This message has 837 words, and will take about 1-2 minutes to read.
Minister Jason Kenney Visits Lavan
Last week, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs called for a BUYcott in support of Lavan, an Israeli owned shop downtown on Granville Street, which is being targeted by anti-Israel activists. Federal Minister Jason Kenney stopped by to shop on Wednesday to demonstrate support for the business owner and staff. Jason Murray, vice-chair of the local advocacy council stated that: “the minister was eloquent in his support of Canadian businesses’ right to carry Israeli products without fear of harassment. It’s heartening to see a key federal cabinet minister stand up in support of local Jewish businesses and the Canada-Israel relationship.” If you haven’t had a chance to visit Lavan and show your support, the BUYcott continues this Sunday from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
This week, HonestReporting, an organization that seeks to ensure accurate media coverage of Israel-related issues posted a rather remarkable video of an interview with Norman Finkelstein, a noted anti-Israel activist and, at least in the past, a strong supporter of the Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions movement that has been targeting Israel in myriad ways. What is remarkable about the interview is that Finkelstein offers a blunt critique of the BDS movement, calling it out for seeking the destruction of Israel.
Transition Fair Showcases Options for Young Adults with Special Needs
Deciding what to do after completing high school is a huge decision for most teens. It is an even more challenging decision for teens with special needs. The Transition Fair, taking place this Sunday, February 26th, from 12:00-5:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, is designed to showcase the range of programs, services and resources available to help youth with challenges transition from high school towards post-secondary education, volunteer positions or job opportunities. Organizations exhibiting at the fair represent government as well as non-profit and private agencies dedicated to easing this transition.
The Transition Fair is being organized and sponsored by the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, Jewish Family Services Agency and Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, with funding support from a private donor. Organizers hope the fair will be a springboard for our community to learn about what is working and what is not, and where we as a community can enhance services and support to youth with special needs.
Yom Ha’atzmaut Organizers Seeking Community Input
Plans are shaping up for the annual Yom Ha’atzmaut concert, which will celebrate the 64th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. The organizing committee is seeking community input for an important component of the program which will reflect what our own community members love and value about Israel. Tell us, in one or two sentences, something about Israel that you think is special, or fascinating, or unique, or even frustrating. It can be about a place, or a time, or a person. It can be poetic or humorous, mundane or exotic. Whatever it is, or however you express it , we want it. Send your contributions to us today.
The date of this year's concert is April 25th, and tickets go on sale on March 12th.
Interfaith Clergy Group Visits Israel
Last month seventeen rabbis and Christian clergy from North America, including four from the Lower Mainland, toured Israel together under the auspices of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (the Reform rabbinic association), with funding assistance from The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. It was a fascinating trip on so many different levels as the participants viewed Israel through each other’s eyes and perspectives. Rabbi Bregman from Temple Sholom traveled with three colleagues from the Anglican, Lutheran and United Church movements. Next week, all four will be at Hillel during Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) and two weeks later they’ll be speaking at Temple Sholom.
This week’s parasha describes in great detail the construction and decoration of the tabernacle, the portable home of the tablets containing the ten commandments, which the Israelites carried with them during their long journey in the desert. The cloth covering of the tabernacle is made up of ten separate fabrics of different vivid colours. The description is explicit that they are to be clasped, one to the other, in order to form a single whole covering. Together they define a single space for the holy of holies. Commentators note that this is symbolic for the Israelites, and by extension the Jewish people. We are made up of many parts, but together comprise one whole unit.
In our own community we are certainly made up of many parts: those born and raised here and newcomers from many lands, those with various religious affiliations and others who are decidedly secular or even disaffected, those who support Israel and those who feel the State does not measure up to their ideals of what a Jewish state should, leaders, participants and observers. The diversity of our community is a startling reflection of the varied vivid hues of the tabernacle’s cover. And by coming together as one community, we define within that a community space that is holy.