For Cuban Jews, improved ties to U.S. may not resolve central challenges

Adela Dworin has been president of Beth Shalom synagogue since 2006 and serves as the Cuban Jewish communitys government liaison. (Josh Tapper)/JTA

On a recent Friday night inside this citys Beth Shalom synagogue, Aliet Ashkenazi, 25, stood draped in a blue-and-white prayer shawl leading prayers in a mix of Spanish and near-perfect Hebrew.

It was the first time she had ever led services a feat considering she converted to Judaism seven years ago after discovering her father was Jewish.

The 300-seat sanctuary in the Cuban capital was near capacity, but the crowd filling the wooden pews was largely American, comprised of tour groups from New York and New Jersey. The next morning, with the Americans gone, the crowd had thinned. A handful of youths sat in the first few rows, leaving a gray-haired cohort of congregants in the back.

This is typically how things go for Cubas 1,500 or so Jews: Hordes of out-of-town guests arrive, bringing with them suitcases full of clothing and coveted medical supplies, and then theyre gone, leaving Cubas diminished Jewish community behind.

Amonth since the United States and Cuba announced renewed diplomatic relations after more than five decades of mutual recrimination and mistrust, it remains unclear how rapprochement will change things for Cubas Jewish community, which has shrunk tenfold since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, when there were 15,000 Jews here.

If it will be better for Cuba, it will be better for Jews in Cuba as well, said Ida Gutzstat, executive director of the Bnai Brith Maimonides Lodge, a community center attached to the Sephardic synagogue in this citys Vedado neighborhood.

Amanda Amato, a 49-year-old secretary, sipping a plastic cup of Cristal beer at one of the lodges biannual parties, said, We have a difficult economic situation now, but its not for all time.

Already there has been some easing. Americans including the thousands of Jews who fled Cuba after the revolution now can send remittances of $2,000 every three months to Cubans, four times the previous limit.

While Cuban Jews endure the same depressed conditions as other Cubans, surviving on monthly food rations and salaries that rarely exceed $40 per month, the community as a whole is the recipient of largesse most Cubans can only dream of.

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For Cuban Jews, improved ties to U.S. may not resolve central challenges

For Cuba Jews, Better Ties to U.S. May Not Be Cure-All

Even If Island Prospers, Community Still Faces Challenges By Tapper

Published January 25, 2015.

Havana (JTA) On a recent Friday night inside this citys Beth Shalom synagogue, Aliet Ashkenazi, 25, stood draped in a blue-and-white prayer shawl leading prayers in a mix of Spanish and near-perfect Hebrew.

It was the first time she had ever led services a feat considering she converted to Judaism seven years ago after discovering her father was Jewish.

The 300-seat sanctuary in the Cuban capital was near capacity, but the crowd filling the wooden pews was largely American, comprised of tour groups from New York and New Jersey. The next morning, with the Americans gone, the crowd had thinned. A handful of youths sat in the first few rows, leaving a gray-haired cohort of congregants in the back.

This is typically how things go for Cubas 1,500 or so Jews: Hordes of out-of-town guests arrive, bringing with them suitcases full of clothing and coveted medical supplies, and then theyre gone, leaving Cubas diminished Jewish community behind.

A month since the United States and Cuba announced renewed diplomatic relations after more than five decades of mutual recrimination and mistrust, it remains unclear how rapprochement will change things for Cubas Jewish community, which has shrunk tenfold since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, when there were 15,000 Jews here.

If it will be better for Cuba, it will be better for Jews in Cuba as well, said Ida Gutzstat, executive director of the Bnai Brith Maimonides Lodge, a community center attached to the Sephardic synagogue in this citys Vedado neighborhood.

Amanda Amato, a 49-year-old secretary, sipping a plastic cup of Cristal beer at one of the lodges biannual parties, said, We have a difficult economic situation now, but its not for all time.

Already there has been some easing. Americans including the thousands of Jews who fled Cuba after the revolution now can send remittances of $2,000 every three months to Cubans, four times the previous limit.

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For Cuba Jews, Better Ties to U.S. May Not Be Cure-All

Obama's State of the Union Address and its Bearing on US/Iran Relations

By Kam Zarrabi

When it comes to Americas foreign policies, Its too bad that trying to do whats good for America is so often blocked by special interest groups and elected officials who owe their positions, hence their loyalties, to influence peddlers with different agendas. Watching the proceedings of January 21stSenate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on C-SPAN exemplified this tragic state of affairs. It was about the new opening to Cuba, and the progress being made toward a solution to the Iranian nuclear issues currently underway between the P5+1 group headed by the United States and the Iranian delegation.

