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October 5, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 5, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 5, 2012 PAGE 19A Honorees kets to foster the growth and valuable personal time and Weiss arrived in Orlando mailingsandperformedmore Weiss has been a fixture in profitability, generous financial support to in 1968. Knowing no one, tasks than can be enumerated our office for as long as most From page 1A Riola represents Beth Am theproject.AsWaltDisneysaid, she sought to make herself a on these pages, congregants can remember. wellashepromotesawareness "Ifyoucandreamit, youcando fixture in the Central Florida Weiss was humbled by She holds down the everyday enables Beth Am to accom- oftheinvolvementoftheJew- it." BethAm had a dream and Jewish community, evensell- the Simchat Torah honor, workingsofourever-expand- modate more children and ishNationalFund(JNF) inits we made the dream a reality." ingadsfortheHeritageJewish She said, "I have become so ing office staff. She is a rock. more programs, now and for projects from tree planting to Joanne Weiss has been News. She and her husband attached to Beth Am that it These two individuals have generations into the future, playgroundbuildingandfrom the friendly face of Beth Am Bernie devoted a great deal really feels like my true fam- distinguished themselves in Riola and his wife, Jill, national landmarks to high for more than a decade. She of time and effort supporting ily.WhenI came toBethAm, the their private lives and in movedtoCentralFloridafrom tech projects in Israel. He is has been the first person the Jewish Family Service Iwantedeverythingtogowell; the life ofBethAm." Northern California over 12 the current president of the people meet in the office of (JFS). When Bernie passed and I continue to want only The strength of Jim Riola years ago. He has more than Orlando board of directors of the synagogue. She carried away in 1981, she donated the best for the congregation, andJoanneWeisshasbrought 30 years experience in the the JNF. her institutional know-how office space to the expanding Iwill continue to helpinany strengthtotheentireBethAm high technology industry, When notified of his be- forward during the difficult JFS anddonated her services way that I can." family. To both of them the primarily in the fields of do- ing a recipient of the honor, years and in the congrega- as their bookkeeper. She held Steve Leibowitz, president extended family of Beth Am mesticandinternationaltech- Riola responded, "I accept this tion's recent years of growth, that position for 14years; and of Beth Am remarked, "Beth offers the traditional state- nology licensing, strategic esteemed honor not individu- Her devotion to her Beth Am when JFS needed to move toa Am is fortunate to be able to mentofappreciation, Y'yasher partnering, sales & market- ally but as an integrated part family isapparent inuniquely bigger office, Weiss provided honor two people who have koch'khem, and honorsthem ing, and equity investment, of the Beth Am congregation, beautiful Torah covers she the financing, beenbuildingblocks, orshallI as Beth Am's Simchat Torah Currently Riola is president During my term as president I crafted "from scratch" and InFebruary,2001,shecamesay, rebuilding blocks for this honorees for 5773. Join the of CITSS, a technology con- was only the hand that made adorned by hand-painted silk out of retirement tobegin her congregation. I have often entire congregation for this suiting company specializing the wishes, dreams and goals tapestries from Yad LaKash- tenure with Beth Am. There saidthateachcongregational joyouscelebrationonMonday, in identifying, developing, of the congregation a reality, ish in Israel. The Torahs now was no job too big or too president must stand on the Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. For more and implementing strategic The Education Center could sit behind the sheer curtain smallforWeiss.Sheanswered shoulders of his/her prede- informationonthis event and business relationships with not have been completed if she made. She knows every- phones, managed the syna- cessor to be successful. Jim all activities at BethAm, con- international technology not for the efforts of the entire one in the congregation, and gogue's finances, honed her Riola provided a steady base sult the synagogue's web site companies in all related mar- congregation donating their everyone knows her. computer skills, supervised for meto continue on. Joanne at Latino From page 1A Like Siegel Vann, Fannyof the Middle East Media Re- HermanisfromMexico, where search Institute (MEMRI) and election, spoke to a she attended a Jewish day group of Latino-Jewish im- school and Ibero-American help Israel build a better and migrants now eligible to vote University. Her family came more realistic image around in America on how they see to Mexico around 1910 from the world. issues often associated with Turkey and Greece, but she Ajzen also advocates for typically disparate voting later married an American immigration reform, as he groups--while many Latino and moved to the U.S. She is started several online cam- votersareconcernedwithim- now chair of the AJC Latin paigns to help Hispanic im- migration reform and many American Task Force, as well migrants integrate into U.S. Jewish voters are concerned as the liaison to the Latino society. links with Israel, Latino Jews have community for both the AJC immigrants with their place both on their minds, in Chicago and the Illinois of origin and Dondeestajose. "The awareness about the Holocaust Museum and Edu- corn helps families locate lost presence of Latino Jews in the cation Center. relatives. U.S. is relatively new," says "Israel is extremely impor- Though Ajzen initially Dina Siegel Vann, director tant to me," Herman says. preferred Mitt Romney in the of the AJC Latino and Latin "But I don't consider myself upcoming election, he now American Institute. Primarily Zionist." Herman sees herself dislikes the social extremes EuropeanJewsandSephardic as part of the Diaspora and the Republican candidate has Jews from the Ottoman Em- wants to work with it to help chosen to defend. However, pire formed contemporary Israel. "As Jews all over the Ajzen says he is considering Jewish communities in South world, we can live in peace voting for Romney anyway, America during the late 19th because we have a place to "if only to punish Obama and early 20th centuries, and go," she says. for unfulfilled promises and afterWorldWarII.Eventually, As both Jewish and Latino, broken dreams." some of those Jews came to Herman always thinks back According to Dr. Jaime the U.S. to what Jewish immigrants Suchlicki, an expert on Cuba JuanDircie, associatedirec- "have gone through," and and Latin American affairs toroftheAJC LatinoandLatin believes "it's a moral thing to from the University of Miami, American Institute's Miami do'tohelpimmigrantfamilies more than 60 percent of branch, says roughly 40,000 stay together.Shebelievesthe Cuban Jews in the U.S. "will Latino Jews reside in Florida. Democrats are "concerned vote for Romney because of Since the gap between the about [immigration reform his position on Israel." Republican and Democratic and Israel]," but that some Among Jews in Cuba of his parties in Florida is so small, policies could be improved, generation, therewasastrong a group of 10,000 eligible Herman particularly wants "pro-Zionist feeling...before voters could potentially sway the U.S. to enact stronger Castro," Suchlicki says. "All the state--or even the entire sanctions against Iran and to of us were young peoplewhen national election, as was the take the nuclear threat more Israel was created and grew case in 2000. seriously. Iran "is not just an up supporting Israel." Many Halberstein became in- Israelissue, butaworldissue," Cuban Jews have made aliyah, volved in the American Jewish she says. while many of them in the U.S. community through orga- Daniel Ajzen came from today want the government nizations like the American Mexico to the U.S. 30 years to be tougher on the Castro Israel Public Affairs Corn- ago. He currently resides in regime and believe a Romney mittee (AIPAC) and Hillel: San Diego, where he is the government would do this. The Foundation for Jewish president of the Latin Ameri- Patricia Levin came to the Campus Life. He also entered can Democracy DefenseOrga- U.S. in 2004 from Argentina political activism by found- nization, and currentlyteaches atacol- ing the non-partisan Florida monitors anti-democratic lege preparation academy in Congressional Committee activities by potentially hos- Boston. InArgentina, ittooka (FCC),which financially sup- tile entities, including Arab Iongtime forJewstointegrate portspro-IsraelU.S.senators terrorist organizations, in due to strong anti-Semitism and Congress members. The Spanish speaking countries, during thecountry'sdictator- South Florida Jewish com- Theorganizationhasdetected ship period, SiegelVann says. munity is "slowly but surely" and reported activities by Iran Levin believes "that every increasing its political influ- and Hezbollah in Mexico, Jew should actively support ence through donations to Nicaragua and other Central [Israel's] existence." Jewish organizations like American countries. "I care Levin considers no one is- the FCC, NACPAC (Pro Israel about the survival of Israel," sue more important than all National Action Committee) he says. Ajzen even volun- the others in this election. andSunPAC(FloridaHispanic teered in Kibbutz Or-Hanner "I do profoundly care about Outreach), Halberstein says. in the Sha'ar Hanegev region civil liberties, human rights, Siegel Vann, who is from bytheGazaborderduringthe Israeli-American relations, Mexico, says that in the U.S., Six Day War. cultural issues, immigration "Mexican Jews act as an Ajzen's articles are pub- issues, education, health interesting bridge between lishedonHispanicandJewish care and the economy.., and Mexico and the U.S," she says. websites such as Jewishweb- I believe that Mr. Obama will Mexican Jews denounced and Diariojudio. doabetterjob[thanRomney] California Proposition 187, a com. By assisting non-profit, managing all of them," she 1994 bill intended to screen citizen advocacy organiza- says. forcitizenshipandlimitpublic tions worldwide to develop Monica Cooper, currently services to illegal immigrants professionalwebsites at subsi- the analyst for the Committee thatwaslaterdeemeduncon- dizedprices--=sitessuchasthe for Accuracy in Middle East stitutional, foreign language Web pages Reporting inAmerica's (CAM- ERA) Revista de Medio Often- te, says Argentinian Jews "may criticize the politics, but they have strong feelings towards Israel." Personally connected to the Boston Argentinean Jewish community, Cooper believes that "they consider Obama's track record on Israel a relatively positive one." The great grandfather of Bernardo Ferdman was from Bessarabia, and had settled with his family in Entre Rios, an Argentinean province where Moses Montefiore had sponsored the establishment of Jewish settlements. Ferd- man is now a professor at the California School of Profes- sional Psychology of Alliant International University and the co-chair of the San Diego Latino Jewish Coalition. When it comes to immigra- tion reform, there should be a "plan to regularize people that are here," and there should be a system for people to legally come and go, Ferdman says. "Obama is being mischarac- terized," he adds, emphasizing that the president is "very strong on Israel." He also likes that Obama has pushed the Israeli government and Netanyahu to focus more on peace negotiations with Palestinians. But Sergio Rubinstein, originally from Mexico, in- tends to vote for Romney and says if Obama "was a sup- porter of Israel, which is the only democracy in the Middle East, he would take a stronger stand against Iran," a country that has "openly admitted its intention to destroy Israel." "Obama's speeches are like steam, you see it in front of you and then it disappears!" says Rubinstein, a cosmetic dentist from Skokie, Ill. Rubinstein also believes im- migration must be regulated with a special permit or visa. "Giving a free pass for the illegal immigrants is not the solution," he says. A recent AJC poll shows Obama leading Romney 69- 25 percent among Florida Jewish voters. Five percent of respondents were undecided, and some Independents like Halberstein could go either way in November. But while Halberstein may not have determined his candidate yet, he isn't short on opinions and passion, as is the case with many of his fellow Latino Jewish voters. "If we had Israel in 1933, we'd have 20 million Jews liv- ing today," Halberstein says."I do not want [the Holocaust] to happen again." Sudoku solution from page 7 918247536 463951278 752638419 847563192 391782654 625419387 236875941 189324765 574196823 MEL FINKELSTEIN: PICTURING THE MAN BEHIND THE CAMERA Thru October 14, 2012 Featuring a lifetime of work by acclaimed photojournalist Mel Finkelstein, these images from the 1950s-1980s focus on iconic symbols of our cultural past, from presidents to performers. Exhibit cumted by Donna Wendler and Susan J. Geier and circulated by the Mel Finkelstein Family Trust. Partially sponsored by Congregation Beth Jacob. PROJECT since the 1920s, the game of mah jongg has ignited the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, II ~ I~ ~ ~ mythical origins and communal II IIII IIII I I spirit.This exhibit provokes Ii il IIII / / memories of the intergenerational tradition of this game, and Ill IIII IIn Ill II illuminates mah jongg's influence g I~ IIn I~ i~ on contemporary culture. October 16, 2012-March 17, 2013 Ubra~ of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Project Mah Jongg was cural~d and is circulated by the Museum of Jewis h Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York. The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the National Ma h Jongg League. Additional support is provided by Sylvia Hessenfeld and 2wice Arts Foundation. Local funders for Project Mah Jongg include: Robert Arthur Segall Foundation, Funding Arts Network, Charles & Sandra Simon, .toni& Stanley Tare. AS of g/t4~12. Call 786-972-3163 to sign up today] Jewish Museum of Florida 301 Washington Avenue -~ Miami Beach, FL 33139 Tel: 305.672.5044 ~/V~IAMIBEAC H Open daily= lOam-5pm except Mondays, Jewish and Civil holidays. TheMme~ bsup~ byindMd~c0n~n~ f0~da~nmd~'=rsh~and ~an~f~nthe~a~0f P~d~d~,~d~ ~ ~m ~,~ ~~ Counol, tke ~ (c~ 6ep,vi~t of (ultur4/~ir~ aid ~ (uttur~J/fatr~ (our,~ ~ ~ami-gade (o~y ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ d ~ &~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Receive 2 for 1 admission with this ad HFJN