Categorized | Middle East, USA

Good News Roundup: December 13, 2017

Sufganiyot for Soldiers on the Golan

GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel (Press Release)  – Hundreds of Israeli soldiers are enjoying Hanukkah celebrations on their army base in the Golan Heights thanks to support from the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region.
FIDF’s ambassadors in Israel on Tuesday brought messages of hope and light – and 550 “sufganiyot” (jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally eaten on Hanukkah) – to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Combat Intelligence Collection Corps’ 595th “Eagle” battalion, which the FIDF Western Region adopted as part of the FIDF Adopt-A-Brigade Program.
FIDF’s Adopt-A-Brigade Program is the only of its kind, allowing supporters to go beyond their donations to get more involved by providing financial assistance to soldiers in need, caring for Lone Soldiers with no immediate family in Israel, and funding rest and recuperation weeks for combat units. Supporters of the program are able to visit the soldiers in their adopted units on IDF bases, and have periodic communications with the units’ commanders. In 2016, FIDF supporters formed unbreakable bonds with the soldiers of eight brigades and 68 battalions, squadrons, and flotillas.

FIDF also offers IDF units Hanukkah menorahs and candles as part of the FIDF Spiritual Needs Program, which provides spiritual items and activities focused on Jewish traditions and holidays. This year, FIDF is funding 40 Hanukkah parties on IDF bases across Israel and is bringing soldiers 230,000 sufganiyot, 40,000 personal Hanukkah menorah and candle sets, 40,000 dreidels and Hanukkah gelt packages, 3,000 Hanukkah menorah kits with oil cups and wicks, 40 giant menorahs, and 40 four-foot-tall menorahs to celebrate Hanukkah.  — Preceding provided by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

Enhanced Ambulance Service in Ramla
RAMLA, Israel (Press Release) — A ceremony inaugurating the new MDA ambulance launching spot took place in Ramla, attended by Mayor Michael Vidal, and MDA Yarkon Region Manager Effi Bar. The new launching post, which opened last week, in Ganei Dan neighborhood, will soon be transferred into the MDA Blood Services Center, currently being constructed in the South of the city. Additional attendees included senior executives in the Ramla municipality, managing staff of the MDA Ayalon Region and MDA employees and volunteers.

Ramla Mayor Michael Vidal, thanked MDA for the collaboration and emphasized the dedicated work of the employees and volunteers of the organization in saving lives: “I see great importance in this addition of an ambulance that would provide another rapid emergency response to emergencies to the benefit of the residents, and I am all hope that MDA’s services will be provided to women in labor only. I thank the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for his help with transferring the MDA Blood Services Center to a new building that is already in construction in the South of the city. He who has saved one soul, is as if he has saved a whole world, bless you.”

Manager of the MDA Yarkom Region Effi Bar: “Establishing a new ambulance dispatching spot in the city contributes greatly to improving the service and minimizing arrival times of MDA teams to emergencies. The location of the new dispatch spot is very significant, it would allow us to provide rapid response for a wide variety of incidents in the entire region.”


Magen David Adom (MDA) is Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization, serving as emergency medical first responders for the state’s more than 8 million people. For more information, please visit, Twitter & Facebook.  –Preceding provided by Magen David Adom

Headphones enabled dancing in the quiet
JERUSALEM (Press Release) — Shutaf’s annual Hannukah party on Sunday, Dec. 10, was a blast! Teens and young adults, with and without disabilities, jumping, dancing, but wait… No music?? That’s right. No music. It’s Shutaf’s annual headphone party! Never heard of a headphone party? It’s a party where all the music is transferred via synchronized headphones. Everyone can enjoy the same great music without the excessive noise, so those who prefer a more quiet party can take part too! That’s how it works at Shutaf. We make sure everyone can take part and be part of our community.

Thanks to Shutaf and the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem, teens and young adults with and without disabilities celebrated this Hannukah in style – synchronized headphones, drinks and snacks, are all you need to make everyone get out of their chairs and dance till they drop.

Founded in 2007, Shutaf Inclusion Programs in Jerusalem offers year-round activities for children, teens, and young people, with and without disabilities: Day camps during Hannukah, Pesach and August vacations; Young Leadership activities for teens and young adults; Inclusion-Accelerator Workshops; AND Family gatherings.

Shutaf has led the field of inclusive informal education in Israel, offering innovative camp programs. Shutaf’s sophisticated approach to building successful and inclusive programs brings together children with varied disabilities with their peers without disabilities. More than 500 families and their children have benefited from 10 years of Shutaf programs for children, teens, and young people, ages 6-23. Almost 2,000 unique camper spaces have been filled by happy participants at Shutaf day camps held three times a year, since August 2007.  — Preceding provided by Shutaf.

U.S. Protection for Religious Institutions

NEW YORK (Press Release) —  The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hailed House passage of the “Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2017.” The bill, HR 1730, would expand federal law to cover bomb threats and other credible threats of violence against community religious institutions and community centers by amending the Church Arson Prevention Act, legislation ADL originally helped to draft in 1988.

The new bill was introduced last March at the height of a series of more than 150 bomb threats against Jewish community centers, synagogues, and ADL offices and a wave of harassment, threats and arsons targeting mosques.

“The bomb threats against Jewish institutions earlier this year traumatized our community institutions and caused widespread fear and anxiety,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “At a time when the FBI is documenting an increase in religiously motivated hate crimes against Jews and Muslims, this legislation provides law enforcement officials with important new investigative and prosecutorial tools to directly address those threats of violence.”

ADL praised the bill’s sponsors, Reps. David Kustoff (R-Tennessee) and Derek Kilmer (D-Washington) for their leadership in securing passage, along with lead cosponsors Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas), Ted Deutch (D-Florida), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), and  Joe Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). We will continue to urge Senate action on their version of the legislation and press to have it enacted into law early in 2018.

Jewish institutions across the country were targeted with an unprecedented number of bomb threats and other anti-Semitic acts in 2017. Jewish Community Centers, schools, synagogues and ADL offices received calls or e-mails warning of attacks that turned out to be hoaxes. New data released last month indicated the number of anti-Semitic incidents remains significantly higher in 2017 compared to 2016, with an increase of 67 percent over the first three quarters of the year. –Preceding provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

Preceding article compiled from news releases sent to the offices of San Diego Jewish World



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