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August 2, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 2, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 2, 2013 What does it take to create a Jewish community? As I was coming to the office the other day in the pouring rain, I saw a young mother with three small children: a baby in a stroller, a toddler in her arms, and a 3-year-old holding on to her hand, all huddling under the awning of the J building. I offered to help, and together, snuggling under my large umbrella, we delivered the little ones to the safety of her car. As we waded through the parking lot, the mother told the 3-year-old "the lady is doing a mitzvah." My feet were wet and I was slightly late for'a meeting, but I felt as if I had just won the lottery. What does it take to create a Jewish community? Each morning as I arrive to work, I see young moms and dads bringing their little ones to the J preschool. I walk through the lobby and young campers zip by me on their waY to morning activities. Through the walls of my office I hear campers from Camp J singing and laughing. An Israeli emissary is teaching them songs in Hebrew. It's loud and bustling, and I think it's fantastic! If I could bottle their energy up for myself, I wouldn't need to drink any coffee! However, it takes a few cups of coffee (and tea - i am Russian after all) to get me through 10-12 hour days. Here's a run-through of my typical day as Federation's executive director: It starts with an 8 a.m. meeting with the JCC and JAO presidents and executive directors to talk about the fu- ture of the Maitland campus. At 9:30 a.m. I spend a few brief minutes with Federation co-presidents Ryan Lefkowitz and Michael Soil who have be- come my most favorite people in the world (after my husband and daughter); at 10 a.m. I consult with the facilities manager about urgent cam- pus maintenance issues. Next on the calendar is a brown- bag working lunch with my fantastic staff of five talented and hard-working associates Emely Katz, Dawn Phelps, Lisa Sholk, Dana Karen, and Becca Ginns, to plan Federa- tion's annual meeting. Next on the'agenda is an afternoon cup of coffee with a generous Federation contributor. In the evening, there may be a board of directors or a Jewish Com- munity Relations Council meeting or a get-together with a group of young volunteers who are planning Federation's "next generation" program (more about that in the near future). In .between, I must find time to draft a weekly email, answer emails, make and return phone calls, and set appointments to meet more community members and volunteers. I am invigorated by our thriving campuses and by the whole Jewish community of Greater Orlando. In my " almost four months here, I have learned-how the Jew- ish Federation has been the engine and the catalyst of its growth and development. Just around the corner this month is Federation's Annual Meet- ing on Aug. 21. We'll be hold- ing the meeting, complete with a 'summer blockbuster' theme on campus in the JCC auditorium. I look forward to the opportunity to share with you our vision of Federa- tions future and the future of our Jewish community. The annual meeting is alo the kick-off for our 2014 Annual Campaign. This campaign marks a critical time for us. PAGE 5A I Many have asked whether Federation is still relevant and needed. I believe it is. In fact, I' know it is. Now more than ever, Federation's role is to unify our Jewish community, to educate and develop our future leaders, and to connect us to Israel. For generations, we have enabled Jews to fulfill " obligations to take care of each other and to ensure our Jewish future. Now it's up to us to shape the future. I hope you will join us at our Annual Meeting in August to learn more about how we are shaping the future. This is the first monthly column which I am thrilled to write thanks tothe Heritage Florida Jewish News. I look forward to speaking with you each month about the Jewish Federation, our community, Israel, and our Jewish world. Olga Yorish is executive director of JFGO. EU ban on Hezbollah branch a start, but impact is limited By Cnaan Liphshiz THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA)--The effectiveness of the European Union's decision to blacklist only Hezbollah's military wing might be debatable, but one thing about the move seems certain: It did not come easy. The decision July 22 by Eu- rope's 28 foreign ministers to put Hezbollah's military wing on the EU list of terrorist or- ganizations followed months of jostling by member states in the wake of last summer's killing of five Israelis and a Bulgarian in a bus bombing near the Black Sea resort of Burgas. "Israel and Bulgaria have accused Hezbollah f being responsible for the attack, which the Lebanon-based group denies. At stake in the debates were Europe's relations with Lebanon, where Hezbollah holds several seats in parlia- ment; possible reprisals by Hezbollah against EU troops; and the credibility of the EU's anti-terrorist stance. To negotiate the web of conflicting interests, the EU came up with a compromise that would allow it to show toughness in responding to terrorism on its soil without sacrificing its influence in Lebanon. It would desig- nate only the organization's military wing as terrorist, ignoring no less an authority than Hezbollah's second-in- command, Naim Qassem, who has said the organization has a single leadership. "This is partly a. political signal and partly a real signal that we are not prepared to see any terrorist activity as means to achieving what some would consider politi- cal ends, while we want to be clear, too, in our support for political parties of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon," EU foreign policy chief Cath- erine Ashton said at a news conference July 22. "We've made the distinction clear." Jewish groups were pleased generally by the development, with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder call- ing it a"major breakthrough" and the Board of Deputies of British Jews averting it would "seriously damage Hezbol- lah's capabilities" around the world. But many also n6ted that the distinction between the group's military and politi- cal wings is false, creating a loophole that Hezbollah could exploit to render the whole designation exercise ineffectual. "Highlighting Hezbollah's involvement in terrorism is a positive political statement but a flawed counterterrorism strategy," said Abraham Fox- man, the national director of the Anti-Dfamation League. "Since terror-related opera- tional activities are already il- legal throughout the EU, the high-value counterterrorism target remains Hezbollah's financing activities in Eu- rope-and that target was missed." According to intelligence analysts, Hezbollah employs a network of thousands of activists who launder its money in Eurolan banks and front businesses, raises money for its operations .and recruits militants to its ranks through a host of Islamic charities. Europe is "Hezbollah,s piggy bank and money laun- dromat," said Wim Korteno- even, a pro-Israel former parliamentarian from the Netherlands and the author of a book on Hamas, citing a 2011 report by German intelligence that estimated Hezbollah had about 1,000 members in Germany alone. Had the EU designation applied to Hezbollah in its entirety, it might have taken a Shanda factor: What makes Jewish sex scandals different? By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--The guy with the socks up. The guy with the pants down. The guy with the headlocks. The guy who tweets and deletes. What is it wt these male politicos? And vhy are they all Jewish? The cloistered community that is Washington's Jewish elfte collectively choked a little July 20 as it progressed through a column in which Gaii Collins of The New York Times named the protago- nists of what she dubbed the "Weiner Spitzer summer." "Ever since the Clinton impeachment crisis, we've been discovering how much personal misbehavior we're prepared to ignore in elected officials,  Collfns wrote. "Hy- pocrisy, for sure. Adultery, definitely. Chronic lying, maybe. Financial skulldug- gery, possibly." Those seeking absolution for past misdeeds include Anthony Weiner, now run- ning for New York mayor, who quit Congress in 2011 after he was caught saluting a female Twitter fan in his boxer briefs; Eliot Spitzer, now in a bid to be Gotham's comptroller, who quit as the state's governor in 2008 after the revelation that he patronized high-priced call girls--and allegedly kept his knee-highs on while doing so; and Bob Filner, who quit Congress last year to become San Diego's first Democratic mayor in 20 years and is now facing a welter of sexual harassment claims, includ- ing allegations involving something called the "Filner headlock." Rounding out the sordid- ness is the baffling case of Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who was caught tweeting and deleting k)ve notes to a bikini model during the State of the Union address in February. Turns out she was his recently discovered love child. Then it was discovered she wasn't. Then, while attempting to ex- plain the mess, he seemingly came on to a reporter about, the age of his not-daughter. In her column, Collins did not identify the protagonists as Jewish, but their collective appearance in print unsettled Jewish political players who were whispering their names at social gatherings over the weekend. ' "If we need a reminder of how Jews are like everyone else, this is a useful one," said Ann Lewis, who as White House communications di- rector managed the fallout from President Bill Clinton's sex scandal and whose broth- er, former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, was caught up in a scandal in the 1980s involving a gay escort. ,'It does help bring us down to earth." Unlike other lawmakers caught in scandal, Lewis said, Jewish politicos are less likely to face the charges of hypoc- risy that have afflicted others caught with their pants down. "Jewish politicians by and large have not been huge advocates of patrolling other people's sex lives," Lewis said. The cases all have their own particularities. Spitzer's lapses were crimes, though he was never prosecuted for them. Filner's might yet land him in court; his former communications director 'said last week that she was suing the mayor for sexual harassment. And the ones with Weiner and Cohen are just bizarre, though no one has yet suggested they are criminal. Filner thus far has rejected calls for his resignation, while Spitzer and Weiner are both trying to rehabilitate their political careers after retreat- ing From the spotlight in the wake of the scandals. On July 22, however, Weiner acknowl- edged that he had sent more explicit photos and texts to a woman, though the exact d.ate of the exchange was unclear. The Cohen saga began in February, when reporters noticed his tweet to bikini model Victoria Brink, who had told Cohen via Twitter that she had seen him on TV. "pleased u r watching, ilu," he replied, using the shorthand for "I love you." Asked about the situation by a young female reporter, Cohen said, "You're very attractive, but I'm not talk- ing about it." Cohen almost immediately sought out the reporter'to apologize, saying he had not meant anything untoward. Kampeas on page i5A serious bite out of the group's European operations. A 2001 EU regulation requires the "freezing of funds, other fi- nancial assets and economic resources" of designated ter- rorist groups. By exempting Hezbollah's political operations from that requirement, the EU has llowed that activity to continue, according to Claude Moniquet, a 20 -year veteran of France's foreign intelligence agency and the founder of the European Strategic Intel- ligence and Security Center, a Brussels-based think tank. "Hezbollah's main activity in Europe is money launder- ing and some gathering intel- ligence, which isn't performed by combatants but is used also for military purposes," Moniquet told JTA. "It means these regulations are declara- tory and will likely have very little effect on the ground. Hezbollah will just say not to worry, these men are from the political arm." Before July 22, the EU list of designated terrorist entities contained 26 groups, includ- ing Hamas and Colombia's FARC. The proscribed orga- nizations are listed as one entity without separation into wings. But even with the excep- tion, the EU resolution may still have consequences for Hezboilah, according to Or Daniel, an Israeli analyst for the European Friends of Israel lobby group, aBrussels-based nonprofit. "There is ample intel- ligence material that shows that people from the mili- tary units of Hezbollah are involved in 'soft' activities," Daniel said. "Israel or the United States may now share the intelligence with EU part- ners to get them to choke off certain Hezbollah areas of activity." But Moniquet says Euro- pean intelligence services have ample intelligence of their own on Hezbollah. "The EU's problem with Hezboll.ah was never lacking intelligence," Moniquet said. "It's lacking determination." Yet to Joel Rubinfeld, the co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament, the des- ignation is the beginning of a process rather than its conclusion. "It's a first step in the right direction," Rubinfeld said. "The significance lies not in practical consequences but in the fact that it has opened the door to the next goal--com- plete proscription. Opening the door was the hardest part." Dry Bones L00ANON, SY21A WE 5100tLl00 I000T BE CALLING IT 00LAMIC FMI00/UWCrALISfP POLITICALCARTOON$,COM BECAUSE IT 15 lqOT RJNDAMEI4rrALLY DRYBONES.COM vvE SHOULO CALL IT I00.AMISM/ BECAU00 IT IS RJ00A&IEI4rrALLY I:ACISM/