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The annual, Mensch Awards ceremony at Temple of the Arts strives to restore normalcy to Jewish-Americans in turmoil

Shabbat prayers by Rabbi David Baron, Cantors Ilysia Pierce,
and Nathan Lam at Temple of the Arts

Amidst the apprehensiveness cast by Hamas' abductions in Israel during its 6th week, Steven Geiger's Mensch Foundation Awards kept-up its annual Mensch Awards ceremony November 17th at the Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills.

The dinner and ceremony following the erev-Shabbat service at the temple provided a needed lift to a community horrified at the casualties and abductions from the Palestinian invasion of Israel. 

Les Miserables' "Bring Him Home" - sung as an ode to Israeli liberators of Palestinian-abducted Jewish and Christian hostages- performed by members of the Temple of the Arts Choir.

 

The event attendees are (as are most Jews in the diaspora) also stunned by the hostile nature of the Leftist, Muslim, and people-of-Color anti-Israel protests in cities around the globe with Muslim or considerable Jewish populations.

The mostly Muslim & left-wing atheist, Jewish Voice for Peace block Hollywood Blvd to incite public frustration against Israel's mission to free its families abducted by jihadists

The dinner and ceremony following the erev-Shabbat service at the temple also provided a needed lift to Jewish people also stunned by the revelation of (what liberal people expected to be anti-Israel protests in cities around the globe) being in many cases Islamo-Leftist mobs incited to violence by Marxist-propagandized blood libels against Jewish people and places in general!

L.A. Jewish counter-demonstrator Paul Kessler, 69 and
Muslim anti-Israelist, Loay alNaji, 50, accused in his killing

Los Angeles area Jews were especially disconcerted by the death of a local, Israel-rally'er Paul Kessler, 69, at the hand of a Muslim anti-Zionist teacher, Loay al-Naji just 11-days prior. Mr. Kessler, an ardent Democrat, relocated to Los Angeles from Scranton, Pennsylvania, also the home state of former Temple president, James Blatt, being honored at this ceremony.

Mensch Int'l Foundation director Steven Geiger also honored Temple Cantors Ilysia Pierce and Nathan Lam and musical director Sharon Farber.


Video playlist below (advance via arrows on lower-left of raster) includes: 

Mensch Int'l Foundation director Steven Geiger acknowledges ceremony attendee, Shoah survivor Reneé Firestone, 99; Presents award to Temple's female Cantor Ilysia Pierce;

Award presentation to Sharon Farber, Temple's musical director, composer and arranger for Jewish and Israeli community events; Esteemed L.A. Cantor Nathan Lam.

Rabbi David Baron and friend, Richard Stellar, praise and introduce recipient, James Blatt, Esq., longtime Temple Board member and president; 

 
Video playlist below (advance via arrows on lower-left of raster) includes:

Ode to Israeli liberators of Palestinian-held hostages "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables;

Interviews with honorees
about receiving Mensch Awards:
 
Cantor Ilysia Pierce about the satisfaction of performing liturgical, compared to secular, music;
 
Sharon Farber, musical director, on her efforts for the Temple and community; 

James Blatt, Esq, Jewish War Veteran & 10-year president of the Temple on how he has seen its congregation and facility improve.

 
Rabbi David Baron chided Jewish communal agency (and rabbinical) leaders with a responsibility to reduce antisemitism - who diverted from addressing Muslim antisemitism in order to signal their virtue (and perhaps increase business) opposing Islamophobia and pariah-fying dissenting from the Leftist agenda.
 
 

Holocaust survivor Reneé Firestone, 99, on coping with Jew-hatred yesterday, today, and tomorrow 

 

Ceremony luminaries: Former Temple Pres. James Blatt, Rabbi David Baron, Cantor Ilysia Pierce,
Musical Director Sharon Farber, Cantor Nathan Lam, Mensch Fndn chief Steven Geiger.
(Photo courtesy: Orly Halevy)
 

 

Zionistic reporters relate first-hand experiences from the Gaza War front

 

Israel reporting by editors, Alex Traiman
of JNS, and Joel Pollak of Breitbart at RJC
At the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Meeting last weekend, attendees filled a session (without microphones) to hear Alex Traiman, CEO and Jerusalem bureau chief of the Jewish New Syndicate (JNS) and Joel Pollak, 
 senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart Newsdiscuss the immediate action taken by JNS after the attacks on October 7th. Traiman personally conducted about 70 interviews on various media outlets and highlights the importance of reliable and accurate reporting in the midst of a rapidly changing conflict. Traiman was on the phone with the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson and the prime minister's advisor, who confirmed that it was actually a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket that had hit the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and not the IDF. He emphasizes the need for journalists to be skeptical of narratives and claim to know the truth and to actively seek out firsthand information in order to understand complex events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
.

 

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Alex Traiman discusses the immediate action taken by JNS after the attacks on October 7th, which saw the bombing of a hospital in Gaza. JNS launched an immediate campaign for mainstream media, with Traiman personally conducting about 70 interviews on various media outlets. The information war, alongside the soldiers on the front lines, was one of the key battlefields in the conflict. On October 17th, 10 days after fighting, rumors began to circulate that the IDF may not have been behind the Hamas-alleged strike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which they claimed resulted in the death of 500 people. Traiman was on the phone with the IDF spokesperson and the prime minister's advisor, who confirmed that it was actually a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket that had hit the hospital, not the IDF. JNS was the first news organization to report this, and Traiman discusses the importance of reliable and accurate reporting in the midst of a rapidly changing conflict.

  • 00:05:00  Traiman and Pollak address the attacks in Israel and the psychological warfare being waged by Hamas through their control of the narrative, taking of hostages, and misrepresentation of events. They argue that the media plays a major role in spreading false news and undermining public support for Israeli military action. Traiman recounts his own experiences in Israel, where he was taken to witness the devastation caused by the attacks and interviewed volunteers in the affected communities. He emphasizes the impact that these experiences had on him, stating that his colleague's discovery of food in a refrigerator left for the holiday weekend only added to the sense of tragedy and despair he felt about the situation. Pollak also shares his own observations from Israel, including seeing evidence of the attacks and speaking to Israeli government officials. He highlights the importance of journalists being able to access firsthand information in order to accurately report on events, and the impact that false reporting can have on public opinion and decision making. Overall, the two speakers reiterate the need for journalists to be skeptical of narratives and claim to know the truth, and to actively seek out firsthand information in order to understand complex events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • 00:10:00 Mr. Pollak recounts their experience of witnessing the aftermath of the 2014 Israel/Hamas conflict, specifically on the last day of the Sukkot holiday. The witness reports seeing devastated families with their Sukkot decorations destroyed, and observes a tight connection to the events in Gaza at that time. The next day, Pollak was taken to a military base where he witnessed the process of identifying the dead and the lack of recognition afforded to some bodies. The speaker also recalls seeing raw footage of the Hamas attacks, including a particularly distressing scene of a father and two sons trying to escape from their home before being killed by a terrorist. The witness reports feeling very disturbed and sad about the experience, and notes that it has had a lasting impact on his memory.

  • 00:15:00 Mr. Pollak begins with a discussion of the bravery, resilience, and humanity of ordinary people in Israel during the Palestinian rocketing of Israel proper. He indicates the determination of Israel's population and leaders to obtain the release of the hostages - as well as to eliminate Hamas' ability to wage hostilities against the Israeli citizenry.

    Audience poses questions at Republican Jewish Coalition forum with
    Alex Traiman and Joel Pollak

Five years after Pittsburgh, mass murder has a new meaning

 

Israeli soldiers around the bodybags of Hamas-slain
Jewish people in Southern Israel
By Jonathan S. Tobin
Fueled by support for Hamas terror and hatred for Israel, a surge of antisemitism presents challenges that are not so easily understood as the Tree of Life shooting.

(October 27, 2023 / JNS)  On Oct. 27, 2018, American Jews experienced the worst incident of violence against them in their history. The shooting at the Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 worshippers, most of them elderly, dead as they prayed during Shabbat-morning services. It was every American Jew’s worst nightmare come to life, but it was also a threat they thought they understood and could place in proper perspective.

But five years later, as American Jews are facing a massive surge of antisemitic activity in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 that left more than 1,400 dead, the challenge is one that many in the community are finding it harder to cope with or to comprehend. The threats and acts of intimidation, as well as the open display of hatred towards Jews on the streets of the nation’s largest cities and on the campuses of universities, have not yet led to a crime of the magnitude of the Pittsburgh shooting.

The shock and the sense of betrayal felt by many Jews now are in some ways harder to absorb than the grief felt five years ago. Whereas in 2018, they were reassured by universal support from other ethnicities, faiths and nations, as well as politicians from across the spectrum, right now they are feeling far more isolated and at risk.

As the title of Dara Horn’s collection of essays on antisemitism goes, Everyone Loves Dead Jews. But if there is a lesson to be learned by an increasingly embattled Jewish world, it is that as popular as dead Jews may be, the identity of their killers goes a long way towards determining just how much solidarity Jews should expect after a terrible crime is committed against them.

