Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the June 28, 2019 edition


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  • Robert Kraft announces foundation to combat anti-Semitism

    Marcy Oster|Jun 28, 2019

    JERUSALEM (JTA)-New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced the establishment of a foundation dedicated to combating anti-Semitism as he accepted the Genesis Prize award in Jerusalem on Thursday. In addition to the $1 million he received along with the prize, Kraft is putting $20 million of his own money toward the project, to be called the Foundation for Social Media Messaging Against Anti-Semitism. It is also receiving funding through two $5 million gifts, one of which was pledged by Rom...

  • Iran is dragging the Middle East into a dangerous standoff

    Yaakov Lappin|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—In recent weeks, Iran and its proxies have begun operating under a new directive best described as a policy of controlled escalation. Still, the potential for miscalculation and region-wide conflict has grown considerably. Responding to the chokehold of U.S. sanctions put in place by the Trump administration, Tehran, together with its non-state militias and terrorist entities, initiated a series of aggressive acts throughout the Middle East. These include the targeting of oil tankers in t...

  • Mohamed Morsi dead at 67

    Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)-Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi died on Monday, June 17, 2019, at the age of 67 after passing out during a court session. The Muslim Brotherhood member led Egypt from 2012, following the ouster of longtime head Hosni Mubarak, until Morsi was ousted himself in 2013 following massive demonstrations, primarily in Cairo. Morsi was known to have a negative view of Israel, including condemning the Jewish state's "Operation Pillar of Defense" in the fall of 2012, response to rockets...

  • Jewish groups slam Ocasio-Cortez

    Jackson Richman|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—Outrage from pro-Israel and Jewish groups is growing at U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for her remarks on Monday on her Instagram account that the United States is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” in reference to the Trump administration’s policies regarding illegal immigration. “AOC should ask Holocaust survivors and ex-GIs who liberated Dachau what that charnel House was like,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the SWC’s associate dean and director of global social action for the leading international...

  • Grief support through a Jewish lens

    Nancy Ludin|Jun 28, 2019

    Cyndie Ellman lost her husband in July and attended grief counseling with a lovely woman who was unaware of her faith and "just didn't get it." She then tried a secular grief support group run by one of the hospices, and again "they just didn't get it." Her third try was a charm. Ellman is currently participating in a Grief Support Group co-sponsored by the Jewish Pavilion and VITAS Hospice. The magic formula" was in the facilitator. "Rabbi Maurice Kaprow gets it... he provides support from a Jewish perspective and that made all the difference...

  • Mentalist Mark Stone coming to dinner at Beth Am

    Jun 28, 2019

    On Sunday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m. Congregation Beth Am in Longwood will be hosting mentalist Mark Stone for an evening with dinner and a show that will amaze you. Stone is one of the nations most sought after entertainers. Having acquired an interest in E.S.P., he began developing his skills while at the University of Maryland. An open-mic night at a lounge in Baltimore launched his career as an entertainer that led to performances at New York’s Upstairs at the Downstairs and Dangerfield’s. A c...

  • A not-to-be-forgotten b'not mitzvah

    Jun 28, 2019

    The congregants of B'nai Torah, a progressive conservative synagogue, were truly moved to tears at a recent mother and daughter b'not mitzvah. The mother, Lisa Ravede, is a convert to Judaism. The daughter, Shoshana, has a chromosome deficiency and cannot speak. Together Lisa and Shoshana shared the special occasion on Saturday, June 15, which also happened to be the birthday of proud husband and father, Jimi. Making it a real family affair, brother Asher, who celebrated his bar mitzvah two...

  • Boston museum pays $500K for rare Torah ornaments

    Penny Schwartz|Jun 28, 2019

    BOSTON (JTA)-The Museum of Fine Arts bought two pairs of rare Torah finials, bidding $500,000 for the 17th-century German silver set. The set is considered among the earliest surviving examples of the ritual Torah ornaments. The final sale price exceeded the pre-auction estimate of between $300,000 and $400,000. A second pair, 18th-century English parcel-gilt silver, sold for $187,500, some $7,000 more than the high estimate. The finials, to which are attached tiny crowns and bells, are used to adorn the top handles on a Torah scroll. The two...

  • US to send additional 1,000 troops to Mideast in reaction to Iranian threats

    Jackson Richman|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—The United States will send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran, the Pentagon announced on Monday evening. “In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” said Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patri...

  • Department of Education to probe anti-Israel bias at North Carolina conference on Gaza

    Marcy Oster|Jun 28, 2019

    (JTA)—The U.S. Department of Education will investigate a Middle East conference on Gaza co-sponsored by two North Carolina universities over allegations that it had an anti-Israel bias. Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., called on the department to check into the late March conference co-sponsored by Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill held at the latter campus. Holding said he had seen “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at the taxpayer-funded conference,” The Raleigh News & Observer repor...

  • Sign unveiled for Trump Heights community in the Golan Heights

    Marcy Oster|Jun 28, 2019

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—A new Jewish community in the Golan Heights to honor President Donald Trump will be called Ramat Trump, translated as Trump Heights. A sign was unveiled Sunday during the weekly Cabinet meeting held in the Golan Heights at the site of the new community. The sign says Ramat Trump in Hebrew and Trump Heights in English under graphics of an Israeli flag and a U.S flag and surrounded by a gold border. A cornerstone-laying ceremony also was held. The name is listed in a bill to establish the community that has been submitted for a...

  • Mohamed Morsi and the dangerous lessons of the Arab Spring

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—His death, like much of his life, was in service to the Islamist cause he championed. By dropping dead in a courtroom where he was caged and silenced, Mohamed Morsi served to bring attention to the dictatorial nature of the Egypt’s military government. The man who sought to make the world’s most populous Arab country into line with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood was lionized in his New York Times obituary as “Egypt’s First Democratically Elected President.” That accurate, but still misleading, headline also should remind us t...

  • Reproductive rights, the Bible and the Constitution

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jun 28, 2019

    By Mel Pearlman The latest legislative assault on a woman’s reproductive rights is a dangerous and threatening assault on the U.S. Constitution itself. Supporters of these newly introduced state laws prohibiting abortion in every instance believe the act of aborting a pregnancy, even in its earliest phases of development, to be the murder of a human being. The danger to our constitution arises because that belief is not based on science or a societal consensus of a well-defined social harm, but is based on a religious conviction that human l...

  • The morality of life and death and doctors

    Marilyn M. Singleton MD JD|Jun 28, 2019

    June has been a month of reflection on life, death, our values, and the greater good. We commemorated the 75th anniversary of the 1944 Normandy invasion (D-Day), which began the liberation of France from German occupation and turned the tide of World War II. In what must have been a decision fraught with soul searching, generals sent young soldiers into what could be certain death on the shores of Normandy. Their bravery was an act of unquestionable honor. Contrast that with a law school ethics class scenario. The leader of an invading horde...

  • The appalling political exploitation of a 7-year-old's rape

    Ruthie Blum|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—Given the nationwide response to the brutal rape of a 7-year-old Israeli girl by the Palestinian janitor at her elementary school, while two other accomplices egged him on, it’s no wonder that her parents waited weeks before complaining to authorities. Indeed, since the story was reported on Monday, it has become the subject of a political debate. As painful as this must be for the child’s traumatized family, it is not surprising. With three months to go before the “do-over” Knesset elections, no issue is off-limits in the fray. And...

  • The high school battle in Newton, Mass.

    Charles Jacob|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—The Israel-bashing problem so prevalent on North American college campuses has now reached into high schools. Under the guise of teaching history, social studies, conflict resolution or “peace studies,” curriculum mills hostile to the Jewish state are spreading anti-Israel “lessons” throughout the nation’s public high schools. The biased curricula are designed to be easy to use with formats familiar to teachers, many of whom, we now know, have themselves imbibed anti-Israel lessons in the politicized education departments of American un...

  • A call for Jewish unity

    Jun 28, 2019

    Dear Editor: As a People, we Jews are not unified. Politically we are divided into two camps, with roughly 70 percent Liberal and 30 percent Conservative. In general, Liberals detest President Trump and Conservatives admire him. These differences broadly follow along the lines of religious observance, with Reform or Secular Jews more liberal and Orthodox Jews more conservative. Both sides have lost respect for each other and rarely engage in meaningful dialogue. This has led to a fractured Jewish community in which we are more like rivals than...

  • What's Happening

    Jun 28, 2019

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Call synagogue to confirm time.) 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 Isr...

  • Wedding invitation of Lubavitcher rebbe

    Marcy Oster|Jun 28, 2019

    (JTA)-An invitation to the 1928 wedding of the seventh and last Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was discovered at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Schneerson popularized the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement and through aggressive outreach to non-affiliated Jews became one of the most influential forces in the Jewish world. The discovery of the invitation comes just days before the 25th anniversary of his death on June 12. Several versions of the invitation were...

  • Here's what Trump officials and supporters are saying to critics of his Iran policy

    Ron Kampeas|Jun 28, 2019

    WASHINGTON (JTA)-President Donald Trump says he is "very prepared" for Iran. "We're looking at Iran," he said Tuesday when a reporter asked him what he had planned beyond sending another 1,000 U.S. troops to the area as tensions there appear to be escalating. "We have a lot of things going with Iran. We have-we're very prepared for Iran. We'll see what happens. Let me just say this: We are very prepared. Regardless of what goes, we are very, very prepared." Trump was short on details, which has...

  • 'Adolf Island,' a British isle that housed concentration camps

    Curt Schleier|Jun 28, 2019

    (JTA)-Many are familiar with the names of the larger Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. But some estimate the Nazis had as many as 40,000 satellite camps around Europe. Several existed on the only British soil conquered by the Nazis: Alderney, one of the Channel Islands, where the Nazis imported thousands of slave laborers to build defenses in hopes of conquering more English land. Caroline Sturdy Colls, a British professor and forensic archaeologist perhaps best known...

  • These homemade challah pretzel buns are perfection for burgers

    Shannon Sarna|Jun 28, 2019

    It's hard to improve on the classic goodness of a good American barbecue (or cookout, depending on what part of the United States you might reside). Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken drumsticks and corn all cooked on a grill are the height of summer perfection. But I am always thinking about carbs, specifically how to add delicious, homemade carbs to any meal. So on a recent Sunday when my kids were out of the house, I decided it was time to whip up some homemade pretzel challah rolls to go with som...

  • This chef turned his popular falafel truck into a booming Israeli restaurant

    Penny Schwartz|Jun 28, 2019

    For nearly a decade, chef Avi Shemtov has been a pioneer on Boston’s food scene. In 2010, he rolled out The Chubby Chickpea, one of the first food trucks in the city, serving up Israeli-style street food from falafel and chicken shwarma to chickpea fries. Two years ago he launched Tapped Beer Trucks, the area’s first mobile local craft and wine fleet. But the 34-year-old Shemtov has long dreamed of opening a full-service restaurant to offer Boston-area diners a contemporary twist on Sephardic and Israeli dishes inspired by his Tur...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Jun 28, 2019

    Okay! So I’m a senior citizen... Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others. But, on reflection, I would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took: The melody out of the music! (Rap is spelled with a silent C). The Golden Rule from rulers. The learning out of education. The service out of patriotism. And we certainly are n...

  • Amid escalating tensions, 'all options' on table to deter Tehran's behavior

    Jackson Richman|Jun 28, 2019

    (JNS)—The ongoing tensions between America and Iran seemed to reach a tipping point late last week when the United States blamed Iran for being behind the attack on two ships in the Gulf of Oman. On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that “of course” the United States could take military action. “The United States is considering a full range of options. We have briefed the president a couple of times, [and] we’ll continue to keep him updated. We are confident that we can take a set of actions that can restore deterrenc...

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