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Community Currents Upcoming events… On Sunday morning, April 14, at 10 a.m., the Great Neck Synagogue Men’s Club will host Pamela Geller, founder of the influential “Atlas Shrugs” blog and executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). She is the author of Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance (WND Books) and The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America with Robert Spencer (Simon & Schuster). Geller will be joined by Greg Buckley, whose son, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr., was one of three marines killed in a “Green on Blue” insider attack on his military base in the Helmand province, Afghanistan on Aug 10. Greg’s murderers were immediately captured and the gruesome killings were concurrently celebrated as his killer shouted, “I did Jihad.” Admission is complimentary, and open to the
public. A valid photo ID is required for entry into the synagogue. The next day, Monday, April 15, the synagogue will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel at 7:15 p.m. Special guest speakers will be Susie and Rabbi Stewart Weiss, founders of the Jewish Outreach Center in Raanana, Israel, Jerusalem Post columnists, and parents of Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Ari Weiss, killed in battle with a Hamas terror cell during the Second Intifada. The formal program will be followed by a falafel reception. Admission is complimentary and open to the community. RSVP is required at 516-487-6100 or email@example.com. ***** Yavneh Minyan of Flatbush (Shulamith School of Brooklyn Campus, 1277 E. 14 Street in Brooklyn) will hold a Yom Hazikaron Memorial on April 14 at 7:45 p.m. to honor those who fell to establish, and in the defense of, the State of Israel. A Kel Maleh
will be said for the fallen members of the pre-state ﬁghting forces, the IDF, and civilian victims of terrorism. The video “With all your Soul – The Story of Roi Klein” will be shown after which Jack Silverman, coordinator of Yashar Lachayal in The United States, will discuss the daily needs of chayalim and Yashar Lachayal. ***** This year’s David Bar-Illan awards will be given to students from Scripps College and Tulane University at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America’s (CAMERA) annual dinner on April 21 at New York City’s Chelsea Piers. The two honors, in memory of the late David Bar-Illan, recognize, among other things, outstanding student leadership and activism on behalf of Israel on campuses. The dinner will also honor Khaled Abu Toameh who writes for The Jerusalem Post and Gatestone Institute. The keynote speaker is award-winning political commentator Douglas Murray.
OU Community Fair Returns With An Emphasis On Affordability By Stephen Steiner It was once an untested concept; now it is reality. When the Orthodox Union presented its ﬁrst Jewish Communities Home and Job Relocation Fair, back in 2008, the thought was that there were “emerging” Orthodox communities across North America that would be thrilled to throw open their doors to families and individuals relocating from the most populous (and expensive) areas of Orthodox life, that is, the New York metropolitan area. Show them affordable housing, show them affordable Jewish schools, show them Orthodox community necessities such as mikva’ot, kosher food and Judaica stores – and above all show them jobs – and they would come. Now, as the OU prepares for its Fourth Jewish Communities Fair, to be held Sunday, April 21, from 12-6 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, 110 West 19th Street, there is a proven record of success. Following the 2011 Fair, seven couples moved to Cherry Hill, NJ; two to Columbus, OH; and one couple each to Jacksonville, FL; Stamford, CT; Wynnewood, PA; Southﬁeld, MI; Binghamton, NY; Rochester, NY; Elizabeth, NJ; Bangor, ME; Manalapan, NJ; and New Haven, CT. It is now no longer guesswork that people will
relocate. Planning a move takes time, but there is little question that some people will be packing their bags and calling for a moving van after attending the Fair. The original program was attended by 14 communities, followed by 23 in 2009 and 37 in 2011. This year, 41 communities from 18 states will be represented, covering all areas of the country. The nature of the Fair has changed. Where once participating communities were regarded as “emerging,” now most are well established in Orthodox Jewish life. What is being emphasized is affordable living, explained Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of the OU’s Department of Community Engagement, which produces the Fair. “Each of the communities offers the ability to live a more affordable lifestyle, with good paying jobs and reasonably priced housing. …Interested people will be encouraged to visit communities for Shabbat following the Fair, to learn more and to meet residents.” Participating communities, arranged by state, are as follows: Denver, Colorado; New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut; Boynton Beach and Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Louisville, Kentucky; Springﬁeld/Longmeadow,
Massachusetts; Oak Park and Southﬁeld, Michigan; Chesterﬁeld, Missouri; Cherry Hill, East Brunswick, Elizabeth, Fair Lawn, Jersey City Heights, Long Branch, Manalapan, Paramus, Springﬁeld, West Orange, Linden, and Livingston, New Jersey; Buffalo, Fleetwood, and New Hyde Park, New York; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; Allentown, Bethlehem, Elkins Park, Harrisburg, Scranton, White Oak, and Wynnewood, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Richmond, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Particularly since the 2009 Fair, after the economy crashed, jobs have been the key. The OU Job Board, under the leadership of International Director Michael Rosner, has worked with each of the participating communities to locate white-collar positions and to promote them at the Fair. Preparing for the upcoming event, Mr. Rosner said, “The Job Board will be displaying every community’s jobs as well as reaching out to communities who may need help ﬁnding jobs in their back yards. We will also post blurbs about each community on each job. In addition we have sent out mass mailings and we will start social media networking by the end of this week.”
Ohel Brings Smiles To Children And Respite To Parents
This Chol Hamoed Pesach, over 70 individuals from Ohel Bais Ezra’s many day programs enjoyed fun and excitement at 6 Flags Great Adventure. The children, with various developmental disabilities, were accompanied by a team of Ohel volunteers and professionals. They came from throughout New York’s ﬁve boroughs and got to
spend time in the wonderful sun, go on scary and exciting rides, and say hello to some of their favorite cartoon characters. The abilities and needs of each child were attended to, with some enjoying the fast roller coasters, others the less intimidating rides. Some groups just enjoyed walking around the park, shopping
and watching the entertaining shows offered by the theme park. The Chol HaMoed trip is part of Ohel’s many recreational and respite programs throughout the year for individuals aged 5-21. For more information, call 1-800-603-Ohel or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or ohelfamily.org.
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Community Currents For the third straight year, a procession of over 300 people, including children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities, their families, caregivers, and volunteers and friends from around the globe, marched from Aleh’s Jerusalem facility over the Jerusalem Chords Bridge to encourage the integration of Israel’s disabled community within Israeli society. The festivities, which took place on March 27, were capped off with singing, dancing, and a ceremony during which over 500 balloons were released into the air to signify the buoyant spirit and unrestricted potential of Israel’s disabled children.
The Sanz Zemigrad Rebbe from Antwerp at a yahrzeit seudah for the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. (Photo credit: JDN)
The Annual Gathering of Remembrance on April 7 brought together 2,000 people, including survivors and family members, at Congregation Emanu-El. The gathering was organized by the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust with the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization and the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.
Holocaust survivors Leon (right) and Ray Kaner (center) light a memorial candle with members of their family. (Photo credit: Melanie Einzig)
CHAZAQ’s Public School Girls Teens Division enjoying a Chol HaMoed trip to New Rock City.
The Young Israel of Staten Island held its annual Yom Hashoah Program this past Sunday evening. Fran Laufer of Cedarhurst spoke about “Torah, Justice and the Holocaust.” Laufer was liberated from Bergen Belsen on April 15, 1945, met and married her husband Simon, a”h, and went on to build a Torah-true life in America.
Second graders of Rambam Day School in Savannah, Georgia visiting a kosher assisted living facility, cheering up the residents and delivering flower baskets.
Three generations of the Friedman family of the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles enjoyed a fabulous Passover vacation at the Hyatt Regency Valencia hosted by Jeanne Litvin and Mel Teitelbaum. (L-R) Dovi Friedman, Alex Friedman, and Andrew Friedman, Esq., Los Angeles Fire Commissioner and founder and president of Congregation Bais Naftoli on La Brea Avenue. (Photo Credit: Shimmy Lautman)
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Community Currents Celebrating Pesach
Families in Bnei Brak enjoying the day.
Ne’ilas Ha’chag in the court of Skolya.
For Pesach, The Buzz donated appliances for single mothers and the New York Apples Association donated apples from which over 4,000 pounds of charoset were produced. Both donations were made through Masbia, a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry.
At the park in Mod’iin.
Rav Ovadia Yosef at a bris.
(Photo credit: JDN)