Before getting into what troubled me most watching the proceedings, it would be helpful to highlight a few facts on the ground:

Now, let us look at what Americas honest concerns and interests might be in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, and indeed the rest of the so-called Islamic world. One of those concerns cannot possibly be Irans nuclear ambitions. As I mentioned above, even a nuclear-armed Iran does not pose any danger of a potential offensive use of nuclear weapons. Yes, having a nuclear arsenal might work as a deterrent to discourage a nuclear attack upon Iran by Israel, but even that possibility is so remote that devoting the money and energy to develop that deterrent tool would be foolish at best. Israel could be literally wiped out of existence by non-nuclear means should it attempt to attack Iran with its atomic weapons. So, why would Iran even bother?

Americas true agenda is finding the most expedient and, at the same time, face-saving way to extricate itself from the current costly and counterproductive entanglements in the Middle East, without creating more breeding areas for terrorist cells that intend to jeopardize Americas legitimate interests. This is where the question pops up as to why the Assad regime in Syria was targeted by the United States in the first place, resulting in the destruction of a nation, hundreds of thousands of casualties, over two million refugees, and a battleground for competing terrorist gangs that led to the formation of the Daesh group. How was the Syrian regime a threat to the United States of America to have been targeted for regime-change? If it was an ally of Iran and a conduit between Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah and, by extension, the Palestinian Hamas, it might have been a concern for Israel, not the United States; unless, of course, we consider Israels interests worth sacrificing American lives and fortune and the creation of more enemies for America.

Lets not kid ourselves that the concern for targeting the Assad regime was a purely humanitarian issue that required encouraging and financing opposition groups to bring down a tyrannical dictator in order to promote freedom and democracy – in spite of what Senators McCain and Graham say. The truth cannot be denied that American attempts to topple the Assad regime was simply to follow Israels demands and, at the same time, to support our compliant ally, the Saudi clan.

Now we are facing a horrible blowback. We found out the hard and embarrassing way that Assad was not a pushover as the likes of Senators McCain and Graham think. And thanks to Americas misguided interference, Daesh militants and sympathizers are pouring through the 900 mile border from Syria to Turkey and on to Western Europe and ultimately to North America.

The only armies with adequate military skills and equipment that can possibly eradicate the Daesh movement are the Syrian army, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Iranian forces. Iran has already been engaged in battling the Daesh terror groups in Iraq, although the media here tries not to mention its accomplishments or even its logistical coordination with the Americans for political reasons.

In Yemen, it is the Iran backed Houthis that are gaining more control and fighting both terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda and Daesh. Houthis, and the Yemeni government subsidized by the Saudis and Americans, are in the best position to eradicate both groups which are a threat to Americas regional interests, the Saudi regime, as well as to Iran, especially now that these terrorist camps have found new spawning environment in Afghanistan next door to Iran.

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Obama's State of the Union Address and its Bearing on US/Iran Relations

Events 1-23-15

BOOKS

Winter Reading Series: Sturgis Library hosts a wintertime reading and discussion series, Shaking Two Nickels Together: A Literary Perspective on Impoverishment and Income Inequality, as a guest list of scholars examine the subject in its historical and socioeconomic context. Attend any or all lectures. Texts are available at the library: Jan. 27: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, led by Elaine Craghead; Feb. 24: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, led by Anne Speyer; March 24: Selected Victorian poetry, led by Paula Krebs; April 28: Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone, led by James Crowley. RSVP to 508-362-6636; made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities.

Brewster book discussion: Feb. 10: Brewster Ladies’ Library, 1822 Main St., will discuss “Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel for its February reading selection, 1 p.m. in the library meeting room.

Antiques!: The Hyannis Public Library’s 39th Weekend Antiques Show & Sale is schedule for Feb. 14 and 15, this year at the Barnstable Intermediate School, 895 Route 28, Hyannis. Show hours are 10 to 5 on Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sunday. Lunch and snacks are available both days. Adult admission is $6 or $5 with coupon, kids free (with adult). More info? 508-775-2280.

Help for kids who stutter: Several books and DVDs produced by the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation are available free to public libraries. Among these, a new DVD called Stuttering: For Kids By Kids, stars kids who are struggling with the disability themselves and are out to help others. Three libraries in Barnstable have this DVD on their shelves: Centerville Public Library; Cotuit Library; Hyannis Public Library.

Library perks: Hyannis Public Library continues to offer the Mango Languages online language-learning system to all CLAMS card holders in the villages, through a grant from the Kirkman Trust Fund awarded to Barnstable libraries. Valid CLAMS card holders may take advantage of reduced rate admissions to the New England Aquarium in Boston and to Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. Call the library for information. Hyannis Library is at 401 Main St. 508-775-2280, www.hyannislibrary.org

ARTS

BARNSTABLE

Art on the Walls: Artworks, from fine art to illustrations, are on the walls at Barnstable Town Hall through Feb. 6. Theyre the work of local Cape Codder Kate Walls, whos also the illustrator of such popular Cape Cod books as Cape Cod Bog Dog and Cape Cod Bear. More info on the towns Art on Loan program may be obtained from Melissa Hersh at 508-862-4767.

Art visits Nature: The Town of Barnstable and Cape Cod Art Association have partnered to offer day and overnight excursions at the Halfway House at Sandy Neck Beach to artists of all disciplines, from painter to writer to musician or photographer. This is a chance to unplug and enjoy solitude and a scenic landscape off the beaten track. Trips are scheduled in March, May, September and October. $55 day / $75 overnight, with proceeds benefiting the ongoing program. For information or applications, contact Melissa Hersh at 508-862-4767. Details available at www.artsbarnstable.com

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Events 1-23-15

Mike Marqusee

JEREMY CORBYN looks back at the inspirational life of Mike Marqusee who died of cancer earlier this week

Losing a friend is always sad and tragic. Mike Marqusee has been suffering from a complex bone cancer for eight years and finally succumbed to it in St Josephs hospice in Hackney on Tuesday.

A fascinating and complex man, Mike was never afraid to deal with difficult questions, be they personal or political, or both.

He wrote frequently about cancer from the standpoint of his own experience and of total support and admiration for the NHS and the treatment he received.

Notably, he became irritated when people would tell him he was brave, in fighting cancer. He pithily put it in a Guardian article: This is a front line, it is impossible to flee from.

Mike as ever used his own experience to make the political point that as a naturalised British person born in the US he received excellent health treatment which in the US would have bankrupted him and his family, or left him with an xunpayable and ongoing debt.

He loathed and hated the free-market economics and immorality and hypocrisy of the US healthcare system.

I first met Mike as a Labour Party member in Haringey when he was a youth worker in Holloway, north London. He was an inspiration to the disparate group of youth who enjoyed zany evenings with Mike at the former Highbury Roundhouse.

Indeed, only a month ago, as I was cycling home on a wet and cold night, a woman stopped me and asked how Mike was, because she had heard he was not well and went on to talk about the positive influence he had made on her life even though she gave him a hard time as a youth some 30 years ago.

He was a very effective member of the Labour Party, particularly in Islington North, and a great friend and support to me on many occasions. He couldnt stomach new Labour, Blair and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Mike Marqusee

Hometown News Calendar for Week of January 18, 2015

MARTIN LUTHER KING

Dr. Martin Luther King Program. 6:30 p.m. Today. Dinner will be served after the program by the Willing Workers of St Mark Baptist Church. 545 Lakehurst Rd, Pemberton Twp. 609-893-6744

Volunteers for Martin Luther King Day of Service. 9 a.m.-noon. Mon. Volunteers of all ages and abilities may participate at the Dr. James Still Historic Site and Education Center for yard cleanup, gardening, painting and other activities aimed at maintaining and improving the historic facility. Followed by a pizza lunch. 109-111 Church Rd, Medford. Register, 609-975-8754, drstillcenter@gmail.com Information, medfordhistory.org

Cozies 4 Chemo MLK Day of Service. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan 19. The nonprofit that provides hand-tied fleece blankets to cancer patients throughout the US and Canada and has donated 2,169 blankets since March 2012 is having the biggest blanket-making event of the year. Donations are welcomed. Ramblewood Country Club, 200 Country Club Pkwy, Mt Laurel. Must register, cozies4chemo.org

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Celebrate African American Literary. 2 p.m. Feb 1. This “Read In Chain” includes members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sharing their favorite readings from black authors; refreshments will be served. Willingboro Library,220 Willingboro Pkwy. Free. 609-877-6668. Willingboro.org

Dare to Be a Dreamer. 6:30 p.m. Feb 2. Motivational speakers and mentors. Ages 13-19. Willingboro Library, 220 Willingboro Pkwy. Free. 609-877-6668. willingboro.org

Journey On the Underground Railroad. 6:30 p.m. Feb 4. Experience the Underground Railroad in this interactive program presented by the Underground Railroad Museum of Burlington County. Willingboro Library, 220 Willingboro Pkwy. Free. 609-877-6668. willingboro.org

Black History Gala. 2 p.m. Feb 7. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Zeta Delta Chapter and Willingboro Library will co-sponsor an afternoon of cultural activities. No registration required and light refreshments served. Willingboro Library, 220 Willingboro Pkwy. Free. 609-877-6668. willingboro.org

African Heritage Film Festival. 6:30 p.m. Feb 12. Willingboro Public Library and the Rancocas Valley Chapter of The Links, Inc. present a documentary film. Light refreshments served. Willingboro Library, 220 Willingboro Pkwy. Free. 609-877-6668. Willingboro.org

Originally posted here:
Hometown News Calendar for Week of January 18, 2015

I was never a white supremacist: The chilling return of David Duke

And as usually occurs when Duke gets airtime, he parlayed the interview into an opportunity to propagandize and sell both his twisted worldview and his books. Most of all, Duke performed his specialty, which is to sell outright falsehoods and self-serving distortions.

Duke appeared first on CNNwith Michael Smerconishfor his weekly news-interview program on Jan. 3, then on Jan. 5 foran appearanceon Fox News The OReilly Factor with Bill OReilly. On both programs, Duke attempted to make the familiar claim that he isnt a white supremacist or a racist.

I have never supported white supremacism, Duke told Smerconish.

I was never a white supremacist, he told OReilly. Im not a white supremacist at all. In fact the European American Unity and Rights Group was in fact a chartered civil rights organization and I in fact in Louisiana legislature sponsored a bill that forbid racial discrimination and these programs called Affirmative Action which are racial discriminations.Duke has attempted to makesimilar claims over the years, assuring interviewers and audiences that the ideology he promotes is not about hate of minorities and Jews, but love of Caucasian people. But of course, both his leadership of various Ku Klux Klan factions during the 1970s and 80s was littered with clear pronouncements of hatred of blacks and other minorities, and his work today remains viciously anti-Semitic as well.

Here is just a sampling of the hatemongering in which Duke has indulged during his many years as an activist:

What we really want to do is to be left alone. We dont want Negroes around. We dont need Negroes around. Were not asking you know, we dont want to have them, you know, for our culture. We simply want our own country and our own society. Thats in no way exploitive at all. We want our own society, our own nation. Duke, March 1985.

[A] blackgets a job with a white-owned company. He is the only black at the firm. He works hard, but hes fighting a losing battle against his genes.Duke editorial, The Black Plague, NAAWP News, Issue 32, 1985.

White people dont need a law against rape, but if you fill this room up with your normal black bucks, you would, because niggers are basically primitive animals. Its really the Jew Marxists who see the nigger as their instrument, as their bullets, by which to destroy our society. The Sun (Wichita, KS), April 23, 1975.

Increasingly independent black economic, cultural and political power gave Blacks more freedom to do what came natural to them. Divorced from White influence and culture, they reverted quickly to their genotype increasingly typical of black societies around the world. Males exhibited exaggerated sexual aggression and promiscuity that led to the dissolution of the Black nuclear family in America. Females reverted to the age-old African model of maternal provisioning of children. Duke, 1998

Our clear goal must be the advancement of the white race and separation of the white and black races. This goal must include freeing of the American media and government from subservient Jewish interests. The Jews are trying to destroy all other culturesas a survival mechanismthe only Nazi country in the world is Israel. Duke 1998

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I was never a white supremacist: The chilling return of David Duke

Bess Myerson, Miss America who turned to politics and scandal, dies at 90

Bess Myerson, the former beauty queen, television personality and New York politician who spent four decades in the public eye before her glamorous image was tarnished by scandal, has died. She was 90.

Myerson died Dec. 14 at her home in Santa Monica. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed her death, which was not publicly announced.

Myerson was an aspiring pianist in 1945 when she became the first Jewish Miss America and a symbol of ethnic pride for Jews emerging from the brutal realities of World War II. She went on to a career as a game show hostess and panelist before entering political life in the 1960s.

As consumer affairs commissioner in the administration of New York Mayor John V. Lindsay, she successfully crusaded for such reforms as unit pricing and open dating of perishable foods, early victories in the consumer protection movement of the 1970s.

Alternately regal and folksy, she became one of the most powerful women in New York politics, credited as a driving force behind the electoral success of Mayor Edward I. Koch in 1977.

Later, she was forced to resign as Koch’s cultural affairs commissioner when she was accused of bribery and conspiracy to influence the divorce case of a multimillionaire sewer contractor who was her boyfriend. She was acquitted of all charges after a four-month trial in 1988, but she never returned to public life.

She overcame ovarian cancer, a stroke and the breakup of two marriages while struggling with issues of family and career years before the women’s movement made such balancing acts acceptable.

Myerson “aspired to be more than just a beauty queen, and she succeeded like no other before or since,” New York journalist Jennifer Preston wrote in “Queen Bess,” a 1990 biography.

A complex woman whose erratic behavior sometimes mystified those closest to her, she rebuffed efforts to peg her as an early feminist.

“When someone says to me, ‘You’re a forerunner of the women’s movement,’ I say that is bull …” Myerson said in 1982. “I worked my butt off. I had to survive.”

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Bess Myerson, Miss America who turned to politics and scandal, dies at 90

Events 1-2-2015

BARNSTABLE

BOOKS

AT COTUIT LIBRARY Jan. 2: Designing Women craft group meets, 10 a.m.

Jan. 5: Enjoy Dames & Their Games, 1:30 p.m.

Cotuit Library is located at 871 Main St. 508-428-8141. www.cotuitlibrary.org

AT HYANNIS LIBRARY Jan. 9: Christine Josefiak speaks on My Weight Loss Journey to My New Life, 3 p.m. Shell offer words of process, encouragement and help. Free event. The library is located at 401 Main St., Hyannis. 508-775-2280.

WINTER READING SERIES Sturgis Library hosts a wintertime reading and discussion series, Shaking Two Nickels Together: A Literary Perspective on Impoverishment and Income Inequality, as a guest list of scholars examine the subject in its historical and socioeconomic context. Attend any or all lectures. Texts are available at the library:

Jan. 27: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, led by Elaine Craghead;

Feb. 24: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, led by Anne Speyer;

March 24: Selected Victorian poetry, led by Paula Krebs

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Events 1-2-2015

Lawsuit Claims Revlon CEO Hates Blacks, Jews, Dirty Americans

Lorenzo Delpani

*The CEO of Revlon is a bigoted bully who hates dirty Americans, thinks Jews stick together and believes he can smell black people when they walk into a room, according to a new lawsuit.

The companys boss, Lorenzo Delpani, made the comments after taking over in 2013, according to a discrimination suit filed by Revlons former top scientist, Alan Meyers, who says he was ostracized because of his Jewish heritage.

Delpani, a native of Italy, told Meyers he was shocked there werent more Jews at the company because the biggest shareholder is Ron Perelman, a prominent Jewish American, according to the suit.

Jews stick together, Delpani quipped. He also allegedly added that thankfully, Perelman is not like that anymore.

Delpani also said that he hates living among Americans, whom he called small-minded and dirty, and that he cant wait to get back to a real country, according to court papers filed this week.

He later allegedly went on an anti-American tirade in which he said the US is getting closer to being like ISIS.

Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he could smell a black person when he entered a room.

Meyers says Delpani had it out for him for having red-flagged safety issues in the production and manufacturing process. Meyers claims he was concerned that several labs were not equipped to adequately test raw materials to satisfy Revlons safety standards.

Meyers, 56, who joined Revlon in 2010, was fired last month after he complained about the issues and his treatment, the lawsuit says.

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Lawsuit Claims Revlon CEO Hates Blacks, Jews, Dirty Americans

Revlon CEO rips blacks, Jews, US: bias suit

The CEO of Revlon is a bigoted bully who hates dirty Americans, thinks Jews stick together and believes he can smell black people when they walk into a room, according to a new lawsuit.

The beauty companys boss, Lorenzo Delpani, made the ugly comments after taking over in 2013 according a discrimination suit filed by Revlons former top scientist, Alan Meyers, who says he was ostracized because of his Jewish heritage.

Delpani, a native of Italy, told Meyers he was shocked there werent more Jews at the company because the biggest shareholder is Ron Perelman, a prominent Jewish American, according to the suit.

Jews stick together, Delpani quipped. He also allegedly added that thankfully, Perelman is not like that anymore.

