Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 4

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 1:10pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 3 here.

1705 Thursday brought The Third and Fourth Generation: The Relevance of the Story. This is where the rubber meets the road. How do you make the Holocaust important to the “digital natives” growing up today, who see the 20th century as ancient history? Kids who will never meet a survivor, or hear an eye witness account of the Holocaust?

In the morning we heard about Generations Y and Z, born after 1988 and 1995. Unlike Boomers and Gen X, the Y and Z-ers are more self-focused, have a different attention span and different distraction levels than their predecessors. They tend to multi-task, doing many things at once, rather than look at a subject in depth. But as our speakers from Google, the USC Shoah Foundation, and the International School at Yad Vashem told us, there is no replacement for face to face interaction. Even the Gen Z-ers, who don’t understand a world without the internet, still need to “get together with people.” As we heard from the Director of Google’s Israel R&D department, bringing historical content online is a huge job, but it brings access for people who can add to the body of knowledge. And then once exposed to something online, people are more likely to want to explore it and experience it further. The online experience does not replace REAL things, but can greatly enhance them.
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A Day of Conflicting Images

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 8:10am

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

by Arthur Sandman, Executive Vice President, The Jewish Agency for Israel

The Jewish Agency for Israel is one of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s trusted Israel & Overseas partners, and a recipient of funds raised during the UJFT Annual Campaign. 

Dusty Heist-Levine, Manager, Community Relationships for the Jewish Agency (and Tidewater’s long-time liaison), has been sending us frequent reports about the current situation in Israel and the Jewish Agency’s response to help Israelis in crisis. We received the following email from him on July 28, 2014:
 
Dear Friends, The Jewish Agency had an update for me to send out today with the numbers, details, etc. of all the good work we are doing, with your support, to help our brothers and sisters in Israel.  But I felt the below personal message from my colleague (and boss) who is returning home from having visited that work the past week, paints a more meaningful picture. 
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Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 3

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:58am

Posted in: Holocaust Commission

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 2 here.


1704 Day Two focused on The Second and Third Generation: Finding Meaning in the Story. After an interesting panel discussion about the seminal 9 hour film Shoah by Claude Lanzman, we heard from Dr. Daniel Goldhagen, author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners. He brought to light many previously unexplained thoughts on common theories that average Germans and German soldiers were “just following orders” or “unable to make different choices.” He cited that while it was common knowledge that the Germans reintroduced slavery to the European continent, too often the testimony of survivors and victims about how they were treated by “ordinary Germans” was neglected or even ridiculed, because it flew in the face of what the scholars were saying about the Nazi culture. While I was told later by a staff member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (perhaps one of the scholars Goldhagen was referring to?) that some historians are skeptical of his research, I must say that it was one of the most thought-provoking lectures I have heard on the Holocaust. That’s the thing about this subject -- there is always more to learn -- more angles to investigate. (You can see his lecture here.)
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Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 2

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 9:01am

Posted in: Holocaust Commission

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 1 here.


1701 The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

Buses took us back to our hotels for what seemed like not nearly enough sleep, and then came in the morning and picked us up for Day One, devoted to First and Second Generation, Telling the Story. The day was a blockbuster, every speaker a powerful one. Among others, we heard from Serge Klarsfeld, the French survivor and “Nazi Hunter” who was behind the capture and trial of “the Butcher of Lyon,” Klaus Barbie; and Historian Yehuda Bauer, a Czech survivor and renowned scholar who has authored literally dozens of books about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. He had all 400+ people in the lecture hall enthralled with his discussion of the nuances between stories, testimonies, and documents, and how they each play a role in recording history. He is known for his story telling and has long professed that it is not enough to know the dates and facts of an event.  “We must know the stories of individuals.  We must study their moral dilemmas.” 
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What's Different?

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:19pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1699 This Shabbat started as most of my Shabbats do:  I woke up early and joined my triathlon team, consisting of adults and teenagers, for a long bike ride.  Today's route took us on the old northern road, which runs parallel to the border with Lebanon.  This shows how quiet and secure the north is at this time.  No organization would take teenagers for a bike ride if there were security concerns.  The only hints of the conflict of Gaza was the occasional tank manned by reservists along the way.

I've been lucky – I haven't heard a single red alert, none of my close friends and families have been called up for reserve duty and the only signs of war are the increased military presence around my area.  A camp of artillery reservists has been set up near my kibbutz.  Reservists come to the kibbutz's pub for an evening of entertainment. Tanks are being moved up and down the country (getting caught behind one in traffic is test of your patience!)  
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Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 1

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 4:02pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1695 By Elena Barr Baum

Elena Barr Baum, Janice Engel, Mickey Held, and Deb Segaloff on the hotel roof—after day 1, before the sirens went off.

The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

We were a team of four: Mickey Held, What We Carry Chair, Deb Segaloff, past Commission Chair, Janice Engel, one of the co-creators of the What We Carry films and program, and me, Elena Baum, Holocaust Commission Director. We came together on Sunday night July 6th full of excitement about the week ahead.
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We are Lucky to Have You: Update from Neve Michael Youth Village

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 3:52pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

Hava Levene, development director of Neve Michael Youth Village, sent this email to Amy Zelenka, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Development Specialist/Director of Women's Philanthropy on July 11. Amy asked Hava if she could share it with the community, and, fortunately, Hava agreed. Reprinted here, as sent:

Dear Amy,
I am a happy American who has been a happy Israeli as well since 1968. I wish to share some thoughts because you and your community are so important to me and to the children at Neve Michael. You love us, you care about us, you are with us always. We are lucky to have you.

I, as so many, were shattered when three innocent boys were abducted and murdered. And then again I and so many of our friends throughout Israel and the world were shocked to learn about the kidnapping, torture and murder of the innocent Arab boy.
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Staying as Safe as We Can: A Note from Tidewater’s Sister Community in Pardes Katz, Israel

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 3:31pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1694 By Michal Zehavi

*This war got us by surprise here in the neighborhood, we didn’t believe that the rockets would be able to get to us. We prepared our stuff and practiced what to do in case of an alarm.

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at 8 a.m., the Matnas (community center) was shaken by a loud alarm.

Immediately the teachers went out with the school kids, the 4-year-old campers ran to the shelters, we put all the babies in a bed and rolled them all the way to the stairs, and then we lifted them all the way down—two at a time.

The young kids on their way to the shelter were frightened. Some were crying; they didn’t know the people who carried them!! But there is no choice. We have only 90 seconds to get 150 kids into the shelter and make sure no one is left out. Some people from the street joined us, as they had no other place to hide.
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A First Person Update from Alan Hoffmann, Director General, The Jewish Agency for Israel 07/17/2014

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 2:08pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1693 Today we enter the tenth day of Operation Protective Edge, a day that began with the announcement of a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire. Like all of us in Israel, I hope that we will soon return to a true sense of quiet and security.
 
In the nearly five decades that have passed since I first arrived in Israel from South Africa, the People and State of Israel have endured ongoing threats and hostilities. I have never ceased to be impressed by the resiliency of this society in the face of conflict, and by the deep expressions of solidarity and support that the global Jewish community provides to Israel, particularly at times of anxiety and need. I have felt that same sense of profound admiration and appreciation very strongly in the last two weeks, during the current operation to cease the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

So much of the work that The Jewish Agency for Israel does, on behalf of JFNA and Federations across North America, is focused on those geographic areas and sectors of society that are most directly impacted by the constant threat of rocket fire.
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I am just a MOTHER!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:59pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1692 I am not a politician nor am I a military person. I am neither a spokeswoman nor am I one who leads.

I am just a MOTHER!

I am the mother of Roy (14) and Tia (12) who happen to be in Israel for the summer. Yes, Israel! The same place you read about in the newspaper or hear about on the news. That small country in the Middle East which has been under fire for the last 10 days. (Photo caption below*) Read more »

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