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September 13, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 13, 2013

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FLORIDA JEWISH N E EWS Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar .... . ............................ 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A Classified ................................ 2B In honor of those who walked before us Presidential Press and Information Office Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meet in Syria in May 2010. Russia has proposed a plan to secure Syria chemical weapons. From Russia with love00a gift for the world? By Boaz Bismuth Like the biblical Jacob, U.S. President Barack Obama sees a ladder in his dreams. But instead of God at the top, the American president sees his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The Russian president, with his proposal that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad transfer his chemi- cal weapons stockpile to international hands, will ultimately save Ohama from ordering an attack. It's not clear what is preferable to Obama--Putin's solntion or a "no" vote from Congress. Either way, Obama--regardless of what the future holds anymore--will go down in history as an American president who led from behind (a term taken from his own lexicon pertaining to an attack on Libya, which was led by Britain and France). Even if the Americans have yet to fire a shot in Syria since the chemical attack on Aug. 21, the war between Assad and Obama has already begun--a war of words. Obama is threatening to attack, and Assad, in televised interviews, is vowing to respond. And we are still at the stage of talk followed by more talk. From the onset of the Arab uprising in 2011, it was clear that the situation in Syria was the most complex. Too many countries were involved. Putin understood the potential. While Obama was expected to finally take the lead, as world leaders do, Putin came along and changed the rules of the game. Putin, in contrast to Obama, made an attractive offer on Monday, primarily in the eyes of an international community averse to war. At this rate, Putin will also steal Obama's Nobel Peace Prize for his work in Syria, Chechnya and Russia. Putin can be proud. He has given the world a gift--from Russia with love. We can now expect talks over the Assad regime disarming itself of chemical weapons. Do you remember the Iranian ruse in Geneva in October 2009, when Tehran agreed to renew nuclear neguta- tions? This could be similar. And let us assume for a moment that we are just being pessimistic, and that Assad, inspired by the horrible events in his country, has had a change of heart. Let's assume for a minute that he is ready to get rid of his unconventional weapons without being attacked. And then the pundits will declare Obama a genius, and that his threat to attack was only to persuade Assad to dump his chemical Russia on page 15A New York community devastated by Hurricane Sandy still rebuilding By Talia Lavin NEW YORK (JTA)--Nine months ago, Natalia Demi- dova crouched on the second x) - floor of her Staten Island home and watched her neigh- bor's SUV race a 10-foot wave down the street. The wave crashed through Demidova's quiet residential block in the South Beach neighborhood and flooded her home with more than two feet of water. Demidova is among the many residents of South Beach still struggling to re- store the life she had before Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern United States last October. For most of the past year, she has been living with her family in a hotel while working to repair her severely damaged home. She had hoped to be able to move back lastweek, but insteadwill be spending the High Holidays in the hotel. "My 6-year-old, sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night asking, will it happen again? Will there be another storm?" Demidova told JTA. Like so many communities devastated by the super storm, courtesy Jewish Russian Learning Center of South Beach Rabbi Zeev and Esther Kushnirsky, shown at a Jewish Russian Learning Center of South Beach trip from Staten Island to Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood. the Jewish community of South Beach has spent nearly a year rebuilding. Still, much remains to be done. Last week, the Jewish Russian Learning Center, a Chabad-affiliated synagogue that opened in the neighbor- hood less than a year before Sandy, held an information session that aimed to guide homeowners through the maze of funds, tax breaks and remunerative opportuni- ties available to the storm's victims. The center also held a benefit concert in early August for itself. "In the beginning, we gave out clothing and tried to help with emergency efforts," said Esther Kushnirsky, who Sandy on page 15A Harvey and Nancye Kobrin dance at a Jewish Pavilion Hanukkah party at Serenades by Sonata in December 2012. By Pamela Ruben The Jewish Pavilion's an- nual "Walk in the Park" will be co-sponsored this year by philanthropists Harvey Ko- brin and Chuck Steinmetz, in honor of their wives, Nancye Kobrin and Lynn Steinmetz. This free event will be held Oct. 27, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Cranes Roost Park in Aitamonte Springs. Kobrin has a long his- tory of giving in the Jewish community. Most notably, in 1972 Harvey and brother, Phillip, donated the Maitland property on which the Roth Jewish Community Center is housed. Longtime friend and Uni- versity of Florida fraternity brother, Chuck Steinmetz, and his wife Lynn, committed $5 million to the University of Florida to create five new permanent endowments, in- cluding three professorships, an entrepreneurship fellow- ship fund, a research fund and additional support for an existing student scholar- ship fund. "My wife, Nancye, was quite a lady," said Kobrin about his late wife of 33 years, who passed away in February 2013. "Nancye always put people at ease. If we were at a party, and Walk on page 14A Beth Am plans week of Sukkot events With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in our rearview mirror, Congregation Beth Am in Longwood sets out an ambitious schedule of events to celebrate the week-long festival of Sukkot. The holiday, which starts on the evening of Sept.18 is one of the three biblically mandated festivals. During the seven days of Sukkot we spend time and eat meals in a sukka, a temporary structure reminiscent of the fragile dwellings of the Isra- elites in their 40-year travels in the desert. The sukka also recalls the huts set up by farmers during the harvest season. Those in the fields lived in these huts, sharing meals and recreation time. We set up the sukka to remind ourselves that sharing time is our highest priority in life, offering thanks for thatwhich is truly important in the sim- plest of settings. On Wednesday evening Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m., Rev. Bryan Fulwider will enter the sukka at Beth Am and speak to the "empty nesters" in the community. Fulwider is an ordained minister who has served as a local church pastor for more than 30 years in both the United Methodist Church Rev. Bryan Fulwider and the United Church of Christ. From 1999 until 2012 he served as the senior minis- ter of the historic First Con- gregational Church of Winter Park. He serves as president of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida as well as the founding president and CEO of Building US, whose mission Beth Am on page 14A