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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘special’

Netanyahu Talks Moscow Summit with Putin’s Special Envoy

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday morning met with Mikhail Bogdanov, President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, in Jerusalem.

In mid-August, Bogdanov discussed prospects for advancing PA-Israel peace talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, and delivered a personal message from Putin to Abbas. Since then, Bogdanov has met twice with the head of the PA mission in Moscow Faed Mustafa and with Israeli ambassador Zvi Hefetz. One of Bogdanov’s meetings with Hefetz was on August 24, the day of a Putin-Netanyahu phone conversation that received much attention.

According to a statement from the PM’s office, Netanyahu and Bogdanov on Monday discussed the possibility of coordinating a meeting between the Prime Minister and Chairman Abbas. They also discussed President Putin’s proposal to host a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas in Moscow.

The Prime Minister presented Israel’s position that he is always ready to meet with Chairman Abbas directly and without preconditions. He said he was therefore reviewing the Russian President’s proposal and the timing of a possible meeting.

David Israel

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

UN Special Envoy Calls for Immediate Halt of Aid Money to Gaza

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

United Nations Special Envoy Laurie Cardoza-Moore has called on all international humanitarian organizations to immediately halt all aid money to Gaza until it can be proven that the money isn’t being squandered by Hamas. Her statement came hours after a UN employee in Gaza was indicted for funneling charity donations to pay for Hamas naval units and days after the director of the Evangelical World Vision charity in Gaza was accused of diverting as much as $50M in charitable donations to the Islamist terror group.

Cardoza-Moore who represents the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) at the United Nations and is President of the Evangelical Christian organization “Proclaiming Justice to the Nations” (PJTN) stated: “The enemy of the people of Gaza is Hamas, not Israel. Hamas has hijacked the coastal strip and rules over its people with an iron fist. For decades, the leadership of Hamas has robbed its people of aid money. The time has come to halt all aid money into the Gaza Strip as long as Hamas is in control.“

She continued: “If the international community wants to help the impoverished people of Gaza, they must work to free them from Hamas. It is unacceptable that hundreds of millions of dollars are likely being directly transferred to the coffers of an international terrorist organization in the name of Christianity and humanity. No Church or humanitarian organization should send a single cent to Gaza as long as it is run by a band of murderous terrorist bandits.”

Cardoza-Moore contacted World Vision last week to find out how an Evangelical Christian organization could hire a Hamas terrorist sympathizer to distribute aid money — but to date she has not received a response. In addition she has lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and demanded that they immediately stop distributing aid to Gaza.

PJTN, a not-for-profit organization, was established to educate Christians about their Biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and Israel, utilizing powerful film and video presentations, a variety of grassroots rallies, events and speaking engagements to facilitate dialogue between the Christian and Jewish communities in support of the State of Israel and against global genocidal anti-Semitism.

David Israel

The Special Relationship Of Children To God

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The Talmud in several areas stresses the effects of studying a subject when one is young. At one point it quotes an incident of a sage who forgot a Jewish law and attributed his lapse in memory to the fact that he didn’t study it when he was very young.

Pirkei Avot compares the acquisition of knowledge of a child to writing on a blank piece of paper that has never been erased, while that of an adult to a paper that is full of erasures. The muddled and ambiguity of the adult mind pales to the lucidity and the innocence of the mind of a child. Wordsworth in his famous poem “Intimations of Immortality” alludes to the uniqueness of a child and the unique relationship that they have to their creator. Indeed Jewish tradition speaks of the singular connection that children have with almighty God. Their prayers are accepted more readily because of their innocence and because of their uncanny ability to understand the unlimited powers of the creator. For children time is endless, with no beginning or end. So too our creator has neither beginning nor end; for Almighty God, time is boundless. Children identify uniquely with their creator by the sheer fact that they are closer to their birth time. The further we move from our birth, the more we fill our minds with doubt and question regarding our creator.

At the same time that they are so close to God, a child’s mind is so impressionable. What we teach our children-the impressions that we place upon their minds-become indelible in shaping their future existence and destiny. Often, remarks that are made to children when they are young never leave them and are their source of strength or weakness in the years to come.

I remember vividly as a young third grader sitting in class and being actively involved in the Chumash lesson of my teacher. At one point the text was confusing to me and I raised my hand to ask a question. For me the question that I was about to ask had value and I was always taught by my parents that one must ask questions to gain knowledge. I believed that the answer was essential for me to understand the lesson. However when I asked the question the teacher innocently and without malice or forethought laughed and said that my question was stupid and the answer was obvious. He called it a klutz kasha, an idiot question.

