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September 3, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 3, 2004

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PAGE 22 HERITAGE FLORIOA JEWISH NEWS, Wise Continued from page 2 be working with Jagielloian University in Krakow to be- gin a teacher training pro- gram. Wise said that, over the past five years, interest in Jewish culture has been growing in Poland and so the Ministry was very re- ceptive to her proposals and will give her every available assistance, with the excep- tion of funding for which she will be responsible. Using her Israeli contacts, she plans to hold the first workshop next summer. Not surprising to those who know Wise, she also plans to build a Holocaust museum in Warsaw, one of the few European capitals that does not have one. The Holocaust Center will be the official sponsor and the model for its Polish counterpart. In spite of starting an- other major project from the ground up, Wise will still come to the Holo- caust Center once a week and remain as Chairman of the Board. It was here that Jennifer Ritter, who assumed the mantle of leadership on September 1, joined us. She noted that the Holo- caust Center, through all of its programs, reaches 40,000 people a year and has created a rich legacy and tradition. Her goals are an en- dowment campaign, new themes and additional outreach programs to under-served communi- ties. She added that she is grateful for the past two years of mentorship under Wise but looks forward to putting her own stamp on the mission. "It is an excit- ing time for the baton to be passed," she said. Zeidman Continued from page 3 Presidential Candidates Fo- rum, conducting leadership trips to Israel for members of Congress, governors and other leaders, and creating a high-profile Jewish presence at the National Republican Convention. For more information regarding the mission, orga- nization, and platform of the RJC, visitwww.] Reservations ber 14 are not event is open endorse cal parties. Rd Maitland. formation Diamond call the 407-644-2500. Aaron Continued from page 4 The fact is that different kinds of Jews have almost no contact with each other anymore. No contact. How often these days do ultra-Or- thodox Jews interact in any way with Reform Jews and vice versa. How often these days do left-wing Jews have meaningful conversations these days with right-wing Jews and vice versa. There are walls, walls ev- erywhere in the Jewish world. And we are all so busy each and every day putting up more and more of them. Don't like something this group says or does? Put up a wall between you and them. Don'twaik into theirshul or join their organization or give voice to their perspective. Put up a wall. One problem with putting up so many wails between Jews is that the most pre- cious thing we have is our connection to each other. How much we have benefited from FRANCIS L. 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Get rid of that and we are all lessened, each behind our walls, ignorant of each other, suspicious of each other, dis- dainful of each other Walls make the world a place of"us" and "them." Bad enough, but even worse is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. More and more are we put- ting up walls between Jews and non-Jews, seeing anti- Semitism in every criticism of Israel, seeing a new Holo- caust any time a cemetery is desecrated in any country by any one. Us and them. The world is made up of Jews and anti- Semites. That wall up, we can focus more specifically on the Pal- estinians, seeing each and seeing all as terrorists bent on destroying us, every act of terrorism as prelude to Israel being thrown into the sea. We've given up on find- ing a way to share the land with those we share it with, condemning ourselves to eternal discomfort in our own home. Us and them. The land of Israel is populated by Jews and Arab terrorists. Those walls up between Jews and anti-Semites and between Jews and Arab ter- rorists, we next have turned toward each other. More and more are we putting up walls between Jews, seeing those Jews who think and act and do like us as good Jews, and those who don't as bad Jews. Us and them. The Jewish world is made up of good Jews and not really Jews. We see that every day. The most sickening example dur- ing this Jewish year now com- ing to an end was a public letter written by one of the leading rabbis of the ultra-Orthodox yeshiva world, Rabbi Chaim Keller. A learned man with a wealth of real world experi- ence with which he could do so much good, Rabbi Keller, so very sadly, has chosen instead to devote much of his formi- dable communication skills to attacking other Jews. His spe- cialties are gay Jews, Lubavitch Jews and any Jew connected with Yeshiva University in New York. Which, ironically, is his alma mater (I'll leave the psy- chology at work there to oth- ers.) Itwasthis Jewishyear that Rabbi Keller published in the world's leading ultra-Ortho- dox newspaper a very critical letter to Rabbi Norman Lamm, YU's chancellor. What so upset Rabbi Keller is that YU invited a group of Catholic cardinals visiting the United States to tour YU, including its bais medrash, study hall, where they met and talked with some rabbinical students. That's it. That is what enraged Rabbi Keller so, and caused him to write a very public, very critical letter of YU, calling what they did nothing less than a Chilul Hashem, a desecra- tion of God's name. And Rabbi Keller, please remember, is an Orthodox rabbi and YU is an Orthodox university and rab- binical seminary. But, remember, the thing about walls is that the more you put up, the easier it is to put up more. First, you decide that Reform and Conservative rabbis are not really rabbis and then it's that Modern Orthodox Jews are not really Orthodox and on and on it goes. Wall after wall. Case Continued from page 5 and taking advantage of a new beginning--as applying fully to Wen@. When the congre- gation prays communally for repentance, I experience her as a member of the congrega- tion and community. For me, the High Holy Days, and Yore Kippur in particular, are a great gift--a gift that interfaith families can benefit from and fully enjoy. Edmund C. Case is the president and publisher of and the co-editor, with Ronnie Fried- HMREC Continued from page 7 contemplating aliyah in the coming months. The virulence and extrem- ism of Arab/Muslim anti- Semitism is comparable to that of Nazi Germany. The Arab/Muslim media pumps out a steady stream of hate, recycling the Protocols of the Eiders of Zion, a long- discredited Czarist forgery created to incite pogroms against European Jews. It was later used, according to Historian Norman Cohn, as a "warrant for genocide" by the Nazis - a warrant that remains in force today. The Protocols are invoked by Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hez- bollah and Osama bin Laden to justify the murder of Jews worldwide. New tales of blood libel and Jewish conspiracies (e.g Jewish responsibility for 9/11 and the war in Iraq) abound. Defying logic, anti- Semitic propaganda demon- izing Jews as Nazis competes with Holocaust denial. The 9/11 attacks, the mur- ders of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Bergand Paul Johnson Jr and the cowardly attacks in Kenya, Bali and Spain underscore the fanatical determination of the "Islamists" to win their holy war against the Jewish, Chris- tian and American"Infidels of the West." America is cast as the "Big Satan" and Israel as the "Little Satan." At the Con - ference of Islamic Nations (57 members) in October, outgo- ing Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad called on the world's 1.3 billion Muslims to defeat the Jews, charging that: "The Europe- ans killed 6 million Jews but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and kilt for them." Not since Hitler had such blatant anti-Semitism been uttered in the international political realm. Mahathir's speech re- ceived a standing ovation. The anti-Semitism of "the left" is most apparent on uni- versity campuses. In a mind- numbing twist, anti-Semitic rhetoric has become part of the human rights, anti-rac- ism and anti -war platforms. It is a "politically correct" form of anti-Semitism masquerad- ing as legitimate criticism of Israel's policies and actions. It makes use of words like "apartheid," "genocide" and "racism" when referring to "Zionism" (the Jewish right of self-determination). For example, a letter accusing Israel of "ethnic-cleansing" appeared in the University of Central Florida's student newspaper and a cartoon published in the University of Florida's independently- owned student newspaper suggested that the Israelis hate the Palestinians the "same way [they] hated Jesus." The ancient anti-Semitic Ca- nard of deicide is thus alive andwell.Although denounced by some university presidents, divestiture campaigns remain active, supported by many in- tellectuals and academics. Anti-Semitism is a cancer that metastasizes to destroy entire societies. The world witnessed this in Nazi Europe - we must heed the warning signs as we see the rise of the same extremist, intoler- ant elements that bred the Holocaust. To ignore the danger is to invite the folly of the 1930s and '40s when we learned that "bystanding" is not a viable option. It has become clear that we are in a struggle for our survival. The Holocaust Memorial Center is at the forefront. Our mission is to combat anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry through Holocaust remembrance and education. This includes monitoring and responding effectively to hate activities, creating awareness about threats to our democratic values and freedoms, teaching the principles of "responsible citizenship" and forming co- alitions with other groups and civic leaders committed to the building of a just, moral and And so because some Catholic visit and talk students and its study hall, whose word is and world's wastoomuch discord in the decided this was another wall. And so it goes Jewish world. You know, it used if a Jew said "the would think the Western Wall, est site, the dear at, all Jews share. The wall of all we have in Today, say it makes us different kind, separates the holy Israel, neighbor bor, from Palestinian. symbolizes all the logical walls todaY's putting up, from gentiles Jew from Jew. land, of The Guide J Interfaith Family book (Jewish is not enough. strong mitted to the Yisrael. We must participate in eration and its synagogues and of Jewish serve and must be good to our larger our country. We r ourselves and anti-Semitism, and net. We at this crucial time, critical to Israel Jewry, so that out all levels, will l Our survival our strength as; a long, proud umph and succesS: usa: ness, to continue the the survival Yisrael. I wish you a nah Tovah." Resource