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Posted By on August 26, 2016

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Russia’s military made a fresh effort to crush Daesh and other terrorist groups by launching its first airstrikes against them from an airbase in Iran, in a move which reinforced the two powers’ collaboration in Syria and was met with strong reservations from Washington.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the Daesh terror group could be behind the overnight bombing of a wedding in Gaziantep, in a statement published Sunday. MOSCOW (Sputnik) The president wished a speedy recovery to 94 people who were wounded in the bombing that shocked the mostly-Kurdish populated city in southeastern Turkey. The blast killed at least 30 people, according to the province governor.

Russian use of Iranian air base shows Moscow’s renewed military might Russia’s use of an Iranian air base to bomb rebel targets across Syria for the first time this week has allowed Moscow to show off sophisticated weaponry as it seeks to cement ties with Tehran and expand its influence in the Middle East. While the tactical effect was unclear, Russian President…

Isis child suicide bomber kills 51 at Kurdish wedding Hannah Lucinda Smith, Istanbul August 22 2016, 12:01am, The Times

At least 51 people have been killed and 69 injured after a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14 targeted a Kurdish wedding party in southern Turkey. The child bomber, believed to be an Islamic State follower, detonated his device on Saturday evening as crowds of revellers danced in the streets of Gaziantep, a city close to the border with Syria. It is the deadliest attack in Turkey this year. The bride and groom, who have been named as Besna and Nurettin Akdogan, were injured but are in a stable condition in hospital. The death toll looks set to rise…

Mourning families gathered outside a medical centre in Gaziantep yesterday. The suicide attack was the deadliest in Turkey this year and the death toll may riseSEDAT SUNA/EPA

UN Watch Briefing Latest from the United Nations Vol. 603 | August 18, 2016The op-ed below by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer appears in the latest edition of The Jerusalem Report by By Hillel C. Neuer.

The aid workers aiding Hamas

The UN and NGOs that have been infiltrated by terror organizations must mend their ways or have their funding frozen

Accused Hamas agent Mohammed El-Halabi, the Gaza director of the giant Christian aid group World Vision, appears in court, August 4. The UN featured him on its website as a “humanitaran hero.”

The arrest of Palestinian humanitarian officials in Gaza from two separate international organizations – charged with siphoning aid resources to support Hamas terrorism – along with allegations about at least two other entities raises troubling questions about the culture within the United Nations and non-governmental agencies that allowed such crimes to take place.

First there was the announcement by Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on August 4 that Mohammed El-Halabi, director of the Gaza branch of World Vision a billion-dollar Christian aid agency was indicted for systematically diverting tens of millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas.

According to the Shin Bet, El-Halabi admitted to being a lifetime Hamas member who was dispatched in 2005 to infiltrate World Vision.

El-Halabi had a good chance of being accepted because he had already worked for UNDP, the UN Development Agency where he also helped Hamas and because his father, Khalil al-Halabi, holds a senior post at UNRWA in Gaza which he, too, uses to support Hamas.

Once in World Vision, El-Halabi employed a sophisticated apparatus for transferring funds and resources to Hamas. Over several years, El-Halabi helped Hamas construct terror tunnels, pay their salaries, and build military bases.

In addition, according to the charge sheet, in 2014 Halabi recruited a Palestinian aid worker from Save the Children, a major NGO based in the UK, to join Hamas’ military wing.

After the revelations, Australia and Germany froze their funding to World Vision, and the organization suspended its Gaza operations. Save the Children, for its part, is “making inquiries into this matter.”

The 30-page document failed to mention Hamas once. Discussion of damage to Gaza buildings omitted that Hamas used them for rocket launching against Israeli civilians, deliberately jeopardizing Palestinian civilians.

How can we expect UNDP to remedy internal “processes” when its leaders openly broadcast a see-no-evil approach to Hamas terror?

The latest arrests ought to be a wake-up call. Palestinians deserve to be helped, but Hamas an organization that exults in murdering Jewish children is the opposite of humanitarianism.

If the UN and NGOs fail to correct their ways, taxpayers in the US, Canada and Europe should do it for them, by demanding a permanent freeze to the funding of terror.

Hillel C. Neuer is the executive director of UN Watch in Geneva.

Palestinians: The “Country” Where Crime Is an Official Job by Yves Mamou August 7, 2016 at 5:30 am

In this small piece of land, headed by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), every killer of a Jewish Israeli citizen is called “martyr.” This word “martyr” means that each time a Palestinian stabs a Jew, he accomplishes an act of pious virtue. And because the killer is a good Palestinian Muslim, his family becomes eligible for regular payments from the Palestinian Authority’s “martyr’s fund.” This fund is used financially to compensate Palestinian prisoners and the families of “martyrs.”

After a 17-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Tarayra, stabbed to death a sleeping 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in her bed in the town of Kiryat Arba, the terrorist’s house was decorated with Fatah and PLO flags. No doubt the family will be soon on the list of payments from the Palestinian “martyr’s fund.”

According to an analysis by Bloomberg’s Eli Lake:

“The origins of these payments goes back a long way. Before the Palestinian Authority was established in the 1990s through the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization paid the families of ‘martyrs’ and prisoners detained by Israel. That practice became standardized during the Second Intifadah of 2000 to 2005. The Israelis even found documents in the late Yasser Arafat’s compound that showed payments to families of suicide bombers.”

The money the Palestinian killers make is not small change. Evelyn Gordon reported in Commentary:

“The PA has for years paid above-market salaries to the perpetrators of anti-Israel terror attacks. The salaries range from 2,400 to 12,000 shekels a month ($600 USD to $3,000 USD) and are paid for the duration of the perpetrator’s jail sentence in Israel (people killed while committing attacks get other benefits). The lower figure is roughly equivalent to the average not minimum wage for people who actually hold jobs in the West Bank, and about 40 percent higher than the average wage in Gaza; figures at the higher end of the range are the kind of salaries most Palestinians can’t even dream of. In short, the PA has made terror far more lucrative than productive work.”

Yigal Carmon, president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), submitted testimony to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on July 6, 2016. He gave interesting details.

First: the payments are highly structured by law. “This financial support for prisoners is anchored in a series of laws and government decrees, chiefly Laws No. 14 and No. 19 of 2004, and Law No. 1 of 2013…” According to these laws, the PA must provide prisoners with a monthly allowance during their incarceration, and salaries or jobs upon their release. They are also entitled to exemptions from payments for education, health care, and professional training. Their years of imprisonment are calculated as years of seniority of service in PA institutions. It should be noted that whoever was imprisoned for five years or more is entitled to a job in a PA institution. Thus, the PA gives priority in job placement to people who were involved in terrorist activity.”

Technically, the PA transfers the funds through two PLO organizations:

Families of “martyrs”: The PLO’s Institute for Care for the Families of Martyrs… allocated just under $173 million for families of martyrs and the wounded within the homeland and outside it. The Institute’s operating expenses comes [sic] to about $1.5 million. … The budget also states that the Institute provides allowances “without discrimination” — in other words, also from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and so on. In 2016, not less than $300 million (between 7 and 10% of the budget) are going to be allocated to prisoners and families and to “martyrs’ families.”

The United States and the European Union, which finance the Palestinian institutions year after year, deliberately close their eyes to the “martyr’s fund” to which they contribute.

PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake, speaking at a rally in November 2013, defends the use of EU aid money to pay “salaries” to imprisoned terrorists, saying “The Europeans want their money that comes to us to remain clean — not to go to families of those they claim to be terrorists. [They] need to renounce this occupation mentality.”

(Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

But things might begin to change. Warning signs are in the air.

1) The recent Report of the Middle East Quartet (European Union, United States, Russia and the UN) does not talk money but “incitement to terror” — which is exactly the same thing. “Continuing violence, terrorist attacks against civilians, and incitement to violence are greatly exacerbating mistrust and are fundamentally incompatible with a peaceful resolution.” The Quartet added: “Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are often glorified publicly as “heroic martyrs.” Many widely circulated images depict individuals committing terrorist acts with slogans encouraging violence.”


High-rise construction leaps in Israel

IDF continues pounding Hamas targets into night Ynet|Last update: 22.08.16 , 00:08

As tensions mount in wake of rocket fired from Gaza into Israel, IDF continued a combined artillery and air assault on Hamas targets into the night; IDF: ‘Hamas is the sovereign power in the Gaza Strip and it is therefore responsible.’

Israel strikes 50 times in Gaza after rocket attack

Israeli official urges calm as Hamas blames Jewish state for escalating violence; 2-5 people lightly injured in raids


The Israel Air Force conducted 50 airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip late Sunday night, following a rocket fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorists earlier that day, but was not seeking an escalation in hostilities, an Israeli official said on Monday.

“There were approximately 50 airstrikes within two hours. There is no intention to escalate the situation further, and that is basically where the situation falls at this time,” a senior military official told The Times of Israel.

Palestinian security sources in Gaza said several targets in the northern Strip were struck by Israeli fire, and that a reservoir in Beit Hanoun was damaged. Israel also hit a base belonging to Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in nearby Beit Lahiya, witnesses said. Palestinian health and security sources said between two and five people were lightly wounded by Israel’s retaliatory fire.

Palestinians look at a water tower that was first damaged during the 2014 Gaza war and appears to have again been struck by Israeli fire on August 21, 2016 in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip. (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)

This was the second Israeli bombardment of the day. Immediately following the rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon, Israeli aircraft and tanks also targeted Hamas installations in the northern Gaza Strip. After the late-night airstrikes, the Islamist Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip blamed Israel for escalating tensions in the Palestinian enclave.

“The escalation shows Israel’s desire to change the status quo in the Gaza Strip,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Sunday night.

“We hold Israel responsible for the escalation in the Gaza Strip and we stress that its aggression will not succeed in breaking the will of our people or dictate the terms of resistance,” Zuhri said. The Hamas spokesman was speaking hours after the terror group paraded missiles through the streets and threatened renewed violence against Israel.

On Monday, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin told Israel Radio that Israel was not interested in an escalation of violence with Hamas, but said the army would “respond appropriately if necessary.”

The response marks the most intense Israeli reprisal attack on Gaza since the sides fought a bloody war in 2014, and could signal a shift in policy by newly installed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

The rocket fire was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other small Islamic State-linked Salafist groups, but Israel says it holds Hamas the Strip’s de facto rulers responsible for any attacks emanating from Gaza and routinely responds to such launches with strikes against the terror organization.

The rocket launch on Sderot on Sunday struck inside the border town, but caused no casualties or damage. It landed between two homes on Hanehalim Street, near Sapir College and the city’s train station. Locals said it was “a miracle” that nobody was injured.

Palestinian members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, display Qassam home-made rockets during an anti-Israel military parade on August 21, 2016 in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP / SAID KHATIB)

The attack was the second serious rocket strike from Gaza since Liberman took office in May, following a strike that hit an empty preschool in July.

The IDF said it was the 14th rocket launched from Gaza into Israel in 2016.

On Sunday night, a Hamas official told Israel Radio the group was not interested in a renewal of violence. But earlier, Hamas held a large rally in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, parading rockets through the streets and threatening to renew fighting if Israel did not lift a decade-old blockade on the enclave.

Israel says the blockade, also imposed by Egypt, is necessary to keep Hamas and other terror groups from re-arming or rebuilding military infrastructures used in previous wars with Israel.

A Palestinian member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, takes part in a anti-Israel military parade on August 21, 2016 in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

Launches from Gaza are infrequent and usually carried out by small fringe groups, at times without the approval of Gaza’s Hamas rulers and even at times as a means for pressuring the group by raising tensions between it and Israel.

Sweden: The Silence of the JewsPart IV of a Series: The Islamization of Sweden by Ingrid Carlqvist August 16, 2016 at 5:00 am

One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malm, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration. Demonstrators were attacked by pro-Palestinian counter demonstrators, who threw eggs and bottles at the supporters of Israel. The mayor of Malm at the time, Ilmar Reepalu, failed to take a clear stance against the violence, and was accused of preferring the approval of the city’s large Muslim population to protecting Jews. He remarked, among other things, that “of course the conflict in Gaza has spilled over into Malm.”

