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MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Dear Readers, be a better place, or G-d forbid, we can choose to do the opposite. Let’s try to make the right choice and ensure we are building and not destroying. Wishing everyone a Fun Lag B’omer and Happy Mother’s Day.

Lag B’omer is around the corner and one of the staples of the celebration is the grand bonfire. What is it that is so unique about fire? What makes fire so remarkable is that it has the capacity to be both destructive and constructive. Fire provides warmth, cooks food and illuminates the darkness. On the flip side, fire can destroy. It can decimate what may have taken years to build, in a matter of moments. Lag B’omer is a stark reminder of our own dual capacities, especially in our relationships with others. We can utilize our strengths and talents to be constructive and build up the world to

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Shabbos Zmanim

Contents COMMUNITY Around the Community


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National 5 That's Odd


PEOPLE Trump’s First 100 Days


Squirm To Learn


Dating Dialogue


Political Crossfire




Rabbi Efrem Goldberg


A Pocketful of Dirt in Celebration


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In The Kitchen


HUMOR Stroller Derby




Notable Quotes


Candle Lighting Parshas Emor 7:36

Parshas Behar-Bechukosai


Shabbos Ends Parshas Emor 8:40 Parshas Behar-Bechukosai



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The Week In News

Macron to Lead France

The French people have spoken. Residents of France voted in Emmanuel Macron as successor to President Francois Hollande on Sunday. At 39-years-old, the former investment banker will be the youngest president in the history of the country. He took the record away from Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon, who won the presidency at age 40 in 1848. The former economy minister defeated anti-immigration nationalist Marine Le Pen. Le Pen, a strong conservative, had threatened to take France out of the European Union during her campaign. Macron received 66% of the popular vote and Le Pen got garnered 34%, a much wider gap wider than predicted by pre-election surveys. In his acceptance speech Macron humbly accepted his duty to please all of France and not just his supporters. “I know the divisions in our nation, which have led some to vote for the extremes. I respect them. I know the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that very many of you have also expressed. It’s my responsibility to hear them,” he said. “I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens.” Many chose Macron as the best of the worse, voting simply to ensure that Le Pen wasn’t voted in. Furthermore, many voters chose not to vote at all, signaling their distaste for both candidates. France had the worst voter turnout since 1969 with just 74% of registered voters turning up to vote on Election Day.

Prince Philip Steps Down from Royal Duty Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Philip will be stepping down from all official duties and public life as

of September at the age of 95. Philip has been married to the Queen for her entire reign – 65 years – and has regularly attended official engagements. The Queen has also been scaling back her public appearances at the age of 91. For now, she will continue to carry out her duties while being surrounded by other members of the royal family. The most recent engagement of the Queen was attending a meeting with the prime minister at the palace on Wednesday. The last public photo of Prince Philip was also last Wednesday as he attended an event.

According to those familiar with the plans of the royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will move back to London from Norfolk in eastern England this year in order to carry out more duties. They will take up residence in Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana. The Duke, Prince William, recently announced that he will leave his job as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglia Air Ambulance service in order to fulfill royal duties. Before the announcement was made publicly senior royal staff members were summoned to London by the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior member of Queen Elizabeth II’s household staff, to be told of the announcement prior to the public proclamation. This announcement isn’t a huge shock since five short years ago Prince Philip said he would “wind down” his workload. Even so, working takes a toll on a man his age. In 2016, he attended 200 events. In an interview with the BBC to mark his 90th birthday in 2011, Prince Philip said it was time to take a step back from his responsibilities. “I reckon I’ve done my bit, I want to enjoy myself now ... have less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say,” he said at the time.

Prosecuting at Nuremberg Ben Ferencz, a 97-year-old WWII veteran who prosecuted Nazis in Nuremberg, recently spoke with “60 Minutes.” 70 years since the trials, Ferencz recalls with chilling detail how blank the faces of the murderers he prosecuted were when they were confronted with their crimes. “I’m still churning,” Ferencz recalls. “Defendants’ faces were blank all the time…absolutely blank…like…they’re waiting for a bus.”

Ferencz had graduated Harvard Law School and then served in the U.S. armed forces. He fought bravely in many of the major battles of World War II. After being put in a unit tasked with investigating war crimes, he went searching through concentration camps seeking out evidence. He discovered a large, hidden cache of Nazi reports that documented the systemic killing of over 1 million people outside of concentration camps – in towns and cities throughout Europe. “They were 3,000 SS officers trained for the purpose and directed to kill, without pity or remorse, every single Jewish man, woman and child they could lay their hands on,” he related. When Ferencz had presented his newfound evidence to his superiors, the Nuremberg trials were already underway and his boss did not think there was enough staff to prepare the evidence for trial. Even so, he allowed Ferencz to prosecute based on the evidence he discovered, so long as he undertook all of the casework himself. The then-27-year-old put the trial together on his own time and led the ninth trial at Nuremberg on his own. When the Nazis at his trial were presented with the evidence, 22 commanders of the SS units called Einsatzgruppen pleaded not guilty. They did so despite Ferencz presenting their own handwritten reports of the murders they and their men had carried out. Ferencz recalls that one of the commanders was particularly flagrant in his denial. He recalled, “He gets up and he says, then uttering the words in German before translating, ‘What? The Jews were shot?  I hear it here for the first time.’  Boy, I felt if I’d had a bayonet, I would have jumped over the thing and put a bayonet right through one ear and let it come out the other.” Ferencz spent the remainder of his career focused on the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the prosecution of war crimes.

North Korea & Iran More evidence is coming out linking the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea. This week, Iran attempted to launch a Jask-2 cruise missile from a “midget” submarine that intelligence officials say is based on a North Korean design. The same type of submarine sank

a South Korean warship in 2010. The attempted launch failed, though it would have marked the first time such a missile was launched underwater. Experts on the matter have long thought that North Korea and Iran have been sharing missile-related information and technology. “The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” says Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.” The Pentagon identified a ballistic missile that Iran tested in January as being based on a North Korean design. Conversely, North Korea’s Taepodong missile looks almost identical to Iran’s Shahab missile.  ”In the past, we would see things in North Korea and they would show up in Iran. In some recent years, we’ve seen some small things appear in Iran first and then show up in North Korea and so that raises the question of whether trade – which started off as North Korea to Iran – has started to reverse,” Lewis added.   Both Iran and North Korea have been losing friends in the international community. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spent some time last week trying to bolster support from Southeast Asian countries for more United Nations sanctions against North Korea. The Trump administration had put Iran “on notice” days after their ballistic missile test.

Former Tourism Minister Dies at 62 Rabbi Benny Elon, former Tourism Minister of Israel and lover of Israel, died last week at the age of 62. Elon died of throat cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2006. Rabbi Elon served in the Knesset between 1996 and 2009. He was the tourism minister for two postings under Ariel Sharon before he was fired by Sharon for his opposition to the Gaza withdrawal plan. Rabbi Elon stopped serving the public in 2009 when he was placed on the Jewish Home party’s Knesset slate. President Reuven Rivlin remembered Rabbi Elon as “a big-hearted man, who dedicated himself entirely to the cause of education, and the public.” “As a minister, as a member of parliament, and as a man of action, vision, and of spirit, Rabbi Benny Elon was one of

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

the great fighters and doers for the sake of the Land of Israel, for its residents, and its children,” Rivlin said. Rabbi Elon traveled the world with his infectious love of Israel. He helped to promote a coalition with evangelical Christians and believed that non-Jewish support for Israel was important for Israel’s survival. He was principled, a man of faith, and a man of action. His father, Menachem Elon, was the Deputy Chief Justice of Israel. Rabbi Benny Elon, ob”m, is survived by his wife, journalist Emuna Elon, and their six children.

Fidget Fad Created After Trip to Israel

You can hardly go anywhere these days without seeing a fidget spinner, the newest high-speed spinning fad that has kids across the globe very excited. It turns out that the inventor of the mesmerizing toy thought of the idea over 20 years ago while visiting Israel. Catherine Hettinger, of Orlando, Florida, has said that she was looking for a way to distract and soothe children. She sought to do so after overhearing a conversation about Palestinian children throwing rocks at Israeli police during demonstrations. The device was meant to give children a distraction. “It started as a way of promoting peace, and then I went on to find something that was very calming,” Hettinger said this week. The spinners have three prongs with a center bearing that allows it to rotate at very high speeds. Her first patent for the toy was approved in 1997. It then ran out in 2005 and independent manufacturers mass produced and marketed the toy. On May 2, the spinners made it to Amazon’s top 20 bestsellers in the toys and games category. Hettinger did not renew the patent when it expired because she could not afford the $400 fee. “I just didn’t have the money,” she explained. “It’s challenging, being an inventor,” she said. “Only about 3% of inventions make any money. I’ve watched other inventors mortgage their houses and lose a lot. You take roommates, you get help from friends and family. It is hard.” The toys are so popular that more and more schools across the globe are banning them because they are distracting.

Turkish Prez Calls for Al-Aqsa Gathering

Rivlin’s family has lived in Jerusalem since 1809. Modern Turkey is the successor of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the Holy Land from the late 15th century until 1917.

New Bill to Establish Israel as “Jewish State” This week, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Muslims to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the hundreds of thousands in support of the Palestinians and to protect the site’s “Muslim character.” His comments were made at the opening of the Istanbul-based Al-Quds Waqf International Forum. “Turkey attaches great importance to the justified resistance of the Palestinians and will not yield to Israeli attempts to change the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Erdogan proclaimed. “We as Muslims should visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque more often, every day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.” He continued, “They [Israel] feel they are immune from punishment for their crimes, but the international community must stand up to them. Peace cannot be established in the region if international law is indifferent to massacres and cruelty.” Erdogan closed by saying that only a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital will bring peace to the region. He also praised a document that Hamas published last week as “an important step” on the road to a calm Middle East. Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to the comments by pointing out that “he who systematically violates human rights in his country will not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region. Israel adheres strictly to full freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims, and Christians – and will continue to do so in spite of baseless slander.” Later on Monday, Erdogan discussed ways to halt the so-called “Judaization” of Jerusalem with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. At a meeting in Istanbul the Turkish leader “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency. In response, President Reuven Rivlin pointed out that Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for over 150 years – including under Ottoman rule. “We have heard voices which attack Israel for building Jewish life in Jerusalem,” the president said in response on Tuesday. “I must tell these people, for the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.”

Israel will become known as “the national home of the Jewish people” if the Knesset passes a controversial law that has been proposed. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation has unanimously voted to throw their support behind Likud MK Avi Dichter’s Jewish State bill, which seeks to enshrine in Israeli law the status of the Jewish people in relation to the State of Israel. If the law passes it will become one of the Basic Laws which guide Israel’s legal system and are more difficult to repeal than other laws. ​“This is a small step for the Jewish State bill, which establishes that Israel is and will be a Jewish and democratic state, and it’s a big step toward defining our identity, not only in the eyes of the world but primari ly for ourselves, Israelis. To be a free people in our land,” Dichter proclaimed. According to Dichter, the law is especially important as it will assist in countering Palestinian efforts to deny the Jewish people’s rights to Israel. “Events of recent months prove that this is a battle for the Israel’s image and national identity. The Palestinians no longer hide their goal of erasing the Jewish people’s nation-state,” he wrote. The bill was first proposed by Dichter in 2014. It was put on the backburner, however, after it received harsh criticism from both Arab opposition and liberal-minded members of Dichter’s own Likud party. Many other drafts of the bill have been brought forward since then, however none have been successful in gaining any traction in the Knesset. The latest version of the bill was able to get off of the ground because it made the necessary compromises, both in wording and in policy, to get the support it needs from a wider range of Knesset members.


thorities. Last week, the terrorist, Imad Agbar, 18, from Nablus, was indicted by the Tel Aviv District Attorney on four counts of attempted murder and a terrorist act. According to the indictment, Agbar confessed to the attack, openly admitting that he sought to “kill Jews because they are Jews.” The indictment stated that Agbar entered the city with the NGO Natural Peace Tours. He had received a one-day pass to enter Israel, provided by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Allegedly he sharpened his belt buckle, which he later used as his weapon, allowing him to pass the security checkpoint to enter Israel from the West Bank undetected. Agbar left the tour group at Hayarakon Park in northern Tel Aviv and slipped away to carry out the attack. The terrorist’s first victim was a 70-year-old walking down the street. He then entered the Leonardo Beach Hotel where he used wire cutters to stab a clerk near the neck in the lobby’s antique shop. The clerk’s husband reacted quickly and began chasing Agbar back out into the lobby. As the terrorist attacked another employee in the lobby, the husband blocked the revolving door in an attempt to trap the suspect. Witnesses say Agbar charged at him and shattered the glass door in order to escape outdoors where he was met by police officers. According to the indictment, several months before the attack Agbar had plans to carry out a stabbing attack at the Dead Sea, in December 2016. After a taxi driver told him that the beach wasn’t crowded at that time of the year he decided not to carry out the plan.

More Phones, Less Speech

Palestinian Terrorist in Hotel Stabbings Indicted On April 23 a Palestinian teenager stormed into a Tel Aviv hotel and began stabbing hotel employees. He injured four people before being apprehended by au-

In today’s day and age many babies are able to navigate an iPhone way before they take their first steps or say “mama,” but is that okay for our children’s development?


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

According to a new study to be presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, screen time can actually be very detrimental to a child’s cognitive growth. Researchers found that the more time children between the ages of six months and two years spent using handheld screens such as smartphones, tablets and electronic games the more likely they were to experience speech delays. “I believe it’s the first study to examine mobile media device and communication delay in children,” said Dr. Catherine Birken, the study’s senior investigator and a pediatrician and scientist at the Hospi-

tal for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. “It’s the first time that we’ve sort of shone a light on this potential issue, but I think the results need to be tempered [because] it’s really a first look.” The study analyzed nearly 900 children aged 18 months, based on parental reports about time spent using screens. Researchers then used an infant toddler checklist, a validated screening tool, to assess the children’s language development also at 18 months. They looked at a range of things, including whether the child uses sounds or words to get attention or help, if they put words together, and how many

words the child uses. Of the group, 20% spent an average of 28 minutes a day using screens. According to the findings, every 30-minute increase in daily screen time was linked to a 49% increased risk in expressive speech delay, which is the use of sounds and words. There was no link between the use of technology and other areas of social interaction like body language and gestures. The authors were careful to point out that although there was a correlation between handheld devices and communication delays in young children, more

research is necessary to determine if the device use is actually causing the speech delay. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 18 months, aside from video-chatting with family. Medical professionals have said that the high sensory input of a screen is distracting for young children and can often lead to a disconnect between baby and caregiver. For children over 18 months up to 24 months the group recommends highly monitored content with parental supervision so that an adult can explain to the toddler what they are actually seeing to make it an educational experience. According to a 2013 study by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization which is focused on helping children, parents and educators navigate the world of media and technology, almost 40% of children under age 2 have used a mobile device, an increase from just 10% in 2011. “This is an important study in highlighting some of the potential risks associated with media use, and specifically handheld mobile devices,” said Michael Robb, research director for Common Sense Media. “What’s driving the effect is very important. The negative effects may be due to screen time replacing parent-child interaction (playing, reading, talking, singing, etc.) which are critical for healthy development,” Robb pointed out.

Clinton to Lead Resistance PAC




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She’s back! In case you missed the former first lady and presidential nominee, she is reentering the political game after spending months on the down-low mourning her shocking loss to Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton has organized a political organization committee (PAC) whose goal will be funding “resistance” groups that will stand up to President Donald Trump and conservative policies. According to undisclosed sources, Clinton is currently working with former aides and donors to establish an organization that will seek to fund and invest in groups that have impressed her since Trump won the 2016 election. In a recent interview Clinton labeled herself as an “activist.” “I’m now back to being an activist cit-

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

izen and part of the resistance,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Earlier this year Clinton hinted to her sentiments in Texas when she said, “Activism is more important than ever, and it’s working, from the women’s marches across the country and around the globe to helping to bring down the Republicans’ terrible health care bill. But we have to keep going.” This newly formed organization, Onward Together, a homage to her campaign slogan, will be like a matchmaker between groups and donors. Clinton will essentially fundraise for the groups.

Is Social Media Responsible for Terrorism? Twitter, Facebook, and Google are under fire for allegedly “knowingly and recklessly” providing material that inspired the terrorists in the San Bernardino attack in 2015. Family members of victims that perished in the terrorist attack have filed a federal lawsuit this week against the tech companies for providing “material support” that “enabled” the couple to perform the horrific attacks on innocent civilians. The suit, filed last Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, claims that the social media companies allowed ISIS to have accounts on their sites, which were used to spread extremist messages, endorse and inspire attacks, raise funds and entice recruits. The suit postulates that without the use of social media the terrorist group would not have been able to become “the most feared terrorist group in the world.” The suit claims that Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, whose attack on the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015, left 14 people dead and 22 others injured was inspired by social media posts. The families involved in the suit are relatives of Tin Nguyen, Nicholas Thalasinos and Sierra Clayborn, all killed on that dreadful day. Attorneys for the families say that the tech companies are liable for assisting and allowing acts of international terrorism, providing support to a designated international terrorist organization, and wrongful death. Legal experts are saying that the claim could be difficult to prove since shortly after the incident FBI Director James Comey said that investigators found no direct evidence that the couple were explicitly directed by a terrorist organization. Comey did reveal, though, that the two suspects had been “consuming poison on the internet” and had become “homegrown violent extremists, inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.” Despite that, the source of inspiration is difficult to prove. According to investigators, on the day of the fatal shooting Malik “pledged alle-

giance” to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a Facebook post. In private messages obtained by investigators Malik expressed support for Islamic jihad. A Facebook spokesperson told HuffPost that there is “no place on Facebook for groups that engage in terrorist activity or for content that expresses support for such activity” and that the company takes “swift action to remove this content when it’s reported to us.” In recent months all three companies have amended their rules and have made stricter policies regarding threats of violence and the promotion of terrorism. Just last week Facebook announced plans to hire 3,000 additional employees specifically for policing users’ accounts for harmful content – that’s in addition to the 4,500 staffers already dedicated to this cause. Twitter has suspended a total of 646,248 accounts for extremism from August 2015 to December 2016. This isn’t the first case involving social media companies and terrorism; similar cases have been filed before and some from the same attorneys representing the San Bernardino families. In past cases, the tech companies have contended that they are not liable for the content of their users, asserting protections under the Communications Decency Act, the federal law that provides immunity to internet companies that publish user content.

Life Expectancy – It’s All about Where You Live

Want to live long? Stay away from the Dakotas. According to new research published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, life expectancy at birth differs by as much as 20 years depending on the county in the United States. Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, lead author of the study and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, estimated life expectancy for each U.S. county from 1980 through 2014. Murray and his colleagues analyzed county-level data and then applied a mathematical model to estimate the average length of lives. Here’s the good news: life expectancy at birth increased by 5.3 years for both men and women – from 73.8 years to 79.1 years – between 1980 and 2014. During that time period, men gained 6.7 years, from 70 years on average to 76.7 years, while women gained four years, from 77.5 years to 81.5 years.

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But life length is not the same across the United States. In fact, there’s a 20.1 years gap between the counties with the highest life expectancies and those with the lowest. The counties with the lowest life expectancy are located in South and North Dakota. Counties along the lower half of Mississippi, in eastern Kentucky, and southwestern West Virginia also showed lower life expectancies compared to the rest of the nation. The North and South Dakota counties included Native American reservations. At the other extreme, residents of counties in central Colorado can expect to live longest, Murray and his colleagues said. Summit County, Colorado, ranked with the highest life expectancy in the nation – 86.8 years. What’s the secret – and the source – of the problem? “For both of these geographies, the drastically different life expectancies are likely the result of a combination of risk factors, socioeconomics, and access and quality of health care in those areas,” Murray explained. Yet, socioeconomic factors are not everything, said Murray, explaining that “60% of the differences in life expectancy across counties can be explained by socioeconomic factors alone” yet that leaves a “substantial amount of unexplained differences.” “Behaviors like smoking and physical activity, along with risk factors like obesity and diabetes, are also very important,” he pointed out. Thankfully, almost all counties showed improvement over time. Counties in central Colorado, Alaska, and along both coasts experienced larger increases than most other counties. Still, some southern counties in states from Oklahoma to West Virginia experienced either no improvement or very little over time. The most positive note is that, over the study period, all counties showed declines in the risk of early death for children under the age of 5 years old, say the authors. And nearly all counties (about 98%) showed declines in the risk of early death for people between the ages of 5 and 25, as well as those between 45 and 85. People between the ages of 25 and 45, though, showed an increased risk of death

in 11.5% of counties over the study period. Despite the positive findings in the study, the disparity between counties is disconcerting. “The inequality in health in the United States – a country that spends more on health care than any other – is unacceptable,” Murray said. “Every American, regardless of where they live or their background, deserves to live a long and healthy life.”

Play-Doh, Donkeys and Glitter Sometimes we wonder when teens will grow up if they are still enjoying playtime in college. Today, college students are given so many ways to cope with the stress of final exams it’s amazing that their mothers aren’t still making their sandwich lunches for them – or are they? Take the University of Pennsylvania. In its hallowed halls several different student groups are offered various study breaks, including a Zumba class, a video game stress reliever, and a “Chocolate and Chocolate Labs” event, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. At Penn State, students enjoy a “DeStress Fest,” which includes origami folding, Wii gaming, “brain massage music,” among other activities. The University of Michigan offers Play-Doh and more as a way to chill before finals. Want to know what else is offered? If you guessed glitter bottles, Legos and dominoes, you’d be correct. An annual tradition at the University of Illinois offers students a “Reading Day.” “In place of classes, the university hosts a variety of non-mandatory events aimed at helping students study and de-stress,” the Daily Illini says. At Temple University, its Student Activities group put together an all-inclusive “camping” event called Camp TU. Students had the chance to participate

in de-stressing activities by zip-lining, scaling a rock wall, watching the movie “Anchorman,” or eating from one of seven food trucks, says The Tab. According to the director of student activities, Christopher Carey, around 2,000 students showed. “I can say with certainty that students had a lot of fun. If having fun helped them relieve some stress or unwind a bit, that is great, too,” he said.

If students are afraid of heights and are pulling their hair out over exams, they can head over to Montana State University, where students scuttled over to the library to play with furry friends – including a group of dogs and a 900-pound donkey named Oliver. Furry friends may be better than a fidget spinner. According to the Chronicle, “Students were encouraged to place a marker on a large board to show their level of stress, ranked 1 to 5, before petting the animals. On their way in, students tended to rank themselves a 4 or 5. On the way out, students seemed more at ease, giving themselves a 1 or 2.” Hope College and St. Cloud University also took the animal route, although St. Cloud offered dog de-stress therapy for staff and faculty as well as for students. Now we wonder why millennials have no interest in finding jobs.

Relocation Bonus Looking for a place to live? The village of Bormida wants you! This week, the mayor of the town announced that the village will be offering around $2,000 to those who wish to move there. The Italian town is home to 394 people, and the cost of living there is cheap. Monthly rent can run around $55 and up to $130 for something roomier. “We’re still working out the plan, but anyone is welcome to come and live here,” a local councilor told the local newspaper. “We’re a small community but very welcoming. We’re high up in a mountain area but also not far from the sea – it’s a healthy lifestyle, the air is very clean.” Around 1,000 people lived in Bormida in the 1950s. Since then, though, Italians have either moved to larger cities or have passed on. The town is hoping to see a revival with an influx of more residents. Those few who do locate will enjoy the town’s four restaurants, a pharmacy, and doctor who comes to town three times a week.

Say Please, Pay Less

Flying High It’s been 22 years and 1 million passengers. That’s what Captain John Richie was celebrating when he brought a bottle of champagne onboard his Southwest flight from Denver to Pittsburgh this week. “Twenty two years ago I retired from the United States Air Force,” said Captain Richie over the loudspeaker to his passengers before the flight. “I had the privilege of flying F-16s, both as a combat pilot and as a test pilot. For the past 22 years I’ve been flying for Southwest.” This week, though, was special. Throughout his many years as a pilot on Southwest, Richie counted each passenger on his plane. This week, Richie flew his millionth passenger. In celebration, Richie – wearing a tie with blue and white stars – walked down the aisle to her seat and presented her with a bottle of champagne and an envelope filled with cash containing the exact amount of money she paid for the ticket. The plane full of passengers applauded Richie’s celebration – and perhaps each of them was hoping the woman would share her champagne. We doubt she did.

It pays to be polite. How many times has your mother told you that? Well, she’s right. At Café Café in Israel, you can get a steaming cup of joe for just 6 shekels – that’s two shekels less than usual. But the price decrease comes with a price tag: customers need to say “please” and “thank you” when ordering their drink. The sale on hot drinks brings the chain in line with their major competition, Cofix. According to Ronen Nimni, who owns the coffee chain, the price cut applies to all stores except those in Ben-Gurion International Airport. The company is trying to boost sales of coffees to-go, which don’t require table service or seating space. “A cup of coffee costs us 3 to 3.50 shekels [85 to 95 cents], so if we sell it at 6 shekels and sell a lot, we are still earning 80 percent to 100 percent on the product without having to provide service or a place [to sit],” he pointed out. Additionally, the company wants to encourage customers to purchase takeaway baked goods as well. Here’s a clue: when you get your brew – a cup or two – don’t forget to say thank you.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

Around the

Community Hebrew Academy (RASG) Announces 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Hebrew Academy (RASG) is pleased to announce that Gabriel Apoj ’17 and Malka Suster ’17 were named the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2017. Apoj has attended Hebrew Academy since Kindergarten and will be attending Harvard University in the Fall pursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering. Suster started her career at the Hebrew Academy when she was just two-years-old and plans to begin at the University of Florida in the summer before heading off to Seminary in Israel for the next year. She would like to study “something in the medical field,” but is not quite sure yet. Overall, the pair have enjoyed their time at the Hebrew Academy. “I definitely will miss the people

here,” said Apoj. “I am obviously used to this environment. But I think it is going to be good for me and I am going to grow.” “The school has taught me to be an independent thinker and make the most of my classes,” said Suster. Hebrew Academy wishes them much success in the future and congratulates them for achieving this prestigious honor! Through the light of Torah and academic excellence, Hebrew Academy inspires each and every student to improve the world. Hebrew Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish college and yeshiva preparatory school serving students from birth through grade 12. For more information, please visit Pictured (left to right): Gabriel Apoj (Valedictorian, Class of 2017) & Malka Suster (Salutatorian, Class of 2017).

Bar & Bat Mitzvahs Programs at TBE Early April of last year in eonsold Jewish tradition, Ethan Sicker was called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth El of Hollywood. Says his mother Erin, “To this day, people still tell us it was the warmest Bar Mitzvah they ever went to.” The Sickers were not members of Temple Beth El or any temple for that matter. Like so many Jews today, they had to prioritize expenses and temple dues fell to the wayside. “We’re the people who go on the High Holidays,” Erin quips, “You do the math.” Yet not having a Bar Mitzvah for Ethan was never an option. “He’s Jewish and he was going to be Bar Mitzvah-ed. He had a bris, he went to Hebrew preschool. It still means something.” To that end Erin and her husband Darryl shopped around, going from one temple to the next but couldn’t find what they were looking for. According to Erin, the temples all wanted too much of Ethan’s time, “These kids are so busy and so

stressed as it is, they don’t need one more thing to be a miserable experience.” Then they heard about the Accelerated Prep Program for Bar and Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth El. Specifically geared toward families unaffiliated with a synagogue, the APP extends an opportunity for every Jewish child to experience the rite of passage of being called to the Torah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. “The APP is amazing!” Erin says, “I recommend it totally. First of all, Cantor Manny is absolutely wonderful. We met with him and that was the end of that. He is so chill. Ethan absolutely connected with him. Wonderful, wonderful experience.” The experience Erin “kvells” about is a program tailored to the individual child. Bar and Bat Mitzvah dates can be reserved a few years in advance but even half a year affords enough time to prepare for the big day. APP students often begin with no knowledge of Hebrew and by the

conclusion of the program, they are reading from the Torah. All receive private tutoring with Cantor Manny Silver, guidance sessions with Rabbi Allan Tuffs and when schedules demand, classes can be held remotely via Skype or Facetime. The actual Bar or Bat Mitzvah service is held in the regal Beth El sanctuary and the facilities which include a spacious ballroom are available for the reception. “It’s a different world than when we were growing up,” Erin cites. “It doesn’t work like that anymore. The temple has to evolve. This is one temple that is evolving.” Much to the benefit of unaffiliated families and their children throughout South Florida and beyond (currently there is one APP student studying remotely from Atlanta!) Since Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah a year ago there have been twelve more APP Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at Temple Beth El. And counting …



MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

With Hearts Full of Love: In Memory of R’ Dovid Bryn By Morris Levy

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our homes, Sunday afternoon in peoples living room with a pair of Teffillin and a group of teen-agers. His Shul was in the community’s hearts. In honor of his Yohrtzeit, Chabad Chayil, the organization he founded, hosted a special tribute farbrengen, where his friends and family got together to say L’Chaim, reminisce the good times shared together and most importantly see how we can emulate this great Chosid & Tzadik.. Rabbi Bryn was a Shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe whose life was cut

tragically short at age 40 by Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects the body’s connective tissue. For over a quarter of a century, he courageously battled the fatal disease that decimated his heart, yet managed to minister to, counsel and save tens of thousands. Reb Dovid loved his people, loved his religion and Torah and loved G-d. He had so much love that his body could not hold it. He was born with an abundance of love. He was always of uplifting spirit. And it was obvious to those that study the

human body, that Dovid’s had difficulty containing his love. His heart, filled with love and care for all, was always bursting. He knew it and we knew it. Some might be troubled by the precariousness of constantly living on the edge of existence, but Dovid’s overflowing care for others left no room for worry for his own well-being. If he could breathe, then he would talk to others about G-d’s good, the beauty of a Mitzva, or life’s bright spots. If he could walk, then he would go to share life with others and show positive perspective as it • • • (954) 458-0635 • Thursday, May 4, 2017 Page 5B should be seen. If he could drink, then he would toast L’Chaim to all things positive and constructive. If he could sing, then Aventura” & Florida South In Market Kosher #1 Were Voted The he would. If he could do, then he did. He showed strength not owned by men who 3017 Aventura Blvd. Aventura (Next To Walgreens) N Country Club Drive appear stronger. He showed love that is PHONE 305-792-7988 KOSHER only written about. He lived a full life of NE 203rd St KINGDOM FAX 305-792-2205 treating others as one would treat themWE ACCEPT FOOD STAMPS lvd. PARKING AVAILABLE IN THE REAR tura B selves. He did and lived 120 years of good Aven New Store Hours: Sun 7:30 am - 8:00 pm Aventura in a third of the time. Mon–Thur 7:30 am - 9:00 pm • Fri 7:00 am - 5:00 pm Mall N William Lehman Cswy All Specials While Supplies Last. Not Responsible For Typo Errors! • Expires 05/17/17 To view or share photos or experiences of this remarkable man, please visit You can also learn about the Special Tribute Torah being written right now in his honor and purchase a letter, word or Parasha at 305770-1919 or

This past Tuesday, marked the 15th yohrtzeit of the legendary South Florida rabbi, Dovid Bryn zt’l. Mostly known for his unending acts of kindness and genuine love for every human being, he is truly missed by all who knew him. Some rabbis are known for their gigantic shuls, but Rabbi Bryn had a much bigger Shul, one not bound by walls. His shul was in the flea markets. His Shul was at the Macabbee games, in the soccer fields of the JCC. His Shul was in

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The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

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MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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Kollel Chatzos Reveals the Essence of Lag Ba’omer A tremor of awe and anticipation ripples through the atmosphere, coursing through the hearts of the thousands ascending ancient Meron’s storied hills. They’re going to Reb Shimon. And they’ll sing and dance, light fires and cut little boys’ hair. Most of all, they’ll daven and rejoice and seek inspiration and elevation of the kever of the tana Elokai. Amidst the excitement, tucked away on a quiet street in house #56, entrance #9,

another type of Lag Ba’omer celebration is commemorated. It’s the same like every night – and yet, it encapsulates the essence of Lag Ba’omer. In this unassuming room, a stellar group of distinguished talmidei chachamim will gather at chatzos of Lag Ba’omer and learn… and learn… until daybreak. Just like they do every night. Just like Rabi Shimon did years ago, on the day of his petira, when he dedicated the day to teaching Torah to

Klal Yisroel. Just like Rabi Shimon instructed Klal Yisroel to do more than 130 times throughout the Zohar, the holy sefer authored on this very day, the day of his petira. And while thousands of yidden will remain at the kever of Rabi Shimon throughout the night of Lag Ba’Omer, these talmidei chachamim learn there nightly. When the rest of the world calls it a night and heads to bed, these talmidei chachamim immerse themselves in vibrant torah learning, bring-

ing zechusim and yeshuos to Klal Yisroel. Klal Yisroel has always depended on Rabi Shimon as a dedicated emissary of mercy before Hashem. Throughout the generation, tens of miraculous stories have been recorded of the yeshuos and brachos attained in the zechus of the Tana Elokai. Still, those who truly understand the tzidkus of Rabi Shimon and the brilliant Torah light which he brought to the world recognize that the most potent way to connect to Rabi Shimon is through Torah learning. Rabbi Shimon Halperin, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Chatzos Meron, remarks, “The Kollel Chatzos talmidei chachomim, who are sitting quietly and learning throughout the entire night, are truly connected with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, fulfilling his ratzon in the most elevated way.” As more and more yidden across the globe reach out to support the nighttime Torah learning of Kollel Chatzos, more and more yidden recognize the enormous bracha inherit in supporting this monumental undertaking… Kollel Chatzos sponsors continuously share amazing personal anecdotes of yeshuos, refuos and besuros tovos attained soon after they partnered with Kollel Chatzos. “Every story is testimony to the koach of limud haTorah at chatzos halayla,” says Rabbi Nechemiah Hoffman, Director of Kollel Chatzos. “And we hear hundreds of such stories.” You can reach the ultimate level of bracha this Lag B’Omer and throughout the year. Support the nighttime learning of Kollel Chatzos in Meron, as well as the Torah learning at Kollel Chatzos brances in Williamsburg, Boro Park, Monsey and Monroe. At Kollel Chatzos, donors are not viewed as mere sponsors, but rather as true partners who are directly responsible for the Kollel Chatzos Empire’s accomplishments. And while the primary schar for sponsors will definitely be in the Next World, the kollel expresses their appreciation through offering special deals at momentous occasions. This year, Kollel Chatzos presents a special deal. All Chatzos Partners will earn a double zechus; the zechus of Torah learning both in Meron and at a New York kollel. Together, this equals twelve hours of consecutive Torah learning and double-supplications on the donor’s behalf. “Toraso magein lanu; hi me’iras eineinu.” The awesome power of twelve consecutive hours of Torah learned throughout the night will certainly bring an abundance of yeshuos and refuos for Klal Yisroel. Contact Kollel Chatzos today for special Lag B’Omer partnership options.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017


Around the Community

Scheck Hillel Band Student Earns EXCELLENT for Drum Solo in FBA State Solo & Ensemble Adjudication Scheck Hillel has hosted District 20’s Thursday Solo & Ensemble adjudication to create an opportunity for student-musicians to participate in the adju-

Scheck Hillel Community School senior Matt Levine earned ‘EXCELLENT’ for his snare drum solo participation in the FBA State Solo and Ensemble Adjudication on March 31. This is the second-highest rating possible in the evaluation. This year, Matt also received the John Philip Sousa Award from Scheck Hillel, which is the top national award for Band students. Matt started playing the drums when he was seven years old. Today, he has expanded his music education into additional music genres and instruments. Beyond his dedication to music, Matt likes to spend his time helping the community: he volunteers in the nonprofit organization The Friendship Circle, for which he led the North Miami Chapter when he was in Grade 10.  Matt will graduate in May and plans to attend the University of Miami, where he will pursue a career in legal studies and business after a gap year in Israel. He plans to continue playing and producing music. “Music is my passion,” Levine expressed.   “Matt’s achievement is the result of countless hours of hard work, dedication, passion and perseverance,” said Matt Villa, Scheck Hillel’s band director. “Committed to guiding and supporting our students through an individualized approach to education, it’s been an honor to watch Matt grow as a musician over the past five years, since the band’s inception. We are very proud of his hard work and this amazing milestone.”   For the past five consecutive years,

dication and uphold their observance of Shabbat. This opportunity is made possible thanks to the joint efforts of FBA and Scheck Hillel. It was from this Fall 2016

adjudication that Matt advanced to State, becoming Scheck Hillel’s first Band student to advance to this level.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Super Sunday & Good Deeds Day Success in South Palm Beach County On April 2, hundreds of volunteers made sure the phones rang out once again from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County throughout the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach areas. And hundreds more assembled kosher meal kits for distribution to neighbors in need as part of the international Good Deeds Day. By the end of the amazing

from all stages of life made calls in three shifts, many with friends and colleagues from a school or agency, AEPi Fraternity at FAU, NCSY or neighbors from a country club. Raffle prizes, selfies, meals, snacks, high energy, great camaraderie and being joined by Congressman Ted Deutch made the day fun and fast-moving. This year a large group of high school

ation and how this community works together.” First time Super Sunday volunteers Andrea and Danny Spandau were “feeling great” after spend-

day of community spirit chaired by Talia and Hal Klein, this vibrant, diverse Jewish community had raised $576,758 from 570 donors, and packaged 20,000 wholesome, easily prepared kosher meals kits. From first-timers to those with decades of Super Sunday experience, volunteers

age volunteers, who attend the full array of the area’s public and private schools, joined in calling, wearing matching NCSY T-shirts. NCSY Co-Regional Director Ben Gonsher explained, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to not only help others, but to learn about the Feder-

ing the morning making calls. Together, they raised $14,913. “Federation does such great things to take care of our youngest to our oldest in our community, in Israel and around the world where we are needed,” said Danny. Added Andrea, “Federation’s partnerships with agencies, and schools like Donna Klein Jewish Academy where I work, bring us all together for our community and our people.” In the afternoon, hundreds more volunteers streamed into the Loewenstern Cafetorium at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton on the Federation campus for the Good Deeds Day project. Working energetically to rock music and wearing identical hair coverings, they

Hochberg Prep Wins in 6th Annual Cadena Initiative 'Contest of Ideas'

put together 20,000 kosher meal kits to stock the shelves at the Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS, one of the many vital programs supported by the Federation. As their parents, grandparents, siblings and more packaged food, nearby the youngest children created Passover craft projects. A longtime Federation supporter and renowned Jewish community philanthropist, Judy Levis Markhoff was thrilled to spend the afternoon packing meals with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Judy’s son, Matthew Baker, who is currently President of the Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center named for Judy’s parents, was also joined by JCC Board and staff members. “It fills my heart to have all of us together helping across the generations,” Levis Markhoff said. “Nothing raises my spirit like seeing our family’s values and priorities continue on.” If you missed your call, it’s not too late to join your Jewish community in making a difference! Visit or contact 561.852.3142.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017


Around the Community

KHDS 8th Grade Graduation Trip To Israel

The Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton 8th grade class recently returned from their annual graduation class trip to Israel. The trip takes place on an annual basis during the period of time when Israel celebrates Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) and Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). Over a period of ten days, students are taken on a breathtaking tour of the land that includes both ancient and modern historical sites. Students are also

introduced to Israelis who are involved in many different aspects of cultural life and who provide students with the opportunity to participate in public service and chesed on an almost daily basis. The visceral connection between the KHDS 8th grade students and the State of Israel is one that transcends the intellectual recognition of Israel as the spiritual

and historical home of the Jewish people; one that makes Israel an experience rather than an idea. Dr. Alex Pomson, a noted researcher and educational consultant for the Avi Chai Foundation, states that studies indicate that in order to create people who advocate for Israel and who strongly identify with Israel, they should be taken to Israel often. He further states that this should begin at a very young age so

that the relationship is more deeply rooted within the individual. To create the connection between Israelis and our students, they meet real Israeli heroes, people who build the State and who represent the highest of Zionist ideals. They visit the places in Israel that they have studied in class and concretize their perceptions and understanding of the centrality of Israel to Jewish history and the Jewish people.

Yom Hashoah Commemoration at KYHS Student of Katz Yeshiva High School participated in a moving Yom HaShoah program focusing on the motivations of Holocaust Denial. The program included an exclusive Yad Vashem exhibit, a screening of the movie “Denial”, and an emotional candle lighting tribute to the victims of the Holocaust, led by Holocaust survivors. In preparation for the event, students spent countless hours dramatically changing the

scope as well as the roots of Holocaust denial clear. After David Irving takes Deborah Lipstadt to court for libel, Lipstadt must prove that Irving is a false historian and that his views on the Holocaust are unfounded. Essentially, Lipstadt must prove before a British court of law that the Holocaust indeed happened. Throughout the movie, Irving attempts to rattle the defense and onlookers by making outlandish accusations regarding Auschwitz, like “I don’t

ing the growing number of Holocaust deniers in the world, students viewed “The Auschwitz Blueprints,” an exhibit on loan to Katz Yeshiva High School from Yad Vashem. The display was powerful and informative, detailing the specific planning and construction of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Students viewed poems, historical facts and official blueprints of the Auschwitz concentration camp. “Walking through the exhibit was ex-

al. The blueprints are solid proof against Holocaust deniers, many of whom claim that the crematoriums of Auschwitz was not actually used to gas Jews. The blueprints clearly disprove that absurd notion – and yet the number of Holocaust deniers continues to grow. The formal program concluded with the traditional memorial prayer recited in memory of the 6 million murdered by the Nazis. Most poignant were the words of the survivors who

look of the school The lights were dimmed and the walls obscured in black from floor to ceiling, with facts as well as poignant drawings and quotes relating to the Holocaust scrawled across them. KYHS students watched the movie “Denial”, a movie about an action courtroom drama in Britain in the year 2000. that makes the

see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. I say to you, quite tastelessly, that more women died in the backseat of Senator Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick, than even died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. In the end, Irving is found to be a “liar and fraud” influenced by his racism and antisemitism, proving Lipstadt victorious. After the movie, with students contemplat-

tremely meaningful, impactful, and effective,” said Aaron Kurtz (‘17). Many students were surprised to learn that the actual blueprints of Auschwitz exist; we had assumed Auschwitz was hastily built with little forethought.” “I have never seen anything like these [blueprints]”said Eli Litwin (‘18). Students quickly appreciated that the exhibit was a fitting counter to the movie Deni-

are residents of Forest Trace Senior Living Center. The survivors spoke of their own experiences as well as those of their families and friends as they lit candles. Students agreed that there is no greater rejection of Holocaust denial than the testimony of those who saw the horrors and atrocities firsthand and survived to tell us about it.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the Community

Teach Florida Secures Huge Win for Jewish Schools New Security Funding and Tax Credit Scholarship Expansion Teach Florida, a project of the Orthodox Union, secured a historic victory for Jewish schools in the 2017-18 Florida state budget, which allocates $645,000 to enhance security in Jewish day schools. This is the first time that the state of Florida has allocated security funds to Jewish schools, which face urgent security concerns in the face of rising anti-Semitism across the country. Teach Florida helped draft the legislation and advocated strongly for its passage. Teach Florida also advocated for ex-

panding tax credit scholarships for nonpublic school students. The 2017-2018 budget will increase elementary school scholarships by nearly $500 and high school scholarships by more than $1,000 per student. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Rick Scott, Senator Lauren Book, Representative Randy Fine, and all the members of the Florida legislature for making security for Jewish schools a priority in this year’s budget,” said Mimi Jankovits, executive director of Teach

Florida. “Security is a public good, and we appreciate that Florida’s elected officials have stepped up to help safeguard our students.” “This is a historic day in Florida,” said Dr. Allan Jacob, chairman of Teach Florida. “Next year, children in Jewish day schools across Florida will be safer and more secure. At the same time, our low-income students, along with the 98,000 low-income students across Florida, will have the financial support they need to attend the middle and high schools of their

choice. We are proud to be a supporter of this important program.” Teach Florida is an association of Jewish day schools and yeshivas, rabbis, community leaders and parents who are working for fair funding of nonpublic schools. Teach Florida is part of the Teach Advocacy Network, a project of the Orthodox Union.

Bring Meron Home this Lag Ba’omer By Yoel Krausz Bonfires. Bows and arrows. Music. Upsherins. Dancing through the night. This is Lag Ba’omer. Add the holiness of a special site and thousands upon thousands of people celebrating with you- and it is Lag Ba’omer at Meron. Being at Meron on Lag Ba’omer is an experience that stays with you for life- as kedusha, simcha, and energy permeate the air, leaving deep grooves of inspiration. But not all of us can be zoche to be at Meron

each year, or have the opportunity to tap into its spiritual blessings. But this year, you can! You can bring Meron into your home and life this Lag Ba’omer, with the Tehillim Kollel of Meron. Throughout the year, devout men pray at this holy site, completing the entire sefer Tehillim each day. But you can take advantage of the most special time of the year at the Kever of R’ Shimon bar Yochai and enlist these special messengers to engage in fervent prayers on

behalf of your family. Whether you need Parnassah, Shalom Bayis, Children, Shidduchim or any other yeshuah, you can entrust your Tefillos to the ehrliche Meron Kollel, who will utilize all their powers of concentration and sincere devotion to storm the heavens with your requests. Tehillim Kollel is offering exclusive savings for Lag Ba’omer day and also running special

membership offers during this time. Late afternoon, this Friday, May 5th, is the last day to sign up for Lag Ba’omer savings. For more detailed information, contact the Tehillim Kollel’s central office at (718) 705-7174 or email at



The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

Around the Community

Sha’arei Bina Commemorates Three Special Yamim On Monday, April 24th, the 28th day of Nisan, Sha’arei Bina, along with many Jewish communities throughout the world commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day. The students heard from a 93 year old Holocaust Survivor, Mr. Henri Fletcher, who described his experiences going from one labor camp to another, and somehow survived the Death March. The message Mr. Fletcher shared with the girls was one of positivity. He said - he is always happy because, "Yesterday is History, Today is Reality and Tomorrow is a Dream." Mr. Fletcher was quite inspirational. On Wednesday, April 26 the entire High School visited the Holocaust memorial in Miami Beach, and the girls were very moved by this experience. On Monday, May 1, Sha’arei Bina commemorated Yom Hazikaron - Israel's Memorial Day. It is a day to remember over 23,500 young men and young women, fathers, sons, mothers and daughters

who lost their lives in battle or as a result of Arab terror. Students assembled to watch moving video presentations and heard both prose and poetry read in Hebrew and in English by their fellow students. Our talented choir sang appropriate songs for the mood of the day. On Tuesday, May 2, Sha’arei Bina celebrated Israel's 69th birthday through a virtual tour of the Holy Land. The ninth and tenth graders, under the coordination of Mrs. Lerman and Mrs. Kaufman, decorated the building and set up displays in the various classrooms. Each room was set up to represent a different aspect of Israeli culture. A wonderful time was had by all.

“ We knew YU was the place our

children could accomplish everything they wanted in a fully Jewish environment.

“Having attended YU and benefited from its education and religious culture we felt confident that it would provide those same opportunities for our children. With its balance of Limudei Kodesh and challenging academics, we knew YU would provide our children with the preparation needed for their careers as professionals, as well as reinforce the religious ideals that they will take with them in all that they do. The same values that permeated the walls of YU when we attended 35 years ago are the very values that we chose to inculcate in our children. Today, our daughter is a sophomore at Yeshiva University. We are thrilled with the education she is receiving and her growth in Torah. She couldn’t be happier.”

Michele & Jody Bardash YU Parents

LEARN MORE! | 646.592.4440 |


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Health & F tness

Misdiagnosed Overlooked Medical Issues And Their Effects On Children’s Behaviors By Rachel Rosenholtz, LCSW


e’s out of control. David* is constantly fighting with children in his preschool class and taking things from them, often unprovoked. He has been this way since he entered preschool a year ago. He is defiant at school and aggressive at home. Leah has a difficult time focusing and following instructions. She often appears distracted and has to constantly be redirected. She is socially awkward and misses social cues that other children seem to have picked up long ago. Sara avoids reading out loud. She insists that she knows the work being taught in class but consistently underperforms and often avoids doing work all together. Sara spaces out in class, is defiant and engages in attention-seeking behavior which teachers find to be extremely disruptive. In all three situations there is no underlying trauma or major issues in the home. When behavioral issues are identified, our immediate action is to take steps to rectify the problem usually in the form of behavior charts, disciplining, and various behavior modification modalities designed to reign in undesired behaviors. With socially awkward children we teach social skills and expect children to model the taught behaviors. In all three cases, various behavioral systems – including social skill training, reward and punishment – were implemented yet yielded no meaningful results. Parents were frustrated. They could not understand where the behavioral issues

were coming from. Teachers were frustrated. They wanted to help these children but no matter what they tried nothing seemed to really help. All three children were referred for counseling and their parents were strongly encouraged by laypeople to medicate. In all three situations, medication would have been a mistake.

hood maladies that could trigger ADHD, ODD, and Conduct Disorder type behaviors. The amount of medical issues that can affect a child’s behavior are numerous. I will focus on three common medical problems that are often overlooked when assessing a child for emotional issues. These three are quite common and can serve as

There is a tendency to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying problem.

Some of the classic diagnoses given to such children include ADHD, ODD and Conduct Disorder – which speaks to a common issue that is all too prevalent. Affirmation Bias. Diagnosis and treatment is based on behaviors that are seen and what is believed that those behaviors represent. There is a tendency to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying problem. Unfortunately this all too often is the playbook for the treatment of children exhibiting behavioral symptoms. All three of these children had one thing in common. Behavioral symptoms driven by physical problems – not emotional ones. Emotional problems evolved over time as well due to the wrong interventions being used. Let take a look at common child-

examples of conditions that strongly affect the way a child experiences and interacts with his or her surroundings. Leah suffers from chronic congestion. In working with children who appear to have focusing issues or are missing social cues I have found that breathing problems play a big role in a child’s ability to function and adapt to his or her surroundings. Congestion can often cause difficulty with breathing through the nose. People tend to take children’s breathing “styles” for granted without realizing how much breathing style impacts performance. I have frequently found during assessment of young children with focusing and social issues that he or she suffers from chronic congestion and that the child is breath-

ing through his mouth. When I point out this issue to parents I often hear, “Oh, that’s just the way he breathes,” as if there are different styles of breathing and this one happens to be his. Not surprisingly, children tend to be the most congested during the winter months – the bulk of the school year when they most have to focus and concentrate. Try spending a whole day breathing only through your mouth. Maybe you experienced this when you had a cold. What does that feel like? Imagine what a child who is chronically congested has to deal with. His breathing is heavier than a child who can breathe comfortably through his or her nose. This creates additional noise which is distracting and drowns out other sounds around him. He may have a trouble hearing what people are telling him or have a more difficult time focusing in social interactions. This also impacts the ability to focus in school and process information. When a person has a difficulty breathing he or she may feel lightheaded. A child who is not getting enough air will have a difficult time focusing and tuning into social cues. His ears may be clogged which can throw off his equilibrium making him appear to be in his own world or all over the place. His mouth may be uncomfortably dry as well. Another common problem I have found is that such children often end up playing around in their mouths with their tongues. This can serve as a distraction and take away attention from what is going on in their environment.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Chronic breathing issues can also cause difficulty sleeping, leaving the child tired and unable to focus. Parents become so used to their child’s breathing “style” that it is not recognized as an issue that must be treated. In fact, this is the first and very possibly the most important step in treatment for improving focus and sociability. Another major issue is an undiagnosed vision problem. I am not referring to a child with less than 20/20 vision who needs glasses. A child may have 20/20 vision but there are other issues that impact a child’s ability to visually focus such as tracking problems and lazy eye. Let’s take a look at Sara. One thing I noticed while working with her was that whenever she would shift from looking down to looking up, her eye drifted slightly. I referred her to a vision specialist who diagnosed her with multiple visual perception issues. The optometrist stated that she had no idea how Sara had made it so far academically given her visual perception impairments. Children become accustomed to the way they perceive things – since it was her normal, it was not possible for her to let adults know that she was having a difficult time reading. Sara is an extremely intelligent and sensitive girl. She avoided school work at all costs because she knew she could never keep up with her peers academically. So she chose to act out and not try rather than experience the embarrassment of not being able to succeed. For this reason, she was also resistant to any other remedial

interventions or tutoring. Neither of these interventions addressed the real problem. They only served to exacerbate her feelings of ineptitude. Her resistance to all the support the school was trying to give her left the school staff frustrated with her. They wanted to help but Sara became so distrusting and rebellious that she pushed everyone away. She constantly felt misunderstood and her lack of trust and anger at the school created serious behavioral problems. After months of vision therapy and counseling to help her work through the emotional issues she developed, she agreed to tutoring to help her make up the material she fell behind in. With her improved ability to focus and having worked through some of the hurt, resentment and mistrust she developed towards adults her grades improved dramatically! David suffers from chronic ear infections and has fluid in his ears. How does being in pain affect a child’s behavior? Every child has a unique temperament and will react to stress and frustration differently. Children often lack the capacity to understand and articulate their pain, especially when it is chronic. In scenarios such as this, one child may take out his anger on classmates and family members while another may become sad and withdrawn. David had a very difficult time coping with the pain from his ear problems and as a result he acted out aggressively. Such a child is then punished for his behaviors. This just makes the situation

even more painful and difficult, and a vicious cycle is created. Fluid in the ears can also cause difficulty hearing. It can be like being underwater. Imagine swimming in a pool and while your head is submerged you try to listen in on a conversation going on above the surface. Pretty difficult to understand. A child who is constantly hearing this way can appear to be socially inept or incapable of following instructions in class and at home. When we don’t feel good physically and something upsets us we tend to overreact. How many times have you found yourself to be more snappy because you were in pain or didn’t feel quite right? This is true for adults. How much more so for children. A child whose behavior is driven by a physical issue is in reality an outlet for the stress, pain and frustration that the physical issue is causing. Disciplining the behavior while neglecting to address the underlying physical issue will only cause more problems. A child who is already not feeling good and is yelled at or punished is more likely to overreact and exhibit behavioral issues. Behavioral interventions don’t achieve the desired results because the child is too irritated or uncomfortable to care or the physical problem prevents them from being able to follow through for the promised rewards. Instead of seeing an improvement, we see just the opposite. As soon as any behavioral issues are observed a full health assessment is an absolute must, regardless

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of the child’s age. Once detected, any underlying medical issues can be treated. If there are significant medical issues that go undiagnosed for too long, bonafide emotional and behavioral problems can manifest. A child who is suffering with physiological issues may have lost out on integral developmental stages. Her social skills may have been compromised and she may have fallen behind academically. She may have developed learned behaviors that are maladaptive and now have to be rectified, in which case professional therapeutic intervention will be needed to help deal with these problems. To fix any problem, the first and most important step is to make sure we get on the right path. When we are looking to help our children with issues they may have, it is crucial to explore all possible causes, starting with our child’s physical health. If physical problems are a factor then we can address them properly and set our children on the right path to thrive in school and at home! *Names and circumstances have been altered to protect client privacy

Rachel Rosenholtz, LCSW is certified in TF-CBT and has a private practice located in the Five Towns. She specializes in treating anxiety, trauma and behavioral related issues. Rachel can be reached at (347) 673-1953 and To find out more, visit her website -


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home


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Torah Thought

Parshas Emor By Rabbi Berel Wein


n commenting on the double use of the verb “emor” and “v’amarta,” Rashi states that the lesson to be derived from this grammatical anomaly is that the elder generation is charged with instructing and guiding the younger generation. This apparently simple and very necessary and logical requirement is more difficult to implement than it was to state. Younger generations are notoriously loath to accept advice from their elders. They feel, and perhaps correctly so, that they are entitled to make their own mistakes on their own terms. But that attitude only increases the level of pain that making fundamental errors in life decisions creates. Raising the

vival as a people and a civilization. I have written in previous years that the Torah bids the priestly clan to tell their descendants that they are the sons of Aaron. It is difficult to have a positive self-identity when one has no past to rely upon. One of the great plagues for a large section of Western society is that millions of children do not know their father, let alone any heritage from earlier generations and antecedents. Crime, violence, psychological and social dysfunction are the products of such generational interruption. And this is true in Jewish society as well, in much of the Diaspora. The memories of Eastern European immigrants about the “golden country” have faded and

This generational connection is the basis for our survival as a people and a civilization. next generation has always been a daunting challenge. And every generation feels that its challenge is greater than those of previous times. A little reflection, a lot of tradition, a ton of patience, and a strong family structure are great and usually necessary ingredients for success with the next generation. There are no guarantees, however. The Talmud taught us that there are irrational factors – good fortune or “mazel,” so to speak – that are always present when raising children. Nevertheless, we are also taught that we are not freed from our obligation to attempt to succeed no matter how unlikely complete success might be. Advice from the older generation may not be desired but it always is influential. And that influence is vital for the continuity of family life, especially traditional Jewish family life. A parent remains a parent throughout his/her lifespan. And this generational connection is the basis for our sur-

in most cases disappeared, as have the hardships and sacrifices of the past. And with the disappearance of this family connection to religious observance, a traditional Jewish lifestyle also waned and many times completely vanished. To some extent, this factor helps in understanding demographic decline in American Jewry over the past half century. There once was a time that later generations knew traditional parents and grandparents and thus were not completely ignorant of their past and heritage. But that unfortunately is certainly no longer the case. We are in a time empty of a past, mired in a terribly competitive, materialistic present and without any soaring vision for future society. It was and is the imperative of the departing generation to guide and teach the arriving generation. That is a rule of Jewish life. Shabbat shalom.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

Good Hum r

Stroller Derby By Jon Kranz


f you want to accurately gauge whether a particular synagogue is declining or thriving, simply count the number of strollers. The more strollers parked outside on Shabbat morning, the brighter that synagogue’s future will be. In other words, every stroller carries not just a person, but also the hopes and dreams of the entire congregation. A stroller may be cradling the next Yehudah HaMaccabee, Queen Esther or Sandy Koufax. A stroller may carry the next David Ben-Gurion, the next Golda Meir or the next person to open an all-you-can-eat falafel stand on Ben Yehuda. (By the way, offering an all-you-can-eat option to “essen & fressen” Jews basically means you want to file for bankruptcy. No, not Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We’re talking about Chapter “Ate.”) Of course, not every stroller can hold a winner. Many strollers hold nothing more than a little vilde chaya who one day will become a bigger vilde chaya. While communities should welcome

strollers and the newest members who ride in them, synagogues should consider establishing some simple stroller-related guidelines. I’m not talking about draconian measures to wallop the wheeled. I’m talking about sensible rules to govern the pushing of the pampered. So, the question is: how can we make the synagogue stroller scene, which is filled with congestion and confusion, more manageable? For starters, do not park your stroller directly in front of the synagogue’s entrance. When strollers block the doors, it creates an evacuation hazard. For example, if the synagogue announces at the end of the service that the kiddush is “sponsored by the shul” – which means the kiddush likely will be incredibly underwhelming – there will be a massive stampede exiting the building that will destroy anything in its path. So, if your stroller is part of a baby blockade near the doorway, kiss it goodbye. (For this reason, do not leave your kids sleeping in their strollers or, if you do, wrap them up in sufficient and

breathable bubble wrap.) Parking your stroller directly in front of the synagogue entrance also creates a dangerous social hazard because of the message that it sends. Just imagine if right before Shabbat begins, the rabbi’s car (a/k/a the “Rab-Mobile”) is parked right in front of the synagogue’s entrance just so the rabbi, after Shabbat ends, can make a quick getaway and avoid having to deal with congregants, board members and the paparazzi. Some might be offended by the rabbi’s parking selfishness and thoughtlessness. Well, if you park your stroller right in front of the synagogue entrance, some may feel the same way about you, especially if you insist on treating your precious little darling like Antoku, the former child emperor of Japan. Speaking of Japan, strollers and rickshaws seem to have an awful lot in common. The word “rickshaw” originates from the Japanese word “jinrikisha,” which means human-powered vehicle. According to some scholars, the rickshaw was invented in Japan in the late 1860’s after the lifting of a ban on wheeled vehicles. Can you imagine if Jewish communities banned the use of strollers? That would almost be as bad as a Jewish community banning knishes, kibbitzing and kvelling. When it comes to purchasing a stroller, do not succumb to peer pressure. In other words, do not purchase the exact same stroller as your friends. When everyone buys the identical make and model, it only exacerbates the post-synagogue chaos. (Of course, if your child is acting like a total kvetch, you may secretly be hoping that someone mistakenly takes home your stroller and its cantankerous


contents.) When buying a stroller, think outside the box and go with something unique, even if it means you will be socially shunned. But do not go overboard just to prove a point. Do not pack your infant in a rolling suitcase. Do not cart your kid around in a wheelbarrow. Do not strap your child to a skateboard. Do not force your newborn to rollerblade. These are extreme and ill-advised alternatives so stick with a parentally- (and rabbinically-) approved stroller and stay within your wheelhouse, so to speak. Can we all agree that when a child reaches a certain age, it is no longer appropriate for that child to ride in a stroller? For example, if your child can scale Masada, needs a shave or has a driver’s license, then enough with the stroller! I actually believe that if some overly-protective parents had their druthers, they would continue stroller-ing their kids to synagogue at least up to the child’s bar or bat mitzvah. Doing so could be incredibly humiliating and debilitating for any bipedally-capable child and some studies show that children who are overly-strollered are ten times more likely to have an overbite and twenty times more likely to act like a total nudnik. Bottom-line: People operating strollers should follow a few basic rules of safety: (i) do not enter your stroller in a roller or demolition derby, (ii) never let go of your stroller at the top of a hill, and (iii) always remove your child before folding your stroller. Jon Kranz is an attorney living in Englewood, New Jersey. Send any comments, questions or insults to

NOWHERE BUT HERE Yeshiva University’s commitment to ensuring that all students can enjoy an uplifting Torah education and a fulfilling college experience includes distributing $42 million in scholarships and financial assistance, benefiting 80% of students. Unlike most universities, YU’s financial aid office considers parents’ obligations to pay yeshiva tuition for siblings. Achieving their academic and spiritual goals is why YU students meet with outstanding success. Applying to graduate programs and entering their chosen careers, 94% (44 students) were admitted to medical school, 96% (27 students) to dental school and 100% (60 students) to law school in the past year.



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home



You gotta be


A mother is trying to get her son to eat his carrots. She says, “You know they’re good for your eyes.” The son says, “How do you know that?” The mom replies, “Have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?”

Centerfold ?

Riddle me


For being good during their shopping outing, a mother gave each of her four children two candies. Jack had an orange candy. The child who had a red one also had a blue one. No child had two candies of the same color. The child who had a green candy also had a red one. Sara didn’t have a red candy and Danny had a green one. Miri didn’t have an orange one and Jack had no blue sweets. Knowing that there were two candies of each color, can you tell the colors of the sweets each child had? Answer to riddle: Jack had an orange and a green candy. Sara had an orange and a blue one. Miri had a red and a blue candy. Danny had a green and a red one.

Things My Mother Taught Me ANTICIPATION... “Just wait until your father gets home.”

ENVY… “There are millions of children who wish they had that toy.”

RECEIVING... “You are going to get it when we get home!”

IRONY… “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about!”

JUSTICE... “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like

you...then you’ll see what it’s like!” CHALLENGES... “What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you! Don’t talk back to me!”

LOGIC… “Because I said so, that’s why.” MEDICAL SCIENCE... “If you don’t eat those vegetables you will never grow.”

HUMOR... “When you fall down and break your foot, don’t come running to me.”

HYPOCRISY… “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

WISDOM… “When you get to be my age, you will understand.”

ROOTS... “Do you think you were born in a barn?”

CLEANLINESS… “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning the floor.”

GENETICS... “You’re just like your father.”

RELIGION… “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

STAMINA… “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

WEATHER… “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017





Mexico Trivia

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of what? a. Mexico’s independence b. Mexico’s victory over the U.S. in the Spanish-American War c. Mexico’s victory over France in 1862 d. Mexico’s discovery of Toquilla underground in 1905 What is the official name of Mexico? a. Gran República de México (Great republic of Mexico) b. Estados Únidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States) c. Gran Frontera de México (Great Frontier of Mexico) d. Región Unida de México (United Region of Mexico) What is the capital of Mexico? a. Monterrey b. Montezuma c. Mexico City d. Merida


Riddle me






What is Mexico’s currency? a. Centamo b. Euro c. Peso d. Zloty In 1848, Mexico gave up much of its land in the Mexico-American War. This land became parts of which U.S. states? a. Utah and Nevada b. Oregon and California c. California and Utah d. Texas and New Mexico What is the drink tequila named after? a. A Mexican cactus b. A Mexican town c. A Mexican dance d. A Mexican fruit Approximately how many people live in Mexico? a. 11 million b. 27 million

c. d.

58 million 127 million

Answers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.


Wisdom Key

6-7 correct: You did well – celebrate with a non-alcoholic tequila! 3-5 correct: You are not bad – on the fence…a big beautiful fence! 0-2 correct: Don’t worry, just find a Cinco de Mayo party and offer to be the piñata. It’s a very nice gesture and will get you lots of high marks…on your head!

A farmer is on his way back from the market. With him he has a fox, a chicken and some grain. When he reaches a river crossing he must use a small boat only big enough for him and one other item. Unfortunately, if the fox is left alone with the chicken it will eat it, as will the chicken eat the grain. How does the farmer get everything across the river?

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Answer to riddle: First the farmer takes the chicken to the far side and leaves him there. Then he returns in an empty boat and collects the fox or the grain. He drops off the fox (or grain) and picks up the chicken to return to the near side. At the near side he deposits the chicken and collects the grain (or fox). At the far side he leaves the fox and grain together. He returns with an empty boat and collects the chicken.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver. - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on what he would do if his police catch any radical Islamic terrorists in his country

I’m calling on all the assistance we can possibly get because I can’t imagine going into our summer months with our crime rate where it is today, what that’s going to look like by the end of the summer?! Murder is out of control. - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, one year after Black Lives Matter took to the streets of Baltimore and essentially convinced police that doing their jobs will only result in them getting into trouble

I believe that George Soros must not be underestimated: he is a powerful billionaire of enormous determination who, when it comes to his interests, respects neither G-d nor man. - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a speech in the European Parliament, defending its actions regarding immigration and against American financial speculator George Soros

On Twitter this morning, Donald Trump suggested the U.S. needs a “good shutdown” to fix a deadlocked Congress. I don’t think Donald Trump realizes that the government is not like a computer. You can’t fix it by turning it off and turning it back on again. - James Corden

I guess they’d be forced to read a book or a magazine or talk to their kids. - Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on CNN talking about a proposal that would prevent laptops and similar devices from being brought on planes

An Australian family managed to save the life of a lizard they found at the bottom of their pool by performing CPR on it… I consider myself a confident guy. But I have never ever, not even after six drinks, thought to myself, “I could probably give CPR to a lizard.” That family revived the lizard by performing CPR for 30 minutes. I give up looking for the TV remote after 25 seconds. - James Corden

Defendants’ faces were blank all the time… absolutely blank…like…they’re waiting for a bus. - Ben Ferencz, 97, who was one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials, recalling in a “60 Minutes” interview the lack of remorse that the Nazis exhibited during the trials

The Republicans cruelly ignored a rapidly spreading epidemic as they crafted the partial repeal of Obamacare that passed in the House yesterday: They failed to include any provision in AHCA that provides mental health benefits for balmy liberals whose thin tether to sanity has been severed by the success of the GOP and President Trump. - David Catron, The American Spectator


The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

Hamas believes in, and adheres to, managing its Palestinian relations on the basis of pluralism, democracy, national partnership, acceptance of the other and the adoption of dialogue. Hamas believes that the message of Islam upholds the values of truth, justice, freedom and dignity and prohibits all forms of injustice and incriminates oppressors irrespective of their religion, race, gender or nationality. Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims or to their heritage. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety. -Most laughable lines from Hamas’ just released policy document

Today, FBI Director James Comey said the thought that he helped Donald Trump get elected president makes him “mildly nauseous.” Comey then excused himself to attend a meeting of Underreacters Anonymous.

I was thinking, when I watched those forced smiles yesterday at the White House, this is what it’s like in Pyongyang, in North Korea, where you have to have the same expression for Kim Jong-Un or else you get executed. They didn’t look truly spontaneously happy, but fixed grins and smirks all around. - MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reflecting on the Republicans’ White House ceremony after the House passed the Obamacare repeal bill

What else do I have to prove? Seriously, what else would I have [to do]? I’ve won championships, I won my first one, and I’ve won for my teammates; I came home and won. There isn’t anything I have left to prove. - Lebron James, in an interview with

- Conan O’Brien

There’s a part of Israel in every F-35 that’s ever been built. - Lockheed Martin senior executive Gary North speaking at Israel’s Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies

Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye. - The childish chant that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats on the House floor chanted when the Obamacare repeal bill passed, based on their belief that it will cause the Republicans to lose their majority in the House




MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS Many Successes…Some Failures It’s still early, and a hundred days don’t really mean very much in a presidential term. Even so, in his first hundred days, President Trump hit the ground running on many of his core campaign promises but has hit speed bumps on some of his other promises. Despite a constant anti-Trump drumbeat by the media, he has plowed ahead and showed that he is willing to take on the establishment…most of the time. Does the media have a double standard when it comes to their treatment of Trump? You bet. After all, read the first sentence of this paragraph again – it was originally written by The New York Times in 1993 about then-President Bill Clinton. Yet, The New York Times and many of its cohorts in the media – who all declared Trump’s candidacy dead-on-arrival – are now declaring Trump’s first 100 days to be a failure. So here are some of Trump’s accomplishments and failures during his first 100 days in office – and you can decide for yourself.

SUCCESSES >> Border Crossings Slow to Trickle Wall or no wall, since Trump became president, border crossings have plummeted to their lowest level in 17 years. In December 2016, approximately 16,000 people were apprehended illegally crossing the border. In contrast, just a few months later, in March 2017, approximately 1,100 people were apprehended. That’s a decline of 93 percent. Open-borders advocate and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos attributes the drastic reduction in illegal border crossings to Trump’s hardline immigration rhetoric and refer to it as “the Trump effect.” The massive decrease in illegal crossings is taking place even before the 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents that are being hired take to the border.

>> Withdraws From TPP >> Appoints Supreme Court Justice Presidents come and go, but Supreme Courts stay for decades. To many, the most important issue in the 2016 election was the Supreme Court. After conservative icon Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, conservatives lost their 5-4 edge on the court. During the elections, President Trump promised to appoint a conservative justice in the mold of Justice Scalia. He delivered on that promise within two weeks of taking office when he nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose judicial philosophy is closely aligned with Justice Scalia’s, thus restoring the conservative edge on the High Court. When Justice Gorsuch was confirmed on the 77th day of the Trump presidency, Trump became the quickest president to fill a seat on the Supreme Court since President Pierce in 1853.

>> Rescinds Burdensome Regulations In his first 100 days, President Trump has rescinded more regulations than any other president. Many of these regulations had devastating effects on small businesses before the rescissions. Trump has gone so far as to issue an executive order directing federal agencies to repeal two regulations for each new regulation that they issue. He also rescinded regulations which have had a devastating impact on coal workers.

Delivering on a promise that was one of the cornerstones of his campaign, President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing from his predecessor’s signature trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, thus taking a stance against economic globalization and foreign competition to American businesses. “We are going to stop the ridiculous trade deals that have taken...companies out of our country, and it’s going to be reversed,” Mr. Trump told applauding union leaders after signing the executive order.

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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>> Approves Keystone Pipeline President Trump ordered work to proceed on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, rolling back a key Obama administration environmental policy in favor of expanding U.S. energy infrastructure.

>> Steps Up When Assad Crosses “Red Line”

>> Takes on North Korean Threat Although it is yet unknown how the story will end with North Korea, unlike his predecessors – one who struck a sham deal in which North Korea would rid itself of its own nuclear weapons (George W. Bush) and one who chose to ignore the topic altogether (Barack Obama) – President Trump has acknowledged the urgency of the matter and is shining a very necessary light on the problem. Despite his strong rhetoric about “Chiner” during the campaign, he has acknowledged that the Chinese government will be a necessary partner in achieving a resolution to the North Korean crisis and has established a diplomatic working relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping who paid a visit to Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

Although then-Secretary of State John Kerry declared in 2014 that the Obama administration negotiated a deal that removed “100 percent” of deadly chemical weapons from Syria that was proven to be completely false when in early April Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to gas men, women and children. In 2012, President Obama promised that if Assad were to use chemical weapons, it would be a “red line” which the U.S. would react to with military action, yet in 2013 when Assad did exactly that, Mr. Obama took no action. Well, on April 6, 2017 Assad discovered that “there’s a new sheriff in town” when, in response to a chemical attack on men, women and children in Syria, the new commander-in-chief launched 59 tomahawk missiles at the Assad-controlled airbase where the chemical weapons were stored, putting the world on notice that America will no longer stand by when innocent people are gassed.


>> Immigration Order Denied...and Denied Again

>> Unable to Repeal Obamacare After promising throughout his campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump relied on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who hodgepodged a health care replacement bill that quickly became known as “Obamacare lite” once the details were revealed. After several weeks of floundering and not gaining any enthusiasm, the bill crashed and burned on March 24th when the House Freedom Caucus, a group of several dozen conservatives, refused to support the bill, resulting in Speaker of the House Paul Ryan declaring, “I don’t know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land.”

>> Out Like Flynn Less than one month into the new Trump administration, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign after it was disclosed that he lied to Vice President Pence and other administration officials about the contents of a telephone call that he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S during the Trump transition period. Flynn had, in fact, discussed sanctions with the ambassador even though he claimed he did not. It was later disclosed that Flynn had also worked last fall as a lobbyist for Turkey and that he had also failed to disclose that he once took tens of thousands of dollars for a speech he gave in Russia.

Eight days after entering office, President Trump issued a hastily orchestrated executive order temporarily banning entry into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries, resulting in mass hysteria stoked by Trump’s detractors. When the most liberal appeals court in the country upheld a judge’s injunction, Mr. Trump issued a revised order which another liberal judge in Hawaii issued an injunction against. Although the injunctions will likely eventually be overturned by the Supreme Court, it provided a useful template for those who seek to prevent Trump from implementing his agenda: find a liberal judge who is willing to issue an injunction or rule an executive order unlawful. Had the executive order been more thought-out and implemented in a more organized fashion, this may have all been avoided.


FL Jewish Home _4.8" x 12.5.pdf 1 5/9/17 MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home 10:42 PM

Join Almost 300 Jewish Institutions across North America as we Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s Reunification Together

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Rabbanit Shani Taragin

Your organization will receive the flash drive or DVD & sources for the Yom Yerushalayim presentation after they register for the program For questions, email

Our children are playing with a new toy: it’s a sphere that rotates on ball-bearings, spinning in all directions. Everybody seems to have one. They come in a variety of colors. Boys and girls fiddle with them as they congregate, walk the halls or sit by themselves in the classroom. I asked a group about the gadgets: “they are called fidget spinners” one said. “They help with ADHD.” Apparently, the idea was triggered by a 2015 journal article from Child Neuropsychology that reviewed research showing that fidgeting and movement helps otherwise distracted children to focus. The study was led by Dr. John B Shweitzer, professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Sacramento. According to Dr. Shweitzer, constant movement helps children with ADHD concentrate and focus their attention. He says that ADHD patients even twist in their sleep. Dr. Shweitzer and his team attached an ankle monitor to 44 children aged 1017. Twenty-six of them were diagnosed with ADHD while the other 18 were not. All 44 completed the Eriksen Flanker Task while the researchers recorded their motor activity. The Flanker Task is a complex activity that requires attention, ability to make choices and control one’s responses. Children with ADHD performed better when fidgeting. The non-ADHD group scored no differently whether they were moving or not. These findings support the theory of University of Central Florida professor, Dr. Mark Rapport, who published a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that found that children with ADHD learn better when they are allowed to move. One magazine ran a headline based on Dr. Rapport’s findings that read: “Children with ADHD must squirm to learn.” Dr. Rapport argues that the conventional approach to treatment of ADHD aims to get the child to sit still and refrain from movement and that this may actually be counterproductive. He suggests that allowing ADHD children to move about can help them increase focus and

perform better on cognitive tasks. “The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity,” Dr. Rapport says, “it’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD. The message isn’t ‘Let them run around the room,’ but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities.” It is not practical to outfit our Yeshiva classrooms with exercise bikes or treadmills for the students to move during class. But fidget toys may do the trick; they are silent, discrete and keep hands busy. If the research is correct, they can prove a helpful aid in helping certain children focus, concentrate and learn. But even according to the studies, any benefits are limited to those diagnosed with ADHD – the average student gains nothing by fidgeting or playing around. To the contrary, the toys may serve as a distraction, or worse, they may trigger restlessness. This goes back to the age-old debate as to whether we must hold to standards and demand that youngsters persevere and surmount their difficulties or accommodate their needs with classroom modification like extended test times, private tutoring and fidget sticks. Some argue that we must facilitate each child individually; at the same time this may handicap them, rather than empower him or her to “rise to the challenge” and perform. It’s an ongoing debate with merits on both sides. As with everything, the trick is to strike a healthy balance between two extremes. But in the meantime, give the fidget toy a spin. Be careful though, it’s very addictive. 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

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017


Torah Thought Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration in the White House Rabbi Efrem Goldberg Vice President Mike Pence hosted a historic celebration at the White House on Tuesday in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut. He made headlines for remarking that President Trump is giving serious consideration to moving the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  I had the great privilege of attending the event and while I am very excited about the prospect of an embassy move, these were not the comments that gave me goose bumps. I was incredibly moved when Vice President Pence said: “Thank you for being here today at the White House to celebrate this day, the anniversary of a moment that will be remembered for eternity…You’re all here, all of you, regardless of your home, your creed, because on this day, the fifth day in the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar in 1948, nothing short of a miracle occurred.  On that day, in the ancient and eternal homeland of the Jewish people, the state of Israel was reborn. On that day, the Jewish people’s 2000year exile, the longest exile of any people anywhere, ended.  And on that day, a prophecy literally came to pass.  And I believe in my heart that God Himself fulfilled his promise to His people.  The Lord God tells us… “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into and ye shall live.”  And Israel lives today… Today and every day, the state of Israel and her people bear witness to God’s faithfulness as well as their own.  How unlikely was Israel’s birth?  How much more unlikely has been her survival?  And how confounding against all odds, both past and present, has been her thriving… For my part, my Christian faith compels me to cherish Israel as well as our deep alliance and historical ties…On this day, so many years ago, only three years after the horrors of the Holocaust, Israel was given life by a people who had looked into the eye of the angel of death.  The Jewish people have persevered through history’s darkest hour, for in that darkness shine the light of faith, of hope, and of love… And so today we celebrate and we marvel at all that Israel and her people have accomplished…Israel is an eternal testament to the undying fortitude of the Jewish people, to the unfathomable power of human freedom, and to the unending faithfulness of God.  Indeed, though Israel was built

by human hands, it’s impossible not to sense that just beneath their history lies the hand of heaven [emphasis mine].  For as God tells us in his word, speaking to his people so long ago, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Standing in the most powerful building in the world, listening to arguably the second most powerful man in the world talk about the US-Israel relationship, I couldn’t help but look at the vice president and wonder why we ourselves can’t speak more like him.  When describing the meaning of Israel’s Independence Day, Vice President Pence didn’t just make the standard, albeit important, reference to our countries’ shared values such as liberal democracy, he didn’t just banally talk about a strategic alliance, he spoke about God.  It felt as though among the guests invited to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut at the White House, was God Himself. Do you feel self-conscious putting on a Tallis and Tefillin in an airport terminal? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Many observant Jews are uncomfortable wearing a yarmulka at work or make great efforts to avoid having to make a beracha on food or be seen davening or benching when among non-Jews or non-observant Jews. Yet, many of our Christian or Muslim counterparts aren’t shy or reluctant at all to mention God or to pray in public. In working with a pastor who is a great supporter of Israel I have noticed something amazing.  On numerous occasions, when confounded about a situation and trying to decide what action to take, he has said to me, “Let’s take a moment and pray on it.”  When describing how he came to a certain position, idea, or plan, or what he credits for a particular achievement or success he has said, “I was looking for inspiration and so I prayed.”  While obviously the style, content, and destination of his prayers are not in consonance with Judaism or Torah, there is something inspiring about his lack of inhibition to reference faith in his everyday conversation. It is not just pastors or the vice president that are comfortable talking freely about God in casual conversation.  In an interview about his retirement, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closing pitcher of all time, reflected on his successful Yankee carrer and said:  “Everything I have and

everything I became is because of the strength of the Lord, and through him I have accomplished everything. Not because of my strength. Only by his love, his mercy, and his strength.”  How many of us if interviewed would as explicitly and overtly attribute all that we have accomplished to God? To his credit, when David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, spoke at the event, he proudly quoted the words from Hallel, “Zeh hayom asah Hashem, nagila v’nismecha vo, this day was created by God, let us rejoice in it.”  Elsewhere in Hallel we say, he’emanti ki adabeir, ani anisi m’od, which is normally translated to mean, I trust in God, out of great suffering I spoke.  The Slonimer Rebbe, Rav Shalom Noach Berzovsky, offers an alternative understanding.  He explains, he’emanti, I grow in emunah.  How? Ki adabeir, because I choose to speak about God.  When we reference and credit Hashem, when we talk to Him, express gratitude to Him and rely on Him, we grow closer to Him.  Hashem is not theoretical, He doesn’t live only in the four walls of the Shul.  Hashem should be part of our lives, referenced in our conversations and instinctively prayed to when we need to make a difficult decision or seek guidance and support. To be clear, this is not about Vice President Pence’s politics.  I admire his faith and I respect his lack of defensiveness or discomfort with his strong religious values and convictions.  Though he is uncompromising in them, they have not held him back from achieving the second highest office in the land.  Recently, the Vice President was quoted in an interview saying that he never dines with a woman alone and he doesn’t attend functions without his wife “if there’s alcohol being served and people are being loose.” The explosion from the vice president’s bombshell disclosure was loud and the response was quick and harsh.  Pence drew criticism and scorn that ranged from mocking him, to questioning his character, and mostly accusing him of objectifying women.  Some wondered if he had just landed from a previous century. I found the criticism remarkable, particularly since it came mostly from people who were more outraged by Pence’s behavior to safeguard his marriage, than they were towards certain elected officials who defiled theirs.  Instead of deriding the

Vice President, they—and we—would do well to admire his commitment to what he once called, “building a zone around his marriage.” A few years ago, I asked Dr. Ruth Westheimer what she thought were the most important ingredients for a healthy and strong marriage. I was very surprised when among her answers was a steadfast commitment to observing the laws of yichud.  She explained that especially in our world of enticement and access, it is so important to remove temptation and opportunity before they ever arrive by pledging to never be alone with a non-family member of the opposite gender.  Being vigilant in the laws of yichud is not something to be mocked for, it is something to admire and for which we should be unabashedly proud. Yet, how many of us, Torah Jews who observe the laws of  yichud, would be comfortable invoking these practices in a public interview?  How many of us would so unapologetically promote what is in our time bizarre to many behavior? This week’s parsha enjoins us “Kedoshim tiheyu,” be holy and be sacred.  Rashi explains that holiness is achieved by excelling in the area of arayos, being cautious and vigilant in not being promiscuous.  The natural tendency towards giving in to temptation and desire in areas of intimacy is as old as the world itself.  The Torah wasn’t written for a utopian society or perfect people.  It legislates and regulates how imperfect, fallible people can and should live the most meaningful and values driven lives.  Be kadosh, create healthy separations and boundaries to ensure modest relationships and interactions.  Eliminate the opportunities for devastating mistakes by practicing safeguards like the laws of yichud and not being alone with a member of the opposite gender. While there is nothing wrong with being inspired by others such as the vice president of the United States, we are the ones charged with being role models for the world, proud examples of virtuous lifestyles and faithful living.  May we fulfill our mission as a mamleches kohanim, a kingdom of priests, by not hesitating to talk about God.  And may we realize our responsibility to be an am kadosh, a holy people, by excelling and setting the standard in safeguarding our marriages and relationship, by practicing modesty. Rabbi Goldberg is the Senior Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue.

MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home




Going the extra mile!


Operators are standing by, ready to take your call, 24 hours a day. Friday, late afternoon, is your last chance to sign up and have devout and holy men pray on your behalf at the kever of R’ Shimon Bar Yochai on Lag Ba’omer. Grab the opportunity to impact your life with the power of Tehillim!






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The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

On the Streets of



A Pocketful of Dirt in Celebration By Elana Dure


once read a story about a wealthy European man whose most treasured possession was a small velvet pouch filled with the dirt of Jerusalem. As a ninth grader whose valued treasures were her pink iPod Nano and gray Hollister sweater, I couldn’t understand what could be so special about a handful of dirt. Sure, I loved Israel – or at least tried to convince myself that I did – but as a teenager who only saw the country through photographs, I preferred to yearn for something more comprehendible like a new Juicy sweatshirt. It was only once I visited Israel for the first time as a 17-year-old that I recognized the value of the country and its significance as the Jewish state. Since the moment I stepped off the plane, my five senses tingled with admiration and awe. My eyes reveled in the beauty of the historic sites. My ears perked at the sounds of the Shabbat prayers and melodies. My nose breathed the eclectic fragrances of the Shuk (bazaar). As a Jewish girl in the land of her ancestors, my heart filled with

a feeling of belonging. It’s not every day that one feels welcome in a strange land; in a land where the language is not her own, the food is not her norm, and the mentality is not her practice. Yet I recognized a certain kinship in Israel that connected me to the woman I passed at the Western Wall, the child I saw in the Yarkon Park, and the vendor I smiled at during my stroll on the Tel Aviv beach. During my second trip to Israel, I met a former soldier who, after speaking to me for about an hour, invited me to his home for a Shabbat experience. The gesture, which may seem overly friendly and borderline creepy in the U.S., was commonplace in Israel because the atmosphere of the land is one of hospitality and love. Kol Yisrael areivim zeh la zeh. All the people of Israel are responsible for one another. This phrase from the Talmud is just as true now as it was in its early inception around the year 200 CE. Israelis care for one another. They feel connected to each

another. Their kinship and comradery run deeper than any superficial difference that may pull them apart. I’ve never experienced this phenomenon as clearly as I did when I partook in the country’s Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut festivities. Israel Remembrance Day commemorates the nation’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The 24-hour period of bereavement and grief is immediately followed by joyous Independence Day celebrations. This stark juxtaposition builds a bridge between those who sacrificed their lives to fight for Israel’s freedom and those who continue to live in their merit. After all, freedom is not free and those in Israel are constantly reminded of that. As a community within the Jewish diaspora, we can learn to stand united despite our differences, as do Israelis. We need to remember that the diversity among us is a strength worthy of embrace, no matter the challenges it may bring in the interim. Israel is not perfect. I will be the first

to admit that. As with any other country, it has its fair share of domestic and global struggles. However, when push comes to shove, the people of Israel are there for one another. They go out of their way to help, just like the soldier did when he offered his hospitality to me, a foreigner in need of a meal. During a past trip to Israel, I worked on two farms through WWOOF. Over the course of the trip I toiled with the soil; I played with the holy ground that serves as a witness to the beauty of the Israeli people. My shoes are still stained with blotches of dirt, a reminder of the physical and spiritual work the Israeli nation put into their land. For once, I finally understand the value of a small velvet pouch filled with the dirt of Jerusalem. Elana Dure is a resident of Woodmere and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. She is currently teaching English in Petach Tikva through Masa’s Israel Teaching Fellows program.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Health & F tness

Want a Healthy Meal? Cook at Home By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN


ow many times a week do you order fast food? Family night at a restaurant on Sunday night, pizza on Thursday night; let’s not forget about ordering in lunch at least once or twice a week. The U.S. is the birthplace of fast food. Studies show that Americans eat fewer than 70 percent of their meals at home. This, together with the growing obesity epidemic, calls for a change in our eating habits. A return to home cooked meals may offer significant health benefits. Our food choices and diet determine whether or not we are getting adequate amounts of the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. According to a study performed in Seattle, eating home cooked meals may lead to better health outcomes than eating out frequently. Hopefully the following information will motivate you to make time for nutritious home cooked meals. What is so bad about eating out? The problem with constantly eating at restaurants is that commercially prepared foods are notoriously high in fat, calories, salt and sugar. Such foods are fine on occasion, but not part of a regular diet. It is no surprise that cooking at home is healthier than eating out. According to the author of the study Adam Drewnowski, “Frequent eating out was associated with lower diet quality, more ‘empty calories’ and higher diet costs.” By cooking at home you have complete control over what you add into your food and the method of cooking.

You can substitute ingredients for healthier choices, bake instead of fry, and cut down on certain ingredients. For example, in most recipes you can cut back on the oil, salt, and sugar, leaving you with a healthier dish that is just as tasty. So preparing your food at home gives you control over what goes on your plate and into your mouth. Restaurants also tend to serve extra-large portions. And let’s be honest, if the food is in front of you,

and/or sugar will eventually free you from cravings. All in all, eating more meals at home improves overall health. The study demonstrated that those who ate more frequently at home scored higher on the healthy eating index than the others. And what’s more is that eating at home actually saves you money. Those who ate more frequently at home also spent less money on food overall than those who ate out more often. What can be better

What can be better than eating healthy while saving money?!

and you paid for it, you’re eating it. Home cooked meals allow you to ration your food as desired, and even if the portion is bigger than recommended, it is most probably lower in fat and calories than a normal sized portion at a restaurant. Furthermore, studies found that home cooked meals tend to contain more fruits and vegetables and less fried food, soda and transfat. Additionally, cooking at home improves your creative cooking skills. You can experiment with flavors and healthy ingredients while learning new cooking techniques. Preparing your food at home also allows you train your palate. Slowly cutting back on salt

than eating healthy while saving money?! The problem is, cooking at home is not cut out for everyone. Some lack basic cooking skills, while others are short on time. But cooking at home does not have to be time-consuming or anything fancy. Simple dishes that make a healthy, balanced meal meeting the dietary guidelines are ideal. If you are crunched for time when it comes to preparing a healthy home cooked meal, slow cookers can be your best friend. Simply throw in some ingredients before work and by time you come home you will have a delicious hot meal all ready to go. Another option is cooking in

advance, dividing the meals into portions and freezing them for a later date. If you don’t mind leftovers, cook in bulk at the beginning of the week, and eat it all throughout the week. Look for simple, quick recipes that don’t require too much prep time. For those of you who don’t consider yourselves cut out for the kitchen, invest in a few cookbooks that have simple, basic recipes. “Every meal does not have to be a masterpiece,” states Lona Sandon, a Dallas nutritionist. “Start simple with something like mac and cheese. Add a side of steamed broccoli and carrots with grilled chicken breast or salmon, and you have a balanced meal.” Start with the basics, and work your way up. Within a few weeks, you’ll get the hang of it and feel like a gourmet chef. Cooking at home is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. More meals cooked and eaten at home is healthier, cheaper, and may help combat the obesity epidemic. Next time you’re heading towards that fast food store, turn around and head home. 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

The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

I went out with a guy who took me to the movies. Since it was our third date, I felt comfortable telling him that I was very thirsty and asked him politely if he wouldn’t mind buying me a bottle of water. When we walked over to the concession stand and he heard the ridiculous price of a bottle of water (and it was ridiculous), he said that he wouldn’t spend that amount of money for water. The fact is, for some reason, I was terribly thirsty and really needed some water. I pulled out my wallet and bought the water for myself. After that, he seemed kind of cold toward me and said he felt I was being very wasteful. (He nevertheless did ask me out again.)

On our second date, when we went out to dinner to a restaurant that was moderately expensive, and the waiter asked if we wanted dessert, he immediately said no, without asking me if I wanted any. I probably would have said no, but was surprised he didn’t even ask. There were a few other instances when conversation surrounding money left me thinking that he was raised in a very frugal home and that he is quite cautious about money. I grew up in a comfortable home and we definitely enjoyed “living.” Every Sunday evening we go out to dinner and my father doesn’t hold back. We vacation once a year, and in general, I’m not used to hearing “no” to something I want. I don’t feel I’m spoiled or take advantage of my parent’s generosity, but we all live nicely. This particular young man is a hard worker. I don’t think he comes from a comfortable home and has worked hard for everything he has. I admire his work ethic and his sense of responsibility. There are many other things about him that I admire as well and we connect in many other areas. I just wonder whether something like a bottle of water and what it represents is a serious matter and something that I should take seriously. My father says, “No,” and my mother says, “Yes.” What say all of you? continued on page 36

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


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

Yom Yerushalayim Honor Roll ‫ברוך שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה‬

Yom Yerushalayim 2017 will take place on Wednesday, May 24th.The entire Jewish community is invited to join the Religious Zionists of America and more than 200 synagogues and schools around the country that will be organizing t’fillot and festivities to mark this historic 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

Fifty years ago, through the miracle of the Six Day War, the holy city of Jerusalem was reunited. As the soul-stirring cry of “Har Habayit b’yadeinu” rang out, Israel’s courageous young soldiers fulfilled the hopes and dreams of countless generations. At long last, the destroyed synagogues of the Old City would be rebuilt; the desecrated graves on the Mount of Olives would be restored; and the Kotel would resume its rightful place at the center of the Jewish universe. Yom Yerushalayim both commemorates that incredible moment in time and symbolizes the joining of G-d, Torah, and the Land of Israel, now and forever. On this 50th anniversary of the reunification of the eternal capital of the Jewish people, we renew our commitment to protecting the safety and sanctity of united Jerusalem. CALIFORNIA Beverley Hills

Beth Jacob Cong Rabbi Kalman Topp


Young Israel of Orange County Rabbi Dov Fischer

Los Angeles

Cong B’nai David-Judea Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky Gindi Maimonides Academy Rabbi Aharon Wilk Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Rabbi Yahel Tsaidi Shalhevet High School Rabbi Ari Segal Yeshivat Yavneh Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn Young Israel of Century City Rabbi Elazar Muskin YULA Boys High School Rabbi Dov Emerson YULA Girls High School Rabbi Abraham Lieberman


South Peninsula Hebrew Day School Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg

Valley Village

Shaarey Yerushalayim Rabbi David Adatto Shaarey Zedek Cong Rabbi Jonathan Rosenberg


Denver Academy of Torah Ms. Naomi Lev DAT Minyan Rabbi Joseph Friedman


Westville Synagogue Rabbi Fred Hyman


Cong Agudath Sholom Rabbi Daniel Cohen

West Hartford

Beth David Synagogue Rabbi Yitzchok Adler Hebrew High School of New England Rabbi Jeremy Bruce Young Israel of West Hartford Rabbi Tuvia Brander

FLORIDA Boca Raton

Boca Jewish Center Rabbi Yaakov Gibber Boca Raton Synagogue Rabbi Efrem Goldberg Cong Torah Ohr Rabbi Benjamin Yasgur Katz Yeshiva High School Rabbi Jonathan Kroll

Miami Beach

Hebrew Academy (RASG) Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Atlanta Jewish Academy Rabbi Ari Leubitz Congregation Beth Jacob Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman Young Israel of Toco Hills Rabbi Adam Starr


Cong Adas Yeshurun Rabbi Zev Cohen Cong Anshe Motele Rabbi Alan Abramson Kehillah Jacob Beth Samuel Rabbi Aaron Leibtag Cong KINS Rabbi Leonard Matanky Cong Or Menorah Rabbi Doug Zelden Park Plaza Synagogue Rabbi Mordechai Cohen Young Israel of West Rogers Park Rabbi Elisha Prero


Cong Yehuda Moshe Rabbi Joel Gutstein


Arie Crown Hebrew Day School Rabbi Eli Samber Cong Or Torah Rabbi Zvi Engel Hebrew Theological College Rabbi A. Friedman, Rabbi S. Schuman Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School Rabbi Menachem Linzer Ida Crown Academy Rabbi Leonard Matanky Kehilat Chovevei Tzion Rabbi Shaanan Gelman Young Israel of Skokie Rabbi Gershon Schaffel

KANSAS Overland Park

Cong BIAV Rabbi Daniel Rockoff

MARYLAND Baltimore

Beth Tfiloh Cong Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg


Rockville Jewish Outreach Center Rabbi Yaacov Benamou

Silver Spring

Delray Beach

Kemp Mill Synagogue Rabbi Brahm Weinberg Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy Dr. Joshua Levisohn



Boynton Beach

Anshei Chesed Cong Rabbi Avi Billet Anshei Emuna Cong Rabbi Jack Engel Young Israel of Hollywood Rabbi Yosef Weinstock

Cong Kadimah-Toras Moshe Rabbi Jason Strauss



Maimonides Kehillah Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe

Cong Anshe Chesed Rabbi Joshua Hess

Cong Beth El-Atereth Israel Rabbi Gershon Segal Cong Shaarei Tefillah Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels

Cong Etz Chaim Rabbi E. Samuel Klibanoff Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy & Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School Rabbi Eliezer Rubin Suburban Torah Rabbi Elie Mischel



Young Israel of Sharon Rabbi Noah Cheses


Young Israel of Oak Park Rabbi Michael Cohen


Farber Hebrew Day School - Yeshivat Akiva Rabbi Scot Berman Young Israel of Southfield Rabbi Yechiel Morris


Epstein Hebrew Academy Rabbi Yaakov Green Nusach Hari B’nai Zion Cong Rabbi Ze’ev Smason Yeshivat Kadimah High School Rabbi Naftali Rothstein Young Israel of St. Louis Rabbi Moshe Shulman

NEW JERSEY Bergenfield

Bais Medrash of Bergenfield Rabbi Moshe Stavsky Cong Beth Abraham Rabbi Ya’akov Neuberger Cong Ohr HaTorah Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky

Cherry Hill

Cong Sons of Israel Rabbi Ephraim Epstein Politz Day School Rabbi Avraham Glustein


Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore Rabbi Elie Tuchman


Ohr Torah Cong Rabbi Yaakov Luban Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva Rabbi Daniel Loew


Cong Ahavath Torah Rabbi Shmuel Goldin Cong Shomrei Emunah Rabbi Menachem Genack East Hill Synagogue Rabbi Zev Reichman The Moriah School Rabbi Daniel Alter

Fair Lawn

Cong Darchei Noam Rabbi Jeremy Donath Shomrei Torah Rabbi Benjamin Yudin Young Israel of Fairlawn Rabbi Eli Belizon

Fort Lee

Young Israel of Fort Lee Rabbi Zev Goldberg

Highland Park

Cong Ahavas Achim Rabbi Steven Miodownik

The Religious Zionists of America is the US affiliate of the 115 year old World Mizrachi movement. The goal of the RZA-Mizrachi is to instill in the American Jewish community a commitment to religious Zionism, the preservation of Jewish political freedom, the enhancement of Jewish religious life in the land of Israel, and the promotion of aliyah. For more information, visit:


Long Branch

Cong Brothers of Israel Rabbi Nasanayl Braun


Cong Pri Eitz Chaim Rabbi Melvin I Burg Cong Talmud Torah of Flatbush Magen David Yeshiva High School Rabbi Saul Zucker Merkaz Yisrael of Marine Park Rabbi Elisha Weiss Shulamith School of Brooklyn Rabbi Shmuel Klammer Yeshiva of Flatbush Rabbi Raymond Harari Young Israel of Flatbush Rabbi Kenneth Auman


Hillel Yeshiva Dr. Ruth Katz


Ben Porat Yosef Dr. Steven Lorch National Council of Young Israel Rabbi Marc Volk Yavneh Academy Rabbi Jonathan Knapp Yeshivat Noam Rabbi Chaim Hagler


Cong Adas Israel Rabbi Dr. Solomon F. Rybak Young Israel of Passaic Clifton Rabbi Yaakov Glasser

River Edge

Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey Rabbi Daniel Price


Cong Israel Rabbi Chaim Marcus


SAR Academy Rabbi Binyamin Krauss Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale & Yonkers Rabbi Shmuel Hain


Shulamith High School for Girls Ms. Rena Zerykier Young Israel of LawrenceCedarhurst Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum

Far Rockaway

The White Shul Rabbi Eytan Feiner

Great Neck

Great Neck Synagogue Rabbi Dale Polakoff


Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky Young Israel of Hewlett Rabbi Heshy Blumstein


Beth Aaron Congregation Rabbi Larry Rothwachs Cong Bnai Yeshurun Rabbi Steven Pruzansky Cong Keter Torah Rabbi Shalom Baum Cong Rinat Israel Rabbi Yosef Adler Cong Shaarei Orah Rabbi Haim Jachter Ma’aynot Yeshiva High School for Girls Mrs. Rivka Kahan Torah Academy of Bergen County Rabbi Asher Yablok Yeshivat He’atid Rabbi Tomer Ronen Yeshivat Heichal Hatorah Rabbi Aryeh Stechler Young Israel of Teaneck Rabbi Binyamin Krohn

