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October 18, 2013
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 18, 2013 PAGE 11A J an over J By Ron Kamgeas WASHINGTON (JTA)=- iVleais on Wheels may disap- pear, Iran sanctions are at risk and yoga is filling in the gaps. This is what the federal government shutdown looks like in Jewish Washington. While national Jewish cus on your wellness goals," director Jeff Dannick said. "Come work out in the fit- ness center, shoot hoops in the gym, swim laps, or enjoy a fitness class." Non-JCC members get a free pass if they show a gov- ernment ID and a furlough letter, he said. Rabbi Amy Schwartzman organizations are sorting of Temple Rodef Shalom, a through the essential ser- synagogue in Falls Church, vices that the impasse may Va., with 1,500 families-- cut, regional Jewish service many, if not most, attached providers in the Washington togovernmentservice--said areaaredealingwiththetens her staff spent a day brain- of thousands of furloughed stormingaboutwhatservices workers in their midst, they could provide. The Jewish Community They ranged from bagel Center of Greater Washing- brunches, yoga classes and ton, in Rockville, Md., is add- " recruiting the temporarily ing exercise and yoga classes for furloughed government workers, its director, Michael Feinstein, told JTA. The plan, he noted, is a twofer: "The classes are be- ing taught by furloughed federal employees, S they will make some extra money. And they are geared for stress reduction." Here was the message de- livered in an email blast from across the Potomac, from the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. "For our members who have been furloughed, now mighl be a good time to fo- unemployed into the temple's community serviceprograms. Schwartzman said the synagogue has dealt with government shutdowns, but they were two-three day blips. This one, some fear, could last for weeks. "There was never this looming feeling it was go- ing to go on as it feels like it might," the rabbi said. "For most of our members, a loss of three days of work and three days of salary might not make a huge impact. But for some a few weeks will have a huge impacL" Demands by the majority Republican caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives to attach government funding to defunding or delaying Presi- dent Obama's signature health care legislation, known as Obamacare, helped lead to the government shutdown, which went into effect on Oct. 1. Obama and the Demo- crat-controlled Senate have refused to negotiate while accusing the Republicans of taking the government hostage. In its first days, work- ers throughout the region seemed to be enjoying their time off. Sixth and I, a hiS- toric synagogue in downtown Washington, invited federal workers to use its wireless Internet to keep up to date. Schwartzman said she has only heard from one congregant concerned about finances. Others, for the time being, were embracing the free time. "One couple is enjoying getting a lot of things done for their kid's bar mitzvah coming up," she said. One Jewish Democratic Capitol Hill staffer tweeted a dashboard, photo of an empty Interstate 66--the artery connecting Virginians to Washington--during the morning rush hour. ',Yeah, the #GOPshutdown stinks, but at least there's no traffic," the staffer said. The capital's signature Jewish-themed monument, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, shuttered its doors and used the shutdown for a fundraising pitch. "The founders ofour Muse- um likely never envisioned a time of budget sequestration cuts and shutdown, but they did foresee the'need for a mu- seum supported by a unique public-private partnership," it said. "Although the gov- ernment ensures our perma- nence and federal funds keep the Museum building open and free to the public, our educational programs rely.on contributions from members and donori like you." An Oct. 9 commemora- tion of the Danish rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, which was to have featured prominent Danish Americans and a member of the Danish royal family, was postponed because of the shutdown. Obama administration officials and their allies on the Hill, mindful of the bi- partisan breadth of support for Israel, emphasized how the shutdown was affecting the alliance. "The State Department's ability to provide military assistance to Israel and other allies in the time frame that is expected and customary could be hindered depending on the length of the shutdown," spokeswoman Marie Harftold reporters on Wednesday. Wen@ Sherman, the third- ranked State Department of- ficial and one of those closest to the pro-ISrael community, said in Senate testimony that I sanctions on Iran are among the first affected by the shut- "down. "Government shutdown empties offices enforcing sanctions on Iran," she said. Staffers for national Jew- ish organizations say they already feel the absence of federal workers, in their day-to-day dealings with government. "At the federal level, the multi-family housing offices are skeletal," said Rachel Go[dberg, the director of aging policy at B'nai B'rith International, which runs a network of homes for the elderly across the country. "There's no one for us to talk fo if you need an answer to a question." Meals on Wheels and home health aids. William Daroff, the direc- tor of the Jewish Federations of North America, said many of the domestic issues with which his organization is concerned are being ignored while Congress grapples with the budget impasse. Among them is funding to secure the facilities of nonprofit build- ings and special funding for elderly Holocaust survivors. "There's no oxygen to spare for any other agenda," Daroff said. Goldberg noted that basic care programs such as Social Security and federal medical care coverage for seniors and the poor remained relatively unaffected by the shutdown. But that could change should Congress and the White House fail to resolve a separate dispute by Oct. 17. At that point, the govern- ment risks going into default unless Congress extends its debt allowance. Social Security checks could stop withi~ weeks of that point; it is undear what would happen Some programs were in. to Medicare and Medicaid. good shape for the short run, "Taat could be a game Goldberg said, because they changer,'Goldbergsaid."We're had received funding just urging people to tell their before Oct. 1, technically the members of Congress that a first day of the new fiscalyear, debt ceiling stalemate is not But cuts would soon be felt in somethingthecountrycando." 