Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
Lyft
January 4, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 17     (17 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 17     (17 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
January 4, 2013
 

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Videos, website highlight Jews thriving in mainstream By Elaine Durbach New Jersey JewiSh News For those who harbor stereotypes about Orthodox Jews and how their beliefs limit their career options, Allison Josephs has created an antidote. The creator and moving force behind the Internet site Jew in the City, Josephs released a video on Dec. 13, "Orthodox Jewish All Stars." The video features a range of people from various Ortho- dox streams, each in some way defying a stereotype of parochialism. They include retiring United States Sen. Joseph Lieberman, best-selling mys- tery novelist Faye Kellerman, basketball star Tamir Good- man, Top 10 recording artist Alex Clare, and former HBO senior writer/producer Jamie Geller. The list goes on: comedian Mendy Pellin, professional boxer Dmitriy Salita, the a cap- pella group The Maccabeats, Rhodes scholar and Princeton graduate Miriam Rosenbaum, and the founder of Sharsheret, a nonprofit breast cancer sup- port group, Rochelle Shoretz, who was also a Supreme Court law clerk. Josephs, who grew up in Florham Park, N.J., said her Conservative family regarded Orthodox Jews as "weird and fanatical," totally removed from normal contemporary life. That changed for her in her teens. She became obser- vant herself, and eventually her family came to share her acute awareness of the nega- tive stereotypes surrounding the Orthodox. "When I started Jew in the City in 2007 I made a list of the biggest misconceptions about observant Jews, and this was one of the worst: So many people believe that all Orthodox men have to be rab- bis and that Or thodoxwomen can only be homemakers," she told NJJN. "I wanted to face that myth head-on." Her own spiritual path, Josephs said, began when she was 8, when a despairing father who lived just a few houses away shot his two children" and then himself. "I had the happiest life," said Josephs, "but that brush with death made me aware of the fragility of life, and that nothing I was doing--not my grades or my friendships or my dance class--w6uld last. I had a yearning for to find something that would last beyond this world." She found it at the com- munity's Central Hebrew High School, which was held on the Kushner campus in West Caldwell (and later in Livingston). "I'd always thought ob- servant Jews were these creepy types, but here were people living with purpose and meaning. I came out of the first lesson"--on Pirkei Avot--"with my soul on fire, walking on air," she said. She went on to get a degree from Columbia University, but before that--and ever since--continued her Torah studies. One of her cherished study partners is Mayim Bi- alik, the star of the TV show "Blossom" and now a regular on "The Big Bang Theory." Working with Josephs is Hillside native Leah Roth- stein, a graduate of the Jewish Educational Center's Bruriah High School for Girls in Eliza- beth. She joinedthe JITC crew in 2009 and is now its director of marketing and operations. Rothstein also serves as pro- duction assistant for some of the videos Josephs posts on her blog, and helped create two of the segments on the "Superstars" video. Both women have heard objections that their website, in its portrayal of assertive Orthodox women and frank discussion of sexual matters, • lacks "tznius," or modesty. But, Rothstein said, she believes in "using the power of the Internet as a vehicle for good, such as increasedaware- ness of Judaism and Torah." Josephs said while some might disapprove of the pub- lic nature of what she does, she is comfortable that what drives her is good. "My greatest dream," she said, "is that every Jew should know about the beauty of what Judaism offers and make their own choice whether to be observant from knowledge and not out of ignorance." To see the video, go to jewinthecity. com or to youtube.com/ watch?v= GFGXzdhtCAM. Elaine Durbach is a staff writer for The New Jersey Jewish News, from which this article was reprinted by permission. PAGE 17A Allison Josephs, left, and Leah Rothstein believe in us- ing the Internet to increase awareness of Judaism and the observant lifestyle, as they've done with the new "Orthodox Jewish All Stars" video. Tension From page 1A In October, when the EU bol- stered its economic sanctions against Iran, Lieberman--the same man who made the Holocaust analogy--sent a letter to Ashton thanking her for the EU's "resolute and important step, worthy of significant appreciation, especially as it has been taken in a difficult economic period [for Europe]." On Dec. 22, those strengthened sanctions officially became EU law. Yet the EU has defied calls from both the U.S. and Israel to officially designate Hezbollah as a terrorist or- ganization, and has drawn criticism from Israel for underemphasizing Hamas's calls for the Jewish state's destruction (a condemnation of Hamas was clause No. 9 of 10 points published by the EU within its succession of condemnations of Israel for E1 construction on Dec. 10). What do European Jews think of the EU's heavy fo- cus on Israel? What are the reasons behind that focus, and what are its implications for Israel's relationships with European nations? JNS. org reports on the Jewish perspective from Germany, Britain and France. Germany The 34-year-old Gabriel Goldberg--who, as the son of Soviet dissidents who moved to Israel, has family living in the Jewish state--said that among many in German society, "the common sense is that Israel is the aggressive entity in the world." He added that it's "in style to have an opinion about the Middle East conflict without any facts." One reason for this, ac-" cording to Goldberg, involves a projection of German guilt over the Holocaust onto Israeli Jews. Many Germans mistakenly believe that the Israeli Jews are "doing no bet- ter than what the Nazis have done" with th Palestinians, Goldberg said. Stephan J. Kramer, Secre- tary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, does not believe that the EU is anti-Israel, nor is Germany. "We know that Chancellor Angela Merkel has a very positive attitude toward the State of Israel, although she has disagreements with the acting premier Netanyahu," • he told JNS.org in a nemai/. Kramer, however, is con- cerned with the danger of European appeasement of the Palestinians. Many EU mem- bers "favored or refrained from opposing the Palestin- ians' [UN] upgrade because they wanted to convey the message of supporting the general idea of Palestinian statehood," according to Kramer. Germany abstained from the vote. Still, Kramer would not go as far as Avigdor Lieberman's Holocaust analogy when it comes to current relations between Israel and Europe, writing "I would draw too many parallels between 1938 and 2012." He explained that Israel today has Germany-- which is rumored to supply the Jewish state with sub, marines--as an ally. Israel also has one of the stroflgest armies in the world, he noted. "The Czechoslovakian government of 1938 would have loved to be in such a situation," Kramer wrote. Another indication that the broader Israel-Europe relationship is positive, ac- cording to Kramer, is that Israel participates in Europe:s scientific programs and contributes technology to European companies. "A few years ago, then minister of economy in Germany, Rainer Brfiderle, said that using Is- raeli innovations could raise German economic growth," he said. ' Goldberg said the EU's top political priority today should not be Israel, but the European economic crisis. "I don't think anti-Semi- tism is rising because of the economic crisis, but it's bur- ied inside the souls of people and it comes out when they have other problems," Gold- berg said. "[The thinking in Europe is] if you have many problems andyou don't know how to solve them, take the easy way out and condemn Israel." Britain British Jewry in gen- eral "tends to avoid talking about" the issue of Israeli construction, according to Sam Westrop, director of the London-based Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy. "Perhaps this is because they feel it really is a flaw within Israeli policy or per- haps it is because they just don't know what to think about it," Westrop told JNS. org. "Whether or not this is a wise course O f action, I am not quite sure:' Westrop believes that the EU's "obsession" with Israeli construction results from two factors. Firstly, he noted the "great deal of people who feel they must apportion blame equally in the Arab- Israeli conflict," people who "despair at Israel's approach while strongly condemning Hamas rocket fire." Secondly, Westrop cited individuals who "genuinely believe" Is- raeli construction "prevents peace." "We just have to look at Abu Mazen's rejection of Israel's peace gestures following the offer of a settlement freeze (for 10 months starting in November 2009) to realize that this just is not true," he wrote in an email. But Dr. Toby Greene, head of research at the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre (BICOM), wrote in an email to JNS. org that it is "reasonable for the EU to press both sides not to take unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of negotiations, meaning the Palestinians should refrain from trying to impose their version of a solution through U.N. resolutions, and Israel should refrain from trying to impose theirs via building in new areas of the territory under dispute." The 14 EU countries vot- ing in favor of upgraded Palestinian U.N. status indi- cates to Westrop a decline in support for Israel among EU members that resulted from "the efficacy of the anti-Israel network in Europe." "The groups that comprise this network have always pursued both ground-up and top-down policy," Westrop wrote. "In other words, they work both at the grassroots level and in national and European politics. Anti-Israel sentiment is legitimized by groups that can claim both the support of leading politi- cians and the thousands of grassroots activists at their command." Westrop criticized Ash- ton--the EU's foreign policy chief--for "condemning plans for Israel to build Givat Hamatos, which she wrongly claims would cut the geo- graphic continuity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem," while at the same time ig- noring "plans to build better housing for Arabs in Belt Safafa." Until "EU money stops funding anti-Israel and pro- terror propaganda groups, people like Ashton should not be dictating to others at all," Westrop added. Greene,• however, noted that the EU "has also been consistently calling for the Palestinians to get back to the table without precondi- tions." "It is important to note that Britain demanded a Palestinian commitment to re -enter negotiations without preconditions as a condition for voting yes and the Pales- tinians refused to provide it," Greene wrote. Furthermore, when con- demning Israel's construc- tion plans in E1 on Dec. 10, the EU also said it "finds inflammatory statements by Hamas leaders that deny Israel's right to exist unac- ceptable." France While Germany and Brit- ain abstained from the UN vote on the Palestinians' upgraded status, France voted in favor of the upgrade and staunchly supported it publicly. At a time when France has a number of other domestic and international issues already on its plate, • some might attribute its tough line on Israel to newly elected Socialist president Francois Hollande. Writing in Haaretz just before the French presidential election in May 2012, Richard Prasquier, president of the representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), was highly skeptical of Hollande's left-wing coalition. "The main question that arises for the Jewish com- munity, if FranCois Hollande becomes the president of France, is the influence that might be exerted by those Socialist leaders who have negative views towards Is- rael's policies," he wrote. Hoilande enjoys the sup- ort of the majority of F(ench people on the issue of Pales- tinian statehood. "Public opinion has been quite supportive [of the Pal- estinian U.N. vote]," Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Com- mittee's (AJC) Paris office, told JNS.org. France, which has Eu- rope's largest Jewish com- munity, has also garnered significant, attention over the past year for a rise in anti-Semitism, especially after last March's Islamist terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse that left a rabbi and three children dead. But despite the growirig tensions between France and Israel, the recent spurt of anti-Semitism appears un- related, according to Rodan- Benzaquen. Instead, many attribute the rise of French anti-Semitism directly to the growing radical Islamic pres- ence in the country, which has Europe's largest Muslim population. "What is worrying now, since the murders in Tou- louse, [is that] there has been an increase in anti-Semitic attacks unrelated to the Middle East events," Rodan- Benzaquen said. 00G00eenspace CommercJal Landscape Maintenance Inc. Commercial, Office, Residential Complete Lawn & Shrub Maintenance Ucensed Insured Professional/Reasonable/Free Estimate k)v/ (Jr e uour sourG@ t-OF: Invitations  Brochures Leerheads - Envelopes . Business Cords Programs • FIuers Post Cards • Forms Digital Photographu . Labels Direct Moil [ 407.767,7110 / ..... tegantprinting.net 205th Stree, " ; Longwo,:d: FL32750 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Videos, website highlight Jews thriving in mainstream By Elaine Durbach New Jersey JewiSh News For those who harbor stereotypes about Orthodox Jews and how their beliefs limit their career options, Allison Josephs has created an antidote. The creator and moving force behind the Internet site Jew in the City, Josephs released a video on Dec. 13, "Orthodox Jewish All Stars." The video features a range of people from various Ortho- dox streams, each in some way defying a stereotype of parochialism. They include retiring United States Sen. Joseph Lieberman, best-selling mys- tery novelist Faye Kellerman, basketball star Tamir Good- man, Top 10 recording artist Alex Clare, and former HBO senior writer/producer Jamie Geller. The list goes on: comedian Mendy Pellin, professional boxer Dmitriy Salita, the a cap- pella group The Maccabeats, Rhodes scholar and Princeton graduate Miriam Rosenbaum, and the founder of Sharsheret, a nonprofit breast cancer sup- port group, Rochelle Shoretz, who was also a Supreme Court law clerk. Josephs, who grew up in Florham Park, N.J., said her Conservative family regarded Orthodox Jews as "weird and fanatical," totally removed from normal contemporary life. That changed for her in her teens. She became obser- vant herself, and eventually her family came to share her acute awareness of the nega- tive stereotypes surrounding the Orthodox. "When I started Jew in the City in 2007 I made a list of the biggest misconceptions about observant Jews, and this was one of the worst: So many people believe that all Orthodox men have to be rab- bis and that Or thodoxwomen can only be homemakers," she told NJJN. "I wanted to face that myth head-on." Her own spiritual path, Josephs said, began when she was 8, when a despairing father who lived just a few houses away shot his two children" and then himself. "I had the happiest life," said Josephs, "but that brush with death made me aware of the fragility of life, and that nothing I was doing--not my grades or my friendships or my dance class--w6uld last. I had a yearning for to find something that would last beyond this world." She found it at the com- munity's Central Hebrew High School, which was held on the Kushner campus in West Caldwell (and later in Livingston). "I'd always thought ob- servant Jews were these creepy types, but here were people living with purpose and meaning. I came out of the first lesson"--on Pirkei Avot--"with my soul on fire, walking on air," she said. She went on to get a degree from