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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 21,2012 9 By Linda Gradstein The Media Line There used to be a jingle in the United States, exhorting everyone to, "Look for the union label, when you are buying that coat, dress or blouse." These days, more and more Muslim travelers, are look- ing for the "halal" label on hotels, restaurants and even airlineswhen they travel. The word "halal" means permit- ted created or operated in compliance with Islamic law. Anew report by DinarStan- dard. a U.S.-based firm that tracks the Muslim lifestyle market, has found that spend- ing by Muslim tourists, which was $126 billion last year, is forecast to reach $192 billion by 2020. Not all of these Muslim tourists necessarilywant food or o'cher services that con- form.tothe strict standards of Islam. But enough people do. and the travel industry is listening. In Malaysia, for example, the De Palma Hotel Group advertises itself as "sharia compliant," referring to Islamic law. The hotel's website says that all food in the hotels Is "halal" and no alcohol is served, even at wedding par- ties. There are also "Islamic floors" for Muslims only, and a full-time imam to lead daily prayers in the on-site mosque. On Fridays, between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m., people come to pray. "One-quarter of the world's population is Muslim and they are becoming a growing sector of the world's econo- my," Rafi-uddin Shikoh, who authored the report for Di- narStandard, told The Media Line. "They require a unique set of services and hotels and airlines are responding." He said that, for instance, 20 percent of all hotels in Ma- laysia are "Islamic compliant" and have a halal certificate from the Halal Industry Development Corporation, a company that coordinates the overall development of the halal industry in Malaysia. "I'm a Muslim and I drink alcohol," Motaz Othman, the editor-in-chiefofa magazine called Islamic Tourism told The Media Line. "Yet, we do receive a lot of inquiries from readers all over the world ask- ing us to recommend hotels that do not serve alcohol." Othman is based in Jor- dan and says there are few "Islamic compliant" hotels there. The few that do ex- ist are run by businessmen from Saudi Arabia, where a strict form of Islam called Wahabism is practiced. "These hotels don't serve alcohol and check to see that couples staying at the hotels are husband and wife," Oth- man said. "They also do not allow visits to private rooms." He said that some travel- ers want "Islamic compliant" hotels when they travel with their families. They often want beaches where men and women bathers are separated so their wives and daughters will not be ogled by strange men when they go swimming. As a sign of the expanding tourism market, the World Islamic Tourism Mart was recently held in Kuala Lum- pur, Malaysia. Tour and travel operators from 50 countries came together to offer tour packages for Muslim travel- ers. These packages go beyond the traditional "hajj" mar- ket, which brings some 2.5 million Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia annually to perform the pilgrimage which all Muslims are sup- posed to make once in their lifetime if they can afford to do so. Some 12 million Mus- liras visit Mecca and Medina every year. and the number is expected to rise to 17 million by 2025. Saudi government statis- tics say revenue from tour- ism, which was $17.6 billion in 2010, is expected to double by 2015. Planning for the future, the Saudis have launched huge transportation projects in the which is currently estimated at more than $300 billion per year in the United States and is growing at a rate of 10 percent a year. Ironically, most of the consumers are not Jewish, but non-Jews who believe (often erroneously) that kosher food is healthier. Some companies are trying to imitate the success of the kosher market with new halal country to build a rail link - products.SaffronRoads.which joining Mecca and Medina. as well as a metro that will carry travelers between the religious sites. Another fast growing mar- ket in Islamic travel is halal food. Shikoh of DinarStan- dard said that based on his company's surveys, some 70 percent of Muslim trav- elers want halal-certified food. This means the meat and chicken served must be slaughtered in a certain way, and no pork products can be used. "The halal market is a 700 billion dollar market and is growing fast," he said. "And other countries are realizing the potential. Brazil is the largest producer of halal chicken; and Australia and New Zealand of meat." Shikoh compares the halal market to the kosher market, began production in 2012. is a company that produces Indian frozen entrees such as chicken tikka, l~ors d'oevres and sauces. On its website, it prominently features a round stamp that the food is "certified halal cuisine." But the products also try to appeal to the growing natural food market, explaining that Saffron Roads CEO Adnan Darrani launched the com- pany with clear goals. "The natural food pioneer first envisioned a halal food brand which also embodied ethical consumerism: halal, sustain- ably farmed, all-natural, anti- biotic free, and 100 percent vegetarian fed. all har vested on family owned farms." It is now carried in hun- dreds of Whole Foods Markets in the United States. Darrani was profoundly affected by the tragic events of 9/11 and the company's website says there is also a political message. The idea for Saffron Road is based on the idea of the Silk Road, the ancient routes in the Middle East and Far East used by trad- ers, merchants, pilgrims and missionaries for 3.000 years. The website says that "as a long time social en- trepreneur. Darrani was soul searching for a social enterprise that could bring harmony to soothe politi- cal. religious and cultural dissonance. He pondered. "was there any historical precedent that demonstrated the goodness of humanity, a higher Calling to improve the human condition?" Catering to Muslim tour- ists is also spreading beyond the Middle East. The tourism website of Queensland. Aus- tralia,, launched a campaign this year asking. "Why not try Gold Coast for a cooler Ramadan this year?F' With a long history of welcoming Middle Eastern visitors and a large resident community, facilities for Muslims in Gold Coast, Australia, keep grow- ing every year.I The site also lists mosques and halal restaurants and grocery stores. may By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)Wil- liam Juksch, a self-described "hillbilly from the Ozarks" of southwest Missouri. was a 19-year-old private fighting for the U.S. Army near the end of World War II when he was assigned to scout observation points for a U.S. artillery bombardment of German forces. It was May 4, 1945. Juksch's 5th Infantry Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division had fought for a year through France and Germany. Reach- ing the Austrian city of Wels, Juksch and two other privates, Ohioans Frank Braughbau and Peter Carna- buci, and their captain, a college graduate named Nicholson, followed a trail through the woods. The jeep stopped at a gate, the men not knowing what stood behind it. It was Gunskirchen Lager, a sub-camp of the Mauthau= sen concentration camp. With the Allies closing in, the Nazis had led thousands of Jewish prisoners from Mau- thausen on a death march to Gunskirchen. Before the Americans' arrival, the Ger- mans had fled. Dead Jews were sprawled on the ground or stacked atop one another. Everyone else constituted the walking dead. "Those who could walk grabbed our feet, kissed our boots, kissed our hands. They said things in Ger- man," Juksch, an 86-year-old retired electronic scientist. said from his home in Vir- ginia Beach, Va. "The captain " radioedbackwhatwe'd found. ... In no time fiat there were trucks of medics and supplies. We gave them every bit of food we had with us: candy bars and K-rations." Still needing to com- plete their scouting mission, Juksch and the other men stayed less than an hour. Juksch, who had never encountered Jews back in Missouri, didn't speak or think much about the expe- rience until the early 1970s, when a university student in Alabama asked to interview him for a research paper on American soldiers who had liberated concentration camp prisoners. Now Juksch is in Ala- bama to attend the 71st Infantry Division's annual reunion, which ran Sep[. 