AIPAC PC 2012 HATIKVAH 6 DOES TRIBEFEST
jnf spring break Issue No. 3 april 2012
What’s inside? 3 Editor’s Note
4 Knesset Update
6 Temple Beth Torah
CUFI: United for Israel
8 Marcy’s Music
9 Movie Review: Iranium
April in Israel
10-12 AIPAC PC 2012
Birthright’s Bar Mitzvah
14 Step up for Israel
JNF Spring Break
16,17 IDF Soldier
APRIL 2012 אפריל YALLA ISRAEL Brooke Weinbaum Publisher/Editor-in-Chief ______________________
Writers Jordan Robrish Marcy Morris Jackie Klein Mark Schwartz Howard Rudnick Marisa Goldfinger Brett Richman Rose Morris Ana Angel Rayna Exelbierd Danny Davies Noah Tenenbaum
EDITOR’S NOTE: As the semester draws to a close it is time for many of us to think about what we have accomplished, but more importantly what is left to do. With one month left until I graduate, there are many more items on my checklist before I walk across that stage, and a few months later fly to Israel.
communities alike to showcase what Israel has to offer whether it is innovations, food, humanitarian efforts, or even great music. I hope you join me in showing one or multiple faces of Israel to someone who has never been or may have seen a distorted face of Israel.
Here’s to showing the The cover of the magazine beautiful faces of Israel and this month is with Amanda celebrating 64 years of Merker, a student at FIU, and Ofir independence. Margalit, a part of the Faces of Israel group that has been touring campuses and community centers. Yalla, My last month at campus, I am promising myself, and now all of Brooke Weinbaum my readers, that I will try to show as many faces of Israel as I can. As a friend and advocate of Israel it is my job to show everyone the different sides to Israel. The cover demonstrates the acceptance of gay marriage in Israel. This month, FSU held an event to benefit Save a Child’s Heart, an organization that performs life saving operations on Israeli, African, and Palestinian children to name a few. Israel Independence Day will be a time for campuses and
keeping up with
Big changes came to the Knesset in March. The Knesset approved the establishment of an Ethiopian Jewry Heritage Center.
The Finance Committee approved 3 billion NIS for upgrading busy and dangerous roads
in Israel. There was a bill passed for first reading by the Knesset that will give a tax credit for
donations to public institutions supporting settlements.
Schoolbooks Lending Plan (which would allow for schools to purchase more textbooks)
is finally moving towards a first reading in the Knesset, after being postponed in 2009. The Knesset Basic Law bill aiming to raise the threshold to 5% for a party in the Knesset
The IDF asked for money so they can continue to enlist more Haredim in their forces.
The Knesset plenum approved in preliminary readings an amendment to the Treatment
for the Mentally Ill, that diagnosed anorexics will undergo forced hospitalization, as eating disorders are considered a mental illness.
The land taxation bill (with the amendment for purchase tax for nonresidents) was
motioned to go vote which would make the tax now 20% for non-Israelis purchasing land in Israel. Head of the Georgian Parliament, Dr. David Bakradze visited the Knesset and was so
graciously thanked for continuous support in imposing sanctions against Iran and for standing with Israel against a nuclear Iran.
A bill was approved for second and third reading that would require a minimum weight
restriction for advertisement models.
Howard is a junior studying poli2cal science at Florida Atlan2c University. Howard’s favorite memory of Israel is watching everyone get their errands done before Shabbat even during the intense heat of summer.
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Israel On Demand: Advanced Strategy for Campus
Israel On Demand
August 6th – 8th Arizona Biltmore Phoenix, AZ
Israel On Demand will expose you to everything you need to know to be an effective Israel activist on campus – from advanced communication and negotiation strategies to the latest intelligence on current events.
The only event of its kind, Israel Amplified combines the best of the Greek world with cutting edge leadership and communication training from top Israel activists and educators, with a focus on how to bring Israel into the Greek community and into your chapter.
June 10th – 13th Boston University Boston, MA
For more information, visit www.thedavidproject.org
August 12th – 15th Downtown Boston Boston, MA
Students will learn communication, organizational leadership, and negotiation skills from Boston area university experts, top educators in the Israel on campus community, and leaders in the business and social sectors.
THE DAVID PROJECT EDUCATING VOICES FOR ISRAEL
Temple Beth Torah Commemorates 20th Anniversary By Jordan Robrish of the 1992 Israeli Embassy Bombings On a beautiful Shabbat Evening in North Miami Beach the Congregation of Temple Beth Torah gathered together for a special Friday night service to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. The terrorist attack on the Embassy was a suicide truck bombing that struck at approx. 2:42 p.m. local time on March 17th 1992. The attack claimed the lives of 29 people while another 242 were wounded in the blast. The memorial service was attended by the Consulate General of Israel to Puerto Rico and Florida Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad. Rabbi Mario Rojman of Temple Beth Torah was conducting the memorial service at Temple Beth Torah was in Buenos Aires at the Israeli Embassy the day of the attack. The Rabbi lost his girlfriend, friends, and family members who were all working at the Embassy the day of the suicide truck bombing. Rabbi Rojman who was born in Argentinian would have been killed himself if not for a friend who asked him to lunch moments before the blast. Regarding the attack Rabbi Rojman said “I lost loved ones and not only were Jewish people killed in this senseless attack- but the priest for the neighboring Church was also killed in the blast”. The Consulate General of Israel to Puerto Rico and Florida also attended the memorial service. Dr. Ben Gad spoke to the congregation about the task of bringing justice to those responsible for the attacks “20 years without answers, 20 years without Justice” The Consulate General announced to the congregation. He
went on to say that Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi who Interpol in 2007 issued a warrant for his arrest for his role in the 1992 attacks. Ahmad Vahidi has never been apprehended or brought to trial for his role in the attacks and continues to serve as the Iranian Defense Minister. The consulate General went on to say that Interpol the International Criminal Police Organization is long overdue to execute the arrest warrant so that Ahmad Vahidi can be brought to trial for his role in the 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded 242. No one has yet been brought to trial or arrested in connection with these deadly terrorist attacks that occurred over 20 years ago. The Congregation of Beth Torah and Rabbi Rojman came together on the exact date for the 20th Anniversary of the attacks to heal each other, to stand together in a call for justice, and most importantly to pray for the memories and souls of those who were lost in the attack. The Shabbat Memorial Service concluded as everyone in the congregation gathered around in a circle locked arms and prayed for peace and healing for the lives of everyone affected by this tragic event.
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MARCY’S MUSIC OF THE MONTH
Hear the latest hits on and off Israel’s airwaves from Marcy’s mouth! BY: MARCY MORRIS
EYAL GOLAN Now, I'm not just saying this because I'm a pretty big Eyal Golan fan, but you're going to love his 2012 Album "You Touched My Heart." The moving lyrics and soothing sound of the MIzrachi-‐style music will draw you in and keep you listening for hours. Golan, born in Rehovot, has been recording his music since the 90s and is one of Israel's most famous singers and can be heard all over the radio. The 2012 album is ﬁlled with songs that include the voices of Spanish singers and even a chorus of young ones! You should deﬁnitely keep your eyes and ears open for this star! SHEM-TOV LEVI If you're looking for that "old school" Israeli sound, look no further than Shem-‐ Tov Levi. His music is moving, it's lyrical, it's "The Best"-‐-‐Levi's compilation of greatest hits, his newest release! From the electric ﬂute, to the violin, to the mysterious tone created, it's 100% fun. It's jazzy, it's blues-‐y, it's classical, it's a little bit of everything a classic Israeli music lover could ask for! Such a unique musician keeping alive an era of Israeli music we all know and love! I say with all honesty-‐-‐discovering Shem-‐Tov Levi, may just change my life!
Marcy is a junior studying health administra2on at Florida Atlan2c University. In her spare 2me she enjoys playing Jewish music for people of all ages. Marcy’s favorite part of Israel is hiking in the Negev.
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A Review Donec Egestas Scelerisque dolor: Iranium:
By Mark Schwartz
On Monday March 12th, 2012 I had the pleasure of attending a screening of the much anticipated documentary film Iranium. The film was narrated by Academy Award Nominee Shohreh Aghashloo. The documentary takes you inside Iran and sheds light on their troubled dictatorship which is currently led by the infamous and outspoken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The first part of the film is a flashback that takes the audience back to 1979 the year the Iranian Revolution took place. The Shah of Iran was overthrown by revolutionaries loyal to the religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Ayatollah, along with his revolutionary followers believed that the religion of Islam and Sharia Law should supremely govern the land. What began as a radical movement transcended into an ongoing cycle of violence towards any who stood in their way. The Revolution ended as the Shah of Iran was forced into exile, his government was replaced with an Islamic Republic with the Ayatollah being installed as the 1st Supreme Leader of the Iran.
known to have aided groups such as Al Qaeda in continuing terrorist activities. Iran has assisted Al Qaeda by training their members, funding, and equipping their operations. An example of this has recently been discovered and revealed in the film as Iran financed equipment used by the 911 hijackers in the attack on America.
“The threat of a nuclear Iran is not only a concern for Israel, but it is also a very real threat to the United States and the rest of the world.”-Schwartz
America is the true enemy. In one of his speeches Ahmadinejad commonly reiterates “Death to America”. After the conclusion of the film the Executive Producer Rafael Shore spoke to the audience and answered questions regarding Iranium. The Executive Producer continued conveying to the audience the idea that an Iranian nuclear threat is very real and should be taken seriously not just by the Jewish community but by every American. The film highlighted the message that a stand must be taken now to send a clear message to Iran and President Ahmadinejad that the country’s nuclear ambitions aimed at threatening America and the State of Israel will not be tolerated by the free world.
The documentary then went on to focus primarily on the dangers present in Iran achieving a nuclear bomb. In recent years the Iranians have been suspected of violating the regulations of the International By the 1980’s Iran helped Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) create the terrorist organization by not reporting all of their known as Hezbollah; the testing and nuclear lab sites to militant group was originally the organization. The threat of created to help the Ayatollah a nuclear Iran is not only a consolidate power in Iran. concern for Israel, but it is also a Today the organization has very real threat to the United expanded into Lebanon and States and the rest of the world. other parts of the world while Iranian President Ahmadinejad the group continues to 1234 terrorize The Collector, Main Street, Anyhis Town, State ZIP | 123-456-7890 | www.apple.com/iwork and regime have spouted the people of Iran. Iran is also hate and their belief that
AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE 2012
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By Howard Rudnick
AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, held its 53rd annual Policy Conference in Washington D.C. from March 4th to March 6th. This year over 13,000 people were in attendance from all 50 states and even from overseas. The big speakers this year included the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama; the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu; the President of Israel, Shimon Peres; Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta; and three of the nominees for the Republican Party for the Presidency, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Along with these incredible individuals, there were numerous other speakers from all across the spectrum from actors and activists to politicians and people who cared about the American-Israel relationship. Six students from Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach traveled to Washington D.C. to attend Policy Conference all thanks to one very generous donor, Mike Mylin, and really take in all of the words spoken and the vast amount of knowledge that was being offered in that convention center. Eric Dansky, Michael Krammer, Katie Morris and Gali Feldman, all from FAU, and Noa Nijamkin, from Broward College, braved the cold weather and the long lines each day that included two security checks from either the Secret Service or the Israeli Secret Service.
the Author’s Booth, where many of the speakers’ published books were for sale. There were also two stages set up amongst the village where there were different speakers holding mini sessions, and a lot of them dealt with Israeli technologies and the innovative breakthroughs made in Israel.
The umbrella theme at Policy Conference this year was the safety of Israel and America in relation to Iran and the Arab Spring. President Obama’s remarks during his speech echoed the long standing support that United States Presidents have had for the state of Israel and that we, the United States of America will stand shoulder to shoulder with them, but it is up to us, the people, who are the ones who need to voice our support and to continue to speak to our members of Congress to continue to pass bills that will protect and keep Israel safe, whether it be legislation that places sanctions on Iran’s financial system or keeps them from becoming a nuclear threat. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who received an overwhelming reception and an extraordinary amount of standing ovations, made one very notable comment about Iran, stating “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck; but a nuclear duck.” He truly believes that a safer Israel is only going to One thing very special about this year’s happen when Iran is stopped. The AIPAC Policy Conference is that they had an predominant message in all of the speeches AIPAC Village, where people could relax and was that all options were on the table, but the socialize with each other between plenary one option that is not going to happen is sessions and the breakout sessions and also The Collector, 1234 Main Street, Any Town, State ZIPcontainment. | 123-456-7890 | www.apple.com/iwork utilize the numerous booths set up, including
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Shimon Peres, the current President of the State of Israel, who is currently 88 years old, was one of the most motivational, inspirational and awe-inspiring speakers to grace the AIPAC conference. Prior to his arrival on stage, they played a video highlighting his family life, his personal life and his career. Shimon Peres has been around the Israeli political scene for over 66 years. His resume is more than impressive as heâ€™s served in the Haganah, the predecessor to the Israel Defense Forces and has served in 12 cabinets in Israel. What makes him so impressive is that he is such a humbled human being who has seen the country of Israel grow from the very beginning and there was not a dry eye in the convention center after the video.
Representative Ted Deutch in his office on the Hill and he gave us great words of encouragement about political ambitions and staying active in the Pro-Israel movement. Other highlights of the trip for our delegation included a Campus Awards dinner celebrating numerous campuses that went above and beyond in their AIPAC campus initiatives and being efficient Pro-Israel advocates. We also got to meet the new President of AIPAC, Michael Kassen, along with Wayne Firestone, the President of Hillel. Policy conference provided more insight into the US-Israel relationship and allowed supporters of Israel, both students and community members alike, to learn more about the very necessary relationship.
Between the plenary sessions in the mornings and afternoons, there were breakout sessions where there were literally hundreds of options to choose from. One speaker I went to see was Steven Emerson who spoke about radical Islam in America. It was such an eye-opening lecture because he explained how the Muslim Brotherhood has been slowly infiltrating the American public, with the creation of the Muslim Student Association on campuses across the country, funding numerous PAC groups and inserting their influence into the American media to get their views across. Lastly, we got to visit and lobby our congressmen and we had the privilege of seeing Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson as they spoke to their constituents about why they support Israel and what got them Students of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach meet involved with the cause. After that, the with Representative Ted Deutch and tour DC. The Collector, 1234and Main visit Street, Any Town, State ZIP | 123-456-7890 | www.apple.com/iwork student delegation got to go
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AIPAC PC 2012 di e
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Along with the hundreds of college students and thousands of AIPAC members across the United States, high school delegations are sent to AIPAC policy conference to learn how to become a future leader at their universities.
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By Marisa Goldﬁnger
Being chosen to attend AIPAC something I plan on doing when I go policy conference as a student in high away this fall. My goal is to attend AIPAC school was such an honor. Throughout again and be one of the students at a the conference I learned an incredible forum talking to the audience about my amount of information that I will take college. I think it is extremely important back to my community, and in the fall my for students to understand that even college. though they are young, they are strong Every morning there was an and can have a major impact and opening plenary which we all attended. influence. These speeches were usually the most important people, Obama, Peres, and more. This is also when Santorum, Newt, and the other potential presidential candidates made their speeches. Following this everyone broke out into their forums that they had chosen. I mainly went to forums that were for students, which I found extremely interesting and helpful. Some of the forums that weren't geared for students were slightly over my head, so having the ones meant for students was awesome. I learned so much about foreign affairs and even more about the problems that Israel has with other countries. But I also gained such an experience just from being at the conference, surrounded by 13,000 other people who support Israel and want the best for the country. It was incredible to see that amount of people come together for the same cause. From Marisa is a senior at Park Vista High School. some of the forums I attended I learned a Her favorite part of Israel is the sense of lot about "being Jewish" when I go away belonging. he will be a;ending the University Collector,how 1234 to Mainget Street, Any Town, State ZIP | 123-456-7890 | Swww.apple.com/iwork to college. IThe learned involved of Central Florida in the fall and will study pre in not only programs like Hillel but also how to get involved politically. This is clinical health services.
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Step up for Israel by Brett Richman •••
THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF PALM BEACH HOSTS DR. ALAN DERSHOWITZ AND WAYNE FIRESTONE FOR MOVIE AND PANEL The Step Up for Israel event featuring world renowned Harvard Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz along with Former Congressman Robert Wexler and Hillel President and CEO Wayne Firestone was a night filled with valuable information about the positive aspects of the work being done in the State of Israel and its effects on the entire world. I felt honored to be able to attend the event as the only member of a student contingent affiliated with Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach I will never forget this experience. The “Israel Inside” documentary was screened at the event. The documentary showed the huge impact Israel’s had on shaping our modern world. The night was highlighted with speeches by Wayne Firestone and Alan Dershowitz. Both men spoke about how integral Israel is to the world and emphasized that on a local level the Jewish community is responsible for ensuring that the State of Israel continues to be a part of our community forever. Mr. Firestone said in his speech “remember within our own community not to divide ourselves” he was referring to the disagreements within the Jewish community on ideals revolving around Judaism and support for the State of Israel. Firestone’s message was one of unity throughout the Jewish community he reminded us that at the end of the day our
goals are the same: to support the Jewish community and to support the State of Israel in endeavors to better the world. Later in the evening Mr. Dershowitz took to the podium as he continued to express his feelings of support for the Jewish students on American college campuses and their right to openly support the State of Israel. Dershowitz commented “Israel has taught the world how to fight terrorism without compromising civil liberties and civilian rights”. He went on to elaborate on what the rest of the world can learn from Israel beyond that state’s technological and environmental advancements. Dershowitz emphasized how Jewish students on college campuses need to continue supporting Israel in a civil and respectable way in order to create a productive discourse when faced with opposition. He also reminded all those in attendance to always stay peaceful in discussion and support of the Jewish State of Israel.
Students of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach gather with International Hillel President Wayne Firestone.
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Israeli Spotlight By Rose Morris Maor Blank is a 22-year-old American who has made Aliyah and currently serving in the Israeli Defense Force. While representing the organization ‘Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ in the United States, he sat down with me to discuss his Jewish identity, the acclamation to Israel, and the lessons he has learned since making Aliyah and joining the army. Maor, where were you born? “I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California until the age of 13 when I moved to East Brunswick, New Jersey with my entire family.” While growing up, what was your Jewish identity? “I am from an American-Jewish family. We participated in the high-holidays and had Friday night dinners. We did not speak Hebrew or practice Shomer Shabbat. We were not Zionistic, just regular AmericanJews.” Did you go to temple? “We went to a Los Angeles temple, Beth El, and then in New Jersey, the East Brunswick Jewish Center. We were active members.” What were your social experiences growing up with other Jews? “I was a very active member in United Synagogue Youth (USY), the Conservative Jewish youth movement, and before that Kadima. When we moved to New Jersey, I joined that immediately. I went to all the dances and the Shabbatons. Encampment one summer was the highlight of it all, a week with your close Jewish friends, we still stay in contact whenever we can.” What were your extracurricular activities in high school? “I had a lot of them. I went to a public high school, East Brunswick High. I was active in the orchestra from the 4th grade until graduation. I never did a marching band. I was also active in sports, I swam varsity all four years. I tried a little bit of track but decided to stay committed to swimming. I was captain of swimming my senior year of high school. I was also into music. I played in different bands. I was in ‘Downsize,’ a ska band, I was the bassist and one of the singers. We played at the high school shows, local fairs and friends parties. We had our own demo cd.”
As you were graduating from high school, what did you foresee for yourself? “I started to really understand who I was as a person my Junior year of high school when I had the opportunity to go on a USY joint Ramah semester in Jerusalem, Israel, ‘Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) in 2006. It was the beginning of the rest of my life. We saw the whole country. It wasn’t a tour, we would learn about places in our classes and the next day, we would physically go to them. We got really connected with the land and interacted with Israelis on a weekly basis. It opened my eyes to a whole new world. I realized that Israel was my future, and I wanted to be in the Israeli military and serve a larger purpose. I came back to the United States to finish high school, and then post-high school, I still wanted to be in the military, that never faded, but Israel sort of did. It went to the back of my mind, sort of like a long-lost-love relationship. I joined the officer’s training at the Citadel, in Charleston, SC with the United States Marines. I was there for two-years on full scholarship, well on my way to becoming an officer. While I was training, I was home on-leave during New Years Eve 2008-2009, and a serious conflict broke out between the Gaza strip and Israel. I was glued to CNN and needed to know what was going on, just as much as Israelis wanted to know. Then all of those deepseeded connections I had with Israel in the back of my mind came rushing back and I knew so suddenly and so clearly that I needed to be there and serve there. It was my true calling and belonging. I love the United States, and loved what I was doing, but I belonged in the Israeli army. I did manage to get out of my contract and gave up my scholarship to the Marines and I began the process of making Aliyah alone. I did ask for help from my parents with the paperwork.” How did your parents feel about you making Aliyah and joining the Israel army? “They truly weren’t surprised. They knew how passionate I was for serving, and my pride for Israel and being Jewish. They supported me. My mom knew before I did. When I broke the news she said, “Oh really? Yes, I know. There are different ways to do that. Just know that if you do this, you are doing it on your own. We support you, but you have to figure out where you are going to live, what you are going to do, how you will acclimate and adapt.”
