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May 28, 2016 / 20 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Jewish Identity Runs Strong as Russian Speaking Teens From Around the World Gather in Israel

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Close to 300 Russian speaking teens from around the world gathered in Israel for a two-week summer camp organized by the Jewish Agency and the Genesis Fund.

The camp, part of an ongoing effort called Project Rimon, is focused on a commitment to instill Jewish identity within the campers and use Israel as the common denominator that unites Jews of Russian origin from diverse locales around the globe.

“This project is part of The Jewish Agency’s activities to strengthen Jewish identity among the younger generation in Israel and throughout the Jewish world,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. “The camp will provide youth from abroad with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the State of Israel and with Israeli society, while Israeli youth will expand their familiarity with Jewish life abroad.”

Now in its third year, Project Rimon is divided into two camp sessions, IsraCampus and Ma.Com, comprised of 140 campers each. Besides the traditional camp activities, attendees are able to choose from different tracts of focus and include options in theater, design, media, music and education among others.

A major educational goal of the Jewish Agency and Genesis Fund’s activities in the former Soviet Union, these camps help reinforce the bond Russian speaking youth have with the global Jewish community. The program works to foster leadership and promote dialogue about Israel and Judaism among the younger generation.

“If you asked me last summer when I was a camper at Makom what ‘Shabbat’ is I would not know how to answer,” said Danik, 15, who came to camp from Russia. “When my friends ask me about Shabbat I can now talk about what it means to me and how it is part of my personal story. I now enjoy discussing my feelings about our traditions with my friends at camp and hearing everyone’s opinions on our joint heritage.“

“I am very surprised by the stories I hear from the campers that come from Russia,” said Michal, 14. “My mother has always taught me about anti-Semitism, but I was sure that these were stories from the distant past. It turns out that my friends from Russia have to deal with this ugly phenomena in their schools and on the streets of their towns and have to decide on a daily basis whether or not to stand up for Israel. I have so much respect for them for doing so.”

“Our goal is to create modern and attractive Jewish educational environment in Israel, the heart of the Jewish people, to unite Russian-speaking teens from Israel and around the world,” said Sana Britavsky, Executive Director of the Genesis Fund in Israel. “We use traditional and innovative camp experiences and activities to highlight the exciting world of Jewish culture, an important instrument in the process of self-discovery and the development of Jewish identity.”

Jewish Press Staff

35 Hours

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/35-hours.html

“Camp directors waited about 35 hours before calling a criminal lawyer, who advised them to alert authorities.”

This line from a story in the New York Post about an alleged sex abuse case is why we ought to be reporting  suspicions of sex abuse directly to the police. The accused, 31 year old Yoel Oberlander is a delivery person for Golden Taste – a Kosher food company. He was delivering milk to Camp Shalva, an Orthdodox Jewish summer camp in Monsey. He snuck into one of the bunks at night under the cover of darkness when the boys were asleep.

Although according to the article there are no allegations of any sex abuse… this fellow’s hands are not clean. He is a convicted pedophile who in 2002 sexually abused an 11 year old girl.

The camp’s directors twiddled their thumbs for 35 hours and then called a criminal lawyer who advised them to make the report. 35 hours is a long time. As the advocacy group Survivors for Justice (who reported the incident to the police after they received reports of it and the fact that boys were told not to call their parents) said:

An immediate report would have protected kids in other camps where this driver was making deliveries that day and the next. We hope the children were not pressured into changing their stories.

Has this community not learned anything?  This community still feels that they can handle things. At the expense of the victims and their families.

And how in heaven’s name does a pedophile who is convicted and registered sex offender get a job delivering milk late at night to a summer-camp full of children? Don’t they do background checks?

I had a discussion recently with an individual who works very closely with victims of abuse and their families – a man who has been ‘around the block’ on this issue and knows the score. I happen to know that he is highly respected by the right wing and he knows that world well.  He is grieved by the way sex abuse is being treated there. He doesn’t seem to think there is going to be any change unless… (verbatim quote):

1) there are high-level arrests and convictions of their roshei kehilla and (certain) rebbes for the unbelievable terror campaigns they are conducting against the poor victims and their families.

2) there are huge lawsuits against their mosdos that result in yeshiva building sold at auction to satisfy tens-of-millions in damages.

3) both of the above.

Perhaps that is what it will take!

Harry Maryles

Invaders from Outer Space

Monday, July 30th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/invaders-from-outer-space.html

New York City has been invaded, its buildings blown up and its citizens slaughtered hundreds of times. The invaders come every summer, descending from the sky and under the earth. Sometimes they aliens or gods or monsters. They are, however, never Muslims.

