Friday, January 6, 2012

A trainload of history

The Ottoman-built Tzemach Station on the Sea of Galilee is being renovated to become a tourist and academic center.
Tzemach Station is getting a facelift.
About 100 years ago, the Turkish Ottoman Empire built train stations in what was then Palestine to connect with their regional network for transporting Muslim pilgrims from Damascus to Mecca.

Today, eight of those stations on the Hejaz Railway, or what's left of them, can be found in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa and beside the Sea of Galilee in the north. -- Karin Kloosterman, Israel21c

To read more, click here.

Renderings a Star of David in Iran

Unable to restore a shrine with a prominent Star of David in Iran, a U.S. organization and an Iranian-American architect are reviving the site online -- Sohrab Ahmari, Tablet
The entrance to the Hamadan Shrine of Esther and Mordechai, 1972.
(Elias "Yassi" Gabbay; courtesy of Diarna)
To read more, click here.

Opinion: End of Arab Christianity

In new, Islamic Middle East, Christianity quickly becoming a thing of the past -- Giulio Meotti, Ynetnews

To read more, click here.

Wiesenthal Center protests Canadian France-language broadcasting stationV-TV after host’s anti-Israel remarks

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is protesting Canadian France-language broadcasting station V-Television after the host of a program used his show to air anti-Israel views.

Stéphane Gendron, host of the program Face à Face, urged watchers to boycott Israeli products on his Dec. 27th, 2011 episode. He also said that it was unfortunate that Israel has not yet collapsed, and that it had no right to exist.

Gendron, who is also the mayor of Huntingdon, a town in Quebec, called Israel an apartheid state that murders Palestinians indiscriminately on a show on Nov. 2, 2011. HonestReporting and other pro-Israel groups protested against the network, which has yet to take action against the host.

“(Gendron’s views) are shared by the likes of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran's ruling Mullatocracy and its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for annihilation of the only true democracy in the Middle East,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper of The Wiesenthal Center said in a Dec. 30, 2011 letter to Maxima Remillard, CEO of V-Television. “It is dangerously naïve and irresponsible not to believe that such escalating rhetoric—left unchallenged by V-Television—could impact intergroup relations in Quebec.”

Cooper acknowledged that while Gendron is free to share his beliefs, there is no reason for V-Television to provide a platform for his inflammatory remarks.

Remillard has yet to respond to the controversy. -- JTA

Warsaw museum buys Lego concentration camp

A Lego Nazi concentration camp slammed for trivializing the Holocaust was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

The museum reportedly paid $71,800 to a Norwegian collector for the 1996 piece by Polish artist Zbigniew Libera.

The work features crematoria and barracks made from Legos, as well as Lego inmates being beaten by Lego guards.

It is "one of the most important works of contemporary Polish art," the museum said in a statement.

The work reportedly will go on display later this year. -- JTA

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ohio Jewish retirement community opens elder abuse shelter

A Jewish retirement community in Ohio has opened what it is calling the state’s first shelter for abused elderly.

The Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention opened Jan. 1 in the non-profit Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, near Cincinnati.

Abused seniors from four counties -- Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Clermont -- will be allowed an emergency stay of 90 to 120 days, during which they will have access to the community’s activities as well as medical care, the center said in a news release.

“As a faith-based organization, our commitment to the community and to our elders reaches far beyond our walls,” Carol Silver Elliott, Cedar Village’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “This is our obligation and part of our social and community responsibility.”

According to a 2004 study published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, 2 percent to 10 percent of elderly have endured some kind of abuse, with the range due to  studies using different definitions of abuse and survey methods.

Cedar Village is providing the seed money for the center and has applied for grant proposals. -- JTA

Artificial pancreas could revolutionize diabetic care

MD-Logic mimics the workings of the pancreas, monitoring blood sugar levels and delivering insulin automatically, even at night. -- Karin Kloosterman, Isarel21c

Prof. Moshe Phillip, director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes
at Schneider Children's Medical Center, demonstrates MD-Logic on a young patient.

To read more, click here.

Tel Aviv among the world's most creative cities

Meat and Wine Company, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, London, Sydney, Stockholm and Shanghai are booming with talent -- Andrew Braithwaite, Steve Brearton, Omar El Akkad, Iain Marlow and Nancy Won, Toronto Globe and Mail

To read more, click here.

Opinion: It’s time to cure the disease of ultra-Orthodox education

Young Haredim are educated to totally despise the values of the secular state, which is why they have no problem scaring a little girl or calling policemen Nazis. -- Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz

To read more, click here.

The Cinderella stories of Aline Brosh McKenna

Aline Brosh McKenna
When Aline Brosh McKenna pitched her very first script in her first screenwriting class circa 1990, her words were met by a hushed, possibly startled, silence.  The setting was an extension course at New York University: “I just remember somebody writing something about an art gallery owner that was going to have a lot of surrealism, dream sequences and was heavily Ingmar Bergman-inspired,” said McKenna, now 44 and one of the most successful scribes in Hollywood.

Her idea was far more mainstream:  “a caper comedy about two girls, one of whom falls in love with someone she thinks is a criminal, but who turns out to be an FBI agent,” she said in her office not far from Temple Israel of Hollywood, where her two sons attend day school. “I just wanted to write a commercial film inspired by all the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s that I loved.  I was always looking for a way to update those movies, which had such great female roles.” -- Naomi Pfefferman, Jewish Journal

To read more, click here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Opinion: Honoring All Who Saved Jews

Yael Albert

In the NY Times, Eva Weisel, a Holocaust survivor writes that Yad Vashem should reconsider its decision not to recognize her Arab Muslim savior as a righteous gentile.

To read more click here.

Freud, Schmeud

The iconic psychoanalyst is a hot cultural property, but his theories and views on Judaism are coming under attack.
The new film “A Dangerous Method” focuses on Sigmund Freud.

If you were to take a cultural tour of New York today, you’d think Sigmund Freud were as relevant to society now as Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Everywhere you’d turn, from Broadway to the movies, you’d find the father of psychoanalysis holding a prominent place. He’s the main focus of David Cronenberg’s film “A Dangerous Method”; the Off-Broadway play “Freud’s Last Session” is having a successful run, and his name pops up throughout the one-acts plays by Woody Allen and Ethan Coen in the Broadway show “Relatively Speaking.” -- Eric Herschthal, NY Jewish Week

To read more, click here.

Israel files complaint with U.N. over Gaza phosphorus

The head of a regional council in southern Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations after mortar shells fired from Gaza were found to contain the banned substance white phosphorous.

Two mortars that landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, with a population of 13,000, contained white phosphorous, which is banned by international law for use in populated areas. Phosphorus can cause severe burns and other injuries.

It reportedly was the fourth time that white phosphorus has been found on mortars fired from Gaza on Israel.

The complaint by Chaim Jelin was filed with U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Jelin wrote, "The Israel Defense Forces, charged with protecting the residents of the State of Israel, are criticized and judged due to their being the military of a U.N. member state. In contrast, Hamas, the 'neighborhood bully,' is not subject to international laws, and feels free to use illegal weaponry against an innocent civilian population -- without being judged or criticized by any international body. I call upon you to put an end to this hypocrisy!" -- JTA

Compromised Israeli credit cards restricted

Photo by Index Open
Israeli credit card companies say about 15,000 accounts were exposed by Saudi hackers not 400,000 as initially suspected; stress situation contained

"There is no reason for customers to panic, the situation has been contained" major Israeli credit card companies said Tuesday, in an effort to reassure thousands of account holders whose details were exposed on Monday.

Saudi hackers claimed to have leaked credit card and personal information of over 400,000 Israelis. The hackers called the cyber attack a "gift to the world for the new year," which they hoped "would hurt the Zionist pocket." The file was removed shortly after being posted. -- Boaz Fyler, Ynetnews

To read more, click here.

Fox apologizes for poll asking if Jews killed Jesus

The Latin American division of Fox apologized for a poll that asked whether Jews killed Jesus.

Posted on the Fox Spanish-language Facebook page, the poll asked, "Who do you think is responsible for the death of Christ?" It provided three choices for the answer: Jewish People, Pontius Pilate and High Priests.

The poll, which was promoting a National Geographic Channel Christmas special, was removed following the apology, according to reports citing The Associated Press.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Buenos Aires reportedly slammed the poll and pointed out that in 1965, the Vatican annulled the idea that Jews killed Jesus. -- JTA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A look at Jewish social media

Innovative social/Jewish entrepreneurs offer insights on how social media can innovate Jewish world
'The Internet has enabled people, who could not find each other previously, to find each other'
Photo by Shutterstock
While Jews, since the times of Abraham and Moses have been on the cutting edge of media development for the last four thousand years, it seems Jewish organizations didn't really get the hang of social media.

Perhaps it’s an issue we have with “letting go” (did someone say Jewish mother?)

We gathered some insights from a group of very innovative social/Jewish entrepreneurs, about what’s out there and how social media can innovate Jewish world. -- Leadel.Net via Ynetnews

For see the accompanying video, click on image below.

Rabbi’s rounds include visits with college kids

Rabbi Cliff Kulwin travels to universities to bring students taste of home

Rabbi Cliff Kulwin prepares to set out on another one of his college circuits.
Every year, David Spiro, a senior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, looks forward to having dinner there with Rabbi Clifford Kulwin of Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, where Spiro grew up and celebrated becoming a bar mitzva.

