Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the May 31, 2024 edition


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  • Dancing, memories shared and keepsakes for Temple Israel's 70th

    Emily Raij|May 31, 2024

    Temple Israel proved there was a lot to celebrate at their 70th Anniversary Simcha on Sunday, May 19. As more than 115 guests walked through the doors into the breezeway, they enjoyed catered appetizers, drinks, and plenty of fun in the photo booth. After the cocktail hour, which featured beautiful music from Edgewater High School's string quartet, attendees took their seats in the Roth Social Hall to enjoy a full program of events. Temple Israel Vice President Sarah Landerman welcomed guests...

  • These 18 American women are extraordinary Zionists, says Hadassah

    Elana Sztokman|May 31, 2024

    By Toby Klein is no stranger to standing out and challenging the status quo. She successfully navigated coming out as gay to her Orthodox community, chose to do her doctorate researching Holocaust education at the University of Arkansas and spent time doing abortion advocacy work in the conservative southern state before becoming program manager for the Jewish LGBTQ+ advocacy organization A Wider Bridge. But Klein's work advocating for Israel since Oct. 7 has made her stand out like never...

  • Nikki Haley to visit Israel

    Ariel Kahana JNS|May 31, 2024

    (Israel Hayom via JNS) — Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is scheduled to pay a solidarity visit to Israel next week. Haley, who served as ambassador during Trump’s presidency, plans to tour communities near the Gaza border as well as in the north of the country during her visit, which is set to begin on Monday, according to former Israeli U.N. envoy Danny Danon, who is to accompany her. She is also scheduled to meet with Israeli leaders and senior security off...

  • Biden: Gaza war 'not genocide'

    Ron Kampeas|May 31, 2024

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden told a Jewish gathering that he will ensure that Israel will have “everything it needs” to fight Hamas, a pledge that comes after weeks of tension between the governments over his pause on the delivery of large bombs. “I’ll always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas, and all its enemies,” Biden told a White House reception on May 20, marking Jewish American Heritage Month. The crowd of several hundred in the Rose Garden cheered and applauded. Biden also denounced t...

  • Meet Jill Hausman, the real rabbi who grimaced through jokes about Jews on SNL's 'Weekend Update'

    Jackie Hajdenberg|May 31, 2024

    (JTA) - For Rabbi Jill Hausman, spiritual leader of the Actors' Temple in Manhattan's Theater District, working with celebrities comes with the job description. So when she saw an email on Thursday from "Saturday Night Live," asking her to be on that week's show, she knew she had to accept. "If opportunities come along, it's such great fun for me to be in something with other people," she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "If people come to me with an opportunity, as long as I can, I'll try...

  • Families commemorate fallen medic sons

    Etgar Lefkovits|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) - The Meisels did not know that their son was serving in Gaza when he was called up for reserve duty immediately after the outbreak of the war, but when the longtime volunteer medic fell in battle, they knew exactly how best to commemorate his memory: a bullet proof ambulance for Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service. Master Sgt. (res.) Nitai Meisels, 30, served in an elite tank unit. He was killed in December, during a mission to locate hostages in a Palestinian refugee camp in the...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Coping with loss: One year later

    May 31, 2024

    As time passes, the pain of losing a loved one may evolve either becoming more manageable or more intensifying. There’s no set timeline for healing as each person navigates grief in their own way. Finding outlets for emotions can be beneficial whether through journaling, creating a photo collage, immersing oneself in music, or simply taking a walk. For those seeking support, the Jewish Pavilion and various hospice groups stand ready to accompany individuals on their grief journeys. These bereavement support services aim to help individuals a...

  • Nearly 70% of Gaza aid from US-built pier stolen

    Joshua Marks|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — Close to three-fourths of the humanitarian aid transported from a new $320 million floating pier built by the U.S. military off the Gaza coast was stolen on Saturday en route to a U.N. warehouse, Reuters reported on May 21. Eleven trucks “were cleaned out by Palestinians” on the journey to the World Food Programme warehouse in Deir El Balah in the central Strip, with only five truckloads making it to the destination. “They’ve not seen trucks for a while,” a U.N. official told Reuters. “They just basically mounted on the trucks and he...

  • US joins minute of silence for 'Butcher of Tehran' at UNSC

    May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — Members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, observed a minute of silence on Monday in memory of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Footage posted on social media showed the body’s 15 representatives rising to honor the memory of the leader, known as the “Butcher of Tehran” for his role in the 1988 execution of 30,000 political prisoners. The video shows Robert Wood, deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, joining in the minute of silence alongside representatives of th...

  • 'Death to America! Death to Israel!' chants ring out at Raisi's funeral

    Adi Nirman|May 31, 2024

    (Israel Hayom via JNS) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei oversaw a memorial service at Tehran University on Wednesday to honor President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and others killed in a recent helicopter crash. “Oh Allah, we didn’t see anything but good from him [Raisi],” Khamenei said in the standard prayer for the dead in Arabic. Iran’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, stood nearby and openly wept during the service. People then carried the coffins out on their shoulders, chanting, “Death to America!” fol...

  • Report: Israel opts for limited Rafah action with Biden's blessing

    May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — Israel will not engage in a full-scale military offensive in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah. Instead, it will continue its limited operation in the last Hamas bastion, with the blessing of the Biden administration, according to Washington Post analyst David Ignatius. In an opinion piece published on May 20 citing sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper’s senior commentator wrote that the framework for eventually ending the Gaza war became more clear after a just-wrapped trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel by U.S. National Secur...

  • Campus wars are now more intense but not new

    Mitchell Bard|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — The demonization of Israel and antisemitism on campus may be more intense than in the past, but it’s not new. This is why it is even more damning that the Jewish community was ineffective in acting before the smoke turned into a blaze. As early as 1983, I wrote about the propaganda war on campus in the Jewish newspaper in Berkeley, Calif. “We should not let ourselves be intimidated by individuals or crowds,” I wrote. One problem was that “there are very few students on this campus with the knowledge, articulateness and inclinati...

  • All the aid from Biden's Gaza pier was stolen

    Daniel Greenfield|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — If you’re keeping track, Biden announced that America was going to spend two months building a floating pier to deliver aid to Gaza at a cost of $300 million that would be operated by the U.S. military. Then the pier came under attack by terrorists, was withdrawn to the Israeli port of Ashdod for repairs while the Biden administration conducted backchannel talks with Hamas urging it not to attack the pier, then redeployed for aid deliveries. And it’s been a smashing success. For Hamas. The good news was the Pentagon press secre...

  • US State Department to Israel: We have a bridge to sell you (again)

    Moshe Phillips|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — An ex-U.S. State Department official believes that he has come up with a brand-new, innovative, never-before-tried way to reach peace in the Middle East: Give more territory to the Palestinian Authority. How many times will these guys try to sell us this bridge to nowhere? These same dangerous ideas? The “new” scheme is to give the Gaza Strip to the P.A. This proposal comes from David Makovsky, who used to be the right-hand man to Martin Indyk, the most pro-Palestinian U.S. ambassador to Israel in history. For more than 20 years, Makovs...

  • Unconscionable US interference in Israel's war prosecution

    Lawrence Franklin|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — The open split been between the Biden administration and the Israeli government as to how Israel should conduct war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip has become a gut-wrenching policy dispute while the goal to expunge the terror organization is still ongoing. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s recent public statement, “Israel is not a vassal state of the United States,” is evidence of how both pungent and exasperating policy and personal divergence has become. U.S. President Joe Biden has taken the bold step of dispatc...

  • It's time to review international law

    Rabbi Uri Pilichowski|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — The International Committee of the Red Cross explains the purpose of the rules of war by stating, “The rules of war or international humanitarian law are a set of international rules that set out what can and cannot be done during an armed conflict. The main purpose of international humanitarian law is to maintain some humanity in armed conflicts, saving lives and reducing suffering. To do that, international humanitarian law regulates how wars are fought.” “The rules of war are universal,” it claims. “The Geneva Conventions (which are...

  • Is the Jewish vote going Republican?

    Farley Weiss|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — There are increasing signs that the Jewish vote may be shifting away from the Democrats. A poll taken of New York voters in February showed that 53 percent of Jewish voters intend to vote for Donald Trump in November. A Bulwark article this month reported that Jewish donors appear to be moving towards the Republicans due to U.S. President Joe Biden’s troubling policies on the Israel-Hamas war. While there is a paucity of additional surveys on how Jews intend to vote in November, a Pew survey taken in February found that 89 percent of...

  • What's Happening

    May 31, 2024

    MORNING 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. 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 Israel — Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-647-3...

  • Hamas reaped hundreds of millions off Gaza aid

    May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — The Hamas terrorist organization has profited at least $500 million off humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip since the start of the war on Oct. 7, according to a report that aired on Israel’s Channel 12 last week. Veteran analyst Ehud Yaari, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the broadcaster on Thursday that, according to a calculation he made with “a friend—I don’t know if I’m allowed to mention his name,” Hamas earned “no less” than half a billion dollars from the aid. “We provide [this] for...

  • In 'Here There Are Blueberries,' playwright Moisés Kaufman focuses on the perpetrators of the Holocaust

    Andrew Silow Carroll|May 31, 2024

    (New York Jewish Week) - "I've always wanted to write about the Holocaust," the playwright Moisés Kaufman, son of a Romanian Holocaust survivor, told me this week. "But it's the one thing in history that has been most written about. What is there new to say?" One answer came in an article on the front page of the New York Times, dated Sept. 19, 2017, about a remarkable album of photographs donated anonymously to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. More than 100 carefully mounted snapshots...

  • Video shows Hamas abduction of female IDF spotters on Oct. 7

    Joshua Marks and Amelie Botbol|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) - The Hostages and Missing Families Forum on Wednesday evening released a video of Hamas terrorists abducting female Israel Defense Forces spotters on Oct. 7. Footage taken by body cameras of the terrorists reveals the violence and trauma experienced by five of the seven spotters captured alive from the Nahal Oz base. Another 15 field observers serving there were murdered during the attack. The video running time is 3 minutes and 10 seconds. It was edited and censored to exclude the most...

  • The stories of the women in the harrowing video

    Noam Dvir|May 31, 2024

    (Israel Hayom via JNS) - Hamas kidnapped field observers who were from the Nahal Oz base on Oct. 7. Five are seen in the abduction video released at the request of their families. Agam Berger Agam Berger, aged 19, is the twin sister of Li-Yam, born two minutes before her. She's a gifted violinist, playing since she was 8. She had only been in the position for one day when she was kidnapped from IDF's Nahal Oz Base. Her mother, Mirav, said in March, "Agam was supposed to be stationed at the...

  • Brooklyn day school principal taught 'Sesame Street' how to celebrate Shabbat

    Jackie Hajdenberg|May 31, 2024

    (JTA) - Amanda Pogany works as the director of a Jewish day school in Brooklyn. But recently, she added another bullet point to her resume: consultant for "Sesame Street." Pogany weighed in on three new episodes of the educational children's TV show, all of which feature human characters explaining Jewish traditions to the show's iconic puppets. (Two aired this spring, while a third will air next year.) In one, Elmo and Big Bird learn to make challah for Shabbat. In another, a child writes a...

  • 'Quiet Rooms' create sense of peace for evacuated Israelis

    Amelie Botbol|May 31, 2024

    (JNS) - Israelis evacuated from their homes in communities opposite the Gaza Strip and the Upper Galilee, who live in temporary housing arrangements, have been provided specially designed areas called "Quiet Rooms" for them to retrieve some peace and privacy. The "Quiet Rooms," modeled after Beit Issie Shapiro's Snoezelen rooms, are controlled spaces designed to reduce anxiety and mental stress while calming sensory overload. Since 1993, when their first Snoezelen room opened, Ra'anana-based...

  • Jewish Voice for Peace mocked widely for claim Israeli holidays meant to overshadow 'Nakba Day'

    May 31, 2024

    (JNS) — Jewish Voice for Peace is being criticized and ridiculed widely on social media after the anti-Israel, far-left group claimed that Israel scheduled the holidays Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut to eclipse Nakba Day. “Yesterday, the Israeli government ended its yearly cycle of state holidays that sequentially commemorates the Holocaust, Israeli militarism and the creation of the State of Israel,” JVP wrote on Tuesday. “The sequencing of these holidays was intentionally designed to conclude and obscure May 15, the day Pales...

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