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September 10, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 10, 2004

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PAGE 16 HERITAGE FLORIDA JE~NISH Siegel Continued from page 1 also anticipates that Rabbi Siegel will participate in activities in collaboration with The Jewish Pavilion and Hillel. The new position of "Com- munity Rabbi" is "a work in progress," says JFS Executive Director Barry Kudlowitz. Kudlowitz says, "We're honored to have Rabbi Arnie Siegel with us. Rabbi Siegel brings a wealth of experience, particularly in chaplaincy. He has the education, personality and strength that will make him a very effective commu- nity chaplain." Rabbi Siegel was born in Connecticut, and learned his Hebrew in cheder in Norwalk until, at the age of eight, he moved with his family to Mesa, Arizona, 30 miles south of Phoenix, the home of a Jew- ish community of about 12 families. Rabbi Siegel's sister was the only Jewish girl in the local high school, and he was the only elementaryaged Jewish boy. The community was so tiny, in fact, that the small synagogue, Temple Beth Shalom, had no rabbi until the 1970s. The congre- gation used the Armed Forces prayer book from World War II. Rabbi Siegel became Bar Mitzvah at a Conservative synagogue in Phoenix. Most of Mesa's non-Jewish popula- tion, perhaps as much as 65 percent, were Mormons; Mesa was the site of the first Mor- mon Temple outside the state of Utah. Rabbi Siegel credits this early influence with help- ing him to be comfortable in the ecumenical environment of the armed forces. Rabbi Siegel was deeply influenced by the traditional synagogue music he knew as a child, and cherishes an abiding affection for the great, clas'sic cantors of the past. "I always knew where my roots were" when listening to this music, says Rabbi Siegel. The love ofcantorial music helped him to reconnect with Juda- ism during his college years at Arizona State. He con- netted with other young Jews through his local Hillel, and was asked to helpwith the can- torial duties and with teaching Hebrew to the children in his home congregation. He also served in the ROTC and was an outstanding freshman cadet. He graduated from Arizona State with a degree in Political Science, and later worked as a graduate assistant in that field. After college, Rabbi Siegel began to believe that his career path lay in the rabbinate. He had an interview at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, and shortly thereafter entered into his rabbinical studies. He remembers being there a few days after the Six Day War, when 20,000 Jews gathered at the Hollywood Bowl in support of the State of Israel. "I'd never seen that many Jews together" before, he remembers. It was an inspiring sight. After graduating HUC in the early '70s, Rabbi Siegel assumed his first pulpit at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, Va. He was its first full-time per- manent rabbi. While there, he also served as rabbinic advisor to the Mid-Atlantic Federation of Temple Youth, which covered territory from Wilmington, Delaware to Wilmington, N.C. Rabbi Siegel saw that there was a real need for rabbis in the U.S. military, and in 1980 he volunteered and was accepted asaNavyChaplain.Thetransi- tion from being a civilian rabbi to working with service men and women of all denomina- tions was considerable. Rabbi Siegel considers his Navy chaplaincy a fulfilling role in a pluralistic society. Rabbis, he says, are there "to meet people where they are and encourage them to do more, study more, learn more." He retains this philosophy in his work today. In his travels, he visited Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine bases over a large part of the world. He believes that it is especially important to "have an open eye, an open mind and an open heart" to draw the best from each cul- ture one encounters. Among his many memo- rable experiences in the Navy were the Shabbat and Chanu- kah services he conducted for the service personnel under starlit skies on the beaches of the Mediterranean. They were "on the very paths where the Jews of history had traversed going from Israel to Spain to Europe." The Marines put up shelters for the candles so they would not go out. Rabbi Siegel remembers that the bonds between chaplains and soldiers are especially strong. "Chaplain and Marines are like flesh and blood," he says. And that bond extends to those of all faiths. "I'm a clergyperson for all people," he says. Military chaplains, he says, are "right behind the troops," and often are at great personal risk. His colleague and friend, Rabbi Irving Ellson, will be of- ficiating at High Holy Day ser- vices for the troops in Iraq. Rabbi Siegel has a~so served as a hospital chaplain in the Bethesda, Md. Naval Medical Center. He obtained a master's degree in Human Resource Management and completed an advanced course for chaplains. Of his new position at JFS, Rabbi Siegel says, "This was a natural for me, since it's very much what I've been doing-- outreach. I'm looking forward to facilitating the movement of the unaffiliated who come to me into the congregations. I'm here to serve the needs of the community." Rabbi Sic Mary, va, at Millwee also has [ graduate of Central g andwhc in the Air Force ton, D.C.; and lives and attends Northern Virginia. Rabbi Siegel need to come support of those sustained the He says that community rabbi meet not only the food assist in Jewish learnin ality and to seek ourselves as well as neighbors." In thiSV Rabbi Sic "spiritual cement the hurricanes come a or community." 407-644-7593. Funding Continued from page 1 Hamas may have been temporarily sapped by the Israeli assassinations of its leaders, Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz Rantissi, but their motivation to carry out attacks continues to grow. "The so-called lull was no lull before. The Pal- estinian terrorists even during the past six months continued to try every op- portunity to strike at Israelis in the hearts of our cities, on our buses and in our cafes," said David Baker, an official in Prime MinisterAriel Sharon's office. Sharon, meanwhile, said "the fight against terror will continue with full strength," and pledged to stay with his plan for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Lifeforce Integrative Medicine Specializing in Chronic Pain Angela Lambert Doctor of oriental Medicine Acupuncture Physician Massage Therapist MA24337 Cell: 407-579-8563 Clinic: 407-678-0047 .~cupunctur Cfini~ of Winter ~rf( 200 N "Denning Dr Suite #7, Winter Parf~ FL 32789 Strip and four northern West Bank settlements by next year. Last Tuesday, Sharon presented his Likud Party's Knesset faction with a timetable for the withdrawal and tried to quash suspi- cions that his plan would increase terrorist attacks in Israel. "There is no connec- tion between" the bomb- ings "and our plan for disengagement," a som- ber Sharon told report- ers. "We will fight the murderousness of Palestin- Jan terrorists with all our might." Baker credits Israel's security fence and army operations for thwarting most of the recent at- tempts atattacks. But others question how effective the fence can be as long as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians remains unresolved. "The fence can actu- ally increase motivation for attacks because there is motivation on two lev- els. One is ideological, by the militant groups like Hamas who do not want to live in peace with Israel. "The second is that in the past four years especially, the effects of Israel's actions in its war against terror often hurt not just terrorists but the people who simply live there," said Yoram Mei- tal, chairman of the Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben Gurion University. "The bottom line is that the motivation for at- tacks is one of the main things we need to pay atten- tion to, and the fence does Learn to Speak Hebrew It's not just conversation. It's culture. It's community. It's connection. You are invited to join 0ren and Nira Linder to learn to speak Hebrew In unique IO Week Ulpan Settings of your choice; B ginner Int 1-1m d|ate Advanced And now for Ch dren too. FREE Introductory Sesslon--September 21, 7:00 p.m. At the Hebrew Day School Facility 15 weeks Hebrew Ulpan $195.00 INTERACTIVE ULPAN FOR CHILDREN AGES 8-14 LEARN HEBREW THROUGH GAMES, DRAMA AND LOTS OF FUN! To sign up or ask questions contact 0ten or Nira 4O7 292-4761 or 4o7 647-o713 not decrease motivation," he said. "Israel is in a struggle against Hamas and Islamic Jihad but also against the Palestinian Author- ity," and its people "have little motivation to stop terrorists." Meanwhile, there are indications that since Is- rael took out the Hamas leadership, the group's ceils are working more secretly and independently of one another, increasingtheirabil- ity to carry out attacks like the one in Beersheba. There is still no se- curity fence separating Israel from the West Bank near Hebron. David New- man, an expert on political geography and borders at Ben Gurion University, said this might lead some to conclude that a fence in the area would have prevented an attack. Indeed, Public Se- curity Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told reporters after the attack, "where a fence exists, there is no terror; where there is no fence, there is terror." But Newman said that to "think the fence will hermetically seal off any fanatical terror bomber-- that is a bit of a panacea." According to Newman, despite Israel's expert in- telligence network and apparent ability to stop most terrorists, there will always be those that are going to get through because of the reality of life in Palestin- ian areas. "You have tens of thousands of people in the occupied whose economic is worse than in they see this as result of the poll1 tion, and blame said. "They have more have been Hamas, and have in the Palestinian ity and" its Yasser Arafat, said. Some have su! that with a withdrawal from Strip looming, m mainstream litical elements are' "There is joil est by those in camp of the Authority who interest in not unilateral withd Gaza by Israel," Lt. Col. Yohana the former army's civilian tion in Gaza, Television. Gila FinkelsteiJ islator from the Religious Party, disengagement plan providing Pa with greater carry out "Today they ning to count talities of she said. "The will use everyth can to prove to world that is a direct deadb Gaza Strip is only t ning." HELP WANTED Part-Time Heritage Florida Jewish News has an opening for someone to help bundle newspapers on a once-a-month basis, must be able to lift 30 lbs. Please call Jeff at: 407-834-8787