Palestinian boycott of Israel is misguided


“Last week I went to the Soda Stream factory in Mishor Adumim, where I found out that 500 Palestinian workers had almost been fired and another 400 were on their way to being fired. I asked Basel Ja’afar (25), who got fired in 2014: “If you were face to face with one of the BDS activists, what would you say to him or her?” He answered, “I would ask him what the alternative is.” Basel used to draw NIS 6,000 in monthly salary at Soda Stream, but now, under the PA, must get by on a salary of NIS 1,450.”

“We live here, we will continue to live here and we don’t have anywhere else to live – neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis.”

Quote from Bassem Eid, Human Rights Activist, Political Analyst and Commentator on the  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Klezmer concert Wednesday Nov 5th


Yiddishist, ethnomusicologist, and Parisian Klezmer maven Eléonore Biezunski will be performing rarely-heard Klezmer folk tunes and Yiddish songs, in collaboration with the Cornell University Klezmer Ensemble.

Concern poster

There will also be a musical workshop Tuesday November 6th.

musical workshop

World Premiere tonight!

DIRECTOR: Rami Kimchi
Cornell Cinema (7:15 PM screening, free)

night of fools

Details from Cornell Cinema:

A docu-drama about a Jewish underground movement in Algeria during WW2 that, with only 400 men, succeeds in taking control of the city of Algiers, in which there are 25,000 French pro-Nazi soldiers. They keep control for one night, handing the city over to the Americans, who land on the city’s shores the next morning.

Rami Kimchi is an Israeli culture critic and filmmaker. His previous films include Galia’s Wedding (1986), Travels with My Brother (1997), Cinema Egypt (2001), and Father Language (2006). His main research interests are Israeli cinema, modern Hebrew literature, Yiddish literature, Palestinian cinema, and Near Eastern cinema. He has published a book, The Israeli Shtetls – Bourekas Films and Yiddish Literature (2012), and articles in Shofar, Reeh, Balshanoot Ivrit, Dapim, Moreshet Israel and Hakivoon Mizrach.

B’Yachad in the summer

B’Yachad, the Ithaca Jewish preschool, is running a summer program.

The program features outdoor play, Jewish learning, gardening project, sprinkler fun and much more. You can sign up by the week for the 6-week program.

Click on the photo for more information or to find out about B’Yachad during the regular school year.

B’Yachad is a wonderful, magical little school and it is a wonderful option for Ithaca parents.


The Yiddish particle

Today I am sharing with you an except from a paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature by distinguished scientist and friend Reuven Opher. To my knowledge, this is the first elementary particle with a Jewish name.

Dybbuk particle

Reuven is hosting a group at his house, the “Big Bang Discussion” to examine the nexus between science, religion and the origins of the universe.

Here is the agenda:

  1. The Earth is not the center of the Universe: Copernicus and Galileo
  2. Is the Big Bang Theory and the existence of a superior being compatible?
  3. The origin of the Big Bang Theory.
  4. Common questions concerning the Big Bang Theory.
  5. Primary evidence for the Big Bang Theory.

The discussion is open to all who are interested. Message Reuven or myself if you are interested in further details, the first meeting will take place this Sunday June 1st.

purple shabbat shalom

Making a difference

We are incredibly fortunate to have Professor William Jacobson here in Ithaca.

Professor Jacobson is an inspiring speaker, educator and all-round mensch.  I have previously written about his talk on “Standing up for Israel”, and his ability to engage young people here.

On campuses around the country, the anti-Israel narrative on campus is fueled by professors who dishonestly and divisively promote a biased agenda. Sadly, it is possible to spend all day every day fisking such fraudulent academics. But simple demonstration of facts are not sufficient if the academic and his/her audience refuse to acknowledge and correct the errors. One general characteristic of such academics is a refusal to engage in discussion. An example of this is Prof. Jacobson’s recent talk at Vassar. NOT A SINGLE ONE of the 39 Vassar professors who had signed a letter containing egregious slurs against Israel agreed to meet Professor Jacobson in debate.

So it is great to see an opinion piece in the local newspaper, the Ithaca Journal, that is an excellent rebuttal to one such nebulous academic. Here is the article (click on picture for larger version):

guest viewpoint

For additional background on Cornell campus and around Ithaca, see these links:

Cornell Student Assembly rejects BDS motion

The case for Israel and academic freedom – watch the video of Prof. Jacobson’s talk

Kudos to the fantastic work of Prof. Jacobson and his efforts to expose and rebut BDS. I think that these assaults on truth, freedom and justice are matters that should concern us all, across the political spectrum.

And again, as has been pointed out by Prof. Jacobson and others, happiness is the best response to the haters.