Rabbi Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), a highly successful Jewish outreach and educational program that engages and reconnects unaffiliated Jewish men and women in their 20s & 30s with Judaism and the Jewish community. In its 22 years of existence, MJE has successfully reconnected thousands of previously unaffiliated Jewish men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community, hundreds of whom are today living committed Jewish lives and sending their children to Jewish Day Schools. Rabbi Mark also teaches an outreach training seminar at RIETS, Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, training new leaders for the future.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
|My husband bought this container of Ben & Jerry's|
chocolate ice cream in the local supermarket.
- Support anti-Israel radical Leftists by buying Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
- Support the State of Israel -all of it- and patronize other ice cream brands.
Thursday, July 15, 2021
The recovery of these tragedies has taken two thousand years. Yes, we're now in a state of building and revival, of which the Modern State of Israel and the miraculous survival of the Jewish People are proof that Gd is most powerful. The Jewish return to Ancient Biblical Shiloh is part of this process.
We live in Shiloh, where the Mishkan Tabernacle, which predated the Holy Temple stood for close to four hundred years. During that time Jews came from all over to pray. Most well-known was Chana Hannah who prayed for a son. Gd gave her Shmuel Samuel.
תפילת נשים ראש חודש אלול, תשפ"א, יום ב' 8:30 9\08\2021
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, subject "Rosh Chodesh"
Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh is a beautiful archeological park with lots of things to do. It's off of highway 60 and is also accessible by public transportation. 02-5789122, email@example.com
Monday, July 12, 2021
Sunday, July 4, 2021
Tuesday afternoon-evening I was among the many Bible, History, Archeology buffs who had a wonderful time at Shiloh Hakeduma's Kenes Shiloh 10 כנס שילה.
As I do every year, I took the tour to see the new findings. There wasn't much, because corona forced many of the usual digs to be cancelled. But tools had been found.
After the tour showing us what had been discovered recently, there were a large variety of lectures. Of course, not all the speakers agreed with each other. I think that the lectures were recorded. For more information, contact Shiloh Hakeduma; facebook page.
Looking forward to next year's Kenes Shiloh, Gd willing.
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Two years ago Jerusalem's iconic String Bridge was all lit up in honor of American Independence Day, while Americans, Israelis and people like us celebrated in nearby Binyanei Hauma at a humongous strictly kosher bash hosted by the American Embassy in Jerusalem.
|Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion |
with me and my husband
Over the years we had been invited to some Independence Day events by the then American Consulate, but they were comparatively pathetic. Also at those consulate events 99.9% of the food was traif, meaning not kosher. There would be one table from a kosher hotel. And a high percentage of the guests were Arab, not Jewish Israelis.
A couple of months ago I had to get something notarized by an American notary. In the past we could just get and appointment in the US Consulate, later Embassy, and then no muss, no fuss and minimal charge, it was done. Now, not even American Passports can get renewed. No consular services are available in Israel. Is the Biden-Harris administration trying to send Israel a message?
Monday, June 14, 2021
|Prime Minister Naftali Bennett|
After over half a century in Israel, I have a pretty good idea how the political system works. I don't think it's like many others. I'm going to try to simplify it here, aiming to say how it's run in positive rather than negative sentences/points. I will try to use easy to understand terminology.
- The Israeli Political System is a parliamentary democracy.
- The Israeli Political System has only proportional representation.
- Israeli citizens vote for political parties*.
- The 120 Knesset seats are proportionately divided among the political parties that received a legally set percentage of the votes and more.
- After votes are fully counted, the political parties negotiate a coalition government, because no single party has ever gotten a majority of the Knesset seats.
- The Prime Minister is chosen/voted in by the majority of Knesset Members who generally are in the political parties that have joined the coalition.
- Coalition negotiations decide which participating political parties get which ministries, committee chairmanships and other important positions.
- When a government falls and new elections are called, the sitting government continues until after a new coalition is voted in.**
|Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett|
I hope that this explanation is clear. If you have any questions, please write in the comments.
This isn't the place/post to complain that YOU think it's a dumb system. The purpose of this post is just to explain the existing Israeli Political System.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
For the past few years, the State of Israel hasn't had a stable government. We've been bouncing and rolling from elections to elections. Even the brilliant political magician Bibi Netanyahu has failed. OK, one of the reasons is that his tricks have worn thin, and not too many party leaders are willing to trust him anymore. I can't keep up with all the elections in the past couple of years, so I checked on the internet.
Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, whose sum total of Knesset Members is less than that of the Likud, managed to gather other political parties across the Israeli political spectrum and form a coalition. Gd willing it'll be voted in next week.
I've shocked many friends, real life friends and facebook acquaintances/followers with my enthusiastic support of this proposed unity government.
On one hand I really am a political extremist, but I'm also an activist and pragmatist. I've been following Israeli politics for just over half a century. I know perfectly well that only the coalition can really get anything done.
If you just want to criticize and demand from the outside, that's one thing, but if you really want to improve life in Israel you have to work within the system. During the past few years, when we've been in and out of election mode, the sitting, interim or whatever the title is Prime Minister has had a lot of power. You can't vote him out of office, because he's already out of office, and all the time that there isn't a new coalition, the old one is in charge.
When this whole mess started, I was not one of those calling for Bibi's ouster. In many ways he had been doing a great job. I think the "corruption cases" against him are trumped up political shenanigans. But Bibi's treatment of Naftali Bennett and his crazy over-stuffed failed coalition with Gantz and his public interference in other political parties has shown a very dangerous side of Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu. He's also damaging the Likud party by not giving a chance to the younger generation.
If Bibi had retired at seventy 70, like most government workers are forced to do, he would have left with his reputation glowing and untarnished. But in the past year and a half, even many of his supporters feel it's time for him to retire from the job.
Actually I can't promise that the new Bennett-Lapid-Saar government will succeed or last terribly long. It may do very well, and then we'll see the chareidi parties trying to finagle their way in to preserve their institutions, the way the old NRP National Religious Party used to.
I like the fact that Right-Left, Religious-Secular, Jew-Arab are all talking and looking for ways to make the State of Israel a better country for all of us. Gd willing these youngsters will teach us old fogies how to work and live together.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Why Isaac Herzog is Now President of the State of Israel, Even Though The People Wanted Miriam Peretz
|Isaac Herzog newly elected President of the State of Israel|
As I typed the final words of the previous sentence, I realized that superficially what I had written wasn't exactly true. Both the Prime Minister and the President are voted in by Members of Knesset. The major difference is that once once the President is voted in, he or she then will no longer need approval from MKs. The position is more formal, diplomatic, almost like a monarch who meets and greets foreign ambassadors and delegations. The President will also represent the State of Israel at various foreign events freeing the Prime Minister and other government ministers from these formal occasions. That's one of the reasons that in the time leading up to today's elections that the press made a big deal over the fluent English of Herzog versus Peretz's weaker English speaking abilities.
When it comes to the public, Miriam Peretz is far more popular than Isaac Herzog. I read and reviewed her biography-click here and immediately joined the fan club. Peretz is a former teacher, and two of her sons were killed in army action. She has become a unifying symbol of faith, patriotism and survival. I have no doubt that Peretz would make an excellent President, but in the decades that Herzog has been involved in the Israeli political scene, including being head of the Jewish Agency, his political connections and smarts in Israel and abroad are unsurpassed. Even in the secret ballot, Miriam Peretz hadn't a chance.
If Peretz really wants the job of President of the State of Israel, she now has seven years to campaign.
|Miriam Peretz with some of her children|
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Yes, it's a war.
Israel was attacked by Gaza-Hamas, which has been stocking up on sophisticated rockets, while pleading poverty and worse.
|I got this on facebook a couple of days ago, so now it's out of date. Israel has been attacked even more.|
Israel has been continuing a dangerous cycle of getting attacked, gently and morally sic hitting back, then agreeing to a ceasefire. A few years of quiet and then the Arabs start again, with much more sophisticated weapons. And we never solve the problem. We never win.
This time WE MUST FIGHT TO WIN!
It's the only way to have peace. Forget what the world says. They hate us.
This time lots of long-range rockets from Gaza, which have plenty of and a couple from Lebanon. Next attacks will only be worse. Let's win.
Did you hear me?
Let's say it again:
Sunday, May 9, 2021