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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

Holocaust Center Looks For Volunteers

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, located at 2031 Harrison Street in Hollywood, is looking for volunteers to begin immediately. The center needs transcribers, audit/editors, proofreaders, and abstractors. The work is of vital importance. As the pool of aging survivors diminishes, it becomes increasingly urgent that their stories be documented and recorded.

Transcribers listen to an audiocassette copied from a videotape of a testimony of a survivor, liberator, rescuer or other eyewitnesses. They transcribe the testimony verbatim as heard on the cassette.  An Oral History Summary Report will be provided to them as a guide to the correct spelling of foreign words, cities, places, etc. The transcription of the testimony is word for word, as spoken by the interviewee and the interviewer.

Audit/editors listen to the audiocassette and read the transcribed copy of the interview. They make the necessary typing corrections and add punctuation or any additional wording that was left out of the transcript.

Foreign audit/editors listen to the cassette. They correct and fill in foreign words and expressions, names of people and places, camps and the personnel, etc.

Proofreaders check the entire transcript for formatting, punctuation, spelling, and any other errors in the transcript. It is the final step before the transcript is sent to print.

Abstracts are written from the text of the transcribed interview. Key words and information such as dates and places are abstracted from the testimony. The abstract is a short version, approximately one page, of the full interview.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Rita Hofrichter at (954) 929-5690.

Shelley Benveniste

Whitewashing The Muslim Brotherhood

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

After spending two years condemning Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks as impediments to peace, President Obama congratulated Egyptian demonstrators – reportedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood – for setting up checkpoints and conducting body searches.

The double standard is troubling, yet no longer surprising.

In his speech celebrating the success of protesters in removing President Mubarak, Obama said something remarkable when he reached the part highlighted below in italics:

“We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect. And we saw doctors and nurses rushing into the streets to care for those who were wounded; volunteers checking protesters to ensure that they were unarmed.”

The PBS “Frontline” show “Revolution in Cairo” reported that the checkpoints Obama praised were set up by the Muslim Brotherhood. Correspondent Charles M. Sennott explained, “The Brotherhood played a quietly effective role in bringing their hundreds of thousands of followers to the square and organizing checkpoints to keep the regime’s thugs from trying to trigger violence.” Advertisement

While stopping short of Obama’s outright praise, others in the media echoed Sennott in portraying the unauthorized searching of bags, checking of IDs, and pat-downs as sensible precautions, never as “controversial” intrusions.

The BBC’s Yolande Knell depicted the security measures as reasonable and necessary, noting, “They searched everyone who entered the square to make sure they had no weapons. There was even a separate queue for women – I was patted down apologetically several times.” BBC reports on Israel’s West Bank checkpoints mention two sides to the story – Israeli claims they are necessary for security, and Palestinian complaints that the restrictions are collective punishment. In Knell’s coverage of the Egyptian checkpoints, however, only one side of the story – the need for security -was reported.

Were the Brotherhood’s security measures proportional to a demonstrable threat? Obama and the media simply accepted at face value that the checkpoints were necessary.

In dramatic contrast, Obama has pressured Israel to remove anti-terror checkpoints, resulting in terrorist atrocities.

As Reuters reported in June 2009, “Israel lifted restrictions at two checkpoints in the West Bank after U.S. President Barack Obama urged Israel to take concrete steps to improve the lives of Palestinians in occupied territory . Washington wants Israel to lift army roadblocks and checkpoints and to freeze settlement building as part of a policy that would lead to establishing a Palestinian state.”

At least 19 anti-terror checkpoints were lifted by mid-2010. The results of yielding to Obama’s pressure were predictably tragic. In June 2010, an Israeli policeman was shot to death and two civilians wounded; two months later, four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were murdered. All the killings occurred on the West Bank’s Route 60, where all checkpoints had been lifted.

