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Rabbi’s Blog: Chodesh Tov - Lashon Tov!

02/09/2024 01:11:43 PM


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Dear OZ family,


Chodesh Tov.

I invite everyone who will be here for Shabbat to hear Rabbi David Gottlieb, who is our Scholar in Residence. We have sent out many notices describing his multi-faceted work in Israel, and I especially invite you to attend his lectures throughout Shabbat, as they are all connected to these trying times in Israel today. We are also preparing in earnest for our mission next week to Israel. There is still time to generously donate to support the places and institutions that we will be visiting, and where we will be volunteering. I have attached below additional ways to help Israel from the OU Advocacy Center, and I remind everyone that a great way to extend our own input in how Israel is perceived in the public eye, is for each and every one of us to turn away from Lashon Hara, and to judge others favorably. This won’t solve all of Israel’s problems, but it’s a start.


Shabbat Shalom

Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200





Dear Friend,


Despite partisan disagreements in the Senate and House, OU Advocacy has been able to advance one of our top priorities right now – securing additional emergency funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) and, along with our coalition partners, critical military aid to Israel in the Senate's National Security Supplemental. 


We also continue to press for leading universities to be held accountable for their failures in addressing antisemitism. My recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post is focused on Harvard’s latest.



Securing Military Aid to Israel and NSGP Funding for our Community 🪖


In working on the Emergency Supplemental, I met with a key supporter of Israel and NSGP – Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.


What happened? After some Senate Republicans objected to border and immigration provisions in the previous National Security Supplemental, Majority Leader Schumer introduced a new proposal that omits those measures, and provides $14.1 billion in military aid to Israel for its war against Hamas and an additional $400 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program—a life-saving security resource to our community’s shuls and schools.


Why is this important? We are in the fifth month of Israel's war with Hamas and the conflict is reaching a critical stage. The United States must stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and provide the military support it needs to finish its ground invasion of Gaza and eradicate Hamas. The emergency military funds will serve to replenish Israel’s forces and facilitate that mission. 

The proposal also addresses the mounting security needs faced by the American Jewish community. This funding provides essential security resources for Jewish schools and synagogues to defend against antisemitic threats and protect our institutions. 


How was the OU involved? OUA leadership worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, emphasizing the antisemitic violence our community faces and advocating for unwavering support for Israel in its war against Hamas. 

We have also encouraged community members and advocates to write to their senators and representatives, urging them to support NSGP funding and military aid to Israel. 


Bottom line: Jewish Americans should not have to pay a premium to practice our faith. And the U.S. must stand resolutely behind Israel—its greatest ally—as it seeks to destroy evil. This comprehensive funding bill will fulfill both needs. As such, we urge the Senate to pass this funding as soon as possible, and the House to follow suit by drafting companion legislation. 


Take Action: Click here to send a letter to your senator requesting they support military aid to Israel and Nonprofit Security Grant Program funding.



Harvard Needs Schooling on Antisemitism 📚


Background: As a Harvard alum, I am deeply troubled over its ongoing failure to adequately address campus antisemitism.


The struggles continue: Despite the resignation of President Gay and the appointment of an interim president, Alan Garber, the university continues to falter in its response to antisemitism. From hosting programs that promote narratives glorifying violence against Jews to appointing individuals with blatant anti-Israel views to key positions, Harvard's leadership appears to be out of touch with the concerns of its Jewish community.


Harvard needs to learn its lesson: My op-ed in the Jerusalem Post calls on Harvard University to undergo a serious reevaluation of its approach to combating antisemitism on campus. This goes beyond forming task forces or issuing statements—it requires tangible action. Harvard must adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards antisemitic behavior, implement stricter penalties for offenders, and provide increased support and resources for Jewish students who feel targeted or marginalized. 


Click here to read my full op-ed, “Remedial education for Harvard on antisemitism,” in the Jerusalem Post.



Nathan Diament

Executive Director, OU Advocacy



Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784