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January 18, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 18, 2013

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FL ORIDA AGE JEWISH NEWS Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ................................. 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......... : ............... 9A Classified ................................ 2B Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90/JTA Israeli President Shimon Peres and a snowman on Jan. 10 in the garden of Peres' residence. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow By Linda Gradstein The Media Line Residents of the Holy City woke up to a blanket of white as some six inches of snow fell last week, the largest snowfall since 1992. Schools were canceled, businesses closed and joyful children bundled up to play in the cold white stuff many had never seen or enjoyed. "It's really fun because you can jump in it and not get hurt," a pink-cheeked Shalom Hammer-Kosoy, 8, toldThe Media Line after warning his friends not to throw snowballs at his face. "I remember we had snow once before, but I was really little and didn't like snow then." His friend Yotam Rothberg, also 8, urged him to keep playing in the six inches of snow that had accumulated. "There's no school and I'm having a snowball fight ith my friends," he said with a big grin. "This is the first time I've seen so much snow." Municipal officials urged the city's 760,000 residents to stay off the treacherous roads. In addition to the school closings, of- rices followed suit and for a time, the main entrance to the capital was impassable, highways leading to the city non-functional. "The municipality and the police are coordinating their res;ponse to the weather," .llice spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told The Media Line. "Right mow the city is basically shut down. Ambulances have been equipped with chains on their tires and so farwe have no reports of any emergencies." For the adults, it was an opportunity to enjoy a day-off. Adina Issachar, a personal trainer, said that at least six of her clients called her wanting to see if they could still train with her. One even walked her 1-year- old son over to his daycare center, only to find it closed. "I'm losing so much money today--but I don't care," she told The Media Line. "I'm lying in bedwatching 'Homeland.' It's so much fun." Her husband Yoram, a contractor, also had the day off. He aid he went to syna- gogue at 6 a.m. and as surprised to find 15 people there. "It was beautiful outside and so romantic," he said. "But the snow also does a lot of damage." The snow came after several days of heavy rain pounded all of Israel in the worst storm in a decade. Rescue workers managed to save Israeli soldiers after the bus they were riding in was wept into a,flooded stream in the Negev desert in the southern part of the country. Last Tuesday, two Palestinian women were killed in the West Bank when their car was swept away by flood waters. Their bodies were discovered on Wednesday. An elderly woman in Hebron was killed when a gas heater caught fire in her home. Israeli authorities are estimating the damage caused by the storm throughout the country at more than $250 million, not including lost productivity. But with the snow still on the ground and snowmen ap- pearing throughout the city, Jerusalemites, at least, don't seem to care. The children hope the snow will last a few days and school will stay closed. Their parents, on the other hand, might feel differently. Knesset elections: A reader's guide By Ben Sales when the incumbent Barack TELAVIV (JTA)--Remem- ber the second U.S. presi- dential debate in October, !i m  .cg Obama and challenger Mitt Romney stood about six inches from each other, with one interrupting the other at every turn? Add about a dozen candi- dates, take away the formal rules of debate, switch to Hebrew and you've got a fairly good approximation of the tenor of Israel's current election campaign. Israel's parliamentary system, in which voters choose a party instead of a candidate, makes for some narrowly focused parties and strange bedfellows, though factions do tend to fall in with their natural political allies. Parties submit lists of candidates and their top choices are seated in propor- tion to the party's total share of the vote. This year, 34 parties are officially vying for the Knes- set in the Jan. 22 elections, though only about a dozen are likely to actually cross the threshold necessary to Yossi Zeliger/Flash90/JTA Yair Lapid, founder of the Yesh Atid party, at an economy conference in Tel Aviv on Dec. 25, 2012 presenting a graph similar to the "bomb "graph shown by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations GeneralAssembly three months earlier. The Lapid graph shows the difficulties of the middle class. win seats. They fall broadly into the following major blocs. RIGHT WING Major parties: Israel's biggest political bloc, the right wing has led the polls throughout the campaign and almost definitely will lead the next coalition. Its flagship party is a merger of two factions: the right- wing Likud and the hard- line Yisrael Beiteinu. Likud favors a tough foreign policy and has presided over an expansion of Jewish settle- ments in the West Bank. On economic policy, the party tacks conservative, promot- Guide on page 18A Greenspun to be honored The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center has announced that they will be honoring Helen Greenspun at the annual Dinner of Tribute, scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel on International Drive. Greenspun has been actively involved with the Holocaust Center since it was founded 30 years ago. Almost every week during the school year she has been invited to a class or has been asked to do a pre- sentation at the Center. Over the years, thousands of local students have heard her story. She provided them with more than an eyewitness account of history, by sharing her story as a Holocaust survivor she helped them better understand the enormous losses of the Shoah. She has recently announced her retirement as volunteer speaker, but remains active as a member of the Holocaust Center's Emeritus Board and as an ongoing supporter of the Center and its work. Reservations are now being accepted by phone or online at Helen Greenspun The Center is also planning a Trib- ute Book in Greenspun's honor. One does not need to attend the dinner in order to add a personal message to her.A form that can be printed and filled out is also available on the website. The form for the Tribute Book must- be received before March 1 in order to be included. Detailsaboutthe eveningare available by calling the Center at 407-628-0555. Honoring Dr. King, 2 013 Rabbi David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom organized the Sunday program. He is flanked by the Rev. Bryan Ful- wider, president of the Interfaith Council, and Dr. Claudia Schippert, of the Orlando Zen Center. By Pamela Ruben Special to the Heritage The largest crowd in the history of the Martin Luther King Interfaith Celebration gathered at Orlando's City Hall on Sunday in a year marred by violence, whether by forces of nature or by hu- man hand. The Celebration and Martin Luther King Day Commemoration was co- sponsored by the City of Or- lando's Mayoral Office and the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. The Rev. Jim Coffin, Interfaith Council executive director, said "This day of remembrance is imperative so we don't forget the past. It is a time to review both our successes and failures." Mayor Buddy Dyer ad- dressed the crowd, "The large turnout is a highlight of this weekend's MLK events and demonstrates our commu- nity's commitment to peace. It is my hope that Orlando stands out as an example of religious and cultural diver- sity (in light of world events)." Honoring on page 19A The Rev. Jim Coffin is executive director of the Interfaith Council. Genie Blaher, her son Noah and Carol Lefkov, all members of Congregation Ohev Shalom, were among the 300people in attendance. Illl!!!!!ll!!!!!lllls