4

Paging American Mayors

Today, the news story that broke my Facebook news feed and the Internet worldwide (my apologies to Kim Kardashian) was what happened in Israel. When Israel hits the headlines, there’s a 75% chance that it’s bad news, and the newest incident/terrorist attack/”terrorist attack”/whatever CNN wants to call it felt particularly close to home.

Among the four dead, three were American citizens.

Here’s the rundown: Two Israeli Palestinian brothers storm into a synagogue in Har Nof, a very religious neighborhood in Jerusalem which has not been the scene of many acts of violence, armed with a gun, an axe, and a meat cleaver. Shouting “Allah’u akbar,” they attacked the men who were praying there. Nine were wounded, and four died: Moshe Twersky, a prominent rabbi from Boston; Rabbi Arieh Kupinsky, a Detroit native;  Cary William “Kalman” Levine, from Kansas City; and Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, originally from London and holding dual Israeli/UK citizenship. All were married and in their 50s/60s. Between them, they were fathers to 17 children and even more grandchildren. In addition, a Druze policeman who came to the rescue was shot in the crossfire, and died a short while after.

Boston.

Detroit.

Kansas City.

My first instinct was to go to the websites of each city’s largest newspaper and see what they had to say about their lost denizens. I found the Boston Globe, the Detroit Free Press, and the Kansas City Star. Surely they had family, friends, and community leaders who were devastated.

In these articles, however, I noticed a trend.

Here is a list of everyone who was quoted in the articles:

President Barack Obama. Richard M. Joel (Yeshiva University). Eric Nelson (Maimonides School). Yehuda Yaakov (Israeli Consul, Boston). Michael Zwick (friend of Kupinsky). Jordana Wolfson (Akiba Hebrew Day School). Beverly Phillips (Jewish Community Relations Council of Metro Detroit). Rabbi Michael Cohen (Young Israel of Oak Park). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Secretary of State John Kerry. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Yosef Posternak (Witness). Yohanan Danino (Israeli Chief of Police). Alan Edelman (Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City). Jonathan Bein (Brother-in-law of Kalman Levine). Shimon Kraft (Childhood friend of Kalman Levine).

Who is missing?

Let’s see…the mayors of the cities of Boston, Detroit, and KCMO. State governors. Representatives. Congressman. Senators. Anyone from the United States of America who is not either in the federal government or a representative from the Jewish community. Where are they, and why haven’t they said anything? After all, these were their constituents, their taxpayers, and first and foremost, residents and natives of their hometowns. And they were brutally murdered in a terrorist attack, while praying in a house of worship in a foreign country. Remember Natalee Holloway, the Alabama girl who never returned from her trip to the Caribbean? Her state governor Bob Riley wagged his finger at the entire island of Aruba and issued a travel boycott. What about you, Governor of Michigan?

I considered the chance that maybe the reporters and news wires had missed the cities’ mayors in their rush to get the word out, so I decided to go to each mayor’s personal website and see if he put up something, a statement or a picture or anything, about what happened to a resident from his city. In the Press Room section of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s website, an article about the arts in Boston from a few days ago. Sly James, from Kansas City? Wrote about Summer Youth Employment yesterday. And today’s news from Mark Duggan in Detroit? Auto insurance.

Now, I’m not implying that employing our youth and insuring our automobiles is unimportant, but people in these cities may not be aware of the fact that someone who once lived in their ZIP code was murdered today. And those who do get word of it could wonder: what does this mean if I go to Israel, or anywhere abroad; would I be safe, and if not, would any public official who I might have campaigned for or voted for or shaken hands with give a darn? And would they make it public? How public? Would there be a memorial day for me in my hometown? Would my parents, siblings, children receive any sort of encouraging message from those who claim to have their jobs at the hands of “the people,” act for “the people,” and represent “the people” of their city to the United States and to the world?

It’s only been two days, but even in just two days all of the people listed above came out of the woodwork and said something. Elected officials, where have you been? If something like this happened in your city, by now you would have addressed the public, called an investigation, and offered public/private sympathies to the family. And one of the victims was the son of an actual person, with a Wikipedia entry, and everyone knows that if it’s on Wikipedia, that shit’s legit, # sarcasmbutyeahitskindatrue.

Most likely, no mayors, governors, senators or city councilmen will happen to bounce on over here and read this, and because I have a paper to finish, a suitcase to pack and some pizza that’s calling my name, I can’t contact every single one of them. But if I could page these three mayors, I’d tell them the truth and if they didn’t believe me, I’d give them the names of the families.

And if they happen to be reading this, then, welcome, and please don’t sue me 🙂 I am nicer than this normally, I promise.

***

Works Cited

Adler, Eric. “Two rabbis killed in Jerusalem attack have Kansas City ties.” Local. Kansas City Star. 18 November 2014.

Rosen, Andy, John R. Ellement and Peter Schworm. “One of four men murdered in Israel has ties to Boston area.” Metro. The Boston Globe. 18 November 2014.

Warikoo, Niraj, Zlati Meyer and Tia Goldenberg. “Rabbi killed in Jerusalem attack grew up in Oak Park.”

2

Geocaching Milestones: #100-#500

Today was one of those days where the skies played hide-and-seek. After finding eight geocaches in the morning, I took a break for lunch, and by the time I came out of the Starbucks, it decided to monsoon. I managed to find four as the rain got progressively worse. Then, I had no cohice but to head home. Just as it was letting up, I decided to pull over to get a quick P&G and of course, the moment I open the door, the monsoon decides to return. At least I got twelve.

Nothing much else happened today, so I’ll share some stories of geocaching milestones I’ve gotten.

#100: BROKEN AND HOLEY, Ma & Pa Trail, Baltimore County, Maryland

The owners of this cache made it Premium Only so I can’t read my log, which I’m sure was completely off-the-wall. I was with my dad and some other geocachers, and we kept running into others as we walked along the trail finding geocaches. It was a huge pretzel container that was standard size back then but would be ENORMOUS by today’s geocaching standards. I got my dad to take a picture of me with it, sitting on a log in my Virgin Orlando T-shirt, scrubs, and green Israeli Army hat (that disappeared, unfortunately, along the years). Joining the Century Club (100 caches) was probably something big back then (maybe I got a certificate from MGS?), but when CCCooperAgency said that after 500, the charm would wear off, she was right.

#200: Woods of Woodholme, Baltimore, Maryland

This one, hidden by my friends not far from my house, was my 200th find. I found it the day after we got back from the Chicago trip (where I’d hoped to have gotten #200 but was just one short) and it was just a tupperware. I was wearing my red Chicago shirt that I’d just gotten a few days earlier.

#300: Meltdown 2004, Columbia, Maryland.

This was a tupperware under a rock in Columbia. All I remember was that I was with my dad, it was winter, and I was in my big black coat.

#400: DARWINIAN DAYDREAMS, Baltimore, Maryland.

I don’t remember this one at all. I was probably with my dad, and the picture shows it was a pill bottle and I was wearing a brown shirt.

#500: Spice Market, Kansas City, Missouri.

This was a nano cache in downtown Kansas City, and one of the last caches from that trip, which we found a few hours before getting on the plane. It was a button attached to a sign at this deserted market with a big water wheel where I bought a T-shirt. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of myself at this cache, thanks to what happened to my camera on that trip.