Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the December 1, 2023 edition


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  • Dec 1, 2023

  • A weekend of hostage releases from Gaza

    Gabe Friedman Ron Kampeas and Ben Sales|Dec 1, 2023

    This is a developing story. Friday - First 13 Israeli and 10 foreign hostages released (JTA) - Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages into Egypt on Friday, Nov. 24, a sign that the four-day ceasefire brokered between Israel and the terror group that runs Gaza was holding. Ten Thai nationals and one Filipino national were also released in a surprise additional deal that Egyptian officials said they had brokered. Thirty-nine Palestinian prisoners were released from Israel as part of the agreement,...

  • Hugs, slinkies and trauma care: How the Israeli health system will treat the released hostages

    Deborah Danan|Dec 1, 2023

    TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli health, military and government officials have been preparing for what a release of hostages from Gaza would look like since Oct. 7. But on Friday, as the first round of hostages were released at the start of a ceasefire brokered with Hamas, some admitted just how difficult that preparation has been. “We had to write these guidelines without any theoretical or practical knowledge in the world of a situation where children are being held captive by a terrorist organization,” said Sarit Sarfatti, a government offic...

  • Elon Musk says he'll donate X ad revenue to hospitals in Israel and Gaza

    Andrew Lapin|Dec 1, 2023

    (JTA) — Elon Musk announced Tuesday that his social network X would be “donating all revenue from advertising & subscriptions associated with the war in Gaza to hospitals in Israel” and to a humanitarian organization operating in Gaza. The promise comes as he faces sharp criticism that his site is helping to spread Hamas propaganda and as advertisers stage an exodus over his recent endorsement of an antisemitic post. It was unclear how Musk was identifying or defining revenue “associated with the war in Gaza.” He named the Internati...

  • 'No Hamas-linked prisoners to be part of hostage deal'

    Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — Israel is making sure that none of the Palestinian prisoners it may release as part of a potential exchange with Hamas are connected to the terrorist group, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The newspaper reported that an internationally-brokered agreement for a temporary pause in fighting in Gaza and prisoner exchange is close to being realized. Hamas holds some 240 Israelis hostages in Gaza, who were captured during the terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion of the northwestern Negev. According to Egyptian officials, the pro...

  • US warns Israel on next phase of war

    Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — The White House says it won’t support Israel’s plan to expand its operations into the south of the Gaza Strip unless it shows it will protect the Palestinian civilians there. In a Tuesday press call, U.S. National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said the United States won’t support Israel “moving forward with operations in the south absent a clearly articulated plan for how they’re going to protect the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people” there. “There’s an obligation for them to factor that into their planning,” Kirby...

  • Rabbi Israel Barzak dies after assault in Ormond Beach

    Christine DeSouza|Dec 1, 2023

    Rabbi Israel Barzak, a mohel who performed britot for many families in Central Florida, died on Nov. 26, 2023, from injuries sustained after an assault in Ormond Beach. He was 84. According to a family friend, Rabbi Barzak was hit by someone at his gated community’s entrance as he was picking up delivered groceries. He was taken to the hospital where he died. Heritage contacted the Ormond Beach Police Department and learned there is an ongoing investigation into the assault and at this time they cannot release information. Rabbi Barzak’s wif...

  • Social media has come unhinged

    Lior Zaltzman|Dec 1, 2023

    This essay originally appeared in Kveller. (JTA) — It was a slow trickle, each long press of the finger and ensuing quick tap was days and sometimes weeks apart (it’s hard to comprehend that a whole month has passed since Oct. 7), but I am here to tell you that I — a former social media manager — have removed each and every social media app from my phone. In fact, as I was writing this very esssay, I realized I still had Threads downloaded, opened it for a minute, saw a Thread that said “Zionism is antisemitism,” and promptly deleted tha...

  • Allowing Hamas to dictate the news

    Maya Carlin|Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — In the latest controversy surrounding media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, the BBC was forced to apologize for reporting grossly false information. One of its presenters declared that IDF soldiers “were targeting people including medical teams and Arab speakers” at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, which would be a war crime. The presenter repeated this statement twice, citing a Reuters news report. As the BBC later admitted, this was an outright lie. It quickly emerged that the Reuters report in question had quoted an IDF statement that...

  • Blinken's diabolical plan

    Mark Levin|Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — It is crystal clear now that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is exploiting the war against Israel to destroy the existing State of Israel by using pressure, threats, blackmail, leaks, the media, diplomatic backstabbing, the Arab states, the E.U. and the U.N. Read this paragraph from Blinken memo: As I said in private and in public, we believe Palestinian people’s voices and aspirations must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza. We believe in Palestinian-led governance of Gaza, with Gaza unified with the West Ban...

  • I survived a pogrom in Iraq 82 years ago - I know where Hamas' extremism will lead today

    Joseph Samuels|Dec 1, 2023

    (JTA) — When I saw the photos and videos posted by Hamas murdering entire Israeli families, raping women and killing young people at a music festival on Oct. 7 — I was horrified and shocked. These images ignited the flames of a dormant trauma I suffered 82 years ago in Baghdad, Iraq, when I was just 10 years old. On June 1 and 2, 1941, two months after a pro-Nazi coup that plagued Baghdad, mobs — aided by the police and soldiers — broke into Jewish homes, raping women and girls and murdering Jews mercilessly in a rampage that came to be know...

  • What is a 'proportionate response'?

    Dr. Eric R. Mandel|Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — In the Western mind, proportionality in war is simply a numbers game. The side that inflicts more casualties is acting disproportionately, is in the wrong and may even be committing crimes against humanity. This has no basis in international law, but it is useful as a rhetorical weapon. Israel’s enemies make prodigious use of this numbers game, which is no surprise. After all, when Israel is fighting a terrorist entity that uses civilians as human shields in order to increase body counts, which are then used to manipulate jou...

  • What's Happening

    Dec 1, 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...

  • David Horowitz center cuts ties with Candace Owens

    Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — The David Horowitz Freedom Center, which invited the “then little-known Candace Owens” to a conference six years ago where she said “everything started for me,” has bid adieu to the conservative commentator. The center “went on promoting Candace, honored her with an Annie Taylor Award for Courage in 2018, and hosted her at multiple events,” it said in a statement, published in Frontpage magazine, which Horowitz edits. “That’s why we are so disappointed in what she has become.” “The atrocities of Oct. 7, the appearance of ignoran...

  • The Maccabees: The Jewish freedom fighters

    Dec 1, 2023

    The Maccabees were a band of Jewish freedom fighters who freed Judea from the Syrian-Greek occupiers during the Second Temple period. The word Maccabee is an acronym for the Hebrew words that mean “Who is like You among all powers, Gd.” Led by Judah the Maccabee and his four brothers, they trounced the Greek interlopers and restored the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the service of Gd. Their victory is celebrated during the holiday of Chanukah. The Background More than 2,000 years ago there was...

  • Eight thoughts for this Chanukah

    Marilyn Shapiro|Dec 1, 2023

    On Thursday, Dec. 7, Jews around the world will begin celebrating Chanukah. Each night, we will light the candles placed in our Chanukiahs to remember yet another time in our history when Jews faced the possibility of annihilation. In 167 B.C.E. Judah Maccabeus and his brothers led a revolt against Antiochus, the Seleucid king who had tried to eradicate their religion. This Jewish festival commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the subsequent rededication of the Second Temple Now, 2190 years later, Jews are facing another enemy whose goal...

  • Orlando Senior Help Desk: Life Advice for Recharging

    Dec 1, 2023

    Take technology breaks: Constantly being connected can leave you frazzled and stressed out. Enjoy the outdoors: Exposure yourself to nature and breathe fresh air. Even ten minutes may reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue. Get active: Release those endorphins with movement, stretches, walks and laughter. Make Time For You: Take a minimum of 10-15 minutes each day to do something just for you. Connect with people you love on a regular basis. Get plenty of sleep: Rest will keep you more focused, less anxious and will boost your immune system. Be...

