Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

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  • Florida legislation supports funding for day schools

    Faygie Holt|Jun 25, 2021

    (JNS) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited a synagogue in South Florida on Monday to sign legislation that had the support of many in the Jewish community there. At the Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Fla., a Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue north of Miami, DeSantis ensured that faith-based, volunteer first-responder services, like the Orthodox-run Hatzalah ambulance corp., can operate more fully, including using lights and sirens in an emergency if they meet specific criteria and have been operating...

  • South Florida mayor's proposal to add menorah to holiday display sparks outrage, debate

    Apr 23, 2021

    (JNS) — A proposal by the mayor of the South Florida community of Miami Shores to place a menorah in the village town hall during the holiday season has led to a major pushback from the village’s attorney and some members of the council. At the April 6 meeting, Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar raised the idea of putting up a menorah during the winter holiday season, which seems long overdue to some who live in the heavily Jewish area. However, village attorney Richard Sarafan — who, according to The Miami Herald, is himself Jewish — argued...

  • 'Your voice was silenced': Jewish parents of Parkland victims remember their kids three years later

    Ben Sales|Feb 26, 2021

    (JTA) — On the third anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, parents of the shooting’s Jewish victims shared their memories and hopes for the future. Several of the 17 students and faculty who were killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were Jewish. In the years since the attack, some of the victims’ Jewish parents have become prominent activists for gun control and school safety. Fred Guttenberg shared a letter on Sunday that he wrote to his daughter, Jaime, on Twitter. Jaime was 14 when she was k...

  • License plate supports Israel

    Dec 25, 2020

    (JNS) - The public design contest for the "Florida Stands with Israel" specialty license plate, sponsored by the Israeli-American Council, has ended with the winning concept by local artist Daniel Ackerman, a graphic designer from Boca Raton, Fla. More than 100 designs were submitted, ranging from school children's concepts in crayon to highly technical designs of professional artists. The Sunshine State is home to more than 120,000 Israeli Americans. Ackerman explains his design: "The concept...

  • FSU president says anti-Semitism has 'no home' on campus

    Marcy Oster|Aug 28, 2020

    (JTA) — Six weeks after thousands of Florida State University students petitioned for their student body president to be removed over social media posts they described as anti-Semitic, the school’s president has announced several changes aimed at making Florida State more hospitable for Jewish students. In an open letter to the campus community, John Thrasher said he wanted “to reaffirm that Antisemitism and religious discrimination have no home at Florida State University” and outlined what he said were “significant developments on campus to...

  • 8,000 FSU students call for ouster of their Senate president

    Marcy Oster|Jul 3, 2020

    (JTA) — More than 8,000 students at Florida State University have signed an online petition to remove the student Senate president over social media posts described as anti-Semitic. The Change.org petition against Ahmad Daraldik was launched two weeks ago and garnered over 3,000 signatures in the first three days, FSUNews.com reported. Daraldik survived a vote of no confidence during a Senate Zoom meeting on June 17. He became the Student Government Association’s leader earlier this month when his predecessor was removed over derogatory com...

  • FSU senate keeps new president

    Jackson Richman|Jun 26, 2020

    (JNS) -The student senate at Florida State University voted on June 18 not to remove its new president, despite his past anti-Semitic posts. The final tally was not disclosed. Ahmad Daraldik was selected by the Florida State University Student Senate to replace its previous president, Jack Denton, who was accused of racism. Along those lines, Daraldik faced calls to step down after screenshots surfaced of past anti-Semitic posts. "Being in a position of power presented Ahmad the opportunity to...

  • ACF starts petition to oust Daraldik from FSU senate presidency

    Jun 26, 2020

    In addition to Donna Render starting an email letter campaign against the newly elected Student Senate president, Ahmad Daraldik, there is also a petition started by Alums for Campus Fairness. The petition calls for Daraldik to step down from his position or for his impeachment, and for FSU to take the necessary steps to counter anti-Semitism. These include the Student Senate affirming and recognizing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and the mandatory anti-racism training for student government members and other university leaders. Alums...