Yeshiva World News

United Hatzalah To Suspend Indefinitely All Unvaccinated Volunteers

In a move that some may see as controversial, United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer has instructed the chapter heads of all regions in Israel, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian, both secular and religious, to make sure that all of the volunteers under their jurisdiction have received the Coronavirus vaccine, or are recovering patients, by March 7th. Should a volunteer decide not to receive the vaccine, they will be suspended from all duties, and after a grace period, removed from the organization altogether. “I don’t see this as controversial,” said Beer. “I see it as our duty in saving lives. As medical personnel and first responders, we are at risk, and we can endanger others if we aren’t vaccinated. We’ve had a number of volunteers in the past contract the virus because they responded to an emergency prior to the vaccines being available and in spite of the precautions they took. I don’t want any of our volunteers getting sick, or their families getting sick. G-d forbid I don’t want any of our volunteers passing the virus on to a patient either,” Beer explained. To date, nearly 90 percent of the 6,000 plus volunteers who make up the organization have already received at least the first vaccine. According to the new policy, those who have a legitimate medical reason why they will not be receiving the vaccine, such as pregnant women in their first trimester, will need to submit a request to the organization’s medical department requesting a special exemption for the time being. Upon receiving the temporary exemption, they will then only be allowed to respond to some of the medical emergencies, where the risk of contracting the coronavirus is low. In addition to making sure that all of its volunteers have been vaccinated, United Hatzalah, in partnership with the Claims Conference, has taken upon itself the task of making sure that all homebound Holocaust survivors throughout the country have the ability and opportunity to be vaccinated as well. “Volunteers who do not have the vaccine, will not be allowed to respond to any respiratory emergencies, any emergency where someone in the home is in isolation or sick with the disease, or any emergency involving a fever, as well as others. I myself have already received both vaccines even though I already had the virus. I’ve personally experienced what this virus can do to someone and how terrible it is. The damage that can be caused by an unvaccinated person passing on the virus is unfathomable, and I don’t want our volunteers to be responsible for that,” Beer concluded. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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80 Israelis, Mainly Chareidim, Get Stranded In Germany, Son Misses Mother’s Levaya

The Lufthansa LH690 rescue flight for Israelis stranded abroad took off on Tuesday evening with only half of the 160 passengers who were slated to board the plane, stranding 80 Israelis in the Frankfurt airport, mainly Chareidim, including a young avraich from Belgium whose family was waiting for him in Israel to begin his mother’s levaya. The flight, which had been approved by the Israeli government, was scheduled to leave at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday evening but due to a delay caused by bureaucratic difficulties and a lack of clarity on the part of Lufthansa staff of the documents the Israelis were required to present, boarding only opened 40 minutes before the scheduled takeoff time. The plane then took off after only half of the passengers were aboard, reportedly due to Israeli pressure for the plane to take off on time and/or a lack of enough Lufthansa staff members to process all the necessary paperwork. Eighty Israelis, mainly Chareidim, were stranded at the airport, including a large group of schochtim and mashgichim who were returning from South America. Sadly, another Israeli who was left at the airport was an avreich from Belgium whose mother in Ashdod passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 43 after a prolonged illness. The family was waiting for him to arrive before beginning the levaya. Sadly, when they heard he didn’t make it on the plane, they had no choice but to hold the levaya without him. The son was left to bemoan his loss, sitting on the floor of the airport. The stranded Israelis slept at the airport overnight, with pictures on social media showing the passengers sleeping on the floor and benches. Passengers tried to secure a seat on other rescue flights but there were no seats available for another week. One passenger, a Chabad chassid from Mexico, gave up and booked a flight back to Mexico. Meanwhile, Chabad shlichim in Frankfurt came to the rescue, and a team of shluchim, led by Rav Moshe Mendleson, brought kosher food for all the passengers. Fortunately, later on Wednesday, Transportation Minister Miri Regev ordered that approval be granted for a special flight to bring the Israelis in the airport back to Israel. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Judge Says Wife Of Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Must Stay In Jail

A U.S. judge ordered the wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to remain behind bars Tuesday after she was charged with helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire. Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, appeared by video conference for an initial court appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C. She was arrested Monday at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. When asked by the judge if she understood what was happening, Coronel said through the interpreter: “I understood everything very well, thank you.” At the hearing, prosecutor Anthony Nardozzi alleged that Coronel “worked closely with the command-and-control structure” of the Sinaloa cartel and conspired to distribute large quantities of drugs, knowing they would be smuggled into the U.S. If convicted, she could face more than 10 years in prison. Coronel’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said he would consent to her temporary detention. Colonel’s arrest was a surprise in part because authorities made no move to arrest her over the past two years, even after she was implicated in her husband’s crimes. During Guzman’s 2019 trial, prosecutors said she helped orchestrate Guzman’s two prison breaks in Mexico — audacious escapes that raised serious questions about whether Mexico’s justice system was capable of holding him accountable. He is now serving life in prison in the United States. Colonel was a fixture at her husband’s three-month trial, which took place in New York. The two, separated in age by more than 30 years, have been together since at least 2007, and their twin daughters were born in 2011. As Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Guzman ran a cartel responsible for smuggling cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors say. They also said his “army of sicarios,” or “hit men,” was under orders to kidnap, torture and kill anyone who got in his way. On Tuesday, Nardozzi said Coronel had access to criminal associates, including other members of the cartel, and “financial means to generate a serious risk of flight.” Coronel was charged in a single-count criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in the U.S. She is also accused of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and participating in the planning of a second prison escape before Guzman was extradited to the U.S. Coronel worked with Guzman’s sons and a witness, who is now cooperating with the U.S. government, to organize the construction of the underground tunnel that Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano prison to prevent his extradition to the U.S., according to court documents. The plot also included purchasing a piece of land near the prison, firearms and an armored truck and smuggling him a GPS watch so they could “pinpoint his exact whereabouts so as to construct the tunnel with an entry point accessible to him,” the court papers say. Her father, Ines Coronel Barreras, was arrested in 2013 with one of his sons and several other men in a warehouse with hundreds of pounds of marijuana across the border from Douglas, Arizona. Months earlier, the U.S. Treasury had announced financial sanctions against her father for his alleged drug trafficking. (AP)

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Video: Hamadan Iran – See the Kevorim of Mordechai and Esther

This is an historic opportunity that has never been done by us before (and it’s still free) In honor of Purim, Yad L’Achim has arranged for several Talmidei Chachamim, Rabbanim from Iran who will travel the long distance to Hamadan, Iran to the resting place of Mordechai and Queen Esther on Taanis Esther and daven for all who submit their names for Tefillah through Yad L’Achim (no minimum donation required)You can submit your names by CLICKING HERE,  visiting or by calling Yad L’Achim at 1-866-923-5224(On the website you can also see a longer video tour of Mordechai and Esther’s Kever )PS. You can also fulfil the mitzvah of Matanas L’Evyonim on Purim and the great mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, redeeming of captives.  Feel free to share this opportunity with friends and family. click to share via WhatsApp PS. You can also fulfil the mitzvah of Matanas L’Evyonim on Purim and the great mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, redeeming of captives.  On this holy day of Taanis Esther at this holy place, have your names davened for free through Yad L’Achim – right before Purim!You can submit your names by CLICKING HERE,  visiting or by calling Yad L’Achim at 1-866-923-5224

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TRAGEDY IN WILLIAMBURG: Young Child R”L Struck And Killed On Hooper Street – Possibly Hit And Run Vehicle

Tragedy struck the Williamsburg community on Wednesday morning, when word spread of a fatal accident involving a young child. The incident occurred at around 8:00AM on Hooper Street and South 5th Street, when an approximately 6/7 year-old child was fatally struck by a vehicle. Williamsburg Hatzolah responded and Paramedics attempted to save the child life, but were unfortunately unsuccessful due to the massive injuries sustained. Sources tell YWN that initially it was believed that the child was struck by an MTA bus, but it appears that the bus only stopped to help the child – who was struck by a hit and run vehicle. Chesed Shel Emes is on the scene, and the NYPD was investigating the incident. Additional information will be published when it becomes available to us. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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Fed’s Powell: Recovery Incomplete, High Inflation Unlikely

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell underscored the U.S. economy’s ongoing weakness Tuesday in remarks that suggested that the Fed sees no need to alter its ultra-low interest rate policies anytime soon. “The economic recovery remains uneven and far from complete, and the path ahead is highly uncertain,” Powell said in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. Powell’s comments are in contrast to the increasing optimism among many analysts that the economy will grow rapidly later this year. That outlook has also raised concerns, though, about a potential surge in inflation and has fueled a sharp increase in longer-term interest rates this year. Most economists say they think the Fed’s continued low rates, further government financial aid and progress in combating the viral pandemic could create a mini-economic boom as soon as this summer. Powell acknowledged the potential for a healthier economy. But he stressed the personal hardships caused by the pandemic, especially for unemployed Americans. “As with overall economic activity, the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed,” Powell said. “Although there has been much progress in the labor market since the spring, millions of Americans remain out of work.” Powell’s focus on the economy’s challenges reflects his reluctance to send any signal that the Fed is considering pulling back on its efforts to boost economic growth and hiring. The Fed cut its benchmark short-term interest rate to nearly zero last March in response to the pandemic recession. It is also purchasing $120 billion a month in bonds in an effort to hold down longer-term rates. Powell reiterated that those purchases will continue until “substantial progress” has been made toward the Fed’s goals of low unemployment and stable inflation at about 2% annually. The economy may improve rapidly later this year, Powell said, “but the job is not done yet, the job is not done.” Powell also downplayed concerns about rising longer-term interest rates and potentially higher inflation, which some analysts worry will result from a burst of spending and growth if the pandemic is brought under control later this year. The Fed chair also refused to endorse or condemn President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue package, which is beginning to make its way through Congress. When asked by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., if he would “be cool” with Congress approving or voting down Biden’s proposal, Powell said, “By either being cool or uncool, I would have to be expressing an opinion. … which I’m not doing.” The divide in Congress in regard to the state of the economy was clearly on display, a key part of the debate over the stimulus. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the committee, spoke of Americans facing eviction, struggling small businesses, and state and local governments that need financial assistance. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., however, noted that 18 states have unemployment rates below 5% and argued that incomes have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. “We are well past the point where our economy is collapsing,” Toomey said. “In fact our economy is growing rapidly … There’s also real danger that we have overheating … that can lead to inflation.” Powell has previously endorsed government spending in general to offset the impact of the recession. Fed chairs typically avoid commenting on specific legislation. The Fed chair also acknowledged that prices could rise […]