Columbia University, but before that--and ever since--continued her Torah studies. One of her cherished study partners is Mayim Bi- alik, the star of the TV show "Blossom" and now a regular on "The Big Bang Theory." Working with Josephs is Hillside native Leah Roth- stein, a graduate of the Jewish Educational Center's Bruriah High School for Girls in Eliza- beth. She joinedthe JITC crew in 2009 and is now its director of marketing and operations. Rothstein also serves as pro- duction assistant for some of the videos Josephs posts on her blog, and helped create two of the segments on the "Superstars" video. Both women have heard objections that their website, in its portrayal of assertive Orthodox women and frank discussion of sexual matters, • lacks "tznius," or modesty. But, Rothstein said, she believes in "using the power of the Internet as a vehicle for good, such as increasedaware- ness of Judaism and Torah." Josephs said while some might disapprove of the pub- lic nature of what she does, she is comfortable that what drives her is good. "My greatest dream," she said, "is that every Jew should know about the beauty of what Judaism offers and make their own choice whether to be observant from knowledge and not out of ignorance." To see the video, go to jewinthecity. com or to youtube.com/ watch?v= GFGXzdhtCAM. Elaine Durbach is a staff writer for The New Jersey Jewish News, from which this article was reprinted by permission. PAGE 17A Allison Josephs, left, and Leah Rothstein believe in us- ing the Internet to increase awareness of Judaism and the observant lifestyle, as they've done with the new "Orthodox Jewish All Stars" video. Tension From page 1A In October, when the EU bol- stered its economic sanctions against Iran, Lieberman--the same man who made the Holocaust analogy--sent a letter to Ashton thanking her for the EU's "resolute and important step, worthy of significant appreciation, especially as it has been taken in a difficult economic period [for Europe]." On Dec. 22, those strengthened sanctions officially became EU law. Yet the EU has defied calls from both the U.S. and Israel to officially designate Hezbollah as a terrorist or- ganization, and has drawn criticism from Israel for underemphasizing Hamas's calls for the Jewish state's destruction (a condemnation of Hamas was clause No. 9 of 10 points published by the EU within its succession of condemnations of Israel for E1 construction on Dec. 10). What do European Jews think of the EU's heavy fo- cus on Israel? What are the reasons behind that focus, and what are its implications for Israel's relationships with European nations? JNS. org reports on the Jewish perspective from Germany, Britain and France. Germany The 34-year-old Gabriel Goldberg--who, as the son of Soviet dissidents who moved to Israel, has family living in the Jewish state--said that among many in German society, "the common sense is that Israel is the aggressive entity in the world." He added that it's "in style to have an opinion about the Middle East conflict without any facts." One reason for this, ac-" cording to Goldberg, involves a projection of German guilt over the Holocaust onto Israeli Jews. Many Germans mistakenly believe that the Israeli Jews are "doing no bet- ter than what the Nazis have done" with th Palestinians, Goldberg said. Stephan J. Kramer, Secre- tary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, does not believe that the EU is anti-Israel, nor is Germany. "We know that Chancellor Angela Merkel has a very positive attitude toward the State of Israel, although she has disagreements with the acting premier Netanyahu," • he told JNS.org in a nemai/. Kramer, however, is con- cerned with the danger of European appeasement of the Palestinians. Many EU mem- bers "favored or refrained from opposing the Palestin- ians' [UN] upgrade because they wanted to convey the message of supporting the general idea of Palestinian statehood," according to Kramer. Germany abstained from the vote. Still, Kramer would not go as far as Avigdor Lieberman's Holocaust analogy when it comes to current relations between Israel and Europe, writing "I would draw too many parallels between 1938 and 2012." He explained that Israel today has Germany-- which is rumored to supply the Jewish state with sub, marines--as an ally. Israel also has one of the stroflgest armies in the world, he noted. "The Czechoslovakian government of 1938 would have loved to be in such a situation," Kramer wrote. Another indication that the broader Israel-Europe relationship is positive, ac- cording to Kramer, is that Israel participates in Europe:s scientific programs and contributes technology to European companies. "A few years ago, then minister of economy in Germany, Rainer Brfiderle, said that using Is- raeli innovations could raise German economic growth," he said. ' Goldberg said the EU's top political priority today should not be Israel, but the European economic crisis. "I don't think anti-Semi- tism is rising because of the economic crisis, but it's bur- ied inside the souls of people and it comes out when they have other problems," Gold- berg said. "[The thinking in Europe is] if you have many problems andyou don't know how to solve them, take the easy way out and condemn Israel." Britain British Jewry in gen- eral "tends to avoid talking about" the issue of Israeli construction, according to Sam Westrop, director of the London-based Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy. "Perhaps this is because they feel it really is a flaw within Israeli policy or per- haps it is because they just don't know what to think about it," Westrop told JNS. org. "Whether or not this is a wise course O f action, I am not quite sure:' Westrop believes that the EU's "obsession" with Israeli construction results from two factors. Firstly, he noted the "great deal of people who feel they must apportion blame equally in the Arab- Israeli conflict," people who "despair at Israel's approach while strongly condemning Hamas rocket fire." Secondly, Westrop cited individuals who "genuinely believe" Is- raeli construction "prevents peace." "We just have to look at Abu Mazen's rejection of Israel's peace gestures following the offer of a settlement freeze (for 10 months starting in November 2009) to realize that this just is not true," he wrote in an email. But Dr. Toby Greene, head of research at the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre (BICOM), wrote in an email to JNS. org that it is "reasonable for the EU to press both sides not to take unilateral actions that prejudge the outcome of negotiations, meaning the Palestinians should refrain from trying to impose their version of a solution through U.N. resolutions, and Israel should refrain from trying to impose theirs via building in new areas of the territory under dispute." The 14 EU countries vot- ing in favor of upgraded Palestinian U.N. status indi- cates to Westrop a decline in support for Israel among EU members that resulted from "the efficacy of the anti-Israel network in Europe." "The groups that comprise this network have always pursued both ground-up and top-down policy," Westrop wrote. "In other words, they work both at the grassroots level and in national and European politics. Anti-Israel sentiment is legitimized by groups that can claim both the support of leading politi- cians and the thousands of grassroots activists at their command." Westrop criticized Ash- ton--the EU's foreign policy chief--for "condemning plans for Israel to build Givat Hamatos, which she wrongly claims would cut the geo- graphic continuity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem," while at the same time ig- noring "plans to build better housing for Arabs in Belt Safafa." Until "EU money stops funding anti-Israel and pro- terror propaganda groups, people like Ashton should not be dictating to others at all," Westrop added. Greene,• however, noted that the EU "has also been consistently calling for the Palestinians to get back to the table without precondi- tions." "It is important to note that Britain demanded a Palestinian commitment to re -enter negotiations without preconditions as a condition for voting yes and the Pales- tinians refused to provide it," Greene wrote. Furthermore, when con- demning Israel's construc- tion plans in E1 on Dec. 10, the EU also said it "finds inflammatory statements by Hamas leaders that deny Israel's right to exist unac- ceptable." France While Germany and Brit- ain abstained from the UN vote on the Palestinians' upgraded status, France voted in favor of the upgrade and staunchly supported it publicly. At a time when France has a number of other domestic and international issues already on its plate, • some might attribute its tough line on Israel to newly elected Socialist president Francois Hollande. Writing in Haaretz just before the French presidential election in May 2012, Richard Prasquier, president of the representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), was highly skeptical of Hollande's left-wing coalition. "The main question that arises for the Jewish com- munity, if FranCois Hollande becomes the president of France, is the influence that might be exerted by those Socialist leaders who have negative views towards Is- rael's policies," he wrote. Hoilande enjoys the sup- ort of the majority of F(ench people on the issue of Pales- tinian statehood. "Public opinion has been quite supportive [of the Pal- estinian U.N. vote]," Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Com- mittee's (AJC) Paris office, told JNS.org. France, which has Eu- rope's largest Jewish com- munity, has also garnered significant, attention over the past year for a rise in anti-Semitism, especially after last March's Islamist terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse that left a rabbi and three children dead. But despite the growirig tensions between France and Israel, the recent spurt of anti-Semitism appears un- related, according to Rodan- Benzaquen. Instead, many attribute the rise of French anti-Semitism directly to the growing radical Islamic pres- ence in the country, which has Europe's largest Muslim population. "What is worrying now, since the murders in Tou- louse, [is that] there has been an increase in anti-Semitic attacks unrelated to the Middle East events," Rodan- Benzaquen said. 00G00eenspace CommercJal Landscape Maintenance Inc. Commercial, Office, Residential Complete Lawn & Shrub Maintenance Ucensed Insured Professional/Reasonable/Free Estimate k)v/ (Jr e uour sourG@ t-OF: Invitations  Brochures Leerheads - Envelopes . Business Cords Programs • FIuers Post Cards • Forms Digital Photographu . Labels Direct Moil [ 407.767,7110 / ..... tegantprinting.net 205th Stree, " ; Longwo,:d: FL32750