Delpani also said that he hates living among Americans, whom he called small-minded and dirty, and that he cant wait to get back to a real country, according to court papers filed this week.

He later allegedly went on an anti-American tirade in which he said the US is getting closer to being like ISIS.

Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he could smell a black person when he entered a room.

Meyers says Delpani had it out for him for having red-flagged safety issues in the production and manufacturing process.

Meyers claims he was concerned that several labs were not equipped to adequately test raw materials to satisfy Revlons safety standards.

Meyers, 56, who joined Revlon in 2010, was fired last month after he complained about the issues and his treatment, the lawsuit says.

Read the original:
Revlon CEO rips blacks, Jews, US: bias suit

Revlon CEO rips blacks, Jews, hates dirty Americans: suit

The CEO of Revlon is a bigoted bully who hates dirty Americans, thinks Jews stick together and believes he can smell black people when they walk into a room, according to a new lawsuit.

The beauty companys boss, Lorenzo Delpani, made the ugly comments after taking over in 2013, according to a discrimination suit filed by Revlons former top scientist, Alan Meyers, who says he was ostracized because of his Jewish heritage.

Delpani, a native of Italy, told Meyers he was shocked there werent more Jews at the company because the biggest shareholder is Ron Perelman, a prominent Jewish American, according to the suit.

Jews stick together, Delpani quipped. He also allegedly added that thankfully, Perelman is not like that anymore.

Delpani also said that he hates living among Americans, whom he called small-minded and dirty, and that he cant wait to get back to a real country, according to court papers filed this week.

He later allegedly went on an anti-American tirade in which he said the US is getting closer to being like ISIS.

Meyers also claims Delpani made a racist comment after a meeting in South Africa, when he said he could smell a black person when he entered a room.

Meyers says Delpani had it out for him for having red-flagged safety issues in the production and manufacturing process.

Meyers claims he was concerned that several labs were not equipped to adequately test raw materials to satisfy Revlons safety standards.

Meyers, 56, who joined Revlon in 2010, was fired last month after he complained about the issues and his treatment, the lawsuit says.

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Revlon CEO rips blacks, Jews, hates dirty Americans: suit

Jewish American Heritage Month 2014 December 27

admin | December 27, 2014

Anonymous Australia Support the ADL By: Anon Exodus

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admin | December 27, 2014

Bnai Brith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843.

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admin | December 27, 2014

Queen Esther was shocked when she learned of the Kings decree to kill all Jews in Ancient Persia but she hesitated to go to the King to intercede for the Jews. One may ask: Why? Because of the existence of a Persian law that if you are not called by the king and you insist on seeing the king, you can be put to death. Disappointed with Esthers reluctance to go to the King, Mordecai rebuked

Category: Jewish | Comments Off Tags: ancient, because, esther, existence, intercede-for, kill-all, mordecai, rebuked-, seeing-the, the-existence

admin | December 27, 2014

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Jewish American Heritage Month 2014 December 27

Nine Jews who changed the sound of jazz

Barney Josephson opened Cafe Society in 1938, but the music he featured (and is featured in the play Cafe Society Swing) has been around much longer.

Jazz originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in African-American communities most notably in New Orleans. As it spread, the music began to draw on different traditions, including the work of Jewish composers who populated Tin Pan Alley.

Because it took in so much from so many places and changed so much from its origins, Jazz might easily be called the Yiddish of musical forms. It includes everything from ragtime to be-bop to big band, and in most of these incarnations the Jewish impact was large. Here are 9 Jewish artists who helped shape the many different sounds of jazz:

1. Willie The Lion Smith (1893-1973)

An early jazz great, pianist Smith was the son of a Jewish father, Frank Bertholoff. He apparently learned Hebrew from a rabbi for whom his mother worked, and according to all accounts was a bar mitzvah at age 13. In fact, he told Nat Hentoff, People cant seem to realize I have a Jewish soul and belong to that faith. According to his autobiography, later in life he served as a cantor for a black Jewish congregation in Harlem.

2. Teddy Charles (1928-2012) Born Theodore Charles Cohen, Teddy was an influential percussionist (most famously on the vibraphone) and composer. He was also a much sought-after session musician who played with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and others.

3. Benny Goodman (1909-1986)

The King of Swing was one of 12 children of immigrants from Poland and Lithuania. His first clarinet lessons were at a local Chicago synagogue. Frankly, because he was white, he helped make jazz acceptable, especially with his famous 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall, the first jazz show there. He also had the first integrated band, which helped black artists such as Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson get their starts.

