Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the October 16, 2020 edition

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  • 20,000 Jewish communal professionals lost jobs

    Michele Chabin|Oct 16, 2020

    “Blindsided.” That’s how Melissa Engelberg felt after being laid off in April due to COVID-19 cutbacks. “I was shocked, I was sad and I was worried,” said Engelberg, who lost her job as director of grants and programs at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “I understood the reason — the times are just so unprecedented — but this was my dream job and I had never lost a job before.” Engelberg let colleagues and friends know she was seeking a new position. Soon afterward, two people alerted her to Rise, a new initiative to help the r...


    Oct 16, 2020

    Marshall Leon Helbraun, age 84, passed away at home on Oct. 10, 2020, surrounded by his family. A native of Chicago, Marshall moved to Central Florida in 1979. A trusted professional who cared deeply for the needs of his clients, Marshall embodied his insurance agency’s tag line: “First we listen, then we deliver.” During his years in both Chicago and Central Florida, Marshall was involved with the Jewish community, serving on congregational boards of directors and contributing to Jewish causes. Marshall is survived by Melinda, his wife of 59 y...

  • As Genesis Prize goes to a vote, its impact on Jewish causes grows

    Larry Luxner|Oct 16, 2020

    Doron Almog, a former head of the Israeli Defense Forces' Southern Command, was one of the heroes of Israel's 1976 hostage rescue operation in Entebbe, Uganda, and winner of the 2016 Israel Prize for lifetime achievement. But the thing he says he's most proud of is ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, a rehabilitation village he founded in southern Israel for 160 physically and mentally disabled children and young adults. It's named after Almog's son, Eran, who was born with severe autism and died in 2007,...

  • COVID-19 imperils local Jewish media

    Pesach Benson|Oct 16, 2020

    (JTA) — The Baltimore Jewish Times newsroom was always quietest on Wednesdays. Given the unyielding Tuesday editorial deadlines, Wednesday was the best day to get out of the office to meet people, follow a hunch or find inspiration. If Ira Rifkin, one of the senior editors, saw me in the newsroom on a Wednesday, he’d gruffly remind me, “The stories are out there.” I was new and getting a feel for the JT’s weekly rhythm, but I learned to get “out there,” and not just on Wednesdays. Out there was in the Baltimore Jewish community. The stories a...

  • Weekly roundup of world briefs

    Oct 16, 2020

    Top Hamas official enters quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 By Neta Bar (Israel Hayom via JNS) — Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri has contracted COVID-19, the terrorist group confirmed on Thursday. Arouri had entered quarantine and was “doing well,” Hamas said in an official statement. Arouri is believed to have contracted the disease while meeting with Fatah officials in Turkey two weeks ago to discuss ending longtime strife between the rival Palestinian factions, which have recently announced they would join forces. He also...

  • Michael Oren published a book of short stories - he's more worried about the future of literature than democracy

    Ben Sales|Oct 16, 2020

    (JTA) - You may know Michael Oren as a cable news commentator on Israel and the Middle East. You may know him as the Israeli ambassador to the United States during Barack Obama's first term, when he had the fraught task of managing a rocky American-Israeli relationship, or later as a member of Israel's Knesset. Perhaps you're acquainted with Oren as the author of three bestselling history books. What you may not have known is that he also writes fiction. At least I didn't. I've interviewed Oren...

  • Report: white supremacists the 'most persistent and lethal' threat in the US

    Ben Sales|Oct 16, 2020

    (JTA) — A new report from the Department of Homeland Security names white supremacists as the biggest domestic terror threat in the United States. The Homeland Threat Assessment, released on Tuesday, details an array of violent domestic threats in the United States. It also notes that, among other qualities, white supremacists are characterized by their hate of Jews, or by “their perception that the government is controlled by Jewish persons.” It comes a week after President Donald Trump declined to denounce white supremacists from the presi...