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The City: Week of February 7 | The City – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on February 6, 2020

Friday, February 7

2020 Great Big Home + Garden Show, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Cleveland I-X Center, 1 I-X Center Dr., Cleve. Ticket prices vary, $15 adult admission at

The Jewish Secular Community with Sunny Simon on Cuyahoga Countys New Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags, 8 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, 21600 Shaker Blvd. E., Shaker Hts. RSVP to Peg Fishman at 440-349-1330 or

City Club of Clevelands The Future of U.S.-Cuban Government Relations forum, noon, 850 Euclid Ave., Cleve. Tickets at

CWRUs Siegal Lifelong Learnings Conversations in Rocky River, noon-1:30 p.m., The Normandy Senior Living, 22701 Lake Rd., Rocky River. For tickets and info, visit

Youngstown JCCs Genetic Testing lunch and learn, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., 505 Gypsy Ln., Youngstown. Free.

2020 Great Big Home + Garden Show, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Cleveland I-X Center, 1 I-X Center Dr., Cleve. Ticket prices vary, $15 adult admission at

The Gathering Places Support for a Child or Teen with Cancer; Including Siblings and Parents, 6-8 p.m., 23300 Commerce Park, Beachwood. For more info, visit or call 216-595-9546.

Doan Brook Winter Tree Identification Hike with Dr. Ted Auch, 2-4 p.m., Lower Shaker Lake, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Cleve. $10 at or 216-325-7781 x6783.

The Philosopher Will See You Now: Clinical Ethics Consultation, Its History and Fundamentals with Robert Guerin workshop, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center, 2460 Fairmount Blvd., Suite 312, Cleve. Hts. $30-$75. For more info, visit

Cleveland Museum of Natural Historys Groundhog Fun Day, 10 a.m., 1 Wade Oval Dr., Cleve. Free for members, included with admission for nonmembers. For more info, visit

Temple Beth Shaloms Congregational Retreat Kehillah Kedosha - Holy Community Holiness in Time & Tu BShvat Seder, 9 a.m., 50 Division St., Hudson. $5 for families of religious school students, $10 for others. For more info, visit

Mandel JCC Indoor Triathlon and Biathlon, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 26001 S. Woodland Rd., Beachwood. RSVP at

Park Synagogue & Cory United Methodist Churchs Real Talk: Racism & Anti-Semitism, 1 p.m., Park Synagogue, 3300 Mayfield Rd., Cleve. Hts. Free and open to the community. RSVP by Jan. 31 to oe 216-371-2244 x122.

2020 Great Big Home + Garden Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Cleveland I-X Center, 1 I-X Center Dr., Cleve. Ticket prices vary, $15 adult admission at

HAZAKs game day, 1-3 p.m., Bnai Jeshurun Congregation, 27501 Fairmount Blvd., Pepper Pike. RSVP to Phyllis Sapell at 216-235-9394.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Clevelands meeting on Reflections on the 2019 Katz Family Reunion: Lessons Learned, or the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Deborah Katz, 1:30 p.m., Park Synagogue East, 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike.

The Gathering Places Whole Food 30-Day Challenge, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 23300 Commerce Park, Beachwood. RSVP required for 4-week program at 216-595-9546.

JLC class series Great Debates with Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum on The Kabbalah Controversy, 8 p.m., JLC Waxman Torah Center, 2195 S. Green Rd., Univ. Hts. Register to or 216-691-3837.

Youngstown JCCs Hebrew primer course, 11:45 a.m., 505 Gypsy Ln., Youngstown. $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers. For more info, visit

CWRUs Lifelong Learning programs The Making of Shtisel: A Jewish Odyssey, 7-8:30 p.m., Landmark Centre, 25700 Science Park Dr., Beachwood. RSVP at

The Gathering Places Couples Cooking, 6-8 p.m., 25425 Center Ridge Rd., Westlake. For more info, visit or call 216-595-9546.

Women of Fairmount Temples dollmaking project, 9:30-11:30 a.m., 23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood. For more info, contact Nancy Klein at 216-752-4123.

Park Synagogue sisterhood programming, 10 a.m., Baiju Shah, senior fellow for Innovation at Cleveland Foundation, 10:45 a.m., 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike. RSVP to Rita Weintraub at 440-683-1025.

CWRUs Siegal Lifelong Learning programs Twenty-First Century Anti-Semitism and its Origins, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Landmark Centre, 27500 Science Park Dr., Beachwood. For more info, visit

2nd annual David and Janet Dix Lecture in Media Ethics, 7 p.m., 500 Hilltop Dr., Kent. For more info, visit

Lake County Retired Teachers Associations luncheon, 11 a.m., Kirtlander Party Center, 9270 Chillicothe Rd., Kirtland. Checks payable at LCRTA for $16.50 to Sue McCarter, 9720 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Mentor, OH 44060. Advanced RSVP required.

Mandel JDS Hebrew Storytime, 9:15-10 a.m., Mandel JDS, 26500 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood. For more info, visit

Tea Time with the Presidents six week series, 6:30 p.m., CCPL Orange branch, 31975 Chagrin Blvd, Pepper Pike. For more info, visit or call 216-831-4282.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals presenting the new home for the Childrens Museum of Cleveland, 7:30-9:15 a.m., 3813 Euclid Ave., Cleve.

CWRUs Lifelong Learning programs Informal Hebrew discussion with Yehonatan Indursky, 10-11 a.m., Landmark Centre, 25700 Science Park Dr., Beachwood. RSVP at

CWRUs Lifelong Learning programs PonevezhTime: film screening and discussion, 6:30-8 p.m., Landmark Centre, 25700 Science Park Dr., Beachwood. RSVP at

Beachwood Chamber of Commerces monthly luncheon ft. Derrick Speights on EDWINS: Revitalizing Lives and Neighborhoods, 11:45 a.m.-1:10 p.m., Doubletree Hotel, 3663 Park East Dr., Beachwood. RSVP at

The Gathering Places Whole Food 30-Day Challenge, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 25425 Center Ridge Road, Westlake. RSVP required for 4-week program at 216-595-9546.

Anti-Semitism: Past, Present and Future, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Youngstown JCC, 505 Gypsy Ln., Youngstown. $25 JCC and temple members, $35 nonmembers. RSVP at

City Club of Clevelands The State of Manufacturing: Ohios 2020 Manufacturing Survey Results forum, noon, 850 Euclid Ave., Cleve. Tickets at

Mini Movers class, 10 a.m., CCPLs Orange branch, 31975 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike. RSVP at or 216-831-4282.

Landerhavens Valentines Day dinner for two, 7-10:30 p.m., 6111 Landerhaven Dr., Mayfield Hts. $75-$149 at

JNFs Tu Bishvat community celebration, 2-4 p.m., Mandel JCCs Stonehill Auditorium, 26001 S. Woodland Rd., Bechwood. RSVP at

Camp Wise at Shaker Rocks, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 3377 Warrensville Center Rd., Shaker Hts. $30/child at For more info, contact Hannah Tucker at or 216-831-0700 x1319.

JLC class series Great Debates with Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum on Chassidim and Misnagdim, 8 p.m., JLC Waxman Torah Center, 2195 S. Green Rd., Univ. Hts. Register to or 216-691-3837.

Youngstown JCCs Hebrew primer course, 11:45 a.m., 505 Gypsy Ln., Youngstown. $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers. For more info, visit

Women of Fairmount Temples dollmaking project, 9:30-11:30 a.m., 23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood. For more info, contact Nancy Klein at 216-752-4123.

Park Synagogue sisterhood programming, 10 a.m., 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike. RSVP to Rita Weintraub at 440-683-1025.

CWRUs Siegal Lifelong Learning programs Twenty-First Century Anti-Semitism and its Origins, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Landmark Centre, 27500 Science Park Dr., Beachwood. For more info, visit

Tea Time with the Presidents six week series, 6:30 p.m., CCPL Orange branch, 31975 Chagrin Blvd, Pepper Pike. For more info, visit or call 216-831-4282.

NCJW/Clevelands Hidden in Plain Sight: Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community, 7 p.m., JFSA, 29125 Chagrin Blvd., Pepper Pike. $5 at

Anti-Semitism: Past, Present and Future, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Youngstown JCC, 505 Gypsy Ln., Youngstown. $25 JCC and temple members, $35 nonmembers. RSVP at

Dinner with Crossroads for Jewish Singles of Cleveland, 7 p.m., Firehouse Grille & Pub, 2768 Stark Dr., Willoughby Hills. RSVP to 216-381-3100.

Planning meeting for Crossroads for Jewish Singles of Cleveland. Call Ken for location and time at 440-498-9911.

Crossroads of Jewish Singles go see Boeing Boeing, 8 p.m., Aurora Community Theatre, 115 E. Pioneer Trl., Aurora. $16. For info, call Larry at 440-461-2720.

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The City: Week of February 7 | The City - Cleveland Jewish News

Mo Hill Pushing Again for Small-Site House of Worship Zoning Change in Toms River – Shore News Magazine

Posted By on February 6, 2020





TOMS RIVER-It has been a controversial issue in Toms River and one of the cornerstone debates of the 2019 Toms River mayoral election between Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill and his opponent Jonathan Petro. Now, Hill, according to township documents obtained by Shore News Network, is at it again, trying to rally support for smaller zoning for houses of worship.

Hill has been meeting with residents and lobbying other township council members behind the scenes to devise a plan to reduce restrictions on 10 acre house of worship zoning laws that have so far prevented Orthodox Jews from building a synagogue in the North Dover section of town.

The Orthodox community has also been lobbying township officials behind the scene after the issue became a contentious one last summer when Hill was accused by Democrats of sneaking a zoning change through town hall reducing those limits while rallying election support for his campaign in the North Dover section of town.

In September, Hill, who was running for Mayor in Toms River had previously said he knew nothing about a proposed ordinance to reduce the 10-acre zoning requirement for houses of worship in Toms River. Laurie Huryk, Hills fellow councilwoman said that Hills comments at the time were hogwash and Hill knew about the ordinance, even suggesting he was involved in the drafting of the ordinance.

A Toms River Council Land Use Committee meeting held on August 20th, 2019 shows exactly who agreed to draft a resolution to be voted on by the Toms River Township Council in September. According to documents released by the township, Councilman Maurice Hill, Councilwoman Laurie Huryk, Planning Board Vice Chairman Bob Stone, Business Administrator Don Guardian, Dave Roberts, Wendy Birkhead, Ken Fitzsimmons Esq, and Anthony Merlino Esq were all present according to the minutes of that meeting.

The discussion was held in regards to the growing Orthodox Jewish population and a request by the Department of Justice to revisit the townships existing 10-acre minimum ordinance restrictions on houses of worship, particularly synagogues within the community.

At that meeting, Anthony Merlino updated the committee on the status of the Guttman RLUIPA litigation.

No response from the DOJ has been received on the Townships submission, but we need to follow up on the ordinance amendments covered in the most recently adopted Master Plan reexamination report, Merlino said.

According to the official meeting minutes, officially approved by the entire Land Use Committee, including Hill, Huryk and Councilman George Wittman.

The committee agreed that the RLUIPA (DOJ) amendments should be addressed at the September meeting of the LUC, the minutes read.

In the ordinance drafted by Merlino as a result of the approvals given at the August 20th meeting, the township proposed a reduction in the acreage required township wide for houses of worship from 10 acres to 7 acres. Additionally, section 348-9.5.1 called for Small-site places of worship. Those small sites would require just two acres.

The ordinance has been a sore subject for residents in the growing Orthodox Jewish community who feel the existing 10-acre zoning law prohibits the building of a formal synagogue in the community, forcing many residents to conduct their sabbath prayer services in homes throughout the community.

Shore News Network has filed an OPRA request with the Township of Toms River to validate the authenticity of the communications between Hill and other town council officials on this matter, requesting email headers from email conversations between the elected body.

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Mo Hill Pushing Again for Small-Site House of Worship Zoning Change in Toms River - Shore News Magazine

Wolf makes budget speech appeal for action on guns | News, Sports, Jobs – Lock Haven Express

Posted By on February 6, 2020

Associated Press

HARRISBURG Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf devoted a section of his annual state budget speech on Tuesday to expressing dismay over a lack of action to curb gun deaths, exhorting lawmakers to make this the year we choose to stop being cynical about the politics of gun violence.

It was unusual for a governor to devote a lengthy section of the address to a single policy issue, and his audience was a Legislature that has shown little appetite for policies the second-term Democrat supports.

Those proposals, Wolf said, include universal background checks on gun sales, mandatory reporting for lost or stolen guns, red flag laws to take guns from those at risk of harming someone and better counseling services for troubled schoolchildren.

Now I know theres no law that can eliminate every act of gun violence. But the steps Im proposing are supported by the evidence and supported by the vast majority of Pennsylvanians, Wolf told a joint session of the Legislature. We can pass them tomorrow, and, by doing so, we could make our commonwealth safer.

The political divisions and strong feelings that characterize the gun issue across the country are mirrored at the state Capitol, where gun safety and regulation proponents hold regular rallies and the yearly Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally always draws attendees by the busload.

Advocates seeking ways to reduce gun violence argue there is considerable public support for many of their legislative proposals, and widespread support for some of them, while gun-rights activists emphasize the Second Amendment and similar language in the state constitution.

House Republican spokesman Mike Straub said his caucus plans to focus on tougher criminal penalties for criminals convicted of gun crimes.

Working on gun issues must begin with making sure those who should not have firearms in the first place are held accountable, Straub said.

About 1,600 people die of gunshot wounds in Pennsylvania every year. In 2018, a gunman killed 11 worshippers inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, and in 2006 a gunman barricaded himself inside an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, killing five girls and wounding three.

Lawmakers and Wolf last year set aside $3.2 million for private schools through the Department of Educations safe schools grant program. The state also has a $60 million public school security grant program established after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a program Wolfs budget proposes to cut by 75 percent.

Two days after a gunman shot six Philadelphia police officers in August, Wolf established a group within state government to address gun violence.

Wolfs budget proposal seeks $6 million in new money to prevent gun violence through a grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. He also wants another $4 million for a Philadelphia-based gun violence task force.

We have gotten used to seeing bulletproof backpacks advertised during back-to-school sales, Wolf said in the prepared remarks, referring to school lockdown drills, and that little worry when people go shopping, watch sports events and attend religious services.

And, unfortunately, we have also gotten used to hearing politicians offer their thoughts and prayers and little else. Its part of the ritual now, right alongside the somber press conferences where law enforcement officials detail the carnage and the tearful testimonies from friends and family grieving over their lost loved ones, Wolf said.

The gun issue does not divide cleanly along party lines a few of the more conservative Democrats always show up at the annual Right to Bear Arms Rally but it is the strong Republican majorities in both legislative chambers that has proven an impermeable bulwark against the type of changes Wolf wants.

A rare exception to the general stalemate over gun legislation occurred a few weeks before the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in October 2018, when Wolf signed legislation requiring those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence or subject to protective orders to give up their guns within 24 hours.

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Wolf makes budget speech appeal for action on guns | News, Sports, Jobs - Lock Haven Express

In Judaism, It’s OK to Cry in Fact, It’s Required – Algemeiner

Posted By on February 6, 2020

A Torah scroll. Photo:

One of the hardest aspects of being a pulpit rabbi is bereavement. As a rabbi, you grow close to the members of your shul, becoming intimately involved in their lives over many years, as they traverse the challenges we all face and go through during the course of our limited time on this earth.

My relationships with shul members cannot be classified as clinical or professional; rather, they are special and meaningful.

Members of my communities past and present people who I have seen regularly at synagogue and social events have become lifelong personal friends. We laugh together, we celebrate together, we pray together, we study together, we know each others children, and we know about everything that is going on in each others lives.

And then one day, out of the blue, I will get a call or there will be a knock at the door Im so sorry rabbi, I have some terrible news So-and-so has been diagnosed with cancer, or theyve had a heart attack, or a stroke. Or even worse, they have died suddenly and unexpectedly.

February 6, 2020 8:28 am

Such devastating news always hits me hard. Someone so close to me dying is literally like losing a member of my own family.

Often, over the last few weeks or months of their lives, I will spend quite a bit of time with my shul member friends chatting, laughing, bolstering their spirits, and almost always being inspired by their bravery and faith.

After any bereavement, the family left behind are devastated by the loss of their loved one, even if the loss was totally expected. Judaism has a sensitive and well-thought-out bereavement process, honed to perfection over millennia, and based on scripture and Talmud.

But although slotting into the groove of Jewish rituals for mourning can be comforting, truthfully every person grieves in their own way, and sometimes the details and expectations that go with Jewish rituals can be overwhelming, and can even get in the way of personalizing ones feelings at such a vulnerable moment.

Modern psychology has conducted deep research into the grief one experiences after the loss of someone close, and it is now widely acknowledged that the death of a loved one is one of the greatest sorrows that can occur in a persons life.

And yet, despite what we now know based on countless scientific studies that mourners can have uncontrolled crying spells, difficulty sleeping, reduced appetite, lack of work productivity, and even intense feelings of anger or guilt, only one state in the United States Oregon requires employers to offer bereavement leave.

Meanwhile, Judaism is way ahead and insists on bereavement leave, having done so for thousands of years, thereby allowing mourners to recuperate and get themselves together during a full week of Shiva, during which they remain at home and receive condolence visitors.

Recently, a mourner at my synagogue told me she had found herself weeping after the loss of her mother and questioned me about it: Why am I crying, she said, after all, I knew my mother was dying and frankly, after years of illness and disability, shes in a much better place now, with no more pain or suffering. So why the crying?

To be candid, I admit to having asked myself the exact same question after the loss of my own parents it felt embarrassing, and almost demeaning, to be so emotional about something that is just a normal part of the cycle of life.

Surely we know from the moment someone is born that they are going to die, so why are we so shocked and upset when it happens? Our emotional reaction seems exaggerated and entirely out of proportion.

The medieval commentators are similarly puzzled by Moses inexplicably hysterical reaction in Beshalach when he spots the Egyptian army chasing after the Israelites following their Exodus from Egypt.

Moses knew exactly how things were going to unfold, as he had been explicitly told by God that the Egyptians would chase after them, and would then be crushed (Ex. 14:4): I will stiffen Pharaohs heart and he will pursue them, that I may gain glory through Pharaoh and his entire army. Why, then, did Moses get so upset when the Egyptian army appeared on the horizon?

The Midrash identifies the three advisers whom Pharaoh consulted regarding the fate of the Israelites as Balaam, Job, and Jethro.

Balaam advised Pharaoh to wipe out the Israelites, and was consequently killed just before the nation entered the Promised Land.

Jethro implored Pharaoh to behave decently towards the Israelites, and not to enslave or murder them, and as a result became a wanted man. Forced to flee, he ended up in Midian, and later merited Moses as his son-in-law.

Job remained silent, and the Midrash informs us that for this silence he was punished with all the dreadful suffering recorded in the Book of Job.

On the face of it, this Midrash is extremely disturbing. What did Job do so wrong that resulted in such misery and torment? Is it not possible that he was waiting for the right moment to intercede on the Israelites behalf, thinking to himself that it was best to wait until his intervention would have the greatest effect?

Rabbi Yitzhak Zev Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav, explains that such rationalizing is just an excuse. Whenever someone is in pain, they dont sit around and strategize, they scream and cry.

Job had been informed of the clear and present danger to the Israelites, but his actions indicated he felt no pain. For this reason he was punished with pain and suffering.

According to the Sefat Emet, this same idea can be applied to Moses reaction on the shores of the Red Sea. Even though he had been informed the Egyptians would chase after the Israelites, and that God would make an example of them, when confronted with the reality of the situation his human emotions kicked in the pain was real, and he cried and prayed for salvation.

This visceral reaction is also the reaction of any mourner who loses a loved one, even though they were fully aware of what was going to happen long before it happened. God has hardwired us to get emotional following the loss of a mother or father, or any other close relative or friend.

Indeed, says the Sefat Emet, it is this instinctive emotion that makes us righteous and virtuous, and not the false dignity of a stiff upper lip.

Rabbi Pini Dunner is the senior spiritual leader of the Beverly Hills Synagogue.

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In Judaism, It's OK to Cry in Fact, It's Required - Algemeiner

Millennials Search for Meaning & Authenticity When it Comes to Judaism Part 1 – The Jewish Voice

Posted By on February 6, 2020

In an era of declining religious observance, studies show that this particular generation is interested in traditions, heritage, one-on-one gatherings and social justicejust not the old-fashioned institutions of their parents or grandparents

By: Deborah Fineblum

When Rebekah Paster moved to New York City, she was just out of college and knew almost no one there. So when a friend insisted I had to go to the nearest Moishe House, she said, I was blown away with how warm and welcoming they were. And I can say now Ive met a lot of my really good friends through Moishe House, people Id never have met otherwise.

Not only did the place make her feel at home in a big city full of strangers, but at 25, Paster is now one of the three young adults living in the Moishe House in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. The trio is responsible for hosting everything from Shabbat dinners and holiday parties to rooftop yoga classes, rock-climbing outings and social-justice activities, like collecting books to send to prisons. Events can pull in more than 1,000 young adults each year.

Moishe House has taught me that I can infuse my Jewish life in ways that may or may not be explicatively religious, she says. That I can be proud of my Jewish identity in whatever form that takes.

And the form Jewish expression takes is changing for many millennialsa generation defined by the Pew Research Center as those born between 1981 and 1996, and sandwiched between Generation X (born 1965-1980) and Generation Z (1997-present).

Jewish young adults take part in a Hanukkah dinner outside of Berlin at Moishe House in Germany. Source: Moishe House via Facebook.

Todays millennials (they are also referred to as Generation Y) find themselves with all kinds of organizations in hot pursuitfrom advertisers to graduate schools to employers. And in Jewish America, where indications abound that most of them (more about the observant ones later) are less traditionally identified and engaged than earlier generations, theres a new and growing crop of initiatives designed to pull them into Jewish life, if not the mainstream then some millennial-flavored version of it.

Driving many of these strategic efforts is a number of studies pointing to millennials dwindling Jewish identity and engagement, and seeking to pinpoint the generations patterns of belief and behavior. Just out: one commissioned by Hakhelthe Jewish Intentional Community Incubator, based on responses by 125 Jewish millennials, all of whom are active in one of Hakhels intentional communities (involving young Jews in activities around shared values and interests) in 35 countries.

A division of Hazon, an organization that describes itself as strengthening Jewish life and contributing to a more environmentally sustainable world for all, Hakhel commissioned the Do-Et Institute to conduct the study to identify this generations values and priorities. So says Hakhel founder and general director Aharon Ariel Lavi, saying it showed overwhelmingly that they dont drift away from their Jewish identity but from old-fashioned institutions.

Indeed, only 30 percent of respondents said they had any interest in joining a synagogue, and only 7.5 percent were interested in the work of Jewish federations and community centers. But in what Lavi calls the silver lining, 84 percent were interested in Jewish learning and holiday/life-cycle activities, and 46 percent were attracted to Jewish arts and culture.

The organized Jewish community has been aware of the drifting of millennials from its ranks for many years, adds Lavi. What this research shows is the extent of that disengagement on the one hand, but also the creative alternatives that are sprouting from below on the other.

The studys results echo many of the findings of a recent Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) report on millennials concluding that hyper-individualism and slackening trust or interest in institutions and authority leads many young Jews to eschew denominational identity and affiliation with establishment institutions. This leads to seeking alternative and more niche expressions of Jewish identity.

This shift reflects a larger trend, according to a leading observer of the Jewish scene. America is in the midst of a religious recession; its not just a Jewish issue, says Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. Pew has clearly documented millennials moving away from traditional religion, most of them claiming to be spiritual but not religious.

This reflects fundamental demographic shifts from previous generations, he adds. Chief among them: Intermarriage and the age of marriage is older than any time in human history. For the so-called Seinfeld generation, many remain single until their late 30s, and those who do have children often dont become parents until theyre nearing 40. By that time, for many of them its been 20 years since theyve been in a synagogue because most synagogues are not seen as welcoming to singles, says Sarna.

The exception, typically ignored by the studies, he notes, are the roughly 10 percent of American millennials who are Orthodox, and tend to marry and have children younger and be more involved in synagogue life.

Issue No. 1: Finding and engaging a new generation

According to the JPPI report: Engaging young Jews, who often feel out of place in mainstream institutions, due to low Jewish literacy or other identity components (sexual orientation, political views, etc.) requires a vastly different approach.

So what kind of approach does attract this generation?

Many of the initiatives that are most successful in pulling in young Jews, according to the report, are independent of established denominational or national movements. They question the benefits of belonging to a national denomination and stress nimbleness as an advantage.

Moishe House founder and CEO David Cygielman. Credit: Courtesy.

Or as Hakhel community participant Bradly Caro Cook puts it: Our generation is looking for something authentic, says the Las Vegas millennial. Were not going to do Judaism by the numbers and metrics.

Among the crop of new organizations designed to meet this new generation of Jews where they live:

Moishe House was among the first on the millennial scene: When we started out in 2006, there was a black hole for post-college Jewish young adults, says founder and CEO David Cygielman. Some have a strong Jewish identity, but are disengaged; others never had it. But they all want to be part of a meaningful Jewish community where you know everyone and they know you; were combating loneliness at a time when its rampant.

The Moishe House formula: Find a neighborhood with a population of young Jews and a Jewish community (most often, the federation, local donors and family foundations) committed to supporting the Moishe House model. That has resulted in 115 of themand they just signed a lease for No. 116, in Rome. Some 70,000 young adults turned out for programs last year in vibrant home-based Jewish communities, says Cygielman, adding that theyre adding more immersive Jewish learning and Israel programming.

Base Hillel was born in 2015, when Faith Leener and her freshly ordained rabbi husband Jonathan moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., and began hosting Shabbat dinners. We started thinking, how can we impact the young people asking for Jewish learning without knowing theyre asking for it? she says. We saw that they wanted meaning and community, but werent going to synagogue for it. With friends Rabbi Avram Mlotek and Yael Kornfeld, they soon linked up with Hillel Internationals office of innovation, and were off and running with a brand of radical hospitality featuring Jewish learning, holiday celebrations and social-justice projects. Now the executive director, Leener lives in Base Brooklyn with her family, and oversees the nine bases run by young rabbinic families and underwritten mostly by local grants from federations, Hillel and others. The Bases, mostly along the East Coastwith one in Ithaca, N.Y., and another in Berlinserve 6,000 young Jews annually.

Were post-denominational, but deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, says Leener. Its not do-it-yourself Judaism, but letting go of the labels and immersing in each Jewish communal experiencebe it in text, ritual, Shabbat, holidays or life-cycle counseling.

OneTable was designed to welcome young Jewish adults to Friday-night Shabbat dinners hosted by their peers. Each week, OneTable, which has been described as a social dining app that helps people of all religious backgrounds celebrate inclusive Shabbat meals, averages 190 dinners across the United States. Support comes from grants from federations, local philanthropists and Jewish foundations that help underwrite the meals served in participants homes.

The idea has caught on, and in the last five years since founding executive director Aliza Kline cooked up the idea, more than 30,000 Friday-night dinners have been served to young adults. According to their website, its ultimate goal: for the Shabbat dinner experience to become a platform for community building for those who otherwise would be absent from Jewish community.

GatherDC, unlike the initiatives above with locations in a number of communities, began a decade ago to offer community-based Jewish experiences to young Jews in the Washington D.C. area. On tap: interactive Jewish learning, twice-yearly retreats, social-justice projects, and Shabbat and holiday celebrations.

They also have coffee with every newcomernot just to find out what they want to do, but who they are, says its community rabbi, Ilana Zietman, a millennial born in 1989. We offer them a Judaism they never got growing up, she adds. They say, This Torah portion has so much of my life in it. I never knew it existed. Meaning we have to work harder to showcase whats beautiful about Judaism, and build community people are craving and where they feel valued. GatherDC is supported by Jewish family foundations, local federations and private donors.

Not Learning, but Experiencing Jewish Identity

The identity of American Jews for most of the 20th century was rooted in ethnicity, love of the Jewish people, fear of anti-Semitism, horror and guilt over the Holocaust, commitment to Soviet Jewry, and love of and concern for the State of Israel, writes Barry Shrage who, after 31 years at the helm of Bostons federation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, is now a professor in Brandeis Universitys Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. But assimilation inevitably erodes ethnic identification and theres never been a more powerful assimilating culture than America in the 21st century.

The best defense against assimilation, argues Shrage, is Jewish peoplehood.

You cant learn Jewish identity; you have to experience it to create a love for the Jewish people. Whats more, he adds that one of the most powerful experiences for this generation is Birthright Israel, the 10-day trip to Israel which nearly half of them have taken. Its having a powerful impact on them.

Indeed, studies show the 750,000 Birthright travelers are much more likely to marry other Jews, raise Jewish children and stay connected to Israel, says Len Saxe, who directs both the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis. Still, he acknowledges that times have changed. These young Jews are broadening what it means to be involved Jewishly and doing it in new ways.

Saxe says it reminds him of Israel, where more than half the country is not religious but Friday nights are for family to eat together. So for young Jews here having Friday night at OneTable, whos to say theyre less engaged?

Synagogues and Programs for Younger Individuals

Evidence abounds that young Jews are seeking religious communities that are alive and warm, and that can add real meaning to their lives, says Shrage.

Among congregations experiencing success in drawing in millennials are Bostons Temple Israel, whose Riverway Project is designed to meet their young members where they live (among them, many studying medicine down the street) and Sixth & I, a synagogue as well as a center for arts, entertainment and ideas in Washington, D.C., that reimagines how religion and community can enhance peoples everyday lives.

Another young-flavored variation on the synagogue theme is The Den Collective, whose rabbis conduct a range of services in suburban Washington homes and elsewhere. They describe themselves as seeking to build spaces of meaning that invite people to deepen their connection to Judaism, feel part of a community and enrich their lives. The Den strives to be collaborative, experimental, transparent and radically welcoming.

Says Sarna: Of the Jewish religious start-ups todaythe emergent congregations, partnership services, independent minyanim and moremany of them will not survive, but some of them will make it very, very big and reshape American Judaism in the decades to come.


(To Be Continued Next Week)

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Millennials Search for Meaning & Authenticity When it Comes to Judaism Part 1 - The Jewish Voice

OU’s Yachad Receives Record $1 Million Grant to Launch Performing Arts Program for Individuals with Disabilities – Orthodox Union

Posted By on February 6, 2020

CHICAGO The Orthodox Unions (OU) Yachad, the leading group for individuals with disabilities in the Orthodox community, has received a record $1 million grant to create the Ralla Klepak Performing Arts Inclusion Initiative. A program of Yachad Chicago, it will provide a broad range of experiential and social opportunities for individuals with disabilities through the performing arts. It will be led by experienced professionals, community volunteers and peer participants.

The Ralla Klepak Performing Arts Inclusion Initiative will create a unique space for individuals with special needs and provide both formal and informal education focusing on the performing arts. Those with disabilities will be able to participate in a high-quality performance space, setting the stage for acceptance, understanding and friendship. Yachad members with a range of emotional disabilities, autism and developmental delays, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and other chromosomal disorders will perform and work alongside their typically developing peers.

Ralla Klepak was a legendary Chicago based attorney whose career accomplishments spanned many areas of the law. For decades, she took on individual civil and criminal cases for people whom she believed were being ill-treated by the legal system, often stating that one of her chief concerns was to try and make sure the system worked for everyone or that everyone at least had the opportunity to have the best representation she could mount.

