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January 27, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 27, 2017

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Editorials ..................................... 4A Op-Ed .......................................... 5A Calendar ...................................... 6A SceneAround ............................. 9A Synagogue Directory ................ 11A JTANews Brie ........................ 13A Participants in the Orlando Jewish Day School Spelling Bee proudly display their medals. compete in Effort will always lead to success. Believe anything else, and you are be- lieving a falsehood. The Talmud states, "if someone says I worked hard but was not successful, don't believe him." This famous adage is part of the inner fabric that makes up the instructional aspect of Orlando Jewish Day School (OJDS). It is taught to the students at a young age to instill within them the desire to work hard, and the knowledge that if they try, they truly can succeed at anything. On Jan. 15, at OJDS, this phrase was put to the test. Thirty contestants com- peted in an elementary school spelling bee. Each participant stood on stage and competed by level until only one student remained. The youngwinner, fifth-grader Esther Menoni, will continue her com- petition at a national level. The exciting events are not over though, and students are already look- ing forward to the next one: Hour of Code. OJDS will be hosting an open session during which students from all schools can join to learn how to write code. They will be taught how to program computer games or simple computer commands. The school's director, Chani Konikov, values the experience the students will gain by learning about writing code in such a hands-on way. "Computer science is an instrumental part of our future. Our children must have a real knowledge about it and feel comfortable experimenting in the field," stated Konikov. She believes it is important to make the session an open one so that each student in her school sees they are part of a larger academic community. The tolerance and respect that comes from doing shared events with the academic community beyond OJDS helps its students feel connected, and further inspires their belief that with hard work, their dreams are within reach. NEW YORK--A wave of bomb threats Wednesday morning caused 27 Jewish community centers in 17 states to quickly engage in security protocols to ensure the safety of their participants and facilities. Many quickly re- ceived the all-clear from local law enforcement, with whom they are working closely, and have resumed regular opera- tions. This is the second time this month that multiple JCCs =7 .p _=- o -- n --. ** .=- =- I c F- (~ U) have received bomb threats in a single day. Paul Goldenberg, the di- rector of Secure Community Networks (SCN), said there were bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers, schools and other institu- tions in Miami; Edison, New Jersey; Cincinnati; Alabama, and on the West Coast. News reports also cited threats in Albany, New York; Nashville; suburban Boston and Detroit; West Hartford, Connecticut, and the Orlando area. Whether the institutions, which include schools and community centers, evacu- ated depended on the prac- tices of local law enforcement, Goldenberg said. Here in Maitland, the JCC also received a bomb threat call and went under pre- cautionary lockdown at the recommendation of federal and local law enforcement, rather than evacuation. Keith Dvorchik, The Roth Family JCC CEO, sent an email to JCC members and school parents stating, "Our history has strengthened us with superior awareness and acknowledgement of life's reality--that we must create a secure environment for our children, families and employees. We have taken enormous steps to make our campus safe with thought- ful and appropriate security protections and protocols; we know what to do." Law enforcement closed Maitland Avenue and Maitland Blvd. in the adjacent areas, and parents were told not to come pick up their children. This not only affected the campus, but area businesses. Dental Associates of Maitland is directly across Maitland Avenue from the JCC campus. Bernard Kahn, DDS, told the Heritage that patients on their way for appointments were diverted and all appointments were delayed for later in the day. Patients already there did not have to leave. "It is a burden, but we did not have to evacuate," Kahn stated. The calls are similar to those received by JCCs last week when 16 centers in nine states received fake bomb threats, causing many evacuations and a disruption to normal operations. JCC Association of North America praised the JCC professionals who relied on established best practices and continue to col- laborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of all who use and benefit from their facilities. Members of the Orlando Jewish community may not be aware that the Maitland JCC is part of the Secure Community Network, a national network that is an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of NorthAmerica that monitors, advises and supports the safety and se- curity of Jewish institutions. David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of NorthAmerica, who helps to advise local JCCs on security policies and practices, issued the below statement: "In the wake of last week's calls, JCCs were well-prepared for the calls received today. Many JCC leaders took part in a webinar organized quickly by JCC Association, featuring officials from SCN and the Department of Homeland Se= curity to address concerns and procedures. Lessons learned and best practices discussed were clearly on display this morning, and we applaud our JCCs for responding calmly and efficiently. Many JCCs not affected lastweek took the op- portunity to review their own security plans, and speak with local law enforcement. Goldenberg said his orga- nization was consulting with federal authorities, including the FBI and the Department Threats on page 15A (JTA)--Reacting to the inaugural address of President Donald Trump, Jewish groups stuck to their ideological bearings. The Conference of Presi- dents of Major American Jew- ish Organizations praised the unifying portions of Trump's speech and called on him to safeguard Israel's security and other Jewish interests. "We welcome President Trump's acknowledgement of the need to heal the divisions in our country, to improve the lives of all Americans, to reinforce alliances and to strengthen our security," the statement said. "We look forward to working with Presi- dent Trump and his adminis- tration to deepen the historic special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, enhance the safety and security of the Jewish state and its people and on other issues of vital importance to the American Jewish community." While Trump promised to "reinforce old alliances and form new ones," he also said the United States "subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.'" "We've defended other na- tion's borders while refusing to defend our own, and spent tril- lions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay," the new U.S. leader said. The Zionist Organization of America, a right-wing group whose leaders have praised Trump, congratulated him on "initiating a great new era of the United States of America." ZOA also praised Trump for using a verse quoted often by Jews from the Bible. In his speech, Trump said, "The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity." "We appreciate our new President's determination to eliminate the scourge of Reactions on page 15A Jewish Academy of Orlando students made peace signs in remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, Jan. 16, was avery special day for the students at the Jewish Academy of Orlando. The students did not take the day off of school in commemoration of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; rather, the students were in school, where the entire curriculum for the day was dedicated to learn- ing about civil rights, toler- ance, peace and acceptance. The students spent the day participating in meaningful activities to honor Dr. King. The students began the day with a school-wide service dedicated to the life of Dr. King, led by the fifth-grade students. The students then participated in library activi- ties where the school librari- an, Mrs. Sugiuchi, read a story, which was followed by creat- ing a banner of their "dream" homes. Back in the classroom, the students watched a mov- ing video about the life Dr. King. After discussing the video, the students took on the task of writing their own speech about something they felt strongly about. They added a picture/word collage around their speech supporting their passion for the cause. They ended their day by creating individual peace signs with theirartteacher, Ms. Santana. All in all, the students really enjoyed working together to gain a better understanding of who Martin Luther King, Jr. was and how he impacted our society. While many schools both locally and around the country were not in session, the Jew- ish Academy believes that it is through educationthatwe can change our world. We believe that the late Dr. King, may his memory be a blessing always, would have appreciated that. For more information about the Jewish Academy of Orlando or to arrange a visit to the school, please contact Alan Rusonik, Head of School, at or 407-647-0713. 6 Illl!D!!!ll! l! U!I IIl