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October 5, 2012
 

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PAGE 18A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 5, 2012 Bibi From rage 1A said. "What I saw was effective in Netanyahu's speech was that he was able to sharpen the focus on the Iranian nuclear program while not sharpening the conflict with the president." Netanyahu in his speech suggested that the United States and Israel were work- ing to get on the same page. "Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart apath forward. together," he said. For all of the focus on the details of the difficult relation- ship between the two leaders- the fact that they are not meeting during Netanyahu's U.S. visit made headlines-the speeches sounded similarly tough notes on Iran's nuclear program. "Make no mistake, a nu- clear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be con- tained," Obama sai& "Itwould threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy." Obama has explicitly re- jected containment since he spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in May. Last Tuesday, the presi- dent used blunt language at a venue not as receptive to tough talk on the issue, and characterized Iran's nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel. The latter statement is the sort of warn- ing that Netanyahu has been repeating since being elected to his second term as prime minister in 2009. Obama concluded the Iran portion of his speech with a clear commitment to prevent a nuclear Iran:"And that's why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." Netanyahu's speech, like Obama's, was a no-holds- barred warning about the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Photos of Netanyahu hold- ing up a simple drawing of a bomb with the fuse burning down made front pages. Of greater significance, than the Israeli prime minister's stern demeanor and dramatic delivery was the red line he drew on the cartoon - more precisely, where he drew it. The bomb represented the threestages Netanyahu says are required for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon: Low-enriched uranium, me- dium-enriched uranium and high-enriched uranium. Iran is already enriching uranium to the medium levels of 20 percent. The spot between medium- enriched and high-enriched uranium is where Netanyahu - drew the red line, suggest- ing that Iran's arrival at the cusp between medium- and high-enriched uranium is what should trigger a military intervention by the United States or Israel. Making the cusp between medium- and high-enriched uranium is a major conces- sion for Israel; Israeli officials over the summer pushed back against proposed U.S.- initiated compromises with that would allow Iran to enrich at 3.5 percent to 5 percent, insisting that Iran end all uranium enrich- ment. Netanyahu's red line conceivably would accom- modate compromises third parties have suggested that would allow Iran to enrich at 20 percent, or medium level. Furthermore, Netanyahu's prediction of when the cusp between medium and high enrichment would arrive, based on International Atomic EnergyAgency reports, ended speculation that Israel could go it alone with a military strike before the U.S. presi- dential election, which has been a key request of an array of Obama administration of- ficials who have been arriving in Israel each week over the past several months. "And by next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage," Netanyahu said. "From there, it's only a few months,.possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb." Another overlap between the two speeches had to do with each leader's call on the Muslim world to reject radicalism. "It is time to marginalize those who-even when not di- rectly resorting to violence- use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics," Obama said. "For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.". Netanyahu echoed the concern about extremism: "That intolerance is directed first to their fellow Muslims and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn't submit to their unforgiving creed. They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma, unre- lenting conflict." Significantly, Obama also focused on the extremist ide- ology of the Iranian regime, and its ties with terrorist groups in the region - also themes that Netanyahu has emphasized. "In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads," Obama said. Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary last Thursday and spoke with Obama on Friday in a phone call. A White House readout of the phone call said, "The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." The comity between the two leaders might not last, Makovsky said, but the effort is critical. "I'm not saying the U.S. and Israel have found com- mon ground, I'm sayihg there's an effort to find common ground," he said. "Netanyahu's calculation is that it's better to make that effort." In case Israel goes it alone against Iran, he said, Netan- yahu "will be able to look into the eyes of the mothers of Israel and say, 'I left no stone unturned.'" Hillel From page 1A management consultant firm brought in for advice on implementing strategic plans, increasing fundrais- ing and improving manage- ment efficiency. Several sources say that in the course of their work the consultants de- termined that Hillel was capable of expanding its funding and improving its management and profile. "It's a sign of the times," one campus Hillel director said of Firestone's i~aving. "Everyone is desperately looking for leadership-- not just in raising dollars but projecting a strong image." The campus director said Firestone was admired by colleagues for his commit- ment, thoughtfulness and low-key stylh. But, he said, the president does not have the charisma of his two 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 Call us Today 407 Caring for you in your home or facility part-time or 24 hours 7 days a week. We always provide a C.N.A. Laundry Walking Assistance Companion Services Light housekeeping Meal Errands & Transportation Alzheimer's & Dementia Care Bathing/Transferringrroi ng Call us TODAY for details... S~te of FLAHCALIceR~ # NR 30211467 Stateof FLAHCA License# 231012 insured and bonded most recent predecessors, Richard Joel, now president of Yeshiva University, and veteran Israel-based edu- cator Avraham Infeld, and is not seen as an inspir- ing figure at a difficult ecofiomic moment when campus directors are seek- ing additional motivation and sense of purpose. "The leadership he pro- jected was more like that of a sociologist," one director observed, "going with the flow and following trends on campus rather than advocating more content to ensure a strong Jewish future." "It's complicated," an- other Hillel director of- fered, empathizing with the challenges Firestone faced. "We're dealing with serious financial issues. It takes a lot of money to sustain the big initiatives planned, as well as staff and programming on campus." He noted that "things didn't go well" at a major Hillel conference in St. Louis this summer, with many campus directors upset at the size of cutbacks being discussed to help pay for new national programs. But Firestone told The Jewish Week his leaving is not based on funding issues. "While it is true that there is a deficit in these times of economic down- turn, my decision to step down is not based upon the deficit or economic downturn," he said in an e-mail in response to a series of questions. "I made my announce- ment because the time is right for me," he wrote. "The organization has a solid foundation to build upon, and the next phase... will require more capacity across the Hillel network, supported by very strong fundraising to address the demand in the field." And Thomas Blumberg, chair of Hillel's interna- tional board of directors, said the organization's financial health was "not part of the conversation" that led to Firestone's leaving. "It was his choice com- pletely," said Blumberg, who had high praise for the outgoing president. "Wayne has done an ex- ceptional job for Hillel," he said, asserting that Firestone built up the brga- nization and increased its brand image and number of students reached through a variety of initiatives. Firestone has served during a time when Hil- lel's income dropped, its budget was cut and several national programs and staff positions were elimi- nated, said insiders, some of whom said his manage- ment style was an issue m losing key staffers. Blumberg said that while Hillel, like most Jewish organizations, has "a chal- lenge to find resources," it does not face a deficit now. According to a 2010 report issued by Charity Navigator~the lacest year for which the monitoring organization provided fig- ures Hillel had revenue of $22,378,522 and expenses of $25,459,962, a deficit of $3,018,440. Firestone's base salary, according to the Internal Revenue Ser- vices' 2010 Form 990, was $303.963. "The next stage for us is capacity building," said Blumberg, who noted that The Monitor Group report emphasized the need for "'management and devel- opment." He said the report called for more coordination in fundraising and program- ming between the campus Hillels and the Washing- ton-based headquarters, as well as supporting campus Hillels around the world, all of which is "'some- what tricky," Blumberg acknowledged. "We need the local boards and national to work together. The de= velopment side needs to be strengthened," and he noted that Hillel. like all Jewish organizations, is in search of leadership and fundraisers. "We're looking for two people," he said of the up- coming search to replace Firestone. "A top visionary leader" who is a strong fundraiser, and "a top de- velopment person." "I worry about the next generation" of major funders, Blumberg said, noting that" key mega- funders are aging. "Young- er people are interested in their own philanthropy. They don't want to drive their father's Oldsmobile." But he expressed opti- mism, saying Hillel "has a great story to tell" and plays a vital role in provid- ing leadership for the next generation of Jews. "We want students to find their Jewishness and engage with Israel," he said. "Our mission is en- gagement and Israel educa- tion and now advocacy as well. We want an open tent" in reaching young Jews from a variety of religious and political viewpoints. "and we want to engage them on their own terms." But calling for Israel ad- vocacy while recognizing that students have major differences on Israel, left and right, is one of Hillel's major challenges. The free 10-day trips to Israel offered by Birthright Israel has become a center- piece for Hillel. not only encouraging students to go but seeking to keep them engaged after they return. Some are encouraging Hillel to follow the lead of Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies. which op- erates a program that has a full-time coordinator on each of a dozen local cam- puses focusing e~cclusively on engaging Birthright alumni. "This is Hillel's mo- ment." one observer noted. "a chance to follow up" with everyone coming back from Birthright nationwide. For now the emphasis is on peer-to-peer engage- ment on campus. But it's clear that Firestone's suc- cessor will have any num- ber of programs to consider in seeking to ensure an engaged collegiate com- munity, and charged with making sure the funds are there to pay for them.