Page 21234..1020..»

‘A gold standard for aliyah’ Zionism in the face of Israel-hatred today – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 18, 2021

What makes us move to Israel? Love, need, fate?Its a subject Im exploring these days while the Jewish world seems fractured between those who are proud of or angry at our Jewish state.The answer isnt obvious.I know folks who grew up without knowing who Theodor Herzl or David Ben-Gurion are, who didnt know the difference between Tu Bshvat and Lag Bomer (and didnt care), who came to Israel on a fluke because someone told them volunteering on a kibbutz was a cheap way of travel. Nonetheless, they wound up making aliyah and becoming devoted Israelis.On the other hand, there are others who grew up loving Israel but never moved here. Decades ago, I had a job selling tax-free goods to new immigrants in the Murray Greenfield Agency in Jerusalem. We helped newcomers wisely choose everything from toasters to vehicles. There were intriguing products: clothes dryers that also heated small apartments and twin beds that zipped together. Id already been working there for several years when a luminary of my own Zionist youth movement came into our office while finally making aliyah. I sold him a Peugeot sedan. For whatever reason, he and his family didnt wind up staying.I like to recall my own epiphany: that moment when I knew I would live in Israel. I was a high school senior, just turned 18, on a Young Judaea study weekend, challenged by the Israeli emissary near Connecticuts Salmon River with its covered bridge. But that decision didnt happen in a vacuum. Id already been active in Young Judaea since I was 10 and I grew up in a home where my mother ordered any Book-of-the-Month Club selections with a Jewish theme. My father redirected our summer vacation money to the emergency funds for the Six Day War. They didnt object to my moving to Israel, indeed they came after me, as did my sister.I RECENTLY learned of the Gold family, former Americans who gathered at Kibbutz Nir Etzion south of Haifa for the four-day Shabbat-Shavuot weekend. The fragile ceasefire of Operation Guardian of the Walls had just been announced. They didnt have to worry about airports closing because nearly all 270 cousins live in Israel. A gold standard for aliyah.

cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });

Read the original:
'A gold standard for aliyah' Zionism in the face of Israel-hatred today - The Jerusalem Post

When it comes to anti-Israel attacks on Jews, its time to name the enemy – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 18, 2021

The COVID-19 epidemic proves you cannot just treat a plagues symptoms you must root it out. Yet as incidents of Jew-bullying in the US more than doubled in May compared to the same time period in 2020, too many American Jews complained about the symptoms while obscuring the cause. In a polarized polity, too many in the overwhelmingly liberal American Jewish community either ignore or cover up left-wing complicity in the New Antisemitism, meaning anti-Zionist Jew-hatred.Call it Zio-washing: bleaching the anti-Zionism out of modern antisemitism.

Consider the Jewish Theological Seminarys Statement on Antisemitic Crimes condemning this spate of brutal acts, issued during last monthsmilitary conflict between Israel and Hamas. The JTS lamented this latest manifestation of the centuries-long phenomenon of Jew-hatred. And it claimed that What is happening to Jews in North America shares much with other hate crimes perpetrated in our society.

But somethings missing: The statement ignored Israel, Zionism and the New Antisemitism.

The antisemitic attacks and rhetoric during the latest conflict was largely fueled by the anti-Zionist lefts sweeping denunciations of Israel and Zionism. Wrapping their cause in Black Lives Matters rhetoric and righteousness, pro-Palestinian and pro-Islamist goons have committed many of the most recent anti-Jewish street crimes.

Claiming that the Jew-bashing shares much with other hate crimes perpetrated in our society, the JTS statement masks this far-left anti-Zionist hooliganism with a phrase that usually points to haters on the right.

cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });

President Joe Bidens May 28 statement also Zio-washed. He condemned this mysterious, coming-from-nowhere Jew-hating surge in the last weeks. Biden mentioned six incidents, from a brick thrown through the window of a Jewish-owned business in Manhattan to families threatened outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, without mentioning Israel, Zionism or pro-Palestinian thuggery.

Not naming the distinctly left-wing roots of this hatred suggests that those doing the condemning do not want to alienate supposed allies.

Liberals were much more eager to name antisemitisms perpetrators when they emerged from the Trumpian right or from the white supremacists that attached themselves to his agenda. Similarly, conservatives only see antisemitism when it it comes out of the campus or anti-Israel left to the delight of Jew-haters everywhere. Yes, antisemitism is the latest manifestation of a centuries-long phenomenon of hatred and violence against Jews, as JTS put it. But the longest hatred is also the most plastic hatred pliable, artificial and occasionally lethal. No one should fall for the haters false rationales or supposed other virtues. We need zero tolerance for all Jew-hatred and all bigotry.

Offering clarity, the Anti-Defamation League declared: Since the start of the May conflict between Israel and Hamas, there have been numerous antisemitic incidents around the world related to the conflict. The perpetrators of these attacks deliberately targeted Jewish institutions in order to express their anger towards Israel. Whenever anti-Israel actions target Jewish institutions or individual Jews in other words, holding Jews collectively responsible Israels actions ADL considers such incidents as antisemitic.

The ADL activists non-academics offered context and causation: These attacks didnt pop up spontaneously. ADL connected the dots, noting that these thugs target Jews to bash the Jewish state. And they taught something others overlooked: that beating on Jews because you object to Israeli policy or Israel is antisemitic.

Still, the ADLs description turned too cautious by not directly confronting the false, facile analogies comparing Americas complex racial dynamics with Israelis complex national dynamics with regard to Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and Bedouins.

Our Canadian cousins got it right. On June 3, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs defined antisemitism, especially in its modern guise of anti-Zionism, as anti-Jewish violence compounded by some of our societys most esteemed institutions universities, school boards, political parties, unions, the media ignoring Jew-hatred, and in so doing providing cover for it.

The bold statement detailed five ways that anti-Zionists are not just criticizing Israel but committing Jew-hatred, including When in the name of criticizing Israel, anti-Zionists pelt Canadians with stones, that is antisemitism.

While buoying anti-Semites, Zio-washing explains how an increasingly loud minority of rabbis and Jewish studies professors feel comfortable bashing Israel and repudiating Zionism. Empty institutional statements suggest that many American Jewish leaders fear embracing Israel and Zionism too ardently.

Fortunately, Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt and others formed the Zionist Rabbinic Coalition to represent most American Jews: proudly pro-Israel and pro-peoplehood. Still, when I grew up, Zionist rabbis didnt need the adjective we just called them rabbis.

Sun Tzu taught: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. But If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Comfortable in their Jewish skins, these rabbis, like most Israelis, are ready to confront the antisemites. Only with such confidence and true allies ready to diagnose the problem clearly and fight the problem systematically will we be able to contain this growing, and all too often perfumed, Jew-hatred. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

See the article here:
When it comes to anti-Israel attacks on Jews, its time to name the enemy - The Jerusalem Post

In this island nation, Christian Zionists fight to win hearts and minds for Israel – Haaretz

Posted By on June 18, 2021

TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan Just around the corner from Taipeis iconic 101 building, the father of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, stares down passersby. Its a strange sight in a city thousands of miles from Israel, but it marks Zionisms leap from Taiwans religious fringes to a wider audience.

Its actually a mural atWave, a restaurant, bar and event space aimed at sharing Israeli culture, which is set to open in July. It is the brainchild not of Israeli immigrants but two Taiwanese citizens who love Israel.

In Taiwan, many people just dont know anything about Israel ... or some who are Christian, they know about Israel as the holy land. But a very special part of Israel is that its very free, very chill. So thats what we want to bring to Taiwan, says Ann Chen, Waves manager.

Supported by the Israeli Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, Israels de facto embassy, Chen has built a career around loving Israel: She helps the cultural office edit videos and host events, gives lectures about Israel, and sells her combination Hebrew-Chinese designs.

During Israels latest round of fighting with Hamas, which left 256 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead, Chen took to social media and shared pro-Israel infographics and news stories in Mandarin that received hundreds of shares.

Heavy Zionist leanings

Chens first visit to Israel was in 2016, at the recommendation of a Christian acting teacher. I think everything is still based on my religion. But, because now Im promoting Israel, I think I have to go inside the community and then I can introduce this country, this culture, to Taiwanese people, she says.

Though her business goals are not religious, Chens success represents a growing trend of pro-Israel sentiment among Taiwans Christians.

On a small island of some 24 million people, Christians represent only 4 to 5 percent of all Taiwanese, many of whom are indigenous. Of those, experts estimate more than half are actively pro-Israel, and that Christian Zionist influence is growing within Taiwans churches.

Taiwans Christians buy out tables at Jewish holiday events hosted by the local Jewish community of less than 1,000 people. Churches with heavy Zionist leanings, like Bread of Life a megachurch with 52 congregations across the island that is known for its anti-LGBT activism observe Jewish holidays and customs in growing numbers. Taiwans only Holocaust museum is located inside a church.

My colleagues from Hong Kong are so surprised to see that most of the Taiwanese churches are supportive to Israel, says Tseng Tsong-sheng, an Old Testament scholar at the Taiwan Theological College and Seminary.

Christian Zionism is the belief that the return of Jews to Israel and establishment of the Jewish state was prophesied in the Bible; some believe the conversion of Jews to Christianity is a means of fulfilling the prophecy and bringing upon the second coming of Jesus.

The movement is popular among Americas evangelicals, who celebrated the Trump administrations decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel has leaned into the movements support, despite the antisemitic tendencies of some of its proponents. Christian Zionism leaves little room for criticism of the Israeli military occupation, settlements and alleged human rights abuses.

They regard Jews as instrumentalized. And that means they put the Jews in the box, or structure of the Christian Zionist ideas of history, says Tseng. He credits the growth of Christian Zionism in Taiwan to American influence and the growth of organizations like the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem.

Christians who support Israel here are not limited to evangelicals, but also include Lutherans and multidenominational Protestant churches. The Bread of Life Church, which Tseng says has become its own denomination within Taiwan, is heavily influenced by the Charismatic movement (in which historically mainstream Christian congregations adopt beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostalism).

Sometimes we hear some voices mentioning that maybe we should also take care of Palestinian people, but we always explain that we received a calling from God to bless Israel. We just respond to Gods calling, says Joseph Chou, a board member and former chairman of ICEJs Taiwan satellite, which he and his wife, Deborah Yung, opened in 2004.

Omer Caspi, Israels representative at the Economic and Cultural Office, has said connecting with Christian groups in Taiwan is an important part of outreach.

In a separate interview via email, Caspi wrote that his office cooperates with different people, organizations and groups in Taiwan, among them also Christians. As part of our work, we also support interfaith and people-to-people activities that enhance the mutual understanding of each other.

Close ally

When Chen explains Israel to her Taiwanese friends, she often starts with similarities between the two countries and their peoples. Theyre like brothers, she says.

According to Roie Yellinek, a nonresident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Ramat Gan, both are islands of sorts. The Taiwanese people see Israel as a close ally because of the similarity between the two nations. Because the people in Taiwan and the people in Israel feel that there is a great power in [Taiwans] case its China, in Israels case its the Arab world, that can start a war in a second ... and we need to find ways to defend ourselves, he says.

Neither state formally recognizes one another in order to maintain relationships with other countries, but both collaborate and greatly benefit from one another.

The relationship has also meant easier access to Chinese-speaking Christians who directly and indirectly support Israel, a difficult feat in China due to the political sensitivity of Western evangelism. ICEJ, which fundraises for Israel, and Israels official fundraising body Keren Hayesod United Israel Appeal, both have offices in Taiwan but not China.

In China, the discourse [regarding Israel] is only about the economy: We dont want anything else from them, Yellinek says.

The 1990s were marked by an upsurge in trade, cultural exchanges and tourism between Israel and Taiwan. Until then, Christian Zionism was unpopular, observes ICEJs Chou, who first visited Israel in 1995. I remember, at that time, not many people in Taiwan were going to Israel. I went there alone, he says.

Now, pro-Israel fundraisers raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in Taiwan toward aliyah and other initiatives. ICEJ Taiwan says it raised $240,000 in 2020, and expects to surpass that amount this year. Since 2004, it has sent thousands of weekly emails containing Mandarin-language news from Israel and prayers for the Jewish state, encouraged Christian tours to Israel, brought Messianic preachers to Taiwan, and met with government officials to urge stronger support for the Jewish state.

Even though we didnt preach to some Jewish people, we did see because of what we do to bless them their hearts start to open to Christians, especially to amend the broken relationship for a long time in history, and also they start to open their heart to Jesus, the Messiah, ICEJs Yung says.

Like other countries in East Asia, positive stereotypes of Jews, such as being smart and good at business, are common in Taiwan.

For Taiwanese, we dont have these antisemitic ideas, Yung says. If youre a Christian you read the Bible, from Genesis to the covenants of Abraham and then to King David, to all the prophets, even to the New Testament they are all Jewish people.

In Mandarin, Jews are a minzu, a people or nation, often perceived as unified with Israel as their home state. Tseng says this is what differentiates Taiwans brand of Christian Zionism from that in other countries. They obey the Jewish festivals and traditions, and they support Israel, without hesitation, he says. During the Gaza flare-up last month, some church leaders see that now the Israelis policies are questionable. So there was a change this time. But the Christian churches say: OK, we pray for Israel and pray for Palestinians, but we still support Israel.

Chen used to be a regular member of the Bread of Life Church, but hasnt attended since COVID-19 began. She says she wouldnt want to belong to a church that doesnt support Israel, but has no intentions of trying to share the gospel with Jews.

I dont want to change Jews, their religion or their thoughts. I just want to be friendly, she says. Israel is very connected to the Bible, and I think if you want to know the religion, you have to know about Israel. But I dont want to change anything.

Jordyn Haime is an American Fulbright student fellow based in Taiwan.

Continued here:
In this island nation, Christian Zionists fight to win hearts and minds for Israel - Haaretz

Coming face to face with Zionist fragility Mondoweiss – Mondoweiss

Posted By on June 18, 2021

As college students, weve certainly been in some chaotic situations, but we never would have expected to have found ourselves trapped in a small room on campus with an ex-IDF soldier, as he hurled false insinuations of antisemitism at us while simultaneously declaring that our attitude was the reason people will continue dying in Gaza.

Adam (to avoid any legal issues, we chose to use a fake name), the Israel Fellow for both the Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh Hillel chapters, probably meant well at first, but I also have no idea what he expected when he decided to reach out to both the Carnegie Mellon Muslim Students Association (MSA) and FORGE, Carnegie Mellons refugee service organization, advertising a free spring break trip to the Middle East, entitled Carnegie Mellon Fact-Finders 2020, billed as an unbiased presentation of both sides of the conflict.

Upon investigation, we found out that the trip was organized by Authentic Israel, a travel agency whose website made no effort of acknowledging the existence of Palestine in any capacity whatsoever and had partnerships with Birthright Israel and other Zionist agencies. The trips itinerary also only featured one Arab speaker, Khaled Abu Toameh, a reporter who is famously critical of the PLO and American collegiate anti-Zionist activism. In other words, his voice does not represent the majority of Palestinians, and instead toes the Israeli governmental line. We talked to an anonymous student who went on the trip who told us that Abu Toameh told trip participants that if Palestinians didnt like their life, they could simply move to Germany.

After this research into the trip, we felt, as both Muslims and student leaders, that it was a disrespectful attempt to hide blatant propaganda and Adam reaching out to us was to gain token Muslim support for this propaganda (something that would no doubt help in the trips promotion). As a result, we chose to politely decline any endorsement, promotion, or association with the trip.

Zionist propaganda (euphemistically known in Israel as hasbara) exists in several forms, including associating the existence of Palestine with antisemitism, connecting Muslim resistance efforts to terrorism and jihad, and, more recently, promoting a positive image of Israel through tourism. In the last few years, several college campuses have fallen victim to predatory tours like the one that was presented to us. These trips prey on university students genuinely interested in learning about geopolitical issues by offering a self-proclaimed cheap, fun, unbiased, and educational once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The trip provides an elaborate portal into a fantasy world while glorifying Israeli war crimes and silencing Palestinian voices, deceiving hordes of well-intentioned students with a jam-packed itinerary of distracting activities like camel-rides, all while Palestinians are unable to return to their homeland and ruthlessly separated from their families. These trips paint a picture of Israel as a near-utopia, the only democracy in the Middle East, the country that made the desert bloom, a beacon of peaceful coexistence in a troubled region, and a just fulfillment of Jewish demands for self-determination. Of course, this Potemkin village of Israel has never existed. The reality of an explicitly settler-colonial project which violently expelled over half of the indigenous population and then built a brutal Apartheid system to oppress and dehumanize the remainder is kept well hidden from the participants view. Jewish-American journalist Aaron Freedman highlighted the danger of similar trips best in an article published in Jacobin stating, Birthright Israel pretends the occupation does not exist and manipulates Jewish heritage and identity into support for an apartheid state.

Once Adam saw our response, he reached out to set up a meeting with us, face to face. We agreed to meet and ended up in a small room in the campus university center with Adam and a student representative from Hillel. The meeting started off cordially with Adams friendly attempt at a traditional Arabic greeting followed by some introductions. He began the discussion by telling us how valuable a Muslim endorsement would be to promote this trip and asked us what he could do to earn our support.

We responded firstly by thanking him for the opportunity and then voiced our concerns. We calmly told him that the trip lacked significant representation for the Palestinian cause, that trips like these should not advertise themselves as unbiased, that these trips should not exist while Palestinians are unable to return to their homes, and that we could not morally support such trips.

After some back and forth, Adam realized we would not budge and the conversation took a hard turn. He began to yell at and berate us, calling us ignorant fools who knew nothing, railing about how he never killed a single Palestinian child while in the Israeli military (despite none of us mentioning anything about his time there), and hinting that if we were to escalate anti-Israeli activism on campus, he would push for the dissolution of our respective organizations and our suspension on grounds of antisemitism. Adam then told us that our stubbornness and unwillingness to excuse Israels crimes is why there will never be any progress, and people like us are directly to blame for the death of Palestinians (claiming once again without provocation that he never killed anyone).As Adams rage escalated, we decided to excuse ourselves citing an urgent event to attend to. On our way out, the student representative apologized to us profusely claiming that he had never seen Adam in that state and we told him that we appreciated his apologies and would be happy to engage with him and his organization in the future.

Adams behavior serves as a microcosm of Zionist behavior and attitudes as a whole. Since Israels foundation during the 1948 Nakba, the Israeli government has fed its people a constant barrage of messaging about existential threats, impending genocide, and Arab aggression, while simultaneously pushing a narrative of an Israeli David bravely and miraculously standing up to these Goliath dangers.

This narrative was a lie in 1948, where, in private correspondence, Israels first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion acknowledged that the Zionist militias were stronger than the Arab armies and would have no issue taking control of the entirety of Palestine; and it is also a lie now, when neither Palestinians, nor Hezbollah, nor Iran pose much of a threat to Israel and certainly not an existential one (as Israeli historian Avi Shlaim notes, the nuclear power that is Israel, poses an existential threat to Iran, and not the other way around). This inundation with fear-mongering propaganda has produced an Israeli society (and Zionist community in the diaspora) that is, in many cases, paranoid, fearful, and focused on security to the exclusion of all else. Given this pervasive attitude, it is not surprising that many Zionists buy into simplistic narratives and Islamophobic hate or, in Adams case, grow vindictive and spiteful when faced with pushback. Their anger and hate is driven by fear.

As people are finally beginning to see the war crimes of the IDF for what they are, Zionists are beginning to express fear more openly. The Israeli military is doubling down on attacks and Israels official Twitter account is spiraling. As more people take to the streets to protest the Israeli government, counter protests are happening, and Zionists online are desperately trying to regain control over the narrative. At a protest in Pittsburgh, we watched some counter-protesters come up to a high school girl with a Palestinian flag, taunting her by shouting, youre mad because youre losing! In response to challenges to a worldview which has been almost universally accepted in the US until quite recently, many Zionists respond, as Adam did, with rage and furious displays of machismo. The mask comes off.

Until Zionists can see Palestinians as human beings, with the right to live, people who only wish to live in their homeland peacefully coexisting with their surroundings; and Islam as a religion of peace not represented by terrorists, peace will never be achieved. Until people like Adam stop letting their fear get the better of them, lashing out instead of engaging in peaceful discourse, taking time to hear the stories of their neighbors instead of only hearing what they want to, the violence will never end. Until Zionists can unlearn their insecurities and prevent reactionary, propaganda-inspired fear from controlling them, Palestine will never know peace.

So where are the Palestinian voices in mainstream media?

Mondoweiss covers the full picture of the struggle for justice in Palestine. Read by tens of thousands of people each month, our truth-telling journalism is an essential counterweight to the propaganda that passes for news in mainstream and legacy media.

Our news and analysis is available to everyone which is why we need your support. Please contribute so that we can continue to raise the voices of those who advocate for the rights of Palestinians to live in dignity and peace.

Palestinians today are struggling for their lives as mainstream media turns away. Please support journalism that amplifies the urgent voices calling for freedom and justice in Palestine.

See the original post here:
Coming face to face with Zionist fragility Mondoweiss - Mondoweiss

Lapid: Israel will fix ‘shameful’ decision to pick GOP over bipartisan ties New FM says former – Ynetnews

Posted By on June 16, 2021

Israel will work to repair relations with the ruling U.S. Democratic Party after they were repeatedly compromised during the tenure of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday.

"The policy towards the Democratic Party was shameful and dangerous," Lapid said in a speech at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem during a ceremony marking the transfer of power from outgoing minister Gabi Ashkenazi of Blue & White, who is leaving politics.


Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and outgoing Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi at transfer of power ceremony in Jerusalem on Monday

(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

"I have often warned against this policy but the outgoing government made a reckless gamble in the decision to align itself with the Republicans and compromise Israel's bipartisan standing in the United States," Lapid said.

"The Republicans are important to us, but they are not alone, and we now face a Democratic White House, Senate and House of Representatives. We must change our approach towards the Democratic party," he said.

The minister said that in a phone call Sunday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he expressed his will to build relations based on mutual respect and a better dialogue.


Then-opposition leader Yair Lapid meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem, May 2021

(Photo: U.S. Embassy in Israel)

U.S. President Joe Biden called to congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett soon after he was sworn in on Sunday night, and issued a statement to say that he "looks forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations."

"Israel has no better friend than the United States," Biden said. "The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israels security."

Biden added his administration was "fully committed to working with the new Israeli government to advance security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region."


Foreign Minister Yair Lapid addressing Foreign Ministry staff as he stepped into his new position on Monday

(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

Lapid also noted that Israel must repair its battered relations with the American Jewish community, which is largely progressive and was often at odds with the Netanyahu government's policies.

The foreign minister criticized comments made by former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who recently claimed Israel must invest more in America's evangelicals than in American Jewry.

People have to understand that the backbone of Israels support in the United States is the evangelical Christians. Its true because of numbers and also because of their passionate and unequivocal support for Israel, Dermer said at a media conference last month.

"The fact that we are supported by evangelical groups and others in the U.S. is important but the Jews of the world are more than allies of Israel. They are family," Lapid said Monday.

"All streams of Judaism - Reform, Conservative and Orthodox - are our family, and familial ties are the most important ties to nurture," Lapid said.

The minister said Israel must prepare for the possible return by the United States to the nuclear deal with Iran that former president Donald Trump exited in 2018.

"This was a bad deal, which I opposed then and still do now," he said, adding that Israel could have conducted itself differently in its opposition of the deal and could have had more of an impact on the negotiations.

Referring to Israel's relations with Jordan, which have been rocky in recent years, Lapid said the kingdom is an important strategic partner.

"King Abdullah II is an important regional leader and strategic partner," the foreign minister said. "We will work with him to strengthen bilateral ties."


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman, May 2021

(Photo: Reuters)

Turning to the Palestinian issue, Lapid said that there was no expectation of a breakthrough in talks to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but that Israel must work towards improving the lives of Palestinians through dialogue.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said his country was ready to support any effort to facilitate a resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, "with a view to a just and lasting settlement of the conflict, within the framework of a two-state solution."

See more here:

Lapid: Israel will fix 'shameful' decision to pick GOP over bipartisan ties New FM says former - Ynetnews

Cop Cars, Nectar, and the Soul of Nadav Schwartzman – – CounterPunch

Posted By on June 16, 2021

Nadav Schwartzman is a queer artist and graphic designer who was born thirty-two years ago on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Because he grew up and went to school on land that is no longer called Palestine; because of what was done now widely recognized as settler colonization to the Indigenous people of that land for it to become Israel, Nadav plans to renounce his Israeli citizenship.

Nadav now lives and works in New York City. He describes himself as white, Ashkenazi, mostly cisgender and mostly cis-Jewish. Ive accepted my Jew curls, which makes my partner very happy.

Nadav paints oil portraiture on wooden boards. One of his latest paintings is autobiographical: a naked male youth against a swirling red sky looks defiantly at the viewer as he pours from a small pitcher a dark liquid. This is Ganymede, based on the Greek myth of the young Trojan prince whom Zeus, king of the gods, swept off to Mount Olympus and took as his lover. Zeus gave Ganymede the exalted position of cupbearer to the gods, and eventually placed him in the heavens as the constellation Aquarius.

In most tellings, Zeus banishes Ganymede to protect him from Zeuss jealous wife, Hera. But Nadav has painted Ganymede based on another version. Here, Ganymede looks down from Olympus onto the Trojan War and is horrified at the slaughter of his family and friends. He tries to avenge them by pouring out the nectar that gives the warmongering gods their immortality.

There are no perfect victims, Nadav writes, describing the painting. Ganymede holds power too. Instead of [accepting] rape, Ganymede is doing what is within his power to protect his loved ones. Its a futile action but he still is willing to accept what punishment he would face.

Power intertwines personally and geopolitically. Nadav tells me he comes from an extremely Zionist household. And an abusive one: I grew up seeing my father berate my mother constantly. His mothers mother fled to Palestine from Czechoslovakia in the 1930s to escape the Holocaust; his fathers family traces its roots in the land back four generations. Nadavs grandparents devoted their lives to the creation of Israel, settling into the neighborhood for Israeli Army personnel where Nadav grew up. And as he grew up, Nadav was only subliminally aware of the lethal caste system that Palestinians were never allowed to forget. Here is Nadav:

I didnt understand what apartheid was; it took awhile because youre not taught. In school, you learn about the War of Independence; you dont learn about the Nakba and what happened to the Palestinians. Just like in the US, youre not taught. In An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz talks about that false ideology: the land was empty; whoever was there was mismanaging it. I was taught that ideology. Its basically a one-to-one comparison with Israel.

I grew up secluded from Palestinians. Maybe I was in the second grade or younger, I remember my mother telling me how theres a country in the north that will never want peace. Why would she not even mention Lebanon by name? I remember I was super-young and outside my white grandfathers house. There were Black people gardening there. I remember my father taking me to wash my hands after saying hello to them.

Apartheid works well in creating walls. I had no Palestinian friends; the second Intifada happened when I was in high school. Youre constantly told Palestinians are the enemy; theyre dangerous. But Israel is not only a white supremacist structure against Palestinians; it has within it a hierarchy where Ashkenazi Jews are at the pinnacle. Then you go down the ladder to the Mizrahi, Sephardic, Yemeni Jews, all the way to Ethiopian Jews. We can talk about how they were sterilized, forced to change their names

Growing up there, I had a hard time with people calling me Jewish. I did not like that. I remember I was in seventh grade and just as I decided Im an atheist, I was forced to do my bar mitzvah. Since leaving Israel, Ive developed a more welcoming notion of Jewishness and how I define myself as Jewish.

When my father found out I was gay by looking through my computer he wanted me to go to a sex therapist because one good fuck would cure me, and to a therapist who could cure away the gay. Im also the only member of my family not to serve in the Israeli military. At the time I was supposed to enlist, I was severely depressed its the best thing thats ever happened to me. I wish I could say I took more of a stand, but military service was very important to my father, so being able to get out of it through mental health reasons was a way to stand up to him and the IDF.

I was reading an article on pinkwashing the other day that reminded me of this Israeli dating website I used to use. Profile after profile like 80% of people said basically that if you didnt serve in the IDF, then Im not interested in you.

Similarly, here in the States, people will say, masc 4 masc. Like, if youre an effeminate gay, Im not interested. Thats a lot of internalized homophobia.

I always resented, Oh youre from Tel Aviv, the Gay Haven! Thats pinkwashing bullshit. Ive also had experiences in the States, where Ive been fetishized for being Israeli: Israeli men are so hot.

Apartheid turns you on? Thats interesting.

Ive linked #SaveSheikJarrah to my Twitter handle, butI am not the one to talk on Palestine. You need to listen to what Palestinians are saying now. Mohammed El-Kurd, this Palestinian poet whose familys facing eviction in Sheik Jarrah, says that theres more understanding now of whats happening in Palestine, because theres more understanding of how Black people are treated in the US. Angela Davis also makes the connections super-clear. But there are better people than me to talk about the Right of Return in Israel also in the United States.

What do I feel when I talk about this? I feel shame. Thats part of my family legacy and complicity. And I feel rage Im not very articulate at the moment. But theres protests, actions happening now. You just have to keep talking about it. Dont let this disappear.

Sometimes Ive had these crystal-clear, AH-HA moments. Like, a year ago, protesting George Floyds murder, I saw an NYPD cop car on fire. I thought: This is a painting. Deciding to give up my Israeli citizenship was another AH-HA moment. Part of settler colonialism is winning the demographics. Thats why they dont allow Right of Return for Palestinians. Renouncing my Israeli citizenship is a way to get at that.

Yes, Im renouncing it in the USA, capital of settler colonialism. I just got my US citizenship today, in fact. Nothing is perfect. I still have to file the paperwork and Im not terribly excited about having to go talk to Israelis. But it just feels right, that simple action. No art. I dont think Im sacrificing much, so I dont want to make much of it. Its just for my soul.


Cop Cars, Nectar, and the Soul of Nadav Schwartzman - - CounterPunch

Hungarian Rabbi Will Be German Army’s First Rabbi Chaplain Since the Holocaust – Jewish Exponent

Posted By on June 16, 2021

The thought of leaving his native Hungary to study Judaism in Berlin seemed totally crazy to Zsolt Balla when he first considered it.

I mean, Germany of all places? he said.

But a decade in the country that engineered the destruction of European Jewry has changed him. Balla became one of the first rabbis ordained there in 70 years. Thenhe inspired a following worldwide as he prayed alone from his Leipzig synagogueduring the pandemic.

And now he has made history after being tapped to be the first Jewish chaplain to serve in the German army since the Holocaust.

Balla, 42, said the fact that the army hasrestored the position of Jewish military chaplaina move that happened last year at the urging of Germanys organized Jewish community is a clear sign that Jews have a future in Germany. But he said he understands why some might find it jarring that he is working for an institution that made the Holocaust possible.

I completely understand any reflex like that, Balla said. But at the same time, it stops being so difficult after a certain time, a certain historical distance, after sufficient reforms and atonement. And I believe the distance has been reached.

Balla cited the emphasis on ethics education in the German army, known since its postwar overhaul as the Bundeswehr, as important to his decision to join. Every member of the Bundeswehr, regardless of rank or assignment,receivestwo hours each month of ethics instruction, which Balla said was much more than in other countries because they understood the historical weight that they have to carry. The army also cultivates inner leadership that soldiers are encouraged to follow even when it clashes with direct orders.

Rabbi Zsolt Balla sings at the memorial site of the former Great Synagogue of Leipzig, Germany on Dec. 10, 2020. (Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images via

This is important because Balla wants more German Jews to feel comfortable to join the army, which has no mandatory conscription, and the some 300 Jews who are already serving to make Judaism a bigger part of their lives.

Theres the symbolism of the German army once more having rabbis as chaplains, and thats great and important, said Balla, who was ordained in 2009 as an Orthodox rabbi in Berlin. But were building a Jewish chaplaincy mainly for the soldiers: those who serve now but also with an eye to the future. Its like construction. First you make apartments, then the tenants will come. Its a gradual process.

But there are forces making the German army a less welcoming place for Jews.

Last year, Germanys Military Counterintelligence Servicesaidit was working on about 600 suspected cases of right-wing extremism, including 20 pertaining to the KSK elite commando unit. One KSK soldier with alleged far-right tendencies, a sergeant major, was arrested and had been hoarding weapons, authorities said. The army has about 250,000 people, including civilian employees.

Combating such phenomena and highlighting the contribution of Jews in the armed forces are also part of Ballas job, he said.

The rabbis own Jewish identity was built very gradually, preparing him in various ways to the chaplaincy.

Balla was born in Budapest to a non-Jewish father, a senior army officer who ran a large base, and a mother who defined herself as Jewish culturally but did not practice the faith.

His late father deliberately stayed away from his sons ritual circumcision.

My father fully supported having me circumcised, but he had to stay away because it was 1979, Hungary was still communist, and if it ever came out that a high-ranking officer participated in such a religious rite, he would have had real problems, Balla said.

At the age of 9, Balla began developing an interest in Bible stories and, not knowing he was Jewish, told his parents he would like to go to church.

At which point my mother told me, We need to talk, Balla recalled.

At 12, Balla began attending the Lauder Javne Jewish School in Budapest, which had opened the previous year after decades in which such schooling was banned under communism. He was on the path to making more room in his life for Judaism.

My parents never participated on this journey but always supported me through it, he said.

Om Yom Kippur, his father would join Balla on the 90-minute walk to the nearest synagogue, where Balla would spend the whole day.

Then in the evening, my father would pick me up with the car and we went to McDonalds, where I had a chicken burger, he recalled.

As an Orthodox rabbi, Balla now leads a fully observant lifestyle, he added.

Following high school, Balla studied to become an engineer.

But I also wanted to study abroad. And one idea was to study Jewish studies in Berlin, Balla said.

From 2002 to 2009 he studied Judaism, and was ordained in 09 at the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary.

He met his wife, Marina, an immigrant to Germany from the former Soviet Union, and they settled in her hometown of Leipzig, where Balla became the resident Orthodox rabbi of its Jewish community.

The son of an army officer with experience in technical fields and in secular life, Balla was an obvious pick forthe new position of Jewish chaplain that the German army announcedin 2020 at the encouragement of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, to which the Jewish Community of Leipzig belongs.

He will continue to serve as the rabbi at his synagogue, IRG, on top of his army duties. Balla said he will also remain an active member of both the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany and the Conference of European Rabbis.

His life trajectory has prepared him for working with service members who are largely nonobservant, he said.

I grew up watching my father doing whatever he needed to do for the welfare of the soldiers on his base, Balla said. And I have made a journey. I dont want to turn my back to who I was before or what I used to do before. Im a continuation of it. Its an organic development. And thats what Im taking with me to the office.

In the first few months on the job, Balla will focus on establishing the infrastructure for facilitating Jewish life on German bases. This includes obtaining Torah scrolls for on-base shuls, developing holiday events and packages, and community-building activities.

Then theres the issue of kosher meals.

There isnt kosher food on German army bases, and thats going to be something we look at, Balla said, although he noted that right now there is no demand for it. Army personnel who wish to eat kosher-style go for vegetarian options, and the few who eat kosher-certified food make their own arrangements with the Jewish communities near where they serve.

A large part of the job will be simply to be available, Balla said.

I want Jewish soldiers in the German armed forces to know that they have an address, he said.

View original post here:

Hungarian Rabbi Will Be German Army's First Rabbi Chaplain Since the Holocaust - Jewish Exponent

Boxing rabbi heading back into the ring | The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle –

Posted By on June 16, 2021

A world champion boxer-turned-rabbi is returning to the ring on a comeback mission this month.

Yuri Foreman, after winning 27 of his first 28 pro fights, won the World Boxing Associations super welterweight championship title in 2009 in the Las Vegas desert. But his life story began in Gomel, Belarus, then part of the Soviet Union, where he was born and started boxing after getting bullied in elementary school.

On June 6 he spoke via Zoom to roughly 100 supporters of the Jewish state during an Israel Bonds program hosted by Chabad houses across the country, including those in Pittsburgh. The event featured the talk with Foreman, followed by a virtual training session for those who purchased at least one $36 Israel Bond.

Get The Jewish Chronicle Weekly Edition by email and never miss our top storiesFree Sign Up

Foreman, who did not hesitate to break the mold of the stone-faced fighter, laughed when recalling the much-promoted fight between Mike Tyson and Donovan Razor Ruddock the first of two times the heavyweights squared off that year which he saw shortly before moving to Israel in May 1991.

I was growing up with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, all action stars, martial artists, he said. When I saw Mike Tyson [fight], I was just blown away. After that fight, I realized I wanted to go to the United States. I wanted to be a world champion.

In his new home in Haifa, Israel, Foreman continued to develop his nascent boxing skills at gyms in an Arab village where Russian immigrants would serve as trainers and mentors.

During his nine years in Israel as an amateur, Foreman participated in 50 fights and some national tournaments, and took home the Israeli national championship three times.

But, growing up on Rocky movies, I always wanted to try my best in America, Foreman said.

He moved to Brooklyn in 1999 and started training at the iconic Gleasons Gym in Brooklyn, where he estimated about 130 world champions had trained during the establishments 84-year history.

The American dream it sounds really good, but the reality is you have to work a lot, you really have to have faith in yourself, Foreman said.

In sports, its not just your physical self. Its not, How big are your muscles? Its also the soul, its the spirit and thats what pushes you over obstacles, he added. I realized boxing is not all physical [and] thats when I started looking into my spiritual self my Jewish roots, so to speak.

Foreman eventually connected with a synagogue and, under the mentorship of Rabbi DovBer Pinson, started studying Judaism. In 2014, he was ordained a rabbi.

Foreman racked up a 75-5 record as an amateur boxer in New York. After turning pro, on Nov. 14, 2009, he defeated Daniel Santos in a 12-round decision to become a WBA champ the first hailing from Israel. He lost the belt a year later in a fight with Miguel Cotto, the first fight to take place at the new Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.

Harold Marcus chats with Yuri Foreman at the June 6 Zoom event (Screenshot by Justin Vellucci)

J. Russell Peltz, the Philadelphia-based boxing promoter who gave audiences a history of Jews in boxing before speaking Sunday with the Israeli pugilist, asked Foreman, who is a vegan, about the impact of winning the belt.

He admitted he occasionally wondered if the whole night had been a vivid dream. It was amazing, he said. You have a long-time goal and then you achieve it.

But rather than looking back, Foreman is keeping his eyes set on his boxing future; he will be back in the ring later this month for a comeback match.

Theres more bouts out there, the 40-year-old boxer told Peltz. The fire is still burning. I still have this childhood dream to do my best and win it again the fire in my chest burns as ever before.

The former champ was quick to point out to viewers, though, that not every day is happiness and sunshine for professional athletes.

Ive been in boxing most of my waking life and [there were times] I looked up, I had no energy, I had no desire, Foreman said. Im still having those days. Things you love doing youre still going to have those days. And its healthy.

Harold Marcus, the June 6 events organizer and the executive director of the Development Corp. for Israel in Pennsylvania, compared Foremans battles in the ring to Israels battles with its neighbors.

When Yuri Foreman does battle in the ring, hes fighting an opponent, not an enemy, Marcus told the online audience. The battle is 45 minutes and he knows it will begin and end with a handshake.

Israelis fight a different fight and for 75 years theyve been in this battle, he added, promoting investment in the Jewish state. Israelis have to live 24/7 with the possibility of a rocket being launched, with the possibility of having 15 seconds to get into a shelter.

I can tell you, he said, there is no handshake. PJC

Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.

See the original post here:

Boxing rabbi heading back into the ring | The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle -

This rabbi wants the Jewish community more involved in boardroom battles for social justice – JTA News – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Posted By on June 16, 2021

(JTA) When Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster began visiting the tomato fields of Florida as an activist more than a decade ago, the stories of farmworkers being treated as slaves were still fresh. The Justice Department had discovered systemic abuse in the industry including cases of pistol whippings, confinement, starvation wages and rampant sexual assault.

But Kahn-Troster, who was working for Truah, a human rights group made up of rabbis and cantors, arrived at a hopeful moment. A farmworker organization called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers was putting pressure on the industry to change and the effort seemed to be succeeding.

Grocers like Whole Foods and fast-food chains such as Taco Bell and McDonalds were signing on to the Fair Food Program, a binding agreement to source their tomatoes from growers who pay better wages and are subject to a code of conduct. Kahn-Troster and dozens like her in the farmworker movement became known as tomato rabbis, who articulated their support through a Jewish lens and enlisted Jewish communities across the country in solidarity campaigns.

I got to see the change in the fields in real time and it made a difference for the lives of tens of thousands of farmworkers, Kahn-Troster said.

The fight isnt over. The farmworkers are now pressing one of the last major fast-food chains that refuses to join the program: Wendys.

Kahn-Troster is part of the campaign targeting Wendys, but no longer as a representative of Truah. A few months ago she became the executive vice president of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, or ICCR.

In the new role, she is helping lead a coalition of 300 institutions, many of them religious, that control $4 trillion in financial assets. As major shareholders on Wall Street, they push corporate America to act more ethically and responsibly. In the business world, the shorthand for doing the right thing is ESG, or environmental, social and corporate governance.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency caught up with Kahn-Troster as she began her new job and just after as the ICCR put out a letter signed by 100 investors urging Wendys to join its peers and implement protections against abuses in its supply chain.

This kind of work trying to change the practices of existing companies is known as shareholder advocacy. It should not be confused with impact investing, which means pouring money into companies that happen to be aligned with your values.

Kahn-Troster talked about the differences between charity, grassroots activism and tackling injustice by speaking up at the corporate boardroom. And she shared some of her big and broad goals, like changing traditional ideas about how Jewish money can bring about positive change.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

JTA: I noticed that there are many Christian entities and very few Jewish ones among the signatories of the Wendys letter. I also counted only a handful of Jewish groups (such as Truah, Reform Pension Board, Jewish Federations of North America) on the list of ICCR members. Why is that?

Kahn-Troster: Probably because there arent so many Jewish ESG groups they werent part of the natural networks that this letter went to. And a lot of Jewish social justice groups arent plugged into corporate accountability campaigns.

One of my goals at ICCR is to bring more Jewish groups into this work. I think this is a good moment for it and groups with assets (like family foundations) might be asking new questions both about how to invest in ways that further their mission and how to leverage their assets to support their grantees and the systems change they are trying to achieve.

Wait, I am still stuck on why. Can you elaborate on why many Jewish communal institutions arent already part of this movement that counts many Christians?

Historically Jewish organizations, when they thought of how they can use their money to make a difference in the world and to express their values, they thought about tzedakah. Or if they were a foundation, they thought about the organizations that they support. But they havent thought about how they can use the assets they hold as a catalyst for change.

Also, the Jewish community is not structured like the Christian denominations and doesnt hold money in a lot of the same ways that Christian organizations do.

This is all beginning to change. Weve seen some interest by Jewish Federations of North America and some other organizations in the area of impact investing, but still havent seen as much interest in shareholder advocacy thats able to move companies.

Bringing in new faith groups is one of the exciting prospects of our next 50 years.

Why now? What makes it likely that you will get more Jews into shareholder advocacy?

I think theres been a wake-up call since Jan. 6 where a lot of people, because the corporate response has been so strong, to say perhaps we should be ending our political donations to candidates who are trying to undermine democracy. Maybe that theres an opportunity to look at new levers of power.

The COVID pandemic also magnified the risks that our ICCR members have been raising for a long time, like health and safety issues in the workplaces.

In the Jewish world, I think that our foundations, and hopefully our federations as well, are beginning to ask not just how do we give away our money in ways that express our values, but also can we leverage it in other ways? Shareholder activism by holding companies accountable for their direct impacts on people and the planet.

Who are the biggest players in the Jewish world? Who do you want to get on board?

Id love to see this conversation move forward in our federations and I think that Jewish Funders Network has begun the conversation around impact investing, and there are the family foundations. But I also think that we need to get past the idea that any single one of them is too small to have an impact.

Really? Doesnt moving Fortune 500 companies require you to be big?

I always say that I own one share of Wendys and have done an awful lot with that one share. Ive used it to ask the question of the CEO at the shareholder meeting. Ive turned it over to a farmworker so that they could ask a question of management forcing them to face the workers impacted by their decisions.

Whats your plan? How are you going to get more Jewish institutions involved?

Well, I just started a month ago. But I have worked for 14 years in the Jewish community and I hold a lot of relationships. Ill be connecting with Jewish organizations in my new role, explaining who ICCR is and what it does.

Lots of having virtual coffee with people and then seeing if theyll let ICCR present to their boards and meet at their conferences and just getting to be in the spaces where Jewish decision-makers gather.

Lets talk about Israel. Truah is perceived by some as too critical of Israel. Are you worried that you might go to certain leaders in the Jewish community and face skepticism because of your background?

ICCR priorities are determined by its members and Israel is not one of our priority areas. I would like to really focus on getting the Jewish community involved in the core issues that we work on.

One of my guiding values is that every human being is creating the image of God, and thats what God guided me at Truah as a human rights activist. Its part of what attracted me to this interfaith community of people at ICCR. And I think that the Jewish community should be attracted to our work because of the ways that weve had an impact and our potential for impact.

I dont think it is helpful for any organization to create a litmus test for people on staff. I think my track record as a human rights activist speaks for itself. And I think I can inspire people that real change is possible.

See original here:

This rabbi wants the Jewish community more involved in boardroom battles for social justice - JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Kindness Week bill, inspired by Rabbi Bulka, receives Royal Assent in Parliament – Ottawa Citizen

Posted By on June 16, 2021

Breadcrumb Trail Links

The inspiration for this bill, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, the founder of Kind Canada, started the first Kindness Week in Ottawa 14 years ago.

Author of the article:

Canada will now observe Kindness Week after Parliament recently passed a private members bill co-sponsored by area MP Michael Barrett.

The Kindness Week Act received Royal Assent on June 3, Barrett, the MP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, noted Monday.

Kindness Week Act was brought forward by Senator Jim Munson as a private members bill in the Senate.

It was sponsored in the House of Commons by the Conservative Partys Barrett and Emmanuella Lambropoulos, the Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent.

Barrett noted the inspiration for this bill, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, the founder of Kind Canada, started the first Kindness Week in Ottawa 14 years ago, and, with the passing of this bill, Canada is now the first country to have a national Kindness Week.

Designating Kindness Week throughout Canada to encourage acts of kindness, voluntarism and charitable giving will benefit all Canadians, and I want to congratulate Senator Munson and Rabbi Bulka for their dedicated efforts on Kindness Week, and to thank MP Lambropoulos for joining me in supporting this private members bill in the House of Commons, Barrett said in a statement.

The first national Kindness Week will be held in February 2022, and Canadians can celebrate acts of kindness in their communities during the third week of February every year.

By connecting individuals and organizations to share resources, information, and tools to foster more acts of kindness, it will help lead to the improved health and well-being of Canadians. The opportunity to work together to pass this legislation and bring a national Kindness Week to Canadians is a tremendous honour, and Im grateful to be a part of this democratic milestone, Barrett added.

Originally posted here:

Kindness Week bill, inspired by Rabbi Bulka, receives Royal Assent in Parliament - Ottawa Citizen

Page 21234..1020..»