If the assailant is a right-wing extremist who can be linked—whether or not it is completely unfair—to a politician that liberal Jews and their political allies detest, the attack can generate enormous sympathy and support for Jewish communities. But if the people brutally assaulting Jews claim to be intersectional victims of white privilege and their supporters, then don’t be surprised that those thought to be “allies” suddenly become either silent or join the ranks of those vilifying the Jewish victims and actually supporting the murderers.

As terrible as it was, the Tree of Life massacre was a tragedy that was embraced by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Members of other faiths and their spiritual leaders joined in interfaith services with their Jewish neighbors as the nation—the world even—came together in mourning. There was genuine anxiety about other mad gunmen turning up at Jewish and other institutions—a fear that was justified when another shooting took place exactly six months later at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, Calif.

Blaming Pittsburgh on Trump

The shooters in both cases—lone gunmen motivated by a mixture of extremist right-wing ideas—were exactly the sort of people most members of the Jewish community recognized as their natural enemy. And many Jewish organizations and their leaders knew just what to do about it. They blamed the terrible crime on someone most American Jews already despised: President Donald Trump. He was, after all, the man who had said there were “good people on both sides” at the neo-Nazi “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. If America no longer felt like a safe place, then many, if not most, Jews were sure it was his coarse rhetorical style and social-media posts, as well as stances on issues like illegal immigration, which had made it so.

For all of Trump’s faults, that was an injustice. He hadn’t actually characterized the Nazis as “good people” or anything like that. And the Pittsburgh shooter’s crazed writings made it clear that he despised Trump as much as the Jews because of the president’s historic support for Israel.

True or not, putting the blame on him and political conservatives was the sort of thing that allowed many Jews—whose politics and historical memory make them inclined to think that all antisemitism comes from the right—to view Pittsburgh as something that made sense rather than the random act of a lunatic.

And it was that sense of solidarity with fellow liberals and minority communities that sent many Jews into the streets in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis created a moral panic about American racism. The Black Lives Matter movement and the rest of the intersectional left may have been linked to antisemitism and hatred for Israel. But liberal Jews had no doubt which side of that argument they should be on, and what happened in 2018 played a significant role in that way of thinking.

Sympathizing for the murderers

Five years later, many of the same Jews who were most determined to stay in sync with their minority allies are now realizing that solidarity is a one-way street. In an America where critical race theory teachings declare Jews to be guilty of “white privilege” and Israel to be a white state oppressing Palestinian people of color, the Oct. 7 atrocities could not be viewed in the same way as the Pittsburgh shooting.

What happened along the border with Gaza was the worst mass slaughter since the Holocaust. The toll of more than 1,400 dead men, women and children—with thousands left wounded and more than 200 kidnapped by Hamas terrorists—along with acts of rape, torture and desecration of bodies was a crime of an order of magnitude that made it impossible to compare to the synagogue shooting.

Yet instead of generating an even greater wave of sympathy for Jews than was expressed in 2018, what followed was something that shocked even the most cynical observers. Many of the “allies” that liberal Jews counted on the most were silent. Celebrities, including Jewish ones, had nothing to say about that many dead Jews.

Worse than the silence, however, was the open support that Hamas generated on the political left. Instead of sympathizing with the Jewish victims, Muslims and their leftist supporters cheered the killers. That led to acts of intimidation on the streets and on campuses as Jews were bullied and/or assaulted.

In New York, the spectacle of crowds bellowing hate for Jews in Times Square was hard to ignore. The same was true this week when Jewish students barricaded themselves in the library at Cooper Union College as pro-Hamas demonstrators taunted them. And with the prospect of a mass pro-Hamas rally at the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 28—not far from the center of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Crown Heights, a neighborhood that has seen a pogrom before—Jews were being warned to stay home and not take Shabbat walks near the expected mob of supporters of Jewish slaughter. Even in the city with the largest Jewish population in the country, they aren’t safe.

This appalling situation doesn’t lessen our sense of mourning for the Pittsburgh victims or our concern about right-wing extremism where it exists. But it does require the Jewish community to rethink the post-Pittsburgh obsession for seeing violent antisemitism as purely a right-wing problem.

No one should be under laboring any illusions about the support for the Palestinians after Oct. 7 being a function of humanitarian sentiments or worries about the plight of those who live in Hamas-ruled Gaza as the war against the terrorists continues. The hatred expressed in the rallies against Israel should make it clear to even those most determined to ignore the problem that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The terrorists want to kill as many Jews as possible and those Americans supporting them aren’t shy about showing us that more dead Jews is exactly what they want.

Instead of being able to ascribe those threatening us to a political bogeyman, American Jews must instead acknowledge that they are the targets of an international antisemitic movement that is supported by supposedly liberal opinion and rooted in the same intersectional politics that created the Black Lives Matter protests.

Dealing with this threat requires more than heightened security measures and indulging prejudices against traditional political foes. It requires American Jewry to accept that they are, like Israelis, locked in a battle with an enemy that cannot be reasoned or compromised with. As sad and as dangerous as the Pittsburgh shooting was, five years later, the threat Jews now face is far more insidious. And they are confronting it without the help of the traditional friends who have abandoned them.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Follow him: @jonathans_tobin

The real (and awful) reason Israel's "ally" Biden flew to meet Netanyahu, who's trying to avert an Obama checkmate

"As Biden turns against Israel, Netanyahu must stand strong" by Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
US Pres. Joe Biden (Getty Images, Reuters via Fox News)

(Oct 16/ JNS Israel)
  On Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan all announced that the United States expects Israel to permit “humanitarian aid” into Gaza. The implications of this position are devastating for Israel. According to reports, there are “hundreds of trucks” lined up on the border in Egypt to enter the Gaza Strip carrying so-called “humanitarian aid.” These trucks, if permitted to enter, will not be inspected in any significant way. There is no reason to believe they are carrying baby formula and foodstuffs that will be delivered to the needy. There is every reason to believe they are carrying war materiel and jihadist fighters who have arrived to augment Hamas.

To the extent that there is food in the trucks, who will it feed? The hostages? The infirm? Who will the medicine be delivered to? The hostages? Will the fuel in the trucks be used in refrigerators to feed the captive Israelis?

Of course not.

Hamas is Gaza. All the “ministries” in Gaza are Hamas. All hospitals are Hamas. Hamas’s military headquarters is located under Shifa Hospital.

So whatever and whoever is in the trucks carrying “humanitarian aid,” all of it will be delivered to Hamas and will be distributed to benefit Hamas.

The idea that it could be otherwise is absurd. And the fact that the Biden administration is arguing this absurdity is an outrage.

Even if the “hundreds of trucks” are completely empty—and they manifestly are not—the trucks themselves are instruments of war. Their presence in Gaza will also advance Hamas’s military effort against Israel. They will augment Hamas’s capacity to kill and wound untold numbers of IDF soldiers now poised at the border waiting for the Netanyahu government to finally order them to enter Gaza.

Biden, Blinken and Sullivan—like their counterparts in Europe and the United Nations—insist that they want to give Hamas the trucks to avert a humanitarian disaster in Gaza. But their position is actually devastating for Gaza’s civilians.

By barring civilians from escaping Gaza to its territory, even for the purpose of transiting to third countries, Egypt is collaborating with Hamas’s war effort. By enabling Egypt to maintain its position, and demanding that Israel allow Hamas to resupply while calling that resupply “humanitarian aid,” the Biden administration is trapping the civilians of Gaza it claims to care about protecting. They will remain under Hamas’s jackboot. They will remain its human shields and cannon fodder.

Similarly, the United States is providing material support for Hamas’s propaganda campaign blaming Israel for the carnage of which Hamas is the sole author—in Israel and Gaza alike.

The United States is also acting in breach of binding international law. As professor Avi Bell of the Bar Ilan University and University of San Diego law schools explained in an interview on “The Caroline Glick Show” on Sunday, while Biden and his aides have insisted repeatedly that they expect Israel to respect the international laws of war in its prosecution of its war effort against Hamas, the administration’s positions in relation to that war are illegal.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 jihadist attacks on the United States, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1373 under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. Chapter 7 resolutions, unlike others, are binding on all U.N. member nations.

Resolution 1373 stipulates that all U.N. member nations must “Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.”

Any provision of any aid to Gaza, which is completely controlled by Hamas, is of course either “active or passive” assistance to Hamas, and hence illegal.

Resolution 1373 also requires all U.N. member states to “Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.”

Following Blinken’s visit to Israel last Thursday, he traveled to Qatar. Qatar houses Hamas’s top terror masters. They planned their atrocities from Qatar. Iran’s cash and arms are funneled to Hamas through Qatar. Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel is an integral component of Hamas’s terror machine. On Monday morning, the IDF announced that Al Jazeera reporters are transferring information about IDF troop placements and numbers to Hamas both directly and through their broadcasts.

Qatar is Hamas.

