Dear Members and Friends,
We have all been moved by the plight of refugees from Syria and elsewhere that have been coming to the shores of Europe seeking a haven from war, violence, famine, desperate poverty and suffering. They walk for days or months, swim, pay people-smugglers - their life savings, sacrifice just about everything to reach lands that will offer a better life for them and their children.
This week Israel went to the polls and voted for their representatives. It was a democratic process in which all of Israel’s citizens were able to participate. And that is something to celebrate.
At the same time, whatever your political opinion or feelings about the election results, there are causes for concern. In particular, the use of fear as campaign tactic, especially fear of fellow citizens is worrying. Politics based on ethnicity, religion or fear of one or another group has almost always led to regrettable outcomes.
Treatment of Migrants Evokes Memories of Europe’s Darkest Hour
Posted by Rabbi Ira Goldberg:
Jewish and human rights figures warn of historical amnesia as migrants are tricked into going to camps, marked with identification numbers and denounced as dangerous outsiders with a foreign religion.
Recently I attended a Yaakov Shwekey concert in Paris. Shwekey, a New Jersey-based legend of the Hassidic pop world, is perhaps best known for his rendition of Rachem - which became so popular it even inspired the "tribute" song: "I'm so sick of Rachem".
Dear Members and Friends of the IJC Family,
Friday night, as they went about their own business, 127 human beings were killed in Paris and many more injured. Several people, now all dead, again brought fear, terror, death and pain to one of Europe’s capitals, to a city of millions that is not so far from our own. In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy and loss of life, we extend our condolences to the families of those who were killed, our sympathy to those who were injured, and to their loved ones.
There has been both kvelling and kvetching amongst the Jewish media following the announcing of this year’s Nobel Prize winners. Six of the eight scientists awarded the laureate are Jewish, among them Americans, Israelis and a Belgian, Francois Englert, who shared the 2013 Prize in Physics.