Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the March 21, 2014 edition


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  • Is JOFEE the new acronym for the Jewish future?

    Jacob Kamaras, JNS.org|Mar 21, 2014

    More than five months after the Pew Research Center's "A Portrait of Jewish Americans" survey drew widespread pessimism over rising intermarriage and assimilation, as well as declining connection with synagogues and other institutions, proponents of a newly released study believe they may have the antidote for what ails the Jewish community. On March 10, the Jewish nonprofit Hazon and six funders released "Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive Jewish Outdoor, Food, and...

  • Celebrate being Jewish at the Heritage Festival in Daytona Beach

    Mar 21, 2014

    The Jewish Heritage Festival expresses the heart and soul of Jewish Florida. It intertwines the sounds, sights, and spirit of Jewish culture and brings together every facet of the Jewish community-young and old, singles and families, regardless of their religious and cultural background. This year's festival will take place Sunday, April 6, at the News-Journal Center, 221 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Festival-goers will enjoy...

  • Interfaith fellowship Shabbat at Beth Am

    Mar 21, 2014
    1

    Following the message of Psalm 133, verse 1-"Hineh mah tov u'mah na'im, shevet achim gam yachad" (Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity), Congregation Beth Am in Longwood will host an Interfaith Shabbat Experience on Friday, March 28, at 7:30 pm. Rabbi Rick Sherwin will share the Beth Am bima with local pastors and ministers and their congregants will sit side-by-side with those from the Central Florida Jewish Community who are welcome to attend this unique...

  • On PBS: 'The Story of the Jews'

    Donna Williams|Mar 21, 2014

    Prize-winning author of 15 books and Emmy Award-winner Simon Schama brings to life Jewish history and experience in a new five-part documentary series, "The Story of the Jews With Simon Schama," premiering Tuesday, March 25, from 8 to 10 p.m. EST (episodes 1 and 2) and April 1, from 8 to 11 p.m. EST (episodes 3, 4 and 5) on PBS. (Check local listings). The five-hour series follows Schama-who has written and presented 50 documentaries on art, literature and history and is a contributing editor...

  • Learn about passengers of the Red Star Line

    Mar 21, 2014

    Join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) on Tuesday, April 1, for a program featuring widely acclaimed lecturer from Antwerp, Erwin Joos, who will speak about the "Red Star Line, Gateway to the New World from Antwerp (Belgium) to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, & Baltimore 1873-1934." The program will held at Maitland Public Library, 501 S. Maitland Ave., Maitland, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for networking and mavens). It is open and free to the public. Nearly 3...

  • Film Review: 'A Bottle in the Gaza Sea'

    Cathy Swerdlow|Mar 21, 2014

    On March 22, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando will be hosting an Israeli Film Night screening “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” at the Orlando Science Center. I was able to screen the film in advance and found it quite enjoyable to watch. The movie is centered around two young adults, Tai and Naim. Tai is 17 years old, Naim is 20. She’s Israeli. He’s Palestinian. Tai lives in Jerusalem and Naim lives in Gaza. They were born in a land of scorched earth, where fathers bury their children. They must endure an explosive situation that is not of...

  • Hadassah: A tale of southern Jews and the Civil War

    Mar 21, 2014

    An atmosphere of intrigue and adventure await all who attend the Hadassah meeting on Tuesday, April 1 at 11:30 a.m. at Congregation Ohev Shalom. A trip back in time will take those in attendance into the fascinating world of a family of southern Jews during the Civil War. Certified genealogist and Hadassah life member Gladys Friedman Paulin will bring to life the Levy Family of Charleston, S.C., and their often notorious escapades on the side of the South during the Civil War. Paulin is a past...

  • Knights for Israel host first freedom festival

    Mar 21, 2014

    On Sunday, April 6, Knights for Israel will host the University of Central Florida's first Declare Your Freedom Israel Festival on campus on Memory Mall. Admission is free, and the festival will begin at noon. DYF is a pro-Israel festival will represent the solidarity between America and Israel, all the while showcasing the common values these two nations share. The event will highlight the pro-Democratic values of Israel and show the beauty of Israel's culture and open society. Knights for...

