July 27, 2023

Dear Community,

As promised, I am providing my annual report open to the community which appears at the end of this newsletter. I have taken the liberty of sharing a vision, but the final disposition of our building will be decided by the leadership of the community after a thorough feasibility study is completed. 

I want to commend the leader of one of our newest affiliates 7Dorim, Mr. Yousef Setareh-Shenas for his tenacious pursuit of all things Iranian and Jewish. He has my respect. You have an opportunity to get to know him better in this newsletter. 

Lisa Daftari, one of our brilliant young members knew when she was three years old that she wanted to be a journalist – she is a fine one.  She edits the Foreign Desk which I look forward to reading every morning. Israel’s judiciary is in the news. The article copied here with her permission gives a perspective that one does not often read. 

In the ELNET weekly briefing this week, I heard the Right Honourable Lord Eric Pickles put the issue of boycotting in memorable phrasing. We are pleased to quote him here with his permission. The Jewish people are very lucky to have such honorable people fighting our battle. 

Finally, please don’t miss the opportunity to be with us Monday evening, July 31st to hear the Honorable Consul General of Israel speak to us.   Please register. We look forward to seeing you. 

Tzom kal and Shabbat Shalom, 

M. Elie Alyeshmerni


Va’etchanan: The Power of Why

وئتخنان: قدرت “چرا؟”

In a speech to the Israelites, Moses says something very powerful to the young tribe. He reminds them that strength in numbers does not equate with actual impact. Hashem chose to foster the smallest of all nations and Israelites are told to remember the strength of their covenant with Hashem. That bond liberated them from bondage in Egypt and multiplied seventy Jews into as many as “the stars in the sky”. That bond defended them against other nations, famine, and thirst. That bond is their strength. Moses’ statement implies that Jews have an influence out of proportion to their numbers because we are all called on to be leaders, to take responsibility, to contribute, and bring the Divine Presence into the world. Precisely because we are small, we are each summoned to greatness.

JULY 31,  2023

AUGUST 2, 2023

The Foreign Desk is a multi-media news platform dedicated to reporting vital stories from around the world with an emphasis on their impact on human rights, global security and U.S. foreign policy. The Foreign Desk provides a free daily newsletter with the top-10 headlines of the day as well as a weekly podcast show featuring prominent scholars, analysts and lawmakers. 

Yousef Setareh-Shenas was born on July 1952 in Tehran, Iran. Upon completing his studies in industrial design, he was employed in a machine-manufacturing factory. His first publication appeared in 1971, titled, “Mashinhaye Rahsazi” (i.e. Road Construction Machines). In 1981, he published a second book, titled, “Az Gharha ta kampyooter” (i.e. From Caves to Computers), while also expanding his study on subjects that interested him, namely, spirituality, history, and astronomy. He also published academic articles in the journal of the Academic Research Institution of Iran, while also collaborating with the Bina Journal, a magazine on social and history topics belonging to the Tehran Jewish Committee. By tapping into his creativity, capability, and astuteness in design, he created several artistic and structural artefacts.

In 1998, Yousef published a book titled, “Osool Nagshe Keshi va Tarrahi Ghaleb” (i.e. Principles of Designing and Manufacturing [Industrial] Moldings), only to publish his first non-engineering book a year later, “Entebagh-e Lahzeha” (i.e. Synchronization of Time), which covers the history behind calendars and timekeeping. He also published another book at the same time — Chest of Haftara[1] — a religious, historical, and philosophical interpretation section of the Tanakh scripture, followed by “Shokoofehaye Ehsas” (i.e. Blossoms of Emotion). He also prepared a book collecting his own modern poetry and stories, titled, “Hesar dar Hesar” (i.e. Intertwined Fences) for publishing.

He reunited with his family in the United States in 2001 after living in separation for years. Soon, he published several articles in Persian magazines in Los Angeles and became a cultural activist. He also extracted the quadruple calendar — containing the Solar Hijri, Lunar Hijri, Gregorian, and Hebrew calendars — for the Iranians of the USA.

In order to expand his cultural activities, specifically connecting Jews around the world to one another, Yousef  conducted a research trip to Tehran in 2007 and finally, with the help of his friends, founded the 7dorim history and culture website.

Soon after, he founded the “Iranian Jews’ Research and Study Center” in order to collect documents pertaining to the history of Jews in Iran in the form of oral history. In the same year, “Ganjinehaye Haftara” (i.e. Chests of Haftara) was republished by the Tehran Jewish Committee Publications with an exquisite cover.

In 2010, he published some of his works, which were the result of years of research, in digital format on 7dorim, including “Astronomy in the period before technology”, “History and history makers”, and “Mythical beliefs”.

In 2018, he decided to republish his books, one of which is the new edition of his invaluable book, “Coinciding Moments”. 

Below is the link of one of his published articles regarding Mezuzah: 

“Boycotting South Africa was fighting racism.
Boycotting Israel is promoting racism.”  

The Right Honourable The Lord Pickles, PC

(Quote from ELNET (European Leadership Network) Weekly Briefing – July 24)

Eric Jack Pickles, Baron Pickles, PC (born 20 April 1952) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Brentwood and Ongar from 1992 to 2017. He served in David Cameron’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015. He previously served as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010 and was later the United Kingdom Anti-Corruption Champion from 2015-2017.

Pickles is the UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues, being appointed in 2015. He stood down as an MP at the 2017 general election, but has continued in his role as Special Envoy under Prime Ministers Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. He is currently the chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel in the House of Lords.

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