Ahavath Achim Synagogue

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Morning Minyan

February 1, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Unraveling the Siddur

February 1, 2017 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Koplin/Borochoff Library

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B’nei Mitzvah Meeting

February 1, 2017 @ 6:45 pm – 8:15 pm Paradies

“Looking Beyond The Bar and Bat Mitzvah”

-Pre-Beresheit and Beresheit Cohorts (last cohort meeting)

-Teens and Parents

-Parve dessert (fruit and cookies)

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Morning Minyan

February 2, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Morning Minyan

February 3, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Shabbat Morning Services – Sermon by Rabbi Chaim Listfield

February 4, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Ellman Chapel unless otherwise specified

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Morning Minyan

February 5, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 9:15 am Ellman Chapel

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Bet is for Baby

February 5, 2017 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ahava

Sundays on January 29, February 5, and February 12, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Bet Is for Baby is a three-part program offering information and guidance to first-time, expectant parents about Jewish traditions and parenting. The program also offers participants an opportunity to meet and network with past participants and other new parents. Bet Is for Baby is free and open to the community. All first-time, expectant parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. To register or for additional information, contact Jill Rosner at 404.603.5741 or jrosner@aasynagogue.org.

January 29 Jewish Parenting….The Jewish Family: Introduction, ideas and practical understanding on starting your Jewish family – Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal

February 5 Bris and Baby Naming: Celebrating the birth and capturing the moment – Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal and Rabbi/Mohel Ariel Asa

February 11 Creating a Jewish Home, Raising your Jewish Child: Jewish education and nurturing at all moments – Hannah Williams Director of Ahava Early Learning Center

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Morning Minyan

February 6, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Naomi’s Book Club

February 6, 2017 @ 10:15 am – 12:15 pm

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva. Discussion facilitated by Rina Wolfe.

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Morning Minyan

February 7, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Community Yom HaShoah Event planning committee meeting

February 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Paradies

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Morning Minyan

February 8, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Piedmont Learning Group w/ the Rabbis

February 8, 2017 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm The Piedmont at Buckhead, 650 Phipps Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

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Unraveling the Siddur

February 8, 2017 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Koplin/Borochoff Library

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Morning Minyan

February 9, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Morning Minyan

February 10, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Shabbat Morning Services – Sermon by Rabbi Judith Beiner

February 11, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Ellman Chapel unless otherwise specified

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Morning Minyan

February 12, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 9:15 am Ellman Chapel

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Bet is for Baby

February 12, 2017 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ahava

Sundays on January 29, February 5, and February 12, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Bet Is for Baby is a three-part program offering information and guidance to first-time, expectant parents about Jewish traditions and parenting. The program also offers participants an opportunity to meet and network with past participants and other new parents. Bet Is for Baby is free and open to the community. All first-time, expectant parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. To register or for additional information, contact Jill Rosner at 404.603.5741 or jrosner@aasynagogue.org.

January 29 Jewish Parenting….The Jewish Family: Introduction, ideas and practical understanding on starting your Jewish family – Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal

February 5 Bris and Baby Naming: Celebrating the birth and capturing the moment – Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal and Rabbi/Mohel Ariel Asa

February 11 Creating a Jewish Home, Raising your Jewish Child: Jewish education and nurturing at all moments – Hannah Williams Director of Ahava Early Learning Center

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Tu B’Shvat Tree Planting

February 12, 2017 @ 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm The Carter Center, 453 Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees -L’avdah ul’Shamrah, to serve and to protect the land. Bring your family, friends, and fellow congregants – rain or shine! We’ll meet in the parking lot on the north side of the Carter Center for fruit, nuts, and Tu’B'Shvat schmoozing. We will begin planting at 1:00 pm. Please wear clothes that can get dirty, and bring garden gloves if you have them. There will be hot coffee, juice, and snacks available throughout the planting. Young children’s programming led by Dr. Leah Zigmond, Executive Director of Camp Judea and former Director of Education for Kibbutz Lotan’s Center for Creative Ecology in Israel. For more information, contact Myrtle Lewin ataagreening@gmail.com.

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Evening Minyan

February 12, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Ellman Chapel

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Morning Minyan

February 13, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Evening Minyan

February 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Ellman Chapel

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Morning Minyan

February 14, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Evening Minyan

February 14, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Ellman Chapel

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Morning Minyan

February 15, 2017 @ 7:15 am – 8:00 am Ellman Chapel

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Lunch and Learn

February 15, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Offices of Birnbrey, Minsk, Minsk, and Perling, 1801 Peachtree Street NW #300, Atlanta, GA 30309

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Unraveling the Siddur

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Ahavath Achim Synagogue

The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations SCOAN Prophet T.B …

“A Christian should keep his body and mind pure and clean because he is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)”

“When a miracle happens, it takes the spiritual mind to conceive/ appreciate the force behind it (John 9:33)”

“As a Christian, when your mind becomes the watchman, you would do what Jesus expects you to do; you would see what Jesus is looking at; you would watch and pray (Matthew 26:41)”

T.B. Joshua

“Everyone sees through different eyes, feels with different hearts, hears through different ears (John 7:12)”

T.B. Joshua

“Great thoughts produce great decisions (Romans 12:2)”

“If you have the mind of Christ no one can influence you (Acts 21:12-14)”

“If your heart and mind are filled with God’s Word, you will talk that Word (Luke 6:45)”

T.B. Joshua

“In the mind of God you are a successful person. For you to put that success into your life, you need to retrain your mind with the words of Joshua(Joshua 1:8)”

T.B. Joshua

“Jesus Christ never rejects anyone who asks for healing(Matthew 20:29-34)”

“Jesus Christ came down from heaven to give help to the helpless and hope to the hopeless (Luke 19:10)”

“Jesus Christ opened prison doors; He healed the sick; He delivered the oppressed. Jesus preached the Good News (Luke 4:17-19)”

T.B. Joshua

“When you listen to the Holy Spirit, you will be protected from the pitfall of every enemy (Isaiah 30: 21) ”

T.B. Joshua

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The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations SCOAN Prophet T.B …

Entering a Synagogue – My Jewish Learning

Tips for the novice shul-goer. By Sharon Strassfeld

In addition to the tips listed below, it is important also to remember that in Orthodox synagogues, men and women sit separatelyand often enter the sanctuary through separate entrancesso visitors need to find the appropriate sections and entrances for each gender. Reprinted with permission from The Second Jewish Catalog, edited by Sharon Strassfeld and Michael Strassfeld (Jewish Publication Society).

1. When you enter a traditional synagogue, put on a kippah [yarmulke] if you are a male (supplies are kept in almost every shul), and keep it oneven during the Kiddush and/or meal that follows the service. [In some liberal congregations, women cover their hair as well, while Orthodox women generally cover their hair if they are married. See #6 below for more information.]

2. In traditional synagogues it is forbidden, even after the service, to smoke on Shabbat (ask if youre not aware of synagogue policy).

3. On some occasions, following the Kiddush there will be a lunch to which guests of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah are invited. [Kiddush is the blessing of sanctification of Shabbat over a cup of wine, but in this context, it used more broadly to include also the snacks or light meal provided after the blessing is said.] Dont automatically assume that if youve been to services, you are invited to the lunch. However, you are usually invited for Kiddush.

4. It is bad form to take a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift with you when you go to a traditional synagogue on Shabbat. Carrying is prohibited on Shabbat, and most traditional synagogues treat this prohibition seriously. Taking a monetary gift with you even in envelopes is especially offensive, since this not only ignores the prohibition against carrying, it also ignores the prohibition against handling money (and things representing money, such as checks, bonds, etc.) on Shabbat.

