Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the May 31, 2013 edition


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  • Optimism vs. pessimism

    Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Vestal N.Y. Reporter|May 31, 2013

    Self-help books encourage us to be optimists. If we don’t actually try new challenges, we’ll never know if it’s possible to accomplish something new or different. The writers of these works assume that the results of our actions will be positive. Of course, there is another point of view, one that sees change and hope as dangerous. This idea can be found in a philosophy offered by a character in Shalom Auslander’s latest novel “Hope: A Tragedy.” Auslander makes a profound statement that intrigued me because it was the opposite of what one mi... Full story

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha, Scene Around|May 31, 2013

    It looks eerily similar… I’m not that old, but I do remember photos of the devastation after the bombing of Berlin near the end of World War II. (I was merely a toddler). I just saw the photos on television of the devastation caused by a monster tornado that hit a town in Oklahoma. It looked eerily similar! Of course, the first thought that comes to mind is that we must help. But where do we start? What should we do? Let me suggest: The Jewish Federations of North America have opened a mai... Full story

  • Ostreicher's wife laments: 'They will never let him go'

    Suzanne Pollak, Washington Jewish Week|May 31, 2013

    Jacob Ostreicher, a haredi Orthodox father of five who remains under house arrest in Bolivia, does not believe he will ever be free and often unplugs his home phone because he is too depressed to speak with his family, according to his wife, Miriam Ungar. He just can’t see himself ever coming back to his home in Brooklyn, she said. “We all feel that. I really know they will never let him go,” she said, adding that Bolivian officials “make up reasons” to detain Ostreicher indefinitely. “This cou... Full story

  • 'Seinfeld's' George directs new musical based on '60s Jewish comedy LPs

    Dan Pine, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California|May 31, 2013

    Taking classic ’60s-era Jewish comedy albums and turning them into a modern-day musical? That’s a pretty big matzah ball hanging out there. Nothing actor Jason Alexander can’t handle. Best known now and forever as George Costanza from “Seinfeld,” he’s been a man of the theater throughout his long career. Alexander directs “When You’re In Love, the Whole World is Jewish,” a new musical revue that was set for its Bay Area debut with a three-day run starting May 24 at San Francisco’s Marin... Full story

  • Eyes of a generation: Beat poet Ginsberg's snapshots of his friends

    Emma Silvers, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California|May 31, 2013

    In 1976, Steve Silberman, then a 19-year-old freshman at Oberlin College, took a bus to New York City to see Allen Ginsberg read. With Silberman was his first boyfriend. Silberman had been in the closet throughout high school, one of many reasons he drew inspiration from the outspokenly gay Ginsberg. “I sat in the front row, and Allen comes out, and I had never seen a middle-aged man look so happy and fully present and awake and authentic, and there was just no bullshit about him,” recalls Silberman, 55, now a San Francisco writer and con... Full story

  • Civility replaces violence in 'Last White Night'

    Naomi Pfefferman, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles|May 31, 2013

    In June 1965, during the most violent days of the civil rights movement, 21-year-old Paul Saltzman drove from Toronto to Mississippi to become a freedom fighter with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Just a year before, Klansmen from Neshoba County, Miss., had assassinated the young activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, and the year before that, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot to death outside his Mississippi home. Within hours of arriving in the Delta, Saltzman—a Canadian Jew whose uncles were p... Full story

  • Seeking Kin: From a mother's devotion, the perfect picture

    Hillel Kuttler, JTA|May 31, 2013

    BALTIMORE (JTA)—Four generations of Lieberman boys stare out from a collage that hangs from a corridor wall in Johannesburg, South Africa. Each boy is 7—a significant number in the life of the first boy, from whom the others descend photographically and genealogically. An ordeal that befell Israel Lieberman at that age would spur him to safeguard his sons against disaster, and they have done the same for their sons. The collage attests to Lieberman’s scars, but also to his mother’s unquenc... Full story

  • Will Iran see a renewed 'Green Revolution' next month?

    Sean Savage, JNS.org|May 31, 2013

    On May 21, Iran’s Guardian Council released a list of “approved” candidates for the upcoming June 14 presidential election. As expected, the list of eight candidates included a number of hardliners loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, crushing any hope that Iran’s next president would bring about new policies that would end the nuclear standoff with the West, economic sanctions and domestic political repression. Nevertheless, many in the West are interested in the upcoming election. The last election in 2009 launched major protest... Full story

  • Sridhar Silberfein's long, strange trip from New York Jew to Hindu honcho

    Rebecca Spence, Rebecca Spence|May 31, 2013

    JOSHUA TREE, Calif. (JTA)—In 1968, only six years after founding the AEPi chapter at his Long Island University campus, Steven Silberfein took one of the thousand names of the Hindu god Vishnu and became Sridhar Silberfein. A year later, the one-time Jewish fraternity brother escorted the Hindu teacher Swami Satchidananda to the stage at Woodstock to deliver an invocation in front of 500,000 flower children. Surveying the crowd, Silberfein turned to the cotton-bearded swami and said, ... Full story

  • Why do Jews intermarry, and who wants to marry a Jew, anyway?

    Daniel Krieger, JTA|May 31, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA) ­—Over the past half century, intermarriage has become increasingly common in the United States among all religions—but among Jews at the highest rate. Why that is the case is one of the questions Naomi Schaefer Riley probes in her new book, “‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America” (Oxford University Press). One of the main reasons, Riley finds, is that the older people get, the more likely they are to intermarry—and Jews tend to marry older than A... Full story

  • Jewish Major Leaguers at the quarter mark

    Ron Kaplan, New Jersey Jewish News|May 31, 2013

    With about 40 games gone by— one quarter of the season—here’s a look at how the JMLs are faring as of May 19: Like last year, New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis has gotten off to a horrible start, so much so that fans and media are clamoring for his demotion to the minor leagues. In 39 games, Davis is batting just .156 with four home runs and nine runs batted in. The New York Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis to fill in for third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was due to miss at least half the s... Full story

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