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September 1, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 PAGE 15A From page IA participants can earn Midot Medals for outstanding acts of chesed (kindness) and in enhancing the spirit of the event. "JCC Maccabi began as a way to engage Jewish teens through athletics and con- nect them to their heritage and more importantly, to one another," said Randy Ellen Lutterman, vice presi- dent of arts and culture and Maccabi Games and ArtsFest at JCC Association of North America. "As the JCC Movement celebrates our centennial this year, JCC Maccabi is inspiring Jewish teens in new and innovative ways by offering them an ex- citing way to meet, compete and create in multiple host communities." These weeklong experi- ences provide teens--many, for the first time--to feel part of k'lal Israel, the greater Jewish people. East host com- munity kicks off the week with an opening ceremony where JCC teen delegations march amidst great fanfare. The following day, competi- tions and creative workshops begin. The competition in Bir- mingham was followed by two subsequent weeklong events Aug. 6-11, in the New York Capital Region (hosted by the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center and the Robert and Dorothy Ludwig JCC of Schenectady), and in Miami, hosted by the Alper JCC. The Maccabi Movement be- gan in 1895 when the first all- Jewish sports club was formed in Constantinople. The first world Maccabiah Games were held in Israel in 1932. The first North American JCC Maccabi Games were held in 1982 with 300 teen athletes. The weeklong Olympic-style competition is the largest athletic tournament for Jew- ish teens ages 13-16 in North America. Team Central Florida will be travelling to the West Coast for the 2018 Games, Aug.5-10, 2018. Jewish teens who are 13-16 years old (on July 31, 2018), are eligible to participate. Next year's sports lists will most likely include: basketball (boys and girls), flag football, baseball (boys), volleyball (girls), soc- cer (boys and girls), tennis, swimming, bowling, lacrosse, dance, and star reporter (so- cial media track). For more information, contact Robby Etzkin at RobbyE@orlando- Nathaniel Cohen, Orlando, who won silver in boys 14U tennis. From page 1A hard times for the Federation and taught the board mem- bers and officers to believe in themselves. With that mind- set, much was accomplished: the Campus 2020 campaign raised and leveraged $2.5 mil- lion, reducing the $5.8 million debt to $3.2 million; The Jewish Academy building is now under contract for $2.75 million and a memory-care facility will eventually fill the space; the PJ Library/PJ Our Way program started and grew to one of the largest in the country; and Israel Connec- tions, a program for mothers to visit Israel, launched with the third group to travel to Israel this coming November. Now the Federation is set- ting the stage for the future, and the path forward is stra- tegic re-alignment and adapt- ing with a new generation in mind. More emphasis will be put on stewardship, security and support. Soil shared a few 2018 initiatives coming up: an online community direc- tory; an as-needed, part-time grantwriter to be available to programs or organizations that need a grant writer; and more agency-centric leadership development. Until an executive director is hired, a task force will be in place to support the day- to-day operations, which will be handled by the Board officers; define the vision of strategy, re-alignment and research; and assigning or forming a committee to do the search for a new execu- tive director. Upcoming events include a discussion on campus security for local Jewish organizations in October, and in November, a commu- nitywide Men's event, which will involve all the synagogue Men's Clubs. At the conclusion of the "business" part of the meet- ing, attendees ventured outside--or opted to stay indoors--with their Bagel King meals. At 1 p.m the Campus 2020 Donor's Grove was dedicated. Honored were the 24 families and individuals who generously supported the Campus 2020 Debt Retire- ment Campaign. From page 4A thedral raises the issue of how thorough Christian authori- ties will screen church-goers. Terrorists crave crowds, and are willing--even desir- ous--of risking death. Is there nothing other for Americans and Europeans than to accept casualties from Islamic extremists, more or less like they accept what has been the much greater carnage from road accidents? There's no shortage of preaching to get along with others, reconcile disputes about historical narratives, and expand teaching the virtues of brotherly love. There's also the history of Christian extremists getting over the urge to kill non- Christians and Christian rivals. But there's no sign that the mass of Muslims are close to Christian accom- modations with themselves and others. Charolottesville illustrates tensions that go beyond Islamic extremism. Home- grown tensions between American Nazis, the KKK, Antifa, Black Lives Matter and their constituencies are enough to produce may- hem. Not helping are Donald Trump's convoluted efforts to explain himself and stay in touch with his constituency. One needn't relaxvigilance, or efforts to acquire intel- ligence and prevent incite- ment and attacks. Problems of politics and morality will require coping, however that is feasible. It's also worthy to do what is possible to reduce traffic accidents. In both fields, however, we should be aware of the limits. There are unpleasant reali- ties involvedwith automobiles and Islam, best viewed as irreducible to zero casualties. It's tempting to idealize the past, but it wasn't free of violence, had greater risks of disease, and overall shorter life spans. Comments welcome. From page 5A Deacons also protected blacks who wanted to register to vote. Unprotected by the Los Angeles Police during the Rodney King riots, Korean business owners organized and defended their businesses with guns. Yes, it is America in 2017. But for Jews, it's beginning to look like Russia during the era of the pogroms. Jews need to learn from their own tragic history and from other ethnic groups that acted to defend themselves. Walking out the back door of a synagogue should never be the recom- mended option. Jews being told to walk in groups is the stuff of nightmares. Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincin- nati, and a distinguished fel- low with the Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twit- ter: @salomoncenter. From page 8A The church sees the holiday as a time to leave home and gather in another place, but that place need not be open to the elements. The church also observes several other Old Testament commandments. Members refrain from eating foods expressly prohibited in the Bible--like shellfish--and abstain from work from sun- set Friday to sunset Saturday, mostly corresponding to the Jewish Shabbat. But there is no set of prohibited practices on Saturday. "We teach that you do not do your weekly labor," Wakefield said. "If you work at the factory during the week, you're not working by sundown Friday." While most evangelical groups do not observe the Old Testament like the Liv- ing Church of God, many do ascribe significance to some of its commandments. Many evangelical leaders, for ex- ample, have cited Leviticus in their opposition to same-sex marriage. And some evangeli- cal groups have voiced support for displaying the Ten Com- mandments at courthouses. Cynthia Lindner, director of Ministry Studies at the University of Chicago Divin- ity School, says Christians are drawn to these verses because they define codes of interpersonal conduct. "There are [Old Testament] texts that are focused on pre- scribing behavior far more so than in the New Testament," she said. "The texts and codes of the Hebrew Bible are easily appropriated when you want to make an argument about behavior." In recent years, some evan- gelical groups have held Passover seders, partly as a re-enactment of Jesus' Last Supper, considered to have been itself a seder. Other Christian groups, including some Christian Zionists, have taken on other Jewish rituals, such as wearing a prayer shawl or blowing a shofar. "I think a lot of Christians have the idea that Judaism is more authentic, more ancient, closer to the will of God than what a lot of the churches have become in modern times," said Jon Levenson, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School. "There's this notion that church tradition has gotten farther and farther from the real word of God, and that somehow the Jews and their Bible is closer to the real word of God, and we should start taking those things on." But for the Living Church of God, Rosh Hashanah is about more than hearkening back to ancient times. It's about the imminent redemption of the world through Jesus. "Can we picture a massive trumpet blast literally shaking the earth to announce Christ's return as King of Kings?" Meredith's pamphlet reads. "Can we picture the true saints of God--who follow Him wherever He goes--ris- ing to meet Christ in the air, to join forever with their Savior and assist Him in ruling this rebellious planet? All of these things will be heralded by the seventh trumpet!" From page 10A essay on Tzav (Leviticus 6:1- 8:36), which details how to give several sacrifices, Held notes that the thanksgiving sacrifice must be eaten on the day it is offered--whether by the sacrificer, his relatives or nearby poor people. From that verse, he draws out that giving thanks also means sharing your good fortune with others. "We are not meant to rest content with being recipients of God's gifts but are asked to become givers ourselves," Held writes. "God's gifts are meant to flow through us and not merely to us." But Held doesn't restrict himself to platitudes about the importance of gratitude and charity; across his writing, his message is explicitly political. His book, a collection of es- says written before the 2016 presidential campaign, is rife with exhortations to love the stranger and take responsibil- ity for poor people. "The society we live in will be judged by how it treats those who are weakest and most vulnerable," Held told JTA. "I want to overcome 'secular Jews are political activists and religious Jews do mitzvahs.' I've never heard of a more false di- chotomy." And while Held wants his book to appeal to Jews across the spectrum, his commitment to traditional, egalitarian Jewish obser- vance is clear in everything from his philosophy to his word choice. He makes a point of keeping God gender neutral, never using "He" or "She." Held also devotes attention to historically marginalized groups like immigrants and people with disabilities. That's partly because, although he talks constantly about God, Held says Torah is really about caring for people. From page 14A Turkey and the 'good' Kurds in Iraq," Bengio said, adding that Israel's "recognition of [independence for] the so-called good Kurds would not hurt Ankara's security perceptions." At the same time, Israel maintains relations with Tur- key despite the fact that Presi- dent Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime openly supports the "We built the Hadar beit midrash as a place where no human experience was ruled as outside the bounds," he said, using the Hebrew term for "house of study." "If there's a human experience, Torah has to engage with it." Palestinian terror group Hamas. "Ankara does not have qualms to support Hamas, which endeavors to eliminate Israel, so why should Israel have any problem in developing relations with the Kurds of Iraq, which not only do not threaten to eliminate Turkey, but are its strategic ally?" Bengio asked. "In fact," she said, "Israel should be assertive on the issue reciprocity."