Every summer, for 10 dollars you can see a fantasy version of September 11 reenacted with invading enemies who deserve no mercy and receive none. They come in swarms, buildings fall, people run for cover and then they are beaten back and banished. And then, as summer fades, we pause for that obligatory week in which attention must be paid to commemorating the attacks of September 11 while seeing no connection between the discharges of tension through fictional victories used as an escape mechanism from a war that we dare not fight.

The Dark Knight, the previous Batman film, contained an elaborate analogy to the War on Terror, a shadow version of the real war fought out by men in costumes proving that it was possible to release a big-budget movie supportive of the War on Terror so long as it was dressed up in the right costume.

Since then, and before, New York City has been attacked by meteors, ice ages, mythical skeletons, more costumed criminals, the year 2012, and every possible imaginary scenario that can be dreamed up. It just hasn’t been attacked by Muslims because that’s something that doesn’t happen in movies. Only in real life.

The actual enemy rarely shows up in movies. There have been more movies made attacking the War on Terror than movies showing American soldiers and law enforcement officers fighting terrorists. After ten years of war there have hardly been any movies made about the war in Afghanistan and the most watched movie about the War in Iraq began with an anti-war quote, just so no one made any mistakes about where everyone involved stood. And all of these are a drop in the bucket.

Our cinematic world is a relentless barrage of anxieties; week after week, movie theater screens light up with depictions of civilization collapsing into chaos, overrun by hordes of zombies and monsters, our cities torn down, buildings burning, police and military forces helpless in the face of the enemy. These collective anxieties are packaged up and exported to audiences at home and around the world who sit watching our unacknowledged fears of invasion and collapse play out in movie theaters.

A culture’s art, no matter how tawdry it may seem, is also its dreams. They are the stories we tell, and they are full of conscious and unconscious meanings. Legends are created by a culture to battle its unspoken fears. Its great hunters and warriors, whether born of a god, risen from the sea or wearing a cape take a society’s terrors and defeat them in a story that is reenacted over and over again to bring courage to the people and remind that all obstacles may be overcome with a strong spirit.

No matter how degenerate a culture may be, its people still need such legends because they still have fears that need calming. The more troubled the time, the more they have need of such legends and the more they may even escape into them to find comfort against the coming of the long night.

The Islamic invasion is only dealt with through such legends where the enemy is reduced to metaphors, as the Soviet Union and the threat of Communism were in earlier generations. In earlier generations, we saw the Nazi on screen, and he is still a reliable villain, but the Communist is a more elusive fellow and the Islamist is more likely to show up in British movies than in American ones. Instead, the Communist became subsumed in stories of pod people and zombies, in depersonalized bombs falling from the sky and enemies with accents but no ideology. Even brainwashing was distanced as a technological trick in the Manchurian Candidate rather than an ideological practice.

If Communists occasionally showed up in movies, Islamists are as rare as white elephants. There is plenty of work for Muslim actors portraying unjustly accused men being persecuted by bigoted and ignorant law enforcement officers. But there is hardly any work for them portraying terrorists. Much as negative portrayals of Communists was Red-Baiting, negative portrayals of Muslims is Islamophobia. And it is better to be afraid of imaginary things than real ones.

Daniel Greenfield

Just Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

An elephant at Ramat-Gan’s Safari park is receiving the heat prevention treatment from a park employee. In fact, the list of measures taken by Safari employees working with elephants to deal with the summer heat goes:

1. Hose elephant with water.
2. Did we say Hose elephant with water already?

Yori Yanover

Time For Designated Watchers

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Within the last few days, with weeks of summer still ahead of us, I have read and seen news reports regarding very young children who tragically drowned in backyard swimming pools, despite being in relatively close proximity to parents and other adults.

In several of these horrific mishaps, the children (there were incidents of siblings who perished as well) had been safely ensconced in their home or visiting relatives, but had managed to somehow slip away from under the grownups’ noses, get themselves outside, where they either jumped or fell into a nearby swimming pool. In some of the instances, the child had unlatched a back or side door of the house, and had climbed over a fence surrounding the pool.

Their family members may have become aware after just a few short minutes that the child was absent, but sadly, a few short minutes is all it takes for a child to drown.

Most of the children were pre-schoolers, three or four or five years old. Old enough to manipulate a door handle or latch and walk out, but not old enough to be aware of the life-threatening danger they had put themselves in.

These children lived in different cities, states/provinces and countries and were racially and socially/economically diverse.

What they have in common, however, are parents and siblings and grandparents who will be wracked with grief and eaten up by guilt for the rest of their lives, tormented by what they know was a preventable loss.

