Archive for the ‘Ethiopian Jews’ Category

NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Awarded MLK Prize in Jerusalem – Forward

On Sunday, former NBA player and now Israeli basketball star Amare Stoudemire, was awarded Israels Martin Luther King Jr. Award, given to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King.

I am truly honored to be receiving this amazing award, said Stoudemire, who signed a two-year contract with Israels Hapoel Jerusalem club last year. In a video to his Instagram followers, Stoudemire stood against the night skyline of Jerusalem and described the award as honoring my courage to be an Israelite and also to be able to work and talk about equality to all nations.

Every Black History Month, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the State of Israel give out this award to individuals who promote diversity and tolerance, a press release read.

Stoudemire runs the Amare and Alexis Stoudemire Foundation with his wife, Alexis which supports at-risk youth around the world, according to the foundationss website.

In Israel, Stoudemire is continuing his philanthropic work. He hosted a basketball peace camp this summer, which drew participants from a range of distinct Israeli communities, including Palestinians, Hebrew Israelites and Ethiopian Jews. Stoudemire also hosted another childrens camp at the Israel Museum, part of an annual series called In The Paint, which joins together basketball and art activities.

Israeli officials lauded Stoudemire.

Stoudemire has again set an example that sportsmanship supersedes nationality, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, said Russell F. Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund-USA. Robinson said that all of these qualities are welcome in Israel, a country he called a beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent part of the world.

Amare Stoudemire has spearheaded many initiatives that empower the less fortunate and advance important principles like tolerance, peace, creativity and healthy living, said Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York.

Past recipients of Israels MLK Award have included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the author Toni Morrison, entrepreneur Russell Simmons and Harry Belafonte.

When Stoudemire signed his deal with Hapoel in early August moving to Jerusalem with his entire family his spiritual and professional paths converged.

Stoudemire has been on a years long journey into religion and heritage, a path that has fascinated and at times bewildered, American Jews and Israelis. He is not Jewish, as some continue to report, but a Hebrew Israelite meaning he views the Torah as an ancestral record of African Americans, and sees the land of Israel as part of his heritage.

Stoudemire maintains close ties with the Hebrew Israelites of Dimona, and even executive produced a documentary film about that community. Stoudemire regularly peppers his social media with biblical quotes.

If your ancestors were brought to America, or any other part of the world by slave ship, you are from the ancient tribe of the Hebrew Israelites, Stoudemire said in a February 2016 YouTube video alongside a Hebrew Israelite pastor in Chicago. This is black history, this is true black history.

Despite the praise from Israeli officials, since the move to Jerusalem Stoudemire has faced some adversity.

The Stoudemires 12-year-old son, Deuce, was barred from playing games with Hapoel Jerusalems youth team because he is not an Israeli citizen. Deuce was invited to play baseball instead.

Stoudemire has also clashed with Israeli basketball referees on a number of occasions, even taking to social media to rail against the officials. I have witnessed the worst officiating in the world of basketball, Stoudemire wrote on Instagram. Way to discourage other top players from coming to play in Israel.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

I was elated. By an act of fate, this years Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC. Id been attending the conference for over 20 years, but this would be the first time that the conference would be located in the eye of an American political storm of this magnitude. Participants from all 50 states would find themselves in Washington during Trumps first 100 days.

When AWP organized its first conference in 1973, it became an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Since then, the conference has grown in size to over 12,000 attendees. It runs four days with formal presentations scheduled from eight a.m. to eight p.m. and informal, off-site events at nearby restaurants and bars. Attending the conference is akin to a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. How will you as a writer react when confronted with 12,000 others, many with national reputations? Believe me, you arrive at a dark place, unsullied by your own success. Still, others feel differently, Being at AWP inspires you to do more, the novelist Elizabeth L. Silver told me as we walked the book fair together. It reminds you of what you aspire to be, no matter where you fall in the literary world.

For me, its a situation that forces me to confront myself. I traveled to the conference by Amtrak, knowing that the passengers scribbling in notebooks were all headed to the same place. If Id visualized them crowding me in like this when I was writing, alone in my room, Id never have committed a single word to the page. Once I arrived, I headed directly to the book fair, searching for kind editors to whom to pitch my work. I experienced emotions that put me at a loss for words as these editors either encouraged or resisted my offer to submit to their press. The aisles were filled with writers I admire, and I got to attend their book signings and stand face to face with them in extended conversations, as I did this year with several of my heroes, including E. Ethelbert Miller and Dave Eggers. Its how I met the Haitian-American author Fabienne Joshaphat who has since become a friend.

Its a situation that forces you to confront your most competitive, bitter self. Every year that I attend the conference, I experience a different range of emotions, from tears and outrage at the publishing worlds narrow biases, to elation at being chosen for publication and reaping its rewards. But to get the most out of the conference is to be free of the picture of success it offers. Publications, prizes, and awards are distractions. The real goal is to enhance your teaching and to produce beautiful writing, that which transforms peoples versions of reality and makes an impact, and that is what keeps me going back to the conference year after year.

The conference schedule listed presentations with titles such as Which Comes First Activism or Art, Global Narratives Within US Culture, and Translation as a Political Act, this in the first hours. At the Global Narratives Within US Culture talk, I listened to five authors discuss how their immigrant experiences shape their writing. Born in either Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia, Uruguay, or the Philippines, these five authors, (Achey Obejas, Carolina De Robertis, Laleh Khadvi, Patricia Engel, and M. Evelina Galang) connected through their protest against the Trump administrations dehumanization of refugees and immigrants. I never stop thinking of myself as a Cuban immigrant. Not for a minute. Every minute of every day, the world reminds me, Achey Obejas said, but she could have spoken for everyone on the panel.

In the 1980s, as an MFA student at the nations premier writing program, the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, my class of 60-some aspiring writers and poets was mostly white with three Asian students and not a single black student. Weaned on Baldwin, Hughes, Brooks, and Ellison, I was aware of the bleached-out aesthetic the workshop promoted in the absence of black voices. I had been writing since I was ten, Toi Dericotte writes in Gathering Around: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canems First Decade:

[I]n all my years of study from grade school through graduate school I had never read a black poet. I had never been taught by a black teacher . . . There was a suspicion that black people werent really good enough to be published, to be poets. My journey as a poet has been to face the locked places in myself that have blocked expression shame, self-loathing, doubt finding inside me, that dead eye that is able to discern its way down deeper than what is stopping it.

I am familiar with that dead eye Dericotte describes. As one of a handful of Jewish students in workshop at the University of Iowa, we sought each other out and banded together. We called ourselves The Rescue Squad and appeared at one anothers apartments when one of us was passed over for a merit scholarship or our writing came under attack in the workshops hostile and competitive atmosphere. In an effort to fit in, I practiced talking without using my hands. I often resorted to sitting on them to keep them still. I only contributed to a discussion when I was absolutely sure I wouldnt be shot down for what I had to say. It wasnt necessarily our teachers who discouraged us from speaking from a point of view or writing about topics that were considered too Jewish. There in the freakishly cold, near-zero winters of the 1980s Midwest, it was a deep-seated cultural message. I winced when one of my friends used the word challah in a poem. Another, compelled to write about the Holocaust, had an especially hard time. We were clearly discouraged from writing about anything political. In a weird interpretation of Adrienne Richs famous cry, the personal is political, we were taught again and again that to take a political stand would cause our writing to become didactic. As women, as Jews, we walked a fine line between being true to our own experiences, yet reprimanded when our politics seeped in. Instead, we were praised for writing pastoral poems or poems exploring family relationships. My breakthrough poem was about my grandmothers barbituate habit, yet my gut feeling is that if I had placed her within the particular Jewish context in which she lived, Id have faced disapproval.

Our workshops were more focused on aesthetics, poet and publisher Henry Israeli, who attended the workshop a decade after I did, told me. I dont remember anyone writing about being Jewish. He grinned. The only thing I remember is that we werent supposed to be writing apocalypse poems for some reason. One of my professors actually warned us not to write them.

The second day of the conference, I joined up with a group of fellow Pennsylvanians to march to the Senate House to voice our complaints to our state Representative, Senator Toomey. Poet Lisa Sewell had managed to get an appointment. The nine of us, residents from across the state, sat at a polished mahogany conference table and one by one denounced the Trump Administrations threats to health care, free speech, schools, and immigrants. The young staffer who met with us wore an Eagles sweatshirt. He stoically recorded our complaints in a copy book. We did not quote poetry, but throughout our meeting, Shellys famous statement, Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, clung to my lips.

