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December 24, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 24, 2004
 

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PAGE 10 Get Connected helps seniors It was Pat Rubenstein's idea to collect bingo prizes for the men and women at Kinneret at every Get Connected luncheon sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. When participants forget to bring their prizes, Rubenstein asks for a dollar donation and iaterpurchases gifts at The Dollar Store. "Gifts such as playing cards, books, stationery and toiletries are greatly appreciated by the residents," says Rubenstein, who has chaired Get Connected for several years. Rubenstein was an active volunteer at Kinneret and the Jewish Pavilion for many years'. Recently, as a result of her active involvement in the Jewish community, she assumed the position of assistant director of the Jewish Pavilion. She works with Arlene van de Rijn to help coordinate the visitation of seniors at nursing homes all over Orlando by volunteers. Shown here (l-r): RENEE ROBERTS, Get Connected participant, SHARI KLAFTER, co-chair, and PAT RUBENSTEIN, co-chair. t HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 24, 2004 Group rallies partiers for Israel By Rachel Pomerance particular, they have focused is a Grmspoon intern for ttft- ~n college campuses across iel who urges fellow students NEW Y()RK (JTA)- -On the country, which have seen to travel to Israel c,r become a spring night iH New York heated dcbabe on the Israeli- involved wilh Israel activity City, a thousand sexy young Pah:stini,m cunlli 't since the on campus. things crowded into a dark intifadabeganm.rethanfi)ur TheonlytimeslicsawaFucl nightclub, yc;~rs ago. for Truth program w;~s when The men were well-built, It also comes as a recent the group spo~sored one of the women showed skin and report, "Israel in the Age of many p.rties thrown by the the latest trends, gminem," based on research Jewish l leritage Program, a All in all, it wasn't an un- by pollster Frank l,untz, cultural group on campus. usualsnapshotoftheManhat- showed that U.S. Jewish or- "It was a bunch of kids tan club scene, ganizations have been using that got drunk, and Fuel For But this wasn't just a party, outdated approaches that fail Truth just sort of stood up on it was Israel advocacy in the to interest young American the stage and started spout- style of Fuel For Truth, a pro- Jews in advocating for Israel. ing out facts about Israel," Israel group geared toward Inparticular, Jewish groups she said. college students and recent havestruggledtoreachJewish (;iventheinebriatedstateof graduates, students on the margins-- un- the crowd, she doubtswhether That Fuel For Truth's or- affiliatedJewswhoareunsure anyone took m the remarks, ganizers come largely from about their Jewish identity, Paskmd says. the night club business helps let alone their connection to Richards,whoaddrcssedthe explain their success in reach- Israel. group that night, disagrees. ing a demographic that most Fuel D)r Truth largely has "The entire team was ap- Jewish groups have difficulty llownbeneaththeradarscreen proached by some of the stu- attracting, of many mainstream Jewish dents afterward," he says. But it's also because these organizations as it draws in Many young Jews are young people are largely un- precisely those young Jews "looking for something, but affiliated with mainstream the other groups strive to they don't feel like they have Jewish organizations, reach, a home," Richards adds. Fuel for Truth's founder, "At a time when everybody He should know: After all, Jonathan Loew, 33, grew up else is struggling to reach out he was one of them. in a Long Island neighbor- toJewishyoungpeople,they're At college, it"just wasn't a hood that was more Italian actuallygettingthejobdone," cool thing to be involved in a than Jewish. says Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Jewish organization," he says. But ever since his parents founder and president of the The Hillel chapter on his col- sent him on an Orthodox teen Israel Project, a pro-Israel ad- lege campus "never had even tour to Israel, Loew, a secular vocacy group. "They're good- the numbers of people 1 was Jew, felt pride in the Jewish looking, smart go-getters looking for," let alone the state and a responsibility to- who support Israel, and they type. ward the Jewish people, get them by the thousands." At the same time, Fuel For As Loew puts it, he returned Largely a word-of-mouth en- Truth sees itself as something to New York with "a gold terprisewithamassivee-mail of an introductory clearing- rope chain like my Italian engine, Fuel ForTruth usesa house for the unaffiliated. friends--but instead it had a model employed in promoting The group directs people goldenmezuzahonit."Several clubs, Loew explains, apply- who want to pursue Jewish yearsago, whenLoewranMan- ing"social pressure" to enlist activity to groups like the hattan parties, he hired Joseph friends to come to events. American Israel Public Affairs Richards, now 32, to work the The group currently works Committee or Aish lta'Ibrah. doors for him. When they re- at Syracuse University and And they use baby steps to alized they were both Jewish, the State University of New get their own members more they made a pact. York at Binghamton and Buf- involved. "If anything like the ttolo- falo by sending a handful of Loew calls it his "pen" phi- HE m .~" se