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November 9, 2012

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 9, 2012 In Toulouse, French president vows to fight anti-Semitism By Cnaan Liphshiz MARSEtLLE, France (JTA)--France will clamp down on anti-Semitic hate speech online and elsewhere, French President Francois Hollande said at a press con- ference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu. "Wewill relentlessly combat anti-Semitism, also on social networks where haters may have anonymity," Hollande said at a press conference that he held last Thursday with Netanyahu at the Jew- ish school in Toulouse where three children and a rabbi were murdered in March. In his speech, which fol- lowed a commemorative ceremony dedicated to the attack's victims, Hollande said that he would promote new legislation against hate speech. "We will tear off all the masks, all the pretexts, to anti-Semitic hate," Hollande said. Addressing Netanyahu, he added: "I would like to remind you of the determina- tion with which the French Republic has confronted anti- Semitism, not only with words but with actions." A police report released last week highlighted French security authorities' failures in handling surveillance of Mohamed Merah, the 23-year- old Muslim radical who killed the four Jews on March 19 at Toulouse's Otzar Hatorah school. The attack on the Jewish school came four days after Merah gunned down two French soldiers in a nearby town and eight days after he killed another French soldier in Toulouse. Merah was later shot and killed by police fol- lowing a lengty standoff at his apartment. "Every time a Jew is tar- geted because he or she is Jew- ish, it concerns Israel. That is Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90/JTA French President Francois Hollande, right, meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the ceremony at the Jewish school in Toulouse, Nov. 1. the meaning of your presence here, which I understand," Hollande told Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was making his first visit to France since Hollande was elected president. Netanyahu said that Hol- lande's presence expresses "the spirit of resistance to evil and tyranny." Netanyahu said that "anybody who doesn't respect the human rights of Jews will not respect the hu- man rights of other peoples." He added: "It was not accident that the killer of Toulouse killed not only Jews but also French soldiers, Christian and Muslim alike." Netanyahu ended his speech with nine seconds of vigorous singing of "Am Yisrael Chai," or"the people of Israel live on," in response to "all of Israel's haters, be they in France or at the Dolphinarium or Itamar," the scenes of past attacks by Palestinian terrorists. The chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, ac- companied Netanyahu to Tou- louse. Sharansky announced the establishment of a fund to help upgrade security in Jew- ish communities. The fund will support infrastructure upgrades and other security measures for communal insti- tutions in small Jewish com- munities, including schools and synagogues. Yaacov Monsonego, direc- tor of the Otzar Hatorah school and the father of one of the victims, told Hollande that his presence at the school shoulder to shoulder with Israel's prime minister attested to the French presi- dent's devotion to confronting anti-Semitism. "I let go of Miriam's hand, and two minutes later she was executed just because she was Jewish," Monsonego said, his voice choking with emotion. Merah gunned down his daughter along with two other boys and their father, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler. "Hatred ruined my life and that of my wife, the tragedy plunged us into darkness. We felt alone," Monsonego said. The empathy of the French people, Israelis and Jews and non-Jews from all over the word helped the community return to normal, he said, "but the pain continues to dwell in us." Israeli startup Argo hopes to put paraplegics back on their feet By Ben Sales in September, is the brainchild says the most difficult part of touting the ReWalk's health YOKNE'AM ILIT, Israel (JTA)--Radi Kaiufwas serving in Lebanon in 1988 with the Israel Defense Forces' Golani Brigade when, in the middle of an operation, he took two bullets to the stomach and one to the back. He was lucky to be alive, doctors said, but he would never walk again. Now, Kaiuf mets COowork- ers at eye level, standing with them in the hallway of his workplace, Argo Medical Technologies. It's on the sixth floor of an office building, and if he wanted to he could take the stairs. Four oblong black plastic cases are strapped to Kaiuf's legs and waist and connected to a thin black backpack. In his hands he's holding what look like ski poles. Before walking away, Kaiuf presses a small button atop one of the poles, leans forward ever so slightly, and with the sound of a whir- ring machine, his legs begin to move. In one sense at least, the doctors were right: Without this device, Kaiuf would be confined to a wheelchair. But By Chavie Lieber NEW YORK (JTA)--When Emily Wolper broke her en- gagement six years ago, she promised herself that if the time came when she felt ready to have a child and she was still single, she'd have one on her own. Now 37, Wolper, a college admissions consultant in Morristown, N.J., is under- going in-vitro fertilization treatments. If all goes accord- ing to plan, Wolper will join the growing ranks of Jewish women embarking on the journey to become a single mother by choice. "I didn't want to find myself in my early 40s, childless, and then be in an emergency situation of trying to have children," Wolper told JTA. "Motherhood is way too Ben Sales Radi Kaiuf, who is paralyzed from the waist down, walks using the ReWalk, a device made by Israel's ArgoMedical Technologies that allows paralyzed people to walk, stand, sit and even climb stairs. he is one of six people who, almost daily, use the ReWalk, a 44-pound exoskeleton that allows individuals with spinal cord injuries to walk, stand and sit with minimal exertion. "At the beginning I didn't believe I could walk," said Kaiuf, who nowworks full time at Argo testing the device. "All you know is the wheelchair. It was really incredible. It's fun to walk. It returns me to normal, like everyone else." The ReWalk, which was developed by Argo and released ofAmit Goffer, an Israeli com- puter scientist and inventor who became paralyzed after a 1997 car accident. Although he cannot use the ReWalk him- self because he lacks the use of his arms, he began design- ing the device with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Israeli government because he was frustrated at the lack of alternatives to awheelchair. "It's natural to me that if there's a problem, physics has a solution," said Goffer, 59, who is now Argo's chief technologi- cal officer. He hopes to one day help develop a similar device for quadriplegics, though for now he is focused on launch- ing the ReWalk. The device functions through motors attached to the legs that can propel a disabled person at a slow walking speed. A tilt sensor, the same technology used on Segway electric transporters, can sense whether the user wants to move forward or back, stand or sit. Poles are used for added support. Training for the ReWalk takes about 12 hours over the course of a few weeks. Larry Jasinski, Argo's CEO, the training is getting used to walking and balancing again with only the upper body. "Individuals who got in- jured, they changed the en- vironment around them to live with ramps and function on wheels," said Jasinski. "We give them functionality in a regular environment. There's an emotional component of this product." Though not yet cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Jasinski esti- mates that 250,000 people in the United States and Europe could use the ReWalk. The device is already available in Europe, where 32-year-old Claire Lomas completed the London Marathon with the help ofa ReWalkin May. Lomas walked about two miles of the 26.2-mile course each day, completing it in a little over two weeks. That kind of performance doesn't come cheap: the device costs $65,000 and current models are not expected to last more than five years. Jasinski counters that high-end elec- tric wheelchairs are not much cheaper and added that Argo is working to conduct studies For growing number of Jewish women, single motherhood beckons important to be dependent on finding my man. I'm still looking for him, but I'm ready to have a child." With studies showing American Jewish women marrying at older ages than ever, more and more Jewish women are confronting the choice of whether to become single momswhile it's still bio- logically possible or continue to gamble with those chances and wait for Mr. Right. Many mothers say the deci- sion is the hardest part. Can they raise a kid on their own? Will conservative-minded family or friends ostracize them? Later in life, will their child resent them for it? Then there's the cost. Aside from mothers shouldering the burden of being the sole pro- vider, fertility treatments can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. In Israel, treatments are free for women to have two children. Tehilla Blumenthal, an Israeli psychologistwhowrote her doctoral dissertation on single Jewish mothers, says medical technology that has made it easier for olderwomen to become pregnant has prompted a growing number of Jewish women to try single motherhood. "For most women, the ideal is to get married and have kids," Blumenthal said. "Their biological clocks are ticking, and these women are no lon- ger going to sit around and wait. And when more of the Jewish community is accept- ing this, why should they?" Statistics on Jewish single motherhood are hard to pin- point, but a U.S. group called Single Mothers by Choice says that the number has jumped in recent years. Overall, 30 percent of their 15,000 mem- bers are Jewish. "When I had my oldest son 14 years ago, I only knew of two or three women who had children on their own," said Dvora Ross, 49, an Ortho- dox single mother in Israel who has had three children through artificial insemina- tion. "Today there's basically one kid in each class in Jeru- salem. It's growing rapidly." One 41-year-old Orthodox Jewish doctor in the New York area who recently gave birth to a set of twins through IVF said she was pleasantly sur- prised by how accepting her community has been. "People have been really amazing," she said. "I don't feel different from anyone else, and I don't see myself different and work benefits in an effort to persuade insurance compa- nies to cover part of the cost. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already agreed to help buy ReWalks for injured veterans, and Jasinski is also hoping for assistance from Israel's Defense Minis- try. He noted that using the ReWalk burns fat and builds some muscle. "A healthier person can work better," said Jasinski. "It's easier to work when you can stand up and talk to people. If it becomes clear that the medical benefit outweighs the cost, you will get groups to pay for it." For many currently con- finedtowheelchairs, however, the promise of walking again is priceless. "For them, if you have some- thing that can make you stand, you go to the end of the world to get it," Kaiuf said. "In their dreams, they're still walking. Their dream is to walk." His happiest moment with the ReWalk came when his daughter saw him with it for the first time. "She said, 'Abba, you're tall!'" he recalled. "That made me feel good." Single Mothers by Choice With the rise of medical technology as well as the number of educated women who can support a family themselves, more single Jewish women are opting to have children on their own. from any other family. The only tough part is when people in synagogue ask me what my husband does. It's always embarrassing for both of us." Rachel from California, who asked that her last name be withheld, said she had to switch her son out of several Jewish day schools Women on page 18A