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WATCH: NYPD Releases New Footage Of Hasidic Man Punched In The Face On 13th Avenue – Yeshiva World News

Posted By on January 22, 2020

The NYPD has released additional footage in an anti-Semitic attack on Chanukah i9n Boro Park.

As YWN had reported, on Wednesday, December 25, at approximately 1:00AM, a 40-year-old Hasidic man was walking in front of 4723 13th Avenue, when an unknown individual approached him and blocked his path.

The victim attempted to let the suspect pass and proceeded to walk around the suspect, when the suspect punched him in the face before fleeing on foot, eastbound towards the intersection of 13 Avenue and 48 Street.

The victim sustained a laceration to his lip but refused medical attention.

The suspect met up with two of his friends who were waiting and who were watching the attack.

The unidentified individual is described as an adult male, with dark hair, light complexion, medium build, approximately 58 tall. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans and black sneakers.

(YWN World Headquarters NYC)

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WATCH: NYPD Releases New Footage Of Hasidic Man Punched In The Face On 13th Avenue - Yeshiva World News

Letter from the Editor: Four Love Hacks in honor of MLK Day! – Brooklyn Reader

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Dear BK Readers,

Lets talk about hate.

I know its an uncomfortable topic for some as uncomfortable as it is for those that benefit from racism to talk about race. But the subject of hate is a matter of fact in America right now and deserving of a little examination by just about everyone.

Truth is, more than 50 years after Kings iconic I Have a Dream Speech, hate and racial violence in America is more pervasive and more pungent that it has ever been since his death.

In addition, with the recent and unfortunate incidents of hate crimes taking place right here in Brooklyn against our Hasidic Jewish residents, the topic has been especially heavy on my heart.

So why is there so much hate anyway? (If the word had a hashtag, itd be trending). We hate what we fear or do not understand.

When I first arrived in Brooklyn, almost 25 years ago, I knew nothing about Hasidic Jews. In fact, I steered clear of them and began to form my own opinion of them.The first time I ever really spoke to one face-to-face was a few years after I was in New York and found myself in housing court. My boyfriend who I had been living with at the time and I had split up. He left me to pay the entire rent and within months, I was being evicted.

The social worker from the housing court gave me a list of organizations to call who might help. I started calling and showing up at all of these organizations doors, but they were so burdened themselves with trying to help others, I was placed on several waiting lists. The last one on the list the one I was trying to avoid, really was an Hasidic Jewish organization. Finally, I mustered up the courage to go to them.

A bearded Hasid, a rabbi, sat down with me. He was the first to listen to my entire story. He was very kind and spoke perfect English with no accent I dont know why that surprised me so much at that time and he leaned into my story in a way that I could tell he was really listening. We even laughed about a few things. When I finished speaking, he pulled out a regular, old-fashioned checkbook and wrote a check for me totaling three months of rent. That was enough money to pay up my arrears, find a new apartment and move.

Moral of the story: Dont judge or fear your fellow man. They may be the very one to offer you that helping hand when no one else can.

Some feel were regressing backwards, socially. But I prefer to call it a solar social retrograde: When a planet in our solar system retrogrades, it is not actually going backward; its still moving very forward. But as one planet passes the other, it creates the illusion that one is moving backwards.

During this relatively brief retrograde period between these two planetary forces, on the surface there appears to be chaos and confusion. Whats really happening, though, is an opportunity for introspection and self-correction, before the two powerfully energetic forces once again head direct.

That fact is, to fix something that is broken, sometimes it first has to be pulled completely apart. Sometimes you gotta remove all those couch cushions and deal with all of the stray pennies, crumbs and missing pens, if you really want to clean it out.

So, for this letter, and in honor of MLK Day, Id like to offer four quick and practical love hacks to help clean out your emotions the next time you find yourself motivated by hate.

They can be used a la carte or in this order:

As for the direction of this nation, what may feel like backwards motion is the country reviewing for the final exam: the November elections.

Let us use MLKs birthday as a starting point to finally crack open those books and begin studying. This next test is a big one, so lets get to work, Brooklyn!

Because, what we put in place now most likely will serve as the blueprint for who we will be as a nation for the next 50 years.


C. Zawadi Morris, Editor and Publisher, BK Reader

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Letter from the Editor: Four Love Hacks in honor of MLK Day! - Brooklyn Reader

National Review Shouldn’t Join The Left In Blaming Jews For Antisemitism – The Federalist

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Sometimes even a publication youve long admired gets things horribly wrong. In this case, its National Review, which just published an incredibly problematic article, Anti-Semitic Attacks Shine Spotlight on Long-Simmering Tri-State Tensions, written by Zachary Evans, attempts to explain rising antisemitism in the New York area.

Its a question demanding answers, especially in light of Decembers antisemitic attacks in Jersey City, which left three dead at a kosher grocery, and in Monsey, which left four injured and one man facing permanent brain damage and partial paralysis. Instead of contributing to a greater understanding of the issues at hand, however, the article dives deep into the communal tensions narrative that both David Harsanyi(writing forNational Review)and Ihave criticized for its fundamental victim-blaming.

The notion that tensions have existed for decades in the Jewish enclaves that surround New York City is a non-sequitur if were trying to understand what happened in Jersey City and Monsey. No news report has described Jersey City attackers Francine Graham and David Anderson as neighborhood residents. The idea that they experienced long-simmering tensions with the yeshiva children theyd initially planned to attack, or with the couple at the kosher grocery store they actually attacked, makes zero sense. This narrative also glosses over the insane idea that murder would be a rational way to handle neighborly disputes.

Grafton Thomas, who attacked the Hanukkah gathering in Monsey with an 18-inch machete, was likewise not a neighbor. The National Review article describes Thomas as a Crown Heights native, neglecting to mention hes more recently residedin Greenwood Lake, New York, which is about 20 miles away from Monsey. In other words, Thomas like Graham and Anderson had to go out of his way to attack Jews, who were minding their own business.

As for the outmigration from New York City referenced in National Reviews article, Monsey is not a new center of observant Jewish life. That Jewish community has been there for decades, but even if it hadnt been, that shouldnt matter. Americans should be able to move without strangers second-guessing their housing decisions.

Then, of course, theres the anonymous allegation in the article that Hasidim are like locusts, who go from community to community just stripping all the resources out of it. The anonymous interviewee, described as a Jewish, but not ultra-Orthodox, resident of upstate New York, sounds shockingly unfamiliar with the history of insect analogies used to dehumanize Jews. Those include Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson comparing some Jewish Israelis to termites in 2016, and U.S. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tweeting, Im not an anti-Semite. Im anti-Termite in 2018.

In afollow-up article, Evans notes that including this grotesque comparison obviously does not constitute an endorsement of its language or its argument, but for that to be obvious, there must be a sharp rhetorical divide between this interviewee and the rest of the article. There is not.

Consider the uncritical comment about the perception that many of the men either dont work or make low salaries, choosing instead to devote their time to studying religious texts. The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) foundthat 69.9% of males age 20-64 in Kiryas Joel [another heavily Hasidic area north of New York City] were employed during the 2013-2017 Census survey years. This tracks closely with the 75.8% males across New York in the same age group that were employed.

While this data is not specific to Monseys Hasidim, it illustrates why the perception that Hasidic men dont work is false. And as OJPAC hasalso noted, this narrative of Hasidim as a financial burden is swiftly contradicted by the many articles blasting Hasidic Jews as wealthy gentrifiers in Brooklyn and Jersey City.

All these criticisms of New Yorks Hasidim, and Jews more broadly, underscore that antisemitism is fundamentally illogical. Depending on the speaker, Jews are told to go back to New York or Israel or Poland where most Jews never lived. Jews are regularly criticized as both communists and capitalists. Jews are called both white supremacists and the authors of white genocide. The only through line is projection, revealing more about the bigots hurling these insults than about Jews.

If the goal of publishing Evanss article was to better inform or even fight antisemitism, it was not helpful. When vulnerable minority groups are physically attacked, mainstream as in non-extremist publications typically excoriate the attackers. However, too many articles about antisemitism, including this one from National Review, explain away recent attacks with context the writers would never offer in discussing any other racial, religious, or ethnic minority group.

Editors of all publications would be wise to adopt a litmus test: If you wouldnt assign or accept an article pursuing a particular angle about any other vulnerable group, dont do it for American Jews, who are facing a troubling uptick in antisemitism. Abolish the double standard.

Normal people dont nod along when wife-beaters or rapists insist their victims deserved it. Nor should anyone of goodwill ever provide cover for antisemites, who similarly blame Jews for their own antisemitic misdeeds. Regardless of any justifications offered, the truth remains: Jews are not to blame for antisemitism; antisemites are.

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National Review Shouldn't Join The Left In Blaming Jews For Antisemitism - The Federalist

Monsey rabbi who survived stabbing attack gives invocation at New York State of the State address – Heritage Florida Jewish News

Posted By on January 22, 2020

NEW YORK (JTA)-Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, whose home was the site of a stabbing last month on the holiday of Chanukah, delivered an invocation at Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address.

Joseph Gluck, the man who stopped the attacker by throwing a coffee table at his head, was also in attendance and received a standing ovation.

The attacker injured five people at Rottenberg's home in Monsey, New York, on Dec. 28, including the rabbi's son. One of those wounded, Joseph Neumann, remains in critical condition.

"May it be your will that we all join together in the struggle to see divine dignity in all of humanity," Rottenberg said Wednesday, ahead of the governor's annual address in Albany. "Father in heaven, bless and heal us. I will never forget the horror of that night. But I will also never forget how we continued to celebrate after the attack, how we continued to rejoice in the miracle of Hanukkah. I will never forget the resilience on display that night and in the following days, the resilience of Jewish people and the resilience of New York."

Rottenberg also advocated for protection of the Hasidic way of life. In particular, he spoke out on behalf of Hasidic private schools, which may be forced to devote more hours to secular subjects like math, science and English pending a proposal now under consideration by the state Department of Education. The proposal has met intense resistance from Hasidic leaders.

"We pray that divine providence should continue protecting us from evil forces who are out to harm us physically or from those who are out to attack our Hasidic traditional way of life and system of education," he said.

Later, referring to Cuomo, he added, "Help him promote and instill the values of tolerance and appreciation among all our neighborhoods and communities who may look different, talk in a different language or raise and educate their children according to their unique ancestral traditions."

Cuomo condemned anti-Semitism near the beginning of the speech and praised Gluck, calling him "the definition of New York bravery." Near the end of the speech, he called on New York to end the national rise in anti-Semitism.

"There is no place for hate in our state, period," he said. "What happened in Monsey is intolerable and we will not allow it to happen in this state."

Cuomo proposed a series of measures to prevent anti-Semitism. Against the backdrop of a photo of the recent march against anti-Semitism, he repeated an earlier call to define hate crime attacks as domestic terrorism, promised to increase the capacity of the New York state police hate crimes task force, and provide additional funding for security to schools and houses of worship.

He also called for adding classes about bigotry and religious freedom to the educational curriculum. He recounted George Washington's letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, in which he wrote that Jews would be able to practice their religion freely in America, and he called for clergy to preach against hate crimes.

Cuomo also proposed an expansion of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Holocaust museum in Lower Manhattan, and called for schools across the state to visit the museum.

"Let's make sure our schools are teaching our young children, who are frighteningly involved in so many of these incidents, let's teach them what America truly stands for," he said. "I want our schools to add to their curriculum a lesson that teaches our young people our civic values and our history on diversity, and that a fundamental premise of this nation is religious freedom."

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Monsey rabbi who survived stabbing attack gives invocation at New York State of the State address - Heritage Florida Jewish News

Looking To Volunteer On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Of Service? Here Are Some Options – CBS New York

Posted By on January 22, 2020

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) As the city and nation celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., many are marking the occasion with a day of service.

Here are just a few events taking place Monday:

New York City

Volunteers at Food Bank for New York City will distribute some 1,500 meals and other essentials to people in Harlem and the Bronx. Volunteers will also prepare and pack food for distribution across the five boroughs. They will be working at 252 West 116th Street. For more information, click here.

Volunteers for Hunger Free America will be helping out at various locations including soup kitchens and food pantries. Events will be held at University Settlement Campos Plaza, 611 E 13th St; The Salvation Army: Port Richmond, 1295 Forest Ave, Staten Island; Broadway Presbyterian Church, 601 W 114th St; and St. Marys Episcopal Church, 521 W 126th St.

Hasidic Jews and African-Americans will come together to volunteer for local communities and Puerto Rico at a kosher food pantry in Brooklyn. Its happening at Masbia of Boro Park, 5402 New Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn. For more information, click here.

The UJA-Federation of New York is holding events all across the Tri-State Area with more than 5,000 people. To find an event near you, click here.

Long Island

The Village of Hempstead will host its annual parade, which kicks off at 335 Greenwich Street. For more information, click here.

Molloy College is holding a day of service at 1000 Hempstead Turnpike in Rockville Centre. For more information, click here.

More than 4,500 coats will be sorted and distributed to people in need at a Fill-The-Bag event at Mid Island Collision, 20 Lakeview Avenue, Rockville Centre. For more information, click here.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy will speak to volunteers at the Center for Food Actions MLK Day of Service event in Englewood.

The Newark Museum of Art is hosting a free, day-long celebration called Lift Every Voice. For more information, click here.

More than 800 Bergen County students will work on community service projects in Paramus. Theyre gathering at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus. For more information, click here.

Everywhere Else

There are far too many MLK Day of Service events to list here, but for many more opportunities to volunteer in an area near you, click here.

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Looking To Volunteer On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Of Service? Here Are Some Options - CBS New York

People of the world, unite! – The Hudson Reporter

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Dear Editor:

I would like to make a few comments about the horrific shootings at the Jewish deli in Jersey City a few weeks ago.

First, my sympathies to the victims. This should never have happened. Number one, it proves once again we have to ban assault weapons. But I would take a further step. I say we should make it so anyone who commits a crime with a assault weapon be sentenced 20 years without parole, I repeat without parole.

I am for releasing non violent folks from prison but feel our penalties for violent criminals too lenient. I know of a case where a man strangled his wife to death and got only seven years in prison. Yes,my friends this happens. For a crime like rape, I would sentence the criminal to 20 years without parole; if he beats the woman during the rape, 30 years. Again without parole.

I think it takes that long to rehabilitate anyone who would commit such a horrific act. Now I would like to address the few, I repeat the few folks in the black community, who defended a Board of Ed person who in her Facebook post made it sound like the shooters were freedom fighters. I quote: Mr. Anderson and Ms. Graham went directly to the kosher supermarket, I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. What is the message they were sending? Are we honest enough to explore the answer to their message?

This is a insane statement. Innocent people were killed. How is this any different then statements by Donald Trump? I truly believe all people .white, black, Asian, Native American, etc. are all part of the same race: the human race. Even as a secular humanist I believe we humans have sin or self-centeredness but are capable of compassion. I believe the cult that these folks belonged to, the Black Israelite Hebrew group, is a hate group as much as the KKK.

I defend their freedom of speech, but when they commit acts like this I believe we should lock them up and throw away the key. I am glad the perps got killed. I have a hard time loving my enemy. I agree that some of the Hasidic communitys tactics in buying property may be over the top. But how does that justify killing innocent people who have nothing to do with that?

I defend that Board of Ed persons freedom of speech but anyone with that much bigotry against any group of folks should not be on the Board of Ed. We should not tolerate these horrific acts by hate groups.

Finally, I say to all people, unite. Unite and fight the real enemy, the multi-national corporations that really run this country. And they are personified by Donald Trump, who is the king of corporate exploiters of workers. People of the world, unite!

Gil Corby

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People of the world, unite! - The Hudson Reporter

X-ray vision: What the Torah can teach us about race relations in America – Juneau Empire

Posted By on January 22, 2020

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day, race relations are in the consciousness of every thoughtful American. What can Torah teach us about race relations in America?

I had a teacher, Rabbi Richter, who told our seventh grade class about an amazing audience he once had as a young man with the Hasidic scion of New Square, New York, Rabbi Yaakov Yoseleh Twerski, known as the Skverer Rebbe, back in the early 60s. People from all walks of life used to line up and wait hours for a private audience with the Rebbe Skverer Hasidim, hobos, hippies, spiritual seekers of all types. You see, the Rebbe was renowned for his freakish ability to spend but a moment with you and offer you very relevant, very specific advice for what was on your heart. The young Rabbi Richter left the audience quite shaken; and although he never divulged to the class the substance of their discussion, he always spoke of the meeting reverently, and said that it changed his life.

How could the Skverer Rebbe get a handle on a persons true essence in a matter of seconds? Rabbi Richter said that he had a penetrating gaze, almost like he was looking directly into your soul. In other words, he had X-Ray vision.

Do you remember Supermans X-ray vision? That guy could see through solid stone walls. I wish everybody had Supermans X-ray vision. Not to see through solid rock, or to sneak a peek under Lois Lanes clothing. But rather, to have that ability, the Skverer Rebbes ability, to see past the externalities, right into a persons soul.

The Torah is a book of distinctions. The opening verse states that the first thing the A-lmighty created was difference, distinction, discernment. Heaven and earth. The Torah goes on to speak of many types of distinction between light and darkness, between good and evil, between the Sabbath day and the six weekdays, and between the unique mission of Israel in the world and the mission of the Nations. But nowhere nowhere in the A-lmightys Book does He distinguish between people based upon skin color.

Most non-black Americans strive to treat their black neighbors with the same respect and consideration they expect for themselves. Many people of good will, and not a few prominent Jews, advocated equal rights for blacks. But that is not enough. The Torah holds us to an even higher standard the Gcdly standard the ability to see past the externalities of our neighbor and see his soul. We dare not see a black man or a white man before us we must see our brother, we must see his or her soul. Because that is the way Gcd sees us.

If we relate to our fellow, either for good or for ill, primarily on the basis of skin color, we have already lost. Black supremacists are as misguided as white supremacists. Common references to the Black Community versus the White Community or Black voters and White voters are demeaning and counterproductive.

This is the Torahs secret: there is no such thing as a black person or a white person. Black people dont exist, white people dont exist. It is but a chimera. The only race is the human race. I am a person, we are people, you and me, created in the image of Gcd, a soul put on earth by the A-lmighty to fulfill a specific mission, in a specific place, at a specific time.

We must cultivate that intangible faculty, that sixth sense, to see the true essence of our neighbor, to transcend the veils that conceal the soul. What is their character? Are they honest? Are they kind? Are they learned? Are they wise? No physical characteristic can predict these soul traits. As the footsteps of the Messiah approach and as the human family matures spiritually, it is more important than ever to have X-Ray vision.

It is my hope and prayer that America rises to the Torah standard, to X-ray vision, to the Skverer Rebbes penetrating soul gaze; so that we may finally emerge from the long shadows that slavery has cast on this land, and grow together as brothers, as neighbors and as friends.

Rabbi Yehoshua Mizrachi is affiliated with Congregation Sukkat Shalom. Living & Growing is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.

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X-ray vision: What the Torah can teach us about race relations in America - Juneau Empire

Vital Hasson, the Jew who worked for the Nazis, hunted down refugees and tore apart families in WWII Greece – The Conversation US

Posted By on January 22, 2020

I learned a lesson when conducting research for my recently published book, Family Papers: a Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century. I had discovered the story of a young Jewish man forgotten to history until now, a story that taught me that neither cultural affiliation nor family history is a reliable predictor of future behavior. In short, identity is not destiny, and all of us can fall prey to the tides of history.

Vital Hasson was a native of Thessaloniki, Greece, a cultural capital of the Sephardic Jewish world and a city that once boasted a majority Jewish population, who knew their home as Salonica. He came from an educated, middle-class family of journalists, writers, educators and political leaders.

But Hasson diverged, fatally, from his familys enlightened values.

Hasson became intoxicated by a populist regime and chose to be swept up by its violence, its false promises, its hatred. He used a position of power to degrade the vulnerable. He was publicly denounced by family for his excesses. After the Second World War, Hasson was the only Jew in all of Europe to be tried and executed by a state, Greece, for collaborating with the Nazi occupiers.

Hassons family, like most of the Sephardic Jews of Salonica, were descended from Jews expelled from Iberia in the 15th century who spoke and wrote in a Judeo-Spanish language known as Ladino. For five centuries, they called the Ottoman Empire, southeastern Europe and Salonica home.

But before the war he was not important, less than nothing, according to one of the dozens of Jewish survivors who would subsequently testify against him.

When his city was still Ottoman, in the 1870s and 1890s, his great-grandfather introduced the first French- and Ladino-language newspapers to Salonica, chronicling and shaping modernity as it was experienced by southeastern European Jews.

In time, war redrew borders around the family, transforming them from Ottomans to Greeks. Emigration pulled them in many directions, with cousins relocating to England, France, Spain, Portugal, India and Brazil. Hasson himself moved to Palestine for a time, returning to his native town in 1933.

Then, war came, transforming Hasson from a nonentity to an important person.

Four generations of Hassons family were living in Salonica when German forces occupied the city in April 1941. Two years later, Hasson assumed the position of head of the Jewish police of Salonica under ambiguous circumstances.

The position gave him authority over about 200 unarmed men, all local Jews. Among Hassons first acts was to volunteer himself as a human bounty hunter, exceeding his charge.

In May 1943, he crossed from German-occupied Greece into Italian-occupied Greece in pursuit of Salonican Jews fleeing the Nazis, whom he was uniquely qualified to identify. His efforts were thwarted, but it hinted at the lengths he was willing to go to satisfy those in power.

When a ghetto was created within Salonica by the Nazis, the depth of Hassons depravity made itself known. The Baron Hirsch ghetto, one of two areas in which all Jews were concentrated, existed from March to August 1943, by which time Nazi officials completed the deportation of Greek Jewry.

Within the ghettos wooden walls, which were surrounded by barbed wire and control towers, more than 2,000 Jewish women, men, and children were crammed into 593 rooms. Disease and crime were rampant.

A 23-year-old German SS officer was technically in charge of the Baron Hirsch ghetto. But Hasson appears to have been granted great latitude to execute Nazi orders on the ground. Recollections of Hassons actions, which swirl through Greek-, Hebrew-, Ladino- and English-language survivor testimony, are nightmarish.

Hasson, it was said, raced through the ghetto in a horse-drawn carriage, and made his fellow Jews sweep the streets. He strutted about, using the glistening boots of the occupiers to knock down both doors and people. He stole from the imprisoned, carrying around the ghetto an open bag into which women and men were expected to place what jewels or money they had managed to hang on to. And he identified young men to be inducted into forced labor.

In the words of one survivor, a woman by the name of Bouena Sarfatty, He was like a lion let out of a cage.

Hasson reserved particular cruelty for girls and women. He forced them to strip naked, searched their genitals for hidden money, sheared their hair, raped them and pimped them to others.

To protest her forced marriage to Hassons brother Dino, who long harbored an obsession with the young woman, Sarika Gategno wore the same dress for three months and consumed nothing but alcohol and cigarettes.

From March to August 1943, Nazi overseers directed 19 transports of Salonicas Jews, totaling 48,533 souls, to depart from the train station adjacent to the Baron Hirsch ghetto. One of these trains would head for the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen; 18 for Auschwitz.

The journey to Auschwitz took between five and eight grueling days. Nearly all the Salonican Jews brought there were gassed upon arrival.

On Aug. 2, a special deportation carried away the families of Salonicas wartime Jewish community leadership (including the Jewish police) to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. Before his own deportation, on this very train to Bergen-Belsen, Hassons father publicly disowned his son, who yet remained in Salonica.

By August 1943, Salonica, like Greece as a whole, had been virtually emptied of Jews by the Nazis.

Hasson himself arranged to flee eastward with his wife, daughter and pregnant lover in August 1943.

Several times in the dramatic, confused weeks and months that followed, he was recognized by Jewish refugees from Salonica (in Albania, Italy and Egypt) and arrested by Allied representatives, but amidst the chaos of war Hasson repeatedly escaped or was released.

Finally, upon the liberation of Greece in October 1944, the British captured him and returned Hasson to Greece for trial. In the summer of 1946 that trial, a sensational event that gripped the city of Thessaloniki and the Salonican Jewish diaspora, resulted in a guilty verdict. Hasson was sentenced to death and executed.

Jews across the political spectrum, from Bernie Sanders to Benjamin Netanyahu, claim to seek inspiration in Jewish tradition to explain and propel their political values.

But cultural inheritance does not necessarily determine a persons behavior or destiny. And Jewish history ought not be sanitized. What Hassons story teaches is that under the right circumstances, the politics of hate are seductive, even to those who might otherwise be a target.

[ Youre smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversations authors and editors. You can get our highlights each weekend. ]

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Vital Hasson, the Jew who worked for the Nazis, hunted down refugees and tore apart families in WWII Greece - The Conversation US

The Kedusha of Eretz Yisrael is Being Threatened. You can protect it! – COLlive – Chabad News

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Right now, The World Zionist Organization (WZO) is electing members of its Congress (the decision-making body of the WZO) and executive board members of the other national Israel organizations. This is a unique opportunity for the American Orthodox community to affect the culture and atmosphere of Eretz Yisrael. Yes, Americans can vote! Full Story

The opportunity only comes around once in five years.

Its your chance to protect Eretz Yisrael from Liberal movements that are pushing anti-Torah policies and programs.

Right now, The World Zionist Organization (WZO) is electing members of its Congress (the decision-making body of the WZO) and executive board members of the other national Israel organizations. This is a unique opportunity for the American Orthodox community to affect the culture and atmosphere of Eretz Yisrael. Yes, Americans can vote!

152 delegates will be voted in from United States based on YOUR vote. These delegates will be elected to:

If the Torah community does not vote, we will not be represented. Without our votes, the influence and decisions will be placed in the hands of those who will decide policies that are most often anti-Torah. This is what happened in the last election because we didnt vote.

Vote TODAY to protect the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael at

In the 2015 election, the Liberal Jewish groups won the majority of American votes. They tried to add a mixed section at the Kosel. They gave money to liberal anti-Torah projects and causes. They launched a program to teach pluralism in Israeli public schools. They welcomed hundreds of thousands of non-halachic Jewish Russians as Israeili citizens. And they limited funding to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Now again, theyre gathering tens of thousands of votes to advance their agenda.

There is too much at stake for us to remain silent. Gedolei Yisrael have directed us to act for Torah. Numerous Rabbanim, includingHaRav Asher WeissandHaRav Yitzchok Berkowitzof Yerushalayim, andHaRav Elya Brudnyof New York (as reiterated at the recent 2019 Agudath Israel of America National Convention), feel that there is much merit in this endeavor and are encouraging us in our efforts.

To that end, Eretz HaKodesh, an American Initiative to protect and uphold true Torah values in Eretz Yisrael, has put together a slate of delegates that represent theYeshiva,Chasidic,Sephardic, andIsraeliTorah communities of the United States.

Your vote matters! The outcome of the 2020 election is CRITICAL. If Torah representatives are elected to the WZO Congress, they will have an enormous impact on the Torah standards and traditions of Eretz Yisrael.

Voting is only open for 6 weeks, from Tuesday, January 21 Wednesday, March 11 (Shushan Purim)

Protect the kedusha of Eretz Yisrael! Learn more and vote at

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The Kedusha of Eretz Yisrael is Being Threatened. You can protect it! - COLlive - Chabad News

It happens to real people: how to help children grasp the horror of the Holocaust – The Guardian

Posted By on January 22, 2020

As a very young child, the only inkling I had of the Holocaust was that every now and then my father would say that hed had two uncles in France who were there before the war and werent there afterwards. Id wonder, how could they have just disappeared? How could there only be a nothing?

At weddings and wider family gatherings, we would meet his cousin Michael and later we would be told that Michael had been put on a train in Poland by his parents, been sent to a prison camp in the Soviet Union, fought with Polish forces in General Anders army, and had somehow arrived on our aunts doorstep in east London, but had never seen his parents again. Living in the London suburbs of the 1950s, I couldnt figure out how any of this could have happened. How could you lose your parents?

When I am drawn into doing Holocaust education with children of the age I was then, I often think of how I heard these terrible things without understanding them or fully feeling them. To put it crudely, these things sounded to me, as a child under the age of 10, as sad but strange, with no connection to the safe kind of life I lived.

A bit later, on a trip to Germany in 1957, my parents said that they were being taken on a visit somewhere that was too awful for my brother and I to go with them. It was Buchenwald. When my mother came back, her face was grey. She tried to explain that thousands of people were tortured and killed there, people like us: Jews. I was 11. I thought of a place I had visited a few weeks earlier: the torture room at the Tower of London. Again, I think now of how my mind worked then: using a horror that I knew as a way of trying to understand the horror my mother was talking about.

All this was before the days of the internet, Wikipedia, documentaries about the Nazis on TV, or novels for children such as Judith Kerrs When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.

My childhood curiosity about the disappearances of my relatives turned into an adult quest, fuelled at first by irritation that nothing more was known other than my father saying he didnt know. Later, I became infuriated that the Nazis had not only eliminated people from our family but that there were no traces. They had got away with it. When, in the late 80s there seemed to be concerted efforts to try to make Holocaust denial respectable, it felt more urgent to find out more.

Over the next 30 years, I pieced together the stories of how the two French uncles were seized and deported to Auschwitz, one as part of a Nazi roundup in Nice, the other as a result of ordinary French village gendarmes doing what they were asked to do: knocking on a door at 2.30 in the morning and arresting a Jew for being Jewish.

Because I started writing short pieces about these things, I found myself on several occasions in front of school students telling my family stories, thanks to teachers asking me in. At this point, let me acknowledge the years of work in Holocaust education by organisations such as the Holocaust Educational Trust, University College Londons Centre for Holocaust Education, the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London, and others.

On other occasions I worked with the Anne Frank Foundation and later with children and survivors for a Radio 4 programme about memorialising the Holocaust.

Then, in one college, a young man raised his hand: But none of this happened, did it? It stopped me in my tracks. I had shown the students photos, lists, maps, diagrams, letters. Why hadnt it convinced him? What should I have presented him with? More facts? More details? Eyewitness accounts? I still feel uneasy about this moment.

A couple of years later, Helen Weinstein, a public historian and the creative director of History Works, a media production company, asked me to take part in workshops across Cambridge schools primary and secondary.

She had been asked by Cambridge city council to work with the schools in the lead-up to Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies.

She wanted me to mix several of the things I do: tell the story of what I had found out about my family, write poems, read them to the school students, write lyrics for songs that children, teenagers and adults would sing, help the children write poems, and offer ideas for teachers to carry on the work in their own ways. Ive since taken part in Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies at which a survivor, Eva Clarke, has spoken alongside Eric Eugne Murangwa, a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsi, and other witnesses of discrimination and persecution.

Each time I take part in these activities, I have to check with myself: why are we doing this? And are we going about it in the right way?

Adrian Kidd, the headteacher of Trumpington community college, Cambridge, where weve worked several times, says that Holocaust education has demonstrated to his students the power of propaganda, extremist ideologies, hate, violence and the abuse of power.

Tony Davies, the headteacher at St Matthews primary school, Cambridge, says that through hearing the stories from Clarke, Murangwa and me the children have come to understand that genocide is not some abstract event that happens to others. It happens to real people, people like themselves, and it has happened in the past and in the present also.

Im glad of that. Clarke talks in a quiet, calm, determined way about the horrors faced primarily by her mother. Murangwa tells of his own survival in the teeth of what seemed like certain death.

Davies says children today are already very much aware of the terrible tragedies that occur across the world. And of course, some of our children are refugees who themselves have fled genocide. So learning about these experiences, discussing them, expressing our feelings about them in a safe environment this is essential.

A year 6 girl at one of the Cambridge schools wrote:

Leaving my heart behind I will take the lullaby I knew when I was young.

This feels very different from my own childhood, and yet the way I tried to understand my parents visit to Buchenwald through making analogies must, I sense, work like that with children now. Sometimes we must be prepared for these childrens analogies and make space for them, in whatever shape they appear. A child in year 5 at St Matthews, wrote:

I sit on the warm spring grasslooking at an old, old bee dying on the leaf of a maple tree snatched away from its one and only home I sit on the warm spring grass

Davies says: The children have learned that when we remember the atrocities of the past we honour those who have been lost.

A girl in year 7 wrote this:

Remember itRemember itthe day they camethe day they asked my nameI packed a bagand was never seen again.

Davies believes the children have learned that it is possible to meet prejudice, hatred and division with fortitude and love, and that when we stand together to do so, as we do on Holocaust Memorial Day, we truly are better.

I hope so.

Michael Rosens latest book is The Missing, about his search for information about his own family. It is suitable for children aged 10 and over

Read the original here:

It happens to real people: how to help children grasp the horror of the Holocaust - The Guardian

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