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

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 PAGE 3A A film review that hits home--'The Internet's own son' Pamela Ruben riding her bike on the long driveway to the house where she grew up and later was home to Aaron Swartz. The house shown is not herhis home, just one along the way. A new (Holy) day at Bet Chaim By Robin Monti . Casselberry's Congregation Bet Chaim is shaking up the High Holidays this year with a new leadership team de- signed to engage and inspire members and guests with a combination of traditional and unique. Rabbi Sanford Olshansky, previously of Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, N.J., is already breathing new life into the 23-year-old congregation, Seminole County's first re- form temple. "Rabbi Sandy" is a"second career" rabbi whose passion for Judaism led him to begin his rabbinical studies after retiring from sales and marketing. "I wantto make Jews WANT to come to Shabbat services," he told CBC, "particularly the younger generation. They are, after a|l, the future." His holiday sermons will move from the universal theme of "Checking up on ourselves," to the specifically Jewish theme of chosen-ness. and wfllillustrate the differ- ence that religious faith can make in Jewish lives, and the necessity of forgiving oneself while knowing God's forgive- ness. He will also introduce a "reader's theater" version Jillian Marini of the book of Jonah, (the haftarah for Yore Kippur afternoon). Accompanying Rabbi Ol- shansky is operatic soloist Jillian Marini, 25, a former Bet Chaim student, bat mitzvah and madricha. She is taking time from her Pittsburgh career to grace the Bet Chaim bima with her crystal-clear soprano voice, a truly trans- formative experience. Finally, nationally re- nowned Hebrew, retigion and history scholar and author Dr. Ken Hanson will co-lead, along with Rabbi Olshansky, a discussion on Israel and Rabbi San ford Olshansky the Middle East between the morning and afternoon ser- vices on Yom Kippur. For schedule and ticket information please visit www.betchaim.org, email information@betchaim.org, see Heritage page 12A or call 407-830-7211,. The services include a traditional Tashlich service on Lake Kathryn immediately following the morning Rosh Hashanah service. Break-the-Fast re- quires reservations and'an additional fee. All college students are invited to attend services free of charge, with a picture student I.D. Join Cong. Sinai in Minneola for Hig I Holiday services Spiritual leaders Joe and Lynn Goldovitz lead High Holiday services. Joe and Lynn Goldovitz, esteemed and multi-talented spiritual leaders of Congrega- tion Sinai, Minneola, Fla., will blow the shofar, play the harp and conduct the upcom: ing High Holidays. Congrega- tion Sinai is a full-service, family-oriented synagogue that commemorates all life= cycle events. Jewish people all over the world will usher in the Jewish New Year, 5775, a time of new beginnings and of reflection on one's life, at sundown Wed. Sept 24. The 10 days of Rosh Hasha- nah and Yom Kippur are the holiest days of the year. It is the anniversary of the cre- ation of Adam and Eve, and a period of judgment. During the High Holidays, people pray for forgiveness for the sins they have committed and pledge to live a better life in the New Year. It is said that, at this time, God judges and then decides "Who shall live and who shall die and who shall be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year." The serving of apples and honey are traditional to welcome in the New Year. The Shofar, a ram's horn is blown as a call to worship and to usher in the Jewish New Year. For the High Holiday schedule, please see the Synagogue Service Schedule on page 12A. For further info about tickets/services, Contact our website: www. congregation-sinai.org or call: 352-243-5353. By Pamela Ruben Recently, I viewed the com- pelling documentary"The In- ternet's Own Son," about the life and untimely death of In- ternet activist, Aaron Swartz, and it hit home in a couple of unexpected ways. Not only was Swartz raised in a Jewish family in my hometown of Highland Park, Illinois, but coincidentally, we both grew up in the same house, 15 years apart. Aaron's parents, Susan and Robert Swartz, currently reside in the house I consider my own childhood home from 1970-1986. According to Zil- low, the ravine-side Highland Park home last sold in 2000, so Swartz's family would have lived there from the time he was about 12 years old until the present. I briefly met the Swartz family sometime around 2004 or 2005 during Thanksgiv- ing week, when I was back in Highland Park visiting my famly. I knocked on the door of the Ravinia area home, with my husband and two small children in tow, hoping for a peek inside. A kindly man (who must have been Mr. Swartz) opened the door, and graciously gave us a tour of the entire house from top to bottom, far exceeding my expectations of an inside peek. ! met Mrs. Swartz as well, and one or two of the Swartz boys. I remember enquiring which of the boys had taken over my old bedroom, but I was far more captivated with my old house, than by the new family who dwelt inside. I wouldn't see the Swartz family again for more than a decade, until they appeared on my television screen when I rented the aforementioned documentary. Though the documentary afforded both rare and surreal glimpses into my own past, the larger tale of Aaron Swartz's desire for an open-access Internet, dominated even my own view- ing experience. The "Internet's Own Son" was directed by Brian Knap- penberger, and debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Knappenberger served as the documentary's narrator, and his sympathetic tone was largely supported by facts and expert testimony. The director's remarks were sup- plemented by extensive com- mentary from Swal, tz's family, friends, and colleagues. The viewer is first intro- duced to Swartz, and his unique brand of genius, through the use of home video clips. In his first few moments on screen, a toddler-sized Swartz reads aloud to the camera, carrying aweathered copy of "My Family Seder," stealing the scene with his precocious smile. The docu- mentary establishes Swartz as a member of a loving and sup- portive family, and touches upon the struggles brought on by early genius. Robert Swartz, revealed that his son "took off on the computer at two or three years old," and began programming from an early age. Swartz's two younger brothers, Noah and Ben, recounted tales of their big brother as both teacher and mentor. Ben shared that Aaron spoke of programming as "magic." The eldest Swartz used his "magical" coding skills to create a website that was an aggregate for informa- tion, preceding Wikipedia, for which he was awarded the prestigious ArsDigita Prize at age 13. Swartz's intellect was al- ways far ahead of his chrono- logical age. At the age of 13, he was an early developer of RSS feeds, where he "helped build the plumbing of modern hypertext." The precocious teen began to associate with Internet legends Tim Berners- Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, and Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons (which Swartz would help code), a non-profit that pro- moted idea sharing through creative copyright use. Swartz was profoundly influenced by the fact that Berners,Lee had taken his concept of the World Wide Web, and given it freely to the public, creating access to the Internet for all. Meanwhile, Swartz was still in high school, where he felt "unhappy, and that homework was a sham and busywork." His discoveries on the com- puter led him down a "path of questioning." The gifted teen-ager was most passion- ate about copyright, and the places where the"Internet and copyright collide." In 2004, Swartz left High- land Park for Stanford. As an 18-year-old student, he created the start-up Infogami which later merged with Red- dit, and was ultimately bought Review on page 14A Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director