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

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 24, 2017 PAGE 15A From page 1A an agency based in Beirut, Lebanon that is comprised of 18 Arab member states, including what is identified as the State of Palestine. A U.N. spokesman had said earlier that the report was published without consulting the international body's Sec- retariat and "does not reflect the views of the secretary- general." The United States and Israel sharply criticized the report. "The United States is out- raged by the report," Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the U.N., said Wednesday in a statement. "The United Na- tions Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether." Israel's U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, said in a state- ment: "The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie." At 10 From page 2A Hadar after becoming more Jewishly observant in college and then spending a year studying in Israel. "The beit midrash is the best educational environment I've been in," she added, using the Hebrew term for a study house. "It's OK to be working. It's about engaging in the process." Beyond the shorter semi- nars, Hadar has expanded its footprintwith study programs in Israel, as well as engage- ment with other movements' institutions. Its Commu- nity Beit Midrash, held every month, brings together teach- ers from Hadar, the pluralistic Israel-based yeshiva Pardes, a few liberal Orthodox schools and the Jewish Theological Seminary. "I see ourselves in league with them in a very deep way," Kaunfer said of the other schools taking part. "The Jewish world likes to categorize and distinguish, and I feel like we're more in the world of looking at the points of unity between US ." This weekend, Mechon Ha- dar will celebrate its first de- cade with a sold-out retreat at a hotel in Teaneck, New Jersey, that will include Shabbat prayer, study and a concert on Saturday night. Looking forward, Hadar hopes to expand its study programs, as well as support communities that share its philosophy. There are already some 100 independent minya- nim that broadly accord with Hadar philosophically. But Tucker, a Hadar co-founder, said the organization needs to work on leveraging its alumni and allies into sus- tainable, multigenerational communities. "One of our great chal- lenges and goals has to be how do we help foster a new generation of people, kids and communities that sort of grow up living out this vi- sion," Tucker said. "The next frontier, as I see it, is actually beginning to generate a com- munity that way transcends our programs and our beit midrash." But Hadar's leadership doesn't feel that all of its alumni need to narrowly pursue its stance of reli- giously observant egalitari- anism in order to advance its vision. One alumna, Zoe Jick, now runs an English- language, full-time study program at Bina, a secular yeshiva in Tel Aviv, partly with financial support from Mechon Hadar. While she does not observe traditional Jewish law, Jick says Hadar inspired her to encourage Jewish study. "Hadar 100 percent con- vinced me that Torah was at the core of my identity," she said. "I felt like all of a sudden I was provided not only context and content, but given language to the things I felt instinctual about but didn't know where it was coming from." From page 10A "They are taking what's happening across the nation very personally," said Allison Oakes, head of school at the Lerner Jewish Community Day School in Durham, North Carolina, which was threat- ened on Feb. 22. "We wanted to focus on, yes, this is hap- pening in our world, but let's take a look at everyone trying to support us." As thewave of bomb threats rolled on, the Anti-Defama- tion League put out a list of"5 Tips for Talking with Children about Bomb Threats at Jewish Community Centers." Like Oakes, the ADL urged adults to focus on the "helpers" who supported the community after a threat. And some parents and teachers have tried to ex- plain the threats by way of the Jewish calendar--par- ticularly the recent holiday of Purim, which celebrates the Jews' survival in ancient Persia in the face of an en- emy's threat. This, Naditch told her sons, is sort of like a modern version of that story. "He really wants to know why," Naditch said of one of her boys. "Why would anybody want to hurt us just because we're Jewish? And it's a hard thing to answer. "We've tried to connect it to Jewish history I can't say to them everything's going to be fine. I can't say to them you don't have to worry because they do have to worry." From page 14A wanted us to see that it actu- ally happens, and that was really comedic." Roni Akale, the director- general of the Ethiopian Na- tional Project, said most Israe- lis don't get where Ethiopians are coming from