Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the May 21, 2021 edition


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  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|May 21, 2021

    Laugh and cry ... (That seems to be how I describe my days lately). During this pandemic, I stay at home a lot and watch television. Of course I see many comedians. There is one comedian especially, he was also a gifted actor, producer and director. His name was Mike Nichols. Mike was only about seven years old when his parents sent him out of Germany, where he was born as Igor Mikhail Peschkowsky, to America to keep him from falling into the hands of Nazis. Yes, Mike Nichols was Jewish, and...

  • Golfing for a cause with the Jewish Pavilion

    Ashley Fisak|May 21, 2021

    Did someone say "fore"? It looks like the Jewish Pavilion and the Orlando Senior Help Desk are back at it again. The PGS Annual Golf Tournament to raise money and awareness for the Orlando Senior Help Desk went off with a shotgun blast this past weekend at Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Course. With a great turnout of 23 teams, the tournament was full of smiling faces, laughs, great conversations, and networking for a great cause. Following on the heels of the Jewish Pavilion's very successful...

  • TikTok and Twitter videos bring images of Israel-Gaza conflict home to American Jews

    Shira Hanau|May 21, 2021

    (JTA) - For some Americans watching the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza in recent days, the most striking image from the conflict came in a video of Israeli men at the Western Wall, singing and dancing as they watched a fire burn outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Others can't look away from videos of Iron Dome, Israel's missile defense system, which shoots rockets out of the air mid-flight, lighting up Israel's skies like a fireworks display. Both images have gone viral as Israel and Gaza...

  • Progressives slam Israeli actions

    Dmitriy Shapiro|May 21, 2021

    (JNS) — With Israel coming under the fire of more than 1,300 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, many U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have vocalized their support for Israel. As to be expected, some in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party harshly criticized Israel’s response. Three Muslim lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives released a joint statement characterizing the violence Monday as “attacks on Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.” “We are horrified by the violent assault by Israeli forces on the Al...

  • Heritage Human Service Award

    May 21, 2021

    Heritage Florida Jewish News is accepting nominations for the 2021 Heritage Human Service Award, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando this summer. “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 Hank Katzen. Former recipients have inclu...

  • 186-year-old letter detailing early American diplomatic visit to Holy Land surfaces in Jerusalem auction

    Asaf Shalev|May 21, 2021

    (JTA) — A detailed account of one of the earliest American diplomatic voyages to Palestine has surfaced as part of an upcoming auction in Jerusalem. The account appears in a handwritten letter from one of the passengers of the USS Delaware, a U.S. Navy ship that visited the Mediterranean Sea in 1834 and made a stop at the port town of Jaffa, then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Sent from the Spanish island of Menorca and addressed to Circleville, Ohio, the four-page letter describes several historically significant moments in the s...

  • Iran's role in Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be 'overlooked,' say Mideast experts

    Sean Savage|May 21, 2021

    (JNS) — The escalating conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is one of the first major policy tests for the Biden administration. Despite U.S. President Joe Biden’s hope to shift foreign policy away from the Middle East to deal with threats from China and Russia, it is now being confronted with the difficult reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS that the Biden administration is in a “decidedly awkward position” right now. “Amid n...

  • Young American Jews are increasingly Orthodox or unaffiliated

    Faygie Holt|May 21, 2021

    (JNS) Young American Jews are moving in two very distinct directions—towards Orthodox or little Jewish engagement. That was one of the major findings from “Jewish Americans in 2020,” a new study by the Pew Research Center. This is the second Pew study of Jewish Americans. The first, released in 2013, sent shockwaves through the Jewish community as it found a community that was increasingly less connected and more assimilated than previous generations. The current survey of some 4,700 Jews nationwide shows a community that is increasingly multi...

  • Weekly roundup of world briefs

    May 21, 2021

    The Guardian says supporting the pro-Zionist Balfour Declaration in 1917 was a mistake By Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) — In an article about its “worst errors of judgment” from its 200-year history, a Guardian writer implied that the storied British paper’s editorial support of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 — the then-British foreign minister’s approval of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine — was a mistake. “The Guardian of 1917 supported, celebrated and could even be said to have helped facilitate the Balfour declaration,” edito...

  • New Pew study shows 75 percent of Orthodox Jews identify as Republicans, up from 57 percent in 2013

    Shira Hanau|May 21, 2021

    (JTA) — Among the findings of the Pew Research Center’s new survey of American Jews is one that has become increasingly self-evident in recent years: Orthodox Jews in the U.S. overwhelmingly affiliate with the Republican Party. According to the newest study, 75 percent of Orthodox Jews surveyed said they were Republicans or leaned Republican. In 2013, the last year in which Pew conducted a survey of American Jews, 57 percent of Orthodox Jews said they were Republicans or leaned Republican. The Pew survey was conducted between Nov. 19, 2019 and...

  • In a sign of greater willingness to criticize Israel, Democrats blame both Israel and Hamas for current conflict

    Ron Kampeas|May 21, 2021

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Last year, when AIPAC wanted a Democrat to sponsor the pro-Israel lobby’s signature legislative effort, it turned to one of its most reliable partners in the Senate, Chris Coons of Delaware. Coons contributed to a result the group wanted: having the $3.8 billion in U.S. defense assistance Israel gets each year codified into law. Yet on Monday, as fighting between Israel and terrorist groups in Gaza escalated, Coons took to Twitter to commit what at an AIPAC conference would certainly elicit boos: He said in specific and har...

  • If current Mideast violence a test, some experts say Biden is failing

    Israel Kasnett|May 21, 2021

    (JNS) — The Biden administration has come under withering criticism in the United States and Israel for its poor handling of the current situation in the Middle East. On Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price failed to mention Hamas or Islamic Jihad as terrorist organizations targeting Israeli civilians in his statement to the press. “Israel has the right to defend itself and to respond to rocket attacks,” Price said in his daily briefing. “The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security just as Israeli...

  • Rally for Israel

    May 21, 2021

  • Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire

    Gabe Friedman and Ben Sales|May 21, 2021

    (JTA) — After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a “mutual and simultaneous” ceasefire on Thursday that began at 2 a.m. Friday Israel time. Israel’s security cabinet unanimously approved the truce, according to reports, after military officials presented what they deemed the successful outcomes of their campaign. A Hamas official confirmed the news to Reuters on Thursday. Israeli forces “achieved military goals unprecedented in their strength, accuracy and strategic significance in their fight against terror organizations in the Ga...

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