On October 30, 2013, NATHAN, beloved husband of the late Selma H. Posner (nee Kirsner); loving father of Linda (Larry) Friedman and the late Norman H. Posner; dear father-in-law of Pat Posner; cherished brother of the Marian Kramer, Bernard Posner and his companion Estelle Rivers, and the late Ted Posner; adored grandfather of the late David I. Posner. Funeral services and interment will be held at Shaarei Tfiloh Cemetery, 5800 Windsor Mill Road, on Friday, November 1 at noon. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1850 York Road, Suite D, Timonium, MD 21093 or Seasons Hospice Foundation, 6934 Aviation Blvd, Suite N-R, Glen Burnie, MD 21061.
On October 30, 2013, DORIS (nee Hankin), beloved wife of the late Henry H. Cohen; devoted mother of Phylis B. Cohen and the late Ruth A. Cohen; loving sister of Lillian (Nathan) Strauss and the late Isadore Hankin; cherished grandmother of Jennifer (Benjamin) Levy, Ethan Butler (Kaye Wierzbicki) and Breanna Butler; adored great-grandmother of Hannah Ruth Levy. Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane, on Friday, November 1 at 10 a.m. Interment at Arlington Cemetery, Chizuk Amuno Congregation, North Rogers Avenue. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Miriam Lodge, c/o Jane Davis, Chaplain, 3415 Woodvalley Drive, Baltimore, MD 21208 or the charity of your choice. In mourning at 8604 Keller Avenue, Stevenson, MD 21153.
After months of indecision and several scandals, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid decided last week to appoint Dr. Karnit Flug as governor of the Bank of Israel. The Knesset approved the decision this week.
Netanyahu and Lapid said in a statement, “We have been impressed by Dr. Flug’s performance as acting governor in recent months, and we are certain that she will continue to assist us in moving the Israeli economy to additional achievements in the face of the global economic upheaval.”
Like America’s Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, Flug is the first woman to serve as governor of the BOI. In Israel, the media is terming the selection “courageous.”
According to Simon Morris, an analyst with Citigroup Israel, Flug has similar economic views to American economist Stanley Fischer, who recently stepped down as governor of the BOI and who recommended Flug for the job. Morris said he expects Flug to be a “dovish” head, which means there is at least a 50 percent chance she will cut interest rates or keep them the same.
“It is clear she errs on the side of caution,” said Morris. “With currently mixed economic data, a strong [New Israeli Shekel] impacting exports, budgetary cutbacks and tax rises to deal with the budget deficit, she is taking over at a precarious time.”
But he said the finance community has confidence.
Until now, Flug has been the deputy governor of the Bank of Israel (since July 2011). She was appointed interim governor in July 2013 after Fischer concluded his second term. Flug has a master’s degree from the Hebrew University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in economics. She has been a longtime member of the BOI research department, and in June 2001, she was appointed director of the research department and a member of the BOI’s senior managing staff. She has served on Israeli and international committees and is an expert on topics related to the labor market, the balance of payments and macroeconomic policies.
“[She is] in good stead,” Morris said.
While in the United States there is much focus on Yellen as the first female for her position, Morris said there is less focus on this in Israel. He told the JT there are numerous women in finance in Israel, such as the Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, president and CEO of Bank Leumi, one of Israel’s largest banks. Additionally, Smadar Barber-Tsadik has been the chief executive officer of First International Bank of Israel, Ltd., and last month Lilach Asher-Topilsky was announced as head of Discount Bank.
In politics, Shelly Yachimovich serves as head of the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni as justice minister.
“So while it is important to have another woman role model, and there can certainly be improvement in the women’s role across the country, they do often have prominent roles [in Israel],” said Morris. “Golda Meir was the world’s third female country leader as early as 1969. The army, as well, is internationally renowned for its female role across all areas, including combat.”
Still, noted Morris, “We can always get better.”
Maayan Jaffe is JT editor-in-chief — firstname.lastname@example.org
“Bedouin usually get married young,” she said. “People ask me, ‘Why aren’t you married, don’t you have anybody?’ It does pressure me, but I plan to choose a partner who will allow me to keep studying.”
Abu Ammar covers her hair with a bright blue head scarf, or hijab. She said she wears it both as a religious statement and a Bedouin custom, which begins at age 12. The youngest of eight children, she was encouraged by her parents to study at the university but to continue living at home. She said that she does talk to fellow male students at the university but would not meet them outside of class.
“The Bedouin society is still very traditional,” she said. “I can be friends with men in the context of school but not more than that.”
Her friend Reem Al-Amrany, who is married and working on her master’s degree, said it has become not only acceptable, but an advantage for women to go to university. She is the oldest of seven children, and her mother is illiterate. Her parents have encouraged her education, as has her husband.
“Today, when a man wants to marry, he looks for a working woman because of the hard life and the economic situation,” she said. “He needs someone to help him make a living.”
Her husband graduated from high school but never went to the university. He works as an electrician, which gives her the luxury to continue her studies. What’s hardest for her, she said, is finding the work-life balance.
“My biggest challenge is the balance between studying, working, my home, my husband and my daughter,” Al-Amrany said, echoing the problem of many Western women.
At Ben-Gurion University, there are an estimated 350 female Bedouin students, as well as 150 men from that community. There are dozens of others in other institutions of higher education. Many of these students receive generous scholarships to the university.
These young women speak Arabic at home and in school and often need special tutoring before they can take classes in Hebrew. The university has worked hard to integrate Bedouin students, said university President Rivka Carmi.
“Ben-Gurion University is helping hundreds of Bedouin students realize their potential,” Carmi said. “The university is able to offer counseling, tutoring and scholarship support that has enabled hundreds of students to benefit from higher education.”
There are an estimated 250,000 Bedouin in Israel, most of them living in the area around Beersheva. Tens of thousands live in “unrecognized villages,” meaning their claims to land are not recognized by the Israeli government. They do not receive basic services, such as water. However, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled they must be given education and medical care.
Most of them don’t have computers at home or even electricity for studying at night. At the same time, it is unacceptable for women to be out at night without a male family member, so most of the women continue to live at home during their studies.
Jamal Al-Kinawi’s job is to help integrate the Bedouin students into the university. When public transportation is not available, the university offers special buses to make sure the women get home before dark.
“There are economic challenges and social challenges,” he said. “We try to help them get accustomed to the Western academic climate, and we have other Bedouin students help them as well.”
For many of the Bedouin students, their time at the university is their first encounter with Jewish Israelis. Sarab Abu Rabia, a sociologist and the first Bedouin woman to receive a Ph.D., says it is not always an easy meeting.
“Because of the geographical separation between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and the separate education systems, the campus is their first encounter,” she said. “This encounter also creates gaps where the women can feel like they are immigrants in their own country.”
Bedouin villages are organized around tribes, and marriages are usually either within tribes or among different tribes. Abu Rabia said that not only do Bedouin students meet Israeli Jews at Ben-Gurion, they also interact with peers from other tribes.
“In villages most meetings are with close family or extended family,” she said. “Meeting people from other tribes also creates romantic relationships. This could threaten a taboo code that prevents marriages between different kinds of tribes such as upper-class and lower-class tribes.”
Her husband is from a different tribe, and she had to fight hard to get her parents to agree to the match. Today, she has three sons, and she said that when they grow up, they can marry whomever they want.
Hagit Yaso is an Israeli icon. She won the ninth season of “Kochav Nolad,” Israel’s version of “American Idol,” in 2011. And at only 24 years old, she is considered a role model for young Ethiopian girls.
Yaso, who was in town earlier this week for performances through Jewish National Fund at the University of Maryland, Towson University, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Urban Pathways Charter School and Carnegie Mellon University, told the JT that when she comes to perform in the United States she feels right at home — especially when singing for other Jews.
“It feels warm,” she said. “I like that they know the songs.”
In Israel, Yaso was the first Ethiopian woman to win a “Kochav Nolad” competition, and she said as she was going through the rounds of the contest, her peers — and really Ethiopians across the country — were saying, “Good job! Continue! Now we have someone who is from Ethiopia who is going to be a role model.”
Yaso, shortly after her win, embarked on a speaking tour to schools throughout Israel. At those, she spoke about her journey to stardom and the challenges she had — the times she fell and how she got up and continued.
“It has been hard to get to where I am, I tell them,” said Yaso. “I connect with the youth and tell them to continue [working hard].”
Yaso said that while there have been improvements in the lives of the Ethiopian population in Israel, racism still exists in Israel.
“Whenever I think it is behind us, there is an article or an incident — something happens, and we take steps back,” she said, noting that she was fortunate to grow up in a mixed neighbor, one filled with immigrants from all across the world, so she personally had little experience with racism.
It has been a pioneering couple of years for Ethiopian-born Israelis. In 2013, Israel elected its first Ethiopian-born Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw. Last year, Israel appointed its first Ethiopian-born ambassador. And this year, Israel elected its first Ethiopian-born woman to parliament.
This is the third concert series Yaso has performed on behalf of JNF, an organization she said she feels is “developing the State of Israel.” She told the JT that she became acquainted with JNF in 2008 while in the army; JNF had donated a rec room in Sderot, and she had gone there to sing for the children of Sderot. She was blown away by the warmth of the JNF professionals and connected with them via social media. When she won “Kochav Nolad,” JNF staff in Israel invited her to perform benefit concerts on its behalf. Yaso called JNF her extended family.
How does the young Yaso handle the status she has achieved?
“It’s fun,” she said. “I want to sing for all the Jews here [in the United States] and in Israel and all over the world. I want to have concerts and make people happy and fulfilled.”
Maayan Jaffe is JT editor-in-chief — email@example.com