Wednesday, June 28, 2017
REFORM MOVEMENT LAUNCHING FIRST RABBINICAL SCHOOL FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS. AND ISRAEL STRIKES HAMAS POSTS IN GAZA AFTER ROCKET FIRE.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.(THE VATICAN IS BUILT ON 7 HILLS OR MOUNTAINS)
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen,(1-ASSYRIA,2-EGYPT,3-BABYLON,4-MEDO-PERSIA,5-GREECE) and one is,(IN POWER IN JOHNS AND JESUS DAY-6-ROME) and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.(7TH-REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE OR THE EUROPEAN UNION TODAY AND THE SHORT SPACE IS-7 YEARS.THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL HAVE WORLD CONTROL FOR THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS.BUT WILL HAVE ITS MIGHTY WORLD POWER FOR THE FULL 7 YEARS OF THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.AND THE WORLD DICTATOR WILL BE THE BEAST FROM THE EU.AND THE VATICAN POPE WILL BE THE WHORE THAT RIDES THE EUROPEAN UNION TO POWER.AND THE 2 EUROPEAN UNION POWER FREAKS WILL CONTROL AND DECIEVE THE WHOLE EARTH INTO THEIR DESTRUCTION.IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.YOU WILL BE DECIEVED BY THESE TWO.THE WORLD POLITICIAN-THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR.AND THE FALSE PROPHET THAT DEFECTS CHRISTIANITY-THE FALSE VATICAN POPE.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Reform movement launching first rabbinical school for Spanish speakers-Buenos Aires institution will ordain students from Latin America, Spain and Portugal-By JTA June 27, 2017, 4:01 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The Reform movement is launching its first school to train and ordain rabbis from Latin America, Spain and Portugal to work in those communities.The Ibero American Institute for Rabbinical Education of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, or WUPJ, will begin classes in August in Buenos Aires.“This project will transform the regional reality,” WUPJ said.Some 20 rabbinical candidates from Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Spain have enrolled. A Hispanic student from the United States also has enrolled.The institute will be run jointly by the Latin American branch of WUPJ; the Argentine network of institutions Fundación Judaica, and the Center of Jewish Spirituality Mishkan, which will be the headquarters of the institution. Ruben Nisenbom, the Argentine founder of Mishkan, will be in charge of the institute.WUPJ President Carole Sterling has called the institute “an important step for the Reform world.”“We know that it will be fundamental for the development of our movement in the region and will permit us to answer the growing demand on behalf of our communities,” she said last month when the institute was officially presented by Ibero-American leaders to the Reform movement during the WUPJ Conference in Jerusalem.Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Reform movement in Israel and founder of the Rabbis for Human Rights movement, called the new institution “one of the great milestones of Judaism in the last decade.”Ibero-America is a region in Central and South America made up of Spanish and Portuguese speakers that also includes Spain and Portugal.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Israel strikes Hamas posts in Gaza after rocket-fire-Military says it targeted infrastructure in north and south of enclave following earlier launch that hit Sha’ar Hanegev region-By Times of Israel staff June 27, 2017, 3:37 am
The Israeli Air Force on Monday night struck two Hamas infrastructure targets in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, the military said.The IDF said the strikes came in response to a rocket launch from the Strip earlier in the night.There were no immediate reports of casualties by Palestinians.The rocket hit southern Israel, in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, not causing any damage or casualties.The launch was claimed by a salafist group linked to the Islamic State, according to Hebrew media reports.Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from the territory it controls, and has in the past responded to any launch with strikes on Hamas targets.Hamas rulers said earlier this month it was not interested in a fresh round of conflict, even as electricity cuts requested by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and facilitated by Israel, threatened to lead to new violence.Abbas has led a high-stakes campaign to weaken Hamas by gradually reducing the flow of electricity to the territory he lost to the terrorist group in 2007.Egypt has since stepped in to ship in fuel to make up for most of the power cuts, though its not clear how long the shipments will continue.On Monday, the Haaretz daily reported that human rights groups and officials in Gaza suspect Abbas is also attempting to keep Gazans from being able to seek medical attention in Israel as a means of ramping up pressure.Israeli security concerns have shifted in the last few days to the northern border, where fighting in neighboring Syria has bled into Israel, with fire from mortars and small arms hitting in the Golan Heights.Israel has struck back at Syrian regime targets several times in retaliation.Earlier Monday, Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman said Israel has “no intention of launching a military operation” against Syria or Gaza.But Liberman added that despite the military establishment’s hope for calm on Israel’s borders, it will not tolerate any provocations, even accidental fire that spills over from a neighboring conflict.
Gaza rocket hits open area in southern Israel, no injuries-Fire claimed by Salafist group comes after defense minister says Israel has no intention of going to war with Gaza or Syria, but will not tolerate ‘provocations’-By Times of Israel staff June 26, 2017, 10:47 pm
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel Monday night, not causing any damage, but breaking a tense calm amid rising tensions with the Palestinian enclave.The Israeli military said the projectile landed in open area in the Sha’ar Hanegev region.“No injuries have been reported. Forces are searching the area,” the army said in a statement.The launch was claimed by a salafist group linked to the Islamic State, according to Hebrew media reports.Gaza’s Hamas rulers said earlier this month they were not interested in a fresh round of conflict, even as electricity cuts requested by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and facilitated by Israel, threatened to lead to a new round of violence.Abbas has led a high-stakes campaign to weaken Hamas by gradually reducing the flow of electricity to the territory he lost to the terrorist group in 2007.Egypt has since stepped in to ship in fuel to make up for most of the power cuts, though its not clear how long the shipments will continue.On Monday, the Haaretz daily reported that human rights groups and officials in Gaza suspect Abbas is also attempting to keep Gazans from being able to seek medical attention in Israel as a means of ramping up pressure.Israeli security concerns have shifted in the last few days to the northern border, where fighting in neighboring Syria has bled into Israel, with fire from mortars and small arms hitting in the Golan Heights.Israel has struck back at Syrian regime targets several times in retaliation.Earlier Monday, Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman said Israel has “no intention of launching a military operation” against Syria or Gaza.But Liberman added that despite the military establishment’s hope for calm on Israel’s borders, it will not tolerate any provocations, even accidental fire that spills over from a neighboring conflict.
Stop building in settlements outside blocs, ex-Netanyahu security aide says-At panel on Mideast peace, Yaakov Amidror says Israel must preserve possibility of 2-state solution, argues biggest threat to Jewish state is demography-By Dov Lieber June 27, 2017, 1:30 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser argued Monday that Israel must cease new construction in settlements outside of the so-called blocs, or risk losing its ability to uphold both its Jewish and democratic nature.Yaakov Amidror, who served under Netanyahu from 2011 to 2013, said at a panel at Bar-Ilan University that while he though current Palestinian leadership and the volatility of the current Middle East do not present the conditions for a peace deal, Israel must preserve the possibility of a two-state solution in the future.That means only building in areas Israel hopes to keep via land swaps in a final status deal with the Palestinians.“Israel should limit settlement building to the blocs or the boundaries of existing settlements and reserve the remaining area for discussion at a time when there might be a different Palestinian leadership,” he wrote in a study he was presenting at the conference.There are six major blocs commonly seen as being held by Israel in any future deal: Givat Ze’ev, Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Ariel, Modiin Illit and Karnei Shomron-The settlement watchdog group Peace Now released a report in May that said some 70 percent of settlement construction in the West Bank last year took place outside the so-called blocs. However, the report relies on the definition of the blocs as outlined on the 2003 Geneva Initiative, which is rejected by the current government.Last week, Israel began construction on the first new settlement since 1993. The new settlement, to be known as Amichai, is to accommodate residents of the illegal Amona outpost, which was evacuated in February in line with court orders because it was built on private Palestinian land. Amichai is located near the settlements of Shiloh and Eli, north of Ramallah.Amidror, who is now a fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was presenting the findings of his recently published study, entitled “Israel’s Inelegant Options in Judea and Samaria: Withdrawal, Annexation, and Conflict Management.”Panelists at the event included Environment and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), former minister and veteran peace activist Yossi Beilin—a key architect of the Oslo peace process—and Professor Ruth Gavison, an Israeli law expert and Israel Prize laureate. All agreed that demographics posed the greatest challenge to the future of Israel.Amidror said he had yet to hear a legitimate solution from those on Israel’s right wing who favor annexation of the West Bank on how it the Jewish state might swallow the entire Palestinian population — several million people — while still remaining both a Jewish and democratic state.“I’ve never heard a logical argument from the right about the demographic issue,” he said. The other panelists agreed.Elkin argued that given the current turbulence in the Middle East, in which he doesn’t know what will be the “names of states that border Israel” in a year, finding a solution to the demographic problem will have to wait.He also said he was sure Mahmoud Abbas — who he accused of “killing” Palestinian politics — would be the last president of the Palestinian Authority. As for who would govern the Palestinians in the future if the authority were to disappear, he said Palestinians might live in “small islands of sovereignty.”Beilin passionately argued for setting Israel’s borders as soon as possible. He said that safeguarding Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature was his primary reason for wanting to end Israel’s 50-year military rule over the Palestinians in the West Bank. The moral argument that the occupation harms both the Palestinians and Israel, he said, was only of secondary importance to him.“What is important for me is to leave to my children and grandchildren a democratic and Jewish state. I need a border,” he said, to some applause in the room.Criticizing Elkin, Beilin argued that those who say conditions aren’t ripe for a solution are intentionally dithering in order to perpetuate the status quo.Beilin also said it was time to “think seriously about an Israeli-Palestinian confederation.” He argued a confederation would could solve the demographic threat by allowing Israeli citizens to live among Palestinians, as well as a number of other issues including the demilitarization of a Palestinian state and environmental and infrastructural issues.Gavison, who said she considered herself a centrist, said the divided Israeli political landscape could unify around the goal of ensuring a “strong and stable Jewish majority.”Settlements have long been one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the Palestinians and much of the international community saying that their expansion threatens the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.The Palestinians and much of the international community do not recognize any settlements in the West Bank as legal.Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.
Fuming opposition looks to fell government over Western Wall reversal-Zionist Union says cabinet’s decision creating barrier with Diaspora; despite opposing move, Liberman thought unlikely to bring down government-By Tamar Pileggi June 26, 2017, 8:31 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The opposition Zionist Union faction said on Monday that it will submit a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, over the cabinet’s decision to shelve a hard-won deal for a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall and the initial approval of a bill that would cement the ultra-Orthodox monopoly on conversions.“The government’s decision against the Western Wall as well as the conversion issue severely harms US Jewry, Israelis, those who seek to become a part of the Jewish people, and any one else who wishes to pray at the Western Wall according to their customs,” the party said in a statement.“The message conveyed to both Israelis and Jewish communities abroad is a bitter one which creates a barrier between Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people and large segments of the Jewish people,” it said.The motion will be submitted to the Knesset next Monday.On Sunday, the government suspended a plan it had previously approved for a pluralistic prayer area, following calls by Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal. The plan would have seen the establishment of a properly prepared pavilion for pluralistic prayer — as opposed to current temporary arrangements — under joint oversight involving representatives of all major streams of Judaism.The decision to cancel the deal was lambasted by the opposition and representatives of Diaspora Jewry as well as coalition faction Yisrael Beytenu and members of the Kulanu party, which is also in the government.Kulanu MK Michael Oren, who formerly served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States, branded the move an “abandonment of Zionism.”However, on Monday, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman indicated he wouldn’t derail the coalition over the disagreements, saying he hopes that he can cut a compromise in the coming week.Kulanu’s leadership has been silent on the matter.Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, who is due to meet on Tuesday with Jewish leaders from the US, told Army Radio Diaspora Jews have “tremendous anger” over the government’s backtracking over the Western Wall deal.They have “a feeling of being deceived,” he said. “The compromise deal was agreed to by all until extreme elements decided to scare everyone and to sabotage the process. This is causing deep division in the Jewish people.”Herzog said that Netanyahu was “simply zig-zagging. He caved. He is afraid.”Currently, a prayer space at the Western Wall south of the main plaza and down several flights of stairs hosts pluralistic prayer. The deal would have seen construction work to raise the space up to the same level as the rest of the main plaza, and would have given control of the site to all religious streams under the state’s imprimatur.Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman said Netanyahu had ordered work to continue in preparing the plaza and that it remain open to all streams of Judaism.“It is important to Prime Minister Netanyahu that every Jew be able to pray at the Western Wall,” Braverman said in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Some critics of Western Wall plan still unhappy after freeze-Archaeologist says expansion of pluralistic prayer site may still harm antiquities; feminist religious activist who opposed agreement finds little joy in reversal-By Melanie Lidman June 26, 2017, 11:39 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The government decision to suspend a plan creating a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall brought little satisfaction to two non-Orthodox groups that opposed the original proposal: archaeologists and religious activists who had sought greater gains than the compromise afforded.On Sunday, the government suspended a plan it had previously approved for a pluralistic prayer area, following calls by Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal. The plan would have seen the establishment of a properly prepared pavilion for pluralistic prayer — as opposed to current temporary arrangements — under joint oversight involving representatives of all major streams of Judaism.The government has said despite the deals being canceled, it will continue to expand the prayer space at Robinson’s Arch south of the main Western Wall plaza, leading to continued concerns over archaeological damage to antiquities there.“There is no way only solution should be found on account of such an important heritage site,” said Dr Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist with Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, who has excavated many sites around the Old City walls.Education Minister Naftali Bennett opened the platform in 2013 when he was religious affairs minister, in part due to pressure from non-Orthodox Jewish groups, including Women of the Wall.The platform, constructed as a temporary measure, enraged some archaeologists at the time.A group of Jerusalem archaeologists petitioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year to remove the platform immediately and find other arrangements, calling the site “the crowning glory of the archaeology of Jerusalem.”“This is the is the only place where you can see and touch the immense stones that fell during the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, the stones that fell from the Western Wall onto the original street that was used by the masses of pilgrims,” Mazar said Monday.There are no ongoing archaeological excavations in the area where the egalitarian section is located or is planned to expand.“The debris, the destruction those were already revealed, but the destruction is hiding it underneath any kind of ramp,” she said. “You lose the whole impression that is given when you see the Western Wall and the immense stones that fell,” she said.The platform obscures some of the former temple’s magnificent masonry, as well as gems from other archaeological periods found in the area.The committee charged that the platform was built in violation of archaeological and construction statutes.Mazar’s grandfather, Benjamin Mazar, was the archaeologist who oversaw the excavation of the area where the platform stands today. Nine archaeologists signed the petition to Netanyahu calling for the dismantling of the platform.The Israel Antiquities Authority declined to comment on the new developments regarding Netanyahu’s decision to freeze the agreement. In a Knesset session examining the platform on November 22, 2016, IAA chief Yisrael Hasson also decried the platform’s construction.“Converting the site into a prayer space will prevent adequate preservation and management of the finds,” Hasson told a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee.However, Hasson added that if the government does decide to expand the pluralistic section, the IAA wants to be involved in order to minimize damage.Non-Orthodox religious activists who originally opposed the Western Wall agreement also said they felt torn.“It’s hard to know what to think, because of course we have always opposed the deal and did not want it,” said Cheryl Birkner Mack, one of the leaders of the Original Women of the Wall group.Original Women of the Wall split from the larger women’s activist prayer group, Women of the Wall, over Women of the Wall’s decision to ultimately support the Western Wall agreement.“But what we did not want was the forgoing of women’s rights at the Kotel [Western Wall] itself,” added Mack. “On the one hand, it seems to be status quo, but on the other hand, it’s very disrespectful for the non-Orthodox movement. All of us, whether we’re Orthodox or not, support non-Orthodox movements and support recognition of their rights, so it’s hard to know how to respond to this.”Bennett on Monday called the latest government decision to freeze the deal unfortunate, but not a major disaster.He said the government this week allocated some $5 million to carry out the promised expansion of the prayer area in the coming months. It was only other aspects of the plan, including construction of a shared entrance to all prayer areas and joint management of the site by all streams of Judaism, that were frozen.“The main message for Jews around the world is ‘you are wanted,'” Bennett said. “The Kotel is open for all Jews of the world and will remain open for all Jews of the world.”Times of Israel staff and AP contributed to this article.
It is difficult to reconcile honoring police with an award for tikkun olam'-Police shooting, protests prompt Seattle Jewish Federation to halt annual award-A ceremony recognizing Seattle’s finest for ‘repairing the world’ is on hold after a pregnant mother of four was shot in her home when she called in a burglary-By Greg Scruggs June 27, 2017, 3:24 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
SEATTLE — Last week, the death of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old black woman, at the hands of police caused the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle to postpone its annual meeting along with a planned award ceremony for the Seattle Police Department. The killing also prompted a public petition from members of the Seattle Jewish community to rescind the award completely.In May, the Federation announced that its annual Tikkun Olam Award would be given on June 22 to Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, on behalf of her department, for incorporating Holocaust education into police training and collaborating with Jewish groups on a real-time communications tool developed after a shooting attack at the Federation’s headquarters in 2006.The Federation said in a written statement on June 21 that the postponement of the award ceremony came at O’Toole’s request “due to the fragile state of the Seattle community and the raw emotions around the police’s actions in connection with the death of Charleena Lyles.” The statement also affirmed that the award still stands, a decision at odds with an online petition drafted in the immediate aftermath of Lyles’ death that garnered over 750 signatures in 48 hours.Calling themselves “Concerned Seattle Jews,” petitioners on the online platform Change.org wrote, “It is difficult to reconcile honoring Chief O’Toole with an award for tikkun olam — the idea that Jews share responsibility for repairing the world — while the Seattle Police Department is under a US Justice Department order and federal court supervision because of a history of excessive use of force and mistreatment of our fellow citizens, especially people of color. In the wake of Sunday’s police killing of Charleena Lyles, an African American mother who called the police for assistance and ended up dead, the idea of the Jewish Federation carrying through this award is especially appalling.”Lyles, a pregnant mother of four with a history of mental illness, called the emergency line 911 on June 18 to report a burglary. Two officers responded to the call and their dispatch system noted her mental health history. Inside her apartment, with her young children present, officers allege that Lyles became incoherent, threatened them verbally, and brandished a knife. The officers reportedly demanded that she drop the knife, and when she instead lunged at one of the officers, they opened fire.Much of the public debate in the week since the incident has focused on whether or not the officers should have been carrying Tasers as a non-lethal force option. The officers, who said they left their Tasers in their lockers, were not wearing body cameras but there are audio recordings of the encounter. The investigation is expected to take at least several months.Rabbi David Basior, who leads the Kadima Reconstructionist Community in Seattle, said that there had been immediate discomfort in his Jewish circles about the Federation’s decision to publicly acknowledge the police department since it was first announced, but that opinions were mostly confined to internal conversations. He called Lyles’ death “an awful catalyst” that forced the issue into the open.His congregation has been studying the Movement for Black Lives and its manifesto — which controversially used the terms “genocide” and “apartheid” to describe Israel — for over a year. That text study, he said, led to an immediate consensus that “it’s not okay to give a tikkun olam award on behalf of the Jewish community in Seattle to the Seattle Police Department.” But, he continued, “The tightrope to walk was how to do that gently while being kind and strong to our brothers, sisters, elders, and youngsters at the Federation and not demonizing humans in police uniforms.”Basior said there is no “rift” between the Jewish community and the Federation, but rather an opportunity for more robust dialogue between decision-makers and the community at large. “The Jewish community in Seattle needs to give each other tochecha,” Basior said, referring to the Jewish term for rebuke, or “criticism with love.”“The Federation is still the only address in town where a Chabad rabbi, a Reconstructionist rabbi, someone who thinks Israel should annex the West Bank, and someone who thinks the occupation should end can sit in the same room and have a conversation about some Jewish topics — but not all,” he said.Basior noted that the current disagreement over the tikkun olam award comes in a local climate where leftist activists, like the local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, feel excluded from the Federation because of their politics. The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle declined to comment for this story.Those opposed to the award said they saw the merit in the specific Seattle Police Department programs that formed the Federation’s rationale. For example, the Seattle-based Holocaust Center for Humanity now hosts trainings using a national curriculum called “Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust” that examines how police were complicit in Nazi atrocities. Every Seattle police officer is expected to have completed the training by October. Basior called this partnership “a big win.”Ultimately, however, the petitioners felt that those initiatives were overshadowed by the structural issues surrounding the department’s treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, which some felt reflected the Federation’s own blind spots.“We need to be incredibly vigilant around anti-Semitism in our communities,” said Simone Adler, a community organizer on food justice issues. “We need to take seriously keeping the Jewish community safe, but that Jewish community includes people of color.”That concern resonated strongly with Daniel Eliyahu, an Israeli-American student at the University of Washington whose mother is descended from the Jewish community of Cochin, India. He identifies as a Jew of color.“The label of tikkun olam means so much to so many people about creating justice and working towards a better world,” Eliyahu said. “To see such camaraderie with a police department that has such a track record of violence against people of color shows something that many Jews of color have seen with the Federation, which is that the Federation doesn’t see themselves as representing a multiracial community.”Eliyahu’s concerns come at a time of rapid demographic change for the local Jewish community, which has grown 70 percent since 2001 in what is now the fastest growing city in the US.The Federation, meanwhile, should expect the award activists to keep up the pressure.“Awarding the police department for working on fighting anti-Semitism while not also challenging the police department on fighting racism is an incredible loss of an opportunity,” Eliyahu said.Adler does not view the annual meeting’s postponement as a victory, but rather as “backing out from an opportunity to engage.” She and other activists had called for the meeting to go on — without the award ceremony, but with a prayer service and an opportunity to say the kaddish prayer for Lyles. Instead, a group of about 30 said prayers before a vigil on June 22 that attracted hundreds to downtown Seattle.“In this moment there is nothing to celebrate when we are mourning a black pregnant mother of four who was killed in our city,” Adler said. “A victory would have been rescinding the award altogether.”
Jewish groups split over Supreme Court church funding decision-Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations says ruling allowing state support for nonreligious needs will benefit synagogues too-By Times of Israel staff, AP and JTA June 27, 2017, 1:47 am
The largest US Jewish orthodox umbrella group on Monday hailed a US Supreme Court ruling that churches are eligible for state funding for nonreligious needs, saying the decision covers synagogues too.In a statement the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations welcomed the outcome of a case after the justices sided by a 7-2 vote with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground.The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center had played a part in the case by filing an amicus curiae to support the church’s position.“We are proud of the role that OU Advocacy has played in creating the various state aid programs and its role in today’s high court ruling affirming their constitutionality,” said President of the Orthodox Union Mark Bane in a statement. “We expect the ruling to assist us in expanding the number and type of programs which aid faith communities with their safety costs.”Nathan Diament, executive director of Washington, DC’s Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, said “Today’s 7-2 ruling by the Supreme Court puts state aid to synagogues (and other houses of worship) and parochial schools for security and safety measures on an explicit and solid constitutional footing.”The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other nonreligious needs.But the justices stopped short of saying whether the ruling applies to school voucher programs that use public funds to pay for private, religious schooling.Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that the state violated the US Constitution’s First Amendment by denying a public benefit to an otherwise eligible recipient solely on account of its religious status. He called it “odious to our Constitution” to exclude the church from the grant program, even though the consequences are only “a few extra scraped knees.”The case arose from an application the church submitted in 2012 to take part in Missouri’s scrap-tire grant program, which reimburses the cost of installing a rubberized playground surface made from recycled tires. The money comes from a fee paid by anyone who buys a new tire.But the state’s Department of Natural Resources rejected the application, pointing to the part of the state constitution that says “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion.”A recycled scrap tire is not religious, the church said in its Supreme Court brief. “It is wholly secular,” the church said.Justice Sonya Sotomayor took the rare step of reading her dissent from the bench, saying the ruling weakens America’s longstanding commitment to separation of church and state.“This case is about nothing less than the relationship between religious institutions and the civil government — that is, between church and state,” she wrote, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The Court today profoundly changes that relationship by holding, for the first time, that the Constitution requires the government to provide public funds directly to a church.”The Anti-Defamation League, in conjunction with seven other groups, presented a friend-of-the-court brief going against the ruling.“Justice Sotomayor’s dissent got it right — this case is about much more than a state program to use recycled tires to resurface a playground,” the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.The statement added: “Although the decision is narrowly focused, the US Supreme Court appears to have taken a disturbing step back from this commitment today.”Barbara Weinstein, director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued a statement on behalf of the movement defending Missouri’s decision to honor the church-state divide, saying that religious institutions could face “government infringement if they are competing against each other for government grants.”More than 30 other states have constitutional provisions similar to Missouri’s, though some of those already permit churches to take part in grant programs for nonreligious purposes. In the days before the argument in April, Missouri’s Republican Gov. Eric Greitens changed the state’s policy and said churches would be allowed to apply for grants.Some religious groups cheered the decision, which was closely watched for the effect it may have on school voucher programs. But in a carefully worded footnote, Roberts said the ruling was limited and did not address “religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination.”Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch wrote separately to say they would not have limited the ruling to playground resurfacing or related issues that involve children’s safety or health.“The general principles here do not permit discrimination against religious exercise — whether on the playground or anywhere else,” Gorsuch said.Proponents of school vouchers said they hope the ruling lays the groundwork for a future decision on whether states can let parents choose to send their children to religious schools through publicly funded programs.Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, said the principle of “religious neutrality” applies “whether the government is enabling schools to resurface their playgrounds or empowering parents to direct their children’s education.”Civil liberties groups called the ruling a blow to the principle of church-state separation.“This ruling threatens to open the door to more taxpayer support for religion, which is at odds with our history, traditions and common sense,” said Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
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