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

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 25, 2013 PAGE 3A i visit to our Partnership2Gecher community, Kiryat Motzki0000 By Cathy Swerdlow First person • I had been hearing about Kiryat Motzkin, our JFGO Partnership2Gether commu- nity in Israel, for many years. But this pt September I had the opportunity to visit several of the organizations that our Jewish community helps to support through an allocation from the Jewish Federation's annual cam- paign. On an ambitious itinerary arranged by Carmit Gilad, coordinator of Projects for Partnership2Gether of the Jewish Agency for Israel, I spent a full day in the city. It was a day full of wonderful people doing amazing work on shoestrinbudgets 0f all the people and programs I met that day, three really had a tremendous impact on me. There was the Mashal-- Center for Learning Im- provement:-that provides afterschool tutoring to stu- dents with a wide variety of needs. Some need tutoring in academic studies and some need therapies such as speech or occupational therapy. Most of the students are in regular classrooms in school and need the extra assistance that this after- school program can provide in order to be successful in that setting. I met with the director, Tami Kna%n- Harpaz. She is an amazing woman who manages to know every child, every fam- ily, every staff person and their schedules that keep everyone in the. right place at the right time. Kna'an- Harpaz shared with me the struggles of an agency that impacts the lives of its clients in so many positive ways and has a waiting list of more than 200--nearly twice that of its current capacity. She also introduced me to one of the tutors, a highly skilled reading specialist, Hanna Glickman. A grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando enables her to tu- tor at Mashal now that she has reached the mandatory retirement age of 67. This allows her to support herself and use the skills she has to continue to interact with the students whom she loves. Shifty Lampel at the Youth Unit is also a woman with tremendous dedication and resiliency. The Youth Unit has two distinct programs. One program is a social action based program for teens. These teens meet on a weekly basis after school, and they plan and organize their owo projects based on Bloomer speaks on Knstallnact, t at Holocaust Center On Tuesday Nov. 5, Holo- caust Center recourse teach- er Mitch Bloomer will be speaking about the events of Kristallnacht." Kristallnacht, or "Night of Broken Glass," was an incident where Nazis in Ger- many torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps. In honor of the 75th anniversary of this tragic event, the Holo- caust Memorial Recourse and Education Center will be host- ing the lecture Memories of Kristallnacht: Last Glimpses of a Dying World. The program, which starts at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. Free parking is available on site, and the building is fully handicap accessible. This event is being held as pat of Central Florida's Com- memoration of the 75thAnni- versary of Kristallnacht--the beginning of Hitler's Final Solution. A remarkable group of arts and cultural organiza- tions are hosting a series of events to promote respect and diversity in our society, and to empower our com- munity to speak out against • injustice. More information about the community-wide collaboration is online at Kristallnacht2013.org. For information about other pro- grams at the Holocaust Center call 407-628-0555. Cathy Swerdlow met with several members of MASHAL during her visft to Kiryat Motzkin. Shown here are (l-r) Hannah Glickman, tutor; Tami Kna'an-Harpaz, MASHAL director; Cathy Swerdlow; Carmit Gilad, coordinator f projects; and Eshel Fram, Part- nership2Gether director. the needs that they see in the community. Projects include mentoring younger students, visiting elders, working on environmental issues and much moi'e. In addition to this group, Lampel also has a group for at-risk teens. These teens may come from broken homes or have a parent who is incarcerated. They may have been in trouble with the law themselves or have a substance-abuse problem. Lampel is firm but caring. Often she is the one adult these teens can count on, and she is frequently the recipi- ent of calls late at night from someone at the police station or the hospital--all this while also being a wife and mother to three young girls. Finally, there was the Mashma'ut Center and Dr. Lea Ganor. Dr. Ganor shared with me not only the work of her agency, but also her fond memories of Orlando. She and her family visited our community several years ago and she was very touched by the warmth that she felt at that time. The Mashma'ut Center--an acronym in Hebrew for Heritage, Holo- caust, Tradition, Values and Rebirth--is located on the ground level of an apartment building for seniors, many of them survivors. On the day I visited, I met a man who had survived the sinking of the Patria in 1940 who was de- tained at Atlit prior to being granted permission to settle in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. The center hosts confer- ences, houses a library and museum area and serves as a resource for not only Kiryat Motzkin but also for cities and schools throughout Is- rael. A great emphasis of the center is in programs that deal with moral and human values as it relates to Israelis and modern Israeli society and culture. Mashma'ut has fostered many intergenera- tional projects that connect survivors with young Israeli soldiers. Currently Dr. Ganor is working on a post-doctoral project to record the testimo- nies of the first Israeli pilots. Approximately 300 of these men were Holocaust survi- vors but they never spoke of their pasts and never shared their stories, not even with each other. After spending the day with these wonderful people and having extended talks with Gilad, I left with a renewed sense of what is possible for our partnership. I now know that it is truly a partnership. It is n0t just that we send money to Israel. Yes, the monetary support is im- portant for these agencies, just as it is important for the JFGO. But there is much we can learn from each other. There is much that Israel can do for us to enable our Jewish community to thrive. Mah Jongg tournament fundraiser The Daytona Beach Chap- ter of Hadassah is hosting a Mah Jongg tournament with prizes awarded to the top winners. The fund-raising event will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with check-in at 10:30 a.m., at the Plantation Oaks Clubhouse, Plantation Blvd, Flagler Beach. The fee of $18 includes the tournament, lunch, beverage and dessert. Paid registration deadline is Nov. 1. No walk-ins. Proceeds will go to Hadassah Medical Research. Everyone is welcome to attend with paid reservation. No walk-ins will be accepted. For more information, contact Sema-386-673-0313 or Rita-386-673-3586. A trio of musicians perform for Horizon Bay residents • The Performing Arts of Maitland partnered with the Jewish Pavilion by bringing a trio ofwonderfulmusicians to Horizon Bay on Boston Avenue. On Sunday, October 13, (l-r) Bob Bruce, Mike Rusnak, and Chuck Graham, entertained audience favorites and had many residents singing along. Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: • Traditional Jewish Funerals • Non-Traditional Services • Interstate Shipping • Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) • Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director