ZOA Urging More Community Support of Israel

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The ZOA handed out awards to Howard and Patti Klein Katzoff, Rabbi Ira Budow, director of the Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley the past 35 years, and his wife, Dr. Susan Fuchs, received the Guardians of Israel award. 

At the same time hundreds of boisterous supporters were singing Israel’s praises at the annual Zionist Organization of America awards gala at the Hilton on City Line, some 5,770 miles away Israelis lay in their beds worrying about what would take place the following day.
 
Yes, it’s a scary time, with rampant violence taking place ndiscriminately in cities large and small. But this, too, shall pass, says Yaron Sideman.
 
“We’ve gone through periods way, way more intense and difficult,” said Sideman, consul general of Israel for the Mid-Atlantic region, who just returned from his homeland two weeks ago and addressed the ZOA dinner. “There have been more incidents in the past as well.
 
“At the end of the day, what keeps the Jewish people going and what keeps Israel going and motivated is underscored by our national anthem, Hatikvah, which means hope.”
 
What does concern him is that the message going out to rest of the world seems to be getting garbled. The Palestinians keep trying to convince organizations like UNESCO and other supposedly neutral bodies that Israel is the aggressor here. Sadly, he says, the rest of the world seems to be buying it, just as many companies are being swayed by the boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) movement.
 
Sideman wants them all to understand these simply are lies being spread to obscure the truth. “I know of no other country other than Israel that has worked so hard to attain peace while at the same time having to protect itself against aggression,” Sideman told the event’s attendees. “Within the web of lies, we stick to the truth. I know of no organization that advocates the truth in a more zealous manner than the ZOA. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m certain we will come out of it stronger and more united than ever.”
 
The ZOA handed out four awards during the evening. Howard and Patti Klein Katzoff received the Pillars of the Community award. Rabbi Ira Budow, director of the Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley the past 35 years, and his wife, Dr. Susan Fuchs, received the Guardians of Israel award. Longtime journalist and author Jack Engelhard received the Ben Hecht awards. And recent Drexel graduate Shoshanna “Shani” Weiss received the Future is Now award.
 
During her acceptance speech, Weiss noted that the date of the event, Oct. 21, 2015, was “Back to the Future Day,” a reference to the popular 1989 film sequel in which Marty McFly discovers an upside-down world that he then tries to correct. 
 
Ironically, that’s precisely what Israel faces now. “As Israelis are attacked and knifed in the streets, we are living in that backward injustice world,” she said. “It’s my duty to get Israel’s message out, so that work will be done on college campuses to combat BDS and anti-Semitism. But we need to do it now.”
 
Miriam Einhorn, of Fox & Roach Realtors, is trying to do her part, offering to donate half her commissions back to the ZOA for each house she buys from or sells to ZOA members. “I lost 39 relatives in the gas chambers,” she said, explaining that her immediate family was able to escape Budapest, Hungary and make it over here, but the rest were lost.
 
“I want to put 39 Jews back in Israel.” 
 
Contact: jmarks@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729.

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