web analytics
May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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.

JTA

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.

JTA

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.

 

 

 

 

 

JTA

Anti-Semitites Vandalize Miami Synagogues

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Vandals attacked two synagogues and a supermarket in a Jewish neighborhood this past week, leaving behind a swastika and “KKK” scrawled on the city’s oldest conservative synagogue.

Two men were caught on surveillance video carrying a backpack and leaving the area of Temple Emanu-el, which was desecrated with the swastika and KKK [Ku Klux Klan], and one of them was arrested, according to the Miami Herald.

It was the firth attack by vandals in the neighborhood this summer, despite increased police patrols.

“The message is clear. It’s a message of hate and intolerance, and whenever you have intolerance, you have problems,” Temple Emanu-el Rabbi Marc Philippe told the newspaper.

He also said that a letter was left in the men’s bathroom two weeks ago with a message of condemnation of Israel’s treatment of Arabs.

A surveillance tape showed two men walking in the area of the temple in the middle of the night this past week at around the same time police received an anonymous call that the place of worship has been vandalized.

Police arrested one of the men, identified as 43-year-old Maximo De La Cruz-De Jesus.

Last Saturday, a swastika and the letters KKK also were scrawled on a supermarket, and “Iraq” and “Hamas” were written on the wall of a synagogue.

Jewish Press Staff

Netanyahu Thanks Florida for Support

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week a thank you letter for the government’s resolution last month supporting Israel.

“I received the state of Florida’s recent resolution reaffirming your unrequited support for Israel’s right of self-defense,” Netanyahu wrote Scott. “My government has been acting to protect our citizens against the scourge of Islamist terrorism, and we are strengthened by the steadfast support of our many friends in Florida.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sponsored the resolution last month, which states Israel “remains a force of freedom and democracy in the Middle East” and a “steadfast ally of the United States.

“Be it resolved that the governor and Cabinet of the state of Florida do hereby declare that the state of Florida stands with Israel and supports Israel’s right to defend and protect its citizens from the forces of tyranny and oppression to ensure the survival of the state of Israel.

“Be it further resolved that the governor and Cabinet of the state of Florida vehemently condemn the unprovoked rocket attacks aimed at Israel and call on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel….

“Florida continues to foster a strong relationship with Israel and is home to one of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel.

The resolution also referred to anti-Semitism in Florida, noting. “The killing of Rabbi Joseph Raksin in North-East Miami-Dade has put Floridians on high alert that there is a potential for violence against the Jewish people in Florida.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-thanks-florida-for-support/2014/09/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: