Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the June 4, 2021 edition


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  • A rally against antisemitism draws hundreds in Chicago

    Yvette Alt Miller|Jun 4, 2021

    SKOKIE, Ill. (JTA) — After a synagogue in this Chicago suburb was vandalized on May 16 in what police are calling a hate crime, local rabbis could not dwell on the damage: They had to prepare for Shavuot, the two-day Jewish holiday that began that evening. A week later, though, the rabbis were the engine behind a 500-person rally in this heavily Jewish town against antisemitism. Skokie perhaps is best known as the place town where, in 1977, free-speech advocates fought for neo-Nazis to be able to march, only to have the eventual rally be o...

  • Antisemitic acts in US soared 80 percent in a month

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — The organization that advises U.S. Jewish communities on security matters said it recorded an 80 percent spike in antisemitic acts in the last month amid Israel’s 11-day war with Hamas. One of the causes, according to the Secure Community Network, was disinformation spread on social media during and since the exchange of rocket fire. “There may be foreign actors spreading information and disinformation, often tied to antisemitic tropes,” Michael Masters, its CEO, said Tuesday in an interview. “We’re seeing a clear rise in the calls f...

  • Stetson student on Hillel Cabinet

    Hillel News|Jun 4, 2021

    WASHINGTON DC - Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, announced today the 20 members of the 2021-2022 Hillel International Student Cabinet. One of those selected is Lana Kolchinsky, Class of 2022, who will serve on the Hillel International Student Cabinet representing Stetson University. "Lana is the two term president of Hillel, incoming student government president, and the first Stetson student selected for the Hillel cabinet," said Sam Friedman, Stetson...

  • Nides new Israel ambassador

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 4, 2021

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - President Joe Biden will name Tom Nides, a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, to be his ambassador to Israel. The Times of Israel first reported the decision. Multiple sources close to the Biden administration confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Nides was the pick for ambassador and would be announced soon. The White House said it had nothing yet to announce. It was down to Nides and Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman who for years has...

  • Saving lives 'Under the Iron Dome'

    Jun 4, 2021

    The Iron Dome, Israel’s miraculous missile defense system literally saves the lives of millions of Israeli and Arab civilians during this most recent military conflict. The unique defense system and how it came to be created is the focus of a documentary series aptly called “Under the Iron Dome,” by Dinnar Productions. The three-part series is making its worldwide debut only on IZZY, a TV streaming platform that exclusively features Israeli programming for global audiences. Viewers can stream the on-demand via IZZY on iOS, Android, Apple TV, A...

  • Congregation Sinai's Blueline 360 Rapid Alert System

    Jun 4, 2021

    With the dramatic recent rise in antisemitic and hate crimes, Congregation Sinai has become the very first Groveland business to install the new state-of-the-art Blueline 360 Active Threat Early Alert System. They have installed hardened windows, doors and other protective measures for the safety of their membership. They also have developed a close relationship with the Groveland police, to have extra surveillance on hand during all temple activities. Endorsed by Chief Ramsey and the Groveland Police Department, Blueline 360 has developed new...

  • Rosen JCC creates lifelong friends

    Jun 4, 2021

    The Rosen JCC recently hosted a reunion of the Early Childhood Learning Center Class of 2008. Choosing a pre-school can give your child a strong foundation and friends for life. These young adults were excited to be back where it all started. We enjoyed hearing their plans for the future. They shared their career goals, which included Ophthalmology, Air Force, History Teacher, Professional Speaker, Business, Doctor/Physician Assistant, Entomology and Musical Theater. Their next steps are to...

  • JFS chosen as a Winn-Dixie Community Bag beneficiary

    Jun 4, 2021

    JFS Orlando was selected as the June beneficiary of the Winn-Dixie Community Bag program by store leadership at the Winn-Dixie located at 7800 South Highway 17-92, Fern Park. The organization will receive a $1 donation every time the $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at this location during June, unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag. “We are very grateful to have been chosen for the Community Bag program in June,” said Philip Flynn, exe...

  • Cambridge, Mass., rejects BDS resolution after contentious council meeting

    Sean Savage|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) — The city council of Cambridge, Mass., rejected a resolution supporting the BDS movement. The resolution, Policy Order #109, was voted down after nearly seven-and-a-half hours of public testimony by more than 300 people late Tuesday. The proposed resolution sought to direct the city manager to “review corporate contracts and identify any companies that are in violation of Cambridge’s policy on discrimination, including (but not limited to) Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hewlett Packard Incorporated over their role in abetting apart...

  • Multiple antisemitic incidents reported over the weekend across US

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — At least four cases of intimidation or assault against Jews have been reported in the United States since Thursday, in a continuation of what many fear is one of the country’s worst spate in years of antisemitic violence. On Saturday, six men assaulted and punched two Jewish teenagers in Brooklyn on 18th Avenue and Ocean Parkway, reported VINnews. The news site interviewed Mitchel Schwartz, the father of one of the teenagers. One of the men told the teenagers “free Palestine” and made additional references to Israel, the report said. Th...

  • $38.5 million in assistance to the Palestinians

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) — The Biden administration increased its assistance to Palestinians by $38.5 million in the wake of the latest Gaza war and pledged to abide by U.S. laws that would keep the money from going to terrorists. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined the additional funds that the administration plans to steer to the Palestinians. His statement came a day after Blinken concluded his trip to Israel and the Palestinian areas to discuss sustaining the ceasefire that ended the 11-day rocket exchange this month between Israel and H...

  • American Jews need allies against anti-Semitism

    Jordana Horn|Jun 4, 2021

    Obviously these past few weeks have been difficult for so many people, mainly the Palestinians and Israelis who have been enmeshed in conflict and under fire. Thankfully there’s now a cease-fire that everyone hopes will hold — but the aftermath of the conflict lingers. I’m not Israeli and I’m not living in Israel. I’m a Jew, I live in the U.S., and these past few weeks have made me extremely uncomfortable in a way that will persist long after the smoke of the most recent destruction has cleared. Some would say it’s unseemly to talk about these...

  • The most important message graduates need to hear

    Debbie Gutfreund, Aish Hatorah Resources|Jun 4, 2021

    It’s not the most talented who succeed. It’s those who never stop trying. Congratulations graduates! I remember being where you are today and looking out across the future, which seemed unlimited in its possibilities. I thought I knew so much about life back then. I thought my skills and my knowledge had prepared me for life. But my degree only taught me how to succeed. It didn’t teach me how to fail and learn from pain itself. We try to run from pain and wish it away. But it finds us no matter where or who we are. We’ve all had moments...

  • Ethnic-cleansing accusation against Israel is a big lie

    Stephen Smith|Jun 4, 2021

    (Jewish Journal via JNS) — Words have meaning. And in fraught times, in matters of life and death, it is critically important to use the right words. To resolve our disputes, to solve our problems, we must accurately describe what is happening, so that we can respond to facts, not to rhetoric. Which brings me to the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas. Rep. Rashida Tlaib has said that Israel “is practicing ethnic cleansing.” The foreign ministry of Qatar put out a statement urging Israel to end the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestini...

  • From the Editor's Desk: Substance use disorder is a community problem

    Christine DeSouza, News Editor|Jun 4, 2021

    How bad is substance use in the Jewish community? Well, it is worse than many people think. And that’s probably because substance use — whether recreational or prescribed pain medication — is so commonplace. Not to mention, getting drunk or getting high on pot or other depressants or stimulants is considered (by many) as fun. What many do not realize is that some of these people are genetically programmed to take the “high” further. Prescription pain pills can go from “needed for the pain” to “needed.” B’ri’ut held an excellent meeting, sp...

  • The IDF's spectacular precision

    James J. Marlow|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) — “Operation Guardian of the Walls” may have been the most targeted and accurate precision-bombing campaign ever facilitated by any military, anywhere, in the history of conflict and war. In the 11 days before the ceasefire, more than 4,100 rockets and mortars were launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups. In response, the Israel Defense Forces targeted more than 1,000 sites across the Strip with complex surgical strikes that stunned militaries and defense establishments around the world...

  • Israel can't afford an enemy living in her midst

    Jun 4, 2021

    Dear Editor: According to members of Congress Israel started the latest Gaza War and T’laib, Omar and Bernie Sanders are leading the charge to defund Israel just as the left wing governments of many of our cities and states are defunding the police. Much is made of the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza. Nothing is made of the deaths of Israeli children in Israel. Fox News Geraldo Rivera decried the deaths of the little Palestinian children but didn’t utter one mention of the deaths of Israeli children who were the victims of an attack beg...

  • What's Happening

    Jun 4, 2021

    MORNING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, some minyans have been canceled or held virtually.) Chabad of North Orlando and Chabad of Altamonte Springs are holding in-person 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. Congr...

  • Ireland approves motion accusing Israel of 'de facto annexation'

    Sean Savage|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) — The Irish government has endorsed a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation” of the West Bank by the Israeli government, becoming the first European Union country to do so. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney supported the motion and condemned what he said was “manifestly unequal” treatment of Palestinians. “The scale, pace and strategic nature of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it have brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is actually happening on the ground. … It...

  • Two Israelis retell how they battled against attack by pro-Palestinians in New York City

    Alan Zeitlin|Jun 4, 2021

    (JNS) - Snir Dayan and Amit Skornik were hoping for a quiet bagel breakfast last week on a typical day in New York City. But instead, a group of pro-Palestinian protestors tried to punch some holes in them close to 52nd Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan in front of Ess-a-Bagel. It was one of several recent attacks against Jews in New York City by Palestinians or Palestinian supporters, but this time, it turned out a bit differently. Dayan, 27, and Skornik, 26, were trained in Krav Maga, and...

  • Jewish journalist from Detroit detained in Myanmar while trying to leave the country

    Stacy Gittleman|Jun 4, 2021

    (Detroit Jewish News via JTA) - On his way home for a surprise visit to see family and friends, Jewish journalist Danny Fenster was detained Monday in Myanmar, where he works for a news site in the country's largest city of Yangon. Fenster is among the many journalists who have been detained, imprisoned or expelled from the country since a military coup took control of its government in February. The 37-year-old Detroit native was detained at Yangon International Airport shortly before boarding...

  • National Insurance Institute proposes compensation for families of Meron victims

    Noam Dvir|Jun 4, 2021

    (Israel Hayom and JNS staff via JNS) - Israel's National Insurance Institute (NII) is proposing compensation in the amount of 100,000 shekels ($30,800) for each of the families who lost loved ones in the Lag B'Omer stampede at Mount Meron. A total of 45 participants in the festivities, including children as young as 9, were killed. The investigation into the Mount Meron disaster is still underway, and a government commission of inquiry has not yet been formed, though Israeli lawmakers on Monday...

  • Heritage Human Service Award

    Jun 4, 2021

    Heritage Florida Jewish News is accepting nominations for the 2021 Heritage Human Service Award, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando this summer. “For more than 30 years, individuals who have made major, voluntary contributions of their talent, time, energy and effort to the Central Florida community have been honored with the selection and presentation of this award,” said Jeff Gaeser, editor and publisher of the Heritage. Last year’s recipient was Hank Katzen. Former recipients have inclu...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Jun 4, 2021

    I can't say it enough. How proud I am ... I recently watched the movie "The Sandpiper" on television. (Again, I repeat: What else is there to do these days?) It starred Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth converted to Judaism when she married the love of her life, Mike Todd, a Jew. When he died so unexpectedly, she married Eddie Fisher, another Jew. The music featured in the movie was composed by Johnny Mandel, also Jewish. Another great movie I saw on television was one of my all...

  • Film Review: Surviving former Nazis give their 'Final Account' in new documentary

    Andrew Lapin|Jun 4, 2021

    (JTA) - There is a remarkable scene toward the end of the new documentary "Final Account," a collection of eyewitness testimonies of the Nazi regime from elderly Germans and Austrians who remember it (and, to various degrees, were part of it). In the sequence, a former Waffen-SS officer sits down with a group of students in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee - the site of the infamous Wannsee Conference, where Nazi officials met in 1942 to map out the parameters of the Final Solution. The officer, Han...

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