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May 22, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 22, 2009

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Editorials ................................ 4A ! ............................. , ...... 5A | Ihl"l,, h,,,ih,lh,ll,,,,,lh,hllh,,h,h,,i,hll,, 18"1 ..................... ,h,II i To: S ALL 32 72,0 F , i Classified .............. oeeeoeoo eooooooooe www.h .com Year 33, No..40 .i H.B. "Hank' Goldberg By Lyn Payne Associate Editor Hank Goldberg used to get paid 25 cents a week to go (reluctantly) to minyan, but these days he doesn't get paid anything, and you couldn't keep him away. Goldberg is this year's winner of the Heri- tage Human Service Award, which will be presented by edi- tor and publisher Jeff Gaeser at the community-wide annual meeting on May 27. Each year, Gaeser's committee picks a person who best exemplifies the spirit of increasing com- munity through selflessly giv- ing of time and talent without thought of reward. Back in his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y., when the now-74-year-old Goldberg was just past bar mitzvah age, the gabbai at his syna- gogue needed to make sure there were enough Jews to form a prayer minyan, and recruited a group of young teens to supply the ten people necessary. "I hated it," says Goldberg, when asked about his youthful feelings about Judaism. "Thank God that's over," he remembers thinking after putting his bar mitzvah behind him. But though he started off praying for money, that regular attendance at the minyan instilled in him the prayers, the daily rituals and the holidays and tradi- tions of Judaism. These days, Goldberg is the driving force behind Central Florida's com- munity minyan that meets at the Hebrew Day School: He sends out e-mails, recruits new "minyanaires," and en- sures that anyone who needs to say Kaddish or observe a yahrtzeit is able to do so. He loves to ride his bike in the fresh early morning air to enjoy the camaraderie at the minyan. "One half hour in the morning gives pleasure for the whole day," he says of the morning prayer ritual. Goldberg is also a board member of the Jewish Pavil- ion, which "cares for those who cared for us" by bringing Judaism into the lives of elder- ly nursing home and assisted living residents; president of the chevra kadisha, the Jewish burial society; a former board member of Temple Israel, and a member of that synagogue's cemetery, ritual and building committees. He's also a mere- Washington, D.C.--The American Israel Public Af- fairs Committee (AIPAC) recognized the pro-Israel activism of Jenna Mitzner, Jewish Student Life Coordina- tor at Central Florida Hillel, at the AIPAC Campus Awards Luncheon held during its annual Policy Conference in Washington. Mitznerwas presented with the "Ally of the Year" award for advancing AIPAC's campus agenda, locating new sources of funding for student activists on campus, and identifying students who have developed into some of AIPAC's most dedicated and accomplished student advocates. "The success of the pro- Israel movement on campuses across the country is not just the efforts of one institution or one organization, "saidAIPAC president David Victor. "Rath- er, it remains strong because of the steadfast commitment 6iill!!!!!ll!!!!!llils Central Florida Hillel's Jenna Mitzner (front row, left) re- ceives the AIPAC 'Ally of the Year Award.' She is standing next to AIPAC's Rachel Schonwald (front row, right) and fellow UCF students (back row, from left), Brian Peterson, Andrick Lewis, Ted Moskovitz, Michael Newman and Marla Spector. to the U.S.-Israel relationship by our professional allies, such as Jenna Mitzner." Recently, Mitzner men- tored students who planned a major bipartisan, pro-lsrael forum on campus--an event that, thanks to herwork, drew a large number of attendees from the College Democrats and College Republicans. In a year beset by economic difficulties, she also took a lead role in making sure that pro-Israel political activism remained vibrant on campus. Most notably, she assisted stu- dents in funding requests that made it possible for them to attend the 2009 AIPAC policy conference. The award was presented ber of Congregation BethAm, and "If I could afford it, I'd be a member of all of them." He's known for building bridges among synagogues, commu- nity groups and individuals, and doing it all with warmth and humor. "There are many syna- gogues," says Goldberg, and "I fully believe that the Jewish people should have the ability to attend the synagogue of their choice and all syna- gogues deserve the chance to serve." Of the necessity for the daily work of community-building, Goldberg says, "If you don't put oil in your car, eventu- ally someday you'll start the engine and itwill freeze up and the car won't run. If we don't maintain our Yiddishkeit and take care of the small details, it won't continue." Goldberg is "a person of action," says Nancy Ludin, executive director of the Jewish Pavilion. "He brings the room to life, he is an amazing volunteer, he is our best volunteer. He brings things out in the seniors that other people can't bring out" through laughing and danc- ing with them, and through talking with them as equals. While many people aren't comfortable around nursing home residents, Ludin says Goldberg "treats them with so much love and kindness and friendship." She's grate- ful to him for getting her LI at the 2009 AIPAC Policy Conference, an event that brought together more than 6,500 people, including more than 1,000 pro-Israel campus advocates and 193 Student Government Association presidents. Students repre- sented 325 campuses, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. "Activist of the Year" awards were also presented to highly accom- plished student activists from Cornell University, Northwestern University, and Duke University. AIPAC is an American membership organization that seeks to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. For more than 50 years,AIPAC has been working with Congress to build a strong, vibrant relationship between the United States and Israel. With more than 100,000 members across America, AIPAC works throughout the country to improve and strengthen that relationship by supporting U. S.-Israel military, economic, scientific and cultural coop- eration. clients excitedabout Judaism by dressing up as Moses and Mordechai at Passover and Purim, calming an out-of- control resident back to emo- tional equilibrium, training other volunteers, helping with holiday activities, deliv- ering items to be auctioned at the Pavilion's gala, inspecting a property the group was considering purchasing, and "anything necessary." "He' s a really good board member," says Ludin. "It's hard to be a Pavilion board member with- out real full understanding of seniors and their needs." Goldberg certainly has that. His late mother, Bessie Goldberg, was one of the first residents the Pavilion served when it got its start a few years ago at Westminster Care of Orlando, and Goldberg was the very first recipient of the volunteer award named in his mother's honor. Arlene van de Rijn, former activities director at the Pavil- ion, gave Goldberg the nick- name "Rabbi Hanky Panky" for his humor in interacting with the residents as he led services. "There is a Jewish resident at one of the assisted living facilities in Oviedo who has lived there for quite some time," says van de Rijn. "We have avolunteer who visits the Jewish residents at this facil- ity regularly. When 'Murray' first moved in, the volunteer tried everything she could to visit with him and urge him to attend Jewish holiday celebrations, but Murray wanted no part of it. After Murray had been there several months, I asked Hank to join the volunteer and me for the Purim celebration at Murray's facility. Hank knocked on Murray's door and was asked to enter. There sat Murray in his recliner determined not to budge or even smile. Hank said, 'Hello young man, it's a pleasure to meet you.' Hank, being a clown at heart, started talking a mile a minute in his jovial way, cracking jokes and asking Murray about this and Goldberg on page 19A courtesy Maimondes team The Maimonides School mock trial team split its four trials in national competition in Atlanta after a battle just to compete. By Eric Fingerhut WASHINGTON (JTA)--The record book will say that the Maimonides School finished 20th out of 40 teams at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in At- lanta, winning two trials and losing two. But that doesn't include the team's huge victory even before the competition had started two weeks ago al- lowing the suburban Boston Jewish day school just to participate. After repeatedly reject- ing requests to alter the tournament schedule so the Maimonides team would not have to compete on Shabbat, tournament officials were fi- nally forced to relent less than two days before the competi- tion began thanks to a small group of determined activists working 20 hours a day over the past fewweeks--aswell as a Maimonides team that was prepared to forfeit its chance at a championship rather than compromise its beliefs. "You always wonder what's going to happen if religious- ness gets in the way" of something you want to do, said team co-captain Michael Kosowsky, 17. But"we weren't talking at all about violating Shabbat. We were pretty strong in our principles." "This educates the public," said fellow co-captain Leah Trial on page 19A