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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

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ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

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JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability for VA Employees

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Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Foundation Donates Transformative Endowment Gift to Sinai Akiba Academy

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Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted during World War II

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PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

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Alona Barkat: Israeli inspiration taking the soccer world by storm

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Israel Innovation Authority will launch the second biotech incubator

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In light of the success o...

Israel and Senegal announce end to crisis

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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

New York, NY -  Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and other leading technology companies are joining with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism and hate of all kinds, to establish a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab to counter the growing amount of hate speech online. Engaging engineers and focused on technical solutions, the companies and ADL will collaborate to exchange ideas, investigate areas of common risk and opportunity, and seek to devise new approaches to identify and address cyberhate.
This strategy builds on recent models where leading companies have cooperated on large-scale issues of the public interest, such as addressing terrorism content online, by leveraging their collective resources and ideas. Each company will draw on these best practices to inform its approach to hate speech online. ADL will convene, advise on policy considerations, and offer insight on how hate and extremist content manifests – and constantly evolves – online.
“For all its promise, the Internet unfortunately has become a space where perpetrators of hate reach new recruits, harass and intimidate minorities, and spew hateful ideologies,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “As some of the most popular platforms, these companies have an added responsibility to do everything within their power to stop hate from flourishing on their watch. ADL has worked in partnership with leading technology companies for many years, and we look forward to tackling this pressing challenge together.”
The initiative will be managed by ADL’s Center for Technology and Society in Silicon Valley, which leads cyberhate issues and advocacy for the League.
“Building a global community that is safe and supportive means engineering new solutions to solve new problems,” said Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook. “We work hard to create a safe environment on Facebook, which is why we're excited to be expanding upon our partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to establish a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab. Along with other tech companies, some of the best minds in engineering will work alongside the ADL, an organization with a long track record of fighting bigotry and defending free expression, to help us rise to the occasion.”
“We believe meaningful progress in safety measures and policies can best be informed in partnership with others, so we’ll continue to collaborate with leading advocacy organizations, like ADL, to work towards solutions,” said Colin Crowell, VP of public policy and philanthropy at Twitter. “We are committed to making the Twitter experience safe, secure, and enjoyable for everyone."
The Anti-Defamation League has been working with leading technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter to address the problem of online hate while at the same time respecting free speech. Together, ADL and the companies have devised and implemented strategies to counter the proliferation of hate speech online.
This collaborative work led to ADL’s 2014 Best Practices for Challenging Cyberhate, which established guidelines for the tech industry to help prevent the spread of online hate speech.
Since Greenblatt became CEO in July 2015, ADL’s focus on combatting cyber hate has expanded dramatically. This new lab partnership is the organization’s latest advancement in its effort to address the cutting-edge of hate in America today.

ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

New York, NY- - The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern about guidance issued by the Department of Justice on how the Trump Administration should interpret religious liberty protections in federal law.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
This is a destructive and discriminatory policy that is using religious beliefs as an excuse to weaken anti-discrimination laws and to infringe on the rights of religious minorities, women, and LGBT persons. The government should not be in the business of sanctioning discrimination in the name of religion. ADL will continue to stand up against government-funded religious discrimination in Congress, in federal agencies, and in the courts.
ADL believes that true religious freedom is best achieved when all individuals are able to practice their faith or choose not to observe any faith; when government neutrally accommodates religion, but does not favor any particular religion; and when religious belief is not used to harm or infringe on the rights of others through government action or others in the public marketplace.
The Department of Justice’s twenty-five page memo, sent to all federal agencies, contains twenty principles of religious liberty and accompanying interpretations of constitutional and federal statutory protection for religious liberty that violate each of these fundamental principles.
The bottom line is this: the government should not sanction discrimination in the name of religion and should not fund it.
While the memo contains useful affirmations for accommodating religious practice in the military and the federal workforce, the overarching impact of the guidance is to create a deeply-problematic roadmap for discrimination against religious minorities, LGBT people, and women – including hiring and firing on the basis of religion, religious practice in government-funded jobs, and restrictions on women’s equality and reproductive freedoms. Indeed, this guidance is the basis for an interim Department of Health and Human Services regulation that effectively eviscerates the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate by allowing any employer to opt out of this requirement based on a religious or moral objective. The memo also opens the door to proselytizing of beneficiaries in federally-funded social welfare programs
Moreover, the DOJ guidance gives short shrift – just a passing reference – to the government duty to avoid endorsing a particular religion or religious belief.
There is much that can be done to oppose the memorandum. The Justice Department guidance is just that – guidance for the federal government agencies. It does not change current law and it is not binding on federal courts and state governments, legislatures, or courts.
ADL will challenge the new contraceptive mandate rule by submitting comments to the Department of Health and Human Services and look to file a legal brief in one of three lawsuits already filed against the rule. And we will continue to oppose any other effort to permit government-funded or sanctioned religious discrimination in Congress, in federal agencies, and in the courts.
No American should be treated like second-class citizens due to their religious beliefs and practices, or who they love.

JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability for VA Employees

The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094) was signed on June 23, 2017 to the great relief of many veterans who have suffered due to negligent VA employees and practices. This bill, nicknamed the “You’re Fired” bill, allows managers to fire employees with less evidence and it shortens the appeals process.

This bill was in response to the 2014 VA Scandal, where veterans died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA medical center. JWV quickly took up action on this issue, and we have been raising awareness on the issue ever since. This year, Carl Singer included this legislation in JWV’s 2017 Legislative Priorities.

Before this bill was passed, the odds of a federal employee being fired were about one to five hundred. VA employees had unfathomable job security due to complicated laws, bureaucracy and well-funded lobbying groups. According to the VA, it used to take up to 275 days to discipline a nurse charged with operating on a veteran drunk – a charge that would immediately get an employee fired in the civilian sector.

“There is nothing more demoralizing than being in an organization, working alongside people that everybody knows no longer shares the values, the morals (and) the ethics of the vast majority of people who go to work every day for the right reasons,” said VA Secretary Shulkin.

“When I was giving testimony in March, I spoke with Congressman Walz about this bill. He said that they were making efforts on this piece of legislation. I am glad that it has come to fruition,” said National Commander COL Carl Singer. JWV welcomes this legislation, and we hope that it brings positive changes for our veterans in need of care.

Please enter your short bio text and copyright clause here (for the "About The Author" box) Anna Selman is JWV's Programs and Public Relations Coordinator.

Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Foundation Donates Transformative Endowment Gift to Sinai Akiba Academy

Los Angeles, California - Today, Sinai Akiba Academy, located near the border of Westwood and Beverly Hills, took a remarkable step forward in securing a vibrant and sustainable future for our School and community. The School is thrilled to announce that it has received an extraordinary endowment gift from the Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Foundation to enhance tuition assistance and educational programming. In recognition of its generosity, we will rename Sinai Akiba Academy: Alice and Nahum Lainer School.
Rabbi David Wolpe, The Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple, said, “This gift from Alice and Nahum Lainer is a remarkable declaration of faith in the power of Jewish education to change lives and by extension, to help shape a better world. We are grateful and blessed - and strengthened in our resolved to inspire the souls of our students.”
The Lainers’ naming gift is a major milestone. Dr. Sarah Shulkind, Head of School, said, “We are proud to join only a handful of Jewish day schools in receiving a naming gift of this magnitude.” The Foundation’s contribution is one of the single largest gifts to an independent ECC, elementary, or middle school in all of Los Angeles and is among the largest donations ever given to a Jewish educational institution. “This transformative gift supports in perpetuity our commitment to serve our students by providing an exceptional education grounded in Jewish values.” Dr. Shulkind added.
Alice and Nahum Lainer are leaders and visionaries whose family name has long been synonymous with Sinai Akiba Academy. As one of the early families to enroll their children in what was then Akiba Academy, the Lainers’ commitment to the school’s wellbeing is both enduring and steadfast. Nahum served as the School’s fourth Board Chair and was instrumental in hiring our past two Heads of School. Alice and Nahum continue to serve on committees and contribute significantly to School advancement and educational initiatives. They made the lead gift in the Generations Endowment Campaign in 2012 and made a 2015 matching gift supporting Sinai Akiba Academy’s J-STEAM Program for math and science education. Alice and Nahum also endowed Sinai Temple’s “Learning and Lunch with Rabbi Wolpe” educational series, and generously donated the lead gift in the 2008 Sinai Temple Centennial/Middle School Renovation Campaign, creating the Alice and Nahum Lainer Learning Center.
Alice and Nahum are also proud members of the Sinai Akiba Academy alumni parent and grandparent community. All three of their children—Gary, Leslie, and Nancy—attended Sinai Akiba Academy. Notably, Gary Lainer has served as Board Chair for the last four years, and he has led the School in creating its current strategic financial plan. His wife, Lisa Lainer, served on Sinai Akiba Academy’s Board for three years and is an active leader in the School’s Development and Recruitment Committees. Two of Alice and Nahum’s grandchildren, Sophie and Samuel, are Sinai Akiba Academy alumni and their youngest grandchild, Daniel, attends the School as a rising fourth grader.
It is their hope that this gift will inspire others to join them in securing the School’s future. This gift will help to launch Sinai Akiba Academy’s 50th Anniversary campaign through which the School will fund tuition assistance programs, further enhance its facilities, and grow educational programming.
Dr. Shulkind said, “On behalf of our community I want to express tremendous gratitude to Alice and Nahum Lainer for their transformative gift. This is truly a historic moment for our School.”

Please enter your short bio text and copyright clause here (for the "About The Author" box) ABOUT SINAI AKIBA ACADEMY Sinai Akiba Academy, one of the first Jewish day schools in Los Angeles, has a proud history of providing exceptional general and Judaic education to its students for nearly 50 years. From our Parenting Center to our Early Childhood Center to our Lower School and all the way through our Middle School, Sinai Akiba strives to reach, stretch, and ignite all of our 608 students’ minds, hearts, and souls. We nurture passionate learners who will lead the way in the Jewish community and in the world.

Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted during World War II

Following a lengthy legal battle, the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel, has agreed to return a John Constable painting, “Dedham from Langham,” to the family of its original owners.

The painting was one of 60 works of art looted in 1942 by the collaborationist Pro-Nazi Vichy authorities from John and Anna Jaffe, British nationals of German Jewish heritage who were then living in France.

The painting was subsequently bought by a Swiss national and bequeathed to the La Chaux-de-Fonds' Fine Arts Museum upon his death in 1986.

The Jaffe heirs' legal claim was filed in 2006 and initially rejected by the museum in 2009. After an unsuccessful effort by the heirs to elicit public support, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder took up their cause in a. lecture delivered at the Kunsthaus Zürich on February 2, 2016.

Lauder sharply criticized the La Chaux-de-Fonds Museum for contending "that since the claims were against the Vichy government, the family should go to France for their money. This decision, I believe, shows a troubling lack of shame. . . . Remember the question of conscience? Do you think this is right?"

The return of the Constable painting to its rightful owners by the La Chaux-de-Fonds council is considered a major victory in the international efforts to champion the universal application of international laws that recognize the theft of cultural objects during genocide as a crime against humanity.

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

​PM Netanyahu: President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.

​PM Netanyahu commented  on President Trump's decision on Iran.

In his statement, PM Netanyahu noted: “If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain: in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, and that’s a tremendous danger for our collective future.

"President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism."

Alona Barkat: Israeli inspiration taking the soccer world by storm

​Alona Barkat, an Israeli woman who is also the owner of Hapoel Beer Sheva soccer team, is breaking barriers and taking the soccer world by storm.​​​


​Get inspired by Alona Barkat, an Israeli woman who is breaking barriers and taking the soccer world by storm. Barkat is the owner of Hapoel Beer Sheva, the soccer team that represents the Southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva. Under Barkat's leadership, Hapoel Beer Sheva has transformed from a struggling local soccer team to one of Israel's leading football clubs. With thousands of fans, two national championships in the past two years, and a spirit that can only be described as contagious, Hapoel Beer Sheva has proven that anything is possible.​​

Israel Innovation Authority will launch the second biotech incubator

In light of the success of FutuRX incubator, and following the Israeli government's decision, IIA will launch the second biotech incubator in northern Israel.

After the Israel Innovation Authority ’s technological start-up incubators have proven themselves as an important tool for creating innovative companies in a variety of fields, this week the Authority announced its intention to launch a new competitive tender to open its second biotech incubator.
This additional biotech incubator will serve as a gateway for multinational pharmaceutical companies and specialist investment funds to support Israeli start-ups. The goal of the biotech incubator is to help build the pharmaceutical industry in Israel by connecting investors and strategic partners who can help identify innovative technological projects and help transform them into new companies.
"In Israel’s northern region, research infrastructure, relevant services and a vast potential of human capital are emerging. These basic assets – together with a biotech incubator that will help establish new startups –will make it possible to create an important ecosystem in the field and to strengthen the pharmaceutical industry in Israel", noted Israel Innovation Authority’s CEO, Aharon Aharon.

FutuRx: The first biotech incubator in Israel
The first tender brought two multinational corporations to Israel: Johnson & Johnson from the US and Takeda from Japan, together with the long-established venture capital fund OrbiMed. The FutuRx incubator , located in the city of Rehovot, has already invested in establishing 10 startups, and the complementary capabilities of multinational corporations along with a venture capital fund have already proven to bring great value to startups – both within the incubator and after the companies leave.
"We attribute great importance to understanding the needs of the hi-tech industry, adapting programs to these needs, and developing technology”, added Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen. “Our job is first and foremost to serve the industry and enable it to develop and receive the optimal support needed to succeed. This is another part of the ongoing ‘Northern Plan’".

PM Benjamin Netanyahu hosts dinner for Togo President Gnassingbe

President Faure Gnassingbe: "I dream of Israel's return to Africa and Africa's return to Israel."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Monday, 7 August 2017), at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted a dinner for Togo President Faure Gnassingbe, who wrote in the guestbook: "I dream of Israel's return to Africa and Africa's return to Israel."

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Togo is a true friend of the State of Israel."

Israel and Senegal announce end to crisis

​Israel will immediately return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will support Israel's candidacy as an observer to the African Union.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the fringe of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conference, met with Senegal President Macky Sall. The two announced an end to the crisis between their countries.

Israel will immediately return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will support Israel's candidacy as an observer to the African Union. The two countries will also resume joint projects that were suspended in the wake of UNSC Resolution #2334, which Senegal proposed along with New Zealand.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Sall also agreed on cooperation in security and agriculture. The Prime Minister invited the Senegalese Foreign Minister to resume his visit to Israel, which had been suspended as a result of the crisis.
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