Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the July 20, 2018 edition


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  • Out of recent ashes, Israel's border communities persevere

    Eric Narrow|Jul 20, 2018

    Nestled in the Western Negev, along the desert's edge and the border with the Gaza Strip, 32 small agricultural kibbutzim and villages have created an oasis in an otherwise overlooked part of Israel. For many residents of what is often referred to as "The Gaza Envelope," their lives represent a stark contrast to the bustling metropolis of Israel's center, and provide a healthy and peaceful environment focused on family and community. For years, these hearty pioneers have made their mark on... Full story

  • The many facets of immigration

    Jul 20, 2018

    The Holocaust Center hosted a forum in response to current events related to immigration on Tuesday evening, July 10. The panel discussion was designed to give insight into the immigrant experience. The evening was heartfelt and honest. The discussion was led by Professor Leonard Birdsong, a retired immigration attorney. He explained immigration laws and stated that there are currently only 334 immigration judges appointed by the Attorney General and there needs to be at least 2 to 3 times more... Full story

  • Trump/Putin ensure Israel's security

    Jul 20, 2018

    According to various news sources, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to work together to ensure Israel's security with regards to the advancement of the Syrian regime against rebels near the Golan Heights. This discussion came about after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited with Putin last week to demand that Iranian forces leave Syria. Netanyahu said he spoke to Trump on Saturday concerning "security and diplomatic issues in light of... Full story

  • Rare coin unearthed in Jerusalem

    United with Israel|Jul 20, 2018

    A rare bronze coin dating to the first century and minted during the fourth year of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans was recently discovered at the archaeological sifting project at Emek Zurim National Park in Jerusalem. The source of the soil from which the coin was extracted is the City of David National Park in the heart of the Old City. The coin, minted by Jews in the year 69 CE, right before the destruction of the Second Temple a year later, features the words "For the Redemption... Full story

  • The future is bright for Congregation Beth Am

    Jul 20, 2018

    The membership of Congregation Beth Am, the first conservative synagogue in Seminole County, has overwhelmingly endorsed an agenda that will propel the congregation into the New Year. Valuing Jewish heritage and tradition, the leadership and members of Beth Am are committed to embracing new ideas and new technologies to meet the needs of the evolving Jewish community in Central Florida. Beth Am continues to provide Friday night and Shabbat morning services that are family friendly and meet the needs of people’s very active lives. To increase th... Full story

  • Fool Us once... (Warning, spoiler alert!)

    Jul 20, 2018

    Our favorite hometown magician, Kostya Kimlat, was once again on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us television show on Monday evening, July 16. Did he fool them once again? Kimlat did a card trick that involved catching a selected playing card while the cards are falling down in a cascade that magicians call a “dribble.” He told the Fool Us audience that he has been practicing this trick for 17 years. “It’s the hardest trick I do. And I wanted to do it one time when it mattered most, so that I would never have to do it again,” he said in an email to hi... Full story

  • Shabbat shalom!

    Jul 20, 2018

    Gary Becker is no newcomer to Orlando or the Jewish community. Fortunately for the residents at Village on the Green, Becker has been leading the monthly Shabbat program for the past several months. Beginning with candle lighting, kiddish and a bit of shmoozing Becker leads the intimate group of Shabbat friends with traditional songs and prayers. Jewish Pavilion services 70 different senior living communities throughout Orlando. Village on the Green is one of many communities where a Shabbat... Full story

  • Kosher agency says it can no longer vouch for Starbucks stores

    Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)-Kosher observers who pick up their coffee at Starbucks may need to look elsewhere for their caffeine fix. A kosher-certifying agency said it can no longer vouch for the kashrut of many beverages served by the coffee giant. The Star-K agency this week said it was ending a program under which it deemed many Starbucks products permissible without actually certifying them as kosher. Plenty of kosher consumers aren't taking the news lying down: As of Thursday afternoon, more than 7,000 have... Full story

  • U of Oregon Hillel sign vandalized with pro-Palestinian message and obscenities

    Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)—A welcome sign at the Hillel at University of Oregon was defaced with a pro-Palestinian message and obscenities The vandalism at the building on the campus in Eugene was discovered Friday. The Hillel posted a photo of the sign in the parking lot on Facebook. One message read: “Free Palestine you f***s.” No other damage or graffiti was discovered on or around the building, according to the organization. Two other Jewish groups on campus were left untouched. In a message to the campus Jewish community Kevin Marbury, a university vice presid... Full story

  • We went to the border to support our friends-our disagreements were for another time

    David Hoffman|Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)-Ronald Reagan is reported to have said, "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally-not a 20 percent traitor." There is much wisdom in this sentiment, but the realities of alliance building in the current political environment raise complicated questions for many people: What happens when the balance shifts and the percentage representing agreement goes south of 80 percent? And what happens when one of the issues that constitute the 20 percent of... Full story

  • Emmys 2018 Jewish nominees

    Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)—“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Sarah Silverman’s new late-night show earned Emmy nominations on Thursday. “Maisel,” Amazon Studios’ popular series set in a very Jewish 1950s New York neighborhood, was nominated for best comedy series. Rachel Brosnahan, its non-Jewish star, was nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series for her performance as the Jewish housewife-turned-comedian Midge Maisel. Silverman’s “I Love You, America,” in which the Jewish comedian mashes a nontraditional talk show format with videos of her interviewing Am... Full story

  • French Jewish family told to remove mezuzah outside apartment

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)—The company that manages an apartment complex in France has ordered a Jewish family to remove a mezuzah from the doorframe. The Foncière Bergé Corp. cited its regulations last week in a letter to the Saada family in Montpelier, in southern France, according to what appears to be a copy published on Twitter. During a July 5 inspection of the company’s real estate, “a mezuzah was encountered on your doorframe,” Fabienne Nourigat of its rental department wrote to the family in a letter dated July 6. “We remind you that no personal ob... Full story

  • Germany increases funding for Holocaust survivors by $88 million

    Jul 20, 2018

    (JTA)—Germany has agreed to increase its funding for social welfare services for Holocaust survivors by $88 million. The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany in its announcement Tuesday said the increase brings global allocations by Germany for 2019 to $564 million. The Claims Conference and representatives of the German government negotiated the increase in Washington, D.C. During the negotiations, the German officials were taken on a tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and heard from survivors about their personal exper... Full story

  • Another step to the left for Democrats

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Jul 20, 2018

    (JNS)—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t on her way to Congress because of her hostility to the State of Israel. The upset victory of a Democratic Socialist over one of the highest ranking Democrats in Congress, as well as the boss of the party in New York City’s Queens County, did not hinge on her declaring that Israel was perpetrating a “massacre” in Gaza and her call for members of the party to join in denouncing the Jewish state. She beat Rep. Joe Crowley for a number of sound political reasons, including the demographics of a district... Full story

  • Ideology-Wrong standard for Supreme Court confirmation hearings

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jul 20, 2018

    The announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the current process to appoint and confirm his successor, will further politicize the judicial branch of government if ideology is a primary factor in the confirmation hearings. This would be contrary to the intent of the founders of our nation who sought to create an independent judicial and nonpolitical buffer between the executive and legislative branches, as the third branch of government. The creation of this judicial buffer was to resolve disputes between and among... Full story

  • The terrorists whose names must not be mentioned

    Stephen Flatow|Jul 20, 2018

    (JNS)—Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, is one of the best-known killers in American history. Yet two major television networks recently broadcast segments about the Kennedy assassination without mentioning his name at all. What gives? On June 5, 1968, Sirhan, a Palestinian Arab with Jordanian citizenship, shot the senator four times at point-blank range in a Los Angeles hotel. There has never been any dispute regarding Sirhan’s motive. In multiple interviews afterwards, he said he did it because Kennedy was pro-Israel. The rec... Full story

  • Denmark confronts Islamism and integration

    Ben Cohen|Jul 20, 2018

    (JNS)—Imam Mundhir Abdallah is a good example of the dilemmas that have confronted politicians in Denmark in their response to Islamist extremism among the country’s 300,000 Muslims, the large majority of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants. In May 2017, the Danish Jewish community filed a complaint against Imam Abdallah for a sermon he delivered two months previously, in which he implored faithful Muslims to kill the Jews on “Judgement Day” and urged the “liberation” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from “the filth of the Zionis... Full story

  • Birthright protestors are accomplices in Palestinian Authority and Hamas inhumanity

    Bradley Martin|Jul 20, 2018

    (JNS)—In a now-viral video, five American girls staged a walkout on the final day of their trip to Israel courtesy of Birthright, a not-for-profit educational organization that sponsors free 10-day heritage trips to Israel for young adults of Jewish heritage. The protest was organized by the anti-Israel organization IfNotNow, which seeks to end American Jewish support for Israel and has been widely criticized for refusing to even engage in dialogue with those it slams in the Jewish community. The protestors accuse Birthright of hiding what t... Full story

  • The golden calf of the Democratic party

    Jul 20, 2018

    Dear Editor: Sometimes we need to go backwards in our history and time in order to proceed so that we may obtain a clearer understanding of the total chaos and disorder of this present day in America. Our country is divided. We are no longer a ‘People of One Nation Under G-d with Liberty and Justice for All’ but we have emerged into two separate divided parties and peoples. Danger. We are being dragged into following a golden calf! It appears Democratic values demand total abandonment of all past biblically founded principles such as law and... Full story

  • What's Happening

    Jul 20, 2018

    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 I... Full story

  • In pursuit of state plates

    Marilyn Shapiro|Jul 20, 2018

    "Delaware!" my husband Larry yelled as we drove past a line of parked cars on Galena Street in Frisco, Colorado. "We got Delaware!" In our life, "Getting Delaware" is a big deal. Within the first 10 days of our five-week search for license plates, we had gotten the license plate of the elusive Eastern seaboard state. Could Rhode Island be far behind? Road trip entertainment Today, while heading for their annual family vacation, children sit in the back seats of a SUV watching Toy Story or... Full story

  • Weddings are lovely, but it's the marriage that matters

    Cindy Sher|Jul 20, 2018

    CHICAGO (JTA)—My sister was married on a beautiful summer day many years ago. Those of us in the wedding party took pictures in a garden before the ceremony. As maid of honor, one of my duties was to hold up the train of her dress so it wouldn’t drag through the dirt. But there was a lot of dirt, and the dress was soiled despite my best efforts. She couldn’t see the grime, but her bridesmaids could, so I silently made eyes conveying my distress over the maid-of-honor fail. I can’t keep a secret from my sister. So a minute later, nearly in tear... Full story

  • They tried to take Judaism out of synagogue spaces-now they're coming back to them

    Ben Sales|Jul 20, 2018

    NEW YORK (JTA)-For 10 years, Rabbi Dan Ain has tried to take Judaism out of the synagogue. He's convened Friday night prayers in auditoriums with musicians like Matisyahu and Lisa Loeb. He's held Rosh Hashanah services in a bowling alley/concert venue. He scheduled an interview earlier this month at an artisanal coffee shop in Brooklyn and showed up in a T-shirt and backward baseball cap, his long hair spilling out of the sides above his long salt-and-pepper beard. Ain became a rabbi because he... Full story

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Jul 20, 2018

    I've been to this "paradise"... I'm referring to Switzerland, of course. It is truly an inspiring, lovely country. My deceased spouse and I truly enjoyed our visit some years ago and I will never forget it. I recently read this about the Swiss government committing to security of its Jewish community. I pass it along to you: "The Swiss National Council has adopted a motion mandating the government to increase its efforts to protect religious minorities, including the local Jewish community. The... Full story

  • Need tefillin? There's an app for that

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Jul 20, 2018

    AMSTERDAM (JTA)-You can call a taxi, order a hamburger, rent a film and buy a book with a few clicks of a smartphone. So why shouldn't it be as easy to score a set of tefillin? That, at least, was the question that led to the launch last month of Wrapp-an app its creator calls "the Uber of the tefillin world." It connects those who have tefillin-leather straps attached to a set of two small boxes containing scripture on parchment-with Jews who need them for morning prayers or other rituals. And... Full story

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