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March 22, 2019     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 22, 2019
 

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 22, 2019 By Jackson Richman (JNS)--The student gov- ernment at Columbia Univer- sity rejected a referendum on Sunday night calling on the school to support the move- ment to boycott Israel. After a four-hour intense meeting consisting of more than 150 onlookers, the Columbia College Student Council failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass the BDS proposal, similar to one in 2017 that also proved unsuccessful. "Students worked very hard to defeat this BDS campaign and should be commended for their work. Columbia/ Barnard Hillel will continue to invest in connecting stu- dents to Israel, including the more than 200 who travel to Israel with Hillel annually. This continued investment has never been more impor- tant," its executive director, Brian Cohen, told JNS. "While I am relieved that the vote will be the end of BDS on campus for now, damage has been done: These votes polarize campus and contrib- ute to a difficult environment for Jewish students," he said. "I am proud of our Students, who spoke so eloquently and passionately about Israel, the danger BDS poses both to Israelis and Palestinians, and the negative ways it impacts the campus community." Ofir Dayan the president of Students Supporting Is- rael (SSI) Columbia, which was involved in the lobbying against the BDS resolution, called it a "historic moment" for the school. Jewish and pro-Israel groups heralded the result. "A politically diverse coali- tion of students came together to oppose the discriminatory proposal," said Rena Nasar, StandWithUs managing di- rector of campus affairs. "They successfully argued that it failed to meet CCSC's requirement that referendum questions be fairly worded, feasible, and in adherence with the mission and poli- cies of CCSC and Columbia College." AMCHA Initiative director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin told JNS that "we commend Columbia students for seeing through the BDS charade. Everyone knows these resolu- tions carry no weight. Their only purpose is to divide the campus, shut down legitimate discourse and debate, induce hate, and marginalize and ostracize those on campus who support, or are presumed to support, Israel--namely, the vast majority of Jewish students." "In fact, research demon- strates that the more BDS, the more anti-Semitism on campus," she continued. "Ku- dos to Columbia for rejecting intolerant BDS." "The pro-Israel students at Columbia deserve enormous credit. They opposed this resolution with courage and confidence," Maccabee Task Force executive director David Brog told JNS. "And they did so together as a community, despite organizational dif- ferences. They prove that the truth about Israel is still BDS on page 15A From page IA "We often talk about giv- ing your time, your talent, your treasure," said Keith Dvorchik, CEO of The Roth Family JCC. "Stuart and Jo Ann have given all three. We wouldn't have the type of com- munity we do without leaders like them." The Farbs' involvement as a couple with the JCC dates to the late 1970s, when the Maitland campus was poised to blossom from its humble origins as a single converted farmhouse to a complex that became the bustling hub of Jewish life in Central Florida. The Farbs' children, Joel ("M.J."), Rebecca and David, attended the JCC's preschool and summer camp. Two of their grandchildren followed suit. Their two newest grand- children, ages 6 months and 10 weeks, will attend the preschool in the near future. And there's little doubt that one day the Farbs' great- grandchildrenwillbe regulars at the J as well. Although they may be too young to fully appreciate it today, the Farbs' grand- children have learned and grown and built friendships on a campus that Stuart was instrumental in shaping. As JCC president from 1991 to 1993, he helped to coordinate a major campus expansion that was well underway but, with a nation in recession and donors cutting back on charitable giving, was threat- ened by financial challenges. He served as a steady hand and kept the community fo- cused on achieving its dream of a large, modern Jewish Community Campus. Just as important, he worked to help the JCC develop future leadership to ensure that the organizationwas prepared for the responsibilities that came with an expanded campus. Stuart has also held various board and leadership roles in the community at Jewish organizations such as Temple Israel, Central Florida Hillel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. To see how important giv- ing is to the Farbs, you need look no further than one of their first dates when both were students at the Univer- sity of Florida. It was a chance encounter with a Salvation Army bell-ringer one Novem- 5 7 8 : 10 S A B A 15 U N I N 18 C O L N 21 R C A L S 29 30 31 33 T H E P S 1 36 .