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500 Jewish Mothers From Around the World Bake Challahs in Jerusalem for Israeli Soldiers

JERUSALEM,  Some 500 Jewish mothers from around the world bonded over baking challahs for Israeli soldiers Thursday in Jerusalem in “The Great Big Challah Bake,” an event run by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) as part of the global Shabbat Project.

The women – 400 of whom are visiting Israel Nov. 6-16 on a JWRP “Momentum” trip together with past participants whom come from Israel – baked over 1,000 challahs for two hours, then packaged the loaves to donate to Israeli soldiers. The visitors, from Canada, the U.S., Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, are touring Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee and other popular destinations as part of the Momentum trip, which features extensive itineraries and curated curricula encompassing everything from Jewish values to contemporary Israeli society.

The Momentum trips, sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and JWRP, are designed to inspire Jewish mothers to connect deeply with their Jewish heritage and transform themselves, their families – and ultimately their communities and the wider world. More than 10,000 Jewish mothers from 26 countries around the world have already participated in the Momentum trips.

The Great Big Challah Bake was also conducted in partnership with the Shabbat Project, a global grassroots movement that unites Jews of all denominations and backgrounds to celebrate the transformative power of Shabbat. The Shabbat Project 2016 takes place this weekend, Nov. 11-12. Last year The Shabbat Project took place in more than 900 cities in nearly 90 countries.

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Historic House of Prayer for All Faiths Opens in Jerusalem

‘Amen’ initiative part of Mekudeshet 2016 festival, September 4 - 23, to harness Holy City’s spiritual power, connect people of all faiths amid troubling times


JERUSALEM, Christians, Jews and Muslims are uniting in an unprecedented and potentially historic interfaith prayer and spiritual gathering in the Holy City called “Amen – A House of Prayer For All Believers.” Amen will be open through Sept. 11.

Intended to create a single home for the world’s three major religions, “Amen” is playing a featured part in the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival from Sept. 4-23 that is harnessing the city’s ancient powers to inspire artists, musicians and cultural figures from around the world to redefine their art and traditions and connect amid troubling times.

Amen seeks to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem to dialogue, study, sing and pray together in one temporary house of worship. Amen is creating both a physical and metaphysical space that encourages commonality rather than sanctifying age-old divisions, say Mekudeshet organizers.

“We will study, argue – yes, this is also allowed – and pray – together and alone. We will see if it is possible, despite all the corporeal difficulties and earthly obstacles, to create a new reality,” said Mekudeshet Artistic Director Itay Mautner.

Amen culminates a months-long series of discussions among representatives of the three religions, who cooperated to design the shared house of prayer. The venue, the Alpert Youth Music Center of Jerusalem in the Hinnom Valley, is open from morning to night, with meetings and preparations for prayer taking place at 10 a.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. daily throughout the week in Arabic, Hebrew and Coptic.
“It is nothing short of a miracle that between four walls, we will inaugurate a temporary home for the three religions that share Jerusalem and for all those who wish to dwell under the wings of the Almighty,” said Mautner.

The nearly month-long Mekudeshet (Hebrew for “holy” or “sanctified”) is being presented by The Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC). Mekudeshet is featuring scores of artists, actors, musicians and media figures from around the world and thousands of participants.

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Jerusalem Dedicates New Command Vehicle to Fight Terror, Thanks to Christian Support

High-tech communications vehicle allows security to deploy rapidly in the field

JERUSALEM,  Israel’s capital city is now being protected by a state-of-the-art, high-tech forward command vehicle, thanks to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship).

The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, joined Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat last week to dedicate the vehicle, which will respond to terror attacks and other violence against the city. The $375,000 state-of-the-art mobile command-and-control vehicle will help Jerusalem security forces confront security threats and other emergencies in real time, enabling coordinated and rapid responses to fast-moving events in the field. The vehicle is equipped with high-tech communications equipment, can function in a variety of weather and terrain, and is also operable by remote control. The mobile command post similar to the municipal command centers that The Fellowship helped to build in 65 towns throughout Israel.

