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Pa. Attorney General asks judge to keep restrictions on gatherings – ABC27

Posted By on September 17, 2020

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Pa. Attorney General asks judge to keep restrictions on gatherings - ABC27

This is why ‘woke’ millennials and Gen-Z are shockingly ignorant about the Holocaust – indy100

Posted By on September 17, 2020

Growing up as the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I was consistently exposed to stories about the horrifying genocide of the 1940s.

I recall clearly how, aged seven, I was told by my grandma about her traumatic experience of being transported to Auschwitz on a cattle truck. A hundred or so people, she remembered, were crammed into the back of a cattle truck without food or water and only a bucket to relieve themselves in. People died on that journey and many more perished upon arrival. Once at the concentration camp, my grandma was the only one in her family to survive.

Hearing these stories at a young age was upsetting. It was also incredibly hard to comprehend how something so heinous had happened to members of my family.

But, it was important that I heard these stories, no matter how upsetting. And its vital that every young person learns these stories so that were not doomed to see another tragedy such as this.

In this survey of 1,000 millennial and Gen Z American adults aged between 18 and 39, 63 per cent of respondents did not know 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

Almost half couldnt name a single concentration camp or ghetto from World War II.

Most significantly, a shocking 12 per cent hadnt even heard of the Holocaust before.

I read this, dismayed, but not entirely shocked. As a Jewish person, I am all too aware of how frequently you come into contact with people who know nothing about the genocide or even outright deny it.

So what has caused such a devastating lapse of education in so many young Americans?

At first, my instinct was to blame the students. Perhaps they had no interest in history? Maybe they just viewed it as another page in the history books? I began to think that maybe, without a personal connection to the events, it seemed like just another obscure historical event to some kids.

I also considered whether misinformation had paid a major part. Almost half (49 per cent) had seen Holocaust denial or distortion posts online.

The more I read, however, the more it became clear that its more likely a failure on behalf of states and school districts.

Only 30 per cent of US states require Holocaust education to be on the school curriculum.

Out of 50 states, thats only 15 who deem one of the worst human atrocities in modern history to be a necessary part of teaching.

In the states that do insist on it, like California, many students wont learn a thing about it until they get to high school. Even then, some teachers rush through it in an attempt to finish the syllabus.

The students, however, are eager to learn about it. Kelsie, a history teacher in northern California, told me that students want to know about the Holocaust but arent afforded the opportunities to do so properly. She thinks the school districts are to blame for these astonishing numbers.

So many events in world history are triggering. Teachers try not to emotionally disrupt students.

Personally, I think getting emotional reactions to it is powerful but some school districts can be seen reprimanding their staff for upsetting students.

Unfortunately, in our line of work, you can do gods work but the minute a parent complains about something, its their word and not ours.

Another teacher, Grace, also told me that often unwarranted concern about upsetting students and their parents gets in the way of teaching history. Often its easier for teachers to avoid confronting difficult subjects instead of potentially dealing with the wrath of problematic parents.

As somebody who was exposed to these stories from an extremely young age, it concerns me that fears of upsetting children are what could be preventing them from knowing about the Holocaust.

When I first heard about it all with the added kick of a personal connection I was devastated. But, the very purpose of discussing and teaching the Holocaust is to upset, disgust, enrage so as to ensure that the lessons from it are imprinted in our memories.

Once imprinted in our memories, we can muster up the strength to face fascism and tackle it head-on.

If its true that supposedly woke young people arent being taught properly about the Holocaust because of fears that they might be upset, then Ive got news for you: a future with no knowledge of the Holocaust is much more concerning

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This is why 'woke' millennials and Gen-Z are shockingly ignorant about the Holocaust - indy100

More Than 10 Percent of Millennials and Gen Z Believe Jews Caused the Holocaust: Poll – KYR News

Posted By on September 17, 2020

The millennial and Z generations have a shocking and saddening lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, with more than one in 10 believing the atrocity was caused by the Jewish people according to a new survey.

According to a poll conducted by the President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), both generations display a disturbing lack of basic awareness about some key facts surrounding the Holocaust, including not knowing how many people died or the names of Nazi concentration camps.

In what is described as one of the most disturbing revelations of the survey, 11 percent of U.S. millennials and Generation Z members said they believed that Jews caused the Holocaust.

When broken down by state, the poll says that nearly one in five (19 percent) of people in New York believed that Jews were responsiblea fact made even more disturbing as New York is the state with by far the largest Jewish population in the country.

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The report also found that 16 percent of responders in Louisiana and Tennessee also believe Jewish people caused the Holocaust, along with 13 percent in Texas and California and 12 percent in South Dakota.

Nationally, 59 percent of respondents said that they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.

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The results are both shocking and saddening and they underscore why we must act now while Holocaust survivors are still with us to voice their stories, said Gideon Taylor, president of Claims Conference.

We need to understand why we arent doing better in educating a younger generation about the Holocaust and the lessons of the past. This needs to serve as a wake-up call to us all, and as a road map of where government officials need to act.

Claims Conference, an organization that works to improve Holocaust education and secure compensation for survivors, conducted what they described as the first-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Gen Z.

Nearly half (49 percent) of millennials and Gen Z say they have seen Holocaust denial and distortion shared on social media or elsewhere online.

When asked how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust, 63 percent of those taking part in the survey said they did not know the figure was six million.

When broken down by state, the report found that 69 percent of people in Arkansas do not know how many Jewish people died in the Holocaust, followed by Delaware with 68 percent, Arizona with 67 percent, and Mississippi and Tennessee with 66 percent.

When broken down further, nationally 36 percent of millennials and Gen Z in the U.S. said they thought that two million or fewer Jews were murdered.

Elsewhere, 48 percent of millennials and Gen Z could not name a single Nazi death camp or ghetto established during World War II.

Not only was their overall lack of Holocaust knowledge troubling, but combined with the number of millennials and Gen Z who have seen Holocaust denial on social media, it is clear that we must fight this distortion of history and do all we can to ensure that the social media giants stop allowing this harmful content on their platforms, Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said.

Survivors lost their families, friends, homes and communities; we cannot deny their history.

Claims Conference also ranked each state based the responders meeting their top three Holocaust knowledge criteria: heard about the Holocaust, can name at least one concentration camp, death camp, or ghetto, and know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Based on the percentages of responses, Wisconsin scored the highest in Holocaust awareness, followed by Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine and Kansas.

Arkansas has the lowest Holocaust knowledge score with only 17 percent of millennials and Gen Z in the state meeting the Holocaust knowledge criteria.

The Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Study involved a sample 1,000 adults aged between 18 and 39 nationwide and 200 interviews in each state. The survey was conducted via landline, cell phone and online interviews.

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More Than 10 Percent of Millennials and Gen Z Believe Jews Caused the Holocaust: Poll - KYR News

Covid Strands Hasidic Pilgrims on Ukraine-Belarus Border – The New York Times

Posted By on September 17, 2020

VINNYTSIA, Ukraine They sang. They danced. They slumped in exhaustion on their luggage. For a second night in a row, hundreds of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims remained outdoors along a road between checkpoints on the border between Ukraine and Belarus on Tuesday, stranded by coronavirus travel restrictions.

Border guards in Ukraine have reinforced the crossing where the pilgrims are seeking to enter the country to celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, in the city of Uman, site of the grave of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov branch of Hasidic Judaism.

As Covid-19 cases in the country ticked up, Ukraine closed its borders last month, blocking the pilgrimage, which typically draws tens of thousands of people, many coming from Israel. Israeli health officials have supported Ukraines decision.

The pilgrims began arriving at a border crossing with Belarus on Monday afternoon, according to the Ukrainian border guard service. Authorities in Belarus let the group pass, and they gathered on a road in the buffer area between the two border stations.

The men tried to convince the border guards to let them through to celebrate the new year, the most important religious holiday for Hasidim. Little boys, looking bored and sleepy, stood by watching.

The pilgrims traveled to the Novi Yarylovychi border crossing after Belarus announced that it was open, Israel Public Broadcasting said in a tweet. But the border was shut. Ukrainian authorities said the pilgrims had been warned about the border closure beforehand.

Ukraines border guard service said that 690 pilgrims had gathered along the border by Tuesday, and the agencys director, Serhiy Deyneko, said that more were expected on charter flights arriving in Belarus. Belarusian media reported a different number of pilgrims on the border, saying about 1,500 had already arrived.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who is Jewish, said that the border closure would be enforced. The State Border Service has enough forces and means for reliable protection of the state border, a presidential office statement said. Guards were reinforcing the border with a secondary barrier, several hundred yards inside Ukraine.

Ukraine on Tuesday reported 2,905 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The countrys ban on foreign visitors, instituted last month, is in place until Sept. 28.

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Covid Strands Hasidic Pilgrims on Ukraine-Belarus Border - The New York Times

Ukraine tells Hasidic Jewish pilgrims stuck on its border to turn back –

Posted By on September 17, 2020

Ukraine on Thursday strongly warned thousands of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims who have been stuck on its border for days that it won't allow them into the country due to coronavirus restrictions.

Ukrainian authorities said about 2,000 people have gathered at the border with Belarus, in hope of traveling to the Ukrainian city of Uman to visit the grave of an important Hasidic rabbi who died in 1810, Nachman of Bratslav.

Thousands of the ultra-Orthodox Jews visit the city each September for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Its celebrated September18-20 this year, and some pilgrims had managed to get to Uman before Ukraine closed its borders in late August amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. Thousands of others traveled via Belarus, which hasnt barred foreign visitors from entering.

On Thursday, Ukraine's Interior Ministry official Mykhailo Apostol reaffirmed that the pilgrims will not be allowed to cross the border.

Ukraine has shut its borders to foreigners, and no exclusions will be made for the Hasidic pilgrims," Apostol told reporters. It's getting colder and we suggest that they come back to Belarus, buy tickets and go home.

Israeli Higher Education Minister Zeev Elkin tweeted Thursday that efforts to help the pilgrims enter Ukraine have failed, and called on them to return to Israel.

At one point, dozens of Hasidic pilgrims dressed in Ukrainian traditional cossack costumes sang Ukraine's national anthem and shouted Glory to Ukraine! in an apparent attempt to soften authorities' hearts.

As thousands of pilgrims spent days in the no-man's land between Belarus and Ukraine, some sleeping in makeshift tents and others on the ground, Ukraine and Belarus bickered over the standoff.

On Wednesday, Ukraines presidential office accused Belarusian authorities of issuing misleading signals to the pilgrims that they would eventually be allowed to cross the border. Belarusian officials shot back accusing Ukraine of inhumane treatment of the pilgrims, and offered to provide buses to drive the pilgrims to Uman and back to Belarus.

Ukraines presidential office alleged Wednesday that Belarusian authorities actions could be rooted in the latest tensions between the two neighbors following Belarus controversial presidential election.

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Ukraine has joined the United States and the European Union in criticizing the August9 vote, in which President Alexander Lukashenko extended his 26-year authoritarian rule, as neither free nor fair and urged Belarusian authorities to end their crackdown on protesters.

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Thousands of Ger Hasidim to hunker down together in Jerusalem over High Holy Days: No worries –

Posted By on September 17, 2020

Dozens of buses will leave midday Thursday from locations across Israel, all heading for Yirmiyahu Street 3 in Jerusalem, address of the Ger Hasidims giant study hall. These buses will carry 2,000 yeshiva students who havent been home for three weeks, during which time they were tested twice for the coronavirus.

People agree to give up seeing their wives and children for this, say members of this Hasidic group. Their journey will not end when they alight from the buses and enter the study hall, but only after a week and a half, after Yom Kippur, when they finally go home.

LISTEN: Why did Israel let 70 evangelicals flout its COVID-19 travel ban?

Until that time, they will remain closed inside, unable to leave. What wont one do to participate in the Rosh Hashanah prayer with the admor, their spiritual leader? In addition to this group, 1,000 additional Hasidim who won a special lottery earlier this year will pray in an adjacent building, with the admor. The other 2,000 will hear the prayers from another building. In normal years, 18,000 men and 4,000 women attend these prayers. This year, women will have to stay home, with only 1,000 men attending the prayers.

The special plan devised for the Ger Hasidim came about after a visit to the location by epidemiologist Prof. Itamar Grotto, who is responsible for the ultra-Orthodox population in the fight against the virus, as well as representatives of a council for yeshivas and representatives of the Ger Hasidim.

The permission given for 1,000 participants is congruent with the criteria for conducting synagogue prayers, says a senior Ger Hasid. Thats why we dont see any problem with it or think it needs special approval. Despite this, a source at the Health Ministry told Haaretz that the Ger admor was asked not to proceed without approval, so talks with the ministry continue.

The total obedience to the admor among Ger Hasidim has turned out to be a great advantage during the pandemic. The admor, who is known to be very strict on health issues, instructed his flock to take every precaution and abide by all Health Ministry regulations. Thus, one can hardly see a Ger Hasid walking around without a mask. The admors house has been fitted with new systems and partitions, estimated to have cost more than 100,000 shekels ($29,000), in an attempt to maintain his isolation while meeting only a handful of people.

Thus, the Ger Hasidim launched an unprecedented logistical campaign to enable adherence to ministry guidelines and to allow a large as possible a prayer gathering at Rosh Hashanah. The study hall was divided into strictly separated capsules, with every congregant familiar with the exact point he enters and the exact seat he occupies.

We gave out tickets, setting up teams wearing vests, the works! says a senior Ger Hasid.

The investment in the adjacent building, where the 2,000 students will remain, is unusual by any criterion, and is estimated to have cost the group 7 million shekels. In recent days, they set up three huge ritual baths there, with 100 showers. Two floors have been set aside as dormitories.

The lower floor will have the baths and showers, the second floor the dining area and the third floor the study area. The two floors above that contain the dormitories, says this Hasid.

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According to a draft of this plan obtained by Haaretz, the Ger Hasidim received a dispensation to bring 1,000 people into the study hall, due to the special conditions there and the size of the area (almost 40,000 square feet). The compound has 300 bathrooms, says the plan. The entry and exit routes of the different capsules will be marked and separated. Worshippers will enter and leave through designated doors.

Regarding the other study hall, the plan calls for documenting and registering everyone, including name, ID number, address, phone and capsule number. Registration will be managed by a person responsible for handling the pandemic, who will report to the district health office and to the headquarters of the campaign against the virus.

The Ger Hasidim are required to appoint a coronavirus supervisor for each group. He will have to make sure that procedures are implemented and document the health status of each group daily, including taking temperatures and interrogating worshippers.

The plans calls for traveling to Jerusalem only on designated buses leaving the different yeshivas, making no stops along the way. Priority will be given to bus drivers who are part of the community, otherwise a six-foot distance will be maintained between drivers and passengers.

The senior Geur Hasid says that some yeshivas already have experience in moving their students somewhere else under controlled conditions. A few weeks ago, everyone in the Hevron yeshiva went to the beach. They left at 1 A.M., got on the bus, and were at the beach for a few hours before returning. As long as they dont come in contact with someone from the outside there is no problem, he says.

A source at the Health Ministry told Haaretz that the plan for the 1,000 has already been approved, and that the one for 2,000 students is still under review. Logically, it should also be approved, but there are some capsules with sick people, so this is still under discussion, he said.

A Zoom meeting about this issue was held on Wednesday. Health Ministry officials asked for more details. No approval has been given yet, but the likelihood that it will is great. This group is the one meticulously sticking to guidelines. Theyve built an empire there, said one source. We realize that it will be difficult to explain to the public what the difference is between prayers there and everywhere else.

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Thousands of Ger Hasidim to hunker down together in Jerusalem over High Holy Days: No worries -

Burned out and abused: French COVID-19 testers strike over work conditions – Arab News

Posted By on September 17, 2020

KIEV: Around 1,000 Hasidic Jews were massed on Ukraines border Thursday, with some vowing to stay, even though Kiev refused their entry citing coronavirus restrictions and Israel urged them to return.Tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews travel to the central Ukrainian city of Uman every Jewish New Year which falls on September 18-20 this year to visit the tomb of Rabbi Nahman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.The mainly American, French and Israeli believers departed for Uman this year even though both the Ukrainian and Israeli governments last month urged them not to travel because of the pandemic.Kiev has closed its borders for most of the month of September but the pilgrims attempted to bypass the restrictions by traveling through Belarus.Speaking to AFP from the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, one of ultra-Orthodox pilgrims, Itsik Cohen, said the believers were hoping for divine intervention.Im waiting and praying that they open the borders, so we can have the privilege of being with our Rabbi, God willing, said Cohen, an Israeli Breslov Hassid from Jerusalem.We believe in God, and if God wants it this way, we need to do anything we can to show our determination, to the very last minute.Ukrainian authorities said the situation had not changed since Monday when crowds of believers began building up on the closed Ukraine border and pilgrims were still refusing to leave.A video released by Ukraines border guards on Thursday showed tents and sleeping bags on the roadside along with piles of garbage.They are dancing, they are singing, they are praying, the spokesman for the Ukrainian border guard service, Andriy Demchenko, told AFP.He said that some 1,000 pilgrims had reached the no-mans land at several border crossings, while the total number of believers in Belarus hoping to cross was closer to 2,000.Ultra-Orthodox members of the Israeli coalition had pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to enable the tradition, despite the objection of health officials who feared the crowded mass event would increase contagion.But an Israeli minister indicated Thursday that efforts to enable ultra-Orthodox believers access to Uman had failed.Ukraine announced it wouldnt allow entry via border crossings or any form of small delegation, Higher Education and Water Minister Zeev Elkin, who is Ukrainian-born, said on Twitter.I call on our citizens to return to Israel and uphold the quarantine instructions upon their arrival.Moshe Garcin, a 44-year-old pilgrim who arrived in Uman days before Ukraine closed its borders, told AFP that its not for them (Israel government) to say this.And pilgrim Cohen dismissed the Israeli ministers call.Elkin doesnt determine the reality, theres a God in the world, he said.Both Ukraine and Israel are keen to avoid a spike in coronavirus infections, with Kiev closing the borders to foreigners until late September.Israel is set to be the first developed country to enforce a second nationwide shutdown, to begin on Friday afternoon.The Belarus border guard service said 1,216 people had attempted to cross since Monday, including 337 children.The pilgrims standoff on the border has led to diplomatic tensions between Ukraine and Belarus.Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday accused Belarus of giving them false hope of entering despite the restrictions by spreading rumors that the Ukrainian border may still be open to foreigners.Minsk has called on Kiev to open dialogue with the pilgrims and show respect for their rights.The Red Cross came and gave us water, hot water and cold water and tea, and provided medical care to whoever needed it, pilgrim Cohen said.Meanwhile, up to 3,000 Hasidic Jews have arrived in Uman for the celebrations, local police said. Law enforcement has tightened security near Rabbi Nachmans tomb where pilgrims have congregated.Ukraine has reported more than 166,000 cases of coronavirus and 3,400 fatalities.On Thursday, Ukraine reported a new daily record of 3,584 coronavirus infections.

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Burned out and abused: French COVID-19 testers strike over work conditions - Arab News

Oakland synagogue celebrates new year with long-awaited eruv J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on September 15, 2020

When is a door not a door? Well, if youre a member of Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland and are tasked with helping to make a community eruv, or boundary used on Shabbat, you have to get creative.

We call them canisters, said Rabbi Gershon Albert, spiritual leader of the Modern Orthodox synagogue.

The devices, each a thin cylinder a few feet tall, are among the ingenious solutions the community has found to set up an eruv, something that has been in the works for two decades.

An eruv is a halachic device that essentially expands the boundaries of a private, enclosed space in which Jews are permitted to carry certain items on Shabbat. By demarcating a neighborhood with an eruv, it makes the whole neighborhood a kind of communal private space.

We feel really fortunate, really blessed weve been able to arrive at this moment, Albert said.

Within a properly constructed eruv, it is permissible to push a stroller or wheelchair to the synagogue on Shabbat, for example, something that would normally not be allowed in a public space. Without an eruv, families with small kids or older members who cant walk to synagogue are shut out from worship services and the social life of the congregation.

The process of mapping out the eruv is painstaking, with every inch of ground surveyed for a perimeter that can be used as part of the wall, or converted into one. That means identifying existing wires, fences and even slopes that can be considered, halachically, as boundaries.

In many cities, utility poles and wires do the brunt of the work. Rabbi Judah Dardik, the rabbi of Beth Jacob until 2014, called telephone poles the bread and butter of an eruv. But in many neighborhoods of Oakland, the wires are underground.

Underground wires dont do you any good in making a door-frame shape, he told J. by phone from his home in Israel. Nobodys going to allow the Jewish community to be putting up poles and wires, which I totally respect. The idea here is dont create an eyesore.

On the other hand, Oakland does have one thing that helps in making an eruv. One of the benefits of being in Oakland, in spite of how challenging it is, is the houses are so close together, Albert said, and small gaps in an eruv are permitted under some circumstances.

But bigger spaces still had to be surmounted, and thats where the canisters come in. Like city gates, they constitute doors that can complete the integrity of the eruv. They use string and are mounted on congregants houses.

If you were to open them, youd have from a halachic standpoint a portable door, Albert said. Our community spent significant resources to work with engineering firms to create the canisters.

One of the congregants who volunteered to help with the eruv was Raphie Shorser. After a serious bike accident in April, he began walking in his neighborhood with an eye to eruv-building. It was especially important for him, as he and his wife were expecting a baby.

Some people care, some people dont, he said. For people who do care, it can make a very big difference in terms of their quality of life.

As he walked, he kept an eye out for wires and fences, but he said it was the canisters that were the key to making the eruv complete.

Ninety-nine percent kosher is a hundred precent nonkosher, he said. Its the same thing with an eruv. You can have 99 percent of it up, but without that last percent its useless.

The new eruv covers an area with a circumference of around 10 miles in a neighborhood east of Lake Merritt, and its the fruition of work going back about 20 years, starting with Dardiks predecessor and continuing under Dardik. On Sept. 10, Dardik joined Albert and the community for a virtual celebration and lchaim. The eruvs construction was supervised by an expert who has helped in setting up more than 60 eruvs in the United States, Albert said.

Now that its up, it will be checked weekly to make sure everything is correct.

The eruv is only as good as much upkeep is put into it, said Albert, who came to Beth Jacob in 2014. We take that very seriously.

Status updates will be posted on the Beth Jacob website, which also has a map of the eruv and information on tricky spots like the following: Utility pole on Leimert Blvd.: Must walk on sidewalk between house and utility pole.

Albert praised the community volunteers who have worked on the eruv over the years, especially their concerted effort in the last few months to get it done. A little more than half of Beth Jacobs families live within the current eruv, so expansion plans are already in the works.

There are also two eruvs in San Francisco (in the Richmond District and in the Sunset), one that encompasses parts of Berkeley and Albany, and one in Palo Alto. All mark places where Orthodox families have created a community. But Dardik said it is important not to think of the eruv as an enclosure, and especially not as something meant to separate Jews from the world at large.

Its not about walls, or blocking anyone, he said. Its about demarcating the footprint of a community.

For Albert, getting it done just in time for Rosh Hashanah is very special, especially considering the years of work that have gone into it.

It just feels like the hand of God giving us something to rejoice in, he said.

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Oakland synagogue celebrates new year with long-awaited eruv J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

Jerusalems Great Synagogue will be closed for the High Holidays for the first time – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on September 15, 2020

(JTA) Jerusalems Great Synagogue will be closed during the High Holidays for the first time since it opened more than 60 years ago.

In a statement on Sunday, the synagogue cited the risk of worshippers passing the coronavirus to others. Israel is currently in the process of implementing a second nationwide lockdown in response to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases.

The deciding consideration was the personal safety of every one of you, the statement said. Even if we stand by these [lockdown rules], there is still a risk. One person makes a mistake; one person is positive [for the coronavirus] and did not know; one person who can infect another. The Great Synagogue wants to prevent this risk [from affecting] every one of you.

The Orthodox synagogue, which first opened for prayer in 1958, seats 850 men and 550 women.

The congregation was founded in 1958 within the Heichal Shlomo building, which was at the time the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. As the number of worshippers grew, a larger synagogue was built on the property next to Heichal Shlomo, in the style of the Temple in Jerusalem, and dedicated in 1982. Chief Rabbis, Israeli presidents, Prime Ministers, Knesset members and judges have attended services at the synagogue. Tourists frequently visit on Friday night to hear the Orthodox synagogues cantor and choir.

The government on Sunday evening announced the regulations for the upcoming three-week lockdown, which wall start on Rosh Hashanah and last until after the Sukkot holiday in early October.

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Jerusalems Great Synagogue will be closed for the High Holidays for the first time - Cleveland Jewish News

Three synagogue arsons in one month in the most progressive US cities –

Posted By on September 15, 2020

(September 15, 2020 / JNS) After an arson attempt at The Way Christian Church church in Berkeley, the pastor and the media blamed it on a racist who was lashing out at the churchs Black Lives Matter banner.

[Pastor Mike] McBride is now considering whether his decades long work challenging police brutality, registering people of faith to vote, or speaking out against white supremacy irritated the suspected arsonist, or whether they were angered by the Black Lives Matter sign hanging from the church, a press release from the church announced.

As our nation continues to confront our dark history of racism, I am glad that the parishioners of The Way and Pastor Mike McBride, who have been at the forefront of social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, are safe, Mayor Jesse Arregundeclared. Anti-Black hate, and all forms of racism, has no place in Berkeley.

A week later, Shameka Latoya Adams was arrested for a similar arson attempt against the Congregation Netivot Shalom synagogueon the same block. Its unknown if Shameka had also tried to set the fire at The Way Christian Church, but the synagogue fire received far less attention. Nor did anyone suggest that trying to set fire to a synagogue might be anti-Semitic.

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The Berkeley synagogue arson was another incident in a violent year, but not an isolated one.

In August, that same month, the Chabad Jewish Center in Portland suffered two arson attempts in five days. The first fire had been dismissed as an electrical issue, but in the second case, the gas and power had beenshut off, and the building had beenboarded up with no one inside.

The second fire was deemed suspicious and led to an FBI investigation.

This was not the first time Chabad centers had been targeted. Last year,two fires were setat the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Arlington, Massachusetts, and a third fire at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham.

The third synagogue arson in August took place at the University of Delaware Chabads Center for Jewish Life. After firefighters battled the blaze for three hours, the estimated damage stood at around $200,000. The fire marshal deemed it a case of arson and launched an investigation.

Three synagogue arsons in one month are as notable as the lack of interest in the pattern.

Berkeley and Portland are notorious incubators of leftist radicalism, and the University of Delaware takes pride in being both diverse and progressive.

Theres an understandable discomfort when talking about why attacks against Jews keep happening in some of the most progressive parts of the country. And theres often just as much discomfort when confronting the perpetrators of some of the attacks on synagogues.

Shameka Latoya Adams has been described as a black woman, but the booking report lists Shameka as male. In May of last year, a man was caught on video hurling molotov cocktails at Congregation Anshe Sholom Bnai Israel in Chicago. The arson attempt failed and the suspect was apparently never caught, but the police were looking for a black male.

Last March, Andrew Costas, a Satanist, and his girlfriend, hadplotted attackson 13 churches and synagogues in Maryland. Costas was caught after he firebombed a Catholic church and defaced a synagogue with Nazi swastikas as part of a ritual to prove he was the antichrist.

While white supremacists have carried out the deadliest attacks on synagogues in recent years with mass shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and an attack in Poway, California, the ongoing drumbeat of violence often comes from the blight of a failed society.

In March 2020, ahomeless womanwas arrestedafter startinga fire at Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Colorado. The temple had been previously targeted in a white supremacist bomb plot in November of last year.

A homeless man had previously started a fire that destroyed the 119-year old Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota, in the fall of last year. Also in the fall, a manhad set fireto a backpack on the steps of the Park Slope Jewish Center in Brooklyn, New York on Yom Kippur.

While targeted anti-Semitic violence is very much a reality, the collapse of law and order, the political philosophy that turned over public spaces to mentally unstable vagrants and junkies, has a heavy ongoing cost. The idea that there is a firm dividing line between racist violence and social instability, between hate and dysfunction, is politically appealing to liberals, but not true.

Social collapse hurts everyone. Especially those who are vulnerable and have a lot to lose.

An unstable society is more likely to spawn violent fanatics, white and black nationalists seeking meaning and purpose in a world that no longer seems to offer them one, not to mention criminals and crazies who will follow their impulses, instincts and the voices in their heads.

The wave of Black Lives Matter violencealready resultedinmultiple attacks on synagogues. But, even further out of the spotlight, the rising extremism and instability is taking its toll.

And thats one reason why the media and liberal organizations dont want to talk about it.

When California Jewish organizations thought that a black church had been attacked because it had flown a Black Lives Matter banner, they issued outraged statements blasting racism.

But when the nearby Congregation Netivot Shalom suffered an arson attempt and the alleged perpetrator inconveniently proved to be a black transgender person, the JCRC and the other organizations that had rushed out statements earlier maintained an uncomfortable silence.

This double game is being played after the fires in Portland and at the University of Delaware as the federations and their local papers wait to find out who the perpetrators of the arson are.

Not all burning synagogues are created equal. Some are condemned, many are ignored.

A white supremacist planting a bomb is firmly condemned, but a black man throwing molotov cocktails at a synagogue is carefully not discussed. The rising tide of homeless violence, and its spillover into synagogue robberies and arson, is not a fit subject for social justice temples.

The countrys progressive cities are becoming wastelands of violence. And leaders who care more about social justice and the buzzwords of the political moment cant afford to notice it.

But meanwhile, synagogues are burning.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

This article was first published by FrontPage Magazine.

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