Category Archives: MAJCO
As of May 2019, Israel’s population is 9,009,000. About 74.2% are Jews, 21% Muslim or Christian Arabs, and the rest non-Arab Christians and others. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
Citizens aged 0-20 comprise 43% of Israel’s population. The largest group within that category is 5- to 14-year-olds (18%). The latter category is largest in Jerusalem, making up 21% of its population. (Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem)
Jerusalem is Israel’s most populous city, with about 883,000 residents. Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa) comes in second (439,000) and Haifa third (280,000). (Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem)
In Tel Aviv, the largest population segment by age is 35-44 (about 17%), while in Haifa the two highest population groups are ages 5-14 and 35-44 (12% each). (Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem)
The most common family name in Israel is Cohen (one in 50 people). Agbaria is the most common surname among Muslims, Khoury among Christians and Halabi among Druze. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
The most common first names for boys in Israel are Muhammad, Yosef, Ariel, Omer, Adam, David, Daniel, Lavi, Eitan and Uri. The most popular names for girls are Tamar, Abigail, Miriam, Sarah, Adele, Yael, Noa, Shira, Noya and Lia. (Population and Immigration Authority, 2017-2018)
A high-tech superpower
Israel has the highest number of startups per capita in the world. (2018 Global Startup Ecosystem Report)
Israel hosts about 8,200 active high-tech companies. (IVC Research Center)
30 Israeli venture capital funds raised $2.55 billion in 2018, the largest sum ever raised by Israeli VCs and 69% more than in 2017. (IVC)
Israel ranks fifth overall on the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, moving up from #10 in 2018. In the R&D Intensity category, Israel ranks #1.
Israel’s expenditure on research and development (R&D) as a percentage of its GDP (4.21%) is the highest in the world. (OECD)
Israel ranks #2 among top 10 countries for scientific research, based on the number of scientific research papers released, the number of patents registered, the percentage of GDP spent on R&D and the number of researchers per 1,000 people. (RS Components)
More than 350 multinational corporations have R&D centers in Israel, including IBM, Intel, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Merck, HP Indigo, J&J, GE, Siemens, Qualcomm, Applied Materials and Samsung.
Israel has the world’s highest per capita number of such centers. (IVC, Ministry of Economy and Industry)
Every year, about 1,400 startups are founded in Israel and some 800 shut down. (Israel Innovation Authority)
Thirteen Israeli-founded companies with headquarters or development offices in Israel are “unicorns,” privately held startups valued at $1 billion or more: Payoneer, Taboola, Outbrain, Gett, Infinidat, ironSource, eToro, OrCam, Lemonade, Fiverr, JFrog, WalkMe and Via. (TechAviv)
The most lucrative acquisition of an Israeli company took place in 2017, when Intel bought Jerusalem-based Mobileye for $15.3 billion.
Intel is making the largest-ever corporate investment in Israel: An $11 billion production plant planned in Kiryat Gat.
Intel, which employs about 12,800 Israelis in five centers throughout the country, is the most active foreign corporate investor in Israel, putting $435 million into more than 90 Israeli companies — $120 million in 2018 alone. (IVC, Intel Capital Israel)
Healthy, happy and long-lived
Israel has the lowest rate of diet-related deaths in the world. (Global Burden of Disease Study, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation)
Israel ranks fifth in the world for healthy longevity and 11th in the world for overall happiness. (2018 United Nations World Happiness Report)
Average life expectancy for Israeli men is 80.7, and 84.6 for women, as of 2017. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
Israel ranks 10th on the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index.
88.6% of Israelis say they are pleased with their lives. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
85% of Israelis over the age of 20 feel safe walking alone in the dark in their residential area. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
A tree, fruit and veggie empire
In 1948, about 2% of Israel was covered in trees. Now it’s up to around 8.5%. Since its establishment in 1901, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National fund (KKL-JNF) has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel.
Israel is one of the only countries in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it had at the start. (KKL-JNF)
As of the end of 2018, every Israeli has access annually to an average 152 kilograms of fruit and 154kg of vegetables. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
In 2017, the leading crops produced in Israel were potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and peppers on the vegetable side; and bananas, apples, avocados and grapes on the fruit front. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
Citrus fruit is Israel’s largest agricultural export, adding up to $230 million in 2017. The value of all Israel’s fresh and processed agricultural exports was about $2.2 billion in 2016. (Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development)
A flourishing tourism industry
In 2018, Israel welcomed a record-breaking 4,120,800 million incoming tourists.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is the most-visited tourist site, followed by other sites in Jerusalem’s Old City: the Jewish Quarter, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, Mount of Olives and the Tower of David Museum. Outside Jerusalem, the most popular tourist sites are Masada, the Church of the Annunciation, Tel Aviv Port, Capernaum and Caesarea. (Ministry of Tourism)
In 2018, almost half of all Israelis (4.1 million) traveled abroad – 2.2 million of them once, and 1.9 million twice or more. (Central Bureau of Statistics)
The Israel Hotel Association lists 370 member hotels, encompassing a total of 54,864 rooms. This number does not include hundreds of small boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts (tzimmers) across Israel.
The most expensive hotel rooms in Israel are the Noble Suite at Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton Herzliya, each approximately $5,000 per night in high season.
Invested heavily in water desalination and conservation
Israeli households, industry and agriculture consume 2.1 billion cubic meters of water every year. (Mekorot National Water Carrier)
Israel recycles 87% of its wastewater for agriculture, much more than any other country in the world. Some 31% of irrigation water originates from wastewater treated at more than 150 plants. (Mekorot)
Sixty to 80% of Israel’s municipal water, adjusted according to season and real-time demand, flows from large coastal desal plants in Sorek, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Palmachim and Hadera. (Mekorot)
Sorek is the largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in the world. The 100,000-square-meter facility can produce 624,000 cubic meters of water daily — 20% of domestic water consumption. (IDE Technologies)
Knowing the birds and the bees
As of 2019, Israel counts some 545 resident species of birds. (Israeli Birding Portal)
Every year some 500 million birds of 150 to 200 species migrate across Israel in their twice-yearly pilgrimage to and from warmer climes in March and November.
Israel has about 500 beekeepers with a total of 110,000 hives. (Israeli Honey Board)
Israel’s annual honey yield is about 3,000 tons.
About 1,600 tons of honey is consumed by Israelis every Rosh Hashana to symbolize the hope of a sweet Jewish New Year ahead. (Israeli Honey Board
Extraordinarily well educated
Twelve Israelis have been awarded Nobel prizes: S.Y. Agnon, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Daniel Kahneman, Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, Robert Aumann, Ada Yonath, Dan Shechtman, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.
Israel has the highest number of engineers and scientists per capita. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel ranks third among OECD countries for the percent of its population that has attained higher education and fifth for its total expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel boasts a literacy level of 97.8% of citizens above the age of 15. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel is home to 66 institutions of higher education: Seven research universities, one open university, 23 teacher-training colleges, 21 academic colleges and 14 private colleges. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
A small Israeli-Arab village in the Lower Galilee has one of the highest numbers of doctors per capita in the world.
Tel Aviv trivia
Coastal Tel Aviv-Yafo boasts many distinctions apart from being the heart of Israel’s startup culture.
Tel Aviv is the world’s 10th most expensive city, tied with Los Angeles. (The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey)
Tel Aviv is Israel’s most expensive residential area. The average price of owner-occupied dwellings was ₪2,176,700 ($610,053) in the second quarter of 2018 (GlobalPropertyGuide) and 68 apartments priced at over ₪5 million ($1.3 million) were sold in Tel Aviv during the first half of 2018 (madlan.co.il).
Time Out of London ranks Tel Aviv the best city in the Middle East.
There are 13 beaches along Tel Aviv-Yafo’s coastline, visited by some 8.5 million people annually. (Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality)
Tel Aviv has the highest number of pet dogs per capita in the world, at one pooch per every 17 residents. (Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality)
Tel Aviv has been called the world’s top destination for vegan tourists (Daily Meal) and vegan capital of the world (The Independent). The highest concentration of vegan restaurants is in the Florentin neighborhood.
Of the 21 Israeli residents listed on the Forbes 2019 World Billionaires list, many live in Tel Aviv — including the wealthiest Israeli man, Roman Abramovich (who was listed by Forbes as Russian although he got Israeli citizenship in 2018) and Shari Arison, the richest woman in Israel.
Random awesome factoids
Israel has more than 230 museums, believed to be more museums per capita than any other country in the world. (CNN Travel)
Israel shipped $61.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. The top five exports are gems and precious metals (24% of total exports), electrical machinery and equipment (13.8%), pharmaceuticals (9.1%), optical, technical and medical apparatus (8.6%) and machinery including computers (7.8%). (World’s Top Exports)
There are more vegans (5%) and vegetarians (8%) per capita in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
In 2017, Israel hosted the world’s largest animal rights march, drawing some 30,000 activists. (PETA)
Every day, Osem produces one million bags of Bamba, Israel’s top-selling snack. Surveys show that 90% of Israeli families buy Bamba on a regular basis.
Israel has won nine Olympic medals since 1952: one gold in sailing, one silver in judo, and seven bronze (four in judo, two in sailing and one in canoeing).
Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram set a world record with a score of 20.65 points in the clubs event at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup Championship in 2018.
Guinness World Records certified in April 2019 that Isaak Hayik of Or Yehuda, Israel, is the oldest soccer player in the world.
A new Guinness World Record was set for most people using virtual reality displays at the same time, when Israeli company Mobileye made a presentation to 1,867 business leaders at the 2017 YPO Edge conference in Vancouver, Canada.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This might encourage some of you to write down your memories and send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org for publication in the Ram’s Horn.
My memories of the Butte Jewish Community and how it came to be
This story must begin in Russia from where my ancestors came. We were serfs in that hate filled land. The Ehrlichs, like other Jews, were permitted to build a small hovel in a shtetl. The home had to be of wood… so it could be burned from time to time at the whim of the landowner, the Cossacks, or the Czar; most had a dirt floor. Serfdom was like slavery; you could grow or produce whatever you want, but everything that you produce belonged to the landowner who permitted your existence so long as he felt like it. One common rule was the requirement that a Jewish girl could be married only after she spent the night in the landowner’s house. Jews countered by sending the girl as unattractive as possible, head shaven, dirty and wearing old clothes; hoping that she would be sent back home unviolated. The bride would then appear at her wedding wearing a wig; and henceforth all her married life. This custom is still followed in many orthodox communities to this day; although many do not know the origin of the tradition. Protective embarrassment or ignorance?
Meyer Ehrlich wanted to marry Rachel Feldman and asked his father (whose name I don’t know) to talk to Rachel’s father to help arrange it. Rachel, however, had an older sister, Leah. David Feldman, the girl’s father, made it clear that the older daughter must marry first, and Meyer agreed to marry Leah. Yes, this sounds like the biblical story of our ancestors. Deviousness seems to be an Ehrlich trait.
Meyer and Leah saved enough money so that they were able to hop the train immediately after the wedding and head for America. They left from a German port, steerage class, and arrived in New York in 1895. They lived in Patterson, N.J. and produced the first two of eight children: Rose and Dave (my father). Meyer had heard land in America could still be had for free (the Homestead Act) and he wanted to be a landowner. He clearly thought the glories and status of the Russian landowner would also apply in America. He and Leah moved to Denver and applied. Meyer was a skillful tailor and supported his growing family while awaiting response from the government. Meyer soon learned that the best homestead plots had been taken, but he had the choice of three and he traveled to inspect them, and accepted a grant in northern Idaho near Plummer junction (a few miles down the lake from Coeur d’ Alene).
Life was difficult on the homestead, the land was only suitable as a tree farm, and within a year or two Leah took the younger kids and went to Butte where she had a relative. Meyer and the older kids stayed on to fulfill the requirements to gain ownership of the land. They all moved to Butte by 1915.
During the time on the homestead the Ehrlichs had very good relations with the Kootnai Indians; and they were “visited” by a representative of the Catholic Mission at Cataldo, whom they sent away such that he did not return. The Catholics of course were on mission to convert mainly the Indians, but Jews souls as well were targeted. The Indians still remember and resent loss of their culture and language in the Catholic schools. To this day the Indian tribes and members specifically go to Jewish lawyers when they need representation.
Meyer and Leah had eight children between 1896 and 1914: Rose, Dave, Herman, Lou, Marion, Mitch, Freda, and Joe. Dave worked for the Milwaukee RR and, along with Meyer’s meager earnings, financed the education of the younger brothers and sisters, who also worked odd jobs as they could. Usually Dave was working two jobs at a time, sometimes three. Dave completed seventh grade but did not go to any higher education, unlike all the other kids, other than Joe who was not capable. Rose and Marion became teachers and moved out to the Seattle area.
