Jewish Preppers?

Some people finding our website may be wondering what is a Prepper and why does it have a religious affiliation? Well the short answer is...A Prepper is the modern day survivalist. It's not (necessarily) a right-wing militiaman preparing for Armageddon in the boondocks of Montana. But better represented by a normal, educated, middle class individual perhaps living in the most urban of cities, preparing themselves physically and mentally for any upcoming disaster, natural or man-made. This could include anything from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, social unrest to an act of terrorism. Preparations include: food supply, medical supply, weapons supply etc. and the knowledge and skills to use them. Of course, a Jewish Prepper is just a designation for a small niche of the Prepper Community that is of the Jewish Faith. We are non-profit and nonpartisan. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Your Tax Dollar at work: Improving Mosques Overseas

Sorry about the brief lead-in commercial. I'll try getting it out later. Imagine the outcry if US tax dollars supported a synagogue in Israel, in -- well, anywhere.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Red Cross looks at providing kosher food

Red Cross looks at providing kosher food

American humanitarian movement says changing demographics have led to demand for food that meets specific cultural, religious needs

Associated Press
Published: 02.19.11, 09:41 / Israel Jewish Scene


The American Red Cross has been looking at ways it can improve its response to the next disaster and it's found some surprising answers.


Joel Sullivan, CEO of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross, said changing demographics have led to a demand for food that meets the specific cultural and religious needs.


The Red Cross is looking for vendors that can supply vegetarian, kosher and halal meals.


The Tennessean reports that Muslim leaders have also asked the charity to look into providing separate spaces for men and women at their shelters.



Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Congregation Sherith Israel in Nashville said the fact that people are complaining about the food shows what a good job the Red Cross is doing with the essentials.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4018625,00.html

Thursday, February 10, 2011

IMF calls for dollar alternative

By Ben Rooney, staff reporterFebruary 10, 2011: 4:37 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.

SDRs represent potential claims on the currencies of IMF members. They were created by the IMF in 1969 and can be converted into whatever currency a borrower requires at exchange rates based on a weighted basket of international currencies. The IMF typically lends countries funds denominated in SDRs

While they are not a tangible currency, some economists argue that SDRs could be used as a less volatile alternative to the U.S. dollar.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF, acknowledged there are some "technical hurdles" involved with SDRs, but he believes they could help correct global imbalances and shore up the global financial system.

"Over time, there may also be a role for the SDR to contribute to a more stable international monetary system," he said.

The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in U.S. policy.

In addition to serving as a reserve currency, the IMF also proposed creating SDR-denominated bonds, which could reduce central banks' dependence on U.S. Treasuries. The Fund also suggested that certain assets, such as oil and gold, which are traded in U.S. dollars, could be priced using SDRs.

Oil prices usually go up when the dollar depreciates. Supporters say using SDRs to price oil on the global market could help prevent spikes in energy prices that often occur when the dollar weakens significantly.
The dollar alternatives

Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said at a conference in Washington that IMF member nations should agree to create $2 trillion worth of SDRs over the next few years.

SDRs, he said, "will further diversify the system."

Dollar firms after starting 2011 weak

The dollar has been drifting lower so far this year as the global economy improves and investors regain their appetite for more risky assets such as stocks and commodities.

After rising above 81 in early January, the dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of other international currencies, eased below 77 earlier this week.

However, the dollar was higher Thursday against the euro, pound and yen as disappointing corporate results weighed on stock prices following several days of gains on Wall Street. The rally in the commodities market also cooled, with the price of oil and metals backing off recent highs.

In addition, renewed concerns about the debt problems facing troubled European economies put pressure on the euro and supported the dollar. The yield on Portugal's benchmark bond rose to a record high Wednesday, and borrowing costs for Ireland, Spain and Greece remain elevated.

"The market is shedding risk, with equities and commodities weakening and the U.S. dollar broadly stronger" said Camilla Sutton, currency strategist at Scotia Capital.

Traders were also digesting comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who told Congress Wednesday that despite a strengthening economic recovery, the unemployment rate remains high while inflation is "still quite low."

Those remarks reaffirmed the view that "the Fed would be very slow to tighten policy given its dual mandate of price stability and employment," analysts at Sucden Financial wrote in a research report.

Bernanke also urged lawmakers to come up with a "credible plan" to bring down "unsustainable" federal budget deficits.

"We expect that the outlook for the U.S. fiscal position will weigh heavily on the U.S. dollar in the quarters ahead," said Sutton. In the near-term, however, she said "a strengthening growth profile" could help provide "a temporary period of dollar strength." To top of page

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/10/markets/dollar/index.htm?hpt=T2

LDS Preparedness Manual #5.3 - Surviving in the City

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Urban Defense in a WROL by Israeli Prepper

Urban Defense in a WROL

I’ve been seeing a lot on this subject lately on Blogs and on YouTube. Most of the information being disseminated is sound, but because most of the people writing it have never encountered a WROL situation, and more specifically a situation where they would have to protect their family against prepared and determined attackers there is definitely a lot to add to the discussion.

Let me tell you a little about my experience in this subject. When I was eighteen I joined the U.S. Marine Corps. I spent four years in the Infantry as a Scout Sniper. I was taught standard U.S. tactics in subjects such as setting up a defensive position, patrolling, and assaulting a target. After the Marine Corps I moved to Israel. I live in one of the more dangerous areas of Israel, and I became a member of a Terrorism Response Team. Our team is extremely active and we respond at least once a week to some terrorism related incident. I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years about how terrorists operate, what they look for in planning their attack, and what factors disrupt their attack. I think that in a WROL the attackers will resemble terrorists far more than they will a military in their methods. Using standard Army tactics will not be very effective in that kind of scenario.

I live on an isolated hill surrounded by terrorist groups who would love to attack my family. When I first moved here I realized very quickly that my skills as a Marine were not sufficient to protect my family in this situation. Standard Military tactics do not work well against small mobile terror groups. This is the reason that Terrorism has been so successful.

Firstly, the reason that unconventional attackers usually succeed is that they place the utmost importance on the element of surprise. They will not attack if they lose the element of surprise. This is an extremely important point, because most people will not be able to enact any kind of defense in time. During the second Intifada, a mother and five children were murdered in my community. Two terrorists knocked on their door in the early evening. When the mother answered the terrorists stormed the house and began executing the family. By the time we got to the house it was too late. The terrorists were killed, but they succeeded in killing the entire family. This event shook our area, and many changes were made to prevent this kind of attack again.

The most significant change was that our security pushed out past the community border. The priority was early warning. You must know that you’re being attacked before they’re at your door. In my home I did the same thing on a smaller scale. My security starts with my outer fence. It is alarmed so that if it is cut it will trigger the alarm. Just inside of this fence I placed electronic eyes. If someone climbs my fence he will break the electronic beam upon landing. He then has to cross another fence which is alarmed. Within the second fence are my two dogs, their job is to bark and warn me and not to attack. It is important to keep your dogs well away from the perimeter fence. My neighbor’s dogs have been poisoned by intruders on multiple occasions. They simply throw a poisoned piece of meat over your fence. As you get closer to my house I have a series of motion detectors and IR cameras. Finally, it is essential that your house be hardened. Your priority is to slow down the attack so that you have time to prepare yourself and your family. You should put bars on all your windows and have strong multi lock doors. This will force most attackers to make noise and take some time to break into the house.

Every house in Israel has a bunker room; it is a room of reinforced concrete with a heavy metal door. It is essential that you have a safe place to put your children if you’re attacked. This room should have running water, a toilet, beds, food, and games to keep the kids calm. These incidents can take many hours (especially false alarms) until your security posture can be lowered.

Obviously it is essential that your tactical equipment be ready and always accessible. I divide my tactical gear into three levels. Level one is always on me, with no exceptions. It includes my pistol with Tactical light, my com, two spare pistol mags, and one spare m-16 mag which are always on my belt. Also, my rifle is always in the same room that I am in. Level two is my tactical bag. It is something I can grab quickly and throw on in a hurry. A tactical bag should include extra mags for both of your weapons, tactical first aid gear (accessible by you even if you’re wounded), optics for reconnaissance, and extra batteries for your com and all other gear. This is not a go to war bag try to keep this bag light; you need to be mobile and quiet. Level three is my tactical vest with bullet proof plates, and full gear. I will wear it when I respond to a terrorist attack where I may have to fight inside of a house, or if I have enough early warning of an attack on my house to get it on. I usually will not wear it when I am tracking or pursuing, because it decreases my speed and mobility.
Lastly, I want to talk about tactics. You can’t protect a house using western tactics. The incident at Waco is a prime example of that. Most homes will not be able to sustain a firefight. In most terror attacks that I have responded to the house was set ablaze during the battle. You can’t think of your home as Custer’s last stand. In Hue City, Vietnam the NVA defeated U.S. forces using an urban defense technique called the Urban Sprawl. This same technique was used by Hamas in the city of Jenin during operation defensive shield, and it is being used successfully today against U.S. troops in Iraq.
The concept is to develop multiple fighting positions in a star shaped matrix. All of these fighting positions are connected by protected trenches or tunnels. Also there is a protected avenue of escape from your fighting matrix. What this technique does is make your defense mobile and dynamic, instead of a static defense. Your attacker can not quite pin down your location, or any specific weakness in your position. This technique also eliminates the model of fighting positions surrounding your whole perimeter, and allows one team to cover multiple positions effectively. Lastly, you must never trust too strongly in your defense, and must always leave yourself and your family a protected escape.

You must use surprise against your attacker and keep him guessing. My experience is that the more you can slow them down the better your chances of success. Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these techniques to protect your family, but it would be prudent to put some of these measures in place, just in case.

SHOCKING: Postal Service warns of default as losses mount!!!!

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter February 9, 2011: 12:48 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The U.S. Postal Service warned Wednesday that it may default on some of its financial obligations later this year after reporting yet another quarterly loss.

The USPS, a self-supporting government agency that receives no tax dollars, said it suffered a loss of $329 million in the first quarter of the federal fiscal year 2011. That compares with a loss of $297 million a year ago.
The agency has been suffering from an ongoing decline in mail volume, which has undercut revenues, while retiree health care costs have been straining its reserves.
Excluding costs related to retiree benefits and adjustments to workers' compensation liability, the Postal Service said it had net income was $226 million in the first quarter, which ended December 31.

Despite ongoing cost-cutting efforts, the USPS said it expects to have a cash shortfall this year and to hit its federally mandated borrowing limit by September, when the government's fiscal year ends.

The agency said it will be forced to default on some of its financial obligations this year unless Congress acts to change a 2006 law that requires it to pay between $5.4 and $5.8 billion into its prepaid retiree health benefits each year.

"The Postal Service continues to seek changes in the law to enable a more flexible and sustainable business model," Patrick Donahoe, the Postmaster General, said in a statement. "We are eager to work with Congress and the Administration to resolve these issues prior to the end of the fiscal year."

The Postal Service has taken a number of steps to increase revenue, including m arketing initiatives and price increases. The agency raised rates an average of 3.6% in January.

It is also perusing more dramatic changes. Last year, the USPS submitted a request to the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the agency, to eliminate Saturday mail service. The Commission has yet to respond to the request, but a spokesman said it is in the "final phase" of making its decision.

The agency has also cut back on hours to save money. The agency expects to eliminate 40 million work hours this fiscal year as part of a plan to save $2 billion.
However, the agency is currently negotiating new contracts with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, which will probably object to cutting hours.

On the bright side, the Postal Service said improving economic conditions suggest the "worst of the precipitous volume decline during the recession is over." But mail volume continues to be anemic, rising only 1.5% in the first quarter as economic growth remains sluggish.


http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/09/news/economy/postal_service/

LDS Preparedness Manual #5.2 - Surviving in the City

Monday, February 7, 2011

Conquering the Food Storage Hurdle - By an Israeli Prepper

When I first became interested in preparedness, I was overwhelmed by all the steps I needed to take, and it seemed almost impossible to arrive anywhere close to what could be called prepared. I stuck it out, and started piece by piece. Over time I noticed that I had made progress in many areas, but had a block when it came to serious food storage. I realized that I had no real strategy for my food storage program, and because of Kosher restrictions I could not take “the easy way out”, and buy a year’s supply of mountain house meals. I gave the issue of food storage a lot of thought and eventually came up with a four tiered approach.

For me stage one was very easy. I bought a small supply of Kosher MRE’S. I bought only enough MRE’s for all of my family’s 72 hour bags, and I kept some extra meals in my vehicle. Although seemingly inconsequential this step really helped me mentally to get out of my food storage apathy. I now was prepared for short term disasters, and wouldn’t have to think about packing food from the pantry, or finding the right foods in the midst of a chaotic situation.

I then moved onto stage two. All I did was write down everything I bought from the grocery store over a two month period. I made a separate list of all the items that are non-perishable, and began a process called copy canning. Before I started, I organized a pantry space with two large shelving units. Then every time I did a shopping instead of buying one of the item that I needed, I would buy two of that same item. I would place the item on the shelving units with the newest item in the back of the shelf, and would only take the oldest item from the front of the shelf. Every time I used an item from my pantry I would write it on a shopping list posted on the pantry door, and off to the store I went to buy two more of that same item. I was amazed that in a matter of months I had at least three to four months of food put away, and I didn’t feel any significant change in my day to day life. I also really liked the fact that the foods that I acquired the most of, were the foods that my family already eats and likes best. Eventually I got up to about a six month supply of food using the copy canning method. This method has one limitation, which is that many of the foods I was buying only had a shelf life of one year or less. This factor limited me to keeping a six month supply so I could rotate my food without having to follow the expiration dates too closely. This stage was really gratifying, and really made me feel that I could conquer the beast of food storage. Of course this stage does not end completely, I have to always maintain and rotate my supply.

Stage three is significantly more difficult. There are two approaches to this stage and I chose the more difficult but I believe superior approach. The first approach is to buy many sacks of random bulk food staples (wheat, rice, beans, etc.) and throw them in 5 gallon buckets. I started with this method, but after three years I realized that I barely used any of them, and when I tried using some red beans found the taste bitter, which indicates they were deteriorating in nutrition and should be rotated. I had to eventually throw away massive amounts of food because they needed to be rotated. This really upset my Jewish sensibilities, and I vowed to myself never to throw away food again. In fairness to this approach, I did not use mylar bags to store the food. I put the food directly into five gallon buckets with a little diatomaceous earth for pest protection and sealed the buckets. If I would have used mylar bags and oxygen absorbers I would have extended the usability of those supplies to at least 10 years.

Nevertheless I don’t like this approach for two reasons. The first is that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to use these foods, and have enough trouble getting my kids to eat any food, let alone some boiled gruel. I didn’t see the usefulness in having a year’s supply of food that nobody really wanted to eat.

The second reason is a bit more subtle. In the event of a break down the types of foods that will be most lacking are fruits and vegetables. These foods provide many essential vitamins and minerals that we will need to stay healthy under stress, and perhaps more important is that these foods contain enzymes which are essential to your body breaking down food and absorbing nutrients and to many other essential functions of the body. If we were forced onto a diet of only staple foods with no enzymes or “living food” our health would suffer. Many grains and legumes can easily be sprouted which creates “living food” containing essential enzymes and which could under emergency circumstances take the place of fresh vegetables. Only food that is stored in an oxygen rich environment can be successfully sprouted. This rules out the Mylar bag method of storage, and meant that I had to figure out a way to use my staple food supplies within two to three years.

The second approach to stage three was really hard! It meant that my family and I had to make changes to the way we ate on a day to day basis. The only way to do this is gradually. Luckily I found a series of books by Rita Bingham which broke down step by step how to use all these staple foods in interesting ways that I never would have thought of. We started by making dinner one night a week out of only our food storage items. We experimented with different recipes from Rita’s books, and found which ones we liked best. Eventually we ended up with lots of meals that we actually liked using these staple foods. We eventually did the same thing with breakfast, lunch, treats and drinks until we really felt like we were not suffering at all eating from our food storage. Today the majority of our food is our staple food supply, we use our pantry of copy canned goods to complete the picture. We only have to go to the store once or twice a month. But if there was no store to go to, and we had to rely only on our bulk foods we could do so without much discomfort. I really feel that incorporating these whole foods into your everyday life can potentially be the deciding factor in the success of your food storage program. It is so important because it changes food storage from an action based in fear to an action that helps you and your family even if disaster never comes. You will always be stocked with healthy delicious food for your family for a fraction of the price of regular store bought foods.

Stage four in my food security program is to produce my own food. I know that for many people this seems way more than they can handle. Many put away some seeds in hopes that they can plant them if they need to. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. If you have never gardened before and have not properly prepared the soil where you will plant, you will have very limited success in garden production. It takes two to three years in my experience to build up the knowledge and experience of what will grow in your area, when to plant each type of vegetable, what type of soil each plant likes, how to deter the specific pests for each plant, etc. The idea that one could just throw some seeds down and expect real production is very unrealistic.

I recommend starting really small and keeping it simple. You really do not need a lot of space to have a productive garden. Also by starting small you can build up the needed experience and knowledge without having to invest all your time. So how small a space can you use for a productive garden? The answer is in a method called Square Foot Gardening pioneered by Mel Bartholomew. In his method a box of four feet by four feet can provide one person with one fresh salad everyday all year long.

Before we continue I must warn you that there is a potential Halachic problem with this method. This method spaces the individual plants very close together. This is called “Kilayim” or a forbidden mixture in Halacha. My understanding is that this Halacha does not apply outside of Israel, but it most definitely does apply in Israel. Please consult your Halachic authority.

If you decide that you want to get started in gardening I recommend Mel’s book, “Square Foot Gardening”. It explains all the steps needed to get started. I also recommend keeping a few chickens if your zoning and neighbors allow it. You can keep only hens with no rooster, and there will be very little noise from the chickens. The hens will still produce eggs, they just won’t be fertilized. You should get one egg a day from each hen for most of the year. Just with a square foot garden and some chickens you can really produce significant food for your family. Don’t think that you have to live in the country to do these things. There is a growing “Urban Homesteading” movement. Many people have small gardens, livestock, and poultry in big cities all over the world.
Whatever you decide is the right approach for you and your family the important thing is to break it down into small attainable steps, and to get started!

LDS Preparedness Manual #4 - Defense

LDS Preparedness Manual #3- OK, But What Do I Prepare For?

LDS Preparedness Manual #2 - The 7 Major Mistakes in Food Storage

LDS Preparedness Manual #1 - Preparedness Test

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Dire Warning to American Jews

A Dire Warning to American Jews

by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director,
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

Here in the United States, we Jews have the wonderful and unique freedom to own and use firearms in righteous self-defense. Many American Jews don’t know it, but America actually provides freer access to firearms ownership than Israel provides to its citizenry. By and large, an Israeli cannot own or carry a firearm unless he or she is now, or once was, a member of the Israeli military, and handguns are further restricted.

How unique is our freedom as American Jews? Our brothers and sisters living in other nations (excepting Israel) have no meaningful recourse to firearms use in moral self-defense. The citizenries of Germany, England, France, Spain, Australia, Russia, and dozens of other countries live disarmed by government diktat. The history of our People’s disarmament and slaughter spans continents and centuries … see "Gateway to Tyranny"

So why is it that some American Jews aggressively, even compulsively, refuse to arm themselves and learn the proper, safe, and strategic use of firearms? And why do so many Jews who have achieved political prominence – Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, and others – obsessively seek to force an unarmed victimhood mentality upon everyone else?

My Gentile friends who own firearms are confounded and indignant with this state of affairs. I’ve heard it more than once, to paraphrase in words that are generally not so directly leveled: “What’s wrong with you people?! How can a Jew be against personal gun ownership? Is it some sort of insanity?!”

And how can I answer them? These are not malevolent men and women spewing Jew-hatred. These are Righteous Gentiles (nearly all of them Christians) who on this issue show more practical concern for the Jewish people living around them than is displayed by those Jews themselves!

And these well meaning Gentiles continue to ask: “Why do powerful Jews like George Soros, Senator Charles Schumer, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and an army of other Jewish anti-gun advocates do what they are doing?” - see "No Guns for Jews"

Stand back for a moment and view this issue objectively. After all, how would you feel about what appears to be an entire ethnic group calling for your personal disarmament? Would you continue to respect that group? At what point might you actually begin to distrust or even hate them?

Endorsement of “gun control” by Jews in positions of power fuels American anti-Semitism unlike any other issue.

Ignore the supposed “causes” of anti-Semitism – an irrational hatred of Jews regardless of who we are or what we do. What can I say to a Gentile who mistrusts Jews on this specific issue of “gun control”?

Jews – and always remember, we are a tiny minority – live safely in America under the beneficent protection of Righteous Gentiles. If that protection evaporates, and especially if Jews purposefully and willfully keep ourselves disarmed, we are in grave danger.

There is only one way to live by the declaration “Never Again”: gun-hating Jews must repent of their na├»ve foolishness. We must encourage all Righteous Americans, Jew and Gentile alike, religious or not, to exercise their right to firearms ownership. And we must somberly embrace the resolve to use those arms in righteous defense should that horrific day ever come, G-d forbid.

Shalom,


Rabbi Dovid Bendory
Rabbinic Director
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership