Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles from the December 20, 2013 edition

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  • Snow blankets Jerusalem

    Dec 20, 2013

    Jerusalem and its environs were blanketed with snow, causing access routes to Jerusalem, including Highway 1, to be blocked for part of the day as municipal crews worked to clear the roads in the city; school was canceled for the day. Shown here are young people sitting at a cafe table set up amid the snow on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road on Dec. 15. Some two feet of snow fell on Mount Hermon in Israel's north. Roads were closed due to flooding in the Negev Desert in the south. Syria and Lebanon also... Full story

  • Twelve24: Orlando's Jewish party of the year

    Dec 20, 2013

    The Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando is hosting Twelve24: Orlando’s Jewish Party of the Year on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. at Elixir in downtown Orlando. The event will provide an exciting option of something to do for young Jewish adults on a night when other establishments are typically closed. “We are very excited to host this party,” said Robby Etzkin, assistant executive director at the Roth JCC. “This is something for which the Orlando Jewish community has really shown a need.” Instead of eating Chinese food and watching... Full story

  • 'Framework' agreement roiling Palestinians

    Ron Kampeas, JTA|Dec 20, 2013

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Amid simmering tensions over Iran policy, the Obama and Netanyahu governments appear to have quietly forged common ground in recent weeks on Israeli-Palestinian talks, with the United States accepting that a possible “framework” agreement might not address every outstanding issue in the negotiations. Such an agreement, the United States and Israel seem to agree, would maintain a role for Israel in providing for its security, presumably by maintaining some form of military presence in the West Bank. What’s not clear is if the... Full story

  • Anne Frank had a stepsister!

    Dec 20, 2013

    Here is a special opportunity to hear a first-hand account from someone whose life intersected with one of the most compelling figures in recent history. On Feb. 9, 2014, Chabad of Orlando will host an evening with Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, who will share her experiences as the childhood friend and stepsister of Anne Frank, including accounts of the publishing of Anne's famed diary. The presentation will be suitable for teenagers and families of all faiths. In 1938, Germany invaded... Full story

  • Choices gives its regards to Broadway

    Dec 20, 2013

    In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Division event, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is shaking things up at this year’s Choices by showing the Jewish women of Orlando how important they are in shaping the Jewish community. To commemorate an extraordinary 20 years, JFGO has hired a world-class producer to create a one-of-a-kind Broadway-style revue celebrating Jewish life in Central Florida. With more than 100 performers, the program will showcase amazing talent, including Yow Dance, Central Florida’s modern dance... Full story

  • Swarthmore Hillel picks fight over campus group's Israel guidelines

    Julie Wiener|Dec 20, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)-With an estimated Jewish population of 275 undergraduates, the Quaker-founded Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia is home to one of the smaller Hillel chapters in the country. But that hasn't stopped student activists at the small suburban school from picking a fight of potentially epic proportions with the umbrella group Hillel International. On Dec. 8, the Swarthmore Hillel student board announced that it had voted unanimously to defy Hillel International's guidelines for... Full story

  • Pro-Israel groups backing away from confrontation with Obama over Iran

    Ron Kampeas|Dec 20, 2013

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—When it comes to the deal between Iran and major powers, Israel and the pro-Israel community are retreating from a strategy of confrontation and working instead to influence the contours of a final agreement. In a conference call last week, Howard Kohr, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s executive director, advised pro-Israel activists and leaders not to confront the Obama administration directly over the “difference of strategy” between the United States and Israel on Iran. Instead, Kohr said to focus on passing... Full story

  • Hillel warns Swarthmore chapter over rejection of Israel guidelines

    JTA|Dec 20, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)—Hillel International warned its Swarthmore College chapter that it cannot use the Hillel name if it flouts the international Jewish campus group’s Israel guidelines. Hillel delivered the warning in a sharply worded letter following the Swarthmore chapter student board’s decision to repudiate Hillel guidelines prohibiting partnerships with groups deemed hostile toward Israel. In his letter, Hillel’s president and CEO, Eric Fingerhut, warned Swarthmore Hillel’s student communications coordinator, Joshua Wolfsun, that the chapter’s... Full story

  • Renovation-celebration grand opening of JCC courtyard playground

    Dec 20, 2013

    The Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando plans to celebrate the successful completion of its Roth JCC Renovation Project on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. at the Roth JCC’s courtyard playground. The courtyard playground, located inside their Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center, represents the last major project to be completed within the fundraising endeavor. The project was launched in mid-2012 with the purpose of enhancing the overall experience of the JCC. Projects included updating the swimming a... Full story

  • Lessons from Hitler Youth for young people today

    Dec 20, 2013

    The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Maitland is known for hosting significant exhibits that help visitors explore the history and lessons of mankind’s darkest times. The Center’s newest exhibit, Tempted, Misled, Slaughtered: The Short Life of Hitler Youth, Paul B, is a rare combination of history with great modern-day implications. This collection from the Florida Holocaust Museum investigates how young people became involved in Nazi activities; more important, it asks what those powers of persuasion mean for today’s youth... Full story

  • Hadassah awards outstanding members

    Dec 20, 2013

    The Orlando Chapter of Hadassah will present awards to five of its members on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. This event will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Altamonte Springs, beginning at 11 a. m. The awardees are Rita and George Slotnick and Joan Schwebel, PhD, who will receive the coveted Myrtle Wreath Award. Rita Weissmann, another award-winning member, will be presented with Hadassah’s Love of a Lifetime Award, and finally, Marcia Wasserman will be given the honors for Woman of the Year Award. Join Hadassah in honoring these people who have g... Full story

  • A night at the museum

    Dec 20, 2013

    More than 40 of Jewish National Fund (JNF)'s Women for Israel (WFI) supporters attended "A Night at the Museum" at Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College on Nov. 20. Director of the gallery, Ena Heller, was the docent for the evening as the ladies viewed exhibit Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf. WFI Orlando chairwoman, Debbie Meitin, gave an update on JNF's important work in Israel. Shown here (l-r): Monica DiGiovanni, Judy Kahan, WFI Orlando Chairwoman Debbie Meitin,... Full story

  • Circumcision under attack in Europe

    Ben Cohen, JNS.org|Dec 20, 2013

    As Jews across the world celebrated Chanukah, they also remembered the victory of the Maccabees against the brutal rule of Antiochus IV, designated “Harasha” (“the wicked”) by rabbinical tradition. Antiochus’s main aim was to Hellenize the Jews in the ancient land of Israel by forcing them to adopt Greek customs in place of Jewish ones. Among the Jewish customs that Antiochus banned was circumcision. Because it was the symbol of the covenant between God and the Jewish patriarch Abraham, Antiochus understood that if Judaism were to be comprehen... Full story

  • How Mandela won over the Jewish community

    Abraham H. Foxman, JTA|Dec 20, 2013

    NEW YORK (JTA)—Nelson Mandela will always be remembered as a symbol of courageous resistance to the racist policies of apartheid South Africa. He was a true hero of conscience. But he also will always have a special place in the memory of the Jewish community. I first met Mandela in Geneva in 1990 as part of a delegation of American Jewish leaders. My colleagues and I spent 2 1/2 memorable hours with the then newly free African National Congress leader. It was a warm session with good personal feelings on all sides. Mandela, who died last week... Full story

  • Obama, Kerry and their aspirations

    Ira Sharkansky, Letter from Israel|Dec 20, 2013

    One cannot help but be impressed with the focus of the Obama administration with the Middle East, despite expectations that the region would be left to its own miserable self. Both Kerry and Obama have spent time with the Saban Forum, trying again to convince Jewish doubters about Iran and Palestine. Kerry has come eight times as secretary of state. Talks with the Palestinians ought to be described as the Kerry talks, given his role in getting them started, his tireless prodding of the principals, and his persistent claims of progress. Each... Full story

  • Show support for the Jewish community

    Ina Porth, Viewpoint|Dec 20, 2013

    As the campaign chairwoman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's Shaping the Future: 2014 Annual Campaign, I know the daunting task I've accepted. Our community is splintered and many don't see the relevance of the Jewish Federation. But I know that the Federation is needed now more than ever. When asked to chair the campaign, my first thought was, 'How can I say NO at a critical time like now?' We have many problems in the Jewish world...the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe; the... Full story

  • Herring is not religion: 'Cultural' alternative to conversion is a bad idea

    Harold Berman|Dec 20, 2013

    EFRAT, West Bank (JTA)—The reputable car dealer’s advertisement in the local paper screams “Brand New Mercedes—Only $500!” You get excited but think it sounds too good to be true. Upon closer inspection, it is: The car dealer is offering only the hubcaps of the Mercedes for $500. If you want the whole car, it will cost the standard price. Suddenly the car dealer doesn’t sound so reputable. You would never find such an ad because no car dealer in his right mind would make such an offer. Yet hubcaps masquerading as the car is exactly what Steven... Full story

