Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the February 3, 2017 edition

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  • At dawn of the Trump era, two Jewish tribes descend on Washington

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 3, 2017

    WASHINGTON (JTA)-"Cantor Kaufman!" Rabbi Jonah Pesner shouted across the intersection of 3rd and D in Washington's Northwest quadrant, packed sidewalk to sidewalk with women in pink pussycat hats and their male friends. "A song!" Jason Kaufman, the cantor at Beth El in Alexandria, Virginia, draped in a rainbow tallit and in the middle of telling a joke, cocked an eyebrow and pivoted gracefully from the guy hanging with his buddies at Saturday's Women's March on Washington to the religious... Full story

  • Addressing bigotry on college campuses

    Feb 3, 2017

    Hatred of the Jews is real in our global network. Indifference and ignorance are no excuses to allow its terror to spread through propaganda and the false teachings of history. “Hate Spaces” is a powerful film about the college campus anti-Semitism/anti-Zionist crisis. The film examines how anti-Semitism is being made fashionable at many American universities through the ongoing academic delegitimization of Israel, and the normalization of hatred in the name of social justice. Alan Dershowitz stated, “‘Hate Spaces’ is a wakeup call to the Je... Full story

  • Swastika-wearing man at UF

    Christine DeSouza|Feb 3, 2017

    Michael Dewitz, 34, walked around on the University of Florida campus dressed in black and wearing a swastika armband. On Jan. 26, he stopped by the potato statue on Turlington Plaza and stood there for about three hours. He immediately received attention from angry and offended students, and by noon a crowd of about 100 people had gathered around him. Emotions and opinions were mixed-while some students shouted expletives at Dewitz or held posters of protest, other defended his right to free... Full story

  • Seven unexpected Birthright trips, from yoga to Instagrammed food

    Gabe Friedman|Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)-Birthright trips, the 10-day Israel tours offered free to young Jews, are so much part of mainstream culture that they have been copied by other religions, parodied on television shows like "Broad City" and "Transparent," and debated by academics and activists But if your idea of Birthright is outdoor hikes, camel rides, visits to the Western Wall and flirty bus trips up and down the spine of Israel, think again. The third-party vendors that work with the Taglit-Birthright Israel... Full story

  • For Jewish groups in Women's March, many causes to fight for and a long road ahead

    Ben Sales|Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)-One Jewish group that joined the Women's March on Washington has seen its online donations double since the election of Donald Trump as president. Another has twice as many guests as usual attending its annual conference. A third has seen its social media engagement skyrocket. And after bringing thousands of Jews to the streets on Saturday, they're all asking the same question: What now? A range of liberal Jewish groups took part in the Women's March, which drew more than 3 million people... Full story

  • The freedom to protest

    Feb 3, 2017

    Supporters of National Council of Jewish Women and other Jewish organizations come together on the National Mall for the Women's March on Washington, January 21, 2017. Please check out another article for more on the Women's March.... Full story

  • Jared Kushner OK'd for White House post

    Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)—President Donald Trump can appoint his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner as a White House senior adviser, the Justice Department concluded. In a 14-page opinion issued Friday, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel said that a federal anti-nepotism law passed in 1967 “does not bar this appointment because of the President’s special hiring authority.” The opinion, written by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Daniel Koffsky, is based on a 1978 law that allows the president to appoint White House officials, overriding the nepotism law. The... Full story

  • Machaneh Ohev celebrates 10 years: Open to the Jewish community

    Feb 3, 2017

    Machaneh Ohev, Congregation Ohev Shalom's one-week camp for children entering Pk-8th grade, celebrates 10 years this summer! The dates are June 5-9 and the camp takes place at the synagogue located at 613 Concourse Pkwy S. Maitland. The theme for this year is "One in a Minyan, celebrating 10 years of Jewish friendship and fun." Machaneh Ohev started as a suggestion from a parent for a "vacation Bible school" type program because the children loved being at Ohev. At first the suggestion was brush... Full story

