, stop promoting discriminatory and potentially illegal practices targeting the Jewish State.  But the Coop has disgracefully stayed silent, keeping the harsh punishment in place, which is directed against not only the four members, but also all the members of their respective households who have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Everyone in the community – especially our public officials – should be calling on the Coop to stop indulging a group of Israel-bashers who seem obsessed with singling out and discriminating against Israel, in violation of public policy.  Instead, the Coop should stick to its mission to make healthy and affordable food available to everyone who wants it.

Zionist Organization of America

Gateway to Temple of the ‘God’ Pan May Have Been Excavated at Golan National Park

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Has the gate to the compound of the god Pan been discovered at Sussita (Hippos) National Park in the Golan? A monumental Roman gate discovered in the excavations by the University of Haifa at Hippos may cast light on the bronze mask of Pan – the only object of its kind found anywhere in the world – that was discovered in the same site during last year’s excavation season. “Now that the whole gate has been exposed, we not only have better information for dating the mask, but also a clue to its function. Are we looking at a gate that led to the sanctuary of the god Pan or one of the rustic gods?” wonders Dr. Michael Eisenberg, the head of the expedition.

Last year, researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa made one of the most unique and unusual findings of recent years. They unearthed a bronze mask representing Pan, the god of shepherds. Half man and half goat, Pan also represents fields, music, and merriment. The discovery was huge on a global scale. It also seriously complicated efforts to date the item or explain its possible function.

Dr. Eisenberg notes that for the time being it has only been possible to suggest hypotheses regarding the mask’s original functioning and to use artistic and stylistic criteria to propose a possible date for its casting.

Hippos saddle side – an accurate photogrammetric model of the gates' structure, the two towers and the gate between them. The mask of Pan is placed where it was found. (Photo Credit: Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Photogrammetry: Eli Gershtein)

Hippos saddle side – an accurate photogrammetric model of the gates’ structure, the two towers and the gate between them. The mask of Pan is placed where it was found. (Photo Credit: Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Photogrammetry: Eli Gershtein)

The mask was discovered in the remains of a large basalt ashlar building, and the researchers assumed that uncovering the building would provide additional information about the unique object. As happens almost every year, Sussita did not fail to yield some surprises. The researchers were working on the hypothesis that the building formed part of the fortifications of the city, but as they dug deeper they found two square basalt towers with dimensions of approximately 6.30 meters x 6.30 meters and a portal of 3.7 meters wide in-between. The researchers concluded that the original gateway was over six meters high, while the building (propylaeum) itself was even taller. The propylaeum can probably be dated to the period of the Emperor Hadrian, who reigned from 117 to 138 CE, or slightly earlier. The mask was presumably fixed to a wall or altar at the compound, as its rear side included remnants of lead used for stabilization purposes. Now, however, the researchers can offer a fuller analysis regarding not only the mask’s dating, but also its function.

The team that exposed the portal at the end of the day, next to the structure of the gate (Photo Credit: Dr. Michael Eisenberg)

The team that exposed the portal at the end of the day, next to the structure of the gate (Photo Credit: Dr. Michael Eisenberg)

“When we found the mask on its own, we assumed that it had filled a ritual function. Since we found it outside the city, one of the hypotheses was that we were looking at evidence of a mysterious ritual center that existed outside the city. However, as we all know, monumental gate structures lead to large compounds. Accordingly, it is not impossible that this gate led to a large building complex – perhaps a sanctuary in honor of the god Pan or one of the other rustic gods – situated just before the entrance to the city of Hippos,” Dr. Eisenberg suggests.

“The mask, and now the gate in which it was embedded, are continuing to fire our imaginations. The worship of Pan sometimes included ceremonies involving drinking, sacrifices, and ecstatic rituals including nudity and sex. This worship usually took place outside the city walls, in caves and other natural settings. We are very familiar with the city of Paneas to the north of Hippos, which was the site of one of the best-known sanctuaries for the worship of Pan. But here we find a monumental gate and evidence of an extensive compound, so that the mystery only gets stranger. What kind of worship of Pan or his fellow Dionysus, the god of wine, took place here in Hippos? To answer that question, we will have to keep on digging,” concludes Dr. Eisenberg.

Since 2000, the ancient city of Hippos has gradually being unearthed by an international expedition under the auspices of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa. Hippos lies within Sussita National Park, which is managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The next excavation season will be held in July 2016, with the participation of dozens of researchers and volunteers from Israel and around the world.

JNi.Media

Masbia To Reopen Facility In Boro Park with Crowdfunding Campaign

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Brooklyn, NY – June 7, 2016 — Renowned for their kosher soup kitchens that have served millions of meals to the hungry and the needy, Masbia will be reopening in Boro Park, this time with a centrally located facility that will enhance its services in many ways.

Situated just one block from the Shomrei Shabbos 24 hour synagogue at 5402 New Utrecht Avenue, the new Masbia facility will continue to fulfill the mission begun by Alexander Rapaport and Mordechai Mandelbaum in 2005, serving nutritious, filling meals with the utmost dignity. Catering largely but not exclusively to the area’s significant Chasidic population, the soup kitchen will be open late hours to accommodate the lifestyle of area residents.

“We have found that in the Chassidic community in general and in Boro Park in particular that people struggle with the decision of bringing their family for a meal, often not bringing themselves to it until the desperation peaks, which is usually at bedtime for their kids,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of Masbia. “Unlike our site on Queens Boulevard, where we serve many senior citizens, we have found that we need to have an early dinner since our clients want to get home before dark, but in Boro Park it is exactly the opposite, with many people going back and forth on whether or not they should accept help or not.”

In its new spacious Boro Park facility, Masbia will offer client choice raw groceries to take home, allowing clients to choose the foods that most appeal to them from a huge display area set up in a dedicated portion of the soup kitchen.

“We serve full meals in grocery form,” explained Rapaport. “There are those who would rather cook the food themselves and some who prefer to be eating in their own kitchens. We prepare groceries so that every member of the family will have food for three meals for three days. Our goal is no matter how people choose to have their meals, that we make it a pleasant and easy experience.”

Rapaport said that the Boro Park Masbia branch will be open for Shabbos and holiday meals and will have the ability to seat 40 clients at any one time.

Masbia needs help to outfit the new facility and is reaching out to the public for help in financing this new endeavor in a variety of ways. Dedication opportunities are available in all amounts, giving generous souls the ability to sponsor one of Masbia’s ten tables, the naming rights for the soup kitchen and even a beautification project to enhance the dining experience for clients and provide them with a greater sense of dignity.

Contributions can be made via an innovative online dedication chart on Masbia’s website, through conventional installments or by starting crowdfunding campaigns, the latest trend in charitable fundraisers.

“If someone knew that their Zaidy was renowned for always inviting people to dine with him, what greater way could there be to honor his memory than by starting a crowdfunding campaign, allowing so many other family members and acquaintances to join in and make a contribution in his honor to secure a coveted dedication option in his honor?” noted Rapaport. “Those small donations add up quickly and could make a huge difference in the lives of the needy.”

Heavy duty equipment, light fixtures, refrigeration system, and more are pending delivery depending on our ability to raise the funds to pay for them. In order to receive those deliveries, we urgently need the cash flow to make the renovations complete.

Rapaport is confident that the public will step forward and help get the ball rolling so that Masbia can once again open its doors in Boro Park, the site of its very first soup kitchen of its current network of three.

“We are ready to go,” said Rapaport. “We just need the funding.”

To find out more about Masbia or to make a donation visit them online at www.masbiaboropark.org/capacitycampaign

Jewish Press Staff

Jerusalem’s Gazelle Valley Urban Wildlife Park Takes the Prize

Friday, April 8th, 2016

It’s a park like no other in the holy city of Jerusalem — so different, in fact, that the municipality received the 2016 Designers Award for this stunning island of urban serenity.

The award came from Ot Haltzuv, a consortium of designers and architects. Undoubtedly the enchantment of the gazelles ensnared them all.

You can stroll over a wooden bridge to an island to watch the birds, or sit by a pond and contemplate the ripples in the water. It’s quiet, and peaceful.

The park stretches over 250 dunams of land and features five natural and man-made ponds. There are also two flowing streams and areas to watch the birds and other small creatures like chipmunks and such – a manmade island that can be reached by way of wooden bridges.

There are dozens of wild gazelles roaming free, after whom the park is named.

This approach, applied nowhere else in Israel, stresses the importance of creating a ‘green lung’ composed of natural greenery. The park hosts a variety of animals and birds, all to be enjoyed by city residents as well as visitors from Israel and abroad.

“The park’s guiding principle is revolutionary in terms of Israeli urban public spaces – a nature reserve in the middle of Jerusalem,” Mayor Nir Barkat said at the opening of the park last month.

“Gazelle Valley is one of the biggest and most important Jerusalem projects in recent years, representing above all community involvement in the city and the power of joint brainstorming and planning by City Hall and residents.

“For us, the Gazelle Valley project represents the direction in which we want to take the city: developing Jerusalem’s green spaces together and in partnership with the community and with the backing of many municipal entities working to enhance the environment and protect Jerusalem’s natural assets.”

If you’re in Israel and looking for something to do during the intermediate days of Passover, check out the new Gazelle Park in Jerusalem. It’s located in the city’s southwestern corner at the foot of Highway 50 (Begin Boulevard) and Pat Junction.

You won’t be disappointed.

Hana Levi Julian

My Park

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I grew up a few blocks from the Ramat Gan National Park, a man made urban park, which isn’t really national, with a nice, little man made lake. It’s only 0.7 square miles, but when I was growing up it was plenty.

Googlemaps screen shot

Googlemaps screen shot

On summer afternoons, my dad would come home early from work and we’d drive over, rent a boat (you had to leave your watch as deposit in the rental booth, to make sure you didn’t steal your boat, which occasionally made it difficult to come back on time).

They made the artificial lake in 1959, and dad and I were regulars there. They also built a restaurant in the middle of the lake (see top picture), which I don’t think ever actually operated. I could be wrong. Throughout my childhood it was just this cement shell you’d circle with your rowboat.

I suppose some ideas need to be thought through better. But the park continues to be a source of safe fun for the locals. It’s gotten more Haredi in recent years, but it’s still as happy as it used to be, I think. I don’t go there much these days, since we live in Netanya. I don’t know if they still rent boats. I should take my daughter one day and check it out.

The local ducks and the cats are very happy.

ducks in the park

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/my-park/2014/02/26/

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