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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Service’

Israeli Postal Service Delivers Letters to God at the Wall Ahead of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Israel Post Director General Danny Goldstein on Monday met with Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, to deliver to him a consignment of letters addressed to God. The holy mail was delivered ahead of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, and will be placed in the cracks and crevices of the ancient stones of what used to be a supporting wall for the Temple. The letters were posted from Israel as well as from Russia, China, France, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK.

Letters to God

Letters to God

Hundreds of letters are mailed to Israel annually addressed to “God,” “Jesus,” “Our Dear Father in Heaven” and “the Western Wall.” These letters, most of which lack a return address, are sent to the Israel Post Lost and Found Dept., which then sends them, every few months, to be placed among the stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Back in 2006, a company called Letter to God Ltd. announced a service of placing letters to God, written on the customer’s home computer, in the cracks and crevices of the Western Wall. We are not sure what happened to them, but their website, letter2god.com, is available for the right price. Another example of free enterprise losing out to the nanny state.

JNi.Media

Two Israeli Hackers Arrested for Grand Scale Denial of Service

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Two Israeli hackers, Itay Huri and Yarden Bidany, were arrested last Thursday, according to police, in response to an FBI request. The two were remanded to house arrest under constant supervision on Friday, and their passports were confiscated. Brian Krebs, who blogs on cyber security, reported on Friday that the two Israelis are behind a service that brought in an estimated $600,000 in two years for selling customers denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that knock websites offline. According to Krebs, the hackers have been themselves hacked “massively,” revealing the identities of thousands of paying customers and the websites they wanted to target.

Krebs says the attack website, named vDOS (the URL is marked as risky by most browsers), was “responsible for a majority of the DDoS attacks clogging up the Internet over the past few years,” as the two hackers were selling their services for between $20 and $200 a pop, depending on the duration of the attacks. It appears that in the four months between April and July 2016, “vDOS was responsible for launching more than 277 million seconds of attack time,” or just under 9 years of denial of service packed into 120 days.

According to Krebs, “vDOS had a reputation on cybercrime forums for prompt and helpful customer service,” which is why its leaked databases “offer a fascinating glimpse into the logistical challenges associated with running a criminal attack service online that supports tens of thousands of paying customers — a significant portion of whom are all trying to use the service simultaneously.”

Itai Huri recently co-authored an article published by an Israeli cyber security website named Digital Whisper, discussing ways to initiate large scale DDoS attacks using limited computing power. Huri’s bio under the article reads: Itai Huri is 18 and about to be enlisted in the IDF. He spends his free time in web development and data security.”

JNi.Media

Bennett Touts Education Ministry’s Service to Kindergartners, Special Ed

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Appearing on Wednesday before the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee on the preparations for the coming school year, Education Minister Naftali Bennett listed his ministry’s achievements, including adding a second teacher’s assistant in kindergarten classes, and reducing the number of children in first grade classrooms.

Bennett announced that his goal is to have 18,000 students pass the five unit matriculation exam in math within the next four years. He also said the 2016-2017 school year will see an additional 2,000 hours of English studies in all the educational institutions in Israel. Another goal is to narrow the education gap between central and peripheral communities in Israel. Bennett noted that $13.26 million have been allocated to transportation of Bedouin children to schools throughout the Negev. And, starting this year, schools in the Arab sector will begin teaching Hebrew in the first grade.

“I am proud to head a system that cares for every segment of the population,” Bennett said.

According to Bennett, his ministry’s efforts to reduce the number of high school dropouts will be increased significantly. And the special education school year will be extended to August 15, with classes continuing during the September-October holiday season.

Addressing ultra-Orthodox education, Bennett said that only 40,000 of the 400,000 Haredi educational institutions are exempt from teaching the core curriculum. “The law that was passed by the previous Knesset never went into effect, and it was supposed to be implemented only in 2018,” he told the committee.

“I’m not one of those who cry over a law that never went into effect. We’re working with Haredi schools that want to teach five units of mathematics and English. The key to success in Haredi education is not talking, it’s doing,” Bennett added.

MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid, whose party held the Education portfolio in the previous government, said in response that the plan to implement the “core curriculum law” in 2018 was intended to allow ample time for recruiting and training core curriculum teachers.

Bennett also pledged that his ministry would combat ethnic discrimination in the enrollment process of all educational institutions, particularly the ultra-Orthodox.

JNi.Media

Israir Moving Service Hub to Sderot

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Domestic airline Israir is moving its phone center to the town of Sderot, near the Gaza Strip border, Army Radio reported. Israir CEO David Kaminitz said the new phone center is expected to employ 40 locals, with plans to double their number depending on future needs.

Sderot, a.k.a. Bomb Shelter Capital of the World, is located less than a mile from the Gaza border (the nearest point is only about 840 yards) has been a constant target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2001. These attacks have killed 13 Israelis, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Studies have found that air raid sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma in some residents. At least 75 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleeping disorders and severe anxiety. From mid-June 2007 to mid-February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar shells were fired at Sderot and the western Negev, an average of three or four each a day.

Meanwhile Israir has announced new international destinations this Jewish holiday season, flying for the first time to London, Belgrade, Saloniki, Madrid, Ljubljana and Munich.

Vice President of Marketing and Sales Gil Stav said Israir is taking advantage of the fact that the Jewish holidays fall in October this year, spelling a higher demand for tourism packages.

David Israel

Hasidic Men Sentenced to ‘Diverse Community Service’ Picked Chai Lifeline

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The prosecutor in the case against Pinchas Braver, 22, and Abraham Winkler, 42, who last May pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment related to the brutal beating of gay black man Taj Patterson in Williamsburg on December 2013, recommended to the court that, as part of their plea bargain, the two men perform 150 hours of community service in a “culturally diverse neighborhood outside of where this unlawful imprisonment took place.” But, according to the NY Daily News, the two men’s attorneys told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun Tuesday that they would like to serve those hours at the very Jewish-identified Chai Lifeline, a volunteer-based non-profit organization headed by Rabbi Simcha Scholar, which cares for children suffering from serious illnesses.

Judge Chun told the defense attorneys that “the people have concerns with the organization, under the plea the community service was to be in a culturally diverse atmosphere.”

A short debate ensued over whether or not Chai Lifeline qualifies as a culturally diverse facility, and whether it really is far enough outside Williamsburg to suit the apparently educational goals of the recommended community service.

The judge finally delayed the sentencing by one week, to give the prosecution a chance to check out Chai Lifeline.

The Chai Lifeline website features images of mostly religious Jewish children and adults, which is just fine, and the burgeoning charity organization, with multiple regional offices in the United States and affiliates in Canada, England, Israel, and Belgium, and its huge Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, NY, should only be praised for the holy work it has been performing since 1987 — but culturally diverse it probably isn’t, nor need it be.

The parties will return to the court room next Tuesday for the sentencing.

David Israel

Israeli National Service Program Incorporates 120 Young French Female Immigrants

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

A total of 120 French women, aged 18 to 23, have immigrated to Israel in 2016 through a specialized program, called Shlomit, which coordinates and finds Israeli citizens placement in national service, also known as Sherut Leumi.

French immigration increased from 1,900 immigrants in 2012 to 7,800 in 2015 and French immigrants make up 25% of all immigrants to Israel. However, the year 2016 has seen a particular upsurge of French women deciding to immigrate through the Shlomit organization and particularly through one of its branches, Shilat, which is specifically for religious women.

Shlomit was the first organization to extend national service opportunities to all Israeli citizens, regardless of sexuality, race, or financial status. The group’s mission is to enable every young Israeli citizen exempt from military service to serve the country and to make a significant contribution to the advancement of Israeli society.

“We endeavor to construct the best-suited combination between the particularities of the applicants, such as their specific skills, capabilities, place of origin, and languages, and those who could best utilize their services,” Shilat Director Osnat Tzadok told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Most of this year’s applicants are from the area of Paris, but some have also emigrated from Marseilles or northern France. They tend to settle in Jerusalem in particular, but many of them also reside in Raanana, Netanya, Ashdod, Ramat Gan, and Tel Aviv. Program participants volunteer in a wide range of sectors, including hospitals, hospices, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and special education.

“It is not easy to immigrate to Israel, to integrate oneself within a new culture and country without one’s family, and to be disconnected from all that is familiar,” explained Tzadok. “Our program makes it easier by allowing participants to better familiarize themselves with the Israeli mentality, fostering confidence, creating new relationships and friendships, and learning Hebrew,”

As of the end of July, most Shilat participants will already have completed most of the administrative steps that immigration to Israel entails and are expected to start their year of service in September, but some will still be in the process of filing various necessary documents and arranging exemptions from military service.

Shilat helps the women get through that bureaucratic process and provides the women with benefits equivalent to those of lone soldiers, such as an apartment, an internet connection to reach family members, funds for transportation, and some assistance in everyday expenses. The program helps the women with the psychometric exams for academic studies after their service and offers Torah courses to enrich their religious knowledge.

Salome Benichou, a Shilat participant originally from Saint-Brice, told TPS that “Sherut Leumi for French Olim is complicated due to the fact that there is no forum to formally guide us through the process, to centralize the opportunities, and to actively make contact with French people and institutions while also providing support.”

“Shilat provides both professional and personal assistance through coordinators that are always available yet it allows for enough independence for immigrants to find their own place in Israeli society. It is an excellent medium to materialize the strong brand of Zionism I was brought up in,” she added.

Leaders of the program report that it has been very successful in integrating French women into Israeli society and that it has had a virtually nonexistent dropout rate. Participants in the program say that the success is a consequence of both the importance of Zionism in Jewish culture in France and of the efficacy of the program itself.

“What we need to understand about the immigrants from France is that many of them spend a year doing Israeli national service after having already done a Masa program for a year while their counterparts in France and the rest of Europe have already finished their degree. That is a pretty significant concession for both French young women and their parents to make in favor of Zionism given the French mentality,” concluded Liora, who is currently completing her second year of Sherut Leumi.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

New Report: 22 Israeli Academics in the Service of BDS

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

In recent years, an increasing number of academics and student organizations throughout the world have been promoting the academic boycott of Israel. The goal of this boycott is to halt the cooperation between Israeli academics and academics abroad, an act that would cause significant harm to Israeli research as it heavily relies on international cooperation. This phenomenon could pose severe implications on the Israeli economy, and would significantly harm Israel’s standing in the world.

A new report from Im Tirtzu reveals the level of involvement of Israeli academics in the encouragement and promotion of the international effort to impose an academic boycott on Israel. The report focuses on the Israeli Anthropological Association as a case study that reflects the significant influence of Israeli academics in promoting the academic boycott on Israel. The report highlights how prominent Israeli professors, who receive salaries provided by the Israeli taxpayer, encourage, legitimize, and often promote boycott efforts, including boycotts that directly harm the institutions in which they work. It is important to note that a 2012 resolution passed by the Israeli Council for Higher Education explicitly rejects boycott efforts:

“The Council for Higher Education views the call for academic boycott on Israel by members of Israel’s institutions of higher education as an undermining action to the foundations of Israel’s higher education system” and thus “calls on institutions to consider the matter, and to formulate ways of dealing with it.”

As stated above, this report focuses on the Israeli Anthropological Association as a case study and examines its involvement with the advancement of the academic boycott on Israel, which began to intensify in 2013 after the American Anthropological Association (AAA) began to discuss the possibility of boycotting Israeli academia.

On May 31, 2016, the 10,000-member AAA will conclude its vote on a proposed resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, regardless of where the institution is located within Israel.

The Israeli Anthropological Association has sent a letter to the AAA in August 2014 advocating against this anti-Israel initiative and calling it an unprecedented and unjustified act of boycott against Israeli academia. But while the Israeli Anthropological Association was trying to block this attempt to harm the State of Israel, another group of 20 Israeli anthropologists, many of whom teach in publicly funded Israeli institutions, sent a petition to the AAA praising this effort and urging them to continue pressing for an academic boycott on Israel. These professors grant legitimacy to the academic boycott of Israel, and to the BDS movement against Israel as a whole.

In 2015, a task force sent by the AAA to “investigate” the situation in Israel produced a biased report filled with distortions and lies against Israel. The report repeatedly quoted anonymous Israeli academics as a means of attaining legitimacy to the baseless accusations raised in the report. These Israeli academics served as the “voice from within” who “verified” all of the anti-Israel charges in the report.

Several months prior to the publication of the report in July 2015, the Israeli Anthropological Association sent another letter in which they demonstrated a complete capitulation to the amounting boycott pressure. This letter condemned and severely criticized Israel for its prolonged “occupation,” urged Israel to rehabilitate Gaza, and called for a solution for the Palestinian refugees. At the end of the letter, however, they once again urged their colleagues at the AAA to refrain from academic boycott.

Like clockwork, this second letter by the Israeli Anthropological Association was also followed by another letter – this time from a group of 22 “anonymous” Israeli anthropologists – that contained an unequivocal call for academic boycott against Israel:

“We urge all members of the AAA to join in supporting the academic boycott resolution on the spring ballot.”

Im Tirtzu’s report emphasizes that all the Israeli signatories on the first petition sent to the AAA in attempt to foil the Israeli Anthropological Association’s effort to halt the boycott are activists in radical Left organizations, which are backed by copious amounts of foreign political funding and operate within Israel against the state and against the soldiers of the IDF.

In addition, the report notes that most of the Israeli signatories do not currently reside in Israel, and the vast majority of them are directly connected to other foreign agent organizations or to the international BDS movement. These facts substantiate the claim that Israeli organizations and individuals represent the head of the spear of the BDS phenomenon and often produce the initial efforts to boycott Israel.

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg stressed that the phenomenon in which a radical minority operates from within Israel in order to impose international pressure on Israel is not merely a display of ungratefulness, but an act of shamelessness. The challenge posed by the advancement of boycotts from within forces decision-makers to formulate a fitting response to this phenomenon: “Decision-makers and presidents of Israeli universities look to combat the international BDS movement, but completely ignore the boycott phenomenon from within Israel that is being led by Israeli academics. It is sad to see that those leading the boycott are cutting off the branch on which they are sitting and are working behind the scenes in order to mortally wound the future of Israeli academia.”

Peleg added that “The BDS movement is driven by blind hatred towards the State of Israel and is equipped with tremendous resources. Faced with the consistent attempt to harm the Israeli public, we as citizens need to mobilize against it. The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only country in the region that preserves human and civil rights.”

Peleg stated that “The Im Tirtzu movement will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to fight against this theater of the absurd in which Israeli academics are playing the leading role.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-report-22-israeli-academics-in-the-service-of-bds/2016/05/26/

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