Mega Purim Project

May 11, 2020

Like every year, right before Purim, the EJA together with Bassad and RCE launched the Mega purim Project.  We have organized and delivered hundreds of Mishlochei Manot to be given in Jewish communities across Europe during the upcoming Purim.
May it be a joyful and peaceful Purim to all.

 

Additional Articles

Israel Elections Day: Rivlin urges public to vote in rerun, promises they won’t have to do it again

President says he’ll do what he can to avoid a third election in a row amid deadlock predictions, tells Israelis ‘It is a real necessity’ to cast ballots
President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station in Jerusalem, September 17, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station in Jerusalem, September 17, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin promised to do everything he could to make sure Israelis do not have to cast ballots again a few months down the line, as the country headed to the polls Tuesday for an unprecedented rerun election.“I will do everything I can to prevent further elections and to establish a government quickly,” Rivlin said in a statement early Tuesday.Rivlin has made similar promises several times in recent weeks, including a video published Monday night urging Israelis to vote once and then not again for a while.“We must remember that, in the game of democracy, influence happens only through the ballot box,” Rivlin said in the video which was posted to his official Facebook page.“I, for my part, will do everything in my power, within the framework of the law and authority given to me by my post, to establish a elected government in Israel as quickly as possible, and to avoid another election campaign,” the president promised.

This picture taken on September 16, 2019 shows Israeli election billboards on a street in Jerusalem for the Likud and Blue and White parties. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Casting his vote on Tuesday morning at a polling station set up in a Jerusalem school, Rivlin implored voters in Hebrew and English to vote.“You must vote. It is a real necessity,” he said.As president, one of Rivlin’s responsibilities is choosing a candidate to attempt to form a government after elections.In April, he handed that task to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who then failed to garner enough support for a government. Rather than allow Rivlin to select another candidate, Netanyahu engineered the collapse of the Knesset and called new elections for September 17.Rivlin said he understands the “feeling of frustration” among the public at having to go back to the polls.

President Reuven Rivlin (right) presents Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a two-week extension to form a new government, May 13, 2019. (Haim Zach, GPO)

Surveys have shown Netanyahu and chief rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party both still likely falling short of being able to form a government without reaching across the aisle.Rivlin said he will task someone with forming a government within three days of receiving the confirmed finals results from the  Central Elections Committee on September 25. The president usually gives the mandate to the person recommended by most lawmakers during consultations, but he has some leeway on the matter, one of his only non-ceremonial roles.The selected lawmaker will then have 28 days to produce a government. Although Rivlin can grant an extension of up to 14 days, the president stressed that he can also choose to give a shorter extension.He said if they fail to form a government he will give another lawmaker a chance, unless no suitable candidate is found, in which case 61 MKs can ask him to give the mandate to any chosen lawmaker, including the MK who was given first shot.Ultimately, the Knesset must give a vote of confidence for any new government, and without that the country would need, “God forbid,” to hold third elections, Rivlin said.The article was published on The Times of Israel

The latest reflections from our esteemed colleague and advisory board member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

I am a tightrope walker
With fear of heights

You probably know those images of a tightrope walker who has strung a rope between two gigantic high-rise buildings In Manhattan and walks on the tightrope with a stick in his hands. One slip and the show is over! It is vital that the tightrope walker constantly concentrates, does not get distracted, keeps his goal in mind and is not afraid of heights. In this week's Sidra as well as in the Pirkee Awoth - Proverbs of the Fathers that we will learn this Shabbat, I meet myself as the tightrope walker. And on the eighth day he must be circumcised on the foreskin of his body (Leviticus 12: 3). In the Halaga, Jewish law, it is stated that although the Brit Mila, the circumcision, can be performed during the whole eighth day, it is nevertheless better to fulfill this mitzvah early in the morning. Keeping a commandment or any good deed should not be delayed! We learn this lesson from patriarch Awraham. When he was ordered by G’d to sacrifice his son Yitzchak, he did not postpone thatorder, but he got up early to do what was required of him.
Knowing this, the question arises: Why didn't Awraham circumcise himself in the morning, but delayed his Brit Mila until later that day? One of the answers I found was that Awraham didn't just think about himself. He wanted others to hear what he was doing. He wanted the entire society to stop idolatry. He hoped that everyone would realize that there is only one G’d and that He demands of the men to be circumcised. He understood that if he fulfilled this mitzvah early in the morning, hardly anyone would notice. And so, for the sake of publicity, he decided to do it later that day. So that others would be inspired.
In the Proverbs of the Fathers (chapter 2:1) we read: What is the right way for man to choose? Any way that honors him who follows him and at the same time honors him by the people.
From this we see that Awraham's position is a general rule. In everything we do we have to look at the context. What is the influence of my behavior on my environment? Judaism is not black or white. On the one hand you always have to walk the right way, but on the other hand, depending on the situation, you sometimes have to choose an alternative route to achieve the same goal.
So life is a continuous tightrope walk. If you only look up, you lose sight of the road you have to walk. If you only look down, you will be overwhelmed by the fear of the abyss. Especially in this difficult period in which we all find ourselves, it is vital
not to think black and white. It will be fine and I will ignore all the adapted rules that the Government and the physicians require from us, is a one- sided and therefore completely wrong position. It is like that tightrope walker who has no eye for reality and only tries to reach the other side with his head up. But also just looking into the depths, seeing everything
black, letting your thoughts be determined solely by screaming terrifying media reports, is a wrong position.
I feel like a tightrope walker. I make sure that I am not getting sick by alarming headlines on FB, newspapers, radio and TV. At the same time I have to consciously observe new rules and good advice. I must not shut myself off from reality. I also have to realize that I am constantly observed and that my unstable behavior can also instill fear or indifference in others.
Dear people. Do not take this column personally. I just wanted to show you how I am constantly balancing. I am a tightrope walker who refuses to look down due to fear of heights. But I also know that only my view upwards is not the Jewish and right way. I try to keep my balance. Do you do that too!
Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi

UK Labour to suspend Jeremy Corbyn following antisemitism report

Welcoming the expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn from the British Labour Party today, Our Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said “we at the EJA congratulate the Labour Party leadership for their decision to suspend former leader Jeremy Corbyn who actively enabled a culture of rabid antisemitism and anti-Zionism to spread under his tenure. Let his suspension act as a catalyst to any mainstream political party in Europe that harbour antisemites in their midst. The British Labour Party is a case in point for what not to do when antisemites gain a foothold, allowing a culture of deceit and denial to grow and grow...
Read More

State of Israel must enact a law against auctions of Nazi items'

The European Jewish Association (EJA) is drafting an injunction against a shameful auction by an Israeli auction house, "Pentagon," that offers the highest bidder, among other things: "A postcard of a Jew with a Nazi stamp on his face. rare!!! At an opening price of $50."
The description of Item 162 reads, "An original canvas film of an employee in the gas chambers of the Dachau concentration camp at an opening price of $500," and, "A postcard of a Jew with a Nazi stamp on his face. rare!!! At an opening price of $50."
EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, addressed the Minister of Justice and The Chairman of Yad Vashem, saying, "The State of Israel must enact a law against auctions of Nazi items!"
Rabbi Margolin emphasized: "Despite the shock we all felt with the previous sale of Nazi tattoo stamps used on the arms of Auschwitz prisoners, here again, to our shame, I am forced to address you in a hurry and with a deep sense of shock to request that you act immediately to prevent another shameful auction of Nazi items by an Israeli auction house."

He added, "At the European Jewish Association, EJA, we work resolutely and steadily both in the continental countries and with EU institutions to prohibit the trade and auction of Nazi items for profit. We are working closely with heads of state, ministers, and senior parliamentarians in EU countries to prevent the trivialization and promotion of Nazi heritage by putting such despicable items up for sale to the highest bidder. However, shamefully, it turns out that in the Jewish state, the State of Israel – again, there are those who want to tout these items and sell them to the highest bidder."
"In response to my previous letter, it was noted that things were being taken care of, but unfortunately, your eyes see, instead of recoiling from the negative public echo, there are those who see it as a 'sales promotion.' It is time to act to stop such auctions by enacting legislation."
"Of course, we are at your disposal to help formulate a legislative framework that will end this despicable phenomenon of making money in brazen contempt of the memory of the Holocaust and the memory of those who perished, not to mention the feelings of the survivors," Rabbi Margolin wrote
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/319070

Additional Communities
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Schweiz
Switzerland
Spain
Slovakia
Serbia
Russia
Romania
Portugal
Poland