Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the April 1, 2016 edition

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  • UCF students loved the AIPAC Conference

    Apr 1, 2016

    UCF students take a break under the beautiful Cherry blossoms after lobbying on Capital Hill while attending the AIPAC Policy Conference.... Full story

  • AIPAC's plans to 'come together' undone by Trump

    Ron Kampeas|Apr 1, 2016

    WASHINGTON (JTA)-Hear out Donald Trump. Ignore Donald Trump. There were two distinct approaches to the Trump moment last week at AIPAC's annual conference here, and there were mutual warnings that one or the other side would get burned. The burn came fast, and it came to those who said listening to the front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nod was the right thing to do. After days of repeated warnings to its activists not to disrupt Trump, and to treat speakers with respect, t... Full story

  • JFGO launches Pomegranate Society

    Apr 1, 2016

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) recently inaugurated a new "sisterhood" for women's philanthropy in Central Florida: the Pomegranate Society. The Pomegranate Society recognizes women who give $1,800 to $4,999 to Federation's Annual Campaign. Women who give at that level receive a beautiful silver pin in the shape of a pomegranate. The silver beads in the opening of the pin can be replaced with ruby "seeds" each year the woman increases her gift until she reaches the highest givin... Full story

  • Protestors outside AIPAC Conference

    Apr 1, 2016

    During the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, hundreds of protestors, including representatives of the Students for Justice for Palestine, gathered outside the Convention Center in D.C. and started chanting "Shut it down!" The group, which was organized by Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition and the ANSWER Coalition, marched from the White House to the Verizon Center where the conference was held. It was the largest pro-Palestine demonstration in the U.S.... Full story

  • Magic carpet ride to completion-plight of the Jews of Yemen

    Christine DeSouza|Apr 1, 2016

    From 1947 to September 1950, 48,818 Yemenite Jews-almost the entire Jewish population in Yemen-flew to freedom in Israel through Operation On Wings of Eagles, better known as Operation Magic Carpet airlift. (See the full story of the airlift in the Feb. 12 issue of the Heritage.) Approximately 14,000 Yemenite Jews remained behind, and then were trapped in Yemen in 1962 after civil war broke out, making it almost impossible to reach the small population. However, over the years, The Jewish... Full story

  • Can Belgium protect its Jews? A community has its doubts

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Apr 1, 2016

    ANTWERP (JTA)—The hundreds of rifle-toting police and soldiers who patrol Isaac Michaeli’s neighborhood have done little to improve his sense of safety. “When the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, the soldiers might as well be cardboard cutouts,” he said. A jeweler in his 40s, Michaeli lives with his family in Antwerp’s Jewish quarter, a small neighborhood of 12,000 that is one of the largest haredi communities in Europe. The troops have been assigned to protect the neighborhood, with its 98 Jewish institutions, since May 2... Full story

  • Netanyahu calls for unity after Brussels attacks

    Caleb R. Newton|Apr 1, 2016

    Political leaders around the globe, including United States presidential candidates from both major parties and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all had words to say as to what they perceived as the best response to the suicide bombings carried out by Islamic State operatives at a metro station and airport that killed at least 34 people in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22. Netanyahu’s remarks were delivered for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2016 Policy Conference on March 22. After “sending his condolences” to the vic... Full story

  • Bat mitzvah project entertaining and beneficial to the IDF

    Apr 1, 2016

    Got talent, drive and a strong desire to help the IDF? Miriam Crane does! As her bat mitzvah project Crane produced, directed and served as MC for a talent show held on March 6, 2016 at Temple Israel to benefit the Friends of the IDF (FIDF). Crane says she chose to help the FIDF because "a couple of years ago Cathy Swerdlow's daughter came to TI's Meitin Religious School to speak about her time in Israel. Most of her time was spent in the IDF and I found it (her talk) very interesting." Crane... Full story

