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March 28, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 28, 2014 PAGE 15A J Street From page 2A To which Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz replies: The greatest Jewish value of all is pikuach nefesh, the saving of lives, and that includes the protection of the 6 million Jews who now make their home in the Jewish state. Anything that undercuts Israel's ability to defend itself against nuclear or terrorist attack is inconsistent with Jewish values. But J Street knows only the one-sided blame game. Indeed, when J Street took its message to college campuses to establish J Street U, it found itself faced with students who were embarrassed about being Jewish, so instead of "Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace" they made it easier by simply drop- ping the part about Israel. What college student is not ardent about peace? As Ben- Ami speaks from aloft, "We believe that it is our role to repair the world. We must rouse our neighbors from indifference." Note that Israel is not even mentioned. As Noah Pollak comments, "It is about a sort of tikkun olam, a confusion of reli- gion and politics. The idea to keep in mind is that for them Judaism is liberalism and liberalism is Judaism." Richard Landes calls it"moral narcissism," an "overwhelm- ing concern for being a nice person and really not caring about the consequences. In this way, you can completely identify with the people who hate you and consider you their mortal enemy." Perhaps the most impres- sive response comes from young Samantha Mandeles, a campus coordinator for CAMERA. Responding to an- other stale canard from Peter Beinart, she says, "That's the good Jew, the Jew that helps everyone else, who puts oth- ers before themselves, who cares more about strangers than they do about family. If a Jewish student feels that repairing the world and being a universalist and progressive is equivalent to being Jewish, then they can forget being proudly Jewish and Zionist. They don't want to believe that other people have other world views...because their world views are all about pluralism, this utopia where everybody is the same, where there isn't anything to have a conflict about. "J Street and J Street U," she continues, "insist on being considered part of the big tent of Jewish organizations that care about Israel. But they insist that these events are invalid if they don't criticize Israel, advocate BDS [boycott, divest, and sanction] and Israeli apartheid." There is a hair-raising section in the film devoted to some of J Street U's scur- rilous activities on various American campuses, in- cluding calls for subverting Birthright Israel, calling for Birthright to place more importance on the Palestin- ian narrative, and promoting trips for Jewish students to the grave of Yassir Arafat in Ramallah. As the film shows, J Street has no qualms about its fol- lowers, who, says Ben-Ami proudly, include 600 rabbis. Some of his flacks, like Medea Benjamin and Naomi Chazan and other nasties, are shown in full cry here. J Street con- tinues to back politicians, like Rep. John Dingell, who have shown themselves to be consistently anti-Israel. [See the J Street website for the entire list] In 2013, J Street enthusiastically supported the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. Ben-Ami's donors include, in addition to George Soros (a fact that Ben-Ami hid for years) a number of pro- Palestine figures; Genevieve Lynch, who is an official of the National Iranian-American Council, sits on the J Street finance board. According to Lenny Ben-David, a former deputy chief of the Israeli embassy in Washington, 50 percent of J Street's budget comes from outside the United States, a fact Ben-Ami also lied about. There is much more in this well-made, provocative film-- provocative enough that Jeremy Ben-Ami, ordinarily an unseemly publicity hound, declined to be interviewed. Don't miss it. Editor's note: "J Street Challenge" will be shown March 30 at Congregation Beth Am, 3988 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, at 2p.m. Suggested donations are $10 for those with reser- vations, $15 for others. Students with valid IDs may attend free of charge. For reservations, call Sandi Solomon, 407-575-9899 or email sansolomon@ hotmaiLcom. BBYO From page 3A this firsthand as I sat with a delegation from NFTY my first night. These staff and teens were excited to be at BBYO's IC and to find ways to part- ner their movements in the future. BBYO and JCCs want the same thing, have worked collaboratively for decades in some cities, and now others want to join the conversation as well. We have reached an important place in time due to this ongoing conversation and this refreshing opportunity to collaborate and strengthen Jewish teen programming. I believe JCCs can, and should, play an instrumental role in these conversations and partnerships. We all want to engage Jewish teens. What better place to do so :than a Jewish Community Center and what better way than to share resources, ideas, staff, and funds? For the Orlando Jewish community, the re- suits of open, non-territo- rial teen collaboration have reaped huge, visible benefits for our JCC. Multiple nights per week, Jewish teens hold meetings and programs in our building. We have created a community-wide task force of teens who are helping plan J-Serve, the International Day of Jewish Youth Service. We reach more teens in our efforts to grow our JCC Mac- cabi Games delegation, teen theater, teen sports, and staff our summer camps. I also know that this success is not limited to Orlando, as I have seen it firsthand in Austin and Richmond as well, and I'm sure there are more examples throughout the rest of the country. Now is the time to walk through the open door of opportunity locally, while conversations continue on national levels. My belief is that, by working together, these Jewish teens will be the next leaders of our Jewish communities. In the next 20 years, they will be on our boards, our staff, and our donor lists. So why did I stay in the el- evator? Because I was amazed to see Jewish teens from Bulgaria hugging Jewish teens from Los Angeles like there was no tomorrow and Jewish teens from Israel say- ing goodbye to Jewish teens from Tulsa with tears in their eyes. To a teenager, a goodbye from an event like this, where they feel so at home, can be extremely intense, as if they will never see each other again. In this age of social media and with opportunities like BBYO, though, I strongly believe these teens will actu- ally remain in touch. Today's Jewish teens are building a more connected and therefore more strengthened Jewish community worldwide than ever before. Now, it's our turn as the professional staff, lay leaders, and role models to fol- low their lead. JCCs should be the home and natural habitat for all Jewish teens regardless of youth group affiliation, if at all. We need to not just join the collaborative conversa- tion, but also help lead it. We should be "welcoming home" our local Jewish teens to our JCCs. The first step is being in touch with your local JCC or BBYO region. Inclusive Jewish teen col- laboration without borders is a clear, emerging and positive trend, as we've seen firsthand through the JCC Maccabi Games. It just makes sense. JCCs have the opportunity now, whether we run our own JCC teen program- ming or not, to help shape the future of today's Jewish teens and tomorrow's Jewish communities--a future that I learned last week is full of new ideas and apps, new ways of life and definitions of Judaism, new collaborations and new Jewish community on their terms. The elevator is going up and we've got room. The sky and stars are the limit of what we can do together. It's been said that the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. That was certainly true of our future Jewish leaders shining above all else at BBYO's IC. Whether it's my new 10-gallon cowboy hat, University of Florida Gators kippa, or one of my many Jewish communal profes- sional hats, they are all off to you BBYO, kol ha'kavod. Robby Etzkin is the as- sistant executive director of the Roth JCC of Greater Or- lando. He holds a master's in adolescent development from the University of Florida and has had his thesis on "How Parenting Styles Affect Jew- ish Teens" published in the Research Journal Family and Consumer Sciences & Journal of Youth Develop- ment: Bridging Research and Practice and Family Science Review. Robby has been awarded multiple national awards from JCC Association related to his work as a JCC camp director in Richmond, Va., and Austin, Texas, has led two Taglit Birthright JCC Maccabi Israel trips, helped create and leadAustin J-Serve with his colleague Rachel Felber and has co-led Orlando J-Serve since 2012. Robby will be staffing a USY convention in March, 2014 in hopes of continuing this collaborative conversation. Sharkansky From page 4A to each side's real estate, with both sides hoping its message of minimal damage got through without causing any unwanted upping of the conflict to something more serious. Complicating the assess- ment are questions about the intentions and capacity of the Gazans. There is no assurance that their capacity to aim missiles and mortars is all that great. They appear Sherwin From page 5A visually impaired to see by means of a pocketable com- puter connecting to glasses a $2,500 pair of glasses that can read things for an individual both up close and across the street (including street signs and the color of the traffic light). Imagine a legally blind person being able to shop at a grocery story, read a menu in a restaurant, just sit and read Simon From page 8A the spirit of cooperation. The team kicked off with Sting's "Brand New Day," followed by Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble." Old favorites like "Message in the Bottle" (Sting), "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" (Sting), "Graceland" (Simon,), and "50 Ways to Leave your Lover" (Simon) to point and fire toward Israel, which is a broad swath on their horizon. Many of their missiles and mortars never make it out of Gaza. They may actually cause more harm to Palestinian civilians than anything done by the IDF. Whether they land in empty Israeli fields (which most of them getting to Israel do) or on a crowded bus or kindergarten seems to be a matter of luck. So far the luck has not been bad. The betting is thatshould a catastrophe occur, Israel's response will be appropriatel whatever that means. Another incident occurred alongside the Lebanese bor- der, in the form of a roadside bomb that exploded near an IDF patrol. The blast caused something short of serious physical injury to personnel. IDF's response was similar to that directed at Gaza. There was an artillery barrage, and some dispute whether there were casualties on the Lebanese side, or only a fire set in a field. the newspaper, or function in the workplace. As a point of perspective, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world after the U.S., and many U.S. companies are looking to take advantage of Israel's innovations." On returning to Orlando: I came back from the AIPAC Policy Conference with new insights on the Middle East, including one critical per- spective from Prime Minister Netanyau--neither the settle- ments nor disputed borders are blocking peace. The only obstacle to peace is the Arabs' refusal to recognize that a Jewish State should exist. As soon as the "Palestinians" recognize that basic reality, the so-called roadblocks will be easy to remove[ Rabbi Rick Sherwin, Congregation Beth Am wowed the crowd right out of their seats, grandmothers dancing alongside 30-some- things. As the concert as well as the tour came to an end, the good feelings amongst the performers spilled over into the audience. Simon as- sured onlookers that, in fact, this last concert had been the best. The effusive ap- plause and encore requests from the crowd affirmed his statement. Despite the gen- erous playlist, the 180-plus minute concert was unable to absorb the more than 90 years of material between the two celebrated artists, leaving concert-goers hun- gry for future collaborative efforts. Let's hope these age-defying artists keep on rocking for many years to come. Prominent in Israel's calcu- lations is that in both Gazaand Lebanon, the groups recently trying to cause trouble are not Israel's major adversaries. They are contenders for inter- nal power, who seem intent on advancing their status by provoking Israel, embarrass- ing and causing some damage to their rivals, and producing a widening of the conflict in the hope of emerging with more status. Israel's delicacy may be special, insofar as it is a small country, dependent on com- mercial and otherassociations with greater powers that have their own interests with Israel's problematic neighbors. On account of its own perspectives about casual- ties, property damage, and budgetary outlays, as well as its relations with friends who might become nasty, Israel's governing policy is not to make waves. The world greatest power has also moved in the di- rection of moderation and withdrawal from locations of possible conflict, against the background of some disastrous rides with a Texas cowboy who became Presi- dent and ruled for eight costly years. Saying that yon Clausewitz is the best guide to Israeli and other countries' actions on the borders of war, politics and policy is easy. Actually manag- ing the balance is something else. It takes political skill as well as a military capacity, which is, after all, part of politics and policy. Always in the audience, and perhaps among the decision-makers, are those who want to end the uncertainty and use whatever power exists or can be imag- ined to destroy the enemy. What to do with a con- quered population? and What to do if one's own calcula- tions go bad? Are only two of the questions generally left hanging. Better that they stay there, as matters of worry, rather than actually having to be dealt with. Ira Sharkansky is a profes- sor (Emeritus) of the Depart- ment of Political Science, He- brew University of Jerusalem. Custom Print Marketing Invitations &-- ts Digital & OfFset Printing  C-- Booklets Direct Mail Services Forms&Letterheads 407-767-7110 , 205 North SUeet , FL 32750 www.enet - Mendc TI' Ad d Reti 18% Discota 574921836 961348257 328756419 216895743 857463921 493172685 689534172 745219368 132687594