It is our communitys responsibility to create opportunities for those with disabilities to have a voice and contribute in their own way. The performing arts allows them to do just that, said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. Were grateful that through Ralla Klepaks generosity, they will have this opportunity.

The Ralla Klepak Performing Arts Inclusion Initiative will facilitate the inclusion of individuals with all different kinds of abilities and the diverse spectrum of age, socio-economic and religious backgrounds, and facilitate their participation in performing arts programs. added Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. All of this from one exceptional woman who understood how the performing arts can allow these participants to shine.

Throughout theater history, the stage has been a place for people to communicate in different ways, said Yachad International Director Avrohom Adler. Performing arts programs encourage people with disabilities to find creative fulfillment while experiencing profound personal growth.

Yachad thanks the Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts for facilitating and bringing this program into fruition.

At Yachad, were continually looking for creative ways to include individuals from across the community in our programming, and our grant from the Ralla Klepak Performing Arts Trust allows us to do just that, said Yachad Chicagos Director of Development, Elliot Cohen. It is our hope that this pilot program can be brought to other Yachad chapters across the country.

To learn more about Yachad Chicago, visit:

Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.

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OU's Yachad Receives Record $1 Million Grant to Launch Performing Arts Program for Individuals with Disabilities - Orthodox Union

Black History Month And The Fault Of Our Pride – Cardinal & Cream

Posted By on February 6, 2020

This may be an unconventional way to start an article for an online newspaper, but I feel it must be said before I go on. I am unqualified to write this. Maybe you knew that already, and if so, good. I am 22 years old, white, and have been too prideful to realize that while I thought I had been a part of the pursuit for racial reconciliation and the mission to seek racial equity, it was not true, not really.

Dr. Frank Anderson is the Director of the Center for Racial Reconciliation, Stephen Olford Chair of Expository Preaching and Associate Professor of Ministry and Missions. He is 60 years old (hopefully he doesnt mind me letting everyone know his age), and the two hardest challenges he has faced are the death of his dad and over five years on dialysis battling kidney disease. He has been working with Union University since 2008, has pastored and has been the director for the Center for Racial Reconciliation at Union since 2018. He has been in true pursuit for authentic diversity for quite a while now, and by his sharing an hour of his time with me, I now feel less equipped to speak and more equipped to listen.

I felt like a child who sits at the feet of her father or grandfather listening to them impart wisdom that must have only come from another world. And it has, or at least it has come from beyond this world.

This is Black History Month. It is more than just Black History Month.

Its not just black and white, said Dr. Anderson. Youve got issues in this country with native Americans; youve got issues in this country with Latinos and Hispanics.

The Center for Racial Reconciliation starts with issues related to racial equity and then tries to speak to the history of that, the inequities that are involved there, he said. Then we try to move towards what do we need to do, specifically in the Christian community, to solve those problems. And hopefully that takes us to a point of racial diversity which enables us to increase our racial unity and when that happens, as it is in heaven, it is here on earth. We begin to look more like what we see in Revelation 7 and 9.

There is something of a calling on us as the body of Christ to work towards that aim, to work towards things being as much as we can possibly help them to be here on earth as they are in heaven, said Dr. Anderson.

Following this, I asked Dr. Anderson how students get involved and how the Center reaches the general Union population. He told me about the lynching memorial, Madison Countys Remembrance project for Eliza Woods and Unions impact in the County Commission agreeing to the project. He told me about Fireside Forum, the Lane/Union collaborative with both students and faculty. He told me about faculty workshops to meet the needs of minority students, commemorations for Native American heritage month, Jewish heritage and Asian American heritage month. He spoke to me about an event that will hopefully be held this month that will include discussion on what it means to be colored and about a potential trip to Eastern Europe in May 2021 with a focal point on the concentration camps. He told me the center is working on a reading list for the University community dealing with reconciliation in general, that they will continue to add class courses, and that in April, the Center, partnered with Mosaic, will sponsor a trip to Memphis to visit the Civil Rights museum.

Did you know about all these things? If you did, you are very much ahead of me. While my mouth was not hanging open while I sat there across from Dr. Anderson, it was in my mind. I had been so busy criticizing Unions lack of diversity that I had missed all that it was doing to pursue that diversity. I was blinded by pride. Blinded to the point of missing three and a half years of partnership with Dr. Anderson and the Center and all that they are facilitating in hopes of racial equity and unity. I held back tears as the reality of my pride stepped outside of the closet and stood right in front of me. All along I thought I was passionate about this, that I knew the necessity of racial reconciliation and that I knew about the challenges of African Americans not just in history but in modern day. I was wrong.

But there is grace to be found. Forgiveness is to be found. And these things will obliterate my pride and teach me again and again (because I dont seem to learn lessons the first time) that humility is the way to unity.

I went on to ask Dr. Anderson if he ever got discouraged and how he deals with that discouragement.

He said that the bulk of his discouragement has not been in the context of Union. Instead, he said, I think, that given our commitment to Christ, given the impact that we say as believers Jesus has had on our way of life, the difference he has made in our lives, beginning with enabling us to have real life, eternal life, and given the problems that we have that are race related, and given the fact that our differences in skin color, race, ethnicity and so on and so forth, is part of the beauty of God creating us. This is the one problem that the Christian community should not be struggling with, yet we are.

However, as he did through the whole conversation, he took discouragement and added hopefulness and a call to action, saying, I think God is entrusting us with this responsibility to be ambassadors for him as we deal with this particular issue, and when I think about it that way, I feel a sense of black privilege, to be here at such a time as this God is trusting me and others of my generation to do something with this for his glory, and maybe hes simply trusting us to forgive. To be forthcoming with the difficulties, but to be forgiving.

Ive read the end of the story, said Dr. Anderson. I am certain about how this is going to come out when we see Jesus. And Im privileged to be a part of it.

Tangible and visible change will probably not happen while Im at Union, and Dr. Anderson said it will probably not happen while he is at Union either. However, Dr. Anderson told me that before Martin Luther King was assassinated, he polled as one of the most hated men. The change did not happen in his lifetime. But here we are, over 50 years later, revering him for his pursuit of peace, unity and racial reconciliation.

I think I can say more about those of us who are in Christ, that if we are doing what were doing for the Lord, it wont return to us empty, said Dr. Anderson. We may not realize the fullness of what weve done until weve seen Jesus face to face.

I dont think Ive been doing what Ive been doing for the Lord, or if I have, it has been half-hearted and self-centered. It is not due to my Universitys lack of effort that I have not seen a growth in racial reconciliation on campus. It is my lack of effort. It is my pride.

So, to my University, to Dr. Anderson and to my African American brothers and sisters, Id like to ask forgiveness, and Id like to begin intentional efforts to listen more and attend more. I have a lot to learn, and I think you all have a lot to teach me.

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Black History Month And The Fault Of Our Pride - Cardinal & Cream

70 Years of the Rebbe’s Leadership Marked in Communities Around the World – Gatherings honor a global Jewish renaissance in the aftermath of the…

Posted By on February 6, 2020

From the Old City of Safed to the contemporary metropolis of Toronto and in Jewish communities around the world, tens of thousands gathered to mark 70 years since the RebbeRabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memorybecame leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Building upon the foundation laid by his father-in-law and predecessor the Sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memorywho passed away on the 10th of Shevat, in 1950the Rebbe would go on to engineer a global Jewish renaissance in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Far from focusing only on the revival of his own flock of Chassidim or even the Jewish people, the Rebbe turned his gaze outward to the world at large, expending thousands of hours meeting and corresponding with people from all walks of life, among them rabbis, statesmen and laypeople, Jews and non-Jews. In the estimated 11,000 hours that the Rebbe spent teaching at public gatherings, he would expound on a diverse range of topics, from in-depth analysis of Talmudic passages to the profound elucidation of esoteric parts of Torah. Hundreds of volumes of the Rebbes teachings have already been published, with still more to come.

Alongside this vast Torah scholarship he would also passionately address the state of the broader societyspeaking on everything from criminal justice reform to social safety nets to the fundamental need for moral and ethical education for all. Twenty-five years after his passing, the Rebbes moral and ethical teachings for the world continue to serve as a guiding force for a generation of Jews and non-Jews seeking to change the world for the better.

Commonly referred to as Yud Shevat (the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat)and corresponding this year to Tuesday, Feb 4, and Wednesday, Feb. 5the day has become a time of introspection and inspiration for those touched by the Rebbes vision for humanity. The Rebbe formally accepted leadership of the Chabad movement on the first anniversary of his father-in-laws passing, delivering the groundbreaking discourse, Basi Legani, or, I have come to My garden. Expounding upon themes found in his predecessors discourse by the same name, the Rebbe laid out the mission of a new generation: to reveal the Gdliness found within the material world and transform it into a garden for Gd.

Over the next four decades, the Rebbe would continue the tradition of expounding upon this theme. These discourses, alongside the original one delivered by the Sixth Rebbe, are traditionally studied on Yud Shevat and in the run-up to the day.

Communities also often invite rabbis or notable individuals to lead farbrengens, or Chassidic gatherings, to mark the date, especially an anniversary as momentous as the 70th. Among many others, Rabbi Moshe Feller, regional director of Chabad of the Upper Midwest Region based in Minnesota, headlined a massive gathering in Morristown, N.J., while Rabbi Berel Lazar, Russias chief rabbi and head Chabad emissary, joined hundreds in London. Amid the snowcapped mountains of Lucerne, Chabad of Central Switzerland held a lunch-and-learn event in honor of the day with Judge Ekyakim Rubinstein, a former vice president of the Supreme Court and Attorney General of Israel, who shared recollections of the Rebbes profound influence on his own life.

A soulful gathering at the Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue in Safed in northern Israel attracted English-speaking residents and visitors from around the world, while a second program in Hebrew followed, drawing members of multiple Chassidic groups, including the Sanz, Lelov and Breslov communities of the mystical city.

Sharing wisdom from the Rebbe in Worcester, Mass.

We see that in recent times, interest has been piqued in Chabad Chassidut and the Rebbes teachings by other Chassidim, as well as from English-speaking immigrants and visitors to our city from all affiliations and backgrounds, Rabbi Gavriel Marzel, director of the synagogue and the nearby Old City of Safed Chabad-Lubavitch center, told They learn in their own spheres, but when looking for new, living and deep insights, they want to study the Rebbes teachings.

And across the globe, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto helped to promote an event titled 70 Years of the Rebbes Leadership, which attracted people from across Torontos vibrant Jewish community. It featured discussions about the Rebbes impact on the world and included teachings about some of the niggunim, deeply spiritual melodies, that were taught by the Rebbe.

Events for women are taking place around the world.

Events exclusively for women have been taking place in U.S. communities such as Houston, Detroit, St. Paul, Los Angeles, New Haven and Las Vegas, in and cities across Europe, Israel and Asia. More than 2,000 participants have viewed a video lecture by Rivkah Slonim, co-director of the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life at Binghamton University, about the Rebbes ongoing influence on Jewish women.

Throughout the night and day, many thousands of people, Jews and non-Jews, will be visiting the Ohel, in the Cambria Heights neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., the resting place of both Rebbes. In addition to petitions for blessing written at the site, letters from around the world were sent via email, fax and were delivered by others, asking for the Rebbes guidance and intervention on High, in the age-old tradition of written prayer petitions at our holiest sites.

A 70th anniversary farbrengen gathering from the Ohel held on Tuesday evening can be viewed here.

Dancing on the streets of New Jersey

Starting out from Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, a parade of 70 mitzvah tanksRVs specially outfitted to bring Judaism to the streetsheaded into the heart of Manhattan. The specially outfitted Mitzvah Tanks have been a fixture on American streets for more than five decades. Crossing over the Manhattan Bridge, the cavalcade made its way down Canal Street, up Sixth Avenue until Central Park, and then down Fifth Avenue, from which they fanned out to areas throughout all five boroughs.

The vehicles were staffed by an international cadre of yeshivah students from more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Russia, Australia and Israel, speaking eight languages between them. In keeping with the Rebbes vision and teachings to make all people agents for good in making the world a better place, the students encouraged others to join in the effort to improve the world by doing a mitzvah: a positive act.

The 70-year anniversary has special poignancy as it comes while the country battles a rise in anti-Semitic incidents. When confronted with rising anti-Semitism, the Rebbes message was one of increasing light. The Rebbe taught us that a little bit of light pushes away much darkness, said Yisroel Lazar, a yeshivah student in New York. The best response to hatred is an outpouring of positivity and light.

Just south of the New York parade, in New Jersey, 100 students from the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, N.J., took that same message of hope and inspiration in their fleet of 12 mitzvah tanks to the streets of Jersey City, site of the recent anti-Semitic shooting at a kosher grocery store, and other towns across North Jersey.

We want to celebrate 70 years of leadership in the way that the Rebbe taught us, by sharing a mitzvah and doing an act of kindness and positivity that we need so much today, said Yossi Spalter, organizer of the New Jersey initiative. Countless people have experienced some of their heritage for the first time on the street or in a mitzvah tank, with a spontaneous bar mitzvah or impromptu Torah lesson, which has had a transformative and lasting impact on their lives.

A Yud Shevat farbrengen in Bangkok, Thailand.

Whether mitzvah RVs in the tri-state area, mass Chassidic gatherings in Moscow or added emphasis on Torah study in Coral Springs, Fla., the focus on the 70th anniversary of the Rebbes leadership is on doing more, always more.

At the gathering in 1951 during which the Rebbe formally accepted the mantle of leadership, he sounded a theme that he would repeat countless times in the decades to come: The work of bringing about the revelation of the inherent goodness within humankind, of perfecting the world and of bringing Moshiach, could and would not come about on its own.

Making this world into a dwelling place for Gd was the mission, the Rebbe told the gathered at that first gathering, saying, Everything now depends only on us.

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70 Years of the Rebbe's Leadership Marked in Communities Around the World - Gatherings honor a global Jewish renaissance in the aftermath of the...

Lawmakers Push to Allow Trained Congregants to Bear Arms – NJ Spotlight

Posted By on February 6, 2020

With concerns about anti-Semitism and house of worship safety on the rise, a bipartisan trio of lawmakers is sponsoring legislation that would allow trained members of religious congregations to carry guns.

Were not always going to have the luxury of having police officers, armed security, fully trained, years of experience in our houses of worship, said Assemblyman Ron Dancer, an Ocean County Republican whos a cosponsor ofA-1255with Passaic Democrat Gary Schaer and Morris County Republican Jay Webber. But we can have this. And at a minimum, we should have this to save lives.

The measure, largely similar to a bill that was introduced during the recent legislative session but did not move out of committee, would allow a congregation member to carry a weapon to protect fellow worshippers during services.

The proposal has found supporters both among gun rights advocates and members of the states large Orthodox Jewish community. Others have urged caution in allowing those other than trained law enforcement personnel to carry lethal weapons.

Theres renewed interest in armed security among members of different congregations, particularly after the deadly shooting at a kosher grocery in Jersey City and the machete attack during a Hanukkah celebration in Rockland County, New York; both were labeled hate crimes targeting Jews. Anti-Semitic and other bias incidents spiked in New Jersey last year, state officials say.

According to gun range operator Anthony Colandro, more Jews in New Jersey are now acquiring gun permits.

Weve seen about a 300% increase of religious, Jewish people Sephardic Jews, Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews coming in to shoot, because they want to protect themselves and their family, said Colandro, the owner of Gun for Hire in Woodland Park.

Colandro supports the bill.

All you need is one synagogue, mosque or Catholic church to be attacked and have the congregants armed and fire back, and I think evil will change its tack and it will think twice before they go in and do it again, he said.

Opinions varied on the merits of the measure among those at the gun range, with many saying that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. Some referenced the December shooting at a Texas church, where a trained marksman with a handgun worshiping with the congregation shot and killed the armed intruder who burst into a Sunday service.

I think if you put guns in the hands of people that are good, youll protect everybody involved, said gun owner Harmony Corbisero.

I do agree, said Ron Vargo. As long as he passes all the background checks and hes qualified, I dont see why not.

Another of the gun-range clients who identified himself as Joe R. also endorsed the measure.

I go to synagogue every day and of course on Saturday, as well, and the need for protection is there, he said. Take up arms, safely, and arm yourself.

Maerlin Delorbe was a dissenting voice.

I dont agree, she said. I think there should be a ban on guns. Its just very dangerous material to carry around, regardless of whats going on.

Russel Kelner is the president of the Golani Rifle and Pistol Club, with a largely Jewish membership. He, too, supports the bill.

Yeah, I think it is a step in the right direction and it could be effective, he said. Most synagogues now have armed guards. Weve seen an uptick, about 200% in my community, of the different synagogues that have armed guards now on Sabbath on High Holy Days, things like that. So, this is just natural progression, I think.

At the same time, Jackson Police Capt. Dan Schafer is uneasy about arming a worshiper whos not trained in police tactics.

They react, whereas an officer is always intent, observing, highly trained not just weaponry, but in tactics, he said. It becomes muscle memory for him. Its something that he does every day. So, its not a reaction, its an action.

Schafer, whos a pastor at an Assembly of God church, has advised more than 400 ministers about security at houses of worship, how to set up surveillance cameras, harden a perimeter and plan for a shooting scenario.

The church is a soft target, he said. Youve got innocent people that arent expecting something tragic to happen like that.

Shafer, who also had concerns about legal liability, said the devil is in the details of this bill.

One of the states dominant gun-control groups also expressed reservations.

We definitely have some concerns and some questions for the sponsors, said Sue Hannon of the Brady Campaign.

For shooting hobbyist Brian Goldberg, its all about training.

In the proper hands, it is only a positive, he said.

The bill defines a place of worship as a church, mosque or synagogue, used primarily as a place of public or private worship on a permanent basis by a recognized and established religious sect or denomination registered as a not-for-profit under the federal Internal Revenue Code.

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‘Liberman has closed a deal with Meretz and the Arabs’ – Arutz Sheva

Posted By on February 6, 2020

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri said on Wednesday that his party should not respond to any provocation by Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman.

"Liberman has closed a deal with Blue and White, Meretz and the Arabs, they will go together. The solution is to get those who did not vote last time to go out and vote this time and block the possibility of a government with Liberman," Deri told the haredi radio station Kol Barama.

He added that "responding to Liberman only empowers him. I will not respond to his lies and incitement, he is waiting to gloat about it in the Russian media and I do not want to give that to him, I do not think it is wise."

"We are members of one bloc and we are not leaving our house. I agree with [MK Moshe] Gafnis pain over the fact that our partners are taking part in shaming the haredi public. There is some fatigue among the public from the third election campaign, but if they see and understand what kind of government will be established [if they dont vote], maybe they will wake up," the Shas chairman said.

Deri noted that the disputes between the haredi parties are unnecessary. "I am not interested in quarrels despite all those who are trying to quarrel with me in the haredi public. As far as Im concerned, let United Torah Judaism receive two additional seats. Since they opened the Sephardic headquarters, we have gone up by one seat every time. I help the same sectors that we have always helped."

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'Liberman has closed a deal with Meretz and the Arabs' - Arutz Sheva

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