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks Reuters|Published: 21.08.16 , 19:08

Following two attacks last month, Germany has instructed its citizens to prepare emergency supplies of food and water in case of a major, wide scale attack or catastrophe; this is the first time such an order has been issued since the Cold War.

BERLIN – For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defense” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.

The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content. People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.

The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.

However, the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,” the paper cited the report as saying.

It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.

A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.

Germany’s Defense Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.

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Senior Living – Peoria, IL – B’Nai B’Rith Apartments

Posted By on August 26, 2016

If you’re looking for a great place to come home to after your retirement, look no further. Our friendly staff at B’nai B’rith Apartments will help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. We offer affordable senior housing in the Peoria area. Rent will be approximately thirty percent (30%) of the adjusted monthly income of all residents in the units. All of our properties are clean, safe, and come with great amenities at a price you can afford. Come see for yourself, call us today at (309) 676-0041 or (309) 673-6744 to request a tour of our properties. B’nai B’rith Apartments is committed to providing top-quality senior homes for residents in the Peoria area. Our properties come with accessibility features designed to give you safety and convenience. Let us partner with you to give you the best home you can spend your retirement in. Our housing network consists of 33 complexes in 23 communities. These communities include over 3700 apartment units and serve more than 5000 residents. And it doesn’t stop there, our network keeps on growing.

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Ku Klux Klan — Extremism in America – ADL: Fighting Anti …

Posted By on August 14, 2016

The Ku Klux Klan is a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy. Of all the types of right-wing hate groups that exist in the United States, the Klan remains the one with the greatest number of national and local organizations around the country.

More than 40 different Klan groups exist, many having multiple chapters, or klaverns, including a few that boast a presence in a large number of states. There are over a hundred different Klan chapters around the country, with a combined strength of members and associates that may total around 5,000.

After a period of relative quiet, Ku Klux Klan activity has spiked noticeably upwards in 2006, as Klan groups have attempted to exploit fears in America over gay marriage, perceived assaults on Christianity, crime and especially immigration.

At first, the Ku Klux Klan focused its anger and violence on African-Americans, on white Americans who stood up for them, and against the federal government which supported their rights. Subsequent incarnations of the Klan, which typically emerged in times of rapid social change, added more categories to its enemies list, including Jews, Catholics (less so after the 1970s), homosexuals, and different groups of immigrants.

In most of these cases, these perceived enemies were minority groups that came into direct economic competition with the lower- and working-class whites that formed the core constituency of the Klan in most of its incarnations.

The Ku Klux Klan was overshadowed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by growing neo-Nazi activity; however, by 2005 neo-Nazi groups had fallen on hard times, with many groups collapsing or fragmenting. This collapse has helped create a rise of racist skinhead activity, but has also provided new opportunities for Klan groups.

In addition, in the early 2000s, many communities in the United States began to experiences a significant influx of immigrants, especially Hispanics, for the first time in their histories. A single-issue movement opposing immigration has helped create fear and anxiety about immigration in the minds of many Americans.

Many Ku Klux Klan groups have attempted to take advantage of that fear and uncertainty, using anti-immigration sentiments for recruitment and propaganda purposes, and to attract publicity.

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Heritage Florida Jewish News Homepage

Posted By on August 10, 2016

By Christine DeSouza, News Editor

Anyone who runs for a county judge position isn’t doing it for the money, especially if they are successful as attorneys. This is certainly the case for Eric Dubois, who is an attorney running for…

By Christine DeSouza

“With her ever-present beaming smile and cheerful enthusiasm, Susan Bierman has been a pivotal force in the dynamic growth of Orlando’s Jewish community,” wrote Bierman’s nominator for the Heritage…

By Christine DeSouza, News Editor

“There comes a time when you have to make a decision, either to walk away and hope things fix themselves or take an active role in trying to make a positive difference.” This is Abby Sanchez’ belief…

By Jonathan Feldstein

According to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), I am a termite. Speaking to an anti-Israel group on the sidelines of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, the congressman said, There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into…

By Avi Weiss

(JTA)Last week, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to Poland, visiting Auschwitzthe notorious death camp in Poland where 1.1 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Auschwitz is comprised of two camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, also…

By Ben Cohen,

We live in an era of resurgent, strongman leaders. Some of them, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, carry an aura of invincibility, a sense that they effortlessly control the levers of power at every level of state activity, from parliament to…

By Carla Brewington,

In the 1930s in Germany, many caved to the dangerous political agenda of the time. They wanted power, peace, and prosperity, to reclaim their country from the ravages of World War I. Christians were no different. But in doing so, they embraced the…

By Abraham H. Miller,

The Jewish communitys polarization in reaction to the selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintons running mate illustrates the political chasm that divides American Jewry. Predictably, the J Street…

By Norman Berdichevsky

The Virgin islands is a favorite tourist spot for Caribbean cruises. For Jewish tourists, there is an extra added attraction in the historic synagogues, cemeteries and active Jewish communities. The former Danish West Indies sold to the United…

In last months FYI column, we talked about the importance of community-to-community relationships, which are especially critical in a time of increased conflict. Those relationships are built on person-to-person mutual respect and understanding….

By Pamela Ruben

Years later, I can recall the moment when my friend’s son got his head stuck between the wooden rails on our staircase landing. While we laugh about the predicament today, at the time it wasn’t so…

By Valeria Nemaiser Sakhnovitch

This post, which was originally written in Russian, went viral in Israel and around the world. With the authors permission, it was translated into English by Arkady Mamaysky. Yesterday I witnessed a common scene in Israel: I was standing in line…

By Gloria Yousha

“Oh Canada, Oh Canada”… I’m not singing the Canadian anthem. I am a proud American, believe me. But Canada is very special to me. My maternal grandparents fled to Canada from Ukraine because of…

Inez Teddy Snyder, age 94, of Orlando, passed away unexpectedly at Florida HospitalWinter Park, on Monday, July 25, 2016. Teddy was born on June 29, 1922, in Taylor, Washington, to the late John and Augusta Lenarducci Tedesco. A veteran of…

Ronald Livingstone, age 70, of Apopka, passed away on Monday, July 25, 2016. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on June 1, 1946, to the late Nathan M. and Ida Rebecca Katzenell Livingstone. On March 31, 1968, in Dublin, Ireland, he married the former…

MILDRED R. ROSING Mildred Rosing, age 92, of Longwood, passed away on Friday, July 22, 2016, at Village on the Green Health Center. Born on June 29, 1924, to the late Samuel and Grace Blecker Glasser, she was a native of New York City. A homemaker,…

ANNE KALMAER Anne Kalmaer, age 96, of Menlo Park, Calif., formerly of Orlando, passed away at Sunrise Senior Living in Palo Alto, Calif., on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Mrs. Kalmaer, a native of New York, was born on Jan. 22, 1920, to the late Max and…

Joseph P. Barack, 72, died after a long illness at Hospice of St. Francis in Titusville, on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Joe was born Nov. 11, 1943, to Florence and Samuel Barack of Pittsburgh PA. He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree…

Fredricka Robbins, age 64, of Orlando, passed away on July 14, 2016, at her residence. She was born on May 21, 1952, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the late Meyer and Frances Wolff Robbins. She was a homemaker and is survived by her brother, Stephen…

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Heritage Florida Jewish News Homepage

Poland Jewish Heritage Tours – Jewish Tours & Travel …

Posted By on August 10, 2016

It’s a sunny morning in early July, and I’m having breakfast at an outdoor cafe table in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of Krakow. I have been sitting at cafes in and around Szeroka Street, the main square of Kazimierz, for nearly 20 years, watching the paradoxical Jewish components of post-communist Poland unfold, and Kazimierz itself evolve from a deserted district of decrepit buildingssome with grooves on their doorposts from missing mezuzahsinto one of Europe’s premier Jewish tourist attractions, a fashionable boom town of Jewish-style cafes, trendy pubs, kitschy souvenirs and nostalgic shtetl chic.

As Poland’s historic royal capital, Krakow is one of central Europe’s most beautiful cities and was one of the few major Polish metropolises to escape wholesale destruction in World War II. Once Kazimierz was a center of Jewish life and learning, but after the Holocaust only its architectural skeleton remained: Krakow’s 64,000 Jews (among three million of pre-war Poland’s 3.5 million Jews) perished, but seven synagogues and a score of former prayer houses, stores, homes and cemeteries survived. After the war, under the communists, Kazimierz slid into ruin, and only in the early 1990s did the neighborhood begin to take on new life. Even before Steven Spielberg came here to shoot his 1993 film Schindler’s List, set in the wartime Krakow Ghetto and the city’s concentration camp, Plaszow, Kazimierz was beginning to rediscover its Jewish soul.

Although Krakow is now home to just a few hundred Jews at most (Poland itself has maybe 5,000 to 15,000 out of a population of 40 million), the streets beyond my cafe are crowded with people here for the annual nine-day extravaganza known as the Festival of Jewish Culture. There are Jews from within Poland and from outside: Rabbis, tourists, earnest seekers of family history, writers, filmmakers, bureaucrats, philanthropists, academics, musicians and artists wander the square and surrounding cobbled streets. The vast majority of visitors, however, are non-Jewish Poles who have come to celebrate both the Polish Jewish life that once was and the contemporary Jewish culture that is still very much alive around the world. Some of them have helped bring about the renaissance of Kazimierz and a revival of public interest in Jewish culture throughout the country. Newcomers and regulars, Jews and non-Jews, come together at the cafes that line Szeroka and other streets and squares, turning Kazimierz into a moveable feast of drink, food and conversation that migrates from cafe table to cafe table.

I am waiting for Stanislaw and Monika Krajewski, among my oldest friends in Poland, who live in Warsaw and whom I met on the eve of Yom Kippur in 1980. Back then, I was a young American reporter, in Warsaw to cover the birth of SolidarnoscSolidarity, the anti-communist labor movement that spawned a peaceful revolution and was the harbinger of the collapse of communism. I am not a religious Jew, and I rarely go to services. But in Warsaw, on that erev Yom Kippur, I looked for a shul. The only one to be found of what once were hundreds, was the Nozyk synagogue, built in 1902 and used by the Nazis as a stable.

In 1980, the synagogue stood dilapidated and empty. My search took me to a shabby room nearby where paint was peeling from the walls but Jews were gathered for prayers. There was no rabbi: there was not one in Poland at the time. Perhaps three dozen people, almost all men, almost all elderly, stood swaying over well-worn prayerbooks. Among them was a sprinkling of people my own age, and a couple of toddlers running about and making noise. Some of the elderly congregants shushed themloudlyand I remember thinking, “How can you shut them up? You should encourage them; be happy that there are children here among you.”

After the prayers, a young married couple came up to me, eager to know who I was and why I was there. “It’s simple,” I told them, “I’m an American reporter covering Solidarity; I’m Jewish; it’s Yom Kippur, so I came to synagogue. It’s normal.” But “simple” and “normal” had different meanings in their lexicon. They came closer. “Oh, you’re a real Jew!” they exclaimed. This put me on the spot. A “real Jew”? After all, I don’t speak Hebrew, I don’t go to synagogue, I don’t keep kosher. “No,” they insisted. “You’re a real Jew; you’ve known all your life that you are Jewish. We are just learning. Come back home with us and tell us what to do.”

That couple was Staszek, as Stanislaw is known, and Monika. They were among the organizers of the “Jewish Flying University,” a semi-clandestine study group of Jews and non-Jews in communist Warsaw who met informally to teach themselves what they could about Judaism. This meant the rituals, customs, traditions and history but also the memories and inflections that are often innate in even the most secular of Jews who grew up in freedom.

Monika, an artist and teacher, and Staszek, a writer and professor, wend their way around tables through the cafe garden of my hotel, the Klezmer Hois, a rambling, peak-roofed building that used to house a mikvah. We greet each other with hugs. Monika, as usual, wears a flowing skirt and distinctive earrings. A deeply religious man, Staszek is active in interfaith relations and is the Poland consultant for the American Jewish Committee. His books range from commentaries on the Torah to scholarly works on mathematics and logic, his academic field, to essays on Jewish life in contemporary Poland, where every step toward the future can feel weighted down by the memory of the past.

The Krajewskis and I catch up on news, and I ask about their sons. Both children celebrated their bar mitzvahs in the Nozyk synagogue, the synagogue that was too dilapidated to be used when we first met but is now fully restored and functioning. The bar mitzvah of their younger son, in 2004, was particularly moving. Daniel, who has Down syndrome, carried the Torah, but instead of giving a speech, he showed pictures he had painted: Jacob’s blessing to Joseph’s sons; the burning bush; the parting of the sea; the golden calf; the breaking of the tablets. The last picture showed his entire family at the Sabbath table, a scene he has known all his life. Other friends come by and we chat. Then Monika and Staszek are off. Both of them are giving talks or teaching workshops in the festival this year.

In a way, the struggle for the soul of Kazimierz can be seen in the differences among the cafes on Szeroka Street. Venues drawing on Krakow’s Jewish history were the first to open on the square. But on Szeroka today things are different. There is an Indian restaurant and an Italian one, as well as chic new bars blaring hip hop. Still, critics love to hate Szeroka for its commercial exploitation of Jewish heritage as a saleable commodity and for what some call the “Disneylandization” of Jewish culture and tradition through an emphasis on stereotype and artifice.

The Klezmer Hois, where I often stay, is my favorite Jewish-style venue. Located at one end of Szeroka, it has the bygone coziness of an old world family parlor, with doilies and tablecloths covering mismatched tables, chairs and sofas. It was opened by my friends Wojtek and Malgosia Ornat. Though both have Jewish roots, neither was raised Jewish or with any awareness of Jewish family connections: Malgosia, a petite woman with wide eyes and short-cropped blonde hair, was 19 when she learned that her maternal grandmother was Jewish, a story that is not unusual in Poland.

Now in their 40s, the Ornats opened the first Jewish-style cafe in Kazimierz, the Ariel, in 1992. Then the only cafe on Szeroka Street, the Ariel was a lonely outpost amid a grimy wasteland of vacant lots and empty buildings. I vividly remember how Wojtek and I, sitting at an umbrella-shaded wicker table, fantasized that some day people would come. And they have. The Ariel touched a nerve that somehow connected commerce with commemoration and spearheaded the creation of a Jewish-style cafe culture which by now has spread far beyond Krakow. As the first to evoke (and capitalize on) a literary image of a lost Jewish world in their cafe decor, the Ornats’ visual and atmospheric take on what is “Jewish” has been important in shaping the experience and expectations of locals and tourists, Jews and non-Jews. Like a sepia-tinted memory, “Jewish” is now a brand that symbolizes a time and place that is bygone but fondly remembered. This idea plays on nostalgia but also on the imagination: It represents what some people wish the Jewish world was really once like.

Today, half a dozen venues on Szeroka Street present a Jewish theme or make reference to Kazimierz’s Jewish heritage, in their name or signs, which are sometimes written in Hebrew-style letters, or in their menus, which feature foods like gefilte fish. There’s the Ester hotel and the Noah’s Ark restaurant. The Crocodile Street Cafe is named for a short story by the writer Bruno Schulz, who was killed in the Holocaust. The Rubinstein hotel reflects the fact that the cosmetics queen, Helena Rubinstein, was born here. The exterior of the Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz restaurant is mocked up to look like a row of pre-war shops, with weathered-looking signs fronting the street announcing Benjamin Holcer’s carpentry shop and Chajim Cohen’s general store.

One reason I like Klezmer Hois is that it is low key. There is klezmer music but no kitschy curios for sale or on display, no garish commercial exploitation of a neighborhood whose Jewish population was murdered. Instead, the Ornats use the profits from the Klezmer Hois to run a Jewish publishing house, Austeria, which issues books by Polish and foreign authors. They also run a Jewish bookstore on the ground floor of one of the old Kazimierz synagogues, now used for Jewish art exhibits.

Klezmer Hois is a sharp contrast to the Ariel, which still operates on Szerokamuch expanded and under different management. With dramatic signage depicting big plaster lions flanking a giant menorah, the Ariel is the most conspicuous landmark on the square, aside from the gothic Old Synagogue, which is now a Jewish museum. Catering largely to tour groups, it sells an off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter “Jewish” experience the way a sushi bar sells Japan or a folk-style restaurant uses hokey traditional music to sell ethnicity. Dozens of paintings of rabbis cover the walls: bearded and sad-eyed, with yarmulkes and sidecurls, they read, lay tefillin, pray and count money. There are also refrigerator magnets: Stars of David, menorahs and disembodied Jewish heads, some of them with exaggerated features right out of Nazi caricature. I once asked an Ariel waiter why these were on sale. He shrugged. “They’re Jewish,” he replied.

For many people, tourists and locals alike, Kazimierz became a major destination with the Festival of Jewish Culture, which was founded in 1988, one year before the ouster of communist rule. By 1992 the Festival had already grown so much that some called it a “Jewish Woodstock.” Performers over the years have included Theodore Bikel, Shlomo Carlebach, Chava Alberstein and the Klezmatics. One local entertainer who takes part, and whom I often see at the Klezmer Hois, is the Polish Jewish pianist Leopold Kozlowski, now nearing 90, who was the subject of the movie The Last Klezmer. Nowadays, the Festival features more than 200 concerts, lectures, art exhibits, workshops, guided tours, performances, film-showings and street happenings. Most of the events are sold out, and the final concert, called “Shalom on Szeroka,” draws upwards of 15,000 people, most of them Catholic Poles.

The festival’s founders were two non-Jewish intellectuals, Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat. Like many other young Poles in the waning decades of communism, Makuch and Gierat became fascinated with Jewish history and culture. Delving into the Holocaust and other Jewish topics was a means of both seeking the truth of their country’s past and helping inform their own identities. Like members of the Jewish Flying University in Warsaw, they sought to fill in the blanks left by communist-era taboos that prevented an objective public analysis of history itself, including the thousand-year history of Jews in Poland.

“It was like a discovery of Atlantis that people lived here and created their own original culture and had such a deep influence on Polish culture,” Makuch, who still directs the festival, once told me over coffee at the Klezmer Hois. An intense man with deep eyes, a full, dark beard and a perpetually troubled-looking brow, Makuch peppers his speech with Hebrew and Yiddish words such as “shalom” and “meshuga;” he has been asked more times than he can remember what it means for a non-Jew to run a Jewish festival for an audience mainly composed of other non-Jews. His reply is often to describe himself as a Shabbos goy, keeping alive the torch of Jewish culture.

Since 1998, non-Jews like Makuch, who preserve and promote Jewish culture and heritage, are honored each year at an awards ceremony during the Festival, presided over by the Israeli ambassador. So far more than 150 people all over the country have received the award. Some, like Makuch, run Jewish cultural events; others cut the grass and clean up cemeteries, teach classes, rescue tombstones, organize little museums. Some have the support of their communities; others work in isolation or even encounter hostility.

Until recently, Jews were largely absent from the enthusiastic crowds who throng Festival events. “Many Jewish people come to Poland, fly into Warsaw, go straight to Auschwitz, then want to get out,” the Krakow-born American philanthropist Ted Taube told me once. “But until the war, Poland had the most prolific, culturally diverse, creative Jewish population anywhere, ever. We can’t afford to relegate those people to a postscript in history.” Although they are still a minority, more and more Jewish fans and tourists have been turning up in recent years, in part because of special tours run by organizations such as the Taube Foundation and the American Jewish Committee.

“I love it here,” Cantor Benzion Miller, a Bobover Hasid who lives in Borough Park, Brooklyn, tells me. We are ensconced in armchairs in the crowded little lounge of the Hotel Eden, a kosher establishment opened in the 1990s by an American, Allen Haberberg, in a restored 15th century building in the heart of Kazimierz. The Eden has a mezuzah on every door, both a pub and a private mikvah in the basement, free WiFi Internet and an umbrella-shaded outdoor “Garden of Eden.”

A roly-poly man with a full white beard, Miller has been a fixture of the Festival of Jewish Culture for the past 15 years, both performing and holding workshops on topics ranging from Hasidic chanting to ritual slaughter. Miller was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany where his parents met after World War II. His father, who had lost his first wife and children in the Holocaust, came from Oswiecimthe town nearly 40 miles from Krakow outside of which the Nazis built Auschwitz. Before World War II, Oswiecim was home to about 12,000 people, more than half of them Jews. Miller’s grandfather was a hazan, a cantor, there.

Miller always participates in a sometimes riotous public Havdalah ceremony, held in the grandiose Tempel Synagogue, the only 19th-century synagogue in Poland to survive the Holocaust intact. Used by the Nazis as a stable and warehouse, it languished in sad repair until the 1990s, when, with funding from the state and sponsorship from the World Monuments Fund, it underwent a full restoration and is now used for concerts as well on religious occasions. It is filled to capacity, mainly with local Poles, for the Festival Havdalah, which features a mix of hazanut, klezmer and tisch singing that has rabbis in streimels and spectators in summer attire dancing together in the aisles. “I see what is going on here as a continuation of what once was; you try to continue,” Miller says.

Over the past 20 years, most attention has been paid in Krakow to rediscovering the city’s “lost” Jewish culture and promoting it to a non-Jewish public, through tourism and entertainment or through various educational institutions such as the Center for Jewish Culture or the Galicia Jewish Museum. But contemporary Jewish life in the city is now also getting a boost.

Over tea in the garden of the Eden, I talk with Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who, in black hat and long wispy beard, can often be seen walking Kazimierz streets like a pre-war patriarch. A politically savvy, German-born Orthodox rabbi in his 70s, he divides his time between Brooklyn and Poland. In New York City, he is known as the co-founder of the orthodox Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps. “I was in the World Trade Center, taking people out, as the building was coming down,” he tells me, recalling the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here he is the Chief Rabbi of Galicia, a symbolic honorific given to him by Krakow’s Jewish community, whom he serves on occasion as hazan. He spends much of his time, though, working toward the preservation of Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust mass graves. But Gluck has rabbinic company and lots of it. “In Krakow now,” goes one joke, “there are now five rabbisfor three Jews and 20 opinions.” One rabbi, brought in by Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based group that works with “lost Jews” around the world, is the “official” Jewish community rabbi. Then there is a rabbi who runs the Chabad operation and an American female rabbi who operates a small, offshoot Reform group.

There’s also the new JCC, financed by Britain’s World Jewish Relief and the Joint Distribution Committee, which occupies a sleek five-story building on the grounds of the Tempel Synagogue. Like so much else in Krakow’s Jewish universe, the initiative for the JCC came from a non-Jewish sourceBritain’s Prince Charles, who was moved by the plight of the poor and aging Jews of the city during a 2002 visit. Charles returned to Krakow in 2008 for the JCC’s inauguration: Wearing a kippah, he helped affix a mezuzah to the door.

“Jewish life is more open and safer here than anywhere else I’ve been in Europe,” says Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the JCC. I meet Ornstein, a 39-year-old self-described “atheist Jewish vegetarian” for a cappuccino at a cafe on the hip Plac Nowy, the pre-war Jewish market square whose central building was a kosher poultry slaughterhouse. Plac Nowy, now a booming center of nightlife, is full of music clubs and trendy bars, which Ornstein prefers to the “Jewish-style” cafes on Szeroka. “We have kids from the Sunday school playing in the courtyard with the gate open; we feel no danger, no fear.”

Born in New York, Ornstein moved to Israel as a young man and relocated to Krakow seven years ago, teaching Hebrew at the Jagiellonian University. The Jagiellonian has a Jewish studies program that was launched in the 1980s; its outgrowth, the Center for Jewish Culture, opened in 1992 in a renovated former prayer house off Plac Nowy. Ornstein rejects nostalgia for the city’s past and focuses on stimulating contemporary Jewish expression. The bulletin boards in the JCC’s lobby flutter with announcements for clubs and social events: a Hanukkah party this year lasted until dawn, and the JCC’s Facebook group boasts more than 360 members. “People talk about Kazimierz as being the “former” Jewish quarter of Krakow. But I say, why former?” says Ornstein. “It is the present Jewish quarter of Krakow. You can’t measure it in numbers but in feeling. Jews live freely; people know things about Judaism and Jewish traditions; there’s a Jewish studies program at the university; there’s the Festival.” As he sees it, “Nobody alive today has a memory of Kazimierz when it was better than it is now.”

Back at the cafe at the Klezmer Hois, I spot my friend Konstanty (Kostek) Gebert. “This is where I hold court,” jokes Gebert, an award-winning author and a veteran of the Jewish Flying University. As an underground Solidarity activist, he deliberately chose a Jewish-sounding pen nameDawid Warszawskito write in the dissident press. In 1989, Gebert was at the Round Table talks between the communist authorities and Solidarity that facilitated the peaceful ouster of the old regime. He was the founding editor of Midrasz, a Jewish cultural and intellectual monthly, and today he heads the Warsaw-based Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Culture in Poland.

In addition to Krakow, small active Jewish communities are found in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw and several other Polish cities. I’m far from sure that there is a solid enough critical mass to ensure their long-term survival. Nonetheless, in many senses, to be Jewish here and to accept Jewishness as a positive identity choice now is increasingly normal. Or at least much more normal than it was 10, 20 and certainly 30 years ago. “Today’s Jewish children in Poland, whatever else the future holds in store for them, will never grow up knowing, as their parents did, that to be Jewish means to be alone and vulnerable,” Gebert wrote in his 2008 memoir Living in the Land of Ashes.”Hopes have been successfully built on much more shaky foundations.”

He was not always this certain. He likes to joke about how, in the mid-1980s, he told a pair of Polish journalists that he didn’t think Jews in Poland could survive. The journalistswriter Malgorzata Niezabitowska and photographer Tomasz Tomaszewskiwere working on an article for National Geographic that eventually became a book called Remnants: The Last Jews of Poland. They asked Gebert how he saw the future for Jews in the country. “I believe we are the last ones,” he replied. “Definitely.” Today, he puffs his pipe and straightens his kippah. “Ugh. Never talk to the media!” he says laughing. And Krakow’s moveable Jewish feast of drink and food and conversation goes on.

Ruth Ellen Gruber has chronicled European Jewish issues for more than 20 years. Her books include National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe and Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe.

Soliman Lawrence is a Berlin-based photographer who is documenting the renaissance of Jewish Poland.

July 2, 2009 Jewish Choir Aids $100 Million Polish Heritage PlanlinkBy Nathaniel Espino

July 2 (Bloomberg) — As Ivor Lichterman led prayers at Warsaws only pre-war synagogue, he was overcome with awe to be standing where his father led the last services before the Holocaust wiped out 1,000 years of Jewish history.

Lichterman, 55, of Tucson, Arizona, is visiting Poland with a group of 70 cantors who want to help rebuild those traditions, singing at venues including the future site of Warsaws Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the National Opera and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow.

This synagogue had a great musical legacy; it was famous around the world, Lichterman said in an interview after the service. He remembers his father Jakub Lichterman telling him how they used to pack people in and how it was standing room only.

More than 3 million Polish Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps, many of them on German-occupied Polish soil. About 100,000 survivors stayed in Poland after the war. Following a 1968 anti-Semitic campaign by Polands communist government, that number shrank to 30,000 to 40,000 today, according to statistics cited by the U.S. State Department.

Lichterman, who led the prayers together with his brother Joel of Denver, says the service raised a lot of mixed feelings. I kept looking up over there, where a 60-member choir stood before the war. Theyre probably all gone. Almost nobody survived.

Golden Age The cantors tour is sponsored by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. The foundation uses north of $100 million to support projects in Poland including museums, cultural centers, schools and synagogues that are rebuilding the infrastructure of Jewish life from a 1,000-year golden age, its chairman Tad Taube, 78, said by telephone.

The map of Jewish life disappeared from Poland as synagogues, cemeteries, cultural centers, libraries and archives were destroyed by the Nazis, Taube said.

The entire gamut of Jewish culture became a target of the Holocaust, as well as the people that were murdered during that period, Taube said.

Thats obscured the story of the previous millennium, when the Jews of Poland — including those living in what is now Lithuania and Ukraine — built up an enormous resource in literature, philosophy, mathematics, the arts, the theater that laid the foundations of Jewish life in the U.S., Israel, and around the world, Taube said.

Rescuers Honored Nathan Lam, president of the Cantors Assembly Foundation, an organizer of the trip, is making his ninth or tenth visit to Poland. He said that in addition to teaching people to sing prayers using the melodies that actually emanated from here, part of the groups mission is to honor the lives of Poles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust.

I love being here, he said after singing in the June 29 service. I love the fact that Jews are reconnecting here in Poland, and Im going to do my best to help them come back again, many, many times.

Taube was born in Krakow in 1931. He left in July 1939, months before the Nazi German invasion in September of that year, after his parents, on a business trip in the U.S., became aware of the growing danger and decided to emigrate.

After working as a real-estate developer and serving on the board of Koret of California, a clothing producer, Taube began his first significant involvement in philanthropy in 1979, as a founding director of the Koret Foundation.

Taubes decision almost two decades later to throw his weight behind the cause of Jewish life in Poland was an evolutionary process inspired partly by billionaire Ronald S. Lauders philanthropic work in the country after the 1989 fall of communism, and it didnt have an awful lot to do with the fact that I happened to have been born in Poland, Taube says.

Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, says Taubes efforts are bearing fruit.

In the last few years, hes been incredibly supportive, not only in the material sense, but also in the spiritual sense, as we try to recapture what weve lost.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathaniel Espino in Warsaw

Oct. 30, 2009

David Propis and his daughter Dena sang the Retzei at the Poland National Opera this summer. Propis, president of the American Cantors Assembly, led 70 colleagues on a tour of Poland and Israel.

As a child, David Propis, the Jewish liturgical singer of Houston’s Congregation Beth Yushurun, adored singing prayers with his father, Dov Propis, at his congregations in the Northeast.

His favorite was their first duet, a piece called the Retzei that asks God to accept one’s prayers. And Propis still recalls the Sabbath performance when his father wrapped his prayer shawl around him, and with it a feeling of protection.

The prayer was made famous by Gershon Sirota, who sang at Warsaw’s Tlomatzka Synagogue and was killed, along with his family, in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

So when Propis, the new president of the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest body of professional cantors, helped lead about 70 of his colleagues and hundreds of congregants on a two-week tour through Poland and Israel recently, he once again performed the Retzei. This time, it was with his daughter, about 100 yards from where the Tlomatzka Synagogue once stood.

Their duet was part of the Cantors Assembly concert with the Polish National Opera, a symbolic evening that honored the life of Irena Sendler, a Pole who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

The group traveled to Poland to commemorate the Holocaust, but also in spite of it. They wanted to honor Poland’s significant number of Righteous Gentiles, the non-Jewish Poles who risked their lives and those of their families to save Jews, said Propis, the child of Lithuanian Jews whose families were murdered in the Holocaust. And they also went to learn about the Jewish heritage of Poland, the center of European Jewish life and home to 3.5 million Jews before the war.

In that spirit, the cantors’ tour, which marked the largest assembly of cantors in Poland since before WWII, reflected a message of gratitude and a quest for healing, reconciliation and their own heritage.

The Poland portion of the trip was sponsored in large part by the San Francisco-based Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, which aims to reconnect Jews with their vibrant history in Poland, where Jews lived for 1,000 years. Some 75 percent of American Jews trace their roots to Polish lands, according to the foundation, an area that extends to parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary.

Meanwhile, Poland, in the wake of 20 years of democracy since the fall of communism, is seeking to reclaim its own Jewish heritage by way of preservation and cultural activities. The renewed interest in Jewish culture has helped spawn an emerging Jewish community as Poles uncover their own Jewish roots. But in most cases, Jewish activities appear to be organized by non-Jews, supported by government agencies and enthusiastically received.

Perhaps the most shining example was Krakow’s 19th Jewish Culture Festival, a nine-day panoply of Jewish culture. The program featured hundreds of Jewish classes and concerts including a prayer service by the Cantors Assembly before a nighttime throng of thousands.

At its concert with the National Opera, sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister of Poland, the Cantors Assembly received a standing ovation from a crowd of 2,000.

That kind of reception helped undo some of the stereotypes held by those on the tour.

They welcomed us as cultural and musical ambassadors, Propis said, describing the Polish appreciation like a hunger.

Propis said he initially felt uncomfortable about visiting Poland.

As a child of survivors, many of us harbor difficult feelings, he said. Propis’ mother, who was sent to a forced-labor camp, was the only member of her family to survive; his father escaped with two brothers.

However, it was important that basically a new narrative be created, he said. We know the harshness and the horrors that have happened, but I think not enough is being said about the goodness in Poland, he said. I think this trip kind of cleared the clouds away.

Still, the group’s visit to the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau marked a seminal moment on the tour.

At Auschwitz, the cantors held a prayer service and unfurled the Torah scroll around Holocaust survivors and their children. And at Birkenau, the group’s visit coincided with a tour by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, who marched down the rail tracks.

It’s very hard to put in words, said Steve Lee, reflecting on the trip.

These ceremonies, combined with the religious singing, strengthened his Jewish identity, said Lee, a member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Poland. At the same time, Lee says the tour changed my entire view of Poland, explaining that he began to see Poles also as Nazi victims and not only as Nazi collaborators.

Some 3 million Poles were killed during World War II.

For his part, Propis also came to new realizations. He marveled at the extent of Poland’s Jewish and cantorial heritage and its current friendship with Israel, along with the Polish interest in Jewish culture and the stories of Righteous Gentiles.

And the National Opera, of course, provided him with his own kind of homecoming.

I had a dream come true, Propis says of performing the Retzei with his daughter, Dena, a junior at Northwestern University who sings at a Chicago synagogue.

It just came full circle.

July 2, 2009 Scent of San Francisco, stench of Los Angeles (excerpt) link By Leah Garchik

Tad Taube, co-honorary consul with Christopher Kerosky for the Republic of Poland, jetted off to Krakow for today’s ceremonies cementing the new sister-city relationship between Krakow and San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom originally was scheduled to go, said Krakow-born Taube, but “his schedule got fairly tight because of his political plans and the baby.” Supervisor Bevan Dufty will be representing the city, along with the Office of Protocol’s Matthew Goudeau.

Krakow ceremonies will include the formal document signing, by Dufty and Krakow Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, and culminate with an evening reception for 150 guests. Taube is leading the trip with Shana Penn, executive director of the Taube Foundation.

July 13, 2009 Piecing together Jewish pasts in Poland link By Rachel Pomerance

WARSAW (JTA) — Like many children of Jews who grew up in Poland after World War II, Anna Makowska-Kwapisiewicz was sheltered from her Jewish provenance for much of her life.

There were clues, of course. Her exotic dark eyes and hair occasionally drew remarks about her Gypsy or Spanish beauty. Her grandmother would constantly teach her the catechism so she could recite it when they return. And her grandfather told stories of hiding in the forest.

A performance from the 2008 Krakow Jewish Festival, which with its array of Jewish culture attracts tens of thousands of visitors — mostly non-Jews. (limaoscarjuliet/Creative Commons)

But it wasnt until she repeated an anti-Semitic joke she heard in high school that her mother broke down and confessed that her father was, in fact, a Jew.

The news set Makowska-Kwapisiewicz on a path of discovery from Jewish study to ritual observance. Now she is a Jewish educator building a Jewish home and life — complete with plans for Jewish schooling for her year-old daughter, Nina.

Makowska-Kwapisiewicz is part of a Jewish awakening taking place in Poland.

Like a country of amnesiacs waking up from the trauma of Nazism followed by the silence and historical whitewashing of communism, Poles are now trying to piece together their collective memory. In doing so they are discovering, often in quite personal ways, their Jewish roots.

We are so much interconnected, the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, told JTA at a dinner in Warsaw. I feel that part of my heritage is Jewish tradition, he said, explaining that his grandmother lived in Vilnus, a heavily Jewish city, and she knew about Jewish dishes like cholent, the Sabbath stew.

If a Pole says he has not one even drop of Jewish blood in this body, then he is not right, Kwasniewski said.

While for Poles this awakening is about discovering their Jewish roots, for Jews worldwide its about discovering their Polish Jewish roots.

Karen Underhill, a doctoral student in Polish literature at the University of Chicago who is a former bookstore owner in Krakow, says Jews visiting Poland used to come by her shop seeking information about their heritage. Poland, she says, has become a place for Jews to rediscover their Jewish roots, particularly those who do not have a strong connection to contemporary Jewish communal life or Israel.

This month, American Jewish visitor Jeff Wachtel said he saw his own family when visiting the Galicia Jewish museum, which houses an exhibit of Mayer Kirshenblatts paintings of his boyhood Polish town.

I had no sense of what their life was like, said Wachtel, a senior assistant to the president of Stanford University. But when he heard Kirshenblatt talk of his Poland, it reminded him of his own family.

When I was listening to it, I was sure that thats where my mother grew up, Wachtel said. For the first time, part of my past became very understood in my mind.

Three-quarters of American Jews trace their roots to Greater Poland — including Poland and parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary — according to Tad Taube, the San Francisco-based philanthropist who is funding a variety of efforts to connect American Jews to their Polish Jewish heritage.

Taube, a Krakow native, argues that worship of the Holocaust has prompted Jews to foresake the 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland that preceded it, even though it was a golden period of Jewish life that gave rise to important religious and cultural development. Ashkenazi Judaism, in fact, was codified in Warsaw.

Approximately 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland before the war; more than 90 percent disappeared in the Holocaust.

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Poland Jewish Heritage Tours – Jewish Tours & Travel …

Straight Talk About Zionism

Posted By on August 2, 2016

Straight Talk About Zionism: What Jewish Nationalism Means

By Mark Weber April 14, 2009

(An audio recording of this article, narrated by the author, is posted here for listening or downloading)

Its important to understand Zionism, not just because its an influential ideology and a powerful social-political movement, but also because theres a lot of ignorance, confusion and deliberate misinformation about it.

If you look up the word Zionism in a standard American dictionary, what youll find is likely to be inaccurate, or least misleading. For example, a popular and supposedly authoritative American dictionary in my office defines Zionism as A movement formerly for reestablishing, now for supporting, the Jewish national state of Israel. / 1 This definition, which is typical of American reference works, is more than just misleading. Its deceitful.

The founder of the modern Zionist movement was a Jewish writer named Theodor Herzl. In the 1890s he was living in Paris, where he was a journalist for a major newspaper in Vienna. He was deeply troubled by the widespread anti-Semitism, or anti-Jewish sentiment, in France at the time. He thought a lot about the pattern of tension, distrust and conflict between Jews and non-Jews that had persisted through the centuries, and he hit upon what he believed is a solution to this age-old problem.

Herzl laid out his views in a book, written in German, entitled The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat). Published in 1896, this work is the manifesto or basic document of the Zionist movement. A year and a half later, Herzl convened the first international Zionist conference. Fifty one years later, when the State of Israel was solemnly proclaimed at a meeting in Tel Aviv, above the speakers podium at the conference was, appropriately, a large portrait of Herzl.

In his book Herzl explained that regardless of where they live, or their citizenship, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality, a people. He used the German word, Volk. Wherever large numbers of Jews live among non-Jews, he said, conflict is not only likely, its inevitable. He wrote: “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in noticeable numbers. Where it does not exist, it is brought in by arriving Jews … I believe I understand anti-Semitism, which is a very complex phenomenon. I consider this development as a Jew, without hate or fear.” / 2

In his public and private writings, Herzl explained that anti-Semitism is not an aberration, but rather a natural response by non-Jews to alien Jewish behavior and attitudes. Anti-Jewish sentiment, he said, is not due to ignorance or bigotry, as so many have claimed. Instead, he concluded, the ancient and seemingly intractable conflict between Jews and non-Jews is entirely understandable, because Jews are a distinct and separate people, with interests that are different from, and which often conflict with, the interests of the people among whom they live.

A prime source of modern anti-Jewish sentiment, Herzl believed, was that the so-called emancipation of Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries from the confined life of the ghetto into modern urban society brought them into direct economic competition with non-Jews in the middle classes. Anti-Semitism, Herzl wrote, is an understandable reaction to Jewish defects. In his diary he wrote: I find the anti-Semites are fully within their rights. / 3

Herzl maintained that Jews must stop pretending — both to themselves and to non-Jews — that they are like everyone else, and instead must frankly acknowledge that they are a distinct and separate people, with distinct and separate goals and interests. The only workable long-term solution, he said, is for Jews to recognize reality and live, finally, as a normal people in a separate state of their own. In a memo to the Tsar of Russia, Herzl wrote that Zionism is the final solution of the Jewish question. / 4

Over the years many other Jewish leaders have affirmed Herzls outlook. Louis Brandeis, a US Supreme Court justice and a leading American Zionist, said: Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member. / 5

Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress, told a rally in New York in June 1938: “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am a Jew … Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race, and we are a race.” / 6

Israels first president, Chaim Weizmann, wrote in his memoirs: Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches the saturation point, that country reacts against them … [This] reaction … cannot be looked upon as anti-Semitism in the ordinary or vulgar sense of that word; it is a universal social and economic concomitant of Jewish immigration, and we cannot shake it off. / 7

In keeping with the Zionist worldview, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon told a meeting of American Jews in Jerusalem in July 2004 that all Jews around the world should relocate to Israel as soon as possible. And because anti-Semitism was especially widespread in France, he added, Jews in that country should immediately move to Israel. French officials quickly, and predictably, responded by rejecting Sharons remarks as unacceptable. / 8

But imagine if the leaders of France, the United States, and other countries were to respond to those remarks by Sharon, and similar ones by other Zionists, by expressing agreement. Imagine if an American president were to respond by saying: Youre right, Mr. Sharon. We agree with you. We agree that Jews do not belong in the United States. In fact, we are ready to show our support for what you say by doing everything we can to promote and encourage all Jews to leave our country and move to Israel.

That would be the logical and honest attitude of non-Jewish political leaders who say that they support Israel and Zionism. But the political leaders of the United States, France, Britain, and other such countries today are neither honest nor consistent.

During the 1930s, one European government that was honest and consistent in its attitude on this issue was the government of Third Reich Germany. Jewish Zionists and German National Socialists shared similar views about how best to handle what Herzl called the Jewish question. They agreed that Jews and Germans were distinctly different nationalities, and that Jews did not belong in Europe, but rather in the so-called “Jewish homeland in Palestine.

On the basis of their shared views, Germans and Jews worked together for what each community believed was in its own best national interest. The Hitler government vigorously supported Zionism and Jewish emigration to Palestine from 1933 until 1940-41, when the Second World War prevented further extensive collaboration. / 9

(During the war years attitudes hardened, and policy shifted drastically. The German policy of collaboration with Zionists and support for Jewish emigration to Palestine gave way to a harsh final solution policy.)

During the 1930s, the central SS newspaper, Das Schwarze Korps, repeatedly proclaimed its support for Zionism. An article published in 1935, for example, told readers: / 10

The recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood and not on religion leads the German government to guarantee without reservation the racial separateness of this community. The government finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry, the so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry around the world, and its rejection of all assimilationist notions. On this basis, Germany undertakes measures that will surely play a significant role in the future in the handling of the Jewish problem around the world.

In late 1933, a leading German shipping line began direct passenger service from Hamburg to Haifa, Palestine, providing “strictly kosher food on board.

In September 1935, the German government enacted the Nuremberg Laws,” which prohibited marriages and sexual relations between Jews and Germans and, in effect, proclaimed the countrys Jews an alien minority group. / 11 A few days after the Nuremberg Laws were enacted, the main German Zionist newspaper, the Jdische Rundschau, editorially welcomed the new measures. It explained to readers: / 12

Germany … is meeting the demands of the World Zionist Congress when it declares the Jews now living in Germany to be a national minority. Once the Jews have been stamped a national minority it is again possible to establish normal relations between the German nation and Jewry. The new laws give the Jewish minority in Germany its own cultural life, its own national life. In future it will be able to shape its own schools, its own theater, and its own sports associations. In short, it can create its own future in all aspects of national life …

During the 1930s, Zionist groups, working together with Third Reich authorities, organized a network of some forty camps and agricultural centers throughout Germany where prospective settlers were trained for their new lives in Palestine.

The centerpiece of German-Zionist cooperation during the Hitler era was the Transfer Agreement, a pact that enabled tens of thousands of German Jews to migrate to Palestine with their wealth. The Agreement, also known as the Haavara — Hebrew for “transfer” — was concluded in August 1933 following talks between German officials and an official of the Jewish Agency, the Palestine center of the World Zionist Organization. / 13

Between 1933 and 1941, some 60,000 German Jews emigrated to Palestine through the Ha’avara and other German-Zionist arrangements, or about ten percent of Germany’s 1933 Jewish population. Some Ha’avara emigrants transferred considerable personal wealth from Germany to Palestine. As Jewish historian Edwin Black has noted: “Many of these people, especially in the late 1930s, were allowed to transfer actual replicas of their homes and factories — indeed rough replicas of their very existence.” / 14

The Transfer Agreement was the most far-reaching example of cooperation between Hitler’s Germany and international Zionism. Through this pact, Hitler’s Third Reich did more than any other government during the 1930s to support the Zionist movement and Jewish development in Palestine.

The essence of Zionism, or Jewish nationalism, is that Jews everywhere — regardless of where they live, regardless of their religious outlook, and regardless of their citizenship — are members of the Jewish people or nation, to whom all Jews owe a primary loyalty and allegiance.

The overwhelming majority of Jews in the United States today identify with and support Israel, and are affiliated with Zionist groups and organizations. Every significant Jewish group or association in the United States, and every prominent Jewish American political or community leader supports Israel and Zionism, in most cases fervently so. With very few exceptions, even American Jews who are critical of some of Israels more embarrassing policies nonetheless express support for Israel and the nationalist ideology upon which the Zionist state is based.

A Zionist Jew, by definition, owes his primary loyalty to the Jewish community and to Israel. Zionism is not compatible with patriotism to any country or entity other than Israel and the world Jewish community. Thats why its difficult to accept as sincere or honest the pious assurances of Jewish leaders in the United States that American Jews are just as loyal to the US as everyone else.

In the United States, nearly every prominent political leader — Jewish and non-Jewish, Democrat and Republican — ardently supports Israel and the Jewish nationalist ideology upon which it is based. In Washington, political leaders of both major parties insist on US support for Israel as an ethnically Jewish state. They fervently support, and eagerly seek the favor of, influential Jewish-Zionist groups, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Everyone — whether Jewish or non-Jewish — who claims to support Israel should, if he is honest and consistent, endorse the view of Israeli prime minister Sharon, and other Zionist leaders, and support the migration of Jews everywhere to Israel. But of course thats not what happens.

With regard to Zionism and Israel, the attitude and policies of nearly all American political leaders, Jewish and non-Jewish, is characterized by hypocrisy and deceit. To put it another way, Zionist Jews and their non-Jewish supporters embrace a blatant double standard. Jewish-Zionist organizations, along with their non-Jewish allies, support one social-political ideology for Israel and the world Jewish community, and a completely different one for the United States and other non-Jewish countries. They insist that ethnic nationalism is evil and bad for non-Jews, while at the same time they vigorously support ethnic nationalism — that is, Zionism — for Jews.

They insist that Israel is and must be a Jewish nationalist state, with a privileged status for its Jewish population, including immigration laws that discriminate against non-Jews. At the same time, Jewish-Zionist groups and leaders, and the non-Jews who support them, insist that in the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other countries, there must be no privileged status for anyone based on race, ethnicity or religion.

Our political leaders tell us that American Jews should be encouraged to think of themselves as a distinct national group with an identity and community interests separate from those of other Americans. At the same time American politicians insist that Zionist Jews be given all rights as full and equal US citizens. On the basis of this double standard, Jews are given a privileged status in American political and cultural life.

Americans are led to believe that Zionism is a benign outlook of altruistic and righteous support for a so-called Jewish homeland. In fact, Zionism is an ideology and movement of ethnically-based Jewish nationalism that reinforces the identity and self-image of Jews as a distinct and separate community with interests different from those of non-Jews, and which strengthens the already powerful world Jewish community.


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Straight Talk About Zionism

Anti-Zionism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on July 9, 2016

Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism, broadly defined in the modern era as the opposition to the ethnonationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the establishment of a Jewish state as a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (also referred to as Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land) or to the modern State of Israel as defined as A Jewish and Democratic State.

The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that “anti-Zionism” cannot be seen as having a single ideology or source. According to many notable Jewish and non-Jewish sources, anti-Zionism has become a cover for modern-day antisemitism, a position that critics have challenged as a tactic to silence criticism of Israeli policies.

Opposition to a Jewish state has changed over time and has taken on a diverse spectrum of religious, ethical and political positions.

There is a long tradition of Jewish anti-Zionism that has opposed the Zionist project from its origins. The Bundists, the Autonomists, Reform Judaism and the Agude regarded both the rationale and territorial ambitions of Zionism as flawed. Orthodox Judaism, which grounds civic responsibilities and patriotic feelings in religion, was strongly opposed to Zionism because, though the two shared the same values, Zionism espoused nationalism in secular fashion, and used “Zion”, “Jerusalem,” “Land of Israel”, “redemption” and “ingathering of exiles” as literal rather than sacred terms, endeavouring to achieve them in this world.[1] Orthodox Jews also opposed the creation of a Jewish state prior to the appearance of the messiah, as contradicting divine will.[2] By contrast, reform Jews rejected Judaism as a national or ethnic identity, and renounced any messianic expectations of the advent of a Jewish state.[3]

Other objections relate to the maintenance of a Jewish majority within the present state of Israel.

Post-Zionism a related term has been criticized as being equivalent to anti-Zionism.[4]

The legitimacy of anti-Zionist views has been disputed to the present day, including the more recent and disputed relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.[5] Other views regarding the various forms of anti-Zionism have also been discussed and debated.[6][7][8]

After some technical clarifications the Gemara presents collections of sayings illustrating attitudes to the Land of Israel. The first is dramatized as a conversation between Rav Yehuda bar Ezekiel and Rabbi Zeira, when the latter decided to emigrate from Babylonia to Israel; in its present literary form it expresses ongoing rivalries between two centres of Jewish life. Yos bar anina’s ‘three oaths’, including ‘that they shall not go up in military formation’, have frequently been cited by religious opponents to political Zionism; Zionists have been happier with the views of Rabbi Eleazar, a devoted advocate of the Land.

Hope for return to the land of Israel is embodied in the content of the Jewish religion (see Kibbutz Galuyot.) Aliyah, the Hebrew word meaning “ascending” or “going up”, is the word used to describe religious Jewish return to Israel, and has been used since ancient times. From the Middle Ages and onwards, many famous rabbis and often their followers returned to the land of Israel. These have included Nahmanides, Yechiel of Paris, Isaac Luria, Yosef Karo, Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk among others. For Jews in the Diaspora Eretz Israel was revered in a religious sense. They prayed, and thought of the return, as being fulfilled in a messianic age.[10] Return remained a recurring theme for generations, particularly in Passover and Yom Kippur prayers which traditionally concluded with, “Next year in Jerusalem,” as well as the thrice-daily Amidah (Standing prayer).[citation needed]

Following Jewish Enlightenment however, Reform Judaism dropped many traditional beliefs, including aliyah, as incompatible with modern life within the Diaspora. Later, Zionism re-kindled the concept of aliyah in an ideological and political sense, parallel with traditional religious belief; it was used to increase Jewish population in the Holy Land by immigration and it remains a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. Support for aliyah does not always equal immigration however, as a majority of the world Jewish population remains within the Diaspora. Support for the modern Zionist movement is not universal and, as a result, some religious Jews as well as some secular Jews do not support Zionism. Non-Zionist Jews are not necessarily anti-Zionists, although some are. Generally however, Zionism does have the support of the majority of the Jewish religious organizations, with support from segments of the Orthodox movement, and most of the Conservative, and more recently, the Reform movement.[11][12][13]

Many Hasidic rabbis oppose the creation of a Jewish state. The leader of the Satmar Hasidic group, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum’s book, VaYoel Moshe, published in 1958, expounds one Orthodox position on Zionism, based on a literal form of midrash (biblical interpretation). Citing to Tractate Kesubos 111a of the Talmud Teitelbaum states that God and the Jewish people exchanged three oaths at the time of the Jews’ exile from ancient Israel, forbidding the Jewish people from massively immigrating to the Land of Israel, and from rebelling against the nations of the world.

In the early history of Zionism many traditional religious Jews opposed ideas of nationalism (Jewish or otherwise) which they regarded as a secular ideology, which some viewed as a violation of the Three Oaths. Key traditionalist opponents of Zionism included Isaac Breuer, Hillel Zeitlin, Aaron Shmuel Tamares, Elazar Shapiro (Muncatz), and Joel Teitelbaum, all waged ideological religious, as well as political, battles with Zionism each in their own way.[14]

Most Orthodox religious groups have accepted and actively support the State of Israel, even if they have not adopted “Zionist” ideology. The World Agudath Israel party (founded in Poland) has at times participated in Israeli government coalitions. Most religious Zionists hold pro-Israel views from a right-wing viewpoint. The main exceptions are Hasidic groups such as Satmar Hasidim, which have about 100,000 adherents worldwide, as well as numerous different, smaller Hasidic groups, unified in America in the Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada and in Israel in the Edah HaChareidis.[15][16]

The Jewish community is not a single united group and responses vary both between and within Jewish groups. One of the principal divisions is that between secular Jews and religious Jews. The reasons for secular opposition to the Zionist movement are very different from those of religious Jews.

Prior to the Second World War many Jews regarded Zionism as a fanciful and unrealistic movement.[17] Many liberals during the European Enlightenment had argued that Jews should enjoy full equality only on the condition that they pledge their singular loyalty to their nation-state and entirely assimilate to the local national culture; they called for the “regeneration” of the Jewish people in exchange for rights. Those liberal Jews who accepted integration and/or assimilation principles saw Zionism as a threat to efforts to facilitate Jewish citizenship and equality within the European nation-state context.[18]

The Jewish Anti-Zionist League, in Egypt, was a Communist-influenced anti-Zionist league in the years 19461947. In Israel, there are several Jewish anti-Zionist organisations and politicians, many of these are related to Matzpen.[citation needed]

Noam Chomsky has reported a change in the boundaries of what are considered Zionist and anti-Zionist views.[19] In 1947, in his youth, Chomsky’s support for a socialist binational state, in conjunction with his opposition to any semblance of a theocratic system of governance in Israel, was at the time considered well within the mainstream of secular Zionism; today, it lands him solidly in the anti-Zionist camp.[20]Ruth Wisse wrote of liberal American group J Street as evidence of an “anomalous pattern of internal defection” created as a result of anti-Zionism.[21]

Alvin H. Rosenfeld in his much discussed essay, Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,[22] claims that a “number of Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent antisemitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist.”[23] Rosenfeld’s general claims are:

Some Jewish organizations oppose Zionism as an integral part of their anti-imperialism.[24][25][26][27] Some secular Jews today, particularly socialists and Marxists, continue to oppose the State of Israel on anti-imperialist and human rights grounds. Many oppose it as a form of nationalism, which they argue to be a product of capitalist societies. One secular anti-Zionist group today is the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, a socialist, anti-war, and anti-imperialist organization which calls for “the dismantling of Israeli apartheid, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the ending of the Israeli colonization of historic Palestine”.[28]

Attitudes changed during and following the war. In May, 1942, before the full revelation of the Holocaust, the Biltmore Program proclaimed a fundamental departure from traditional Zionist policy of a “homeland”[29] with its demand “that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth.” Opposition to official Zionisms firm, unequivocal stand caused some prominent Zionists to establish their own party, Ichud (Unification), which advocated an Arab Jewish Federation in Palestine. Opposition to the Biltmore Program also led to the founding of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism.[30]

The full knowledge of the Holocaust altered the views of many who critiqued Zionism before 1948, including the British journalist Isaac Deutscher, a socialist and lifelong atheist who nevertheless emphasised the importance of his Jewish heritage. Before World War II, Deutscher opposed Zionism as economically retrograde and harmful to the cause of international socialism, but in the aftermath of the Holocaust he regretted his pre-war views, arguing for Israel’s establishment as a “historic necessity” to provide a refuge for the surviving Jews of Europe. In the 1960s, Deutscher renewed his criticism of Zionism, scrutinizing Israel for its failure to recognise the dispossession of the Palestinians.[citation needed]

David Novak writes that many Jewish anti-Zionists resent the way Zionism ‘mak(es) Jewishly unwarranted claims on them and other Jews.[31] According to Jonathan Judaken, ‘numerous Jewish traditions have insisted that preservation of what is most precious about Judaism and Jewishness demands a principled anti-Zionism or post-Zionism.’ This tradition dwindled in the aftermath of the Holocaust, and the establishment of Israel but is still alive in religious groups such as Neturei Karta and among many intellectuals of Jewish background in both Israel and the diaspora, such as George Steiner, Tony Judt and Baruch Kimmerling .[32]

A combination of revisionist history and group mentality maintains a significant Zionist consensus among Diaspora Jews we see Palestinians living in poverty, their families killed and their homes destroyed, and are told that this is because Hamas does not care for its own people, unlike Israel. […] While today a majority of observing Jews identify with the state of Israel, there is both a growing and visible minority of anti- and non-Zionist Jews, and a rich history of anti-Zionism within Judaism. Political movements like The Jewish Labour Bund and thinkers such as Abraham Serfaty, Emma Goldman and Leon Trotsky are often ignored or dismissed as “self-hating traitors”. In the UK today groups like Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewdas, Young Jewish Left and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist network are active voices against the occupation.

“Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” an essay published by the American Jewish Committee, concludes that, with the maturing of Israel since its founding in 1948, the term anti-Zionism in scholarly work is often used to mean advocating the elimination of the State of Israel.[34]Brian Klug of The Guardian has argued that anti-Zionism can represent fair opposition to the current political order in Israel.[35]

Anti-Zionism in the Arab world emerged at the end of the 19th century, very soon after the First Zionist Congress was held in Basel in 1897.[36] However, only after the Young Turk revolution in 1908 opposition to Zionism in Palestine and Greater Syria became widespread.[37]

According to philosopher Michael Neumann, Zionism as an “expansionist threat” has caused Arab hostility toward Israel and even antisemitism.[38] Anti-Zionist sentiment has increased with ongoing Arab Israeli conflicts: after the June 1967 Six-Day War where Israel gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights; during the 1982 Lebanon War where Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon, attacking the PLO, as well as Syria, leftist and Muslim Lebanese forces, leading to Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon; the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank, including the attack on the Jenin refugee camp; the 2006 Lebanon War; and the 20082009 IsraelGaza conflict.

Pan-Arabist narratives in the 1960s Nasser era emphasized the idea of Palestine as a part of the Arab world taken by others. In this narrative, the natural means of combating Zionism is Arab nations uniting and attacking Israel militarily.

In contrast, a poll of 507 Arab-Israelis conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute in 2007 found that 75 percent profess support for Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state which guarantees equal rights for minorities. Israeli Arab support for a constitution in general was 88 percent.[39]

Muslim anti-Zionism considers the State of Israel an intrusion into what many Muslims consider to be Dar al-Islam, a domain rightfully, and permanently, ruled only by Muslims due the fact it was historically conquered in the name of Islam.[40][41][42]

Palestinian and other Muslim groups, as well as the government of Iran (since the 1979 Islamic Revolution), insist that the State of Israel is illegitimate and refuse to refer to it as “Israel,” instead using the locution “the Zionist entity” (see IranIsrael relations). Islamic maps of the Middle East frequently do not show the State of Israel. In an interview with Time Magazine in December 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said “Everyone knows that the Zionist regime is a tool in the hands of the United States and British governments.”[43]

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al Husseini opposed the Jewish immigration to Palestine before the creation of the State of Israel, and in several documented cases expressed his hostility toward Jews in general and Zionists in particular.[44]

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom the Anti-Defamation League named “the leading anti-Semite in America”,[45] has a long track record of hostility towards Jews in general and Zionists in particular.[46]

Palestinian Christian owned Falastin was founded in 1911 in the then Arab-majority city of Jaffa. The newspaper is often described as one of the most influential newspapers in historic Palestine, and probably the nation’s fiercest and most consistent critic of the Zionist movement. It helped shape Palestinian identity and nationalism and was shut down several times by the Ottoman and British authorities, most of the time due to complaints made by Zionists.[47]

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has been described as taking anti-Zionist positions in connection with its criticisms of Israeli policy.[48] It is claimed the council has focused disproportionately on activities and publications criticizing Israel in comparison with other human rights issues.[49][50] The council members have been characterized by Israel’s former Justice minister Amnon Rubinstein as anti-Zionist, saying “they just hate Israel.”[51] The WCC has been charged with prioritising Anti-Zionism to the extent it has neglected appeals from Egyptian Copts to raise their plight under Sadat and Mubarak in order to avoid distracting world attention.[48][52]

After publishing “Zionism unsettled,” which it initially commended as “a valuable opportunity to explore the political ideology of Zionism,”[53] the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) promptly withdrew the publication from sale on its website[54] following criticism that it was Anti-Zionist, one critic claimed it posits that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fueled by a ‘pathology inherent in Zionism.'[55] In February 2016, the General Assembly was lobbied by its Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) to lay aside a two state solution and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[56][57] Presbyterians for Middle East Peace described this proposal as a “one-sided, zero-sum solution”.[58]

In January 2015, the Lausanne movement, published an article in its official journal made comparisons between Christian Zionism, the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and described Zionism as “apartheid on steroids”.[60][61][62] The Simon Wiesenthal Center described this last claim as “the big lie,” and rebutted the “dismissal of the validity of Israels right to exist as the Jewish State”.[63]

Despite its strong historic support for Restorationism, famously by Robert Murray M’Chyene and by both Horatius and Andrew Bonar, in April 2013 the Church of Scotland published “The Inheritance of Abraham: A Report on the Promised Land”, which rejected the idea of a special right of Jewish people to the Holy Land through analysis of scripture and Jewish theological claims. The report further denied the “belief among some Jewish people that they have a right to the land of Israel as a compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust” and argued that “it is a misuse of the Bible to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land.” The report was criticised by Jewish leaders in Scotland as “biased, weak on sources, and contradictory. The picture it paints of both Judaism and Israel is barely even a caricature.”[64][65] Subsequently the Church issued a statement saying that the Church had not changed its “long held position of the rights of Israel to exist.”[66] It also revised the report.[67]

Charles and John Wesley, founders of the Methodist Church, held Restorationist views.[68] Following the submission of a report entitled ‘Justice for Palestine and Israel’ in July 2010, the UK Methodist Conference questioned whether ‘Zionism was compatible with Methodist beliefs’.[69][70] Christian Zionism was characterised as believing that Israel “must be held above criticism whatever policy is enacted,” and conference called for a boycott of selected Israeli goods “emanating from illegal settlements.”[71] The UK’s Chief Rabbi described the report as “unbalanced, factually and historically flawed,” and said that it offered “no genuine understanding of one of the most complex conflicts in the world today. Many in both communities will be deeply disturbed.”[69][70]

Anti-Zionism has a long history of being supported by various individuals and groups associated with Third Position, Right-wing and Fascist (or “Neo-Fascist”) political views.[72][73][74][75] Whether it’s David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan,[76] or lesser-known organizations like the Anti-Zionist League and various other Aryan / White-supremacist groups,[77][78] Anti-Zionism (usually along with adamant Anti-Semitism) has been entrenched in a significant portion of those communities for years. Many of these groups’ Anti-Zionist views often revolve around the conspiracy theories discussed below (See: Anti-Zionist Conspiracy Theories).

During the last years of Stalin’s rule, official support for the creation of Israel in 1948 was replaced by strong anti-zionism. The level of confrontation with those deemed as anti-Soviet “Jewish nationalists” was toned down after Stalin’s death in 1953, but the official position of opposition to Zionism remained in force: the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public, as well as numerous other initiatives, were state-sponsored.[citation needed]

As outlined in the third edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (19691978), the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s position during the Cold War became: “the main posits of modern Zionism are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism, […] overt and covert fight against freedom movements and the USSR.”[79]

Anti-Zionist sentiments were also manifested in organisations such as the Organization for African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement, which passed resolutions condemning Zionism and equating it with racism and apartheid during the early 1970s. This culminated in the passing by the United Nations General Assembly of Resolution 3379 in November 1975, which declared that “Zionism is a form of racism.”[80]

The decision was revoked on 16 December 1991, when the General Assembly passed Resolution 4686, repealing resolution 3379, by a vote of 111 to 25, with 13 abstentions and 17 delegations absent. Thirteen out of the 19 Arab countries, including those engaged in negotiations with Israel, voted against the repeal, another six were absent. No Arab country voted for repeal. The Palestine Liberation Organisation denounced the vote. All of the ex-communist countries and most of the African countries who had supported Resolution 3379 voted to repeal it. Only four non-Muslim countries voted against the resolution: Cuba, Sri Lanka, North Korea and Vietnam. Likewise, only four Muslim countries voted for the resolution: Cote d’Ivoire, Albania, the Gambia and Nigeria. The rest abstained (including Turkey) or absented themselves.[81]

After Israel occupied Palestinian territory following the 1967 Six-Day War, some African-Americans supported the Palestinians and criticized Israel’s actions, for example by publicly supporting Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.[82] Immediately after the war, the black power organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee published a newsletter criticizing Israel, and asserting that the war was an effort to regain Palestinian land and that during the 1948 war, “Zionists conquered the Arab homes and land through terror, force, and massacres”.[83] In 1993, philosopher Cornel West wrote: “Jews will not comprehend what the symbolic predicament and literal plight of Palestinians in Israel means to blacks…. Blacks often perceive the Jewish defense of the state of Israel as a second instance of naked group interest, and, again, an abandonment of substantive moral deliberation.”[84] African-American support of Palestinians is frequently due to the consideration of Palestinians as people of color political scientist Andrew Hacker writes: “The presence of Israel in the Middle East is perceived as thwarting the rightful status of people of color. Some blacks view Israel as essentially a white and European power, supported from the outside, and occupying space that rightfully belongs to the original inhabitants of Palestine.”[85]

A number of sources, such as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls,[86] link anti-Zionism with antisemitism.[87][88][89][90][91] Professor Kenneth L. Marcus, former staff director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, identifies four main views on the relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, at least in North America:[92](p.845846) Marcus also states:[93] “Unsurprisingly, recent research has shown a close correlation between anti-Israeli views and anti-Semitic views based on a survey of citizens in ten European countries.”[94]

Critics such as Michael Neumann, Judith Butler and Steven Salaita challenge the equation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism as a tactic to silence criticism of Israeli policies.[95]

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky argues that the premise of the claim assumes that Israel’s interests are Jewish interests, and thus any defender of Palestinian rights against a rejectionist Greater Israel is made out to be “objectively antisemitic”. This construal of anti-Zionism as antisemitic, he argues, is an old tactic, going back to Ben-Gurion’s remark in 1943, and evidenced after 1967 in a remark by Abba Eban in 1973, who stated: “one of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all.”.[96]

In response to a working draft Statement of Principles Against Intolerance at UCLA which contained the claim that ‘historic manifestations of antiSemitism have changed and that expressions of antiSemitism are more coded and difficult to identify’, that opposition to Zionism often asserts prejudice and intolerance towards Jews, and that ‘antiSemitism, antiZionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California,’ Rabbi Brant Rosen, an alumnus of UCLA replied that while some anti-Semites lurk behind the label of anti-Zionism, ‘it is incorrect and even disingenuous of the report to make the unsupported claim that anti-Zionism is often expressed (as) assertions of prejudice and intolerance toward Jewish people and culture, and blithely conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism as a form of discrimination. .'[97]

Tariq Ali, British-Pakistani historian

Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani historian and political activist, argues that the concept of new antisemitism amounts to an attempt to subvert the language in the interests of the State of Israel. He writes that the campaign against “the supposed new ‘anti-semitism'” in modern Europe is a “cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians… Criticism of Israel can not and should not be equated with anti-semitism.” He argues that most pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist groups that emerged after the Six-Day War were careful to observe the distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.[98][99] Others go the other way and claim “anti-Zionism” has become a requisite proof of progressive conviction today, and is similar to Jews converting to Christianity a century ago.[100]

Norman Finkelstein

According to Norman Finkelstein: “Every time Israel comes under international pressure, as it did recently because of the war crimes committed in Lebanon, it steps up the claim of anti-Semitism, and all of Israel’s critics are anti-Semitic.”[101]

Finkelstein argues that anti-Zionism and often just criticism of Israeli policies have been conflated with antisemitism, sometimes called new antisemitism for political gain: “Whenever Israel faces a public relations dbcle such as the Intifada or international pressure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, American Jewish organizations orchestrate this extravaganza called the ‘new anti-Semitism.’ The purpose is several-fold. First, it is to discredit any charges by claiming the person is an anti-Semite. It’s to turn Jews into the victims, so that the victims are not the Palestinians any longer. As people like Abraham Foxman of the ADL put it, the Jews are being threatened by a new holocaust. It’s a role reversal the Jews are now the victims, not the Palestinians. So it serves the function of discrediting the people leveling the charge. It’s no longer Israel that needs to leave the Occupied Territories; it’s the Arabs who need to free themselves of the anti-Semitism.”[102][103]

Brian Klug

Brian Klug argues that equating anti-Zionism to antisemitism poisoned the debate regarding Israel and their policies, stating,

“We should unite in rejecting racism in all its forms: the Islamophobia that demonises Muslims, as well as the anti-semitic discourse that can infect anti-Zionism and poison the political debate. However, people of goodwill can disagree politically – even to the extent of arguing over Israel’s future as a Jewish state. Equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism can also, in its own way, poison the political debate.”[104]

On January 15, 2004, Klug wrote:

Nonetheless, the inference is invalid. To argue that hostility to Israel and hostility to Jews are one and the same thing is to conflate the Jewish state with the Jewish people. In fact, Israel is one thing, Jewry another. Accordingly, anti-Zionism is one thing, anti-Semitism another. They are separate. To say they are separate is not to say that they are never connected. But they are independent variables that can be connected in different ways.[99]

Further discussion

In the early 21st century, it was also claimed that a “new antisemitism” had emerged which was rooted in anti-Zionism.[5][6][7][8][90][105][106] Advocates of this concept argue that much of what purports to be criticism of Israel and Zionism is demonization, and has led to an international resurgence of attacks on Jews and Jewish symbols and an increased acceptance of antisemitic beliefs in public discourse.[107] Critics of the concept as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Michael Marder, and Tariq Ali have suggested that the characterization of anti-Zionism as antisemitic is inaccurate, sometimes obscures legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and actions and trivializes antisemitism.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

