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June 29, 2012

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 29' 2012 ByMaxine Dovere do it--still, he should not be without intent to harm the SecretaryJayCarney, atabrief- Smith(R-NJ).Theletterappeals spiracy to delivery national .[NS.o treated neither more leniently United States--is dispropor- ing for reporters the day of the to Obama, saying"There is no defenseinformationtoaforeign nor worse than anybody else tionatetohiscrime.Priortohis MedalofFreedompresentation, doubt that [Pollard] has paid government" and was set to The Washington festivities who provided information to June 13 private meeting with quashedalldiscussionofapos- a heavy price, and, from the receive "a substantial number honoring Israeli President a friendly government," U.S. U.S. President Barack Obama, sible clemency. "Our position standpoint of either punish- of years in prison." While the Shimon Peres have come and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who Peres--the Medal of Freedom has not changed and will not ment or deterrence, we believe prosecutor in this judicial gone, without an assurance of has visited Pollard in prison awardee--said he would re- change today I would simply he has been imprisoned long process (there was no trial) clemency for jailed spy Jona- twice, saidinaninterviewwith quest clemency for Pollard. remind you that Mr. Pollard enough We join our voices did not technically ask for a life than Pollard. "It's gone from bad Speaking from Washington, was convicted of very serious to those who see clemency as sentence, former secretary of Butwhile Pollard's27thyear to worse. After [27] years, it's he told Israel's Channel 2 that crimes," Carney said. an act of compassion justified defenseCasparWeinbergerdid, in federal prison continues, so enough." Obama "has humanitarianA request for the comrnuta- on humanitarian grounds and and Judge Aubrey E. Robinson do calls for his release. Pollard's advocates in Con- authority" and therefore "can tion of Pollard's sentence was for purposes of fairness and acquiesced. "While I certainly don't con- gress and elsewhere say his mull considerations [for Pol- the subject of a June 11 bi- equity." Engel told that the donewhathedid--noquestion, life sentence resulting from a lard] that the courts did not." partisanletterspearheadedEn- In 1985, Pollard had pleaded he did wrong, and was paid to convictionofspyingforIsrael-- However, White House Press gel and U.S. Rep. Christopher guilty to one count of "con- Medal on page 18A a way By Toby Axelrod Germany's Jewish cornrnu- edition may be helpful as a nity has no pmblernwith plans further possibility to deal with BERLIN (JTA)--Does"Mein for the new edition, the Nazi period, but Iwould not Karnpf'belonginGermanhigh Stephan Kramer, generaloverestimate its impact." schools? secretary of the Central Council Hitler wrote his rant against WithAdolfHitler'sbookdue of Jews in Germany, has said Jews and comrnunists while in to come out of wraps here in it makes sense to publish the prison in 1923 following his at- 2015, freed after decades un- book "to prevent neo-Nazis tempted coup in Munich. After der copyright protection that from profiting from it" and hecametopowerin1933,rnany prevented its publication in to "remove many of its false, editionswerepublished, includ- Germany, it's a question that persistent myths." ing one given free to newlywed is being debated in classrooms Themove"isabsolutelyright couplesandonetomarkHitler's and on German TVtalk shows, and overdue," said Julian Bar- 50th birthday in 1939. Thediscussionhasnoteased len, co-founderoftheanti-Nazi "The Nazis tried to put the since the Ministry of Finance website Endstation Rechts and book everywhere," said histo- in Bavaria, which owns the a Social Democratic legislator rian Christian Hartmann of rights,announcedplansearlier in the former East German theInstituteforContemporary this year to prepare annotated state of Mecklenburg-Western History, which is advising excerpts for German schools. Pomerania.Anyonewhowants the state's Agency for Civic Scholars at Munich's Institute to read the book can download Education on the educational for Contemporary History are acopyanyway, henoted, andits excerpts. workingontheofficialannotat- ban "probably even raises the FollowingWorldWarII, the ededitionoftheapproximately fascination with Hitler among Bavarian Finance Ministry 900-page book. some teens." inherited the copyright from Critics say it's better not Actually, it's "a very boring the publisher, and until now to play with fire: Some youth book and no kid will like to has barred publication in Ger- already have an unhealthy read it," suggested political many in an effort to limit the fascinationwiththischapterof scientist Thomas Lutz, who spreadofHitler'sideology.But history and don't need further heads the memorial museums that does not stop publication fuel. But most observers agree department of the Topography elsewhere. that excerpts with expert corn- of Terror Foundation at the site "Ofcourse, Hitlerisafascino- mentary could help demystify of the former Gestapo head- sum," an object of fascination, the taboo tome. quarters in Berlin. "A special Hartmann said. "Evil is always Toby Axelrod Students from the St. Ursula-Schule, a Catholic high school in Germany, view facsimiles of ads for Hitler's "Mein KampP' at the House of the Wannsee Conference in Potsdam, site of the planning of the Final Solution. fascinating, and you can't pre- copies have been sold. Here, 'Mein Kampf and to make it vent that." where it was banned, people what it is: an historical source Accordingly, the book"is one have read it secretly."and nothing more." of the most purchased in the Hartmannaddedthat'%Vhat world; more than 12 million we are trying to do is demystify Tome on page 18A er con: experlm ,y V1 By Yisrael Shapiro CHICAGO (JTA)--Sinai Synagogue in South Bend, Ind has been struggling with issues facing many small congregations in an era of dwindling budgets and shifting demographics. In particular, with only 150 families, until recently it was increasingly difficult to find enough people for Shabbat services and Sunday school classes. So Rabbi Michael Friedland found a solution that's helping to reenergize the Conservative congregation--stop doing what's always been done. In part, that meant moving weekday afternoon and Sunday Hebrew school classes to Shab- bat morning, with the students and adults brought together for a communal lunch. Congregants with and without children saw something interesting happen- ing, and participation soared from about 50 members on a typical Shabbat morning to 90. Friedland's is one of numer- ous approaches that congrega- tions in small communities are employing to stay relevant and vibrant. Likewise, the initia- tives are gaining the backing of national congregational arms, which in the past have been ac- cused of having a big-city bias. In fact, in early June the United Synagogue of Con- servative Judaism hosted a conference outside of Chicago USCJ Sulam's Facebook page Lay leaders and rabbis of small congregations participating in United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism "s Size Matters 2012 conference in Wilmette, Ill June 4, 2012. for communal rabbis and lay The Union for Reform Juda- leaders of congregations with ism, realizingthatnearly400of fewer than 250 members. The its 900 congregations have 250 goal was to provide strategies families or less, has started the forthecomrnunitiestoincrease Small Congregations Network engagementandfacilitatecom- aimed at increasing support to municationbetween clergy and these communities andencour- members, aging them to communicate Friedland was one of the among themselves aboutwhat organizers of the event, which strategies have been helpful. attracted nearly 50 representa- The networkhas started to look tives from 11 states, outside the URJ for effective "Approximately 40 percent strategies, taking good ideas of our congregations are what wherever they can find them. we consider small," said Rabbi "It'snotjustinformationthat Charles Savenor, director of the Union for Reform Judaism kehillaenrichmentattheUnited creates and produces," said Synagogue of Conservative Merry Lugasyi, the network's Judaism, which says it has director. "We're now looking to some 600 congregations in the other resources and whatever United States. "This conference information is accessible." represents us putting more in- Likewise, the Orthodox stitutional effort intothis area." Union has been running peri- odicEmergingJewishCommu-Congregation Kol Ami in"InanOrthodoxcommunity, nitiesFairsince2006highlight- Tampa, for example, has been there aren't any options except ingvarioussmallcommunities, usingvolunteerstodrawpeople for Jewish day schools," he The fair encourages people to to its classes. Torah University, explained. "People move away move to the communities by as the Conservative synagogue becausetheydon'thaveaschool discussingtheadvantagesofbe- calls its innovative program, for their children." ingpartofasmallcongregation, provides education for adults The difficulty in finding a Sinai's solution was success- and children utilizing the rabbi, Jewish school has an impact on ful because it acknowledged cantor and members of the hiring clergy in general, as tab- what the Jewish movements community, bis or cantors seeking a strong and congregations across the By offering credits for a fake formal Jewish education for country are starting to real- graduation, the program era- their children may opt to move ize--that small communities ploys the academic methodina away from an area by the time are fundamentally different waythatattractsmorestudents their kids enter grade school. than large ones. For starters, thanasimplelectureseriesand "Rabbismaystayforfivetosix programs that are the norm has earned national awards for years, thenmoveon,"Burgsaid. in big cities may fail to attract Kol Ami from the Conservative "But while they're there, they enough attention in a congre- movement, tend to be very dedicated and gation that depends on a much Savenor says the key to suc- committed to the community." higher percentageofparticipa- cess for programs at smaller Smaller congregations do tion in order to survive, congregationsis"healthycom- have their advantages. With These smaller communi- munication and relationships" limited resources, the rabbi ties, often covering a relatively between the laypeople and may be more involved in the large area, need to experiment clergy. "Communication and details of the community, al- with new and exciting ways of role expectations are especially lowing congregants to form a engaging their congregations critical," the rabbi said. personal relationship that may and creating services that Another issue is providing not be possible in larger cities. their members look forward to high-quality Jewish education Also, with housing, young attending, beyond what programs such couples might be attracted by Ensuring engagement is of as Torah University are able to the lower places in smaller cit- paramount importance, but offer. Volunteers may be well ies, Burg said. it's not the only issue. Smaller intentioned and enthusiastic, Teaching congregations congregations mean smaller but often they are not trained howtoaddresstheirchallenges membership fees, and distance educatorsandsmallercommu- while keeping the unique fromtheJewishcommunalcen- nities may not be able to fund flavor of a small community ters means limited resources full-time staff, is vital. available. Innovative programs For Orthodox families, the "A Shabbat education model that could breathe new life into lack of Jewish day schools often might help in a large commu- dwindling communities may is aprimary reasonwhy people nity, too," Sinai Synagogue's need significant funds to oper- leave for larger communities, Friedland said. "But in a small ate, which small congregations according to Rabbi Steven community it's like the life- rarely have. The solution is to Burg, managing director of the blood. It gets everyone together rely on volunteers. Orthodox Union. and you build synergy."