I attended a talk that Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok gave on their Voices of Witness project. The project has produced a book series of oral narratives that takes a humanizing, literary approach to illuminating the stories of people around the world who have experienced injustice. Volunteers were called up to read excerpts from narratives. One DACA recipient appeared on a screen and told us how crucial telling her story had been to her, especially now amid her fear of deportation since Trumps election. I moderated a panel called When Writers Move In and Out of their Countries and Genres. Dina Elenbogen, Fabienne Joshaphat, and I spoke about the difficulties we faced publishing works set outside the US with protagonists who are not American. My own novel, based on the life of a South Sudanese refugee, spans three continents; Dinas about Ethiopian Jews takes place in Israel; and Fabiennes is set during the Duvalier regime in Haiti. I just dont know how to market this book, several editors whod rejected my novel had told me because they did not know how to make room for a book about a South Sudanese protagonist. If youd filtered it through your point of view . . . if youd written it as nonfiction . . . theyd remarked as if my protagonists voice and experience would be recognizable only if an American narrator represented it as her own experience of a foreign culture. Fortunately, I didnt give up, and when I couldnt find a commercial press that was willing to take a chance on my book, I submitted it to an independent press, Harvard Square Editions a press with the dedicated claim to breaking through cultural boundaries.

The conference site, the Washington Convention Center, was located a mere mile from the White House: close enough to walk. But it was cold outside, so I rode in a Lyft people were still protesting Uber with four other writers to a candlelight vigil for freedom of expression in Lafayette Park, adjacent to the White House, which was sponsored by Eric Sasson along with the writers organizations VONA and Split this Rock. Writers Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forche, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriquez, and Eric Sasson spoke and read poetry to the hundreds assembled. Melissa Febos began: This gathering is called a vigil, but what is a vigil? Its a period of keeping awake when everyone else is sleeping, and thats what we are doing here. Keeping awake. I joined in with the others, clapping our hands together and raising our fists.

My mind is on the trees, Ross Gay followed, in a stunning nod to the occasion of hundreds of writers assembled in a park, holding candles in the darkness, many from small towns far from DC. He read Cornelius Eadys gorgeous poem, Gratitude, written several decades ago about being a 36-year-old black man in America, yet moreso holds true today:

A lucky man/gets to sing/his name./I have survived/long enough/to tell a bit/Of an old story/. . . I want to tell you/Im 36/Years old,/I have lived/in and against/my blood/I want to tell you/I am grateful/because/(after all)/I am a black,/American poet. . .

Standing among the trees, among the candlelit flames, a member of a very solitary and competitive profession writing I experienced feeling like a member of a community, chanting in unison: What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Poetry/When do we want it?/Now!

Earlier that afternoon, escaping the insensate air of the convention center, author and editor Jill Bialosky and I walked down 9th Ave. to the White House. The streets in DC run slantwise and we had to consult google maps to find our way. When we arrived, however, there was no mistaking the 20-foot-tall metal fence surrounding the perimeter that had been installed for the inauguration and still glared back at us in the sunlight. Oh, its going to come down soon, a guard in black militia gear and helmet told us. We asked him to snap our picture, but he said he was not permitted to do so and we had no choice but to take selfies of the two us standing in front of that fence, the house where Trump lives behind it, wondering how soon would be soon enough.

Images courtesy of the Fintrvlr, dionhinchcliffe, bookishjulia, Geoff Livingston, and Richard Ricciardi via Flickr (Creative Commons).

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Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

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Feeling like you’re home – The Jewish Standard

Five Bergen County women visited Israel earlier this month as part of the Jewish Federations of North Americas Heart to Heart mission. The mission included 68 women from 19 communities across the country.

In addition to four packed days visiting projects funded by JFNA and partner organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and the Joint Distribution Committee, some of the local participants spent time in Nahariya, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jerseys P2G Partnership City in the north.

It was a special visit, as we were able to spend some quality time with the folks on the ground who run the programs that are directly supported by JFNNJ, said Dana Post Adler of Tenafly, a board member of JFNNJ and the National Womens Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America and co-president of the Womens Philanthropy Board of JFNNJ.

We had an emotional visit at the training center within Nahariyas firehouse, where we presented one fireman, Gil Barsano, with a photograph and plaque of his son Adar, who was killed in action during Operation Protective Edge and who had also been a volunteer firefighter in Nahariya, Ms. Adler reported. The training center was funded by JFNNJ.

We visited Bayit Cham Warm House where we met two successful young women who had used the services of the home when they were considered youth at risk during their teenage years. We met with a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who told us her story at the survivors group that our dollars support, and we toured a small food pantry and thrift shop for needy families. Having lunch by the Mediterranean with the P2G leadership and the deputy mayor, my friend Orna Starkmann, is always a special treat.

Ms. Adler recruited the other local participants. One of them, Lisa Hecht of Tenafly, had never been to Israel before.

The best part of the trip for me was seeing Israel through my dear friend Lisas eyes for the first time davening at the Kotel, walking through the Old City, and soaking up the connection that we all have to the history of our people, Ms. Adler said. I also hope that she was impressed by all the good work we do through our federation.

Ms. Hecht said she indeed was impressed by projects such as Masira, a JDC program to help integrate and empower disabled Arab-Israelis in their communities; the Ethiopian National Project, which runs a variety of support programs for Ethiopian-Israeli youth and adults, and JAFIs emergency assistance to families in the Jerusalem area who lost their homes in the November forest fires.

I got to see and do many things, and meet many people that I wouldnt have had I been on a tourist trip, she said. Being with Dana on this very special journey was like having my own personal scholar in residence.

Ms. Hecht said her most moving experience was being asked to lead the Shehecheyanu prayer with three other first-timers as their bus reached Jerusalem at sunset. I will always remember that moment: my first trip to Israel, arriving in Jerusalem the City of Gold and reciting this ancient prayer surrounded by so many amazing women.

It was the fifth Heart to Heart Mission for Gale S. Bindelglass of Franklin Lakes, and her 13th trip to Israel in 11 years. She said that on every trip she comes away thoroughly impressed by the spiritual, agricultural, and technical wonderment of Israel and feels romantically in love with this complicated and glorious land.

On last years mission she marked her adult bat mitzvah alongside Russian women who spent a lot of their lives not even knowing they were Jewish, she said. This year she held one of the four poles of the chuppah over a group of Ethiopian-Israeli bnot mitzvah.

The women attended the group bnot mitzvah of these Ethiopian girls. They have come a long way in their lives and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families, Franci Steinberg said.

Ms. Bindelglass has many communal affiliations: past co-president of Womens Philanthropy, immediate past chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, past chair of the Brotherhood Sisterhood Interfaith Committee, member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, and board member of JFNNJ and Jewish Family Service of Northern New Jersey. She built a teaching kitchen in her home to host outreach events for the Jewish community revolving around her philosophy of food, love, and gratitude.

Thats why one of her favorite experiences during Heart to Heart was cooking alongside grandmothers in Petach Tikvah who earn an income preparing traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Iraqi dishes for needy neighborhood children, a program the federation supports through JAFI and JDC.

While enjoying the lunch we all made together, quite to my surprise after spending real quality time talking with the chefs running the event I was tapped on the shoulder, asked to stand up, and they bestowed me with their apron, Ms. Bindelglass said. I was basically named Top Chef of a group of 70 women, and they asked me to go home to my teaching kitchen, cook in their apron, and email them photos. To me, this was very exciting and affirmational.

Franci Steinberg of Tenafly, a member of the Womens Philanthropy Board, said she saw Heart to Heart as an opportunity to visit Israel not as a first-time visitor or to see the usual sights, but to see Israel from another viewpoint and to see how Jews in America help Israel.

Ms. Steinberg said one highlight was watching the parents at the Ethiopian group bat mitzvah. These families were beaming with joy, and I will never forget the pride and smiles on their faces as they watched their daughters, she said. They have come a long way in their lives, and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families.

Suzette Diamond of Cresskill, a JFNNJ board member, said she participated in Heart to Heart to see the impact of donor dollars firsthand, and she was not disappointed.

Our first morning in Jerusalem we visited an oncologist at what used to be his home before a forest fire over Thanksgiving weekend completely burned everything they owned, Ms. Diamond said. They are three generations living in one home he and his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and their two children. Luckily they escaped without injury, but also with no time to take anything with them, including their shoes.

By the Monday morning after the fire, funds collected by JAFI from partners including JFNA were presented to this physician and about 600 other families affected by the fires.

With hugs and checks, federation was physically there for our Israeli brothers and sisters who suffered in these forest fires, providing love and money to buy immediate necessities, Ms. Diamons said. Once you travel on a mission, you realize the impact we have in other communities.

Ms. Adler noted that even a short mission like Heart to Heart is enough to dispel mistaken impressions about Israel.

Israel is so many wonderful things, and unfortunately what we read and see in the news is often distorted and wrong, she said. My biggest message is to go, and go often. See for yourself what the country is like, learn the precarious geography, sample the fabulous food, speak to the people.

Trust me, youll feel like youre home.

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Rushing to conclusions – Jerusalem Post Israel News

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES carry the body of Yacoub Abu al-Kiyan during his funeral in the Beduin village of Umm al-Hiran.. (photo credit:AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

The Justice Ministrys unit that investigates alleged police wrongdoing will soon publish its findings about last months tragic incident in Umm al-Hiram.

The findings will refute the initial false claim, made an hour after the incident by the police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, and the public security minister, Gilad Erdan, that it was a terrorist attack.

