April 9, 2010
25 Nisan 5770
This is a weekly e-mail to enable the leadership of the Dallas Jewish community to stay well informed on current agenda items and issues of the Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council. Please feel free to pass this e-mail on to your constituency and associates by using the “forward email to a friend” link at the bottom of the page.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas is the central umbrella organization for public affairs that brings together Jewish organizations and religious institutions in Dallas.
Remember to visit the JCRC at www.jcrcdallas.org.
*Click Here to Support the Activities of the JCRC*
APRIL 11, 2010
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY 2010
AT CONGREGATION SHEARITH ISRAEL
9401 Douglas Ave
The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance invites the community to join with Holocaust Survivors in an act of memory and commemoration for Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day. In honor of the memory of Museum Director, Elliot Dlin, this year’s theme is: Upstanders in the Holocaust.
In addition, a morning minyan prayer service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday April 11, at Congregation Shearith Israel with a brunch to follow. RSVP for the brunch at 214-741-7500 ext. 100.
Both events are free and open to the public.
JEWISH HISTORY/HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE MONTH
PBS (Channel 13) is broadcasting the following special programs to the community during the month of Yom HaShoah and Israel Independence Day commemoration and celebration.
Sunday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank
A new adaptation of one of history’s most remarkable memoirs, The Diary of Anne Frank records her story of hiding from the Nazis for two years with four others in the back rooms of an Amsterdam business.
Monday, April 12 at 9:00 p.m.
The People v. Leo Frank
The case that created the formation of the Anti-Defamation League, The People v. Leo Frank tells the story of Jewish factory supervisor Leo Frank who was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1913. His case was overturned to a life sentence, but an Atlanta lynch mob kidnapped and killed him first.
Tuesday, April 13 at 10:00 p.m.
INDEPENDENT LENS: Blessed is the Match Hannah Senesh
A World War II-era poet, paratrooper and resistance fighter, joined a military mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. It was the only military mission to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.
Wednesday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Worse Than War
This documentary looks at the phenomenon of genocide, offering insight about its patterns, causes and role in human affairs. Based on the book Worse Than War by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.
Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 p.m.
Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust in Arab Lands
In response to Holocaust denial in the Arab world, Washington policy expert Robert Satloff launched an eight-year, four-continent journey to find an Arab who took action to save his Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust. In the process, he not only uncovered the Arab heroes he sought, but the lost history of what happened to the half-million Jewish people in North Africa under Nazi, Vichy and Fascist rule. Robert MacNeil narrates.
APRIL 19, 2010
YOM HAZIKARON MEMORIAL SERVICE
Ann and Nate Levine Academy
18011 Hillcrest Road
Please join in the community Yom Hazikaron service on Monday, April 19 at Levine Academy. The evening is dedicated to the memories of all who have given their lives in defense of Israel.
Speakers will include Rabbi Adam Raskin, President of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas; David Veeder, Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federation; and guests from the Israeli community in Dallas.
The event is free and open to the community, but an RSVP is required to attend. To RSVP, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Childcare will be provided for children ages 3 and up.
APRIL 20, 2010
ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
Aaron Family JCC
7900 Northaven Rd
Join the celebration on April 20 from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the JCC; admission is free for the whole family.
At the celebration, you will be able to deepen your knowledge of Israel through a fantastic variety of events. From a Dead Sea mud spa to meeting two of our lone soldiers, this is an event you will not want to miss. Get connected with Israel through fun, food, entertainment and learning.
This event is free and open to the community. Click HERE for more information.
APRIL 29, 2010
JCRC NIGHT AT ZINSKY’S DELI
6025 Royal Lane
Join the JCRC at Zinsky’s Deli on Thursday, April 29, 2010 for dinner anytime between 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Proceeds will directly benefit the JCRC and help us raise money so that we may continue to provide the community with great programs and initiatives that are free of charge!
Bring your family and friends. Walk-ins are welcome. To RSVP contact Jeana Plas at 214-615-5292 or email@example.com. We hope to see you on April 29!
OBAMA WEIGHS NEW PEACE PLAN FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
Below is a portion of an Op-Ed written by David Ignatius that was published in the Washington Post on April 7, 2010 about President Obama’s proposal for an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict. To read the entire Op-Ed, click on the title above.
Despite recent turbulence in U.S. relations with Israel, President Obama is "seriously considering" proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict, according to two top administration officials.
"Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal," said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations. He said that an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that "90 percent of the map would look the same" as what has been agreed in previous bargaining.
The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.
THOUSANDS TAKE PART IN PRIESTLY BLESSING AT WESTERN WALL
ynetnews.com published the following article written by Kobi Nahshoni on April 1, 2010 about thousands of worshippers who made pilgrimage to Jerusalem for traditional Passover blessing. To read the Op-Ed in its entirety, click on the title above.
Close to ten thousand worshippers participated in Thursday's Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall which is held during the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot.
Hundreds of security forces and first-aid teams deployed throughout the area in order to protect the believers. Hundreds of Kohanim wrapped in prayer shawls blessed the crowd, which came from around the country for the occasion.
The Priestly Blessing has been held during the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot at the Western Wall for the past 40 years. Hundreds of Kohanim bless worshippers with the traditional blessing.
TO DIGNIFY DIVERSITY
ISRAEL21c.org published the following article written by Karin Kloosterman on April 6, 2010 about the Merchavim Institute, that works to educate Israeli society by training Arab and Jewish teachers to pass on to their students a sensitivity to diversity. A portion of the article is below, to read it in its entirety, click on the title above.
Like every democracy growing into the 21st century, Israel has challenges to face. In the 1960s, the American civil rights movement changed the face of education and opportunities for black Americans. Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has similar challenges but the context is different.
While concerned that Israeli communities could become fragmented into Balkan-like states, Mike Prashker is optimistic that the work of the Merchavim Institute, of which he is executive director, will help the various members of Israel's diverse society live together democratically, enjoying both each other's uniqueness and commonality, without compromising their own heritage or identity.
Merchavim was established in 1998 to "dignify the diversity" of Israeli citizens. It employs a 20-person team from all walks of life to help educate and employ Israel's extremely complex cultural and racial milieu.
HIRIYA: A VISION OF GREEN
The Jerusalem Post published the following article written by Ehud Zion Waldoks on March 22, 2010 about architect Peter Latz who is turning a garbage heap into a sustainable environmental park. A portion of the article is below, to read it in its entirety, click on the title above.
The view from the top is spectacular, a panoramic vista of the Tel Aviv skyline that is unique in its beauty. The air is brisk and fresh, and you can see the sea on a clear day. The value of the property is extraordinary, situated as it is in the heart of the Dan region.
No, this is not an advertisement for the next big luxury condo. It’s the view from the largest mountain of garbage in the country – Hiriya.
For almost 50 years, Hiriya accepted the country’s refuse. The flat flood plain gradually grew a mountain of trash in its center. However, 12 years ago, trash stopped flowing to Hiriya, and it was decided to turn one of the most polluted sites in the country into a model of environmental sustainability.
To date, three recycling plants operate at the foot of the mound, methane bio-gas from the mountain powers a nearby textile company, an environmental education center has been set up, and the area around the center has been landscaped, including a reed bed to treat wastewater. Hiriya also houses the largest waste transfer station in the Middle East.
SOCIAL ACTION/PUBLIC POLICY
MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS APPLAUD FOCUS ON PARITY
The following is a portion of an article written by Sarah Kershaw that was published in the New York Times on March 29, 2010 about how the health care bill expands parity to a much wider pool, making it possible for millions more people to get the same coverage for substance abuse and mental illnesses as they do for regular health care. To read the entire article, click on the title above.
Even without the new health care law, mental health advocates were getting ready to celebrate parity — a law requiring benefits for substance abuse and mental illnesses to be on par with benefits for medical illnesses.
But that law, passed in 2008 and taking full effect only this July, did not cover everyone with insurance, and it offered no help to the 32 million uninsured Americans.
Now mental health advocates are almost giddy. The law signed by President Obama last week expands parity to a much wider pool, making it possible for millions more people to get the same coverage for substance abuse and illnesses like bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia as they would for, say, diabetes or cancer. There are no exact figures, but the mentally ill are more likely to be uninsured than the general population, advocates and researchers say.
“A lot of this still has to play out in terms of how parity works,” said Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, an advocacy group. But the new law “can change the mental health system in America and really give families and individuals an opportunity to get a level of access to care we could only fantasize about before this became law,” he said.
HOW CONGRESS CAN GET A SMART CLIMATE-CHANGE BILL PASSED
The Washington Post published the following Editorial on April 5, 2010 about how Congress can pass a climate change bill in the near future. To read the entire Editorial, click on the title above.
Opponents of health-care reform like to point out that it will reshape one-sixth of the U.S. economy. But there's another big legislative push, overshadowed by health care, that would directly affect an even larger chunk: the effort to pass a climate-change bill.
The action is in the Senate, where Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) are preparing a proposal. The outlines are becoming clear: The package is expected to contain a cap on carbon emissions that will grow stricter over time and a slew of provisions to promote certain types of energy. Unlike the cap in a House-passed bill, the Senate's cap at first would apply only to the electricity and perhaps the transportation fuels sectors, with industry to phase in later.
First, the encouraging part about this. If America is to deal with climate change, it has to reduce carbon emissions -- the pollution caused by burning oil, gas and coal. The most cost-effective way to do that is by placing a price on carbon that gradually rises, which a cap could achieve. If well-designed, carbon pricing will attract private capital into the clean-energy effort and spur the technological innovation that will smooth the transition to a cleaner economy. Even a weak cap can be strengthened later, as long as the structure is in place. Though this seems obvious, it is a small miracle that a carbon price of any kind is still on the table in the Senate following Republican demagoguery about "cap-and-tax" proposals.
EPA IS TOUGH ON TEXAS - AND DESERVEDLY SO
The following is an Editorial that was published by The Dallas Morning News on April 7, 2010 that explains how the EPA is cracking down on Texas’s compliance with the Clean Air Act. To read the entire Editorial, click on the title above.
The new-look Environmental Protection Agency has sent a clear message to Texas: This isn't going to be easy.
For years, our state has skirted the edges of the Clean Air Act, cutting corners here and there while creating a few loopholes that gave businesses the benefit of the doubt. But when a new administration took the helm last year, the EPA quickly targeted Texas – and rightly so.
The additional scrutiny has revealed a decided lack of transparency in the state's approach to permitting pollution, as well as efforts to paper over major changes to industrial plants and erroneously categorize them as minor.
EPA officials signaled last fall that some of the state's air-pollution programs didn't pass federal muster. So, the agency's recent rejection of a program that issues pollution permits to small and midsize businesses was not exactly a surprise. Rather, the move likely portends more problems for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and any number of industrial polluters. A more consequential decision is anticipated
JOB SPRAWL AND THE SUBURBANIZATION OF POVERTY
On March 30, 2010, the Brookings Institution published the following analysis written by Michael Stoll and Steven Raphael about the continued growth of the suburban poor population. Mr. Stoll is the Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and Mr. Raphael is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. To read the analysis in its entirety, click on the title above.
In nearly all metropolitan areas in the United States, jobs have been moving to the suburbs for several decades. In the largest metropolitan areas between 1998 and 2006, jobs shifted away from the city center to the suburbs in virtually all industries. As the U.S. population also continues to suburbanize, larger proportions of metropolitan area employment and population are locating beyond the traditional central business districts along the nation’s suburban beltways and the more distant fringes.
Understanding the association between employment decentralization and the suburbanization of poverty is important because of the continued growth of the suburban poor. In 2005, the suburban poor outnumbered their city counterparts by almost one million. And during the first year of the recession that began in 2007, suburbs added more than twice as many poor people as did their cities.
The suburban poor face unique disadvantages. These include concentration in inner-ring, disadvantaged, and jobs-poor suburbs; overreliance on public transportation, which often provides inferior access to and within suburban areas; and spatial mismatch between where the suburban poor live and the locations of important social services.
THE IRAN REPORT
September 2007, the JCRC began a special section entitled “The Iran Report”. Due to the looming serious nature of Iran and its politics within the global world, JCRCs across the country are providing community leaders with updated materials and articles concerning Iran, which will include political matters, divestment information, etc. Both the United Jewish Communities (UJC) and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) have issued joint statements indicating that the subject of Iran should be on the top of the agenda for local Jewish communities.
The JCRC will continue to bring the community updates on the situation with Iran and its implications throughout the Middle East and the world.
JCPA RESOLUTION ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) on March 27, 2007.
CHINA AGREES TO CONSIDER STEPS ON IRAN
The following is a portion of an article written by Neil MacFarquhar that was published by The New York Times on March 31, 2010 that discusses China’s agreement to consider sanctions on Iran. To read the entire article, click on the title above.
After months of resisting the idea of new Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, the Chinese government appears to have taken a step closer to supporting them, agreeing to enter negotiations over the language of a new resolution to intensify international pressure on Iran.
“They have agreed to start,” said Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, in an interview here. “Talking about the substance is a new step forward.”
The five permanent members of the Security Council, along with Germany, have been discussing the idea of sanctions since at least last December but have made little headway in the face of a set Chinese stance that further diplomacy is required.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that all the permanent members of the Security Council, which includes China and Russia, were now “unified” on the issue and that “a great deal of further consultation” would occur in the coming weeks.
CRISIS IN DARFUR
February 2009 marked the sixth anniversary of the beginning of the violence in Darfur, Sudan. For six years a government-backed militia known as Janjaweed (which in Arabic means, “evil men on horseback”) has continued to engage in a systematic program of expulsion, rape and murderous violence in Darfur, Sudan. Millions of people now live in displacement camps lacking adequate food, water, shelter, healthcare, and sanitation. Attacks on \civilians continue. As Jews, we have a particular moral responsibility to speak out and take action against genocide.
The JCRC remains committed in its fight to end this battle and will continue to bring you facts and articles about this ongoing genocide. (For further information on Darfur, visit the JCRC web site “International” section at www.jcrcdallas.org.)
SUDAN IN CRISIS
Explore the history, people and politics behind one of the world's bloodiest conflicts in this interactive web site by The Washington Post. Click the title above to be connected to this site.
THE JCRC REMEMBERS SUDAN ON YOM HASHOAH
This Sunday, April 11th Jews around the world will be observing Yom HaShoah, the day devoted to remembering the Holocaust, its victims and survivors. As we know, although the Jewish community has said “Never Again” other similar atrocities have taken place in countries around the world. At this very moment the people of Darfur are in peril.
Please click the title above to view a document prepared by Jacob Robinson of Akiba Academy concerning the situation in Darfur.
SUDAN SAYS NO ELECTION DELAY
AFP News published the following news release on April 6, 2010 about Sudan’s insistence to keep the elections on April 11-13, despite threats of boycotts. To read the entire release, click the title above.
Sudan insisted on Tuesday that presidential, parliamentary and local elections would go ahead as planned on April 11-13, despite a threat by several opposition groups to boycott the vote.
There will be "no delay," Hadi Mohammed, head of the technical committee of the National Elections Commission, told reporters after talks with US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration.
"Preparations are finished," he said.
Gration said Saturday after meeting members of the electoral commission that he was confident the elections would be as "free and fair as possible" and would start on time.
Sunday's polls, Sudan's first general election since 1986, has been marred by the withdrawal of President Omar al-Beshir's main challenger Yasser Arman, and by the boycott of several opposition groups.
EU PULLS ELECTION OBSERVERS FROM DARFUR
CNN published the following news release on April 7, 2010 about how the EU pulled its election observers from Darfur ahead of elections in Sudan. To read the release in its entirety, click on the title above.
The European Union on Wednesday pulled its observers from Darfur ahead of elections in Sudan, an EU spokeswoman told CNN.
Darfur activists in France had recently called for the election observers to withdraw, saying the election is being marred by calls for delays and opposition boycotts.
European Union spokeswoman Maria Jose Gomez confirmed that the observers had been pulled, but declined to elaborate on a reason why or whether the move will be permanent.
Sudan is slated to have its first multiparty election since 1986 on Sunday.
The removal of the election observers could bring a halt to the election, said Jendayi E. Frazer, professor at Carnegie Mellon University and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
*Click Here to Support the Activities of the JCRC*
The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas does not necessarily endorse any political viewpoints expressed in any advertised programs, articles or editorial pieces that appear in this weekly update.
JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
7800 Northaven Rd., Dallas, TX 75230