They backed me up, but all the work I had to do. I drove into New York to the Jewish Agency for a couple of meetings and interviews, and worked on getting the VISA to make Aliyah.” How long was the process? “It was about a three-month process. I finally got the good news, received my ticket. The Jewish Agency in New York was really supportive and understood and appreciated my goals. I finally got on a plane. May 12th, it was Tuesday. I landed in my new home May 13th.” What did it feel like when you arrived in your new home? “Indescribable. I can’t believe I actually did it. I’m insane. What kind of 19 year-old would do this? I knew I made the right decision. As soon as I got off the plane, there were people waiting to meet me and take me to the kibbutz that I was going to be staying at. It felt great, I felt like all the people before who had the courage to do this, I am now one of them. It was an honor, and I still did not know what to expect. I knew I had a plan and goal, and nothing was going to stop that. My goal was to learn Hebrew, acclimate, and join the army as soon as possible.” What was your experience learning the Hebrew language? “When I was working on the kibbutz, I went to one or two Ulpan lessons, but it was basic and too structured. Not real Hebrew, I knew it was going too slow. I was there with English speakers. As soon as we left the classroom, that was it, it was done. I was not meeting Israelis or getting out and seeing things so I contacted the Israeli Jewish Agency, spoke with someone, found out about a program only for Israelis. I spoke with the head of the Pre-Army school, it is meant for Israelis who want to become officers or into special units. I told him my goals and what I was looking for. He said that if one doesn’t know the language, then you wouldn’t get into a good unit, because in specialized areas, you have to understand, know what to do, and tell people what to do. He was right. I moved from a kibbutz in the Southern Negev to a kibbutz in the Northern Negev. I joined his program to be thrown into Hebrew and learn it the hard, quickest and most effective way. It worked.”
So you were with Israelis and having conversations in Hebrew outside of class? “At this point, I was with Israelis and completely immersed into the language. I had to learn on my feet or else I would just be there without interaction.” Would you study outside of the class? “I would study many hours outside of class.” Vocabulary and grammar? “Anything. I would start out reading children’s books and work my way up. I used flashcards. My friends were the best tool that I had. They had a lot of patience. A lot of them spoke decent English and got a kick out of having an American there. As I became more comfortable and my grammar was that of a Kindergartener, basic conversations, my buddies would speak to me in English because they wanted to improve their English, and I would respond only in Hebrew. That is how I got used to speaking the language and I would be relaxed because they spoke in English, and that is what helped me the most. Little by little without even realizing it, I was having more advanced conversations, I was speaking without thinking, I began to dream in Hebrew, and that was it. The program was a year long and I knew Hebrew. It was time to join the army. I was so anxious for the army but at the same time it was geared for the army. We did survival training, navigation, work-outs. It was funny-even with the guys who wanted to go into combat, we would have our own separate work-outs and just run faster, farther, things like that, and I sang some of the cadences I did with the marines, I would sing in English and they would respond in the same tune. I wasn’t trying to hide the fact that I was an American and where I came from. I embraced it and so did they. When I joined the army finally, I got into the combat engineers, which basically works with explosives. Throughout the eightmonth training, out in the desert
learning weapons, tactics, military training, I impressed my commanders with my motivation and leadership so I was accepted into a special reconnaissance unit inside the combat engineers, very small unit, 15 men, and only one or two from every recruitment class gets accepted. We are intelligence gatherers. We are in the front and scout ahead and report back what they have. We see where the conflict would be. It is an honor, and I am still serving there today.” What is the relationship like with the people in your unit? “We go through hell together, and watch each other’s backs. Since I am a lone soldier in Israel without any family, they have become my family. They are my brothers. We play pranks on each other, we go out with each other when we get off base, and we joke around. When it is time to work, it is time to work. We help each other out and confide in each other in times of need. It is a very close unit. We have one officer and one top sergeant. They are our buddies. It is a different mentality in the Israeli army. We are close, there is no distance, we go out and have a good time together.” What have you learned since you have made Aliyah and joined the IDF? “I have learned humility, because I know what it is like to be completely lost, out of your element, a fish out of water, when I moved to Israel without knowing the language, and not being able to voice my own opinion. I listened more to what people were saying. I learned humility, patience, and understanding. In serving active duty, the biggest lesson I have learned was tolerance. When dealing with Palestinians or Sudani people, who try and immigrate illegally into Israel, you have to keep your humanity, because one day we can be attacked by Palestinians, and the next day I am helping an old man who needs a drink of water, which happens a lot at check points. There is a long line and you have very old men. They are in their eighties, and they are standing in this
line waiting to get checked and go about their business. On a very hot day in August, I remember I went into the line, which you are not supposed to do, and I took this old man out, and waited for the rest of his family to come and be checked, and I put him in the shade, sat him down and gave him some ice water, as many cups as he wanted, he actually drank about five. We learn tolerance and that even though there is a conflict, they are still people, and we are still people, and we do our best to keep that going, you can’t lose that.” What would you like to share with the University students out there who are your age? “I would like to share that being the same age as these college students, I’m 22 almost 23 years old, be aware of what’s out there. Don’t just take it for face value. Especially when it comes to the media, and not just in regards to Israel, but in general. Think, and form your own opinions, research things, be aware of what is really going on in the world and not what is just being reported to you, with their own agendas. Unfortunately, we are not getting a fair representation, and people are making things up. I’ve checked American media and some of their reports are simply not true. I’d like to say to all the students out there that you should follow your dreams, even if people are saying that it is too dangerous or you’ll never accomplish that. It is your life, and have the courage to do what you truly believe and truly what you want to do. Don’t just take the safe route and be like everyone else.”
DUDU TAKES BROWARD BY STORM
By Jackie Klein Wednesday, March 15th a dream came true. You may laugh at the seriousness of that sentence but it is no joke. I was able to see one of my favorite Jewish performers. This is an artist who until recently I had only seen through the magic of PBS programming. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a pretty serious repertoire of Jewish music in my iTunes playlist, and an even larger one in my Spotify playlist. This was not just any of those awesome Jewish Rock stars. It was the one and only Dudu Fisher. Originally our tickets were slated to be in the very very top balcony of Broward Center for Performing Arts. It’s a large a theater and it was a weekday, so it was not completely sold out. The theater decided to move the entire balcony that wished to move down to the mezzanine section. While we could see Dudu better on his PBS special, his voice and music in a live setting was so much better in person than on TV. The fan base of Dudu is mostly those who have been collecting social security for perhaps 20 years or more. There are the select few that are under that senior citizen age group who very much enjoy his music. Dudu, who grew up in Israel, spent significant time as a cantor, and then went into show business,. He performs in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. He grew in popularity after taking on the role of Jean Valjean in the award winning
Broadway show Les Misrables. While his Jewish observance was not a problem w h i l e d o i n g t h e H e b re w version, when he was offered a j o b o n B ro a d w a y, h i s producers allowed him to not perform on Shabbat. In fact one of his songs was a little ditty that he wrote about how he will only work six days a week. The time he spent on Broadway, his Yiddish family background and Jewish life, clearly holds importance in his life. Throughout the show he makes reference to his family in his many introductions to his music. His music while riveting on it’s own, are given a broader context with the stories and humor he adds while telling them. He started off right away with his music, setting the tone, with lyrics about himself. The third song was where he invited in the audience to sing along for his song about Jerusalem. It was there that we saw the charismatic, inviting Dudu that I had only seen on TV. He has an undesirable talent of being able to be incredibly enthusiastic and inviting while still being very classy and understated in his dance moves. The next few songs, centered on his life, and included stories of his family. Through his stories my mom and I realized that the majority of the audience had already seen him many times before. Some members even shouted out his punch lines before Dudu even finished his stories. While every song was just amazing, my favorite was
his arrangement of Kol Nidre. Kol Nidre is the opening prayer of Yom Kippur. It is usually a solemn affair and can easily be awe inspiring. He takes the prayer, and sings it beautifully but then all of sudden you hear the refrain of a chorus from the Les Mis song “Who am I”. He finished the rest as a remix. It was during a rehearsal for Kol Nidre years ago that he was told that he received the role for Les Mis. One thing I learned was that it was partially a benefit concert for JNF( the Jewish National Fund) and also for a children’s welfare organization in Israel. By buying tickets as a group, they were able to be bought through the specific organization, in order to donate money to them through the purchase. After a usual week full of school and extracurriculars, this concert was an out of the ordinary treat. The minute the s h o w w a s o v e r, m y grandparents called to say that Dudu was making the c i rc u i t o f t h e re t i re m e n t communities the following year. I have a written promise from the grandparents that I’ll be at his performance when he arrives at Century Village in Boca, this upcoming Fall. But for now, I’ll just have to listen to him on my Ipod Shuffle.
Jackie is a junior studying Jewish Studies at FAU. A9er spending a semester at Tel-‐Aviv University, Jackie’s favorite thing to do in Israel is walk along the streets and take in the various sites and people.
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA Eight students attended the AIPAC Policy conference including the President and Treasurer of Students for Israel, members of the campus cadre, the vice president of student government and president of
Students for Israel participated in the first World Water Day presented by UKnighted for UNICEF at UCF. The topic was water pollution the future of water technology both of which Israel is a leading authroity on and a major exporter of Water Technology including drip irrigation, Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plants and Cutting Edge Water Treatment Facilities.
