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Ealing Liberal Synagogue

Posted By on June 25, 2018

About Liberal Judaism

Liberal Judaism references Jewish tradition, and seeks to preserve the cultural and religious values of religion,while giving them contemporary force and meaning. We aspire to a Judaism which is an active force for good in the lives of Jewish individuals, families and communities,and equally makes its contribution to the enhancement of the wider society.

We are an accepting liberal community which actively welcomes people from all types of Jewish backgrounds,or those drawn to Judaism, who want to come together to participate in a Jewish way of life.

We welcome interfaith partnerships and families.

We welcome families who want to help their children explore their Jewish heritage as part of their cultural identity.

Along with the Rabbi, members try to be supportive of one another and offer emotional and practical help where we can.

Younger and older members also flourish by learning from one another and appreciating what each other can offer.

We are currently accepting new members, and have a sliding scale of membership to encourage particpation:

Full membership

Associate membership (for non-Jewish partners)

Young person’s membership (18-25 years of age)

Membership includes full burial rights.

For an application form or more information please complete the contact form.

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Ealing Liberal Synagogue

Center for Senior Services – B’nai B’rith International

Posted By on June 21, 2018

A Record of Leadership

Few contemporary issues are more critical than the aging of the population. Recognizing that senior citizens remain valued members of our community, B’nai B’rith has a leading role in senior services.

B’nai B’rith International is a leader in the Jewish communitys approach to aging issues through the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services. With our first housing partnership with HUD launched in 1971, and with 38 buildings in 28 communities, we are the largest national Jewish sponsor of subsidized housing in the United States.

Working with our members and supporters throughout the United States, our Senior Advocacy Initiative advances B’nai B’rith’s agenda on a range of seniors’ issuesincluding Social Security, Medicare, stem cell research, and funding for the aging services network and minimum wageto policy makers in Washington, D.C., and across the country.

We work directly with seniors through forums and programs on issues such as aging in place, healthcare for all, identity theft, and others.

We also send out “Action Alerts” to let people know what is going on with legislation and how they can contact elected leaders quickly and easily.

Continue reading here:
Center for Senior Services – B’nai B’rith International

Against Holocaust Denial –

Posted By on June 20, 2018

Recently I read an anti-Zionist Internet rant posted by a person who questioned the historical accuracy of the well-known and heavily documented fact that many millions of Jewish people were genocidally murdered by the German Nazi Third Reich.

The rant-maker was on solid empirical and moral ground in denouncing the despicable behavior of the United States-backed Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) towards Palestinian people in the Israeli-Occupied Territories and particularly in Gaza.Israels abuse of the Palestinians recently including the open sniper-slaughter of unarmed protesters on Israel-Gaza border is one of the most egregious human rights atrocities of our time. Its hard to fathom the murderous immorality of how Israel molests the people trapped in the open-air prison that is Gaza and how Israel mistreats the Palestinians more broadly.

But the anti-Israel Internet poster made a critical mistake by combining his moral outrage at Israels sickening offences against the Palestinians with denial of the Nazisghastly campaign to eradicate European Jewry. The two crimes are intimately bound up and inseparably linked with each other. Israels leaders and defenders have made little effort to hide their belief that the Jewish state is entitled by the Nazi experience to do whatever Israel believes it must to make sure it Never Happens Again. If Israel thinks that means brutally uprooting, displacing, terrorizing, subjugating, bombing, torturing, oppressing and otherwise harming Arabs to guarantee the safety of the Jewish people, so be it.

Forget the question of whether Israels unconscionable Palestinian policies and practices really work to protect Jewish people within and outside Israel. The point is that the authentic historical horror of the highly organized and largely industrialized Nazi effort to eradicate European Jewry has given Israel a lethal, blank-check sense of entitlement to commit their own different but hideous crimes against Arab and Muslim humanity in the Middle East. The Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims who have been murdered, maimed, and otherwise abused and oppressed by Israel have also been victims (once or twice removed) of German fascism and European anti-Semitism. Between nations and ethnocultural groups as within families, victimization and the intimately related sense of entitlement that fuels and justifies victimization recycles and repeats across generations. Its a vicious, self-fulfilling circle wherein vctims become victimizers.

Choose your enemies carefully, an old proverb counsels, for you shall become like them. The Jewish pioneers of the Israeli settler and apartheid state did not choose for themselves and their ethnoreligious cohorts to face extermination by spiritually dead Nazis. Contrary to the unfortunate anti-Semitic comments of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas(who wrote a doctoral thesis at Moscow University that cited the writings of Holocaust-deniers to question the number of Jews killed by the Nazis) earlier this week, moreover, European Jews did not cause the Holocaust with bad social behavior. Sadly, however, the Holocaust is a big part of how and why Israel has behaved and continues to act like a spiritually dead fascist state (behavior that has included denying the real number of Arabs it has displaced and killed) towards the Arab people it uprooted and separated to build its Never Again garrison state in the Holy Land.

Acknowledging the reality of the Nazi Holocaust does not mean that one supports Israels reprehensible behavior towards its subjects and neighbors. But any serious opponent of that criminal behavior should want to understand what they wish to effectively fight and undo. Nazi Holocaust denial and Jewish victim-blaming only deepen Israels commitment towards Nazi-like conduct to those whose humanity it denies.

The Nazi genocide is not the only Holocaust in world history, of course. Other Holocausts and large-scale atrocities include the eradication of untold millions of indigenous people in the Americas by European predator-settlers, the mass murderous enslavement and torture of many millions of Africans in the Americas, the Belgian genocide in the Congo, the Turkish Armenian genocide, Indonesias U.S.-approved rape of the East Timorese, the U.S.-enabled Rwandan genocide, the long US rape of Iraq (1991 to present), the current U.S.-backed rapes of the Sudan, Congo, and Yemen, the U.S.-fueled Syrian War, and the terrible plight of the Rohingya in U.S.-backed Buddhist Myanmar.

The U.S. today is homeland and headquarters of a geocidalcrime that threatens to make past genocide perpetrators look like small-time criminals by comparison: the fossil-fueled extermination of life on Earth. The Republican Party and petroleum and coal corporation-led movement to turn the planet into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamberis advancing what could be the mother of all Holocausts the destruction of organized human life and perhaps homo sapiensitself along with countless other species.

This great capital-generated crime-in-the-making reminds me of something written in 1848 by a thirty-year old German ethnocultural Jew and atheist named Karl Marx, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated this Saturday:

The history of all hitherto existing societyis the history of class strugglesFreeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-masterand journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes(emphasis added).

Common ruin rooted in capitals never ending, profit- and accumulation-addicted ruination of the commons indeed.

Freedom, Marx wrote near the end of the draft third volume of Capital, can only consist in socialized man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favorable to, and worthy of, their human nature (Karl Marx,Capital,vol. 3: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole[New York: International, 1976, p. 820], emphasis added). How haunting those words sound today, with the capitalogenic climate crisis speeding us like a runaway train towards 500 carbon parts per million (so long, Antarctic ice sheets) by 2050 if not much sooner.

The working men, Marx wrote in 1848, have no country. Neither does livable ecology, which requires the cross-national abolition of the profits system with (preferably) or without the proletariat finally validating the Old Moles prophecy that it would emerge as the gravedigger of the bourgeoisie. The uncomfortable truth, Istvan Meszaros rightly argued 17 years ago, is that if there is no future for a radical mass movement in our time, there can be no future for humanity itself. Its eco-socialism or mere barbarism if were lucky at this stage of capitalist and state-sponsored ecocide. Anything less is Holocaust Denial.

See the rest here:

Against Holocaust Denial –

Hasidic leaders sharply limit members’ web, smartphone use …

Posted By on June 16, 2018

Community in Conflict: Hasidic Jews & Tech

Part 2: Many Hasidic Jewish communities in New York and neighboring New Jersey forbid the use of smartphones, social media and technology. Why? The answer may come from a watershed moment in the Hasidic culture, where ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders held a summit in Citi Field to condemn technology.

This is the second of a three-part series on insular enclaves of ultra-Orthodox Jews, the struggles they face and the controversies that follow them.

The father of five was summoned to a meeting with leaders of his ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish sect in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., a village of some 22,000 about 50 miles north of New York City.

The Satmar Hasidic leaders, a council known as the Vaad — wanted him to understand they knew he was on the internet, even though he was posting messages under a fictitious name.

The point: No matter what he did, the Vaad was on top of it. The father got a warning familiar to many in Hasidic communities: If you do not abide by the rules governing nearly every facet of your life, your children will be denied enrollment in our private Jewish schools (yeshivas).

Within this deeply religious community, families send children to yeshivas, where they are taught traditional religious texts. Yeshiva expulsion virtual excommunication – would bring intense shame to a Hasidic family.

Its the Vaad. They don’t let you have smartphones, computers, laptops, DVD players,” said the man, a Kiryas Joel resident who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “I wasn’t even saying anything bad on social media. I was asking a question. But you are not to question anything” concerning Hasidism.


In many Hasidic enclaves, such as this one in Brooklyn, signs warning about smartphones and the Internet are common.(Benjamin Nazario)

Many Hasidic communities, though not all, are highly insular, determined to shut out as much of the outside world and its perceived deviancy as possible. Education at yeshivas emphasizes the Torah and other religious teachings, particularly for boys, who are being prepared for possible futures as rabbis. This faith-centric instruction doesn’t leave vast amounts of time for math and English.

For the rabbis, who can wield enormous influence over the smallest details of followers’ lives — including such intimate matters as the use of contraceptives, which is nearly always prohibited — technology is a threat: It enables personal connections and access to views and information from non-Hasidic sources.

Five years ago, a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, sponsored a seminal event for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men at Citi Field stadium in New York that drew tens of thousands of people. Speakers emphasized the filth and evil of the internet.

The spokesman for the event, Rabbi Eytan Kobre, told reporters at the time that the internet and smartphones posed the most difficult spiritual challenge for Orthodox Jews, not just those who are Hasidic.

Watch:Community in Conflict: Hasidic Jews & Education

Kobre, who is not Hasidic, told Fox News in a recent interview that quite simply, to Orthodox Jews, there is no need to surf the Internet or explore a marketplace of ideas, because the truth is right there in the Torah.

Kobre said that technology is doing damage to relationships, privacy, human dignity, the ability to succeed in school and at work.

Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sects typically see technology and electronics as doorways to destructive behavior and forbid their practitioners from having such things as television, smartphones, and computers.(AP)

The environment of the digital age is far more conducive to addiction than anything humans have experienced in their history, said Kobre, who writes about the issue for Mishpacha magazine, a leading publications for Orthodox Jews worldwide.

As a result, many Hasidic communities have developed rules specifically banning the possession of electronic devices, making exceptions only under special circumstances like, say, needing these tools in order to run a business. Even then, use is tightly restricted and closely monitored.

Take smartphones, for instance: These handhelds are allowed for men as long as they are inspected by rabbis and registered by what some call, with sarcasm that is considered a major act of insubordination, the “technology police” or “thought police.”

Women are allowed to have basic or flip phones, but not smartphones.

The Vaad deactivates web browsers and installs filters on phones to inhibit access to such things as Google, YouTube, many Wikipedia pages and porn websites, among other content.

“It’s like we’re in North Korea or China,” said the Kiryas Joel resident, who has a second phone that Vaad enforcers do not know about.

On at least one occasion, in 2015,rabbis from Kiryas Joel sent parents a contract to sign, declaring that their phones are in accordance to the rules of the community and yeshiva, and adding, We also confirm that we do not possess in our home another cellphone/smartphone, except for the ones mentioned above.

Another nearly-all Hasidic town, New Square, N.Y.,makes parents vow to obey bans on technology in writing when they register their children for school.

Hasidic communities’ tech limitations are not just in small towns like Kiryas Joel and New Square that are situated far from big cities, though.

In Brooklyn, for instance, posters blamed “mothers with smartphones” for teens who have strayed from Hasidic life.

Of the more than a dozen Hasidic rabbis and yeshiva officials Fox News reached out to for comment, none responded. One man, working at a front booth at a small building in Kiryas Joel where smartphones and other gadgets are checked for compliance with the restrictions, took a message from a Fox News team that made a personal visit. But there was no subsequent call or email message.

Orthodox leaders outside the Hasidic enclaves have defended the consequences that schools impose.

They consider technology to be an area of danger which requires limits and standards, Kobre, the rabbi, said of the school leaders. If we just limit the availability of technology for students, and say, You cant have a smartphone but your folks can have them, what are we really saying? Do as we say, not as we do? It would be educationally inappropriate. It would backfire.

“We have to have the appropriate home environment, otherwise were setting ourselves up for failure and hypocrisy.

He rejected any suggestion that enforcing standards –whether they be about dress codes or having a television set or the internet — are oppressive. Critics, he said,seem to want “educational anarchy.”

Another rabbi who is Orthodox but not Hasidic said avoiding temptations that lurk on the internet is best accomplished by not wading into the technology pool at all.

Its not easy for us, its a sacrifice, said the rabbi, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Were holding on tight; we have to have the moral courage” to steer clear of tech.

Whatever I dont want to do, Im going to leave out of my arms reach, Im going to remove the temptation, he said. As far as our community leaders, they feel an enormous responsibility to use the wisdom that they have, and which guided Orthodox Jews for thousands of years, to see through this infatuation with this untested medium.

Nuftuli Moster, who grew up as one of 17 children in a Hasidic home in Brooklyn and now advocates for more secular studies in Hasidic schools, said the perceived overreach by community leaders stuns even him.

“I myself am taken aback,” Moster said, adding that he gets calls from parents who have received letters, delivered to them by their children, informing them that having internet access on their computer, or a telephone without the filter, puts the youngsters’ yeshiva enrollment at risk.

“They force you to use their filtering system. They make it challenging for parents, they have a grip on them when it comes to the children and schools. Parents say the [leaders] sent them a letter that said they don’t have a filter on their phone.

“Parents ask me: ‘How do they know? What do I do?'”

Moster, who founded Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED) six years ago to push for more secular studies in yeshivas, said: “It’s ridiculous how far they go with it. They know how to manipulate people and force them to do what they want.”

Technologys numerous and alternative sources of information threaten the nearly absolute power that rabbis and the Vaad are accustomed to having, experts say.

The internet poses an unprecedented challenge, said Samuel Heilman, chairman of Jewish studies at Queens College in New York and author of “Who Will Lead Us? The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America.

But this is violated all the time,” he added. “Its like the three staircases in the Jewish play Fiddler on the Roof, where one staircase was just for show but went nowhere.

Heilman said that many Hasidic people have a rabbi-approved phone “for show,” but also an unfiltered one they regularly use. He also said he has often seen Hasidic men in public libraries going on the internet or reading books that are forbidden by their religious leaders.

When I walked in, they quickly look at me to make sure I am not someone spying on them.

For Kobre, an ordinary ride a few days ago on a New York City train summed up the perils of technology.

The rabbi stood in the crush of humanity on the packed train and looked around him.

Every single person, without exception, whether they were sitting down or standing, was looking down at their devices, Kobre recalled.For me it was a scene out of a horror movie, a zombie movie. What could they possibly be looking at that is more important than their own thoughts, about their families, their life goals?

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.


Hasidic leaders sharply limit members’ web, smartphone use …

Insular Hasidic Jews struggle to preserve customs as legal …

Posted By on June 16, 2018

Community in Conflict: Hasidic Jews & Education

Part 1: Some Americans may not realize that Hasidic Jews shun many common secular practices widely accepted across cultural and national borders, including the basics of education. For example, there are several yeshivas, or Hasidic Jewish schools, in the New York area that only teach subjects in Yiddish. Previous yeshiva students share the impact of these practices in their lives.

This is the first of a three-part series on insular enclaves of ultra-Orthodox Jews, the struggles they face and the controversies that follow them.

It is, by choice, an intensely isolated and insular group, in which a Hasidic family with 10 children doesnt raise an eyebrow.

The big family units help explain why some communities they inhabit become among the poorest in the country, according to federal statistics on rates of welfare assistance, subsidized housing, food stamps and Medicaid.

Indeed, the U.S. town with the highest rate of people on food stamps is the all-Hasidic New York village of New Square, north of New York City, where 77 percent of residents rely on the program to eat, according to a new report.

Yet for all that need, the group is alternately courted, feared and vilified by politicians and businesses for its power to deliver huge, uncontested blocs of election-altering votes, donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to causes of its choosing, spark seismic shifts in real estate markets, public school budgets and city planning, and even hold hostage the countrys second-largest state budget.

This particularly strict group of Orthodox Jews, entrenched and concentrated primarily in a few communities in New York and New Jersey, has generated more indifference than curiosity — until now.

That is because Hasidic communities have been outgrowing their enclaves and pushing to establish outposts in new towns, leading to pitched battles all over the New York region.

Hasidic residents and leaders say that bigotry is at the root of the battles — many of which have ended up in court, which often have ruled in the religious community’s favor. Their critics deny bigotry, and say it’s a matter of sudden changes to towns that end up adversely affecting the quality of life.

A familiar pattern

“[Our critics] are insane. … Our education system doesn’t have a metal detector you have to go through, we have zero tolerance on drugs.”

Critics of the Hasidic groups say development in many towns has followed a familiar pattern: The group moves into a community, then begins to overwhelm local government and social services with explosive population growth. Thats accompanied by rapid construction of low-cost, densely packed housing units — typically townhouses — though even these, eventually, cant contain the growth. Hasidic leaders or developers with ties to them then buy up nearby homes, gain control of the local school board, ultimately gut public school budgets and divert funds to private Jewish schools.

There have been echoes of this pattern in places includingBloomingburg, a once-rural upstate New York town, and Toms River, N.J., to name but a few examples.

All this, while Hasidic households with very modest incomes collect millions in federal benefits, often because of large family sizes.

They know how to game the system, said Samuel C. Heilman, a sociology professor at Queens College of the City University of New York. They know the ins and outs, or they get professionals and find out how to apply for things like Section 8″ housing subsidies. “Their leadership is intertwined with the political system in order to get favorable entry.

“It’s usually done legally,” said Heilman, author of the book Who Will Lead Us?: The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America, in reference to how Hasidic Jews so expertly navigate the system.

The depiction of their use of government programs as “gaming” the system exasperates many Hasidim.

Rabbi Avi Shafran, the director of public public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella organization for Hasidic and other ultra-Orthodox groups, told Fox News that characterizations such as “gaming” are pejorative ways to describe a talent for perceiving opportunities that, for these communities, can yield government services.

“Thats not gaming the system,” Shafran said, “its utilizing the social services net as it is intended to be used.

The residents of Monroe, N.Y., another town north of Manhattan where the suburbs meet rural upstate, refer to tensions between themselves and Hasidic residents by just an innocuous pair of initials: K.J.

Thats the acronym for Kiryas Joel, a village within Monroe that is home to one of the most concentrated communities of the Hasidic sect called Satmar. The nearly all-Hasidic village population grew so much over the last few years by about 6 percent each year, with the community’s average age at about 13 — it sought to annex hundreds of acres outside its borders to build hundreds of new units to place its residents. A decades-long battle between Monroe and K.J. ended in a referendum vote in November allowing the Hasidic village to secede, with a settlement giving it more than 200 annexed acres.

We moved here 19 years ago for more space, a perceived quality of life, said John Allegro, a Monroe resident. “It became an untenable situation.

Watch:Community in Conflict: Hasidic Jews and Backlash

As for the Hasidim, they have a desire and need to stay together, the women traditionally dont drive, the men have to pray together in groups of 10, said Allegro, who was part of a group of residents who brokered an agreement with K.J. officials over annexed lands. The fact is, this packet of high-density housing in the middle of a rural and suburban community, it doesnt fit, its a different aspiration from the way that people outside their community want to live.

Isaac Abraham, advocate for Hasidic communities(Benjamin Nazario)

Monroe residents saw bloc votes from Kiryas Joel and Hasidic Jews in annexed lands in town help deliver victories to candidates who represented the religious communitys interests, which were diametrically opposed to their own.

Theyll do what rabbis tell them to do, Heilman said. They will because theyll get assistance.

At a hearing on secession last fall in a packed auditorium in Monroe, Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus described the power struggle with Hasidic residents as a political Chernobyl thats spilling over into other towns.

Recently, under pressure from his Hasidic constituents, a single state senator, Simcha Felder, held up passage of New Yorks $168 billion budget until he was promised the state wouldnt interfere with the educational approach of yeshivas — despite laws requiring all students to receive an education equivalent to that of public schools.

Naftuli Moster, who grew up in a Hasidic home and is one of 17 children, said that for the sake of votes, too many political leaders have turned a blind eye to the education standards at yeshivas.

“Some of the most knowledgeable and vocal opponents of the eruv are our [non-Hasidic] Jewish residents. … No one feels they should be forced to live within the symbolic enclosure of another religious group, no matter what the religion.”

Moster calls it a near-crime that breeds high poverty levels — particularly when combined with the large families typical in the community and the lack of academic preparation to support them.

“I find it astonishing,” said Moster, who founded a nonprofit, Young Advocates for Fair Education, to improve ultra-Orthodox schools. “One of the things we address is the impact on the taxpayer. A lot of people don’t realize that non-public schools, even though they are called private and even if they are religious, get millions of dollars in government funding.”

The Orthodox leaders help them get as much as possible from government programs, but what they should be doing is helping them to become self-sufficient.”

Shafran praised Felder.

Simcha Felder, laudably, did what he felt he should for his constituents,” the rabbi said. “Thats what representatives are supposed to do.”

Claims of prejudice

Hasidic Jews and their supporters balk at any notions of a backlash, and accuse critics of anti-Semitic views.

“If these little towns want to putz around with racism, no problem. We have and we shall overcome them. … They’ll be running for cover, because the lawsuits will be coming.”

These are none other than racist low-life bastards, is how Isaac Abraham, a leader in the Satmar sect in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, bluntly described the communitys critics. I have no other words for them.

Abraham argues that whatever the government allows in benefits, Hasidic families are doing it legitimately.

Theres nothing wrong with that,” said Abraham, a son of Holocaust survivors who was born in Austria and moved to Williamsburg when he was 2. “We [hear the] claim that illegal immigrants work and they pay taxes. But theyre still costing the government money and theyre illegal. Here we have [Hasidic Jews] who are legal, pay taxes, were born here, so whats the problem? So youre helping him live here so he can pay your taxes.

Others say that Hasidic Jews are simply tapping into a system, flaws and all, that has been used to good effect by other special interests.

“Every group looks for political clout,” Heilman said. “Lobbying is as American as apple pie. It’s inherently corrupt, it’s for special interest, not for the good of the larger society.”

Shafran countered that it is right and noble to push forward in a community’s best interests.

Advocating for the needs of ones community is not corruption,” the rabbi said. “It is precisely what ethnic, religious and neighborhood groups are expected and encouraged to do in a democratic system.

Many Hasidim say they would like to have more secular subjects, and note that girls in the community have more hours of non-religious English-language instruction and get a more well-rounded education.

But many other Hasidim take offense at portrayals of their schooling as deficient.

Some members of the East Ramapo Central School District Board of Education(AP)

“New York State law says that private schools must provide a substantially equivalent education to public schools,” said Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski, whose children attend Hasidic yeshivas in Kiryas Joel and Bloomingburg, N.Y. “My argument is that the study of Jewish religious texts are not only equivalent, but superior.”

“The Talmud contains high-level aspects of history, science, culture, language arts, mathematics, etc.,” Kolakowski said, “as well as ethics, morals and critical thinking skills that are too often ignored in public schools. It isn’t just sitting around all day singing hymns.”

To Kolakowski and many other Hasidim, the community is singled out unfairly.

“The Hasidic community is the canary in the coal mine of [the issue of] religious freedom in America,” he said. “There’ve been a lot of attacks on religious freedom against Orthodox Jews, Christians and Muslims. America was built on religious freedom.”

The larger picture

Critics say its a matter of looking at the bigger picture that the efforts by Hasidic leaders on behalf of their communities too often come at the expense of other residents who live in the same area.

Brooklyn Legal Services has complained that in this borough, Hasidic residents inundate government agencies with applications for such things as Section 8 housing the minute they become available, preventing other needy families from having access to such subsidized rentals, critics say.

Theyre masters of the application process, said Martin S. Needelman, the executive director of Brooklyn Legal Services. The part that is amazing is the amount of preparation [that goes into] applications. They clear peoples credit and make sure to address anything that could raise a red flag.

Critics also accuse Hasidim of masking their income. Needelman said that much of the community operates in a cash economy, enabling some people to claim that their income is much less than it actually is. At the same time, he notes that a staggering number live at the poverty level, despite public assistance benefits, because of their large households.

Your salary might be $40,000 or $45,000 a year, but if you have 12 children, that makes them very poor, Needelman said.

Last year alone, clashes erupted in New York towns such as Monroe, East Ramapo and Bloomingburg, and in New Jersey towns including Mahwah, Jackson, Upper Saddle River and Montvale. Reasons for the friction vary: There is, for instance, the growing political power that Hasidim have gained at what others say is at the expense of the larger community.

Theres also the appearance of eruvs a religious boundary sometimes fashioned out of wire affixed to utility poles — Hasidim set up so that they where activities — such as pushing a baby stroller or carrying canes and walkers — may be carried out on the Sabbath, when they are not allowed to drive.

An eruv was erected on our utility poles clandestinely in the middle of the night and without the towns permission in order to extend the size of their existing religious enclosure, said Erik Friis, a businessman who lives in Upper Saddle River, N.J., where council members recently settled with an Orthodox group that filed suit when the town demanded the removal of the religious perimeter. (Under the settlement, reports said, the group can expand its eruv through town, but it was to be rerouted as close to the New York State line as possible, and use less-obtrusive black piping, not white.)

The Bergen Rockland Eruv Association argued in court documents that it secured permission from utility companies and that assertions that it acted covertly are inaccurate.

We have nobody in our three towns who wants or requires an eruv, Friis said. When somebody comes from another state and starts installing things that have a certain religious significance around hundreds of telephone poles without the boroughs approval, and some of it was done at night, people get extremely upset. We have no forewarning of this, nor the ability to weigh in.

Friis and other town opponents of the eruv argued that officials of the town, which has no Hasidic community, had capitulated to the eruv group, which asserted in a lawsuit that Upper Saddle River sought to undermine its religious freedom.

Some of the most knowledgeable and vocal opponents of the eruv are our Jewish residents who aren’t Hasidic, said Friis, who founded the group Citizens for a Better Upper Saddle River. A common complaint is that no one feels they should be forced to live within the symbolic enclosure of another religious group, no matter what the religion.

Yehudah L. Buchweitz, who served as pro bono counsel to the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, told Fox News the law was on the side of the Hasidic community.

The recent lawsuits in New Jersey … ensure that families are able to enjoy the same religious freedom as so many others throughout Bergen and Rockland counties and beyond,” Buchweitz said. “The … settlements preserve and protect the peoples right to an eruv, which has been repeatedly endorsed by state and federal courts in every case to have considered the issue.”

“There is an eruv in 23 of the largest 25 cities in the United States,” he asserted. “In almost every instance, the eruv is constructed without controversy and is viewed positively by the community as a symbol of diversity.

Beware ‘the next East Ramapo’

Residents of many towns where Hasidic Jews have moved in say the group tends to take control of local politics and undermine the quality of life for those outside its religious enclave.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in November against the East Ramapo, N.Y., school district and the State Department of Education alleging that the election system controlled by Hasidic Jews denies minority citizens an equal opportunity to have a voice in the future of their communitys public schools.

The district, once a high-performing one, has suffered, many residents say, since Hasidic Jews became a majority of the nine-member school board in 2005, cutting funds for public schools and diverting them to their private schools. The district cut 445 positions and reduced full-day kindergarten as well as sports and arts programs. The cuts, the NYCLU asserts, have resulted in four out of five public school children in grades three through eight lacking proficiency in math and English.

The late Rabbi Mordechai Hager, who was leader of one of the largest Hasidic sects in the United States, was said to have been unhappy about Orthodox Jews who did not use public schools dominating the East Ramapo school board.

The New York Times said the rabbi, whose Hasidic village, Kaser, is part of the East Ramapo school district, “viewed the situation as unnecessarily provocative.”

He did not believe in public confrontation with the secular world,” Yosef Rapaport, a media consultant for Agudath Israel of America, told The Times.

East Ramapo school officials didn’t return calls and emails from Fox News.

In towns that have fought Hasidic Jewish political power, the saying that they dont want to be the next East Ramapo has become a familiar mantra.

Some East Ramapo families, saying they’re exasperated and feel powerless, have moved or plan to do so.

Yolanda Maya reluctantly moved to Suffern from Spring Valley two years ago after what she said was a dip in educational quality at East Ramapo schools, particularly for special-needs students.

I was there since my daughter was born, Maya said. My daughter had only one good year; that was kindergarten. They cut programs she needed, like the integrated classes they have special-needs children with other children in the same class. And kids with special needs really benefit from art and music programs, and they cut them.

Maya said her daughter, who has learning disabilities, is gradually improving because of the resources in her new district, but that she remains scarred by the deficient education and support in East Ramapo.

My daughter used to have a healthy self-esteem, she said, but the school system made her feel not smart, worthless.

Steven White, who was educated in the district and sent his two sons there, recalls when the schools were among the best in the state. The district, he recalled, had cutting-edge programs and groomed students to qualify for the nations best colleges. His youngest son graduated in 2012, right when the district was hit hard by deep cuts in staffing and programs.

We had a school board that was under the control of people who didnt use public schools for their own children, and who themselves had not gone to public schools, White said.

Though his kids are out of the school system, White has become involved in campaigns to put people who want to strengthen public education on the school board, and he frequently went to Board of Education public meetings to voice concerns. Other former East Ramapo students, now adults, formed a group to try to bring back quality education.

White said he often encountered indifference and silence when he asked questions or raised a concern.

We were treated with derision by the school board, White said. The school budgets were always voted down; they vote in blocs. You can boil it down to the fact that they dont value public education.”

The idea of public education is to make sure that all children are prepared for tomorrow, and we all benefit from that. The kid you educate might be the doctor that saves your life one day, or the one who creates the next great app.

Isaac Abraham, an advocate for the Hasidic community, said that others should accept that the group is growing and will look out for its own best interests.

He also takes exception to the idea that Hasids must explain why they live as they do.

Theyre not seeing what were seeing, Abraham said. If we got to their schools, from town to town, Ill give you a low number, 10 percent are on drugs, 5 percent are in the system, already as criminals. Our education system doesnt have a metal detector you have to go through, we have zero tolerance on drugs.”

With this in mind, he said, the less Hasidic kids know about the outside world, the better.

“If these little towns want to putz around with racism, no problem,” Abraham said. “We have and we shall overcome them. … They’ll be running for cover, because the lawsuits will be coming.”

This article has been edited since its publication earlier this week to incorporate new information and quotations.

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.

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Insular Hasidic Jews struggle to preserve customs as legal …

Lipstadt: Polish PMs comments tantamount to Holocaust …

Posted By on June 16, 2018

When 60,000 Poles took to the streets of Warsaw last November brandishing signs with phrases like clean blood and White Europe streaked across them, it was perhaps a harbinger of events to come.

Polish-Israeli relations kicked off to a rocky start in 2018 when the Polish government announced a bill that would make it illegal to accuse Poland of complicity in the Holocaust. For example, uttering the phrase Polish death camps, rather than Nazi death camps, could lead to a hefty fine or three years in prison.

Since that announcement, pandemonium ensued across both nations. Israeli MKs tweeted vociferously against the law. The Jerusalem Posts own Knesset reporter Lahav Harkov tweeted the phrase Polish Death Camps 14 times a post that went viral in Polish social media and made her the target of numerous antisemitic attacks.

On the Polish side, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki insinuated at the Munich Security Conference in February that Jewish perpetrators are equally to blame as other groups involved in World War II.

Youre not going to be seen as criminal [if you] say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators as well as Ukrainian perpetrators not only German perpetrators, Morawiecki said, doubling down on the bill.

A day after those controversial remarks, the Post spoke to renowned Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt who was dismayed but not surprised by these developments.

Its horrible, horrible, horrible, said Lipstadt, who is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, unequivocally. I was asked about the bill ten days ago when the law was first passed whether I believed it was a form of Holocaust denial and I hesitated. Now I wouldnt hesitate. I think the comments by the Polish Prime Minister were outrageous.

Lipstadt endured an arduous seven-year libel trial against Holocaust denier David Irving in 1996 which was portrayed in the film Denial, which was released in 2016. The film, where she is played by Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, is about that dramatic showdown between her and Irving. But it also tells the story of an independent womans blind faith in her representation and our obligation as a society to respect and defend the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.

It is clear, then, why this Polish legislation touches a nerve where Lipstadt is concerned.

Of course there were Kapos and Jews who turned in Jews, she said. They did horrible things to fellow Jews, but they often did it to save their own lives or other peoples lives. To compare that with people who turned in Jews for a couple of Zlotys, or turned in Jews because they wanted a Jews house – theres no comparison.

They were German concentration camps built on Polish soil. People shouldnt talk if they know nothing about history, Lipstadt said blaming politicians and the media for fanning the flames.

While there were many Poles who did hide Jews – I heard the number estimated anywhere from 7,000-10,000 – there were many Poles who ratted on Jews. When you read testimonies of Polish Jews, invariably you find a vast majority who confess to being betrayed by a fellow Pole and thats quite striking, she said.

In other words, the bill signs into law a selective memory regarding the Holocaust which, at its core, is a form of Holocaust denial.

What the Poles are doing is Holocaust denial. Its rewriting of the history. This is playing to their base the Polish government is playing to a national base that hates a discussion of Polish antisemitism and Polish complicity, she said.

This law tore apart open wounds that never really healed between two people very much grappling with the horrors of the past.

Approximately six million Poles and three million Polish Jews died as a result of the Nazi occupation. But, somehow, those facts have become obfuscated as the years march on, leading both sides to spew misleading information.

Poland is really grappling with its past. Have you seen the Polin museum in Warsaw? Its amazing! she gushed, referring to the state-of-the-art POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in April 2013.

So you have a dichotomy a previous Polish government who thought the best way to preserve the past is to be honest about it and to make sure its not replicated. Now you have a Polish government who says no, no, no. You deny and rewrite. Its very parallel to the development youre seeing here in the United States. To acknowledge [the] wrong, is to show weakness. Were seeing it in a number of places and its very disturbing, she said.

As such, Lipstadt believes the rise of antisemitism in the Right is turning into a looming trend in the West as Hungarian, Austrian and even members of the fringe alt-right group in the United States are displaying signs of blatant hatred for Jews and other minorities.

To a casual observer it may be somewhat surprising that the suffering of Jews is still a matter of debate in 2018, but Lipstadt who has perhaps seen and heard it all is nonplussed.

Theres a part of me thats flabbergasted that we are [talking about this]. People thought after the war that antisemitism was dead and gone because look at its legacy and what it achieved and the damage it has done. Im not surprised by anything when it comes to antisemitism and the persistence of hatred, she said.

But while some Israelis have suggested that Jews should no longer go to Poland as a result of this law, Lipstadt believes the opposite is true.

I think Jews should continue to visit Poland. I think they should go to the museums and continue to visit the sites. There are lots of good people in Poland, the people who work in these museums are heroes. They stand by historical truths and theyre under great pressure from the government, she said. So I think we have to continue to go and recognize whats going on there.

As for March of the Living, Lipstadt, who attended in 1994 recalls the powerful onslaught of emotions participants felt during the ceremony. However, as the march marks two auspicious occasions the 30th anniversary of the march and Israels 70th anniversary she cautions against letting this devastating tragedy define Jews and the story of Israel.

Her message to those joining the march this year, is that they not be consumed by the victimhood of the Jewish people.

This was something that was done to Jews, weve so often been victims in history. But that is not the sum total of who were are or our identity. At the same time we should be vigilant about that, she said.

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The Tel Aviv International Synagogue | The Center for …

Posted By on June 15, 2018

Join hundreds of young Tel Avivians, Olim & Israelis alike, for our riveting weekend of Torah Learning & Spiritual Experience with Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn, Chazzan Israel Nachman and our A-List of Guest Scholars, Authors, Mystics and Public Figures with presentations in English, Hebrew and French!!!

7:00pm Mincha & Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat with Chazzan Israel Nachman followed by our Champagne Kiddush Reception

Drasha Rav Yaakov Medan, Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion on the topic Why Divide the Land by Tribe? (Hebrew)

Shabbat, May 19 Parshat Bamidbar, Erev Shavuot

8:45am Morning Services with the Chazz

Catered Cholent Kiddush in the Shomron Garden to follow generously sponsored by our dear members Lia Lands and Dean Entebbe in honor of their marriage and Deans Shabbat Chatan MAZAL TOV!

6:15pm Shiur with Rav Yosef Leibowitz on the topic: The Connection between Shabbat, the Order of Festivals and the Coming of the Messiah(Hebrew)

7:20pm Shiur with Rav Eyal Vered, Board Member of Tzohar on the topic: The Tablets and the Broken Tablets (Hebrew)

7:20pm Shiur Gemara with Rabbi Ariel (English)

8:00pm Special Festive Tefillah with the Chazz!

11:00pm Rabbi Yosef Leibowitz, Founder Yad Yaakov Educational Initiatives

Secrets of the Garden of Eden

12:00am Rabbi Dr. Rafael Shuchat, Jewish Philosophy Department, Bar Ilan University

Rav Chaim Volozhins Controversy with Chassidut

1:00am Amit Adler, Astrologist & Author

Shavuot, Ruth, King David, Messiah & You

2:00am Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn, Rabbi of TAIS Beit El

Chag HaTenuvah: Vegetarianism vs. Compassionate Carnivorism

3:00am Open Beit Midrash with Rabbi Ariel & Rabbi Rafi

Cours de pense juive en Franais:

11:00pm Rachel Verliebter, Author & Research Fellow for Kabbalah Research, Bar Ilan University

Le fminin dans la Kabbale

12:00pm Pinchas Shuster, Shamash of TAIS Beit El

Shavuot & Spielberg Quand la Torah rencontre Hollywood


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Sunday, May 20 Shavuot

4:00am Kumsitz Sing-A-Long on Frishman Beach with Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn

4:45am Reading of Megillat Ruth and Sunrise Services

8:45am Shacharit Main Minyan

7:30pm Shiur with Rav Yosef Leibowitz on the topic: Midrash in Tanach Proverbs and Job (Hebrew)

8:15pm Maariv and Havdalah

Invite your friends! See you all there!


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The Tel Aviv International Synagogue | The Center for …

Jewish Budapest-Synagogues, Heritage Tours, Sights, History

Posted By on June 8, 2018

Tours, Sights, History, Events in the Old Jewish DistrictThe Dohany Street Synagogue

The Jewish Quarter of Budapest (district VII.) is packed with historic and religious sights including:

Quick Links: Heritage Tours Jewish Sights in Buda and buda Sights in Pest Restaurants & Cafes in the Jewish Quarter Jewish Events, Programs

The Jews played an important role in the history of Pest, Buda, and buda (Old Buda), and after the unification of the previous three, in Budapests development.

Despite their persecution and the terror of the 20th century, we can still find many monuments of the once thriving Jewish Budapest.

The former Jewish Quarter in district VII. has a quaint atmosphere with

More and more unique cafes and bars (some of the famous ruin bars /romkocsma in Hungarian) are located in the Quarter:

Take your time to absorb this sometimes quirky part of the Hungarian capital!

These two Jewish heritage tours led by a professional guide in English show you the history and the most beautiful monuments of the historic Jewish district of the Pest side.

Note: There are no tours onSaturdays and Jewish holidays:

After payment youll automatically receive an E-Ticket.

Both tours cover the monuments and history of the Pest side.

The first Jewish settlers arrived on the Castle Hill of Buda from Western Europe in the 1050s in the areas of todays Vzivros (distr. I.) and buda (distr. III.).

By the 1200s Jews were in the most important economic positions in Buda.

This was a sore in many peoples eye so the representatives of the Catholic Church had persuaded King Andrs II. to include in the Aranybulla (Golden Bull -special decree issued in 1222) that Jews were not allowed to fill in such positions.

Fortunately the fate of Budas Jewish community turned for the better during the reign of King Bla IV.

He invited merchants from Germany to make up for the loss of population caused by the Mongol invasion (1241-42). They paid substantial tax to the king too.

Budas Jewish quarter was on the western side of todays Szt. Gyrgy Square which were pulled down during the construction of the first Royal Palace.

Part of the historic settlement had been restored but cant be visited due to reasons unknown.

Remains of the synagogue were excavated in 1964 part of which operates as a museum exhibiting Jewish relics and gravestones (opening hours: from 1st May till 31st October: Tue-Sun: 10.00-17.00, tickets: full price: 800 HUF, students, pensioners: 400 HUF.).

The renovated labyrinthine cellar system that can be visited as of recently includes a small, 2-3 sqm ritual bath, the mikveh.

The 11th-century ruins can only be visited on a tour organised by Bupap that organizes tours for locals (guiding is in Hungarian).

The street level was 5 meters lower than today and the system includes a.

The Kpes krnika mentions that there stood a synagogue and a mikveh at the Fehrvri gate in medieval times.

The Small Synagogue and the Medieval Jewish Prayer house at 26. Tncsics utca remind us of the everyday life of the Castle Districts Jewish community.

During the 150-year Turkish reign the Jewish community of Buda vanished almost entirely.

In the 17th century German and Czech Jewish settlers established homes in buda.

Buda and Pest didnt permit settlement of Jews until the end of the 18th century.

Under the patronage of the noble Zichy family the Jewish colony of buda developed into a prominent community.

In the 19th century the Reform Movement fought for giving equal rights to Jews too.

As a result of the movements efforts, Jews were free to settle down anywhere in Hungary including Pest and Buda. The Synagogue in buda (Lajos utca 163., III. district) was built in 1820-21 in Classicist style.

Today it houses a TV studio.

Moses Muncz (1750-1831) was the rabbi of the community at that time whose grave you can see in the beautiful Jewish cemetery in buda (Kls Bcsi t 369., III. district).

The memorial stone on the former buda brick factorys site marks the spot from where thousands of Jews were deported and sent to death under the terror of the Arrow Cross Party in 1944-45.

A nice garden surrounds the building of the secular Jewish Lauder Javne School (Budakeszi t 48. XII. district, bus No. 22. from Szll Klmn tr) built in 1996.

While youre there, take a look at the building of the old Jewish kindergarden next to the school.

Synagogues Tree of Life/Raoul Wallenberg Park Martyrs Cemetery Heroes Temple Goldmark Hall Jewish Museum & Archives Carl Lutz Memorial Sztehlo Gbor Memorial/Dek Square Raoul Wallenberg Memorial/Erzsbet Square Shoes on the Danube Holocaust Memorial Center

In the 19th century Pest became the center of Jewish Budapest.

Their religion, holidays and unique traditions made them form a community.

A Jewish quarter started to develop in

Three synagogues were built in the quarter: the most impressive of them is the Great Synagogue in Dohny Street built in 1859 in Moorish-Byzantine style.

Address: Dohny utca 2., district VII.

Winter (till 28. February 2018)

Spring & Autumn (01. March 27. April and 01. October 26. October)

Summer (29. April 30. September)

The synagogue is also closed on major Jewish holidays.

The two-towered temple can occupy 6000 people.

It is a neolog synagogue meaning that the men and women sit in separate areas within the church. The service is in Hebrew, and the 5000-pipe organ provides music.

Location: in the inner courtyard of the Great synagogue

Visiting the park:

You can visit itonly with a ticket to the Synagogue/Museum. The Tree of Life monument is visible from the street through the fence.

The silver metal weeping willow tree, the Tree of Life, stands in the Raoul Wallenberg Park.

It received its name after the Swedish diplomat who helped many Jews to escaping deportation in 1944-45.

The Tree stands in the garden of the synagogue and the Jewish Museum.

Its a very moving and sad monument created by Imre Varga in 1991 with the support of the Emmanuel Foundation (founded by Tony Curtis actor).

Names of the victims disappeared or died during the Nazi terror are engraved on almost each of the 30,000 leaves.

Monuments commemorate the names of other heroes like Giorgio Perlasca and Per Anger.

Location: in the courtyard of the Great Synagogue

Not far from the plaque stands the small Garden of Remembrance where those who died in the ghetto were buried during 1944-45.

Their names are engraved in the stone gravestones.

According to Jewish customs cemeteries are not supposed to be placed next to synagogues, but this one in the garden of the synagogue, overlooking Wesselnyi Street, was created out of necessity during WW II.

Until the 2nd half of 1944 Budapest was reluctant to cooperate with the Nazis to collect and sent Hungarian Jews into concentration camps, though the Hungarian government (lead by Mikls Horthy) stood on the side of the Germans.

Adolf Eichmann arrived in the Hungarian capital in December 1944 to carry out the deportation and execution of Hungarian Jews and Roma people.

A ghetto was established between Kirly utca and Dohny utca.

Because of the cold and the state of war the people in the ghetto werent able to carry their dead to the cemetery and bury them properly so thousands of corpses were left at the walls of the synagogue for 40 days.

During the liberation of the ghetto on 18. January, 1945 thousands of unburied dead victims lay on the streets. 1140 known and 1170 unknown martyrs were buried in 24 common graves in the courtyard of the central synagogue. The Dohny Street Synagogue is the only synagogue in the world that has a cemetery in its garden.

Address: Dohny utca 2., district VII., next to the Great Synagogue, M2 (red) metro Astoria station, bus 7, tram 49 Astoria stop

Tickets (includes visiting the synagogue, without guiding):

TIP: The Jewish Museum of Budapest on the left of the Great Synagogue has a collection of religious relics, historical documents, along with temporary exhibits. An arcade connects the museum with the modern-style Heroes Temple.

It can seat 186 people and is used for weekday worship services.

The Heroes Synagogue commemorates the 10 000 Hungarian Jewish soldier who gave their life for their country in the 1st World War.

A huge Star of David formed of Hebrew text adorns the entrance.

In winter the Friday evening and Saturday morning services are held here instead of the Great Synagogue.

Address: Sp utca 12. Wesselnyi utca 7., district VII., entrance from Wesselnyi Str.Opening hours: Mon-Tue-Wed: 10.00-16.00, Thurs: 12.00-16.00, Fri: 10.00-14.00 tel: (+36 1) 413 5547

After the Raoul Wallenberg Park and the Heroes Cemetery youll find a 3-storey building which houses the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ) and is the centre of Budapests Jewish Community.

The 12 reliefs on the facade symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel with their names in Hebrew.

The building also gives home to the Goldmark Hall, a multifunctional cultural centre named after Kroly Goldmark world-renowned composer.

The Hungarian Jewish Archives has created a new permanent exhibition about Pests Jewish Quarter at the back of the room.

On the 1st floor youll find the Gykerek/Roots centre where databases and resources are available for those doing a family research.

At 10., Dob utca on a small square youll find the Carl Lutz Memorial standing against a white wall on a tiny plaza.

Lutz (1895-1975) as a Swiss diplomat had great connections with the Germans and Palestine thus he was able to help many Jews to flee from the terror.

The quote from the Talmud engraved on the metal plaque next to the monument says: He who saves but one man is as if he had saved the whole world

From Dob utca turn left on Rumbach utca where another striking Synagogue stands completed in 1872.

Walk along Rumbach utca then turn right into Kirly utca, walk until you reach Kazinczy utca on your right. There stands the synagogue of Budapests Orthodox Jewish community.

Read more on Kazinczy Street.

Address: Kazinczy utca 29-31., district VII.

Tickets: 1 000 HUF

The huge, Art-Nouveau synagogue is unmissable in the narrow Kazinczy Street.

It functions as the house of worship and teaching centre of Budapests Jewish communitys orthodox branch.

Bla Lffler and Sndor Lffler, disciples of Bla Lajta, designed the temple that was built between 1910-1913.

Besides the synagogue, the complex includes

From Kazincy Street turn right into Dob utca.

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Jewish Budapest-Synagogues, Heritage Tours, Sights, History

Beit Hashofar Synagogue

Posted By on June 8, 2018

Special Events

Shavuot Services


5PMMincha Service6PMDairy meal celebrating Shavuot8:30PMShavuot Maariv Service(followed by group study)

No services on Sunday

In our community, character matters. We created a program to help us balance our character traits. Browse our learning materials and strengthen your own character. This should be the basis of every healthy faith community.

Click here for a great starting point.

Stay informed of events and classes at BHS

by Rebbetzin Malkah

As a child, I fondly remember flipping through the channels looking for some of my favorite shows. Occasionally, the music for one particular show would stream onto the television as the ever popular cartoon train moved across the screen – yes, I mean Soul Train. I would pause for a moment and watch the train go by and then continue my search. I can still hear the music in my head to this day. What was unique about this show is that for many, it was a window into African-American culture that for some might otherwise never have been experienced. The latest fashion and dance trends were discussed, and new or popular artists donned the set to sing the latest hits. During the 70’s and 80’s, it was a cultural and spiritual tutor for many.

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by Rebbetzin Malkah

The car packed to the hilt, the Thule threatening to burst at the seams atop our car, our family drove with desperation for one purpose only: to be near the mountains. The familiar rental cabin nestled fifteen miles from Mt. Baker in Washington affords five star mountain accommodations: no cell phone access, no wireless internet and no cable TV. In essence, the goal was to set up shop, our own Mishkan, away from the roar of everyday life. While some of the usual technological conveniences were lost, we knew we would not be without the four elements crucial to the Mishkan and considered symbolically essential in any Jewish home: the Ark, the Table, the Menorah and the Incense Altar. Ok, well not literally – they wouldn’t fit in the car. However, all of these elements are interconnected to the basic physical elements that still exist in this world: air, fire, earth and water. Being out in the more remote areas at the foot of a mountain, it wasn’t hard to see that I was in a larger than life Mishkan model that was vitally connected to all of these natural elements. Perhaps it was noticing on our second day the Holy Smoke bus, clad in gold (or school bus yellow paint) that waited outside the gate of the cabin properties boasting of an eatery just down the road. It sat there, as if some beacon, reminding me that even in this remote area, under the Heavens, we carry our own Mishkans with us today and follow suit with the kohanim: setting up, tearing down, wherever we go, wherever we stay.

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Beit Hashofar Synagogue

Cameron Boyce Ethnicity of Celebs | What Nationality …

Posted By on June 7, 2018

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 28, 1999

Ethnicity:*Afro-Caribbean, African-American (father)*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Cameron Boyce is an American actor and dancer. His father is black, of Afro-Caribbean and African-American descent. His mother, who is white, is Ashkenazi Jewish (of Hungarian Jewish, Russian Jewish, Lithuanian Jewish, and German Jewish descent).

A picture of Camerons parents can be seen here. A picture of Camerons paternal grandparents can be seen here.

Cameron has said, I like to say that Im bl-ewish, Im black and Im Jewish. So you know, me and Drake, we got that in common.

Camerons paternal grandfather is Victor Elliott Boyce. Victor was from the Caribbean.

Camerons paternal grandmother is Jo Ann Crozier Allen (the daughter of Herbert Allen and Alice Josephine Hopper). Jo Ann was born in Clinton, Tennessee. In 1956, Jo Ann was one of the Clinton Twelve, one of twelve students who were the first group of African-American students to attend a desegregated high school in the Southern U.S. (Clinton High School).

Camerons maternal grandfather was Roger Small (the son of Marvin Small, born Marvin Stanley Smallheiser, and of Blanche D. Abrams). Roger Small was one of the early founding members of Temple Emanuel in Greater New Haven, Connecticut. Marvin was born in New York, to Hungarian Jewish parents, Maximillian Smallheiser and Lottie Schoenberger. Blanche was born in New York, the daughter of Louis Abrams and Marion Mazer, who were of Russian Jewish descent.

Camerons maternal grandmother is Joan Berland (the daughter of Irving Louis Berland and Beryl Wormser). Irving was a Jewish immigrant from Vilna, Lithuania, and the son of Samuel Berland and Hannah Horowitz. Beryl was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Morris Wormser, who was born in New York, to German Jewish parents, and of Sadie Goltman, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, also to German Jewish parents.

Sources: Genealogy of Cameron Boyce

Camerons maternal grandfather, Roger Small, on the 1930 U.S. Census

Obituary of Camerons maternal grandfather, Roger Small

Marriage record of Camerons maternal great-great-grandparents, Maximillian Smallheiser and Lottie Schoenberger

Camerons maternal great-grandmother, Blanche D. Abrams, on the 1910 U.S. Census

Camerons maternal grandmother, Joan Berland, on the 1930 U.S. Census

Camerons maternal great-grandmother, Beryl Wormser, on the 1900 U.S. Census https://familysearch.orgBeryl Wormser on the 1910 U.S. Census

Photo by PrPhotos

Tagged as:African, African American, Afro-Caribbean, Ashkenazi Jewish, Caribbean, German Jewish, Hungarian Jewish, Jewish, Lithuanian Jewish, Russian Jewish

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Cameron Boyce Ethnicity of Celebs | What Nationality …

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