Jobs were hard to find during the depression. Dave got Herman a fireman’s job on the Milwaukee running from Harlowtown MT to Aberdeen, S.D. He would overnight in Aberdeen and work the train back west the next day. He got to know the town and learned of a jewelry store available. Herman had attended Bradley Horological School (watch and clock making and repairing) and was able to buy the jewelry and watch store in Aberdeen, S.D. Lou became a pharmacist and owned Henry’s Pharmacy on West Granite St. in Butte, and Mitch became a dentist and had a practice in the Medical Arts Building at Park and Main in Butte.
In the 1930’s there was tremendous antisemitism worldwide. Butte was no exception. One day antisemetic posters appeared all over town blaming the Jews for killing Jesus and making matzos with blood from Christian children, and all sorts of problems. The Jewish community had a special meeting in the Temple to discuss it. Nobody knew what to do and all were scared. Dave noticed the printer’s mark on the bottom of many of the posters which identified the print shop in Three Forks. He said he knew the owner because he used to work with him on the railroad. He got Mitch, Herman, and Lou to drive over to Three Forks in Mitch’s car, where Dave went in and spoke to the owner while “the boys” waited in the car outside. The printer said the order and the money for the antisemetic posters came from Senator Rankin’s office! He became very apologetic and said he wouldn’t be doing any more similar orders.
Jeanette Rankin was the daughter of a pharmacist in Virginia City. In fact her father’s old drug store is still a tourist attraction there. She had been elected to the Senate in time to vote against US participation in WWI; and she was in the Senate at the time of Pearl Harbor and cast the only “no” vote to the declaration of war against Germany and Japan (WWII). She was a notable antisemite and had many supporters in Butte.
One of those supporters was Monsignor English; a big higher-up in the Catholic Church. English was famous for his Sunday sermons at mass blaming the Jews for killing Jesus and such. Parishoners of his Sacred Heart Church frequently came to Mitch’s office or Lou’s store and described the antisemitism, but said they could do nothing about it. So when you hear the claims of Butte’s open-mindedness and how everybody got along with good feelings, you should know nonsense is being put out before you.
Most of the Jewish men in town were members of B’Nai Brith. In 1936 they hosted the BB national convention at the Finlen Hotel in Butte. The leaders were Billy Meyer, (lawyer) and of course his son Sig Meyer (lawyer), Avron Canty (clothing) and his father, Sig Newman and Mel Rafish (shoes), Sammy Finberg (furniture), Kalman Rudolph (furniture), Henry Coddon (wholesale paper), Emil and Ed Marans (womens wear), and of course the Ehrlich boys, also Harry Gronfein and his son Stanley (mens clothing), and Dave Schultz, (clothing), and others. Phil Judd (sporting goods and hardware), also Dr. Sam Rafish, the other Jewish dentist in Montana. Everyone said it was the finest event ever. Jews were almost always shopkeepers.
Butte hit it bigtime after the 1905 World’s Fair in Chicago, which demonstrated the electric light for the first time. Suddenly copper was in high demand for electrification, even though this was somewhat held back by the demands of WWI and the depression years. Since the completion of electrification by means of copper wire in the 1950’s, copper demand plateaued, and with the development of fiberoptics and satellite communication it has plummeted. Butte’s mines closed in the 1960’s and the pit which replaced them has also ceased operations. Butte’s Jewish population has moved on to other locales.
During the Second World War (1939-1945), my father Dave worked the railroad terminal without a day off. He was on call 24 hours a day. He often would return to meet a train at two in the morning. He always walked the 7 or so blocks on his wooden prosthetic leg, He didn’t have a car until the mid 1950’s. My mother stayed home and had insomnia. Often she would want to walk uptown (she never drove) at odd hours of the night, and she’d take me with her, especially if the weather was nice. Many stores were open 24 hours because the mines were always running 24 hrs/day and people were always walking the streets. Usually I’d get an ice cream or some candy. There was never concern about being bothered on the street; everybody was extremely polite. “Yes ma’am”, “good evening sir”, and a tip of the hat greeting was almost universal. There was almost never any kind of theft or break-in, even among this population of tough miners. The reason was that nearly every home was well stocked with hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns. Every shopkeeper dealt heavily in cash, often silver dollars, and had a weapon. Everybody knew that many women had a weapon in their purse or elsewhere. Politeness was the norm.
