Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the June 4, 2021 edition

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  • Book Review: Reclaiming family property and finding Nazi treasures

    Christine DeSouza|Jun 4, 2021

    I don't usually do book reviews, I really don't have time. But this book, "Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure," by Menachem Kaiser, was "not-put-downable." As Kaiser wrote in his book (the last sentence actually) "Oh my god ..." is my thought of this book! By that I mean, this book is remarkable. I love the way it was written. At first I was a little overwhelmed by his detailed writing - how he describes his feelings with every adjective possible it seems. But as I kept...

  • IAEA head says no turning back clock on Iran's nuclear program

    Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) - Amid ongoing talks in Vienna regarding a possible U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog warned in an interview published on Tuesday that "you cannot put the genie back in the bottle." International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Grossi told the Financial Times that while most of the measures taken by Iran since the United States unilaterally exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 could...


    Jun 4, 2021

    It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Elaine Ditchek Finestone, may her memory be for a blessing, on May 21, 2021. Elaine died in Orlando, Florida, surrounded by her children and many of her grandchildren. She was born Jan. 3, 1930, and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., by a large and loving Jewish family, Elaine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College, the first woman of her family to attend college, where she majored in history. She married Dr. Alvin William Finestone,... Full story


    Jun 4, 2021

    Susan Beth Kaplan Lancaster, aged 72, passed away peacefully at her home in Lake Mary, Florida. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dec. 7, 1948, she was the daughter of Nathan and Lee Kaplan. On March 21, 1966 Susan married Samuel Pottinger Lancaster. They had two children, Lauren (Robert) Thomas and Eric (Annie) Lancaster. She was a beloved grandmother of Maggie, Ashlinn, Robbie, and Nicole. Susan loved to remind her family that she was forever 27 years old, and she had the energy to match. Susan leaves behind a legacy of a love for her family,... Full story

  • Israel commiting genocide? These human rights lawyers beg to differ.

    Ben Sales|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — When actor Mark Ruffalo apologized on Monday for posts that “suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide,’” it wasn’t clear what comments of his own he was speaking about. But he drew attention to a loaded word that has leapt into public discourse in the past two weeks, during and after the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Accusations that Israel has been committing genocide in Gaza have flown freely, from seasoned activists to the Palestinian foreign minister to people wading into the Israeli-Palestinian issue for t...

  • 'Condemnation of antisemitism is another forms of hate'

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — As reports of attacks on Jews broke into the news late last week, Democratic lawmakers moved quickly to condemn antisemitism — but they didn’t stop there. “We’ve recently seen disturbing antisemitic attacks and a troubling rise in Islamophobia,” Bernie Sanders, the Jewish Vermont senator who is a leader of American progressives, tweeted Friday. “If you are committed to a future of equality and peaceful coexistence, please stand united against anyone who promotes hatred of any kind.” Numerous other progressives soon followed suit,...

  • First Birthright Israel group lands in Tel-Aviv

    Jun 4, 2021

    NEW YORK & TEL AVIV — The first group of Birthright Israel, the largest educational tourism organization in the world, landed May 21 at Ben Gurion Airport, marking the resumption of activity following a yearlong Covid-19 pause. The participants are vaccinated students from the United States, arriving in Israel today for a 10-day educational tour. Dozens of more trips are expected during May and June, with many more tour groups planned for July, August, and October. The group that arrived today will visit the Golan Heights, Safed, Jerusalem, M...

  • Weekly roundup of world briefs

    Jun 4, 2021

    International Christian Embassy donates 15 bomb shelters to Israeli towns (JNS) — Amid the intense rocket barrages of recent days, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is pressing ahead with orders for 15 new portable bomb shelters—nine to be delivered as soon as possible to vulnerable Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip and the other six to exposed villages along the northern border with Lebanon. Thanks to gifts from concerned Christians worldwide, this will bring to 132 the total number of bomb shelters the ICEJ has donated since...

  • Blinken's Mideast trip highlights limits of American efforts to isolate Hamas

    Dmitriy Shapiro|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) — While the Biden administration’s negotiations to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has generally being seen as successful, experts have low expectations that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit this week to the Middle East will accomplish anything more substantial than to ensure the international community that the United States remains engaged in the region. Dispatched at the request of U.S. President Joe Biden, Blinken met with Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian offic...

  • Some American Jews are taking off their kippahs and Stars of David

    Shira Hanau and Ben Sales|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — When Ricki moved into her new ground floor apartment in New York City less than a year ago, she felt perfectly comfortable placing a mezuzah on the front door for all who passed through the lobby to see. Today she feels less sanguine about that choice. Ricki hasn’t removed the mezuzah, but she has asked the building’s management to put bars on her windows. And she’s still considering taking down the Jewish symbol. “When I put it up I was really proud of it,” Ricki said, declining to use her last name due to privacy concerns. ...

  • Fed up with socialism and anti-Semitism, attorney seeks to clean up New York City

    Heather Robinson|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) — Inna Vernikov remembers what life was like for families in the former Soviet Union when she was a child. “I remember standing in very long lines with my grandfather—he’d have a ticket so we could get one loaf of bread and one bottle of milk for the entire family,” said Vernikov, who was born in Czernovitz, Ukraine, and immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of 12. Memories like this, the desire to effect change on issues related to crime and New York’s economy, as well as her perception of a parallel between the...

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