Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
October 28, 2011     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 15     (15 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 15     (15 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
October 28, 2011

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

HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 28, 2011 The Eulogizer: Gay rights advocate, philanthropist By Alan D. Abbey  Day. He was 86. * Kameny, whose activ- JERUSALEM (JTA)--The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Franklin Kameny, 86, early gaY rights advocate Franklin Kameny, whose dismissal from a post as a U.S. Army astronomer for being homosexual led to a career of activism for gay and lesbian rights, died at his home in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, the date set as National Coming Out ism was well known in the capital, was described in the Washington Post as having "lived to see his years of determined ad- vocacy rewarded through the success of many of his campaigns and through his ultimate welcome by a political establishment that had rejected him." Blogs and websites noted how Kameny's Jewish heri- tage played a role in his  efforts. "To understand our LGBT By Helen Chernikofl" New York Jewish Week - Two years ago, Gil Mar- gulls was in a completely different place, emotionally and geographically. His New York life was losing its fizz, especially after the financial crisis killed his company. His solution: immigration. As a citizen of the start-up nation, he would rejuvenate his career by plugging into Israel's robust economy. Also, he was sick of being single. "Economies elsewhere are sputtering, and Israel is booming. You feel that dynamism, you feel that energy. It's happening," said Margulis, 42, who is starting what he calls a mobile content company. While protesters frustrated with Israel's high cost of liv- ing and widening wage gap have covered the land this summer, outside the tent cities hardheaded newcomers are hustling in a country that has become a latter-day land of opportunity, Even their recent predecessors placed more emphasis on homeland and religion as a reason for making the move to Israel, said Chaim Waxman, a Rut- gers University professor emeritus of sociology and Jewish studies who conducts research on aliyah. This new breed of elite olim loves Zion, and their careers, too. In 2010, nearly 4,000 North Americans made aliyah, more than any year since 1973, said Jewish Agency spokesman Barry Spielman. He sees the increasing prominence of economic motivations, especially in the higher num- bers of young immigrants. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of olim aged 20 to 39 has grown a percentage point each year, to 42 percent from 38 percent. Aliyah is also on the rise from Western Eu- rope. "It [aliyah] is definitely alluring, and it lures people who are looking for opportu- nity," Spielman said. It's a kind of reverse di- aspora, small but signifi- cant, like the one India is experiencing as its booming economy draws expatriates home. Israel offers similar attractions, especially to am- bitious North Americans or Europeans aiming at careers in or around the influential tech sector glorified by Dan Senor and Saul Singer's 2009 book "Start-Up Nation." "Aliyah can be a career move, a smart way of getting ahead," said Pinchas Landau, an independent economist based in Israel who is study- ing French aliyah. "There's " PAGE 15A American history, please get to know a bit more about his story," wrote one gay Jew- ish blogger, who noted that some of Kameny's protest signs now preserved in the Smiths6nian Institution tied his Jewishness to his quest for political rights for gays. One of the signs reads, "Discrimination Against Homosexuals Is As Immoral As Discrimination Against Negroes and Jews." "Our history and our civil rights seemed to be paired perfectly with Frank Kameny's once radical no- ti0n that we have a right in this country t0 stand up for 'First Class Citizenship for Homosexuals,'" the blogger wrote. "Right on, brother." Joel Gershman, 86, Phila- delphia philanthropist Joel Gershman, a com- mercial real estate devel- oper, philanthropist and backer of the Gershman Y in Philadelphia's Center City, died Oct. 4 at 86. Ger- shman's friends and family told the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia that he was a modest man, despite his accomplishments. "He just wanted to be in the background," said Marshall Cohen, who was Gershman's tax adviser and later managing partner at Gershman's firm, Jager Management. Other than the Y, Gersh- man kept his philanthropic activities private. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II and graduated from the University of Chicago. Marvin Rosenblum, 80, humanistic Judaism leader Marvin Rosenblum, who traveled from his childhood Aliyah is now a 'career move' been a move from idealism wasn't running away from Most olim need at least a Such growth is spurring the and ideology to pragmatism anything." smidgen ofideological zeal, creationofsimilar programs, and a more practical ap- She has a husband and Bensadoun" said. It stiffens including one at Bar Ilan proach." two children. But today, soft the spine when the price of University, said Opher Offen, Of course, partied- economies in North America cottage cheese, or housing, whodirectsthe IsraelStudent lar is sexy--and lucrative, and Europe are making Israel goes soaring, or when ques- Authority, which assists and "You see people having allthemOretemptingevento tionsofnationalsecurityand funds immigrant students. meetings in cafes all hours mid-careerprofessionalsand personal safety loom. Nefesh B'Nefesh, which of the day and all hours of families despite the very real "Just because the Israeli was founded in 2002 and the night, talking about problems that gave rise to economy is doingwell doesn't officially took over the job their partnerships, creating the social protest movement mean that you as an oleh are of supporting North Ameri- businesses, expanding busi- and its tent cities. This elite doing well," said the Jewish can immigration from the ness," said Rachel Brender. cohortofolimisinadifferent Agency's Spielman. Jewish Agency in 2008, has Her plans tostart abusiness position, Margulis said. Even the most highly significantly boosted the ali- in New Jersey failed after "They're not subject to the qualified don't usually waltz yah retention rate, and many she graduated from Oberlin same problems that other offtheplaneandintoagreat immigrants said Gvahim, College in 2009. Now she Israelis face," he said. "They job, and inadequate Hebrew the support organization co-owns, a Tel have special skills, special can handicap an otherwise for immigrants, was key to Aviv restaurant review site. languages, special abilities, ideal immigrant job candi- the success of their.job hunt. What's more, promotions and They have special opportu- date, he said. "Until Nefesh B'Nefesh raises flow faster in Israel's nities." After all, competition for most American olim didn't freewheeling entrepreneurial Lazarus, for example, those coveted tech jobs is last," Landau said. culture than they do back in first found work in Israel cutthroat,.said Orit Mendel- Then there's the panoply the States, Brender said. when Masa, the Israeli non- son-Shoham, who directs of government programs. "It is possible to make it profit that administers and executive MBA programs Margulis and his brother in Israel, and even to be rich supports work and study popular with international are hatching their mobile in Israel," said Mickael Ben- programs, guided him to students at the Recanati. content ventureinagovern- sadoun; executive director an internship  program at Graduate School of Business ment incubator. of Gvahim, a support orga- a Jerusalem architecture Administration in Tel Aviv. Calo, the Italian, and a nization that helps highly firm. Internship as opposed Also, most non-tech Is- friend are also launching educated immigrants find to a stint in a yeshiva or a raeli jobs fetch lower salaries a business, although for jobsonaprofessionalparwith post-high school gap year, than those abroad, while competitivereasonshewon't thosetheyareleavingbehind, are Masa's fastest-growing costs--except for Jewish say moreabout it. Starting To understand Israel's programs in part because education--are higher, said something up is easier in visceral appeal to the young they draw on a deep pool of Waxman. Lazarus acknowl- . Israel where government and ambitious, look first at applicants who are unim- edges the challenges: he is actively supports, but does the job market, Landau said. pressed by their professional only making a quarter of the not interfere in, the efforts Unemployment in Israel is prospects at home, said Avi salary he'd earn in a healthy of entrepreneurs, Calo said, 5.5 percent, in essence, the Rubel, Masa's director of U.S. economy. But he says echoing themes explored in lowest it's ever been, Landau North American operations, middle-class striving would Senor and Singer's book. said. In the United States, it To .sharpen its already robust be no less stressful at home, "In Israel, people think has long hovered at around appeal among ambitious, especially in the expensive there's opportunity under 9.1 percent, restless twenty-somethings, metropolitan areas like New any rock," Calo said, adding "The old romantic aliyah Masa is rebranding its entire York that tend to send Israel that he feels especially liber- is over," said Elliot Lazarus, slate of internship offerings most of its economically too- ated by the lack of stigma 31, a married architect with under the tagline: "Live the tivated, highly educated olim. should a venture fail. The two children who lost his job start-up nation." "Where's  nice place to Israeli workplace is also in- in NewYorkandtookabetter Lazarus and his wife as- raise my kids?" he asked, creasingly appealing to olim one in Jerusalem. "The U.S. sumedtheywouldsimplywait pointing out that in Israel because itvalues them more, is not the dream place that out the weak U.S. economy he enjoys socialized health saidMargulis, who like Loewy it used to be. It makes the and leave lsrael when his pro- care and a solid public educa- first attempted aliyah half a decision to start something gramended.Thenaplumpo- tion system. "Are there good lifetime ago. new that much easier." sition presented itself there, schools? Why not struggle in "Israelis used to say, 'Oh, The United States and while at home the outlook the Jewish homeland rather you can't tell me anything, other Western economies darkened. What's more, as a than struggle in New York?" you haven't been in the army, cgntinue to stumble even religiously observant family, Lazarus did flare a helping you're not fromhere,'"Margu- though the Great Recession they were open to aliyah, hand, of course, in Masa, lis recalled. "Now they realize is ostensibly over, but it has "Every Shabbat morning I which smoothed his way in. we have something to offer." hardly nicked Israel. Invest- go to the Kotel and remember Like him, many recent olim That's because the exigen- ment is pouringinto Israeli where I am," Lazarus said. have benefited from the ex- cies of an export-oriented high-tech industry in ever- Of course, such a major pansionoverthepastdecade economy have awakened increasing amounts: about decision as immigration is of a network of programs Israeli employers to the value $1 billion in the first half rarely driven by one factor and organizations that exist of immigrants'understanding of 2011, up 82 percent from alone, said Bensadoun. If to assist immigrants or, like ofandabilitytocommunicate the year before, according economic growth was all Masa, have that effect, with the world outside Israel, to the Israel Venture Capital olimwanted, Brazil would do Masawas founded in 2003. said Karin Kaufman, director Research Center. as well. Loewy, for example, Between 2006-07 and 2009- of career development at IDC Esther Loewy, who found- was raised in an observant 10, the most recent year for Herzliya. ed and now runs Bootcamp home and first made aliyah which numbers areavailable, Ventures, a consultancy that about 20 years ago. But she'll the internship program that connects new companies to call herself a capitalist more channels participants into Development Corporation for Israel investors, helps raise that readily than a Zionist and the Israeli workforce tripled State of Israel Bonds money. So for her, it was the wouldn't have sacrificed her in size to 1,546 placements. 12600 South Belcher Road, Suite I 0l A wealth of opportunities in career to come back. Likewise, the Raphael Re- Largo, Florida 33773 Israel--not a lack of them at Even Giuseppe Calo, 34, canati International School 727-539.6445 1100-6"/2-11017 home--that inspired her to an Italian who immigrated at IDC Herzliya, where stu- immigrate way back in 2005 in March because he wanted dents can earn Israeli un- despite the strength of the to make a career switch, said dergraduate and graduate U.S. economy at the time. the 2010 challenge to Israel's degrees in English, has grown "People would ask me, naval blockade of Gaza made from 20 overseas students in  'Why, why would you leave him more determined to 2002 to 1,250, said Jonathan IOlY/A_IL DUIN 1J New York?'" said Loewy. "I do so. Davis, who heads the school, " .............. Orthodoxy to found a Re- form congregation and later became president of the International Federation for Secular and Humanistic Judaism, died Sept, 27 in Morristown, N.J., at 80. Rosenblum was active in a variety of New Jersey and U.S. Jewish organizations. His wife, Esti; told the New Jersey Jewish News that Rosenblum "was devoted to Judaism. Not the faith, but Judaism as a Civilization and a culture." Write to the Eulogizer at Last year, for the first time, potential employers asked her to set up job fairs specifically for international students, Kaufman said: "Olim close the gap between Israel and the rest of the world." Of course, from Israel's perspective, these aliyah numbers are still quite small, Landau said. On a macroeco- nomic level, even an aliyah of 40,000, much less 4,000, doesn't move- the needle much. The significance of the economic olim lies in qual- ity, not quantity, Landau said. "What's nice about these people is that they are educated," he said. "They have a great potential to give. But let's not get car- ried away. ' Still, economically mo- tivated immigrants' high levels of education andtrain- ing, combined with the in- creasingly effective support network they are finding in Israel, also signals the potential for a new sustain- ability among these desirable immigrants unlike, say, the younger Esther Loewy who, she says now, "didn't do her homework" when she first attempted aliyah. The question, Landau points out, is how Israel, -flow that it has joined the marketplace of nations, will fare in attracting immigrants should its economy lose its luster. The very fact that Is- rael is competing with other countries for immigrants on the strength of its economy more than any ideology re- fleets a larger shift in intern a- tional and Israeli perception, Waxman said. " "Israel has become nor- malized," Waxman said. "It doesn't live off its founding myths any longer." Normal life sounds good to Margulis. "I have a really nice girl- friend," he said, "It's looking good. It's a bit on the. early side, but hopefullyirS is the one." e ikof; Helen Ch rn .is a staff writer for the New York Jewish Week, from which this article was reprinted by permission. Sheryl Weitman Executive Director Reva Pearlstein Assistant Director Monica DiGiovanni Registered Representative