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Bnai Brith Canada Housing | Lions’ Gate B’nai B’rith …

Posted By on February 15, 2018

Bnai Brith Canadas Affordable Housing Program

As an outgrowth of its ongoing historic commitment to serve the needs of the community, Bnai Brith Canada established an Affordable Housing Program in 1979. Its mission is to provide and maintain affordable, attractive, secure, and welcoming housing to low to moderate income residents. These residents now enjoy a decent home in a friendly community free from discrimination.

In Metropolitan Toronto, theBnai Brith Canada Family Housing Programhas provided and currently operates two senior citizens housing complexes on Bathurst Street, facing Earl Bales Park as well as a third project for seniors and families.

Each of these projects is an independent corporation, with its own Board of Directors, Committees and professional staff. At the same time, each project has access to and is able to benefit from the experience and services of the larger framework and resources of Bnai Brith Canada.

Our Other Buildings


Bnai Brith House, 8000 Cote St. Luc Road, Montreal, Quebec - This 95 one and two bedroom residence is located in a much sought after area of Montreal at the corner of Cote St. Luc Road and Westminster. A hot, nutritious, kosher, well-balanced and affordable lunch meal is provided daily to the residents.


The Dan Family Residence, 15 Torresdale, North York, Ontario - This 61-unit seniors and family residence is Bnai Brith Canadas first fully integrated facility providing housing for all segments of the community.

Bnai Brith Upper Canada Lodge Apartment, 4226 Bathurst Street, North York, Ontario - Comprised of 130 one and two bedroom air-conditioned units, this facility was the first building sponsored by Bnai Brith Canada Upper Canada Lodge.

Bnai Brith Seniors' Residence, 4300 Bathurst Street, North York, Ontario - This 164-unit one and two bedroom air-conditioned apartment building is directly north of our first building.

Through a combination of our lodges volunteer service program and the resident social committee, various events take place on a regular basis: summer picnics and barbecues, evenings with guest speakers, weekly bingo nights, weekly exercise programs, movie nights, card games, holiday celebrations, and religious services on Shabbat and all holidays.

Bnai Brith International

Bnai Brith Canada, while corporately distinct, is part of Bnai Brith International, which is the largest Jewish sponsor of federally subsidized housing for the elderly in the United States. For more than 30 years, in a cooperative partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bnai Brith has made rental apartments available for senior citizens with limited incomes. Bnai Brith senior housing is open to all qualified individuals as defined by HUD, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin.

The Bnai Brith Senior Housing Network in the United States consists of 37 apartment buildings in 25 communities, encompassing more than 4,000 apartment units and serving more than 6,000 people.

Bnai Brith has also developed a variety of housing alternatives around the globe. The organization sponsors parents homes in Australia, New Zealand, and Israel; senior citizens flatlets in England; an apartment building and a medical residence in Vancouver, British Columbia; and apartment buildings in Toronto. Although funded through their own national programs and tailored to meet the particular needs of the host country, these programs remain a vital component of the international Bnai Brith Senior Housing Network.

Local Bnai Brith volunteers and the senior service staff in the national office plan and complete all Bnai Brith senior housing projects.

For more information on Bnai Brith Internationals Housing network, please consult theirwebsite.

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Hasidic Women Rules Toldos Aharon Takanot For Women …

Posted By on February 14, 2018

Ive gottena few messages from readers wanting to learn more about women in Hasidic life and Hasidic women rules. So I decided to write a post about the takanot or decrees in theToldos Aharon sect that relate to women. All of the takanot in this postcan be found in the sefer Takanot Vehadrachot. This is the front cover of the sefer:

Before I get into specific takanot, its important to understand that in Hasidic life in general, there is a lot of emphasis on Hasidic women being ultra-modestand playing the primary role in raising the children.

However, the Hasidic women in the Toldos Aharon sect are particularly strict in regards to modesty. They generallyonly wear dark colors (so as not to attract attention), long stockings, skirts down to their ankles, and shave their heads when they get married. Unlike most other Hasidic sects, Toldos Aharon Hasidic women will not cover their headswith a wig when married, but instead wear shmattes (cloth/scarves) on their heads.

Now, lets get to the takanot:

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New Square, New York – Wikipedia

Posted By on February 14, 2018

New Square (Yiddish: , Hebrew: ) is an all-Hasidic village in the town of Ramapo, Rockland County, New York, United States. It is located north of Hillcrest, east of Viola, south of New Hempstead, and west of New City. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 6,944.[2] Its inhabitants are predominantly members of the Skverer Hasidic movement who seek to maintain a Hasidic lifestyle disconnected from the secular world.

New Square is named after the Ukrainian town Skvyra, where the Skverer Hasidim originated. The founders intended to name the settlement New Skvir, but a typist's error anglicized the name.[3] New Square was established in 1954, when the Zemach David Corporation, representing Skverer Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twersky, purchased a 130-acre (0.53km2) dairy farm near Spring Valley, New York, in the town of Ramapo. At that time, the Skverer community lived in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn in New York City. Construction began in 1956, and the first four families moved to New Square in December 1956.[4] In 1958 the settlement had 68 houses.[5]

The development of New Square was obstructed by Ramapo's zoning regulations, which forbade the construction of multi-family houses and the use of basements for shops and stores. Multiple families sharing single-family houses said that they belonged to extended families, and businesses in private homes had to be secret. In 1959, the community asked for a building permit to expand its synagogue, located in the basement of a Cape Cod-style house. The Ramapo town attorney requested condemnation of the entire New Square community, claiming that it threatened sewage lines. In response, the community requested incorporation as a village, but Ramapo town officials refused to allow it. In 1961, a New York state court ruled in favor of New Square,[6] and in July New Square incorporated.

