April 12, 2018

In Tel Aviv: Holocaust (Shoah) Remembrance Day

When the SS murdered Romanian-born Leah's parents in front of her,
a Christian neighbor heard the screams and gunshots
and dashed into the house, grabbed the 9-year-old child survivor
insisting she was hers and hid Leah in a crawl space 3 years.

Note: I first published this post on Yom Hashoah 2009.

Today, as every year on the 27th day of the Hebrew month Nisan, at 10 A.M., a two-minute siren wailed nationwide. The sound calls us to remember the six million Jews — one-third of world Jewry then, among them 1.5 million children that the Third Reich systematically exterminated in less than five years. Five million more victims perished, including German opponents of Nazism, Gypsies/Roma, Serbs, Polish intelligentsia, resistance fighters from all nations, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, people with disabilities, habitual criminals, and the "antisocial" such as beggars, vagrants, and hawkers.

Listening to the siren, activities and conversations stop and traffic halts: drivers and passengers exit cars, busses, taxis, and trucks, and pedestrians stand still. Yom Hashoah memorial ceremonies follow at the Knesset (Parliament), the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, and in schools, organizations, and institutions nationwide.

At the corner of Tel Aviv's Allenby and Yavne Streets, in the first public Beit Avot (Home for the Aged), I joined the residents, most of them Shoah survivors, for their memorial ceremony.

Watch the video (5:21 minutes).

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April 11, 2018

In Israel: Restrooms for Refugees

Two public restrooms funded by individual donations
to provide basic solutions to untenable conditions

Thrilled to support human dignity for our African asylum-seeking friends and partners.

Asylum-seekers are required to apply for visa renewals every month or two (for families, every six months) at the sole office of the Israel Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration (PIBA) in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv. Instances of frivolous rejection are not uncommon.

Please, join the “Restrooms for Refugees - Israel” GoFundMe campaign to install basic facilities, shelter, and sanitary conditions to alleviate the denigrating conditions they experience waiting outside often in burning sun on dirt ground that turns to mud in pouring rain.

To donate to the campaign, click here. Thank you.

About GoFundMe, the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $5 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 50 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives. For more information, click here.

April 01, 2018

Palestinian Israeli Girl Scouts on Palm Sunday

Palestinian Israeli Girl Scouts on Palm Sunday

Happy Easter to my dear Christian friends. 

חג הפסחא שמח לידידי הנוצרים היקרים. בתצלום בנות הצופים פלסטיניות ישראליות ביום ראשון הדקל נוגעת ללב

I hope Holy Week from Palm Sunday through today, Easter Sunday, has been significant and affirming. May the moral life and universal, humanistic message of Jesus, and resurrection —revival and new beginnings inform our visions and actions. 

Thousands of Christian pilgrims observed Holy Week in Jerusalem’s Old City. 

Watch the video (3.5 minutes).