'NCIS~ farewell to Ziva . David? HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA) Of all of the Jewish characters on TV these days, few can be described as tough. In fact, few can be described as nonkvetchy. So we are sad to report that after eight seasons, ,NCIS" marked the seeming departure of Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), the show's resident bad-ass Mossad agent. In the spirit of full disclo- sure, Ziva's farewell was our first "NCIS" viewing experi- ence, which seems sort of crazy considering it was the most-watched series last season and that it features a bad-ass Mossad agent. That said, it was an en- joyable experience. In the episode, agent Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service went to the Holy Land! That's right, his search for a missing Ziva leads Tony to Tel Aviv, where he engages in jokey insider banter witt Israeli operatives ("Have you made the big move from Shin Bet to Mossad or are you just hereto say hi?") and hunts for clues in two supremely Israeli locales (a kibbutz and a cafe). Eventt ally he finds what he's looking for. Turns out Ziva feels guilty about killing her brother-- and apparently a whole lot of other people--so she has chosen to set off on her own to do some soul searching. But not before she and Tony (finally!) kiss. Is this really it or will Ziva be back? "Ziva's not dead." executive producer Gary Glasberg told USA Today. OK. so maybe that's not the most promising statement we've ever heard, but Tony does wistfully dangle Ziva's Star of David pendant in the last scene, so who knows maybe we will someday get another chance to watch a tough, complicated Jewish woman on TV. And if that's the case, we'll make sure to tune in. Portman directing in Israel Let the Natalie Portman Holy Land sightings begin. The actress is in Israelworking on her adaptation of Amos Oz's "A Tale of Love and Darkness. ' Haaretz reported last week. Portman is making her directo- rial debut while starring in the film. whichwill begin shooting in Jerusalem in January. No need to scan the Kotel crowd for her just yet, though -The Israeli-born actress was staying in a Tel Aviv hotel. American TV stars visit Israel Israel has received an influx of American talent of late: some for work. others for vacation. A bunch of TV actors were on a weeklong tour of the country with "American Voices in Israel," a program that aims to bolster Israel's image in the United States by bringing over celebs who will then hopefully become friends of Israel. Trip participants include actress Lea Thompson ("Switched at Birth" and "Back to the Future") and her director-producer husband, Howard Deutch, along with their daughters Zoey Deutch, an actress like mom. and Madelyn Deutch. a musician. Zoey is starring in the Har- vey. Weinstein-directed film "Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters." Other visitors include C.S. Lee from "Dexter." "Sullivan & Son" co-star Vivian Bang and Anson Mount of"Hell on Wheels." "We've always really wanted to come to Israel but we never got around to it," said Thompson, whose husband and children are Jewish. "This is the perfect opportunity, not only to be able to collaborate with other artists, but to have a tour geared toward artists." Stops have included Yad Vashem. Tel Aviv and the Go- lan Heights. For Thompson. though, one of the more en- lightening parts of the trip has been time spent at the homes of regular Israelis and away from the tourist attractions. "It's impossible to under- stand a place this complicated without visiting it and having conversations with people there." she told 6NoBacon while en route to a Sabbath dinner. "I've learned that Israel is in a lot of ways like America in thatyou're allowed to have a different opinion. There's a lot of messiness in a democracy, so it feels familiar in that way." Portman, Marvel pushing science careers to girls This week ]n amazing things Natalie Portman is do- ing, our favorite Israeli-born actress is encouraging high school girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engi- neering and math, or STEM. Portman. who studied neuroscience at Harvard. appears in a video for Mar- vel's just-launched "Ultimate Mentor Adventure" contest in which she discusses her love for science and how her role as astrophysicist Jane Foster in "Thor" helped her further explor science. The competition is calling for female students in grades 9-12 to interview womenwith STEM careers and make a video about the experience. Winners will be flown to Hol- lywood to see the premiere. Bonus: A documentary short about their adventures will be shown prior to the screening. The contest ends Oct. 20, so any aspiring Jane Fosters should check'0ut the site for details ASAP. Sacha Baron Cohen's arachnid doppelganger A software engineer in the Indian city of Bangalore has discovered a spider he claims looks just like Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" character, the Daily Mail reports. (Really, this is not from The Onion, we swear). AnandJoshi photographed the eight-legged creature after he noticed it crawling on his front-door step. The Kazakh connection is based on its "markings that look like a bu.Shy moustache and green 'mankini'-coloured legs," the paper states. Now if that doesn't make your day, we don't know what will. Ronan Farrow: Son of Woody or Sinatra? What- ever Mia Farrow has revealed in a recent Vanity Fair piece that her son Ronan, long assumed to be the lone biological off- spring of Farrow and Woody Allen, might really be the child- of Fnnk Sinatra, No DNA tests prove this, but when you juxtapose the fight photos, it seems entirely unlikely. While one might think it would be traumatic to see such personal and life-altering news splattered all over the media, Ronan appears to be taking it in stride at least per Twitter account, where he t eted. "Listen, we're all *possbly* Frank Sinatra's son." ~~ Development Cor~ration for Israel Israel Bonds 2600 South Belcher R~act, Suite I 01A I S'KA~ k ~~i BONDS .............. Largo, Florida 33773 Reva Pearlstein Monia DiGiovanni A~si~t~nt Director Reg~sf~d Representative 727-539-6445 = 800-@2-8017 tamp ~@israelbonds.om ,~, ~,~ ,,, .isr~elbonds,c~n The Traditional Mohel for the Modern Family Rabbi Dr. Israel d. Bar-zak, CMP, DM Gentle Certified Mohel Specialist Endorsed by the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis Medical& Client References - Faithfully serving for 25 years: North-Eastern, Central & Western Florida "Treating every baby as my very own with love compassion and TLC" www.floridamohel.com / Study - 386-673-5535 Cell - 386-290-8833 Email -ijb@floridamohel.com