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January 11, 2019
 

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 11, 2019 Shown here (l-r): Mark Goodman, Richard Schwartz and Hilton Geartner. Student members of UCF HiUel. By Christine DeSouza This year's Men's Night Out, the second event of its kind, was again, a suc- cessful venture. While last year's get together could be defined as a reunion among men who hadn't seen each other in a while, this year's event was a coming together of generations. Several UCF and Stetson Hillel members turned out for the good eats and networking with active members of the Jewish com- munity. "We are incredibly grate- ful to the leadership of Fed- eration for extending tickets to Stetson Hillel students," said Sam Friedman, Stetson Hillel director. "By creating a space where the students can network and meet with active members of the Or- lando Jewish community, Federation created an entry point into communal en- gagement post graduation. The gentleman who came to Men's Night Out met with future advisers, mentors, and employers, and that is the best way to bridge the gap between campus and the greater community and ensure our students stay active in the Jewish com- munity post graduation." Not only was the gap bridged, and friendships made, funds were raised for Jewish youth education programs. There were 203 men in at- tendance this year, compared to last year's total of 162. And five synagogues were represented, compared to four last year. As with most "second annu- als," improvementswere made for this year's event, making it an even better success. Andy Rosen said that getting out of the kitchen and letting Arthur's (catering) take over the food was great. While enjoying good food, good drinks and great enter- A table of wise and older-generation gentlemen. tainment by standup comic Cory Kahaney, many men were seen in groups talking with other people they might not have known before this night. Another person, who want- ed to remain anonymous, shared,"It's awonderfui night and getting away from work and family sometimes is a great thing." This event was organized by Congregation Beth Am, Temple Israel, Southwest Orlando Jewish congre- gation, Congregation of Reform Judaism, Congrega- tion Ohev Shalom and The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Fernando Frazao/Agencia Brasil Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, shakes hands with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 28, 2018. By Marcus M. GHban RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA)-- Israeli Prime Minister Benja- min Netanyahu gained pop star status among Brazilians during a five-day visit to the country to attend the inau- guration of the country's new president, Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil's most influential prime time newscasts Jornal Nacional and Fantastico dedicated several minutes to coverage of the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil. The warm feelings between Israel's right-wingprime min- ister and Brazil's most right- wing president in decades played out in public events and social media. They con- trasted with the previous 16 years of tension between the two country's under Brazil's left-wing regimes. "This visit is unique, his- torical, a turnover in the re- lationship between Israel and Brazil. It's a great start of year 2019," Israel's ambassador to Brazil, Yossi Shelley, told JTA. Rio was the starting point for Netanyahu, his wife Sara and son Yair. After landing, the prime minister headed straight to the Copacabana fort, where he was surprised to be awarded by Boisonaro the National Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil's highest national honor for high-ranking guests. "We will be starting a difficult government from January. In order to overcome the obstacles, we'll need good allies, good friends, good brothers. Like Benja- min Netanyahu," Boisonaro said about the only foreign leader he met prior to being sworn in. Bolsonaro also joined Ne- tanyahu at a ceremony Dec. 28 at the Kehilat Yaacov synagogue in the heart of Copacabana, Rio's most heav- ily Jewish neighborhood. Some 500 members of the local 30,000-strong Jewish community attended the ceremony at he Orthodox synagogue, shouting "mito" (Portuguese for myth or legend) at Bolsonaro, and Ne- tanyahu's nickname, "Bibi." "We can't understand that we had to wait over 70 years for an Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil. It's not just friendship, not a pact of inter- est, it's also a pact of brothers," Netanyahu said in Hebrew, calling Boisonaro"yedidi" (my friend) and "mitos." "It is with great honor that today I meet the man that is to me an example of patriotism, austerity and work for his people," Bolsonaro said. "I have always mentioned Israel as an example. Look what they don't have and see what they are. Look at Brazil, look what we have and see what we don't have. We'll be more than just good partners, we'll be brothers." Back at their hotel, the Netanyahus held a private Friday evening Shabbat cer- emony, where Fred@ Glatt, the 90-year-old president of the Brazilian Association of Holocaust Survivors in Rio, offered the Kiddush blessing. "His visit is very positive to show Brazilians the good things about Israel. Despite the leftist people who are usually harsh on him, he is very nice and surprisingly behaved with simplicity," Glatt told JTA. Like most Cariocas, or Rio natives, the Netanyahus chose the beach to enjoy the 95-degree weather on Satur- day morning. While Yair, 27, took a helicopter and went on a yacht ride at a pristine island off Rio, the prime ministerand wife took a stroll that drew the attention of locals and tourists. A scene of the pair eating at a seafront restau- rant fueled a media spectacle. When someone in the crowd of on-lookers yelled "Free Pales- tine," Netanyahu immediately added, "from Hamas." On Sunday, the couple was escorted by Rio state governor Wilson Witzel and his wife for avisit to Sugarloaf Mountain, a city landmark. They headed for the Christ the Redeemer statue that tops the moun- tain, but the prime minister couldn't leave the car for security reasons. At night, the statue was lit up with the blue-and-white colors of the Israeli flag. The Israeli prime minister metwith Jewish officials from several Brazilian states. At a press conference, he high- lighted Israel's innovation and high technology contribu- tions to the world. "President Bolsonaro said he'll move the embassy to Jerusalem. It's not a matter of if, butwhen," Netanyahu told the audience about the Brazil- ian leader's promise during the campaign. "President Trump said the same thing, he moved the embassy. And President Bolsonaro will move the embassy as well." Israel also offered assis- tance to Brazil in domestic security--a key part of Bolso- naro campaign in the crime- ridden country--including what Haaretz called the sale of drones with facial recognition technology. Bolsonaro's pro-lsrael stance during his campaign and Netanyahu's eagerness to embrace the new leader Israel has earned mixed reactions at home. During a briefing with an unnamed "senior Israeli political officer" dur- ing the visit, reporters noted that Bolsonaro has denigrated women, the LGBTQ commu- nity and minorities. "Netanyahu has his own positions and no one can di- minish them, both regarding women and regarding gays," the official replied, according to Haaretz. "He is liberal in these matters, and it's not just political correctness But our relations with countries like Brazil is important. We do not have the privilege of hunkering down in our for- tress of purity." Later, Netanyahu was joined by Witzel and Rio mayor Marcelo Crivella at a meeting with several evan- gelical Christian leaders who, fiercely pro-Israel, played a pivotal role in supporting Bolsonaro's election. Brazil has the world's second-largest Christian population and the largest Catholic population. "We have no better friends in the world than the evan- gelical community, and the evangelical community has no better friend in the world than Israel," Netanyahu said. "You are our brothers and sisters and we protect the rights of Christians." "President Bolsonaro's first name in Hebrew is Yair, which is also the name of our son. It means he who brings Brazil on page 15A