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JFNA Media Report -- July 21, 2014

Operation Protective Edge:

More than 25 Israeli soldiers -- including two Americans -- are killed in Gaza as Operation Protective Edge enters its second week. Two terrorist cells are intercepted by IDF troops attempting to enter Israel through a smuggling tunnel. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is en route to Cairo and Israel to push for a ceasefire.

A resource page, which is being constantly updated by the Jewish Federations, can be found here.

• New York Times -- Rising death toll: More than 500 Gazans and 27 Israelis
• Jerusalem Post -- 10 terrorists killed attempting to infiltrate Israel through tunnel
• Times of Israel -- Obama: Kerry to push for 'immediate' Gaza ceasefire


Jewish Federations expressed their deepest sympathies following the deaths of IDF soldiers Sean Nissim Carmeli z"l and Max Steinberg z"l this weekend. The entire statement can be found here. Jewish Federations are also working to ensure that "there should not be a corner of the earth where Jews are unable to live peaceful lives or be afraid to stand up for Israel."

Federation leaders from across the country have written in support of Israel in their local communities. A list of op-eds, which continues to be updated, can be found here.

Federations are highlighted in Oklahoma City, MetroWest NJ and Tulsa.


• AP -- 2 Americans killed in fighting in Gaza Strip
• Jerusalem Post -- Bennett says Diaspora Jews 'facing anti-Semitic attacks due to Israel's operations'


• The Oklahoman -- Moore school district continues to rebuild, expand
• Suburban News -- Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains/Fanwood receives grant for audio induction loop
• Tulsa World -- 100 Women of Moxie: See who made the Tulsa YMCA list

Israel Advocacy:

Pro-Israel rallies are held across the globe. In New York City, thousands of pro-Israel supporters gather in Times Square.

• Haaretz -- Israel-solidarity and pro-Gaza rallies staged across Australia
• Times of Israel -- New Yorkers rally in support of Israel

For more Israel advocacy news, see the Israel Action Network website.

Global Jewish News:

A firebomb is thrown at a synagogue in Paris by a group of anti-Israel protestors. A Jewish woman and her daughter are killed in a shelling in a Ukrainian city. A Syrian Jewish restauranteur keeps his family's tradition alive in his New York City restaurant.

• JTA -- Anti-Israel rioters torch cars, throw firebomb at Paris-area synagogue
• JTA -- Jewish mother and daughter killed in Ukraine shelling

• JNS -- Young Syrian Jewish restauranteur continues a family legacy


UN officials deny that rockets found in an empty school were returned to Hamas. The failed peace process led by John Kerry is relived.

Domestically, the inauguration of Israeli President-elect Reuvin Rivlin will be a muted affair.

Regional News:

• Jerusalem Post -- UNRWA denies giving rockets found on his premises to Hamas
• The New Republic -- The explosive, inside story of how John Kerry built an Israel-Palestinian peace plan -- and watched it crumble

Domestic News:

• Jerusalem Post -- Presidential swearing-in to be modest affair as Protective Edge continues

For more Israel news, see the weekly JFNA Israel news page.
For more security news, see JFNA’s Secure Community Network (SCN) website.

Posted by: admin (July 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

JFNA Media Report -- July 2, 2014

The media report will not be published on Friday, July 4th as the JFNA offices will be closed for Independence Day. The media report will resume on Monday, July 7th.

Yesterday, the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar were laid to rest, as the Jewish community in Israel and abroad continue to mourn their murders. Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid spoke at Gilad's funeral at the request of his parents, stating that "today... we need love. We need to speak in one language. We need to rediscover the paths that that connect all of us. If in fact we seek to punish our enemies, there is no greater punishment than for him to behold this sight and to see that nothing can divide us."

FM Lapid's eulogy can be read in its entirety here.


Jewish Federations across the country are coming together to memorialize the murdered students in Israel. Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations Board of Trustees, attended a ceremony in Cleveland, reminding that "we have to remember who we are as a people and what G-d commands us to do."

