Page 11234..1020..»

Bnai Brith | Encyclopedia.com

Posted By on September 22, 2018

B’NAI B’RITH , international Jewish organization committed to the security and continuity of the Jewish people and the State of Israel; defending human rights; combating antisemitism, bigotry, and ignorance; and providing services to the community on the broadest principles of humanity. Its mission is to unite persons of the Jewish faith and to enhance Jewish identity through strengthening Jewish family life and the education and training of youth; broad-based services for the benefit of senior citizens; and advocacy and action on behalf of Jews throughout the world.

Although the organization’s historic roots are in a system of fraternal lodges and units (chapters), in the late 20th century, as fraternal organizations were in decline throughout the U.S., the organization began evolving into a dual system of the traditional payment of dues, with an expectation of active participation, and the pattern more common to other contemporary organizations affiliation by contribution. In 2004, the organization reported a membership of more than 215,000, with members in 51 countries and a U.S. budget of $20,000,000. Approximately 85 percent of the membership is in the United States. Although membership was historically limited to men, in 1988 a resolution admitting women to membership passed overwhelmingly and the organization although still predominately male includes men and women (see below).

B’nai B’rith was founded in Aaron Sinsheimer’s caf on New York’s Lower East Side on October 13, 1843, by a group of 12 recent German Jewish immigrants led by Henry Jones. The new organization represented an attempt to organize Jews on the basis of their ethnicity, not their religion, and to confront what Isaac Rosenbourg, one of the founders, called “the deplorable condition of Jews in this, our newly adopted country.”

True to their German heritage, the founders originally named the organization Bundes Bruder (Sons of the Covenant) to reflect their goal of a fraternal order that could provide comfort to the entire spectrum of Jewish Americans. Although early meetings were conducted in German, after a short time English emerged as the language of choice and the name was changed to B’nai B’rith. In the late 20th century, the translation was changed to the more contemporary and inclusive Children of the Covenant.

The organization’s activities during the 19th and 20th centuries were dominated by mutual aid, social service, and philanthropy. In keeping with their concerns for protecting their families, the first concrete action of the organization was the establishment of an insurance policy awarding the widow of a deceased members $30 toward funeral expenses and a stipend of one dollar a week for the rest of her life. To aid her children, each child would also receive a stipend and, for a male child, the assurance he would be taught a trade.

Many of the earliest achievements are believed to represent firsts within the Jewish community: In 1851, Covenant Hall was erected in New York as the first Jewish community center in the U.S.; one year later, B’nai B’rith established the Maimonides Library, also in New York, the first Jewish public library in the U.S.; immediately following the Civil War when Jews on both sides were left homeless B’nai B’rith founded the 200-bed Cleveland Jewish Orphan Home, said to have been the most modern orphanage of its time. Over the next several years, the organization would establish numerous hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the aged.

The organization lays claim to the distinction of being the oldest service organization founded in the United States. In 1868, when a devastating flood crippled Baltimore, B’nai B’rith responded with a disaster relief campaign. This act preceded the founding of the American Red Cross by 13 years and was to be the first of many domestic relief programs. That same year, the organization sponsored its first overseas philanthropic project, raising $4,522 to aid the victims of a cholera epidemic in what was then Palestine.

In 1875, a lodge was established in Toronto, followed soon after by another in Montreal and, in 1882, by a lodge in Berlin. This is believed to be the first instance of a Jewish organization founded on American soil being carried back to the lands from which its founders had migrated. Membership outside the U.S. grew rapidly. Soon, lodges were formed in Cairo (1887) and in Jerusalem (1888 nine years before Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel); the latter became the first public organization to hold all of its meetings in Hebrew.

After 1881, when mass immigration from Eastern Europe poured into the United States, B’nai B’rith sponsored Americanization classes, trade schools, and relief programs. This began a period of rapid membership growth, a change in the system of representation, questioning of the secret rituals common to fraternal organizations, and the beginning of a nearly century-long debate on full membership for women. In 1897, when the organization’s U.S. membership numbered slightly more than 18,000, B’nai B’rith formed a ladies’ auxiliary chapter in San Francisco. This was to become B’nai B’rith Women and, when B’nai B’rith gave full membership rights to women in 1988, to break away as an independent organization, Jewish Women International (see below).

In response to the *Kishinev pogrom in 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary of State John Hay met with B’nai B’rith’s executive committee in Washington. B’nai B’rith President Simon Wolf presented the draft of a petition to be sent to the Russian government protesting the lack of opposition to the massacre. Roosevelt readily agreed to transmit it and B’nai B’rith lodges began gathering signatures around the country.

In the first two decades of the 20th century B’nai B’rith launched three of today’s major Jewish organizations: the *Anti-Defamation League (adl), Hillel, and the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (bbyo), Later they would take on a life of their own and varying degrees of autonomy.

In 1913, when it was apparent that antisemitism was not to be limited to the European continent, B’nai B’rith established the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (adl). The immediate impetus was the false arrest, unfair trial (reflecting the most profound of antisemitic sentiments on the part of the jury), conviction and lynching of Leo *Frank, president of the Gate City, Georgia, B’nai B’rith lodge.

The adl has become one of the preeminent forces for strengthening interreligious understanding and cooperation, improving relationships between the races, and protecting the rights and status of Jews.

In a pattern that was to be followed by other members of the B’nai B’rith “family,” adl has evolved into an autonomous organization which, though formally a part of B’nai B’rith and strongly embraced by the organization, is virtually independent and is self-sustaining today.

The 1920s saw a growing concern with preserving Jewish values as immigration slowed and a native Jewish population of East European ancestry came to maturity. In 1923, Rabbi Benjamin Frankel, of Illinois, established an organization on the campus of the University of Illinois to provide both Reform and Orthodox Sabbath services, classes in Judaism, and social events for Jewish college students. Two years later, he approached B’nai B’rith about adopting this new campus organization. B’nai B’rith sponsorship of the Hillel Foundations enabled it to grow into a network that today has more than 500 campus student organizations in the United States and other countries.

From the early 1970s onward, funding for Hillel was increasingly coming from Federations and with funding a request for greater control and accountability. Although B’nai B’rith continued to support Hillel, in the mid-1990s it became a new independent organization, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Youth.

At virtually the same time as Hillel was being established, Sam Beber of Omaha, Nebraska, presented B’nai B’rith with a plan in 1924 for a fraternity for young Jewish men in high school. The new organization was to be called Aleph Zadik Aleph in imitation of the Greek-letter fraternities from which Jewish youth were excluded. In 1925, aza became the junior auxiliary of B’nai B’rith.

In 1940, B’nai B’rith Women adopted its own junior auxiliary for young women, B’nai B’rith Girls, and, in 1944 the two organizations became the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (bbyo).

bbyo provides informal Jewish educational and social programs in the United States and Israel designed to provide opportunities for youth from all branches of Judaism to develop their own Jewish identity, leadership skills, and personal development.

At the beginning of the 21st century, bbyo growth required expanded outside funding. Following the pattern of Hillel, bbyo secured independent, philanthropic funding and with it came the requisite shift of control to the funders. B’nai B’rith remains the largest single institutional contributor to the new organization, bbyo, Inc.

B’nai B’rith has also been involved in Jewish camping for more than half a century. In 1953, B’nai B’rith acquired a 300-acre camp in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Originally named Camp B’nai B’rith, the facility would later be named B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in honor of the early bbyo leader Anita Perlman and her husband, Louis. In 1976, a second camp was added near Madison, Wisconsin. Named after the founder of aza, the camp became known as B’nai B’rith Beber Camp. Both camps function in dual capacities as Jewish children’s camps and as leadership training facilities, primarily for bbyo.

In 1938, in response to rampant employment discrimination against Jews, B’nai B’rith established the Vocational Service Bureau to guide young people into careers. This evolved into the B’nai B’rith Career and Counseling Service, an agency that provided vocational testing and counseling, and published career guides. In the mid-1980s, the program was dissolved or merged into other community agencies.

To cope with a shift of American Jewry to the suburbs and a corresponding sense of assimilated comfort, in 1948 B’nai B’rith established a department of Adult Jewish Education (aje). It would later become the B’nai B’rith Center for Jewish Identity. aje launched a series of Judaic study weekends (called Institutes of Judaism) held in retreat settings and supplemented by informal neighborhood study programs. It also began an aggressive program of Jewish book publishing; a quarterly literary magazine, Jewish Heritage; and a lecture bureau booking noted Jewish scholars and performers for synagogues and other institutions. All but the lecture bureau were largely phased out in the 1990s, and the organization today focuses on program guides for local Jewish education programs and annual sponsorship of “Unto Every Person There is a Name” community recitations of the names of Holocaust victims, usually on Yom ha-sho’ah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

B’nai B’rith publishes B’nai B’rith Magazine, a full-color quarterly the oldest continuously published Jewish periodical in the United States (since 1886) and regional newspapers reporting on organizational activities, B’nai B’rith Today. In the late 1990s and the early 21st century, the organization ventured into new technologies with the launch of a website, http://www.bnaibrith.org; an online 24-hour Jewish music service, http://www.bnaibrithradio.org; the first Jewish magazine to be broadcast on satellite radio, B’nai B’rith World Service; and the Virtual Jewish Museum, http://www.jmuseum.org, a resource for educators, students, and others seeking international Jewish art resources.

From its earliest days, a hallmark of the organization’s local efforts was service to the communities in which members reside. In 1852, that meant raising money for the first Jewish hospital in Philadelphia. In the 21st century, these community service efforts range from delivering Jewish holiday packages of meals and clothing to the elderly and infirm to distributing food and medicine to the Jewish community of Cuba.

In 1973, the organization turned what had formerly been an exhibit hall at its Washington, d.c., headquarters into the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum. The museum includes an extensive collection of Jewish ceremonial objects and art and features the 1790 correspondence between President George Washington and Moses Seixas, sexton of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2002, the collection moved with the organization to new headquarters in Washington.

With the aging of the American Jewish population, service to seniors became a major focus with the first of what was to become a network of 40 senior residences in more than 25 communities across the United States and more internationally making B’nai B’rith the largest national Jewish sponsor of housing for seniors. The U.S. facilities built in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (hud) provide quality housing to more than 6,000 men and women of limited income, age 62 and over, of all races and religions. Residents pay a federally mandated rent based upon income.

In 2001 B’nai B’rith opened its first venture in what is anticipated to be a broader range of housing options for seniors. Covenant at South Hills (near Pittsburgh) is a life-care community offering a range of services at market rate enabling residents to live independently for as long as possible and receive additional health care and supportive services on site should the need arise.

The beginning of the 21st century also saw the senior service program expand and become a Center for Senior Services, providing advocacy, publications, and other services to address financial, legal, health, religious, social, and family concerns for those over 50.

B’nai B’rith involvement in international affairs dates to the 1870s when antisemitism, accompanied by a rash of pogroms, reached new heights in Romania. Through the influence of B’nai B’rith, the American government was induced to establish a U.S. consulate, and a former B’nai B’rith president, Benjamin Peixotto, was appointed the first consul. B’nai B’rith funded much of the mission. Although he could not totally solve it, Peixotto’s work was credited with mitigating the problem.

By the 1920s, B’nai B’rith membership in Europe had grown to 17,500 nearly half of the U.S. membership and by the next decade, the formation of a lodge in Shanghai represented the organization’s entry into the Far East. This international expansion was to come to a close with the rise of Nazism. At the beginning of the Nazi era, there were six B’nai B’rith districts in Europe. Eventually, the Nazis seized nearly all B’nai B’rith property in Europe.

B’nai B’rith Europe was re-founded in 1948; members and representatives from lodges that had survived the Holocaust attended the inaugural meeting. In 2000, the new European B’nai B’rith district merged with the United Kingdom district to become a consolidated B’nai B’rith Europe with active involvement in all institutions of the European Union. In 2005 B’nai B’rith Europe comprised lodges in more than 20 countries, including formerly Communist Eastern Europe.

In response to what later become known as the Holocaust, in 1943 B’nai B’rith President Henry Monsky convened a conference in Pittsburgh of all major Jewish organizations to “find a common platform for the presentation of our case before the civilized nations of the world.” During the four years which followed, the conference established the machinery that saved untold numbers of lives, assisted in the postwar reconstruction of European Jewish life, and helped spur public opinion to support the 1947 partition decision granting Jews a share of what was then Palestine.

Just prior to the creation of the State of Israel, President Truman angry at pressure being placed upon him from Jewish organizations closed the White House doors to Jewish leaders. B’nai B’rith President Frank Goldman convinced fellow B’nai B’rith member Eddie Jacobson, long-time friend and business partner of the president, to appeal to him for a favor. Jacobson convinced Truman to meet secretly with Chaim *Weizmann in a meeting said to have resulted in turning White House support back in favor of partition, and ultimately to recognition of the statehood of Israel.

B’nai B’rith was present at the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco and has taken an active role in the world body ever since. In 1947, the organization was granted non-governmental organizational status and, for many years, was the only Jewish organization with full-time representation at the un. It is credited with a leading role in the un reversal of its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism.

B’nai B’rith’s ngo role is not limited to the un and its agencies. With members in more than 20 Latin American countries, the organization was the first Jewish group to be accorded ngo status at the Organization of American States (oas) and has been at the forefront advocating on behalf of the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the region. B’nai B’rith’s role in Latin America dates back to the turn of the 20th century and grew considerably with the influx of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe.

In 1999, when one of the last living Nazi commandants, Dinko Sakic, was arrested in Argentina, B’nai B’rith was a leader in efforts to extradite him to Croatia to stand trial for commanding the infamous Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia.

In addition to its advocacy efforts, B’nai B’rith maintains an extensive program of community service throughout Latin America. In 2002, this took the form of responding to the economic disaster that struck much of Latin America by distributing in cooperation with the Brother’s Brother Foundation over $31 million of critically needed medicine, books, and supplies to Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela.

In addition to founding Jerusalem Lodge in 1888, life in Israel has been a prime focus for the organization. Among B’nai B’rith’s most noted contributions were the city’s first free public library, Midrash Abarbanel, which became the nucleus of the Jewish National and University Library; the first Hebrew kindergarten in Jerusalem; and the purchase of land for a home for new immigrants, the village of Moza near Jerusalem. When, in 1935, B’nai B’rith donated $100,000 to the Jewish National Fund to buy 1,000 acres, the act signaled to the world that America’s oldest and largest Jewish organization was concretely supporting a continuing Jewish presence in what was then Palestine. In 1956, B’nai B’rith became the first major American Jewish organization to hold a convention in Israel.

B’nai B’rith is one of the few major Jewish organizations headquartered in Washington, d.c., not New York. That became a fateful horror on March 9, 1977, when, in what was, at the time one of the worst terror attacks in America, seven members of the Hanafi Muslim sect took over the B’nai B’rith Headquarters, the Islamic Center, and Washington, d.c.’s city hall. For 39 hours, 123 hostages were held on the top floor of the B’nai B’rith building. The building was ransacked, its ground floor museum stripped, personnel shot and beaten some severely, some who never recovered from the psychological shock.

The Hanafi terrorists had targeted the three Washington buildings in revenge for the slaying of their leader’s family members by Philadelphia Black Muslims. B’nai B’rith was targeted because the judge in Philadelphia was Jewish. The takeover was ended after the intervention of the ambassadors from three Muslim countries Pakistan, Egypt, and Iran convinced the terrorists to surrender to police.

The symbolism of B’nai B’rith as synonymous with anything Jewish was an ironic tribute to the organization’s reputation a synonym found in jokes of comedians, on tv game shows, and in the world of politics. In 1981 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Ernest Hollings derisively referred to then-Senator Howard Metzenbaum (who is Jewish) as “the senator from B’nai B’rith.” For many years, when the biennial B’nai B’rith Convention was held during presidential election years, it became a presidential forum as Republican and Democratic candidates vied for Jewish support.

Although B’nai B’rith remained the most widely recognized name in the Jewish community, from the late 1970s B’nai B’rith saw its membership in lodges and units declining as young people in suburbia felt less of a need to meet with other Jews in a non-religious setting.

B’nai B’rith responded on two fronts. Drawing upon its widely recognized name and respect within the community, the organization turned to direct mail fundraising. At much the same time, confronting the reality that Jewish fraternal groups in the U.S. were unlikely to grow, yet unable to ignore the role lodges and units still played in many communities, the leadership transformed the program to meet contemporary needs. The most far-reaching changes came in 1996, under the leadership of President Tommy Baer, when traditional U.S. districts were eliminated in favor of smaller, locally oriented regions focusing on community-based programs.

Because the sociological changes taking place in the U.S. were not evident in Europe, Israel, and Latin America, the existing structure of fraternal lodges was left intact and, particularly in Latin America, the most influential members of the Jewish community are members of B’nai B’rith.

The restructuring was completed in 2004 with a new approach to governance adopted under the direction of President Joel S. Kaplan and past president Seymour D. Reich. Under this plan, a number of leadership structures were drastically revised to enable the organization to operate more efficiently. The outmoded international convention, which focused on organizational business, was eliminated in favor of new, program-oriented meetings featuring briefings, cultural events, etc. and designed to appeal to a broader spectrum of the membership.

[Harvey Berk (2nd ed.)]

B’nai B’rith Women began with an auxiliary woman’s chapter in 1897; the first permanent chapter was founded in San Francisco in 1909. As more women’s auxiliaries to B’nai B’rith formed, the women pressed for official recognition but were refused. Only two non-voting female representatives were allowed at Grand Lodge meetings. During World War i, the auxiliaries’ activities expanded into cultural activities, philanthropy, and community service. B’nai B’rith women served in hospitals, settlement houses, offices, and factories, and drove ambulances. The women also started their own fund for the relief of Jews in Europe. By the beginning of wwii, bbw’s membership had jumped to over 40,000 members, and it produced its first monthly publication, B’nai B’rith Women. In 1940, a Women’s Supreme Council was formed to coordinate districts and chapters from national headquarters and Judge Lenore Underwood Mills of San Francisco was elected the first national president. The Council helped organize early girls’ chapters of B’nai B’rith into B’nai B’rith Girls (bbg), appointing Anita Perlman as chair. During wwii, bbw chapters were again involved in volunteer and philanthropic work, as well as assisting military servicewomen, and providing aid to refugees and orphans. After the war, bbw’s efforts turned to projects in the developing State of Israel, educational programs dedicated to combating prejudice, and supporting Hillel foundations on university campuses.

In 1953, women delegates were allowed to vote for the first time at the B’nai B’rith Supreme Lodge convention, and in 1957 the women, who numbered 132,000 in North America, and had 41 chapters abroad, formally changed their name to B’nai B’rith Women. The feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s influenced bbw to advocate for women’s healthcare, abortion rights, and the image of women in the media. bbw endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1971 and participated as an ngo in the first un World Conference for Women in 1975.

In the late 1980s, bbw engaged in a power struggle with B’nai B’rith International (bbi) over its status as an autonomous organization. In 1988, bbi finally admitted women as full members, but bbw passed a resolution to remain distinct. bbw declared full independence in 1995 and changed its name to Jewish Women International while retaining a relationship with B’nai B’rith and its “family members”: bbyo, Hillel, and the Anti-Defamation League. In the early 21st century jwi, with a membership of approximately 75,000, defines its mission as championing self-sufficiency for women and girls through education, advocacy, and action with a special focus on preventing violence, children’s well-being, and reduction of prejudice. jwi publishes Jewish Woman magazine in print and online.

[Mel Berwin (2nd ed.)]

B’nai B’rith Canada prides itself on being the largest Jewish voluntary organization and the largest individual Jewish membership organization in Canada. As such it bills itself as the “independent voice of the Jewish community, representing its interests nationwide to government, ngo’s, and the wider Canadian public.”

The history of B’nai B’rith Canada reflects both the changing patterns of growth, development, and sophistication of the Canadian Jewish population, on the one hand, and the global issues facing Jews throughout the world, on the other. The first B’nai B’rith Lodge in Canada was chartered in Toronto in 1875. Originally an offshoot of American B’nai B’rith founded in New York in 1843, the Toronto Lodge folded in 1894. As the largely immigrant Jewish population in Canada exploded from about 16,000 in 1901 to more than 156,000 in 1930, B’nai B’rith in Canada was revitalized as it helped immigrant Jews in Canada retain communal relationships outside of the synagogue while easing their integration into Canadian society. First rechartered as a branch of a U.S. district in 1919, in 1964 it became an autonomous Canadian district, District 22.

Now the largest secular Jewish membership organization in Canada, B’nai B’rith at first focused its efforts on expanding its network of lodges beyond Montreal and Toronto to smaller centers across Canada. In 2005 there were 45 established lodges in seven provinces. (B’nai B’rith in British Columbia still remains aligned to the West Coast U.S. district.) B’nai B’rith Canada continues to provide its members a robust social environment together with programs of mutual aid, social service, and philanthropy. In 1923 B’nai B’rith organized the first Canadian branch of Hillel, the Jewish university student organization, and shortly after, opened its first summer camp for Jewish children. These initiatives were followed over the years with a wide variety of community service initiatives, including the establishment of seniors’ residences, the distribution of holiday baskets, organized visitations to the ill, and general fundraising for Jewish and community causes.

While B’nai B’rith Canada never lost a voluntary community focus that combines direct member services, community social service, support for youth, fundraising, and sports, after gaining its independent district status under B’nai B’rith International, B’nai B’rith Canada began to assert itself as a representative organization of the Jewish community. Whether, as in the past, partnering with the Canadian Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations on various community relations and Israel-related initiatives, or, as more recently, striking out on its own, B’nai B’rith has been an active presence in defense of Jewish and human rights. Beginning with its human rights arm, the League for Human Rights (originally affiliated with the American B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League), and more recently through a second body, the Institute for International Affairs, B’nai B’rith Canada maintains a wide-ranging program of Jewish advocacy, including public education campaigns, political lobbying, liaising with government, and monitoring of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda and organizations in Canada and internationally.

Through its League for Human Rights, B’nai B’rith Canada continues to focus on exposing and combating antisemitic activity in Canada. In the past this has included intervention in the courts and at human rights tribunals on a variety of matters relating to antisemitic hate groups and individuals. The League was significantly involved in supporting the hate propaganda prosecutions of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel and Alberta teacher James Keegstra in the 1980s. Following the lead of its American sister organization, in 1983, the League also initiated an annual “audit” of antisemitic incidents taking place across the country. Recently, in order to both assist victims as well as improve the tracking of such behavior, the organization established a 24/7 “anti-hate hotline.” The 2003 Audit reported 584 incidents, a 27.2% increase over the previous year.

A further aspect of the League for Human Rights’ work has been to promote the study of the Holocaust in Canada. This work has been hallmarked since 1986 by the organization’s Holocaust and Hope Educator’s Program through which a select group of teachers from across Canada take part in a multifaceted program of lectures, visits to the sites of the Holocaust, and personal contact with survivors.

The Institute for International Affairs monitors and responds to issues relating to Jewish communities around the world. An important aspect of this work is to inform and educate the broader Canadian community on issues relating to Israel. Through fact-finding missions, public education, attendance at international conferences, and outreach to other groups, the Institute both advocates in support of Israel and works to inform Canadians on Israel-related matters. Included in this task is a program of political action, informing political leaders at all levels of government and the media of the significance of these issues from the perspective of the Canadian Jewish community.

[Alan Shefman (2nd ed.)]

E.E. Grusd, B’nai B’rith: The Story of a Covenant (1996); M. Bisgyer, Challenge and Encounter (1967); O. Soltes, B’nai B’rith: A Covenant of Commitment Over 150 Years (1993); A. Weill, B’nai B’rith and Israel: The Unbroken Covenant (1998); M. Baer, Dealing in Futures: The Story of a Jewish Youth Movement (1983). b’nai b’rith women: L.G. Kuzmack, “B’nai B’rith Women,” in: P.E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore (eds.), Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, vol. 1 (1997), 16267; “Jewish Women International,” at: http://www.jwi.org; “B’nai B’rith Youth Organization: The History of bbg,” at: http://www.bbyo.org/bbg/history.html.

View original post here:
Bnai Brith | Encyclopedia.com

Hasidism: Between Ecstasy and Magic (Suny Series in Judaica …

Posted By on September 21, 2018

Idels book has broken new ground in the study of the mystical Judaism of Eastern Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By applying what he calls the panoramic approach, in contrast to the existentialist approach of Buber and the historicist approach of Scholem, Idel has been able to illuminate the phenomenon of Hasidism in all its complexity and diversity. Rather than focusing on any one immediate aspect of Jewish mysticism, Idel proposes to understand Hasidism as the aggregation of multiple streams, including magic, theosophic kabbalah, and ecstatic kabbalah. By applying Idels orientation one can appreciate the complex fabric woven by the Hasidic masters from previous mystical sources. His book is provocative and stimulating. Elliot R. Wolfson, New York University

The author succeeds in broadening our understanding of Hasidism through clarifying its relations to phenomenological models that are typical of earlier stages of Jewish mysticism. As a result of Idels vast knowledge of mystical and philosophical literature, he is able to demonstrate and clarify the extent that Hasidism is dependent on non-Lurianic schools of Kabbalah. Thus, Hasidism emerges as an important stage in Jewish mysticism, rather than as a mere reaction or result of historical and social forces such as Sabbatianism.

“Idel focuses on one of the most significant, yet little understood developments in the history of Jewish thought and religion. His close study of ecstasy and magic will be essential for all those who are in any way interested in this area.

The book is full of brilliant insights concerning the meaning of key concepts and practices in early Hasidism.” Miles Krassen, Oberlin College

Here is the original post:

Hasidism: Between Ecstasy and Magic (Suny Series in Judaica …

This Hasidic Mom Biked 50 Miles To Help Sick Kids | | Jew in …

Posted By on September 20, 2018

While Hasidic women are commonly seen pushing children filled strollers, some of them, like Chumi Borenstein, push themselves to great heights on bikes to help sick children in need. Bike 4 Chai, perhaps the biggest biking fundraiser in the Tri-State Area, is taking place today and tomorrow, raising millions of dollars and increased awareness for children battling cancer and other serious diseases. With over $9.6 Million raised so far for this years event, the Chai Lifeline Bike-a-thon is known for rallying together Orthodox Jewish men and boys from all over the world. They run the gamut from Modern Orthodox to Yeshivish to Hasidic, and all are there for the purpose of riding 180 miles through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York over two days. Its sister event, Tour de Simcha, unites Orthodox Jewish women with a similar goal. The latest incarnation of Tour de Simcha raised over $1.2 Million for Camp Simcha, a summer camp for families needing a respite from their struggles with childhood illness.

Chumi Borenstein is a Gur Hasidic mother of two, a full-time assistant, and notary public, who put aside her other duties to don a bike helmet and ride for charity.Borenstein had the inspiration to join Tour de Simcha randomly. Last year, it popped up on my feedat the time I had been working full-time for a year, I had two kids, I needed to do something that was just for meand I also needed to exercise. She went out and bought a bike five and a half weeks before the event a 75-mile ride for which most people had been training for months. I just went to the park and trained every single day for five weeks. Once I did that, I was hooked.

While her husband was all for her participation, some of his family was uncertain about it. Due to stringencies within the Hasidic community in which Borenstein lives, there was a similar reaction when she started to drive a car. There were just a few people that we didnt tell until they found out. We just didnt want to [take] any risk. Biking is the same thingthe way I dress when I bike may not be what people approve of. People are worried that you cant be fully tznius while youre biking, but thats not true.

Borenstein rides with leggings and a skirt, and has never had an issue with tznius or mobility when she rides. Aside from her husbands positive response, many of her friends were inspired to get on the bike too. Additionally, she has received a lot of positive feedback in her fundraising efforts. For all the negative there has been double positive. While she picked and chose very carefully to whom she campaigned, it has become easier. I dont like asking people for things. I keep it between me and my friends. I reached out to my fathers communityTheres much more support over there. I reach out to where I know there is support.

That accepting community where Borenstein grew up is in Glasgow, Scotland, where her father was the rabbi and she grew up surrounded by all kinds of Jews. When she married her husband, she moved to Boro Park. My parents are from Manchester. At the time the Glasgow Kollel had the best offer for him so they moved up therewith the idea that they would go for a couple of years and then move back to Manchester. A year after they moved there, the shul there need a chazzan and he moved into that role and eventually the role of rabbi. That was 27 years ago. Borenstein grew up with an open mind about athleticism. Anything that was acceptable was fine so long as we were tznius at the same time. Even in her current community, she sees a more open-minded change occurring for the good. Boro Park has definitely changed. People are accepting more and the younger crowds are not so boxed in. In terms of the youngest crowd, Borenstein gets great support from her children. My son is five. He thinks its great. He tells all his teachers my mommy bikes hes my little supporter.

Last year, Borenstein was able to ride 50 out of the 75 miles and his hoping to go further each time she participates. Borenstein is thrilled to be a part of something that brings together Orthodox women from all different communities and viewpoints. Its a big mix of people involved: [Sefardim from] Deal, a lot of Lakewood Yeshivish ladies. Its a really big mix. With that diversity comes differences in the attire they wear to bike as well. Youll have loads of people with tichels and 3/4 sleeves as people with shorts and short sleeved t-shirts. The feeling of achdus, togetherness, that comes from the experience is the highlight of the event. Youll ride along next to someone. It doesnt matter to you if theyre Hasidish or Yeshivish or not frum at all. Were all doing something for the same cause and were all in it together. When it comes to that, labels and tagsit doesnt make a difference.

The experience has given her a deeper appreciation for all kinds of Jews. At the end of the day, whatever you are, theres always something youre working on. Theres always something youre trying to get better at, to change, to do something for yourself. Everyone has their own life, whether its easy or hard, were all tackling something.

A former Hollywood script editor, Jerusalem event planner, non-profit fundraiser and professional blogger, Sara Levine is an accomplished writer and editor. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, her first screenplay was well-received by story executives at major studios. As a journalist, her articles have been published internationally in popular magazines and websites. With over 18 years experience as a story consultant, her notes and critiques on novels and scripts have been used to select and improve material by top studios, networks, agencies and writers in Hollywood and beyond. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Read more:

This Hasidic Mom Biked 50 Miles To Help Sick Kids | | Jew in …

Ashkenazim

Posted By on September 19, 2018

Ashkenaz (Heb. ) refers to a people and a country bordering on Armenia and the upper Euphrates; listed in Genesis 10:3 and I Chronicles 1:6 among the descendants of Gomer. The name Ashkenaz also occurs once in Jeremiah 51:27 in a passage calling upon the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz to rise and destroy Babylon. Scholars have identified the Ashkenaz as the people called Ashkuza (Ashguza, Ishguza) in Akkadian. According to Assyrian royal inscriptions the Ashkuza fought the Assyrians in the reign of Esharhaddon (680669 B.C.E.) as allies of the Minni (Manneans). Since the Ashkuza are mentioned in conjunction with the Gimirrai-Cimmerians and the Ashkenaz with Gomer in Genesis, it is reasonable to infer that Ashkenaz is a dialectal form of Akkadian Ashkuza, identical with a group of Iranian-speaking people organized in confederations of tribes called Saka in Old Persian, whom Greek writers (e.g., Herodotus 1:103) called Scythians. They ranged from southern Russia through the Caucasus and into the Near East. Some scholars, however, have argued against this identification on philological grounds because of the presence of the “n” in the word Ashkenaz. In medieval rabbinical literature the name was used for Germany.

The name Ashkenaz was applied in the Middle Ages to Jews living along the Rhine River in northern France and western Germany. The center of Ashkenazi Jews later spread to Poland-Lithuania and now there are Ashkenazi settlements all over the world. The term “Ashkenaz” became identified primarily with German customs and descendants of German Jews.

In the 10th and 11th century, the first Ashkenazim, Jewish merchants in France and Germany, were economic pioneers, treated well because of their trading connections with the Mediterranean and the East. Jewish communities appeared in many urban centers. Early Ashkenaz communities were small and homogeneous. Until Christian guilds were formed, Jews were craftsmen and artisans. In France, many Jews owned vineyards and made wine. They carried arms and knew how to use them in self-defense. The Jews of each town constituted an independent, self-governing entity. Each community, or kahal, established its own regulations made up by an elected board and judicial courts. They enforced their rulings with the threat of excommunication. The Ashkenazim generally shied away from outside influences and concentrated on internal Jewish sources, ideas and customs.

Ashkenazim focused on biblical and Talmudic studies. Centers of rabbinic scholarship appeared in the tenth century in Mainz and Worms in the Rhineland and in Troyes and Sens in France. Ashkenazi scholarship centered around oral discussion. Sages focused on understanding the minutiae of the texts instead of extracting general principles. The most famous early teacher was Rabbenu Gershom of Mainz. Some of his decrees, such as that forbidding polygamy, are still in existence today. The first major Ashkenazi literary figure was Rashi (Solomon ben Isaac of Troyes, 1040-1105), whose commentaries on the Bible and Talmud are today considered fundamental to Jewish study. The tosafists, Ashkenazi Talmudic scholars in northern France and Germany, introduced new methods and insights into Talmudic study that are also still in use. Early Ashkenazi Jews composed religious poetry modeled after the fifth and sixth century piyyutim (liturgical poems). While prayer liturgy varied even among Ashkenazi countries, the differences were almost insignificant compared to the differences between Sephardi and Ashkenazi liturgy.

While Ashkenazi Jews occasionally experience anti-Semitism, mob violence first erupted against them an the end of the 11th century. Many Jews were killed in what Robert Seltzer calls a “supercharged religious atmosphere.” Many were willing to die as martyrs rather than convert.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, many Ashkenazi Jews became moneylenders. They were supported by the secular rulers who benefited from taxes imposed on the Jews. The rulers did not totally protect them, however, and blood libels cropped up accompanied by violence. In 1182, Jews were expelled from France. Ashkenazi Jews continued to build communities in Germany until they faced riots and massacres in the 1200s and 1300s. Some Jews moved to Sephardi Spain while others set up Ashkenazi communities in Poland.

The center of Ashkenazi Jewry shifted to Poland, Lithuania, Bohemia and Moravia in the beginning of the 16th century. Jews were for the first time concentrated in Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe. Polish Jews adopted the Ashkenazi rites, liturgy, and religious customs of the German Jews. The Ashkenazi mahzor (holiday prayer book) included prayers composed by poets of Germany and Northern France. In Poland, the Jews became fiscal agents, tax collectors, estate managers for noblemen, merchants and craftsmen. In the 1500-1600s, Polish Jewry grew to be the largest Jewish community in the diaspora. Many Jews lived in shtetls, small towns where the majority of the inhabitants were Jewish. They set up kehillot like those in the Middle Ages that elected a board of trustees to collect taxes, set up education systems and deal with other necessities of Jewish life. The Jews even had their own craft guilds. Each kahal had a yeshiva, where boys over the age of 13 learned Talmudic and rabbinic texts. Yiddish was the language of oral translation and of discussion of Torah and Talmud. Ashkenazi scholars focused on careful readings of the text and also on summarizing legal interpretations of former Ashkenazi and Sephardi scholars of Jewish law.

Ashkenazim focused on Hebrew, Torah and especially Talmud. They used religion to protect themselves from outside influences. The Jews at this time were largely middle class. By choice, they mostly lived in self-contained communities surrounding their synagogue and other communal institutions. Yiddish was the common language of Ashkenazi Jews in eastern and central Europe. With the start of the Renaissance and religious wars in the late 16th century, a divide grew between central and eastern European Jews. In central Europe, particularly in Germany, rulers forced the Jews to live apart from the rest of society in ghettos with between 100 and 500 inhabitants. The ghettos were generally clean and in good condition. Eastern European Jews lived in the shtetls, where Jews and gentiles lived side by side.

In the 1600s and 1700s, Jews in Poland, the center of Ashkenazi Jewry, faced blood libels and riots. The growth of Hasidism in Poland drew many Jews away from typical Ashkenazi practice. After the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland in 1648, Polish Jews spread through Western Europe, some even crossing the Atlantic. Many Ashkenazi Polish Jews fled to Amsterdam and joined previously existing communities of German Jews. Sephardim there considered the Ashkenazim to be socially and culturally inferior. While the Sephardim were generally wealthy, the Ashkenazim were poor peddlers, petty traders, artisans, diamond polishers, jewelry workers and silversmiths. As the Sephardim became poorer in the 18th century, the communities became more equal and more united.

The Jewish community in England also changed in the 1700s. It had been primarily Sephardi throughout the 1600s, but it became more Ashkenazi in culture as growing numbers of German and Polish Jews arrived.

By 1750, out of 2,500 Jews in the American Colonies, the majority was Ashkenazi. They were Yiddish-speaking Jews from Holland, Germany, Poland and England. The first Jews were merchants and traders. Since then, Ashkenazi Jews have built up communities throughout the United States.

By the end of the 19th century, as a result of Russian persecution, there was massive Ashkenazi emigration from Eastern Europe to other areas of Europe, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Israel. Ashkenazim outnumbered Sephardim everywhere except North Africa, Italy, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Before World War II, Ashkenazim comprised 90% of world Jewry.

The destruction of European Jewry in World War II reduced the number of Ashkenazim and, to some extent, their numeric superiority over Sephardim. The United States became the main center for Ashkenazi Jews.

Over time Ashkenazim and Sephardim developed different prayer liturgies, Torah services, Hebrew pronunciation and ways of life. Originally, most Ashkenazim spoke Yiddish. Ashkenazi and Sephardi tunes for both prayers and Torah reading are different. An Ashkenazi Torah lies flat while being read, while a Sephardi Torah stands up. Ashkenazi scribes developed a distinctive script. One major difference is in the source used for deciding Jewish law. Sephardim follow Rabbi Joseph Caros Shulhan Arukh. The Ashkenazim go by Rabbi Moses Isserles, who wrote a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh citing Ashkenazi practice. There are differences in many aspects of Jewish law, from which laws women are exempt from to what food one is allowed to eat on Passover. Today, many of the distinctions between Ashkenazim and Sephardim have disappeared. In both Israel and the United States today, Ashkenazim and Sephardim live side by side, though they generally have separate institutions.

In Israel, political tensions continue to exist because of feelings on the part of many Sephardim that they have been discriminated against and still dont get the respect they deserve. Historically, the political elite of the nation have been Ashkenazim; however, this is gradually changing. Shas, a religious Sephardi party, has become one of the most powerful in the country and individual Sephardi politicians now hold powerful positions. Moroccan-born David Levy, for example, has served as foreign minister and, in July 2000, Iranian-born Moshe Katsav was elected president.

An international team of scientists announced on September 9 2014 that they had come to the conclusion that all Ashkenazi Jews are descended from an original group of about 350 individuals who lived between 600 and 800 years ago. These people were of Middle-Eastern and European descent. The analysis was done by comparing the DNA data of 128 Ashkenazi Jews with the DNA of a reference group of 26 Flemmish people from Belgium, and then working out which genetic markers are unique to people of Ashkenazi descent. The similarities in the Ashkenazi genomes allowed the scientists to identify a base point from which all Ashkenazi Jews descend. According to the scientists, this effectively makes all modern Ashkenazi Jews 30th cousins, stemming from the same population almost 800 years ago. This discovery may help medical professionals treat genetic diseases, because diseases like Tay Sachs and certain types of cancers are more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. In order to treat these diseases doctors will now have a better idea of where to sequence an individuals genome to test for disease succeptability. This discovery also effectively disproves the idea that Ashkenazi Jews were descended from Khazars who converted to Judaism during the 8th or 9th centuries C.E.

E.A. Speiser, Genesis (Eng., 1964), 66; U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis, 2 (1964), 192; EM, 1 (1965), 7623 (incl. bibl.). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Holladay, Jeremiah, 2 (1989), 427; P. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander (2002), 39.

Sources: Yehoshua M. Grintz, Ashkenaz, Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.Butnick, Stephanie. Study Says All Ashkenazi Jews Are 30th Cousins, Tablet Magazine. September 10, 2014.Ausubel, Nathan. Pictorial History of the Jewish People. New York: Crown Publishers, 1953.Dimont, Max. Jews, God and History. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962.Seltzer, Robert. Jewish People, Jewish Thought. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1980.

See the rest here:

Ashkenazim

Central Synagogue – Wikipedia

Posted By on September 17, 2018

Central Synagogue (Congregation Ahawath Chesed Shaar Hashomayim)[3] is a Reform synagogue located at 652 Lexington Avenue, at the corner of East 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1870-72 and was designed by Henry Fernbach in the Moorish Revival style as a copy of Budapest’s Dohny Street Synagogue.[6] It has been in continuous use by a congregation longer than any other in the state of New York,[4][7][8] and is among the oldest synagogue buildings still standing in the United States.[9]

The building was designated a New York City landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966[4] and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.[1] It was then designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[5][7]

On Wednesdays at 12:45p.m. a docent conducts a free tour, which begins at the front entrance.

The Ahawath Chesed congregation was founded in 1846 on Ludlow Street in Manhattan by German-speaking Jews from Bohemia. It merged in 1898 with Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, which was founded by German Jews in 1839 on Albany Street.[4][2][10] The combined congregation bought the lot at Lexington Avenue and East 55th Street and engaged Henry Fernbach, the country’s first prominent Jewish architect, to design it.[3]

The dramatic style of the building was the subject of much debate during the construction. Some felt its excess would inspire envy and stand in the way of assimilation.[11]

After a fire in 1886, the building was restored by Ely Jacques Kahn.[3]

The building was restored in the original style after an accidental fire in August 1998,[12] which occurred just as a major renovation was being completed.[2][10] The fire destroyed the roof and its supports. During the fire, the firefighters’ sensitivity for the building saved all but the central pane in the rose window that dominates the eastern (Lexington Avenue) wall. Marble plaques on the north wall of the foyer honor the firefighters of the 8th Battalion of the New York City Fire Department. The restoration of the building was supervised by Hugh Hardy of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer.[2] Hardy restored some details to the interior that Ely Jacques Kahn had removed in the earlier restoration in 1886. The recent restoration was completed on September 9, 2001[3]

Although the brownstone exterior is “the finest extant example of the Moorish Revival style in New York City”, the plan of the interior is Gothic in nature. The exterior is dominated by two octagonal towers topped by globular domes, as well as by the rose window of geometric design. A small row of arches just below the cornice, at the roof line, adds to the richness of the facade. The north facade, on East 55th Street, features six stained-glass windows framed by Moorish arches.[4][2] The interior is “stenciled with rich blues, earthy reds, ocher, and gilt Moorish, but distinctly 19th century American.”[3]

Sensitive to the evolving interests and needs of the Reform Judaism community, Central Synagogue explores both traditional and alternative modes of prayer. In addition to daily morning minyan, Shabbat, holiday services, and celebrations of lifecycle events, the synagogue offers “Tot Shabbat” for children, and healing and community services.

Source: [10]

The entrance to the synagogue (2012)

Moorish Revival detail, south tower of the Central Synagogue (2011)

The onion dome and star at the top of one of the towers (2012)

A detail of the interior (2010)

The Coffey Community House at 123 East 55th Street, around the corner from the synagogue (2017)

More here:

Central Synagogue – Wikipedia

Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 1: The False …

Posted By on September 15, 2018

“In this extraordinary book, Alan Hart has succeeded in elucidating for us the immediate and long term dangers involved in the unconditional Western support for Zionism and its oppressive policies against the Palestinians. The author provides us with a chilling exposure of how this embrace developed and continues to endanger the Jewish existence and fuels the anti-Semitism that refuses to disappear. Motivated by a genuine concern for peace in Israel and Palestine and beyond in the world at large, Alan Hart has written not only a strong indictment of Zionism, based on both research and personal experience, but also provided us with a charter for a better future…” Ilan Pappe, Israel’s leading revisionist historian and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

“In this extraordinary book, Alan Hart has succeeded in elucidating for us the immediate and long term dangers involved in the unconditional Western support for Zionism and its oppressive policies against the Palestinians. The author provides us with a chilling exposure of how this embrace developed and continues to endanger the Jewish existence and fuels the anti-Semitism that refuses to disappear. Motivated by a genuine concern for peace in Israel and Palestine and beyond in the world at large, Alan Hart has written not only a strong indictment of Zionism, based on both research and personal experience, but also provided us with a charter for a better future.” Clare Short, MP-UK and International Development Secretary in Tony Blairs government until her resignation over Iraq

“I hope that all who are concerned about the troubles of the Middle East will read this book. It is immensely readable and a magnificent piece of work which reflects Alan Hart’s close relationship with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. We are in terrible trouble in the Middle East. The book explains how we got here and how we could move forward. The tragedy is hurting Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the world. All who wish to engage in finding a way forward will be helped by reading this book.” Mark Bruzonsky MiddleEast.org, founder World Jewish Congress, first Washington Representative

“As a principled and historical review it is excellent, of great importance I think in terms of content, and the series when finished may even be considered heroic in effort and scope.” Samira Quraishy, researcher, Islamic Human Rights Commission

See the original post here:
Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 1: The False …

Amazon.com: The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women …

Posted By on September 15, 2018

‘).appendTo(flyout.elem());var panelGroup=flyout.getName()+’SubCats’;var hideTimeout=null;var sloppyTrigger=createSloppyTrigger($parent);var showParent=function(){if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;} if(visible){return;} var height=$(‘#nav-flyout-shopAll’).height(); $parent.css({‘height’: height});$parent.animate({width:’show’},{duration:200,complete:function(){$parent.css({overflow:’visible’});}});visible=true;};var hideParentNow=function(){$parent.stop().css({overflow:’hidden’,display:’none’,width:’auto’,height:’auto’});panels.hideAll({group:panelGroup});visible=false;if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;}};var hideParent=function(){if(!visible){return;} if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;} hideTimeout=setTimeout(hideParentNow,10);};flyout.onHide(function(){sloppyTrigger.disable();hideParentNow();this.elem().hide();});var addPanel=function($link,panelKey){var panel=dataPanel({className:’nav-subcat’,dataKey:panelKey,groups:[panelGroup],spinner:false,visible:false});if(!flyoutDebug){var mouseout=mouseOutUtility();mouseout.add(flyout.elem());mouseout.action(function(){panel.hide();});mouseout.enable();} var a11y=a11yHandler({link:$link,onEscape:function(){panel.hide();$link.focus();}});var logPanelInteraction=function(promoID,wlTriggers){var logNow=$F.once().on(function(){var panelEvent=$.extend({},event,{id:promoID});if(config.browsePromos&&!!config.browsePromos[promoID]){panelEvent.bp=1;} logEvent(panelEvent);phoneHome.trigger(wlTriggers);});if(panel.isVisible()&&panel.hasInteracted()){logNow();}else{panel.onInteract(logNow);}};panel.onData(function(data){renderPromo(data.promoID,panel.elem());logPanelInteraction(data.promoID,data.wlTriggers);});panel.onShow(function(){var columnCount=$(‘.nav-column’,panel.elem()).length;panel.elem().addClass(‘nav-colcount-‘+columnCount);showParent();var $subCatLinks=$(‘.nav-subcat-links > a’,panel.elem());var length=$subCatLinks.length;if(length>0){var firstElementLeftPos=$subCatLinks.eq(0).offset().left;for(var i=1;i’+ catTitle+”);panel.elem().prepend($subPanelTitle);}} $link.addClass(‘nav-active’);});panel.onHide(function(){$link.removeClass(‘nav-active’);hideParent();a11y.disable();sloppyTrigger.disable();});panel.onShow(function(){a11y.elems($(‘a, area’,panel.elem()));});sloppyTrigger.register($link,panel);if(flyoutDebug){$link.click(function(){if(panel.isVisible()){panel.hide();}else{panel.show();}});} var panelKeyHandler=onKey($link,function(){if(this.isEnter()||this.isSpace()){panel.show();}},’keydown’,false);$link.focus(function(){panelKeyHandler.bind();}).blur(function(){panelKeyHandler.unbind();});panel.elem().appendTo($parent);};var hideParentAndResetTrigger=function(){hideParent();sloppyTrigger.disable();};for(var i=0;i

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required.

ISBN-13: 978-1580050951

ISBN-10: 1580050956

This bar-code number lets you verify that you’re getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.

Here is the original post:
Amazon.com: The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women …

Zionism – Conservapedia

Posted By on September 14, 2018

Zionism was a nationalist political movement by East European Jews dedicated to reestablishing the Jewish state in the land of Israel, starting in the late 19th century. The goal was achieved with the independence of Israel in 1948, and the term now connotes political support for the continued existence of this Jewish nation. History

Although Jews have been returning to their homeland throughout the last two thousand years, the movement in its modern guise was started in the 1890s.

For many centuries there was talk but no action; Jews did not have their own country, and most were restricted to ghettos. By 1810 the French Revolution and Napoleon liberated most of the Jews of Europe from the ghettos, allowing a new level of mobility. The Romanticism of the 19th century inspired a modern Jewish identity that led to much talk of their own nation. The movement was inspired by the writings of Moses Hess, David Luzatto, Leo Pinsker, Zvi Kalischer, and Yehudah Alkalai; funding came from philanthropists Moses Montefiore, Edmond de Rothschild, and Maurice de Hirsch.

The first wave of settlement began operations in Palestine in the 1880s; Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire until it collapsed in 1918.[1]

The first Zionist Congress met in Basel, Switzerland in August 1897, attracting 204 Jews from 15 countries. Under the leadership of Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), it resolved that “Zionism aims at the creation of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine to be secured by public law,” and encouraged organized emigration and colonization. Herzl formed the World Zionist Congress, making it an effective worldwide political movement. Despite opposition from assimilationist Jews and internal divisions the Zionist organization gathered strength. After Herzl died in 1904, the leadership of the movement passed to the “practicals” notably Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who argued that Zionism should concern itself with the Jewish cultural renaissance and gradual settlement efforts in Palestine as well as with diplomatic efforts to create a legal foundation for the settlements. In 1905 one faction withdrew when the majority rejected a British proposal for establishing a Jewish homeland in Uganda, Africa.

A second, much larger wave of settlement began after the revolutionary upheavals in Russia in 1905. Most settlers supported socialist versions of Zionism, both Marxist and non-Marxist. They pioneered a new type of settlement, the kibbutz (or “kvutzah”), a cooperative in which land was owned and worked communally by the Jewish settlers. These idealistic immigrants had an influence on the development of Zionism and the state of Israel far out of proportion to their numbers. The immigrants were aided by the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth), established by the Zionist Organization to buy land in Palestine as the inalienable property of the Jewish people. By 1914, 12,000 Jews were cultivating 100,000 acres in 43 agricultural settlements. The total Jewish population was 100,000. Zionists idealized the muscular young Jews tilling the soil of the Holy Land; the heroic self-image of the brave pioneer stood in stark contrast to Gentile stereotypes of the feminized Jewish weakling or the avaricious Jew-as-money changer.

During World War I, the British government sought Jewish support. In 1917 Weizmann secured from the British government the Balfour Declaration, which promised support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” though nothing was to be done that might “prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities.” It did not promise an independent statein Palestine. The League of Nations created a British mandate, with full control over Palestine in 1922.

In a third wave of settlement, tens of thousands of Jews arrived, mostly from Europe. They lived separately from the Arabs, though in close proximity.

The British cooperated with the Jewish Agency, which was responsible for Jewish immigration and development. Financing came from the Zionist Organization, which by the 1920s was largely funded by the large Jewish community in the United States. Institutions of national life developed rapidly. The Jews in Palestine were represented by an elected council (Vaad Leumi); it became the parliament (Knesset) of Israel in 1948. Although most settlers were farm workers, there was a very active trade union movement, the Histadrut, which also provided social welfare services. A military force, the Haganah, became an unofficial army. A new fund, the Keren Hayesod, provided capital for the development of Jewish cooperative and communal villages, which were grouped in federations of all persuasions, from religious orthodoxy to Marxism. New schools were founded, topped off by the Hebrew University, opened in 1926, a scientific center at Rehovoth, headed by Dr. Weizmann, and a Technical College at Haifa.

Hard times in the Great Depression led many to return to Europe or America; the Jewish population fell to 200,000 in 1933. The rise of Hitler, however, set off a wave of immigration, and by 1939 the Jewish population had reached 446,000. The rapid growth intensified the opposition of the Arabs. There were Arab riots against British support of a Jewish national home in 1921 and 1929, and from 1936 to 1939 there was rebellion throughout the Arab areas of Palestine. The British responded with a White Paper in 1939 that attempted to impose final limits on Jewish immigration and land purchases, but the situation of Jews in Europe was so desperate that immigration increased illegally. The British refusal to make further concessions to Jewish demands provoked attacks by Jewish terrorists of the Irgun, an underground organization Zvai Leumi, commanded by Menachem Begin, and its offshoot (from 1940) the Stern Gang.

In 1947, the UN recommended the ending of the British mandate and the partition of the country into Arab and Jewish states; Jerusalem was to be internationalized. Zionists reluctantly supported this proposal, while Arabs rejected it. Fighting broke out and on May 14, 1948, the British high commissioner departed, and the same day the Vaad Leumi declared the independence of the State of Israel, which was quickly recognized by both the United States and the Soviet Union. The next day five Arab countries launched a military attack against Israel. But they were quickly defeated, allowing Israel to annex half of Jerusalem and half of the territory allotted to the Palestinian Arabs, while Jordan annexed the remainder of Palestine except for the Gaza Strip, which was occupied by Egypt.

The next three years 1948-51 saw a mass immigration in which approximately 700,000 Jews emigrated to the new state, mostly Holocaust survivors from Europe, thereby doubling the Jewish population.

see American Jews

Zionism grew rapidly in the U.S. after 1900, based largely among Yiddish-speaking recent immigrants from Russia. The Reform Jews, of German background, largely opposed the movement with the main exception of Louis Brandeis, the Supreme Court justice who became a key leader. There were three main groups in 1918: the Zionist Organization of America had 149,000 members, the Mizrachi religious Zionists had 18,000 and the Labor Zionists ( Poalei Zion) had 7,000. The pro-Zionist Yiddish language daily newspapers of the periodthe Yidishes Tageblat, Morgen Zhurnal, the Maccabaean, and Der Togtogether had a combined circulation in 1917 of over 200,000.

The Labor Zionists, although originally founded in Europe on the basis of socialism, had Americanized and largely abandoned socialism in the 1920s. Membership of all three plummeted during the early 1920s, but soared the after Arab massacres of Jews in Palestine in 1929 and the coming to power of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany in 1933.[2]

World War II marked a decisive watershed. The 1942 Biltmore Conference was a major step toward the activist program of David Ben Gurian and helped turn American Jews away from the pro-British approach of Weizmann. The American Jewish Conference, in August 1943, gave voice to the collective anguish of American Jewry over the full-scale annihilation of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis. The horror of the Holocaust shaped and galvanized American Zionism. It convinced many previously hostile or neutral American Jews that statehood was the best answer to the plight of the Jews of Europe. It catapulted Abba Hillel Silver and his fellow-activists to power and enabled them to transform the Zionist movement into a powerful force not only in the Jewish community but in the wider arena of American politics. For example, the new sensibility was embraced by President Harry S. Truman, who overrode his vehemently anti-Zionist State Department.[3]

The fighting between the Yishuv and the Palestinians, November 1947-14 May 1948, and the war between Israel and invading Arab armies, 15 May 1948-July 1949, represented a total war, as did the Six Day War pf 1967. The life and death of Israel were at stake and required the mobilization of not only the military but also the civilian population, the economy, and the social and political institutions of the Jewish communityas well as mobilizing support from the diaspora in the United States. These crises are a central part of Zionist memories and identity, in combination with memory of the Holocaust, and permanently shaped the Israeli-Arab situation as well as the evolution of the Israeli and Palestinian societies.[4]

Zionism, and Israel, are based on the connection between the Jewish religion and ‘Jewishness,’ which gives Israel and Zionism ‘extraterritorial’ power and rights ranging outside the country. This is similar to the ideologies dominant in Ireland, Tibet, and Armenia, where nationalist movements and nation-states are closely linked to religious heritage, a culture of forced diaspora, and the ‘extraterritorial’ power of their cultural or ethnic identities.

With few exceptions, Muslims around the world are hostile to Zionism and Israel, often to the point of promising the destruction of the state. The Palestinian Arabs, many of whom fled during the unrest that followed the reestablishment of the Israeli state are among those opposed to its existence, as are many other Arabs who are allied with them.

Since the 1960s anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism formed part of a larger ideological package consisting of anticolonialism, anticapitalism, and a deep suspicion of US policies. In the eyes of members of the developing countries, Jews became a symbol of the West and legitimate targets for hatred.

Iran espouses the most radical anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist position in the Muslim Middle East, calling for the elimination of Israel. Drawing on anti-Jewish traditions in Shi`i Islam, Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, maintained that Zionism is the culmination of the Jewish-Christian conspiracy against Islam and undermines its historical mission. Fusing together Islamic and European anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideologies, Iran became a disseminator of Holocaust denial in the Middle East and a sponsor of Western Holocaust deniers. Iran’s Holocaust denial, which aims at demolishing the legitimacy of the Jewish state, denies Jewish history and deprives the Jews of their human dignity by presenting their worst tragedy as a scam[5]

Zionism is sharply criticized in the U.S. and Europe by non-Jews who believe that Palestinians are poorly treated by Israel. In the U.S. other critics complain that pro-Israeli interest groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have an excessive amount of influence over US policy. In general, most of the left-wing parties in Europe today oppose Zionism and are hostile to Israel.

In the United States and Europe, until World War II the Reform Jews generally opposed Zionismoften denouncing it because it was the opposite of assimilation and American identity. In the U.S. opposition was centered in the American Council for Judaism.[6] With the establishment of Israel in 1948 the opposition softened, and when the Six Day War in 1967 showed Israel was vulnerable to attack, most previously negative Jews became supportive.[7]

In the U.S., many leftist Jews such as Noam Chomsky are hostile to Israel, and are often very friendly to Hamas and the Palestinian cause.

In Israel a small minority of religious Jews, most prominently the Neturei Karta sect, are anti-Zionist for theological reasons. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, three important secular Jewish groups opposed an all-Jewish nation state because it was too religious. The Jewish Labor Bund retained its long-standing critical view of Zionism. Together with the Communist Party of Israel and the socialist Matzpen organization, it fought against Zionism both outside and inside Israel. The Bund challenged Israel’s domination over the Jewish diaspora, its discrimination against Arabs in Israel, and its refusal to grant the Palestinians the right to self-determination. However, because of an understanding with the Communists, the Bund was not able to proclaim its ideas in the Israeli Knesset. The Bund remained a minor organization in Israel that had only limited success in the promotion of the Yiddish language and culture. The most important ideological change in the period 1948-72 was the strengthening of the right-wing and social democratic currents in the party. As regards the Bund’s approach to the question of Israel/Palestine, the Bund’s most significant shift was from advocating a binational federated state to advocating a federation of two nation-states.

The movement was theoretical and theological until recent decades, when it became the basis for widespread support for Israel among American Fundamentalists.

see Christian Zionism

Continue reading here:
Zionism – Conservapedia

Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies

Posted By on September 6, 2018

‘).appendTo(flyout.elem());var panelGroup=flyout.getName()+’SubCats’;var hideTimeout=null;var sloppyTrigger=createSloppyTrigger($parent);var showParent=function(){if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;} if(visible){return;} var height=$(‘#nav-flyout-shopAll’).height(); $parent.css({‘height’: height});$parent.animate({width:’show’},{duration:200,complete:function(){$parent.css({overflow:’visible’});}});visible=true;};var hideParentNow=function(){$parent.stop().css({overflow:’hidden’,display:’none’,width:’auto’,height:’auto’});panels.hideAll({group:panelGroup});visible=false;if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;}};var hideParent=function(){if(!visible){return;} if(hideTimeout){clearTimeout(hideTimeout);hideTimeout=null;} hideTimeout=setTimeout(hideParentNow,10);};flyout.onHide(function(){sloppyTrigger.disable();hideParentNow();this.elem().hide();});var addPanel=function($link,panelKey){var panel=dataPanel({className:’nav-subcat’,dataKey:panelKey,groups:[panelGroup],spinner:false,visible:false});if(!flyoutDebug){var mouseout=mouseOutUtility();mouseout.add(flyout.elem());mouseout.action(function(){panel.hide();});mouseout.enable();} var a11y=a11yHandler({link:$link,onEscape:function(){panel.hide();$link.focus();}});var logPanelInteraction=function(promoID,wlTriggers){var logNow=$F.once().on(function(){var panelEvent=$.extend({},event,{id:promoID});if(config.browsePromos&&!!config.browsePromos[promoID]){panelEvent.bp=1;} logEvent(panelEvent);phoneHome.trigger(wlTriggers);});if(panel.isVisible()&&panel.hasInteracted()){logNow();}else{panel.onInteract(logNow);}};panel.onData(function(data){renderPromo(data.promoID,panel.elem());logPanelInteraction(data.promoID,data.wlTriggers);});panel.onShow(function(){var columnCount=$(‘.nav-column’,panel.elem()).length;panel.elem().addClass(‘nav-colcount-‘+columnCount);showParent();var $subCatLinks=$(‘.nav-subcat-links > a’,panel.elem());var length=$subCatLinks.length;if(length>0){var firstElementLeftPos=$subCatLinks.eq(0).offset().left;for(var i=1;i’+ catTitle+”);panel.elem().prepend($subPanelTitle);}} $link.addClass(‘nav-active’);});panel.onHide(function(){$link.removeClass(‘nav-active’);hideParent();a11y.disable();sloppyTrigger.disable();});panel.onShow(function(){a11y.elems($(‘a, area’,panel.elem()));});sloppyTrigger.register($link,panel);if(flyoutDebug){$link.click(function(){if(panel.isVisible()){panel.hide();}else{panel.show();}});} var panelKeyHandler=onKey($link,function(){if(this.isEnter()||this.isSpace()){panel.show();}},’keydown’,false);$link.focus(function(){panelKeyHandler.bind();}).blur(function(){panelKeyHandler.unbind();});panel.elem().appendTo($parent);};var hideParentAndResetTrigger=function(){hideParent();sloppyTrigger.disable();};for(var i=0;i

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required.

ISBN-13: 978-0761818212

ISBN-10: 0761818219

This bar-code number lets you verify that you’re getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.

Visit link:

Holocaust Denial: Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies

The Crisis of Zionism: Peter Beinart: 9781250026736 …

Posted By on September 4, 2018

A brave book. Paul Krugman, The New York Times

Passionately argued. David Remnick, The New Yorker

An excellent, loving, and wise book about Israel… Eminently reasonable. Joe Klein, Time

A sharp and ambitious polemic. Bernard Avishai, The Nation

An important new book that rejects the manipulation of Jewish victimhood in the name of Israel’s domination of the Palestinians…. Important and timely for the future of Israel. Roger Cohen, The New York Times

Mr. Beinart has a book…. called The Crisis of Zionism. Chapter five, on ‘The Jewish President,’ fully justifies the cover price. Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal

A terrifyingly frank account of our current state of affairs. Andrew Sullivan

Mr. Beinart thinks America’s Jews must redeem both themselves and Israel by rededicating themselves to Israel’s ethical character…. The sentiment is noble, and the message deserves to be heard. The Economist

An impressive achievement. Alan Wolfe, The Chronicle of Higher Education

[A] probing, courageous and timely book… [It] marks a significant evolution in the debate over Israel. The National Interest

A passionately argued work that will evoke intense debate. Booklist

An elegant, deeply honest look at the failure of Jewish liberalism in forging Israel as a democratic state Straight talk by a clear-thinking intellectual with his heart in the right place. Kirkus Reviews

Peter Beinart has written a deeply important book for anyone who cares about Israel, its security, its democracy, and its prospects for a just and lasting peace. Beinart explains the roots of the current political and religious debates within Israel, raises the tough questions that can’t be avoided, and offers a new way forward to achieve Zionism’s founding ideals, both in Israel and among the diaspora Jews in the United States and elsewhere. President Bill Clinton

Peter Beinart has written the outstanding Zionist statement for the twenty-first century. The Crisis of Zionism is a courageously scathing critique of the sorry state of Zionism today and a clarion call to reaffirm the linkage of liberal values, Jewish commitment, and democratic practice that made the creation of the state of Israel possible and is the key to its moral and physical survival. Naomi Chazan, former deputy speaker of the Knesset and president of the New Israel Fund

Progress in the United States has most often occurred when patriotic Americans have insisted on facing our failures head on and holding us to our founding ideals. In that spirit, Peter Beinart has written a brave and important book about Zionism today. Anyone who loves Israel and wishes to see it survive must read this book. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, and former dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

The Crisis of Zionism is a must read for everyone who cares about the future of Israel. Peter Beinart makes a strong case for a vision of Zionism that encompasses ending the occupation of the West Bank and deepening Jewish education in America. Even if you disagree with him, you should still read this book. Edgar M. Bronfman, president of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation

If you are concerned about Israel’s future, you should read this book. It will inform, provoke, and challenge you, as the author, with clarity and grace, lays out the looming dangers to Israeli democracy and appeals for a Jewish state that is both democratic and just to all, including its Arab minority. Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman and Vice-Chair of the 9/11 Commission

Continued here:
The Crisis of Zionism: Peter Beinart: 9781250026736 …


Page 11234..1020..»