Growing strong: Maimonides Academy to open new building for grades three through eight

Rendering of the outside of the new Maimonides Academy building. Images courtesy of Maimondes Academy

After a decade of dreaming, the staff at Maimonides Academy, an Orthodox Sephardic day school, is nearly ready to make its longtime vision come true and open a new building.

The 50,000-square-foot, four-story structure which cost about $20 million, according to Rabbi Aharon Wilk, Maimonides principal is slated to open on La Cienega Boulevard near the Beverly Center in January. It will house a total of about 360 children in grades three through eight.

The building became necessary as the school ran out of room to enroll new applicants. Now it can continue to grow, said Rabbi Baruch Kupfer, who has been executive director of Maimonides Academy for more than 25 years.

Jewish children need a Jewish school to go to. They deserve the proper facilities they would get in other places and a modern education that will prepare them for the world outside. Our children deserve nothing else, he said.

The school currently has two locations: The one on Huntley Drive is for preschool through third grade, while a West Pico Boulevard site is home to students in fourth through eighth grade. In January, the Pico outpost will close, but the Huntley location will stay open. The third-graders there will be transferred to the new building.

Maimonides Academy was founded in 1968, and started with fewer than 15 students in different rooms at Sephardic Magen David Synagogue, when it was located on Melrose Avenue. Over time, it has blossomed into an institution that serves more than 260 families and 500 students.

Kupfer said that the renovation, funded by families and private donors, hasnt happened until now because of zoning problems. Weve been able to resolve them, he said.

Sketch of the new library

The new building will contain two science labs, a synagogue with a separate beit midrash (house of study) for havruta Torah study and a sports center. There will be outdoor areas on the different levels, a music center, an art studio, a library, a dining hall and two large parking lots that can hold up to 80 cars total. Theres also going to be a Holocaust Memorial Hall, an Israel Independence Hall, an atrium garden and a roof terrace.


Growing strong: Maimonides Academy to open new building for grades three through eight

Human Growth Hormone 101

health normal testosterone levels chart

What is a hormone? A hormone is one of the many chemical messengers of the body. Hormones are comprised of proteins that form peptide chains and direct the functions of our body. One of the most vital of these chemical messengers is Human Growth Hormone.

We here at Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy MD, the Conscious Evolution Medical Institute, want to do everything we can to help you make an informed decision about Hormone Replacement Therapy. Therefore, we have compiled this information about the history, benefits, pros, and cons of growth hormone imbalance treatment.

GH (Growth Hormone), also known as STH (somatotropin) is a hormonal protein that stirs growth and also the reproduction of cells in people and many animals. It’s a lone chain of one hundred ninety one amino type acids that makes up a hormone of the polypeptide variety. It is manufactured, secreted, and stored by somatotrophic cells inside the lateral wings of the anterior of the pituitary gland.

The following information about the physiology of Growth Hormone also reviews briefly diseases caused by a deficiency of Human Growth Hormone as well as excessive Growth Hormone(gigantism and pituitary acromegaly). It also discusses treatment that features Human Growth Hormone. To learn more about a commonly used growth hormone that is often given to cattle, look up bovine somatotropin.


Recombinant HGH Human Growth Hormone is called somatotropin as well (In Britain: Somatotrophin)

HGH is an acronym for Human Growth Hormone. This hormone, HGH, is released from or extracted in a measured fashion from the pituitary gland of human beings.

In the 1980s, Human Growth Hormone of biosynthetic form replaced Human Growth Hormone that was derived from the pituitary in bio hormone replacement therapy used in the United States and other locations. Previously, Human Growth Hormone was gathered from processed pituitary glands. derived Biosynthetic HGH, also referred to as Recombinant Human Growth Hormone, is known as Somatropin and the abbreviation rhGH is used.

From the middle of the 1980s, the HGH abbreviation started to carry connotations that were paradoxical. It now quite rarely is used in reference to Human Growth Hormone for the purposes that are indicated.

Gene and Structure of an HGH molecule

The HGH genes are located at region q22-24 of the 17thchromosome (GH1). They happen to be related closely to hCS (human chorionic somatomammotropin, known also as lactogen of the placenta) genes. Human Growth Hormone, PRL (prolactin) and hCS (chorionix somatomammotropin) make of a group of similar hormones that promote growth and activity that is lactogenic.

The predominant isoform that comprises Human Growth Hormone is a one hundred ninety one amino acid protein chain that has a molecular weight that is twenty two thousand daltons. The configuration has four helixes that are needed for interaction that is functional with the Growth Hormone Receptor. Growth Hormone is believed to be evolutionarily and is structurally similar to chorionic somatomammotropin and prolactin. Even though there are real similarities within the structure that correlate Human Growth Hormone with that of other species, only the HGH from primates and humans has a significant effect on people.

Secretion of Growth Hormone

Many molecular configurations of growth hormone move through the body. A large portion of the HGH circulating through the body is attached to a particular protein called growth hormone binding protein, or GHBP. The protein is manufactured by theGrowth Hormone receptor.

Hormone Regulation

The hypothalamus releases peptides from the neurosecretory nuclei and those peptides enter the veins around the pituitary gland. These peptides are significant in that they stimulate the secretion of Growth Hormone by the body’s somatotropes. But, even though a balance of the inhibiting and stimulating peptides controls the release of growth hormone, the balance is also affected by numerous physiological inhibitors and stimulators of Growth Hormone Secretion.

Stimulators of Growth Hormone Secretion include:

GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone) that originates from the arcuate nucleus.


Ghrelin (hunger-stimulating hormone)


Dietary protein estradiol

Low levels of blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Arginine[2] (decreases blood pressure and enhances injury recovery)

Growth Hormone secretion inhibitors include:

Somatostatin that originates in the periventricular nucleus

glucocorticoids (carbohydrates of a dietary variety)

Levels of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 and Growth Hormone circulation concentration (the body reacts negatively to this feedback)

Secretion of Growth Hormones are stimulated in non-endogenous therapies as well. There are a significant number of exogenic compounds known as xenobiotics that have been proven to stimulate and inhibit the function and secretion of Growth Hormones. This highlights the theory that the axis of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 and Growth Hormone is proving to be a vital target for particular chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system (referred to as endocrine disruptors).

Patterns of Secretion

The majority of physiologically vital secretion happens during a number of large peaks or pulses of growth hormone release every day. The concentration of growth hormone in blood plasma during one of these peaks can range from five to thirty five ng/mL or even more. These peaks usually last a duration of ten to thirty minutes before they return to normal levels. The most predictable and largest of the growth hormone peaks happens around an hour after one goes to sleep. Besides this particular time, there is a wide variety ofGrowth Hormonerelease patterns from person to person and even from day to day within a particular person. Between peaks, base levels of growth hormone remain low, most often less than three ng/mL for most of the night and day.

Also, the pattern and amount of growth hormone that is secreted changes over the course of one’s life. Base levels ofGrowth Hormoneare at their highest at the beginning of childhood. The frequency and amplitude of peaks is at its greatest during the growth spurt of puberty. Healthy adolescents and children average around eight peaks every 24 hours. Adults usually have around five peaks. The amplitude and frequency of peaks as well as base levels ofGrowth Hormonedrop as one becomes older.

Growth Hormone Functions

The effect thatGrowth Hormonehas on human tissue can most accurately be termed anabolic (meaning having a stimulative effect). Similarly to the majority of other hormonal proteins, growth hormone functions through interaction with a particular receptor that is located on the outer surface of the cell.

Increases Height

The stimulation of growth in height during childhood is the most well known effect of growth hormone action. It appears to be spurred by a minimum of 2 mechanisms.

Growth hormone stimulates the multiplication and division of the chondrocytes located in the cartilage. Chondrocytes are the main cells in the epiphyses (growing ends) of the long bones of a child’s body (digits, arms, legs).

Growth hormone also encourages manufacture of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1, known previously as somatomedin C). IGF-1 is a hormone that is similar to proinsulin. Creation of IGF-1 occurs primarily in the liver, and stimulation through Growth Hormone is necessary for this vital process to occur correctly.

IGF-1 also has stimulative growth effects on various types of tissue. IGF-1 is manufactured to a lesser extent inside the tissues that are targeted, which makes IInsulin-Like Growth Factor-1 seemingly an endocrine hormone as well as a paracrine/autocrine hormone. Also, IGF-1 has stimulative effects upon chondrocyte and osteoblast activity, leading to a promotion of the healthy growth of one’s bones.

Other Functions of Growth Hormone

Though Growth Hormone’s most well known effect is the stimulation of height growth, it also stimulates a variety of other metabolic processes.

Below is a list of some of these processes:

Increase in the retention of calcium, which increases bone mineralization and strengthens the bones as well

Increase in muscle mass due to the genesis of new muscle cells (also known as hyperplasia, which differs significantly from hypertrophy)

Promotion of lypolysis. This results in a loss of body fat, medically known as adipose tissue.

