Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the August 27, 2021 edition


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  • JAO students score two grade levels ahead of peers

    Aug 27, 2021

    For the sixth straight year, on average, students at Jewish Academy of Orlando are performing at least two grade levels ahead of their peers nationwide. The test scores, from April 2021, were taken using the nationally recognized Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) – commonly known as the "Iowa Assessments." The Iowa Assessment is a nationally standardized achievement test for K-12 students, allowing schools to compare their students' scores to national norms in Reading, Language Arts, Ma...

  • Temple Israel welcomes Cantor Andrés Levy for High Holidays

    Aug 27, 2021

    Temple Israel is excited to have Cantor Andrés Levy leading us in High Holiday services in September, as well as Shabbat services and special programs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On Sunday, September 12 at 1:30 p.m., Cantor Levy will perform a family concert in the Rein Sanctuary. As a world-class cantor originally from Argentina with extensive experience and skills in leading religious services, weddings, and Jewish events in Latin America and the U.S., Cantor Levy has served as Hazzan for High Holidays in congregations throughout...

  • JFS Orlando awarded United Way grant

    Aug 27, 2021

    JFS Orlando is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Heart of Florida United Way. This grant will support JFS Orlando’s FAMILY of services, including their Counseling services, RIDE (Reliable Independent Drivers for the Elderly) Program, Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry, Family Stabilization Program, and Chaplaincy services. In 2020, JFS served an average of 10,000 individuals, provided more than 188,000 meals, and provided more than 4,800 counseling sessions. “This past year has been especially challenging for our cli...

  • Grief Support group to resume meetings in October

    Aug 27, 2021

    Grief is a noun that means deep sorrow especially caused by someone’s death. Are you coping with the loss of a spouse, parent, child or loved one? Join a free grief support group run by Rabbi Maurice Kaprow who serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Pavilion. Be part of an encouraging, supportive network. When you are ready, the Jewish Pavilion can help you with a six-week on-going program to help you cope with grief. Rabbi Kaprow recommends that people wait six months after a death to participate, because the grief is too raw prior t...

  • Tehran ready to pounce on Afghanistan and Mideast foes in more aggressive stance

    Ariel Ben Solomon|Aug 27, 2021

    (JNS) - Newly installed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi celebrated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the failure of the United States to leave smoothly after 20 years entrenched in the country, marking the beginning of what's likely to be a more aggressive stance there and on other fronts in the Middle East. American leaders have accused Iran of backing the Taliban in the fight against its military forces in Afghanistan. While a withdrawal was announced by the Biden administration earlier...

  • Happy anniversary to the Heritage!

    Christine DeSouza|Aug 27, 2021

    Forty-five years ago on Aug. 27, 1976 the lead story in the first issue of the Heritage Central Florida Jewish News was about the land optioned for Kinneret II that the Central Florida Jewish Community Council had secured. The Council accepted a loan for $2,225,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also covered on the front page was that Janet and Ezra Almog, two of the Entebbe hostages, would speak at Congregation Ohev Shalom about their experience being held hostage in the Uganda airport. The paper was 12 pages long,...

  • JDC provides critically needed medical supplies to Haiti

    Aug 27, 2021

    (JNS) - The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is responding to the Aug. 14 earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti by providing critically needed medical supplies - surgical instruments, fluids, IV starters, sutures, gloves, masks, face shields and clean linens - to local hospitals treating the wounded. The 7.2-magnitude event and its aftershocks flattened thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings as the resulting death toll reached an estimated 1,300 as of Sunday night....

  • The cost of disgrace is not cheap

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Aug 27, 2021

    (JNS) — For those old enough to remember the images of the last days of South Vietnam, recent events in Afghanistan are shockingly familiar. In each case, a flawed American ally facing a determined foe quickly collapsed once both sides to the conflict realized that the United States wouldn’t lift a finger to help its friends. Afghanistan was America’s longest war, and sadly, it must go down in history, like Vietnam, as one in which a superpower was defeated by a much weaker enemy. In both instances, there are good reasons to argue that defea...

  • Will the Delta variant spoil the High Holiday comeback?

    David Suissa|Aug 27, 2021

    (JNS) — Just as things were returning to normal, and rabbis across America were eagerly anticipating a full reopening for the High Holy Days, the Delta variant showed up. Oh no, not again. Need I remind you that nearly every synagogue and Jewish center in America pretty much shut down during last year’s High Holidays because of COVID-19? That the great American Jewish ritual of scoring High Holiday tickets succumbed to a deadly, global virus? That rabbis had to scramble for alternatives, from Zoom services to backyard and porch minyans? Those d...

  • Who are the Jewish People?

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Aug 27, 2021

    Rosh Hashanah is the time of year when we as individuals find ourselves at the center of the universe in direct communication with God. For a brief moment the present stops, the past does not recede and the future refuses to beckon us. The High Holy Days are rest stops on our journey through life; a brief respite to catch our breaths, to check our baggage and to recharge our human energy. To understand where we have been, where we are, and where we are going requires us, (utilizing “contemporary lingo”) to call up our spiritual Waze to see if...

  • A rift of Poland's making

    Ruthie Blum|Aug 27, 2021

    (JNS) — The diplomatic crisis unfolding between Jerusalem and Warsaw is unfortunate. Eastern European countries have been staunch supporters of the United States and Israel in a way that their counterparts in the Western continent have long ceased to be. As a result, conservative columnist Amnon Lord is among those stressing that Israel needs to be smart, not just right, when it comes to its relations with Poland. Despite its nationalism, he recently wrote, Poland “is a type of ally. … The cooperation with it in terms of military aviat...

  • A new Israel-hating curriculum is coming to California school districts

    David Bernstein and Pamela Paresky|Aug 27, 2021

    (Jewish Journal via JNS) — If you’ve been following the ethnic studies controversy in California over the past few years and came away thinking the Jewish community had emerged relatively unscathed, think again. The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum was unanimously adopted in March of this year by the California Board of Education. Some members of the Jewish community pushed for the inclusion of Jews in that curriculum, and once satisfied with various modifications, ultimately supported it. Others had grave concerns about the curriculum’s under...

  • 'A lesson for all oppressed peoples': Iran, Hamas embrace violent takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban

    Ben Cohen|Aug 27, 2021

    Iran and Hamas on Monday effusively welcomed the final capitulation of the Afghan government to Taliban insurgents over the weekend, praising the hardline Islamist organization for its “brave leadership” in defeating the “American occupation.” As reports poured in from around the country of Taliban fighters seizing unmarried girls to serve as sex slaves and carrying out executions of members of the Afghan military, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi gushed over the “defeat” of the U.S., claiming that the Taliban’s violent seizure of power reflec...

  • What's Happening

    Aug 27, 2021

    MORNING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, some minyans have been canceled or held virtually.) 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. Congr...

  • Tampa's Jewish Press publisher dies

    Aug 27, 2021

    James Allen Dawkins, 77, of So. Pasadena, passed away on July 27. He was co-owner of the Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., and publisher of the Jewish Press of Tampa Bay/Pinellas edition and Jewish Press of Tampa Bay/ Tampa edition, which celebrated its 35th year in business this month. Dawkins was born in Kissimmee, and was proud to call himself a seventh-generation Floridian. He was working on becoming certified as a Pioneer Family of Florida, for those who can prove an ancestor lived in Florida prior to 1845. He attended Osceola High Sc...

  • Stetson Hillel grows into the New Year

    Aug 27, 2021

    In the Rosh HaShanah Musaf service, the machzor includes the line, "The great shofar is sounded. A still small voice is heard." I love those two sentences. I love the image of the blasting shofar shattering the comfort of the community reminding us that we are entering into the days of awe. I further love the response to the shofar blast - the still small voice. Often in life the response to the extreme is calm. In Judaism, for us to survive the shofar blast, we have to breathe and be the still...

  • High Holiday greetings from the Jewish Pavilion!

    Aug 27, 2021

    Kudos to our management team - our CFO, board, staff, sponsors, supporters and volunteers. The Jewish Pavilion has been a pillar in the community for over 20 years, and we intend to remain an anchor for years to come. We are fiscally strong and secure, thanks to community-wide support. During the pandemic, it was reported that 1/3 of all charities merged or closed their operations. As well, many were in desperate financial straits and were constantly asking for funds. The Jewish Pavilion followe...

