Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
October 11, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 14     (14 of 72 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 14     (14 of 72 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
October 11, 2013

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

PAGE 14A Pew From page 1A attached or very attached to Israel. Forty-three percent of respondents said they had been to Israel. Far more respondents said having a good sense of humor was essential to their Jewish identity than observ- ing Jewish law--42 percent compared to 19 percent. Approximately one,quar- ter of Jews said religion is very important in their lives, com- pared to 56 percent among Americans generally. Less than one-third of American Jews say they be- long to a synagogue. Twenty- three percent of U.S. Jews say they attend synagogue at least once or twice a month, compared with 62 percent of U.S. Christians. The Pew study is the first comprehensive national survey of American Jews in more than adecade.The lastone, the 2000- 01 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), was conducted by the umbrella organization of North American Jewish fed- erations and counted 5.2 mil- lion Jews, induding children. But critics said that study's methodology was flawed and undercounted American Jews. Both the Pew survey and the Steinhardt/Brandeis study put the number of U.S. Jewish adults at about 5.3 million, including Jews who do not identify as Jewish by religion. The Steinhardt/ Brandeis study counted an additional 1.6 million Jew- ish children for a total of 6.8 million Jews in America. The Pew study counted 1.3 million Jewish children. Overall, Jews make up about 2.2 percent of Ameri- cans, according to Pew. By comparison, 6.06 million Jews live in Israel, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Because of the differences in methodologies between the new surveys and the NJPS, the increased number of U.S. Jews likely overstates any actual growth. Leonard Saxe, one of the authors of the Steinhardt/ Brandeis study, told JTA there has been some growth during the last decade, but he could not put a number on it. Saxe attributed the growth to the immigration of Russian- speaking Jews, programs to bolster Jewish identity and shifts in attitude that have enabled many children of interfaith marriages to be raised with a Jewish identity. The Pew study found that about 10 percent of American Jews are former Soviet Jews or their children. About 65 percent of Ameri- can Jews live in just six states, according to the Steinhardt/ Cohen estimates: New York (20 percent), California (14 percent), Florida (12 percent), New Jersey (8 percent), Mas- sachusetts (5 percent) and Pennsylvania (5 percent). The other four states in the top 10--Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Ohio--add another 15 percent. The three most Jewish metropolitan areas are New York, South Florida and Los Angeles. Among Jewish denomina- tions, the Reform movement remains the largest: 35 per- cent of respondents identified as Reform, according to the Pew study. The second-largest group is Jews of no denomina- tion (30 percent), followed by Conservative (18 percent) and Orthodox (10 percent). As with other studies, the Pew study found that the Or- thodox share of the American Jewish population is likely to grow because Orthodox Jews tend to be younger and have larger families than Jews gen- erally. In addition, while past surveys showed about half of respondents raised as Ortho- dox were no longer Orthodox, the Orthodox retention rate appears to be improving, with just a 17 percent falloffamong 18- to 29-year-olds. Most denominational switching among American Jews, however, remains in the direction of less traditional Judaism. In the Pew survey, 90 per- cent of those who identified as Jews by religion and are raising children said they are raising them Jewish. By comparison, less than one- third of those who identified themselves as Jews of no religion are raising their kids as Jewish. HERITAGE FLORIOA JEWISH NEWS OCTOBER 11, 2013 Among in-married Jews, 96 percent are raising their children as Jews by religion (as opposed to ethnicity), com- pared to 45 percent among intermarried Jews. On Jewish observance, some 70 percent of respon- dents to the Pew survey said they participated in a Passover seder in 2012 and 53 percent said they fasted for all or part of Yom Kippur that year. The numbers represent declines from the 2000-01 NJPS, which found seder participation rates at 78 percent and Yom Kippur fasting at 60 percent. The new Pew survey found that about 23 percent of U.S. Jews say they always or usually light Sabbath candles, and about 22 percent reported keeping kosher at home. While most of those sur- veyed by Pew said they felt a strong connection to Israel, and 23 percent reported hav- ing visited the Jewish state more than once, the respon- dents expressed significant reservations about the cur- rent Israeli government's poli- cies vis-a-vis the Palestinians. Forty-four percent said West Bank settlement con- struction hurts Israel's se- curity interests, and only 17 percent said continued settle- ment construction is