I Am A Jerusalemite

Stanley Goldfoot, the founder and editor of The Times of Israel, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At age 18, he packed a bag and moved to Palestine. The British police sent him back to South Africa, where he was drafted into the army.

Mr. Goldfoot returned to Tel Aviv. He worked as a journalist and participated in activities in opposition to the British Mandatory Power. He officially made aliyah to Israel in 1956. On November 24, 2006, he passed away at the age of 92.

In 1969, Mr. Goldfoot published his controversial Letter to the World from Jerusalem in the first issue of The Times of Israel. However, the Letter remains as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. (The entire text is printed at Israpundit.)

Aish.com has produced this poignant film from Mr. Goldfoot’s words:

See Also:
A JEWISH HERO IN OUR TIME

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Edinburgh Film Festival Snubs Israeli Grant

A £300 grant from the Israeli embassy was returned by the Endinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in response to pressure from prominent anti-Israel British film director Ken Loach, who urged “all who might consider visiting the festival to show their support for the Palestinian nation and stay away.” The grant was to be used to pay the travel expenses from Israel to Scotland for Tali Shalom-Ezer, a graduate of Tel Aviv University, whose film is scheduled to be screened at the event.

“By banning the Israeli Embassy from supporting a filmmaker, the festival is helping to exclude Israelis from British cultural life, something that is clearly unfair,” said Lord Janner of Braunstone, a Labour party member of the House of Lords. Lord Janner is the former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of British Jewry. He is also the Founder and President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Council Against Antisemitism.

Sir Jeremy Isaacs, former CEO of Channel Four, said, “I have admired the Edinburgh International Film Festival for many years and would like to think that this appalling decision will be rescinded.”

When the United Arab Emirates refused a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer, preventing her participation in Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon took a stand and refused to broadcast the event. “This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong,” he said. “Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.”

While movies often have political themes, Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s film, Surrogate, does not. It is a romance set in a sex clinic. Like Mr. Solomon, the board members of the EIFF should have taken a position against a bullying manifestation of bigotry.

At least they are making a proper gesture. A spokesman for the EIFF said that the festival will pay Ms. Shalom-Ezer’s travel expenses.

See Also:
The Edinburgh Bigotry Festival [Spectator.co.uk; Melanie Phillips; May 21, 2009]
Edinburgh film festival bows to pressure from Ken Loach over Israeli boycott [Times Online; May 20, 2009]

3rd Annual GI Film Festival

The third annual GI Film Festival runs from May 13-17, 2009, in Washington DC. Emmy Award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer was a special guest for the festival’s congressional reception on Wednesday at the Russell Senate Caucus Room. Honorees include Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). On Saturday night, Senator and renowned actor Fred Dalton Thompson will participate in the screening of Perfect Valor, written and directed by David C. Taylor and produced by David Bossie.

For more information about the films, directors and celebrity participants, visit the GI Film Festival web site.

Alonzo Mourning Honored for Charitable Giving

On Friday night, May 14, 2009, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose will honor basketball great Alonzo Mourning with its 10th annual Legacy for Children Award. The man who was the heart and soul of the Miami Heat has been a champion for children for more than a decade.

In 1997, Alonzo Mourning Charities hosted the first ZO’S SUMMER GROOVE, raising $200,000 for local charities in South Florida. It has grown into an annual community event that focuses on giving promising at-risk youth the opportunity to excel.

The seven-time NBA All-Star has overcome personal challenges. In 2000, after winning an Olympic gold medal with Team USA, Mr. Mourning was diagnosed with a rare degenerative kidney disease. After undergoing a kidney transplant, Mr. Mourning made a dramatic professional comeback, going on to help the Miami Heat win the national championship in 2006.

The 6’10” center has a degree in sociology from Georgetown University. His wife and partner, Tracy Wilson Mourning, attended Howard University thanks to the generosity of actor, author and comedian Bill Cosby.

In a 2007 interview, Mr. Mourning said, “I don’t want to be remembered just as someone who ran up and down the court and played basketball. There are many more parts to my life than that.”

“We both realize that we’re all connected in so many different ways,” said Tracy Mourning. “You help children because there’s a need and a purpose behind it.”

See Also:
San Jose museum honors former NBA star Alonzo Mourning for his charity [San Jose Mercury News; May 10, 2009]
Alonzo Mourning and Tracy Wilson-Mourning: Champions for Children [The Children’s Trust]