Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the May 15, 2020 edition


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  • It's official: Most Reform Jewish camps will cancel this summer

    Ben Sales|May 15, 2020

    (JTA)-Nearly all Reform Jewish summer camps, and at least one Conservative camp, will remain closed for the 2020 summer due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned. The landmark decision, made Thursday afternoon, will affect 15 Reform overnight camps across the country, which collectively served some 10,000 campers in 2019. The Reform movement, the largest in the United States, is the first to suspend its official summer camp network. It's the first time...

  • This 107-year-old survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and COVID-19

    Ben Harris|May 15, 2020

    (JTA)-After Marilee Shapiro Asher was admitted to the hospital in mid-April sick with COVID-19, her daughter got a call from the doctor telling her she ought to get down there right away. Her mother likely had only 12 hours to live. "Well, he doesn't know my mother, does he?" Joan Shapiro said. What the doctor didn't know was that Asher, a 107-year-old working artist, had already survived one global pandemic. And she was about to survive another. In 1918, then about 6 years old, Asher contracted...

  • Breakthrough in corona antibody

    Paul Shindman, World Israel News|May 15, 2020

    Israel’s biological defense research lab has discovered what they say is a “breakthrough” in finding an antidote to the coronavirus by isolating and developing an antibody that attacks the virus, defense officials said Tuesday. The Israel Institute for Biological Research, which normally deals with responses to chemical and biological threats against Israel, presented its findings to Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who hailed the work as a “major breakthrough.” Researchers said the development phase has been completed and that they are filin...

  • Take a virtual tour of Israel

    May 15, 2020

    As Israel's tourism sector continues to reel from the global economic downturn, Jewish National Fund-USA is launching virtual travel adventures to support Israeli tour guides while providing tour participants with an opportunity to 'visit' sites off the beaten path With the latest predictions suggesting Israel's tourism industry could lose up to $1.16 billion due to the COVID-19 crisis, Jewish National Fund-USA is helping Israeli tour guides through an innovative new 'virtual travel'...

  • Just a phone call away; How the Jewish Pavilion is continuing to stay in contact with our seniors

    Ashley Fisak|May 15, 2020

    The Jewish Pavilion's main goal is to help our seniors stay connected to their culture. No one wants to be left behind and we have always helped our seniors by going to them. We are approaching almost two months in some facilities where we have not been able to go and visit our seniors. And just like everyone else we have had to adjust, get creative, and find new ways to stay in contact with our seniors. From the beginning we started writing to our seniors and reached out to the community to...

  • Federation helps community cope through virtual programming

    May 15, 2020

    When our community and society were faced with the life-changing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando stepped up to fill the void brought on by the loss of our normal active lives. At the onset of the pandemic, the Federation rose to the occasion to bring the essence of Passover into everyone’s homes and hearts—this included a beautiful virtual Women’s Passover Seder hosted by Cantor Jackie Rawiszer, attended by more than 100 women; and a community virtual Seder for first night of Passover, hosted by Ya...

  • Yael Diamond commissioned as an Army 2nd Lt.

    May 15, 2020

    On May 1st, Yael Diamond of Winter Park received a commission as an officer in the United States Army. Due to social distancing the ceremony took place at the Orlando Veterans Memorial Park online via Zoom conference. Diamond attended the Hebrew Day School (now the Jewish Academy of Orlando), Winter Park High School and on May 2nd graduated from the University of Florida. She earned bachelor's degrees in both International Studies with a Middle East emphasis and Political Science. At UF,...

  • Heritage accepting nominations for Human Service Award

    May 15, 2020

    Heritage Florida Jewish News is accepting nominations for the 2020 Heritage Human Service Award, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando in August. “For more than 30 years, individuals who have made major, voluntary contributions of their talent, time, energy and effort to the Central Florida community have been honored with the selection and presentation of this award,” said Jeff Gaeser, editor and publisher of the Heritage. Last year’s recipient was Dick Weiner. Former recipients have inclu...

  • Celebrating graduation in 2020

    May 15, 2020

    Many graduating seniors will not be able to observe their graduations at graduation ceremonies this year because of the coronavirus. Heritage would like to recognize all high school graduates in the paper. If there is a graduating student in your household, please consider sending Heritage a photo, name of student, high school (or college) attended, and if you’d like, also include their future plans. Information and photos can be emailed to news@orlandoheritage.com. The deadline for submissions is June 3....

  • How the coronavirus is hitting Jewish communities worldwide

    Uriel Heilman|May 15, 2020

    (JTA)—The impact of the coronavirus on the Jewish world is a study in contrasts. In Israel, where the total death toll as of Tuesday was 238 and the number of new daily infections below 50, the country has significantly eased its lockdown. School has resumed for some grades, businesses have reopened, and on Thursday beaches and outdoor markets reopened. But in many large Jewish communities worldwide, the coronavirus is still wreaking a terrible toll. Among the 8 million Jews living in the Diaspora—more than Israel’s 6.7 million but less than...

  • Deep layoffs at Jewish Federations of North America

    Shira Hanau|May 15, 2020

    (JTA)—The nonprofit organization leading an emergency coalition to coordinate the Jewish response to the pandemic-induced financial crisis has itself slashed its staff. Jewish Federations of North America, an umbrella group of communal fundraising and programming organizations across the country, announced layoffs and executive salary cuts in a message to board members and federation executives Wednesday. “We need to redirect resources,” CEO Eric Fingerhut and chair Mark Wilf said in the message. “Accordingly, we have today implemented a plan...

  • Israel gears up for mass coronavirus antibody testing

    May 15, 2020

    (JNS)—A top Israeli health official said on Tuesday that the government is about to launch a campaign to test the population for coronavirus antibodies. Israeli Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov told The New York Times that 100,000 Israelis across the country will begin undergoing serological testing in one to two weeks to gauge the extent of the spread of the virus thus far and prepare for a possible second wave. His interview came in the wake of an easing in Israel of many restrictions imposed on the public since the outbre...

  • Biden pledges to resume US assistance to Palestinians

    May 15, 2020

    (JNS)—Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that if elected president, he would reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization Diplomatic Mission in Washington, D.C., and restore U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee also reiterated that he would reopen the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem, which primarily serves the Palestinians. “A priority now for the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace should be resuming our dialogue with the Palestinians and pressing Israel not...

  • The leftist thought police are wrong: Taylor Swift isn't an anti-Semite

    Jonathan S. Tobin|May 15, 2020

    (JNS)—In today’s hyperpartisan world, nobody escapes the watchful eye of the thought police. Not even a pop superstar like Taylor Swift. The 30-year-old singer has sold tens of millions of recordings in her career that span the genres of country and pop music. That’s made her one of the highest-paid female musicians in the world with legions of fans who admire her for her talents and philanthropic endeavors while also buying the various products she endorses—from Diet Coke to Elizabeth Arden perfumes. But that hasn’t exempted her from bein...

  • The myth of Saudi moderation

    Stephen Flatow|May 15, 2020

    (JNS)—They almost had me believing. The Saudis, that is. Last week, they almost had me believing that they are truly becoming moderate and really do accept Israel’s existence. Then the mask came off, and my hopes all came crashing down. What got my hopes up, all too briefly, was the controversy over a new series on Saudi television concerning relations between Jews and Arabs in the Persian Gulf in 1948. Since Saudi Arabian society is completely controlled by its authoritarian government, it was big news that some Arabs were denouncing the TV...

  • We're all Jewish homeschoolers now

    Bethany Mandel|May 15, 2020

    By Bethany Mandel WASHINGTON (JTA)—Back in Normal Times, when I would tell other parents in Jewish settings that we homeschool, I would be met with exhortations of “I could never do that!” Things have certainly changed in the past two months because now everyone does. I’ve found myself suddenly running a lending library out of my house and a homeschool help hotline for friends on my WhatsApp. When I used to explain homeschooling to those unfamiliar with it, it was hard to describe what life was like home with your kids all day, every day. Fo...

  • Israel still suffers virus of hate even as it saves Arab lives

    Melanie Phillips|May 15, 2020

    (JNS)—While countries around the world struggle to get on top of the COVID-19 crisis, Israel’s achievement so far has been remarkable. Its mortality rate from the virus has been vastly smaller, in proportion to its population, than the rate in countries such as Britain, Sweden or the United States. That’s largely because it tackled the virus with the kind of bold, strategic approach with which it defends itself against its physical foes. This week, with new cases reduced to a few dozen, it started to lift a wide range of restrictions on publi...

  • An open letter to our Jewish family and friends in America

    Gary Schiff|May 15, 2020

    (JNS) We know you have many challenges as Jews in America. We here in Israel just have one question: Can you please explain to us your extreme hatred for the president? In Israel, we so appreciate what he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, yet in America, most of you despise him. Even many connected, Conservative and Reform, AIPAC-supporting, “Federation” Jews despise him. We Jews in Israel truly don’t get it. Fifty percent of our Jewish brothers and sisters have returned and now live here in Israel. It seems to us that U.S. President D...

  • Putting things into perspective

    Dr. Bernie Kahn|May 15, 2020

    My grandparents were so strong! Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. Twenty-two million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25 percent, the World GDP drops 27 percent. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy....

  • What's Happening

    May 15, 2020

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, all minyans have been canceled.) 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—Mond...

  • US will recognize West Bank annexation with conditions

    Marcy Oster|May 15, 2020

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—The United States is ready to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank with conditions, the U.S. ambassador to Israel told an Israel newspaper. In an interview with the Israel Hayom daily, David Friedman said Israel must freeze building in other parts of the West Bank and prepare to reenter peace negotiations with the Palestinians on the basis of the Trump peace plan. The plan requires the Israeli prime minister to agree to negotiate with the Palestinians “in good faith” for four...

  • My Top Ten list to get through this pandemic 

    Marilyn Shapiro|May 15, 2020

    Some day-hopefully in the near future-the COVID-19 pandemic will be behind us. Medical interventions to those infected will alleviate the pain, suffering, and deaths. A vaccine may be developed that can prevent others from becoming ill. Social distancing will no longer be necessary. We can go back to our lives, our jobs, our schools, our vacations, our celebrations. Larry and I have been sheltering in place since March 10, leaving our house only for daily exercise and essential outings. We consi...

  • The superheroes of the Jewish Academy of Orlando

    May 15, 2020

    Jewish Academy of Orlando teachers are superheroes. During Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers were celebrated with yard signs. Here is a peek of some of JAO's beloved teachers. Jewish Academy of Orlando serves central Florida students of all faiths from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of...

  • How we are coming out of Corona

    Jonathan Feldstein|May 15, 2020

    Israel is slowly emerging from the Corona crisis. As I said in a radio interview last week, Israel is the canary in the coalmine. Measures taken to arrest the spread of the coronavirus and prevent an even wider outbreak were recognized internationally as being bold (some felt too much so) early on, with progressively severe restrictions going into place, somewhat ahead of the curve of many other countries. Now, as we emerge, the world will look at us as how to do it well, or how to learn from our mistakes. Medically, while we’re not out of i...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|May 15, 2020

    Another Coronavirus poem by Your's Truly: I'm in my house for many months, (I'm not the type who swears or grunts.) But Coronavirus is a trap, My days are filled with food and nap, I'm watching TV night and day, (Please Dr. Phil, just go away!) When will this end? I need to know, I'll put on makeup so I'll glow, And dress in sexy clothes again, I cannot wait. Just tell me when! (Okay, I don't wear sexy clothes, I just wear jeans and don't wear hose, I'm pretty though, nice lips, nice nose, Nice...

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