helpful to Israeli security. Thirty- eight percent of respondents said the Israeli government is making a sincere peace effort with the Palestinians. The Pew survey also asked respondents about what it means to be Jewish, offering several options. The most popular element was remem- bering the Holocaust at 73 percent, followed by leading an ethical life at 69 percent. Fifty-six percent cited work- ing for justice and equality; 43 percent said caring about Israel; 42 percent said having a good sense of humor; and 19 percent said observing Jewish law. Sixty-two percent of re- spondents said being Jewish is primarily a matter of ancestry and culture; 15 percent said it was mainly a matter of religion. Most Jews said it is not necessary to believe in God to be Jewish. In the survey, 60 percent said a person cannot be Jewish and believe that Jesus is the messiah. Iran From page 1A gion and potentially threaten the United States of America;" Obama told reporters. Still, Netanyahu contin- ued to insist throughout his American visit that Rouhani was not to be trusted--this despite warnings from certain quarters that-his alarmism threatened to alienate the United States, which is press- ing for a diplomatic accord with the Islamic Republic. Netanyahu repeated the point in meetings Sept. 30 with Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate committee embraced another of Netan- yahu's objectives for this trip: a pledge to intensify sanctions should it appear that the Ira- nians are using negotiations to buy time for their suspected nuclear program. "Our resolve to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability remains unchanged and we will not hesitate from proceeding with further sanctions and other options to protect U.S. interests and ensure regional security," Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the committee chairman, said in a statement. "While we welcome Iran's diplomatic engagement, it cannot be used to buy time, avoid sanctions, and continue the march toward nuclear weapons capability." Netanyahu's General As- sembly speech was devoted almost entirely to exposing what he said was Rouhani's "ruse" in presenting a more "smiling" countenance to the West and offering to reach an agreement. His accusations were met with a fiery response from Mohammad Khazaee, the Ira- nian ambassador to the United Nations, who insisted that his country's nuclear program was peaceful and delivered a warning of his own. "The Israeli prime minister had better not think about attacking Iran, let alone plan- ning it," he said. Despite such tough ex- changes, there were signs that Netanyahu was resigned to a diplomatic initiative. He repeatedly qualified his call for for dismantling Iran's nuclear program with the words "mili- tary" or "weapons"--an ap- parent nod to the fact that any diplomatic solution is likely to preserve Iran's right to a civilian nuclear program. He also explicitly embraced diplo- macy, as long as it resulted in a comprehensive deal. "He did not reject a diplo= matic approach," said Abra- ham Foxman, the Anti-Def- amation League's national director. "He had caveats." Those caveats reflected the major differences that remain between Obama and Netanyahu on the Iran issue. In his U.N. speech, Netanyahu laid out four requirements for a comprehensive deal; two of them--an end to all uranium enrichment and the removal from Iranian territory of all uranium stockpiles--are unlikely to be embraced by the West. Western powers report- edly are ready to allow Iran to enrich at 3.5 percent--less than the 20 percent it now enriches and well short of the 90 percent required for weaponization. Netanyahu's two other requirements were the dis- mantling of infrastructure necessary for a so-called "breakout capacity "--includ- ing the underground facility at Qom and the advanced centrifuges at Natanz--and the stopping of all work at the heavy water reactor in Iraq. David Makovsky, an analyst with the Washington Insti- tute for Near East Policy, a think tank with close ties to the Obama and Netanyahu governments, said such dif- ferences were less significant than the fact that Iran, Israel and the United States are all proclaiming support for a comprehensive deal. "I'd rather be where we are now then where we were with [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad six months ago," Makovksy said, referring to Rouhani's rejectionist predecessor. "For all the heated words between Rouhani and Netanyahu, each side is saying we've got to do bigger sooner." In an interview with "60 Minutes," Kerry said he be- lieved a deal could be reached in less than the six months Rouhani envisioned in an interview last week with the Washington Post--depending on how forthcoming Rouhani is prepared to be. "We need to have a good deal here, and a good deal means that it is absolutely accountable, failsafe in its measures to make certain this is a peaceful program," Kerry said. "If it is a peaceful pro- gram and we can all see that, the whole world sees that, the relationship with Iran can change dramatically for the better and it can change fast." Vision From page 1A campus," said JosephWolfson, assistant vice president of JNF and member of the AMHSI Board, "I know that AMHSI provides a unique experience for children to learn about the history of the Jewish people, our connection to the Land of Israel, and our Zionist heritage. JNF, being the origi- nal Zionist organization and having a broad array of Zion- ist education initiatives, is a natural partner for AMHSI. When the opportunity for 31976 72854 64539 59148 47621 83297 95762 1648,3 28315 JNF and AMHSI to work even more closely arose, I was an immediate supporter, and our review and work to bring together the relationship only reinforced my view. I am excited about the possibilities we have to work together and look forward to great success. I know that this partnership can have a lasting and enor- mous impact on the next generation of Zionist leaders." "All through the years I have had great respect for the activi- ties of Jewish National Fund," said Stephen Muss, chair of 8245 1693 2187 3726 5839 6451 4318 9572 7964 AMHSI. "JNF is famous for planting millions of trees, water conservation, and dedication to Israel and the Negev. JNF and AMHSI have had a growing relationship over the years that has led to the board of trustees of both JNF and AMHSI to ap- prove an even greater integra- tion of AMHSI, so that both organizations can consolidate their educational efforts and we can focus on what's impor- tant: teenage Israel experience, Jewish continuity and Zionist education." Orit Rome, newly named AMHSI co-executive director who has served in many roles including chief financial officer Nairobi From page 2A 757 belonging to Arkia, an Israeli airline. Three Israelis and 10 Kenyans died in the hotel attack. "The Mombasaattacks were clearly targeting Israelis, but according to what is known thus far, the Westgate action was not," said Zvi Mazel, an expert on militant Islam in Africa and former head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Africa Department. "The Westgate attack was part of an internal African conflict, which the terrorists tried to and chief operating officer, will now work in partnership with the new co-executive director, Rabbi Leor Sinai. Leor made Aliyah with his family in June 2011. His profes- sional resume includes the Dan Hotels of Israel, Jewish National Fund, The Jewish Lens, Hillel Israel, and The Jewish Agency for Israel. Leor was ordained in 2009 at The Jewish Theo- logical Seminary and works passionately to build networks of Jews worldwide with Israel at their center. Leor and Orit will run the day-to-day operations of the school, managing the mar- keting, fundraising, educa- tion, finances, facilities, and overall administration. Rabbi Philip Nadel will continue as the head of the school, doing an outstanding job of keeping AMHSI's educational standards at a very high level. "We are all about growth and about the development of the next genera- tion of leaders," said JNF Chair- man of the Board Ronald S. Lauder. "AMHSI is the leading high school program in Israel and we take great pride in the knowledge that our oversight and operation of AMHSI will help ensure another genera: tion of students. We believe in it--in its history and its future. We have a moral obligation to make sure the school continues to thrive. And we will." "When I was at Muss," said Matisyahu, popular musician and Sept. '95 alum, "it was probably the first time in my life that I felt that being Jewish was something that was important and there was something to be discovered." Said AMHSI alum (June '82) Wayne Firestone, former presidentand CEO of Hillel: The Foundation of Jewish Campus Life: "AMHSI is a program that speaks in such universal terms to all young people and allows them to have an intellectual and personal connection to explore their Jewish identities." globalize by selecting a West- ern symbol as their target." Still, Westgate's Israeli link was no secret. In addi, tion to media articles about Trachtenberg, one of the mall's most popular busi- nesses was a branch of Art- caffe, a brasserie jointly run by Israelis and Kenyans and styled after an Israeli chain with a similar name. A favorite with Israelis for its shakshuka egg dish, Artcaffe was the subject of a protest earlier this year for perceived racism against black customers. Management rejected the allegations, but the "Occupy Artcaffe" cam- paign nonetheless exposed anti-Western and anti-Israel resentment that may have had a role in the attackers' ability to find local collaborators, as Kenyan authorities believe they had done. One of the dozens of articles published online about Art- caffe has a reader comment posted that threatens its own- ers. "Shoot to kill this idiot!" the comment reads. The attack at Westgate is believed to have started at Artcaffe. Rabbi Brachyahu Sch0nthal, 40, the community's England- born rabbi who arrived with his wife in August, said he was trying to organize an interfaith commemoration service for the victims of the Westgate attack, but some members of the com- munity fear itwould attract too much attention. "It's a reaction that comes naturally to someone social- ized in the spirit of American leadership," Schonthal said, "but this community is used to keeping a low profile and I think the attack will only reinforce that."