The findings will expose three worrying Israeli tendencies: the polices hypocritical double standard treatment of Israeli Arabs versus Israeli Jews; the culture of lies embodied in the police force; and the practice of Israeli politicians to portray almost any violent incident involving Israeli Arabs be it a demonstration or a civil protest as a terrorist act.

During an extensive police operation in the middle of the night in the Beduin village in the Negev Desert to demolish illegal homes on January 18, policemen killed a local teacher, Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was driving his car. As a result of the shooting a police officer, Erez Amadi Levi, was killed when Abu al-Kaeeans car crashed into a group of policemen. Despite the initial claim that by Alsheich and Erdan that Abu al-Kaeean was suspected of supporting ISIS and intentionally tried to kill members of the police force, it seems that after being shot he lost control of his vehicle.

Unlike in other Western democracies, where politicians respect the judiciary and police due processes and refrain from comments before inquiries are completed, Israeli politicians, mainly from the Right, violate all basic principles and rush to conclusions that suit their ideology. Instead of holding their tongues, they land themselves in embarrassing situations; nevertheless, they rarely apologize.

But the more fundamental issue is the reality in which Israel has a police force that treats people from different sectors differently. A few weeks before the Umm al-Hiram incident, the police were sent to demolish houses in Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. They arrived in daylight, carried no weapons, and were instructed to be sensitive and considerate. This showed that if the police really want perform their duties as expected in a democratic state, they can. This kind of a police double standard is not confined to the treatment of Arabs.

The police have shown that when it comes to other weak and less privileged Jewish minority groups, such as Ethiopian Jews or the ultra-Orthodox, they arrive at the scene with an aggressive attitude.

All these could be understood though not justified if at least the police had been drawing lessons from past events. But they dont. In 2000, the police used excessive force to disperse Arab protesters who blocked the main road of Wadi Ara. The incidents resulted in the death of 12 Israeli Arab protesters and a Palestinian, shot by policemen using live ammunition. Following the tragic events, a governmental commission of inquiry recommended that the police change its approach.

Seventeen years later, it seems that the lessons were not drawn. It was said about the House of Bourbon that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The same holds true for the Israeli police and government when it comes to the Arab minority.

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Celebrating Reunified Jerusalem 1968 – ISRAEL21c

Jerusalem Day is a national holiday marking the reunification of the city after the Six Day war in 1967. In May 1968, it was decided to mark the event with a day celebrating the unification of the city and the Jewish peoples connection with Jerusalem throughout the ages.

Some brief historical background, courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism: Jerusalem was divided from the War of Independence in 1948 until 1967. The western part of the city was in Israeli hands, and the eastern part excluding an Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus was under the control of the Jordanian kingdom. After the eastern part of the city was liberated, the walls dividing the city were torn down and three weeks later the Knesset enacted legislation unifying the city and extending Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part.

On Independence Day 1968 20 years after the War of Independence the Israel Defense Forces marched in Jerusalem with a display of might that included American-manufactured Bradley tanks, Hawk land-air missiles, Jeeps, armored personnel carriers and more

The IDF also showed off some of the Russian-made weaponry captured from Egypt during the 67 war.

A newsreel about the celebration describes the scene: Only months ago, these Soviet and Czechoslovak tanks, guns and rocket carriers were deployed around Israels borders to strike a fatal blow, to carry out the daily threats of destruction by our Arab neighbors. Today, they too take their place in the celebration, captured intact in their hundreds and thousands in the Six Day War.

The huge Long Tom guns, the Russian Katyusha rocket launchers, the ground-to-air SAM missiles Moscow made and sent as gifts to Egypts army received with thanks by the Israel Defense Forces in the Sinai wilderness.

Over the years, Jerusalem Day has developed its own set of traditions. There is the main ceremony, held on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, one of the sites of the harshest fighting in the battle over the city. There is the March of the Flags, in which thousands of people walk through the Old City, and end the day with speeches, concerts and celebration. Also on this day, immigrants from Ethiopia hold ceremonies to commemorate those Ethiopian Jews who died making their way to Israel and Jerusalem.

Postcard images courtesy of Nostal.co.il. For more images, visit their website and Like their Facebook page.

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BREAKING: Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Outside Modern Orthodox LA School – Forward

I just got word that an anti-Semitic, anti-LBGT group, the Westboro Baptist Church, plans to hold a protest outside a Modern Orthodox high school in our area on Monday morning, February 27. The school is called Shalhevet, which means small flame in Hebrew. It educates kids with a religious and secular education. It certainly isnt teaching them to hate Christians. So, what do these folks have against these Jewish teens? We live in central Los Angeles, near Hollywood, near the famous Fairfax avenue where Cantors Deli still serves up wonderfully-hip bagels. The school is located on Fairfax, but further south, by an area called Little Ethiopia, which is lined with Ethiopian restaurants.

So, why is this Christian hate-group coming here? What is their agenda? How do Jewish kids going to a Jewish school bother them? I dont understand it. Jesus was a Jew. Okay, we are not Christian, but do they really expect to convert the entire world to Christianity? Well, maybe they do. After all, they are fundamentalists.

Maybe it was just a convenient stop after going to the Oscars and demonstrating there, because in their words (from their horribly anti-LGBT website): God hates idols and God hates the media. The members of this so-called church are right-wing, rabble-rousers with signs, who sprout up in odd places. I have been ignoring them my whole life (even when I was demonstrating against them), but now they are coming to my backyard, so I cant ignore them.

My daughter in sixth grade hopes to go to the school, Shalhevet, where they are planning to demonstrate; my 28 year old daughter graduated from there. How does this schools existence infringe on these folks right to be Christian? It doesnt. So, did they pick the school because it recently passed a resolution pledging to treat LGBT students fairly and with respect?

The school is a bit more religious than our level of observance, but my daughter didnt mind wearing a skirt every day because the education was so fantastic. The town-hall, where students decide school policy, is famous. And now the school will be famous for being singled out from all the other Jewish schools in Los Angeles (and there are many) to be demonstrated against. Or is it the students who are being targeted? I am not sure.

Will I listen to the advice of our rabbi, who sent a warning saying to stay away, because they only want to engage, and we should not feed their hate? Or will I drive by and throw some eggs out my car window? Or hire some thugs to beat them up?

I think that targeting Jews is sick. What are we doing to bother them? The founding fathers learned Hebrew. But the odd thing about history is that it does tend to repeat itself. If you are narrow-minded and fear of the other, that fear follows you everywhere you go. If you are scared of a man dressed as a woman going into your bathroom, you need to look inside your soul and ask: What am I really afraid of? Same goes for if you feel compelled to hate Jews.

The sad thing is most of these people probably know Jews and do business with them. I believe very strongly that we are put on this earth to learn and grow, and if someone is different from you, and you are not used to that it is your problem, not theirs. You have two choices: you can a) learn about them or b) keep your mouth shut and be polite. It is remarkable how being polite gets one through most of life vicissitudes. That is until you have time to do some research and educate yourself. I would say that disrupting the education of some innocent teenagers is not polite.

In the case of segregation, African-Americans were forced to rise up, because Southern whites thought everything was fine under Jim Crow, and it wasnt. But its scary to think that even if black-white relations in this country have been rocky at late, no one is saying lets get rid of the blacks. At least, I hope not. So why are Jews a problem just because we exist?

How exactly do we pose a threat? Id like to know, because maybe I could take that power and bottle it and sell it. It would be worth a lot. Jews control the world. Well, if that were true, Id stop these folks from their fallacious activities.

On Monday morning, I may defy my rabbi, and get up early and go video tape or somehow keep an eye on the situation. Maybe Ill send a video to the news station. Or maybe theyll already be there.

Or maybe Ill just sleep in. After all, as my Hungarian grandmother wisely said from the perch of her Beverly Hills home, living well is the best revenge.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Ethiopia to Israel: Refugee Speaks of Her Journey – The Dickinsonian

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues hosted speaker Maly G. Jackson to share her story as a travelling Jewish refugee in 1984 and her life afterward.

Jacksons lecture, titled Ethiopia to Israel, took place on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter auditorium, and garnered approximately 100 faculty, staff, student and community member attendees. The event was coordinated in conjunction with the Departments of Judaic Studies; Religion; and Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Milton B. Asbell center for Jewish Life.

Jackson is one of about 20,000 Ethiopian Jews who attempted to leave Ethiopia for Israel between 1977 and 1985. By 1973, the Chief Rabbi of Israel declared them eligible for Israeli citizenship. This came after Jewish Ethiopians were separated from the rest of the population and heavily restricted due to fears of the landed aristocracy. Jackson described her experience in one village of about 50 families in mud huts without plumbing, running water or electricity where they were persecuted, harassed and killed.

Jackson said that her grandmother told her about Jerusalem, which she called the city of gold, and promised that her family would settle there. Jackson said that her grandfather, though he did not know the term, was an avid Zionist. When she was seven years old, her mother took her and her two-year-old sister on a dangerous journey in hopes of being airlifted by Mossad.

Rowan Humphries 19 was the Clarke Forum project manager for the event, and she said of the decision to invite Jackson:

We think it is important, now more than ever, for the voices of refugees to be heard. We believe no one should be barred from the U.S., a country founded by immigrants, based on religion or nationality. While we cannot change laws, we can change the way we think about our fellow human beings by opening our minds to their stories.

Jackson told her story in its entirety, pausing at times when overcome with emotion. She described the three-week walk through the desert, months in the camps, being bitten by a scorpion, watching others lose family and friends and her eventual settlement in Israel. She emphasized that there are many other narratives, saying, This is just my story. So many people went on that journey, and so many people have their own story, their own struggles.

In Israel, she had access to education, the entirety of Judaism and the modern world. She was unable to complete the mandatory years military service by attending school and working to support her family, but she later spent two years assisting the police in the community. She says she has never wanted to return to Ethiopia, but that she does want to visit her father. She said that though she is very happy with her life in America, This [Israel] is the country I suffered for. I am hoping one day I do go back to my country.

If we dont educate our children, our identity will slowly be fading Jackson said of the Jewish population in America.

Olivia Kuchta 19 said of the lecture, It was incredible to see this strong woman stand up in front of the Dickinson community and tell us the storyIm so happy I had a chance to attend such a moving speech.

Yael Farber 17 said Jacksons talk, served as a reminder to me of the diversity of the Jewish community around the world.

After the event, Jackson said, I just want to thank the students and staff for arranging this wonderful event. The students of Dickinson [College] were very professional and they represent the next generation of future leaders.

For more information about the Clarke Forums events, visit clarke.dickinson.edu.

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Ethiopia to Israel: Refugee Speaks of Her Journey – The Dickinsonian

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February 16, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Even without perfection, Israel is a model for liberal democracy – thejewishchronicle.net

With controversy over egalitarian prayer, settlements, Palestinian and Ethiopian rights, and many other issues roiling Israeli society, one might be tempted to conclude that Israel cannot be, at once, the nation-state of the Jewish people, a democracy and a country with a commitment to the human rights of all who live in it, and that therefore it is on its way toward an inevitable rift with Diaspora Jewry and the international community. After recently visiting Israel on a Jewish Council for Public Affairs Mission as a Frank Family Fellow for emerging leaders, and hearing from more than 40 government and NGO leaders dedicated to, among other things, womens rights, religious pluralism, Ethiopian and minority rights and Israeli-Arab co-existence, I am convinced that such a conclusion would be wrong.

My meetings which took place over the span of a week in early December made it abundantly clear to me that Israel, much like the United States, aspires to be a pluralistic, Western-style, liberal democracy dedicated to the rule of law. Much like the United States, Israel has the potential to offer all of the people within her borders freedoms and equal rights that most other states, particularly in the Middle East, would never provide. This is part of the fundamental character of the homeland of the Jewish people. We, as Diaspora Jews, and really as Americans, should embrace it, support it and present this message to others, Jews and non-Jews, who may have doubts about Israels true character.

Take, for example, the Bialik-Rogozin School, which I had the pleasure of touring with its principal, Eli Nechama. Bialik-Rogozin is a unique model school where refugees and children of migrant workers, some of them with little or no schooling, are integrated into Israeli society with special educational programs. The school is funded by the Israeli government and educates more than 1,150 students from first to 12th grades. The students comprise poor third-generation Israeli-born families, work immigrants, new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, refugees from Darfur and minority Arabs, to name a few.

The schools main objective is to provide these underprivileged and diverse students with opportunities to develop their potential. Education is available regardless of religion, nationality or race. This is the sort of endeavor that true pluralistic, liberal democracies pursue.

Achievements like Bialik-Rogozin do not come easily. Just ask the United States, which even now struggles every day to promote womens rights, religious rights and minority rights, all while attempting to ensure security in a post-9/11 world.

The United States has been at the liberal democracy game since the 1700s, and it still struggles every day to reach the aspirational goals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. Israel was born by its own Declaration of Independence only in 1948 making it just under 70 years old. In 1859, at age 70, the United States was sharply divided; women were denied the right to vote, slavery reigned in the American South and the nation stood on the precipice of a deadly Civil War. In short, the growing pains and challenges that the United States faced then were significant.

Israel also has struggles at 70 with, among other things, womens rights, religious pluralism, Ethiopian and minority rights and Israeli-Arab co-existence. The 40-plus meetings that I participated in during my mission, however, provide convincing proof that Israels present struggles are much less severe than the United States struggles at the same age, and provide strong proof that leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that Israel fulfills its potential as a pluralistic, Western-style liberal democracy that is, at the same time, the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Yet, for some reason, Israels growth and struggles as a burgeoning democracy stoke outrage from many segments of society, even calls by the BDS movement for Israels outright destruction. Some well-meaning people, including some Diaspora Jews, have been seduced by BDS as a means to effect social change in Israel. Others have become so frustrated that they simply have given up on Israel and the Zionist movement, calling it racist, colonialist and at odds with Palestinian rights, womens rights and religious pluralism. This is simply wrong.

We cannot afford to turn our backs on Israel. It does not deserve our scorn. As Jews and Americans, it deserves our support and advocacy. That Israel is struggling as it grows does not mean we should give up, boycott or simply abandon the eternal homeland of the Jewish people. On the contrary, we must remain optimistic, offering assistance and support along the way. We should engage, not boycott or give up.

We should also reach out to those we know throughout the Jewish and general community to tell them the true story of Israel, which has great potential to remain a light unto nations, in the name of the Jewish people, forever.

Randal M. Whitlatch is a Pittsburgh attorney.

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Even without perfection, Israel is a model for liberal democracy – thejewishchronicle.net

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OPINION: Supporting inclusion requires supporting Israel – Red and Black

On Jan. 20, I fell asleep with a heavy heart. I stood in solidarity with my fellow UGA students during the Day of Inclusion, but in reality, the Day of Inclusion excluded me.

The Progressive Action Coalition’s Points of Unity rightfully embraced intersectionality, but what do these points mean? What does it truly mean to be “for equality” or “indigenous rights”? What does it mean to “stand against racism” or “ableism”?

What does it mean to “stand against…Zionism”?

The answer may surprise you: Zionism is the liberation movement seeking the self-determination of the Jewish people in their indigenous homeland Israel. My people were exiled from our homeland 2,000 years ago, enduredexpulsion from country after country, persevered throughunspeakable oppression and survived the most horrificgenocide in human history, only to return home.

Therefore, to stand against Zionism is to stand against indigenous people’s rights.

The notion of Jewish self-determination as “settler-colonialism” is a blatant attempt to erase our history, includingcontinuedJewish presence in Israel during our exile. It delegitimizes our right to sovereignty in our ancestral homeland, a right afforded to all indigenous peoples around the world.

Standing against Zionism is to exclude and thereby endanger a community that is a constant target. In the past two weeks, 46 Jewish Community Centers around the country evacuated their buildings due tobomb threats. The FBI states that 52 percent ofreligious hate crimes in the US are antisemitic. This is nearly twice the number of the next highest figure.

It is to stand against a liberation movement which resulted in the State of Israel, the embodiment of the Progressive Action Coalition’s ‘Points of Unity intersectional principles.

It is to stand against the only citizens in the Middle East who enjoy the recognition and celebration of same-sex marriage, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom to assemble, resist, criticize and petition against the government.

It is to stand against a society that was the third in the world to be led by afemale head of state and currently boasts ahigher percentage of women in parliament than in Canada, France and the United States.

It is to stand against a people whoindiscriminately give humanitarian aid to those in need. Over 39 countries have receivedaid from Israel, including Haiti, Japan, Nepal and the United States.

It is to stand against Save a Child’s Hearts team of Israeli, Ethiopian and Palestinian doctors who have operated on over 4,000 children. Half of these children are Palestinian children from Gaza and the West Bank.

It is to stand against a people whocrowdfunded over $350,000 in a week for the benefit of Syrian children; a people who are thefirst faces Syrian refugees see when they wash ashore; and a people who have opened theirhomes and their hospitals to heal over 2,000 Syrian refugeesfor free.

“Maybe a day before [this patient] was at the border trying to kill my son who’s in the army. Here, I will give him a hug. Roni, a social worker who helps heal refugees in Haifa,said. We’re not politics, this isn’t politics. This is who we are.

Israel is inclusion. Although complex and difficult, Israel is a shared society where Jews and Arabs can live side-by-side as the brothers and sisters we are. Israel is a model for how a bitterly divided America can unite people across political, gender, sexuality and racial spectrums.

As we stand together as UGA students to fight injustice, let us embrace this unity that is inherent in intersectionality. Let us UnifyUGA.