4. Herbie Mann (1930-2003):

Herbert Jay Solomon was born in Brooklyn, and got his first professional gig at age 15 in the Catskills. His was a rare career in a couple of ways. For one thing, he had a number of Billboard top 200 albums, a level of mainstream success that has eluded most jazz artists. But even odder was that the success came from a flautist, which is hardly a common jazz instrument.

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Nine Jews who changed the sound of jazz

Marielle Bourgeois to Speak to Genealogical Society on Daughters of the King of France

By Glenn Avolio for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society | Published on 12.26.2014 3:14 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will hold its monthly general meeting from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 17 at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance St.

Marielle Bourgeois

This months featured speaker, Marielle Bourgeois, will speak on Les Filles du Roi / The Daughters of the King of France, Louis XIV.

In 1663, 36 women from Europe came to Quebec with the intent to meet a husband, start a family and thus strengthen the French Colony. They were the daughters of the King of France, Louis XIV, from the point of view that the king gave each one of them a dowry and paid for their transportation to North America, which was a generous and remarkable gift.

There may have been as many as 850 Daughters of the King who left Francefor New France between 1663 and 1673, and many of their ancestors are living today, some of them in the Santa Barbara area.

Bourgeois is a descendant of one of these women.

Born in Montral, she is a graduate of universities in Canada and USA. She is a published writer genealogist,lecturer and researcher presently living in California. She gives presentations in English and in French on topics of history and genealogy, in the USA, Canada and Europe, and spokeat the International Genealogy Conference in Paris.She has specialized in European (Western and Eastern), Canadian and USA genealogy and history research for 30 years.

As a researcher and award-winning writer, her articles have been published in various magazines, including Heritage Quest Magazine; Everton’s Family History Magazine; the American-Canadian Genealogist, Family Tree Magazine; Acadian Genealogy Exchange; History Magazine; Je Me Souviens; L’Anctre; Les Mmoires and Le Bourgeois; and on Internet sites like Global Gazette.

This promises to be a fascinating presentation.

Original post:
Marielle Bourgeois to Speak to Genealogical Society on Daughters of the King of France

EVENTS 12-19-14

BARNSTABLE

BOOKS

STORIES AND CRAFTS Dec. 30: Hyannis Public Library, 401 Main St., holds a free Winter Stories and Crafts program from 2 to 3 p.m., for ages 4 to 12.

Dec. 26: The library will not hold its regular Preschool Story Time, although the library will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stories resume at 11:15 a.m. Jan. 2.

508-775-2280.

HELP FOR KIDS WHO STUTTER Several books and DVDs produced by the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation are available free to public libraries. Among these, a new DVD called Stuttering: For Kids By Kids, stars kids who are struggling with the disability themselves and are out to help others. Three libraries in Barnstable have this DVD on their shelves: Centerville Public Library; Cotuit Library; Hyannis Public Library.

HYANNIS LIBRARY PERKS Hyannis Public Library continues to offer the Mango Languages online language-learning system to all CLAMS card holders in the villages, through a grant from the Kirkman Trust Fund awarded to Barnstable libraries.

Valid CLAMS card holders may take advantage of reduced rate admissions to the New England Aquarium in Boston and to Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. Call the library for information. Hyannis Library is at 401 Main St. 508-775-2280, www.hyannislibrary.org

ARTS

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EVENTS 12-19-14

Will Chrismukkah Ruin My Nice Jewish Kids?

Lily Padula

Published December 20, 2014.

The Seesaw is a new kind of advice column in which a broad range of columnists will address the real life issues faced by interfaith couples and families. Read the discussion and vote below for what you think is the best response to this particular quandary. You can email your own questions, which will remain anonymous, to: seesaw@forward.com

This year will be the first official Chrismukkah at my house. Until last year, we always celebrated Christmas at my husbands parents house, but then my mother-in-law sadly passed away this spring and the family decided it will be too much for my father-in-law to do on his own. (For the record, he is Jewish and my mother-in-law was not.) Because we are the most centrally located and organized household in the family, everyone agreed, including me, that our place made the most sense. Seesaw, I feel a guilty about bringing Christmas into our Jewish home, and yet I know it is the right thing for to do for our family all things considered. The question I have is, how bad or confusing is this for my kids? Conflicted in Cleveland

SCOTT PERLO: When I was a teenager, I was a voracious reader. I consumed everything: Faulkner and OConner and novels of the South, primly English Austen and Eliot, the broody Russians too. My parents, in their wisdom, let my mind wander as freely as it chose. To this day, my heart lives in many cultures that are not my own.

