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Thursday, March 30, 2006


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 24 "Vayikra" 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Election Reflection" from Ezra Amichai
2. "Five Star Absorption Center" by Yehudit Rahav
3. "Arrivals: From Madison, Wisconsin, to Jerusalem" by Yocheved Miriam Russo
4. "After Halimi Murder, Aliyah Group In France Finds Itself Getting Busier" By Brett Kline

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Two Photo Essays of Two Special Events In Israel

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Malkah is psyched for her first vote in Israel!

KALPI - this means voting booth

An Israeli line: a blob-like configuration

Alex Traiman's first vote as well

Just a few more steps to effecting Jewish destiny!

These slips represent the different party's one can vote for

There goes Malkah's vote

Choosing the party that best represents you

That's it - another great moment in Israel
Full post and comments...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Speaks for itself....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

American-Israelis hold two of Ethiopian party's top five slots

By Daphna Berman from Haaretz

"It's not surprising that American Jews are involved in Atid Echad. American Jews have a long history of helping Ethiopian Jews," says Avraham Neguise, leader of the Ethiopian political party, Atid Echad (One Future). That explains the high proportion of English-speaking activists in his party, which has given the No. 3 slot on its Knesset slate to an American-Israeli who currently lives in Boston.

"In the 1980s, many of the advocacy groups for Ethiopian Jewry were based in the United States and they were successful in changing Israeli policy," Neguise said. "That same tradition continues now."

Headed by Neguise, Atid Echad is aiming to bring the marginalized Ethiopian community into the very center of Israeli society. "The situation with our youth is deteriorating, 70 percent of our community lives under the poverty line and 55 percent are unemployed. I'm very concerned about what will happen and it's time that the community took its future and its fate into its own hands," he said.

Of the party's six top positions, half are held by Ethiopian-Israelis and the other half by non-Ethiopian activists. Argentinean-born Rabbi Yechezkel Stelzer is No. 2 on the list, followed by U.S.-born Yosef Israel Abramowitz, former head of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) and president of Jewish Family & Life, a Boston-based non-profit organization. The party's No. 5 is U.S.-born Michael Freund, founder and chair of Shavei Israel, an organization that seeks to return "lost Jews," while their nos. 8 and 9, Linda Eliasoff and Michael Humphries, were also born in the U.S. Atid Echad's seventh slot, meanwhile, is occupied by Yishai Fleisher, who was born in Israel, but raised and educated in the U.S.

"The Ethiopian community needs more than just sympathy - it needs representation in the places where decisions are made," said New York-born volunteer Ricki Lieberman.

According to the polls, Atid Echad is not expected to pass the voting threshold, but party activists insist that results on Election Day will prove otherwise. By their estimate, the community numbers some 110,000 people, of whom about 75,000 are eligible to vote. This, coupled with some support from the wider Israeli population, will push the party into the Knesset, they say.

"My dream," Neguise said, "is that our children will fill the country's universities and colleges, and not just the jails."

The list's No. 3, Abramowitz, who is listed in the Forward's list of top 50 Jewish leaders, has been actively involved with Ethiopian Jewry since 1981. He first met Neguise while heading WUJS more than 15 years ago and in 1998, the two traveled together to visit Jewish communities in Ethiopia.

"To me, Avraham [Neguise] has always been a hero of the Jewish people," Abramowitz said in a telephone interview from Boston. "This is going to be the first election in Jewish history where the Ethiopian Jewish community is going to flex its political muscles."

Abramowitz, 41, was born in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 1969. The family returned to America after a few years, but Abramowitz again moved to Israel while heading WUJS from 1987-1990.

Atid Echad is an attractive option for the disenchanted voter, he said. "A lot of Israelis either won't vote or will be holding their noses in disgust when they go to the polls. Atid Echad is a realization of some of the most compelling dreams that we as a people have."

Although Abramowitz was planning to be in Israel in the weeks before the election, a long-awaited adoption came through just two weeks ago.

Abramowitz says he has already made plans to move to Israel with his wife and five children, two of whom were adopted in Ethiopia. "I'm very optimistic that history will be made on March 28," he said.
Full post and comments...

Friday, March 24, 2006


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 23 "Vayakhel-Pekudei" 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Why Do More Women Make Aliyah?" By Pinchas Orbach
2. "Vayakhel-Pekudei" by Rabbi Benyamin Walfish
3. "Thinkers Discuss Preservation of the Diaspora" by Ezra Halevi
4. "Nefesh B'Nefesh Considers Expanding Into UK" by Yigal Grayeff

Full post and comments...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why Do More Women Make Aliyah?

Being heavily involved on the Aliyah scene I get asked this a lot. "So why do more single women make Aliyah than single men?" To be honest I usually answer: "Oh come on, that's not true - plenty of guys come. I'm sure it's really about 50-50." Finally I decided to follow through on a completely unscientific experiment. So I went online. After all, the answers to all of life's questions can be found at - where else? Particularly in the section where Aliyah announcements are posted. And so I went through all 341 posts and tallied all the singles that were listed there. I have to say I was pretty shocked at the results. Women outnumbered men by well over 2 - 1. (Actually 140 - 59.)

Now of course this could just mean women like posting on more than the guys do. But still, to outnumber the men by that much? It really does seem to indicate that it's not just a myth as I thought it was - more gals really are making Aliyah. Which brings us back to the topic of this post: Why?

I have heard lots of answers offered. But I just read something interesting on this week's parsha that I would like to share. It is from Rav Frand. He discuses how the base of the Kiyyor was made with copper mirrors donated by the Jewish women.

Rash"i explains why these mirrors were so precious to G-d. When the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, the men gave up hope. They did not want to live with their wives. They did not want to have children. The thought of fathering children who would be born into and live and die in slavery was overwhelmingly depressing. As the Medrash in Shir HaShirim describes, the women went out into the fields and beautified themselves in front of their mirrors and convinced and persuaded their husbands to live with them and to have children. Those mirrors represented Klal Yisroel. Had it not been for those mirrors and that makeup and the beautification efforts of those women, there would not have been a Jewish nation. Consequently, G-d insisted that those precious mirrors did in fact belong in the Mishkan.

We see that those women exhibited the attribute of faith in redemption. When all seemed bleak and full of despair, when no future seemed to exist, when there appeared to be no purpose in having children, the women retained a hope in the future. The women kept the dream of rebirth alive. When the men were feeling down and were ready to give up, it was the women who insisted "We must go on."

Making Aliyah can be tough and it is so easy to just throw in the towel and say "why bother?" But it is the women that are full of hope. They are the ones with faith in redemption. They are the ones keeping the dream alive for all of us. Despite difficulties in Israel today it is the women who insist "We must go on."

Guys out there - follow their shining example and come on Home already!

(Cross posted on Point of Pinchas.)
Full post and comments...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ashkelon Power Plant Employees Told Not to Gather in Groups

From Israel National News

- Concern over a possible Kassam rocket attack on the Rotenberg Power Station in southern Ashkelon has led to new guidelines at the plant: Not to walk in groups or to eat together in the dining rooms.

A Rotenberg spokesman has confirmed that the new guidelines have indeed been issued. The reason for the new policy is the management's fear that a Kassam rocket might hit the plant. [and thereby injure a large group of people, instead of individuals - ed.]

The station supplies a quarter of Israel's electricity. It is widely felt that a direct rocket hit on the plant, and especially one with casualties, would lead to public demands for a military entry and operation in Gaza.

Approximately three Kassams have hit the area in or very close to the Rotenberg plant in recent weeks. One building was damaged.

The Ministry of Education recently issued a directive forbidding school trips to the power station and other sensitive installations north of Gaza - for reasons of Kassam-related threats.


In the same vein, due to danger, Jews should not congregate in any single place, especially a single country. We would be best off if the Jewish people would be totally spread out, spread far and wide in every corner of the world. To keep ourselves alive, we should disassociate from each other altogether!


Union, congregation, togetherness - this is our strength. G-d has brought us back to our Land, and has given us ability to fight our enemies. Our only real weakness is our division - the fact that half the Jews of the world CHOOSE to disregard Israel.

It is time to reverse this dark tide. The Rotenberg Power Station should lobby the authorities to fight back against rocket attacks and destroy those who seek to destroy us. But asking Jews to distance themselves from other Jews - that is a sin.

Our retort to the enemy should be clear. As the Baal Shem-Tov said: "Fear Only G-d, and Love Every Jew."

For American Jews Aliyah is the true mark of solidarity with the Jewish people. Aliyah is togetherness. Aliyah will inspire Israel.

Aliyah is the anti-fear!
Full post and comments...

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Kummunique - Kumah's Shabbat and Holiday Bulletin
Issue 22 "PURIM" 5766

Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Looking Good This Purim" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Purim, An Aliya Story" Stewart Weiss
3. "Getting Drunk on Purim" By Moe Fine

Check it out at the KUMMUNIQUE HOME
Full post and comments...

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Shalom! We are proud to present another issue of Kummunique.
This issue is filled with Aliyah and Eretz Yisrael inspiration - so enjoy!

In this issue you will find:

1. "Happy Birthday Moshe" by Malkah Fleisher
2. "Terumah" by Rabbi Pinchas Winston
3. "World Enters Joyous Month of Adar" by Ezra Halevi
4. "Arrivals: From New Hampsire to Kiryat Shmona" by Meredith Price

Full post and comments...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yachad Kulam Breakdancing