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February 28, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 Honorees From page 1A community leader, heading up the sisterhood of Temple Shaarai Shomayim, the JCC, the Lancaster Blind Associa- tion, as well as the Lancaster County Public Library. Homburger grew up at- tending programs at the JCC and was confirmed at Temple Shaarai Shomayim. To this day, she recalls her father's speech at her confirmation, which has served as a guide throughout her life. "My fa- ther shared three important values to live by: The first was tolerance. He encouraged me to be open- minded and to accept people of all types. Next, he emphasized honesty, and wished me a life of honor and truthfulness. Last, my father wanted me to know the importance of a sense of humor, and how to make lemonade out of lemons," she noted. Homburger remarks that she and husband, Brad Jacobs, do their best to pass these values to Marc, a fourth- grade student at the Jewish Academy of Orlando. Education was of great importance to the Horn- burger family. "My parents felt that one could always take an education with you. As survivors, they believed an education was portable, and could not be taken away," she said. Homburger lived by the family's creed, attending Ithaca and Rollins Colleges where she received her bach- elor's and master's degrees, respectively. She received her doctorate in counseling psy- chology from the University of Central Florida in 1990. In addition, Homburger was an accomplished athlete, and was an all-around varsity gymnast at the collegiate level. Homburger has been a resi- dent of Central Florida since 1977. She was hired by Marvin Friedman as the director of physical education/youth/ singles at the JCC as her first job out of school. "I was plan- ning on staying in Florida for one year, and I'm still here," she said. "Dick and Dottie Appelbaum interviewed me for my position, and offered me a place to stay until I got settled. I moved into their house, and taught their three girls gymnastics. Now when I run into Dick, he jokes about how my one year in Orlando has turned into more than 30." Homburger went on to work for the Osceola County school system for 10 years, where she headed up the guidance department, and received the Walt Disney Community Service Award for her accomplishments. In addition, she has taught at Stetson University as a visit- ing professor, and is now in private practice as a counsel- ing psychologist in Maitland. Like her mother, Hom- burger has been a life-long community volunteer. She is currently active in Orlando's Holocaust Center, the JCC, the Jewish Academy, the Central Florida Association for Mar- riage and Family Therapy, and Ithaca College. She became involved in the Jewish Pavilion four years ago, explaining, "Marc and I had been visit- ing seniors in their homes for years. We still visit Rabbi Adler (Rabbi Emeritus of Con- gregation Ohev Shalom) in his home, where we chat and play cards. Marc is very musical, and he will sing and play the piano. We love visiting with seniors--they have so much to teach us. We get back more than we give." She and Marc now visit seniors at Savannah Court in Maitland on Mondays, where they sing, share snacks and conversation. "We love being involved in our vibrant com- munity and Brad and I hope Marc will grow up following in our parents and our footsteps, continuing their legacy of giving back." Elder care, geriatrics, and nursing homes are terms that make many of us ill at ease in our youth oriented culture, but not Philadelphia's' Valerie Chestnut, community liaison of Vitas Hospice of Orlando. Chestnut chose to get her graduate degrees in gerontol- ogy and business administra- tion, making elder care her life's work. Chestnut's first job out of college was as an assistant nursing home director, fol- lowed by the directorship. Initially, she looked at man- aging the elder facility from a business perspective, noting "then I sat in on a program run by the home's social workers, and I saw that the residents as real people, just in a later stage of life. My whole perspective on the elder com- munity changed." She became a hands-on administrator, spending each afternoon visit- ing with patients. Chestnut's children, Shaun and Camille who are now in their 30s, were often by her side during her elder visits. "My kids understood from an early age how to respect and listen to their elders. They became foster grandkids to dozens of seniors." Chestnut maintains a close relationship with her adult children, who reside in Phila- delphia as next door neigh- bors. The "three peas in a pod" get together every Sunday and Monday night during football season via Skype to cheer on their beloved Philadelphia Eagles. Valerie and Camille will enjoy mother-daughter time this spring when they tour Paris and the French countryside. In addition, frequent visits between Or- lando and Philadelphia (and vice versa) help the close-knit family stay connected. Chestnut began working with Vitas Hospice in Orlando in 2010, after working for the Duke End of Life Institute. Chestnut explained that their grant program came to an end, and Vitas had been one of their program's funders. "Moving to Vitas allowed me to continue to my work with end of life care as a community liaison." Chestnut has been involved with the Jewish Pavilion for the last four years, after meeting Nancy Ludin at a women's networking event. "The message of the Jewish Pavilion just clicked with me. Our daily business is all about seniors in long-term care. We are both here to let seniors know they are not alone." Vitas became a corporate sponsor of the Pavilion, and Chestnut took classes at the National Institute of Jewish Hospice, allowing Vitas to re- main the only Jewish certified hospice in Central Florida. In addition, Chestnut now serves as secretary on the Pavilion's executive board. "Valerie has felt like family ever since she walked through our doors. Valerie sits on many of our committees, and she PAGE 15A makes things happen. Her can-do spirit and problem solving abilities have helped the Pavilion year after year," Nancy Ludin shared. Chestnut's positivity is re- inforced each morning when she begins each day with a "gratitude meditation." "I clear my head, and focus on my breathing for at least 20 minutes. When I get to the office, I thinkaboutwhat may be the blessing for that day," she shared. "A typical blessing is when I connect with someone, and my message can improve their day or change their outlook. I often speak to retirement groups between the ages of 60 and 80 about planning for the end stages of life. Last week I received a call from a caregiver of an elderly parent who took my card two years ago. The woman on the phone re-introduced herself to me, and said, 'It's time (to discuss end of life care).' People often hold onto my card, and reach out when they need it most." Valerie shares that herwork with hospice is not sad. She adds, "Of course, there are some situations that make me feel sad, but my work is so rewarding that mostly I feel blessed to be in someone's life. I am helping people ease their pain at the most intimate time. Helping others is what my message is all about." Epstein From page 2A comfortably indulged in anti- Semitism. Lewis said large numbers of the British have been anti-Semitic. "It was not a virulent form [of anti- Semitism], but it was mostly in the aristocracy, bubbling below the surface," Lewis told "It was a nasty tone. This was part of the British way. They weren't fighting the Nazis [in World War II] because they were anti-Semitic. They were fighting them because they were dominating Europe and bombing Britain." In terms of prejudice, Epstein had to deal with two things in England that helped contribute to his personal unhappiness and fear. "One was being Jewish and the other was being gay, at a time when the word gay wasn't even in common usage," Lewis said. "What Brian went through is not fully appreciated but should be appreciated by the Jewish and gay world. What a great man. Without this British, Jewish, gay man, the world would never have heard the Beatles." Lewis said Epstein "has long been the most unsung hero across the Beatles' universe." "First of all, to be crystal clear, everything in the Beatles' world starts with their incredible talent," he said. "Without their genius for music there would have been nothing. But, as my dear friends Derek Tay- lor, Ray Coleman, George Martin and Andrew Loog Oldham all made clear to me over the years, without Brian Epstein's passionate belief in them and without his Herculean efforts, the Beatles' genius might well have gone undiscovered by the world." Though Peter Brown, a personal assistant to Epstein and the Beatles during the 1960s, wrote in his memoir that he had once found a suicide note written by Ep- stein, Lewis maintains that Epstein's death came from an accidental drug overdose. "The inquest was abso- lute," Lewis said. "However, he had unhappiness. He was always fearful. Knowing the parasitic and venal attitudes of the English tabloids, he never wanted his personal life to be a burden on the Beatles. He lived in fear that if he was ever outed publicly, or involved in some upset- ting circumstance where his homosexuality came to public light, that would hurt the Beatles. It was constant running anxiety but not depression." Five decades after the band's historic ap- pearance on"The Ed Sullivan Show," Lewis explains that Epstein understood how the Beatles "needed to have their rough edges polished to get on television." "To do that he got them to wear suits and do that synchronized bow," Lewis said. "He told them to put the focus on their music, not just telling jokes. All that polish was essential. He did this before they got on television, and then when they did get on they were polished and ready to go. They were hugely excited to be in America. The reason they looked so confi- dent was because Brian had instilled that in them." UCF From page 3A and Dove are both experienced parabolic fliers who will fly with the students during their four-flight campaign. "This is a talented and motivated group of students," Colwell said. "They are work- ing well together and getting terrific hands-on experience in real-world space experi- mentation. I can't wait to see it all come to fruition in June and watch their faces as they experience weightlessness for the first time." Experiencing weightless- ness and studying astro- physics aren't Benjamin's only interests. He is also a gifted musician who played at the New York's Carnegie Hall before enrolling at UCF. Benjamin was very in- volved with music from early childhood to the end of high school. "My family is a musical bunch, and I ended up learning drums and carrying that over to my high school's concert band and marching band. It was there that I learned how to read music and play all sorts of percussion instruments, ranging from marimbas to timpani and many awesome instruments in between," he shared. His band director arranged for the school's band to play at Carnegie Hall in New York. Today, music is on the back burner as Benjamin is focusing on this research and working toward a bachelor's degree in photonic sciences and engineering. "But I still get together with friends and play the drum set for some great jam sessions on occasion; music will always hold a special place in my life," hewas quick to add. Plans for the future for Benjamin include travel, work and living abroad. While he hasn't decided yet what he'll specialize in after get- ting his degree, he's leaning toward telescope instrumen- tation or laser engineering for augmented reality, such as products like Google Glass. Benjamin and his family are members of Congrega- tion of Reformed Judaism, where he was a bar mitzvah. He plans to take a birthright trip to Israel. "I've heard that it's a fantastic experience, and it seems like a great way to start gaining some worldly experience beyond the States," he said. Sharkansky From page 4A Now lots of them drive, and parking is a problem. Hadassah, the Hebrew University, and most likely all the other organizations that raise money in the Diaspora get most of their money from Israeli taxpayers. The extras financed by contributors are welcome, even if they come along with various kinds of claims as to the importance of all those dinners, tours of donors throughout Israel, and the ceremonial opening of new installations named for a Diaspora family. Israel has several tens of thousands of organizations similar to American "non- profits." They typically raise money from donors and rely to some extent on volunteer workers. For many of them, some or even most of their money comes from one or another government body. As in other well-to-do democracies, virtually all of Israel's social services are provided by organizations that are partly governmental and partly private. The mode of organization has its advan- tages and its disadvantages. They provide citizens with opportunities to partici- pate in decisions and in the provision of service. Their advocates claim greater flex- ibility than something purely governmental. However, their direction is divided between several sources of input. No one is really in charge, and they provide opportunities for finagling. Israel is distinct in hav- ing an active Diaspora that further complicates the man- agement of its social services. Overseas contributors may have had a role in the foun- dation of some hospitals and universities, and may have a formal role on their boards of directors. However, they generally defer to local profes- sionals who rise to manage- ment. A common pattern is for prominent overseas donors to be given great respect and formal positions of oversight, but little actual role in making key decisions, or supervising what the locals do with money that comes mostly from the Israeli government budget and Israelis' fees for service, and secondarily from overseas donors. When a scandal erupts, we should expect that each of those with a finger in the pot will be pointing to someone else. Nonetheless, keep the money coming. The act of contributing may add to your self-esteem, the good feelings Hadassah From page 7A to continuing to provide its members and supporters with regular updates from Jerusalem related to the recovery process. HWZOA launched a dedicated page on its website at www.hadassah. org/HMOupdate with news and information and will of the schnorer you know and admire, and may add to the quality of Israel. But every once it a while it is likely to be embarrassing, perhaps not more or less than the actions of any other organization, religious, secular, govern- mental, private, or a mixture of them all. And don't delude yourself into thinking that you are contributing more to the Jewish enterprise than Israeli taxpayers. Ira Sharkansky is a profes- sot Emeritus of the Depart- ment of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jeru- salem. also send out messages and alerts as needed through its Facebook page, Twitter feed, email lists and press releases. Noted Natan, "During this crisis, we have been deeply moved by the outpour- ing of support for HMO. Prime Minister Netanyahu perhaps said it best when he declared to the Knesset members that as they have always come to Hadassah for healing, now we will heal them. At HWZOA, we are going to do all we can to make sure those who are deeply invested in HMO have information during this critical time so that they, too, can support this hard but necessary healing process."