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February 12, 2016     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 12, 2016

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 12, 2016 PAGE 3A The annual conference of Chabad representativesended Monday with a resounding affirmation of the preeminent place of the woman in Jewish life and community. Some 3,000 women from 87 countries attended the International Conference of Shluchos (female emis- saries) at Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters in Brooklyn. Among the thousands of women, five Orlando wom- en participated in the five- day conference; Devorah Leah Dubov, co-director of Chabad of Greater Orlando; Chani Konikov, co-director of Chabad of South Orlando; Shaina Zibell, Cteen director of Metro Orlando; Chan- shy Majesky, co-director of Chabad of North Orlando; and Rivkie Lipskier, co- director of Chabad at UCF. At its conclusion, partici- pants were fired up with new energy. Majesky said she is heading back with "bolder vision for my community." The conference provided her "with a rich takeaway that has helped sharpen my focus and has given me new ideas and enhanced skills for the benefit of my community." Each embracing multiple roles and responsibilities, the women explored relevant issues and learned from pro- fessionals and colleagues with .years of experience. Among the topics that covered the gamut of their concerns: Rais- infi a Large Family; Mental Health Issues; Events Market- ing; Understanding Troubled Relationships; Fundraising; Inclusion; and a conference within the conference for Hebrew School and Preschool directors. Sessions were thoughtfully targeted to address the differ- ent demographics served by Chabad. Campus leaders, for example (there are at least 240 women serving in leadership positions on campuses in the U.S. and abroad), found sessions like Raising a Family on Campus, Life on Campus: Psychodynamic Counseling forAnxiety, and Chabad House on a Budget, highly useful and informative. The conference included a parallel track for lay lead- ers, organized and planned by a board of women, each a Chabad representative. "These are the pillars of our communitywho are true part- ners with us," said Konikov, who was joined this year by a member of her community. Lectures and workshops Shown here (l-r): Shulamit Konikov, Chabad of Treasure Coast, FL; Lieba Konikov, Chabad of Fort Lee, NJ; Chani Ezagui, Chabad of Greater Daytona Beach FL; Raizy Rosenfeld, Chabad of Treasure Coast; Devorah Leah Dubov, Chabad of Greater Orlando; Debbie Konikov, Chanie Konikov, Chabad of Roslyn, N~,. Didi KonikovmChabad of Greater Daytona Beach, FL, Chani Konikov--Chabad of South Orlando; Chanshy Majesky, Chabad of North Orlando; Chaya Ezagui, Chabad of Seattle, WA; Tzivie Ezagui, Chabad of Palm Coast FL; and Chaya Konikov. aside, the opportunity to spend time with other like- minded women from so many disparate countries and cultures who are part of a worldwide project inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe's love for each and every Jew, gave the participants, especially those going back to far and isolated outposts, an exhila- rating sendoff. "This was truly a larger- than:life experience," said Zibell at the conference's Sunday banquet gala. "It illuminated the power of the Jewish woman to lead-- drawing on the strength of our tradition--with wisdom, as it focused on women who effect real, meaningful change with courage and creativity." ler encourages By Caleb R. Newton The Central Florida Jewish Community was honored to welcome elite Israel Defense Orlando Hadassah is pre- paring for the Bunny Rosen Women's Heart Health Lun- cheon and Fashion Show on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 11:30 a.m. at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park. Having experienced the perfect combination of great food, great service and a great venue last year, Orlando Hadassah will again hold its annual charitable event at The Alfond Inn whose profits go to the scholarship fund of Rollins College. The fashion show will fea- Forces (IDF) soldier and Jewish National Fund (JNF)/ Halutza Liaison Yedidya Har- ush to a Feb. 2 evening event in Winter Park, hosted by the The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is hosting a Community Education Event on "Combating the Delegitimization of Israel" on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Roth JCC Auditorium, 851 North MaitlandAvenue in Maitland. The Federation is pleased to welcome Avi Weinryb, assistant director of Com- munity Strategy and Com- munications at the Jewish Federations of NorthAmerica (JFNA)'s Israel Action Net- ture clothing and accessories by Chico's Winter Park. This year's theme is "Masquerade," therefore the names of the models cannot be revealed. The event also features unique vendors, and a Chinese auc- tion. Hadassah promotes "Every Beat Counts" throughout the U.S. and worldwide to get the word out to women that cardiac screenings are a key factor in heart disease pre- vention. "Every Beat Counts" is a pioneer in preventing heart disease in women work, who will lead the event. Attendees will learn how to engage in effective Israel advocacy in the face of campaigns such as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion. "We are delighted for the opportunity to offer this out- standing programming from the Israel Action Network," said Olga Yorish, JFGO's ex- ecutive director. "And we are grateful to Central Florida division of the JNF Young Professionals Group, JNFuture. Harush was, in the midst of his career in the IDF, involved through the development of heart-health programs, educational materials and awareness campaigns that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Meal choices are Herbed Salmon or Eggplant Rollatini. Couvert is $45 and tables of 10 are available. For reservations please mail your check made out to Hadassah, your Meal Choice and Table Reservation to: Orlando Hadassah, 1040 Bloomsbury Run, Heathrow, FL 32746. JFNA for making it possible for Avi Weinryb to share his expertise directly with our community. We look forward to an evening of highly rel- evant content that helps us all advocate for our beloved Israel." This event is free thanks to the generosity of the Jew- ish Federations of North America. Event Registration is required at israel2016. Note thatyou must show a photo ID to enter the Roth JCC. in the 2014 operation to find the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping of the three boys immediately prior to Operation Protective Edge, known to some as the Sum- mer 2014 Gaza war. Harush had the simple yet profound message for the attendees on Feb. 2; as he stated it, "Our homeland is your homeland as well and we build it together." Harush's work with the JNF helps develop the Halutza Community in the Israeli Negev, and his perspective on this work of building up the Jewish homeland of the land of Israel he summed up in a succinct statement, namely, "To make a difference in Is- rael, you have to be a player, not in the audience." Harush's perspective is born of decades on intimate experience with the most volatile components of life in the land of Israel. Hewas born in the community of Atzmona in Gush Katif, the formerly existing Jewish community in the Gaza Strip. Harush was, as a teenager, forced out of Gaza, along with the rest of his community, in the 2005 Israeli Disengagement from the region. He described the experience of being forced from his home by the Israel Defense Forces, as "tough," and a "shock." He chose to not become an- gry toward Israel because of the experience, however; in- stead, he "resigned himself" to his new Circumstances and "moved on," determined to work to make a difference. He took one opportunity to do so by working as a para- trooper in the IDF, telling of an important symbolic learning experience on his first day in the IDF. On that day, his unit was directed to carry stretchers with sand bags atop them. Normally, as Harush told it, those who carry stretchers have replacements available; this time, everyone carried a stretcher and no one had an available replacement, with everyone walking the entire distance. For his unit, the stretcher represented the State of Israel and their walk with no replacement represented the soldiers' unshakeable responsibility for the security of the Israeli nation. As Harush described it, strong resolve and an intense personal strength is a core part of the specialness of the State of Israel and its people. The terrorism that faces the people of Israel seeks to break the Israel spirit, as Harush also related, and fighting the terror therefore involves building up life at an ever- increasing rate as the Israelis and their supporters do. An audience member re- lated his own stories on this same subject, telling how, in one instance he saw an in-use Israeli clothesline strung right up to a pockmarked wall in Jerusalem; while, another time, he was at a kibbutz and completely unaware of a ma- jor military skirmish going on in the immediate vicinity. He only found out about the incident from news sources "the next day! In the face of continuous personal threats, the Israelis are forced to focus on per- sonal security and livelihood, which allows for the uniquely Israeli response of continu- ing and growing daily life as they do in the midst of daily Yedidya Harush lethal threats. "Life in Israel is peaceful," Harush told his listeners. "Try to walk around Israel, and you'll feel it; you're safe and constantly watched by people to keep you safe." Going forward, Israeli life really is growing, too. About a month ago, Harush said, Israeli Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz dedicated what is now the largest solar field in Israel, located in the Halutza community in the Negev, and he also told of a current major project to pave the road to Be'ersheva, which would cut down the travel time from 1 hour to only 20 minutes. JNFuture "engages and energizes young leaders who are committed to environ- mentalism and community development in Israel." The group will be holding a gala at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center on Feb. 16. Caleb R. Newton is a global affairs analyst living in Cen- tral Florida and the founder of Global News Breakdown. Find him at Global News Breakdown, Dissecting Soci- ety, and the Times of Israel. Contact him at calebrnew- ton@globalnewsbreakdown. com.