Rather than designate Qatar officially as a state sponsor of terrorism, last Friday Blinken embraced Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassin Al Thani as an ally. And that makes sense because from the administration’s perspective, Hamas’s host is a U.S. ally. Shortly after entering office, the Biden administration designated Qatar a major non-NATO ally—the same designation Israel enjoys.

By embracing Qatar as an ally rather than punishing it for its central role at all levels of Hamas’s terror infrastructure, the administration is breaching international law, yet again. It is also betraying Israel.

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Biden said that the United States opposes Israel’s war goal of obliterating Hamas and destroying its capacity to govern in any way in Gaza. Instead, Biden drew an obscene, imaginary distinction between Hamas and “extreme elements in Hamas.”

Biden also endorsed the idea that Israel should knock down Hamas a few notches, but not conquer Gaza. Instead, he intimated that the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority, which supports Hamas and is serving as its foreign ministry at the United Nations and in world capitals, should rule Gaza.

As a superpower, the United States is in a position to side with Israel and Hamas simultaneously. And that is clearly the Biden administration’s current policy. The administration’s goal, apparently, is to block Israel from winning and force it to fight to a draw—in the best-case scenario. This is perfect for Hamas, which would survive, and with its friends in the United States, the United Nations, Iran, Qatar and throughout the Arab and Western world, rebuild itself stronger than ever.

For Israel, it would be a calamity of biblical proportions. Alone in the world, and treated infamously by its ostensible U.S. ally, Israel would emerge from the war with its regional position in tatters. The peace with Egypt and Jordan would likely not long survive. The Abraham Accords would be undone. And the very notion of normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia would be pushed down the memory hole. Iran would stand as the regional superpower, and within months could be expected to test a nuclear weapon. Israel’s future, in short, would be bleak.

Zionistic-Americans vent consternation at Palestinian war-crime atrocities & abductions - at W. Los Angeles protest

Hamas' terror invasion of Israel massacred, abducted, and rocketed civilians (photo: AllSides)

On October 7th, a Palestinian Hamas-led invasion and rocketing of Israel shocked the world. Casualties exceeded 1,200 Israeli and foreign-national people, including 260 attendees of the Supernova Dance-music festival. At least 5,100 other people were wounded around the country. Approximately 240 others were abducted into Gaza as hostages.

The next day, Los Angeles, the city with the largest community of ex-pat Iranian Jews and Israeli-Americans, local activists called an impromptu rally, which drew a large crowd of both Jews and Gentiles to two corners of the Federal Building.

Jewish, Christian, and Israeli-Americans outraged at Islamist Palestinians savaging 100's of innocent Jewish civilian families call for activism against the vilifying of Jewish retaliation against Islamist atrocities.

 

The first speaker we interviewed discusses the aftermath of the prior day's Islamist massacre and how it highlights the importance of the message of "never again." He emphasizes that the Islamic-backed groups that carried out the attack in Israel are no different from the Nazis and that they are being funded and trained by Iran and its proxies. He also talks about how the release of $6 billion to Iran, how it can be utilized for terror purposes, and used against innocent people in such cases. 

He asserts that the responsibility for the bloodshed in Israel on the day after the attack falls on the government, and that the message being sent to the Muslim world is that people are not condemning the attack enough.

This Iranian-Israeli man expresses concern about the recent anti-Semitic demonstrations in Los Angeles and argues that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the Jewish community and give out harsher sentences to those guilty of such crimes.
A local judges' jail-avoiding sentence for a group of Muslim thugs who beat up Jews at a cafe 2-years ago is empowering those that seek the destruction of the Jewish community, he feels.

Zionistic protesters of atrocity-committing Palestinians on Jewish babies rebuff Islamist-antagonist

 

Muslim foreign student to UCLA lashes out at Jewish-Amers protesting Palestinians' massacring of civilian, Jewish Israelis. Jewish builder rebuffs Muslim antagonizing protest of Jihadists torturing US& Israeli civilian hostages,

 

Watch Moshav Band's farewell show at community-wide Mishmar at Happy Minyan

American-Israeli Moshav Band singer (and cantor) Yehuda Solomon, Skypes the dancers the new vista his wife at their Jerusalem apartment. Guitarist / singer Duvid Swirsky accompanied him for the Mishmar sing-along'ers and dancers for a 90-min> show

The core Moshav Band is comprised of Cantor Yehuda Solomon of the L.A. Happy Minyan Synagogue and guitarist Duvid Swirsky who performs liturgically at the Wilshire Blvd Temple, as well as in Distant Cousins.

