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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 26, 2014 PAGE 15A From page 1A for 20 years and whose identity remains a secret. Obama insisted that Gross was not part of the spy exchange and that, in fact, his imprisonment held up changes to the U.S. Cuba relationship he had intended on initiating years ago. "While I've been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in our way," the president said, referring to Gross' "wrongful imprisonment." Republicans who have opposed easing the Cuba em- bargo blasted the deal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the son of Cuban immigrants, told Fox News that Obamawas "the worst negotiator since at least Jimmy Carter, and maybe in the history of this country." Many Jewish groups wel- comed the deal, however, and noted the political difficulties it must have created for the Obama administration. "We know the decision to release the Cuban three was not an easy one," the Confer- ence of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organiza- tions said in a statement. "We appreciate the efforts of President Obama and Vice President Biden in bringing this about." Gross is in ill health. He has lost more than 100 pounds since his incarcera- tion and suffers from painful arthritis. A senior administration of- ficiai who spoke to reporters before Obama's announce- ment said the Vatican played a key role in negotiating the deal, in part through Pope Francis' pleas to Cuba to re- lease Gross as a humanitarian gesture. The official, however, also noted the significance of the Jewish holiday season of free- dom. "We believe that Alan was wrongfully imprisoned and overjoyed that Alan will be reunited with his fam- ily in this holiday season of Chanukah," the official said. From page 1A mitted to the values and ideals of our congregation. He is very community minded and has been an active member in Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), the Jewish Academy of Orlando and in Orlando interfaith activities." "In addition," Rabbi Rub- inger added, "Rabbi Kay has been exceptionally devoted to our community daily minyan. He loves teaching in our COS Yeshiva and is deeply engaged in outreach to Hispanic Jews by Choice as well as the Gay and Lesbian community. Ever since Rabbi Kay arrived in Orlando 10 years ago, he has been for our congregation a mature and thoughtful pastor, helping to serve the needs of our congregants. We are so blessed to have him as part of our Ohev team." In addition to serving on the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's JCRC, Rabbi Kay serves on the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. He participates on numerous in- terfaith panels and programs. This past year, Rabbi Kay was the keynote speaker at the annual interfaith celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial with the City of Or- lando andwas the first rabbi to conduct the invocation at Rol- lins College commencement. James "Jim" Coffin, execu- tive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida shared a few thoughts about his friend."Davidwas involved in the interfaith community long before my arrival when I became active. He was the "mover and shaker" behind the MLK event and has done a superb job in getting avariety of participants. He has won the hearts of the MLK com- mission and is much loved and appreciated." Coffin added. "David incorporates wonder- ful stories to show his point when talking about diversity and the Jewish perspective. David is very well liked and highly respected." Active in the Jewish deaf community since 1990, Rabbi Kay has presented at the bi- ennial Jewish Deaf Congress conferences, serving as one of the conference rabbis in 2003 and 2005. He also conducted High Holiday services in voice and sign language at the Roch- ester Institute of Technology/ National Technical Institute of the Deaf for five years, and conducted services and taught for the Hebrew Association of the Deaf of New York and Congregation Bene Shalom of the Deaf in Skokie, Ill. He currently conducts Ohev Sha- lom's alternate High Holiday services in voice and sign, with ASL interpreters. Rabbi Kay is a founding member of the Jewish Theo- logical Seminary's ~ cappella group, Note-Nim and founding director of Kol Ram, Orlando's community Jewish ~ cappella group. Between his graduation from the University of Illinois in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the De- partmentofEcology, Ethology, and Evolution and attending rabbinical school, Rabbi Kay worked for an animal welfare organization in his native Chicago while playing in an original rock band, an acous- tic duo, and performing solo. Although denied fame and fortune in the music industry, Rabbi Kay can be heard as the voice of Haman in the video, audio CD, and educational software versions of "Purim Rock!," a clay-marion rock- opera interpretation of the Book of Ester. Congregation Ohev Sha- lom's president, Lori Brenner, expressed her thoughts, "Rab- bi Kay is a vital part of our Ohev family. His youthful and spiritual outlook is a great addition to the entire Jewish community. The families and entire congregation love his musical, joyous spirit and the warmth he brings to our congregational family. Rabbi Kay is the husband of Joanne Kay and next March they will celebrate their silver anniversary. Rabbi Kay and Joanne are the parents of Jo- nah, currently a student at the Joint Program of Columbia University and List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Java & Jazz sponsorship op- portunities and submissions for congratulatory messages for Rabbi Kay are available. For more information, to register for the gala or to see how you can participate, please contact Steve Brownstein, synagogue administrator at 407-298-4650. From page 2A the army and the party are enriched by capitalist enter- prise while the cheap labor of the people is exploited for the benefit of the regime and its trading partners. "The old 1959 political refugees want a democratic regime change: free press, free elections, free Internet, a real improvement for the Cuban people," Perelis said. Nancy Brook, who left Cuba in 1961 when she was 12, expressed similar concerns, even as she acknowledged the failure of America's Cuba policy to dislodge the Cuban regime. "It is obvious that the so-called embargo has not worked," she said. "But will these new measures bring benefits and freedom to the Cuban people or just benefit the Cuban government and their bunch of thugs?" Brook has not been back to Cuba since she left. Her parents came to the United States three years later, after the two stores and eight-story building they owned were confiscated by Castro's Com- munist regime. There is something of a generational divide among Cuban Americans when it comes to the question of the embargo. Many younger Cuban Americans say end- ing the long U.S. embargo may provide new opportuni- ties to change life in Cuba for the better. But those who witnessed the regime's crimes firsthand generally believe there can be no rap- prochementwith a Castro-led government. "The older Cubans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are mostly against because they suffered: They had to abandon Cuba, they saw a lot of injustices," said Sergio Grobler, a past president of the Cuban Hebrew Congre- gation of Miami, Temple Beth Shmuel. "The younger Cubans mostly are for an easing of the relationships between Cuba and the U.S., because the most horrifying things happened before they were born. When you don't see it with your own flesh, it's different. But I think it would be immoral to accept what has been happening." That generational divide is evident within Grobler's own family. Grobler says his son has talked to him about wanting to visit Cuba; visits by Americans have been permitted to the island na- tion for some time, so long as they take place under certain conditions, such as under religious or journalistic auspices. Grobler says he has no problem with his son go- ing to see the place his father grew up and visiting the local Jewish community, but he himself won't go until the Communist dictatorship has been removed. "I refuse to go to Cuba," Grobler said. "I refuse to do business with them. I will go the day prior to the day there will elections in Cuba." In the Perelis family, too, the generational divide is evident. "In general, younger Cu- ban-Americans (myself in- cluded) see the embargo as a stupid policy which only gives the Castro regime an enemy to blame and excuses for their incompetence and absence of human rights," said Joseph Perelis' son, Ronnie Perelis, who is aprofessor of Sephardic studies at Yeshiva University and was born in the United States. "Nixon went to China. We have had diplomatic and military relationships with dastardly regimes from the Saudis to [the late Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet." Yet Ronnie Perelis acknowl- edges some ambivalence about this week's announced changes. "Clearly the embargo has been a failure and perhaps openness can open a new way forward," he said. "The chance of person-to-person contact changing things in small ways in the island is not insignificant." But, he added, the change may also "simply leave the regime in a stronger position to continue their control of the population without any democratic change." Marcos Kerbel, a past presi- dent and now chair of the finance committee at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation in Miami, says the community is taking a wait-and-see at- titude for now. "We're all extremely happy about the release of the Alan Gross," Kerbel said. "I don't take political sides. We see in Congress there are some de- bates about the new policy. My attitude right now is wait and see what's going to happen." From page 4A Israeli institutions; Jews who express concern about their own loss of status and security due to Muslims and others who oppose Israeli actions involving settlements, Arab casualties due to the actions of the IDF and Israeli police, or what is described as the inflexibility of Israeli govern- mentswith respectto the"two state solution" important to the U.S. and other western governments; unease between Diaspora Jews who support left of center political parties, and Israelis who support right of center political parties. One can find in the Israeli population antipathy to "rich and spoiled Americans and Europeans" who criticize Israeli actions from their own positions of safety, even while Israelis acknowledge and seek to enhance the financial and political support received from those overseas Jews who continue to identify with Israeli concerns. With Israel's development, financial support from the Diaspora has become less important than political sup- port, in the context of increase activism of overseas Palestin- ians and their supporters. The Obama administration has moved to an extreme posi- tion, not seen since Eisenhow- er's pressure on Israel, Britain and France to withdraw from the Sinai in 1956, or Secretary of State James Baker's "f*** the Jews" in the context of the first Gulf War. Most prominent is the con- trast between G.W. Bush's recognition of demographic changes that have to be taken into account in any accord, and the Obama-Kerry con- cern for the 1967 borders and opposition to Jewish construction in post-1967 neighborhoods of Jerusalem. It is not the case that Israeli Jews and the Israeli govern- ment have given up on their former friends, but something like that is involved in Israelis' move to the right politically while Diaspora Jews continue to support Barack Obama and the head of the British Labour Party Ed Miliband, who is a Jew and son of Holocaust survivors, and has opposed some of Israel's prominent activities. One can argue about Israel's dependence on the political influence of American Jews. For one thing, that influence is not entirely in the direction of supporting the policies of the Israeli government. J Street may not be the match of AIPAC, but it reaches the White House, most notably via Martin Indyk. For another thing, Israel's own economic and military might, along with its capacity to link itself to various politicians ascen- dant elsewhere, makes it a factor in its own right, able to look after itself in interna- tional politics. At some points in recent months, Israeli actions have been closer to those of Egypt than to those of the United States. And for a third thing, Israeli of- ficials look for support across the complexity of American politics, including sectors not close to whoever is currently in the present White House. Among its points of reference have been Republicans in Con- gress, and leading ministers of the Christian Right. None of which is to say that Israeli officials overlook the sentiments and support they may get from American Jews. The point is that Israel is an independent actor, not tied to whatever may be ascen- dant among the Jews of the United States or any other Diaspora. BDS and other actions against Israel and Jews on campuses and elsewhere may be making Diaspora Jews more uncomfortable than Israelis. Israelis have been aware of threat and tensions all during their history, and rely on security forces skilled in protecting them. Diaspora Jews are encountering awave of anti-Semitism, at least partly linked towhat Israel has been doing, not felt inwestern countries since Jews began to enjoy increased opportunities after World War II. Ira Sharkansky is a pro- fessor (Emeritus) of the Department of Political Sci- ence, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlighL Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV rediatJon can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, sldn cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future. Shield year eyes (and Year ~ini~s eyes) frem barm~l UV rays. Wear sanlbm~ wBI imam H pobdii.