5. The no-carry principle in a traditional synagogue on Shabbat is also, by extension the dont-bring-a-pocketbook (handbag, suitcase briefcase, etc.) dictum.

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Sharon M. Strassfeld is co-author of the Jewish Catalog series.

In addition to the tips listed below, it is important also to remember that in Orthodox synagogues, men and women sit separatelyand often enter the sanctuary through separate entrancesso visitors need to find the appropriate sections and entrances for each gender. Reprinted with permission from The Second Jewish Catalog, edited by Sharon Strassfeld and Michael Strassfeld (Jewish Publication Society).

1. When you enter a traditional synagogue, put on a kippah [yarmulke] if you are a male (supplies are kept in almost every shul), and keep it oneven during the Kiddush and/or meal that follows the service. [In some liberal congregations, women cover their hair as well, while Orthodox women generally cover their hair if they are married. See #6 below for more information.]

2. In traditional synagogues it is forbidden, even after the service, to smoke on Shabbat (ask if youre not aware of synagogue policy).

3. On some occasions, following the Kiddush there will be a lunch to which guests of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah are invited. [Kiddush is the blessing of sanctification of Shabbat over a cup of wine, but in this context, it used more broadly to include also the snacks or light meal provided after the blessing is said.] Dont automatically assume that if youve been to services, you are invited to the lunch. However, you are usually invited for Kiddush.

4. It is bad form to take a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift with you when you go to a traditional synagogue on Shabbat. Carrying is prohibited on Shabbat, and most traditional synagogues treat this prohibition seriously. Taking a monetary gift with you even in envelopes is especially offensive, since this not only ignores the prohibition against carrying, it also ignores the prohibition against handling money (and things representing money, such as checks, bonds, etc.) on Shabbat.

5. The no-carry principle in a traditional synagogue on Shabbat is also, by extension the dont-bring-a-pocketbook (handbag, suitcase briefcase, etc.) dictum.

6. An extension of the no-money principle is the dont jangle the change in your pocket if youre bored rule.

7. In traditional synagogues, women commonly cover their hair during the service. Frequently, lace nets are provided for women who forget to wear a hat or scarf.

8. In traditional Judaism, writing is prohibited on Shabbat and holidays, so needless to say, dont go to synagogue with your Bic sticking out of your breast pocket (or with cigars sticking out eithersee no. 2 above).

9. While there is no problem in the Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Reform movements about riding to synagogue in a car on Shabbat, Orthodox synagogues do not condone driving. Accordingly, try to be sensitive to such feelings when confronted with the situation. There is no reason to park your car in the synagogue parking lot or right in front of the building when you could park a block away and offend no one.

10. In many synagoguesmen [and women] wear tallitot [prayer shawls] during the morning service (both Shabbat and weekdays). On weekdays, men [and in some communities, women also] wear tefillin for the Morning Service. If you own these articles bring them to the appropriate services. If you dont own a tallit, almost any synagogue will provide you with one; if you dont own tefillin, some synagogues will be able to provide and some wont. In any case, in some shuls it is not a social solecism to pray without tefillin. Women should use their own sensitivity and discretion to guide them in the matter of wearing tefillin and tallitot. [In Orthodox synagogues, most women do not wear them, though some individual women choose to do so. In liberal synagogues, women and men generally follow the same customs.]

11. For all occasions when you enter a synagogue you should dress appropriately. Perhaps it is not fitting to approach God when you are not carefully attired; certainly it shows no respect to a community to ignore its standards of dress. In traditional synagogues women should wear dresses with sleeves and men should wear clean, pressed slacks and shirts Most synagoguesprefer jacket and tie. Some synagogues are tolerant of women in slack suits; others are not. Check the local policy before sallying forth.

12. Except for nos. 1, 3, 7, 10, and 11 above, these rules do not apply during a normal weekday service

As you enter the synagogue/sanctuary/prayer room, you should have the following (women are not required [by traditional Jewish law] to don the first three; some synagogues may even frown on a woman wearing these articles [while other synagogues actively encourage it], so let your own sensitivities decide):

kippah (except in many Reform temples)

tallit (ditto)

tefillin (ditto; you need them only on weekdays)

siddur [prayer book]

Humash [Bible] (only on Shabbat, holidays, Monday and Thursday)

The last two items can usually be found in bookcases either right before you enter the room or right after. In some shuls the siddurim (plural of siddur) are placed on each seat, and the Bibles are given out by the usher just before the Torah service begins. In some traditional shuls you dont take a humash from the bookcase until the time for the Torah reading. In such shuls you simply amble over to the bookcase at that time (along with everyone else) and pick one up.

The tallit (and/or tefillin) can be put on either before entering the room or when you get to your seat (the latter is usually the case with tefillin).The kippah is put on before entering the room.

In most synagogues you can sit wherever you like. If you are there for a simhajoyous occasionsuch as a bar/bat mitzvah, an usher may show you to the area where the family and relations are sitting.

If it is an Orthodox synagogue, remember that men and women sit in separate areas.

In a few synagogues the regular members have customary seats. Sometimes there are seat plaques to indicate such seats; at other times you just have to step (sit) carefully. Often you will be told which areas are open territory The eastern wall (the wall with the ark) is a place of honor in old-style synagogues, and in general you shouldnt just wander over and sit down there.

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Entering a Synagogue – My Jewish Learning

1800-year-old Hebrew stone inscriptions found in ancient Galilee synagogue – Jerusalem Post Israel News

The 1,800-year-old inscribed stone.. (photo credit:COURTESY OF BEIT ZINATI)

An 1,800-year-old limestone column capital engraved with two Hebrew inscriptions dating to the Roman period was discovered during a recent restoration and conservation project carried out in an ancient synagogue in Peqiin, located near the Western Galilee.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the work is being conducted by the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel, as part of a project by the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry.

The stone was found upside down in the buildings courtyard, and upon discovery of the inscriptions, archaeologists from the IAA arrived at the site in order to examine the special find, the Authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

A preliminary analysis of the engravings suggests that these are dedicatory inscriptions honoring donors to the synagogue.

According to Yoav Lerer, the IAAs inspector of the Western Galilee, the Talmudic and Midrashic sources tell of Galilean sages who lived in Peqiin, including Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who hid from the Romans in a cave.

However, he noted that there are scholars who disagree with the identification of the location of Peqiin.

I believe that these inscriptions will add an important tier to our knowledge about the Jewish settlement in the village of Peqiin during the Roman and Byzantine periods, said Lerer.

In the past year, restoration and conservation work was carried out in Peqiins ancient synagogue and nearby Beit Zinati to upgrade the visitor center located at the latter.

When completed, the visitor center will inform tourists of the 2,000-year-old history of the Jews inhabiting the village, and the unique story of the Zinati family, the villages oldest remaining Jewish residents.

Margalit Zinati, the last member of the clan, resides in a house next to the synagogue.

Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Zeev Elkin, described Peqiin as one of the most significant sites in the Galilee.

It is a place where there has always been a Jewish presence, said Elkin. Its a great honor for me that during my tenure in office such an important discovery has been made that tells this 2,000-year-old story of the Land of Israel.

Uriel Rosenboym, director of Beit Zinati, described the find as a historical discovery of unparalleled importance, that unequivocally confirms what the late president Yitzhak Ben Zvi long maintained in the early 20th century about the Jewish settlement at Peqiin.

No one can argue with a written artifact, said Rosenboym. There was an ancient synagogue here, and the synagogue was built in its current form in recent centuries. We thank the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, which aims to preserve the heritage of Peqiins Jews.

Rosenboym continued: We are pleased to open the new museum, with a historic message about this ancient community. Although the stone itself was taken to be studied by the Israel Antiquities Authority, this unique story of the keepers of the flame in Peqiin is revealed in the renewed museum.

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1800-year-old Hebrew stone inscriptions found in ancient Galilee synagogue – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A proposed real estate development in the historic center of Manchester is pitting two ex-Manchester United soccer … – Tablet Magazine

A proposed real estate development in the historic center of Manchester is pitting two ex-Manchester United soccer stars and a Reform synagogue against Englands heritage lobby.

Former pros Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are the public face a plan for two new skyscrapers in the St. Michaels area of Manchester, the heart of what has traditionally been a low-rise city, near the sight of the historic town hall and central library. Developers have called it a landmark development for Manchester.

Construction would necessitate the demolition of three older buildings, including Manchester Reform Synagogue, the citys centers only shul, founded in 1857. The current structure, an imposing red brick building with stained glass windows noteworthy for their depictions of full human figures and faces, was opened in 1953. Their previous synagogue was bombed and largely destroyed during the Blitz in 1941.

Though the St. Michaels project would involve the loss of their synagogue, its president Danny Savage said the demolition has unanimous support from membership. The present structure, he said, is dilapidated and poorly built, suffering from damp, failing electrical and heating systems, and is without parking, disabled access, and youth facilities.

With this in mind, Manchester Reform struck a deal with the developers. In return for their prime real estate, a new, purpose-built synagogue and cultural center will be built into the lower levels of one of the proposed skyscrapers. Along with a new, accessible sanctuary, they will gain parking spaces and multi-purpose meeting rooms. Some of the current structures original fixtures, such as the stained glass and Torah ark, will be retained. The developers argue this arrangement will enable the congregation to continue to enjoy its city center location and play an important role in the civic life of the city. Savage believes their plans offer Manchester Reform a chance to reinvigorate the membership and keep the congregation safe for future generations.

Standing in their way, however, are a coalition of heritage organizations who believe St. Michaels constitutes an architectural eyesore and aberration that would dominate its vicinity. The conservation group SAVE Britains Heritage argues: If the proposal gets the go-ahead it will be a town planning disaster of a magnitude not seen in decades. The Twentieth Century Society, which campaigns to safeguard architecture and design in Britain from 1914 on, saidthe design of the towers shows no consideration to Manchestersspecial sense of place.

These groups also oppose the demolition of Manchester Reform Synagogue itself and submitted an urgent application to save the buildingwhich the government rejected. Historic England, a public body that champions and protects Englands historic places, agreed, telling me in a statement that the building is not distinctive architecturally and has been subject to fairly extensive alterations over the years.

Still, Historic England believes the demolition of Manchester Reform Synagogue would harm the character and appearance of the center of town, so it would have to be very clearly justified.

The Twentieth Century Society and [Historic England] seem to be hell bent against the development and have never contacted the synagogue ever to see how it affects us, Savage told me. We as Jews welcome change, as most of Manchester does, in the hope that regeneration of the city center will create and secure jobs and prosperity.

Manchesters city council is expected to consider the planning application for St. Michaels in the next few months.

Liam Hoare is a freelance writer whose work on politics and literature has featured in publications including The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and The Forward. He is a graduate of University College Londons School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

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A proposed real estate development in the historic center of Manchester is pitting two ex-Manchester United soccer … – Tablet Magazine

Why Our Synagogue Became A ‘Sanctuary Synagogue’ – Forward

Each Passover, as we gather around Seder tables with glasses of sweet wine and with plates overflowing with charoset, egg and bitter herbs, Jews read the words Arami oved Avi, which translates to My father was a wandering Aramean. Slavery and liberation are personal; we read the story in the first person: The Exodus happened to me.

This is personal.

Earlier this month, the Board of Trustees of Shir Tikvah, the congregation in Minneapolis that I serve, voted to declare our synagogue a Sanctuary Congregation for any undocumented person seeking refuge.

Why?

Because unless you descend from the indigenous peoples of North America, you have immigrant ancestors. Every one of us has an immigrant story, a refugee story. My own in-laws fled Germany at the dawn of World War II in 1939, the Nazis literally hot in pursuit. Every one in our community has a similar, yet distinct, story of family arriving in this country poor, lacking English, hungering for the promise of America.

Aside from being personal, sanctuary is also theological.

The most frequently mentioned mitzvot in the Torah command Jews to love the stranger, the immigrant. The Torah further explains that there should be one law for immigrant and citizen alike.

wikimedia commons

Our very name, Shir Tikvah, means Song of Hope.

How could we be a song of hope and turn away people from our doors? How many of the MS St. Louis the ship full of refugees turned away from the United States in 1939 and returned to Europe, where most were murdered by the Nazis would have lived and their stories and lives flourished here if we had welcomed them?

Our Sanctuary Team, lead by a group of passionate congregants committed to bringing Torah values to life, are busy working to make our synagogue a welcoming home should people need to seek refuge within our walls. They are busy collecting bedding, dressers and other furnishings to make our space more comfortable. We solicited bids to build a shower. We have joined with hundreds of other synagogues, churches and mosques that make up the Sanctuary Movement to stand boldly and proudly with those who, like our ancestors, came to the shores of America seeking a new life.

We do not know if anyone will come. But each Friday night, as we sing Lecha Dodi which includes the lyrics Sanctuary of the Creator city royal / Arise, go out from amidst the turmoil we rise and open our synagogue doors to the street. If our undocumented neighbors show up, we will embody Abraham and Sarah and rush to greet them, feed them, house them and shelter them for as long as they need.

We hear rumors that the new administration may no longer respect the cherished boundary of houses of worship and may forcibly enter churches, mosques and synagogues to arrest undocumented people. I pray that God will open the presidents heart, that he will see that these families are exactly like our families hardworking, loving and seeking to build a better life for themselves and their children.

Regardless of the immoral, heartless policy targeting immigrants and refugees, we, the descendants of the first wandering Jew, must fling open the doors of our sanctuaries to all of Gods beautiful, busted, holy creation.

Michael Adam Latz is the senior rabbi of Shir Tikvah synagogue, in Minneapolis.

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

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Why Our Synagogue Became A ‘Sanctuary Synagogue’ – Forward

Historic Ogdensburg synagogue being offered for sale – WatertownDailyTimes.com

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OGDENSBURG The historic Anshe Zophen synagogue on Greene Street once one of the most active Jewish houses of worship in the area is now up for sale.

The Congregation Anshe Zophen was founded in 1875 but it wasnt until 1924 that the group purchased the former Unitarian Church at 416 Greene St., according to historical archives.

For approximately the past seven years, the building has been vacant, according to Dr. Robert Saidel, an optometrist in Gouverneur, who serves as the caretaker of the synagogue, as well as the Anshe Zophen Cemetery on Route 812 near the Ogdensburg International Airport. He said continuing acts of vandalism, coupled with the reality that there are few Jewish families to serve in Ogdensburg, are the main reasons for selling.

It was broken into twice in the last month, he said of the recent acts of vandalism. It made me realize that its time to sell it.

Mr. Saidel said he is willing to donate the building to another non-profit entity, or to sell it outright.

Id give it away if it was for a good cause, he said.

Rena Goldberg, 81, believes she is the last of the synagogues congregation to still live in Ogdensburg. Her father, Mayer Sperling, started the Sperlings Furniture store business, a company that once flourished across the north country. She said in the Ogdensburg synagogues heydey there were at least 100 active members, with people traveling weekly from across Northern New York and parts of Canada to worship and find fellowship among Ogdensburgs once sizeable Jewish community.

It breaks my heart, it just breaks my heart to see it boarded up like this, said Mrs. Goldberg as she stood outside the synagogue Monday. We had such times here.

