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September 26, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 26, 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 Middle school students hang out in the pool during Tayarim's Kickoff event. Tayarim Connect kicks off with a splash On Sunday, Sept. 7, Tayarim Connect kicked off the year with a pool party at the Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando. Tayarim Connect is a program hosted by the Roth JCC for middle school students. This program, which is overseen by Abby Paulson, Youth and Camp director, brings together children in middle school from around th e community for social, Judaic and community service programs. Over 20 middle schoolers attended the pool party, which started off with ice breakers led by local high schoolers designed for them to get to know each other. Tayarim Connect offers positive and meaningful experiences to middle school students where they can get together with camp, school, and synagogue friends, as well as meet new friends. Tayarim Con- nect provides a safe space for teens to strengthen their identities, form social circles, and prepare for high school and beyond. There will be monthly events, which the program staff plans with the help of the middle schoolers. The next event is Survivor Sukkot, a sleepover at the Roth JCC the weekend of Oct. 11-12. For more information, please contact Abby Paulson at abbyp@orlandojcc.org. . e They have come--it's tim to build By Christine DeSom thing, in Israel, even though Assistant Editor there are some Reform and It was bashert - meant to be-that fateful daywhen Lori and Moshe Erlich happened upon Rabbi Michael Boyden and his wife as they were tak- ing awalk in their hometown, Hod Hasharon, Israel. Earlier that day, Lori read an article about a synagogue in Raanana the rabbi had raised money to build in memory of his son only to have it snatched from his grasp at the last moment. At that time, Lori promised him if they reached their dream of having a permanent home for a Reform/Conser- vative congregation in Hod Hasharon, it would bear his son's name. It is no small task to con- struct a building for a Reform congregation in Israel. For one cq --" O : < = * n. =-- -. o -] -! Conservative synagogues, the only Jewish religion rec- ognized is Orthodox Judaism. Andunlike Orthodoxy, Reform and Conservative institutions are not supported financially by the Israeli government. In Hod Hasharon there are 60 Orthodox synagogues on pub- lic land but NOT ONE Reform/ Conservative synagogue. "That is why it is so impor- tant to us to establish--with a building--the existence of a non-Orthodox congregation in our city," said Lori. However this challenge is not daunting to the Erlichs, and Rabbi Michael Boyden, who 12 years ago founded the Reform congregation Kehilat Yonatan that has seen the likes of 4,500 people meet together for Shabbat services, High Holiday services, educa- tional and cultural events and currently has 1,300 connected families in Hod Hasharon, a city of about 50,000. These meetings and services are held in rented facilities and they have a vision to build a permanent facility that will house this growing congre- gation, as well as the Sharon Center for Jewish Studies that hosts a weekly lecture series on Jewish themes led by authors and artists such as Amos Oz and Haim Beer. This education, cultural center and synagogue will open the doors to religious pluralism in Hod Hasharon--enabling secular Israelis to connect with their Jewish heritage, and encourage deeper bonds between Israeli and Diaspora Jews. They have the people, they need to build the facility to house everything. Lori and Moshe Erlich Last June, a small crack in the door to fulfilling this dream opened when the mayor of Hod Hasharon granted 20,000 square feet of public land to KehilatYonatan to build their center. However, Kehilat Yonatan must come up with $30,000 and architec- tural plans by December or the city can withdraw their offer. Then, by next June they must show that the entire amount needed to begin building is available for use, that's an estimated $2-$3 million for a sanctuary, social hall, class- rooms for adult education and a preschool. In Hebrew, Lori explained, Reform is called Progressive, and the services feel more like a Conservative service in America--a little more traditional. "There is a Conservative congregation here, they call themselves Traditional!" Lori said. Unlike in America where Judaism can be expressed in so many forms, Israelis see Jew- ish life astwo poles--secular or religious (Orthodox). "Stop an Israeli on the street not wearing a kippah and ask him 'Are you a Jew?' and he will say 'Yes.' Ask him if he observes services or keeps kosher, and he will say 'No: Then why are you a Jew? His answer is 'Because I'm Israeli. I was born a Jew,'" Moshe explained. As soon as Progressive came those who called them- selves secular were introduced to Jewish traditions they'd never experienced before. When Kehilat Yonatan held its first High Holiday services back in 2001, there was stand- ing room only. With the Gaza conflict going on, the Erlichs were shocked at how many people came to services to Build on page 15A Federation raises $65K for Israel This summer, the Jewish community rallied to support Israel in an extraordinary fundraising campaign. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando in Collaboration with community agencies and synagogues held thYee events fostering unity and support for Israel. In addi- tion, the Federation launched an Israel Emergency Fund to raise much needed cash for relief efforts. To date the Federation's Israel Emergency Fund has raised $65,000. At the beginning of this summer's conflict, the Jewish Federations of North America sprung into action to assist the people of Israel, pledg- ing $13 million towards the conflict. The $65,000 raised locally in our community will go directly toward that fund. One hundred percent of all donations are being used for relief efforts in Israel. No administrative costs will be deducted from funds raised. How were the funds used? Necessary funds provided and continue to assist in the following ways: Providing immediate re- lief from the line of fire for more than 45,000  children: Federation dollars allocated in this emergency campaign have already helped 45,000 children. A day away from the front lines--in summer camps, youth villages and enrichment classes--is more than a day in the country. It is a respite from the confines of the indoor playgrounds that, for more than 13 years, have become their "normal" play spaces. Extending an extra help- ing hand to 20,000 of Israel's most vulnerable citizens: In normal times, Federation sup- ported senior centers provide thousands of seniors living in poverty--many of them Holocaust survivors--with food and comfort. Today, it's too dangerous for them to travel, and many are liv- ing within the walls of their apartment bunkers. The Fed- eration's partners deployed caseworkers . bring food, medicine andort to the - elderly--and other vulnerable groups like the disabled--in their homes. Crews also installed equipment, like air conditioners, to make them more comfortable, and Inter- net connections to give them access to the outside world. Expanding trauma support for 15,000 Israelis: When si- rens blare, tens of thousands of Israelis take cover. But when the all clear sounds, many continue to suffer from trauma that may not be as visible as a physical injury, but is just as real. Partner programs continue to provide psychological assistance to help 15,000 civilians and first responders weather the cur- rent storm. Strengthen assistance to dozens of communities hit hardest by the conflict: Com- munities are at the forefront of managing local services and responses to attacks. Federa- tion support for NGOs work- ing in these locales enhances the resilience of individual communities. Now and in every time of crisis, Federation is at hand providing crucial support to Israel. To learn more about how we are impacting our community locally, in Israel, and around the world, visit www.JFGO.org. A walk to n'emember Bunny Rosen By Pamela Ruben "Bunny Rosen was an irreplaceable friend of the Jewish Pavilion, and it is our honor to walk in her name at the Pavilion's 4th Annual "A Walk in the Park,'! taking place on Sunday, Oct. 26 at Crane's Roost Park," stated Executive Director Nancy Ludin. "We are grateful to Bunny's family, Melissa and Sandy Masin, for co-sponsoring the event in her memory." Although she has been gone for more than a year, Rosen's legacy lives on throughout Jewish Orlando. The 84-year- old dynamo of volunteerism, was active with the Jewish Pavilion, Hadassah and Con- gregation Ohev Shalom right up until her death in the sum- mer of 2013. "Bunny Rosen left an indel- ible footprint on the Pavilion," Rosen on page 14A Bunny Rosen 6 Illl!! !!!ll! !! !UI Ill 5