HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
SEPTEMBER 2014 | TISHREI 5775
ROCKETS ABATE, NEEDS PERSIST
Yoav endures summer of sirens Unable to go outdoors as rockets from Hamas rained down, children in Yoav, Israel, spent the summer in sweaty basements. The elderly struggled to reach shelters that were too far away or inaccessible. Through the Israel Emergency Campaign Shelter Rehabilitation Project, we can help make sure that next time – whenever that may be – things are safer and less stressful. Here is a look at what life was like in Yoav this summer. By Yonit Waldner Peleg Resident of Yoav, LV-Israel Partner Region
COMIC ARTIST illustrates lost love. See page 4.
On July 8 normal stopped. I had to explain to my kids what the sirens mean and that there will be no more camp or any other activity until further notice. I had to explain to my kids what to do if the siren goes off while they are outside (which did not happen often the first week) - lie on the ground face down and put your hands over your head. My 12-year-old was playing basketball with his friends when the first siren went off. The one we weren’t expecting. They ran to the far wall and
took cover as four Iron Dome Missile interceptions exploded above their heads. Our lives have a radius now and its length is 45 seconds from shelter. It is difficult to explain what it feels like when you tell your 8-year-old that he can go invite his friend from across the street to come over and play and as he finishes crossing the street, a siren goes off and you watch him turn back to you, his face panicked, and start running and you run to him and you
Continues on page 3
YOU CAN HELP.
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL starts this month. See page 12.
As children across Israel have had to learn the routine of sirens and safe rooms, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, is providing comfort through the Hibuki program. Hibuki – a friendly looking stuffed animal with long arms – offers children a sense of security and the means to express their thoughts and fears through times of danger and in months following. The program trains staff and parents to support their children – especially those who were already vulnerable due to disadvantaged backgrounds.
Donate now to the Israel Emergency Campaign Shelter Rehabilitation Project. JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 610.821.5500 www.jewishlehighvalley.org
In face of BDS challenge to Israel’s legitimacy ‘Teach about the Israel you know and love’ By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing
FRENCH JEWS RESPOND Anti-Semitism at the forefront in Europe. See pages 16-17.
No. 368 com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2 Women’s Division
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Day School
Jewish Community Center 20-21 Community Calendar
We all had favorite books as kids – Harry Potter, the Berenstein Bears. They stay with us because we relate to the characters. Making Israel’s story relatable – putting a human face on it – is the best way to advocate to those who may be inclined to buy in to delegitimization campaigns, said Noam Gilboord of the Israel Action Network during a presentation at the JCC on Aug. 21. “Humans are hard-wired to remember stories, so what we have to try and do is tell Israel’s story,” Gilboord told the more than 70 people in attendance. Gilboord’s talk focused on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, a global network of individuals and organizations who aim to isolate Israel politically, economically and culturally. Their overall objective is to challenge Israel’s right to exist as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people. Like any political campaign, the BDS
Movement has tried to tailor its extreme message as far into the center as possible, Gilboord said. “That risks the funding every year to Israel, that risks American support in general to Israel, and that’s really dangerous,” he said. The best thing we can do to combat BDS, he said, is teach people “about the Israel you know and the Israel you love from a very personal perspective.” But the way to do this is not by maintaining Israel is perfect, or by demonizing the Palestinians. It is important to show you are open-minded and ready to have a conversation, he said. The event was sponsored by the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. See pages 16-17 of this issue for more information about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and look for more in-depth coverage about this important issue in the coming months. To learn more, you can also visit www.israelactionnetwork.org.
Federation President Mark H. Scoblionko with Noam Gilboord of the Israel Action Network, a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America, in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy.
Non-Profit Organization 702 North 22nd Street Allentown, PA 18104
U.S. POSTAGE PAID Lehigh Valley, PA Permit No. 64
THE SHOFAR SOUNDS, calls for reflection. See our New Year Special Section.