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February 29, 2008

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 29, 2008 PAGE 7A S By Jacob Berkman NEW YORK (JTA)--In the wake of the assassination two weeks ago of a top Hezbollah official and last week's fire- bomb attack at a Jewish com- munity center in suburban LosAngeles, American Jewish groups should be vigilant, ac- cording to the head of a Jewish security consultant group. Although Israel has denied any involvement in Imad Mughniyeh's death in a car bomb in Damascus two weeks ago, radical Muslim leaders, in- cluding Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and the com- mander of the Iranian Revolu- tionary Guards, Mohammed Ali Jafari, have threatened to strike back against Israel and Jews abroad. In response, the Israeli government put its embassies worldwide on alert two weeks ago. Then, the FBI issued a warning to law enforcement agencies in the United States that, while there is no specific threat to Jewish organiza- tions, they should be on alert, according to Paul Goldenberg, the national director of the Secure Community Network, a non-profit organization that works as a security adviser for hundreds of Jewish institu- tions. "The FBI is telling people that we don't have anything specific that is an imminent threat, but because of what has recently unfolded and because Hezbollah has a his- tory as being one of the few terrorist organizations that has struck Diaspora Jewish communities." threatening words from Hezbollah lead- ers were "taken seriously by By Rabbi Brian Lurie j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California SAN FRANCISCO--Many Jews hear the word "Poland" and are filled with visions of anti-Semitism. I understand that perspective. In the late '70s, I traveled twice to Poland, both times with Jewish federation mis- sions. Each trip revolved around visits to Auschwitz- Birkenau--experiences that are among the most emotional and up-setting times of my life. I felt confusion, anger and impotence. In this gray communist society, all Poles looked anti-Semitic to me. I wore a yarmulke throughout my time there to show that we had survived, and as a chal- lenge to all around me. From Poland we went to Israel. The message was simple: from the Holocaust to rebirth, from almost unquenchable evil to light and hope. I never thought I would go back to Poland. But I returned last month at the urging of Bay Area philan- thropist Tad Taube and Jerzy Halbersztadt. the director of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. I went from Israel to Poland on EI-AI. That the order of my trip was reversed was a harbinger of the whole experience. Warsaw was its customary winter gray, but not as cold as Secure Community Network Paul Goldenberg is the na- tional director of the Secure Community Network. the FBI," said Goldenberg, who has been in daily contact with the FBI and the Office of Homeland Security. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security concurred that there is no immediate threat. "There is no information to suggest an imminent threat to the homeland," Laura Keehner told JTA. "We are reminding our partners at all levels of government to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to authorities." Mughniyeh himself is proof that Hezbollah likes to take its war with Israel beyond the Middle East. Among other attacks abroad, he was the mastermind behind the 2004 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed more than 100 Jews. Goldenberg said the Jewish community should also be concerned by the attack on the !e new I was warned it might be. My room at the Novotel Centrum Hotel was brighter and more user-friendly than the one I had just left in Herzliya Petuach. In discussions with many Poles. I found the attitude of the people and government much like what I had experienced in Germany during the early '90s--the governmentwas sup- portive of America and Israel, the people were hungry for democracy and capitalism. I am not saying that anti- Semitism has vanished. One only has to read "Difficult Questions in Polish-Jewish Dialogue," co-published by the American Jewish Committee and the Forum for Dialogue Among Nations. to be disabused of that notion, but there is a dramatic difference from my trips in the '70s. Most notably, today's Poland is democratic and more sym- pathetic tO Israel and Jewry than most of Europe. Since the fall of communism in 1989. Poland is home to a phenom- enal rebirth of Jewish life and culture that receives support from American donors, led by the San Francisco-based Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, as well as the Polish government. For a number of-years, I have been concerned that the Holocaust will forever be the central point in Jewish history. Though the Holocaust is our nadir, the Jewish people should JCC in West Hills, Calif in sub- urban Los Angeles, which was hit with two Molotov cocktails early last Monday morning. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred at around 2 a.m. Pacific time and was not noticed until 5:30 p.m. It is unclearwhowas behind the attack, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire- arms, the FBI and local police are investigating surveillance tapes and are looking at the incident as a hate crime. "The investigation is still on-going and being handled as a hate crime by one of our units," a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Depart- ment told JTA. Officials of the Jewish Fed- eration of Greater Los Ange- les, which funds and operates the JCC, do not think there is any relationship between the threats in the wake of the Mughniyeh killing and the JCC attack. "We would be very upset to see an article linking the attack to that threat; we are not linking it to anything," the federation's spokeswoman, Deborah Dragon, told JTA. In fact, other recent attacks on synagogues in the United States pre-date the Hezbol- lah threats. Last month, a suspected arson at the Ger- mantown Jewish Centre, a synagogue in Philadelphia, caused extensive damage, forcing its preschool to move off the premises. Two weeks before that incident, swastikas appeared at the synagogue. Local enforcement authori- ties said they thought the in- cident was arson but have not released any new information since the Jan. 18 attack. be committed to life as our central purpose, rather than death. Despite how powerful the Holocaust mentality of victimization remains, it must not trump our commitment to living and improving this imperfect world. The reason for my journey was to talk to the professional leadership of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and talk we did. I was preconditioned to appreciate the museum's efforts, but my reaction to what the planners were doing thrilled me. The professionals at the museum--especially Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, head of the international team that is producing the 40,000-square- foot core exhibitl-have cap- tured 900 years of Polish Jewish history inthe mostexcitingand unusual ways. I do not have the space here to describe all the imaginative methods her team has used to present those 900 years. Halbersztadtwmte about the project: "In sum, our museum will take its place internation- ally as a bold and innovative example of what a museum can be and do in the 21st century. It will provide a rich visitor expe- rience with a unique learning environment that is informed by a progressive approach to informal education, civic en- gagement and dialogue:' After my many meetings, Halbersztadt took me to the Goldenberg suggested that the real threat in the wake of the Mughniyeh killing could come from "lone wolf" op- eratives, individuals who are not affiliated with any terror organization, but who decide to carry out an act of violence because they are enraged by current events. He pointed specifically to Naveed Afzal Haq, a Paki- stani Muslim who shot six employees, killing one, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in July of 2006, after becomi ng upset at Israel's war in Lebanon. Afzal Haq reportedly yelled, "I am a Muslim American angry at Israel" before open- ing fire in the federation's offices. "The law enforcement com- munity has a hard time being able to track the lone wolf," Goldenberg said. "They usu- ally respond to what they see in the media real time, especially if they see something in the media that infuriates them." "Lone wolf attackers were behind two firebombs at synagogues in Montreal over the past two years, Golden- berg said. It is not time for the Jewish community to panic, but it should be on alert, he said. Jewish organizations should take security mea- sures such as checking the identification of everyone who enters their doors; all guests should be accompanied at all times, organizations should have a tested security plan in case of an attack, and those that do not already have them should install closed-circuit televisions and surveillance cameras, he said. site. The museum will face the Rappaport Memorial, which depicts the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Standing there, I realized that this place and this museum will become one of the key destinations for the Jewish people. Already 40,000 Israeli youth visit Poland every year; it will become a major educational center for this young population. Moreover, I believe that tens of thousands of American Jews will come to Warsaw to experience this place. This also will become a key educational center for Polish youth. Yet one should not see the museum with a view only to the past, but as a place that offers insights for the pres- ent and future. For much of the 900 years depicted in the museum, Poland was the center of all Jewish creativity. Its lessons about pluralism, tolerance, multiculturalism and diversity ring true today. I see the symbol of this place as the phoenix--from ashes we are reborn anew. a strong and dynamic Jewish people. P.S. The January day I left Warsaw. it was bright, warm and sunny. Rabbi Brian Lurie was for- merly the executive director of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and head of the United Jew- ish Appeal. He is currently a volunteer in the Bay Area and in Israel. Central Florida Synagogue Service Schedule and Directory Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), Services and Holiday schedules shown at; 407-566-9792. Chabad of South Orlando (0), 7504 Universal Blvd Orlando, 407-354- 3660; Shabbat Services Friday 7 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. Monday and Thursday 8 a.m. CongregationAhavasYisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake HowellRd Maitland, 407-644-2500; Services: Sunday, 8 a.m Mon-Fri, 7 a.m Fri 6:30 p.m Sat. 9:30 a.m. Family Service 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 426 LakepOrt Cove, Casselberry, 407-830- 7211; Shabbat service, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, 407-862- 3505; Shabbat service, 8:00 p.m. (7 p.m. on Fourth Friday of the month); Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Beth El(C), 2185 MeadowlaneAve WestMelbourne, 321-779- 0740; Services, 8 p.m. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 9:30 a.m. 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407- 855-0772; Services once a month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom (C), 315 North 13th St Leesburg, 352-326-3692 or 352-787-1999; Services on second Friday at 7 p.m. and last Saturday at I0 a.m. Congregation B'nai Torah (C), 445 N. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1t74; Services Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m: Congregation Chabad (O), 1301 S. Patrick Dr. #62, Satellite Beach, 321- 777-2770. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (O), 1079 W. Granada Blvd Ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Fri. 7:30 p.m Sat. 10 a.m. Congregation of Reform Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr Orlando, 407-645- 0444; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. 1st Friday; 8 p.m. 2nd and 3rd Fridays; 6 p.m. 4th and 5th Fridays. Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321-768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 5015 GoddardAve Orlando, 407-298-4650; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.; Junior Cong 10:00 a.m. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd Kissimmee, 407-935-0064; Shabbat service, 8 p.m 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month. Congregation Sinai (C), Jenkins Auditorium, West Montrose and 7th St Clermont: Services on second and last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. 352- 243-5353. New Jewish Congregation (R), 13563 Country Road 101, Oxford, 352-748- 1800; Shabbat Services every Friday of the Month: 7:30 p.m. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd Orlando, 407-239-5444; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), EO. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813-324- 2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386-445-3006; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254-6333; Shabbat Services 6 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49 Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), Services in the JCC Community Center auditorium, 851 N. Maitland Ave Maitland, 407-647-3055; Shabbat service; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Temple Israel (C), 1400 S. Peninsula Ave Daytona Beach, 386-252-3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel of DeLand (R), 1001 E. New York Ave De[,and, 386-736- 1646; Social Hour, 6 p.m.; Shabbat service, 7 p.m. Temple Shalom of Deltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd Deltona, 386-789- 2202; Shabbat service; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R); Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m. Most Fridays at Carillon Elementary School, 3200 Lockwood Blvd Oviedo. Call 407-366-3556 for information. (Check with individual synagogues for the dates and times of services if not listed) (R) Reform (C) Conservative (0) Orthodox (Rec) Reconsmlctionist Governor's for Excellence in Long-Term Care :!i!~ ii~ The Therapy Center at River Garden Alzheimer's/Dementia Care Adult Day Program HEBREW HOME/WOLFSON HEALTH & AGING