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February 14, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 14, 2003

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JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 14, 2003 Terror Continued from page 1 bureau had received In order to issue a public aleri, he said, the information would have had to be more specific and Credible. f, ' qaen we receive this in- Ormation and it targets a spe- iofi c group, we try to make an .' SSment, and as of now it has not been corroborated," PauIBressonsaid But none- theless, we feel the need to commu i DO dcolm Hoenlein, ex- eCUtive vice chairman of the COnference of Presidents of blajor American Jewish Or- ganizations, downplayed the ~ncern, saying the group s nversations with security fficials indicate no evidence .of increased risk to Jewish Institutions. But Homeland Security SeCretary Tom Ridge said it is better to err on the side of bY warning the Jewish mmunity. "i think its appropriate to drav~ the conclusion that they ar.e Po.!entially a target be- ",ause they have been a tar et elsew g here, and we should an. tci iPate that they could con- ,vably be targets within this Untry as well," Ridge said ;t~ ond.ay on NBC's Today ACcording to Newswefke~ new informatmn warn ~bou+ ,L 6.:j me possibility of Al- -qma attacks on s na o ues Jewisk Y g g , . " ommunitv centers +e lsh or Jewish owned hos 'a lSesYo rUth groups, hotels t.s. Officials said the are un- USually weT .Y- . rlea bOth because mrecentelectronic intercepts that suggest an imminent at- tack as Well as the sheer vol- Ume of reports that have n comin - bee ion. g m mentioning Jew- rgets, the magazine re- rted. , Thn Is a full-court press, ne FBI official Ne told SWeekabout the bureau's - uuen OUtreach to Jewish roups. "There's real anxiety about this." Around the coun- try, officials alerted Jewish or- ganizations which, in turn, took steps to alert their mem- bers and beef up security. The New York Police De- partment notified the Jewish Community Relations Coun- cil of New York, which sent an alert to its agencies last Friday advising them to in- crease vigilance, secure tar- gets and prepare an emer- gency plan. It has advised agencies to determine fortifi- cation and exit strategies with the help of their local police precincts. New York's JCRC also is working with the United Jew- ish Communities, the um- brella group of North Ameri- can Jewish federations, and a panel of professors in emer- gency preparedness at John Jay College of Criminal Jus- tice to produce an emergency planning manual for Jewish organizations The manual, begun after Sept. 11, will advise agencies how to respond to all kinds of worst-case scenarios, from hurricanes to a "sniper sce- nario," said David Pollock, as- sociate executive director of the JCRC. The guide is expected to be distributed in CD format to all North American federa- tions, synagogues and Jewish schools next month. In a statement supported by other elected officials at the Jewish Community Rela- tions Council of New York's annual congressional break- fast Sunday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said,"l think we have to be alert but not alarmed, and I think we have to learn from our friends in Israel how to go on with our lives." In Birmingham, Ala the local FBI liaison to the Jewish community on Feb. 6 contacted Richard Whisenant, head of security for the Jewish community. "He told us not to worry," Whisenant said, "but they j ust wanted us to be on the front line." The FBI has increased patrols at Birmingham syna- gogues and has parked a po- lice car at the Levite Jewish Community Center. Whisenant has turned over the schedule of all commu- nity events for the next few months to the FBI. In addi- tion, a question-and-answer session for the Jewish com- munity with the FB1 is sched- uled for Tuesday. The Washington police de- partment contacted the Anti- Defamation League as well as Arab-American groups last Friday to inform them of the heightened alert and ask for a list of sites that could be tar- geted Sgt. Joe Gentile, director of the office of public infor- mation, said individual po- lice commanders will make the decision about what extra protection to give Jewish sites. But officials at several Jew- ish sites in Washington said security already has been a priority since Sept. 11, and the government's latest an- nouncement did not prompt specific actions or keep people away. "We've been on constant high security," said Alan Carp, assistant executive director of the Washington's Jewish Community Center. Since Sept. 11, JCC mem- bers have had to show identi- fication to enter the building, and additional security staff- ers were hired. In addition, local police tried to beef up their patrols around the cen- ter. But increased security did not stop numerous people from coming to the JCC for classes or to use the fitness facilities. "I think not only is the threat speculative, no one with a modicum of self-re- spect would change their pat- terns of behavior to accom- modate terrorists," said Steven Aftergood, who came to the JCC on Sunday for a Hebrew class. One woman leaving the Manhattan JCC on Monday admitted that the heightened alert had raised her concern. Continued from page 1 and 2000, Miller se IJnited S rved on the tares Holocaust Me- morial Council He t rl th has writ- oOoKs on the Middle er +and lectured widel ",uv ". y at SYl~p;:!:les and Middle East across the articles h country. ,ue Ne. appearea in ICQsh~3W" fork Times, The 0Us gton Post and numer- other publications. bliller was chosen t the late Joh o replace vard - wallach, the "Winning author J~alist who fo,-n~ and 01 Peace i d Seeds J~e n 1993. John's wife tL t Wallach had serv ,ze or- ed as I~resp Igamzation,s interim uent since her hus ' deatk band s " ~rom cancer last sum- recently visited Central nd. spoke at the first nends of Seeds of held on Dec. 8 .Ceorge Khalaf, the Outreach Co- Seeds of Peace in O0 guests from gen- attended the organized by the 3f Peace hater Shipley ~r :tion of who serves on Board of Direc- of Peace. Seeds of Peace works to se- cure lasting peace in the Middle East and other regions of conflict by equipping the next generation with peace- making tools. Seeds of Peace brings these teenagers to- gether before fear, mistrust, and prejudices permanently shape their vision of the "en- emy." By nurturing lasting re- lationships, the program makes it possible for these youths to become the Seeds from which an enduring peace will grow. The main aspect of the program is the Interna- tional Camp, located in Maine. The camp fosters the compre- hensive coexistence experience in which teenagers from re- gions of conflict learn about each other's histories by living together in a mutually sup- portive community and em- barking on a lifetime commit- ment to conflict prevention. Upon their return home, gradu- ates become a part of the year- round program designed to build on the skills and relation- ships developed in camp. Located in Jerusalem, the Seeds of Peace Center for Co- existence provides regular ac- tivities that reinforce the em- pathy, respect, dialog, confi- dence and hope the teenagers bring home from their US ex- perience. The center broadens Seeds of Peace's role in the region by involving hundreds more Arab and Israeli youth and their families in coexist- ence programs. Among other programs are the Higher Education program where Seed graduates are pro- vided with scholarships to at- tend top American Universi- ties, internet connection pro- grams where Seed alumni com- municate on the Net, and Youth Summits where Seed alumni have created an Israeli-Pales- tinian peace treaty and a docu- ment on Uprooting Hatred and Terror both of which were pre- sented to International Heads of State. Participating nations in- clude: Israel, Egypt, The Pales- tinian Authority, Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Greece, India, Jordan, and the US among others. Advisory Board members of Seeds of Peace include Queen Noor, Shimon Peres and Dr. Saeb Erekat. Strong supporters of the program have included Benjamin Natanyahu, Ehud Barak, Secretary of State Colin Powell, His late Majesty King Hussein and the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. For more information about Aaron Miller's talk at the Jew- ish Community Center or the local chapter of Seeds of Peace, please e-mail Tracy at or call 407-691-5934. PAGE 17 But she echoed others when The intensified alert makes "If they suggest we should she said that the threat sur- her feel vulnerable, said a move the event, we'll move passes Jewish institutions third woman, who was going it," said one organizer, who It's the "same thing when to the JCC for cooking and asked that his name and his you get on a subway here or gymnastics classes organization name remain go over a bridge," the woman "There's a limit that the anonymous for security Tea- said. "You think about it, but government" and "security sons. "Otherwise, we're plan- you have to live your life." personnel can do," she said. ning to go forward." The alert The alternative would be to Severalpeoptesaidtheyare came as the Anti-Defamation stayat home and do nothing, skepticalabouttheannounce- League was holding its an- said another woman, Andrea ment, saying it might be a nuaINationalExecutiveCom- Pitchford, a nanny with two ploy to build public support mittee meeting in Palm small children carousing in for a war against Iraq.Beach, Fla. the JCC's lobby. "There's warmongering, Leaders received calls from "You can't live like that," and this could very well be a the FBI informing them of Pitchford said. In any case, part of that," said Suethe heightened alert and ask- she added, "Every time I am Roemer, cantor emeritus at ing them to circulate the in- in, they always check bags and Temple Beth Ami in formationtootherJewishor- check IDs, which is reassur- Rockville, Md. ganizations. ing." Even before the security Others suggested that law Rumors began spreading warnings, the JCC in Man- enforcement officials publi- quickly that the hotel could hattan had beefed up its secu- cized the warnings to protect be a target because it was host- ritybecauseofthepossibility themselves from liability in ing a major Jewish confer- ofa U.S.-led war against Iraq. case of a terror attack, ence - and because an Israeli- "Peopleare concernedabout One Jewish organization is owned hotel in Kenya was the war, andthereforethere'sanxi- planninga major conference site of a terrorist attack in etyaboutit,"theJCC'sexecu- nextweekinWashingtonthat November that killed 14 tivedirector, DebbyHirshman, was to include outdoorevents people, includingthree Israe- said. ''We wanted to reflect our at Jewish landmarks Orga- lis. sensitivity to those anxieties." nizers said they would coor- JTA Staff Writer Rachel But the measures don't soothe dinate with law enforcement Pomerance in New Yorkcon- everyone, before proceeding tributed to this report "NEW" GARDEN GRILLWOrk. 69s MEDITERRANEAN DINNER BUFFET NOW OPEN SUN - THURS llAM - 9 PM FRI & SAT IIAM - 10 PM SUN. - THURS. 5 PM- 9 PAl $7.95 EARLY BIRD BUFFET (all you can eat) LUNCH SAT & SUN $7.95 FRL . SAT. 5 PM- 9 PAl $11.95 DINNER BUFFET W/LIVE JAZZ MUSIC & BELLY DANCERS 901 N. Orlando Ave Winter Park, FL 32789 (Next to Eckerd) Tel - 407-647-7927