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August 29, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 29, 2014
 

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ................................. 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A In wake of rabbi's murder, Miami Jews fretting over security By Anthony Weiss sect who was in town from (JTA)--The streets of North Miami Beach look different since the murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin. At Northeast 175th Street and 8th Court, in the heavily Orthodox neighborhood where he was killed, a memorial of candles is arranged in a Star of David that the community keeps lit. Police officers have stepped up theirpatrols, filling the streets at all hours. Raksin, a member of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic --" O --2 O -" xl ---- O ----" O ---" a _ t'i Brooklyn, N.Y., to visit his grandchildren, was shot on the morning of Aug. 9 while walking to synagogue on the Sabbath. Though police say no evidence has emerged that anti-Semitismwas amotive in the crime, or that the killing was linked to several other recent hate crimes, Raksin's murder has raised unsettling questions about security in the Miami Jewish community. It also has the community contemplating security mea- sures already common at Jew- ish institutions throughout Europe and South America. "We don't know if Rabbi Raksin's murder was a hate crime or not," said Jacob Solomon, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. "We do know that it followed local anti-Semitic incidents. We do know that it happened in a climate of a worldwide dramatic increase in anti- Semitic behavior. It happened in a climate of peak concern about anti-Semitism." About two weeks before Raksin was killed, a North Miami Beach synagogue was spray-painted with swastikas and the word "Hamas." Cars in nearby Miami Beach were smeared with "Jew" and "Hamas" in cream cheese. The day after Raksin was killed, a vandal scratched a swastika and an iron cross on the door Joe Raedle/Getty Images In North Miami Beach, Fla., a makeshift memorial was created near where Rabbi Joseph Raksin was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014. of a car parked for the rabbi's memorial service. The incidents raised the specter that anti-Semitism, which has been on the up- swing worldwide since the start of hostilities in Israel and Gaza, is a growing risk on the sunny streets of southern Florida. The Miami-Dade Police Department has said that all indications in its investigation point to the killing as being an armed robbery gone wrong, and Jewish communal offi- cials have praised the police handling of the matter. Still, the murder has placed the Jewish community on edge. "A lot of people are con- vinced that this is a hate crime," said Mark Rosenberg, a local resident and a chaplain for the Florida Highway Patrol. As a result, local Jewish organizations have intensi- fied their focus on security. In a joint statement by the Anti-Defamation League, the Greater Miami Jewish Fed- eration, the American Jew- ish Committee, the Greater Miami Rabbinical Association and Chabad, local leaders said they were refocusing on coor- dinating security with police, increasing security training and greater public awareness. A spokesman for the Chabad community of North Miami Beach also told JTA that local institutions were hiring addi- tional armed security guards and planning to install more security cameras. "For decades, institutions in South America and Europe have been hardened, meaning bollards in front of their doors or large cement planters or guards or volunteer groups that provide neighborhood watch services," said the fed- Miami on page 14A U.S./Israel rq lations topic at MPAC On Wednesday, Sept. 3, Rabbi RickSherwinofCongre- gation BethAm in Longwood, Florida will join hundreds of pulpit rabbis from around the country for a one-day sympo- sium on U.S.- Israel relations featuring top thinkers and influential policy makers. The American Israel PublicAffairs Committee's third National Rabbinic Symposium, to be held at AIPAC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., will af- ford Rabbi Rick and the other attendees the opportunity to meet and hear insightful leaders and speakers as he prepares his High Holy Day messages and sermons. The mission of AIPAC is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel rela- tionship in ways that enhance Rabbi Rick Sherwin posium, developed by Sammy Kalmowicz, AIPAC's Florida Region Synagogue Initia- tive director, has brought the security of Israel and the notable speakers including i United States. AIPAC's staff Ambassador Michael Oren, and citizen activists educate  :Senator. Joe Lieberman, El- decision makers about the li0tAbr/S, and Dr. Charles bonds that unite the United Krauthammer to speak to States and Israel and how it pulpit rabbis committed to is in America's best interest supporting Israel. Scheduled to help ensurethat the Jewish to speak this Septembe r are state is safe, strong and secure. Cooperation between the two countries is advantageous for both nations. AIPAC urges all members of Congress to sup- port Israel through foreign aid, government partnerships, joint anti-terrorism efforts and the promotion of a nego- tiated two-state solution--a Jewish state of Israel and a de- militarized Palestinian state. The AIPAC Rabbinic Sym- Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of "Son of Hamas," Former Knesset Member Einat Wilf and author and diplomat Aaron David Miller alongwith other notable experts on Israel and the Middle East. Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas co-founder, and leader HassanYousef, rejected Hamas after being raised to  Sherwin on page 14A Jewish association with Robin Williams By Edmon J. Rodman After hearing of the appar- ent suicide of Robin Williams, I remembered laughing hard- er, and deeper than I ever had at a comedian when I first saw him perform at the Come@ Store in Los Angeles in 1977. During his set at the Sun- set Boulevard club--where newcomer, Jay Leno, also performed that evening-- there were no tedious joke set-ups, or tired shtickiness to his approach to stand-up, just a flinging out of a blend of Shakespearian references, observations, plays on words and thoughts that Williams had spun together in the mad juicer that was his mind. If the requirementoffiction is the suspension of disbelief, likewise that night, the audi- ence found for a few brief moments, vastly dissimilar elements from their world somehow hanging together from the performer's sus- penders. Unlike others in comedy who pushed the boundaries such as Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, or Woo@ Allen, Wil- liams wasn't Jewish--though he wasn't beyond using a Robin Williams Jewish inflection, or ges- ture to make his point--but, thinking about it now, there was something Jewish about his way into the heads of his audience. Soon after, when Williams caught the national TV eye by playing an alien from the Williams on page 14A