For thousands of years Jewish-Iranian women have been forced to hide behind chadors, look down at their feet and not speak unless spoken to. During ancient Persia and even later day Iran, they lived with two strikes against them: Jewish and female. They were and still are viewed and treated by Muslims as second class citizens. Even today, in Iran, a woman, cannot become a judge, regardless of her education, degrees and professional qualifications. The reason given: “A woman can never be just.”
Visual artist Chany Wieder-Blank recently participated in the Asylum Arts International Jewish Artist Retreat, which was created as part of Schusterman Connection Points, an initiative launched by the Schusterman Philanthropic Network, a global enterprise that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change in Jewish communities and beyond.
“The New Normal” Editor Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer interviewed Wieder-Blank about her experience at Asylum, her art, activism, Jewish identity and experience as a person living with a disability.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released new data stating that 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This number is a 30% increase from data released in May 2012 that identified 1 in 88 children as having autism. It is 120% higher than the numbers reported in 2000 and 2002, which identified 1 in 150 children as having autism. In 1980, only 1 in 10,000 children was diagnosed with autism.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:16
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon seems to have a penchant for insulting Israel's most important ally and defender. His latest targets are the American president and secretary of state. Making matters worse was the silence of his prime minister, who didn't do anything until Secretary of State John Kerry called. And even then Yaalon's apology was so weak that, in an unprecedented move, the White House and State Department rejected it and responded with a stinging rebuke.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 18:11
In an unprecedented move, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer is going to Las Vegas this weekend to participate in a partisan political meeting and fundraiser at the Venetian luxury hotel owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's largest contributor.
Nalaga'at Theater Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble is a world famous acting group whose cast consists of a dozen talented deaf-blind actors. RespectAbilityUSA is an American non-profit organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to be valued and respected for the abilities that they do have. Claudia Gordon works at the White House Office of Public Engagement where she serves as the Public Engagement Advisor to the Disability Community. All three joined together for a night of theater and exchange, when Nalaga'at performed at the Kennedy Center.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Wed, 03/26/2014 - 16:42
There's a remote chance Israel could have a soccer team on the field at this summer's World Cup competition in Brazil, but there's no question it will have a very important team overhead helping make sure the players and fans are safe and secure.
The protection will be provided by a fleet of Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft built by Israel's Elbit and equipped with advanced new intelligence gathering systems, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The stigma associated with all kinds of human difference pervades social awareness. Whether prejudice is based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical characteristics or disabilities, few possess the neutrality towards the other we espouse as a liberal ideal. Western democracies combat the inequalities stemming from such differences. By statute and judicial judgment, access to housing, jobs, education, transportation, and the right to vote have been mandated, but despite significant legislative advances over the past 30 years, few are satisfied that the goals of such laws have achieved their intended effects.
Submitted by Douglas Bloomfield on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:52
When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the White House last week he told President Obama that there was "no way" he would recognize Israel as the Jewish nation state, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says is essential to any peace agreement.
Is that the final word or just each leader's negotiating position? Who is right in this debate?
The issues has been raised in prior negotiations but this is the first time Israel put it on the "must" list.