The difference between the Jewish state and other targets of terror is that wicked motives are ascribed only to the Israelis when they defend themselves. PBS’s Bill Moyers speaks for many on the Left when he alleges, “Israel misses no opportunity to humiliate the Palestinians with checkpoints, concrete walls, routine insults, and the onslaught in Gaza” (this from the same PBS whose man in Cairo, Charles Sennott, lauds the Muslim Brotherhood as nonviolent moderates devoted to charitable works). When checkpoints are removed and terrorist prisoners released, such sacrifices do not fit the hate-Israel script and are ignored.

Perhaps it could be argued that comparing a government’s use of checkpoints with that of protesters is not an exact analogy. In that case, let’s hypothetically imagine the security measures of Muslim Brotherhood volunteers being taken by other volunteers. Picture Tea Partiers protesting in a heavily traveled section of a major city and cordoning off the zone, demanding IDs, searching bags, and patting down everyone who wishes to enter the area. Imagine Israeli volunteers stepping forward to do the same, with no legal authority, in a dangerous area they feel their government is not protecting sufficiently. Would our president congratulate them? Would the media accept the necessity of their checkpoints without question? Or would we be hearing words like “vigilante,” “unlawful,” “extremist,” and worse?

This troubling contradiction is simply a microcosm of the broader double standard practiced by the administration, the media, and “progressives.” The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in Americanoted that in February, “The New York Times has run two op-eds sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and a news story favorable to the group’s leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.”

Edward Olshaker

Helping The Jews Of Marine Park

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

During the day, Shea Rubenstein works in real estate development. In the evenings he helps run the Jewish Community Council of Marine Park, an organization he helped establish, to meet the needs of the local community, as its executive vice president.

 

The Jewish Press: How long ago did you start this organization?

 

Shea Rubinstein: This organization started about two years ago. Over time, we have focused more on understanding the needs of our community and have developed different programs. I would say that Marine Park is the fastest-growing Jewish community in the world. Seven years ago, there were 50 families in Marine Park; now, we have over 1,000 frum, Shomer Shabbos families, almost all between the ages of 25 and 35. We have 14 shuls and three yeshivos within the district, ken yirbu.

 

      We saw an opportunity to create achdus; it’s a small community, outside Flatbush and Midwood, with a younger crowd with similar mindsets. Baruch Hashem, other organizations have been extremely helpful to us in the past. They are dealing with a big workload by representing their own communities. I figured, let’s use the same model.

 

That’s how a few individuals – Shua Gelbstein, Jeff Leb, Yossi Sharf and myself – decided to create this JCC of Marine Park. Each of us has our own area of expertise. Shua Gelbstein, who’s a practicing attorney, is our legal mind, Yossi Sharf our financial whiz who serves as our treasurer, and Jeff Leb is our political strategist who knows local, City, State and Federal Government like the back of his hand. We all brought different ideas to the table and the JCC of Marine Park was formed.

 

Of course, we went to the rabbanim. Here we have 14 rabbanim, a Vaad HaRabbanim of Marine Park, and we work closely with them through that vehicle. We come up with ideas, and they give us their da’as Torah. They guide us on how to create achdus, and have our community prioritize issues, rather than relying on neighboring communities.

 

Where is Marine Park?

 

Marine Park begins after Midwood, at Nostrand Avenue, and continues until Flatbush Avenue, and from Kings Highway until Ave U. Mill Basin, Gravesend and   Flatlands are a few different neighborhoods that border us. Even though we call ourselves JCC of Marine Park, we represent a lot of people in the 20’s and 30’s.

 

Tells us how you operate.

 

            We have about 25 volunteers and a call center. People call with any issue, social services, or in need of some of the other projects we’ve developed. Volunteers take those phone calls and either they answer the questions, send them the paperwork or set up appointments for them with caseworkers or local organizations, when necessary.

 

Do the volunteers work home?

 

We have an office on Flatbush Ave and volunteers who get together at night, and work from their homes or offices. You phone the call center and tell them, for instance, “I need health insurance.” They’ll put you on hold and connect your call through to a woman who helps people with health insurance, HEAP, Medicaid and food stamps. She’s a volunteer.

