Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Righteous Gentile Irena Sendler

Posted by Oyster on March 11, 2014

Every year there are fewer living witnesses to the Holocaust. Memorial organizations such as Yad Vashem are working feverishly to collect as many testimonies as possible to memorialize the names of the victims and honor the Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jewish lives. These activities demand a tremendous amount of time and effort. Sometimes however, information comes in unexpected ways. This was the case regarding the story of Irena Sendler who was honored for her role in saving over 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto in 1963 by Yad Vashem and then forgotten. It was only when a group of non-Jewish schoolgirls from Uniontown Kansas pursued a rumor of Sendler’s activities that the incredible story of her bravery was publicized to the world.

Irena Sendler was a young social worker in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded in 1939. She joined the Zagota underground which specialized in assisting persecuted Jews. She helped find hiding places for these Jews and obtained false papers which allowed them to integrate into the Polish society. When the Nazis created the Warsaw ghetto in 1940 Sendler procured papers that identified her as a nurse who specialized in infectious diseases. She was then allowed to enter and exit the ghetto freely.

At first Sendler smuggled food and medicines into the ghetto but it quickly became apparent that such aid was a drop in the bucket. Together with her Zagota comrades she decided that she could save more lives if she could smuggle people out of the ghetto. As the head of Jewish child welfare division of Zagota Sendler decided to concentrate on smuggling children out of the ghetto. Children, Zagota felt, were easier to smuggle out, easier to move from place to place and easier to hide in Polish orphanages and convents.

Sendler began to pick up street orphans. She sedated them and hid them in luggage, toolboxes. Beneath her tram seat and in carts under garbage and barking dogs in order to smuggle them out of the ghetto. Older children were led under the ghetto walls through underground tunnels and sewers. As time passed Sendler started to approach Jewish parents to ask them to allow her to take their children out of the ghetto. Sendler went door to door within the ghetto in her quest to bring children to freedom. The parents were distraught — many refused Sendler because they believed that their children would have a better chance of survival if they stayed together. Others couldn’t bear being parted from their children.

Sendler herself remembered those interactions as excruciatingly painful “I talked the mothers out of their children” she reminisced. “Those scenes over whether to give a child away were heart-rending. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me the child. Their first question was, ‘What guarantee is there that the child will live?’ I said, ‘None. I don’t even know if I will get out of the ghetto alive today.”

Sendler carefully recorded all of the names of the children that she rescued on slips of tissue paper, along with the locations in which they were hidden. She placed these pieces of papers in glass jars and buried them in her garden. She hoped that, after the war, the children would be reunited with surviving family members or, at the very least, with their Jewish community. Some children were hidden with
sympathetic Polish families while others were placed for safekeeping in institutions.

In October 1943, after the Warsaw ghetto had been destroyed, Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo. She was tortured in the notorious Piawiak prison but she withstood the torture and didn’t reveal any information about the whereabouts of the children, or about her Zagota comrades. The Nazis sentenced Sendler to death but Zagota was able to bribe a German guard and smuggle Sendler out of the prison. Sendler remained in hiding throughout the final months of the war.

Yad Vashem honored Sendler in 1963 but after the awards ceremony she returned to Warsaw and her wartime activities were forgotten. In 1999
a group of Kansas high school students researched Sendler’s actions during the war and developed a project, Life in a Jar, which honored Sendler’s heroism and bravery. The project has evolved into a book, a website and a performance which has been viewed by thousands of people worldwide.

Posted in Antisemitism, Bay-ond the Pale, Oy Bay! | 1 Comment »

READ ME! Complimentary Latkes -”These are not your Mother’s latkes”

Posted by Oyster on December 1, 2013

Hello Oy Bay!

We are in the midst of a Latke Party! 11/29 – 12/5 4-6 pm.
Marin Country Mart
2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939.

We are serving complimentary latkes every afternoon between 4-6 during the days of Hannukah.

Enjoy freshly fried potato pancakes with a choice of organic sour cream and Nana Mae’s apple or Wise Sons smoked salmon.

The Klezmer band Orchestra Euphanos will join us Sunday 12/1 from 12:30 -2:30 and again on 12/4 from 4-6 pm.

Join Robby Elfman for Jazzakuah Tuesday, Dec 3rd from 4-6.

Children’s Festival of Lights art project will take place Wed 12/4 – 4-6 pm.

Happy Hanukah!

Best,
Diana

Diana Rodgers
Events Manager
Marin Country Mart

Posted in Oy Bay! | Leave a Comment »

Read Me: Common Jewish Genetic Disease

Posted by Oyster on October 17, 2013

From bone pain and severe fatigue to life-threatening complications, Gaucher disease can present many challenges to patients. Gaucher disease is a rare genetic illness is caused by a deficiency in a particular enzyme in the body. It can affect people of all ethnicities but is the most common genetic disease among Ashkenazi Jews. It affects approximately 1 in 40,000 to 60,000 people worldwide.

October is Gaucher Awareness Month and an important effort is now taking place to help raise awareness and funds for a cure for Gaucher disease. The Steps Ahead of Gaucher campaign is distributing thousands of free green shoelaces to people who want to help in the effort to raise awareness. All during October when someone posts a photo wearing their green shoelaces on the Steps Ahead of Gaucher web site (www.stepsaheadofgaucher.com), Genzyme will make a donation to the National Gaucher Foundation to support research for a cure and programs to meet the needs of people affected by Gaucher disease.

We hope that you will take a step towards a cure for Gaucher by posting information on this campaign on your site. A summary of the Steps Ahead of Gaucher program is available below for you to post.

How You Can Help People Living with Gaucher Disease

Gaucher disease is a rare inherited disorder caused by a deficiency in a particular enzyme. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 40,000 to 60,000 people in the general population have Gaucher – and it is the most common genetic disease among Ashkenazi Jews. People with the disease often experience severe bone pain and fatigue along with other symptoms.

During October, you can show your support for people affected by Gaucher disease and make a great fashion statement at the same time by taking part in the Steps Ahead of Gaucher effort. It’s free and fun! The Steps Ahead of Gaucher program will be distributing free green shoelaces to thousands of people in the coming weeks.

All you have to do is get your laces and wear them during October, and you will be joining the effort to help raise awareness of Gaucher disease. Here’s how it works.

1) Visit the Steps Ahead of Gaucher web site at (www.stepsaheadofgaucher.com) to order your FREE pair of green shoelaces.

2) Wear the green laces during Gaucher Awareness Month in October.

3) Take a photo of yourself wearing the green Gaucher shoelaces and upload it to the photo gallery at www.stepsaheadofgaucher.com. You can also share your photo on Facebook or Twitter.

4) Genzyme Corporation, the sponsor of the Steps Ahead of Gaucher program, will make a donation to the National Gaucher Foundation for every photo that is posted on the web site during October.

5) Get creative! Get your friends, co-workers or family involved and take a group photo with everyone wearing their laces. And remember you can use the laces to make a fashion bracelet or necklace instead – by sporting the green laces you will be helping the world to learn about Gaucher disease.

Visit http://www.stepsaheadofgaucher.com for more information.

Posted in Oy Bay! | 1 Comment »

Gershom Rabbeinu says NO to NSA illegal surveillance of innocent Americans!

Posted by Oyster on July 4, 2013

4th_amendment

A medieval rabbi had the wisdom to know that it is a tremendous sin and trampling upon of our sacred individuality to have our privacy taken away from us. He ordered that it would be against Jewish law for any letter intended for an individual to be read by someone else without their consent. America’s founding fathers eventually came around to the same principle, enshrining it in the 4th Amendment. This 4th of July, take a stand against illegal overreach by the NSA. Visit the following sites to see how you can get involved: Stop Watching Us, Restore the Fourth, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

‘Anonymous’ hackers attack Yad Vashem website

Posted by Oyster on April 7, 2013

Seriously?

Any respect that I had for Anonymous (for standing up to Mexican drug cartels, for example), is now gone. You are just another Antisemitic mob, with flashy script-kiddle packaging.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/middleeast/pro-palestinian-hackers-attack-israeli-sites.html?hp&_r=0

Posted in Oy Bay! | 2 Comments »

Happy Valentine’s Day from Paulie’s Pickling & Sigmund Freud

Posted by Oyster on February 13, 2013

Sent from a very small computer.

Posted in Oy Bay! | Leave a Comment »

Extreme Challah Baking – this weekend!

Posted by Oyster on January 18, 2013

Dear Oyster,

I wanted to let you know that more than 50 young Jewish leaders of Challah for Hunger will be descending on the Bay Area this weekend to get trained up and fired up about Jewish traditions of giving and repairing the world. These leaders represent the more than 60 Challah for Hunger college chapters and nearly 2,000 volunteers in four countries. We wanted to invite your readers to our Extreme Challah Baking session on Monday morning at UC Berkeley Hillel. This is not your grandma’s challah! I’m attaching a press release here and we would love for you to come out to the Leadership Summit to see how young Jews are baking up a difference.

Thank so much,

Annie
CfH_Summit_Press_Release.pdf

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In the Bay Area, Bagels as Good as Brooklyn’s

Posted by Oyster on December 27, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/dining/in-northern-california-bagels-come-full-circle.html

Posted in Oy Bay! | Leave a Comment »

The Chron: UC report on anti-Semitism draws ire

Posted by Oyster on August 9, 2012

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/UC-report-on-anti-Semitism-draws-ire-3774302.php

Posted in Oy Bay! | Leave a Comment »

OMG-d Cast: Six Talmudic Films in Six Days?

Posted by Oyster on August 1, 2012

If the world was created in only six days, maybe we can do six films?

G-dcast Announces “Studio G-dcast” – A Residency at the Contemporary Jewish Museum for College/Graduate Student Animators and Storytellers

San Francisco, CA April 17, 2012 – The Jewish non-profit production company G-dcast has released applications for Studio G-dcast, a summer artists’ residency to take place at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Over the week of August 12-17, 2012, six student animators and six storytellers will come together for an intensive residency that combines art and Jewish learning. Animator-storyteller chevrutas – the Hebrew word for study pairs – will transform six Talmudic tales into six animated shorts.

“We’re looking for students from all over the map – literally and spiritually. We hope to find them at art schools and technology programs, in MFAs and underground improv troupes,” said G-dcast’s Executive Director Sarah Lefton, who designed the program in response to widespread requests from educators for collaborative filmmaking opportunities for their students. “The goal is to give young artists a chance to practice their craft in a Jewish space, and to give us on the professional team a chance to share our process with new talent. It’s a two-way street.”

Admission to the program will be competitive. Applications are open and rolling until the end of May. Prospective participants will complete biographical and artistic statements as well as a creative assignment to be considered. A selection committee featuring Jewish educators, filmmakers, and arts programmers will make decisions about the cohort this spring.

Studio G-dcast is made possible in part by funds granted by the Covenant Foundation. G-dcast is the recipient of a 2012-13 Signature Grant supporting Studio G-dcast; the organization joins 10 other distinguished grantees doing innovative work in Jewish education.

About G-dcast
G-dcast is a non-profit production company dedicated to raising worldwide Jewish literacy. G-dcast is celebrated for using the tools and storytelling styles that speak to today’s youth. They produce animated shorts based on Jewish texts and offer companion curricula. G-dcast is celebrated as innovator the emergent field of Jewish learning and new media educational technology. All G-dcast videos are free and available online.

About the CJM
Since its founding in 1984, the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco has commissioned and curated contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. In step with their mission, the CJM will host Studio G-dcast. The museum will provide work space, creative educators, and logistical support. Additionally, the CJM will host a public presentation of works-in-progress at the residency’s end.

For more information
Visit the allie

Posted in Oy Bay! | 1 Comment »

 
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