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February 23, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 PAGE 15A From page 1A volunteers at The Friendship Initiative, a program that pairs neurotypical students like them with special needs kids. Another volunteer at the center, Gina Montalto, also was killed in the shooting. Jeb Niewood, president of The Friendship Initiative, remembered Guttenberg as a genuine person who loved helping others. "Jaime was quite an amaz- ing human being, she had a maturity and compassion far beyond her years, she had an aura, a glow, that radiated from her smile and her eyes, she was beautiful in every way," Niewood told JTA. Niewood said the Gutten- berg family had faced tragedy just months earlier when her paternal uncle, a first responder, passed away from complications of an illness contracted during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. In her free time, Gutten- berg also loved to dance, and she was involved with a local dance studio, according to Facebook posts. "Her huge passion aside from helping people was dance, and [she was an] extremely dedicated and talented dancer," Niewood said. "She's the daughter that everyone wanted." Guttenberg's cousin, Marc Pollack, said his family was reeling from her death. "My heart is broken from Alex Schachter the loss of this awesome young girl and the pain that our entire family is endur- ing," Pollack wrote in a Facebook post. Alyssa Alhadeff was a ma- ture, laid-back girl who loved soccer and made friends eas- ily. She played midfield for the school soccer team, earning newspaper coverage for her achievements on the field. "She's the sweetest," A1- hadeff's grandmother, Vicky Alhadeff, told Miami's Chan- nel 7 News on Wednesday night. "She's a big soccer player, very smart, she's in track. She's very popular, a very beautiful girl. Oh my God, she's my life. How could I not love her? She's my grand- daughter." Alhadeff had attended Camp Coleman in Georgia, a Reform Jewish camp, for one summer, andwas planning on returningthisyear. Staff there remembered her as being "like an angel," always happy to help out and quick to adjust to a new environment. "She was one of the easi- est campers, very mature," Alyssa Alhaeff said Lotem Eilon lhadeff's unit head. "Shevas very friendly and dic~'t have to deal with drara per se. Alyssa was very rnture and friendly and fit ito camp right away, even tbugh she came in older." Camp director [bby Har- ris remembers Al[deff as a sweet girl who was pleasure for the counselor~to super- vise. Several of oleman's campers go to ~oneman Douglas High Soool, and the camp will belosting a service on Facebok Live Thursday evening i the vic- tims' memory. "She was a vry sweet camper," Harris aid. "Her counselors always aid she did exactly what she wa told to do, always helped outwhenever she was needed tchelp out. She was like an algel. She was just a bright light and was very positive." Meadow Pollack a senior, had gone missin~ and was confirmed dead l'hursday morning. In a plotograph posted on Facebo)k, she is wearing a cap an~ gown in Scott Beigel preparation for graduation. She planned to go to Lynn University in nearby Boca Raton next year. A friend posted on Alex Schachter's facebook page that he was 14 years old and played the trombone in the school's marching band, which won a state title last year. He enjoyed playing basketball and was described as a "sweetheart." Alex's brother survived the shooting. Scott Beigel was reported to have been shot as he shut the door to protect students from the gunman, an expelled student identified as Nikolas Cruz. One of the students in his class, Kelsey Friend, recounted how Beigel, 35, let her and other students into his classroom and then attempted to lock the door. "I had talked to my teacher and said 'I am scared.' And then we all heard gunshots, and he unlocked the door and let us in. I had thought he was behind me, but he wasn't," Friend told ABC News. "When he opened the door, he had to Jamie Guttenberg relock it so we can stay safe, but he didn't get the chance to [stay safe]." Friend said she would likely not be alive had Beigel not opened the door for her. "I'm so thankful that he was there to help everybody who did live in that classroom because he was in the doorway and the door was still open and the shooter probably didn't know we were in there because Mr. Beigel was laying on the floor," she told ABC "If the shooter would have came into the room, I probably wouldn't be speaking with you right now." Friend called Beigel "a re- ally amazing teacher." "He would explain things easier to a lot of us in the classroom," she said. "It was just easier to comprehend the subject when he taught it." Beigel was a staff member at Camp Starlight, a predomi- nately Jewish summer camp in Starlight, Pennsylvania. In a Facebook post, the camp called him a "beloved friend and hero." "[Hie was someone who Meadow Pollack could make you laugh in any situation and those kids were very lucky to have him as a teacher and protector," Liza Luxenberg, a friend from Camp Starlight, wrote to JTA. "I am not at all surprised to hear that he endangered his own life to save others. He has always been a hero to me as a friend and now unfortunately the rest of the world gets to learn of his heroism in this tragedy." Other campers also shared fond memories of Beigel. "Today is a really sad day as we learn about your pass- ing Scott Beigel," Adam Schwartz, a Starlight camper, wrote in a post. "You were one of my favorite counselors growing up and my Olympics General my senior year. Those kids were incredibly lucky to have you, you are a real hero." Melissa Strauss wrote: "A man with strength and wis- dom has died, protecting his students during the school shooting in Florida yesterday. Scott Beigel was not only a teacher and a counselor but he was the biggest role model." From page 1A country," he told his Young Democrats audience. When he ran for mayor of Miami Beach, he knocked on over 6,000 doors talking to people about his plans if elected their mayor. Then as mayor, Levine had the city invest $500 million to raise the seawalls, curb flood- ing by installing pumps and raising the streets. Standing up to Governor Rick Scott, Levine also passed a bill rais- ing the minimum wage in Miami Beach, because "it was the right thing to do." No one can live on $8.10 an hour he stated, and he proposes that every local community should be able to decide what is a fair minimum wage for their area. "Remember something-- in Miami Beach, it costs a lot more to buy a hamburger than it does up in Orlando, so why should we have the same minimum living wage? So we should let our communities decide," he said on This Week in South Florida (channel 10). Another one of Levine's mottos is "Just get it done," which could sound like bul- lying, but when Levine sees a problem, he comes up with ways to solve the problem, and if he doesn't have a solu- tion, he finds the expert who does have a solution. His vision for Florida is to invest in education; be stewards of the environment; develop public transporta- tion; and to see NASA as our "Silicone Valley." Levine said he would pass an executive order to have equal pay for equalwork, and would like to see more women entrepreneurs. For education, he believes there should be no debt burden for college students, as long as they work in the state for a certain amount of time after graduation. The same would go for vocational schools. "No one should be denied an education because of their parents' income," he said. Levine believes Florida should use its natural re- sources to develop solar and renewable energy. "After all, we are not the par:ly-cloudy state. We are the sunshine state!" He would also give incen- tives for the film and TV in- dustries to return to Florida, which would increase the state's employment rankings. "After Rick Scott chased our film industry to Georgia by ending our Film Flori- da program, Florida has lost out on over $1 billion dollars, and thousands of local jobs," Levine stated, "If I am elected governor, we're bringing the film industry back in town." Levine spoke for well over an hour and a half at the Young Democrats meeting and answered a multitude of questions, addressing public transportation (he encourages public-private partnerships and empower- ing local communities); charter schools ("we need to invest in our public school system and not 'follow the money'"--"Florida is ranked 46th in the country and teachers' salaries are $10,000 below other state salaries and this is unacceptable" he said); Affordable housing (he would develop an incentive program to build affordable housing with public-private partnerships); and reform for criminals ("felons should be able to vote, and vocational training should be provided," he stated). There are 67 counties in Florida and Levine hopes to visit many of them on his bus tour across Florida, and as the famous poem goes, "he has miles to go before he sleeps." As this article was being written, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland hap- pened in which 17 people were killed. As mayor of Miami Beach, Levine released this message on his Facebook page: ,t ~have :~ direet~ message -~- for Floridians in response-~ to the senseless shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: the time to act is NOW. As a graduate of Broward schools, and a father, trag- edies like these need to end for good. Thoughts won't heal the pain, thoughts won't bring back a child. But taking action now can prevent another par- ent from enduring this pain. Call your leaders in Talla- hassee who have preemptively taken away power from local communities to deal with these issues, mobilize, and act." The Democratic primary is Aug. 28, 2018. From page 5A being both ignorant of Jewish law and unsophisticated. The fact that some Ameri- can Jews still tell the story of that night in Cincinnati in 1883 illustrates that debates about food practices are cen- tral to the ways that American Jews think about themselves. At the Illuminoshi's banquet, eight chefs were invited to reflect creatively on their work by preparing non-kosher dishes. The chefs' responses ranged from the classic Reu- ben sandwich--a staple of non-kosher American Jewish delis that violates the kosher rule of separating dairy and meat--to peanut butter pies trendily topped with bacon. Limited vegetarian options were provided in order to include vegetarians or those who, like me, do not eat non- kosher meat. Despite some reports in the Jewish press, this was not a petulantly defiant celebration of non-kosher food. Rather it was a thoughtful reflection on the ways in which many American Jews eat and Jews in the food industry make their living. Still, readers were angered by the idea of a public gather- ing of Jews focused on treif. An irate reader sent me a profanity-laden email asking scornfully, "What's next, a baptism event for Jews?" Con- gregants at a synagogue where I had spoken a few weeks ear- lier objected to my attendance at the Illuminoshi gathering, even though I myself keep kosher and did not consume non-kosher meat at the event. The controversy, at its heart, seems to be about how American Jews eat and have eaten communally, and not about the eating practices of individuals. Talking openly about American Jews' rela- tionship to non-kosher food disturbs many American Jews. Many Jews who do not keep kosher continue to think that kashrut, even when most often observed in the breach, is important to American Jews' identities. But in the age of iden- tity politics, amid achanging American religious hndscape, we need more refle:tion, not less, on the everylay prac- tices that define wlo we are, in private and pubic. At the Trefa Banquet 2.0, rganizer Alix Wall spoke amut how eating pork remirds her of her mother, a child ~urvivor of the Holocaustwhovas hidden with a Catholic Polsh family who shared with the little meat--always pork--they had. I have interviewed many restaurateurs who describe non-kosher dishes as Jew- ish ones because they evoke memories ofeatingwith their Jewish family members. For those who attended the 2.0 banquet, it too was a Jewish event, without contradiction. Others argue for a Jewish dietary system rooted in ethical guidelines that reflect Jewish values rather than the precise ritual requirements ofkashrut, which are mostly unrelated to contemporary ethical con- cerns. At the Trefa Banquet 2.0, Devil's Gulch Ranch, a local, family-owned, sustain- able farm in California's Marin County, provided the pork and rabbit meat used by the chefs. The Jewish owner of Devil's Gulch, Mark Pasternak, spoke about how he saw his work as conforming to Jewish values despite the non-kosher meat his farm produces. Pasternak is not alone. The New Jewish Food Movement, sometimes called eco-kashrut, has grown steadily since the 1970s. It combines particularly Jewish ways of thinking about food, environmentalism and sustainability with Jewish religious traditions. In a thoughtful response to the Trefa Banquet 2.0 for JTA, the acclaimed American Jewish historian Jonathan Sarna suggested that the event might further divide American Jews. But at the 2.0 banquet, Illuminoshi members and their guests participated in a long tradition of American Jews using their culinary decisions to generate personal conversations about food, values and Judaism, acknowledging the complex- ity of religious identity in the 21st century. Rachel B. Gross is the John and Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jew- ish Studies at San Francisco State University. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.