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August 8, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 8, 1980

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Plo. 51 AUGUST 8, 1980 26 AV 5740 ORLANDO 2NI He peMJp LUdd&apos;ld FWR Pork.'FL -t ! w mNkm!  a!*Jande FL 8ud addnm  8ebsedptlom te Redo adalmm: . I,,,P. 74F,,.,*  =' W'="=',--.,"----, SINGLE COPY 35(: Clash at Jewish Community Center! :ii I00'00II'I00I' i i OAMES at Camp JCC? See story page 7. R0000=ou Gro=ps Helms Am.ndm00t Silent Meditation Legal in Fla. Schools by Barbara Coenson-Roth A bill passed by the Rodda legislature calling for two minutes of "silent meditation" in the public school classroom became law last month, while major Protestant and Jewish groups are joining forces in Washington D.C. to prevent a congressional amendment from circumventing the U.S. Supreme Court ban on prayers in public schools. The Florida bill became law on July 2 without Gov. Bob Graham's signature. John Parker, Deputy Press Secretary for the Governor's office said the bill, which originally called for silent "prayer" was watered down before it went to the Governor, and only mentions the word "medita- tion." According to Parker, the law, which he termed "almost meaningless," allows the opportunity for a student to practice whatever kind of religion he or she wants in the alloted time period. Although the law does not mention the word "prayer," Mel Peadman, chairman of Orlando's Jewish Federation Community Relations Committee, said the "best thing the legislature could have done was nothing." Although he is happy that the word "prayer" is not mentioned and that the governor did not add his support with his signature, he said he feels "uncomfortable with any legislation about any kind of meditation." Peadman did mention that the law will have less impetus without the "necessary support of the executive branch." While meditation is now legal in the Florida school system, religious groups in Washington are working hard to prevent moves to lift the restraints on prayers in school. Last year the U.S. Senate passed the Helms Amendment which would prevent the Supreme Court and federal courts from hearing challenges to state and local laws that permit voluntary prayers in the nation's public schools. Sat., Aug. 9, will be the final of three public headngs on the subject, scheduled by the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee. Religious groups have been issuing statements and wnting legislators opposing the attempts to stdke down the court ban on prayer in the classroom. At the first of the hearings held Tues., July 29, Meyer Eisenberg, head of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith National Law Committee, told the House Judiciary Subcommittee that reintroducing prayer for students would threaten religious freedom guaranteed under the First Amendment and would set a "dangerous precedent for (Continued on Page 6) has Mogen David Around Neck Again Father Appeals to Orlando Jews by Barbara Coenson-Roth the | &year-old Cuban girl who made it more than a month ago is again wearing a around her neck. But that's only the first 'must go to Hebrew school, synagogue services Jewish holidays," her father told the Fojo Violeta is living with in south Orlando. Her Salomon Mitrani, who along with the rest of his ISRAEL,, DE CUBA family was forbidden by the Cuban government from coming to the U.S., has appealed to the Orlando Jewish community to help his daughter study and practice Judaism. The Cuban Jewish community, in a letter from Jacobe Pezniak, president of the synagogue Aduth Israel of Havana, has also appealed to the Odando community. He wrote: "Brothers and sisters, with you is the daughter of a Hebrew who needs your help in this moment, to open her way. She is alone in your country, without her parents, and our community recommends her to you, to take care of her and watch ouer this young Hebrew, hoping that the principal of the Jewish people, to help one another, our brothers in need, will be fulfilled." The letter asks for help for "our young Hebrew sister ............... economically and in a way that she can continue to study in a Hebrew Institution." Violeta said she attended Hebrew school and was a youth leader in the synagogue in Havana. She planned Canukah parties and was a "speaker" in the temple. "1 know how to sing in Hebrew," Violeta said, naming songs such as T'zena T'zena and -lava Nagela. Since the teenager has been in Orlando, she has seen two American movies, "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark," and "Friday the 13th," has been to a disco -- "1 like to dance," -- has had a few visitors and numerous phone calls from community members. But Violeta wants friends, especially in the Jewish community. The one thing she misses in Cuba, aside from, her family and friends, is a social life. The Fojo family, like most Latin American families, are strict. They do not let their 15-year<ld daughter date or go to socials, so they will not allow Violeta to do so either. This has made it a bit more difficult for Violeta to make fnends. VlOLETA MITRANI with new Mogen DauicL She has received a number of telephone calls from 15 and 1&year-old girls, and although her English has been improving each day, she said she still has trouble communicating with them because of the language barrier. But, she wishes a teenager who knows Spanish would call her. The youngster, who has ambitions of becoming a chemical engineer "because I like chemistry and math," and a lawyer, has been attending the Mid-Florida Academy English Language training program, receiving "A's" and "B's" on tests. (Continued on Page 6) Hadassah :... e Cream Social 8p.m. Gardens Condo's Jose )h Zable