This commemoration of the return of Gilad Shalit was posted on the wall outside the front door of the Seattle Hebrew Academy this morning. Though many students were happy to see him return to his family, others were torn about the cost of the prisoners released, many who were involved in murderous crimes.
To work in our downtown offices. This position primarily entails news reporting, maintaining the community calendar, and preparation for the JTNews newspaper and maintains our jew-ish.com Web site. Candidate should have the following qualifications:
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• Good writing and proofreading skills
• Desire to learn more about local Jewish community
• Strong interest in current events, in particular having to do with Judaism and Israel
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Jewish Transcript Media is an equal opportunity employer.
When I attended Camp Solomon Schechter many moons ago, we used to get up early every morning and before Shul, raise the Israeli, the Canadian, and the American flag. We would sing the Hatikvah, the Canadian National Anthem, and the Star Spangle Banner.
As an adult, I realize that morning ritual encompassed the values my parents have given to me. That together as Jews we honor the sacrifices made to ensure we had a place to worth ship in freedom without fear of losing our livelihood, our homes, and our lives. The spirit of being part of a global Jewish community and having pride in the United states of America both serve a common good, should be respected, and the sacrifices never forgotten.
I have children of my own now and extended family that I have enjoyed sharing in their events throughout our Puget Sound Jewish community. At some of these events, I have wondered have we forgotten to teach that being part of a world Jewish community does not go against having pride for the United States of America. Over the last couple of years, some events were ended with the singing of the Hatikvah but forgot to add the National Anthem.
The Hatikvah, the Hope. The hope to be able to survive as Jews in a free homeland fought with sweat and tears and the deaths of our ancestors. To me, the song stands for freedom to study Torah, freedom to be Jewish, freedom to have a choice. I would like to think that goes very well with the Star Spangled Banner. “Our flag was still there” has a nice ring to it, so stand up and sing it.
Wife of 1SG Peter A. Grilley, retired
Operation Iraqi Freedom War Veteran (two tours)
A year after the attack in Mumbai, India, and the brutal murders of the keepers of the Chabad there, Gabi and Rivkah Holtzberg, a number of tributes have been written in their memory. Some, like the one we ran in our paper here, were from people who had met the Holtzbergs in their travels. Others, such as this piece written by Rochie Farkash at the Eastside Torah Center in Bellevue, came from the view of someone who actually knew the Holtzbergs, and how they have worked to make sure the young couple did not die in vain.
In that year thousands of letters were written, detailing how Gabi and Rivkah touched lives. Over five hundred new born babies and many new Chabad centers were named in their honor.
When we look at the lives of Gabi and Rivky and hear the many stories about their giving and generosity, we are touched and inspired.
It’s always hard to lose a friend, but when it’s such a young couple who meet such a violent end, that makes it all the worse. It will be interesting to see how the legacy of these two sustains itself in the coming years, for the Jewish community overall and for the Chabad movement in particular.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the story coming out next week, but here’s a glimpse of what’s to come: The Kavana Cooperative has been named by Newsweek Magazine as one of America’s 25 Most Vibrant Synagogues.
Congregations are listed geographically and are chosen based on the following criteria:
* Social and Community Engagement
* Growth of Membership
* Outreach to Young People
* Diversity of Programming
* Programmatic Innovation
* Dynamism of Religious Services
* Success of the Rabbi
That’s nice and all that, but even bigger is Kavana’s rabbi, Rachel Nussbaum, being named as one of five Avi Chai Foundation fellows. According to a press release sent by the foundation:
The AVI CHAI Foundation occupies a singular spot in North American Jewish life, defining its goals as fostering high levels of Jewish Literacy; deepening religious purposefulness and promoting Jewish Peoplehood and deeper connections to the State of Israel. Each of the AVI CHAI Fellows has demonstrated a track record of commitment towards these ends and although the award - $75K per fellow per year - will go towards their proposed activities, the purpose of The AVI CHAI Fellowship is to advance and promote the individual winners as important forces in building a vital American Jewish future built upon these values.
That there’s a question this close to Passover might be alarming, but a controversy in Queens and parts of Long Island has called the certification of the Streit’s plant into question, as reported by The Jewish Star.
Less than a month before Pesach, the Vaad HaRabbonim of Queens decided to remove Streit’s Matzo and matzo products from its list of approved products. The Vaad HaKashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway immediately followed suit. The result was that days before Passover the makers of Streit’s Matzo felt ambushed, Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik was embarrassed publicly and many kosher consumers are confused: is the stuff kosher for Pesach, or not?
Everyone seems to agree that it is.
But local Va’ads, the agencies responsible for local kosher practices and certifications, were worried that Rabbi Soloveichik did not keep up the quality that his father, who had built a reputation for his hashgacha, or inspection practices.
“Its very important that you understand that the question is not whether one trusts the Streit’s company,” said Rabbi Daniel Senter, the kashrus administrator of the Kof-K. “[They] are very honorable people. The question is … do they feel comfortable with an individual rabbi supervising something of this scale.”
For several years after Rabbi Soloveichik took over the hashgacha from his late father, he shared the responsibility with the Kof-K, a nationally recognized kosher supervision agency. The relationship ended amicably, according to both parties, after the company made a business decision to have just one hashgacha. For the past three years Rabbi Soloveichik has worked alone, with a team of five mashgichim (kosher supervisors).
The problem with Streit’s lack of a national hashgacha is that “we don’t know enough about Rav Moshe Soloveichik,” Rabbi [Yoel] Schonfeld, [co-president of the Vaad HaRabonim of Queens] claimed. “He just doesn’t swim in the kashrus world … we’re not saying he’s bad; not at all. We just don’t know.”
Alan Adler, director of operations at Streit’s, called the questioning of the kashering practices at the matzoh plant just weeks before Passover “an ambush.” He would have liked to have seen recommendations and inspections take place in the fall, when there was time to address any concerns.
So where does that leave us? If you’ve got Streit’s matzoh and you’re worried about whether it’s safe to put on your seder table, don’t be. The rabbis involved agree it’s kosher for Passover, they just want to see more of a national hashgacha presence in the future.
Though the Israel Solidarity rally this past Sunday at Temple De Hirsch Sinai has been considered by many to be a success, not everyone in our Jewish community agrees. Many in the peace camp thing Israel’s incursion into Gaza has gone too far while many concerned about Israel’s security and survival think Israel has not done enough. There are many humanitarian, security, world affairs and military issues at play here, and the war is not nearly as black and white as many people are making it out to be. We want to hear from you. Please add your comments, no matter what your thoughts may be on the issue, so we can get a sense of what you’re feeling about the issue.Your comments may be included in the print version of the JTNews.
There was a lot in the news yesterday about a negative “push poll” — in which the survey’s sponsor asks leading, negative questions about an opposing candidate or viewpoint — targeting Jews specifically, with allegedly negative information about Obama. Well, JTA has found out who sponsored it.
RJC admits sponsoring negative Obama poll
The Republican Jewish Coalition admitted it sponsored a negative poll about Barack Obama. Politico reported that the RJC took responsibility for the phone survey in swing states that asked voters their response to negative statements about Obama. Those statements included reported praise for him from a leader of the Palestinian terror group Hamas and a friendship early in his career with a pro-Palestinian university professor. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks told the publication that his organization conducted the poll to “understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters.” Brooks denied that the poll was a “push poll” meant to influence Jewish voters, and said it was a traditional survey meant to gauge the opinions of Jewish voters. A top Jewish Obama supporter slammed the RJC. “Peddling lies and hateful distortions to scare Jewish voters is reprehensible and deeply disrespectful to Jewish Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.).
After going over some more issues and confirming the fact that I was likely to vote for Obama, the caller made a series of rather pointed inquiries. Would it affect my vote, he said, if I knew that
Obama has had a decade long relationship with pro-Palestinian leaders in Chicago
the leader of Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, expressed support for Obama and his hope for Obama’s victory
the church Barack Obama has attended is known for its anti-Israel and anti-American remarks
Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israel national security advisor is one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisors
Barack Obama was the member of a board (sic) that funded a pro-Palestinian chartiable organization
Barack Obama called for holding a summit of Muslim nations exlcuding Israel if elected president
My notes are pretty close to verbatim. (I started typing as soon as I realized I was getting polled.) When the caller was finished, I got a supervisor on the phone and asked if he would tell me who was sponsoring the survey. He said he couldn’t reveal that information.
Trying to “understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters”? Unless I’m missing something, it looks to me like between this and the ads they’re running in Jewish newspapers across the country (though not, at least as of yet, ours) that they’re trying to propagate this problem among Jewish voters.