Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the November 13, 2020 edition

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  • Knowledge is power against hate: Course designed to set Holocaust record straight

    Deborah Fineblum|Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) - Anyone who still believes that ignorance is bliss hasn't seen how easily it can be turned into hate. Nov. 9 marked 82 years since Kristallnacht, "the Night of Broken Glass." A night when authorities looked away or even aided the anti-Semitic mobs fanning out across Germany and Austria. Twenty-four hours later, hundreds of Jews were dead, thousands more had been beaten and tens of thousands arrested. And thousands of Jewish schools, hospitals and businesses had been destroyed and 267...

  • RAISE keeps on 'truckin' (virtually)

    Christine DeSouza|Nov 13, 2020

    Many of the Jewish community facilities that partner with RAISE are not currently open, but it has not stopped RAISE Director Loren London, RAISE Director of Employment and Education Rachel Slavkin, and their leadership team from continuing with this year's program, albeit with a slightly modified virtual approach. The RAISE team quickly assessed the current COVID situation and decided to continue the RAISE program online by concentrating on the participants' job preparation and social skills...

  • Rusonik will bid farewell

    Christine DeSouza|Nov 13, 2020

    The Jewish Academy head of school, Alan Rusonik, recently informed the JAO Board of Directors of his decision to relocate and not to renew his contract with the school at the end of his contract, which coincides with the end of the academic year in 2021. Under Rusonik's six-year leadership, JAO has flourished. School enrollment increased and several new faculty members were added to the staff. He created the whole-child curriculum and encouraged innovation at every turn. He helped make learning...

  • Jonathan Sacks dies at 72

    Ben Harris Cnaan Liphshiz and Gabe Friedman|Nov 13, 2020

    (JTA) - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom whose extensive writings and frequent media appearances commanded a global following among Jews and non-Jews alike, has died. Sacks died Saturday morning at age 72, his Twitter account announced. He was in the midst of a third bout of cancer, which he had announced in October. Sacks was among the world's leading exponents of Orthodox Judaism for a global audience. In his 22 years as chief rabbi, he emerged as the most...

  • Learn about all JAO has to offer at Prospective Family Night, Nov. 19

    Nov 13, 2020

    Jewish Academy of Orlando is providing an academic program to serve the community. Transitional Kindergarten will be offered again for the 2021-2022 school year. TK is a grade that serves as a bridge between preschool and Kindergarten, providing students time to develop fundamental skills needed for success in an academic setting. "We are finding more and more that an extra year of maturational growth has long-term positive impacts on a child's social, emotional, and academic success. The gift...

  • First-ever High Holiday Hope Drive was a success

    Nov 13, 2020

    JFS Orlando would like to give a BIG “Thank You” to all who supported their first-ever High Holiday Hope Drive (Sept. 1 — Oct. 15, 2020). Over the past several weeks, thanks to generous supporters, JFS surpassed their goal and raised more than $11,000 to support their community services! During the COVID-19 pandemic, families across Greater Orlando have needed hope now more than ever. Hope that can only be found through relief services like JFS Orlando’s Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry or Family Stabilization Program or Counseling, Growth and De...

  • In-person visit with Jewish Pavilion seniors, using caution

    Nov 13, 2020

    It has been along 8 months for everyone, but especially for residents in long-term care communities. Jewish Pavilion Program Director Julie Levitt donned PPE and safely socially distanced so she could spend a few minutes to visit. "I may have been more excited to reunite with my friends than they may have been. Life Care of Altamonte did an amazing job to make sure the visit was safe for all of us and putting the residents safety an upmost priority. Knowing that this visit was such a success, I...

  • Palestinian narrative of victimization 'coming to an end'

    Israel Kasnett|Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) - An astonishing level of criticism from Arab commentators, intellectuals and journalists has been leveled at the Palestinian leadership in recent weeks in response to its condemnations against countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, which have just signed normalization agreements with Israel. Five years ago, it seemed that the Palestinians could never fall out of grace with Americans, the Arab world or even the Europeans. These days, all this seems to have changed....

  • Cyber attackers are 'taking advantage' of mass shift in working from home

    Yaakov Lappin|Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) — Cyber attackers around the world—ranging from criminals to state actors—are taking advantage of the massive global shift to working from home in the age of the coronavirus pandemic and escalating cyber attacks, senior former American and Israeli defense officials have warned. The comments were made the online Cyber Tech USA conference, held on Oct. 27. Nadav Zafrir, former commander of the Israel Defense Forces 8200 signals intelligence unit and managing partner of the Team8 company, which builds and invests in companies, spoke with...

  • Clinical trials of Israeli coronavirus vaccine underway

    Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) - The first Israeli SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was administered at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan on Sunday to the first volunteer in a clinical trial. The vaccine, called "BriLife," was developed by the Israel Institute of Biological Research, which has prepared 25,000 doses ahead of the 80-person trial. Half of the volunteers will be given the vaccine (or a placebo) at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and half at Sheba Medical Center. In the first stage of the...

  • Where America now stands

    Caroline Glick|Nov 13, 2020

    On Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside ballot counting centers in Arizona and Michigan to demand a clean and honest vote count. An MSNBC reporter in Arizona filmed the protesters in Maricopa Country where 400,000 ballots were being counted. Standing behind the protesters, the reporter tried to paint the crowd as violent and dangerous even as they kneeled in silent prayer for election integrity. It was a hard sell, but other reporters quickly got in on the action and videos appeared throughout the day of reporters de...

  • Reconciliation is the path to which we must return

    Mel Pearlman, Everywhere|Nov 13, 2020

    In the aftermath of a close election and the improbability of the nation coming together, irrespective of who finally wins the presidency, one thing is certain: The existing sharp political divisions in the American Jewish community must be reconciled, and a major effort must be made by all factions in our community to establish mutual respect for all members despite the divergent views on so many issues each may hold. If we are to be a significant player in continuing our outstanding record of contribution to American society in every field...

  • CUNY's systemic Jew-hatred

    Richard L. Cravatts|Nov 13, 2020

    By When a provocative Tiktok video uploaded by Nerdeen Kiswani, a second-year student at CUNY law school, went public recently, the anti-Israel sentiment of the clip came as no surprise to those who were aware of Kiswani’s long record of toxic activism. In the video, Kiswani is seen attempting to light on fire an IDF-emblazoned sweatshirt worn by an individual sitting with her, expressing her hatred for the IDF and the nation it defends — a loathing that apparently animates Kiswani’s life, since she is fully engaged as the former vice presi...

  • Is there a way back from a broken political culture?

    Jonathan S. Tobin|Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) — Many Americans are anticipating a return to normalcy now that the votes have been counted and the presidential election determined. For some, that just means an end to the constant bombardment of election ads on television, the Internet and even via unsolicited text messages turning up on your phone. For others, it’s a more specific hope that the outcome will mean the defeat of President Donald Trump. Love or hate him, Trump is a unique figure in American political history and perhaps the most polarizing. His unorthodox manner, coarse d...

  • Will we ever see the light?

    Nov 13, 2020

    Dear Editor: In my almost 80 years I have been a Democrat, an Independent, and now an arch-Conservative Republican slightly to the right of Attila the Hun. I have been a Freedom Rider, beaten up in Alabama, not murdered by the KKK like Schwerner, Goodwin and Cheney in Mississippi in 1965, been in two armies and one war abroad. I remember the Kent State killing of innocent students by the National Guard during the Vietnam War and that didn’t lead to rioting, arson, looting or murder. I remember the race riots after Dr. King’s assassination, the...

  • What's Happening

    Nov 13, 2020

    some 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 of Orlando — Monday – Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. (vi...

  • On this unique Jewish dating site, moms get to play the yenta

    Sara Ivry|Nov 13, 2020

    On a visit home to Fort Lauderdale back in 2013, Jeffrey Kaplan and his then-girlfriend watched as Kaplan's mother pulled out her computer to show them the fake JDate profile she'd put together in a stealth effort to help Kaplan's brother find love. "She was worried about him not finding a Jewish girl to marry," Kaplan said. At the time, he was a graduate student in entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. "I remember the drive back to Gainesville, thinking to myself: When you see a person...