I had a very good half-Jewish friend named Jack Rosenberg. They owned Rosenberg’s furniture and appliance. The Rosenberg’s like many people heated their home with wood and had a woodpile in their yard. One day I was over there and Jack’s father gave us a 12 gauge shotgun shell and a brace and bit and said somebody has been stealing from his firewood pile. He told us to drill a hole in a piece of firewood and drop the shell down inside and conceal the hole by mixing some glue and sawdust and filling the hole with it. We placed the fixed firewood piece in a prominent place. A few days later Jack’s dad said a neighbor from down the street was “in today and bought a new stove” for his parlor. We knew what that meant.
My first few years of grade school I walked from our house on Main St to the Monroe school in east Butte, near Utah St. I walked thru the gas works and past St. Joe’s (the catholic) school. Of course I knew many of the kids there and they knew I was a Jew. Almost every day they’d throw rocks or snowballs at me. Being outnumbered I usually had to just run the gauntlet. Occasionally there’d be only one or two of them and I could get a punch in before running; or if I was with another kid (non-catholic) or two from Monroe school I was golden. Then we’d have a mass snowball or rockfight-depending on the season. My public school friends then were Bobby Vawter, Joe Holly whose family owned the Supreme Market where we did all our grocery shopping, and Nicky and Jimmy Malkovich, and Chico Kovic. Some of these kids were catholic but went to the public school. Billy Edwards was catholic but he was my friend because his grandmother Mrs. Silver was a friend of my grandmother (Leah) and they always were trading baked goods.
Butte always had the image of rough and ready. Hard drinking and hard fighting. This started with the underground wars of the copper kings but extended to the streets and schoolyards. (It continues today with Bob Robinson… the navy seal who killed Osama Bin Laden.) Growing up in the 1950’s I remember schoolyard fistfights nearly every recess and dismissal, although I can’t remember the reason for any. It was common for a kid to go home bloodied and come to school the next day as though nothing had happened. Nobody ever carried a grudge. I do not remember of any kid bringing a weapon to school. Fair fighting fists only.
And we had easy and common access to guns of all kinds. I myself went with my friend Bobby Vawter on our bikes to shoot rabbits at Big Butte, (the mountain south of the city). Each of us with a 22 rifle strapped over the shoulder. Bobby was not Jewish, would take the rabbits home and his mother would skin and cook them. My mother, of course, would not touch them.
The community was pretty observant in the old days. On Pesach there would be a community seder at the Finlen. The ladies would make all the foods and bring them for everybody to share and afterward talk about. “The kneidlach Mrs. so-and-so made were so hard you’d need a nutcracker”; “that soup was so greasy it could go into the crankcase”; and similar comments.
Nobody made outdoor sukkot but each year an arch was erected over the bima inside the Temple and decorated with greenery and fruits. Talesim and kippot were never worn. Services were Friday nite only with emphasis to be finished in time to get to the high school stadium for kickoff. I don’t remember any Saturday religious events; everybody worked in their stores.
Butte’s Jewish community was pretty observant in the ’40’s and even into the ’50’s, but as the population dwindled the Judaism observance did as well. The orthodox synagogue closed up and became members of the Reform Temple. The quality of the employed rabbis deteriorated too: One was known to the police for unusual sexual interests and let go. He was replaced by “Rabbi Benjamin Kelson” who tutored me for my Bar Mitzvah. It was discovered later that he did hnot actually have “smicha” (ordination).
Soon the community gave up employing a rabbi and relied on bringing in rabinical students for major functions. I believe that now the Temple stands empty nearly all the time and is rarely opened any more. About a year ago I was in Butte with my son Daniel, who is an orthodox rabbi, (with smicha!) and he offered to conduct a proper Shabbat observance for the community, at no charge. We were bluntly discouraged and told “people have other plans”.
I think that describes the rise and fall of Butte’s Jewish community.
Fred Ehrlich; May 2019
Missoula Mishkan Milestone RESCHEDULED
October 18, 19, and 20
Our wiser angels emerged to recommend that we reschedule our Shabbaton for Fall so that Rabbi Laurie can have the necessary recovery time for her health challenges. We are VERY excited to announce a new set of dates: October 18, 19, and 20, the last three days of Sukkot! So, we hope you will revise your plans and join us then.
We are thrilled to further develop the new research for “Missoula’s Jewish Treasures”, a groundbreaking exhibit of the Jewish history of Missoula, as well as offer inspiring worship, learning, and an elegant Motzi Shabbat evening of Jazz. We look forward to celebrating with you in October!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the Rabbi who led Dawn Schandelson’s funeral service.
Congregation Beth Shalom of Bozeman, Montana is proud to announce that Rabbi Mark Hayim Kula will join the Beth Shalom community as rabbi beginning July 1. Rabbi Kula comes to Congregation Beth Shalom with a wealth of warmth, enthusiasm, and experience, having served as a rabbi and cantor in Miami, Florida for 30 years.
“I am honored and delighted to join the Congregation Beth Shalom family and Bozeman community,” Rabbi Kula wrote in a letter to the community. “These are exciting and challenging times. Let us take care of ourselves and others, nurture our relationships, and tap into profound Jewish wisdom. We will then surely thrive and be blessed.” Amber Ikeman, Beth Shalom’s Program Director and Cantorial Soloist, will work closely with Rabbi Kula to serve the Jewish community in Bozeman and the surrounding area.
Rabbi Kula was ordained as a rabbi by The Rabbinical Academy of New York in 2012, and as a cantor by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1986. He has extensive experience as a spiritual leader and Jewish educator, having served at Bet Shira Congregation in Miami, Florida for 30 years, first as cantor and then as rabbi. Most recently, Rabbi Kula has been enjoying a year living in Missoula with his family.
According to Sara Schwerin, president of the board at Congregation Beth Shalom, “We have seen a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and engagement from our community over the past 18 months, as we searched for the right person to lead Beth Shalom. Our entire community is looking forward to the energy, kindness, leadership and spiritual guidance that Rabbi Kula offers. We could not be happier about the leadership team that we have put in place to guide us into the future.”
In June 2018, Beth Shalom Rabbi Ed Stafman retired after ten years of service. Since then, Beth Shalom has enjoyed monthly visits from Rabbi Michael Lotker, who will continue to serve as Beth Shalom’s part-time interim rabbi until Rabbi Kula’s July 1, 2019 start date. Beth Shalom wishes to thank Rabbi Michael Lotker for providing such wonderful leadership over the past year, and for helping to ensure a smooth transition for the community. Beth Shalom also wishes to thank Rabbi Emeritus Ed Stafman for his continued connection to Beth Shalom and his leadership in the greater Bozeman community.
Please join Congregation Beth Shalom two Fridays each month at 6 p.m. for Shabbat services and each Saturday morning for Torah Study at 9:30 a.m. Rabbi Kula, Rabbi Lotker and Rabbi Emeritus Stafman will be joining us for a special celebration of Shavuot on Saturday, June 8; please check our website for details closer to the date.
All are welcome to join Congregation Beth Shalom in worship, learning and social action. Please contact the Temple office at (406) 556-0528, check us out on Facebook “Congregation Beth Shalom – Bozeman, Montana” or visit our website http://www.bethshalombozeman.org to learn more.
Congregation Beth Shalom is a place where members of all ages come together to be a learning and spiritual community joyfully praying together and celebrating Jewish history and tradition. Founded in 1994, and serving the greater Yellowstone community, Congregation Beth Shalom of Bozeman is the largest Jewish congregation in Montana.
Submitted by Brian Schnitzer, MAJCo
Shalom to everyone.
I am writing to introduce an opportunity to contribute to the legacy of the Butte Montana Jewish community. Please note that I am writing to you as an individual rather than on behalf of the Congregation.
On May 10 and May 11, 2019 the Butte Silver Bow Public Archives, (www.buttearchives.org) (email@example.com) will host a workshop to begin to document the history and culture of the Jewish community in Butte.
The Archives has received a Common Heritage Grant from the National Endowment for Humanities, (NEH).
The Archives is interested in oral histories, manuscripts for digitalization, family trees and histories, artifacts to be loaned for exhibit and returned to owners, ephemera (stuff) relating to the Jewish community. They are interested to learn when how and why Jews came to Butte, where they came from, their means of travel to get here, how they made a living and raised their families. What part did our ancestors take in Butte’s history? Details about the Congregations and Temples are of interest.
