Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the October 30, 2020 edition


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  • Oct 30, 2020

  • Israeli, Californian firefighters become band of brothers

    Abigail Klein Leichman|Oct 30, 2020

    (Israel21c via JNS) — Ten Israeli firefighters flew to California on Aug. 30. Over the course of 15 days of exhausting, dangerous work, they became a battalion of brothers with their California colleagues. “During the time we spent with these Israelis who came to help us, we became much more than coworkers. We bonded with them as part of our firefighting family,” said Chief Scott Lindgren of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). “They b...

  • Sudan will normalize ties with Israel

    Ron Kampeas|Oct 30, 2020

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - Sudan will become the third Arab country in the past two months to normalize ties with Israel, continuing the trend of Arab states' willingness to advance ties with the Jewish state even without a peace agreement with the Palestinians. President Donald Trump announced the agreement on Friday. According to a joint statement released by Israel, Sudan and the U.S., the two countries will "end the state of belligerence between their nations." The statement also noted that the...

  • JFGO population study

    Oct 30, 2020

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is sponsoring a population study of the Jewish community of Central Florida. Studies like this are conducted by Jewish communities all over the United States to estimate the size and characteristics of the local Jewish community and to assist Jewish communal organizations to make well-informed, data-driven decisions for the benefit of the entire community. The study will be conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University,...

  • Hadassah, others block takeover

    Ron Kampeas|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) — A coalition of Jewish groups including the likes of Hadassah and B’nai B’rith International has temporarily blocked a plan by Orthodox and right-wing parties to take over top positions throughout the World Zionist Congress, the Jewish National Fund and other crucial groups that spend $1 billion annually on international Jewish causes. Under the plan reported this week in Israeli media, the Likud and Orthodox parties of the World Zionist Congress would have reserved for themselves top positions at these groups, including the Jewis...

  • A new course for women on Joy

    Oct 30, 2020

    Monthly events for the new Jewish year 5781 are being offered for women with zoom and in-person options. "Jewish women don't usually need an excuse to get together," says Chanshy Majesky co-director of Chabad of North Orlando, "but, if they did, the feminine theme of the new Jewish month offers a perfect opportunity" This year the events, which begin Nov. 19, will include educational lessons as well as art activities. Some arts in the lineup for this year will be drip painting, truffle...

  • Free Jewish trivia game now for adults

    Oct 30, 2020

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chabad of North Orlando has continued to innovate new ways to engage, educate and connect with the community. There was the Drive-In Lag B'Omer concert, Zoom classes and guest speakers, Holidays in a box for those celebrating at home, Sukkos Drive Through Experience to mention a few. The Jewish trivia game JText for teens has been very popular over the last two years in the Orlando Jewish community with over 100 local teens signed up. With no end in sight to...

  • Senior Help Desk always available

    Oct 30, 2020

    "I live in California and my mother lives in Orlando. I need to help her find independent or assisted living. What senior community do you recommend where my mother can be with other Jewish people?" This is one of the most common questions we receive at the Orlando Senior Help desk says Nancy Ludin, CEO of the Jewish Pavilion. In fact, it is this question that led to the formation of the Orlando Senior Help Desk. Sometime before 2012, Lee Cutler called the Jewish Pavilion to inquire about a...

  • In an Arab first, Bahraini institution joins with State Dept. to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

    Ron Kampeas|Oct 30, 2020

    WASHINGTON (JTA) - A Bahraini institute has signed an agreement with the U.S. State Department to combat anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and delegitimization of Israel. The memorandum of understanding, signed Thursday in Washington, D.C., marks the first time an Arab country has embraced a key Trump administration agenda item, to get countries to include anti-Zionism and some forms of harsh criticism of Israel in their definitions of anti-Semitism. It comes as the Trump administration has in recent...

  • 4 Jews are running for Senate in 2020 - including 2 who could help turn it blue

    Ron Kampeas|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) — Four Jewish candidates are among those vying for 35 open Senate seats this year — and two of them are seen as contenders to convert Republican-held seats to Democratic. All of the Jewish Senate candidates are Democrats or supported by the Democratic Party. (Ten of the 43 Jews in the running for House of Representatives slots are Republicans.) They include a doctor who has killed a bear, a scientist who makes a mean matzoh ball soup, a son of a former vice presidential candidate and a star of the anti-Trump resistance on the cam...

  • Poll: American Jews set to vote overwhelmingly for Joe Biden

    Ron Kampeas|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) — Jewish voters are set to vote 75 percent to 22 percent for Joe Biden, according to a poll by the American Jewish Committee. The poll released Monday shows the Democratic nominee expanding his support among Jewish voters from a 67-30 split in a poll last month and it includes other signs that President Donald Trump is faring poorly among Jewish voters. Trump’s record on bigotry may be the animating factor in his poor performance: Asked which candidate in the Nov. 3 presidential election would better handle anti-Semitism, respondents prod...

  • My two homes - Israel and the US - feel like they're in collapse. What do I do next?

    Ben Hartman|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) — Last month, I filled out a request for an absentee ballot for the U.S. presidential election. At the top of the form it had two relevant options — I am a U.S. citizen living outside the country, and I intend to return; and I am a U.S. citizen living outside the country, and my return is uncertain. Both of these have been true for almost two decades. I’ve spent the last 17 years split between the United States and Israel — and for the first time, I’m not sure I want to be in either place. Back in March, a few weeks into Israel’s...

  • Haimish

    Jim Shipley, Shipley speaks|Oct 30, 2020

    Haimish is a Yiddish word meaning …? To Google it means “Homey” — that is a far cry from Yiddish. To me it means my grandmother’s wooden bowl and “chopper.” When I was in high school my grandmother lived with my Aunt Rosie just a short bus ride away. At least two or three afternoons a week I would ride the bus to within a block or two of my Aunt Rosie’s house and walk over to visit my grandmother. Aunt Rosie lived in what we called a “row house” which meant you shared two walls, one on each side, with your neighbors. The houses fronted on t...

  • The failure of America's two-party system

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Oct 30, 2020

    By Mel Pearlman As America limps toward completion of the 2020 election campaign this coming Tuesday, it has become increasing clear that a majority of Americans are frustrated, angered and fatigued by the American political process. A major factor for this emotional negativism among the American people is their realization that they are being corralled by the Democrat and Republican parties into choosing a president who is the lesser of two evils. Whether by design or happenstance, the two parties have combined to enshrine into law a...

  • American Jewry's fateful hour

    Caroline Glick|Oct 30, 2020

    Almost all the polls say that President Donald Trump is heading toward defeat at the hands of his Democrat challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, next month. But Robert Cahaly who heads the Trafalgar Group polling firm disagrees. Cahaly was the only major pollster that accurately called the 2016 presidential race. In an interview with “The Political Trade” podcast last week, Cahaly said his data show Trump headed for another upset victory Nov. 3. Cahaly said that today, as in 2016, the disparity between his numbers and the marquis polling...

  • Why Jewish voters should support Biden

    Michael Rosenzweig|Oct 30, 2020

    Serious discussion of which candidate most deserves the support of Jewish voters should, I think, begin with the values of our tradition and what those values require of us. Judaism obliges us, as part of our covenant with God, to help repair an imperfect world. At its core, that covenant, that obligation, means respecting and displaying love and ki ndness for other human beings, recognizing the central teaching of Judaism that all human beings have intrinsic dignity and are in the image of God. For that reason, one simply cannot be a serious J...

  • What's Happening

    Oct 30, 2020

    MORNING MINYANS (Please note, because of the coronavirus, all minyans have been canceled or held virtually.) 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 o...

  • Jewish groups urge members to rally against Islamic terror

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) — French Jewish groups have called on their supporters to join a rally Sunday in memory of the schoolteacher murdered Friday after facing criticism for showing caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad to his students. The rally in memory of Samuel Paty, who was decapitated outside the school where he worked by an 18-year-old refugee from Chechnya who appeared to have been motivated by videos on social media, is focused on safeguarding freedom of expression. But the Jewish groups say it should also call attention to the threat of I...

  • I was afraid to reveal I was Jewish in Bahrain - When I arrived, I realized my privilege

    Gayle Meyers|Oct 30, 2020

    (JTA) - On my trips to Bahrain, almost nobody knew I was Jewish. I was a strange enough creature as it was: young, female and civilian, traveling with a mostly male, mostly military delegation; low ranking, but representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the top-ranked organization in the delegation. Its ranking was so far above the people in the field that one of my friends at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain said that getting a call from me was like getting a call from Mt. Olympus. I was...

  • Comedian Joel Chasnof to Zoom with Orlando Jewish community

    Oct 30, 2020

    Laughing has been an important part of Judaism since biblical times. Abraham and Sarah, were not able to have children. When G‑d's messenger gave the elderly couple the happy news, they both laughed. Because of this laughter, the heir to Judaism and the first Jewish child ever born was named Yitzchak (Isaac), which means "laugh." The history of Jewish merrymaking does not end in the Bible. We find in Talmudic times the account of how a great sage, Rabbah, used to begin each of his lessons w...

  • Arab states cut financial aid to Palestinians over US pressure

    Shahar Klaiman|Oct 30, 2020

    (Israel Hayom via JNS) Arab states have stopped giving money to the Palestinian Authority due to U.S. pressure, Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri said on Friday. Arouri’s comments were aired by Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV as a rocket, fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, landed in an open field in Israel. “There are Arab countries that froze their commitments to the Palestinian people, whether via the P.A. or PLO, because of an American decision. To be clear, an American decision. They came to our brothers in the P.A. and told them: ‘We...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Oct 30, 2020

    Some upsetting news from Canada ... I read this in the current issue of the World Jewish Congress digest and pass it along to you: "The WJC-affiliated Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs released the following statement in response to a string of anti-Semitic incidents across Toronto, Canada: The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is disgusted by a recent series of disturbing anti-Semitic incidents across the Greater Toronto area. An anti-Israel protest took place at Celebration Square in...

  • Intergenerational program for The Jewish Pavilion 

    Oct 30, 2020

    Cantor Nina Fine is connecting elementary school students with our seniors through an "adopt a grandparent" program for The Jewish Pavilion. Children can specify either a "grandfather" or "grandmother" and will be matched with a senior in a facility served by The Jewish Pavilion. Each child agrees to a minimum of once-monthly contact with their "grandparent" through a phone call, zoom call, letter, a special drawing or art project or a care package. We have kids who can't wait to get their...

  • Jews in the Land of Disney: The 'Zen'-sational Joanne Fink

    Ed Borowsky|Oct 30, 2020

    Joanne Fink grew up on the Main Line in Philadelphia, Pa., the daughter of first-generation Polish/Austrian and Russian immigrants. Fink found her passion for art in high school. Her parents were the ones who inspired her by exposing her to their love for the visual arts and music. "Both of my parents went to Temple University. My mother studied to be an English teacher and my father a pathologist. However, they both had creative passions - my mother for art history, my father, for the cello,"...

  • State Department to label 3 human rights groups anti-Semitic

    Ron Kampeas and Ben Sales|Oct 30, 2020

    By Ron Kampeas, Ben Sales WASHINGTON (JTA) — In an unusual move, the State Department is planning to formally identify three large international human rights organizations as anti-Semitic, citing disputed aspects of the groups’ agendas. Elan Carr, the department’s anti-Semitism monitor, is planning to release a statement calling on governments not to support Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam, congressional sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The planned statement was first reported by Politico on Wednesday, just as as...

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