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Some synagogues opt for high quality over homegrown when it comes to online services. Is that a good thing? – St. Louis Jewish Light

Posted By on July 23, 2020

(JTA) For the rabbis and cantor of Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, Illinois, the to-do list to prepare for the unprecedented online-only High Holidays season was long.

In addition to transforming their usual services for over 3,000 people into an experience that congregants will find meaningful online, they needed to figure out how to create a service for families that would be engaging for young children through a screen.

So when Cantor Steven Stoehr heard about Shirat Haruach, a program of video services for families recorded by some of the most popular Jewish childrens song leaders, he jumped at the opportunity.

We could have gotten it done, Stoehr said. We just didnt think we could do it any better.

The hazzans calculus reflects a new dynamic this year as most non-Orthodox congregations choose to forgo risky in-person gatherings in favor of virtual services. No longer constrained to the people in the room or whichever visiting cantor they can fly in, communities are turning to outside talent over livestreams or video to improve their High Holidays offerings.

For some synagogues, the shift to virtual services has opened up new opportunities for how they run their services that could outlast this High Holidays season.

Its a new model for most congregations generally they rely on their own rabbis or cantors to plan and lead services but could be a glimpse into a future in which services traditionally offered by synagogues are transformed by technology or take place elsewhere. As the realization that the pandemic isnt ending anytime soon sets in, these services may be on the forefront of an upheaval in how synagogues operate and whether American Jews will look to synagogues as the primary purveyors of Shabbat and Jewish holiday programming.

The very idea has some worried.

If our goals as congregations were to have the best production value and to provide the highest-quality content, I think that has the potential to destroy what the individual community has to offer, said Hazzan Jeremy Lipton, director of placement and human resources at the Cantors Assembly. Otherwise, he said, referring to some of the countrys largest and most popular synagogues, everyone would be tuning into Park Avenue Synagogue, or Hadar, or Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

Stoehr acknowledged as much and said he would have to think hard about whether to continue to offer something like the Shirat Haruach program beyond the High Holidays this year or after the pandemic ends.

Its dangerous in a way, he said.

To the creators of Shirat Haruach, the program isnt intended to pose a threat to synagogues. If anything, its meant to support synagogues in pivoting to virtual services, according to Rick Recht, a popular performer of Jewish music in the Reform movement and one of three performers behind Shirat Haruach.

With two other song leaders, Shira Kline and Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Recht is developing a customizable package of services featuring different options for families and intergenerational audiences, along with the opportunity for synagogue clergy to add their own videos. The services, which east cost $1,175 to $1,375, are being offered exclusively to synagogues, not directly to families.

Recht sees the program opening up high-quality song leaders and technical production to communities that otherwise would not be able to afford to bring them in.

Thats not competition, thats good hiring, Recht said.

He sees the Shirat Haruach service as something that could outlast this years High Holidays. In fact, Recht, Kline and Warshawsky have already begun creating a package of services aimed at synagogue religious schools for this year to incorporate prerecorded prayer services and concerts into virtual religious school curricula.

I think its important for us to realize that whats happening because of the pandemic is an extension of what was happening over the last couple of decades, Recht said. I feel that were heading toward a new paradigm of a hybrid, virtual and physical.

Not everyone offering online holiday and education experiences is working through existing institutions. Eliana Light, a popular childrens song leader and performer, is offering streamed family services to both synagogues and individual families for a fee.

Light has seen an interest in virtual services from people who are not members of synagogues at World Synagogue Sing, a Sunday morning program she and several other Jewish musicians have run via livestream since the start of the pandemic.

Theres plenty of people who come who arent affiliated with synagogues, she said.

Others see an opportunity to more comprehensively reimagine what synagogue services could look like if technology is incorporated in creative ways.

I love the idea of yeah, lets find really talented people and lets have them create something online for our members to experience and for others to experience, said Lex Rofeberg, a digital educator who has advocated for the use of digital media in building Jewish community.

Rofeberg himself is leading High Holidays services via Zoom from his home in Providence, Rhode Island, for a synagogue in Arkansas. He would have been there in person if not for the pandemic, as he has been for the past five years, but he wonders whether the virtual services being offered now could continue even after congregations can return to gathering in a sanctuary.

For smaller congregations, streaming services could be a more affordable option than hiring a rabbi, he said, or simply a better option than rotating among a small group of members who know how to read from the Torah. Steaming services in a sanctuary when congregants can gather again could combine the best of both worlds high-quality content streamed from outside the synagogue with the community feeling that comes from gathering together.

Theres no reason we couldnt come together in an on-the-ground space and stream in somebody our congregation has decided they love, Rofeberg said.

Online services do not represent the first challenge to the primacy of synagogues at the High Holidays. In recent years, independent rabbis and prayer leaders have offered pop-up services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at little or no cost in places like bars or hotel ballrooms. The services often attract young people and those who do not affiliate with a synagogue.

Virtual services offered in nontraditional ways during the pandemic build on the trend, said Jack Wertheimer, professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He said he doesnt anticipate the new breed of services sticking around after the pandemic to the point that synagogues would fall out of fashion.

Im skeptical that when it is possible for people to come back into synagogues that they will prefer to watch services online, Wertheimer said. If anything, this COVID period of time may at least in the short run direct people to return to synagogues more frequently because they miss that social contact.

But the longer synagogues are closed, and the more robust the alternatives become, the more people may become comfortable with experiencing Jewish community online. For young people who are used to connecting through digital platforms, the lower barrier to entry may be appealing.

In-person gathering isnt going away, said Rachel Gross, a professor of Jewish studies at San Francisco State University, but certainly younger people understand real community is happening online.

Gross sees virtual services building on initiatives like PJ Library, a program that distributes Jewish childrens books, or organizations that bring people together for Shabbat meals to encourage Jewish engagement outside of Jewish institutions.

I dont think that the synagogue membership model is going to disappear, she said. But I think the pandemic is probably exacerbating trends that allow people to have more obvious choices about the organizations theyre picking and choosing from.

For now, she said, theres little noticeable difference between online services offered by an individual cantor or song leader and those offered by a synagogue, meaning that the ramifications of this moment may not become clear until in-person services take place again.

A lot of our distinctions of categories get blurred on the internet, Gross said. If youre sitting at home on Zoom, are you going to care if its from a synagogue or a cantor?"

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Some synagogues opt for high quality over homegrown when it comes to online services. Is that a good thing? - St. Louis Jewish Light

Neo-Nazi group member pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue – The Times of Israel

Posted By on July 23, 2020

JTA A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he vandalized a synagogue as part of his involvement in a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group.

Yousef Barasneh was 22 when he was arrested in January as part of a nationwide investigation into The Base, which planned to carry out coordinated vandalism of synagogues across the country in an effort the hate group called Operation Kristallnacht, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Six other men involved in the group were arrested at the same time.

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Barasneh spray-painted a swastika and other Nazi imagery, as well as the word Jude, German for Jew, on the building of the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine in September. Racine is about 12 miles from his suburban Milwaukee home.

According to the plea agreement approved Friday, Barasneh admitted that he had online conversations with other members of The Base about acts of violence against Jewish Americans and non-white Americans, Base military training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Neo-Nazi group member pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue - The Times of Israel

Tree of Life hires firms to help congregations in rebuilding Squirrel Hill synagogue – TribLIVE

Posted By on July 23, 2020

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Tree of Life hires firms to help congregations in rebuilding Squirrel Hill synagogue - TribLIVE

Preserving heritage for Jews and their cities in the Diaspora – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on July 23, 2020

Somewhere in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, sits a majestic Gothic-style synagogue replete with tall gables and a traditional Welsh dragon on top. Once home to a significant and thriving Jewish community, it has sat empty for the past 10 years.So what do you do with a building after the community that built it has gone?Thats where the Foundation for Jewish Heritage comes in. The London-based charity has dedicated itself to saving gorgeous, historic synagogues in danger around the world, thus preserving not only Jewish heritage, but that of the cities where they were built.Foundation CEO Michael Mail is working on what he calls adaptive reuse, which preserves the buildings value while giving them a contemporary purpose.Buildings that had become meaningless can be meaningful again, he stated, explaining that it wasnt just Jewish heritage they were remembering, but that of an entire city.Mail spoke with the Magazine about their unique rescue operations around the world and the Wales project in particular, which recently received major backing from wealthy benefactors.In the 19th century, during the industrial revolution, Merthyr Tydfil was a boom town, and for 50 years was home to one of the most important iron works in the world.This attracted workers from all over, including Jews who settled in the area. The thriving Jewish community built an impressive castle-like synagogue in 1877, one of three in town. I assumed it was a chapel or church and they had taken it over when I first saw it, Mail told the Magazine, but in fact it is the oldest still-standing purpose-built synagogue in Wales.The Gothic Revival-style building was awarded Grade-II listed status, making it formally recognized as a heritage site, and today it is one of the most important synagogue buildings in the United Kingdom.The story of the Jewish communitys migration is also the story of the rise and decline of the industrial age. Once workers from all over flocked to Merthyr for good jobs in a thriving industry. In the 19th century, it was the largest city in Wales.But as technology developed, jobs dried up, families moved out and the synagogue closed in 1983. Today, Mail says, there are officially no more Jews in Merthyr.The building was used for other purposes, and since 2006 it has sat empty and deteriorating. Holes are in the roof and pigeons are coming in, Mail lamented, to such an extent that it was formally listed as a building-at-risk by the heritage authorities.We were told if we didnt intervene, it may not be there in the next few years, he stated. In 2008, plans were drawn up to convert the building into residential apartments.PREVIOUSLY REJECTED proposals included turning the unused synagogue into a gym or office space. The stunning Star of David stained-glass window would have remained, according to the proposal, which in the end never came to fruition.The foundation purchased the building in 2019 and now hopes to turn it into a museum.Star of David stained-glass window in the Wales synagogue (Credit: FOUNDATION FOR JEWISH HERITAGE)Supporters of the project include comedian and actor David Baddiel, who is of Welsh heritage, and venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz, whose parents fled Nazi Germany for Wales, where Moritz was born and went on to become a successful investor in companies such as Yahoo, YouTube and Google, where he served as a board member.It has also attracted backing from various members of the Welsh Parliament and the local council.Dawn Bowden, member of the Senedd/Welsh Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, stated, This is great news for the town, as this significant building moves ever closer to being restored and can therefore play a part in our future, as it did in the past.Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas added, The synagogue is a prominent landmark building within the Thomastown Conservation Area and an extremely important part of the town centers historic landscape. So were delighted that funding has been secured to ensure its future is looking very bright, and that it will become another feature in our ever-growing tourism offer.The museum will tell about the 250-year-old history of the Welsh Jewish community, their lives and contributions within Wales, stated Mail, but it will also serve a contemporary purpose: to share the story of the diversity of communities that all contributed to the history of Wales. Mail sees the future center as a place of interfaith and intercultural dialogue.This is an educational project to build an understanding of what is Jewish heritage, Welsh heritage and European heritage, he said. We want to combat ignorance, prejudice and antisemitism.Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Mail studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Brandeis University in Boston.I always had a passion for history, and of course Jewish history is remarkably tragic and dramatic. When he discovered there was no organization working internationally on the preservation of historic buildings, he decided promote the vision himself.I think preserving Jewish heritage has been a Cinderella story largely neglected. And the reasons are trauma, he explained.We are losing our history, Mail said. The story of the 20th century is that the Jewish people moved. FOR CENTURIES, the centers of Jewish life were in Warsaw, Vilna, and Baghdad, Mail explained, but today, those communities are gone and the centers of Jewish life are in Israel and the United States.At the beginning of the 20th century, nine out of 10 Jews lived in Europe, and today it is one out of 10, he said.Mail gave the example of another synagogue the foundation is working to preserve, the Great Synagogue in Slonim, Belarus.Slonim had a significant Jewish population for generations. Only 200 of that population survived World War II, and today there are none. Mail called the synagogue, the last evidence of the vibrant Jewish life that existed for centuries, and lamented that from 1945, the building was used to store furniture.The foundations work is not limited to Europe, however, and teams have researched buildings in Arab and Muslim countries to preserve what remains of the Jewish culture that once flourished in the Middle East and North Africa. The foundation has identified 368 Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria. One third of Baghdads population was Jewish at the turn of the 20th century, and the community played an important role within wider society.Great Synagogue of Slonim, Berlarus, as it appears today (Credit: FOUNDATION FOR JEWISH HERITAGE)The Medieval Synagogue in Hijar, Spain, is another project the Foundation hopes to undertake.It has been a church for the last 500 years, but is only used currently for church services once a year, Mail said. The mayor wants to turn it into a Sephardi heritage center.Today, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem features an exhibition called The Synagogue Route, in which portions of historic synagogues have been removed, saved and preserved. Museum visitors can wander past decorative windows, pulpits and arks on display from Jewish communities as diverse as Germany, India and Suriname.Mail explains, The heritage attitude today is not to remove a building from its setting unless there is a very urgent need to do so. In order to understand, you need to see it in its context. It is part of that countrys national story too. Its a shared heritage.Mail illustrated the point by telling a story of when he visited Poland. A local high school was doing a project on the pre-war Jewish community of their town and conducted a tour of the neighborhoods, pointing out various buildings that used to serve a Jewish function. I asked the 16-year-old who was escorting me, How would you respond to a person who questioned why you are doing this, when there are no Jews here anymore? And she looked at me and answered, This is the history of our town. I thought that was a good answer. For more information on the Merthyr Tydfil synagogue and other preservation projects:

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Preserving heritage for Jews and their cities in the Diaspora - The Jerusalem Post

Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue – Forward

Posted By on July 23, 2020

Image by Google Maps

Racine, Wisconsin.

(JTA) A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he vandalized a synagogue as part of his involvement in a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group.

Yousef Barasneh was arrested in January as part of a nationwide investigation into The Base, which planned to carry out coordinated vandalism of synagogues across the country in an effort the hate group called Operation Kristallnacht, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Six other men involved in the group were arrested at the same time.

Barasneh spray-painted a swastika and other Nazi imagery, as well as the word Jude, German for Jew, on the building of the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine in September.

According to the plea agreement approved Friday, Barasneh admitted that he had online conversations with other members of The Base about acts of violence against Jewish Americans and non-white Americans, Base military training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices, the Journal-Sentinel reported

Barasnehs father immigrated to the United States from Amman, Jordan. His mother was born in Wisconsin, and the family lives in Oak Creek, located about 10 miles from Milwaukee, Ynetreported at the time of his arrest in January, citing the fathers Facebook page.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The post Wisconsin man pleads guilty to vandalizing Racine synagogue as part of involvement in hate group appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue - Forward

The Synagogue of Satan And Destroying The Right To ‘Free Speech’ – Final Call News – News

Posted By on July 23, 2020

[Editors note: The following article contains excerpts from an hour-long message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Part 22 of his 52-week Lecture Series The Time and What Must Be Done. This message originally aired on Saturday, June 8, 2013. To order this message in its entirety on MP3, DVD and CD, call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200, or visit We urge readers to visit The Final Call Channel on and view the full lecture, Part 22 of the The Time and What Must Be Done series.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

During this critical time, when The Old World is going out, and The New World is coming in, we must beacquaintedwith the ruler of the old world thats going out, and we must get acquainted with The New Ruler of The World that is coming in. The world that is going out is a world that God gave Divine privilege to, to rule the people of our planet for 6,000 years. And, the 6,000 years of the rule of thiscontraryworld and people is now up. And The New Ruler is in the world: He is The God of The New World; and He comes to make Himself known, and to manifest Satan so that the people of the Earth may fall away from Satan and get ready to prepare themselves to become a part of that which God makes new.

