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March 24, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 24, 2017

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Editorials ..................................... 4A Op-Ed .......................................... 5A Calendar ...................................... 6A SceneAround ............................. 9A Synagogue Directory ................ 11A JTA News Briefs ........................ 13A By Christine DeSouza Rabbi Men@ Bronsteinwith his wife, Mussie, and three chil- dren (Yaakov, Batya and Bina ka"h) hit the ground running, so to speak, when they arrived in Altamonte Springs last September. They came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Rabbi Men@ was the youth director and associate rabbi at The Shul. From photos and posts on his Facebook page, the Milwaukee Jewish community loved him dearly. And why not? From his genuine smile, twinkling eyes and clear understanding and explanation of Judaism, just sitting and talking with him is inspiring and invigorating (even for this vayblekh goy). With Rabbi Dubov in Mait- land, Rabbi Majesky in Lake Mary, why another rabbi so close? "We're growing!" Rabbi Mendy said. "As long as there are people who are not involved, there is a need to grow." "- 0 ~- C~ ~_. (v) = 0 There is no competition among the Chabad Houses. They work together to bring educational, social and holi- day programming to the Jewish community. "Our goal is not to come here and open a shul," Rabbi Men@ stated. "If the com- munity grows and that need presents itself and you have a group of people who'd like to start a minyan, that can hap- pen, but it's not our objective." As with all the Chabad Houses in Central Florida, Rabbi Mendy welcomes with open arms all Jewish people who would like to be involved at whatever level. "We all come from different backgrounds. What's one step for one person is no big deal for someone else," he explained. "So, we don't put a focus on how observant a person is or isn't. I consider every Jew-- every person--comes from a different background and level of education and a different level of observance. I would never judge someone and say 'you are something and you are not something.'" In his personal life, Rabbi Mendy is observant. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he studied in yeshivas in New York, England andArgentina. He received his rabbinical ordination from the Central Chabad Yeshiva. His travels have been extensive--to the Ukraine, India, Cuba and throughout the United States. But he does not believe in labeling people. "Labels are for shirts," he stated. "We're just Jews! If we try to see what we all have in common instead of seeing our differences the world would be in a better place." The other half of the Bronstein team is Mussie. She comes from the Crown Heights Jewish commu- nity, Chabad Headquarters, in Brooklyn. She graduatedwith Rabbi Mendy and Mussie Bronstein and their three children. honors from the Beis Rivkah brew reading crash course High School and then earned and Torah study for adults, her bachelor's and master's and hopes to start Jewish degrees in Special Educa- Institute Learning classes tion. She, like Men@, was a soon.Therearealsoprograms program director for young for children. The "Chai Five students. Mussie also was a Youth Club" is set up for pre- preschoolteacher inaBrook- K through first graders and lyn Jewish preschool for girls a "Give and Get" club where and the educational director members complete a project at The Shul in Milwaukee. to give to those who are less Here in Central Florida, she fortunate. teachesattheChabadofSouth On March 26, Chabad of Orlando Day School. Altamonte Springs will host Rabbi Mendy and Mussie two shows of the Model Mat- bring the warmth and radi- zahBakeryatTheRothFamily ance of Judaism to all around JCC--I:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; them, and their goal is to and on April 10 and 11 they create a vibrant Jewish corn- will host a Passover Seder. munityinAltamonteSprings. Visit Chabad of Altamonte In fact, the Altamonte Springs' website (www.jew- Jewish community is already to see responding to the Bronstein's all the events and programs warmth. More than 70 people that are available to all Jewish attendedthe Purim festivities families~there is alsoan On- at their home (which is also line Kids Zone with all kinds where they hold Shabbat din- ofactivitieslikevideos, games ners and services); and last and stories where children Saturday they held their first can spend hours (if allowed) bar mitzvah, playing and learning Judaic Rabbi Men@ leads a He- values at the same time. This past week, Jewish Academy of Orlando invited its new director of academics to speak to the parent body. Alan Rusonik, head of school, an- nounced that Nikki Buynawill start in June. As director of academics, Buyna will be the academic leaderworkingwith the teachers and the head of school to support and enhance the curriculum and learning experience within the Jewish Academy of Orlando. She will provide leadership and vision in the ongoing development, improvement and evaluation of mission-aligned curricu- lum, instruction and student experience and learning. Buyna will be a member of the school's leadership team and is an educational and role model to JAO students and faculty. That night, Buyna electri- fied the room with her energy and enthusiasm. "It's not surprising that she is called the "educational cheerleader," said Robyn Eichenholz, a parent at the school. "Her passion and the way she spoke brought a great energy to the room. It was really inspiring." In addition to asking ques- tions, parents shared what they liked about the school, which became a great discus- sion. Buyna also shared her educational philosophies and related them to the school. "The entire night was really impressive," said Eichenholz. Buyna has worked as the professional development coordinator, a teacher and administrator for the past 12 years at Lake Mary Prepara- tory School. She has expertise in curriculum development, teacher professional develop- Nikki Haley (JTA)--A United Nations affiliate removed a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the Internet following a request from the secretary- general of the international body. Antonio Guterres asked the U.N. Economic and Social Nikki Buyna ment and educational tech- nology. After a thorough and com- prehensive search, Rusonik selected Buyna this Febru- ary. "Her diverse experiences in fine arts, humanities and theater rounded out her pro- fessional expertise and overall positive attitude, making her THE candidate for us!" said Rusonik. The school currently re- views one subject a year to refresh and add onto. "This position will allow the school to review more than one cur- riculum and really continue to move forward our differenti- ated learning principles," said Rusonik. "We have added in- novation, coding and mindful- ness in the past few years and look forward to continuing to push our students and teachers into the future, he added. For more information about the Jewish Academy of Orlando or to arrange a visit to the school, please contact Alan Rusonik, head of school, at or 407-647-0713. Commission for Western Asia, or EWCWA, to remove the report, which was pub- lished Wednesday and says it "establishes, on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid," Reuters reported Friday. Rima Khalaf, the commis- sion's chief, resigned because of Gutteres' pressure to re- move the report, according to Reuters. As of shortly after noon Friday, a previous link to the report yielded an error mes- sage and the report was not listed among the publications on the website for the ESCWA, Israel on page 15A 6 Illl!!!!!ll! !! !!l Ills q