Like many north country communities, Ogdensburgs business district once boasted a large number of Jewish entrepreneurs. Some of those names, like Edwin L. Dobisky, still remain part of the city as the namesake for the communitys Dobisky Visitors Center.

But the names of other early and prominent Ogdensburg retailing families, including the Fisher, Sperling, Rothenberg and Scwartz families, have been lost to all but area historians, according to Mrs. Goldberg.

The streets used to be buzzing back in those days, said Mrs. Goldberg, who stays active as the owner of the Way Back Inn bed and breakfast on Proctor Avenue. Now they are all gone. Urban Renewal.

Mrs. Goldberg said she understands the need to sell the synagogue building, and like Mr. Saidel, hopes a new use is found for the historic structure. She said she also understands that time changes many things in life, and that there is no reason to expect a new flood of Jewish immigrants to Ogdensburg or the north country any time soon.

It used to be such an active place, she said. We had doctors from the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, and people who would come over from Canada to our synagogue. Others would come from Massena or Potsdam. It was so much fun when I was a teenager.

The earliest written record of the Congregation Anshe Zophen shows up in the form of a deed conveying the original cemetery lot to Nathan Frank and Charles Paris on Oct. 21, 1873, according to historical records. On Sept. 6, 1875, the Congregation Anshe Zophen was incorporated under state law.

Although the cemetery was purchased in 1873, the Congregation did not own a synagogue, and for many years, the third floor at 207 Ford St., in the former Fisher Building served as a Hebrew School as well as a synagogue. In 1924, the congregation bought the unused Universalist Church.

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Historic Ogdensburg synagogue being offered for sale – WatertownDailyTimes.com

Historic East Village Synagogue to Resume Services After Four-Year Closure – DNAinfo

The Adas Yisroel Anshe Meseritz synagogue is located at 415 E. 6th St. View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs

EAST VILLAGE A historic synagogue that shuttered for several years while its upper levels underwent a luxury condo conversion will hold its first prayer service at the beginning of March.

The Adas Yisroel Anshe Meseritz synagogue at 415 E. 6th St. will finally open its doors again after a four-year hiatus to allow for extensive renovations and the partial transformation of the property into a trio of condos part of a million-dollar deal brokered with a developer that has allowed the tiny house of worship to stay afloat.

The synagogue in 2013 signed over its upper levels to East River Partners LLC for a condominium conversion in order to retain the ground floor and basement level as part of the roughly $1,225,000 deal, the developer also carried out renovations on the crumbling synagogue space.

The three condominiums housed inside the synagogues upper levels including a sprawling $4.395 million penthouse hit the market in September 2016.

On Friday, the synagogue will celebrate its reopening, while its first evening prayer service in roughly four years will be held on March 1, according to the representatives.

Beloved Rabbi Paul Ackerman, who served as the head of the congregation for more than four decades, didn’t live to see the synagogue’s second life he died months after the deal was made, leaving the century-old structure in the hands of the synagogue board.

The deceased rabbi’s son, Sandy Ackerman, now serves as vice president and secretary of that board, and saysthe historic structures restoration would have made his father proud.

Im happy for my dad my father would have loved this, said Sandy Ackerman.

We so much wanted him to be the first person walking though the door, and thats not the case. But I am doing this in his honor.

The renovations brought much needed improvements to the house of worship, said Ackerman. The roof had been leaking, he said, and the building is also now affixed with air conditioning and is wheelchair accessible. The landmarked exterior has also been refurbished, he said.

When services finally commence again inside the 107-year-old structure, Rabbi Kalman Nochlin will be filing the shoes of the elder Ackerman a prospect the new rabbi says is both exciting and nerve-wracking.

I know I am filling the shoes of a person who was renowned for his character, said Nochlin, a longtime Lower East Side resident who teaches Judaic Studies at the Yeshiva of Flatbush. He was known as a person who was accepting of others, was known on the streets as someone who was welcoming.

Nochlin says he is thrilled to carry on Ackermans legacy while nurturing a new congregation at the reborn synagogue.

And while the leadership position will mark his first time serving as a full-time congregational rabbi, Nochlin said he had served as rabbi in the summer months for the Congregation Chasm Sopher on Clinton Street in the Lower East Side for roughly 15 years. He also hopes to bring his passion as an educator to the position, he said.

I love education it really gives me a feeling of energy and of vitality, said Nochlin. For the most part, my days are dedicated to Judaic Studies, and I feel this position will give me an opportunity to reach out to others in an educational ways, and that to me is a very exciting prospect.

The renovated interior of the synagogue will be unveiled for the first time at noon on Feb. 24, said Ackerman, noting the redonespace will blend elements of the century-old synagogue’s history with new furnishings.

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Historic East Village Synagogue to Resume Services After Four-Year Closure – DNAinfo

For sale to benefit NJ synagogue: Japanese novelties collected over a lifetime – Philly.com

As an 18-year-old Army private in occupied Japan, Mel Spiegel started to amass what grew into an eclectic collection of novelty knickknacks. I just fell in love,” he explains, “with the uniqueness of this stuff.

Decades later, the Philadelphia native and his wife, Verna, had great fun scouring South Jersey flea markets for hard-to-find Japanese ashtrays, salt-and-pepper shakers, flasks, figurines, and other decorative items of porcelain, china, or bisque.

The Spiegels ended their flea marketing about six years ago, after Verna became ill. She died in 2014, and after he turned 89 a few weeks ago, he decided to sell most of their lovingly curated array of curiosities on eBay.

The proceeds will help pay for interior renovations at Spiegels synagogue, Congregation BNai Tikvah-Beth Israel (cbtbi.org) in Gloucester County.

You hear about how people tell someone they dont look their age, says Spiegel, who doesnt.

And the next day they drop dead, he says, laughing, then adding: No one in my family is interested in the collection. Id hate to die and then have some auctioneer come in here and say, $100 for the whole thing.

The retired owner of a Pitman apparel factory, Spiegel worked in banking and sales as well. Hes also a longtime hobbyist and crafter. He designs stained-glass pieces and creates menorahs out of branches, wine corks and shell casings he gets from a shooting range in Glassboro.

Mel has had a very interesting life, says Rabbi Jordi Gendra, who finds fascinating the pieces of the collection Siegel has shown him.

As a community, adds Gendra, we are very grateful for this donation.

Says Ron Cohen, a Gloucester Township resident and friend of mine whos also a synagogue member: At our mens club breakfast a month ago, Mel said he wanted to help with the sanctuary renovation project and that he had all these Japanese collectibles.

Cohen directs TV commercials and took photographs of items in the collection which he had never seen to prepare the eBay listing.

I was just so impressed with the intricacies of detail and all the beautiful little designs, he says.

Eager to see for myself, I meet Spiegel at his home in Washington Township, where the sale items are packed in boxes.

Ive kept our favorite pieces, he says, directing my attention to a handsome display cabinet a vintage bookcase he has customized with lighting and glass shelves.

This is just a smattering of what we collected, he says.

Ah, but what a smattering: Hand-painted tea sets, sake sets, toothpick holders, cigar snuffers, and naughties, novelty items characterized by geisha imagery or bathroom humor.

Theres an entire [genre] of ashtrays that are donkeys pulling toilets on carts, Spiegel says, picking up a pristine specimen to demonstrate how the tiny little seat opens for, well, ashes.

Most of the hundreds of pieces in the collection were manufactured from the early 20th century through the 1960s. Many are copies of more expensive German or Italian designs. And during World War II, Spiegel says, some Americans threw away their Japanese knickknacks or painted over the Japan on the bottom.

He and his wife continued prospecting for finds at flea markets as long as she was able. But the sort of pieces that first fired the imagination of a young soldier from Philly in 1946 the delicate cups, the clever ashtrays resembling clown faces were growing harder and harder to find.

Verna used to say, You know why? Spiegel recalls. Because you got them all.

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For sale to benefit NJ synagogue: Japanese novelties collected over a lifetime – Philly.com

Conway man accused of planning attack at local synagogue in to appear in court Tuesday – WACH.com

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WPDE) A Conway man accused of planning an attack on the Temple Emanu-El synagogue in Myrtle Beach is scheduled to appear in federal court in Florence Tuesday afternoon. Benjamin McDowell, 29, is scheduled for a preliminary and detention hearing.

15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says that’s where McDowell should enter a plea and his bond, if any, will be determined.

McDowell is charged with violation of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person. He was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 15, according to J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

According to court documents, McDowell planned a shooting similar to the one carried out by Dylann Roof -the man convicted of the Charleston Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting.

ABC 15 sat down with Richardson to talk about the federal court process for McDowell. Richardson said since McDowell’s arrest, federal prosecutors are now working against the clock as they prepare for a potential trial.

“Really once you make an arrest at the federal system – you best be ready to try that within three months,” said Richardson.

He said federal prosecutors only have 90 days to prepare for trial. He said investigators typically have the case ready for trial before there’s an arrest.

“There are very few cases that are handled in federal court anymore, very few. In fact, any one of our prosecutors will have 400 or so cases well that might suffice for the whole federal system in the state,” said Richardson.

Richardson explained when a person enters a guilty plea or is convicted in federal court, it takes time for a judge to determine the length of their sentencing.

“Even if a federal person were to plea guilty, they wouldn’t be sentenced like in state court, where it’s immediate. In federal court they will do a pre-sentence investigation,” he said.

He said that could take up to three months. If it does go to trial Richardson said the jurors could come from anywhere in the state.

Court documents show McDowell has requested a public defender. Richardson said a federal attorney will represent McDowell. We reached out to the federal public defender’s office in Florence to see who was assigned to his case, but their offices are closed for Presidents Day.

ABC 15 requested a SLED background check for McDowell.

It showed that he was convicted of first degree burglary and attempted burglary in 2008 and was sentenced to six years in prison, but that was suspended to three years on probation under the Youthful Offenders Act.

He was also convicted of third degree burglary and aggravated assault in 2009. He was sentenced to five years in jail, but it was suspended to three years probation.

Later in 2009, he was convicted of another burglary charged and sentenced to six years in prison.

In 2011, he was convicted of petty larceny and then later of second degree burglary. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the burglary charge.

In 2013, he was convicted of malicious injury to personal property and third degree assault and battery. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Richardson said a federal judge may take McDowell’s criminal background into account when discussing bond at his hearing.

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Conway man accused of planning attack at local synagogue in to appear in court Tuesday – WACH.com

VIDEO: PM Netanyahu Visits Singapore Jewish Community At Maghain Aboth Synagogue – Yeshiva World News

[VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday 24 Shevat, visited the Singapore Jewish community, at the Maghain Aboth synagogue. Community children greeted him at the entrance singing and waving Singapore and Israeli flags. The prayer for the State of Israel was read.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the crowd I bring to you greetings from our eternal capital Jerusalem and I bring you greetings from a kindred nation. And I feel that Singapore and Israel are kindred nations. I find it a special privilege and an honor to be the first Israeli Prime Minister to make an official visit to Singapore. This follows the visit of Premier Lee to Israel, the first official visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore to Israel and its an obvious bond, a growing bond.

70 years ago, if you looked at Israel and you looked at Singapore, there wasnt much to see. But theres a lot to see and its not I think accidental that our two nations formed this bond between us because we are both inspired to do things, to punch above our weight. Israel is the innovation nation, were both entrepreneurial centers. We have innate talent and we have great drive to succeed.

I believe that great powers around the world look at Israel and Singapore today and see tremendous economic opportunities. Tremendous. And one reason that that is the case is that we have an unbridled spirit and we put it to use. That spirit is something that weve enshrined in our peoples for a long time, for a long time. The Jewish people have passed learning from one generation to another, an inquisitive mindset and the ability to produce new things.

I dont have to say that to the Jewish community in Singapore because youve been here for almost two centuries and you have that entrepreneurial quest for many, many decades and I think that you serve as a human bridge between Singapore and Israel. I know that you care for the State of Israel. I know you care for Jewish traditions. This gathering is an indication of that concern and that passion.

I also want to point out to you that I recently visited two Muslim countries, one is Azerbaijan and the other is Kazakhstan. And in those Muslim countries, in Kazakhstan I visited a synagogue. And Jewish children in Kazakhstan were singing Hebrew songs, as they sang here, in a Muslim state and that reflects the kind of world wed like to see: a world of tolerance; a world of diversity; a world that is opposed to the world that is being challenged today by the forces of barbarism and intolerance. This is a battle for the future of humanity. That future is represented in Israel, which also is a diverse country, which also has minorities, which respects peoples. And we see that same respect here in Singapore. So its not only that were both innovation nations, its not only that were small people and have defied the limitations of our size. It is that we are committed to a better world, a world of diversity, a world that follows the values that we as a people have held for so many years, for so many decades and in fact, for a millennium.

It is therefore for me a tremendous pleasure to be here and I want to ask you, all of you, a simple question: Who of you has not been to Israel? No shown hands. All of you have been to Israel? Then I have one request of you, come again. I want a reciprocal visit this year. This year in Jerusalem, I look forward to meeting you there.

(YWN Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Haim Zach, GPO)

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VIDEO: PM Netanyahu Visits Singapore Jewish Community At Maghain Aboth Synagogue – Yeshiva World News

Between Israel and Palestine: reflections on a House of Commons debate – Open Democracy

A checkpoint in Hebron – image, Adam Ramsay

On 9 February 2017, the House of Commons debated the following motion:

That this House reaffirms its support for the negotiation of a lasting peace between two sovereign states of Israel and Palestine, both of which must be viable and contiguous within secure and internationally recognised borders; calls on the Government to take an active role in facilitating a resumption of international talks to achieve this; welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted on 23 December 2016; and further calls on the government of Israel immediately to halt the planning and construction of residential settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which is both contrary to international law and undermines the prospects for the contiguity and viability of the state of Palestine.

The motion was a model of clarity and the MPs who sponsored the debate were extremely well prepared and persuasive. On the surface this was a debate in which a predictable range of diverse views was expressed. Impassioned and well informed speeches were made about the dire effects of settlement expansion on the lives of Palestinians as well as its damage to the viability and contiguity of any future Palestinian state. On the opposing side, Israels status as a British ally was emphasised and its conduct justified in terms of the threat that Palestinian violence poses to the Jewish state.

However, a close look at the Hansard text reveals more clearly the limitations of the debate, its repeated refrains and its omissions. While MPs congratulated themselves on not being straitjacketed by polarised views, they rarely sought to transcend the narrow terms of the debate itself. While being restrained in language use can clearly be helpful, what was remarkable in a debate as important as this was how constrained was the language employed to advance the various arguments. All the participants, whatever their positions, seemed to be trapped within a similarly narrow discursive frame.

Here are a few examples.

Perhaps most remarkably, there was unanimous consensus, that, as stated in the motion, two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian, constitute the only possible solution. Not one MP challenged this assumption although several friends of Israel complained that the motion concentrated on the actions of one party only, the Israelis. No-one argued that one state with equal rights for all its citizens could be a just solution. It was taken for granted that Israel must continue to be a state with a Jewish majority. Even though many MPs acknowledged that the window of opportunity for two states is fast diminishing, if not already gone, none took this argument to the next logical stage what alternatives might there be? It is surely unusual that a debate with, at one level, such disparities of opinion about the situation and its protagonists, would have such a narrow consensus about the desired outcome. Despite all the evidence that the Israeli government has no interest whatsoever in working towards a two- state solution, everyone who spoke seemed bent on deluding themselves that it is still achievable.

