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As Trump Orders ICE To Arrest Thousands of Immigrants – Synagogues, Churches, Mosques Provide Sanctuary

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Hartford, CT — July 12, 2019 … As President Trump orders nationwide raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families, hundreds of synagogues, churches and mosques plan to provide sanctuary.

Immigration attorneys have made it clear that the migrants that ICE is targeting are not criminals but may have only committed a civil offense in crossing the US border to legally claim asylum. The attorneys state that in the majority of cases, ICE lacks search warrants to enter homes and or religious facilities.

The raids, which are expected to begin over the weekend will include “collateral” deportations, according to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might try to detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.

One Connecticut Rabbi has responded to the impending raids saying: “Being kind takes an act of courage.”

Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor issued the following statement:

“We are privileged to live in the safest times humanity has ever known. For most of our history, harsh weather, starvation, wild beasts and disease limited our average lifespans to the mid-thirties. Today, there is very little risk of anything limiting our life to twice that span. Diseases are in check, good shelter and nutrition is the norm for most of us, and we need only push some buttons on a contraption in our pockets to get assistance.”

Glickman continues: “Still, we live in fear. Our leaders have dealt in fear as though it were political currency, and we accept it as leadership. It often is a ruse for greed.

Let’s remember a few important terms:

The opposite of fear is faith. Faith means that you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but you keep your eyes open and you might find blessings you had no idea of; you might find that seeds you have planted have borne fruit.

Faith means tomorrow will be better than today.
Fear means that you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but you guard your rear to try and prevent something being broken or lost.

It is hard to look forward when you are always looking backwards. Fear means that today is the only certainty – preserve it at all costs.

Our Bible was written in a much more dangerous time. Yet, our ancestors had the courage to say, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat,” “Love the stranger,” and “Don’t stand and do nothing while your neighbor bleeds.”

We need to have courage.”

Glickman concludes: “Today, being kind takes an act of courage. Today, recognizing that we are all children of God takes an act of courage. Today, seeing that everyone is worthy of love takes an act of courage.”

In Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that undocumented immigrants don’t have to open the door to immigration agents.

Pelosi made the declaration Thursday ahead of the weekend raids by ICE Agents who are planning to round up illegal immigrants with deportation orders issued by immigration judges.

“An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant,” Pelosi said, reading from a card she earlier recited to concerned illegal immigrants at events around the country. “If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, ICE does not have a legal right to enter a home.”

She urged Trump to call off the “heartless” raids, warning it was upsetting his Evangelical base.

“These raids were not what they signed up for with President Trump,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi said if ICE lacks a warrant, “a person may refuse to open a door and let them in.”

Immigration defense lawyers are likely to file motions to reopen the families’ immigration cases, which would significantly delay, if not stop altogether, their removal from the United States.

Netanyahu At Egypt National Day Celebration: “Peace is better than war”

Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — July 12, 2019 … Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara were hosted this week at the residence of Egyptian Ambassador Khaled Azmi, in honor of celebrations for Egypt’s National Day.

Following is an excerpt of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks:

“We’re celebrating 40 years of peace between Israel and Egypt. On the 40th year of our peace, we hope to achieve many other things between us and in our region. We have to understand the historic achievement of having this peace approach now the fifth decade. It has had to weather some storms. It is weathering storms now.

I don’t mean between us, I mean a storm that is ravishing our region right now and seeks to impose on us an unforgiving, violent creed.

And we both – Egypt and Israel and many others in the region — are fighting this extremism, this violence and this terrorism.

I want to commend my friend and colleague, President A-Sisi, for standing strong against this tide of extremism and terrorism, and I want to say that it’s not obvious that it is possible in the face of so much and so many assaults to stand firm, but President A-Sisi and Egypt have stood firm, as has our peace. Our peace is the cornerstone, exactly as you said, of peace and stability in the region. We cannot imagine what our region would be without this peace.

In my meetings with President A-Sisi, I’ve been impressed, not only by his leadership, but also by his wisdom. He has given me a lot of insights about the nature of the challenge that we face. We have discussed together how we can meet those challenges in the best ways possible.

We cooperate in many areas that can increase the economic well-being of our two nations. There is now I think Israeli gas flowing into Egypt, an experimental effort. In four months, there’ll be more. We’re talking about something that could work not only both ways, but in many ways, including other countries in the region.

