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Thousands of Hasidic Jews defy travel warnings by making New Year …

Posted By on September 27, 2022

An armed police officer stays in guard as Hasidic Jewish pilgrims walk after praying at the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine.SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Hasidic Jews make an annual pilgrimage to Uman, a central Ukrainian city, during Rosh Hashanah.

This year, thousands are traveling to Uman despite warnings not to, The New York Times reported.

They will worship at the grave-side of the revered 19th century rabbi, Nachman of Breslov.

Thousands of Hasidic Jews are defying travel warnings by heading to war-torn Ukraine for an annual pilgrimage, according to The New York Times.

The pilgrims are traveling from Israel, the US, and other countries to Uman, a central Ukrainian city that features the burial site of the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, the paper reported.

Since 1811, ultra-orthodox Jews have traveled to Uman around the time of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year 5783), which starts at sundown on Sunday, to pray at the grave of the revered rabbi, Nachman of Breslov.

In usual years, tens of thousands go. This year, fewer are expected to make the trip, but some 4,000 Israeli pilgrims have already arrived, according to estimates by a spokesperson for Israeli's foreign ministry, per The Times. This number is likely to rise to 5,000 or more, the spokesperson said, according to the paper.

Earlier this month, the Embassy of Ukraine in Israel urged those intending to travel for the pilgrimage not to. "Please avoid pilgrimage," said the warning posted on Facebook on September 11. "Continuous Russian attacks cause real danger to your lives!"

In another warning, Ukraine's embassy in Israel asked prospective pilgrims to "pray that peace will return to Ukraine" instead of going to Uman for the Jewish new year.

The US also warned against traveling to Ukraine for any purpose, explicitly advising US citizens not to travel to Uman for the Jewish new year.

And Ukraine's culture minister Oleksandr Tkachenko told the Jewish Telegraph Agencythat it's "clearly not the best time" to visit. "A better time will come after our victory," he said, per the news agency.

Nevertheless, those who are already in the country told Israeli news media that they could hardly feel the effects of war.

Story continues

A Jewish tourist in Uman, identified only as Koller, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: "Anyway, do you see any Russian missiles? Everything is fine here. In the evening, we have our curfew, from 11 to 5, and that is it."

Central Ukraine, The Times noted, is not currently as dangerous as cities in the east. However, Israeli and Ukrainian officials have warned that there have been missile strikes in the area in recent weeks, The Times said.

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Thousands of Hasidic Jews defy travel warnings by making New Year ...

Wanted for slapping Hasidic man in unprovoked attack – New York Daily News

Posted By on September 27, 2022

A Hasidic man was slapped by a stranger while walking in Brooklyn, the third suspected hate crime in Williamsburg in less than two days, police said Tuesday.

The 27-year-old victim, dressed in his religions traditional garb, was confronted by the stranger on Lynch St. near Marcy Ave. about 4:30 p.m. Monday, cops said. Without saying a word, the attacker slapped the victim in the face then kept walking.

The stunned victim did not need medical attention.

The NYPD on Tuesday released surveillance footage of the suspect walking near the scene and asked the publics help identifying him and tracking him down.

Police released footage of a suspect they say slapped a 27-year-old Hasidic man walking in Williamsburg. (NYPD)

On Sunday, two Jewish men were sprayed with a fire extinguisher and one was also punched in separate attacks moments apart.

The first attack happened shortly after 6 a.m. at Lee Ave. and Taylor St. just south of the Williamsburg Bridge ramp. One man can be seen on surveillance video creeping across the street toward his 74-year-old victim with a fire extinguisher in his hand.

The attacker, who was wearing a white T-shirt and black pants, sprayed the man, spreading a cloud of white powder onto the sidewalk and street, the video shows.

The victim was walking to synagogue when he was confronted by a group of men, he told the Daily News Tuesday.

Only one attacked me, said the victim, who asked that his name not be printed. He was sprayed in the face with the extinguisher.

They attacked me with a hand also, gave me a punch in the nose, he said. After that, I washed my face. In the synagogue, I go over there and I wash.

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The attacker and the young men he was with showed up at the synagogue and intimidated somebody there into giving them a cup of coffee before they left to find their next victim, he said.

First time in my life and I hope its the last time also, he said of the attack.

NYPD released surveillance footage of two Orthodox Jewish men being sprayed with a fire extinguisher in Brooklyn on Sunday. (DCPI)

The second attack came around the same time at Roebling and Third Sts. on the north side of the Williamsburg Bridge ramp. This time a 66-year-old Orthodox man was sprayed with the powder extinguisher and then punched in the face.

The attackers did not say anything to their victims but police believe there could be anti-Semitic motives for the attacks because both men were wearing traditional Orthodox garb.

Sundays assailants have not been caught or identified.

As of Sunday, NYPD cops have investigated 177 anti-Semitic hate crimes this year compared to 119 by the same point last year, a 48% jump.

Anyone with information on any of the attacks is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Originally posted here:

Wanted for slapping Hasidic man in unprovoked attack - New York Daily News

The ‘OK’ Hand Gesture Is Now Listed As A Symbol Of Hate : NPR – NPR.org

Posted By on September 27, 2022

The "OK" hand gesture is among 36 new entries in the Anti-Defamation League's "Hate on Display" database. lucapierro/Getty Images/RooM RF hide caption

The "OK" hand gesture is among 36 new entries in the Anti-Defamation League's "Hate on Display" database.

The "OK" hand gesture, commonly seen as a way of indicating that all is well, has now been classified as something else: a symbol of hate.

On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, added 36 symbols to its "Hate on Display" database including the index finger-to-thumb sign that in some corners of the Internet has become associated with white supremacy and the far right.

Oren Segal, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism, told NPR that for years on fringe online message boards such as 4chan and 8chan, the "OK" sign has been deployed in memes and other images promoting hate. Given the number of white supremacists who have adopted it, he said it can now carry a nefarious message.

"Context is always key," Segal said. "More people than not will use the OK symbol as just 'OK.' But in those cases where there's more underlining meaning, I think it's important for people to understand that it could be used, and is being used, for hate as well."

According to the website Know Your Meme, as a prank, 4chan users in 2017 launched a campaign to flood social media with posts linking the "OK" hand gesture to the white power movement. Commenters on the message board appropriated images of people posing in the White House and other locations making the hand symbol as proof that it was catching on.

Segal said that while many of those images were misconstrued by users on the online message boards, the number of people espousing hate while using the gesture has grown so widespread that it can no longer be considered a prank.

Segal pointed to the suspected white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand, accused of killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in March, who flashed the "OK" hand gesture during an initial court appearance.

"Over the past couple years, we've seen that the hoax was essentially successful in being applied by actual white supremacists," Segal said.

"In many ways, they took what was a trolling effort and added it to their list of symbols," he added.

The ADL established its "Hate on Display" database in 2000 as a way to help track hate groups and their symbols for law enforcement, educators and other members of the public hoping to spot potential warnings signs of anti-Semitism and other types of extremism. Since then, the database has grown to include 214 entries.

One of the more prominent additions to the database, back in September 2016, was Pepe the Frog, the big-eyed green cartoon that became a kind of mascot of the alt-right.

Other symbols among the 36 added on Thursday include "Dylann Roof's Bowlcut," a reference to the haircut worn by the white supremacist gunman who killed nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

Followers of Roof have incorporated the distinctive haircut into screen names such as "Bowltrash" or "The Final Bowlution" or collectively have referred to themselves as the "Bowl Gang," according to the ADL.

Another addition is "The Moon Man," a meme derived from 1980s-era McDonald's commercials that has since been hijacked by members of the alt-right, who attach racist songs, language and imagery around it.

Among the white nationalist group symbols in the database include the Rise Above Movement out of Southern California, which, according to the ADL, claims to have "the goal of fighting against the 'destructive cultural influences' of liberals, Jews, Muslims and non-white immigrants."

The ADL also featured the newly-formed American Identity Movement, which is a rebranding of Identity Evropa, considered one of the largest white supremacist groups. Members of the group participated in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 that resulted in a woman's death, and some members were "doxxed," which is when someone's private information is shared publicly online. "For all practical purposes, AIM is essentially Identity Evropa with a new name and logo," the ADL said.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL's CEO, said in a statement that old symbols, gestures and other images are rapidly acquiring new, hateful associations that may be too obscure for the general public to understand.

"We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school," he said.

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The 'OK' Hand Gesture Is Now Listed As A Symbol Of Hate : NPR - NPR.org

Virtual reality is educating new generations about the Holocaust – Connecticut Public

Posted By on September 27, 2022

One day soon, there will be no more Holocaust survivors. The passage of time will eventually take all the men and women who survived the Nazi genocide of European Jews.

Dr. Alan Marcus, a professor in UConns Neag School of Education, has been part of a research team looking at how to use cutting-edge technology to preserve and share the stories of Holocaust survivors.

He's also worked to incorporate this technology in museums in the U.S. and Europe and in classrooms as a way to teach future generations.

He spoke with Morning Edition's Lori Mack.

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

Lori Mack: Why is this the time to reimagine the way we preserve and share the stories of the Holocaust?

Dr. Alan Marcus: We're moving from a time of lived memory to a time of learned memory. Our survivors are not going to be around much longer. They have this lived memory, they can tell their own personal stories and people relate to that, that's really important.

Museums and educators are trying to figure out what do we do when we don't have live survivors anymore. Survivors have been integral to Holocaust education, in every respect, we wouldn't have all these Holocaust museums in the United States, I think, without survivors sharing their memories and helping to motivate people. For them not to be here, that's a really huge seismic shift.

We know also from statistics provided by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center that rates of hate crimes, rates of anti-Semitism, have risen incredibly in the past four to five years. So I think that's part of our context.

Mack: People have been making audio and video recordings of survivors for many years. What's different about the work you've been doing with technology?

Courtesy of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

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Marcus: There's two types of newer technology that's out there. One is holograms, for lack of a better word, or virtual interactive survivors. This was started by the Shoah Foundation. When Steven Spielberg came out with Schindler's List, the profits from that went to the Shoah Foundation and they started filming survivors. Then with new technology, they're now able to film survivors in 3D, almost like a hologram, and you can interact with the survivors. You can ask a question, and the survivor will respond to you, most of the time.

The second are VR experiences. Museums are looking at how can they use virtual reality to have survivors continue to share their stories. At the Illinois Holocaust Museum, they're the first Holocaust Museum to use virtual reality with survivors. In their their short videos, you can put your headset on and connect with a survivor.

They tell you a little bit about their story and then they transport you to Europe. You might see their childhood home, you might see where they experienced some things during the Holocaust, and then they take you to Auschwitz.

Mack: In terms of the technology, how did you prepare for people to ask questions [of recorded survivors]? How does that work?

Marcus: They filmed survivors for an entire week and asked them thousands of questions. The computer will recognize those questions and [give] a [recorded] response. The downside is it's a fixed point in time.

With the Ukraine war going on now, if they were speaking, they might refer to the Ukraine war, and how Poland took in so many refugees, and how we learned from the Holocaust because of that. But if they're not living during that time, they can't do that, so that's a limitation.

For the virtual reality, it's similar. They use specialized cameras that can capture them. They obviously went on location in Europe to do filming. The other interesting thing they did for the Auschwitz component of the video, is they had to do some recreation, because not all the buildings still exist. So they use actual photos and can make a 3D image.

Mack: So what's been the reaction?

Marcus: General reaction is very positive. There's a lot of potential here, but I think there's still a lot of work to go to figure out how to use it effectively.

Mack: How do you feel about the project? Is this turning out the way you expected?

Marcus: I wasn't sure what to expect. I've heard many survivors speak and I was skeptical that anything could replace a survivor. I would maintain that I still think that.

Nothing's gonna replace a live survivor coming in, interacting with kids in real time. But that's not an option. Virtual reality is our new reality.

Original post:
Virtual reality is educating new generations about the Holocaust - Connecticut Public

Worshiper stabbed to death outside Dimona synagogue after asking suspect to be quiet – The Times of Israel

Posted By on September 27, 2022

A man in his 50s was stabbed to death on Saturday following an apparent argument outside a synagogue in the southern city of Dimona.

According to police, the victim, identified by Hebrew-language media as Eliyahu Hazan, 59, was stabbed and seriously hurt by a 49-year-old resident of the city, who was arrested shortly after the incident.

Hazan was taken to Beershebas Soroka hospital, where medical officials declared him dead.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the suspect was making noise and yelling expletives outside of the synagogue during evening prayers.

Hazan went out to ask him to stop and was then stabbed in the waist.

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Reports saidthe suspect fled the scene and Hazan returned to the synagogue and collapsed.

Police said they arrested the 49-year-old suspect about an hour later, after searching the area.

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Worshiper stabbed to death outside Dimona synagogue after asking suspect to be quiet - The Times of Israel

Paxton Works to Safeguard First Amendment Protections for Religious Group Facing Illegal Discrimination – Texas Attorney General (.gov)

Posted By on September 27, 2022

Attorney General Paxton has joined an Alabama-led multistate amicus brief in the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, fighting to defend the First Amendment rights of a Jewish synagogue facing unconstitutional discrimination.

The case revolves around the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), a publicly-funded transit system, that refused to allow Young Israel of Tampa to advertise its Chanukah on Ice program pursuant to a policy banning religious advertising. After the district court enjoined its policy, HART appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.

As the courts have ruled on several occasions, public entities violate the First Amendment when they engage in viewpoint discrimination, regulating speech based upon disagreement with the point of view being expressed. That is precisely what HART did here.

HART further departed from the First Amendment by lumping in all religious advertising with more traditional categories of prohibited advertising, such as ads containing graphic violence or nudity. It flies in the face of the First Amendment, and the American tradition of respecting religious freedom, for HART to draw a moral equivalency drawn between a synagogue hosting a community event commemorating a religious holiday and pornographic or violent advertising

As the brief states: [T]he policy is at odds with the history and tradition of the First Amendment, sends the perverse message that religious discourse is like the other subjects HART bans (alcohol, pornography, discriminatory messages, and the like), conflicts with modern First Amendment jurisprudence forbidding viewpoint discrimination, and flunks even HARTs preferred test for content-neutral speech restrictions.

To read the full brief, click here.

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Paxton Works to Safeguard First Amendment Protections for Religious Group Facing Illegal Discrimination - Texas Attorney General (.gov)

Date, fast times, meaning behind Yom Kippur and what celebrations involve – iNews

Posted By on September 27, 2022

Yom Kippur, one of the most sacred dates in the Jewish religious calendar, is soon approaching.

The holiday known as the Day of Atonement falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, which marks the beginning of the Jewish year.

It is a time for Jewish communities around the world to reflect on the past year and ask Gods forgiveness for any sins they have committed.

Heres what you need to know.

Yom Kippur falls on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei (September or October in the Gregorian calendar).

Jews traditionally observe the holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.

It marks the culmination of the Days of Repentance or Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which celebrates the anniversary of worlds creation.

This year Yom Kippur begins at sundown onTuesday 4 October, 2022and ends at nightfall onWednesday 5 October, 2022.

Yom Kippur, meaning Day of Atonement, is a time to reflect on the past year and ask Gods forgiveness for any sins committed.

The origins trace back to the story of Moses, after the people of Israel made their exodus from Egypt.

After Moses climbed Mount Sinai, God gave him two tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The first commandment told people that they should not worship anyone other than God.

However, when he descended from the mountain, Moses caught the Israelites worshipping a golden calf and shattered the holy tablets in anger.

The Israelites atoned for their idolatry and God forgave them on on the 10th day of Tishrei, which then became known as Yom Kippur.

Millions of Jewish families around the world mark the day of Yom Kippur by fasting for 25 hours.

Anyone who must eat due to health reasons will not be required to fast. Children under the age of nine are also exempt. Generally, adults do not work on Yom Kippur; children may also miss school.

Most of the day is spent a the synagogue, where five prayer services are held (instead of the traditional two). These are known as: Maariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Mincha and Neilah.

Maariv includes the recital of a prayer service called Kol Nidre, which takes place on the eve of the holiday.

Yom Kippur concludes with the Neilah service and the blowing of the shofar, an ancient instrument, which marks the conclusion of the fast.

After the service, people usually break the fast and celebrate with a family meal. It is customary to wear white, as a symbol of purity during the day.

As a way to atone and seek Gods forgiveness, some Jews make donations or volunteer their time to charity in the days leading up to the holiday.

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Date, fast times, meaning behind Yom Kippur and what celebrations involve - iNews

Finding Refuge from War and Persecution in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner – UConn Today – University of Connecticut

Posted By on September 27, 2022

One only needs to watch the nightly news to see the destruction of war and its impact on the millions of civilians caught in the middle. There are daily images and stories of the horrors experienced by displaced persons fleeing violence and fighting to survive, from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and other war-torn regions.

However, amid the destruction, its also possible to see people helping one another in extraordinary acts of compassion and solidarity. Connecticuts Quiet Corner holds one such story of coming together and rebuilding after war left so many with nothing.

Though the US has a checkered history regarding refugees, displaced persons, and immigrants, after World War II and much political back-and-forth, the US and allies created the International Refugee Organization in an effort to help resettle the massive population of those who had been displaced by the global conflict. Non-government organizations like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and Jewish Agricultural Society (JAS) were instrumental in resettling those in need of refuge.

In the US, locations chosen for resettlement included the rural agricultural communities of northeastern Connecticut, and the story about how people forced to flee their homes were welcomed is an enduring story of hope.

Foundations of a Community

The family of Dora and Nathan Blumenthal, including their daughter Elsie Blumenthal Fetterman 49 (ED), 60 MS, 64 MA, 66 Ph.D., was the first Jewish family to move to the Quiet Corner town of Danielson in 1924, where they opened Blumenthals Hardware Store. The Blumenthals left a very strong Jewish community in Norwich, but wasted no time in establishing a new one, once other Jewish families joined them in Danielson.

For years, Blumenthals hosted worship, rituals, and meetings in their home with nine Jewish families who moved to the area. Blumenthal Fetterman says they arranged for deliveries of kosher meat to their town each week. They built connections with one another, but also within the non-Jewish members of the community.

I used to have to go and knock on doors to get 10 men together for worship, she says. We had a Torah in my home that my mother and father had brought from Norwich.

This handful of Jewish families living in the area prior to the war with just enough men for the minyan of 10 needed for worship would become the foundation of a growing Jewish community.

UConn Extension educator Bob Ricard grew up in Danielson as part of a French-Canadian Catholic family like many others in town, but also knew it as home to many Jewish families, especially following the liberation of Europe and the influx of new Jewish families to the area.

One would expect metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles to be at the top of the list for resettlement, says Ricard. The fact that small rural communities like Danielson, Moosup, and Brooklyn, Connecticut were also on the list may be a little surprising.

However, the Jewish Agricultural Society (JAS) worked to resettle families from metropolitan areas to the agricultural communities because they also offered many opportunities. One JAS agent began introducing families to the area, starting with one family, and then another, and eventually dozens of families found new beginnings. The Bermans were one of those families.

Waiting for a New Beginning in the USA

Norman Berman says the resettlement process was not a quick one. After losing everything and nearly everyone in their families, Bermans parents, Misha and Bluma, met, married, and started their family during their time at the Fhrenwald displaced persons camp near Munich, Germany, where he was born. He grew up listening to his mothers stories of her experiences.

My earliest memories were sitting around the table, and she would say, in Yiddish and later in English, I will tell you, and then launch into an anecdote about life in the camps or life in the ghetto, says Berman.

His mother described the displaced persons camp to him as a liminal space in which the residents couldnt go back to their homes, but didnt know where they would go next. They were somewhere in the middle, traumatized by the experience of the war and unsure of the future.

After four years in the camp, the Bermans traveled to the United States aboard a converted troop carrier, settling for a time in a tenement in the Bronx. His mother worked as a seamstress, his father worked in a factory, and both began learning English at night school.

The mission of JAS was essentially to get families out of the tenements and into the countryside, where they could make a new start. The Bermans were approached by an agent about relocation. After the long drive from New York City to the Quiet Corner, they were introduced to another family that had already settled so they could ask questions about relocation and the community. On arrival at what would become their farm, late on a cold, rainy fall day, Berman says his mother stepped out into the field, looked around, and wept.

She said, I dont know what Im doing, I dont know the language, we have no money, we only know one or two other people. How are we going to do this? This is a terrible mistake.

Berman says the experience in bustling New York City was in stark contrast with rural Connecticut, and he suspects the fields and forests may have served as reminders of the landscapes of the homes his parents were forced to leave in Eastern Europe. His fathers family was from Ukraine and his mothers family from Lithuania. There was familiarity in this new place, but that couldnt compete with the enormity of everything they had experienced and the daunting task of starting from scratch.

Remember, Berman says, None of these people knew anything about farming. They were children when they got caught up in the Holocaust.

He says the family also was suspicious and afraid because of their experience in Europe, where they were marginalized, vilified, and betrayed by neighbors. They did not expect to be welcomed.

Finding Welcome and Support in a Small Connecticut Town

Entering a new community in a new country can feel like moving into the abyss, but there was already a foundation for a strong and growing Jewish community in Danielson. It soon became apparent that they needed to build a synagogue to serve as a place for education, socializing, and prayer. The question was whether the small old Jewish community and new recently resettled community could raise the money needed to build it. Thats when the rest of Danielson got involved.

Everyone stepped up, says Blumenthal Fetterman. The community, the gentile community, was so open. For instance, someone auctioned off a calf to raise money. That was a significant part of that farmers income for the year. Other things added up; a member of the Baptist church loaned a farmer $500 to buy a dairy farm, and he didnt know him. He knew he was a Holocaust survivor and he knew that hed never had any experiences as a farmer, but he took the risk, and that was a lot of money for 1950.

Banks, churches, community organizations, and others pitched in to help donate money, building materials, and expertise. Berman adds, Everyone said, Hey, well help you out. My parents were quite stunned by that. Suddenly, they had a place that felt safe.

Ricard notes that many who stepped up to help were combat veterans, like his father.

They saw and experienced first-hand the horrors and evil of World War Two, so they were very clear about what their new Jewish neighbors went through, he says.

Help came in other forms as well. The UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources played a part by providing agricultural support for the new farmers. Berman has memories of traveling regularly with his father to Storrs with a cardboard box full of chickens in tow, so extension specialists at the University could give advice on matters such as feed supplements and vaccinations.

A New Temple, and a New Chapter

With funds raised, the construction of Temple Beth Israel, which was built during the 1950s and formally dedicated in 1961, was truly a grassroots, community-driven effort that culminated in building more than just a place of worship.

David Fetterman 76 (CLAS), Elsies son, says he felt the temple was always more about connection and that growing up in the temple, the sense of belonging was the glue that held the community together.

Families put down roots and settled in, and Fetterman and Berman reflect fondly on their childhood experiences, growing up with a lot of good friends, having fun, and being kids.

Fetterman has many memories of the services and lessons at the temple, but one memory stands out. He recalls catching a glimpse of a mans tattoo as he reached for the prayer book. It was a tattoo issued in a concentration camp.

Curious, I asked my father and he gently told me about where they are from and what happened, Fetterman says. It was not a traumatic way to find out. I just learned that this is another part of who our community is.

Growing up in the Quiet Corner as part of a small but tight-knit Jewish community, many aspects of life just felt normal, says Berman. The children went about their business of coming of age, socializing, and eventually going off to college.

Ricard also moved on, and was reminded of the communitys uniqueness in 2020 when his local newspaper in Massachusetts, the Amherst Bulletin, ran a story about a high school history department chair who was creating a Holocaust curriculum with a local resident who sounded very familiar. It was Elsie Blumenthal Fetterman, and he was moved to contact her after so many years.

Reconnecting has been a reminder of the importance of community, Ricard says, especially during the pandemic. Coincidentally, both he and Blumenthal Fetterman are both now current residents of Amherst living about a mile apart and both have also been UConn Extension employees. While reminiscing with Blumenthal Fetterman, Ricard learned his aunt was a bookkeeper for Blumenthals father, and that his uncle had worked at the Blumenthal familys hardware store.

Blumenthal Fetterman became something of a trailblazer, graduating from high school in 1949 and eventually earning her Ph.D. at UConn, which was not typical for women at the time. Blumenthal Fetterman remained at UConn as an Extension educator, teaching and championing consumer education, before leaving in 1979 to continue her work at the University of Massachusetts, where she stayed until her retirement in 1992.

Keeping a Powerful Story Alive

Many members of the community have left the Danielson area, or have passed away, so that by 2009 Temple Beth Israel was on the verge of being sold and repurposed. Despite many original members of the synagogue no longer living in the area, a group of children of the community founders took action to save the place of worship. They realized that more than a building was at stake.

The community, including children and grandchildren of the relocated families, are now working to keep the temple open, says Berman, who, along with around 35 others across the United States and Israel, are working to keep the story alive. Blumenthal Fetterman, who had served as the first President of the Temple Sisterhood in 1950, secured funding from the Daughters of the American Revolution that was used to produce a documentary film, A House Built by Hope, detailing the story of the community and the building of the synagogue. Fetterman and his wife matched those funds to produce the film.

With the synagogue listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2013, the Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society continues the work to ensure the synagogues future, to tell the story of how it came to be, and to keep alive the lessons of the Holocaust with the aim of inspiring hope in new generations.

We have a newfound appreciation of the difference in how our youth was not normal, that this was not a normal place in many respects, because of what our parents had experienced, Berman says. If you were one of the immigrants, then certainly this was the beginning of a new chapter in your life. I think all of us kids that are involved in the Preservation Society have a newfound understanding about who we are.

Fetterman cites the Jewish concept of Tikkum Olam, which can be interpreted as heal the world, and how that has shaped his and others lives and pursuits. He credits this trajectory as starting in the synagogue and his experiences as a member of the community. In addition to teaching at Stanford University for 25 years, he has devoted his career to promoting equity and social justice in communities around the world.

In the context of current conflicts and seeing displaced persons in the news, Fetterman says this story of resettlement and community is one that needs to be told.

We must remind ourselves to speak up for social justice; we have an obligation, he says. The synagogue represents that call and serves as a beacon, representing the best of what social justice is.

Berman is carrying on his mothers tradition of sharing and honoring her experiences of survival, by speaking to school groups around the state. He tells his parents story of resilience, the dangers of indifference to suffering, and how vital it is to look for connections and build community.

I think there was about a 40-year pause, it was like survivors needed to feel safe enough to share the story, he says. It was almost secret; people didnt speak about it usually. I was among the very fortunate, because my mother was willing to tell her story and to share it any opportunity she had. She was in three different forced labor camps. She was in the Vilna Ghetto, endured every form of abuse you can imagine, and somehow survived. She told me all of it.

People opened their doors to us and that is a huge lesson, Berman says. This is a story about immigrants, about giving people a chance, about generosity. Look for the connections that go across communities.

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Finding Refuge from War and Persecution in Connecticut's Quiet Corner - UConn Today - University of Connecticut

Modern Hebrew – Wikipedia

Posted By on September 25, 2022

Standard form of the Hebrew language spoken today

Modern Hebrew (Hebrew: , ivrt ada[h], [ivit adaa], lit. "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( Ivrit), is the standard form of the Hebrew language spoken today. Spoken in ancient times, Ancient Hebrew, a member of the Canaanite branch of the Semitic language family, was supplanted as the Jewish vernacular by the western dialect of Aramaic beginning in the third century BCE, though it continued to be used as a liturgical and literary language. It was revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries and is the official language of Israel. Of the Canaanite languages, Modern Hebrew is the only language spoken today.[7]

Modern Hebrew is spoken by about nine million people, counting native, fluent and non-fluent speakers.[8][9] Most speakers are citizens of Israel: about five million are Israelis who speak Modern Hebrew as their native language, 1.5 million are immigrants to Israel, 1.5 million are Arab citizens of Israel, whose first language is usually Arabic and half a million are expatriate Israelis or diaspora Jews living outside Israel.

The organization that officially directs the development of the Modern Hebrew language, under the law of the State of Israel, is the Academy of the Hebrew Language.

The most common scholarly term for the language is "Modern Hebrew" ( ivrt ada[h]). Most people refer to it simply as Hebrew ( Ivrit).[10]

The term "Modern Hebrew" has been described as "somewhat problematic"[11] as it implies unambiguous periodization from Biblical Hebrew.[11] Haiim B. Rosn[he] ( ) supported the now widely used[11] term "Israeli Hebrew" on the basis that it "represented the non-chronological nature of Hebrew".[10][12] In 1999, Israeli linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann proposed the term "Israeli" to represent the multiple origins of the language.[13]:325[10]

The history of the Hebrew language can be divided into four major periods:[14]

Jewish contemporary sources describe Hebrew flourishing as a spoken language in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, during about 1200 to 586 BCE.[15] Scholars debate the degree to which Hebrew remained a spoken vernacular following the Babylonian captivity, when Old Aramaic became the predominant international language in the region.

Hebrew died out as a vernacular language somewhere between 200 and 400 CE, declining after the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132136 CE, which devastated the population of Judea. After the exile, Hebrew became restricted to liturgical use.[16]

Hebrew had been spoken at various times and for a number of purposes throughout the Diaspora, and during the Old Yishuv it had developed into a spoken lingua franca among the Jews of Palestine.[17] Eliezer Ben-Yehuda then led a revival of the Hebrew language as a mother tongue in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Modern Hebrew used Biblical Hebrew morphemes, Mishnaic spelling and grammar, and Sephardic pronunciation. Many idioms and calques were made from Yiddish. Its acceptance by the early Jewish immigrants to Ottoman Palestine was caused primarily by support from the organisations of Edmond James de Rothschild in the 1880s and the official status it received in the 1922 constitution of the British Mandate for Palestine.[18][19][20][21] Ben-Yehuda codified and planned Modern Hebrew using 8,000 words from the Bible and 20,000 words from rabbinical commentaries. Many new words were borrowed from Arabic, due to the language's common Semitic roots with Hebrew, but changed to fit Hebrew phonology and grammar, for example the words gerev (sing.) / garbayim (pl.) are now applied to "socks," a diminutive of the Arabic uwrib ("socks").[22][23] In addition, early Jewish immigrants, borrowing from the local Arabs, and later immigrants from Arab lands introduced many nouns as loanwords from Arabic (such as na'ana, zaatar, mishmish, kusbara, ilba, lubiya, hummus, gezer, rayan, etc.), as well as much of Modern Hebrew's slang. Despite Ben-Yehuda's fame as the renewer of Hebrew, the most productive renewer of Hebrew words was poet Haim Nahman Bialik.[citation needed]

One of the phenomena seen with the revival of the Hebrew language is that old meanings of nouns were occasionally changed for altogether different meanings, such as bardelas (), which in Mishnaic Hebrew meant "hyena",[24] but in Modern Hebrew it now means "cheetah;" or shezph () which is now used for "plum," but formerly meant "jujube."[25] The word kishm (formerly "cucumbers")[26] is now applied to a variety of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo var. cylindrica), a plant native to the New World. Another example is the word kv (), which now denotes a "street" or a "road," but is actually an Aramaic adjective meaning "trodden down; blazed", rather than a common noun. It was originally used to describe "a blazed trail."[27][28] What is now a flower called in Modern Hebrew "kalanit" (Anemone coronaria) was, formerly, called in Hebrew "shoshanat ha-melekh" ("the king's flower").[29][30]

For a simple comparison between the Sephardic and Yemenite versions of Mishnaic Hebrew, see Yemenite Hebrew.

Modern Hebrew is classified as an Afroasiatic language of the Semitic family and the Canaanite branch of the North-West semitic subgroup.[31][32][33][34] While Modern Hebrew is largely based on Mishnaic and Biblical Hebrew as well as Sephardi and Ashkenazi liturgical and literary tradition from the Medieval and Haskalah eras and retains its Semitic character in its morphology and in much of its syntax,[35][36][pageneeded] the consensus among scholars is that Modern Hebrew represents a fundamentally new linguistic system, not directly continuing any previous linguistic state.[37]

Modern Hebrew is considered to be a koin language based on historical layers of Hebrew that incorporates foreign elements, mainly those introduced during the most critical revival period between 1880 and 1920, as well as new elements created by speakers through natural linguistic evolution.[37][31] A minority of scholars argue that the revived language had been so influenced by various substrate languages that it is genealogically a hybrid with Indo-European.[38][39][40][41] Those theories have not been met with general acceptance, and the consensus among a majority of scholars is that Modern Hebrew, despite its non-Semitic influences, can correctly be classified as a Semitic language.[32][42] Although European languages have had an impact on modern Hebrew, the impact may often be overstated: in terms of features attributed to Standard Average European, modern Hebrew is indeed closer to "European" than Biblical Hebrew, but it is still quite distant, and is in fact actually less "European" (in terms of SAE feature count) than Modern Standard Arabic.[43]

Modern Hebrew is written from right to left using the Hebrew alphabet, which is an abjad, or consonant-only script of 22 letters based on the "square" letter form, known as Ashurit (Assyrian), which was developed from the Aramaic script. A cursive script is used in handwriting. When necessary, vowels are indicated by diacritic marks above or below the letters known as Nikkud, or by use of Matres lectionis, which are consonantal letters used as vowels. Further diacritics like Dagesh and Sin and Shin dots are used to indicate variations in the pronunciation of the consonants (e.g. bet/vet, shin/sin). The letters "", "", "", each modified with a Geresh, represent the consonants [t], [d], []. [t] may also be written as "" and "". [w] is represented interchangeably by a simple vav "", non-standard double vav "" and sometimes by non-standard geresh modified vav "".

Modern Hebrew has fewer phonemes than Biblical Hebrew but it has developed its own phonological complexity. Israeli Hebrew has 25 to 27 consonants, depending on whether the speaker has pharyngeals, and 5 to 10 vowels, depending on whether diphthongs and long and short vowels are counted, depending on the speaker and the analysis.

This table lists the consonant phonemes of Israeli Hebrew in IPA transcription:[2]

Obstruents often assimilate in voicing: voiceless obstruents (/p t ts t k, f s x/) become voiced ([b d dz d , v z ]) when they appear immediately before voiced obstruents, and vice versa.

Hebrew has five basic vowel phonemes:

Long vowels occur unpredictably if two identical vowels were historically separated by a pharyngeal or glottal consonant, and the first was stressed.

Any of the five short vowels may be realized as a schwa [] when it is far from lexical stress.

There are two diphthongs, /aj/ and /ej/.[2]

Most lexical words have lexical stress on one of the last two syllables, the last syllable being more frequent in formal speech. Loanwords may have stress on the antepenultimate syllable or even earlier.

While the pronunciation of Modern Hebrew is based on Sephardi Hebrew, the pronunciation has been affected by the immigrant communities that have settled in Israel in the past century and there has been a general coalescing of speech patterns. The pharyngeal [] for the phoneme chet () of Sephardi Hebrew has merged into [] which Sephardi Hebrew only used for fricative chaf (). The pronunciation of the phoneme ayin () has merged with the pronunciation of aleph (), which is either [] or unrealized [] and has come to dominate Modern Hebrew, but in many variations of liturgical Sephardi Hebrew, it is [], a voiced pharyngeal fricative. The letter vav () is realized as [v], which is the standard for both Ashkenazi and most variations of Sephardi Hebrew. The Jews of Iraq, Aleppo, Yemen and some parts of North Africa pronounced vav as [w]. Yemenite Jews, during their liturgical readings in the synagogues, still use the latter, older pronunciation. The pronunciation of the letter resh () has also largely shifted from Sephardi [r] to either [] or [].

Modern Hebrew morphology (formation, structure, and interrelationship of words in a language) is essentially Biblical.[46] Modern Hebrew showcases much of the inflectional morphology of the classical upon which it was based. In the formation of new words, all verbs and the majority of nouns and adjectives are formed by the classically Semitic devices of triconsonantal roots (shoresh) with affixed patterns (mishkal). Mishnaic attributive patterns are often used to create nouns, and Classical patterns are often used to create adjectives. Blended words are created by merging two bound stems or parts of words.

The syntax of Modern Hebrew is mainly Mishnaic[46] but also shows the influence of different contact languages to which its speakers have been exposed during the revival period and over the past century.

The word order of Modern Hebrew is predominately SVO (subjectverbobject). Biblical Hebrew was originally verbsubjectobject (VSO), but drifted into SVO.[47] Modern Hebrew maintains classical syntactic properties associated with VSO languages: it is prepositional, rather than postpositional, in making case and adverbial relations, auxiliary verbs precede main verbs; main verbs precede their complements, and noun modifiers (adjectives, determiners other than the definite article -, and noun adjuncts) follow the head noun; and in genitive constructions, the possessee noun precedes the possessor. Moreover, Modern Hebrew allows and sometimes requires sentences with a predicate initial.

Modern Hebrew has expanded its vocabulary effectively to meet the needs of casual vernacular, of science and technology, of journalism and belles-lettres. According to Ghil'ad Zuckermann:

The number of attested Biblical Hebrew words is 8198, of which some 2000 are hapax legomena (the number of Biblical Hebrew roots, on which many of these words are based, is 2099). The number of attested Rabbinic Hebrew words is less than 20,000, of which (i) 7879 are Rabbinic par excellence, i.e. they did not appear in the Old Testament (the number of new Rabbinic Hebrew roots is 805); (ii) around 6000 are a subset of Biblical Hebrew; and (iii) several thousand are Aramaic words which can have a Hebrew form. Medieval Hebrew added 6421 words to (Modern) Hebrew. The approximate number of new lexical items in Israeli is 17,000 (cf. 14,762 in Even-Shoshan 1970 [...]). With the inclusion of foreign and technical terms [...], the total number of Israeli words, including words of biblical, rabbinic and medieval descent, is more than 60,000.[48]:6465

Modern Hebrew has loanwords from Arabic (both from the local Levantine dialect and from the dialects of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries), Aramaic, Yiddish, Judaeo-Spanish, German, Polish, Russian, English and other languages. Simultaneously, Israeli Hebrew makes use of words that were originally loanwords from the languages of surrounding nations from ancient times: Canaanite languages as well as Akkadian. Mishnaic Hebrew borrowed many nouns from Aramaic (including Persian words borrowed by Aramaic), as well as from Greek and to a lesser extent Latin.[49] In the Middle Ages, Hebrew made heavy semantic borrowing from Arabic, especially in the fields of science and philosophy. Here are typical examples of Hebrew loanwords:

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Modern Hebrew - Wikipedia

Rosh Hashanah 2022: When is it, traditions, greetings and how to wish someone happy new year in Hebrew – Manchester Evening News

Posted By on September 25, 2022

Jewish communities across Greater Manchester will be celebrating the high holidays over the coming weeks, starting with Rosh Hashanah this weekend. The Jewish new year begins on the evening of Sunday, September 25.

The festival is followed by fast days, including Yom Kippur which starts on October 4, and further festivities throughout the Jewish month of Tishrei . Families and friends come together to celebrate at this time of year, and many congregate in synagogues to hear the blowing of the shofar a musical horn.

Last Rosh Hashanah was the first major festival in the Jewish calendar with no Covid-related restrictions, allowing friends and families to celebrate together. Marc Levy, who is the chief executive of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region (JRC), said this 'luxury' isn't taken for granted.

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He said: "Rosh Hashana is the most important time of year for Jewish communities across Greater Manchester and around the world. We relish the opportunity to join family and friends both in synagogues and at festive meals.

"This is a luxury that is not taken for granted given the difficulties experienced during the Covid pandemic.

"Everyone connected with the JRC would like to wish the Jewish community a Shana Tova - a happy and healthy new year."

Festivals and fast days are observed throughout the holy month of Tishrei , starting with Rosh Hashanah which literally means 'head of the year'.

According to the Hebrew calendar, which is based on both the moon and the sun, each new day starts at sundown and this new year will be number 5782. The Rosh Hashanah celebration, which lasts two days, starts at sundown on Sunday, September 25, and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, September 27.

Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, involves a 25-hour fast, starting this year at sundown on Tuesday, October 4 until nightfall on Wednesday, October 5.

Families and friends typically come together to celebrate with a meal on both nights which is preceded by a ceremony involving prayers and special foods.

Apples are dipped in honey to mark a sweet and fruitful new year and pomegranates, honey cake and round challah bread are also consumed. The first day of Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of ten holy days known as the high holidays - or the high holy days - which is a time of repentance for Jews.

Throughout this time of year, many congregate in synagogues to worship, particularly on Rosh Hashanah and on the tenth day the fast of Yom Kippur.

In synagogue, the blowing of the shofar - a ram's horn - must be heard by congregants at the new year service as well as at the end of Yom Kippur.

At Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people say ' shanah tova' , which means 'good year', or ' shanah tovah u'metukah ', which is Hebrew for 'a good and sweet new year'.

Prestwich councillor Richard Gold, who is Bury council's cabinet member for communities, wished Jewish people a shana tova on behalf of the borough.

He said: "I'm really proud that in Bury we have one of the largest and most active Jewish communities in the country. Their contribution to Bury is immense.

"On behalf of everyone at the council I would like to wish everyone a sweet and healthy year. Shana Tova and well over the fast."

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Rosh Hashanah 2022: When is it, traditions, greetings and how to wish someone happy new year in Hebrew - Manchester Evening News


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