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What NY Prosecutors Could Learn From Trump’s Tax Records

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump’s tax records. Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for the Democrat’s grand jury investigation into Trump’s business affairs? Former prosecutors say the trove of records could give investigators new tools to determine whether Trump lied to lenders or tax officials, before or after he took office. “Prosecutors look for discrepancies in paperwork. For example, if Trump told the IRS he’s broke and lenders that he’s rich that’s just the type of discrepancy they could build a case around,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who worked on a wide range of white collar cases as Vance’s chief of asset forfeiture. “These documents are a very important piece of the jigsaw puzzle,” Levin said. Whether Trump’s records will contain evidence of a crime is uncertain. The former president, a Republican, has argued for years that he broke no laws and has been unfairly targeted by Democrats for political reasons. Here is a look at where the tax records might be helpful, and where they might not help much, in the district attorney’s investigation: ___ MORE THAN JUST RETURNS Trump went to extraordinary lengths to keep his federal income tax returns from becoming public, but those aren’t the only valuable documents included in this haul. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, is supposed to turn over not only the final versions of Trump’s tax returns, but also draft versions of those returns and “any and all statements of financial condition, annual statements, periodic financial reports, and independent auditors’ reports” held by the company. The Mazars subpoena also sought engagement agreements that define the accountants’ role in creating the tax returns and financial statements; source documents providing the accountants with raw financial data; and work papers and communications between the firm and Trump representatives. Those would include communications showing how the raw data was analyzed and treated in the preparation of the records. That could give state prosecutors an “open book” into Trump’s finances, said Adam D. Citron, a former state prosecutor and partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. “It’s really the kitchen sink.” Examining those other documents could be key to determining whether Trump or his companies gave tax authorities different information about his income than they presented to other officials, like banks and business partners. ___ HUSH MONEY When the district attorney’s investigation first began, one of the initial subpoenas sent to the Trump Organization asked for information about payments Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to women who had claimed to have had inappropriate relationships with Trump. Cohen has said Trump’s company later reimbursed him for one of those payments, disguising it in the form of a legal fees. It isn’t clear, though, whether Trump’s tax records will add much to that part of the probe. The New York Times, which obtained years of Trump’s tax data, wrote that it contained “no new revelations” about the payments and didn’t include any itemized payments to Cohen. ___ TAX BREAKS The district attorney’s office has been investigating some of the arrangements Trump made to reduce his tax bill. Data in the returns could be essential in analyzing whether […]

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UTJ and Shas Sign Pledge To Only Support Netanyahu Government After Elections

In an effort to rebuild the right-wing bloc of parties that aided him in previous elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu succeeded at securing an agreement from both of the Charedi parties UTJ and Shas, that they would only support a government being led by the Prime Minister. Both parties signed an agreement that they will not independently join a government led by any party other than Likud after the March 23rd elections. Netanyahu had been pressuring Betzalel Smotrich and his Religious Zionism party to sign the document as well, but Smotritch refused to do so, claiming that previous such agreements failed to produce right-wing governments. In a statement issued to the press, Smotrich’s party said.“Our only loyalty is to [our] path and values, and we will only be part of a government that expresses them.” However, Netanyahu did get Smotrich and his party to sign an agreement stating that they would recommend Netanyahu to be the one to form the next government. Yamina, lead by Naftali Bennett, did not sign any agreement, as the leader has campaigned hard against the Prime Minister’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. According to current polls, the emerging bloc, will not have enough seats to form a government on its own, and will need at least one or two other parties to join with them to form a government. It does further complicate efforts for either Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar, who are expected to have the second and third largest parties after the upcoming election to form a government. Should these parties perform well on election day and the right-wing bloc refuse to budge, the country could well be headed for a fifth election in under three years. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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For Senate Rules Arbiter, Minimum Wage Is Latest Minefield

She’s guided the Senate through two impeachment trials, vexed Democrats and Republicans alike with parliamentary opinions and helped rescue Electoral College certificates from a pro-Trump mob ransacking the Capitol. She also does spot-on impersonations of senators including Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth MacDonough, an English literature major and the Senate’s first woman parliamentarian, is about to demonstrate anew why she’s one of Washington’s most potent, respected yet obscure figures. Any day, she’s expected to reveal if she thinks a federal minimum wage boost, progressives’ most prized plank in Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, should fall from the bill. Her decision, a political minefield likely to elicit groans from whichever side she disappoints, will play an outsized role in deciding the wage increase’s fate. It may not be definitive — majority Democrats might try overriding an opinion they don’t like. “Elizabeth has a soul-crushing job, to which she brings an enormous amount of soul,” said her predecessor, Alan Frumin, whom she replaced when he retired in 2012. Part of MacDonough’s job, in which she’s supposed to be nonpartisan, is enduring high-stakes lobbying from both parties when she’s making pivotal decisions. But she’s found a home in the Capitol, where she’s spent most of the past three decades after starting as an assistant Senate librarian in 1990. “She knows the names of every police officer and janitor,” Frumin said. Sometimes, the pressure can be extraordinary. Frumin said that when the Senate was enacting former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law — which was opposed by Republicans and infuriated grassroots tea party conservatives — he had police protection at his home as a precaution. “And the political climate hasn’t gotten friendlier,” he said. Even so, MacDonough, 55, has garnered high marks from both parties. Underscoring that, while she was initially appointed in 2012 by Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, Senate majority leader at the time, she was retained by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., when he became majority leader in 2015. “She’s very solid. She listens to all the evidence,” Sanders, the independent Vermont senator and chief sponsor of the minimum wage proposal, said in a recent interview. “She is a brilliant lawyer, a thorough and fair referee and a walking encyclopedia of Senate precedent and procedure,” McConnell spokesman David Popp said Tuesday. She’s also used the time to hone an ability to replicate the voices and cadence of several senators including Sanders, associates say. MacDonough’s earned her reputation for fairness while helping steer the Senate through some of its highest-profile moments. Rulings she issued striking anti-abortion and other provisions from numerous failed GOP attempts to repeal Obama’s health care law weakened their bills. She helped Chief Justice John Roberts preside over then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 Senate impeachment trial, and was beside Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., for Trump’s second trial this month. Trump was acquitted both times. And as Trump supporters fought past police and into the Capitol last month in hopes of disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, MacDonough and other staffers rescued those ballots and hustled mahogany boxes containing them to safety. MacDonough’s office, on the Capitol’s first floor, was ransacked and declared a crime scene. Raised by a single mother in the comfortable Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland, MacDonough graduated with an English literature degree from George […]

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Netanyahu: “Iran Will Fail To Destroy Am Yisrael, Like Haman Failed 2,500 Years Ago”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel won’t rely on the Biden administration’s efforts to return to a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. “On Erev Purim, I say to those who seek to destroy us: Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian tyrant tried to destroy the Jewish nation and just like he failed then, you’ll fail today,” the prime minister said. “We won’t allow your extremist and aggressive regime to acquire nuclear weapons. We didn’t make the journey of generations of thousands of years back to the land of Israel in order to allow the delusional regime of the ayatollahs to end the story of the resurrection of the Jewish people.” “We won’t place our hopes on any agreement with extremist regimes like yours…with or without an agreement, we’ll do everything it takes for you not to obtain nuclear weapons.” On Monday, Netanyahu convened a meeting regarding current situation with Iran with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Mossad head Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, US Ambassador US Gilad Erdan, and others. The three-hour meeting ended after a number of the tactical decisions were reached, Yisrael Hayom reported. Netanyahu is expected to convene another meeting in the near future. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is receiving a chilly response from Iran regarding rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal, with Tehran refusing to resume full compliance with the deal’s obligations. On Tuesday, Iran began officially restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities in order to pressure the international community to lift economic sanctions. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Mars Rover’s Giant Parachute Carried Secret Message

The huge parachute used by NASA’s Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message, thanks to a puzzle lover on the spacecraft team. Systems engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Things” in the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute. He also included the GPS coordinates for the mission’s headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Clark, a crossword hobbyist, came up with the idea two years ago. Engineers wanted an unusual pattern in the nylon fabric to know how the parachute was oriented during descent. Turning it into a secret message was “super fun,” he said Tuesday. Only about six people knew about the encoded message before Thursday’s landing, according to Clark. They waited until the parachute images came back before putting out a teaser during a televised news conference Monday. It took just a few hours for space fans to figure it out, Clark said. Next time, he noted, “I’ll have to be a little bit more creative.” “Dare Mighty Things” — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — is a mantra at JPL and adorns many of the center’s walls. The trick was “trying to come up with a way of encoding it but not making it too obvious,” Clark said. As for the GPS coordinates, the spot is 10 feet (3 meters) from the entrance to JPL’s visitor center. Another added touch not widely known until touchdown: Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all five of NASA’s Mars rovers in increasing size over the years — similar to the family car decals seen on Earth. Deputy project manager Matt Wallace promises more so-called hidden Easter eggs. They should be visible once Perseverance’s 7-foot (2-meter) arm is deployed in a few days and starts photographing under the vehicle, and again when the rover is driving in a couple weeks. “Definitely, definitely should keep a good lookout,” he urged. (AP)

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Chabad on Campus Seeks Marketing Manager!

Are you a whiz at project management? Do you have a love for tackling creative ideas and executing with excellence? Are you interested in being a part of an organization committed to Jewish students across the world? If so, this is the opportunity for you. Chabad on Campus International is seeking an experienced Marketing & Communications Project Manager. Chabad on Campus International is an entrepreneurial organization at the forefront of Jewish life on campus. At COCI, you will have a rewarding work experience, will be appreciated for the value you bring to the team and will get to work in a cohesive and friendly environment with great coffee and blazing Wi-Fi speeds. This position is for someone highly organized, with strong project management skills, who want to work in a mission-driven environment, and who will bring a great attitude. Open to meeting superstars with unique real-world intern experience in either a high paced sales or marketing role. Excellent pay and excellent work environment. We are based in NYC. Open to partial WFH (work from home). If you are working from home, just make sure you have good coffee there. Job Description Overview:  The Marketing and Communications Manager will proactively, strategically, and creatively advance Chabad on Campus’ visibility, reputation, and relevance on college and university campuses internationally. The Manager reports to the Director of Marketing and Communications. They will work to broaden our reach, deepen engagement, and inspire the public and community to give and engage. This person will also develop, integrate, and implement a broad range portfolio of communications, public relations, social media, and community engagement tools and practices. This position is ideal for an innovative and agile Marketing and Communications professional to advance COCI’s mission. In this role, you will be responsible for implementing marketing, communications, social media, and public relations through: Primary Responsibilities: Elevating COCI’s brand and visibility as an innovative and engaged community partner. Raising COCI’s profile via traditional and digital media platforms. Crafting comprehensive and distinctive marketing campaigns that exceed constituent expectations. Deftly collaborating with internal and external partners to achieve objectives within timelines and budget. Lead and oversee the development and execution of all communication messaging and strategy and all marketing materials. Serve as lead for collateral creation, including oversight of graphic design and video production for individual programs and departments. Manage websites by creating and updating all content while analyzing site data to track and improve content reach. Manage social media presence by creating and updating content across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Develop and manage our blog to engage with Schluchim (emissaries), students, parents, and donors, ultimately connect them to opportunities to give back. Analyze social media platform data to track and improve content reach. Develop and execute regular electronic communications. Develop annual marketing, communications, and public relations plans.Analyze the impact of communications, advertising, and public relations effectiveness. Create and manage a high performing team, providing supervision and support to direct reports and with the ability to pitch in and execute hands-on when necessary. Develop and sustain successful relationships with COCI staff and external partners. Other duties assigned by the VP Admin and Director of Marketing and Communications.   Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in a related field 4-6  years of experience in marketing communications, public relations, or journalism Demonstrated supervisory skills Demonstrated track […]

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More Cities In Israel To Allow Schools To Open Wednesday Due To Lower Infection Rate

Israel’s Health Ministry updated the traffic light categorization on Tuesday, to allow children from cities listed as light orange, to go back to schools starting Wednesday. The update and change in the categorization of cities usually takes place on Wednesday, but as Thursday is a short day due to the fast and schools are closed on Friday, the Ministry wanted students to be able to return to school, even for two days, before the Purim break, and thus moved the date of categorization up one day. The renewal of studies in schools that are now newly categorized as light orange will be dependant on approval of the Corona Cabinet, but they are not expected to block the move. Thus, students ranging from daycare to grade 6, and students in grades 11 and 12 who live in the following cities will be able to go back to school, once again. Or Akiva, Achisamach, Eliachin, Elad, Bakaa al-Garbiyyeh, Be’er Ora, Biria, Bat Yam, Dimona, Chantun, various neighborhoods in Jerusalem including – French Hill, Givat Hamivtar, Har Hatzofim, Har Nof, and Ramot,- Kfar Zoharim, Lod, Ma’aleh Efraim, Netivot, Arad, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Ekron, Ra’ama, Rosh Pina, and Ramle. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Israel Offers Compensation To Yemenite Families For Missing Children

The Israeli government on Monday approved a plan to offer $50 million in compensation to the families of hundreds of Yemenite children who disappeared in the early years of the country’s establishment. But the announcement received a cool reception from advocacy groups that said the government had failed to apologize or accept responsibility for the affair. Stories about the missing children have circulated in Israel for years. Hundreds of newborn babies and young children of Jewish immigrants from Arab and Balkan countries, most of them from Yemen, mysteriously disappeared shortly after arriving in the country. Many families believe their children were taken away and given to childless couples of European backgrounds, both in Israel and abroad. Although previous inquiries have dismissed claims of mass abductions, the suspicions have lingered and contributed to a long-simmering fault line between Jews of European origin and those of Middle Eastern backgrounds. “This is among the most painful affairs in the history of the state of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “The time has come for the families whose infants were taken from them to receive recognition by the state and government of Israel, and financial compensation as well.” Arriving from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa after Israel’s establishment in 1948, many Mizrahi, or Middle Eastern, immigrants were sent to shantytown transit camps and largely sidelined by the European, or Ashkenazi, leaders of the founding Labor party. This painful experience contributed to widespread Mizrahi support for the Likud party, now led by Netanyahu. Among the immigrants were more than 50,000 Yemenite Jews, often poor and with large families. In the chaos that accompanied their influx, some children died while others were separated from their parents. But many say the reality was far more sinister, that the establishment kidnapped these children to turn them over for adoption by Ashkenazi families in the belief that they could give them a better life. In later years, families reported being mailed military induction notices and other documents for their supposedly “dead” children, raising more suspicions. Three high-profile commissions dismissed the claims and found that most children died of disease in immigration camps. The final one, in 2001, said it was possible that some children were handed over for adoption by individual social workers, but not as part of a national conspiracy. However, citing privacy laws, it ordered the testimonies it collected be sealed for 70 years. Under Monday’s decision, the government will pay 150,000 shekels, or about $45,000, to families in cases where it was determined a child had died but the family had not been properly notified or where the burial site was not found. Families where the fate of the child is unknown will receive 200,000 shekels, or about $60,000. In a statement, the government said it “expresses regret” and “recognizes the suffering of the families.” But activist groups said the decision did not go far enough. Amram, an advocacy group that has collected testimonies from some 800 affected families, said the decision failed to include an apology and was reached without proper dialogue with the families. “Without this component, a process of correction and healing isn’t possible,” it said. “Amram repeatedly demands that the state of Israel take responsibility for the severe injustice.” Rafi Shubeli of “Forum Achai,” an advocacy group […]

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New York: No Charges Against Officers Involved In Daniel Prude’s Death

Police officers shown on body camera video holding Daniel Prude down naked and handcuffed on a city street last winter until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges, according to a grand jury decision announced Tuesday. The 41-year-old Black man’s death last March sparked nightly protests in Rochester, New York, after the video was released nearly six months later, with demonstrators demanding a reckoning for police and city officials. State Attorney General Letitia James, whose office took over the prosecution and impaneled a grand jury, said her office “presented the strongest case possible” and she was “extremely disappointed” by the decision. “The criminal justice system has frustrated efforts to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the unjustified killing of African Americans. And what binds these cases is a tragic loss of life in circumstances in which the death could have been avoided,” James said at the Aenon Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester. “One recognizes the influences of race, from the slave codes to Jim Crow to lynching to the war on crime to the overincarceration of people of color: Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. And now Daniel Prude,” James later added. Lawyers for the seven police officers suspended over Prude’s death have said the officers were strictly following their training that night, employing a restraining technique known as “segmenting.” They claimed Prude’s use of PCP, which caused irrational behavior, was “the root cause” of his death. The March 23 video made public on Sept. 4 was released in the wake of street demonstrations around the nation over George Floyd’s death. It shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later. “The system failed Daniel Prude again,” said Prude family lawyer Elliot Shields. ”It failed him on March 22 when he was released from the hospital. It failed him on the night of March 23 when the police use deadly force against him. And it failed him again today.” Shields said Prude’s brother, Joe Prude, was “heartbroken.” Officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Mark Vaughn, along with Sgt. Michael Magri, were suspended after Prude’s death became public. Calls were made to the officers’ attorneys. Matthew Rich, who represents four officers, said “we’re still taking it in” and said the attorneys would speak to the press later. Prude’s family filed a federal lawsuit in September alleging the police department sought to cover up the true nature of his death. The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint” and cited PCP as a contributing factor. James recommended that officers and other responders be trained to recognize the symptoms of excited delirium syndrome, which can make people vulnerable to cardiac arrest. The medical examiner and the attorney general’s expert both concluded that Prude was in a state of excited delirium. The attorney general also called for communities to minimize or eliminate police responses to mental health calls and to find alternatives to the type of “spit sock” […]

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A Tale Of A Cookie: Dutch “Jew Cookies” Are Renamed

Jodenkoeken, a dessert staple in the Netherlands since the 19th century, translates as “Jew cookies.” It’s not clear how the flat round shortbread cookies came to be called “Jew cookies” but there are several theories, including that a baker with the name “de Joode” first baked the cookies, that the original recipe originated from a Jewish baker in Amsterdam, and that the flat crunchy cookies are reminiscent of matzah. There is also one theory with anti-Semitic overtones – that since jodenkoeken are big but very flat they are very cheap to produce and a lot of cheap products were associated with Jews. However, Dutch Jews don’t believe the name is discriminatory and although the manufacturer considered changing the name in the 1970s, he ultimately decided against it due to the lack of controversy around it. According to a JTA report, many Dutch Jews even buy jodenkoeken to give to relatives abroad as a joke. “I know it sounds strange to Americans, but there’s never been an issue around jodenkoeken,” said Ronny Naftaniel, who led Dutch Jewry’s watchdog group on antisemitism for 37 years before becoming vice chair of the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands a decade ago. However, the times are changin’, as they say. On Friday, Patisserie Pater, the company behind the most well-known jodenkoeken brands, announced it was changing the cookie’s name in order to “help create a more inclusive society.” The company stated that the Davelaar-brand jodenkoeken will now be called “odekoeken” — Dutch for “ode cookies.” “Davelaar can of course name their products as they please, but jodenkoeken really is not something I’m offended by, and I don’t know of anyone who is,” Ronit Palache, a 36-year-old Dutch-Jewish journalist and author, said. Palache said she sensed “woke overzealousness” in Patisserie Pater’s announcement. “When you start making corrections no one needs or asks for, you’re just creating resistance and friction over nothing.” “What a shame, we always enjoyed it,” Birgitta van Blitterswijk, a Dutch-Jewish art historian, wrote on Facebook. “The people who decided this should have spoken to the Jewish community instead of deciding for them.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Tiger Woods Seriously Injured In Crash On Steep LA-Area Road

Tiger Woods crashed his SUV on sweeping, downhill road in the Los Angels suburbs Tuesday morning, and doctors tried to stabilize “significant” injuries to his right leg with rods and a combination of screws and pins. Woods was driving to a television shoot when his SUV crashed into a median, rolled over and ended up on its side near a steep road known for wrecks, authorities said. Golf’s biggest star had to be pulled out through the windshield. Woods’ foundation said in a statement he was awake, responsive and recovering in the hospital. Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said Woods shattered the tibia and fibula bones of his lower right leg in multiple locations. Those injuries were stabilized with a rod in the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones in the foot and ankle required screws and pins, Mahajan said in a statement released on Woods’ Twitter account late Tuesday night. The lengthy surgery also reduced swelling. Woods was awake and recovering in his hospital room, the statement said. A resident near the accident site called 911. A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, the first on the scene, poked his head through a hole in the windshield to see Woods, his seatbelt fastened, sitting in the driver’s seat. The single-car crash was another setback for Woods, the preeminent golfer of his generation who has spent the last decade in a cycle of injuries, self-inflicted personal problems and an arrest for DUI. Each time, he returned to the course and won. Even at 45, Woods is among the more recognizable sports figures in the world and remains golf’s biggest draw. His 2019 Masters victory was seen as a transcendent comeback and further cemented his reputation for toughness and clutch performances. Briefly Tuesday, the world paused and worried that Woods might be critically injured or worse. As it became clear that his life wasn’t in danger, the obvious question came out: Can he play golf again? “As if his body hasn’t endured enough,” Jon Rahm, the No. 2 player in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Florida. “I just hope he can get out of the hospital after recovery and he can still play with his kids and have a normal life.” No charges were filed, police said there was no evidence he was impaired and no one else was injured. It was the 10th surgery for Woods, who has suffered knee, back and neck problems for more than a decade. Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as tournament host of the Genesis Invitational that ended Sunday, and then to film content for his sponsor, Discovery-owned GOLFTV. He was not playing while recovering from a fifth back surgery on Dec. 23. Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed into a raised median, crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled several times, authorities said at a news conference. Police said Woods was alert as firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the airbags deployed and the inside of the SUV stayed mostly intact, which “gave him a cushion to survive the crash.” There was no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired. Authorities said they checked for any odor of alcohol or other […]

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Bereaved Husband Says His Wife Wasn’t Against Vaccines

Yehudah Ben-Shitrit, the husband of Asnat, z’l, who passed away of the coronavirus on Motzei Shabbos at age 32, told Channel 13 News that contrary to rumors, his wife wasn’t opposed to vaccines and even made an appointment to receive the first dose but caught the virus prior to the appointment. “At the beginning, she was a little nervous due to all the talk in the media about pregnant women but later she decided to be vaccinated and she made appointments for both of us,” Yehudah said. “I got vaccinated with the first dose but then contracted the virus and then she caught it and it was too late for her to be vaccinated. We were in favor of vaccination – I recommend to everyone to be vaccinated, to protect your lives so you won’t come to our situation.” “It’s impossible to come to terms with this,” Yehudah tearfully said. “She was everything in the house. She left such a deep vacuum.” Asnat was also the main breadwinner in her family through her sheitel salon and the family, including 4 yesomim, the youngest only a one-year-old baby, is in need of financial assistance. A FUND WAS SET UP TO HELP THE FAMILY – CLICK HERE TO DONATE (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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The Business Your Neighbor Built For Decades Is Gone!

Help businesses and breadwinners rebuild from Covid! Support the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, which is at the forefront of Job creation! Giving another Yid Parnassah is the highest form of Matanos L’Evyonim! The toll left by Coronavirus extends well beyond those who fell ill or passed away. An unprecedented number of breadwinners in our community lost their jobs. Virtually every business experienced painful losses. Countless businesses have been completely shuttered for months. Many were forced to close permanently. The Rambam and others have taught us, there is no higher form of Tzedaka than helping your fellow Yid become financially self-sufficient – with his/her dignity intact. Lets Cut this CRISIS off by its legs. We won’t need all the other incredible organizations Klal Yisroel has if we are avble to have people PROVIDE for their families. This Purim, give the greatest Matanos L’Evyonim possible by supporting the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, which remains at the forefront of helping businesses and breadwinners succeed in Parnassah through these challenging times. Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce highlights of 2021 are Job creation, training, business development, workshops, seminars, financial resources, practical guidance, and so much more around the clock. Please donate generously to the Chamber’s Emergency Business Relief Fund, which empowers families & businesses hardest hit by Coronavirus related crises to rise and succeed. This special fund is in addition to the Chamber’s regular array of services and programs that assist individuals in all industries succeed in Parnassah. Thank you so much for rising to the moment. In the merit of your support, may you, your loved ones and your livelihood be protected during these tumultuous times! Duvi Honig Founder/Ceo Orthodox Jewish Chamber of commerce – Parnassah Network CLICK HERE TO GIVE NOW The Programs are endorsed by Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of American, Rabbi Yaakov Forcheimer Shlit”a, Rabbi Eitan Feiner Shlit”a, among other prominent rabbanim and business leaders. The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce/The Parnassah Network is a registered 501c3 nonprofit. All donations are tax deductible.

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States Rush To Catch Up On Delayed Vaccines, Expand Access

A giant vaccination center is opening in Houston to administer 126,000 coronavirus doses in the next three weeks. Nevada health officials are working overtime to distribute delayed shots. And Rhode Island is rescheduling appointments after a vaccine shipment failed to arrive as scheduled earlier in the week. From coast to coast, states were scrambling Tuesday to catch up on vaccinations a week after winter storms battered a large swath of the U.S. and led to clinic closures, canceled appointments and shipment backlogs nationwide. But limited supply of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines hampered the pace of vaccinations even before extreme weather delayed the delivery of about 6 million doses. The White House promised on Tuesday that help is on the way. States can expect about 14.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine this week, an almost 70% increase in distribution over the past month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. And White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients told governors on Tuesday that the number of doses sent directly to pharmacies will increase by about 100,000 this week, Psaki said. The stepped-up efforts come as the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. surpassed 500,000, far more than any other country. More than 44 million Americans have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and about 1.4 million per day received either a first or second dose over the past seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although average daily deaths and cases have been falling, some experts say not enough Americans have been inoculated for the vaccine to be the reason. The decline instead is attributed to the passing of the holidays, more people staying indoors during the winter and better adherence to mask rules and social distancing. What’s more, they warn that dangerous variants could cause the trend to reverse itself. States are responding by simultaneously trying to catch up from last week’s pause and gear up to vaccinate more people in coming weeks. Houston’s federally funded vaccination site will open Wednesday at NRG Park, operating seven days a week for three weeks to distribute 126,000 first doses, before transitioning to second doses, officials said. Texans are recovering from a devastating winter storm that killed at least 35 people, left millions without power and water, and delayed vaccinations. “It’s been trauma after trauma, and people deserve some good news, some hope,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s chief elected official. In Buda, Texas, retired teachers Donna and Gerald Haschke, both 74, were supposed to get their second doses last week but their appointments were canceled three times because of the storm. They’re scheduled to receive doses on Thursday. The couple are eager to get completely vaccinated after months of having to scale back all their activities because of the coronavirus. Gerald Haschke has heart stents and Donna Haschke has atrial fibrillation, she said. “My cardiologists said, ‘You do not want to get COVID,’” Donna Haschke said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ To me that was a warning that I need to stay home.” In Mississippi, where COVID-19 vaccinations plummeted last week amid freezing temperatures and icy roads, health officials were automatically rescheduling appointments, and planned to schedule more than normal through the weekend. The state Department of […]

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