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August 25, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 25, 2017 PAGE 15A y in Sydney Kamen with a village leader in rural Burma in an unofficial refugee camp that is one of SOAP's partner communities. By Abigail Pickus Sydney Kamen has always been concerned with helping others. In 2004, when genocidewas raging in the Darfur region of Sudan, Kamen's mother announced that instead of Ha- nukkah gifts thatyear, Kamen and her sister should research and select a charity to support. At Jewish religious school on Sundays, Kamen went on service trips to soup kitchens, and through Georgetown Day $chool/he spe f time at a women's shelter in downtown Washington, D.C. Her first experience with aid work in a developing country was when she was 15 and fought to participate in a 10-week relief mission to Haiti for dentists and oral surgeons. She was hardly deterred by the fact that she wasn't a dentist--or a grown-up, for that matter. In Haiti, Kamen traveled around the country in blistering heat helping set up clinics offering oral care. Adults with severe abscesses came, bringing children whose teeth were damaged from eating flour mixed with soil because they could not afford to buy food. "That kind of exposure was eye opening to me," Kamen recalled. Nevertheless, Kamen was surprised to learn on a sophomore year service trip to Thailand how something as basic as soap and water is a luxury for many--one they can ill afford to forego. "Over 1.8 million children die every year from diar- rhea, but this is something that can be prevented with hand-washing," Kamen said. "Hand-washing with soap can cut Ebola in half." Then Kamen had an idea: What if luxury hotels donated their unused soap? By the time she returned to Thailand and Myanmar the following summer, Kamen had come up with a fully de- veloped idea for a project that would not just deliver soap to those who needed it, but also help local women spread the message about the impor- tance of soap in maintaining health--and pay them in the process. Kamen spent her time in Asia laying the groundwork. She arranged for the soap's delivery, trained women and girls to recycle and remake the soap, taught them about sanitation and health, and paid them to share their knowledge in their home com- munities. Armed with soap they could sell, the program also offered an opportunity to earn a living. Four years on, the proj- ect, which Kamen dubbed SOAP--So Others Are Pro- tected--now has 13 hotel suppliers and 14 community partners in countries such as India, Myanmar and Kenya, and has produced and dis- tributed over 50,000 bars of recycled soap. SOAP became its own nonprofit in 2014, when Kamen was a high school junior. This summer, Kamen was named one of 15 recipients of the Diiler Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, a prize from the Helen Diller Family Foundation that awards $36,000 each to up to 15 Jewish teens across the country for their work repairing the world. Orphans and vulnerable children in eastern Uganda participate in a health workshop where they are taught how to use soap and get to take some home. Since 2007, the program has awarded more than $3 million to 99 teens whose work spans everything from helping homeless youth to improving the fuel economy of school buses. Now 20 and a junior at Dart- mouth, Kamen speaks with the experience of a seasoned agent of social change. "We view soap as a cost- effective and urgently needed public health intervention in our partner communi- ties, and not as a novelty for international distribution and consumption," Kamen said. "The biggest thing for me is sustainability and self- empowerment." Kamen is also a U.S. Army ROTC cadet. Shehas received widespread recognition for her work, including the President's Volunteer Service Award. Kamen said she was thrilled to learn that she'd been recognized by the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. "It's a lot to try to juggle running this organization full-time while being in school," she said. "It's very easy to get frustrated and struggle with the balance. I'm still a 20-year-old girl who wants to go for a hike. This kind of validation is encour- aging and reminds me what a wonderful thing it is to be recognized and supported." Ultimately, Kamen said, SOAP offers a straightforward solution to a problem that, though simple, has devastat- ing consequences. "It's not a special vaccine or surgeons to do cleft palate repairs," she said. "It's some- thing as simple as a small glob of antibacterial glycerin." (This article was sponsored by and produced in partner- ship with the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which sponsors the Diller Teen Tik- kun Olam Awards, annually awarding $36,000 to Jewish teens demonstrating excep- tional leadership in repairing the world. Nominations/appli- cations for 2018 are now open. This article was produced by JTA's native content team.) From page 1A murder are rampant and unceasing. These are artists who refuse to remain silent despite forces of intimidation or popular beliefs. Their voices and vi- sions are direct and distinct, forever asking theviewerwhat he or she would do if placed in similar situations depicted in these works of art. "This exhibition is timely and powerful," says Susan Gladstone, the director of the Jewish Museum of Florida- FIU. "These artists tackle issues we are all confronting right now, at this juncture in history. They bring evil to light from a multitude of shadowy angles, capturing historical events and ex- pressing outrage. They leave us, the viewers, to our own responses--and possibly to our own personal calls to ac- tion," added Gladstone. The Jewish Museum of Florida is accredited by the American Alliance of Muse- ums. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and holidays. Admission: Adults $6; Seniors $5; Families $12; Members and children under 6 always free; Saturdays-Free. For more information call 305-672-5044 or visit www. From page 1A such as leadership develop- ment, outreach, issues advo- cacy, and support of Israel and global Jewish causes. Funds will be raised to execute a budget set to accomplish JFGO's core work, with ad- ditional resources used to help the community's orga- nizations and synagogues meet their own goals. The Federation will continue its stewardship of the Maitland campus, a historic com- munity asset. Key aspects of the leadership's vision for the future will be revealed at the Annual Meeting. JFGO is a part of a national umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) which repre- sents 155 Jewish Federations in the United States. JFNA raises and distributes more than $3 billion annually for so- cial services and educational needs. Locally, JFGO has dis- tributed more than $430,000 since 2015 in grants that fully or partially subsidized collab- orative community activities and services, educational programming and cultural events. The Federation owns, subsidizes and manages the 13-acre Maitland Jew- ish Community Campus, which is home to The Roth Family Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Acad- emy of Orlando and the Holocaust Memorial Re- source & Education Center of Florida. From page 3A against Israel. He said the re- sistance would be "peaceful." Zomlot conveyed an overall positive impression of Trump and his negotiators, saying they had carefully considered Palestinian positions, and that Trump's commitment to an endgame rather than simply perpetuating the process was positive. "The character of President Trump himself--we believe this is a person who could actually take the leap, who could exert pressure on all sides," he said. Zomlot and the Palestinian Authority appear to be relying on pressure by Trump as a means of delivering Israel on the two-state solution. Zomlot made clear that he did not believe Netanyahu had the wherewithal to advance to final status negotiations on his own. "Netanyahu is behaving like a politician, not a states- man," he said of the prime minister's coalition maneu- vering, in which he must deal with partners who oppose concessions. "Israel deserves better leadership." Zomlot expressed anger with Congress and the welter of proposed bills that would cut U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority and otherwise penalize it. Chief among the measures is the Taylor Force Act, named for an American stabbed to death in a 2016 terrorist attack, which would link funding to the Palestinian areas to the cessation of P.A. payments to the families of Palestinians killed in or jailed for attacks on Israelis. He said the Palestinian Authoritywas ready to"revise and negotiate" its payment system, but would not submit to pressure. "Don't use financial pres- sure with us," he said. "It does not work." From page 5A supremacist, mowed through the crowd of demonstrators. She, like so many before her, died standing up against hatred and bigotry. All I can do is repeat the words uttered in the book of Job in the face of unfathomable loss: "God gives, and God takes, Blessed is God." That does not mean her death is acceptable. Her life and her fight will not be in vain. Her memory will be for a blessing. We will not forget her and we will keep fighting back againstwhite supremacy. The Torah portion that Jewish communities around the world will read this week includes the commandment to rejoice atappropriate times. I say that because although now is not that time, that time will come. Now we mourn the loss of life white supremacy has wrought and we pray for the healing of mind, body and spirit of all those harmed by this weekend's events and others like them. But next week we go back to work, and some day, we will win this fight, andwe will have reason to rejoice, to celebrate, to feast--and we will do it together. Lizz Goldstein is a rabbi in Northern Virginia and a proud member of T'ruah: The Rab- binic Call for Human Rights.