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December 20, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 20, 2013 Schloss From page IA General Kofi Annan and the niece of Raul Wallenberg, a legendary figure who res- cued thousands of Jews in Budapest. Schloss' story is sensa- tional and difficult to imagine, yet her insightful message confirms that life is precious and fragile, that the creative spirit is stronger than fear, that the power of good is immeasurable, and that love makes a difference. This special program will be held Feb. 9, 2014, at the Hilton Altamonte Springs, 350 N. Lake Blvd., at 7 p.m. Chabad of South Orlando will host Schloss on March 9, 2014. The cost is $20 per person before Jan. 31; $28 Feb. 1 and after. Sponsor tickets are $360, which entitles purchaser to two VIP tickets, VIP private cocktails with Schloss and a signed copy of her book. Reservations can be made through Chabad Lubavitch of North Orlando, by visiting PAGE 15A www.JewishNorthOrlando. corn or calling 407-878-3011; Chabad of Greater Orlando,, 407- 644-2500; and Chabad of South Orlando, JewishOr-, 800-765-7905. Choices From page 1A School, and as a performer and member of the Actors Equity Association, Evanicki has shared the stage with such names as Patti LuPone and Kristen Chenoweth, and has performed for presidents, popes and world dignitaries. 20th Anniversary Choices will be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Drive, Orlando. Registration and cocktail hour begins at 7 p.m, and at 8:15 p.m. Havdal- lah, dinner and the program will begin. Couvert is $48 ($28 for women up to 20 years old). Reserve a seat online at www. JFGO is also offering com- plementary transportation from Longwood and Maitland to make it easier for everyone to come to Choices. RSVP required in advance. Shuttles will be leaving at 6:55 p.m. in Longwood at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 2140 W. SR 434; and from the Roth JCC of Greater Orlando, 851 N. Maitland Ave., in Mait- land. Guests must reserve a seat when registering for the event. There is limited space available on each bus. For more information on the 20thAnniversary Choices Event visit, call Emely Katz 407-645-5933 x 239 or email Hillel From page 2A board had been thinking for a while about publicly distanc- ing itself from Hiilel's Israel policy. They were moved to act by Harvard Hillel's deci- sion in November to cancel an appearance by former Knes- set Speaker Avraham Burg because it was co-sponsored by a student group that sup- ports BDS. Wolfsun emphasized that Swarthmore Hillel board members represent a range of views on Israel, but are united in the belief that the chapter should be a place to discuss and disagree. "It's not that we all support BDS or even that any of us support BDS," Wolfsun said. "But we want to make room for everybody who does." Ira Stup, director of the campus arm of the liberal Israel policy group J Street, said Hillel's hard line may have ramifications for efforts to engage Jewish students. "For so many Jewish stu- dents Israel is such an im- portant part of their Jewish identity and how they express Jewishness, so that to not have a space where they can explore challenging issues related to Israel ultimately does them a tremendous disservice," Stup said. But David Bernstein, ex- ecutive director of the David Project, a group that works to educate college students about Israel, said Hillel In- ternational is doing the right thing. "Openness is a great general approach, but it has its limits," Bernstein said."I don'tbelieve those who advocate for BDS or for the elimination of the Jew- ish state should be included in an official Jewish discus- sion on Israel any more than angry, racist voices should be included in a campus race- relations dialogue." Since the 2010 guidelines were established, some Hil- lel chapters have refused to sponsor events with the Israeli veterans' group Breaking the Silence, which opposes Israel's occupation of the West Bank by disseminating testimony from from soldiers who served there. In 2012, the Harvard Hillel reportedly invoked the guidelines in deciding not to host an event called "Jewish Voices Against the Occupa- tion" because a Palestinian solidarity group was a co- sponsor. In October, the University of California, Berkeley's Jew- ish Student Union denied a membership application from J Street U, the campus arm of J Street, though it's not clear whether the guidelines were a factor in the decision. Open Hillel was launched last spring "to encourage in- clusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels," according to its website. So far, 944 people have signed its petition calling on Hillel to engage with the "full spectrum" of views on the Middle East. One reason Swarthmore is the only campus Hillel so far to openly flout the guidelines may be that it has more financial indepen- dence than other branches. That, Stup said, points to a larger issue within the Hillel movement. "This highlights the dispar- ity between the political senti- ments of a lot of donors and the political sentiments and desires of students," he said. Foxman From page 4A fellow prisoner of conscience of our generation, Natan Sharansky. To the African- American community, Man- dela was their prisoner of conscience. Sharansky was ours. I told Mandela that I believed it would be appro- priate for them to meet and exchange their experiences and dialogue toward mutual understanding and common ground. He agreed, hav- ing avidly read Sharansky's book, "Fear No Evil," while in prison. Through the assistance of Harry Belafonte, we ulti- mately arranged the meeting, which took place on June 29, 1990 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. It was a very emotional meeting between the two prisoners of conscience and a poignant moment for the African-American and Jewish communities. We embraced two of our modern-day he- roes. When I look back on my life's accomplishments, that moment was among the most deeply meaningful and personally significant. Nelson Mandela's strength of character, commitment to justice and abiding passion- ate belief in the commonality that binds all humanity are the touchstones of every great leader. He will be long remembered in the Jewish community both for his legacy of ending apartheid and building a free and democratic South Africa, and for maintaining close ties of friendship to Israel and the Jewish community. Abraham H. Foxman is the national director of the Anti- Defamation League. Sharkansky From page 4A been careful to preserve his new found image of mod- eration. He has not damned talks with the Palestinians as a waste of time, but has expressed the view that they are not likely to solve every- thing and produce a final agreement. He has said that it is important to keep talking. He has left the door open to progress, and something like another interim agreement. Yet his presence in the U.S. while the supposed action is in Jerusalem and Ramallah is not encouraging. Lieberman said that the issue of trust between Israelis and Palestinians is more im- portant than the substance of refugees or security. His bottom line is damning by any interpretation. "Now the level of trust is at zero." Tzipi Livni may describe herself as hard at work and moving along with the Pales- tinians, but she labors under the stain of the Lebanese cease fire she negotiated, which has allowed massive shipments of munitions to Hezboilah. This time she is being kept on a leash, with an aide of Netanyahu sitting in all the discussions. None of the ranking Pales- tinians or Israelis want to say an overt No to John Kerry who has worked so hard, ostensi- bly in their behalf. However, many of the Palestinians view Kerry as an Israeli lackey, while Israelis view him and his boss as naive on Palestine and on Iran. All told, it is not a time to expect much. Except perhaps for yet another Kerry state- ment about progress. In private he may be kicking a wastebasket or yelling at an underling. Ira Sharkansky is professor (Emeritus) at the Department of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Berman From page 5A and Olitzky's proposal ranged from befuddled to offended. Most of all, they just didn't get why something like this is needed. Neither do I. A"Jewish Cultural Affirma- tion" track would undermine the hard work of sincere converts who have chosen to transform their lives and souls in joining the Jew- ish people. To offer Jewish Nasatir From page 5A Were Jewish preschool enrollments to double or triple in the next decade, the competition among Jewish preschool providers should result in enhanced quality. In addition, unlike other Jewish activities that expand with expanding deficits, Jewish preschools generally operate without deficits and often show profit. Moreover, if our goal is to engage families in Jewish life, subsidized preschool is a smart investment: In Chicago, 85 percent of parents said that having a child attend a Jewish early childhood education program Cultural Affirmation as an equally viable alternative to traditional conversion is to cheapen the process of con- version itself. And if cultural affirmation is offered merely as a second-class track, then it will do nothing except sow confusion. Given the current tenu- ous state of American Jewry, so-called Jewish leaders and funders no doubt will gravi- tate toward new schemes dressed up as "solutions" to the challenges of Jewish de- mography. But as the recent Pew Research Center's survey of U.S. Jews shows, the race to water down Jewish life has only weakened it. Rather than throwing more good money after bad, we should focus instead on what makes a Jew- ish life worth living. Harold Berman, the co- author of "Doublelife: One Family, Two Faiths and a increased their connection to the Jewish community, their motivation to enhance their Jewish practice and their involvement with Jewish or- ganizations. Two-thirds said sending their children to Jew- ish preschool has influenced their decision to celebrate Shabbat more often or in a different way. Following pre- school, 87 percent of parents said they plan to send their children to Hebrew school or Jewish day school, and 43 percent said they would send them to Jewish camp. By floating the concept of universal Jewish preschool, Siegal and Jewish Federa- tions of North America CEO Jerry Silverman reinforced an important concept in the national imagination--that early Jewish engagement leads to more Jewish engage- ment. I'll end where I began. Pre- school is a normal activity in the United States. Bringing Jewish preschool costs below market costs of other pre- schools or making it just free for the first child in a family will spike enrollment. Let's help parents make the right choice and give their children a Right Start by sub- sidizing or making free Jewish preschool available now. Steven B. Nasatir is presi- dent of the Jewish United FundJewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Journey of Hope," is the for- mer executive director of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. He and his wife, Gayle, are the found- ers of, a sup- port system for intermarried - families who seek to become observant Jews. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to Ut/radiation ran 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 your family's eyes) from harmful III/rays. Wear sunglasses with maximum UV protection.