We have commitments to security, prosperity and peace, and we’d like to see a broader peace.

We are all expecting to see what President Trump will put forward. Everyone should have an open heart and an open mind to consider the specific proposals when they’re put forward.”

Netanyahu: Israel Will Not Allow Iran To Build Nuclear Weapons

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 17, 2019 … Iran announced on Monday that it would abandon the 2015 nuclear pact and violate a central element of the 2015 agreement to limit its nuclear program. Iran is making the threat to secure help from Europe to offset the effects of American sanctions which addresses Iranian terror activities and more recently attacking commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman .

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said that within days it expects to have produced and kept in its stockpiles more low-enriched uranium — the sort used to fuel power plants — than allowed by the 2015 deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from last year. The agency made clear it would begin enriching the uranium to much higher levels of purity, edging it closer to what would be necessary to produce nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the Iranian threat: “Israel stands at the forefront with the US, with moderate Arab countries and with other countries, in opposition to Iranian aggression.”

“Today Iran threatened to enrich uranium to higher levels beyond that which is permitted by the nuclear agreement. This does not surprise us because just as when we brought the secret nuclear archive from Teheran to Israel, we discovered the extent to which Iran has violated its promise to the international community – its promise to report truthfully on its nuclear program. Should Iran make good on its current threats, and violate the nuclear agreement, the international community will need to immediately impose the sanctions on the regime that was agreed upon in advance, the ‘snapback sanctions’.

In any case, Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu concluded: “Alongside the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, we are tightening – in an unprecedented manner – relations with additional countries in the Arab and Islamic world. These countries increasingly understand that Israel is not their enemy. On the contrary, Israel is a steadfast and stable ally that – with them – seeks to ensure the future of our region.”

Speaking at the Arak heavy water facility in a live broadcast Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on state TV: “We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit. Kamalvandi said Iran needs 5 percent enrichment for its nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr, and 20 percent enrichment for a Tehran research reactor.

The 20 percent level is only one step away from weapons-grade material.

Iranian officials continue to threaten Israel by saying that they are improving the accuracy of their country’s missiles and warning that terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah were prepared to unleash an “inferno” on the Jewish state. One of the core pillars and revolutionary ideals of the Islamic Republic is destroying the Jewish state.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently stated that “the Zionist regime will perish in the not so far future. Our strategy is to erase Israel from the map.”

Jewish Homes Burn As Anti-Semitism Surges In US

Photo: Lloyd Mitchell

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — June 15, 2019 … A massive fire in Brooklyn, New York destroyed at least three buildings early Thursday morning, injuring at least 12 people, including a baby.

The fire broke out just after 4 AM at the two-family home of Rabbi Jonathan Max, and quickly spread to both neighboring houses.

“There is no question that everyone is alive today because the houses had working smoke detectors,” said Misaskim director Yanky Meyer. “There were only seconds for people to be able to get out here. There were no minutes.”

Meyer said that a Jewish family with a six week old baby was trapped in the attic in one of the adjacent homes as the fire raged on the stairs, their only exit.  The family was evacuated by the fire department who used a ladder truck to extricate them from the burning building.

Video from the scene showed flames leaping from the roof of one home, and the structure to its left already little more than a charred hulk. Firefighters reported that two roofs had completely collapsed.

While Investigators are tight lipped, sources say the fire is believed to have been set by at least one man, who has a history of anti-semitic acts and targeted Rabbi Max, a teacher at Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin.

An accelerant is believed to have been used in the fire with raw video footage showing the massive blaze erupting in a matter of seconds.

In a press conference held this morning, Fire Chief Thomas Richardson said that it took less than five minutes for the FDNY to respond to the fire, with all three homes already engulfed by the time fire crews arrived on scene.  The fire was upgraded to a three alarm fire within five minutes, with 40 fire units, 25 EMS members and 170 firefighters keeping the flames from spreading to additional homes.  The fire was upgraded to a four alarm fire before it was finally brought under control after 7 AM this morning.

Three adults, a baby and one firefighter were all hospitalized for injuries and/or smoke inhalation. All are in stable condition.

The Jewish community in the United States experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism last year, with attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions doubling in number, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League.

A total of 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents across the United States were reported in 2018, the third-highest year on record since the tracking of such data in the 1970s. Those incidents included cases of assaults, harassment and vandalism.

A professional, non-profit organization has been created in the US to address anti-semitism with the creation of security plans for synagogues that includes security training for hundreds of Jewish communities. Jewish Security Services is presently seeking investors and partners with the mission of securing all Jewish communities in the US. The founders of Jewish Security Services are security and anti-terrorism professionals from both Israel and the United States.

First Lady of Israel, Nechama Rivlin, Dies at 73

Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 4, 2019 … Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, died Tuesday at the age of 73, a day before her 74th birthday.

A statement from the family Tuesday said: “The Rivlin family wishes to thank the people of Israel and religious leaders who have continued to be concerned about Nechama’s welfare, who have sent letters and children’s drawings to the hospital and the President’s Residence and who have prayed for her recovery every day, every hour.”

The family expressed their gratitude to “the staff of the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for their devoted, sensitive and professional treatment during the past few months, night and day, with open hearts and shining faces.”

They asked for “the general public and the media to allow the family to gather in mourning at this time and to refrain from contacting family members directly.”

The funeral is set to take place on Wednesday afternoon in Jerusalem.

Nechama Rivlin had suffered for several years from pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which scar tissue accumulates in the lungs and impedes normal breathing. Rivlin was seldom seen without her portable oxygen tank. Yet despite her illness, she accompanied her husband on most of his state visits abroad including to India and Spain.

Mrs. Rivlin was a popular first lady who focused on the arts, the environment and children with special needs, and was a trusted adviser to her husband.

Nechama Rivlin was born on June 4, 1945 on Moshav Herut, a farming community in central Israel co-founded by her parents, Mendi and Drora Shulman, who immigrated from Ukraine. She enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1964 studying botany and genetics, and began working there as a researcher three years later. She then worked as a scientific secretary at the university’s Institute of Life Sciences.

In 1970 she met her husband at a party. They were married a year later, and had three children, Rikva, Anat and Ran. 

A young Nechama Rivlin

A young Nechama Rivlin

In September 2016, during a presidential visit to Kiev, Ukraine, Mrs. Rivlin found it difficult to hold back tears as her husband, in the Kiev parliament, read aloud the names of her family members who had perished on Ukrainian soil.

After his speech, she said: “To hear my mother’s name was a difficult moment for me, the tears were choking me. After a few minutes, I collected myself and listened to the speech with pride. I, Nechama, daughter of Drora Mintz, wife of the president of the State of Israel, was on Ukrainian soil and saw victory in this moment.”

Mrs. Rivlin was careful to keep herself out of the media spotlight since her husband’s election as a Likud MK in 1988, and she was not significantly involved in his political life.

At the height of the 2014 presidential race, she wrote on her husband’s Facebook page: “Rubi, my beloved and my friend, I did not marry the president, so whatever happens, you will always be my lover and my friend.”

In March, she underwent a lung transplant at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, receiving the organ of 19-year-old Yair Yechezkel Halabali, who died in Eilat days earlier. Nine days after the transplant, she underwent another surgical procedure to support the transplant.

In their message Tuesday, the Rivlin family expressed their gratitude to the Halabli family, “for their inspiring dignity and the wonderful thing they did.”

The president did not leave his wife’s bedside during her stay in hospital. In great pain, Mrs. Rivlin had to learn to breathe again.

During her rehabilitation, her medical team created the illusion of her still being attached to an oxygen tank, while in reality she was spending several hours breathing on her own. When she learned of their trick, she was incredulous.

At the beginning of May, Mrs. Rivlin’s condition worsened, leaving her suffering from severe shortness of breath and exhaustion. The president, who was on a state visit to Canada at the time, immediately decided to cut short his trip and return to Israel to be with her.

Nechama Rivlin at the President's Residence in 2018

Nechama Rivlin at the President’s Residence in 2018

“Together with every Israeli citizen, my wife Sara and I are deeply saddened at the passing of the wife of the president Nechama Rivlin,” Prime Minister Netanyau said.

“We all prayed for her recovery during this recent period in which she fought heroically and with spirit. We send condolences from the bottom of our hearts to the president and all his family.”

Although there is no official First Lady in Israel, Reuven Rivlin bestowed the title on his wife, and occasionally declared that he was married to the wife of the President of Israel.  

Nechama Rivlin is survived by her husband, three children and seven grandchildren.

Israel Parade in New York, World’s Largest Jewish Event, On Sunday, June 2

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York, NY — June 1, 2019 … Governor Andrew Cuomo; Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli; New York Attorney General Letitia James; New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Members of the City Council; U.S. Representatives, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Tom Souzzi, and Elliot Engel; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez; Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark; Consul General of Israel in New York Amb. Dani Dayan; Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon; and other local and international officials are expected to join 40,000 marchers at the 2019 Celebrate Israel Parade.

The Parade kicks off on Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, from 57 Street to 74 Street.

Grand Marshal Edward A. Mermelstein and Honorary Grand Marshals, including Ted Comet, Founder of the Celebrate Israel Parade; Siggy FlickerAuthor and TV Personality; Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie ButnickCo-Hosts of the Unorthodox podcast; Sid Rosenberg,Co-Host of Bernie & Sid in the Morning; and Elizabeth Savetsky, Founder of Excessories Expert,will march in the parade.

Performers at this year’s parade include Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, DJ Itay Galo, The Moshav Band, Barynya Entertainment, Holocaust Survivor Band, Matt Weiss aka Matt Dubb, Young Gravy, Omri Anghel, Kosha Dillz,SOULFARM, and Milk & Honeys.

This year’s creative theme for marching groups and floats is “Only in Israel” from the renowned Hebrew song Rak B’Yisrael.

DATE: Sunday, June 2, 2019

TIME:  Parade – 11am – 4pm

WHERE:  Parade Route – Fifth Avenue, from 57th St. to 74th St.                           

Tomorrow’s @CelebrateIsrael Parade in New York is our answer to Iran’s show of hatred against the State of Israel. In the face of this continued wave of anti-Semitism, we will demonstrate our strength and unity with UN ambassadors. Join us tomorrow at 1:00pm! #StandWithIsrael— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) June 1, 2019

We will be marching directly after @FIDF on June 2nd #togetheronFifth #Israelparade @CelebrateIsrael— VolunteersForIsrael (@VFI_USA) May 28, 2019

Hebrew Academy of Long Beach practices their moves for the #CelebrateIsrael Parade. #TogetherOnFifth #OnlyInIsrael— Celebrate Israel (@CelebrateIsrael) May 29, 2019

5th Avenue CLOSED to vehicles & bicycles TOMORROW, Sunday, June 2nd from East 55th Street to East 79th Street & some side streets, starting at approximately 10:30am for the #CelebrateIsrael Parade 🇮🇱.#TogetherOnFifth #UpperEastSide #UES— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) June 1, 2019

For the latest information on the 55th Annual Parade, please visit the Parade website at, follow on Twitter, @celebrateisrael, using #TogetherOnFifth, visit the Facebook page, Celebrate Israel Parade and subscribe to the YouTube Channel:
The parade will be livestreamed from 12 pm to 3 pm on

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A Terrorist Tried to Kill Me Because I Am a Jew – Poway Chabad Attack

By Yisroel Goldstein
Rabbi Goldstein is the Rabbi of Chabad of Poway, Calif.

San Diego — April 29, 2019 … Today should have been my funeral.

I was preparing to give my sermon Shabbat morning, Saturday, which was also the last day of Passover, the festival of our freedom, when I heard a loud bang in the lobby of my synagogue.

I thought a table had fallen down or maybe even that, God forbid, my dear friend Lori Gilbert Kaye had tripped and fallen. Only a few moments earlier I had greeted Lori there; she had come to services to say Yizkor, the mourning prayer, for her late mother.

I went to the lobby to check on her. What I saw in those seconds will haunt me for the rest of my days.

I saw Lori bleeding on the ground. And I saw the terrorist who murdered her.

This terrorist was a teenager. He was standing there with a big rifle in his hands. And he was now aiming it at me. For one reason: I am a Jew.

He started shooting. My right index finger got blown off. Another bullet hit my left index finger, which started gushing blood.

After the massacre in Pittsburgh, we had a community training. Now that training kicked in. Somehow my brain directed my body to the synagogue ballroom, where the children, including two of my grandchildren, were playing. I ran toward them screaming “Get out! Get out!” I grabbed as many as I could with my bloody hands and pushed them out of the building.

One of our congregants that day, Almog Peretz, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, ran after me to help get the children to safety and took a bullet in the leg. His eight-year-old niece, Noya Dahan, took some shrapnel to hers. Then an amazing miracle occurred: The terrorist’s gun jammed. Two other heroic congregants — an Army veteran named Oscar Stewart and an off-duty border patrol agent named Jonathan Morales — rushed toward him and he fled.

The ambulances had not yet arrived. We all gathered outside. I don’t remember all that I said to my community, but I do remember quoting a passage from the Passover Seder liturgy: “In every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand.” And I remember shouting the words “Am Yisrael Chai! The people of Israel live!” I have said that line hundreds of times in my life. But I have never felt the truth of it more than I did then.

Rabbi Goldstein, a victim of the shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue

I am a religious man. I believe everything happens for a reason. I do not know why God spared my life. I do not know why I had to witness scenes of a pogrom in San Diego County like the ones my grandparents experienced in Poland. I don’t know why a part of my body was taken away from me. I don’t know why I had to see my good friend, a woman who embodied the Jewish value of hesed (kindness), hunted in her house of worship. I don’t know why I had to watch Lori’s beloved husband, a doctor, faint as he tried to resuscitate her. And then their only daughter, Hannah, sob in agony as she encountered both her parents collapsed on the floor.



I do not know God’s plan. All I can do is try to find meaning in what has happened. And to use this borrowed time to make my life matter more.

I used to sing a song to my children, a song that my father sang to me when I was a child. “Hashem is here,” I would sing, using a Hebrew name for God, pointing with my right index finger to the sky. “Hashem is there,” I would sing, pointing to my right and left. “Hashem is truly everywhere.” That finger I would use to point out God’s omnipresence was taken from me.

I pray that my missing finger serves as a constant reminder to me. A reminder that every single human being is created in the image of God; a reminder that I am part of a people that has survived the worst destruction and will always endure; a reminder that my ancestors gave their lives so that I can live in freedom in America; and a reminder, most of all, to never, ever, not ever be afraid to be Jewish.

From here on in I am going to be more brazen. I am going to be even more proud about walking down the street wearing my tzitzit and kippah, acknowledging God’s presence. And I’m going to use my voice until I am hoarse to urge my fellow Jews to do Jewish. To light candles before Shabbat. To put up mezuzas on their doorposts. To do acts of kindness. And to show up in synagogue — especially this coming Shabbat.

I am a proud emissary of Chabad-Lubavitch, a movement of Hasidic Judaism. Our leader, the great Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, famously taught that a little light expels a lot of darkness. That is why Chabad rabbis travel all over the world to set up Jewish communities: I have colleagues in Kathmandu, in Ghana, as well as in Paris and Sydney. We believe that helping any human being tap into their divine spark is a step toward fixing this broken world and bringing closer the redemption of humanity. It is why 33 years ago my wife and I came to this corner of California to build a house of light.

Because we are obviously Jewish, identifiable by our black hats and beards, it has also meant that some of us have been targets before. Eleven years ago, my colleagues Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who ran the Chabad of Mumbai, India, were murdered with four of their guests. They were targeted by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba because they were Jewish. And over the years people I know have been harassed and assaulted by thugs in the neighborhood where I grew up, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in incidents that typically go unreported by the press.

In his vile manifesto, the terrorist who shot up my synagogue called my people, the Jewish people, a “squalid and parasitic race.” No. We are a people divinely commanded to bring God’s light into the world.

Joel Leyden – Biography

JOEL LEYDEN – Biography – Updated 2019

Joel Leyden, a native of New York, has practiced international public relations, public affairs, crisis communications, journalism, social media and digital marketing for over 20 years.

Joel Leyden, whose Zionism goes back to being a war volunteer in the Yom Kippur War, has served as a senior media consultant to the Israel Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism and Defense and the US State Department.

As an Internet and digital public relations pioneer, he co-created Israel’s first commercial Website – NetKing in 1995. In addition, Joel Leyden produced the first Website for an Israeli prime minister, established the first condolence Website for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin[2], co-created the Israel Defense Forces Website, was the first SEO – search engine optimizer in Israel and serves today as both commercial PR / SEO ([3]) and publisher of the Israel News Agency, Israel’s first on-line English news organization, Jewish News Agency and the United States News Agency.

Leyden has worked as an international media consultant for the Israel Prime Minister’s Office, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel [4], Shimon Peres, the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Israel Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Israel Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Defense Forces [5][6] where he was awarded a commendation for his crisis communications work during Operation Defensive Shield.
When Israeli Astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, Leyden prepared the first communications to the media from the IDF.

Joel Leyden, a political centrist, has served in the IDF combat engineers, the IDF Spokespersons Office and today serves in the Israel Border Police (res.) – MAGAV.

Leyden has also served several times as a humanitarian officer in the Israel Defense Forces and promoted the concept [7] of improving relations with the Palestinians at one of the very few points of contact between Israelis and Palestinians – Israeli security checkpoints.

Joel Leyden also served as senior media advisor to the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers [8]where he succeeded in having former PA / PLO leader Yasser Arafat admit that he knew where the IDF soldiers were and provided the dogtag of Zaharia Baumel to then Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin [9].


On Facebook, Twitter and Google getting the word out (using a gas generator)
in Haiti 
on the humanitarian work that the Israel Defense Forces rescue
and medical teams were performing in saving lives.

Joel Leyden, who is a professional cross-cultural consultant and served as director for Berlitz’s Middle-East cross cultural programs [10] [11] [12], has created dozens of local and international community and professional social media forums [13] in Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo which today consists of thousands of members reaching over 5 million worldwide.

During the IDF Operation Grapes of Wrath Leyden provided free Internet service to the hundreds of Israeli children who were confined to air raid shelters in northern Israel.[14]

Covering AIPAC 2019 for the Israel News Agency.

Joel Leyden, the father of three children, is a leading father’s and children’s rights activist in Israel advocating equal access and reforms in Israel’s gender bias family court custody laws and public child welfare departments for children of separated and divorced parents in Israel.
In 2008, Joel created the Family First party and ran for mayor of the city of Ra’anana, Israel.
He was not interested in securing the office, but as stated in the Haaretz newspaper, wanted to make father’s rights, children’s rights and the practicing of gender bias discrimination in Ra’anana’s Child Welfare department a campaign issue.

In the States, Joel Leyden was a media advisor to former New York Mayor Ed Koch, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Ted Cruz.
Joel Leyden coordinated several national media events with personalities including former President Ronald Reagan, Nixon adviser Henry Kissinger and holocaust survivor Elie Weisel[15].

Leyden served on the first board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association in New York City.
As a former ski racer and licensed ski instructor, Leyden has promoted the Israeli Mt. Hermon ski resort. Joel Leyden was also responsible for coordinating the first marathon run through the streets of Jerusalem.

Joel Leyden has worked with HIAS, the United Jewish Appeal, the Israel Forum, the Israel Chamber of Commerce, the Association for Missing Israel Soldiers and the Israel Export Institute, served as a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post [16] and as a media adviser to the Israel Government Press Office.

Joel Leyden covered the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from New York City for the Jerusalem Post, Israel TV, Israel Radio English news and the Israel News Agency ([17]).

Leyden reporting for the Israel News Agency on the historic visit of
US President George W. Bush to Israel for her 60th birthday.

Joel Leyden founded the IsraelPr Internet discussion group. This group brings together over 200 public relations and public affairs consultants world wide who are able to provide various Israeli governmental ministries with real-time advice. He is also credited for creating and operating several non-profit on-line community support groups on Facebook for Israel’s Anglo community such as NewRaananaIsrael Anglo SinglesIsrael Children , Israel Anglo Homes and Doing Business In Israel.

Leyden created the first global SEO political contest in response to the Holocaust cartoon contest sponsored by Iran’s best selling daily newspaper Hamshahri. [18] There were over 40 million Internet page views indexed by Alexa for this non-profit, SEO contest Website that Leyden built and mass marketed.

Joel Leyden is the Director of Jews Against Hate which confronts
anti-semitism and all forms of racism off and online.

Joel, a pioneer in Web 2.0, lectures on the development of Internet, digital marketing, digital diplomacy, crisis communications, reputation management, global security threats to Israel and the Jewish community in Israel and North America.

Joel Leyden, who has university degrees in journalism, psychology and mass communications, resides in Ra’anana, a suburb north of Tel Aviv, Israel and New York.

Joel Leyden is available for speaking engagements –

contact Joel at

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TIME Magazine

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McClatchy Newspaper Group (30 newspapers in North America)

Jewish Week

Jerusalem Post

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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Was Israel’s SpaceIL Beresheet Moon Mission A Success?

Play this song as you read the below feature.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — April 11, 2019 … Was the SpaceIL Beresheet moon mission a success?
On a scale of 1-10 – we would give it an 8.

The purpose of this mission was to have a successful launch and reach the moon. Beresheet successfully reached and held an Earth orbit. Beresheet successfully entered and held a lunar orbit. Beresheet was on target as it made a hard landing. It reached the moon after traveling over 3.4 million miles in its orbits around the earth and another 1 million around the moon.

Beresheet reached it’s target. Disappointing that the main engine and communications cut out on descent, and we will fix these and other bugs with Beresheet 2.0.

Have no doubt about Israel’s space industry. Israel has produced some of the world’s finest, most sophisticated satellites – for both weather and defense purposes.
All created by the government with an adequate budget.

Beresheet’s last photo, taken moments before the crash –
a selfie of herself – was a message for us all – keep dreaming, keep doing.


The greatest success illustrated by Beresheet is the respected Israeli asset of making a dream come true. Having vision and not letting go of it.

On a shoestring budget, we produced a spacecraft that reached the moon. Granted, not in one piece, but perhaps hundreds of which one day we can look back and hold one of those pieces, smile and say with pride – this is where our space journey started.

I was in uniform at the IDF Spokesperson’s office when Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon perished. It was truly a tragic day. Nothing can equate the loss of life. But this was different. Beresheet was a scientific experiment, a romantic dream that went mostly to plan, an experiment for which we will learn from and grow as we create Beresheet 2.0.

There was no loss of life. There was real achievement, sweat, limited success, much education and inspiration designed for every Jewish child to look up and say: “Yes I can, never give up.”

In the IDF we have one word to describe today’s Beresheet mission. That word is Kadeema.
To move forward with all that we have learned and prepare ourselves for the next mission.
As Israelis, we do not fail. We may hit bumps, but we get right back up and move forward – with a Beresheet smile. And we say Kadeema! – Joel Leyden, Publisher,

Israel: Spacecraft Will Land On Moon April 11


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — April 6, 2019 … Beresheet (Hebrew for Genesis) – Israel’s first spacecraft to land on the moon, has entered lunar orbit and is on an “excellent” track, according to data from the SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) engineering teams at their control room in Yehud, Israel.

During its lunar orbit, Beresheet will be at its nearest point to the moon (perilune) at 470 km (292 miles) from the lunar surface, and the farthest from the moon (apolune) at 10,400 km (6,462 miles).

Beresheet is scheduled to land on the moon at about 11 p.m. Israel time on April 11.

A more definite time will be announced in the next few days. During the coming week, SpaceIL and IAI will conduct a series of intense maneuvers with the spacecraft in preparation for the landing.

During the critical Lunar Capture maneuver, when the spacecraft entered the moon’s orbit from the Earth’s orbit, Beresheet provided dramatic pictures of the moon while activating its engines.

Beresheet, built by SpaceIL, a nonprofit in Israel, is the first privately funded venture to send a spacecraft into orbit from Earth. SpaceIL was originally aiming to win a $20 million Google Lunar X Prize as the first private robotic craft to set down on the moon, but the deadline passed last year. SpaceIL pushed on even without the monetary incentive.

“Our luck is still holding, and we’re going to make it,” said Morris Kahn, an Israeli telecommunications billionaire who provided financial backing to the mission.

“After six weeks in space, we have succeeded in overcoming another critical stage by entering the moon’s gravity,” said SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby. “We still have a long way until the lunar landing, but I’m convinced our team will land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, making us all proud.”

Beresheet is equipped with a high-resolution camera to capture panoramic views of the landing site to help scientists better understand the area. The Israeli spacecraft also carries a small “time capsule” loaded with photos and cultural artifacts, including a copy of the Bible engraved on a coin-size disk.

If all is successful, SpaceIL will join just NASA, the former Soviet Union and China in successfully landing a spacecraft on the moon.