  • Man Cave' to feature Jewish Whisky Company president

    Apr 1, 2016

    In February, the women of the Greater Orlando Jewish community enjoyed the spotlight for Choices; now it's the men's turn. The JFGO will present Man Cave 2016, a men's event in support of Federation's Do Good Annual Campaign, on Thursday, April 14, at Corona Cigar Company on South Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Man Cave will feature an open bar from 7 to 10 p.m., with a tasting led by special guest Joshua Hatton, president and co-founder of the Jewish Whisky Company, which is dedicated to... Full story

  • Early-bird pricing for the Community Passover Seder

    Apr 1, 2016

    This year come and join Temple Israel’s family to discover the taste of freedom and experience spiritual liberation. Temple Israel will be hosting its annual second night Passover Seder led by Rabbi Joshua Neely on April 23 at 6:30 p.m. To encourage timely reservations we are offering early-bird pricing as follows... Adult Temple Israel members—$36; after April 6, $46 Adult nonmembers—$46; after April 6, $56 Children ages 12 & under are free RSVP online at https://www.tiflorida.org/passover-seder/ or by phone at 407-647-3055. The home-... Full story

  • Grant helps JFS deliver more meals

    Apr 1, 2016

    JFS Orlando will receive a $2,000 grant from The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando that will enable JFS to deliver more holiday meals this year. With the $2,000 grant they will be able to purchase 166 additional meals. The 2016 holiday meal program will deliver meals to the older, low-income Jewish population. In 2015, JFS served 140 meals to homebound seniors and this grant will allow them to increase their reach.... Full story

  • The fallout of the Obama doctrine: Global chaos and its implications for Israel and the Jewish people

    Isi Leibler|Apr 1, 2016

    President Barack Obama’s determination to downgrade U.S. international power has generated massive global instability and chaos with especially ominous implications for Israel. The Obama policies have undermined longstanding alliances within the Western bloc. By supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and allying with terrorist and rogue states like Iran, the U.S. has alienated Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which consider themselves abandoned and betrayed. The wooing and groveling toward Iran has empowered the world’s leading Isl... Full story

  • AIPAC turns Trump into politician

    Apr 1, 2016

    By David Suissa How powerful is AIPAC? It did what no one else in America has come close to doing: It tamed the wild verbal beast of Trump. For nearly 30 minutes Monday night in front of close to 18,000 raving Israel fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., the Donald showed that he, too, can play politician—he read from a speech. Sure, there was the odd ad lib, but compared to his usual rambunctious rambling, his performance Monday night was worthy of a High Holiday sermon delivered by a meticulous Rabbi. It was a speech perfectly c... Full story

  • AIPAC and the perils of bipartisanship

    Andrew Silow Carroll|Apr 1, 2016

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—I am trying to imagine a conversation between Donald Trump’s people and a delegation of Reform rabbis and lay leaders. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the Reform movement’s man in Washington, told me that Trump’s people have agreed to a “staff-to-staff” meeting to discuss Jewish concerns about Trump’s policies on immigration, Muslims and women, to name a few. Pesner hopes it is the start of a long process of repentance—“teshuvah,” in Hebrew—for the real estate mogul and Republican front-runner. “Teshuvah is not a quick thing,” Pesner to... Full story

  • Academic statement would ensure no place for anti-Zionism

    Kenneth L. Marcus, JNS.org|Apr 1, 2016

    The Regents of the University of California (UC) are preparing to issue a policy statement that could be a major advance in the battle against campus anti-Semitism. In response to anti-Semitic incidents throughout the UC system’s 10 campuses, the Regents have released an important draft Statement of Principles Against Intolerance. It is not what the Jewish community requested. But it will be a game-changer nevertheless—if the Regents formally adopt it. (By way of disclosure, I was one of the two national experts on anti-Semitism with whom the... Full story

  • When Brussels meant freedom from fear for an Israeli

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Apr 1, 2016

    (JTA)—Growing up, trips to stay with my Jewish family in Brussels were a taste of freedom. In my native Israel, waves of Palestinian terrorist attacks kept me under constant maternal surveillance. Fear of regular bus bombings limited my excursions to biking distance. On the tranquil streets of the Belgian capital, by contrast, I could wander at will amid the mix of Medieval architecture and glass-and-steel skyscrapers. Even riding the tram with my cousin Eli was exhilarating. The rails seemed to stretch out endlessly, and there was the added t... Full story

  • AIPAC must apologize for condemning Trump's speech

    Apr 1, 2016

    Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement: On Monday evening, at AIPAC’s invitation, Donald Trump presented his views on the Arab war against Israel at AIPAC’s policy conference. It is innappropriate that AIPAC’s leaders then turned around the next morning and condemned Trump’s appropriate criticism of President Obama’s anti-Israel policies. It was also disgraceful that AIPAC’s leaders chastised the rank-and-file AIPAC audience for cheering Trump’s well-justified condemnation of President... Full story

  • What's Happening

    Apr 1, 2016

    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


    Apr 1, 2016

    Leon Chaskes, age 90, passed away on Monday, March 21, 2016, at Florida Hospital—Winter Park. Mr. Chaskes was born in Brockton, Massachusetts, on Jan. 20, 1926, to the late Samuel and Fanny Mattis Chaskes. He served honorably in the U.S. Army, being discharged out of Fort Dix in 1946 with the rank of sergeant. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in engineering. Following graduation, Mr. Chaskes began his career working as an engineer for the U.S. Government at the Pentagon. He relocated from W... Full story

  • Meeting of the minds with Rep. John Mica

    Apr 1, 2016

    While attending the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., the UCF Hillel delegation met with Congressman John Mica. The 31 UCF Hillel students who attended were the second largest delegation to AIPAC from the South. The students confidently led the discussion of the AIPAC talking points with Rep. Mica, who was most welcoming and fully receptive to their message.... Full story

  • Meet Sasson Bechor, native of Iraq

    Gloria Green|Apr 1, 2016

    As a Jewish Pavilion program director visiting Jewish residents in nursing homes/independent and assisted living/rehabilitation facilities in Southwest Orlando, I am fortunate to have gotten to know Sasson Bechor, who is newly arrived in Orlando. Anyone fortunate to meet and talk with Bechor will learn how proud he is to have a Jewish heritage that goes back 2600 years to the year 586 BC. That history is significant in Jewish tradition. That was the year Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem by... Full story

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Apr 1, 2016

    April Fool?... Not on your life. There is no fooling around here in spite of the date April 1st (April Fool's Day)! All of us know (or should know) that many advances in medicine, science and technology have come from Israel including possible cures for many types of cancer, Junior Diabetes and other sometimes fatal diseases. I read this recently in a World Jewish Congress (WJC) digest and pass it along: "Health professionals routinely rely on a patient's subjective 'pain scale' to assess pain.... Full story

  • OJO launches 'Coffee Talk'

    Apr 1, 2016

    Our Jewish Orlando, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's young adult division, held its inaugural "Coffee Talk" on March 22 at Stardust Video & Coffee in Orlando. OJO's Coffee Talk is an informal educational series that gives participants the opportunity to socialize in a relaxed environment while discussing topics important to young Jewish adults. The March 22 event featured guest speaker Cantor Kim Singer of Temple Shir Shalom, who led a conversation about Purim. The next OJO Coffee... Full story

  • Seeking Kin: At an Israeli moshav, filling in the blanks on a WWII rescue effort

    Hillel Kuttler|Apr 1, 2016

    The Seeking Kin column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. NIR GALIM, Israel (JTA)-On a recent afternoon in a museum in this moshav community near the port city of Ashdod, Hodaya Gadba held up a black-and-white photograph of a three-story building and pronounced, "This was the site of a thrilling episode of the rescue of Jews." Gadba then led visitors on a tour of an exhibition dealing with the subject of the picture: the Glass House, a Budapest factory that housed a... Full story

  • Purim party fun for seniors

    Apr 1, 2016

    The Jewish holiday Purim began early for seniors at a number of facilities in Southwest Orange County with parties sponsored by The Jewish Pavilion. Featured at each was a Purim skit retelling the story of Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai outwitting the wicked Haman. Jewish Pavilion volunteers, facility staff and residents/patients were enlisted to play various roles in the retelling of the story. The traditional Purim pastry-hamentashan, shaped like Haman's hat-was served at the... Full story

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