Rachel Schwartzon behalf of UnifyUGA

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OPINION: Supporting inclusion requires supporting Israel – Red and Black

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NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Awarded MLK Prize in Jerusalem – Forward

On Sunday, former NBA player and now Israeli basketball star Amare Stoudemire, was awarded Israels Martin Luther King Jr. Award, given to individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of Dr. King. I am truly honored to be receiving this amazing award, said Stoudemire, who signed a two-year contract with Israels Hapoel Jerusalem club last year. In a video to his Instagram followers, Stoudemire stood against the night skyline of Jerusalem and described the award as honoring my courage to be an Israelite and also to be able to work and talk about equality to all nations. Every Black History Month, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the State of Israel give out this award to individuals who promote diversity and tolerance, a press release read. Stoudemire runs the Amare and Alexis Stoudemire Foundation with his wife, Alexis which supports at-risk youth around the world, according to the foundationss website. In Israel, Stoudemire is continuing his philanthropic work. He hosted a basketball peace camp this summer, which drew participants from a range of distinct Israeli communities, including Palestinians, Hebrew Israelites and Ethiopian Jews. Stoudemire also hosted another childrens camp at the Israel Museum, part of an annual series called In The Paint, which joins together basketball and art activities. Israeli officials lauded Stoudemire. Stoudemire has again set an example that sportsmanship supersedes nationality, ethnicity, or religious affiliation, said Russell F. Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund-USA. Robinson said that all of these qualities are welcome in Israel, a country he called a beacon of democracy in an otherwise turbulent part of the world. Amare Stoudemire has spearheaded many initiatives that empower the less fortunate and advance important principles like tolerance, peace, creativity and healthy living, said Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York. Past recipients of Israels MLK Award have included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the author Toni Morrison, entrepreneur Russell Simmons and Harry Belafonte. When Stoudemire signed his deal with Hapoel in early August moving to Jerusalem with his entire family his spiritual and professional paths converged. Stoudemire has been on a years long journey into religion and heritage, a path that has fascinated and at times bewildered, American Jews and Israelis. He is not Jewish, as some continue to report, but a Hebrew Israelite meaning he views the Torah as an ancestral record of African Americans, and sees the land of Israel as part of his heritage. Stoudemire maintains close ties with the Hebrew Israelites of Dimona, and even executive produced a documentary film about that community. Stoudemire regularly peppers his social media with biblical quotes. If your ancestors were brought to America, or any other part of the world by slave ship, you are from the ancient tribe of the Hebrew Israelites, Stoudemire said in a February 2016 YouTube video alongside a Hebrew Israelite pastor in Chicago. This is black history, this is true black history. Despite the praise from Israeli officials, since the move to Jerusalem Stoudemire has faced some adversity. The Stoudemires 12-year-old son, Deuce, was barred from playing games with Hapoel Jerusalems youth team because he is not an Israeli citizen. Deuce was invited to play baseball instead. Stoudemire has also clashed with Israeli basketball referees on a number of occasions, even taking to social media to rail against the officials. I have witnessed the worst officiating in the world of basketball, Stoudemire wrote on Instagram. Way to discourage other top players from coming to play in Israel. Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Reading, Writing, Chanting – The Smart Set

I was elated. By an act of fate, this years Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference was scheduled to be held in Washington, DC. Id been attending the conference for over 20 years, but this would be the first time that the conference would be located in the eye of an American political storm of this magnitude. Participants from all 50 states would find themselves in Washington during Trumps first 100 days. When AWP organized its first conference in 1973, it became an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Since then, the conference has grown in size to over 12,000 attendees. It runs four days with formal presentations scheduled from eight a.m. to eight p.m. and informal, off-site events at nearby restaurants and bars. Attending the conference is akin to a Kierkegaardian leap of faith. How will you as a writer react when confronted with 12,000 others, many with national reputations? Believe me, you arrive at a dark place, unsullied by your own success. Still, others feel differently, Being at AWP inspires you to do more, the novelist Elizabeth L. Silver told me as we walked the book fair together. It reminds you of what you aspire to be, no matter where you fall in the literary world. For me, its a situation that forces me to confront myself. I traveled to the conference by Amtrak, knowing that the passengers scribbling in notebooks were all headed to the same place. If Id visualized them crowding me in like this when I was writing, alone in my room, Id never have committed a single word to the page. Once I arrived, I headed directly to the book fair, searching for kind editors to whom to pitch my work. I experienced emotions that put me at a loss for words as these editors either encouraged or resisted my offer to submit to their press. The aisles were filled with writers I admire, and I got to attend their book signings and stand face to face with them in extended conversations, as I did this year with several of my heroes, including E. Ethelbert Miller and Dave Eggers. Its how I met the Haitian-American author Fabienne Joshaphat who has since become a friend. Its a situation that forces you to confront your most competitive, bitter self. Every year that I attend the conference, I experience a different range of emotions, from tears and outrage at the publishing worlds narrow biases, to elation at being chosen for publication and reaping its rewards. But to get the most out of the conference is to be free of the picture of success it offers. Publications, prizes, and awards are distractions. The real goal is to enhance your teaching and to produce beautiful writing, that which transforms peoples versions of reality and makes an impact, and that is what keeps me going back to the conference year after year. The conference schedule listed presentations with titles such as Which Comes First Activism or Art, Global Narratives Within US Culture, and Translation as a Political Act, this in the first hours. At the Global Narratives Within US Culture talk, I listened to five authors discuss how their immigrant experiences shape their writing. Born in either Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia, Uruguay, or the Philippines, these five authors, (Achey Obejas, Carolina De Robertis, Laleh Khadvi, Patricia Engel, and M. Evelina Galang) connected through their protest against the Trump administrations dehumanization of refugees and immigrants. I never stop thinking of myself as a Cuban immigrant. Not for a minute. Every minute of every day, the world reminds me, Achey Obejas said, but she could have spoken for everyone on the panel. In the 1980s, as an MFA student at the nations premier writing program, the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, my class of 60-some aspiring writers and poets was mostly white with three Asian students and not a single black student. Weaned on Baldwin, Hughes, Brooks, and Ellison, I was aware of the bleached-out aesthetic the workshop promoted in the absence of black voices. I had been writing since I was ten, Toi Dericotte writes in Gathering Around: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canems First Decade: [I]n all my years of study from grade school through graduate school I had never read a black poet. I had never been taught by a black teacher . . . There was a suspicion that black people werent really good enough to be published, to be poets. My journey as a poet has been to face the locked places in myself that have blocked expression shame, self-loathing, doubt finding inside me, that dead eye that is able to discern its way down deeper than what is stopping it. I am familiar with that dead eye Dericotte describes. As one of a handful of Jewish students in workshop at the University of Iowa, we sought each other out and banded together. We called ourselves The Rescue Squad and appeared at one anothers apartments when one of us was passed over for a merit scholarship or our writing came under attack in the workshops hostile and competitive atmosphere. In an effort to fit in, I practiced talking without using my hands. I often resorted to sitting on them to keep them still. I only contributed to a discussion when I was absolutely sure I wouldnt be shot down for what I had to say. It wasnt necessarily our teachers who discouraged us from speaking from a point of view or writing about topics that were considered too Jewish. There in the freakishly cold, near-zero winters of the 1980s Midwest, it was a deep-seated cultural message. I winced when one of my friends used the word challah in a poem. Another, compelled to write about the Holocaust, had an especially hard time. We were clearly discouraged from writing about anything political. In a weird interpretation of Adrienne Richs famous cry, the personal is political, we were taught again and again that to take a political stand would cause our writing to become didactic. As women, as Jews, we walked a fine line between being true to our own experiences, yet reprimanded when our politics seeped in. Instead, we were praised for writing pastoral poems or poems exploring family relationships. My breakthrough poem was about my grandmothers barbituate habit, yet my gut feeling is that if I had placed her within the particular Jewish context in which she lived, Id have faced disapproval. Our workshops were more focused on aesthetics, poet and publisher Henry Israeli, who attended the workshop a decade after I did, told me. I dont remember anyone writing about being Jewish. He grinned. The only thing I remember is that we werent supposed to be writing apocalypse poems for some reason. One of my professors actually warned us not to write them. The second day of the conference, I joined up with a group of fellow Pennsylvanians to march to the Senate House to voice our complaints to our state Representative, Senator Toomey. Poet Lisa Sewell had managed to get an appointment. The nine of us, residents from across the state, sat at a polished mahogany conference table and one by one denounced the Trump Administrations threats to health care, free speech, schools, and immigrants. The young staffer who met with us wore an Eagles sweatshirt. He stoically recorded our complaints in a copy book. We did not quote poetry, but throughout our meeting, Shellys famous statement, Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, clung to my lips. I attended a talk that Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok gave on their Voices of Witness project. The project has produced a book series of oral narratives that takes a humanizing, literary approach to illuminating the stories of people around the world who have experienced injustice. Volunteers were called up to read excerpts from narratives. One DACA recipient appeared on a screen and told us how crucial telling her story had been to her, especially now amid her fear of deportation since Trumps election. I moderated a panel called When Writers Move In and Out of their Countries and Genres. Dina Elenbogen, Fabienne Joshaphat, and I spoke about the difficulties we faced publishing works set outside the US with protagonists who are not American. My own novel, based on the life of a South Sudanese refugee, spans three continents; Dinas about Ethiopian Jews takes place in Israel; and Fabiennes is set during the Duvalier regime in Haiti. I just dont know how to market this book, several editors whod rejected my novel had told me because they did not know how to make room for a book about a South Sudanese protagonist. If youd filtered it through your point of view . . . if youd written it as nonfiction . . . theyd remarked as if my protagonists voice and experience would be recognizable only if an American narrator represented it as her own experience of a foreign culture. Fortunately, I didnt give up, and when I couldnt find a commercial press that was willing to take a chance on my book, I submitted it to an independent press, Harvard Square Editions a press with the dedicated claim to breaking through cultural boundaries. The conference site, the Washington Convention Center, was located a mere mile from the White House: close enough to walk. But it was cold outside, so I rode in a Lyft people were still protesting Uber with four other writers to a candlelight vigil for freedom of expression in Lafayette Park, adjacent to the White House, which was sponsored by Eric Sasson along with the writers organizations VONA and Split this Rock. Writers Kazim Ali, Gabrielle Bellot, Melissa Febos, Carolyn Forche, Ross Gay, Luis J. Rodriquez, and Eric Sasson spoke and read poetry to the hundreds assembled. Melissa Febos began: This gathering is called a vigil, but what is a vigil? Its a period of keeping awake when everyone else is sleeping, and thats what we are doing here. Keeping awake. I joined in with the others, clapping our hands together and raising our fists. My mind is on the trees, Ross Gay followed, in a stunning nod to the occasion of hundreds of writers assembled in a park, holding candles in the darkness, many from small towns far from DC. He read Cornelius Eadys gorgeous poem, Gratitude, written several decades ago about being a 36-year-old black man in America, yet moreso holds true today: A lucky man/gets to sing/his name./I have survived/long enough/to tell a bit/Of an old story/. . . I want to tell you/Im 36/Years old,/I have lived/in and against/my blood/I want to tell you/I am grateful/because/(after all)/I am a black,/American poet. . . Standing among the trees, among the candlelit flames, a member of a very solitary and competitive profession writing I experienced feeling like a member of a community, chanting in unison: What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Truth/What do we want?/Poetry/When do we want it?/Now! Earlier that afternoon, escaping the insensate air of the convention center, author and editor Jill Bialosky and I walked down 9th Ave. to the White House. The streets in DC run slantwise and we had to consult google maps to find our way. When we arrived, however, there was no mistaking the 20-foot-tall metal fence surrounding the perimeter that had been installed for the inauguration and still glared back at us in the sunlight. Oh, its going to come down soon, a guard in black militia gear and helmet told us. We asked him to snap our picture, but he said he was not permitted to do so and we had no choice but to take selfies of the two us standing in front of that fence, the house where Trump lives behind it, wondering how soon would be soon enough. Images courtesy of the Fintrvlr, dionhinchcliffe, bookishjulia, Geoff Livingston, and Richard Ricciardi via Flickr (Creative Commons).

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Feeling like you’re home – The Jewish Standard

Five Bergen County women visited Israel earlier this month as part of the Jewish Federations of North Americas Heart to Heart mission. The mission included 68 women from 19 communities across the country. In addition to four packed days visiting projects funded by JFNA and partner organizations such as the Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and the Joint Distribution Committee, some of the local participants spent time in Nahariya, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jerseys P2G Partnership City in the north. It was a special visit, as we were able to spend some quality time with the folks on the ground who run the programs that are directly supported by JFNNJ, said Dana Post Adler of Tenafly, a board member of JFNNJ and the National Womens Philanthropy Board of Jewish Federations of North America and co-president of the Womens Philanthropy Board of JFNNJ. We had an emotional visit at the training center within Nahariyas firehouse, where we presented one fireman, Gil Barsano, with a photograph and plaque of his son Adar, who was killed in action during Operation Protective Edge and who had also been a volunteer firefighter in Nahariya, Ms. Adler reported. The training center was funded by JFNNJ. We visited Bayit Cham Warm House where we met two successful young women who had used the services of the home when they were considered youth at risk during their teenage years. We met with a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who told us her story at the survivors group that our dollars support, and we toured a small food pantry and thrift shop for needy families. Having lunch by the Mediterranean with the P2G leadership and the deputy mayor, my friend Orna Starkmann, is always a special treat. Ms. Adler recruited the other local participants. One of them, Lisa Hecht of Tenafly, had never been to Israel before. The best part of the trip for me was seeing Israel through my dear friend Lisas eyes for the first time davening at the Kotel, walking through the Old City, and soaking up the connection that we all have to the history of our people, Ms. Adler said. I also hope that she was impressed by all the good work we do through our federation. Ms. Hecht said she indeed was impressed by projects such as Masira, a JDC program to help integrate and empower disabled Arab-Israelis in their communities; the Ethiopian National Project, which runs a variety of support programs for Ethiopian-Israeli youth and adults, and JAFIs emergency assistance to families in the Jerusalem area who lost their homes in the November forest fires. I got to see and do many things, and meet many people that I wouldnt have had I been on a tourist trip, she said. Being with Dana on this very special journey was like having my own personal scholar in residence. Ms. Hecht said her most moving experience was being asked to lead the Shehecheyanu prayer with three other first-timers as their bus reached Jerusalem at sunset. I will always remember that moment: my first trip to Israel, arriving in Jerusalem the City of Gold and reciting this ancient prayer surrounded by so many amazing women. It was the fifth Heart to Heart Mission for Gale S. Bindelglass of Franklin Lakes, and her 13th trip to Israel in 11 years. She said that on every trip she comes away thoroughly impressed by the spiritual, agricultural, and technical wonderment of Israel and feels romantically in love with this complicated and glorious land. On last years mission she marked her adult bat mitzvah alongside Russian women who spent a lot of their lives not even knowing they were Jewish, she said. This year she held one of the four poles of the chuppah over a group of Ethiopian-Israeli bnot mitzvah. The women attended the group bnot mitzvah of these Ethiopian girls. They have come a long way in their lives and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families, Franci Steinberg said. Ms. Bindelglass has many communal affiliations: past co-president of Womens Philanthropy, immediate past chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, past chair of the Brotherhood Sisterhood Interfaith Committee, member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, and board member of JFNNJ and Jewish Family Service of Northern New Jersey. She built a teaching kitchen in her home to host outreach events for the Jewish community revolving around her philosophy of food, love, and gratitude. Thats why one of her favorite experiences during Heart to Heart was cooking alongside grandmothers in Petach Tikvah who earn an income preparing traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Iraqi dishes for needy neighborhood children, a program the federation supports through JAFI and JDC. While enjoying the lunch we all made together, quite to my surprise after spending real quality time talking with the chefs running the event I was tapped on the shoulder, asked to stand up, and they bestowed me with their apron, Ms. Bindelglass said. I was basically named Top Chef of a group of 70 women, and they asked me to go home to my teaching kitchen, cook in their apron, and email them photos. To me, this was very exciting and affirmational. Franci Steinberg of Tenafly, a member of the Womens Philanthropy Board, said she saw Heart to Heart as an opportunity to visit Israel not as a first-time visitor or to see the usual sights, but to see Israel from another viewpoint and to see how Jews in America help Israel. Ms. Steinberg said one highlight was watching the parents at the Ethiopian group bat mitzvah. These families were beaming with joy, and I will never forget the pride and smiles on their faces as they watched their daughters, she said. They have come a long way in their lives, and it was so wonderful to share this day with them and their families. Suzette Diamond of Cresskill, a JFNNJ board member, said she participated in Heart to Heart to see the impact of donor dollars firsthand, and she was not disappointed. Our first morning in Jerusalem we visited an oncologist at what used to be his home before a forest fire over Thanksgiving weekend completely burned everything they owned, Ms. Diamond said. They are three generations living in one home he and his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and their two children. Luckily they escaped without injury, but also with no time to take anything with them, including their shoes. By the Monday morning after the fire, funds collected by JAFI from partners including JFNA were presented to this physician and about 600 other families affected by the fires. With hugs and checks, federation was physically there for our Israeli brothers and sisters who suffered in these forest fires, providing love and money to buy immediate necessities, Ms. Diamons said. Once you travel on a mission, you realize the impact we have in other communities. Ms. Adler noted that even a short mission like Heart to Heart is enough to dispel mistaken impressions about Israel. Israel is so many wonderful things, and unfortunately what we read and see in the news is often distorted and wrong, she said. My biggest message is to go, and go often. See for yourself what the country is like, learn the precarious geography, sample the fabulous food, speak to the people. Trust me, youll feel like youre home.

