Recent Articles

Jerusalem – Leader Of Extreme Right-wing Organization Arrested For Threatening Arabs

Jerusalem — Attorneys for the far-right organization Lehava accused police and state prosecutors for pandering to “Reform and left-wing” activists by arresting 15 group members, including leader Bentzi Gopstein, overnight between Shabbat and Sunday. “It is clear that dragging Gopstein into court was done for show, in order to have something to show the High […]

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Memorial to Iraqi Tyrant Saddam Hussein Unveiled in West Bank City

The district governor of the Palestinian city in Qalqilya in the West Bank has unveiled a memorial to the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, a Middle East research institute reported on Friday.

MEMRI – the Middle East Media Research Institute – published a series of photos of the memorial, which depicts on one side a saluting Saddam in military uniform alongside the Iraqi and Palestinian flags. On the other side of the memorial, a besuited Saddam is shown brandishing a gun. The memorial bears the slogan “Saddam Hussein – The Master of the Martyrs in Our Age,” as well as “Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea,” which was one of the slogans regularly used by the dictator.

Local dignitaries at the memorials’ unveiling on the newly-named Saddam Hussein street included the secretary-general of the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), a small Palestinian faction historically linked with the former ruling Ba’ath party in Iraq.

Qalqilya’s district governor, Rafi’ Rawajba, eulogized Saddam Hussein as “an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr (the late PLO leader) Yasser Arafat.”

Both leaders, Rawabja said, had been “a compass for the Arabs and their resolute decisions, and when they departed, Arabism departed with them. President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] makes sure to follow in the footsteps of these two great leaders.”

Hani Ja’idi, a member of Qalqilya’s city council, said the memorial to Saddam “commemorates the martyrs and great leaders.” Meanwhile, ALF Secretary-General Rakad Salam, who said that he was speaking “on behalf of the Ba’ath Party,” offered fulsome praise for “the glorious deeds of the martyr Saddam Hussein and his support for the liberation movements, in particular the Palestinian revolution and the PLO.”

(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner      .       Ben  Cohen



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Jerusalem – New App Rides Your Jewish Guilt, Helps Users Remember To Call Bubbe, Not Really!

Jerusalem — Do you, too, always forget to call your bubbe? Do you find yourself ridden with intense guilt when your bubbe calls you instead, stating in the flat tone reserved for the passive-aggressiveness only good, Jewish grandmothers can muster that she was awaiting news from you to no avail? A new app promises to […]

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Putin To US Media: Stop Disrespecting The President

Even Russian leader Vladmir Putin can see the media’s treatment of President Trump has passed normal levels of critique.

“Mr. Trump was elected by the American people. And at least for this reason it is necessary to show respect for him, even if you do not agree with some of his positions,” Putin said, before adding this dig: “Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system.”


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PHOTOS: Inaugural Agudah Yeshiva Expo Provides Invaluable Info To Large Crowd


“Beyond our wildest dreams and expectations.”
— Rabbi Nissan Gewirtzman, President, Yeshiva Consulting Services

“An event like this… we are amazed and impressed at what Agudah has done and continues to do.”
— Rabbi Shmuel Kutten, Assistant to the Executive Director, Torah Vodaath

“Professional, and more importantly, useful!”
— Yeshiva Principal

“The respect and courtesy showed to Agudah employees by the New York State Education Department was unbelievable. We were reminded, yet again, how crucial Agudas Yisroel is to all of Klal Yisroel, and especially our Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs.”
— Rabbi Mordechai Levin, Menahel, Bais Yaakov Academy — BYA

“I certainly hope this will be the first of many such events.”
— New York State Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia, in Keynote Address

By all accounts, it was groundbreaking. On Wednesday, October 18th, nearly 300 yeshiva executive directors, administrators and principals, representing hundreds of thousands of talmidim and talmidos across New York State, converged at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin, NY for Agudath Israel of America’s first ever Yeshiva Expo.

Graced by moving greetings by Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Horav Yaakov Bender, and a powerful keynote address by New York State Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia, the day-long event featured guidance from leading government officials, attorneys, and other professionals on key and complex compliance issues, developments, and new yeshiva funding opportunities. With 10 sessions offered by more than 20 experts, on two parallel tracks, addressing important issues that affect the day-to-day operations of yeshivos, the Expo was a unique event for yeshiva staff.