According to David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, “there has been an insidious, creeping attempt to delegitimize the state of Israel, which spills over often into anti-Semitism.”[108]

Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister

In July 2001, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that during a visit there, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stated that “anti-Zionism inevitably leads to antisemitism.” [109] In 2015, the Center observed in a newsletter introducing its report on North American campus life, that ‘virulent anti-Zionism is often a thinly-veiled disguise for virulent anti-Semitism’.[110]

Robert S. Wistrich, Israeli professor

Professor Robert S. Wistrich, head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the originator of Marcus’s second view of anti-Zionism (that anti-Zionism and antisemitism merged post-1948) argues that much contemporary anti-Zionism, particularly forms that compare Zionism and Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich, has become a form of antisemitism:

Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti-Semitism in our time, through its systematic delegitimization, defamation, and demonization of Israel. Although not a priori anti-Semitic, the calls to dismantle the Jewish state, whether they come from Muslims, the Left, or the radical Right, increasingly rely on an anti-Semitic stereotypization of classic themes, such as the manipulative “Jewish lobby,” the Jewish/Zionist “world conspiracy,” and Jewish/Israeli “warmongers.”[111]

Ben-Dror Yemini, Israeli journalist

Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini maintains that anti-Zionism is “politically correct antisemitism” and argues that the same way Jews were demonized, Israel is demonized, the same way the right of Jews to exist was denied, the right for Self-determination is denied from Israel, the same way Jews were presented as a menace to the world, Israel is presented as a menace to the world.[112]


In the 2015, a German court in Essen ruled that anti-Zionism and antisemitism were equivalent. “‘Zionist in the language of anti-Semites is a code for Jew,” Judge Gauri Sastry said in a groundbreaking legal decision. Taylan Can, a German citizen of Turkish origin, yelled “death and hate to Zionists” at an anti-Israel rally in Essen in July 2014, and was convicted for hate crime.[113] In contrast, in February 2015, a court in Wuppertal convicted two German Palestinians of an arson attack on a synagogue, but denied that the crime was motivated by antisemitism.[114]

Dina Porat, head of ISAR

Dina Porat (head of the Institute for Study of Antisemitism and Racism at Tel-Aviv University) contends that anti-Zionism is antisemitic because it is discriminatory:

…antisemitism is involved when the belief is articulated that of all the peoples on the globe (including the Palestinians), only the Jews should not have the right to self-determination in a land of their own. Or, to quote noted human rights lawyer David Matas: One form of antisemitism denies access of Jews to goods and services because they are Jewish. Another form of antisemitism denies the right of the Jewish people to exist as a people because they are Jewish. Antizionists distinguish between the two, claiming the first is antisemitism, but the second is not. To the antizionist, the Jew can exist as an individual as long as Jews do not exist as a people.[115]

Liel Leibovitz, Israeli American journalist

Israeli American journalist Liel Leibovitz says that 21st century “anti-Zionists” do not like Jews whether they live in Israel or anywhere else in the world. He cites the example of the “anti-Zionist” professor at Oberlin who posted antisemitic conspiracy theories on her website and the “anti-Zionist” Stanford University student who claimed that many of the classical antisemitic conspiracy theories are not antisemitic.[116]

The antisemitic hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion came to be used among Arab anti-Zionists, although some Arab anti-Zionists have tried to discourage its usage.[117]: 186[118]: 357 Antisemitic sources have claimed that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were read at the First Zionist Congress. Neil J. Kressel asserts that for many years the line between antisemitism and anti-Zionism has been blurry.[119]: 102

A number of conspiracies involving the Holocaust have been advanced. One advanced by the Soviets in the 1950s claims that Nazis and Zionists had a shared interest or even cooperated in the extermination of Europe’s Jewry, as persecution would force them to flee to Palestine, then under British administration.[120]: 237 Claims also have been made that the Zionist movement inflated or faked the impact of the Holocaust.[121]: 2122 The President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas wrote in his 1983 book, “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” based on his CandSc thesis completed in 1982 at the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, with Yevgeny Primakov as thesis advisor.[122][123]

In 1968, the East German communist paper Neues Deutschland justified the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia with the headline “In Prague Zionism is in power”.[127] In 1995, William Korey released a work entitled Russian antisemitism, Pamyat, and the demonology of Zionism. Korey’s central argument is that the Soviet Union promoted an “official Judeophobic propaganda campaign” under the guise of anti-Zionism from 1967 to 1986; after this program was shut down by Mikhail Gorbachev, a populist and chauvinist group called Pamyat emerged in the more open climate of Glasnost to promote an openly anti-Semitic message.[128] Korey also argues that much official late-period Soviet anti-Semitism may be traced back to the influence of Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He notes, for instance, that a 1977 Soviet work entitled International Zionism: History and Politics contains the allegation that most major Wall Street financial institutions are “large financial-industrial Jewish monopolies” exercising control over many countries in the world.[129]Russian antisemitism was reviewed by Robert O. Freedman in the Slavic Review; while he concurs with the book’s central thesis, Freedman nevertheless writes that the actual extent of Soviet anti-Semitism may have been less than Korey suggests.[130]

Accusations have been made regarding Zionism and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, claiming that prominent Zionists were forcing Western governments into war in the Middle East for Israel’s interests.[131][132][133]

The Sudanese government has alleged that the Darfur uprising (in which some 500,000 have been killed) is part of a wider Zionist conspiracy.[134]Egyptian media have alleged that the Zionist movement deliberately spreads HIV in Egypt.[135]

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Neo-Nazi and radical Muslim groups allege the US government is controlled by Jews, describing it as the “Zionist Occupation Government”.[136]

Article 22 of the 1988 Hamas charter claims that the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists or forces supportive of Zionism. Article 32 alleges that the Zionist movement seeks to create an Empire stretching from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates river in Iraq.[137]

In April 2010, Abd Al-Azim Al-Maghrabi, the Deputy Head of Egyptian Arab Lawyers Union, stated in an interview with Al-Manar TV (as translated by MEMRI) that the Hepatitis C virus was produced by “the Zionists” and that “this virus is now spreading in Egypt like wildfire.” He also called for it to be “classified as one of the war crimes perpetrated by the Zionist enemy.”[138]

In June 2010, Egyptian cleric Mus’id Anwar gave a speech which aired on Al-Rahma TV (as translated by MEMRI) in which he alleged that the game of soccer (as well as swimming, bullfighting and tennis) was in fact a Zionist conspiracy, stating that:

As you know, the Jews, or the Zionists, have The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Over 100 years ago, they formulated a plan to rule the world, and they are implementing this plan. One of the protocols says: “Keep the [non-Jews] preoccupied with songs, soccer, and movies.” Is it or isn’t it happening? It is […] the Zionists manage to generate animosity among Muslims, and even between Muslim countries, by means of soccer.[139]

“what was then called ‘Zionist’….are now called ‘anti-Zionist’ (concerns and views).”

“I was interested in socialist, binationalist options for Palestine, and in the kibbutzim and the whole cooperative labor system that had developed in the Jewish settlement there (the Yishuv)…The vague ideas I had at the time [1947] were to go to Palestine, perhaps to a kibbutz, to try to become involved in efforts at Arab-Jewish cooperation within a socialist framework, opposed to the deeply antidemocratic concept of a Jewish state.”

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ALD Precast – Precast Concrete Wall Panels

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ALDs precast concrete wall panels provide the most efficient and cost-effective approach to completing your building on time and on budget. Our panels can be erected as soon as the building pad and footings are complete, and our experienced crews can erect over 10,000 square feet of wall panel per day, which is faster than other types of wall systems.

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Jewish American Heritage Month — National Register of …

Posted By on July 5, 2016

Previously Highlighted Properties

Jewish Center of Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York The Jewish Center of Coney Island, built between 1929 and 1931, is significant under criterion A for its association with the Jewish Community Center movement of the late 1910s and 1920s and as an indication of the development of Brighton Beach, at the southern edge of Brooklyn, as a new, middle-class residential neighborhood with a substantial Jewish population in the 1920s.

Hyde Park, Burkeville, Virginia The property’s successful operation provided the opportunity for agriculturally skilled Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to Immigrate to America and expand the farm’s productivity during the 1930s and early 1940s.

St. Thomas Synagogue–Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasadim Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands The Synagogue of St. Thomas, called Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasidim (Blessing and Peace and Acts of Piety), built in 1833 in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island, is the second oldest and longest in continuous use synagogue in the United States. The congregation, originally Spanish and Portuguese SephardicJews, came to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between the Europe and the New World. Commonly referred to as the St. Thomas Synagogue, it is located on the southeastern slope of Denmark Hill in one of the older residential areas of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin islands, to the north of the towns main business district.

New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site Village of Chesterfield, Town of Montville, Connecticut The New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site, located in the town of Montville, Connecticut, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 2012 for both its historical and archaeological significance. The site includes the foundation remains of the synagogue, its associated mikvah, and a stone well, the foundation remains of the former creamery building (later converted into a dwelling and inn), a stone well, a barn, and several retaining walls.

Louis Brandeis House, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) was the first Jewish person to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court on January 28, 1916, Louis Brandeis was already nationally known for his progressive views. Due at these views and ethnicity, his appointment aroused a storm of protest among large segments of the nations legal establishment. None the less, he was confirmed and took the oath on June 5, 1916. His name first became nationally known with the publication in 1914 of his book Other Peoples Money and How the Bankers Use It, which critiqued corporate power in the early 20th century

Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Baltimore, Maryland The history of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum site spans nearly 200 years from its beginning in 1815 as Calverton, the country home of Baltimore banker Dennis Smith. An 1874 fire destroyed the Calverton mansion, and led to the construction of the present building, which was specifically designed as an orphanage and was dedicated in 1876.

Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa Designed by local architect, J. Chris Jensen, the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue reflects the congregations orthodox origins in its original design, with later remodeling reflecting the subsequent changes in the congregations religious outlook and traditions. The congregation associated with the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was originally affiliated with Orthodox Judaism, later with Conservative Judaism, and most recently with Reconstuctionalist Judaism.

Jewish Shelter Home, Multnomah County, Oregon The Shelter Home provided the Jewish immigrant district a certain continuity and support the Shelter Home allowed Jewish children of disrupted family backgrounds a Jewish upbringing which they quite possibly would have missed had they been placed in a state-operated orphanage. In the course of a year, 18 to 20 children would pass through the house; each staying whatever time was necessary. This process was extremely important to the maintenance of Jewish culture and society in South Portland.

Park Circle Historic District (Baltimore, MD) Park Circle Historic District in Baltimore, Maryland was an early suburban Jewish neighborhood developed when the children of Eastern European immigrants moved from East Baltimore to the city’s northwest outskirts, setting the pattern for further expansion of Baltimore’s Jewish community to the northwest.

Beth Sholom Synagogue (Elkins Park, PA) was one of a handful of Wright buildings singled out in 1959 by the American institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Mill House (Orange County, NY) In 1710, Luis Moses Gomez, the son of a well-to-do Jewish immigrant merchant, and a member of one of the foremost Jewish families in colonial New York, began to purchase land in Ulster and Orange Counties, finally acquiring about 2500 acres. On this tract of land Gomez constructed a stone house, the original section of the present Mill House, to accommodate his fur trading business with the American Indians.

Albert Einstein House (Princeton, New Jersey): Albert Einstein, considered the greatest physicist of all time and named in 1999 Time Magazines Person of the Century, was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany in 1879. Although most famous for his theory of relativity (and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E=mc), he was also known as an international advocate of peace, human rights and an early supporter of a homeland for the Jewish people.

Historic Synagogues of Connecticut: In 1818 a constitutional convention in Connecticut resulted in the disestablishment of the Congregational Church as a tax-supported institution. At this time less than a dozen people of the Jewish faith were known to live in Connecticut. Jewish public worship was not permitted in Connecticut until 1843.

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