Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the May 22, 2015 edition


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  • Jewish families come together for Mother's Day Shabbat in the Park

    May 22, 2015

    Jewish families come together for Mother's Day Shabbat in the Park Our Jewish Orlando's Shalom Families celebrated Mother's Day with a special Shabbat in the Park on Friday, May 8, in Central Park on Park Avenue in Winter Park. Each family in attendance was welcomed with a basket containing all the Shabbat essentials (challah, grape juice and candles). After a picnic dinner, parents socialized and shared dessert while their children made special flowers to present to their moms. The families...

  • Shavuot, when we became who we are

    David Wolpe, JTA|May 22, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (JTA)-Rabbinic tradition teaches that when God spoke at Sinai, the world was silenced-birds did not sing, breezes did not rustle leaves in the trees. Out of that profound silence came the word, and were the world silent again, for even an instant, we could hear the everlasting echo of God's voice. In one way that is a beautiful metaphor for the holiday of Shavuot. Among the holidays, it is "silent" in that no custom imposes itself on our imagination. There is no sukkah, no seder. It...

  • Annual campaign nears the mark

    May 22, 2015

    In its final month, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s annual campaign is only $41,000 from reaching $1 million. It is a milestone they have not achieved since 2007. “This is an amazing accomplishment that has been made possible by the generosity of our supporters and the hard work of our volunteers. To all who have given your financial support and your time during this annual campaign, please accept my sincere gratitude on behalf of Federation,” said JFGO Executive Director Olga Yorish. “If the positive trend we are now experie...

  • Baumstein ready to row Pacific

    Christine DeSouza|May 22, 2015

    It's been one year, almost to the day, since the Heritage interviewed Sonya Baumstein, the young adventurer (she is now 30) set to be the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco. She originally planned to take on this challenge earlier in the year, but she had several set backs. She posted an apology to her supporters and investors on her blog about two months ago, "I want to start with an apology to all of those who have some investment in me, the project,...

  • Two Jews among confirmed dead in Amtrak crash

    JTA Staff|May 22, 2015

    NEW YORK (JTA)-A 39-year-old executive with an education startup and a 20-year-old naval academy student were among the seven people confirmed dead from an Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia. Rachel Jacobs, the executive, who also is the daughter of former Michigan State Senator Gilda Jacobs, and Justin Zemser, a second-year student at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, were both Jewish. The accident, on a northbound train Tuesday night, injured more than 200 people, and...

  • PA cracks down on Hamas supporters on college campuses

    May 22, 2015

    (JNS.org) Palestinian Authority security forces have rounded up more than two-dozen Hamas supporters on West Bank college campuses for interrogation in recent weeks. A Hamas-aligned student group won an April 22 student council election at Birzeit University, which is located near the PA’s de facto capital of Ramallah. “Everyone knew that this was going to happen,” Nagham Yassin, a Palestinian student at Birzeit, told Al Jazeera. “It happened last time the Islamic bloc won in 2007. Everyone assumed it would happen this time. Anyone who goes in...

  • One in six Jews are new to Judaism, and other Pew findings

    Uriel Heilman|May 22, 2015

    NEW YORK (JTA)—The Pew Research Center’s newly released 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study offers a trove of data on American Jews based on interviews with 35,071 American adults, 847 of whom identified their faith as Jewish. Here are some of the more interesting findings about the Jews. We’re highly educated: There are more American Jews with two or more university degrees than those who have just one—31 percent have a graduate degree and 29 percent have just a bachelor’s degree. With a college graduation rate of about 59 percent (more tha...

  • Celebrate Shavuot with Congregation Beth Sholom

    May 22, 2015

    Congregation Beth Sholom invites the public to attend as Rabbi Karen Allen leads a special Shavuot Shabbat service on Saturday, May 23, at 10 a.m. Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people. Customarily, groups stay up late into the night studying the Torah on the night before Shavuot in spiritual preparation for the holiday. It is considered that each person personally receives the Torah. The Shavuot Shabbat service will be held at Congregation Beth Sholom, 315 North 13th Street in Leesburg, with...

  • Learn how to stay safe online at next JGSGO meeting

    May 22, 2015

    The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) will host a presentation on how to improve the security of your computer, how to reduce the risk of malware infecting your computer, and similar hazards in the digital age on Tuesday, June 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Roth Family JCC, in the Senior Lounge. Learn from a computer professional. Mark Schulman is an author, speaker, software designer, and technology enthusiast. He enjoys learning about the ways technology can make life bet...

  • Socash takes on executive director role at Federation

    May 22, 2015

    The Tampa Orlando Pinellas (TOP) Jewish Foundation executive director, Emilie Socash has accepted the position of executive director of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, effective July 1. Socash will continue half-time in her position at the TOP Foundation. "I'm tremendously excited and honored to be stepping into this important leadership role," Socash stated. "As a Pinellas resident, and a long-time Federation professional, I'm committed to fulfilling this role and assisting...

  • Cohen takes on JFGO position

    May 22, 2015

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando has appointed a new director of Outreach and Engagement. Jennifer Cohen has an extensive history of working with the Jewish community in Central Florida, with an emphasis on programming for children and families. She most recently served as program facilitator for "Arty-Party" at Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland. Prior to that she was Young Family Program facilitator for Temple Israel and has been a teacher and marketing manager. In her new...

  • As the Nakba comes to Washington, a wasted opportunity

    Ben Cohen, JNS.org|May 22, 2015

    For two weeks in June, Washington, DC will play host to a group of pro-Palestinian activists who have assembled an exhibit about the dispersion of the Palestinians during Israel’s War of Independence. The exhibit takes place under the auspices of the “Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope”—“nakba” is the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which is how Palestinians and their supporters typically refer to the 1948 upheaval that accompanied the war launched against the nascent state of Israel by five Arab armies. It’s a clever idea that require...

  • Kids who try to kill with rocks, and the media that ignore them

    Stephen M. Flatow, JNS.org|May 22, 2015

    My eye was drawn this week to one of those little news items that appear in the Israeli media, but never make it into the American press. I call them the near-misses: the bomb that was discovered just before it went off, the bullet that struck just inches from its intended target. No casualties? That apparently dictates that the news is not fit to print. This time it was a shower of rocks that were hurled at an Israeli automobile on the afternoon of May 8. Chen Borochov made the mistake of driving through an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem known...

  • Another voice from the Vatican concerning the Palestinians

    David Bedein|May 22, 2015

    Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who served as the Vatican ambassador and Papal Nuncio in Jerusalem from 1998 until 2006, died four years ago. In the wake of current developments between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority, it would be instructive to review the writings of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, of blessed memory. His advice to the Church concerning the reality of the Palestinian Authority, especially PA education, should be studied. Had Archbishop Sambi, still been alive today, he would have expressed another view of the current pope’s b...

  • An American trapped in the 1948 siege of Jerusalem

    Rafael Medoff, JNS.org|May 22, 2015

    “We are so used to bombs and the sound of firing guns that we don’t get upset anymore.” In choosing those words, Florence Bar Ilan probably hoped to convey that there was a certain stability to her daily life, but one can imagine her parents, Rachel and Samuel Ribakove, back in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, trembling as they read the letter their daughter sent from besieged Jerusalem during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. “Dear Florence, Dear Mother and Dad,” a collection of letters between Florence and her American relatives f...

  • For Netanyahu and Obama, mistrust is personal-and cynical

    Ron Kampeas, JTA|May 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Obama administration officials have long contended that the friction between the U.S. president and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not personal and that American support for Israel remains as robust as ever—and arguably even more robust by some metrics. But a year of tense and angry exchanges between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu has yielded an atmosphere of deep mistrust, with each side insinuating the other is acting in bad faith. Conversations with current and former officials from both countries, as...

  • My message to the man who attacked me at the Kotel

    May 22, 2015

    By Alden Solovy JERUSALEM (JTA)—On a sunny morning last month, I was swept into the women’s section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem in a flurry of aggression directed at the Women of the Wall, the Israeli group fighting for women’s prayer at Jerusalem’s holiest site. One of the group’s male supporters, Charlie Kalech, was strangled and thrown to the ground. I was stomped on in the stomach by an enraged man. Nearly three weeks after this brutal attack, I’ve finally woken up from the shock and horror of fellow Jews inflicting bodily harm on me,...

  • Obituary - SANDRA GOLDMAN

    May 22, 2015

    Sandra Goldman, age 66, of Mt. Plymouth, passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2015, at Aiden Springs Health Care Center in Winter Park. Mrs. Goldman was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Aug. 31, 1948, to the late George and Jeanette Schultz Bradshaw. She attended local area schools and was a high school graduate. On March 22, 1970, in Chelsea, she married Martin Yale Goldman, her husband of over 45 years, who survives her. Sandra, a homemaker, and Martin relocated to the Orlando area from Massachusetts in 1986. In addition to her husband, she is...

  • Obituary - BRUCE JORDAN PARNESS

    May 22, 2015

    Bruce J. Parness, age 73, of Clermont, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2015, at Cornerstone Hospice of Lake and Sumter in Tavares. Mr. Parness was born on Jan. 31, 1942, in Providence, Rhode Island, to the late Frank and Claire Parness. He attended local area schools and graduated college with a master’s degree in engineering. He also served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. On May 24, 1964, in Fall River, Mass., he married the former Lois Gitlin, his wife nearly 51 years, who survives him. In addition to his wife, Mr. Parness is survived b...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha, Scene Around|May 22, 2015

    Suspicious no? YES... I read this in the April issue of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) digest and I pass it along to you: "William Schabas, who was appointed last August by the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead a three-member inquiry into Israel's alleged war crimes during its war with Hamas in Gaza, has resigned following allegations of bias. Schabas was a paid consultant for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2012. Although the commission had largely gathered all its...

  • Bat Mitzvah - Sadie Rose Waldbaum

    May 22, 2015

    Sadie Rose Waldbaum, daughter of Laura and Jonathan Waldbaum of Heathrow, will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at Congregation Ohev Shalom. Sadie is in the seventh grade at Millennium Middle School where she is a member of the pre-IB program, Musical Theater and Vocal Ensemble. Her hobbies and interests include Lacrosse, drama and singing. She also enjoys spending her summers at Camp Barney Medintz in Georgia. Sadie is also a member of Kadima and will be serving as vice president of her chapter. Sharing in...

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