Synagogue of Satans schemes to destroy the First Amendment right to free speech

We want to focus again on that Synagogue of Satan. I want to speak about the charge of anti-Semitism, and what that charge leads to.

The First Amendment ofThe United States Constitution reads as follows: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.And so, I would like to put before you the following questions:

How does one go from engaging infree speechthat we assume is protected by The First Amendment of The Constitution, to finding ones self facing possiblycriminal penalties?

How does sucha wicked claim of anti-Semitismmovethe accused onefrom speaking or writing the truth, and then to legal jeopardy?

What isa legal mechanismby which theseattack dogs ofThe Synagogue of Satanactivate the governmental apparatus toseek out, punishanddestroythose that are labeled as an anti-Semite or as a hate groupand destroy their right to free speech in the process?

We want to look at the criminal effect of being labeled anti-Semitic. We want to look at how these private Jewish organizations who do the labeling, like theAnti-Defamation LeagueandThe Southern Poverty Law Center, manipulate the government law enforcement agencies like theFBIand theIRSto target and harass those who are so labeled. Then, we want to see how they work to effect their scheming, with the disproportionate number of members of the Jewish community working as DAs (or district attorneys) or federal and state prosecutors and judges, in the United States court system where these cases will ultimately be tried.

It begins with someone,anyone, who holds a controversial view, and speaks or writes about it in public.Controversialmeans contrary to the popular version of the truth.

However, instead of engaging in honest and open public dialogue and debate about the issue that the spokesperson raises, as is called for and encouraged by the United States Constitution,private interest groups start with the labeling:Hes a hate teacher, with a hateful message.And then the group he belongs to: If they dont repudiate the spokesperson fast enough, they also get called a hate group that promotes intolerance.They dont have to prove it, they just have to say it over and over againand then the drumbeats get amplified by their brethren who controlthe media.And if that person does not apologize quick enough after that, they start to pick away at his supporters. And those who would defend that person: If they are not strong enough to stand up to the slander, they begin to fall away and distance themselves; and some may even start repudiating and apologizing for their former friend and ally.

Still, if he refuses to bow down: They connect certain inflammatory terms that are intended to generate real hatred, and even retribution, against the person who is speaking these controversial points. They start with:He hates! Hes intolerant!and that escalates to,Hes threatening, and he incites hatred in others!And then the wordviolencegets thrown in, and thenhate crimesare mentioned; and ultimately, you hear the wordsdomestic terrorism.This is all calculated to get the public to put so much pressure on that individual; that they, and their supporters, relent, apologize and retreat.

And this is why I say to my great brothers and sisters in The Twitter Army:No matter what vile speech comes at you, no matter what threats are made against my life by those who hate The Truth that we are speaking, never ever get down in the gutter, or threaten anyone with violence, because they are building a record of what we are saying! So, if you threaten anyone with violence, or you act like you wish to do them evil because they desire to domeevil, then one day you might hear this again in a court of law.

The Synagogues efforts to modernize government persecution of individuals and groups

If we continue to stand on our principles and exercise our freedom of speech, these members of The Synagogue of Satan then get their brethren in The Judicial Branch of government, in the IRS, and their brethren in the Congress and the Senate, and even up to the White House or the Justice Department, and they begin to act in a conspiratorial manner to charge, condemn, try and punishand even killthose who are so charged. This government persecution of individuals and groups who speak boldly about the wrongs in American society was started underJ. Edgar HooversF.B.I. Counterintelligence Program [COINTELPRO].

Although that Program was exposed, and it was said that certain controls were ultimately put on the activity of the FBI; but yet, those wicked policies still continue even up to this very momentof courseThe Synagogue of Satanstepped in tore-establish the worst of Hoovers illegal operations.In August of 1999, under the administration of President Bill Clinton, federal surveillance of those labeled hate groups was restricted to those who committed, or were linked to, actual crimes. According to published reports, hisAttorney General Janet Reno said: It is important that you not focus on a group unless you have a reasonable indication that they are engaged in criminal conduct.But then 29 Jewish leaders led by the Anti-Defamation Leagues Abraham Foxman went to the Justice Department, and told them this is too timid an approach. It was reported that Foxman stated:We want better surveillance and infiltration if necessary the concern, Mr. Foxman said, wasmodernizing the regulations, so federal authoritiescan deal not only with getting the man, but with preventing the crime.

So now, they have their way: A position was created inside the Justice Dept. which they say is to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. [Based uponThe Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004] Secretary of State John Kerry appointed a man namedIra Formanas the newSpecial Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

What will happen with these positions, except to coordinate the government surveillance and infiltration of those who have been labeled anti-Semitic?There are real anti-Semites in this country that hate the Jewish people, and there is nothing wrong with monitoring arealanti-Semitic hate group.But when you have that intention formeandThe Nation of Islam, then we have tocharge youandchallenge youto prove your claim.

You have a long history of lying on The Nation of Islam. And it is time that we throw down the gauntlet now, and make you come before the American people and the world, and prove your charge. And if you cannot,and you cannot, then youre going to have to pay for all these years that you have poisoned the minds of the American people; destroyed progress of tens of hundreds and thousands of peopleand you thought you got away with it.

Not today

In The Preface ofThe Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume 2, The Historical Research Department provides us with historical proof on how Jews at the highest organizational levels havealwayslabeled The Nation of Islam as anti-Semitic. For example, they write that in 1942, a secret Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith file titledTemple of Islam Infiltrationstates:A Negro employed byusus here is The Anti- Defamation Leagueprovedquite instrumental in a F.B.I. raid on the Chicago mosque resulting in 82 arrests.So, this has been going on a long time.