because they live largely separate lives. Ethiopians, who make up just 1.5 percent of the popu- lation, tend to be clustered in poor areas of the country, with many living on the pe- riphery. They have the high- est poverty rate among Jews in Israel, and are stopped, arrested and incarcerated at much higher rates. Their children perform worse in school and finish fewer years than the general population. "Israeli society doesn't know us because we are not in their environment. They don't see how we live," Akane said. "Maybe this show can highlight the good things that happen in the Ethiopian community." What Israelis have seen in recentyears is Ethiopians pro- testing in the streets alleging widespread discrimination. The April 2015 demonstra- tions were a response to video footage showing a seemingly unprovoked police assault on an Ethiopian Israeli soldier. Thousands of members of the community joined demon- strations across the country, sometimes clashing with po- lice officers. There have been smaller protests since. "Nevsu," which is an Am- haric term of endearment, brings Ethiopian culture into Israeli living rooms, and mashes it up against main- stream culture to comedic effect. Gili has had the kind of life that taught him how to pick locks and hot-wire cars while his blond wife, Tamar, played by Merav Feld- man, comes from aprivileged background. Although Gili and Tamar are simpatico, their families and the rest of society are another story. Tamar cannot believe that Gili's mother wants to slaughter a goat that her daughter has adopted as a pet. And Gili struggles to eat his mother-in-law's bland Ashkenazi cooking. Tamar is often outraged by the injustices Gili faces and wants to set them right, whereas he has learned to keep his head down. An exception in the first episode is when Gili explodes at the neighbors, ac- cusing them of changing the locks on their doors because they fear him. Worn out after a racially charged day, Gili turns out to have misjudged the situation. "There are a lot of times you find yourself in a very white environment, so you see things you would prob- ably see differently if you were surrounded by Ethiopians," Vasa said. "Nevsu" airs on Channel 2 at 10:30 p.m. Thursdaysand Saturdays. Vasa's family came to Israel from a remote Ethiopian vil- lage as part of Operation Mo- ses in 1985, one of several dar- ing government operations to rescue Ethiopian Jews. The eight of them settled in coastal Netanya, and he bounced be- tween government boarding schools for Ethiopians. As a theater and education student at the University of Haifa, he and a classmate created a se- ries of videos that went viral in the Ethiopian community. "All they had for media was some videotapes of TV from Ethiopia, which were sold at grocery stores," Vasa said. "So we started selling our tapes at the same stores. The tapes started getting copied and passed around, so they didn't show us the money, but it was a great thing to do for us and for our community." Reversing the usual Israe- li order, Vasa joined the army after university, performing in the storied theater unit that entertains troops. After his three years of service, he developed a one-man come@ show with Ben-Atar called"It Sounds Better in Amharic," which he still performs. He met his now-wife at an Eng- lish-languge version of the show in San Francisco. Like The cast of 'Nebsu,' the first Israeli primetime show to feature a black actor in a lead role. Tamar, she is a non-Ethiopian Israeli, but her ethnic back- ground is half Ashkenazi and half Mizrahi Jewish. Vasa sees the Ethiopians as just"another Israeli immigra- tion story," and thinks racism toward his community will fade, as it has toward Mizrahi Israelis. Attitudes toward Ar- abs, he said, is a separate issue. "Arab Labor," a comedy that ran for three seasons between 2007 and 2012, similarly broke down cultural barriers in Israel, in its case between Jews and Arabs. Neverthe- less, its Arab-Israeli creator, Sayed Kashua, eventually left the country, despairing that "an absolute majority in the country does not recognize the rights of an Arab to live." Vasa started working on "Nevsu" in 2012. After he shopped the show to produc- tion companies for several years. Reshet ricked it up two years ago. TarmrMorom, who heads the Israeli production company's scripted series department, said the pitch immediately struck everyone as a "good idea." She also said the timing was right. "Probably it wouldn't have worked five years ago," Morom told JTA. "There were a lot of demonstrations and not very pleasant issues between Ethio- pians and police in the last two years. So it's not that it's calm now. I think it's just the right time to criticize our society." Why is this issues? It's Fhe "7 7 9 Advertising Deadline: March 29, 2017 For Further Information Call 407-834-8787