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April 4, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 4, 2003

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PAGE 4 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 4, 2003 By David Bornstein Jewish teenage daydreams A few weeks ago, on a lark, I signed up on a website called A free service (though of course you can upgrade), it prom- ised to make your e-mail information available to other people in your graduating high school class. I didn't think I had anything to lose, and since it promised no spare or marketing, I went ahead. Within a few days two people contacted me. One was a woman who I remember as being really cute. I'd like to think she wasn't mistak- ing me for someone else. The other, Barry Dreayer, was a good high school buddy. Barry's parents have lived in Orlando for many years. His sister helped me out with a script once in Los Angeles. But the real connec- tion between the two of us came through a group of about a dozen guys who all hung out together and were members of the Orlando Rebels Chapter of AZA. Barry, Henry Meer, By Carl Alpert A typical day in Israel--in the shadow of Baghdad HAIFA--As of this writing, a typical day in each individual bear his personal identification the life of many Israeli families runs somewhat papers. They don't say why, but the pessimist along the following lines, subject, of course, to assumes that in case of a direct hit, the bodies location of the family and to external events may be identified. that may yet be expected. Inspection O K. All the time the phone is in Following the usual morning personal ac- constant use, with calls coming in and going tivities, the first major item on the agenda is to out. Friends, family, reassurances that all is get the children offto school. Official instruc- well. tions from on high are that each child must The refrigerator seems empty, and shopping carry with him his personal gas mask in its is in order. To take the brown box? On the first brown cardboard carton. Objections are voiced day of the American invasion of Iraq most at once. lsraelis did follow the advice, but thereafter it "Manyofthekidsinschooldidn'tbringtheir is now rare indeed to see the boxes on the masks yesterday- why should Ischlepp mine?" streets or on buses. Some parents insist. Others yield to the little In the meantime, the television is in full ones. Schoolprincipals have instructed that no blast. Those who are linked up to cable alter- pupils should be barred if they come without note between Israeli TV nd CNN or Fox News, the boxes. Reports indicate that with or with- or even BBC, to find out what is going on over out the masks, about I0 percent of the little there. ones are kept home because of the tension. Very quickly we settle down to normal liv- Will the lraqis send Scud missiles this way as ing. Meals must be prepared and the house kept final acts of desperation? clean. Business affairs demand daily attention. No one has forgotten that during the Gulf A pause in the immediate occupation to ponder War 39 Scuds landed in Israel, causing much a late report on TV to the effect that Iraq has destruction, but fortunately few deaths, found fragments of a bomb with Israeli mark- To the office? Without masks. To university? ings. Does that mean that we are taking part in Without masks, the attack, thereby warranting a Scud reply? Let's check our sealed room, the one with Will Iraq accept the explanation that these are the least open exposure, where the single win- Israel-made parts incorporated in an American dowhasatreadybeen coveredwith plastic sheet- bomb? The war atmosphere may sound strange ing, held down by masking tape to keep out any and unfamiliar to Americans, but it is almost possible noxious fumes and prevent shattered second nature to Israelis. glass fragments from injuring the occupants. There's little to do in the evenings except Extramaskingtapeisonhandforusewhenthe stay home. Many public lectures, meetings, signal comes for us to take refuge, lock our- showshavebeencancelledorpostponed.Where selves in and seal up the door behind us. attempts are made to adhere to schedules, Emergency contents checked: Gas masks attendance has been low but mounting daily. already adjusted, tried on and ready for use. Otherwise, as we have said, daily life seems Those of us who are of advanced age have normal, and tensions relax gradually. Nature already attached the battery-operated blowers does its share by providing an almost daily to make it easier for us to breathe. Plenty of rainfall, and this is hailed as a good omen. Very bottled drinking water, daily pills, a few cans of soon the Kinneret will be overflowing, and the tuna, bread, a couple of radios, battery oper- people of Tiberias will worry about flooding. ated, in case the power supply fails, a modest The phone rings. "Yes, dear, we're all well. supply of first aid items, flashlight. More? An No, we're not going out in the rain. We're kept old-fashioned typewriter to record our busy with phone calls to help new Russian and thoughts, since the computer is chained down Argentinean immigrants. Yes, they are still in another room, a portable phone to assure coming. And we're catching up with our read- contact with family and plenty of reading mat- ing. Did you hear that last announcement on ter. Oh, yes, don't forget the Scrabble game, a Fox News ?"And another day.All is still quiet, wonderful time killer, but we might look back upon this as just a Detailed official instructions also urge that prelude THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. Ill l II O O O CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE O O ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 36 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emmitus Associate Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer HERITAGE Florida Jewish News ( ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($41.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaih Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Elaine Schoopmg Circulation Rachel Hughes Account Executives Ra~ara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Sara Crusade Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Carl Alpert Tim Boxer DavidBomstein Gail Simons Production Department David Lehman Teri Marks Rachel Levy O Alan Cohen, Todd Lefkowitz, Philip (Flip) Behr, Flip's cousins Bobby and Glenn Behr, Scott Kramer, Randy Hoitzman, David Van Gelder, and me (I'm sure there are others I've forgotten - my apologies. And there were slightly older guys - David Meltzer, Ron Suberman, Mark Hara, Charlie Sulman, Darryl Baumstein, who also figured into the equation. Remember - back then a year or two made a world of differ- ence). Viet-Nam, revolution, long hair, drugs, close friends. It was a crazy time. We were wild boys, interchangeable parts of a friendship machine. Any of us could be together in any combination. We played tackle football with- out pads on an empty field behind Robert E. Lee Jr. High strewn with rocks and broken glass. We gathered at the old coffee house at Orange Avenue and Lucerne on Saturday nights. We cruised together and went to con- ventions and rock concerts and the beach to- gether. But mostly we just hung out, a group of Jewish boys bonded by the shared experience of growing up during those tough, exciting, emo- tional, pivotal teenage years. Since that time we've moved away, raised families, transformed into adults, but when- ever we're in touch those "halcyon days" flood us with good feelings and a camaraderie that can never be replaced. That's how it felt when Barry emailed me. We stand today as a community with an opportunity that is unparalleled since the early '70's. Back then we had the coffee house, an old beat up mansion temporarily loaned to the community by the extended Bornstein/Morrell/ Levy/Giuckman/Ettinger families. We met as an AZA unit at an old beat up building on Cola Street downtown. And we were fine. Through the success of the recent Capital Campaign, which is wrapping up, and the ex- pansion of facilities in Maitland, we now have a new, colorful Teen Lounge that's part of the Jewish Community Center. The Teen Lounge By Jonathan S. Tobin In the months and weeks before the begin- ning of the war in Iraq, the word coming from national American Jewish organizations to their constituents was clear: Stay out of it. Few Jewish groups have ignored this direc- tive. Indeed, keeping a low profile on the war has become something of an obsession for most of the organized Jewish world. And when the less inhibited Zionist Organi- zation of America co-sponsored a pro-adminis- tration rally in New York on March 23, its leader, Mort Klein, found himself on the re- ceiving end of criticism from fellow Jewish leaders for using bad judgment. Why are so many other strong-willed and normally loquacious Jewish leaders taking a powder on what is the most earth shaking issue to face the American people in our generation? The answer is clear: fear. For all of the chest-pounding pride that many American Jews rightly exhibit about Jew- ish accomplishments and acceptance in this counl ry, the war is something that they are frankly scared to talk about. Although many, though not all, American Jews are behind the resolve of President Bush to rid the world of the Saddam Hussein regime, some are loathe to speak about that support publicly. Anti.Semitism breeds caution There is some logic in this decision. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in anti-war Eu- rope. Driven largely by the European media's scandalous anti-Israel bias, anger at Israel,s alleged sins has allowed incitement against Jews to become fashionable on the continent again. This despicable sentiment has also become part and parcel of protests against the Ameri- can campaign against the Saddam Hussein regime. Crude anti-Jewish propaganda from the Arab world has found a home in European intellectual circles where President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are seen as the devil's spawn. And though the level of Israel-bashing in this country isn't close to what we have seen in Europe, the recent spate of it from paleoconservatives has scared some people. National columnist Robert Novak, pundit Pat Buchanan and others have based their opposition to Bush's decision on Iraq on the idea that the war is being fought more for Israel's sake than that of the United States. They have singled out Jewish members of the administration as being the culprits behind this imaginary plot. should be getting its certificate of occupancy shortly, and then its real benefit -programs for Jewish teenagers - will start to take shape in this great new space. The JCC must capitalize on its new prospects. We haven't had a facility geared to teenagers in years. Belt Hamidrash comes the closest, a cool educational program that attracts hundreds of Jewish youth every Monday night during sessions. But now we have a watering hole, a gathering spot, and if we can make it a cool, slightly edgy, safe haven we will have succeeded as a community. There's another step we could take, and while this might go against the grain and planning of the Capital Campaign and facilities expansion', it, like the Teen Lounge, is an op- portunity waiting to occur. If there's an angel or two out there reading this column, there are currently old houses available for sale on Maitland Avenue across from the Jewish Com- munity Campus. If someone were to purchase one of those and donate it to the community, we'd have another coffee house, a real alterna- tive for our older teens to consider when they're looking for a place to get together and hang on a Saturday night. Something to think about, if you have teens, if your kids are up and coming, oz" if you remember those days way back when you met at the Lucerne coffee house, watched an old movie, snuck into an empty room or talked in a group outside and had the time of your life. Those memories, for me, are what I remember most fondly about growing up Jew- ish in Orlando. I want my kids to have that same good feeling when they look back, day- dreaming, on their teenage years here in Cen- tral Florida. The opinions expressed in this column are the writer's, and not those of the Heritage or any other Jewish organization. That's the good word until next week. Write the Heritage, or e- mail your comments, critiques, and concerns to On the far left, Israel-bashing and anti-war rhetoric are also closely linked -something that has, unfortunately, failed to deter left- wing Jewish war protesters. Thus it is no wonder amid all of this anti- Semitic incitement that the official Jewish world is sending out memos around the coun- try urging Jewish groups to keep their mouths shut and avoid any identification of the com- munity with the war effort. It must also be mentioned that Jewish groups have reason to fear being singled out during a war on terrorism. The nation is in a state of alert and synagogues and communal buildings have been targeted before. But as much as we must take security seri- ously, this is not the time for Americans, least of all Jews, tofear speaking out. "We shouldn't silence ourselves," says Anti- Defamation League head Abe Foxman. "Jews are citizens with no lesser rights than anyone else. If they feel moved to support or protest the war, they shouldn't avoid doing it because of what others say." That is an impor- tant point. It may be that the Jew-hating right and the equally anti-Zionist left will use any- thing we do or say as ammunition against us, but is that any reason to let them shut us up? Anti-Semitism is a product of the haters' own minds. Nothing any Jew says or does creates it. The ADL was itself cautious about not get- ting out in front of the president's stands dur- ing the course of the lead up to the war, but it now "expresses support for the United States government in its effort to stop Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and the danger he poses to the stability and safety of the region. The need 11 to stop Hussem is clear. ZOA s Klein is equa Y ardent. He supports the war because he be, lieves it is a "significant departure from the. traditional U.S. posture of appeasing Arab ter- rorist regimes. Hopefully, it will be just the first'step in a new approach to combatin terrorism." Both ADL and ZOA, groups that haven't always seen eye to eye on many issueS, are right not only in what they say but in their decision to speak out. The idea that a Jewish conspiracy created this war is a myth, but let us make no mistake about what is at stake. Should we fail in our resolve to eradicate the rogue regime io Baghdad, the effects will be felt throughout the world, including Israel. Consequences of defeat This is a unique moment when the demO : racies can show the criminal terrorist See "Tobln" on page 19