Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the February 14, 2014 edition

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  • Debate on Sochi Olympics- sports, politics and security

    Alina Dain Sharon, JNS.org|Feb 14, 2014

    With the Winter Olympics underway in Sochi, Russia, the Jewish debate on the games mirrors the discourse taking place in the broader international and athletic communities. While some Jews say they view the games purely as sport-with social or political issues not factoring into their evaluation-not all can ignore Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" legislation, political detentions, allegations of Olympic corruption, and the recent terrorist threats against the games. "I personally don't... Full story

  • Special U.S. envoy is an advocate for Holocaust survivors in poverty

    Debra Rubin, JNS.org|Feb 14, 2014

    Aviva Sufian was just 8 years old when her mother took her to an American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors event in Philadelphia in 1985. She remembers survivor after survivor standing up and announcing, "My name is..., and this is where I'm from." Sufian, whose grandparents had come to this country shortly after World War I, says her parents "placed a primacy on my understanding the world they came from," including understanding the devastation of the Jewish people under the Nazi... Full story

  • No lost sleep over boycott threat

    Ben Sales, JTA|Feb 14, 2014

    TEL AVIV (JTA)-Of the 200,000 wine bottles Yakov Burg produced last year, 16,000 went to Europe. The possibility of a boycott and repeated rumblings that Europe is planning to label goods produced in the settlements could decrease that number, but Burg isn't worried. The CEO of Psagot Winery, which is located in a settlement of the same name in the hills of the central West Bank, Burg prides himself on running a Jewish-owned business in the West Bank, even welcoming groups of Christian Zionists... Full story

  • JCC preschool offers $1,000 off

    Feb 14, 2014

    New families to the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando’s Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center in Maitland now have an extra incentive to enroll in the area’s top-rated preschool program—$1,000 off enrollment. “We know that early childhood education is a major investment for a young family,” said Carol McNally, the early childhood director. “Hopefully this will make the investment a little easier to work into the household budget.” Tuition at the JCC includes care for infants through pre-kindergarten from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m... Full story

  • Planting water in Israel

    Karin Kloosterman, Israel21C.org|Feb 14, 2014

    (Israel21c)-The Jewish National Fund isn't only about planting forests. Some of its newest water-tech projects were recently showcased in Israel. Exciting fact about Israel's land use, as the world experiences massive deforestation: Israel is the only country in the world to have a net gain of trees in the last 100 years. This is thanks to a non-profit and visionary non-governmental organization, the Jewish National Fund (JNF)-or Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-set up in 1901 in Israel to develop the... Full story

  • My valentine to American Jewish men

    Suzanne Levy|Feb 14, 2014

    (JTA)—On Valentine’s Day, I’d like to sing the praises of American Jewish men. I’m aware it’s a rather large group, but that’s the point: The United States is a sea of plenty for Jewish men. Whereas in Britain, where I grew up, there are only about 300,000 Jews. If you remove married men, women and children, you’re left with enough eligible Jewish bachelors to inhabit a synagogue or two. There are, however, millions of men in the U.K. who look like Benedict Cumberbatch or Hugh Grant. Lovely chaps, all of them, but none embodied the stocky, d... Full story

  • AIPAC joins Obama in call to delay Iran sanctions vote

    Feb 14, 2014

    (Algemeiner)—In a sharp about turn, AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, has now backed the White House in its call to delay a Senate vote on new sanctions against Iran while the U.S. and world powers negotiate with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program. In a statement released on the heels of an extensive speech by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), calling on both sides of the Iran sanctions debate to soften their positions, AIPAC said, “We agree with the Chairman that stopping the Ira... Full story

  • Using JGSs to find your ancestors

    Feb 14, 2014

    ORLANDO-The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) will host guest speaker Marlis Humphrey, president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), at their next meeting on Tuesday, March 4, from 7 – 9 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for networking and mavens), at the Maitland Public Library, 501 S. Maitland Ave., in Maitland. This meeting is free and open to the public. Humphrey will speak on "Using JGSs to find your ancestors." Jewish Genealogical Societies (... Full story

  • Chabad unites UCF and Orlando Jewish student community with Shabbat 613

    Feb 14, 2014

    Six-hundred and thirteen Orlando college students, faculty, staff and community members will gather together for a celebration of Jewish unity at the second annual Mega Shabbat on UCF’s campus. The traditional Shabbat dinner will be held in the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union on Feb. 21, at 5:30 p.m. for appetizers and 6:30 p.m. for Shabbat dinner. Shabbat 613 is a project developed by the Chabad on Campus National Foundation. Leaders of Chabad on Campus observed that, while many U.S. campuses have active Jewish student organizations, t... Full story

  • Let Jewish Family Services provide the RIDE

    Chris DeSouza, Assistant Editor|Feb 14, 2014

    A little known service that is offered by Jewish Family Services is the RIDE program. Through its partnership with ITN and Mears, JFS provides free roundtrip transportation for qualified senior citizens or disabled adults who need a ride to and from any medically related appointment. Claudia Tobin, the program coordinator, said it is easy to participate in RIDE—which stands for Reliable Independent Drivers for the Elderly. There are some conditions—clients must be over 65 years of age or disabled and meet a specific income level. Tobin als... Full story

  • A Holocaust survivor shares his story at UCF

    Feb 14, 2014

    Irving Roth, a Holocaust survivor, writer and internationally-known educator, will share his personal stories of the Nazi death camps at UCF on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Student Union-Garden Key, Room 221, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The event is sponsored by Christians United for Israel, with the support of Central Florida Hillel. There will be a meet and greet and refreshments immediately following the lecture.... Full story

  • Israel must develop Negev for benefit of all

    Theodore Bikel, JTA|Feb 14, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (JTA)—This past May, I made a YouTube video with the Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights that drew a parallel between my role as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which the Jews in Sholem Aleichem’s tale faced expulsion from the Russian shtetl of Anatevka, and a Knesset proposal to forcibly displace up to 40,000 Bedouin-Arab citizens. The video included anguishing footage of the July 2010 demolition of the unrecognized Bedouin village of El-Araqib. The proposal, known as the Prawer-Begin plan, has reportedly been withdra... Full story

  • It can't last-or maybe it can

    Ira Sharkansky, Letter from Israel|Feb 14, 2014

    By Ira Sharkansky Slogans of the left are that Israeli occupation of Palestinian land cannot last, or alternatively, that the international community will not tolerate the lack of agreement between Israel and an independent State of Palestine. It has lasted for coming onto 66 or 47 years, depending on whether you begin at 1948 or 1967. Those who say it can’t last, and must be interrupted by an agreement with Palestine overlook two things: • The impossibility of predicting the future, perhaps especially amidst the turmoil currently app... Full story

  • The phantom Iran nuclear deal

    Ben Cohen, JNS.org|Feb 14, 2014

    When it comes to the most asinine response to the purported deal between the world’s main powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, top honors to go Harvard University’s Stephen Walt. Walt was the co-author, with his academic colleague John Mearsheimer, of “The Israel Lobby,” a badly researched, poorly argued screed about how a cluster of pro-Israel organizations have cajoled successive U.S. administrations into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Paranoically obsessed with what he regards as the malign influence o... Full story

  • The Meaning of Israel: A Personal View

    David A. Harris|Feb 14, 2014

    Against the backdrop of recent efforts in some academic circles to vilify and isolate Israel, let me put my cards on the table right up front. I’m not dispassionate when it comes to Israel. Quite the contrary. The establishment of the state in 1948; the fulfillment of its envisioned role as home and haven for Jews from around the world; its wholehearted embrace of democracy and the rule of law; and its impressive scientific, cultural, and economic achievements are accomplishments beyond my wildest imagination. For centuries, Jews around the w... Full story

  • Boycotting settlements is not anti-Israel

    Naomi Paiss, JTA|Feb 14, 2014

    NEW YORK (JTA)—On her way out the door to defend the SodaStream company, the suddenly political Scarlett Johannson threw a grenade at her erstwhile cause, the international aid organization Oxfam. According to her spokesperson, “she and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.” Full stop. The global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which harbors more than a few people who want to put the entire project of a Jewish homeland out of business, is not the issue betwe... Full story

  • Outreach to interfaith families strengthens the Jewish future

    Rick Jacobs|Feb 14, 2014

    NEW YORK (JTA)—All in favor of a strong Jewish future say “aye.” On that core question, there is resounding unanimity, but there have been some unnecessarily polarizing articles in the Jewish press suggesting that we have to select either endogamy or outreach. Nonsense! Such binary thinking reduces a multi-dimensional and complex reality to a false choice. At the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in San Diego a few weeks back, I challenged Jewish leaders to stop speaking “about intermarriage as if it were a disease. It is not.” I do not know... Full story

  • JAO open to explore all options concerning future

    Feb 14, 2014

    Dear Editor: We have received questions about the articles which appeared in last week’s Heritage regarding Jewish Academy of Orlando, including one proposed plan that suggests Jewish Academy of Orlando (JAO) will be moving from its current building. We want to address this directly as we reiterate our commitment to a vibrant and financially sound Jewish community for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. JAO’s lease term runs to year 2027 to house our much beloved K-8th-grade day school. We only want success for the Jewish Federation of... Full story

  • What's Happening - Friday, February 14 - Friday, February 21

    Feb 14, 2014

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Call synagogue to confirm time.) Chabad of South Orlando—Monday and Thursday, 8 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., 407-647-3055. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Lig... Full story

  • Mark B. Hara, 59, passed away on Jan.1of a heart attack in Los Angeles, Calif.

    Feb 14, 2014

    Mark Hara was born in Chicago, Ill., on Dec. 12, 1954 to his loving parents Anita and Joseph Hara. At the age of eight the family moved to Orlando, where he was a longtime resident of the community. It was in Orlando where he was fortunate enough to meet the woman of his dreams, his wife Ellen. Mark and Ellen decided that it was in Chicago that they would continue their life together, as well as start a family. For 13 years Mark was an outstanding and successful commodities trader at the... Full story


    Feb 14, 2014

    Ruth M. Benjamin of Cedarburg, Wis., passed away on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at Florida Hospital – Celebration. She was 96 years old. Mrs. Benjamin was a winter resident of Celebration. She was born in Bombay, India, on July 26, 1917, to the late Daniel Solomon Dudker and Batsheva Dandeker. Mrs. Benjamin was a homemaker and is survived by her son, Eric (Leah) Benjamin of Highland Park, IIl.; her daughter, Evelyn (Alan) Balkansky of Cedarburg, Wis.; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Funeral services and interment took place in M... Full story


    Feb 14, 2014

    Judith Brounstein of Davenport Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at Mike Conley Hospice House in Clermont. She was 88 years old. Mrs. Brounstein was born in New York City on Nov. 3, 1925, to the late Grace Cohen. She was the widow of the late Edward Brounstein, who passed away in 1992. During her working career, Mrs. Brounstein was a benefits administrator with Met Life Insurance. In 1981, she moved with her husband from New York to South Florida and in 2013, relocated to Central Florida. Mrs. Brounstein is survived by her son,... Full story


    Feb 14, 2014

    Moshe M. Dahan of Orlando, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Winter Park Health and Rehab Center in Winter Park. He was 89 years old. Morris, as he was known, was born in Jerusalem on Jan. 25, 1925, to the late Itzhak and Regina Bat Sheba Dahan. Part of the early settlers of modern day Israel, he attended school there and fought to make Israel an independent state. He immigrated to Canada from Israel in 1954, moving to Central Florida in 1969. Mr. Dahan was a businessman and entrepreneur owning, among other things a car wash and a driving... Full story

  • Obituary - LUCY ESTRIN

    Feb 14, 2014

    Lucy Estrin, age 90, of Maitland, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at Florida Hospital – Orlando. A native New Yorker, she was born in Brooklyn on May 24, 1923, to the late Samuel and Eva Pizer Bookshin. She was a Miami-based psychotherapist with a large following of politicians, cultural icons and families struggling with everyday issues. Widowed at 35 years old with two sons, she returned to college at the University of Tennessee, earning a master’s degree in social work. She worked to promote progressive social issues while com... Full story

  • Helping to save the world's poorest Jews

    Feb 14, 2014

    JFGO's Maimonides Society hosted a special event with Dr. Rick Hodes as guest speaker on Feb. 2. Dr. Hodes is an American doctor who has lived and worked in Ethiopia for more than 20 years. He is the medical director in Ethiopia for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. The JDC is the world's leading non-sectarian humanitarian organization, impacting millions of lives in more than 70 countries today. Supported by a... Full story

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