Assad Backs Efforts To Fight Terrorism

September 23rd, 2014

asadSyrian President Bashar Assad says he supports any international effort against terrorism, apparently trying to position his government on the side of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

Assad spoke Tuesday during a meeting with Faleh al-Fayadh, an envoy of Iraq’s prime minister.

His remarks came hours after the U.S. and five Arab allies launched air raids and missile strikes against positions of the extremist Islamic State group in northern and eastern Syria.

Assad vowed to fight terrorism in all its forms. He said success won’t come only through military means and that all nations must commit to stop support terrorism.

He was apparently referring to countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar who are strong backers of Syrian rebels, whom the Syrian government calls terrorists.


R’ Druckman Wishes R’ Stern Hatzlacha If He Wins Race To Become Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi

September 23rd, 2014

sternRabbi Aryeh Stern Shlita, who is a candidate to become the next Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, met on Sunday 26 Elul with Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita, a prominent rav in the dati leumi community. Rabbi Stern is the dati leumi candidate in the race and if he is not disqualified over an eligibility technicality, is expected to win the race.

Rabbi Druckman is confident that his colleague will succeed in the race, wishing him a Shana Tova and success as the next chief rabbi of Yerushalayim.

Other rabbonim taking part in the meeting stated that when Rabbi Stern is elected, it will be the first time in about 30 years, since Rabbi Avraham Kahane Shapira ZT”L served as Chief Rabbi of Israel that a dati leumi rav would be serving in a senior position.

Rav Stern stated that if elected, he remains determined to be the rav of all sectors, including the chareidim and the non-religious residents of the city.

The rabbonim present encouraged Rav Stern, explaining Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett are doing everything possible to see he is elected as the next chief rabbi of the capital.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Flatbush: 25-Year-Old American College Student Has Bris Milah Today In Honor Of Rosh Hashanah

September 23rd, 2014

cAn unusual celebration took place this morning at The Brooklyn Jewish Xperience Kiruv and Chizuk center (BJX) in Flatbush. A 25 year old American college student named Clifton who began attending classes at the Brooklyn Jewish Xperience over four years ago, decided to have a Bris Milah.

Clifton was presented with an Artscoll Chumash and Siddur and a pair of Tzitsis after his Bris.

“I am so happy and fortunate that I am able to do this Bris”, Clifton said.

Clifton was elated by the number of community members who came to shake his hand and wish him Mazel Tov on this milestone. He was escorted to his Bris with singing and dancing.

Rav Yitzchok Fingerer, the Rav of Brooklyn Jewish Xperience spoke about Clifton’s progress and achievements and saluted Clifton as an inspiration to all of Klal Yisroel.

Oran Bendelstein, the new director of Development for BJX spoke of the need to continue funding programs at BJX so that Judaism and Jewish growth can continue to flourish in Brooklyn.

Many people commented that this was a remarkable event and truly the best way to prepare for Rosh Hashanah. Moshe Caller commented, “This Bris has so much Hashgacha Pratis involved”.

BJX is hosting free explanatory davening for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for not yet frum Jews. They are also hosting a gala Rosh Hashanah dinner for young Jewish professionals.

The roster for this unique dinner already includes professionals from Australia, the Netherlands and Winnipeg, Canada. To learn more, visit

The Bris was sponsored by the Zakheim family Lizecher Nishmas R’ Shlomo Eliezer ben R’ Yaakov  Z”L Zakheim, whose first Yartzheit is the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

(YWN Desk – NYC)


Official: 200-Plus Strikes, 2 Dozen Syria Targets

September 23rd, 2014

f16A U.S. official says America and its Arab allies launched more than 200 airstrikes against roughly a dozen militant targets in Syria during the assault that began Monday night.
The military mission was the beginning of a broad international campaign against Islamic State militant strongholds in Syria. The U.S. simultaneously targeted the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaida cell, west of the Syrian city of Aleppo that was said to be plotting imminent attacks on American and Western interests.

The total number of strikes and targets had not been released.

The official says a majority of the 47 Tomahawk missiles fired off U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea targeted eight Khorasan sites.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to provide mission details on the record by name.


VIDEO AND PHOTOS: BSSP And NYPD Apprehend 2 Perps For Stealing a Laptop From Focus Camera and Smashing Vehicle Into Multiple Cars

September 23rd, 2014

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A short vehicle pursuit in Boro Park ended with a car crash, but thankfully no injuries.

Sources tell YWN that the incident began around 1:15PM at “Focus Camera” located on McDonald Avenue, when a male and female stole a laptop from the store. Employes quickly called Police as well as Shomrim, and began chasing the perpetrators, who fled in a vehicle headed towards into Boro Park. The vehicle, which allegedly was rented, smashed into as many as ten cars in the area of 46th Street between 16th and 17th Avenues. He was then boxed in by local residents, and the driver tried getting out by ramming the vehicle into a fire hydrant, nearly hitting a pedestrain. After realizing that he was surrounded, the perps bolted from the car and fled on foot – but while running, threw the laptop into a garden on the same street.

With residents yelling “Chaptzem”, he was chased until he was appreheded by Shomrim and the NYPD on 45th Street between 17th and 18th Avenues.

The laptop was recovered by police as evidence, and both suspects were taken into custody.

It was not known what they would be charged with.

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VIDEO: Mossad Launches New Website to Recruit Candidates

September 23rd, 2014


The Mossad on Monday 27 Elul launched a new website (in a variety of languages) in order to – inter alia – recruit candidates to its ranks. The goal of the upgraded site is to make the organization more accessible to potential recruits who may not be exposed to the variety of positions – in operations, intelligence, technology and cyber, and administration – available. Positions are available for men and women alike.

Mossad Director Tamir Pardo said, “The State of Israel has been – and remains – under daily, tangible threats. We must continue to recruit the best people into our ranks so that the Mossad might continue to lead, defend and allow for the continued existence of the State of Israel. The Mossad’s qualitative human capital is the secret of our success. The Mossad will continue to operate wherever and whenever necessary in order to defend the security of the State of Israel.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Agudath Israel Leader Relays Jewish Community Perspective on Education at Prestigious Washington, DC, Conference

September 23rd, 2014

agudahRabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, featured prominently at the U.S. Department of Education’s 10th Annual Private School Leadership Conference, which was held in Washington, DC on Monday.Hundreds of leading communal and religious figures from across the country, representing diverse nonpublic school interests, listened attentively as Rabbi Zwiebel participated in the high-profile “The Next 10 Years – A Conversation with National Leaders” panel discussion, along with three representatives of other major nonpublic school communities: Sister John Mary Fleming of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops; Drew Smith of the Friends Council (Quaker schools); and Will Estrada of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Following introductory remarks by Maureen Dowling, director of the Education Department’s Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE), and Assistant Secretary of Education Nadya Dabby, the forward-looking panel began, moderated by Ms. Dowling.

Each panelist was given the opportunity to deliver a brief monologue, and Rabbi Zwiebel’s remarks presented a stark contrast to the prevailing sentiments. Whereas nonpublic school education, particularly in religious schools, are in a decline in most of the country, Orthodox Jewish schools have seen significant growth overall, especially in major communities. Rabbi Zwiebel mentioned startling statistics from New York City: Over the past decade, the Big Apple’s nonpublic school student population saw a net decrease of approximately 23,000 students, but the Jewish student population increased by about 20,000. “In our communities, when we speak about ‘school choice,’ it is within the realm of which Jewish school to send to,” said Rabbi Zwiebel.

The fundamental contrast between the Orthodox community and other nonpublic school communities is the Orthodox community’s recognition that a religious Jewish education is indispensable to the Jewish people’s continuity. Rabbi Zwiebel advised representatives of the other communities to have their leaders stress a similar message to members of their communities in order to see strengthened enrollment. He stressed that with mainstream society’s values drifting further away from traditional religious teachings, the necessity for a religious education increases for members of all religions who desire that their children follow in their footsteps.

The panelists discussed various logistical aspects of nonpublic schooling, including how to incorporate technological advances into the nonpublic school classroom. One key point of discussion – which stands at the core of the nonpublic school sector – is how to amass adequate funding to run quality schools. Rabbi Zwiebel explained that by promoting the necessity of the schools for the community’s religious and cultural survival, it invites donations from philanthropists who are not school parents or otherwise directly associated with the institution.

With the complex issues surrounding the interpretation of the separation of church and state, and political opposition from teachers unions and other interests, receiving adequate government funding has been a longstanding challenge. Rabbi Zwiebel urged nonpublic school parents and their supporters to realize the political impact they can have if they work as a bloc to vote and lobby for the interests of nonpublic schools. He expressed optimism that the government can provide greater assistance to nonpublic schools and their parents, in a realistic and constitutional way. “The parental right to choose the most appropriate education for their children is not abstract,” Rabbi Zwiebel exclaimed. “It should be made accessible, and government policies should enable that.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Artscroll Offers Free Download: Kleinman Edition Digital Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

September 23rd, 2014

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Click here for instructions to get your free download.

Imagine holding five comprehensive volumes of Jewish Law comfortably in one hand. Imagine searching for a particular phrase in Mesillas Yesharim and finding it in seconds. Imagine looking up a Talmudic source for the portion you’re learning without having to pull another volume off the shelf. Imagine if a tap on the Table of Contents would bring you straight to the page you’re looking for.

ArtScroll’s Wasserman Digital Initiative with the Kleinman Digital Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and the Jaffa Digital Mesillas Yesharim puts all of these capabilities in the palm of your hand.

Along with the trademark features that make the print editions of the Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and the Jaffa Edition Mesillas Yesharim so successful — such as the fully vowelized text, clear translations, detailed appendices, and ArtScroll’s trademark phrase-by-phrase elucidation — the digital version boasts a host of dynamic new features.

With both the Kleinman Digital Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and the Jaffa Digital Mesillas Yesharim, you can carry as many volumes as you’d like, easily and comfortably — at less than half the price of the print versions — but that’s just where the features begin. These initiatives offer interactive elements, such as synchronized scrolling of the Hebrew and English text, full search capabilities for all Hebrew and English content, and an English-only mode. With each of these volumes, you can tap on a word and see the translation pop up on your screen, or you can tap on a line in the Table of Contents, Index, or any reference and immediately bring up that portion of the volume you’re learning or from anywhere in the entire Talmud. You can add notes, bookmarks, and highlights to aid your learning, and then you can access it all on another device.

ArtScroll’s Wasserman Digital Initiative adds a new dimension to the study of halachah and mussar  – right where the Schottenstein Edition Talmud has been for two years – putting our mesorah and our heritage literally at your fingertips.

To celebrate our newly expanded digital library, we are offering a free sample portion of the Kleinman Edition Digital Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, dealing with the laws of the High Holidays and Succos. 

Click here for instructions to get your free download.