Reminding ourselves of the future Pesach 5774

A very Happy Pesach to US Navy Junior Officer Jeremy Ball, 27 on board the U.S.S. New Mexico.

The U.S.S. New Mexico. Picture credit The New York Times

The U.S.S. New Mexico.
Picture credit The New York Times

Sir, thank you for defending our freedom especially at this time as we celebrate the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery.

I learned of Jeremy Ball from Thomas Friedman’s article in the NYT “Parallel Parking in the Arctic“.

About Jeremy Ball he writes:

Remind me again what we’re doing in Washington these days to deserve such young people?


Another inspiring example from our next generation of leaders is Justin Hayet, an undergraduate at Binghamton University. Read his eloquent and passionate open letter to Foreign Minister Liberman.

And also the group of Cornell University students who showed such exceptional leadership in combating BDS on the University campus. Read about their effort at Legal Insurrection.

To all these terrific young people who are showing so much inspiring leadership and promise – may your Pesach be extra specially wonderful.





the Pesach on-ramp

New recipe!!!! “English” Charoset

  • ~10 dates
  • equivalent volume raisins
  • a few dried Bing cherries
  • 1 apple peeled and finely chopped
  • handful of almonds

Cook all ingredients except almonds with a little water until the apples are soft, Grind almonds in food processor, add cooked ingredients and pulse until mixture reaches desired texture.

I’m calling this “English” Charoset as this is inspired by a very famous English recipe that I happen to adore. I’m not to going to mention the name of this recipe publicly because it is not the type of recipe that one would normally use for Jewish cuisine inspiration. Those of you who know me well will will know what this is, and anybody who really needs to know the answer should message me and I will fill you in.

Even the pet rats are getting into the swing of things, enjoying their chometz-free environment and getting used to egg matzo.


Binky pesach copy


Right here, right now

Cornell Israeli flag

Dear Friends,

I wrote about “Academia and Israel” a few months ago and also about anti-Jewish boycotts in this post on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Now we are dealing with this right here in Ithaca on the Cornell campus. Legal Insurrection reported that Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine proposed a Divestment resolution to be voted on over Pesach, a time during which many Jewish students will be away. The resolution was announced at the last possible minute with no notice, an obvious tactic to neutralize possible opposition and debate on the issue.

Pro-Israel students have started a Facebook page (Invest in Peace) and a petition against the resolution.

Please sign this petition. Anybody can sign whether you are a member of the Cornell community or not. Help support students and counter anti-Semitism in the 21st century.

More information and discussion on what’s happening at Cornell at Legal InsurrectionCommentary magazine and the Tower.

For more general background, I highly recommend this wonderful article coauthored by noted historian Simon Schama and lawyer Anthony Julius “The call for a cultural boycott of Israel is banal, gestural and morally compromised“. Other excellent resources dealing with the BDS debate can be accessed here

Divest from hate

What’s happening?

Hillel Ithaca

Event description (courtesy Ithaca College Hillel):

Do you know what happens behind closed doors when it comes to Middle East and Israel in the USA Congress? Dr Eric Mandel briefs members of US Congress and Israeli Knesset on issues of security and policies around the Middle East Region.

Eric Mandell

Dr. Eric R. Mandel has been an Israel advocate since the early ‘80s when he briefed American presidential candidates on the Middle East and directed a bi-partisan political group that raised funds for candidates advocating for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Mandel is founder of the Middle Eastern Political Information Network (MEPIN), a blog for members of Congress and the Knesset. He is East Coast co-chair of StandWithUs, an international organization founded in 2001 and dedicated to informing the public about Israel and combating extremism and antisemitism.

He is co-founder and current co-chair of the multi-denominational Five Synagogues of White Plains Israel Action Committee, an early communal advocacy model replicated around the country. Former lay leader of political education for the Westchester County chapter of AIPAC, Mandel currently lobbies members of Congress on the U.S.-Israel relationship and is involved with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Read an interview with Dr Mandel here and an account of his education in campus politics here.

Sponsored by Ithaca College Hillel. Open to the public.

Thursday April 10th Clarke Lounge, Ithaca College, 7:15PM.

From Poland to upstate NY

arm tattoo

Vestal High School will host the premier of the film “Blue Tattoo“, about Holocaust survivor Dina Rosenberg.

The documentary will showcase the personal testimony of Dina Jacobson including her friendship with local folk artist, Joe Crookston and her work with Elmira and Binghamton high school students sharing her experiences as part of the global history curriculum.

Blue Tattoo

The film will be officially released at the International Jewish Film Festival in Buffalo May 18th.

Entrance is free, donations will be accepted to benefit the Raise the Roof campaign to rebuild the synagogue and Hillel Academy. Vestal’s Temple Israel’s roof collapsed in December causing extensive damage to the building.

Dina Jacobson will be present at the screening together with the film’s producers, Rich Kellman and Marty Kerker. DVDs of the film will be available to purchase.

Dina JacobsonDETAILS: Vestal High School auditorium, 205 Woodlawn Drive 6.30PM April 25th. Running time 37 minutes.