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October 17, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 17, 2003

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PAGE 14 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 17, 2003 radio rep find g in By Jonathan Udren imprint in my mind because the Rosh Hashanah prayer for JERUSALEM(JTA)--"Atmy parnasa, or sustenance, old sfiul in D.C during the seemed to stand out this year. week you'd see Joe Lieberman I saw clearly that the only ele- and everyone would call him mentofmyfaithforthefuture 'Senator Lieberman.' But on that is lacking concerns my Yore Tov and Shabbat, he was financial destiny. alwaysjustJoe."Myroommate Unfortunately, I think my Chaim shared this with me as fears are justified: The Israeli we were pulling our freshly economyisstillswirlingdown- dry-cleaned white shirts from ward and cutbacks are taking the plastic, getting ready for placeat everylevel; unemploy- Rosh HashanahinJerusalem ment is at an all-time high. I loved the story because it Around me, my fellow immi- shows the Jewish holidays as grants are stretching them- thegreatequalizer.Thesedays selves in new directions to allow us to move away from make it in Israel. our different jobs and roles Lee Wolfe, 39, was involved and return to our true selves, in project managementand Thestoryresonatedwithmebusiness development for an on a personal level as well, Internetstartupbeforehemade consideringmythoughtslead- aliyah from Toronto in 2000. ing up to the High Holidays. After 15 months looking for Having recently moved to work, Lee took a position as a Israel, I've found myselfforced clerk at the government's to define who I am and where coins and metal department, I'm headed, answering complaints from Those questions keep push- customers who received dam- ing me uncomfortably toward aged or incomplete products. what I will be doing here, in- Notonlyisitabigstep down stead of who I am here:in responsibility, but his sal- It was as if in the past there ary is only "slowing the leak" were no distinctions in my in his expenses, he says. head between what I did and "After deductions, I make a who I was, that these two sepa- little bit more than I did as pin rate realtieswere actually one. boyat the bowlingalley Iworked Maybe because I've beenat in high school," Lee says. learning full time in yeshiva Lee's experience isn't un- since I moved to Israel, in- common.AliciaRabin,24, re- stead of working at a nine-to- cently made aliyah and started five business writing job as I looking for a job in Jewish was in New York, I've gained a communal work. greater awareness of this dis- So far, she hasn't had much tinction, success--so she took a job in But evenwhenIdistinguish sales at a real estate 9ffice. between who I am and what "I neverWould have done real I'll do for aliving, I still need to estate in the U.S never," Alicia answer both questions, says. "In America, I had to be This fear must have left an connected to the Jewish people as much as possible. Here I could work in a donut shop. In Israel the point is to sukvive; my main job is to live here and make a life here." ButAlicia still hopes that, as her Hebrew improves, she'll find work that matches her pas- sions. "It's hard to let go of my identity as Alicia the social worker. I hear this little voice saying, 'If I'm not doing Jew- ish communal work, who am I?'" I hear the struggle of my friends so clearly, and I also am concerned for my own fu- ture. So, in an attempt to broaden my horizons and make ends meet, I've taken on several obscure freelance writ- ing projects, including a women's seminary newsletter, where I attempt to describe their trips to breast milk banks and soup kitchens. But that's only the begin- ning. A few weeks after set- tling into the dorm room at my yeshiva, I was arranging piles of absorption papers when the phone rang. "Hi Jonathan, this is Tamar Yonah from Arutz Sheva Is- rael National News Radio. I'm in charge of doing the 'Aliyah Show,' and I got your number from Baruch." I assumed that my friend Baruch, the station manager, had mentioned my name as a new immigrant to be interviewed on the show. But that wasn't what Tamar wanted. "I was hoping that you could host today's show, because our normal host couldn't make it," she said. For a moment, I couldn't respond. Um, I don't know ifBaruch Pre nt Oct. 3O Nov. !, 2, 8, & 9 2OO3 This hilarious 1974 updates the story of Job. God's new favorite, ~ire Joe Benjamin, is torrr~ited and knew this or not, but I've never done radio before. I'm really a print journalist," I said. "Oh, that doesn't matter," Tamar said. "The only thing is that you need to get some guests for today. We need someone for a personal aliyah spotlight, a general feature " I was petrified, but told myself that if I'm going to make it in Israel I've got to diversify. Within 30 minutes I had guests lined up and had transformed my room into a radio studio. I sat by my desk and spoke into my cell phone. My elbows shook the table as I shared my aliyah journey, did product promotions and interviewed families about how their American electrical appliances worked in Israeli outlets. It wasn't a paid gig, but--as Baruch wrote me later that week--' (ou can put 'senior radio host on Israel National Radio' on your resume." The odd jobs have only been get- you need is about $20,000, and ting odder from there. One then there's rent and insur- morning, a friend asked me to ance, and you could do it." give him a buzz with his trim- Actually, I was just hoping to mer. I had never cut anyorie's make a little extra money at hairbefore, but how hard could the yeshiva, but who knows it be to move a buzzer around what I may have to do to make someone's head? a life here. Surprisingly, I gave his head That's because, for me, it's a near perfect trim, and even not about what I do here but the back of his neck had nice, the fact that I am here. My curved edges friend Lee said it best: "Money Other guys in the yeshiva is one thing, andtherestoflife 'i soonrecognizedmybarbering is something else; my life is talent and starting hitting me here."As new immigrants, we up for similar service. I didn't may not ever get our dream havethehearttochargethem, jobs or earn our dream sala- but I'm thinking that maybe I ries. Butwe know thatwe have should buy my own supplies something more important: and start a little barber busi- We know that we are not busi- ' i ness outside my dorm room. ness people or writers or so- "Do you think you couldcial workers. We are Jews liv- show me how to cut hair?" I ingandstrugglingintheLand asked my own barber as he of Israel. By returning to our i was giving me a trim. homeland, we have reclaimed "Just bring in a customer our true selves. and we'll see what we can do," What a great feeling going i hesaid."Andifyoueverwanted into this new year, knowing to open a place like this, all exactly who we are. 36 years, questions persist in murder mystery official do not commit suicide," Smok told JTA, pointing out that six days after his death, Jordan was due to make a presenta- tion at the United Nations about the financial details ofa ground-breaking plan to end " ' b ' Palestmlans refugee status Y finding housing and provid- ing job training for l hem, By Pavia Kozakova The documentary attempts to debunk that theory, argu- PRAGUE (JTA)--Mter 36 ing that it was highly improb- years, new details are emerg- able that the Palestinians ing about a murder mystery in would have stayed silent about Czechoslovakia involving a such a successful killing so Jewish official, shadowy deals soon after the Arabs' disas- withArabagentsandtheCzech trous defeat in the Six-Day secret police. War. But the mystery, which Instead, the film suggests, could have come straight from it's possible that Jordan--who among other things. the pages of a spy novel, re- apparently was preparing for There have been numerous ' mains unsolved, the evacuation of Jews from inquiries into Jordan's case,-i ,A new documentary, "Fa Syriaatthetimeofhisdeath -- - but none have estabhshed con ther of the Refugees," broad- was a victim of a ecret-ser- clusivelythecircumstancesof/ cast on Czech public televi- vice intrigue his death sion Monday night, has shed At the time of Jordan's "The Czechoslovak crimi- new light on the activities of death, a deputy at the Egyp, nalpoliceweretheonlypeople Charles Jordan, a vice presi- tian Embassy--which was whoevergenuinelyaRempted dent of the American Jewish next door to the hotel where toin" vestigate his death, but in Joint Distribution Committee, he was last seen--was being the Cold War era no one pro- and has introduced new theo- followed by the Czech secret vided them with any relevant ries about Jordan's death, service under a special opera- information," Smok said. Thirty-six years ago, tion code-named Operation The end ofthe Cold War in Jordan's body was fished out Spider. 1989 did not bring the Jot- of the Vltava River, only a The film points out that the dan case any closer to reso- i stone's throw from Prague's operation was supposed to be lution. historic Charles Bridge. focusing on the Jewish corn- The Office for the Documen- A few days before the grim munity, and that this may tation and Investigation of discovery, Jordan had left his somehow be connected with Communist Crimes launched Prague hotel, telling his wife Jordan's death a series of investigations into he was off to buy a pack of Smok tracked down the the case----one at the request cigarettes. He was never seen headoftheoperation, anagent of Palestinianofficialswhosaid alive again, called "Alice," but the agent theywantedtoseetheirnameS More questions than an- declined to reveal any infor- cleared--butcameupwithn swers remainaboutwhathap- mation about the case. fresh leads. terrorized in an attempt to faitK penedtoJordan.WashisdeathPrague Jewish communityEarlierthisyear, yetanother Will Joe denota ze the deity who an accident, suicide or mur- leaders had mixed feelings theorysurfaced, this one frorn is cat ng all his suffemlg? der? about the documentary, the FBI. According to Czech Jordan, a U.S. citizen and "Smok has a tendency toinvestigators, the FBI wrote '!~,~ "Picka Price top JDC official, had been look for the sensational," the to Czech officials suggestmg; $10.OO For JCC Se ,es & Studeml$ working in a shadowy, clan- Jewish's community chair- that Jordan may have corm ! $ i 2.00 Sofiar Sttak' ts a rd JCCdestine world, doing deals be- man, Tomas Jelinek, said. mired suicide after overd S;' $14.OO Fo'generaiputk hindcloseddoorstoassistJew- "But the positive thing is ing on psychotropic drugs. Srb told JTA Smok says he's now ~ing for financial backingZ :I roduce an English ver. O . the documentary ing in his film. The agency said the case is still under investigation. ' Ve want towatch the docU": mentary, see what it haS ': say, and then we will proDao z ask Mr Smok to come and tell us what he knows about the case," agency spokesman Oct. 5Oth at 7".30 P.M. performances are held Nov. 1 & 8, at 8P.M. at the JCC At t0dum Nov. 2 ate= Ave Mai , approval:of the Czech, cret Jordan did:not kill himself. rvice : "PeopteA ke Jordan simIfly munist regimes where he had sons were upset that Jordan been wheeling and dealing, did not attempt tostop Arabs trying to secure freedom for from using JDC-backed food Jews. stations in North Africa that The new documentary by were intended for poor Jews. Martin Smok, a young Jewish Smok, who became inter- filmmaker, tackles thequestion ested in the Jordan case nearly of whether or not Jordan was 10 years ago during the mak- murdered---andifso, bywhom? ing of another documentary, One theory holds that Jor- says there are at least 20 theo- dan was killed by Palestinian ries about how Jordan met his students in the Egyptian end, includingsuicide.Butthe bassy in Prague, with.the taeit filmmakermys heiS convinced Neil S mon ish refugees trapped behind that he found a tranche of TheOfficefortheDocumen . U)' Tickets are lllng ast Call [h owthe Iron Curtain. archive reports and captured tation and Investigation. His fateful trip to Prague the testimony of people who CommunistCrimessaiditt au 407-645-5933 ext. 245 came shortly after the 1967 have since died." Much of the filed the report for future tel- by At Krulick For your reserved seating Six-Day War, when anti-Jew- new information on the case erence. But Smok says the ish feeling was running high, came from interviews with office's investigation has bee; particularly in the Arabworld. Jordan's lawyer, Daniel Lack. poorly managed, arguing tha. Jordan also had made pow- Another theory suggestsofficials had never contacted erful enemies in some Corn- that certain unidentified per- Jordan's family, employers or some of the witnesses aPPear: