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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Black Republican Ben Carson Running for President

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.

Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.

The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.

His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.

Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.

He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”

He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.

After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:

I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.

In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.

His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,

“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”

Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.

He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:

We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.

President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.

“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson added in his book, “I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio Launches Presidential Run

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has launched his run for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016, reinforcing the new reality in America: diversity is officially “in.”

The senator made his announcement yesterday (Monday) during a speech in Miami.

Rubio is using his heritage as the son of Cuban immigrants to counter the Democratic female wannabe “champion” of the American dream, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Both follow a successful two-term president who ran on the themes of America’s strength in diversity, “hope” and “change” each time around.

Rubio, age 43, is the youngest candidate in the field thus far and represents the up-and-coming generation of the party. He is presenting himself as the person who can unite all the Republican party factions from one end of the spectrum to the other, and bring to the nation new economic solutions for the 21st century.

Rubio served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008 and rose to the position of Speaker of the House before he was elected as Senator in 2010. He is seen as a moderate in the party and serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.

In every way, Marco Rubio stands in complete contrast to Hillary Clinton, 67, a graduate of Ivy League university and a long-standing member of the elite Establishment.

“A leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over and we’re never going back,” he told supporters in his debut attack on Clinton.

Ditto with his closest GOP competitor, Jeb Bush, 62, whose brother and father both have already preceded him in the White House.

“I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege,” Rubio said, with a nod towards the venerable political background of his GOP competitor.

But in both comments, Rubio also sounds surprisingly like … Bill Clinton and – yes, sadly – incumbent President Barack Obama.

Neither the talk of “change” nor the “American dream” theme were different from any other presidential rhetoric heard on previous campaign trails. Much of it may also be found in his new book, “American Dreams.”

The good news is that Rubio has already made some of his positions clear, openly slamming Obama’s “dangerous concessions” to Iran and his administration’s “hostility” to Israel. In fact, Rubio was talking about the Iranian issue back in 2013, defining it not as an Israeli problem but as one that faces the entire world. An armed Iran is not something the United States can live with or contain, Rubio said at a news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a visit to Israel that year. “We hope the sanctions work, but we’re also preparing for the possibility that they won’t,” he said.

Israel lives “in a challenging neighborhood,” Rubio commented. He made it clear that America’s commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship was bipartisan and said “it should remain that way.”

During a meeting with then-President Shimon Peres, Rubio told reporters Jerusalem was “of course the capital of Israel.” He also said that although a two-state solution must be established, it was not clear whether Israel’s security could, in fact, be secured under such an arrangement. The solution, said Rubio, could only be reached in direct talks between the two parties themselves: no third side could force any arrangement. Nor should the United States be dictating any policy about the settlements, Rubio said; this too was an issue for the two sides in direct talks and should not involve any third parties.

Wasserman-Schultz Puts Stamp of Approval on Intermarriage

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done somersaults after making a comment noting the “the problem of intermarriage” in the Jewish community and then insisting she does not oppose it.

It is a bit bewildering that Wasserman Schultz, who also is head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), felt the need to retract a comment that should not have raised too many eyebrows.

Her remarks were made at a Jewish Federation event, in which she said:

We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage. We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community—particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance.

The playback must have sounded too committed to her and anyone, mostly in the Reform Movement, whose idea of “commitment” is not to be committed to anything, such as the Torah, that interferes with the individual as the judge and jury of what is wrong and right.

Here is how she backtracked:

At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it.

Is it guilt that was behind her repentance? Does she feel guilty for saying intermarriage is a “problem” when members of her family are a “product of intermarriage”?

Is it forbidden to say that intermarriage is a problem?

Apparently so.

Wasserman Schultz has implicitly put her stamp of approval on the “problem” of assimilation, which is estimated at 60 percent in the United States.

Reform Judaism does not officially oppose or favor intermarriage, although there is a clear trend of its clergy to officiate at weddings between a Jew and a non-Jew.

Polls show that only 25 percent of children of intermarried couples identify themselves as Jewish, and the term “Jewish” can be understood in its widest and most liberal interpretation that gives a person the self-satisfaction of calling himself a Jew while wolfing down a cheeseburger on Yom Kippur.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Ira M. Sheskin, of Cooper City, director of the University of Miami’s Jewish Demography Project, as saying, “There’s no question that there’s significant concern in the Jewish community over the percentage of people who are choosing not to marry Jews… From the point of view of a community that wants to see itself around in the next 100 years, it’s not a good trend.”

Wasserman Schultz’ Conservative synagogue Rabbi Adam Watstein told the Florida newspaper that “intermarriage is a feature of the reality of the Jewish community in the United States.”

That is true if the Jewish community accepts intermarriage. It is not true if it does not.

Prof. Sheskin mentioned that there is intermarriage in his own family, but that didn’t stop him from forecasting the obvious result of intermarriage for Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz couldn’t go that far, and her justification of what she admits is a “problem” is one more alarm siren for what remains of American Jewry.

Florida Philanthropists Donate $2.8 Million to Tel Aviv University

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Florida philanthropists Dr. Morton and Cynthia Levitt have donated $2.8 million for a scholarship fund for medical education at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.

Dr.  Levitt is a professor of Clinical Biomedical Science and former Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

His professional career includes service in the National Cancer Institute’s Carcinogenesis Bioassay Testing Program, service as a hospital executive and chief medical officer, and more than 20 years in the United States Air Force.

The Levitt scholarship continues a familial legacy of support for the Sackler Faculty of Medicine that includes Dr. Levitt’s parents, their families, and his great-uncle, Harry C. Bernard

The faculty is the largest medical and research training complex in Israel and comprises 1,400 affiliated doctors, including approximately 1,000 teachers, in pre-clinical departments, clinics, medical centers, six psychiatric hospitals, and a large rehabilitation center.

Jeb Bush Uses Hanukkah And Christmas Greeting To Launch Presidential Bid

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Jeb Bush announced his intention to “actively” explore the presidency in a Christmas and Hanukkah greeting message.

“Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!” the former Florida governor Bush said in a Facebook message posted Tuesday.

He described conversations he had with his family over Thanksgiving.

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” he said.

Bush likely would attract substantial Jewish Republican support because of the closeness of Jewish Republicans to his brother, former President George W. Bush, and because he is perceived as a moderate relative to other candidates.

Steven Sotloff’s Parents to Light Public Menorah in His Memory

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The parents of Steven Sotloff, the Jewish journalist who was beheaded by a member of ISIS, will light a public menorah in Miami in his memory.

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff will light the first candle of Hanukkah Tuesday night at the Chabad center in Miami.

“Steve was a proud Jew who always enjoyed the holidays,” his father, Arthur Sotloff, told Chabad.org. “It was one of his defining characteristics.”

“Chanukah is a time we commemorate the vanquishing of our enemies who tried to deprive us of our right to live with Torah,” Arthur Sotloff said. “The Maccabees fought for Judaism, and Steve fought for the values they endowed us with.”

The directors of the Chabad center in Miami, Rabbi Yossi and Nechama Harlig, got to know the Sotloffs during the Shiva period for their son. They decided Hanukkah would be the appropriate time to honor the slain journalist “who sought to bring a little more light and truth to the world,” according to Chabad.org

Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, was abducted on Aug. 4, 2013, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey. On Sept. 2, ISIS released a nearly three-minute video online titled “A Second Message to America” showing the beheading of Sotloff.

Sotloff published articles from Syria, Egypt and Libya in various publications, including Time.com, the World Affairs Journal and Foreign Policy. He also freelanced for The Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report magazine.

It was revealed after his death that Sotloff, 31, held Israeli citizenship. His connections to Israel and the Jewish community reportedly had been sanitized from the Internet and social media in order to keep the information from his radical Islamic captors.

Sotloff, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, made aliyah in 2005.

His parents have established The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation to provide scholarships for journalism students.

Hanukkah-Decorated Florida Home Vandalized with Swastika

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

A Jewish man found a swastika drawn on the gate to his home where he had put up decorations for Hanukkah.

David Cohen, 72 and a resident of North Fort Myers, Fla., told police that he found the swastika drawn onto his gate on Monday afternoon.

“I can’t even say how mad it makes me feel,” Cohen told news-press.com. “If it was a kid, I’d say they were very stupid. If it was an adult, they are very ignorant.”

The swastika was about four inches in length.

“I first saw it Monday when I came back from the North Fort Myers Community Center,” Cohen said.

Cohen reported the incident to the sheriff’s office and kept the fence open in order to avoid seeing the swastika and then painted over it.

He also placed a Menorah, dreidel and a Star of David near and around his lawn, which so far has been not vandalized.






Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hanukkah-decorated-florida-home-vandalized-with-swastika/2014/12/13/

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