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October 8, 2004

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[ FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 8, 2004 . PAGE 15 from page 1 companies doing Israel touched a raw nerve among Lge said. eadomino on other churches similar moves, substantial eco- hardship to Israel. are signals Anglican Church the Anglican and Justice Network . ks ago issued a alarmed Jewish s in its placement of the lion's share of the blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel. "If the Presbyterians go ahead with any kind of di- vestment, the Anglicans are not far behind," said A. James Rudin, senior interre|igious adviser at the AJCommittee. "They already are showing interest in it. There could be other church bodies that want to follow it, and it can spread." Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, which hosted last Tuesday's meeting, said, "The Jewish community is deeply disturbed about this." He said his group already has reached out to the Anglican Church but has not yet received a substantial response. The July resolution at the Presbyterian General Assembly was substantially different than past Presby- terian resolutions perceived by Jews as hostile to Israel, Rudin said. "Up to now it's been: Cut off aid, Israel should stop build- ing settlements--it's verbal. This is the first one that I know of that a resolution coming out of a church body has talked about divestment. We're talking about money," he said. "This one's really got teeth. It has a chilling effect," Ru- din added. It represents "a real threat to the economic life and security of Israel." The point of last Tuesday's meeting was not necessarily to get the church to reverse its decision---Jewish officials said that clearly was unrealis- tic--but to sensitize church officials to the issue. "We asked for the meet- ing," said Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice president of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly. "They jumped at it because I think that underneath there really is a genuine feeling to be closer to the Jewish people for a dialogue." Elcott said the church was caught'off guard by the angry Jewish response to the decision. "I think that there was a naivete in the resolution," he said. "It was easier for them to pass a resolution because they didn't think it would have any negative impact on the Jewish com- munity. They were surprised by the response." Rev. Clif- ton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church, acknowledged as much. "We want to be much more intentional aboutconsulting one another," he said of the church's dialogue with the Jewish community on this issue. Kirkpatrick stressed that the General Assembly vote did not mandate divestiture as a first step, but as a last resort after other attempts to change Israeli policy vis- a-vis the Palestinians have been exhausted. The church committee that will examine the dives- titure option has not yet had its first meeting. It is scheduled for Novem- ber, and may involve discus- sions on divesting from the Caterpillar company, whose bulldozers are used in the demolition of Palestinian homes, church officials said. Kirkpatrick cautioned that the church would not take steps to reverse a decision that was taken by the group, the ninth-largest Christian denomination in America. "I don't think these deci- sions should be changed," Kirkpatrick said. "But going forward should be shaped by a conversation with the Jewish commu- nity." from page 2 Britain, and Mexico; their in the West Gaza Strip and Jerusalem number populations are street is a significant apprecia- tion for Bush administration policies and a large amount of Democrats who are registered Democrats are going to be vot- ing for President Bush in this election," he said. "I feel there is an enthu- siasm to vote overall, and a ir brethren particular enthusiasm tovote Ithe United States--to for the president." In the 2000 higher percentages the Republican, ~ralone had registered mid-Septem- anticipated overall to be double that of 14,000Americans registration is deadline states was Oct~ 2 await their ballots, which ast be sent back to for his reg- drive's success, was that the closeness be- Bush and Sharon has brought in Israel to the Republican You hear on the election, Bush got 35 percent of the American Jewish vote in Israel, considerably higher than the 19 percent he scored among American Jews in general. But polls surveying the preferences of the overall Is- raeli population have shown a marked shift in support in favor of Bush--depending on the poll, numbers show 48-49 percent support Bush, while 18-29 percent support Kerry. If that redounds onto American Jews ~in Israel, Bardash could be right. Adelaide Kahn, an octoge- narian in Jerusalem who has children living on a West Bank settlement, said she feels now she made a mistake voting for Al Gore in 2000. "I want this man Bush to make it," said Kahn, who moved from Connecticut to Israel in 1976. The reverse flip will likely take place among Palestinians here,'most of whom voted for Bush in 2000, believing he would slow what they per- ceived as President Clinton's pro-Israel peace drive. Palestinian-Americans are likely to follow U.S.-based friends and relatives who have turned away from Bush because of his post-Sept. 11, 2001, policies on security, Iraq and Israel. Polls show most Arab Americans voting for Kerry this time around. Two subsectors among American immigrants in Is- rael are especially fertile for culling: settlers and the Orthodox, who ap- preciate Bush's hawkish tilt and his conservative values. MordechaiAdler, a fervently Orthodox com[~uter special- ist in Petach Tikva, said his community was ideal for recruitment. He said that he decided to register Americans in his community when he real- ized how easy it was to do and how concentrated his community is. Knowing how involved his Haredi community is in the Israeli elections, he thought they would be interested in "participating in the Ameri- can elections. Adler, who emigrated from Chicago 15 years ago, said he was not pushing a par- tisan agenda--he is happy to register both Democrats and Republicans--but the reactions he gets reflect Re- publican talking points. "The war on terrorism, the security issue, Israel is at the forefront on the war on ter- rorism; that is going to be the major issue, that is what I'm hearing from everyone," said Adler, who added that he was so busy registering voters last week that he barely had time to prepare for Yore Kippur. Democrats in israel say concerns about terrorism and security could work for them as well. President Bush's policies endanger Israel, they say, because they are adventurist and isolationist. "People are saying, 'We have to get Bush out of the re' " said gober of the Demo- crats in Israel group. "The chaos in the world is not helping us here in Israel." The philosophical question of whether Americans in Israel should even exercise the right tovote has become an issue. A recent essay in the Jerusalem Post by noted author Hillel Halkin, argu- ing that voting should be confined to one's country of residence, drew pages of heated response. Richard Hirschhorn, 72, a retired computer specialist in Jerusalem, once believed he had left U.S. voting be- hind. But 35 years after he abandoned a Philadelphia address, he is voting again in a presidential election, drawn by his home state's battleground status. Hirschhorn said he was ap- palled by Bush's policies. "He may love Israel, but it's not enough. The welfare of the United States is important for Israel," he said, consulting with his wife about long- forgotten address details as he filled in voter registration forms at the AACI event in Jerusalem. Others said voting was a moral obligation wherever they live, or however influ- ential their vote was. "It's important for every- body to vote, whether or not it makes a difference," said Jaime Walman, 27, from Bos- ton, who is living in Jerusalem with her fiancee, a rabbinical student. Walman, registering at the AACI center, knew her vote for Kerry would not make a dif- ference in the candidate's own home state. Steve Shnider, a math professor who emigrated from Maryland in 1982 and now lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba, said he skipped the 2000 vote--but this election was too impor- tant to miss. That didn't mean he had made a choice by mid-September, when he spent a balmy evening attending a Democrats Abroad registration drive at Mike's Place, an Ameri- can-friendly bar on Tel Aviv's beach-side. "I'm totally confused," he said, a TV blaring an NFL football game in the back- ground. "I think Bush is good for Israel, his policy is the right policy, but to have someone so incompetent in power?" ! from page 5 clothing that hadbeen 90 Jewish rami- e financial assistance to many. Our Holiday lun- cheon for the elderly was postponed until October 6. Even though we are still very busy helping clients, we feel that this event is so important to the older Jewish together fromnursing homes, assisted living and individual homes to fee! the warmth and joy of Jewish traditions. We might not be written up in the kw.all apers, but the people we helped will always generation where they come . remember us. We didn't have a lot of meetings decidingwhat to do for the people, wejustwent into action and helped. We re- membered our Jewish breth- ren, but we also remembered the teachings of the Torah, to help the strangers among us. We thank the many donors and from page 5 We just here from Palm where no one ever rang our doorbell, unless they were selling cookies or wearing a FedEx uniform. Not in these parts, though. Belinda from down the street came to our door last week to invite me to a game of Bunko at her house. She called a couple of nights later to in- vite our family to her house to break the fast. Well, how can we, in good conscience, show up to break the fast, when we hadn't re- ally been fasting? I can hear Suzanna now, announcing to our new neighbors, one and from page 5 from logging in millions of national forests. As ) says, the Bush to bend any regulation for friends." Ire John Kerry's decades, he has toxic waste ;Arctic and ar- the League of Voters called an "environ- get it. Don't Republicans realize that their health and the health of their children depends on clean air, clean water and a relatively in- tact ozone layer just as much as anybody else's does? I hope that every eligible member of our community will vote this November and that, in doing so, they let the wisdom of our tradition guide their hand as they vote for John Kerry. Maitland- based Milly Daw- son is a former U.S. Foreign Service Offer. An award-win- ning freelance journalist, she writes for national newpapers and magazines. She also pro- rides communication services to corporations and nonprofit agencies. Adler Continued from page 5 we know about Islam. We should know the basics, which are that Allah is One, Mohammed the last word of prophecy and that the word "Islam" or "Moslem" means "submission." Their Koran is their Bible and the Hadith is the Oral Law of Islam. The angel Gabriel handed the Holy Koran to Mohammed in perfect Arabic and it is used in prayer and study. They do not have a "new" or "old" Testament, except for what is quoted in the Koran. Moslems have five pillars of faith: to declare that Allah is God and Mohammed the true prophet; to pray five times daily; to give 2 percent charity; to fast during Ramadan; and to make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. Moslems also believe that at the end of life there is a Day of Judg- ment as well as reward and punishment. Friday is their main day of worship and jihad is both an internal struggle for piety and ag- gression externally against the infidel. The latter should begin a lively discussion in face of the war in Iraq and world-wide terror. Will my new approach to ihterfaith work be more successful than in the past? Maybe, maybe not. volunteers who hdl d during these past few months. We did a big mitzvah. We are seeing a lot of the working poor who did not get paid while the hurries were in force. TheyareC. l ing to us in droves for fina l help. If you would like to help, please make your donations to Jew- ish Federation of Volusia & Fiagler Counties, Hurricane Relief Fund, 470 AndalusiaAve, Ormond Beach, F! 32174. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year. all, "Mommy andi)addy, they didn't been fasting, so I don't know why they're eating so much." Out of the mouths of babes. Ah, babes, which brings me back to dear, young Shawn. It is nice to know that I will not be alone this Yore Kipp in takingastand. From fastballs to fasting, sometimes, one just needs to step up to the plate. And not eat what's on it 'til sundown. Beverly Barna is a writerwho recently moved to Orlando with herhusbandanddaugbder. She has been a correspondent and columnist for The Palm Beach Post, South Florida Parenting and The South Florida Busi- ness Journal. She is the author of "Infertility Sucks/(Keeping it all together when sperm and egg stubbornly remain apart)" and founder of National Infer- tility Survival Day (the first Sunday in May--the week before Mother's Day). Court Continued from page 12 Several significant cases of interest to the Jewish commu- nity are in the pipeline and could come before a new court in the next few years. They include cases on the legality of so-called partial- birth abortion, gay marriage and federal criminal sentenc- ing guidelines. The future makeup of the court has become an issue this political season beyond the presidential race. President Bush has had problems pushing through his federal court nominees, and any new justices, se- lected by the next presi- dent, would likely face a tough challenge for Senate confirmation, if the Senate remains as closely divided as it is today.