Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the August 2, 2013 edition

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  • At Western Wall, showdown between two women's groups

    Ben Sales, JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    ERUSALEM (JTA)—Early in the morning o, at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av, the Western Wall plaza was a cacophonous mess. Women of the Wall, the activist group that holds women’s prayer services each month at the site known as the Kotel, loudly sang festive prayers at a spot far from the wall itself. Police had barricaded them there, ostensibly for their own protection. A few feet away, a group of haredi Orthodox boys shouted at them, called them Nazis, blew whistles, waved signs and... Full story

  • Heritage receives two Florida Press Association Awards

    Aug 2, 2013

    The Heritage Florida Jewish News recently received two awards from The Florida Press Association/Florida Society of News Editors’ Better Weekly Newspaper Contest. Competing against 64 weekly newspapers and 1,641 entries, The Heritage took home third place for General Excellence and third place for Feature Story: Profile. “I am very happy that we were fortunate enough to win two awards this year and I am especially proud that we received an award in the General Excellence category, which is con... Full story

  • Peace prize for Jewish and Muslim leaders

    Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21c|Aug 2, 2013

    When Jerusalem resident Eli Beer implemented a neighborhood-based volunteer emergency response system to Israel in 2006, he wasn’t dreaming of prizes, only of saving lives. But in recognition of the fact that United Hatzalah of Israel has brought together some 2,100 trained volunteers from every sector of Israeli society to respond to medical emergencies in Arab and Jewish neighborhoods without discrimination, Beer and Arab-Israeli United Hatzalah-East Jerusalem leader Murad Alyan were chosen to receive the 2013 Victor J. Goldberg IIE Prize f... Full story

  • Israeli Cabinet votes to release prisoners

    Linda Gradstein|Aug 2, 2013

    Mika Bromberg stood outside the Israeli Prime Minister’s office holding a black-and-white poster of Avraham Bromberg, her brother-in-law and an Israeli soldier who was killed while hitchhiking in 1981. The attackers shot him, stole his gun, and pushed him out of the car. He was found on the side of a highway, and died of his wounds two days later. Maher and Kareem Younis, two Arab citizens of Israel, were tried and found guilty of the murder, and received a sentence of life imprisonment, later reduced to 40 years. In an ironic twist, one of the... Full story

  • Foreign Ministry labor dispute complicating plans for new immigrants to Israel

    Josh Lipowsky, JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)—Eventually, all Jews will end up in Israel, Cliff Katz says. But for now, a labor dispute in the Jewish state is holding things up. Katz, 47, decided to immigrate from Texas about a year ago. He filled out all the paperwork, paid the fees and already had two job interviews lined up for later this summer. But the dispute between the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s union and the Finance Ministry has led the Foreign Ministry to halt all consular services, including processing new imm... Full story

  • Women of the Wall request use of sacred site's Torah scroll

    JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Women of the Wall asked the rabbi of the Western Wall to allow the group to use one of the site’s Torah scrolls. In a letter sent Sunday, Women of the Wall made the request to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz for their Rosh Chodesh prayer service, marking the start of the new Jewish month. The group asked to use one of the site’s 100 scrolls available for public use or to bring in its own. According to regulations established several years ago by Rabinowitz, worshippers are not allowed to bring a Torah scroll from outside the site.... Full story

  • Dermer approved officially as Israel's U.S. envoy

    JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israel’s Cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Ron Dermer as Israeli ambassador to the United States. The appointment of Dermer, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was approved Sunday during the regular weekly Cabinet meeting. Dermer, who immigrated to Israel from Florida 15 years ago, succeeds Michael Oren, a New Jersey native. Oren announced on July 5 that he would be vacating his post in the fall. “Ron is one of the most talented and dedicated people I know,” Netanyahu said after the vot... Full story

  • Talia loses her battle with cancer

    Aug 2, 2013

    Talia Joy Castellano, known to the online world as Taliajoy18, passed away on July 16, 2013 from metastatic Neuroblastoma, one month before her 14th birthday in Orlando, Fla. Born Aug. 18, 1999, she resided in Oviedo, Fla., New York, N.Y. and Southampton, N.Y. Talia became a YouTube sensation in the last two years of her life after deciding to throw away hats and wigs under the slogan “Make Up is My Wig.” She began making a series of makeup tutorials which, through her knowledge of her cra... Full story

  • Temple Israel summer camp refreshes students' skills

    Aug 2, 2013

    The Meitin Religious School will hold a summer “camp” experience for students. Temple Israel has developed this unique program to help refresh the skills students learned before the summer break. The camp will be a three-day “whirlwind multi-continent trip” with the Passport to Hebrew program featuring a virtual trip to a different continent each evening. Activities will include virtual geo-caching, geography, Jewish culture, music, art and food preparation (and eating) all to help bring H... Full story

  • Jewish Federations' Mission to Israel and General Assembly

    Aug 2, 2013

    From Nov. 4-13, 2013, join the Jewish Federation for a very special mission to Israel that has it all: Hikes through northern nature preserves and visits to spice markets and wineries, ancient historical sites and hi-tech start-ups. Encounters with cutting-edge artists, new immigrants and Israelis from all walks of life. Opportunities to learn about coexistence initiatives, and a magical Shabbat in Jerusalem. The mission culminates with the General Assembly, the Jewish community’s signature annual event. The GA will feature Israel’s Prime Min... Full story

  • Hadassah Opens Season with Renowned Violinist

    Aug 2, 2013

    The Orlando Chapter of Hadassah is proud to present renowned violinist Matitiahu Braun at its opening meeting Aug. 27 at 11:30 a.m. at Congregation Ohev Shalom. Matitiahu Braun is a native of Israel where he graduated from the Israel Academy in Tel Aviv. He came to America in 1962 to study at the Juilliard where he received artist and post-graduate diplomas and was the recipient of the prestigious Naumburg Prize. In 1969 he joined the New York Philharmonic, a position he held until 2006. He... Full story

  • SOJC Unveils its Holocaust Memorial on Sunday, Aug. 25

    Aug 2, 2013

    Under the leadership and design supervision of Eagle Scout candidate Max Waldor, the Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation is about to finish the construction of its Holocaust Memorial, a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. At 4’ tall by 8’ wide, this memorial is a collection of stories from the Holocaust, reproduced on tile and via the internet, to honor and describe the experiences of 40 of the Central Florida Jewish community’s loved ones during a terrible chapter in histo... Full story

  • Kerry must end the 'Israel-is-to-blame' game

    Ben Cohen, JNS.org|Aug 2, 2013

    Which aspect of Secretary of State John Kerry’s repetition of the Arab position last week, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the root of Middle Eastern instability, is more remarkable? The fact that Kerry could actually say such a thing, or the fact that, with the exception of the Weekly Standard, such an extraordinary claim could pass almost unnoticed in a media landscape that is rarely short of opinions about the region? Let’s first revisit what Kerry said. After talks in Amman with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and his... Full story

  • Point: Kosher slaughter ban shows Poland has a Jewish problem

    Lawrence Grossman, JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)—The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, has a Jewish problem. In a painful affront to the Jewish community, it recently defeated a government initiative to reinstate the legality of kosher slaughter of animals. This prompted Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, to threaten resignation and triggered sharp criticism of the Sejm from Jewish communities in Poland and around the world. What happens in Poland regarding Jews has special significance because of the Holocaust. More than 90 percent of the country’s 3.5 m... Full story

  • Counterpoint: Polish democracy may make missteps, but goal of good Jewish relations remains clear

    Tad Taube, Tad Taube|Aug 2, 2013

    SAN FRANCISCO (JTA)—For the past decade, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture and I myself, as Poland’s honorary consul in the Bay Area, have been involved directly in furthering the renaissance of Jewish life in Poland. The renaissance is viewed as a “miracle” in Poland and around the world. At my foundation, we receive communications every day from all corners of the globe congratulating and thanking us for our leadership in the rebirth of Jewish life and culture in Poland. The renaissance is not just a Jewish one; it is really... Full story

  • What does it take to create a Jewish community?

    Olga Yorish, Monthly update|Aug 2, 2013

    As I was coming to the office the other day in the pouring rain, I saw a young mother with three small children: a baby in a stroller, a toddler in her arms, and a 3-year-old holding on to her hand, all huddling under the awning of the J building. I offered to help, and together, snuggling under my large umbrella, we delivered the little ones to the safety of her car. As we waded through the parking lot, the mother told the 3-year-old “the lady is doing a mitzvah.” My feet were wet and I was slightly late for a meeting, but I felt as if I had... Full story

  • EU ban on Hezbollah branch a start, but impact is likely limited

    Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA)—The effectiveness of the European Union’s decision to blacklist only Hezbollah’s military wing might be debatable, but one thing about the move seems certain: It did not come easy. The decision July 22 by Europe’s 28 foreign ministers to put Hezbollah’s military wing on the EU list of terrorist organizations followed months of jostling by member states in the wake of last summer’s killing of five Israelis and a Bulgarian in a bus bombing near the Black Sea resort of Burgas. Israel and Bulgaria have accused Hez... Full story

  • Shanda factor: What makes Jewish sex scandals different?

    Ron Kampeas, JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—The guy with the socks up. The guy with the pants down. The guy with the headlocks. The guy who tweets and deletes. What is it with these male politicos? And why are they all Jewish? The cloistered community that is Washington’s Jewish elite collectively choked a little July 20 as it progressed through a column in which Gail Collins of The New York Times named the protagonists of what she dubbed the “Weiner Spitzer summer.” “Ever since the Clinton impeachment crisis, we’ve been discovering how much personal misbehavior... Full story

  • What's Happening - Friday, August 2 - Friday, August 9

    Aug 2, 2013

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Call synagogue to confirm time.) Chabad of South Orlando—Monday and Thursday, 8 a.m. 407-354-3660. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael—Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.; Sunday, 8 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 Israel—Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-647-3055. FRIDAY, AUGUST 2 Light Shabbat candles at 7:58... Full story

  • Seven Weeks in Israel

    Marilyn Schwartz, Orlando Chapter of Hadassah|Aug 2, 2013

    We are frequent visitors to Israel and have been going there for the past 35 years. We recently returned with our heads filled with visions and sights that resonate with pride and excitement at the unbelievable growth and prosperity that we witnessed as we drove around the country. What we noticed immediately were the automobiles. No longer do Israelis drive around in cars 10 years old, but are racing around (and I do mean racing) in all the same models that we drive here. What makes this so extraordinary is that they have to pay at least... Full story

  • Law requiring referendum on land withdrawal passes Israeli Cabinet

    JTA|Aug 2, 2013

    JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Israeli Cabinet approved a measure that would require a public referendum or vote on any peace agreement that involves withdrawing from land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Cabinet approved the legislation, which will create a new Basic Law, at its regular meeting on Sunday. The legislation will be brought to a vote of the full Knesset on Wednesday for a first reading. “It is important that every citizen have a direct vote on fateful decisions such as these that will determine the future of the state,” Prime... Full story

  • Obituary - JOSEPH BAISUCK

    Aug 2, 2013

    Joseph Baisuck of Casselberry, died on Friday, July 19. He was 94 years old. Mr. Baisuck was born Feb. 13, 1919 in Beverly, Mass., to Abraham and Ann Cutler Baisuck. Following high school, he attended the Boston Conservatory of Music to study piano. After leaving school, he became a superintendent in the sheet metal industry. An accomplished musician, his avocation was as an artist. He is survived by his daughter Phyllis Turner of Lake Mary, Fla.; his grandchildren Amy (Dan) Richmond, Debra Sikora, Tom Sikora and Michael (Flavya) Baisuck; two... Full story

  • Obituary - STEVEN D. BERCOV

    Aug 2, 2013

    Steven D. Bercov died on Sunday, July 21. He was 66 years old. Mr. Bercov was born in Chicago, Ill. on May 17, 1947, to Jacob and Frances Sharon Bercov. He moved to Miami with his family in 1960. Following high school he attended the University of South Florida where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. It was there, too, that he met his wife, Kris, who is also a therapist. He was a mental health counselor for more than 30 years and was active in the P3 Program – Personal Power and Prosperity Workshops. After livin... Full story


    Aug 2, 2013

    Martin I. Finkelstein of Casselberry died on on Saturday, July 20. He was 89 years old. He was born in Philadelphia on June 26, 1924, to the late Reuben and Ida Kaplan Finkelstein. Following high school he entered the Army and served in Europe during World War II, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. He then enrolled in the University of Massachusetts where he had received a full four-year scholarship. On Dec. 12, 1947, in Paterson, N.J., he married the former Ann Ginsberg, his wife of more than 65 years, who survives him. During his... Full story

  • Obituary - RUTH L. RABINOVITZ

    Aug 2, 2013

    Ruth L. Rabinovitz of Orlando, died on Wednesday, July 23. She was 74. Mrs. Rabinovitz was born in Boston, Mass., on March 8, 1939. She was married to the late Paul Rabinovitz who passed away in October 1998. The couple moved to the Orlando area from Miami in 1976. Mrs. Rabinovitz is survived by her daughter, Amy, of Orlando. Funeral services were held at Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel with Rabbi Maurice Kaprow of VITAS Hospice officiating. Interment was at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Beth Shalom... Full story

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