  • Wedding Announcement - Chen Danon and Harrison Shames

    Aug 27, 2021

    Chen Danon, daughter of Vered and Shmuel Danon of Rehovot, Israel, and Harrison Shames, son of Dr. Stefanie and David Shames of Altamonte Springs, Florida, were married in Winter Park, Florida, on June 6, 2021. Rabbi Sholom Dubov of Chabad of Greater Orlando officiated, assisted by Rabbi Yanky Majesky of Chabad of North Orlando and Rabbi Chaim Lipskier of Chabad of UCF. Chen and Harrison met in Israel while Harrison was coaching American football. Due to Covid, their special day was moved from...

  • Yom Kippur and the book of Jonah

    Mayim Bialik|Aug 27, 2021

    (JTA) — Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement. Jewish tradition teaches us that our fate for the year ahead is sealed on Yom Kippur — and our Book of Life was a raging epic this year. The book was on fire as our lives and our cities and our lungs were plagued by an invisible silent killer. On Yom Kippur, I am used to praying all morning, chanting haftarah as I have done for 20 years, crying through yizkor — my father z”l in heaven listens as we weep and shuckle. And then my ex-husband takes our boys and my mom home, and I stay behind to daven m...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Aug 27, 2021

    Too many to list at one time ... I'm talking about famous Jewish entertainers like Billy Crystal and Zac Efron. Also, Natalie Portman (oh wait! You knew she was born in Israel.) How about "Saturday Night Live's" MAYA RUDOLPH. (I never even suspected.) Also Sarah Jessica Parker. (I sort of suspected.) What about Paula Abdul (NO WAY!) Yes, way! Wow! If you are shocked about these artists being Jewish, just wait until next week! The future of the Jewish people ... I read this in a World Jewish...

  • More than just brisket: Change up your menu with these 9 delicious Rosh Hashanah recipes

    Shannon Sarna|Aug 27, 2021

    (JTA) - I know the holidays will look, and taste, different than most years. I also know many families cherish the big brisket, standing rib roast or pot roast that graces their table each year. Traditions are important, and food imparts its own sanctity as part of holiday experiences; the smell, the sight and the taste all play a crucial role in what makes family gatherings during a holiday so very special. It might not even be the flavor of the dish itself, but rather the knowledge and...

  • Tunisian pumpkin jam is the most underrated Rosh Hashanah treat

    Rachel Myerson|Aug 27, 2021

    (JTA) — For many Jews, predominantly Sephardim, Rosh Hashanah foods extend way beyond apples and honey. Among the numerous simanim (foods that have symbolic or linguistic significance for the upcoming year) are squashes and gourds. The Aramaic word for gourds and squashes is kara, which sounds similar to the Hebrew word kra, which means “to tear up.” Therefore, eating them at Rosh Hashanah conveys the hope that any harsh decrees should be torn up, and that any merits over the past year should be judged favorably by God. But this tradi...

  • Obituary - MICHAEL BARD ETZKIN

    Aug 27, 2021

    Submitted by the family Michael B. Etzkin was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Feb. 28, 1947, to Joe and Paula Etzkin and died on Aug. 17, 2021, in Altamonte Springs, Fla., at the age of 74. At the age of 16, Michael and his twin brother Allan, who predeceased him one year ago, moved with their parents to Cleveland, Ohio, while oldest brother Steven stayed in Wisconsin. After graduating from Cleveland Heights High School, Michael attended Kent State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He worked at several Ohio n...

  • 5781 Community Year in Review

    Aug 27, 2021

    Photos in Special Issues Section September 2020 The country was still under COVID-19 mandates and Jewish organizations were getting creative in how to continue some programs. One such program was the Jewish Academy of Orlando’s performance of “Alice in Wonderland.” Originally planned for May, then rescheduled for October, became a video production. The video was filmed in the fall and released later in the year. A few members of the Jewish community ran for offices: Lynn Moira Dictor ran for Seminole County Tax Collector, Tracey Kagan ran f...

  • Jewish History in Film 'Hester Street' is a nod to Jewish immigration

    Zachary Aborizk|Aug 27, 2021

    The year 2020 was filled with a lot of heartbreak in the film community and it ended delivering one final blow. On Dec. 31, one of the most important independent filmmakers of the last 50 years lost her battle with dementia. Joan Micklin Silver passed away at the age of 85, leaving behind quite the legacy. With 18 films under her belt, her most notable film, "Hester Street," released in 1975 and starring Carol Kane and Steven Keats, has stood the test of time and is still considered one of the...

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