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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

PASSOVER 2018 OUR 60th YEAR

6 Spectacular Pesach Destinations

PHOENIX, ARIZONA

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

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• Gorgeous half-mile stretch of Private Beach • 2 Championship Golf Courses • 30 Clay Tennis Courts • Enjoy the exciting Surfing Simulator • Fantastic Scholarsin-Residence • 40,000 sq. ft. World Class Spa • Exceptional Cuisine by Mark David Hospitatlity • International Kosher (IK) Glatt Kosher Supervision.

• Entire Hotel Kosher for Pesach • AAA 4-Diamond Resort • All Rooms Have Private Balconies • 5 Tournament-Ready Golf Courses • 19 Har Tru Tennis Courts • Fantastic Scholars-in-Residence • Delectable Cuisine by Foremost Ram Caterers • ORB Glatt Kosher Supervision

FLORENCE, ITALY

FIUGGI (ROME), ITALY

RYE BROOK, NEW YORK

Four Seasons Florence

Entire La Villa building Kosher for Pesach • Luxury 5-star resort • Hotel set amidst a 350,000 sq.ft. botanical garden • Gourmet cuisine by Michelen rated Four Seasons chefs • Daily services, outstanding lectures & children’s program • Glatt Kosher Supervision by Rabbi G.M. Garelik

Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte

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Hilton Westchester

• Entire hotel Kosher for Pesach • Only 30 minutes from New York City • Hotel beautifully renovated • Spectacular lineup of Scholars-in- Residence • Fantastic entertainment & daily activities • Professional day camp • Exceptional cuisine by Prestige Caterers • ORB Glatt Kosher Supervision

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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

Dear Readers, I hope everyone had a beautiful, safe and uplifting Chanuka filled with light and happiness. It pains my heart to think about it, both as a parent and as a Jew, but Klal Yisroel is deeply affected by the house fire on the 6th night of Chanukah in Brooklyn, resulting in the death of a mother and her 3 precious children. We can’t understand the ways of the Almighty, and why G-d took these pure, beautiful, innocent souls. We can only glean from it a message of hope and remind ourselves to hug our children a little tighter, give our spouses, parents, grandparents

extra love and respect, and do away with any spiritual or emotionally destructive “fires” that we may be holding onto. Instead, let us focus on the constructive, warming, heartfelt “fires” in our lives’ - such as the Chanukah menorah we just lit - that teaches us that a little light can dispel a lot of darkness. Wishing everyone a blessed week up ahead, Dina

Oded Tzur

PUBLISHER publisher@thefloridajewishhome.com

Dina Tzur

SENIOR EDITOR editor@thefloridajewishhome.com

Shoshana Soroka COPY EDITOR

Ronit Segal

ASSISTANT EDITOR

Yitzy Halpern

MANAGING PUBLISHER

Contents

Judah Shapiro

COMMUNITY

Around the Community

18

NEWS Global

8

Israel

8

National

10

That's Odd

14

PEOPLE My Reflections on the Federation Mission to Israel

30

Psychology Today

32

David A. Adler - From Authoring Cam Jansen to Holocaust Series

42

Why Palestinian Delusions Persist

47

Political Crossfire

49

Shifting a Parenting Paradigm

50

Dating Dialogue

54

Chanukah 2017: Modern Day Miracles in the Land of Israel

58

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Berel Wein

31

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg

33

HEALTHY APPETITE Chanukah Delights

36

In the Kitchen

39

Light up the Nights

40

Squash Your Weight

52

The Flipside of Latkes

57

HUMOR Centerfold

34

Good Humor

38

Notable Quotes

59

Shabbos Zmanim Candle Lighting Parshat Vayigash 5:17 Parshat Vayechi 5:21

Shabbos Ends Parshat Vayigash 6:13 Parshat Vayechi 6:17

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Berish Edelman Design & Production

Advertisements, Classifieds & Real Estate info@thefloridajewishhome.com

305-467-9003 561-374-2005 The Jewish Home is an independent weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

The Week In News

Meet Chile’s New President

On Sunday, Chileans elected billionaire Sebastián Piñera president. The runoff election followed a first round on November 19 for both the executive and legislative branches. Piñera, of the right-leaning National Renovation party, represents the conservative Let’s Go Chile coalition. The president-elect defeated center-left candidate Alejandro Guillier, of the ruling New Majority coalition, by 9 points, turning the current government out of office. This will be Piñera’s second term in office. He governed Chile between 2009 and 2014. Turnout increased between the first and second round, but initial data suggests the

growth heavily favored the right. While a large share of left voters who participated in November stayed home on Sunday, conservative voters who abstained in the first round showed up at much higher rates. During Piñera’s acceptance speech, supporters could be heard singing “Chile has been saved.” Piñera, a businessman turned statesman, is ranked one of the world’s wealthiest politicians. He once owned the television channel Chilevision, a large share of Lan Chile airlines, and the Colo-Colo soccer team. Earlier this year, the billionaire was criticized in the media for his offshore holdings and use of tax havens. The 67-year-old will succeed Socialist President Michelle Bachelet, whose New Majority coalition came to power in 2014  on a platform promising sweeping change. Bachelet began reforming Chile’s constitution, submitting a bill to the Congress earlier this year that would allow for a constitutional convention. Her second term, though, was clouded by accusations of corruption. Piñera’s victory is unlikely to produce a shift in public policy. His coalition controls only 73 of the 155 seats in the lower house. The composition of congress means that the president will need support from the opposition to pass legislation. As the center vanishes, such support will be hard to find and governing may prove difficult. Piñera’s first term in office contin-

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ued the previous government’s economic and social policies, and on Sunday he called for national unity, dialogue and compromise. While he has promised to reform tax and education policies, it is unlikely that the president will find support for radical change outside of his own coalition. This may reinforce the electorate’s perception that Chile is “stuck,” generating further discontent.

U.S.: Iran Violating Agreement

On Thursday, the United States attempted to make the case to the UN that Iran had violated the terms of its international agreements with regards to providing weapons to other countries. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed the UN, presenting weapons and technology that Iran has provided to other powers in the Mideast, leading to regional instability. These included guided Qiam-1 missiles and drones. Prominently displayed was the missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen against an airport

in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Ambassador Haley said that these weapons are proof that Iran is not abiding by its agreements and is continuing to threaten the Middle East with its belligerent behavior. Critics noted that Haley did not provide any hard evidence of Iran violating specific statutes. They claimed that weapons could have been transferred from Iran before the Security Council regulations forbidding weapons transaction had been enacted. The drone was presented without is warhead or guidance system, making its destructive potential hard to gauge. Additionally, none of the missiles presented have the capacity to carry nuclear warheads. Critics of the address included Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted pictures of Haley’s address alongside photos of Colin Powell’s address before the UN in 2003, where he laid out the U.S. case for invading Iraq. Zarif made the claim that the new accusations against Iranian weaponry mirror the U.S.’s mistaken accusations about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction from a decade ago.

Honduras Pres. Declared Winner On Sunday, President Juan Orlan-


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

do Hernandez was declared the winner of Honduras’ recent elections. But victory was not easy; the elections took place three weeks ago and since then uncertainty and unrest led to the death of at least 17 people who died in protests amid the opposition’s allegations of vote fraud.

Electoral court president David Matamoros made the announcement on Sunday, saying, “We have fulfilled our obligation (and) we wish for there to be peace in our country.” According to the court’s official count, Hernandez won with 42.95 percent to 41.42 for runner-up Salvador Nasralla, who well before the announcement had challenged the result and said he would not recognize it. There were reports of nighttime demonstrations on main boulevards in Tegucigalpa, the capital, and other cities, and Nasralla’s party called for more protests Monday. There was no immediate public comment by Hernandez, whose sister Hilda Hernandez, a Cabinet minister, died on Saturday in a helicopter crash. Earlier in the day Nasralla traveled to Washington to present what he called “numerous” examples of evidence of alleged fraud. He said he planned to meet with officials from the Organization of American States, the U.S. State Department  and human rights groups. Interviewed by UneTV during a layover at the Miami airport, Nasralla called Hernandez’s re-election illegitimate and said he would ask the OAS to invoke its democratic charter against Honduras. “The declaration by the court is a mockery because it tramples the will of the people,” Nasralla said. He added that he was “very optimistic” because “the people do not endorse fraud.”

Former President Manuel Zelaya, a Nasralla ally, called for civil disobedience from the population and for the armed forces to recognize Nasralla.“May G-d take us having made our confessions because today the people will defend in the streets the victory that it obtained at the ballot box,” Zelaya said. The first results reported by the electoral court before dawn the day after the November 26 election showed Nasralla with a significant lead over Hernandez with nearly 60 percent of the vote counted. Then public updates of the count mysteriously stopped for more than a day, and when they resumed, that lead steadily eroded and ultimately reversed in Hernandez’s favor. The electoral court recently conducted a recount of ballot boxes that presented irregularities and said there was virtually no change to its count. Since then it had been considering challenges filed by candidates. Hernandez, a 49-year-old businessman and former lawmaker, took office in January 2014 and built support largely on a drop in violence in this impoverished Central American country. According to Honduras’ National Autonomous University, the nation’s homicide rate has plummeted from a dizzying high of 91.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 59 per 100,000 — though Honduras remains among the deadliest places in the world. But corruption and drug trafficking allegations cast a shadow over Hernandez’s government, and his re-election bid fueled charges that his National Party was seeking to entrench itself in power by getting a court ruling allowing him to seek a second term. Hernandez’s government recently accused Zelaya and Nasralla of ordering “gangs” to block streets and commit violent acts amid the protests, which have seen burning barricades and clashes between rock-throwing demonstrators and police and soldiers responding with tear gas.

Saudis Intercept Houthis Missile After Yemen’s Shiite rebels fired a missile targeting the Saudi royal palace

on Tuesday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels intercepted it before it could reach the palace. It was the second time in as many months that a rebel projectile had reached as far inside the kingdom as Riyadh. The Yemeni rebels said they launched a ballistic missile to target Yamama Palace in Riyadh, where King Salman chairs weekly government meetings and receives dignitaries and heads of state from around the world.

Residents of Riyadh posted videos on social media showing a small cloud of smoke in the sky after hearing a loud explosion over their homes and while driving. Twitter Ads info and privacy In the almost three years that the Saudi-led coalition has waged war with Yemen’s rebels, dozens of other missiles have been fired by the Houthis across the border into Saudi Arabia, reaching as far as some border towns. There have been casualties among local residents in those attacks. Earlier this month, the Houthis claimed they fired a missile at an under-construction nuclear plant in the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi coalition battling the militant group in Yemen. The UAE, however, denied that a missile had been fired. The Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015. The Houthis, who are allied with Saudi Arabia’s rival, Iran, have forced into exile the Saudi-backed and internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Despite a fierce air campaign against the Houthis, the rebels still largely control the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north along the border with Saudi Arabia. Earlier this month, the Houthis killed Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, after he switched alliances and struck deals with the Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and driven millions to the brink of famine.

N Korea behind WannaCry Attack This week, the Trump administration publicly acknowledged that North Korea was behind the WannaCry computer worm that affected more than 230,000

computers in over 150 countries earlier this year. North Korea was widely suspected to have created the virus, which was paired with ransomware that encrypted data on victims’ computers and demanded money to restore access. Until now, the U.S. government has not publicly stated as much. In June, The Washington Post reported  that the National Security Agency had linked North Korea to the creation of the worm. In October, the British government declared that it believed North Korea was the culprit. The following month, the CIA issued a similar classified assessment, which had not been previously reported. As a result of the acknowledgment that North Korea was responsible for the widespread attack, the U.S. administration will be calling on “all responsible states” to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct cyberattacks and to implement all “relevant” United Nations Security Council sanctions, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter. “The [WannaCry] attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s homeland security advisor, said in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. “We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with

our findings, either.” The U.S. official noted that the U.S. government has released technical details of North Korean cyber-tools and operational infrastructure and has worked with other countries to lessen North Korea’s ability to conduct further tests or generate illicit funding. The May 12 global cyberattack affected critical sectors, including health care, “potentially putting lives at risk,” said the official. In November 2014, North Korea hacked Sony Pictures networks, disrupting computer systems, stealing and releasing corporate emails and demanding that the studio cancel the release of a satirical movie depicting Kim’s assassination. The attack led the Obama administration to impose economic sanctions. The Security Council sanctions on North Korea focus on its activities to develop a nuclear weapon. The administration, however, seems to be linking North Korea’s general pattern of bad behavior, including in cyberspace, to the call to implement all sanctions.


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

U.S. Vetoes UN Resolution Regarding Jerusalem

On Monday the United States was the sole member of the United Nations Security Council to veto an Egyptian-drafted resolution which called for President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel to be withdrawn. The other 14 council members voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” Even so, it was an obvious dig at the United States.

“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote. It was the first veto cast by the United States in the Security Council in more than six years, Haley said. “We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance,” she said. “The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.” The U.N. draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.” Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy this month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world. The president also plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft U.N. resolution had also called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. “The United States has a sovereign right to determine where and whether we establish an embassy,” Haley said. “I suspect very few member states would

welcome Security Council pronouncements about their sovereign decisions.” After the U.S.’s veto, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the US administration “showed its lack of compliance with international resolutions by its provocative and unwise decision to recognize Al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist occupying regime.” He added that Washington’s veto despite the rest of the council supporting the resolution “proved that it seeks a compromise by trampling on the legal rights of all Palestinians.” Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel won in the Six Day War.

Israeli Teen Finds WhatsApp Bug

Yuval Sprintz is just 17-years-old but don’t let his age fool you. The Israeli high schooler is from the northern moshav of Tzurit. He recently discovered a security

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breach in WhatsApp, reported it to Facebook, and was then awarded a $1,250 prize. Sprintz is in his last year of school but is simultaneously studying towards a computer science degree at Haifa University. He has also participated in the Davidson Institute of Science Education’s Alpha Program, intended for gifted young men and women. The Davidson Institute is the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science. “I began showing an interest in information security at a very young age, and learned about it myself through the internet,” Sprintz said.  A few months ago, Yuval was working on preparing a software tool able to merge two WhatsApp groups. As part of work on the project, he delved deep into the code of WhatsApp Web, the app’s browser-based platform. He realized that a security breach allowed him to add “fake” phone numbers to a WhatsApp group that don’t represent any real accounts. Theoretically, users other than the administrator could then add new users, even ones that were previously blocked from the group. A user could also add an exceptionally long phone number, which may lead to the app crashing.   Sprintz contacted Facebook using the social network’s “Bug Bounty” program at the end of September. The program allows independent information security specialists to report security breaches to Facebook for a monetary reward. Facebook ultimately sealed the breach and

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

thanked Yuval, notifying him of his reward. Asked what he planned to do with the money, Sprintz responded: “I recently bought a powerful new computer, so the reward can go a long way towards that.”

