Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the December 8, 2023 edition


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  • How to talk with your children about Israel during Chanukah

    Rachel Fish|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS)- As Jewish families prepare to celebrate Chanukah, we remain continually focused on the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Many children-not to mention parents-are making connections between the thousands-year-old story of Jews fighting oppression in their homeland and current events that tell a similar tale. For two months now, our children have been seeking answers and understanding, requiring parents to step into conversations in ways they may not necessarily feel equipped to do. This...

  • Argentina's president-elect, Javier Milei, visits Lubavitcher rabbi's grave

    Juan Melamed and Gabe Friedman|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) - Javier Milei, a colorful right-wing "anarcho-capitalist" who has said he would like to convert to Judaism, was elected president of Argentina. Milei's passionate love of Judaism and Israel has been one of the several unexpected qualities that Argentines and political analysts have become accustomed to during his rapid rise over the past year. Milei, 53, throughout his campaign blamed the outgoing government for soaring inflation and poverty rates. That government included Cristina...

  • Henry Kissinger dies at 100

    Ben Harris|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) - Henry Kissinger, the first Jewish secretary of state and the controversial mastermind of American foreign policy in the 1970s - orchestrating the U.S. opening to China, negotiating the end of the conflict in Vietnam and helping ease tensions with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War - has died. Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday at 100, according to a statement posted to his website. He had celebrated his 100th birthday in June with a party at the New York P...

  • Celebrating Chanukah with joy: The Jewish Pavilion's Inclusive Festivities

    Dec 8, 2023

    In the midst of the pervasive “Merry Christmas” greetings that echo through Central Florida during the holiday season, the Jewish Pavilion stands as a beacon of inclusivity, ensuring that the spirit of Chanukah is celebrated and cherished among the elderly in assisted living and nursing homes. While the ubiquitous holiday wish is generally well-intentioned, the Jewish Pavilion’s educational efforts have empowered caregivers to go beyond the commonplace and embrace the cultural diversity of their residents. The Jewish Pavilion has played a cru...

  • Update on the death of Rabbi Barzak

    Christine DeSouza|Dec 8, 2023

    Rabbi Isaac Barzak passed away on Nov. 26, 2023. He was 84. According to the city of Ormond Beach and the Ormond Beach Police Department, the altercation that occurred at the gate of the Tymber Creek community where Rabbi Barzak lived, was not motivated by hate or bias. Jarleene Almenas, the managing editor of The Ormond Beach Observer newspaper, sent Heritage the police report which stated that the incident occurred due to a malfunction at the community gate on Nov. 15. The Homeowners’ Association member who is responsible for managing the g...

  • Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Life after caregiving

    Dec 8, 2023

    As a caregiver, some people totally devote themselves to caring for another person who no longer functions as he once did. We may move, leave our jobs, give up our independence, and rarely see our family and friends. Our entire life may revolve around comforting and making our loved one feel loved. When a loved one passes, often we grieve and then the process of finding our way back into the world begins anew. How do we pick up the pieces and start to live again? Everyone does it differently and in his or her own time frame. Suggestions: Join...

  • Susan Sarandon and Melissa Barrera among Hollywood figures facing blowback for stances on Israel and Jews

    Andrew Lapin|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — The star of a blockbuster horror franchise and an Oscar-winning veteran actress saw their careers take a hit this week over their public comments on Jews and Israel in some of the most high-profile examples yet of how the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has impacted Hollywood. Variety reported Tuesday that Melissa Barrera was recently fired from the upcoming seventh installment of the “Scream” series over pro-Palestinian social media posts that the film’s producers implied had crossed the line into antisemitism. The “In The Heights... Full story

  • Son of Hamas founder urges Israel to kill his father if hostages not freed

    Pesach Benson|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) — Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of Hamas’s original founders, on Tuesday called on Israel to set a time limit for the terror group to release all Israeli hostages, and to assassinate his father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, and other Hamas leaders if they don’t. “Hamas must have a timeframe—a month or two or six months—to return the hostages, and if they don’t return the hostages within the time frame, Israel must execute top Hamas leaders in prison, especially the mass murderers,” said Yousef in a video message posted online. “When I...

  • Knesset approves $300m to rebuild Gaza border towns

    Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) — Israeli lawmakers on Monday voted in favor of a 1.15 billion shekel ($308 million) proposal to fund the recently created Tekuma Authority, which will be responsible for rebuilding, developing and strengthening the Gaza border communities devastated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 cross-border massacre. The Tekuma funds, redirected from the 2023 state budget, are to be used for “emergency assistance to communities near the Gaza Strip, assistance to the cities of Ofakim and Ashkelon, and local authorities absorbing evacuated populations,” the Knesset...

  • Jewish groups ask Pope Francis to clarify Israel 'terrorism' comments

    Jackie Hajdenberg|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — Jewish groups are criticizing Pope Francis for appearing to accuse both Israel and Hamas of “terrorism” in their ongoing war that started Oct. 7. “This is what wars do,” the pope said at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday. “But here we have gone beyond wars. This is not war. This is terrorism.” Francis’ comments followed separate meetings with Jewish relatives of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinians with family in Gaza on Wednesday. His remarks come a month after he called on Hamas to free the hostages being he...

  • Trading terrorists for hostages

    Dec 8, 2023

    By Clifford D. May (JNS) — “Swaps of captives resume after brief protest by Hamas,” read the top headline in The Washington Post on Sunday. But the “captives” set free by Israel had all been arrested or already convicted of such crimes as stabbing, shooting and attempted suicide bombing, while the “captives” released by Hamas are all innocent women and children dragged from their homes in flagrant violation of international law. In what legal or moral universe is there any equivalence between the two? The Israelis are releasing three terrori...

  • Hamas' depraved Pallywood performance

    Jonathan Feldstein|Dec 8, 2023

    In the Academy Awards, no one has ever heard of an award recipient standing before a jubilant and envious audience, and say, “No, thank you, I really didn’t make this film and I do not deserve your recognition. I am rescinding this honor you have bestowed upon me.” Of course not. People who don’t win an Oscar, the most prestigious award in the Hollywood film industry, repeatedly claim that it’s just an honoree to be nominated. They’d never return the coveted award. It sounds absurd even to think it. Unlike Miss Universe and other such beauty...

  • Why the Arabs 'betrayed' the Palestinians

    Khaled Abu Toameh|Dec 8, 2023

    (Gatestone Institute via JNS) — The Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group and its supporters are disappointed that the Arab countries did not come to the rescue of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the war which erupted after the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre. At least 1,200 Israelis were murdered and more than 4,500 wounded in the attack. Another 240 Israelis, including toddlers, children, women and the elderly, were kidnapped to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. This is not the first time that the Palestinians have voiced disappointment with their A...

  • Watch diverse multicultural monsters defend Hamas in Oakland City Council

    Daniel Greenfield|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) — Much of the Hamas enthusiasm we’ve seen has been at a distance—shaky camera shots of mobs of rioters, some quick clips of a poster-ripper or a few tweets or videos gleaned from the madness of social media influencers, but here they are given a full forum to speak at the Oakland City Council. The issue on the table is whether the Oakland City Council will just demand that Israel stop attacking Hamas, misleadingly described as a “ceasefire,” or whether the resolution will also at least condemn Hamas’s mass murder of Israelis. That brough...

  • We are all hostages

    Phyllis Chesler|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) — Every Jew, both inside and outside of Israel, has been held hostage for 40 days. In the Holy Land, Israelis—Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze—have been bombed, kidnapped, tortured, murdered, forced into bomb shelters and cast into internal exile. Because Israel has dared to fight back, Jews around the world are being “punished” for Israel’s alleged “crimes.” Jews everywhere are being verbally harassed, demonized, threatened, physically attacked and sometimes murdered. Visibly Jewish students no longer feel safe in their classroom...

  • What's Happening

    Dec 8, 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...

  • China ignored distress calls from hijacked Israeli ship

    Charles Bybelezer|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) - Chinese naval vessels ignored repeated distress calls from an Israeli-owned commercial tanker that was under attack by suspected Somali pirates on Sunday, according to the Pentagon. The USS Mason destroyer and allied ships-reportedly belonging to Japan- recovered the Israel-linked Central Park tanker, which an "unknown entity" hijacked in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen, U.S. Central Command confirmed on Monday. Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed that at...

