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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘zionism’

Iran Rejects Daniel Barenboim’s Gesture of Peace Because He’s Israeli

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israeli Culture Minister can calm down, as can every Israeli who felt betrayed by International musical star Daniel Barenboim, who last week announced his plans to take the Berlin State Opera with him to Tehran in celebration of the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic—Iran is not interested. Iran says it will not allow Barenboim to perform at a Tehran concert, Der Spiegel reported.

Iran will not allow the planned appearance of Barenboim in Tehran, because, as a spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Culture said on Friday, “Iran does not recognizes the Zionist regime and will not cooperate with artists of this regime.”

The 72-year-old music director of the Berlin State Opera is an Israeli citizen, having immigrated from Argentina to the Zionist Entity at age ten. He also carries a Palestinian passport, committed as he is to “reconciling the warring communities in the Middle East conflict,” as Der Spiegel phrased it. In fact, Barenboim founded, in 1999, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which consists of equal numbers of Israeli and Arab musicians.

But none of that impressed the cultural powers that be in Tehran. Never mind that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) has already given his sponsorship to the concert. In fact, Der Spiegel has even hinted that the Berlin orchestra is welcome to share its Western musical treasures with Iranian listeners—although Iran does not currently have an opera, or, for that matter, an opera loving audience, since the Islamic Revolution frowns on things like that—they just don’t want the Zionist.

It appears that Barenboim, who has conducted Richard Wagner’s music with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the Palestinian Authority (even though Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss are not played in Israel because of their cultural connections to Nazism); performed at the Palestinian Bir Zeit University and in Ramallah; and conducted the “Orchestra for Gaza” in Gaza — has finally met his match.

New Jerusalem Street Honors Savior of 40,000 Jews During Holocaust

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated a new street in Jerusalem in an official ceremony this week to honor Moshe (Miklós) Krausz, a little-known Hungarian Jew who saved about 40,000 Jews during the Holocaust

The street-naming publicly recognizes and honors Krausz’s work in a rare instance of recognition.

“This commemoration only begins to correct a historic injustice,” said Nachi Eyal, CEO of The Legal Forum for Israel and one of the people behind this initiative.

Eyal told Tazpit:

Krausz was a man of the World Zionist movement and the Mizrachi movement who saved tens of thousands of Jews and yet his name has been left out of the public knowledge. Krausz died alone and almost forgotten in Jerusalem after having immigrated here with the end of World War II.

Krausz served as the director of the Palestine Office for the World Zionist Movement in Budapest and was responsible for obtaining emigration permits for Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine.

Following the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, Krausz, aided by his connections with Swiss Vice-Consul Carl Lutz, began producing diplomatic patronage certificates to thousands of Hungarian Jews and their entire families, effectively granting them diplomatic immunity from the Nazis.

Through his Swiss connection, Krausz also obtained extraterritorial status under the auspices of the Swiss government to many private buildings where Jews would hide from Nazi extermination.

Most prominent among these “safe houses” was a disused glass factory in Budapest. Dubbed “The Glass House” by survivors, over 3,000 Jews used the building as a hiding place and survived the Holocaust.

“Jews from all walks of life and different backgrounds huddled together in the crowded cellars,” Mordechai Newmann, a Glass House survivor who attended the ceremony told TPS. “Orthodox rabbis, socialist youth activists, Zionist Organization workers, and their families all had their place in the Glass House.”

“At night, members of Zionist Youth organizations would dress up in Nazi uniform and sneak out of the cellars to find more Jews and smuggle them into the glass house,” recounts Newmann, who was 14 at the time.

This elaborate scheme that saved such a staggering number of lives from the Nazi extermination machine went unnoticed and did not receive much public attention in Israel until now.

According to Dr. Ayala Nadivi, a historian of Hungarian Jewry, the reasons for Krausz’s hitherto anonymity might have been political. She told Tazpit:

There was quite a lot of infighting and political ego struggles between the various Jewish and Zionist bodies of the time. Krausz was a member of the Mizrachi movement, while the Jewish leadership in British Mandate Palestine was predominantly of the Mapai movement (Worker’s Party of The Land of Israel). Independently of Krausz and Lutz’s rescue efforts, Mapai established the Budapest Rescue Committee and appointed Israel Kasztner to head it.

Later, with the end of the British Mandate and the founding of the State of Israel, the same Mapai became the governing party in Israel. When Kasztner was accused of collaboration with the Nazis during his rescue activities, Krausz gave unfavorable testimony against him on trial. From that point on and despite the evident existence of records of Krausz’s rescue efforts, not a single national organization or newspaper acknowledges him.

According Eyal, it was Dr. Nadivi’s book “Between Krausz and Kasztner: The Battle to Save Hungarian Jewry” published in 2014, that was the catalyst to the reemergence of Krausz’ name on public record.

“After being told about the book by my assistant and reading it, I felt compelled to petition Mayor Barkat,” Eyal told Tazpit. “After filing a request and all the necessary paperwork, including the historic records assembled by Dr. Nedivi, the Mayor acquiesced and named a Jerusalem street after this man who saved more Jews than Schindler and Kasztner combined and was a Jew himself.”

‘Transcend the Narrative’

Monday, August 10th, 2015


Yehuda Hakohen, leader of the Zionist Freedom Alliance, tells Yishai about being an ‘alternative’ peace activist.

He explains why prioritizing peace is an integral part of the Zionist dream, and discusses his goal to circumvent the rhetoric, bring together the extremes and push a meaningful peace forward — one based on each side having things about which they are unwilling to compromise.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Protesters Rally Against Terror Attacks in Israel and PA

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

An Anti-violence rally was held Saturday night in Tel Aviv as Israelis gathered to protest in response the death earlier in the day of 32-year-old Sa’ad Dawabsheh of Duma and other recent terror attacks on Jews as well.

Dawabsheh had succumbed to the grievous injuries suffered when his home in the Palestinian Authority Arab village near Shechem was firebombed by unknown terrorists ten days ago. His 18-month-old son Ali died immediately in the conflagration. Dawabsheh’s wife Riham and his four-year-old son Ahmed are in grave condition at Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Israelis protested the violence that led to the deaths, waving signs that said “Shalom” in Arabic and Hebrew. The working assumption by most protesters at this point is that the terrorists were Jewish because graffiti on the wall of the home was written in Hebrew.

However, due to the content and calligraphic elements of the writing, the ethnicity and identity of the terrorists is not quite that clear and a gag order has been slapped on the investigation. Nevertheless, Israeli security forces have been scouring Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria, with arrests of extremist elements taking place nearly every night since the attack.

In addition, the protesters demonstrated against the dozens of terrorist attacks that have been carried out by Palestinian Authority terrorists in the past ten days as well. IDF soldiers, Israeli police officers and Israeli civilians have been attacked while standing at intersections, patrolling or driving on the roads of Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. Numerous civilians, soldiers and police officers have been wounded, including more than a few who were seriously injured, as a result.

On Saturday, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization used the recent attack on the Dawabsheh home as an excuse to call on the Palestinian Authority population to launch a third intifada, exhorting PA citizens to rise up and attack Jews throughout Judea and Samaria in response to the firebombing in Duma.

Yitzhak Rabin’s Granddaughter Enters ‘Family Business’

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The granddaughter of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is entering the family business.

Noa Ben Artzi Rothman announced yesterday (Sunday, Aug. 2) that she plans to run this week as a candidate to become Labor Party delegate to the 37th World Zionist Congress in October.

Rothman, an attorney, is one of more than 150 candidates hoping to fill 70 delegate slots for the Labor Party at the Congress where worldwide heads of Zionist institutions are elected every five years.

The new political voice is backed by Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund World chairman Effi Stenzler, Labor’s top official in Zionist institutions, who welcomed Rothman’s candidacy.  “Knowing her family, she is definitely fit to be a delegate to the Congress,” Stenzler said.

The daughter of former Deputy Defense Minister and Labor MK Dalia Rabin, Rothman first was seen in public at age 18 delivering the eulogy at her grandfather’s funeral.

She went on to serve in the IDF as a journalist at the military newspaper unit. During her service she wrote a book, “In the Name of Sorrow and Hope.” Rothman became a lawyer after leaving the IDF. She also eventually became the co-writer of the Israeli cable television series, “The Prime Minister’s Children.” As a script writer she used her past experience to create the fictional lives of an Israeli prime minister and his wife, two children and staff.

Lest controversy leave her behind – few Israeli politicians are untouched by any controversy – Rothman married Eldad Rothman, son of Shlomo Rothman, chairman of the Israel Electric Corporation.

Rothman himself is an up-and-coming attorney who served as the aide to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his tenure as Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor. That error led to him being interrogated in connection with improper political appointments made by Olmert in 2008. He since become the co-founder and COO of the mega-online prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses retailer, GlassesUSA.com.

The Rothmans are parents to two young children.

Steinberg Family, Birthright-Israel Turned Personal Tragedy into Eternity

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Dozens of dignitaries, friends and family members gathered last week (July 16) to remember falled IDF soldier Max Steinberg in a memorial dedication ceremony at the ancient Arbel Synagogue in northern Israel.

Members of Birthright Israel and Birthright Israel Foundation (BRIF) joined the gathering to honor Steinberg, who participated in a Birthright Israel trip in 2012.

Moved by his experience, Steinberg made Aliyah and joined the IDF’s prestigious Golani Brigade where he served as a sharpshooter. He fell in battle in July 2014 while serving with the IDF during Operation Protective Edge.

“Max was a hero, he is my hero because he followed his dreams and he lived his life to its fullest, said Gidi Mark, International CEO of Birthright Israel. “I’m sure that this place and the thousands of Birthright Israel participants who will experience it will keep Max’s name and legacy alive for many years to come.”

In addition to the launch of the Max Steinberg Memorial Fund, the dedication service marked the start of a restoration project of the Arbel ancient synagogue, to be led by Birthright Israel and the Foundation.

Upon completion of the site’s restoration, Birthright Israel groups will be able to gather at Mount Arbel for celebratory occasions including b’nai mitzvah and Hebrew naming ceremonies, and learn about his legacy. The Max Steinberg Memorial Fund will be designated to encourage and support participation of Lone Soldiers on Birthright Israel’s Mifgash.

“Max’s legacy is really an inspiration to us all. Through Birthright Israel, he fell in love with our homeland and became an active citizen of the State of Israel. We are grateful for not only his service, but his dedication and the legacy he leaves behind for all of us,” said Birthright Israel Foundation President, David Fisher.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/afro-american-converts-make-aliyah-to-israel/2015/07/19/

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