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May 4, 2012

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 4, 2012 At Yom Ha'a&00naut, school shows it's OK for Jewish, Arab students to have differences By Eetta Prince-Gibson JERUSALEM (JTA)--The two seventh-grade girls walk together down the hall, their heads touching as they talk excitedly. Dana's dark auburn hair is pulled back in a pony- tail. Waard's head is covered by a hijab, the traditional Arab headscarf, held with a fashionable pin. Dana is Jewish and lives in the German Colony, a few miles away. Waard is Muslim and lives in the nearby neigh- borhood of Beit Tzaffafa. Best friends since the first grade, they tell JTA that they were talking about Wednesday's upcoming school ceremony to mark Yore Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Israeli Independence Day. Selected to read a poem by an Israeli poet, Dana is busy with rehearsals. Waard will not attend the ceremony, but instead will meet with the other Arab students to talk about the day's meaning for them. Afterward, all the students, Arabs and Jews, together with theirArab and Jewish teachers, will join to discuss the signifi- cance of the day for them. B'nai Mitzvah S Julia Eleanor Regenst- reif, daughter of Stepha- nie Adler of Windermere and Jeffrey Regenstreif of Windermere will be called to the Torah as a bat mitz- vah on Saturday, May 12 at Congregation of Reform Judaism, Orlando. Julia is a seventh grader at Gotha Middle School where she is involved in he school's acting class and singing in chorus. Her hobbies and interests include filming her own music video, editing movies on her IMAC, writing songs, or just hanging outwith family. Her Torah section is related to Shabbat and the con- cept of ing a break to focus on what really matters to each of us. Sharing in the family's simcha are her sister, Sydney and her brother, Leo; grandparents, Harold and Denyse Adler of New York, N.Y., her grandmother Donna Regenst- reifofStuart, Fla. and her grandfather Peter Regenstreif of Rochester, N.Y. Julia also has family coming from New York, Connecticut and as far away as Washington state. 00ngagement Jennifer Augarten and Michael Blattner Craig and Jody Blattner of Longwood, Fla., are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Michael Blattner to Jennifer Augarten, daughter of Barry Augar- ten of Coral Springs, Fla. and the late Sandra Augarten. The groom-elect attended Seminole State College for his EMT/Fire standards degree. He then continued his education at SSC for his paramedic certification. Cur- rently Michael works for Orange County Fire Rescue. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time in the water catching redfish and trout. The bride-elect attended the University of Central Florida forabachelors of science in nursing, and received a master's degree, at UCF, for Family Nurse Practitioner degree. Currently Jennifer is working as a Family Nurse Practitioner at an Orlando dermatology office. In her spare time she enjoys shopping and hanging out with their puppy, Piper. The couple plan to be married on Nov. 6 at The Westin in Lake Mary, Fla. They plan to honeymoon in Saint Lucia. "It'll be Wednesday for both of us, but it doesn't mean the same thing to us," Dana explains. "One of my great- grandparents died in the War of Independence. And he was fighting people that Waard's great-grandparents probably knew. Maybe he killed some of them. And on Independence Day, I'll be happy because there's a Jewish state." "And I'll be sad because of the Nakba,"Waard says, using the Arabicword for"catastro- phe" to refer to the military loss and displacement that resulted from Israel's War of Independence in 1948. "We're really OKwith this," Dana says. "We're friends and it's chill." "You don't have to think the same to be friends," Waard adds. Dana and Waard are stu- dents at the Max Rayne Bi- lingual School in Jerusalem, a K-12 public school with some 530 students, part of the Hand in Hand nonprofit educational organization. Hand in Hand sponsors two more bilingual schools, one in the Wadi Ara valley in central Israel and one in the Galilee in the north. (Two additional bilingual schools in the country are not part of the Hand in Hand network.) Founded in 1998, the schools are funded by private contributions and grants from several international foundations, as well as stan- dard public education allo- cations from the Education Ministry. Throughout Israel, few opportunities exist for mean- ingful interaction between Jews and Arabs; schools are almost completely segre- gated. Bilingual schools, such as this one, seek to foster coexistence through cross- cultural learning. "Teaching two languages, nationalities and cultures, together with contradicting historical narratives, re- quires deep commitment and a sense of mission to meet the challenges," says Max Rayne principal Nadia Kinani, an Arab Israeli from Nazareth who now lives in Jerusalem. The mission is especially challenging in the weeks that follow the Passover holiday. That's when Israel marks, in rapid succession, Holocaust Memorial Day, the Memo- rial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Independence Day. In recent years, Arab Israelis have been marking the Nakba on May 15. "Pedagogically and ideo- logically, this is a difficult time," Kinani says. "But in truth, we prepare for these days all year in everything we do -- with our vision of equality and understanding, by teaching our children to ask questions, with our pedagogical methods, and by emphasizing that we can deal with differences in a respectful, nonjudgmental and nonviolent way." On Holocaust Memorial Day, the entire school at- tends the same ceremony and stands at solemn attention as the sirens wail throughout the country to mark the day. "In Arab schools, children learn about the Holocaust as history, but they do not understand what it meant and means for the Jewish people," Kinani explains. "We believe that all students, Arab and Jewish, should learn about the Holocaust. In an age- appropriate way, different for every grade, we teach them about racism, about genocide, about our moral responsibili- ties as human beings." Suha, an Arab-Israeli law- yer and mother of a sixth- grader, who preferred to give only her first name, sees the impact that joint program- ming can have. As a child, she says, "I was resentful of how the Jews seemed to always justify everything they do because of the Holo- caust. Because my son goes to school here, I understand much more now. I don't al- ways agree with the politics, but I understand and deeply respect the pain." Memorial Day and Inde- pendence Day, however, are more difficult to teach and to observe. "These days are filled with symbols that have very different meanings for the two groups: victor and the Kobi Gideon / Flash90/JTA Arab and Israeli students holding hands at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School for Bilingual Education in Jerusalem. By Alan D. Abbey JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Lee Javitch, 81, ex:chair of Giant supermarket chain Lee Javitch, who turned his father's meat market into a supermarket chain of 30 stores and then sold it to an international conglomerate, died April 19 at 81. Javitchwas active in Jewish organizations and had been on the boards of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, MAZON: A Jewish Response for Hunger, and CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Lead- ership, where he did a stint as chairman. Javitch turned Carlisle Meat Market in his hometown of Carlisle, Pa., into Giant Food Stores, a regional chain with vanquished, the Jews who won the war and the Arabs who lost the war," Kinani says. "There is an emphasis on flying the flag and singing the national anthem, 'Hatik- vah,' and this is problematic for Arabs because it excludes them and does not relate to their experiences." This is why, she explains, the Hand in Hand schools have devised the separate and then communal cer- emonies that Dana and Waard describe. "We are not avoiding the differences. We are teaching our students to acknowledge and respect them," Kinani says. Esther Sivan, the direc- tor of a nongovernmental organization promoting the rights of the disabled and the mother of two girls in elementary school, says she makes every effort to attend the ceremonies with her daughters. "We recognize our differ- ences and we recognize what we share. That is very honest and very powerful." Officially, the Education Ministry-supervised school does not observe the Nakba. The Nakba Law, passed last year, stipulates that the Finance Ministry may with- hold or reduce budgets from government-funded bodies that observe the day. Israeli Arab parents, how- ever, often take the initiative, organizing an afterschool Nakba program, Kinani says. Many Israeli Jewish par- ents also attend, says Ron, whose child is in fifth grade The Eulogizer fear they would play with non- religious Jews. Shas chairman Eli Yishai said he and the entire Shas movement "were saddened by the passing of Rabbi Eliyahu Deri, who did much work for the education of Israeli children. We send our deepest condolences to all the family." At Deri's funeral, which was attended by Knesset members and high-ranking rabbis and others, no eulogy was given, as he was buried on Rosh Chodesh Iyar. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas and former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, "offered words of encouragement," the Arutz 7 news service reported. Reginald Lewis, 98, Cana- da's oldest B'nai Brith mem- ber Reginald Lewis, one of Montreal's first Jewish op- tometrists, a jazz musician and the man believed to be a presence in the Mid-Atlantic and metro Washington areas. The company, which was sold to the Dutch firm Koninklijke Ahold N.V. in 1981, now oper- ates more than 180 stores. Supermarket industry me- dia took note of Javitch's death and quotedAhold USA's presi- dent, Rick Herring, as saying that Javitch "was an icon in the grocery industry." Rabbi Eliyahu Deri, 77, father of former Shas leader Rabbi Eliyahu Deri, 77, the father of former Shas leader Aryeh Deri, died in Jerusalem at 77. Deri, a Morocco native, was the fifth of seven brothers. In Morocco, Deri was a tailor who made suits for members of the Moroccan royal court. After moving to Israel in 1968, Deri began classes in Torah and other subjects for secular children in Hadera. Before that his children had not been allowed outside for and who also did want to give his full name. "Going to a Nakba obser- vance doesn't make me less of a Jew, an Israeli or a Zionist," he says. "My grandparents were Holocaust survivors. I love this country and I have fought in its wars and, sadly, my son will also probably have to go to the army when he finishes high school. But none of that prevents me from trying to understand a different point of view." Sivan says that initially she was concerned that the bi- lingual, bicultural education would in some way weaken her daughters' Jewish and Israeli identity. "But in fact, the opposite has happened," she observes. "Because they have to learn and understand someone else's culture, they also have to learn and understand their own culture better." Mahmoud, the father of a ninth-grader, says that when he was a child in an Arab vil- lage in the North, "We were forced to celebrate Israel's Independence Day, to fly the Israeli flag and even to learn about the different units of the army. But my son is learn- ing about his own culture and history, and that will make him a better Israeli." Kinani concludes, "Some people accuse us of living in a bubble. But I think that the rest of the world is in a bubble and we are living re- ality, because reality is that Jews and Arabs cannot avoid our differences and we cannot continue to avoid each other." the oldest living member of B'nai Brith Canada, died March 27 at 98. Allan Adel, national chair of the B'nai Brith League for Human Rights, said Lewis "was a fine gentleman and an exemplary and devoted mem- ber and leader of B'nai Brith and Mount Royal Lodge. I will remember him always as a warm and friendly person and fellowvolunteerwho exempli- fied the motto of B'nai Brith, 'people helping people.'" Six hundred mourners attended Lewis' funeral, the Canadian Jewish Tribune reported, noting that it was "something quite uncommon for a gentlemanwhowas close to a century old." Lewis had longevity in his family. His mother died at 105; she had retired as her son's secretary at 88. Lewis had worked into his 9s. Write to the Eulogizer at 111, ]!* W[$l$!tllllmtlE illU.!|llU, tflBWl]lillllfliglll[It , ,,  ' fi[il[il' i,:lt,$rIT': ,I ,l,[iKil[ II[tlll,l" ]111[