Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the June 7, 2013 edition

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  • In crowdsourcing for weddings, new methods for an old idea

    Lilit Marcus, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)—When Amanda Melpolder began planning her wedding to Jeff Greenberg, she hoped the ceremony would be unlike others. Melpolder had become involved in an independent minyan in Brooklyn after converting to Judaism several years ago, and she and Greenberg wanted their wedding this June to reflect the prayer group’s community spirit and sense of do-it-yourself camaraderie. Friends were asked to lead prayers and narrate the signing of the ketubah, or marriage contract. Melpolder, a che...

  • Byzantine-era mosaic uncovered in kibbutz fields

    Viva Sarah Press, Israel21c|Jun 7, 2013

    The Israel Antiquities Authority recently uncovered a magnificent mosaic dating to the Byzantine period in the fields of Kibbutz Bet Qama, during an archaeological excavation being carried out prior to the construction of a new highway interchange in the area. The Israel Antiquities Authority said the well-preserved mosaic was found among the remains of a settlement that extends across more than six dunams on the kibbutz’s farmland. Dr. Rina Avner of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who is d...

  • Jewish-Muslim troupe seeks peace through drama

    Karin Kloosterman, Israel21c|Jun 7, 2013

    Tasking themselves with the lofty idea of making peace through drama, Jerusalem’s Y Theater attempts to embrace Jerusalem’s beauty and conflicts to enable a public discourse that is self-critical. Y Theater’s latest production is called “Take Away.” Developed by an Israeli and Palestinian over two years of workshops with Israelis, Arab and Jewish, Palestinians and foreign theater types, the play evolved into a metaphor for the city of Jerusalem, which is built on a hill. They were influence...

  • Kvell on wheels: Roller derby star Fatal Dreidel

    Emma Silvers, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California|Jun 7, 2013

    There are still about 10 minutes until the match starts, but the noise from the sellout crowd inside the Oakland (Calif.) Convention Center has reached a dull roar. As the anticipation builds, referees in zebra-striped shirts amble around the track, making sure everything’s up to regulation standards. Groups of tattooed 20- and 30-somethings make their way to the concession stands for tequila shots, beer and tamales; one biker couple in their 60s scopes out the bleachers for any remaining seats....

  • Protests in Turkey: Can Erdogan weather the storm?

    Sean Savage, JNS.org|Jun 7, 2013

    Widespread protests in Turkey are threatening the decade-long rule of Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raising questions over his ambitions to transform his country. The protests, which began in Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square over government plans to turn nearby Gezi park into a shopping mall modeled after Ottoman-era army barracks, have turned into a widespread rebuke of Erdogan’s Islamist rule, spreading to several other major Turkish cities such as Ankara and Izmir as...

  • Why did Israel's promising electric carmaker fail?

    Ben Sales, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    TEL AVIV (JTA)—It was supposed to be the car of the future, a near-silent, battery-powered vehicle that would wean the West off its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and save the environment in the process. And an Israeli company seemed destined to build it. Better Place, founded in 2007 by the exuberantly confident entrepreneur Shai Agassi, was trumpeted as the king of Israeli startups, a company that would keep the air clean and the streets quiet while saving money for its users. Six years a...

  • In Senate, Lautenberg maintained commitment to the Jewish community

    Ron Kampeas, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—In 1982, Frank Lautenberg was running for New Jersey’s U.S. Senate spot at a time when Democrats in the state were down on their political fortunes. The Jewish community knew and liked Lautenberg, a data processing magnate who died Monday at 89 after serving more than 30 years in Washington. Lautenberg had been chairman of the United Jewish Appeal in the previous decade and turned the charity around during a parlous economy. But Jacob Toporek, who managed Lautenberg’s Jewis...

  • After nine months of captivity, Jewish doctor returns to hero's welcome

    Moira Schneider, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa (JTA)—Cyril Karabus stepped into the arrivals hall at Cape Town International Airport to a rapturous welcome. A multiracial crowd numbering in the hundreds had turned out to greet him. A minstrel troupe was singing “Hevenu Shalom Aleichem.” And a rabbi stepped forward to recite the priestly blessing. The arrival two weeks ago capped a nine-month saga in which Karabus, 78, was jailed in the United Arab Emirates on charges of manslaughter and fraud. Unbeknownst to the retired pediatric oncologist, he had been convi...

  • Rahm's big brother offers up family secrets

    Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News|Jun 7, 2013

    OK, let’s face it. One of the burning questions of the day, if you happen to be a Jewish parent, is: How do I get my kids to grow up like those Emanuel boys? You know: Ari, the wealthy L.A. talent agent who inspired an iconic sitcom character; Ezekiel, the bioethicist at The Hastings Center; and Rahm, former right-hand man to a president and now mayor of Chicago. Hurry to your local independent bookstore. Ezekiel has provided a how-to guide. Sort of. Don’t get too excited. “The Brothers Emanuel:...

  • Israel under the radar

    Marcy Oster, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Here are some stories out of Israel that you may have missed: Record-setting Shabbat table? The central Israeli city of Bnei Brak set what is believed to be the world’s longest Shabbat table. At 197 feet long, the table set with china plates, crystal goblets and silver candlesticks, as well as traditional Shabbat foods, comfortably seats more than 300, Ynet reported. The municipality, in conjunction with the Bnei Brak-based Coca-Cola Co. and the haredi Orthodox advertising agency...

  • Israel will build it so they will come

    Felice Friedson and Linda Gradstein, The Media Line|Jun 7, 2013

    JERUSALEM—For a tiny country, Israel has a lot to offer: sacred sites, archaeology, beaches, mountains, food, wine—and even eco- and medical tourism. So officials are puzzled and concerned that the number of tourists visiting Israel has not grown much in recent years, topping out at 3.6 million per year. At a conference on tourism held in the capital, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that in the near future he hopes to increase the number to 10 million tourists annually. But a lack of hotel rooms, Israeli bureaucracy and the ongoing vio...

  • In Senegalese bush, Bani Israel tribe claims Jewish heritage

    Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA|Jun 7, 2013

    BANI ISRAEL, Senegal (JTA)—He will welcome you into his earthen-floor home, introduce you to his three wives, and let you sample their cooking. But Dougoutigo Fadiga does not want foreigners to come near the sacred tree of his village deep in the Senegalese bush. “The tree is holy grounds,” says Fadiga, president of this remote settlement of 4,000 souls. “Our Jewish ancestor, Jacob, planted it when his people first settled here 1,000 years ago.” The lush kapok tree towers over the parched s...