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Most of us want to see allocation numbers trending upward for the various Jewish agencies and schools to which the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix gives. Yet, especially after having gone through the worst economic turmoil in generations, we know that’s not always possible.
When examining the allocations made by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix to Jewish causes, the year-over-year numbers matter as a gauge of how our Jewish community is doing. So let’s look category by category at 2016 allocations compared with 2015 allocations:
“Reframing Israel,” a new K-12 Hebrew school curriculum that was introduced at the beginning of the current school year, is assailed as “the next phase in anti-Israel academic indoctrination,” in an article titled “Framing Israel: The Distortions of the New Boycott-Driven School Curriculum” in The Tower Magazine (tinyurl.com/JNreframing). The curriculum’s proponents say it’s being used in 10 Hebrew schools. Article authors Max Samarov and Amanda Botfeld, who are researchers at StandWithUs, write, “The evidence strongly suggests that ‘Reframing Israel’ is an attempt to inculcate Jewish-American children with the BDS movement’s political agenda.”
Why do organizations like the Anti-Defamation League issue statements on pop-culture issues like Lena Dunham’s column for the New Yorker “Dog or Jewish boyfriend? A quiz” nearly two weeks ago? Do establishment organizations risk sounding out of touch or old-fashioned when offended by contemporary humor?
The Arizona State University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is holding its annual Israeli-Apartheid Week this week, which includes a one-day display of a mock “apartheid wall” (as SJP terms Israel’s security barrier) on ASU’s Tempe campus.
Dan Cohen, an independent journalist who until about two and a half weeks ago was based in Gaza, made one of his first appearances back in the U.S. at a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) meeting on Thursday night, Feb. 5. Cohen was there to present his views about what he believes truly happened during Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military operation in Gaza last summer. Cohen started off by giving a cursory account of his time in the West Bank before the conflict began, followed by an account of his experiences in Gaza during and after the military operation.
Architect and artist Neil Bernstein brought a different version of the Lincoln Memorial to town recently. It’s called the New Lincoln Veterans Memorial and it’s a bicentennial vintage 1976 Lincoln Town Car, carrying a flag-draped coffin on its roof, as well as signatures of veterans of America’s wars.
Ask Brian Berkowitz about the fruits of his research – say, an environmentally friendly way to remove pollutants from contaminated water – and he’ll stop you.