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July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘zionism’

LA Parents Sue Reform Groups over Sand Flies in Israel

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Parents of four Los Angeles area students are suing two Reform Jewish groups for not protecting their children from sand flies that afflicted them in a trip to Israel.

The suit states that the Union for Reform Judaism and the North American Federation of Temple Youth “planned, hosted, conducted, led and supervised” the trip and therefore were responsible for the sand fly attack, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The parents testified to their lawyer that children still suffer from skin ulcers and scars that have not healed since the trip last year.

“The defendants … professed and expressly informed the plaintiffs that they were experts in group tours to and accommodations in Israel,” the suit says.

The parents think that the Reform groups should have warned their dear children, especially since they were supposed to be protecting them in Israel. “Protection” usually  means not wandering into Judea and Samaria, which usually are off-limits even to Orthodox students.

The last thing a yeshiva, seminary or host group wants is a lawsuit over a terrorist attack.

Now they can add sand flies to list of pests in Israel that bother American Jews, who apparently never are bitten by mosquitoes or bees in the United States.

And would the parents also have sued if their children came back to the United States with different opinions and beliefs.

Just imagine how parents might react if their pluralistic offspring returned with an understanding that the Torah really is a living scroll and not an ancient book to be read  like a novel.

How would parents have reacted if their teenagers came back as raving Zionists or maybe even, oy, with a demand to keep kosher?

And even worse, what would have happened if the Reform youth had met new friends from the forbidden land of Judea and Samaria?

The lawsuits would be flying like sand flies.

6 Anglo Aliyah Immigrants to Receive NBN Bonei Zion Prize

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Six olim (immigrants) from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on the State of Israel will be awarded the Nefesh B’Nefesh 2015 Bonei Zion Prize next Tuesday, May 12 in a ceremony at the Knesset Auditorium.

MK Tzachi Hanegbi will attend and also present an additional Lifetime Achievement Award to Tal Brody for his contribution to shaping and helping Israel though sports and dedicated hasbarah (public communications) efforts.

Professor Charles Sprung, director of the General Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah Medical Organization is to receive an award in the field of Science and Medicine.

Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd will receive an award for his work in the field of Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder and executive director of ITIM, the organization that helps people who want to convert to Judaism, will receive an award for his work in the field of Community and Non-Profit.

Chana Reifman Zweiter, founding director of Kaleidoscope / The Rosh Pina Mainstreaming Network, is set to be awarded the prize in the field of Education.

Asher Weill, publisher and editor, will be awarded the prize in the field of Culture, Sports & Arts.

IDF Staff Sgt. Asaf Stein, PhD, will receive the IDF and National Service Young Leadership Award.

Nefesh B’Nefesh was founded in 2002 to help increase the success of North American aliyah to Israel. In cooperation with the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel, the organization continues its commitment to bringing Jews from North America and the UK on aliyah to Israel.

NBN works to remove or minimize financial, professional, logistic and social obstacles that are often involved in a move to the Jewish State through its unique support and comprehensive social services. As a result, more than 90 percent of the “anglos” who have moved to Israel with the help of NBN have remained there.

Jewish Life in Baltimore: Private Guards on Shabbat

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Baltimore’s Shomrim Safety Patrol organization arranged for private security officers to patrol the city’s large Jewish neighborhood on Shabbat in the wake of riots this week.

Baltimore Jewish Life reported, Friday, “We as a community pray for calm and peace to be restored, and that all the citizens of this great city be safe and secure in their neighborhoods and homes.”

Several Jewish businesses and store were looted during the riots following the death of Freddie Gray while he was in prison.

Six police officers have been charged in connection with the death of Gray, bringing out victory marches by the black community but doubts whether the charges will results in prosecutions.

The Baltimore Jewish community is one of the largest and most contiguous in the United States. It also is one of the most religious and most Zionist when it comes to giving money to Israel and less Zionist when it comes to moving to Israel.

Approximately one-third of the area’s more than 100,000 Jews are Orthodox or part of the Hareidi Agudah community, and a large percentage of the others are Conservative or Reform.

There are many pro-Israel voices in the community, especially in the national religious synagogues, one of which is attended by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. Like elsewhere, Aliyah is preached more than practiced.

Maybe Aliyah was going through the minds of Jews walking to and from synagogues on Shabbat, but more likely, they were thinking about getting through the day unharmed and not about the day after tomorrow.

Below: Video of riot in Baltimore”

Secular Coercion and HaAchim Gat

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Secular Coercion bothers me. It especially bothers me when Hilonim (devoutly secular Jews) try to force religious Jews to go against their beliefs, and then call it “religious coercion” when they stand firm in response.

HaAchim Gat were invited to sing at the Mitzpe Ramon Independence Day event.

HaAchim Gat are two unquestionably Chareidi (ultra-Orthodox) singers, who happen to also be very popular among secular Israelis.

During their set, some of the men and women got up to dance together.

It is against the religious beliefs of the Chareidi brothers to sing and play music for mixed dancing. So much so, that there is a clause in their contract that permits them to stop their concerts if it happens.

So the soft-spoken brothers stopped their concert and politely asked the dancers to not dance together during their show.

This got some of the Hilonim upset and they posted to Facebook about the “religious coercion” of HaAchim Gat. Even the town’s mayor got in the picture saying he was surprised, and the brothers’ actions were unacceptable.

But you have got to wonder, are these people that completely ignorant?

Do they really think two Chareidi entertainers are going to play and sing to a crowd who are mixed dancing? What universe are they living it?

The Mitzpe Ramon municipality knew who they were inviting and they were not forced to hire them. The municipality was certainly not forced to sign their contract (assuming they even read it).

The only coercion here is secular coercion – like when Hesder students in the army are ordered to listen to women singing, against their religious beliefs.

HaAchim Gat continued their performance, and apparently some of the secular Jews continued with the mixed dancing – davka.

The coercion and intolerance here was not from the religious, and it’s twisted that they called it “religious coercion”.

Why Vote for Torah?

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Martin Oliner

In the current climate, it is almost impossible to enter an Orthodox synagogue in America that has not undertaken security measures on behalf of the institution. Time, money, and efforts of all types are expended. Members are passionately recruited to protect and ensure the physical welfare and safety of congregants and members.

Yet, even as Orthodox Jews throughout the nation firmly adhere to the mantra, “If you see something, say something,” they have, until recently, been blind to, and silent about, a different type of threat. Th is is a spiritual threat from within that is arguably as insidious and challenging to Orthodox Jewish survival as any physical threat.

In October 2015, the 37th World Zionist Congress (WZC), the “parliament” of the Jewish people, will convene in Israel. At that time, the slate of leaders and policy stewards of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) that the Jewish people had voted for before April 30th, will assume their mantle of leadership. The WZO and its constituent and affiliate organizations are empowered to distribute more than one billion dollars to support programs throughout Israel and the Diaspora.

Vying for dominance in this election, are movements within our nation which seek to undermine and subvert Orthodox Judaism. These groups are using the WZC election to facilitate that attack.

These other streams are attempting to first hijack and usurp the financial resources that fuel Orthodox educational programs and materials. They are seeking to subvert the funding of the Hesder yeshivot, the subsidization and financing of services to Orthodox communities in Israel, and the grants and funding of Orthodox Shlichim and emissaries that are so effective in so many schools and institutions throughout America.

With an agenda far beyond merely derailing Orthodoxy financially, these streams also seek to undermine the ideals, convictions and beliefs that are the life-blood of Torah-committed Jews and which these programs both sustain and perpetuate.

The unabashedly stated goals of these other streams are diametrically opposed to fundamental Orthodox religious values, which include Religious Zionist outreach, Torah inspired education, the sanctity of a united Yerushalayim, intra-marriage, and advancing Aliyah. They decry the idea of hallachically performed conversions and the preservation of Shabbat in Israel. Undermining all of this and more are the stated positions and goals of the other streams.

Shockingly, many of their positions are not only anathema to those who are Torah-motivated, but create an existential danger to the Jewish State itself.

How so?

Some of the pronouncements of these streams include the advocacy of the nascent and growing BDS movement – “Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions.” They view support of BDS as necessary “tough love” – as they view other criticisms of Israel, the support and validation of intermarriage, and the undermining of Yehuda and Shomron.

It is imperative that Orthodox supporters of Israel recognize the current challenge. This is no mere theoretical point. It is not just another academic debate between theologians or a mere battle over funding.

It is an existential threat to Orthodoxy.

It is a threat driven by a blind selfi sh refusal to admit that, following the Pew Reports highlighting of Orthodox Judaism’s viability and vitality, it appears that adherence to a Torah way of life holds the key to Jewish survival.

In contrast to the war being waged against them, the Orthodox community is not seeking to dominate nor aggressively confront any other stream nor to be proselytizing. It is simply striving to preserve its own priorities and fundamental Orthodox religious beliefs. Th e Orthodox community is attempting to make clear, through successful presentation in the WZC election, that it is the presumptive voice of the Jewish people on the world stage.

Israel Independence in the Druze Community and Why Israel Is Organic in Its Land

Friday, April 24th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined in-studio by Ata Farhat, chairman of the Druze Zionist Council, to talk about his community’s celebration of Israeli independence. Though of a different religion and culture, the Druze fight in Israel’s wars and consider themselves an integral part of the Israeli nation-state. Find out why.

Then, Yishai rants about the beauty of Israeli independence. He says that while Israel’s enemies paint the Jewish state as foreign to the Middle East landscape, the truth is that there is nothing more organic — more holistic — than the Jewish people being back in Judea.

Finally, for his “Spiritual Cafe” segment, Yishai is joined by Rabbi Mike Feuer to discuss issues of Jewish statehood. Is there such a thing as “good” post-Zionism, for example? Rabbi Feuer sees Zionism as a holy re-entry vehicle into Jewish statehood. But is normalcy all Israel yearns for, or is there a grander vision?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Zionism in Animation

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

A retelling of the history of Zionism was launched on Wednesday with an animated video chronicling the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in its historic homeland through Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

The project, called ‘Zionism in Animation’, aims to tell the story of Zionism in a series of 100 short animated clips, and is the brainchild of Shlomo Blass, head of Rogatka, a short film-making studio which has released some of the most viral political and hasbara videos in recent years.

“We hope to tell the story of the return of the Jewish people to their homeland in an attention-grabbing way, and inform and educate Jews around the world, especially young audiences,” said Blass. “By doing so we hope to strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel.”

“Sadly, many Jews, don’t know enough about one of the most miraculous chapters in world history: the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. We believe that knowing our history is fundamental to strengthening our sense of solidarity and commitment to our people and land.”

The first video ‘How Israel Was Born’ was released to coincide with Israel’s 67th Independence Day and is meant to inform Israelis and people around the world about the story of Israel’s founding. A few years ago, a survey of Israeli students found that 60% of respondents did not know the name of Israel’s first prime minister.

“The digital revolution has dramatically impacted the way most people, especially Millennials, consume content,” Blass continued. “Research shows that we increasingly read less and watch more, and that the most effective way of educating and engaging people is through short-form rich content. This revolution has created a need for relevant materials in the field of Jewish and Zionist education.”

The first video was released in partnership with the Israel Video Network and has already received widespread attention and praise from Jewish and Israel advocacy groups and organizations.

The video is the first of three videos that Rogatka is hoping to make through the Jewcer crowdfunding platform, which he hopes will raise enough to make the next two videos. After that, Blass is inviting organizations and individuals to fund videos of their choice on any Zionism-related issue.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/zionism-in-animation/2015/04/23/

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