“We always go the Cottage Inn, and he goes around the table and asks each individual, ‘What are you doing in school?’ and then we talk about contemporary news events,” said Spiro. “He always tries to get a gauge on the campus and…how the younger generation perceives what’s going on in the world.”

Spiro and his fellow Wolverines aren’t the only college kids to get a visit from the rabbi. Every year, Kulwin visits children of temple members at colleges with a critical mass of Jewish kids, including Indiana University, University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana, Penn State, Syracuse, Bucknell, Rutgers, and Princeton.

This year, he will visit the University of Maryland and University of Delaware for the first time. -- Johanna Ginsberg, NJ Jewish News

To read more, click here.

Cash shortfall delays human rights museum

The museum currently under construction
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has announced that a funding shortfall will delay its opening for another year or more.

While the physical structure will be completed next year as planned, the museum won’t open in 2013, as had been previously announced. Due to a cash crunch that’s reportedly as high as $45 million, the museum won’t open until at least 2014, and possibly later.

“We are looking to our capital campaign to make up the shortfall,” said Angela Cassie, the museum’s director of communications and external relations. -- Myron Love, Canadian Jewish News

To read more, click here.

Opinion: Is The Jewish People Better Off Today Than It Was A Year Ago?

If you’re an optimist and were asked to name three of the most significant Jewish events of the past 12 months, you might cite the release and emotional homecoming of Gilad Shalit after more than five years in captivity; the protest movement that spread across the Arab world, signaling an end or challenge to autocratic rule and a push for democracy; and a Jerusalem-Washington relationship bolstered by new military and strategic advances, and politically by America’s decisive efforts to thwart Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood through the United Nations and to prevent a nuclear Iran through tightened sanctions. -- Gary Rosenblatt, Editor And Publisher, NY Jewish Week

To read more, click here.

2011’s Top 10 Jews in the news (Like them, or not)

This list comiled by

1) Gilad Shalit
The soldier endured five years as Hamas’ prisoner, and then returned home with grace and a smile on his face.
To read article, click here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Palestinian Siamese Twins Saved Using New Innovative Surgery in Israel

Siamese twins were separated in their mother’s womb through an innovative treatment in Israel. The twins were dying when their 25-year-old mother arrived at Haddash hospital in Jerusalem and were saved through a procedure that penetrated the uterus and separated the twins’ shared blood vessels. -- NOCAMELS TEAM via Consulate General of Israel, LA

To read more, click here.

The top 10 science stories of 2011

In an impressive year for Israeli science, ISRAEL21c reviews some of its most popular stories of the year, from breakthroughs in cancer, to mind-controlled computing and solar windows.  -- Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c

To read more, click here.

Advancement of women in science and technology

Excerpt from "1961-2011 Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center celebrates its jubilee!" by Mazal Renform and Yvonne Lipman via the ISrael Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To read, click here.

Haredi Orthodox protesters’ use of Holocaust imagery condemned

Backlash … protesters donned death camp uniforms. Photo: Reuters
Israeli leaders criticized a haredi Orthodox demonstration in which protesters wore yellow stars to indicate that they are being oppressed like the Jews in Nazi Germany.

More than 1,000 haredi Orthodox protesters gathered in Jerusalem Saturday night to protest what they described as persecution against their way of life, including separation of the sexes.

Many of the protesters wore yellow stars with the word "Jude" written on them, using Holocaust imagery to hammer home their point. Young haredi Orthodox children were also brought on a makeshift stage wearing striped prison garb along with their yellow stars. One child held up his hands in an imitation of a famous image from the Warsaw Ghetto. -- JTA

To read more, click here.

An Orthodox Jewish child, wearing a Star of David patch similar to those the Nazis forced Jews to wear,
attends a rally in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood, Sat., Dec. 31, 2011.
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered to rally for the right to protect their way of life
in and out of their own neighborhoods.
Photo by Bemat Amangue/Associated Press
Also see, the Washington Post.
Click here to view.

With Samoa calendar change, question for Jews: When is Shabbat?

The Pacific island nation of Samoa is taking 186,000 citizens through a national time warp by moving west of the international dateline, forfeiting the last Friday of 2011 and jumping straight from Thursday into Saturday.

For Samoans, this solves a practical question: Why remain 18 to 23 hours behind chief trade partners Australia and New Zealand?

For Jews, it poses a question of a different sort: When does Shabbat start in Samoa?

And are there really any Jews in Samoa? -- Adam Soclof, JTA

To read the complete article, click here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

Happy Secular New Year!