UNC and Duke: This is Not Free Speech, It is Propaganda

Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill have planned an anti-Zionist and anti-Israel conference camouflaged as a conference on Gaza, March 22-24. Several scheduled speakers have compared Israel to Nazis and many others promote boycotting Israel. One of the opening speakers refers to Israel as a “terrorist state.”

The letter below was written by Judith and Lewis Siegel. 

Other letters are archived at Israeli Under Attack at UNC and Duke.

Dear President Price,

We always thought that Duke was a great university. But a great university should not be trafficking in lies and then cry “free speech.” Nor should a great university pile up on a threatened nation and people so as to permit its enemies to falsely propagandize the public. That is what will be happening this week-end. That alone would be bad enough. But to not even provide a balance – that is beyond the pale!

We can’t provide a complete historical background, but just to show a few common lies: The claim is made that Israel occupies Gaza. ISRAEL UNILATERALLY WITHDREW FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. It left behind all its agricultural infrastructure worth tens of millions of dollars, hoping it would enable Gaza to flourish. Gazans destroyed it all. Hate is apparently more important. Gaza is potentially a rich seaport and could have a flourishing tourist industry. But Hamas’s message of hate, its use of Gaza resources to fund its tunnels and rockets, its endless attacks on Israelis and its murder of any Gazans who dare to oppose it has kept it poor and desperate.

We are disappointed in Duke beyond words. We have a deep connection. Our son (A.B. Duke scholar, summa com laude) graduated from Duke. Lewis was a Duke faculty member for 42 years. He was Chairman of the Academic Council, and Vice-Provost and Dean of the Graduate School for 15 years. Judith trained Duke Law interns at the North Central Legal Assistance Program.

Please don’t bother to send a form reply about freedom of speech. Judith, an attorney, is well-versed in the First Amendment and our son is one of the leading First Amendment attorneys in the country. THIS IS NOT FREE SPEECH. IT IS PROPAGANDA.

The only way we see that Duke can redeem itself is to have a seminar that will expose what is really happening in Gaza, why Israel must defend itself against an organization like Hamas that endangers Israel’s very existence, so as to present the balance that the current seminar lacks.

Judith and Lewis Siegel

Be like Judith and Lewis Siegel and Make Your Voice Heard!

Contact the following UNC and Duke leaders to voice your concerns about this unbalanced and biased conference against Israel.

Duke President Vincent Price (919) 684-2424 vincent.price@duke.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz 919-962-1365 chancellor@unc.edu

Duke Chair, Board of Trustees, Jack O. Bovender, Jr. boardchair@duke.edu

UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. public@bog.northcarolina.edu

Purim Treats: Moroccan Boyozas and Hamantaschen with the Legendary Faye Rapp

The legendary baker Faye Davis-Rapp shares her Moroccan Boyozas and Hamantaschen recipes with Voice4Israel just in time for Purim.

Fanny (Faye), née Migueres, Davis-Rapp was born to a Sephardic family in Fez, Morocco. Davis-Rapp moved to England and then Seattle WA, where she lived for 43 years, before moving to Chapel Hill, NC.

Boyozas and Hamantaschen

by Faye Davis-Rapp

Boyozas

The tradition passed on to me by my parents was that when a woman marries she adopts her husband’s customs. So although I kept making traditional Sephardic foods, I also learned to make traditional Ashkenazic foods.

For Purim, I’m sharing two recipes: Boyozas and Hamantaschen.

Some people think that Sephardic Boyozas represent Haman’s eyes, but my mom called them “jailed Haman.” 

Boyozas are small round loaves of bread with a whole raw egg latticed with dough strips on top, one egg for children or 2 eggs for parents. Some people call this loaf “Challah” and throw away the egg reflecting the sacrifice of the Beit Ha Mikdash. Others, as in my tradition, will throw the lattice but eat the eggs, sandwiched in the bread.

My mother would combine the following ingredients in a large mouthed clay pot called a Sf’na.

 1 1/2 cup warm water

1 heaping tablespoon sugar

1 generous tablespoon dry yeast

1/3 cup oil

5 cups flour (can be 3 c. White and 2 c. Whole wheat)

2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon Fennel, anise seed, or rosemary to taste. (I knead whole fennel in the dough)

She would then place the Sf’na on the floor and, on hands and knees, knead the dough for about 15-20 minutes yielding a soft and pliable dough, which she would then let rise for 30-40 minutes. (I put the ingredients in my mixer with a dough hook, mix  for 7-10 minutes then knead the dough on a flat surface for another 10 minutes.)

My mother would briefly knead the dough after the first rise and then split it into 4 portions (3 smaller and 1 larger as we were a family of 5). She would then flatten each piece to make a circle about 1/4 inch thick. With scissors she would cut inwards about 1 1/2 inches all around the circle, then pinch the ends of the cut pieces. A washed and dried egg was then placed in a dip in the center of the circle (I pierce my eggs with an egg piercer or a pin to avoid the egg bursting in the oven) carefully so as not to break the dough underneath the egg. She would then drape the eggs with two thin strips of dough to form a cross on the egg, fusing the ends of the strips with the dough of the main circle with moistened fingers.

Following the second rise my mother would send baking trays full of Boyozas to the communal oven which was located down the road. (Not unlike a red brick old fashion pizza oven)

This oven, adjacent to to the synagogue, was also used to bake challah bread for Shabbat. And once the challah were removed, the Shabbat Cholent was placed in the oven to cook slowly until lunch the following day. Moroccan cholent is known as “Shkheena”, from the Arabic word “hot,” or with a French twist, “Dafina” or “La Daf.” The shkheena was delivered to homes following Shabbat services a hot meal.

My grandfather, Haim Cohen, would kosher the oven before Pesach so that matzah could be baked for the  neighborhood, under his strict supervision. In 1998, I visited my old neighborhood, and saw that the synagogue was being renovated and is now a UNESCO protected site.

In the absence of a community oven, I preheat my oven to 350 degrees and bake the Boyozas for 20-25 minutes.

Hamantaschen

With its origins in Germany, I had never heard of hamantaschen in Morocco. Once I learned about them I put my baking skills to use to come up with my own recipe. 

 4 cups all purpose flour 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ cups Crisco shortening

¼ cups margarine or butter

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 Tbs. finely grated orange peel

½ C fresh orange juice

Mix flour, baking powder & salt and set aside

In an electric mixer, beat the butter/margarine, Crisco, and sugar.

Add eggs and mix well, then add orange zest and juice until incorporated.

Pour in flour mixture, keep stirring until soft dough in formed.  

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate up to 24 hrs.

Roll to ¼ in. thickness, about 3.25” diameter.

Place one teaspoon of the filling of choice in the middle of the round shape and fold the sites to form a triangle.

Fillings include any fruit preserves, to which chocolate chips or nuts or both can be added. Dried fruit (including figs, prunes, cranberries, dates, raisins), mixed with orange juice and peel, can be puréed in a food processor. Lemon juice, chopped nuts, and/or cinnamon can be  added to taste. Poppy seeds, a traditional filling, can be used from a can or freshly cooked in water and sugar, with orange/lemon peel.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

HRC Recommends Durham Removes Israel from Divisive Statement

Israel, Durham

In response to a complaint jointly filed by the Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federation and Voice4Israel, Durham’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) plans on proposing at their monthly meeting tonight that the Durham City Council rewrite their divisive April 16, 2018 statement by removing the singling out of Israel. 

The HRC recommends revisions to the April 16 statement that are far better written and omits Israel’s name.

Voice4Israel is deeply appreciative of the HRC’s research, outreach, efforts, thoughtfulness, and time spent to bring clarity to this vital issue.  

Voice4Israel is deeply appreciative of the HRC’s research, outreach, efforts, thoughtfulness, and time spent to bring clarity to this vital issue.

In their draft report, the HRC writes, “Because of the process by which the statement was passed and the fact that the statement could have been written more clearly in some parts, we believe the statement contributed to tension in our community. We also believe there are steps that can be taken to address this…The City Council should revise the language in the April 16th language [statement] to provide clarity based on the concerns and findings outlined here…”

The HRC plans to vote on this proposal at their December 4 meeting.

Voice4Israel will be following this issue closely and bringing you more news and analysis in the coming days and weeks.

Show Your Support

We urge you to consider writing the HRC, to their Chair Diane Standaert, using her email: diane1009@gmail.com.

Your email to Ms. Standaert should be brief and complimentary, expressing appreciation to the subcommittee for their intense study and care. Urge all the HRC commissioners to support the draft. Avoid all mention of the anti-Israel activists who petitioned the HRC and City Council. You may be tempted to argue relatively small parts of the HRC’s report, but that will not help and may hinder our getting a vote of approval. If you live in Durham it is meaningful, so be sure to include that in your letter.

We at Voice4Israel are grateful for your support and patience in this meaningful effort.