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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2017

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University of Haifa and Rambam Hospital Unveil Partnership and Plans for Twenty-Story ‘Medical Discovery Tower’

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In landmark ruling, US court allows heirs of Jewish art dealers to sue Germany for restitution

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230 Ukrainian Immigrants Arrive in Israel for Passover, Part of Effort to Rescue Embattled Jews

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Holocaust survivor, 86, from Brooklyn returning to Auschwitz for 1st time, with Israeli army officers

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Ambassadors Against BDS: 2,000 gather at United Nations HQ in New York in support of Israel

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UN Secretary General Guterres to address World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly in New York

Amid mounting concerns about the bias against Israel at the United Nations, the world body’s new secretary general, António Guterres, will speak to the more than 600 representatives of Jewish communities in over 90 countries who are gathering in New York from Sunday through Tuesday for the Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Guterres’ speech at the opening dinner on 23 April 2017, at 18:00 EST (6 o’clock p.m.), marks the first time the UN’s most senior official will address such a gathering of international Jewish leaders.

The Plenary Assembly, which is supreme decision-making body of the WJC, will hear reports about the situation of Jewish communities world-wide and discuss major issues, including anti-Semitism and the rise of extremist political movements.

A WJC-commissioned report will be presented that details the proliferation anti-Semitism on the internet, and policies to combat such phenomena will be discussed. The delegates will also elect the WJC leadership for the coming four-year term. Current WJC President Ronald S. Lauder is standing for re-election.

Other speakers at the event include UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (tbc), Israeli Minister of Intelligence and of Transportation Yisrael Katz; Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, US Representatives Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey and Lee Zeldin, European Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism Katharina von Schnurbein, as well as the Jewish Nobel Prize laureates Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry), Daniel Kahneman (Economics) and Eric Kandel (Medicine).
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Ambassadors Against BDS: 2,000 gather at United Nations HQ in New York in support of Israel

The World Jewish Congress and Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Wednesday hosted more than 2,000 dignitaries, public officials, NGO representatives at the UN headquarters for the second Ambassadors Against BDS summit. The opening session of the conference was held in the iconic General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: "The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same. They both seek to deny Israel’s right to exist. [...] They are both extensions of an ancient hatred. And how tragic is it that, of all the countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel.

"Iran, Syria, North Korea and other barbaric regimes are excused by the BDS movement. It makes no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice," said Haley.

In his keynote address, WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert R. Singer, who spoke on behalf of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, thanked Haley for standing with Israel and standing “up against the bias that prevails here.”

Singer also criticized the anti-Israel BDS movement, saying: “The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement says it wants peace. It claims to fight under the banner of human rights. But this movement is based on lies, incitement, and deception. BDS is not about peace. BDS is not about helping the Palestinians. BDS is not about human rights. What BDS really wants is to deny the Jewish people’s right to a homeland in Israel.”

“We must tell all who question Israel’s very right to exist: The State of Israel is not up for negotiation. The State of Israel is here to stay,” Singer declared. Pointing to recent measures taken by governments and other institutions against BDS, he added: "Operation Fightback is underway, and we are winning." Singer noted that the "Winds of change are blowing even here, at UN Headquarters."

Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Danny Danon, welcomed the particpants of the summit, also criticizing the United Nations anti-Israel bias: "The halls of the UN are now being infiltrated by the boycott movement. The UN’s Human Rights Council is creating a blacklist of companies and corporations operating in parts of Israel. This is pure anti-Semitism, and together with the US, our greatest ally, we will keep fighting until BDS is eliminated.”

“We are here today with a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the UN, and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated,” Danon added.

Other speakers at the opening included Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice.
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WJC officials to meet with leaders from 30 nations in New York this week

The World Jewish Congress will be holding talks with top government officials from more than 30 different countries gathered in New York this week for the high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, CEO Robert Singer, and other WJC representatives will lead the discussions with presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers. The WJC leadership will, amongst others, be meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Bulgarian President Roman Plevneliev and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo, and delegations from the Turkish and Ukrainian government.

In addtion, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder will host Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern for a special reception at his Neue Galerie on Tuesday. Lauder will also deliver a tribute to the late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, at a UNESCO-sponsored reception honoring the “Heroes of the Global Campaign to Prevent and Overcome Violent Extremism” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday.
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New York-area college students invited to submit ideas for Israel advocacy, fighting anti-Semitism

The World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps) and the Consulate General of Israel in New York announced Campus Pitch, a program inviting college students to pitch creative new approaches to advocating for Israel, fighting anti-Semitism, and building stronger interfaith relations on New York and tri-state campuses.

“We are excited to announce an opportunity for students to pitch innovative ideas about broadening the conversation on Israel and forming new partnerships on campus,” said Ido Aharoni, consul-general of Israel in New York. “The initiative is a platform to inspire out-of-the-box thinking across the tri-state area this academic year.”

Campus Pitch seeks to bring fresh perspectives to conversations about Israel at colleges in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and to get students more involved in Jewish affairs. ‘Campus Pitch’ is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all backgrounds. Proposals may be submitted until 12 November 2015 at: http://studentproposals.wix.com/campuspitch.

Ten projects will be selected for presentation to a preliminary panel and the five students or groups with the most promising concepts will have the opportunity to pitch their proposals to a panel of entrepreneurs, CEOs and global Jewish leaders at a special event in February, 2016. The winning student or group will receive a grant from the WJC of up to $5,000 to put their idea into action on campus during the 2016 spring semester.

“While overt anti-Semitism is no longer socially acceptable at most colleges, a deep strain of anti-Israel invective that often hides anti-Jewish attitudes is spreading across campuses nationwide,” said CEO of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer. “The Campus Pitch initiative will work with students themselves to cultivate their ideas on how to best fight this scourge.”

The winners will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to attend a 2016 WJC International Conference in Europe, where they will present their project to hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world.

The Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps) is a flagship WJC program that supports a worldwide network of some 130 outstanding young Jewish professionals from more than 30 countries. WJC provides JDCorps members with opportunities to engage in diplomatic activities, meet with government officials and NGO representatives from around the globe, and participate in WJC events and activities.
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New York Delegation attends FIDF National Gala

1,200 prominent leaders from across the U.S. and Israel gather for annual New York City event


New York, A select delegation from the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New York Young Leadership Division attended the FIDF National NY Gala Dinner at New York’s landmark Waldorf Astoria tonight, where head of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi said, in the gala’s keynote address, that Israel must be “prepared” on its northern border with Syria.

“Syria has long ceased to be the state we all knew four years ago. We call it ‘50 Shades of Black,’ though I must admit I haven’t read the ‘grey’ version. One needs to take only a glimpse at their inner executions to understand why we must be prepared in the northern border.”

The head of IDF intelligence also said that the so-called Arab Spring has turned into a wider religious war redrawing the Middle East. “The maps of our area have been changing in front of our eyes. Borders drawn more than a century ago are being recklessly erased. The upheaval in the Middle East has turned into a religious struggle among armed factions,” said Halevi.

Among the delegation members were FIDF National Young Leadership Director Dan Haskell; FIDF New York Young Leadership Chairman Jane Oster; FIDF New York Young Leadership President Lemor Bar-Or; and FIDF New York Young Leadership Vice President Stefanie Cohen.

More than 1,200 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country gathered for the FIDF National NY Gala Dinner, demonstrating their love and support for FIDF and for the men and women who serve to protect the State of Israel.

FIDF National Board Member Rabbi Peter Weintraub served as Dinner Chairman. Weintraub, who specializes in rabbinic outreach, has been an avid FIDF supporter for 12 years and has sponsored academic scholarships for over 70 IDF combat veterans through FIDF’s IMPACT! Scholarship Program.

“Over the dozen years that I’ve been involved in FIDF, I’ve been privileged to see how this organization makes a powerful difference in the lives of the brave men and women who defend and protect Israel – and the Jewish People,” said Rabbi Weintraub. “This Gala provided a wonderful, stirring opportunity for us to say thanks, and to stand proudly with them.”

Special guests included 30 IDF soldiers of various ranks and military units, including 2nd Lt. Enbal Grintzvaig, an educational officer in the Artillery Corps, whose brother, 1st Sgt. Avi Grintzvaig, z”l, was shot and killed in Bet Hanoun, near Gaza, during Operation Protective Edge this past summer. Addressing the audience, 2nd Lt. Enbal shared her personal memories of her brother, who posthumously received a citation for his bravery. Most of the soldiers who attended the Gala received citations for heroism, including in Operation Protective Edge and Operation Pillar of Defense.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, greeted the audience via satellite, and thanked them for their invaluable support for Israel’s soldiers.

Funds raised at the gala will provide much-needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for underprivileged soldiers and Lone Soldiers from around the world, crucial aid for wounded veterans, weeks of rest and recreation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. The evening was a rare and exclusive opportunity to pay tribute to the State of Israel and the brave men and women in uniform. In 2014, for the first time in its history, FIDF raised over $100 million for the wellbeing of Israeli soldiers.

Distinguished guests included the author and nationally syndicated radio host, Dr. Monica Crowley, who served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies; IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi; Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the U.S. and Canada Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish; and Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni.

Other prominent guests included FIDF National Chairman Nily Falic; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; Rabbi Weintraub and his wife, Ellen; FIDF Chairmen Emeritus Arthur Stark, Larry Hochberg, and Marvin Josephson; FIDF National Director and CEO Emeritus Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon; and FIDF National Board Member and YL-NY President Emeritus Tony Felzen.



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“Jew in the City” Announces Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars of 2013

The Jew in the City Second Annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars” Awardees and Red Carpet event will take place on Sunday, November 24th in New York City 

New York, NY, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann are among ten individuals who have been named 2013 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism to the world through digital media.

This year's All Stars are an extremely accomplished and diverse group, and, in addition to Secretary Lew and Dr. Aumann, include: Sarah Hofstetter, who was promoted last week to CEO of 360i in the US (the No. 2 advertising firm on Ad Age's Agency A-List); Ari Pinchot, co-executive producer of the star-studded and critically acclaimed new film, Lee Daniels' The Butler, featuring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; Naama Shafir, the first Orthodox female professional basketball player; Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan and Cromwell (the No. 3 law firm in the country according to Vault Rankings); Rama Burshtein, writer, director and producer of the awarding-winning film, Fill the Void (and the first Hasidic woman to make a film for general audiences); Anne Neuberger, the Director of the National Security Agency's Commercial Solutions Center; Issamar Ginzberg, a marketing guru who was named one of Inc. Magazine's Top 10 Entrepreneurs (and is the grandson of prominent Hasidic rebbes); and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, a renowned camp for Jewish children with cancer.

This year's winners will be honored at a red carpet event which will coincide with a historic, once-in-a-lifetime overlap of Chanukah and Thanksgiving and will commemorate the redemption from religious persecution of Chanukah coinciding with Thanksgiving's celebration of religious freedom in our great country, which has provided Jews with the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of professional success while maintaining their heritage.

“There is a common misconception that being an Orthodox Jew means you don't have many career options,” said Allison Josephs, award-winning Jewish influencer and author, who founded Jew in the City (JewintheCity.com) six years ago to break down myths and misconceptions about religious Jews and observant Judaism. “Jew in the City is building awareness about a community that otherwise gets depicted as extreme and reclusive, and rarely is presented with any nuance."

The inaugural "Orthodox Jewish All Stars" began last year with a YouTube video written, directed, and produced by Josephs that featured an inspiring and varied group of awardees, including former Senator Joe Lieberman, Top Ten Billboard Recording Artist Alex Clare and NYTimes bestselling novelist, Faye Kellerman - all people who have reached the pinnacle of their respective fields, which ranged from HBO producer to former top title holding professional boxer - while maintaining a religiously observant lifestyle.

Many of this year's and last year's All Stars will be attending the red carpet awards party in midtown Manhattan on the evening of November 24, the Sunday night before Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Attendees will enjoy live music, an open wine bar, and Chanukah/Thanksgiving themed dishes.

"For last year's list, we sought out the individuals ourselves. This year, we opened up nominations to the public and a panel of judges selected the winners,” explained Josephs. “There were so many more remarkably successful Orthodox Jews that didn't make it to this year's list; we'll hopefully be doing this for many more years."


Josephs was named one of the Jewish Week's 36 Under 36 in 2013 and one of NJOP's Top Ten Jewish Influencers in 2012. She has been studying Torah with actress Mayim Bialik since 2004 and is often quoted in the media on issues relating to Jewish life and observance. Josephs provides Orthodox Jewish Cultural Diversity training to top corporations such as Con Edison and NYU Langone Medical Center and also gives inspirational lectures across North America. She has been featured or published in The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Yahoo News, the Jewish Press, and The Forward, among other publications. Josephs, who is married with four children, has been involved in the field of Jewish education and outreach for over a dozen years, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in Philosophy.

Jew in the City, founded and directed by Josephs, harnesses the power of social media to break down stereotypes about religious Jews and offer a humorous, meaningful look into Orthodox Judaism. Through a website JewintheCity, YouTube channel (where its videos that have been viewed over a million times), and via Facebook and Twitter Jew in the City explains important Jewish concepts like Shabbat, keeping kosher, and mikvah, and tackles difficult topics like the Orthodox Jewish approach to homosexuality, feminism, and conversion. With a mix of light humor and rich content, Jew in the City explores these topics in a pleasant and easy to understand fashion, appealing to anyone who is curious to learn more about Orthodox Jews and observant Judaism, whether Jewish or not.

“Unfortunately, most non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews have a very negative perception of Orthodox Jews and Judaism,” said Josephs. “When they think of Orthodoxy, they think things like backwards, repressed, outdated, sexist, and anti-scientific. Scandals that reinforce these misconceptions hit the papers all too often. Popular movies, books, and TV shows repeat negative stereotypes about religious Jewish people and their lifestyles, which make it even harder to counteract these negative stereotypes. Jew in the City was created to break down those misconceptions and stereotypes.”

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“Big Questions” Series Marks 9/11

 

Global Day, the highly momentous large scale international event, which takes place this year on November 18th

 

NEW YORK, NY – Where were you when the towers fell?

In an effort to encourage discussions on compelling issues of the day, while fostering an interactive dialogue leading up to the Global Day of Jewish Learning on Sunday November 18, 2012, the “Big Questions” forum has been created.

As we approach 9/11 the question being posed to the public is: Do you bless the bad?

We are about to commemorate the September 11th tragedy. How do you relate to bad things that happen? The Talmud tells us that we are supposed to bless the bad. Nonetheless, the rabbis understood that this would be very challenging…

On this year’s Global Day of Jewish Learning, we will study a text from the Talmud (Berakhot 54a): wherein, Rabbi Yehuda says… For rain and other good tidings, one says: Blessed… who is good and who does good. Over bad tidings, one recites: Blessed (are you) the true Judge.

We want to hear from you. How do you relate to bad things? What are your thoughts, your associations? Do you bless the bad?

Share your thoughts on this question through the Global Day website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Global Day, the highly momentous large scale international event, which takes place this year on November 18th, brings world Jewry together in the spirit of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz’s call, “Let my people know.” This year’s third annual event will focus on the themes of blessings and gratitude.

 

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