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September 10, 2004

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2004 PAGE 5 ges readers to send in their opinions column. They must be signed; how- thheld upon request. Due to space ; we reserve the right to edit, if necessary. in Viewpoint do not necessarily reflect of the paper. AIPAC to help it go strength to strength )f the Orlando intwoseparatesuicidebomb- AIPAC, I feel ings. Israelis have had to deal to share with with grief, trauma and loss for our community too long now. This is not the about the U.S. timetowithdrawoursupport my un- for the important mission of AIPAC. It is rather a time to increase our support. The credibility of AIPAC scandal are notis intact. Since this story l OUtrageous but broke, the decision makers in weakening the Washington from both parties influence of have expressed ongoing sup- don't port for AIPAC's agenda. All this is an major Jewish organizations OnAIPAC. have expressed solidarity against with AIPAC over the last few COmmunity. days. It is now believed that am writing this, this media-driven smear August 31, our campaign was not powered in Israel is by partisan politics but was bury 16 inno- most likely concocted by a who were killedsmall group of Israel bashers this morning in the government bureau- Q cracy. Determination is high to find who is responsible and hold them accountable. AIPACwill be okayandwewill move forward, building on the close friendship that has been established between the U.S. and Israel. What can we do? Each of us needs to let our senators and congressmen know that the U.S./Israel relationship is a priority issue for us. Express your confidence inAIPAC and encourage them to continue working with us for a safer world. We must also reach out to others in the Jewish community, and assure them that AIPAC and the Jewish community will not be in- timidated from doing what we do. And, finally, wouldn't it be nice if we actually had the chutzpah to increase our AIPAC membership this month and also raise more money to support the work of AIPAC during the month of September? Invitations have gone out for two AIPAC events this month. The first, on Sep- tember 7: a special briefng with Lauren Morris, AIPAC's Florida Political Director. Her topic: "Elections 2004 - A Guide for the Politi- cally Perplexed." On Sunday, September 26, the Orlando Committee for AIPAC will be holding its annual member- ship fundraising event at the Country Club of Heathrow at 4:30 p.m. Tal Becker, legal advisor to the permanent mis- sion for Israel at the U.N will be our guest speaker. A mini- mum family contribution of $150 is requested. Invitations have been mailed to members and we would love to see a lot of new faces. For more infor- mation, contact Iris Polit in the AIPAC Florida office at or 954- 382-6610. AIPAC has an outstanding reputation built on integrity. It will continue to get the job done. I urge you to join us, make some phone calls, come to our upcoming events and help us go from strength to strength. AIPAC, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is the only American organiza- tion whose principal mission is to lobby the U.S. govern- ment about legislation that strengthens the relationship between the United States and Israel. Supported financially by private donors, this non- partisan organization has worked for more than 50 years to make a difference. ROZ FUCHS Maitland Rosh Has / IPPY I co,o,1[,0 I THE semi I 1 I ARE O NOEO TO I ! you say You TOOK Roo cove l IT WiTH LEAV ] Rabbinical Thoughts Hsalettersent cere appreciation to you and awaitingfinalapprovalforthe County Public the Seminole County Board of state waiver of three school Dr. Education for considering the hurricane makeup days, we the Jewish Fed-concernsoftheJewishcommu- urge you not to reinstitute Orlandoon nity of Central Florida in the September 16, 2004 as a At press time, the course of your determination school day even if the waiver breaking astowhichdaysschoolsshould is not granted. Rosh be open to make up for the days While you indicated and losttoHurricaneCharley.Rosh shared a written statement Hashanah,whichfallsthisyear with us that no student or on September 16, is one of the employee would be penal- days you were considering. As ized for missing a school day you know, Rosh Hashanah is due to religious practices, we one of the holiest days of the suggest again that no Chris- was Jewish calendar, and a day tian student is ever put in the on which work is proscribed, position of having to choose Virtually every Jewish student, between celebrating signifi- teacher and employee will be cant religious holidays and absent, missing days of school. :to express our sin- UnderstandingthatyouareWe urge that, despite the H. Hoffman But with help from fellow rope, a child of survivors, to Jews in Amsterdam, theyCanada's Supreme Court? finish writing ultimately received the right Shouldn't we celebrate morning, 10 "to travel, trade, live and re- that we have turned the 27, 2004), main," as long as the "poor original instructions, to take into the car, amongthemshallnotbecomecare of our own, into power- every cubic a burden to the company or fully effective social welfare to AnnAr- to the community, but be organizations, federations, our youngest supported by their own ha- that now take responsibility junior year tion." Years later, Stuyvesant for Jews globally? And, we was given added instructions have created models that lks I spoke to -"Shutyoureyes, at least [do] have helped shape the larger engaged in notforcepeople'sconsciences, soc iety around us. with their butalloweveryonetohavehis Yet, as comfortable as we own belief . ." You know, that are in North America, even my dough- would be a pretty good debat- celebratingthemanyachieve- but it's a ing point in our current elec- ments of our Canadian and start, full of tion seasonl American Olympians, wasn't a new year and I'm told that 50 years ago, there something special life has to in1954,thecelebrationofour when you heard Hatikvah to get back people's communal