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- JFACT, The Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, is a statewide advocacy organization, representing the 7 Jewish Federations, 4 Jewish Community Centers, 8 Jewish Family Services, and 2 Jewish nursing homes in Connecticut. JFACT is the government and community relations arm of the Jewish community and lobbies for legislation that is of interest to Connecticut's Jewish community.
January 31, 2017We, the undersigned Jewish Federations throughout the State of Connecticut, alongwith JFACT (Jewish Federations Association of Connecticut) and the Anti-DefamationLeague of Connecticut, oppose President Trump’s Executive Order barring manyrefugees and immigrants from entering the United States.President Trump’s Executive Order, issued on Friday, January 27, 2017, bans anyrefugees from entering the United States for 120 days; suspends indefinitely any Syrianrefugee resettlement; and bans nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen for any reason for 90 days.Judaism instructs, repeatedly and unambiguously, that we are forbidden fromoppressing the stranger. The Bible states no less than 36 separate times that we areobligated to care for the stranger in our society. Leviticus 19:34, as one example,teaches: “The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shalllove each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Both Jewishvalues and Jewish historical experience as immigrants and refugees mandate that werepudiate policies that demonize, ostracize, and leave stranded refugees and othervulnerable immigrants. We remember all too well the story of the St. Louis—of Jewishrefugees fleeing Europe by ship on the eve of the Holocaust who were denied entry intothe U.S. and sent back, many to their deaths. We cannot and will not stand idly by astoday’s victims of war and terror are left helpless and isolated. Nor can we supportpolicies that single out those who practice a certain religion—in this case Islam—fordisproportionate treatment.While we encourage efforts to increase American security, this Executive Orderthreatens to do the opposite. The Executive Order likely will provide material to furtherincite radical Islamists against the United States and certainly has alienated the allies we need to defeat them.We therefore stand with the numerous national Jewish organizations—including theleadership of the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Orthodox Movements,the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the ADL, and HIAS—who have voiced strenuousconcern about this Executive Order. We also specifically affirm our commitment tostand with our friends and neighbors in the Muslim community who are rightfullyconcerned with the implications this ban will have on their loved ones. America shouldcontinue to live up to its reputation as a safe haven for people fleeing religiouspersecution, civil war, terror, and other atrocities in their native countries and in need of refuge.Faced with the largest global refugee crisis of our time, the United States must continueto be a beacon of freedom, safety, and hope.
Jewish Federation of Greater New HavenJudy Alperin Diamondstein, CEO(203) 387–2424 firstname.lastname@example.orgJewish Federation of Greater HartfordSusannah MacNeil, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications(860)727–6161 email@example.comJewish Federation of Eastern ConnecticutRomana Strochlitz Primus, PresidentRomana.firstname.lastname@example.orgJerry Fischer, CEO(860) 442–8062 email@example.comJewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan, and DarienRebekah Raz, VP, and Peter Lilienthal, Chair, JCRC(203) 321–1373Jewish Federation of Western ConnecticutJade Stoltz, Executive Director(203) 267–3177 Jstoltz@jfed.netJewish Federations Association of Connecticut (JFACT)Sydney Perry, Interim Executive Director(203) 605–0001 firstname.lastname@example.orgAnti-Defamation League of ConnecticutAndy Friedland, Assistant Regional Director(203) 780–email@example.com
In last week’s parasha, Vayechi Yaakov (And Jacob lived..) we learn about the death of Jacob, and his dying wish to be buried in the land of his foremothers and fathers.For centuries Jews lived and died in Eastern Europe, where most of us get our Jewish backgrounds. In the wake of the holocaust the final resting places of those fortunate enough to be buried have taken on a new symbolic importance.Unfortunately, the city of Vilna, once the most important city in Jewish Europe, is preparing to build a convention center on top of the historic Jewish cemetery.From Tablet.com:For centuries, the city of Vilna (today Vilnius) was the center of Jewish life in what was then known as Polish-Lithuania. By the turn of the 20th century, the Lithuanian capital boasted over 100 synagogues, an array of Jewish newspapers, and scores of other cultural and religious institutions. It played host to the famed Gaon of Vilna, one of Judaism’s spiritual giants….One remaining vestige of the city’s illustrious past, however, is its old Jewish cemetery, in which “a galaxy of eminent European rabbinic scholars and authors” were buried, as one leading scholar put it. Yet compounding tragedy upon tragedy, the Lithuanian government, reportedly with European Union funding, is preparing to build a $25 million convention center on the site.Sign the petition here, and share the link to all of your contacts.
Read the entire story on Tablet here:
22 Oct 2016
Prime Minister Netanyahu appreciates the leadership shown by Italian Prime Minister Renzi as a welcome process of changing direction in extreme votes against Israel in international forums.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over the weekend, spoke by telephone with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi after having sent him a letter following Italy’s UNESCO vote.
Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked his Italian counterpart for his remarks to the effect that Italy’s vote on the Jewish People’s link to Jerusalem was a mistake that would not recur. Italian Prime Minister Renzi said, “To say that the Jewish People has no connection to Jerusalem is like saying that the sun creates darkness.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that even the theater of the absurd has limits and noted that it was important that countries which respected both themselves and the truth not participate in it. He added that it was not a political question but one of historical facts.
Italian Prime Minister Renzi noted that in the future he would work to influence the positions of other European countries in similar votes and said that he would discuss the issue with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
Prime Minister Netanyahu appreciates the leadership shown by Italian Prime Minister Renzi as a welcome process of changing direction in extreme votes against Israel in international forums. The change in UN institutions will take some years and will also entail disappointments but these are – without doubt – the first signs of a welcome change.