2016 Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase

CT Israel Showcase CC Flyer (6)

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Terror Attack on Jerusalem Bus

18 Apr 2016

 In the Emergency workers at the scene of the terrorist attack on the bus in Jerusalemearly evening, an explosion on a Jerusalem bus and a subsequent fire led to the injury of 21 people, including passengers on a passing bus and in a nearby car. (At left, Emergency workers at the scene of the terrorist attack on the bus in Jerusalem). In the early evening (Monday, April 18 2016), an explosion on a Jerusalem bus and a subsequent fire led to the injury of 21 people, including passengers on a passing bus and in a nearby car. Two of the injured are in serious condition, 7 were moderately injured and 12 were lightly injured. After an extensive examination by police experts, it was determined that an explosive devise caused the incident and that this was a terrorist attack.

President Rivlin’s statement following terror attack on Jerusalem bus
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Reuven Rivlin made the following statement regarding the terror attack which took place on a bus in Jerusalem this afternoon (Monday, April 18 2016):

“Our prayers for a speedy recovery go out to those injured in the terror attack, being treated as we speak in hospitals across Jerusalem. On such a day – when thanks to the dedicated work of the security services, this morning the discovery was revealed of a terror tunnel in the south, and in the evening frightened citizens returning from their daily routine are being rushed to hospital – it is clear to us all, that the struggle against terrorism is ceaseless. We will pursue and we will reach all those who wish us harm, until quiet is assured.”

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gala1Join Charter Oak as we celebrate four outstanding members of the community in the areas of Social Justice, Arts and Education, and Jewish Heritage.

Enjoy good food, great company, music and performances – and all to support the work of Charter Oak.

 Bob Fishman copy   susan_fishman2 BW   Alves copy  Dr Saud Anwar BW 

Charter Oak Cultural Center ’s 15 Annual Vision Awards Gala honoring:

Robert J. Fishman – Vision Award in Jewish Heritage
Susan Hoffman Fishman – Vision Award in Jewish Heritage
John Alves – Vision Award in Arts and Education
Dr. Saud Anwar – Vision Award in Social Justice

Join us Monday, May 9th, 2016
at the Hartford Marriott Downtown (200 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford.)

Show your support!

Your sponsorship, journal ad purchase or ticket purchase makes it possible for Charter Oak to continue its important work.

Click here — Vision Awards Evite w ReplyCard attachedFInal — to download the 2016 Vision Awards Gala electronic invitation, save it and send it back to codyd@charteroakcenter.org, fax it to 860-524-8014 or mail it to Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford 06106.

Housed in Connecticut’s first synagogue, Charter Oak Cultural Center provides completely free out-of-school time youth arts offerings, social justice offerings and also presents multi-cultural performances and exhibits that we make accessible to our community for free or at a very low cost. The Vision Awards Gala directly supports this work. Join us for exciting live performances, dancing, great food and drink and great fun. Tickets are $175. Space is limited. Click here, fill in the form, save and email to codyd@charteroakcenter.org or call 860-310-2586 to reserve your tickets.

The Vision Awards Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year. The money we raise is essential to our vital work. Please join us!



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JFACT Dvar Torah

matzaBy Polokoff, Rabbi Eric

Everyone here been to a Passover Seder? So let me ask: what’s an Afikoman? Some kids make Afikoman bags.  We still have the one my daughter made in religious school.

 The Afikoman is really important in the Passover Seder.  It’s what we teach the wise children… I quote the Hagaddah:

 These children should be taught all the laws of Passover from beginning to end – ein maftirin achar haPesach afikoman – including the reference to conclude our Passover meal with the Afikoman.

 So clearly, if the Afikoman was of no or little consequence, it wouldn’t have been singled-out for attention by our rabbis.

 Only – what is an Afikoman? It’s likely from the Greek word Epikomios or Epikomion, meaning “after dinner entertainment” but more literally “that which comes after.” In fact our ancient Rabbis debated what it was… consider this teaching from the Jerusalem Talmud:

 What is the Afikoman? Rabbi shimon said in the name of R. Inanini bar R. Sisi: it is a kind of music.  Rav Ami says: it’s a kind of sweet. Shmuel said: It’s like the mushrooms and pigeons of Hananiah bar Shilat. (Y. Pesachim 10)

 Music? Sweets? Mushrooms? Pigeons?  Haniniah saw them as delicacies, mushrooms or pigeons – like caviar or pate. The one thing it isn’t is a piece of matzah.

 The Afikoman represents a sort of finality, the end of the ceremony. But ending with matzah, felt the Rabbis in Babylonia, was precisely how the eating part should end – the taste of matzah the last morsel in our mouth. Why? I suspect because matzah flatness reminds us not to be too puffed up – to see ourselves and god as siding with those in need, overcoming hardship.

 So notice that Jewish tradition evolves. Were you to say to Rabbi Shimon in the 4th century, “Let’s hide the Afikoman” – he’d have no idea what you were saying. He’d be forced to assume there will be no singing. But as we know, the Afikoman came to mean – end dessert with matzah.

 There are other such changes in other parts of the Seder – Many of us now put an orange on the Seder plate – representing our embrace of equality and inclusion, amongst other rituals.

So with all this change, what’s the same? In all of this, the constant is the desire to observe Passover in the first place. And to relate to the ideas of liberation and being rescued.

So, knowing what you now know about the evolution of the Afikoman…  From being something not known about… to now being one of the most identifiable elements, the finding of a lost half of a broken matzah, ideally by a child… Consider how it actually makes an excellent symbol for Judaism and Jewish community. We search in our lives and our world to create wholeness, bringing shattered parts together. Hopefully, with a sense of modesty. And definitely with an eye to the future, towards the next generation. And that act can be more meaningful than savoring truffles or caviar.

 JFACT exists so that our community can promote those very values discussed on Passover – respect and freedom. May we appreciatereminders that bring us closer to the source of liberation, and of wholeness.

 Cain yehi ratzon.  Be this God’s Will.

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House Bill 5433, Kosher Question Answered

HenryHenry Zachs (pictured at right) testified before the General Law committee on House Bill 5433.  The committee is co-chaired by Rep. David Baram and Senator Carlo Leone.  The bill is designed to have Kosher establishments cite that they sell Kosher food, as well as signage if they also sell non-Kosher food.  Henry urged the committee to understand that members of the Jewish community who keep Kosher know what specific labels to look for and such signage would cause a problem to the consumers.

After deliberations, the committee decided it was appropriate to allow the Jewish community, through its stores, camps and nursing homes, etc., to police itself in regards to the laws of Kashrut.  Therefore, the bill will not have any language involving the State in determining what is and what is not Kosher.

Chairman Baram responded to Henry when asked if Muslim Halal stores have signage that initially a Muslim organization came to him requesting the state assist with enforcement but then the idea was dropped.

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Israeli Wave of Terror

14 Mar 2016

 The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. ​
Six months of terror

 Six months of terror

Since 13 September 2015, 34 people have been killed in terrorist attacks and 404 people (including 4 Palestinians)injured.There have been 202 stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks, 83 shootings, and 42 vehicular (ramming) attacks.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), during the past month there has been a wave of terrorist attacks which began on the Temple Mount and in east Jerusalem. The attacks later spread to Judea and Samaria and even crossed the Green Line into Israel under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger.”

The current wave of terrorist attacks is part of the PA’s strategy of “popular resistance” (i.e., popular terrorism) adopted by the PA and Fatah at the Sixth Fatah conference in August 2009. Statements by Fatah, Hamas and PIJ spokespersons have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel’s crimes”.

During the past week terrorist attacks, which had been concentrated in greater Jerusalem, spread to other locations in Israel, including Kiryat Gat in the south, Tel Aviv, Afula in the north, and Gan Shmuel (near Hadera) and Raanana (in the center of the country). The attacks have been carried out by young lone terrorists, most of them from east Jerusalem, and some from Judea and Samaria. There were also two Israeli Arabs (from Nazareth and Um el-Fahm), Palestinians staying in Israel illegally, two women and two children. They were motivated for the most part by the lie spread by the Palestinian media that Israel allegedly threatened Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as by the frustration, desperation and anger of the younger generation. Generally speaking, the terrorists have not been operatives of any established terrorist organization, and the current wave of terrorism has not been directed by any organization, but rather is directly inspired by the intensive incitement accompanying it.

According to the Israel Security Agency, October 2015 saw the beginning of a wave of terrorism that has led to 620 attacks (483 in the form of firebombs) in one month, compared to 223 in September. Eleven people (one foreign national and 10 Israelis) were killed in terrorist attacks in October, and 80 were injured, 37 of them moderately or more severely (one foreign national, 18 Israeli civilians, and 18 members of the security forces).

In November 2015, 10 people (one Palestinian and 9 Israelis) were killed in terrorist attacks. Among the non-fatal casualties, 22 were wounded in stabbings (including 5 in Jerusalem and 10 within Israel), 24 in vehicle attacks, and 12 in shootings.

In December 2015, 3 civilians were killed. All three of the fatalities were caused by stabbings. In January 2016, 5 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks. In the major shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv two civilians were killed as well as a taxi driver who picked up the attacker near the scene. Two Israeli civilians were killed in stabbing attacks.

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Israel Condemns Iranian Missile Test Fire

cropped-israeli-flag.png(Communicated by MFA Spokesperson’s Bureau)

Israel condemns the recent Iranian ballistic missile test launches. The range of these missiles includes all of Israel and large parts of the Middle East, a region currently engaged in a bloody conflict resulting in waves of refugees fleeing to countries in the region and in Europe. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards stated to the media that most of Iran’s missile arsenal covers Israeli territory.

The test firing of ballistic missiles constitutes a gross violation of UNSC Resolution 2231, which confirmed the nuclear agreement between Iran and the powers. The resolution restricts Iran from launching missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead – the same missiles that Iran test-fired this week. The development of ground-to-ground missiles with nuclear warhead capability calls into question Iran’s’ intentions to comply in full with the nuclear agreement.

Iran continues to dismiss the international community’s demands and to develop its aggressive capabilities. It seems the Zarif-Rouhani “smile campaign” is nothing more than a smoke screen to disguise the real intentions of the ayatollah regime.

Israel calls on the international community to react firmly and decisively against further Iranian missile launches and Iran’s continuing development of ground-to-ground missiles – a violation of the Security Council resolution. Iran’s ballistic missile program must stop.

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