JBuzz News August 30, 2013: March on Washington a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

JBUZZ NEWS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

March a reminder of black-Jewish relations at their best

Source: Washington Post, 8-30-13

For many Americans, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was a time of broad themes, of big-picture talks about race and economic justice. But for some, the events of the past week stirred specific memories — some good and others not — concerning relations between African Americans and Jews….READ MORE

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JBuzz News August 30, 2013: A Prayer of Atonement

JBUZZ NEWS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

A Prayer of Atonement

Source: Huffington Post, 8-30-13

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, Jewish congregations around the world confess their communal transgressions….READ MORE

JBuzz News August 28, 2013: On 50th Anniversary of March on Washington, Recalling Jews’ Singular Role

JBUZZ NEWS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

On 50th Anniversary of March on Washington, Recalling Jews’ Singular Role

Half Century Later, Civil Rights Struggle Binds Two Peoples

 

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington

Source: Forward, 8-28-13

As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the majestic “I Have a Dream” speech, we should reflect on the singular role the Jewish community played throughout the civil rights struggle and, in particular, remember with pride Jewish participation in the March on Washington itself….READ MORE

JBuzz Musings August 26, 2013: Women of the Wall protest over new egalitarian prayer site south of the Kotel

JBUZZ MUSINGS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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Women of the Wall protest over new egalitarian prayer site south of the Kotel (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Video
The Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and the Diaspora Affairs believes they had found a solution to the continual battle with the Women of the Wall prayer group; the creation of a temporary egalitarian prayer site next to the Western Wall…READ MORE

 Ezrat Yisrael, the new interim egalitarian prayer section to the south of the Western Wall Plaza; Aug. 25, 2013; the temporary section set up on a platform for the high-holidays for non-Orthodox prayer practices, including the Women of the Wall.

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JBuzz News August 22, 2013: Large grant for Jewish studies institute at University of California Berkley

JBUZZ NEWS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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JEWISH ACADEMIC & UNIVERSITY NEWS

Large grant for Jewish studies institute at Cal

Source: Jweekly.com, 8-22-13

The Jim Joseph Foundation announced this week that it will award up to $1.2 million over five years to the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society. The BIJLILES, as it is known, is a 2-year-old interdisciplinary program….READ MORE

JBuzz Musings August 19, 2013: Mediation fails in conflict over Touro Synagogue, celebrates 250th anniversary

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Mediation fails in conflict over Touro Synagogue, celebrates 250th anniversary (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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Facade of Touro Synagogue (tourosynagogue.org)
The oldest synagogue in the United States, Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island celebrated the building’s 250th anniversary on Aug, 18, 2013. Earlier in the week, after eight months of negotiations America’s two oldest Jewish congregations….READ MORE

81913_Touro_Synagogue_Exterior

JBuzz Musings August 4, 2013: Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

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Israeli President Shimon Peres honors Latvian and Lituanian Holocaust victims

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This past week Israeli President Shimon Peres embarked on a four day trip to Latvia and Lituania from July 29 to August 1, 2013. Although it was a diplomatic mission filled with state dinners and meetings with the heads of…READ MORE

JBuzz News August 1, 2013: Rabbi Aaron Panken named the new president of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

JBUZZ NEWS: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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Aaron Panken, a pilot who will head Reform rabbinical school, eyes horizon

Source: JTA, 8-1-13

Rabbi Aaron Panken. (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion)

Rabbi Aaron Panken. (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion)

With this week’s announcement that Rabbi Aaron Panken will be the new president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the temple in suburban New York now has produced two major Reform leaders in two years. (The other is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who two years ago ceded the pulpit of the Scarsdale synagogue to become president of the Union for Reform Judaism….READ MORE

JBuzz Transcripts August 1, 2013: President Shimon Peres’s speech at the Ponar Memorial ceremony in Lithuania

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Presidential address at the Ponar Memorial ceremony in Lithuania

By SHIMON PERES

Shimon_Peres_Ponar_Ceremonyiv>

‘Painful memories are etched in our hearts’ the President said at Valley of Slaughter in Vilnius, where the Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators murdered some 70,000 Jews.

Amid the trees of Ponar, I can hear the words of Abba Kovner echoing the cries of our murdered brothers and sisters.

I quote: “We shall remember…

The city houses and the country houses.

The aged man and the features of his face.

The mother in her kerchief.

The young girl with her braids.

The child, The child, The entire assembly of Jews Brought down to slaughter on the soil of Europe By the Nazi destroyer, The man who suddenly screamed.

And while screaming died.”

Ponar, from where thousands of our fathers and mothers, our little boys and girls, were murdered.

They will never return.

They will never die in our hearts.

Seventy thousands of them were Jewish.

And thousands were others.

Why? What for? The pastoral scenery surrounding us here is misleading.

Its color remains green. But the ground is red.

The screams of the victims detonating from the damp soil will remain a disgrace to humanity.

Vilnius was considered the Jerusalem of Lithuania, where hopeful and vibrant Jewish communities built a life of their own.

And suddenly, a third of Lithuania’s Jewish people were slaughtered in these fields.

Only a mass grave remains in front of us.

Innocent men and women, babies and children were stripped and then pushed and thrown to the cold bottom of this pit.

Their bodies were tortured and burned at the sound of a short-range burst of fire.

In the massacre valley of Ponar, there were no gas chambers.

Just direct murder.

Physical.

Precise.

Just by pressing the trigger.

One after another.

Day in, day out.

Five hundred a day.

No interruptions.

No regrets.

No second thought.

No thought at all.

Killers.

Killing was their vocation.

History had known no such atrocities, ever.

Just few survived.

From the scorched bodies, only the spirit remained.

An eternal spirit. Facing evil. Our people remained humane.

The spirit of our moral call, Tikkun Olam – to better the world – was molded from the lead of the bullets.

Ponar is a warning.

For us all.

For the generations to come.

Never again.

Never, not even for a moment, may we weaken in our common mission against racism, anti-Semitism and mass destruction.

In Vilnius, there were 200 churches and 110 synagogues. Yet there is just one Lord in heaven.

So let us pray together, let us convert sword and war into brotherhood and friendship between peoples.

Let us pray for the freedom and peace of every person. For all nations. For posterity.

The State of Israel is a living triumph over the horrors of the Shoah.

A bastion of survivors.

A tribute to the hopes of six million Jews.

In spite of the Holocaust, Israel is the continuation of the interrupted dreams of one-and-a-half million children murdered at the dawn of their days.

We can never forget. And we shall always teach our children to withstand darkness.

Lithuania has undertaken this duty with responsibility and seriousness.

Madam President [Dalia Grybauskaite], we respect your efforts to memorialize and educate the youth about this shameful stain, so as never to allow it to happen again.

The newly created democracy of Lithuania is based on courage and tolerance.

On building a future for the free.

The Lithuanian people have learned that the key to raising a new, tolerant generation is in facing the horrors of history with courage.

The blood-soaking the soil of Ponar will not be atoned for until its lessons will become the legacy of humanity as a whole.

Painful memories are etched in our hearts.

Yet high hopes beat in our souls.

On our journey from the abyss of the past to the heights of the tomorrow, we remain determined as ever, to seek justice.

To offer peace.

Not to forget.

Not to forgive.

To pray for the future of our children.

To allow them to be free.

To enjoy peace.

To respect others.

Promising both to remember the shadows of the past and the light of the future.

The Lord who made peace in his Heavens will provide peace on the land.