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April 30, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 30, 2004

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JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 30, 2004 PAGE 7 By Dr. Rafael Medoffto oust Hitler. He wrote a During the 1940s, the Hecht-- to bring Holocaust fundraising pageant for the Bergson Group sponsoredsurvivors to Palestine in de- Lastweekmarked40years group, called "Fun to Be numerousfull-pagenewspa- fianceofBritishimmigration lofBenHecht, Free,"whichdrewmorethanper ads calling for U.S. ac- restrictions. playwright, Hollywood 17,000 people to Madison tion to rescue Jews from A planned performance of andcontrover- Square Garden in 1941. Hitler.Theads, manyofthem "Flag" at the Maryland The- activist who Hecht'sevolutionfromas-authoredby Hecht, featured ater, in Baltimore, ran into the Jewish world like similation to activism is ex- eye-catching headlines such trouble when Hecht discov- ngthe1940s, ploredinan essay by Profes- as"Time Races Death: What ered that the theater re- name has been sot Gil Troy, "The Transfor- Are We Waiting For?" and strictedMrican-Americansto in the, news recently, mation of Ben Hecht from "How Well Are You Sleep- the balcony. A last-minute the revival of two Literary Gadfly to Political ing? Is There SomethingYou pressure campaign by an alli- plays and Activist,'whichwillappear in Could Have Done to Save Mil- ance of the Bergson Group scholarlyin- a forthcoming issue of the lions of Innocent People-- and the locaI NAACP brought in his 1940s political scholarly journal American Men, Women, and Chil- downthatraciaibarrier--the including the pub- Jewish History. dren--from Torture and firsttimethatblackswereable on of FBI memos My own recent book, Mili- Death?" "Our mission in the tositfreelyinaMarylandthe- accusing him of be- tantZionism inAmerica: The United Stateswould not have ater. Exuberant NAACP lead- Communist. " Rise and Impact of the attained the scope and inten- ershailedthe"tradition-shat- sian- JabotinskyMovement in the sity it did if not for Hecht's tering victory" and used it to first rose United States, reveals previ- gifted pen," senior Bergson help pave the way for the de- no-holds-barred ously-classified documents group activist Yitshaq Ben- segregation of other Balti- xHewent showing that the FBI spied Ami later wrote. "He had a more theaters. Coauthor the Pulitzer on the Bergson Group, the compassionate heart, coy- "I am proud that it was my tuning play, "The militant Jewish activists ered up by ashort temper, a play which terminated one and became a headed by Peter Bergsonbrutal frankness and an acid of the most disgracefui prac- iwriter, with (Hillel Kook), with whom tongue." tices of our country's his- that included the Os- Hechtwasassociated.Memo- "Twentieth Century"is not tory," Hecht declared after ang "Underworld," randa authored by FBI chief the only Hecht play enjoying the opening performance in the Wind," and J. Edgar Hoover erroneously a revival. The American Cen- Baltimore. "The incident is "screwbalicomedy," characterizedHechtasa"fel- tury Theater, in Arlington, forceful testimony to the ~tieth Century." Last low traveler" and a "Com- Virginia, which recreates proposition that to fight dis- eth Century" munist Zionist." classic American plays, has crimination and injustice to on Broadway, Hecht's first project with just launched its own pro- one group of human beings Alec Baldwin and the Bergson Group was "We duction of "A Flag is Born," affords protection to every Heche. During the Will Never Die," a dramatic Hecht's 1946 play about Ho- other group." of his career, Hecht1943 pageant to raise Ameri- Iocaust survivors and the Forty years have passed 25 books, 20 plays, can public awareness of the need to establish a Jewish since his death, butthelegacy and hundreds Nazi genocide. Starring Ed- State. The original play of Ben Hecht's politicalpas- Film critic Judith ward G. Robinson and Paul starred Paul Muni, Celia sion and gifted pen contin- .called him "the most Muni, it was staged at Madi- Adler, and Marion Brando, ues to be felt. multimedia child of son Square Garden before au- thenjust22yearsoldandonDr. RafaelMedoffisdirec- diences totaling more than the verge of stardom, tot of The David S. Wyman Y ungman, Hechthad 40,000, before traveling to "A Flag is Born," whichInstituteforHolocaustStud- real interest in hisPhiladelphia, Bosttm, Chi- the British press called "the ies, which focuses on issues rise cago, the Hollywood Bowl, most virulent anti-British relatedtoAmerica'sresponse and the persecu- and Washington D.C where playeverstagedintheUnited to the Holocaust - Jews trans- the audience included First States," raised an estimated First he joined Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, six one million dollars, part of This article originally ap- Com- Supreme Court justices and which was used by the peared in The Washington advocated pre- several hundred Members of Bergson Group to purchase Times, andis reprinted with U.S. military actionCongress. a ship --named the S.S.Ben permission. By Bill Gladstone 155-year-old Pape Avenue Cemetery, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the province. More anti-Semitic incidents also have been reported. According to" Farber, quick action is required to extinguish these sparks of hate. "We need something right away," he said. "It's like a fuse burning out of control. We need to stop it hard and fast, and we can best do that with the assistance of the pro- vincial government. We need them to be partners on this." Earlier this month, a United Talmud Torah elementary school in Montreal was firebombed, destroying the library. Many say there never has been a more pressing need for additional security at Jewish day schools in Canada. Yet parents already face a "maximum financial burden" as they cope with steep reli- gious-school tuition, said Ed Morgan, chairman of the Ca- nadian Jewish Congress' Ontario branch. Increasing police budgets would relieve the pressure on parents to shoulder the additional cost needed to protect their chil- dren, he said. "Security is a police mat- ter," he said. "We trust the police. We want them to do it." Farber, Morgan and rep- resentatives of the UJA Fed- eration of Greater Toronto met April 15 with the province's attorney general, Michael Bryant, and its min- ister of community safety and ~RONTo (JTA)--The st SUstained anti- attack in Canadian ie Farber, director of the of the Cana- Congress, sums of at- Jewish targets to those at- 'ish officials have other institu- to ask Ontario's government to the police bud- additional sur- and patrolling of the commu- care of its own but" the fi- ~n "is becoming gasig- the com- mbear alone," he said. mique situation Jews. We pay Lng of protec- else." I officials had rash of anti- :nts in March .