But my family life was Jewish on that they insisted. I grew up knowing, very firmly, who I was. And though a trip to see Christmas lights wasnt out of the question, nor was my mothers appreciation for carols, they helped me develop a sense of what was ours and what was theirs.

That distinction has helped me enormously in my life. The world, to me, is not soup, all blended together; rather, its a tapestry each thread is beautiful because it is just different enough from its neighbor. Vive la diffrence. Truly.

I cant get behind Chrismukkah. I understand that many people celebrate a deracinated version of both holidays, but it feels to me like a smooshing of two unlike things together. What emerges is the Winter Festival of American Liberalism. I love the Liberal tradition, and America, and Christians, but Hannukah exists largely because a group of people fought so that they could be free of the influence of a more dominant religion and culture.

Youre in a tough spot. My guess is that Christmas is important to your Jewish father-in-law because of his love for his wife. To insist at this point would be an insult to his grief as much as a statement of identity. But I wouldnt advise Chrismukkah going forward, and I would help your kids distinguish, as best as you can, between ours and theirs.

Rabbi Scott Perlo is a rabbi at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington D.C, a unique institution that reaches out to Jewish and Jewish adjacent young professionals of all denominations and backgrounds.

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Will Chrismukkah Ruin My Nice Jewish Kids?

Michael Twitty, Black Jewish Foodie, Talks 'Culinary Justice'

Where Shmaltz and Soul Food Meet

courtesy of michael twitty

Published December 20, 2014.

(Haaretz) Only as a Jew [wearing a skullcap], white women offer me rides wherever I am going. Im like, White woman, you know I am black, right? With that sarcasm-laced remark, Michael Twitty won the hearts of the dozens of students who had gathered on a cold Thursday afternoon in November to hear the historian of Southern food talk about his unusual life. The host was the Jewish studies program of Harlem-based City College, a campus of the City University of New York.

Twitty, 37, grew up in Washington, D.C. A cook and culinary historian, he is African-American, openly gay and a skullcap-wearing Jew. At present he is in Israel where he will be giving a master class in cooking on Sunday as part of the annual Jewish Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque (one of its themes this year is culinary theater).

Twitty is currently at work on a book he has titled The Cooking Gene, a historical survey of the cuisine of the American South. Hes been teaching in Hebrew schools for 12 years, preparing boys and girls for their bar or bat mitzvah in Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues. (He switches skullcaps to meet the head-covering style of each stream of Judaism.) Twitty also takes part as an actor in historical reenactments at Southern plantations, dressed in slaves clothing and cooking like his ancestors did.

Confused about his identity? He will do little to put you at ease, because this is who he is; if you cant handle it, you dont interest him. Recently, when I was in the process of selling my book HarperCollins bought it another publisher, who shall remain nameless, they loved the idea of me talking about food and cultural roots and introducing my family tree and culinary justice, Twitty tells the City College students. (In the colleges Jewish studies program there are many Arabs, blacks and Latinos in fact, 95 percent of the students are not Jewish.)

But the editor who made the final decision on whether the book will be published or not she basically said, Okay, what about this Jewish part? Can we just get rid of that? And she basically told my agent: We will give him a fabulous book deal if he just wont wear his kippah in public, or talk about it in any radio interviews. And I said, I hope you told them to And she said: Yes, I told them you wont go for that. I said youre damn right.

He adds, without a trace of rancor: Black guy, heritage, food justice, ghetto people, eat broccoli that was cool, but me being complicated and Jewish and all that other stuff was not cool, not marketable, I was, quote, muddying the waters. This is America, the water has been done muddy. And [the publisher] said something on the phone, with a nervous laugh: I dont think America is ready for someone like you. Fk you, I am America. It infuriated me, because this woman was Jewish and she said, Jews dont read our books. Jews dont buy our books. Its this box again, I will put you in this box if you complicate it I dont know what to do with you.

I have a struggle with people who are trying to put me in a box, with people who are trying to break me down according to what makes sense to them. Are you Ethiopian? From black people: Are you a Hebrew Israelite brother? No, Im Jewish. How are you Jewish? You know, three men took me into a little room, and I got dipped in the water, this is how Im Jewish.

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Michael Twitty, Black Jewish Foodie, Talks 'Culinary Justice'