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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Reform Jews’

White House Invites Arab MK Who Blames ‘Occupation’ for Terror

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

President Barack Obama is introducing anti-Zionist values into the White House. After J Street and “Breaking the Silence,” next in line is Knesset Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who blames Israel for Arab terror.

One week after Knesset Member Michael Oren was falsely quoted as saying that the president is bringing “radical Muslim values” into 1600 Pennsylvania, it turns out that he definitely is opening its doors to the Arab MK who thinks that Muslim terror against Jews is the fault of the “occupation.”

Even more absurd is that Odeh is a Christian, but that has not stopped him from embracing his fellow Muslim MKs who call the Israeli government “Nazi” and openly campaign for the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

MK Odeh said on Israel radio two months ago:

I always blame the occupation for being guilty. I cannot tell the nation how to struggle, where and at which target to throw the rock.

Odeh is the chairman of the Joint Arab List, and told Yediot Acharonot that he will talk to senior White House and State Dept. officials on “issues that matter to Israel’s Arab Citizens [and] are hardly represented in the international conversation.”

He also will meet with the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations and will give interviews to all of the “correct” media outlets, such as The New York Times, the Nation, Huffington Post and the Washington Post. There is no indication that he will meet with President Obama.

Odeh also will speak with Jewish leaders, all of them from the Reform movement that decries the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria and for which President Obama has rolled out the red carpet.

The Obama administration will describe Odeh as the leader of Israeli Arabs, but the truth is that he is not.

The JewishPress.com reported here last month:

A special survey conducted for Channel 2… reveals…54% of Israeli Arab respondents believe that the Arab MKs do not represent them, 25% say that Arab MKs represent them fairly well, and only a minority of 16% say that they represent them ‘very much.’

However, most of these surveyed criticized comments by Nazareth’s Arab Mayor Ali Salem that Odeh and his cohorts have been “ruining” the city by inciting violence and demonstrating in the city against Israel.

Salem said in October:

Every Saturday we get our 20 thousand guests—Jews, tourists and Israelis from across the country. This Saturday we barely reached 1,000 people from out of town.

For three days we had complete quiet. No politicians arrived and they didn’t riot or strike or demonstrate…. Businessmen I spoke to today were pleased, not because no one visited them for a month, but because they manage to rebuild the ruins they (the politicians) left us in the city.

On the eve of Odeh’s departure to Washington, he told Yediot:

Less than a month after Netanyahu’s visit to the US and his half-apology, I go so that I may tell the hard truth about him and the government in Israel, which rose to power through racist incitement against Arab citizens.”

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Hits Home Run in US as MVP (Most Valuable Politician)

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pitched a perfect game in his visit to the White House and speeches to Jews during his trip to the United States.

President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister had a mutual interest in their “letting bygones be bygones” meeting. Neither had anything to gain by trying to upstage the other.

The President could only have damaged the next Democratic presidential nominee if he had done so, and the Prime Minister is more interested in American military aid and preventing a jihadist Syria than he is in showing off to the White House that he is more popular in Israel than his host is with Americans.

Regardless of their disagreements over the nuclear deal with Iran, both leaders know very well that the “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel is not just an expression. Without Israeli intelligence on the Middle East, America would be up the creek.

Without a certain degree of American support, Israel would be dogpaddling in the creek.

The fact that President Obama publicly stated that the “two-state” mantra will remain so until the distant future was a direct statement to  Palestinian Authority chairman that Washington finally understands, without saying so, that the Arab world does not want a true peace between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Jordan, for example, wants a Palestinian Authority country on its border as much as the Ayatollah of Iran wants to play golf with Obama.

Obama’s statement in effect sent the dead and buried “peace process” into the mausoleum of illusions for historians to laugh at.

It gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a great send-off to address approximately 2,000 guests of the American Enterprise Institute Monday night, where he was honored with the Irving Kristol Award.

Bill Kristol introduced Netanyahu as the “preeminent leader of the free world,” and the honoree quipped, “I’m not used to receiving such awards in Israel.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu preached to the chorus, which wildly applauded his understanding that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not based on religion, the “occupation” or politics. He hit the nail on the head and said:

The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early premeditative medievalism.

In his speech to the Federations’ General Assembly on Tuesday, the Prime Minister scored a hit with the bulk of American Jews by embracing all streams of Judaism, especially when he promised:

l invest directly in the development and fostering of Conservative and Reform communities in Israel.

After playing music to the ears of President Obama, the right wing and the pluralistic Federations, he turned his attention to the liberal CAP, which took a lot of flak from left-wing groups for even inviting the Prime Minister to speak.

Obama’ dumping of the “peace process” and Abbas suicide strategy for creating a Palestinian Authority country opened the gates at CAP for Netanyahu.

Abbas has made Netanyahu look good even to liberal Jews. He has exposed himself as a fake, a con man, a liar and just another Arab leader who is failing to reach his objective on the diplomatic front as every Arab general has failed to do on the military front – destroy Israel.

Netanyahu now can reach out to the bulk of American Jewry who love the idea of “two states.” They previously rejected the Prime Minister but now accept the fact that it is not Israel’s fault it won’t happen.

The liberals who love any president so long as he (or she) is a Democrat and now they can be happy that Obama and Netanyahu have nothing left to fight about. They want Israel to be a nice doggie so their non-Jewish friends won’t look at them awkwardly when Israel flexes its muscles, but they no longer can blame the “occupation” for stabbing attacks in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said:

Just about any Israeli in his right mind agrees with what I’m about to tell you: Any deal or any arrangement, unilateral or negotiated, must have Israel maintain the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, including from territories that are ceded. That’s the most important provision. That’s something I don’t see Palestinians accepting now.

American  Jews, from all political and religious streams, and President Obama finally realize, even if they won’t admit it, that Israel is the only normal country in the Middle East and that Netanyahu is a lot smarter than they figured.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Biden Professes Love for Israel and Scorn for Degrading Obama

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

U.S. Vice President has rolled out a red carpet with nails for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House this week.

He told 5,000 Reform Jews in Florida Saturday night that no one loves Israel more than he does but threw in a warning that referred to the Prime Minister’s choice for media adviser, who earlier this year posted on Facebook a remark that equated President Barack Obama with anti-Semitism.

Dr. Ron Baratz, slated to be his media guru if the Cabinet agrees, has been exposed in the media for Facebook posts that insulted not only President Obama but also President Reuven Rivlin and the revered Shas party founder and leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to the White House with his hands out for an increase in American military aid, but the timing of the storm over Baratz may keep Obama’s hands in his pockets until Netanyahu gives in and looks for someone else besides Baratz.

Biden said in his speech Saturday night:

There’s nobody in American policy today, not one single person, who I will take second place to in my affection and defense of Israel.

Biden also took the opportunity to make it clear that Baratz’s Facebook post was not tolerable. Baratz wrote earlier this year that President Obama’s reaction earlier this spring, after Netanyahu announced he would speak to Congress against the nuclear deal with Obama, was “modern anti-Semitism.”

Biden said:

There is no excuse. There should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of the United States in derogatory terms.

Period. Period. Period. Period.

That is a whole lot of periods, which reflect both Biden and Obama’s disgust with their inability to force Netanyahu to let the United States tell him what is good for Israel, especially when it comes to Palestinian Authority and Iranian terror.

Biden spent a good part of his speech praising the Reform Jewish movement for being “early proponents of civil rights and gay equality.” He noted that the Reform movement “just this week adopted a broad transgender rights policy” and declared:

For decades, you’ve been the heart and soul of opportunity for all Americans. Where you lead, the nation eventually follows.

Netanyahu is leaving for the United States on Sunday and will speak to a progressive liberal Jewish group in an effort to schmooze the majority of American Jews who profess love for Israel but consider Zionism as buying Israeli bonds or perhaps visiting the Jewish Home once in a while and sneaking a Torah scroll into the women’s section of the Western Wall.

They generally adopt the mantra of “two states for two peoples.”

The Prime Minister said at the Cabinet meeting Sunday:

My conversation with the president will center on recent events in the Middle East, including in Syria, possible progress with the Palestinians, or at least stabilizing the situation with them, and, of course, strengthening the security of the State of Israel, which the US has always been committed to, while maintaining the State of Israel’s comparative advantage in the face of a changing Middle East and a cycle that changes less.

I believe that this meeting is important in order to clarify the continuation of American aid to Israel in the coming decade.

Haaretz reported that Netanyahu will come to Obama with “good will” measures for the Palestinian Authority, something that the Obama administration always demands when Palestinian Authority terrorists go on a rampage or when they are so calm that the State Dept. is sure “peace is around the corner.”

The newspaper said one of the “good will “measures will be allowing freer mobility for Palestinian Authority Arabs to travel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Shas MK Begins ‘Three Week’s with ‘Senseless Hate’ against Reform Jews

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

 

Minister for Religious Affairs, Shas Knesset Member David Azoulay, ridiculed approximately 2 million Jews Tuesday with the incredible statement, “A Reform Jew, from the moment he does not follow Jewish law…. I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew.”

His vile libel comes on the heels of the Netanyahu government’s rollback of religious reforms passed in the previous administration and which broke the gridlock that the Hareidi establishment has held over the conversion process and the approval for private and public eating facilities to be certified as kosher.

There are tens of thousands of Reform Jews who indeed are not Jews according to Jewish law because of  intermarriage. Jewish law states that if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

But for the time being, most Reform Jews in the United States and elsewhere are Jews by birth, regardless of whether they follow Jewish law.

