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A California suburb reckons with its Nazi past and present-day controversy follows – Salon

La Crescenta, California, is a long way from Charlottesville, Virginia, but both communities have recently had to deal with controversies involving Nazis, white supremacy, and the removal of a public monument that symbolized bigotry. In Charlottesville, the controversy erupted in violence and became national news. In La Crescenta, a suburb of Los Angeles, the dispute was resolved through spirited but nonviolent meetings and discussions. Not surprisingly, the La Crescenta experience generated few headlines.

Members of Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups descended on Charlottesville reportedly to preserve a 26-foot tall statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederal general and traitor to his country, erected in a local park that was once named after him. The statue of Lee, on his horse with hat in hand, had stood in the park since 1924, a time of resurgent white supremacy, KKK activism, and lynching. In April, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell and remove the statue and rechristen Lee Park as Emancipation Park. Local white supremacists went to court to oppose the removal and a circuit court judge issued an injunction prohibiting any sale or removal for six months.

Stopping the removal of the Lee statue was the excuse that Nazis and other white supremacists used to organize a march and rally in Charlottesville brandishing torches, bats, and guns. One of them drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. The controversy was compounded when President Donald Trump refused to forcefully condemn the white supremacists, who then celebrated Trumps remarks as signifying support for their views and actions.

Last Friday a week after the Nazis came to Charlottesville about 50 people gathered in Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park to celebrate a victory over hate and bigotry. A large contingent from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department was on hand at the event, concerned that local white supremacist groups might try to disrupt the festivities, but no protesters showed up.

The controversy started in February 2016 when a German-American group erected a six-foot sign at the entrance to the park, located in La Crescenta, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County adjacent to Glendale. The sign greeted visitors with the words Willkommen zum, written in a German typeface, followed by Welcome to Hindenburg Park, and below that The Historic German Section of Crescenta Valley Park. At the bottom of the sign was the countys official seal and the words Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. That area had originally been named for Paul von Hindenburg, Germanys president from 1925 to 1934, and the man who appointed Adolf Hitler as German chancellor in 1933.

The group that paid for the sign, the Tricentennial Foundation, claimed that it was intended to celebrate the areas German American heritage. But the sign failed to mention the parks ugly past as a site of Nazi rallies and a Nazi youth camp during the 1930s. Now, thanks to a new display erected in the park, the public will learn about this controversial history.

Despite the official seal, the county did not pay for the sign, which cost $2,500. The Tricentennial Foundation, a German heritage organization based in the North Hills section of Los Angeles, worked with the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley to fund the sign. The foundations aim was to preserve the historical integrity of the site, said Hans Eberhard, the groups 85-year old chairman.

Some proponents of the sign argued that they heard no objections about it before the county approved it.

Thats because hardly anyone knew about it until it was put up, explained Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. If it had been a public process, Im sure people would have opposed it. But soon after it was put up, we started voicing our concerns.

Soon after it was installed, Carol Dorbacopoulos, who lives nearby and frequently walks in the park, noticed the new sign.

I knew about the areas Nazi history and I was upset, she recalled. Calls and emails to County officials got no response until she contacted Mona Field, a retired Glendale College professor and a former elected member of the Los Angeles Community College District board. After Field began informing and mobilizing local residents, what appeared to be a harmless historical marker became the subject of controversy. Field and her allies knew that despite the sign the parks correct name was not Hindenburg Park but Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, and that it was owned and operated by Los Angeles County.

Civil rights, human rights and faith-based groups mobilized a campaign to persuade county officials to take down the sign and replace it with another that would tell an accurate history of that site. Local residents signed petitions, contacted local elected officials and conducted research to uncover the parks ugly but mostly forgotten history.

I think theres a way we can honor German-American culture, but also not forget what took place at that park, Moss told local officials last year.

In April 2016, the countys Human Relations Commission held a public hearing on the issue that attracted more than 200 people, the vast majority of them opposed to the new sign. Under pressure, County Parks and Recreation Department officials remove the sign the next month and appointed a committee to create a new display that accurately represented the parks history with texts and photos. The new display, explaining the sites history, was unveiled on Friday.

Had local political officials and business groups done their research, they might have predicted that the sign would generate controversy, given the parks history as a gathering place for American Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.

The German American League acquired the land in 1925, named it Hindenburg Park, and maintained it as a private gathering for local German Americans, who held dances, picnics and other events there.

Had the park simply been a place where German Americans celebrated their cultural heritage, it would hardly be contentious. But the site also has a much more troubling history.

Although the German American League may have been founded to celebrate German culture, it always had a political side. According to a 1937 article in Life magazine, the group was the Nazi organization in the U.S., previously known as the Friends of the New Germany.

This countrys major pro-Nazi group the German-American Bund, which sought to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany and urged Americans to boycott Jewish-owned business used the park for its events. At Hindenburg Park and elsewhere, Bund rallies not only featured Nazi flags but also American flags, claiming that its members were patriotic Americans. In fact, the Bund claimed that George Washington was the first Fascist.

As early as 1936, the Bund operated 19 Nazi-inspired youth camps across the United States. One of them, Camp Sutter, was located at Hindenburg Park.

In an interview last year, Arnie Bernstein, author of the Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, explained that the purpose of these Bund youth camps was to indoctrinate children in Nazi ideology. Like most summer camps, the children participated in sports, hikes, arts and crafts and other activities. But they also were taught about Aryan supremacy and told to be loyal to the Bund, its leader Fritz Kuhn, and Adolph Hitler. They wore uniforms similar to those worn by the Hitler Youth group in Germany. They were forced to march around in the middle of the night carrying Bund and American flags, sing the Nazi anthem, give the Nazi salute, and shout Sieg Heil. As part of their camp activities, they were inculcated with Nazi propaganda. A Congressional investigation also uncovered sexual abuse between the adults and campers, Bernstein said

In February 1939, Kuhn, who was often called the American Fuehrer, spoke at a pro-Nazi Bund rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City that attracted over 20,000 people. There he repeatedly referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Frank D. Rosenfeld, called his New Deal the Jew Deal, and stated that the Jews are enemies of the United States.

Later that month, the Bund held another rally at its West Coast headquarters at 634 West 15th Street in Los Angeles in building known as the Deutsch Haus (German House). The building was a site for pro-Nazi meetings and also housed a restaurant and beer hall as well as the Aryan Bookstore, where one could purchase the Bund newspaper, Hitlers manifesto Mein Kamp, and other Nazi literature. The Deutsch Haus also screened German anti-Semitic propaganda films with titles like Kosher Slaughter.

A few months later, on April 30, 1939, the Bund held a rally in Hindenburg Park, promoted as a celebration of Hitlers birthday ten days later. Over 2,000 German-American Bund members came to hear Kuhn and West Coast Bund leader Herman Max Schwinn.

According to the Los Angeles Times: Clad in a gray-and-black storm trooper uniform and flanked by a dozen uniformed guards, Kuhn spoke from a stage draped in red swastika banners. The crowd cheered Kuhn and booed as a low-flying plane, sponsored by the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, bombarded the park with thousands of anti-Hitler leaflets.

When it was Schwimms turn to speak, he read a telegram he had sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Do everything in your power to quarantine the United States against alien influences which are at work to drag the nation into war. By alien influences he meant Jews, whom the Bund correctly believed were trying to get the Roosevelt administration and Congress to oppose Hitlers efforts to take over Europe.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times that week, Kuhn spouted typical Nazi ideas. He falsely claimed that Jews occupied 62% of the high posts in the federal government and have plotted to get hold of almost everything, especially in New York and Hollywood.

That event was only one of many Bund and pro-Nazi events that took place at the park. These gatherings featured speakers from other American fascist organizations including the Silver Shirts, White Shirts, and Khaki Shirts as well as the Bund.

California State University-Northridge hosts a website and archive called In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California, 1933-1945 that includes photos of Nazi rallies at Hindenburg Park. One shows members of the Bund erecting a huge swastika in the park. A two-minute clip from the documentary film Rancho La Canada includes footage of activities at Hindenburg Park, including the 1939 Nazi rally.

In December 1939, Kuhn was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison for embezzlement, but the Bund briefly continued without him. Two years later, after the United States entered World War 2 against the Nazis, the Bund disappeared. In 1943, while he was serving his prison sentence, the U.S. cancelled Kuhns citizenship and deported him to Germany in 1945.

Historian Bernstein is quick to explain that most German Americans werent Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Many, he said, were ashamed of Hitler and what was going on in Germany, and strongly denounced Kuhn and his followers.

The Bund was a small group compared with the number of German Americans living in the United States, he noted. But they were loud and noisy.

After the war, Hindenburg Park continued to be the site for German festivals. Southern Californias first Oktoberfest was held there in 1956.

While the German American League owned the park, a five-foot bust of Hindenburg adorned the grounds. In 1957, Los Angeles County purchased the land from the German-American League for $91,000, and removed the bust. The Board of Supervisors also abandoned the name Hindenburg Park and incorporated that section of the park into the larger Crescenta Valley County Park.

Over the next half-century, memories of the American Nazis presence at the park faded. By the start of this century, few people recalled that the Glendale area had not only been a stronghold of Nazi activism but also a breeding ground for other hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the John Birch Society in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, Glendale was West Coast headquarters of the American Nazi Party. In 1962, when the KKK experienced a revival in response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, the Klan paraded down Glendales main thoroughfare, Brand Boulevard, with a horse brigade, marching band and burning cross.

As recently as 2012, a tiny hate group called the Crescenta Valley European American Society, promoting white identity and white pride, had a brief presence on the internet and sponsored a European American Heritage Festival at Hindenburg Park which generated controversy at the time but all manifestations of this group, including its website, soon disappeared.

The La Crescenta and Glendale areas are now more diverse than in earlier years, but the scars of racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry never completely heal, as reflected in the upsurge of protest after the appearance of the new Welcome to Hindenburg Park sign last year.

Steve Pierce, a Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, last year told the Glendale News Press: The sign is just recognizing the German culture that was in our community. I think thats important. Im very in support of that.

The Department of Parks and Recreations six-member advisory committee spent almost a year debating what words and photos to include on the new display and how much to focus on the parks Nazi activities. The process was initially contentious.

Eberhard, the Tricentennial Foundation chairman, opposed including any photos of swastikas on the new sign, claiming that people who hoisted flags bearing swastikas did so because it was the German flag at the time, not because they were Nazis.

He wants to sanitize history, said Carole Kulzer-Brennan, a first vice president of the German-American League of Los Angeles and a member of the advisory group.

Eberhard also insisted that the Nazi rallies were only a small part of the activities that occurred in the park during the 1930s.

That was almost 80 years ago, he said in an interview following Fridays unveiling ceremony. I dont see why thats still relevant.

I think it is unfortunate that the original sign was removed for no good reason, said Eberhard, who came to the United States from Germany in 1949 as a 17 year old.

He seemed either nave or willfully ignorant about the significance of the sites Nazi past.

Sign or no sign, it is still Hindenburg Park to many people in the community, he noted.

But other members of the advisory committee were pleased with the outcome.

It was a long drawn-out battle, but we reached a good consensus, said Kulzer-Brennan of the German-American League, which in September will sponsor its first event in the park since it sold the park in 1957 a German American Heritage Day picnic.

Through the months of discussion, we got a vivid reminder of the fruitful collaboration that can come from listening to others with care and respect, said committee member Mark Strunin, a consultant for nonprofit groups and former president of a nearby synagogue.

All four of my kids frequently go to the park and I was surprised when the sign suddenly appeared, said Sophal Ear, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council who was appointed to the advisory committee. I had no clue as to the history of the Nazi activities in the park.

A Cambodian refugee and a professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, Ear said it was important to create a display that doesnt gloss over the past but illuminates it. Its absolutely crucial that we learn the lessons of history.

Mona Field, who helped lead the campaign to remove the offensive sign, called it a grassroots victory against those who would whitewash history. The new display, she said, tells the full story, good and bad, and makes clear that ideologies of hatred have no place in our community.

The display, recounting the parks history, mentions that in its early days the German-American League used the park for festivals and other cultural events, but also explains that it was also used for more controversial activities including the promotion of Nazi beliefs through political rallies and the Sutter Youth Camp. There, the display notes, American youth were indoctrinated into theories of Aryan superiority, which is described as part of Adolf Hitlers racist ideology. These were not simply harmless theories but, the display explains, led to persecution and murder of European Jews and any other group or individual who opposed Hitlers Third Reich regime.

The display includes photos of the entrance to the park, the park caretakers residence in the 1930s, an Easter Sunday service in the park in 1952, a musical comedy performance in the early 1950s, and a bust of Beethoven that was erected in the park. Theres also a 1944 photo of German American bomber pilots in front of a plane. This photo has nothing to do with the park or the Glendale area. One member of the advisory committee insisted that it be part of the display to show that German Americans were loyal patriots who served in the U.S. military during World War 2.

But the marker also includes photos of pro-Nazi activities that took place in the park in the 1930s a German American Bund Party choral group, in front of a swastika, a gathering that includes both American and Nazi flags, and a group of children in uniforms looking at the German American Bund Party flag. It does not include a well-known photo of Bund leader Fritz Kuhn speaking at the pro-Nazi rally in Hindenburg Park in April 1939. Only three of the displays nine photos deal with the parks Nazi past.

The display concludes with this statement: Although the events of the 20th century may seem distant, there continues to be a need to guard against all forms of hatred, racism, and totalitarian ideologies of all types. The American ideals of justice and equal opportunity still require our vigilant support.

When the advisory committee began deliberating over the design, photos, and wording of the new display, nobody could have anticipated that its unveiling would occur as the nation was reeling from an upsurge of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activism, emboldened by a president who failed to display moral leadership.

The events in Charlottesville are a sad reminder that Nazism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and racism still exist in our country, said the Jewish Federations Jason Moss. We cannot erase our history. But the new display in the park is a reminder of past events that took place in the community, and hopefully a way to ease the pain.

We showed that there are ways to work together through dialogue, observed Moss, instead of with torches and violence.

Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest American of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books).

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A California suburb reckons with its Nazi past and present-day controversy follows – Salon

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

School year dawns with no resolution for Alameda girl targeted with anti-Semitism – Jweekly.com

On Monday morning Aug. 21, 14-year-old Natasha Waldorf, who is Jewish, will start her sophomore year at Alameda High School.

In her class will be one of two boys who taunted her last semester, sending her text messages that included the word kike and other anti-Semitic insults, and the image of product mascot Mr. Clean in a Nazi uniform titled Mr. Ethnic Cleansing. In the halls she will pass two other students who taunted her that same week last January, joking about the Holocaust and, when confronted by Natasha, telling her that Hitler should have finished the job.

Alameda school authorities dont deny that these incidents, reported in a J. cover story in May, indeed occurred. This week, Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge told J., and the parents by email, that the situation has been handled appropriately.

Natashas parents, however, say otherwise. And they want something done.

They are not taking this seriously, Natashas father, Mel Waldorf, told J. These were threats. How is my daughter supposed to feel safe, with school starting Monday? How can [McPhetridge] say hes protecting a student when the kids who did this dont have to apologize and are sitting in her class for the rest of the year? Its egregious.

The Zionist Organization of America has taken up the case on behalf of Natasha and her family, alerting J. to the ongoing situation this week. The ZOA has been engaged since June in an email exchange with McPhetridge and with the high schools principal, Robert Ithurburn, which now seems to have reached an impasse.

Natashas parents, and the ZOA, want the school district to take five specific steps. At the top of the list: ensuring that all the students who taunted Natasha are made to apologize; instituting mandatory training programs for students, faculty and parents in how to recognize and combat anti-Semitism; and coming out forcefully and publicly in opposition to anti-Semitism.

McPhetridge says the district has followed correct protocol all along, although he is legally prevented from detailing what punishment, if any, the offending students have received. He says four of the five demands have been fulfilled, in substance if not in letter, and the fifth mandating parental training is not feasible. He reiterates his and the districts support for full inclusion for all faiths, ethnicities, races and gender identities.

Natashas parents and the ZOA say the district, specifically McPhetridge, arent taking their complaints seriously. McPhetridge, on the other hand, told J. this week that no incident in his decades of service has affected him like this one, and he takes it very seriously indeed. He insists that he wants to meet personally with Natasha and her parents to clear it up, as he met with the parents of three other children who suffered similar anti-Semitic taunting in Alameda schools.

As of late this week, Mel Waldorf said he was still waiting for a phone call from McPhetridge. And anyway, the ZOA says a face-to-face meeting wont solve anything the organization wants demonstrable action.

An impasse. And school starts Monday.

At the center of this conflict is Natasha, who, as detailed in a May 25 J. cover story and editorial, received a series of anonymous texts last January that taunted her for being Jewish and made threats about gas and ethnic cleansing. She discovered that a boy in her class, whom she thought was a friend, had sent the texts, egged on by a foreign exchange student. Eventually the first boy was made to apologize to her; her parents say the exchange student, who has since returned to his native Germany, never apologized and his parents werent even notified.

Later that same week, she and a friend overheard two other students joking about the Holocaust. One made the Hitler comment to her upon being confronted. Natashas parents then met with the schools assistant principal and dean, but as outlined in ZOA letters to McPhetridge, felt appropriate action was not taken. (That dean has since left the school district.)

The ZOA letters also charge that these incidents are not isolated. Natasha reported to her parents and to school administrators other examples of students making anti-Semitic comments, of swastika graffiti found on desks and walls, and making jokes about the Holocaust, sometimes in front of teachers. Anti-Semitic incidents also were reported at other schools in the district, including Edison Elementary, as covered in J.

On June 16, the ZOA first wrote to McPhetridge, saying, Anti-Semitism is a problem at other schools in the district, too. We understand that you are well aware of this ongoing serious problem, yet have not taken the steps you are legally required to take to remedy the anti-Semitism and ensure that it does not recur.

He has not met any of the list of demands we sent, said David Kadosh, executive director of ZOA West and one of the two signatories of the June 16 letter. He has not made public statements against anti-Semitism. Hes spoken in general about bigotry and says its enough.

In both a conversation with J. and in letters emailed to McPhetridge, Kadosh points out programs the school district runs to highlight inclusion for other minority students. As part of its Everyone Belongs Here campaign, for example, the district has held several events celebrating Muslim culture and history, including daily announcements in the high school during April, noting it was National Arab American Heritage Month.

By contrast, the ZOA letter points out, there were no school-wide announcements in May that it was Jewish American Heritage Month. When members of the Jewish student club put up posters, one was ripped down while the others disappeared in a few days. And last spring, for the first time, no Holocaust survivor was invited to speak to the students for Holocaust Remembrance Day. The school said it was too difficult to find a speaker, the ZOA letter charged, and rebuffed ZOA offers to provide one.

Were not asking for special treatment, Kadosh told J. Were just asking for the same attention and treatment for Jewish students.

In an hour-long interview in his office on Aug. 17, McPhetridge refuted the ZOAs and familys charges one by one. Yes, hes spoken out publicly against anti-Semitism at board meetings and a PTA meeting the family just isnt viewing the videos. Yes, the offending students were punished he just cant say how, due to privacy laws. Yes, the high school commemorates the Holocaust and a speaker will be provided next year; he thanked the ZOA for reaching out with suggestions.

And yes, the district takes anti-Semitism seriously, as it does with all bigotry although it can always do better. It cannot be just about anti-Semitism, he told J. It has to be the rights of all people.

Ive invited the ZOA and the Waldorf-Lindsey family to meet with us, he said, referring to himself and Principal Ithurburn. Theres so much we can do talking together that we cant do by email or phone. We are committed to making things better.

When a family [tells me to] work with the ZOA and copy [us] on the letters, its hard to cooperate, he added.

All of this is coming to a head at a time of upsurges in hate speech and anti-minority violence, including a rash of bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers in the spring which alarmed Natasha, her parents said the violence at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last week, and this weeks vandalism at Temple Israel in Alameda, where windows were smashed on Aug. 17.

Meanwhile, school starts Monday.

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School year dawns with no resolution for Alameda girl targeted with anti-Semitism – Jweekly.com

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

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Battling Nazis and white supremacists: A tale of two cities … – Jewish Journal

La Crescenta, California is a long way from Charlottesville, Virginia, but both communities have recently had to deal with controversies involving Nazis, white supremacy, and the removal of a public monument that symbolized bigotry. In Charlottesville, the controversy erupted in violence and became national news. In La Crescenta, a suburb of Los Angeles, the dispute was resolved through spirited but nonviolent meetings and discussions. Not surprisingly, the La Crescenta experience generated few headlines.

Members of Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups descended on Charlottesville last weekend purportedly to preserve a 26-foot tall statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederal general and traitor to his country, erected in a local park that was once named after him. The statue of Lee, on his horse with hat in hand, had stood in the park since 1924, a time of resurgent white supremacy, KKK activism, and lynching. In April, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell and remove the statue and rechristen Lee Park as Emancipation Park. Local white supremacists went to court to oppose the removal and a circuit court judge issued an injunction prohibiting any sale or removal for six months.

Stopping the removal of the Lee statue was the excuse that Nazis and other white supremacists used to organize a march and rally in Charlottesville brandishing torches, bats, and guns. One of them drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters that killed 32-year old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others. The controversy was compounded when President Donald Trump refused to forcefully condemn the white supremacists, who then celebrated Trumps remarks as signifying support for their views and actions.

This Friday a week after the Nazis came to Charlottesville people will gather in Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park to celebrate a victory over hate and bigotry. A year ago, a sign at the parks entrance said Welcome to Hindenburg Park, named for Paul von Hindenburg, Germanys president from 1925 to 1934 who appointed Adolf Hitler as German chancellor in 1933. The sign was erected last year, paid for by a German-American group who claimed that it was intended to celebrate the areas German American heritage. But the sign failed to mention the parks ugly past as a site of Nazi rallies and a Nazi youth camp during the 1930s.

Few people knew about the six-foot sign until the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation erected it in March 2016 at the parks entrance near the corner of Honolulu and Dunsmore avenues in La Crescenta, an unincorporated section of LA County, adjacent to Glendale.

The sign greeted visitors with the words Willkommen zum, written in a German typeface, followed by Welcome to Hindenburg Park, and below that The Historic German Section of Crescenta Valley Park. At the bottom of the sign was the countys official seal and the words Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Despite the official seal, the county did not pay for the sign, which cost $2,500. The idea for the sign originated with the Tricentennial Foundation, a German heritage organization based in the North Hills section of Los Angeles. The foundation worked with the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley and the Crescenta Valley Town Council to fund the sign. The foundation s aim was to preserve the historical integrity of the site, Hans Eberhard, the groups chairman, told the Glendale News-Press last year.

Some proponents of the sign argued that they heard no objections about it before the County approved it.

Thats because hardly anyone knew about it until it was put up, explained Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. If it had been a public process, Im sure people would have opposed it. But soon after it was put up, we started voicing our concerns.

Once it was installed, people in the area began to raise questions. After several local residents brought the issue to Moss attention, what appeared to be a harmless historical marker became the subject of controversy. They learned that, despite the sign, the parks name is Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, not Hindenburg Park, and it is owned and operated by Los Angeles County. Moss and others brought their complaints to County officials.

I think theres a way we can honor German-American culture, but also not forget what took place at that park, Moss explained last year.

Civil rights, human rights, and faith-based groups mobilized a campaign to persuade County officials to take down the sign and replace it with another sign that would tell an accurate history of that site. Local residents signed petitions, contacted local elected officials, and conducted research to uncover the parks ugly but mostly forgotten history.

In April 2016, the countys Human Relations Commission held a public hearing on the issue that attracted at least 200 people, the vast majority of them opposed to the new sign. At the public hearing, many local residents recited versions of the famous statement by philosopher George Santayana: If we dont learn from the past, were doomed to repeat it.

Under pressure from the elected County Board of Supervisors, Parks and Recreation Department officials agreed to remove the sign and to appoint a committee to create a new display that accurately represented the parks history with texts and photos. The sign was removed last November. The new display, explaining the sites history, will be unveiled this Friday.

Had local political officials and business groups done their research, they might have predicted that the sign would generate controversy, given the parks history as a gathering place for American Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.

Had the park simply been a place where German Americans celebrated their rich and fascinating cultural heritage, it would hardly be contentious. But the site also has a much more troubling history.

Although the German American League may have been founded to celebrate German culture, it always had a political side. According to a 1937 article in Life magazine, the group was the Nazi organization in the U.S., previously known as the Friends of the New Germany.

This countrys major pro-Nazi group was the German-American Bund, which sought to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany and urged Americans to boycott Jewish-owned business. Its rallies not only featured Nazi flags but also American flags, claiming that its members were patriotic Americans. In fact, the Bund claimed that George Washington was the first Fascist.

As early as 1936, the Bund operated 19 Nazi-inspired youth camps across the United States. One of them, Camp Sutter, was located at the German-American Leagues Hindenburg Park.

In an interview last year, Arnie Bernstein, author of the Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, explained that the purpose of these Bund youth camps was to indoctrinate children in Nazi ideology. Like most summer camps, the children participated in sports, hikes, arts and crafts and other activities. But they also were taught about Aryan supremacy and told to be loyal to the Bund, its leader Fritz Kuhn, and Adolph Hitler. They wore uniforms similar to those worn by the Hitler Youth group in Germany. They were forced to march around in the middle of the night carrying Bund and American flags, sing the Nazi anthem, give the Nazi salute, and shout Sieg Heil. As part of their camp activities, they were inculcated with Nazi propaganda. A Congressional investigation also uncovered sexual abuse between the adults and campers, Bernstein said

In February 1939, Kuhn, who was often called the American Fuehrer, spoke at a pro-Nazi Bund rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City that attracted over 20,000 people. There he repeatedly referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Frank D. Rosenfeld, called his New Deal the Jew Deal, and stated that the Jews are enemies of the United States.

Bund choir group sings at Hidenburg Park in 1936.

Later that month, the Bund held another rally at its West Coast headquarters at 634 West 15th Street in Los Angeles in building known as the Deutsch Haus (German House). The building was a site for pro-Nazi meetings and also housed a restaurant and beer hall as well as the Aryan Bookstore, where one could purchase the Bund newspaper, Hitlers manifesto Mein Kamp, and other Nazi literature. The Deutsch Haus also screened German anti-Semitic propaganda films with titles like Kosher Slaughter.

A few months later, on April 30, 1939, the Bund held a rally in Hindenburg Park, promoted as a celebration of Hitlers birthday ten days later. Over 2,000 German-American Bund members came to hear Kuhn and West Coast Bund leader Herman Max Schwinn.

According to the Los Angeles Times: Clad in a gray-and-black storm trooper uniform and flanked by a dozen uniformed guards, Kuhn spoke from a stage draped in red swastika banners. The crowd cheered Kuhn and booed as a low-flying plane, sponsored by the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, bombarded the park with thousands of anti-Hitler leaflets.

When it was Schwinns turn to speak, he read a telegram he had sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Do everything in your power to quarantine the United States against alien influences which are at work to drag the nation into war. By alien influences he meant Jews, whom the Bund correctly believed were trying to get the Roosevelt administration and Congress to oppose Hitlers efforts to take over Europe.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times that week, Kuhn spouted typical Nazi ideas. He falsely claimed that Jews occupied 62% of the high posts in the federal government and have plotted to get hold of almost everything, especially in New York and Hollywood.

That event was only one of many Bund and pro-Nazi events that took place at the park. These gatherings featured speakers from other American fascist organizations including the Silver Shirts, White Shirts, and Khaki Shirts as well as the Bund.

California State University-Northridge hosts a website and archive called In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California, 1933-1945 that includes photos of Nazi rallies at Hindenburg Park. One shows members of the Bund erecting a huge swastika in the park. A two-minute clip from the documentary film Rancho La Canada includes footage of activities at Hindenburg Park, including the 1939 Nazi rally.

In December 1939, Kuhn was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison for embezzlement, but the Bund briefly continued without him. Two years later, after the United States entered World War 2 against the Nazis, the Bund disappeared. In 1943, while he was serving his prison sentence, the U.S. cancelled Kuhns citizenship and deported him to Germany in 1945.

Historian Bernstein is quick to explain that most German Americans werent Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Many, he said, were ashamed of Hitler and what was going on in Germany, and strongly denounced Kuhn and his followers.

The Bund was a small group compared with the number of German Americans living in the United States, he noted. But they were loud and noisy.

After the war, Hindenburg Park continued to be the site for German festivals. Southern Californias first Oktoberfest was held there in 1956.

While the German American League owned the park, a five-foot bust of Hindenburg adorned the grounds. In 1957, Los Angeles County purchased the land from the German-American League for $91,000, and removed the bust. The Board of Supervisors also abandoned the name Hindenburg Park and incorporated that section of the park into the larger Crescenta Valley County Park.

Over the next half-century, memories of the American Nazis presence at the park faded. By the start of this century, few people recalled that the Glendale area had not only been a stronghold of Nazi activism but also a breeding ground for other hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the John Birch Society in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, Glendale was West Coast headquarters of the American Nazi Party. In 1962, when the KKK experienced a revival in response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, the Klan paraded down Glendales main thoroughfare, Brand Boulevard, with a horse brigade, marching band and burning cross.

As recently as 2012, a tiny hate group called the Crescenta Valley European American Society, promoting white identity and white pride, had a brief presence on the internet and sponsored a European American Heritage Festival at Hindenburg Park which generated controversy at the time but all manifestations of this group, including its website, soon disappeared.

The La Crescenta and Glendale areas are now more diverse than in earlier years, but the scars of racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry never completely heal, as reflected in the upsurge of protest after the appearance of the new Welcome to Hindenburg Park sign last year.

Hans Eberhard, the Tri-Centennial Foundations chairman, seemed either nave or willfully ignorant about the significance of the sites Nazi past.

He told the Glendale News-Press last year that people who hoisted flags bearing swastikas in the park did so because it was the German flag at the time, not because they were Nazis.

Seeking to downplay the dispute, Eberhard explained, This is a welcome to Hindenburg Park. Theres nothing wrong with that. Its an indication this is a historic site.

Steve Pierce, a Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, told the Glendale News Press: The sign is just recognizing the German culture that was in our community. I think thats important. Im very in support of that.

Mike Lawler, former president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, who has documented the areas history of racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry, had a somewhat more nuanced view. The parks history, he observed last year, is part of the simple and recurring American story of an immigrant group celebrating their heritage as they assimilate.

But Lawler also understood why the sign triggered a protest movement. My overall feeling is that by burying uncomfortable events in history, we risk repeating past mistakes. Obviously, I dont have the perspective of having been the victim of a mass genocide, so I cannot relate to the Jewish Federations feelings of offense. But I would hope that bringing attention to the parks history would provide an opportunity for educating future generations about the dangers of nationalism and hate groups like the Bund.

The Department of Parks and Recreations six-member advisory committee spent months debating what words and photos to include on the new display and how much to focus on the parks Nazi activities.

Through the months of discussion, we got a vivid reminder of the fruitful collaboration that can come from listening to others, said committee member Mark Strunin, a consultant for nonprofit groups and former president of a nearby synagogue.

All four of my kids frequently go to the park and I was surprised when the sign suddenly appeared, said Sophal Ear, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council who was appointed to the advisory committee. I had no clue as to the history of the Nazi activities in the park.

A Cambodian refugee and a professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, Ear said it was important to create a display that doesnt gloss over the past but illuminates it. Its absolutely crucial that we learn the lessons of history.

Mona Field, a retired political science professor at Glendale College who helped lead the campaign to remove the offensive sign, called it a grassroots victory against those who would whitewash history. The new display, she said, tells the full story, good and bad, and makes clear that ideologies of hatred have no place in our community.

The display, recounting the parks history, mentions that in its early days the park was owned by German-American League, who used it for festivals and other events for the local German-American community. But it also explains that it was also used for more controversial activities including the promotion of Nazi beliefs through political rallies and the Sutter Youth Camp. There, the display notes, American youth were indoctrinated into theories of Aryan superiority, which is described as part of Adolf Hitlers racist ideology. These were not simply harmless theories but, the display explains, led to persecution and murder of European Jews and any other group or individual who opposed Hitlers Third Reich regime.

The display includes photos of the entrance to the park, the park caretakers residence in the 1930s, an Easter Sunday service in the park in 1952, a musical comedy performance in the early 1950s, and a bust of Beethoven that was erected in the park. Theres also a 1944 photo of German American bomber pilots in front of a plane. This photo has nothing to do with the park or the Glendale area. One member of the advisory committee insisted that it be part of the display, no doubt to show that German Americans were loyal patriots who served in the U.S. military during World War 2.

But the marker also includes photos of pro-Nazi activities that took place in the park in the 1930s a German American Bund Party choral group, in front of a swastika, a gathering that includes both American and Nazi flags, and a group of children in uniforms looking at the German American Bund Party flag. It does not include a well-known photo of German-American Bund leader Fritz Kuhn speaking at a pro-Nazi rally in Hindenburg Park in April 1939. Only three of the displays nine photos deal with the parks Nazi past.

The display concludes with this statement: Although the events of the 20th century may seem distant, there continues to be a need to guard against all forms of hatred, racism, and totalitarian ideologies of all types. The American ideals of justice and equal opportunity still require our vigilant support.

When the ad hoc committee appointed by the LA County Parks and Recreation Department began deliberating over the design, photos, and wording of the new display, nobody could have anticipated that its unveiling would occur as the nation was reeling from an upsurge of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activism, emboldened by a president who failed to display moral leadership.

The events in Charlottesville are a sad reminder that Nazism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and racism still exist in our country, said the Jewish Federations Jason Moss. We cannot erase our history. But the new display in the park is a reminder of past events that took place in the community, and hopefully a way to ease the pain.

We showed that there are ways to work together through dialogue, observed Moss, instead of with torches and violence.

Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest American of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books).

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Obama Charlottesville Tweet Is Most ‘Liked’ on Twitter – Newsmax

Former President Barack Obama’s Charlottesville tweet has become the most “liked” message in the history of the social media platform, topping the 3.1 million mark Monday.

Obama posted a quote from South African president Nelson Mandela after a so-called “alt-right” march in the Virginia town turned violent when march supporters clashed with counter-protesters, The Washington Post noted.

Favstar, the Twitter-tracking website, said Obama’s tweet also was the fifth most re-tweeted post, at 1.2 million.

The Washington Post noted that while Obama’s tweet, the first in a series of tweets quoting theformer South African president,has taken off, President Donald Trump has been criticized for his response to Charlottesville. In his statement Saturday, Trump condemned hatred and bigotry from “many sides,” but did not name any groups specifically, the newspaper said.

An alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19. Trump called out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacy in a statement Monday, the Post added.

Obama has used social media to weigh in other issues since leaving office in January. He wrote a Facebook post in June in support of his signature legislation the Affordable Care Act while Congress debated on repealing it, the Post noted.

Obama also issued a statement after the Trump administration said it planned to drop the United States out the Paris climate deal, the Post noted.

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Obama said in the Paris statement in June. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack.

“But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got,” the statement continued.

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Exhibitions | American Jewish Historical Society

October 7, 1944

In Cooperation with Yeshiva University Museum. This exhibition is the American attempt to respond to four women, and the revolt in Auschwitz that they helped make possible.

On view: October 7, 2014 to April 12, 2015 Location: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY

Led by Jonah Bokaers artistic vision and interpretation, and supported by research in the primary-source archives of the American Jewish Historical Society and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, we aim to reintroduce the visitor to a largely unknown or forgotten historical eventan event that could not have transpired without Roza, Estera, Regina and Ala. These women were not remarkable in any way that is known to us. They were young women who believed what they were doing was right. Through a non-traditional format that marries music, movement, choreography, archival material and film, we attempt to honor their bravery, and make their names known to you.

Rachel Lithgow, Curator, Executive Director American Jewish Historical Society

Born to Tunisian and American parents in Ithaca, NY, Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, and art space developer. His work, which integrates choreography with digital media, is often the result of his cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects.

Creating choreography for museum spaces since 2002, Bokaer has performed at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, The New Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in The Asia Society | Texas, Le Carr dArt Nmes, IVAM Valencia, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and MUDAM Luxembourg, among others. A full list of museum projects is listed below.

The creator of 33 dances, ten videos, three motion capture works, three interactive installations, two mobile applications, and one film, Bokaers work has been produced throughout theaters in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent performances include two seasons at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival (2011-2012), the 2012 Festival dAvignon in France, Thtre de la Cit Internationale in Paris, and the BAM Next Wave Festival 2012, for which he was commissioned for the inauguration of BAM Fisher, with artist Anthony McCall.

In 2008-2009 Bokaer became the first dance artist to be appointed a Young Leader of the French American Foundation, in acknowledgment of his efforts to develop Chez Bushwick, and CPR – Center for Performance Research, two independent arts centers which nurture young artists in New York City and internationally. Bokaer has collaborated with artists including Daniel Arsham (2007-present), Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal, and Robert Wilson (2007-present).

As choreographer for Robert Wilson, he has completed many operas including Faust (Polish National Opera), Ada (Teatro dellOpera di Roma), KOOL (Japan/USA Guggenheim Works & Process), Fronteras (IVAM Valenica), and On The Beach (Baryshnikov Arts Center).

Bokaer was recently named one of ten American artists to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant award for the development of his third mobile application, in partnership with Georgia Tech.

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Letter to the Editor: A step in the right direction – The Independent Florida Alligator

Dear UF President Kent Fuchs,

I currently live and work as a global health specialist in Rwanda, a country that is all too familiar with how hate speech related to ethnicity can spark mass violence. In 1994, America stood by as one million Rwandans were murdered by violence sparked by genocide ideology. Together with my Rwandan colleagues, I have been watching the political situation in the U.S. unfold. A few days ago, I spoke with a colleague about the act of domestic terrorism that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, I am proud to tell him students of color at my university and their accomplices made sure that a domestic terrorist who incited violence in Charlottesville would not speak at my alma mater. I am proud to tell him that you, President Fuchs, chose to stand beside your students.

I graduated from UFs College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2013. During my time at UF, I had the honor of serving as an Inter-Residence Hall Association representative, a Gatorship staffer, a student ambassador for LGBTQ Affairs and a Florida Cicerone. I stood next to former UF President Bernie Machen as he attended the March Against Hate, which we organized in 2012 when a UF Levin College of Law professor found the word “f—–” scratched into his driver-side door. That same year, “n—–” was written on a petition demanding justice during a rally for Trayvon Martin at UF. Two years prior, a doctoral student, Kofi Adu-Brempong, was shot in the head by police at his home in Corry Village, and a swastika was spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity house at Vanderbilt University.

These incidents, when they happen at UF and other universities, are rarely followed-up by consequences for perpetrators because free speech is interpreted to mean a lack of consequences for ones actions, rather than protection from arrest.

Public displays of aggression are echoed by micro-aggressions that students and faculty who belong to marginalized groups experience across campus. I recall a LGBTQ Affairs campaign in 2013 during which we posted signs across campus that displayed anonymous secrets. For example, one read, Here is where I kissed a girl for the first time. Next to Matherly Hall, another read, Here is where some men in a pickup truck drove by and screamed f—– at my girlfriend. I remember one that I wrote that read, Here is where I came out to my favorite professor. She made me feel loved and accepted me immediately. I posted it in Turlington Hall. It was torn down the same day.

In the years since Ive graduated, Ive watched with horror as hate continues to find a platform on our campus. Every year the same group comes to inflict psychological violence against students whose reproductive rights are called to question by horrific blown-up images of mutilated fetuses. This year, a man wearing a swastika armband casually biked across our campus during Jewish American Heritage Month. In recent months, a battle for the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures and the Institute for Black Culture has played out with students of color excluded from conversations that should prioritize their voices.

Students of color had to occupy a closed-door meeting and launch a campaign to participate in the preservation of their cultural institutes. So I was upset when UF entertained the idea of allowing Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, to incite hatred and violence against people of color on our campus. Considering our history though, I was not surprised.

Here in Rwanda, people gather every April to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi. Rwandans commit and recommit to fighting against genocide ideology and violent extremism across the world. As a global citizen who appreciates the yearly reminder that it is our duty to protect our world against genocide, I hope youjoin me in committing to doing more to encourage our fellow Gators who have never been discriminated against based on religion or ethnicity to reflect on what men who use the same rhetoric as Richard Spencer have meant for people of color, for religious minorities, for our Student Body.

This is not the last time you will be asked to take decisive action to protect students of color the work is ongoing. So when you doubt the validity or feasibility of the radical demands made by student groups who are fighting for fair treatment of students from marginalized backgrounds, I encourage you to remember the decision you just made in the broader context of human history. Go look at the lynching tree that still stands on Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Look at the genocide memorials in Rwanda and around the world. Remember what happens when men in positions of power, given the opportunity to protect black people, choose to do nothing.

Today, you decided it was your duty to protect students from violence. I thank you for that. Moving forward, I hope this sparks a larger commitment to listening to students of color and more action to eradicate white supremacy on our campus and beyond. There is so much left to be done.

Sincerely,

Joanna

Joanna Galaris is a UF alumna.

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Clayton County Calendar of Events – News-Daily.com

The Clayton Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council will host a spotlight luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the continuing education building at Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd. in Morrow. The luncheon will feature prominent local business women and their stories of success. Tickets are $35 per person or $280 per table. Register at claytonchamber.org.

The Front Porch Players presents Driving Miss Daisy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry that begins in Atlanta in the 1940s and affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a strong-willed Southern Jewish widow Daisy Werthan and her equally indomitable African-American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn. Directed by Karen Ferrell-White, the cast includes Jay Michael Isbell as Hoke and Mary Anne Brannon as Miss Daisy. Showtimes are Aug. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro, 1842 Lake Jodeco Road in Jonesboro. General admission is $12 for adults. Tickets are available now at thefrontporchplayers.com.

Congressman David Scott is hosting his 13th Annual Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Mundys Mill High School, 9652 Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro. The Health Fair will provide vital health screenings and information at no cost from the regions health care providers and advocacy organizations. To register and view a list of participating organizations, visit www.davidscott.house.gov.

Enjoy performances by the Dr. Love Blues Revue with Albert White, Lady D, Sandra Hall and more during the next Dr. Love Blues and Barbecue Summer Jam Series on Aug. 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Starr Park, 803 Forest Pkwy. in Forest Park.

Caribbean Cultural Festival

The Caribbean Association of Georgia Inc. hosts the eighth Annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival on Aug. 19 at Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 S.E. in Jonesboro, from 1 to 8 p.m. Come out to celebrate Caribbean American heritage and take part in the largest festival of its kind in Clayton County. This event is free and open to the public. Aug. 24

Al Smith and friends will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Berryz Bridge and The Next Generation will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Clayton State University is holding a hiring event for returning citizens, or ex-offenders, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Athletic Center, 2000 Clayton State Blvd. in Morrow. Gain access to employers and learn valuable skills in resume building and interviewing. The event is presented by the Henry County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Register and learn more by contacting jobshcac@gmail.com.

In conjunction with the Premiere Tennis and College Experience, Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory, along with the Board of Commissioners and Parks and Recreation, will be hosting a college fair at the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center, 2300 Highway 138 S.E. in Jonesboro, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. This fair aims to showcase colleges and university systems in Georgia.

Erica Dawson and the 911 Band will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Join the city of Jonesboro Sept. 23 from noon to 8 p.m. for the 2nd Annual Downtown Street Festival. The festival will feature food truck options, street vendors, kids play zones and live music. Vendor opportunities are available by contacting events@jonesboroga.com.

The Forest Park Police Department is now accepting vendor applications for this years National Night Out on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Starr Park, 803 Forest Parkway in Forest Park. The evening is focused on crime prevention and drug awareness and is geared toward the citys youth and their parents. For more information or to register your business, email CYermack@forestparkpd.com.

A benefit banquet for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Clayton County will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, 147 Church St. in Jonesboro. Keynote speaker is Dr. Haywood Robinson. Reservations are required and can be made at pregnancycare85@bellsouth.net or 770-477-1501.

The Lovejoy Library, 1721 McDonough Road in Hampton, offers an enrichment time from 3 to 4 p.m. for teens to have some fun with their peers, chatting or playing games. Teens welcome to bring and share their own board games.

The Forest Park Al-Anon Group hosts a meeting every Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. at Jones Memorial, 5320 Phillip Drive in Morrow. For more information, call 770-968-8293.

Kids ages 5 to 11 can play Wii from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month at the Clayton County Headquarters Library Branch, 865 Battle Creek Road in Jonesboro.

Teens get creative with colors and relieve stress each Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Lovejoy Library, 1721 McDonough Road in Hampton. Coloring pages, sheets, pencils and crayons provided. Program geared for middle and high school students.

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services holds CPR classes for the community on a monthly basis. Students learn how to provide CPR to adults and how to use an automated external defibrillator. CPR classes are lecture-based with hands-on skills practice. They last approximately four hours. Registration for classes can be made by calling CCFES at 770-473-7833 or by visiting www.ccfes.org and clicking on CPR Classes located under Quick Links.

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is a free 12-Step Recovery Program for anyone suffering from food obsession, overeating, undereating or bulimia. Meets are held every Sunday at 3 p.m. in Riverdale at 1064 Bethsaida Road and Fridays at 7 p.m. at the Paula Crane Life Enrichment Center, Clayton Community Center, 1792 Mount Zion Road in Morrow. For more information or a list of additional meetings, call 800-566-9010 or visit www.foodaddicts.org.

Joseph Store House Food Pantry, 9940 Dixon Industrial Blvd. in Jonesboro, is collecting food the fourth Saturday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7 p.m. The food pantry is open the second and fourth weekend of every month. For more information, call 770-335-1250.

Handley Helping Hands Inc. operates a bi-monthly food pantry on the first and third Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 5570 Handley Blvd. in Morrow. For more information, email Rev. Esther K. Powers at handleyhelpinghands@comcast.net.

Clayton County Library System and the Preservation of Life will provide free hot meals during a free after-school program from 4 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday in the Meeting Room of the Jonesboro Branch Library, 124 Smith St.

The Pi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in Morrow primarily serves the Clayton County community while serving other parts of Metro Atlanta. Chapter meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Forest Park Library, 4812 West St. For more information, contact Trenton Bailey by email at trenton_bailey@yahoo.com or visit www.pgl1906.org.

Host families are needed for foreign exchange students. Participants will learn about another culture and make a friend for life in the process. Students attend local high school for one school year. All students are well-screened, bring their own money and have great insurance. They will not drive or drink. For more information, call 770-477-1376.

Homestead Hospice in Jackson is looking for volunteers in Clayton County to visit with patients and provide comfort, companionship and emotional support. The hospice provides training and ongoing support to volunteers. For more information, call Gay Moncrief at 770-775-0100 or email gmoncrief@homesteadhospice.net.

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers invited to weekly story time from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Morrow Library, 6225 Maddox Road in Morrow.

The Experience Work Senior Community Service program is open to residents age 55 and older who are unemployed and need a job. For more information, call 404-500-1547.

Toastmasters International

The Clayton chapter of Toastmasters International meets the first, third and fifth Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. in room 115 of the Clayton State East-Arbor Hall, 5823 Trammell Road in Morrow.

Free Womens Group Counseling is offered Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 9940 Dixon Industrial Blvd. in Jonesboro. For more information or to register, call 678-698-5094.

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 13

admin | August 13, 2017

For Christians who belong to Zionist denominations in southern Africa, see Zionist Churches. Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. The term began to be used in the mid-20th century, superseding Christian Restorationism.[1][2] Traditional Catholic thought did not consider Zionism in any form.[3]Christian advocacy of the restoration of the Jews arose following the Protestant Reformation.

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Christian Zionism – Wikipedia

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admin | August 13, 2017

Is Zionism creepy? It is a strange question, prompted by the recent controversy surrounding Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.In early July, Sarsour addressed the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, during which she is alleged to have advocated violentjihad.She did not, but her many online detractors nevertheless used the speech to reiterate their claims that Sarsour sympathizes with terrorists, is an anti-Semite, and is hostile to Israel.

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Is Zionism creepy? The question at the heart of a social-media controversy deserves an answer – Salon

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simmons | August 13, 2017

Traditionally, the villains of the Chicago Slutwalk have been the citys police officers, who organizers accuse of being part of the institutional rape culture and the misogyny driving it. This year, however, the march had a different focus: Israel and Palestine. Which, coming just a few months after the expulsion of three Jewish women from the Chicago Dyke Marchan event which sparked an international backlash and united left and right in condemnations of anti-Semitismshouldnt come as much of a surprise.

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According to Zioness organizer Amanda Berman, who had flown in from New York specifically to attend Chicago … – Tablet Magazine

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richards | August 13, 2017

Getty A marcher at the Chicago Slutwalk in 2013. (JTA) About a dozen activists from the Zioness initiative attempted to participate in SlutWalk Chicago. The group, which calls itself progressive and Zionist, had announced prior to Saturdays demonstration that they would join in the annual demonstration against sexual violence to promote the idea that Zionism and liberal values are compatible

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Zionist Activists Shunned At SlutWalk Chicago – Forward

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richards | August 13, 2017

NEW YORK Michelle Reyf isnt really a synagogue-goer. Until recently, the 28-year-old, who works for a Jewish nonprofit, was perfectly happy to get her spiritual fulfillment at Buddhist prayer services and meditation retreats. Synagogue did not appeal to her for a variety of reasons she found the crowd to be older and the atmosphere to be impersonal.

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Young Jews find spirituality outside the synagogue – The Jerusalem Post

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admin | August 13, 2017

A view inside the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. (Wikimedia Commons) (JTA) The congregation that worships in Americas oldest synagogue building will ask for a rehearing of the case that gave control of its pricey artifacts to the buildings historic trustees. The U.S.

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Newport congregation seeks rehearing in fight over Touro … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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richards | August 13, 2017

People love to be transported somewhere else, says Joshua Z Weinstein, director and co-writer of Menashe. Its exciting to be transported to somewhere new thats just around the corner. For his first feature film, Weinsteins somewhere else is an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community in Brooklyn

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‘Menashe’ offers a rare look at the lives and laws of Hasidic Jews – Washington Post

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richards | August 13, 2017

(Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post) CHARLOTTESVILLE A man accused of plowing a car into a crowd of protesters here killing one person and leaving 19injured long sympathized with Nazi views and had stood with a group of white supremacists hours before Saturdays bloody crash. The alleged driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, had espoused extremist ideals at least since high school, according to Derek Weimer, a history teacher

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Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says – Washington Post

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admin | August 13, 2017

The man accused of plowing a car into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia had been photographed hours earlier carrying the emblem of one of the hate groups that organized the Take America Back campaign. Vanguard America denied on Sunday any association with the suspect, even as a separate hate group that organized Saturdays rally pledged on social media to organize future events that would be bigger than Charlottesville. The mayor of Charlottesville and political leaders of all political stripes vowed to combat the hate groups and urged President Donald Trump to forcefully denounce the organizations that had promoted the protest against the removal of a Confederate statue. Some of those groups specifically cited Trumps election after a campaign of racially charged rhetoric as validation of their beliefs

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Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group – ABC News

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richards | August 13, 2017

As police dispersed the crowds, a car plowed into counterprotesters, killing one person and injuring 19 others.

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Who are white nationalists and what do they want? – CNN

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 13

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A California suburb reckons with its Nazi past and present-day controversy follows – Salon

La Crescenta, California, is a long way from Charlottesville, Virginia, but both communities have recently had to deal with controversies involving Nazis, white supremacy, and the removal of a public monument that symbolized bigotry. In Charlottesville, the controversy erupted in violence and became national news. In La Crescenta, a suburb of Los Angeles, the dispute was resolved through spirited but nonviolent meetings and discussions. Not surprisingly, the La Crescenta experience generated few headlines. Members of Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups descended on Charlottesville reportedly to preserve a 26-foot tall statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederal general and traitor to his country, erected in a local park that was once named after him. The statue of Lee, on his horse with hat in hand, had stood in the park since 1924, a time of resurgent white supremacy, KKK activism, and lynching. In April, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell and remove the statue and rechristen Lee Park as Emancipation Park. Local white supremacists went to court to oppose the removal and a circuit court judge issued an injunction prohibiting any sale or removal for six months. Stopping the removal of the Lee statue was the excuse that Nazis and other white supremacists used to organize a march and rally in Charlottesville brandishing torches, bats, and guns. One of them drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. The controversy was compounded when President Donald Trump refused to forcefully condemn the white supremacists, who then celebrated Trumps remarks as signifying support for their views and actions. Last Friday a week after the Nazis came to Charlottesville about 50 people gathered in Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park to celebrate a victory over hate and bigotry. A large contingent from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department was on hand at the event, concerned that local white supremacist groups might try to disrupt the festivities, but no protesters showed up. The controversy started in February 2016 when a German-American group erected a six-foot sign at the entrance to the park, located in La Crescenta, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County adjacent to Glendale. The sign greeted visitors with the words Willkommen zum, written in a German typeface, followed by Welcome to Hindenburg Park, and below that The Historic German Section of Crescenta Valley Park. At the bottom of the sign was the countys official seal and the words Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. That area had originally been named for Paul von Hindenburg, Germanys president from 1925 to 1934, and the man who appointed Adolf Hitler as German chancellor in 1933. The group that paid for the sign, the Tricentennial Foundation, claimed that it was intended to celebrate the areas German American heritage. But the sign failed to mention the parks ugly past as a site of Nazi rallies and a Nazi youth camp during the 1930s. Now, thanks to a new display erected in the park, the public will learn about this controversial history. Despite the official seal, the county did not pay for the sign, which cost $2,500. The Tricentennial Foundation, a German heritage organization based in the North Hills section of Los Angeles, worked with the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley to fund the sign. The foundations aim was to preserve the historical integrity of the site, said Hans Eberhard, the groups 85-year old chairman. Some proponents of the sign argued that they heard no objections about it before the county approved it. Thats because hardly anyone knew about it until it was put up, explained Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. If it had been a public process, Im sure people would have opposed it. But soon after it was put up, we started voicing our concerns. Soon after it was installed, Carol Dorbacopoulos, who lives nearby and frequently walks in the park, noticed the new sign. I knew about the areas Nazi history and I was upset, she recalled. Calls and emails to County officials got no response until she contacted Mona Field, a retired Glendale College professor and a former elected member of the Los Angeles Community College District board. After Field began informing and mobilizing local residents, what appeared to be a harmless historical marker became the subject of controversy. Field and her allies knew that despite the sign the parks correct name was not Hindenburg Park but Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, and that it was owned and operated by Los Angeles County. Civil rights, human rights and faith-based groups mobilized a campaign to persuade county officials to take down the sign and replace it with another that would tell an accurate history of that site. Local residents signed petitions, contacted local elected officials and conducted research to uncover the parks ugly but mostly forgotten history. I think theres a way we can honor German-American culture, but also not forget what took place at that park, Moss told local officials last year. In April 2016, the countys Human Relations Commission held a public hearing on the issue that attracted more than 200 people, the vast majority of them opposed to the new sign. Under pressure, County Parks and Recreation Department officials remove the sign the next month and appointed a committee to create a new display that accurately represented the parks history with texts and photos. The new display, explaining the sites history, was unveiled on Friday. Had local political officials and business groups done their research, they might have predicted that the sign would generate controversy, given the parks history as a gathering place for American Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. The German American League acquired the land in 1925, named it Hindenburg Park, and maintained it as a private gathering for local German Americans, who held dances, picnics and other events there. Had the park simply been a place where German Americans celebrated their cultural heritage, it would hardly be contentious. But the site also has a much more troubling history. Although the German American League may have been founded to celebrate German culture, it always had a political side. According to a 1937 article in Life magazine, the group was the Nazi organization in the U.S., previously known as the Friends of the New Germany. This countrys major pro-Nazi group the German-American Bund, which sought to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany and urged Americans to boycott Jewish-owned business used the park for its events. At Hindenburg Park and elsewhere, Bund rallies not only featured Nazi flags but also American flags, claiming that its members were patriotic Americans. In fact, the Bund claimed that George Washington was the first Fascist. As early as 1936, the Bund operated 19 Nazi-inspired youth camps across the United States. One of them, Camp Sutter, was located at Hindenburg Park. In an interview last year, Arnie Bernstein, author of the Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, explained that the purpose of these Bund youth camps was to indoctrinate children in Nazi ideology. Like most summer camps, the children participated in sports, hikes, arts and crafts and other activities. But they also were taught about Aryan supremacy and told to be loyal to the Bund, its leader Fritz Kuhn, and Adolph Hitler. They wore uniforms similar to those worn by the Hitler Youth group in Germany. They were forced to march around in the middle of the night carrying Bund and American flags, sing the Nazi anthem, give the Nazi salute, and shout Sieg Heil. As part of their camp activities, they were inculcated with Nazi propaganda. A Congressional investigation also uncovered sexual abuse between the adults and campers, Bernstein said In February 1939, Kuhn, who was often called the American Fuehrer, spoke at a pro-Nazi Bund rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City that attracted over 20,000 people. There he repeatedly referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Frank D. Rosenfeld, called his New Deal the Jew Deal, and stated that the Jews are enemies of the United States. Later that month, the Bund held another rally at its West Coast headquarters at 634 West 15th Street in Los Angeles in building known as the Deutsch Haus (German House). The building was a site for pro-Nazi meetings and also housed a restaurant and beer hall as well as the Aryan Bookstore, where one could purchase the Bund newspaper, Hitlers manifesto Mein Kamp, and other Nazi literature. The Deutsch Haus also screened German anti-Semitic propaganda films with titles like Kosher Slaughter. A few months later, on April 30, 1939, the Bund held a rally in Hindenburg Park, promoted as a celebration of Hitlers birthday ten days later. Over 2,000 German-American Bund members came to hear Kuhn and West Coast Bund leader Herman Max Schwinn. According to the Los Angeles Times: Clad in a gray-and-black storm trooper uniform and flanked by a dozen uniformed guards, Kuhn spoke from a stage draped in red swastika banners. The crowd cheered Kuhn and booed as a low-flying plane, sponsored by the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, bombarded the park with thousands of anti-Hitler leaflets. When it was Schwimms turn to speak, he read a telegram he had sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Do everything in your power to quarantine the United States against alien influences which are at work to drag the nation into war. By alien influences he meant Jews, whom the Bund correctly believed were trying to get the Roosevelt administration and Congress to oppose Hitlers efforts to take over Europe. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times that week, Kuhn spouted typical Nazi ideas. He falsely claimed that Jews occupied 62% of the high posts in the federal government and have plotted to get hold of almost everything, especially in New York and Hollywood. That event was only one of many Bund and pro-Nazi events that took place at the park. These gatherings featured speakers from other American fascist organizations including the Silver Shirts, White Shirts, and Khaki Shirts as well as the Bund. California State University-Northridge hosts a website and archive called In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California, 1933-1945 that includes photos of Nazi rallies at Hindenburg Park. One shows members of the Bund erecting a huge swastika in the park. A two-minute clip from the documentary film Rancho La Canada includes footage of activities at Hindenburg Park, including the 1939 Nazi rally. In December 1939, Kuhn was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison for embezzlement, but the Bund briefly continued without him. Two years later, after the United States entered World War 2 against the Nazis, the Bund disappeared. In 1943, while he was serving his prison sentence, the U.S. cancelled Kuhns citizenship and deported him to Germany in 1945. Historian Bernstein is quick to explain that most German Americans werent Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Many, he said, were ashamed of Hitler and what was going on in Germany, and strongly denounced Kuhn and his followers. The Bund was a small group compared with the number of German Americans living in the United States, he noted. But they were loud and noisy. After the war, Hindenburg Park continued to be the site for German festivals. Southern Californias first Oktoberfest was held there in 1956. While the German American League owned the park, a five-foot bust of Hindenburg adorned the grounds. In 1957, Los Angeles County purchased the land from the German-American League for $91,000, and removed the bust. The Board of Supervisors also abandoned the name Hindenburg Park and incorporated that section of the park into the larger Crescenta Valley County Park. Over the next half-century, memories of the American Nazis presence at the park faded. By the start of this century, few people recalled that the Glendale area had not only been a stronghold of Nazi activism but also a breeding ground for other hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the John Birch Society in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Glendale was West Coast headquarters of the American Nazi Party. In 1962, when the KKK experienced a revival in response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, the Klan paraded down Glendales main thoroughfare, Brand Boulevard, with a horse brigade, marching band and burning cross. As recently as 2012, a tiny hate group called the Crescenta Valley European American Society, promoting white identity and white pride, had a brief presence on the internet and sponsored a European American Heritage Festival at Hindenburg Park which generated controversy at the time but all manifestations of this group, including its website, soon disappeared. The La Crescenta and Glendale areas are now more diverse than in earlier years, but the scars of racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry never completely heal, as reflected in the upsurge of protest after the appearance of the new Welcome to Hindenburg Park sign last year. Steve Pierce, a Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, last year told the Glendale News Press: The sign is just recognizing the German culture that was in our community. I think thats important. Im very in support of that. The Department of Parks and Recreations six-member advisory committee spent almost a year debating what words and photos to include on the new display and how much to focus on the parks Nazi activities. The process was initially contentious. Eberhard, the Tricentennial Foundation chairman, opposed including any photos of swastikas on the new sign, claiming that people who hoisted flags bearing swastikas did so because it was the German flag at the time, not because they were Nazis. He wants to sanitize history, said Carole Kulzer-Brennan, a first vice president of the German-American League of Los Angeles and a member of the advisory group. Eberhard also insisted that the Nazi rallies were only a small part of the activities that occurred in the park during the 1930s. That was almost 80 years ago, he said in an interview following Fridays unveiling ceremony. I dont see why thats still relevant. I think it is unfortunate that the original sign was removed for no good reason, said Eberhard, who came to the United States from Germany in 1949 as a 17 year old. He seemed either nave or willfully ignorant about the significance of the sites Nazi past. Sign or no sign, it is still Hindenburg Park to many people in the community, he noted. But other members of the advisory committee were pleased with the outcome. It was a long drawn-out battle, but we reached a good consensus, said Kulzer-Brennan of the German-American League, which in September will sponsor its first event in the park since it sold the park in 1957 a German American Heritage Day picnic. Through the months of discussion, we got a vivid reminder of the fruitful collaboration that can come from listening to others with care and respect, said committee member Mark Strunin, a consultant for nonprofit groups and former president of a nearby synagogue. All four of my kids frequently go to the park and I was surprised when the sign suddenly appeared, said Sophal Ear, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council who was appointed to the advisory committee. I had no clue as to the history of the Nazi activities in the park. A Cambodian refugee and a professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, Ear said it was important to create a display that doesnt gloss over the past but illuminates it. Its absolutely crucial that we learn the lessons of history. Mona Field, who helped lead the campaign to remove the offensive sign, called it a grassroots victory against those who would whitewash history. The new display, she said, tells the full story, good and bad, and makes clear that ideologies of hatred have no place in our community. The display, recounting the parks history, mentions that in its early days the German-American League used the park for festivals and other cultural events, but also explains that it was also used for more controversial activities including the promotion of Nazi beliefs through political rallies and the Sutter Youth Camp. There, the display notes, American youth were indoctrinated into theories of Aryan superiority, which is described as part of Adolf Hitlers racist ideology. These were not simply harmless theories but, the display explains, led to persecution and murder of European Jews and any other group or individual who opposed Hitlers Third Reich regime. The display includes photos of the entrance to the park, the park caretakers residence in the 1930s, an Easter Sunday service in the park in 1952, a musical comedy performance in the early 1950s, and a bust of Beethoven that was erected in the park. Theres also a 1944 photo of German American bomber pilots in front of a plane. This photo has nothing to do with the park or the Glendale area. One member of the advisory committee insisted that it be part of the display to show that German Americans were loyal patriots who served in the U.S. military during World War 2. But the marker also includes photos of pro-Nazi activities that took place in the park in the 1930s a German American Bund Party choral group, in front of a swastika, a gathering that includes both American and Nazi flags, and a group of children in uniforms looking at the German American Bund Party flag. It does not include a well-known photo of Bund leader Fritz Kuhn speaking at the pro-Nazi rally in Hindenburg Park in April 1939. Only three of the displays nine photos deal with the parks Nazi past. The display concludes with this statement: Although the events of the 20th century may seem distant, there continues to be a need to guard against all forms of hatred, racism, and totalitarian ideologies of all types. The American ideals of justice and equal opportunity still require our vigilant support. When the advisory committee began deliberating over the design, photos, and wording of the new display, nobody could have anticipated that its unveiling would occur as the nation was reeling from an upsurge of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activism, emboldened by a president who failed to display moral leadership. The events in Charlottesville are a sad reminder that Nazism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and racism still exist in our country, said the Jewish Federations Jason Moss. We cannot erase our history. But the new display in the park is a reminder of past events that took place in the community, and hopefully a way to ease the pain. We showed that there are ways to work together through dialogue, observed Moss, instead of with torches and violence. Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest American of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books).

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School year dawns with no resolution for Alameda girl targeted with anti-Semitism – Jweekly.com

On Monday morning Aug. 21, 14-year-old Natasha Waldorf, who is Jewish, will start her sophomore year at Alameda High School. In her class will be one of two boys who taunted her last semester, sending her text messages that included the word kike and other anti-Semitic insults, and the image of product mascot Mr. Clean in a Nazi uniform titled Mr. Ethnic Cleansing. In the halls she will pass two other students who taunted her that same week last January, joking about the Holocaust and, when confronted by Natasha, telling her that Hitler should have finished the job. Alameda school authorities dont deny that these incidents, reported in a J. cover story in May, indeed occurred. This week, Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge told J., and the parents by email, that the situation has been handled appropriately. Natashas parents, however, say otherwise. And they want something done. They are not taking this seriously, Natashas father, Mel Waldorf, told J. These were threats. How is my daughter supposed to feel safe, with school starting Monday? How can [McPhetridge] say hes protecting a student when the kids who did this dont have to apologize and are sitting in her class for the rest of the year? Its egregious. The Zionist Organization of America has taken up the case on behalf of Natasha and her family, alerting J. to the ongoing situation this week. The ZOA has been engaged since June in an email exchange with McPhetridge and with the high schools principal, Robert Ithurburn, which now seems to have reached an impasse. Natashas parents, and the ZOA, want the school district to take five specific steps. At the top of the list: ensuring that all the students who taunted Natasha are made to apologize; instituting mandatory training programs for students, faculty and parents in how to recognize and combat anti-Semitism; and coming out forcefully and publicly in opposition to anti-Semitism. McPhetridge says the district has followed correct protocol all along, although he is legally prevented from detailing what punishment, if any, the offending students have received. He says four of the five demands have been fulfilled, in substance if not in letter, and the fifth mandating parental training is not feasible. He reiterates his and the districts support for full inclusion for all faiths, ethnicities, races and gender identities. Natashas parents and the ZOA say the district, specifically McPhetridge, arent taking their complaints seriously. McPhetridge, on the other hand, told J. this week that no incident in his decades of service has affected him like this one, and he takes it very seriously indeed. He insists that he wants to meet personally with Natasha and her parents to clear it up, as he met with the parents of three other children who suffered similar anti-Semitic taunting in Alameda schools. As of late this week, Mel Waldorf said he was still waiting for a phone call from McPhetridge. And anyway, the ZOA says a face-to-face meeting wont solve anything the organization wants demonstrable action. An impasse. And school starts Monday. At the center of this conflict is Natasha, who, as detailed in a May 25 J. cover story and editorial, received a series of anonymous texts last January that taunted her for being Jewish and made threats about gas and ethnic cleansing. She discovered that a boy in her class, whom she thought was a friend, had sent the texts, egged on by a foreign exchange student. Eventually the first boy was made to apologize to her; her parents say the exchange student, who has since returned to his native Germany, never apologized and his parents werent even notified. Later that same week, she and a friend overheard two other students joking about the Holocaust. One made the Hitler comment to her upon being confronted. Natashas parents then met with the schools assistant principal and dean, but as outlined in ZOA letters to McPhetridge, felt appropriate action was not taken. (That dean has since left the school district.) The ZOA letters also charge that these incidents are not isolated. Natasha reported to her parents and to school administrators other examples of students making anti-Semitic comments, of swastika graffiti found on desks and walls, and making jokes about the Holocaust, sometimes in front of teachers. Anti-Semitic incidents also were reported at other schools in the district, including Edison Elementary, as covered in J. On June 16, the ZOA first wrote to McPhetridge, saying, Anti-Semitism is a problem at other schools in the district, too. We understand that you are well aware of this ongoing serious problem, yet have not taken the steps you are legally required to take to remedy the anti-Semitism and ensure that it does not recur. He has not met any of the list of demands we sent, said David Kadosh, executive director of ZOA West and one of the two signatories of the June 16 letter. He has not made public statements against anti-Semitism. Hes spoken in general about bigotry and says its enough. In both a conversation with J. and in letters emailed to McPhetridge, Kadosh points out programs the school district runs to highlight inclusion for other minority students. As part of its Everyone Belongs Here campaign, for example, the district has held several events celebrating Muslim culture and history, including daily announcements in the high school during April, noting it was National Arab American Heritage Month. By contrast, the ZOA letter points out, there were no school-wide announcements in May that it was Jewish American Heritage Month. When members of the Jewish student club put up posters, one was ripped down while the others disappeared in a few days. And last spring, for the first time, no Holocaust survivor was invited to speak to the students for Holocaust Remembrance Day. The school said it was too difficult to find a speaker, the ZOA letter charged, and rebuffed ZOA offers to provide one. Were not asking for special treatment, Kadosh told J. Were just asking for the same attention and treatment for Jewish students. In an hour-long interview in his office on Aug. 17, McPhetridge refuted the ZOAs and familys charges one by one. Yes, hes spoken out publicly against anti-Semitism at board meetings and a PTA meeting the family just isnt viewing the videos. Yes, the offending students were punished he just cant say how, due to privacy laws. Yes, the high school commemorates the Holocaust and a speaker will be provided next year; he thanked the ZOA for reaching out with suggestions. And yes, the district takes anti-Semitism seriously, as it does with all bigotry although it can always do better. It cannot be just about anti-Semitism, he told J. It has to be the rights of all people. Ive invited the ZOA and the Waldorf-Lindsey family to meet with us, he said, referring to himself and Principal Ithurburn. Theres so much we can do talking together that we cant do by email or phone. We are committed to making things better. When a family [tells me to] work with the ZOA and copy [us] on the letters, its hard to cooperate, he added. All of this is coming to a head at a time of upsurges in hate speech and anti-minority violence, including a rash of bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers in the spring which alarmed Natasha, her parents said the violence at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last week, and this weeks vandalism at Temple Israel in Alameda, where windows were smashed on Aug. 17. Meanwhile, school starts Monday.

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Battling Nazis and white supremacists: A tale of two cities … – Jewish Journal

La Crescenta, California is a long way from Charlottesville, Virginia, but both communities have recently had to deal with controversies involving Nazis, white supremacy, and the removal of a public monument that symbolized bigotry. In Charlottesville, the controversy erupted in violence and became national news. In La Crescenta, a suburb of Los Angeles, the dispute was resolved through spirited but nonviolent meetings and discussions. Not surprisingly, the La Crescenta experience generated few headlines. Members of Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups descended on Charlottesville last weekend purportedly to preserve a 26-foot tall statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederal general and traitor to his country, erected in a local park that was once named after him. The statue of Lee, on his horse with hat in hand, had stood in the park since 1924, a time of resurgent white supremacy, KKK activism, and lynching. In April, the Charlottesville City Council voted to sell and remove the statue and rechristen Lee Park as Emancipation Park. Local white supremacists went to court to oppose the removal and a circuit court judge issued an injunction prohibiting any sale or removal for six months. Stopping the removal of the Lee statue was the excuse that Nazis and other white supremacists used to organize a march and rally in Charlottesville brandishing torches, bats, and guns. One of them drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters that killed 32-year old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others. The controversy was compounded when President Donald Trump refused to forcefully condemn the white supremacists, who then celebrated Trumps remarks as signifying support for their views and actions. This Friday a week after the Nazis came to Charlottesville people will gather in Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park to celebrate a victory over hate and bigotry. A year ago, a sign at the parks entrance said Welcome to Hindenburg Park, named for Paul von Hindenburg, Germanys president from 1925 to 1934 who appointed Adolf Hitler as German chancellor in 1933. The sign was erected last year, paid for by a German-American group who claimed that it was intended to celebrate the areas German American heritage. But the sign failed to mention the parks ugly past as a site of Nazi rallies and a Nazi youth camp during the 1930s. Few people knew about the six-foot sign until the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation erected it in March 2016 at the parks entrance near the corner of Honolulu and Dunsmore avenues in La Crescenta, an unincorporated section of LA County, adjacent to Glendale. The sign greeted visitors with the words Willkommen zum, written in a German typeface, followed by Welcome to Hindenburg Park, and below that The Historic German Section of Crescenta Valley Park. At the bottom of the sign was the countys official seal and the words Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Despite the official seal, the county did not pay for the sign, which cost $2,500. The idea for the sign originated with the Tricentennial Foundation, a German heritage organization based in the North Hills section of Los Angeles. The foundation worked with the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley and the Crescenta Valley Town Council to fund the sign. The foundation s aim was to preserve the historical integrity of the site, Hans Eberhard, the groups chairman, told the Glendale News-Press last year. Some proponents of the sign argued that they heard no objections about it before the County approved it. Thats because hardly anyone knew about it until it was put up, explained Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. If it had been a public process, Im sure people would have opposed it. But soon after it was put up, we started voicing our concerns. Once it was installed, people in the area began to raise questions. After several local residents brought the issue to Moss attention, what appeared to be a harmless historical marker became the subject of controversy. They learned that, despite the sign, the parks name is Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, not Hindenburg Park, and it is owned and operated by Los Angeles County. Moss and others brought their complaints to County officials. I think theres a way we can honor German-American culture, but also not forget what took place at that park, Moss explained last year. Civil rights, human rights, and faith-based groups mobilized a campaign to persuade County officials to take down the sign and replace it with another sign that would tell an accurate history of that site. Local residents signed petitions, contacted local elected officials, and conducted research to uncover the parks ugly but mostly forgotten history. In April 2016, the countys Human Relations Commission held a public hearing on the issue that attracted at least 200 people, the vast majority of them opposed to the new sign. At the public hearing, many local residents recited versions of the famous statement by philosopher George Santayana: If we dont learn from the past, were doomed to repeat it. Under pressure from the elected County Board of Supervisors, Parks and Recreation Department officials agreed to remove the sign and to appoint a committee to create a new display that accurately represented the parks history with texts and photos. The sign was removed last November. The new display, explaining the sites history, will be unveiled this Friday. Had local political officials and business groups done their research, they might have predicted that the sign would generate controversy, given the parks history as a gathering place for American Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. Had the park simply been a place where German Americans celebrated their rich and fascinating cultural heritage, it would hardly be contentious. But the site also has a much more troubling history. Although the German American League may have been founded to celebrate German culture, it always had a political side. According to a 1937 article in Life magazine, the group was the Nazi organization in the U.S., previously known as the Friends of the New Germany. This countrys major pro-Nazi group was the German-American Bund, which sought to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany and urged Americans to boycott Jewish-owned business. Its rallies not only featured Nazi flags but also American flags, claiming that its members were patriotic Americans. In fact, the Bund claimed that George Washington was the first Fascist. As early as 1936, the Bund operated 19 Nazi-inspired youth camps across the United States. One of them, Camp Sutter, was located at the German-American Leagues Hindenburg Park. In an interview last year, Arnie Bernstein, author of the Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, explained that the purpose of these Bund youth camps was to indoctrinate children in Nazi ideology. Like most summer camps, the children participated in sports, hikes, arts and crafts and other activities. But they also were taught about Aryan supremacy and told to be loyal to the Bund, its leader Fritz Kuhn, and Adolph Hitler. They wore uniforms similar to those worn by the Hitler Youth group in Germany. They were forced to march around in the middle of the night carrying Bund and American flags, sing the Nazi anthem, give the Nazi salute, and shout Sieg Heil. As part of their camp activities, they were inculcated with Nazi propaganda. A Congressional investigation also uncovered sexual abuse between the adults and campers, Bernstein said In February 1939, Kuhn, who was often called the American Fuehrer, spoke at a pro-Nazi Bund rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City that attracted over 20,000 people. There he repeatedly referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Frank D. Rosenfeld, called his New Deal the Jew Deal, and stated that the Jews are enemies of the United States. Bund choir group sings at Hidenburg Park in 1936. Later that month, the Bund held another rally at its West Coast headquarters at 634 West 15th Street in Los Angeles in building known as the Deutsch Haus (German House). The building was a site for pro-Nazi meetings and also housed a restaurant and beer hall as well as the Aryan Bookstore, where one could purchase the Bund newspaper, Hitlers manifesto Mein Kamp, and other Nazi literature. The Deutsch Haus also screened German anti-Semitic propaganda films with titles like Kosher Slaughter. A few months later, on April 30, 1939, the Bund held a rally in Hindenburg Park, promoted as a celebration of Hitlers birthday ten days later. Over 2,000 German-American Bund members came to hear Kuhn and West Coast Bund leader Herman Max Schwinn. According to the Los Angeles Times: Clad in a gray-and-black storm trooper uniform and flanked by a dozen uniformed guards, Kuhn spoke from a stage draped in red swastika banners. The crowd cheered Kuhn and booed as a low-flying plane, sponsored by the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, bombarded the park with thousands of anti-Hitler leaflets. When it was Schwinns turn to speak, he read a telegram he had sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Do everything in your power to quarantine the United States against alien influences which are at work to drag the nation into war. By alien influences he meant Jews, whom the Bund correctly believed were trying to get the Roosevelt administration and Congress to oppose Hitlers efforts to take over Europe. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times that week, Kuhn spouted typical Nazi ideas. He falsely claimed that Jews occupied 62% of the high posts in the federal government and have plotted to get hold of almost everything, especially in New York and Hollywood. That event was only one of many Bund and pro-Nazi events that took place at the park. These gatherings featured speakers from other American fascist organizations including the Silver Shirts, White Shirts, and Khaki Shirts as well as the Bund. California State University-Northridge hosts a website and archive called In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda in Southern California, 1933-1945 that includes photos of Nazi rallies at Hindenburg Park. One shows members of the Bund erecting a huge swastika in the park. A two-minute clip from the documentary film Rancho La Canada includes footage of activities at Hindenburg Park, including the 1939 Nazi rally. In December 1939, Kuhn was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison for embezzlement, but the Bund briefly continued without him. Two years later, after the United States entered World War 2 against the Nazis, the Bund disappeared. In 1943, while he was serving his prison sentence, the U.S. cancelled Kuhns citizenship and deported him to Germany in 1945. Historian Bernstein is quick to explain that most German Americans werent Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Many, he said, were ashamed of Hitler and what was going on in Germany, and strongly denounced Kuhn and his followers. The Bund was a small group compared with the number of German Americans living in the United States, he noted. But they were loud and noisy. After the war, Hindenburg Park continued to be the site for German festivals. Southern Californias first Oktoberfest was held there in 1956. While the German American League owned the park, a five-foot bust of Hindenburg adorned the grounds. In 1957, Los Angeles County purchased the land from the German-American League for $91,000, and removed the bust. The Board of Supervisors also abandoned the name Hindenburg Park and incorporated that section of the park into the larger Crescenta Valley County Park. Over the next half-century, memories of the American Nazis presence at the park faded. By the start of this century, few people recalled that the Glendale area had not only been a stronghold of Nazi activism but also a breeding ground for other hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the John Birch Society in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Glendale was West Coast headquarters of the American Nazi Party. In 1962, when the KKK experienced a revival in response to the burgeoning civil rights movement, the Klan paraded down Glendales main thoroughfare, Brand Boulevard, with a horse brigade, marching band and burning cross. As recently as 2012, a tiny hate group called the Crescenta Valley European American Society, promoting white identity and white pride, had a brief presence on the internet and sponsored a European American Heritage Festival at Hindenburg Park which generated controversy at the time but all manifestations of this group, including its website, soon disappeared. The La Crescenta and Glendale areas are now more diverse than in earlier years, but the scars of racism, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry never completely heal, as reflected in the upsurge of protest after the appearance of the new Welcome to Hindenburg Park sign last year. Hans Eberhard, the Tri-Centennial Foundations chairman, seemed either nave or willfully ignorant about the significance of the sites Nazi past. He told the Glendale News-Press last year that people who hoisted flags bearing swastikas in the park did so because it was the German flag at the time, not because they were Nazis. Seeking to downplay the dispute, Eberhard explained, This is a welcome to Hindenburg Park. Theres nothing wrong with that. Its an indication this is a historic site. Steve Pierce, a Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, told the Glendale News Press: The sign is just recognizing the German culture that was in our community. I think thats important. Im very in support of that. Mike Lawler, former president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, who has documented the areas history of racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry, had a somewhat more nuanced view. The parks history, he observed last year, is part of the simple and recurring American story of an immigrant group celebrating their heritage as they assimilate. But Lawler also understood why the sign triggered a protest movement. My overall feeling is that by burying uncomfortable events in history, we risk repeating past mistakes. Obviously, I dont have the perspective of having been the victim of a mass genocide, so I cannot relate to the Jewish Federations feelings of offense. But I would hope that bringing attention to the parks history would provide an opportunity for educating future generations about the dangers of nationalism and hate groups like the Bund. The Department of Parks and Recreations six-member advisory committee spent months debating what words and photos to include on the new display and how much to focus on the parks Nazi activities. Through the months of discussion, we got a vivid reminder of the fruitful collaboration that can come from listening to others, said committee member Mark Strunin, a consultant for nonprofit groups and former president of a nearby synagogue. All four of my kids frequently go to the park and I was surprised when the sign suddenly appeared, said Sophal Ear, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council who was appointed to the advisory committee. I had no clue as to the history of the Nazi activities in the park. A Cambodian refugee and a professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, Ear said it was important to create a display that doesnt gloss over the past but illuminates it. Its absolutely crucial that we learn the lessons of history. Mona Field, a retired political science professor at Glendale College who helped lead the campaign to remove the offensive sign, called it a grassroots victory against those who would whitewash history. The new display, she said, tells the full story, good and bad, and makes clear that ideologies of hatred have no place in our community. The display, recounting the parks history, mentions that in its early days the park was owned by German-American League, who used it for festivals and other events for the local German-American community. But it also explains that it was also used for more controversial activities including the promotion of Nazi beliefs through political rallies and the Sutter Youth Camp. There, the display notes, American youth were indoctrinated into theories of Aryan superiority, which is described as part of Adolf Hitlers racist ideology. These were not simply harmless theories but, the display explains, led to persecution and murder of European Jews and any other group or individual who opposed Hitlers Third Reich regime. The display includes photos of the entrance to the park, the park caretakers residence in the 1930s, an Easter Sunday service in the park in 1952, a musical comedy performance in the early 1950s, and a bust of Beethoven that was erected in the park. Theres also a 1944 photo of German American bomber pilots in front of a plane. This photo has nothing to do with the park or the Glendale area. One member of the advisory committee insisted that it be part of the display, no doubt to show that German Americans were loyal patriots who served in the U.S. military during World War 2. But the marker also includes photos of pro-Nazi activities that took place in the park in the 1930s a German American Bund Party choral group, in front of a swastika, a gathering that includes both American and Nazi flags, and a group of children in uniforms looking at the German American Bund Party flag. It does not include a well-known photo of German-American Bund leader Fritz Kuhn speaking at a pro-Nazi rally in Hindenburg Park in April 1939. Only three of the displays nine photos deal with the parks Nazi past. The display concludes with this statement: Although the events of the 20th century may seem distant, there continues to be a need to guard against all forms of hatred, racism, and totalitarian ideologies of all types. The American ideals of justice and equal opportunity still require our vigilant support. When the ad hoc committee appointed by the LA County Parks and Recreation Department began deliberating over the design, photos, and wording of the new display, nobody could have anticipated that its unveiling would occur as the nation was reeling from an upsurge of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activism, emboldened by a president who failed to display moral leadership. The events in Charlottesville are a sad reminder that Nazism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and racism still exist in our country, said the Jewish Federations Jason Moss. We cannot erase our history. But the new display in the park is a reminder of past events that took place in the community, and hopefully a way to ease the pain. We showed that there are ways to work together through dialogue, observed Moss, instead of with torches and violence. Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest American of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books).

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Obama Charlottesville Tweet Is Most ‘Liked’ on Twitter – Newsmax

Former President Barack Obama’s Charlottesville tweet has become the most “liked” message in the history of the social media platform, topping the 3.1 million mark Monday. Obama posted a quote from South African president Nelson Mandela after a so-called “alt-right” march in the Virginia town turned violent when march supporters clashed with counter-protesters, The Washington Post noted. Favstar, the Twitter-tracking website, said Obama’s tweet also was the fifth most re-tweeted post, at 1.2 million. The Washington Post noted that while Obama’s tweet, the first in a series of tweets quoting theformer South African president,has taken off, President Donald Trump has been criticized for his response to Charlottesville. In his statement Saturday, Trump condemned hatred and bigotry from “many sides,” but did not name any groups specifically, the newspaper said. An alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19. Trump called out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacy in a statement Monday, the Post added. Obama has used social media to weigh in other issues since leaving office in January. He wrote a Facebook post in June in support of his signature legislation the Affordable Care Act while Congress debated on repealing it, the Post noted. Obama also issued a statement after the Trump administration said it planned to drop the United States out the Paris climate deal, the Post noted. “The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Obama said in the Paris statement in June. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. “But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got,” the statement continued. 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Exhibitions | American Jewish Historical Society

October 7, 1944 In Cooperation with Yeshiva University Museum. This exhibition is the American attempt to respond to four women, and the revolt in Auschwitz that they helped make possible. On view: October 7, 2014 to April 12, 2015 Location: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY Led by Jonah Bokaers artistic vision and interpretation, and supported by research in the primary-source archives of the American Jewish Historical Society and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, we aim to reintroduce the visitor to a largely unknown or forgotten historical eventan event that could not have transpired without Roza, Estera, Regina and Ala. These women were not remarkable in any way that is known to us. They were young women who believed what they were doing was right. Through a non-traditional format that marries music, movement, choreography, archival material and film, we attempt to honor their bravery, and make their names known to you. Rachel Lithgow, Curator, Executive Director American Jewish Historical Society Born to Tunisian and American parents in Ithaca, NY, Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, and art space developer. His work, which integrates choreography with digital media, is often the result of his cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects. Creating choreography for museum spaces since 2002, Bokaer has performed at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, The New Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in The Asia Society | Texas, Le Carr dArt Nmes, IVAM Valencia, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and MUDAM Luxembourg, among others. A full list of museum projects is listed below. The creator of 33 dances, ten videos, three motion capture works, three interactive installations, two mobile applications, and one film, Bokaers work has been produced throughout theaters in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent performances include two seasons at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival (2011-2012), the 2012 Festival dAvignon in France, Thtre de la Cit Internationale in Paris, and the BAM Next Wave Festival 2012, for which he was commissioned for the inauguration of BAM Fisher, with artist Anthony McCall. In 2008-2009 Bokaer became the first dance artist to be appointed a Young Leader of the French American Foundation, in acknowledgment of his efforts to develop Chez Bushwick, and CPR – Center for Performance Research, two independent arts centers which nurture young artists in New York City and internationally. Bokaer has collaborated with artists including Daniel Arsham (2007-present), Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal, and Robert Wilson (2007-present). As choreographer for Robert Wilson, he has completed many operas including Faust (Polish National Opera), Ada (Teatro dellOpera di Roma), KOOL (Japan/USA Guggenheim Works & Process), Fronteras (IVAM Valenica), and On The Beach (Baryshnikov Arts Center). Bokaer was recently named one of ten American artists to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant award for the development of his third mobile application, in partnership with Georgia Tech. jonahbokaer.net

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Letter to the Editor: A step in the right direction – The Independent Florida Alligator

Dear UF President Kent Fuchs, I currently live and work as a global health specialist in Rwanda, a country that is all too familiar with how hate speech related to ethnicity can spark mass violence. In 1994, America stood by as one million Rwandans were murdered by violence sparked by genocide ideology. Together with my Rwandan colleagues, I have been watching the political situation in the U.S. unfold. A few days ago, I spoke with a colleague about the act of domestic terrorism that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, I am proud to tell him students of color at my university and their accomplices made sure that a domestic terrorist who incited violence in Charlottesville would not speak at my alma mater. I am proud to tell him that you, President Fuchs, chose to stand beside your students. I graduated from UFs College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2013. During my time at UF, I had the honor of serving as an Inter-Residence Hall Association representative, a Gatorship staffer, a student ambassador for LGBTQ Affairs and a Florida Cicerone. I stood next to former UF President Bernie Machen as he attended the March Against Hate, which we organized in 2012 when a UF Levin College of Law professor found the word “f—–” scratched into his driver-side door. That same year, “n—–” was written on a petition demanding justice during a rally for Trayvon Martin at UF. Two years prior, a doctoral student, Kofi Adu-Brempong, was shot in the head by police at his home in Corry Village, and a swastika was spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity house at Vanderbilt University. These incidents, when they happen at UF and other universities, are rarely followed-up by consequences for perpetrators because free speech is interpreted to mean a lack of consequences for ones actions, rather than protection from arrest. Public displays of aggression are echoed by micro-aggressions that students and faculty who belong to marginalized groups experience across campus. I recall a LGBTQ Affairs campaign in 2013 during which we posted signs across campus that displayed anonymous secrets. For example, one read, Here is where I kissed a girl for the first time. Next to Matherly Hall, another read, Here is where some men in a pickup truck drove by and screamed f—– at my girlfriend. I remember one that I wrote that read, Here is where I came out to my favorite professor. She made me feel loved and accepted me immediately. I posted it in Turlington Hall. It was torn down the same day. In the years since Ive graduated, Ive watched with horror as hate continues to find a platform on our campus. Every year the same group comes to inflict psychological violence against students whose reproductive rights are called to question by horrific blown-up images of mutilated fetuses. This year, a man wearing a swastika armband casually biked across our campus during Jewish American Heritage Month. In recent months, a battle for the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures and the Institute for Black Culture has played out with students of color excluded from conversations that should prioritize their voices. Students of color had to occupy a closed-door meeting and launch a campaign to participate in the preservation of their cultural institutes. So I was upset when UF entertained the idea of allowing Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, to incite hatred and violence against people of color on our campus. Considering our history though, I was not surprised. Here in Rwanda, people gather every April to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi. Rwandans commit and recommit to fighting against genocide ideology and violent extremism across the world. As a global citizen who appreciates the yearly reminder that it is our duty to protect our world against genocide, I hope youjoin me in committing to doing more to encourage our fellow Gators who have never been discriminated against based on religion or ethnicity to reflect on what men who use the same rhetoric as Richard Spencer have meant for people of color, for religious minorities, for our Student Body. This is not the last time you will be asked to take decisive action to protect students of color the work is ongoing. So when you doubt the validity or feasibility of the radical demands made by student groups who are fighting for fair treatment of students from marginalized backgrounds, I encourage you to remember the decision you just made in the broader context of human history. Go look at the lynching tree that still stands on Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Look at the genocide memorials in Rwanda and around the world. Remember what happens when men in positions of power, given the opportunity to protect black people, choose to do nothing. Today, you decided it was your duty to protect students from violence. I thank you for that. Moving forward, I hope this sparks a larger commitment to listening to students of color and more action to eradicate white supremacy on our campus and beyond. There is so much left to be done. Sincerely, Joanna Joanna Galaris is a UF alumna.

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August 16, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Clayton County Calendar of Events – News-Daily.com

The Clayton Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council will host a spotlight luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the continuing education building at Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd. in Morrow. The luncheon will feature prominent local business women and their stories of success. Tickets are $35 per person or $280 per table. Register at claytonchamber.org. The Front Porch Players presents Driving Miss Daisy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry that begins in Atlanta in the 1940s and affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a strong-willed Southern Jewish widow Daisy Werthan and her equally indomitable African-American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn. Directed by Karen Ferrell-White, the cast includes Jay Michael Isbell as Hoke and Mary Anne Brannon as Miss Daisy. Showtimes are Aug. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro, 1842 Lake Jodeco Road in Jonesboro. General admission is $12 for adults. Tickets are available now at thefrontporchplayers.com. Congressman David Scott is hosting his 13th Annual Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Mundys Mill High School, 9652 Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro. The Health Fair will provide vital health screenings and information at no cost from the regions health care providers and advocacy organizations. To register and view a list of participating organizations, visit www.davidscott.house.gov. Enjoy performances by the Dr. Love Blues Revue with Albert White, Lady D, Sandra Hall and more during the next Dr. Love Blues and Barbecue Summer Jam Series on Aug. 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Starr Park, 803 Forest Pkwy. in Forest Park. Caribbean Cultural Festival The Caribbean Association of Georgia Inc. hosts the eighth Annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival on Aug. 19 at Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 S.E. in Jonesboro, from 1 to 8 p.m. Come out to celebrate Caribbean American heritage and take part in the largest festival of its kind in Clayton County. This event is free and open to the public. Aug. 24 Al Smith and friends will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Berryz Bridge and The Next Generation will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Clayton State University is holding a hiring event for returning citizens, or ex-offenders, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Athletic Center, 2000 Clayton State Blvd. in Morrow. Gain access to employers and learn valuable skills in resume building and interviewing. The event is presented by the Henry County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Register and learn more by contacting jobshcac@gmail.com. In conjunction with the Premiere Tennis and College Experience, Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory, along with the Board of Commissioners and Parks and Recreation, will be hosting a college fair at the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center, 2300 Highway 138 S.E. in Jonesboro, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. This fair aims to showcase colleges and university systems in Georgia. Erica Dawson and the 911 Band will perform at the Lakeview Amphitheater of the Clayton County International Park, 2300 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Jonesboro, as part of Clayton Countys Sip & Sounds concert series. Bring your own lawn chairs, food and beverages to enjoy this free concert from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Join the city of Jonesboro Sept. 23 from noon to 8 p.m. for the 2nd Annual Downtown Street Festival. The festival will feature food truck options, street vendors, kids play zones and live music. Vendor opportunities are available by contacting events@jonesboroga.com. The Forest Park Police Department is now accepting vendor applications for this years National Night Out on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Starr Park, 803 Forest Parkway in Forest Park. The evening is focused on crime prevention and drug awareness and is geared toward the citys youth and their parents. For more information or to register your business, email CYermack@forestparkpd.com. A benefit banquet for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Clayton County will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, 147 Church St. in Jonesboro. Keynote speaker is Dr. Haywood Robinson. Reservations are required and can be made at pregnancycare85@bellsouth.net or 770-477-1501. The Lovejoy Library, 1721 McDonough Road in Hampton, offers an enrichment time from 3 to 4 p.m. for teens to have some fun with their peers, chatting or playing games. Teens welcome to bring and share their own board games. The Forest Park Al-Anon Group hosts a meeting every Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. at Jones Memorial, 5320 Phillip Drive in Morrow. For more information, call 770-968-8293. Kids ages 5 to 11 can play Wii from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month at the Clayton County Headquarters Library Branch, 865 Battle Creek Road in Jonesboro. Teens get creative with colors and relieve stress each Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Lovejoy Library, 1721 McDonough Road in Hampton. Coloring pages, sheets, pencils and crayons provided. Program geared for middle and high school students. Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services holds CPR classes for the community on a monthly basis. Students learn how to provide CPR to adults and how to use an automated external defibrillator. CPR classes are lecture-based with hands-on skills practice. They last approximately four hours. Registration for classes can be made by calling CCFES at 770-473-7833 or by visiting www.ccfes.org and clicking on CPR Classes located under Quick Links. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is a free 12-Step Recovery Program for anyone suffering from food obsession, overeating, undereating or bulimia. Meets are held every Sunday at 3 p.m. in Riverdale at 1064 Bethsaida Road and Fridays at 7 p.m. at the Paula Crane Life Enrichment Center, Clayton Community Center, 1792 Mount Zion Road in Morrow. For more information or a list of additional meetings, call 800-566-9010 or visit www.foodaddicts.org. Joseph Store House Food Pantry, 9940 Dixon Industrial Blvd. in Jonesboro, is collecting food the fourth Saturday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7 p.m. The food pantry is open the second and fourth weekend of every month. For more information, call 770-335-1250. Handley Helping Hands Inc. operates a bi-monthly food pantry on the first and third Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 5570 Handley Blvd. in Morrow. For more information, email Rev. Esther K. Powers at handleyhelpinghands@comcast.net. Clayton County Library System and the Preservation of Life will provide free hot meals during a free after-school program from 4 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday in the Meeting Room of the Jonesboro Branch Library, 124 Smith St. The Pi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. in Morrow primarily serves the Clayton County community while serving other parts of Metro Atlanta. Chapter meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Forest Park Library, 4812 West St. For more information, contact Trenton Bailey by email at trenton_bailey@yahoo.com or visit www.pgl1906.org. Host families are needed for foreign exchange students. Participants will learn about another culture and make a friend for life in the process. Students attend local high school for one school year. All students are well-screened, bring their own money and have great insurance. They will not drive or drink. For more information, call 770-477-1376. Homestead Hospice in Jackson is looking for volunteers in Clayton County to visit with patients and provide comfort, companionship and emotional support. The hospice provides training and ongoing support to volunteers. For more information, call Gay Moncrief at 770-775-0100 or email gmoncrief@homesteadhospice.net. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers invited to weekly story time from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Morrow Library, 6225 Maddox Road in Morrow. The Experience Work Senior Community Service program is open to residents age 55 and older who are unemployed and need a job. For more information, call 404-500-1547. Toastmasters International The Clayton chapter of Toastmasters International meets the first, third and fifth Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. in room 115 of the Clayton State East-Arbor Hall, 5823 Trammell Road in Morrow. Free Womens Group Counseling is offered Tuesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 9940 Dixon Industrial Blvd. in Jonesboro. For more information or to register, call 678-698-5094.

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August 15, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 13

admin | August 13, 2017 For Christians who belong to Zionist denominations in southern Africa, see Zionist Churches. Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. The term began to be used in the mid-20th century, superseding Christian Restorationism.[1][2] Traditional Catholic thought did not consider Zionism in any form.[3]Christian advocacy of the restoration of the Jews arose following the Protestant Reformation. Source Link(s) Are Here Christian Zionism – Wikipedia Category: Zionism | Comments Off on Christian Zionism Wikipedia Tags: admin | August 13, 2017 Is Zionism creepy? It is a strange question, prompted by the recent controversy surrounding Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.In early July, Sarsour addressed the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, during which she is alleged to have advocated violentjihad.She did not, but her many online detractors nevertheless used the speech to reiterate their claims that Sarsour sympathizes with terrorists, is an anti-Semite, and is hostile to Israel. Source Link(s) Are Here Is Zionism creepy? The question at the heart of a social-media controversy deserves an answer – Salon Category: Zionism | Comments Off on Is Zionism creepy? The question at the heart of a social-media controversy deserves an answer Salon Tags: simmons | August 13, 2017 Traditionally, the villains of the Chicago Slutwalk have been the citys police officers, who organizers accuse of being part of the institutional rape culture and the misogyny driving it. This year, however, the march had a different focus: Israel and Palestine. Which, coming just a few months after the expulsion of three Jewish women from the Chicago Dyke Marchan event which sparked an international backlash and united left and right in condemnations of anti-Semitismshouldnt come as much of a surprise. Source Link(s) Are Here According to Zioness organizer Amanda Berman, who had flown in from New York specifically to attend Chicago … – Tablet Magazine Category: Zionism | Comments Off on According to Zioness organizer Amanda Berman, who had flown in from New York specifically to attend Chicago Tablet Magazine Tags: richards | August 13, 2017 Getty A marcher at the Chicago Slutwalk in 2013. (JTA) About a dozen activists from the Zioness initiative attempted to participate in SlutWalk Chicago. The group, which calls itself progressive and Zionist, had announced prior to Saturdays demonstration that they would join in the annual demonstration against sexual violence to promote the idea that Zionism and liberal values are compatible Source Link(s) Are Here Zionist Activists Shunned At SlutWalk Chicago – Forward Category: Zionism | Comments Off on Zionist Activists Shunned At SlutWalk Chicago Forward Tags: richards | August 13, 2017 NEW YORK Michelle Reyf isnt really a synagogue-goer. Until recently, the 28-year-old, who works for a Jewish nonprofit, was perfectly happy to get her spiritual fulfillment at Buddhist prayer services and meditation retreats. Synagogue did not appeal to her for a variety of reasons she found the crowd to be older and the atmosphere to be impersonal. Source Link(s) Are Here Young Jews find spirituality outside the synagogue – The Jerusalem Post Category: Synagogue | Comments Off on Young Jews find spirituality outside the synagogue The Jerusalem Post Tags: admin | August 13, 2017 A view inside the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. (Wikimedia Commons) (JTA) The congregation that worships in Americas oldest synagogue building will ask for a rehearing of the case that gave control of its pricey artifacts to the buildings historic trustees. The U.S. Source Link(s) Are Here Newport congregation seeks rehearing in fight over Touro … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency Category: Synagogue | Comments Off on Newport congregation seeks rehearing in fight over Touro Jewish Telegraphic Agency Tags: richards | August 13, 2017 People love to be transported somewhere else, says Joshua Z Weinstein, director and co-writer of Menashe. Its exciting to be transported to somewhere new thats just around the corner. For his first feature film, Weinsteins somewhere else is an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community in Brooklyn Source Link(s) Are Here ‘Menashe’ offers a rare look at the lives and laws of Hasidic Jews – Washington Post Category: Hasidic | Comments Off on Menashe offers a rare look at the lives and laws of Hasidic Jews Washington Post Tags: richards | August 13, 2017 (Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post) CHARLOTTESVILLE A man accused of plowing a car into a crowd of protesters here killing one person and leaving 19injured long sympathized with Nazi views and had stood with a group of white supremacists hours before Saturdays bloody crash. The alleged driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, had espoused extremist ideals at least since high school, according to Derek Weimer, a history teacher Source Link(s) Are Here Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says – Washington Post Category: Jewish American Heritage Month | Comments Off on Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says Washington Post Tags: admin | August 13, 2017 The man accused of plowing a car into a crowd protesting a white supremacist rally in Virginia had been photographed hours earlier carrying the emblem of one of the hate groups that organized the Take America Back campaign. Vanguard America denied on Sunday any association with the suspect, even as a separate hate group that organized Saturdays rally pledged on social media to organize future events that would be bigger than Charlottesville. The mayor of Charlottesville and political leaders of all political stripes vowed to combat the hate groups and urged President Donald Trump to forcefully denounce the organizations that had promoted the protest against the removal of a Confederate statue. Some of those groups specifically cited Trumps election after a campaign of racially charged rhetoric as validation of their beliefs Source Link(s) Are Here Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group – ABC News Category: Anti-Defamation League | Comments Off on Man accused of ramming protesters pictured with racist group ABC News Tags: richards | August 13, 2017 As police dispersed the crowds, a car plowed into counterprotesters, killing one person and injuring 19 others. Source Link(s) Are Here Who are white nationalists and what do they want? – CNN Category: Anti-Defamation League | Comments Off on Who are white nationalists and what do they want? CNN Tags:

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