The Archives is a professional organization that has the means to properly care for anything sent to them to help in the project.
If you know of anything that might help in this project, please let the archives know. The details to contact the Archives are below. Please check out their website. Thank you for your interest in this project.
BUTTE-SILVER BOW PUBLIC ARCHIVES
17 W. Quartz St.
Butte, Mt. 59701
Ellen Crain, Archives Director
Nikole Evankovich, Assistant Director
My name is Robert Shay and I am the Commander of the Pacific NW Post 686 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States. Our organization was formed in 1896 by 36 Jewish veterans of the Union Army, in the Civil War. Originally we were the Hebrew Union Veterans Association and in the 1920’s we merged with the Jewish Spanish American War veterans group and became the J.W.V.
The reason I am writing is to connect with Jewish veterans in Montana, so that hopefully, our National Commander who has vacation property near Plains, can make a trip to the state. Our Post is located in Bellevue, WA, and I am working on our outreach to veterans in states where there is not a Post. I have been working through Brian Schnitzer, MAJCo and have made connections in Helena and Billings.
My wife and I are retired and have enjoyed many road trips across Montana to tour our National Parks, visit relatives and former family home towns in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. We are also hoping to make another trip to Glacier this year to finally get across the pass on the Highway To The Sun, which we have failed to do on two previous trips. We also want to make a trip across the north highway to visit the Fort Peck Veterans Memorial. I have been in contact with the sculptor and am very impress with her work.
If you know of any Jewish veterans in Montana please have them contact me as I am offering free first year membership to our organization.
Thank you for any help you can offer,
Is There a World War 1 Memorial or Monument in your hometown?
If yes, please contact me.
Robert “Bob” Shay
Commander, Jewish War Veterans, Pacific NW Post 686
Chaplain, Veterans of Foreign Wars Lake Washington Post 2995
Volunteer Monument Hunter for the United States World War 1 Centennial Commission
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THIS UPCOMING EVENT: CHANUKIOT LIGHTING AT THE CAPITOL IN HELENA AND MAJCO MEETING
2018 MAJCo State Capitol Chanukiot Lighting Event & Meeting
*** Thursday, December 6 ***
Lighting of community chanukiot and address by the Governor, or his representative – noon
(MAJCo meeting to follow in capital conference room to be announced)
Although having to accept the trickiness of Montana’s weather and shorter days in December, it is hoped that many will be able to attend. It is 683 miles by road from Libby to Wibaux. Lewistown is the geographic center of our state, but the early pioneers did not see it fit to establish the capital there. It certainly would have made driving from Billings, and equally Whitefish, more convenient!
The lighting of the chanukiot (all are invited to bring their own and the five candles needed for the 4th day) will be followed by an address by Governor Bullock or his representative. Afterwards MAJCo spiritual leaders are each welcome to add some brief, hopefully nonpartisan and nonsectarian, remarks.
The one hour MAJCo meeting scheduled for 1:00 PM historically was a winter telephone conference. The yearly physical meeting was instead held at the Shabbaton in the spring/summer/fall. It still seems important to get together at least occasionally in order to maintain a sense of family. One of the major topics we need to discuss is our plans as to future meetings.
But, the most important issue for discussion is our vision as to the future of MAJCo. It was created when we had only six very similar communities with only rare resident rabbi’s and no other statewide organizations. Our congregations were small with few available resources. Communicating with each other, and the outside Jewish world, was more difficult and infrequent then. We were very particular to, within broad bounds, not suggest to others how to think or vote, and certainly not how to pray.
Is there a need any longer for a secular organization like MAJCo, and can it even fulfill its stated purposes?
Please try your best to be there. You are encouraged to bring any MAJCo related items that may have accumulated in your closets for exchanging. All are hoped to be back on the roads heading home around 2:00 PM.
Israeli NGO sends aid to California in wake of unprecedented wildfires
IsraAID’s emergency response team provides help building resilience and recovery in communities hard hit by the deadly blazes.
By Nicky Blackburn November 19, 2018
Israeli NGO, IsraAID, is sending an emergency response team to California to help communities affected by the unprecedented fires that have killed 80 and destroyed over 13,000 homes and buildings. More than 1,300 people are still listed as missing.
The two blazes broke out 10 days ago in both north and south California and quickly spiraled out of control. The Camp Fire wildfire, which wiped out the town of Paradise in Butte county (population 27,000), is already the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history, torching an area the size of Chicago.
The Woolsey fire has burned over 98,362 acres in southern California near the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
After a request from local communities, IsraAID is to conduct a needs assessment of the population in affected areas, promote community resilience and recovery, and distribute relief items to families currently staying in temporary accommodation after losing their homes in the fires.
Yotam Polizer, the co-CEO of IsraAID, told ISRAEL21c that a team of four Israelis have already flown out to California, and plan to set up operations in Chico, where many evacuees are now living in tent cities, shelters and even sleeping in their cars.
“We’ve seen a lot of disaster zones over the years, but this is a whole different level of devastation. Everything has been burned to the ground, and there are so many people still missing,” said Polizer, who has just returned from California.
“The search and rescue teams aren’t looking for survivors, they are looking for remains. From a psychological perspective it’s on a whole different scale.
“When we talk to local people we see they are getting support, but there’s very little psycho-social support there. That’s where we are planning to focus our efforts.”
IsraAID’s team will include Israeli and US-based mental health specialists, who will work with partner organizations on-the-ground to support affected communities as they recover and promote community resilience.
“We were devastated by the tragedy of these fires in California,” said Polizer. “It’s a place very close to our hearts. We have an office there, lots of staff members and volunteers. A lot of local people asked that we come and help. We are planning to be there to support the people as long as we are needed.”
This is not the first time that IsraAID has sent aid in the wake of deadly fires in California. In October last year, a team of seven aid workers – including Polizer – helped out in evacuation centers in Napa Valley, after a series of wildfires swept the state killing 44, causing $14.5 billion in damages, and forcing 90,000 people to evacuate.
The Israeli team were stationed in Santa Rosa, California, and helped coordinate and provide relief supplies and stress management to the affected community.
Even today, IsraAID continues to work with the community there to help them build resilience.
IsraAID has extensive experience responding to disasters in the US and all over the world. This year alone, the organization provided aid to victims in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Michael, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence, to the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Kenya, and to Guatemala after the volcano.
Video of United Hatzalah by Popular Israeli-Arab Vlogger Goes Viral
by TheTower.org Staff | 11.15.18
A video of the Israeli first-responder organization, United Hatzalah of Israel, produced by the popular Israeli-Arab vlogger (video blogger), NAS Daily, became the most-viewed video about an Israeli non-profit in just one week, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
NAS, as Nuseir Yassin is known, produces one-minute videos on topics of interest that he posts to Facebook, where he has 10 million followers.
Though most of Yassin’s videos garner between 2 and 10 million views, in one week the United Hatzalah video was viewed by 22.5 million people. (The number is now at 25 million.)
Introducing the United Hatzalah video, Yassin wrote that the organization is “one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in a while.”
“The change has been palpable,” Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, said of the international response to the video. “People around the world have been sending us messages, friend requests, and requests for help. They have expressed interest in setting up their own versions of our life-saving model in their cities and communities. We’ve had a lot of interest in particular from India, the Philippines and various cities in the United States.”
Yassin, who has been traveling around the world for nearly three years, usually makes one-minute videos, and signs off with “That’s one minute! See you tomorrow!” However, the United Hatzalah video runs nearly four minutes.
“The people at United Hatzalah of Israel are doing incredible work. All for free. All to save lives. Here is how they did it,” Yassin wrote. “Thank you Eli Beer and the team of volunteers for reaching out to Nas Daily and letting me film your operations. All around impressive.”
The video currently has 11,000 comments and has been shared over 400,000 times.
“Our model can save lives around the world, so we are excited that we received this exposure and that Nuseir succeeded in spreading our message around the globe so quickly,” Dov Maisel, the Vice President of Operations for United Hatzalah, explained. “We look forward to working with all interested parties to help them develop our lifesaving model and saving more lives all over the planet.”
Vice President of United Hatzalah Michael Brown added, “We are incredibly thankful to Nuseir and his team for the light that they have shone on our operations and on the coexistence that exists between our Jewish, Muslim and Christian volunteers in Israel. As an Israeli Arab, Nuseir has a valuable perspective on coexistence in Israel and I am glad that he was able to tell our story.”