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February 23, 2018     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 23, 2018
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 PAGE 3.A. By Ben Sales (JTA)--As he leads the police response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is likely enduring some of the toughest days of his career. And he's probably look- ing to his Judaism to guide him through it. Israel is the county's first Jewish sheriff, and it's an iden- tity he has embraced. A 2016 campaign flier reported on that year by the South Florida Sun- Sentinel centers on the role that faith in general, and Judaism in particular, plays in his life. "My Jewish faith is a central part of my entire life," the flier quotes Israel as saying. "My late father Sonny Israel fought in the Korean War and became a police officer because he believed in the call from the Talmud that 'Whoever saves one life saves an entire world.' Those words guided my brother and I, as we also became police officers." Israel is the sheriff in charge of the area that includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 faculty and students were killed by a gunman on Wednesday. Israel's children, triplets, had attended the school. In a video recorded by a local NBC affiliate, he called the mass shooting a "horrific, homicidal, detestable act." "This is a terrible day for Parkland, Broward County, the state of Florida and the United States," he told report- ers that day. "My very own triplets went to that school and graduated in Stoneman Douglas. They played football and lacrosse at that school. It's just catastrophic. There really are no words." Israel graduated from what is now the State University of New York at Cortland in 1977 with a degree in politi- cal science, and subsequently took a variety of courses on law enforcement, including a course of study at the FBI National Academy. He joined the Fort Lauderdale Police De- partment in 1979 and served on the narcotics unit and the SWAT team. A Democrat, he was elected sheriff in 2012 and re-elected four years later. The county is home to a large Jewish popu- lation. In the 2016 campaign flier, he mentioned fighting gun violence as one of his top issues. quickly to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wikipedia (JNS)--Rabbi Bradd Box- man of Kol Tikvah, a Reform congregation in the town close to Boca Raton, held a healing and memorial service after the mass shooting that was attended by community members. According to Rabbi Box- man, a large number of students from his congrega- tion was enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan of Temple Beth Chai counseled parents at the local Marriott hotel whose children were still unaccounted for. Kaplan said that Jamie Guttenberg was among his congregants, and he had tutored her for her Bat Mitzvah in August 2016, the Forward reported. Rabbi Shuey Biston, direc- tor of outreach and develop- ment of Chabad Of Parkland, said the Jewish community in Parkland was very tight- knit. "This is a small community, where nearly half of the popu- lation is Jewish, so everyone has been touched by what has happened," Biston told Chabad.org. "The phones at Chabad have been ringing off the wall as people come for emotional, spiritual and material support." Rabbi Mendy Gutnick, youth director at Chabad of Parkland, said that many of the teens are still in shock. "There is one girl we know who was standing between two friends who were shot dead. How can she not be scarred by something like that?" Gutnick told Chabad.org. The attack was committed by Nikolas Cruz, 19, who was expelled from the school last year for disciplinary prob- lems. Cruz, who was arrested by police shortly after the attack, was charged with 17 counts of premediated mur- der and ordered to remain in jail without bond by a judge on Thursday. Officials said that Cruz, who used an AR-15 assault rifle for the attack, had a"very disturbing" social-media pres- ence, which included showing a large number of guns and sharing pictures of small animals he had shot, NBC News reported. at UN By World Israel News Following a speech by Pal- estinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hale, deliveredablunt message. At the outset of her address, Haley explicitly referred to comments from Palestinian brass earlier in the month, stating, "I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator Saeb Er- ekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths." "The United States stands ready to work with the Pal- estinian leadership," Haley remarked, addressing Abbas, who had left the UNSC session. "Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. Butwewill not chase afteryou. The choice, Mr. President, is yours." Haley did not mince words, contrasting the various ap- proaches available to the Palestinians: "absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence" or "negotiation and com- promise." "You can choose to de- nounce the United States, reject its role in peace talks, and pursue punitive measures against Israel in international forums like the UN. I assure that path will get the Palestin- ian people exactly nowhere toward the achievement of their aspirations," shewarned. "Or you can choose to put aside your anger about the location of our embassy and move forward with us toward a negotiated compromise that holds great potential for improving the lives of the Palestinian people." In speeches, Israel is known to quote the Bible. A 2013 Sun-Sentinel article about him quoted a speech in which he referenced"Eishet Chayil," the Jewish poem about a val- orous woman excerpted from Proverbs and traditionally sung on Friday night, as well as Ecclesiastes. "As Broward's first Jewish sheriff, I carry a heavy burden knowing I am making his- tory," the campaign flier said. "That is why I always strive to do what is right, what is best, what will help people. This is why this message is important, regardless of your personal faith, because I want my children and grandchil- dren to always be able to look backwith pride someday at my legacy as they continue to pass down our faith and legacy of public service." Israel told the Sun-Sentinel that he attends the Parkland Chabad, and he is comfort- able in churches as well as synagogues. His wife, Susan, is Christian, and they raised their children in both reli- gions. "I am Jewish," he told the Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaking at a news conference near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla Feb. 15, 2018. Seventeen people were killed there a day earlier by a lone gunman. Sun-Sentinel "Susan is Chris- tian. Like most families with parents of different faiths, we raised our children with extensive exposure to both our faiths. The triplets were all bar/bat mitzvahed. Now that the triplets are adults, they each have the free choice to decide their own faith." Why is this issues? It's Big It's Colorful It's The E Advertising Deadline: March 14, 2018 For Further Information Call 407-834-8787