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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 2, 1979     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 2, 1979

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Page 4, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish Hews, November 2, 1979 Editor&apos;s Desk ly Oene 8tarn, Bditor & PublishAr The Whispers Grow Louder I II It seems there are an increasing number of signs pointing toward a new explosion of anti- Semitism in this country. During times of unstable economic conditions, anti-Semitism is rife. Someone has to be a "scapegoat," and who is better equipped than the Jews? Is it historical paranoia? Or historical fact! The people of America are dissatisfied. Everyone is unhappy with inflation, with energy shortages, balance-of-trade deficits, unemploy- rnent, high interest, higher prices, etc., etc. Americans are unhappy with our leadership, with our president, our Congress because our country's ailments are not being corrected. It New Publication doesn't get better, it gets worse. Oil-rich Arab nations are quick to take advantage of this sense of dissatisfaction. They are telling Americans that there can be an end to all of the energy strife by backing off our support for the State of Israel. Israel is the culprit, they are saying. Probably one of the first major ethnic groups to feel the brunt of any economic recession is the Black community, and some Black leaders are quick to jump on the Arab bandwagon, calling for acceptance of the murderous Palestine Liberation Organization and its kingpin, Yasir Arafat. A major Republican presidential candidate, former Texas governer John Connally, was quick to come out openly for a Middle East solution that mouths the Arab line that can only lead to an end to Israel. He apparently feels that enough Americans are ready to accept the anti-Israel, pro- Arab thinking to win him the nomination. Although President Jimmy Carter has denied any association with his brother, Billy, who is very chummy with the Libyan petro-kings, he has Travel Book Tells about Jews in South Amedcan Jewish Land- marks: A Travel Guide and History, Vol. II, The South and Southwest, by Bernard Postal and Lionel Koppman. Fleet Press. New York. $13.95; paper- back S 7.50. Most of us just love to travel, especially motor car trips. And if you're anything like my wife and me, when we visit a strange town, take a luncheon break, or just stopping for the night, we like to see how "Jewish" the town is. We walk through the "Yellow Pages" of the local directory to see if there's a synagogue, maybe a kosher butcher, or some other hint of Jewish life. Now, Bernard Postal and Lionel Koppman have conti- nued their assault on our use of the phone book with their second volume of Amer/can Jewish Landmarks, this one even closer to home than Volume I. It covers the South and Southwest, including Florida. It also makes for interesting reading without the travel, because it's filled with local Jewish history. We're told, for instance, that Moses Elias Levy was Florida's first booster, and played a prominent role in the state's destiny. A successful businessman from St" Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Levy settled in Havana, Cuba, and "first learned of the vast forest and fertile soil of Florida" in 1816. His first visit here was in 1818 and just before Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. in 18]9, Levy "acquired some 60,000 acres in what are now St. Johns, Volusia and Alachua Counties." "By 1820," wrote Postal and Koppman, "he was promoting a fantastic plan for estab- lishing a colony of European Jews in Florida, visiting New York, Philadelphia and Charleston to press his idea on Jewish leaders, and appoin- ted agents in Paris and London to recruit settlers." What fores!ght this Levy guy had! And he goes on to tell the history of Jewish Florida: from Jacksonville to the Keys and almost everything in between. Thurrbing through "Land- marks" ]' discovered that Tennessee was also earmar- ked as a Jewish refuge. Sir Alexander Cuming, a Scotsman, had a scheme in the mid 1700s to colonize up to a million European Jews as "industrious honest subjects" in the eastern part of the state. But he had some ulterior motives, according to Postal and Koppman. He wanted to bring them here and ulti- mately convert them to Christianity. King George II turned down the plan. State after state is filled with such fascinating stories about Jewish settlements, so that "'Landmarks" is not only a great travel reference work, but also a book that makes for interesting reading. From Alabama to Arizona, from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to Virginia. the authors give a Jewish history of the area and then list all of the Jewish landmarks by cities and towns. Among those land- marks are the locations of the synagogues and other Jewish highlights in an area, so this is a recommended companion with your travel maps and other paraphernalia. Probably the only failing of "Landmarks" is that Florida cities have grown too fast for Postal and Koppman keep up with, The Jewish communities of Orlando. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater have virtually exploded in recent years and the authors have been unable to keep pace with the new synagogues, for example, that have sprouted. But we would put "Ameri- can Jewish Landmarks, Vol. I1 on our recommended list ot reference and reading books, alongside of Vol. I (the North- east), and will anxiously await the publication about the Midwest and West. A,.;n,.__ A problem for solving at Jewish the CJF General Assembly by BORIS SMOLAR (Editor-in<hief emeritus, JTA) 1979, Jewish Telegrq)hl Agency, Inc. A new look at the problem of Jewish aged in 'this country and Canada is now being taken by the Council of Jewish Federations. The continuing increase in the Jewish aging popu- lation -- particularly of those over 7.5 years old -- is creating new challenged for the organized Jewish communities. They will be discussed at the CJF General Assembly this month (November 14-18) which will be held in Montreal. Longevity has developed two categories of aged Jews. There are now the "Young Old" and the "'Old Old." In the "Young Old" category are those between 65 and 75years of age; the "Old Old" are those over 75. One can find among the latter many who are over the age of 80 and some even over the age of 90. While among the "Young Old" there is a certain percentage -- not a very large one -- that does not need or want communal aid, this is not the case with those in the category of "'Old Old," whose number is growing and who conslJtute mostly an element of very poor, frail and lonely people in need of support and care. The great majority of the "'Old Old" seek admission into homes for the aged adminis- tered by Jewish communal agencies. However, only a very small percentage are accepted. The number of Jewish community nursing homes throughout the country is comparatively very small -- it is about ! 