Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

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December 22, 2017

Ben Friedman

Israel ahead in research...

Once again, when it comes to science, medicine... everything, I am proud to say, Israel seems to be leading the pack. I read the following in Impact, the magazine of the American Associates of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. I pass it along to you:

In the United States today, one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism, a disorder symptomized by social interaction problems, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.

Autism is currently the most prevalent childhood disorder in this country and the cost is high: an estimated $265 billion in 2015. Despite the high priority of understanding autism and treating it globally, autism continues to puzzle researchers.

To address this challenge, Ben Gurion University (BGU) scientists and medical professionals created the Negev Autism Center in 2015. A team of top researchers and medical professionals conceived an ambitious project to create the first comprehensive database of children with autism and their families in Israel. The database promises to become a critical tool for finding new answers to this complex development disorder. The scientists began with the view that there is no single answer to autism... a fact most scientists agree with after 15 years of serious research. 'It's a family of distinctly different disorders that probably have multiple different causes and require a variety of different treatments,' according to one of the team.

While all diagnosed children exhibit common symptoms, such as social communication problems, their underlying biology varies greatly. 'There seems to be many paths to autism,' another scientists says. 'In some cases it may be caused by a genetic problem, while in other cases it might be environmental exposure. We need to distinguish between different autistic disorders,' he continued.

Their goal is not to cure autism, they agree, but to find new tools and techniques that help diagnose children during the first year of their lives and identify their subtype. Then they can recommend optimal interventions to ameliorate as many of the symptoms as possible.

(I have great confidence in everything the Israeli scientists do puzzling out the causes of Autism.)

And speaking of confidence...

I have great confidence in SAMANTHA TAYLOR, publisher of J Life, Orlando's Jewish Lifestyle Magazine. I just received my second edition, Winter 2017, with RUTH ABELS, 100, and four members of her family on the cover marking four generations.

What a beautiful lady, what a beautiful family, what a beautiful magazine... and what a beautiful publisher! This magazine stays on my coffee table for sure.

(I have more wrinkles than the lovely Ruth. I recently went to the hospital and asked for a face-lift. They gave me a heart valve instead!)

A smart and steady voice...

"I encourage you all to reach out, discuss the issues and get involved with our Jewish Community Relations Council. Through open dialogue, we can all do our part to achieve that timeless American objective: A more perfect union."

These are the words of BEN FRIEDMAN, director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. He brings his background in law and public policy, as well as his passion for advocacy and civil discourse, to his role with Federation.

You can reach Ben at bfriedman@jfgo.org or by phone at 407-645-5933 ext. 233 to give him your feedback about moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

(I, for one, have mixed feelings about it. Although I agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, I fear for another war. I got caught in the Yom Kipper war when I was there. I repeat, I have mixed feelings.)

A holiday feast...

SCOT MYERS, president of the Eastbrook Home Owners Association, hosted a holiday party as he does every year and all are invited!

The food was delicious and plentiful (and NO CALORIES!) The guests were lively and interesting... and I found the cookies that I love!

(What more could I ask??)

On the subject of calories...

A dear friend I attend Grief Counseling with each week, gave me a terrific gift for Chanukah! It's a lovely book with great photos. Its title is "The Book Of Schmaltz." It's labeled as a love song to a forgotten fat. The book is filled with fabulous recipes (many my mother cooked) and I am tempted to try them.

My friend is RICHARD ANDERSON, and I guess I should cook something for him... but I won't (because I like him too much!)

Back to music, my favorite subject...

Our own talented CAROL STEIN will be appearing at Blue Bamboo, 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park, on Jan. 5th 2018, along with a super star singer, JENNY EVENS.

Carol and Jenny present: "A Night of Moonlight Melodies."

Carol Stein

Jenny Evans is a British-born, naturalized German jazz singer. She was also known as owner of Jenny's Place, a jazz club in Munich's Schwabing district. "With a sultry, crystalline voice, impeccable diction and a sense of pitch-perfect intonation that would make Ella Fitzgerald proud, Jenny Evans is the leading female singer in Germany," according to Michael Walsh, in Time Magazine.

One for the road...

A man goes to a lawyer and asks, "How much do you charge for legal advice?"

The lawyer replies, "A thousand dollars for three questions."

The man responds, "Wow! Isn't that kind of expensive?"

"Yes it is," says the lawyer. "What is your third question?"

(Is that the definition of chutzpah or what?)


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