  • Subsidizing Jewish preschool works

    Steven B. Nasatir|Dec 20, 2013

    CHICAGO (JTA)—In response to the recent pledge by Jewish Federations of North America Chairman Michael Siegal to raise $1 billion to support tuition-free Jewish preschool, some have dismissed the idea as just another pie-in-the-sky fix to the continuity problem. I disagree. First, attending preschools (as well as day camps and overnight camps) are all normative experiences for American children, no matter their religion. Sending their children to preschool is what American parents do; that’s why nearly 100 percent of Jewish children attend pres... Full story

  • What's Happening - Friday, December 20 - Friday, December 27

    Dec 20, 2013

    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, DECEMBER 20 Lig... Full story

  • NF board ventures into outdoor settings

    Dec 20, 2013

    Jewish National Fund (JNF) Orlando Board of Directors member Jill Riola hosted a JNF luncheon for professionals at Carlton Fields on Nov. 20. The event was focused around JNF partner, LOTEM- Making Nature Accessible. JNF-LOTEM liaison Alisa Bodner spoke to the group on the organizations efforts that offers outings, nature clubs and creative workshops in outdoor settings to over 30,000 children and adults in Israel each year who are visually and hearing impaired, physically and intellectually... Full story

  • Obituary - JACK S. WIESENFELD

    Dec 20, 2013

    Jack S., Wiesenfeld of Tampa died Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. He was 87 years old. Mr. Wiesenfeld was born in Boston, grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and came to Tampa 10 years ago after living in Maitland since 1969. Mr. Wiesenfeld was a U.S. Navy veteran having served proudly in the Pacific during WWII. He was a volunteer with many organizations including the USO, Faith Café, the Chesed Shel Emes, tutored students in reading, and through Sar-El he volunteered each year for 12 years to serve in the... Full story

  • Obituary - MARTHA J. "MARTY" WOLKIND

    Dec 20, 2013

    Martha (Gigi) Wolkind passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at Orlando Regional Medical Center, with her daughter by her side. She was 97 years old. Mrs. Wolkind was born in the Lower East Side of New York City on Oct. 2, 1916, the daughter of the late Isadore and Freida Kessler Jacobs. She married her late husband Benjamin Wolkind in 1940 and they moved to the Orlando area in 1959. They were married for nearly 59 years when he passed away in 1999. Mrs. Wolkind was a longtime member of Congregation of Reform Judaism and a lifelong... Full story

  • 6 Degrees (no Bacon): Jewish celebrity roundup

    Jana Banin|Dec 20, 2013

    Billy Joel's monthly gig HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA)-Can't get enough Billy Joel? You're in luck-at least if you live in the New York area and have a hefty concert ticket budget. Beginning in January, the legendary singer will be playing a monthly show at Madison Square Garden. The monthly gigs will continue for "as long as the audience demands," said Joel, who will be performing on his 65th birthday, May 9. That could be awhile-at least the first four dates already are sold out. "Having [Joel] as... Full story

  • The history of the Jews during the Civil War

    Dec 20, 2013

    Congregation Beth Israel of Ocala invites the community to a special program titled “Jews in the Civil War” to be held on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 7171 SR 200 in Ocala. The program will be presented by Channah Zimmerman who will relate, dramatize and chronicle the history of the Jews during the Civil War era from both sides of the conflict. Tickets are $8 per person and also include refreshments. Tickets may be purchased from Mary (352 2056), Judi (352 237-8277, Sonia (352 307-3662), or Estelle (35... Full story

  • For new dad, a stronger bond from a cut foreskin

    Debra Rubin, JTA|Dec 20, 2013

    WASHINGTON (JTA)—Natan Zaidenweber thought the mohel was kidding. His wife, Linda Raab, thought it was some kind of religious formality and didn’t give it a second thought. But the mohel, Cantor Philip Sherman, was serious. Though most fathers demur when he invites them to perform the bris on their sons by clipping their foreskin, preferring to delegate the task to someone professionally trained in the procedure, Sherman finds that about 5 or 10 percent of dads agree to do the cut. “It is the father’s mitzvah to actually perform the bris as... Full story

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