12-16 in Huntsville. Three Jews whom the 71st liberated at Gunskirchen attended, too: Simon Braitman, 82, from Majowicie, Poland, who lives in Rochester, N.Y.; Aron Zoldan, 85, from Kus- nice, Czechoslovakia (now Ukraine), who lives near Detroit; and Robert Fisch, 87, from Budapest, who lives in Minneapolis. The sons of two HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 Courtesy William Juksch Simon Braitman (left) and his wife, Josephine, hosted Terry Juksch, sitting, and her husband on the latter's 2010 visit to Rochester, N.Y. now-deceased survivors also attended, as did several wives and relatives of survivors. The division has held re- unions since the late 1980s Juksch attended his first around 1993but only in the past decade did the Holocaust survivors learn about them and ask to come, too. "Frankly, this may be the last one," Braitman said of the reunions. In the past year, approximately 60 ex=soldiers and their wives have died. The poignancy of Brait- man's words is striking--and ironic. According to Steven vitro, a researcher at the U.S. Ho- locaust Memorial Museum in Washington, reunions between survivors and soldier liberators have been "happen- ing more" in the past 20 years. "Almost every" U.S. military base here and abroad hosts a Yom Hashoah commemora- tion, he said, often asking the museum's Civic Defense Initiatives department to suggest resources, including survivors as speakers. Juksch chided a reporter for "missing the chance" to cover the Huntsville event on site and witness "the bond that exists: not only between GIs who went through [war] but the bond that exists be- tween us and the survivors." Having been created "through difficult times," the tie "never disappears," Juksch said. At the 71st's reunkm six years ago, Zoldan asked the ex-soldiers if they remem- bered a kid running around who didn't know English. "Was that you?" they said. "Yes!" Zoldan then told them of remaining behind with the Americans in Gunskirchen, assisting and speaking Yid- dish with a Jewish corporal from Brooklyn, N.Y. Airplanes delivered K-rations to a Ger- man military airfield nearby, and the soldiers piled the box- es nearly a story high. Zoldan, then a teenager, climbed to the top box and removed two cans of baked beans. A guard 100 yards away ordered Zoldan to halt. The boy ignored him, figuringhe'doutrun the man. He scampered toward a field, then suddenly stopped. He identified a land mine, one of many the Nazis had com- pelled him to bury to repel the invaders who'd ultimately strolled unimpeded through the front gate. On his knees, Zoldan cleared the area around the mine as awarning to his American pursuer, who by then had caught Up. The man now noticed the mine and, Zoldan said, "wobbled." Courtesy William Juksch William Juksch during a dedication of a monument near the site of the Gunskirchen concentratio~ camp in Austria, 2006. He blew a whistle; a flock of soldiers ran up to see why. One was the Jewish sol- dier from Brooklyn. Zoldan walked the field with him, identifying each mine that the Germans had him plant precisely 15 paces apart. "I worked with the corporal every day," Zo[dan said. Zoldan had survived Aus- chwitz, but was put on a train bound for Mauthausen as the Russians approached and the. Nazi killing machine still had unfinished business with the Jews. After just a few days at Mauthausen, he was force- marched 2 1/2 miles to the Gu- sen 2 camp, where he'd Tost an older brother, Yaakov Shmuel, to a leg-disease. Along with two brothers, who also survived, Zoldan was marched to Gun- skirchen a.month before the Americans stumbled upon it. His parents two older sis- ters and a brother had been turned into ash on a single Auschwitz day. After the war, Zoldan was interned yet again, this time by the British, in Cyprus. He made it to prestate Israel on Jan. 14, 1947. He lived there nearly seven years before journeying to New Jersey to visit his sister for a month. but ended up staying because he had met his future wife. As Zoldan related the land mine incident to the ex-soldiers and ex-prisoners, an elderly man listened atten- tively. So didawoman sitting with him, who soon planted a kiss upon Zoldan's cheek. But who was Z01dan to her, a man whose name she'd never heard? His name is one the woman will surely remember. In his familiar role of the pursued, Zoldan had jeopardized his hold on the cans of beans to save the life of a soldier he'd never met someone who might, fatally, have entered a minefield had Zoidan not remembered the mines. She will remember be- cause, as she kissed Zoidan, she said, "You saved my grandfather's life." Please email Hillel Kuttler at if you survived Gunskirchen and would like to reconneci with members of the 71st lnfantry Division. If you would like Seeking Kin to write about your search for long-lost rela- tives and friends, please in- clude the principal facts and your contact information in a briefemail. Seeking Kin is sponsored by B'ryna Shuchat and Joshua Landes and fam- ily in loving memory of their mother and grandmother, Miriam Shucha6 a lifelong uniter of the Jewish people.