Monthly Archives: October 2019

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs On Strike, Closes Diplomatic Missions Abroad

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Ministry of Finance violates agreements causing suspension of all services to the public. Entrance to the missions will not be permitted. ​

Jerusalem — October 30, 2019 … Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“Due to the Ministry of Finance decision to violate agreements that were endorsed by the Ministry of Finance Director General and signed on 21 July 2019 and to enforce unilateral procedures on representatives abroad that change practices that have been in effect for decades, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is compelled to close all Israeli diplomatic missions abroad. No services will be provided to the public and entrance to the missions will not be permitted.

Israel’s representatives abroad strive to promote the country’s international standing and strength daily. The Ministry of Finance is impairing essential tools of the State of Israel and has unfortunately left us with no option other than the closing of all diplomatic missions. We hope that the matter will be resolved soon.”

The move, coordinated by the Israel Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Federation, came after the Treasury reportedly backtracked on previous understandings and said it would force the envoys to pay back thousands of dollars that they had been reimbursed for expenses.

The closure came into effect at 1 a.m on Wednesday morning Israel time.

The closures will harm Israelis traveling abroad and in need of consular assistance for issues like lost passports or medical emergencies.

Beyond salaries and expenses, the ministry itself has struggled with massive budget cuts. Employees have complained that they don’t have enough money to buy ink cartridges and other basic equipment to function.

In September the Foreign Ministry announced that it was being forced to freeze most of its diplomatic activities worldwide due to a lack of funds.

Israel currently maintains 69 embassies, 23 consulates and five special missions, including its representative at the United Nations.

Tree of Life Pittsburgh Jewish Massacre Remembered With Shabbat Attendance, Online Memorial Service

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
/ Jewish News Agency

Pittsburgh — October 26, 2019 … Thousands of Jews are marking the one year anniversary of the Tree of Life Pittsburgh synagogue massacre this weekend.

One year ago, on October 27 at 9:54 am, a heavily armed white supremacist entered the Tree of Life synagogue building in Pittsburgh and began the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside the synagogue Saturday morning, murdering 11 congregants, wounding four police officers and two others.

The American Jewish Committee has sponsored a #ShowUpForShabbat campaign asking all Jews to attend Shabbat services this weekend to honor the victims and dedicate themselves to combating hate and antisemitism.
Please see:

Thousands are expected to participate in Sunday’s remembrance through #PauseWithPittsburgh, a virtual memorial event created by the Jewish Federations of North America.

People who register on the event’s website will receive a text message or email at 5 p.m. EDT Sunday. They will see a two-minute video of the names of the 11 victims, followed by a Jewish prayer of mourning recorded by a cantor in Israel specifically for this commemoration.

There also will be a link to a livestream of the public memorial service in Pittsburgh.

Click here to register

Please read the following OP-ED by Jeffrey Myers, the Rabbi of Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I Am the Rabbi of Tree of Life Synagogue. Here Is a Simple Thing We All Can Do to Help Stop the Next Christchurch

President Rivlin: “Morton Mandel Was A Mentsch”

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — October 17, 2019 … “The State of Israel and the Jewish People mourn the passing of a dear and beloved friend, a fine Jew who loved his people, Morton Mandel,” said Israeli President Rivlin.

“Mort said that the measure of success is not money or fame, but rather the ability to look at oneself in the mirror and see that the reflection is a good person, a ‘mentsch’. There is no doubt that Mort was a true mentsch, a man who built his successful businesses with his own two hands, but never forgot those he met along the way.”

“Mort loved Israel with his heart and soul and there are many institutions in our country that bear his name and will continue to do so, in the fields of research, education, science, society and economics. For over 50 years, the Mandel Israel Foundation that he established with his brothers Jack and Joseph has been developing new generations of leadership,m social and educatioal entrepreneurs from all parts of Israeli society – Jews and Arabs, religious, ultra-Orthodox and secular.”

“Mort had a well-known principle: ‘It’s all about who you hire.’ A good manager, he said, invests in building his team and looks for the best people. That principle led Mort not only in his business life, but also in his social investment.”

“I do not doubt that the seeds Mort Mandel planted and cultivated until his last day, for the State of Israel and the Jewish People, will continue to flower for generations to come.

Our condolences to the Mandel Family.

Thank you, Mort, dear friend.”