Going the extra mile!

Palestinians Continue to Riot

in the chest before being shot. Another stabbed a soldier and was then seen wearing a suicide belt. He was killed when soldiers feared he would detonate it. In Jerusalem, around 30,000 Muslims prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, mostly without incident. Following relative calm in the capital last week, police did not to impose any age restrictions on Muslim worshipers praying on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. At times of expected violence, Israeli authorities sometimes limit access to the site for young men, who are more likely to clash with police.

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A week after President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel Palestinians continued to riot. Israel’s Army Radio reported 3,500 Gazans demonstrated at nine locations along the fence around the Hamas-run enclave, lighting fires and throwing rocks on Friday. Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, has urged a new intifada to liberate Jerusalem in the wake of Trump’s December 6 declaration that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the West Bank on Friday, some 2,500 Palestinians took part in violent protests, the IDF said, thousands less than in the week before. Following noon-time prayers, riots were reported in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Nablus. Demonstrators burned tires and threw petrol bombs and rocks at Israeli troops, who fired back at them with tear gas and rubber bullets. “IDF soldiers are responding with riot dispersal means in the main locations,” the army said. Four Palestinians died on Friday afternoon after being shot in clashes with Israeli security forces during protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said. One Palestinian stabbed an Israeli Border Police officer

Brig. Gen. (res.) Kamil Abu Rokon, who currently leads the Defense Ministry’s Border Crossing Authority, has been picked to be Israel’s next military liaison to the Palestinians. Abu Rokon is expected to take over the liaison position, officially known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), from Maj. Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai sometime in late April, the ministry said. He will also be promoted to the rank of major general. Abu Rokon will be the second Druze military liaison to the Palestinians and the second-ever Druze major general, following Yousef Mishleb, who served in the position from 2003 to 2008. “Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made the decision following consultation with the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot,” the ministry said in its statement. In the announcement, Liberman laud-


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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ed Abu Rokon as “one of the leading experts in Israel on the Palestinian arena. I am very impressed by his knowledge and experience in managing large networks in his current position as head of the Defense Ministry’s Crossing Authority.” Abu Rokon, from the Druze village of Usefiya in the Galilee, has long been in the running to lead the Defense Ministry’s COGAT unit. He served as the deputy commander of the unit in 2001 and was reportedly considered for the leadership post in 2011 by then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, but was passed over in favor of Maj. Gen. (res) Eitan Dangot. Mordechai, who is seen as widely respected both in Israel and in the Arab world, will be ending a nearly 40-year career in the Israeli security forces, having served in intelligence units and as spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces. He took over as head of COGAT in October 2013. “Poli is a strategic asset for the State of Israel. Even after he finishes his position, I am sure that the State of Israel will continue to take advantage of his special skills,” Liberman said. Under Mordechai, the role of COGAT expanded to include working with the international community on Palestinian issues and to cooperate with Palestinians on issues beyond military coordination. In November, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara – Israel’s first Druze minister – accidentally announced Abu Rokon’s appointment, tweeting, “I am proud of you, love you and wish you success for the IDF and the State of Israel.” He later deleted the tweet.

or sporting green scarves to the al-Katiba Square for Thursday’s rally. The huge sea of Gazans was joined by the head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh and the group’s leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar while the Hamas military wing choir

sang on stage and to the adoring crowds. Despite the celebration, the gathering comes at a low point for Hamas, with the terror organization isolated by Egypt and being targeted by Israeli airstrikes launched in response to rocket attacks against Israel’s population. It has also been compelled to make nice with Fatah, just a few years after seizing Gaza by force.   Hamas blames an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade, lack of support from Arab and Islamic nations, and Abbas’ alleged attempts to undermine the group for the hardships in Gaza. This includes 43 percent unemployment and major blackouts.

Thousands Celebrate Founding of Hamas 4 Pure Souls Perish At least 100,000 Palestinians gathered in Fire in Gaza City to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules the territory, last week.

  Buses brought in men, women and children brandishing Hamas’ green flags

On Monday night, the streets of Flatbush were choked with people as they came out to be me’lave the four niftarim of the Azan family. Thousands of people slowly followed the cars containing the bodies of Mrs. Aliza Azan, a”h, who was

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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

39-years-old when she died. They were also me’lave the three bodies of her pure children who lost their lives in the tragic fire the night before, Moshe, a”h, 11; Yitzchak, a”h, 7; and Henrietta, a”h, who was just 3-years-old when she perished. Tehillim was said at the levaya, followed by kaddish. There were no hespedim. The community shed copious tears and heart wrenching sobs were heard during the funeral. The niftarim were flown to

Eretz Yisroel for the levaya and kevura. The fire was reported around 2:30a.m. on the sixth night Chanukah. Sadly, by the time firefighters came to help, the fire was already out of control. Aliza and her three children were found in a bedroom on the second floor. Yosef, the father of the family, had ran back into the home to rescue his children. He was able to save two of his children, Shilat, 16, and Daniel, 15, who are in critical condition, before trying to go into the house again. Yosef is in now in critical condition. Another one of the couple’s children was able to make it out alive. A cousin was in the house as well and also survived. Firefighters said that the fire was started by a lit menorah. The Jewish community, reeling from the devastation and horror of the tragedy, are being urged to say Tehillim for the three survivors who are in critical condition. Please keep Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda, Shilat bas Louza Aliza, and Daniel ben Louza Aliza in your tefillos. Hashem should grant them a complete, speedy recovery, and they should know no more tzaar.

Trump Promises “America First” in National Security Policy President Trump outlined a new grand strategy for U.S. foreign policy in an address given on Monday. Administrations periodically prepare a national security document outlining the major national security concerns of the U.S. and how the administration plans to deal with them. The speech laid out the contents of the document, which is delivered to Congress. In a break with his predecessors, President Trump stressed “America first,” during the 20 minutes speech, given at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington.

“Our leaders engaged in nation building abroad while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home,” Trump said. He also called out former presidents and said that they “forgot whose voices they were to respect and whose interests they were supposed to defend.” Pres. Trump declared, “America is coming back, and America is coming back strong.” President Trump’s national security strategy directly takes on China and Russia. The document states that China and Russia “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” In another break with his predecessor, Trump took a lighter tone on climate change. In his last strategy document in 2015, President Obama declared that climate change is an “urgent and growing threat to our national security.” President Trump’s strategy document makes no such designation. Rather, it states that “the United States will remain a global leader in reducing pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while growing its economy.” America will do that, notes the document, through “innovation, technology and breakthroughs...not from onerous regulation.” The president made it clear that the United States will stand up for itself even if it means alienating others on issues such as trade, climate change and immigration. “America is in the game and America is going to win,” the president reiterated. He also declared, “With every decision and every action we are now putting America first. We are rebuilding our nation and our confidence and our standing in the world.”

Disney Acquires Fox

In a merger that shook the media world, 21st Century Fox was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in a $52.4 bil-

lion, all-stock deal. The deal includes the historic studio as well as other sports and entertainment assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire. In a rapidly changing media landscape, this union of Hollywood heavyweights represents a concerted effort by Disney to stay competitive. The deal values 21st Century Fox assets in the transaction at $66.1 billion, including $13.7 billion in 21st Century Fox debt, or $28 a share. The enterprise value of the deal is $69 billion. Bob Iger, Disney chairman-CEO, will stay on with the company for another two years, extending his contract so that he can oversee the merger. Many see the merger as a boon for Disney. Some have hailed the move by Iger as the strongest counter-attack yet by a traditional media company in the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) age. It adds enormously to Disney’s library of films and TV series, which makes a future successful streaming operation more likely. It gives them a more strategic role in film and TV production, including the Fox television studio and the 20th Century Fox film studio. It also gives them some strong cable channels, including National Geographic. And Disney now has greater international reach, with Sky in Europe (including BSkyB in Britain) and Star in Asia, especially with its strong position in India. Not everything will be included in the sale. Not included in the deal are the Fox

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network and Fox News, to be called the New Fox, that is projected to have revenue of $10 billion and earnings of about $2.8 billion. Disney projects that within two years of the deals closing, it will see $2 billion in cost savings resulting from combining Disney and Fox’s overlapping businesses.

The End of Net Neutrality

On Thursday, the FCC repealed net neutrality laws adopted in 2015. The 3-2 vote by the FCC ended regulations that prevented internet service providers from dealing differently with types of content on the internet. Many of us shrugged our shoulders last week when we heard that net neutrality ended. After all, how many of us know what net neutrality is? So here’s a brief definition: net neutrality is the principle that ISPs need to treat all content equally and not give preference to some digital content providers. That means that


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President Trump’s transition team lawyer, Kory Langhofer, is crying foul over Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller obtaining tens of thousands of emails unlawfully. The emails were from the transition period after Trump won the presidency and before he took the oath of office. During that time, the transition team used the facilities of the General Services Administration (GSA) and its emails were stored on the GSA server. The transition emails include sensitive exchanges on matters which includes appointments, policy planning and strategy. A transition official told Axios News that “Mueller is using the emails to confirm things and get new leads.” Mueller obtained the emails by requesting that the GSA provide emails, laptops, cellphones and other material used by the transition team. The GSA complied with that request and provided the items, resulting in a treasure trove of information. The request to the GSA was made in August and many of the emails given to Mueller were used during his interviews of Trump officials. However, it was only last week that Trump’s team became aware of how Mueller obtained those records.

According to Langhofer, Special Prosecutor Mueller was well aware that the GSA did not own or control those records and items and it was backhanded and improper for Mueller to obtain the emails that way. In addition, many of the emails contained legally privileged information which Mueller is not entitled to. Langhofer has sent a complaint to two congressional committees. According to a GSA official who spoke with Buzzfeed, transition officials were made aware that there can be no expectation of privacy for emails sent over the GSA’s server. When asked about the emails on Sunday, President Trump responded, “Not looking good. It’s not looking good. It’s quite sad to see that. My people are very upset about it. I can’t imagine there’s anything on them, frankly, because as we said, there’s no collusion. There’s no collusion whatsoever.” These questionable emails come as Mueller has been facing mounting criticism from Republicans who say that his team seems biased against Trump. In a recently disclosed text exchange, which took place during the 2016 campaign, between FBI agent Peter Strzok – who was on Mueller’s team until his severe anti-Trump bias was uncovered – and another agent, Strzok wrote, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there is no was he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40...” It remains unknown what the “insurance policy” they are referring to is, but it sounds quite Deep State-ish. Perhaps they are playing prevent-defense, but some noted Democrats and journalists have been spreading a rumor that President Trump is going to fire Mueller. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) said in recent a TV interview that the rumor among her colleagues is that when Congress is out of town on X-mas eve weekend, Trump will fire Mueller. When asked if he plans on firing Mueller, Pres. Trump recently responded, “No, I’m not.”

Chicago Introduces City ID Program In a move designed to make life in the USA easier for illegal immigrants, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rolled out the new “City Key” initiative last week. Under the new program, IDs are issued to those who do not have access to regular forms of identification. Emanuel says this will help undocumented people and “those on the sidelines” participate in city life like all other Chicagoans: “If you want somebody who’s undocumented to feel comfortable to be able to drive their child to school and all the benefits, they have to be part of the city.”


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

City Keys will be accepted on public transit, at libraries, and may eventually be used to open bank accounts. Critics of the City Key program say it will provide a way for people who are illegally in the country to get a fake ID. This could present serious law enforcement and national security risks. Local politicians have warned that the new program is easily exploitable by those securing fake IDs for themselves, although the mayor’s office has assured the public that the ID program will require a stringent application process and will include hidden security features. This has not convinced many in the Chicago area, who see the City Key program as a transparent ploy to appease Latino voters. By debuting a new program that addresses an issue of concern for their community, Emanuel may be courting votes for his next mayoral campaign, which will take place in February 2019.

Trump’s Reaching for the Moon

Last week President Trump announced his plan to send American astronauts back to the moon for the first time since 1972. He also stated his goal to see the U.S. as the first county to put a human being on Mars. “The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” Trump said. “It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use. This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond.” According to deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, the president’s directives came after considering recommendations sent to his office by the National Space Council. The new instructions come as no surprise, as both President Trump and Vice President Mike

Pence have been vocal in their support of expanding NASA’s scope of operations. While on the campaign trail in Florida, Trump promised the state that he would bring back the glory days of space exploration to a state strongly associated with NASA. NASA recently announced that for human astronauts, the path to Mars will include a stop at the moon, where the agency may build a facility currently being called the Deep Space Gateway. That structure could serve as a kind of way station between the Earth and the Red Planet. (The concept for this particular lunar way station has been around for at least five years.)  The president’s pick for NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, has yet to be confirmed. His main critic has been Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who has harshly criticized Bridenstine. It seems unlikely, however, that this opposition will keep Trump from reaching for the stars.

Lost Inheritance Heard the story of the couple whose inheritance got lost in the mail? It really happened. A few months ago, in February, Lorette Taylor sent her brother, Louis Paul Herbert, a bank check containing part of his inheritance after dividing their father’s will amongst the siblings. Herbert went to the UPS store to pick up his package – but the check, written out to $846,000 – never arrived.

“I’m waiting at the UPS store, around 3 p.m. because that’s when they said the guys came in – nothing shows up,” Herbert says. “I came back in the evening. Nothing shows up...and I’m wondering, ‘What’s happened to my inheritance?’” Taylor said she sent the check from TD Bank through UPS so her brother would not have to travel 270 miles to pick it up. Taylor said the bank guaranteed the draft would get to Herbert safely, a vow that helped convince her to use UPS’ services. The bank also pledged to Taylor and her husband, John, it would replace the money if the draft got lost. “They said a bank draft was more appropriate,” Taylor said. “Never in my

wildest imagination did I think something like this would happen.” Things got sticky when UPS couldn’t locate the package. After endeavoring to find the envelope, UPS sent an apology letter to the family and offered to refund the $32 shipping fee. Unfortunately, $32 wasn’t going to cut it. Herbert still didn’t have his cash, and the bank would only issue a new bank check if Lorette would sign that she would pay the bank back if someone cashes the lost draft. “It also said that if something happened to me, for example, my children and my heirs and my spouse and my executor would have to pay this debt,” she said. “Well, I didn’t really want to sign this.” Even after signing, the bank put a lien on her home in case the lost check was ever cashed. They still didn’t give them any funds. Finally, just last week, months after the saga began to unravel, the bank released $846,000 to the family and issued an apology. “We understand that we’ve reached a resolution with our customer,” Cheryl Ficker, a spokeswoman for TD Canada Trust, said. “It’s clear to us we didn’t get this right along the way and that there was more we could have done to come to a resolution faster.” It seems that when shipping a will, the words “the check is in the mail” is not a very comforting phrase to hear.

Like Grandmother, Like Granddaughter

Last week, two members of one family wore graduation gowns as they received their college diplomas. The joy in the family spanned generations as grandmother and granddaughter both graduated from Chicago State University. Belinda Berry, 62, received her degree in business administration. Granddaughter Karea Berry, 25, majored in criminal justice. Belinda raise Karea in her apartment since Karea was just two-years-old. She always preached the value of hard work and of higher education. “We didn’t know we were going to finish together because I was full-time and she was part-time. And it actually just worked out that way. I just say it was G-d’s will,” Karea said. Grandmother Belinda was joyful. “I am very honored to be a role model. And I hope I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it’s never too late

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to pursue an education,” she said. The two inspirational women plan on continuing their pursuit of higher education. They both will enroll in graduate programs next year. “That education is the key to success. That’s her motto of life,” Karea said of her grandmother. “She just always said you have to persevere through all of your challenges and you will receive what you need to receive. And that’s what’s happening to us today.”

A Dog’s Life

We wish this story was not true but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Helena Mueller, a 38-year-old mother from the UK, loves her little Lola. She brings her everywhere and takes hundreds of pictures of her frolicking in the snow. Just a few weeks ago the two of them went to the movies together. And Helena has pampered her with spa sessions and showered her with 68 presents for the holidays. There’s just one twist to the over-thetop spoiling of Lola. Lola has never expressed her gratitude to Helena. You see, Lola is two-years-old. And more than that, Lola is a dog. “She’s changed my life so much, we got her because I have an only child, Harry, who was four at the time,” Helena said. But now Lola gets more presents than six-year-old Harry, who is a delightful, sweet boy. Helena spent more than $1,350 on presents for Lola just this season. “Lola never moans about homework, and she never complains about what’s for dinner...” Helena said. Perhaps because Lola has yet to utter a word. Even more peculiar is the “pecking order” in the Mueller home. Apparently, Lola comes first, then Harry, and then Helena’s husband. Ouch! The dog has her own separate bank account and an allowance of $130 a month for anything she might need. How she accesses the funds is anyone’s guess. A few days ago, Helena shared a Facebook post asking for help wrapping all of Lola’s presents. Apparently her friends weren’t too interested, instead asking her to stop posting about her dog’s gifts because “[their] dog will want the same things.” Seems like the world is turning upside


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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the

Community Katz Yeshiva High School Storm Girl Basketball Team Keeps on Winning! Katz Yeshiva High School is privileged to have an outstanding girls varsity basketball team. They have won three consecutive tournaments. In 2016, the won the Hebrew Academy tournament in Miami, and, just this past November, the girls’ basketball team won the Steve Glouberman Tournament in California for the second year in a row. They spent the weekend playing game after game until victorious; they brought home the gold! The KYHS girls basketball team’s success is due to their amazing teamwork and intense practice schedule. Participating in the KYHS girls’ basketball team is joining a family. Every member of the basketball team helps and pushes one another to   become the best players and people possible. Yakirah Rosen (19) explains her team’s success, “ I think a big part of our success on the court is how we are as a team off the court. We are not just a group of girls who play ball together. We are best friends and a family. We are there for each other on and off the court

and get to know each other apart from our skills on the court.” All of the players work extremely hard and have practice at least three times a week. At practice, the team members perform drills to improve their skills, run to build speed and stamina, and plan the defensive and offensive strategies. A junior, Dahlia Sered, joined the team freshmen year and has enjoyed every minute of it. She reflects, “every year I gain confidence in myself, have more responsibilities, and continue to improve and succeed. Playing high school basketball encourages friendships between different grades that you never knew were possible. As a freshman, the upperclassmen were always there for me and I try to do the same and help the freshmen out as much as I can.” Playing sports teaches commitment and devotion. It takes many hours a week but the girls manage to balance their busy school schedules along with basketball. Basketball also teaches students the im-

portance of mental strength and perseverance despite difficult circumstances. The KYHS girl basketball players do not give up, even when they are losing. Instead, they use teamwork and determination to continue to play harder until they win. One of three captains, Isabella Berkeley sums up the true success of the girls basketball team, “ It means so much to

me to be a part of a team where the athletes get along so well and have fun. The success that comes with it is the icing on the cake. I gain a sense of leadership and responsibility from being a team player. I also gained a sense of trust in each other which, in my opinion, allows us to be so successful.”

Mega Chanukah Event Featured Benny Friedman and 8th Day By Chaim Lehrer

Chabad of South Broward Headquarters once again hosted and produced the Worlds’ Largest Annual Chanukah Festival in Hallandale Beach, with many thousands of people overflowing the three mammoth, glamorous and Disnyesque levels at Gulfstream. The 38th Annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival was a Free Event, and was attended by thousands of South Floridians, and thousands of tourists from North America and from around the world.The Chanukah Festival featured a star studded concert, headlining Jewish Music’s Superstars Benny Friedman and the sensational Dynamic Duo 8th Day. The Festival was three hours of non stop Chanukah entertainment and enjoyment. Over a thousand people danced for over an hour, near the stage, on the stage, and behind the stage, in an overwhelming

expression of joy and gratitude of celebrating Chanukah in a most memorable and Chassidic manner. The Festival also featured the lighting of Florida’s largest Menorah, led by Rabbi Cantor Yossi Lebovics, principal of the Chaya Aydel Seminary. Over 2,000 boys and girls received Chanukah goodies, including a real dollar, chocolate coins and a dreidel. The Festival was broadcast live around the world on Chabad.org. This Mega Chanukah Event attracted scores of Government Officials, from local, state and federal government. The Menorah is a symbol of religious freedom, and the lights of the Menorah are a beacon of light against the forces of darkness that plagues the world. The lights of the Chanukah Menorah bring light and victory against the evil, tyranny and terror,

that the world faces today. Chanukah is the first holiday that celebrates freedom of religion, and freedom from oppression. Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, Chabad’s executive Vice President, says that, “ the Chanukah Festival started in 1980, and gets bigger every year. “The Rebbe”, said Rabbi Tennenhaus, “gave me a Brocha back in the 1980’s, that our Annual Chanukah Festival should grow each year as the lights of the Menorah grow each night. It was obvious to one and all, that this blessing continues, from strength to strength”. The Cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood and the Broward County Commission, issued Proclamations of “100 Days to Increase in acts of goodness and kindness” to hasten the coming of Moshiach. The 100 days began the day of

the Chanukah Festival and concludes on 11 Nissan, the Rebbe’s birthday. Special thanks goes to Rabbi Levi Tennenhaus, Chabad’s youth director and Festival coordinator, who was assisted by Itai Antian, Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Rabbi Mordy Feiner, Rabbi Mendy Tennenhaus, Rabbi Yossi Lebovics and the students of the Chaya Aydel Seminary. A “shout out” to all the sponsors, whose names were submitted in Rabbi Tennenhaus’s monthly report to the Rebbe’s Ohel, to the City of Hallandale Beach, the Police and Fire Departments of Hallandale Beach and to Gulfstream. The Chanukah Festival 2017 can be viewed in the archives of Jewish TV found on Chabad.org.


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

FLORIDA YACHAD

Family Resource Night W E D N E S DAY

1.10.18 7:30 - 9:30 pm JEWISH FEDERATION OF

SOUTH PALM BEACH COUNTY 9901 DONNA KLEIN BLVD, BOCA RATON, FL

Questions and answers about educational, behavioral, & emotional development from early childhood through the teen years.

H E A R F R O M O U R PA N E L O F E X P E R T S:

DR. JEFFREY LICHTMAN

DR. ROSEANNE LESACK

DR. DIANNE PATTERSON

Anxiety and Depression

Behavior Strategies

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yachad.org/Floridaparents ADVANCED REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION TO THIS EVENT.

Yachad/NJCD is dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life. YACHAD IS A PROGRAM OF THE ORTHODOX UNION

BECAUSE EVERYONE BELONGS

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

A Joyous Celebration of Chanukah by the Century Village Jewish Community by Michael Routburg The Century Village Chanukah Party was held Tuesday, December 12 on the Eve of Chanukah to help ‘kick start’ the Chanukah holiday spirit. Eli Okun served as the Master of Ceremony to an overflowing crowd of over 800 who had gathered in the Club House Party Room to hear speeches by Rabbis and politicians; light the first night light on a menorah; hear and sing music; spin dreidels; and of course eat jelly donuts (sufganiot). The event was sponsored by Young Israel of Deerfield Beach, Chabad of Deerfield Beach, and Temple Bnai Shalom as an opportunity to bring in Chanukah together as a united Century Village Jewish Community. Richard Rosensweig led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and sent out a special welcome to veterans. Cantor Gary Sherman, accompanied by Reuben Blumenthal on the keyboard, led everyone in

Photos by Eugene Metz and Linda Miller

singing G-d Bless America and Hatikvah. Wishes for a Happy Chanukah and a Joyous Holiday Season were given by the Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz, Deerfield Commissioner Bernie Parness, and a representative from the Broward Commissioner Mark Bogen (who was at a Commissioners’ meeting and unable to attend). Rabbi Yossi Goldblatt (Chabad) asked the question of why Chanukah (a Rabbinic holiday) receives such prominence? His answer was that during the Maccabean times, the Syrian-Greeks were fighting only the holiness within the G-d given commandments (and not the cultural Jewish religion). So we kindle the menorah as a symbol of religious freedom, and we allow a small bit of light, holiness, and G-dliness to dispel a lot of darkness. Rabbi Richard Polirer (Temple Bnai Shalom) touched on how Chanukah

teaches that G-d require us to show Chanukah dedication to be loving people people who can live in the world acting with both kindness and humility. Rabbi Yisroel Edelman (Young Israel) quoted Rabbi Yosef Soloveichek on how a chart of the Jewish people through history would be a zig-zag line which mirrors the flames of the Chanukah candles in that their ‘presence’ would grow and diminish … and then grow again. He related this to the Chanukah candles and how we are adding more light each night as we light an additional candle. Videos from Rabbi Etiel Goldberg (Aish) showed how a young boy was disappointed in his small Chanukah lights, when compared to the Christmas decorations on surrounding houses … UNTIL a power blackout caused by a snow storm left the entire neighborhood in darkness, leaving only the light from his and other

manorahs on the block as the ONLY light. He also spoke of contrasting the Greek concept of beauty of the body (still with us in the media) with the Jewish concept of the beauty of the spirit. A humorous video on jelly donuts and a video with a song that was carried by many famous Israeli singers were also shown. Mayor Ganz lit the Shamus candle and Commissioner Parness lit the Chanukah candle as Cantor Gary Sherman and Reuben Blumenthal led everyone in the singing of the Blessings followed by Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages). We thank everyone who came to the event. And a special thanks to all of the participants, and to the many hard workers (including the Bay Management staff and the wonderful setup crew) that made it possible. Wishing all a happy Chanukah.


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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Around the Community

The Innovative Spirit of Masoret Yehudit America ranks 17 th in Science and 25 th in Mathematics, yet we spend more money on education then the rest of the world. What is going wrong? Today the American public education is based upon principals of repetition and memorization. When I was a public school principal we were indoctrinated to teach to the test. I believe that a child does his or her best learning when thinking, creating, innovating. At Masoret Yehudit we teach children how to leverage technology in order to make learning fun and engaging!

Our robotics department is lead by Mr. Sean Levine, an electrical engineer by training, and a passionate teacher at heart. He has developed a program that gives students a hands on opportunity to build circuits, robots, and experience the principals of electricity and Kinects. Mrs. Michal Goldstein is our STEM coordinated and she has built a passionate culture for science and technology within our school. She has fully integrated STEM principals throughout our entire curriculum.   Our students are taught coding through an

innovative program out of Israel called E teacher. Our students have weekly sessions with a high tech company in Israel and will each develop their very Apps for iPad and Android. This program is truly one of a kind and Masoret is the only school in America to offer it! This year our science fair empowered elementary students to build air conditioners, drones, robots, electric cars and more! I have a strong belief that technology is best used to enhance education yet not replace it. Our classrooms are all equipped

with iPads that enable our teachers to differentiate instruction, help students collaborate by working together in groups, and enjoy immediate opportunities for formative assessments. Our teachers empower students with self guided learning, and challenge them to process, and apply new information. At Masoret Yehudit we use a blended model of technology in education. teachers impart the cognitive skills of how to think, create, and innovate, and the technology opens up new worlds of information. 

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Calling All Volunteers for Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day A Day Filled with Giving Back for All Ages

Hundreds of volunteers of all ages from throughout South Palm Beach County’s Jewish community will fan out across the area on January 15, 2018 to make a difference for those in need. They’ll be participating in 27 diverse hands-on projects at the second annual Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day. “Whether they’re interested in preparing food for the hungry, wrapping gifts, gardening, playing games with children or seniors, or much more, they’ll be surrounded by the inspiration and energy of joining their Jewish neighbors to help their less fortunate neighbors,” said Rabbi Josh Broide, Director of the Deborah and Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, which is presenting the event for a second year. “And this year, we are excited to provide these opportunities for service on Martin Luther

King Jr. Day.” Everyone is welcome to participate in one or more volunteer opportunities as individuals, as a family or with friends. The quick and easy required online registration and a full list of projects are available at www.jewishboca.org/action. The registration fee of $18 per person or per family includes Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day t-shirts for all participants. Community Service hours are offered for students. Families with young children may especially enjoy “Do a Mitzvah” with PJ Library® in South Palm Beach County at Bedner’s Farm in Boynton Beach, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Bringing along new pajamas and books for children in need, the families will enjoy story time, strawberry picking, hayrides and more. This year, the daylong event is dedicated in loving memory of Dr. Yoram Dahav, who inspired generations of students to

pursue tikkun olam throughout their lives. Helena Levine, Head of School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy where Dahav most recently taught, remembered him: “Our community was blessed to have a tzadik in our midst. Dr. Dahav had an impact on everyone fortunate to know him as he exemplified everything our community stands for and everything we wish for in our community. It is fitting that we remember and honor him during Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day. Dr. Dahav leaves a legacy for generations of students and families. May his memory be a blessing.” As projects open to all volunteers take place across the community on January 15, students will engage in helping activities at all six South Palm Beach County Jewish day schools: Donna Klein Jewish Academy, Hadar High School for Girls, Katz Hillel Day School, Katz Yeshiva

Donuts and Decorations at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton

High School, Torah Academy and Yeshiva Tiferes Torah. “South Palm Beach County has become synonymous with Jewish Unity, regularly coming together from all across this vibrant, diverse Jewish community,” said Rabbi Broide. “With Jewish CommUNITY in Action Day, we take UNITY to a whole new level by reaching out far into our area and seeing how much of a difference we can make together on one special day.” Registration is required at www.jewishboca.org/action. For more information about Jewish CommUNITY Day, the public is invited to contact 561-558-2112 or michellea@bocafed.org. Jewish CommUNITY in Action is generously sponsored by Hotwire Communications. The Florida Jewish Home is the event’s newspaper sponsor.


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

23

Around the Community

IMAGINATION ISRAEL CELEBRATES CUTTING EDGE High Tech Innovations Captivate at South Palm Beach County JCRC Event Nearly 600 people enjoyed a unique opportunity to explore Israel’s contributions to the high-tech revolution with an insider’s view of some of its latest innovations at Imagination Israel. Five leading entrepreneurs and scientists traveled to the Olympic Heights High School Theater in Boca Raton on November 30, 2017, to showcase groundbreaking new products that hold wide scale benefits. Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County took the stage as moderator following welcomes from Anne Jacobson, Board Chair of the Federation, and Matthew Kutcher, Chair of its Jewish Community Relations Council. Levin finds the same pioneering spirit that settled the Jewish homeland in Israel’s “Start-up Nation” leading-edge high tech sector. He pointed to how Mobileye, an advanced vision and driver assistance system presented at Imagination Israel three years ago had become the largest ever purchase of an Israeli high tech company. The products demonstrated were developed in Israel by leading entrepreneurs and scientists. Like so many other high tech Israeli innovations, they have benefit for communities and consumers world-

Allan & Judi Schuman

wide. The five products presented were: Voiceitt speech recognition technology to give natural voice to children and adults with disabilities; Tridom Robotics technology for safe, time and cost-effective high rise window washing; Skyline’s cloud-based systems to detect costly, wasteful water leaks in municipal and industrial systems; Sheba Medical Center’s imaging techniques that explore the eye as a window to the brain that can detect signs of Alzheimer’s before clinical symptoms become apparent; and Zeekit, a virtual fitting room platform and app that reinvents the way consumers browse, share and shop by enabling them to “try on” fashions virtually. Part of the year’s celebration of Israel’s 70th Anniversary of Statehood, the program was presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

Chet Kay, Matthew C. Levin, Matthew Kutcher Anne Jacobson, Matthew C. Levin

Nearly 600 attended Imagination Israel’s high tech demonstrations

Robert Weinroth; Sara Smolley and Danny Weissberg, Voiceitt

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of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County in partnership with the Judi & Allan Schuman Center for Israel Engagement. The event was generously

L-R Zev Zaretsky, Skyline; Sara Smolley and Danny Weissberg, Voiceitt; Dr. Ygal Rotenstreich, Sheba Medical Center; Yaron Schwarcz, Tridom Robotics

Dr. Ygal Rotenstreich and the other presenters spoke with the audience after the presentations

sponsored by Hotwire Communications and Polen Capital. Boca Magazine was the Exclusive Magazine Sponsor and The Florida Jewish Home was Newspaper Sponsor.

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Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy Chanuka Celebrations Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy celebrated Chanuka with very special activities each day, beginning with our pre-Chanuka carnival which was open to the public, and culminating with a big dreidel tournament.   The highlight of the week was the outdoor Candle Lighting and the Chagiga held on the second night. We had the privilege of lighting the beautiful Chanukia donated by the Bokor family.  The Chanukia is especially meaningful as it was constructed from metal shrapnel from rockets which fell on Israel towns and fashioned into a Menora by Israeli artist Yaron Bob. Parents, siblings and students enjoyed the music provided by Howard Stein  and the mind-blowing entertainment provided by Gary Goodman. On Thursday, the second day of Chanuka, our 8th through 12th grade listened in total silence, mesmerized by our guest speaker Mrs. Miriam Peretz.   Mrs. Peretz, who was a principal and now is a supervisor in the Israel school system, spoke about her undiminished faith and devo-

tion to Hakadosh Baruch Hu despite losing two sons in battles in Israel, and her husband’s untimely dying of a “broken heart”.  She spoke about the need to stay positive, and strong, and yes, there are times that it very hard, but she finds goodness every day and so much to be thankful for.  H    Miriam Peretz prays every day for peace “that parents will not bury their children in this land-that we will see our kids building their homes, learning and growing”.   After a long Chanuka weekend we returned to school, recognizing that the root word of Chanuka is Chinuch. We did take some time for Ice -skating and of course, for frying sufganiyot.


24

DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Scheck Hillel Community School- Chanukah Celebration

Outstanding Students Receive Merit-Based Scheck Hillel Scholarships through Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Five outstanding Scheck Hillel Community School students received merit-based scholarships through the school’s Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program. Myles Gilbert (Grade 10), Matias Lancewicki (Grade 11), Lauren Rub (Grade 12), Ilana Stiberman (Grade 9) and Abraham Woldenberg (Grade 11) were recognized at the 2017-18 Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program recognition ceremony and student assembly November 8, when they celebrated along with their families, students and alumni who were named Ambassadors in previous years, representing nine generations of this prestigious program. “We congratulate Myles, Matias, Lauren, Ilana, Abraham and their families,” said Dr. Ezra Levy, Scheck Hillel’s Head of School. “The Gilinski Hillel Ambassa-

dor Program recognizes excellence and leadership, and these students are the best representation of it. We are grateful for Jaime and Raquel Gilinski’s stewardship of this Ambassador program and for their commitment to Jewish education.” The rigorous annual application requires students to write short essays, produce a video and formulate a resume; finalists advance to a panel interview. These five students were named from a pool of nearly 80 applicants in spring 2017. The program created by Jaime and Raquel Gilinski recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional commitment to education and Scheck Hillel, encouraging lifelong learning and leadership that continuity requires. Ambassadors showcase the Scheck Hillel mission through accomplishment and talent - in the classroom, on the field, on stage or through community service.

Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassadors

The Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program has been recognizing exceptional students since 2009; Ambassadors have graduated to Ivy leagues and top tier schools such as The University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, University of Miami, University of Florida, Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, among others. As alumni, college students and young professionals, they carry the lifelong title of Gilinski Hillel Ambassador. The 2018-2019 appli-

cation will open in spring 2018. For information, please contact Scheck Hillel’s Admission office at 305.931.2831x173 or write to admission@eHillel.org. About Scheck Hillel Scheck Hillel Community School educates and inspires students 18 monthsGrade 12 to become exemplary global citizens with enduring Jewish identity and values through an individualized college preparatory curriculum highlighted by STEM and design, Capstone, college dual enrollment, arts, athletics and community service. Its 14-acres include a 115,000-sq.-ft athletic complex with additional expansion plans. Set within a nurturing, diverse community, Scheck Hillel is one of the world’s largest Jewish community day schools and a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. For information, please visit eHillel.org.


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

25

Around the Community

New PJ Library® Community Connectors Bring Local Families to Jewish Life For five years, families raising Jewish children from six months through eight years old in South Palm Beach County have been receiving a monthly gift of free high-quality Jewish children’s books and music sent right to their homes and getting together all around town through PJ Library®. Now Jewish families are getting even more opportunities to get involved and meet new friends, thanks to a recent grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which provides free PJ Library books to families raising Jewish children all over the world. “We are delighted that South Palm Beach County was one of this year’s five winning initiatives designed to build social connections among families and engage them in Jewish life, programming and learning,” said local PJ Library CoChair Joanna Drowos, who helped bring the initiative to the community in 2012 and has watched it grow. “We look forward to how many more connections we’ll be able to create by hiring our three new part-time Community Connectors –

L-R Shayna Martinoff, Shaina Yeslow with Tamar, Sarah Finkelstein-Wolfe

local PJ moms Sarah Finkelstein-Wolfe, Shayna Martinoff and Shaina Yeslow, who live in different parts of South Palm Beach County. “PJ Library not only brings Jewish books into local homes – we also bring the young Jewish community together and help them engage in Jewish life,” said Drowos’ Co-chair, Miriam Klein. “We look forward to having more PJ friends join the 1,900 local families already registered for their free monthly gifts, as well

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as the 5,500 children, parents and grandparents who enjoy getting together at PJ events large and small all over the community” “So many Jewish families from all parts of the community enjoy stories, crafts, concerts and fairs, and learn about holidays and mitzvot,” said Elana Ostroff, local PJ Library Director. Together, they pack food for those in need, meet authors, make hamentashen, and visit a farm, bookstores, synagogues and so much more. Now even more people are hearing about and finding ways to engage that feel right and are well-located for their own families.” “Through our work, young families are able to connect at more intimate gatherings and attend a larger event without feeling overwhelmed by a group of people they’ve never met,” said new Community Connector Shayna Martinoff, who has also helped PJ start up and grow in its first years. “We’ve already had many casual meet-ups and programs around town at places including Gumbo Limbo Nature

Center, yogurt shops, and play gyms.” Ostroff extends a broad invitation: “Whether you’re new to town, a new parent or a longtimer, if you’re looking to connect with new Jewish families for playdates, storytimes or even a mom’s night out, just contact pjlibrary@bocafed. org. Part of a five-year strategy to expand Jewish engagement in North America, grants such as the one recently received by South Palm Beach County are funded through the PJ Library Alliance. Partners in the Alliance are the Azrieli Foundation; Carl and Joann Bianco; William Davidson Foundation; Jim Joseph Foundation; William and Audrey Farber Philanthropic Fund; Diane and Guilford Glazer/ Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles; the Marcus Foundation, Inc.; Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation; Susser Family Trust; Walter, Arnee, Sarah, and Aaron Winshall; and two anonymous partners.


26

DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

A Students Primer: 4 Steps to Surviving an Extended Stay in Israel By Catherine Green

While Israel draws substantial numbers of tourists due to its rich history, diverse culture and range of naturally beautiful locations, the country also plays host to thousands of high school and college students from North America, UK, EU, South Africa and Russia because of its innovative educational programs. Two of the world’s Top 100 universities, Hebrew U and Technion, are located in Israel, as are highly touted high school programs, highlighted by Naale Elite Academy’s free (i.e. scholarship) Jewish high school program, which provides students with a unique opportunity to actually “touch” the Technion during their teen years. In order to make the proper physical and fiscal transition to Israeli society, there are some steps that you should setup for yourself, so that your day-to-day experience will be pleasant and fruitful. Step 1: Obtain the proper visa In order to visit Israel, whether it is for a short or long term stay, you must have first and foremost an entry visa. For a

tourist planning a long term stay in Israel, there are different types of visas available. An extended visa allows for more benefits (ie: working, voting, health insurance and others). “If you are coming on an educational program, the school will likely set up a visa for you to pick up from Misrad Hapnim, Israel’s Ministry of Interior, within the first few weeks of your arrival”, revealed Michele, a mother with children studying in Israel and a student here herself.  If not, tourists can obtain an entry visa

(usually for up to three months) which can then be extended for an extra two years. Temporary residents and students can apply for a further extension for up to five years. Step 2: Set up an affordable health insurance plan  Bituach Leumi, the National Insurance Institute of Israel (akin to Social Security in the USA), provides basic medical coverage to all Israeli residents. For non-residents such as students, diplomats etc. there is legislation allowing them to register for the same coverage as Israeli citizens.  After being in Israel for six consecutive months, you can go to the regional Bituach Leumi office with documentation of your temporary status in order to enroll in the Kupat Cholim (Health Maintenance Organization-HMO) of your choice. Students can apply for subsidized enrollment with a stamped letter from their accredited educational institution.  Alternatively (or additionally) there are private healthcare options available to tourists, students and temporary residents.  Step 3: Banking  Banking in Israel is very different than banking in most countries. From checks, to credit cards, fees and transfers - even Israelis find the system challenging. The two major issues that non-residents face with banking in Israel are: opening an account and/or  transferring money from their country of origin. Dr. Robert Lubin, Managing Director at Technion’s Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, has been working with students on long term programs in Israel for many years. He explained how what was once a sore point for students managing their finances in Israel has changed for the better.  “A service called OlehPay has been a game changer for most of our students. Between them and the cooperation of our local Bank Discount branch, transferring money from the USA is easy and practically seamless – that was not the case just a few years ago.” 

Step 3: Getting around – public transportation & driver’s licenses Israel’s public transportation is the preferred method of transportation in Israel. According to Sammy Schwartz, a student from abroad studying at Naale Elite Academy’s Aniere program, “Getting around Israel is really easy even if you’re struggling with the language.” Almost every Naale and Technion student who frequents the public transportation system in Israel, uses the Rav Kav “smart card” that can be loaded with a variety of travel fare options. There are many benefits to getting a personalized card, such as being able to access the money on it if it gets lost or stolen, as well as the discounts that apply to students and senior citizens. The card is free and can be obtained at any Rav Kav station with a passport. Sammy also recommended downloading the Moovit app. He added, “Moovit tells you how to get exactly where you need to go in real time, with bus, cab and train options. That combined with Rav Kav makes traveling around Israel really simple”. For tourists or temporary residence who will be driving, whether via a rented or purchased car, they can use a valid foreign driver’s license for up to one year following their entry date.  Step 4: Phone plans Having a smartphone is a must. Aside from the staying in touch, smart phones are necessary for navigating your way through an unfamiliar area, accessing your email, social media and numerous messaging platforms and keeping abreast of the latest news and alerts. Israel is known for its innovation in apps, but it’s also known for excellent phone plans and service! And all you need to sign up for one of the many options in Israel is your foreign passport and a credit card. By following these helpful tips, you will be one-step ahead and prepared for an exciting, life-changing experience in Israel.


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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

Psychology Today

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TEHILLIM KOLLEL REPRESENTATIVE GETS CHIZUK FROM A MEMBER

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love my job. Being a Tehillim Kollel customer service representative requires deep emotional connection, but I really feel like I’m making an impact and helping others. Yet, some parts of my job are more challenging than others. When I call members whose membership is about to expire, I know I am about to hear joyous incredible news…. or sad, heart-wrenching pain. On that Tuesday, as the phone rang on the other end, I davened that Hashem should give me the right words to say. “Hello?” said the voice on the other end. “Hi, this is Menachem from the Tehillim Kollel, calling about your membership. It’s about to expire and we wanted to check in and see how you and your family are doing, if your bakashos have been answered, and if you are interested in continuing your membership.” I held my breath for the response. “Well,” he said, sadly, “No, no my bakashos have not been answered.” My heart plummeted for his pain and I readied myself to offer him some support. Before I could, he continued, “But I believe every Tefillah matters, and every Tefillah on my behalf has a positive impact and that your Tefillos are bringing me closer to my yeshua. So yes, please continue my membership and please continue to have your special minyan of ehrliche yidden daven for me every single day!” I was overcome with awe at this member. Here, I was preparing to give him chizuk, and he offered me beautiful inspiration instead, and the faith that even when we can’t see that things are improving, Hashem is taking care of us. Like I said, I love my job.