  • Japanese-Style Latkes for Chanukah

    Sonya Sanford|Dec 1, 2023

    This recipe was first published on The Nosher. The Japanese word "okonomiyaki" is derived from two words: okonomi (how you like it) and yaki (grill). Okonomiyaki is a customizable Japanese savory vegetable pancake. Like a latke, it gets cooked in oil in a fritter formation. Unlike a latke, it's usually made into a large plate-sized pancake comprising mainly cabbage. Food historians have linked the rise in popularity of okonomiyaki in Japan to World War II, when rice was more scarce and this reci...

  • Sfenj: Moroccan Chanukah Donuts Recipe

    Carine Goren|Dec 1, 2023

    The following story and recipe come from the book Traditional Jewish Baking by Carine Goren, and was first published on The Nosher. I was never able to pronounce the name of this pastry correctly. Sfenj actually means "sponge," and these are indeed spongy, springy and full of air bubbles. I learned this recipe from my friend and pastry chef Ruta, and here it is, with a few minor adjustments. In my family, sfenj are consumed in three different ways: mom likes them plain; most of the family...

  • A Jewish convert's guide to enjoying the winter holiday jumble

    Leah Grisham|Dec 1, 2023

    This essay was first published on Kveller Jewish kids and Christmas: For some parents, this combination can seem like a proverbial minefield of challenges presented to us each winter. The secular world, it seems, becomes infinitely less so as Christmas decorations, commercials and episodes of beloved kids shows proliferate. For interfaith families like mine, which celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, this time can be especially fraught. My own 3-year-old Jewish daughter, for instance, is obses...

  • A holiday concert with Jack Hartmann

    Dec 1, 2023

    Jack Hartmann, a popular children’s entertainer, will be performing live in concert at the Rosen Event Center. Hartmann has a Kids Music Channel on YouTube. His music is research-based and teacher-approved to focus on helping children learn things like the alphabet, the days of the week and how to count to 100 through the medium of music. The concert takes place on Tuesday, December 19. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concert starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com....

  • Israel's soldiers vow 'never again'

    Fiamma Nirenstein|Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — The seaside Zikim base in southern Israel borders one of the kibbutzim destroyed by Hamas during the Oct. 7 massacre. Tanks, armored vehicles and excavation equipment that unearths terror tunnels roar past, heading for the Gaza Strip. Intense looking boys in uniform go to and fro in apparent chaos. But it is not chaos, it is Israel’s ongoing series of military operations against Hamas. The paratroopers we meet are finally having a drink. Yesterday, they managed to eat and take a shower after nine days in the Strip, during which the...

  • Israel moves to strip Hamas affiliates' residency status

    Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — Israeli Interior Minister Moshe Arbel is working to revoke the Israeli residency status of individuals affiliated with the Hamas terrorist organization. Specifically, Arbel began the process to revoke the status of Jerusalem residents Maged Juaba and Rashid Rashek for carrying out “actions to promote and support” terrorism against Israel as part of their membership in the terrorist organizations Hamas and Shabab al-Aqsa. The minister said his action was in accordance with section 11A of the Law on Entry into Israel, which conce...

  • Obituary - SUSAN M. HAURYLUCK

    Dec 1, 2023

    Ms. Susan M. Hauryluck, 69, Orlando, Florida passed away peacefully Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, at AdventHealth, East Orlando following a brief illness. Ms. Hauryluck was born Sept. 23, 1954, in Bronx, New York to the late Robert and Judye (Bardack) Hauryluck and moved to the Orlando area in 2000 from New York. Ms. Hauryluck is survived by her devoted daughters; Shannon (Richard Leonard) Davidson and Meredith Hauryluck both of Orlando, Florida; and her loving sister, Nancy Morris of Orlando, Florida. Graveside services for Ms. Hauryluck were held... Full story

  • Israel to 'complete the elimination of Hamas' after ceasefire

    Joshua Marks|Dec 1, 2023

    (JNS) — Israel will resume its war against Hamas following the conclusion of the ceasefire agreement reached with the terrorist group early Wednesday, according to a government statement. “The government of Israel, the IDF and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza,” the statement read. In his remarks at the start of Tuesday’s all-night Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya...

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