  • Mark Cuban selling Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson, the Jewish philanthropist and casino owner

    Jacob Gurvis|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is reportedly selling a majority stake in his NBA franchise to casino magnate and Jewish philanthropist Miriam Adelson. Cuban, the Jewish billionaire known for entrepreneurial endeavors including his starring role on ABC’s reality show “Shark Tank,” is selling a stake valued at $3.5 billion to Adelson, the widow of longtime Jewish megadonor Sheldon Adelson. The deal was first reported by NBA reporter Marc Stein. The deal represents something of a partnership for Cuban and Adelson, whose daughter is on t...

  • For Jewish teens in Asia, first BBYO convention in Singapore offers a rare sense of community

    Jordyn Haime|Dec 8, 2023

    TAIPEI (JTA) - For a few years eight decades ago, Shanghai was home to an outpost of what would become BBYO, the global Jewish youth movement. At the time, the Chinese city was a refuge for Jews fleeing Europe. Fifteen German Jewish teens created an Aleph Zadik Aleph chapter in June 1941, but when they left Asia after the war, the youth movement ended, too. Now, the network of small but significant Jewish communities scattered across Asia has resurrected BBYO's presence on the continent. About...

  • Hamas claims baby Kfir Bibas was killed in Gaza

    Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) - The Israel Defense Forces is investigating claims that three members of the Bibas family in Gaza, including 10-month-old Kfir, died in Hamas captivity, the military said on Wednesday. The "military" wing of Hamas announced the deaths Kfir, his brother Ariel, 4, and his mother, Shiri, 32, the Hamas- and Palestinian Islamic Jihad-affiliated Quds News Network reported earlier on Nov. 28. Without presenting evidence, the Al-Qassam Brigades attributed their deaths to "a previous Israeli...

  • Israel investigating Hamas claims that Ariel and Kfir Bibas were killed in Gaza

    Philissa Cramer|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — Israel is investigating Hamas’ claim that its youngest hostages, brothers Kfir and Ariel Bibas, are dead, along with their mother Shiri. The Bibas family became an early face of the hostage crisis after Hamas released a video showing Shiri holding her sons while being taken captive. Kfir, who is 10 months old, has become a symbol of the campaign for the hostages’ release. His brother Ariel is 4. Although most of the child hostages have been freed under the agreement with Israel, the Bibas family was not among those who have been retur...

  • Multiple US synagogues hit with anti-Israel, antisemitic graffiti

    Jackie Hajdenberg|Dec 8, 2023

    (JTA) — Over the course of a week, three synagogues across the United States were tagged with anti-Israel and antisemitic graffiti. The vandalism follows weeks of similar defacement at a variety of American Jewish sites, including cemeteries, Chabad Jewish centers, and Jewish buildings on university campuses. The incidents occurred more than a month into the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which has come alongside a reported spike in antisemitism nationwide. The recent vandalism targeted synagogues affiliated with three different r...

  • Life after terror: An Israeli city's struggle to heal

    Eitan Elhadez-Barak|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) - The evacuees are slowly returning to Ofakim, 17 miles from the Gaza border. Shops are reopening and quiet has returned to the streets. But a short visit makes it clear that the town, which lost 52 of its residents in the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught on southwestern Israel. will never be the same again. The unemployed people, who had worked in the now-ruined factories of southwestern Israel, are strapped for cash. People who have seen the harsh sights of war have lost the sparkle in their...

  • A morning of kindness turns to terror: A Sderot resident's story

    Elizabet Zak|Dec 8, 2023

    (JNS) - For Sderot resident Danny Eisenman, the story of Oct. 7 began with helping some tourists change a flat tire. The tourists were passing through Sderot on their way to the Dead Sea and Eisenman was out walking his dog that morning. Once the tire was changed, the tourists fussed over the dog, pleasantries were exchanged, selfies were taken and everyone was on his way. A mere five minutes later, he was home when the air raid sirens sounded. "I remember when the sirens started and they didn't...

  • Protesters brandish swastikas at pro-Palestinian rally

    Luke Tress|Dec 8, 2023

    (New York Jewish Week) — At least two protesters brandished signs with swastikas at an anti-Israel protest targeting the annual Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday night. One demonstrator held a sign with the Nazi symbol and the words “Israeli military.” The protester was forcibly ejected from the event by other participants who shouted at him and trampled his sign, prompting police to separate the two sides. Another protester carried a sign that compared Jews to Nazis via a blood-spattered swastika inter...

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