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May 19, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 19, 2017

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 19, 2017 By Adam Abrams As French citizens voted Sunday, their eventual presi- dent-elect reiterated previous statements ruling out uni- lateral French recognition of Palestinian statehood and committing to support for a two-state solution. On the eve of the election, pro-Europe centrist Em- manuel Macron of the En Marche party--who went on to win the presidential race with 64 percent of the vote, defeating far-right populist Marine Le Pen of the National Front party--said unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state would create instability and damage France's rela- tionship with Israel. "I defended the principle of a two-state solution, and France's commitment to that," said Macron, recall- ing a 2015 visit to Israel as France's minister of econ- omy. He added, "Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability...[it would have] implications in the loss of the entire ]French] relationship with the state of Israel." Macron has previously expressed support for Israel's security and condemned the BDS movement, referring to anti-Israel boycotts as "pro- foundly anti-Semitic" and stating anti-Zionism "leads directly to anti-Semitism." Following the election Sunday, World Jewish Con- gress President Ronald S. Lauder said he is confident Macron "will work to support the state of Israel against its enemies in the international arena, in all its constructs, be it from the extreme left or the extreme right." French Ambassador to Israel Helene Le Gal tweet- ed Monday that 96.3 percent of French Israelis who cast their ballots in the cities of Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa, Ash- dod, Eilat and Be'er Sheva opted for Macron. Le Gal told Army Radio that Macron would be "very friendly" toward Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu con- gratulated the French pres- ident-elect, saying, "I look forward to working with President-elect Macron to confront the common chal- lenges and seize the common opportunities facing our two democracies." Netanyahu said Israel and France both face the threat of "radical Is- lamic terror," and expressed confidence the "longtime allies" would "continue to deepen" relations. Leading up to election day, Jewish leaders inside and outside France had ex- pressed concern about the strong showing of Macron's far-right competitor, Le Pen, in the first round of the French election. Last month, Le Pen came under fire for comments she made absolving France of re- sponsibility for the roundup of French Jews during the Holocaust. She has indi- cated that, if elected, she would have moved to ban ritual slaughter of animals in France, a policy extending to kosher slaughter. Le Pen has also called on French Jews to give up wearing yarmulkes as part of her initiative to ban religious symbols in public and fight radical Islam, while stating her intent to ban dual citizenship with non- European Union countries, troubling French Jews who also hold Israeli citizenship. Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group for French-Jewish orga- nizations, called Le Pen's growing popularity is "a real danger to our country's democracy." Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar had said, "If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France, the Jews must leave." Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia had joined Mus- lim and Christian leaders in an endorsement of Macron against Le Pen. "Fully aware that our roles require us ~o be non-parti- san, we are, however, first and foremost responsible citizens and therefore openly are calling for a vote in fa- vor of Emmanuel Macron," stated the religious leaders' letter to voters, titled "Call to Vote for Mr. Emmanuel Macron" and issued by Kor- sia's office. The letter was co-signed by Pastor Francois Clavairoly, president of the Protestant Federation of France, and Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith. The religious leaders' open endorsement of a specific presidential candidate was considered a rare occurrence in France. At the same time, some Jews support Le Pen spe- cifically because of her com- mitment to fighting radical Islam, and are willing to look the other way on her nationalistic agenda's im- plications for matters such as Jewish ritual. The National Front party was founded by the current presidential candidate's fa- ther, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted Holocaust denier. The party, led by Marine Le Pen, expelled its founder in 2015. In a bid to combat being portrayed as anti-Semitic, Marine Le Pen last month discreetly visited a Marseille monument for French vic- tims of the Holocaust, lay- ing a wreath at the site. The wreath-laying took place, with no media present, at a memorial for 30 Jewish women and children who were rounded up by the Nazis in 1943. From page 1A Barsky hopes to change that. Her Philadelphia mu- seum recently took over as JAHM's public face and organizer from the American Jewish Archives. She hopes that with the museum's sup- port, the heritage month can raise its profile both within and outside the Jewish com- munity. "One of the original goals of Jewish American Heri- tage Month that we haven't necessarily realized as well as we'd like is teaching the non-Jewish world in America about the contributions of American Jewry to this country," Barsky said. The museum is provid- ing some financial and staff support, but Barsky hopes to obtain funding from cor- porations and foundations. Manischewitz has served as a sponsor, promoting JAHM on its products, and Empire Kosher Poultry provided funding, but the two kosher food producers are no longer doing so. Educating the wider American public was the goal of Rep. Debbie Wasser- man Schultz, who in 2005 introduced legislation in Congress to establish the month with the late Sen. Ar- len Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican at the time (he later switched parties) and also Jewish. "If you educated and raised awareness about contribu- tions throughout American history all over the country, it would make people more familiar with the Jewish community and our people and hopefully impact a re- duction of anti-Semitism and intolerance," Wasser- man Schultz told JTA about the inspiration for the leg- islation. She managed to get 250 Democrats and Republicans to sign on as co-sponsors for the bill, which the House passed unanimously. Zeri- vitz had lobbied for the month to be in January, to coincide with Florida Jewish History Month, but it was changed to May to concur with Jewish Heritage Week, which President Jimmy Carter proclaimed in 1980. Following the resolu- tion's passage in the Sen- ate, George W. Bush pro- claimed the month. It was observed for the first time in 2006. Wasserman Schultz, who resigned as head of the Democratic National Com- mittee last year following an email leak that suggested the organization was biased against presidential candi- date Bernie Sanders, recalled the joy she felt upon the heri- tage month's proclamation. "It was exhilarating. It was the first legislation that I passed as a member of Congress, and I'm the first Jewish woman to represent Florida in Congress, so it was very significant for me personally," she said, citing experienceswith anti-Semi- tism both in New York, where she grew up, and in Florida. But has the legisla- tion lived up to its expecta- tions? While calling the month "still a work in progress," Wasserman Schultz said she is "very satisfied with how it's been celebrated." However, Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, disagrees. At the time of the proclamation, "there was considerable excitement," but JAHM has yet to live up to its potential, he said. "So much money is spent on Jewish education in the United States that the fact that we have not been able to harness this golden op- portunity given to us by the government, and really develop a month that would affect every American Jew, is a sign of the disorganization that we've seen--ultimately it's a sign of a problem," Sarna told JTA. JAHM's website lists 17 events this month, most of them hosted by local groups, including a poetry reading organized by a social justice group in Connecticut and an event about Jews and jazz at a Florida library. The Library of Congress, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Jew- ish Community Relations Council of San Francisco are each hosting one event, and the National Museum of Jewish History is hosting two events. "Every Jewish newspaper and media outlet should be focused on American Jewish history during that month," Sarna said. "Programming materials Should be sent to every rabbi, every syna- gogue. Synagogues should be encouraged to have a speaker dealing with Ameri- can Jewish history." To be sure, JAHM celebra- tions have had some high- lights over the years In 2010, President Barack Obama hosted the first Jewish American Heritage Month reception at the White House with such Jewish luminaries as Sandy Koufax and musician Regina Spe- ktor, but the program was cut in 2013 due to the bud- get sequester. Also in 2010, Jewish-American astronaut Garret Reisman brought the original proclamation with him aboard the Atlantis space shuttle. Jewish groups, however, have been hesitant to com- mit money to the commemo- ration. "I would think that all these national [Jewish] orga- nizations would get behind it, but everyone is struggling for funding," said Zerivitz, who is on the JAHM board. "]The] Holocaust gets the emotions going in the Ameri- can Jewish community, and Holocaust things are much easier to fund than American Jewish history things," she added. Barsky said she looks to more prominent national commemorations for inspi- ration. "We hope we'll be able to fundraise and get some great attention for Jewish American Heritage Month, so that this can grow into something a little more akin to Women's History Month in March or African-American History Month in February," she said. "We've definitely got a vision for making it pretty big." Sarna also is optimistic about JAHM's future. "This is a lot easier than making peace in the Middle East, believe me," he said. 213495687 587316249 964287153 356179824 879524316 From page 1A ery day--that can make the biggest difference in growing your practice," she said. " It's Personal: The Art of Building your Practice," is available online at the MGMA store: http://www.mgma. com/store/books/printed/its- personal-the-art-of-building- your-practice. Andrea Eliscu, BS, RN, serves as president of Medical Marketing Inc., a healthcare marketing and public rela- tions firm she co-founded in 1984. In this role, she provides leadership and guid- ance to clients throughout the country and also serves as a resource to industry trade organizations and media on healthcare-related issues. Eliscu has authored four books--the recently released "It's Personal: The Art of Building your Practice" as well as "A+ Marketing: Proven Tactics for Success," "Ready--Set--Market!" and "Position for Success! Stra- tegic Marketing for Group Practices," all published by the Medical Group Manage- ment Association (MGMA). 421638795 745862931 198753462 632941578 From page 5A ian backdrop, Jewish students have been unable to hold events and were prevented from having a display at a recent human rights convo- cation. The feckless university president, Wong, keeps pro- fessing his concern about Jew- ish students being marginal- ized, but nothing changes. Wong's sympathies are with the pro-Palestinian camp. Wong should have been forced from his perch long ago. His views and conduct are antithetical to the very essence of a university. His connection to An-Najah will make the San Francisco Bay Area vulnerable to accepting international students who have been steeped in the ideology of terrorism and anti-Semitism. Abraham H. Miller is a distinguished fellow with the-Haym Salomon Center and an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati. He served on the faculty of the University of California, Davis and the University of lllinois, Urbana.