  • A decade of 'good words' and a baseball odyssey

    Chris DeSouza, Assistant Editor|Mar 21, 2014

    The Jewish community's own David Bornstein will read from his newly released books, "The Good Word: A Decade of Jewish Thought and Chutzpah" and "Me and E: A Baseball Odyssey," at Congregation Ohev Shalom on Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m. Bornstein is a cornerstone name in the Central Florida Jewish community. David grew up in a household and among an extended family of well-known leaders and builders of this community. The Jewish Federation's leadership program is named in honor of his father,...

  • Start the Ripple on Orlando's J-Serve Day

    Sara Hoffen, Lake Mary High School|Mar 21, 2014

    Community service can range from something as little as picking up trash to assisting children with special needs. It can be done with one friend or many, with help or on your own. It can start as something small and expand into something large. This year’s Orlando J-Serve (Jewish day of international service) theme, The Ripple Effect, focuses on simple tasks done by individuals becoming part of a whole team. One good deed ripples across our vast community ocean, impacting others mentally, physically, and emotionally. Through this “Ripple Eff...

  • The 'J Street Challenge' film comes to Longwood

    Mar 21, 2014

    “J Street Challenge” comes to Central Florida following its sold out, world premier screening in South Florida. The film will be shown at Congregation Beth Am, 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, on Sunday, March 30 at 2 p.m., and is sponsored by Zionistas. “ Ever since its founding in 2008, J Street, the liberal Jewish advocacy group, has expended a great deal of time and energy trying to convince American Jews that it is a credible and more ethical alternative to traditional pro-Israel organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committe...

  • Ukraine-invading Putin plays the anti-Semitism card

    Ben Cohen, JNS.org|Mar 21, 2014

    Back in 2004, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused his regional rival Viktor Yushchenko, who was then the pro-western president of Ukraine, of having campaigned on the basis of “anti-Russian, Zionist” slogans. Putin’s invocation of the Z word led some observers to briefly fear that Russia was reviving the spirit of Soviet anti-Semitism dressed up as “anti-Zionism.” But a few hours later, Putin’s office clarified that what he’d meant to say was “anti-Semitic,” not “Zionist.” Was Putin’s office lying with this clarification? Was the...

  • Al Jazeera America: Twisting Israel news, targeting opinion makers

    Myron Kaplan and Eric Rozenman, JNS.org|Mar 21, 2014
    1

    Al Jazeera America, the satellite and cable television news network owned and operated by the wealthy sheikdom of oil and gas-rich Qatar, can’t seem to present its Arab-Israeli news straight. This should come as no surprise. The Qatari ruling family supported the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and the Brotherhood’s Palestinian spin-off Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Profit isn’t of much interest to Al Jazeera America. “That is the difference that will allow u...

  • Beating back the assault on Israel's legitimacy

    Jerry Silverman and Steve Gutow, JTA|Mar 21, 2014

    NEW YORK (JTA)—Leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement say they are protesting Israel’s policies in the West Bank. They are doing far more than that. BDS advocates routinely oppose a two-state solution and seek to delegitimize the sovereign, Jewish State of Israel. In some cases, BDS becomes the latest form of anti-Semitism. The BDS movement aims to isolate and punish Israel, using the same techniques applied to apartheid South Africa. Not hesitating to misrepresent facts and ignore context, these Israel bashers take adv...

  • The FCAT tests timing not appropriate

    Rabbi Hillel Skolnik|Mar 21, 2014

    As I believe many have heard, Orange and Seminole counties, along with 58 other counties in Florida, have changed the starting date of FCAT testing from what was publicized earlier in the year. Instead of beginning the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade reading exam on Monday, April 21, the FCATs will now start on Monday, April 14 and continue throughout the week. This revised schedule conflicts with the religious calendars of many throughout the state as Monday evening the 14th is the first night of Passover and that is also Holy Week. This...

  • Samuel Lewis and Israel's dream of peace

    Abraham H. Foxman, JTA|Mar 21, 2014

    NEW YORK (JTA)—The last time Ambassador Samuel Lewis was at an Anti-Defamation League podium was in April 2008 as part of a roundtable celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary. The speakers were each asked to share their most vivid and representative recollections of Israel. Sam, a distinguished State Department veteran, served as the U.S. ambassador to Israel from 1977 to 1985, and had engaged in tough battles with Israel’s leaders over the negotiations with Egypt and particularly over the Lebanon War. Yet, what he chose to recall, so poign...

  • Visit JAO and invest in our Jewish day school's future

    Mar 21, 2014

    Dear Editor: It was very disappointing to see the Heritage rebuttal at the bottom of Jeremy Scheinberg’s very compelling letter regarding the inadvisability of a Jewish Academy of Orlando (JAO) move and the role of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO). First of all, only after Mr. Scheinberg’s letter did you disclose the Feb. 7, 2014, piece written by Stan Roberts was actually written on behalf of the JFGO and was approved by them. How nice it would have been if this would have been disclosed when it was first published! Ins...

  • What's Happening - Friday, March 21 - Friday, March 21

    Mar 21, 2014

    MORNING AND EVENING MINYANS (Call synagogue to confirm time.) Chabad of South Orlando—Monday and Thursday, 8 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., 407-647-3055. FRIDAY, MARCH 21 Light Shabba...

  • The bagel-croissant hybrid at Brooklyn's The Bagel Store

    Lauren Rothman, The Jewish Week|Mar 21, 2014

    First came the Cronut. Now, there's the Cragel. On Jan. 13, the New York City blog Gothamist broke the news that the Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was baking up a bagel-croissant hybrid no doubt inspired by the wild success of Manhattan bakery Dominique Ansel's cronut, a pastry cream-filled, croissant-like flaky pastry. The latter became a bonafide phenomenon: hours-long lines formed outside the bakery, and pastry chef Ansel even trademarked the term-check out the little "TM" in a...

  • It's time to dance-Israeli-style

    Mar 21, 2014

    The Maitland JCC will be hosting an Israeli Dance Workshop on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30, featuring the talented Dany Benshalom, a well-known dance instructor from Israel. Along with his wife Noga, Dany leads one of the longest-running Israeli dance groups in Israel, which meets near Hadera. He will be teaching some of the latest dances, popular in Israeli and around the world. "We are looking forward to this workshop, since our last weekend workshop took place five years ago. Dany...

  • Jewish Pavilion throws its largest Purim party and gala

    Pamela Ruben|Mar 21, 2014

    The Jewish Pavilion threw its largest Purim party to date on Sunday, March 9, at the Westin in Lake Mary where more than 250 supporters attended their annual gala honoring dedicated sponsors and volunteers Valerie Chestnut and Eve Homburger. "Our Purim celebrations are a favorite at our elder facilities, bringing some sparkle to a darker time of year. The costumes, hamentaschen, and playfulness uplift our seniors, while bringing back memories of past celebrations. Our annual gala and Purim...

  • TOP and JCRC event with David Ibsen: "Isolating Iran: The fight to disable and disarm the nuclear threat"

    Mar 21, 2014

    The topic of anti-terror activities is particularly of interest to the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Foundation (TOP), as it launched a unique anti-terror investment policy in close concert with the State of Florida and the work of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in 2012. Wednesday, March 6, the TOP cosponsored an event with the Jewish Community Relations Council. The evening's speaker was David Ibsen of UANI. A not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulf...

  • JFS offers a virtual food drive

    Mar 21, 2014

    Jewish Family Services is continuing its Pantry Restock Challenge through April 30 and now offers a virtual food drive. This approach allows companies and organizations the ability to set up a food drive via the Internet. It’s easy to join individually or as a group. Instead of bringing bags in to the office, or lugging items to JFS, simply go online at www.jfsorlando.org and click on virtual food drive. Customers are then directed to “go shopping” where they can click on the food they want to donate and checkout when they have reached the d...

  • Bat Mitzvah - Rayna Cohen

    Mar 21, 2014
    1

    Rayna Cohen, daughter of Mike and Joanna Cohen of Winter Springs, was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Congregation Beth Am. Rayna is in the seventh grade at Indian Trails Middle School where she is a straight A student, a member of the Beta Club and mixed chorus. She enjoys reading and anything related to the Food Network. Rayna is also a longtime member of the Girl Scouts. Sharing in the family's simcha were Rayna's sister, Dara; grandparents, Robert and...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha, Scene Around|Mar 21, 2014

    "Start in your own backyard"... That sounded like a solid piece of advice so I am going to reach out via this column. With all the reports of stolen passports in the news lately, I decided to look for my own passport just to make sure it was safe. During my search I came upon a paper with a piece of information that I want to check out. It contained the names Boris and Rebecca Berestesky, Montreal, Canada, and said that they were the people who sent steamship ticket money to my maternal grandpar...

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