Causes

The Chabad House in Dharamsala

Chabad Dharamsala from Sarah Lehat on Vimeo.

The Chabad House in Dharamsala, initiated by the Droro Shaul, and was established in 2000. Before becoming a Rabbi, Shaul now 38, was simply an explorer searching for meaning. Through his journey he encountered many things he learned yet he felt he lacked one thing, the one thing that many of us seem to search for: spirituality. Being that he was in India he headed to the monastery, here he began his studies to becoming a monk. After giving it a fair chance he did not feel the emptiness in his soul fill with what he hoped would be great faith and so he turned to Judaism. Here he started to feel more absolute, the many questions he had seemed to be answered. He found purpose and meaning in his life.

This is when he opened the Chabad House in Daramsalla. The emissaries are working all over the area of Dharamsala, including the town of Meclod Ganje and the village of Bagsu; it became a designated place that offered travelers including the Jewish community in the area an array of services and activities. The purpose for the Chabad House is to assist the Jewish community physically and spirituality. It has made significant changes within the community; yet they are not solely for the Jewish demographic they are open to anyone who is need of assistance and in search of spiritual healing. If you happen to be lost and in need of food, you can count on the Chabad house to take you in; there have been numerous touching stories on how they have helped individuals coming from different background and different beliefs just because they find it their duty to give and help anyone who asks for it.

They offer course which they call “College Hbibota” which is described as a course that is a “journey of love in the depths of the soul” it is a six week program which explores topics such as; Tree of life, psychtheraphy according to the method of Baal Sheim Tiv, workshop testimony from Jewish cooking, relaxation and meditation according to the Kabbalah and many more. The Chabad House is not limited to just the school it offers many more courses and workshops and it also invites the community to help.

The Chabad House is now open year round and their arms are always opened to welcome anyone and everyone. Learn more on their site here

 You can donate here:

England: Wellspring Chabad
Barclays Bank, Account no: 40510947
Charity no 267217, sort code 20-82.94
IBAN: GB82 BARC 2082 944905109 47
Swift: BARCG22
Address: 2 Erskine House, Homesfild NW11 6HN London, UK

America Contact: The Inner Wellspring
Account no: 000192500627365
Swift: CHASES33
Address: 1376 Carrol St. Brooklyn, N.Y 11213, USA

Israel Contact: Yichuda Illah
Account no: 000000 296795
IBAN: IL750126150000000296-795
Swift: POALILIT
Address: P.O Box 15028, 76150 Rehovolt, Isreal

Australia: Dror Moshe Shaul
ANZ Bank
Account no: 183391648
BSB: 013214

India: Dror Moshe Shaul
Bank of India, Account no. 793110100005437
Swift: BKIDINBBCHD
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Celebrating Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

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On November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the most influential American Novelist of the twentieth century and one of the great Humanist of his time was born. “Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishments after you are dead.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr exerted this energy and you can see this sort of selflessness and light attitude throughout his works and his life.

Vonnegut enlisted in the United States Army while attending Cornell University, majoring in Chemistry, the army transferred him to Carnegie Institute of Technology and later to the University of Tennessee. During this time his mother, whom many claim, is to be the only women he truly ever loved, committed suicide the night before Mother’s Day. This is only the beginning of his compelling life.  Once World War II came around he was reassigned to a combat because of lack of man power. Vonnegut was imprisoned in Dresden where he was captured. Fortunately, he was part of a group of American prisoners whom survived the bombing in an underground slaughterhouse where he was being sheltered which the Germans called Schlachthof Fünf (Slaughterhouse Five). Having to witness the allied firebombing of the city and complete devastation of its outcome, these experiences inspired his famous novel Slaughterhouse-Five. He would not write this novel for another 20 years or so. He notes “I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden, since all I would have to do would be to report what I had seen,” He claimed this work to be a “failure” but it is clear that the audience disagrees, it quickly became a bestseller and helped recognize Vonnegut as an exceptional writer.

Report on the Barnhouse Effect was Vonneguts first published short story, around the same time he moved to Cape Cod to fully dedicate his time to writing. His first Novel Player Piano (1952) depicting a dystopian era in which human workers are replaced by machines, an ironically relevant theme in our current society, is also theme that has makes a constant appearance in all his works. The Sirens of Titans(1959), Cat’s Cradle(1963) as well as various other short stories shortly followed. When the 1960’s came around his style of writing started to morph and had more autobiographical approach. This is when Slaughterhouse-Five came along as well as other renowned works like Breakfast for Champions (1973) which also became a best-selling novel.

Vonnegut distinct and persuasive writing style combined satire, humor and science fiction to create some of his best works. His novels were celebrated and even closely studied; various universities had courses that analyzed Vonnegut’s writing in depth. Little do his fans know but he too had a career as a graphic artist beginning this career with the illustrations for Slaughterhouse-five and continued to develop with Breakfast for champions.  Some of his other works were exhibited at the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd in New York. Nanette Vonnegut, Vonnegut’s daughter, published a book of her father’s drawings in May of 2014 entitled Kurt Vonnegut’s Drawings.

Also recognized for his political views, Kurt Vonnegut was a lifetime member of the American Civil Liberties Union and was known to frequently address many moral issues. In 1968 he signed the “Writers and Editors war Tax Protest” pledge which vowed to refuse tax payment in protest against the Vietnam War. He was also not shy in voicing his opinion which did cause controversy at times. Isn’t this what we love about Vonnegut though, his true to self comments.

Vonnegut’s influence extends beyond literature, his wit and artistic bohemianism accompanied by his political point of view have made the audience recognize him as a strong intellectual character that abandons social conventions and although has gone through hardships he has been able to stay optimistic and true to his beliefs and craft.

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning to do afterward.” — Kurt Vonnegut

And in Celebration of Veterans day or in his case Armistice day, here is a quote from Breakfast of Champions.

“So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.”

– Breakfast of Champions (1973)

Understanding and Doing our Part on Veterans Day

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Veterans Day was created to honor, give thanks and pay our respect to those brave men and woman who have served their nation. These individuals have selflessly set aside their everyday lives in order to defend ones country and freedoms, this willingness and sacrifice is admired by us all here at The Dina Collection. This type of courage and dedication is what makes a nation strong. Take some time to understand the history of the Holiday itself, how the holiday was originally called “Armistice Day” and was first celebrated on November 11, 1919 which happened to be the first anniversary of World War I.

 

While we cannot even begin to repay these souls for wanting to help us seek peace, we can surely assist with easing any difficulty that they may be experiencing such as physical, psychological or even financial hardship. There are various ways we can show our gratitude, here are a couple foundations where you can donate:

National Veterans Foundation

Disabled Veterans Foundation 

Veterans Support Foundation 

Purple Heart Foundation 

I Mustache You a Question!

Welcome to November also known as “Movember” or “No Shave November,” the month where many are beyond ecstatic to not have to shave. It is the month where we see many trying to emulate signature mustaches such as the “Artist” like Salvador Dali, the “Genius” like Einstein, or maybe even the “Philosopher” like Friedrich Nietzsche. Whoever or whatever the reason, facial hair has become a popular accessory for November as well as a trend that contributes to a great cause.

Movember started as a nonprofit organization to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer. According to the Movember Foundation, in 2013 they rose around $559 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries!

Another great foundation is No Shave November, which simply raises awareness for cancer, encouraging women to participate as well. That’s right ladies, you are allowed to bring the 70’s back this month; let your hair loose and those legs get mangly for a wonderful cause.

Yossi Dina himself when he had some hair!

Yossi Dina himself when he had some hair!

You can join a team or do it solo, either way this is a fun way to raise awareness and not worry about having an excuse for sporting a shaggy look this month.

If you would like to participate or donate, please feel free to go on Movember Foundation’s site.  Or go to No Shave Novembers site,  Make this Movember count and form a part of a great initiative!

Here are some famous Mustaches!

Eagle & Badge Foundation Auctions off Dina Collection

The Eagle & Badge Foundation, a philanthropic organization created by the members and supporters of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, helps police officers’ families in times of need, as well as children in the communities served by LAPD officers. On Saturday, November 16th they celebrated the 2013 Eagle & Badge Gala “In the Line of Duty” Awards.

Hosted by veteran broadcaster Mary Hart, the awards honored supporters of law enforcement and public safety and the four honorees included: California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, President of SAG-AFTRA Ken Howard, LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino, and Philanthropist/Businessman Shlomo Rechnitz.

Awards, Auctions and the Dina Collection

Dominique at the Eagle & Badge Foundation GalaThe awards opened with a performance of the National Anthem by Queen Latifah Show’s favorite girl group, Identity4Pop. A delicious dinner was served with an amazing dessert, followed by the awards and live auction, which included a jewelry suite of sapphire earrings and ring donated by us at the Dina Collection. Later in the evening there was a special performance by Two-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat who was a delight to hear and just as amazing in person as she is on the radio. Members from the entertainment, political and law enforcement community were all at the Gala to show their support including actor Quinton Aaron (known for The Blind Side), actress and award-winning singer Florence LaRue (from the group 5th Dimension), and our very own Dominique (Beverly Hills Pawn) who represented The Dina Collection in our support to raise funds for the cause.

And the highest bid goes to…

Dominique enjoyed the Gala very much and when asked how ‘cwazy’ she got at the silent auction she said “The bidding was out of control! I spent a lot of money – I thought I was in Vegas!” Our spies at the event witness Dominique running back and forth to the auction table to keep a hawk eye on the competitive bids. Her efforts we well received as she won fabulous tickets to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix. Her words to the defeated bidders “I’ll be riding in the Pacer Car so watch out y’all!’ She wasn’t the only one bidding up a storm, an eight week old German Shepherd puppy was auctioned off for an astounding $4,000! We are just glad the Dina Collection sapphire jewelry suite went for $4,500 – although we LOVE us some adorable doggies goodness to be outbid for a dog would be a bad thing in our book and we’d never hear the end of Yossi saying “A dog? Are you Sewious?”

For more information on the Eagle & Badge Foundation please visit the eagleandbadgefoundation.com.

Eagle & Badge Foundation

Message from Yossi on Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day I would like to honor all military veterans and send a special remembrance to all of those who have supported the fight for truth, equality and peace thought the world.

As a young man I served for three years as a top commander parachutist in the Special Unit of the Israeli Army. I lost a lot of friends in the war and I have a strong appreciation for Veterans Day. I traveled to Israel three months ago just to reunite with my veteran countrymen and I am blessed to have served with them and to still know them many years later.

This day reminds us to never forget those who have died for our freedom, and to remember that they are the reason we should strive to keep history from repeating itself by doing what is right and honorable in our every day lives.

Sincerely,

Yossi Dina