Picture caption: Here are some of the dedicated supporters of the Jewish people who came to support us at the Raleigh City Council meeting.
The World Intentionally Forgets Jewish Refugees
As our readers know all too well, the ongoing COVID lockdowns remained a challenge in 5781 (Hebrew Year for 2021). Of course, that didn’t stop Jew/Israel haters, so it didn’t stop us either.
Early in 5781 a major goal was to educate the community about Jewish refugees forced to flee from Arab lands due to persecution and violence. Their story is all but forgotten given the world’s obsession with the newly minted (1960’s) “Palestinian” refugees. Readers may know that Israel honors Jewish refugees every November. NCCI hosted a program thanks to StandWithUs, featuring Shahar Azani, a Mizrachi Jew whose parents fled for their lives to Israel from Yemen. For several years, we have been encouraging our local Jewish Federation, now called Jewish for Good, to honor these Jewish refugees. We are pleased to report they will celebrate Mizrachi Heritage Month this November! It will include a class on Mizrachi Music and Dance, with Jackie Barzvi. We worked with Jackie in late 2020, and she introduced us to the North African Hanukah celebration, Chag Habanot.
Schools, Colleges, and Synagogues are Under Attack
NCCI uncovered confusing, inappropriate teaching materials used by Chapel Hill schools, featured in our December newsletter. These include essays by Rabbi Allen Maller who considers himself a “Muslim Jew.” His essays are replete with conversion of Jewish holidays into Islamic ones and quotes from the Qu’ran. Since school board elections are coming up in the fall, NCCI is actively making efforts to interview candidates to determine their position on education about Israel and the Jewish people in schools. We encourage NCCI supporters across the state and the USA to join us in doing the same wherever possible.
As many readers know, too many of our synagogues no longer support Israel and are often silent when Jews are attacked. Instead, they are focusing on issues such as racism in America. Once we honor Rabbi Hillel’s wise first goal (“If I am Not for Myself, Who is?”) and work to defend our Jewish people, devoting a spare portion of our time addressing racism in America is a fair goal. We are pleased to report that NCCI supporters are standing up against synagogue ties with the antisemitic BLM movement, with encouraging success. There are plenty of organizations that are not antisemitic that we do support.
In response to the May, 2021 rocket attacks against Israel, North Carolina academics shamefully signed a petition in support of the terrorist group, Hamas. We highlighted this in our June newsletter. And as reported this month, antisemites continue to preach vile anti-Israel curricula at UNC without apparent consequence despite letters and meetings in protest by the Jewish community.
NCCI Fights Mutated Deadly Exchange
Also in June, board member Deborah Friedman discovered a petition targeting Raleigh for the infamous “Deadly Exchange” campaign banning police exchanges with Israel. Despite considerable pressure pushing NCCI to remain quiet, four of us spoke before the Raleigh City Council against the campaign, with positive response from the community. At this time it is unclear if the petition is moving forward.
NCCI also learned that the infamous “Deadly Exchange” campaign has mutated into something even more stealth than it was before. We are actively supporting communities nationwide who are fighting this antisemitic campaign.
Our readers understand that there are deep divisions in the Jewish community. The pro-Israel community is small, and there is strength in numbers. NCCI spent considerable time in 5781 reaching out to strengthen ties with other pro-Israel groups across the USA. One highlight of those efforts was our trip in the heat of July to the “No Fear” rally in Washington DC, to enhance connections.
Another way we strengthen ties with both Jews and non-Jews regarding Israel is with our Farmer’s Market booth, which we plan to reopen in Carrboro starting on October 30th. We hope to see you there!
As we enter the new year, we want to take the time to thank NCCI supporters for all you do to enhance our efforts. We look forward to working with you all in 5782 as we continue to fight for Israel and the Jewish people. We hope you will continue supporting us with your generous donations of time, effort, and money!