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August 6, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 6, 2004

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PAGE 8 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS Did you know? Federation funding--with your support--helps Jews throughout the world The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando has these facts to share: There are thousands of new immigrant soldiers in the Is- raeli army, 2,500 of whom have no immediate relatives in Israel. They often join the army at a considerable dis- advantage, lacking financial resources, Hebrew language skills and family support. The Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Immigrant Soldiers Alone in Israel is designed to offer a range of services, from housing and basic liv- ing expenses to pre-military prep courses. These brave olim need our continued support to ensure successful completion of their army service. Federation dollars help support JDC's Hesed wel- fare centers in the former Soviet Union. In 2003, the Hesed network distributed 1,352,221 food packages; provided 2,827,259 meals in communal dining rooms; delivered 2,984,676 meals- on-wheels to 13,148 clients; organized 762 "Warm Homes" for 10,412 elderly; made home-care visits to 26,086 homebound people; brought winter relief to more than 68,000 people; and provided prescription medications to 110,000 elderly. More funds are necessary to expand the scope of these vital services to a poor and aging com- munity. Selah (a Hebrew ac'ronym for "Students before Par- ents") was established in 1995 to encourage aliyah by providing Jewish youth from the former Soviet Union with financial and educational op- portunities they would not get in their countries of origin. Since the program's incep- tion, over 7,000 college-age students have made aliyah and 40 percent of the stu- dents' parents have followed in their footsteps. Selah, a one-year program, includes an intensive ulpan as well as academic preparatory programs at Israeli universi- ties. Initiatives like these need our continued support to help integrate bright young olim into Israeli society. Today in Argentina, more than 900 Jewish babies under the age of three live in pov- erty and face the possibility of undernourishment. A new Federation-supported initia- tive - Baby Help - provides medical and food assistance to babies, children and at-risk pregnant women. Add;tional funds are needed to provide similar services to approxi- mately 1,000 impoverished older children, ages 3-6. Teenage olim are dropping out of high school at a signifi- cantly higher rate than other Israeli teens. Gamla, a Fed- eration-supported program, mobilizes 1,300 volunteers, many of whom are retired teachers, to provide intensive, one-on-one tutoring in 33 Is- raeli cities to 1,450 students from Ethiopian, Kavkazi, Bu- charan and other immigrant communities. Programs like Gamla not only help poten- tial dropouts but also foster a sense of social responsibility among Israelis. According to the National In- stitute of Mental Health, more than 22 percent of Americans 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Federations and their affiliated agencies provide mental health services to some 500,000 adults and 370,000 children across the nation, including counsel- ing, foster care, school-based programs, vocational skills training and group homes. The Federation says, "Your ongoing support is necessary to ensure that we expand the scope of ser- vices and continue to advocate for this population." doubles Bunk of "Pushka Pepsi," (l-r): ANAEL COHEN, SAPPIR BASHAN, BROOKE BISHOP, ALEXIA COHEN, REBECCA NANTELL, Counselor TZIPPY LIEBLICH, TZVrKI DUBOV, CHANA SCHWEITZER, MOORE SHDSH~, MARISSA GIRON, DANIELLE ISAIAH, CHANNAH FIELD, LEANA GIRON, JESSICA BRONSTEIN. Not shown: Malky Lessel, Kassidy Garcia, Jordan Anish, Marissa Priceman, Drew Yarnell, Alex Vance, Counselor Maya Enbar. This summer, Camp Gan Israel - Orlando, located in the Dr. Phillips area, was a huge success. The enrollment doubled since last year--as did the fun. The children had the op- portunity to spend the sum- mer with many other Jewish children while experiencing the joys and spirit of being Jewish. Campers played sports, mastered the skills of wood crafting, food decorating, and drama, went on an over- night and laughed with their caring counselors, who gave them an enjoyable and safe camping experience. Camp Gan asked parents to give a one-line comment. The following are a few of them: "Kendall loved camp. Ev- eryday, she sang songs all the way home and kept talk- ing about what a great day she had," said Lisa Myers. "Malky loved Camp Gan Is- rael. She loved the activities, field trips and time with Jew- ish friends! The counselors this year were enthusiastic, caring and great!" said Da- vida Lessel. Bonnie Nantell said, "Re- becca had a wonderful time, and learned lots of new songs and games. She came home happy every day!" "Joshua loves CGI," said Helen Burchhardt. "This is his second year and we leave England early so that he can attend camp. He gets so much from it--socializing with the other kids, having fun every day, as well as it being edu- cational." For more information, or to register for next summer, visit or call Camp Gan at 407-354- 3660. Angels among us Jewish Family Services" volunteer program includes a service organization composed of residents of Kinneret. Shown here (I-r) at a "Kinneret Angels~ monthly in-service meeting are LILY SHERMAN, LEONA BROWN, WYN MURPHY and PAULINE ABRAMS. For information on volunteering with JFS call Marlene Farber at 407-644-7593. / 'ane cSemef Liliane Semel, daugh- ter of Sonia and Richard Semel of Longwood, Fla. will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah on Sat- urday, August 14, 2004 at Congregation Ohev Sha- lom in Orlando. Liliane is in the eighth grade at Rock Lake Middle School. Her interests include socializing with ~'riends, going to the beach, shopping and listening to music. onen Ronen Semel, son of Sonia and Richard Semel of Longwood, Fla. will be called to the Torah as a. Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, August 14, 2004 at Con- gregation Ohev Shalom in Orlando. Ronen is in the eighth grade at Rock Lake Middle School, where he is a member of the Maitland Soccer Club. His interests include basketball, football, soc- cer, listening to music and socializin Sharing in the family's double simcha will be and Ronen's grandmother grandparents, Anita and Stanle) uncle, Jose KerszenbergofPeru; aunt and uncle, Kenneth Semel of New Jersey; aunt, of California; aunt, Miriam Jedwab nya Passy of California; uncle, Sam aunt and uncle, Linda and Marcos Ackerman Florida; and friends and family from South Florida, Georgia, Kyle Jared Benzion, son of Dean and Leslie Benzion of Winter Park, Fla will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, August 14, 2004 at the Congrega- tion of Liberal Judaism in Orlando. Kyle is in the seventh grade at Maitland Middle School, where he is a member of the student council and of the school band. He is also a member of an FBVA basketball team and a ranked the USTA Tennis Association. He has a 4.0 grade point average Honor Roll. Kyle's other interests include music, and socializing with friends. Sharing in the family's simcha will be brother, Seth; grandparents, Stephen Guss of Maitland, Fla.; grandparents, Elaine Benzion of Lake Worth, Fla.; and r friends from South Florida, Georgia, and California. will welcome newcomers at Orlando The Jewish War Veterans, Harvey M. Albertson Post 759 and Auxiliary will be seeking newcomers to the community attending the Shalom Orlando festival on Sunday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at the Jewish Commu- nity Center, 851 N. Maitland Ave Maitland, to become members. The has cerning military esting Contact by membership