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January 24, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 24, 2014 PAGE 5A By Gary Rosenblatt concern about the American anti-Semitism is down; Jews doitintheJewishcommunity this sense, intermarriage sible" for the Reform leader Jewish future based on the feel welcome; we mix easily that is offered uniquely by the may be transmitting Jewish nottopromoteJewsmarrying There was a time when dramatic increase in inter- with others; Jewish North Reform movement." identity toagrowingnumber Jews. "Isn't it an inherent ob- American Jewish families faith weddings are perceived Americans (researchers say) It's true, as Rabbi Jacobs of Americans," write Pew ligation" for him to do so? he sat shiva when a child mar- associologicalandtheological are more admired overall than suggests, that interfaith researchers Greg Smith and asked.Andjustbecauseitmay ried out of the faith. Even Neanderthals, fighting a los- any other religious group. So couples can raise deeply corn- Alan Cooperman. Others say be going against the popular two or three decades ago the ingbattle--indeedthewrong of course you get high inter- mitted Jews. I admire him that only a small percentage grain,"does that mean rabbis prevailing attitude was one one--against a trend that marriage rates--the norm, and his work, and I hope his of adultchildrenofintermar- shouldn't encourageShabbat of disappointment, embar- represents an opportunity incidentally, in the third or movement issuccessfulinits riage marry Jews, and that observance, keeping kosher, rassment and regret, coupled to assure the Jewish future, fourth generation of other ambitious plans to make that based on projections of cur- etc.?" witha parental commitment Consider this excerpt from ethnic groups aswell, happen. But the jury is deft- rentdata, less than l0 percent Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, to make the best ofitandhope the major address given by "In North America today, nitely out, with demographic ofthemwillinturn raise their spiritualleader of ParkAvenue the grandchildren would be Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president being'against'intermarriage expertsdebatingwhetherthe children as Jews. Sociologist Synagogueandaleadingvoice raised as Jews. of the Union for Reform Juda- is like being'against' gravity; glass is half full orhalfempty, Steven M. Cohen cites the in the Conservative move- Times have changed. With ism, at last month's biennial you can say it all you want, based on the findings of the remark of the late American ment, shares that concern. the increase in intermarriage of the Reform movement in but it's a fact of life. Andwhat recent Pew Research Center JewishCommitteesociologist "Thereisadifferencebetween has come greater communal San Diego. would you prefer? More anti- study on Jewish identity. The Milton Himmelfarb when the descriptive condition of acceptance, tothedegreethat "Incredibly enough... I still Semitism?Thatpeopledidnot optimists acknowledge that asked what to call the grand- American Jewry and the role forsomeJewishreligiouslead- hearJewishleaderstalkabout feel as comfortable with us? while it is far more likely that childrenofintermarriedJews, of Jewishleadership.It'snotan ers it is no longer standard to intermarriage as if it were a "In any event, we practice children of intermarriage "Christian," he said. (Cohen either/orproposition,'hesaid, publicly endorse endogamy, or disease," he told some 5,000 outreachbecauseitisgoodfor say they have no religion, adds: "He was approximately adding that his community Jewish in-marriage. For them constituents. "It is not. It is a the Jewish people. Interfaith 59 percent of that cohort 92 percent correct.) "will continue to unapolo- intermarriage is viewed as an result of the open society that couples can raise phenom- who are adults under 30 say Commenting on Rabbi Ja-getically preach the value of opportunity to be embraced, no one here wants to close, enally committed Jewishthey are Jewish, a significant cobs' biennial remarks, Cohen And those who express deep Thesociologyis clear enough; families, especially when they increase in recent years. "In said he thought it "irrespon- Rosenblatt on page 15A By Tilly R. Shames Michigan, an anti-Israel stu- diversity of student perspec- perceive these responses as I agree with the Hillel guide- dent group placed fake evic- tives on Israel," while draw- limiting speech or activism, lines that we should not host Several incidents, seem- tion notices under the doors ing the line at activism that I believe they offer the broad- an event that calls for the ingly centered on Israel, in residence halls to send a delegitimizes Israel, deniesit est possible invitation for destruction of Israel, suchas sparked nationwide reactions message about Palestinian the right to exist, or imposes exchangeanddialoguewithin those furthered by the BDS from academic institutions evictions. The university's boycott, divestmentandsanc- our institutional boundar- movement. Further, I think and Hillels in recent days. I Department of Housing, in tions (BDS). ies. University presidents we also need to consider the would argue, though, that whose name these "eviction The responses of these called for academic freedom limitstoactivismontheright, theyhavemuchlesstodowith notices" were falsely distrib- leaders reveal that our focus and global relationships, and oppose our institutions Israel than we might think, uted, notedthe group was "in should not be on Israel, but The Department of Housing being used by both extremes. First, dozens of univer- violationofHousing'ssolicita- on the freedom of academic called for civil discourse and While some have criticized sity presidents and provosts tion policy" and apologized exchange, freedom topursue dialogue.And Hillel called for Hillel for setting limits, I can around the country rejected immediately to its residents, one's mission, and freedom to diversity, pluralism, andcivil- thinkofnoother Jewish insti- theboycottofIsraeliacademic Lastly, in response to set institutionalboundaries, ity.Tofocusonwhatisoutside tutionwithasbroadamission, institutions recently adopted Swarthmore College Hillel's These incidents challenged of our parameters alone is to as diverse a community, and by the American Studies As- resolution to "open Hillel" Hillels and university ad- ignore the broad expanse of as strong a desire to pursue sociation. In