Category Archives: November

INTERNATIONAL MARCH OF THE LIVING 2019

Shalom,

As many of you know, my sister, Marcia, has led high school aged groups to Poland and Israel as part of the March of the Living program for well over a decade. These programs are important and powerful. Now, an opportunity exists for adults to attend such a trip. If at all interested, please look at the attached information and contact: Stacey Sherwitz: stacey@motlmail.org for more information. I have it on good authority, that if this trip fills up, another may be offered.

To date, we have had one Montana teen attend the MOTL program. Please do consider this for your junior or senior high schooler/grandchild. It is an opportunity of a life time.

Janet tatz janetilene@gmail.com

Information for the 2019 International Adult Delegation
2 West 45th Street – Suite 1500, New York, NY 10036
TEL: (212) 869-6800 FAX: (212) 869-6822 E-MAIL: motl@motlmail.org
WEBSITE: http://www.motl.org

Dear Candidate,

Shalom and thank you for your interest in the 2019 International Adult Program of the March of the Living.
We very much appreciate your inquiries and thrive on your participation. We place our candidates at the center of
our work and are committed to designing a trip that responds to each of our group’s needs. We hope that the
information provided here will help stimulate your interest in our program.

The March of the Living is a unique program that honors, commemorates and explores the past, present, and
future of the Jewish people. You can be there, along with 10,000 other participants from around the world.

Please find below the important dates and costs for the trip. Please note that space is limited and we accept people
on a first-come first-serve basis.

To view our virtual brochure, Click Here: International Adult Delegation Brochure

You may complete the application and medical form here: Application Link
Apply Here

Program dates are April 29/30 – May 12/13, 2019
*Note that the program is currently TBD.

Departure from NYC – April 29, 2019
Program Start Date – April 30, 2019
Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day – May 2, 2019 (our main event in Poland)
Yom Hazikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day – May 8, 2019
Yom Haaztmaut – Israel’s Independence Day – May 9, 2019 (our main event in Israel)
Departure for NYC– May 12, 2019
Arrival to NYC- May 13, 2019

Pricing – Full cost of the program is $7300
Cost includes:
 Flights from NYC-Poland-Israel-NYC. Please note that you are responsible for your own domestic flights.
 4-5 star hotels (double occupancy)
 Deluxe busses
 3 VIP kosher meals a day (lunch is a lunch box)
 Local guides
 Educational scholars
 Security arrangements
 Educational kits
 Entrance fees
 March of the Living jacket and backpack
 Participation in all March of the Living International ceremonies with VIP seating
2 West 45th Street – Suite 1500, New York, NY 10036
TEL: (212) 869-6800 FAX: (212) 869-6822 E-MAIL:

ISRAELI AID TO CALIFORNIA

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.

CHRISTMAS AT THE MERCY HOME

The weather is turning colder outside, and Thanksgiving is here. That means we need to start preparing to staff the Mercy Home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Our Jewish Community members volunteer their time to staff the Mercy Home, the only domestic violence shelter for women in Great Falls. This gives the Mercy Home staff a chance to spend the Christmas holiday with their families.

Here are the shifts that I would like to fill. If we have trouble filling the 3 hour shifts, I may move to 4 hour shifts and utilize fewer volunteers, but with enough volunteers, we should only need to help for 3 hours each:

  • Monday, 12/24: 2-5 PM
  • Monday 12/24: 5-8 PM
  • Monday 12/24: 8-11 PM
  • Tuesday 12/25: 8-11 AM
  • Tuesday 12/25: 11 AM – 2 PM
  • Tuesday 12/25: 2-5 PM

Remember that a male can only volunteer with a female (Mercy Home Rules). If you have never done this before or need a refresher, me or a Mercy Home staff member are happy to do that prior to your shift. Just let me know and I can arrange that.

Please e-mail me at wendy@weissman.com or call or text me at 868-5712 and let me know what shift you would like or if you have any questions.

Thank you!!!

Wendy Weissman

JEWS, MOSLEMS, AND CHRISTIANS

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.”

THE PITTSBURGH SLAYINGS AND THE SEARCH FOR AMERICA’S SOUL

THE PITTSBURGH SLAYINGS AND THE SEARCH FOR AMERICA’S SOUL
(Opinion on behalf of the Billings “Montana Interfaith Network,” submitted by the Rev. Dr. Paul Seastrand)

It is estimated that in the last 800 years, half of the world’s Jews have died violently, and on October 27, eleven more Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue were added to that count by a man hurling anti-Semitic slurs and bullets. Yet though the history of anti-Semitism is immeasurably tragic, the slayings in Pittsburgh bring us face to face with another sobering fact: The religious and cultural diversity that is the heritage and strength of America has too often devolved into religious and cultural animosity.

Though affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I write on behalf of the Montana Interfaith Network which represents Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, and other historic faith communities who “advocate for the dignity, sanctity, and equality of every human being.” This advocacy finds common cause, as well, with the aims of civil freedom and justice affirmed by the U.S. Constitution and its amendments. Yet starkly contrasted is an America dismayed and torn by church shootings, school shootings, racist nationalism, tribalism, and the fatiguing tensions of identity politics. This is regrettable to people of faith as well as to every citizen who is committed to “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Observe how certain political and religious currents in American society today bring to mind the “Know-Nothing” politics of the mid-1800s. The “Know-Nothing-Party” was pledged to defend American values and life-style from the potential of foreign domination on native-born Americans. American Protestants, in particular, feared the influence of immigrant European traditionalists and not least the increasing influx of Roman Catholics. This kind of hostile American nativism is not just a historical footnote, but lingers on in polarizing debates about immigration, white nationalism, identity politics, and racial and religious equality. Moreover, during the present election season Republicans and Democrats debate tooth and nail about border control and healthcare, yet neither party has brought forward detailed proposals and moderating attitudes that effectively move our governing process and our body politic beyond vitriolic stagnation and suspicion.

So the tragedy in Pittsburgh is not only a marker of anti-Semitism, but is another mark of the discord and debate that press the search for America’s soul. Our Founding Fathers recognized that diverse people with competing self-interests can either break or make a nation. They knew well the pitfalls of human avarice and tyranny, but anticipated (more than they realized) that constitutional divisions of power and democratic controls could preserve this nation in civil harmony despite and even because of differences of religion and inheritance. By the same token, many faith traditions recognize that civil harmony is a religious imperative. In 1995, my Lutheran denomination made common cause with the Montana Association of Jewish Communities, not because we share the same religious doctrines about God and salvation, but because we share renewed respect for each other that does not bow to stereotypes and intolerance. Moreover, we stated that “We need not share a common creed to share common deeds that enhance human welfare and strengthen the moral fabric of society.”

Such is the kind of language and commitment that advances both faith and nation. Whatever
our religion or biological and social inheritance; whether we are conservative, liberal,Republican, Democrat, or Independent; whether we drive Fords, Chevys, or bicycles; we need not share a common creed to share common deeds of justice, respect, and maybe even love. This election season is a fitting time to deepen these foundations of our common life and prove-up the search for America’s soul.

(The Rev. Dr. Paul Seastrand is a retired pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and a member of the Billings “Montana Interfaith Network.”)

YAHRZEITS — NOVEMBER, 2018

RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:!
Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Gregorian month, date, and year, if known, or at the beginning of the list for one calendar year following the date of passing.

Compiled by Aitz Chaim over many years, this list is maintained by the Ram’s Horn. Please send any corrections or additions to editor@aitzchaim.com
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
Deceased
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Congregant
Dawn M. Schandelson Sep 3, 2018 23 Elul, 5778 Wife of Arny Schandelson, Mother of Brett and Scott Schandelson
Donald Goldman May 14, 2018 29 Iyyar, 5778 Father of Abby Drew Syrovatka, Grandfather of Cece Drew
FRANCES WALTMAN Apr 1, 2018 16 Nisan, 5778 Mother of Marjorie Feldman
Ethel M. Shapiro NOV 1, 2016 30 TISHREI, 5777 Aunt of Terry Thal
Leonard Weissman Nov 10, 2007 29 Cheshvan, 5768 Grandfather of David Weissman, father of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann.
Martin Renne Nov 14, 2000 16 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Michael Renne
Dr. Daniel Foxman Nov 19, 2001 4 Kislev, 5762 Father of Marty Foxman
Norman Handler Nov 20, 2000 22 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Wendy Weissman

SEVENTY YEARS AGO TODAY

The story of the November 29th, 1947 UN vote for the Partition of Palestine. A vote that lasted a mere three minutes changed the course of Jewish History and brought 20 centuries of Jewish homelessness to an end.

Click here to find out more

PARASHAT VAYETZE: MOVING FORWARD IN SOLIDARITY & COMMITMENT – RABBIS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Submitted by Rabbi Ruz Gulko

2017 SHABBAT PROJECT FINAL ROUND-UP

Dear friends

It is deeply moving to watch how The Shabbos Project has matured over the past five years. It has become part of the fabric of the international Jewish calendar, and touches so many people from so many diverse backgrounds in so many different ways.

The Shabbos Project experience has become deeper and more meaningful for Jewish communities worldwide. It has been so beautiful to see how keeping Shabbos has become accessible to all of us – how we are connecting more often and more deeply with the joy of Shabbos, which seems to be more needed with every passing day in our crazy, beautiful world.

Enjoy this global snapshot of The Shabbos Project 2017.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

Around the world

This year’s fourth international Shabbos Project reached 1 416 cities and 97 countries around the world. More than one million people took part in celebrations on and around the Shabbos of 27 and 28 October.

In the US alone – from Teaneck to Thompsonville, Miami to Mableton, Baltimore to Bridgeport – there were a total of 586 participating cities, with an estimated 20 000 people taking part in locations such as LA and San Diego.

In Israel, President Reuven Rivlin officially endorsed the project – joining public figures as varied as Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Ron Huldai, Yair Lapid, Aviv Alush, Natan Sharansky and Amir Ohana. There were 307 participating cities and 331 main events taking place across the country, not including countless Shabbat meals and Kiddush gatherings in streets, parks and apartment buildings.

Europe (48 participating cities in France, 31 in Russia and around 100 000 people taking part in the UK, where Prime Minister Theresa May commended the project); Latin America (138 cities); and Australia (Sydney and Melbourne each had more than 10 000 participants) all had record numbers celebrating this year’s Shabbos Project, while countries such as Mozambique, Cyprus, Paraguay and Venezuela hosted Shabbos Project festivities for the first time.
Read more

From the field

To coordinate the initiative on this scale, the head office in Johannesburg worked with more than 8 000 partners worldwide – up from 6 000 partners in 2016.

Event reports and personal stories continue to stream in from all over the world, and while we work to consolidate all of the information, here is what people are saying:

“Two years ago, my family decided to join The Shabbos Project. We had never before kept Shabbat. After the 25 hours were over, I had such a great feeling. We participated again last year, and for some reason, I felt even better. This year everything just felt right. Tomorrow we will be moving to a new residence within the Plano eruv, and within walking distance of shul, so we can keep Shabbat. I would like to thank everyone who showed us what Shabbat is all about.”
– Ilana Panush, Plano, Texas

“I helped organise 17 Challah Bakes throughout Florida. Considering Florida had recently suffered from Hurricane Irma, it is amazing that any events actually materialised. Many people were without power and air conditioning for weeks after the storm. Then we went right into the Jewish holidays. We had an entire state of ‘exhausted’ people. But Floridians mustered their best efforts and pulled off 17 sold-out inspirational Challah Bakes, each with their own special flair.”
– Alyssa Baumgarten, Miami, USA

“We had an amazing, highly emotional Shabbat and people literally shed tears. Nearly 400 people took part in the event held on the main road of the yishuv. The participants were young and old. Elderly Holocaust survivors and senior citizens mixed with children of five. Observant Jews joined with non-observant Jews. Everyone sat in silence when the rabbi of the yishuv said Kiddush. Tears streamed from a group of women who, for nearly 30 years, had not heard Kiddush and had not experienced an atmosphere and a group of Jews like they did on this holy day. A Holocaust survivor was completely overcome with emotion. It was an extraordinary event that left no one untouched.”
– Etti Cohen, Bnei Ayish, Israel

“It’s an amazing project. A worldwide Shabbat that all of us keep together – observant, not observant, less connected, more connected. I think there’s something so beautiful and unifying in it. Personally, I first encountered The Shabbat Project three years ago and I remember telling my wife, ‘Yalla, let’s give it a shot, what do we have to lose?’. And it was just a magical experience – the family bonding, the quiet, the disconnecting. Just one Shabbat, together.”
– Aviv Alush, Israeli actor

“In Lima, we had 240 people attend a Challah Bake at a local school. After sifting 600 kilos of flour to make hundreds of loaves, we spontaneously broke out into Rikudim [Israeli folk dancing]. The best part was seeing all the photos afterwards – the joy on the faces of all the women doing this sacred Jewish rite. This was our fourth year participating and we have put together the proceeds of all four Challah Bakes to create a special app with Jewish classes to educate the community.”
– Fanny Levy, Lima, Peru

“We made Kiddush, we ate, danced, and sang at the Shabbat table, with 40 students from ages 16 to 25. We celebrated well into the night.”
– Lavi Olami, Budapest, Hungary

“I’ve kept the Shabbat for several years now, and, honestly, I don’t know how to put into words what this day means for me. I guess you could say Shabbat is my best friend. I wait for it starting Sunday, and I can’t survive without it. The Shabbat Project is an extra special Shabbat – a Shabbat we all keep together wherever we are in the world, whatever ‘group’ we belong to, wherever we are on our own personal journeys. One day to put everything aside, lay down our phones, and really be with ourselves, with our families, with our friends. A day of real blessing and comfort.”
– Natan Goshen, Israeli singer-songwriter

“A remarkable Shabbat in Camps Bay. Nine new families keeping Shabbat. One woman said, ‘This is great – I could do this every week.’ At our communal lunch, while we were singing, 96-year-old Holocaust survivor Ella Blumenthal got up on her chair and started dancing. There were two kids who walked five kilometres through to neighbouring Sea Point to attend a friend’s bar mitzvah. A few families made arrangements to stay close by, renting airbnb apartments or staying at friends, just so they could walk to shul.”
– Rabbi Yochi Ziegler, Cape Town, South Africa

“The women and girls from across the island arrived before candle lighting and we all lit together. Many had never lit before. The children had a special programme during Kabbalat Shabbat. Afterwards, we celebrated with an amazing meal made by a variety of women from our community – there were Moroccan, Ashkenazi, Tripoli foods. It was very colourful and tasty. We had 100 people for Friday night and many of them returned the next day.”
– Shaindel Raskin, Larnaca, Cyprus

“Spontaneous dancing at Kabbalat Shabbat, passionate singing at the Havdallah Concert. It was amazing to have so many people. An inspirational experience.”
– Ori Bergman, Buffalo, USA

“The feeling that was created when the community came together in celebration of Shabbat made you feel a deep sense of belonging, that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, your family or even your Sydney community.”
– Lauren Kavnat, Sydney, Australia

“I live in Nelson, New Zealand, a town of approximately 150 Jews, where we’ve tried to ‘Keep It Together’ over the past three years (sadly, we no longer have a shul – it was closed over 100 years ago). Last weekend, my family being away, I decided to do The Shabbat Project all by myself. It was a wonderfully peaceful and meaningful 25 hours. Given our geographic location, I guess, along with other New Zealanders, I would have been among the first people on the planet to usher in Shabbat. I’m very much looking forward to participating again next year, and I’m hoping to observe a few more full Shabbats over the year.”
– Richard Noar, Nelson, New Zealand

Read more

At the hub

At The Shabbos Project headquarters, in Johannesburg, a team of designers, copywriters and campaign strategists worked around the clock, custom-designing marketing and educational materials for hundreds of cities.

Meanwhile, eight separate help desks at the international call centre in Tel Aviv fielded tens of thousands of calls and emails across 10 different languages.

That The Shabbos Project was able to spread to new cities and reach new people can be attributed in no small part to a Facebook campaign that reached more than five million people worldwide.

Read more

In the media

The 2017 Shabbos Project garnered coverage in major mainstream publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the San Diego Tribune, the Huffington Post and the London Times; major Jewish media houses such as the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, the Forward, Algemeiner and JTA; local Jewish newspapers across the US; and all of Israel’s main news sites.

Read more

CHRISTMAS AT THE MERCY HOME

I can’t believe the winter holidays are just about upon us again! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

In just a few short weeks, it will be time for us to volunteer at the Mercy Home during Christmas. This is an opportunity for us to allow the staff of the Mercy Home, the domestic violence shelter for women in Great Falls, to have the day off to spend with their families, while we as volunteers run the shelter for about 24 hours.

Here are the shifts that need to be filled:

  • Sunday 12/24 2-5 PM
  • Sunday 12/24 5-8 PM
  • Sunday 12/24 8-11 PM
  • Monday 12/25 8-11 AM
  • Monday 12/25 11 AM to 2 PM
  • Monday 12/25 2-5 PM

You do not need to have any experience to volunteer – you just need to either be a female or volunteer with a female due to the fact that this is a women’s shelter. If you are new, I will either personally give you an orientation or have the Mercy Home staff give you an orientation.

Please consider helping this year!

E-mail me at wendy@weissman.com or text or call me at 868-5712 to help.

Thank you!

Wendy Weissman