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Copyright @ 2018, The Jewish Observer, Los Angeles, All Rights Reserved. (5778)


        12-18 Tammuz, 5778                                     June 26-July 1, 2018 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES --  609th Web Ed.


The National Museum of American Jewish History held an American Gala in New York on last week honoring the Bernstein Family and celebrated the legacy of the incomparable Leonard Bernstein (b. 1918, d. 1990).

His story lives on through Jamie, Nina, and Alexander, his family who were present yesterday evening; through the Museum's exhibition Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music; and through the worldwide celebrations of what would have been his 100th year.

Broadway veteran, three-time SAG Award winner, and Orange is the New Black star, Lea DeLaria and young musicians from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts delighted us with their performance.

Contributions from the Gala support the work that we do every day at the Museum and make special exhibitions like Bernstein possible. Your generous support -- whether to bolster our Gala, become a Member, or join our 1654 Society -- helps us to educate visitors of all ages and backgrounds about American Jewish history and the importance of heritage and identity in our lives and country today.


The World Jewish Congress (WJC) joins its Ukrainian affiliates, the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and the Vaad of Ukraine, in expressing grave concerns about proposed efforts to glorify the so-called Koliivshchyna in Ukraine.
“The Haidamak Rebellion in 1768 brought death and destruction to vast numbers of people and is symbolized by the terrible slaughter at Uman during which thousands of Jews, Poles, Roman Catholics and Ukrainian Unitiates were slaughtered,” said World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer, who was born and raised in Ukraine. “It is the victims of this terrible tragedy who should be remembered and mourned, not those who killed them. The Koliivshchyna is an event that should be studied in Ukraine as an example of the perils of religious and ethnic intolerance.”
“The World Jewish Congress again commends Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s recent condemnation of “any manifestations of intolerance and anti-Semitism,” and his declaration that “Ukraine is not a place for discrimination and intolerance on any ground, since respect for life and dignity of every person is the highest value for the Ukrainian state,” Singer said.
“This approach is the only viable option for us as an international society. It is only by facing the realities of history openly and honestly that we can move forward together and defeat bigotry and xenophobia in all its forms,” Singer concluded.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.


Alan Dershowitz sits atop a motorcycle donated to United Hatzalah of Israel in Jerusalem, United Hatzalah photo


JERUSALEM -- Alan Dershowitz was in Israel last week to attend the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. As part of his trip, he visited the United Hatzalah headquarters in Jerusalem, an organization whose international board he sits on.
Dershowitz isn’t the type of person who typically rides motorcycles. Yet, on the morning of the day that the embassy opened, Dershowitz rode one of the organization's iconic ambucycles, (a motorcycle equipped with all of the gear that a regular ambulance carries) and was driven from his hotel across the city of Jerusalem with three other friends, one of whom was Isy Danon. Danon, a South African philanthropist who honored Dershowitz by donating $180,000 to the organization had Dershowitz forever inscribed on the Wall of Founders in the main lobby of the building.

Dershowitz has admittedly never ridden on a motorcycle before, and as he and four of his friends are all celebrating their 80th birthdays this year, the group got together to donate one to United Hatzalah. The Founder and President of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer, felt it would be fitting to have Dershowitz ride on one of the ambucycles so that he could feel for himself how useful these vehicles are when it comes to getting through traffic and cutting down response times in order to save lives.
At the headquarters, Danon recounted the story of how Dershowitz introduced him to the organization. “I recall that you told me that you are approached on a daily basis by organizations who ask you to sit as the Chairman of their boards and that you turn them all down, and that you refuse to have your name associated with any organization officially except for United Hatzalah.”

Dershowitz himself picked up the narrative and added,” I do that because I really don’t like to sit on boards. But Eli Beer told me that if I sit on the board of United Hatzalah that he could guarantee me that my service would end up saving lives. So I said to myself, how can I say no to that?”
Dershowitz also shared some advice that he tells people whom he meets who are looking to celebrate a festive occasion. “My friends and I are all turning 80 and we are chipping in together to buy an ambucycle. Everywhere I go all over the U.S. whenever I hear of people celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah, I tell them not to buy another gift that will sit in a drawer somewhere unused but buy an ambucycle. If you can’t do that buy a (Bluebird) field communication device or something that is used to save a life. There is no better gift in the world than something that saves a life.

Beer asked Dershowitz to speak about the historical nature of the day with the Embassy moving to Jerusalem. Dershowitz said: “I had dinner with President Donald Trump some months ago and he asked me my opinion on this. I told him that I felt that it was even more mandatory now than ever before especially after the United Nations Security Council declared the Kotel and the Jewish Quarter illegal and not part of Jerusalem. I told him that now in order to level the playing field and make peace possible, you have to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is and has been the capital of Israel and the capital of the Jewish people for centuries, for millennia. Now, finally,  the world is recognizing what we have all known forever, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people.
Lyle, Dershowitz’s grandson who also accompanied the visit, read a letter that was written by President Reuven Rivlin to Dershowitz praising his efforts for the betterment of Israel and the Jewish people. Following the recitation and the unveiling of his plaque, Dershowitz got to see the actual ambucycle that he and his friends had donated.

After the visit Beer said: “It is because of the hard work and support of our board members and supporters like Alan Dershowitz, Isy Danon, and Mark Gerson, all of whom were here with us today, that we can continue our mission of saving lives in Israel. We are honored to have you here and be able to show you first-hand what it is like to ride through the streets of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, in a race to save lives.


The Duke of Cambridge is to visit Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan in the summer. His five day trip will begin in Amman, the capital of Jordan, on Sunday 24 June and end in Jerusalem.

He will also visit the Jordanian city of Jerash, Tel Aviv in Israel and the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

It will be the first official tour of Israel or the Palestinian areas by a member of the Royal Family on behalf of the British government.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would be "an historic visit, the first of its kind". He said the prince would be welcomed "with great affection".

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have previously visited Jerusalem, but not as part of an official tour.

In 2016, the Prince of Wales went to Jerusalem for the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Prince William's visit comes at a tense time for the region. In May the US inaugurated its first embassy in Jerusalem, despite Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem not being recognized internationally.

On the same day 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during border protests organised largely by Hamas - a militant Islamist group.--BBCi



JERUSALEM -- A few months ago, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raphael Elihav Nachshoni was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Hashomer Street in Bnei Brak while he was on his way to respond to a medical emergency. Elihav was critically injured and came very close to death.

The doctors who received him in the emergency room had given up all chances of his survival.  Against all odds, Elihav recuperated, and after a very short stint in rehabilitation returned to duty as a volunteer first responder last week.
Due to his injuries and in an effort to ease his work as a first responder, United Hatzalah has given him one of the organization’s mini-lance emergency vehicles.  The vehicle was donated specifically for Elihav to use in order to allow him to return to his volunteering as an EMT  first responder.
During the weekly get together of the first responders in Bnei Brak, President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer surprised Elihav and the other gathered responders when he arrived to provide ELihav with the new vehicle.  
The Acting Mayor of Bnei Brak and Secretary of the High Council of Sages Rabbi Avraham Rubinstein came to show his support for the organization at the presentation. Beer commented on how happy he was to see Elihav fully recuperated and back in action.

“Today is one of the happiest days in my life. To see Elihav healthy and return to service as a United Hatzalah volunteer, is something that is truly special. A few months ago I visited him while he was in serious condition in the hospital. I made him a promise during that visit, that if he is able to heal and he works on getting himself healthy, then we would do everything in our power as an organization to enable him to return to being a first responder. During the recent weeks when he returned home and was in the final stages of making his full recovery from the very serious injuries that he sustained, Elihav requested to be reinstated as a first responder once again. We made the decision then to purchase for him this special vehicle, our new “mini-lance”, that was just brought into service in our fleet of vehicles a few months ago. With this new vehicle, Elihav can continue to arrive at the scenes of emergencies and save lives as fast as possible, just like he used to do prior to the accident.”