Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
December 24, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 12     (12 of 24 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 12     (12 of 24 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 24, 2004

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

PAGE 12 Death 9 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 24, 2004 By Dina Kraft mortar shell exploded next to her, killing her. GANEI TAL, Gaza Strip Soonthebluelumpburned (JTA)--The blood-soaked into a blaze of shreds and denim shirt did not immedi- smoke. ately catch fire. The 20-year- old Thaiwom- But Jitrada Tab-a-sa's hus- an died Dec. 14 from shrapnel band and friendswanted to help wounds to the chestwhile she release her soul to heaven, so was washing dinner dishes in they pouredastream of lighter the small workers kitchen of fluidontotheshirtshehadbeen a Jewish settlement in the wearing when a Palestinian Gaza Strip. JPW hear how one of their own was helped All Jewish Professional Women's events include a Federation message. In previous years, a leader in the group spoke about the work that the Jewish Federa- tion does to save Jewish lives around the world. It was Barbara Gold's idea to bring a recipient of service, a Jewish professional woman, to share her personal story of how she was helped by the Jewish community. Mariela Berezovsky immigrated to the United States from Argentina with her husband and three children two years ago and received employment and help from the Jewish community. The family is very happy to be living in Orlando. To be added to the JPW mailing list, contact Nancy Ludin at or call her at 407-645-5933, ext. 239. BARBARA GOLD (l) and MARIELA BEREZOVSKY at a recent JPW program. Tab-a-sa was one of some 350 workers from Thailand who work in the green- houses and fields of Gush Katif, the Jewish settlement bloc in Gaza. Thai workers have become a mainstay of the agricultural industry in Gaza's Jewish community. Tab-a-sa was the third Thai worker to be killed in the Gaza crossfire since the intifada erupted in September 2000, and her death prompted new calls from the Thai gov- ernment for the workers to leave Gaza. On Sunday, the Thai labor minister, Uraiwan Thien- thong, visited Israel and de- manded that the Jewish state stop sending Thai workers to Gaza Strip settlements, Israel radio reported. Tab-a-sa's death also raised questions about the dependence of so many Jewish settlements on their labor. If the workers heed the calls from their govern- ment to leave, the agricultural industry of the Jewish settle- ments in Gaza--run largely with the help of Thai physical labor---would be devastated. The Thai workers who come to Gush Katifa re part of a larg- er pool of some 26,000 Thai workers in Israel and the ter- ritories, most of whom work in agriculture at kibbutzim and moshavim. Complaints of substandard working conditions for these Thai laborers are widespread. The claims include salaries below the Israeli minimum wage--some workers say they earn just $22 a day and are not paid overtime--and EWISH NEWS SPECIAL CELEBRATION ISSUE RY 28, 2005 Hundreds of different parties will be held in the Jewish community throughout the coming year. HERITAGE readers will be in need of a variety of products and services, including hotels, hair salons, clothing stores, jewelers, printers, florists, restaurants and many others. You can reach this exclusive buying market by placing your advertising message in the HERITAGE Special Celebration Issue. Don't let those weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other simchas pass you by. Make sure your business is included on our readers' shopping lists. Advertising January 19, 2005 FOR MORE photo by Brian Hendler/JTA The blood soaked shirt of Jitrada Tab-a-sa, a 20-year-old Thai worker who was killed by a Palestinian mortar shell, is ritually burned by her friends to help release her soul to heaven at the Ganei Tal settlement in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Dec. 15. The Thai woman was killed by shrapnel wounds after Palestinian terrorists fired at the Jewish settlement. small, overcrowded trailers invested to get here to help ers'feetcrunchedoverbroken for living quarters, support their families back glass,spilledsacksofdriedred Some workers in the Jew- home. peppers and paprika as they ish settlements in Gaza say Butham Namsoonboon, swept the floor. Chunks of they are both paid better who works at a greenhouse concrete had been torn out of and treated better by their in Ganei Tal, amoshav-style the wall by the mortar blast employers here than their settlementinGushKatif, said and thewalls were splattered counterpartsareinsideIsrael, he is pleased with his $1,160 with a chalky gray debris. InGaza, they also do not have a month salary and has no The workers spoke quietly toworryaboutbeingdeported desire to leave. The death among themselves, carry- by immigration police if they of his friend, Tab-a-Sa, did, ing boxes of broken plates, have overstayed their visa. however shake him and his squashed zucchinis and The Thai government has fellow workers deeply, flattened silverware into the pleaded for them to evacuate "I had been cooking shortly back of a wagon hitched to a Gaza. before and then later heard a tractor. "Weareworkinghardtotry boom and was afraid. It was Shlomo Wassertejl, who tomove themoutofthearea," chaos here," said Namsoon- owns the greenhouses where Thailand's ambassador to Is- boon, whose room was just he raises 140 different breeds rael, KasivatParuggamanont, a few feet away from the of geranium for export to told Israel Television. But, he kitchen. Europe, said he has been said, the workers are not as The day after Tab-a-sa's employing Thai workers for responsiveas his government death, her husband, Narong- the past 20 years. Of his ap- would like them to be. sak Suh-Goi, walked around proximately 30-person staff, Seventy-six mortars were in a daze holding a large threeareJews, ahandfulcome fired last week at army posts photograph of himself with from the nearby Palestinian andJewishsettlementsinthe an arm draped around his town of Khan Yunis but the Gush Katif area. In addition young, smiling wife. majority are Thai, he said. to the death of Tab-a-Sa, Adhering to a Thai custom He said he will miss Tab- two civilians and 11 soldiers of cleansing the home after a-sa, who had worked for him were reportedly injured inthe a loved one dies, the workers for the past two years, spoke attacks, swept and washed the floors Hebrew, and was in charge of Many Thai workers say of the narrowcement-walled theotherworkers.Wasserteil they have no alternative but building where they live saidshehadtoldhimrecently to stay. Some are still paying together in dormitory-style she was not afraid of the mor= back large debts owed to job rooms, tar attacks, that she planned placement companies that Most of the activity was to stay on in Gaza. helped bring them to Israel, focused at the end of the Thisweekherhusbandwas while others want a chance hallway--the kitchen where flying home with her body to to earn backthe money they Tab-a-sawaskilled.Thework- Thailand. photo by M&E Photography Pacesetters event raises over $400K to help community programs Over $800,000 has been raised by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando so far this year. The funds provide life-saving and enhancement programs for Jews in Orlando, Israel and around the world. Over half of that money was raised at the Pac- esetters event on December 12 at the home of Pearl and Howard Lefkowltz. Shown here (I-r): DARREN LEFKOWITZ, PEARL LEFKOWITZ and HOWARD LEFKOWITZ in their home.