Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the February 11, 2022 edition


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  • What's Happening

    Feb 11, 2022

    MORNING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, some minyans have been canceled or held virtually.) Chabad of North Orlando and Chabad of Altamonte Springs are holding in-person minyans. 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. Congr...

  • Legal experts expose biased research, reliance on terror organizations

    Israel Kasnett|Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) - Amnesty International's latest controversial report released on Feb. 1 during a press conference in Jerusalem, this time accusing Israel of apartheid, has come under fierce condemnation from the Israeli government and Jewish groups around the world as being "anti-Semitic." The Biden administration rejected it as "absurd." Some U.S. lawmakers denounced it as "rooted in historic prejudices and false narratives." But Amnesty has doubled down on its accusation, claiming any argument to the...

  • The Greater Orlando Jewish Federation stands with JFNA and strongly condemns Amnesty's 'apartheid' report

    Feb 11, 2022

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando stands with its parent organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, as well as the ADL, and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with many others in strongly condemning the factually inaccurate report issued by Amnesty UK. We stand in support of the democratic State of Israel. Jewish Federations of North America President and CEO Eric Fingerhut released the following statement regarding Amnesty International UK’s report on Israel: Jewish Federations strongly condemn Amnesty I...

  • DeSantis decries neo-Nazi activity

    Faygie Holt|Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) — Jewish groups and some politicians are decrying neo-Nazi activity that took place in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend, even as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis alleges his political enemies are trying to use the incident to “smear” him. On Saturday, some two dozen neo-Nazis from two hate groups, Goyim Defense League and National Socialist Movement, rallied in Orlando, calling Jews “the devil” and saying, “Jews rape children and drink their blood,” according to the watchdog group StopAntisemitism.com. They also hung flags with swastikas and bann...

  • 'Maus' books sell out

    Feb 11, 2022

    By Shira Hanau (JTA) - More than 3,000 people are expected to attend a Zoom talk by Art Spiegelman, the author of "Maus," and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Chattanooga as well as a number of other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations Monday night. The event is the latest aftershock to follow the earthquake unleashed by a Tennessee school district's decision to ban Spiegelman's graphic memoir about the Holocaust from its classrooms. The books - published in two volumes in the 1980s and 90s -...

  • JFGO set to receive security funding from the state

    Christine DeSouza|Feb 11, 2022

    At an in-person briefing, State Senator Randolph Bracy announced that the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando will receive $150,000 in state funds to secure a new security system for the campus. The in-person meeting came a week after two groups of neo-Nazis rallied in Orlando. One of the groups, the Goyim Defense League, protested outside the JCC campus about a year ago. This time the group was near the UCF campus and stood on a bridge on I-4. "Those kinds of demonstrations are despicable and...

  • AAUW to host author Kristin Harmel

    Feb 11, 2022

    NY Times best-selling author Kristin Harmel will be the guest speaker at the 20th Annual Literary Luncheon on March 5 at the Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. Doors will be open at 10:15 am. so guests may peruse the Silent Auction items and make bids. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Orlando/Winter Park American Association of University Women and its proceeds go to benefit scholarships and legal advocacy for women and girls. Favorite author and Orlandoan...

  • An opportunity to ensure a strong and vibrant Jewish future

    Feb 11, 2022

    Each month PJ Library sends high-quality, age-appropriate Jewish-themed books to families raising Jewish children. For more than 10 years, families in greater Orlando have been receiving these books on a monthly basis through The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. In addition to the books, PJ Library of Greater Orlando connects families to other families who are making Jewish choices and offers meaningful connections to the Jewish community. For one in three families, PJ Library is one of the first Jewish...

  • Former Ambassador David Friedman warned by White House: 'Don't be so Jewish'

    Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) — Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was warned by a U.S. State Department staffer in 2017 not to be “so Jewish,” Breitbart has revealed. Friedman reportedly recounts the anti-Semitic episodes in his new book, Sledgehammer: How Breaking With the Past Brought Peace to the Middle East, set to be released on Feb. 8. The book centers on how the White House under former President Donald Trump successfully achieved the Abraham Accords and a new era of peace in the region. The excerpt from the book that was shared by Breit...

  • Feds to probe students' complaints of antisemitism at Brooklyn College

    Stewart Ain|Feb 11, 2022

    (New York Jewish Week via JTA) — A federal investigation has been launched into complaints by Jewish students at Brooklyn College that they have been subjected to “severe and persistent harassment” in the Mental Health Counseling master’s program. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights last week informed the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which prepared the complaint, that it had opened the probe. The complaint alleges that Jewish students in the MHC program have been “bullied and harassed in class discu...

  • Rep. Andy Levin the 'most corrosive' on Israel

    Ron Kampeas|Feb 11, 2022

    (JTA) — Some members of Congress are openly hostile to Israel. But it was Rep. Andy Levin, a Detroit-area Michigan Democrat and a scion of a storied Jewish political family, whom a former AIPAC president identified in an email earlier this month as “arguably the most corrosive member of Congress to the U.S.-Israel relationship.” David Victor, a former president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, made the comment in an email Jan. 19 to pro-Israel donors in the Detroit area, where he is from. Victor, who led AIPAC in the late 2000s...

  • The Anti-Defamation League and Amnesty International

    Caroline B. Glick|Feb 11, 2022

    One of the more curious responses to Amnesty International’s Israel Apartheid report came from the Anti-Defamation League. In a press conference the heads of Amnesty held, they presented the main “findings” of the “investigation” they conducted regarding the status of Israel’s existence. It works out that after years of “careful study,” Amnesty’s entirely professional “researchers” determined that Israel has no right to exist. The Law of Return, which grants automatic citizenship to Jews after two thousand years of homeless wanderings, is a typ...

  • A timely reminder of what groups enable antisemitism

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) — It made headlines in many Jewish outlets, even if it was ignored by the secular press. Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, gave a sermon on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in which he said: “The continued occupation in Palestine/Israel is 21st-century slavery and should be abolished immediately.” What really drew attention to his statement was his claim that Israel was employing “enslavement.” This is a piece of libelous fiction. The term “slavery” is not a metaphor. Tha...

  • Dear Whoopi: Race or no race, Jews were murdered because they were Jews

    David Suissa|Feb 11, 2022

    The brouhaha around Whoopi Goldberg has been hijacked by the red herring of race. Instead of focusing on the horrific murder of 6 million Jews strictly because they were Jews, we’re arguing over whether these murdered Jews should be considered a race. Since Hitler himself saw the Jews as an “inferior race,” Goldberg has come under attack for challenging that categorization. “The Holocaust was not about race,” she said, implying in subsequent comments that the Jews shouldn’t be considered a race. Even when she apologized on the Colbert Sho...

  • My cousin may have betrayed Anne Frank. What would I have done in his place?

    Jason van Leeuwen|Feb 11, 2022

    (JTA) — My entire adult life I have espoused and jettisoned multiple theologies and philosophies after subjecting them to the ultimate test: Would they survive Auschwitz? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, almost always with some kind of caveat. Now Auschwitz presents a new test much closer to home. This month, the subject of who betrayed Anne Frank and her family has exploded onto the airwaves. A new book, prominently featured on “60 Minutes,” claims that the Franks were betrayed by Arnold van den Bergh, a member of the Joodse Raad, or the Jewis...

  • Amnesty's anti-Israel report pours more fuel onto delegitimization bonfire

    Daniel S. Mariaschin|Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) — A 211-page report issued by Amnesty International in the United Kingdom is pouring a deeper foundation on top of an already dangerous and insidious path to delegitimize Israel. The report charges Israel “with oppression and domination of Palestinians, through cruel policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion,” in what it further describes as crimes against humanity. Disturbingly, this report joins a malicious piling on against the world’s only Jewish state. Last April, the organization Human Rights Watch issued a 213-page repor...

  • Wake up to the woke government

    Feb 11, 2022

    Dear Editor: Good ole Uncle Joe Biden has more in common with good ole Uncle Joe Stalin than any American I can think of. When he brings up, which he does constantly, that White Supremacy is the greatest threat to our Democracy he sounds like Tokyo Rose in her hey day bragging about the Japanese victories over America during WW II. I know that he had racist animus toward Blacks and he didn’t want his children going to “hell hole” schools with them. I know that he was close and admiring friends with fellow Senator Byrd who was a Grand Wizar...

  • ABC suspends Whoopi over Holocaust comments

    Philissa Cramer|Feb 11, 2022

    (JTA) — ABC has suspended Whoopi Goldberg from her role as a co-host of a morning TV talk show for two weeks amid criticism of Goldberg’s characterization of the Holocaust. Goldberg will take two weeks off from the show, ABC News President Kim Godwin announced in a statement Tuesday evening, hours after a leading Jewish organization that had been among Goldberg’s critics said it had welcomed her apology for saying the Holocaust “isn’t about race.” “Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful c...

  • It's Super Bowl week, and Eli Lunzer is tackling a different side of sports

    Howard Blas|Feb 11, 2022

    (JNS) - For Eli Lunzer, the road to Super Bowl Super LVI started weeks before the team match-ups were determined. Lunzer will arrive in Los Angeles for a nonstop week of work before the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams players even get to SoFi Stadium for kickoff, scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST. And he will work around the clock, except for Shabbat, for a solid week. "I am a shadchan," says Lunzer, using the Yiddish word for "matchmaker." Meaning, he explains, "I connect brands,...

  • 'The Voice of Silence' brings to light how our history is intertwined

    Jonathan Feldstein|Feb 11, 2022

    I visited Ephraim Kholmyansky in Moscow in October 1987. It was my second trip to the USSR to help encourage Jews, bringing hope, make personal connections, and smuggle in a small amount of things to help them but that could have had me in some big trouble with the KGB. I knew about Kholmynasky before as I spent much of my early adulthood engrossed in the movement to free Soviet Jews. So, for me, when we met, I was meeting one of my heroes. But as much as I thought I knew Kholmynasky through my...

  • Jewish residents of Village On The Green celebrate Tu B'shvat

    Feb 11, 2022

    Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic and visitation rights have been decreased at most of the senior living facilities in the area, The Jewish Pavilion has been committed to finding ways to connect with its Jewish residents. Jewish Pavilion program directors have been able to present in-person programs at a variety of sites - not letting even the most minor celebration go unnoticed. Susan Bernstein visited with residents at Village On The Green and presented a Tu B'shvat Seder, which included an explanation of the origins of the...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Feb 11, 2022

    Hollywood has a lot of Jews! ... For instance, while watching the STEPHEN COLBERT television show recently, his guest was actor ADRIEN BRODY. I first saw Adrien in the movie "The Pianist" and I fell in love with him and his rare talent. He won an Academy Award for that performance as Best Actor. Of course he has appeared and acted in other movies but "The Pianist" stood out for me. Of course, Adrien Brody is Jewish, the son of a Polish-Jewish man and a mother who was half Catholic from her dad,...

  • Jewish activist and IfNotNow co-founder was on a 'Jeopardy!' winning streak

    Shira Hanau|Feb 11, 2022

    (JTA) - Activists on the Jewish left celebrated over the weekend as Emma Saltzberg, a Jewish activist who helped co-found the Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow, extended a "Jeopardy!" winning streak that has some comparing her to the game show's most successful contestants. Saltzberg took the lead for three episodes in a row and earned a total of $54,199 in prize money. Saltzberg, a consultant who lives in Brooklyn, is a senior fellow at Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, according...

  • 'Never again,' for the Uyghurs: Jews around the world ramp up China protests as Beijing Olympics start

    Toby Axelrod|Feb 11, 2022

    BERLIN (JTA) - On a recent Friday afternoon, with the Beijing Olympic Games only three weeks away, Mischa Ushakov and Padma Wangyal chained themselves to the entrance of the Allianz insurance giant's headquarters in Germany's capital. They had two demands: that Allianz "drop their sponsorship of the games in China and comment on the human rights abuses of the Chinese government," Ushakov said. "We gave them a one week deadline," he added. Ushakov, 23, is a cofounder with Bini Guttmann of Never...

  • How this Modern Orthodox yeshiva went viral

    Shira Hanau|Feb 11, 2022

    (JTA) — The first thing to know about the Yeshiva Har Torah Twitter account is that, contrary to the account’s bio, the head of school does know about the account. And he has given it his blessing. “I don’t think the school is attracting kids because of its Twitter account,” said Rabbi Gary Menchel, head of the Modern Orthodox day school in eastern Queens, New York. “But I think, ultimately, anything we can do to broaden that experience, and engage people in the yeshiva experience is a positive thing.” And engage people have. While the sch...

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