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June 16, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 16, 2017 PAGE 13A 'Oslo,' Bette Midler and Ben Platt take Tony Awards (JTA)--"Oslo," a play about the 1993 Oslo Accords, won the Tony Award for best new play and its Jewish lead actor, Michael Aronov, was recognized as best featured actor in a play. Bette Midler, the veteran Jewish actress and singer, won for best actress in a musical for "Hello Dolly" as Broadway handed out its highest honors on Sunday night in New York. The play also won for best musical revival• "Oslo," a J.T. Rogers play in which Israeli and Palestinian negotiators struggle to ham- mer out apeace deal, received rave reviews for turning a complicated history into a fast, entertaining three hours. Aronov played Uri Savir, an Israeli negotiator in the 1990s talks• . The musical "Dear Evan Hansen," about a boy who gets caught up in a lie after the death of a classmate, was named best new musi- cal and led the way with six Tonys, including for its star, the Jewish actor Ben Platt, as best actor in a musical, and Rachel Bay Jones for best featured actress. Benji Pasek, who is Jewish, and Justin Paul also won for best book, best orchestrations and best original score. Paul won the Oscar this year for '!La La Land." Rebecca Teichman won best.director for "Indecent," which recounts the bumpy journey to Broadway of Sholem Asch's controversial Yiddish play "God of Ven- geance." 80 percent of Reform rabbis are Democrats-- far higher than any other clergy. NEW YORK (JTA)--The vast majority of Reform and Conservative rabbis affiliate as Democrats, according to a new study. The study, published Sun- day by Yale University, found that more than 80 percent of Reform rabbis, and about 70 percent of Conservative rab- bis, affiliate as Democrats. Both were among the top five most Democratic clergy of the Jewish and Christian denominations in the United States, with Reform rabbis topping the list. Among Orthodox rabbis, nearly 40 percent identify as Democrats and a quarter as Republicans. By contrast, Evangelical pastors are almost all Repub- licans, as are most Baptists• The Black Protestant African Methodist Episcopal clergy, as well as Unitarians, are heavily Democratic. Catho- lic priests are evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. The study's findings reflect existing data on the politics of American Jews. Solid majorities of American Jews consistently vote for Demo- crats-70 percent voted for Hillary Clinton in the Novem- ber presidential race--with polls showing that Orthodox Jews are more likely to vote Republican. Reform Jews have been on the front lines of protests against President Donald Trump. Orthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of the American Jewish popula- tion, various studies show. One-third, or 35 percent, of all U.S. Jews identify with the Reform movement, 18 percent identify with Con- servative Judaism, 6 percent with other movements and 30 percent with no denomina- tion, according to the Pew Research Center. The Yale study also shows that rabbis' political views trackwith congregants'views on policy. For example, 40 percent of Orthodox rabbis are Democrats, and some 40 percent of Orthodox congregants are pro-choice, while about 30 percent of congregantsbelieve gays and lesbians should be legally allowed to marry. Likewise, large majorities of Conserva- tive and Reform rabbis are Democrats, and large ma- jorities of their congregants are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, presi- dent of the Union for Reform Judaism, told JTA earlier this year that Reform rabbis' generally liberal politics are a reflection of their Jewish values. "The idea of Jewish spiri- tual community being about feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, caring for the stranger--these are funda- mental core pieces," Jacobs said in January. "If we don't talk about those things in our religious communities, we're irrelevant." Orthodox Jews also cite Jewish values in explaining their support for Republi- cans, noting a Preference for the GOP on Israel and conservative support for school choice programs and religious exemptions for vari- ous government mandates• ' In total, the data cover 186,000 clergy, including approximately 2,700 rabbis. The data were collected via denominational websites cross-referenced with voter registration records• Some denominations and reli- gions-including Mormons and Muslims--are not in- cluded due to lack of reliable clergy lists• The data also show that the Reform rabbinate is the second-most female of any denominational clergy. Forty-five percent of Reform rabbis are women, as opposed to an average of 16 percent' across the denominations surveyed. About a quarter of Conservative rabbis are women; nearly all the Ortho- dox clergy are men. An analysis of the data by The New York Times found that rabbis on average lived in the most affluent neigh- borhoods of any clergy. The median household income of Conservative rabbis' neigh- borhoods is nearly $100,000 on average, compared to a national median household income of $53,000. The Times article noted that average neighborhood income does not necessarily reflect pas- tors' salaries. Thousands of anti- Zionist haredi Orthodox Jews protest in Brook- lyn against Israeli army draft (JTA)--An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 anti-Zionist haredi Orthodox Jews pro- tested in New York against the conscription of haredi yeshiva students in the Israeli army and the arrest of draft dodgers• Most of the demonstrators Sunday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn were from the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose Central Rabbini- cal Congress of the USA and Canada organized the rally. The Satmars had hoped that other Hasidic sects would come out in support of the rally, but they did not due to infighting, Ynet reported. The protest was held un- der the banner of "Let My People Go," a larger campaign against the conscription and the"persecution of the Torah in the Holy Land." A video showing haredi Orthodox protesters in Israel during rallies against the draft being handled roughly by police was screened. The Brooklyn rally, for men and boys only, was held almost entirely in Yiddish• The Hasidic Sect believes a state of Israel should not exist until the Messiah comes. "It is Commonly believed that the State of Israel com- mits violations of human rights only against its non- Jewish neighbors under the pretense of bringing greater security for Jews,'~ said Rabbi Aron Jacobowitz, a rally spokesman, said in a state- ment. "The truth, however, is that they oppose authentic religious Jews who refuse to follow their ideology just as much as they oppose others, To achieve their goal of mak- ing us into Zionists, they are oppressing us, expecting us to break down, give up and join them. "These operations are yet another proof that the state, its spokesmen and actions do not represent the Jewish peo- ple. The State of Israel is not a Jewish state, it is a Zionist state," he said. "We American Jews cannot stand silently by while our brethren in the State of Israel suffer persecu- tion. That's why we are here today. We need to make our voices heard and say to the world: enough is enough! The Israeli government must be held accountable by the world community for its attacks on our brethren, and they must grant Orthodox Jews their legitimate right to follow • their principles and not serve in the army•" 9 settler teens from extremist youth group arrested in Jerusalem JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israel Police arrested nine settler teens from the extremist Hilltop Youth group at a Jerusalem apartment The teens were staying at the apartment, which was set up for the group. Its members are barred from entering the West Bank and may not have contact with each other. Agag order has been placed on Monday's arrests and the investigation against the teens. The apartment was es- tablished by Elkana Pikar, a resident of the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank and a father of six who also is barred from the West Bank. The Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, alleges that he poses a danger to security for hosting the extremist teens at his home. Pikar, a building contrac- tor, claims the teens work for him and he is providing them with food and a place to eat. He is accused of violence against Palestinians and Is- raeli securityservices. Pikar told Ynet that the teens work in temporary jobs during the day and gather at the Jerusalem apartment in the evening to study Torah• Connecticut yeshiva embroiled in founding rabbi's sexual abuse con- troversy is not certified, state says (JTA)--A Connecticut ye- shiva whose founding rabbi was ordered to pay $20 mil- lion to a former student who claimed he was raped by the rabbi is operating without proper *certification, the state said. The school came under additional scrutiny from state regulatory agencies last month after a federal jury or- dered Rabbi Daniel Greer and the Yeshiva of New Haven to pay Eliyahu Mirlis $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive dam- ages in a civil lawsuit filed last year. The yeshiva has not filed any paperwork with the state since 2011 and never received permission to operate as a boarding school, the New Haven Independent reported. Thenewspaper reported that the school lost most of its students in 2016 when news of Greer's alleged molestation became public. Today the students come from outside the state and the school is under new management transplanted from New Jersey. Greet, the 0r~thodox Jewish school's former principal, re- portedly does not play a large role in the yeshiva, but does participate in daily prayers with the students• Mirlis claimed the sexual abuse occurred for three years when he was a student at the yeshiva from 2001 to 2005. He said it took place on school grounds and in Greer's home. According to the complaint, the abuse began when Mirlis was 15 and Greer was in his 60s. Mirlis is now 29. Greer has denied the ac- cusation and is appealing the judgment. He has not been criminally charged, though Mirlis has also filed a criminal complaint, according to The Associated Press. The case can be criminally prosecuted through 2020 under the state's statute of limitations. US Holocaut museum launches clmpaign on Anne Frank's birthday to translate, digitize diaries WASHINGTON (JTA)--The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Mu- seum has launched a $250,000 Kickstarter campaign to translate and digitize the diaries of Nazi victims and survivors. Funds fr.)m the 31-day campaign, x~hich started on Anne Frank' birthday, Mon- day, June 12, O commemorate the renowned teen diarist, would atlowthe museum to translate its collection of over 200 diaries into English and catalogue them. The museum only gets the funds it if meets its goal. The campaign is being pro- moted on social media under the hashtag #SaveTheirSto- ries. The diary collection will expose an array of experiences to the public, including the struggle of life in the ghettos, emotional accounts of sur- vival in concentration camps and "the search for refuge in America," according to the . museum. "Making the evidence of the Holocaust widely available is critical to promoting its understanding and counter- ing those who would deny it," a museum official, Dana Weinstein, said in a state- ment. "With the support of people from around the world united behind this project, we will help make more voices of those persecuted by Nazism heard." Michigan foundation gives $6 million to im- prove science education in Israel (JTA)--The William Da- vidson Foundation will give $6 million over three years to improve science education in Israel through the use of technology. The iScience initiative will include online professional development for educators; video conferences with Weiz- mann Institute scientists, graduate students and alum- ni; and extracurricular apps, games and puzzles promoting science and math. It will .operate under the William Davidson Institute of Science Education, the educational arm of the Weiz- mann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The initiative from the Michigan-based foundation also will make high-quality science learning more acces- sible to students in Israel's' geographically removed and disadvantaged communities, such as the Arab and haredi Orthodox sectors, according to a news release. Angela Merkel at Argen- tine synagogue urges fight against anti-Sem- itism BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA)--German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at a synagogue in Argentina, said anti-Semitism must be fought "wherever it appears." She also praised Argentina for receiving Germans who escaped from the Nazis during World War II. In the first hours of her one- day official visit to the South American country, Merkel on June 8 visited the oldest congregation in Argentina, the synagogue of the Israeli CongregationoftheArgentine Republic, better known as Lib- ertad Temple, in Buenos Aires. "This synagogue is asymbol of the great Jewish com- munity of Argentina, where many Germans came escap- ing from the Nazis," she said. "There was a bridge between Argentina and Germany, and I want to thank you for hav- ingwelcomed many Germans here in your country." Merkel recalled the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which left 29 people dead, and the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing that killed 85, as "living and painful" examples of anti- Semitism. "We must fight anti-Sem- itism where it is present, and fight for democracy and the rule of law throughout the world," said Merkel, who also noted that Germany's past is a reminder of the need to fight against anti-Semitism and for freedom and democracy. Merkel re-inaugurated the recently restored Walcker pipe organ, built in Germany in 1931 specifically for the synagogue. Germany con- tributed some $33,000 to the restoration. The executive director of the DAIA Jewish political umbrella in Argentina, Victor Garelik, played a liturgical piece on the organ for the Argentine and German del- egations. Merkel entered the syna: gogue with Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and the synagogue's spiritual leader, Rabbi Simon Moguilevsky, as well as Ger- man officials and business- men who participated in the visit to Argentina• Represen- tatives of the country's main Jewish institutions and the Israeli ambassador, Ilan Sztul- man, also participated in the ceremony. The temple, home to the Byzantine-style Jewish His- ,tory Museum, was declared a National Historical Monu- ment by the Argentina govern- ment in 2000. Montana congressman- elect sentenced to com- munity service, anger management for attack on reporter (JTA)--Republican con- gressman-elect Greg Gian- forte of Montana was sen- tenced to 40 hours of com- munity service and 20 hours of anger management for body slamming a reporter for The Guardian, a London-based newspaper, on the eve of a sPecial election. Gianforte alsowas assessed a $385 fine and a six-month suspended jail sentence by the Gallatin County justice court on Monday after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge. He could have faced a maximum $500 fine or six months in jail. He must complete his community ser- vice by Nov. 28, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Lastweek, Gianforte apolo- gized to reporter Ben Jacobs as part of an agreement that settles any potential civil claims. The deal included a 50,000 donation to the Com- mittee to Protect Journalists. The incident involving Gianforte, a tech million- aire who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, and Jacobs, occurred March 24, hours before the opening of the polls for a special election to fill the seat held by Ryan Zinke, who was named secre- tary of the interior by Trump. Jacobs, who is Jewish, had his glasses broken in the attack. A crowdfunding cam- paign to replace the glasses raised more than $7,500, which Jacobs had requested be donated to the Commit- tee to Protect Journalists. His glasses were donated to the Newseum, a museum in Washington, D.C., dedicated to journalism, at the request of the museum. Gianforte apologized on the night of his election victory as well. In his apology letter last week he wrote: "My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful• As both a candidate for office JTA on page 15A b