Meanwhile, Federations are highlighted in Boston, Greater Buffalo, Palm Beach County, Greater MetroWest NJ and Baltimore.


• JTA -- U.S. Jewish communities memorializing Israeli teens
• Cleveland Jewish News -- Prayers, tears for Israeli teens


• eJewish Philanthropy (op-ed) -- The Federation Movement and the Challenge of Jewish Identity: Interpreting Pew
• New York Jewish Week (op-ed) -- Honeymoon Israel: Birthright For Young Marrieds
• Palm Beach Daily News -- Modern Christianity
• New Jersey Jewish News -- New federation leader learns from the past
• Baltimore Jewish Times -- Associated Posts 'Strong' Numbers

Israel Advocacy:

A major technology cooperation deal has been signed between Israel and the state of California. And yet another major American musician has signed on for a concert in Israel.

• Times of Israel -- Israel, California sign major tech cooperation deal
• Jerusalem Post -- Tony Bennett to leave his heart in Tel Aviv

For more Israel advocacy news, see the Israel Action Network website.

Global Jewish News:

Activists are working to help rebuild Jewish populations in Hungary, including through Jewish Federation-funded programs. The Russian Jewish Congress is pledging aid to Ukrainian refugees. And a young Bar Mitzvah student in New York City is building bridges with his elders through chess.

• JTA -- In Budapest, young Jews angling for slice of communal pie
• JTA -- Russian Jews to aid refugees from Ukraine

• The Forward -- For Bar Mitzvah Boy and Survivor, Love of Chess Bridges 76-Year Age Gap


Israeli PM Netanyahu is calling on law enforcement to find the perpetrators of the murder of an Arab youth as quickly as possible. Israeli forces are reportedly closer to finding the killers of the three murdered students. And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in an op-ed that time is running out on a nuclear deal with Iran. 

Domestically, thousands gather in Modiin for the joint funeral of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad. Israelis across the country are struggling with how to respond to the murders. And more and more Orthodox Jews in Israel are finding work in the high-tech industry.

Regional News:

• Jerusalem Post -- Netanyahu calls on police to quickly find culprits, motive for murder of Arab youth
• Times of Israel -- IDF said to zero in on hideout of teens' killers

• Washington Post (op-ed) -- Iranian nuclear deal still is possible, but time is running out

Domestic News:

• Times of Israel -- Today has become a national day of mourning, PM says as teens buried

• New York Times -- Deeply Divided Israel Unites in Grief and Sees a Larger Purpose
• NBC News -- Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Un-Orthodox High-Tech Positions

For more Israel news, see the weekly JFNA Israel news page.
For more security news, see JFNA’s Secure Community Network (SCN) website.
Posted by: admin (July 02, 2014 at 5:35 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

A Eulogy for Gilad – From Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid

Below is a moving eulogy for Gilad Shaar delivered by Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid at Gilad's funeral. Gilad, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were the three teens recently kidnapped and slain.

To share your support for the bereaved families, please add your name to our condolence letter here.


Eulogy for Gilad – Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid

Today we are burying a child. To bury a child is unnatural; parents are not supposed to march in a funeral procession for their children; grandparents are not supposed to shed tears over their grandchild’s grave. It’s supposed to be the opposite. When we bury our deceased elderly, we cry over the lives they had lived – over the many memories they’ve left behind. When we bury a child, we cry over the lives they haven’t lived. Today we are burying a wedding; we’re burying the first breath of a new born child. Today we are burying an entire Shabbat table that will never come into being. And so let’s remember every second that we are burying a child today.

Today we are burying a child who could have been any one of ours and therefore he is one of ours – all of us. We aren’t burying a “settler”; we aren’t burying a soldier who fell in the never ending struggle for this land of ours. This is not the funeral of a particular population sub-group or “sector”; it isn’t one particular group that is grieving this loss. We need one another on this day. We need one another. We don’t need anger; we don’t need yet another division among us; we don’t need a competition over whose rage is holier or whose hate is purer. Rage is not holy. Hate can never be pure. I can certainly understand all those demanding revenge; how could I not understand when I share those same sentiments – when each and every one of us feels this way.

But today, at this funeral, in the presence of this family, we need love. We need to speak in one language.  We need to rediscover the paths that connect all of us. If in fact we seek to punish our enemies, there is no greater punishment than for them to behold this sight and to see that nothing can divide us. If we want to take revenge on these murderers, and we find them and punish them, the true revenge will be the ability to transcend the differences among us and to embrace one another, despite all of our shortcomings and the disagreements among us. If indeed we want to sanctify Gilad’s memory, we need to choose what to sanctify: the hostility towards the other or the love for each other - that which divides us, or that which binds us; the suspicion or the trust among ourselves.

Children don’t write wills, so we must therefore write Gilad’s will. If the family and those assembled here permit me, I would submit that we begin the writing of this will with the words of the Holy Ari, “I hereby take upon myself the commandment of loving thy neighbor as thyself and I hereby love each and every child of Israel as my own soul and my own being”.

May Gilad’s memory be a blessing.




Posted by: admin (July 02, 2014 at 2:19 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

JFNA Media Report -- June 30, 2014


Jewish Federations joined with the worldwide Jewish community in mourning today, as the Israeli government announced the murders of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar. A local search team found the three teens' bodies north of Hebron, with indications that they were shot and killed shortly after being kidnapped over two weeks ago. And Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations Board of Trustees, condemned the murders and offered prayers for the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad.

• Times of Israel -- Bodies of three kidnapped teens found; Netanyahu calls families
• Haaretz -- Netanyahu on murders: 'Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay'

• Jerusalem Post -- World Jewry mourns deaths of kidnapped teens
• Haaretz -- U.S. Jews react to murders with fury, calls for peace


The new CEO of the Gates Foundation discusses how she has brought an outside philosophy to the world's wealthiest philanthropy. And soup kitchens in New York City are facing increasing issues as demand increases but supply does not.

Meanwhile, Federations are highlighted in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Southern Arizona, Greater Middlesex County and Monmouth County, and New Haven.


• Seattle Times -- Tough bosses no problem for Gates Foundation's new CEO
• New York Times -- Rations Reduced as Demand Grows for Soup Kitchens


• The Jewish Observer -- Federation approves $2 million in grants for 2014-2015, adds funds for preschool scholarships, education programs in Hadera-Eiron
• AP -- Tucson groups eye more aid for immigrant children
• New Jersey Jewish News -- Federations see progress on merger talks
• Hartford Courant -- Keeping The Faith: Jolts En Route To Religious Acceptance

Israel Advocacy:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) removes a controversial publication from its website following the organization's recent divestment vote. And a revolutionary exoskeleton developed in Israel to help paralyzed people walk is approved by the FDA for home use.

• JTA -- Presbyterians delete sale of anti-Zionist tract from website
• Times of Israel -- FDA OK's Israeli system to help the paralyzed walk

For more Israel advocacy news, see the Israel Action Network website.

Global Jewish News:

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is demanding an apology after members of the African Union objected to the presence of a group of American Jewish delegates. A group of Jewish and Muslim students at the University of California-San Diego is working together to provide more kosher and halal dining options for students. And a Holocaust memorial in Athens has been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.

• Jerusalem Post -- Hoenlein looking for official apology from African Union
• Los Angeles Times -- UCSD Jewish, Muslim students work together for more dining options

• JTA -- Threatening graffiti defaces Athens Holocaust memorial


This weekend, rockets were fired out of Gaza while Israeli air forces retaliated in the region. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stated that Jordan's stability is a vital national security priority for Israel in light of threats from ISIS. And Israeli PM Netanyahu called for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

Domestically, Israeli Education Minister Shay Piron apologizes for recent comments saying that same-sex couples could not be a family. Members of Knesset rejected legislation that would have allowed Tel Aviv businesses to open on Shabbat. And a group of African asylum seekers in Israel is staging a hunger strike in protest of Israeli policies toward refugees.

NOTE: News regarding the murders of Eyal Yifrich, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar has been highlighted at the beginning of this report.

Regional News:

• Times of Israel -- Homes suffer damage as rockets batter southern Israel
• Jerusalem Post -- In face of ISIS threat, Liberman terms Jordan's stability a vital Israeli national interest

• Haaretz -- Netanyahu calls for Kurdish independence from Iraq

Domestic News:

• Israel Hayom -- Piron apologizes for saying gay couples are not families

• YNet News -- Ministers thwart Shabbat legislation
• Haaretz -- Eritrean asylum-seekers held in Israeli detention center stepping up hunger strike

For more Israel news, see the weekly JFNA Israel news page.
For more security news, see JFNA’s Secure Community Network (SCN) website.

Posted by: admin (July 02, 2014 at 2:17 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink

JFNA Media Report -- June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

Haaretz reports on 3 teens missing in Israel in what is believed to be a kidnapping. One American citizen is among the missing.


The Detroit Free Press highlights JFNA's Israel Advocacy surrounding the biennial convention of the Presbyterian Church.

The tragic death of two Columbus children brings the Jewish community together to offer its support. Federations are also highlighted in Toronto and New York.


• Detroit Free Press - Presbyterians to Debate Divestment from Israel at Detroit Convention


• Columbus Dispatch - Father Accused of Killing 2 Young Columbus Children in Israel

• Shalom Life - UJA Federation Rewarded for Reducing its Carbon Footprint

• Jewish Week - Ruskay Looks Back, and Ahead

Israel Advocacy:

At a ceremony honoring Taglit-Birthright co-founder Michael Steinhardt, Yair Lapid credits the program with connecting an entire generation of Jews with Israel and Jewish identity.

• Israel Hayom - Lapid: Taglit-Birthright Saved a Generation of Young Jews 

For more Israel advocacy news, see the Israel Action Network website.

Global Jewish News

JTA highlights a letter sent to the President by 88 Senators concerned over the Palestinian Unity Government. Jews from non-Orthodox streams have doubts about President-elect Reuven Rivlin, according to the Jerusalem Post, and eJewish Philanthropy contributors offer insights into the many facets of Jewish peoplehood. 

• JTA - Senators Send Concerns to Obama Over Palestinian Unity Government

• Jerusalem Post - Amidst Praise for Rivlin, Diaspora Jews Harbor Doubts

• eJewish Philanthropy - Re-examining Jewish Peoplehood in the Age of Instagram


President Obama says he will not send troops to Iraq, but is considering other options in the wake of insurgent activity, according to the Washington Post. The New York Times writes that Palestinian Authority Prime Ministher Rami Hamdallah ackowledged on Thursday that he still lacks any authority in the Gaza Strip.

In Israel, the Jewish Agency will join the Tel Aviv Pride Parade this weekend. The IDF's military police rehabilitation unit, Gahelet, tries to bend the arc of prisoners' lives and a bill authored by Labor Party leaders joins other proposals to allow civil marriages conducted in Israel to be recognized by the state.

Regional News:

• Washington Post - Obama says he will not Send Troops to Iraq, but is Examining 
"Other Options"

• New York Times - Palestinian Premier Says New Government Lacks Power in Gaza

Domestic News:

• TLV1  - The Jewish Agency Comes out with Pride

• Times of Israel - The Softer Side of the Slammer

• Arutz Sheva - Labor MKs File Civil Marriage Bill in Knesset

For more Israel news, see the weekly JFNA Israel news page.
For more security news, see JFNA’s Secure Community Network (SCN) website.

Posted by: admin (June 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM) | Comments (0) | Permalink