How could it be, they wonder, that in a household with assorted, responsible adults such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, that no one noticed a child was missing? Many were truly stunned that the child had been able to open a locked door or gate, or climb up a fence double their height. Who would have dreamed, they wondered, that locked doors or gates or fences were not enough to stop an adventurous toddler?

The answer is obvious. At a gathering, one will glance at the child and see that he/she is in the room and then continue to shmooze or eat or gravitate into another room to talk to other people. You assume the child will remain in the room “where all the action is” or that he/she wandered off to play, or is currently snuggled on the lap of a beloved family member in another part of the house. This is the case 99% of the time, and therefore a reasonable conclusion with a benign outcome. However, that often correct presumption, when wrong, can have grave consequences.

In a previous column, I stated my opinion that a young child, (even two or three, in fact,) is likely safer when watched by one specific person, than is one or two whom several people surround.

A solo “watcher” knows that he/she cannot take his/her eyes off the child, as there is no backup person to “fill in the gap.”

Also there are few if any distractions that would impede the watcher’s focus. However, when there are a number of people in the room, there is a tendency to let down one’s guard, because there are so many “eyes” in the room. But it is a misguided attitude. People are not focused on the child; they are socializing, catching up on family happenings etc. Maybe they do look around, see the child and continue what they are doing with a false sense of security. In the meantime, the child has darted out.

In the summer, hundreds of heimische families in New York stay in bungalow colonies in the mountains. Many have three or more children under the age of 7. It is easy for a mother to get distracted while in the company of her peers and it is crucial that all the little ones are being watched at every moment. Sometimes, a parent can be too confident, believing that because there are so many other mothers around, someone will notice if a child is in trouble. That is not necessarily the case.

Nor can one blindly accept that “Hashem yishmor.” We are exhorted to take care of ourselves, and it goes without saying that we have to be extra machmir when trusted with the well-being of those who can’t take care of themselves – either because of extreme youth, age or physical or mental disability.

Cheryl Kupfer

You Sleep Where You Eat

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Netanya cats are numerous and just this week we’ve seen the summer litters being sprung into the street and the lawns and the parking lots and, yes, the beaches. If you’re a New Yorker, think of these cats as Netanya’s squirrels, except they’re way more useful than squirrels because they eat mice, rats, snakes, roaches – if it moves, Netanya’s cats will eat it.

They’re usually lean and move quickly, but only when they move, that is to say, during the 20 daily minutes in which they budge. The rest of the time they sunbathe, preferably above the garbage, to make sure they’re around when the new shipments arrive.

That’s it, whatcha’ looking at? Nothing to see, go away…

Yori Yanover

Two Arabs Arrested for Arson in Jerusalem Vicinity

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

On July 9th, after an intensive investigation, Jerusalem Police arrested two Arabs, aged seventeen and eighteen, suspected of starting fires around the main entrance to Jerusalem two weeks ago. The Police announced that the two have admitted the arson, explaining that their actions were motivated by nationalistic causes. They started the fires by throwing Molotov cocktails, which were discovered at the point of initiation of the blaze. Seventy five acres of forests were consumed. Another ten Arabs have been arrested so far on similar charges.

Several recent fires which have blazed across Israel, especially in the Jerusalem vicinity, are believed to be the work of Arab arsonists who are methodically setting fire to natural brush and thicket in attempt to cause injury and damage to property. The fires also cause traffic congestion on main highways which have to be closed, causing backups for many hours and shutting down main routes between major cities in Israel. In some cases, residents are evacuated due to fear that their homes may be burned.

The Jerusalem Fire Department reports that two hundred fires have been extinguished since the beginning of the summer. Most of them have been determined to be caused by arson.

On June 28th, Arabs set fire to fields at Eish Kodesh, in Benyamin. Aharon Katsof, Eish Kodesh spokesman, told Tazpit News Agency that the residents noticed smoke coming from the Wadi below their community. The community’s RRT (Rapid Response Team) identified two suspects fleeing the scene towards the Arab village of Cursah. Half an acre of barley was destroyed, causing immense financial loss to the field owner. Two months ago, two acres of vineyards were destroyed by fires at Eish Kodesh. After the incident, IDF trackers found the trail of two men leading to Cursah.

On June 25th the home of Yiskah and Elyasaf Orbach at Chavat Gilad was severely damaged by fires started by Arabs. Beny Katsover, head of the Shomron Communities Council, responded to the arson, saying: “The time has come for the Government of Israel to renew its policy of deterrence against Arab vandals by destroying their homes, alongside the expansion of the Jewish communities. Our enemies will understand that they are achieving the opposite of their actions.”

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/two-arabs-arrested-for-arson-in-jerusalem-vicinity/2012/07/10/

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