Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the September 2, 2016 edition


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  • Jewish Academy of Orlando welcomes families to its first Shabbat

    Sep 2, 2016

    Last Friday, Jewish Academy of Orlando welcomed its families for the first Shabbat of the year. Head of School, Alan Rusonik, led a shehecheyanu to celebrate the school's new year and new beginnings. All 98 students, parents and teachers enjoyed the "dancing Shabbat" in the auditorium at the JCC. "It was one of the best Shabbats EVER!" says Robyn Eichenholz, a fourth grade parent. "Not only was it fun but it was great to see the younger students hug the older students. There is such a nice...

  • Federation celebrates a year of growth at Annual Meeting

    Sep 2, 2016

    More than 150 friends and supporters of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) attended the nonprofit's Aug. 17 Annual Meeting on the Maitland Jewish Community Campus. Themed "A Meeting of the Minds," this year's gathering featured entertainment by "Mentalist to the Stars" Sidney Friedman, who wowed the crowd with some of the mind-boggling feats that have made him a popular draw at Jewish agencies and Federations across the country. Jeannie Leavitt and Yeosh Bendayan, both Federation...

  • Pearlman, a strong support to SOJC

    Christine DeSouza|Sep 2, 2016

    Most people know Lou Pearlman as the creator of the best-selling boy band of all time, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC, whose recordings sold over 55 million records globally. They also know him as the perpetrator of one of the biggest Ponzi schemes that defrauded investors out of more than $300 million. For this, Pearlman was serving a 25-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami. His sentence was cut short when he died Aug. 19, 2016, from an infection following surgery to get a heart valve replaced, according to the...

  • AIPAC briefing in Orlando

    Sep 2, 2016

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is holding a community briefing about the upcoming elections and the pro-Israel movement on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m., at Congregation of Reform Judaism. The guest speakers will be Democratic strategist Joe Trippi and Republican strategist Ralph Reed. Trippi has been heralded as the man who “reinvented campaigning.” He has been at the forefront of movement politics for almost 30 years. He began his political career working on Edward M. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980 and has worked on numer...

  • Israeli forces raid West Bank weapons factories as part of crackdown

    Sep 2, 2016

    By Andrew Tobin JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israeli security forces shut down six illegal weapons manufacturing factories in the West Bank in what the army said was the biggest such operation of an ongoing crackdown. The raids conducted jointly by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service and Israel Police took place last Monday night in Bethlehem and Hebron. “Last night, after research and analysis, we decided to clamp down on several warehouses and factories that manufacture guns and arms,” a senior army officer told JTA and other journ...

  • U.S. State Department calls Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority anti-Semitic

    Rafael Medoff, JNS.org|Sep 2, 2016

    For the first time, the U.S. State Department has explicitly accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of promoting anti-Semitism, a signal Jewish groups are hoping will lead to change in U.S. policy. According to a newly released State Department annual report on international religious freedom, official PA media "carried religiously intolerant material," citing Palestinian television programs that called Jews "evil" or "denied a historical Jewish presence in Jerusalem." Previously, U.S....

  • Five cousins found in three months of research

    Sep 2, 2016

    By Renee Lempert My great-grandparents and grandfather, Jacob Lass, came to New York from Amdur, Poland, in the late 1800s. Till this summer, I assumed my grandfather was an only child. My family breakthrough and connections with cousins began when I researched my grandfather and found him, his parents and six siblings listed in the 1905 N.Y. Population Census! through Ancestry.com, I was able to reach out to cousins who had created their own Lass Family Trees on Ancestry. Now, one of my five...

  • Preparing for High Holidays, children will make a Shofar

    Sep 2, 2016

    On Sunday, Sept. 18, children of all ages will get the unique opportunity to participate in a hands-on workshop, crafting their own Shofars, or ram’s horn, for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The Shofar is perhaps the oldest wind instrument known to mankind. Consisting of a simple horn taken from a ram or similar animal (such as a kudu) and hollowed of its internal cartilage, the instrument produces a haunting, almost mystical tone. “The Shofar generates an otherworldly sound. It’s very soulful, very stirring, and o...

  • Baseball, Bar Mitzvah... A Double Header

    Sep 2, 2016

    Nick Berger, from Winter Park, soon-to-be 13, was taking batting practice at a baseball diamond in Cooperstown, New York, last month and spotted a familiar face walking across the field towards him. His face lit up. It was Rabbi Sholom Dubov from Chabad of Greater Orlando, Nick's family's synagogue. Nick was in Cooperstown in upstate New York because his Winter Park Little League team was playing in the national Hall of Fame championship. Rabbi Dubov was there because he was the Berger family's...

  • Israel and the U.S. share a common enemy

    Sep 2, 2016

    The Zionistas are pleased to present Alan Kornman as the guest speaker on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Eastmonte Civic Center, 830 Magnolia Drive in Altamonte Springs. Kornman is the regional coordinator for the United West, contributing editor of Family Security Matters and has 40+ published articles on various national security topics. He has completed FDLE’s Florida Criminal Justice Exec, Institute Seminar, Understanding Militant Islamist Terrorism, and is a local Orlando small business owner. Join the Z...

  • Jill Stein's big lies

    Ben Cohen|Sep 2, 2016

    The far left U.S. Green Party marked a significant milestone in the current campaign cycle when CNN broadcast a town hall debate with its presidential candidate, Jill Stein, and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka. It was a chance for the largely obscure party to build upon the momentum generated by Sen. Bernie Sander’s bid for the Democratic Party nomination with a progressive platform untainted, as Stein and Baraka emphasized again and again, by the paw prints of corporate lobbyists, special interest groups and dubious foreign governments. L...

  • So this is what peace looks like

    Stephen M. Flatow, JNS.org|Sep 2, 2016

    It’s not the end of the world just because an Egyptian athlete refused to shake hands with his Israeli counterpart at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last week. After all, the Egyptian is the one who violated judo etiquette. He’s the one whom the fans booed. I won’t lose any sleep over his petty insult, and I doubt many Israelis will either. But the incident, as small as it was, does offer some food for thought about much bigger issues, such as the prospects for peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. The Judo Snubber, Mr. Islam El Sheha...

  • On the borders of cultures

    Ira Sharkansky, Letter from Israel|Sep 2, 2016

    We’re all on the borders of cultures. We express the condition by where we travel, with whom we deal, and how we deal with those who are different from ourselves. Staying close to home and minding our own business are conventional ways of dealing with strangers, some of whom may worry or threaten us. Americans who feel safe in upscale neighborhoods don’t venture into Black ghettos, unless they know the way and want to purchase something available there. Jews living in French Hill stay away from Isaweea, Shuafat, or Beit Hanina, unless they spe...

  • Quit the failed attempts to paint Democrats as weak on Israel

    Michael M. Adler|Sep 2, 2016

    MIAMI (JTA)—Every four years the same movie plays at the Jewish Political Film Festival: It’s the one where the Democrats pass another party platform with more ironclad support for Israel and then nominate yet another presidential candidate whose record on Israel is beyond question. The ending is always the same, too, with two-thirds to three-quarters of American Jews voting for the Democrat. This year will be no different. American Jews again will vote for the Democratic candidate, confident that Democrats will have Israel’s back. Not only...

  • It's indisputable: The GOP is the pro-Israel party

    Jeff Ballabon and Bruce Abramson|Sep 2, 2016

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—For years, the leaders of America’s most established Jewish organizations—AIPAC chief among them - have assured their members that when it came to Israel, there wasn’t much difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Even suggesting that control of the White House or Congress might matter to the U.S.-Israel relationship was taboo, often decried as “anti-Israel” if not “anti-Semitic.” The 2016 platform debates and conventions have shattered this outlandish insistence that in our hyperpartisan era, Israel policy s...

  • Will Black Lives Matter drive a wedge between Jews and African-Americans?

    Shalle McDonald and Sean Savage, JNS.org|Sep 2, 2016

    As a minority group that has faced down centuries of anti-Semitism, the Jewish people have long stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other long-suffering and persecuted minority groups such as African-Americans. This was evident during the Civil Rights Movement when Jewish leaders stood against segregation in the south. That allegiance continues today with Jewish figures speaking out against inequality that many African-Americans face. Despite this solidarity, Jewish and African-American relations today face one of their biggest challenges yet....

  • What's Happening

    Sep 2, 2016

    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...

  • Pokémon Go connects seniors and the multi-generations

    Pamela Ruben, Tidbits from the Sandwich Generation|Sep 2, 2016

    Chasing after Bulbasaurs, Jigglypuffs, and Pikachus started out as a way to spend time with our 'millennial' daughter, who like many members of her generation, is preoccupied with the game, Pokémon Go. Before we knew it, my husband and I had caught 'Pokémon fever', which has swept MOST of the nation this summer. If you are not familiar with Pokémon Go, it as a game of 'augmented reality' (it incorporates your actual location into the game through GPS), that is downloaded through an app on your p...

  • Is Donald Trump's proposal to keep out anti-Semites practical-or ethical?

    Sep 2, 2016

    By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-How extreme does vetting need to be to keep anti-Semites from entering the United States, and is Donald Trump's plan worth the effort? The Republican nominee's proposal to apply an ideological test to potential immigrants is based on precedent: The United States in the last century instituted a broad ban on communists and their sympathizers, and Jewish groups after World War II sought to extend similar strictures to those who sympathized with Nazis. Nonetheless,...

  • Happy Hour entertains seniors

    Sep 2, 2016

    Happy Hour entertains seniors Happy Hour volunteers, Corinne Brail and Lois Silverberg, felt right at "Home on the Range" at Maitland's Savannah Court, as they sang "oldies but goodies" from the American songbook, reaching elders with songs of remembrance from their youth in a weekly program sponsored by The Jewish Pavilion. Pavilion Marketing Director, Pamela Ruben, noted, "I was fortunate enough to be in the company of Lois and Corinne, as they entertained a roomful of VERY happy seniors,...

  • The reason why my daughter's conversion to Judaism was so emotional for me

    Samantha Koellhoffer|Sep 2, 2016

    (Kveller via JTA)-Since our daughter Miranda was adopted, I did not get to see her enter the world. We heard she was born from our social worker and excitedly packed up our car and headed a few states over to meet her. She was a day old when we first laid eyes on her. The very next day she was discharged to our care. What I did get to witness, however, was her entrance into the Jewish world. And it was magical. Just two years prior, Miranda's older sister, Allison, was born still at 37 weeks. I...

  • Seeking kin: Calling all Israeli sailors from '76 NY celebration: It's reunion time

    Hillel Kuttler|Sep 2, 2016

    The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost friends and relatives. (JTA)—The Israeli missile boat Tarshish had just returned home in June 1976 when crew members learned near midnight that they would be heading back to sea two days later for another couple of months. They were going to represent Israel in Operation Sail, the parade of international ships on the Hudson River near New York City to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial on July 4 of that year. The Tarshish and another missile boat, the Yafo, would refuel in Gibraltar, Bermuda...

  • How Israeli women are gaining in the fight for Jewish divorce

    Andrew Tobin|Sep 2, 2016

    JERUSALEM (JTA)-In this case, the sins of the son are the sins of the father. Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Court this month sentenced a haredi Orthodox man to 30 days in jail for pressuring his son to withhold a divorce from his wife for more than a decade. By upholding a lower rabbinical court decision, the high court gave its blessing to an unprecedented approach to freeing women from unwanted marriages. The Orthodox rabbis who adjudicate divorce in Israel-all of whom are men-have come under...

  • Obituary - KENNETH JOEL LEVINSON

    Sep 2, 2016

    Kenneth J. Levinson, son of Erwin Berg and Carol Berman, passed away at his home in Lake Worth, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at age 58. He was born in Wilmington, Del. on Feb. 18, 1958. Ken leaves behind his high school sweetheart, best friend and loving wife of 37 years, Robin; his two beloved children, Jessica and Cary, both of whom he was so proud, and Cary’s incredible wife, Arielle, as well as his siblings, Scott, Alan, Janet and Michael and their spouses and children; his stepmother Carole and other extended family. Ken was known f...

  • Obituary - BARBARA SEIDNER SIEGEL

    Sep 2, 2016

    Barbara S. Siegel, age 86, of Haines City, passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, at Haines City Health Care. She was born in Brooklyn, on June 20, 1930, to the late David and Daisy Gettinger Seidner. Following high school Barbara went on to become a nurse and began life-long career. On September 2, 1951, in Brooklyn, she married Arthur Siegel, he husband of nearly 65 years, who passed away on May 30, 2016. In 1996, Barbara and Arthur retired to the Orlando area and became members of Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation. In addition to her...

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