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Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

Report of Pollard job offer being rescinded is incorrect

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 14:51

NEW YORK (JTA) — A report that an employer rescinded a job offer to released spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard over the conditions of his parole is incorrect, his lawyers said.

According to The Jerusalem Post, an unnamed “respected” investment firm officially revoked its offer of a research analyst’s position on Monday, saying the conditions would have interfered with his ability to do the required work.

Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, on Wednesday contacted JTA through a spokesman to report that The Jerusalem Post’s report was incorrect and that the offer still stood.

Attorneys for Pollard, who was freed Friday after spending 30 years in a federal prison, filed an appeal Friday asking that the parole conditions, including wearing an electronic ankle bracelet with GPS tracking and surveillance of his and any employer’s computers, be dropped. The attorneys described the conditions as “unlawful” and said they would make it impossible for Pollard to have a job.

Pollard, 61, is also confined to his New York home between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Lauer said Sunday night at a Zionist Organization of America event in New York that the conditions mean Pollard is “still not free,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

“The parole commission’s unnecessary conditions make it virtually impossible for him to obtain a normal job in New York City,” Lauer said. “The employer who offered him work took back the offer because federal authorities asked to install monitoring devices in the company’s computer system if it employed him.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that Pollard’s job offer was rescinded. His lawyers say the job offer still stands.

Jews across US, Twitter rally for $15 minimum wage

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 16:39

What workers all over the United States are doing is having a profound impact. This is your movement. #FightFor15

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2015

Jews joined fast food workers, union members and politicians at rallies around the country Tuesday to push for raising the federal minimum wage to $15.

Rallies began Tuesday morning in more than 250 cities, part of the Come Get My Vote movement’s push to make the $15-minimum wage a campaign issue for the 2016 election. The message was echoed on Twitter, with supportive posts, photos and videos from the rallies promoted with #FightFor15.

Among those braving the rain was Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who held a rally for the cause in Washington, D.C.

What workers all over the United States are doing is having a profound impact. This is your movement. #FightFor15 https://t.co/WmgZV9nj5d — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2015

New York City Councilman Brad Lander tweeted from an early morning rally in downtown Brooklyn, alongside his rabbi, Ellen Lippman of Kolot Chayeinu, and his daughter.

Out with my daughter, my rabbi @kolotchayeinu & thousands in the #FightFor15. Right in downtown BK where it began. pic.twitter.com/1fR7VSGhXb — Brad Lander (@bradlander) November 10, 2015

City Comptroller Scott Stringer took his turn at the Brooklyn podium.

We’re up early to #FightFor15 in #Brooklyn #NationalDayofAction pic.twitter.com/0uEVzPJFRs — Scott M. Stringer (@scottmstringer) November 10, 2015

Several Jewish organizations joined the politicians in Brooklyn for the rally. Labor Zionist youth group Habonim Dror, marched with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, the Jewish Labor Committee and the Workmen’s Circle.

The Workmen’s Circle, a Jewish labor group, promoted both its Hebrew sashes and its younger generation of supporters.

We’re SO proud of our Midtown School students for taking the podium today in support of @fightfor15 #raisethewage https://t.co/uCnIm3p6Cg

— Workmen’s Circle (@workmenscircle) November 10, 2015

Jews for Economic and Racial Justice tweeted from Brooklyn about economic inequality, one of its key issues.

42% of working people make less than $15/hour+it’s about time for tht to change-Rabbi Ellen Lippmann #FightFor15 @kolotchayeinu @fightfor15 — JFREJ (@JFREJNYC) November 10, 2015 

Jewish women’s organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women, highlighted the disparate impact low-wage jobs have on women and their families.

We’re Jewish feminists, and we support the #Fightfor15! — NCJW (@NCJW) November 10, 2015

In a local victory, in the afternoon, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to unilaterally set a $15 minimum wage for all state workers. Earlier this year, a wage board commissioned by Cuomo recommended that fast food workers at big chains be paid at least $15 an hour.

In San Diego, Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice’s addressed a crowd of demonstrators. In Minnesota Vic Rosenthal and Carin Mrotz of Jewish Community Action tweeted their support for raising the minimum wage.

