Archive for the tag ‘israel’

Reymond Amsalem and Ali Suliman in "The Attack" (2012). Source: IMDb

Reymond Amsalem and Ali Suliman in “The Attack” (2012). Source: IMDb

The Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush invites all to its free showing of the highly-acclaimed film “The Attack,” this Saturday evening, January 18, at 7:00 p.m. inside the synagogue’s daily chapel, 1981 Homecrest Avenue at Avenue T.

Here is a description of the film, and the trailer can be seen here.

Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman, Paradise Now) is an Israeli Palestinian surgeon, fully assimilated into Tel Aviv society. He has a loving wife, an exemplary career, and many Jewish friends. But his picture perfect life is turned upside down after a suicide bombing in a restaurant leaves nineteen dead, and the Israeli police inform him that his wife, Sihem (Reymonde Amsellem, Lebanon) who also died in the explosion, was responsible. Convinced of her innocence, Amin abandons the relative security of his adopted homeland and enters the Palestinian territories in pursuit of the truth. Once there, he finds himself in ever more dangerous places and situations. Determined, he presses on seeking answers to questions he never thought he would be asking.

Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush’s film series is free, and all are welcome to attend. For further information, call (718) 375-0120.

Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt. Source: IMDb

Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt. Source: IMDb

The Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush invites all to its fall film series, with a showing of the controversial biopic “Hannah Arendt,” about the journalist for “The New Yorker” who penned “Eichmann in Jerusalem.”

The film will be screened this Saturday, December 14, at 7:00 p.m. inside the synagogue’s daily chapel, 1981 Homecrest Avenue at Avenue T.

The film’s trailer can be seen here.

The series is free, and all are welcome to attend. For further information, call (718) 375-0120.


Ben White (Source:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) has asked the interim chancellor of CUNY to take “strong and immediate action” following Brooklyn College’s official “support” of its second anti-Israel lecture this year.

In a letter to William P. Kelly, who was appointed interim chancellor in July, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz expressed his outrage over Brooklyn College’s decision “to once again support a lecture that freely gives a podium to a divisive point of view without making any attempt to provide a balanced dialogue.”

The Nov. 14th event features British journalist Ben White, author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide.” White has likened Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust, and in 2008 he came to the defense of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when the leader said “Israel must be wiped off the map.” White was invited to speak by Students for Justice in Palestine, the same group that hosted anti-Israel academic Omar Barghouti in February.

“Publicly funded institutions do not have the right to spew hatred without permitting an equal response. Universities that accept government funding do not have the right to make a large segment of their own community feel uncomfortable or unwelcome on a campus where they are supposed to feel secure,” he said.

The lawmaker said that Brooklyn College’s sponsorship of the lecture is the antithesis of a college’s mission to encourage intellectual growth and free range of thought. “It is disgraceful and arrogant, and as a member of the Legislature I am appalled that I have been forced to take Brooklyn College to task for a breach of conduct not once, but twice, this year.”

He said that until recently, the idea that Brooklyn College would promote anti-Semitism was “beyond preposterous,” especially to its many Jewish students and faculty and the area’s many Holocaust survivors. “The president of Brooklyn College, Karen Gould, apparently doesn’t mind creating controversy and perhaps she even enjoys it. To those of us who help keep CUNY in business, however, this is unacceptable,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.

Bronislaw Huberman, founder of the Israel Philharmonic. Source:

Bronislaw Huberman, founder of the Israel Philharmonic. Source:

The Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush invites all to its fall film series, kicking off with a screening of the documentary “Orchestra of Exiles,” Monday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. inside the synagogue’s daily chapel, 1981 Homecrest Avenue at Avenue T.

The film tells the story of the founding of the Palestine Philharmonic — which grew into the world famous Israel Philharmonic — in the 1930s by Bronislaw Huberman, a Polish musician who worked to saved fellow musicians from the impending Holocaust. The film combines Holocaust history with an appreciation of great music.

The series is free, and all are welcome to attend. For further information, call (718) 375-0120.



South Korea, longtime friends of Israel since the birth of the Jewish state in 1948, will demonstrate its solidarity with the Holy Land this week through music and dance.

The Kings Bay YM-YWHA will host the Shalom Yerushalayim Cultural Festival 2013 this Wednesday, August 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and again from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Y’s main facility, 3495 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue V.

The unique event will feature presentations by Korean singers (performing selections from the operas “Isaac and Rebekah” and “Esther”) as well as modern and Korean fan dancers and award-winning tae kwon do artists. A fashion show of traditional Korean costumes will also be featured.

The free performances, sponsored by the organization Korean Christians for Shalom Israel, are intended to build further unity between the Jewish and Korean communities as well as expressing solidarity with Israel. Admission is free and the community is invited to attend.

The Shalom Yerushalayim Festival is a three-day event that will entertain audiences at the Kings Bay Y and two other locations around the city, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park.

Photo By Ned Berke

Photo By Ned Berke

Mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner was attacked by Democratic lawmakers over a campaign contribution made from a lawyer who has lobbied for Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network. The New York Post is reporting that Councilman Lew Fidler and Assemblyman Alan Maisel have urged Weiner to return the contribution, indicating that the money is tainted by enemies of America and Israel.

The donation, which totaled $4,950, was made by John Merrigan, a lawyer and lobbyist for Al Jazeera. The local pols argue that Al Jazeera is anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, and to accept the contribution would be a slap in the face to Jewish voters.

“Al Jazeera and its lobbyists are no friends to New York City or our Jewish community, and Anthony shouldn’t accept their support,” Fidler told the Post. “They have spread hate and lies against Jews, not only here in New York but across the world. The right thing to do is to give this money back. Anthony should do exactly that.”

Maisel echoed Fidler’s remarks.

“Anthony Weiner should know better than to accept contributions from friends [at] Al Jazeera, which has been a voice for terrorists and spewed hatred against Jews and the state of Israel,” Maisel said. “They have echoed and attempted to legitimize hate speech about wiping Israel off the map. It’s disgraceful.

Fidler and Maisel are both deeply entrenched in the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, a Southern Brooklyn stronghold that is backing former Comptroller Bill Thompson in the mayoral race. Frank Seddio, who heads the club, is also the county chairman for the Kings County Democratic Party, which has also endorsed Thompson. Thompson, along with many of Weiner’s rivals in the mayoral race, is doggedly pursuing Jewish voters in Brooklyn, from whom Weiner is expected to have an advantage as the only Jewish candidate in the race and a hawkish, pro-Israel track record during his time in Congress.

While Weiner did not respond to the Post article directly, according to a report by the Jewish Press, he did comment on the donation during an interview on Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s radio show. Weiner, who is the only Jewish candidate in the race, accused the Thompson campaign of smearing him and laughed off the notion that he is anti-Israel.

“It is funny, last week I was hit for being too hawkish on Israel and this week I being hit for being too close to Al-Jazeera,” Weiner said.

The Jewish Press went on to describe the extent of Weiner’s relationship with Merrigan as well as Weiner’s belief that by accepting the donation, he is not supporting Al Jazeera:

Mr. Weiner went on to defend himself for accepting the contribution saying Merrigan is a partner in DLA Piper – a state law firm that advocates for the Democratic Party’s causes.

“I’ve never met the man. I guess what Mr. Thompson’s supporters are saying this because he represented Al-Jazeera America… that somehow I’m supporting Al-Jazeera.” Mr. Weiner said, adding, “I’m not a supporter of Al-Jazeera. I’m not taking money from Al-Jazeera. This makes me smile but this is what happens, I guess, you start doing well.. old politics kick in.. People want to sell you up a bit to slow your momentum.”

Jewish and Turkish-Muslim teenagers come together to share experiences through the Peace Builders program. (Source:

In New York, people of all races, religions and opinions are crammed together in a vibrant democracy that has forged a unique situation never seen before in world history. Still, even in a place as diverse as New York, we can still find ourselves divided by color, ethnicity or religious beliefs, a painful reinforcement of centuries old barriers of intolerance. That’s what makes the Young Peace Builders (YPB) of Southern Brooklyn so special. The Young Peace Builders is an organization that consists of teenage Muslims and Jews working together to improve their community.

The Young Peace Builders program was launched three years ago as a cooperative effort by the Kings Bay Y (3495 Nostrand Avenue), a Jewish Community Center, and the Amity School (3867 Shore Parkway), a K-12 school that predominantly serves a Turkish-Muslim student body. The program, recently covered by the Jewish Week, so far for girls only, primarily serves as a symbol for an increased linking between Muslim and Jewish groups in the area as well as a training ground for future leaders in the area of interfaith cooperation.

“This can serve as a template for Jewish-Muslim relationships,” said Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y. Rabbi Robert Kaplan, who coordinates the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York City’s outreach to various religious and ethnic groups, calls the Y and Amity School “mainstream organizations … within their [respective] communities,” with the ability to influence their own communities. “There is no reason there should not be more and more” Jewish-Muslim programs like those in southern Brooklyn.

The Jewish Week also described how a large amount of credit for the group’s existence belongs to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

The two religious groups, who were neighbors but virtual strangers to each other, were brought together by State Assembly member Steven Cymbrowitz, whose district includes Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and part of Brighton Beach; his constituents are Jews and Turkish Muslims. After participating in a legislators’ mission to Turkey a few years ago, he brought leaders of his neighborhood’s Jewish and Turkish communities together.

“It’s through education that we can get to understand each other,” Cymbrowitz told The Jewish Week.

Through the YPB, Jewish and Muslim teens have gone on trips to Israel, Turkey, Boston and Washington DC. On these trips, the teenagers have shared hotel rooms, prepared each other’s meals and celebrated religious holidays together. Teenager Hayrunnisa Kalac expressed the hope that the founders of the program hoped to instill in all its participants.

“We’re planting the seeds of something that can be very big” — an example of tolerance, Kalac told the Jewish Week.

Inspiring stuff and a great read. Check out the full article by clicking here and read more about the Young Peace Builders and their mission by clicking here.

Correction (1:47 p.m.): The original version of this article erroneously referred to the name of the organization as Young Peace Keepers instead of their actual name, Young Peace Builders. We regret the mistake, and any confusion it may have caused.

Source: dno1967b/Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: They didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Israel or any other Middle East nation, but I’m pretty sure citizens of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, anticipating the next wave of attacks, were thankful a truce was initiated last Wednesday to end the latest episode of bloodshed and bombs between Hamas and Israel.

I’m sure those people were also on the minds of many Americans as they sat down and sated themselves on our annual day of feasting.

No one can predict how long the cease-fire will last this time because Israel has been involved in one showdown or another, whether it’s labeled a war, battle, conflict or skirmish, since it became a nation. Despite lulls sprinkled in every few years, cynics know it won’t be too long before another flare-up is at hand in the world’s most unstable region.

Though it has been plagued by Arab bullies for 64 years, Israeli has defied, deterred and defeated its enemies time after time.

Continue Reading »

Courtesy of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA

by Alexandra Ushakova

Local Jewish teens gave victims of a major Israeli fire some small-but-sweet relief, collecting $450 through a bake sale fundraiser on Sunday.

Shocked by news reports earlier this month of a fast-spreading wildfire that claimed dozens of lives and displaced many more around Carmel, Israel, 17-year-old Elizabeth Zavoyskiy organized “Desserts Galore” to help provide aid to those affected. With help from the Kings Bay YM-YWHA’s (3495 Nostrand Avenue) Teen Department, the Midwood High School senior cobbled together 19 teenagers between the ages of 15 to 17 in the lobby of Kings Bay Y.

“The bake allowed me to give back to a cause I really care about,” said Zavoyskiy. “It let me help others while taking the lead in my community.”

The teens baked most of the pastries themselves after collaborating with local businesses such as Pomegranate Kosher Supermarket and Glatt Mart, who sponsored the ingredients for this project. Additionally, they raised awareness of the fire by putting up educational stands which informed the visitors of the devastating event and what the proceeds would do to help.

The buyers of these scrumptious sweets consisted mainly of parents who bring their children to Sunday programs at the Y.

“At the Kings Bay Y, we know that helping those in need is our responsibility,” said Shawn Master, 15. “The event was a great success and the personal experience of knowing that you are helping someone is even a greater success.”