The Edmond Sun

Opinion

April 22, 2013

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Oklahomans commemorate 65th anniversary of Israel

OKLA. CITY — The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City recently presented an event to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. The event began with a gathering at the Immanuel Synagogue in the Midcity area where two Oklahoma City rabbis, Abby Jacobson and Viered Harris, spoke about the history of the state of Israel since its founding and the struggles it has gone through to maintain its existence.

The Israeli national anthem was sung by a member of the Israeli Air Force who is currently stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. The main hallway of the synagogue is lined with photographs of the men and some women who have served as its presidents. The earliest pictures date from the early 1900s and are a reminder of the deep roots that the Jewish community has in the Oklahoma City area. After a shofar was blown outside of the synagogue the attendees marched in a parade of several blocks to the Westminster School in which they carried small Israeli flags and balloons with Israel’s name on them. Many of those who participated in the parade wore blue T-shirts that indicated that their souls and hearts were both in Israel and Oklahoma.

At Westminster School they were met with a small, papier mache replica of the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. For centuries pilgrims have come to the Wailing Wall to pray and leave written prayers and requests in the openings that are found on that wall. President Barak Obama left such a request when he was in Jerusalem during his recent trip to Israel.

The replica of the wall had places for inserting such prayers, and paper and pen was provided for those who wish to make them. There also were posters that contained images of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and an Israeli Kibbutz. Israeli food was served to the guests that included hummus and pita bread. The attendees ate on tables that were covered by Israeli newspapers written in Hebrew.  

The children present were given material to make paper flowers to celebrate the way Israel has succeeded in making the desert bloom. The bottled water that was served indicated that it came from Jacob’s well in Israel. A musical performance by a group of Arab and Israeli musicians that  was sponsored by the Oklahoma- Israel Exchange also was part of the celebration and took place in the Westminster School theater. Susan Roberts, who is the president of that exchange, explained that it works to foster economic and cultural ties between Israel and Oklahoma. She also spoke of how the musicians who were performing are sponsored by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and that they work to foster greater understanding among Arabs and Israelis. One of the musicians spoke of how they perform music that is popular with both Arabs and Jews.  

Marcie Price, who is the head of the Oklahoma City Jewish Federation, thanked the attendees for their support and said that the ties between Israel and the state of Oklahoma will remain strong.

WILLIAM F. O’BRIEN is an Oklahoma City attorney.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results