Hasidic Israeli Jazz Musician Coming to JCC – Atlanta Jewish Times

Israeli virtuoso saxophone player and composer Daniel Zamir is headed to Atlanta for a Feb. 19 performance at the Marcus Jewish Community Center. The Hasidic jazz musician, who has toured with Matisyahu, is one of the most in-demand artists in Israel.

He spoke to the AJT by phone from Israel.

AJT: Will this be your first time performing in Atlanta?

Zamir: Well, I played a few years ago with Matisyahu at the University of Georgia. We were on a college tour, and, every campus we visited, I bought a baseball hat and would play the show wearing it. I remember I shouted, Go, Bulldogs! into the mic at UGA, and the crowd went crazy for it.

AJT: Youve actually been on a few tours with Matisyahu. What was it like touring as two observant Jews?

Zamir: Its an amazing experience to be able to express such a unique message on a big stage in front of so many people. To be able to bridge so many gaps and overcome so many prejudices and stigmas, its really unique and a privilege. AJT: You also have the top-selling jazz album of all time in Israel. How does that feel?

Zamir: Its amazing. I never thought that something like that could happen. Ive loved jazz since I started playing the saxophone, but I never thought I could be this successful in it. Also, to be able to connect jazz and Judaism is something I never thought I could do. From what I can tell, I think Im the only ultra-Orthodox jazz musician in the world.

AJT: How much Jewish or Hasidic influence would you say your music has?

Zamir: When I write my music, I have no concept in mind. In other words, I never planned to be a Jewish musician; its something that happened organically. It actually started before I was religious, and I was calling it world music or ethnic music. Only after (American Jewish composer-saxophonist) John Zorn heard my demo in 1999 and called it Jewish music did I finally accept it.

AJT: Why are there so many top-notch Israeli jazz musicians?

Zamir: I remember people were asking me in New York, What are they putting in your falafel over there? But the truth is jazz is music of the people, and after the 1950s people in Israel were trying to imitate American jazz. But what my generation did Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, myself and others we took our personalities and tradition and infused that into high-quality jazz. The result of that product is so unique and original and alive. I think thats why people love it so much.

Who:Daniel Zamir

Where:Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody

When:7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19

Tickets:$15-$25; atlantajcc.org/pldb-live/daniel-zamir-32968

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Hasidic Israeli Jazz Musician Coming to JCC – Atlanta Jewish Times

Palestine: On eve of Netanyahu visit, illegal settlements at tipping point – Green Left Weekly

In the first ever visit by a serving Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Australia this month as part of an international tour aimed at shoring up Israels reputation abroad.

The visit has actually attracted attention but not the kind Netanyahu would like.

In the wake of a growing corruption scandal around the PM and the recent passage of the so-called regularisation law that retrospectively legalises illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the situation of Palestinian communities across the occupied territories is becoming increasingly desperate.

With increasing rates of demolitions of Palestinian houses, Netanyahus whirlwind international tour seems to be about shoring up both his and Israels reputations in the face of criticism over the contentious law.

Last year featured a record number of housing demolitions across the West Bank, which led to a record number of displaced people of which more than half are minors. In what amounts to a policy of de-Palestinianising previously Palestinian territories, the numbers of demolitions and displacements last year outstripped 2014 and 2015 combined.

The destruction of Palestinian homes and the displacement of Palestinian families across the West Bank have combined with the ever-growing numbers of illegal Israeli settlements to set the stage to complete the de facto annexation of the whole West Bank.

The West Bank is divided into three areas. Area C, for example, is under direct Israeli administrative control and makes up 60% of the West Bank. The practical consequences of Israeli administration of security and land management includes almost total refusal of any Palestinian application for building permits.

Palestinians are effectively prevented from building on about 70% of Area C.

Palestinians in the area also face outright seizures of property for live firing exercises (declaring a closed military zone), encroachment onto their land by the notorious separation barrier (as Israel calls the Apartheid Wall), the declaration of areas as state lands that can only be used by Israelis, and even nature reserves from which Palestinians are forbidden.

Responses around the world to the regularisation bill, passed on February 6, have been muted. No leader or foreign minister has really challenged the tired orthodoxy of the two-state solution.

However, a dramatic exception came on February 15 when Donald Trump used a joint press conference with Netanyahu on February 15 to seemingly imply support for a one-state solution in which Israel would exercise total control over historic Palestine.

Of course, being Trump, the actual meaning of his statement was unclear. One interpretation of Trumps garbled comments was support for officially establishing what increasingly exists on the ground: one state with two very different systems or apartheid, as many observers label it.

For their part, Germany, France and Britain have issued cautious statements about the dangers posed to the two-state solution by the new law and growth of Israeli settlements. European Union representatives came closest to outright condemnation by warning that the law would entrench a single state, but with very different rights and consequences for Israeli versus Palestinian citizens.

Israels own attorney-general has said that he will not defend the bill should it be brought before Israels high court.

Former Australian politicians have queued up to offer modest support to the idea of Palestinian statehood, while neatly sidestepping the issues brought to a head by the regularisation law and growing demolitions and evictions.

Former Labor PM Bob Hawke and Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans have joined calls to recognise the state of Palestine albeit with a view to continuing negotiations for a peaceful, two-state solution.

Another former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr has been the most critical. Carr dared suggest the slew of additional settlements on the West Bank might indicate Israels desire to annex the West Bank and finally torpedo any remaining chance of a negotiated settlement.

Naming settlements as an obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestine is a bold move and will most likely be ignored by Israel.

What almost no one outside progressive media is saying even the EU is that the never-ending expansion of settlements are an insurmountable stumbling block to any negotiated solution. Nor is it noted that this is actually what Israel intended all along.

The more Israeli settlements and Palestinian housing demolitions frustrate peace talks, the more time Israel creates for itself to consolidate its hold on stolen Palestinian territories.

While mainstream media is distracted by Netanyahus PR tour, the expansion of Israeli settlements continues unchecked and towns throughout the West Bank are rapidly becoming de-Palestinianised.

[Protests have been called against Netanyahus visit for Melbourne on February 19 and Sydney on February 23. Visit the Australian Friends of Palestine Association website for details.]

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Palestine: On eve of Netanyahu visit, illegal settlements at tipping point – Green Left Weekly

Rouhani: We’ll continue to support ‘Palestine’ – Arutz Sheva

Hassan Rouhani at the UN General Assembly


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday promised to continue to support Palestinian Arabs, calling on other Muslim nations to do so as well.

“The Iranian nation has paid a heavy price for supporting the Palestinian nation and opposition to the Zionist regime’s actions but it will continue its support with resolve and determination,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) politician Salim al-Zanoun in Tehran on Wednesday, according to the Fars news agency.

“We believe that the Muslim world should resist to restore the rights of the Palestinian nation and it should pay the needed price,” added Rouhani, who expressed confidence that the PA would succeed in fighting to defend its rights.

The meeting between the two came on the sidelines of an annual Iranian conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada.

The Hamas terrorist group has sent a delegation to participate in the conference. According to Iranian, delegations from over 80 countries are in attendance as well.

Rouhanis comments come as Iranian officials have upped their anti-Israel and anti-U.S. rhetoric in recent weeks.

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

“This cancerous tumor, since its start, has grown incrementally and its treatment must be incremental too,” he said, while praising violent attacks against Israelis and 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.

A senior Iranian official recently threatened his country would immediately strike Israel if the United States “makes a mistake”, noting that “only 7 minutes is needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv.”

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Rouhani: We’ll continue to support ‘Palestine’ – Arutz Sheva

Trump Is Right On Palestine: A Two-State Solution Is No Longer Viable – Huffington Post

Just because Trump said it doesnt mean it has to be wrong.

During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus recent visit to Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly stated that he could support a divergence from a two-state solution in Palestine. He is the first United States president in recent memory to question that sacred article of U.S.-Middle East policy. But while the announcement came as a shock to many, indeed, a serious rethink is long overdue in recognizing the defunct two-state scheme.

Many honorable people have dedicated the bulk of their professional lives to the tedious minutiae and sad diplomatic history of the Palestinian-Israeli morass. Sadly, none of those efforts have brought any resolution whatsoever to a gangrenous issue in many respects one of the major roots of so many of the Middle Easts contemporary ills.

The trouble is that, apart from a few dedicated diplomats and scholars who had hopes of one day truly accomplishing something, the two-state solution in practice is essentially a fraud. Yes, a few wiser Israeli leadersin the past just possibly might have believed in that ideal, but for decades now the two-state scheme has simply been cynically exploited by newer Israeli leaders, especially by Bibi Netanyahu one of the longer-serving and most right-wing prime ministers in Israels history.

Netanyahu has been backed by a formidable and wealthy pro-Zionist cheering section in the U.S. The goal is to conceal their true agenda the ultimate Israeli annexation of all of Palestine. They themselves as hard-line Zionistshave been subtly but systematically torpedoing the two-state solutionbehind the scenes to that end.

None of my observations here on the hoax of the two-state solution are new or original. Many liberal Israeli observers I met while working in the region have been stating the self-evident for years now. But those voices never get heard in the U.S. where it constitutes an unmentionable. But there should be no doubt: the concept of a two-state solution a Palestinian and an Israeli state sharing historical Palestine and living side by side in sovereignty and dignity is dead. It is almost inconceivable that it can now ever be resuscitated: nearly all the operative forces within Israel are systematically working to prevent it from ever coming about.

The harsh reality is that Israel, through a relentless process of creating facts on the ground, is now decades deep into the process of taking over illegally, step-by-step, the totality of Palestine. Israel has scant regard for any international law in this respect, and never has had any. Washington, apart from a few periodic pathetic bleats, has ended up functionally supporting this cynical scheme all the way, perhaps unwilling to confront the painful reality of what is really taking place, along with its dangerous political repercussions at home.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

Israel is extending day by day its control indeed ownership of Palestinian lands through expansion of illegal Jewish settlements and the dispossession of the rightful owners of these Palestinian lands. Put simply, there is little left of Palestinian land out of which ever to fashion a two-state solution.

That leaves us with only one alternative: the one-state solution. Indeed, Israels actions have already created the preconditions that make the one-state solution an unacknowledged but virtual fait accompli.

Honest observers know full well that the mantra of preserving the peace process for the two-state solution is now little more than a cover by hard-line Zionists for full Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands. The sooner we all acknowledge this ugly reality, the better. That will then require Israel, the Palestinians and the world to get on with dealing with the complex challenge of crafting the binational state the one-state solution.

The calculations of some hard-line Zionists who are now largely in control of Israeli state mechanisms are often unyielding.After years on the ground, Ive found that the rationale is more evident with each passing year. It goes something like this:

1) Israel should functionally take over all of Palestinian territory and permit full Jewish settlement therein.

2) Israel should still play the two-state solution game with visiting foreign diplomats to reduce pressure on Israel, to play for time while it quietly establishes the irreversible facts on the ground that shut out any possible viable Palestinian state.

3) Make life harsh enough for Palestinians that, bit by bit, they will grow bitter and weary, give up and go elsewhere, leaving all the land for Zionist settlers.

4) If Palestinians stubbornly resist, predictable periodic military and security crises in Palestine over the longer run will enable Israel to rid Palestine of all Palestinians a gradual process of ethnic cleansing (or restoration of the situation that God wills as they would refer to it) that returns all the land promised by God to the Jews.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Some liberal Israelis actually do accept the idea of a one-state solution in their own liberal vision of a future Israel one in which Israelis and Palestinians live as equal citizens in a secular, democratic, binational, multicultural state enjoying equal rights, rather than the increasingly religiously dominated state that it is. And the liberal ideal makes sense: the country is already well on the way to becoming bilingual and Hebrew and Arabic are closely-related languages. Both are Semitic peoples with ancient ties to the same land.

The problem is, ardent Zionists dont want a binational Palestinian-Jewish state. They want a Jewish state and demand that the world accept that term. Yet, in todays world isnt the term Jewish state strikingly discordant? Who speaks of an English or French state? The world would freak out if tomorrow Berlin started calling itself the German State. Or Spain a Christian state.So what do we make of a state that is dedicated solely to Jews and Judaism? Such concepts are remnants of 19th century movements that promoted the creation of ethnically and/or religiously pure states. Modern states no longer define themselves on either an ethnic or religious basis.Indeed it was precisely that kind of ugly religious and ethnic nationalism that caused Jews to flee from Eastern Europe in the first place to find their own homeland.

The true historical task of Israel, with the support of the world, is now to begin the challenging work of introducing the range of major reforms that will transform Israel into just such a multi-ethnic and bilingual state of equal citizens enjoying equal rights under secular law. It is not a question of allowing Palestinians into Israel, they are already there and have been for millennia, initially in far greater numbers than Jews. Palestinians now seek full legal equality of treatment under secular law in Israel.

So lets acknowledge the useful truth that Trump has blundered onto. Lets abandon the naive and cynical rhetoric about the two-state solution that will never come about in any just and acceptable form. Half of Israel never believed in it in the first place. It has served only as a facade for building an apartheid Jewish state a term used frequently by some liberal Israeli commentators I have encountered.

Netanyahu and the right-wing Zionists clearly want all of Palestine. But theyre not ready yet to admit it. They want all the land, but without any of its people. But despite Zionist hopes, the Palestinians arent going to abandon their lands. And so the logical outcome of Israels takeover of all of Palestine leads by definition to an ultimate single, binational state.

The challenge to Israelis and Palestinians is huge. It entails a deep Palestinian rethink of their options and their future destiny in a new order, and the need to fight for those democratic rights in a binational state. It involves Israeli evolution away from God-given rights in a state solely for Jews and Judaism that can only be forever oppressive and undemocratic as it now stands. The process will be a slow and difficult one. But it also represents an evolution consonant with emerging contemporary global values.

We expect a democratic multicultural state from Germany and France, or from Britain, Canada and the United States why not from Israel?

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official and author of numerous books on the Muslim world. His latest book is Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an Americans crisis of conscience in Pakistan.A version of this piece first appeared on GrahameFuller.com

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Trump Is Right On Palestine: A Two-State Solution Is No Longer Viable – Huffington Post

How comics are tackling the last taboo: Holocaust humor – New York Post

Sex, death, race, religion seemingly nothings off-limits to comedians. Only one subject seems taboo, even for the likes of Louis C.K. and Chris Rock: the Holocaust.

Ferne Pearlstein, director of the documentary The Last Laugh, found this out the hard way when she had difficulty raising money for her movie. People told me I had a great idea and I should let them know when [other] people invested, she says of her film, which premieres March 3 and focuses on humor in and out of the Nazi concentration camps.

It took her 18 years, but she raised the money for her modestly budgeted independent film, for which she corralled a Whos Who of comics Sarah Silverman, Carl and Rob Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried and Larry Charles among them to speak about the unspeakable.

Mel Brooks, the man who wrote The Producers and its show-stopping song Springtime for Hitler, explained where he draws the line: He mocks the Nazis, but considers the Holocaust itself off-limits.

Joan Rivers had no such boundaries: During 2013s Fashion Police Oscars wrap-up, she focused on Heidi Klum, quipping, The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into ovens.

Contemporary jokes about Hitler and his henchmen are put into perspective by the films most interesting revelation: Humor, however dark, helped some endure the misery of the camps.

I went to a survivor who was the emcee of a comedy show at Auschwitz, says Pearlstein, whose family came to America ahead of World War II. These shows took place behind the barracks and prisoners told jokes that could have cost them their lives. Pearlstein recalls the daughter of a survivor whose father told her, If you were funny before the camps, you were funny in the camps.

One of those she interviewed was Robert Clary, who played the French POW Corporal Louis LeBeau on the 60s TV show Hogans Heroes. A survivor of Buchenwald himself, Clary (born Robert Max Widerman) was criticized for appearing in a sitcom about a German prisoner of war camp (the concentration part went unmentioned).

Clary, who recently turned 90, told Pearlstein that entertaining under duress kept him alive. He lost his entire family [to the Nazis] and would not have survived if he couldnt sing, Pearlstein says about the actor, who kept his captors at Buchenwald amused. He was spunky and funny, and being able to make people laugh … saved his life.

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How comics are tackling the last taboo: Holocaust humor – New York Post

US Holocaust Museum Official: Digitizing the Records a Bulwark … – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot

United States Holocaust Memorial Museums Director of International Affairs Paul A. Shapiro spoke passionately about the struggle to open the archives and subsequent digitization of the nearly 200 million historical documents from the Holocaust by the International Tracing Service, and its importance at a symposium in Jerusalem last night.

These archives and their growing accessibility are a potent weapon against rising Holocaust denial, Shapiro said. It is also an important lesson for today about resurgent Antisemitism. In the Holocaust, when hatred was unleashed it wasnt limited to Jews. Just as today when Antisemitism is on the rise, its dangers extend beyond the Jewish community.

Shapiro gave a historical overview of the Holocaust archives at the International Tracing Service based in Bad Arolsen, Germany. For decades, the International Red Cross and governments around the world, including the US and Israel, did not allow the archives to be opened for public use.

One cant celebrate because far too many passed away before finding truth and justice, Shapiro continued, speaking about how difficult it was to see information about the fate and whereabouts of families caught up in the Holocaust suppressed for so many decades. We had a moral obligation to Holocaust survivors and families to provide assurances that what happened was not being swept under the rug.

Elizabeth Anthony, International Tracing Service and Partnerships Program Manager, Visiting Scholar Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, spoke about the academic potential of the digitization of the archives and how our understanding of central parts of the Holocaust is being expanded as a result.

Anthony also spoke about how the primary sources found in the archives are now being published and taught in educational resources in the US and the UK, and other English-speaking countries, showing examples of handwritten letters from a search of a mother for her daughter.

Elana Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, and Holocaust scholar, moderated the event. It is our hope that this digitization process will revive interest in the Holocaust, especially among the descendants of Holocaust victims, Heideman said. This process will make the facts and reality of the Holocaust accessible for future generations, especially as survivors are dwindling in number.

The symposium was titled Seeking Justice: Holocaust History and the Archives of the International Tracing Service, held at the Van Leer Institute and made possible by Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman. The Bnai Brith World Center Jerusalem and the Israel Forever Foundation have co-sponsored this event.

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US Holocaust Museum Official: Digitizing the Records a Bulwark … – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Warsaw starts the clock on applications for Holocaust-era property … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

A general view of the cityscape, with the Palace of Culture and Science (2nd R), is pictured from the construction site of a new skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland October 2, 2015. . (photo credit:REUTERS)

Holocaust survivors and their families have six months to reclaim property unjustly taken from them, after the city of Warsaw released an initial list of 48 properties on Wednesday.

According to a controversial property restitution law passed in 2016, rightful claimants have half a year to pursue their property claim, and then three months to prove their right to the property. Any property which is not claimed before that deadline will be permanently transferred to the city of Warsaw.

Critics of the law have argued that six months is not enough time for the process. The World Jewish Restitution Organization called on Polish authorities to extend the deadline, release a complete list of properties and claimants and to actively work to identify and notify potential claimants.

It is unfair for claimants particularly those who now live outside of Poland to lose this last opportunity to reconnect with their past because of the administrative complexity of this law, Gideon Taylor, the organizations chairman of operations, said in a statement.

The problems with this legislation highlight the urgent need for comprehensive national property restitution legislation in Poland, Taylor added. Poland remains the only country in Europe that does not have a national law to address private property restitution from the Holocaust era. We urge the government of Poland to address this issue promptly so that Holocaust survivors and their heirs, as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish property owners, can receive a small measure of justice.

The law, which took effect in September 2016, applies only to people who filed property claims in the city of Warsaw after 1945, when the Communist authorities in Poland issued the Decree on Ownership and Usufruct of Land in Warsaw, known as the Warsaw Decree.

The decree allowed former owners of the nationalized property to apply for temporary ownership rights, but according to the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the Communist authorities rejected or did not review most of the applications.

The organization asserts that many claimants, or their heirs, are unaware that they now have an opportunity to pursue their claims, some 70 years after they originally filed them.

The organization launched its own database in December to assist Holocaust survivors and their families in identifying their property. The database matches different historical Warsaw city records, allowing users to look for the names of family members or Warsaw building addresses to help determine if they, or someone else, filed a claim that may remain open for the property.

The law does not address people who did not file claims right after World War II, or people with property outside of Warsaw.

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Warsaw starts the clock on applications for Holocaust-era property … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Ten finalist teams named for UK National Holocaust Memorial competition – The Architect’s Newspaper

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation has announced its shortlist of ten teams to design the new National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Center in Victoria Tower Gardens, adjacent the Palace of Westminster and in the heart of London. Whittled down from almost one hundred international entries, the finalists proposals are currently traveling on display throughout the U.K. while the foundation proceeds with the interview phase.

The competition, announced in September of 2016, seeks a team to create a sensitively-designed Memorial and Learning Centre that is emotionally powerful while offering visitors an opportunity to deepen their understanding of humanitys darkest hour. The brief calls for a distinct memorial adjacent to the River Thames with a subterranean education center.

The buildings construction is estimated to cost 40 million with the British government allocating 50 million in public funds to see the project through to completion (the 50 million figure also includes the creation and operation of the Centre, as well as other related education efforts). The education facility is said to not be a conventional exhibition or teaching [center] and will extend 2,650 square meters under the parks lawn. The chosen architect will have to contend with a complex program that must balance with the historic nature of the site. Furthermore, one memberof the House of Commons hascited concerns that constructionin Londons public parkland might set a dangerous precedent for future development of the citys open space, among other potential issues.

Rendering of submission by artist Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid Architects. (Courtesy of Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid Architects)

Zaha Hadid Architects with artist Anish KapoorA bronze monolith sculpted by Anish Kapoor and a Zaha Hadid Architectsdesigned structure would extend from a sunken courtyard and designate the National Holocaust Memorial as striking new landmark in London.

Rendering of submission by John McAslan + Partners with MASS Design Group. (Courtesy of John McAslan + Partners and MASS Design Group)

John McAslan + Partners with MASS Design GroupDrawing from Jewish traditions, this team has developed a sensitive design approach for the engagement of visitors to the site.

Rendering of submission by Studio Libeskind with Haptic Architects. (Courtesy of Studio Libeskind and Haptic Architects)

Studio Libeskind with Haptic ArchitectsStudio Libeskind is familiar with crafting sites to memorialize the Holocaust, having designed several such buildings across Europe. This effort recalls the similar abstraction of form and space characteristic of those earlier works.

Rendering of submission byheneghan peng architects with Bruce Mau Design. (Courtesy of heneghan peng)

heneghan peng architects with design agency Bruce Mau DesignProposing a structure that obscures the senses at some junctures and heightens them at others, this design focuses on the phenomenological experiences of its visitors.

Rendering of submission by Foster + Partners with artist Michal Rovner. (Courtesy of Foster + Partners and Michal Rovner)

Foster + Partners with artist Michal RovnerThis proposal is arranged as a long axial path for contemplation and sensory stimulation; visitors would descend a ramp underground beforereemerging up a long flight of stairsinto the park.

Rendering of submission by Diamond Schmitt Architects with landscape architect Martha Schwartz Partners. (Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects)

Diamond Schmitt Architects with landscape architect Martha Schwartz PartnersUsing a simple ovular shape, this design integrates both the memorial and learning center into one sweeping gesture.

Rendering of submission by Allied Works with artist Robert Montgomery. (Courtesy of Allied Works)

Allied Works with artist Robert MontgomeryFocusing acutely on building a powerful narrative for the site, this heterogenous team led by Allied Works includes sculptor and poet Robert Montgomery, who adds his incisive urban art-form to the proposal.

Rendering of submission by Caruso St John with artist Rachel Whiteread. (Courtesy of Caruso St John Architects, Marcus Taylor and Rachel Whiteread)

Caruso St John with artist Rachel WhitereadThis design focuses on the contextual elements of the site and the dramatic unfolding of space through sculptural cast glass and filtered light.

Rendering of submission by Lahdelma & Mahlamki Architects with David Morley Architects. (Courtesy of Lahdelma & Mahlamki Architects and David Morley Architects)

Lahdelma & Mahlamki Architects with David Morley ArchitectsLocated in a highly stylized landscape, the team lead by Finnish firm Lahdelma & Mahlamki Architects has designed a distinct procession for visitors to experience.

Rendering of submission by Adjaye Associates with Ron Arad Architects. (Courtesy of Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects)

Adjaye Associates with Ron Arad ArchitectsUsing repeating geometric shapes to draw the visitor to the entrance of the center, the designers aim to emphasizethe many layers of the British experience of the Holocaust.

The jury is composed of many experts in Jewish Studies, architecture, public land use, and public works, and will select a winner later this summer to develop a final design.


Sir Peter Bazalgette (Jury Chair) Chair United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Chair, ITV Board

The Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE JournalistAlice M. Greenwald President and CEO of National September 11 Memorial and MuseumLoyd Grossman CBE Chair, Royal ParksBen Helfgott MBE Holocaust Survivor, Honorary President, 45 Aid Society and President, Holocaust Memorial Day TrustRt Hon Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local GovernmentNatasha Kaplinsky BroadcasterRt Hon Sadiq Khan Mayor of LondonChief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis Chief Rabbi of the United KingdomSally Osman Director of Royal CommunicationsDame Julia Peyton-Jones DBE Former Director of the Serpentine GalleriesPaul Williams OBE Director, Stanton Williams ArchitectsMalcolm Reading Competition Director and Advisor to the Jury

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Ten finalist teams named for UK National Holocaust Memorial competition – The Architect’s Newspaper

Anti-Defamation League Deeply Disturbed Over Additional Bomb Threats Directed at Jewish Community Centers … – eNews Park Forest

New York, NY(ENEWSPF)February 20, 2017 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply disturbed by additional bomb threats directed against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in multiple states across the United States today the fourth series of such threats since the start of the year.

While ADL does not have any information at this time to indicate the presence of any actual bombs at any of the institutions threatened, the threats themselves are alarming, disruptive, and must always been taken seriously.

We are confident that JCCs around the country are taking the necessary security protections, and that law enforcement officials are making their investigation of these threats a high priority, said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law.

In response to the threats, ADL issued a Security Advisory for all Jewish institutions nationwide with action steps including:

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the worlds leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Source: http://adl.org

Hate Groups Increase for Second Consecutive Year as Trump Electrifies Radical Right

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Anti-Defamation League Deeply Disturbed Over Additional Bomb Threats Directed at Jewish Community Centers … – eNews Park Forest

Donald Frey: Truth with a capital T – Winston-Salem Journal

For Christmas, I received a gift of DVD copies of my familys old home movies and video recordings. Thus, I have recently indulged on half-forgotten family memories. Among them was my sons Wake Forest University graduation back on May 15, 2000.

My video captured parts of the Charge to Graduates of 2000, given by the late president of Wake Forest, Thomas K. Hearn. His talk was titled Truth with a Capital T. Hearns words inspired me to find the full text on the internet.

Hearn told of his life-long fascination with the ancient philosophical debate on relativism. Specifically, the debate was whether fundamental truth could ever be known (Socrates side), or whether the way things appear to each person, so they are (the relativists side). Hearn also noted more recent relativists, who argued that truth is culturally and historically conditioned.

Hearn bravely took sides, critiquing relativism and affirming the human minds progressive grasp of truth. He professed unhappiness with contemporary academic relativism, such as Post-modernism, which holds that we cannot know what is, only what appears to be.

Hearns words from years ago seemed to me a way to make sense of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Like relativists, the major candidates reiterated only what appeared to be true to their core supporters. Our politics offered no agreed-upon truth, but only highly divergent and contradictory apparent truths, which appealed to different segments of voters.

And this continues: the new president proclaims any reality he prefers, even when available evidence points the other way. Take a simple example, which does not have any policy implications: our new leader insists that his inauguration crowd was the largest ever, even if overhead photos show otherwise. Somewhere, he suggests, there must be evidence to validate his wish as truth.

Such examples, including ones with ominous policy implications, could be multiplied, but thats not my purpose here.

This new, political relativism differs from the old relativism that Hearn described. The old relativists at least were tolerant. After all, if we are aware that we merely choose our own truth (as were the relativists Hearn cited), then we should be tolerant if others invent their own preferred truths as well. In fact, Hearn faulted the old relativists for being too tolerant of some things.

Unhappily, the new political relativism lacks any tolerance at all. Perhaps that is because our politicians are not like Hearns philosophers and so are unaware of their own relativism. Hearns old relativists admitted that their truth was simply what they preferred to believe. But, to the contrary, todays politicians confuse their preferred believes with objective truths. And the worst combination may be relativists who deny their relativism, fooling themselves they hold real truth but making no effort to discern real truth.

To this end, weve seen political agents promise alternative facts to support what no known facts support. And weve learned (who knew?) of a fake news industry, tolerated or even quoted by politicians to boost their credibility. Meanwhile, opponents views are dismissed as political correctness, or comparable errors.

In power, such leaders will surely misinterpret much of what happens in the real world.

To counteract this troubling thought, let us give Thomas Hearn the final word he ended his talk with optimism. In his address, he recalled the then-recent campus uproar over a local outbreak of Holocaust Revisionism, the denial of the Nazis murderous treatment of Europes Jews. Hearn stated that the campus rose up to demand that truth be honored, and no one stood up for a revisionist rewrite of the Holocaust.

In short, sometimes truth is too clear, or too important, to be dismissed or minimized as someones mere opinion. Hearn concluded that in the face of lived experience, no one is a relativist.

He went on to speak of moral truth affirming that universal human rights are not social inventions, but are divinely given. The upshot of this is that true tolerance and more, positive goodwill toward others is a universal mandate.

I hope that Hearn was correct. He wished that the lesson was learned not for this day only, back in May 2000, but also for other days.

Donald E. Frey is a retired economics professor from Wake Forest University.

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Donald Frey: Truth with a capital T – Winston-Salem Journal

New Orleans JCC bomb threat follows wave of anti-Semitism in US – bestofneworleans.com

“The reported bomb threat at JCC deemed non-credible, is clear. FBI is investigating,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu wrote on Twitter. “Be clear, anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in NOLA.”

While the bombs themselves are “hoaxes,” the threats and waves of anti-Semitism across the U.S., as theJewish Community Center Association of North America has said, are very real. In a letter toDepartment of Homeland Security Director John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey. Florida U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and New York U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley along withdozens of members of Congress and Jewish-led groups demanded swift federal action.

“Federal law enforcement agencies must do everything within their power to punish those responsible for the threats that have already taken place, to prevent future threats from occurring, and to ensure these threats are never converted into action,” Murphy said.”These phone calls have a severe economic, as well as emotional, impact.” According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in 2016, there was”one anti-Semitic assault reported in this country every week, and at least two anti-Jewish incidents on average every single day.” The ADL’s Task Force on Harassment and Journalism counted from August 2015 to July 2016 nearly 3 million anti-Semitic tweets.

Over the last month, 53 centers in 26 states and one center in Canada received 68 calls, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center counted 11 bomb threats on Feb. 20.

The administration of President Donald Trump delayed responding to the attacks and sidestepped questions about it during a Feb. 16 press conference. Trump cut off a question from Jake Turx, a reporter for Ami Magazine and the first Hasidic Jewish member of the White House press corps, who asked Trump how he plans to address the”uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government plans to take care of it.” Trump responded to the question as a personal attack.

“Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person you have ever seen in your entire life,” Trump responded. “Number two: racism. I am the least racist person … I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question.”

Another reporter later asked the same question; Trump suggested his opponents were responsible.

Finally, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, Trump called the threats “horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”By then there had already been dozens of threats delivered to JCCs around the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.

Jewish Voice for Peace New Orleans (JVP), which helped organize a week of actions and presented a list of demands to city and state officials in the wake of Trump’s immigration order, said the administration is “flirting with anti-Semitism at the highest levels” in failing to name targets of the Nazi Holocaust and for defecting questions about anti-semitism in the U.S. by echoing Trump’s support for Israel.

“The Trump administration is proving, yet again, that it is quite possible to be anti-Semitic and support the Israeli government,” JVP’s statement reads. “It bears repeating, once again, that not all Jews support the Israeli government, and that Israel does not represent all Jews. …It is also of note the executive order targeting Muslims and refugees was signed on International Holocaust Memorial day. In doing so, the administration reminds us that fights against anti-semitism, racism and Islamophobia must go hand in hand.”

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New Orleans JCC bomb threat follows wave of anti-Semitism in US – bestofneworleans.com

NY Governor unveils new plan to fight antisemitism and hate crimes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (photo credit:REUTERS)

NEW YORK- Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled on Thursday a new plan of action in order to combat antisemitism and hate crimes across the state of New York, including a $25 Million grant for schools to improve security, $5,000 rewards for any Information leading to arrest and conviction for a hate crime, and a new hate crimes text line to report incidents.

The governor made the announcement during a press conference held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan, just after holding a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Jewish community and leaders of other faiths.

“New York must always be the beacon of tolerance and hope for all, and with the recent explosion of antisemitism and hate crimes, it is more important than ever before that we do everything in our power to ensure the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers,” he said.

“Any acts of bias or discrimination will be met with the full force of the law. New York is and always has been a place that celebrates diversity and religious tolerance, and we say to all New Yorkers who feel unsafe we will always protect you.”

The $25 million grant program for schools, which is part of the new measures taken, is intended to boost safety and security at New Yorks schools and daycare centers at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.

The grant program will provide funding for security upgrades such as additional security training, cameras, technology, door-hardening, improved lighting and others.

At the Governors direction, the state will also expand its toll-free hotline to include text message capability to report incidents of bias and discrimination. The hotline had been launched in November and has received over 3,175 calls to date.

Lastly, the $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime, the governor explained, aims to make sure the public is engaged in the cause.

We encourage [New Yorkers] to step up if they see it, be part of the solution, Cuomo said. We are offering the reward to encourage that but its not going to require much encouragement because I know that 99.9 percent of the people in this state are sickened by what they are seeing.

In recent months, many organizations fighting discrimination such as the Anti-Defamation League, have warned against a rise in hate crimes across the country. According to Cuomos office, in New York State, there was a 31 percent increase in reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2016 compared to 2015 and an 18 percent increase in reported hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals.

As far as the Jewish community is concerned, in addition to hate crimes, bomb threats have also recently surfaced. Dozens of Jewish Community Centers across the US as well as the ADLs headquarters have received such threats multiple times over the last month.

According to Governor Cuomo, these are not isolated incidents and the hate crimes are part of a clear pattern. The governor also noted that the rise in hate crimes begun in November, which correlates to the date of the election of US President Donald Trump, but maintained he wants to keep this out of politics.

I think its undeniable that the political tone from last year has created extreme views on both sides of the political spectrum and I think thats one of the factors, he said. But whatever caused it, our focus is on ending it.

Thursdays announcement adds to Governor Cuomos recent actions to combat bias and discrimination. In November, he directed the State Police to create a new Hate Crimes Unit to offer assistance to other law enforcement agencies investigating potential hate crimes.

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NY Governor unveils new plan to fight antisemitism and hate crimes – Jerusalem Post Israel News

DNC Chair Candidate Stumbles When Pressed On Anti-Semitism [VIDEO] – Daily Caller


At CNNs Wednesday evening Democratic Leadership Debate, Minnesota Representative and DNC Chair hopeful Keith Ellison was asked to account for allegations of past anti-Semitism.

The Sunni Muslim Democratic congressman has long been dogged about hisassociation with groups like the Nation of Islam and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He has also come under fire for statements and writings regarding the State of Israel and American support for the Jewish state, going so far as to publish a paper as a law student titled Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?


Congressman Ellison, on Tuesday, you criticized President Trump on Twitter for not speaking out sooner on anti-Semitism. You have critics in your own party who say that is the right message but you may not be the right messenger because youre dogged by your own questions about potential anti-Semitism, debate moderator Chris Cuomo pressed.

Ellison denied the validity of the issue. Well, these are false allegations, he said, going on to cite examples of supporter in the Jewish community. These are smears and were fighting back every day.

Ellison was quick to turn the attention back to current events. Right now you have Jewish cemeteries defaced and desecrated. Right now you have Jewish institutions getting bomb threats. We have to stand with the Jewish community right here, right now, four square. And thats what the Democratic party is all about, he said.

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DNC Chair Candidate Stumbles When Pressed On Anti-Semitism [VIDEO] – Daily Caller

Pro-Palestine activism must be ‘managed’ under counter-extremism strategy, universities told – RT

British universities have been advised to manage Palestinian activism on campus in order to comply with the UK governments Prevent counter-extremism strategy.

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Vocal support for Palestine, Opposition to Israeli settlements in Gaza, and Criticism of wars in the Middle East are included in a list of contentious topics on the Safe Campus Communities website.

The website includes a training section set up by Universities UK and the governments now defunct Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to help staff fulfil their Prevent obligations.

Since 2015, Prevent has required public sector workers to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

The website says the material is intended to promote free speech by encouraging universities to ensure topics that may be seen as controversial may be debated in a safe environment.

It advises institutions to take steps to manage events in which extremist views are likely to be expressed and ensure such views are challenged by inviting additional speakers with opposing views.

Relevant higher education bodies also need to risk assess and manage events where these or similar views may be expressed, it says.

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Critics fear the guidance could stifle free speech and political expression, according to Middle East Eye.

On Tuesday, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) canceled an Israel Apartheid Week event organized for next week by Friends of Palestine because of concerns it would not be balanced, Middle East Eye reports.

UCLan said it was concerned that the event, called Debunking misconceptions on Palestine and the importance of BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement], would fall foul of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the UK government.

The IHRA defines anti-Semitism as a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews, including denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

UCLan said: We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests.

In this instance our procedures determined that the proposed event would not be lawful and therefore it will not proceed as planned.

Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said it was absurd to single out support for a Palestinian state or opposition to Israeli settlements as controversial or extremist.

Given that all major political parties in the UK and the overwhelming majority of governments across the world support a Palestinian state and oppose settlements on the basis that they violate international law and are an obstacle to peace it is absurd to define these as extremist views.

There is an urgent need for the relevant bodies to review these materials and ensure that any training offered to educational establishments truly reflects the stated intention to uphold academic freedom and freedom of expression, he said.

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Pro-Palestine activism must be ‘managed’ under counter-extremism strategy, universities told – RT

Memoir helps map Palestine’s struggle – Green Left Weekly

Mapping My Return: A Palestinian Memoir By Salman Abu Sitta American University in Cairo Press 2016

Given the centrality of memory and history to the modern Palestinian identity, it is fitting that the number of memoirs and diaries being published by Palestinians seems to be rising.

In recent years, two subgenres of Palestinian autobiography and memoir have emerged. First are accounts by diarists who witnessed World War I and British Mandate rule in Palestine, and experienced the Nakba the mass displacement of Palestinians during the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 as adults.

Second are memoirs of those who were children or young adults when the Nakba occurred. These are often written with a more explicit purpose memoirs of lives as exiles and refugees fighting for Palestinian rights, rather than diaries kept for personal use.

These common themes are also found in Mapping My Return, including the trauma of war and refugee life, lives of constant struggle (with Israel, but also often with Yasser Arafat) and fierce love for their homeland.

Abu Sittas autobiography, however, gives a unique insight not only into refugee life and Palestinian politics throughout the decades, but into how he, as a Bedouin Palestinian from the southern Naqab desert within the Israeli state, experienced the Nakba and its aftermath.

His life story is rooted in the vast, fertile plains of the south-western Naqab, and the bayt al-shaer (literally house of hair or tent) in which his mother lived. The familys fields were plowed by camel, and many of the men and women who came to work on the harvest were from Egypts Sinai peninsula.

Rather than flee north into Lebanon or east towards Jordan, his escape from the Zionist forces who destroyed his childhood home was to Khan Younis near the border between Gaza and Egypt, ultimately attending school and university in Cairo.

As the son of a paramount chief of the Tarabin Bedouin, whose influence stretched from Cairo to Bir al-Saba, Abu Sitta frankly admits that his tale is not one of the most tragic, painful or traumatic fates of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians made refugees.

His elite background and family connections cushioned him from the grinding poverty that hundreds of thousands of refugees in Gaza faced.

But the trauma of the night-time attack on his fathers home in the village of al-Main during the Nakba, the destruction and theft of its fields and the sight of Israeli massacres in Gaza started off his lifes mission to try to put a face to this invisible enemy.

Although Abu Sitta forged a career as an acclaimed engineer, he also became a historian of Palestine. He meticulously documented the villages, shrines, homesteads and traditions that Israeli laws, bulldozers and museums have sought to eradicate or appropriate.

Abu Sittas childhood reminiscences evoke a time when Palestine was undergoing rapid change. His grandfathers and uncles lived in constant tension with the Ottoman Empire, sometimes going into hiding in Jordan. Even so, they fought on the Ottoman side in World War I, against British forces invading Palestine from the south.

Abu Sittas father had to adapt to change under the British Mandate. He opened the areas first school in 1920 some of the students, already regarded as men at 16, arrived to class wearing swords and introduced new plant strains.

The contradictions in Palestinian life at this time are encapsulated in Abu Sittas observations on the education he received. He writes: The British Mandate saw fit to impose Roman history and Latin on the Arab students curricula at the expense of Arab and Palestinian history.

Despite this, Abu Sitta notes: But perhaps it was not so strange. After all, Palestine had more and longer-running cultural, political and commercial links with Rome (and Greece) than England.

The story of Abu Sittas community highlights Gazas historical connections to Egypt. Family members supported the 187982 Urabi rebellion, in which Egyptian officers tried to declare independence but were defeated by a British invasion.

Despite the value attached by Western culture to written tales, Abu Sitta asserts that they just made him more confident that, in the end, it is those storytellers at the shigg [a place where men met to drink coffee] who are the real source of our history.

As an adult, Abu Sitta became a successful engineer and urban planner, working and teaching around the world.

These later sections of his memoir highlight the diversity and often the anguish of refugee existence, and lift the message of the book beyond that of one mans story.

This is a highly readable book, much recommended to anyone with an interest in Palestinian history. More than that, it is a significant piece of documentation, recounting events and ways of life that have largely been forgotten or erased.

As the generations who directly experienced the Nakba are slowly lost, writings of this kind will only become more important.

[Abridged from Electronic Intifada. Sarah Irving is author of Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian liberation and co-editor of A Bird is not a Stone.]

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Miller, Green surge Wellsville past East Palestine – WKBN.com

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WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN ) Wellsville bounced back from its painful OVAC defeat on Saturday in a big way, cruising to a 96-65 win over East Palestine Tuesday night.

The game was tight for the first few minutes of play. Brandon Kemp made two three-pointers early for the Bulldogs. Kemp finished with a team-high 20 points.

Wellsville hung on to a narrow lead of 7-6. Jake Green lunged for a steal off a Bulldogs turnover and soared for his first dunk of his career to help the Tigers go up by three with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Green explained that his first dunk felt amazing and that he hopes to dunk again in the tournament.

Green finished with 20 points and three rebounds.

Jeremy Reynolds hit a three point shot after Greens dunk to tie the game.

After this shot, the Tigers were unstoppable defensively. Wellsville went on a 20-0 run to end the first quarter.

The beneficiary of this defensive stand was Michael Shope, who gathered eight rebounds in the first half. Shope finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

We really played well as a unit tonight, Shope said. We just have to remember to box out and not come out slow.

The Bulldogs fought valiantly facing adversity by continually hustling to get to loose balls. East Palestine outscored Wellsville in the second quarter 18-15.

Clayton Murray kept offensive opportunities alive from crashing the glass. Murray finished the night with four points and five boards.

Wellsville went into halftime with a 44-27 lead.

Justin Miller of Wellsville and Dominic Posey of East Palestine dueled back and forth in the second half. Posey had a trio of three-pointers in the quarter. The sophomore finished the contest with 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Justin Miller finished with a double-double of 26 points, 10 assists, and five boards. Miller scored seven straight points for the Tigers midway through the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Branzen Grodhaus and Garrett Scott got involved in the final quarter. Both of them tallied eight points in the final eight minutes of play. Scott finished with 17 points and four rebounds while Grodhaus had 12 points and six boards on the night.

Wellsville head coach David Bug Thompson expressed his thoughts on the win.

We wanted to rebound and run. On defense, we tried to pack it in the post so that they couldnt pass to the open shooters. The seniors went out with a bang. Jakes dunk was nice. I liked it.

East Palestine head coach, L.J. Sutton, reflected on the learning experience that a team like Wellsville provides for them.

We didnt match up with Wellsvilles intensity in the first period. Im proud of my guys because they worked hard and never gave up. We play really well in spurts when we move the ball. I was offered the job late in the summer so we got right into this and the guys had to learn the system. Im excited about our underclassmen coming back next year, even though our seniors contributed in many ways. We will be better because weve been through these tough games this year and we will continue to grow together.

Wellsville improves to 19-3 while East Palestine falls to 7-15. Both teams begin OHSAA tournament play next Tuesday. Wellsville will host East Canton while East Palestine travels to South Range.

The Tigers also won the Jayvee game 53-19.

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Miller, Green surge Wellsville past East Palestine – WKBN.com

Holocaust survivor, 91, beats cancer – Fox5NY

NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) – A Brooklyn man who survived of the Holocaust has beaten the odds once again. This time he survived a health crisis.

“A lot of people did the same thing that I did and they didn’t survive, maybe I had a little luck,” Ludwig Charatan said.

It was a lot more than luck that led Charatan, 91, to survive the Nazis and most recently, cancer. Perseverance and a strong will to live are why this Brooklyn remains a living legacy, according to his doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“It’s a wonderful story of someone who throughout his life has met so many different aspects of almost unbelievable adversity yet comes out of it with the best attitude,” said Dr. Daniel Labow, chief of surgical oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

As a teenager, Charatan miraculously survived Janowska concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and witnessed the slaughtering of family and friends. In the 1970s, he was called to Germany to testify in court against the camp’s commander, Fritz Gebauer. Charatan later wrote a memoir called “Eye to Eye.”

“Well sometimes I get a little depressed and sometimes you’re happy that you’re still alive and can see your family,” Charatan said. “And to live to this kind of age like I live, it’s a really nice age to live. I never expected to live to this kind of age.”

Charatan built a life in Brooklyn with his wife, Dora, two children and later grandchildren. But just when he thought he survived it all, a few months ago doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his gallbladder. He was ready to fight again, with two hero physicians by his side.

“This man seems to have moved in and out of shadows of absolutely catastrophic problems through the course of his entire life and by the means of something enchanted always comes out and makes the best of it and survives,” said Dr. Michael Marin, chairman of surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospitals.

Now cancer-free, Charatan is ready to take on the world once more. He lives by the motto “Never sweat small stuff.”

“You have to try your best,” Charatan said. “You don’t make from small things a big issue because a Holocaust survivor went through so much.”

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Holocaust survivor, 91, beats cancer – Fox5NY

JFS to screen Holocaust docudrama – Sun Sentinel

Goodman Jewish Family Service of Broward County will be screening the Holocaust docudrama “Nicky’s Family” at their annual “Screening With a Meaning” event on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Savor Theater, 503 NE Sixth St. in Fort Lauderdale.

The screening is a benefit for the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program at GJFS.

The docudrama tells the true story of how Sir Nicholas Winton of England organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children in 1939, just prior to the outbreak of World War II, with his own personal kindertransport (translated as “children’s transport).

Winton arranged for the youngsters to be placed in the homes of British families until the end of World War II.

The evidence of Winton’s story was hidden by Winton until 1988, when his wife found a suitcase filled with documents about his plans to rescue the children, in their attic.

Winton’s story was revealed in a 1989 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television show that reunited Winton with 100 of the children.

For his heroic act, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Winton in 2003. Winton has been dubbed as the “British Oskar Schindler” by the British press.

“Nicky’s Family” was filmed in 2011 as a docudrama that has interviews with many of the rescued children along with Winton, who died at age 106 in 2015. The film also has dramatic reenactments of Winton with the rescued children in 1939.

“This is a wonderful true story of heroism that is inspiring,” wrote film critic Anita Gates of the New York Times in 2013.

Local Holocaust survivor Rena Finder of Delray Beach will introduce the film at the event and share her testimony of survival.

Finder’s story is about how Nazi industrialist Oskar Schindler, (whom she describes as “an angel”), personally saved her from being murdered by the Nazis.

“Schindler was wonderful. He was tall, handsome and had a twinkle in his eye. He was our hero and our god. How can you say thank you for someone who saved your life,” said Finder.

Born in Krakow, Poland, Finder was a 10-year-old child when World War II began. The Nazis killed her father and forced young Rena and her mother into slave labor at Schindler’s factory.

Finder’s testimony is one of many stories of Schindler’s legacy that is well known by the mass popularity of Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” which won seven Academy Awards and was lauded by film critics as one of the best films ever made about the Holocaust.

For tickets and more information on the film screening, contact Goodman Jewish Family Service at 954-370-2140 or go to http://www.jfsbroward.org

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JFS to screen Holocaust docudrama – Sun Sentinel

Educators learn new ways to teach Holocaust studies – Sun Sentinel

A record number of 120 participants recently took part in the annual advanced Holocaust Symposium at the University of Miami.

During this recent symposium, teacher graduates of the UM Holocaust Teacher Institute, which takes place each summer, learned news ways to incorporate Holocaust education into their classrooms. This symposium was hosted by UM School of Law together with WLRN, the School of Education & Human Development and The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies.

Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director for the Holocaust Teacher Institute, said “The participants’ dedication and enthusiasm was amazing. Imagine coming on a rainy Sunday and staying all day and always asking great questions.”

The symposium included presentations by Jeremy Nesoff, associate program director for the Leadership Academy of the Boston-based organization Facing History and Ourselves, and renowned Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum. Haim Shaked, founding director of UM’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, also participated in a discussion with Berenbaum. The symposium also honored Joanne Harvest Koren, Lecturer in Law and director of UM School of Law’s Academic Achievement Program, for her dedication and unwavering support for it.

Nesoff said, “For me to be at a symposium with scholars like Dr. Berenbaum and Dr. Kassenoff who are really focused on how to bring this history to the students is so valuable and so important that it’s just an honor to be a part of it.”

“I really hope the teachers teaching our adolescents can leave with really concrete ideas about how they can teach this subject to our students and also think about the purpose, and the purpose should really be about civil engagement,” he added.

Kassenoff praised the guest presenters.

“Dr. Berenbaum is always brilliant,” She said. “His lectures elevate and thus the teachers feel elevated in that they have been treated to such excellent scholarship. It makes them feel energized to teach what they learn from him.”

Kassenoff continued, “Jeremy Nesoff is a top well known Holocaust educator and he inspires the teachers to show connections in teaching the Holocaust using art, poetry and literature a wonderful new lesson for my teachers.”

Mary A. Milan, a social studies teacher at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami who volunteered at the symposium, said it’s “basically teaching teachers how to teach the Holocaust.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for teachers,” Milan noted. “Every time I come here I learn something new. Even if Miriam brings Dr. Berenbaum on a regular basis as her guest lecturer, he brings new information every time. She also brings different people in every time and it’s great stuff for my education and for me to pass on to my students as I’m surprised how much this generation is interested in the Holocaust.”

Gary Sheckman, a teacher at Gulliver Preparatory School in Pinecrest and a volunteer for the seminar, which he calls a “unique program,” said, “I’ve seen Michael Berenbaum many times here. He’s a really fascinating person. It’s amazing how much he knows and that he has all the dates and people down.”

When asked to discuss the importance of this seminar due to the recent rash of violence in the world today, the number of survivors dwindling due to age and the Holocaust deniers out there, Kassenoff responded, “I think with what is going on in the world today, it is important for people who attend seminars such as our Holocaust seminars to learn how to study history through facts real facts, not alternative facts and that the educators continue to give students a moral compass of how to live and how to lead and how important it is for them to be engaged in our country’s civic lessons and be active in how they want America to be governed for their future.”

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Educators learn new ways to teach Holocaust studies – Sun Sentinel

Trump condemns anti-Semitism but can’t stop questions …

But scores of people still took issue with how long the statement took. It left many wondering just why he delayed taking a seemingly obvious moral course for a president in the face of bomb threats at 48 JCCs in 26 states in January and rising fears of widening nationwide anti-Semitism after additional incidents this month.

Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a CNN senior political commentator, said he was “befuddled” over why Trump had not spoken out before.

“This is a President who to me is very much a mensch,” Santorum told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, using the Yiddish term for a person of decency and integrity. He also noted Trump’s support for Israel and his three Jewish grandchildren.

Trump’s missing voice on the issue effectively created a vacuum that allowed critics to lay fresh charges of bigotry against him and had even his defenders wondering why the President seemed unwilling to address the issue.

Trump had several opportunities in news conferences last week to speak out against threats that are causing deep anxiety within Jewish communities and failed to do so. Moreover, he brusquely shut down an Orthodox Jewish journalist on the issue in one of the most jarring encounters of his presidency.

That confrontation, the new spate of threats against JCCs, the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and growing political pressure for Trump to speak out — including from his defeated presidential rival Hillary Clinton — help explain the timing of his remarks.

It was fast becoming politically damaging for Trump not to adopt a stern, public line against the incidents.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said Tuesday during a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The President said that his tour was “a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

Trump won kudos for his remarks.

“What he said just recently is what I would hope the President of the United States would do,” Democratic Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said on CNN on Tuesday. But he added, “He was slow to getting to this issue.”

Indeed, Trump’s clear words were also a reminder of what had been missing — and are unlikely to satisfy Trump’s opponents. Particularly after his missteps exacerbated their concerns about his true interest in stamping out anti-Semitism.

For one thing, Trump’s extreme sensitivity to criticism has led him to equate questions about racial and religious prejudice in general as a suggestion that he might somehow be personally guilty of such sins, obscuring the larger issue and the depth of his opposition to expressions of prejudice.

When Jake Turx of Brooklyn-based Ami magazine asked Trump last week about the rise in anti-Semitic acts, the President immediately jumped to the conclusion he was being accused of bigotry, despite the fact the reporter took steps to assure him that was not the case.

“Quiet, quiet, quiet,” Trump said as the reporter tried to explain his question.

“I hate the charge, I find it repulsive,” Trump said.

The exchange was a fresh indication of how the President tends to personalize many issues, ranging from Russia or questions about the legitimacy of his election win and see them as a reflection of his own reputation.

It’s not as if he needed to wait for his visit to the museum to make his feelings clear. No president in modern times has kept up such a torrent of condemnation on the long list of people, events and issues that irk him, often on Twitter but also in frequent photo ops with journalists.

So his failure to speak out forcefully about anti-Semitism had perplexed Washington.

Trump critics suggested that the delay was in keeping with what they see as the President’s consistent failure to condemn bigotry, especially among extremist groups attracted by his campaign rhetoric. He was hit with criticism last year for not promptly repudiating key Ku Klux Klan figure David Duke, though Trump did later do so.

More recently, Trump critics pointed to the administration’s immigration ban on the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries that was stayed by a federal court as evidence of prejudice in the West Wing.

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect said Trump’s statement was merely “a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration.”

“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” said Steven Goldstein, the center’s executive director.

The anti-Semitism controversy also appears to reflect the growing pains of a new administration and the struggles evident in Trump’s transition from rabble-rousing candidate to president.

Trump and his team — many of whom are outsiders in his own image — lack deep governing experience, and already seem to betray a bunker mentality that hurts their ability to navigate fast-growing political challenges.

“He took way too long” to respond, said former Democratic congressman Steve Israel, now a CNN commentator, who stressed he was not accusing Trump of anti-Semitism but wanted him to speak out more prominently against it.

“The President not only has the bully pulpit, he has the moral high ground,” Israel said, and cast doubt on the political savvy of the White House. “This is an administration that seems to be good about denying itself its own lay-ups. This should have been said earlier. It should have been easy.”

Israel and others called on Trump to take real steps to reinforce his remarks.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to establish a special task force to apprehend those behind the bomb threats and for Trump to “outline his administration’s plan to combat surging anti-Semitism.”

At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer did not offer specifics about what Trump would do policy-wise. But he promised the President would “speak very, very forcefully against those who are seeking to do hate or to tear people down.”

He also complained about those continuing to criticize the President on this front.

“It’s ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, that it’s never good enough. Today I think was an unbelievably forceful comment by the President … but I think that he’s been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings this country together and not divides people,” Spicer said.

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.

Trump condemns anti-Semitism but can’t stop questions …