Archive for the ‘Jewish American Heritage Month’ Category

One dead as car strikes crowds amid protests of white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville; two police die in … – Washington Post

(Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)

CHARLOTTESVILLE Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to take America back clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19others injured.

Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials identified them as Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., who was the pilot, and H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., who was a passenger. State police said their Bell407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who had declared a state of emergency, said at an evening news conference that he had a message for all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.

Maurice Jones, Charlottesvilles city manager, looked stricken as he spoke. Hate came to our town today in a way that we had feared but we had never really let ourselves imagine would, he said.

State and local officials declined to take reporters questions.

In an emergency meeting Saturday evening, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to give police the power to enact a curfew or otherwise restrict assembly to protect public safety.

Video recorded at the scene of the car crash shows a 2010 gray Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets.

A 32-year-old woman was killed, according to police, who said they were investigating the crash as a criminal homicide.

The driver of the Challenger, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury, police said. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Superintendent Martin Kumer said. Three other men were arrested in connection with violence earlier in the day.

The FBI field office in Richmond and the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Western District of Virginia said late Saturday that they have opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash.

The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.

Records show Fields last lived in Maumee, Ohio, about 15 miles southwest of Toledo.

Fieldss father was killed by a drunk driver a few months before the boys birth, according to an uncle who spoke on the condition of anonymity. His father left him money that the uncle kept in a trust until Fields reached adulthood.

When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him, the uncle said.

Fields, he said, grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, where hed been raised by a single mother who was a paraplegic. The uncle, who saw Fields mostly at family gatherings, described his nephew as not really friendly, more subdued.

Angela Taylor, a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center, said 19 others were brought to the hospital in the early afternoon after the car barreled through the pedestrian mall. Five were in critical condition as of Saturday evening. Another 14 people were hurt in street brawls, city officials said.

Earlier, police evacuated a downtown park as rallygoers and counterprotesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began.

Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout downtown, including the pedestrian mall at Water and Fourth streets where the Challenger slammed into counterprotesters and two other cars in the early afternoon, sending bystanders running and screaming.

I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer (D) said in a tweet. I urge all people of good will go home.

Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly.

But President Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

In brief remarks at a late-afternoon news conference in New Jersey to discuss veterans health care, Trump said he was following the events in Charlottesville closely. The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now, Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville on Saturday, quickly replied. I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists, he wrote.

Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, dozens of whom wore red Make America Great Again hats during the Charlottesville riots, Trump did not respond.

Even as crowds began to thin Saturday afternoon, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat those injured by the car.

Chan Williams, 22, was among the counterprotesters in the street, chanting Black Lives Matter and Whose streets? Our streets! The marchers blocked traffic, but Williams said drivers werent annoyed. Instead, she said, they waved or honked in support.

So when she heard a car engine rev up and saw the people in front of her dodging a moving car, she didnt know what to think.

I saw the car hit bodies, legs in the air, she said. You try to grab the people closest to you and take shelter.

Williams and friend George Halliday ducked into a shop with an open door and called their mothers. An hour later, the two were still visibly upset.

I just saw shoes on the road, Halliday, 20, said. It all happened in two seconds.

Saturdays Unite the Right rally was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judges ruling expected later this month.

Tensions began to escalate Friday night as hundreds of white nationalists marched through the U-Va.s campus, chanting White lives matter, You will not replace us and Jews will not replace us.

They were met by counterprotesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university. One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which sent about a dozen rallygoers seeking medical assistance.

On Saturday morning, people in combat gear some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs, sticks and makeshift shields fought one another on downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed chemical irritants and hurled plastic bottles through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until about 11:40a.m. Using megaphones, police then declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park.

The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didnt do a g—— thing, said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va.

State Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), minority leader of Virginias House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.

Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. But they trained very hard for this, and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out of Emancipation Park, he said.

By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way to a larger park two miles to the north. Duke, speaking to the crowd, said that European Americans are being ethnically cleansed within our own nation and called Saturdays events the first step toward taking America back.

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer also addressed the group, urging people to disperse. But he promised they would return for a future demonstration, blaming Saturdays violence on counterprotesters.

In an interview, Spencer said he was beyond outraged the police had declared the planned rally an unlawful assembly.

I never before thought that I would have my country cracking down on me and on free speech, he said. We were lawfully and peacefully assembled. We came in peace, and the state cracked down.

He said that counterprotesters attacked rallygoers but also acknowledged that maybe someone threw a first punch on our side. Maybe that happened. I obviously didnt see everything.

By 11a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

Counterprotesters held Black Lives Matter signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said the Goyim know, referring to non-Jewish people, and the Jewish media is going down.

No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA! the counterprotesters chanted.

Too late, f—–s! a man yelled back at them.

Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him proud to be white.

He said that hes long held white supremacist views and that Trumps election has emboldened him and the members of his own Nazi group.

We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man, Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet and sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. We came here to stand up for the white race.

Naundi Cook, 23, who is black, said that she came to Saturdays counterprotests to support my people but that shes never seen something like this before.

When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

Ive seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face, all over their clothes. People getting Maced, fighting, she said. I didnt want to be next.

Cook said she couldnt sit back and watch white nationalists descend on her town. She has a 3-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

Right now, Im not sad, she said once the protests dispersed. Im a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like were on top right now because of all the support that we have.

[Decades before Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan was dead. The first Hollywood blockbuster revived it.]

Brown reported from Washington. Jack Gillum and Sarah Larimer in Washington contributed to this report.

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One dead as car strikes crowds amid protests of white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville; two police die in … – Washington Post

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 10

richards | August 10, 2017

Gambler Billy Walters was sentenced to five years in jail last month for an insider trading scam that involved Dean Foods. He will go to jail for five years.

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John L. Smith, Tainted Money, And The Ethics Of Charitable Giving – KNPR

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simmons | August 10, 2017

It is the well-known Indiana Jones story of Jewish scholarship: Solomon Schechter, raider of the lost geniza.

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Raiders of the lost geniza want you! – The Jewish Standard

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admin | August 10, 2017

An architects rendering shows the synagogue building that a Chabad affiliate, Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, hopes to build near a popular beach in Sydney, Australia. (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) SYDNEY (JTA) A Chabad congregation whose bid for a new synagogue building was blocked out of fears that it would become a target for terrorism will resubmit plans to the local municipality

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Sydney synagogue blocked over terror fears will resubmit application – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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richards | August 10, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:09 p.m. EDT By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) A Manhattan Jewish congregation known as the oldest in the United States must face a lawsuit claiming it illegally fired a employee after learning she was 19 weeks pregnant when she married, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday. The 2nd U.S.

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Woman fired after being pregnant at wedding may sue NYC synagogue – WHTC

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simmons | August 10, 2017

We are all used to reciting this prayer (Psalm 30) around the time of Baruch Sheamar. The recital of Baruch Sheamar in daily Shacharit is a long-established practice. But when did Psalm 30 enter the daily Shacharit?

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When Did ‘Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit’ Enter Daily Shacharit? – Jewish Link of New Jersey

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richards | August 10, 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.

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

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richards | August 10, 2017

By Ben Sales, JTA The story of Americas oldest synagogue, as told by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter, is the story of American Jewish history. Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, Souter wrote, was built in the 1700s by Sephardic merchants whose community then declined

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Who owns America’s oldest shul? – The Jewish Star

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simmons | August 10, 2017

PARTICIPANTS IN the annual Hebron march show the flag, with the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the background yesterday. (photo credit:TOVAH LAZAROFF) As a new immigrant, Yigal Naouri first marched through the streets of Hebron in 1987 with some 500 French Jews in a show of solidarity with the fledgling Jewish community. Thirty years later, the 49-year-old Jerusalem resident again paraded through Hebron, this time with more than 1,000 French Jews under the hot August sun on Wednesday, and to the beat of loud religious music.

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‘French Jews in Hebron best answer to UNESCO’ – The Jerusalem Post

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admin | August 10, 2017

Getty A bride and her grandfather dance at an ultra-Orthodox wedding in Jerusalem in 2012. The grand rabbi, or rebbe, of the Boyan sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews is offering $4,000 to anyone who suggests a successful match between older singles in their community, the Israeli news site Arutz Sheva reported Wednesday

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Ultra-Orthodox Matchmakers Will Get $4000 For Pairing ‘Damaged Goods’ Over 21 – Forward

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admin | August 10, 2017

The owner of PokerStars, which recently decided to rebrand itself, is writing a new chapter of the companys history with a more than 200 percent increase in its second quarter net income.

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PokerStars owner turns a new leaf with Q2 profit jump – CalvinAyre.com

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 10

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Mission to Ukraine, Israel shows power of JFSA giving – Jewish Post

Afew months ago, I accepted the daunting responsibility to chair the 2018 campaign for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. I have been a staunch supporter of the Federation since I moved to Tucson 37 years ago, and having recently retired from Tucson Hebrew Academy as their director of admissions, I knew it was the right time to volunteer my efforts to a cause I hold dear to my heart.

Stu Mellan, JFSA president and CEO, suggested I attend the annual mission offered by Jewish Federations of North America to witness firsthand how our dollars are spent for overseas needs.

The trip was short but intensive two days in Kiev, Ukraine, and three days in Israel. I had visited Israel before, three of those times on Federation missions, so I assumed I was knowledgeable about the various programs that Federation funds. I was about to be truly educated.

First stop was Kiev. I have a personal connection to the area as my grandparents were from a shtetl (small Jewish town) named Pokitilivo, located midway between Odessa and Kiev.

But Kiev is no shtetl its a beautiful, bustling city. I strolled the promenade and visited the 130 year-old Brodsky Synagogue, wondering if my grandparents had ever done the same. I questioned why Federation dollars would be needed in such a beautiful place. I soon found out.

Kiev is the sight of the infamous Babi Yar Massacre. During the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews from this area were murdered. The most vulnerable were left behind with no family and no support system. They were disenfranchised, unaffiliated, and not allowed to practice their religion.

Now, 70 years later, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, known as JDC, is working hard to revitalize Jewish life in the former Soviet Union. There are estimated to be more than one million Jews in the FSU who know very little about what it means to be a Jew. With the help of Federation dollars, they are rediscovering their Jewish heritage and culture or, in many cases, being introduced to it for the first time. If no action was taken, Russian Jewish life could have disappeared within a single generation.

The JDC is a lifeline for Ukraines most vulnerable Jews. An estimated 110,000 of these Jews receive JDC aid of some kind, in the form of food packages, food cards, bankcards, or medicine. About 27,000 are elderly and homebound. We visited one sweet 83-year-old woman, Bella, who recalled celebrating Hanukkah as a child. She lost a daughter who was shot during military duty in Israel, and now she waits eagerly for the JDC caretaker to visit, help her with the housework, provide companionship and bring her groceries to bolster her $70/month pension. In her twilight years, we are there to give her the dignity she deserves, the loving companionship she needs and the Jewish compassion she craves.

For those who are not homebound, there is a beautiful Chesed Center (aptly named, since chesed means kindness) for the elderly where they celebrate the Jewish holidays together and rekindle their connection to Judaism. They sing and dance to Israeli and Jewish music and socialize with their peers. Our dollars provide this much needed interaction.

Day 3 of my mission abroad brought me to Eretz Israel. So many good things are happening in Israel! They are building a high-speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv; the travel time will be 27 minutes. It will tunnel under the territories and provide bomb shelter capabilities to thousands. Ben Gurion airport, with its state-of-the-art security, is a model for the world. There are new office buildings, apartment buildings, shopping malls and new archeological digs uncovering thousands of years of Jewish history. Although I marveled at the modern growth of Israel, Federation dollars are not a part of this progress. Federation dollars are used exclusively for social and educational services for Jews who are at risk or in need. Not for government, not for military, not for infrastructure only for helping our fellow Jews in need.

During Operations Moses in 1984 and Solomon 1991, the world witnessed a miracle as more than 25,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel, saving them from the ravages of drought and famine. Since then, a trickle of Ethiopian aliyah has continued. Adjustment to modern society is a challenge, and the majority of Ethiopian immigrant families live in low-income areas. The Ethiopian National Projects School Performance and Community Empowerment program helps students who are immigrants or children of immigrants overcome cultural and socio-economic barriers and achieve their full potential.

The focus is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. After successfully completing this program, high school graduates are appointed to excellent commissions in the Israel Defense Forces. A meaningful IDF service is a ticket to success in Israeli society. At the Ben Shemen Youth Village we met with some Ethiopian teenage participants, who shared with us their dreams: to become doctors, lawyers, and teachers. These ambitions are a far cry from life in the impoverished villages from which theyd come.

Our Federation dollars accomplish remarkable things throughout our global community, including in the former Soviet Union (which also encompasses war-torn eastern Ukraine), Israel, and right here in Tucson. As I take on the charge of campaign chair for the upcoming year, I am empowered by the needs I witnessed. Please join me in raising the necessary funds to help Jews in need. Consider these stories when making your pledge to the 2018 campaign. If you could see how your Federation dollars transform Jewish lives every day, you would be compelled to care. Lets make this world a better place!

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Mission to Ukraine, Israel shows power of JFSA giving – Jewish Post

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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s AMERIKE – THE GOLDEN LAND to Close This Month – Broadway World

The Off-Broadway musical “Amerike – The Golden Land” wraps up its seven-week run on Sunday, August 20.

Having begun performances at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Batttery Place, on July 4, it will have played 42 performances over seven weeks. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s (NYTF) timely immigration musical opened Off-Broadway – fittingly, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty – on July 10.

A musical journey through the American immigrant experience from the 1880s until the close of WWII, “Amerike – The Golden Land” depicts the challenges faced by the vast majority of all American immigrants – including poverty, racism and exclusion. But it also clearly illustrates the interesting give-and-take process of cultures from abroad impacting American popular culture.

During the show’s run, NYTF hosted the first Immigration Arts Summit in July. Bringing together prominent New York arts organizations that present work inspired by cultures from abroad, the conference resulted in the formation of an Immigrant Arts Coalition.

“Planning is underway for New York’s leading cultural arts organizations to work together under the Immigrant Arts Coalition banner,” says NYTF CEO Christopher Massimine. “A network of arts organizations and individual artists, the Coalition will share advocacy, audience development and other resources, and collaborate on shared programming.”

Directed by Drama Desk Award-nominee Bryna Wasserman, with movement and staging by Chita Rivera Award nominee Merete Muenter, and music direction and arrangements by Zalmen Mlotek (NYTF’s artistic director), this re-conceived 2017 production of Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld’s “Amerike – The Golden Land” (originally “The Golden Land”) set out to make the open-hearted point that the Jewish immigration story stands, fundamentally, for all immigrant communities.

Spanning popular songs from the 1880s to the mid-20th century, “Amerike – The Golden Land” recreates the sights and sounds of New York City as it welcomed waves of Jewish immigrants. The production is presented in an authentic American immigrant Yiddish (that often mixed both languages), supported by English and Russian supertitles.

“Amerike – The Golden Land’s” cast of 12 features Glenn Seven Allen; Alexandra Frohlinger; the international klezmer star Daniel Kahn; Dani Marcus; Stephanie Lynne Mason and David Perlman. The show’s ensemble includes Maya Jacobson, Alexander Kosmowski, Raquel Nobile, Isabel Nesti, Grant Richards, and Bobby Underwood. Jessica Rose Futran and Christopher Tefft are the designated principal understudies.

The show’s popular klezmer band features “Zisl” Slepovitch on reeds; Jordan Hirsch — trumpet; Katsumi Ferguson — violin; Dmitry Ishenko — bass; Daniel Linden — trombone; Sean Perham — percussion; Zalmen Mlotek — piano. Andrew Wheeler is the associate music director. The production design team includes Yael Lubetzky (lighting); Izzy Fields (costumes); Jason Courson (scenic and projection design); Patrick Calhoun (sound design), and Colleen Lynch (props). The production stage manager is Eileen Haggerty.

The Drama Desk-winning NYTF — now in its 103rd consecutive season (and its third at its new permanent home at the Museum of Jewish Heritage) — brings a rich cultural heritage to life on stage-one that was nearly destroyed some 75 years ago. NYTF was the associate producer of Broadway’s “Indecent,” winner of two Tony Awards including direction, which closed on August 6.

Tickets, which are $35 to $60, are on sale now at www.nytf.org and by phone at 866-811-4111. For more information call the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at 212/213-2120, ext. 206, or visit www.nytf.org.

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National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s AMERIKE – THE GOLDEN LAND to Close This Month – Broadway World

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23-Year-old Jewish Giant Proudly Displays Hebrew Heritage on Football Field – Breaking Israel News

Seek the favor of Hashem, and He will grant you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:5 (The Israel Bible)

Jewish football player Adam Bisnowaty was drafted by the New York Giants in April. (Screenshot)

Adam Bisnowaty has recently joined a very exclusive club: the Jewish football players league. Drafted in the sixth round by the New York Giants in April, the 23-year-old NFL rookie, a veritable giant himself 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds is not shy about his Jewish and Israeli heritage, displaying a Biblical quote in Hebrew on his arm and talking openly about his religion.

One of the first things I tell people is that Im Jewish, Bisnowaty told JTA in a recent interview, acknowledging his own rarity. People dont meet a lot of Jewish football players, so I always like to bring that out and just open up, so its nice and easy.

And for anyone else who didnt know, theres his tattoo. Reported by the New York Post last month, the eye-catching ink of three Hebrew words making up one of Gods names comes from a verse in the Book of Exodus.

Moshe said to Hashem, When I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is His name? what shall I say to them? And Hashem said to Moshe, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh. He continued, Thus shall you say to the Israelites, Ehyeh sent me to you. Exodus 3:13-14

Ehyeh-asher-ahyeh translates to, I am that I am. Bisnowaty calls it a statement for my life.

I always wanted to symbolize something religiously as well as kind of relate back to who I am, so I thought it was the perfect thing, Bisnowaty told the Post of choosing his tattoo. Im really big on who I am and what I hold myself accountable for and kind of the way I live life.

In the Torah, you have it related to God, its also the other aspect of being able to have something kinda higher than you.

Bisnowaty, whose father is Israeli, grew up in a practicing Jewish family in Pittsburgh until his parents divorced when he was 12. He never had a bar mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage into adulthood, for that reason, but he hopes to do so one day, preferably in Israel, which he visited once at age 8.

The beefy offensive lineman still retains elements of cultural Judaism, including diet. He told the Post that while he is not religious, he doesnt eat pork, and hes always had matzah in the cupboard and matzah ball soup, potato pancakes, everything. Its just how I was raised and just love the food.

His family celebrates the Jewish holidays, including Passover. Lighting Hanukkah candles, he said, is a must.

Bisnowaty follows in the footsteps of a very few other Jewish football players. In terms of contemporaries, brothers Mitch and Geoff Schwartz, also offensive linemen, were both in the NBA from 2012 to 2016. Julian Edelman, who is not halachically (according to Jewish law) a member of the tribe but identifies as Jewish through his father, gained football fame during last years Super Bowl, when he helped his team, the New England Patriots, to victory with a miraculous catch.

Over the decades, a number of Jewish football players have made it to the big leagues. In a top-10 lineup, the American Jewish Historical Society listed the best Jewish footballers last year in order of skill. Edelman came in fourth after Hall-of-Famers Side Luckman and Benny Friedman, both quarterbacks, and lineman Ron Mix.

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23-Year-old Jewish Giant Proudly Displays Hebrew Heritage on Football Field – Breaking Israel News

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Temple Mount wrap up: Where religion, nationalism and politics keep colliding – GetReligion (blog)

While the commemoration ran from Monday evening to Tuesday evening, it’s not too late to tie Tisha BAv (literally, the ninth day of the Hebrew calendars month of Av) to the current state of affairs. You might want to refer to this handy Religion News Service Splainer.”

I’m not qualified to speak definitively about just how the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif dispute breaks down along religious, nationalistic and political lines among ordinary Palestinians and other Muslims that support them — as opposed to the statements of Palestinian leaders who always stress religious claims in rallying global Muslim support.

Suffice it to say that traditional Islam, far more than do contemporary Christianity or rabbinic Judaism (rabbinic, meaning post-Temple), makes little differentiation between the religious and political realms, and that for many Muslims living under undemocratic governments religion is the only outlet for political expression on any level.

However, I do know enough about the Jewish side to suggest that reporters consider the following.

For doctrinally non-Orthodox Jews who remain religiously connected to their heritage — I’m referring to members of Judaisms Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues, most of which are in North America — the Temple Mount is, doctrinally speaking, not so much a religious issues as it is a political one.

What do I mean? Why might theologically liberal American Jews say the Temple Mount isn’t really an important religious issue for them?

Because while Orthodox Jews continue to pray daily for construction of a third temple on the mount — not to mention restoration of the animal sacrifices that once occurred there — the liberal movements have largely removed such language from their prayers and, hence, their thinking. (A tip of the hat to Rabbi Philip Pohl of Annapolis, Maryland, for pointing this out to me, though any errors here are wholly mine.)

When I say the Temple Mount is not a religious hot button for liberal Jews, I do not mean that control of the site is also of no importance to them. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict still resonates deeply for the majority of American Jews, even if they’re secular, and despite repeated surveys showing that support for Israeli government policies is continually dropping among liberal Jews. (The liberal Jewish denominations account for all but about 10 percent of all synagogue-aligned American Jews.)

For these Jews, it’s about Jewish pride and tribal history, and perhaps most importantly, the memory of the Holocaust and the psychological safe space from anti-Semitic forces that Zionism promised, though that’s certainly not how it’s played out so far.

Religion-beat scribes: If you interview liberal synagogue-affiliated Jews on the Temple Mounts significance to them, be sure to ask specifically whether the issue is political or nationalistic or simply religious for them. Remind them what their denominations say about this. I bet many won’t be clear on it

This latest flare up over new Israeli security arrangements for the Jerusalem site ended in what appeared to most observers as a political defeat for Israel and, in particular, the current Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli press was highly critical of the Netanyahu government’s actions, and so was the general Israeli population, one TV poll found.

Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim worlds considered Netanyahus removal of all the newly installed security technology a great victory.

But as I said, it’s all another temporary state affairs, to be upended the next time violence intrudes on the site — as it almost surely will the next time Palestinian leadership senses the Israeli government is seeking to assert any new authority over what is considered Islams third holiest site, even if it’s a defensive move, as was the one that set off this latest uproar.

This Wall Street Journal analysis lays out why creating upheaval on and around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif seems to work for the Palestinians. The writer often takes hardline right-wing positions on the conflict that I do not agree with, but I think hes nailed the main points in this piece.

Stay tuned for the next turn of this exasperating screw.

FIRST IMAGE: Artistic rendering of Herod’s Temple.

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Temple Mount wrap up: Where religion, nationalism and politics keep colliding – GetReligion (blog)

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America is helping Montenegro’s democracy mature – Washington Examiner

This week, Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Montenegro. His historic visit signals a new chapter not only in bilateral relations, but also strengthen the overall trans-Atlantic alliance.

Most importantly, the visit will celebrate just how far the Montenegrin economy has come due in large part to quiet American leadership and a growing Montenegrin commitment to Western values.

When 97 senators voted on March 28 to add Montenegro to NATO, a clear message was sent across the Atlantic. Senators made clear to this young multiparty parliamentary democracy, no bigger than a congressional district, that its years of painstaking judicial, economic, and military reforms were worth it.

NATO is a military alliance. Much has been written about the Montenegrin military and the overall future of NATO. Sen. Marco Rubio alluded to the forgotten benefit of NATO enlargement in a floor speech before the vote, saying the “alliance helps advance our economic interests.” The vote, CODELs beforehand and, most certainly the VP’s trip all advance American economic interests.

Indeed, the Preamble of the NATO Treaty articulates that the alliance was “founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” Furthermore, Article 2 makes clear that members “will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration.” These NATO precepts are American values and have helped transform the American economy following World War II.

According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Montenegro ranks significantly ahead of its neighbors, Croatia and Serbia. Indeed, the journey to NATO has fostered a commitment to free market and capitalist economic principles. In just 11 years of independence and only 25 years after the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, Montenegrin officials have discovered the ingredients to a dynamic economy. These are a robust private sector engaged in international trade with a defined, but not burdensome, regulatory and legal framework. This is what Pence has championed throughout his entire career. The vice president will find a country that appreciates the importance of a strong private sector economy.

Visitors from Washington matter. In November 2014, perhaps not coincidentally one month after the visit of Sen. Chris Murphy, the Montenegrin Parliament passed legislation to reform the judicial sector, including the establishment of a special prosecutor’s office for organized crime and an anti-corruption agency.

Currently, the Montenegrin government has welcomed investors from 107 different countries. The high point of foreign direct investment, 2009, included over $1.2 billion of capital coming into this country of less than 650,000 residents. Last year, Norway remained the largest investor in private sector projects with $189M. American companies invested $5.6M in the economy in 2016.

Surely, Pence’s trip will prompt additional American investment and tourist visits.

The words of Prime Minister Dusko Markovic during his June visit to Washington ring true in the days leading up to the vice president’s trip, “This is a small day for the United States and its allies, but a great day for Montenegro.” It was American leadership which ended two ethnic wars in the region. It will be continued American government leadership and fostering of American values which will continue this positive momentum.

In 1979, my family fled the brutality of Soviet Communism to celebrate our Jewish faith and embrace the freedoms of America. America has only grown stronger since the height of the Cold War by embracing the freedoms articulated by our Founding Fathers and the principles outlined by NATO.

So too, can Montenegro grow stronger, as it aligns with America and shuns a past defined by despotism and government bureaucracy.

Neil Emilfarb, a native of West Hartford, Connecticut, has lived and worked in Montenegro since 2006. He is CEO of Stratex Group which has developed and managed properties throughout Montenegro.

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12 Things To Do In August That Will Make You Just A Little More Jewish – Forward

Welcome to August: Youre tired of the heat. A chance to walk romantically through falling leaves maybe even while wearing a sweater, of all things is beginning to sound appealing, and youve suffered too many sunburns to be coaxed back to the pool. Never fear! With great new television premieres, music and theater festivals galore, and the opening of a thrilling new museum exhibit or two, you, too, can enjoy the end of your summer. Here are 12 ways to celebrate the month:

1. Sail away with Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Lincoln Center Theaters production of The King and I went all-out, complete with sets so enchanting as to be almost alarming. Residents of Washington, D.C., who missed the productions New York run will have a chance to catch it at the Kennedy Center, where it will play through August 20. Then they, like their Manhattan fellows, can spend the next year getting Getting To Know You out of their heads.

Getty Images/Walter McBride

Harold Prince, both the subject and director of Prince of Broadway.

2. Pay homage to Broadways Prince.

Producer and director Harold Prince has won 21 Tony Awards for shows as iconic as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd and The Phantom of the Opera. Come August, selections from the 34 works hes mounted on Broadway will appear together in Prince of Broadway, a musical making its American premiere on the Great White Way. If youre a sucker for show tunes, this is the extravaganza youve been waiting for especially as it features all-new arrangements of the famous songs Prince helped bring to the stage, courtesy of Jason Robert Brown, himself a three-time Tony winner.

3. Witness an unusual world premiere.

The illustrator and writer Maria Kalman has won hearts for her inventive examinations of subjects ranging from the fictional canine poet named Max Stravinsky to a very adult experience of American democracy. At the Jacobs Pillow Dance festival, located, like Williamstown, in the Berkshires, witness the world premiere of John Heginbothams evening-length program based on Kalmans writing and art. Called The Principles of Uncertainty, the work will feature an original score by violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen of Brooklyn Rider and of the Silk Road Ensemble.

4. Unwind at Ravinia.

Ravinia, a well-loved outdoor music venue in the northern suburbs of Chicago, plays host to an eclectic music festival each summer. This August the hits include an evening of works by the ever-morbid composer Gustav Mahler back-to-back with a performance by Gladys Knight. No matter how varied your tastes, we think youll find a match.

5. Listen to Gershwin under the California sky.

The Los Angeles Philharmonics summer programming at the Hollywood Bowl is full of treats, from the dreamily conceived Gershwin Under the Stars to a guest appearance by violinist Joshua Bell, who will try his hand at Stravinsky. (No, not the dog.) An All-Mendelssohn program August 8 is also not to be missed.

Getty Images/Theo Wargo

Members of the cast of An American in Paris perform at the 2015 Tony Awards.

6. Speaking of Gershwin.

Chicagoans, get whisked off to Paris! The Broadway production of the Gershwin-heavy An American in Paris arrived in the Windy City in late July and will depart come mid-August. Dont miss a chance to see the gorgeously choreographed musical, directed by ballet wunderkind Christopher Wheeldon, and tap your foot quietly to some classic tunes. As George and Ira Gershwin would say: S wonderful! S marvelous!

7. And speaking of Joshua Bell.

Lincoln Centers Mostly Mozart Festival is an annual favorite, and Bell will appear there before heading to Hollywood, playing Brahms with cellist Steven Isserlis. Another festival highlight will be Gil Shahams take on Tchaikovskys Violin Concerto. Two Jewish violin dynamos in one month? Why not!

8. Seek the next great American playwright.

Theres a strong tradition of great American Jewish playwrights to put it lightly from Arthur Miller and Lillian Hellman to Tony Kushner and Annie Baker. Who will be next to join their ranks? Head to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival often heralds great new work, to find out. The August lineup includes works by the young playwrights Halley Feiffer, represented by a new take on Anton Chekhovs Three Sisters, and Anna Ziegler, whose Actually is a contemporary take on privilege and morality.

Wikimedia Commons/Israel National Photo Collection

An image from the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann.

9. Experience Eichmanns trial.

It doesnt officially open until September, but if youre a member or friend of Manhattans Museum of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, get a sneak peek at the new exhibit Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann in August. The immersive exhibit, which includes newly declassified artifacts never previously exhibited outside Israel, re-creates the setting of the 1961 trial of the infamous Nazi official who oversaw the deportations of European Jews to concentration camps.

10. Engage in the religious life of early America.

Before rounding the corner into the High Holidays, visit Washington, D.C.s National Museum of American History as it plays host to an exhibit on the religious life of the early United States. Jews were a tiny minority in the new country, but far from invisible; one of the objects in the exhibit will be a Torah scroll from Manhattans Spanish-Portuguese Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in 1654.

11. Head back to camp with old friends.

Wet Hot American Summer, a classic early-2000s send-up of summer camp, received an unexpectedly delightful reboot in the 2015 Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Come August 4, the old gang, including Paul Rudds arrogant man-child, Elizabeth Bankss high-powered if ethically conflicted journalist, and Michael Showalters unlucky-in-love-and-hairstyles Coop, returns in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Expect a talking can, deadpan humor and bad make-outs, and to laugh until you cry.

12. And get high with Abbi and Ilana.

Craving 80s hairstyles, frank discussions of masturbation, merciless ridiculing of SoulCycle, screams of Yass and a genuinely enormous amount of marijuana? Hurray for you: Broad City is coming back. Follow the cringey-comedic exploits of aimless New York 20-somethings Abbi and Ilana when they return to Comedy Central on August 23.

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12 Things To Do In August That Will Make You Just A Little More Jewish – Forward

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What Does It Take to ‘Assimilate’ in America? – New York Times

The pendulum between hope and fear continues to swing today. We are a country where people of all backgrounds, all nations of origin, all languages, all religions, all races, can make a home, Hillary Clinton told an immigrant-advocacy conference in New York in 2015. By contrast, Donald Trump warned on the campaign trail that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. Last November, one of these visions of assimilation won out.

Immigrants contribute to America in a million different ways, from growing the food on our tables to creating the technologies we use every day. They commit far fewer crimes than native-born citizens. But hardly a week goes by when poor assimilation isnt blamed for offenses involving immigrants and the entire project of immigration called into question. In Michigan, an Indian-American emergency-room doctor who belongs to the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shiite Muslim sect, was charged with performing female genital mutilation on several young girls. In Minnesota, a black police officer, the first Somali-American cop in his precinct, shot an unarmed Australian woman. Both incidents were immediately seized upon by the far right as examples of the inability or refusal of Muslims to assimilate. So far this year, American police officers have killed more than 500 people, but for the commentator Ann Coulter, the shooting in Minnesota would never have happened in Australia because they have fewer than 10k Somalis. We have >100k. Earlier this month, the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson ran a segment in which he said citizens of a small town in Pennsylvania claimed that several dozen Roma who had been resettled there defecate in public, chop the heads off chickens, leave trash everywhere. (The police said they issued citations where relevant.) The group doesnt seem at all interested in integrating, Carlson complained. You have to assume its a statement.

One reason immigration is continuously debated in America is that there is no consensus on whether assimilation should be about national principles or national identity. Those who believe that assimilation is a matter of principle emphasize a belief in the Constitution and the rule of law; in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and in a strong work ethic and equality. Where necessary, they support policy changes to further deter any cultural customs that defy those values. For example, Rick Snyder, the governor of Michigan, signed a new law that increases existing penalties for anyone who performs female genital mutilation on a minor.

But for those who believe that assimilation is a matter of identity as many on the far right do nothing short of the abandonment of all traces of your heritage will do. The alt-right pundit Milo Yiannopoulos, an immigrant himself, told a campus group in January that the hijab is not something that should ever be seen on American women. The perception that visible signs of religious identity are indicators of deep and sinister splits in society can lead to rabid fears of wholly imaginary threats. Several states have passed anti-Shariah measures, in fear that Muslims will seek to impose their own religious laws on unsuspecting Americans. The fact that Muslims make up 1 percent of the U.S. population and that such an agenda is both a statistical and a Constitutional impossibility has done nothing to temper this fear. It is no longer a fringe belief: The white nationalist Richard Spencer told a reporter that he once bonded with Stephen Miller, now a senior White House adviser, over concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating.

Debates about assimilation are different from debates about undocumented immigration, even though they are often mixed together. Concerns about undocumented immigration typically center on competition for jobs or the use of public resources, but complaints about assimilation are mostly about identity a nebulous mix of race, religion and language. In May, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic found that white working-class voters were 3.5 times more likely to support Donald Trump if they reported feeling like a stranger in their own land. My seatmate on that airplane was a small-business owner, yet he did not seem worried about Korean-Americans taking business away from him; he seemed more aggrieved that their children studied two languages, or that his community featured store signs and church marquees in an alphabet he could not read. Others might object to their neighbors wearing skullcaps, or eating fermented duck eggs, or listening to Tejano music and call these concerns about assimilation, too.

It should be clear by now that assimilation is primarily about power. In Morocco, where I was born, I never heard members of Parliament express outrage that French immigrants or expats, as they might call themselves eat pork, drink wine or have extramarital sex, in plain contradiction of local norms. If they do adopt the countrys customs or speak its language, they arent said to have assimilated but to have gone native. In France, by contrast, politicians regularly lament that people descended from North African immigrants choose halal food options for school lunches or want to attend classes in head scarves. One result is a daily experience of rejection, which only makes assimilation more difficult.

America is different from Europe in one significant way: It has a long and successful history of integrating its immigrants, even if each new generation thinks that the challenges it faces are unique and unprecedented. It is a nation in which people will wear green on St. Patricks Day without thinking much about the periods during which the Irish were accused of contaminating the nation with their foreign habits. Because there is no objective measure of assimilation, many people end up throwing up their hands and saying, I know it when I see it. The question is: Who is doing the judging here?

Laila Lalami is the author, most recently, of The Moors Account, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

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A version of this article appears in print on August 6, 2017, on Page MM11 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Blending In.

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What Does It Take to ‘Assimilate’ in America? – New York Times

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One dead as car strikes crowds amid protests of white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville; two police die in … – Washington Post

(Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post) CHARLOTTESVILLE Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to take America back clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19others injured. Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials identified them as Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., who was the pilot, and H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., who was a passenger. State police said their Bell407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who had declared a state of emergency, said at an evening news conference that he had a message for all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Maurice Jones, Charlottesvilles city manager, looked stricken as he spoke. Hate came to our town today in a way that we had feared but we had never really let ourselves imagine would, he said. State and local officials declined to take reporters questions. In an emergency meeting Saturday evening, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to give police the power to enact a curfew or otherwise restrict assembly to protect public safety. Video recorded at the scene of the car crash shows a 2010 gray Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets. A 32-year-old woman was killed, according to police, who said they were investigating the crash as a criminal homicide. The driver of the Challenger, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury, police said. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Superintendent Martin Kumer said. Three other men were arrested in connection with violence earlier in the day. The FBI field office in Richmond and the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Western District of Virginia said late Saturday that they have opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash. The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. Records show Fields last lived in Maumee, Ohio, about 15 miles southwest of Toledo. Fieldss father was killed by a drunk driver a few months before the boys birth, according to an uncle who spoke on the condition of anonymity. His father left him money that the uncle kept in a trust until Fields reached adulthood. When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him, the uncle said. Fields, he said, grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, where hed been raised by a single mother who was a paraplegic. The uncle, who saw Fields mostly at family gatherings, described his nephew as not really friendly, more subdued. Angela Taylor, a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center, said 19 others were brought to the hospital in the early afternoon after the car barreled through the pedestrian mall. Five were in critical condition as of Saturday evening. Another 14 people were hurt in street brawls, city officials said. Earlier, police evacuated a downtown park as rallygoers and counterprotesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began. Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout downtown, including the pedestrian mall at Water and Fourth streets where the Challenger slammed into counterprotesters and two other cars in the early afternoon, sending bystanders running and screaming. I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer (D) said in a tweet. I urge all people of good will go home. Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. But President Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one! In brief remarks at a late-afternoon news conference in New Jersey to discuss veterans health care, Trump said he was following the events in Charlottesville closely. The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now, Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville on Saturday, quickly replied. I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists, he wrote. Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, dozens of whom wore red Make America Great Again hats during the Charlottesville riots, Trump did not respond. Even as crowds began to thin Saturday afternoon, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat those injured by the car. Chan Williams, 22, was among the counterprotesters in the street, chanting Black Lives Matter and Whose streets? Our streets! The marchers blocked traffic, but Williams said drivers werent annoyed. Instead, she said, they waved or honked in support. So when she heard a car engine rev up and saw the people in front of her dodging a moving car, she didnt know what to think. I saw the car hit bodies, legs in the air, she said. You try to grab the people closest to you and take shelter. Williams and friend George Halliday ducked into a shop with an open door and called their mothers. An hour later, the two were still visibly upset. I just saw shoes on the road, Halliday, 20, said. It all happened in two seconds. Saturdays Unite the Right rally was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judges ruling expected later this month. Tensions began to escalate Friday night as hundreds of white nationalists marched through the U-Va.s campus, chanting White lives matter, You will not replace us and Jews will not replace us. They were met by counterprotesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university. One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which sent about a dozen rallygoers seeking medical assistance. On Saturday morning, people in combat gear some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs, sticks and makeshift shields fought one another on downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed chemical irritants and hurled plastic bottles through the air. A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until about 11:40a.m. Using megaphones, police then declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park. The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didnt do a g—— thing, said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va. State Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), minority leader of Virginias House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police. Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. But they trained very hard for this, and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out of Emancipation Park, he said. By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way to a larger park two miles to the north. Duke, speaking to the crowd, said that European Americans are being ethnically cleansed within our own nation and called Saturdays events the first step toward taking America back. White nationalist leader Richard Spencer also addressed the group, urging people to disperse. But he promised they would return for a future demonstration, blaming Saturdays violence on counterprotesters. In an interview, Spencer said he was beyond outraged the police had declared the planned rally an unlawful assembly. I never before thought that I would have my country cracking down on me and on free speech, he said. We were lawfully and peacefully assembled. We came in peace, and the state cracked down. He said that counterprotesters attacked rallygoers but also acknowledged that maybe someone threw a first punch on our side. Maybe that happened. I obviously didnt see everything. By 11a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally. Counterprotesters held Black Lives Matter signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said the Goyim know, referring to non-Jewish people, and the Jewish media is going down. No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA! the counterprotesters chanted. Too late, f—–s! a man yelled back at them. Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him proud to be white. He said that hes long held white supremacist views and that Trumps election has emboldened him and the members of his own Nazi group. We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man, Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet and sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. We came here to stand up for the white race. Naundi Cook, 23, who is black, said that she came to Saturdays counterprotests to support my people but that shes never seen something like this before. When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps. Ive seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face, all over their clothes. People getting Maced, fighting, she said. I didnt want to be next. Cook said she couldnt sit back and watch white nationalists descend on her town. She has a 3-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said. Right now, Im not sad, she said once the protests dispersed. Im a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like were on top right now because of all the support that we have. [Decades before Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan was dead. The first Hollywood blockbuster revived it.] Brown reported from Washington. Jack Gillum and Sarah Larimer in Washington contributed to this report.

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 August 10

richards | August 10, 2017 Gambler Billy Walters was sentenced to five years in jail last month for an insider trading scam that involved Dean Foods. He will go to jail for five years. Source Link(s) Are Here John L. Smith, Tainted Money, And The Ethics Of Charitable Giving – KNPR Category: B’nai B’rith | Comments Off on John L. Smith, Tainted Money, And The Ethics Of Charitable Giving KNPR Tags: simmons | August 10, 2017 It is the well-known Indiana Jones story of Jewish scholarship: Solomon Schechter, raider of the lost geniza. Source Link(s) Are Here Raiders of the lost geniza want you! – The Jewish Standard Category: Talmud | Comments Off on Raiders of the lost geniza want you! The Jewish Standard Tags: admin | August 10, 2017 An architects rendering shows the synagogue building that a Chabad affiliate, Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, hopes to build near a popular beach in Sydney, Australia. (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) SYDNEY (JTA) A Chabad congregation whose bid for a new synagogue building was blocked out of fears that it would become a target for terrorism will resubmit plans to the local municipality Source Link(s) Are Here Sydney synagogue blocked over terror fears will resubmit application – Jewish Telegraphic Agency Category: Synagogue | Comments Off on Sydney synagogue blocked over terror fears will resubmit application Jewish Telegraphic Agency Tags: richards | August 10, 2017 Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:09 p.m. EDT By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) A Manhattan Jewish congregation known as the oldest in the United States must face a lawsuit claiming it illegally fired a employee after learning she was 19 weeks pregnant when she married, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday. The 2nd U.S. Source Link(s) Are Here Woman fired after being pregnant at wedding may sue NYC synagogue – WHTC Category: Synagogue | Comments Off on Woman fired after being pregnant at wedding may sue NYC synagogue WHTC Tags: simmons | August 10, 2017 We are all used to reciting this prayer (Psalm 30) around the time of Baruch Sheamar. The recital of Baruch Sheamar in daily Shacharit is a long-established practice. But when did Psalm 30 enter the daily Shacharit? Source Link(s) Are Here When Did ‘Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit’ Enter Daily Shacharit? – Jewish Link of New Jersey Category: Sephardic | Comments Off on When Did Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit Enter Daily Shacharit? Jewish Link of New Jersey Tags: richards | August 10, 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. Source Link(s) Are Here Newport congregation seeks rehearing in fight over Touro Synagogue ornaments – Jewish Telegraphic Agency Category: Sephardic | Comments Off on Newport congregation seeks rehearing in fight over Touro Synagogue ornaments Jewish Telegraphic Agency Tags: richards | August 10, 2017 By Ben Sales, JTA The story of Americas oldest synagogue, as told by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter, is the story of American Jewish history. Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, Souter wrote, was built in the 1700s by Sephardic merchants whose community then declined Source Link(s) Are Here Who owns America’s oldest shul? – The Jewish Star Category: Sephardic | Comments Off on Who owns Americas oldest shul? The Jewish Star Tags: simmons | August 10, 2017 PARTICIPANTS IN the annual Hebron march show the flag, with the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the background yesterday. (photo credit:TOVAH LAZAROFF) As a new immigrant, Yigal Naouri first marched through the streets of Hebron in 1987 with some 500 French Jews in a show of solidarity with the fledgling Jewish community. Thirty years later, the 49-year-old Jerusalem resident again paraded through Hebron, this time with more than 1,000 French Jews under the hot August sun on Wednesday, and to the beat of loud religious music. Source Link(s) Are Here ‘French Jews in Hebron best answer to UNESCO’ – The Jerusalem Post Category: Jewish Heritage Month | Comments Off on French Jews in Hebron best answer to UNESCO The Jerusalem Post Tags: admin | August 10, 2017 Getty A bride and her grandfather dance at an ultra-Orthodox wedding in Jerusalem in 2012. The grand rabbi, or rebbe, of the Boyan sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews is offering $4,000 to anyone who suggests a successful match between older singles in their community, the Israeli news site Arutz Sheva reported Wednesday Source Link(s) Are Here Ultra-Orthodox Matchmakers Will Get $4000 For Pairing ‘Damaged Goods’ Over 21 – Forward Category: Hasidic | Comments Off on Ultra-Orthodox Matchmakers Will Get $4000 For Pairing Damaged Goods Over 21 Forward Tags: admin | August 10, 2017 The owner of PokerStars, which recently decided to rebrand itself, is writing a new chapter of the companys history with a more than 200 percent increase in its second quarter net income. Source Link(s) Are Here PokerStars owner turns a new leaf with Q2 profit jump – CalvinAyre.com Category: Ashkenazi | Comments Off on PokerStars owner turns a new leaf with Q2 profit jump CalvinAyre.com Tags:

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Mission to Ukraine, Israel shows power of JFSA giving – Jewish Post

Afew months ago, I accepted the daunting responsibility to chair the 2018 campaign for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. I have been a staunch supporter of the Federation since I moved to Tucson 37 years ago, and having recently retired from Tucson Hebrew Academy as their director of admissions, I knew it was the right time to volunteer my efforts to a cause I hold dear to my heart. Stu Mellan, JFSA president and CEO, suggested I attend the annual mission offered by Jewish Federations of North America to witness firsthand how our dollars are spent for overseas needs. The trip was short but intensive two days in Kiev, Ukraine, and three days in Israel. I had visited Israel before, three of those times on Federation missions, so I assumed I was knowledgeable about the various programs that Federation funds. I was about to be truly educated. First stop was Kiev. I have a personal connection to the area as my grandparents were from a shtetl (small Jewish town) named Pokitilivo, located midway between Odessa and Kiev. But Kiev is no shtetl its a beautiful, bustling city. I strolled the promenade and visited the 130 year-old Brodsky Synagogue, wondering if my grandparents had ever done the same. I questioned why Federation dollars would be needed in such a beautiful place. I soon found out. Kiev is the sight of the infamous Babi Yar Massacre. During the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews from this area were murdered. The most vulnerable were left behind with no family and no support system. They were disenfranchised, unaffiliated, and not allowed to practice their religion. Now, 70 years later, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, known as JDC, is working hard to revitalize Jewish life in the former Soviet Union. There are estimated to be more than one million Jews in the FSU who know very little about what it means to be a Jew. With the help of Federation dollars, they are rediscovering their Jewish heritage and culture or, in many cases, being introduced to it for the first time. If no action was taken, Russian Jewish life could have disappeared within a single generation. The JDC is a lifeline for Ukraines most vulnerable Jews. An estimated 110,000 of these Jews receive JDC aid of some kind, in the form of food packages, food cards, bankcards, or medicine. About 27,000 are elderly and homebound. We visited one sweet 83-year-old woman, Bella, who recalled celebrating Hanukkah as a child. She lost a daughter who was shot during military duty in Israel, and now she waits eagerly for the JDC caretaker to visit, help her with the housework, provide companionship and bring her groceries to bolster her $70/month pension. In her twilight years, we are there to give her the dignity she deserves, the loving companionship she needs and the Jewish compassion she craves. For those who are not homebound, there is a beautiful Chesed Center (aptly named, since chesed means kindness) for the elderly where they celebrate the Jewish holidays together and rekindle their connection to Judaism. They sing and dance to Israeli and Jewish music and socialize with their peers. Our dollars provide this much needed interaction. Day 3 of my mission abroad brought me to Eretz Israel. So many good things are happening in Israel! They are building a high-speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv; the travel time will be 27 minutes. It will tunnel under the territories and provide bomb shelter capabilities to thousands. Ben Gurion airport, with its state-of-the-art security, is a model for the world. There are new office buildings, apartment buildings, shopping malls and new archeological digs uncovering thousands of years of Jewish history. Although I marveled at the modern growth of Israel, Federation dollars are not a part of this progress. Federation dollars are used exclusively for social and educational services for Jews who are at risk or in need. Not for government, not for military, not for infrastructure only for helping our fellow Jews in need. During Operations Moses in 1984 and Solomon 1991, the world witnessed a miracle as more than 25,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel, saving them from the ravages of drought and famine. Since then, a trickle of Ethiopian aliyah has continued. Adjustment to modern society is a challenge, and the majority of Ethiopian immigrant families live in low-income areas. The Ethiopian National Projects School Performance and Community Empowerment program helps students who are immigrants or children of immigrants overcome cultural and socio-economic barriers and achieve their full potential. The focus is on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. After successfully completing this program, high school graduates are appointed to excellent commissions in the Israel Defense Forces. A meaningful IDF service is a ticket to success in Israeli society. At the Ben Shemen Youth Village we met with some Ethiopian teenage participants, who shared with us their dreams: to become doctors, lawyers, and teachers. These ambitions are a far cry from life in the impoverished villages from which theyd come. Our Federation dollars accomplish remarkable things throughout our global community, including in the former Soviet Union (which also encompasses war-torn eastern Ukraine), Israel, and right here in Tucson. As I take on the charge of campaign chair for the upcoming year, I am empowered by the needs I witnessed. Please join me in raising the necessary funds to help Jews in need. Consider these stories when making your pledge to the 2018 campaign. If you could see how your Federation dollars transform Jewish lives every day, you would be compelled to care. Lets make this world a better place!

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August 10, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s AMERIKE – THE GOLDEN LAND to Close This Month – Broadway World

The Off-Broadway musical “Amerike – The Golden Land” wraps up its seven-week run on Sunday, August 20. Having begun performances at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Batttery Place, on July 4, it will have played 42 performances over seven weeks. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s (NYTF) timely immigration musical opened Off-Broadway – fittingly, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty – on July 10. A musical journey through the American immigrant experience from the 1880s until the close of WWII, “Amerike – The Golden Land” depicts the challenges faced by the vast majority of all American immigrants – including poverty, racism and exclusion. But it also clearly illustrates the interesting give-and-take process of cultures from abroad impacting American popular culture. During the show’s run, NYTF hosted the first Immigration Arts Summit in July. Bringing together prominent New York arts organizations that present work inspired by cultures from abroad, the conference resulted in the formation of an Immigrant Arts Coalition. “Planning is underway for New York’s leading cultural arts organizations to work together under the Immigrant Arts Coalition banner,” says NYTF CEO Christopher Massimine. “A network of arts organizations and individual artists, the Coalition will share advocacy, audience development and other resources, and collaborate on shared programming.” Directed by Drama Desk Award-nominee Bryna Wasserman, with movement and staging by Chita Rivera Award nominee Merete Muenter, and music direction and arrangements by Zalmen Mlotek (NYTF’s artistic director), this re-conceived 2017 production of Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld’s “Amerike – The Golden Land” (originally “The Golden Land”) set out to make the open-hearted point that the Jewish immigration story stands, fundamentally, for all immigrant communities. Spanning popular songs from the 1880s to the mid-20th century, “Amerike – The Golden Land” recreates the sights and sounds of New York City as it welcomed waves of Jewish immigrants. The production is presented in an authentic American immigrant Yiddish (that often mixed both languages), supported by English and Russian supertitles. “Amerike – The Golden Land’s” cast of 12 features Glenn Seven Allen; Alexandra Frohlinger; the international klezmer star Daniel Kahn; Dani Marcus; Stephanie Lynne Mason and David Perlman. The show’s ensemble includes Maya Jacobson, Alexander Kosmowski, Raquel Nobile, Isabel Nesti, Grant Richards, and Bobby Underwood. Jessica Rose Futran and Christopher Tefft are the designated principal understudies. The show’s popular klezmer band features “Zisl” Slepovitch on reeds; Jordan Hirsch — trumpet; Katsumi Ferguson — violin; Dmitry Ishenko — bass; Daniel Linden — trombone; Sean Perham — percussion; Zalmen Mlotek — piano. Andrew Wheeler is the associate music director. The production design team includes Yael Lubetzky (lighting); Izzy Fields (costumes); Jason Courson (scenic and projection design); Patrick Calhoun (sound design), and Colleen Lynch (props). The production stage manager is Eileen Haggerty. The Drama Desk-winning NYTF — now in its 103rd consecutive season (and its third at its new permanent home at the Museum of Jewish Heritage) — brings a rich cultural heritage to life on stage-one that was nearly destroyed some 75 years ago. NYTF was the associate producer of Broadway’s “Indecent,” winner of two Tony Awards including direction, which closed on August 6. Tickets, which are $35 to $60, are on sale now at www.nytf.org and by phone at 866-811-4111. For more information call the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at 212/213-2120, ext. 206, or visit www.nytf.org.

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23-Year-old Jewish Giant Proudly Displays Hebrew Heritage on Football Field – Breaking Israel News

Seek the favor of Hashem, and He will grant you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:5 (The Israel Bible) Jewish football player Adam Bisnowaty was drafted by the New York Giants in April. (Screenshot) Adam Bisnowaty has recently joined a very exclusive club: the Jewish football players league. Drafted in the sixth round by the New York Giants in April, the 23-year-old NFL rookie, a veritable giant himself 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds is not shy about his Jewish and Israeli heritage, displaying a Biblical quote in Hebrew on his arm and talking openly about his religion. One of the first things I tell people is that Im Jewish, Bisnowaty told JTA in a recent interview, acknowledging his own rarity. People dont meet a lot of Jewish football players, so I always like to bring that out and just open up, so its nice and easy. And for anyone else who didnt know, theres his tattoo. Reported by the New York Post last month, the eye-catching ink of three Hebrew words making up one of Gods names comes from a verse in the Book of Exodus. Moshe said to Hashem, When I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is His name? what shall I say to them? And Hashem said to Moshe, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh. He continued, Thus shall you say to the Israelites, Ehyeh sent me to you. Exodus 3:13-14 Ehyeh-asher-ahyeh translates to, I am that I am. Bisnowaty calls it a statement for my life. I always wanted to symbolize something religiously as well as kind of relate back to who I am, so I thought it was the perfect thing, Bisnowaty told the Post of choosing his tattoo. Im really big on who I am and what I hold myself accountable for and kind of the way I live life. In the Torah, you have it related to God, its also the other aspect of being able to have something kinda higher than you. Bisnowaty, whose father is Israeli, grew up in a practicing Jewish family in Pittsburgh until his parents divorced when he was 12. He never had a bar mitzvah, the Jewish rite of passage into adulthood, for that reason, but he hopes to do so one day, preferably in Israel, which he visited once at age 8. The beefy offensive lineman still retains elements of cultural Judaism, including diet. He told the Post that while he is not religious, he doesnt eat pork, and hes always had matzah in the cupboard and matzah ball soup, potato pancakes, everything. Its just how I was raised and just love the food. His family celebrates the Jewish holidays, including Passover. Lighting Hanukkah candles, he said, is a must. Bisnowaty follows in the footsteps of a very few other Jewish football players. In terms of contemporaries, brothers Mitch and Geoff Schwartz, also offensive linemen, were both in the NBA from 2012 to 2016. Julian Edelman, who is not halachically (according to Jewish law) a member of the tribe but identifies as Jewish through his father, gained football fame during last years Super Bowl, when he helped his team, the New England Patriots, to victory with a miraculous catch. Over the decades, a number of Jewish football players have made it to the big leagues. In a top-10 lineup, the American Jewish Historical Society listed the best Jewish footballers last year in order of skill. Edelman came in fourth after Hall-of-Famers Side Luckman and Benny Friedman, both quarterbacks, and lineman Ron Mix.

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Temple Mount wrap up: Where religion, nationalism and politics keep colliding – GetReligion (blog)

While the commemoration ran from Monday evening to Tuesday evening, it’s not too late to tie Tisha BAv (literally, the ninth day of the Hebrew calendars month of Av) to the current state of affairs. You might want to refer to this handy Religion News Service Splainer.” I’m not qualified to speak definitively about just how the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif dispute breaks down along religious, nationalistic and political lines among ordinary Palestinians and other Muslims that support them — as opposed to the statements of Palestinian leaders who always stress religious claims in rallying global Muslim support. Suffice it to say that traditional Islam, far more than do contemporary Christianity or rabbinic Judaism (rabbinic, meaning post-Temple), makes little differentiation between the religious and political realms, and that for many Muslims living under undemocratic governments religion is the only outlet for political expression on any level. However, I do know enough about the Jewish side to suggest that reporters consider the following. For doctrinally non-Orthodox Jews who remain religiously connected to their heritage — I’m referring to members of Judaisms Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues, most of which are in North America — the Temple Mount is, doctrinally speaking, not so much a religious issues as it is a political one. What do I mean? Why might theologically liberal American Jews say the Temple Mount isn’t really an important religious issue for them? Because while Orthodox Jews continue to pray daily for construction of a third temple on the mount — not to mention restoration of the animal sacrifices that once occurred there — the liberal movements have largely removed such language from their prayers and, hence, their thinking. (A tip of the hat to Rabbi Philip Pohl of Annapolis, Maryland, for pointing this out to me, though any errors here are wholly mine.) When I say the Temple Mount is not a religious hot button for liberal Jews, I do not mean that control of the site is also of no importance to them. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict still resonates deeply for the majority of American Jews, even if they’re secular, and despite repeated surveys showing that support for Israeli government policies is continually dropping among liberal Jews. (The liberal Jewish denominations account for all but about 10 percent of all synagogue-aligned American Jews.) For these Jews, it’s about Jewish pride and tribal history, and perhaps most importantly, the memory of the Holocaust and the psychological safe space from anti-Semitic forces that Zionism promised, though that’s certainly not how it’s played out so far. Religion-beat scribes: If you interview liberal synagogue-affiliated Jews on the Temple Mounts significance to them, be sure to ask specifically whether the issue is political or nationalistic or simply religious for them. Remind them what their denominations say about this. I bet many won’t be clear on it This latest flare up over new Israeli security arrangements for the Jerusalem site ended in what appeared to most observers as a political defeat for Israel and, in particular, the current Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu. The Israeli press was highly critical of the Netanyahu government’s actions, and so was the general Israeli population, one TV poll found. Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim worlds considered Netanyahus removal of all the newly installed security technology a great victory. But as I said, it’s all another temporary state affairs, to be upended the next time violence intrudes on the site — as it almost surely will the next time Palestinian leadership senses the Israeli government is seeking to assert any new authority over what is considered Islams third holiest site, even if it’s a defensive move, as was the one that set off this latest uproar. This Wall Street Journal analysis lays out why creating upheaval on and around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif seems to work for the Palestinians. The writer often takes hardline right-wing positions on the conflict that I do not agree with, but I think hes nailed the main points in this piece. Stay tuned for the next turn of this exasperating screw. FIRST IMAGE: Artistic rendering of Herod’s Temple.

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America is helping Montenegro’s democracy mature – Washington Examiner

This week, Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Montenegro. His historic visit signals a new chapter not only in bilateral relations, but also strengthen the overall trans-Atlantic alliance. Most importantly, the visit will celebrate just how far the Montenegrin economy has come due in large part to quiet American leadership and a growing Montenegrin commitment to Western values. When 97 senators voted on March 28 to add Montenegro to NATO, a clear message was sent across the Atlantic. Senators made clear to this young multiparty parliamentary democracy, no bigger than a congressional district, that its years of painstaking judicial, economic, and military reforms were worth it. NATO is a military alliance. Much has been written about the Montenegrin military and the overall future of NATO. Sen. Marco Rubio alluded to the forgotten benefit of NATO enlargement in a floor speech before the vote, saying the “alliance helps advance our economic interests.” The vote, CODELs beforehand and, most certainly the VP’s trip all advance American economic interests. Indeed, the Preamble of the NATO Treaty articulates that the alliance was “founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” Furthermore, Article 2 makes clear that members “will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration.” These NATO precepts are American values and have helped transform the American economy following World War II. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, Montenegro ranks significantly ahead of its neighbors, Croatia and Serbia. Indeed, the journey to NATO has fostered a commitment to free market and capitalist economic principles. In just 11 years of independence and only 25 years after the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, Montenegrin officials have discovered the ingredients to a dynamic economy. These are a robust private sector engaged in international trade with a defined, but not burdensome, regulatory and legal framework. This is what Pence has championed throughout his entire career. The vice president will find a country that appreciates the importance of a strong private sector economy. Visitors from Washington matter. In November 2014, perhaps not coincidentally one month after the visit of Sen. Chris Murphy, the Montenegrin Parliament passed legislation to reform the judicial sector, including the establishment of a special prosecutor’s office for organized crime and an anti-corruption agency. Currently, the Montenegrin government has welcomed investors from 107 different countries. The high point of foreign direct investment, 2009, included over $1.2 billion of capital coming into this country of less than 650,000 residents. Last year, Norway remained the largest investor in private sector projects with $189M. American companies invested $5.6M in the economy in 2016. Surely, Pence’s trip will prompt additional American investment and tourist visits. The words of Prime Minister Dusko Markovic during his June visit to Washington ring true in the days leading up to the vice president’s trip, “This is a small day for the United States and its allies, but a great day for Montenegro.” It was American leadership which ended two ethnic wars in the region. It will be continued American government leadership and fostering of American values which will continue this positive momentum. In 1979, my family fled the brutality of Soviet Communism to celebrate our Jewish faith and embrace the freedoms of America. America has only grown stronger since the height of the Cold War by embracing the freedoms articulated by our Founding Fathers and the principles outlined by NATO. So too, can Montenegro grow stronger, as it aligns with America and shuns a past defined by despotism and government bureaucracy. Neil Emilfarb, a native of West Hartford, Connecticut, has lived and worked in Montenegro since 2006. He is CEO of Stratex Group which has developed and managed properties throughout Montenegro. If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions.

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12 Things To Do In August That Will Make You Just A Little More Jewish – Forward

Welcome to August: Youre tired of the heat. A chance to walk romantically through falling leaves maybe even while wearing a sweater, of all things is beginning to sound appealing, and youve suffered too many sunburns to be coaxed back to the pool. Never fear! With great new television premieres, music and theater festivals galore, and the opening of a thrilling new museum exhibit or two, you, too, can enjoy the end of your summer. Here are 12 ways to celebrate the month: 1. Sail away with Rodgers & Hammerstein. Lincoln Center Theaters production of The King and I went all-out, complete with sets so enchanting as to be almost alarming. Residents of Washington, D.C., who missed the productions New York run will have a chance to catch it at the Kennedy Center, where it will play through August 20. Then they, like their Manhattan fellows, can spend the next year getting Getting To Know You out of their heads. Getty Images/Walter McBride Harold Prince, both the subject and director of Prince of Broadway. 2. Pay homage to Broadways Prince. Producer and director Harold Prince has won 21 Tony Awards for shows as iconic as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd and The Phantom of the Opera. Come August, selections from the 34 works hes mounted on Broadway will appear together in Prince of Broadway, a musical making its American premiere on the Great White Way. If youre a sucker for show tunes, this is the extravaganza youve been waiting for especially as it features all-new arrangements of the famous songs Prince helped bring to the stage, courtesy of Jason Robert Brown, himself a three-time Tony winner. 3. Witness an unusual world premiere. The illustrator and writer Maria Kalman has won hearts for her inventive examinations of subjects ranging from the fictional canine poet named Max Stravinsky to a very adult experience of American democracy. At the Jacobs Pillow Dance festival, located, like Williamstown, in the Berkshires, witness the world premiere of John Heginbothams evening-length program based on Kalmans writing and art. Called The Principles of Uncertainty, the work will feature an original score by violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen of Brooklyn Rider and of the Silk Road Ensemble. 4. Unwind at Ravinia. Ravinia, a well-loved outdoor music venue in the northern suburbs of Chicago, plays host to an eclectic music festival each summer. This August the hits include an evening of works by the ever-morbid composer Gustav Mahler back-to-back with a performance by Gladys Knight. No matter how varied your tastes, we think youll find a match. 5. Listen to Gershwin under the California sky. The Los Angeles Philharmonics summer programming at the Hollywood Bowl is full of treats, from the dreamily conceived Gershwin Under the Stars to a guest appearance by violinist Joshua Bell, who will try his hand at Stravinsky. (No, not the dog.) An All-Mendelssohn program August 8 is also not to be missed. Getty Images/Theo Wargo Members of the cast of An American in Paris perform at the 2015 Tony Awards. 6. Speaking of Gershwin. Chicagoans, get whisked off to Paris! The Broadway production of the Gershwin-heavy An American in Paris arrived in the Windy City in late July and will depart come mid-August. Dont miss a chance to see the gorgeously choreographed musical, directed by ballet wunderkind Christopher Wheeldon, and tap your foot quietly to some classic tunes. As George and Ira Gershwin would say: S wonderful! S marvelous! 7. And speaking of Joshua Bell. Lincoln Centers Mostly Mozart Festival is an annual favorite, and Bell will appear there before heading to Hollywood, playing Brahms with cellist Steven Isserlis. Another festival highlight will be Gil Shahams take on Tchaikovskys Violin Concerto. Two Jewish violin dynamos in one month? Why not! 8. Seek the next great American playwright. Theres a strong tradition of great American Jewish playwrights to put it lightly from Arthur Miller and Lillian Hellman to Tony Kushner and Annie Baker. Who will be next to join their ranks? Head to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival often heralds great new work, to find out. The August lineup includes works by the young playwrights Halley Feiffer, represented by a new take on Anton Chekhovs Three Sisters, and Anna Ziegler, whose Actually is a contemporary take on privilege and morality. Wikimedia Commons/Israel National Photo Collection An image from the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann. 9. Experience Eichmanns trial. It doesnt officially open until September, but if youre a member or friend of Manhattans Museum of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, get a sneak peek at the new exhibit Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann in August. The immersive exhibit, which includes newly declassified artifacts never previously exhibited outside Israel, re-creates the setting of the 1961 trial of the infamous Nazi official who oversaw the deportations of European Jews to concentration camps. 10. Engage in the religious life of early America. Before rounding the corner into the High Holidays, visit Washington, D.C.s National Museum of American History as it plays host to an exhibit on the religious life of the early United States. Jews were a tiny minority in the new country, but far from invisible; one of the objects in the exhibit will be a Torah scroll from Manhattans Spanish-Portuguese Congregation Shearith Israel, founded in 1654. 11. Head back to camp with old friends. Wet Hot American Summer, a classic early-2000s send-up of summer camp, received an unexpectedly delightful reboot in the 2015 Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Come August 4, the old gang, including Paul Rudds arrogant man-child, Elizabeth Bankss high-powered if ethically conflicted journalist, and Michael Showalters unlucky-in-love-and-hairstyles Coop, returns in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Expect a talking can, deadpan humor and bad make-outs, and to laugh until you cry. 12. And get high with Abbi and Ilana. Craving 80s hairstyles, frank discussions of masturbation, merciless ridiculing of SoulCycle, screams of Yass and a genuinely enormous amount of marijuana? Hurray for you: Broad City is coming back. Follow the cringey-comedic exploits of aimless New York 20-somethings Abbi and Ilana when they return to Comedy Central on August 23.

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August 1, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

What Does It Take to ‘Assimilate’ in America? – New York Times

The pendulum between hope and fear continues to swing today. We are a country where people of all backgrounds, all nations of origin, all languages, all religions, all races, can make a home, Hillary Clinton told an immigrant-advocacy conference in New York in 2015. By contrast, Donald Trump warned on the campaign trail that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. Last November, one of these visions of assimilation won out. Immigrants contribute to America in a million different ways, from growing the food on our tables to creating the technologies we use every day. They commit far fewer crimes than native-born citizens. But hardly a week goes by when poor assimilation isnt blamed for offenses involving immigrants and the entire project of immigration called into question. In Michigan, an Indian-American emergency-room doctor who belongs to the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shiite Muslim sect, was charged with performing female genital mutilation on several young girls. In Minnesota, a black police officer, the first Somali-American cop in his precinct, shot an unarmed Australian woman. Both incidents were immediately seized upon by the far right as examples of the inability or refusal of Muslims to assimilate. So far this year, American police officers have killed more than 500 people, but for the commentator Ann Coulter, the shooting in Minnesota would never have happened in Australia because they have fewer than 10k Somalis. We have > 100k. Earlier this month, the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson ran a segment in which he said citizens of a small town in Pennsylvania claimed that several dozen Roma who had been resettled there defecate in public, chop the heads off chickens, leave trash everywhere. (The police said they issued citations where relevant.) The group doesnt seem at all interested in integrating, Carlson complained. You have to assume its a statement. One reason immigration is continuously debated in America is that there is no consensus on whether assimilation should be about national principles or national identity. Those who believe that assimilation is a matter of principle emphasize a belief in the Constitution and the rule of law; in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and in a strong work ethic and equality. Where necessary, they support policy changes to further deter any cultural customs that defy those values. For example, Rick Snyder, the governor of Michigan, signed a new law that increases existing penalties for anyone who performs female genital mutilation on a minor. But for those who believe that assimilation is a matter of identity as many on the far right do nothing short of the abandonment of all traces of your heritage will do. The alt-right pundit Milo Yiannopoulos, an immigrant himself, told a campus group in January that the hijab is not something that should ever be seen on American women. The perception that visible signs of religious identity are indicators of deep and sinister splits in society can lead to rabid fears of wholly imaginary threats. Several states have passed anti-Shariah measures, in fear that Muslims will seek to impose their own religious laws on unsuspecting Americans. The fact that Muslims make up 1 percent of the U.S. population and that such an agenda is both a statistical and a Constitutional impossibility has done nothing to temper this fear. It is no longer a fringe belief: The white nationalist Richard Spencer told a reporter that he once bonded with Stephen Miller, now a senior White House adviser, over concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating. Debates about assimilation are different from debates about undocumented immigration, even though they are often mixed together. Concerns about undocumented immigration typically center on competition for jobs or the use of public resources, but complaints about assimilation are mostly about identity a nebulous mix of race, religion and language. In May, a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic found that white working-class voters were 3.5 times more likely to support Donald Trump if they reported feeling like a stranger in their own land. My seatmate on that airplane was a small-business owner, yet he did not seem worried about Korean-Americans taking business away from him; he seemed more aggrieved that their children studied two languages, or that his community featured store signs and church marquees in an alphabet he could not read. Others might object to their neighbors wearing skullcaps, or eating fermented duck eggs, or listening to Tejano music and call these concerns about assimilation, too. It should be clear by now that assimilation is primarily about power. In Morocco, where I was born, I never heard members of Parliament express outrage that French immigrants or expats, as they might call themselves eat pork, drink wine or have extramarital sex, in plain contradiction of local norms. If they do adopt the countrys customs or speak its language, they arent said to have assimilated but to have gone native. In France, by contrast, politicians regularly lament that people descended from North African immigrants choose halal food options for school lunches or want to attend classes in head scarves. One result is a daily experience of rejection, which only makes assimilation more difficult. America is different from Europe in one significant way: It has a long and successful history of integrating its immigrants, even if each new generation thinks that the challenges it faces are unique and unprecedented. It is a nation in which people will wear green on St. Patricks Day without thinking much about the periods during which the Irish were accused of contaminating the nation with their foreign habits. Because there is no objective measure of assimilation, many people end up throwing up their hands and saying, I know it when I see it. The question is: Who is doing the judging here? Laila Lalami is the author, most recently, of The Moors Account, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of The New York Times Magazine delivered to your inbox every week. A version of this article appears in print on August 6, 2017, on Page MM11 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Blending In.

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