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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 PAGE 23A Confab From page 1A who came from across the country to the area did express hope, tinged with a bit of skep- ticism, that USCJ can trans- form itself into an entity that helps congregations become more dynamic, welcoming and, of course, fiscally stable. At the conference, USCJ decided to adopt a new set of bylaws with the aim of be- coming more efficient; these included reducing the size of its board by about half. It's also decreasing the number of offices it has nationwide from 15 to six. Talks were also held about changing the formula for determining the dues that congregations pay, though no formal proposals were put forward. 'The Best Product' The biennial also served as to jump-start a nine-month process in which USCJ will adopt a new, long-range, stra- tegic plan. "While we have considerable problems, I think we continue to have the best product," said Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Artson sat on a panel about the future of the movement with Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the first woman to head the Rabbinical Assembly; Cantor Stephen J. Stein, executive vice president of the Cantors Assembly; and Wernick. During the hourlong dis- cussion, the audience raised many of the most pressing "questions confronting the movement at this juncture in its history. These included: What does it mean to be a Conservative Jew in an age when far fewer Jews Pearls From page 3A funds support a coordinated effort to enhance the lives of elders in long-term care through regular visita- tion, holiday and Shabbat programs and rabbinical counseling. Pearl member- ships can be paid throughout the year. Repeat pearl givers can visit Maitland Jewelers and have a stone added to their j ewelry. Contact Nancy Ludin, executive director for more information at nan- or call 407-678-9363. identify with denominational labels? How can the movement attract more members in their 20s and 30s? Is the name itself outmoded? How can the arms of the movement work more closely together? When the issue of prayer came up at the discussion, Stein took a slightly different tact. %rou can start by coming to shul. It's like any other skill set--ffyou don't practice it, you aren't going to be able to do it." said Stein, adding that cantors are far more open to experimen- tation than many realize."Come to shul, and I'll do anything; I'll stand on my head and sing a/ankeeDoodle'to'AdonOhm.'" Wernick said that, too often, worshippers feel that they are "prisoners" to the traditional prayerbook, and more diversity needs to be encouraged. He also said that clergy need to do a better job of explaining the poetry and symbolism inherent in the liturgy. "Adon Olam," for example, is all about offering worshippers a measure of comfort as they leave sanctified space and head back into a world that can be tense and even frightening. "We need to really open up the prayers in that kind of way," he said. "Whether we sing them to 'Yankee Doodle' or the melodies of the great chaz- zanim," declared the rabbi, "they become more than just sing songs, and more than just rushing through the words." A New Definition Sounding at times like the most traditional member of this impromptu quartet, Stein also noted that while syna- gogues must try to bring in as many new people as possible-- while, of course, still appealing to its core--the movement as a whole should only count as Conservative Jews those who follow Jewish law, as opposed to any individual that belongs to a USCJ-affiliated synagogue. Stein also pushed some buttons when he suggested that spouses of clergy mem- bers-even those with highly demanding careers of their own--need to contribute more time and energy to their individual congregations. Schonfeld said that in an age when many are asking if move- ments and denominations have outlived their usefulness, Con- servative Judaism can offer up a new working definition of what a denomination can look like. "That new denomination," he said, "as opposed to being boxes in which we put people, is going to be more like an ecosystem--more like an interdependent and complex world in which there is room for all different kinds of Jews." Bryan Schwartzman is a staff writer for the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia from which this article was reprinted by permission. Justice From page 4A Nazis had been particularly lethal and extensive, and where Cold War politics had prevented an honest accounting with the past from 1945 until 1991. In that respect, we were encouraged by the conviction in 1999 of former Jasenovac com- mander Dinko Sakic, whose extradition from Argentina and prosecution in Zagreb we had helped facilitate,and whose trial had a significant impact on Holocaust issues in Croatia. Over the past Sevenyears, sands of people from all over the world and received the names of more than 530 suspects from 25 countries. About 100 of the names eventually were turned over to the local prosecu- tors after we verified that the allegation was credible and the suspect was alive, healthy enough to stand trial and had never been prosecuted. Among the most serious cases were those of Kepiro and Zentai. Kepiro was among the officers who organized the massacre by Hungarian forces of at least 1,300 civilians (mostly Jews, but also Serbs and delays influenced by the Roma) in the city of Novi fact that his crimes had Sad, Serbia, on Jan. 23, been committed in Serbia. 1942. Zentai is accused of In Australia, Zentai's law- the murder in Budapest on yers were able to delay his Nov. 8, 1944 of an 18-year- extradition foi about four old Jewish boy named Peter years by mounting various Balasz, whom he caught on a streetcar without the required yellow star. In both cases, although the evidence we provided was very substantial, the cases proceeded at a snail's pace, jeopardizing the chances of prosecution given the age of the sus- technical legal challenges unconnected to the case. Now, however, we are finally approaching the moment of truth in both cases. Reports from Bu- dapest indicate that the prosecution is Satisfied that it has sufficient evidence to prosecute Kepiro and hope- tralian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor approved his extradition to Hungary to stand trial. In short, by the end of 2009, we almost certainly will know whether these two suspected Holocaust perpetrators will be held ac- countable for their crimes. While the process of fa- cilitating these and other cases (in which excellent suspects died before they could be prosecuted) often is nerve-wracking, there is no alternative but to try pects. In Kepiro's case, the fullywill do so shortly, and our best to maximize jus- investigation in Hungary Zentai is ih jail pending his rice through the existing was slowed by numerable final appeal after the Aus, legal system. This is our " 4. - " obligation to the victims of the Holocaust, one which fully deserves a serious effort to achieve as much justice as possible despite the difficulties engendered by the passage of time. "Operation: Last Chance" is an important part of that effort. Dr. Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office. His new book, "Op- eration Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice," was published last month by Macmillan. Innovators i ..... From page 5A sively on myself and not on my project, I would have nothing to show to other funders to elicit their inter- est and solicit their support. And if I went the other way, spending nothing on myself and everything on my proj- ect, then how would I earn any money? The program obligates fellows to devote a minimum of 35 hours per week to their projects, thereby severely limiting my ability to make up the lost income with freelance work. In effect, I'd be screwed. I had the same issue with Bikkurim, which is why I rescinded my application after making it into the sec- ond round of its application process in 2007, prompt- ing my remarks at the GA. Bikkurim requires that you sit behind a desk at its Manhattan offices at least half the week, yet the yearly stipend it offers wouldn't even cover two months rent and utilities (let alone food) in New York City or its suburban environs. I would have to take it on faith that I could somehow manage to raise significant funds for my project within the first four months online (in this economy?[), or I'd have to move back in with my parents. (And trust me, nobody wants that. Not me, not them, certainly not my fiancee, and definitely not the local police depart- ment.) I spoke to Nina Bruder, Bikkurim's executive direc- tor, and Ms. Lepson about these concerns Monday night at the Joshua Venture gathering, and they both seemed to indicate that I was essentially "s--t out of luck," to use my father's parlance. Which is not to say that they were unsympathetic or that their initiatives are any less valuable in spite of their limitations. It merely affirms that such opportu- nities are not accessible to everyone. The folks who most of- ten participate in these programs, Ms. Bruder sug- gested, are usually fresh out of school, or living off their parents, spouses or savings. And despite these incubators bandying the word "sustainability" about like "mazal tovs" at a Jewish wedding, there is positively nothing sustainable about that, let alone practical--at least not for folks like me. My parents are struggling to pay their mortgage, my soon-to- be wife will probably never break the six-figure income mark, and since I've spent my entire career working within the Jewish nonprofit sector, my savings look more like an emergency fund than a capital investment. So what's a broke social entrepreneur to do? I couldn't but help come away from the Monday-night session with the impression that social entrepreneur- ship is a privilege of the wealthy, or at least those with no other professional or personal responsibili- ties. Only those who already have a certain freedom, if not significant resources at their disposal, are truly eligible for the benefits these organizations are offering. Our current in- novation ecosphere, as it were, is reinforcing that impression, with require- ments and compensation for residencies and fellowships that are unrealistic for those of us who cannot afford to make ends meet without a full-time salary. I've spent more than 10 years working inside the Jewish nonprofit sector. It's widely held by both academ- ics and professionals that throughout my career, I've contributed some of the most creative thought and innovations to the field of online Jewish engagement. And I'm sitting here on a mountain of experience and ideas yearning to upend Jewish life as we know it. There is no doubt that I would benefit tremendously from the kind of guidance and support these programs offer--if only they were of- fered after work hours, to accommodate those of us in need of full-time work. But that opportunity exists nowhere as of yet. Seeing as how I'm not a kid anymore, nor a rank capitalist or a trust fund baby, and my partner's not a corporate attorney, my potential to contribute anything meaningful to the Jewish world other than as someone else's schlepper appears to be nil, When subjecting oneself to pau- perdom is the only way you're ever going to get a shot at making a difference, our communal leadership shouldn't be surprised when the best and brightest take their energies and excite- ment elsewhere. As for me, looking at such prospects, I've got one foot out the door. Daniel Sieradski is an interdisciplinary artist and documentarian investigat- ing post-normative forms of Jewish cultural expression. He is director of digital strategy of Repair the World, former director of digital media of JTA and founding publisher of the Jewschool biog. Solution to Sudoku on pg. 7 489721365 Roundup From page 10A Obama signs embassy waiver WASHINGTON (JTA)-- President Obamahas extended a waiver for an additional six months delaying the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. It is the second time Obama has extended the waiver dur- ing his term, and follows in the footsteps of predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who also extended the waiver every six months since the law was adopted in 1995 calling for the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents are permitted to delay the move on national security grounds. Some Jewish groups have pushed for the United States to move the embassy as a way to bolster Israeli claims to the city. Those favoring the use of the waiver say that such a step would anger the Arab world and put the United States in the position of taking sides on an issue that should be settled in peace talks. Orthodox boxer Salita falls in title bout JERUSALEM (JTA)-- American Jewish boxer Dmi- triy Salita was stopped 1:16 into his World Boxing As- sociation light-welterweight championship bout. Champion Amir Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani de- scent, floored the unbeaten Salita twice Dec. 5 before the referee halted the match in Newcastle, England. Salita, who sported a Star of David on his trunks, also took a standing-eight count. Salita, an Orthodox Jew, studies at a Chabad yeshiva in Brooklyn, N.Y. Salita, 27, came in as a heavy underdog despite a 30- 0-1 record and being the No. I contender for the crown. He was knocked down 10 seconds into the fight, took the eight count after another shot, then was sent to the canvas again before referee Luis Pabon of Puerto Rico stepped in after 76 seconds. 261358479 375496812 654879123 713642958 892135746 127583694 548967231 936214587