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Mazeltov, my good Rabbi

First US-born Rabbi to be awarded MBE by QEII get congrats from the SAUPJ See story and pics….

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ANT KATZ

Rabbi Mark Winer, a British subject and a US citizen, is believed to be the first American Rabbi to be honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

SAUPJ chair, Steve Lurie, and SAAPR chair Rabbi Robert Jacobs have co-signed a letter congratulating Rabbi Winer.

“On behalf of the South African Union of Progressive Judaism and the South African Association of Progressive Rabbis we would like to wish you a hearty mazel tov on being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, marking your important work in Interfaith Relations toward mutual respect and understanding, fighting hate and violence in the world,” wrote the two South African Progressive leaders.

“We wish you all the success this title may bring you in achieving your person goals,” they added, “and those of the Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony (FAITH).”

Winer, 71, received the honour for services to interfaith dialogue and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. He said in a statement that he was “humbled and thrilled” to accept the honour.

Queen and Rabbi Winer
PICTURED RIGHT: Rabbi Winer was accompanied by his wife when he received his award

 

For 30 years, he led congregations in the United States before moving to London in 1998. There, he spent 12 years as senior Rabbi of the Reform West London Synagogue of British Jews. Winer is founder of the international interfaith charitable initiative FAITH, The Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony.

British Rabbi Herschel Gluck, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, also received an OBE for services to interfaith understanding.

Another American-born recipient of the OBE award is Brett Wigdortz, 39, for his efforts as founder of the education program Teach First.

Former chairman of England’s Football Association, David Bernstein, also received the honour for his services in sports. Bernstein, 70, is also the former chairman of the Manchester City Football Club.

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New York Times rebuked

Paper’s public editor rebukes The New York Times reporter for asking PhD candidate David McCleary, pic. ‘demeaning’ questions as he didn’t look Jewish

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ANT KATZ

A reporter for the New York Times came under fire for asking a Jewish Ph.D. candidate “insulting and demeaning” questions for an article on the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on college campuses across the US.

The questions that were asked of University of California, Berkeley candidate David McCleary, included whether he “looked Jewish” given his apparently non-Jewish sounding last name and whether he had had a barmitzvah.

NYT rebuked


RIGHT: The New York Times Editor weighs in on ‘demeaning’ questions to Jewish PhD student.


McCleary promptly wrote to the office of the New York Times’ public editor, whose job it is to respond to questions of the newspaper’s integrity.

He said he was “displeased” that his remarks were withheld from the ultimate publication of the story and that no Jewish student who supports the BDS movement on campuses was quoted.

McCleary’s complaint to the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who in the end agreed that such questioning was “unprofessional and unacceptable,” underlined the brouhaha around an article published by the newspaper last Saturday about the BDS movement and its consequences on college campuses.

Responding to Sullivan’s admission, McCleary told the Algemeiner: “While the Jewish litmus test I received was offensive, it isn’t nearly as offensive as the New York Times ignoring my voice and thousands like me who are Jewish students in favour of BDS for Israel.”

Piece didn’t provide evidence 

Critics of the story have argued that the piece itself did not provide much evidence to back the complaint of its headline, which states that the BDS issue “drives a wedge” between Jews and minority groups on campus.

“To make this into a ‘Minority vs Jewish’ question, without supplying evidence, is to distort the issue,” said David Nasaw, the Arthur M Schlesinger Junior professor of history at Graduate Centre, City University of New York.

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Unique baby names @ just $31k

Expectant parents who are struggling to find a unique name for their baby are in luck. JTA reports this Swiss company will do it for you, for just $31,000!

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ANT KATZ

Expectant parents, if you’re paging through baby name pages looking for a unique name to no avail (have you checked ours yet?), you’re in luck. Erfolgswelle – a Swiss firm that specialises in naming babies – will happily volunteer its 32 person staff to spend 100 hours searching for unique, copyright-free names for your child.

All for the tune of $31,000, because who needs a college fund really? Squares, that’s who, and you’ll be damned if your kid becomes anything less than the uniquely-shaped polygon he or she was born to be.

But, writes Suzanne Samin on JTA’s KVELLER, “in all seriousness, I totally get wanting a special name for your kid. I just don’t get spending an arm and leg for it by contracting out a service like this one. But, to each his or her own, and if you’re really into the idea of hiring out a monolith to name your child, they’re offering to reimburse the full charge for the first couple to report their new baby name to the media within two weeks of receiving it.”

WIZOChristianZionistspic1
How cute is this? Not $31,000 – that’s for sure!

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Darth Zeder & a wonky knee

Special needs self-styled “passenger from hell” on ElAl couldn’t match his needs with his budget.

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STAFF REPORTER

Will I fly ElAl again next time? Hell yeh! Not only were they great at what they do, they and came through with ‘flying’ colours!

In a recent BLOG BY ANT KATZ, SAJR Online’s editor asks: “What is it with SA Jewry and ElAl?” Ant says that “SA Jewry fall into the pro- or anti-ElAl camp,” and then proceeds to give an account of his own experience of flying with the airline last month.

In the blog entitled: “Facts, fun and fallacies about ElAl,” Katz says that it was “the hapstance of timing” that had resulted in his flying on the Airline. “As it happened, on the week I was travelling, ElAl offered the lowest price, most suitable times for me, and, what’s more, the only non-stop route which was important as embarking and disembarking was going to be difficult for me at the time.

Passenger from hell

“You see,” says Ant Katz, “on this trip, I was the customer from hell! I was a special-needs passenger who could not match his needs with his budget. I needed wheelchair assistance to board and disembark, a seat with extra legroom and a 110 or 220v electric plug” at his seat.

“Suffice it to say, in a very Jewish and/or Israeli way, one way or another, my needs were met completely, against ElAl policies and despite all the naysayers” in the community, blogs Ant. “Here’s the thing… the one simple fact: In so many ways, ElAl was incredible.”

He proceeds to share his tale about ElAl policies being the most stringent he has ever encountered, and accuses the ‘serial complainers’ in the community of having “groomed” him to expect otherwise.

As it turned out, ElAl moved heaven and earth to accommodate him – even sending a technical team to modify a plane close to midnight at Ben Gurion airport. 

READ THE FULL BLOG

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