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The Criminalization of Zionism | Sarah Levin | The Blogs

Posted By on March 24, 2019

Earlier this month, when Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accused American Jews of dual-loyalty to the State of Israel, many former Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran recoiled, remembering the innocent Jewish lives imprisoned and lost in their countries of origin because of anti-Semitic accusations of dual loyalty. American Jews, including those from the Arab world and Iran, questioned why leaders of the Democratic party insist on keeping Congresswoman Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee after she repeatedly spouted the same anti-Semitic tropes that led to the oppression and ethnic cleansing of one million Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Why are they allowing a member who clearly knows so little about Israel and global anti-Semitism to sit on a committee that helps shape US Foreign Policy?

Jewish immigrants from Arab countries remember how seeds of anti-Semitism sprouted into full-fledged state-sanctioned, anti-Zionism as Arab-nationalism spread through the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th century. Upon the establishment of the modern-state of Israel in 1948, country after country throughout the region turned against their indigenous Jewish populations by passing numerous laws stripping Jews of their rights, and decrees criminalizing Zionism.

For example, in 1948, an Iraqi law was amended to equate Zionism with anarchism and immorality a crime punishable by seven years imprisonment. A 1956 amendment to Egypts Nationality law stipulated that, Zionists were barred from being Egyptian nationals. In more severe cases, like Libya, laws were passed that completely restricted communication with individuals in Israel. Sadly, in 1961 Libya passed a law restricting citizenship to all but six Jews leading to the ethnic cleansing of an entire Jewish community. When Ayatollah Khomeini took control of Iran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, he promptly murdered a prominent leader in the Jewish community, Habib Elghanian (ZL). Mr. Elghanian was accused of being a Zionist spy and his sham trial and subsequent murder sent a very clear message to the Jews of Iran.

Zionism in the Middle East and North Africa was hardly ever defined by Arab governments and this ambiguity enabled terrible acts of anti-Semitism to happen under the color of law. Jews were denied legal representation in courts of justice and Jews throughout the region were regularly imprisoned, tortured and even hanged because of their supposed dual-loyalty and alleged relationships to the Zionist regime. Anti-Zionism in the Arab world contributed to the alienation and othering of entire Jewish communities and a similar form of alienation is happening again today in the USA, but its perpetrators are ironically leaders in progressive movements. This should have us all deeply concerned.

The irony of anti-Zionism laws in Arab countries is that they ultimately helped strengthen Israel. As Jews in Arab countries and Iran faced mounting anti-Semitism that was codified as part of national anti-Zionism agendas, daily life became untenable and led to the ultimate departure and ethnic cleansing of one million Jews from the region. 650,000 Jews from Arab countries fled to Israel as dispossessed refugees. This led to a population boom in Israel, and a brain-drain in the Arab world the losses of which still reverberate today.

Another irony is that the anti-Zionism that pervaded the Arab world in the 20th century did nothing to improve the lives of Palestinians and this consequential story should be noted by those leaning towards anti-Zionism for the sake of Palestinian rights. Those supporting movements to isolate, boycott and divest from Israel are pushing a dangerous and divisive agenda that has proven to be counter-productive and totally ineffective. While theyve failed to secure the rights of Palestinians, champions of BDS and anti-Zionism have excelled in exposing their anti-Semitic tendencies. Their narrow attitudes and approach seem not so dissimilar from the governments that expelled and ethnically cleansed Jews from Arab countries.

While anti-Zionist activists and leaders here in the USA continue to drum up anti-Semitic controversies, they are missing efforts taking place through diplomatic and grassroots channels to strengthen relations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Its been widely reported, that this past winter three delegations from Iraq visited Israel, and there are a growing number of progressive groups in the Arab world eager to re-establish relationships with diverse Jewish communities around the world including those in Israel. This is not to mention a range of Jewish groups in the US, including JIMENA, who work closely with Arab partners both here and in the Middle East. Not all of the organizations involved in normalization efforts are led by groups on the far left. We come from a diversity of backgrounds and outlooks and its a total fallacy to believe that only those groups and leaders labeled as progressive are able to lead and engage in productive normalization efforts.

Anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA could care less about diverse normalization efforts, because they are solely focused on mainstreaming the vilification of Israel and its supporters. Like Arab governments who criminalized Zionism as a means of persecuting Jews anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA have proven time and again to center their activism more on the de-legitimization of Israel and the isolation of Jewish people, than the advancement of Palestinians. If progressive activists and politicians truly cared about finding equitable solutions for Palestinians, they would cross ideological barriers and work with diverse coalitions and groups on developing new strategies and solutions rather than continuing to promote failed ones like BDS.

In order to be truly in integrity with progressive values, its important for American Jews and progressive politicians like Ihan Omar to pay close attention to both the threats of white supremacy and the current manifestation of anti-Semitism that come from the Middle East. By ignoring the very oppressive and violent anti-Zionism in Arab countries and Iran, we continue to sanction anti-Semitism in the Arab world and we further marginalize the one million Jews who fled or were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries and Iran. How helpful it would be if American Jewish leadership from all ideological orientations could unify at this critical time to build consensus and strategies of how to address the current manifestations of anti-Semitism we see growing every day from both the right and the left.

I welcome Congresswoman Ilhan Omars comments in her latestWashington Post opinion piece.As over half of Israels Jewish population descend from Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran, it is imperative for her and her colleagues to recognize this part of Jewish and Middle Eastern history.

Sarah Levin is the Executive Director of JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, an advocacy and education institution dedicated to raising awareness to Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran. Sarah has conceptualized and developed a number of campaigns and projects for Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews to explore and preserve their heritage and identity.

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The Criminalization of Zionism | Sarah Levin | The Blogs

Heights Jewish Center Synagogue – Cleveland’s Friendliest …

Posted By on March 22, 2019

Refuah Sheleimah to Rob Altshuler, Sylvia Cohen (Tzipporah Bas Malka), Shira Katz (Shira Shlima Liba Bas Leah), Simcha Meyer Liss (Simcha Meyer Ben Shimcha), and Chaya Mintz (Chaya Musha Zelda Bas Chasia Devorah).

Condolences to Chaya (Jenny) Mintz on the passing of her mother Helen Dorthy Nadle. Shiva is at the home of Sue Greenberg (Chayas sister) 23860 Greenlawn on Sunday and Monday from 2-7:30 pm.

Rebbetzin Davidovichs Monday class for women will be studying Pirkei Avos from 9:30-10:30 AM at the home of Yoyo and Marni Moore 2392 Bromley.

Contact the office at 216-382-1958 or hjcsoffice to purchase your raffle tickets. 1 for $25.00, 2 for $40.00, 3 for $50.00 for a chance to win free membership at Heights Jewish Center for 2019. Drawing will be held Sunday, December 9th at the shul Chanukah party/carnival 12:30- 3:30 pm. See attached flyer. We are excited to be holding a community wide Chanukah Carnival. We need volunteers (adults and responsible children) to assist with booths the day of the event. Please contact Devorah Goldblatt at 216-535-9042 or Jan Altshuler at 216-712-1551 for information or to volunteer. We need your help to make this a success.

A singles Shabbatton at Heights Jewish Center is planned for January 25-27th. Please see revised attached flyer with new lower pricing. For more information or for volunteer opportunities please contact YoYo Moore 443.430.1548.

The Simcha Kiddush is sponsored by .

Alex and Marina Abramov, celebrating the birth of their daughter Talia Ruth.

Rob and Jan happy birthday Chaya Devora Corbett. Also acknowledging Robs achieving the point that his glass is now half full. (Better than half empty!)

Rabbi Jason and Sandra Claude in honor of the late 41st President of the United States, George HW Bush.

Edna Edelman Happy Birthday Lori.

Bob and Debby Jacob in honor of the Yahrzeits of their mothers Elizabeth Jacob and Elsie Mandel and in honor of the birthdays of their grandsons Avi and Dylan.

Larry and Dianne Josefovitz belated mazel tov in honor of Robs retirement and in honor of Leah Kushner and Yael Tesler on their meaningful work and beautiful Kiddush for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Martin and Marla Lipman wish Mazel Tov to Avramy and Yocheved Lipman on the birth of Talya Leah, and commemorate the birthdays of Yocheved Lipman and Martin Lipman.

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Males are pleased to announce the arrival of Nachum Dov Citer. The parents are Avi and Yaffa Leah Citer Grandparents: Judy and David Citer and Micah and Penina Males.

Yoyo, Marni, Dvora, Shayna, and Eli in loving memory of Shimon Dovid Yehoshua Ben Moshe. He is never forgotten.

Jeff and Melanie Muller in honor of Jeffs Birthday.

Joel and Sharon Peerless in honor of Sharons Birthday and to commemorate the Yahrzeit of Sharons mother.

Phylis Pomerantz in honor of Larrys special Birthday and Larry Pomerantz in honor of Phylis putting up with him all these years.

Alex and Betty Schnittlinger in honor of Jeff Mullers special milestone Birthday.

Irwin and Lorna Shulman in honor of Chaya Saras Birthday.

Savta Barbara Seltzer in honor of Meirs Birthday.

Chuck and Sandra Zeitler in honor of granddaughter Yaels Birthday.

Davening Times-Parshas Mikeitz

Shabbos Rosh Chodesh -Chanukah

Friday, December 7

Candle-Lighting 4:38 pm

Mincha 4:30 pm

Shabbos, December 8

Dr. Glaser memorial Parsha Shiur 8:30 am

Shacharis 9:00 am

Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:59 am

Navi Shiur 4:00 pm

Mincha 4:30 pm

Shabbos ends 5:47 pm

Sunday through Friday, November Dec 9-14


Sunday 8:00 am

Monday (Chanukah) 6:40 am

Tuesday through Friday 6:45 am

(Medrash Shiur 6:15 am)


Sunday through Thursday 4:45 pm

followed by Mishna Shiur

Friday 4:40 pm

Next Friday Candle-Lighting, December 14

4:39 pm

Revised Singles Shabbaton flyer (2).pdf

carnival hjc.pdf

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Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, targeted in mass …

Posted By on March 19, 2019

Still recovering from a mass shooting at their temple in which 11 worshippers were killed, members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh have launched an effort to raise money for the victims of a rampage at two mosques in New Zealand that left 50 people dead.

Synagogue members started a GoFundMe campaign on Sunday, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the families of those killed and the victims wounded in Friday's attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.

As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $13,000

"We stand beside our Muslim brothers and sisters and mourn alongside the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this unconscionable act of violence," reads a statement from the Tree of Life congregation on its GoFundMe page. "We will continue to work towards a day when all people on this planet can live together in peace and mutual respect."

On Friday afternoon, a 28-year-old man described by police as a white supremacist allegedly walked into the Al Noor mosque and opened fire, killing 42 people, according to police. The attacker, identified by police as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, an Australian, then allegedly drove three miles across Christchurch to the Linwood mosque and killed eight Muslim worshippers attending a prayer service.

In addition to the 50 people killed, another 50 were wounded in the two attacks.

The New Zealand attack came less than five months after a gunman burst into the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh and opened fire. The suspect, Robert Bowers, 46, was charged with federal hate crimes including the murder of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life.

"Were unfortunately part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of, and we wanted to reach out to New Zealand in the same way everyone reached out to us, Sam Schachner, president of the Tree of Life, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Following the Oct. 27 killing rampage at the Tree of Life, people from across the country donated money to help members congregations that use the temple.

"Tree of Life members, and our friends who continue to comfort and bolster us as we recover, must now come together to support the Muslims of Christchurch," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Please share this page with your families, friends and neighbors. Make a donation, and leave a kind message of hope to let them know that the entire world is with them."

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Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, targeted in mass ...

Jewish Clothing | My Jewish Learning

Posted By on March 16, 2019

Clothing has long played a significant role in Judaism,reflecting religious identification, social status, emotional state and even the Jews relation with the outside world. The ancient rabbis taught that maintaining their distinctive dress in Egypt was one of the reasons the Jews were worthy of being rescued from servitude.

During synagogue services, Jewish men traditionally don prayer shawls and cover their heads with kippot, practices that some liberal Jewishwomen have adopted as well.

While most Jews dress similarly to non-Jews when outside synagogue, many Orthodox Jews are recognizable by their distinctive garments worn for reasons of ritual, tradition or modesty. In particular, Orthodox (and some non-Orthodox) men cover their heads withkippot, and some cover these with black hats or a shtreimel, a type of fur hat. More stringently Orthodox men often wear black suits, and many Hasidic men wear suits that arereminiscent of the style Polish nobility wore in the 18th century, when Hasidic Judaism began. Many Orthodox men also wear a tzitzit, a four-pointed garment with fringes on the corners, underneath their shirt sometimes the fringes hang out from the shirt, but sometimes they are not visible.

Many Orthodox women eschew pants and instead stick todresses and skirts. In addition, Orthodox women generally wear modest clothes that cover much of their bodies, although how much is covered varies dramatically from community to community.

READ: Dare to Bare Those Ankles

In some ultra-Orthodox communities, women are discouraged from wearing bright, attention-getting colors. Once married, most Orthodox women cover their hair, whether with a hat, wig or scarf.

The Torah says little about clothing, either descriptively or prescriptively. Without explanation, it prohibits blending wool and linen in a garment (such garments are known as shatnez), in the same verse forbidding mixing different seeds and species of cattle (Leviticus 19:19). It forbids men from wearing womens clothes and vice versa (Deuteronomy 22:5), without specifying the characteristics of either. It also requires Jews to put fringes on the corners of a four-pointed garment (Numbers 15:37-41), both as a way of identifying the Jew and reminder reminding the Jew to observe the mitzvot.

On the other hand, the Torah provides extensive detail regarding the clothing of the priests, and particularly the High Priest, for their duties in the Tabernacle in the desert (Exodus 28), later adopted for the Temple in Jerusalem. Yet while the High Priests garb was elaborate, colorful and full of symbolism, for Yom Kippur, the one day a year he would enter the most holy portion of the sanctuary, he was to wear only white linen (Leviticus 16:4), a sign of humility. White clothing became the symbol of purity, and black a sign of mourning. Nowadays mourning is indicated by the tearing of a garment.

When the Jews were sovereign in their land in ancient times, the standard of dress of those who were wealthy, such as successful landowners, reflected their status. The nobility and upper classes dressed more elegantly. The styles of the neighboring peoples also had their influence. But when the Jews were exiled (70 C.E.) and lived under foreign control, the impoverishment of many Jews became evident in their dress.

In some cases, over time the Jews adopted distinctive dress voluntarily, to separate themselves from the prevailing culture. In others, they were required by law to dress in a particular way, e.g., special hats and badges in medieval Spain and 13th-century Poland. Jews of Eastern Europe came to adopt fashions of the early modern Polish nobility, such as the black robe (caftan) and the fur hat (shtreimel), which are still worn by various groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The origins of men covering their heads with a hat or yarmulke (skullcap) are not clear. The Talmud relates several incidents where covering the head is considered a sign of submission to divine authority. Some attribute it to the Jews need or desire to differentiate themselves from Christians, for whom removal of the hat was a sign of respect. By the 16th century, it had become common enough to be codified as normative behavior among the more observant, who still cover their heads all day or at least during prayer and study.

For women, the uncovered head was from earliest times considered immodest, if not worse. Married women covered their heads so as not to draw the attention of other men. The sheitel (wig) worn by very religious married women is a relatively late variation on this. These practices are observed today only in very traditional circles.

Over the ages, rabbinic authorities often spoke out on two matters related to clothes against excessive or gaudy styles and in favor of keeping clothing, particularly for women, modest. On the other hand, it has long been a custom for Jews to have special clothes for Shabbat and festivals, contributing to the special character of these days.

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Jewish Clothing | My Jewish Learning

Jewish American Heritage Month | NEH-Edsitement

Posted By on March 14, 2019

Each May, EDSITEment celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month by pointing to the rich array of educational resources on the history of the Jewish people in America. Many of the programs and websites highlighted have been funded in part by grants from theNational Endowment for the Humanitiesover the past decades.

One of the most innovative ways for students to learn about the Jewish American experience of the early years of the 20th century is through Mission US 4: City of Immigrants, where players navigate New Yorks Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement.

The idea of America as both a haven and a home for the religious faiths of the myriad diverse groups who, over the centuries, have immigrated to the United States is one that deeply resonates with most Americans. The blessings of religious and political liberty that these immigrants found in America were captured eloquently inGeorge Washingtons letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. In this letter, Washington quotes a sentence from the Book of Micah of the Hebrew Bible:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitantswhile every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

A few sentences earlier, Washington addresses American Jews as equal fellow citizens (the first time in history that any national leader had done so):

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Washington's letter was in response to one written by Moses Seixas, Warden of the Jeshuat Israel Synagogue in Rhode Island. The principles of civil and religious liberty extolled in this letter and embodied in our Constitution encouraged and rewarded active participation in the social, political, and cultural life of the nation with results that will be celebrated in this feature.

A brief history of the Jewish American religious experience in the 19th and 20th centuries can be found in Divining America: Religion in American History from the National Humanities Center.

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A good place to begin if one wants to understand Jewish life in America would beThe Jewish Americans, broadcast on PBS stations and partially funded byNEH. The series website offers a treasure trove of video clips, images, and student interactives on such topics as:

A related NEH-funded website,Jews in America: Our Story,documents the growth of the Jewish community from a group of 23 refugees fleeing from the Portuguese Inquisition in 1654. This comprehensive website on the history and culture includes an interactive historical timeline, with a gallery of over five hundred artifacts drawn from the library, archival, and museum collections of the Center for Jewish History and its partners.

The Humanities magazine article Jewish Pioneers tells the stories of the new lives that European Jews made for themselves west of the Mississippi in the 19th century. According to one scholar there wasnt a single settlement west of the Mississippi of any significance which had not had a Jewish mayor in 1900.

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Over the years, NEH has supported the production of many episodes of the long-running series American Experience. Whether the programs are devoted to well-known figures such as Emma Goldman, the passionate radical, or on the long forgotten New York lawyer,Samuel Leibowitz, who defended the Scottsboro boys, the American Experience website offers new and often surprising insights into the diverse roles that Jewish Americans played in the larger national story.

Another PBS program on American historyThe People v. Leo Franktells the story of the most famous lynching of a white man in American history. According to the program, there were two conflicting legacies of the Frank case, one was the revival of the Klu Klux Klan as an anti-Semitic outfit and the other was the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League as defender of civil rights and social justice for all Americans. A teachers guide to the film is available on the Anti-Defamation League website.

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The Holocaust is one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. Its enormity is difficult for students to comprehend, particularly if it is presented as a general historical event. One effective way of approaching this topic is for students to hear the testimony of individual survivors.Coming of Age in the Holocaust Coming of Age Nowis a free, interactive curriculum for middle and high-school students and their educators created by theMuseum of Jewish HeritageA Living Memorial to the Holocaustin New Yorkand Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel.

The Diary of Ann Frank remains a classic high school text. EDSITEments lessonsAnne Frank: One of Hundreds of Thousands andAnne Frank: Writeroffer opportunities for your students to examine the historical conditions which impelled Annes family to go into hiding and the writing strategy she employed.

PBSAmerican Mastersoffers rich resources for investigating the exemplary contributions of Jewish Americans to such fields as music, theatre, film, and television. Where would American music be without the dynamic rhythms ofLeonard BernsteinandAaron Copland,or the swinging melodies ofBenny Goodmanand his orchestra? American Theatre would be poorer without the complex characters and conflicts ofArthur Millers plays, the dazzling directing talent ofJerome RobbinsandHarold Clurmanand the brilliant actors developed underthe mentorship of Stella Adler. Similarly, listen to howAllen Ginsbergs life and poemsHowl and Kaddish inspired the counterculture of America in the midpoint of the century or howAnnie Leibovitzturned celebrity photography into an art. It may come as something of a surprise to discover that American Mastersalso produced a program on one of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time, Albert Einstein. Yet he surely deserves recognition in a series devoted to examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists.

Hank GreenbergandSandy Koufax, two Jewish Americans who excelled at the national pastime, are featured on the Ken Burns series Baseball. Further resources on these legends and other players can be found on Chasing Dreams Baseball and Becoming Americanfrom the National Museum of American Jewish History.

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The Thing: Jewish American Heritage Month – ComicsVerse

Posted By on March 14, 2019

In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, were giving the spotlight to one of our favorite Jewish American characters: The Thing! Benjamin Grimm is one of the most well-known and beloved Jewish characters in comic book history. Despite his creation occurring 41 years earlier, Marvel revealed only recently his heritage in 2002. However, co-creator Jack Kirby, a Jewish American, intended for The Thing to be Jewish. Its no coincidence that Kirby and Ben share quite a few similarities. Since the revelation of his Jewish faith in 2002, it became a large part of The Things character. Well explore the history and impact of Bens heritage in this celebration.

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #4 Leaps Into the Multiverse

In 1917, Jack Kirby (then Jacob Kurtzberg) was born and raised on Delancey Street, a rough, tenement-lined slice of the Lower East Side. From a young age, he resisted the temptation to join the various Jewish gangs which littered the streets. Instead, he focused on his passion: drawing. 44 years later, along with his writing partner Stan Lee, Kirby brought the Fantastic Four to life. One member, Benjamin J. Grimm, AKA The Thing, held a special place in Kirbys heart. Much like Kirby, Grimm grows up on a rough street in the Lower East Side, a thinly veiled reference to Delancey Street called Yancy Street. There, he grows up in a then-unrevealed Jewish household with his brother, a gang member who dies in a violent brawl. Unlike Kirby, he winds up joining one of the toughest gangs on the block, the Yancy Street Gang.

Already, Grimms background is part of classic Jewish Americana. Countless Jewish families emigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe in the last 19th and early 20thCenturies, many of who landed on Ellis Island. There, they moved to tenement-filled neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, Delancey Street being one of the most famous streets with a major Jewish population. The Thing embodies the rough exterior the younger immigrants had to create in order to look tough in front of violent gang members and con artists who would prey upon unsuspecting immigrants. Of course, rocks make up Bens exterior hide, but his toughness shows even before cosmic rays pelt him. This connection to American Jewry would only increase in succeeding years.

Bens religion was never really brought up for years. In in the 60s, comic characters religions were never really spoken about. Stan Lee wanted to make the characters as relatable as possible, so by leaving their religious backgrounds vague, anyone could relate to the character (although theres no reason why religion shouldnt make a character relatable to anyone). There were some incredibly vague references throughout the years, and in one issue of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE, he teamed up with the mythical Jewish hero, The Golem. Despite this, Kirby apparently believed from the beginning that Ben was Jewish. He sent Chanukah cards out one year with Ben dressed in a yarmulke and tallit, reading the Torah.

In addition to this, and to his upbringing, The Thing has the same mannerisms and worldview as Kirby. They were both tough individuals who, nonetheless, were incredibly compassionate. They both held ultimately optimistic worldviews despite their gruff exteriors. As stated above, those traits were common with Jews who grew up in tenements in the early 20thCentury. Just ask anyone with Jewish grandparents who emigrated around those times. I know my grandfather acted somewhat similarly. For now, Ben was, in effect, culturally Jewish without outright saying what his religion was. That would soon change.

The Women of X-Men: Making Strides For Over Fifty Years

41 years after FANTASTIC FOUR #1 came FANTASTIC FOUR #56 (vol. 3) by Karl Kesel and Stuart Immonen. In this issue, Ben goes back to Yancy Street, as he has many times before in various comics, and is, as usual, taunted by the Yancy Street Gang. We learn this issue that he was excommunicated from them after Ben was adopted by his rich uncle, gaining the ire from his once-friendly but seriously impoverished gang. In order to ingratiate himself in the gang, he steal a Star of David from pawn shop owner Mr. Sheckerberg. The Thing intends to finally return it, but he encounters a villain named Powderkeg, who tries extorting Sheckerberg for cash. Ben gets into a fight with him, and the Yancy Street Gang assist, eventually driving him into a sewer. Unfortunately, in the fracas, Mr. Sheckerberg is injured.

The Thing recites the Shma, a Hebrew prayer recited at the time of death. Sheckerberg awakes and is surprised by Bens revelation. Ben explains that he was always too ashamed to reveal his Jewish upbringing to the press, since he feels like Jews would be equated to a monster like himself. He also reveals that hes become a lapsed Jew since he hasnt stepped foot in a synagogue in years. Ben tries to return the Star of David he stole, but Sheckerberg refuses it, comparing Ben to the Golem and telling him to protect the Star as a representation of his being a protector of the Jewish people, much like the Golem.

Even though this revelation isnt exactly a huge surprise to many fans, it is a beautiful story about Bens guilt and how his upbringing made him into the sensitive, caring person he currently is.

With this issue, Ben Grimm became a Jewish icon. Hes one of, in my opinion, the greatest fictional Jewish characters from the 20th Century. The Thing is such a positive role model for not only young Jewish people, but for all people in general. Hes not afraid to show his emotions even though hes this hulking goliath made of stone. Much of this comes from Kirbys impact on the character. Kirbys Jewish upbringing makes him into the same kind of man that Ben is. His story, and, by extension, Bens, shows that anyone can overcome adversity and become a force for good, despite their less-than-stellar childhood.

Ben is also a great character because he doesnt fall into any stereotypes. Hes Jewish, and he feels Jewish guilt at times, but its not his defining trait. He isnt a neurotic, whiny Woody Allen-like nebbish either, a common stereotype in media. Instead, hes a fully fleshed out character whose Jewish faith only serves to make him more of a diverse character. Thanks to writers and artists like Kirby, Kesel, John Byrne, Dan Slott, and others, Bens Jewish faith leads to a multitude of interesting stories like the tale of Grimms adult Bar Mitzvah, attended by his superhero friends and family. Stories like this have become relatable to Jews and serve as an important characterization for Ben. These stories also made him into one of the best written characters in comic book history.

Why Our Art Needs to Stay Political

As stated above, Ben has become a modern day Jewish icon. He represents some of the noblest ideals of Jewry, especially American Jewry. He overcomes adversity, he fights evil on a regular basis, and he shows compassion for his fellow human beings. Thanks to Jack Kirby and Stan Lees fantastic characterization, Ben proves to still be one of the most memorable characters in comic books today.

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The Thing: Jewish American Heritage Month - ComicsVerse

How the OK Symbol Became a Popular Trolling Gesture …

Posted By on March 13, 2019

Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Allies or Enemies? Tickets, Mon …

Posted By on March 11, 2019

In a one-hour lecture followed by a Q&A session, Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro will l demonstrate how the state of Israel acts in ways that endanger world Jewry and the reasons it does so. Topics include how to prevent opposition to Zionism from being perceived as antisemitic, and what can be done to reduce antisemitism caused by Zionism and the state of Israel. The rabbi will also debunk the myth that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, and expose the IHMS definition of antisemitism as fallacious.

Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro is Emeritus Rabbi, Bais Medrash of Bayswater, Queens, New York. He has attained an enviable place in the arena of anti-Zionist public intellectuals, having constructed a unique oeuvre on the ideology of Zionism and its hostile relationship to traditional Jewish values. At age 19 Rabbi Shapiro published his first work, a compendium of original expositions on Talmudic law, written in rabbinical Hebrew-Aramaic. He has recently attained international renown with his videos on Zionism, which have been seen by millions of viewers worldwide and translated into seven foreign languages. His 7-minute video on President Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been viewed more than 1.8 million times. He most recent work is his 1400-page treatise, The Empty Wagon: Zionisms Journey from Identity Crisis to Identity Theft, a comprehensive exposition on the differences between Judaism and Zionism.


Rabbi Shapiro reacts to Jerusalem announcement

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Zionism and Anti-Semitism: Allies or Enemies? Tickets, Mon ...

National Black History Month 2020 – February, 2020

Posted By on March 6, 2019

February, 2020 is National Black History Month 2020. NAACP Slavery History Learn about the NAACP's Fight Against Segregation. Get Info Here.

Not to answer your question with a question, but which is it that you want to do: stop talking about black history, or incorporate it in history-at-large? Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, Women's History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month all exist because members of these groups are historically underrepresented in the teaching of history. Their accomplishments and contributions to society are all too often deemed inconsequential and not worth discussing. These communities have taken it on themselves to promote historical figures and events as a way to remember the past and to educate the public. If all you've learned about black history in your lifetime is slavery, MLK, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, some of the fault is yours. There is a treasure trove of information available to anyone who's interested. The best part is, it's available all year long.

What are the origins of black history month?

"Black History Month" grew out of "Black History Week", which began as "Negro History Week" in 1926. Carter G. Woodson, historian and founder of "The Journal of Negro History", established "Negro History Week" as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Black History month question?

Yeah they should publicize the other minority's months, because it's be nice to learn about the histories of other races. Yeah they do have months for all minorities. Yeah Native American month(National American Indian Heritage Month) is in November. Asians got a month (Asian Pacific American History Month) it's in May. Hispanic Heritage Month is on September 15 - October 12. They even have months for white people like Greek-American Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month (both in March), Jewish-American Heritage Month (in May), German-American Heritage Month, National Italian-American Heritage Month, and Polish-American Heritage Month (all in October). There even have National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) on April 6th. But they just aren't well-known. I still don't get why the others aren't talk about more often. I think they reason why Black History month is more popular than the rest is because of slavery, civil right movement, etc. people tend to forget about the other races. I think some people tend to think that hispanics just recently cross the border and Asians just recently got off the boat. I don't think a lot of people realizes that these people both here for awhile too. A continuous Hispanic presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group after the Native American. Asians been here since 1763 when Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo in the bayous of current-day Louisiana after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Chinese first come to here(Hawaii) in 1778. Some Island-born Chinese can claim to be 7th generation.

So if you didn't want to read what I wrote up there pretty much what I'm saying is that every race deserve to have there history told not just black people. So maybe if more people become aware of the other heritage months, maybe they will become more well-known and have commericals for them and we have more people celebriting them.


Greek-American Heritage Month

Irish-American Heritage Month

April 6th

National Tartan Day (Scottish-American)


Asian Pacific American History Month

Jewish-American Heritage Month


Caribbean-American Heritage Month

September 15 - October 12

Hispanic Heritage Month


German-American Heritage Month

National Italian-American Heritage Month

Polish-American Heritage Month


National American Indian Heritage Month


National Black History Month 2020 - February, 2020

Institute for Historical Review – Wikipedia

Posted By on March 6, 2019

This article is about the American Holocaust denial organization. For the research institute within the University of London, see Institute of Historical Research.

The Institute for Historical Review (IHR), founded in 1978, is an American organization best known for publishing articles and books promoting Holocaust denial, a practice which attracted notoriety to the IHR.[2][3][4][5][6] It is considered by many scholars to be central to the international Holocaust denial movement.[2][7][8] IHR promotes antisemitic viewpoints,[9] as well as having links to neo-Nazi organizations. The Institute published the Journal of Historical Review until 2002, but now disseminates its materials through its website and via email. The Institute is affiliated with the Legion for the Survival of Freedom and Noontide Press.[10]

In 2009, Institute director Mark Weber published an article questioning the relevance of "Holocaust revisionism" in general, triggering infighting in the movement.[11]

The IHR was founded in 1978 by David McCalden, also known as Lewis Brandon, a former member of the British National Front, and Willis Carto, the head of the now-defunct Liberty Lobby. Liberty Lobby was an antisemitic organization best known for publishing The Spotlight, now reorganized as the American Free Press. Austin App, a La Salle University professor credited for being the first major American holocaust denier, inspired the creation of the IHR.[12] Dave McCalden left the IHR in 1981. Tom Marcellus became its director, and Carto lost control of it in 1993, in an internal power struggle. Since 1995, the director of the IHR has been Mark Weber,[13] who previously worked with the white supremacist National Alliance. Since taking over, Weber has continued to publish writing on the Holocaust and on World War II and has pushed to broaden the institute's mandate.[11] He has been editor of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review for nine years.[13] Its main form of spreading its message is through its website IHR Update and e-mail list.[14] The website that Weber has built features such articles as "The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution" and "Israel at 60: A Grim Balance Sheet."[11]

At the IHR's first conference in 1979, IHR publicly offered a reward of $50,000 for verifiable "proof that gas chambers for the purpose of killing human beings existed at or in Auschwitz." This money (and an additional $40,000) was eventually paid in 1985 to Auschwitz survivor Mel Mermelstein, who, represented by public-interest lawyer William John Cox, sued the IHR for breach of contract for initially ignoring his evidence (a signed testimony of his experiences in Auschwitz). On October 9, 1981, both parties in the Mermelstein case filed motions for summary judgment in consideration of which Judge Thomas T. Johnson of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County took "judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland during the summer of 1944."[15][16][17] On August 5, 1985, Judge Robert A. Wenke entered a judgment based upon the Stipulation for Entry of Judgment agreed upon by the parties on July 22, 1985. The judgment required IHR and other defendants to pay $90,000 to Mermelstein and to issue a letter of apology to "Mr. Mel Mermelstein, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald, and all other survivors of Auschwitz" for "pain, anguish and suffering" caused to them.[17]

On July 4, 1984, a firebomb destroyed the Institute's offices and warehouse. Thousands of books, cassette tapes, and pamphlets, 90% of their inventory, were lost. Carto had not insured the facilities or the stock.[18]

In 1996, IHR won a $6,430,000 judgment in a lawsuit against Carto in which IHR alleged that Carto embezzled $7.5 million that had been left to IHR from the estate of Jean Edison Farrel.[19][20]

In 2001, Eric Owens, a former employee, alleged that Mark Weber and Greg Raven from the IHR's staff had been planning to sell their mailing lists to either the Anti-Defamation League or the Church of Scientology.[21]

In January 2009, Weber, the IHR's director, released an essay titled, "How Relevant Is Holocaust Revisionism?" In it, he acknowledged the death of millions of Jews but did not wholly reject Holocaust denial. He noted that Holocaust denial had attracted little support over the years: "It's gotten some support in Iran, or places like that, but as far as I know, there is no history department supporting writing by these folks." Accordingly, he recommended that emphasis be placed instead on opposing "Jewish-Zionist power", which some commentators claim is a shift to a directly antisemitic position.[11][22]

The Institute for Historical Review describes itself as on its website a "public-interest educational, research and publishing center dedicated to promoting greater public awareness of history."[23]

Although the Institute for Historical Review comments on a variety of subjects, it is most noted and criticized for its Holocaust denial.[2] IHR is widely regarded as antisemitic and as having links to neo-Nazi organizations. Multiple writers have stated that its primary focus is denying key facts of Nazism and the genocide of Jews.[3][4][5][24]

When the Institute devoted itself to publishing Holocaust-denial material, it insisted that its work in this regard was "revisionism" rather than denial:

The Institute does not "deny the Holocaust." Every responsible scholar of twentieth century history acknowledges the great catastrophe that befell European Jewry during World War II. All the same, the IHR has over the years published detailed books and numerous probing essays that call into question aspects of the orthodox, Holocaust-extermination story, and highlight specific Holocaust exaggerations and falsehoods.[25]

On the IHR website, Barbara Kulaszka defends the distinction between "denial" and "revisionism" by arguing that considerable revisions to History have been made over the years by historians and concludes:

For purposes of their own, powerful, special-interest groups desperately seek to keep substantive discussion of the Holocaust story taboo. One of the ways they do this is by purposely mischaracterizing revisionist scholars as "deniers."[26]

American environmentalist Paul Rauber wrote:

The question [of whether the IHR denies the Holocaust] appears to turn on IHR's Humpty-Dumpty word game with the word Holocaust. According to Mark Weber, associate editor of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review [now Director of the IHR], "If by the 'Holocaust' you mean the political persecution of Jews, some scattered killings, if you mean a cruel thing that happened, no one denies that. But if one says that the 'Holocaust' means the systematic extermination of six to eight million Jews in concentration camps, that's what we think there's not evidence for." That is, IHR doesn't deny that the Holocaust happened; they just deny that the word 'Holocaust' means what people customarily use it for.[27]

According to British historian of Germany Richard J. Evans:

Like many individual Holocaust deniers, the Institute as a body denied that it was involved in Holocaust denial. It called this a 'smear' which was 'completely at variance with the facts' because 'revisionist scholars' such as Faurisson, Butz 'and bestselling British historian David Irving acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed and otherwise perished during the Second World War as a direct and indirect result of the harsh anti-Jewish policies of Germany and its allies'. But the concession that a relatively small number of Jews were killed [has been] routinely used by Holocaust deniers to distract attention from the far more important fact of their refusal to admit that the figure ran into the millions, and that a large proportion of these victims were systematically murdered by gassing as well as by shooting.[28]

In 2007, the United Kingdom's Channel 4 described the IHR as a "pseudo-academic body based in the United States which is dedicated to denying that the Holocaust happened,"[6] while the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called the IHR a "blatantly anti-Semitic assortment of pseudo-scholars".[29]

In an article published in Hit list Magazine in 2002, author Kevin Coogan claimed there had been attempts to forge ties between Western Holocaust-denial groups such as the IHR and "radical Middle Eastern extremists." According to Coogan, Ahmed Rami, a former Moroccan military officer who "founded Radio Islam to disseminate antisemitic, Holocaust denying, and often pro-Nazi propaganda," tried to organize, with the IHR, a conference in a Hezbollah-controlled section of Beirut, Lebanon.[7]

The Daily Star, the leading English-language paper in Lebanon, in response to a planned IHR meeting in the country, called its members "loathsome pseudo-historians" and the Institute itself an "international hate group." The paper reported "one former PLO official [stating], 'with friends like that, we don't need enemies'."[30]

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the IHR as a hate group. British journalist and writer Oliver Kamm, writing for The Jewish Chronicle, called IHR "a pseudo-scholarly body".[31]

The "Holocaust revisionist" arguments published by the IHR are not regarded as serious historical research by mainstream historians and academics; rather, they are regarded as works of pseudo-science aimed at proving that the Holocaust did not happen. The editorial board of one of the leading historical journals, The Journal of American History, wrote, "We all abhor, on both moral and scholarly grounds, the substantive arguments of the Institute for Historical Review. We reject their claims to be taken seriously as historians."[32] In response, IHR printed Weber's letter disputing the claims.[33]

In April 2004, following a complaint by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, The Nation magazine refused to accept advertising from the IHR, stating "[T]here is a strong presumption against censoring any advertisement, especially if we disagree with its politics. This case, however, is different. Their arguments are 'patently fraudulent.'"[34] Weber responded with critical commentary in a letter to Leigh Novog of the advertising department of The Nation.[35]

The IHR published the Journal of Historical Review, which its critics including the ADL, the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and other scholars, such as Robert Hanyok, a National Security Agency historian[36] accused of being pseudo-scientific.[37] Hanyok referred to the IHR as a "scholarly organisation", but denounced them because "in its content, the JHR carries a heavy emphasis on articles pressing a revisionist or denial viewpoint about the holocaust."[38]

The journal History Teacher wrote of the Journal of Historical Review that the "magazine is shockingly racist and antisemitic: articles on 'America's Failed Racial Policy' and anti-Israel pieces accompany those about gas chambers ... They clearly have no business claiming to be a continuation of the revisionist tradition, and should be referred to as 'Holocaust Deniers'."[39]

The journal commenced publication in the spring of 1980 as a quarterly periodical. Publication was suspended in 1986-87, and thereafter continued until 2002. Publication of the journal was halted in 2002 due to "lack of staff and funding", according to the organization's website.[citation needed]

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Institute for Historical Review - Wikipedia

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