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October 25, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 25, 2013

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FLORIDA JE I .heHgeflicom 38, Octobe[ 25, 2013 SH NEWS 21 Cheschvan, 5774 60 Pages 0Editorials ............................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ................................. 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B&apos;nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A Classified .............. 2B eeoeel el eoe Orlando, Florida Single Copy 75 Michael Priest Photography From left to right, Conference of Presidents Executive Vice Chairaman Malcolm Hoenlein, former U.S. President George W. Bush, Conference of Presidents Chaiman Robert G. Sugarman, and Conference of Presidents past chairman Melvin Salberg at the 50th anniversary tribute gala for the Conference of Presidents in New York. Bush tells Conference of Presidents that Iran can't be trusted, praises Israel By Jacob Kamaras FormerU.S.PresidentGeorgeW.Bush made a surprise appearance at the 50th anniversary tribute gala of the Confer- ence of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York, saying Iran cannot be trusted when it says its nuclear program has peaceful intentions. One attendee of the event, speaking anonymously because Bush's comments were off the record, said Bush quoted from his May 2008 speech to the Israeli Knesset. In that speech--one that he called a highlight of his presidency-- Bush said America stands with Israel "in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions." "Permitting the world's leading spon- sor of terror to possess the world's dead- liest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations," Bush told the Knesset in 2008. "For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon." Tevi Troy, who served as White House liaison to the Jewish community as well as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Bush's administration, told that Bush's appearance at the Conference of Presi- dents event was"enormously important" because Bush does not appear in public very frequently and has intentionally taken a low profile since leaving office. In particular, Bush takes a low profile "on political issues of the day," but broke that mold with his comments on Iran, Troy explained. "The fact that he would go to that kind of event, and also talk about the danger of Iran, which many people said was unfin- ished business from his administration, for understandable reasons given the economic collapse and the overstretch in Afghanistan and Iraq... the fact that he would go and weigh in on that issue I think is extremely significant and worth noting," he said. Bush also spoke about his relationship with the Conference of Presidents, the umbrella organization for more than 50 national Jewish groups. According to an attendee, Bush said the Jewish umbrella's voice is extremely well informed and helpful, and clearly respects the office of the U.S. president. Bush on page 15A Joshua Nash named new chairman of Birthright Israel Foundation NEW YORK--Birthright Israel Foundation has elected Joshua Nash, a leader in p -= =_. = oO - 4 -: < -: 8o z the New York Jewish and philanthropic community and member of its board of directors, as the next board chairman succeeding Dan Och, who has served as chair- man since 2008. The Foundation is the U.S.-based fundraising arm of the highly successful Taglit- Birthright Israel program, which has sent more than 400,000 young Jewish adults on free, 10-day educational trips to Israel since 2000. "We are honored to have someone with Josh's commit- ment and dedication assume the leadership of our board. Thanks to the extraordinary vision of our founders and to the dedicated leadership of Dan Och, who has served as our chairman for the past five years, we are well positioned to move forward and achieve even greater success. I have worked with Josh and know his talents, his passion and commitment to our mission Joshua Nash, new chair- man of Birthright Israel Foundation will allow us to go forward to achieve even greater things in the years ahead, said Founda- tion President, David Fisher. "Dan Och, the outgoing chair- man of the board, concurred. "I am delighted to pass the torch on to a good friend, and an exceptional leader. It gives me great pleasure to leave this position knowing that our future is in the good hands of Josh Nash. I can think of no one better to carry our work forward." Nash will begin his term in January 2014. "I have been fortunate to serve on the Birthright Israel Foundation board for the past several years. That experience has greatly helped prepare me for the work ahead. I am privi- leged to succeed Dan Och, who hands me an organization at the cusp of achieving even more than it already has. This program has changed the lives of so many of our children and grandchildren. It is exciting and humbling to be given this opportunity." Nash is president of Ulyss- es Management, L.L.C. He also serves as chairman of the board of AV Homes, Nash on page 15A From coach to JCC sports director By Amy Schwartz The Roth Jewish Com- munity Center of Greater Orlando is pleased to an- nounce the appointment of Royal Webster as its new sports director. Webster, 51, succeeds the Roth JCC's Eli Bercovici who retired this summer after 31 years as sports director. For Webster, the Roth JCC has long been a second home. When he and his wife, Sim- one, moved to Orlando in June 2004, they immediately enrolled their sons Alex, now 11, and Josh, 9, in the Rich- ard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center. The boys rose through the Roth JCC's pro- gramming, attending Camp J, and competing in a variety of sports, particularly basketball. Just a year after settling in Orlando, Webster decided to become a volunteer coach for the Roth JCC. In his first year of coaching, eightyoung girls expressed an interest in playing basketball but had never played before. Webster stepped up to coach the team, who barely knew the rules of the game. "Our first game, we lost something like 0-44," said Nancy Portello, the JCC's chief financial officer, whose daughter, Jacqueline played on the team. "They all stuck it out and played the entire season, losing every game. But believe it or not, the girls had fun. I remember saying to myself--how does this coach Amy Schwartz Royal Webster keep coming back? I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago." The following year, Webster coached the team to first place in their division. "He played every girl, re- gardless of her skill level and never gave up on them. He instilled confidence, team spirit, and taught them to keep going--no matter what." Sports have always played a major role in Webster's life. "I credit sports for keeping me out of trouble when I was young and growing up in Miami," Webster explained. His professional back- ground is varied. He's retired from the U.S. Army, a former high school Spanish teacher, and has worked as an opera- tions manager for a few na- tional retail companies. Coach on page 15A Nigerian Christian president visits Israel ( Presi- dent Goodluck Jonathan will lead more than 30,000 Chris- tian pilgrims on an upcoming trip to Israel. While in Israel, President Jonathan, who is the first sit- ting Nigerian Christian presi- dent to visit Israel, is expected to sign a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and Israel, making it easier for Christian pilgrims to visit, reported. According to Nigeria state media, the first round of 2,000 Christian pilgrims began ar- riving Oct. 19, while President Jonathan arrived Oct. 23. The president was also joined by several members of his administration and by other governors. "Our belief is that if Nigeri- ans go on pilgrimage and are morally transformed, they would pursue peace and all the enemies of peace would be defeated," said John Kennedy Opara, exectuive secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, according to Africa's most populous na- tion, Nigeria has been racked World Economic Forum Nigerian President Good- luck Jonathan by sectarian tension for the past decade as Islamic terror groups from the Muslim north have attacked Christians in the south. But Israel and Nigeria enjoy strong diplomatic ties, with several dozen major Israeli companies operating in Nigeria. 6 flll!!!!!rl! ! ! !!1 III t'.- O