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May 18, 2012

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PAGE 18A Rabbi From page 2A down models that used to predominate. "When I grew up or even when I came to the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, it was a gen- eration in which the rabbi controlled everything and did everything," Priesand recalls. "The rabbi would just say, 'This is what we are going to do.'-and everyone would say, 'Yes, rabbi.'" By contrast, Priesand says she always has given her con- gregants the opportunity to express their opinions, even when they are different from her own. Secondly, she says wom- en have brought new ways of looking at Judaism. including a new perspec- tive on divinity. "They emphasized that God em- bodies characteristics both masculine and feminine." says Priesand. Women have also influ- enced changes in prayer language, making it more gender neutral. "For me, one of the important things is to address God as 'You,' not 'He' or 'She.' because there is a distance there." says Priesand. "'You' is a very intimate way of ad- dressing God, and it has 'been very helpful for me m liturgy I've created or things I've done here at the temple: it's like you're talking to a friend, not a distant personage." Finally, the existence of more female rabbis has allowed Jewish women to discover new role models. Priesand admires Regina Jonas, who was ordained privately in the 1930s in Germany but not by the seminary, because the Tal- mud professor refused to give his OK. Rabbi Jonas served primarily in homes for the elderly and later died in a concentra[ion camp. Says Priesand, "I am tech- nically the first woman in the world to be ordained by a theological seminary, but she really was the first, and I always feel that wheneverwe talk about these issues, we bring honor to her memory." Despite progress in these areas, few women have become senior rabbis, and work is being done on equal pay and all forms of sexual harassment. But whereas no woman has been presi- dent or chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman recently became the first female president of the New York Board of Rabbis. The Central Conference of American Rabbis has already had two female presidents, and HUC is bringing inwomen as fac- HERITAGE FLORIDA ulty members and has had one woman chair its board of governors. Regarding what the pri- vate lives of female rabbis are like. Priesand says that is up to each individual woman. When she was in rabbinical school, she in- tended to get married and have children, and planned to have a nursed next to her synagogue office. Reality turned out to be different. "When I got out in the real world, I realized that I just couldn't do that; I would be torn between my family and my congregation." she says. "But I can look back and know that all the children of the synagogue are in a JEWISH NEWS, MAY 18, 2012 sense my children and I've had an influence." Priesand says the sat- isfactions of her journey have far outweighed the obstacles noting the op- portunity to be welcomed into people's lives at the most significant times, and the gratefulnes.s she feels at having helped open doors for women. "But at the same time." she says. "let's not forget the larger mission: to take the words and values of Torah and make them holy and make the world a better place for everyone, because I do believe we are partners with God in completing the world." Coalition From page 2A in February that the Ta'l Law contradicted the principle of equality by giving the haredim preferential treat- ment and therefore was illegal. The court set Aug. I as the deadline to replace the Tal Law with alternative legislation. Netanyahu notedduring the news conference that disputes among key mem- bers of his coalition the haredi Shas and United To- rah Judaism parties and the stridently secular Yisrael Beiteinumwere a main fac- tor in his original decision to call early elections. But with Kadima as a coalition partner, Shas and United To- rah Judaism will be unable to topple the government over the Tal Law. Incorporating Kadima also will enable the gov- ernment to enact electoral system reform aimed at fostering political stabil- ity. Attempts to pass such reforms have failed due to the fervent opposition of smaller parties that repre- sent specific populations such as the religious and haredim. These parties stand to lose from measures such as raising the election threshold from the present level of 2 percent or insti- tuting regional elections for some of the Knesset seats. Governments comprised of many diverse factions of- ten are plagued with chronic divisions and instability. In many cases, a single party can threaten to bring down a narrow coalition.govern- ment, giving it inordinate leveraging power. Kadima's support also may make it. easier for the government to fend off de- mands by smaller parties that could hurt fiscal dis- cipline during the passage of a two-year fiscal budget for 2013-14. But the timing of parlia- mentary discussions on the budget will coincide with the expected rerun of last summer's socioeconomic protests. "With the world economy going into a slowdown, our government will have to make painful fiscal cuts and it will have to accomplish this at a time when the Is- raeli version of Occupy Wall Street is going on," said Aviv Bushinsky', a former spokes- man and chief of staff under Netanyahu. "Kadima might even be compelled to join the populists in calling for more spending" Settlement policy might be another point of disagree- ment between Kadima and Likud. Israel's Supreme Court ruled May 7 that the government had to go ahead with the demolition of 30 homes that were built on Palestinian-owned land in the Belt El settlement's Ulpana neighborhood. Although Netanyahu has been noncommittal, right- wing politicians in his coalition, including several Likud MKs, want to legalize retroactively neighbor- hoods and outposts like Ulpana. Netanyahu could be torn between his obligation to Kadima MKs who oppose such legislative initiatives and hi more right-wing coalition partners. The peace process may lead to some points of contention, but opponents have refrained from placing the blame on Netanyahu's gove:nment for the lack Of progress in negotiations. Themes From page 2A that you are gay disables you from being a foreign policy adviser." Frank, himself gay, said, citing the case of Richard Gren- ell, an openly gay foreign policy spokesman for Mitt Romney's campaign who recently quit under pressure from social con- servatives. Both surrogates scooped out heimishe references sure to resonate with the audience: Kristol in imag- ining Joseph Lieberman as secretary of state, and Frank in .noting his pride in his relation by marriage to the late Three Stooges member Shemp Howard. That revelation came after Frank likened the GOP to the Three Stooges. "I mean that with no disrespect to the Three Stooges," he said, evoking laughter not just from the audience but from Kristol, tOO. Frank and Kristol ad- dressed substantive is- sues. particularly differ- e nces over how best to keep HANDYMAN SERVICE ] Handy man and General Maintenance Air.Conditioning [ ,L ElOztrical Plumbing Carpentry [ Formerly laandled maintenance at JCC References available I STEVE'S SERVICES ] Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 Sudoku solution from page 7 27 4 6 83 1 8 9 4 :6 5 i 3 g, .... 1931 825 6 4 7 25 .... ., 1:16: ,/yL ......... entitlement programs solvent, through, cuts and privatization programs (Kristol) or cuts and in- creasing taxes (Frank). On Israel and the Mid- dle East, however, they seemed more in agree- ment. Like Kristol, Frank faulted Obama for a "badly worded" speech a year ago calling for negotiations on the basis of the 1967 l'ines with security guarantees for Israel, but said the president had recovered. Kristol agreed and said that on Iran, Obama and Romney "don't sound that different from each other." He claimed some credit for pressuring Obama toward being pro-Israel through his advocacy group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, which has run ads fiercely attacking the president's record on Israel. Kristol insisted that Romney would be the bet- ter choice to back Israel and face down Iran, but added that were Obama re-elected, '!Some of us on the outside will continue to pressure [the admin- istration] to do the right thing." The themes raised in the Frank-Kristo] debate can be expected .to resurface in debates in stateswhere Re- publicans and Democrats agree that lewish votes may make .the difference in November, notably Florida, Pensylva-nia, Ohio and Nevada. The tone at the Washing- administration who han- dled the Iran nuclear file from 2009 to 2011, and Jamie Fly, who dealt with the same issue in various capacities for the George W. Bush administration was billed as speaking for the campaigns or for the parties, although Fly stepped in at the last minute for Dan Senor, an adviser to the Romney campaign. Launching straight into substance, Kahl and Fly of- fered arguments that drew short of definitive conclu- sions but showed sharp divergence on whether an attack on Iran could prevent the acquisition of a nuclear bomb. Kahl outlined four argu- ments against a nuclear Iran: It could use the bomb, or allow a proxy to use it; a bomb would em- bolden Iran's already ag- gressive regional posture; the profound suspicion be- twee n Israeland Iran, even if neither nation intended a strike, could result in misunderstandings that could escalate into war; and a nuclear Iran could set off an arms race. He said each had merit to varying degrees and cu- mulatively made the case for threatening military action. But Kaht aso said that Israel was o6 lSase in pressing for military ac- tion sooner than later. His rea and be tonInstitute retreat, held evidence at a leafy gol resort deep definitively in Virgin i' Washington a inot suburbs; a,t.was friendly but less prone te lmter. Neither of t4 panel- capability. ists--Colin Kaht, a former and thege deptity ass/shant secretary  corn- of defense in the Obama mitted to ta] aton. "One of the reasons I've been so critical about the Israelis taking action is that at this moment they cannot satisfy any of those criteria," Kahl said. Fly said that overall he agreed with Kahl's assessment, but differed about what it portended. Instead of seeing the lack of hard evidence of a nuclear weapons program as reason to hold back, Fly used it to argue pressing forward with plans for a military strike. Gaps in military intelli- gence mean that "we don't know what other facilities they may have." he said. and that "sets us up for failure." Fly laid out a scenario in which intelligence failure combined with prolonging the military option could result in a nuclear Iran that would have to be con- tained an outcome that Romney and Obama have both rejected. "I fear this path is lead- ing us toward essentially accidental containment." he said. Fly said the Obama ad- ministration had not been consistent in making clear to "Iran that a military strike was an option. "I don't think the Irani- ans think this administra- tion is serious about tak- ing eventual military ac- tion," he saii. "Oeady the Israelis are concaed." If commentar byAmos to Yadlin, a ormer tstai is no military ihteiligencef who was attending, kt- soon say it is too late," said Yadlin, whose term ended 18 months ago and who was a frequent interlocu- tor with Kahl when both were working for their respective governments. Similar differences at the Washington Institute conference also played out over the meaning of the Arab Spring. "While the change in the Middle East is working against Iran, it is our belief that it can and will work for the United States." De- nis McDonough, the U.S. deputy national security adviser, said in a keynote address. "A more demo- cratic region will ulti- mately be more stable for us and our friends." The Obama adminis- tration has engaged with the Muslim Brotherhood. among other actors in Egypt following the out- ster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago. McDonough said such parties were unlikely to impose dicta- torships. "Any government today is going to press towards greater transparency," he said. "As a result of more powers to individuals, more powers to Egyptian s , even if someone wants to be dictatorial, it's going to be difficult." 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