Unchained at Last

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Although this blog is usually about Israel, I am highlighting a moving article in this past weekend’s Jewish Forward newspaper about a new USA-based organization, Unchained at Last, that helps women escape from arranged marriages that are abusive. This is a subgroup of battered or threatened women who face additional cultural constraints on escape. Click here to read the column.

The article tells the story of the founder of the organization, Fraidy Reiss, who grew up in an ultra-Orthodox world and how, after many years, she finally left her volatile husband, overcoming intense communal pressure to stay. Unchained at Last now helps women from other cultural milieus in similar situations where arranged marriages are common and divorce is discouraged, even in cases of abuse.

As the article states, the Good People Fund has provided the early financial support to start the organization and help it grow. Please forward this on to others who might be interested in learning about this issue or go to the Good People Fund Facebook page where you can share the article with your Facebook friends.  Thanks.

To Boycott or not to Boycott? The furor over Peter Beinart’s Proposal

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For the past few years my wife and I, always preferring to buy Israeli made-goods whether we are in Israel or the USA, carefully scrutinized labels on Israeli products to see where they were made. Living half of each year in Tel Aviv, it seemed almost normative to not purchase goods made in the West Bank. We have many friends who made aliyah decades ago, passionate Zionists all, who have boycotted goods from Judea and Samaria for a long time (Click here for one example). They are anguished over what the occupation has done to Israeli democracy and the rule of law, and are frightened for the future.

Imagine then our surprise over the controversy stirred up by Peter Beinart’s op-ed column in yesterday’s New York Times calling for a targeted boycott of West Bank products in order to save Israel….

To read the rest of this post, go to http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/to-boycott-or-not-to-boycott-the-furor-over-peter-beinarts-proposal/

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