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AIPAC and other Jewish groups join Democratic lawmakers in criticizing Israel’s decision to ban Tlaib and Omar

AIPAC and other Jewish groups join Democratic lawmakers in criticizing Israel’s decision to ban Tlaib and Omar

Posted on 15 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Laura E. Adkins for JTA/Getty ImagesIsraeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, said Reps. Rashida Tlaib, center, and Ilhan Omar, right, provided an itinerary that “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

By Josefin Dolsten

This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Israel’s decision on Thursday to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country has quickly prompted a wave of impassioned responses from across the Jewish community.

Pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC, and prominent Democratic lawmakers are already objecting to the move.

AIPAC’s statement, along with others from establishment Jewish groups, criticized Omar and Tlaib’s support for the movement to boycott Israel. But like others who have their differences with the two House reps, AIPAC said that Israel should nonetheless allow sitting members of the United States Congress to enter the country and see it for themselves.

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution,” the organization tweeted, referring to the boycott Israel movement. “We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

Israel announced on Thursday that the Muslim congresswomen, both Democrats, would not be allowed to visit ahead of a planned trip this Sunday. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, had previously said Israel would not bar any members of Congress.

But Israel’s decision came shortly after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Israel “would show great weakness” if it let in the two congresswomen.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the decision on Tlaib and Omar, saying he received their itinerary a few days ago and that it “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.” The itinerary said the destination was listed as Palestine and included no visit with any Israeli officials, he said.

Tlaib, D-Mich, and Omar, D-Minn., are supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country. They have also at times invoked what critics call anti-Semitic tropes in criticizing the Jewish state.

Here are reactions from other Jewish groups, the United States Embassy in Israel and prominent lawmakers. JTA has asked several Republican lawmakers for comment, including Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

THOSE WHO LIKE THE DECISION

The Republican Jewish Coalition threw its support behind Israel’s decision, noting that the country recently welcomed a congressional delegation of 70 lawmakers from both parties. The RJC said Netanyahu welcoming that delegation shows that this decision “has nothing to do with American partisan politics.”

The right-wing Zionist Organization of America praised the ban in a statement from its president, Morton Klein, and chairman, Mark Levenson. The pair said that the congresswomen “should not be given the opportunity to further delegitimize and harm all of us.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman wrote on Twitter that he supports the decision, saying that the lawmakers’ trip itinerary showed the visit “is nothing more than an effort to fuel the BDS engine.”

THOSE WHO DISLIKE THE DECISION

AIPAC (See above.)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center‘s associate dean and director of global social action slammed Tlaib and Omar., calling them ” unapologetic anti-Semites.” But Rabbi Abraham Cooper also added in a statement that “the first instinct of Israeli officials to let them into the country was [the] right one.”

The American Jewish Committee‘s CEO, David Harris, wrote on Twitter that “Israel faced a tough choice,” but that it “should’ve taken the high road & let these Members of Congress in, no matter how vile their views.”

The Anti-Defamation League likewise said that “while we absolutely disagree with the pro-BDS positions of Reps. [Omar and Tlaib], keeping them out is counterproductive.”

The executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Halie Soifer, said in a statement that banning lawmakers ” is counterproductive and plays into President Trump’s goal of politicizing support for Israel.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that the move “is a sign of weakness, not strength” that “will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America.”

In a statement, the co-chair and CEO of the Democratic Majority for Israel, said Israel’s decision was “both wrong and unwise.”

The liberal Israel policy group J Street decried the decision in a statement, saying Trump’s tweet urging Israel to ban the members “illustrates that this decision is motivated purely by politics and ideology.”

Dan Shapiro, who served as ambassador to Israel under President Barack Obama, criticized Israel’s about-face and wrote on Twitter that there would be “zero harm in letting them come learn, see (even if they had an agenda). Reversal harms Israel’s standing in US, boosts BDS.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called on Netanyahu to reverse the decision. He tweeted that barring Tlaib and Omar “is a sign of enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy.”

On Twitter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called banning the congresswomen “a shameful, unprecedented move” and urged the Jewish state to allow Tlaib and Omar to enter.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat and Speaker of the House, said in a statement that “Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a tweet the decision “undermines the ability for our two allied countries to have the frank, open and, at times, difficult discussions that we must have in order to ensure Israel remains a secure and democratic nation.”

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said she was “saddened” by the decision and urged Israel to reconsider in a tweet.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., said he was “extremely disappointed” by the move.

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Israel confirms it is banning Tlaib and Omar from entering country

Israel confirms it is banning Tlaib and Omar from entering country

Posted on 15 August 2019 by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., right, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., attend a rally with Democrats in the Capitol to introduce the “Equality Act,” which will amend existing civil rights legislation to bar discrimination based on gender identification and sexual orientation on Wednesday, March 13. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By Josefin Dolsten

(JTA) — Israel’s deputy foreign minister confirmed that Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will not be allowed to enter the country.
“We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle this is a very justified decision,” Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s public broadcaster Kan.


The statement came shortly after a Washington Post report claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weighing banning the two Muslim congresswomen, both supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country.
Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., are outspoken critics of Israel and both at times have been criticized for relying on anti-Semitic tropes in their criticism. They were scheduled to visit the Jewish state on Sunday.
Shortly after the Post report, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Israel “would show great weakness” if it let in the two congresswomen.
Israel’s envoy to Washington, Ron Dermer, said last month that the country would not deny entry to any member of Congress.
The president has repeatedly attacked Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, and Omar, who was born in Somalia, at times invoking rhetoric widely described as racist.

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Coming in hot: 10 new ways the Federation is here for good

Coming in hot: 10 new ways the Federation is here for good

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photo: JFGD
New Cabinet members with Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Affinities Director Janine Zaltsman Reutter: from left, Jared Eisenberg, Andrew Miller, Zaltsman Reutter and Bobby Gibbs

Fresh Faces at Federation

Submitted Story

Hot on the heels of a busy spring season, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD) didn’t slow down over the summer. From its new board chair to its 2020 campaign kick-off to its Connecting | Dallas launch, it is here for you and here for good. Here’s how.
In early June, A.J. Rosmarin was formally installed as board chair. Rosmarin has served in philanthropic roles in the Dallas Jewish community for nearly 40 years and his service extends to Israel, where he is on the board of the Friends of the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. His leadership at JFGD began in 2006 when he co-chaired the Annual Campaign. Rosmarin’s leadership helps to guide the Federation as it enters a new era.
Effective Aug. 1, the Federation welcomed Mariam Shpeen Feist as president and CEO. Feist was formerly the Federation’s Senior vice president and Chief Development Officer and is only the second woman to lead the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas in its 108-year history.
“My goal was to find the best person available for the position because Dallas is a great place to live with a strong Federation serving Jews in need locally, Israel and throughout the world,” said Rosmarin. “We are on a great trajectory, and I’m confident Mariam is the right person.”
Feist has more than 33 years’ experience in fundraising. She has held roles at the UJA-Federation of Greater New York, the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and World ORT. She began her tenure at JFGD in 2012 as chief development officer (CDO) and assumed the role of senior vice president and CDO in 2014.
Part of an elite group within Jewish nonprofits, Feist is also a member of the CEO Onboarding Program at Leading Edge. The Leading Edge program provides CEOs with a supportive peer network at nonprofits in the American Jewish community and beyond. The diverse cohort represents 14 major national and local organizations across the country and includes federations, JCCs, social service agencies, advocacy organizations and denominational leaders.
This month the Federation also announced its new executive director of the Center for Jewish Education (CJE), Rabbi Mordechai Harris, who now serves as the Federation’s primary education representative to the Jewish educational community. He comes to Dallas with his wife, Nisa, and their three daughters. Harris was most recently the director of the Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Memphis, Tennessee.
New ways of connecting
New members to the Dallas Jewish community can reach out to Connecting | Dallas. The Federation recently rolled out Connecting | Dallas to assist and connect Jews to everything Jewish in Dallas. Led by Peta Silansky, this new initiative helps Jews find their place in our vibrant community. Connect today at connecting@jewishdallas.org or 214- 615-5250.
The safety of the Jewish community has long been a priority of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. The Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) is responsible for convening, preparing and equipping Jewish organizations with the information and education needed to be safe and secure through training sessions and programming. CSI continues to launch new programs to help meet this goal. Initiatives planned for the incoming campaign year include Run Hide Fight, Shul Watch/School Watch, Cyber Security and more.
One meaningful way to connect with the community is at the Shabbat table. The Federation is now a host of OneTable. OneTable empowers those who do not yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to find and share the Shabbat experience by connecting together to build one that feels authentic, sustainable and valuable. It is available for young adults, ages 21-39, who do not yet have children. To join or host OneTable Shabbat, visit onetable.org and select “find a dinner” or “become a host.”
Starting in 2020 the Federation will launch another connection opportunity: Honeymoon Israel. Honeymoon Israel is a Jewish organization that provides trips to Israel for couples with at least one Jewish partner. Each trip includes 20 diverse couples from the same city — couples with one Jewish partner, couples where both partners were born Jewish and couples where one partner is converted/Jew by choice.
Soon couples in the Dallas area will be invited to apply for Honeymoon Israel via the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. JFGD is excited about this new adventure and the opportunity to help connect couples with an integral part of Jewish heritage.
Continuing to lead
National Young Leadership Cabinet is the premier leadership and philanthropic program within The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and throughout the Jewish world. Cabinet comprises approximately 300 men and women, ages 30 to 45, from across the United States and Canada who are deeply committed to shaping a bright future for the Jewish people in North America, Israel and around the globe.
National Young Leadership Cabinet is a six-year journey with a variety of destinations, all of them reached by stronger, more vibrant leaders.
In April, three Cabinet members traveled to St. Petersburg and Moscow to learn about the work Federation does overseas (Jonathan Rubenstein reported on this trip in the Aug. 1 issue of the TJP). At the end of July the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Affinities director, Janine Zaltsman Reutter, joined seven Cabinet members for a retreat in Toronto. More than 250 young adults attended the retreat, which is a four-day leadership program with inspiring speakers, learning opportunities and relationship building aligned around shared values and a common, collective purpose.
“The retreat helped me articulate why I care about Federation giving in the context of my overall charitable agenda, and I can proudly say I am now all-in,” said new Cabinet member Bobby Gibbs.
New Cabinet members include Jared Eisenberg, Bobby Gibbs and Andrew Miller. Current members Jonathan Rubenstein, Ophir and Sharron Laizerovich, Alex More, Jay Post, Eric Axel, Sean Dalfen, Ryan Milstein, Jacob Ratner, Seth Weisblatt and Dana Lipp continue in their NYL Cabinet tenure.
Here for you and here for good
In October the Federation will kick off its Annual Campaign. This year’s tagline connotes the Federation’s commitment to the community, the organization’s mission and its longevity. JFGD is “Here for you. Here for good.”
Soon yard signs will be visible at Jewish community landmarks throughout the Dallas area.
—Submitted by
Amy Principe
Digital and marketing manager of the
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas

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Rabbi Robbins debuts ‘Psalm 27’ book

Rabbi Robbins debuts ‘Psalm 27’ book

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Deb Silverthorn
Since 1991 Rabbi Debra J. Robbins has been leading from the bimah, teaching and helping the families of Temple Emanu-El through lifecycle events. Here, Rabbi Robbins’ joy and smile matches that of the bride during the wedding ceremony of Lindsay Sureck to Scott Chiu.

Dallas-area rabbi hopes readers use her book in daily life

By Deb Silverthorn

Gather. Settle. Bless. Read. Write. Sit. Forgive. Remember. Celebrate. These are the directions, guidelines, reflections and recommendations of Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, in her new book “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27.”
“We are the recipients of these beautiful words and I want people to do more than just read them,” Rabbi Robbins said. “Use them toward the spirited work we’re called on (to do) at this season. This is an invitation to read Psalm 27, traditionally read every day from the beginning of Elul to the end of Sukkot, carefully and meaningfully.”
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, Rabbi Robbins will share an introduction to the practice of her book in celebration of the book’s launch. Books will be available for purchase and Rabbi Robbins will sign copies.
In addition, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, Rabbi Robbins will lead participants in personal reflections on repairing the soul and repairing the world during the High Holidays. She’ll conclude the High Holiday season at the sukkah luncheon at noon on Thursday, Oct. 17, to review the holiday season and consider practices moving forward. All events will be held at Temple Emanu-El, where Rabbi Robbins has served since 1991.
Rabbi Robbins was inspired to write “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27” by her own introspection. With encouragement from others and realizing the process she developed for herself could be meaningful to others, she spent two years transforming her experience beyond the bimah and the classes she’d taught.
“This practice is built on the premise that anyone can do (almost) anything for five minutes,” Rabbi Robbins said. “With ‘Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27,’ we read, write and then sit still and let it settle — each for just five minutes.”
With lessons learned from her participation in the Institute for Rabbinical Jewish Spirituality, Rabbi Robbins recommends finding the depth and possibilities of one phrase within a prayer and connecting to it.
Rabbi Robbins finds joy in seeing her book’s dedication to her parents, Judith and Norman Robbins, of blessed memory, “with gratitude for the gift of life and the blessings of their legacy that continue to unfold,” just above the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication details.
The Newton, Massachusetts native, raised at Temple Israel in Boston, received her undergraduate degree at University of California, Berkeley and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. There she met her future husband, Larry, and the two are parents of their son, Sam. Their golden retriever, Baskin, rounds out the family.
“My mother was a teacher who inspired me to enjoy writing, learning and teaching and my father was a great source of solace and strength,” said Rabbi Robbins. “I realized, as a rabbi, I could write, read and teach and I absolutely love what I do.”
Rabbi Robbins has served on the boards of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas and Family Gateway and is a founding chair of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas’ Vaad HaMikvah. She is former vice-president for leadership and mentor for the ethics committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and president of Reading Village, helping teens become leaders through literacy in Guatemala. She is also a member of the Women’s Rabbinic Network.
The book’s pride-filled foreword is written by Temple Emanu-El Senior Rabbi David Stern. “She translates the ancient word into the language of human experience and, in doing so, illuminates both.”
Stern says, “(Psalm 27) oscillates between doubt and hope in a way that reflects the truth of our human condition. Psalm 27 knows our pain and our joy.”
Cantor Richard Cohn, at Temple Emanu-El for almost a decade before becoming director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR, wrote a composer’s commentary to accompany the singing practice he created for the book, “Kaveih el Adonai, Wait Hopefully for Adonai.” A link to the composition is included.
“How do we move step-by-step toward a strengthening of the heart that lifts us in hope toward an awareness of the holy?” wrote Cantor Cohn, who sings the composition with Cantor Amanda Kleinman, raised at Congregation Tiferet Israel and Temple Emanu-El, and now Senior Cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in New York. “Repeating the melody again and again can deepen and expand our understanding of the journey.”
“I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this book and to Temple Emanu-El for affording me the time and space to work on it,” said Rabbi Robbins, reflecting on the psalm’s last phrase. “‘Wait for Adonai — Fill your waiting with hope in Adonai; Let your heart be strong and of good courage and wait hopefully for Adonai.’
“This is a challenging time to repair ourselves and the world, and it takes great courage for us,” Rabbi Robbins said. “I hope this book provides a true opportunity for readers to find that courage.”
To register for the free workshops, open to the public, visit participate.tedallas.org/psalm27workshops. “Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27” is available at Temple Emanu-El’s Judaic Treasures, on Amazon and at psalm27ccarpress.org. Cantor Cohn’s “Kaveih el Adonai, Wait Hopefully for Adonai” can be downloaded at psalm27ccarpress.org.

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Dallas duo starts clothing line to ‘do guud’

Dallas duo starts clothing line to ‘do guud’

Posted on 14 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Jon Abramson
“I believe more than ever people want to align themselves with brands that stand for positive social causes,” said Leon Jacobson, left, with GuudWEAR co-founder Matthew Ladin. The GuudWEAR co-founders are hands-on designing and creating their fashion line, a percent of which will support nonprofit agencies. “For us, that’s owning a brand that stands for something more.”

Socially inspired startup will benefit homeless shelter

By Deb Silverthorn

The mitzvot of tzedakah and tikkun olam are the fabric of Leon Jacobson and Matthew Ladin, and it’s laced in the tapestry of their company GuudWEAR.
GuudWEAR is a socially inspired company whose founders aim to “do guud” by helping locals transition out of homelessness. In July, the Dallas-based GuudWEAR began taking pre-orders through its Kickstarter offering, with special rewards to participants, running through Aug. 22. Regular sales will follow.
“I believe, more than ever, people want to align themselves with brands that stand for positive social causes,” co-founder Jacobson said. “For us, that’s owning a brand that stands for something more. In taking in the values my parents and siblings instilled in me, I’ve always wanted to be a social entrepreneur.”
The exclusive line, initially hand-pressed by Jacobson and Ladin, is done by a labor-intensive process, curating designs from the streets of Dallas. Both men say their homes look like art and science experiments gone wild: inks, molds, designs and fabrics taking over.
Designs available include the “Bullseye,” from a weathered manhole cover in Highland Park; “Sunrise,” found on a path near SMU; “Griffin,” discovered and molded off an advertising sign base in Lower Greenville; and “Texas,” modeled after a Deep Ellum sewer cover. Shirts are made in a variety of colors, sizes and styles. In the future, the company plans to add bags, hats and sweatshirts to the line.
GuudWEAR’s team is also environmentally mindful from apparel to packaging. Their mantra makes people, planet and profit a priority. A minimum of 7 percent of each item sold will be donated.
Dallas is the second-fastest growing metropolitan city in the country with employment rising at double the rate of the U.S. average and homelessness increasing at 9 percent. It’s where GuudWEAR begins its journey.
“It’s humbling to know we have such dedicated groups and individuals willing to give their time, talents and treasures to help the less fortunate and Dallas’ most vulnerable citizens,” CEO of Austin Street Center Daniel Roby.

From left, Daniel Levitt, Spencer Lieman, Danielle Diegel and Daley Epstein in GuudWEAR’s founding fashions now available at guudwear.com.


Austin Street Center, an emergency shelter in Dallas, will be the first beneficiary officially adopted by GuudWEAR.
“This partnership will certainly benefit our organization through social awareness, growth in our volunteer core and increased philanthropic support,” said Roby. “Together, we’ll be steps closer to ending homelessness throughout our communities.”
Jacobson, a North Dallas native who grew up at Congregation Shearith Israel, is the son of Errol and Esme and brother of Marc and Loren. He graduated from Ann & Nate Levine and Yavneh academies, and is a former member of BBYO’s David Berger chapter.

Daniel Levitt and Daley Epstein sporting initial designs by GuudWEAR.


Ladin, the son of Linda Ladin and the late Ken Williams, is from Hurst. Since celebrating his bar mitzvah at the age of 29 at Temple Emanu-El, Ladin feels closer to the religious side of his Judaism, not just the cultural. He continues studies at The Intown Chabad and Dallas Area Torah Association and has served eight years on the board of the American Jewish Committee. He’s currently a full-time information technology consultant.
“My mother always made it a point for us to give to others, regardless of what we had,” Ladin said. “Our Thanksgiving table was open to anyone who needed a seat and I’ve never forgotten my responsibility to giving to others. Through GuudWEAR we want to provide funds, to share awareness and to hands-on volunteer where we’re needed. Through GuudWEAR we’ll keep doing good.”
Do guud. Look guud. Wear guud. To order, or for more information, visit guudwear.com

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American Airlines to fly nonstop from Dallas to Israel starting in 2020

American Airlines to fly nonstop from Dallas to Israel starting in 2020

Posted on 12 August 2019 by admin

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
American Airlines plane

(JNS) American Airlines announced Thursday, Aug. 8,  that it will offer nonstop flights from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Tel Aviv starting on Sept. 9, 2020.

It will be the first time the carrier has flown to Ben-Gurion International Airport since it dropped its Philadelphia to Tel Aviv route in 2015, losing $20 million annually.

“It’s a huge validation of the tremendous economic growth in North Texas and its immense potential,” said Vasu Raja, the airline’s vice president of planning. “When you look at the marketplace, Tel Aviv is really the largest underserved destination in the American Airlines network.”

“I am thrilled to see American Airlines open a direct flight to Israel from Texas,” said Consul General of Israel to the Southwest United States Gilad Katz in a statement. “This flight demonstrates the important bond Israel and Texas share, while continuing to strengthen business and tourism ties between us. This new route highlights the growing demand from Americans and Israelis who are interested in learning more about one another.”

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Weinberg Family Golf Classic tees off for second year

Weinberg Family Golf Classic tees off for second year

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Anshai’s youth scholarships will benefit

Photo: Ram Silverman
Congregation Anshai Torah’s 2018 Weinberg Family Golf Classic participants, James Roberts, Tom McMullen and Bill Johnson waiting as Alan Butz takes his turn on the Gleneagles Country Club course. Registration is open at WeinbergGolfClassic.com for this year’s Aug. 19 event.

It’s almost tee time as registration is open for Congregation Anshai Torah’s 2nd Annual Weinberg Family Golf Classic. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19, at Gleneagles Country Club, followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. with lunch and awards at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“The Weinberg Family Golf Classic is a fun day for serious golfers, amateurs and players at all levels,” Event Co-chair Lane Weitz said. “We’ll be out there to honor the Weinberg family, all they have done and continue to do for our Anshai family, and in doing so raising money to help out our kids.”
A portion of the proceeds benefit the synagogue’s Youth Scholarship Program, which helps its children attend Jewish summer camps, leadership development programs, Israel experiences, gap-year programs and the March of the Living tour. Last year, with nearly $20,000 raised, tournament money helped 33 students attend Jewish programs.
“This new initiative, spearheaded by a very dedicated committee, has re-energized this critically important program,” Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Stefan Weinberg said. “I thank everyone for lending support to this meaningful venture.”
Players can register as a team, or individually, and will play the 18 holes in groups of two at a time, with four players in each group. The event will be capped at 136 participants. In addition to the lunch, snacks and drinks will also be provided throughout the course.
The event’s Platinum Sponsor is Veritex Bank with additional support by APEX Financial/Lane Weitz, Aristos Global/Michael Osburn, Behringer Family, Comm-Fit/Jeff Levine, Dallas Jewish Funerals/Zane Belyea, Dallas Podiatry Works/Dr. Joel Brook, Kahn Mechanical Contractors, Ira & Lisa Kravitz, Orange Star Properties/Jay Post, Parkhaven Dental/Dr. Michael Pincus, Porsche of Plano, Manuel Rajunov, Rubin Family Foundation, Harold Rubinstein, Shapiro Law, Starwood Insurance/Mark Lowey and Stifel Financial/Jason Parker.
All participants will receive entry gifts, with cash and other prizes awarded including the first flight, second flight, longest drive and two hole-in-one opportunities on the course.
“Last year, Todd Shores and his team did a great job creating and elevating this event to significance and we are honored to carry on,” said Weitz. “It’s a great way to help the youth of our congregation and a great way to be out of the office.”
For more information, to register to participate or as a sponsor, visit WeinbergGolfClassic.com.
Submitted by Deb Silverthorn on behalf of Anshai Torah.

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ADL to hold Dallas Walk Against Hate

ADL to hold Dallas Walk Against Hate

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Texoma Regional office event will highlight diversity

Photo: Courtesy ADL Texoma
“From strollers to wheelchairs we want to come out in force and to involve our community in celebrating our diversity,” said ADL Texoma Regional Director Cheryl Drazin. Last year’s ADL Walk Against Hate in Philadelphia set the bar. On Sept. 15, ADL Texoma invites the Dallas community to walk the walk and talk the talk.

By Deb Silverthorn
The Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is readying for the community-at-large to take a step in the right direction at the city’s inaugural Dallas Walk Against Hate. The walk, open to the public, will begin its two-mile stretch on Sunday, Sept. 15, at Victory Plaza.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:30. Main Stage entertainment, a nonprofit diversity expo, and a corporate village will continue, with all events concluding at 11 a.m.
“From strollers to wheelchairs we want to come out in force and to involve our community in celebrating our diversity,” ADL Texoma Regional Director Cheryl Drazin said. “This isn’t a protest or a march, but rather a gathering together of people who are on the same page against hate.”
As ADL regional director, Drazin oversees the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Temple, Waco, Tyler, Marshall and all of Oklahoma.
The ADL Walk Against Hate events started in 2010, with thousands participating in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and San Diego. After attending the 2018 Walk in Las Vegas, Drazin and Kerri Aikin Rosenberg, the organization’s director of development, committed to bringing the North Texas and Oklahoma community together to promote diversity while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion.
“Las Vegas was amazing with close to 1,000 people who felt it important to come together to stand against hate,” said Rosenberg. “The ADL provides resources and support to both our Jewish community and the greater community. Hate has no place in our society.”
Co-chaired by Susie Carp and Wendy Stanley, the Walk Against Hate will, rain or shine, be a morning filled with spirit and activities. The main stage entertainment arena will include comments from community dignitaries and ADL leadership, musical and other celebrations from drum circles and dancers, cheerleaders and choirs.
At the diversity expo, selected nonprofit organizations will share their work through engaging activities while, at the corporate village, sponsors will be provided marketing opportunities.
Beginning in 1913, the ADL has fought hate and intolerance; protected free speech and religious freedom; spoken out against anti-Semitism, racism and bullying; and built respect for diversity.
ADL Texoma’s programs include its No Place for Hate® program, reaching 36 local schools last year; its Words to Action program providing resources to increase understanding of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias; and its Managing Implicit Bias training for Law Enforcement, enabling understanding of implicit bias concepts and their relevance to contemporary policing practices.
“The ADL’s mission is to fight hate,” said Stanley, who has served on the ADL Texoma board for nearly five years. “Together, we can be a force that will fight hate for good and that is exactly the opportunity we are bringing to our community on Sept. 15.”
ADL Texoma’s goal is to highlight the diversity in North Texas while celebrating the values of respect and inclusion. . Participants can register individually or as a team. Net proceeds of the event will support anti-hate and anti-bullying programs in schools, civil rights advocacy work, extremism training for law enforcement, incident response and the ADL Texoma leadership development program for young adults.
“We want to bridge our communities and bring together participants of all ages, ethnicities and religions from throughout the Metroplex — all those who care, who want to be part of the answer.”
High school students (grades nine to 12) are invited to participate in the Walk Against Hate essay contest, co-sponsored by ADL Texoma and The Dallas Morning News. Essays, in 500 words or less, should reply to the prompt “What I can do to take a step in the right direction to fight hate?” and must be submitted to texoma@adl.org (with the subject line “ADL Walk Against Hate Essay Contest”) by Sept. 1.
The contest’s winner will be announced at the event and will receive a prize of $1,000, and the essay may be published in The Dallas Morning News.
ADL Texoma is taking a step, just one at a time, in the right direction.
Early registration ($15) is open until Aug. 15 and general registration, $20, is available through Sept. 14. At the event, participation is $25. Children ages 3 to 18 are $10, and there is no fee for those age 2 and under.
Prospective participants, volunteers, entertainers and sponsors can find details and registration at walkagainsthatedallas.org. Visit dallas.adl.org/walk-against-hate-essay-contest for essay contest details and forms.

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ADL Texoma director discusses El Paso shooting

ADL Texoma director discusses El Paso shooting

Posted on 07 August 2019 by admin

Social media companies need to do more, she says

Cheryl Drazin

By Sharon Wisch-Ray
The Texoma Regional office of the Anti-Defamation League mobilized quickly after a shooter from Allen, Texas, traveled 600 miles to El Paso and killed 22 people at a Walmart Saturday, Aug. 3, injuring dozens of others. About 13 hours after that shooting, a gunman opened fire in a downtown Dayton, Ohio, entertainment district, killing nine people.
In these situations, Cheryl Drazin, regional director of the ADL’s Texoma office, explained, “We immediately activate our network, outreach to law enforcement and our center on extremism starts to pull whatever information they can find on alleged suspects supporting intelligence work and community support work.”
Drazin pointed out that the two shootings have different etiologies, which influences how ADL responds.
“It’s a very different story for El Paso than in Dayton. El Paso has some very real connections to hate and extremism, and that’s our [ADL’s] area and so we’ve been intimately involved in both the intelligence work and community support work.”
Community support work involves deploying education resources, reaching out to Coalition partners in the Latino community and continuing to activate its advocacy network at the state and federal levels.
The El Paso shooting is the third-deadliest domestic terror attack in United States history following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando in 2016.
Drazin explained that ADL analysts continue to examine the El Paso shooter’s manifesto, which was posted to 8Chan shortly before he opened fire.
At this point, the shooter does not appear to be an active member of a specific white supremacy group, although the end of his manifesto closed with a familiar message.
“This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe I am honored to head the fight to reclaim my country from destruction.”
Drazin believes that it’s no accident that the shooter drove from his Allen home to El Paso, one of the most visible symbols for today’s immigration system.
“It’s a major border city; it has a tremendous immigrant population and a majority Hispanic population. The fact that he drove from Allen to El Paso was for an optic and you have to read something into that.”
Drazin said that the anti-immigrant climate of hate has influenced upticks in violent acts.
“No one person beside the shooter is responsible for a specific act of violence, but constant anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from any kind of leadership is dangerous. I can’t point my finger at any one person.”
While the administration seemed to say all the right things Monday, actions speak louder than words, Drazin suggested. She also said that it’s not just leaders in Washington or Austin that need to take a stand.
Drazin believes that the response to end these types of heinous and tragic crimes will need to take a multifaceted approach and one that has a distinct focus on domestic terrorism.
These include:
Governmental agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI
The White House and Congress working together
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, and
The private sector
With regard to the private sector, Drazin is specifically referring to mainstream social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“We have to have a full-court press from Silicon Valley. Tech companies have a particular responsibility to take action. White supremacy is a global terror threat and it’s been spread and sustained by social media. Public platforms have got to enforce their rules and if they don’t have the right rules they have to create them.”
Drazin emphasized that because social media companies have terms of service for people to participate in them, they don’t have the same First Amendment issues as other outlets. In other words, they can remove people from their sites that do not conform to their rules.
“Tech companies have a responsibility to take action,” she said. “They are moving in the right direction but they need to move faster. They need to take responsibility to regulate themselves on things like this. They have this tool that goes past the First Amendment challenges because they have their own, called a terms of service agreement.
“It’s not a policy problem; it’s a product problem. They can remove people from their sites if they want to.”
In addition to creating algorithms for identifying hate-filled posts, Drazin suggests that the social media companies could subject themselves to independent, interdisciplinary external audits for hate.
“As an industry, they could make some bold moves that would make it clear that they don’t want their product being used this way.”
If they can’t figure out how to stop the proliferation of hate speech and harassment as a private industry, Drazin said that “Washington will have to step up and fill the gaps and strengthen the laws against perpetrators of online hate.”
Drazin explained that today’s laws were not crafted with modern technology in mind.
“Congress and state legislatures need to pass laws that hold perpetrators of severe online hate and harassment more accountable for their conduct,” she said.
It will take a united effort to end hate-inspired violence.
“Faith communities, educational institutions and all of us, need to step forward and lock arms in this moment because hate needs to have no place anywhere. It needs to be not welcome anywhere,” Drazin said.
The Texoma Region of ADL will host a Walk Against Hate in Dallas on Sept. 15 (see story on Page 4 of this week’s issue).

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The El Paso shooting is being investigated as domestic terrorism. Does it matter?

The El Paso shooting is being investigated as domestic terrorism. Does it matter?

Posted on 05 August 2019 by admin

Armed Policemen gather next to an FBI armoured vehicle next to the Cielo Vista Mall as an active shooter situation is going inside the Mall in El Paso on August 03, 2019. – Police said there may be more than one suspect involved in an active shooter situation Saturday in El Paso, Texas. City police said on Twitter they had received “multi reports of multipe shooters.” There was no immediate word on casualties. (Photo by Joel Angel JUAREZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

By Ben Sales

(JTA) — Before he killed at least 22 people at a Walmart on the southern border, the gunman in El Paso posted a white supremacist manifesto on the fringe social network 8chan denouncing a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The U.S. Justice Department announced that it would treat the shooting as a “domestic terrorist case.”

“It appears to be designed to intimidate a civilian population,” U.S. Attorney John Bash said at a news conference Sunday, referring to the shooter’s motives. “And we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice.”

Most mass shootings do not in themselves meet the criteria of a domestic terrorist act, and there is no law specifically addressing domestic terrorism, as there is for international terrorism. Such a bill has been introduced in Congress.

The Trump administration has been criticized for diverting resources from investigating far-right extremism. On Monday, Trump said during a White House address that the FBI should receive “whatever they need” to investigate hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Here’s what domestic terrorism is, what it means for the shooter and why some people are calling for new legislation to protect against it.

What is domestic terrorism? 

The FBI defines domestic terrorism as acts committed by people who are linked to or inspired by “U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature.” International terrorism, by contrast, is “associated with designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations.”

The key here is not where the terrorist is from, but where their movement is from. So, for example, even though one of the 2015 San Bernardino shooters was a U.S. citizen, the FBI still classified it as an international terror attack because they were inspired by foreign terror groups, specifically Islamist extremists.

The Anti-Defamation League takes a different view and considers the nationality of the assailant in defining the attack, said Oren Segal, the director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

Why does it matter?

Extremism and security experts said calling the shooter a terrorist has symbolic value. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. government has engaged in an extensive and coordinated fight against Islamist terrorism. Calling the El Paso shooter a terrorist, experts say, attaches the same significance and urgency to white supremacist attacks at home.

“Calling it domestic terrorism, while it doesn’t change the reality of the lives lost or the individuals injured, symbolically it is an important one,” said Michael Masters, the director of the Secure Communities Network, which coordinates security for Jewish institutions. “Being able to identify individuals as domestic terrorists and investigate them through that lens is important in recognizing a problem and seeking to address it.”

Segal added that there are concrete effects of the domestic terrorism designation. It allows a suspect to be charged, for example, for committing federal hate crimes if the state doesn’t have a hate crimes law.

“It’s an additional level of scrutiny from law enforcement,” he said. “The federal government is able to come in if there’s a hate crime and add the enhancement of a hate crime [charge] if that state doesn’t have it.”

How does the government fight domestic terrorism?

It doesn’t, at least as a category unto itself.

While there is a government definition of domestic terrorism, there’s no law that specifically addresses it. So while shooters like the one in El Paso can be charged for murder, weapons possession or hate crimes, they cannot be charged for domestic terrorism.

James Fields, who killed a counterprotester at the 2017 Charlottesville rally, also was investigated as a domestic terrorist. He pleaded guilty to hate crimes, not domestic terrorism, and is serving a life sentence.

There is a law against international terrorism, which is linked to a list of designated foreign terrorist groups. The law carries penalties and affords tools to authorities like the opportunity to surveil suspects. There is no such list of designated groups for domestic terrorism.

Segal said that those who are linked to a foreign terror group can be investigated even before they commit an attack. Because there is no such domestic list, law enforcement has a harder time investigating people who post white supremacist rhetoric online.

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security closed the unit focused on domestic terrorism analysis within its Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Critics said it showed a reticence to take such movements seriously, while the administration and its defenders said existing government agencies had the means and will to track domestic terrorism, particularly white supremacists.

Why are some people saying the government should do more?

Advocates of domestic terrorism legislation acknowledge that other laws (like federal hate crimes law) allow authorities to pursue homegrown extremists. But they say a specific federal domestic terrorism law will give the government more resources to fight domestic terror and allow for more accurate recordkeeping.

A bill introduced in March by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., would “require the Federal Government to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism.”

A law also would signal that domestic terror is as much of a threat as international terror, advocates say. A 2017 report by the Government Accountability Office found that 73 percent of extremist murders since 9/11 came from far-right groups, with the remaining 27 percent from radical Islamic extremism.

“With enactment of a federal domestic terrorism offense would come a bigger budget and more resources for preventing attacks like the assault on the Tree of Life Synagogue,” Mary McCord, a former senior Justice Department official and now a law professor at Georgetown University, wrote in the online publication Lawfare following the Pittsburgh massacre last year. “The crimes Robert Bowers is alleged to have committed are crimes of terrorism, and they should be prosecuted that way.”

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