Random Musings: Israeli Elections, Rand Paul, and Charities Hurt by Sandy

January 14, 2013 12:01 am 1 comment

Line of people at KMP Grocery, 275 1st Avenue just south of 16th Street, Manhattan, New York City, the morning after Hurricane Sandy.

Some random thoughts on a cold New York night in January:

  • With the Israeli elections a little over a week away, there is a deafening silence from foreign media (and foreign political officials) about the fact that the left in Israel is largely a non-factor in the elections. It is taken for granted – fait accompli – that Benjamin Netanyahu will be the Prime Minister. The conservative candidate is uncontested – with his biggest challenge coming from the right – despite all of the international pressure placed on Israel. Worldwide media would shout from the rooftops about the “unprecedented mandate” of the left, if the shoe were on the other foot. Clearly, Israelis want a strong Israel and survival is deemed more important than public relations – as it well should be.
  • This week, from The Washington Post to Buzzfeed, media outlets made a big deal out of the fact that Senator Rand Paul hired Israel-based PR firm Lone Star Communications during his recent Middle East visit, claiming that Lone Star is “right-wing” as they have worked for Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and others. The CEO of Lone Star has been a friend of mine for many years – and they are simply amongst the best PR firms in the region, with a unique understanding of the needs of visiting politicians from across the political spectrum. I am personally aware that the firm works with Democrats and Republicans (and leftists and rightists in Israel), and they are very well connected and good at what they do. It’s misleading to make a big deal out of the fact that Paul hired a pro-Israel PR firm.
  • While Hurricane Sandy is in the past, the community shouldn’t forget about the many Jewish charities which still haven’t recovered from the storm. The Hebrew Academy of Long Beach on Long Island still has tremendous damage, Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) is still not back in its Brighton Beach center – it incurred six-figure damage which still hasn’t been recovered, and like so many other charities it was uninsured. Many charities simply don’t have back-up funds to cover for these contingencies, and the effects of the storm are still being felt. Next week, the SUV that two Staten Island boys rode in when they were swept away from their mother’s arms and drowned, will be auctioned off for charity by Kars 4 Kids. It’s heartbreaking on so many levels.
  • In the month of January, who could have thought that there would be a major snowstorm in Jerusalem before these was one in New York?

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.

1 Comment

  • Kars 4 Kids is on my radio every day with that annoying jingle. Jingle is too bothersome to donate to them.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.