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August 10, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 10, 2012

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Editorials 4A Op-Ed 5A Calendar 6A Synagogue Directory 7A B'nai Mitzvah 8A Scene Around 9A Classified 2B I Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons Some Jewish leaders accused Rep. Michele Bachmann (left), for launching a 'witch hunt' following her allegations that Huma Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--Rep. Michele Bachmann has incurred the wrath of leading Jewish groups and some Re- publican leaders, even though she may be one of Israel's staunchest defenders in Congress and one of its best-known Republicans. The reaction was spurred by the Minnesota congresswoman's call for an inquiry into allegations that Huma Abedin, a top aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the toughest condemnations of Bachmann have come from major Jewish groups. The allegations, and the apparent split among some in the Republican leader- ship over whether to denounce them, underscore a return in recent years to scapegoating "outsiders," according to the Jewish leaders who slammed Bach- mann for launching what they called a "witch hunt." "It's likes someone who says there's a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world," Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center, said in a JTA interview. "And then they say prove it's not true. What proof can you bring to ideologues who want to believe it's true?" Saperstein's July 17 statement was the first among Jewish leaders to de- plore Bachmann's call--and one of the toughest. "I am deeply troubled by the allegations made by Rep. Michelle Bachmann and other Members of Congress in letters to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and State asserting that respected government officials and religious organizations are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood," he wrote. Allegations on page 17A By JTA Staff (JTA)--While both took to the podiums in London this week to receive medals, 18-year-old Aly Raisman's Olympic star was rising as 36-year-old swimmer Jason Lezak's appeared to be setting. Raisman, of Needham, Mass helped Team USA take the women's team gold last Tuesday--the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. gym- nastics squad since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Also, Raisman is favored to win the all-around individual competition on Thursday, as well as the floor exercise on Aug. 7, when she will be competing in the balance beam final. She and Gabby Douglas are representing the U.S. in the individual finals. Lezak, a four-time gold medalist likely competing in his last Olympics, helped the American men's swimming team qualify for the 4xl00- meter freestyle swimming finals. The team went on to finish second, receiving a silver medal--Lezak's eighth medal overall in four Olym- pics. Lezak did not compete in the finals. Meanwhile, the Israeli delegation was experiencing its ups and downs early in the Games. Ratsman on page 18A John Cheng Alexandra "Aly" Raisman performing a leap on the balance beam at the 2010 World Championships. This August, the Jew- ish Federation of Greater Orlando is recognizing out- standing leaders who have made an impact in Jewish Orlando this past year. The awards presentation will be made on Aug. 19 at the JFGO Annual Meeting. Four awards are given out in recognition of individuals who devote their time to make the community a better place. Last week, highlighted awards specifically focused on leadership, recognizing young and senior leaders; The Byron B. Selber Young Leadership Award to Tomer Taggart and the Jerome J. Bornstein Senior Leadership Award to Henrietta Katzen. The final two honors to be awarded will be the Creative Programming Award for the 2012 Man Cave Event and the Jewish Communal Profes- sional Award to be bestowed upon Eric Geboff. The Creative Program- ming Award was created to be given annually by the Federa- tion to a person or committee that through programming promotes Jewish continu- ity, awareness, affiliation or identity in the Orlando Jew- ish community. And that is exactly what the committee has done with the Man Cave Event. This first of its kind opportunity provided great fun and entertainment while raising funds for JFGO's criti- cal services. JFGO is excited to bring a new annual event to their fundraising line-up for years to come and so proud to see Central Florida's Jewish men come together to support Federation and the Jewish community. Each year the Women's Division at JFGO puts on its largest fundraising event, Choices. This year's event The Holocaust Memo- rial Resource and Education Center of Florida has received a special grant through the State Attorney's office to sup- port its UpStanders: Stand Up to Bullying initiative. The $10,000 contributionwill help expand the project, which has already been active in 17 schools in Orange and Osceola counties. The funding was approved in July by Lawson Lamar, State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial District. According to the Holocaust Center's executive director, Pam Kancher, the donation recognizes the impact of bullying on the entire com- munity. "School bullies are more likely to be involved in the court system as adults," she said. "Our goal of im- proving the social climate of schools will go far in making our communities safer and Eric Geboff was as wildly successful as ever, leaving Development Staff person Karen Cohen to wonder, "How can we replicate this success with our Jewish men?" And thus, the Man Cave was born. The committee formed to include Scott Abramson, Gary Baumgarten, David Bigney, David Diamond, A.J. Kronenberg, Ryan Lefkowitz, Eric Norber, Craig Pearlman, Bill Shoik and Michael Soil. "The committee members stepped up to the plate to make this event a huge suc- cess. Each of the commit- tee members helped solicit sponsorships, made personal donations, secured auction items, and not to mention the many hours spent meeting to plan this fantastic event. Their support truly ensured the wild success of this inaugural fundraiser," said Karen Cohen, Development Associate at JFGO. The Man Cave event was hosted in Eric Norber's, owner of ELJ Avia- tion LLC, private airplane hangar with food, scotch, cigars and eye candy in the form of fancy cars and private Great on page 18A more welcoming to all." The UpStanders initiative, launched by the Holocaust Center three years ago, uses the example of Holocaust-era rescuers as role models for student intervention. "We tell students that dur- ing the Holocaust thousands of lives were saved when by- standers became 'upstanders; standing up to protect others from danger," Kancher said. "The UpStanders project helps them become more aware of what they can do to safely intervene. We're very pleased with our success so far and will continue to seek other funding sources to help us expand the program."