Many shared a graphic created by Bend the Arc.

Join #JewsFor15 and the #Fightfor15 to demand fair wages for all Americans. pic.twitter.com/HOf5FLYsPi — Bend the Arc (@bend_thearc) November 10, 2015

In Boston, The New England Jewish Labor Committee joined forces with the Boston Workmen’s Circle Center, Moishe Kavod House Boston, the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social ActionJOIN for Justice and Habonim Dror North America under the umbrella of the Wage Action movement.

Kavodnicks in the band! #Jewsfor15#WageAction#FightFor15#musicfor15pic.twitter.com/QbvrmNRRJA — Moishe Kavod House (@MoisheKavod) November 10, 2015

Non-Jewish politicians, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez also threw their Twitter support behind the rallies.

Fast-food, home care, child care workers: Your advocacy is changing our country for the better. #Fightfor15 -H — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 10, 2015

UK Jewish lawmaker blasted for ‘Jewish money’ quote

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 13:43

British Labour Party lawmaker Gerald Kaufman talking with residents in an area that was destroyed during Israel’s January 2009 Gaza offensive in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Jan. 16, 2010. (Hatem Moussa/AP Images)

(JTA) — Two British groups condemned a Jewish lawmaker who reportedly said that Jewish money dictates government policy on Israel.

Gerald Kaufman, a lawmaker for Labour who has called for applying international sanctions against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, reportedly made the statement at a meeting in London on Tuesday organized by the Palestine Return Council. Kaufman attended along with several other lawmakers and the blogger David Collier, who has posted an account of Kaufman’s speech.

“It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations, to the conservative party as in the general election in May, support from The Jewish Chronicle, all of those things,” Kaufman is quoted as saying. “There is now a big group of conservative members of Parliament, who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.”

Kaufman had reportedly begun his speech by claiming that half of the recent stabbings in Israel were “fabricated.”

“The speech delivered by Sir Gerald Kaufman, as reported by David Collier, is anti-Semitic and the Labour Party should investigate immediately,” Gideon Falter, chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said in a statement Wednesday.

Kaufman is the longest serving lawmaker in the House of Commons. In 2011, he apologized for remarking: “Here we are, the Jews again” during a debate about Israel with another Jewish lawmaker who disagreed with his attitude to Israel.

Simon Johnson, the chief executive of Britain’s Jewish Leadership council, said the comments attributed to Kaufman on Tuesday “refer to all the old-fashioned anti-Semitic tropes.” Kaufman, he added, “owes the Jewish community a significant apology.”

NY Jewish medical student missing nearly a week found alive

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 05:40

NEW YORK  (JTA) — A Jewish medical student from suburban New York was found alive after being missing for nearly a week.

Yossi Gerson, 29, a student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, was found Sunday morning. He had not been seen since Oct. 5, the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, when he told his mother that he was leaving the family home on Long Island to meet a homeless man with whom he had become friends, WCBS-TV in New York reported.

When Gerson did not return home, and local police were unable to locate him, his parents, Wendy and Alan Gerson, released a public statement. Yossi Gershon had been acting unusually leading up to his disappearance, his parents said in the statement.

They later offered a $20,000 reward for new information regarding his whereabouts, according to WCBS.

On Sunday morning, friends of the family arranged a gathering to say psalms on Gerson’s behalf at Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway. Over 1,200 people were in attendance, his parents said in a statement released later that day.

Forty minutes into the gathering, a “lost and disorientated” Gerson walked through the doors, according to the statement. Gerson was found by an “unknown man in a wheelchair” who placed him in a cab and directed it to go to the prayer gathering, the statement said.

Three days earlier, 800 volunteers turned out to search over 470 locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx, according to an update from the parents published by the Yeshiva World News on Friday.

“To the thousand plus volunteers who tirelessly searched for Yossi: His safe return is in your merit,” said the statement from Sunday, which thanked the community for their search efforts. “Those hours of upheaval were critical ones, and we have no doubt that your selfless determination and Mesiras Nefesh played a crucial role in keeping him safe.”