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August 1, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 1, 2014

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FLORI DA JEWISH NEWS WE AM YIS CHAI Community members show their support for Israel at the Federation-supported Israel Solidarity Gathering. Community shows support at an Israel Solidarity Gathering By Alan Kornman On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO) and the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis sponsored an Israel Solidarity Gathering at the Maitland Jewish Com- munity Center. Approximately 350 people from the Orlando community came to show their support for Israel. Chaim Shacham, consul general of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico gave a briefing on the current situation in Israel. "We did not choose this conflict, it was forced upon us. Even though we did all that we can, we couldn&apos;t prevent escalation. Here we are, two weeks after the beginning of Operation Protective Edge and the Hamas organization has fired over 2,300 rockets at Israeli cit- ies. That's more than one rocket fired indiscriminately every ten minutes.., at an unarmed civilian population. It is a vile and abhorrerLwar crime," Shacham said in his speech. Shacham confirmed that Haines is firing theses rockets behind innocent Palestinian civilians using them as hu- man shields committing another war crime: "I can think of nothing more cynical and evil," he stated. "Knowing full well-ithe value Israel and the rest of the civilized world places on human Support on page 15A Tunnel vision: Why Hamas' tunnels are the new front in the war with Israel By Uriel Heilman (JTA)--Until this latest war, if you asked most Israelis about the threat from Gaze, they would probably start m O -- < -x ..11- -- -r talking about Hamas rockets. But that has changed over the last few days of fighting, for two reasons. One, the much-heralded success of the Iron Dome missile defense system has all but neutralized Hamas' rocket threat. Two, and far more troubling for Israelis, they have woken up to the true extent of the subterranean threat from Gaza: the tunnels that snake underneath the densely popu- lated coastal territory into Israel proper. What do the tunnels look like? The tunnels are hardly crude. With years of experi- ence digging passageways under the Egypt-Gaza border to smuggle weapons, people and goods into the blockaded territory--including items as large as cars--Hamas knows how to burrow. The tunnels discovered by the Israel Defense Forces are reinforced by concrete walls and ceilings. Some are 90 feet deep and extend more than a mile in length, terminating IDF Spokesperson/Flash 90 Israeli paratroopers inspecting the entrance of a tunnel they discovered in the northern Gaza Strip, July 18, 2014. inside Israel not far from residential neighborhoods. Israeli troops have discovered phone lines, electricity wires, pulley systems and stockpiles of explosives and weapons in the tunnels. Many of the tunnels have multiple branches and a mul- titude of exit points, which ex- plains why the precise number the IDF says it has found keeps fluctuating. As of Tuesday, the number was 66 access shafts as part of 23 tunnels. The tunnels begin inside buildings in Gaza, where it is easy to conceal digging from Tunnels on page 14A Rusonik takes the helm at JAO By Kim Fischer Associate Editor Alan Rusonik believes in community, he believes a strong Jewish education is vital to develop future Jewish leadership, and he believes the Jewish Academy of Orlando is an excellent place to grow a school that has a strong foundation. This is all good because Rusonik has just begun his job as JAO head of school. He knows it will be a lot of hard work but he also knows that he is coming into a school that "has a great history." Accord- ing to Rusonik, "It is a project to improve what has been around for 36 years." "I think that's what excites me," he says, "It's a great opportunity." Rusonik has been working in the Jewish education field for 28 years. He had been serv- ing as Judaic Studies director at the San Diego Jewish Acad- emy and is a former head of school for Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Texas. Rusonik's career includes serving as executive director at the Agency for Jewish Edu- cation in San Diego; director of education, Congregation Emanu E1 and as a teacher/ coordinator of Judaic Studies at I. Weiner Jewish Secondary School in Houston. Alan Rusonik He has a Master of Arts degree from The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from York University in Canada. Rusonik also attended The Hebrew University in Jerusalem in a one-year program for overseas students. Although he has an ex- tensive background, finding Rusonik was a detailed pro- cedure. The JAO search committee, according to chairs Renee Libow and Greg Finke|stein, "conducted an extensive pro- Rusonik on page 14A Weiss00a wise choice for judge Kevin Weiss By Christine DeSouza If Kevin Weiss could only pick one word to blaze across his wall, that word would be justice. "I'm an idealistic type of per- son," Weiss told The Heritage. "I like to help people and ifI see an injustice it burns me up." Ever since he was a child, whether something was un- fair or if he saw someone hurt- ing and if he felt he could help resolve the situation, hewould try to remedy the problem. lawyer--just about the best in Orlando (Orlando Business Journal ranked him in the top 5 percent in its "Central Florida Lawyers" and "Best of the Bar"; he made the top 2 percent in Florida Trend magazine's "Legal Elite"; and according to Florida Super- lawyer magazine, Weiss has been named a "superlawyer" every year since 2011)--and now that sense of justice is guiding him to run for circuit court judge in the Ninth Ju- dicial Circuit for Orange and Osceola counties. Many people in this Jew- ish community know Weiss, whether personally or profes- sionally. He grew up here. He attended Rock Lake Middle School and graduated from Lake Brantley High School. He was a bar mitzvah at Con- gregation of Liberal Judaism (now Congregation of Reform Judaism)--his bar mitzvah announcement said he was on the Green Raiders football team and his hobbies included music and water skiing. Weiss on page 15A Kevin Weiss is. A sense of justice was the drivinSorce that led him to become.a 89076 94433'"'5 (',,