Mr. Solomon recently relocated with his family to Jerusalem - but returned to Happy to lead High Holiday services. He reunited with Mr. Swirsky to perform for the first, community-wide Mishmar - at the Minyan's new location  on Thursday 21 Sept 2023. The Moshav Band concert (with intermission performer, Eli Skaist) can be heard on this multi-segment Playlist.
(Advance through the playlist with the arrow on the bottom left).


According to Jewish tradition, one's fate is decided on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur. Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet synagogue in Evanston, Illinois, wrote: "Our lives are in the balance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, depending on how we act. The fully righteous are inscribed (in the Book of Life) for the year, the wholly evil are not inscribed and the rest of us need to work to make amends and make sure we have more good deeds than bad, if we want to be sealed for another year of life.”

JooTube's preparing you news and features that promote Jewish identity and survival relies on you contributing - through the link in the column on the right. To lessen the severity of your fate for the New Year - repentance, prayer, and charity. the "central poem of the High Holy Day [of the Day of Atonement] - Un'taneh Tokef.

Meet the most-heard shofar-player in the world - still awakening souls since "The Ten Commandments"

"The Ten Commandments" dubbed Mickey's shofar playing
into the movie's soundtrack

Blares from shofar trumpeters book-end Jews' week of repentance between the High Holidays - Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Cecil B. DeMille recreated Jews' authentic shofar signaling in his epic movie depicting Moses delivering the enslaved Israelites to Mount Sinai where he receives from G-d "The Ten Commandments." 
Cantor Bienenfeld at Kehillat Israel in L.A.


Though Commandments became DeMille's fourth biblical (and most successful) movie production, DeMille had not encountered a live shofar player until his team had the need for one to play the necessary blares for that movie. Around 1955, his Hollywood production staff sought a shofar player from Beverly Hills' Temple Emanuel who recommended a young liturgical singer in their choir, Mickey Bienenfeld who played the shofar for the congregation at holiday prayer services.

Bienenfeld recorded various blares which Mr. DeMille's musical director could apply to various trumpeting actors signaling different things to, for, and about the Jewish liberation from bondage. The Hebrew people hear the call of this horn from Moses to accept the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Aaron and Caleb signal the Jews of Pharoah's army pursuing them into the Red Sea.

For 50-years in synagogue, Mr. Bienenfeld would blow the shofar in liturgical style - i.e., Tekiah, Sh'varim, Teruah, and Tekiah Gedolah. Mr. DeMille's Commandments, however, does not utilize the shofar in a liturgical context! What's in common though is on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the shofar is an alarm that calls on us to examine our deeds and correct our ways, as we return to G‑d.

Mickey Bienenfeld returned to sound the shofar on High Holidays at
The Happy Minyan of Los Angeles  (Photo: Romero Saucedo)

  

Here, following his Rosh Hashana performance at The Happy (Carlebach) Minyan of Los Angeles, Mickey, now age 96, recounts his experience playing and Hollywood recording shofar sounds for DeMille's dubbing.

Mickey made his living manufacturing glass windows and sliding doors. On the weekends, he eventually became the cantor and shofar player at Kehillat Israel near his and Florence's (o.b.m.) family home in Los Angeles' Pacific Palisades. He served there for 50-years and retains their title of Cantor Emeritus.
Mickey and Florence (o.b.m.) during a trip through Israel's
Negev Desert  (Photo: Joel Bienenfeld)

Mickey and Florence raised 2 sons and a daughter. One son plays the trumpet and the other plays reed-instruments. As is not uncommon between parents's skills and children, neither son has superceded father, Mickey, blowing the shofar in synagogue. 

Mickey will trumpet the shofar ending Neilah at
Happy Minyan this Yom Kippur (Photo: Dan Bienenfeld)
According to Guinness World Records, in terms of theatrical exhibition, The Ten Commandments is the eighth most successful film of all-time. The film has aired annually on U.S. network television in prime time during the Passover/Easter season since 1973. In 2020, the broadcast out-drew all other network TV offerings on its night, sweeping up 5 million viewers. Mickey is likely the most heard, shofar player in the world. The next time you watch the movie, remember that you know who played it- and that you heard him on JooTube! 

Prayer, repentence, and tzedaka lessen the severity of our fate for the new Hebrew year. JooTube's work only continues through the charitable contributions you make through the link in the column on the right.


Jewish teachers and their supporters protest antisemitic environment & management within the City University of N.Y.

C.U.N.Y. Jewish faculty members are joined by Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels and
 recent Republican Candidate for mayor - to protest endemic Jew-hatred in the CUNY under and graduate level administrations

Teachers and civic activists staged a rally in front of C.U.N.Y. (City University of New York) on Tuesday 12 September. Speakers expressed disappointment with the university's lack of action against anti-Semitism, highlighting incidents of hate speech by professors and the hiring of Mark Lamont Hill.

They call for accountability and consequences, emphasizing the need for CUNY to create a safe environment for Jewish students. Elected officials show their support, emphasizing the importance of bipartisan action and condemning hate speech that can lead to violence. The speakers, including members of Christian organizations, emphasize solidarity and the need for a safe and equitable environment for all students at CUNY. One speaker even shares a freestyle rap expressing their commitment to ending Jew hatred.

Speakers: Gerard Filitti Esq., Mazi Philp, Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, State Sen. Jack Martins, Ari Brown

00:00:00 In this section, Gerard Filitti, an attorney and activist with the N28 movement, expresses his gratitude for everyone's presence while also expressing disappointment that they have to protest for the second time this summer outside the Chancellor's office at CUNY. Filitti highlights the serious issues of anti-Semitism faced by Jewish professors and students on campus and criticizes CUNY for not taking appropriate action. He points out that instead of investigating the individuals who created a hostile environment, CUNY launched an investigation into Jewish professors who were merely asserting their civil rights.  

Filitti also raises concerns about CUNY's decision to hire Mark Lamont Hill, who was previously fired by CNN for hate speech. He emphasizes the need for consequences and accountability, not just for the Jewish community but for all communities affected by racism and bigotry. Filitti concludes by thanking the elected representatives and allies who are standing with the Jewish community and fighting against Jew hatred. 

00:05:00 In this section of the video, a Jewish activist and mother expresses her concern for the safety of Jewish students attending college on campuses that are not specifically Jewish schools. She highlights a recent incident at CUNY Law School where a speaker applauded the institution and then called upon her peers to fight Zionism, which implies fighting Jews. The speaker criticizes the dean and Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez for perpetuating anti-Semitism by their actions and lack of action, including the recent hiring of Mark, who made a speech calling for the destruction of Israel. However, she also expresses hope as public officials from the city, state, and national level are present at the rally in support of justice for the Jewish community. 

00:10:00 In this section, a speaker addresses the importance of standing up against discrimination and not staying silent. They share their personal experience of fleeing Syria and questioning why their family came to the United States for a safe haven, only to have concerns about their children's future. The speaker also calls attention to the lack of response to discriminatory laws targeting Jews in other countries, highlighting the need for equity and social justice. They compare anti-Semitism to gangrene, emphasizing that it cannot be treated or tolerated and that those perpetuating it must be held accountable. The speaker urges Jews to be proud and unafraid to publicly display their identity, and emphasizes the importance of thanking public officials who stand up for the Jewish community. They end by stating that neutrality is not an option and that it is necessary to send a message to all public officials. 

00:15:00 In this section of the video, a speaker expresses a mix of happiness and sadness at seeing so many people gathered at the rally, reflecting on a conversation they had with a Jewish student leader from Brooklyn College who felt overwhelmed by the anti-Semitism on campus. The speaker emphasizes that the issue of anti-Semitism is not unique to CUNY or college campuses in general, but a systemic problem in the country. They assert that today's rally is about showing the administration and anti-Semitic professors that the Jewish community matters and will not be silenced. The speaker also highlights the financial aspect, suggesting that following the money may unveil the roots of the problem. Another speaker, Ari Ackerman, shares an interaction he had with the chancellor, questioning the lack of consequences for those promoting anti-Semitism and expressing concern for the safety of Jews on campus. They also point out the harassment of Jewish professors and call for support from minority communities.

00:20:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker expresses concern about the rise of anti-Semitism in New York City and the need for support to address it. They emphasize that if hate is not stopped in New York City, it will spread throughout the country. The speaker also mentions a conversation they had with the chancellor and expresses disappointment that things have not improved and that more needs to be done to combat anti-Semitism within the educational system. They vow to continue fighting for accountability and change at CUNY. Another speaker, a senator, voices her support for ending hatred against Jews and highlights the fear she has for her children's future. She calls for immediate change and emphasizes the need for CUNY to respond to the concerns raised. The fight against Jew hatred is not over, and they promise to be part of it. 

00:25:00 In this section, the speaker, a member of the New York City Council, expresses gratitude for the support against hatred and acknowledges the importance of organizations like End Jew Hatred. They also discuss the anti-Semitism prevalent at the CUNY and the hiring of a professor with controversial views on Palestine. The speaker questions why the university would allow someone like this to teach, likening it to allowing David Duke to speak at a graduation ceremony. They call on the chancellor of CUNY to take immediate action and express that silence is violence when it comes to targeting Jewish students. The next speaker, a New York State Senator, emphasizes the importance of speaking out against such discrimination and states that silence condones the violence. 

00:30:00 In this section, the speakers express their frustration and outrage at the continued targeting of Jewish students, professors, and leadership at CUNY. They call for accountability from the chancellor, governor, Senate Majority Leader, assembly speaker, and other political leaders who they believe are responsible for setting policies that allow anti-Semitism to persist. They emphasize the need to make CUNY a safe place for Jewish students and demand an end to funding professors who espouse hate. They also highlight the nationwide problem of anti-Semitism on college campuses and call for unity and action from elected officials and all people, regardless of their background. They emphasize the urgency of the situation, as anti-Semitism has only worsened over time, and state that they will continue to fight until they see meaningful change. 

00:35:00 In this section of the video, speakers at the CUNY rally express their anger and frustration at the university's lack of action against anti-Semitism. They call out Mark Lamont Hill for his controversial comments and question why he would be allowed to be a commencement speaker. They emphasize the need for CUNY to listen to the demands of the Jewish community and vow to continue fighting until change is made. The speakers are grateful for the support of the crowd and elected officials, and they are determined to keep mobilizing and increasing the pressure until their voices are heard. 

Rabbi Aaron Parry, 66, buried recently in Jerusalem, gets eulogized in L.A. by family, former educational community

On August 22nd, distinguished L.A educators, Rabbis Avrohom Stulberger (Dean of Valley-Torah H.S.) and Tzvi Bloch (founder of Toras Hashem Synagogue) memorialized the late, formerly-local teacher Rabbi Aaron Parry (d. July 19, 2023 of a coronary), praising his characteristics, his family members, and they noted the impact he had on those around him. They highlighted his love for Torah and mitzvot, his dedication to growing in Judaism, and his desire to be a good Jew and teach Torah to others. The rabbis also emphasize the importance of emulating Rabbi Parry's qualities and commitment to spiritual and intellectual growth. They encourage everyone to honor his memory by incorporating his values into their own lives.



 







Summary of Tribute to R' Aaron Parry (Pt 2): R' Reuven Wolf; student Dr. Omar Margrechter; and R' Moshe Parry 

In this tribute to Rabbi Aaron Parry, various speakers reflect on his qualities and impact. They describe him as a person of deep connection who exuded life and energy, despite facing personal challenges. The concept of death is discussed, with one perspective attributing it to sin and another to divine decree. Rabbi Parry, being a master of esoteric teachings, lived at a deeper level of the soul that remained constant even after his physical passing. Personal stories and memories highlight his love for humanity and small but meaningful actions. Gratitude is expressed for his teachings and the support shown during his memorial. The passing of righteous individuals is seen as opportunities to learn and elevate the soul. Finally, the speaker expresses deep gratitude and reverence, emphasizing Rabbi Parry's significant influence on their spiritual growth and the collective effort to bring Mashiach.

 

Summary of Pt3: Rabbi Aaron Parry: Eulogies by bro R' Moshe, son Yossi. Maariv w/son Eli Parry; R' Yitz Feiglin Rabbi Aaron Parry's loved ones reflect on his impact and legacy in these eulogies. Family members apologize for any shortcomings and express deep sadness. They highlight Rabbi Parry's loving nature, his ability to connect with all people, and his genuine and authentic demeanor. The speakers also emphasize his humility, compassion, determination, and resilience. They admire his continuous pursuit of self-improvement and his positive outlook on life. Overall, they express a deep admiration for Rabbi Parry and his lasting influence on those who knew him.

L.A. shul-goers discover their restaurants' glass smashed by masked, burglar gang


A British-American orthodox area resident inspects the new windows at Schnitzly Restaurant.

 

Some Jewish Los Angelenos walking to synagogue on Shabbat morning were stunned to see glass doors and windows of their kosher restaurants smashed into pieces on the sidewalks. 

Several restaurants catering to Jewish residents of Pico-Robertson neighborhood were vandalized - and some were burglarized.

A glazier repairs the broken glass of Nagila Pizza

The restaurants affected were Nagila Pizza,  Fisherman's Bowl, Sushiko, Shalom Grill, Shanghai Garden, and Fu's Palace (not kosher). Factor's Deli was not touched.

The doorway of the soon to be opened,
Fisherman's Bowl
Restaurant gets boarded up

A roving, neighborhood watchman mentioned that police were alerted on Friday to a stranger brandishing a firearm. We don't know whether the gunman and the break-ins are related. Or whether the break-ins are bias motivated (hate-crime) towards the orthodox Jewish restauranteurs or community.