The proposition that Israel has been a colonial settler state since its inception rather than only since 1967 failed to get a mention. The blander word settlements was always employed rather than the word colonies meaning that, with one or two exceptions, even the Israeli apologists in the chamber could assert their opposition to settlement expansion. Settlers were thus depicted as somehow an aberration rather than an integral part of the overall Zionist project, even though the current Israeli government now proclaims this position quite openly. Even then many MPs were eager to point out that settlement building was not the only, nor even the main obstacle to peace; Palestinian violence and obduracy were frequently cited as being equal contributory factors. This only highlights another extraordinary absence: any attention to the power imbalance.

The asymmetry of power was mentioned by only one MP, thus leaving open and largely unchallenged the contention that this is somehow a conflict which, as many MPs enthusiastically argued, can only be solved by direct negotiations between the two sides. The Palestinians, the weaker side, were criticised for internationalising the conflict presumably by having finally achieved a few meagre victories in the form of a handful of parliamentary votes to recognise a Palestinian state and finally a UN resolution which did not attract the US veto. The occlusion of power, the failure to define the situation clearly in terms of colonial oppression, meant that for many MPs, criticism of Israel, the dominant power, always had to be balanced by condemning Palestinian violence despite the fact that resistance to occupation is allowed under international law.

Although Security Council Resolution 2334, endorsed by the majority of MPs, clearly highlights the illegality of Israels actions under international law, the precise question of how Israel should therefore be held to account was barely debated. While several MPs stated that the UK needed to do more than make representations to Israel the most that was proposed (and that by only two MPs) was that the government should not collude with illegality through any financial dealings with settlements or through the import of settlement goods to the UK and that it should prohibit dealings with charities involved in illegal settlement projects.

Equally squeamish were MPs few references to Israel as an apartheid state. Of the four MPs who used the word, two referred to petty apartheid, and the boldest described a form of or a creeping culture of apartheid.

There were ten references to the Balfour Declaration, the one hundredth anniversary of which falls this year. This declaration supported national rights for the Jews who in 1917 constituted 10 per cent of the population of Palestine while denying them to the Arabs who constituted 90 per cent. Of the ten MPs, some were laudatory, some described the responsibility it continued to place on Britain, and two referred in particular to the failure to implement the second half of the declaration which states that nothing should be done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. Only one referred, in this context, to the rights of Palestinian refugees. Not one MP, however, challenged the colonial premises of the Declaration itself, nor Britains culpability in unleashing colonisation-by-proxy in Palestine.

It is important to point out that referring to these lacunae in the debate does not mean criticising individual MPs. Many interventions were powerfully argued and impressively well informed, made by people who had visited the region and studied it closely. Several MPs demonstrated their detailed knowledge of the effects of military occupation and settler violence on the lives of individual Palestinians and their communities. The question is rather, given these MPs level of knowledge, strong sense of justice and solidarity for the oppressed, given the wide range of strong opinions they must represent, why did the debate so rarely move beyond the narrow parameters and assumptions of the motion itself?

Here the role of self-censorship needs to be raised. Participants, knowingly or unknowingly, participated in what Ilan Papp calls the hegemonic discourse on Palestine commonly employed by the powers that be.(Narrating Gaza in Gaza as Metaphor edited by Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar) Language use clearly influences both thought and action which is why politicians and governments alike are so keen to shape it. Papp highlights the difference between using words like occupation versus colonisation or peace process versus decolonisation or Israeli democracy versus Israeli Apartheid. Changes in language use, he argues, create the freedom to narrate Israel/Palestine in less constrained and more emancipatory ways, thus redefining the space of thought.

What might lead our representatives to be so cautious in their language? First, the UK governments complicity with Israel has been repeatedly demonstrated in all its bilateral dealings, its failure to condemn Israeli atrocities, and its reluctance to hold Israel to account for its breaches of international law. UN resolution 2334, drafted with British help, at last offered an opportunity for MPs to assert themselves forcefully in opposition to the Prime Ministers shameful retreat from the momentum of international opinion. The status of this resolution has thus assumed a particular significance; the need to protect it may have organised MPs to stick closely to its premises. In this they were successful since the motion was passed without a vote.

Second, parliamentarians who support Palestine have in the past year been subjected to relentless attacks if they voice any opinions which are disapproved of by Israel. Even putting forward this motion would have attracted criticism. The Israeli government and its London embassy does its utmost to control the debate on Palestine, its terminology and its representation in the media. These bullying tactics are well known, if often unspoken for fear of further retribution and they have had powerful effects in silencing dissent. The UK government, even if it had wished to take an alternative position, has fallen compliantly into line by, among other things, condemning and trying to render illegal the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, by its recent adoption of a definition of antisemitism which includes over-sweeping condemnation of Israel, and by its declared intention to celebrate the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Third, we have to look at those organisations within parliament itself which work tirelessly to control the terms of the debate, most notably the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel. Although there is a parallel organisation in Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, it has been unable to exert as much influence and there is none within the Conservative Party in which CFI boasts an 80% membership of all Tory MPs, including many cabinet ministers.

It is within the Labour party, however, following its election of the first party leader to unequivocally support Palestinian rights, that the most relentless pressure has been exercised. The use of accusations of anti- Semitism to silence supporters of Palestinian rights has been discussed elsewhere. Its effect on stifling criticism of Israel, and the licence it gives Israeli apologists to claim that arguing for anything other than a two-state solution or supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement means demonising and delegitimising the worlds only Jewish State has been profound.

We saw the results of such pressure in the debate of 9 February. It is a supreme irony that the person who has now driven a coach and horses through the two-state orthodoxy is one Donald Trump and we can be sure that, whatever he had in mind, it was not emancipation for Palestinians.

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Between Israel and Palestine: reflections on a House of Commons debate – Open Democracy

Ayatollah: We will liberate ‘Palestine’, remove cancer of Israel – Arutz Sheva

Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for liberation of ‘Palestine’, labels Jewish state ‘cancerous tumor’.

David Rosenberg, 21/02/17 12:41

Irans spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for the complete Liberation of Palestine on Tuesday, and slammed the Jewish state as a cancerous tumor.

The comments were made at the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada, a government-sanctioned event held in Tehran.

According to the Mehr news agency, representatives of 80 countries joined the event, which glorifies terrorism and acts of wanton violence against Jews and advocates in favor of the destruction of the Jewish state.

During his address, which was broadcast live on Iranian state television, Khamenei said efforts to destroy Israel must be incremental.

“This cancerous tumor, since its start, has grown incrementally and its treatment must be incremental too.”

The Ayatollah also praised violent attacks against Israelis, arguing that they have brought Israels enemies closer to their goal of destroying the Jewish state.

“Multiple intifadas and continuous resistance have succeeded in achieving very important incremental goals, said Khamenei.

It continues to advance towards its other objectives, ultimately the complete liberation of Palestine.

In 20015, then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads 2005 called for Israel to be wiped off the map, prompting an international backlash.

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Ayatollah: We will liberate ‘Palestine’, remove cancer of Israel – Arutz Sheva

Racing For Palestine: Film Review – Center for Research on Globalization

One hardly expects a story of political struggle to feature a team of intemperate young women racing their cars around a dusty, fenced-in track. But in a Palestinian context, everything is political. Even if the new film Speed Sisters doesnt chronicle an explicit struggle, its a portrait of a people whose determination will remind Israelis that resistance to their occupation is not moribund.

My January review of Ghada Karmis memoir Return,points to inexorable expressions of what it means to be Palestinian, how memories ofPalestine are inexhaustible. Surely a half century of pursuits by writers, journalists, artists, lawyers, and three generations of boys-with-stones testify to the compelling Palestinian narrative, propelled by the unquenchable energy of these people and the virtue of their mission.

Some stories are tragic, some heroic (and at the same time tragic), some little more than nostalgia, and others simply facts-on-the-ground. Some, like Return, are forlorn and, grudgingly, sadly honest.

Filmmaking too documents the unfolding, always unfolding, story of Palestine. There was The Wanted 18, Amer Shomalis 2014 animated Palestinian film told from the viewpoint of dairy cows deemed a threat to Israeli security. Elia Suleimans productions (Chronicle of a Disappearance, Divine Intervention, The Time That Remains) are augmented by Nida Sinnokrots documentary Palestine Blues, focusing on the destiny of a farm tractor. Mai Masri, director of nine films, continues a distinguished career with a new production, 3000 Nights, now opening in several US cities.

Veteran filmmaker Masri is joined by a notable new generation of mainly women, among them Palestinians Annemarie Jacir (Salt of the Sea), and Cherien Dabis (Amreeka). Canadians Ruba Nadda (Cairo Time) , and Nadine Labaki (Caramel and Where Do We Go Now? ) are well established feature filmmakers. Among newcomers are Rola Nashef (Detroit Unleaded) and Amber Fares, director of Speed Sisters opening inNew York this month. A new twist on the Palestinian experience, these speed sisters are four feisty women and their team captain. Theyre race car drivers spinning and screeching their vehicles through courses inBethlehem,Jericho, and their hometown Ramallah. In sync with these women, the film is a fast-paced, raucous adventure that follows their pride, their energy and their drive to win.

Fares sets her camera sometimes from within the womens vehicles, sometimes in the middle of the dusty course as the racer spins and roars around her, sometimes in her home, sometimes among youths cheering her on from the bleachers, all this within sight of ubiquitous Israeli troops. (All spaces here are militarily occupied.)

Car racing started in Palestine in 2005 and women joined the sport hardly a year later. One cant help admiring these women. Each snaps on her helmet and grits her teeth, jaws set firmly on victory even against competing teammates. We have the firm impression that each knows what shes doing and knows what she wants. Director Fares interweaves raucous racing scenes into the womens encounters with military occupationpassing through checkpoints en route toJerusalem, slipping away for a day at the beach near Tel Aviv, courting a tear gas attack when they playfully approach an Israeli patrol.

If we as viewers remove ourselves from the excitement of the chase and the energy of each racers personality, we might ask: where could this thrilling hobby possibly lead, for the individual women, and for Palestinian political aspirations?

On her drive to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to pray, team captain Maysoon is assaulted by young boys selling balloons. In the moments when the camera catches their stubborn exchange with Maysoon, we can feel the boldness of those boys, the same resolve that infuses these women racers. Their life is really tough, and they wont give up. You dont want to mess with this crowd.

Barbara Nimri Aziz, a New York-based anthropologist and writer, hosted RadioTahrir on Pacifica-WBAI in New York City for 24 years. Her 2007 book Swimming Up the Tigris: Real Life Encounters with Iraq is based on her 13 years covering Iraq. Aziz writings and radio productions can be accessed at http://www.RadioTahrir.org.

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Racing For Palestine: Film Review – Center for Research on Globalization

Bob Hawke accused of interfering in Israel, Palestine peace process – Starts at 60

Labor MP Michael Danby has lashed out at Bob Hawke and Bob Carr, accusing them of provoking Israel ahead of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahus visit to Australia.

Both Hawke and Carr have advocated for changes in foreign policy and recognition of a Palestinian state, following Israels decision to retroactively legalise unlawful Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

Danby, who is Jewish, told Sky News the pair had banded together with former Deputy Labor leader Gareth Evans and were unfairly targeting Israel, while ignoring other oppressive countries.

I might say to all of the heroes who are beating up on a country, a democratic country where there are gay pride parades there arent any in the surrounding countries or Christmas celebrations there arent any in the surrounding countries why dont they beat up on China when the Chinese president comes to Australia? he said.

Oppression of the Tibetans or the Uighurs is far worse than whats happening to the Palestinians when some Israelis build houses 20 metres or 100 metres or a mile across the Green Line.

Where is Bob Carr, Gareth Evans and Bob Hawke when the terrible things that are happening in Tibet are discussed? They never raise their heads, they never raise their heads to power. They want to try and provoke the Israeli Prime Minister and upset relations between him and the Labor Party prior to Netanyuhus visit.

His comments come as tensions between Israel and Palestine are rising as the Arab nation tries to gain diplomatic recognition and form their own state.

Netanyahu will arrive in Australia tomorrow and will be the first sitting Israel PM to visit Australia.

What are your views on this?

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Bob Hawke accused of interfering in Israel, Palestine peace process – Starts at 60

Hezbollah secretary general praises Iran for holding Palestinian Intifada conference – Press TV

A screenshot from footage broadcasted by the IRIB on February 21, 2017 showing the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movements Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during an interview.

The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movementsSecretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallahhas praised Irans support for Palestine at a time that other countries are siding with Israel.

During an interview with IRIB on Monday, Nasrallah stressed that Iran was sending a strong message of solidarity to the people of Palestine by hosting a conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising).

Tehran is set to host a two-day internationalconference on Palestine on Tuesday with 80 delegations from around the world expected to be in attendance.

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The most important result and message of this action for the Palestinian nation is that you have not been left alone and that an important and powerful country in the region supports you, he said.

He stressed that the timing of the conference is significant as it coincides with the recent policy changes in the US towards a so-called two-state solution.

During a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington earlier this week, US President Donald Trump ditched Washingtons decades-long policy of supporting a so-called two-state solution to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

Nasrallah noted that the USs move was significant as it ended Israels game of lies with the Palestinians and that he personally thought that it was a positive move as it showed everybody what the Tel Aviv regimes true intent was.

US troops on Syrian soil

A US military official recently suggested thatthe White Housemayauthorize sending combat troops to Syria. During his presidential campaign, Trump had openly supported deploying a large contingent of US troops to Syria.

Nasrallah stressed that such a move would without a doubt increase tensions and clashes within the war-torn country and further complicate an already complicated situation.

The US has already sent several hundred of its special operations forces to Syria. However, their operations have been limited to what the Pentagon describes as training and assisting Kurdish fighters in their battle against Daesh and other terrorist groups.

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Hezbollah secretary general praises Iran for holding Palestinian Intifada conference – Press TV

Soccer roundup: Palestine boys score 17 goals in 15-4A opener, PHS girls roll 12-0 – Palestine Herald Press

Chris Giron scored a hat trick and added two assists as part of 17-goal outburst as the Palestine boys soccer team annihilated Tyler Cumberland Academy 17-0 in the District 15-4A opener on Friday at Wildcat Stadium. Palestine (17-1-1, 1-0 in 15-4A) scored 10 goals in the first half.

Humberto Mendoza also had a hat trick for Palestine. Javier Leonor and Riley Harper had two goals and two assists apiece for the Wildcats. Tony Guzman, Egdar Ayala, Cruz Alejo, Paul Jenkins, Frank Durugbor Allan Marquez and David Egbe had a goal each.

Malick Absy, Luis Zavala and Miguel Alejo had two assists apiece while Tomas Garcia and Josue Bermudes had one each. Christian Hutchinson got the shutout in goal.

Palestine plays at Chapel Hill on Tuesday before hosting Mineola this Friday.

