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April 9, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 9, 2004
 

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PAGE 4 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 9, By David Bornstein The sound of change I had a number of interesting conversations this past week, all on the same subject. Some took place at a luncheon for a small group of Federation Pacesetters who metwith our United Jewish Communities representatives, includ- ing Steve Solender, past president of UJC. Some took place during and after an executive com- mittee meeting of the Federation. And a few others occurred at the Hebrew Day School's annual songfest, Zimmriah. By Carl Alpert The CEO, a woman HAIFA--The minimal role of women in the yearsshedecidedtoacceptanofferfromTnuva, early days of the Zionist movement, the minor Israel's dairy giant. part they took in the settlement movement AsmalicompanyaffiliatedwithTnuva, Olivia, and, with the exception of Goida Meir, their had for some time been spinning downwards, absence from leadership in the formative days and the choice was to close it down or make one of Israel, have long been subjects of critical more new effort. The company produced a observation, good line of miscellaneous sauces and dress- Mter more than fifty years of statehood, ings, buthadnevercaughton.WouldIrisFeine there have been some minor elements in the be interested in becoming the Chief Executive emergence of Eve's descendants that offer hope Officer of Olivia, with a free hand, though not for the future, necessarily with an unlimited promotion bud- Fifty-seven percent of the girls graduating a get? Jewish high school here qualify for a matricu- Yes, she would. She told us that she found lation certificate as against only 51 percent of many weak links in the company's operations, the boys. and courageously made many changes in the In the judiciary, 45 percent of the judges are staff. She engaged talented, competent person- women, but the Knesset numbers only 15 nel, andalmostimmediatelyanewatmosphere women among its membership of 120.was obvious. Reviewing her program, she be- Despite the broad growth of industry, women came aware that she had a tendency to engage occupy only 12 percent of the top managerial women, not with any conscious assertion of posts. Conspicuous is Ofra Strauss, head of the feminism, but purely in search of quality. She giant Strauss dairy concern. Here and there confessed that she began to resist her first competent youngwomen are displaying quail- inclinations, and added capable males to her ties of leadership, and we seize an opportunity staff as well. of observing the emergence of one individual, She admits that she somet~paes made mis- and hopefully typical, case. takes, but quickly recovered. Iris Feine, 37, was born in Jerusalem. She As a result of imaginative marketing, sales did well in secondary school and enrolled for a rose, and Olivia began to become a familiar four-year program in industrial engineering item on the market. The results were so obvi- and management at the Technion in Haifa ous and so quick that her board offered her the where, incidentally, she met herhusband.Upon management of a second problematic corn- graduation she got a junior job with a consult- pany, with a free hand. ing company. The Israel market is small, and Iris has her Then she was interviewed by Ofra Strauss, eye on overseas possibilities, though the popu- who made no secret of her desire to encourage lar and tasty sauces and dressings may be sold female progress. Indeed, the Strauss company under local labels. has become a training ground for large num- We had two more queries. No, during her bers of young women, many of whom have career of steady advancement she had never moved on to higher positionswith other firms, been aware of any hostility due to her sex, even Iris quickly grasped the challenge, and ap- though many of the victims of her sharp reor- plying the theories she had learned at the ganization have been men. She has faced criti- Technion, she became product manager of the cism, often justified she admits, but she does ice cream division, then head of a new line of not ascribe such criticism to the fact that she is yogurts, which Strauss was introducing. She a woman. did not spend all her time in the office. She On a personal note, she is married and has visited many supermarkets, mingled with the two children. She admits that in the early days customers and listened to their observations, she did not give the youngsters the time and As a result of imaginative and innovative mar- attention she should have. Fortunately, she keting, sales increased dramatically, has an understanding and cooperative hus- She remained with Strauss for seven years, band, who is a successful engineer. She also Her achievements had been observed, and she has a most helpful mother-in-law. Now she was invited to accept the post ofVice President budgets time for the little ones, spends full for marketing and sales at Shemen, Israel's weekends with them, and she and her husband oldest and largest edible oil company. She include the whole family on all vacations. found ground for application of her ideas, but We should like to think that Iris Feine is sought even greater challenges. Shemen did typical of an up-and-coming generation of not want her to leave, but after two and a half young women in Israel. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE O O ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 36 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emefltus Assistant Editor Gene Starn Lyn Payne HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721 ) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($41.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Elaine Schooping Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL32730. Periodicals postage paid Account Executives at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Carl Alpert Michael Gamson MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER Tim Boxer David Bornstein Gail Simons P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 Production Department email: Heritagefl@aol.com David Lehman Teri Marks Allison Berkowitz O In some ways my conversations at Zimmriah were the most provocative. I had the chance to speak with two people who disagreed with my recent column on Super Sunday. Amazingly, one was a doctor and the other a lawyer, the two groups of professionals I specifically dispar- aged for their lack of philanthropy. While I didn't agree with everything they said, they did make several good points, all under the same umbrella: Whatever message the Federation is putting out, it's not working, it's not being heard, it's not having impact. The question they raised (as I did in my article) was just that. If people aren't responding to the Federation, is it the fault of the organization or the indi- vidual? Ultimately, while the individual doesn't suf- fer, the organization, and surely the commu- nity, does. The meeting with our UJC reps was an op- portunity for them to getan earful about what's going on in our community from the opinion- ated minds of some of our most committed, involved, and passionate members. They told us that demographics in the United States are changing, that more and more Jews are moving away from the Midwest and North- east and down to the Southwest and Southeast. They said that Orlando has the potential to be a leadership community, and in the next twenty years we may have a Jewish population as large or larger than Cleveland's, one of the largest in the nation. The message they heard back was mixed. We need more community building, not commu- nity buildings. We need to take a long, soul- searching look at what the priorities in our community really are, and reshape the Federa- tion accordingly. More resounding than any- thing else, they heard that the status quo was not acceptable, that change was necessary if we are to be a successful, leading Jewish commu- nity this century. Lastly, at a recent Federation executive com- mittee meeting, Federation officers struggled with plans to rebuild the Federation. With Eric Geboff, our Federation executive director, leav- ing at the end of his current term, an opportu- nity exists to retool. A retreat is planned in May to figure out what that retooling may consist of. Therein lies the big question. What direc- tion does the Federation take? From alloca- tions to general fundraising, from local global responsibilities, it's all on the table discussion and soul searching. All this has led me down an eye opening~ precipitous slope. For years I have touted the altruism of the Federation throughout recent capital campaign. After raisin lion, the Federation came away itself?. Nothing. No buildings. No prestige. great recognition. Little goodwill at the a level (if anything, the campaign left agencies bashing the Federation for a job completely done). But the truth lies than that. During no agency spoke ur prestigious offices so it can be the 1~ plannerand fu one said, "If the Federation looks better, look better." No one said, "If the gets more today, we'll all get The reason for that is a simple one. We're community driven by agencies that look their own interests. That's not bad thing. In fact, it should be agencies exist to provide specific, and must promote themselves to do so. must face the facts that we are, today, a munity whose agendas and priorities are not by the Federation Federation created. If that's the case, where we go and how do we reshape the Federation acknowledgement of this fact? I don't know.J times I've been a button pusher, an setter, a conversation maker. In this case I the issue, but the answer is bigger than meg you. It involves us all. The Federation change. That much is evident. It's not enough fort Federation to spout the same message and again. It's not working. The message mission have to come into a more clear, dynamic focus. What that mission will be that metamorphosis will look like will affect! all, for this generations to come. The opinions expressed in this the writer's, and not those of the Heritage O any other Jewish organization. That's the word until next week. mail your comments, critiques, to dpbornstein@earthlink.net. of war for and By Morris J. Amitay The completely justified surgical strike that took the miserable life of a self-proclaimed terrorist leader raises fundamental questions about how to conduct the 'Saar on terrorism." If Israel and the United States are indeed atwar, what should be the rules? If the widespread European condemnation of Israel's action is an indication of how its leaders view the threat of Islamic extremism, they had better start teach- ing the Koran in their own school systems. The official U.S. reaction that found Yassin's sud- den demise "deeply troubling" was mitigated by our veto of yet another completely one- sided UN resolution. But can we really have it both ways? Why wouldn't the U.S. welcome the elimination of someone it listed in August 2003 as one of six Specially Designated Global Terrorists? One has to wonder: if our own intelligence (and accuracy) were as precise as our Israeli friends', and resulted in sending Osama bin Laden to paradise, would our government also find it"deeply troubling?" But hypocrisy and a double standard applied to Israel aside, the question remains: how serious is the United States in defeating this new kind of enemy? If the death of a terrorist mastermind (a.k.a. a "spiritual leader"), could cause such angst, imagine how much worse it would have been for Israel if it had leveled the Gaza soccer stadium where thousands gathered to mourn Yassin and shout demands for Israel's destruc- tion. The number of casualties (all able-bodied males, incidentally) would have represented only a small fraction of the civilian lives taken in Dresden, much less Hiroshima, duringWorld War II. Alas, however, the world has become a kinder and gentler place, even for Islamic ter- rorists. In the "good old days" of WWlI, the Cold War and Vietnam, our foes could be identified as representing a sovereign power within defined boundaries. Today, our deadly adversaries are more amorphous, and defined more by ideol- ogy then geography. And while they are as- sisted in varying degrees by two nations, Iran and Saudi Arabia, these regimes operate on the assumption we will continue to play their dip- lomatic games. But being in a new ball game does not necessarily mean that we have to abandon all of the older rules. We only do much bett nature of the threat, but act more neutralize it. This means setting aside exaggerated, cerns about international legality, criminal prosecutions as a deterrent, knowledging that we are, indeed, engaged jihadists are fond of proclaiming: "You West] love life--but we love death." certainly demonstrated by their of suicide operations against the non-believers. Their ultimate goal, is the conversion of the entire world to own extremist brand of Islam. And while make no bones about it, too many westerners repeat the mantra of Islam religion of peace. Unfortunately, not lims adhere to this. In the Palestinian-controlled whole generation of schoolchildren are to embrace death as shahids - mar~ this is not only within Yassin's Hamas, practiced by Arafat's so-called "AI-Aqsa gades." Reacting to criticism over children suicide bombers, proclaimed "We age of seventeen." And displaying her~ maternal instincts, the mother of the tive 16-year-old would-be suicide bomber prehended at a roadblock, was quoted as ! ing"If hewas over 18 I mi him to do it." What compassionl It has been said that "for every human P lem there is a and wrong". But in dealing enon of the suicide bombers, their inciters solution should be evident. On September 20 2001, President addressing a joint session of the U.S. stated that the every terrorist grouI and defeated." While not necessarily be] amored with the smell of cordite way to "stop" and "defeat" terrorists whO martyrdom is to grant them their quickly as possible. If we are indeed in the midst of a See "Amitay" on page 5