~A Y O O 39 L E R H U I P 47 N (3 E V 1- 58 59 60 A L K I G 64 C I N G I ~ ~ ~- ~" 6"7- A L ClN N I T "I'IS G 814357926 367291485 5928461 37 7594 13268 643728519 128569743 931674852 485932671 276185394 ber evening in Gainesville that Jo Ann said changed her life. "We were poor college students. We had gone out to eat, and on the way out we walked past a bell-ringer," she recalled. "And Stuart being Jewish the Salvation Army it just didn't connect to me. But he walked over and put money in the kettle. And I was so impressed by his generosity." He explained to JoAnn that he believed tzedakah applies to everyone, not just Jews. "I had never met anyone who was that willing to give, from his heart and from his pocketbook," she said. That's the moment that cemented their bond, one that has grown stronger through 47 years of marriage and the raising of a loving family. Ask the Farbs' children what they cherish most, and they don't miss a beat: family. It is avalue instilled in them-- and reinforced to this day--by their parents. To Jo Ann, the idea of "family" applies not just to her blood relatives, but also to the larger Jewish community. Jo Ann began her involve- ment with the JCC in 1979, when son Joel started nurs- From page 1A First, who is Shtayyeh, and what does he stand for? Like Hamdallah and Salam Fayyad before him, Shtayyeh comes from Nablus and is linked to the busi- ness community. Previ- ously, he was president of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction,1 the leading economic institute in the Palestinian Authority. Unlike his predecessors, he is a senior Fatah official in the West Bank. He is a promoter of the BDS movement, in favor of ending security coordination with the Israel Defense Forces and seeks to end the Paris Protocols that refer to a joint economy with Israel. It is interesting to watch the extent to which these popular campaigns inside Fatah may reflect real life. The Nablus connection Shtayyeh's appointment indicates that the P.A. follows a tradition of nominating its prime ministers from Nablus to avoid alienating the north from its main body, which is centered in Ramallah. In this respect, Hebron in the south appears to be lost. According to Ramallah sources, Abbas was in no hurry to implement the de- ery school in that original converted farmhouse. She immediately began making connectionswith other moth- ers. These connections, along with those she and Stuart made at their synagogue, were the roots of what Jo Ann calls their extended family. They are friendships she cherishes to this day. Jo Ann describes The Roth Family JCC not as a place, but as an experience that encom- passes family, community and a sense of history. "We made friends with people who had children that were our children's age," she said. "In a way, we all grew up together, as parents The coolest thing to me now is when I go to the J to pick up my grandchildren, I see my children's contemporaries with their children, and I see my contemporaries with their grandchildren. It's an amaz- ing community--a circle that just keeps on growing and growing." Both Stuart and Jo Ann are characteristically humble when the discussion turns to their being lauded at this year's J Ball. "I am honored, I am hum- bled and I am appreciative," Stuart said, "but I would be foolish if I didn't think there were so many others out there who deserve it just as much as Jo Ann and I." For the JCC's Dvorchik, the selection of the Farbs is not only deserved; it's personal. "I was lucky enough to meet Jo Ann and Stuart through their Gator and Hillel con- nections,"saidDvorchik, who previously served as CEO of UF's Hillel. "A big part of my choos- ing to come to Orlando was based on knowing the com- munity and knowing people like Jo Ann and Stuart were involved," Dvorchik said. "They are the cornerstone of our community, and we are all blessed to be able to call the Farbs our friends." Stuart hopes this award shows other JCC supporters that gifts of all sizes really are appreciated and really do make a difference. And when it comes to talk of a legacy, he says it all hinges on the values we cherish most. "Hopefully my legacy will be that he was a good man, a good father