GIRLS

Palestine 12, Tyler Cumberland Academy 0

Madison Munoz scored five goals and added two assists as the Palestine girls romped to easy win in its District 15-4A opener Friday at Wildcat Stadium.

Jennifer Aguilar had one goal and two assists for Palestine while Isabel Garcia, Janet Aleman and Yanlei Casas had a goal and an assist apiece. Lauryn James, Olivia Cone and Catie Martinez scored a goal each for the Ladycats.

Melissa Giron had two assists while Lacey Gambrell and Iris Chavez had an assist each. Jasmine Guillen recorded the clean sheet in goal.

Palestine (7-5-4, 1-0 in 15-4A) play at Athens at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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Soccer roundup: Palestine boys score 17 goals in 15-4A opener, PHS girls roll 12-0 – Palestine Herald Press

Palestinian Christians learn iconography – Al-Monitor

People watch a man paint a religious icon at the Bethlehem Icon School, Bethlehem, West Bank, in this photo uploaded Nov. 26, 2016. (photo byFacebook/bethlehemiconschool)

Author:Aziza Nofal Posted February 20, 2017

BETHLEHEM, West Bank Rosette Qaabar, a woman in her 50s from Beit Jala in northern Bethlehem, just attended her first of many courses that will allow her to get a diploma in iconography, which she had always been a fan of. This course is accredited by the British university of the Princes School of Traditional Arts, and it is one of many educational courses provided by the Bethlehem Icon Center.

TranslatorCynthia Milan

Qaabar, along with four other women, have taken up the art of iconography after having learned the basic principles of this art.

By the end of the course, Qaabar wants to be able to paint her own icon, as well as one for each of her five children.

She told Al-Monitor, Years ago, all my children immigrated to the US but I could never leave my city. So I enrolled in the center for fun. On the one hand, I would spend my spare time here and on the other, I would learn a beautiful, mystical art.

The Bethlehem Icon Center on Star Street is a local center specialized in painting religious icons. On Feb. 7, the center kick-started its first iconography course for 2017, as part of its mission to revive Palestinian art.

Head of the center Nicolas Geha told Al-Monitor how the idea was born, saying, In 2009, icon photographer Ian Knowles came to Bethlehem after he was invited by a friend to participate in the restoration of St. Nicholas Church in the town of Beit Jala. As he was repainting some icons and restoring others, the residents of the city asked him to teach them how to paint icons. This is where the idea of organizing courses came from. He kept going back and forth between England and Bethlehem to teach iconography in a small room provided by the monastery of the Coptic nuns.

After a while, iconography received broad acclaim and the number of students increased. Knowles then moved into two rooms in Manger Square, where he started giving courses on a regular basis. Finally in 2014, the center was officially registered, with Hosh Abu Jarour as its headquarters.

Geha noted that the centers officials seek to turn it into a specialized school for iconography, to be the first of its kind in the Middle East. It currently offers a number of courses to get a diploma in iconography accredited by the Princes School of Traditional Arts, which Qaabar attends.

Speaking about this arts religious and national importance, Geha said, Icons are part of our Palestinian Christian history. It is a Byzantine art born in Palestine and spread around the world. The first identified icon was that of St. Lukes Jesus and Mary icon.

He added, In religion, painting icons is a fundamentalart adopted by all churches. Such an art requires deep faith. Before painting an icon, which could be of Jesus, Mary or a saint, the person needs to carefully examine their life, history and the miracles they performed, and thus be well-acquainted with religion.

Knowles told Al-Monitor that he is trying to bring this important art back to its rightful owners before his stay in Palestine ends and he returns to England in five years, by teaching a group of locals how to paint top-notch icons.

He noted, My job is to reinstate this religious and artistic heritage where it belongs. This art is of Palestinian Christian origins and it is part of the hidden Palestinian history. Many people around the world, and even in Palestine itself, do not realize that this art first originated from Palestine. Most people mistakenly think it is an ancient Greek art.

During the years he spent in Bethlehem, Knowles taught over a hundredstudents. He explained that this art requires a certain type of studentwho hasmastered this specific kind of painting, noting that many students were able to paint icons on their ownas a graduation project. According to Knowles, these courses included locals as well as foreigners who heard about the centerand started attending courses.

While at the center, Al-Monitor met with Sister Marlena Kaczanowsk, 40, from Poland, who is taking advantage of her period of service at aJerusalem church to learn iconography. She said she works in Jerusalem with people with special needs and in her spare time comes to the centerto attend the course.

Although foreigners are allowed to attend these courses, Knowles believes the icons painted by Palestinian students are quite special, saying, When people create something of their own heritage, it adds a distinctive quality to the icon.

Proof is three of Knowles students, Noura Salibi, Chris Matar and Nicolas Geha, who participated in painting the Annunciation Icon at the British Lichfield church last year. They worked for two months straight and added Palestinian embroidery to their icon.

Geha noted that the centers officials hope to expand their work and to be able to paint icons for the entire Christian worldas a message of love and peace from Christs home area to all believers around the world.

Theicons painted by Palestinians at the center carry a national religious message and reveal the Palestinian Christian heritage that many people are still unaware of. The Bethlehem Icon Centers sole objective is to relaunch this art from its birthplace for the entire world to see and feel the spirit of Christ and his message.

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Palestinian Christians learn iconography – Al-Monitor

Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian attacker – USA TODAY

The Israeli soldier, Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of wounded Palestinian, 21-year-old Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, in a knife attack, has been sentenced to 18 months in military prison. USA TODAY

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in a Israel military court in Tel Aviv, Feb. 21, 2017.(Photo: JIM HOLLANDER / POOL, EPA)

A military court sentenced an Israeli soldier to 18 months in prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a Palestinian attacker as he lay wounded in a street in the occupied West Bank.

Elor Azaria, 21, was convicted last month ofthe manslaughter of Abdel Fatah al-Sharifin Hebron in March2016. Sharif was incapacitated and did not pose animmediate danger, the Jaffa Military Courtheard previously.Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, another attacker, was also killed.

A video that emerged of Azaria shooting Sharifafter he tried to stab another soldier went viral.An autopsy found Sharif died from a gunshot to the head, Haaretz reported.

The Tel Aviv courtalso demoted Azaria from sergeant to private in the sentencing, the Jerusalem Post reported. Prosecutors had asked for a3 to 5 year sentence.

Azarias lawyers said they will appeal and asked for the start of the sentence to be delayed until the papers are submitted, according tothe Post.

The court ruled that Azaria, a combat medic,would begin hissentence on March 5, the Times of Israel reported. Following the sentencing, Azaria’sfamily and friendssang the Israelinational anthem and called him a hero.”

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The court case deeply divided Israel, where military service is compulsory.Hundreds of protesters assembledoutside thecourt in the hopes thatAzaria would walk free.

Nadav Weisman, the chief prosecutor,said in a statement:We know this was a hard day for the accused, but justice needed to be done and justice was done.”

This sentence is a joke, and it shows how much discrimination Israeli courts practice against Palestinians, said Issa Karaka, the Palestinian government minister for prisoners, according to the Associated Press.

Yisrael Katz, the minister of transportation, called forAzaria to be pardoned, joiningcalls by politicians includingPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The court said its piece, the legal process is done. Now is the time for clemency, to return Elor to his home,” Katz saidin a Facebook post.

Sari Bashi, Israel/Palestine advocacydirector at Human Rights Watch, welcomed the prison term.

“Pardoning Israeli soldier Azaria would only encourage impunity for unlawfully taking the life of another person,” she tweeted.

“Azaria’s prison term-important message about reining in excessive force. But Israeli officials should also repudiate shoot-to-kill rhetoric,” she added.

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Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian attacker – USA TODAY