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May 9, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 9, 2014 J-Serve From page 1A The 2014 Teen Task Force members were Matthew Gottfried, 8th, Sanford Mid- die; Jonah Goldberg, 10th, Lake Mary Prep; Brandon Levitt, 10th, Winter Park; Daniel Perreault, 10th, Lake Highland; Taylor Harris, 10th, Virtual; Kyle Sabell, 11th, Apopka; Sara Hoffen, 11th, Lake Mary; Ilana Loory, 11th, Lake Brantley; Han- nah Procell, 12th, Oviedo; and Sophie Schnaper, 12th, Winter Park. The staff members were Lory Conte and Robby Etzkin. PAGE 15A Shown here (l-r): Romy Abramowsky, Jordan Harris, Nadav Weil, Ofree Basher, and Jamie Benghiat help run the J-Serve carnival. Daniel Perreault and Brandon Levitt facilitate group discussions about community service. Sharkansky From page 4A On the eve of Israel's Holo- caust Remembrance, Abbas made an appropriate remark about the great historical tragedy. It's not likely to change the set of the Israeli leadership. The West Bank- Gaza alliance also solved a problem for Prime Minister Netanyahu. For the first time in a while, none of the par- ties are threatening to leave the government. It probably won't help Abbas' cause that at about the same time he was calling the Holocaust a tragedy, a spokesman for Hamas was denying its existence. Israel for the time being may have to be satisfied with the comment out of Washington that the admin- istration will see how Abbas statement of honoring the Quartet's demands passes the test of time. There are rumbles in Congress about ending the aid that the U.S. gives to the PNA, i.e., somewhere in the range of $200-$400 million per year. However, rumbles in Con- gress aren't bankable. John Kerry must own up to much of the blame for what went wrong, and whatever violence may come next. He shouldn't have tried something that knowledge- able observers were pretty certain could not succeed. Kerry has the clout of the American government behind his deeply intoned platitudes. However, the Middle East and Ukraine are so many miles from Boston. History was against him here, summed up by what Foreign Minister Abba Eben said years ago, that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an op- portunity. Still justifying that epigram is the reluc- tance of the Palestinian leadership to accept Israel's existence, and give up the demands of refugees from 1948 and their descendants to return home. Lots of Palestinians live at peace alongside Jews, but the political and religious leaders are not ready or not strong enough to make the concession in the context of substantial opposition built up over the years throughout the Middle East, now with a chorus of BDS from the international left. A number of countries without diplomatic relations with Israel do quiet business with Israeli firms, and send their wealthy sick to Israeli hospitals, but are not about to offend the mobs trained to chant death to the Jews. Same old, same old. Been here. Done this. Looks like we'll have to do it again. Ira Sharkansky is a profes- sor (Emeritus) of the Depart- men t of Political Science, He- brew University of Jerusalem. Karnpeas From page 5A Street said that its actions did not merit admission. Farley Weiss, the president of National Council of Young Israel, said that bringing in J Street would render meaning- less the Presidents Confer- ence's mission of presenting a unified Jewish voice to the government. He noted that J Street lobbies Congress and that its positions often were opposed to those of the American Israel PublicAffairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse. "Theywould go to Congress and say, 'We're critical of Israel and we're members of the Conference of Presidents,'" Weiss said of J Street. According to participants, the debate at the Presidents Conference boardroom on Wednesday evening was civil, with contributions by past chairmen of the conference, both for and against admit- ting J Street. Participants said Butterfly From page 7A going so fast it was difficult to keep track," she answered. Another actor wondered how it was possible for the children to keep silent about their secret classes. "Well, they knew that if they didn't, it would have terrible consequences for everyone," Englinderova explained. "The children were young but they weren't really children anymore. They knew more about life than many adults." A day before setting out for Terezfn, the troop performed in Prague for Englanderovi's family and members of the Prague Youth Theatre, who had joined the Philadelphia actors for workshops earlier in the week. "It was a tremendous performance by these chil- dren," Englinderov said. "They never experienced that no one's mind appeared changed by the debate. The rejection prompted calls from some Presidents Conference constituent groups for an overhaul of the body. "In' the days 'ahead, Reform Movement leaders will be consulting with our partners within the Conference of Presidents to decide what our next steps will be," Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said in a statement. "We may choose to advocate for a significant overhaul of the Conference of Presidents' processes. We may choose to simply leave the Conference of Presidents. But this much is certain: We will no longer acquiesce to simply maintaining the facade that the Conference of Presidents represents or reflects theviews of all of American Jewry." Before ascending to the URJ's helm, Jacobs was a member of J Street's Rabbinic Cabinet. Other major groups, in- cluding the Conservative movement's Rabbinical As- sembly and the Anti-Defama- tion League, also were calling for an overhaul. "The Conference of Presi- dents has 50 or so organi- zations, each one has one vote, the majority of those organizations are quite tiny," Schonfeld said. "The fact that J Street did not pass today's vote is reflective of structural anomalies of the conference." Smallermembers of the con- ference with similar outlooks to J Street, including Ameinu and Americans for Peace Now, also called for reforms. APN saiditwould"weigh its options" regarding its relationship with the conference. A source close to the Presi- dents Conference said that given the secret ballot it was not clear that J Street's rejec- tionwas driven by the smaller groups and noted that many of the membership bid's backers were also small. the war or anything like that, and it must have been difficult for them to imagine what itwas like. But they did a great job." Englnderov had seen the play before and was even able to attend its premiere in Mil- waukee in 1967. But itwas the first time her granddaughter Magdalena Kudlkovi saw it. "In our family, the story was just a kind of an abstract fairy tale with a happy ending. But now I suddenly saw my grandmother right there, all those years ago," Kudltkov said. "It was very strong and it made me cry." About 30 people attended the Terezfn performance, mostly parents and friends of the group. Wolf said they had invited local media and insti- tutions, but none expressed interest. Having a small, familiar audience, however, may have helped the young cast cope with their emotions while on the stage, said Tim Popp, the play's director. Popp said the experience will make the children better actors. "They learned they were capable of feeling more than they thought they could possibly do, so the next time they approach a play, whether it's Butterfly or even a light- hearted and comedic musical, they learned that their range is bigger than they thought," he said. More importantly, learning about the Holocaust in this way could make the young actors stronger people, said Mariana Chilton, 46, whose 13-year-old daughter, Zora Gamberg, is in the cast. "I think it will help her and the other children as they grow up and deal with the terrible abuses that are happening all around them." The source said that previ- ous attempts to change the voting system to take into consideration the various sizes of the constituentgroups failed in part because there was disagreement on what criteria should determine the proportional weight of a member organization. The expressions of support for J Street's bid contrast with the cool reception the group often received in its early years. Most major Jew- ish groups kept away from its first national conference in 2009. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Ja- cobs' predecessor at the URJ, agreed to speak, but much of his speech criticized J Street for not backing Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza earlier that year. Since then, more major groups have participated in J Street conferences as attend- ees and speakers. The growing warmth is in part the result of J Street advocating for Israel to other liberals. JCPA officials have said that J Street proved criti- cal in defeating divestment motions targeting Israel that were being considered by left- leaning mainline Protestant churches. Opponents of J Street's bid said they were influenced by the group's willingness to invite to its events supporters of the boycott, divestmentand sanctions movement, though J Street opposes BDS. J Street's founder and Mohels From page llA shorter period of time. Most memorable bris: At the Tulsa airport. I had to check my instruments as bag- gage, and the luggage got lost. The airline eventually found it and put it on the next flight in, but there wasn't enough time to get to the shul and then back for me to make my flight out. So we brought food, wine and president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, told JTA that his group would continue to engage with those with opposing views. "The whole point of debate is to actively engage with the people who disagree with you," he said. But the Zionist Organiza- tion of America's national president, Morton Klein, said that some viewpoints, such as support for BDS, do not deserve a Jewish platform. "To give them a podium so that others can hear their arguments, no, that gives them legitimacy and allows them the chance to convince other people," he said. Ben-Ami said he was sad- dened by the vote. "We wanted to be in this tent, we belong in this tent, we'd be an important asset to this tent," Ben-Ami said. But after it was rejected by the Presidents Conference, J Street quickly went on the offensive against the confer- ence and its vice-president, Malcolm Hoenlein. "Dear Malcolm," J Street said in a letter posted on its website for which it is seeking signatories. "Thank you for finally making it clear that the Conference of Presidents is not representative of the voice of the Jewish com- munity. We recognize the need for an open and honest conversation on Israel in the United States. We appreciate you being honest. Now we'll work on the openness." Representatives of various conference members said that Hoenlein appeared to keep out of the process. TheADL's national director, Abraham Foxman, advocated for admitting J Street despite his disagreements with the group. "They infuriate me," he said. Foxman said that J Street had undermined its own cause by criticizing other Israel supporters and emphasizing its differences from the com- munal consensus. He pointed to a defense posted on the J Street website of Secretary of State John Kerry's recent warning that absent a peace deal, Israel could become an apartheid state. Kerry was strongly criticized by Jewish groups for the comment, and he later said that his use of the word "apartheid" was inap- propriate. "Look what they did, right before the election, defend- ing Kerry when Kerry would not defend himself," Foxman said. But whether he liked J Street was beside the point, Foxman said. "We're checking the tzitzis of those who want to cel- ebrate Israel," he said, using an expression that describes overly intrusive inspections of Jewish devotion. "We're doing tzitzis checks of how deep is their love. That's a troubling development." challah to the airport, and I did it in the chapel there. Time: About a minute, plus prep. Inspiration: It's the perfect job. It's always a very happy occasion. I don't have to do funerals like a rabbi. Everyone wants to meet you, to feed you. You're bringing another child : Retirement? I'm 73, but I'll keep doing it till I get shaky. As long as people want me to, and as long as I'm no danger to the child. Device of choice: Mogen clamp. Its big disadvantage is, if you're not trained well you can cause an amputation. - Anesthesia: I do use a local into the covenant between: anesthetic, soyoudon'theara God and the Jewish people m baby screaming in pain. it's very gratifying. Price: $300-$350