00 -- and their complement is very limited. A candi- date applying for admission must qualify under Medicaid regulations and must wait many months until a bed becomes available -- usually after the death of a resident. The death rate there is comparatively small; there are some residents in institutions for Jewish aged who exceed the ageof 90, because of the special care they receive. A vastly expanded  of homecare sen/ices wig be required in the I 0s in finding life-sewing alternatives for the growing multitude of "'old olds" for whom no place can be provided in nursing institutions. Increased supportive social and health services will also be needed for the "'young old'" living outside of institutions but getting closer in age'to the "old old" category. Small Jewish communities which have no community institutions for the aged will face the problem of maintaining nursing home care for the growing number of needy elderly in other forms. THE CHALLENGES: The rapidly aging Jewish population in the U.S. is older than any other religious, racial or ethnic group in the country. More than 13 percent of the Jewish population is over 65 years old, compared with the general community norm of 10 percent. In Canada, the Jewish community of Montreal is now planning care and service for 15 percent of its 125,000 Jews. With the American Jewish community having reached a plateau in its birthrate, it is anticipated that in the 1980s one of every six Jews will, by the end of the decade, be over 65. The jump will be about 40 percent over today's proportion of Jews over 65. This calls for new planning perspectives to meet the challenging needs of the "'young old" and the "new old." Such planning is therefore now the command of the time with the Council of Jewish Federa- tions: Already five years ago, in 1974, the median age of Jewish residents in homes for the aged in the U.S. was 83, with 66 percent being over 80 years of age. In housing projects for elderly Jews, the median age was 75. The proportion of aged over 75 is much higher today. The burden on the organized Jewish communi- ties is, of course, also much heavier because of the mounting inflation. MEDICAID AS "BOSS": The most difficult ixoblem is the placing of aged in nursing homes. This is because the actual decision of accepting an applicant into a nursing home -- managed to make a few slips, either on purpose, such as equating the American civil rights movement o the More importantly, unlike ConnalLy outspokenly tied the Israel peace our supply of oil from the Arabs, gives questionable lip service to Israel holding out luscious plums to the and the other Arab countries. :, When Israel is singled, out as the for our economic woes brought on cost of oil, you and I are being Because we are Jews. As such our loyalty to the United States is questioned, sometimes disputed, and love for the State of Israel. My own concern is that we are too about situations like this. Too of! informed about the circumstances oil, Israel, our energy problems, like. We react only after some occurs that makes us angry. turn the other cheek, hoping it will by the next sunrise. But, before it is too late, we must ourselves about the issues at stake. We become active supporters for political is in the best interests of the U.S. can we quiet the anti-lsrael, that are suddenly uncoiling in this circulated by and with the financial Arabs and the power-hungry Americans been deceived into equating oil with Middle East. Reaching 55,000 Jewish readq during the summer) in editions. Published by Heritage Central Inc.. 207 O'Brien Road, Fern Park, FI. 327 postage paid at Fern Park, FL and Subscriptions: $II.00 per calendar year to ($1.00 more to the rest of the U.S. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 742, Fern Park, FL GENE STARN, Editor and NICK RACKOFF. EDITORIAL: Managing Edilolo l iTikt.f Lc:.ale; t 'll,n-Hoth: Bay Buleau Manager. Correspondent, t)HIi I Iq,ll: Contributors, tit'lt'l 11iI<1 lrill. I,iilit'V Mos.'s. PRODUCTION: Denice Lovequist, For ADVERTISING RATES and Informalll, PHONES: Orlando (305) 8314-8787 to Fern I; (305) 834-8277 to Fern Members of Jewish Sen)ice, American including Jewish communal homes -- lies practically in the hands of Medicaid. and not with the communal agencies supervising the institutions. Medicaid regulations provide that an elderly person seeking admission into a nursing insti- tution financed by Medicaid must turn over all income, savings, pension and other property to the Medicaid, and also that the spouse must carry this responsibility. The justification for this policy is that Medicaid covers the full cost of maintenance of the applicant when admitted, so that the aged resident is no longer in need of funds of his own for the rest of his life. Benefitting from this Medicaid system are the poorest of the poor whose income comes mostly from Social Security and who may have insignificant savings. Such elderly Jews are willingly exchanging their small assets for permanent care in a nursing home. Not so the elderly who may have larger savings accumu- lated from better years. Any elderly person who does not want to yield his financial posses- sions to Medicaid, including joint accounts and part of the possessions of the spouse, can only be accepted as an individual paying his own maintenance, which now exceeds $20,000 a year. The Medicaid arrangement -- 'which is a joint program of the federal government and the individual states -- therefore enables only the very poor, or the very rich who can afford to pay for themselves, to enter an institution for eldedy people. What about the aged of the middle-class who are in need of institutional care? This is a question which Jewish communal nursing institutions are not in a position to answer, since the actual "boss" over admission is not the Jewish communal agency directing the institution but Medicaid. The impact of Medicaid on institutions for the aged was reflected in reports from 65 Jewish homes for the aged in a number of communities. The reports said that in 1974 these homes received $83 Medicaid and $1 . was five years ago. With the ! during the five more dependent on INHUMAN ystem has resulted in many middl avoid the handing over Medicaid, some elderly undergoing divorces happy married life. This complies with the provide that after two years aged person can be home without the spouse lity to Medicaid. The savings and other assets to his sole possession. nized by Medicaid and by The American Jewish completed a stud age who face critical housing and the AJCommittee's for the aged, that new directives have the New York State vices indicating that months of physical separation by the eligibility of the person nursing home, independently, income or savings. individual is currently income and allows After the individual is benefits, the state will, tires, determine and will ask for spouse's to a Family Court "spousal responsibi examine the