Bottom of Form Conformity is not always negative. For example, a child misbehaving in a classroom setting might settle down and begin working upon seeing classmates doing so. A person speeding on the highway might slow down after realizing that other drivers are not driving nearly as fast. Some degree of conformity is necessary in order for society to function. A refusal to conform to social norms is often disruptive and can result in confusion, chaos, and can lead others to question the nonconformist’s mental state. Those who conform to society’s expectations are seen as “normal” and are less likely to be ostracized, but this can be problematic when the cultural expectation are hurtful or when certain people do not wish to conform but do so in order to avoid exclusion. Historically, people who did not conform to social norms are labeled “mentally ill” but the truth is that they are not always hurtful to themselves or others. Sometimes the lack of conformity comes from a desire to hold on to unique talents and strengths. We need to think twice before judging a non-comformist. They may see something we missed.

Dr. Siegel is a licensed psychologist in private practice. He has held positions in Federal and State institutions providing clinical services and psychological assessment.  He also served as clinical coordinator at an addiction center where he supervised and trained staff.   Dr. Siegel can be reached at 732806-1513 or drsiegel@siegelpsychological.com

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ple, even children as young as two, will often hide their skills and talents in order to fit in with a group. He also found that conformity to a group’s norms can occur unconsciously. This can be seen in the way peer groups tend to mirror the body language and figures of speech of one another and in the way families adopt their own norms for greetings, time spent together and acceptable forms of behavior. Conformity has many benefits but it comes at a cost. In some cases of conformity, a person’s desire to fit in will interfere with the ability to make moral or safe decisions. Another drawback is when people blindly accept unjust or broken systems. Or when a person fails to think critically and reject oppressive or troubling positions out of a desire to conform.

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In our unique and close-knit insular community, it is easy to stand out. And to some, there is no greater transgression than the failure to conform. Conformity is the act of behaving, thinking, talking, or appearing in ways similar to other people, whether it is through a conscious or from an unconscious response to social pressure, real or imagined. It is important to understand conformity. The desire to be viewed favorably and be accepted by others is a strong motivator that is found in social animals, including but not limited to, people. Conformity doesn’t always come from outright identifiable external pressure; rather, most people automatically adapt themselves to the behaviors, beliefs, and appearances of their peers. The pressure to conform is often forced onto members of a society under the threat that if they don’t conform, they will be ostracized or mocked. There are several ways to show compliance, like when an individual expresses public acquiescence to the accepted norm, even if it is not his or hers internal belief. Conformity dictates that even if people disagree, they will outwardly profess the “acceptable” values in order to fit in. Such acts of conformity are motivated by the gain of reward or avoidance of punishment. There is another type of conformity that is motivated by the desire to belong. Acceptance and belongingness are basic needs and every person wants to belong to the group. In order to do so, an individual will adopt the belief system and habits of others, for the sake of improving or building a relationship with those people A more meaningful form of conformity is internalization, or acceptance, of a belief held by a trusted person. This is motivated by the desire to be right and when presented with the truth, or inspired by an influential person who acts as a role model; people will willingly accept a way of life and accept it as their own. Conformity is influenced by many factors including: group size,  self-esteem, uniformity of exposure and strength of authority. On the other hand, those who have preconceived notions, prior commitments, question the authority, or specific personality features, are less likely to conform. A recent study conducted by Dr. Bret Stetka suggests that the desire to conform is either inborn or it develops very early in life. The study demonstrated that peo-

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Torah Thought

Parshas Vayigash By Rabbi Berel Wein

T

he statement of our father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt that “my years of life have been few and most unpleasant” is most perplexing. We all know the well-known anecdote that one of the most disappointing things in life is to ask someone how he or she is and they actually tell you. One would’ve expected that Jacob would have answered the Pharaoh in a general,

for he, Jacob, possesses the gift of the future and of immortality. How sad it is if a person has to look back at one’s lifetime and feel that somehow life cheated him or that he deserved better! The ability to deal with the vicissitudes of life, its downs as well as its ups, in the strength of belief that everything is from the hand of our Creator has always been the great character-

Though Jacob lived a stormy and often tragic life, it is he who blesses Pharaoh for he, Jacob, possesses the gift of the future and of immortality.

positive fashion. Rashi interprets the answer of Jacob in the light of his deteriorated physical condition that he presented to Pharaoh. He wanted Pharaoh to realize that the lines in his face were well-earned. He also wanted him to realize that the lives of even the most righteous of people and the holiest of families can also be troubled and difficult. He was teaching Pharaoh the great lesson that in this world good is its own reward and that it does not necessarily carry with it physical comfort and emotional serenity. He was telling Pharaoh not to judge him or his family by the shortsighted yardstick of material success and lifelong leisure. This was his explanation of the great Jewish lesson, “that the race is neither to the swift nor success to those who deem themselves to be wise.” Pharaoh was accustomed to immediate reward and benefit, to royal garments and gilded chariots. Jacob informs him that that this is a false measure of life and achievement. Though Jacob lived a stormy and often tragic life, it is he who blesses Pharaoh

istic of the Jewish people. Jacob can look back upon the life of turbulence, disappointments and sadness and yet see for himself and his progeny greatness and immortal memory. Pharaoh must have realized that a blessing from this old broken Jewish stranger was of enormous value to him in Egypt. Oftentimes in history it is the unlikely and seemingly downtrodden individual who holds the key to future developments and the correct worldview of situations and conditions. As long as Jacob lives there will no longer be a famine that will affect Egypt. Pharaoh must have undoubtedly realized the gift of this blessing to Egypt. But like many people who will receive blessings in this world, he seems not to be impressed sufficiently by the matter to change policies, attitudes or behavior. But Jacob and his descendants will haunt Egyptian society for centuries until it finally will overwhelm it. This has been the lot and mission of Israel over its very long, troublesome but great history. Shabbat shalom.


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AUGUST 24, 2017 | The Jewish Home

The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

7 29

Good Hum r

Falafel Follies By Jon Kranz

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here are many wonderful reasons to visit the Land of Israel. The reasons vary but it’s safe to say that regardless of the “official” reason, many Jews have at least one ulterior motive for hitting the highway to the Holyland. It is a delicious motive that happens to be Israel’s unofficial culinary cornerstone, an unparalleled delicacy that, like a jolly good fellow, nobody can deny. It is not quite an entrée but it’s so much more than an appetizer. It’s not really a meal but it’s not just a snack. When done right, it can make all of your troubles disappear, if only for a few bites. Of course, we’re talking about the fierce, fantastic and phenomenal ... falafel. Yes, many cultures have signatures sandwiches. The Vietnamese have the bánh mì (no, not bánh you, bánh mì), Cubans have the Cuban (how original), the filthy have the sloppy joe, Louisianans have the po’boy, Mexicans have the burrito, and Greeks have the gyro, which often is pronounced hiro and is the most similar to the hiro (and hero) of Israel: the falafel. The question is: why is falafel so popular in the Jewish state? Technically, falafel are balls of fried chickpeas but falafel also refers to a pita filled with falafel balls and other essential elements like hummus, techina, Israeli salad and pickles. Strangely, if a vendor were to offer a fried chickpea sandwich, customers may not be overly enthused, but if the same vendor shouts “falafel,” there will be a line around the block. Other foods have somewhat misleading names like a hamburger (a ground beef sandwich) or a hotdog (an intestine stuffed with meat slurry, pink slime and nitrates). In contrast, no name could be more transparent

than chopped liver. Some scholars believe that the Hebrew word “falafel” derives from the Arabic word “falafil,” which means peppers. This may be why many falafel stands in Israel offer hot sauce as a condiment that is commonly made from hot peppers. Those visiting Israel may find it difficult to tolerate Israeli hot sauce, which can be more intense and ferocious than Friday morning shopping in Machane Yehuda. When you stop and think about it (but don’t do so in the middle of a busy intersection), the falafel and the Jewish People have a lot in common: Falafel involves a family of differ-

Jewish survival mentality? Falafel is not easy. It can be difficult to manage and it sometimes can get out of hand. The struggle of a truly great falafel, however, ultimately leads to a wonderful, transcendent outcome. Does that not encapsulate the essence of the Jewish experience? With all of that said, working as a falafel vendor in Israel is not an easy job, especially when dealing with annoying tourists. I sincerely hope that falafel vendors in Israel never have to experience the following type of interaction: Customer: Hi there. Do you sell falafel?

Those visiting Israel may find it difficult to tolerate Israeli hot sauce, which can be more intense and ferocious than Friday morning shopping in Machane Yehuda.

ent ingredients crammed together to coexist into one small pita. Is that not a metaphor for the incredibly tiny yet extraordinarily diverse State of Israel? Falafel is whipped together at a frenetic, dizzying pace, with each ingredient jammed together in culinary chaos. Does that not accurately describe the bedlam of trying to board a busy Egged bus? Ordering falafel at your average falafel stand is not for the reticent. It requires a certain level of assertiveness and even chutzpah. You must be sufficiently pushy to get exactly what you want. Does that not describe the

Vendor: Ken. Customer: No, my name is Larry, not Ken. Vendor: Pita or laffa? Customer: Sorry, no parlez vous falafel, Señor. Capishe? Vendor: Do you speak any Hebrew? Customer: Only one word: sandvich. That means sandwich, right? And that’s exactly what I want, a falafel sandwich. Vendor: Hummus? Customer: “Hummus” be kidding me with that question! Yes, of course. Hummus me! Vendor: Salat?

Customer: Yes, it’s a lot, but I’m really hungry. Vendor: No. Do you want salat or, as you say, salad? Customer: No, no salad. No soup. Just falafel. Vendor: No, my friend. Do you want salad in your pita? Customer: What kind of salad? Vendor: Israeli salad. Customer: Duh! We’re in Israel so of course it’s Israeli salad. You’re so silly. Vendor: Cheeps? Customer: I’m not cheap. I’m just not in the mood for a sit-down meal. Vendor: No, no, no. Do you want chips? Customer: You put potato chips in falafel? Vendor: No, chips are French fries. Customer: No, I don’t want French fries in my falafel. That’s like putting a sombrero on a chassid. Vendor: Tahini? Customer: Never been, but I’ve heard it’s a beautiful island. Vendor: No, not Tahiti. Tahini, you know, techina. You like it saucy? Customer: Don’t you dare get saucy with me. I’m a paying customer. Vendor: Hot sauce? Customer: How hot is it? Vendor: It hasn’t killed anyone yet. Customer: Alright. Vendor: But one can always hope. Last but not least: After stealing falafel for a second time, a thief was imprisoned because he was a “re-pita-ffender.” Jon Kranz is an attorney living in Englewood, New Jersey. Send any comments, questions or insults to jkranz285@ gmail.com.


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DECEMBER 21,| 2017 | The Florida MAY 4, 2017 The Jewish HomeJewish Home

Health & F tness

Exotic Fruits That Can Change Your Life By Aliza Beer MS, RD

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plants that have some of the highest medicinal qualities. Some can be found in your local supermarket, while others need to be sourced as supplements online.

any people love the taste of tropical fruits, but aside from their sweet taste, they contain numerous health benefits that can help save or prolong your life! I’ve compiled a list of fruits and

Elderberry: This is a favorite flu season plant. The herb contains anti-viral compounds, which research has shown can help the body fight off illness. Take elderberry extracts during flu season as a preventative measure or right when you feel the flu coming on to relieve symptoms.

Loganberry, The Chinese Miracle Fruit: Native to China, this

health benefits. Most vegetable oils, like soy, corn and canola, are genetically modified. Also, cooking your food in omega-6 vegetable oils produces a variety of very toxic chemicals, as well as forming trans-fats. Frying will also destroy the antioxidants in oil. Coconut oil is the only oil stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking. Additionally, coconut water is a better sports

In Vietnam, where it’s known as “dragon’s eye,” it’s been used as an antidote for snakebites for centuries.

in the Jerusalem hills near Beit Shemesh

yellowish-brown berry with a leathery protective shell is closely related to the lychee fruit and is touted for its ability to neutralize poisons. In Vietnam, where it’s known as “dragon’s eye,” it’s been used as an antidote for snakebites for centuries. •

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Coconut, The Tree of Life: Coconut is referred to as the Tree of Life in the Philippines because they use literally every part of the plant. Virgin unrefined coconut oil has none of the problems associated with hydrogenated oils and is linked to a number of

hydration drink than any of the commercially available sugary sports drinks and is both sterile and an isotonic beverage, meaning it has the same electrolyte consistency of human blood. Medics in World War II were able to use this as an emergency substitute for blood plasma. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, an immune-boosting fat that has also been shown to be helpful in improving metabolic rates to facilitate weight loss. •

Camu Camu: Hailing from the Andes, Peru, the camu camu ber-


The Home Jewish| Home | MAY21, 4, 2017 The Florida Jewish DECEMBER 2017

ry is one of the highest sources of vitamin C in the plant kingdom. It’s been used as a cure-all remedy, and is said to be anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral, but no long-term studies have confirmed these claims. Research does show it has great antioxidant powers. You can buy it as a powder to mix into smoothies. •

Papaya: This orange fruit from Central America not only tastes good, but is a powerful aid in digestion and healing. Papain, the main enzyme found in papaya, boosts the level of digestive enzymes in the gut to help break down foods more quickly and easily. In addition, papaya can be used to heal cuts, burns, or sores by simply rubbing it on the affected area. Mangosteen: Not related to our popular mango, mangosteen, also known as “queen of the fruits,” is from Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries by the people of Southeast Asia to treat a variety of health concerns. Benefits include being high in fiber but low in calories. More importantly, it contains the highest amount of xanthones, powerful phytonutrients, from all tropical fruit. Numerous studies have shown that the xanthones from mangosteen have the ability to prevent or slow the progress of certain

cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, and skin. The extracts of mangosteen have been shown to have both anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to be a potent and successful inhibitor of the release of histamine and prostaglandin, which are both associated with inflammation as well as allergies. It also helps control and maintain normal blood sugar levels by inhibiting enzymes that help break down starches into glucose. It can be an effective remedy for acne as well. One study determined that mangosteen possessed the most significant antioxidant activity from other plants in the study and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species, two factors that effect the growth of acne. It’s basically a superfruit and deserving of its title as queen!

As with any type of vitamin or medication, please consult with your physician before incorporating any kind of supplement into your diet. Many plants have medicinal qualities to them and that could be contraindicated with your current medications or health issues. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to maintain good health and promote longevity, although sometimes a supplement can be an added benefit to an al-

ready healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whenever possible, vitamins and minerals are best eaten directly from its source, since mother nature typically provides them in a food composed of other nutrients that helps enable the successful absorption into our systems.

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Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz show. Aliza can be reached at alizabeer@gmail.com.

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Yellen’s Legacy By Robert J. Samuelson

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ne of Washington’s permanent parlor games is how much credit or blame a president deserves for the state of the economy. Inevitably, then, the question being asked now is whether Donald Trump or Barack Obama created today’s strong economy. The correct answer is: neither. To the extent that personal responsibility can be assigned, the worthy recipient is Janet Yellen. In practice, presidents’ influence over the economy is limited. If it were otherwise, we’d live in an economic paradise. Unemployment would always be low, wages would always rise, and recessions would never occur. No one has that kind of power. Presidents and their agencies can’t govern the business cycle. The obvious qualification to this reality is the Federal Reserve. By regulating the flow of money and credit, the Fed stimulates or retards the economy, though not always in predictable ways. There are regular collisions between what the Fed can actually achieve and what the public thinks it should achieve. Yellen has led it since 2014 but will leave early next year and be replaced by Fed governor Jerome Powell. Under Yellen, the economy has made huge progress. Here’s the record since she became Fed head in February 2014: Payroll employment has expanded by nearly 10 million jobs; the unemployment rate has dropped from 6.7 percent to 4.1 percent; average hourly earnings, uncorrected for inflation, rose from $24.32 to $26.55. (Corrected for inflation, the wage gain

is about 4 percent – not great but not stagnation either. The pace, if maintained, would be roughly 10 percent over a decade.) None of this was preordained. It’s true that Yellen followed the policies of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, but these policies were not, as Yellen has repeatedly stated, on “automatic pilot.” They required much judgment. The problem faced by Yellen was to maintain a policy of easy money long enough to promote the economy’s re-

duced short-term interest rates to near zero and, in an effort to bring down long-term rates, had purchased more than $3 trillion of Treasury and home-mortgage securities. (When the Fed buys securities, their price typically goes up and their interest rate goes down.) Yellen has slowly been reversing this policy. Since December 2015, the Fed has raised short-term interest rates five times, including an increase last week. The so-called Fed funds

The problem faced by Yellen was to maintain a policy of easy money long enough to promote the economy’s recovery but not so long as to feed either inflation or financial speculation.

covery but not so long as to feed either inflation or financial speculation. It will be some years before a final verdict can be rendered on Yellen’s stewardship. Is the stock market overvalued? Did the Fed contribute to that? What happens if stocks crash? Questions linger. Still, for the moment, most of Yellen’s judgments seem on the mark. Bernanke’s Fed had adopted a policy of ultra-easy money. It had re-

rate has risen to a maximum of 1.5 percent. More increases are expected in 2018. Likewise, the Fed is reducing its holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities, putting upward pressure on long-term interest rates. All this has gone smoothly – and that’s just the point. It wasn’t inevitable. The mechanics of raising interest rates from their ultra-low position involved new and untested procedures. There were dire predictions that

things would go awry. They didn’t. “The Fed was acutely aware that it had to be perceived as successful ... to have public support,” says economist Ken Matheny of Macroeconomic Advisers. Given her reputation as a conciliator, Yellen may also have improved the Fed’s public standing. Remember: The chair can’t singlehandedly impose policy. The Fed’s key decision-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), has 12 members. Despite a tradition of deference to the chair, “you have to achieve a consensus,” says Matheny. “It’s not a dictatorship.” Yellen leaves a solid legacy, built on professional competence, integrity and dignity. Just what prompted President Trump to pass her over in favor of Powell is unclear. It’s not monetary policy, where both adhere to the present Fed consensus. Trump’s decision flouts an informal custom, since the 1980s, to reappoint the Fed chair to at least a second four-year term. It may be that the president feels more comfortable with Powell. Or he may think (inaccurately?) that, if the economy weakens, he can more easily bend Powell to his will than Yellen. Whatever the case, the irony is hard to miss. Powell’s performance, at least initially, will be compared to Yellen’s. It is a high hurdle to clear. (c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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Torah Thought Invisible or Inimitable? Raising Healthy and Happy Children Rabbi Efrem Goldberg

Recently, President Trump formally declared the nationwide opioid drug problem a public health emergency. Substance abuse is a growing epidemic that doesn’t discriminate based on religion, economic class, gender, or ethnicity. As we have come to learn all too well, the frum community is not immune, either. Experts will all tell you that drug and alcohol addiction are not about the substance, but rather, about what pain the users are trying to escape, what hole in their hearts they are trying to fill, or what aspect of their lives they desperately want to be numb to. A young man I know recently wrote me a letter describing his experience with drugs and how he was using them to deny and escape his actual problem, the depression that was suffocating him. “For months during that year I would go to sleep every night hoping and praying I simply wouldn’t wake up the next morning, and every morning I would open my eyes and feel the crushing disappointment of having to endure another day. Modeh Ani seemed to be mocking me.” In the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of teens in America struggling with depression surged to a shocking 33 percent. Teen suicide attempts increased by 23 percent. While these numbers are dramatically lower in the Jewish community, they are still way too high and only growing. A recent paper published in Clinical Psychological Science correlates the increased mental health issues among young people with the rise of smart phones and use of social media. It turns out that being hyper-connected generates feelings of loneliness and insignificance. In recent, separate conversations with several young people struggling with depression, similar themes and language emerged. They all shared feeling invisible, inconsequential, that they don’t know why they are here and that the world would be no different if they were gone. While such thoughts are obviously unhealthy and demand attention, intense therapy, and often medication, they also provide an insight into both what we can do to identify the population most at risk, to show support for those currently suffering, and to help those who have struggled from relapsing. Last year, on a tour of the Library of Congress, I commented to our guide that a book we were looking at was rare. She stopped me and said, “That book is not rare, it is unique, one of a kind.” That comment immediately got me thinking, not so much about the book, but about all of us. So many people are struggling to find their place in the world, their value or

worth. Too many people feel irrelevant or insignificant. We all need to know, believe and most importantly feel, that not only are we not just rare, we are one of a kind, and irreplaceable. We each have a unique mission and distinctive purpose in this world that cannot be accomplished or achieved by anyone else. We are each a tzelem Elokim, a distinct and special expression of the Ribbono Shel Olam in this world. We need to know and truly believe it about ourselves, and we need to instill that message in those around us. Not only is Modeh Ani not mocking us, it is the formula to start each and every day with a jolt of chizuk. We end Modeh Ani with the words, rabba emunasecha, Hashem, your faith in us is great. This phrase appears strange: we are the ones who are supposed to have faith in Hashem, why are we referencing His faith in us? The Ribono Shel Olam prescribed these words so that we begin each day with the recognition that if we woke up this morning, if our “contract” has been renewed another day, that means Hashem continues to have faith in us, that we have a role to play in His world and that we have a personal mission to achieve. Communicating each person’s individual worth and value must be a fundamental goal of education and is a core responsibility of parents and mechanchim. The Piaseczno Rebbe, Rav Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, in his introduction to Chovas HaTalmidim, defines this as the essence of chinuch, education. Based on a Rashi (Bereishis 14:14), he writes: Chinuch is the initiation of a person or object into the trade or art for which it is destined, as in the education of a youth, the dedication of the altar or inauguration of a house. The term chinuch is appropriate when referring to an innate talent that a person has for a certain art, or when describing the preparation of a house or object for use. It is a special word with specific definition, and it is used to describe the realization of latent potential inherent in a person or object. If we fail to actualize that potential, it will remain concealed forever. Our mission is to be mechanech, to educate the person so that he will become an accomplished craftsman; to prepare the house so that each room fulfills its intended purpose; or to prepare the instrument so that it performs the function for which it was designed. The great artist Michelangelo put it well when he described his process of sculpting: “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely

apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” According to the Piaseczno Rebbe, the mission of each teacher and every parent is to stand before the child, see the potential in him and chip away until that potential and uniqueness is fully realized and visible to all, most of all the child himself. Instilling a sense of worth and value within a child begins with knowing the child, and that takes time and an emotional investment. Several years ago, an educator from Israel met with me to share his vision for creating a yeshiva that integrated a love of music with learning Torah. He described that some connect to Hashem through music and that passion could be leveraged to grow in Torah. His yeshiva would include time to practice and play music as a means of religious expression and would study Torah texts that focus on music. He went around the United States meeting with educators about the idea and what he found disappointed him terribly. When he asked them if they had students in their shiur or class who love music, he got blank stares and responses like, “I don’t know, possibly.” For those passionate about the instrument they play or the music they listen to, it is a big part of their life and their individuality. The Israeli educator asked me indignantly, how could people possibly be effective rebbeim or teachers and not even know such a basic fact about their students? David Blazar, an assistant professor of education policy and economics at the University of Maryland, recently completed a study looking at the correlation between teachers’ focus on students’ confidence and well-being and their test grades. “Many, including myself, see students’ social and emotional development as a central goal of teachers’ and students’ work,” he wrote. “Yet, accountability systems that focus predominately or exclusively on student achievement send a message that the skills captured on these tests are the ones that policymakers want students to have when they leave school.” Blazar concluded that we need to broaden what it means to be a successful student. Schools should measure teachers not only by their effectiveness at elevating students’ grades, but by imbuing them with confidence, happiness, and well-being. What is true in school or yeshiva is even more true at home. We must not communicate that our children’s worth or value is exclusively determined by their grades or how many blatt gemara they know. They need to know they matter, they make a difference and they have a mission to achieve. When children come home, don’t ask them how they did on their test or bechina. Ask instead, “Did you do something nice for someone else; did you make a difference in someone else’s life today? Did you matter?” The young man who wrote me the letter (and gave permission to share) about his drug

abuse described the multiple times he thought about taking his own life while away in yeshiva. When he finally confided in his father how he felt, he was met not with judgment or rejection, but with love and support. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and after beginning a regimen of medicine and therapy, he concluded the letter by saying, “I really never felt better. I write this now as I start a new chapter of my life, one of honesty not of farces. Of truth not lies. Of sobriety, not drug dependence. I write this free of the burden of pretending to be something I’m not.” Since confronting these issues and understanding them a little better, not only have I tried to act more compassionately and empathically to those in crisis, but it has changed the way I relate to everyone. The fact that these maladies are invisible means we must never assume we know everything going on in someone’s life or what motivates his or her behavior. Ian Maclaren, the 19th C. Scottish author once said, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Cut others slack; give people the benefit of the doubt. When someone you know is acting differently or unusual, don’t judge them or jump to assumptions about them. Pirkei Avos (2:4) quotes Hillel who said: “Do not judge another until you have stood in his place.” Since it is impossible to stand in another person’s place, to be them, to have their baggage or to live their struggles, we can never judge another. Instead, we should be kind, sensitive, supportive and understanding. Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch explains the etymology of the name Chanukah derives from the same root as the word chinuch, to educate. Explains Rav Hirsch, it used to be customary to spend time on Chanukah discussing, strategizing and recommitting to the importance of chinuch, of educating and inspiring our children. The basic mitzvah of chanuka is ner ish u’beiso, the head of the household lights one candle and fulfills the mitzvah for his wife and children. But, the Gemara continues, it is mehadrin, more proper, for ner l’chol echad v’echad, each person of the house to light their own menorah. Rav Hirsch suggests that we can concern ourselves with ner ish u’beiso, lighting the fire in our heart, inspiring ourselves and making sure we are warm. The proper thing to do, however, the enhanced way to live life, is to make sure each person in our home recognizes they are an individual flame, they can burn bright, and that they, too, have a special and unique role in illuminating the darkness. There is nothing as gratifying and inspiring as being true to ourselves, pursuing our mission in life, and ridding ourselves of the burden of pretending to be something we are not. With love, affection, support, and a regular affirmation of the emunah that both we and Hashem have in our children, we can stem the tide of these crises and help ensure the health and wellbeing of the generations to come.

Rabbi Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue.


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TJH

Centerfold

You gotta be kidding

Bubba and Jimbo were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.

A man walked by and asked what they were doing. “We’re supposed to find the height of the flagpole,” said Bubba, “but we don’t have a ladder.” The man took a wrench from his pocket, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down. Then he took a tape measure from his pocket, took a measurement and announced, “Eighteen feet, six inches,” and walked away. Junior shook his head and laughed. “Wow, that guy is really not smart. We asked for the height and he gives us the length!”

Well Said, I Guess In a Department Store: Bargain Basement Upstairs In an Office: Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday kindly bring it back or further steps will be taken. In Another Office: After the tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.

Notice in a Field: The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.

Notice in a Dry Cleaner’s Window: Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of. In a Health Food Shop Window: Closed due to illness.

Message on a Leaflet: If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons. On a Repair Shop Door: We can repair

Spotted in a Safari Park: Elephants Please Stay In Your Car. Sign Seen During a Conference: For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first floor.

anything (Please knock hard on the door – the bell doesn’t work.) Spotted in a Bathroom in a London Office Building: Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

Knicks Trivia

Now that they once again seem to be relevant

b. Boston Celtics c. Miami Heat d. New Jersey Nets 4. Who scored 8 points in 9 seconds in the ‘94-’95 playoffs to defeat the Knicks? a. Michael Jordan b. Steve Kerr c. Charles Barkley d. Reggie Miller 5. How many 3-pointers did John Starks miss in game 7 of the 1994 finals? a. 6 b. 9 c. 11 d. 17 6. What is Patrick Ewing’s middle name? a. Gerald b. Milhous

c. Herbert d. Aloysius 7. When was the last time the Knicks won a playoff series? a. 2008 b. 2002 c. 2000 d. 1998 8. Who coached the Knicks for the most years? a. Red Holzman b. Pat Riley c. Joe Lapchick d. Jeff Van Gundy 9. How many Jews were on the first Knicks basketball team? a. 1 b. 3 c. 4 d. 6

 Answers 1. C- A barrel of oil’s refined produB- 1970, 1973  2. A 3. C 4. D- With 13.5 seconds left in Game One of the Conference finals, the Knicks led 105-99. Miller hit a quick 3. He then stole the in-bound pass, ran out behind the 3-point line and hit another 3, tying the game. John Starks was fouled and had an opportunity to put the Knicks ahead, but he missed both free throws. Ewing rebounded the ball and put up a short jumper but missed. Reggie

1. How many times have the Knicks won the NBA Championship? a. Never (what do you think they are – the Nets or something?) b. Twice c. Four times d. six times 2. Which team has defeated the Knicks the most times in the playoffs? a. Boston Celtics b. Indiana Pacers c. Chicago Bulls d. Miami Heat 3. Which team did the Knicks beat in 1999 to become the first #8 seed to defeat a #1 seed in the Eastern Conference? a. Milwaukee Bucks

 Scorecard 8-9 correct: You probably even know how to spell “Kristaps Porzingis” correctly. (Yes, that is the correct spelling, genius.) 4-7 correct: You would be a good Knick, not too bad but not too good either (let’s hope that’s not the story this year). 0-3 correct: You are like John Starks in game 7 of the ‘94 finals.

Miller got the rebound, was fouled, and nailed both free throws. 5. C- After scoring 27 points in Game 6 of the finals, Starks missed all 11 of his 3-point shots. Regarding the game, Starks said, “To this day, people bring it up. You can’t get away from it, but it doesn’t stop you from living.” 6. D- I guess that is not as bad as Dikembe Mutombo’s full name, which is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. 7 .C- In 2000 the Knicks won the Conference Semifinals vs. Miami Heat, 4–3.