Increase in the synthesis of proteins which stimulates growth and maintenance of every organ of the body, in exclusion of the brain

Role in homeostasis of fuel production. Growth Hormone reduces the liver’s intake of glucose, which opposes the hormone of insulin.

Promotion of gluconeogenesis in the liver

Contribution to the proper function and maintenance of the islets of the pancreas

Stimulant of the immune system

Diseases that are a result of an excess of growth hormone

(acromegaly and pituitary gigantism)

The disease which is most common that results in an excess of growth hormone is a pituitary gland tumor comprised of somatotroph cells that normally reside in the anterior of the pituitary gland. These somatotrophic adenomas are not cancer causing and they grow very slowly, producing a greater and greater amount of growth hormone as they develop. For many years, the main medical issue that arises from a somatotrophic adenoma is an excess of growth hormone. After many years, the adenoma can become so large that it begins to cause headaches and impair vision due to the pressure it creates upon the optical nerve. It can also create a deficiency of other hormones by displacing them on the pituitary gland.

Prolonged excess of growth hormone can lead to a thickening of the bones of the toes, fingers, and jaw. The jaw heaviness and digit thickness that occurs as a result is known as acromegaly. Problems that accompany acromegaly often include pressure upon the nerves (carpal tunnel among other conditions), weakness of the muscles, a reduction of sexual ability, and even possibly resistance to insulin, which can result in a rare kind of type-2 diabetes.

Tumors that secrete growth hormone are most often discovered during a patient’s 50s. It is very uncommon for this type of tumor to develop during childhood or adolescence, but if it does develop, it can lead to an excess of growth hormone that can lead to excessive growth commonly called pituitary gigantism. Growth hormone producing tumors are usually treated by means of surgical removal. In unique cases, focused blasts of radiation may be used. In other cases, a Growth Hormone antagonist like octreotide or bromocriptine may be administered to block the function of growth hormone or cause the tumor to shrink.

Deficiency of Growth Hormone (GHD)

A deficiency of growth hormone can produce very different issues dependent upon the age at which the deficiency occurs. In young children, an inhibition of growth leading to short stature and size is the most common manifestation of Growth Hormone Deficiency. For adults, however, effects that are caused by Growth Hormone deficiency are much more subtle. These effects can include weakness, lack of energy, reduction in bone mass in addition to a higher risk of cardiovascular complications.

There are numerous causes of Growth Hormone deficiency. These include genetic mutations, genetic defects of the pituitary and/or the hypothalamus, and also damage that occurs to the pituitary gland from disease, surgery, or injury.

A proper diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency is a multi-step diagnostic procedure which usually culminate in growth hormone stimulation tests. In these tests, various stimuli are administered in an effort to spur the pituitary gland into releasing a pulse of Growth Hormone.

A deficiency in Growth Hormone is treated through bio identical hormones therapy. All of the Growth Hormone that is currently used is of a biosynthetic variety created through technology derived from recombinant DNA.

Because Growth Hormone is a very large protein, it has to be administered by injection into subcutaneous tissue to reach the blood stream. Injections used to be administered into muscle mass until 1985, when manufacture of synthetic Growth Hormone began. If an individual has been long-suffering from the effects of Growth Hormone deficiency, treatment benefits are quite often gratifying and dramatic. Side effects are rare, as well. When Growth Hormone is used properly in children who have a deficiency, the end result is a more normal and average height in adulthood.

Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy is used as a treatment for adults that struggle with a Growth Hormone deficiency of adult-onset (which is usually caused by the development of a tumor on the pituitary gland) or childhood-onset (upon completion of the growth phase). In these individuals, the benefits often include a reduction in body fat, an increase in lean muscle, stronger bones, improved cholesterol levels, fewer risk factors for cardiovascular complications, and an overall improvement in mental well being.

Advantages of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Other uses for Growth Hormone and other indications of treatment

A number of other ailments other than Growth Hormone deficiency can lead to lackluster growth; however, the benefits of growth and height gain are very often poorer when not treated for Growth Hormone Deficiency as well.

Other examples of reduced stature that feature treatment regimens involving Growth Hormone include:

Chronic Renal Failure

Turner syndrome

Prader-Willi syndrome

In-utero growth complications

Severely small stature with no discernible cause

In conditions such as these, larger, pharmacological doses of Growth Hormone are needed to induce growth. The amount of Growth Hormone administered to the body by an HRT doctor in these instances is much higher than normal physiological levels. Luckily, treatment with these pharmacological doses rarely result in unwanted hormone side effects. Also, the Growth HRT side effects show little variation relative to the condition treated.

Often, Growth Hormone is utilized to attain benefits other than an increase in height. Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy leads to an increase in muscle strength and a modest reduction in body fat for those who suffer from Prader-Willi syndrome. In those children who suffer from this condition, these two benefits are significantly more vital than simply growing in height. Growth Hormone has also proven to be useful to ward off the muscle atrophy and wasting caused by AIDS. Growth Hormone also can be administered to individuals suffering from short bowel syndrome so that their bodies are not dependent upon being fed totally intravenously.

Less Commonly Known benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy include:

Attempting to induce remission in those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis

Weight loss treatment for those with obesity

Anti-aging treatment to reverse effects of the aging process (read more below)

Combating fibromyalgia

Relieving ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease symptoms

General treatment for being of small stature

Administration to assist in physical enhancement for athletics or bodybuilding

Growth Hormone as an anti-aging therapy

The first claims of Growth Hormone as a valid treatment to combat the aging process dates back to the year 1990. The New England Journal of Medicine released a study in which Growth Hormone was implemented to treat twelve males over the age of sixty. At the end of this study, every male was shown to have increases in lean body mass and bone density that were of statistical significance. The control set of males showed no such improvements. The scientists who conducted the research noted that reduction in bone density and an increase in lean body mass are among the changes that occur normally over a ten to twenty year period of aging. Even though the authors did not claim that Growth Hormone reversed the process of aging, the results that they released were interpreted incorrectly, leading many to believe that Growth Hormone was effective as an agent to prevent and reverse aging.

A survey of clinical research conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine released in 2007 revealed that Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy administered to older, yet healthy patients, led to an increase in muscle mass of around two kilograms. It also led to a reduction in body fat by two kilograms as well. These effects, however, were the only positive effects that the survey revealed. Cholesterol levels, bone density, maximal aerobic capacity, and lipid profiles showed no change, nor did any other significant factor that would indicate an increase in general fitness. The survey did not discover gains in muscle strength. They concluded that Growth Hormone merely allows the body to store greater amounts of water in muscle tissues, which would not lead to an increase in the actual growth of the muscles. This also explains the improved lean body mass as well. Standardized administration of Growth Hormone did induce several negative issues like pain and swelling of the joints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Complications and risks of Growth Hormone therapy: bio identical hormone replacement therapy side effects

With Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy, some adults may experience the side effects of nerve compression, pain and swelling of the joints, and water retention. Also, there is a concern that, theoretically, growth hormone treatment might raise the risk of developing cancer or diabetes, even more so in individuals who have other risk factors and take higher doses of Growth Hormone. It should be noted, though, that diabetes generally develops due to the accumulative effects of bad eating habits over the course of thirty or forty years, are most probable cause for diabetes in those patients who undergo Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy is the lack of proper nutrition that the individual experienced throughout his or her life. One particular survey of patients who were administered Growth Hormone that was collected from cadavers as children were shown to have a modestly higher risk of colon cancer as adults; however, cadaver Growth Hormone ceased to be used anywhere worldwide around 1985. Also, a link between the treatment and the incidence of colon cancer was not adequately established in the survey.


Choh Hao Li is associated with the discovery, refinement, and eventual synthesis of Growth Hormone. The history of the use of growth hormone¤from the initial extraction of the hormone from the human pituitary, to the minor catastrophe that resulted in a small group of patients acquiring Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, to the eventual expansion of use and large expenses of synthetic Growth Hormone¤is explained in further detail in more detail elsewhere on Growth Hormone Treatment.

By the year 2005, Growth Hormone of the synthetic variety was attainable in the U.S. by means of a number of manufacturers. Among these manufacturers are Genentech (Nutropin), Lilly (Humatrope), Pfizer (Genotropin), Novo (Norditropin), and Merck Serono (Saizen). All of these products are almost identical in their composition, cost, and efficacy. They vary mainly through means of delivery and ultimate formulation. Also in the year 2005, Teva, a company from Israel, began to offer Tev-Tropin in the United States for a cheaper price. In the year 2006, the United States FDA gave the go ahead to a follow-up type of rhGH known as Omnitrope, released by Sandoz. Alkermes and Genentech developed a form of Growth Hormone that releases over time known as Nutropin Depot. This treatment was FDA-approved in 1999 and it minimized the need for daily injections, requiring one injection every two to four weeks; however, this product became discontinued in the year 2004.

See also:

Human Growth hormone; Human Growth hormone treatment; Bodybuilding and Human Growth; Hormone Treatment; Human Growth Hormone controversies; Recombinant protein List; Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1


Alba-Roth, M’ller, Schopohl, von Werder (Published 1988). Arginine can enhance Human Growth Hormone secretion through the suppression of internal secretion of somatostatin. Journal of Clinical Endocrinolgy and Metabolism Volume 67 Issue 6: Pages 1186-9. PubMedID 2903866.

Scarth. Controlling the Human Growth Hormone and-Insulin-Like Growth Factor axis by nutraceutical, environmental, and pharmaceutical xenobiotics: a new role for enzymes that metabolize xenobiotics and the factors which regulate their expression. A review”. Xenobiotica Volume 36 (Issue 2-3): Pages 119-218. PubMedID 16702112.

Takahashi, Kipnis, Daughaday (Published 1968). Human Growth Hormone secretion during sleep”. Journal of Clinical Investigation Volume 47 Issue 9: Pages 2079-90. PubMedID 5675428.

Actions of Ant. Pit. Growth Hormones. Med. Coll of Ga, 2007

King. Growth Hormone. Indiana SU 2006

Study finds no proof that Human Growth Hormone Therapy leads to longer life.

British Broadcasting Company News. July 26, 2002. Human Growth Hormone therapy linked to cancer.

The rest is here:
Human Growth Hormone 101

Israel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 31N 35E / 31N 35E / 31; 35

Israel //, officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: , Mednat Yisr’el, IPA:[medinat jisael]( listen); Arabic: , Dawlat Isrl, IPA:[dawlat israil]), is a country in Western Asia, situated at the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories comprising the West Bank and Gaza Strip[6] on the east and southwest, respectively, and Egypt and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south. It contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.[7][8] Israel’s financial center is Tel Aviv,[9] while Jerusalem is the country’s most populous city and its designated capital, although Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognized internationally.[note 1][10]

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine. The end of the British Mandate for Palestine was set for midnight on 14 May 1948. That day, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” which would start to function from the termination of the mandate.[11][12][13] The borders of the new state were not specified. Neighboring Arab armies invaded the former Palestinian mandate on the next day and fought the Israeli forces.[14][15] Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states,[16] in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula (19561957, 19671982), part of South Lebanon (19822000), Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. It annexed portions of these territories, including East Jerusalem, but the border with the West Bank is disputed.[17][18][19][20] Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and with Jordan, but efforts to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace.

The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2014 to be 8,146,300people. It is the world’s only Jewish-majority state; 6,110,600 citizens, or 75.3% of Israelis, are Jewish. The country’s second largest group of citizens are designated as Arabs, with 1,686,000 people (including the Druze and most East Jerusalem Arabs).[21][22] The great majority of Israeli Arabs are settled Muslims, with smaller but significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins; the rest are Christians and Druze. Other minorities include Maronites, Samaritans, Dom people, Black Hebrew Israelites, other Sub-Saharan Africans,[23]Armenians, Circassians, Roma and others. Israel also hosts a significant population of non-citizen foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia.

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic State.[24] Israel is a representative democracy[disputed discuss] with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage.[25][26] The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel’s legislative body. Israel is a developed country and an OECD member,[27] with the 43rd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2012. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the fifth highest in Asia,[28] and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.[29]

Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name “State of Israel” (Medinat Yisrael) after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel (“the Land of Israel”), Zion, and Judea, were considered and rejected.[30] In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term “Israeli” to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett.[31]

The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish nation respectively.[32] The name “Israel” in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob (StandardYisrael, Isrl; Septuagint Greek: Isral; “struggle with God”[33]) who, according to the Hebrew Bible was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord.[34] Jacob’s twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob,[35] led the Israelites back into Canaan during the “Exodus”. The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word “Israel” is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE).[36]

The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bah’ Faith. From 1920 the whole region was known as Palestine (under British Mandate) until the Israeli Declaration of Independence of 1948. Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Judea, Samaria, Southern Syria, Syria Palaestina, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, Retjenu, and Canaan.

The notion of the “Land of Israel”, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael, has been important and sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical times. According to the Torah, God promised the land to the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people.[37][38] On the basis of scripture, the period of the three Patriarchs has been placed somewhere in the early 2nd millenniumBCE,[39] and the first Kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. Subsequent Israelite kingdoms and states ruled intermittently over the next four hundred years, and are known from various extra-biblical sources.[40][41][42][43]

The first record of the name Israel (as ysrr) occurs in the Merneptah stele, erected for Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah c. 1209 BCE, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.”[44] This “Israel” was a cultural and probably political entity of the central highlands, well enough established to be perceived by the Egyptians as a possible challenge to their hegemony, but an ethnic group rather than an organised state;[45] Ancestors of the Israelites may have included Semites native to Canaan and the Sea Peoples.[46] McNutt says, “It is probably safe to assume that sometime during Iron Age I a population began to identify itself as ‘Israelite’”, differentiating itself from the Canaanites through such markers as the prohibition of intermarriage, an emphasis on family history and genealogy, and religion.[47]

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Israel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Israel: Geography, History, Politics, and More …

President-elect: Reuven Rivlin (2014)

Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (2009)

Land area: 7,849 sq mi (20,329 sq km); total area: 8,019 sq mi (20,770 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 7,821,850 (growth rate: 1.46%); birth rate: 18.44/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.98/1000; life expectancy: 81.28

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Jerusalem, 791,000 Note: Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, but the U.S., like nearly all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

Other large cities: Tel Aviv-Yafo 3.381 million; Haifa 1.054 million

Monetary unit: Shekel

More Facts & Figures

Israel, slightly larger than Massachusetts, lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Egypt on the west, Syria and Jordan on the east, and Lebanon on the north. Its maritime plain is extremely fertile. The southern Negev region, which comprises almost half the total area, is largely a desert. The Jordan, the only important river, flows from the north through Lake Hule (Waters of Merom) and Lake Kinneret (also called Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias), finally entering the Dead Sea 1,349 ft (411 m) below sea levelthe world’s lowest land elevation.

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Israel: Geography, History, Politics, and More …

Israel & the Palestinian Territories – Lonely Planet

At the intersection of Asia, Europe and Africa – both geographically and culturally – Israel and the Palestinian Territories have been a meeting place of cultures, empires and religions since history began. Everyone from Moses to Mark Twain has dreamed of going there. The appearance of prophets seems to be dwindling and the Crusaders have long since hung up their swords and shields, but travellers still come in droves, almost magnetically, to this land still considered holy by countless millions.

The appeal of Israels ancient and holy past may be obvious enough but many new arrivals are surprised to see that its much more than a lesson in history. While Jerusalem is a dazzling amalgam of past and present, and a contested hotbed for the world’s monotheistic faiths, the whole country is a tightly packed ball of everything from Mt Masada and the Negev desert to the beaches of Eilat. On a leisurely weekend you could surf, ski, sip wine, ride horses, go clubbing in Tel-Aviv or enjoy some cutting-edge theatre and thats just the start. You can also work on a kibbutz, volunteer at a West Bank school, float in the Dead Sea, hike across the Israel National Trail

Like the patchwork of new arrivals at Ben-Gurion airport, Israel is an amalgamation of peoples who arrived over centuries of time, each one staking their claim to the land. Territorial disputes led to violence, which in turn made for some epic accounts in the Bible not terribly dissimilar to what is playing out on nightly newscasts where you are today. But contrary to popular belief, Israel is not a war zone to be avoided, and it has such rigid security that travel is surprisingly safe.

Somewhere along the line, politics and the bitter facts of life in this uncertain land will nudge their way into your trip. And while Israelis and Palestinians love nothing more than to argue, muse and prognosticate over the latest political currents, its best to leave your own opinions at the door. Enter the Holy Land on a clean slate and youll never watch the nightly news the same way again.

Ready to go?

These tours & activities make it easy:

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Israel & the Palestinian Territories – Lonely Planet

Anti-Semitism In Norway: The Word Jew Allegedly Being Used As A Curse In Schools

In light of the current wave of anti-Semitism in Scandinavia, it may come as little surprise to many that Jew hate in Norway is at all time high, with new claims that the word Jew is being used as a curse in schools.

Irwin Cohen, the president of the Jewish community in Norway, reached out to reporters, making allegations reminiscent of the pre-second world war atmosphere in Europe, and warning that anti-Semitism is growing in the county.

According to Cohen, Along with the well-known curses, Jew has become a dirty word common in many schools, he said.

Norway has had its fair share of anti-Semitic incidents over the years, like back in 2012 when Professor Johan Galtung, a Norwegian academic, went on an anti-Semitic rant linking mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik to the Mossad, while suggesting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are what led to the Holocaust.

In that same year, marchers at a May Day Parade in Norway held banners proclaiming slogans such as Israel = Apartheid and Boycott Israel! which were not condemned by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the time despite the offense the banners caused to the Norwegian Jewish community.

In April this year, a school and sports facility were sprayed with swastikas and racist slogans against Jews, while in September a swastika was carved into the glass doors of the Trndelag Theater the day after the premiere of a Jewish puppet theater performance there.

Cohen spoke about the issues faced by Jews across Norway, saying, There is a total of about 1300 Jews in Norway; 160 of them are Norwegian schoolchildren. And sometimes they need to hide their Jewishness. If youre going to school with a large groups of Muslims, I do not think the first thing you should do is pick up your hand and tell them about your Jewish background.

He continued, The sad thing is that the [Norwegian] public still believe in stereotypes and the conspiracy theories that Jews have a great impact on the world financial markets and seek to take over the world. The strange thing about this strain of anti-Semitism is that it is over 2,000 years old, but never dies.

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Anti-Semitism In Norway: The Word Jew Allegedly Being Used As A Curse In Schools

Ingber 15: The oldest hatred in new and old forms

Anti-Semitism is not something we talk about on college campuses. While we may discuss anti-Semitism abstractly in academic conversations, it is something we believe we are beyond, something reminiscent of backward 20th century totalitarian regimes. But this ancient hatred of Jews persists around the world. From the depths of Saudi madrassas to the halls of the United Nations in Geneva, anti-Semitic tropes continue.

This past May, a gunman of Algerian descent murdered four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. A few years earlier, Mohammed Merah, a French national, murdered many people including an 8-year-old girl at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

But this summer, following the Israeli operation in the Gaza strip, anti-Semitism was not isolated to rogue actors perpetrating violence. While many protests expressed clear messages objecting to the actions of the Israeli government, others contained thousands of protesters many in Germany, alarmingly chanting gas the Jews. And most striking was an incident in Sarcelles, France, a suburb of Paris. Jewish businesses were looted and ransacked by mobs in an incident resembling something from 1930s Germany. Synagogues were attacked and Jewish sites were vandalized in the suburb of what many consider to be the cultural capital of Europe.

While it is important to note that European governments have been exceptionally swift in condemning this anti-Semitism and mobilizing broad political support to stop its spread, the populist nature of these events signifies the extant nature of European anti-Semitism.

But it is no surprise that there has been virtually no discussion on this topic of campus. Perhaps it is academically passe to examine anti-Semitism in most circles. But I think most students at Brown, and in the United States more broadly, do not believe they are exposed to anti-Semitism. I write this column not to suggest that Browns campus is brimming with anti-Semitism not in the slightest. But I would like to highlight certain things that have appeared across institutions of higher education that give cause for concern.

It is first crucial to remember that Jews still constitute a minority with a long history of persecution prior to a recent history of safety and security. It was not long ago that Henry Ford regularly distributed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and President Franklin Delano Roosevelts State Department routinely rejected requests to accept Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. While the triumph of the Jewish people vis-a-vis thousands of years of historical threats is nothing short of astonishing, we must remember that persecution weighs heavily on the Jewish historical memory.

And so, it is alarming that somebody drew swastikas on the facade of Emory Universitys chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the schools oldest historically Jewish fraternity. While some might say that Emory is in Atlanta, and the South has more anti-Semitism than other parts of the country, a similar expression of prejudice occurred recently at Yale. Swastikas were chalked on the sidewalk outside a freshman dorm just a short time after they were found on a whiteboard inside an academic building. Scary.

But never at Brown, right? That could not possibly happen here. But it did. Last year, surrounding the now infamous Ray Kelly affair, a number of posters with Ray Kellys face were adorned with swastikas. Should I have to enter my dorm and look at a swastika on the door? Do we have such a short memory of 20th century events that we forget how traumatizing these symbols are for Jews, many of whom had family live through or perish in the Holocaust?

But it is easy to condemn a swastika. The more nefarious instances of anti-Semitism manifest in language, not images. They appear in language speciously germane to a conversation but actually coded in historical anti-Semitism tropes. And it is in conversations regarding Israel that these tropes come to life.

Let me be nothing short of absolutely clear: It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate to criticize the actions of Israel without venturing into anti-Semitic territory. But when criticism of Israel uses language historically associated with anti-Semitic canards, we have to be careful. Calling Israelis or the Israeli government bloodthirsty for Palestinian children is simply a new variation on historic uses of blood libel the untrue and offensive notion that Jews seek the blood of non-Jewish children for religious ritual.

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Ingber 15: The oldest hatred in new and old forms

Waves of young Israelis find a home in the former Nazi capital

BERLIN When Nir Iveniaki told his grandmother back home in Tel Aviv that he was emigrating from Israel to Germany, the first thing she did was produce a gun. The tenacious 88-year-old had wielded the antique pistol during World War II, when she fought with a band of Jewish rebels in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Be careful in Germany, Iveniaki recalls her saying as she displayed the weapon to emphasize her point. Do what you want, but I hope youre sure.

Iveniaki was sure enough to kiss grandma on the cheek, pack his bags and follow an unlikely trail being blazed by thousands of young Israelis who are moving to Germany. The vast majority are landing in Berlin, the former Nazi capital that is also fast emerging as a beacon for other young Jews escaping a surge in anti-Semitism in surrounding countries, including Hungary and France.

You cannot forget the past, said Iveniaki, 32, who opened a caf/record store in the exceedingly hip Berlin neighborhood of Neuklln last month. But Im interested in the present and the future. Germany is now one of the most socially accepting countries in the world.

The wave of newcomers from Israel is accelerating the rebirth of Jewish culture in the country that nearly extinguished it, bringing the long-lost scent of freshly baked rugelach and Hamantashen cookies back to the streets of Berlin. But the flow of new arrivals is also sparking an uproar in Israel, where everyone from leading politicians to Holocaust survivors is denouncing the exodus to Germany.

In Israel, critics are taking aim at one of the key reasons cited by young Israelis for moving here: The high cost of living in cities such as Tel Aviv compared to the affordability of cheap and shabby chic Berlin.

In recent weeks, the debate has found a fulcrum in the form of a now-notorious Facebook page, Olim Le Berlin a name that plays on the Hebrew word commonly used to encourage immigration to Israel. It was initially launched anonymously by one recent arrival to Berlin 25-year-old mobile app designer Naor Narkis, who last week revealed his identity in The Washington Post.

From his perch on the Internet, he has lorded inexpensive puddings and cheap gym memberships in the face of his countrymen becoming a folk hero to some and an anti-Zionist villain to others.

I was always curious about Germany because I wanted to understand a society that almost exterminated my people, Narkis said. But, he noted, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently led a major rally against anti-Semitism. And, on the streets of Berlin these days, he said, You find the lowest level of anti-Semitism in Europe. I think young Germans and young Israelis share a lot in common. We both grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust. And in that sense, we understand each other.

Waves of Jewish returnees and immigrants have landed in Germany since the end of World War II, with the largest numbers arriving after the fall of the Berlin wall opened the door to tens of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union.

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Waves of young Israelis find a home in the former Nazi capital

Dutch Christians Boycott Netherlands Church Over Exhibit Portraying Jailed Palestinian Children

October 21, 2014|1:17 pm

A picture of an exhibition named “Room No. 4″ featured at Domkerk Church in Utrecht, Netherlands, that shows adults portraying imprisoned Palestinian children, October 2014.

Dutch Christians have boycotted a Netherlands church for displaying an exhibit they believe encourages anti-Semitism.

Named “Room No. 4″ the exhibit was brought to Utrecht’s Domkerk Church, one of the Netherlands best-known places of worship, by the Dutch Coalition for Palestinian Children in Israeli Detention. The exhibit features adult models tied up in ropes to portray jailed Palestinian children who are in Israeli detention facilities.

Earlier this month, Hebe Kohlbrugge, a member of the church, joined other Christians in the protest by boycotting the exhibit due to what he believes to be a permeating anti-Jewish sentiment from the piece.

“Many people cannot differentiate between Israel and Jews,” Kohlbrugge told the Trouw daily newspaper. “People wearing kippot are being harassed over Israel’s actions. Thus criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitism.”

Kohlbrugge also said he believes the church is an unsuitable venue for criticizing Israel. “Before you point fingers, better look at the ones pointing in your direction.”

Japp Hamburger, whose group belongs to the Dutch Coalition for Palestinian Children in Israeli Detention recently wrote an Op-Ed on the Dutch news website where he claimed that the exhibit doesn’t encourage anti-Semitism.

The church, according to JTA, agrees with Hamburger and believes the exhibit affirms children’s rights and on that basis decided to display it on its premises.

” … [T]he church placed a board displaying members’ complaints against the exhibit, but said it decided to host it anyway because of its “commitment to children’s rights,” JTA reports.

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Dutch Christians Boycott Netherlands Church Over Exhibit Portraying Jailed Palestinian Children