It’s never too late for a Bar Mitzvah
When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen J. Harper paid a state visit to Israel in January, he was accompanied by a large 250-member official delegation. ICEJ-Canada national director Donna Holbrook was in his entourage and invited Canadian MP Mark Adler to come with her to Haifa for a visit of the ICEJ’s Home for Holocaust survivors. The son of survivors himself, Adler is a prominent member of the growing Jewish community in Toronto and was keen to tour the home and meet the residents. The visit turned out to be an extremely moving encounter for him, as he kept listening to their stories and
At the ICEJ’s unique Home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa, the residents have learned to make the most of each day they have left. But one special day in life for every young Jewish boy or girl was denied many of them when they were children due to the Nazi persecution of Jews. Even in all the years since World War II, they had never been able to celebrate their bar or bat mitzvahs marking their entry into adulthood.
So on January 27th, when many in the international community were marking the UN’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day, eleven Holocaust survivors at the Haifa Home, among them five men and six women ages 70 to 85 years old, celebrated their bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs together.
“When I was 13 years old, I was forced to work in Auschwitz and was not able to celebrate my bar mitzvah”, said Abraham Ekroni, now 82. “Every day I had to drag stones to a building site. The guards shouted at me: ‘Faster, faster, damned Jew!’ Mengele had selected me to work in Auschwitz, and I had to burn the corpses of my dead grandparents in the crematories.”
“It is unbelievable that I can celebrate my bar mitzvah as a grandpa now. I have no words to express my joy”, Abraham added, as his wife, daughter and one of his grandsons joined him in singing and dancing.
Abraham and his four friends at the Haifa Home covered their shoulders with prayer shawls and put on tefillin before reading from the Books of Moses and dancing with the Torah scroll.
Canadian MP deeply moved by Haifa Home visit
simply did not want to leave for his next appointment. At one point, MP Adler noticed an historic photo from the Holocaust on the wall of a display at the home and noticed his uncle was in the picture. He later wrote in a newsletter to his supporters that: “It was a special morning for me touring a home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa…
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem runs this home, with 70 residents who all survived the Holocaust. It was a privilege to meet the survivors and hear their stories. The memory of my father, who also survived the concentration camps, is always on my mind.”
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.