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September 9  , 2011                                                     10 Elul, 5771

We join with all Americans as we remember  the 10th Anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.  Our hearts are united with the families whose loved ones perished on that terrible day as well as to our American troops who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. 

ITEMS OF INTERNATIONAL JEWISH INTEREST
Interesting News Items From Around The World That You May Not Have Seen, But Should Definitely Read

1) The following article, which is entitled “Wikileaks Bombshell: New Israel Fund Official Endorses End of Jewish State” was written by Noah Pollak and appeared in Commentary Magazine.   Two Wikileaks cables from 2010 confirm with stunning accuracy the critique of Israel’s foreign-funded NGO movement that many have been making for years — and they do so from the mouths of the NGO leaders themselves. The cables summarize meetings between U.S. officials and leaders of the New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, called ACRI, a flagship NIF project.   In one cable, we learn that leaders of these groups have been telling U.S. officials the Israeli legal system is incapable of investigating claims against the Israeli government and military. In fact, Israel’s judiciary, both civil and military, is among the world’s most independent, and the former president of Israel’s High Court was cited by President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, as a significant role model. Yet advancing claims of judicial indifference to war crimes has become a central ambition of the NGOs, because establishing Israel’s supposed inability to investigate itself would open the door to international prosecutions where verdicts against Israel are foreordained.

The credible prospect of such prosecutions would paralyze the IDF — which is exactly the point:   Limor Yehuda of ACRI argued that military police investigations could not resolve the main issues of how Israel conducted the military operation [Operation Cast Lead], including its targeting and policy decisions…she believed only international pressure could influence the GOI [Government of Israel] to create an independent investigation that could hold senior leadership accountable for alleged violations.   And here is Jessica Montell, the head of B’Tselem:   She wanted the highest level decision-makers held accountable for the decisions they made on how to prosecute the conflict, including Military Advocate General (MAG) Mandelblit…Her aim, she said, was to make Israel weigh world opinion and consider whether it could “afford another operation like this.”   What Montell means by that last sentence is frighteningly clear: she wants to create the conditions in which “world opinion” can prevent the IDF from defending Israelis from attack.   Click here to continue reading this article.  

2) Despite billing itself as a “pro-Israel” group, J Street has once again showed its true colors by taking a position that runs counter to the best interests of the Jewish State.   Since its inception, J Street has openly criticized the settlements in Judea and Samaria; accepted large financial contributions from donors whose views are seemingly anti-Israel; condemned Israel after it attempted to prevent a breach of its naval blockade of Gaza; and opposed a congressional letter, which criticized Palestinian incitement and called on the White House to do everything possible to urge Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to root out terrorism. In its most recent act, J Street declared its opposition to a movement to cut funding to the Palestinians if they move forward with their plan to unilaterally seek statehood in the United Nations.   The following article, which was written by the JTA, outlines J Street’s latest move.   J Street opposes Palestinian statehood bid   The liberal Jewish group J Street opposes Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood recognition through the United Nations, as well as plans to penalize the Palestinians for making the bid.   “We believe that everything J Street stands for and what we do needs to promote the two-state solution and not just two states,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, the director of the dovish pro-Israel group, told JTA on Wednesday.   Palestinian statehood should come about through negotiations with Israel and not unilaterally, he said.   Ben-Ami said the group backs Obama administration plans to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish such a state and has urged Palestinian leaders to defer plans to introduce such a resolution later this month.   Unlike much of the rest of the pro-Israel community, however, Ben-Ami said that J Street planned to lobby against cutting funding to the Palestinians should they press ahead with statehood recognition plans.   “What the Palestinians are doing is legal, even if we don’t agree with it, and we believe it is against Israel strategic interests and U.S. interests to cut funding to the Palestinians,” he said.  

3) The following article comes to us courtesy of WorldJewishDaily.com. Report: FBI Spied on Israeli Embassy in Washington   Leaked documents reveal the FBI wiretapped the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., listening in on conversations between embassy officials, members of Congress and Israel supporters, the New York Times reports.   The man who leaked the documents, Israeli Shammai Leibowitz, was sentenced to 20 months in prison in 2010.   Leibowitz leaked the documents to leftist American blogger Richard Silverstein, a consistent critic of Israel, who runs the blog Tikkun Olam. In an interview with the Times, Silverstein said Leibowitz gave him the documents in an effort to thwart Israel from a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Leibowitz believed such an attack would be disadvantageous to Israeli and American interests.    According to the Times:   One post reports that the Israeli Embassy provided “regular written briefings” on Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza to President Obama in the weeks between his election and inauguration. Another describes calls involving Israeli officials in Jerusalem, Chicago and Washington to discuss the views of members of Congress on Israel. A third describes a call between an unnamed Jewish activist in Minnesota and the Israeli Embassy about an embassy official’s meeting with Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, who was planning an official trip to Gaza.    Mr. Silverstein said he remembered that embassy officials talked about drafting opinion articles to be published under the names of American supporters. He said the transcripts also included a three-way conversation between a congressman from Texas, an American supporter of the congressman and an embassy official; Mr. Silverstein said he could not recall any of the names.    The Times notes that the FBI regularly spies on foreign nations’ embassies in Washington, but eavesdropping on an ally is a sensitive matter. Israel, too, spies on U.S. officials in Washington, the article adds, describing Israeli espionage as “extensive.”   

4) The following comes to us courtesy of Independent Media Review Analysis.   Eastern Jerusalem Schools Refuse to Teach Israeli Revised Textbooks   Principals and teachers of occupied East Jerusalem schools Wednesday refused to teach Palestinian textbooks that have been revised and altered by the Israeli Ministry of Education, according to a Palestinian official.   Samir Jibril, a Palestinian Authority official in charge of Jerusalem education, said that 90% of the Palestinian students in Jerusalem bought the Palestinian version of the textbooks, which will be copied and distributed among the rest of the students.   He said that every Palestinian school must only teach the Palestinian version of 2011 curricula textbooks that are produced by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. He described the Israeli measure as “provocative,” accusing Israel to attempting to distort historical facts and misinform students about the Palestinian identity and history.   Ahmad Rweidi, in charge of the Jerusalem file in President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, considered the Israeli decision as “illegal because Jerusalem is an occupied city.” The Israeli government revised Palestinian textbooks and removed poems by Palestinian poet Haroun Hashim Rashid, terminology relating to the Palestinian Intifada and any reference of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.   It also replaced information in the Islamic religion and Arabic history books by introducing what officials have described as false information about the history of Jews in Jerusalem.

5) The following comes to us courtesy of the Zionist Organization of America. ZOA Repudiates Fmr. Defense Sec. Gates’ Criticism of Israel   The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has repudiated criticism made of Israel by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in which Mr. Gates claimed that Israel was an ungrateful ally. In an interview with The Atlantic’s leftwing Jeffrey Goldberg, Gates claimed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had been “impudent” to publicly explain to President Barack Obama Israel’s security situation. Gates also claimed that, despite the many steps the US had taken to guarantee Israel’s security – assistance with weapons, defense systems and intelligence sharing, it had received nothing in return, “particularly in regards to the peace process.”   According to Goldberg:   “In a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee held not long before his retirement this summer, Gates coldly laid out the many steps the administration has taken to guarantee Israel’s security -- access to top- quality weapons, assistance developing missile-defense systems, high-level intelligence sharing -- and then stated bluntly that the U.S. has received nothing in return, particularly with regard to the peace process.

Senior administration officials told me that Gates argued to the president directly that Netanyahu is not only ungrateful, but also endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation and with the demographic challenges it faces if it keeps control of the West Bank. Gates has expressed his frustration with Netanyahu’s government before. Last year, when Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel was marred by an announcement of plans to build new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem, Gates told several people that if he had been Biden, he would have returned to Washington immediately and told the prime minister to call Obama when he was serious about negotiations” (Jeffrey Goldberg, ‘Robert Gates Says Israel is an Ungrateful Ally,’ Bloomberg, September 5, 2011).  

The ZOA believes Robert Gates’ criticism is unwarranted. It is absurd to complain about Prime Minister Netanyahu having “lectured” President Obama when, not only has President Obama repeatedly lectured Israel as to what would best serve Israel’s interests, but the Netanyahu “lecture” came just after President Obama had ambushed Mr. Netanyahu on the eve of his visit to Washington with a speech that laid out, without prior consultation with Israel, a proposal for sweeping Israeli concessions and new U.S. positions that had never been publicly stated by any previous president – scarcely the behavior of close ally.   President Obama not only called upon Israel to return to the indefensible pre-1967 lines “with agreed swaps” – basically, saying that Israel can keep nothing beyond these lines, not even Jerusalem’s Western Wall, without Palestinian consent. He also had called for a “full and phased Israeli withdrawal,” including from the Jordan Valley, a strategically vital land barrier whose possession by Israel makes it possible for the Jewish state to repulse an invasion from the East. All Israeli governments have regarded it as vital to Israel’s security. No previous president had publicly called for this. Nor had any previous president said that Israel should first set up a Palestinian state and only then discuss the vital issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that Prime Minister Netanyahu felt the need to state publicly and clearly why Israel could not accept these dangerous, new positions. Former Secretary Gates speaks as though Mr. Netanyahu did this in a vacuum.   To continue reading this article, click here  

6) The following article comes to us courtesy of Reuters.   Egypt builds wall around Israeli embassy in Cairo   Egypt has walled off Israel’s embassy in Cairo after tensions between the two countries sparked a series of angry protests that reached a climax last month when a demonstrator scaled the building and removed the Israeli flag.   As work began on the wall a few days ago, many Egyptians gathered nearby to show their displeasure. Some sprayed “The people want the fall of the wall” onto its smooth concrete.   Later on Monday, state TV showed footage of construction workers painting the wall in the colors of the Egyptian flag and writing on it “Egypt at all times”.   Egyptian officials said the mainly concrete barrier, roughly 2 1/2 metres (8 feet) high, was to protect other residents of the high-rise embassy building, not the Israeli mission.   “The goal ... is to protect the lower floors of the building and prevent tensions between protesters and residents,” daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted local governor Ali Abdel-Rahman as saying.   Egypt’s relations with Israel have cooled since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a staunch U.S. ally, in a popular uprising in February.   A diplomatic row broke out last month when five Egyptian security personnel were shot dead on the border as Israeli troops repelled militants who killed eight Israelis.   Click here  to continue reading this article.  

7) The following article, which was written by Piotr Zalewski and appeared in The Atlantic, is entitled “As Israel-Turkey Alliance Disintergrates, Analysts Worry.”    After Turkey’s decision to suspend military ties with Israel, expel the country’s ambassador, and now possibly to apply to the International Court of Justice for an investigation into Israel’s Gaza blockade -- on account of Israel’s refusal to apologize for last year’s lethal attack on the Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound Turkish aid ship -- it’s difficult to decipher who, if anyone, might benefit from the current impasse. For Turkey, the breakup with Israel is another nail in the coffin of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s vaunted “zero problems” policy that, until recently, allowed the country to keep lines open with all sides of the Middle East’s conflicts. For Israel, the potential loss of a crucial regional ally only deepens the country’s isolation as it scrambles to come to terms with the Arab spring and its fallout. Among experts, there is some hope that the Turkey-Israel relationship could recover, if slowly. Yet there is also fear that it will deteriorate much further -- and quickly.  

Not long ago, Turkey could rightfully claim to maintain open diplomatic relationships with practically everyone in the Middle East. But, as Soli Ozel, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, told me, “those times are over.” “Turkey is not going to have much of a role to play. It cannot replicate the Syrian-Israeli proximity talks, which it masterminded a few years ago.” Same, he said, for the Israeli-Palestinian talks. “Turkey will probably be hailed by the Palestinians but it will isolate itself from the peace process, if the process ever comes back to life.”   The souring of Turkey’s relationship with Israel began with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s furious reaction to the 2008 to 2009 Israeli invasion of Gaza, escalated after the 2010 flotilla incident -- which saw eight Turks and one Turkish-American killed by Israeli commandoes when violence erupted on board the Mavi Marmara -- and culminated in Friday’s decision. The break-up bodes poorly for hopes that Ankara could help Israel cope with the turmoil in the Middle East, particularly given the resurgence of Islamist movements in Egypt and elsewhere. “There was some hope that Turkey could play a mediating role between Israel and the forces in Egypt,” said Gerald Steinberg, who teaches politics at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. “That hope is now badly dented, though not altogether gone.”  

To continue reading this article,click here   

8) The following editorial piece, which is entitled “The undimmed danger of Iran’s nuclear program,” appeared in The Washington Post.   Iran has taken two more steps toward producing a nuclear weapon. According to a report released Friday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has begun to use a new, more advanced centrifuge to enrich uranium, which could allow it to produce bomb-grade material in a much shorter time period, should it choose to do so. It also has begun installing centrifuges in a facility dug into a mountain near the city of Qom, which could be nearly invulnerable to a U.S. or Israeli air attack. Iranian officials say those centrifuges will be used to triple the production of uranium enriched to 20 percent, creating a stockpile for which Tehran has no plausible legitimate use.   The report underlines the fact that, contrary to the impression often promoted by the Obama administration, the danger that Iran will become a nuclear power is growing, not diminishing. Administration spokesmen often speak of what they say has been the crippling effect on the Iranian economy of sanctions that have been stepped up during the past two years. Extensive media reports have told the sensational stories of computer viruses that may have disabled 1,000 or more Iranian centrifuges and assassinations that have eliminated several Iranian scientists.  

The administration deserves credit for the diplomatic effort that produced stricter sanctions. But the grim reality is that Iran’s leaders have not been deterred from their goal of producing a weapon, and the project is making steady progress. Despite the loss of centrifuges, Iran’s rate of enrichment is nearly double what it was in 2009, according to a study by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The center estimates that, should Iran decide on a “breakout” strategy of rapidly producing the highly enriched uranium for a weapon, it could do so in as little as 62 days — and that by the end of next year that timeline could fall to 12 days, making it possible to produce the core material for a bomb between visits by international inspectors.   With its focus on the Arab Spring and other international challenges, U.S. policy hasn’t taken account of these developments; in fact, it appears adrift. The administration’s reaction to the new IAEA report was so low-key as to be virtually nonexistent. In the vacuum, others are offering bad initiatives. Russia has proposed that sanctions be lifted on Iran if it deigns to answer long-outstanding IAEA questions about explicitly military dimensions of its program, such as warhead designs. On Monday, Tehran played on this idea, offering five years of “full supervision” of its nuclear work if sanctions are ended.    The United States will surely oppose these plans. But it needs its own strategy for responding to Iran’s advances. Boasting about the effect of past measures is not enough when Tehran’s behavior remains unchanged.  

9) At the opening session of the UN General Assembly in September 2011, the Palestinian Authority plans to circumvent the peace process with Israel by formally requesting full admission as a state into the UN based on the pre-1967 armistice lines. This plan has become known as the Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).   The David Project education team has created an important Primer on the United Nations vote that is expected in just a few short weeks.   Click here to read The David Project’s Primer.  

10) The following article comes to us courtesy of The Jerusalem Post. US colleges to receive warning letters on anti-Semitism    Hundreds of US college and university presidents were set to receive warning letters on Thursday morning, instructing them of their legal obligations to prevent anti-Semitism on campus.   The letters also remind universities it is their legal duty to prevent university funds from being diverted to unlawful activities directed against the State of Israel.   Civil rights group the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) is carrying out the legal campaign in response to “an alarming number of incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Jewish and Israeli students on US college campuses.”   “Anti-Israel rallies and events frequently exceed legitimate criticism of Israel and cross the line into blatant anti-Semitism, resulting in hateful attacks against Jews,” the center’s lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said on Wednesday.   One university that has attracted criticism over anti- Semitism on campus is Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.   Aaron Marcus, a senior at Rutgers, says he was dubbed a “racist Zionist pig” in a public Facebook posting by a fellow student.   According to Marcus, that comment was made after he questioned a Rutgers University Student Assembly decision to donate money to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization with close ties to Islamic charity the Holy Land Foundation, which funds Hamas.  

Click here to continue reading this article.  


SEE HOW YOU CAN RECEIVE NEWS UPDATES, ITEMS OF INTEREST, AND ACTION ITEMS FOR THE JEWISH COMMUNITY

1) The Young Israel of New Hyde Park, the National Council of Young Israel, and The David Project present a screening of “The Forgotten Refugees,” which is a film about the mass exodus of up to one million Jews from the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th Century.   Tuesday, September 13th 7:45 p.m. Young Israel of New Hyde Park 264-15 77th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040   Produced by The David Project for Jewish Leadership and Isra TV, “The Forgotten Refugees” explores the history, culture, and forced exodus of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities in the second half of the 20th century.   Click here  for more information.  

2) The following action item comes to us courtesy of Virtual Jerusalem and One Jerusalem.   Let Your Voice Be Heard – Click here To Say NO To Palestinian Statehood.  

3) The following action item comes to us courtesy of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Richard B. Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.   If you have not already joined the more than 60 organizations and thousands of people who have signed on to the letter of solidarity to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Peres, and mayors of the cities in Israel’s south, we urge you to do so immediately.    Rockets continue to be launched from Gaza, putting hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in constant danger. The physical and psychological costs are tremendous. The least we can do is show our solidarity and support through this letter.   People need only to sign on to the letter electronically by clicking here and the names will be added.

Organizations should send a response email to be listed as co-sponsors.  So, please sign your name to this initiative on the Conference of Presidents homepage (www.conferenceofpresidents.org). To share this letter, you simply have to provide this link: www.tinyurl.com/solidaritywithisrael via your email lists and Facebook and Twitter networks so that as many people as possible can join in solidarity with Israel. Email info@conferenceofpresidents.org to have your organization listed as a sponsor.   List of Sponsoring Organizations   Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, AIPAC, AJC, B’nai B’rith, Jewish Federations of North America, JCPA, StandWithUs, Hadassah - The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, Friends of Likud, Maccabi USA, Orthodox Union, WIZO USA, AMIT, ARZA - Association of Reform Zionists of America, One Israel Fund, JINSA, Emunah of America, JCC Association, State of Israel Bonds, National Council of Jewish Women, MERCAZ USA, National Council of Young Israel, Emergency Committee on Israel, One Jerusalem, The Community Relations Committee of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas, NAASE - North American Association of Synagogue Executives, Augusta Jewish Federation, Baltimore Zionist District, JCC of Mid Westchester, Z STREET, American Friends of Likud, Iranian American Jewish Federation of NY, Augusta Jewish Community Center, Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Collier County Florida, New York Region of Hadassah, Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, NCSJ, Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, Congregation Beth Meier of Studio City, CA, Jewish Community Relations Center of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County, Jewish Federation of Broward County, National Council of Jewish Women - Omaha Section, StandWithUs Colorado, Congregation Kol Ami of Vancouver, WA, Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Jewish Federation of Reading, PA, JAC - Joint Action Committee, Henry Monsky Lodge of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo, ZOA Chicago, Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee, Israel Public Action Committee of Congregation Rodfei Sholom, San Antonio, Texas, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Dallas, B’nai B’rith International - Midwest Region.  

4) SAVE THE DATE……   B’sheva, the Young Israel Movement and the Jerusalem Great Synagogue proudly presents the JERUSALEM CONFERENCE FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS   Monday October 17, 2011 4th day of Succot   Leading Rabbanim, Politicians, Academics and Public Figures will address panel discussions on:   - The Jerusalem-Washington Axis - Relations between the Diaspora communities and those that dwell in Zion - The Fires Raging in the Middle East   Full program and pre-registration details available shortly   For further information contact Daniel Meyer, Executive Director of the International Young Israel Movement – Israel Region, at iyimisrael@gmail.com  

5) Sukkot Campaign 2011 for families of Gush Katif Communities is now underway. The National Council of Young Israel, the International Young Israel Movement - Israel Region, the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, and Yad Ezra Relief Organization of Israel, with the help of Eugen and Jean Gluck of Forest Hills, New York, and many others, synagogues and individuals, have provided food for the holidays of Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot to almost 1,000 families of the former communities of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron.    

For more information about the Young Israel’s Gush Katif Shalosh Regalim to benefit the families of Gush Katif Communities and to see how you can help, click here  


6) The National Council of Young Israel and the International Young Israel Movement are set to celebrate their 100th Anniversary!   Centennial Celebration – Recognizing 100 Years of Young Israel Sunday afternoon, November 13, 2011 • 16 Cheshvan, 5772 4PM Terrace on the Park, Flushing, Queens, NY   Honoring our Founders, Visionaries and Activists • Honoring our Branch Synagogues and their Leadership   Honoring our Eternal Commitment to Torah - True Judaism and the Standards of Our Movement   For more information about this special event, click here   

7) Disconnecting from Technology   Sunday, October 2 has been declared a Day To Disconnect for one hour from technology and to connect in more meaningful ways with family and friends.   Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, the founder and director of Ohr Naava, has launched a worldwide campaign to encourage people to switch off their mobile devices for at least one hour on Tzom Gedalia, Sunday October 2, and to connect with people face-to-face instead.   “When you are connected to technology, you are disconnected from everything else”, Rabbi Wallerstein stated. “Constantly checking our phones when we’re with others has reduced the quality of our relationships with the people that we care about most.”   Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, shlita, is endorsing Day to Disconnect because he is concerned that as people increase their connection to technology, they lose their connection to other people, themselves, and Hashem.   Ohr Naava has created a website, www.daytodisconnect.com, to enable people to register to disconnect for their hours, share their page with friends and encourage others to join the campaign. The campaign has already received worldwide attention. Elisheva Perlman, the Executive Producer of the campaign, said, “We have people from Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chile, South Africa and Israel registering hours.  People are really excited.”   

Ohr Naava hopes to accumulate 1 million hours of disconnect time worldwide – which means a million hours of meaningful reconnection - on October 2nd, Tzom Gedaliah.  Ms. Esti Zicherman, Director of Program Development for Day to Disconnect explained “as the first weekday of the New Year, is there a better time to start?”   “The goal of the campaign is not to have people disconnect for an entire day,” stated Charlie Harary, spokesman for the campaign. “That happens on Shabbos and Yom Tov.  The goal is to disconnect for just a brief period of time during a weekday...If we can shut off our phones, for even one hour, during the busy-ness of a regular day, we can condition ourselves to be in control of our technology and not vice versa”

Further information can be found at http://www.daytodisconnect.com, or email Esther Zicherman at press@daytodisconnect.com. Ohr Naava would be happy to write a column for your paper or conduct an interview on all related topics.

8) IMPORTANT ACTION ITEM

Your calls and letters to the President regarding Jonathan Pollard are having an impact.  Please continue to call and urge your friends, relatives and business associates to do the same  Participate in the important mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked President Barack Obama to release Jonathan Pollard – can we do any less?

Call President Barack Obama!
Call today and every day!

Contact the White House between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST at

202-456-1414 (telephone)
202-456-2461 (fax)
president@whitehouse.gov

and request the release of Jonathan Pollard.

26 years in prison is more than enough!

For more information, email freepollardnow@youngisrael.org
or visit www.youngisrael.org or www.jonathanpollard.org

Click here to see the flyer with more information about this important campaign.


YOUNG ISRAEL NEWS 
(for Young Israel Branch events around the country
click here)

1) The Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel’s Judaic Heritage Program for Israel’s Deaf and Hearing Impaired (JHPDHI) is the only project in Israel which provides critically needed religious training to Israel’s deaf and hearing impaired populations. We are still accepting donations to cover expenses for this year’s Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program and to begin preparations for next year. For more information about this important program click here 

2) The recent Spring issue of the National Council of Young Israel’s Viewpoint Magazine is available for download from our website by
clicking here

The newly released Viewpoint is a special issue entitled, “Zionism In Our Time,” and features an inspiring collection of insightful and informative articles by noted commentators and thinkers who discuss the importance of Zionism for Klal Yisrael at this time in our history.

Go to our website and read Viewpoint today!

3) The International Young Israel Movement, in partnership with the I.D.F Rabbinate, is committed to ensuring that every Israeli soldier, whether he or she is serving in the air, on land or water will be provided with the essentials to allow them to fulfill their spiritual needs and obligations.

The Redeem a Sefer Torah Campaign for the I.D.F is a project aimed at providing the brave soldiers of the Israeli Army, Navy and Air Force with Sifrei Torah in order for them to fulfill their spiritual needs.

Sifrei Torah which were  saved from Romania & Lithuania during the Holocaust, together with Sifrei Torah that have fallen into disrepair in Diaspora communities, are available to be redeemed and presented to an I.D.F. unit in a joyous ceremony attended by soldiers, commanders , family & friends.

You, together with your family and friends, I.D.F. officers and soldiers, will never forget the joyous presentation ceremony that takes place on an I.D.F base amidst singing and dancing. It is truly a unique “once in a lifetime” experience.

To learn more about the Redeem a Sefer Torah Campaign, click here


4) This week’s Divrei Torah Bulletin,
featuring leading Rabbis in the Young Israel Movement, can be read by clicking here.  This week's Dvar Torah on Parshat Ki-Teyzei comes from Rabbi Chaim Komendant, Associate Member Young Israel Council of Rabbis.

6) As always, please visit our website at www.youngisrael.org  for current news from the National Council of Young Israel and Young Israel branches around the country, Divrei Torah, Political Action Alerts, and zmanim for any city.

7) We need your help so that we can continue our work on behalf of the Jewish community. The National Council of Young Israel is at the forefront of education, activism, and support for greater Eretz Yisrael, greater Jerusalem, Yehuda, and Shomron. Please join us in our endeavors in support of the State of Israel. To donate to these efforts click here

Join the National Council of Young Israel on the Internet – www.youngisrael.org
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Shabbat Shalom

Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, National President
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President

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