  • Digital conference: Gulf Arabs emphasize rapprochement with Israel, disappointment with Palestinians

    Israel Kasnett|Nov 13, 2020

    (JNS) - Israelis are, of course, just getting used to the idea of having friendly relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain after signing normalization deals with each country in recent days. Even more intriguing to many Israelis is the fact that these Gulf states have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Palestinians' behavior in vetoing every peace overture in the last 20 years. The Kohelet Policy Forum, Shiloh Forum and the Israel Hayom Israeli daily newspaper teamed up to host...

  • 6 Jewish-themed films to watch through this year's online DOC NYC festival

    Curt Schleier|Nov 13, 2020

    (JTA) - DOC NYC is one of the world's foremost documentary film festivals, and this year it's all online, just like most other arts festivals in this pandemic moment. Among its 200-plus films are six gems with powerful Jewish themes - from a look inside the powerful AIPAC pro-Israel lobby to the chronicling of Black-Jewish friendship forged in the process of taking a racist case to the Supreme Court. All the movies will be accessible for $12 each, or in special packages of 5 or 10; there are all...

  • Scene Around

    Gloria Yousha|Nov 13, 2020

    Wow! Once again I'm "wowed"! ... What great talent our people have. I just watched the old movie "Billy Rose's Dumbo" on TV. It made me smile and feel good after so much staying at home for the past many months. I knew Billy Rose was Jewish but the movie featured many beautiful songs, some of them by two of our most talented songwriters, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, both Jewish, of course! And on the same subject ... I watch a lot of television now that I'm stuck in the house, (mostly Dr....

  • To fight radical Islam, France is limiting religious freedoms - with the blessing of its Jewish minority

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Nov 13, 2020

    (JTA) - As the French government rolls out a controversial plan that amounts to its most robust crackdown on religious activity in decades, it is enjoying broad support from at least one of the country's faith communities: French Jews. Jewish community leaders have applauded President Emmanuel Macron's effort to counter what he calls "Islamist separatism" with a plan that would require children to attend state-recognized schools from the age of three, effectively barring the practice of Muslim...

  • Rabbis want 'much more' government control of mosques

    Cnaan Liphshiz|Nov 13, 2020

    (JTA) — Following a suspected terrorist attack that left four dead in Vienna by a shooter who reportedly shouted “Allah,” European rabbis made an unusual appeal for more “control and transparency” over what goes on at mosques across the continent. “It is important to know what is being preached in mosques and other places of worship over here, by whom they are financed, what foreign influences are promoting such terrible deeds and how social media serve as a vehicle for this,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of...


    Nov 13, 2020

    Ariel Benjamin Osteen, born Feb. 13, 1990, beloved son of Michal and David Osteen, cherished brother of Talia and Yoni, adored uncle of Elliott and Liam, and dear friend to many, passed away on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. He will forever be remembered for his kindness, his love of people and of nature; for his brilliant smile, shining eyes, inquisitive mind, empathic soul, and open heart. It was his life's work to save lives, and he succeeded in this as a friend and as a First Responder. The salve for... Full story


    Nov 13, 2020

    Althea Miller, a long time Lakeland resident, passed away peacefully, with her family by her side, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Althea was the third child born to Albert and Jeanette Sofness in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1926. In 1948, Althea traveled to Lakeland, Florida, to visit her sister, Celia Stone. She met her husband, Joe Miller, on a blind date and three weeks later they were married. Joe and Althea were married for 45 years until Joe’s untimely death in July 1993. Lakeland was their home, where they raised three children, M... Full story

  • The Jewish Faucis: Orthodox doctors battle COVID and disinformation in Orthodox communities

    Shira Hanau|Nov 13, 2020

    (JTA) - The doctor burst into public view in the pandemic's early days, vaulting from behind the scenes to the front lines of a crisis bringing his community to its knees. Community members hung on his every word and changed their behavior because of him. Seven months later, he still has his adherents, but he also knows that weighing in about ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 comes with a cost - from being dismissed at best to facing violent threats from people who are tired of restrictions...

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