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September 12, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 12, 2014
 

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS Editorials ..................................... 4A Op-Ed .......................................... 5A Calendar ...................................... 6A Synagogue Directory .................. 7A B&apos;nai Mitzvah .............................. 8A Scene Around ............................. 9A Shana Medel An outpouring of UCF students and community members circled the UCF's Reflecting Pond to pay tribute to Steven Sotloff, former UCF Knight beheaded by ISIS. Ca n dleligh t vigil for fallen UCF Knight Steven Sotloff By Shana Medel in northern Syria, Sotloff spent two in the direction of Jerusalem and even Heritage Intern years covering the Arab Spring and its pretended to be ill in order to fast on tumultuous aftermath. He endangered Yom Kippur. On Sep. 3, over 300 UCF Knights his life in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Only two weeks after Foley was be- sotemnlygathered around the heart of and TureB order to uncover injustice headed, another horrificmurder video campus to mourn and honor Steven Joel and repothe truth in the Middle East. was released to the public. "The same Sotloff--a freelance journalist who was Sotloffalsoworkedforahandfulofmedia masked fighter with British-accented murdered in cold-blood by the extremist outlets, including both The Media Line Englishwho appeared in thevideo of Mr. group ISIS. and The Jerusalem Report.- Foley's beheading also appears beside The31-year-oldMiaminativeattended Following his 2013 kidnapping, Mr.Sotloff, asserting, Tmback, Obama, UCF from 2002-2004 and worked as a Sotloff was not seen or heard from and I'm back because of your arrogant seniorstaffwriterforTheCentralFlorida until he appeared in ISIS' execution foreign policy towards the Islamic Future, UCF's independent newspaper, video of American journalist James State,'" reported The New York Times. After making aliyah in 2005, he set Foley.WhileinthehandsofhisMuslim The Sunni extremist group claimed out to earn his undergraduate degree captors, Sotloff managed to conceal that the gruesome killing of Sotloff at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) his Jewish heritage and his dual U.S.- in Herzliya. Before he was kidnapped Israeli citizenship; he secretly prayed UCF on page 13A Steven Sotloff sounded the unanswered alarm about ISIS By Felice Friedson The Media Line In one of Steven Sotioff's final reports for The Media Line, dated July 30, 2014, he wrote: "As the interna- 0 -- 0 "= a - < = -_o - =  =  .,o ' i. tional media is fixated on the struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, few reporters are focusing on Syria. But a spate of kidnap- pings of foreign journalists in Syria has made the country a mini-Iraq that few want to venture into. 'It's dangerous and getting worse by the day,' says a correspondent for a major Western publication. If no one is asking for articles, why should we risk it?" He was kidnapped in Syria about a week later. If Steven Sotloff could express his frustrations, no doubt atop the list would be that the world that is hanging on every word he wrote, failed to read his stories and heed his warnings several years before. As a freelance journalist, Sotloffwas in the Middle East by choice rather than by as- signment. Driven there by his fascination with the region and affection for its people, Sotloff, who was fluent in Arabic, quickly developed an uncanny sense not only of what was, but what was going to follow as well. He traced the evolution of the jihadi takeover of Syria and Iraq; the spawning by AI-Qa'ida of the Nusra Front and the Islamic State; all while chronicling the early steps toward the carv- ing-out of the ISIS caliphate and the dangers it presented to the Western world. When the media world was focused on Libya, hewas there,writing about Darna, calling it "the Jihadi capital," and already admonishing that "the Libyan dilemma will impact the Syr- ian crisis." He warned in a personal email that"voices of support for intervention will be drowned out." Sotloff first came to The Media Line, anAmerican news agency covering the Middle East, in 2009. His pitch for full-time employment didn't work out because I felt his need to travel throughout the region and not be assigned to a single beat. But in 2012, Sotloff reached-out again after he had spent time liv- ing in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Qatar and Yemen; and became a freelancer for The Media Line, reporting from Egypt, Steven Sotloff, freelance reporter in Turkey, Syria, Egypt and Libya. Libya, Turkey and Syria; filing insightful stories that eerily predict today's headlines. Sotloff was fearless to the pointwhere he appeared to be- lieve he would not be harmed because potential foes would somehow sense his attach- ment to the Arab world and its people. In January 2013, in Sotloff on page 13A JNF announces Tree of Life dinner Jim and Valerie Shapiro Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host its annual Tree of Life Award Dinner at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, located at 9700 International Drive in Orlando, at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The event will honor local philanthropists Valeria and Jim Shapiro and Orlando Magic Executive Alex Martins with the prestigious Tree of Life Award. The Tree of Life Award is a humanitarian award given in recognition of outstand- ing community involvement, dedication to the cause of American -Israeli friendship, and devotion to peace and security of human life. Jim, a Maine native and avid Boston sports fan to this day, has had a diversified career, first working overseas for large corporations and then becoming a successful inde- pendent owner-operator of several car rental franchises and parking companies in Orlando and Tampa. For 20 years he was on the national board of the American Car Rental Association, serving in various capacities, and for 10 years he was president. Valeria, a native of Milan, Italy, has lived in various countries, eventually settling in Florida where she raised a family, volunteered in schools and educational organiza- tions and worked in tour sales and marketing. Valeria and Jim are both JNF on page 14A Scholar-in-residence at SOJC Sept. 20 Over Shabbat on Sept. 20, the Jewish community of Orlando will be treated to a fantastic opportunity to hear from awonderful scholarwho will be visiting our area. Dr. Walter Herzberg, assistant professor of Bible and Pro- fessional and Pastoral Skills at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America will be the guest scholar-in-residence at the Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation (SOJC) on Shabbat morning and will also join a gathering of several local synagogues for Slichot services that evening. Following services at SOJC, which begin at 9:30 a.m., a special Kiddush luncheon will be served after which Dr. Herzberg will be presenting "Where Are You Going and Why? Using the Torah to 'Mapquest' Your Life." Child- care will be available and an RSVP to office@sojc.org is requested. That evening, as Jewish communities around the world bring in the High Dr. Walter Herzberg Holiday season with Slichot services, Dr. Herzberg will teach on the topic of "Life. Just Choose It!" This service will also be hosted by SOJC, lo- cated at 11200 South Apopka Vineland Road Orlando, FL SOJC on page 13A 6 Illl!! !!!11! !! U!I ILls