Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the July 28, 2023 edition


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  • Herzog crafts a story of partnership to survive toughest of disagreements

    Mike Wagenheim|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - Just as Israel's president was settling in following a busy day in Washington, a gift came his way from the Capitol, courtesy of the Jewish state's opponents. Less than 24 hours before he was to address a joint session of Congress, the House passed a Republican-sponsored resolution stating that Israel is not a racist or apartheid state. The resolution's filing was inspired by a flippant insult hurled at Israel by the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who, under heavy...

  • Courage, combating antisemitism take center stage at CUFI's 'chai' summit

    Melissa Langsam Braunstein|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — More than 1,200 people gathered on July 17 in Arlington, Va., for the annual Christians United for Israel Washington Summit. It was the event’s 18th—or chai—iteration, gathering some of the more than 10 million members of the nation’s largest, pro-Israel organization. Throughout the day, political, scholarly, advocacy and religious speakers addressed various topics, many centered on the themes of courage and fighting antisemitism. “God’s love for the Jewish people will be here forever,” Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of CUF...

  • JAO hires new head of school

    Jul 28, 2023

    "I'm thrilled to announce the appointment of Chana Ben-Abraham as our next head of school," said Joe Schwartz, JAO Board president, in a press release announcing the new hire. "She is a charismatic and inspiring leader with a contagious enthusiasm for education. She is passionate about helping students learn and grow, and she is committed to providing our students with the best possible education. She is also a gifted communicator and a natural leader. I am confident that she will build on our...

  • UK Chief Rabbi knighted

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was officially honored as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire during a "moving" ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, his office announced. King Charles III bestowed Britain's highest honor upon Rabbi Mirvis in the 2023 New Years Honours, which were publicly announced earlier this year, recognizing his "significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education." The 2023 honors list was the first approved by...

  • Study links autism to gut-brain axis, opening doors for therapy

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - A collaborative study conducted by a global team of microbiome experts has uncovered compelling evidence linking the gut microbiome to autism spectrum disorder. The findings, which were published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Neuroscience in June, identified consistent differences in the gut microbiome of people with autism across various cohorts worldwide, indicating that microbiome changes are a common characteristic associated with autism. Moreover, the researchers discovered...

  • Jerusalem surgeons reattach Arab boy's head

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - Surgeons at Hadassah Medical Center-Ein Kerem managed to reattach a boy's head after a horrific accident left him internally decapitated. A car hit Suleiman Hassan, a 12-year-old Arab from the Judea and Samaria region, as he rode his bike, the Jerusalem hospital announced. After he was airlifted to Hadassah's trauma unit, doctors discovered that the ligaments holding the rear base of his skull were seriously damaged, leaving it disconnected from the top vertebrae of his spine. "The...

  • Biden appoints Gelman to religious freedom commission

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - In a statement, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to add 10 people to four executive organizations, some centered on culture and others on international issues. Biden has named Susie Gelman as a commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Gelman brings extensive experience on the subject, as she has led and contributed to numerous Jewish and Zionist organizations. From 2016 to 2023, Gelman served as board chair of the Israel Policy Forum. She...

  • High Court to hear petition to oust Netanyahu in September

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — A petition calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be removed from office over an alleged conflict of interest will be heard by the High Court of Justice on Sept. 12. Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, agreed last week to hear the petition claiming Netanyahu violated a 2020 agreement to not involve himself in his government’s judicial reform initiative due to his ongoing corruption trial. Leaders of the parties in Netanyahu’s coalition condemned the court’s move, saying in a joint statement that “an...

  • Joe Biden invites Benjamin Netanyahu to meet in US, after months of tension

    Ben Sales|Jul 28, 2023

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — President Joe Biden has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet in the United States soon, after months of holding off on inviting him to the White House. The invitation was extended and accepted during a phone call between the two leaders on July 17. Israeli prime ministers typically receive an invitation to Washington shortly after taking office, but Biden, who has known Netanyahu for decades, has so far held off on inviting him to the capital. This invitation may not exactly end the wait: According to r...

  • In rebuke to Jayapal, US House passes pro-Israel resolution

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution affirming that Israel is “not a racist or apartheid state,” in a rebuke to remarks Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) made last weekend. The resolution introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) was approved by a vote of 412-9, with 195 Democrats joining all Republicans in voting yes. It also states that Congress rejects antisemitism and that the United States “will always be a staunch partner and supporter of Israel.” Israel is our strongest partner in the Mi...

  • US lawmakers call on Biden to end PA's 'pay for slay'

    Joshua Marks|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is calling on the State Department to update Congress on negotiations to end the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying terrorists. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the 50 members of Congress noted with concern the uptick of violence in Judea and Samaria in recent months and the P.A.’s refusal to condemn the killings of Israelis while at the same time continuing its “pay for slay” program. Led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), the letter was signed by 30 Democrats and 20 Re...

  • Even kosher bakers have a right to free speech

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — Up until now, the legal battles being waged about tolerating dissent against support for gay marriage or gay pride events have been focused on conservative Christians. But a kosher baker in West Orange, N.J., is highlighting the fact that the question of the right to refuse to produce services for causes, ideas or beliefs can not only involve Jews but also create difficult dilemmas for Jewish communities. While all those concerned understand that the baker has the law on his side, synagogues and even the local Jewish Federation seem p...

  • In 'The Big Easy' Israel is 'Politics'

    Jim Shipley, Shipley speaks|Jul 28, 2023

    I have written before about how tough it has been for me to get used to the pace of things here in New Orleans. While publicity and television and the music might lead you to believe that New Orleans is one big party, it just is not so. When all is said and done, this remains at heart, a sleepy small Southern town. Dependent on tourism as its life blood, the city also has had to contend with its threat of hurricanes and a number of problems brought upon themselves. Let’s start with this: The city itself is disappearing. For years, this l...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 6

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Jul 28, 2023

    If weather can ever be a metaphor for emotion and feelings it certainly was so on the two days we visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps. On the first day, the weather was cold, damp, rainy and overall bleak. It mirrored perfectly the despondent, depressed and mournful emotions of remembering the Jewish victims of the most horrific attempt, and successful genocide of more than one third of the global and ninety percent of the European Jewish population. Our second day visit started out with a tour of the Krakow ghetto, established...

  • As the children of Holocaust survivors, we understand where discrimination-protected speech will lead us

    Eva Fogelman and Menachem Z. Rosensaft|Jul 28, 2023

    (JTA) — When the U.S. Supreme Court sided last month with a Colorado web designer who refuses to do work for same-sex couples because of her religious objection to same-sex marriage, it risked opening the floodgates to a host of discriminatory acts under the guise of First Amendment freedom of expression. Most of us thought that we had made progress in eliminating government-sanctioned bigotry. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s 6-3 majority opinion in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, saying that her refusal to serve a same-sex couple is “protected speec...

  • George Orwell would have loved this guy

    Stephen M. Flatow|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — “Welcome to Apartheid.” That was the slogan on a placard brandished by a protester outside a home in Jerusalem’s Old City section, denouncing last week’s removal of illegal Arab squatters from the property. On one level, it was just another ordinary real estate dispute, the kind that is heard in courts every day in every city in the world. Except that this one involves Arabs, Jews and racists who believe that Jews should not be allowed to live in mostly Arab neighborhoods—like the guy with the “Welcome to Apartheid” sign. That’s ri...

  • Herzog can put Netanyahu-Biden relations back on track

    Michael Oren|Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — They say that diplomacy is the art of the possible. That is why, despite the conventional wisdom that Israel-U.S. relations have reached a dead end, the two sides can still find a way to move forward. There are even precedents for that. In 2010, then-President Barack Obama demanded an immediate 10-month freeze of settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. Despite the misgivings in Jerusalem and the political headache this caused for the coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heeded that request, on the condition that there would no...

  • What's Happening

    Jul 28, 2023

    MORNING MINYANS 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. Congregation Ohev Shalom — Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-298-4650. GOBOR Community Minyan at Jewish Academy...

  • Herzog says Israel should take Biden's concerns about judicial overhaul into consideration

    Ron Kampeas|Jul 28, 2023

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden’s concerns about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned overhaul of Israel’s courts system should be taken into account by the Israeli parties seeking a compromise, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said after meeting Biden. Herzog’s advice, effectively aimed at Netanyahu and appearing only in his comments in Hebrew to Israeli media after his White House meeting on Tuesday, was unusual in a foreign leader insisting that the United States had a role to play in a matter of internal debate. “It’s not...

  • These 5 Jewish baseball players were just drafted into the MLB

    Jacob Gurvis|Jul 28, 2023

    (JTA) — Though there were no Jewish players at this week’s MLB All-Star Game, the future is bright. The best bellwether of what’s to come is the MLB Draft, which included 20 rounds split between the past three nights. A total of 614 players were drafted this year, and according to Jewish Baseball News, five of them are Jewish. Here’s the 2023 Jewish MLB draft class: Jake Gelof, 60th overall Taken in the second round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jake Gelof is a power-hitting third baseman who jus...

  • Herzog meets with Blinken after White House visit

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) - Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday after visiting President Joe Biden at the White House. In statements issued before the meeting, the two leaders expressed mutual appreciation for the "unique relations" between the countries and discussed the shared goal of countering the Iranian threat. "I want to thank you Mr. Secretary for pursuing such important goals as containing and limiting, and stopping the Iranian nuclear program, as...

  • Biblical red heifer could bring million visitors to Samaria

    Jul 28, 2023

    (JNS) — Hundreds of visitors flocked to Shiloh in Samaria’s Binyamin region on Thursday to welcome a biblically pure red heifer. The 22-month-old cow, which was brought to Israel from the United States, found a new home at the Ancient Shiloh heritage site, where the biblical Tabernacle once stood. In the coming month, two more heifers will be transported to the town, and a center will open there dedicated to researching the phenomenon. The heifers will be kept in a fenced-off area, and vis...

  • SAG strike puts its brash Jewish president, Fran Drescher, squarely in the spotlight

    Jackie Hajdenberg|Jul 28, 2023

    (JTA) - In the second season of "The Nanny," the sitcom she wrote and starred in, Fran Drescher's character, Fran Fine, refuses to enter a hotel where the busboys are striking. "I'm sorry, but the Fines don't cross picket lines," she tells her companion, the father of the family she works for. "It's against our religion." The laugh line was one of many moments when Drescher served her signature mashup of brashness, Jewishness and liberal politics, throughout her early 1990s series and beyond....

  • 'Barbie' director Greta Gerwig wants the movie's viewers to 'feel like I did at Shabbat dinner'

    Philissa Cramer|Jul 28, 2023

    (JTA) - Barbie the doll has a deep Jewish history. Now, the creator of "Barbie" the movie hopes watching the film will also evoke a deep Jewish experience. Greta Gerwig, who conceived and directed the buzzy live-action film released this month, told The New York Times that she hopes watching the movie will be a quasi-spiritual activity for its viewers. The feeling she wants to achieve, she said, is the same one she felt as a child when she was a guest at the Shabbat dinners of close family...

  • Saturday Night Out at the Rosen JCC

    Jul 28, 2023

    The Rosen JCC Saturday Night Out gives parents the chance to plan a night on the town. Children come to the Rosen JCC for playground time, books, crafts, games, pizza and a movie. The next Saturday Night Out is Aug. 26. Saturday Night Out is open for children 12 months to sixth grade. Dropped off begins at 6 p.m. and picked up 11p.m. Parents can register at www.rosenjcc.org/sno. This is the perfect time to take advantage of Visit Orlando Magical Dining. Magical Dining is open Aug. 18 – Oct. 1. This event offers diners a three-course p...

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