news aggregator

Is Birthright too late? New program to fund pre-college Israel trips

The Forward - Tue, 2020-09-08 22:14
Summer trips to Israel used to be a far more ubiquitous part of American Jewish life for teenagers than they are today.

Wisconsin man charged with hate crime for calling neighbor ‘dirty Jew’ after removing Biden lawn sign

JTA - Tue, 2020-09-08 21:32

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A suburban Milwaukee man has been charged with disorderly conduct and a hate crime after he allegedly removed a Joe Biden campaign sign from a neighbor’s yard and called the neighbor a “dirty Jew.”

Police added the hate crime enhancement to the charges against Gregory Kirst, 49, because of the epithet and alleged shouted accusations that Jews were organizing the rioting in Portland, Oregon, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Such enhancements allow prosecutors to seek additional penalties.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has established that the neighbors, who are not named in media reports, are Jewish.

After confronting his Jewish neighbors on Sunday in Mequon, Kirst returned to his house, the report said, and used a large piece of white cloth to create a Jews for Trump sign. Kirst was accompanied by his young daughter when he removed the Biden for President sign. Police arrived and arrested him.

Kirst has been charged on multiple occasions and at times convicted for battery. He owns a tattoo parlor in the Milwaukee area and received local media coverage recently for supplying first responders with personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mequon Mayor John Wirth said in a blog post that “most Mequon residents abhor this hateful behavior.” Referring to Kirst’s improvised Jews for Trump poster, Wirth said of Kirst, “his parents tried to raise him Catholic.”

The post Wisconsin man charged with hate crime for calling neighbor ‘dirty Jew’ after removing Biden lawn sign appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Amid U.S. pressure, China's Hutchison gives up bid to retain Israeli mobile operator

Haaretz - Tue, 2020-09-08 20:57
Israel failed to grant Hong Kong-based company, one of Partner’s founding shareholders, a control license nearly a year after it applied

Failing elsewhere abroad, Israeli bankers aim to do better in the UAE

Haaretz - Tue, 2020-09-08 20:51
Their record in overseas has been spotty at best, but delegations from Hapoalim and Leumi are now eyeing opportunities in the Gulf

Amid a bearish COVID market, IPO scene booms in Tel Aviv's stock market

Haaretz - Tue, 2020-09-08 20:50
TASE CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev says the pandemic is pushing companies to go public

Meet the 86-year-old Jewish volunteer running a food bank on the outskirts of America

JTA - Tue, 2020-09-08 20:47

(JTA) — One morning last week, Henry Rosenthal got in his van and headed north from his home in Washington state toward Canada.

Though it’s been closed to inessential travel for months due to coronavirus restrictions, Rosenthal breezed across the border, where he’s familiar to the guards. He then drove about 24 miles across the southern edge of British Columbia before heading south again and recrossing the border back into Washington state, where he stocked his van with eggs, cereal, baby food and more.

Then he did the whole thing in reverse.

For years, this has been a weekly drill for Rosenthal, 86, the director of the Point Roberts Food Bank. But in recent months, the food supplies that Rosenthal ferries across two international border crossings has become even more indispensable to sustaining the community in Point Roberts, whose economy is massively dependent on cross-border traffic from Canada.

“There’s a need for it, and so we do it. And besides that, I’m an alta cocker,” Rosenthal said, using a Yiddish expression for an old man.

Rosenthal has spent the past 25 years in Point Roberts, a geographical anomaly of five square miles wedged at the southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, about 20 miles south of Vancouver. Surrounded by water on three sides and bordered by British Columbia on the fourth, the community of about 1,400 residents is U.S. territory under the terms of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, which established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada. But the only land route between Point Roberts and the mainland United States goes through another country.

In normal times, that wasn’t much of a problem. As in many border communities, the residents of Point Roberts traveled freely to Canada for school or recreation, and Canadians routinely headed south to Point Roberts for cheaper gasoline or for vacation properties, upwards of half of which are owned by people across the border.

But in March, the border was shut to nonessential travel and all that ground to a halt. Though Point Roberts — or The Point, as locals call it — has had no reported cases of COVID-19, the economic impact of the border closure was devastating. Rosenthal saw a jump in demand — not just for his weekly food distributions, but for some basic human empathy.

“We’ve had a major increase in the number of folks who need assistance,” Rosenthal said. “Not only in the area of food, clothing and shelter, but in other areas that are emotional in content. And so what we do is, at least a couple of us have become halfway decent listeners. People come in with their problems. We’re not psychiatrists, we’re not clinical psychologists, we’re not counselors. But we are halfway decent listeners, and that’s an important factor, too.”

Rosenthal was born in Winnipeg but moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. Following a stint in the Air Force in the 1950s, he went into broadcasting — first in Louisiana and later in Southern California. He was a radio DJ for a time and would have a television interview show that was canceled after one season. He didn’t find the work particularly interesting.

“It’s not very exciting to me,” Rosenthal said. “What do you do besides you read news or write news and play? In those days of course it was Paul Weston and Tommy Dorsey and a few of the others. And Frankie Laine. That tells you how old I am.”

Rosenthal had experience in electronics from the Air Force, so he went to work for a distributor of electronic components. A few years later he started his own company in Los Angeles. He ran Newcastle Industries for 20 years with his wife, Esther, before selling it to “a couple of nice Persian Jews.”

It was around that time that he first heard about Point Roberts from his cousin Charlie Katz, a Canadian Air Force veteran who used to kibitz with Rosenthal in his L.A. office on Fridays.

Point Roberts is home to about 1,400 Americans whose only overland route to the rest of their country runs through Canada. (Getty)

“One day he announced to me he’s leaving me a piece of property in Point Roberts, Washington,” Rosenthal recalled. “Who ever heard of Point Roberts? Nobody.”

Rosenthal didn’t much want the property on a spit of land he had never heard of, but he took a trip north to check it out anyway. It turned out to be a nice place near the ocean, so he bought it. He and Esther moved there 26 years ago and built a house.

Rosenthal has two children — a son who is an aspiring actor and a daughter who sings opera and has sung in the High Holidays choir at a Los Angeles synagogue.

His involvement with the food bank dates to the 1990s, and he now logs about 25 to 30 hours of unpaid work a week on its behalf, including the weekly trip for supplies. Though he discovered only last week that one of the other volunteers is Jewish, there is no organized Jewish life in Point Roberts and Rosenthal estimates only about 20 Jewish people live there.

But Rosenthal does have a connection with the Jewish food bank in Vancouver, where he volunteers once in a while and donates any leftovers.

“It’s not a thing that I’m coerced into doing,” Rosenthal said of his volunteer work. “So it’s not like a regular job. You do it because you want to do it. And at the end of the day — yesterday, as an example — you see a lot of folks who have some of the strain lifted from their lives. And that’s good.”

The post Meet the 86-year-old Jewish volunteer running a food bank on the outskirts of America appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Innocent victims pay with their lives for growing gun violence in Israel's Arab communities

Haaretz - Tue, 2020-09-08 20:40
In the past two years, at least seven people died, including young children and old women, and many more were wounded because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time
Syndicate content