MK Azoulay’s rant comes during the first week of the “three weeks” of a semi-state of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples on the Ninth of Av, which is observed at the end of the period.

Every year, rabbis preach that the sages teach that the Second Temple fell because of “senseless hate” among Jews,” and that every Jew today must express unlimited love.

And how does the Shas MK express his love? He told Army Radio today he cannot call them “Jews” and added:

These [Reform] Jews took the wrong path, and we need to make sure that every Jew returns to the lap of Judaism and [we need] to receive everyone with love and joy.To my sorrow, most of the Reform Jews in the Diaspora have erred. They are like babies who are hostages, and we want to make sure that every Jew will return  to Judaism according to Jewish law.

The most infuriating part of MK Azoulai’s remarks, worse than refusing to recognize Reform Jews as Jews, is his arrogant pretense that “we need to receive them with love and joy.”

The Hareidi establishment, of which the Shas Sephardi party is a major leader, does everything in its power to turn Jews off from Judaism.

Reform Judaism is not Judaism, and Reform rabbis are not rabbis, no more than alternative medicine is “medicine” and their practitioners are “doctors,” but to publicly say – or even privately think – that they are not Jews is nothing less than a blood libel.

Reform Jews never will be accepted with “love and joy” by the Israeli Hareidi establishment no more than MK Azoulay will accept national religious Jews with “love and joy.”

No matter how much Talmud we learn, and no matter how often we say the same prayers that Hareidim say – except for the addition of the Prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF that are absent from almost all Israeli Hareidi prayer books – it is not good enough for the their establishment.

Unlike the Agudah Hareidi movement in the United States, which practices “kiruv” – reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews to bring them closer to Judaism – the Hareidi  leaders in Israel are interested in power. They don’t accept others who do not dress like them, obey them like robots and contribute to their yeshivas.

There was an unconfirmed claim by the Women of the Wall yesterday that guards stopped a woman at The Western Wall because she was wearing a kippah.

The guards allegedly asked the woman to go with them to the police station, a request she refused.

Instead, she was escorted to a taxi stand outside the Western Wall Plaza.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Police Arrest Liberal Jewish ‘Rabbis’ in Garner Protests [video]

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Several prominent and liberal Jewish leaders and the president of a national teachers union were among nearly 100 people arrested Thursday night while protesting police brutality.

Sharon Kleinbaum, Jill Jacobs, and Shai Held, who hold the title “rabbi” that is not recognized by Orthodox Judaism, along with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, were taken into custody for blocking traffic to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York police officer who choked Staten Island resident Eric Garner to death.

They also recited the “Kaddish” prayer for mourners in memory of Garner,

The protests, held on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, were organized by the organization Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

Kleinbaum is the longtime spiritual leader at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the country’s largest LGBT synagogue, and is also Weingarten’s partner. Directly before the protest, she was honored by JFREF with a Marshall T. Meyer Risk Taker Award at nearby Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.

Attendees at the ceremony read the names of more than 20 black males who had been killed by New York police, followed by the phrase, “I am responsible.” They then marched to the nearby intersection at 96th and Broadway — blocking traffic and holding protest signs.

It brings back memories of the Jews joining Martin Luther King in the 1960s marches for integration.

It brings back memories of Jews marching in the 1970s to protest the war in Vietnam.

It brings back memories of the absence of Jewish leaders, especially from the Reform and homosexual communities, in support of Israel in the war against terror and in the rights for Jews to live in all of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The American liberal Jew always looks for a cause where it can show Americans how the descendants of slavery in ancient Egypt identify with the suffering of others, so long as they aren’t Jews.

Below is a video of the protest march.

JTA contributed to this report.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’

Friday, November 28th, 2014

American rabbinical students from the Conservative movement studying in Israel were prevented from holding afternoon prayers with men and women together in the Knesset synagogue, JTA reported.

Haaretz reported that the decision was handed down by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and the students were offered alternative place to pray. Reform and Reconstructionist students also were in the group at the Knesset, where the synagogue is designated as Orthodox.

“A lot of the students were very upset and shocked,” said Rabbi Joel Levy, director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who submitted the request on behalf of the students, told Haaretz. “You’d think that the Knesset would be a place of ingathering of the Jewish people, but actually we learned that it has boundaries that don’t include liberal Jews. Paradoxically, this decision served as an appropriate end to our conversation about religion and state in Israel.”

(One wonders if they are equally as upset and shocked that no Jews are allowed to pray on Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.)

So here we go again. The Knesset implicitly a place that is not for the “ingathering of the Jewish people” because the synagogue is Orthodox.

Not only that, but “liberal Jews” are not allowed.

The minute they throw around the term “egalitarian prayers,” Orthodoxy has three strikes against it.

Once Judaism is defined by secular values, it becomes a monopoly of the liberals, who are tolerant of everyone who accepts them and then close the doors on anyone who challenges their power.

Power is what the argument is all about. It is the same issue that is behind the Women of the Wall movement, which gathered hundreds of thousands of supporters in the United States but which in practice cannot come up with more than a few dozen people –perhaps 100 on a sunny day – to demonstrate,  whoops – pray,  at the Western Wall once a month.

So here comes the Masoriti movement to the Knesset, where it wants their students to have a real spiritual experience and pray – men and women together – in the legislature’s synagogue.

When the Orthodox Jews set the rules, it is called a monopoly.

When the “liberals” set the rules, it is called democracy.

It would be interesting to know if the students at the Knesset have an afternoon prayer service every day, or is it only when they visit the Knesset?

And if they do, why cannot they respect the sanctity of the lace where there is a minyan of Jews every day, three times a day, instead of grabbing headlines for their “egalitarian” agenda that they think is “modern” and superior?

Okay. We gave them their headlines, just like we did with the Women of the Wall.

I wish the students an enjoyable visit in Israel but ask, “Why is it that Orthodox Jews make up such large numbers of those who move to Israel?”

Do the Reform and Conservative Jews visit Israel and go “home” because there is no mixed seating in the Knesset synagogue?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Haredim Dominate US Jewish Day School Enrollment

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Jewish day school enrollment in the United States is up 12 percent from five years ago, primarily due to growth in Haredi schools.

Then numbers present a scary picture of the future of non-Orthodox and non-Haredi-Hasidic American Jewry, who seem to be the only ones who seem to be able to attract parents to keep their children in a Jewish educational surrounding.

Nearly 255,000 students are enrolled in 861 Jewish day schools from the pre-K level through 12th grade, according to a new census of the schools conducted by the Avi Chai Foundation.

The day school survey, which has been conducted every five years since 1998-’99, found 59 more schools and 26,437 more students since the last study, in 2008-’09. Previous surveys found enrollment growth rates of about 11 percent in each five-year period.

The primary drivers of growth have been Hasidic students, whose enrollment has increased by 110 percent since the first census 15 years ago, and Haredi non-Hasidic yeshiva schools, which have grown by 60 percent since the 1998-’99 survey.

The challenge is “whether there will be sufficient resources to provide adequately for the growth in these two sectors,” said Marvin Schick, who conducted the survey for Avi Chai.

The Avi Chai survey counted the following approximately numbers:

—  82,000 students in 137 Hasidic schools;

— 76,000 students in 282 yeshivas;

—  46,000 students in 160 centrist or modern Orthodox day schools;

—  20,500 students in 97 community day schools;

—  12,600 students in 80 Chabad schools,

— 9,700 students in 39 Solomon Schechters;

—  3,700 students 13 Reform schools;

—  2,400 students in 19 immigrant/outreach schools;

—  and about 2,100 students in 34 special education schools. A few of the schools counted in the survey include non-Jewish students.

Overall, 60 percent of all Jewish day school students in America are Haredi.

By contrast, enrollment in non-Orthodox schools is declining.

Reform day school enrollment is down 19 percent from five years ago, to 3,704 students nationwide; enrollment in the Conservative movement’s Solomon Schechter schools is down 27 percent from five years ago, to 9,718 students; and non-denominational community day school enrollment has slipped by 2 percent, down to 20,413 students, according to the census. Together, these non-Orthodox schools have just 13 percent of all day school students. In 1998, the proportion was 20 percent.

The number of centrist or modern Orthodox students has stayed flat since 1998, at about 46,000 students. The survey divided those schools into two groups: modern Orthodox schools, which are generally co-educational and have about 27,000 students across 83 schools, and centrist Orthodox, which are generally gender-segregated and have about 19,000 students spread out over 77 schools.

In the 15 years since Avi Chai’s surveys began, Conservative day schools have taken the largest tumble. The number of Solomon Schechter schools has dropped to 39 from 63 in 1998, and the number of students has shrunk 45 percent, to 9,700 from 17,700 in 1998.

Some of those departing students were lost to community day schools, which since 1998 have grown by 22 schools and increased enrollment by about 5,500 students.

The figures were self-reported by every known Jewish day school in the United States, according to Avi Chai. In all, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have Jewish day schools. The primary concentration of Jewish schools is in New York and New Jersey, where day school students number 190,195, roughly 75 percent of the nationwide total.

The states with the next-largest day school populations are California, with 15,270 students, Florida with 9,248, Maryland with 7,556 and Illinois with 5,248 students. No other state exceeds 3,200 day school students.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/haredim-dominate-us-jewish-day-school-enrollment/2014/11/02/

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