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December 4, 2009

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 4, 2009 Chanukah From page 16A much of the asking, the con- cept updates to what if Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters has to ask X number of times in letters or e-mail before we respond? Each letter costs, ultimately diminishing your contribution. The fourth step flips the third: Giving as much as is needed before being asked. Think about it. This puts the giver on the lookout for tzeda- kah opportunities. It gets you twittering with finds and on the street, taking note of Jew- ish social service storefronts. People put their entire energies into looking for in- vestments, why not tzedakah? Isn't breaking the poverty cycle the best investment? The fifth step includes the previous elements and adds one more; giving tzedakah when you don't know the recipient but the recipient knows you. It's like having your tzedekah labeled "This gift brought to you by .... " This uneven equation al- lows for corporate boast- ing about its contributions: Remember those ads that ran after Katrina? Still, it's tzedakah. Sixth step: The recipient is known to the giver, the giver is unknown to the recipient. Talk about randomness. Imagine leaving a box of groceries at some unknown yet needful person's doorstep. Food pantries like Sova in Los Angeles or the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry in St. Louis, where "confiden- tiality is strictly enforced," illustrate this concept. As a giver, you know the items are going to someone in need, but they never know you. No. 7: Anonymous giving and receiving. Anonymity is a tough sell today; we are trained from birth to put our names on everything. Historically, in the Temple in Jerusalem there was a darkened room, called "lishkat chasha'im," literally a "chamber of secrets," where the giver could leave money and the poor would receive it without shame. A tzedakah box, or pushke, is a related idea. Pick up a box from your favorite Jewish charity, or make one yourself, and join the righteous ranks of the famous unknown. The highest level, "exceeded by none," Maimonides tells us, is self-sufficiency as a result of outright gifts, loans, part- nerships or "finding employ- ment." At a time when every PAGE 23A dollar for the poor is debated, Maimonides reminds us to "strengthen" the poor. In many cities, Jewish free loan societies, Jewish voca- tional service agencies and international agencies such as ORT help move people toward self-sufficiency. Handicraft workshops for the needy el- derly and disabled such as Yad Lakish in Jerusalem, beauti- fully keep this concept alive. Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles. Yiddish From page 19A Jews). But a full three quarters of Orthodox Jews between the ages of 18 and 24 use it, compared to 12 percent of Orthodox respondents 75 or older. According to the report, "such words and phrases are so important for Orthodox identity that many baalei teshuva (newly Orthodox Jews) make a conscious ef- fort to incorporate them into their speech, even when some people consider them to be incorrect English." Observant Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, whose ancestors never spoke Yiddish in the first place, have adopted Yiddish religious terminology as well. Benor attributes this to the fact that Orthodox communi- ties have in general become more conservative, politically and culturally, in recent years. "Part of that shift to the right is a linguistic shift: some Jews who used to use less distinct English are now incorporat- ing more Yiddishisms into their English," she said. In non-Orthodox Jewish communities, two trends are happening concurrently, the survey found: As members of an older generation die and takes certain language patterns with them, younger Jews are using more Yiddish and Hebrew than before (and certainly more than their more assimilationist parents' generation did). But the words disappearing and those reap- pearing aren't necessarily the same words. Though Jews (and non-Jews) of all ages still say"shmutz" and"mazel tov," seniors are more likely than their grandchildren to use Yiddishisms like "heimish" (homey), "reacher" (big shot), "nuT' (so?), "naches" (pride), and "bashert" (predestined). Where the younger genera- tion is overtaking their grand- parents is with religious ter- minology-Yiddish words like "shul," "daven" and "bentch" (for the blessing after meals). "You see more Jews now identifying as a religious rather than as an ethnic group," Benor said. "Those Yiddish words that are increasing [in use] have to do with religious life" Thus, the phenomenon one survey respondent re- ported: "When I was growing up, I called it temple. When my children went to day school, I called it synagogue. I now call it shul. I am not sure why." Though Jews across the religious spectrum said they would be likely to consider He- brew names for their children, baby names are "an important resource for Jews to indicate intra-Jewish differences." Less observant Jews, they found, are most likely to prefer angli- cized biblical names such as Jacob, Ethan, Hannah or Abi- gaff. Modern Orthodox Jews were most likely to choose modern Hebrew names such as Ezra, Ari, Talia or Eliana, often substituting them for the equivalent Yiddish names of deceased relatives (so, for example, they might name a daughter Tova, meaning "good" in Hebrew, after a grandmother named Gittel). For the most part, only fer- vently Orthodox Jews said they would consider giving a child a Yiddish name like Moyshe, Men@ or Basya. In one of the survey's least surprising find- ings, only 2 percent of Jews said they'd consider naming their baby Christopher. Reprinted from Tabletmag. corn, a new read on Jewish life. Roundup From page 20A of a dictatorial and repres- sive regime," Serra wrote in an article Nov. 23 in Brazil's most influential newspaper, Folha. "After all, we have a recent history of fighting dictatorships, and we have affirmed the ideals of democracy and human .rights in our 1988 Constitution." Wales synagogue to become apartments NEW YORK (JTA)--The oldest synagogue in Wales Monitor From page 21A relationship building and that the worst danger Jews face is isolation," so her personal and professional lives have been devoted to "enlarging the tent and enlarging the table." Conservative bloggers have criticized the nomina- tion, noting that Rosenthal served on the advisory board of J Street, an or- ganization that has called repeatedly for robust debate about Israel-Palestinian issues while backing U.S. pressure on Israel and the Palestinians in pursuit of a two-state solution, criti- cizing Israel's invasion of Gaza and opposing new anti-Iranian sanctions at this time. Critics also point to an opinion piece that she wrote in The New York Jewish Week in which she asserted that pro-Israel events were being "dominated by nar- row, ultra-conservative views of what it means to be pro-Israel." Conservative bloggers also noted that Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, issued an open letter criti- cizing Rosenthal's claims. Foxman could not be reached for comment-- his office said he was on a plane. But the ADL did issue a statement quoting will be converted into apart- ments. The renovation of the synagogue in Merthyr Tydfil, a town with a population of 30,000, is pending permis- sion by the city council, re- ported the Jewish Chronicle, a British newspaper. Built in the 1870s, the synagogue is now empty and the target of vandals. It had been used as a Christian com- munity center and a gym after the synagogue closed in 1983, according to the Chronicle. A renovation and leasing company plans to turn the building into eight apart- ments while leaving the outside of the building in- tact, as a historic landmark, according to the Chronicle. The synagogue's stained glass windows, sporting Magen Davids, will be preserved as a condition of the planning permission, the report said. Some 2,000 Jews live in Wales, with about a dozen in Merthyr Tydfil. Mendel Kaplan, ex-Jewish Agency board chair, dies NEW YORK (JTA)--Men- del Kaplan, a prominent South African Jewish leader and philanthropist, has died. Kaplan, a billionaire steel magnate who served as board chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel for nearly a decade, was 73. A champion of Jewish edu- cation and Russian aliyah to Israel, he was board chairman of the Jewish Agency from 1987 to 1995. Kaplan also was chairman of Keren Hayesod's World Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1987 and national chair- man of the Israel United Appeal, South Africa, from 1978 to 1987. He established the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town and the SouthAfrican Jewish Museum, and was one of the first funders of the City of David excavation. "Few, if any, have done as much to build South African Jewry into the dynamic, vi- brant community it is today," said the chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Zev Krengel. He said that Kaplan could be called"the father of the South African Jewish community." Kaplan, who authored sev- eral books, made his fortune in the South African steel industry, and for the past 35 years had residences in Israel and South Africa, according to The Jerusalem Post. Solution to Sudoku on pg. 7 894176352 Foxman as saying that"this appointment signals the continued seriousness of America's resolve to fight anti-Semitism." Rosenthal said that she has served as a member of J Street's advisory council because "there's genuine concern about how we pro- ceed in the Middle East and I happen to believe that the status quo is unacceptable." She believes that some of the controversy over J Street can be attributed to generational issues. "If the older generation doesn't look to the younger generation for ideas and support," she said, "we're going to be isolated and so will Israel." Rosenthal said the Mid- dle East will be one of the areas with which she'll be dealing in her new job. "Some of the criticism Is- rael sees and its isolation in the United Nations clearly comes from a place of anti- Semtism, but not all of it does," she said. "We need to call out anti-Semitism when it's there." Rosenthal said she also is concerned about the in- crease in Holocaust denial around the world, especial- ly from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as reports of recent upsurges in anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Holocaust denial "is de- spicable," she said. "Anyone who denies the Holocaust happened must be con- fronted immediately." Rosenthal said she didn't seek the anti-Semitism po- sition-she actually was ad- vocating for someone else in the role--when Obama administration official Mi- chael Posner suggested she might be the right person for the job. Rosenthal knew Posner, now the assistant secretary of state for democracy, hu- man rights and labor, from her time at JCPA. "I was comfortable in Madison, Wis.," she said, "but he was very insistent." Rabbi Steve Gutow, who succeeded Rosenthal at the helm of JCPA and has known her since the early 1990s, said he thinks Rosenthal is "ideal for this position" because not only is she a committed Jew, but she has a talent for "seeing under the surface" and a "disarming way about her." Rosenthal has that "sort of let's have a conversation" type of personality, Gutow said, in which she can sit down with those who claim they are not anti-Semitic and "help them be able to see it?' Rosenthal's predecessor in the anti-Semitism post, Gregg Rickman, said he 123549768 doesn't know Rosenthal, but "I don't doubt for one 6 5 7 8 2 3 9 4 1 second her qualifications and think she'll do a mar- velousjob." 5 1 9 6 3 8 2 7 4 Rickman said he hopes she willpayparticularat- 7 6 8 2 1 4 5 9 3 tention to venues such as the U.N. Human Rights C ouncil, which he said is 3 4 2 9 5 7 1 8 6 dedicated to solely going afterqsrael, and Arab coun- 4 8 1 3 9 5 6 2 7 tries, where bias against Jews is often cloaked in clever language. 2 7 5 4 6 1 8 3 9 ,, , ,, If she s unequivocal on that, he said, "she'll be very 9 3 6 7 8 2 4 1 5 successful." Maurice Lawn Care Maintenance. Landscaping. Irrigation 407.462.3027 mauricelawncare@yahoo, corn ............... ~o~ ............. ~.. ~ ........ ~ ......... ....... ~. ~. ~. ...... ~, .......... ~~~~, ~ .~ ~ ~