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July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘zionism’

African-American Converts Make Aliyah to Israel

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

“We will be a part of something so big—it is unthinkable to me,” Tracie Beavers said three-quarters of the way through a nearly 12-hour flight last week.

The Columbus, Ohio, mother of three was on her way to Israel, making aliyah with the support of the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) agency.

Tracie’s journey is an unlikely one that began about a decade ago, peaking in 2013 and triumphing when she boarded the plane to Israel. Tracie and her husband Aaron are both African-American converts to Judaism. Their long-winding path to the Jewish homeland began a generation ago with Aaron Beavers’ father, who “changed his lifestyle” when he discovered Torah, said Tracie.

Aaron’s father infused in him a love of yiddishkeit, though he never converted his wife or children. Aaron Beavers was raised Christian, but nearly two decades later, he came to the same conclusion as his father—that Torah is truth.

In 2009, Aaron and Tracie decided they wanted to be Jewish. In 2013, they completed their conversion. They pro-ceeded converted their oldest children—Anayah, 8, and Gabrielle, 6. Chanan, 2, was born into the Jewish faith.

About a year ago, the family decided the next step was moving to Israel.

“If you believe something, you should do it as much as you possibly can. You should be as close to it as you can,” Aaron Beavers told JNS.org.

The family has moved to Bat Hefer, a community in the Sharon plain, east of the central Israeli city of Netanya. Aaron said he plans to be a plumber. Tracie will continue to stay at home with the children. A former member of the U.S. National Guard, she said she now hopes to volunteer for the Israel Defense Forces.

The members of the Beavers family were just a handful of the 221 diverse faces—all newly minted immigrants in the Jewish state—aboard the NBN charter flight on the El Al airline that took off from New York City’s John F. Ken-nedy International Airport on July 12. It was the 53rd charter flight in NBN’s history. Other organizational partners behind the flight included Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA.

NBN’s co-founder, Rabbi Joshua Fass, told the group prior to takeoff, “Returning to Zion is like dreaming. … It is a diverse group of Jews coming together for a common dream.” The other co-founder, Tony Gelbart, said each aliyah flight is as exciting as the next.

“For these olim (immigrants to Israel), it is their first time,” he said.

Aboard the plane were a four-month-old baby and a 90-year-old bubbie, as well as two sets of three-generation families. In total, there were 32 families and 95 children. NBN has helped more than 45,000 olim get to Israel since its founding in 2001.

The 90-year-old bubbie was Sue Friedman, grandmother of Rachel Azaria, a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Kulanu party. Friedman said she has wanted to move to Israel since she left Germany at the age of 13, years before the Nazis annihilated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. She spent many years raising a family in Riverdale, N.Y., but infused in all of her children a love of the Jewish state. She is being embraced in Israel by 27 great-grandchildren.

“I am ready,” she told JNS.org. Friedman is now residing in an independent living facility in Ra’anana.

While there were mixed emotions in the air as families boarded the flight in New York, leaving loved ones behind in America and feeling unsure of what exactly the future holds in Israel, there was nothing but joy upon landing.

Grandpa Jabotinsky

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Likud party member Ze’ev Jabotinsky, namesake and grandson of the famous Zionist leader, discusses his grandfather’s legacy withYishai

On the 75th anniversary of the original Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s death, his descendent — the CEO of Tagar Computer Systems and an advocate for Israel’s rights under international law — talks with Yishai about the man and the legend.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Israeli Christian Group Publishes Anti-BDS Guide

Friday, July 17th, 2015

The Christian Empowerment Council, an Israeli Christian group headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf, has released a new guide to help Christians better understand the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The 12-page guide titled “Test the Spirits: A Christian Guide to the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement” seeks to challenge Christian anti-Zionism “on an ideological level” following the “recent discussions concerning BDS in global churches,” including in the Mennonite and Episcopalian churches and the United Church of Christ.

The Christian Empowerment Council is focused on working to integrate Israel’s Christian community into the wider Israeli society and to support young Christians looking to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

The guide tackles a wide array of questions, such as “How does a boycott of Israel impact the church?” and “Does the Bible encourage boycotting nations?” In answering the questions, the book draws from both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

“As the spiritual leader of the Christian Empowerment Council here in Israel, it is my responsibility to encourage Christians across the world to think about Israel in Biblical and moral ways,” Father Naddaf writes in the introduction. “As you consider personally your own spiritual towards Israel, it would be prudent to consider these points. I pray God will guide you in great wisdom.”

JNF Plans to Build 3,000 Homes on Land It Owns in Tel Aviv Area

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) plans to build up to 3,000 residential units on land it owns in the greater Tel Aviv area.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last week that the JNF owns land worth approximately $1.75 billion.

It plans to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the new project following an approval of the new policy last month.

No timetable has been announced, Globes reported, but building on its own land will save the cost and bureaucracy of having to deal with Israel Land Authority tenders.

However, it will have to apply for building permits on land where there are no existing apartments or which needs to be re-zoned, meaning it could be years before final approval is received.

The bureaucratic procedures may be shorter than usual because the plan has been coordinated with the government, which has promised that it will ease the housing shortage in the metropolitan Tel Aviv region.

Hotovely Says Foreign Dignitaries Must Visit Western Wall

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Israel finally has an honest religious Zionist as acting Foreign Minister.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has changed protocol for foreign dignities who now will be asked to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) as well as Yad VaShem and Mt Herzl Cemetery.

The new protocol is at least the second major change she has introduced into the Foreign Ministry since her appointment by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

When she took office, she met with Foreign Ministry officials and gave them a short sermon on Torah – “Dvar Torah” in Hebrew – and instructed them to made the Jewish People’s Biblical right to Israel as part of  the “Hasbara” public relations program.

Now she wants foreign dignities to understand that official visits to Jerusalem sites should not be limited to the sadness identified with the military cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial.

Hotovely told the new head of the “Ceremonies Branch”” of the ministry to include the Kotel as part of the itinerary for foreign dignitaries, Yediot Acharonot reported.

She explained:

In my eyes, the fact that the Kotel will become part of official visits of foreign dignitaries in Israel is a meaningful statement that strengthens the position of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This visit will take dignitaries from the ethos and sentiment of Yad VaShem, which deals with the catastrophe of the Holocaust, to the positive character of the Kotel that speaks of deep roots of the city.

This will change the view of visits from 100 years of Zionism to 3,000 years of Zionism.

Hotovely she has taken into account that there will be some dignities who will refuse to visit the Western Wall because they consider it part of “disputed territories,” depending on the visitor’s political agenda.

Barack Obama anxiously visited the Kotel when he was campaigning for president in 2008. In his last visit to Israel, he refused to come near to the holy site and instead opted for Tel Aviv.

“If there are those who refuse to visit, we will try to convince them to do so, but the change is that until now, visiting the Kotel was not even a priority in the Foreign Ministry.

She added that she will not object if dignities condition their visits to the Western Wall on their being able to go to the Temple Mount, presumably to visit mosques and not to utter forbidden non-Muslim prayers, or to the Holy Church of the Sepulchre.

The first foreign dignitary to come under the new protocol will be Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who will be met at Ben Gurion Airport next week by Hotovely. She will escort him to the Kotel.

Hotovely’s innovations – a Dvar Torah and now visits to the Kotel – are brilliant if not simple moves that should have been part of policy from Day One of the modern State of Israel.

The beauty in the changes is that leftist and pluralistic politicians and media cannot easily oppose them.

They may not like including a bit of Torah in Israel’s explanations to the international community, but how can they be against it without saying that the Torah should not an official part of Israel?

They may not like her including the Western Wall as a part of the protocol for vesting dignities, but as Hotovely said, the Western Wall is part of the Israeli consensus.

Hotovely’s real innovation is that her observance of Judaism is above politics, exactly what has been lacking in Israeli governments.

‘Stop Nuclear Iran’ Rally Next Wednesday at Times Square

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

A mass rally that might attract tens of thousands of people is scheduled for next Wednesday 5:30 p.m. (EDT) at Times Square in New York City.

Police have planned for thousands of people to show up, but Tuesday’s agreement with Iran and the explosive opposition from Israel and the Jewish community in the United States is likely to draw much larger crowds.

The long-rage forecast is for temperatures in the 80s (Fahrenheit) and a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.

Speakers at the rally include:

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor; John Batchelor, Radio Host WABC-AM; Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post;

David Brog, Executive Director, Christians United for Israel; Steven Emerson, founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism; Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy;

Kasim Hafeez, founder of “The Israel Campaign” and Christians United for Israel’s Outreach Coordinator; Pete Hoekstra, former U.S. Congressman and Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Tony LoBianco, “The French Connection” Actor and Activist;

Clare M. Lopez, former CIA officer, Terrorism and Iran Expert at Center for Security Policy; George Pataki, former three-term governor of New York and in office during 9/11; Allen West, former Congressman and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel;

James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA and Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; and Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report and the publisher of the New York Daily News and former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The rally organizers have stated that their mission is:

— an end to the farce being perpetrated against the American people with a pending deal which will endanger           America and our allies;

— restoration of the ORIGINAL demands – NO nuclear military capability, NO centrifuges and authority for any and all unannounced inspections of all known and any future facilities discovered; and

–providing an understanding that a failure to STOP IRAN NOW will necessitate a military response later.

Charter ‘Aliyah’ Flight to Land in Israel Tuesday with 221 New ‘Olim’

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Minister Ze’ev Elkin will welcome 221 new immigrants from the United States and Canada at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday., one year after Operation Protective Edge.

The flight, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency and JNF-USA, will carry 32 families and 53 singles from 14 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces.

Among the Olim are 95 children – 49 girls and 46 boys – who are immigrating with their parents. About one-fourth of the Olim arriving on the flight have decided to settle in Israel’s periphery as part of the “Go North and Go South” programs.

During 2015, more than 4,000 new immigrants are expected to make Aliyah from North America, and half of them will arrive ii the summer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/charter-aliyah-flight-to-land-in-israel-tuesday-with-221-new-olim/2015/07/12/

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