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May 21, 2014 7:34 am

Support Israeli Soldiers, Twitter in Israel, and RAJE Dinner

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Naftali Bennett, leader of Israel's Jewish Home party, at a foreign-policy debate organized by The Israel Project on Jan. 8, 2013, two weeks before the 2013 Israeli legislative election in which the Jewish Home home 12 seats in the Knesset. Photo: Mati Milstein/The Israel Project.

Some random tidbits that I wanted to share some thoughts on:

  • Discrimination is sometimes acceptable:  Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid is absolutely right to grant tax exemptions to Israelis who serve in the Israel Defense Forces or national service programs – and for his statement that “We won’t apologize for being Zionist.” As Lapid says, “A young person who contributes three years of his life is a good, worthy citizen who deserves a clear and obvious advantage.” All over the world veterans rightfully receive benefits, and those who serve and protect the nation deserve special benefits. Especially in Israel, which is in constant need of defense, soldiers should receive special benefits.
  • Good news that Twitter has hired an Israeli public relations firm – Triwaks Public Relations – to help grow their business in Israel.  While Facebook and Google have operations within the Start-Up Nation, this is a first step for Twitter. And, in language short enough for Twitter: “Mazel Tov.”
  • If you won’t be too busy on June 1 with the Annual Salute to Israel Day Parade, there is a special forum being hosted at Congregation Shearith Israel on “Menachem Begin’s Zionism” – which will feature Douglas Feith of the Hudson Institute, Daniel Gordis of Shalem College, Ruth Wisse of Harvard University, and William Kristol of the Weekly Standard will moderate. The forum will conclude with a discussion with Hillel Halkin about his new book on Ze’ev Jabotinsky (which I recently reviewed here).
  • Quite excited for this year’s RAJE -Russian American Jewish Experience dinner, which will be held on the East Side on Thursday, May 29th, of which I am the Chairman. We are the largest Russian-Jewish educational organization in America (and no, I am not Russian – but I am Jewish, and the Russian Jews are a major part of our community who aren’t being served.) This year’s dinner will honor the 500,000 Russian Jews who fought the Nazis in World War II, and the Jewish veterans featured in the Blavatnik Archive Foundation.

This gorgeous display was featured at Park East Synagogue in the winter – it is a breathtaking private collection of documents, personal letters and diaries, photographs, postcards, periodicals, and oral testimonies pertaining to 19th and 20th century Jewish history. RAJE is the largest organization of its type; dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of Russian American Jews will have a future as a dynamic part of the Jewish people.

Am Israel Chai!

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