MUSEUM OF TOLERANCE'S COMMITMENT TO SERVE
LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES
The Museum of Tolerance continues to serve law enforcement through new partnerships and programs, adapted and updated for the changing challenges of the pandemic and beyond. These include:
Two new leadership initiatives for executive leadership and front-line supervisors in partnership with the US Department of Justice COPS office.
A national certification program for law enforcement agencies across Tennessee and nationwide in partnership with the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center. An organization-wide training day to 500 city attorneys as part of a larger initiative with the LA City Attorney’s office.
The Museum's Tools for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement continues to bring programs and select Museum assets to local police agencies, maintaining our commitment to serve law enforcement and the community at large.
STATE LAUNCHES COVID-19 RENT RELIEF PROGRAM
County Partnership with State Expected to Maximize Assistance to Households Most Impacted by the Pandemic
The State has announced the launch of a CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, intended to help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for arrears and future payment. Supported by the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief provides financial assistance to income-qualified tenants experiencing housing instability and provides rent reimbursement to landlords for unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is rooted in community, and grounded in its commitment to keep individuals and families housed. California’s network of trusted community based partners is dedicated to providing assistance to tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19, and is committed to serving people where they live, providing equitable access to program resources and easing the burden on Californians.
The decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to Opt-In to the statewide program will offer a singular, uniform framework to be deployed throughout California and avoid unnecessary confusion about competing programs among residents. The Board is confident in the State’s selection of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to serve as the lead agency in the County, tasked with bringing together ground-level partnerships with local communities to assist in the implementation of the program.
LISC, who is grounded in the community, has the capacity and experience to serve and ensure that the State’s efforts are focused on a commitment to equity, while being culturally relevant, and reaching the residents most impacted by the economic hardship created by the pandemic. LISC will establish and manage the program’s expansive Local Partner Network with community-level partners to ensure that all regional geographies and target communities and tribes throughout California have access to the program.
“The pandemic has exposed and deepened social and economic inequalities in the County, with the burden of the crisis affecting low-income and communities of color,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Too many County residents have lost their jobs, are continuing to experience food insecurity, and facing housing instability and homelessness. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will help close the equity gap and meet the needs of both tenants and landlords. This program was developed with community at the core and will serve as a safety net for our most vulnerable.”
The Board of Supervisors supports the efforts being brought forward by the State. To that end, the Los Angeles County Development Authority County (LACDA) has been working closely with the State and its partners to make sure the program will effectively enroll those households most impacted by COVID-19 and whose housing stability has been jeopardized by the pandemic. By partnering with established organizations in hardest hit communities, and continually working together to make the application process seamless, the State will provide person-centered and culturally relevant guidance to Californians most in need of rent relief.
The LACDA will remain actively engaged with the State throughout the rent relief deployment process to provide guidance and technical assistance given the agency’s extensive experience deploying multiple rent relief programs within the past year.
Emilio Salas, Executive Director of the LACDA, said, “The State’s program will further bolster the County’s own rent relief programs and address the adverse condition from which many lower income households have suffered due to the pandemic. This additional funding is an effort to help close the equity gap and will provide housing stability for some of our most vulnerable households, especially those in higher need areas.”
Resources and application information are available at HousingIsKey.com. A CA COVID-19 Rent Relief call center is available to get help answering eligibility questions, for application assistance, and to provide information on local assistance. The call center may be reached by calling (833) 430-2122 between 7 am and 7 p.m. daily.
THE SWC CELEBRATES THE LEGACY OF GOLDA MEIR: WATCH NOW
In honor of International Women's Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is celebrating the legacy of Golda Meir, Israel's first female Prime Minister.
Golda Meir, nee Mabovich, was born on May 3, 1898, in Kiev. She immigrated to the United States to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family at the age of 8. Meir was an activist even as a teenager, organizing a campaign to raise money for the schoolbooks of fellow classmates who could not afford them. By the age of 15, she was an active Zionist, became a teacher by the age of 19 at a Yiddish-speaking school and married Morris Meyerson. Her pre-conditions for marrying her husband was that he would agree to make Aliyah with her to what was then known as Palestine, which they did in 1921. They joined a kibbutz and Golda became active in the kibbutz movement and later the Histradrut, the labor federation for the Jewish community in Palestine.
After moving to Tel Aviv with her family to continue her work for the Histadrut, she was then sent to the United States for 2 years as a Zionist emissary. When she returned to Palestine, she became a member of the Executive Committee of the Histadrut, was an observer at the 1938 Evian Conference, and in 1946 took over as the acting head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department after many leaders of the Zionist movement were arrested by the British.
At the beginning of 1948, Meir traveled to the US and raised $50 million to purchase weapons to defend the State of Israel when it was declared in May and the War of Independence began. She was one of two women who signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence, was issued the first official Israeli passport when she traveled to the USSR to become the Jewish state’s first Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and became Labor Minister and Foreign Minister upon her return in the 1950s.
In 1969, after the sudden death of Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir became Israel’s Prime Minister, the second woman in the world to reach this office after India’s Indira Gandhi. She resigned in April 1974 after controversies surrounding the surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria that previous October 1973 in what became known as the Yom Kippur War. However, until her death from cancer in 1978, she devoted her energies to fight on behalf of Soviet Jewry and other causes. To this day, she remains one of the most admired figures in Jewish history.
This excerpt from Moriah Films In Search of Peace looks at the moment when Golda Meir secretly traveled to Amman, Jordan, a few days prior to the State of Israel being officially established, to negotiate a peace treaty with King Abdullah I. The narrator is Academy Award®-winner Michael Douglas and the voice of Golda Meir is the late Academy Award®-winning actress, Anne Bancroft.
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2-8 Nissan, 5781 March 15-21, 2021 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--645th Web Ed.
The Jewish Observer,
"SCARED OF SHARING MY ZIONIST IDENTITY" JEWISH STUDENTS SHARE THEIR CAMPUS EXPERIENCES
LOS ANGELES -- The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance, in partnership with Club Z, examine: How Did Jewish Students Become Targets of Persecution?: Jew-Hatred Exposed in part 2 of its 3-part virtual series, Jew-Hatred Exposed: Voices Beyond the Conventional.
Hear from high school students and college alumni who share their experience of confronting both classical anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism such as Natalie Arbitman who spoke about how she has to "check my Zionism at the door" and is "scared of sharing my Zionist identity."
Moderated by Dr. Naya Lekht, Director of Education at Club Z; featuring Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for SWC. Save the date for Panel 3 in this series, Jew-Hated Exposed: Perspectives from our Non-Jewish Neighbors scheduled for Sunday, April 18 at 2PM PST/5PM EST.
THE PASSOVER PREPARATION
Preparation for Passover, which begins on the evening of 14 Nissan (March 27) is underway these next couple of weeks in Jewish communities around the world. In households where Orthodox rules are followed, the separation of Passover from the rest of the year is even more notable than the separation of Shabbat from the rest of the week. For Passover, the entire household is purified. The dwelling is truly made kosher for Pesach.
Such a household will usually possess a totally separate supply of Passover dishware and utensils, and not one of these articles may come into contact with anything used during the rest of the year. The Passover dishes will be brought out after the non-Passover plates are store away for the duration of the holiday. If the family does not possess separate dishware, pots, and utensils for Passover, an established ritual of purification involving boiling water, and burial in the ground, must be followed.
As the dominant symbol of Passover is the eating of the bread of affliction, or flat matzoth, during the entire holiday, the preparation of the matzoth in Orthodox communities extends back to watching the fields in which the grain is grown, to make sure that none of it becomes fermented through rotting. The flat cakes of the Exodus were hastily made from dough that was not set aside to ferment and rise -- and one may indeed see the Bedouin of the Sinai today making the same flat bread, or pittah, from a dough of flour and water that is at once baked over a small fire.
In medieval times matzah was baked at home, and later, in communal ovens. The lines of perforations, to keep the matzah from rising during the baking, were made with a wheel with pointed teeth, called a reidel. Now matzah is a factory-made under rabbinical supervision.
A final ceremony is the search for leftover chametz, or leavened bread, that takes place in each Orthodox home on the night before the Seder. This is done for a family procession, led by the father holding a candle. A few crumbs, purposely left by the wife after an intensive Passover housecleaning, are carefully swept up with a father into a wooden scoop, and taken out to be burned, feather, scoop, and all.
In the modern, less observant household, the meaning of Passover is celebrated without strict obedience to rules and taboos. “Kosher for Passover” is stamped on numerous packaged products. However, the ceremonial items still must be assembled and prepared.
First, the ceremonial matzoth. These are three matzoth, once the special matzoth of watched fields, now ordinary samples. They are placed at the head of the table, and covered. They may be under a napkin, or inside a special matzah cover, which is usually embroidered.
Then there is a Passover plate, on which the five symbolic foods are displayed. An ordinary large plate may be used, but ceremonial platters, in silver, or porcelain, of ancient or modern design, with sections for each food, enhance the Sedar table.
The foods to be presented are as follows: Springs greens. Celery, lettuce, or sprigs of parsley maybe used. There should be enough so that each person may be handed a small portion for “dipping” during the service.
A roasted egg. This is to be held aloft for display.
A roasted shank bone of lamb. This bone is meatless, and is also for display, symbolizing the sacrificial lamb of ancient times.
The bitter herb. A horseradish is display on the ceremonial plate, but as portions of the bitter herb are eaten during the ceremony, it is best to provide servers within reach of everyone at the table. Wafer-thin slices of horseradish are more practical than ground horseradish.
Charoset. This unique Passover dish is a spread made out of finely chopped apples, almonds, and raisins, seasoned with cinnamon and made into a paste with sweet wine. Again, a small portion is displayed on the Passover plate, while more is within reach for everyone at the table. In color and consistency, charoset resembles mortar.
In addition to these five items on the ceremonial platter, a dish of salt water is provided for the dipping of the greens. If the group is small, the leader of the Seder may dip each portion of the greens as he hands it out, but if many people are present, it is best to have a saltwater dish within reach of each person. A widely observed custom is to provide a hard-boiled egg in a dish of salt water at each setting. This may be eaten as an appetizer.
Finally, there are provisions of matzoth, and the flasks of wine, enough to provide four cups for each person. Various confections and little gifts may be hidden around the room for the children’s hunt that comes toward the end of the feast.
The Seder meal itself, in Biblical times, consisted of roasted lamb, but today dishes vary all over the world. In the tradition of East European Jewry, the feast usually begins with gefüllte fish, followed by chicken soup with matzah balls. Honey cake and sponge cake with tea are customary at Passover. After the meal one should linger, cracking walnuts, eating fruit and macaroons, candies, and Passover honey dips called teiglach.
-- An Israel Haggadah for Passover by adapted by Meyer Levin
CA DEPT OF EDUCATION REFUSES TO REMOVE WHAT SOME SEE AS MISLEADING & UNETHICAL CLAIMS IN ETHNIC STUDIES
Despite warnings from more 100 university scholars and academics that the final draft of the state-mandated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) contains numerous empirically false and politically-motivated claims about the educational benefits of ethnic studies, the California Department of Education (CDE) refused to remove any of the misleading claims.
One hundred and forty-five scholars, including 17 Distinguished Professors and a Nobel Laureate, publicly demanded that the State Board of Education - which is slated to approve the final curriculum this Thursday - withhold approval until the baseless claims used to convince school districts to implement the curriculum are removed.
In January, 35 scholars, including AMCHA co-founder Dr. Leila Beckwith, wrote to California education officials with an eight-page comprehensive analysis of the research cited in the ESMC as evidence for bold claims that ethnic studies courses result in “positive academic and social outcomes for students.” The scholars found that none of the dozens of articles cited in the ESMC provided sufficient evidence for the claims attributed to it, and they urged the CDE to remove the unsubstantiated and misleading claims.
And earlier this month, 114 scholars, “deeply concerned that empirically unsubstantiated claims of the educational benefits of ethnic studies are being used to advance the political goals of some activist-educators,” reiterated the call to education officials to remove these claims. The scholars noted that Christine Sleeter, author of the ESMC’s central and demonstrably false claim that “there is considerable research evidence” of the educational benefits of ethnic studies, is herself a leading proponent of Critical Ethnic Studies, a narrow and highly controversial version of the discipline that is firmly rooted in ideologies that divide society into oppressed and oppressor groups based primarily on race, and coerce students into political activism to advance the practitioners’ ideological goals.
According to the scholars, Sleeter and fellow educator-activists, including several members of the original ESMC advisory committee, have been using false claims about the benefits of ethnic studies to ensure that Critical Ethnic Studies is incorporated into the ESMC and taught in classrooms throughout the state. Although the ESMC has gone through three revisions since its highly controversial and politicized first draft, and much of its objectionable content has been removed along the way, Critical Ethnic Studies principles have been at the heart of every draft to date, including the final one. AMCHA co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin was the first to expose the way in which the discipline of Critical Ethnic Studies is deeply anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist. And AMCHA has led several coalition efforts to educate officials about how a Critical Ethnic Studies-based ESMC can’t help but incite division, hatred and harm to many students, especially Jewish students.