Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the September 29, 2023 edition


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  • World's largest sukkah returning to Jerusalem

    Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) - The world's largest sukkah is set to open to the public in Jerusalem, with plans for a series of free events, including workshops, plays, musical performances and virtual reality activities, for all ages and sectors. The "Mayor of Jerusalem's Sukkah" will be erected in Safra Square and be open during the intermediate days of the Sukkot holiday (Oct. 1-5) from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. It will also be open on Sept. 30 for a few hours after 9 p.m. and on Oct. 6 in the early morning. The...

  • JAO and JNF-USA honor local servicemen in memory of 9/11

    Sep 29, 2023

    In recognition of the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, Jewish National Fund-USA partnered with the Jewish Academy of Orlando to honor first responders and security personnel who keep the communities safe. In a moving ceremony, the school community gathered to honor Chief Security Officer Jake Silverman and Mr. Mike, school security. Head of School Chana Ben- Abraham said "For those of you that were in this room, you know there aren't words to describe the feeling surging through the seats as we paid...

  • SOJC Stands Up to Jewish Hate

    Sophie Katz|Sep 29, 2023

    Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation is taking a stand on protecting the Jewish community from rising antisemitism. While this commitment to our community and to Jews around the world is not new, members of the congregation and its board were recently inspired by the "Stand Up to Jewish Hate" campaign, launched by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. "I first saw commercials for Stand up to Jewish Hate on television," said Jeff Fischer, a founding member of SOJC. "I was amazed at the...

  • Antisemitism summit in NY

    Suzanne Kurtz Sloan|Sep 29, 2023

    When actor and director David Schwimmer stood up last November to talk about his experience with hate and the importance of building alliances to combat racism and antisemitism, the “Friends” star emphasized the importance of speaking up. “One of the biggest problems is silence. As I’ve said, silence is complicity, and so I try to urge people to speak out,” Schwimmer said at the annual ADL summit on antisemitism and hate, called Never Is Now. “I think it’s my responsibility. I don’t do enou...

  • I am enough

    Marilyn Shapiro|Sep 29, 2023

    Every year since 2015, my husband, Larry, and I have spent six weeks in Frisco, Colorado, a beautiful mountain town nestled in the Rockies. Our rented condo is a two-minute walk to my daughter, Julie, and her family. We breathe in the fresh mountain air and savor the beauty that surrounds us. We hike on miles of trail that take us under shimmering aspens, by flowing streams, and onto the shores of blue mountain lakes that reflected the snow-topped mountains. Frisco has always been a place of...

  • CPR training at the Rosen JCC

    Sep 29, 2023

    The Rosen JCC is offering the opportunity to get certified in First Aid and CPR. Classes will be offered Oct. 19 and 24 at the Rosen JCC from 6 p.m. — 8 p.m. The training includes adult and child CPR. It includes First Aid and AED Training. For personalized training the classes are limited to 20 people. The cost is $50 per person. Register at www.rosenjcc.org/cpr....

  • Biden and Netanyahu signal friendship amid disagreements in first meeting

    Ron Kampeas|Sep 29, 2023

    (JTA) — After months of icy relations, President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met face to face for the first time since Netanyahu’s return to office late last year — with both appearing eager to convey that the U.S.-Israel alliance remains on solid footing despite their disagreements. The two leaders have been at odds for the better part of a year over a range of issues, from Netanyahu’s effort to weaken the Israeli court system to his far-right governing partners to the Biden administration’s attempts to reenter a...

  • Netanyahu directs nuclear experts to find Saudis path to enrich uranium

    Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his country’s leading nuclear and security specialists to work with U.S. negotiators to find a compromise that lets Saudi Arabia enrich uranium, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Israeli officials are “quietly working” with the White House to develop a “U.S.-run, uranium-enrichment operation” in Saudi Arabia for a civilian nuclear program, a key condition of the kingdom for accepting a normalization agreement with Israel, officials from both countries told the Journal. Ma...

  • Texas teacher reportedly fired after reading from Anne Frank's diary to students

    Andrew Lapin|Sep 29, 2023

    (JTA) — A middle school teacher in a district outside Houston, Texas, has been fired reportedly for reading a sexual passage from Anne Frank’s diary out loud to eighth-grade students, the district told local news. The passage came from a 2018 graphic version of the diary by the world-famous Jewish Holocaust victim that restored some portions of the initial book that had been cut from the most well-known editions. “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation” has also been at the center of several other recent book-related controver...

  • The elephant outside the room

    Mitchell Bard|Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — It’s become a cliché to say that Jews are our own worst enemies. Nowhere is that truer than in academia, where Jewish professors, often from the field of Jewish and Middle East studies, have become some of Israel’s most vitriolic critics. Several decided to write an anti-Israel screed and solicit signatures from colleagues and, later, anyone happy to sign their name. The text was originally written by Lior Sternfeld, professor of history and Jewish studies at Penn State (and associate editor of Palestine/Israel Review, whose editor...

  • Netanyahu's gaffe contained a painful truth

    Ariel Kahana|Sep 29, 2023

    (Israel Hayom via JNS) — I stood next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he said what he said about the protesters against him “joining forces” with Iran. He was simply trying to be cooperative and answer the journalists’ questions, which does not always happen. The questions they shouted at him were as expected: “You do not have a meeting at the White House.” “The emperor wears no clothes.” These statements were fired at Netanyahu and, apparently, rattled him. At that moment, his interest should have been in controlling the agenda. That...

  • What did the Holy Days mean to you?

    Jim Shipley, Shipley speaks|Sep 29, 2023

    It might be my age. It might be what our world has become. It might be weariness of the whole thing. This year’s High Holy Days had a whole different effect on me. I have written before that I was raised in a home that could be called “Not Jewish.” I didn’t celebrated my bar mitzvah until I was 40. My family never went to synagogue until I had children of my own. It was, as I have written, my father. His father, my grandfather, was again, as I have written before, a dyed-in-the-wool Socialist. His father, that would be my great-g...

  • 'Israelis Without Borders'

    Ben Cohen|Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — In the wake of the devastating floods in Libya, the Palestinian Civil Defense Service, which operates under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, announced that it was sending a 37-member team to assist with the humanitarian effort. The team, which includes search-and-rescue experts and two neurosurgeons, set off on Sept. 19, joining similar efforts that have been mobilized by other Arab countries and the international community more broadly. A cynic would be right to say that the Palestinian contribution is strongly motivated b...

  • Israel must be on the right side of Jewish history

    Alex Gordon|Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — History is difficult to study because it is so often rewritten. As a result, it is difficult to separate myths from facts. Forgetting the unpleasant aspects of history demonstrates Hegel’s famous statement, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Ukrainian officials, from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk have demanded that Israel stand on the “right side of history.” Israel, they hold, should do so by joining the sanctions regime against Russi...

  • Thomas Friedman's lamentation

    Jerold S. Auerbach|Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — Once again (Sept. 5), New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has offered his wisdom for a solution to the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. He claims that “far-right Jewish supremacists,” also known as the “right-wing zealots” who lead the Netanyahu government, pose “an internal Israeli Jewish threat” that obstructs the two-state (Israel and Palestine) solution that Friedman has long craved. Israel’s government, he insists, is not normal. Friedman’s discomfort with Israel is hardly new. It dates back to his...

  • What's Happening

    Sep 29, 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., 407-647-3...

  • 'Devil is always in the details,' Blinken says of Israel-Saudi deal

    Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Saudi-Israeli relations with George Stephanopoulos in New York on Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “When it comes to possible normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel, this would be a transformative event,” Blinken said. “We’ve had decades of turmoil, decades of conflict in the Middle East. To bring these two countries together in particular would have a powerful effect in stabilizing the region, in integrating the region, in bringing people together, not having them at...

  • The best villains played by Jewish actors

    Eric Schulmiller|Sep 29, 2023

    (JTA) - The film and TV world recently lost two Jewish actors who were not household names but were acclaimed for a pair of signature villainous roles. Last month, Mark Margolis passed away following a career on stage and screen that spanned over 60 years. He studied with and was later the personal assistant of renowned acting teacher Stella Adler before appearing in "Scarface," HBO's "Oz" and multiple films by the acclaimed Jewish director Darren Aronofsky. But he was most remembered for his...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Mistakes caregivers make

    Sep 29, 2023

    For many years, Mae lived at the Heritage (now called Vitality) on route 46 in Sanford and her only child, Toni Gitles, dutifully cared for her. The Jewish Pavilion staff and volunteers came weekly for visits, Shabbat services and mahjong games. She was truly adored by the Pavilion and by the staff at the Heritage. Meanwhile, her daughter was overwhelmed with the tasks of caregiving was they increased exponentially over time. When Mae passed away, Toni became an an expert on Caregiving, a consultant, author and professional speaker. “21 M...

  • Sukkot is the best Jewish holiday

    Lynn Levy|Sep 29, 2023

    This story originally appeared on Kveller. I know, I know. The shofar has finally stopped ringing in your ears, you’ve managed to get the honey out of the couch cushions and you are fully re-hydrated after Yom Kippur’s fast. You want to rest. I get it; I do, too. But hear me out. You may have thought we all peaked at some point during the third minute of “tekiyah gadolaaaaaaah,” but we most certainly have not. Welcome to my absolute favorite Jewish holiday: Sukkot. If you haven’t marked th...

  • Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

    Itta Werdiger-Roth|Sep 29, 2023

    This story was originally published on The Nosher. Stuffed cabbage rolls are a traditional Simchat Torah food because two of the little rolls side by side look like a Torah scroll. Even if your cabbage rolls come out in various sizes, you can place a big roll next to a small roll, and together they'll look just like a Torah at the end of the year, scrolled all the way to the end of Deuteronomy. Like soup, stuffed cabbage rolls taste just as good (if not better) the next day. So this recipe can...

  • BOOK REVIEW: Nazism's legacy in the Arab world

    Lyn Julius|Sep 29, 2023

    (JNS) — Arab antisemitism is not a response to the creation of Israel, it is the driving force behind the Arab-Israeli conflict. Too many people reverse cause and effect. They blame the antisemitism suffered by world Jewry on the existence of Israel. This is the central thesis in Matthias Küntzel’s book “Nazis, Islamic Antisemitism and the Middle East,” newly published in an English translation. Küntzel, a German political scientist and historian, holds that the 1948 Arab-Israeli war was an aftershock of World War II and a direct result of...

  • BOOK REVIEW: The buzzy novel 'Whalefall' offers a modern spin on the ancient Book of Jonah

    Rabbi Stuart Halpern|Sep 29, 2023

    (JTA) — If one were to imagine what the prophet Jonah saw on his way down into the gullet of the whale, it might be something like this: He slides feet first into its mouth on two inches of warm slime, the effluvia of a thousand squids past. Tooth sockets above him now, rancid black pits. Teeth passing on either side, yellowed cones, one missing, one fractured, one putrid with rot…The quaking cave of the mouth…His bare foot plants into a cold mash. The scene, however, is actually a passa...

  • BOOK REVIEW: Start the year with a 'light' and enjoyable book

    Sep 29, 2023

    Overweight in Beverly Hills? That's a misdemeanor. Overweight in show business? Ahh, that's practically a felony. That's the thesis of the hilarious fiction story "Once Upon a Time in Beverly Hills," written by first-time author Elaine Franklin. It is a blend of escapism and realism featuring two Jewish characters in a fun romp through the glamour and pitfalls of society and show biz. It is a "fine fairytale of three good friends and some magic," said one reviewer. The story centers around Joann...

  • Farrakhan follower leaves meeting

    Andrew Lapin|Sep 29, 2023

    (JTA) – Days after a synagogue in St. Petersburg, Florida, was forced to evacuate services following a bomb threat, the local city council met to discuss a resolution about antisemitism. The resolution was about whether to endorse a definition of antisemitism that its authors and local advocates both say can be a useful first step in fighting hatred of Jews. Notably refusing to cast a vote: A controversial council member and member of the Nation of Islam who voiced multiple objections to the definition, questioned Jewish community leaders a...

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