  • Time again for StandWithUs Israeli Soldiers Tour

    Feb 3, 2017

    On Feb.15 and 16, the Israeli Soldiers Tour will come to the ROTC at University High School (5 classes) and the University of Central Florida. Similar to other tours, two reserve duty Israeli soldiers relate their personal experiences serving in the IDF upholding the strict moral code, discuss their backgrounds, life in Israel and answer questions. These never-before-heard stories are from the front lines, not the headlines. The two soldiers, Ilan and Mark-their last names are withheld for... Full story

  • Pearl Luncheon goes on the road(show)

    Feb 3, 2017

    The Jewish Pavilion's Pearls of the Pavilion luncheon is going on the road, an "Antique-Style Roadshow" that is, at Heathrow Country Club on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event will be chaired by Friends Board member Miriam Josephs of Longwood, who has been with the nonprofit for elders for more than a decade. Past Board President Elise Schilowitz of Maitland was the brainchild behind the unique event. "At the Jewish Pavilion, we see our senior community as valued treasures, each with a story of a... Full story

  • COS students to celebrate Tu B'Shevat with seniors

    Feb 3, 2017

    Long before there was Earth Day, there was Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees. This celebratory observance marks the beginning of the growing season in Israel when trees are planted. Customs include planting trees and eating fruits and various nuts, especially those native to Israel. Congregation Ohev Shalom fifth-grade students will present a Tu B'Shevat Seder at Brookdale Island Lake in Longwood on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 10:30 a.m. The seniors and youngsters will participate in an... Full story

  • Camp Shalom director coming to Roth Family JCC

    Feb 3, 2017

    Camp Shalom, founded by the Sokol family in 1971, is the only coed Jewish overnight camp in Florida. It is located in the heart of the Ocala National Forest (1.5 hours North of Orlando) and is situated on 115 acres with a 55-acre spring-fed lake. Camp Shalom will be entering its 47th summer in 2017. Camp Shalom is a sports camp with its own basketball, soccer and tennis facilities, among others. From waterskiing to a climbing wall with a four-story zip line, arts and crafts, music and more, Camp Shalom is a wonderful summer camp for children... Full story

  • Fake news and Israel

    Feb 3, 2017

    By Dr. Yvette Alt Miller Aish Hatorah Resources No headline seems too far-fetched when it comes to spreading false news stories about Israel. Fake news about Israel went mainstream recently when a member of Britain’s House of Lords re-posted a “news” item on her Facebook page that came from an extremist, conspiracy website. Baroness Jenny Tonge has a long history of hostility to the Jewish state. On January 21, 2017, she posted an article with the shocking “revelation”: the President of Israel called his own country “sick” said that Israel w... Full story

  • U.S. knew of Nazi euthanasia gassings but remained silent

    Rafael Medoff, JNS.org|Feb 3, 2017

    Ahead of this year’s marking of International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27, new details have been revealed concerning how much the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration knew about the Nazis’ euthanasia policy, and why the U.S. failed to respond. German historian Thorsten Noack, writing in the latest issue of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies, describes how famed journalist William Shirer first publicly exposed the Nazis’ systematic execution of individuals with physical or mental disabilities. In the pages of Life magaz... Full story

  • Barack Obama, RIP?

    Ira Sharkansky, Letter from Israel|Feb 3, 2017

    Obama’s strength is a capacity to speak, and excite many of us. Sometimes in support of what he says. Sometimes in frustration about his slippery superficiality. Sometimes with greater enmity. That he is also black adds to the appeal for many, and the antipathy of others. We should not expect that he’ll go quietly to the place where other politicians retire. His last days in office provide much to applaud or ridicule. Israelis and our friends have expressed enough, or may just be getting started about his last act with respect to the UN Sec... Full story

  • What Trump can do for Mideast peace on day one

    Jonathan A. Greenblatt|Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)—In the run-up to his swearing-in on Friday, President Donald Trump made a series of big promises to Israel. Aside from his oft-repeated pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he has talked about reviving the peace process with the Palestinians, with a goal of achieving a deal before he leaves the White House. Undeterred by the failure of past presidents to achieve this dream, Trump has already tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with the challenge of brokering the agreement. Kushner inherits this charge at a time w... Full story

  • We'll lose the campus if Israel becomes a partisan cause

    Seffi Kogen|Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)—For decades, supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship have insisted on strong bipartisanship rather than allying their cause with the Democrats or Republicans. So even while a typical bit of punditry over the past few presidencies was to assert that Bill Clinton, or George W. Bush, or Barack Obama was “the most pro-Israel president in history,” Israel advocates nevertheless kept their heads and painstakingly maintained strong relationships on both sides of the aisle. Now some are eagerly making the same grandiose claim about Presi... Full story

  • Now, more than ever, embrace solidarity

    Feb 3, 2017

    Dear Community Members, It’s been a challenging few weeks for the Jewish community of Greater Orlando and other Jewish communities, as an individual or individuals have sought to disrupt JCC and Jewish school operations across the nation, attacking the very fabric of Jewish life. How we respond as a community will demonstrate what kind of community we are. As the leaders of the organizations on the Maitland Jewish Community Campus, we believe we are strong. We are committed. We are resilient. We are passionate about protecting our shared v... Full story

  • What's Happening

    Feb 3, 2017

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Call synagogue to confirm time.) 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 I... Full story

  • Congregation Beth Sholom February schedule

    Feb 3, 2017

    Celebrate Tu B’Shevat and Shabbat with the synagogue that feels like family. Rabbi Karen Allen will begin the observance on Friday evening, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. with a Tu B’Shevat Seder. This is a short seder celebrating the New Year of the Trees. The seder plate involves the fruits of the tree—nuts with shells and fruits with peels. Four shades of wine are also part of the ritual. The Shabbat service will follow at 7 pm. An Oneg Shabbat will follow the service. The Interfaith Lake County forum will join with the monthly Rabbi’s Roundta... Full story

  • Syrian opposition figures share their vision with Israelis, deflect Arab protesters

    Yaakov Lappin, JNS.org|Feb 3, 2017

    "You are living in a paradise in comparison to the Syrian people. Shame on you. We are being killed," said Issam Zeitoun, who lives in the Syrian portion of the Golan Heights, in response to Arab-Israeli students who accused him of being a traitor because he was speaking in Israel. Zeitoun was one of two Syrian opposition figures who addressed Israelis Jan. 17 at Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in Jerusalem. The Syrians shared their plight and... Full story

  • Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on to fully imagined Jewish characters

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 3, 2017

    (JTA)-There are plenty of paradigms in the history of humor for how Jews and non-Jews get along, or don't: as persecutors and victims, as saviors and saved, as allies against a common oppressor. All these are fraught with the tensions between the powerful and the disempowered, which makes sense: Fear drives humor. But there is a uniquely American paradigm, one devoid of fear, instead celebrating the Jew as an inextricable part of the national fabric. Its best exemplar was Mary Tyler Moore, who... Full story

  • Bar Mitzvah - Samuel James Cooper

    Feb 3, 2017

    Samuel James Cooper, son of David and Daun Cooper of Oviedo, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Feb. 18, 2017, at Temple Shir Shalom in Winter Springs. Sam is in the seventh grade at Jackson Heights Middle School where he plays piano, clarinet and saxophone in the Jazz Band and Symphonic Band. His hobbies include defeating his current record of 37 seconds for solving a Rubik's Cube. He is also a member of Little SHFTY at Temple Shir Shalom. Sharing in the family's simcha wil be his... Full story

  • From chauffer to entertainer

    Feb 3, 2017

    Several years ago Stewart Bloom would drive his son, Andrew, who at the time was preparing for his bar mitzvah, to the monthly musicals at Brookdale Lake Orienta in Altamonte Springs. Andrew would make delicious brownies and was always so anxious to serve them to the residents. As time went on, Bloom still delivered the brownies every month, even after Andrew got older and could no longer dedicate his time. Bloom not only has become a regular and welcome face, but a resident favorite. Once a... Full story

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Feb 3, 2017

    Delayed Bar Mitzvah celebration... I read this recently and think you will enjoy reading it as well: "YISRAEL KRISTAL, II3 years old, a survivor of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau who is believed to be the world's oldest man, recently celebrated the Bar Mitzvah that he missed because of World War I. His daughter, SHULAMIT KRISTAL KUPERSTOCH, told all that about 100 family members gathered to mark the rite. Kristal was officially recognized as the world's oldest man last March. He (at 13)... Full story

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