American Associates of Ben Gurion University 40th Anniversary

(left to right) Jeremey Kaplan, Cortnee Doll, Melanie Simon and Liza Mitgang, all students who have returned from studying at the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, attended the recent Philadelphia Chapter Tribute Brunch held by the American Associates of BGU of the Negev. Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

— by Bonnie Squires

American Associates, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU), held its Philadelphia Chapter 40th Anniversary Tribute Brunch, honoring Charlotte and Dr. Carroll Weinberg, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sunday, November 11.  More than 170 friends and supporters of AABGU came to celebrate the 40th anniversary  of AABGU,  including six American students who have spent either a semester or an entire year at the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program at BGU.

Sam and Connie Katz, co-chairs of the Philadelphia Chapter of AABGU, presented the Tikkun Olam Award to Charolotte and Dr. Carroll Weinberg for their decades of supports for the university.

The family of the late Harry Dozor, founder of AABGU, Dr. Rick Dozor, his mother Shirley Dozor and his son Harry Dozor, named for his late grandfather, received  a special Dreidel sculpture award for their continuing support.

Ambasssador Barukh Binah, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC, delivered the keynote address.

More after the jump.
(left to right) Dr. Carroll Weinberg and his wife Charlotte were honored by Philadelphia chapter co-chairs Connie and Sam Katz with the Ben Gurion University Tikkun Olam Award at a Tribute Brunch in Philadelphia in the Weinbergs’ honor.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

Among the American Friends of Ben Gurion University gathered at the Tribute Brunch were (left to right) former PA State Senator Bob Rovner; Ambassador Barukh Binah, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, who gave the keynote address; and Jack Bershad, AABGU Mid-Atlantic Region Chair.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg, Dottie Wasserman and Ann Waldman.
Photo credit: Bonnie Squires.

(seated) Murray Shusterman, Billy and Carole Stamps, and Aimee Katz.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.

Honoree Charlotte Weinberg, her sister Rosalie Davison, and Marilyn and Bob Birnhak.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.

McDonough: US Always “Stalwart Friend & Ally of Israel”

Watch live streaming video from washingtoninstitute at

— by Max Samis

Over the weekend, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough spoke in front of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Weinberg Founders Conference. McDonough covered a wide range of topics regarding the Middle East, but spent a significant amount of time discussing the United States’ special relationship with Israel.

Highlights of speech follow the jump.


McDonough said:

No president since Harry Truman has done as much for Israel’s security as Barack Obama. Record levels of security assistance; the Iron Dome rocket system, which as recently as several weeks ago intercepted 80 to 85% of rockets aimed from Gaza at Israeli homes, hospitals, and schools; the largest ever joint military exercises and most comprehensive consultations between our political and military intelligence leaders; and in the President himself, a president who has stood up repeatedly – sadly, often alone – against attempts to delegitimize Israel in international organizations…

All the while, the United States will be a stalwart friend and ally of Israel. I can assure you, that will never waver in our pursuit of peace.

McDonough also discussed the threat posed by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and how the sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama have had a strong impact on the Iranian economy. He said:

When [President Obama] took office, the Iranian regime thought itself ascendant. Externally, Iran’s reach seemed to be longer than ever, and the international community was divided on how to deal with its illicit nuclear program. Multilateral diplomacy had stalled, and around the world, many had begun to give Iran the benefit of the doubt, somehow blaming the United States for the tensions over Iran’s nuclear program…

President Obama was determined to reverse this dangerous dynamic, to highlight the danger of Iran’s illicit program – one, incidentally, that it is pursuing at great cost to its own people – and to isolate Iran, rather than the United States. That determination is beginning to pay off. He has repeatedly stressed his determination to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and has consistently given Tehran a choice: Fulfill your international obligations, or face increasing pressure. To date, Iran has refused.

And so, together with our partners, we have put in place the strongest sanctions that the Iranian government has ever faced. As a result, Iran finds itself isolated from the international community; finds it harder than ever to acquire materials for its nuclear and weapons program; and to conduct transactions in dollars and Euros. It’s struggled to buy refined petroleum and the goods it needs to maintain and modernize its oil and gas sector; it’s unable to access over half its foreign currency reserves; and its currency has lost over half its value since this time last year. Throughout that country, Iranians are turning to gold to secure their assets, and the Iranian government has introduced strict controls on the sales and purchase of foreign currencies.

This is the pain and misery that the regime itself has imposed on the Iranian people. Leading global companies have stopped doing business there, and more recently, we, working with Congress and our international partners, have increased pressure on Iran by targeting its central bank and its oil exports – the main source of its revenue. The results have been significant – in fact, far greater than we would have anticipated, with countries throughout the world acting to reduce their purchase of Iranian oil and to reduce their exposure to Iran’s financial system. I should note that 11 countries so far have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil. Others have indicated their intent to do so, including countries as diverse as South Korea and Turkey, and we expect still others to indicate a similar intent in the coming days and weeks.

The purpose of this pressure is not punishment. It is to convince Iran that the price of pursuing nuclear weapons is too high, and that the time is now to make good on its commitments to the international community. And it’s time for Iran’s leaders to answer why it refuses to prove its peaceful intentions, instead further isolating its own people, choosing to pay the price of intransigence, rather than choosing to join the international community of nations…

And so, it’s clear that the change we are witnessing in the region is not opening the door to a greater Iranian influence. Today, a dynamic region is moving away from, and frankly beyond, Iran. Not towards it. We know that, and importantly, we know and have seen that Iran’s leaders know, and are fearful, of exactly that trend…

Letter to a Prisoner

— by Norbert Weinberg

The archivist at Brandenburg found, among the legal documents, a personal letter to my father from a friend of his, Oskar Gellman, dated January 17, 1936, with an extra note by Erna, whom I assume to be his wife.

His friend not only decided to appraise him of the mundane events of his acquaintances during the time her was in prison, but also to entertain him and keep his spirit up. Why the wardens would have kept just this letter, I have no clue, but the writer is so very vivid and ascerbic in his wit, that perhaps they kept it as an example of how funny these Jews could be. His writing verges on the Rabelaisian and he pokes sharply at his friends and acquaintances.

It is a window on the mood of Jews in the early years of  the Hitler reign, as the Nuremberg laws were taking effect while the ultimate horror  awaiting them was something as yet unimagineable…

Follow the link for the full text: