Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today is your last chance to vote for the Hatikvah slate

Wherever you are as you read this, those of you who are Jewish are eligible to vote for representatives to the World Zionist Congress. And if you support the existence and survival of Israel; care about the prospects for its future as a secure, thriving, and democratic country; and want to help promote the pursuit of a just and durable peace to resolve the intertwined Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts—then I urge you to join me in voting for the Hatikvah Slate.

Rather than spell out the case for doing this, I'm passing along an appeal sent out earlier this month by Michael Walzer, Deborah Dash Moore, and Chad Goldberg (below).

The voting period ends today. But it's not too late to vote at this link.

—Jeff Weintraub

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April 9, 2015

We are writing today to encourage you to support the Hatikvah Progressive Zionist Slate in the ongoing elections to the World Zionist Congress.  We are among the candidates on the Hatikvah Slate, which is made up of Ameinu, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair and Partners for a Progressive Israel (formerly Meretz USA).  Additionally, the slate includes leaders from J Street, New Israel Fund, Americans for Peace Now and Open Hillel, along with individual activists like Theodore Bikel and Randi Weingarten.

The Hatikvah Slate is committed to protecting the State of Israel as a just and thriving democratic Jewish state.  Among the goals of our slate are a lasting peace and negotiated two state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, an immediate freeze in settlement activity in the West Bank, an effective campaign against the delegitimation of Israel, a strong social safety net for vulnerable Israelis, democracy and equal rights, religious pluralism and priority resource allocation to support Zionist youth movements and opportunities for young people to have meaningful experiences in Israel.  The full platform of the Hatikvah Slate can be found here.

[W]hile most of us did not have a chance to vote in the recent Israeli elections, the elections to the World Zionist Congress is an excellent chance to make our voices heard.  It is important to note that actions taken at the World Zionist Congress have significant influence on policy and budget decisions related to West Bank settlements, religious pluralism and other aspects of Israeli and Diaspora public policy.  Background on the elections process and the importance of voting in this election can be found here.

Thank you for considering the Hativkah Slate.  We would greatly appreciate your vote at this link and encourage you to spread the word among your networks to build support for the Hatikvah Slate and the progressive Zionist vision for Israel.

Best Wishes,

Friday, April 03, 2015

Happy Passover - "They Tried to Kill Us, We Survived, Now Let's Eat"

An annual Passover feature, first posted in April 2006 HERE. Here is the gist of it:

The Basic Scenario:
According to one Jewish joke, the theme of all Jewish holidays is: "They tried to kill us. We survived. Now let's eat!"
(As a general rule, that's not completely accurate, but it captures a lot.)

The song:

That message was turned into a Passover song by the group What I Like About Jew. The lyrics are at the end of this post, and you can hear a performance of the song (not the best version I've heard, but the best available on YouTube) here:



Other versions here & here & here.

=> For further explanation, commentary, and interpretive wrangling about things Jewish, go back to the original post HERE.

--Jeff Weintraub

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"They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)"

Artist: What I Like About Jew
Composer: Sean Altman and Rob Tannenbaum
CD Title:Unorthodox
Label: Big Sean Music and Tbaum Music

They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)
(words & music by Sean Altman & Rob Tannenbaum)

We were slaves to pharaoh in Egypt
The year was 1492
Hitler had just invaded Poland
Madonna had just become a Jew
Moses was found on the Potomac
Then he marched with Martin Luther King
He came back to free us from our bondage
'Cause S&M has never been our thing

They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat
They tried to kill us, we were faster on our feet
So they chase us to the border
There's a parting of the water
Tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat

Then the Pharaoh, who looked like Yul Bruyner
Heard the Jews were trying to escape
Charlton Heston came right down from the mountain
He said, "Pharaoh, you're a damn dirty ape"
The menorah was almost out of oil
Farrakhan was planning Kristalnacht
The gefilte fish was nearing extinction
It looked like Moses and his flock were fehrkakt

They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat
They tried to kill us, we were faster on our feet
And we knew how to resist
'Cause we'd rented Schindler's List
Tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat

The 10 Egyptian plagues
1. Blood
2. Locusts
3. Boils
4. Dandruff
5. Acne
6. Backne
7. Piles
8. Cataracts
9. Sciatica
10. Sickle cell anemia

We fled on foot, there was no time to tarry
Leavening the bread would take too long
All we had was egg foo yung and matzoh
While battling the fearsome Viet Cong
And so tonight, we gather to remember
The ancient Hebrews who paid the price
We have a Seder, every year in December
To commemorate our savior, Jesus Christ

They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat
They tried to kill us, we were faster on our feet
So we never did succumb to the annual pogrom
Tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat

They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat
They tried to kill us, we were faster on our feet
So come on, blow the shofar
'Cause they haven't nailed us so far
Tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat