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March 1, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 1, 2013 Threats From page 1A groups seeking to take advan- tage of the power vacuum and attack Israel on the Golan border, Israelis fear. "There won't be a country called Syria," said Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan and the European Union. "Then there's no central rule. It creates a vacuum for terrorists to enter the space. It will be awonderful opportunity to attack Israel." Analysts do see some bright spots to the fall of Assad, whose regime is a key ally of the Hezbollah terrorist group and Iran, and serves as Iran's main corridor for funneling arms to Hezbollah. A Syrian rebel victory would hinder that corridor. That would be "a major blow to Hezbollah and Iran," said Eyal Zisser, a Syria expert at Tel AvivUniversity."Hezbollahwill stay there, but it will be much weaker." But Professor Mordechai Kedar, a Syria expert at Bar-Ilan University, says Israel could face increased danger in the near future. In the long term, Kedar said, Assad's regime may be replaced by a govern- ment more amenable to peace with Israel. But before he falls, Assad might transfer his large stock of chemical weapons to Hezbollah. "There's a huge pile of WMDs there--biological, chemical," he said. "That can be a big problemifit gets into thewrong hands." The Syrian conflict already has spilled over into Israel--a bit. In November, stray Syr- ian shells landed across the boundary, prompting Israel to fire back. In January, Israel reportedly bombed a weapons convoy heading from Syria into Lebanon thatwas thought to be carrying weapons for Hezbol- lah. This month, seven Syrian men injured in fighting just over the border were brought into Israel and are being treated at an Israeli hospital. In the meantime, security officials are beefing up mea- sures in the Golan to prevent any additional spillover into Israel from the Syrian conflict. Last month, Israel announced that it would begin building a fence along its Syrian border, as it has done along its border with the Sinai. Should the Syrian region adjacent to the Golan descend into anarchy, experts expect it to most closely resemble the Si- nai. Terrorists there have taken advantage of diminished con- trol following the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime in Cairo to smuggle in weapons and launch occasional attacks into Israel. One significant difference between the Sinai and Syria, some analysts say, is that the Sinai is ruled by a central Egyptian government with which Israel hasa formal peace accord, thus limiting Israel's military options. Operating in an anarchic Syria would not carry the same diplomatic risks. "What's happening on our border is what's happening in Sinai," said Ely Karmon, a Hezbollah expert at the Inter- disciplinary Center in Herzliya. "Butwith Sinai, we have a peace agreement with Egypt. We don't have freedom of action in Sinai like we have in Syria. If there will be terrorist acts, I assume Israel will react hard." Pazit Ravina, a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon who has been in contact with Syrian rebels adjacent to the Golan, says that Sunni and Shiite Muslim terrorist groups may not attack Israeli because they will be too preoccupied fighting each other for control of Syrian territory. "They're very tired," Ravina said. "There is not enough food. They'll be busier fight- ing Sunni-Shia battles than fighting Israel. It's all kinds of groups, and trying to unite them against Israel doesn't work." For now, analysts say, Israel's options are limited. They say its best bet is to protect its border and stay out of the Syrian con- flict, but react forcefully should Hillel PAGE 19A a Syrian group try to attack the Golan. The Israeli government, which declined to comment for this story, appears to be follow- ing that policy. Other than that, analysts say, Israel should push the United States to prevent Syria from becoming a base of Iranian influence. "Israel can't do much now," Eran said. "It should stay out of the internal game. Israel will operate locally and won't give Assad justification to take attention away from the inter- nal situation and to the Israeli conflict. We need to influence parties that are involved in what's happening." Kedar says that Israel's top priority is to stay on alert as it adjusts to a new reality. "The culture of the Middle East is strength and violence," he said. "Now we're returning to Middle East culture." From page 1A administrative offices as well as a student-groups incubator office with the capacity to house a half-dozen campus groups. This space provides a stable and secure office environment for various campus groups to grow and mature. The new center's second floor Sandy features a multi-function gath- ering space that will also serve as the sanctuary for weekly ser- vices, holiday celebrations and social events.Aconference room and library will be outfitted to enable video conference calling to support interactions with other Jewish groups across the country, as well as providing a location for Hillel at FSU's state- wide community board to hold monthly meetings. Hillel has always been home to the only kosher kitchen on FSU campus, now its increased capacity will ensure it can appropriately serve the growing community. The new center becomes a reality through a deal proposed by developer North American Properties. The new building will be built on the comer of St. Augustine and Woodward, adjacent to the current location at Woodwardand Pensacola. Site preparation has begun and Hi llel at FSUwillmove fromitshistoric location at the end of the Spring 2013 semester. The new building isscheduled foroccupancyinjust a few short months in time for the Fall 2013 semester. Melanie Annis, executive di- rector ofHillelat FSU for the past 13 years, has seen thousands of students walk through Hillel's well-knownwooden gate.Annis reflects that, "Jewish life on cam- pus takes place across campus. It happens whenever students talk about what it means to be Jewish and what it means to do Jewish. It would not have been possible without the vision and support of Jewish community members inTallahassee, Jewish federation and families in South Florida and across the country over the past many decades. We now look to the next generation to continue creating vibrant, welcoming, pluralistic and invit- ing Jewish opportunities at FSU in our new home." From page 2A constitutional concerns about this type of funding," Sean Thibault, a spokesman for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in a Jan. 10 statement. "However, we recognize that this aid is, in certain respects, distinct from other forms of aid that we have historically opposed. We continue to work with congregations to help them understand the varied consti- tutional and policy concerns before each synagogue makes their own decisions." Rabbi David Bauman of Temple Israel in Long Beach, N.Y., said his synagogue suffered $5 million damage from Sandy and that the disrepair bled into the wider community. Religious school students who have not met for months recently gathered in each other's homes for smaller tutorials--a situation that Bauman said is "not ideal." The local Alcoholics Anony- mous group hasn't had a place to meet since the synagogue Convention From page 8A "The programming at IC was incredible, and I would love to replicate that for my chapter, as well as teach them more about BBYO on a global scale. I also hope to help foster their interest in becoming a big- ger part of this organization because so many of us want to help people and change the world. Many of the speakers from this weekend showed that if you set your mind to something, you really can save lives." For nearly 90 years, IC has served to unite the ris- ing leaders of Jewish teens, to set the course for the coming year, determine strategies for strengthening BBYO as a youth-led move- ment and connect teens to the worldwide Jewish community. For more in- social hall was ruined in the storm. "Those people need to come together," Bauman said, noting that he was searching for an alternative venue. Such services are why houses of worship should be as eligible as other commu- nity service organizations, says Nathan Diament, who helms the Orthodox Union's Washington operation. "Already among the private non-profits eligible for FEMA's aid are community centers, and FEMA's definition of community centers are places where people gather to engage in educational and social and enrichment activities," Diament said. "FEMA then decided on its own that if those activities are done in a house of worship, they are not eligible. What we are seeking to legislate is government neutrality and equal treat- ment." Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), whose congressional district includes much of the borough of Queens, co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.Y.). In an interview, Meng said she co-sponsored the bill because some 200 institutions in the New York-New Jersey region had been devastated but were still providing criti- cal relief for neighbors. "They were one of the first ones to open up their doors and feed people at the same time their electricity was out or their floors were ruined," Meng told JTA. The Orthodox Union has estimated that some 60 to 70 synagogues in New York and New Jersey of all denomina- tions have been affected. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D- N.Y.), whose district covers much of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, vociferously op- poses the bill, which he said would amount to government funding of religion. "This bill would direct federal taxpayer dollars to the reconstruction of houses of worship," Nadler said in re- marks quoted by NY1, a cable news channel. "The idea that taxpayer money can be used to build a religious sanctuary or an altar has consistently been held unconstitutional." Those concerns were echoed by the ADL in its statement issued Jan. 4. "Houses of worship are special--not like other non- profits and not like other buildings," it said. "They receive special constitutional protections from govern- ment interference, special tax-exempt benefits for con- tributions and have special restrictions that prohibit direct public funding." Such concerns, also ex- pressed by the American Civil Liberties Union, are misplaced, according to Marc Stern, AJC's associate general counsel. He noted FEMA-directed relief for a church damaged in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a neighboring federal building, as well as relief for a Jewish day school hit in the 2001 Seattle earthquake. "The ACLU-ADL position is a little bit odd," he said. "You can pay for rebuilding a zoo, but houses of worship are not Members of the North Florida Region, (left to right), Tamara Zishuk, Hannah Smith, Lory Conte and Sari Misek formation on BBYO, please visit Want to learn more about BBYO in Orlando? Contact Lory Conte, regional director at 407-645-5933 ext. 232 or BBYO is the leading plu- ralistic Jewish teen move- ment aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experi- ences. For almost 90 years, BBYO's leadership programs theAleph ZadikAleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing excep- tional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in busi- ness, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO's network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community's most valuable platform for delivering to the post bar/ bat mitzvah audience fun, meaningful and affordable experiences. With year- round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world wide travel experiences, BBYO's broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel educa- tion and Jewish values. eligible." FEMA in its briefing for law- makers said the precedents cited by Stern and others do not hold in this case. In the Oklahoma City case, the agency said, the congressional appropriation made it clear that the funding for the dam- aged church was a one-time exception. In the Seattle case, the money was applied to a school, nota house of worship. "In contrast, a house of worship such as a synagogue is not an educational facility, nor does it fall within one of the other categories of facility specifically listed" under prior law, FEMA said. Meng said FEMA easily could assess whether a house of worship was seeking funds to advance religion or to provide a community service in the same way it assesses whether homeowners are eligible. Sudoku solution from page 7 359827146 278164953 164395728 416952837 935748261 827631495 541273689 683419572 792586314 Crossword answers from 02/15/2013