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October 9, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 9, 2009 PAGE 9A By Gloria Yousha -- Call 407-657-9405 or 407-834-8787 I have Puerto Rican fam- ily... One of my late dad's sis- ters married a Puerto Rican man who was Christian. He was very loving and sweet... one of my favorite uncles. His son. my first cousin is very close m my heart. My uncle's family, sister, nieces and nephews, etc., are right here in Orlando and are my machatunim! They are spe- cial to me. So I thought this would be interesting to many readers. It is directly off the Internet from CNN: Every Friday evening, the Moshe Nunez Nunez family sits down to a traditional religious dinner. Like most families in their Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., their Jewish Sabbath meal includes blessings over the wine and bread, the company of family and friends and excellent food. But for the Nunez family, the Sabbath table would not be complete without salsa picada and jalapeno dip. Moshe Nunez, an information technology consultant and motivational speaker, was born to a Mexican father and American mother and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. His wife, Chanaleah, grew up in Panama, the daughter of a Salvadoran mother and American-born father. The couple and their two children moved to Brooklyn's Crown Heights area about five years ago so their son, Michael, 17, and daughter, Simcha, 18, could have "the best Jewish education available." Nunez says. Crown Heights is the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, a branch of Hasidism that is itself a form of Or- thodox Judaism. Among the thousands of Hasidic families. in the neighborhood, a significant number are also Latinos, N unez says. "There are a lot of Latin American Jews here." Nunez says. "Some of them have moved from countries like Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina, where there's political unrest. We make a life here, settle down and become part of the fabric of American society, butwe still don't lose our roots." Many non-Jewish Latinos are surprised to see Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn who speak Spanish, carry on their Hispanic traditions and even keep up with soccer scores from their home countries, Nunez says. Although Moshe and Chanaleah Nunez were raised in Christian homes, they believe that Moshe's fam- ily name is proof that his ancestors are Marranos--Jews who were forced to denounce or abandon their faith centuries ago in Europe. Moshe Nunez began studying his family genealogy about 13 years ago, while the family was living in Atlanta. He met Lorraine Nunez, a woman raised as a Christian who-believed she was a direct descendant of Samuel Nunez, a Portuguese physician who fled Europe in the early 1700s to help start one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in the United States, Congregation Mikve Israel in Savannah, Ga. Like other Marranos living in Europe, Samuel Nunez pretended to be Catholic and practiced Judaism in secret, according to Chabad.org, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement's Web site. Meeting Lorraine Nunez inspired Moshe Nunez, who was still going by his Christian name, Marco, to further explore his own genealogy. Chanaleah, who was going by her Christian name, Jacque- line, had already known that her great-grandfather, a well- known army colonel in El Salvador, was Jewish. Like many Jews of his time, he hid his Judaism and married a non-Jewish woman. Marco and Jacqueline believed that their descendants were also Marranos from Spain and Portugal who had to hide their Judaism for fear of persecution. "The Nunez family started as a Jewish name," Moshe Nunez says. 'During the Inquisition they were forced to convert or practice their faith in secret. Most of the Nur)ez family...like mine assimilated and lost their Judaism." While researching his genealogy, Moshe Nunez also began to study the Bible more closely, including the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. "When I began studying the Torah, I saw that the Sabbath was on Saturday and not Sunday," he says. "That opened [a] Pandora's Box," he says, figuring that "if the Jews had the Sabbath right, maybe they have other stuff right, too." Moshe says he and Chanaleah "took every step together," going through a formal conversion process. As part of the process Moshe and his son had ritual circumcisions. (They had both been circumcised at birth.) The final step was for the family to appear before a Beit Din, or religious council, to approve the conversion. He says he hopes to share his teach- ings with all of mankind, regardless of religion, to help them lead a more meaningful life. Sharing the knowledge of Torah to the world through education, songs and acts of kindness, he feels, will help ensure that what happened to the Marranos during the Inquisition will never happen again. Actually, it did happen again... Last night, my spouse and I saw Fiddler on the Roof starring Topoi. I laughed arid cried. Itwas more than wonderful! It also made me realize that if it weren't for the pogroms in Ukraine (where Fiddler takes place and my ancestors are from) as well as all of Russia and beyond, I wouldn't have been born an- American. My grandparents fled with their son and daughter to Canada. My morn, their third child, was born in Montreal and walked across the border from Canada to the USAwhen she was only 12. Perhaps it was all more meaningful for me because just the day before was Yore Kippur and we were fortunate to spend it at Temple Shir Shalom. That brings me to the wonderful SCHULMAN family. LOGAN SCHULMAN did me the first mitzvah of the year.., taking my dessert to the break-fast site and saving me a walk in high heels! And BRYAN SCHULMAN's blowing of the shofar at services...well, it brought me to tears. At the break-fast, this "chocoholic" Logan Schulman found the most delicious treat of-all...chocolate chip kugei made by ROBYN SCHULMAN. She was kind enough to give me the recipe for all of you: Chocolate Chip Kugel 1 16 oz. package medium egg noodles, cooked & drained 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips 2 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 c. ricotta cheese 1 c. sour cream I tsp. salt I tbsp. vanilla topping ingredients: 1/2 c. oats. 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 c. melted butter and I tsp.salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all kugel ingredients (not topping ingredients). Mix well and pour into a 9"x13"pan, lightly greased. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients until well combined. Sprinkle the crumbled topping over the kugel mixture. Bake kugel for 55 minutes. Enjoy! (And invite me over.) Look who's coming... MAGGIE ANTON was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, Calif. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jew- ish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement and ritual observance. In 2006, Anton retired from being a clinical chemist in Kaiser Permanente's Biochemical Maggie Anton Genetics Laboratory to be- corn= a fulltime writer. On Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at European Village, 101 Palm Harbor Parkway, Suite A108, Palm Coast, Maggie Anton will do a book signing of"Rashi's Daughters." The event will be hosted by the Palm Coast Chapter of Hadassah. For further information, call MICHELE ORLOWSKI at 386-446-3101. Jews in the news... Right now Florida Con- gressman ALAN GRAYSON (one of us) is on CNN's The Situation Room with WOLF BLITZER. He said the Repub- licans want us to die quickly if we get sick. He refused to apologize to Republicans for "telling it like it is," he said. but eventually he did, sort of. He apologized to the deadwho had no health care and also to their families. Afew days ago, while listen- ing to NPR on the car radio, I heard MARCIA ZERIVITZ, a former Jewish Federation head here in Central Florida, talk about Jews in Florida. Alan Grayson Jews were among the early settlers in this state, according to Marcia! One for the road... The Sunday school lesson had just finished and the rabbi asked if the children had any questions. Little David quickly raised his hand. "Yes, David? What question would you like to ask me?" "Ih " " " ave four questlons to askyou, Rabbi. Is it true that after the Scene on page 23A can be purchased at the following locations: Orange County JCC, 851 N. MaitlandAve.. 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