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December 18, 2009

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 PAGE 5A By Gregg Rickman and one of Ms. Rosenthal's many voy to monitor and combat and activelytrytodevelopthe "Zionists" for all the ills of goeasyontheminherreports. Rafael Medoff challenges, anti-Semitismwasestablished weapons that would enable the world, they must be de- She may find herself under There can be no doubt that in 2004 in response to the them to do that--they should nounced, pressure from U.S. govern- WASHINGTON (JTA)-- anti-Semitism continues to frightening proliferation of be taken as seriously as anti- When fanatics inanycoun- mentofficialswhobelievethat Hannah Rosenthal, President manifestitselfacrosstheglobe, anti-Jewish hatred around Semitic leaders in the 1930s try try to mask their anti- having friendly relations with Obama's nominee for the post and in a wide range of forms, the world. The late Rep. Tom should have been taken. Semitism as opposition to Is- a particular regime is more of special envoy to monitor InSweden, a prominent news- Lantos (D-Calif.), later joined When Arab regimes teach raei or Zionism, they mustbe important than speaking out and combat anti-Semitism, paperrecentlyaccusedIsraelis by Sen. George Voinovich (R- their schoolchildren to hate exposed. The U.S. position on against anti-Semitism in that certainly has her work cut of kidnapping Arabs in order Ohio) and Rep. Chris Smith Jews while glorifying violence this question, as articulated country. out for her. to harvest their organs. In (R-N.J.), initiated the legisla- and denying the Holocaust in last year's report by the We hope she resists these According to the latest Honduras, politicalfiguresand tion that created the position, ever took place, they must be State Department's Office to pressures and stands up for report from the Organization pundits are blaming Jews for Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, challenged--especially when Monitor and Combat Anti- those who were denied such for Security and Cooperation the country's political crisis, sawechoesofadarkpastinour the United States is in a posi- Semitism, isthat"thedemoni- help during the darkest of in Europe, hate crimes remain In Hungary and Austria, far- own era, both in the spread of tiontouseitsaidandinfluence zation of Israel or vilification period in human history, the "a serious problem" in the right extremists are exploit- anti-Semitism worldwide and withthoseregimesasleverage, of Israeli leaders, sometimes Holocaust. If she does, she OSCE's 56 member states, ing the democratic system to the failure of Western democ- When Holocaust deniersthrough comparisons with willhave served her office well Yet, incredibly, only eight of significantly increase their racies to speak out against it. claimthattheNazis'slaughter Nazi leaders, and through and upheld our nation's noble the 56 governments provided representation in parliament. Obviously there are vast of 6 million Jews is a myth the use of Nazi symbols to humanitarian legacy. the OSCE with data on recent And here at home, in Edison, differences between the Hitler circulated by an international . caricature them, indicates an Gregg Rickman served as anti-Semiticincidentsintheir N.J., a yeshiva student was period and our own era. At Jewishpropagandamachine-- anti-Semitic bias rather than the first U.S. special envoy countries. Clearly there are assaulted by anti-Semitic the same time, it is important that, too, must be recognized avalid criticism of policy con- to monitor and combat anti- regimes that hope to preserve thugs on Rosh Hashanah and to recognize today's serious as anti-Semitism, cerningacontroversialissue." Semitism, from 2006 to 2009. theircountry'simagebywhite- a synagogue was daubed with dangers. When extremists cynically Some of the governmentsRafaelMedoffisdirectorofThe washing local anti-Semitism, swastikas on Yom Kippur. When Iranian leaders manipulate United Nations that Ms. Rosenthal investi- DavidS. Wyman Institute for Confronting them will be The position of U.S. en- threatentoannihilateIsrael-- forums to blame Israel and gates surely wiil lean on her to Holocaust Studies. By Judah Maccabee Editor's note: The following was adapted from the author's speech upon accepting the No- bel Peace Prize. Special thanks to Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Potomac, Md., for passing it along. OSLO (JTA)--Ladies and Gentlemen of the Nobel Com- mittee, I would like to thank you for bestowing upon me this prestigious honor. I am humbled and deeply grateful to you for recognizing the significance of the victory we have recently won against the Selucids. I accept the award today not just for myself, but on behalf of my brothers and my late father, Mattathias,who inspired us, as well as all those who fought with us. I come here from Jerusalem where we just lit a small cruse ofoil in the Temple after clean- ing things up and holding a ceremony of rededication. We are hoping the light will last a few days. If we can get it to last eight days, some say it will be a real miracle. I recognize at the outset that some have been critical of the committee for its selection. There will be those who find it ironic that this prize would be Judah Maccabee bestowed upon a man who led fighters in battle. But in making their decision, the members of the Nobel Committee recog- nize that there are times when it is necessary to resort to force to fight for important principles and to procure a secure peace. War has been with us since the beginning of time, and I fear and suspect that this will not be the last one to be fought. Yet we must never stop wanting and working for peace. As a small minority living in the province of Judea, our people faced a difficult choice and were presented with few options. The Syrian Empire and its cruelkingAntiochus Epiph- anesattemptedtoimposetheir Not just to seek peace, but to negotiations must always be president will express (even if will upon us. They desecrated pursue peace, the first course of action, it he doesn't acknowledge that our holy sites, destroyed our Our rabbis are currently must not be an end in and of the source is the Torah), is the places of worship, ruthlessly beginning work on developing itself, for peace is much more concept of a "just war" as well attacked us and wanted us to the liturgy that will become than the absence of war. as oftheimportance of sparing give up our unique teachings the standard form of prayer In our recent conflict for civilians from violence. Our toconformtotheirways.There for our people and which we example, when our people soldiers abide by a concept we were those among my people hope will last and be used for were attacked on Shabbat, we have introduced to the world who wanted to go along with thousands of years. Although wereconfrontedwithadifficult knownas"toharneshek"--the themandwerewillingtoadopt their work is not yet complete, dilemma. The enemy knew of purity of arms. We are proud the Greek way of life. I am free to let you know that our traditions and of our com- to maintain that principles of Yet my brothers and those the liturgy committee recently mitment to pursuing peace moralitymustbefollowed, even who joined us realized that made an important decision: and of our reluctance to raise when waging war. All of these to do so would mean cultural We will include two prayers arms, especiallyontheholyday notionsarefoundinoursacred genocide (a word that will be for peace, "Sim Shalom" and ofrest. picaloftheircruelty, scroll, theTorah, and are being inventedin about 2,000years), "Shalom Rav, " at the end of they assumed that we would expanded and refined by our andwould have resulted in the each service. (The music com- be passive and not resist. Our sages as we speak. end of our religion, our people mittee has already come up rabbis debated and concluded Our people understand all andourwayoflife.Quitesimply, with a number of ways to sing that there are times when it too well that there is a delicate wewerenotwillingtoallowthis the two different prayers, so is justified to take up arms in balancebetweenpeaceandwar. to happen, we think it will be a hit.) These self-defense. I close by citing the words of To quote from a future are but a few examples of our One day a recipient of this the prophet Zechariah: "Not president of a nation who will passionatedesiretobringpeace same Peace Prize, onewhohas by might, nor by power, but one day address this body, "To to the world, come to understand that there by My spirit, says the Lord of say that force may sometimes And yet we must have a are times when war is neces- Hosts. "Let us hope and work be necessary is not a call to sober view of reality. There are sary, may even say something for a lasting peace, a peace cynicism--it is a recognition some who will not respond to that our sages would teach: predicateduponrespectingthe of history; the imperfections of reason andwho will ruthlessly "I understand why war is not rights of all. man and the limits of reason." repress and oppress their own popular, but I also know this: "Oseh shalom bimromav, Our people, the Jewish people as well as others. They Thebeliefthatpeaceisdesirable hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu ve'al people, have taught the world will pursue their goals of is rarely enough to achieve it. kolyisraer'--"MaytheOnewho many important lessons about dominationandbrutallyseekto Peace requires responsibility, makes peace in heaven bring the importance of peace and impose their will on unwilling Peace entails sacrifice... We can peace to all of Israel," and to all howandwhentowagewar.Our subjects. Are we to allow force acknowledge that oppression the world. And may God's work ancestorMosesunderstoodthe to be used by those bent on will always be with us and still be our mission. complexity of the relationship destruction against the good strive for justice." Judah Maccabee is a mere- between war and peace. He or the innocent? Inaction can Concepts the Jewish people ber of the Hasmonean dy- taught us to be like his brother be disastmus and lead to even have taught the world, and nasty and led the Jewish revolt Aaron, to always pursue peace, worse consequences. While which that future American against Antiochus. ZOlO By Daniel Sieradski accessibility and flexibility myself, one such flaw keeps nities alone would prove than offered by even Bik- repeatedly knocking me in invaluable. NEWYORK(JTA)--InNo- kurim itself, the face: Who can possibly As I did the math in my vember 2007, I had the dis- While I believe, in retro- afford to participate in these head, however, I realized tinct honor of representing spect, that my GA speech programs? it would be virtually im- the Jewish innovation sector was more of an indicator of On Monday evening I possible for me to do this in a plenary speech at the where things were already attended an informational fellowship without under- General Assembly of what headed thantheclarioncall session held by the newly taking a massive lifestyle was then called the United which effected change in reconstituted Joshua Ven- change, including moving Jewish Communities. Dur- andofitself, herewearenow, ture Group at the Bikkurim out of New York City. Were ing my presentation in more than two years later, offices in New York. Dozens I to pay myself exclusively Nashville before 3,000 Jew- andJewishsocialinnovation of potential applicants, and not spend a dime of the ish nonprofit professionals think tanks and incubators with projects ranging from Joshua Venture's money on and board members, Imade are beginning to dominate the arts to education to my actual project, it would allusion to the fact that the institutional landscape, spirituality to socialjustice, constitute a massive pay cut the expectations of exist- Jumpstart, Upstart, Presen- assembled for a half-hour and a huge step back in my ing incubators and social Tense, JHub--everywherepresentation by the Joshua career trajectory. I would entrepreneur fellowships you look, it seems, efforts Venture's newly minted end up earning less than were perhaps outside the areunderwaytosupporttheexecutive director, Lisa my fiancee, a Jewish day reach of many young social next generation of Jewish Lepson, onthe finer details school teacher (who by no innovatorseagertomakeancommunal initiatives. This of their 2010-11 fellowship means is rolling in it), and impactwithintheAmericanis an inherently good thing, program. The program I would be buying my own andglobaIJewishcommuni-in my opinion, because now seems like an outstanding, individual health insurance ties. I therefore encouraged more people with innova- exciting and unparalleled coverage instead of enjoying thecreationofevermoreop- tive ideas will have greater opportunity--one towhich the protection and benefits portunitiesforJewishsocial opportunities to have aI am eager to apply. One of a group health plan. entrepreneurs, insisting on significant impact, hundred thousand dollars Furthermore, shouldIopt the need for more programs But this model is not over two years is no small to spend that money exclu- like Bikkurim across the without its flaws, and as a shakes, and the networking country that provide more Jewish social entrepreneur and mentoring opportu- Innovators onpage 23A