Young Israel of Long Beach Rabbi Chaim Wakslak

Cong AABJ&D Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler


West Orange

NEW YORK Atlantic Beach

The Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach Rabbi Ari Perl


Avenue N Jewish Center Rabbi Doniel Eisenbach Cong Ahavath Achim Rabbi Ari Kagan Cong Beth Torah Rabbi Ari Azancot Cong Bnei Yitzhak Rabbi Joseph Beyda

Cong Shaaray Tefilah Rabbi Uri Orlian Rambam Mesivta Rabbi Zev Friedman Cong Beth Sholom Rabbi Kenneth Hain HAFTR Rabbi Gedaliah Oppen

Long Beach


Westchester Day School Rabbi Joshua Lookstein Westchester Hebrew High School Rabbi Jeffery Beer


Cong Ohav Sholom Rabbi Ira Ebbin Young Israel of Merrick Rabbi Marc Volk Community Synagogue of Monsey Rabbi Moshe Tendler Young Israel of Monsey and Wesley Hills Rabbi Ari Jacobson

Cong Kehilath Jeshurun Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Cong Ohab Zedek Rabbi Allen Schwartz Cong Ramath Orah Rabbi Moshe Grussgott Cong Shearith Israel Rabbi Meir Soloveichik Lincoln Square Synagogue Rabbi Shaul Robinson Manhattan Day School Rabbi Mordechai Besser Manhattan Jewish Experience Rabbi Mark Wildes The Jewish Center Rabbi Yosie Levine The Ramaz School Rabbi Eric Grossman Yeshiva University Richard M. Joel YU High School for Boys Rabbi Joshua Kahn

New Rochelle

Young Israel of New Rochelle Rabbi Reuven Fink

North Woodmere

Midreshet Shalhevet High School Esther Eisenman


Hebrew Institute of White Plains Rabbi Chaim Marder


DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky Hebrew Academy of Long Beach Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky Young Israel of Woodmere Rabbi Hershel Billet

NEVADA Las Vegas

Young Israel of Las Vegas Rabbi Yitzchak Wyne

OHIO Columbus

Green Road Synagogue Rabbi Binyamin Blau

Cleveland OREGON Portland


Cong Ahavath Achim Rabbi Michael Kaplan


Kesher Isarel Cong Rabbi Elisha Friedman


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

In The K



Leftover Beef Ramen Zoodle Soup

Ingredients 2 TBS olive oil 1 large leek, sliced 3 medium carrots, grated 2 stalks celery, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, divided

By Naomi Nachman Ramen noodle bowls have been the rage over the last few years. Whose kids don’t love those noodle soups in the foam cups? They are not the healthiest food, so I tried to come up with a way to feed my family with a healthier version of these soups. I developed this noodle soup which is lower in calories and is packed with nutritious ingredients. For the kids, I use rice or egg noodles; for me and my hubby, I prefer spiralized zucchini. It’s a great way to repurpose leftover meat or chicken from Shabbat.

8 cups chicken stock 1 tsp sesame oil 1 TBS soy sauce 1-2 tsp sriracha (optional) 10 pieces shitake mushroom, stems removed and sliced 2-3 medium zucchini spiralized (zoodles) 3 scallions, chopped 2 baby bok choy heads, sliced Leftover Shabbat meat (or chicken), sliced very thin Soft boiled eggs, halved Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation Heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the leek, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables get soft. Add the garlic and cilantro (or parsley) and cook for another minute. Add the stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sriracha. Bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the shitake mushrooms. In individual serving bowl that holds a large amount of soup, divide the zucchini, scallions, bok choy, meat and egg – one egg per bowl. Pour boiling hot soup into the bowls and serve immediately. Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website, or at (516) 295-9669.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


The Panel The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


ou have seen the young man act more than once with insensitivity, lack of consideration and with strong control, ignoring your interests. Why do you think he is still to be considered? Why are you rationalizing his cheapness and lack of decency with explanations about his family background and work ethic? Search within yourself and seek some help to explore why you are even entertaining the thought of continuing a relationship. You are at risk of marrying someone who will abuse you.

believes that, once financially more secure and with the guidance and encouragement of a loving, generous wife, he will probably loosen the purse strings. If you’re willing to risk that possibility, have a frank conversation with the guy about your different spending styles. After hearing his opinion on money matters, you can better decide whether to bail or invest your future with him.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond

I The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A.


ur chachamim have taught us that to really judge a character, one must observe him “b’kiso (his pocket)…” In real terms, is he generous or a cheapskate? The thinking goes that one’s attitude towards spending may extend to other areas of life. One who is – ahem – more “budget-conscious” may be less generous of spirit in other areas of life (e.g., withholding compliments, controlling the family budget, prohibiting his spouse to “do her own thing”). From that perspective, you have observed a young man with a diametrically different attitude towards spending than your own and your families’. Mr. Tap Water marrying Ms. Perrier? Not a good idea. But wait! In the interest of full disclosure, my husband had an entirely different take on your dilemma. He felt that the young man, because he is probably in the early stages of career or, perhaps, still in school, has a more restricted budget. Why spend money he doesn’t have to try and impress you? From that point of view, he was demonstrating fiscal responsibility. My husband

t is possible to have a loving, long-lasting relationship with somebody who has different opinions about finances – if you are able to communicate these differences and come to realistic terms and a respect and mutual understanding. That being said, it seems as if the two of you are coming from opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to ideas about money. There are many girls who would turn away immediately when the cashier asks for $4 for a bottle of water and drink from the water fountain instead. In this sort of circumstance, she wouldn’t have any issue with him turning away the possibility of getting an expensive drink. She would actually find it a bonus that he had that similar mindset. You seem to be coming from opposite ends, and although it bothers you, you do still value many of his respectable traits. Firstly, you should note that doing these things on a date so early on shows how engrained it is into who he is, so don’t go into a marriage thinking you will change him. You say you are used to many luxuries and a high class lifestyle. If that is undoubtedly the life you’re looking to live, this shidduch does not

seem suitable for you. If, however, you have dated a while and have yet to meet anyone who has the many wonderful qualities that he has, I suggest you have a very open discussion with him about the topic so that you know what you’re dealing with. You will have to be willing to change your lifestyle and adapt to his mindset, as well as communicate to him the things about your lifestyle that you would find hard to live without. If you can mutually agree on working together to create an equilibrium, where he bends towards your needs and you bend towards his needs, you’ll work through it and feel like a million bucks. If, however, after the con-

Mr. Tap Water marrying Ms. Perrier? Not a good idea.

versation you see he is very set in his ways and there is a “no compromise” attitude, you will have to consider your personal feelings around marrying somebody with such a different attitude toward spending and lifestyle. This is not something your parents (or anyone) can answer for you. It is indeed something you will need to think about and decide for yourself, as it is not easy to suddenly live a completely opposite life from what you’re used to.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home The Florida Jewish Home | MAY 11, 2017

The Single Tova Wein


here are important things that two people have to agree upon in order to have a harmonious marriage and then there are IMPORTANT things that must be agreed upon! One’s relationship with money falls under the latter category. Money is meaningful in a marriage because it signifies so many different things. It can be used as a tool for control; it can represent one’s desire to be generous, hopeful and kind. Money also represents the lifestyle that one has become accus-

tomed to. You obviously come from a comfortable background and money has enabled your family to live quite beautifully. It sounds like this young man has never experienced the comforts that you have and probably finds the things you do to be frivolous. He certain doesn’t relate to it. It’s not a matter of who is right and who is wrong. It’s a matter of what you are both used to. Though we’re only talking about a bottle of water, of all things, it does tell a story. If you told him that you’re feeling really thirsty, even though the water was totally overpriced, you believe your comfort level in the moment is more important

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


oney differences aside, I find the way he speaks to you distasteful. The following statements are potential red flags to me: 1. “After that, he seemed kind of cold toward me and said he felt I was being very wasteful.” You bought the water for yourself after he said he wouldn’t spend that kind of money. I am not judging his sensibilities about spending his money wisely or carefully. I am more interested in his behavior toward you after you made the decision to spend your own money. I would like to understand more about his “coldness.” How does he feel about the woman in his life disagreeing with him or doing what works for her? Will he always respond coldly? Some people ignore their spouses for lengthy periods of time after a disagreement. The spouse of such a person is usually not a very happy

camper. Additionally, we usually reserve our strong opinions for much later in the dating game. Telling you “you are wasteful” so early on signals to me that this young man feels inappropriately comfortable with you on your third date. He is more concerned about money than your feelings. From the way you describe his behavior, I have to wonder if these are the red flags unhappy spouses wish they would have recognized earlier on. 2. “On our second date, when we went out to dinner to a restaurant that was moderately expensive, and the waiter asked if we wanted dessert, he immediately said no, without asking me if I wanted any.” Whether this is a sign of immaturity or something more ominous in nature, he did not take a moment to consider your needs. Yes, we

than being practical. He doesn’t. That says a lot about where the two of you are coming from. Though there’s nothing wrong with being practical and economical, that’s not the world you’re used to and, my guess, not the world you want to live in. For that reason, I think you two would be looking at a future of serious disagreements on a very important topic if you continued together. Lucky you – you seem to have a lot going for you. So hopefully, you will continue to have opportunities come your way. And when the next wonderful man does come along, you’ll be working with a therapist who can figuratively hold

are only talking about dessert on a second date… I understand that. Most people would have the emotional intelligence and sensitivity to turn to the other human being present and acknowledge their existence in that moment. Even if his reason was that he could not afford the dessert, the right thing to do would have been to make eye contact with you and even give you an embarrassed or uncomfortable look. There is a lack of emotion here that is worrisome to me. I am starting to sense a pattern. 3. You mentioned there were a few other instances in which the conversation around money left you wondering if he was raised in a frugal home. I am curious whether the other conversations around money left you feeling badly – like the two instances you were specific about. In conclusion, there are two issues here. The first is the different ways you two spend money. The second is the way he interacts with you around the topic of money. If he does not take your thoughts,


I am more interested in his behavior toward you after you made the decision to spend your own money.

your hand and help you get past your anxiety so that you can move on with your life in a meaningful way.

needs or feelings into account (that is not to say he spends money because you want him to, but that he speaks to you respectfully) that’s a far more serious issue in my book. If you notice a pattern of this behavior, you will have to ask yourself if you want to deal with this for the rest of your life. Dating is a time to get to know someone and figure out if they are suitable for you. I understand that you connect in other ways, but if this bothers you now, you cannot assume it will go away or that it won’t bother you in the future. It is my opinion that in this situation Mother knows best. Sincerely, 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 for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@ You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


MAY 11, 2017 | The Florida Jewish Home

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Political Crossfire

Trump: “Normalized” but Still Scary By Charles Krauthammer


ith near unanimity, my never-Trump friends confess a sense of relief. It could have been worse. They thought it would be worse. A deep apprehension still endures but the international order remains intact, the republic still stands, and no “enemy of the people” has (yet) been arrested. Admittedly, this is a low bar. And this is not to deny the insanity, incoherence and sheer weirdness emanating daily from the White House, with which we’ve all come up with our own coping technique. Here’s mine: I simply view President Trump as the Wizard of Oz. Loud and bombastic. A charlatan. Nothing behind the screen – other than the institutional chaos that defines his White House and the psychic chaos that governs his ever-changing mind. What to do? Ignore what’s behind the curtain. Deal with what comes out in front: the policy, the pronouncements, the actions. And so far they hang together enough – Neil Gorsuch, Keystone XL, NATO reassurances, Syria strike, Cabinet appointments – that one can begin to talk plausibly about the normalization of this presidency. Hence the relief. But there are limitations to the Wizard of Oz approach. Some things do extrude from behind the curtain that are hard to ignore. And here I am not counting the gratuitous idiocies that can, despite their entertainment val-

ue, be safely ignored – for example, Trump’s puzzlement as to why the Civil War was not avoided and how Andrew Jackson, who’d been dead 16 years, was so upset by its outbreak. These are embarrassments, but they don’t materially affect the course of his presidency or of the country. Some weirdnesses, however, do. Such as, Trump’s late-April pronouncements on South Korea. Being less entertaining, they were vastly

And by the way, that 5-year-old U.S.South Korea free trade agreement is a disaster and needs to be torn up. Now, South Korea is in the middle of a highly charged presidential campaign. The pro-American president was recently impeached and is now under indictment. The opposition party is ahead. It is wary of the U.S., accommodating to North Korea and highly negative about installing that THAAD system on its soil. We had agreed with Seoul that

What is it with this president insisting that other people pay for things we want?

underreported. Here’s the context: Trump is orchestrating a worldwide campaign to pressure North Korea on its nukes and missiles. He dispatches (finally) the USS Carl Vinson strike group to Korean waters and raises the possibility of a “major, major conflict” with Pyongyang. Meanwhile, we are working furiously to complete a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea to intercept North Korean rockets. At which point, out of the blue, Trump tells Reuters that Seoul will have to pay for the THAAD system.

they would provide the land and the infrastructure, and we would pay the $1 billion cost. Without warning, Trump reneges on the deal, saying South Korea will have to foot the bill. This stirs anti-American feeling and gives opposition candidate Moon Jae-in the perfect campaign issue. What is it with this president insisting that other people pay for things we want? And for what? In a $4 trillion budget, $1 billion is a rounding error. So self-defeating was the idea that within three days national se-

curity adviser H.R. McMaster had to walk it all back, assuring the South Koreans that we would indeed honor our agreement and send no $1 billion invoice. But the damage was done. Moon’s campaign feasted. The pro-American party was thrown on its heels. And the very future of THAAD – and a continued united front against Pyongyang under a likely Moon administration – is in doubt. As for the trade deal, the installation of THAAD has so angered China that it has already initiated an economic squeeze on South Korea. To which Trump would add a trade rupture with the United States. The South Korean blunder reinforces lingering fears about Trump. Especially because it was an unforced error. What happens in an externally caused crisis? Then, there is no hiding, no guardrails, no cushioning. It’s the wisdom and understanding of one man versus whatever the world has thrown up against us. However normalized this presidency may be day to day, in such a moment all bets are off. What happens when the red phone rings at 3 in the morning? I’d say: Let it ring. Let the wizard sleep. Forward the call to Defense Secretary Mattis.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group

The Florida Jewish Home 5-10-17  
The Florida Jewish Home 5-10-17