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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 21, 2014 Chabad From page 3A piece in the Heritage Jewish News April 11 issue, "I ask you please in honor of Rashi and Rivky to open your heart and mind and give yourself, your family and your spouse the gift and chance to visit the mikveh at least once... Rashi just finished building a beautiful mikveh in her community for the women to use. She was so proud of the new beautiful looking spa and has had so many women from her community use it in the short time that it was opened." Majesky was heartened by the overwhelming response to her letter. She had expected to counsel and guide congre- gants individually, but put together a three-day mikveh readiness course to create a community of learners in- vested in mikveh education. On Tuesday, July 8, 10 women from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds joined Majesky in her Lake Mary home for a class appropriately titled "Mikveh Madness." During the first session, Majesky aimed to remove the mystery behind the mikveh. She noted," For many, mikveh is a taboo topic that they are not so familiar with. "Chan- shy recounted that the word mikveh was rarely spoken in her own home, even though her mother was the "mikveh lady" or attendant at the Maitland area mikveh at the Maitland Chabad Center. Majesky hoped to create a dialogue that women in class could continue at home with their own daughters. Majesky explained that a mikveh was much more than a ritual bath performed by married, observant women. She added that many Jewish women observe the practice of the mikveh, and not just from the Orthodox community. She considered the mikveh to be a mitzvah of the high- est order, explaining, "This is such a powerful mitzvah that Torah says brings blessings for the children, the home and marriage. It is even more important than having a shul or a Torah! Mikveh enhances a marriage, creates peace in our relationships with our spouse and has a lot of physi- cal and spiritual benefits from attending." The class learned that the ritual immersion of the mikveh is used for three pur- poses: married women (family purity), conversions, and the koshering of utensils. The "Mikveh Madness" course focused on the family purity aspect, which Majesky shared is often misunder- stood. The four-stage process in the observation of the mikveh involve family pu- rity and include: separation, preparation, sanctification, Justice From page IA A Facebook group is being established to allow them to share the things they are do- ing, encourage others to do more and to inform each other of the issues. Finally, everyone had a chance to "shop" at the social action marketplace, an area set up with pamphlets and information from over 20 local, national and global organizations. Every evaluation that the teens filled out had an over- whelmingly positive review of the day. More than half of those present volunteered to work on helping create further programming. Some of the comments included: "Today I learned how to make a difference in small but important ways." "Today I realized how lucky I am, and how bad other people have it around the world, and I need to appreciate my life." And, "Every positive thing I do can make a difference, and everyone has the power to make change." Thanks to the generous support of the Bromberg Family and the Wladis Fam- ily, the community teens left feeling that they had a new understanding of the words of Deuteronomy 16:20 "Tze- dek Tzedek Tirdof" (Justice, Justice you shall pursue.) JTEN is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Beth Schafer, Naomi Ackerman and Erin Mooalem led the breakout sessions at JTEN Day of Jewish Learning. Cohen From page 4A raeli government policy" in the run-up to the Iraq war. "However," Greene observes, "it is not clear that if Blair had been more critical of Israel, there would have been less of an opportunity for the far left to promote anti-Zionism"-- which it duly did by aligning the slogan "Freedom for Pales- tine" alongside exhortations to oppose the war that toppled Saddam Hussein. While the far left miserably failed to turn the anti-war protests into an electorally successful political move- ment, it did succeed in export- ing its anti-Zionist principles into much of the mainstream liberal left--which helps explain why one of the first acts of Sweden's new left-wing government was to recognize Palestine as an independent state. If the left-wing Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo is correct when he gushes that "anti-Zionism is synonymous with leftist world politics," then responsible voices on the left need to consider where that will take them. The fact is that, in the west, "Palestine" is now the primary cause of anti-Jewish violence and anti-Semitic sentiment. That is less shocking when you realize that incitement against Jews, demonization of Zionism, and terrorist vio- lence against Israelis is what defines the present strategies of the main rival Palestinian gi'oups, Fatah and Hamas. But itwould take a left-wing leader with guts to declare that there is no place for these politics in our societies, that neither civic, nor social, nor racial equality are advanced by their presence here, that it is time for progressives to give their solidarity to the Yazidis of Iraq and the Rohingya of Burma, and not just the Palestinians. It would take guts to say that critics of Israeli policy need to dissociate themselves from anti-Zionist, elimina- tionist rhetoric if they want to be taken at face value. And it would take guts to defend Muslim minorities from bigotry and racism while, at the exact same time, urging their leaders to confront the anti-Semitism plaguing these same communities. Yet if there does turn out to be a leader on the left who is willing to say these things, then he--or she--is fully deserving of the title "mensch." Ben Cohen is the Shill- man analyst for JNS.org and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publica- tions. His book, "Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Cen- tury Antisemitism" (Edition Critic, 2014), is now available through Amazon. and connection. These steps are synchronized with a woman's menstrual cycle. When awoman has gone seven days without bleeding, she will go to the mikveh for a ritual immersion bath. The mikveh is not taken because a woman is considered unclean during the time of her period. Rather, it is a spiritual renewal. "There is a fringe benefit to the time of separation between her and her husband." Majesky recounted. The "Mikveh Mad- ness" handbook says "Now that she has taken the time and made the space for herself, she is able to be with her hus- band in the ultimate way. She is refreshed after the mikveh, and is able to be intimate with her natural feelings." Majesky revealed that although women use the mikveh "just because G-d asks us to" and there are no reasons for it in the Torah, there are many additional benefits in a marriage result- ing from the mikveh. The Tal- mud reasoned that a"mikveh helps keep romance aflame so that she will be as beloved as on the day of her wedding." Majesky stated, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder in marriages that use the mikveh. A Kinsey Institute study showed that the high- est frequency for relations in people over 35 is by obser- vant Jews. A 1998 Brandeis study showed that only 1.2 percent of marriages fail by observant Jews who keep the PAGE 15A mikveh (versus 52 percent in the general population). She continued, "The Torah knew it before the therapists did. The laws of separation make a couple appreciate all five senses in each other. Every touch is precious, every kiss is sensual, and every hug is intimate. Nothing is taken for granted." As of the New Year, more than 3,000 women have been touched by MikvahlCam- paign, and have partaken in mikveh education. Majesky concluded, "I am utterly inspired by the commitment of Jewish women to visit the mikveh and I am honored to be able to guide them through the process." Schick From page 1A help in many areas--electric bills, rent, counseling, food, and the list goes on. That's what JFS Orlando does. It provides programs and emergency services to strug- gling people and families of all faiths throughout Central Florida. This year, celebrating 36 years in operation, the Friends of JFS honored Schick with the George Wolly Leadership Award. He joins the ranks of fellow recipients Bob Petree, Mimi Hull, Dick Wiener, Joe Hara, Gordon Arkin, Barbara Weinreich, Patti Ambinder, Patty DeYoung, Hope Kramer, Joe Lefkowitz, Harvey Massey, Stanley Shader, Sonia and Lester Mandell, Linda and Rosenbloom From page 5A his teammates should not be "boys will be boys." Nor should we dismiss concerns about websites that publish private, naked photos of celebrities as "the cost of fame." Actress Jennifer Lawrence named it correctly when hackers stole and posted her images online. This wasn't about theft or pi- rating; this was a "sex crime." Only when we place voy- eurism in the mikveh in this larger :ontext--not as a one off, Lut as one more example of what is becoming normalized behavior in our society--can we ask and begin to find answers to how to end gender-based violence. To accomplish this, I sug- gest that we start by asking three questions in each of our communities: Does the environment al- low all community members, Christine DeSouza Phyllis Englander, Sol Schick and Melissa Oeveaux. Bruce Chapin, and Fern and Ivan Lefkowitz. "We're incredibly grate- ful to Sol for his leadership, generosity and friendship to JFS," said Eric Geboff, JFS executive director. "Sol Schick is an exemplary member of our community, and set the bar high for future contributors." even and especially the most vulnerable, to feel respected and valued? Is there a way for any individual who feels devalued to communicate that safely to the leadership, and is the com- munication taken seriously? Are checks and balances in place to assure that author- ity figures (both clergy and lay leaders) are held accountable for their words, their time and their actions? Let's use this opportunity to minimize the possibility of sexual assault, and then let's turn to questions about rabbinic authority and women. Deborah Rosenbloom is a member of Kesher Israel and vice president of programs and new initiatives for Jewish Women International, a Jew- ish organization working to end violence against women and girls. GoAo From page 1A heavily accented English. He delivered his inspirational ad- dress to the GAwithout notes or teleprompter). These are just a few of the many fascinating and heart- warming experiences we had at the General Assembly. I am sure that this is also true for the fifth Orlando participant, Aaron Weil, who spent most of his time with students and on Hillel-related activi- ties. Please visit our Facebook page to see a few photos. If you would like to have these inspiring experiences, I invite you to join us at next year's GA in Washington, D.C., Nov. 9-11, 2015. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future. Shield your eyes (and year family's eyes) from Imradal UV rays. Wear saagtassas wttlt maximom UY pretectiea. i i THEVISlONCOUNCIL HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 21, 2014 Chabad From page 3A piece in the Heritage Jewish News April 11 issue, "I ask you please in honor of Rashi and Rivky to open your heart and mind and give yourself, your family and your spouse the gift and chance to visit the mikveh at least once... Rashi just finished building a beautiful mikveh in her community for the women to use. She was so proud of the new beautiful looking spa and has had so many women from her community use it in the short time that it was opened." Majesky was heartened by the overwhelming response to her letter. She had expected to counsel and guide congre- gants individually, but put together a three-day mikveh readiness course to create a community of learners in- vested in mikveh education. On Tuesday, July 8, 10 women from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds joined Majesky in her Lake Mary home for a class appropriately titled "Mikveh Madness." During the first session, Majesky aimed to remove the mystery behind the mikveh. She noted," For many, mikveh is a taboo topic that they are not so familiar with. "Chan- shy recounted that the word mikveh was rarely spoken in her own home, even though her mother was the "mikveh lady" or attendant at the Maitland area mikveh at the Maitland Chabad Center. Majesky hoped to create a dialogue that women in class could continue at home with their own daughters. Majesky explained that a mikveh was much more than a ritual bath performed by married, observant women. She added that many Jewish women observe the practice of the mikveh, and not just from the Orthodox community. She considered the mikveh to be a mitzvah of the high- est order, explaining, "This is such a powerful mitzvah that Torah says brings blessings for the children, the home and marriage. It is even more important than having a shul or a Torah! Mikveh enhances a marriage, creates peace in our relationships with our spouse and has a lot of physi- cal and spiritual benefits from attending." The class learned that the ritual immersion of the mikveh is used for three pur- poses: married women (family purity), conversions, and the koshering of utensils. The "Mikveh Madness" course focused on the family purity aspect, which Majesky shared is often misunder- stood. The four-stage process in the observation of the mikveh involve family pu- rity and include: separation, preparation, sanctification, Justice From page IA A Facebook group is being established to allow them to share the things they are do- ing, encourage others to do more and to inform each other of the issues. Finally, everyone had a chance to "shop" at the social action marketplace, an area set up with pamphlets and information from over 20 local, national and global organizations. Every evaluation that the teens filled out had an over- whelmingly positive review of the day. More than half of those present volunteered to work on helping create further programming. Some of the comments included: "Today I learned how to make a difference in small but important ways." "Today I realized how lucky I am, and how bad other people have it around the world, and I need to appreciate my life." And, "Every positive thing I do can make a difference, and everyone has the power to make change." Thanks to the generous support of the Bromberg Family and the Wladis Fam- ily, the community teens left feeling that they had a new understanding of the words of Deuteronomy 16:20 "Tze- dek Tzedek Tirdof" (Justice, Justice you shall pursue.) JTEN is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Beth Schafer, Naomi Ackerman and Erin Mooalem led the breakout sessions at JTEN Day of Jewish Learning. Cohen From page 4A raeli government policy" in the run-up to the Iraq war. "However," Greene observes, "it is not clear that if Blair had been more critical of Israel, there would have been less of an opportunity for the far left to promote anti-Zionism"-- which it duly did by aligning the slogan "Freedom for Pales- tine" alongside exhortations to oppose the war that toppled Saddam Hussein. While the far left miserably failed to turn the anti-war protests into an electorally successful political move- ment, it did succeed in export- ing its anti-Zionist principles into much of the mainstream liberal left--which helps explain why one of the first acts of Sweden's new left-wing government was to recognize Palestine as an independent state. If the left-wing Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo is correct when he gushes that "anti-Zionism is synonymous with leftist world politics," then responsible voices on the left need to consider where that will take them. The fact is that, in the west, "Palestine" is now the primary cause of anti-Jewish violence and anti-Semitic sentiment. That is less shocking when you realize that incitement against Jews, demonization of Zionism, and terrorist vio- lence against Israelis is what defines the present strategies of the main rival Palestinian gi'oups, Fatah and Hamas. But itwould take a left-wing leader with guts to declare that there is no place for these politics in our societies, that neither civic, nor social, nor racial equality are advanced by their presence here, that it is time for progressives to give their solidarity to the Yazidis of Iraq and the Rohingya of Burma, and not just the Palestinians. It would take guts to say that critics of Israeli policy need to dissociate themselves from anti-Zionist, elimina- tionist rhetoric if they want to be taken at face value. And it would take guts to defend Muslim minorities from bigotry and racism while, at the exact same time, urging their leaders to confront the anti-Semitism plaguing these same communities. Yet if there does turn out to be a leader on the left who is willing to say these things, then he--or she--is fully deserving of the title "mensch." Ben Cohen is the Shill- man analyst for JNS.org and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publica- tions. His book, "Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Cen- tury Antisemitism" (Edition Critic, 2014), is now available through Amazon. and connection. These steps are synchronized with a woman's menstrual cycle. When awoman has gone seven days without bleeding, she will go to the mikveh for a ritual immersion bath. The mikveh is not taken because a woman is considered unclean during the time of her period. Rather, it is a spiritual renewal. "There is a fringe benefit to the time of separation between her and her husband." Majesky recounted. The "Mikveh Mad- ness" handbook says "Now that she has taken the time and made the space for herself, she is able to be with her hus- band in the ultimate way. She is refreshed after the mikveh, and is able to be intimate with her natural feelings." Majesky revealed that although women use the mikveh "just because G-d asks us to" and there are no reasons for it in the Torah, there are many additional benefits in a marriage result- ing from the mikveh. The Tal- mud reasoned that a"mikveh helps keep romance aflame so that she will be as beloved as on the day of her wedding." Majesky stated, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder in marriages that use the mikveh. A Kinsey Institute study showed that the high- est frequency for relations in people over 35 is by obser- vant Jews. A 1998 Brandeis study showed that only 1.2 percent of marriages fail by observant Jews who keep the PAGE 15A mikveh (versus 52 percent in the general population). She continued, "The Torah knew it before the therapists did. The laws of separation make a couple appreciate all five senses in each other. Every touch is precious, every kiss is sensual, and every hug is intimate. Nothing is taken for granted." As of the New Year, more than 3,000 women have been touched by MikvahlCam- paign, and have partaken in mikveh education. Majesky concluded, "I am utterly inspired by the commitment of Jewish women to visit the mikveh and I am honored to be able to guide them through the process." Schick From page 1A help in many areas--electric bills, rent, counseling, food, and the list goes on. That's what JFS Orlando does. It provides programs and emergency services to strug- gling people and families of all faiths throughout Central Florida. This year, celebrating 36 years in operation, the Friends of JFS honored Schick with the George Wolly Leadership Award. He joins the ranks of fellow recipients Bob Petree, Mimi Hull, Dick Wiener, Joe Hara, Gordon Arkin, Barbara Weinreich, Patti Ambinder, Patty DeYoung, Hope Kramer, Joe Lefkowitz, Harvey Massey, Stanley Shader, Sonia and Lester Mandell, Linda and Rosenbloom From page 5A his teammates should not be "boys will be boys." Nor should we dismiss concerns about websites that publish private, naked photos of celebrities as "the cost of fame." Actress Jennifer Lawrence named it correctly when hackers stole and posted her images online. This wasn't about theft or pi- rating; this was a "sex crime." Only when we place voy- eurism in the mikveh in this larger :ontext--not as a one off, Lut as one more example of what is becoming normalized behavior in our society--can we ask and begin to find answers to how to end gender-based violence. To accomplish this, I sug- gest that we start by asking three questions in each of our communities: Does the environment al- low all community members, Christine DeSouza Phyllis Englander, Sol Schick and Melissa Oeveaux. Bruce Chapin, and Fern and Ivan Lefkowitz. "We're incredibly grate- ful to Sol for his leadership, generosity and friendship to JFS," said Eric Geboff, JFS executive director. "Sol Schick is an exemplary member of our community, and set the bar high for future contributors." even and especially the most vulnerable, to feel respected and valued? Is there a way for any individual who feels devalued to communicate that safely to the leadership, and is the com- munication taken seriously? Are checks and balances in place to assure that author- ity figures (both clergy and lay leaders) are held accountable for their words, their time and their actions? Let's use this opportunity to minimize the possibility of sexual assault, and then let's turn to questions about rabbinic authority and women. Deborah Rosenbloom is a member of Kesher Israel and vice president of programs and new initiatives for Jewish Women International, a Jew- ish organization working to end violence against women and girls. GoAo From page 1A heavily accented English. He delivered his inspirational ad- dress to the GAwithout notes or teleprompter). These are just a few of the many fascinating and heart- warming experiences we had at the General Assembly. I am sure that this is also true for the fifth Orlando participant, Aaron Weil, who spent most of his time with students and on Hillel-related activi- ties. Please visit our Facebook page to see a few photos. If you would like to have these inspiring experiences, I invite you to join us at next year's GA in Washington, D.C., Nov. 9-11, 2015. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future. Shield your eyes (and year family's eyes) from Imradal UV rays. Wear saagtassas wttlt maximom UY pretectiea. i i THEVISlONCOUNCIL