In education there is a behavior pattern known as “warm fuzzies/cold pricklies”.  When a student is unable to get the teacher’s attention through a positive behavior, the student will get attention through a negative behavior.  The intent is to gain attention in some manner, with the resulting consequences being unimportant since the goal is to gain attention. 

Alas this is the tragic trajectory of the leaders of Hamas who control Gaza.  When Israel pulled out of Gaza, the Gazans were given the opportunity to create a civic infrastructure replete with schools, stores, hospitals and the requisite utilities to operate them. They did not, as it would have required them to accept the existence of the state of Israel, which they could not do.  Instead, they voted to declare Hamas the legal quasi-government, and we know the results.  Cement intended for buildings has been used to build tunnels underneath Israel’s borders.  Funds earmarked for the citizens have been used for missil...

I have just returned from Israel! My last trip was in 1996, when I went to an educator’s conference and spent time visiting friends and relatives. Then we started having our family, and things got busy with being a mom, working and establishing our life in Pittsburgh. I have been yearning to go back for years and finally found the perfect opportunity.

I participated in the Partnership 2gether Volunteers Mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. I also knew I would want to spend time with friends and relatives and therefore went three days before the mission and stayed for the Shabbat afterwards.

The mission was an incredible opportunity to travel with a diverse group of Pittsburghers (ages 50 - 87 from all parts of our city), and contribute to our partner region - Karmiel/Misgav. We learned about many of the projects funded by our Federation. We went to the Children’s Village where we met families who take in 10 foster children and raise them. We visited Krembo Wings, a you...

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