~ teen- arrested for des- st-Lawn Is have struck cemeter- Ontario since Toronto's photo courtesy Bernie Father/ Canadian Jewish Congress BERNIE FARBER, execu- tive director of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Jew- ish Congress. correctional services, Monte Kwinter. "Both ministers were very understanding of our situa- tion," Morgan said. "Of course, they didn't write a check for more police re- sources on the spot, but they indicated that they would take the issue to their Cabi- net colleagues and see what they could do to direct more resources to the problem." Bryant also reportedly gave assurances to the Canadian Jewish Congress that anyone caught perpetrating anti- Semitic attacks would be proving the community's se- curity needs. The large advocacy orga- nization B'nai Brith Canada also has sent security and counterterrorism experts into many local schools and synagogues. B'nai Brith's se- curity analysis should be ready soon, according to Frank Dimant, the group's national executive vice-presi- dent. Both organizations ac- knowledge that much needs to be done to shield Jewish institutions from malevolent acts by homegrown anti- Semites or agents of interna- tional terrorism. "I think we're looking at millions of dollars that have to be spent to try to provide a better security system for the community," Dimant said. "Right now you have some synagogues that will have some security personnel in place on Saturday morn- ings," he said. "But what hap- pens Saturday afternoon? What happens the rest of the week? I think there are lots of other issues that don't lend themselves to being dis- cussed in the media at the moment. But let's just say we have a lot of homework to do." Officials of both organi- zations assert that in the post-Sept. 11 world, commu- prosecuted to the fullest ex- nity safety must not be com- tent of the law. promised." Foryears, a Canadian Jew- "I don't want this to be- ish Congress committee has come a dollar-and-cents is- been working quietly behind sue," Farber said. "Whatever the scenes, assessingand im- it costs, it's worth it." Central Florida Synagogue Service Schedule and Directory Celebration Jewish Congregation (Rex), Navigator School, 607 Celebration Avenue, Celebration, 407-5%-5397, 7 p.m. first and third Fridays each month. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd Maitland, 407-(/14-2500; Services: Sunday, 8 a.m Mon-Fri, 7 a.m Fri 6:30 p.m Sat. 9:30 a.m. Family Service 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 1033 Semoran Blvd Suite 151, Casselherry, 407-830-7211; Shahbat service, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, Longwood, 407-862- 3505; Shabbat service, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m Junior Cong 10:45 aim. Congregation Beth El (C), 2185 Meadowlane Ave West Melbourne, 321- 779-0740; Services, 8 p.m. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 9:30 a.m. 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Congregation Beth Emeth (R), 2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407- 855-0772; Services once a month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom (C), 315 North 13th St Leesborg, 352-315-0770 Congregation B'nai Torah (C), 445 S. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1174; Services Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chahad (O), 1301 S. Patrick Dr. #62, Satellite Beach, 321-777- 2770. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (0), 1079 W. Granada Blvd ormond Beach, 386672-9300; Shabbat services Fri. 7:30 p.m Sat. I0 a.m. Congregation of Liberal Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr Orlando, 407-645- 0444; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; except Ist Friday, Family services begin 7 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P.O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321- 768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 5015 Goddard Ave Orlando, 407-298- 4650; Shabbat service, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.; Junior Cong 10:15 a.m. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd Kissimmee, 407-935-0064; Shabbat service, 8 p.m 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month. Congregation Shalom, Willian,~burg (R), P.O. Box 691081, orlando, 32869: Friday night services once a month at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosen Centre, 9840 International Drive, Orlando. 407-238-7943. Congregation Sinai (C), Jenkins Auditorium, West Montrose St Clermont: Services on last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. 352-2434890. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd Orlando, 407-239-5444; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813-324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386445-3006; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 5995 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254-6333. Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49 Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 555 Markham Woods Rd Longwood, 407-647-3055; Shabbat service; 6:15 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321-631-9494. Temple Israd (C), 1400 S. Peninsula Ave Daytona Beach, 904-252-3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel (C), 1001 E. New York Ave DeLand, 386-736-1646; Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m. Temple Shalom of Daltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd Deltona, 904-789- 2202; Shabbat service, 10 a.m. Saturday. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R); Shabbot service, 7:30 p.m. 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month at Carrillon Elementary School, 320 Lockwood Blvd Oviedo. Call 407-366-3556 for information. 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