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The Good Fight Forum on Confronting Antisemitism –

Posted By on October 10, 2022

Antisemitic incidents increased by 42% in the New England region (covering Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)in 2021, with a total of 155incidents of assault,harassment and vandalism reported to ADL (the Anti-Defamation League). The increase in antisemitic incidentsin the regionoutpaced the 34% increase in such incidents nationally. In response to this uptick, ADL New England will be hosting The Good Fight Forum on Confronting Antisemitism, held in-person at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. A virtual option is available.

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We invite you to attend The Good Fight Forum to learn skills and strategies to disrupt antisemitism and hate when you see it. Having the facts and skills to stand up and speak out, whether as an individual or as a community, is essential in our collective fight against antisemitism and hate. We all have a role in The Good Fight, says Robert O. Trestan, ADL regional director.

Participants can then choose from four skill-building workshops, all described further here:

The Forum will close with a focus on the rise in extremism activity in New Englandincluding a discussion of recent activity by NSC-131 and Patriot Front. U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins, WGBH senior investigative reporter Phillip Martin, and ADLs Center on Extremism vice president Oren Segal will discuss who these groups are and how we can collectively confront this hate in our communities. ADL New Englands deputy regional director, Peggy Shukur, will moderate this conversation.

The alarming increase in antisemitic incidents in the region and across the country should be deeply concerning to all, said Trestan. The numbers increased in nearly every category, including harassment and vandalism. The message that the data is sending is crystal clear: antisemitism remains a pervasive ill in our society that must be stemmed, or else we risk normalizing this hatred. ADL is steadfast in our commitment to disrupting and exposing antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head and urge all to join us in this fight.

Register today and be part of the Good Fight

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This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here.MORE

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The Good Fight Forum on Confronting Antisemitism -

Cox withdraws from ‘Unite the Right’ event after Jewish group raises concerns – Maryland Matters

Posted By on October 10, 2022

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox outside the Maryland Courts of Appeal Building in Annapolis on Friday. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox abruptly withdrew from a GOP unity gathering on Monday after a Jewish group said the events name evoked memories of the deadly white supremacist event that occurred in Charlottesville.

The Unite the Right event was scheduled to take place at a restaurant in Arnold on Oct. 22. Organizers said the concert and rally were intended to bring a fractured Maryland Republican Party together for the closing weeks of the campaign.

But Cox and his running mate, Gordana Schifanelli, denounced the event after a leading Jewish organization noted that it appeared to represent the first time since the 2017 riot in Central Virginia that anyone has used the name Unite the Right.

One person died and dozens were injured in that melee. Participants carried Nazi and Confederate flags and some chanted Jews will not replace us and Russia is our friend. The rally followed the removal of Confederate monuments and the massacre at a Black church in Charleston.

In a statement, the Cox campaign said the Maryland event had been publicized without the campaigns knowledge of the title.

Upon discovery, Delegate Dan Cox and the Dan Cox For Governor campaign have immediately disassociated themselves from any further involvement, the statement read. Dan Cox, Gordana Schifinelli [sic] and the entire campaign denounce any association with this event.

We will not be associated with anything that is reminiscent, accidental or otherwise, of the unspeakable tragedy that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. Anything less is unacceptable.

The Oct. 22 event was sponsored by Red Renaissance, Inc., a group that describes itself as the next generation of conservative leaders. It is described as a fundraiser to benefit Republican candidates.

The flyer for a Unite the Right event organized by Red Renaissance, Inc. Screenshot.

General admission tickets are $17.76. For $45, VIP attendees will get an opportunity to meet country artist James McCoy Taylor, the evenings performer, and WBAL Radio talk show host Kim Klacik, an organizer who is scheduled to serve as emcee.

The group boasts a lineup of special guests that includes Cox, Schifanelli, and several congressional candidates, including Chris Palombi, Nicolee Ambrose and Yuripzy Morgan, among others.

The two party activists who was asked to spearhead the event said they never intended to replicate what happened in Virginia.

This has nothing to do with Charlottesville, said LaToya Nkongolo, an unsuccessful candidate for the House of Delegates in Anne Arundel County. When the name was mentioned, it was fitting for our definition of what we want to do in Maryland. What we want in Maryland is to make sure that our candidates here get the support that they need from the community. And thats it.

This is a concert, she added. I can tell you unequivocally that I dont want to be tied to anything that is anti-Semitic or white supremacist or whatever the connotation associated with it.

Nkongolo said Klacik chose the name. In a video posted to Twitter on Oct. 3, Klacik said: I know I complain a lot about Republicans being somewhat fractured. We need to all come together. On Election Day, we need to vote Republican up and down the ballot.

Co-organizer Dawn Pulliam, a former county council candidate in Anne Arundel, said tying in with Charlottesville was never, ever, ever the intent. I love him, she said of Cox. If we did anything to put him in a bad light, that was not the intent. Thats truly unfortunate. We just wanted to bring people together.

Asked if she knew of the events name, Morgan, who hopes to unseat Rep. John Sarbanes (D), said, hell no.

An event with ties to white supremacy or anti-semitism has no place in Maryland and America for that matter, she wrote in a text. I would never be a part of any event that encouraged those ideas. Further Im deeply offended that I was included as I would never give permission to have my name on it.

The head of a prominent Jewish group said that if the use of the name Unite the Right was inadvertent, the organizers need to go with something else.

Using the phrase unite the right to name a rally feels to me like a dog whistle to anti-Semitic white nationalists, said Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. It clearly harkens to the tragic rally in Charlottesville.

Klacik, who unsuccessfully sought a congressional seat in 2020, told Fox 45 (WBFF-TV) in Baltimore that the rally will take place despite the withdrawal of Cox and Schifanelli. She scoffed at the notion that anyone would tie her event to the violence in Charlottesville.

I just think its quite silly that anybody would try to link the name to Charlottesville and white supremacy, she told the station. As a Black woman that ran in a predominantly Black city, thats the last thing Im thinking about maybe because Im Black.

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Cox withdraws from 'Unite the Right' event after Jewish group raises concerns - Maryland Matters

The Black Jewish Entertainment Alliance Has Warned That Yes Antisemitic Tweets Are A Threat To Black And Jewish Relations – BuzzFeed News

Posted By on October 10, 2022

The Black and Jewish communities must stand together through incidents like this to make clear that trafficking in hateful stereotypes is unacceptable and that the words of one entertainer do not reflect the views of an entire community, the Black Jewish Entertainment Alliance said.

The Anti-Defamation League also condemned Yes actions, saying, there is no excuse for his propagating of white supremacist slogans and classic #antisemitism about Jewish power, especially with the platform he has.

Songwriter Autumn Rowe, who is both Black and Jewish and on the executive committee for the Alliance, shared the statement on Instagram.

Kanye has been such an inspiring artist to me for so many years. To hear those views is incredibly hurtful, Rowe told BuzzFeed News.

The Grammy-winning artist described how minority communities had been pitted against each other and said that a lack of appreciation for each other's history was causing further issues.

There have been a lot of tensions in the past few years, a big part is due to leadership in this country, which had enabled anything goes at one point. So we're at the state of people feeling unheard and then there's generational trauma, Rowe said.

The artists warned that Yes comments were not only divisive but also reopened wounds for the Jewish community. They urged the artists to seek education.

Commentators on social media were also critical of Ye and warned of the type of damage his recent online activity could do.

A week of full hate starting with a complete disrespect of Black peoples trauma and ending with unbridled antisemitism. Putting both Black people and Jewish people at risk of violence, actor Brett Gelman wrote on Twitter.

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The Black Jewish Entertainment Alliance Has Warned That Yes Antisemitic Tweets Are A Threat To Black And Jewish Relations - BuzzFeed News

Berkeley’s Jewish-Free Zones Are Worse Than You Think – Jewish Journal

Posted By on October 10, 2022

For all the resistance that Berkeleys enablers have generated, the facts are undisputed and indisputable. Berkeley Laws students have institutionalized an ancient ideology of hate, incorporating it into the legal DNA of their major identity groups. In doing so, they have embodied this bigotry in a dangerous new form of silencing and exclusion.

As Berkeleys administration has conceded, nine Berkeley Law student groups amended their bylaws this academic year to prohibit Zionist speakers. It is important to be perfectly clear about what this means. An expert on real estate law would not be permitted to impart real estate expertise to any of these groups if they also support the existence of one Jewish state among 22 Arab countries in the Middle East. An expert in Title IX could not come speak to the womens law group if they also support the right for Jewish liberation after thousands of years of anti-Jewish persecution and annihilation. An expert in the legality of gay marriage or gender discrimination employment law could not speak to the LGBTQ+ group.

More than 80% of Jews support the existence of Israel as the Jewish homeland. They might also strongly object to Israels policies on settlements, they might firmly advocate for improved Palestinian rights, but if they so much as support a two-state solution, they would be banned by these groups. Make no mistake, these are Jew-free zones, i.e., platforms or podia forbidden to Jews.

It is absurd to defend this, as Chancellor Christ and Dean Chemerinsky have done, as less than ten groups out of 100. Yes, nine is less than ten. These groups, however, represent wide swaths of the law school, including Berkeley Laws women, Asian and Pacific Islander, African American, LGBTQ, and Middle Eastern student populations. To insinuate that this is less than ten percent, now that is misleading.

Berkeleys administration rationalizes, rather obscenely, that Jewish students can join these groups as members even if not as speakers. If the first nine rows of the bus are barred to Jews, it shouldnt matter that Jews get to sit in the back.

The truth, in fact, is the opposite of what Berkeleys administration maintains. I have understated the case, not overstated it. To begin with, most of these groups incorporated the discriminatory provisions into their constitutions, not only their bylaws. That is to say, they baked anti-Zionism into their most basic charters. It is now as fundamental to their operations as, say, how they select officers.

Worse, they did this to advance the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. They are not only banning pro-Israel speakers. Their new constitutional provision dedicates these groups to wholly boycotting, sanctioning, and divesting funds from institutions, organizations, companies, and any entity that participates in or is directly/indirectly complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and/or supports the actions of the apartheid state of Israel.

They are not, however, boycotting only Israel. They are boycotting American Jews.

But it gets even worse.

These nine groups constitutions and bylaws now place anti-Zionists in an entirely different position than any other group, no matter how vile.

Consider, for example, Berkeleys Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Their constitution tackles no other current controversies. They are clear, however about one issue: they will not invite speakers that have expressed and continue to hold views in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine. Their constitution does not ban people who have assaulted Asian Americans, despite the surge in such crimes during COVID. Only people who support Israel are constitutionally banned and they are banned from addressing any subject, not just Israel.

Berkeleys Law Students of African Descent have done the same. Their constitution and bylaws do not ban white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or other anti-Black racists. They would not preclude an invitation to David Duke. Like other leaders of the Ku Klux Klan, Duke is a racist. This is not constitutionally disqualifying for Berkeleys black law student organization, because Duke, like many other white supremacists, shares their view of Zionism.

Berkeley Laws Queer Caucus is similar. Aside from Zionists, the Queer Caucus does not ban any other category of speaker. They do not, for example, ban homophobic or transphobic speakers. Whoever murdered Ahmad Abu Maria, the gay 25-year old Palestinian, would face no constitutional bar on speaking to Berkeley Laws Queer Caucus, because they were not Zionists. During his lifetime, Ahmad Abu Maria would probably have been subject to the bar, since he sought asylum in Israel.

The Women of Berkeley Law do not, in their constitution and bylaws, ban sexist, misogynistic, or heterosexist speakers. They do not constitutionally ban rapists, child abusers, or those who engage in any form of sexual misconduct. Just Zionists. If an anti-Zionist misogynist were to sexually assault a Jewish woman under Sather Gate at the universitys entrance, the constitution of the Women of Berkeley Law would not ban the perpetrator from publicly addressing them. The victim, by contrast, would likely be banned.

Daniel Pearl, a Zionist victim of beheading, would have been constitutionally banned during his lifetime from speaking to any of these groups. His anti-Zionist murderers would not have been.

This behavior must be inexplicable to anyone who listens to Berkeleys administration. It makes no sense if you believe Chancellor Christs recent message describing these actions as nuanced thoughts and feelings generated by a crisis in the Middle East. It is impossible to reconcile with Erwin Chemerinskys demonstrably false (not just misleading) claimthat all some student groups have done is express their strong disagreement with Israels policies.

To understand what is happening at Berkeley we need to grasp two things. First, this is no mere criticism of Israel. It is the newest iteration of an ancient ideology that places the Jew at the center of all evil. Jew-hatred has always been more the criticism of Jews. It is a worldview that explains all of the worlds pain as byproduct of Jewish criminality. This central fact, and only this central fact, can explain the behavior of these law students.

These groups have taken action, not merely expressed viewpoints. Constitutions and bylaws are not opinion pieces, not policy papers, not public fora. They are concise governance documents that establish fundamental rules, such as membership classifications, officers, and voting procedures.

And now, at Berkeley Law, they also bar Israels supporters from speaking to these organizations, not only about the Middle East, but about any topic. This includes the great majority of Jews. Chemerinsky concedes that he would be banned, as would 90% of Berkeleys Jewish law students. No other group is banned in this way. Not rapists. Not axe murderers. Only Zionists are banned.

Second, these law students are pioneers, but not in a good way. They are pioneering a new form of Judeophobia which silences and excludes any Jew who does not adequately condemn the Jewish state.

Just as anti-Semites long excluded Jews from polite society, Berkeleys future lawyers many of whom will one day be our legislators, mayors, and judges are now expelling Jews from progressive spaces.

Just as German Jews during the 19th century had to convert to Christianity to be allowed to participate in civil society and government office, American Jews in the 21st century are being forced to convert to anti-Zionism in order to participate in Berkeleys civil society organizations, an ignominious process, which if not stopped, will only spread further.

This is an effort to strip all Jews of something basic: the trappings of normality that have secured Jewish safety and security in America.

While this is a story about Berkeley, it is not only a story about Berkeley. Berkeley is not Las Vegas. What happens there does not stay there. What begins there, and succeeds there, spreads elsewhere. And make no mistake: silencing Jews is the way such stories begin, not the way they end.

Some in the Jewish community say that we are too alarmed over this. The real problem is that we are not alarmed enough.

Kenneth L. Marcus is founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. He served as the 11thAssistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.

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Berkeley's Jewish-Free Zones Are Worse Than You Think - Jewish Journal

What to wear to become a Jewish mother-in-law? – Forward

Posted By on October 10, 2022

Melissa Mizel and Mike Edwards at their sons wedding. Photo by Jenn Tai & Co (

By Melissa MizelOctober 10, 2022

Jewish humor has long suggested that mothers-in-law are excess baggage, and Borscht Belt punchlines have assumed a natural antipathy between a woman and her daughter-in-law. This legacy pessimism was daunting me as my sons wedding approached. Id attended many weddings, coordinated many more, and been a Jewish mother for 30 years. But this was new: What should one wear to become a Jewish mother-in-law?

MJ Ernst, a local couturire, had seen me and my daughter through every important occasion, and I gathered the particulars for her. There would be a band, and dancing was an argument for flats, so a snazzy pantsuit seemed the thing colorful, translucent, possibly with butterfly appliqus, the better to coordinate with Seattles Chihuly museum, where the wedding would take place.

With apologies, MJ reported that shed left Chicago and was caring for her father full-time in Michigan.

When March brought me to a California bar mitzvah, I stayed unexpectedly with my friend Moshi, whose resum, like mine, included a stint in the movie business. Asked if she still knew any Hollywood costume designers, she deemed my approach impractical given the many fittings required. And gently she urged me to abandon my design concept. You dont want to look like youre part of the scenery.Maybe beige?

I returned home, where I volunteer with the Progressive Chevra Kadisha, a Jewish burial society that ritually bathes, dresses and prays for the dead. In April, I worked alongside a woman named Annie, who told me shed embarked on a project to produce the rudimentary muslin garments required.

She could do so because she was a patternmaker, the first Id met since 1972, when my sister needed a wedding dress and turned to the patternmaker from my grandfathers long-shuttered dress company.

Annie had moved from Baltimore to Chicago in order to study with Rabbi Benay Lappe, the charismatic founder of the SVARA yeshiva, who had enhanced the groom-to-bes Jewish education years before. And Annie was equally eager to design a mother-of-the-groom pantsuit. Still, remembering Moshis caution concerning fittings, I decided to consider something ready-made.

My principal business is designing custom invitations, and my studio neighbor is a vintage clothing entrepreneur, Melissa Carter, who sent me to the annex where she keeps special-occasion pieces. I wasnt hopeful; at 5-foot-2, Ive learned that a random collection of womens apparel will hold out for me what a conventional restaurant does for a vegan a paucity of mouthwatering possibilities.

Seeing the clothes arranged by color (not size) was another discouragement. Yet I was drawn to a pliss gown with a white skirt and black bodice. It was far too big, but the sleeves exuberant ruffles ribbed, piped, wired, and sculptural made me smile.They echoed my curly mop and the spun-sugar marvels that Dale Chihuly rendered in glass. If I wore the dress at the wedding, it would be like having joy cascade down my shoulders.

I asked Melissa if I might purchase the dress, contingent on Annies being able to alter it. I dont do returns, she said, then lent it to me outright.

I found Annie at the classroom where she teaches refugee women to use commercial sewing machines. Posters on the wall showed the words for fabric and pins in Somali and Urdu.When I tried on the dress, Annie pronounced it salvageable but only if the garment was remade as if from scratch.

What made me commit to the expensive and time-consuming undertaking was Annies assessment that the dress dated from the late 1980s, when my husband and I married. Though Im as rational as the next person, I also believe in good luck, and I fancied the notion that wearing this dress could increase the odds that my son and his bride, too, would one day be celebrating decades of togetherness.

I wouldnt match Chihulys brilliant colors that I could leave to the mother of the bride, whod chosen rich shades of orange nor would I find safety in beige. Rather, I would wear a charming gown that could double as a talisman of happiness and longevity.

Annie approached her task with the rigor of a ballet costume mistress.The hands that Id last seen dressing an elderly woman for burial now turned me this way and that as she took my measurements for a moulage, a model composed of 14 not necessarily mirror-image parts.

When I returned to her shop, Melissa told me the dress had belonged to the late Sandra Shelton, one of the first Black women to earn a Ph.D. in accounting. An endowed professor, Shelton had worked with a client of mine and attended a dinner party I planned for him. I remembered her smiling presence. Another reason to think this outfit was bashert.

I returned to Annies classroom on Memorial Day. She had been teaching her refugee students despite the holiday, to make up for the next week, when she would be observing Shavuot. The unprepossessing moulage looked like a mashup of motel curtain linings.Yet when my daughter zipped me into it, something magical happened; I felt as though I were wearing a second skin. Finishing the dress took an auspicious 18 hours (chai!) of Annies labor.

When the wedding day arrived, the weather was gorgeous, the vows with which the bride and groom surprised each other were tender and charming, and their friends had turned out in droves. Festive attire was the dress code, and my gown fit the bill.

My friend Sally, a hospice chaplain, knew the backstory. At these moments of transformation, the veil thins, she observed. Were reminded of our connection to everything and everyone else.

Indeed, my quest for an outfit had connected through a couturire turned caregiver, a chevra kadisha team performing our mitzvah, a businesswoman relaxing her rules, a patternmaker shepherding refugees towards a livelihood, a Black scholar making history and more. Theirs were stories of womens love, trust, admiration, generosity, and defiance of oppressive assumptions in short, a bouquet of virtues I could draw from as I embarked on my new role.

When the time came to offer a toast, I stood up straight and introduced myself. Im a mother-in-law, I began.

Melissa Mizel designs stationery and invitations for special events in the Chicago suburbs. Email: [emailprotected]

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What to wear to become a Jewish mother-in-law? - Forward

The ancient Jewish practice of hakhel, an every-7-years gathering, gets a 21st-century revival – JTA News – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Posted By on October 10, 2022

(JTA) Every seven years, in ancient times, Jewish men, women, and children would gather at the Temple on the first day of Sukkot to hear the king of Jerusalem read aloud from the Torah.

In 2022, theres no king and no Temple, and more than half of all Jews live far from Jerusalem but the ritual is still inspiring Jews around the world to gather together. In fact, the tradition, known as hakhel, appears to be seeing a resurgence of popular interest.

In Northampton, Massachusetts, Abundance Farm will host an outdoor festival with tree planting, music, pickles and cider to mark the end of the seven-year cycle of the shmita or agricultural sabbatical year to which hakhel is tied.

At Mount Zion Temple, in St. Paul, Minnesota, community members will learn and share Torah verses that inspire them and move them to action.

Mitsui Collective, a Jewish community-building organization, is hosting an online in-gathering in honor of hakhel. Other congregations and communities will host events online and in person that include Torah study, social activities and reflection on the next seven years of Jewish life.

In New York City, a hakhel event planned for outside of Chabads headquarters in Crown Heights is expected to crowd the streets there, while Chabad of Midtown will host a Sukkot event for young Jewish professionals in the spirit of the ancient practice.

The biggest commemoration of it all is actually just primarily bringing people together and celebrating as Jews, said Rabbi Levi Shmotkin, director of Chabad Young Professionals.

Especially in our times now, its something that people are craving, he added. To have that feeling of community, of commitment, of unity, of togetherness, of being part of something greater than themselves.

Hakhel the imperative Assemble! in Hebrew is the penultimate commandment outlined in the Torah. Gather the people men, women, children and the strangers in your communities that they may hear and so learn to revere your God and to observe faithfully every word of this teaching, Moses tells his followers. Historical records show that the gathering was practiced during the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. But after it was destroyed in 70 CE, sending the Jews scattering, hakhel collapsed as a practice, too.

The contemporary revival began in the late 19th century, when a Polish rabbi named Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim published an anonymous pamphlet with a proposal to observe an assembly in renewal of hakhel.

The founding of Israel in 1948 invigorated the practice of multiple laws specific to the land of the ancient Jews, including the commandment to leave fields fallow every seven years, and renewed attention to hakhel. In 1952, the conclusion of the first shmita year after Israels founding, parallel events were held in Jerusalem and New York City.

Still, hakhel has remained unknown to many American Jews, with the prominent exception of those affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Orthodox movement. In the mid-20th century, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of the Lubavitch Hasidic dynasty exhorted his followers to observe hakhel in a modern way, focused on the spirit of gathering and on the education of children. Since then, it has become de rigueur in Chabad circles, and the movement says it is hosting more than 500 hakhel gatherings around the world this year including a reenactment of the ancient rituals at a girls school in Montreal and an outing to an amusement park in Connecticut.

Rabbi Ethan Tucker, president and rosh yeshiva of Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva in New York, says he has noticed more chatter about hakhel among other Jews in recent years. Whether thats because social media has allowed proponents of the ritual to find each other more easily, or the widening practice of shmita in Israel has led to more awareness, or something else entirely is going on is anyones guess, he said.

But he said hakhels explicit inclusion of women and children makes it an attractive ritual for many Jews today.

We live in a cultural moment where people are thinking a tremendous amount about inclusion, and about the ways in which communal institutions can actually draw everyone in, Tucker said.

The notion that theres a biblical and cultural precedent from within the tradition that already stands for that, I think, is very compelling, he added.

Most hakhel gatherings are designed to channel the spirit of the commandment and to celebrate the conclusion of the agricultural cycle, including sometimes by discussing environmental issues including how to combat climate change.

But at least one group is also planning to carry out the most expansive interpretation of the hakhel commandment. Judaism Unbound, a group that aims to engage disaffected but hopeful American Jews, is hosting a recitation of the entire Torah all 52 portions that are read in synagogues throughout the year during an online event that starts at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday; the group estimates that the reading will take more than 15 hours.

In Jerusalem, there will be a hakhel event at the Western Wall plaza on the second day of Sukkot, where three new Torah scrolls will be dedicated. Expected to attend are Isaac Herzog, the current president of Israel whose grandfather, then the Ashkenazi chief rabbi, was present at the countrys first hakhel celebration, as well as many prominent rabbis, cantors and singers.

The observance of Simchat Torah, the upcoming holiday that marks the completion of the annual Torah reading cycle, is in some ways a tribute to what hakhel recalls. Its typically celebrated with festive gatherings in which all members of the community engage with Torah scrolls; like hakhel, the holiday is famously child-friendly.

Its always fascinating how great ideas and memorable rituals dont really ever die, Tucker said. Theyre always ripe for a revival or they take on new forms.

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The ancient Jewish practice of hakhel, an every-7-years gathering, gets a 21st-century revival - JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Extermination Camp Run By Jews: On Yom Kippur, Cornell Set to Host Professor Who Compared Jews to Nazis – Washington Free Beacon

Posted By on October 10, 2022

Cornell University is set to host a panelon the holiest day of the year for Jewish studentsfeaturing a professor who compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, claiming that Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip are living in an "extermination camp, run by Jews."

The Cornell Institute for Comparative Modernities panel, which is titled "Palestine and Indigenous North America," is the final event in a series about "Settler Colonialism, Sovereignty, Apartheid." The panel includes Cornell American Studies professor Eric Cheyfitz, who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and University of Kansas professor Robert Warrior, a vocal proponent of the anti-Israel boycott movement, whoclaimedthat Israel"illegally confiscates Palestinian lands, it literally blows up Palestinian homes, house by house."

The event comes as Jews on college campuses are facing increased incidents of anti-Semitism, with the federal government investigating allegations of anti-Jewish harassment at multiple schools, including theUniversity of Southern Californiaand theUniversity of Vermont.

The event will take place on Oct. 5, which falls on Yom Kippurprecluding many Jewish students and community members from attending. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews during which they are required to fast and refrain from working.

"The terrible ironies of history: Gaza has become an extermination camp, run by Jews," Cheyfitz, the Cornell professor, wrote on Twitter in 2014.

Cheyfitz equated Gaza, the Palestinian territory that Israel withdrew from in 2005 and which is controlled by the Hamas-led government, to the Warsaw Ghetto under Nazi Germany.

He also described Israel as a "terrorist organization, projecting its crimes on the defenders of human rights," and claimed "Apartheid Israel is in its death throes. The symptoms: Violence, in its desperation, is all Zionism can offer the world."

The panel seeks to draw comparisons between Palestinians and colonialized groups, while discussing "settler colonialism and the comparative context of Palestine," according to an event description. It is part of a yearlong series of panel discussions.

Cornell did not respond to a request for comment.

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Extermination Camp Run By Jews: On Yom Kippur, Cornell Set to Host Professor Who Compared Jews to Nazis - Washington Free Beacon

Long Island Jewish History Museum Opens in Glen Cove – Long Island Press

Posted By on October 10, 2022

The Long Island Jewish History Museum, located inside the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove, officially opened to the public on Oct. 3.

The Jewish Historical Society of Long Island held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the museum and celebrated the opening of its first exhibit, Earning A Living: 300 Years of Jewish Businesses on Long Island, which profiles more than 60 businesses, on Oct. 2.

Long Island is the fourth largest Jewish community in the United States today yet has been overlooked for its historical significance in the American Jewish landscape, said Brad Kolodny, president of Jewish Historical Society of Long Island and curator of the Long Island Jewish History Museum. Most people are aware of the Jewish population growth in Nassau and Suffolk counties after World War II, but our history goes back much further than that.

The first exhibit features artifacts from local, Jewish-run businesses, including farmers, manufacturers, and retailers. One example is Louis Cohns 1910 sewing machine that was used for four generations at the Amityville Mens Shop. It also includes interesting stories such as those of the family that founded popular retail store Fortunoff and a man who became a bootlegger of alcohol during the Prohibition era.

We are thrilled to partner with Jewish Historical Society of Long Island to bring the largely unknown history of our local Jewish community to the forefront, said Andrea Bolender, Chair of the Board at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center. An essential part of our mission is education, and we know the Long Island Jewish History Museum will enhance the experience for visitors to our center.

Admission to the Long Island Jewish History Museum is free and included with a suggested donation to enter the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, located at 100 Crescent Beach Rd. in Glen Cove. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

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Long Island Jewish History Museum Opens in Glen Cove - Long Island Press

‘To be truly safe, we need our community’: Jewish groups rally in Northampton for immigration justice – Amherst Bulletin

Posted By on October 10, 2022

NORTHAMPTON Jewish leaders and their congregations came together Sunday to show support and respect for the local immigrant community at a time when those who are fleeing violence and oppression in their homelands are struggling to find acceptance in many parts of the country.

More than 50 people attended an hourlong Securing Safety rally for immigration justice at the Connecticut River Greenway State Park on Damon Road. Dina Friedman, a member of Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western Massachusetts, led a program of speakers who urged a kinder approach.

To be truly safe, we need our community. We need everyone, Friedman said. Im not just talking about people here. Im talking about people in the world who we care about, whose lives touch us just because were part of the community of humanity.

In 2019, members of the activist group visited a Florida camp for children who were separated from their parents during the immigration process, and traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.

We heard stories that would make you weep about why people left their homes, Friedman said. We were sitting and eating with people in the refugee camps and a woman said to one of our members, I didnt leave when they threatened to kill me. I left when they threatened to kill my child.

She said anti-immigrant sentiment exists now as it did during the Holocaust, when many Americans felt compelled to help European Jews in any way possible except by allowing them safe passage into the U.S.

They felt like they could be sympathetic, they could send money or support, but they didnt want more immigrants to come here, Friedman said, even though those fleeing oppression and ultimately death camps were trying to lead a life of safety and security for themselves and their families.

Friedman and others noted that animus against immigrants even has a negative impact on those who came to the U.S. decades ago and built successful lives. They said such a person is still under constant pressure from political actors who want to limit their rights and force them to repeatedly show documentation to authorities.

Javier Luengo-Garrido, a longtime advocate for immigrant rights, urged voters to pass Question 4 on the November ballot, which would guarantee that Massachusetts residents can receive a drivers license regardless of their immigration status. He is deputy director of the Yes on Question 4 campaign.

We dont need to forget that Trump had more than a million votes in Massachusetts in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, he said. We need help. We need you canvassing. We need you informing your neighbors. We need you in the streets to pass this. If this law gets voted down, there is no way that the legislators handle it again.

He said that Question 4 will be printed on the back of the ballot and urged voters to make sure they dont miss it.

Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener of Temple Israel in Greenfield said that God commands people to love each other and, If God is one, we are all one. Marie Ange Laroche, a Haitian immigrant and case manager for Jewish Family Services of Western MA, urged attendees to volunteer their time, services and homes to immigrants and refugees.

Toby Bobbit, a member of the First Church of Amherst, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, told the story of Lucio Perez, a Guatemalan immigrant who now lives in Springfield. Perez took sanctuary at the First Congregational Church for more than three years while living under a deportation order, starting in October 2017, with the help of an interfaith network.

Perez left the church in March 2021 when he was granted a stay of removal.

It is Gods desire that we share love with everyone. Even ICE officers, I must say, Bobbit said, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents whom critics frequently accuse of being heavy-handed.

The rally was held between the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, times of self-reflection and renewing commitment to ones values.

Rabbi Riqi Kosovske of Beit Ahavah, the Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton, led a traditional tashlich ceremony, where observant Jews cast stones into water to symbolize letting go of their sins; Kosovske asked participants to put positive energy into the water, as well.

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'To be truly safe, we need our community': Jewish groups rally in Northampton for immigration justice - Amherst Bulletin

Israel Maps & Facts – World Atlas

Posted By on October 10, 2022

Israel is a sovereign nation that covers an area of about 20,770 sq. km in West Asia.

As observed on the physical map of Israel above, despite its small size, the country has a highly varied topography. It can be divided into four distinct physiographic regions.

The Mediterranean coastal plain: A fertile (and mostly flat) coastal plain fronts theMediterranean Seacoastline of Israel. It is about 115 miles (185 km) long and is quite narrow. Several sandy beaches dot the coast.

Hills in central and northern Israel: Here, rolling hills dissect the country, including the central Samarian hills and the mountains and hills of Galilee in the north. Israel's highest point, Mt. Meron, which peaks at 3,963 ft. (1,208m) is located in the northern mountain region. It has been marked on the map by a yellow triangle. These mountains of this region end in an escarpment that overlooks the Great Rift Valley.

The Great Rift Valley: The valley runs south to the Gulf of Aqaba along its southern border with Jordan.

Negev Desert (part of the Sinai Desert) dominates the southern landscape.

The Dead Sea is the lowest point (below sea level) on earth. The River Jordan is the most significant river, forming the natural border between Israel and Jordan.

Lake Tiberias and the Jordan River comprises the main drainage system in Israel. Several other rivers also flow through the country.

Israel (officially, State of Israel) is divided into 6 administrative districts (mehozot, sing. mehoz). In alphabetical order these districts are: Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern and Tel Aviv. The districts are further divided into 15 subdistricts (nafot) and a number of smaller subdivisions.

Located on a plateau in the Judaen Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, is Jerusalem the capital and largest city of Israel. Jerusalem is regarded as a sacred city by the Christians, Jews and Muslims. Tel Aviv, located in central Israel, is the countrys economic and technological center.

Israel is a Middle East country, situated in Western Asia. It is located in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. Israel is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east, Egypt in the southwest; the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) in the east and west. Israel is situated on the South eastern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern coasts of the Red Sea.

Israel Bordering Countries: Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria.

Regional Maps: Map of Asia

This page was last updated on May 19, 2021

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Israel Maps & Facts - World Atlas

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