Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the August 11, 2023 edition


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  • Pittsburgh synagogue shooter gets death penalty

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) - A Pittsburgh jury agreed unanimously last Wednesday that Robert Bowers, 50, should be put to death for killing 11 Jewish worshippers at Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2018. The judge will formally sentence the convicted killer on Aug. 3. "As we collectively process the jury's decision today, what should always be top of mind is the memory of the 11 people murdered in a synagogue while at prayer by a cold-blooded hater of Jews," said the American Jewish...

  • After synagogue gunman's death sentence, Pittsburgh's Jews feel relief

    Ron Kampeas|Aug 11, 2023

    PITTSBURGH (JTA) - The overriding feeling in this city now that the gunman convicted of murdering 11 Jews here in 2018 has been sentenced to death is gratitude. Not for the penalty itself, which was the preference of some but not all of the victims' families and which some local Jews openly opposed, and not even for the end of a trial whose long delay protracted communal trauma. Instead, the gratitude is for people - those who made the trial happen, those who supported the victims' family member...

  • Peace with Saudis a 'sure bet'

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confident his government can achieve some form of normalization with Saudi Arabia in the coming months, Netanyahu said in an interview with Bloomberg Television broadcasted on Monday. “I think that we are about to witness a pivot of history,” he told Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua. “First, there is an economic corridor of energy, transport and communications that naturally goes through our geography from Asia through the Arabian Peninsula to Europe. “We are going to realize that,” vowed the pri...

  • Best guardians of Judea/Samaria

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Following a tour on Wednesday of Jewish-owned agricultural sites in Samaria’s Binyamin region, Israeli Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter applauded farmers’ role in protecting state lands in Judea and Samaria. “We came here to learn up close about the farms, which I view as the best guardians of Israeli state land in Area C,” the minister said, referring to one of the administrative zones established under the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. Dichter continued: “There are no better guardians than hundreds of sheep, tended by an Israeli she...

  • Jews in the Land of Disney: Michelle Anflick - Music is deep in her soul

    Ed Borowsky|Aug 11, 2023

    This is a story about an orthodox wife and mother, a busy Bubbe, a retired schoolteacher and a full-time dental hygienist, who at a moment in her life, or so it seemed at the time, was Divinely inspired to compose music. At first, the lyrics came, and then the melody, resulting in her first composition titled "Please See." Since this time, she hasn't turned back and has written over 20 songs, with three that have been produced into singles. Michelle Anflick, the daughter of Dr. Michael Fineberg...

  • Community Bingo is back at the Rosen Event Center

    Aug 11, 2023

    Bingo at the Rosen Event Center is full of fun and prizes. On Thursday, Aug. 17, the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The games start at 6:30 p.m. Bring $20 to play games and for your chance at raffle prizes. There will be drinks and snacks served for an additional fee. This is a great opportunity for you and your friends for a night out or come and make new friends. Mark your calendar and if you have questions call 1-407-387-5330 or email debbyR@rosenjcc.org....

  • South Carolina school district to return Bernard Malamud's 'The Fixer' to shelves after yearlong removal

    Andrew Lapin|Aug 11, 2023

    (JTA) – A school district in South Carolina will return Bernard Malamud’s “The Fixer,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antisemitism, to shelves nearly a year after it was removed following a parental complaint. The decision made Wednesday by a review committee for the Beaufort County School District concludes another episode in which a Jewish book has gotten caught up in a national book-ban push by conservative parents. The district pulled “The Fixer” and other books from school libraries last fall, citing safety concerns for school empl...

  • Suspect in custody after man fires shots near Memphis Jewish school

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — A Jewish day school in Memphis, Tenn., went into lockdown for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon after a man fired several shots nearby. No injuries were reported at the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South. “We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school,” stated Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). “I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students.” Earlier in the day, the congressm...

  • Sara Netanyahu joins campaign to end violence in daycares

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met on Wednesday with representatives of the nonprofit association Mateh Hama’avak Lema’an Hayeladim (“The Taskforce for Children”), whose goal is to eradicate violence against children in daycare centers and kindergartens. Three representatives of the organization shared personal stories of the abuse their children suffered and how their families have coped with the effects. “We are embarking on a long journey to prevent abuse in kindergartens from birth to ag...

  • Palestinians not a roadblock to Saudi deal, says Israeli FM

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — The Palestinian issue will not be an obstacle to normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, according to Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. Jerusalem’s top diplomat made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with Arabic-language online newspaper Elaph, excerpts from which were seen by Ynet. “The current Israeli government will take steps to improve the Palestinian economy,” Cohen stated, amid reports that one of Riyadh’s demands for a U.S.-brokered deal to join the Abraham Accords involves concessions to the Palestinians. “A visit to...

  • A film about saving children isn't an antisemitic conspiracy

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — “Sound of Freedom” is the film that the chattering classes are encouraging you not to see. NPR says its success is due to support from the shadowy QAnon extremist group. It’s been blasted by The Guardian as “QAnon adjacent” and was linked to blood libels and conspiracy theories by a JTA article. A CNN segment labeled it as a crude and fraudulent piece of agitprop that is the product of a “moral panic.” It’s the kind of movie that enlightened and educated people are supposed to avoid at all costs. And yet, somehow in this season of Ho...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 7

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Aug 11, 2023

    The next day our positive energy experienced on the March of the Living quickly dissipated as we arrived at the site where an estimated 800 Jewish children are buried in a mass grave in the Zbylitowska Góra Forest. The gravesite is located deep in the forest on the outskirts of the Polish village of Tarnow, which also once included a sizable Jewish community. The site was only discovered after the war. According to our guide and my own research, these Jewish children, many of whom were outed by their non-Jewish neighbors, were taken from the to...

  • Look who's in charge of protecting the Jews at CUNY

    Charles Jacobs|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — In response to public outrage over the pervasive, systemic, years-long scandal of antisemitism at CUNY, the university formed its inaugural Advisory Council on Jewish Life. At first, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez refused the demands of Jewish faculty and student victims at CUNY to be represented on the council, stating, “… [T]he advisory council on Jewish life will be comprised of Jewish leaders in New York who are external to the university” [emphasis added]. But in late May or early June of 2023, secretly and behind the scenes, Rodrígue...

  • Why an Orthodox group supports the Supreme Court ruling on not serving same-sex couples

    Rabbi Avi Shafran|Aug 11, 2023

    (JTA) — The Orthodox Jewish community boasts a wide array of creative services providers. And, in keeping with the Jewish religious tradition over millennia, those vendors cannot, in good conscience, buy into elements of “progressive” social developments. They do not accept, for instance, that it is proper to identify as a different sex from one’s biological one, or that a same-sex union is proper. That is why my organization took a particular interest in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lorie Smith,...

  • Notice to the IDF: Southern Lebanon is biblical Israel

    Gary Schiff|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Once again, we are seeing Hezbollah threatening us, encroaching on the demilitarized area and daring us to retaliate. In Southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has positioned thousands of rockets aimed at Israel in direct violation of the stipulations of the pact Israel agreed to after the Second Lebanon War. At the end of the hostilities, Israel was in possession of Southern Lebanon south of the Litani River. Israel retreated to its previous border based on an international agreement, which Hezbollah immediately violated. Notice to the Israel D...

  • What's Happening

    Aug 11, 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...

  • Football team joins San Diego Jewish school in commemorating children murdered in the Holocaust

    Jacob Gurvis|Aug 11, 2023

    (JTA) — The German football team Borussia Dortmund joined students at the San Diego Jewish Academy on Friday to participate in a project to commemorate children who were killed in the Holocaust. The club, which plays in the Bundesliga, Germany’s top tier of professional soccer, is in the United States for a series of exhibition matches against other teams from the United States and England. According to a press release from the World Jewish Congress, Dortmund had been training at the San Diego Jewish Academy over the past week. On Friday, the...

  • Royal Caribbean navigates the kosher cruise market

    Judith Segaloff|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) - Sea travel has always posed formidable challenges-especially for Jews. Keeping kosher, observing Shabbat and venturing into a sea of people who aren't Jewish isn't easy for the strictly observant. The challenges are compounded on cruises, where numerous questions come up. If most of the passengers are Jewish and the staff is not, is it permissible to cruise on Shabbat? If the ship docks on Shabbat, can you disembark? How do you light candles when you are forbidden to light a flame? How...

  • First-ever 'Borscht Belt Fest' brings bygone era back to life, if only for a day

    Mike Wagenheim|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) - A deli chef prepares roast pork sandwiches as a museum official quotes from the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot, often translated as "Ethics of the Fathers." Saturday's Borscht Belt Fest was decidedly not kosher, but there was a clear Jewish vibe to it as attendees flocked to Ellenville, N.Y., to reminisce about the golden age of the Catskill Mountains as a Jewish summer getaway. The first-ever festival, held on July 29 in the searing summer heat, included a street fair, comedy shows, lectures,...

  • Wilfrid Israel and Yad Vashem's continuing failure

    Jerry Klinger|Aug 11, 2023

    Wilfrid Israel risked his own life to save tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem refuses to recognize and honor him. Yad Vashem refuses to recognize and honor the more than 200 Jews identified so far by the Israeli Committee, Jews who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust. B'nai Brith International recognizes them. Haim Roet, himself a child survivor of the Holocaust because a Jew saved his life from the Nazis, tried for many years to get Yad Vashem to change their policy....

  • Ahead of new Netflix show, Gal Gadot shares thoughts on her career

    Yishai Kiczales|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) - Gal Gadot's first Hollywood audition was for the role of a James Bond girl in "Quantum of Solace," alongside Daniel Craig. Although Gadot did not get the role, now, a decade and a half later, she finds herself playing a female version of 007 in "Heart of Stone"-a big-buck action thriller that will air on Netflix on Aug. 11 (and which will be, if all goes as planned, the first installment of an ongoing series). The days when she was regarded as "the girl of" are long gone. Today Gadot is...

  • Robert Kraft speaks with rapper Meek Mill on NAACP panel about antisemitism and racism

    Jacob Gurvis|Aug 11, 2023

    (JTA) - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft participated in a panel conversation on fighting antisemitism and racism during the annual NAACP convention in Boston. Titled "Hate Has No Home: Racism, Anti-Semitism and Building Bridges to Fight All Hate," the conversation was moderated by Fox Sports host Joy Taylor and featured NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Kraft and the rapper and activist Meek Mill. Mill and Kraft have been friends since Kraft...

  • Hezbollah could take possession of Syrian chemical weapons

    Yaakov Lappin|Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Iran is working to seize control of an extensive network of Syrian military industry facilities, collectively known by their French acronym of CERS, or the Scientific Studies and Research Center in English, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Alma Research and Education Center. The Alma Center is a defense research group that specializes in security challenges faced by Israel in Lebanon and Syria. The report also warned of the possibility of Hezbollah taking possession of chemical substances present as CERS, which are b...

  • Israeli study explains delay in tanning after sun exposure

    Aug 11, 2023

    (JNS) — Tel Aviv University researchers have proposed a new theory for why the body’s tanning process does not occur immediately after exposure to the sun’s rays, but only after a few hours or even days. The study found that the body’s initial response to sun exposure is to prioritize repairing DNA damage in the skin cells, which inhibits the mechanism responsible for skin pigmentation, commonly known as tanning. The research, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, was led by doctoral student Nadav Elkoshi and Professor Carmit...

  • JFK documents reveal assassin's CIA monitor was Reuben Efron, a Jewish spy who loved Midrash

    Ron Kampeas|Aug 11, 2023

    (JTA) — For decades, armchair analysts scrutinizing the mysteries of the President John F. Kennedy assassination have fixated on who, exactly, opened his future assassin’s mail while he was under CIA surveillance. As the conspiracy theory went, that person would have understood Lee Harvey Oswald’s relationship with the Soviet Union and thus could unlock new information about a possible Communist plot against Kennedy — or a U.S. government plot to obscure his true killer. Last month, a new document dump in the ongoing declassification of Kenn...

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