web analytics
October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashana’

European Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

European leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to fight anti-Semitism, according to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), who received greetings from the heads of most countries in the EU.

Margolin was the recipient of holiday greetings from Europe’s leadership ahead of the upcoming Jewish high holy days, particularly Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins next Sunday night.

The continent’s leaders are seeking to “reinforce with Europe’s historic Jewish communities and reaffirm their commitment to fighting the wave of anti-Semitic acts that have blighted cities across the European Union,” Margolin said.

Messages of support and solidarity were led by France’s Francois Hollande, who departed from the secular protocol of the French Republic to send his new year wishes to European Jewry. The French president offered a firm commitment to fight “against all words and acts of an anti-Semitic nature, and to allow everyone to live together, without exception, with the same values of freedom, tolerance and community”.

French Premier Manuels Valls added his “readiness to fight against anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism and intolerance, and to tirelessly support European initiatives designed to defend the values which shape our democracies”.

Austrian President Heinz K. Fischer spoke out in support of “the common interest of Jews in Europe.” Fischer said he sought to renew Austria’s ties with the Jewish State by way of its commitment to “the safeguarding of Israel.”

He added that Austria remains committed to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Europe and the world, and to the “safeguarding of minorities including the Jewish community in Austria, which has always strongly influenced our country’s culture,” he added.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also reaffirmed his “excellent relationship with the Jewish community in Belgium.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recalled his country’s endorsement of a joint statement on anti-Semitism at an informal meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last January.

“I share your concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe,” he said in his message to European Jewry. “This scourge affects Jewish communities first, but in essence it is a threat to society as a whole,” he added.

EJA General Director, Rabbi Margolin thanked the European leaders for their wishes and commitments.

“Rabbis and community leaders across Europe report that in light of the growing anti-Semitism and nationalist atmosphere there has been a significant decline in the number of Jews who take part in community activities,” he said.

“However, Jewish communities are working hard to help Jews attend Rosh Hashanah services. Major security measures are being taken and we can report that there is a relative increase in the number of Jews who have expressed their intention to attend synagogues over Rosh Hashanah with their families, compared to last year. “

In Manchester, England alone, anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 80 percent in 12 months, according to a report issued by the Community Security Trust earlier this year.

A 17-year-old boy was beaten unconscious in an attack by three men who attacked him and three other Jews this past Saturday night. The boy remains hospitalized with a suspected brain bleed. The three other victims, ages 17, 18 and 20, were also verbally and physically assaulted but did not require admission to hospital.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish New Year’s Eve: Israel Reaches 8.4M

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

In the past year, the State of Israel has enlarged its population 1.9 percent, or 158,000 new citizens.

During this past year, 168,000 new Israelis were born and 42,000 died. In addition, 28,000 new olim arrived on aliyah – a 35 percent increase over last year.

The highest percent of new immigrants came from war-torn Ukraine (26 percent), closely followed by France (25 percent), where anti-Semitism is skyrocketing. Those populations were not far ahead of Russia, whose immigration statistic for the year was 21 percent. Immigration from the U.S. only reached nine percent.

Of the now 8.412 million people living in the State of Israel, 6.3 million – the vast majority (74.9 percent) – are Jews.

The next largest population (20.7 percent) in the country is comprised of Israeli Arabs, some 1.746 million people.

The rest (4.4 percent) – 366,000 – are a mix of residents who hail from various other ethnic groups and faiths.

It is believed by those who work in demographics in the Central Bureau of Statistics that Israel’s population will grow to 10 million sometime between 2025 and 2030.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Pavilion to Close at IBC 2015 for Sabbath, Rosh Hashana

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

The Israel Pavilion at the IBC 2015 exhibition at RAI Amsterdam is making a “kiddush Hashem” – a sanctification of God’s Name – before the Nations this year, and showing what a Jewish nation is really all about.

Economy Minister Arye Deri ordered the closure of the pavilion in accordance with the holy Sabbath, and for the Holy Days of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

This means the pavilion will be open for two of the five days of the exhibition, which runs from Friday, Sept. 11 through Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Last Thursday, the Israeli companies presenting products at the pavilion of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute were notified they will be allowed to exhibit on Friday and Sunday. Israeli business people will be able to hold meetings with potential clients at the exhibition on these two days as well.

Secular Israeli media is presenting this issue as a major disaster for Israeli business, of course, and complaining that the minister is seriously damaging the 18 Israeli companies who are to present at the exhibition.

“Israel’s image as the ‘Startup Nation’ will also suffer a blow when clients find its pavilion in one of the main halls of the exhibition closed,” worried Ynet in an article on Tuesday.

But Deri has already agreed to compensate those companies presenting in the exhibition who suffer damages from the closure.

Yet Minister of Social Services Chaim Katz, also complained bitterly, calling Deri’s decision a “serious violation of the freedom of occupation… it sends Israel light years back.”

Others claimed it would cause “irreversible damage.”

Vibe Israel CEO Joanna Landau sent Deri a letter saying the decision shows “without a shadow of a doubt that the State of Israel’s image is not a top priority for the Israeli government.”

Deri pointed out that coordination for the pavilion was completed before he took office.

However, he said, “since [the exhibition] is taking place on holy days and on Shabbat, which are sacred to the people of Israel and during which there is no official Israeli state activity, Israel’s pavilion will not be operating on these days.”

Hana Levi Julian

The Sticky Shofar

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Video of the Day

It’s Elul — But Shmitah Has a Long Way To Go, Israeli Farmers Say

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

For some Israeli farmers, the Shmitah year still has a long way to go — another year, in fact.

According to Dave Matkowsky, founder of The Shmitah Fund, observance of Shmitah does not actually end with Rosh HaShanah, the start of the new, eighth year.

The time that farmers can replant, or begin their crops anew, actually varies according to the crop due to a combination of agricultural, economic and halachic (Torah legal) reasons.

Shimon Chazut, a farmer in Moshav Gimzu, has vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards. “Shmitah for citrus is the eighth year,” he said. “For olives it’s the eighth year… with grapes, until you sell the wine it’s the eighth year too.

“It will be much harder in the eighth year than in the seventh.”

Matkowsky, an alumnus of Yeshiva University, established the nonprofit organization in order to ease the financial burden of Israeli farmers who are fulfilling this central religious-national imperative.

“The ability of the Jewish nation to flourish in the Land of Israel is intrinsically connected to Shmitah,” Matkowsky told JewishPress.com. “But it’s time for us to do our part. The farmers will not make it without our help.”

For the farmers and their families, the challenges of shmitah do not end with replanting, but only months later with the harvest and ability to bring their crops to market, Matkowsky explained.

“Halachically, fruit trees are prohibited until the new crop begins to reach maturity in mid-April, 2016. Some crops can be planted beginning in November 2015 (grains, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, etc)

“Other crops cannot be planted until May 2016 because of their natural agricultural cycle (eggplant, zucchini, squash, etc.)

“Crops typically cultivated in greenhouses and hothouses (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, leaf vegetables) cannot be planted until April 2016 for economic reasons; the cost of planting sooner would exceed revenue and farmers would be forced to sell at a loss,” he added.

Currently there are 3,453 Shmitah-observant farmers who need help to get through this cycle and get back on their feet, according to Matkowsky.

The budget for the last Shmitah was $15 million. This cycle, with over 1,000 additional farmers, will cost $22.5 million.

Hana Levi Julian

Atlantic City Rabbi’s SUV Torched On Rosh Hashanah

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Republished from Jewish Business News.

Rabbi David Kushner told the Philly Daily News that Early Thursday, first day of Rosh Hashanah, his Ford Explorer was torched in the parking lot next to the Rodef Sholom Synagogue in Atlantic City.

“We’re trying to look at this situation positively,” Kushnersaid. “The year can only get better from here.”

Optimism is so touching sometimes.

Kushner, who only recently became the Rodef Sholom rabbi, parked the Explorer in the lot Wednesday night, before the services.

When he returned to the synagogue Thursday, he found ashes and scorch marks where the car used to be. The burnt SUV had been mercifully towed away.

Kushner told the News investigators had told him the fire was “suspicious.”

“I think someone picked the car because it was parked at the synagogue during worship,” Kushner said. “It’s almost impossible to say it was a coincidence.”

Kushner said he lost some valuables in the torched vehicle, including equipment he uses as a volunteer EMT in Monmouth County, N.J. But the worst damage was caused to his congregation.

“We have an older congregation, comprised of many Holocaust survivors,” he said. “To see this during the High Holy Days raised emotions in them that haven’t come out for years.”

Tibbi Singer

Tashlich in Tel Aviv

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Israelis perform the Tashlich ceremony along the beach in Tel Aviv.

Tashlich in Tel Aviv 2

Tashlich in Tel Aviv 3

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/tashlich-in-tel-aviv/2014/09/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: