Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the September 22, 2023 edition


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  • Why Yom Kippur is my favorite Jewish holiday

    Shelly Jay Shore|Sep 22, 2023

    This story originally appeared in Hey Alma. I get a lot of odd looks when I tell people that my favorite day of the Jewish year is Yom Kippur. As Jewish holy days go, Yom Kippur exists at the complicated intersection of community observance, intense liturgy and heavy-hitting ritual expectations that can be - and for many people, is - a perfect storm of anxiety, pressure and guilt. From the traditional fast to the powerful language of the readings, Yom Kippur can bring up complicated feelings...

  • Boone High School and UCF welcome new StandWithUs interns

    Sep 22, 2023

    StandWithUs, a 22-year-old international non-partisan education organization that supports Israel and fights antisemitism is pleased to announce that Mikayla Rosenwasser of Boone High School and Allie Bielski of UCF are participating in the 2023-24 Kenneth Leventhal High School Internship and the Emerson Fellowship. Mikayla Rosenwasser of Boone High School is the StandWithUs High School Kenneth Leventhal High School Intern. Recognizing that education needs to begin before students enter...

  • Double your impact, double the hope

    Sep 22, 2023

    JFS Orlando’s annual Hope Challenge is underway. Running Sept. 12 through Oct. 15, every dollar donated to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando will be generously matched by Lauren and Scott Zimmerman and the Zimmerman Foundation, with a total match of up to $25,000. With your help, JFS Orlando’s FAMILY of services can continue to bring hope to those in need during the High Holidays and beyond. For the cost of just eight cups of coffee, you feed a family for a week through their Pearlman Food Pantry; two theme park passes you support a f...

  • Bibi, Joe to meet on sidelines

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week, according to Axios. It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since Netanyahu returned to power nearly nine months ago. Three U.S. officials confirmed to the news site that the two leaders will not meet at the White House and that an internal debate occurred in Biden’s political circle regarding whether they should meet at the Oval Office or at U.N. headquarters, wit...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Vaccines for older adults

    Sep 22, 2023

    As you get older, a health care provider may recommend vaccinations, also known as shots or immunizations, to help prevent or curtail certain illnesses. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist about which of the following vaccines you need. Flu - Flu is short for influenza. It is a virus that can cause fever, chills, sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, and muscle aches. Flu is very serious when it gets in your lungs. Older adults are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia. Flu is very contagious....

  • A memorable morning with Jewish Pavilion sponsors

    Sep 22, 2023

    On Wednesday, Sept. 6, 40 Jewish Pavilion sponsors attended a special breakfast at Allegro Winter Park hosted by the Jewish Pavilion. Courtesy of Allegro's catering team, the breakfast included raisin challah, apples and honey, lox, fresh fruits, eggs with a medley of vegetables, and an assortment of desserts, including black and white cookies. One of the highlights of the morning was the opportunity for sponsors to introduce themselves and share their personal connections to the Jewish...

  • Congressmen sponsor legislation to make 9/11 a national holiday

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — Two congressmen put forward a bipartisan bill proposing a new annual holiday on Sept. 11. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) have introduced the Patriot Day Act. “By formally recognizing 9/11 as Patriot Day, we will make sure that we always honor the memory of those who lost their lives that day—and never give up our fight against terror,” Gottheimer said. “I am proud to lead bipartisan legislation to recognize those who lost their lives on that day. We must never forget those who made the ultimate...

  • Member of Goyim Defense League extradited to Netherlands

    Andrew Lapin|Sep 22, 2023

    (JTA) – A prominent member of an American neo-Nazi group has been extradited to the Netherlands, where he will stand trial for projecting an antisemitic message onto the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Robert Wilson is accused of being behind a February incident in which a message was laser-projected onto the house where Anne Frank hid during the Holocaust. The message read “inventor of the ballpoint pen,” a reference to a widely-debunked antisemitic conspiracy theory alleging that Frank’s famous diary is a forgery because it was origina...

  • Ramaswamy defends right to call Israel 'apartheid'

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is defending the co-chair of his campaign in New Hampshire, who posted that “Israel is an apartheid state.” “This is such a dumb game the media and shallow career politicians play,” Ramaswamy, a technology entrepreneur, wrote. “Guess what? I have volunteers on my campaign whom I don’t agree with on everything. Bruce Fenton is right on fed policy, bitcoin, individual liberty and dismantling the administrative state. Turns out he’s dead wrong on calling Israel an ‘apartheid stat...

  • Paris mayor revokes Mahmoud Abbas' top honor after he spreads Holocaust falsehoods

    Ron Kampeas|Sep 22, 2023

    (JTA) — In a blistering letter, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he no longer deserves a medal she gave him eight years ago — her city’s top honor — because of what she called his willful Holocaust denial. Hidalgo’s letter to Abbas, delivered on Thursday, comes after U.S., German and Israeli diplomats as well as U.S. Jewish groups across the political spectrum condemned a speech Abbas delivered in which he peddled falsehoods about the Holocaust and distortions about Judaism and the Jews. Abb...

  • Fight back with facts against Holocaust lies

    Sep 22, 2023

    Earlier this week, a recent speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas came to light in which he characterized the Holocaust as Hitler “fighting” the Jews because of “their social role, and not their religion.” He also denied Jews’ well-documented geographical origins and accused Israel›s founding prime minister of perpetrating false flag attacks on Jewish communities in the Middle East to encourage immigration to Israel. The following is a statement from Mike Igel, chairman of The Florida Holocaust Museum: Mahmoud Abbas’s rem...

  • Iran's season of judgement

    Sep 22, 2023

    By Jonathan Feldstein Outside of Iran’s remaining several thousand member Jewish community, few Iranians will be engaged in prayers this weekend beseeching God for a year of health, happiness, prosperity, much less freedom. According to the ancient Jewish liturgy, on Rosh Hashanah for millennia Jews have prayed to be inscribed into the Book of Life. Part of the liturgy is that we understand our fate is in God’s hands, and it is His decision who shall live, and who shall die, who by fire, who by water, and even who are at the hands of Ira... Full story

  • An open letter to Thomas Friedman

    Danny Danon|Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — Dear Mr. Friedman, Our paths have crossed many times over the years, and I have always been struck by your evident passion for Israel, a passion that resonates in your writings and columns on the Jewish state and the Middle East. However, as much as your enthusiasm for our country is clear, I respectfully find myself at odds with many of your recent perspectives on Israel. Your recent criticism of the Jewish state, while undoubtedly heartfelt, appears to be rooted more in emotion than facts and more in impulsive reactions than a g...

  • Pilgrimage to Poland - Part 9

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Sep 22, 2023

    Following our visit to the Jewish Historical Society Museum in Warsaw we took a walking tour of the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery (Cm. Zydorfski), the largest Jewish Cemetery in Europe with an estimated 250,000 graves dating back to 1806, when the Jewish community of Warsaw made up a substantial part of the Warsaw population and the need for more Jewish burial sites necessitated the new site. According to the Jewish Community of Warsaw website, the cemetery is, “the resting place of many spiritual leaders, political activists, creators of Jewish c...

  • The Oslo deception: New evidence

    Itamar Marcus|Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — As today’s 30th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords approached, Palestinian Media Watch uncovered yet another statement by a Palestinian leader admitting, or more correctly bragging, that PLO leader Yasser Arafat successfully deceived the Israeli leadership into signing a peace agreement he had no intention of fulfilling. According to Palestinian Authority MP Munib al-Masri, Arafat’s intention from day one was for the Accords to serve as another step in his plan to destroy the State of Israel. In a recent interview, al-Ma...

  • Jack Lew's disgrace

    Charles Miller|Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — President Joe Biden has just nominated former President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. Although Lew identifies as an observant Jew and is certainly a skilled public official, his failure in the waning days of the Obama administration to take a definitive stand in favor of Jewish dignity and Jewish history disqualifies him for such an important office. In the Scroll of Esther, Mordechai tells his niece Queen Esther that she must intervene with her husband King Ahasuerus to prevent the...

  • Jews, never give up!

    Phyllis Chesler|Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — It is not the best of times. It may actually be the worst of times. While half of Israel continues to demonstrate in the streets against their own government, Iran is building an airport in Lebanon that is only 13 miles away from Israel’s northern border. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama’s hirelings have tied Israel’s hands so it cannot preempt the construction of such a dangerous, Hezbollah-controlled airport. At the same time, the Biden administration has just given Iran $6 billion in exchange for hostage...

  • What's Happening

    Sep 22, 2023

    MORNING 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 of Orlando — Monday – Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Temple Israel — Sunday, 9 a.m., 407-647-30...

  • Ex-US Rep. McKinney calls to defeat 'enemy' Jews

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney accused Israelis and Jews of suppressing free speech after an event titled “Can Black People and White People Work Together to Defeat Our Common Enemy,” namely the Jews, was canceled on X, formerly known as Twitter. The poster for the event, which McKinney shared to social media, features a Star of David under the word “Enemy” in the title and a picture of a book titled “Jews Are the Problem.” The event, which the former Georgia congresswoman said she would be watching, was set to feature forme...

  • Veteran catcher Ryan Lavarnway pens children's book about how playing for Israel brought him closer to Judaism

    Jacob Gurvis|Sep 22, 2023

    (JTA) — When Ryan Lavarnway joined Team Israel for the World Baseball Classic in 2017, the journeyman catcher chose jersey no. 36 not because of the number stitched onto the back, but because the shirt fit him best. But in the years since that tournament, any time Lavarnway has represented Israel, he’s stuck with 36, which holds meaning as a multiple of 18, a number that signifies life in Jewish tradition. That choice is emblematic of Lavarnway’s experience with Team Israel, one that he says...

  • Lawsuit alleges illegally approved 'antisemitic' curriculum

    Asaf Elia-Shalev|Sep 22, 2023

    (JTA) — Several Jewish groups are suing a large school district in Orange County over an ethnic studies curriculum they allege is antisemitic and was approved covertly in violation of California law requiring public participation in decision making. The lawsuit, filed Monday by the Anti-Defamation League, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, the American Jewish Committee and Potomac Law Group, with support from StandWithUs, seeks to bar the Santa Ana Unified School District from implementing the recently approved c...

  • What's Jewish about the jam band Phish? Many things, according to a new book.

    Stephen Silver|Sep 22, 2023

    (JTA) - Those who are Jewish or Phish fans - or both - have likely noticed at one point: Jews really seem to love Phish. There are many possible reasons for this, starting with the fact that the genre-bending jam band has many ardent fans of all stripes, having sold millions of albums and played to enormous festival crowds for decades. Two of the band members - bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman - are also Jewish, and the group has been known to play Jewish songs such as "Yerushalayim S...

  • Israel wins first-ever gold medals at rhythmic gymnastics world championships

    Jacob Gurvis|Sep 22, 2023

    By (JTA) - Israel won its first-ever gold medals at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Valencia, Spain, over the weekend, improving on last year's silver medal and solidifying its place as a global powerhouse in the sport. On Friday, Israel's team topped China and Spain to take gold in the all-around group category. On Sunday, Israel won gold in the combined exercise, beating out China and Ukraine. The team also finished fifth in the hoop final. Linoy Ashram, who became the first...

  • Samaria leader presents plan to boost Jewish population

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) — The Samaria Regional Council, which administers communities in the northern part of Samaria, has unveiled a plan that seeks to increase the number of Jewish residents living in the area from barely 50,000 to over one million, claiming the initiative would “strengthen Zionism” and solve Israel’s housing crisis. The “Samaria to a Million” proposal, which was first shared on Wednesday in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had been in the making for over a year with t...

  • IDF approves legal borders of three new Judea communities

    Sep 22, 2023

    (JNS) - The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday set the boundaries of three new communities in Judea, marking the first step in the legalization under Israeli law of nine outposts that received official government approval earlier this year. Two of the new towns, Avigayil and Asael, are located in the South Hebron Hills, while the third, Beit Hogla, is part of the Megilot Regional Council near the Dead Sea. IDF Ground Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai on Wednesday night signed the order...

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