response, they to anti-Zionist speakers, Eric ministrators to consider and what is supported inside our civil discourse and address pointed to the importance of Fingerhut, the president and defineappropriateboundaries institutions, challenging topics as Hillel. freespeechandfreeacademic CEO of Hillel International, for discourse, scholarship Every institution has the A recent defense of Hillel exchange, re-asserted Hillel's Israel and advocacy among the right to pursue its mission International's stance ap- Second.attheUniversityof guidelines by welcoming "a studer tbody.Whilesomemay and establish its boundari , plauded its "censorship" and suggested "anti-Zionists" should not be invited to din- ner. But this response reflects neither our Hillel values, nor what happens in many Hillels. As a Hillel director, I find it profoundly troubling that Hillel's mission is be- ing misconstrued, by both defenders and attackers, to be bound up with censorship and exclusion. Shabbat dinner is just one way inwhich Hillels across the country welcome the diversity of students into their doors. It should not be surprising that we absolutely should be inviting all students into Hil- Shames on page 15A By Uriel Heilman five months after Sharonhad fered from the fickleness in 2001, Israel's responses to subsided. He believed that ing with the 9,000 Jewish completedIsrael'swithdrawal of Palestinian negotiating Palestinian attacks quickly more bloody confrontations settlers and soldiers in the NEW YORK (JTA)--When from the Gaza Strip, andthere partners who had shown grew harsher. One after an- and international isolation GazaStrip, Despite the heart- I first heard about Ariel Sha- was a sense that Sharon was themselves either unwilling other, militant Palestinian lay ahead if Israel were to re- wrenching scenes of Jews be- ron's stroke the first one, in the midst of engineering or unableto deliver onprom- leaders were eliminated in main inextricably tied to the ingdraggedfromtheirhomes a minor brain attack about a historic realignment of the ises of security for Israelis. targeted assassinations car- Palestinians, and he shocked and Palestinians celebrating four weeks before he suffered Israeli-Palestinian conflict First came the bombings of riedoutbythe Israeli military, many longtime supporters atop the ruins of abandoned the massive hemorrhage that one that might even end the the mid-1990s following the In the West Bank, a barrier when he told Likud party Israeli settlements, Sharon would leave him comatose for messy marriage Israel had signing of the Oslo Accords separating Jews from Pales- lawmakers in 2003 that Israel managed to complete the the final eight years of his enduredwiththePalestinians in 1993. Then there were the tinians took shape, keeping could not "keep 3.5 million withdrawal as planned in life I was having dinner at sinceitsconquestsinthe 1967 devastating attacks of the Palestiniansuicidebombersat Palestinians under occupa- the summer of 2005, and the a Jerusalem restaurantwith a Six-Day War. secondintifadaonthe heels of baywhileinvitingaccusations tion" indefinitely, country held its breath to see colleague fromThe Jerusalem But then came news of the the failure of the Camp David against Israel of a land grab. Thus began his effort to what would come next. Post. We both sat transfixed stroke, and suddenly it looked summit between Ehud Barak Though he had managed unilaterally"disengage"Israel as we watched the TV over likefollytopinanation'shopes and Yasser Arafat in 2000. to silence Palestinian attacks from the Palestinians, start- lleilman on page 15A the bar. on an obese septuagenarian. When Sharon was electedwith an iron fist, Sharon did It was December 2005, just For years, Israel had suf- prime minister in a landslide not stop once the attacks had HERITAGE welcomes and encourages let- ters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed and include name and phone number. We will withhold your name ff you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations,we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to Two personal experiences with Ariel Sharon z'l Dear Editor: Two experiences... A person's perception of 1)OK, youmaynotconsider any other individual is always this first experience so "per- influencedbywhatis"public" sonal" as it happened with and what is "personal."about 200 other people--but, There is the public Arik to me it was. During my ten- Sharon--which has been ure as the executive director and will be written about, oftheGreaterOrlandoJewish especially now with hisFederation, thenationalUJA death, organized a three-day 'fly-in' Then there is what I would for community leaders (either call the "personal"--the 1982 or 83) to Israel andwe individual I got to know on a ended up going into south- somewhat personal level, ern Lebanon. Ira Monroe z'l, Howard Lefkowitz and I Sheva area. We took about represented Orlando.Itwasa a dozen of our leaders and trip that I will never forget, donors (1991 or '92, I think We drove into Lebanon to Joe Hess and Bob Levine, and a hilltop of Sidon and were I know that Pam and the late met by the IDF Commander Stan Chais were part of the Arik Sharon. Maps in hand, group) to meet with Sharon he was very patient with us at his ranch to hear from him (many of whom were a little about what the government nervous being so close to wasdoingandwhatJNF'srole ongoing airstrikes--to say was to be. He treated us like the least) explaining in great family. Hosted us for a meal detail what was happening in his ranch, and, of course, andwhyIsraelwasdoingwhat took some of the group on a "it was doing. He took every tractor ride (great solicitation question. Sharon showed a tool). He couldn't have been sense of warmth and caring morecharmingandinterested for his troops, the people in what we asked and had to of Israel, and the people of say. Also an experience I'll Lebanon. never forget. 2) During my tenure as the So, I join the Jewish people national headofthecampaign as we mourn and remember and regional operations for one of Israel's founders and theJNF.weworkedwithAriel heroes, but with a little dif- Sharon who was then head ferent perspective. of the Ministry of Housing. May the Sharon family be JNF was preparing land for comfortedamongthemourn- thousands of housing sites ers of Zion and of Jerusalem. for Russian immigrants who Paul Jeser were to be coming to the Beer Los Angeles [EV YO,E WANTED TO CALLED OUT: