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September 17, 2012

Israel and the world Pt. 20 - weekly news from Israel

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/israel_and_the_world_pt._20_weekly_news_from_israel/

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Warren Weinstein, an American Jew, was captured by Al Qaeda a year ago. After turning to Obama for help, he now asks Netanyahu to give his captors all they want and release him back to his home. The leader of Al Qaeda demanded the release of all Al Qaeda and Taliban members which are held in the US. In addition, he demanded that the United States and its allies would cease from air-bombing Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza. Last May, Al Qaeda published a video of Weinstein where he turned to President Obama, asking him to answer their demands and have him released. After he refused, another video was published, this time with Weinstein addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu. He has yet to reply.

 

Eli Zborowski, Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem, passed away last week in New York at the age of 87. Zborowski survived the Holocaust as a teenager, and after his father was murdered by the Nazis, helped save his family members, and many other Jews. Zborowski dedicated his life to the memory of the Holocaust and to helping the survivors from his residence in New York. In 1974, he founded Martyrdom & Resistance, a periodical devoted to the Holocaust. That same year, the Zborowskis endowed the United States’ first academic chair in Holocaust Studies, at Yeshiva University, New York. He was appointed to the US Holocaust Memorial Council by President Jimmy Carter and reappointed by President Reagan. He was also appointed to the NY permanent Commission on the Holocaust by Mayor Edward Koch. In 1981 Zborowski founded the American Society for Yad Vashem and served as its Chairman until his death on September 10th.

 

Rosh Hashana is a time of giving. It is the time when we put aside our own problems and open our hearts and wallets in order to help needy families make it through the holidays. We all give a few Shekels to at least one organization, but there are always those who give a little bit more: Last week it has been published that a 7 year old girl and a 13 year old boy gave an extra special donation to the "Pitchon Lev" organization, helping families under financial stress. The seven year old girl decided to donate all of her savings (about 150 Dollars), telling the volunteers she wants children her age to have something to eat this holiday. Later on that day, a 13 year old boy came in, and donated some of his Bar-Mitzvah money saying he won't be able to enjoy the holiday while knowing there are people who have nothing to eat at that time.

 

* Last week, a very exciting and tearful gathering took place in Tel Aviv: 60 survivors of Buchenwald and Dora Mittelbau concentration camps met together for the first time. The meeting was organized by the International Buchenwald Committee, and there the survivors met with some of the people in charge of maintaining the memory of the concentration camps.

 

* Turns out there are musicians who believe boycotting Israel is not a solution for anything. After experiencing many disappointments from musicians who caved in to politics and cancelled their scheduled concerts in Israel, it was really pleasing to hear this "trend" did not catch on with all foreign musicians. In fact, turns out some actually cleared their busy schedules in order to discuss this issue. At the 2012 Jerusalem Music Conference, a group of musicians from all around the globe rejected the idea of boycotting Israel in one of the panels held there.

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