HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
DECEMBER 2014 | KISLEV/TEVET 5775
Community comes together to support families in need
KI to host brunch, talk of the downtown By Michele Salomon Congregation Keneseth Israel
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 3,000 gather at national Federation event. See 16-17.
Eti Levi, Seli Allen, Israel ZIghelboim, Judy Diamondstein and Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper help prepare Thanksgiving food packages for 30 Jewish families in need in the Lehigh Valley. The event at the Jewish Day School, run in conjunction with Jewish Family Service, was a culmination of a month-long community-wide food drive spearheaded by the Jewish Federation’s Young Adult Division. See Page 25 for more. ANNUAL KOSHERFEST in New Jersey highlights unity. See page 27.
Jerusalem mayor responds to attack By Jennifer Lader Editor, HAKOL
HAPPY CHANUKAH Light up Chanukah with our special section.
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Though it was just one day after the massacre of four men at prayer in a Jerusalem synagogue, the city's mayor, Nir Barkat, insisted that there were other, much more positive developments happening as well. Having gone to the ultraOrthodox synagogue in Jerusalem shortly after the Nov. 18 invasion by two armed Palestinian men, Barkat said on a conference call with American Jewish agencies the following day, "I could not overcome my sobs.” American Jewish leaders and political leaders immediately responded with condolences and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is urging its constituents to write letters to the families of those killed and pray for the injured (visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org/crc/ take-action to learn more.) The attackers entered the synagogue at 7 a.m. on Nov. 18 armed with guns, knives and Non-Profit Organization
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axes, and took the lives of three rabbis and another man at prayer. A Druze police officer later died of wounds sustained in rescuing a woman from the scene. Barkat said he viewed the attacks as "part of a process of incitement and lies about Jews and about Israel and about the current state of affairs in Jerusalem" aimed at pushing Jews out of the area, something that he said has been going on since the summer and particularly involves young people from Arab East Jerusalem creating havoc and attempting to destabilize what he characterized as an otherwise increasingly positive situation in Jerusalem. Barkat pointed to increases in real numbers of “Zionists” in Jerusalem, which he said is a reversal of the "negative migration" that occurred from 2001 to 2008; a growing number of startups; and economic growth. "I feel that something good is happening here in our city ... and some people feel extremely threatened by the direction of
our city," he said. It has long been Barkat's goal to increase tourism in Jerusalem and he cited a 100 percent increase in recent years. He described increased security measures to ensure the safety of visitors. There has been some violence in the city, he said, adding that it was beyond the west side and the places the government has been guarding. At the Temple Mount, he added, "we're working to protect Muslims, Christians and Jews and not allowing extremists to dictate." Asked about working with moderates in East Jerusalem and protecting against reprisals for the synagogue massacre, Barkat responded, "The majority of Arabs in East Jerusalem are unhappy with the situation and deeply concerned about the safety of their children." In addition to meeting with moderate leadership, Barkat spoke of having met with PTAs concerning school attendance. "We want to try and get the kids back into school," he said, “and away from extremists."
“...So we’re living here in Allentown …,” as Billy Joel famously sang and went on to portray as a city past its prime. But thanks to a major redevelopment, Allentown was recently named one of Fortune Magazine’s “5 Cities With Upand-Coming Downtowns.” There is new office and retail space, restaurants, luxury apartments and an event arena to host our very own hockey team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, so it might be time for Billy Joel to write us a new song that matches our new image. Congregation Keneseth Israel’s Adult Education Committee invites the community to join us at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1, for brunch and a presentation given by three distinguished leaders who played key roles in bringing this redevelopment to life. Learn how it came about, why it was important to do, what it means for you, for Allentown and the Greater Lehigh Valley. Through innovative financing, legislation and dedication by numerous elected officials and community leaders, Allentown is on the upswing and its downtown is, once again, a destination with something for everyone: The Eagles have been here. Disney on Ice, Neil Diamond and Nickelback are on their way. There are new restaurants, new life and all new reasons to go downtown. And established standbys like the Allentown Art Museum and Allentown Symphony Hall are part of this redevelopment and renewal. The morning’s speakers will include Seymour Traub, chairman of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority; J. B. Reilly, the real estate developer with a big vision who is the president and founder of the City Center Investment Corporation; and three-term Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. They are uniquely qualified to discuss how the redevelopment came about and what we can expect in the future The Feb. 1 brunch, hosted by the KI Brotherhood, will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the presentation to begin at 10:15. Please RSVP to the KI temple office at 610-435-9074 by Monday, Jan. 26. The cost is $5 per person with RSVP or $7.50 at the door.
The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania