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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

JenChicago, NBC5 Street Team

Last week I had a chance to learn about an organization called Hadassah. Hadassah Chicago Chapter is a Jewish organization that started in 1913 and promotes Zionist ideals in the United States, Israel and throughout the world. What these women and men have been able to accomplish in the past 94 years, is nothing short of outstanding. From funding hospitals and colleges to being the leader in stem cell research, Hadassah is making a huge difference in the lives of so many.

Hadassah Chicago Chapter alone raises TWO MILLION each year to support their programs! The group continues to grow in the Chicago area with events like the one I went to recently at LUXBAR. The food was outstanding and Bridget Albert, the Master Mixologist, whipped up some delightful concoctions with some of my favorite new liquors, like Pama. Everyone was kind, informed and obviously very dedicated to the cause. I learned so much about Israel, after chating with Howard Kaplan, that it is now on my list of “places to visit”! Howard described the Israeli landscape as “downtown Miami beach” and even went on to call Israel a “junior America”!

Overall, this is an amazing organization that knows very clearly their purpose and the impact that people can make when they join together for a common goal. In the words of Fran Givertz, President, “Yes, times might seem tough, but Hadassah is tougher.”

To find out more about Hadassah Chicago Chapter check here. If you are ready to help support the initiative, on April 30, Chicago Hadassah hosts their largest fundraiser of the year starring hot Israeli dance company Renana Raz and teens from the Hadassah Neurim Youth Village. All proceeds benefit Hadassah Neurim, which each year gives 1,200 at-risk Israeli children the education and confidence building they need to succeed and help their country. For tickets and sponsorships, call 847.675.6790.

For more stories of hope, check out JenChicago.com.
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Shlomi Rabi, NBC5 Street Team

One of the great things about being a foreigner is that you are immediately assumed to be the voice of your country. While back home I would simply be your Average Shlomo, here I am nothing short of His Royal Excellence Majesty Ambassador Shlomi Rabi. Now, while normally I am honored and flattered by such deference–and if for no other reason than for assuming that my intelligence level is higher than it actually is–I, too, must admit that the task can be daunting, especially given the activity in the region these days. Surely I could not be asked to explain everything emanating from my home country. After all, I don’t ask Swedes to explain the fascination with meatballs, Mexicans to explain why breakfast has to be spicy, Brits to explain why their toothpaste tubes collect dust, or Americans to explain the insistence on mispronouncing “aluminium”. I’m just sayin.

That said, one thing that I will always gladly discuss (well, there are two things, really, but only one that would be suitable for the dinner table) is the importance of art that openly adresses political dilemmas. Such is the case with this year’s Golden Globe Foreign Language Winner and the National Society of Film Critics pick for Best Film, Israel’s Waltz with Bashir. Ari Folman’s masterpiece, easily one of the most visually arresting movies to come out in years, interweaves memories–real and fabricated alike–with dream sequences and real-life happenings to create a candid (perhaps even uncomfortably so) retrospect of Israel’s 1982 Lebanon War, and specifically, the Sabra and Shatila massacre that haunted politics in the region for years to come. The movie does not point fingers and does not demand explanation–or revenge–from either side. Rather, it is a cultural artifact that examines the maddening effects of war from the eyes of a distraught soldier, raising questions regarding personal and social responsibilities alike.

The movie will be showing at Piper’s Alley this Friday, January 23rd

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To learn more about Shlomi’s take on how to ignore the cold in Chicago click here.

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