Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the January 7, 2022 edition


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  • Aliyah surges during pandemic

    Eliana Rudee|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) - Valerie Greenfeld, 58, immigrated to Israel just before Passover 2021 from Washington D.C., amid widespread travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. She began her quarantine immediately after arriving in Israel, which coincided with the first night of Passover. She had her own one-woman Passover seder and though it was a different way to celebrate the holiday than most years, she told JNS that she "felt very connected." Beginning the aliyah process in 2019,...

  • Tutu identified with Jews, criticized Israel's treatment of Palestinians

    Shira Hanau|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) - Desmond Tutu, the archbishop who identified closely with the historical suffering of the Jewish people in his forceful advocacy against apartheid in South Africa, died Sunday at age 90. Tutu, the first Black archbishop of Cape Town, used his role as a church leader to bring religion into the fight against apartheid, South Africa's repressive system of racial segregation. Advocating for nonviolence and, later, restorative justice, Tutu gained renown far beyond South Africa, earning a...

  • Covid pandemic nearing end?

    Abigail Klein Leichman|Jan 7, 2022

    (Israel21c via JNS) — The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is not a disaster and may even signal the end of the pandemic crisis, say two prominent physicians affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Speaking to international reporters on Zoom through Media Central, professor Zvika Granot and professor Amnon Lahad said the Omicron variant is more infectious and less aggressive than previous variants —which is a good sign. “Usually, viruses that are very aggressive are not very infectious, and viruses that are very infec...

  • Cleveland Jewish News expands

    Andrew Lapin|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) — At a time when many local Jewish news outlets are scaling back or shuttering operations altogether, the Cleveland Jewish News is expanding its footprint for the second time in three years. CJN’s publisher, the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, announced Dec. 21 its plans to begin serving the Jewish population of Akron, Ohio, after reaching an agreement with the Jewish Community Board of Akron to revamp the current Akron Jewish News as a monthly print newspaper and standalone website, beginning in February 2022. The current Dec...

  • JFS Orlando's 10 favorite things in 2021

    Jan 7, 2022

    Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando is very proud of all the work they have done over the past year to provide a family of services to the Orlando community. Here is a countdown list of JFS Orlando’s 10 favorite things in 2021: 10. Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry supplied food for more than 130,000 meals, and resumed picking up food from partners, including Fresh Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. 9. Family Stabilization Program helped over 100 families fight homelessness and become more self-sufficient for the long-term. 8. JFS c...

  • Jewish Pavilion honors Julie Levitt Bain at Fashion Show

    Alicia Lovejoy|Jan 7, 2022

    When choosing an honoree for the 2022 Jewish Pavilion Fashion Show, the Jewish Pavilion nominated one of its program directors, Julie Levitt Bain. Nancy Ludin, the executive director of The Jewish Pavilion shared, “Julie cares for her residents as if they are family. Even when one of Julie’s long-time residents moved to a facility that wasn’t assigned to Julie, she made sure that the weekly mahjong group that she organized continued for Ruth.” Bain organizes three to four Jewish Pavilion volunteers to play mahjong weekly with Ruth at the reh...

  • Let the Torah be your guide for enlightenment and laughter

    Jan 7, 2022

    There are no jokes in the Torah, but there is an abundance of wit, irony, word play, sarcasm and humor. On Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, Susan Bernstein, program director at the Jewish Pavilion, presented a Lunch and Learn program for residents at Oakmonte Village. Seeing that an afternoon of lighthearted learning would go a long way to brighten the winter days, Bernstein showed that the Torah could furnish this "entertainment" if one knows where to look. It may not be a coincidence that many modern...

  • Harry Reid, a pugnacious Senate majority leader with deep Jewish ties, dies at 82

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 7, 2022

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - When Harry Reid was 19, he wanted to marry Landra Gould. Her Jewish parents had other ideas. Reid, a middleweight boxer who converted to the Church of Latter-day Saints as a college student, got into a fistfight with Gould's father in her front yard. And then he and Landra eloped. Reid's pugilistic sensibility served him well in politics, lifting him up from abject poverty in Nevada on to Congress, where he became the Democratic Party's Senate majority leader. He helped...

  • 'What is rabbi?': Angela Buchdahl becomes a 'Jeopardy!' clue

    Philissa Cramer|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) — Few rabbis appear before more people than Angela Buchdahl, the senior rabbi of New York City’s 2,000-member Central Synagogue. But Buchdahl may have become one of the most recognizable rabbis ever after her name — and face — appeared as a clue on “Jeopardy!”. The cameo came toward the end of the game show’s second round, in a category titled “I am Woman.” Reigning champion Amy Schneider, en route to her 21st straight win, selected the $800 clue, and a picture of Buchdahl wearing a tallit with purple stripes appeared. Host Ken Jennings...

  • 150,000 Holocaust survivors to receive $200M

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) — About 150,000 Jewish victims of Nazi persecution are set to receive emergency funding of approximately $1,400 per person from Germany in the coming days, according to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The funds, totaling about $200 million and referred to as the Supplemental Hardship Fund Payment, were negotiated in 2020 and originally planned to be distributed in two payments by the end of 2022. The recipients of the Supplemental Hardship Fund Payment are predominantly Russian speakers who had to flee the N...

  • The false accusation of 'Israel apartheid'

    Melanie Phillips|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) — The campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel has recently moved into a higher gear with the increased use of one particularly vicious falsehood. This is the claim that Israel is an apartheid state. The claim is as fatuous as it is pernicious. Apartheid was the name given to South Africa’s systematic oppression of its black inhabitants, who were denied political, civic and human rights. By contrast, Arab Israeli citizens have fully equal rights. They study in Israel’s universities; enjoy Israel’s beaches and parks; receive equal trea...

  • Yad Vashem covers up the Islamic role in the Holocaust

    Daniel Greenfield|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) — First, some background: Israel’s current government is a leftist-Islamist coalition that includes some former conservatives “out front” as stalking horses. One of those is serving as the current prime minister. Another was Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party. Dani Dayan, a former consul general and Yesha council leader, ran on the New Hope party list. The only purpose of New Hope was to tear away enough conservative votes to create this leftist hybrid government. Now it’s expected to be wiped out in any future elections. Former Israeli Prime...

  • Let our people come home

    Danny Danon|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) — This past Shabbat, we read the Torah portion of Shemot, where Moses is asked by God to go to Pharaoh and demand that he “let my people go.” It is Pharaoh who recognizes that the Jews are a nation. He is the first to call us Am Bnei Yisrael. He recognizes the unity and destiny that the people of Israel share, and he is afraid of our strength. Today, we see the reverse situation happening in Israel. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many restrictive regulations and the latest Omicron variant has seen the skies of Israel once again closed t...

  • Rand Paul's very bad optics

    Jonathan Feldstein|Jan 7, 2022

    Last week, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blocked what would have otherwise been unanimous passage of the Iron Dome funding bill, HR5323, providing Israel with $1 billion to replenish its Iron Dome system following the war Israel endured with Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza this past May During the 11-day barrage, Hamas and other Palestinian Arab terror groups fired over 4000 rockets at Israeli cities. The Iron Dome is a defensive system that shoots down short-range rockets with a 90 percent success rate, saving both the lives of countless...

  • Israel is struggling with incitement in Judea and Samaria

    Eyal Zisser|Jan 7, 2022

    (JNS) — Jerusalem’s security outlook, which goes back to the days of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is focused first and foremost on responding to existential threats. In the past, this meant regular Arab armies that threatened to invade its territory. Today, the country is investing great effort in thwarting the Iranian nuclear threat. The arsenal of missiles at the disposal of Hezbollah and Hamas may not constitute an existential threat but could result in loss of life and material damage, disrupt the lives of Israeli citiz...

  • Once again, the UN treats Israel like the most evil country on Earth

    David Suissa|Jan 7, 2022

    (Jewish Journal via JNS) — While tens of millions of poor souls are dying and starving under brutal regimes in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Congo and Somalia, among others, the United Nations decided last Thursday that only one country merits an open-ended investigation. If you haven’t been living on Mars the past few decades, you’ve already guessed the name of that country — Israel — the recipient of more U.N. condemnations than all other countries combined. So, what did the world’s only Jewish state do this time to deserve...

  • What's Happening

    Jan 7, 2022

    MORNING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, some minyans have been canceled or held virtually.) Chabad of North Orlando and Chabad of Altamonte Springs are holding in-person minyans. Chabad of South Orlando — Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. and 10 minutes before sunset; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, 8:15 a.m., 407-354-3660. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael — Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-644-2500. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona — Monday, 8 a.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m., 904-672-9300. Congr...

  • Israel's chief rabbi calls for victims of abuse by Chaim Walder to come forward

    Shira Hanau|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) — Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi called for victims of sexual abuse to bring complaints to the “relevant authorities,” saying “there is an obligation to complain to the authorities in charge of these issues, and not hide it,” according to the site Israel National News. The comments from Rabbi David Lau Wednesday came after Lau was criticized for visiting the family of Chaim Walder, the Israeli haredi Orthodox author of children’s books who was recently accused by dozens of young women of sexual abuse, as they sat shiva for Walder follow...

  • Children's book author found dead in suspected suicide

    Shira Hanau|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) - Chaim Walder, an Israeli haredi Orthodox children's book author who was accused last month of sexual abuse by several teenage girls, was found dead Monday in an apparent suicide. His body was found in a cemetery in Petah Tikva, in central Israel, after a passerby heard a gunshot and called police, according to Israeli news reports. Walder's death came a day after the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a rabbinical court in Safed had heard testimony from 22 young women about alleged...

  • Cleopatra and the Jews

    Dr. Yvette Alt Miller, Aish Hatorah Resources|Jan 7, 2022

    News that Israeli actress Gal Gadot is to play Cleopatra in a new film has ignited a storm of protests. Critics accuse Gadot of perpetrating "genocide" and cultural appropriation by planning to play the ancient Egyptian queen. A prominent Pakistani journalist blasted "Your country steals Arab land and now you're stealing their movie roles ..." Some are claiming that a Jew cannot play Cleopatra, and the role should go to an African or Arab actress instead. Nonsense. Cleopatra was a complex...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Jan 7, 2022

    What a shock! (A good one.) ... I love to watch Jeopardy!, the television game show. It is my 7 p.m. "go to" show. For the past several weeks there has been one person winning each time. She is phenomenal! She is also a trans-gender person who seems very proud of her status. (She should be proud! I never saw anyone with such diverse knowledge.) Her name is AMY SCHNEIDER and she is Jewish! As you know by now, I write this column almost two weeks in advance of your receiving the Heritage. So, Amy...

  • 'Licorice Pizza' sees Jewish women as beautiful

    Stephen Silver|Jan 7, 2022

    (JTA) - This year, everyone seemed to have an opinion about how the entertainment industry views Jewish women. The comedian Sarah Silverman and others openly inveighed against what she deemed "Jewface," or the trend of casting non-Jewish actresses as (Ashkenazi) Jewish women; a plotline on this year's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" season mocked a similar idea by having Larry David cast a Latina actress as a Jewish character on a show about his childhood. Whether you agree with Silverman or not, it's...

  • Anuradha Mittal is Crowned the 2021 'Antisemite of the Year'

    Jan 7, 2022

    NEW YORK — Anuradha Mittal, the head of Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors and vice president of Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Inc. has been crowned 2021 Antisemite of the Year by watchdog group StopAntisemitism. After several weeks of voting, thousands selected Mittal for the distinct dishonor, beating the other two finalists Dua Lipa and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Earlier this year, Mittal spearheaded the effort by Ben & Jerry’s to stop the sale of its ice cream to 800,000 Jews living throughout various parts of Israel. This decision was clearly...

  • Obituary - SHELDON M. BLATTNER

    Jan 7, 2022

    Sheldon M. Blattner, 91, passed away on Dec. 16, 2021. He was born on Aug. 2, 1930, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a celebrated athlete in his youth and earned the nickname "Herky" (Hercules). He was accomplished in multiple sports and earned many trophies for his athletic prowess. He was a hard worker and was in the scrap metal business for the majority of his life. He founded Blattner Metals/Metal Recyclers in 1978, and continued to manage the day-to-day operations until the age of 89....

  • Obituary - JEFFREY HALPERIN

    Jan 7, 2022

    Jeffrey J.Halperin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 19,1942, and died on Dec. 17, 2021. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Bernard and Ruth Halperin and a sister, Diane Halperin Brown. Jeff leaves his loving wife of 45 years, Eleanor (Ellie) Halperin and three children - daughters Jessica J. Recksiedler, Janis L. Mauer and son, Jeffrey S. Livson; along with four grandchildren - Vaughn and Cole Mauer and Jaclyn and Julianna Recksiedler. He also leaves a sister, Gail Vogler from Pittsburgh, and...

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