Super Sunday Pictures:
2015 UJA Campaign Opening Event
September 11th, 2014
Featuring a screening of the 2014 PBS special
Israel: The Royal Tour
This nonstop, groundbreaking adventure takes you on a historic journey throughout Israel, at the intersection of the world’s three great religions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Peter Greenberg explore Israel as you’ve never seen it before- through the eyes of its leader.
They visit the stunning grottoes of Rosh Hanikra and share the epic story of Masada. They travel the Sea of Galilee and raft he Jordan River. They discover hidden gems beneath the Old City of Jerusalem, experience the natural wonders of the Dead Sea and play a fast-paced match with a joint Israeli-Arab soccer team.
Netanyahu and Greenberg also venture into locations not in guidebooks that hold special meaning to the Prime Minister and yet they are entirely accessible to any traveler.
And, Greenberg sits down with the Prime Minister for a candid and unrehearsed discussion about the ever-changing state of affairs in the Middle East.
2015 UJA Pocono Dinner
September 14th, 2014
“Making Sense of the Muddy Middle East”
Micah D. Halpern has a track record. He is a frequent analyst on network television and radio in the areas of terror, the Middle East and Muslim Fundamentalism. He is the author of the recently released, best-selling, book THUGS.
His voice is recognized by listeners to talk radio across America and to his weekly feature, A Safer World, on USA Radio Network. His face is familiar to viewers on CBS, FOX, MSNBC and to those who watch documentaries on PBS, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, Discovery and the Food Network. Following 9-11 he was the CBS-2 commentator on terror. On 9-11, 2003 he was the guest expert on ABC’s The View. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Terror (Toby Press, 2003) an accessible book that clearly and succinctly answers the questions we are afraid to ask.
Halpern, a syndicated columnist, is also a well-known social and political commentator, educator, and historian. He lectures frequently, both in the United States and Israel, on issues relating to terror, foreign affairs, Israel and the Middle East, as well as wine history, and popular culture. In 1997, Micah Halpern was appointed Israel columnist for America Online and continues, until today, to write a weekly, now syndicated, column on foreign affairs, the Middle East and terror.
Micah’s weekly column is read by hundreds of thousands if not millions on the internet and in papers and websites around the world from the American Enterprise Institute to Israelinsider.com. His weekly radio spot is featured on 28 radio stations nationally on the USA Radio Network.
2015 Major Gifts Event
September 18, 2015
Please join us as famed television correspondent,
Linda Scherzer, discusses
Foreign press coverage of Israel has long been a source of deep concern and frustration among supporters of Israel. Perceptions of bias in favor of the Arab position ,unbalanced coverage of the conflict and media support of the perceived “underdog”, namely the Palestinians continues to be a major them in the American Jewish community. Linda Scherzer is a former Jerusalem correspondent, who was responsible for shaping attitudes and opinions toward Israel around the world. She talks about how reporters cover this complex story and how viewers can make a positive impact on news coverage.
An Open Letter to the Jewish communities of NEPA UJA CAMPAIGN 2015
Mark & Joan Davis, Co-Chairs
2015 UJA Campaign
Once again, we are embarking on one of the noblest enterprises in Jewish life – that of raising the necessary funds to continue actively building and strengthening Israel, our Jewish communities here in Northeast PA, and the Jewish world.
Our People, here and abroad, will face extraordinary challenges in the coming year ……… existential threats to Israel as we’ve seen in Israel’s recent war with Hamas, Israel’s emotional and financial recovery from the social and economic consequences of that war , a rising wave of anti-Semitism now sweeping Britain, France and the rest of continental Europe, the world economic downturn, the struggle for Jewish identity and meaning in North America, and the building and nurturing of vital and viable Jewish communities here in Northeast PA and around the world.
This year, many dedicated volunteers and generous UJA Campaign contributors in Northeast PA will join with us to make a difference in the lives of literally millions of our People.
It’s because of our historical generosity to Jewish causes – local, regional, national and international – that we are in a position to offer such a wide range of social, cultural, educational and recreational programs and services through our many UJA Campaign-funded agencies in Northeast PA – programs and services that simply don’t exist in other Federations our size in this country.
Our funded agencies in Northeast Pennsylvania include the Scranton JCC, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton Hebrew Day School, Scranton Ritualarium (Mikveh), Temple Hesed Religious School, Scranton Temple Israel Religious School, Yeshiva Beth Moshe, Bais Yaakov, B’nai Harim Religious School, Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms Religious School, Chabad of the Abingtons/Jewish Discovery Center, Bnos Yisroel of Scranton, Jewish Resource Center of the Poconos and Temple Israel of the Poconos Hebrew School.
Each of our agencies is grateful for your support.
It is on their behalf that we ask for your help during our 2015 UJA Campaign.
Rising European anti-Semitism
We are fortunate to live in freedom in America, but as you know, many of our People do not, and they are imperiled due to circumstances beyond their control.
Overseas, anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe due in part to increasing radical Islamic influence in many European countries and rising anti-Semitism in the wake of the current Israeli-Hamas conflict.
Today, it is unsafe to walk the streets of France – home to 600,000 Jews. Observant Jews have been told by French authorities (for their own safety) not to wear the outward trappings of their religion in public. In the past year, in Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed as were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles as was a Jewish school in Creteil. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words ‘Dirty Jew’ were painted. In Bondy, fifteen men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus carrying Jewish children to Hebrew school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months. According to the police reports, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past two months alone. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming ‘Jews to the gas chambers’ and ‘Death to the Jews.’ A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher shop in Toulouse, France. A Jewish couple in their 20’s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne (the woman was pregnant), and a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles.
In Britain, home to 300,000 Jews, at least 130 anti-Semitic incidents were reported during the months of July and August. Hate crimes are skyrocketing. A rabbi was the target of a gang attack. Chants of “Heil Hitler” are defiling Jewish neighborhoods. There has also been an explosion of anti-Semitic abuse on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter compounded by comments made recently by John Prescott (former Deputy Prime Minister of Britain) in the Daily Mirror trivializing the Holocaust and comparing Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp.
In the Netherlands, the Chief Rabbi declared last month that a growing number of Jewish families want to leave the Netherlands because of the increase in anti-Semitism. He explained that they feel unsafe and are being threatened and insulted on the streets. Frits Bolkestein, a leader of the Dutch Liberal Party, Defense Minister and EU Commissioner acknowledged that the Jews should realize that there is no future for them in the Netherlands and should advise their children to immigrate to the United States or Israel. Bolkestein foresaw a problematic future for the Netherlands due to the failed integration of mainly Muslim immigrants and the problems that would create for those identifying with Judaism.
Nor is Belgium any different. In Liege, a café owner put up a sign saying dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed. One weekend in May seemed to epitomize the darkness. On May 24th a gunman pulled out a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and opened fire, killing four people. The next day the results of the elections to the European parliament showed a surge in support for extreme-right parties in France, Greece, Hungary and Germany.
Seventy years after the Holocaust, from Amiens to Athens, the world’s oldest hatred flourishes anew.
We know where such passions come from, and we know where they can lead.
As a result, a massive European Jewish exodus is underway to Israel…..and it is being funded by our UJA donations (through the Jewish Agency for Israel and the JDC) and the government of Israel.
The European Jewish exodus and their integration into Israeli society
Our UJA dollars are becoming more critical each and every day. Our gifts have built many Absorption Centers throughout Israel that will provide these new European olim with temporary apartments for their families, free medical coverage, food allowances, Hebrew immersion classes, counselling, and job placement assistance – all of which will facilitate their integration into Israeli society.
On a recent NEPA Federation Israel Mission, our Mission participants visited an Absorption Center at Mevaseret Zion (near Jerusalem) and had an opportunity to speak with representatives of the Jewish Agency and several immigrants who had recently made aliyah from Ethiopia. Their gratitude to us for having funded their aliyah and the Absorption Center defies words.
As we have done since the birth of the State of Israel, our gifts to UJA have facilitated the aliyah of Jews from Iran, from Arab lands, from the former Soviet Union, and from Ethiopia. Now, our dollars will fund the aliyah and absorption of thousands of European Jews who will be arriving on Israel’s shores over the next several years, and who, over time, will become contributing members to Israeli society.
Continuing needs from Operation Protective Edge
The recent war in Gaza has also had a traumatizing effect on Israelis. Beyond the funds raised in our Israel Emergency Appeal, Israel continues to require funds to relocate and care for families and children in danger, strengthen post-traumatic stress services throughout the country,provide safe havens for all who are in harm’s way; and provide financial assistance to Israeli organizations that are providing continuing medical services and counseling to a nation traumatized by warning sirens, terrorist infiltrations, and an unending barrage of rockets.
Our UJA funds will assist in financing these important functions.
UJA funding of Hesed Centers through the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
Over and above all this, our UJA dollars will continue to be channeled to hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world who receive food, family-oriented programs, companionship, free medicines and health care, shelter, and numerous other social services at UJA-funded Hesed Centers situated in Jewish communities from Bangkok, Thailand to Mumbai, India to Santiago, Chile to Budapest, Hungary.
While these staples are crucial for survival, it’s the comfort and companionship provided by these Hesed Centers that fuels their will to live.
In sum, it is not a question of how much you contribute to our 2015 UJA Campaign but your act of giving, and your recognition that you are part of our family.
Your financial commitment will enable us to write the next chapter in Jewish history – a history that has always reflected itself in the caring of one Jew for another.
Please be part of this critical effort when you are asked to contribute this year.
If you wish to make your 2015 UJA gift by mail, please direct it to the Federation as follows:
Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
601 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton, PA 18510
MEMO SECTION: 2015 UJA Campaign
Alternatively, if you would like to make a pledge to this year’s 2015 UJA Campaign, please call the Federation office at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1) and we will assist you.
Thank you so much for being part of our effort.
With best regards,
Mark & Joan Davis, Co-Chairs