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November 21, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 21, 2003
 

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~.~RITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 21, 2003 II a ham Joe Berkofsky tribe but of a people--and not only a people, but a religious MINNEAPOLIS Minn. people covenanted to God." In Judaism, he added, "a change of name takes place when a many Reform Jews-- personoragroupundergoesa y happened, change in essence." That trans- gathered at the formation is taking place in biennial of the Union of the Reform movement, Yoffie Hebrew Congrega- said. in Minneapolis, yet few Since its founding 130 years to have much passionago, Reform Judaism has gone the impending vote to from a German Jewish move- the venerable syna- ment advocating enlighten- association's name to ment and emancipation from Union for Reform Juda- ritualtooneseekingmoretra- dition and more active partici- The sentiments of Stephen pation in Jewish life. president of one of the Reform has grown into "the and most prestigiouslargest and most dynamic re- congregations in ligious movement in Ameri- ca, the Stephen can Jewish life," Yoffie said, Wise Free Synagogue on with 1.5 million membersand Upper East Side, 920 congregations. Studies ~re typical: The name- bear that out. "is silly," Lynn said. "I Of the 46 percent of 4.3 rail- I'll still come to the lion Jews who claim affiliation But that was with a synagogue, 39 percent the Nov. 7 vote. identified as Reform, compared president of the body to 33 percent Conservative; 21 more than 900 percent Orthodox; 3 percent Rabbi Reconstructionist and 4 per- urged the name cent other, according to the in a speech that National Jewish Population on the spiritual. Survey 2000-01. "are not unimpor- In the past decade, Reform "in Jewish tradition, Yoffie Judaism grew 4 percent, while the Conservative movement to the weekly To- fell 8 percent in t~'ms of affili- ation. and the vote, Reform attributes some of said, "Abram becomesits success to its outreach to and Sarai becomes unaffiliated Jews, and its em- ~are brace of non-Jewish spouses of Jews. Yet the congregational um- brella has found it difficult to win acceptance in wider circles, Yoffie said, in part be- cause of an "awkward" moni- ker. The UAHC was founded in an era when "Hebrew was considered a genteel substi- tute far more acceptable in Christian society," he said. Today, the term Judaism "plainly asserts our Jewish identity?' Apparently hoping to ease the concerns of the more cost-conscious among the group, Yoffie said that the change of stationery and signs at summer camps should cost little. The new name required a two-thirds vote, by a show of hands, of the 4,500 delegates to the biennial. Yoffie hoped to avoid zi floor fight on the day of the vote, telling the assembly that after a handful of failed name changes over 60 years, the UAHC's 270-member board took great pains to devise the new name. But the debate went on. Asked for delegates' views, a few dozen people quickly as- sembled to say yea or nay. One critic was Rabbi Eric Wisnea, of Congregation Beth Chaim, in Princeton Junction, N.J who echoed other oppo- nents in saying the move should be low on the list of organizational concerns. "I don't ever have a congregant who calls me and marshmallow and a ELLA CRESPIN dressed as Noah tells stories to the ECLC students in front of the ark as part of the Adven- tures Through the Years program. South "Adventures Through the Year" Center-South Early Childhood Learning Center an "Adventures Through the Year" program to celebrate the Jewish customs and historical events. Through various interactive stations, children ~ lS months through 5years had the opportunity to bake a Challah, make an edible snack, perform a mitzvah by decorating a get well card for children who in the iear stories told by Noah, who brought along his ark full of was had by all of the ECLC students. Thanks to the parent and who helped make this year's event a great success. Meeropol, the son the JewishCommunityCen-during the Cold War. This and Ethel ter in Maitland. eventwiiibefreetoJCCmem- willbe speaking The Rosenbergs were thebers; a $3 charge witl apply for life and readingonly Americans ever to be ex- nonmembers. For more in- newest book, "Anecuted forespionageand their formation, call JCC Cultural Family,"on story is a poignant chapter in Arts Director A! Krulick, at 8 at 1 p.m at the history of American Jewry 407-645-5933, ext. 314. PAGE 13 I I I says, 'Just change the name, and I'll write a check to HVAC or whatever it is!' " Wisnea said. Others, such as David Ellenson, president of the movement's seminary, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, echoed Yoffie's call. "Names have tremendous significance," Ellenson said. In a post Sept. 11-era of reli- gious fanaticism, "it is impor- tant for us to express who and what we are, and to do so proudly." After a handful of people on either side weighed in, a revolt suddenly seemed possible. But one delegate cut off the debate by using the parliamen- tary rule of"calling the ques- tion"--forcing a vote by show of hands. Citing a famous biblical phrase from Genesis, this del- egate said the "gap between 'lech' and Tcha' "--God's call to Abraham to leave his home- land for the land God would show him--was "too wide" on the issue. The name change passed immediately--and over- whelmingly. The group's offi- cial new name is the Union for Reform Judaism: Serving Re- form Congregations in North America. And movement officials seemed confident of the switch long before the vote. They had already registered the new Web domain, www.urj.org. ESTHER COHEN holding a UJC tribute card de- signed by local artist, Joanne Fink of Lakeside Designs. JFGO Tribute Cards The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando raised more than $1,700,000 last gear. Funds supported vital health and humanitarian services for Jews in this local community, in Israel and around the world. In addi- tion, $10,000 was raised by tribute cards, which can be sent for any occasion. To send a card, please contact Diane Nachman at 407-645-5933 or e-mail her at dianen@orlandojewishfed.org. Haydee's Kitchen C tering Kosher & Non-Kosher ~~ Telefax 407-344-0270 ~/~t)~ ~Cellular 407-301-0127 ~1~,~ (~ emaii HaydeesKitchen@aol.com ~-- www. HaydeesKitchen.com Winter Park Farmers Market Saturdays 7 to 1 FIRST WE LISTEN THEN WE DELIVER! YOUR ONE-STOP INSURANCE SHOP FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS PERSONAL COVERAGES: Automobile Homeowners Umbrella Life & Health Disability Income Long Term Care Nursing Home Annuities BUSINESS COVERAGES Multi-Peril Packages Fire Liability Workers' Compensation Group Insurance of All Kinds And All Other Related Insurance Products II I I Marshall L. Helbraun Quick & Associates, Inc. Insurance Agency 1300 S. 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