And what did you mean,Mr. Abraham Foxman, when you said,Louis Farrakhan is the only African-American leader?Your words exactly, sir, as they appear in aHaaretznews article published in April 2013:The last time an African-American leader stood up to anti-Semitism was Martin Luther King Jr., who said its a sin. The only leadership that now exists inthat community the African American communityisLouis Farrakhan. Farrakhan can assemble 20,000 people several times a year, and he flaunts his anti-Semitism. Whats worse, they deny it exists, so theres no one to talk to.

I interpret that as meaningThe Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan are the only ones we dont control;I interpret that to mean thatLouis FarrakhanandThe Nation of Islammay very well beThe Last Man Standingin the way ofyour successful capture of Black leaders, your successful capture of Black professionals and Black businessmen, your capture of Black artists, and your capture of heads of state and government that bow to your commands!Then ifweare The Last Man Standing, then you are calling on all of your forces to concentrate their attention on Louis Farrakhan and The Nation of Islam.

Well, concentrate with everything youve got, because The God that we serve will answereffectivelyandefficiently, and will ultimately destroy your power.

A party from amongThe Synagogue of Satanthat designs to ruin Gods Warner among us

Look at whats written in theHoly Quran, Surah4 Al-Nisa(The Women), verses 111-112:And whoever commits a sin, commits it only against himself. And Allah is ever Knowing, Wise. And whoever commits a fault or a sin, then accuses of it one innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of acalumnyand amanifest sin.

Now, what is acalumny? A calumny is the making of a false and defamatory statement in order to damage someones reputation. It is slander, it is character assassination, and it is vilification.

ToThe Anti-Defamation League, The Southern Poverty Law Center, a.k.a. The Synagogue of Satan:You are the sinner! You want to put your evil onan innocent man; you say I am the hateryoure wrong! We can prove that you are the hater, and youve been the hater of us ever since youve been onour planet. You are the liar; you are the one that is creating violence and hatredit is you. You manipulate your media brethren, turning them into tools of your wicked ideas and policies.

Well now your day has come.In the Holy Quran, Surah 104is calledAl-Humazah(The Slanderer):Woe to every slanderer, defamer! Who amasses wealth and counts itHe thinks that his wealth will make him abide. Nay, he will certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster; And what will make thee realize what the crushing disaster is? It is the Fire kindled by Allah, Which rises over the hearts. Surely it is closed in on them, In extended columns.

What will make thee know what the great and utter destruction is? It is The Fire, inthe heart of the slanderer; that leads that slanderer to The Fire of Hell.

Inverse 113ofSurah 4, The Holy Quransays:And were it not for Allahs grace on thee and His mercy,a party of themhad certainly designed to ruinthee. And they ruin only themselves, and they cannot harm thee in any way. And Allah has revealed to thee the Book and the Wisdom, and taught thee what thou knewest not, and Allahs grace on thee is very great.

I rely on The Wisdom of that scripture, because as I said: This Synagogue of Satan is comprised not only of members of the Jewish community, but you have Gentiles, you have Blacks, you have AsiansYour Synagogue is big. And a lot of the people that are members of The Synagogue are unwitting pawns in The Wicked Game of this Satanic group.

Remember these words of The Quran:a partyand thats you, Synagoguefrom among themcertainly designed to ruinthee.Thee here meansMuhammad; thee, here, means what he represents. And if you dont think that I am a part of Muhammad, then watch and see. Your evil is designed to ruin me, and to ruin The Nation of Islam. But you ruin only yourself. So keep on planning and watch what happens to you, and what you represent.

A Who is Anti-Semitic? roll call

Let us take a look at all the Black leaders that have been charged with anti-Semitic behavior because they dared to utter a word of criticism against Jewish misbehavior and mislabeling. Lets take a look at Who is anti-Semitic?I bet you wont even believe this:Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee University;W.E.B. DuBois; Marcus Mosiah Garvey;and, yes:The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.the man that said, anti-Semitism is a sin, yet you all referred to him, at one point, as an anti-Semite!Malcolm X, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, President Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Julian Bond; Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael;Andrew Young; Kweisi Mfume, former member of Congress, and former leader of the N.A.A.C.P.; The ReverendsAl Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Joseph Lowery; The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee called SNCC; The Black Panthers; The Universal Negro Improvement Association, which was Mr. Garveys movement; and,The Nation of Islam.

But it doesnt stop there! They accusedMahatma Gandhi[a leader for Indias independence], of being an anti-Semite. Also: HistoriansJohn Hope FranklinandJ. A. Rogers; WritersJames Baldwin, Richard Wright, Julius LesterandAlice Walker; and entertainersMichael Jackson, Spike Lee, Ice Cube, Arsenio Hall, Muhammad Ali, Public Enemy, Oprah Winfreythis is just a few. Look at the great company that Louis Farrakhan is in.

You meaneverybodyis a hater of the Jewish people? Stop It!

Now lets call the roll of those White people that you have called anti-Semiticbeginning with U.S. presidents: President Harry Truman, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President Richard M. Nixon,President Jimmy Carter, President Gerald Ford, President George H. W. Bushand PresidentBarack Obama. Also, a listing of White leaders, historians, inventors, writers, clergymen, philosophers, etc.:H. L. Mencken, George Bernard Shaw, Henry Adams, H. G. Wells, Edgar Degas, T. S. Eliot, Immanuel Kant, Tacitus, Philostratus, Cicero, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Hitler, Edward VIII, Aleksander Pushkin, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Richard Wagner, Bobby Fischer, and The Reverend Billy Graham.

These members ofThe Synagogue of Satan have always known that a Day of Reckoning was coming; and so over time, they put themselves in positions of power in every nation of the Western Hemisphere. This was done to monitor The Awakening ofThe Gentilesthe masses of so-called heathens, savages andgoyim; as well as the masses of Blacks. So anyone that rises and criticizes: They put fear in them by charging them with being anti-Semitic. Even if theyknewthat what we were saying is the truth, most would be afraid and would not stand up under the heat of Jewish power.

Well, today we are calling you out, and asking you to use your inordinate power, because The God that we represent wants to crush you and your power. Hes here to bring in a Brand New Worldand Hes chosen the despised and the rejected, unloved and unwantedBlack man and woman of Americato be The Cornerstone of a Brand New Reality.

The trick of anti-Semitic labeling confirmed

During an August 14, 2002 interview on her showDemocracy Now! (, host and executive producer AmyGoodmaninterviewed former Israeli MinisterShulamit Aloni. Pay attention to Miss Goodmans words introducing her guest:Yours is a voice of criticism we dont often hear in the United States. Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?AndMinister Shulamit Alonianswered:Well, its a trick, we always use it.When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is OK. They are talented people, and they have power and money, and the media and other things; and their attitude isIsrael my country, right or wrong,identificationand they are not ready to hear criticism. And its very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is [to] justify everything we do to the Palestinians.

This anti-Semitic labeling is atrickthat they use! But look at how many people have been destroyed on account of such a trick!

Where did you learn such tricks? Did you not learn this from your FatherYakub, who taught you a System of Tricks and Lies? Look at howeasyit is for you to lie, and put your wickedness on innocent persons. What is the meaning of atrick? Atrickisa cunning, or skillful, act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone; a mischievous practical joke; a skillful act performed for entertainment or amusement; an illusion; a clever or particular way of doing something.

Its really amusing to Satan when he can tell a lie, and we operate on that lie, and act in a manner that we would never act if we had only knownThe Truth. They are entertained by playing tricks on unsuspecting, ignorant people. And this is why it isanimperativethat The Synagogue of Satan must be called out, and Satan and his Synagogue must be made known.

(A partial listing)

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Edgware and Hendon Reform rabbi to join West London Synagogue – Jewish News

Posted By on July 23, 2020

A rabbi from Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue is to join West London Synagogue just five months after it suspended its Reform Judaism membership.

West London Synagogue chair Andrew Stone announced the appointment of new Associate Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman on Tuesday, saying she brings many skills, qualities and interests.

WLS was the largest Movement for Reform Judaism (MRJ) shul until it caused communal waves by suspending its membership in February, angered by MRJ statements about bullying allegations levelled against WLSs Rabbi David Mitchell.

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Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman

Reitsma-Jurman has spent seven years at Edgware and Hendon and will join the WLS rabbinate early next year, with Stone saying she would make a significant contribution to our vision and future direction.

Mitchell and Co-Senior Rabbi Helen Freeman said the new recruit was already well known for her excellent work, adding: She will make a much-valued colleague and will bring so much to our community family, particularly in the connections she looks forward to making with our families and younger members.

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Edgware and Hendon Reform rabbi to join West London Synagogue - Jewish News

He used to preach tolerance to beat anti-Semitism. Now he’s training Jews to fight back –

Posted By on July 23, 2020

The Kosher market targeted in the violent Tuesday attack in Jersey City is boarded up and covered in tributes to the victims on Friday, Dec. 13, 2020.

In his old job, Evan Bernstein spenthis workdays cataloging anti-Semitic attacks andspeakingoutagainst bigotry around the globe.

But now, the former leader of the Anti-Defamation League in New York and New Jerseywants to do more than condemnhateful acts: He's taking action against them, and encouraging others to join the front lines.

In May, the 45-year-old Connecticut native left the storied civil rights group to become the new CEO of Community Security Service, a New York-based nonprofit that has trained thousands of volunteers to protect synagogues and other Jewish institutions around the U.S.

The switch suggests the stark reality facing Jews in America, where anti-Semitic acts reached record highs last year, including deadly assaults from California to Jersey City and Rockland County.

Evan Bernstein is the new CEO of Community Security Services, an organization training volunteers to protect Jewish institutions and Jewish events. Bernstein is pictured in the The Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, created to honor the memories of the millions of men, women and children destroyed in the Holocaust. The sculptor Rita Rapaport created the "Gates of Remembrance," to memorialize the suffering and death of millions during the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.(Photo: AMY NEWMAN, NORTHJERSEY.COM/ USA TODAY NETWORK)

"We need volunteers who are invested in protecting their own institutionsand not relying on private security," Bernstein said in an interview. "Its as much about empowerment as physical security, and notrelying on others."

The son of two secular Jewish parents, Bernstein grew up to attend an Orthodox temple where security is now always front of mind, he said. At CSS, he leads an organization with a $1 million budget that has trained almost 5,000 volunteers who operate at 100 synagogues nationwide.