The forward command vehicle is part of The Fellowship’s overall response to the wave of terror that hit Israel over the last year. The Fellowship became the first organization to offer direct financial aid to Israeli victims, awarding NIS 4,000, or about $1,040, to scores of Israelis to help pay for medical care or lost wages. Funding for The Fellowship’s initiatives have been made possible by the generous donations of Christians worldwide.

During a dedication ceremony last week, Barkat said the specially outfitted vehicle allows the city to integrate municipal and security forces in the defense against terrorism. “Our ability to bring command and control to relevant spots saves lives,” Barkat said in a special ribbon-cutting event. “I know without a doubt that this vehicle is exactly what Jerusalem needs at this time.”

The mayor approached The Fellowship for help in securing the vehicle, so “when he does make a request, I know it's important.” Eckstein said. Barkat “told me there's no other place in Israel that has this type of vehicle with this type of ability. The truth is I didn't believe there could be a city without a vehicle that could organize all of the information.”

Ultimately, Eckstein added, “I proudly represent hundreds of thousands of Christian donors throughout the world who continually remind Israelis that they are not alone and who support the Jewish state in its most challenging hours.”

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First-ever Jerusalem house of prayer to unite Christians, Jews and Muslims

“Amen” initiative part of Mekudeshet 2016 festival, Sept. 4-23, to
harness Holy City’s spiritual power, connect people of all faiths amid troubling times

JERUSALEM, Christians, Jews and Muslims will unite in an unprecedented and potentially historic interfaith prayer and spiritual gathering in the Holy City from Sept. 4-11 called “Amen – A House of Prayer For All Believers.”

Intended to create a single home for the world’s three major religions, “Amen” will play a featured part in the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival from Sept. 4-23 that will harness the city’s ancient powers to inspire artists, musicians and cultural figures from around the world to redefine their art and traditions and connect amid troubling times.

Amen will seek to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem to dialogue, study, sing and pray together in one temporary house of worship. Amen will create both a physical and metaphysical space that will seek to encourage commonality rather than to sanctify age-old divisions, say Mekudeshet organizers.

“We will study, argue -- yes, this is also allowed -- and pray -- together and alone. We will see if it is possible, despite all the corporeal difficulties and earthly obstacles, to create a new reality,” said Mekudeshet Artistic Director Itay Mautner.

Amen culminates a months-long series of discussions among representatives of the three religions, who cooperated to design the shared house of prayer. The venue, the Jerusalem Music Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, will be open from morning to night, with meetings and preparations for prayer taking place at 10 a.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m daily throughout the week in Arabic, Hebrew and Coptic.

“It is nothing short of a miracle that between four walls, we will inaugurate a temporary home for the three religions that share Jerusalem and for all those who wish to dwell under the wings of the Almighty,” said Mautner.

The nearly month-long Mekudeshet (Hebrew for “holy” or “sanctified”) is being presented by The Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC). Mekudeshet will feature scores of artists, actors, musicians and media figures from around the world and thousands of participants.

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Medicine, the international language

Medical leaders from around the globe convened at RAMBAM Health Care Campus for its 13th Annual International Trauma Course

Twenty-six leading healthcare professionals representing 20 countries around the world recently came to Haifa to participate in RAMBAM Health Care Campus' prestigious Trauma Medicine Course. The purpose of the course is to share RAMBAM’s expertise in treating military and civilian trauma victims, and give participants the tools to develop systems capable of dealing with multiple-casualty events in their home countries.

Now in its 13th year, the course is offered in cooperation with MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Participants in this year’s trauma course included high-level medical personnel from the Far East, Latin America, the US, and Europe. Among them were the Director of the Office for Emergency Medical Systems in Thailand, a senior medical officer from the UN serving in the Golan Heights, the president of the Vietnamese Nurses and Operating Room Nurses Associations, the Acting Director of the National Emergency Medical Services Center in Nepal, a head nurse from a military hospital in the Philippines, and the Director of the Resuscitation Team at the only pediatric hospital in Kenya, among others.

One of the many activities offered by RAMBAM’s Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Studies, the two-week international trauma course includes lectures, workshops, training activities, simulations, and tours of RAMBAM and other sites around the country.

According to Gila Hymes, Director of the Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency, and Mass Casualty Situations, “We have taken our vast experience treating victims of war, terror and accidents, and are sharing it to benefit medical systems around the world. Medicine is an international language that we are using here at RAMBAM to help save lives around the world.”
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Terror attack in Jerusalem: A bomb exploded in a bus, 16 wounded

Attack on an Egged line 12 near the Pat intersection in Jerusalem. Two people were seriously injured and six others were injured moderately. Police looking into the possibility that the perpetrator is a suicide bomber. Yoram Halevy: "All options are being examined"

Eight of the wounded were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and others were evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem. According to MDA, the injured suffered burns, smoke inhalation and cuts.

Large forces of police arrived at the scene together with sappers who examined the area to locate more bombs. In addition, four teams firefighters took control over the flames.


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Prayer arrangements at the Western Wall

Advisory team recommendations 2016


The proposed framework was formulated in an attempt to balance the rights of all relevant parties - to respect, to equality and to freedom of religion and worship - in a manner that preserves the special historic, national and religious place that the Western Wall holds for the entire Jewish people

The Western Wall, all that remains of the Second Temple retaining wall, currently serves as the central place of worship for the Jewish people. For years, the Western Wall has been a magnet for many as a site of unique historic, national and religious importance. According to data gathered over the past several years, more than 10 million people visit the Western Wall site each year. Most of the worshippers at the existing Western Wall Plaza pray in what is referred to as the Orthodox custom. However, there are people who wish to pray in a different manner, in accordance with their own identity, path and custom.
Over the past several years, there has been increased public discord regarding the prayer options at the Western Wall, resulting from the desire of members of the Women of the Wall organization to pray in the Women's Plaza of the Western Wall in accordance with their tradition and the severe resistance their method of worship provokes among the Orthodox public. This disagreement enhanced the need to reexamine the existing prayer arrangements at the Western Wall. To that end, the Prime Minister appointed an advisory team, which comprised Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber (Counsel), and Zvi Hauser. The team was asked to examine the existing prayer arrangements, the need for changes, and ways to execute these changes. In order to avoid all doubt, it should be emphasized that the team limited its scope to these aspects alone and avoided dealing with other aspects related to the status of the Western Wall in its national and official context, or other issues related to the status of the non-Orthodox denominations in the State of Israel.
After examining this issue from all sides, and having heard from the relevant parties, the team formulated a proposed framework, at the heart of which is an expansion of the possibilities for worship at the Western Wall site so that each person wishing to worship at the Western Wall can do so in accordance with their custom and faith. The proposed framework was formulated in an attempt to balance the rights of all relevant parties - to respect, to equality and to freedom of religion and worship - and to do so in a manner that preserves the special historic, national and religious place that the Western Wall holds for the Jewish people, the entire Jewish people. The framework is based on the Supreme Court ruling resulting from the struggle of Women of the Wall and on the principles raised therein. The framework combines the old and the new: maintaining the existing status quo with regard to the majority of worshippers at the Western Wall Plaza and establishing a new space, both physically and conceptually, for Jewish prayer in other forms in the southern section of the Western Wall. The framework is intended, on the one hand, to provide proper expression for religious pluralism in Judaism in a manner that will allow the various denominations of Judaism to pray and worship; while, on the other hand, preserving the existing Orthodox method of worship in the northern section, all as part of freedom of religion, and in a manner that is in line with the principles of equality.
Following are the main points of the proposed framework:
1. The Western Wall site, which serves as a symbol of the national, religious and cultural renaissance of the Jewish people, will be open and accessible to any Jew who wishes to pray in a manner that corresponds with their identity and faith. To this end, in addition to the section of the prayer plaza which exists today along the northern section of the Western Wall (hereinafter: the northern section), an additional prayer plaza will be established along the southern section of the Western Wall, south of the Mughrabi Bridge (hereinafter: the southern section). The two prayer plazas will operate simultaneously.
2. In the northern section, prayers will be conducted according to Orthodox Jewish custom, in accordance with Jewish law as exercised by the Chief Rabbinate in Israel, which includes, inter alia, separation between the women's section and the men's section, and women's prayers are held in accordance with this custom. In the southern section, prayers will be conducted in accordance with the pluralistic and egalitarian custom in a manner that will provide a satisfactory solution for worshippers from the various non-Orthodox denominations, first and foremost the Reform and Conservative movements. In general, it is in this plaza that men and women will pray without separation. At the same time, and taking into account the pluralistic character of this section, Women of the Wall, whose unwavering struggle to pray in accordance with their beliefs in the Western Wall Plaza has lasted more than 25 years, will have the option to hold separate prayers for women in the section every Rosh Hodesh and on Ta'anit Esther, and at other times for which the supervisor of the southern section will provide specific permission, in accordance with the opinion of the Southern Section Council.
3. The southern section will be physically adapted to serve as a proper, accessible and visible prayer area that constitutes an integral part of the Western Wall site. We note that the preparations for transforming the section to serve as a prayer plaza as aforementioned will be undertaken while taking into consideration the fact that the location, which today serves as a archaeological park, contains archaeological finds of the utmost cultural, scientific, historic and national importance, which commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem. Accordingly, the physical changes planned for the location will be done in a manner that ensures the preservation, as much as possible, of the aforementioned archaeological findings, in accordance with the law, including receiving permission from the Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority, as required by power of his authority as granted in the Law of Antiquities, 1978.
4. The upper plaza, which lies west of the northern section, will serve as a place to congregate and as a passageway to the prayer section as well as occasionally to hold ceremonies of a national, governmental or military character. As a rule, prayers will not be held in this area, nor will there be separation of men and women. This does not exclude prayers held on special occasions - during the three pilgrimages, the Days of Awe (Selichot), Jerusalem Day and Tisha B'Av, as well as large prayer convocations - with the condition that the expected number of worshippers for these prayers exceeds the maximal capacity of the northern section. In such cases, and only during prayer times, the custom observed in the areas of the upper plaza used for prayer (the size of which will be adjusted for the number of worshippers on site) will be the custom of the northern section. All aspects of the administration of the upper plaza will remain in its current framework, i.e. under the purview of the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites of Israel and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
5. The two prayer sections, northern and southern, will be open free of charge and accessible to anyone who wishes to enter them to visit, worship or for any other purpose, as long as the conduct of those visiting these sections is in accordance with the prayer arrangements customary in the section, i.e. according to what is acceptable in each section and its character.
6. Administration of the northern section, both the administrative and the religious aspects, will remain in its existing framework, i.e. under the purview of the Supervisor of the Holy Sites of the Jews (namely the Rabbi of the Western Wall). Administration of these aspects of the southern section will be entrusted to the supervisor of this section, who will be the Director General of the Prime Minister's Office or one of his deputies or one of the Deputy Cabinet Secretaries, to be appointed for this purpose by the Prime Minister. Alongside the supervisor, a council will determine the prayer arrangements at the location and will be authorized to instruct the supervisor with regard to exercising their authority. The members of the council will include: the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, who will serve as chairman of the council; five civil servants to be appointed by the Prime Minister; the Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority; and six representatives of the public, who will also be appointed by the Prime Minister and who will represent the public of worshippers in the southern section. This mechanism is intended to provide an appropriate response to the innovation and sensitivity involved in administering the southern section in light of the groundbreaking arrangement to be implemented there and the complexities resulting from the fact that the aforementioned area combines both a prayer section and an archaeological site.
7. The proposed framework will be anchored in an amendment to the Regulations for the Protection of Holy Places to the Jews, 1981.
8. Until the proposed framework is implemented in a manner that will provide an appropriate resolution for the prayer needs of Women of the Wall, the worship practices customary at the Western Wall on the date the report is published will remain unchanged.
The proposed framework strives to respect the rights and needs of all relevant parties. It incorporates both tradition and innovation; it demonstrates balance and recognizes and reflects the complexity of the situation. It has both attentiveness and hope that the Western Wall will cease to be an area of discord and that its unifying character will be restored in a manner that befits its unique status among the entire Jewish people as a national and religious site for yearning and prayer. Our only hope is that it advances peace among us.
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Terror attack in Jerusalem

Two Border Police officers fatally injured in an terror attack in Jerusalem

Three terrorists arrived with knives, a rifle and explosives to the old town area in Jerusalem. Border Police officers spotted them and asked them to identify themselves. As one Palestinian presented an ID card, his friend pulled out a weapon and started shooting. Police responded by firing fighters and killed the three.

Magen David Adom paramedic Nissan object, said the scene:"When we arrived, I saw two young girls with penetrating injuries and upper body. One was unconscious and semi-conscious the second. We gave them a quick treatment in the area and evacuated them to the hospital in critical condition."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat came to the scene and praised the police action. "I spoke with the brave fighters who were not afraid to make contact. There was a real battle, in this battle the Border Police prevented a greater catastrophe," he said. "The readiness of the officers saved lives. Jerusalem public need to open eyes and in a case like this do not be afraid to create contact. "

Hamas issued an official statement, which described the terrorist heroes. The organization's spokesman Husam Badran praised the three fighters in Jerusalem.
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Abbas justifies terror against Israelis as 17 people are wounded in Jerusalem

WJC, A Palestinian motorist rammed into a bus stop in Jerusalem on Monday, injuring 17 people before he was shot dead by a security guard, Israeli police said. On the same day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the wave of terror a "justified popular uprising."

The latest attack took place near the western entrance to Jerusalem, leading to the main highway to Tel Aviv, and the injured included two people in a moderate condition and a baby. The man drove up, accelerated and rammed his vehicle into the crowd. The car hit a water main and a huge spray erupted.

The attacker was identified by police as 21-year-old Abdel Muhsan Hasuna of East Jerusalem. An axe was found in the attacker's vehicle, police said. On Tuesday, Hamas in Gaza said the terrorist was an active member of its organization.

An 'Israel Radio' reporter said she had seen the car mount the pavement and strike people before shots rang out. "I was about to turn left to Tel Aviv, suddenly a car went up onto a bus station, shots immediately opened up. There are people in the station. A number of people simply lifted up the car, because there were people underneath it," Miri Krimolovsky told her station.

One of his victims, Yotam Sitbon, a 15-month-old toddler, had his foot torn off in the attack. The baby's father, Binyamin, said: "Thank God he is healthy and he will smile again. That is the most important thing."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the wave of attacks as "a new type of terror by individuals which challenges us and other countries". He also praised the quick response of people at the scene whose actions "prevented far more serious tragedies".

Abbas calls wave of terror 'justified'

Meanwhile, also on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas referred to the last three months of violence against Israelis as a "justified popular uprising," saying that young Palestinian demonstrators were "driven by despair" because "a two-state solution is not coming."

The violence had come due to “the despair of young Palestinians over the lack of a political horizon for the two-state solution, the [Israeli] invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the continuation of settlement building and military checkpoint deployment,” Abbas said in Ramallah on Monday.

In his speech, the Palestinian leader repeated accusations that Israel was seeking to change the status quo on the Temple Mount and that this had been a major source of Palestinian rage directed at Israelis.
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Border Policeman was stabbed in Jerusalem

The Border Policeman is in critical condition after sustaining stab wounds to his neck The attack took place at the Shchem (Damascus) Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.
He managed to shoot a terrorist, 18, from Hebron, and wounded him critically.

Magen David Adom evacuated the Border Policeman, who is in critical condition, to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
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