That remark, as innocent as it was, remained with me even until today. When I sit at a shiur I hesitate to ask a question because of that remark that was made to me decades ago. Though there is no logical reasoning behind my fears, that feeling of inadequacy that I received as a young lad remains with me even today.

We all know that sibling relationships reenact themselves when in the presence of parents. Even when we are older and married, we slip back to the times that we were children. The same child, who was looked upon as the smartest, again takes on the same role that he had when he was growing up, regardless of how successful he has become or whether his siblings have surpassed him in their intellectual abilities.

The Talmud in Taanit states that if you see a student who is not successful in his studies it is because his/her teacher did not smile at him/her. Once again stressing the delicate and impressionable minds of our children and the enormous responsibility that educators have in assuring that these imprints are wholesome and positive.

Rabbi Mordechai Weiss

A Special Summer Camp in Israel

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Summer can’t come soon enough for kids with special needs and their parents. Thanks to Seeach Sod, Israel’s leading center for special education, children with special needs have access to the services and support that they need to flourish, all year round.

Seeach Sod was founded by Rabbi Dov Levy z”l, who had a child with Downs Syndrome before there were any services or awareness about special needs. With nowhere to turn, he established Seeach Sod in 1971 to provide a religious educational framework for his son and other children with special needs.

Understanding the importance of schedule and routine for kids with special needs, Seeach Sod extends the school year, by creating a special camp experience for the kids for an additional three weeks in August, right after Tisha B’av.. Sue Lachman, mother of Seeach Sod student, Refoel Lachman (14), knows the importance of structure all too well. “He loves going to school,” Mrs. Lachman said, “But we decided to give him a day off and take him fruit picking with his nephews. We thought he would like it but he went berserk because he just wanted to be in school.”

To make sure that kids stay grounded, Seeach Sod handcrafts the summer program to make sure that each participant is being stimulated, challenged and supported according to his or her needs. The Kaytana (summer camp) takes place from 8AM-4PM every day with participants ranging in age from 5 to 21 years old. With special art projects, local trips and outings, “We make sure camp has all of the approaches that are perfect for each participant. Each week we do something fun and unique with different types of trips” Chaim Hirshman, Group Home Men Division Manager revealed. To accommodate higher-functioning special needs people Seeach Sod is highlighting a 5-day camp in Mitzpe Yericho, and features a Shabbaton, jeeping, roping, boating, sports and many other thrilling activities.

It’s an incredible amount of work but it pays off. “We organize three weeks of fun so they will return rejuvenated and ready to face the New Year,” Hirshman said. For most schools, end of year signifies a mark of growth for students. At Seeach Sod, the camp is their litmus test. “During camp time, we see how the residents are changing, growing and improving,” Rabbi Dovid Levy, Director of the Welfare Department and son of Rabbi Dov Levy z”l, said. “It puts them in an amazing mood. Additionally, when we see that when they are in a good space, their physical health is better. It impacts the entire year. Each year, we analyze the results and try and improve upon them the following year.”

Early on, Seeach Sod recognized that a crucial part of their work is to provide parents with a respite in order to rejuvenate and ensure they have the strength and energy to be fully present with their children. One of the ways they do that is with their Nofshon Respite program. If a parent needs to go away for a few nights, they can bring their child to the respite center, which functions like a mini-hotel, where they sleep over and spend their days doing activities and trips.

There are 15 nights during the year when parents can send their kids to the nofshon. “The fact that Refoel can go to the nofshon where we know that he’s safe is important,” Mrs. Lachman said. “During the summer, the staff works to give the parents a true break.”

“During the summer camp period, Seeach Sod adds extra staff so kids can go straight from kaytana to nofshon and parents can get a break,” Hirshman explained.

“He loves going to the nofshon. They take him out and do fun things with him,” Lachman added, “They have it all set up for us so that summer isn’t too difficult, which is wonderful.”

The summer program is so successful that other kids feel a bit left out. “The parents tell us that the other kids in their household are wondering why they don’t have these kinds of activities,” Rabbi Levy claimed. “So this year, we are offering each Seeach Sod resident to invite their siblings and family and spend a fun-filled day at a huge park with us.”

Knowing how hard they work, Seeach Sod also organizes a day of fun for the summer staff. “It’s not simple. They are working all the time while everyone else is on vacation and these aren’t easy weeks of work,” Rabbi Levy explained.

For the Lachman’s Seeach Sod’s dedication is not a surprise. “Everything they do is really special. They truly love everyone,” Mrs. Lachman said.

With a full heart, Seeach Sod staff creates unforgettable experiences for kids with special needs. “The smile that we see at the end of the summer is worth all the hard work,” Rabbi Levy said. “This gives us and the children the energy to start again from the beginning.” With Seeach Sod, summer is now something to look forward to for everyone.

For more information about Seeach Sod visit their website at: http://charidy.com/seso

Jewish Press Staff

Tamar Yonah Show – Jerusalem Day Special: How It Was 50 Years Ago [audio]

Monday, June 6th, 2016

What was Jerusalem like when it was divided only 49 years ago? Tamar speaks with Shifra Hoffman from www.VictimsofArabTerror.com and talks about the miracles of the Six Day War, which saw the liberation and re-unification of Jerusalem.

Tamar Yonah Show 05Jun – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Jerusalem Day Special: Ancient City’s Latest Facts and Figures

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

In honor of Jerusalem Liberation Day, which is being celebrated on Sunday, June 5 this year (because Israeli holidays go by the Jewish calendar), the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has issued a plethora of stats about the city, gathered in the years 2014-15. So, here’s a sampling of everything you may have wanted to know about the tangible Jerusalem of this world:

Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel. By the end of 2015, there were bout 870,000 residents living in the eternal city, roughly 10% of Israel’s population.

Compare this with 2014, when Jerusalem boasted only 850,000 residents, out of whom 534,000 were Jews and others (63%) and 316,000 Arabs (37%).

Out of the Jews of Jerusalem, 32% define themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 17% are religious, 13% traditional-religious, 15% traditional but not so religious, and only 21% are secular.

Of those additional 20,000 residents, about 19,800 were added via natural reproduction, about 3,700 moved in from the rest of the country and from abroad, and about 3,500 left to other locations.

The main sources in Israel of migration to Jerusalem are the cities of Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, and B’nai B’rak. Jerusalemites who leave the city go to Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, and the enclave of Givat Ze’ev which borders Jerusalem.

The overall fertility rate (average number of children a Jerusalem woman is expected to bear in her lifetime) in Jerusalem is 3.91, far higher than the national average of 3.08.

A Jerusalem average household has 3.8 members, also larger than the national average of 3.3.

On the work front, though, Jerusalem could improve a lot: only 51% of Jerusalem residents are counted in the work force, compared with 64.1% nationwide. This does not necessarily mean folks in Jerusalem don’t work for a living, it could mean more of them fail to report.

Jerusalemites don’t like to commute: 88.4% of the city’s working residents are employed in their city, compared with 71.7% in Haifa, 62.2% in Tel Aviv, 57.2% in Ashdod, 44.4% in Petach Tikvah, and 36.2% in Rishon L’Tzion.

Jerusalem retains its residents: a full 77% of them have lived in the city for more than 20 years.

While 57% of Israelis nationwide are satisfied with the size and proportion of green spaces in their cities, only 30% of Jerusalemites believe they have enough parks.

In the school year 2014-15, 65.5% of Jerusalem students were in Haredi educational institutions, compared with 65.3% in 2013-14. This trend has continued persistently, as the number of ultra-Orthodox students is going up and secular students’ down.

In related statistics: fewer than half (48%) of 12th grade students in Hebrew education institution took the matriculation exams in 2013-14, compared with 51% the year before. This means that more than half of the city’s young people are eligible to attend college.

Also related: Jerusalem registers the lowest average annual income out of Israel’s eight largest cities: $37,944.36.

As for housing, 57.9% of Jerusalem residents own their apartment or home, 30.9% rent, and the rest live in school dormitories or rent paying a key fee (one high amount up front, followed by small monthly payments). The average price for a Jerusalem apartment is $484,026.34, the average monthly rent is $826.12.

Regarding visitors: 78% of tourists who arrived in Israel made sure to visit Jerusalem (the rest, mostly Scandinavians and Germans, presumably landed directly on Eilat’s magnificent beaches down south).

Close to 900,000 foreign visitors spent a night in Jerusalem’s hotels, marking close to 3,000,000 nights altogether.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-day-special-ancient-citys-latest-facts-and-figures/2016/06/05/

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