Indivisible: With Liberty and Justice for All

–Barbara Lerman-Golomb

Indivisible Lower MerionRecently, a group of more than 50 concerned citizens gathered at a home in Villanova for a meeting organized by Rise Up: Indivisible Lower Merion. Indivisible is a national grassroots effort that helps citizens become more civically engaged through local organizing, specifically by targeting members of Congress. [Read more…]

Kellyanne Conway Struggles to Explain Handling of Flynn Scandal

by Jen Hayden of the Daily Kos

Speaking with Matt Lauer on “The Today Show,” White House deflector Kellyanne Conway struggled to get through an interview about why Donald Trump didn’t fire Michael Flynn the moment the Justice Department informed him that Michael Flynn had not been truthful about his comments to the Russian ambassador in December and was “potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.” In fact, that Flynn had been actively undermining President Obama as he levied new sanctions against Russia for their role in the U.S. elections. [Read more…]

Spanning the Globe in Cinema

By Laurel Fairworth

2017 LogoThis year the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia is all over the map in a theatrical way. Now in its 21st year the festival kicks off on Saturday, March 4, 2017, with the critically acclaimed movie Mr. Predictable about a man who dramatically changes his outlook when he thinks he only has a few weeks to live.

The month long film extravaganza, which runs through April 2, 2017, takes place in venues around our area including the Perelman at the Kimmel Center, the Ritz, and the International House and in Bryn Mawr. Mindy Chriqui, Artistic Director of the IFF of Philadelphia says, “We are always excited about each year’s festival, but we feel this is the best, most diverse and most controversial yet. The films run the gamut from historical documentaries to searing dramas to laugh out loud come-dies from points all over the world.”

For the first time, the 2017 lineup features a picture geared for kids, with free ad-mission to those dressing up for the Purim holiday. My Special Brother is a poignant and timely look at siblings born with disabilities. Other featured films are David Ben Gurion, a documentary about one of history’s greatest leaders with never heard before audio from the Prime Minister himself, Operation Wedding, a daring escape plot hatched 45 years ago by a group of Soviet Jewish dissidents, Aida’s Secret, dealing with a 70 year old mystery starting in a displaced person’s camp following the Holocaust, and Nancy Speilberg’s latest masterpiece On the Map. The movie is an inspiring look inside the 1977 Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team that took on the heavily favored Russian Red Army squad and won. Similar to the American’s Miracle on Ice this film will tickle sports fan and those who root for the underdog. Nurit Yaron, IFF Executive Director, commented, “This movie is a grabber. Well-known players including Bill Walton and former Commissioner Daniel Stern give their perspective on the team and the atmosphere in the aftermath of the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics.”

Former All-American and All-Big Ten star and Maccabi guard Tal Brody once again steals the show. Nicknamed Mr Basketball and drafted 12th, the Trenton, NJ native passed up the opportunity to play in the NBA. Instead he chose to compete for the new Jewish homeland. He will be in Philadelphia to talk about that once-in-a-lifetime experience and the making of this movie.

Closing out the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia on Sunday, April 2, 2017, is fan favorite Past Life, a moving drama about the haunting power of the past and the healing power of the truth.

You may get more information, a complete schedule, and purchase tickets here or call 484 904 5421.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Responds to Ruling by Ninth Circuit

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision to uphold the suspension of President Trump’s immigration ban: [Read more…]

Over $4 Million Raised for Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Dr. Stuart and Lelaine Nemser; Dr. Robert and Marla Zipkin.

Dr. Stuart and Lelaine Nemser; Dr. Robert and Marla Zipkin.

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University (AABGU) held its largest and most important event of the year at the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center: the community tribute event, which raised over $4 million. [Read more…]

Letter to the Editor on the Immigration Ban

Marta and Henry Fuchs sent this letter to The Philadelphia Jewish Voice and to the editors of other newspapers, expressing their response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

To the Editor:

As children of Holocaust survivors and refugees from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, we strongly oppose the administration’s ban on immigrants. [Read more…]

Shabbat Dinners Entice with a Taste of Israel

By Laurel Fairworth

Photo by Shiran Pasternak https://www.flickr.com/photos/gingi0/

Photo by Shiran Pasternak https://www.flickr.com/photos/gingi0/

Sitting around a table and sharing a meal is an easy and natural way to connect with people of backgrounds different from one’s own. That’s why the Israeli American Council (IAC) has launched Shishi Israeli, an Israeli version of traditional Shabbat dinners taking place over the next several months in Center City, the Main Line, Elkins Park and Cherry Hill, NJ. It is hoped these Shabbat celebrations will help bridge the gap between American Jews and the Israeli community. Yoni Ari, IAC Executive Director of the Philadelphia chapter, says, “Friendships and the understanding of each other’s culture can take place while breaking bread and jointly savoring the Friday night tradition.” These Shabbat evenings are open to all, especially to Israeli Americans unaffiliated with a synagogue. Ari continued, “Shishi Israeli is not religious, but rather it is a joyous cultural experience showcasing an Israeli flair with food and music.”

The Friday night events feature singing, dancing, and of course copious amounts of ethnic cuisine. A traditional dinner consists of Moroccan style fish, chicken with fruit, and meatballs with hummus. “Israelis love a big table laid out with all the courses served at the same time. That way they can eat whatever they want depending on their mood,” explained Ari. “This is the typical Jewish way to welcome the new week.” It is hoped that the program will be a magnet for many families from both the Israeli and American communities, creating meaningful and during connections.

Special emphasis will be placed on the next Shishi Israeli scheduled for February 10, 2017. In honor of Tu Bishvat, donations will be collected to plant trees to replace those burned in the recent forest fires that swept Haifa. The following dinners are March 17 in Elkins Park, March 31 at Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia and early April at a date to be determined in south New Jersey. All of the events are in partnership with local groups which means each is unique. However they will have in common the same Israeli zest for life and Middle Eastern culinary flair.

Why Is This Night Different?: Thoughts on Tu B’Shvat

By Richard H. Schwartz

By מרכז להב"ה מגאר Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25110674

Olive Tree. Photo: Pikiwiki Israel.

One of the highlights of the Passover seder is the recitation of the four questions which consider how the night of Passover differs from all the other nights of the year. Many questions are also appropriate for Tu B’Shvat, which starts on Friday evening, February 10, in 2017, because of the many ways that this holiday differs from Passover and all other nights of the year. [Read more…]

Anti-Trump Rallies

Protest Poster: "First they came for ..."

Protest Poster: “First they came for …”

Editor’s Note – Events are moving quickly. This initial story will be expanded on over time.

At Philadelphia International Airport and locations throughout the U.S., on Saturday and Sunday thousands of protestors demonstrated against President Trump’s ban on immigrants. There were frequent developments in Washington and the rest of the country as well.

 

Time Line, in Reverse Order

 

Tuesday, January 31st

Tuesday, 8 pm: Trump scheduled to announce his pick for the Supreme Court. This justice could be the crucial vote that decides the legality of Trump’s immigration ban.

Tuesday, Morning/Afternoon: Senate Democrats spoke at length about former Acting Attorney General Sally Yate’s courage in defying Trump. The Republican majority allowed them to speak, even though it delayed the vote to confirm Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General. That vote is expected to take place on Wednesday, February 1.

Monday, January 30

Monday, Late evening: Yates is replaced by Dana Boente, who immediately reversed her directive. Meanwhile, Yates is still packing up her office after a 27 year career with the Justice Department.

Monday 9 pm: Attorney General Sally Yates has been fired for refusing to defend the ban. Earlier she had sent a letter to her staff explaining the she thought the ban was illegal and unjust. She wrote that the Justice Department would not defend the ban in court. [Read more…]

Common Cause: No Issue of Voter Fraud

“The facts are clear; the research has been done. Election officials, leaders of the president’s own party and other leading election experts confirm that there is no evidence of election tampering, as President Trump alone claims. There simply is no alternate fact,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots watchdog organization, working to assure government accountability and the right of all Americans to make their voices heard in the political process. [Read more…]