After incorporating, New Square set its own zoning and building codes, legalizing the existing houses and the liens disappeared. Lots were sold, and new houses were built. The basement businesses could trade openly, and new businesses were founded, including a watch assembly plant and a cap manufacturer. Three knitting mills and a used car lot opened, but most men continued to go to work in New York City. A Kollel was opened in 1963. In 1968, Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twersky died; he was succeeded as Grand Rabbi by his son David Twersky.[5]

In New Square's first mayoral election in 1961, Mates Friesel was chosen unopposed. Friesel was reelected every two years, until his death in 2015, thereby becoming one of the longest-serving Mayor in the United States.[7]

The community in New Square is made up exclusively of Hasidic Jews, mostly from the Skverer Hasidic movement, who wish to maintain a Hasidic lifestyle while keeping outside influences to a minimum. The predominant language spoken in New Square is Yiddish.[8]

People typically marry around 18 to 20 years of age. Girls finish high school at around age 17 and then marry. Custom dictates that women who marry men from other Hasidic communities leave New Square. Some women who left New Square settled in the Borough Park community in Brooklyn and the Monsey community in Ramapo, where the community is not as tightly knit. Men who marry women from outside of the community are encouraged to leave New Square. This is due to a shortage of space, thus new housing is granted to couples of which both members are from the community.[9]

In 2005 the community's rabbinical court ruled that women should not operate cars.[10] In a 2003 article Lisa W. Foderaro of The New York Times described New Square as "extremely insular" and said that the community's residents do not own televisions or radios.[11]

Young women, prior to entering marriage and before they have children, work as teachers, secretaries, and bookkeepers, or they work in the New Square shopping center as cashiers and clerks. Some of the women, after having children, work as bookkeepers in their homes.[12]

Young men work as teachers, bus drivers, deliverymen, and store clerks. Some work as computer programmers or as craftsmen and entrepreneurs in the diamond industry. Many study in the kolel, a yeshiva for married men, and receive stipends to support their families.[12]

In 1970 the village had the lowest per capita income in New York State. In 1963 four persons received welfare due to illness. One dozen people received welfare in 1975. In 1992 the village administrator said that in 1975 about two thirds of the families received food stamps and Medicaid.[9]

According to the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the village was $12,162, and the median income for a family was $12,208. Males had a median income of $21,696 versus $29,375 for females. The per capita income for the village was $5,237. About 67.0% of families and 72.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 77.3% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.

2007 and 2008 reports from the State of New York stated that 89.8% of the village consisted of low-income and moderate-income residents.[13][14]

New Square is located at 41823N 74142W / 41.13972N 74.02833W / 41.13972; -74.02833 (41.139745, -74.028197).[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.4square mile (0.9km), all land.

In 1963 the settlement had 85 families and a total of 620 inhabitants. By 1967 this increased to 126 families and 812 total residents. The community celebrated ten marriages in 1967. In 1970 the village had 1,156 inhabitants, with 57% of the population under the age of 18.

The village had around one hundred births each year from 1971 to 1986. By that year the village had 140 one-, two-, and three-family houses, a 45-unit low-rent apartment complex, 2,100 people, and 450 families with an average of 7 to 8 children per family. During the late 1970s the Town of Ramapo denied New Square's attempt to annex land. Six years later, in March 1982, New Square gained the legal right to annex 95 acres (380,000m2) of land.[9]

New Square's population increased 77.5% between 1990 and 2000. In 2005 the village contained approximately 7,830 residents; 1,350 families, with 5.8 persons per family.[17] Robert Zeliger of Rockland Magazine described New Square in 2007 as "a densely packed haven where Hasidic residents live largely by their own customs and laws."[18] In November 2008 a new water tower serving New Square and the hamlet of Hillcrest opened, increasing residents' water pressure.[19]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 4,624 people, 820 households, and 786 families residing in the village. The population density was 12,811.8 people per square mile (4,959.3/km). There were 838 housing units at an average density of 2,321.9 per square mile (898.8/km). The racial makeup of the village was 96.95% White, 1.64% African American, 0.89% Asian, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.41% of the population. 87.26% speak Yiddish at home, 7.68% English, and 4.11% Hebrew.[21]

There were 820 households out of which 77.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 92.6% were married couples living together, 2.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 4.1% were non-families. 3.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 5.64 and the average family size was 5.81.

In the village, the population was spread out with 60.5% under the age of 18, 13.9% from 18 to 24, 15.9% from 25 to 44, 7.1% from 45 to 64, and 2.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 14 years. For every 100 females there were 105.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.7 males. The median income for a household in the village was $21,172, and the median income for a family was $21,758. Males had a median income of $35,871 versus $21,389 for females. The per capita income for the village was $6,585. About 58.0% of families and 58.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 60.9% of those under age 18 and 36.2% of those age 65 or over.

A 2007 report stated that each year one half of the women between ages 18 and 25 gave birth.[14]

As of 1992 the Village of New Square has a mayor, a mayor's assistant, a board of trustees, a village clerk, and a justice of the peace. The mayor's assistant performs the bulk of administrative work. The justice of the peace mainly handles harassment cases perpetrated by outsiders within New Square.[12]

The Hillcrest Fire Department (also known as the Moleston Fire District) provides fire protection services to New Square. In March 2007, the fire district met with Town of Ramapo supervisors and proposed removing New Square from its fire district after a February 7, 2007, fire that destroyed two buildings in New Square. Further hazards stem from the fact that the town has only one main access road (Washington Avenue), and the failure of some residents to yield to emergency vehicles, or to the crowd of people on the streets surrounding an incident. There also have been isolated cases of residents tampering with fire equipment while responders are on scene.

The fire department felt concern about a lack of fire protection in buildings in New Square. On March 29, 2007, Ramapo town officials met fire district officials and fire department chiefs. On April 4 of that year the fire district announced that New Square would remain in the fire district. Christopher St. Lawrence, the Town of Ramapo supervisor, said that the town is considering a "public safety loan program" to help New Square residents install life safety devices such as smoke alarms and sprinkler systems.[22]

In 1989 New Square funded their own health clinic, called Refuah Health Center.

New Square is within the 95th Assembly District in the New York State Assembly, which is represented by Ellen Jaffee.[23] New Square is within Senate District 38 in the New York State Senate, which is represented by David Carlucci.[24]

There is a strong expectation that residents of New Square will conform to community norms, for example by worshiping at the community's synagogue[25] and conforming to the Hasidic lifestyle.[26] Generally conformity by those who do not comply voluntarily is enforced by the powers of the kehillah, a council appointed by the rebbe, whose members control most community institutions.[27] Those who have not conformed voluntarily have faced vigilante justice as exemplified by the New Square arson attack and other incidents. The rebbe has denounced this practice, saying, "The use of force and violence to make a point or settle an argument violates Skvers most fundamental principles."[27][28]

Although the town is within the East Ramapo Central School District, all children of New Square attend the local private Jewish preK-12 schools, Avir Yaakov Boys School and Avir Yaakov Girls School.[29]

Four Hasidic men from New Square, Benjamin Berger, Jacob Elbaum, David Goldstein, and Kalmen Stern, created a nonexistent Jewish school and enrolled thousands of students to receive US$30 million in education grants, subsidies, and loans from the U.S. federal government. Some of the money were used to enrich themselves, but also to benefit the community institutions.[30][31] The fraud scheme in New square was tied into larger schemes in other ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and across the country.[32] The men were convicted in 1999. In October of that year all four men received prison sentences ranging from 30 months to 78 months. Two other suspects who were indicted left the United States.[33] The indictment drew sharp criticism in New Square. A statement by village representatives accused authorities of having a vendetta against New Square residents, and acting "in a manner remindful of the Holocaust during the investigations.[31]

Hillary Clinton met with New Square-area Hasidic leaders as part of her Senate campaign. Michael Duffy and Karen Tumulty of Time magazine said that "as far as anyone knows, that was a campaign event only; no pardons were mentioned." Hillary Clinton attended another session with the men, who wanted to see the four Hasidic leaders released. After Hillary Clinton was voted in as a senator, during the morning of December 22 Twersky and an associate visited Bill Clinton in the White House Map Room in Washington, D.C., and asked him to pardon the four men. Hillary Clinton attended the meeting; she said that she did not participate in it and did not discuss the meeting with her husband.[34]

On January 20, 2001, President Clinton commuted the sentences of the men; Berger's sentence became two years, and the other men each had 30 months. Federal prosecutors investigated the pardons to see if they were made in exchange for political support.[33] A 2001 ABC News article stated that some people wondered whether the pardons occurred as a kind of favor because the Village of New Square had voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton for her first senate term (1359 out of 1369 votes in contrast to two other Hasidic communities nearby who voted overwhelmingly republican) or if the pardons occurred as part of a quid pro quo swap for votes.[30][34][32] Hillary Clinton said that she was not involved in the pardons and that her husband pardoned the men out of clemency.[33] In 2002 the prosecutors closed the investigation with no action.[35]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2015)

Due to population growth in New Square, the Skver Hasidim had plans to expand to a new village named Kiryas Square in the town of Spring Glen, New York[36] but plans were later canceled.

Coordinates: 4108N 7401W / 41.133N 74.017W / 41.133; -74.017

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New Square, New York - Wikipedia

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Men Wear Blindfolds At Airport To …

Posted By on February 14, 2018

Left: thenewyorkgod/ RedditRight: Left: Hasidic travelers wear blindfolds at an airportRight: A Kohein man covers himself in plastic on a flight

A group of young Hasidic Jewish men was seen traveling through an airport blindfolded, apparently so they would not be exposed to the potential sight of immodestly dressed women.

Reddit user thenewyorkgod posted the image Monday morning, which has since amassed over 5000 comments. Most of the commenters expressed shock over such conduct, but some of the users have been posting their own similar experiences or pointing out how common these occurrences are.

In 2013, an Orthodox Jewish man completely covered himself in plastic sheeting during a flight to avoid being exposed to the dead should the plane fly over a cemetery.

This man was believed to be a Kohein, who are religious descendants of the priests of ancient Israel. Kohanim are banned from having any sort of contact with the dead in order to remain pure. This includes visiting cemeteries or even flying over them.

To try to save themselves, Kohanim employ a controversial solution that is not entirely allowed in the church wrapping themselves in plastic bags. The bag is said to create a sort of barrier between the individual and the tumah, or surrounding impurities.

The controversy exists mostly due to safety concerns. Even if they can be seatbelted in, the passenger wouldnt be able to reach an oxygen mask or escape from the plane quickly if an emergency situation were to occur.

In addition, the question remains as to how they can breathe, as air holes are not allowed in the bag because they would invalidate the barrier.

In 2015, another controversy arose when a Hasidic man refused to sit next to a woman on a plane because she was a woman not related to him.

Laura Heywood was flying from San Diego to London in the middle seat while her husband sat in the aisle side. The window seat originally belonged to a man who happened to be a Hasidic Jew.

The man refused the seat as his faith prevented him from sitting next to any woman who wasnt his wife. He asked the couple to switch places, but Heywood, believing the mans request to be sexist, refused.

The flight ended up being delayed due to the disagreement.

Even fellow members of the Jewish faith find instances like these to be confusing.

Jeremy Newberger, a passenger who witnessed a similar episode on a New York to Israel flight, expressed his concern over the issue.

I grew up Conservative, and Im sympathetic to Orthodox Jews, he said to the New York Times. But this Hasid came on, looking very uncomfortable, and wouldnt even talk to the woman, and there was five to eight minutes of Whats going to happen? before the woman acquiesced and said, Ill move. It felt like he was being a yutz.

Next, read about how three doctors saved jewish lives by faking a disease. Then read about the Noahs Ark amusement park.

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Full Circle | a German American Jewish family in Berlin

Posted By on February 14, 2018

An entry in an address book: Goldstein, Erich, Oppeln, Plakatmaler, 153 Lisoyang.

That was the one fragmentary detail about my husband Brians family that we discovered during a pleasurable Sunday afternoon with Sonja Mhlberger. Sonja and Brians mother Maude were both born in Shanghai just a few months apart in 1939. Both girls were in utero during the passage to Shanghai, born into families who took refuge from the Nazis in one of the last available havens for German Jews. After looking through many photos to see if Brian could recognize a young Maude Goldstein (he couldnt), Sonja showed us her copy of the 1939 address book where we found a listing for his Papa Erich.

Maude died when Brian was young so he never had a chance to learn much about her early childhood in Hongkou, Shanghais designated area for Jews. Sometimes referred to as the Shanghai Ghetto, it was a ghetto without walls, inhabited by Jews, Chinese, Russians, and a broad assortment of misfits and adventurers. Sonja told of a relatively happy childhood within this two and a half square kilometer area far from the land her parents missed and would return to after the war. Her recollections gave Brian some reassurance about his mothers childhood and insight into what it must have been like.

Thanks to Sonja for sharing her stories with us, for opening a window into the life led by the mother-in-law I never met. We enjoyed visiting Sonja at her home in Friedrichshagen, the southeastern community of Berlin where she has lived since 1961. Her deep roots in the region were evident from the many people who greeted her when we strolled down to the Mggelsee after our Kaffee and Apfelkuchen.

If youd like to learn more about Sonja, her story of survival in Shanghai is featured in the same Deutsche Welle German Jewish Cultural Heritage Series that our family participated in.

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Full Circle | a German American Jewish family in Berlin

Senior Staff – B’nai B’rith International

Posted By on February 14, 2018

Daniel S. Mariaschin has spent nearly all of his professional life working on behalf of Jewish organizations.

As the chief executive officer and executive vice president of Bnai Brith International, he directs and supervises Bnai Brith programs, activities and staff countries around the world where Bnai Brith is organized. Mr. Mariaschin also serves as director of B'nai B'rith's Center for Human Rights and Public Policy (CHRPP). In that capacity, he presents Bnai Briths perspective to a variety of audiences, including Congress and the media, and coordinates the centers programs and policies on issues of concern to the Jewish community.

In the United States and abroad, Mr. Mariaschin has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, opposition leaders, influential members of the media and clerical leaders. Each time, his goal has been to advance human rights, help protect the rights of Jewish communities worldwide and promote better relations with the state of Israel.

Throughout his Bnai Brith career, Mr. Mariaschin has represented the organization as part of numerous influential delegations.

Mr. Mariaschin was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Conference on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, and the B'nai B'rith delegation to the State Departments 1998 Washington Conference On Holocaust-Era Assets. He also initiated programs on Holocaust education for teachers with the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science.

In 2003 Mr. Mariaschin served as part of the U.S. delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference on anti-Semitism in Vienna. He was also a public advisor to the U.S. delegation at the 2004 conference in Berlin, the 2005 conference in Cordoba, Spain, and the 2007 meeting in Bucharest, Romania. In 2009, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Warsaw Human Dimension Implementation meeting of the OSCE.

Additionally, he participated in negotiations that achieved the transfer of torah scrolls from the Lithuanian government to Israel for distribution there and to Diaspora Jewish communities. He was a member of the International Advisory Committee of CEANA, the Argentinean commission studying that country's relations with the Nazi regime; served on the Commission on Property Restitution in Slovakia; and was a member of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania.

In recognition of his tireless work in Central and Eastern Europe, Mr. Mariaschin received the Cultural Pluralism Award from the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of Americas Heritage Abroad. He has also received state decorations from the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, and the Golden Bough decoration from the Foreign Ministry of Bulgaria.

He began his professional Jewish life in 1973 as community relations associate for the Jewish Community Council of Boston. Two years later, he became director of the New England office of the American Zionist Federation and Zionist House in Boston.

In 1977, Mr. Mariaschin joined the Anti Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith as director of its Middle East Affairs Department. From 1979 to 1986, he served as assistant to ADL's national director, the late Nathan Perlmutter, and as director of its National Leadership division, responsible for ADL's nationwide program of leadership development.

He then became director of the Political Affairs Department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he supervised political action activities and grassroots organization programs.

Prior to joining B'nai B'rith, Mr. Mariaschin served as director of communications and principal spokesman for former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr. during his 1987-88 presidential campaign.

Mr. Mariaschin has written numerous articles and reviews on foreign affairs and national security issues for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times and Newsday, and appears frequently as a foreign affairs analyst on television and radio programs. He has lectured on foreign and defense affairs at the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and at other military installations across the country. He has also worked as a radio announcer and news commentator and has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad.

Raised in Swanzey, New Hampshire, Mr. Mariaschin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of New Hampshire and his Master's degree in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Hampshire and received the American Jewish Communal Leadership Award from Brandeis University.

Olshan has been with B'nai B'rith since 1983. He first served as the director of the Senior Citizens Housing program, which he helped to expand from 12 buildings to more than 40 properties, located in over 25 communities throughout the country.

He holds a doctorate from the University of South Dakota, a master of arts degree from the University of California-Northridge, and a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

She is responsible for the administration of the B'nai B'rith Disaster Relief Fund, which provides assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters, and the Communities in Crisis project, which distributes medicines throughout Latin America.

Love has worked for B'nai B'rith since 1977, serving in several capacities, including associate executive vice president of former district one, which provides programming to B'nai B'rith groups in New York and New England.

Love received the B'nai B'rith Julius Bisno Award for Professional Excellence in 2002. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from Queens College-C.U.N.Y. in 1977, and her master of arts degree in public administration from Baruch College. She works at the B'nai B'rith office in New York City.

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Senior Staff - B'nai B'rith International

Hasidic Judaism: Debunking the myths | Around the world in …

Posted By on February 12, 2018

They are easily distinguishable with their conservative clothing, curls, and large families. So, whats the deal with the Hasidic Jewish? While Hasidics believe in the same things as other the other Jewish branches, Hasidics are often the center of controversy. There are many myths that circulate about the Hasidics and its about time we figure out which are true and which are false.

Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism meaning loving kindness. This branch that focuses of mysical Judaism was founded in Poland during the 18th century by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Hasidism focuses on the personal relationship between man and God.

Hasidics usually live in large communities together that can be mainly found throughout the United States, Israel and Canada. There are several cities that have large Hascidic populations, like New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Paris, Sydney, London and Montreal. One of the largest Hasidic neighborhoods is in Brooklyn, specifically Williamsburge, Crown Heights, and Boro Park.

The ideal life for the Hasidics is to live a hallowed life. They life in small communities that are centered around the religion with one religious leader called the rebbe.

Hasidics are often identified by the interesting way their dress. Usually, men have full beards and wear clothing and hats. Men wear hats in a respect for God. The covering of the head is meant as a sign that there is a greater God ruling above the human mind. In the place of the usual hat, some men choose to wear the yarmulke. Some Hasidics even wear the yarmulke to bed. Women have long, modest dresses and scarves they sometimes use as head coverings. In general, Hasidics usually wear darker clothing, but it is not always black. Some other popular colors are browns and grays. However, Hasidics always wear black on the Sabbath and on holy days which are reserved for honoring God. Both men and women are expected to be modest and cover the body.

Another Hasidic characteristic that is always noted are the payos which are the sidecurls. These payos and the beard are maintained in accordance with the Torah which says You shall not round corner of your heads, nor mar the edges of your beard (Leviticus 19:27). Not cutting the hair or beard show an obedience to God. Usually, once the man is old enough to grow a beard, they no longer keep the payos.

Hasidic Judaism is regarded for some of its strict policies. For instance, men and women are not allowed to shake each others hands. This rule was created to promote modesty throughout the Jewish church. Hasidics are only permitted to touch if they are married and it is in private. The body is considered sacred and only for the one person to whom you are married. By the same token men and women who are not married are not allowed to make eye contact.

There is one urban myth about Hasidics however which is not true, and that is that Hasidics have sex through a hole in the sheets. This is a myth that started a long time ago. While the Hasidic movement was still Europe the Hasidics used to hang out their garments on a clothes line, specifically a white garment with a hole in the middle that is where the head goes through. The rumor mill started and this myth was created. In fact, Hasidics regard sex as natural and families tend to be large.

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Healthy Sephardic Cooking | Kosher, Traditional, Easy, and …

Posted By on February 12, 2018

Jackie: Where did your interest in Jewish community start?

Jackie N: Ive always been lucky to live in places with a strong Jewish community. I attended Jewish day school, went to aCuban-Jewish Sephardic synagogue (yes they do exist!),and grew up in a very traditional home.

When I went to college at the University of Florida (go Gators!)it really propelled my interest in getting involved withtheJewish community.Up until that point, I had lived in Miamiwhich made me take Jewish practices andcommunal life for granted. For the first time in my life, Iwas living on my own without my family nearby. It felt very unnerving to nothave Shabbat dinner every Friday andalthough I loved my new friends at schoolI missed Jewish life. I started getting involved by going to UFs Hillel and Chabad and by the time I graduated I sat on Chabads board and was very active in Jewish life at UF.

When I moved to DC in 2008 I didnt really know too many people and had no family in the area, so the Jewish community was an easy and a greatway to make friends. I realized that manyof my friendswere also alone up here without our families nearby.So I decidedto step up and take the lead and host the major holidays and Shabbat for my friends. It also felt more intimate, fun, familiar and less stressful than going to a large holiday event with hundreds of people. From there, my dinners grew tremendously and I became known for hosting Shabbat dinners.

A friend approached me in 2013 about co-hosting a Sephardic Shabbat service/dinner. I agreed to do it and it was a massive success! From there I began hosting monthly Shabbat dinners through my organization Sephardic Jews in DC.

Jackie: Can you tell me about your love of food?

Jackie N: Ive always loved to cook. Ive been cooking ever since I was a small child and I used to help my mom out in the kitchen all the time. Shes an even better cook than I am, but hopefully one day Ill be as good as her! I especially love learning about the history and evolution of food.Im fascinated by what ancientSephardic Jewish communities ate, how they lived, andhow their lives differed from the rest of the population and why. Im constantly tinkering in the kitchen, researching different kinds of recipes and cuisine, and making it for my friends. I even have a food blog which contains many of my recipes.

Jackie: What is your favorite Sephardic meal to cook?

Jackie N: Oh way too many! I love cooking Turkish Sephardic food, especially borekas, keftes de prasas (leek latkes), abondigas de prasa (leek meatballs), and sofrito. I also love cookingPersian food and my favoritedish to make isfesenjoon (a walnut/pomegranate stew). I also love Moroccan food and love to make Chraime (Moroccan fish), hamim(cholent) and Moroccan carrot salad.

Jackie: How did you get the idea to start Sephardic Jews in DC?

Jackie N:I was raised in a traditional Sephardic home and grew up going to a Sephardic synagogue. I really love the customs, heritage, history, and cuisine of the Sephardic world, but almost all of the synagogues and Jewish events in Washington DC are Ashkenazi, with the exception of a few synagogues in suburban Maryland.

I started the organization because thepreservationofSephardic culture, traditions,heritage and cuisine is very important to me.I want to ensure that Sephardic culture doesnt die out, but rather will continue to evolve andbe celebrated for its many contributions to Jewish life.

I spent many years frustrated that most Jewish organizations in DC didnt address the Sephardic world, so I decided to take the lead and create a community-based organization to fill this void.My goals with this organization are not just to feed people delicious food (certainly an added benefit), but rather to create a robust Sephardic community in DC and educate people on Sephardic/Mizrahi culture, cuisine, history,liturgy, and traditions.

I believe that sharing a meal helps bring a community together and keeps traditions alive. Plus, learning about something is always easier when you have delicious food close by.

I, of course, have to acknowledge that it takes a villageand use this opportunity to thank the people and organizations that have assisted me throughout the years. My fellow Sephardic leaders Ari, Aaron, and Jen. Alsoorganizations like Chabad (Rabbi Levi and Menachem Shemtov), 6th and I (Rabbi Scott Perlo), Mesorah DC (Rabbi Teitelbaum), and Moishe House Arlington/DC for their partnerships.

Jackie: What are ways for people to get involved with your organization?

Jackie N: Im always looking for people who are interested in volunteering their time to help nurture and grow a Sephardic community, whether it be helping to cook for events, leading or participating in services, generating ideas for events, or just attending and helping out at events. Thus far we havebeen a community lay-led organization with no major sponsorship. Im hoping that in the future Ill be able to work with larger Jewish organizations and be able to create an organic Sephardic Jewish community in DC. If youre interested in learning more about coming to one of our monthly Shabbat dinners please visit our page on Facebook Sephardic Jews in DC.

Finish the sentence: When the [Sephardic] Jews Gatherthere will be delicious food, good conversation, and fun times.


Healthy Sephardic Cooking | Kosher, Traditional, Easy, and ...

Kevin Myers Holocaust denial article The Proud Zionist

Posted By on February 12, 2018

As the Belfast Telegraph has now withdrawn Kevin Myers 2009 article in which he claimed to be a Holocaust denier, I have preserved it for posterity below so others can read, and perhaps judge whether he is actually denying the Holocaust.

For the record, it is clear to me he isnt a Holocaust denier, but the points he makes are so banal and without merit that they just seem to add fuel to the fire, that came to a head this weekend.

He *appears* to be nitpicking over the convenience of the number 6,000,000. The number 6,000,000 is a round number. According to Myers, if we were to somehow know the exact number of Jewish Holocaust deaths, that number would almost certainly not be exactly 6,000,000 ergo, the Holocaust did not happen. Draw your own conclusions.

In his article, Myers is leaping to the defense of Bishop Richard Williamson, who made Holocaust denial statements and then sought to defend them in full view of a video camera to give his antisemitism and stupidity an air of immortality. Clip below. There can be no doubt that someone who believes there were no gas chambers and that only 200,000 Jews died in concentration camps is a Holocaust denier.

Why Myers is so keen to defend Williamson on these points is a question for his own conscience though he defends him in abstract, ignoring Williamsons preposterous historical statements and embracing only the gist that 6,000,000 is a big round number.

Asking these types of searching historical questions does not make someone an antisemite, but often is the case that someone who wishes to deny the Holocaust happened, or chip away with banal insignificant points, or defend Nazism, or desecrate the memory of Jewish deaths, or minimalise the enormity and singularity of the Holocaust, or belittle Jewish suffering; that these types of people are motivated by antisemitism.

For Myers to be making such a boring and inconsequential point that the number was not exactly 6,000,000 can make one wonder what stokes his fire. But there isnt enough in this 2009 article to say he is either antisemitic or a Holocaust denier, despite his admission.

My verdict: It is a clumsy article. Myers is seeking to defend Williamsons right to spout counter-factual, offensive and hateful nonsense under the banner of free speech (Holocaust denial is illegal within many EU countries).

In mounting this defense of Williamsons right to free speech, Myers misses his target and inadvertently mounts a defense of Holocaust denial, an issue in which he clearly does not believe.

His original article is republished below.

[NOTE: The above article was amended after reflection and further investigation]

Let me say from the outset; Im with Bishop Richard Williamson on this. There was no holocaust, (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths, yet their utterance could get me thrown in the slammer in half the countries of the EU.

Why, they could in the right circumstances even get me extradited for trial in Sweden, a country which heroically kept the Third Reich supplied with iron ore, even as the last victims of the Nazi genocide were being murdered.

What? I admit that there was murder and genocide (or Genocide, as my spell-check wants me to call it) but almost in the same breath, insist that there was no holocaust? How is this possible? Well, if you turn historical events into current political dogmas, (believed even by my computer) you are thereby creating a sort of secular, godless religion, which becomes mandatory for all who wish to participate in public life.

Yet dogmas, by definition, are so simplistic and crude that they are usually not merely wrong, but are also probably so. It is an offence in German law to say that six million Jews did not die in the holocaust. Very well then. I am a criminal in Germany. For efficient though the Nazis were, they were not so clinically precise as to kill six million Jews not a Jew more, or not a Jew less.

As it happens, the figure six million was originally a round-estimate of the total numbers of concentration camp victims of the Third Reich: this was then turned by popular perception, aided by activists such as the Simon Weisenthal Centre, into the Jewish death toll. However, there is not even a scientific or documentary basis for this number. Its enduring appeal the digit six, with the six zeros which follow it depends upon a fairly basic human predilection for numerological magic.

It is, very likely, a subconsciously appealing version of the diabolical, 666. Moreover, there certainly was no holocaust. For if the word is to have any literal validity at all, it must be related to its actual meaning, which comes from the Greek words holos, whole, and caust, fire. Most Jewish victims of the Third Reich were not burnt in the ovens in Auschwitz. They were shot by the hundreds of thousands in the Lebensraum of the east, or were worked or starved to death in a hundred other camps, across the Reich. This programme was begun informally by Nazi armies in 1941, and only took organised form after the Wannsee conference in January 1942.

Thus was born one of the most satanic operations in world history, in which millions of Jews were murdered. To be sure, you can use the term holocaust to describe these events, but only as a metaphor. However, to turn that metaphor into a political dogma, a denial of which can result in imprisonment, is to create a religio-penal code of which Torquemada would have approved.

Now, Ive done an extensive internet search on Bishop Williamson, and I truly have no idea what he actually said about the Third Reich; though he is everywhere called a holocaust denier, as if this term has some universal meaning. It hasnt. Im a holocaust denier; but I also believe that the Nazis planned the extermination of the Jewish people, as far as their evil hands could reach. And because the Nazis lost, the free-speech party won. So, this means that the bishop can believe, and even publicly state, if he wants, that Auschwitz was an ice-cream parlour and the SS was a dance troupe.

That is the nature of free speech. Any one of us should be able to declare any old counter-factual and even offensive nonsense, without being sent to jail, provided we preach hatred for no one. Its a free and equal world. Or is it? Across Europe, there are countless Islamic madrasahs, in which imams regularly preach hatred for Jews, and where the holocaust is routinely denied.

Which member-state of the EU will pursue such conveyors of hate, or seek the extradition of an imam who says that the holocaust was a Zionist hoax? None of them. We know this. For the EU has tolerated the creation of an informal historiographical apartheid. So, on the one hand, a single, eccentric (and possibly deranged) Christian bishop may be hounded for his demented historical beliefs: but on the other, there is a deafening silence over the widespread and virulent distortion of the holocaust by Islamic preachers.

If Bishop Williamson has an agenda, it is so bonkers as to rank alongside that of The Lunar Cheese Society. Yet he, and other Christian cranks like him, could even be imprisoned for their stated beliefs, as other men of God, working to an infinitely more sinister and far more politically inspired agenda, are simultaneously ignored. This disparity is now effectively an EU policy.

You can reasonably call such double-standards many things, but the words rational, wise or consistent are not among them. Suicidal and insane, however, certainly are.

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Kevin Myers Holocaust denial article The Proud Zionist

Identity Evropa – Anti-Defamation League

Posted By on February 11, 2018

Key Points

Identity Evropa (IE) is a white supremacist group focused on the preservation of white American culture and promoting white European identity.

IE spreads its propaganda via the internet and by distributing fliers, posters, and stickers, especially on college campuses.

IEs slogan, You will not replace us, reflects its belief that unless immediate action is taken, the white race is doomed to extinction by an alleged rising tide of color purportedly controlled and manipulated by Jews.

IE has participated in protests against Muslims and immigration, and joined events organized by other white supremacist groups.


Identity Evropa (IE) is a white supremacist group that is focused on the preservation of white American identity and promoting white European culture. They promulgate the idea that America was founded by white people for white people and was not founded to be a multiracial or multicultural society.

In that vein, they have adopted and popularized the new white supremacist slogan You will not replace us, which is a substitute for the better-known white supremacist motto, the 14 words. Both phrases reflect the white supremacist worldview that unless immediate action is taken, the white race is doomed to extinction at the hands of an alleged rising tide of color, which is purportedly controlled and manipulated by Jews.

You will not replace us appears to have emerged in February 2017 when IE members, including the groups founder, Nathan Damigo, showed up at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City, where actor Shia LeBeouf has set up an anti-Trump live-stream for a project called He will not divide us. Damigo said to the camera, Shia LeBeouf, you will not replace us with your globalism." The others then joined in, shouting repeatedly, You will not replace us.

IE banner in Charlottesville

The slogan was also used on an IE banner at the May 2017 alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and chanted by IE members and other white supremacists during both the torch march and Unite the Right rally in August.

IE distinguishes itself from other white supremacist groups by avoiding the most recognizable white supremacist imagery and language. The groups logo is a blue or white dragons eye, an ancient European symbol that represents the choice between good and evil. For their posters and fliers, IE often uses black and white images of sculptures, including as Michelangelos statue of David or Nicolas Coustous statue of Julius Caesar. These classic European images are accompanied by variably subtle white supremacist messages: Our destiny is ours, White people do something, Our future belongs to us, Only we can be us, Lets become great again, Serve your people, and Protect your heritage.


Throughout 2017, Identity Evropa's leadership has been in a state ofdisarray.

The group was founded by Nathan Damigo of Oakdale, California, an Iraq war veteran who is also aconvicted felon and, most recently, awhite supremacist leader. After an Other Than Honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2007, Damigo served five years in prison for robbing a man he believed was an Iraqi, in La Mesa, California. While in prison, Damigo reportedly read former Klan leader David Dukes book, My Awakening, which influenced him to adopt white supremacist views. After his release from prison in 2014 and while attending California State University, Stanislaus, Damigo briefly led the National Youth Front (NYF), the youth-wing of the white supremacist American Freedom Party (AMF). After NYF disbanded, Damigo went on to form IE in March 2016.

Less than a year and a half later, on August 27, 2017, Damigo announced he was stepping down as the IE leader. Citing competing personal obligations, he appointed Elliott "Eli Mosley" Kline of Pennsylvania as the groups new chief executive officer. Kline, an Army veteran, joined IE in 2016 and served as IEs director of events. After leading the group for justthree months, Kline resigned, citing irreconcilable differences. He and Richard Spencer quicklypartnered to form a new alt right organization called Operation Homeland.

On November 27, 2017, Identity Evropas second in command, Chief of Staff Patrick Casey (previously known as Reinhard Wolff) was named the group'snew leader. Casey, whose membership with Identity Evropa dates back to the organization'sfirst days, previously held the position of Spokesman and Director of Administration. His activism has included recruitment efforts at his alum, San Diego State University in California. He is employed by Red Ice TV, a Swedish alt right political news aggregator, where he writes articles and provides live commentary.

In his first public statement as the groups leader, Casey said that Identity Evropa would no longer be participating in large pre-announced events in which any one could show up and participate, but instead, would hold by invitation only events mostly for Identity Evropa members and otherswho agree with their identitarian message. His stated goals for Identity Evropa include more activism in the form of campus fliering, bigger banner drops, larger flash demonstrations, and privately organized events.


Identity Evropa is active online, but is best known for distributing white supremacist posters at universities across the country.

The groups flyers have already appeared on a dozen college campuses in the first few weeks of the 2017-2018 school year. In a departure from the imagery used in previous flyers, the new flyers featureDamigo and Evan Thomas, an IE member from Michigan, andinclude new phrases, includingOur generation, our future, our last chance and Action. Leadership. Identity.

IE fliers postedat colleges

Posters promoting books published by Arktos Media have accompanied recent IE flyer distributions. Arktos Media is a far-right publishing company led by Daniel Friberg, a former Swedish neo-Nazi.

During the 2016-2017 (September through May) school year, the ADL counted 65 incidents where IE propaganda was posted on campuses in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

IE took a break from campus activism during the summer of 2017 and distributed fliers in cities such as Atlanta, Seattle, Washington D.C., Boston, New York and Orlando. During the month of August, their activism included placing fliers and flower bouquets on various Confederate monuments and Veteran Memorials located in states such as Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Virginia.

They have also hung banners promoting themselves and their anti-immigration stance from overpasses and bridges in Florida, Minnesota, California, North Carolina and Georgia.

In June 2017, IE participated in anti-Muslim rallies organized by ACT for America in New York, Orlando, and Indianapolis.

Identity Evropa has also participated in events organized by other white supremacist groups. These events have included white supremacist conferences and events focused on the preservation of Confederate monuments and free speech.

Recent public activity includes:

Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017: IE members attended a white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Portland, Oregon, August 7, 2017: IE members participated in an event organized by Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, a Washington-based anti-government patriot group.

Miami, Florida, August 6, 2017: IE members disrupted a pro-immigration forum at Miami Dade Colleges-Kendall Campus by going on stage and unfurling an Identity Evropa banner in front of the forum speakers.

IE protesting at Miami Dade College

Burns, Tennessee, July 28-20, 2017: IE members attended the annual conference held by the American Renaissance.

Washington D.C., June 25, 2017: IE members participated in an alt-right Free Speech Rally with alt-right leader Richard Spencer.

Miami, Florida, June 24, 2017: IE members protested a seminar held by Segu Racial Justice Institute.

IE protesting the Segu Racial Justice Institute

Orlando, Florida, May 27, 2017, IE members participated in a pro-Confederate memorial gathering at Lake Eola with Alt-Right activist Augustus Invictus.

Charlottesville, Virginia, May 13, 2017: IE members participated in a white supremacist rally against the removal of confederate monuments.

St Paul, Minnesota May 6, 2017: IE members joined a Make America Great Again rally.

Berkeley, California, April 15, 2017: IE members participated in free speech that turned so violent that it was later dubbed the Battle of Berkeley. Damigo gained notoriety after punching a female counter-protester during the brawl.

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Identity Evropa - Anti-Defamation League

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