8. A- Red Holzman served as coach for 12 full seasons. 9. D- In the first game in NBA history, on November 1, 1946, the Knicks put four Jews on the court for the opening tip-off and carried six Jews on their roster. The Knicks won the game. Leo “Ace” Gottlieb led scoring with 14 points. Sidney “Sonny” Hertzberg captained the team. Oscar “Ossie” Schechtman scored on the first shot of the game, thus becoming the first man in the history of the NBA to score a point. Ralph Kaplowitz was the fourth Jew in the Knick’s starting five, while Nat Militzok and Hank Rosenstein played as reserves.

Riddle me this? • Aliza is not first or last • Batya is not next to Aliza • Chaya is fourth • Debbie is not next to Chaya or Fayge • Ella is second

• Batya is four away from Fayge • Aliza is one away from Chaya • Fayge is not first • Fayge is three away from Chaya • Sarah is not in the third spot See answer to the right

Debbie is first, second is Ella, third is Batya, fourth is Chaya, fifth is Aliza, sixth is Sarah, and last is Fayge

Seven people are sitting on the same bench in shul. Based on the following clues, where are they seated?

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In The K

tchen

By Naomi Nachman


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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

37

WHAT TAX REFORM MEANS FOR

YOU By Chanan Greenwald, CPA MST

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axes. According to Benjamin Franklin it’s one of two things that are certain in life. Many taxpayers shudder when the date of April 15 looms closer. The tax code seems convoluted, there are many deductions that we wish we knew, and it feels as if Uncle Sam keeps reaching deeper and deeper into our pockets. When Donald Trump crossed the country on the campaign trail he vowed to simplify America’s tax code. He also promised to provide tax relief for middle class families, grow the American economy, and not dig the United States deeper into debt. This week, the president can put a check next to those promises. Many of us have been closely following the ongoing tax reform agenda, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This week the bill was passed by the House and Senate and by the time

you read this article it has been signed into law. There haven’t been this many changes to the tax code since President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The effective date of the changes will be January 1, 2018, although many of the changes are temporary and are set to expire after 2025. On December 15, the Conference Committee finalized the package by blending the House and Senate versions of the bill. The general goal of the tax reform is to lower the tax liability for taxpayers on all levels, not just the wealthy. However, as with any bill, not everyone will come out a winner. This article will highlight several points of the bill that may be relevant to our community and will show the potential impact of the changes.

Change in Tax Rates Under the bill, the tax rates will be

lower for all the income brackets, with the top rate being lowered from 39.6% to 37% for married taxpayers with income levels over $600,000. The lowest bracket remains at 10% for married taxpayers. For purposes of illustration, let’s assume we have a family of six that lives in the Five Towns, with the husband earning $150,000 as an attorney at a law firm. His wife, who is self-employed as an interior designer, is earning a net profit of $75,000, making their combined income $225,000. Under current law, their highest bracket would be 28%. However, if their income remains the same for 2018, their highest bracket would go down to 24% under the new law.

Change in Personal Exemptions/Child Tax Credit In order to raise revenue, the bill

eliminates the personal exemptions. Currently, the personal exemption is $4,050 for each member of a family that is included in the joint tax return. An exemption is similar to a deduction, both being a reduction in taxable income. To contrast this, the bill greatly expands the child tax credit; unlike an exemption, a credit is a reduction in taxes owed. The child tax credit currently is $1,000 per child for couples earning less than $110,000. The new credit will be $2,000 per child, and it is available to married taxpayers earning less than $400,000. Additionally, $1,400 of the $2,000 credit is refundable, meaning a taxpayer can receive it as a refund if he doesn’t owe additional tax. Let us refer back to our family of six living in the Five Towns to see how they are affected by the changes to the personal exemptions and child tax credits. Under the current law, in 2017


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they are entitled to a total of $24,300 in personal exemptions. However, they may not be entitled to any of the child tax credit since their income is too high. Under the new law beginning in 2018, they will lose the $24,300 in exemptions, but they will be eligible for a total of $8,000 in child tax credits. In this case, the availability of the credit is more beneficial than the exemptions, since the $8,000 credit is worth more than the $24,300 deduction. Remember a credit is a reduction in taxes owed.

Increasing the Standard Deduction The bill will increase the standard deduction for all types of taxpayers. The standard deduction is available for taxpayers who do not itemize. For married individuals, the standard deduction will increase from $12,600 to $24,000. This increase is in line with the GOP’s goal of simplifying the tax code, since this will reduce the amount of taxpayers who itemize their deductions. It also creates a broader zero tax bracket for many low income taxpayers that earn less than the standard deduction amount. For example, if a married couple’s annual income is $23,000 they would pay zero tax. For taxpayers that haven’t itemized in the past, the increase in the standard deduction would be beneficial. Let’s go back to our married couple living in the Five Towns, and let’s assume that they don’t own their house. In 2017, they gave $9,000 to charity, and their New York State tax bill is $9,000. In 2017, they would choose to deduct $18,000 over the standard deduction of $12,600. With the new bill effective in 2018, they would be better off taking the standard deduction of $24,000.

SALT and Property Taxes The bill makes significant changes to some of the popular credits and deductions. State and Local (SALT) income taxes and property taxes are currently both itemized deductions at the full amount. Under the new law, the combined SALT and property tax deductions is limited to $10,000. Given the high property taxes the Five Towns, this change may have a substantial impact and may even drive down the val-

ue of real estate. Residents of New York City, including Far Rockaway, who deduct their New York City taxes, will also be subject to the $10,000 cap. The bill also limits any 2017 year-end tax planning by adding a provision that one is not allowed to prepay his 2018 SALT or property taxes in 2017 to benefit from the full deduction.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Under current law, the mortgage interest deduction on a first and second home is limited to $1,000,000 of mortgage debt. The new law would limit the deduction to $750,000 of debt. To illustrate, let’s say someone has $1,000,000 in total mortgage debt, and the interest expense for 2018 will be $30,000. Under the old bill the entire $30K would be deductible, but under the new bill only $22,500 will be deductible. This new rule will be effective for new purchases after December 15, 2017 – not for existing mortgages. For an acquisition incurred prior to December 15, 2017 the limitation is still $1,000,000 of mortgage debt. It is important to add that interest on a home equity loan will no longer deductible. However, taxpayers will still be able to deduct the mortgage interest on a second home, such as a vacation home in Israel or Florida, assuming it is within the $750,000 limitation. Let us refer back to our family of six living in the Five Towns and now assume that they own their home. In 2017, they paid $9,000 to charity, and $9,000 for New York State income tax-

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es. They also paid $22,000 in interest on a $650,000 mortgage and $12,000 in property taxes. In 2017, they will be able to deduct the full amount of these expenses – $52,000 – as itemized deductions. However, in 2018, they will be capped at $41,000 because they are only allowed $10,000 in combined property and SALT deductions. If we assume their mortgage is $800,000, the amount of mortgage interest they can deduct would be limited.

Pass-Through Businesses Pass-through entities include partnerships, LLCs, S-corporations and sole proprietorships (who file a Schedule C). The owners of these entities pay tax at their individual rates, with the highest rate being 39.6%. The current bill reduces the tax rate on passthrough income by allowing a 20% deduction. Let’s refer back to our couple living in the Five Towns. Unlike the husband who receives a W-2, his wife operates a sole proprietorship as an interior designer and therefore qualifies for the new pass-through rates. As mentioned, her net income is $75,000, and in 2017 she would be taxed on the full amount. In 2018, the 20% deduction will result in her only being taxed on $60,000 of her income. In the earlier versions of the bill, there was a possible limitation on service providers, such as accountants, lawyers and doctors, benefiting from this rule. Under the latest version, the limitation for such service providers begins at $315,000

for married taxpayers.

529 Plans Another point of the bill that we have been watching closely is the modification to the rules of a 529 plan. A 529 plan can be set up for a child’s college education, and any funds contributed can only be used for college expenses. The tax advantage is that a taxpayer can contribute up to $10,000 to the plan and any income earned in the plan is tax-free. For federal tax purposes, the contributions to the plan are not deductible, but for New York State taxes, a married taxpayer can contribute up to $10,000 per year taxfree. The current bill expands qualified education to include elementary and secondary school, i.e. Yeshiva tuition. Presumably, the rules for New York State income tax would follow the federal rule, and a married couple would be allowed to contribute up to $10,000 per year for yeshiva tuition tax-free.

Repeal of the ACA The bill repeals the shared responsibility requirement of the Affordable Care Act, a move that President Trump had been vowing since his campaign to reverse the ruling signed by President Obama. Under the new bill, there will be no penalty for not having health insurance coverage.

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his article highlights only a few of the primary changes for individual taxpayers. There are many other changes for individuals, business, international taxpayers, and non-profit entities in the new tax plan. Furthermore, each individual’s tax situation is affected differently by their income level, the number of dependents, and how many credits and deductions they have. We recommend that you consult your tax advisors, and stay tuned for the final signature on the bill in the near future to see how deep Uncle Sam will be digging into your pocket. Chanan Greenwald, CPA MST is the owner of SGS Advisors, a tax practice located in Cedarhurst. He advises small businesses and individuals in all areas of taxation. He can be reached at shaun@sgsadvisors.com 516-415-1801.

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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

Health Care Why Private Patient Advocates Do Really Make A Difference In One’s Health Care Pnina Rosner A private patient advocate pro-actively guides a patient and their loved ones through the increasingly complex and fragmented health care system. Private patient advocates educate and empower clients to stand up to doctors, hospitals and insurance companies in defense of their best interests. Advocates work with physicians, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and insurance carriers to make sure the patient understands their diagnosis and treatment plan. An advocate is there to make sure little goes wrong in the first place, including the goal to enable every individual to live the most fulfilling life possible with utmost dignity, focusing on the physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial well-being. You may recognize private patient advocates using different terms: Health advocates, patient or health navigators, case managers, doulas and others. All names represent someone who works one-on-one with patients as individuals. Doctors and nurses who have worked with advocates recognize what an advantage it is to their work. They spend less time having to describe or reiterate their instructions to a patient and they feel confident to rely on a patient advocates. Having an independent professional patient advocate can really help you and your family through emotional times such as facing a new diagnosis, going through treatments, making tough decisions, and finding appropriate medical providers with expertise needed. A Patient advocate acts as a support structure and liaison between a patient and their health care provider. As healthcare insurance policies are constantly changing, doctors are trying to squeeze in more patients visits. The patient advocate’s role is to make sure the patients get the care they need, from hospital stays, to patients with chronic illnesses and people without family or friends nearby. Private patient advocates are willing to stand up for their patients because the health care system is becoming more complex and patients must be more proactive in their health. Experience shows that medical mistakes are made and the stress that doctors and nurses are under can prevent them

from providing the care that patients need, therefore private patient advocates can mean the difference when it comes to quality, or quantity of life. An advocate may help you or your loved one live longer, or live stronger and better, or save you money. How much is that worth to you or your loved ones? A patient advocate knows how to explain things in terms you can understand, your diagnosis or treatment recommendations. A private patient advocate will charge for their services but they are definitely worth the cost. It is the duty of the patient advocate to maintain privacy according to local and national laws, and to treat all patients and their family information and assure that the patient is always kept safe and well informed. Private patient advocates sit in on medical appointments to ensure patients understand what they are hearing and ask the right questions. Additionally also help people gather second and third opinions on diagnosis and treatments, and mediate disputes when patients have concerns about their care. People are not people anymore they are patients to be moved. Patient advocates develop personal relationships with your loved ones and provide emotional support and are a second set of eyes and ears in the hospital room. You or your loved ones will have the opportunity to share their worries and concerns with an empathetic companion who can help with the feeling of isolation that is common in most hospital stays, knowing that your loved one has an aide of a personal patient advocate gives you the peace you need to continue with your job routine and other family and business obligations. The patient may be sick, fatigued or medicated and in pain, but knowing they have a patient advocate nearby, they will devote their valuable time to heal and recover, rather than being occupied to challenge matters of their care and treatment. Pnina Rosner is a private patient advocate with years of experience. Please feel free to contact with any questions. Pninarosner@gmail.com 917-681-2293

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Health & F tness

Chanukah Detox By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN

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fter a week of latkes, doughnuts, and parties we could all use a week of detox. The idea of a detox or detoxification is to rid the body of toxins. Detox diets claim to reset your metabolism, break you free from your cravings, and help you lose weight. The word detox might make you nervous, but when done right it’s just another way of describing a diet rich in whole foods. A detox usually consists of a lot of fluids and a wide range of natural ingredients and foods. In the days leading up to a detox, try phasing out caffeine, sugar, pro-

cessed foods, and artificial sweeteners. A detox, like any diet, requires lots of preparation and planning. This way you’ll be less likely to deviate from the plan. This may sound a lot scarier than it actually is. There are different variations of detoxification. Some are more extreme than others. I do not recommend an extreme detox, since they are usually lacking essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A detox can be a basic diet where you are really strict for the first few days. A calorically restricted diet will help flush out fat and processed foods from the body, leaving you refreshed

and energized. Now that we’ve been forewarned, how do we detox? Avoid processed foods, added sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. This includes honey, maple syrup, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fruit juices. You will also want to set aside anything that comes in a can. Keep cakes, cookies, candies – anything sugar- or flour-based – out of sight. Most detox diets restrict dairy, starches, and grains as well. That sounds like a lot. So what can you eat while on a detox? Most detoxifications focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. These will provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is vital on a detox diet. Since fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber, they help cleanse

tein which can result in fatigue. Make sure you get the OK from your doctor before trying a detox. A detox diet may not be easy, but it should make you feel better after eating all that heavy, oily food for a week. And you don’t have to detox for a whole week. Try 2-3 days and see how you feel. Listen to your body’s cues. If you feel dehydrated, week, or fatigued, stop right away. Expert opinions vary as to whether detox diets actually work. However, many people claim feeling better after a detox – probably because processed foods, added sugars, and high fat foods are eliminated. Keep in mind a detox is not a long term thing. Long term fasting causes nutrient deficiency and malnutrition. A detox is OK for a few days only, followed by a

Fruits and vegetables should be the bulk of your meals.

you out while still providing essential nutrients, and they contain few calories. The fruits and vegetables can be eaten in any way, shape or form. Eat your fruits fresh, or blend them in a smoothie. You can use frozen fruits in a smoothie too for a more iced consistency. Vegetables can be eaten fresh as a snack, in a salad, roasted, steamed, or as a popular detox dish – in a juice. Fruits and vegetables should be the bulk of your meals. Additionally, each meal should include lean protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Examples of lean protein are any variation of fish or chicken, soy, and legumes. Healthy fats are avocadoes, olive oil, and nuts. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. A detox diet is not for everyone. Some detox plans severely limit pro-

well-balanced diet. Find a moderate detox diet that fits your needs and watch the pounds melt off. Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN, is a Master’s level Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She graduated CUNY Brooklyn College receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. She is currently a dietitian at Boro Park Center and a private nutrition consultant. She can be reached at CindyWeinberger1@gmail.com.


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The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

Dating Dialogue

What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters,

Mindy and I got divorced two years ago after a very stormy marriage. We were both caused each other much pain. The divorce was also extremely painful, and we both said and did things that I know I regret and I’m pretty sure she also regrets. We have two young children.

Miraculously, since we’re divorced, we’re able to communicate in a much more normal way. We are both trying to be considerate of each other and work as a team in order to create a peaceful environment for our children. We’ve heard about all these divorced couples who forever torment one another. Neither of us want to be that divorced couple. Now that our lives are settling down and we both feel ready to start dating again, Mindy suggested that we start dating one another! Neither of us have gone out yet and we both feel ready to get out there. At first, I was shocked at her suggestion. After all, during our marriage, we were really awful toward one another. On the other hand, when I think about how easy it would be to slip back into a marriage with her, I’m tempted. For the children, I know it would be the best thing. Financially, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, we’ve always had a certain chemistry together. There’s something about Mindy that has always appealed to me. I know that we’ve both been through a lot and have grown from the divorce. It has forced us both to look at ourselves more closely and work on ourselves. On the other hand, the old wounds are still inside of me. I can’t honestly say that some of the things Mindy said and did to me don’t still come up and cause me to feel very angry. Is there any way in which I should even consider such a thing? Do you know of couples who remarried and were successful? Are Mindy (and I) just looking for what seems like the easy way out but really kidding ourselves?

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The Panel The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. ast things first this time. There are people who remarry their exes. The Gemara has a positive thing to say about that. However, I have neither been in the homes of such couples nor in their hearts so I cannot comment on your question of whether they were successful. Begin by taking a piece of paper and dividing it into several columns. I would suggest that you sit down and figure out honest reactions to the following questions and categories. What actions of mine added tension to our marriage? What attitudes of mine added tension to our marriage? What communications skills do I need to work on to keep tension in check in my general life? What actions can I take to show a person I care about them? What values and attributes about my ex influenced me to marry her? Why am I reconsidering dating my ex, which might mean remarriage? After answering these questions, flip over your paper and pretend to be Mindy and respond to the same questions. Such honest self-examination plus help from a mental health professional will start a process of growth and examination of the potential of this relationship. A process happens over time. Give this process time and be open with your ex about taking the time and getting the support to work this through. Suggest that she do the same. At some point, you can go to a therapist together. You may want to see a marital counselor who saw the two of you when you were married or you may choose a new one. This should be part of your efforts to explore whether the relationship has potential. There is a lot of baggage from the past and a lot

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you have to work on in the present. Don’t skip working through this. Don’t jump into dating her. Consider that you may be lonely and in regular contact with her for the sake of the kids. Make sure that you have other social opportunities. Pursue hobbies and interests. And consider ways of increasing your income. Most divorced dads (and moms, of course) have to scale back their lifestyle after divorced. Financial considerations should not be a motivation to get back together. Repair yourself, repair your finances, and grow both with professional help. Then consider dating her.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. o Mindy and you share a certain chemistry. My husband, the analytical chemist, has taught me a few principles. There are a great many elements that when mixed and titrated can bring great things to life. Other substances – say bleach and ammonia – can trigger an explosive reaction when swirled in the same beaker. From the sound of your letter, I deduce that you and Mindy are two terrific people who function beautifully, amicably, maturely in your separate zones. When paired, once married…kaboom! Getting remarried at this stage does make sense – both financially and for the sake of the kids. Why didn’t this obvious revelation occur to you when you did “Awful-Horrible-Painful” things to each other two years ago? I venture to guess you were in therapy during the break-up and still chose to split in spite of the consequences to your checkbook and children. While Hollywood has produced many sensational examples of on-

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again-off-again couples – the ones who can neither live together or apart – I can’t claim to know any real-life examples of successful second-timearound marriages. If you and Mindy sincerely believe that you can put the toxic hurtful patterns of behavior behind you and re-build your relationship from scratch, get thee both to a competent marriage counselor. Do the work, give it a year – no less – and then decide if you have both grown up enough to live peacefully and respectfully under the same roof.

It’s easy to get along with someone when you don’t have to live together, make decisions together, and put one another first.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond t seems that both you and Mindy were able to grow and mature once you divorced. It’s possible that time has healed the old wounds and that you can reconcile the past and remarry. But there are some important questions you need to ask yourself. What steps did you both take to work on yourselves? Realize that, although Mindy and you have grown since the divorce, you remain the same people as before. You need to be completely honest and open with one another. Admit your faults and what you could have done differently. Honesty and transparency are helpful, as they provide a “litmus test” of your new relationship: did you both live up to your mistakes, grow and are willing to change, or do you have significant disagreements as to who is at fault? Are you both willing to talk through and learn from your mistakes? Were there personality disorders which weren’t addressed? Are you remarrying for the financial advantages and for your children? While those are noble objectives,

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Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions.

these cannot be the principle reasons, as those factors were unable to keep your previous relationship intact. Can you (collectively) put aside and forgive all the nastiness and negativity of your previous relationship? If you remarry, you must be sure that the problem which led to the divorce is fixable and you can ensure it doesn’t recur. Will you be carrying that same baggage into your new relationship or will you find a new love for each other? As with first-time dating, spend plenty of time getting to know each other again. Don’t rush your new relationship. Throughout the process, be totally honest about what went wrong. In addition, while you are indeed lucky to enjoy a good relationship with Mindy, therein lies the ultimate question: What changed when you got married and what changed after you divorced? The answer is that once you married, you were part of each other’s lives in a way only married couples, not dating or divorced couples, are involved. When you were single and dating each other, but living your separate lives, everything was great. After you

Our intention is not to offer any definitive

conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration.


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divorced, you still like each other – but you are once again living separate lives. However, when you lived together, things got messy. Perhaps the current façade of calmness might just be hiding two individuals for whom everything is perfect until they need to provide for each other’s needs, at which point everything breaks apart. This would indicate that selfishness is an issue which requires some work. Finally, I’m going to put on a mind reader’s hat and predict that each of my fellow Navidaters will give you the most important piece of advice: Find a marriage counselor/therapist you’re both comfortable with and spend some quality time with him/her – together. Ultimately, if you remarry and make a new marriage work, it will serve you as a source of bracha for years and decades to come. The ben-

efits to you, Mindy, and your kids would potentially be innumerable. I wish you much hatzlacha.

The Single Tova Wein

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don’t have a good reaction toward your possible plan – for several reasons. When people get divorced, especially if they have children, things have got to be really, really bad to break up a family and cause so much hardship to so many people. I have to believe that the two of you were fire and water together, unable to co-exist. OK, so now you’re not married and you’re feeling that it’s possible to get along. Why? Because you’re no

The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

longer married to each other! It’s easy to get along with someone when you don’t have to live together, make decisions together, and put one another first. Right now your relationship probably involves conversations like, “What time will you be dropping off the kids?” which is not a stressful conversation. But it’s not any kind of indicator as to whether the two of you would get along any better than you did the first time around, when you once again start dealing with important issues. I understand how easy it must feel to consider sliding right back into your marriage. You would have one household to upkeep rather than two and your children would probably be thrilled. These are such tempting reasons, and it’s understandable why you would consider it. But unless both you and Mindy have radically changed

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Clearly, there are unresolved, open wounds that will bleed if not cared for properly now. from the time you were married, I don’t think it’s a good idea in the least. If you’re lonely, ask people to start setting you up and start dating other people. You may find that you’re attracted to someone very different than Mindy altogether, and someone who brings out better qualities in you. The same goes for Mindy. I give this question two thumbs down!

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

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irst and foremost, I am responding as an advocate for the children. When there are minors involved my main consideration is their well-being. Adults get to make the choices and the children are along for the ride. So it is the children that I am speaking on behalf of. These children had no say in your divorce and they have no say in your decision to get back together. Whatever your next move with Mindy, it will deeply impact your two small kids. Once we have children, their needs come before ours. That is not to say couples should never split. On the contrary; there are times when it is indeed in the children’s best interest that their parents go their separate ways. Some would say that being raised in a home with chronic tension and fighting is far worse for children than a divorce. If you and Mindy could get back together and restore a peaceful and harmonious family unit, then of course this

would be in the best interest of the children. The issue is you don’t know if this is feasible. The only way to tell would be to give it a chance. If you decide to take this route, I offer you the following advice. If you haven’t already been in your own individual therapy, my recommendation is to speak with someone now. In your own individual therapy you will explore your role in the tumultuous marriage you described. Without knowing what the issues were or any of the unresolved business you brought into the marriage, I will say that in order to not repeat the same mistakes we must develop an awareness and insight into “what went wrong” and into our unsavory behaviors. Otherwise, history will repeat itself. You will also think about what you need from Mindy. Since you and Mindy were married, should you decide to date, you two must

be in couples counseling. There’s so much hurt, pain and anguish coming and going from both sides. Clearly, there are unresolved, open wounds that will bleed if not cared for properly now. In counseling, it will become clear if there is a path toward reconciliation for you and Mindy. My last piece of advice is potentially the most important. Do not tell the children you are dating until you are certain that you are getting remarried. It is my personal opinion that young children should not meet any man or woman their parent is dating until things are fairly official. These kids have already been through enough turmoil, change and transition. When we introduce a new boyfriend or girlfriend to our children, they become attached to this person (if we are lucky). What happens if you break up? This is yet another loss for the child and more chaos that they aren’t equipped to handle. All the more so with your children and their mother. In summary, if you can restore this

family unit and give those kids two healthy, loving, functioning parents, then you have the green light. Take it slowly, go for therapy, both individually and together, and do not tell the kids that you and Mommy are dating or back together. If you fall back into old patterns and begin an unhealthy “dance” then by all means, it is time to move on. Best of luck. Best of luck, Jennifer Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit www.thenavidaters.com for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@ gmail.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40. - Text message sent during the presidential election by senior FBI official Peter Strzok – who was recently expelled from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump bias was disclosed – to another senior FBI official, indicating some nefarious activity. The text message was disclosed last week

At one point he said, “We will never lose sight of our values and their capacity to inspire, uplift, and renew.” Then he realized someone left an old Obama speech in the teleprompter. “That doesn’t sound like me at all. What just happened? Wall. Come on, Donald, improvise." - Jimmy Fallon

I think we all knew in the back of our minds, even though we feigned this whole line of “unintended consequences,” I think in the back recesses of our minds – something bad could happen. It literally is at a point now we’ve created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is literally where we are. I would encourage all of you how to internalize this is: if you feed the beast, the beast will destroy you. - Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, speaking at Stanford Business School about Facebook

While announcing plans to trim the size of the regulatory code, President Trump today cut a red ribbon with an oversized scissors that was draped across stacks of paper. Then, because of all the regulations he repealed, the scissors fell apart, a dolphin choked on the ribbon, and the paper burst into flames. - Seth Myers

It’s not 9-9-9 but it’s fine, fine, fine. - Herman Cain, who ran in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries on a “9-9-9 tax plan,” reacting to the GOP tax bill, on Fox News

All I want for X-mas is full Communism now. - Tweet by Buzzfeed editor Kelly Oakes

MORE QUOTES


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The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec. 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller. - Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) in a television interview last Friday

This weekend I’m stocking up on portable phone chargers, warm clothes, & gear needed for when we take the streets. I’m concerned the assault on the rule of law is coming over the holidays when we’re distracted. It’ll be a defining moment for the Republic. - Tweet by President Obama’s former ethics czar, Walter Shaub, who has been predicting that President Trump will fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller

This is the worst bill to ever come to the floor of the House. - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), talking about the GOP tax cut bill

I told ya, I will never step foot in Wrigley Field again as long as I live. You couldn’t pay me to go to Wrigley Field again. - Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, while at the winter baseball meetings, stating that when the White Sox visit the Cubs next season, he won’t be in the broadcasting booth

If you had told me in late 2016 that almost a year into the Trump era the caliphate would be all-butbeaten without something far worse happening in the Middle East, I would have been surprised and gratified. - New York Times columnist Ross Douthat in an op-ed titled, “The War Trump won,” acknowledging that President Trump deserves credit for his foreign policy

And the Trump strategy on Israel and the Palestinians, the butt of many Jared Kushner jokes, seems … not crazy? The relatively mild reaction to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital may be a case study in expert consensus falling behind the facts; the Arab world has different concerns than it did in 1995, and Trump’s move has helped clarify that change. - Ibid

We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance. The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy. - U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addressing the UN Security Council after the U.S. vetoed a resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved

The fact that this veto is being done in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council. - U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addressing the UN Security Council after the U.S. vetoed a resolution seeking to reaffirm Jerusalem’s status as unresolved

Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabee. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. - Tweet by Prime Minister Netanyahu

On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke. - From the new book about the Trump campaign, written by former top campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie

Obama must return his Nobel Peace Prize. - Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid commenting on a bombshell Politico report that the Obama administration prevented the DEA from stopping Hezbollah from selling billions of dollars of cocaine in the United States because they didn’t want to jeopardize the Iran deal

[Putin] knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president. - James Clapper, who was President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence and is one of the loudest voices about Trump colluding with Russia, on CNN this week, talking about a recent phone call between President Trump and Putin

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DECEMBER 21, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Youthquake

- Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, in a nod to the unexpected level of youth engagement in last summer’s elections in the United Kingdom

We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel. But as the president said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement. - A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, to the Associated Press

We note that we cannot imagine Israel would sign a peace agreement that didn’t include the Western Wall. - Ibid.

I didn’t; I don’t. - Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX), when a Democrat congressman stated during a hearing that everyone in the country respects Robert Mueller

Paul Ryan revealed that he hasn’t eaten sweets in 10 years and said that he’d rather eat grilled asparagus than a Snickers. Americans were like, “And we thought Roy Moore was a monster!” - Jimmy Fallon

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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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There was an 11-hour power outage at the airport in Atlanta yesterday, and people were stranded on the tarmac for six hours. Don’t worry, though, flight attendants came through every hour with a thimble-size cup of room temperature water. - Jimmy Fallon

You guys, today President Trump gave a big speech on National Security. He focused on the three biggest threats to our country – Russia, North Korea, and Omarosa– Jimmy Fallon

Hundreds of flights were cancelled today at the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta due to a massive power outage yesterday. Experts are saying this could lead to as many as 30 texts from your mother. - Seth Myers


The Florida Jewish Home | DECEMBER 21, 2017

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