Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the December 22, 2017 edition


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  • It's a world record for largest human menorah!

    Dec 22, 2017

    (JTA)-Students at a Jewish school in New Jersey broke the world record for the world's largest human menorah. Over 500 students from Ben Porat Yosef, a private school in Paramus, stood in the shape of a Chanukah candelabra on Wednesday morning, the first day of the Jewish holiday, Paramus Patch reported. A representative from Guinness World Records certified that the formation was indeed the largest one in the world. Students dressed in colors to make the menorah come to life, with the younger... Full story

  • Jerusalem takes center stage as movement opposes US policy shift

    Deborah Fineblum, JNS|Dec 22, 2017

    BOSTON-Rabbi Rick Jacobs used his pulpit to compare the difficulties between Israel and Reform Jews to those of Joseph and his brothers in last week's Torah portion of Vayeshev. It was a huge congregation Jacobs was addressing: the record-breaking 6,000 Reform Jews gathered in Boston for the Union for Reform Judaism's 74th North American Biennial General Assembly. But it was President Donald Trump's announcement that the U.S. has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and will be moving its... Full story

  • A light in the face of darkness

    Christine DeSouza|Dec 22, 2017

    It only takes one person to strive to make a difference. Sami Kuperberg is such a person. She had endured anti-Semitism since her freshman year at Oviedo High School. Students would tease her because she is Jewish. One student wouldn't let her raise her hand in class to answer questions and grabbed her arm and drew a swastika on it. She was even punched and kicked just because she is Jewish. Kuperberg heard of a program called Jewish Student Union, and reached out to Rabbi Gabi Gittleson of... Full story

  • In stunning upset, Jones trumps Moore

    Dec 22, 2017

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—In a stunning upset, Roy Moore, the controversial Republican nominee backed by President Donald Trump in a Senate race in Alabama, was projected to lose against his Democratic challenger. Networks called the race late Tuesday night for Doug Jones, a former prosecutor. The counting closed with Jones 1.5 percent points ahead of Moore. Jones would be the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama since 1992. Moore said he would not concede until absentee ballots are counted. Moore, a former state chief justice twice r... Full story

  • Federation has created a bear-y special mitzvah

    Dec 22, 2017

    Smiles and bear hugs were in abundance on a recent Sunday afternoon as the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando held its third annual PJ Library Family Mitzvah Day at Build-A-Bear in Altamonte Springs. More than 70 moms, dads, babies, kids and grandparents took part in this increasingly popular Federation holiday tradition, creating nearly 40 stuffed animals and cards to donate to the young patients at Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando. Federation volunteers, along with PJ Library Coordinat... Full story

  • Need help to pay for college? JELF can help

    Dec 22, 2017

    There is an organization that provides last dollar, interest-free loans for higher education to Jewish students in need. The Jewish Educational Loan Fund has been helping the Jewish community since 1889 when the doors of the Hebrew Orphans’ Home first opened in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the last 120-plus years, the organization has transformed twice: first, in 1931, when it began providing adoption and foster care services under the name Jewish Children’s Services and then, in 1961, began granting interest-free loans for college and formally cha... Full story

  • Brother of Israel's greatest spy touring Central Florida

    Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald|Dec 22, 2017

    It could be argued that Israel might not exist today were it not for Eliahu "Eli" Cohen, who was executed as a spy in Syria in 1965-but not before passing on information that likely saved his country. Over 50 years later, Avraham Cohen, is still trying to get his brother's remains returned. Avraham Cohen, Eli Cohen's last surviving sibling, will be speaking at Nate's Shul as part of a larger presentation on the historical and ongoing issue. It's something he's been doing in Israel for many... Full story

  • Al Franken's resignation pains his Jewish fans in Minnesota

    Ben Sales|Dec 22, 2017

    (JTA)-It's a shame Al Franken has to go, Minnesota Jews say. But he has to go. That's the feeling Minnesota Jewish leaders expressed a day after the Democratic senator announced he would resign his seat in the coming weeks following a string of sexual harassment allegations against him. Eight women have accused Franken of inappropriate conduct, and many of his Democratic colleagues called on him to step down. Franken denies some of the allegations. "Minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus... Full story

  • India, China and Russian refrain from recognizing 'East Jerusalem' as capital of 'Palestine'

    Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner|Dec 22, 2017

    Foreign ministers from India, Russia and China notably refrained from recognizing 'East Jerusalem' as the capital of Palestine at their annual meeting in New Delhi this week-seven days after the US recognized the holy city as the capital of Israel. The decision not to restate the position on Jerusalem long-held by all three countries was in marked contrast to their joint call at last year's meeting in Moscow for a "sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East... Full story

  • Palestinian terrorist stabs security guard in Jerusalem

    Dec 22, 2017

    (JNS) An Israeli security guard is in serious condition after a Palestinian terrorist stabbed him in the heart on Sunday at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. Graphic security footage of the incident shows the 24-year-old terrorist, Yassin Abu al-Qur'a, removing his coat at the station's entrance and then suddenly drawing a large knife and plunging it directly into 46-year-old security guard Asher Elmaliach's heart. After attempting to flee the scene, the terrorist was quickly... Full story

  • What Israel and the Palestinians make of Trump's recognition of Jerusalem

    Andrew Tobin|Dec 22, 2017

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Amid the global controversy over President Donald Trump’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, Israeli and Palestinian leaders actually found rare consensus: They agreed that the development was a win for Israel and a loss for the Palestinians. To be sure, Trump’s concession was not a major one. Israel was always expected to get a recognized capital in Jerusalem under any Middle East peace deal, and the president did not reject Palestinian claims to have their capital in the city, too. Howev... Full story

  • 'P is for Palestine' author got one thing right

    Stephen M. Flatow, JNS|Dec 22, 2017

    The “P is for Palestine” children’s book that is causing so much controversy presents anti-Israel propaganda and deeply disturbing justifications for “intifada” violence. But it also contains one very important truth. Golbarg Bashi, the Iranian-born author, decided to use the device of an alphabet book to indoctrinate children with anti-Israel messages. The most incendiary part, which has been at the center of much of the public debate about the book, declares, “I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grow... Full story

  • A credible peace plan, finally

    Caroline Glick|Dec 22, 2017

    Monday, Dec. 4, The New York Times published the Palestinian response to an alleged Saudi peace plan. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly presented it to PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month. According to the Times’ report, Mohammed told Abbas he has two months to either accept the Saudi proposal or leave office to make way for a new Palestinian leader who will accept it. The Palestinians and their European supporters are up in arms about the content of Mohammed’s plan. It reportedly proposes the... Full story

  • Trump delivers a sorely needed dose of reality therapy

    Sarah N. Stern, JNS|Dec 22, 2017

    Dec. 6, 2017, will be forever remembered as a day when a historic wrong had been righted. His long-awaited speech drew praise from both sides of the aisle from our Florida Congressional representatives Congressman Brian Mast (R-Fla.) called it a “day of celebration” and warned that “for groups like Hamas, this is just another excuse to cause violence and destruction that proves they are not ready to negotiate peace.” His sentiment was echoed by fellow Republican Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who lauded President Trump for is decision, after “the Ob... Full story

  • What we talk about when we talk about Jerusalem

    Andrew Silow Carroll|Dec 22, 2017

    (JTA)—E.B. White famously wrote that there are “roughly three New Yorks”: the one of the native New Yorker, the one of the commuter, and the New York of the “person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.” To which a resident of Jerusalem might respond, “Only three? Lucky you.” Jerusalem is messy, in the best and worst sense of the word. It’s a city of secular intellectuals and insular haredim. It’s the seat of Israel’s government and flypaper for the dreamers, fanatics, seekers and tourists from three major re... Full story

  • When women rabbis say '#MeToo,' communities must pay attention

    Hara Person|Dec 22, 2017

    NEW YORK (JTA)—In a recent talk at Temple Emanuel here, former first lady Michelle Obama spoke about how women live with tiny cuts that build up over time, cuts that we endure without noticing, even as we bleed. That is what it is to be a girl and a woman in this world, she said, urging women to own our scars, and to find power and healing in doing so. The last weeks have been a sobering reminder that sexual misconduct is rampant in every profession, not just in the entertainment industry or in politics. It is a reminder, as if we needed a r... Full story

  • What's Happening

    Dec 22, 2017

    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

  • Kehillah continues to amaze its viewers

    Dec 22, 2017

    Kostya Kimlat and his niece Kira Murga are entertained by "Fatz," one of the animatronic characters created by Aaron Fechter, founder of Creative Engineering. Kehillah: A History of the Jews of Orlando continues at the Orange County Regional History Center through Feb. 20, 2018. For information about hours of operation and cost, please call 407-836-8500. The History Center is located at 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.... Full story

  • Fried rice, friendship and fortune cookies on Dec. 25

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 22, 2017

    On Dec. 23, Larry and I traveled 400 miles to spend time with our friends, Chris and Bernie Grossman, in their new home in Tallahassee. And on Dec. 25, the Shapiros and Grossmans upheld a tradition as steeped in Jewish culinary ritual as eating brisket on Rosh Hashanah, potato latkes on Chanukah, and matzo ball soup on Passover. We ate Chinese food on Christmas Day. Growing up in a small town in Upstate New York, my family didn't eat Chinese food on Christmas Day, or most other days of the... Full story

  • Their troubled brother wandered into Gaza-now his Ethiopian-Israeli family wants US help to get him back

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 22, 2017

    WASHINGTON (JTA)-Ilan Mengistu knows his pitch to rescue his brother, Avera, should be a no-brainer to Jews-"pidyon shvuyim," the redemption of the hostage, is among the greatest of commandments. But Mengistu also knows that the story he has to tell is not the straightforward narrative longed for by those who would do good: Avera was not a soldier, nor was he captured exactly. He crossed into the Gaza Strip of his own volition. Mengistu came to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., last week with... Full story

  • An Israeli soup that warms the soul and body

    Dec 22, 2017

    The following is a recipe from the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel's executive chef, Chef Nir Elkayam. The Inbal's Orange Vegetable Soup is one of the many soups offered during the hotel's annual Soup Festival taking place through the winter in Jerusalem. The Inbal's Orange Vegetable Soup Ingredients (Yields 8 servings) 2 large onions 4 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups of pumpkin cut into cubes 2 large sweet potatoes cut into cubes 3 large carrots cut into cubes Black pepper 3 fresh thyme... Full story

  • Jewish Pavilion Chanukah celebrations are in full 'spin'

    Dec 22, 2017

    Jewish Pavilion Program Director Walter Goldstein performed familiar holiday and classic tunes at Brookdale Island Lake. Volunteers Terri Fine-Stenzler and Debbie Meitin led blessings, songs, and told the Chanukah story to a room filled with friends and neighbors. Vitas Health Care and Cornerstone Hospice provided cookies and calendar gifts for the residents in senior living communities. These photos are from Brookdale Island Lake in Longwood.... Full story

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Dec 22, 2017

    Israel ahead in research... Once again, when it comes to science, medicine... everything, I am proud to say, Israel seems to be leading the pack. I read the following in Impact, the magazine of the American Associates of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. I pass it along to you: In the United States today, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism, a disorder symptomized by social interaction problems, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Autism is currently the most prevalent... Full story

  • Happy 100th birthday to Ethel Siegel

    Dec 22, 2017

    The Rosen JCC celebrated the 100th birthday of Ethel Siegel, a dedicated and active member of the Jewish community center. A ceremony honoring Ethel was held on Dec. 21 at the Rosen JCC. Ethel is a senior member of the Chai Steppers social group that meets at the Rosen JCC. Originally born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1917, Ethel married Matthew Siegel in 1941 and is the mother of two children. The family resided for many years in Roslyn, N.Y. on Long Island before retiring to Florida. Ethel is an... Full story

  • Why kosher butchers in Western Europe are preparing to close

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Dec 22, 2017

    PARIS (JTA)-When Jerry Levy's family opened one of the first gourmet kosher meat shops in France, they had some of the country's best-laid business plans. Hailing from a long line of Jewish butchers in their native Algeria, they had the expertise and diligence in 1977 to cater to the changing needs of their growing community, where tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from North Africa like them were developing both the appetite for quality-and the means to pay for it. Four decades on, the... Full story

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