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HE FLORIDA Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ................................. 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A Classified ................................ 2B Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons Obama takes the oath of office, Jan. 20. Waiting for Obama to fill out the Mideast policy machine By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--Pro-Is- rael activists already have a feel for the major players on the Obama administration's foreign policy team, but thelpicture remains fuzzy when it comes to the midlevel appointees and no[ninees--the ones who on a day-to-day level often play the main role in making policy. Still~ as Barack Obama assumed the U.S. presidency last week and faced the fallout from the recent fighting in Gaza, plenty of names were in the mix: Dennis Ross, the Clinton ad- ministration's top Middle East peace broker, will be back in a job that--it's hard to finish the sentence, even when you hear it from the closest insiders. Ross' emphasis is supposed to be Iran--but will that decrease his influence on Israel-Palestinian talks? During the campaign, Ross / By Lyn Payne Associate Editor said the Israel-Palestinian track should be de-emphasized because as long as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in the West Bank could not come together, it was futile. Obama has sent out strong signals, especially in the wake of the Gaza Strip war, that he plans to be very much involved. Ross also favors accelerating the Iran process--in other words, inten- sifying sanctions now, and when the punishment has sunk in, holding out the carrots of engagement. It's an approach that would play out against a behind-the-scenes Iran policy battle now under way in Washington: Doves want to wait out the Iranian presidential election in June because they don't want to hand incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a prize for his extremism ("You see, my Holocaust denial worked!"). Hawks say that if there's going to be outreach, do it now, that we need to assess where Iran is before it manufactures a nuclear weapon--an eventuality Israelis believe may hap- pen before the year ends. Ross' approach--hurrying along sanctions, delaying outreach-- would seem to draw on strategies from both camps. Dan Shapiro and Puneet Talwar are said to be splitting Middle East policy at the National Security Coun- cil. Shapiro, who is to handle Israel- related issues, was a senior adviser on Jewish issues to Obama during the campaign and one of his top surrogates to the community. Until he j oined the campaign, S hapiro was a private consultant, but has many years as a staffer in the U. S. House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate behind him. As a staffer for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in 2003, Shapiro was key in shepherding the Syrian Ac- Mideast on page 19A Segal seeks mayor slot Orange County Commissioner Bill Segal says he saw the current financial meltdown coming three years ago and turned his real estate and stock holdings into cash in anticipation of the crisis. "It was clear where this country was head- ing with the reckless lending," he told the Heritage. "What the federal government allowed to happen was criminal." Two weeks ago, segal, a Demo- crat who represents District 5, declared his candidacy for the position of Orange County Mayor in the 2010 election. He thinks his business savvy--which includes a degree from the University of Miami's business administration school and years working as a general contractor--will help him deal with whatever financial crises the county may face in the years ahead. "I don't know where we're going to be" fiscally in 2010, he said. Andrea Kudlacz Bill Segai announced his candi- dacy for Orange County Mayor at Leu Gardens on Jan. 14. Segal, a current Orange County commis- sioner, is a lifelong Central Florida resident who became a bar mitzvah at Temple Israel. The county economy "pretty much follows the national economy. What I want to do is preserve and protect the industries that are here," including a growing high- tech industry. Current County Mayor Rich Crotty is term-limited, so the race is wide open for the first time in a decade. According to the Supervisor of Elections, Democratic County Com- missioner Linda Stewart (District 4) and Democratic businessman Tim Adams have also filed to run in that race. The Orlando Sentinel reported that former state Sen. Dan Webster, former County Commissioner Teresa Jacobs, and current Commissioner Mildred Fernandez (all Republicans) are considering entering. Segal was born and raised in the Orlando area, and became a bar mitzvah at Temple Israel when the synagogue was located downtown on Cathcar t and Ridgewood Streets. His father, Martin Segal, grew up in one of the earliest Jewish families in the area and attended Congregation Ohev Shalom in the 1930s. The eider Segal grew up with Jewish Family Services founder George Wolly, and Bill Segal is a past president of JFS who still supports the organization and attends its functions. "The Jewish belief in tzedakah," said Segal, is"the highestvalue of our Segal on page 19A COS honors its presidents Presidential fever has captured the nation, Washington D.C. and Con- gregation Ohev Shalom. On March 8, COS will honor the men and women who have served as president during its 92-year history. "Serving as president of a con- gregation is never an easy job," says Janise Klaiman, co-chair of the event. "As a congregation we want to let the family and friends of our early leaders know that we remember the dedication of those who not only founded Ohev, but also created the foundation of our Jewish community." Sharan Schwartz, co-chair along with Klaiman, expressed the com- mittee's desire to permanently honor the past presidents. "We are very excited about the photo gallery we are creating of all our presidents. Ohev has played such an historic role as the first synagogue in Orlando, and having pictures of presidents dating back to 1917 will also help us honor our rich history. "It is time for us to say thank you again to all our presidents for their guidance, time and leadership." An Evening With the Presidents will start with a tribute to the hon- orees. Rabbi Aaron Rubinger will address the honorees and guests. Burt Chasnov Jeffrey Born- was president of stein served as COS from 1981- COS president 83andagainfrom from 2004- 2002-2004. 2006. Rabbi David Kay will take part in the program, and Cantor Allan Ro- buck will present a special musical tribute. Since this event is also the annual COS spring fundraiser, congregants and guests are encouraged to become sponsors of the commemorative art that will be purchased to per- manently honor the presidents. All sponsors will be acknowledged in the program that evening and will be inscribed on the art display. A com- mittee involved in the design of the new COS building has been asked to COS on page 18A Federation plans third teen trip to Israel GOSIE 09 is for Central Florida teens who want to experience Israel with Israelis. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is planning its third annual Jewish teen trip to Israel in conjunc- tion with the Partnership 2000 pro- gram. The program is called GOSIE 09--Greater Orlando Summer Israel Experience. The three-week trip is for Central Florida teens who have a desire to get to know Israel, the land and the people, intimately. The trip has been designed to give American teens the experience of going to Israel, living in Israel and traveling with Israeli teens. GOSIE 09 is open to current 10th-12th grade Jewish teens. It will depart near the beginning of July and return by the end of July. The total cost per participant is $2,950. More than $1,550 per participant is being subsidized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and Tourico, the travel agent. Applications will be available at the beginning of February. The ap- plication process involves a personal interview, three recommendations and an extensive paper form. Limited financial aid is available by request on a need basis. GOSIE 09 organizers say they are looking for teens with leader- ship qualities, who understand the importance of Israel and want to build on their personal connection to the country. Ideal participants would be involved in Jewish Fife, have a desire to give back to the Jewish community and want to educate others about Israel. There will be an information meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Maitland JCC. All in- terested teens and parents should attend this meeting. RSVPs can be made by contacting Erica Hruby at- beithamidrash@jfgo.org or 407-645- 5933, ext. 251.