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August 22, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 22, 2014

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SH Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ................................. 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A Jewish Academy of Orlando students are all smiles as they head back to the classroom. Shown here are (l-r) Jules Soll (second grade), Adam Crasnow (fifth grade), Marc Homburger Jacobs (fifth Grade) and Aaron Meyers (fifth Grade). It was all backpacks and smiles as the and possi~lity, and the Jewish Academy For the second year in a row there is Jewish Academy of Orlando began its has it in abundance. With new Head of avibrant kindergarten class and an even 37th school year on Tuesday, Aug. 12. School Alan Rusonik at the helm, the stronger first grade. "My goal," Rusonik When asked about the new schoolJewish Academy is poised for a period of stated, "is to retain as many of these year, secondgrader Noah Talsky said, "It unprecedented growth and opportunity, children as we can and build from that was a good day.., all the kids in second ReturningtotheJewishAcademyisPrin- foundation." grade get their own iaptop!" and eighth cipal Shaft Wladis, who most recently For more information or to arrange a grader Ashlinn Thomas stated, "Itwas so served as interim Head of School as well visit to the school, please contact Alan much fun; it was easier to get into the as a dynamic and committed faculty with Rusonik, Head of School, at arusonik@ same routine." 93 percent of the teachers returning or 407-667- A new school year is full of optimism from last year. 0713. From the time she was very young, Kara Finkelstein, 10, liked to write stories. Her teachers at the Roth JCC Early Childhood Learning Center-- where she attended the 3s, 4s and pre-k classes--taught their students to be creative. After graduating from pre-k in 2009, Kara started first grade at John Evans El- ementary School in Oviedo. In fourth grade, her teacher, Stephanie Anderson, who was named 2014 Elementary School Rookie Teacher of the Year for Seminole County, also taught her students to be creative. Kara took being creative very seriously and decided to write a"real" book, which she finished in April 2014 and published in June. Her book, "The Forest: A Magical Adventure of Crystal and Rebel," is a story about the adventures of two horses, Crystal and Rebel, and a young girk Her mother, Lysa, told the Heritage that Kara loves horses. The pictures in the book were photographed by her older sister, Kaitlynn, who also was a graduate at the JCC. "The Forest" is being sold worldwide through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books A Million, as well as many other publishing houses. Kara started fifth grade last week and is working on her second book. She loves to go to Disney World, loves to dance, swim and hang out with her friends. Kara Finkelstein Recently, Kara was in- terviewed on WKMG news, was posted in Seminole County Public Schools Facebook page, and was twitted about on Orlando Sentinel's twitter. By Christine DeSouza Assistant Editor Oviedo resident and mem- ber of Congregation Ohev Shalom Elana Goldstein was all excited when she found out last May that she would be going to Israel through the Taglit-Birthright program. the trip when she was a little girl. "He went to Israel when he was 18 and lived on a kib- butz for 6 months," she told Heritage. Taglit-Birthright, partially funded by the Israeli govern- ment, provides free 10-day trips to Israel for any Jewish J-Serve is the International Day of Jewish Youth Service. Since 2005, J-Serve has been a part of Youth Service Amer- ica's GlobalYouth Service Day weekend. J-Serve provides teens with the opportunity back to the greater Orlando community. Please email Robby Etzkin at RobbyE@ for a J-Serve Teen Task Force Application. The Orlando J-Serve 2014 Teen Task Force was led by She'd wanted to go ever since adult between the ages of 18 :,~ to fulfill the Jewish values of Jonah Goldberg (Lake Mary her dad, David, told her about and 26. So, Elana who was . !" ~ gemilut chasidim, acts oflov- Prep, 10th grade), Matthew 18, and had just graduated ..... ~ ing kindness, tzedakah, just Gottfried(SanfordMiddle, Sth ....... third in her class at Oviedo High School, applied online ii!I. :~ and charitable giving, andtik- grade), Taylor Harris (Virtual kum olam, the responsibility School, 10th grade), Sara Hof- at ' " to repair the world.Across the fen (Lake Mary, 11th grade), Birthright isn't a cookie- : globe, teens join each other Brandon Levitt (Winter Park, ._ ,-- cutter tourist trip. Applicants to make their community10thgrade),IlanaLoory(Lake == w- can choose from 14 different Elana Goldstein, with camels in the background, loved and the world a better place. Branfley, llth grade), Daniel o trip organizers for the type of her trip to Israelin the midst of Operation Protective Edge. J-Serve 2015 is inpartnership Perreault (Lake Highland, triptheywant--fromthe type with Repair the World, Youth 10th grade), Hannah Procell .~_ ~ of people they will travel with and a Palestinian teen was group went to the Caesarian Service America, and Rock (Oviedo, 12th grade), Kyle to the kind of trip they want tragically killed. I remember aqueducts and then stayed in the Vote, and is generously Sabell (Apopka, 11th grade), _=" ~ / to take. Elana chose Mayanot tellingElanashecouldcancel a hotel in Tiberias--far away underwritten by the Charles andSophie Schnaper (Winter --=_.. ~ ~ eo / as her trip organizer, the trip, but she did not want from Gaza. and Lynn Schusterrnan Farn- Park, 12th grade). The teens -~ X ~ ~ I "It appeared to be the to.Also, Ididnotforeseeawar With the Iron Dome mis-ily Foundation. developed and led a free car- _-~ ~ < ~ | largest trip organizer of the and did not feel compelled to silesinterceptingrockets fired As a prestigious leadership nival for childrenwith under- ~" ~ a. ~ | Birthright trips," she said. cancelhertripbeforesheleft," by Hamas into the heart of position, applications are cur- privilegedbackgrounds.Asan ...= O Z ~ | Her acceptance into theSimone said. Israel, how were the Israelis rently being accepted for the important community event, = , -- /prgramcamealmstamnth Elana was gung ho to go. around her acting? 2014-2015 J-Serve Teen Task J-Serve was a collaboration beforethethreeyounglsraelis "I trusted that the IDF and "Thelsraeliswerecalmand Force for 8-12th graders. As of multiple Jewish agencies -= ~ ~ I-- ! were kidnapped. The trip was Mayanaot would take excel- normal,"shesaid."Theyacted a member of the Task Force, -~" -J 0 Z | scheduled for July 7-17.When lent care of our safety, so I like this was just something teens will have the opportu- J-Serve on page 15A i ~O [ the young men's bodies were[ went anyway," she said.they experienced in everyday nity to plan and create the _= found, her mother, Simone, Her group of 39 arrivedlife. They gave us no reason to 2015 J-Serve projects, be a =- ~ ~ O ,-- n-/ told her it was alright if she in Tel Aviv the afternoon of be alarmed or scared." community leader, develop ---- I--o [ wanted to cancel the trip. July 8--the day Operation Simone, who has not been practical skills such as mar- "We knew the three Israeli Protective Edge began, keting, fundraising and event teens were tragically killed From the airport, the Rockets on page 14A planning, as well as to give