The teams patrol houses of worship, assess risks, drill for active shooters and aid congregations that have come under attack. In the age of COVID-19, they've also provided Jewish communities with health protocols for navigating the pandemic.

Private security forces are likely to become ever more important for American Jews as police departments face growing distrust and the budgetary hit of the coronavirus recession, former NYPD Commissioner RayKelly told an interviewer in The Jerusalem Post last week.

We are in a dangerous place in history, he said.

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CSS trains volunteers about perimeter and access control, situational awareness, emergency management, self-defense and the best practices for mitigating threats, a spokesman said.

The group doesnot discuss tactical operations, includingthe use of weapons. But Bernstein said he's notopposed to members being armed, as long as they get the appropriate training and approach the issue with care:If you just say, willy-nilly, you can have a gun, thats not protecting the community well," he said.

In New Jersey, home to one of the country's largest Jewish populations, some 1,800 CSS-trained volunteers serve at more than two dozen sites, said Deena Seelenfreund, the group's regional manager.

"We've gotten a lot of calls recently from synagogues and volunteers thathave expressed interest in coming aboard becauseof increased anti-Semitic activity," she said, adding that Bernstein's contacts and fundraising abilityshould help the service grow.

Nationwide, the ADL recorded more than 2,100anti-Jewish attacks last year, the highest number in the 40 years the watchdog group has tracked such incidents.

CSS wasfounded in 2007 by New Yorkers David Dabscheck and Adam Sager, two entrepeneurs with a focus on private and corporate security,who bemoanedthe vulnerability of their Manhattan synagogue.

Dabscheckhad narrowly escaped a terrorist bombingin London years before, while Sager hadserved in the Israel Defense Forces. Theybegan with one volunteer team in New York, but demand for their services soon spread.

CSS volunteers at a training session(Photo: CSS)

Anti-Jewish assaults have only grown since then, culminating in 2018's attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in which a gunman massacred 11 worshipers. Last year brought another shooting at a Poway, California, temple; a rampage at a Jersey City kosher grocery that left three bystanders and the two attackers dead; and a machete attack at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, that killed a rabbi.

For Bernstein, the events were transformative.

He was on his way to Jersey City for a meetingwith Jewish leaders last December when he heard about a shootingat a Jewish cemetery that started the onslaught. He quickly shifted gears and ended up outside the kosher groceryas bullets flew through the neighborhood.

"I was standing afew hundred yards from the shooting," he said. "I spoke to law enforcement at the scene and anxious families of students who were being held in their schools."

The next morning, he and other Jewish leaders recited the kaddish, Judaism's prayer of mourning, at a synagogue next to the store.

Two weeks later came the attack in Monsey at which five were stabbed.Bernstein rushed to the scene, where he spoke to stunned community members.

"I've reacted to many incidents over the years, but to actually be there inreal time on the scene as these thingswere unraveling ...that changed me as a person."

Evan Bernstein is the new CEO of Community Security Services, an organization training volunteers to protect Jewish institutions and Jewish events. Bernstein is pictured in the The Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, created to honor the memories of the millions of men, women and children destroyed in the Holocaust. The sculptor Rita Rapaport created the "Gates of Remembrance," to memorialize the suffering and death of millions during the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.(Photo: AMY NEWMAN, NORTHJERSEY.COM/ USA TODAY NETWORK)

"The Jewish community is utterly terrified," he told a reporter at the time. "No one should have to live like this."

Bernstein had been at the ADL since 2013, sounding the alarm overthe rise in bias attacks. Whenhe got a call from an organization that aimedto thwart such threats, his interest was piqued.

"Iwant to be in a position where I dont just verbally respond as a spokespersonbut actually try to empower the Jewish community," he said. "Imagine if there had been a CSS detail there [at the rabbi's home in Monsey].Would the perpetrator have been able to come in?"

Ironically, Bernstein's non-observant parents rarely took him to synagogue as he was growing up in East Lyme, Connecticut, aside from visits for the high holidays.

But his father, a nonprofit leader in southeastern Connecticut, and mother, who headedthespecial education program athis elementary school, imbued him with a strongsense of social justice and inspired him to give back, he said.

In adulthood, he became more drawn to religion. He and his wife and four children attend an Orthodox shul in Connecticut.

Among Bernstein'simmediate goals at CSSis to expand the group's ranks of volunteers, who must commit to several weeksof training and devote several hours weekly toprotecting their institutions.

He's also eager to reach out to younger people, particularly those on college campuses. "People need to start thinking about protecting their community at a much younger age," he said, adding that the average volunteer is 50 years old. "If they begin training while they are in school, they will continue to be active in protecting their institutions when they are older."

Evan Bernstein is the new CEO of Community Security Services, an organization training volunteers to protect Jewish institutions and Jewish events. Bernstein is pictured in the The Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, created to honor the memories of the millions of men, women and children destroyed in the Holocaust. The garden walls are inscribed with the names of 26 places where Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution were tortured and murdered.(Photo: AMY NEWMAN, NORTHJERSEY.COM/ USA TODAY NETWORK)

At the ADL, where Bernstein eventually rose to national vice-president, colleagues praised his appointment.

It's "an exciting opportunity to lead and reimagine an organization dealing with the important issue of Jewish communal security," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the group's CEO. "We wish him every success in this important new role and hope to find ways to collaborate for the benefit of our community."

