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January 2, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 2, 2009

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SEDE BOQER, Israel--They found it hard, indeed almost impossible, to keep from dancing to the gospel ver- sion, 9fJe_Iaeli song "You and Me Will Change the World," belted out by the local Black Hebrews band. It was midway through the four-day conference focused on desertification and nearly all of the 350 participants could feel the vibe. Large swaths of the world were turning fast into deserts, buthere, at least, there was a sense, among the experts and officials gathered from over 50 countries, that something could be done, that techniques could be learned and that they would leave Israel better equipped to combat this global threat. "It's lovely and commendable that you are bringing folks from experiences and innovations," said Brendan Nolan, a ruddy Irishman who has been spending the past five years combating desertification in Chad, Africa. "I've heard of Israel's expertise, but never seen it. It's like having a beacon, yet keeping it under your coat. You need to take it out and shine the way for all of us." For the participants of the Ben- Gurion University of the Negev's conference on "Drylands, Deserts and Desertification," it was a golden opportunity not only to network, exchange ideas, but to see how Israel has been one of the leaders in stemming the spread of deserts and creating sustainable develop- ment there. For four days last December, Is- rael hosted possibly the largest ever Held at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) on the University!s Sede Boqer campus, deep in t, Negev , from Dec. 14 - 17, this living laboratory gathered the latest research on the issue. And the news wasn't good. The message coming from the experts was: The world is turning into a desert, nobody cares and if nothing is done we will all starve and go to war over food and water. Yes, the research says that some 40 percent of the earth is already classified as drylands or undergoing desertification. And yes, some say this is threatening about one-third of the Earth's population--about two billion people. Yet something can be done. Guests learned about Negev on page 18A Renowned hazzan is COS scholar-in-residence The weekend of Jan. 16, 2009, Congregation Ohev Shalom will welcome Hazzan Henry Rosenblum, as the 2009 Dr. Edward Ackerman Scholar-in-Residence. Rosenblum is the dean of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Cantor Allan Robuck of COS adds that "Hazzan Rosenblum is at the very cutting edge of the latest trends and developments in music within the Conservative movement." A graduate of Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Philosophy, Rosenblum completed his cantorial studies at the Cantors Institute of JTS, where he received the diploma of Hazzan and a Bachelor of Sacred Music Degree in 1972. He later returned to serve on the faculty as an instructor of hazzanut. Hazzan Henry Rosenblum After his investiture, he assumed the position of hazzan at White Meadow Temple in Rockaway, N.J. until 1978, when he was installed as the Hazzan of Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange, N.J. During the nine years he served as that synagogue's hazzan, he also taught hazzanut at the Jewish Theological Seminary, conducted the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble, sang with the Zamir Chorale of New York and served on the board of the American Society for Jewish Music. From 1987-1998, Rosenblum was the hazzan of North Suburban Synagogue Beth E1 in Highland Park, Ill., and from 1997 to 1999 he served as the president of the Cantors Assembly, the international umbrella organization for cantors in the Conservative movement. He was appointed dean of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School in 1998 and is the first hazzan to hold that position. He was awarded a doctor of music, honoris causa, from JTS in 2002. The community is invited to join Hazzan Rosenblum at a 6:15 p.m. Shabbat dinner at Congregation Ohev COS on page 18A Woman of Choice The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's largest women's com- munity campaign dinner will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Ballroom at Church Street. This is the fifteenth year of this annual dinner that celebrates the women of Orlando standing strong for their community. This year's "Harriet Ginsburg Woman of Choice" award recipi- ent, Tess Wise, is a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, great-grand- mother, visionary, philanthropist, and incredible role model for our community. The Jewish Federation is honoring Wise on behalf of her dedication and hard work for the Federation's Women's Division and the Jewish people of Orlando, Israel and around the world. Tess Wise was born in Poland and spent World War II under Nazi occupation, first in a ghetto and sub- sequently in a concentration camp. She escaped from the camp and went underground until the end ofthewar, eventually fleeing to Germany for pro- tection by the United States occupa- tion forces. She arrived in the United States in 1947, married Abe Wise in Orlando and has been active in service and civic organizations since 1950. She became a consultant to school systems across the country on inte- grating HoloCaust studies intoschool curricula and eventually became the founder of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida--the first institute of its kind in the Southeast, recognized both nationally and internationally as a prototype that would be emulated by other centers. Education has always been of the Tess Wise utmost importance to Tess Wise. She began studying medicine at the University of Lodz in Poland; after the war, she continued her studies at UNRRA University in Munich, where she received her pre-intern- ship diploma. After raising her two children, she received a degree in French Literature from the Uni- versity of Central Florida. She was instrumental in establishing the Hebrew Day School in Maitland, having enlisted donor and leadership support in her living room, where the first conversations and resolutions took place. She was appointed by the State Education Commissioner to serve on the State Commission of Holocaust Education. Tess Wise's list of community Wise on page 19A Exhibit opens at the Holocaust Center One year after displaying "In a Confined Silence," Miriam Brysk's talent returns to the Holocaust Me- morial Resource Education Center of Florida with the exhibition "Children of the Holocaust" on Jan. 2, and remaining until March 27. Miriam Brysk will be at the Center, 851 North Maitland Ave., Maitland Sunday, Jan. 11 to discuss her art, answer questions and meet guests. The program is open to the community at no cost. Her book "Amidst the Shadows of Trees: A Holocaust Child's Survival in the Partisans" will be available for sale. The reception with Miriam Brysk is co-sponsored by the 39rs group of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando. All the imagery is derived from authentic photographs from the Holocaust, some from books, others from the Internet, yet others from Holocaust survivors who asked her to preserve through art the memory of their relatives who had perished. Miriam Brysk believes all the chil- dren depicted died in the Holocaust. As a child survivor herself, and a mother and a grandmother, she found it extremely painful doing the "Children of the Holocaust" exhibition. It brought her many nightmares. Children are portrayed from the major Jewish population centers in Miriam Brysk's artwork is de- rived from authentic photographs from the Holocaust, some from books, others from the Internet, yet others from Holocaust survivors who asked her to preserve through art the memory of their relatives who had perished. Europe. During the Holocaust 1.5 million children were murdered in Germany and occupied Europe. Miriam Bryskwas born in Warsaw, Poland in March 1935 to parents HMREC on page 19A