and a good grand- father who always tried to do the right thing." The Roth Family JCC will also be honoring Judy Galkin, a 33-year employee at the Richard S. Adler Early Child- hood Learning Center, with the Harriet Weiss JCC Legacy Award. The award was estab- lished to celebrate the efforts of a dedicated individual who has paved the way for others and will leave a legacy for oth- ers to carry the torch. "We are very fortunate this year to be able to put the spotlight on Stuart, Jo Ann and Judy--three truly extraordinary people whose good work is a permanent part of our JCC's rich history," Dvorchik said. Tickets are still on sale for the March 27 gala and can be purchased online at orlando- jcc.org/jball: $100 general admission; $75 for parents of JCC preschool students and seniors over 64; $36 for members of The Tribe young adults group (must have at- tended at least one Tribe event previously). The ticketing page also has information about creating a personalized congratulatory message for this year's J Ball honorees. Those messages will be displayed on the main stage video screen throughout the J Ball. cisions of the Fatah Central Committee to nominate a Fatah-controlled govern- ment, and he delayed doing so even after Hamdallah submitted his resignation. The timing of the decision came, according to sources, when he heard about progress in the talks in Cairo between Egypt and Hamas. He therefore wanted to dissolve the government led by Hamdallah to set back any progress in Cairo. Egypt, Hamas and Fatah Egypt is not holding con- tacts with Hamas as a legiti- mate power, but on an ad hoc basis, and it insists to Hamas that Ramallah is the legal rul- ing authority. By dissolving the current and recognized Hamdallah government, any progress between Egypt and Hamas is blocked. It is important to note that Hamas is also not in a hurry to renew its own "Gaza Com- mittee," which was the actual government in Gaza, and they are waiting to see if a Fatah government will indeed be established in Ramallah. Why would Hamas have any doubts about this? Firstly, Shtayyeh is not a Fatah fighter. According to Palestinian criteria, to be con- sidered a true Fatah fighter, one must spend time in an Israeli prison. With Shtayyeh, this is not the case. At the very least, Shtayyeh may be expected to give Fa- tah senior officials leading positions in his new govern- ment. However, according to an interview he gave to RT, Shtayyeh does not appear to be thinking in this direc- tion.2 Rather than referring to his new administration as a"Fatah government," he said that it would be "everybody's government." Fatah's main concern now is that their senior officials be promoted to key positions that will reflect what will happen the "day after" Abbas. If no Fatah senior figure is promoted in the government, it may mean that after the demise of Abbas, the "private sector" (meaning the business community) will take the reins of power rather than Fatah. The reason why Abbas is not interested in promoting any of the "real Fatah" seniors is to avoid inflaming the suc- cession struggle now. Instead ofa "Fatah govern- ment" as such, Abbas is more interested in a "PLO govern- ment" due to his struggle with Hamas over the legitimacy of the PLO's authority. While Hamas derives its legitimacy from the 2006-07 elections and the Palestinian Legislative Council, the par- liament that was elected then, Abbas wants to solidify the legitimacy of the historic PLO and to make it the legitimate source of the proposed new government. Siding with 'terrorist' or- ganizations? But here lies the main problem, which is the inability of the P.A. chief to make the main compromise in forming this government. The leading PLO organiza- tions, including the Popular Front, the Democratic Front and Islamic Jihad, are aligned with Hamas rather than Ramallah. It is now taken for granted that they will not join Shtayyeh's new government, but will instead stay with the Hamas War Chamber. It is expected that Shtayyeh will "open the door" to those organizations, which are "terrorist" according to every definition, thereby putting the continuation of world finan- cial aid to Ramallah at risk. Only tiny organizations, such as the once pro-Saddam Arab Front, are aligned with Abbas through financial sub- sidies, of course. All of the above is linked to the Jerusalem issue. Ramal- lah wants to make to fight for Jerusalem the leading national struggle, while for Hamas, the central battle is along the borders. Abbas's aim is to attract the PLO organiza- tions to join Ramallah at the expense of Gaza.