Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Caleb R. Newton

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  • JNFutures Central Florida continues to gather steam

    Caleb R. Newton|Apr 8, 2016

    Greater Orlando’s Chapter of the Jewish National Fund’s Young Professionals Group, JNFutures, continues to grow, now having held their second installment of “Hands-on Hebrew,” a highly interactive and social Hebrew language and culture learning experience based out of Chabad of O’Town in Downtown Orlando. The Hebrew classes have attracted up to almost two dozen people as of their most recent one on March 29, and the participants have had a great time sharing food and the experience of learning Hebrew nouns and verbs. At the first class, he... Full story

  • Former Russia Today news agency journalist comes to UCF

    Caleb R. Newton|Apr 8, 2016

    American journalist Liz Wahl was welcomed by the University of Central Florida pro-Israel student group Knights for Israel on the evening of March 28, where she discussed the seriousness of world media's heavy hand in global action on many issues, including in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wahl has experience with this media power, be that power positive or negative, as she gained notoriety for resigning from the often challenged news agency Russia Today in the midst of their... Full story

  • Netanyahu calls for unity after Brussels attacks

    Caleb R. Newton|Apr 1, 2016

    Political leaders around the globe, including United States presidential candidates from both major parties and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all had words to say as to what they perceived as the best response to the suicide bombings carried out by Islamic State operatives at a metro station and airport that killed at least 34 people in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22. Netanyahu’s remarks were delivered for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2016 Policy Conference on March 22. After “sending his condolences” to the vic... Full story

  • Attitudes toward immigration

    Caleb R. Newton|Mar 11, 2016

    An overflowing, standing room only crowd at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida welcomed Central Florida’s own Mitchell Bloomer and Duke University’s Imam Abdullah Antepli as they co-presented the Feb. 25, forum titled, “Is History Repeating Itself: Jewish and Muslim Immigrant Experiences in America.” The forum treaded near the grounds of the controversial, even as one of the speakers noted, and a significant police security presence was on the premises for the evening. The contentious issue was brought about b... Full story

  • Why I support Bernie Sanders for president

    Caleb R. Newton|Mar 11, 2016

    I support Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for United States president 2016, and not because he is a Jew, that is just an added bonus—although Judaism does contribute to my reasoning as to why I support him. I believe that individuals should be strengthened above any sort of governmental machine. Individuals should come first, and everything else should be far behind in importance. Life and health should not be just another variable, rather, it should be the decider. I believe that Judaism generally communicates the same principle, t... Full story

  • Middle East affairs expert, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, comes to Central Florida

    Caleb R. Newton|Feb 19, 2016

    Middle East affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar spoke at three events across Central Florida during the first two weeks of February 2016. The first event, on the evening of Feb. 4, was at Chabad of North Orlando, while the other two were back to back on Feb. 9, the first hosted by Chabad of UCF and the second hosted by the UCF Student Group Knights for Israel. As Kedar explained at UCF Chabad, the real reason behind the contention over Jerusalem is key to the entire issue that the Palestinians... Full story

  • IDF soldier encourages JNFuture group to make a difference in Israel

    Caleb R. Newton|Feb 12, 2016

    The Central Florida Jewish Community was honored to welcome elite Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier and Jewish National Fund (JNF)/ Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush to a Feb. 2 evening event in Winter Park, hosted by the Central Florida division of the JNF Young Professionals Group, JNFuture. Harush was, in the midst of his career in the IDF, involved in the 2014 operation to find the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping of the three boys immediately prior to Operation Protective Edge, known to some as the Summer 2014 Gaza war. Harush had... Full story

  • Dealing with the bomb threat at Jewish Academy of Orlando

    Caleb R. Newton|Feb 5, 2016

    On Jan. 26, the Roth Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Orlando’s Facebook page posted a letter from Executive Director David Wayne explaining that the Jewish Academy of Orlando had received a bomb threat, but that the area was found “clear” and everyone was safe. The story circulated throughout both the local and global Jewish media, but a Jan. 28 Google search for “maitland bomb threat” brought up no results more current than the actual day of the incident, Jan. 26. Even if the outside world forgets, the Jewish Community of Central F... Full story

  • Iran and Saudi Arabia's conflict gives Israel an opportunity

    Caleb R. Newton|Jan 15, 2016

    The latest explosion of populist conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia has effectively produced a temporary Middle Eastern Arab alliance with Israel. The common threat of Iran has united the Saudi Arabia aligned Arab world, placing nation after nation on Israel's side in the issue of the security of the Middle East. This security alignment between Israel and the Arabs is besides the Israeli economic and cultural presence that is growing throughout the Arab World and the potential for cooperatio... Full story

  • The Jewish say in the issues behind the Republicans' plans to fight global terrorism

    Caleb R. Newton|Dec 25, 2015

    Part 3 of a 3-part series The Republican Party’s candidates for the 2016 presidential race have, since the Paris terror attacks on Nov. 13, 2015, and the San Bernardino terror attack on Dec. 2, 2015, placed an increasing emphasis on their proposed measures aimed at increasing America’s national security. These proposals range from the intense to the laughable and, to some, the intensely laughable. Regarding the Islamic State (ISIS) group, an increasing threat to the West, multiple candidates support a ground operation in the Middle East aga... Full story

  • The Republican Presidential Primary in light of terrorism and the U.S.­-Israel relationship

    Caleb R. Newton|Dec 18, 2015

    Part 2 of a 3-part series The international and domestic threat of terrorism is driving the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary's principal concerns and outcome, as repeatedly related at the Republican Jewish Coalition's (RJC's) Dec. 3, 2015, Presidential Candidates' Forum held in Washington, D.C., with 13 of the Republican Primary candidates speaking. Addressing this terrorist threat is linked to an increased American security alliance with Israel as multiple candidates noted in their... Full story

  • Time to woo the Jews, maybe: Israel issues at the RJC Presidential Candidate Forum

    Caleb R. Newton|Dec 11, 2015

    Part 1 of a 3-part series. The Republican Jewish Coalition held on Dec. 3, 2015, their 2016 Presidential Candidates Forum, with 13 of the remaining 14 Republican candidates in “one location to talk about the most important issues in the 2016 race.” Naturally, the forum centered on topics especially important to the Jewish Community, including the lately strained topic of U.S./Israel relations. The real frontrunners in the race elicited responses from applause to booing with their points about Israel. First up with the most direct Israel foc... Full story

  • The Muslim extremist who stopped hating Israel

    Caleb R. Newton|Nov 27, 2015

    British born Muslim Kasim Hafeez made the remarkable journey from an adherent of Islamic extremist ideology to a proud Zionist, and finally, to Room 116 of the University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration on the night of Nov. 18. While there, Ben Suster and the UCF Knights for Israel student group hosted Hafeez for a talk before a standing-room-only audience titled "The Day I Stopped Hating Israel," discussing his journey from British Muslim to Muslim extremist to Israeli... Full story

  • The real reason for the Night of Broken Glass

    Caleb R. Newton|Nov 20, 2015

    Nov. 9, 2015, was the 77th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” the term applied to the night of Nov. 9- 10, 1938, when, across Nazi Germany and German-annexed Austria, 91 Jews were murdered, tens of thousands of Jews were placed in Concentration Camps, and 267 Synagogues and 7,500 Jewish owned shops and businesses were destroyed by gangs of Nazis and other anti-Semitic persons. The news of the brutalization was known around the world, but no national government was willing to help the Jews under Nazi rule. The und... Full story

  • Sesame Street's lessons for the Jews: Dr. Lewis Bernstein at the Dali Museum

    Caleb R. Newton|Nov 20, 2015

    Nov. 10, 2015, was the 46th anniversary of the launch of the children's television program "Sesame Street" back in 1969. The Jewish Community's Dr. Lewis Bernstein worked on both the original American version and the Israeli-Palestinian versions of the show for many years. On Nov. 4, the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties, Florida, hosted Bernstein as guest speaker for their 2016 Campaign Launch Party, "The Art of Giving," held at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg,... Full story

  • An update on terrorism from UCF researcher Jonathan Matusitz

    Caleb R. Newton|Nov 6, 2015

    University of Central Florida (UCF) Associate Professor of Human Communication and terrorism researcher Jonathan Matusitz presented "An Update on Terrorism: Terrorism and Communication" to the Central Florida Community on Oct. 29 at the Women's Club of Casselberry. His presentation covered, in the course of explaining terrorism, 15 reasons propelling it in the world today. As he stated, terrorism is more complex than to be entirely reduced to 15 reasons, with no universally accepted definition.... Full story

  • Palestinian activist delivers a personal perspective on the Middle East conflict

    Caleb R. Newton|Oct 30, 2015

    Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid addressed the nature of Palestinian society and conflict at the Oct. 19 event titled "Life Under the Palestinian Authority: A Palestinian Speaks Out," held at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Born in the Jordanian occupied Old City in East Jerusalem in 1958, he spent the first 33 years of his life in the Shuafat refugee camp and was a prominent figure of the First Intifada. He was arrested in 1995 by the Palestinian Presidential Guard for... Full story

  • Netanyahu: Stop justifying the terror and murder of Jews

    Caleb R. Newton|Oct 23, 2015

    As the Palestinian terrorism continued to grow worse in Israel on the afternoon of Oct. 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a Hebrew/English press conference for domestic and foreign journalists at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. The event was broadcast live online by ynet news, and it coincided with continued terror carried out by Palestinians, including stone attacks on Israeli civilians driving on a highway. Netanyahu and his team took the opportunity to address what he called the two “big lies” being per... Full story

  • Netanyahu proclaims 'Stand with Israel' in UNGA speech

    Caleb R. Newton|Oct 9, 2015

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Debate in the late morning of Oct. 1, 2015. Twitter accounts from inside the Debate Hall reported that the hall was packed in anticipation of Netanyahu before his address began, and the crowds greeted Netanyahu with a round of applause upon his assumption of the role at the speakers' podium, one of the only Heads of State to be greeted as such. Netanyahu's address to UNGA was straightforward. As he said,... Full story

  • Abbas delivers virulent propaganda address at U.N.

    Caleb R. Newton|Oct 9, 2015

    Not so much as a willingness to abide by past agreements with the Israelis or the rest of the world can now be said on the part of the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas, the so-called president of Palestine, announced on Sept. 30, 2015, at the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 70) that the Palestinians are no longer bound by any standing international law, treaty, or norm. He explicitly stated that he and the Palestinians are no longer bound by the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, meaning, as Abbas explicitly noted, that Palestinian... Full story

  • Israel finds few allies at UNGA 70

    Caleb R. Newton|Oct 9, 2015

    Governments from around the world had their say at the speaker’s podium of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) general debate held in New York from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. The Jewish and Israeli communities have stakes in many of the issues addressed by the speakers, including the Iran nuclear deal, the question of the Palestinians, and overall stability in the Middle East region. Israel and the general Jewish community found barely an ally among the nations present at the UN. Many countries followed a script of s... Full story

  • JFNA hosts webcast of Obama's address to Jewish Community

    Caleb R. Newton|Sep 11, 2015

    On Aug. 28, 2015, the American Jewish Community participated in the live broadcast of the "Special Address by President Barack Obama" presented by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The address served as an opportunity for dialogue between the president and the American Jewish people on the issue of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The event was moderated and hosted jointly by the JFNA's Michael Siegal and the... Full story