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The Week In News

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AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

#21

IN A SERIES

“ WE ARE ALL AVODIM (SERVANTS) OF HASHEM. THE MASTER ALWAYS SETS THE AGENDA. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SERVANT SETTING THE AGENDA FOR THE MASTER? THAT WOULD BE INSUBORDINATION! TALKING IN SHUL IS NO DIFFERENT. WE ARE TAKING OUR AVODAH OF DAVENING, AND CHANGING IT OUR OWN AGENDA OF TALKING. THAT'S INSUBORDINATION TO OUR MASTER, HASHEM.”

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AS A ZECHUS FOR A REFUAH SHLEIMA FOR:

‫גדלי‘ בן צבי‘ איטא‬

KEEPING QUIET IN SHUL IS A ZECHUS FOR PARNASSAH, SHIDDUCHIM, REFUOS & YESHUOS!


AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JEWISH THOUGHT Moment in Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Getting It Right. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

FEATURE Operation Orchard 10 Years On: How a Potential Catastrophe Was Averted . . . . . . 14 Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston Hard. . . . . . . . . . . . 16

LIFESTYLES Proactive Parenting: School Days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

NEWS

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD PALM SPRINGS PACIFIC PALASADES PASADENA REDONDO BEACH SHERMAN OAKS SIMI VALLEY STUDIO CITY TEMECULA THOUSAND OAKS TORRANCE VALENCIA VAN NUYS WOODLAND HILLS

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, One of the beauties of the Jewish calendar is the refreshing energy of Elul and the opportunity it brings for teshuvah. No matter how we performed the year before, we can put it behind us and look forward to a new year. Just as in business, most of the time we work, we focus on the bottom line. Yet every once in a while, we take a step back and take stock of what we’ve accomplished, analyzing whether our efforts have been sufficient, did we focus on the right area, and so on. The best part, of course, is that our Boss is also our Father, and He wants us to be successful even more than we do. And He judges our success with chessed. All we need is to be sincere in our efforts to improve. Let’s take advantage of this unique time and try shaking off even one bad habit or increasing our efforts in just one small area. The results might surprise us. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,

Shalom

T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM


TheHappenings Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

COMMUNICATED

American Buyers Spur Record Breaking Sales at Ramat Givat Zeev Project

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The upscale Ramat Givat Zeev project, located just outside Jerusalem, continues to spur record-breaking sales from buyers, many of them new and future immigrants from Los Angeles, the New York/New Jersey metro area, and beyond. The rising value of these properties can be traced directly to the fact that only 50 apartments within the 350 unit complex remain to be sold. A buyers group consisting of over 30 families emanating from the Los Angeles region and over 25 families from Teaneck, New Jersey, actually created a spike in the value of each apartment by nearly $50,000. This is even before they take possession of the keys to their new homes, which are currently under construction. The overwhelming interest from American buyers stems from the fact that Ramat Givat Zeev has promoted itself as a project that is being erected with high-end standards, mimicking the lifestyle that its buyers have been used to in the USA. It will accentuate the discerning religious and cultural quality of life quotients found in places such as Teaneck, New Jersey, Five Towns, Long Island Brooklyn, New York, as well as metro Los Angeles. Ramat Givat Zeev will feature synagogues, mikvaot and quality schools, as well as a country club with a pool and gym, tennis and basketball courts, green parks, and a shopping center. Yisroel Hayom, Israel’s largest daily newspaper, recently dubbed Ramat Givat Zeev, as Jerusalem’s “Caesarea” (a ritzy town near Central Israel), as well as a “once in a generation” neighborhood. Because of the project’s unique locale, Israeli real estate experts believe that once the first residents of Ramat Givat Zeev move into their homes – which will happen within the next 18 months – prices for the properties will actually double in price. The next Ramat Givat Zeev event in L.A. will take place on Sunday, September 3rd, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Morry’s Fireplace, 9118 W. Pico Blvd.

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TheHappenings Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Photo Credit: Arye D. Gordon

Los Angeles Bids Tzeischem L’Shalom to Rabbi Avrohom and Dr. Sara Teichman   Rabbi Arye D. Gordon This past Thursday evening, August 17, 2017, was a bittersweet one for the Los Angeles community. As Rabbi Avrohom and Dr. Sara Teichman prepare to move to the East Coast, friends, family, colleagues, and other community members assembled to express gratitude for their years shared with the Teichman family. We all know the famous Rashi on the passuk , “Va’yeitzi Yaakov m’Be’er sheva. – Yaakov went out from Beersheva.” Why does the Torah mention his departure? It is to teach us that the departure of a righteous man from any place makes an impression. For during the time that the righteous person is in the city, he constitutes its glory, he is its splendor, he is its crown; but when he departs from there, there departs its glory, there departs its splendor, there departs its crown. Harav Zalman Sorotzkin in his sefer, Otzar HaHayim, points out, “There is a righteous person who dwells in a city but does not worry about what happens in the

city. Rather he worries about his place in the world to come. When such a righteous person leaves the city, his absence is not noted. But when a truly righteous person leaves a city – that is, a righteous person who was truly a part of the place, and was active and an influence upon the place – his going out makes a great impression.» There is no better way to describe Rabbi and Rebbetzin Teichman and their 40plus years as sojourners in Los Angeles.  In his introduction at the farewell event, Rabbi Kram pointed out, “We are here tonight to express our hakoras hatov to our rav, Rav Teichman, and thank him for leading us and teaching us so that we may grow immeasurably. Rabbi Teichman originally came to Los Angeles to be a menahel in Rav Simcha Wasserman’s yeshiva,  and then in Toras Emes.  Rav Teichman is the rosh of a beis din Choshen Mishpat, Rosh Beis Din Even Ezra, a mesader Gittin, the rav of Los Angeles Hatzalah, the rav of Agudath Yisroel Bais

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Avigdor, and the founder of the kashrus organization, Kehilla Kosher.” Rav Yisroel Teichman, the rav’s son, rose to say a few words. He spoke of his experience growing up in Los Angeles and watching the Torah community grow in leaps and bounds. He concluded by saying, “On behalf of myself and my siblings we want to thank you all for your friendship, kindness, and hakaras hatov.” Rav Avrohom Teichman then went to the podium for his final remarks. After pausing he began, “Thank you all for coming and a good night. That is,” continued Rabbi Teichman, “a complete speech! I hope what I go on to say now does not take away from that speech.” Rabbi Teichman went on to describe the miracles that saved his future father-in-

Rabbi Avraham Teichman

law, Rav Yisroel Snow, who survived the rioting in Chevron in 1929, and his own parents that survived Auschwitz. He then described the tremendous influence of his parents and their hashpa’ah. He spoke of the Los Angeles frum community, whose growth and development was due to the efforts of Holocaust Jews that settled in the wilds of California – all nissim. He concluded by thanking the community for all their tov and expressed his feelings that he and the rebbetzin would not forget the Yidden of Los Angeles. The dessert reception was hosted by the Agudath Yisroel Bais Avigdor of Los Angeles; the renowned caterers, Pat and Errol Fine; and Hatzolah of Los Angeles.


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The Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home


AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home


Torah Musings The Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

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Moment in Time Sarah Pachter

I recently went skiing down a black diamond run, one of the most difficult slopes on a mountain. Now, don’t get too excited, I don’t exactly “fly” down black diamonds. I’m not skilled enough to gracefully zigzag around moguls, the way the expert skiers zoom along, making aerial maneuvers and technical turns. Even though I make it down the mountain alive, I always promise myself that I won’t do it again. Yet, because my husband loves skiing, I end up pushing myself to face this challenge year after year. The terrain was treacherous. I struggled through every patch of ice and every mogul, the bumps formed when skiers push snow into mounds as they do endless sharp turns. My fingers and toes were painfully cold, and I certainly was not enjoying the moment.

thoughts as me – Look how well they maneuver down the mountain! How lovely! Little would he know how much I was struggling with the moguls or how I was in pain from the freezing weather. Instead, he would see the beauty of the mountain and my gradual progress down the slope, not the ice patches and the moguls. Maybe I looked graceful from that distance! The same is true of life. Life can be full of wondrous moments and blessings, and yet when we are in the trenches of it, we rarely notice them. We focus instead on the small, unglamorous details.   During my day-to-day life with my children, it’s hard to see them as lovely when they cry, whine, or make seemingly endless demands. Yet as I gaze at them while they are angelically sleeping, I can see the beauty in them. It is in those quiet moments that

lin, they would have paused to appreciate the beauty of his free concert. How do we enjoy the music despite our rush to reach our destination, appreciate the vistas spread before us despite the bumps, twists, and turns of life? One way is by having a gratitude journal. It’s as simple as having a notepad to jot in or a friend to call or email every day to share these special, modest moments. I have a close friend with whom I email daily “gratitude moments.” Our correspondence forces me to pause and actively seek out beautiful moments in my life. For example, one morning I woke up early from

the rising sun beaming through my window and heard my three-year-old giggling. What a joy! Our observations don’t have to be big at all. Sometimes, the smaller the moments are that we recognize, the happier we will feel inside: noticing a laugh, a kind look, a warm “hello” from a stranger passing by, or a gorgeous, fragrant flower. Living a joyous life is about pausing to see what has been there for us all along. So take a moment and look at the glorious scenery, and the child resting peacefully. Listen to the music around you - it might be worth millions.

Rebetzin

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She is blessed with tremendous Siyata Dishmaya, and the Zechus to be a shaliach to help and be mechazek many people in need. Letter of Recommendation from Rav Scheinberg zt"l

In need of a break, I decided to pause and look up. Across the way and in the distance, I saw a beautiful mountain covered in snow. Within that mountain was a small spec of black, clearly a person skiing down at what seemed like a slow but steady pace. It was absolutely breathtaking, so much so that for a moment I forgot about the moguls before me and the numbing chill in my limbs.   That’s when it hit me: What if in that moment, the skier on that picturesque, snow-covered mountain stopped to gaze at our mountain? Might he have the same

I can look at them as a whole, and see the miracle and gift of each child that G-d has given me. From a distance, skiing, our children, and life are all beautiful.  But up close, these things are certainly not always easy. There is a well-known story about a man who stood in the subway station of Washington, D.C. playing his violin. He performed for 45 minutes and over 1000 people rushed by, but only seven stopped to listen to him. Maybe if they had known that he was Joshua Bell, the world famous violinist, playing a 3.5 million dollar vio-

Rebbetzin Aidel Miller, is a granddaughter of the known Rabbi Yakov Yosef Herman ‫זצ"ל‬, who did much to strengthen yiddishkeit in America. The Rebbitzin became known over the years of her helping for people undergoing difficulties with: special Segulos and prayers from holy sources to fortify the faith and bitachon of those in need of a yeshoa. Rebbetzin Miller also is an expert in using the segula of "Blei Gissen" (pouring of lead). This segula is mentioned in the sefer of the ‫ צמח צדק‬and other seforim, this segula is known in klal yisroel for many generations & mekubalim have given their approval to this segula. May Hashem grant her much siyata dishmaya to continue her work, and may Hashem the healer of of the broken heart heal all those in need of help.

Listen to the 50 min. interview with Reb. Miller & her daughter on the Akeres Habayis Hotline 212-444-1900 & press 8338 For appointment please call TILL 5:00 PM

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

We are now into the second week of the month of Elul, the time reserved for reviewing our actions over the past year in preparation of the yemei hadin. We should not only examine what we did wrong and seek to improve our conduct, but also recognize what we did right and realize that we are essentially good people, capable of acting correctly. Concentrating only on what we did wrong can be depressing and lead us to think that we are incapable of conducting ourselves properly. A cheshbon hanefesh should leave a person feeling empowered to get things right. Although we have sinned, we need not view ourselves as losers. We are given the opportunity to ameliorate our actions and correct the accumulated wrongs. We have the intelligence and strength to grow and persevere. Hashem helps those who seek to improve themselves but find it difficult. Lest someone feel that the task is too difficult, Chazal (Medrash, Shir Hashirim Rabbah 5:2) provide positive reinforcement. They say that Hashem proclaims to us, “Pischu li pesach kechudo shel machat va’ani eftach lochem pesach kepischo shel ulam. Show some effort, show that you care, and I will help with the rest.” No one should underestimate their worth by thinking that they are ill equipped to follow all the mitzvos and act with proper middos in a world in which it seems that people are competing against each other for everything, from money to social status. There are so many temptations and problems. It is difficult to earn the money we need to make ends meet. People can’t seem to catch up and keep their heads above water. Everywhere you turn, there are higher bills, higher taxes, and higher rents, mortgages and tuitions. Who can blame you for feeling inadequate when you can’t keep up with the neighbors and your children feel as if they are lacking? Everyone needs to be reminded not to judge themselves by comparing themselves to others. Don’t live based on what other people think. Don’t live to make superficial impressions on your friends. Get

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Getting It Right your priorities together and concentrate on what is really important. Don’t waste your time on fleeting pleasures, and don’t waste your money on things that are not really important. Elul causes you to reflect and identify what is significant and central to you and your family. Keeping your family strong and satisfied is of prime importance. Improving yourself, learning Torah, observing halacha and being a mentch are important. Finding time for what is crucial is possible even in our world, where it feels as if there is never enough time in the day to

(32a). Alexander Mokdon asked the chachomim what a person who wants to live should engage in. They responded, “Yomis es atzmo,” that he should kill himself. Rashi explains that to live, “yashpil es atzmo,” a person should subjugate his ego. The old rov remarked that a person who wants to live should “kill” his wild ambitions and desires that bring him down and cause him to be sad. If a person is driven to achieve a certain prestigious position that remains out of his reach, and he is frustrated and depressed over it, he should kill that urge. If a person is jealous of someone and becomes consumed by that jealousy,

Elul is the time to get our lives back. accomplish what must be done. Concentrate on the meaningful things. When your focus is on the personal growth and wellbeing of yourself and your family, and that remains paramount in all your decisions, you will be successful and rewarded with a healthily functioning family and a healthy you. Adjusting what takes precedence in your life is part of the Elul process and helpful as we seek to prepare ourselves for the Yom Hadin. Elul should empower us to find avenues of chizuk and not be afraid to admit that we have made mistakes. As we go through the process, we become stronger. We improve and grow during these special days. We set goals and achieve them. We show ourselves to be good people looking to live good lives, and Hashem helps us attain what we seek. Rav Elimelech Biderman quotes anonymously a rov from a previous generation to explain a Gemara in Maseches Tomid

he will live longer and better if he kills that enviousness. If he is driven to be unrealistically wealthy, or to be respected by others, and it’s not happening, he should kill those motivations and accept himself the way he is and stop comparing himself to other people. People ruin their lives chasing false dreams, seeking public recognition and accolades. They spend money they don’t have and occupy their time with ideas that lead them to depression and sadness. Elul is the time to get our lives back, breaking free from the shackles that keep us from happiness and accomplishment. “Yashpil es atmzo.” Practice humility and your life will be greatly enhanced. This message is alluded to in the opening posuk of this week’s parsha: “Ki seitzei lamilchomah al oyvecha - When you go to war against your enemy.” While the Torah is discussing rules pertaining to declaring war on Klal Yisroel’s enemies, it also hints to what we are to be engaging in during the

period when the parsha is read. We have no greater enemy than the yeitzer hora. He causes us to act in ways that are detrimental to our wellbeing and life. He causes us to become arrogant and consumed by bad middos, which ruin our personality and drive people and success away from us. During Elul, we do battle with the yeitzer hora. We rediscover ourselves, finding out who we are and who we really want to be. There are many layers and levels of thoughts and actions that contribute to who we are. During Elul, we peel apart those layers, inspecting and rectifying them until we return to our core of goodness and kindness. “Ki seitzei lamilchomah al oyvecha unesano Hashem Elokecha beyodecha.” The posuk guarantees us that if we set out to battle the yeitzer hora, Hashem will help us beat him. He who wants to live and he who wants a good life looks forward to Elul. Although teshuvah is welcome a whole year, during this month of rachamim we are given extra assistance as we recharge ourselves. It was during this month that Moshe went up to Heaven to plead for the Bnei Yisroel after they sinned with the Eigel. Ever since then, Elul has been the month of personal and communal teshuvah. The word teshuvah literally means to return. People who engage in teshuvah return to their inner peace and goodness. It may be difficult to get the ball rolling and look at yourself and your wants and desires seriously, but once you get started, the rest flows and the results are exhilarating and liberating. There was a Lelover chossid in der heim who was struck with a terrible lung disease. The doctor had no relief to offer him, so he sent him to a place with a higher elevation and crisp air, hoping that it would help the sick man. When he arrived at the European spa site, he was turned back, as the directors feared that his illness would spread and they wished to take no chances with him. The poor man passed by Lelov on his return home to ask Rav Dovid Lelover for a brocha. The rebbe wanted to comfort the man and searched his kitchen for a delicacy. All he found was old salty cheese and some wine. He set the wine and cheese in front of the visitor and invited him to make a brocha. The man refused, saying that the doctor warned him against salty foods and forbade him from drinking anything alcoholic. The rebbe insisted. “I am now engaging in the mitzvah of hachnosas


Living withIn theNews Times The Week

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

orchim,” he said, “and you are my partner in this. Shomer mitzvah lo yeida dovor ra. You won’t be harmed.” The man did as the rebbe said, but the cheese was so salty that he kept on drinking wine to quench his thirst. Eventually, he fell asleep. When he awoke the next morning, he felt all better and was, in fact, cured. He thanked the rebbe profusely for saving his life and went on his way. He returned home and was greeted exultingly by his family. The man went to see the doctor for an examination to determine if he had indeed been cured. He told the doctor the story with the rebbe. Amazed by his patient’s supernatural recovery, the doctor, Professor Chaim Dovid Brand, became a baal teshuvah. Dr. Brand went to see the rebbe, Rav Dovid Lelover, who began to engage him in divrei Torah. Dr. Brand asked the rebbe, “Why are you discussing with me such deep ideas? I was just recently not observant. How can I have so quickly progressed to be able to discuss such topics?” The rebbe responded that such is the power of teshuvah. One day you can be so low and separated from Hashem, but after doing teshuvah the next day, Hashem brings you close to Him and you are worthy of plumbing the depths of Torah.” Let us not think that we cannot return to the status we reached prior to our sins. We should never think that our middos ra’os are so entrenched in our being that we cannot rectify them. We are never locked into anything. We all have the ability to climb out of whatever rut we are in and rise to be great people, connected to Hashem. The Gemara (Shabbos 133b) quotes Abba Shaul, who derives from the posuk of “Zeh Keili v’anveihu” that we are commanded to emulate Hashem. “Mah Hu chanun verachum af atoh heyei chanun verachum. Just as Hashem is compassionate, so should we be.” Now, as we seek Divine mercy, and as we seek to rectify ourselves so that we may find favor in His eyes, we should also seek to justify others and not rush to condemn and attack. As we behave with others, so can we expect Hashem to act with us. There are several pesukim in Tanach that hint to Elul. One is the posuk in Megillas Esther (9:22) that states, “Umishloach manos Ish Lerei’eihu Umatanos L’evyonim.” The first letters of the last four words here spell Elul. The words indicated refer to sending gifts to friends and gifts to the poor. We can explain that during this period of Elul, when we engage in teshuvah bein adam lachaveiro, if we send gifts to friends and pacify the people against whom we have sinned, then Hashem will show compassion to us, who are poor - lacking - in mitzvos and Torah, and gift us His assistance in doing teshuvah for mitzvos bein adam laMakom. If we demonstrate a longing for improvement and personal betterment, Hakadosh Boruch Hu assists us in achieving our objectives. The Gemara states

(Yoma 38b-39a), “Odom mekadeish atzmo me’at mekadshin oso harbei… Haba letaheir mesayin oso.” If a person purifies himself and increases his connection with holiness, or even if he just begins the process and attempts to purify himself, he earns Divine assistance and achieves holiness and purity. Baalei mussar of old would repeat a posuk or thought with great intensity for hours on end until they felt that the thought pierced their soul. We once wrote the story about the Elul that the Alter of Kelm sat at his shtender for seven hours and repeated the same words from Tehillim (118:19) with great devotion: “Pischu li shaarei tzedek. Please, open for me the gates of

righteousness.” Finally, he jumped up and shouted, “Der tir is doch offen! Gei arein! The door is open! Go in!” The story is a good one, but it goes deeper. The posuk that the Alter recited, “Pischu li shaarei tzedek,” is followed by “Zeh hashaar laHashem tzaddikim yavo’u vo This is the gate to Hashem, for the righteous to enter through,” and then, “Odcha ki anisoni vatehi li liyshuah - I thank You, Hashem, for Your salvation.” We can understand that initially a person seeks to enter the shaarei tzedek, but is unable to, for they only open for tzaddikim. He engages in teshuvah and seeks to absolve himself of sin so that he may be

termed a tzaddik, but he is unable, on his own, to attain that degree of teshuvah until he is blessed with the assistance of Hashem. When he is able to enter, he thanks Hashem for the yeshuah brought on by the Divine support in aiding him to achieve teshuvah. The Alter worked on teshuvah for seven hours so that he may enter the shaarei tzedek. Finally, he felt that Hashem helped him and he had achieved teshuvah. He then proclaimed that the door had opened and he was able to enter the shaarei tzedek. May we merit that level of devotion and teshuvah.

B”H

The faculty, staff and students of

Touro College Los Angeles Mourn the loss of and Express their deepest condolences to the family of

Dr. Nissan Kahen Dr. Kahen was a distinguished pillar of the Iranian Jewish Community in Los Angeles and a staunch supporter of Touro College Los Angeles. The Jewish Community of Los Angeles and all of Klal Yisrael have lost a man who lived with his heart in the present while never losing sight of how to best build for the future of the our children, community and institutions.

‫מן השמים תנוחמו‬ May his memory be for a blessing. TOURO COLLEGE LOS ANGELES A DIVISION OF TOURO UNIVERISITY WORLDWIDE

Where Knowledge and Values Meet

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Feature The Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Operation Orchard 10 Years On: How a Potential Catastrophe Was Averted Aaron Feigenbaum

The Assad regime in Syria is notorious for its use of deadly chemical weapons such as sarin and chlorine gas in the ongoing civil war. These weapons have been used repeatedly in violation of international law and have reportedly killed and injured thousands. Despite the deal struck with the Obama administration and brokered by Russia in 2013 to destroy the weapons, the Assad regime has gamed the system and continues to possess and develop them, causing massive destruction to its enemies and even its own citizens. However, what’s often forgotten is that the situation could have been infinitely worse were it not for the wise actions taken by Israel ten years ago to prevent Syria from becoming a nuclear power. The story of Operation Orchard starts in 2004, when Israeli and American intelligence agencies obtained evidence that Assad regime was beginning to develop nuclear capabilities. For several years prior, the two countries had suspected that Syria was developing a secret nuclear program, but it wasn’t until the explosion of a train carrying Syrian nuclear engineers in North Korea that those fears were confirmed. According to the Mossad, the engineers were there to recover weapons-grade plutonium to be used in nuclear bombs. More evidence surfaced two years later when the Mossad hacked the computer of a senior Syrian official visiting London. Essentially, they found a smoking gun: hundreds of blueprints and pictures showing significant activity at al-Kibar, a remote desert location in Syria that had been monitored by the Israelis for several years prior as a possible nuclear research center. The documents also revealed secret nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria at high levels of government. It was later reported that Iran, too, was heavily involved in the project, donating $1 billion to it with plans of using al-Kibar as a backup in case they were unable to complete uranium enrichment in their own facilities. A March 2007 raid on the home of Ibrahim Othman, the head of Syria’s nuclear program, revealed detailed plans of the facility and confirmed that it was a plutonium reactor as well as the presence of North Korean nuclear experts. The Ofek-7 spy satellite, launched in June 2007 just two months before Operation Orchard, helped provide further coverage of al-Kibar. In August 2007, a team of elite Sayeret Matkal recon unit infiltrated al-Kibar and

recovered photos and soil samples, which later tested positive for nuclear material. This evidence prompted Olmert to ask U.S. President George Bush to bomb the

plane took off from Ramat David Airbase that same night to carry out the raid. The first target of the raid was a Syrian radar station in Tall al-Abuad. With the Syrian

An Israeli F-15

Syrian reactor before and after

site, but Bush refused saying that the evidence was not definitive. Olmert thus decided unilaterally to conduct a raid on the facility in the interests of Israel’s national security. On September 5, 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved the bombing raid. After having trained in the Negev Desert for several weeks, a group of 10 F-15 fighter jets, several F-16I escorts and a signal jamming

defense system completely disabled, the jets made their way to al-Kibar and successfully destroyed the facility using 17 tons of explosives and with the help of laser targeting from commandos on the ground. Ten North Korean workers were reportedly killed. The Israeli commandos were extracted and the planes returned to base, flying over Turkish airspace. The first reports about the raid came

via CNN but no official word came from the Israeli government or Israeli media outlets until September 19th when Benjamin Netanyahu, then-leader of the opposition, announced his support of it. The Syrian government denied reports that it was building a nuclear weapons facility and lodged a complaint with the U.N. saying the raid was “a breach of airspace of the Syrian Arab Republic.” In an interview shortly after the raid, Assad claimed the raid destroyed an unused military building and that if it actually was a nuclear facility it would have had surface-to-air defenses. However, many experts believe that the lack of defenses was an intentional move made to disguise the building during its early development phase. Curiously, no Arab government besides Syria has commented on the raid, which to some signals tacit support of Israel’s actions. In an interview the following year, then-director of the CIA Michael Hayden noted that the nuclear reactor destroyed at al-Kibar could have produced enough nuclear material for one or two weapons per year, which is on par with North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. In April 2010, the International Atomic Energy Agency, despite its initial skepticism, confirmed that al-Kibar did in fact house a secret nuclear reactor. Reports indicate that Assad’s desire to obtain nuclear weapons has not been dampened. It is believed that Syria still possesses up to 50 tons of uranium, which is enough to produce two or three bombs once enriched. The location of the uranium is unknown, although reports by the German newspaper Der Spiegel indicate it might be hidden in an underground facility close to the Lebanese border. There are also reports that at least some of the uranium may have fallen out of the hands of the Syrian government and come into possession by ISIS and the Free Syrian Army opposition group. At the moment, thanks to Operation Orchard, Syria’s nuclear capabilities are believed to be extremely limited. It lacks the resources, personnel, and international support necessary to sustain a serious weapons program. In fact, Syria only has one working nuclear reactor – a Chinese-built research reactor that’s under IAEA safeguards and which cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium or uranium.


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s of Tuesday afternoon, over 11 trillion gallons of rain had been dumped over the state of Texas by Hurricane Harvey. It is predicted that by the time what is now called Tropical Storm Harvey finally leaves the state, 14 trillion gallons more will have fallen. That’s a total of 25 trillion gallons of rain that will deluge Texas and surrounding areas. Between midnight on Friday and 9:20am on Tuesday a whopping 49.20 inches of rain fell on the Lone Star state – a record for continental U.S. from a land-falling tropical cyclone, the National Weather Service said. “The word catastrophic does not appropriately describe what we’re facing,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents much of Houston. “We just don’t know when it’s going to end.” Hurricane Harvey hit Houston as a category 4 hurricane – that’s out of a scale of 5 – with winds reaching 130 miles per hour on Friday night. The unprecedented damage that took place is due to the fact that Harvey hadn’t seem to want to leave the area. Instead of moving on to other areas and distributing its floods of water, the storm has stayed put in Houston for most of its cycle. Aside from the rain, several small tornadoes have been created from Harvey’s power, adding more chaos and tragedy. Harvey’s rain and subsequent floods pummeled Houston for

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

many days, and many were forced out of their homes as rising waters swamped their belongings and families. In just 15 hours, Houston 911 received 56,000 calls for help. More than 3,400 people were rescued from their homes. Each family rescued is a family that knows that, even if they will be coming back to their homes in their near future, they will be facing disaster – rotting food, damaged furniture, destroyed mementos, crumbling walls. Many Houston residents

presumed to be dead after the van they were using to flee was swept into a river and sank. The driver of the van, the children’s great-uncle, Samuel Saldivar, managed to escape. The others, Manuel Saldivar, 84, his wife Belia, 81, Devy Saldivar, 16, Dominic Saldivar, 14, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Daisy Saldivar, 6, are all believed to have drowned. Samuel told the children to open the back doors to the van before they went under, but they were unable to do so. “I’m just hoping we find the bod-

“Nobody’s ever seen anything this long. Nobody’s seen this kind of water. Probably, there’s never been something so expensive in our country’s history.”

don’t have proper flood insurance. Faced with this devastation they will be forced to dig into their pockets or go into debt in order to rebuild.

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side from the material losses suffered as a result of Harvey, at least 15 people have lost their lives in the catastrophe. Sadly, a family of six is believed to have perished as they tried to escape the unprecedented flooding. Four children and their two great-grandparents are

ies,” Virginia Saldivar, a relative, said. Another victim, police Sgt. Steve Perez, perished in the storm. On Sunday, in an effort to get to work in the early morning hours, Perez spent two-and-a-half hours driving to his station. But the 34-year Houston police veteran drove into an underpass during the flooding and drowned. He was just two days shy of his 61st birthday. Perez’s body was recovered on Tuesday morning.

Before going to work on Sunday morning, Perez’s wife had begged him to stay home. “I’ve got work to do,” he told her before heading out. On Monday, a woman in her 60s was napping in her bedroom when a large oak tree landed on her home. Rescue workers waded through waist-deep water to rescue the woman. By the time they found her, though, she was already dead.

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n an effort to save as many people as possible, volunteers struggled through oceans of filthy floodwater to rescue those who were stranded. Their rescue vehicles differed: some used fishing boats, others drove in large SUVs, one volunteer was spotted using a dump truck to save survivors. Residents stood on rooftops or waded in waist-deep water before being rescued. People were told to hang sheets or towels on their homes to signal that rescue was needed. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard, roughly 12,000 Guardsmen. Some residents became desperate as they waited for help. Volunteers in rescue boats have said that people rushed to get into their boats, even though they were full. Clyde Cain of the Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based rescue force that gained fame during Hurricane Katrina, said that after one of his team’s boats broke down, people tried to steal the inoperable watercraft while


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Feature The Week In News

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the crew sought shelter in a delivery truck, “They’re making it difficult for us to rescue them,” he said earlier in the week. “You have people rushing the boat. Everyone wants to get in at the same time. They’re panicking. Water is rising.”

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tories of kindness in the midst of the disaster have been circulating. In one instance, Annie Smith, who was preparing to have a home birth, went into labor as her house was surrounded by rising waters on Sunday. She and her husband, Greg, are doctors. When they realized that they needed to go for help, Greg began collecting supplies for the birth – scissors, sewing needles – from around the house and asked his mother to boil water. Fifteen people came to the apartment to help with the delivery. Numerous calls to the National Guard went unanswered until finally Annie called the director of her fellowship program. He was able to get in touch with a rescue crew. Finally, a flatbed truck came to the Smiths’ door. But at that time, the water was too high, and neighbors and firefighters formed a human chain to help Annie to the back of the truck. The Smiths finally got the hospital, and their newest addition, Adrielle, was born twelve hours later. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

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till, the catastrophe continued. On Tuesday, three days since Harvey took landfall, Houston’s Addicks Reservoir overflowed and breached a levee in nearby Brazoria County. The county sits between the Gulf of Mexico and Houston. Floodwaters from the reservoir deluged nearby streets. “Get out

now!” Brazoria County official tweeted. Even if residents did leave, officials were at a loss as to where they should go. According to county spokeswoman Sharon Trower, “The Brazos River is being pounded, and all of that water is coming down from the tributaries and creeks into the river,” she said. “All the roads around us are flooded. We don’t have any evacuation routes to tell people to take.” More than 9,000 evacuees had gathered in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – almost double the amount of cots available. Those without cots were given pillows and blankets by the Red Cross to sleep on the floor. Jim McIngvale, who owns furniture stores in Houston and Richmond and is known as “Mattress Mack,” pitched in to help those displaced from the storm. On Sunday, he opened up his two stores to evacuees. “Houstonians have a safe, dry place to take shelter at Gallery Furniture so if they can get here they are welcome,” McIngvale said in the store’s press release. “We hope to give them some comfort in this incredibly difficult time.” “We have tons of mattresses in our warehouse, and we can provide them with a blanket,” Mattress Mack told CNN. “We have a restaurant inside the stores, and we are feeding them for free.” It didn’t take long for over 400 people to fill his stores, enjoying relative comfort and three meals due to McIngvale’s generosity. McIngvale also opened up his doors to 200 evacuees during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. In contrast to Mattress Mack, televangelist Joel Osteen faced enormous criticism after he post-

ed that his 17,000-seat megachurch was closed to evacuees due to severe flooding conditions. The internet was filled with condemnation for Osteen, with one person posting a video of themselves walking up to the doors of the church on Monday. Another person posted, “Joel Osteen has a net worth of $56M and lives in a $10M home. Opening your home to people in need shouldn’t be a problem.” The Osteens finally got the message, and on Tuesday Osteen tweeted, “Victoria and I care deeply about our fellow Houstonians. Lakewood’s doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter.” He added that he was looking for donations and volunteers. Even when people were able to find shelter, there were health concerns to consider as well. Take, for example, those who were stuck in floodwaters or had to jump into rescue vehicles during the storm. Some of them have been experiencing trauma in connection to what they went through. Social worker Brittany Burch told NPR, “A lot of people are really overwhelmed, stories of having to jump in a boat or get a helicopter out, wade through waist-high water, losing everything,” she said. “So just a lot of people in shock, trying to adjust to what’s happened and what happens from here.” Others have been suffering from before the storm and are in dire need of their medications. Some people with mental disorders are uncomfortable coming forward to volunteers for help with their illness. Additionally, there is a sizeable amount of people who are on dialysis. DaVita, a leading provider of dialysis services

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AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Evacuees sleeping on the floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center

President Trump in Corpus Christi

nationwide, says the company normally serves approximately 6,700 patients in Houston. About a third of their 100 or so centers in the city are still open for all patients who need dialysis, according to Chakilla Robinson White, who oversees operations at DaVita’s dialysis centers in Texas and neighboring states. The company is trying to call their patients to help them to get their treatments. For those who are undergoing dialysis missing treatment for even one day can be extremely dangerous, especially for the heart. DaVita has been working to get staff into their crowded dialysis centers. “We’re working on bringing in boats to actually get our teammates in some of the neighborhoods where they’re unable to escape through the flood,” White says. “It’s amazing how many teammates have had hardships themselves, losing part of their homes and still showing up to treat our patients.”

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ome have asked why Houston, which is flat and susceptible to flooding, was never put under an evacuation order before Harvey hit. Mayor Sylvester Turner has stood by his decision. “You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road,” Turner said in a press conference on Sunday. “If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare.” Over the few days of storm, certain counties and areas were told to evacuate. Most of the orders issued were mandatory; others were voluntary.

As is the case with other disasters, looting was a concern as people fled, and stores and homes were flooded. But on Tuesday, Police Chief Art Acevdeo made it clear that Houston will not tolerate any looting. “This is the state of Texas,” he said. “We’re a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing, especially committing armed robberies in our community. We’re going to catch you, and I promise you this: We are going to push hard – I’ve talked to the district attorney – to seek the fullest prosecution possible available for any crime that is committed.” He added that he will urge judges and juries to give any looters the toughest sentences. “So word to the wise: Don’t come to Houston,” Acevdeo warned, “because you’re going to be caught. And I guarantee you when you take advantage of people and prey on them in these circumstances, that’s despicable behavior and we’re all going to push hard to make sure you don’t see the sunlight anytime soon.” 14 looters were arrested in the past few days. “Under Texas law, punishment increases for crimes such as assault, robbery, burglary and theft if they are committed in a county declared a disaster area by the governor,” the Harris County District Attorney’s Office warned. “Burglarizing a home would normally bring a penalty of two to 20 years in prison, but now brings five years to life.” Mayor Turner imposed a 10 o’clock curfew to prevent any looters from pillaging homes.

Thousands of cots filled the floor of the Geroge R. Brown Convention Center

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n Tuesday, Tropical Storm Harvey hovered over the Gulf of Mexico. It was expected to dump another 15 inches of rain on southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, including Houston. Later in the week, rivers in east Texas, rushing with water, are expected to crest. Dallas is preparing to host evacuees from Houston, but as of Tuesday, with the airport flooded and roads submerged, it is impossible to get residents to Dallas. Towards the weekend, as the waters recede, Dallas will be able to welcome its neighbors to provide shelter, food and a bit of comfort. On Tuesday, President Trump traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, to survey some of the damage inflicted by the storm. The president had been pushing aides to arrange a trip to Texas since the hurricane made landfall on Friday. The team chose Corpus Christi because it was the closest the commander-in-chief could get to the storm-ravaged areas without disrupting rescue efforts. After a meeting at a firehouse with state and federal officials, Trump flew to Austin for another meeting with officials involved in the flooding before flying back to D.C. In Corpus Christi, Trump urged the team gathered there, “We want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at five years, 10 years from now, as this is the way to do it,” Trump said, adding the storm was “of epic proportion.” In Austin, the president warned of the long-term effort and stiff costs that will be needed to rebuild the

region. “The sad thing is that this is long-term. Nobody’s ever seen anything this long. Nobody’s seen this kind of water. Probably, there’s never been something so expensive in our country’s history.” He reiterated his pledge to work with Congress to secure disaster relief funding to help Texas with that long-term recovery. “What I learned is that we can count on the President of the United States and his staff,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after Trump’s visit. “The President and his Cabinet remained in constant contact with me and my staff and they all had one thing to say: ‘Texas, what do you need?’” Abbott added that Trump was engaged in preparations as much as 10 days before the storm hit and said Trump has “shown character and compassion” throughout the recovery efforts.

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n Houston, the waters of Harvey will hopefully recede over the next few days. But even as water levels go down and residents are able to go back to their houses, many of them will be facing devastation and destruction. Some of them will have totally lost their homes; a few of them will have lost their family members; and others will have lost their belongings. For all Houstonians, it is their sense of security that will be shaken as they begin to rebuild, slowly, piece by piece. It is our hope that they will have strength and fortitude as they navigate the destruction that Hurricane Harvey left in its wake.


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Israel: Iran Building Missile Sites in Syria

According to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran is building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce pre-

cision-guided missiles. He charges that the Persian regime is turning Syria into a “base of military entrenchment as part of its declared goal to eradicate Israel.” Iran has been supporting Assad’s troops in the Syria war and it also backs Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. The Israeli leader warned that “this is something Israel cannot accept.” Netanyahu made these comments while speaking to UN Secretary General António Guterres in Jerusalem. This is the first time Guterres has been in the re-

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gion since taking office in January. Two weeks ago, the Israeli satellite imagery company ImageSat International published photographs it said appeared to confirm a report by a Syrian pro-opposition newspaper that a missile factory was under construction in north-western Syria under Iranian oversight. ImageSat International said the facility in Wadi Jahannam, near the Mediterranean coastal town of Baniyas, bears a close resemblance to a missile factory near Tehran. While speaking with Guterres, Netanyahu also pressed the UN secretary general on the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Unifil, which Israel alleges has failed to prevent Hezbollah building up its supply of weapons since they fought a war in 2006. In response, Guterres promised to “do everything in my capacity” to ensure Unifil fulfilled its obligations. “I understand the security concerns of Israel and I repeat that the idea or the intention or the will to destroy the state of Israel is something totally unacceptable from my perspective,” he added. Unifil’s mandate is up for renewal at the end of the month. Earlier on Monday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin urged Guterres to work to end what he called “the discrimination against Israel in some branches” of the UN. Guterres said the UN would “always be very frank in the dialogue with the State of Israel,” but also is “very committed to make sure that anti-Semitism doesn’t prevail and that equality in the treatment of all states is fully respected.”

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On Sunday, seven climbers lost their lives in two separate incidents in the Alps. Five of the climbers died in the Austrian Alps, Zell am See provincial government chief Martin Reichholf said. Two others were killed as they climbed in a group roped together in the Italian Alps. A sixth climber in the Austrian Alps – a 60-year-old man – is in intensive care at the hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening. In Italy, a man and woman who appear to be in their mid-30s were killed as they climbed the Adamello glacier in the Trentino Alto Adige region, according to the emergency rescue center in the town


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of Trento. They were part of a group of nine Italians from the city of Brescia. The climbers were connected by three ropes. They fell when those on the lowest rope slipped on the glacier, dragging down others higher up the slope, according to the rescue center. Two other climbers were seriously injured, including a 14-year-old boy who is being treated in Trento hospital.

Sweeping Sanctions for Venezuela

Venezuela has been hit hard with sanc-

tions by the Trump administration. The new rules ban banks from making any new financial deals with the government of the state-run oil giant PDVSA. The White House released a statement explaining the sanctions, saying that “these measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule, protect the United States financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people, and allow for humanitarian assistance.” The sanctions do not ban the import of Venezuelan oil that is crucial to U.S. oil refiners and the Venezuelan economy. They do stop anyone from dealing in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company. The ban extends to certain public sector bonds and dividend payments to the government of Venezuela. Vice President Mike Pence took to twitter to talk about the move. “The birthright of the Venezuelan people has always been and will always be liberated,” he wrote, using the Spanish word for “freedom.” He also said that the U.S. “will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.” Venezuela has seen a lot of political and economic upheaval in recent months.

President Nicolas Maduro government has become increasingly more authoritarian. Maduro’s assembly has ousted the nation’s chief prosecutor, taken power from the “opposition Congress,” and created a “truth commission,” which many predict will be used to target opponents. The oil-dependent economy of Venezuela has shrunk by about 35 percent in the past three years. Those numbers are more acute than the United States’ economic problems during the Great Depression.

Bibi: We Won’t Evacuate Settlements Days after meeting with a U.S. delegation to once again restart the peace talks with Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that his government will never evacuate another settle-

ment. At an event celebrating 50 years of Israeli settlements in Samaria Netanyahu told a crowd of thousands, “We are here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.” He added, “This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land.” He also stressed the dangers Israel would face if it withdrew from the West Bank, a key demand of the Palestinians in any future peace deal. “Samaria is a strategic asset for the State of Israel,” the prime minister said. “It is the key to our future. Because from these high hills, the heights of Mount Hatzor, we can see the entire country, from one side to the other.” He said that Israel had withdrawn from settlements in the past but received nothing in return. “We’ve uprooted settlements. What did we get? We received missiles. It will not happen again,” the prime minister said, referring to Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. “To those who want to uproot what we’ve planted, [I say] we will deepen our roots.” “Imagine that on these hills were the forces of radical Islam,” Netanyahu said that he tells world leaders. “It would endanger us, it would endanger you, and it would endanger the entire Middle East.” The prime minister also gave his rec-

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The Week In News

ollections of the first time he came to Samaria, as a soldier, and said that he felt he was walking in the footsteps of the patriarchs, walking the hills with a Tanach in his hand. “I remember the excitement that gripped me when I came to Shiloh, the place where the biblical kingdom of Israel stood,” he said. Netanyahu has spoken at three events in the West Bank in the last two months. Earlier in August, he addressed a ceremony marking the establishment of a new neighborhood in Beitar Illit. And in June, he spoke at a ceremony inaugurating a new medical school at Ariel University, which was funded by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Netanyahu’s comments came days after the visit of a delegation from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is looking to get the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Nabil Shaath, a former Palestinian negotiator, speaking to the official Voice of Palestine radio, said the Palestinians had reiterated their demands that Israel end settlement construction and withdraw from the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War. Despite Bibi’s words, some are concerned. Israel demolished the Amona outpost in February after a 10-year legal battle during which the High Court determined it had been built on private land.

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

A statement from the residents of the Netiv Ha’avot outpost, which is slated to be demolished in March, expressed skepticism. “The prime minister thinks that people who are expelled from their homes… were not uprooted,” they said, referring to the Amona evacuees. “From our point of view, the unnecessary destruction of homes is the same as uprooting, and we will not make it easier on this government.” Fifteen homes are slated to be demolished in the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in the settlement of Elazar after the High Court of Justice ruled that they had been constructed on private Palestinian land.

Unparalleled UN Aid to Palestinians Compared to refugees out of Syria, Iraq or any African country, Palestinian refugees receive four times as much UN aid. A new study conducted by the Abba Eban Institute of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya has shown that of the 68 million refugees currently seeking shelter across the globe, Palestinians are – by far – given the most aid and financial support.

The United Nations has the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA provides assistance only to Palestinian refugees. In 2016, UNRWA spent an average of $246 on the 5.3 million Palestinians compared to the UNHCR spending only $58 per refugee. UNRWA also employs 30,000 people, while UNHCR, which is meant to handle tens of millions of cases every year, only employs 10,000.

The United States tried to lower the budget for UNRWA last month. In response, the Palestinian contingent sought to transfer control of the budget to the UN General Assembly. Thanks to pressure from the U.S., the budgeting responsibilities stayed as they were. UNRWA has always had an anti-Israel agenda. A few weeks ago, a spokesman for the organization admitted that Hamas has dug tunnels under UNRWA schools in Gaza. He also admitted that during Oper-

ation Protective Edge, UNRWA workers transferred weapons and ammunition to Hamas through their facilities.

Official Status for Jews of Chevron Official status to the Jewish community of Chevron was granted on Tuesday by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The move will unite the Jewish residents from a municipal perspective so that they will not be reliant on the Palestinian Authority’s Hevron municipality, as is stipulated in the Hevron agreement of 1997. Among other things, it was decided that the Hevron Municipal Committee would be entitled to purchase and hold land, as well as to enter into contracts and tenders. The committee will become a local administration and will be authorized to promote the economic, social, cultural, health, and educational issues of Chevron residents, and to collect fees and levies from them. The committee’s authority will extend to buildings and assets owned or held by the Jewish residents. It was further determined that in the case of road hazards and the like in the


The Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

PA-controlled section of the city, the head of the municipal committee would inform the mayor of Chevron to deal with it. Should the matter not be dealt with within a reasonable period of time, the municipal head may deal with the matter himself with the approval of the Civil Administration. The Jewish community in Chevron welcomed Liberman’s decision to grant them municipal status and thanked Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, who worked in recent months to promote the initiative.

Chevron House to be Evacuated The State of Israel has informed the High Court of Justice that it will be evicting fifteen settler families that have taken up residence in a three-story Chevron apartment building called Beit Hamachpela. The inhabitants will have one week to leave the premises before being forcibly removed. The apartment building is across the parking lot from the Maaras Hamachpela.

Chevron, a city of 220,000 with only 1,000 Jewish residents, is under Israeli military control. In 2012, the fifteen families said they had purchased the building from the Abu Rajab family and moved in. The Abu Rajab family has claimed that the family member that sold them the building did not have the right to sell the building. They petitioned the High Court for their removal. The families were forced to move out by the IDF until they were able to register it with the State. After five years of bureaucratic delays and appeals, the property has yet to be registered. Last month, the settlers took up residence in the building, claiming that since the IDF gave them permission to buy the property, they did not need to wait until the legal proceedings were finished.  “The state’s position is unfounded and has no basis in law,” a spokeswoman for the families said. The law does not require registration before possession, she said.

Israel’s ambassador to Egypt returned to his post. David Govrin and eight staff members flew back to Cairo on Tuesday. They were expected to resume work at his suburban Cairo home. The Israeli embassy in Cairo has been closed since protesters stormed it in 2011.

Amb. to Egypt Returns to Cairo

On September 9, 2011, several thousand protesters forcibly entered the Israeli embassy in Giza, Cairo, after breaking down a perimeter wall to the compound. The protests began in response to the inadvertent killing of five Egyptian se-

After eight months away, this week

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curity guards by IDF soldiers during an attempt to catch terrorists who had ambushed and killed eight Israelis along the Israel-Egypt border. Prior to their departure in mid-December, the ambassador and his staff routinely flew home on Thursday and returned to their post on Sunday. Israel, which is a bitter enemy of the Hamas terrorist group in the neighboring Gaza Strip, sees Egypt as an important ally in the battle against Islamic militant groups in the region, and the two countries have close security and intelligence ties. Govrin, who speaks fluent Arabic, took up his post in July 2016. He posted a video at the time on the internet in which he addressed the Egyptian people and spoke of his hopes for developing ties. Egypt is battling extremist Islamic terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, some of whom are aligned with the Islamic State group. Hundreds of police and security forces have been killed in attacks that have also targeted civilian sites. There have also been deadly attacks inside Cairo. Israel’s embassy in Amman, which was evacuated in July following an incident involving a security guard there, remains shuttered.

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The Parenting Week In News

AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting: School Days Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., School is starting! This year, I would like to make my son’s learning a real priority. But, how do I convince my fifth-grade son to do his very best in school? He is an easy-going kid, and he takes advantage of the fact that because of our many community obligations, we are not always around to help with his homework. He seems content with being a B+ student, though we have been told by the rebbeim that he can do better. We have tried the usual positive reinforcement techniques – we even promised him a trip to Europe if he maintained an A- grade – but he usually loses enthusiasm after a while, and we are back to square one. At this point, we are looking for some ways to jumpstart his learning. We know the part about making sure he gets a full night of unbroken sleep and eats three healthful meals a day. But are there some other things that we can do to make him do his very best? Menachem and Shterny Dear Menachem and Shterny, You are so right on in your awareness that optimal performance begins with the physical – healthy diet and enough sleep. This also includes adequate exercise, regular medical/dental checkups, and attending to the basics like vision and hearing screening, and speech and orthodontia when indicated. Children who feel well, loved, and cared for have a better chance for success. It is frustrating when a child performs below his capacity – though in truth, you and his teachers have no way of actually judging his ability. So many factors go into performance: learning or attention issues, mood or anxiety concerns, or simply poor teaching; it is entirely possible that your son is working to capacity. Before you embark on a campaign geared to improving your son’s performance, you may want to consider any of these, or other, factors. Ruling out anything that can impair learning is a must. Motivation through positive reinforcement is a time-honored principle. However, how to apply this method involves understanding many of the laws of learning. For example, because immediate reinforcement is most effective, waiting until the end of the year might be comparable to your getting paid twice yearly – not a good plan. The reward also has to be calibrated to the receiver: it is entirely possible that

your son would rather go to camp with his friends than to Europe. So, though one can applaud using positive reinforcement, it’s critical to learn the rules of the road first. Though as parents we have no ability to control our child (“make” him do things), to a very large extent, we can control the environment. Working on creating an environment that encourages learning is your best bet here. Though change may come slowly – doesn’t it always? – steady, gradual improvement is what you are looking for. The environment we choose to create is a reflection of our values. As a most practical example, how would your vacation differ if you valued family or sports or knowledge? S i m i l a r l y, with our children, we get what we pay for. If you value school, knowledge, and

learning, allow your behavior to reflect those values. Make sure your child goes to school every day, on time, and prepared. Show him clearly that school is important. This may include forfeiting trips, making sure he goes to bed on time so he can wake on time, and having a nourishing breakfast at the ready each day. Spend time getting him prepared: make sure he packs his school supplies, clothing, and lunch. Help the homework get done by providing time (Can you ditch some of the extra-curricular activities, for example?), a quiet place, and necessary supplies. The hope is that your child will eventually be able to take over these functions himself, but until such time that he is ready, if it’s important to you, make sure you get it done. We also convey our values in our attitudes – in this case, towards school, knowledge, and learning. When we respect these values, our children learn to respect them as well. Practically, what does this mean? Well, it is no secret that many a parent is disparaging of the school his child attends or the child’s teacher. We may not approve of the school’s philosophy, agree with the teacher’s behavior management, or appreciate the level of learning – but, barring an abusive situation, we don’t want to share that information with our child. We want to convey what we would like to see in our child – a basic respect for school, despite the fact that the child is dealing with an “off” year. It is in your

child’s best interest that we deal with our angst on our own, without involving him. We also want to model for our child the value of curiosity in the learning process. The desire to know, to figure out, to master – all these stimulate the desire to learn. Nurturing this quality of curiosity in ourselves is a start in demonstrating it to our children. Whether it is current events or botany, medical knowledge or coins – share with your child your natural curiosity in how things work. Hopefully, your child can then bring this quality to the table in his own school experience. Hatzlachah with your child in fifth grade. Here’s hoping that by your making his learning a priority, he will make it his priority as well. The Book Nook: Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom by Jane Nelson is written for teachers. However, parents can benefit from learning the values and goals that professionals aspire to. They will also pick up some basic strategies that will enhance their children’s success. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, LA’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com


AUGUST 31, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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