Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the January 19, 2024 edition


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  • What happened at Chabad's Brooklyn headquarters?

    Luke Tress|Jan 19, 2024

    (New York Jewish Week) – On Tuesday, a group of Jewish men gathered to pray under a leaky white tent in the drizzling rain outside the Chabad-Lubavitch movement's world headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, draping their wet jackets over portable bookshelves and talking about what had happened there the previous afternoon. As for the building itself, it was closed off. Outside the entrance to the complex's main synagogue, a line formed in the rain, with Chabadniks waiting patiently to r...

  • Jewish guide to the 2024 GOP presidential contenders

    Jacob Gurvis|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — With the arrival of the Iowa Caucus on Monday, the 2024 presidential primary season is officially underway — and so is the race to win the votes of Jewish and pro-Israel voters. Four Republicans are vying to be the candidate to face off against President Joe Biden. Former President Donald Trump maintains a considerable lead in the polls, while challengers Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis remain firmly in the race. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is still in the mix but is polling below 1 percent. The Iowa Caucus has kicked off the Rep...

  • Surge in illegal Arab building

    Jan 19, 2024

    By David Isaac (JNS) - An alarming increase in illegal Arab construction along the Judea and Samaria security barrier has come to light thanks to research by Israeli NGO Regavim. Analyzing photography obtained through aerial reconnaissance, Regavim discovered tens of thousands of illegal structures built along the barrier, which runs roughly along the Green Line, the 1949 armistice line that followed Israel's War of Independence. Much of the Arab construction is new, created within the last 10...

  • It only took 5

    Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Five Hamas leaders secretly planned the bloody invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7, with 70 commandos from the terrorist group’s elite Nukhba Force leading the charge across the Gaza border, the London-based, pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Wednesday. Citing Palestinian sources close to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s “military” wing, the newspaper disclosed that these 70 terrorists received training that focused on infiltrating Israeli communities close to the Gaza Strip. They pledged secrecy following...

  • Unlocking the Rebbe's perspective on purposeful living: JLI introduces advice for life course

    Jan 19, 2024

    Advice for Life, a six-week course by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is set to debut at the end of January 2024. This immersive journey explores the extensive written communications of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson, of blessed memory. Through thousands of typewritten letters and transcripts of spoken discourse, the Rebbe interacted with individuals of all walks of life, both from within and outside the Jewish community on matters of work, family, health, and well-being. The Rebbe’s spiritual leadership is the f...

  • Chabad of North Orlando hosts Saul Dreier and Holocaust Survivor Band

    Jan 19, 2024

    In 2005, the United Nations established, Jan. 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army, as the International Holocaust Memorial Day. In conjunction with this special date, Chabad of North Orlando will be hosting Saul Dreier and his band in the Orlando area on Jan. 24, 2024. The entire community is invited to enjoy the music of the Holocaust Survivor Band and to have the chance to meet this special man and hear about his life directly from him. Saul Dreier was born in April 1925 in Krakow and had an idyllic childhood until 1939. His f...

  • War update from the Judean Hills with Natalie Sopinsky

    Jan 19, 2024

    Jan. 29 at Shalom Orlando Natalie Sopinsky, Director of Development for Hatzalah Without Borders, will speak at Shalom Orlando on Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. about how Hatzalah Rescuers Without Borders has reacted to the Oct. 7th massacre and subsequent war against Hamas. Sopinsky was raised in Delaware in a Conservative Jewish family. Today she is a pistol-wearing settler living in Suissa in the Hebron Hills. She is a lawyer and a lifeguard, the wife of a Philadelphian, and mother of five children — two of whom are serving in the IDF. Admission i...

  • Winter fun at the Rosen JCC

    Jan 19, 2024

    Do you have memories of snow when you were growing up? Or are you a Florida native and have no experience with snow? Winterfest at the Rosen JCC offers a chance to relive your snowy memories or give you new memories. This fun filled yearly event features an amazing snow slide! The snow slide won’t be the only fun at this event. Kids can try the Rock Wall and the Face Painter. There will be a Snow Maze, Petting Zoo and a variety of games. Come hungry to enjoy the Food Trucks and dance to the music. This event has something for the entire f...

  • Blinken calls for Palestinian state

    Akiva Van Koningsveld|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed support for “tangible steps” towards the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip during a meeting with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday. Sources cited by Sky News Arabia described the tête-à-tête, during which Blinken also touched on “administrative reforms” in the P.A. that Washington would like to see, as “tense” and marked by “arguments.” Abbas reportedly demanded that Blinken push Israel to unconditionally release all tax...

  • Voluntary emigration from Gaza dropped due to US opposition

    Etgar Lefkovits|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — A proposal to encourage the voluntary emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip as part of a post-war plan is no longer being considered due to opposition from the Biden administration, a leading Israeli lawmaker said Wednesday. The idea, which former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. MK Danny Danon of the ruling Likud Party and MK Ram Ben Barak of the opposition Yesh Atid Party raised anew in a meeting with dozens of foreign diplomats at the Knesset on Wednesday, is not on the government agenda due to American pressure, Danon told J...

  • DeSantis: Israel may need to remove Palestinians from Gaza if it faces a 'second Holocaust'

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that if Israel were faced with a “second Holocaust,” he could understand why it would remove Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip. The statement came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has no intention of doing so. DeSantis’ remarks at a Republican presidential debate came on the eve of opening arguments at The Hague, where Israel faces charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice. The debate was the final one ahead of the Iowa Republican caucuse...

  • IDF uncovers largest Gaza weapons plant since start of war

    Joshua Marks|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Israeli forces operating in central Gaza have found the largest weapons manufacturing site discovered since the start of the war, containing rockets capable of reaching north of Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday. The weapons plant was part of a massive tunnel system 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) underneath the Al-Bureij camp, according to the IDF. The rockets produced in the facility had a range of over 100 kilometers (62 miles), the IDF said. Other weapons factories were also found for the production of e...

  • Biden promised Gaza aid wouldn't go to Hamas - he lied

    Daniel Greenfield|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — A week after the horrors of Oct. 7, when the Biden administration first convinced Israel to open up the siege of Gaza and allow in international aid, it promised Hamas would not get it. “If Hamas in any way blocks humanitarian assistance from reaching civilians, including by seizing the aid itself, we’ll be the first to condemn it. And we will work to prevent it from happening again,” Secretary of State Blinken pledged. The problem with such a promise was obvious once Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer struggled to explain...

  • History 101 - Hamas terrorism isn't 'self-defense' against 'occupiers'

    Paul Driessen|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Council on American-Islamic Relations Los Angeles executive director Hussam Ayloush recently defended Hamas’s barbaric slaughter of 1,200 Jewish, Thai, Filipino, Bedouin and other men, women and children. He claimed Israel is “an occupier” that “does not have the right to defend itself.” He condemned Israel’s subsequent war in Gaza and said only Palestinians have “a right of self-defense.” His assertions reflect language in the charters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas. Israel is an “imperialist, colonialist, racist...

  • Viewpoint: Israel must reclaim Gaza

    Alan Kornman, The United West|Jan 19, 2024

    Israel’s 17-year coexistence policy with Hamas died on Oct. 7. Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip from 1948-1967 until they lost it to Israel in the 1967 6-Day War. Between June 5-10, 1967, Israel conquered the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria attacked Israel on three fronts, outnumbering the Jewish people three to one, and failed to destroy the State of Israel. The Right of Conquest is a right of ownership to land after immediate possession via force of arms. Israel owns t... Full story

  • Biden's Zionist bona fides and burden

    Thane Rosenbaum|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — The world feels like it’s on fire, with flames spreading in diverse directions. If the Jewish state was not at center stage, however, there would not have been any smoke. Ukrainians wonder why no fuss was made over Russia’s invasion of their country nearly two years ago. Twenty thousand Ukrainian children were kidnapped. No posters exist for them; no one is tearing down posters, insisting that it’s all propaganda. What a difference a change of scenery and age-old antisemitism makes. Ukrainians shouldn’t feel too neglected, though. T...

  • What's Happening

    Jan 19, 2024

    MORNING 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. Congregation Ohev Shalom — Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-298-4650. GOBOR Community Minyan at Jewish Academy of Orlando — Monday – Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Temple Israel — Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-647-3...

  • Gabriel Attal says his Jewish ancestry has shaped him

    Ron Kampeas|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — France’s newest prime minister is getting attention for the two firsts he brings to the job: Gabriel Attal, at 34, is the country’s youngest ever prime minister, and its first to be openly gay. He says another facet of his identity also shapes him: His late father’s Jewishness. Attal’s mother raised him and his siblings in her Russian Orthodox Christian faith. But his father, the film producer Yves Attal, was Jewish, born in Paris to Tunisian Jewish and European Jewish parents. “My father said to me, ‘Perhaps you’re Orthodox but yo...

  • Survivors of the Nova massacre on Oct. 7 work through trauma at unique Israeli therapy center

    Larry Luxner|Jan 19, 2024

    KIBBUTZ HAZOREA, Israel - Fifteen young men and women, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings and to each other, dance around a bucolic field, twisting their bodies to trance music blasting through their headphones. Beyond their earphones is silence, except for the constant rumble of fighter jets taking off from Ramat David air base in the nearby Jezreel Valley. Yet the aircraft and the dancers are connected. Some of these jets are heading south toward Gaza, to bomb the hideouts and munitions...

  • With Blinken in Tel Aviv, IDF mothers protest US interference in war

    David Isaac|Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) - A group composed of some 7,000 mothers of Israeli soldiers fighting in the Gaza Strip held up huge posters depicting the children of senior U.S. officials as IDF recruits during a protest in front of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's Tel Aviv hotel on Tuesday. The message: What if it were your children fighting in the Gaza Strip? Would you continue to demand the resupply of the enemy? The group behind the protest, Imahot HaLohamim ("Mothers of Combat Soldiers") is demanding an...

  • Maitland Chamber/Jewish Pavilion Tu B'Shevat breakfast

    Jan 19, 2024

    The Jewish Pavilion organized a highly successful Tu B'Shevat breakfast for the Maitland Chamber on Thursday, Jan. 11, resembling Jewish Earth Day festivities. This event marked a historic turnout, setting a record for the largest attendance ever recorded in the history of Coffee Connections. The delectable meal was a highlight, crafted with care and expertise by volunteer chefs from the Jewish Pavilion. Gratitude goes to Jane Edelstein, Ashley Fisak, Myrna Ossin, Bethanne Weiss, Alex Lehrer,...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Senior travel and health discount information

    Jan 19, 2024

    Here are some senior discounts you can use when traveling (train and car rental) gleaned from the Orlando Sentinel: Greyhound: 5 percent off for 62 and over Amtrak: 10 percent off for 65 and over Hertz Car Rental: various discounts to those 50 and over Avis: up to 30 percent off to AARP members Payless Car Rental: various discounts to AARP members Here are some senior discounts you can use when flying: Southwest Airlines: Offers various discounts for 65 and over United Airlines: Offers senior fares to selected travel destinations for customers...

  • Hostage's brother: Red Cross worker told family to care more about Gaza

    Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — CNN anchor Jake Tapper interviewed Dor Steinbrecher, the brother of hostage Doron Steinbrecher, a nurse and veterinarian from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, who told him that a Red Cross worker had dismissed a concern from their mother for needed medication, rebuking the family that they should be more concerned about Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. On Monday, Steinbrecher described his 30-year-old sister’s experience on the morning of Oct. 7. He told Tapper how she called their mother and cried, saying she was lying under her bed in a safe roo...

  • Penn professors spent the week in Israel

    Deborah Danan|Jan 19, 2024

    (JTA) — After Oct. 7, Michael Kahana joined hundreds of his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in signing an open letter condemning Hamas and expressing support for Israel and its right to self defense. But the psychology professor wanted to do more. So Kahana sent an email to the 340 signatories on the letter, which came amid scathing criticism of Penn’s response to Hamas’ attack on Israel, and invited them on a trip. This week, the 39 Penn professors who took Kahana up on the invitation spent three days traveling in Israel, in th...

  • UN experts demand accountability for Oct. 7 war crimes

    Jan 19, 2024

    (JNS) — Two U.N. human rights experts on Monday called for full accountability for the multitude of alleged crimes, including sexual torture, committed against civilians by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, saying they amount to war crimes. Alice Jill Edwards, special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and Morris Tidball-Binz, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said violations include killing, hostage-taking, torture and sexual torture. “As armed Palestinian groups ra...

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