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May 9, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 9, 2014
 

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PAGE 8A J J HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 9, 2014 i Wa ldflo wers BB G Is ,1 Nigh t Waldflowers BBG hosted a chapter meeting at the Roth JCC to learn more about Israel. Chapter adviser, Lyla Halikman, teaches the BBYO members Israeli dancing. By Sarah Michel First Person On April 24th, Waldflowers B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG) metat the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando for a night of Israeli food, friend- ship, and fun. Members kicked off the program by writing thank you letters to soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to show our appreciation for everything they do for our homeland. Using the organi- zation Thank Israeli Soldiers, our letters will be distributed among different units in the IDF and all the soldiers will understand how grateful we are for them. Next, Waldflowers put our own BBG twist on a typical Is- raeli flag and created our own using graham crackers and different colored icing. During this messy and sweet activity, members were quizzed on their knowledge of the flag. "I liked the food portion of the program the best because we incorporated Israeli infor- mation into a tasty snack!" said Sara Hoffen, 11th grader at Lake Mary High School. Following our edible treats, Waldflowers members jumped into a game of'Jewpardy' and tested our Israel IQ. Girls were quizzed on everything from Israeli history to geography to culture. Ilana Loory, a junior from Lake Brantley High School, stole the show with her amazing knowledge of the Holy Land. Sophomore Taylor Harris said she "liked the Jeopardy because it taught me cool facts about Israel that aren't just the generic infor- mation that everyone learns." To wrap up the night, our adviser, Lyla Halikman, taught everyone the famous Israeli song and dance "Kiss Kiss." "I loved Israeli dancing be- cause it was fun experiencing new things with everyone," said Rebecca Michel, sopho- more at Winter Park. Lyman junior and chapter president HannahWiselthier agreed, and said that the "Israeli dancing with Lyla was great because it was super upbeat and fun and because our lovely adviser led it. Everyone had a smile on her face during it! It was really cool to learn an Israeli dance because I haven't done that before! I definitely will be teaching it to others for their enjoyment for years to come." Sarah Michel is in 11th grade at Winter Park High School. She is currently serving at Waldflowers BBG's S' ganit (vice-president). Savannah Court welcomes Jewish community with mezuzah langing Jackie Leavitt, Rabbi Arnold Siegel, resident Bea Rozen and Greg Knowles. A New Synagogue in Clermont, FL Looking for a ReformedConservative RABBI! CANTOR If interested, please reply by phone ASAP 352-242-6135 By Pamela Ruben Monday afternoons are a time of celebration, song, and snack at Savannah Court and Cove in Maitland. Residents of all faiths and backgrounds stroll,wheel, or ambulate into the main hall at 3 p.m. on the dot, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Jewish Pavilion volunteers, the force behind their weekly happy hour. On Monday, May 28, Savannah Court residents had an addi- tional reason for celebration. A rabbi affixed a mezuzah to the doorpost with a moving ceremony, designating the facility as a welcoming home for Jewish residents. Community rabbi, Arnold Siegel, presided over the oc- casion, with the assistance of Savannah Court Executive Director Greg Knowles. Knowles stated, "We are happy to share the tradition of the mezuzah with our Jew- ish residents and visitors, and to provide an opportunity for education for all our residents." Pavilion volunteer Jackie Leavitt presented the hand- crafted, ceramic mezuzah, which she had donated, spur- ring the day's events. In addi- tion, Rabbi Siegel presented an educational forum, creat- ing an opportunity for cul- tural outreach for residents of all faiths and backgrounds, furthering the goals of the Pavilion as well as the facility. Rabbi Siegel explained that a mezuzah marks the doorpost of Jewish homes, and contains a scroll inscribed in Hebrew with the most famous Jewish prayer, the Shema. "We affix the mezuzah to remind us of our obligations as Jews, at every turn to do what is right and moral. In addition, it serves as a daily reminder of our heritage," said Rabbi Siegel. Resident Linda Pappis asked if the scrolls contained the Ten Commandments. Siegel replied that the scrolls contain two portions from Deuteronomy and serve as a reminder of the 613 mitzvot, the good deeds that Jews should strive to fulfill. Pap- pis remarked that she had purchased a mezuzah as a gift for a friend in Miami more than 20 years ago, and thanked the rabbi for helping her understand the shared principles behind the object. Members of the Pavilion and Jewish resident Bea Rozen joined Rabbi Siegel outside the front doors of the residence for the mezuzah hanging ceremony. Knowles assisted with placement as Siegel explained the reasons why the mezuzah was hung on a diagonal. He explained that Rabbis Rashi and Hillel each felt that the mezuzah should be hung in the opposite direc- tion. They hung the mezuzah on an angle as a compromise. According to Jewishfedera- tions.com, the mezuzah also came to represent the desire for peace within a Jewish home. Last, the group shared the prayer for the hanging of the mezuzah, as well as the Shehechayanu, expressing gratitude for the joyous occa- sion and gathering of friends. The celebration continued back inside Savannah Court, where residents enjoyed ice cream floats and chocolate dipped strawberries. The "Happy Hour" was aptly named, as Pavilion volunteer and singer Esther Portes moved the crowd with a selec- tion of "golden oldies." As the festivities came to an end, residents lingered longer than usual in the main hall, enjoying one another's company and the sense of community provided by the Pavilion and its volunteers. Nancy Ludin, Pavilion execu- tive director shared her feelings about the evenL "We are thrilled that Savannah Court has made our Jewish residents feel at home with the hanging of the mezuzah.Manythanksto Rabbi Siegel and Greg Knowles for helping us have the "happiest of hours." May the mezuzah bring peace and happiness within this home this afternoon, and for many years to come." Esther Portes, Jewish Pa- vilion volunteer and singer. Bar Mitzvah J--00oger! Jl00vnter 00a)itten Robert Hunter Witten,  son of Dr. Charles and Bar- bara Witten of Heathrow, Fla., will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland. Robby is in the seventh grade at Trinity Prepara- tory School where he participates in and sup- ports the Builder's Club. His hobbies and interests include Boy Scouts, ten- nis, volunteer work with Families in Transition, and spending time with family and friends. He is also a member of the National League of Junior Cotillions in Winter Park. Sharing in the family's simchawill be Robby's sisters, Halie and Julia Witten of Florida and Jessica Witten of New Jersey; grandmothers, Ellie Goldstein of New York and Lillian Witten of Philadelphia; and friends and relatives from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and California.