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 »

Reflections on Two Journeys

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:36pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Mickey Held


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.

At Yad Vashem, Janice Engel, Elena Barr Baum, Deb Segaloff, Mickey Held.

As a member of the Holocaust Commission for 20 years, I have been privileged to witness the impact we have made on our community with our many programs.  As I escorted survivors to share their stories, I became transfixed by their journeys and inspired by their courage. We became family, and my life was enriched by their friendship. As my friends shared the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust, I was fortunate to see the changes their stories made in people’s lives. Read more »

Life Goes On

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:02pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1682 By Liz Dovrat

Liz Dovrat is an American-Israeli living with her Israeli-born husband Lior in Kibbutz Yiftach, a kibbutz in the northern tip of Israel on the border with Lebanon.  Currently she works as an English teacher at the local college, Tel Hai Academic College.   Liz spent most of her childhood summers in Virginia Beach, where her parents, Noel and Barbara Dudley now reside. - See more here.

What is life like in Israel right now with on-going rocket-fire from Gaza and the start of Operation Protective Edge?   Depends where you are.  For the majority of Israel, the daily pattern of life continues as usual– dropping the kids off at day camp, fighting traffic, spending the day at the office, and coming home.   That's what Israel has done before and will continue to do. For example, my husband's 95-year-old grandmother still went on her morning walk in Tel Aviv, despite the missiles and sirens from the night before. As she said, she's survived multiple wars before, so there's no reason to change her schedule for this one.
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United in Mourning

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:09am

1671 Two weeks ago, three teenage Israeli boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkal were kidnapped as they were on their way home from their yeshiva near Hebron.

We, in the Tidewater Jewish community, joined with others around the world hoping and praying for the safe return of these boys to their parents. On Monday, we learned about the discovery of the three bodies of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

As parents, we cannot even begin to imagine what these families must be feeling, to lose their children in such a horrific way. 

At times like this, our community's reactions range from grief to disbelief, and our hearts go out to the parents, families, friends and communities where these boys lived. We all would like to help in some way, and right now one small gesture is to express solidarity with these families, and one big gesture for the future is be strong advocates for Israel.
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Mazel Tov to Amanda Gladstone, Stein Family College Scholarship Recipient

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 10:14am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1667 Amanda Gladstone does not know what the term “free time” means. As one of only two Jewish students attending Hickory High School in Chesapeake, she got involved with BBYO to be more connected with her Judaism. And this involvement did not simply entail going to meetings every week. Amanda has immersed herself in BBYO since ninth grade, where she has held multiple leadership positions over the years, participated in numerous committees and coordinated conventions. In 2013 she was awarded the Gold Star of Deborah, which is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

“BBYO has meant everything to me and been very impactful on my life. It sparked my interest in leadership and the nonprofit world,” said Amanda.
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