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December 19, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 19, 2003

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PAGE 10 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 19, 2003 I By C, eoff Sifrin in Greece, a South African Jew is trying to build stronger ties JOHANNESBURG (JTA)--- between the Jewish and Greek Even as observers warn of a communities in South Africa. growingtrendofanti-Semitism Ronnie Mink, chairman of If it's broken, we can fix it; if you need it, we'll install it. No job ~is too big or too small because we can do it all! WE SPECIALIZE IN ADDITIONS AND REMODELS . ~ ; . SerVices lnc/ude:, ? ~ " icCo, painting(insideandoutside) , . smdl r, concrete, cabinet work, :drywal!,install,drywall repair, electrical,'- : hardwoodor carpet floors; wallpaper, stone and: mbrick work:- FREE ESTIMATES] 24 hour: service. Licensed and insured. 15 years in. Central Florida. LOcal references available, . m: : ,~ > mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmm Yad Vashem in South Africa, duringtheGermanoccupation believes there is potential fora of GreeceinWorldWarII,when betterrelationshipbetweenthe inhabitants saved the island's roughly 50,000 Jews in 275-member Jewish commu- Johannesburgandtheir40,000 nity from the Nazis. Greek "brothers." German soldiers arrived and Aswhite minority groups in ordered Mayor Loucas Karrer post-apartheid South Africa, andArchbishopChrysostomos the two communities share Demetriou to provide a list of similar interests, the Jews. The next day they Rampant crime and insta- handed the officer a list con- bility have spurred members of taining only two names--their both communities to emigrate, own. The number of Jews in South Jews also were hidden dur- Africa fell to about 80,000 to- ing the night in Greek homes day from about 12,5,000 in the and other places, and not a 1970s. The number of Greeks single Jew was betrayed. has fallen to 70.000 fromabout In the film, Karrer's wife is 250,000 as community mem- asked if the mayor's defiance bers have left for Greece, the was an act of heroism or duty. United States and other places. "It was an act of duty to fel- The relationship between low humanity," she replies. Greeks and Jews historically Vizos talked about the film hasbeenreasonablygood,with with his Jewish business part- strong business connections, ner, Steven Rosen, who put but the two communities have him in touch with the South remained apart socially. African Jewish community. GreekandJewishanti-apart- They organized a memo- heid activists, such as legend- rial evening together in Oc- ary human rights lawyers tober in Tribute to Zakynthos, George Bizos and Arthurwhich took place under the Chaskalson, now president of umbrella of the South Afri- South Africa's Constitutional can Jewish Board of Depu- Court, workedtogetherclosely ties, the Zakynthian Associa- to defend dissidents such as tion of South Africa and Yad Nelson Mandela. Vashem. It was held at Now Mink is joining with Johannesburg's Jewish corn- Greek Orthodox church leader munity center, Beyachad, and George Vizos to try to was packed with prominent strengthentiesbetweenthetwo member~ of both communi- minority communities, ties as well as officials of the Several months ago, Vizos Greek and Israeli govern- saw"The Song of Life," a docu- ments. mentary about the island of The pastorofVizos' church, Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. Father Ioannis Tsaftaridis, was The film describes an incident born in Zakynthosand is chair- Family Owned Since 1954 Same Day Service Available m on any On Pumps Filters Heaters ! service I call Weekly Pool Service Equipment Repair I expires 1131104 Automatic Pool Cleaners Pool Supplies, L m m = m Chlorine Generators Open Sundays 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mon-Sat 7:30 a.m. 6 Polaris, Hayward,Starite 631 N. Orlando Ave. (17-92) Maitland ' Give The Gift of Lau r!! I photo by Ceoff SifrirdJTA Father loannis Tsaftarides conducts a baptism service for a Greek child in Johannesburg. He is part of a group of Greeks and Jews working to foster closer relations between the Greek and Jewish communities in Johannesburg. man of the Zakynthos Associa- "All Greeks believe your na- tion. tion, every bit as old as ours, "The overwhelming major- has the right to live as a nation ity of European nations, with- in its own land in peace and outanyhesitation, acceptedthe honor," he said. "They believe, German expansion, shutting too, the Palestinians have the theireyestotheatrocitiescom- right to the same self-respect mitted by the front-line sol- in their own state." diers, slaughtering innocent Some Jews in the audience Jews," Tsaftaridis said in an remained silent; others ap- interview. "The small island of plauded. Zakynthos taught all of them a Discussions are under way lesson in humanity." to organize other Greek-Jew- Several recent incidents ishfunctionsnextyear, includ- have raised the specter of anti- ingan event for Greekand Jew- Semitism in Greece, includ- ishyouth.VizosandMinkwant ing a speech by prominent toestablishacommitteetofos- Greek composer Mikis ter more ties. Theodorakis, in which he Vizos says he is proud the calledJews"therootofallevil," Greek government has intro- and an art exhibit that critics ducedlegislationtocrackdown felt glorified Palestinian sui- on racism and anti-Semitism. cide bombers. The legislation, which is ex- But Mink told JTA that he pected to come up for a vote doesn't think such incidents before year's end, would im- are representative, pose penalties of up to a year in "Despite talk of anti- prison for people guilty of dis- Semitism in Greece, I have criminating against religious found only warmth and broth- or ethnic groups. erliness from Greeks," Mink Greece also announced re- said. cently that it would establish Dionissios Gouskos, a mere- Jan. 27--the day inmates were ber of the Greek Parliament liberated from Auschwitz--as from Zakynthos, said islanders anational day of remembrance saw it as their duty to protect for Greek Jews who died in the their Jewish compatriots---pro- Holocaust. tecting not only Jews, but their Vizos denied that there was own humanity, anti-Semitism in SouthAfrica's Gouskos was the only Greek community. speaker at the October dinner "We are too close to the to address the lsraeli-Palestin- Jews," he said, for anti- ian conflict. Aware that many Semitism to develop. "Greeks South African Jews are conser- are generally more in sympa- vative and right-wing, he chose thy with the Palestinians, but his words carefully, they like the Jews." Scene Around Continued from page 9 fabulous duo, MICHAEL and BEN KRAMER, on piano and acoustic bass, respectively. This is the wonderful duo that performs with me in New York City and since our Manhattan show date is almost here I have another plan! Wow if I drop by Chapters between 6 p,m. and 9 p.m I can "sit-in" and practice with those Kramer guys! (Okay that makes four of my favorite things eating, shopping, singing and eating.) "Yah-hoo" When I shout "Yah-hoo" I am not referring to the internet! The Congregation Ohev Shalom Seniors Hazak presents "A Day In Wild Open Spaces." Join them for a fun-filled hayride, hanging out with cows and bulls, music, and a lot of country fun. The time is Sunday, Dec. 21, the meeting place is Smokey Bones Parking lot, hwy 436 and Howell Branch Road, Casselberry, and the destination is The Big Oaks Ranch in Chuluota. Call BERNY RAFF, 407-657-8215 for details and to RSVP. One more for the road Bumper Sticker of the Year: "If you can read this, thank a teacher If you are reading it in En- glish, thank a soldier." Kidding aside, we should thank our soldier's for a job well done in capturing Saddam Hussein. Did you see what a bushy bearded, disheveled mess he was? (Will somebody call the Fab Five from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to do a make- over on him!)