Bernstein's move to CSS raises a sensitive question: Have efforts by the ADL and other groups to spread tolerance been a failure?

"You never know howmuch education changedpeoples' attitudes," he offered.

Still, he said, "if you look at American society and what's happened over the past five years ... the people who have anti-Semiticattitudes are acting on itmore. Thats where CSS pays a role, in empowering the Jewish community to understand that the threat is there, and security and empowerment are critical."

Deena Yellin covers religion for For unlimited access to her work covering how the spiritual intersects with our daily lives,please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


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He used to preach tolerance to beat anti-Semitism. Now he's training Jews to fight back -

South Blooming Grove plans in-person public hearing on 600-home Clovewood project – Times Herald-Record

Posted By on July 23, 2020

Chris McKenna|Times Herald-Record

SOUTH BLOOMING GROVE - Village officials plan to field public comments on the 600-home Clovewood proposal in person rather than hold an online hearing on a development that could more than double South Blooming Grove's population.

The village announced in a notice posted on its website Tuesday that it will hold the hearing at 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 10 and limit the audience to 25 people, since about 25 representatives of the village and developer will be there and public gatherings can't exceed 50 people under New York's coronavirus rules.

Officials plan to hold additional hearing sessions if necessary to accommodate anyone who wants to speak but can't because of the restriction on how many people can attend.

"Everyone will be given their opportunity to be heard," Village Clerk Kerry Dougherty said Tuesday.

The developer, known as Keen Equities LLC, plans to build homes for the Satmar Hasidic community on an expanse of vacant land off Clove Road and Route 208 that used to be Lake Anne Country Club. Consultants estimate Clovewood ultimately could house more than3,800 people if accessory apartments are built onto every four-bedroom house.

Keen Equities is an investor group that bought Lake Anne in 2006 for $15 million. The development would take up about 142 acres of the 708-acre property.

The hearing - originally set for next Monday and then postponed - is being held on the developer's draft environmental impact statement, a huge analysis of the project's infrastructure needs and potential effects that was first submitted more than two years ago and revised last year. The documents are posted online at

The only recent addition is a 13-pageaddendum submitted to the village in February that dropped two ideas village officials had questioned: a road connection to an adjacent neighborhood and backup plan to pipe drinking water from nearby Kiryas Joel.

The developers, who plan to tap wells on their property to supply water to the homes, say in the addendum they will no longer explore the alternative of building a pipeline to Kiryas Joel to connect to its water system. They alsoeliminated a proposed road connection to Arlington Drive other than one that only emergency vehicles could use.

The public hearing will be held by the Village Board and Planning Board, which are jointly reviewing the Clovewood application, and take place at the South Blooming Grove firehouse at 819 Route 208. Everyone who attends must wear masks and follow social distancing directions.

Anyone who wants to speak must register by 3 p.m. Aug. 9 by calling Dougherty at782-2600 or emailing her at Written comments - accepted up to three days before the hearing and for 10 days afterward - may be emailed to her or mailed to Village Hall at811 Route 208 Monroe, N.Y. 10950.

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South Blooming Grove plans in-person public hearing on 600-home Clovewood project - Times Herald-Record

Jewish People Who Have Recovered From COVID Have Donated Half of All the Plasma Used in US Treatments – Good News Network

Posted By on July 23, 2020

Since Hasidic and Jewish Orthodox communities were some of the first to suffer the worst COVID-19 outbreaks, they are now turning their experiences into a nationwide movement that has already saved thousands of lives.

Out of all the COVID-19 treatments that are currently being researched in the US, convalescent plasma therapy has been shown to be particularly promisingespecially for severe cases of the virus. The treatment involves drawing blood plasma out of an individual who has recovered from and built up an immunity to COVID-19, testing the blood for the related antibody, and then injecting it into a sick patient so that the antibody can attack the virus for its new host.

When Dr. Michael Joyner first began spearheading the treatments research at the Mayo Clinic back in mid-April, one of the biggest hurdles for its progress was obtaining blood plasma from people who had already recovered from the novel coronavirus.

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Joyner knew that many Jewish communities in New York City had been hard-hit by the virus prior to the citys lockdown because of how its large religious families tend to be more closely-knitso he hosted a conference call with several of the citys most prominent rabbis and asked asked them for help.

Just 36 hours later, more than 1,000 vials of plasma from Jewish people who had recovered from the virus were delivered to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The delivery was not just an astonishing feat of organized community speed, it was also a medical success: more than 60% of the donations tested positive for antibodies proven to be effective in fighting COVID-19.

Since that initial donation, Jewish communities across the country have hosted plasma drives to help save at-risk COVID patients.

Theres no way wed be able to treat so many people without them, Dr. Joyner told NBC News. They were the straw that serves the drink in a lot of ways.

Additionally, their donations have been sent to research facilities around the world to help further the treatments development for more widespread use.

To date, more than 36,000 American people have been treated with antibody-rich plasma transfusionsand more than half of those blood donations have come from Jewish people.

Because we were ravaged by COVID so early on, we recognized that we had the opportunity to give back to the scientific community and to our fellow brothers who are suffering, Dr. Israel Zyskind, a Brooklyn pediatrician and Jewish practitioner, told NBC. We dont just care about ourselves, we care about everyone, and we will do what we can.

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Jewish People Who Have Recovered From COVID Have Donated Half of All the Plasma Used in US Treatments - Good News Network

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