“Running a yeshiva has changed over the years,” noted Shlomo Werdiger, Chairman of Agudath Israel of America’s Board of Trustees. “Once relatively modest-sized outfits, yeshivos have become complex and often large operations that face a long list of requirements from a wide range of agencies. The Expo is yet one more way that the Agudah advocates for the Jewish community, by helping schools maximize available opportunities while ensuring compliance, so that every yeshiva student can receive the highest quality education in the best and safest environment.”

Avrohom Weinstock, Esq., Agudah’s Associate Director of Education, said that the concept of creating a day-long Expo for yeshivos has been brewing at Agudah headquarters for over a year. “We disseminate approximately 100 detailed emails annually to nonpublic schools to provide timely updates, which translates into more than one email every other school day.” said Mr. Weinstock. “But we understand that principals and executive directors are incredibly busy. Not everything can be compressed into an email. There needs to be a forum for direct guidance, for questions to be asked, for an opportunity to see what vendors can offer yeshivos, and, critically, for cross-pollination and networking amongst administrators. In short, there needs to be a Yeshiva Expo.”

Said Mr. Weinstock, “It is a testament to the teamwork and mesiras nefesh of the individuals at Agudath Israel, including Rabbi Shia Markowitz, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Mrs. Rochel Miller, Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Rabbi Eliyohu Bamberger, Mrs. Leah Steinberg, Ms. Leah Zagelbaum, Mrs. Estie Zazulia, Ms. Raizy Pheterson, and others, that a novel event of this magnitude to benefit yeshivos was so successfully executed.”

A cross-section of critical issues was covered. The new Fire Safety Certificate of Fitness, which Agudath Israel collaborated with FDNY to create specifically for yeshivos, was announced publicly for the first time. The complexities of Article 43 and running a preschool were clarified by the Director of Field Operations and Regulatory Enforcement, Bureau for Child Care at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, James Morriss. The critical role of keeping our children safe, from both physical and psychological harm, was tackled effectively, yet sensitively, by luminaries Dr. David David Pelcovitz and Rabbi Zev Dunner. Zoning, by the Board of Standards and Appeals; charitable contributions by Citi SVP/Senior Compliance Attorney, Judah Kupfer; new designations for school buildings, by top SED official, Lori Genito; navigating special education funding, by leading special education attorney, Alexandra Hindes and Agudah’s Mrs. Leah Steinberg, Director of Special Education — the list goes on. Assistant Commissioner for New York State’s Office of Religious and Independent Schools, Christina Coughlin, presented an overview of new funding opportunities available and described how her partnership with Agudath Israel has helped her better understand the needs of, and optimize programs for, yeshivos. An eye-opening session on parsonage, by Proskauer Partner Amanda Nussbaum, was so well attended that extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the unexpected overflow.

“There was a lot of information presented, some for the first time. Hearing information from experts in the field, sometimes directly from the officials who administer the law on a topic, and being able to then ask questions, was invaluable,” noted Mr. Weinstock.

In addition to the educational component, more than two dozen vendors attended the Expo, making a wealth of relevant information instantly available.

“We had one vendor who does background checks,” said Mrs. Rochel Miller, Director of Strategic Development. “There were vendors in the business of insurance, school supplies, and furniture. Amudim was there to talk about dealing with at-risk children. Essentially, people could just look around the room and ask themselves if there was anything there they might need in the day-to-day operations of their schools.”

At the much anticipated keynote session, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel greeted the audience expressing his great proud in looking out at such a beautiful assemblage. He then introduced Horav Yaakov Bender who said that “we all know that Agudas Yisroel is the address we turn to when we need help and they always respond to us.” He also quoted the Gemara that tells about Rav Preida, who taught each lesson to his student 400 times and said this is the standard that every yeshiva educator needs to aspire to.

Rabbi Zwiebel then introduced Commissioner Elia who discussed her strong support for parents’ rights to choose the education provided to their children and lauded Agudah Executive Vice President Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel for his tireless efforts on behalf of yeshiva students that have benefitted nonpublic school children throughout the state. Assistant Commissioner Christina Coughlin praised the yeshiva system for its dual emphasis on education and values and spoke warmly of the close working relationship she has developed with Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Agudah’s Director of Education Affairs. A consistent theme, reiterated by governmental officials, was how significant program improvements, including raising reimbursement of one program to yeshivos from 60 cents to over $20 per pupil, amounting to millions of dollars for yeshivos, was only accomplished as a result of the advocacy of Agudath Israel.

Creating a venue where yeshiva administrators could interact directly with high level education officials was an extremely important component of the Expo.

“Agudah representatives are in Albany lobbying all the time, but having 300 principals and executive directors coming out for an event makes a very powerful statement,” said Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudah’s Executive Director.

“This was the first time that the Commissioner, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Jhone Ebert, and Assistant Commissioner, Christina Coughlin saw so many yeshiva representatives at one time in the same room. It is important for both the yeshivos and government officials to see the larger picture,” added Mrs. Zachai. “Both the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner expressed publicly how impressed they are by the deep commitment the yeshivos have for the general welfare of their students.”

Expo participants could be seen splitting their time between sessions, hoping to glean the maximum information from the one day event. Feedback from attendees was extremely positive, according to Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Director of Agudah’s Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative.

“There was so much energy in the room,” observed Rabbi Markowitz. “One person I spoke to told me that he enjoyed being able to network with others and seeing that he isn’t alone in the challenges he faces. Another told me how valuable it was to see the strong relationship Agudath Israel has nurtured, spanning years, with various agencies and government officials.”

One participant summed the event up to Mr. Weinstock as follows: “There was a need amongst yeshiva administrators. What you saw at today’s Expo was a need being filled.”

Photo Credits:
Moshe Gershbaum

(YWN World Headquarters — NYC)

The post PHOTOS: Inaugural Agudah Yeshiva Expo Provides Invaluable Info To Large Crowd appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

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They Died On the Way To My Vort


Dating wasn’t easy for me. It took years of dating to find my kallah. Finally, I found the perfect girl. I proposed to her, and she said yes. It was a dream come true. That night, we would have the l’chaim.

I wore my best suit, a modest piece, and took the bus to the home of my aunt & uncle, who had agreed to host the simcha. Soon, everything was in place. The rain began to pour outside but my heart was full. This was the moment I’d always dreamed of.

However, after guests began to pour in, and ‘mazal tovs’ abounded, there was something missing: my parents. ‘Have you seen mommy & daddy?’ I asked my siblings. But they were at a loss.

‘They should have left already an hour ago,’ my sister said. Thunder rumbled, and I felt a pang of fear.

I checked my phone. 10 missed calls from my brother. That’s when I got the news.

My parents had been in a car full of supplies for the vort. The storm began and the roads were slippery. They rode along the highway, but the rain was so strong they didn’t see the truck veering out of control until it was too late. The brakes slammed, and their car skidded off the edge of the mountainside.

My younger siblings were in the car. None of them survived.

In the weeks that have followed, any savings my parents had have gone toward burying them, and finding a place for my remaining siblings to live. I have nothing to offer my kallah, no home to go to, no foundation for our future.

We applied for the Kupat Ha’Ir orphan wedding campaign, and were Baruch Hashem accepted. If the campaign can successfully raise the money here, we can get some help to start our new life.

This is my story, but there are 29 other orphans like me, each with their own story. We need your help to get married this month. Rav Chaim Kanievsky is helping us, and has written out a bracha for simcha in the home to all who donate. We are counting on you.


Thank you,

Anonymous Chassan*

**The chassan in the story above is symbolic, not literal. Each of the 30 orphans has their own story of loss.

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Trump Plans To Help With Russia Legal Bills

President Donald Trump intends to spend at least $430,000 of his own money to help pay the legal bills of White House staff and campaign aides related to the investigations into Russian election meddling in the 2016 election, a White House official said Saturday.

It’s the first such commitment by Trump, who has dismissed the ongoing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia as a “witch hunt” invented by Democrats to explain Hillary Clinton’s loss.

It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how the payouts would be structured or which aides would be receiving them. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the president’s plans, which were first reported by the website Axios.

Trump and his aides have been racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and House and Senate committees dig deeper into Russia’s role in the campaign. Mueller’s team of investigators has been interviewing current and former White House officials in their probe, and Trump campaign officials and others have been turning over tens of thousands of emails and documents to federal and congressional investigators.

One former campaign aide, Michael Caputo, has spoken publicly about the financial toll the legal bills have taken on his family, including having to empty out his children’s college savings accounts.

The Republican National Committee and the president’s re-election campaign have been covering some of the costs, including payments to the law firm representing Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who in June 2016 met with a Russian lawyer and others who had promised to deliver dirt on Clinton.

Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russia to win the election and has voiced skepticism about the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had a clear preference for Trump in the 2016 campaign.

The continuing investigations and attention to the issue have infuriated the president, who sees the efforts as an attempt to delegitimize his presidency.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on Presidential Election than I did,” he tweeted Saturday. “Facebook was on her side, not mine!”

Facebook has said ads that ran on the company’s social media platform and have been linked to a Russian internet agency were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the 2016 election.


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Washington – Trump Defends Tweets As Key To White House Victory

Washington — U.S. President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, and said he may not have won the White House without it. In an interview airing on Sunday on “Fox Business Network,” Trump says he can bypass what he labels unfair media coverage by speaking directly. “Tweeting is like a […]

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Watch: Judge Jeanine: Obama And The Clintons Sold Us Out

Our uranium went out and, with it, the security of our nation.



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Democratic Chairman: Trump ‘Most Dangerous’ President Ever

Trying to quell accusations that he is ousting activists from the party’s left flank, Democratic Chairman Tom Perez told fellow Democrats on Saturday that unity is crucial in the fight against President Donald Trump, whom he lambasted as an “existential threat” to the nation.

“We have the most dangerous president in American history and one of the most reactionary Congresses in American history,” Perez said as he addressed the first Democratic National Committee gathering since his February election.

The former Obama Cabinet official blistered “a culture of corruption” that he said extends to Trump’s Cabinet, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he warned that internal ruckuses over party priorities and leadership would distract from the goal of winning more elections to upend Republicans’ domination in Washington.

The chairman’s plea comes amid a rift over his appointments to little-known but influential party committees and the 75 at-large members of the national party committee. Perez and his aides plug his choices as a way to make the DNC younger and more diverse, but the moves also mean demotions for several prominent Democrats who backed Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries and then supported Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison over Perez in the postelection race for party chairman.

Perez spent time during this week’s proceedings meeting privately with frustrated DNC members, including some he did not reappoint. He apologized publicly Saturday for not reaching all of those members before he announced his appointments, but he defended his overall aim.

“If someone ever asks you which wing of the party you belong to, tell ’em you belong to the accomplishment wing of the Democratic Party,” he said, “because you’re trying to get s— done. That’s what we’re trying to do here, folks. We’re trying to move the ball forward.”

Republicans, meanwhile, have exalted in the internal wrangle, painting the DNC as incompetently discordant.

“The Democratic Party’s message of doom and gloom has left them leaderless and nearly extinct in most of the country,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said. “If Tom Perez wants his party to stick with that same failed strategy, Republicans will gladly keep working to help the middle class by cutting their taxes and fixing our broken health care system.”

To some extent, the Democrats’ developments reflect routine party politics after an unusually contentious chairman’s race, but they also fit into the ongoing philosophical tussle on the left.

Sanders’ backers accused the DNC in 2016 of stacking the nominating process in Clinton’s favor and shutting out the Vermont independent who still seeks to pull the party toward his ideology. Those frustrations carried over into the DNC chair race between Perez, the former labor secretary, and Ellison.

Now, Perez’s appointees will hold sway over setting the primary calendar in 2020 and, perhaps most importantly, whether the party’s superdelegates, including the 75 at-large members, will continue to cast presidential nominating votes at Democratic conventions without being bound to any state primary or caucus results.

Democrats are looking next month to hold the Virginia governor’s seat and wrest the New Jersey governor’s seat from Republican control. Next year, Democrats need to flip at least 24 Republican congressional seats to regain control of the House. They face an uphill battle in gaining control of the Senate, because they must defend 10 incumbents in states Trump won last November. Democrats also want to increase their gubernatorial roster from the current 15 state executives.

Separately, former Attorney General Eric Holder urged the party to play the long game necessary to overcome Republican advantages scored when GOP-run legislatures drew congressional and legislative districts around the country after the 2010 census.

Holder leads a political action group, with fundraising support for former President Barack Obama, to back candidates in states where gerrymandering gives Democrats an uphill path to majorities. He singled out Virginia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas, among other states, where Republicans “picked their voters” with districts that “are impressive in their geographic creativity but they are destructive to representative democracy.”

The Supreme Court earlier this month heard oral arguments in a case challenging the Wisconsin districts. Legal analysts expect Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the court’s swing vote, will decide whether the court for the first time declares partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional.


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