arrival in played to celebrate Israel's NorthAmericawascelebrated first gold medallist, Gal Frid- excitement, opti- in many communities with man? Didn't you tear up just elaborate pageants and such. slightly as you read that Gal 23 In 2004, eitherwe're more re- would be taking the medal to from Recife, strained, we party differently, the monument to the slain landed in New orasIreallysuspect, we'rejust Munich athletes in Tel Aviv? 350 years ago so comfortable we hardly no- Maybe we are really comfort- establishing ticel Is it safe to take it all for able, but still very different, community granted? Shouldn't we still in a good way. We know it was celebrate the contributions In a week when attention we have made to American was focused on Athens and of Gover- society that have made this the fighting in Najaf, UJC who continent so different from was hard at work. them [Jews] the rest of the worid? The Renaissance & Re- "Cannot refuse the Isn't it appropriate tonewal Pillar sent a delega- and the Papists." celebrate things like the ap- tion of lay leaders to attend goes the neigh-pointment of Rosalie Abella, the Renaissance Institute, a Jewish woman born in Eu- held in conjunction with challenges incurred by Hur- ricane Charley and the poten- tial that the Governor may not waive additional school days, you find a way to keep Semi- nole County schools closed on September 16, 2004. Thank you for your con- sideration of this issue of great importance to 9ur community, ELAINE SILVER Co-chair, Community Relations Committee Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando ERIC GEBOFF Executive Director Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando Hillel's Charles Schuster- man International Student Leaders' Assembly, at Camp Moshava in Honesdale, Pa. In addition to chevruta learning, dancing with over 320 student leaders, eating camp food and interacting with students representing Hiilels of the FSU, South America, Israel, Europe and North America, the delegation began a new conversation with Hillei leadership about the impor- tance of a strong relationship between local Hillels and their respective federations as well as UJC and the International Center. We thank Hiilel and Renaissance Institute co- chairs, Carol Wise and Julie Wise Oreck of New Orleans, for making them feel right at home[ A fact-finding Chicago Faculty Mission was in Israel from various colleges in the Chicago area, representing the whole political spectrum. This fund-raising mission isa pilot project comprised of col- lege faculty who care about Is- rael and are on the front lines of anti-Israel demonstrations and commentary on Ameri- can campuses. They were in Israel to hear about the facts of See "Hoffman" on page 18 Visiting the cemetery before Yom Toy By Rabbi R.J. Adler ning water and symbolically empty our sins in it, fast as The traditionofvisitingthe often we can, and very opti- gravesofourdearonesbefore mistically wish each other the High Holidays is based on "L'shanah torah," a happy two major ideas. One, to add and sweet year. I also find anothermitzvahofhonoring consoling the Talmudic our parents even after death; story of the three open and, two, to ask our relatives books before the Almighty to assist us with their mer- on Rosh Hashanah, one for its (Sechut Avot) to appear confirmed sinners--not for righteous before our Maker us--one for the confirmed ontheDayofJudgment(Yom righteousmmaybe, and Hadin).Originally, wewentto one for those who can still thegravesoftheZadikimand demand until Yom Kippur Chasidim of extra piety and and even until Hoshanah holiness and prayed for their Rabbah (during Sukkot) to intervention, females praying be moved from the volume to Mother Rachel and males of dou*bts and uncertainty to FatherAbraham.Lateron, to the book of virtue. That we enlarged it to all the mar- includes most of us, hence tyrs of Israel and the saints ourcertaintythat"NextYear ofourpeople.And, finally, we in Jerusalem." addedourownrelativesbased After the Shoah, there on the idea that all Jews are were hundreds of towns and responsible for one another, villages in Eastern Europe We did this not only before that became Jewish eem- Yore Toy, but any time when eteries: ghettos, concentra- our people were in trouble tion camps, forced labor throughout the ages. camps and extermination The most frequent ques- facilities, all of which ended tion I am asked on the cem- up as final resting places of etery, either in connection millions of our men, women with these visits to the cem- and children. A visit to any etery or in connection with one of these holy places is an unveiling, is this: Why do more than equal to any of we place stones on top of our the previous graves of our markers each time we visit? pious and holy Chassidim I usually give three reasons and Kedoshim who died for out of many. One, we came kiddush Hashem at other from earth and will return to times of Jewish persecution. it and a stone will last longer If it were not for our tradi- than loose earth. Two, it is a tional faith in the goodness sign that this grave is visited of Hashem despite our suf- regularly and not neglected fering, we could not have for all to see. And, three, that survived the Holocaust and we will continue to care for we would not have defeated the resting place of our dear our hostile Arab neighbors. ones by adding to the garden Moreover, we would not be ofmemoriaigreen shrubbery able to return year after year and perpetual landscap- to our High Holidays in the ing. Reciting prayers (and joyous mood of anticipation especially from the Book of of another good year and be- Psalms) at the gravesides inginscribedbyourmerciful became a permanent feature God in the Book of the Good encouraged by the influence Life. I myself am happily sur- of Kabbalah. prised at that Jewish tenacity To make sure that we will and optimism, which is itself win favor in the eyes of the of a miraculous quality, but Almighty on the Days ofAwe in our case a much-needed (Yomim Noraim), we bring necessity. out our shofar, visit run- Am Yisraei Chail