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Christian, Jewish leaders & communities, join to honor memory of Israel Christian Nexus founder, Israeli Gen. Shimon Erem

Gen. Shimon Erem attending StandWithUs Chanukah, 2011
Gen. Shimon Erem (z"l), who founded the Israel Christian Nexus, succumbed to cancer at the end of May at the age of 90.  His supporters and family gathered to hold In the Footsteps of Gen. Shimon Erem (1922-2012) a "Shloshim" (30-days) Memorial Event on Thursday, June 28th held at Cong. Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills.

Program: Gen. Shimon Erem's characteristics - and who addressed it:

A Soldier for Israel - Hon. David Siegel- Consul General for Israel to the Southwest US.

A Bridge Builder - Pastor Jim Tolle- Senior Pastor, La Iglesia en el Camino
Pastor Jim Tolle consoles widow, Danielle Erem
Founding Pastor of several hundred Spanish-language churches in North & South America; Board Member of Israel Christian Nexus.

Dr. Jack Hayford- Chancellor, The King's University, Los Angeles, Immediate Past President, Int'l Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Founding co-Chairman, Israel Christian Nexus

Tributes from around the world
Messages from Israel - read by Ari Bussel, ICN founding Board Member
Letters from Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon and previous Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan.
Messages from Congress - read by Larry Greenfield, Israel Christian Nexus founding Board Member.

Click to advance through video segments (button to the right of Play)

Dina Leeds - Israel Christian Nexus Vice President
Naomi Urman - longtime family friend
Miri Shepher - Israeli Leadership Council Executive Board member
Danielle Erem - Shimon's wife and beloved partner

Memorial Prayer - Rabbi Kalman Topp of Cong. Beth Jacob of Beverly Hills

Event organized by Patricia Johnson, Acting Director, Israel Christian Nexus.

Israeli General Shimon Erem, discussed the importance of guaranteeing Jewish safety- inside and outside of Israel.  He tells of accompanying David ben Gurion to Holocaust concentration camps- which experiences shaped ben Gurion's Zionist defense (and retaliation / deterrence) policies. Gen. Erem delivered this talk at LimmudLA in 2010.

Gen. Erem shares David ben-Gurion's principles of fighting for Jewish survival including activating the Jewish community outside of Palestine and forming alliances with non-Jews interested in protecting Jewish rule in the free, restored Israel. After seeing these camps, David Ben-Gurion established a policy to deter anti-Semitic violence- through Israel's own forces and through establishing global alliances with committed Jews and Christians in the diaspora.

May Gen. Shimon Erem's memory be for a blessing.

Judaism on the western (and Middle-Eastern) frontiers - The Frisco Kid

The movie, The Frisco Kid, (1979) which stars Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford (son of a Jewish mother), offers a glimpse into Jewish survival on the frontiers of America, Israel, and Judea/Samaria. Concatonated version in under 9 minutes: In a television interview, Inside the Actors Studio, shown in August 2000, when asked about what influence his Irish Catholic and Russian Jewish ancestry may have had on his life as a person and as an artist, Ford humorously stated "As a man I've always felt Irish, as an actor I've always felt Jewish."

Excerpted scene: Gene Wilder's rabbi character is put on the stake and challenged - what you do to save a Torah?

Rabbis appeal higher, as Peres confers "friend-to-Israel" credence to Obama, without clemency for Jonathan Pollard

Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement recipient, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, sounds call for greater civilian pressure on Obama to grant clemency for over-sentenced, ailing American-Jewish prisoner, Jonathan Pollard.  

By Fern Sidman

On Monday evening June 4th, over 500 people gathered for an inspiring evening of "prayer and chizuk" at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates as their collective voices were lifted to G-d for the redemption of Jonathan Jay Pollard; the US Navy intelligence analyst who has been imprisoned for 27 years on charges stemming from the passage of classified information to Israel. 

Sponsored by Young Israel of Jamaica Estates members Jacques Rothschild and Dr. Joseph Frager, the evening served as precursor for the upcoming presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres by President Barack Obama. The publicity flyer for the event stated, "Let us seize the moment to join in prayer to beseech the Almighty to strengthen the hands of President Peres in pursuing justice for Jonathan Pollard."

Video clips of Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, and Ms. Fern Sidman
(To advance through the sequential videos, click "Advance" to the right of the lower-left Play button)

Mr. Rothschild told the gathering that, "Mr. Peres had asked President Obama for the commutation of Pollard's sentence but has received no answer." Providing the audience with a backdrop on the Pollard case, Mr. Rothschild said, "The information given to the Israeli government by Jonathan Pollard was part of an intelligence sharing agreement and would have been presented to the Israelis in any case." Accusing the Israeli government of "shafting" Jonathan Pollard, Mr. Rothschild said, "The government of Israel worked in conjunction with the American government against its own agent."  He added that, "The US forced Pollard into a plea agreement and then reneged."

In a voice reverberating with anger and indignation, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, the recent recipient of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, queried, "Did Jonathan Pollard kill someone? Why 27 years in prison? Did anyone else get this kind of punishment?" He called upon the entire Jewish nation to pray for Pollard's release from prison and called for a massive demonstration on Pollard's behalf in Washington, DC prior to the presidential election in November. Admonishing the US government for "cruelty" in allowing Pollard to languish in prison for such a protracted amount of time, Rabbi Druckman said, Now, it is impossible to remain quiet. Doesn't the president of the United States have a heart? Are they trying to kill Pollard?"

Leading the congregation in prayer and the recitation of Tehillim were the mellifluous voices of Cantor Netanel Hershtik and the Hampton Synagogue choir which was conducted by Itzchak Haimov. In unison, and in one clear voice that pierced the Heavens, the attendees called on "Avinu SheBaShamayim" (our Father in Heaven) for mercy and compassion, and beseeched the Almighty for the swift redemption of Yonatan Ben Malka (Jonathan Pollard).

Having visited Jonathan Pollard over 20 times in the last years, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel said that his last visit only several weeks ago with Jonathan Pollard was the most difficult. "When you speak with Jonathan you can tell how he is within the first minute or two of the conversation", he said. Referencing Mr. Pollard's rapidly deteriorating state of health, Rabbi Lerner ruefully observed, "He is now quite sick and his illness is getting to him."

Nonetheless, Rabbi Lerner described a man who is a great source of "chizuk" (strength). "Jonathan is Shmira Shabbos and Shmiras Kashrus and beyond that he's a genuine ma'amin (a true believer in G-d).
Offering an poignant illustration of Mr. Pollard's indefatigable faith and trust in the One Above, Rabbi Lerner told of Jonathan being prescribed a certain medication for a kidney ailment. Others visiting Jonathan at the time remarked to him that in order for that particular medication to be effecitve it had to be taken with an excessively large amount of water. Rabbi Lerner said that Jonathan's response to this was, "I am so very happy that I have to drink all that water, just so I can have the chance to  make a brocha to G-d."  

Rabbi Lerner also noted the fact that many prominent US government officials who had previously favored the sentence handed down to Pollard had now reversed their positions and are publicly calling for clemency to be granted him. Speaking of former CIA director R. James Woolsey, Rabbi Lerner said, "he is now behind Pollard." In January of 2011, Mr. Woolsey went on record stating that Pollard should have been released from prison five years ago.

It was also noted throughout the course of the evening that Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz called Pollard's sentence a "travesty of justice" and that during his tenure, former President Bill Clinton had wanted to commute Pollard's sentence but was dissuaded from doing so by certain Jewish senators who wrote to him and campaigned against Pollard's release.

In a private interview following at the evening's conclusion, Mr. Rothschild assigned the blame for Pollard's life sentence squarely on the shoulders of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. "It was he who threw Pollard under the bus." Adding that he was gravely disappointment in the Israeli government, Mr. Rothschild said that he had invited Ido Aharoni, the Israeli Consul General in New York to speak at the evening's event but was told that he could not make it. 

"It is clear to me that no Israeli officials endorsed this event because they don't want to make waves with the US administration. They don't want to upset the apple cart right before Peres is to be presented with the Medal of Freedom award. Israeli participation in such an event could embarass Washington and that's the last thing they want to do," said audience member Hannah Milstein of Forest Hills, New York.

Americans parade pride in Jewish Israel's sovereignty & contributions to the world

The largest yearly gathering of support for Israel in the world, the annual Celebrate Israel Parade was held in NYC on June 3rd, 2012. 35,000 marchers entertained tens of thousands of spectators with 29 floats with musical performers, 18 marching bands.


(Step through JooTube's playlist of 100> clips using the "advance" button to the right of the "play" button).

This year’s parade includes lively floats, some of the NY/NJ/Connecticut region’s best marching bands, top area musicians, and a number of other exciting additions suitable for all ages, including groups of stilt walkers, dancing rollerbladers, and juggling clowns. Musical acts featured at the parade include Grammy-nominated electronic band J. Viewz, Middle Eastern folk group SoulFarm, reggae-influenced Moshe Hecht Band and Jewish rockers Blue Fringe.

The Jewish Community Relations Council permitted marching by leftist, New Israel Fund- affiliated groups (who some consider anti-Israel) who pressure Israel (and West Bank Jews) through lobbying Washington and promoting boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of Israeli and West Bank Jewish products- to remove Jews from Judea to cede territory to a state of Palestine.

Among the paraders who spoke with JooTube are members of Jewish War Veterans, American Veterans of Israel (Machal), employees of the State of Israel led by Israeli Parliamentarian Silvan Shalom, El Al Airlines crew and staff (who sing and dance freilachs) led by Danny Saadon, and Robert Stearns' Christian Zionist group, Eagles Wings.

Author Peter Beinart of J-Street, gives his perspective from marching in the parade, while Shmuel Sackett of the Israeli Leadership (Manhigut Yehudit) Party gives an opposing perspective. Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel argued against the groups as detrimental to Jewish Israel's interests. Ms. Freedman, along with Rabbi David Algaze, were among the NY'ers who addressed a United Jerusalem Concert and Rally in Central Park which followed the Parade.

The parade is the marquee event of the JCRC-NY’s Celebrate Israel Project – an initiative largely sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Communal Fund, Israel Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consulate General of Israel in New York – that celebrates the positive impact the Jewish and democratic state of Israel has on the lives of people around the world. “We are delighted to be involved in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade,” Israel’s Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein said. “More than just a parade, this day is a celebration of the special relationship between Israel and America that is rooted in common values and goals. Like America, Israel is a strong, vibrant democracy, a symbol of freedom, tolerance and understanding. My ministry strives to strengthen our relationship with Jewish communities in the United States, and events like these are critical to both nations.”

 “It’s a joy to see throngs of supporters of Israel from across the metropolitan area and beyond come together to celebrate at the annual parade,” JCRC-NY Executive Vice President and CEO Michael Miller said. “We who stand with Israel are strengthened by the sight of hundreds of thousands of people lining Fifth Avenue as schools, community groups, marching bands and floats decked in blue and white go by. Year after year, the parade never ceases to be a thrilling experience, bringing the unflagging spirit of Israel to the streets of New York. I feel privileged to be a part of the festivities.”

For the second year in a row, the parade was televised live by WWOR-TV My9. Anchoring the My9 broadcast was Fox 5 and My9 anchor Harry Martin and Israeli TV presenter Becky Griffin.

Thousands descend on Fifth Avenue for Celebrate Israel Parade

Thousands descend on Fifth Avenue for Celebrate Israel Parade http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/live-thousands-descend-on-new-york-to-mark-annual-israel-day-parade-1.434126 Subscribe to JooTube to receive original video from the Parade and Concert Rally this week! You might be in it! Here is WWOR-TV's version meanwhile: http://salutetoisrael.com/brdcst.html