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February 26, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Rushing to conclusions – Jerusalem Post Israel News

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES carry the body of Yacoub Abu al-Kiyan during his funeral in the Beduin village of Umm al-Hiran.. (photo credit:AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS) The Justice Ministrys unit that investigates alleged police wrongdoing will soon publish its findings about last months tragic incident in Umm al-Hiram. The findings will refute the initial false claim, made an hour after the incident by the police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, and the public security minister, Gilad Erdan, that it was a terrorist attack. The findings will expose three worrying Israeli tendencies: the polices hypocritical double standard treatment of Israeli Arabs versus Israeli Jews; the culture of lies embodied in the police force; and the practice of Israeli politicians to portray almost any violent incident involving Israeli Arabs be it a demonstration or a civil protest as a terrorist act. During an extensive police operation in the middle of the night in the Beduin village in the Negev Desert to demolish illegal homes on January 18, policemen killed a local teacher, Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, who was driving his car. As a result of the shooting a police officer, Erez Amadi Levi, was killed when Abu al-Kaeeans car crashed into a group of policemen. Despite the initial claim that by Alsheich and Erdan that Abu al-Kaeean was suspected of supporting ISIS and intentionally tried to kill members of the police force, it seems that after being shot he lost control of his vehicle. Unlike in other Western democracies, where politicians respect the judiciary and police due processes and refrain from comments before inquiries are completed, Israeli politicians, mainly from the Right, violate all basic principles and rush to conclusions that suit their ideology. Instead of holding their tongues, they land themselves in embarrassing situations; nevertheless, they rarely apologize. But the more fundamental issue is the reality in which Israel has a police force that treats people from different sectors differently. A few weeks before the Umm al-Hiram incident, the police were sent to demolish houses in Amona, an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. They arrived in daylight, carried no weapons, and were instructed to be sensitive and considerate. This showed that if the police really want perform their duties as expected in a democratic state, they can. This kind of a police double standard is not confined to the treatment of Arabs. The police have shown that when it comes to other weak and less privileged Jewish minority groups, such as Ethiopian Jews or the ultra-Orthodox, they arrive at the scene with an aggressive attitude. All these could be understood though not justified if at least the police had been drawing lessons from past events. But they dont. In 2000, the police used excessive force to disperse Arab protesters who blocked the main road of Wadi Ara. The incidents resulted in the death of 12 Israeli Arab protesters and a Palestinian, shot by policemen using live ammunition. Following the tragic events, a governmental commission of inquiry recommended that the police change its approach. Seventeen years later, it seems that the lessons were not drawn. It was said about the House of Bourbon that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing. The same holds true for the Israeli police and government when it comes to the Arab minority. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Prev Article Dershowitz: Israel does not cause antisemitism Letters to the editor: Readers react to sentencing of Elor Azaria Next Article

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February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Celebrating Reunified Jerusalem 1968 – ISRAEL21c

Jerusalem Day is a national holiday marking the reunification of the city after the Six Day war in 1967. In May 1968, it was decided to mark the event with a day celebrating the unification of the city and the Jewish peoples connection with Jerusalem throughout the ages. Some brief historical background, courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism: Jerusalem was divided from the War of Independence in 1948 until 1967. The western part of the city was in Israeli hands, and the eastern part excluding an Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus was under the control of the Jordanian kingdom. After the eastern part of the city was liberated, the walls dividing the city were torn down and three weeks later the Knesset enacted legislation unifying the city and extending Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part. On Independence Day 1968 20 years after the War of Independence the Israel Defense Forces marched in Jerusalem with a display of might that included American-manufactured Bradley tanks, Hawk land-air missiles, Jeeps, armored personnel carriers and more The IDF also showed off some of the Russian-made weaponry captured from Egypt during the 67 war. A newsreel about the celebration describes the scene: Only months ago, these Soviet and Czechoslovak tanks, guns and rocket carriers were deployed around Israels borders to strike a fatal blow, to carry out the daily threats of destruction by our Arab neighbors. Today, they too take their place in the celebration, captured intact in their hundreds and thousands in the Six Day War. The huge Long Tom guns, the Russian Katyusha rocket launchers, the ground-to-air SAM missiles Moscow made and sent as gifts to Egypts army received with thanks by the Israel Defense Forces in the Sinai wilderness. Over the years, Jerusalem Day has developed its own set of traditions. There is the main ceremony, held on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, one of the sites of the harshest fighting in the battle over the city. There is the March of the Flags, in which thousands of people walk through the Old City, and end the day with speeches, concerts and celebration. Also on this day, immigrants from Ethiopia hold ceremonies to commemorate those Ethiopian Jews who died making their way to Israel and Jerusalem. Postcard images courtesy of Nostal.co.il. For more images, visit their website and Like their Facebook page.

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February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

BREAKING: Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Outside Modern Orthodox LA School – Forward

I just got word that an anti-Semitic, anti-LBGT group, the Westboro Baptist Church, plans to hold a protest outside a Modern Orthodox high school in our area on Monday morning, February 27. The school is called Shalhevet, which means small flame in Hebrew. It educates kids with a religious and secular education. It certainly isnt teaching them to hate Christians. So, what do these folks have against these Jewish teens? We live in central Los Angeles, near Hollywood, near the famous Fairfax avenue where Cantors Deli still serves up wonderfully-hip bagels. The school is located on Fairfax, but further south, by an area called Little Ethiopia, which is lined with Ethiopian restaurants. So, why is this Christian hate-group coming here? What is their agenda? How do Jewish kids going to a Jewish school bother them? I dont understand it. Jesus was a Jew. Okay, we are not Christian, but do they really expect to convert the entire world to Christianity? Well, maybe they do. After all, they are fundamentalists. Maybe it was just a convenient stop after going to the Oscars and demonstrating there, because in their words (from their horribly anti-LGBT website): God hates idols and God hates the media. The members of this so-called church are right-wing, rabble-rousers with signs, who sprout up in odd places. I have been ignoring them my whole life (even when I was demonstrating against them), but now they are coming to my backyard, so I cant ignore them. My daughter in sixth grade hopes to go to the school, Shalhevet, where they are planning to demonstrate; my 28 year old daughter graduated from there. How does this schools existence infringe on these folks right to be Christian? It doesnt. So, did they pick the school because it recently passed a resolution pledging to treat LGBT students fairly and with respect? The school is a bit more religious than our level of observance, but my daughter didnt mind wearing a skirt every day because the education was so fantastic. The town-hall, where students decide school policy, is famous. And now the school will be famous for being singled out from all the other Jewish schools in Los Angeles (and there are many) to be demonstrated against. Or is it the students who are being targeted? I am not sure. Will I listen to the advice of our rabbi, who sent a warning saying to stay away, because they only want to engage, and we should not feed their hate? Or will I drive by and throw some eggs out my car window? Or hire some thugs to beat them up? I think that targeting Jews is sick. What are we doing to bother them? The founding fathers learned Hebrew. But the odd thing about history is that it does tend to repeat itself. If you are narrow-minded and fear of the other, that fear follows you everywhere you go. If you are scared of a man dressed as a woman going into your bathroom, you need to look inside your soul and ask: What am I really afraid of? Same goes for if you feel compelled to hate Jews. The sad thing is most of these people probably know Jews and do business with them. I believe very strongly that we are put on this earth to learn and grow, and if someone is different from you, and you are not used to that it is your problem, not theirs. You have two choices: you can a) learn about them or b) keep your mouth shut and be polite. It is remarkable how being polite gets one through most of life vicissitudes. That is until you have time to do some research and educate yourself. I would say that disrupting the education of some innocent teenagers is not polite. In the case of segregation, African-Americans were forced to rise up, because Southern whites thought everything was fine under Jim Crow, and it wasnt. But its scary to think that even if black-white relations in this country have been rocky at late, no one is saying lets get rid of the blacks. At least, I hope not. So why are Jews a problem just because we exist? How exactly do we pose a threat? Id like to know, because maybe I could take that power and bottle it and sell it. It would be worth a lot. Jews control the world. Well, if that were true, Id stop these folks from their fallacious activities. On Monday morning, I may defy my rabbi, and get up early and go video tape or somehow keep an eye on the situation. Maybe Ill send a video to the news station. Or maybe theyll already be there. Or maybe Ill just sleep in. After all, as my Hungarian grandmother wisely said from the perch of her Beverly Hills home, living well is the best revenge. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward. The Forward’s independent journalism depends on donations from readers like you.

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February 25, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Ethiopia to Israel: Refugee Speaks of Her Journey – The Dickinsonian

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues hosted speaker Maly G. Jackson to share her story as a travelling Jewish refugee in 1984 and her life afterward. Jacksons lecture, titled Ethiopia to Israel, took place on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter auditorium, and garnered approximately 100 faculty, staff, student and community member attendees. The event was coordinated in conjunction with the Departments of Judaic Studies; Religion; and Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Milton B. Asbell center for Jewish Life. Jackson is one of about 20,000 Ethiopian Jews who attempted to leave Ethiopia for Israel between 1977 and 1985. By 1973, the Chief Rabbi of Israel declared them eligible for Israeli citizenship. This came after Jewish Ethiopians were separated from the rest of the population and heavily restricted due to fears of the landed aristocracy. Jackson described her experience in one village of about 50 families in mud huts without plumbing, running water or electricity where they were persecuted, harassed and killed. Jackson said that her grandmother told her about Jerusalem, which she called the city of gold, and promised that her family would settle there. Jackson said that her grandfather, though he did not know the term, was an avid Zionist. When she was seven years old, her mother took her and her two-year-old sister on a dangerous journey in hopes of being airlifted by Mossad. Rowan Humphries 19 was the Clarke Forum project manager for the event, and she said of the decision to invite Jackson: We think it is important, now more than ever, for the voices of refugees to be heard. We believe no one should be barred from the U.S., a country founded by immigrants, based on religion or nationality. While we cannot change laws, we can change the way we think about our fellow human beings by opening our minds to their stories. Jackson told her story in its entirety, pausing at times when overcome with emotion. She described the three-week walk through the desert, months in the camps, being bitten by a scorpion, watching others lose family and friends and her eventual settlement in Israel. She emphasized that there are many other narratives, saying, This is just my story. So many people went on that journey, and so many people have their own story, their own struggles. In Israel, she had access to education, the entirety of Judaism and the modern world. She was unable to complete the mandatory years military service by attending school and working to support her family, but she later spent two years assisting the police in the community. She says she has never wanted to return to Ethiopia, but that she does want to visit her father. She said that though she is very happy with her life in America, This [Israel] is the country I suffered for. I am hoping one day I do go back to my country. If we dont educate our children, our identity will slowly be fading Jackson said of the Jewish population in America. Olivia Kuchta 19 said of the lecture, It was incredible to see this strong woman stand up in front of the Dickinson community and tell us the storyIm so happy I had a chance to attend such a moving speech. Yael Farber 17 said Jacksons talk, served as a reminder to me of the diversity of the Jewish community around the world. After the event, Jackson said, I just want to thank the students and staff for arranging this wonderful event. The students of Dickinson [College] were very professional and they represent the next generation of future leaders. For more information about the Clarke Forums events, visit clarke.dickinson.edu.

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February 16, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

Even without perfection, Israel is a model for liberal democracy – thejewishchronicle.net

With controversy over egalitarian prayer, settlements, Palestinian and Ethiopian rights, and many other issues roiling Israeli society, one might be tempted to conclude that Israel cannot be, at once, the nation-state of the Jewish people, a democracy and a country with a commitment to the human rights of all who live in it, and that therefore it is on its way toward an inevitable rift with Diaspora Jewry and the international community. After recently visiting Israel on a Jewish Council for Public Affairs Mission as a Frank Family Fellow for emerging leaders, and hearing from more than 40 government and NGO leaders dedicated to, among other things, womens rights, religious pluralism, Ethiopian and minority rights and Israeli-Arab co-existence, I am convinced that such a conclusion would be wrong. My meetings which took place over the span of a week in early December made it abundantly clear to me that Israel, much like the United States, aspires to be a pluralistic, Western-style, liberal democracy dedicated to the rule of law. Much like the United States, Israel has the potential to offer all of the people within her borders freedoms and equal rights that most other states, particularly in the Middle East, would never provide. This is part of the fundamental character of the homeland of the Jewish people. We, as Diaspora Jews, and really as Americans, should embrace it, support it and present this message to others, Jews and non-Jews, who may have doubts about Israels true character. Take, for example, the Bialik-Rogozin School, which I had the pleasure of touring with its principal, Eli Nechama. Bialik-Rogozin is a unique model school where refugees and children of migrant workers, some of them with little or no schooling, are integrated into Israeli society with special educational programs. The school is funded by the Israeli government and educates more than 1,150 students from first to 12th grades. The students comprise poor third-generation Israeli-born families, work immigrants, new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, refugees from Darfur and minority Arabs, to name a few. The schools main objective is to provide these underprivileged and diverse students with opportunities to develop their potential. Education is available regardless of religion, nationality or race. This is the sort of endeavor that true pluralistic, liberal democracies pursue. Achievements like Bialik-Rogozin do not come easily. Just ask the United States, which even now struggles every day to promote womens rights, religious rights and minority rights, all while attempting to ensure security in a post-9/11 world. The United States has been at the liberal democracy game since the 1700s, and it still struggles every day to reach the aspirational goals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. Israel was born by its own Declaration of Independence only in 1948 making it just under 70 years old. In 1859, at age 70, the United States was sharply divided; women were denied the right to vote, slavery reigned in the American South and the nation stood on the precipice of a deadly Civil War. In short, the growing pains and challenges that the United States faced then were significant. Israel also has struggles at 70 with, among other things, womens rights, religious pluralism, Ethiopian and minority rights and Israeli-Arab co-existence. The 40-plus meetings that I participated in during my mission, however, provide convincing proof that Israels present struggles are much less severe than the United States struggles at the same age, and provide strong proof that leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that Israel fulfills its potential as a pluralistic, Western-style liberal democracy that is, at the same time, the nation-state of the Jewish people. Yet, for some reason, Israels growth and struggles as a burgeoning democracy stoke outrage from many segments of society, even calls by the BDS movement for Israels outright destruction. Some well-meaning people, including some Diaspora Jews, have been seduced by BDS as a means to effect social change in Israel. Others have become so frustrated that they simply have given up on Israel and the Zionist movement, calling it racist, colonialist and at odds with Palestinian rights, womens rights and religious pluralism. This is simply wrong. We cannot afford to turn our backs on Israel. It does not deserve our scorn. As Jews and Americans, it deserves our support and advocacy. That Israel is struggling as it grows does not mean we should give up, boycott or simply abandon the eternal homeland of the Jewish people. On the contrary, we must remain optimistic, offering assistance and support along the way. We should engage, not boycott or give up. We should also reach out to those we know throughout the Jewish and general community to tell them the true story of Israel, which has great potential to remain a light unto nations, in the name of the Jewish people, forever. Randal M. Whitlatch is a Pittsburgh attorney.

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed

OPINION: Supporting inclusion requires supporting Israel – Red and Black

On Jan. 20, I fell asleep with a heavy heart. I stood in solidarity with my fellow UGA students during the Day of Inclusion, but in reality, the Day of Inclusion excluded me. The Progressive Action Coalition’s Points of Unity rightfully embraced intersectionality, but what do these points mean? What does it truly mean to be “for equality” or “indigenous rights”? What does it mean to “stand against racism” or “ableism”? What does it mean to “stand against…Zionism”? The answer may surprise you: Zionism is the liberation movement seeking the self-determination of the Jewish people in their indigenous homeland Israel. My people were exiled from our homeland 2,000 years ago, enduredexpulsion from country after country, persevered throughunspeakable oppression and survived the most horrificgenocide in human history, only to return home. Therefore, to stand against Zionism is to stand against indigenous people’s rights. The notion of Jewish self-determination as “settler-colonialism” is a blatant attempt to erase our history, includingcontinuedJewish presence in Israel during our exile. It delegitimizes our right to sovereignty in our ancestral homeland, a right afforded to all indigenous peoples around the world. Standing against Zionism is to exclude and thereby endanger a community that is a constant target. In the past two weeks, 46 Jewish Community Centers around the country evacuated their buildings due tobomb threats. The FBI states that 52 percent ofreligious hate crimes in the US are antisemitic. This is nearly twice the number of the next highest figure. It is to stand against a liberation movement which resulted in the State of Israel, the embodiment of the Progressive Action Coalition’s ‘Points of Unity intersectional principles. It is to stand against the only citizens in the Middle East who enjoy the recognition and celebration of same-sex marriage, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom to assemble, resist, criticize and petition against the government. It is to stand against a society that was the third in the world to be led by afemale head of state and currently boasts ahigher percentage of women in parliament than in Canada, France and the United States. It is to stand against a people whoindiscriminately give humanitarian aid to those in need. Over 39 countries have receivedaid from Israel, including Haiti, Japan, Nepal and the United States. It is to stand against Save a Child’s Hearts team of Israeli, Ethiopian and Palestinian doctors who have operated on over 4,000 children. Half of these children are Palestinian children from Gaza and the West Bank. It is to stand against a people whocrowdfunded over $350,000 in a week for the benefit of Syrian children; a people who are thefirst faces Syrian refugees see when they wash ashore; and a people who have opened theirhomes and their hospitals to heal over 2,000 Syrian refugeesfor free. “Maybe a day before [this patient] was at the border trying to kill my son who’s in the army. Here, I will give him a hug. Roni, a social worker who helps heal refugees in Haifa,said. We’re not politics, this isn’t politics. This is who we are. Israel is inclusion. Although complex and difficult, Israel is a shared society where Jews and Arabs can live side-by-side as the brothers and sisters we are. Israel is a model for how a bitterly divided America can unite people across political, gender, sexuality and racial spectrums. As we stand together as UGA students to fight injustice, let us embrace this unity that is inherent in intersectionality. Let us UnifyUGA. Rachel Schwartzon behalf of UnifyUGA

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February 9, 2017   Posted in: Ethiopian Jews  Comments Closed


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