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

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 4, 2003 PAGE 11 By Rachel Pomerance YORK (JTA)--As the military pounds Iraq, in Mus- ties may become in- creasingly vulnerable. Jews not only are tiny mi- norities in the Muslim world, hUtto some of their surround- site and weekly conference calls. "We're acting as a listening post," said Israel Singer, the WJC's chairman. Singer said there currently is no threat to Jews in Muslim countries, "hut we should watch and we should be ale rt." Only a handful of Muslim countries, but it also depends very heavily on the current Arab leader," said Vivienne Roumani-Denn, executive di- rector of the American Sephardi Federation. Considering the combina- tion of factors, Roumani- Denn admitted that if she were a Jew in an Arab country,"I But Tunisian Jews consider their home more secure than places like Israel or France, likely points of immigration, he said. In Morocco, King Mohammed VI has sought to reassure the Jewish com- munity since the outbreak of the war, with pub6c an- of the community: "We are always concerned about their safety and security, but there isn't any heightened sense of security because of the war with Iraq that we know of." Despite the trials and imprisonment of more than a dozen Iranian Jews on what were widely believed community in the Muslim world, due to their tiny num- ber and the war that sur- rounds them. According to JDC, the pos- sibility of an anti-Semitic backlash places them in even greater danger than other Ira- qis ~ho are suffering through the war. IngPublic, they represent the countries haveenough Jews would be a little nervous, just nouncements warning citi- tobe false chargesofspying About 40 Jews live in Perceived twin threats of Is- to constitute a substantial because of our history." Here zens against harming each for Israel in recent years, Baghdad, 15ofwhomareeld- rael and America. community, is the situation around the other. Iran hosts a thriving Jewish erlyand live in its synagogue. As coverage from Ai- According to the JDC, Iran region: InTunisia, Jewsal- Still, the Jewish commu- community. Tehran, where JDC recently learned of 20 !aZeera and other Arab sta- has 23,000 Jews; Turkey, ready were uneasy after AI- nity is said to be nervous. A most lranianJewslive, hosts Jews in other cities through- ti nsrousestheMuslimworld 23,000;Morocco5,000;Tuni- Qaida exploded a gas truck visiting Jew in Morocco de- a Jewish old age home, a out the country. With tireless coverage of the sia, 1,500; Yemen, 280; and outsideasynagogueinDjerba clined an interview with JTA, Jewish hospital, JewishWhen Baghdad is safe for ~ar which many Muslims Iraq, 60. last April, one of the main fearing hisphonewastapped, schools and a Jewish corn- humanitarian organizations, ~lnkcameatIsrael'sbehest- Hundreds of thousands of Jewish population centers. And Jewish schools closed munity center. JDC will assist Iraqs Jews in eWish communities could Jews who lived in Muslim The explosion kiiled 18, most earlylast Friday. Sources say The Jews of Iraqare con- whatever ways they need, ~e0nle a whipping-boy for countries fled their homes, ofwhomwere German tour-the holy Muslim day can lead sidered the most vulnerable Schwager said. ~everish ideoiogues~. and often prominent posi- ists. to a higher risk of attacks. ~--II~ are indications that tions, during the last century, At its own expense, the Tu- . In Yemen, the few Jews gryand instigated crowds amid the creation of Israel nisiangovernmentrebuiltthe are scattered in small villages COuld turn violent and direct and its early wars for exist- synagogue and added secu- throughout thecountry.With Commercial & Residential their anger and aggression ence. rity guards. It also beefed up no Jewish institutions, the tOWard individual Jews and The rise of two "isms" at securityatanothersynagogue communityisconsideredless Painting: Interior/Exterior, Driveway - 10% off J.~ish communal installa- the time- anti-Semitism and in Tunis. of a target. ~ns,"saidStevenSchwager, Zionism - prompted their "There's a real feeling that ,Anti-Americansentiment Cleaning Services: Offices and Residential move to Israel and elsewhere, the government is trying to ~ceUtive vice president of the 2br Special $50 ~encan Jewish Joint Dis- Today, Jews are free to leave protect them," said Jerry anditsJewshavebeenwarned 3br Special $70 "[eUtion Committee. these countries - although in Sorkin, a Philadelphia-area of possible attacks. The well- ,LIn anticipation of the war, Yemen and Iran, Jews are not businessman who has oper- organized community, which Call for estimate: ~e JDc has been working allowed to go to Israel. ated tours to Tunisia since hasvariedJewishinstitutions, (407) 682-4790 tr~ Jewish communities in In Morocco and Tunisia,the mid-1980s and has close has taken measures to secure (321) 229-7589 ~lUslimcountries, alongwith the governments have taken ties with its Jewish commu- itself, such as closing schools Licensed and Insured their - , governments and non- steps to secure their Jewish nity. anddispersingJewsintosmall ~uv~emmental organizations, communities with added po- Sorkin said Tunisia genu- clusters for synagogue ser-Under Supervision & Certified Kosher TheJDC, the North Ameri- lice protection in Jewish inelywantstoprotectitsJews, vices. 249 W. Hwy. 436, can federation system's over- neighborhoods and institu- but also is concerned with its * Iranian Jewish leaders ~Partnerforreliefandwel- tions, image abroad and reliessent messagesto friendsand Suite 1109 I~are' instructs Jews in Mus- Still, with Muslim popula- heavily on tourism, relatives in Europe lastweek, Alt. Spr Fla ii~C Untries to keep a low tionsrestive-demonstrators TheMarchl6stabbingofa indicating they did not feel Ba~er~ 407-862-2528 file and helps them assess clashedwithpolicethisweek- Jewish jeweler there - largely threatened, according to * ~lt$ isk -,' Such as attending Jew- end near the American em- dismissed as a criminal, not sources close to the commu- '~,~Y school or synagogue, bassies in Egypt and Yemen - anti'Semitic act - further nity. neWorldJewishCongress Jews are on high alert,rattled the community. Sam Kermanian, secre- ~al~has heightened its con- Historically, whatever "There's the underlying in- tary-general of the Los An- ~ct~ With Jews in Muslim happened in the world has security that goes with these geles-based Iranian-Amerir '~utatrieswith a hotline, Web affected the Jews from Arab types of times," Sorkin said. can Jewish Federation, said Caf Chaim II, mystery continues DF, BBIE WOOD et Chaim of ' took a trip down ~ne on Saturday 8 and it was night. begging to be Was liberated on as costumed, long ten, biker le-dyed, tee-shirted, crazy band members ed. from Saturday solo vocalists t appreciative audi- acts Groovy recreated Madame d from Saturday John Travoita, while to familiar chaired Lande/Y Hank choreo- the many ,'n Cen/ra[, for/ora / All goods made with Passover flour Specializing in Dairy Free Pastries Not Kosher for Passover DOUG WOOD and STEVE COHN, band members. Your Landscaping-Maintenance Source mauricelawncare @ Madame Karnak is SALLY GRAY and DIANE ZOOCK, caf6 manager. talented performances. Play- wright and producer, Diane Zoock directed her original humorous murder mystery where, for the second year in a row, "the bald guy dies." Guests enjoyed reading the Playbill while munching happily on plate after plate of delicious and beautifully presented hors d'oeuvres served by members of the committee during the show. The shul, cleverly trans- formed into a 70's disco/the- atre for the evening's enter- tainment, provided a fun lov- ing, mood enhancing experi- ence. Call Congregation Bet Chaim 407-830-7211 for membership information. 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