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October 31, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 31, 2014
 

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 31, 2014 LAKE MARY When Is- raeli-born psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar began teaching a class called Positive Psy- chology at Harvard in 2006, a record 855 undergraduate students signed up for his class. Droves of students at the academically intense university came to learn, as the course description puts it, about "psychological aspects of a fulfilling and flourish- ing life." Speaking to the Harvard crimson, Prof. Ben-Shahar attributed the class' high numbers to one simple factor: "...People want to be happy. Whether it is at Harvard or any other place, people want to be happier. There are over 200 campuses just in the United States alone where positive psychology is being taught, and on most campuses it is one of the, if not the, largest class." Over the last 50-odd years modern psychology has focused predominantly on mental illness, yet in recent years the emphasis has be- gun to pivot away from what makes life miserable, toward the positive: What makes life worth living? What makes happy people happy? And while this may be a relatively new topic for psychologists, it's one that was addressed by Jewish wisdom and mysti- cism centuries ago. Beginning this November, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) will present How Happiness Thinks: Jew- ish Perspectives on Positive Psychology, the institute's new six-session fall 2014 course. The course will be offered in two locations: Oakmonte Vil- lage, 1001 Royal Gar- dens Cir. Lake Mary, Fla. Six Mondays beginning Nov. 3 -Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Chabad of South Or- lando instructed by Rabbi Yosef Konikov, 7504 Uni- versal Blvd. Orlando, Fla. Six Tuesdays beginning Nov. 11 - Dec. 16, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI's headquarters in New York says that being happy can depend on one's per- spective, explaining, "How Happiness Thinks is based on the premise that to be happy, you can either change the world, or you can change your thinking." While drawing on 3,000 years of Jewish wisdom on happiness, the course, which was prepared in partnership between JLI and the Wash- ington School of Psychiatry, builds on the latest observa- tions and discoveries in the field of positive psychology. How Happiness Thinks of- fers participants the chance to earn up to 15 continu- ing education credits from the American Psychological Association (APA), Ameri- can Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), California Board of Behav- ioral Sciences (CBBS), So~:ial Work Board of the State of Maryland, and the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), "How Happiness Thinks brings together modern re- search in positive psychology and ancient Jewish wisdom," explains Prof. Ben-Shahar, a renowned expert in the field who h-as authored five books and today teaches at IDC Herzliya, "This marriage between theology and science can bring about significant positive change in individuals and communities." The course explores to what degree surroundings and circumstances effect ones overall happiness, po- tential challenges to living a joyous life, and whether G-d cares if people are happy or not. "The course focuses on ways to overcome the chal- lenges that get in the way of our happiness, including stress, grief and self-concept," says Rabbi Yanky Majesky the local JLI instructor in Lake Mary. "But we're also going to discuss techniques to boost our happiness such as humil- ity, gratitude and meaningful living." Responding to those that said his class was too easy for an institution as academical- ly rigorous as Harvard, Prof. Ben-Shahar told the Boston Globe that it might seem that way, but only because of the deep effect the subject had on the participant's lives. "Most things we find interesting, we also find easy." Like all previous JLI programs, How Happiness Thinks is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and at- tendees need not be affiliated with a particular Synagogue, temple, or other house of worship. Interested students may call Chabad of North Or- lando at 407-878-3011 or Chabad of South Orlando at 407-354-3660 or visit www. myJLI.com for registration and other course-related information. JLI courses are presented in Metro Orlando in conjunction with Chabad of Orlando. When the Jewish Teen Education Network (JTEN) was created last spring by the Jewish Federation, one of the three main areas of concentration was commu- nity-wide Jewish learning for Central Florida teens. While the Hebrew High model was no longer working, the one thing many families ex- pressed concern about was the.ability for their teens to have time with other Jewish teens outside of their own synagogue. Having a day (or two) each year where all teens could come together and learn together was im- portant to both the parents and teens. On Sunday, Nov. 9, the first of these programs will take place. The program, "Justice: What Will You do Today?" will be a day of activism and a call to action. In Deuteronomy 16:20, it says "Justice, justice, you shall pursue." But for many, fhe concept of justice seems like too much for one person to even strive for. And for teens, it can seem even more daunting. There are so many causes, so many questions, so few answers. Working with renowned activist Naomi Ackerman, teens will have an opportu- nity to ask those questions. They will look at what Juda- ism teaches, and how to apply that to actions. Ackerman W'ill provide teens with a chance to look at how to become an activist within their family, local commu- nity and global community. Through full group sessions and smaller breakout ses- sions, teens will enjoy time together delving into issues that are important to them and enabling them to find their voice when it comes to action. To register for the program, go to www. jfgo.org, or call Lisa Sholk 407-261-31751 ........ J lenna via VIC aun Rabbi Neely at a previous "Conversations" gathering. Rabbi Joshua Neely of Temple Israel will continue his series from 2013, "Con- versations with the Rabbi," back by popular demand, on Sunday, Nov. 9, 4 p.m., at Brown's New York Deli in Maitland. The entire community is cordially invited to attend. No RSVP is necessary and there is no charge. Rabbi Neely has presented numerous topics of conversation at various locations throughout Cen- tral Florida. Brown's New York Deli is located on the corner of 17-92 and Lake Avenue in Maitland. For more information about this event and future "Conver- sations with the Rabbi," please call the synagogue office at 407-647-3055. Custom Print Marketing Invitations & ~ts Di~ta] & Ofl~t Printing Brod'~res & Booklets D~ Mail Set'vices Fom~ & Le~ Envelopes 407-767-7110 ~wv.eleg~ntprinfir~.net - Mentim This Ad and Peceive 18% [:~x~t - HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 Although physically Ho- rizon Bay is in Altamonte Springs, the residents' souls were transported to Vienna when world-renowned concert violinistMati Braun performed a collection of pieces from that region, accompanied by equally gifted Holly Small. By Linda Gradstein The Media Line Rina Avner knew she had found something special when she hit the large stone during an excavation outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. The stone, weighing one ton, had awell-preserved Latin inscription. Research- ers say this is among the most important Latin in- scriptions ever found in Jerusalem. "First I had a wave of adrenaline surge through me, and then I gotall sweaty when I saw the inscription," Avner told The Media Line as she stood near the giant stone on display in front of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem for the first time. "I knew this was a rare find." Originally uncovered in July, it was unveiled this week and will eventually be shown to the public. Avner said it is one of the high- lights of a 30-year career as an archaeologist'who has Sponsored by The Jewish Pavilion and Horizon Bay Lake Orienta, Julie Levitt, a program director for the Jewish Pavilion, organizes monthly musical Sunday afternoons. "Not only do the artists show such passion within specialized in the much-later Byzantine period. The huge stone was actual- ly the second half of another inscription found in the late 19th century, and currently displayed in the courtyard of an Italian monastery in Jerusalem. The inscrip.tion is a dedication to the Emperor Hadrian from the 10th Ro- man Legion, and has the date of 129 A.D. inscribed. That is the year that Hadrian visited Jerusalem. "I haven't seen anything like this before," Avner Ecker, a doctoral student who was called to decipher the inscription, as he traced the large Roman letters. "The first two lines are the genealogy of the Emperor Hadrian, and then the dedi- cation. It was on the top of a monumental arch like a decoration." The Israel Antiquities Authority undertook the excavation as a "salvage excavation" in preparation for a shopping center being their music, but what makes these more meaningful is that they bring such joy to the residents," said Levitt. There is an amazing sched- ule planned and all are wel- come and encouraged to attend these free concerts, with ice cream sundaes and built at the site. The stone had apparently been used as part of a monumental arch. In ancient times, however, it was customary to recycle building materials and the large stone was apparently repurposes in a floor sur- rounding a giant water cistern. There are few Latin in- scriptions in Jerusalem, and this is believed to be one of the most important. It also gives credence to the theory that the Jewish revolt against the Romans, which erupted three years after the date of the inscription, was because of harsh treatment of the Jews. Hadrian was known for anti-Jewish decrees and efforts to get the Jews to convert. The inscription from the Tenth Legion is further proof that the Roman army was in Jerusalem. It is not clear if the Jews rose up independently against their Roman rulers in what is called the Bar Kochba revolt, brownies served following the performance. The next Sunday musical afternoon will be Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. with entertainment by Morey Solomon. For more information or to get involved please contact 407 -678-9363. or were provoked by harsh Roman decrees. Archaeologist Avner de- scribed the process of lifting the one-ton stone out of the ground. "First you dig around it then you attach belts to it and lift it up by tractor," she said. "You prepare a wooden platform and then you ease the stone onto the platform." The inscription On the lo- cal limestone was sharp and clear, even after 2000 years. Avner says she hopes it will further increase interest in archaeology in Jerusalem. "People should know where they live," she said. "They should be more aware of what was here before we built houses on top of ev- erything." What about the planned shopping mail? As this find was close to the bedrock, and archaeolo- gists are sure there is noth- ing more to excavate, the construction will go ahead.