 

Let’s say you need a job; they’ll refer you to someone like me. Some people will call because they’re in too high a bracket to qualify for Medicaid or food stamps, but they need money; they cannot sustain themselves. The rabbanim take care of qualifying a person for a project we came up with, called Project Mazon.

 

What is Project Mazon?

 

Tomchei Shabbos is an amazing organization that does fantastic things. Some people, though, might not be utilizing this wonderful organization. Many of the families in our community suffer in silence – they would rather starve than get a food delivery to their door. Their needs are different in that they have young families. They also need formula and diapers. For these reasons, we began Project Mazon.

 

            We try to get everybody in the community to sign up, to donate five dollars a week via their credit card. They either go to ProjectMazon.org, on the web, or they’ll call our office and give their information. We charge their credit card  $5 or $10 a week, but the minimum is $5 a week, which is equivalent to a sandwich and a coffee. The money goes into one pot, one bank account.

 

Then, in order to qualify, any rav in the community has the ability to sign somebody up. So if somebody feels they need it, or if a rav feels that somebody in his shul needs help, he calls one central person. He gives him only the person’s phone number and the grocery where they shop. From that week on, every Thursday morning, there’s a $50 credit in that person’s account, so they can purchase without anyone knowing. They prioritize their own shopping list and buy things that they really need for their family.  It’s all done anonymously so that people feel comfortable about accepting help. No one in the JCC knows who the recipients are; only the rabbanim know. Obviously, we all trust the rabbanim to qualify the people.

 

           We worked it out with the kosher groceries in Marine Park, and in the high 20’s and 30’s for now. It takes 10 people giving $5 a week to help one family. So if we opened it up to the entire public, the system would be overwhelmed. I spoke about this recently at the Agudah Convention, and encouraged other communities to each start its own “Project Mazon” to support those who are struggling in their own communities. We have a standing offer to assist any organization that would like to start a similar program in its community with organizational support.

 

You have two big events coming up for Project Mazon. Can you tell us about those?

 

Yes, We do have two big events coming up for Project Mazon. The first event is coming up in less than two weeks. On July 21, 2010 – the day after Tisha B’Av is our Second Annual Project Mazon – Glatt Mart Barbeque. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and will be in a large tent at the playground of PS 240 – at 2500 Nostrand Avenue, between Avenues K and L, and it features the delicious meats of Glatt Mart and the wonderful talents of the renowned mentalist Shimi Illuzini. It is the only fundraising event of the year for Project Mazon and we encourage everyone to attend and help support your friends and neighbors who are in need of assistance.

 

The second event that we are running concurrently is our Project Mazon Raffle where you can win a free two-year car lease for a new Honda Insight! This is sponsored by Plaza Auto Mall car leasing. We are having the raffle is September, IY”H. One ticket is $36 and 4 tickets are $100.

 

You can find out more about the Barbeque and the Car Raffle at www.ProjectMazon.org, www.KosherQ.org, or email info@jccmp.org.

Avi Spitzer

A Mitzvah In 30 Minutes

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Founded in 1977, Tomchei Shabbos of L.A. has been providing essential Shabbos food packages to thousands of needy Jewish families in the Los Angeles community. Tomchei Shabbos currently has two warehouses. The La Brea warehouse, which services the “city,” moved about a month ago from another location further south on La Brea because the building they occupied was going to be demolished. As rumors indicate that their present location is also set to be demolished, they are already on the lookout for a new location. Moving isn’t a simple feat, as every time they move they need to pack up the food packages and move their walk-in freezer and refrigerator.

Their second location services the “Valley,” situated in the basement and garage of a shul in Valley Village.

I recently volunteered on a Thursday night to help pack at the La Brea area warehouse. My friend and I arrived at 5:45 p.m. and found only Steve Berger, the warehouse manager, his wife Rivkie Berger, and a few volunteers who organize the foodstuffs. But 15 minutes later, the place was teeming with pre-teens, teens, singles, couples, mothers with kids, and fathers with kids. Everyone teamed up with at least one partner to do a specific route, with the food set up on tables surrounding a middle aisle of food products. Volunteers received a list of the items required for the boxes, labeled in code for specific families on their route. You consulted your list, went to the middle aisle to find the food, and selected the amounts you needed. You then rushed back to your table and filled your boxes, making sure that the amounts were correct because couples or families with one or two small children receive different amounts of foodstuffs than larger families.

The scene was reminiscent of a relay race. This specific Thursday night’s boxes had to cover the coming Shabbos, Shavuos, and the Shabbos after Shavuos. This was three times the normal amount of food going out to each family. We filled our boxes with challah, candles, wine, chicken, eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, salad dressing, blintzes, pasta, pasta sauce, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and everything else a family needs to make two Shabbasos and Yom Tov in between. It was surprising that our “job” took only half an hour! The boxes were then placed on dollies, delivered to the loading dock, and put in the cars or vans of the volunteer deliverers from L.A.-area shuls. They deliver their boxes of food with the utmost discretion and care in order to preserve the privacy of the recipient.

Recently, Tomchei Shabbos incorporated several gemachs into their warehouse set up. While one must still call the individual in charge of the gemach for an appointment, now the kallah gowns, simcha floral d?cor and furniture gemachs are all in the Tomchei Shabbos warehouse. In addition, there is a room devoted to new clothing (with the tags still on) for men, women and children. For those in need, men’s wool suits and women’s suits can be purchased for as little as $20 and $ 10, respectively. Prices are even lower for children’s clothing.

There is also a disposable diaper program, with those in need being allowed two boxes per month at $5 per box for diapers that normally sell for $30 a box. Strict records are kept to ensure that the rules are followed.

Tomchei Shabbos has a yearly budget of $2 million. All those who work for Tomchei Shabbos, whether an organizer, administrator, buyer, packer or driver, are volunteers. The organization is entirely supported via the compassion and generosity (i.e. time and financial support) of the Los Angeles Jewish community.

Jeanne Litvin

A Mitzvah In 30 Minutes

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Founded in 1977, Tomchei Shabbos of L.A. has been providing essential Shabbos food packages to thousands of needy Jewish families in the Los Angeles community. Tomchei Shabbos currently has two warehouses. The La Brea warehouse, which services the “city,” moved about a month ago from another location further south on La Brea because the building they occupied was going to be demolished. As rumors indicate that their present location is also set to be demolished, they are already on the lookout for a new location. Moving isn’t a simple feat, as every time they move they need to pack up the food packages and move their walk-in freezer and refrigerator.


Their second location services the “Valley,” situated in the basement and garage of a shul in Valley Village.


I recently volunteered on a Thursday night to help pack at the La Brea area warehouse. My friend and I arrived at 5:45 p.m. and found only Steve Berger, the warehouse manager, his wife Rivkie Berger, and a few volunteers who organize the foodstuffs. But 15 minutes later, the place was teeming with pre-teens, teens, singles, couples, mothers with kids, and fathers with kids. Everyone teamed up with at least one partner to do a specific route, with the food set up on tables surrounding a middle aisle of food products. Volunteers received a list of the items required for the boxes, labeled in code for specific families on their route. You consulted your list, went to the middle aisle to find the food, and selected the amounts you needed. You then rushed back to your table and filled your boxes, making sure that the amounts were correct because couples or families with one or two small children receive different amounts of foodstuffs than larger families.


The scene was reminiscent of a relay race. This specific Thursday night’s boxes had to cover the coming Shabbos, Shavuos, and the Shabbos after Shavuos. This was three times the normal amount of food going out to each family. We filled our boxes with challah, candles, wine, chicken, eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, salad dressing, blintzes, pasta, pasta sauce, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and everything else a family needs to make two Shabbasos and Yom Tov in between. It was surprising that our “job” took only half an hour! The boxes were then placed on dollies, delivered to the loading dock, and put in the cars or vans of the volunteer deliverers from L.A.-area shuls. They deliver their boxes of food with the utmost discretion and care in order to preserve the privacy of the recipient.


Recently, Tomchei Shabbos incorporated several gemachs into their warehouse set up. While one must still call the individual in charge of the gemach for an appointment, now the kallah gowns, simcha floral décor and furniture gemachs are all in the Tomchei Shabbos warehouse. In addition, there is a room devoted to new clothing (with the tags still on) for men, women and children. For those in need, men’s wool suits and women’s suits can be purchased for as little as $20 and $ 10, respectively. Prices are even lower for children’s clothing.


There is also a disposable diaper program, with those in need being allowed two boxes per month at $5 per box for diapers that normally sell for $30 a box. Strict records are kept to ensure that the rules are followed.


Tomchei Shabbos has a yearly budget of $2 million. All those who work for Tomchei Shabbos, whether an organizer, administrator, buyer, packer or driver, are volunteers. The organization is entirely supported via the compassion and generosity (i.e. time and financial support) of the Los Angeles Jewish community.

Jeanne Litvin

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Monday, March 29th, 2010

   The executive director of an activist organization modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky was part of the team that developed a volunteers camp for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, this column has learned.
 
   Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that organized the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course, run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign, aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
 

   Camp Obama served as an integral part of the president’s campaign volunteer staff.

   Last week, this column reported that a Chicago nonprofit on which Obama served as director provided startup capital and later funding to Midwest Academy, which describes itself as dedicated to teaching the tactics of Alinsky.
 
   Former 1960s radical and FrontPageMagazine Editor David Horowitz describes Alinsky as the “communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States.”
 

   Horowitz writes that Alinsky’s “strategy of working within the system until you can accumulate enough power to destroy it was what sixties radicals called ‘boring from within.’ … Like termites, they set about to eat away at the foundations of the building in expectation that one day they could cause it to collapse.”

 

Obama Friend: Socialism Has Future In U.S.
 
   A personal friend and recent adviser to President Obama addressed a socialist conference at which he declared “socialism has a future” while urging participants to help Obama.
 
   Cornel West, an extremist race-relations instructor at Princeton, addressed the 10th annual Young Democratic Socialists conference earlier this month. The three-day event took place at Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan, named after an American socialist activist.
 
   The meeting, entitled “Real change for a change,” described itself as a “snap shot of the current socialist movement in the United States.”
 

   During a lengthy address available on YouTube, West declared that “socialism has a future.”

   He stated, “We are at a very crucial historical moment. My dear friend Barack Obama, he needs help. He needs deep help. He needs pressure. Organized, mobilized pressure.”
 
   Obama named West, whom he has called a personal friend, to the Black Advisory Council of his presidential campaign. West was a key point man between Obama’s campaign and the black community.
 
   West served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a self-described personal friend of the Nation of Islam leader. West authored two books on race with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, who was at the center of a recent controversy in which Obama criticized Gates’s treatment by police outside his home after a report of a burglary.
 
   It was West who introduced Obama at a 2007 Harlem fundraiser attended by about 1,500 people that served as Obama’s first foray into Harlem after announcing his Democratic presidential candidacy. West introduced Obama on stage at the fundraiser after first railing against the “racist” criminal-justice system of the “American empire.”
 

   Obama, upon taking the stage after West’s introduction, expressed his gratitude to West, calling him “not only a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, an oracle … he’s also a loving person.”

 

Van Jones’s Radical Green Friends

 

   Van Jones, President Obama’s former “green jobs” czar and newly appointed Princeton lecturer, has teamed up with a coalition of extremists to push an environmental activist agenda to “transform the American economy” and bring about “social change.”
 
   The groups working with Jones have been described as using the tactics of guerrilla communication, agitation and disruption techniques. One organization working alongside Jones, the radical Earth First! environmentalist group, has a history of violence and sabotage.
 
   Green For All, an activist group founded and directed by Jones, joined the Energy Action Coalition, which is composed of a slew of extremist organizations, including the Ruckus Society, which states that it provides “hands-on direct action tactical skills and strategy at [its] training camps,” or will bring its training to your location.
 

   Also in the Coaliton is Earth First!, which, according to Discover the Networks is a “radical environmentalist group with a long history of violence and sabotage.” It “pioneered sabotage tactics like tree sitting and tree spiking to thwart logging and development.”

 

Two Up, Two Down For TSA Post

 

   President Obama’s pick to head the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his nomination late Friday night, making him the second of Obama’s nominees for the post to fail to win confirmation.
 
   Retired Gen. Robert Harding blamed “distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor” that would “not be good for this administration, nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”
 
   This reporter was first to break the storythat Harding serves on the board of a corporation that raised millions to do business with companies positioned in growing areas of the federal budget.
 
   Questions were also raised about a multimillion-dollar government contract Harding’s company was awarded in 2004 to provide private interrogators to Iraqi prisons for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
 
   That contract was terminated in 2005, triggering an audit that found that Harding’s company double-billed the government for more than $860,000. It ultimately reimbursed the government more than $2 million.
 
   Harding for his part said he withdrew his nomination “with deep regret.”
 
   Harding’s private contract dealings could have become a hot button of controversy as the Senate geared up to consider his bid for the TSA.
 
   Obama’s original pick for the TSA job, Erroll Southers, withdrew his name from considerationin January over Republican concern Southers would attempt to unionize TSA security agents.
 

   This journalist was also first to report that Southers had boasted to a major union that he looked forward to “joining” with them to add value to TSA security.

 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 77-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2:00-4:00.

Aaron Klein

Family Celebrates Upsherin By Picking Potatoes For Israel

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009


   Twenty-five members of the extended Marks family from Woodmere, New York recently traveled to Israel to celebrate their son Moshe’s upsherin. However, this was no ordinary upsherin celebration.

 

   They dedicated one day of their visit to volunteering for Table to Table Israel’s Project Leket – a unique agricultural gleaning project that uses volunteers to pick produce that Israeli farmers would otherwise destroy or leave to rot in the field.

 

   Rather than let good food go to waste, the family joined Table to Table’s staff and volunteers at Kibbutz Shiller near Rechovot to pick potatoes that had gone unpicked at the end the of the harvest.

 

   In just a few hours under the hot sun, they picked over 600 kilos (approx. 1350 pounds) of potatoes that were loaded onto a Table to Table Israel truck and delivered directly to some of the 230 organizations across Israel that Table To Table provides food for.

 

   Parents Rachel and Jonathan Marks felt that volunteering with Table to Table Israel was important as they “wanted to commemorate the occasion by performing mitzvos in Israel.”

 

   The Marks family noted the important connection between their son’s upsherin and the mitzvah of orlah. They explained that just as a fruit tree cannot be picked for its produce in its first three years, so too, a young child under the age of three is not yet mature enough to learn and study Torah properly.

 

   At three, when the child’s understanding has developed, his parents can start teaching him Torah and he can start doing mitzvos. He finally gets to taste the sweet fruits from the Tree of Life that is the Torah.

 

   The event was particularly moving for Moshe’s great-grandmother, Perla Taubenfeld, a Holocaust survivor who experienced a sight that she once thought that she would never witness – her and her descendants enjoying a visit to the Jewish homeland.

 

   Table to Table Israel (or Mi’shulchan L’shulchan in Hebrew) is known as Israel’s Food Rescue Network. It was founded in 2003 by Joseph Gitler – an oleh and former attorney originally from the NY area.

 

   Today, the organization has a staff of 55 and engages with farmers, individuals, caterers, restaurants, bakeries and venues to rescue hundreds of tons of perishable food items.

 

   To learn more about Table to Table Israel or to volunteer on an upcoming trip to Israel, visit www.t2t.org.ilor call 201-331-0070.

Natalie Marx

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/family-celebrates-upsherin-by-picking-potatoes-for-israel/2009/07/15/

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