CHRISTIANS AND JEWS STAND UNITED FOR ISRAEL By Ana Angel
On February 11, hundreds of Israel supporters gathered together to wave flags and cheer for the Nation of Israel. A line up of organizations including The Greater Miami Jewish Federation, The Jewish Federation of Broward county, The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC), The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), and The Broward Pastors Network joined together to organize and event for the whole community. Featured Speakers included Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy of Foreign affairs, Chaim Shacham Consul General of Israel to Florida, and local members of congress. The Event was hosted by “El Rey Jesus” (King Jesus) Church in Kendall, and brought together under one roof, democrats, republicans, pastors and rabbis, and Christians and Jews. There
were around 2000 estimated visitors. Church members were welcomed with long lines of fellow Israel supporters, trying to get in. At the door, a security check, an unfamiliar sight for a church. The pat downs and metal detectors were a reminder of the prevention measures that need to be taken for an event like this; it gave Christians a sense of the level of threat that the enemies of Israel pose. The service included words by different speakers, a prayer over the Israeli flag, handmade banners with each of Biblical Israel’s 12 , and Hebrew/Jewish
music and even dancing. Chaim Shacham, Consul General to Florida and PR opened with these words, "You have no idea how important it is for us to see this support…This summit lifts up our spirits… it reminds us that the state of Israel is a miracle”. There was cheering and “amens” in agreement with each statement that exalted Israel. The lead Pastor, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, head of one of top 5 largest Hispanic churches in America, gave a speech and urged its members to honor Israel and be grateful to the Jewish people. Maldonado warned its listeners not to “mess” with “the apple of Gods eyes” from the verse Zechariah 2:8. He shared personal stories that expressed his commitment to bless the Jewish people. Pastor Maldonado explained how one of the key requirements before endorsing a presidential candidate publicly, is knowing their position with Israel. As a man of authority and influence that leads a church with over 15,000 members, he sent a message of his commitment to the cause. Congresswoman Ileana Ros noted as she stood arm in arm with her colleagues from Washington, Mario Diaz Ballard and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who she called “my brethren” and stated “We may have some political differences….but, there is no division on our support for the State of Israel”, she finished by quoting one of her favorite verses from the Bible: Isaiah 62:1 Among the visitors, there was FIU graduate student Rebekah Israel who is working on her Ph.D. in Political Science. She thoughts this experience demonstrated “unique support” for Israel and also commented on the importance of translating that support into action, as we
are living during very dangerous times where the existence of Israel is in jeopardy. This event had more of a religious/spiritual theme rather than political, which is not as common during many Pro-Israel gatherings. Never the less it helped to breach the gap among the different groups, and raise awareness in the Christian community about the importance of supporting Israel. The high spirits of the event helped stir up the passion and love that Christians have for Israel and its people, and serve as preparation for training in advocacy and policy impacting support. The event was an expression of the Christian Love for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. As Christians continue to be exposed to biblical and other reasons to support Israel, is it important to be trained in practical and efficient ways to support the state of Israel. Events such as this help fight apathy in the church towards Israel’s security, and help amend relationships among Jews and Christians, as they labor towards protecting the security and prosperity of the state of Israel.
For other events involving Chris/ans United for Israel at FIU contact CUFIFIU@GMAIL.COM
FASHIONFORWARD HI-LOW with a splash of COLOR! By Rayna Exelbierd
On Wednesday, March 28th, Yigal Azrouel was at Saks Fifth Avenue to meet shoppers in Miami. An Israeli desgner who masters in the polished wear and tear look- is supreme for the on the go personality. Refinery 29 claims he practically invented the slouchy motor jacket! Since 1998, Yigal, a self taught designer, has been designing sharp sillhouttes paired with very feminine pieces for the ladies. In addition, Yigal has captivated a lot of men wearers with his ever popular sweaters and leatherware. Yigal cites Françoise Hardy(see picture), as his favorite muse making it evident natural beauty is really this designer’s edge. Yigal believes it’s how one wears the clothes, rather than the actual clothes itself emphasizing that personality mixed with style is so chic compared to the same labels. As summer gets closer I find myself pulling more skirts and dresses out of my closet. A high-low cut is when the fabric in the front of the article is significantly shorter in the front compared to the back. High-low tops if really long usually look best with leggings while the shorter ones pair best with high wasted shorts. For the summer take the the typical maxi dress and
shake it up a notch with one that is a high-low cut. The one shown from Delia’s is fabulous and can be worn to a casual or dressy affair. With their really funky geometric shape, faceted earrings have been spotted among many celebrities. What is great about these earrings is the wearer can decide to wear a bigger or smaller shape on account of the ends of each earring are different sizes. These pieces are versatile as they have been seen on the red carpet and in street wear shots of celebrities. As a die-hard animal print fan I am pleased to announce that yes, the dark hues have to go, but there are lots of colorful printed pieces available! I love the pants shown, matched with a sheer blouse and wedges create a perfect dinner look. I vision tan or camel toned heels, with a white or peach top. The colorful print makes a subtle stylish statement. Denim on denim is a trend increasing among celebrities recently. Some critics are selective about mixing darker and lighter pieces with just each other, but with the right accessories especially colorful animal print, dark on dark
denim can look effortless. A denim vest or shirt is an excellent staple to add to any outfit to make it seem more causal and relaxed. Mixing a nice black skirt and simple top with a denim vest or shirt gives it an edge. Having a solid pair of sunglasses that go with every outfit is clutch. I love the ones that are shown, so elegant and what a fantastic price! In addition to go to shades, my go to bag this summer has to be a bright color. I am in love with the shade shown; eye popping bags are huge right now. Remember to embrace color and be confident with your selections. Labels just make shopping easier, challenge yourself to cool finds! Rayna Rose Exelbierd is a sophomore studying InternaHonal business. She works as the Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Israel advocacy intern, a9er spending a year in Israel. When shopping in Israel, Rayna has developed a knack for hunHng out fashionable ﬁnds at low costs. Rayna does the most damage in Tel-‐Aviv and Central Jerusalem.
Leopard skinny jeans, Forever 21 $29.80 Hi-low Dress, Delia*s $44.50
Elyona faceted stud earrings $138
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Cheap Monday Cryokin sunglasses $32.23
BPANDORA Steve Madden $78
Even without showers, april brings flowers and more around israel You can always count on li/le Israel for a good event celebra8ng absolutely anything. There’s always something going on, and April is no excep8on... By Danny Davies
The Tel Aviv Marathon The month kicked oﬀ with a record breaking race through Tel Aviv. No less than 25,000 exercise-‐aholics, watched by 100,000 curious passers-‐by, took part in the 4th Annual TLV Marathon; the crown being taken by Kenyan runner Sammy Tu. But it wasn’t just a marathon. This being Tel Aviv, there was something for everyone, with a half-‐marathon, 10K run and a 4.2-‐ kilometer sprint; a 420-‐meter race for children, a half marathon for in-‐line skaters and a 30-‐kilometer handcycle race for wheelchair parOcipants also taking place.
The Dead Sea Love Fes5val From running to loving, April 7th-‐11th sees the Dead Sea’s ‘Mineral Beach’ and ‘Mitzpe Shalem Kibutz’ play host to the 16th Annual Love (or ‘Ahava’) FesOval. But before you start thinking the Dead Sea’s gone all romanOc… it’s actually Israel’s oldest rock fesOval, featuring stars you’ve all heard of (…) including Mashina, Eviatar Banai, Yehuda Poliker, Micha Shitrit, Ehud Banai, Shalom Hanoch, Berri Sakharov, Dudu Tassa and more.
The Interna5onal Flowers Exhibi5on in Haifa If rock music ain’t your thing, then maybe ﬂowers are. Haifa is playing proud host to the internaOonal ﬂowers exhibiOon, at ‘Park Hecht’ from April 7th-‐14th. It’s also a lot more interesOng than it may at ﬁrst sound: the exhibiOon features 9 “ﬂower worlds” where each “world” will be dedicated to a diﬀerent theme: Sea World, Fantasy World, Senses World, Never-‐Never Land, Parisian Avenues, Hanging Gardens, Land of the Rising Sun, Wild World and the Missing Garden. This is a big deal, with some of the world’s most renowned arOsts and designers pitching in to create a mega exhibiOon of over 100,000 ﬂowers ﬂown in from across the globe, and presented alongside Israel’s local creaOons. Shall I see you there?!
Suave Brit, Danny Davies is editor-‐in-‐chief at Israeli-‐owned website, allmyfaves.com. Every Monday, he introduces over 1.3 million Americans to the ‘Weekly Faves’: 10 awesome, undiscovered websites and smartphone apps, at www.allmyfaves.com/blog.
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Mazal Tov on Your Bar Mitzvah Taglit Birthright Israel celebrates the big 13!
By Brooke Weinbaum
! 1500 Jews. In the desert. Israel? Nope, just good, old, Las Vegas. The Jewish Federations of North America put on the second annual Tribefest conference for young Jewish Americans to explore, celebrate, and connect to their heritage. Sunday night, Taglit Birthright Israel and the Birthright Israel Foundation put on the bar mitzvah party of the decade. ! The party opened with performances from Kosha Dillz and Diwon. The ballroom, akin to any other Bar or Bat Mitzvah you may remember with an array of food being passed around, and no longer bat mitzvah age, the ability to go to the open bar, hosted hundreds of people celebrating Birthright. Pictures of participants covered the screen along with camels, the dead sea, and the holy sites of Jerusalem. Everyone was excited to party the night away and celebrate the amazing experiences they have had in Israel. ! Around 8 pm, Hatikvah 6, appeared on stage. Hatikvah 6 is the number one reggae band in Israel and is adored by many Americans. The band lead by Omri Glikman got everyone who wasnʼt on the dance floor to jump and sing along with him. With a voice like Shaggy and looks like Enrique Iglesias, it was easy to believe we are having a party in Eilat, instead of a ballroom in The Venetian.
! ! Later in the evening I ran into Omri and his sister Shelly, who plays the keyboard. After finding out where she got her spiked shoes (a little boutique in Jerusalem) we talked about their music, how I originally saw them four years ago at a BBYO convention and Omri says “Ah I remember! The Holiday Inn at Fort Lauderdale-YES!” ! It was this statement and the fact that they were standing around all of the other people from the conference that made me realize how down to earth they were. The fun didnʼt just stop at the Birthright Bar Mitzvah. It will continue on in Israel and wherever else I may see them! It was a bar mitzvah party that will go down in history.
JNF’s Alternative Spring Break: How I helped Israel and had a great time doing it
By Noah Tenenbaum ! This spring break was different from most of my friends. While I wasnʼt out skiing in Colorado or partying on the beaches of Panama, I was able to make a difference. Thanks to the Jewish National Fundʼs Alternative Spring Break, my break was fun and rewarding. I was able to help out in Israel, and see the land that I love. ! Day 1: After our long flight, we had a nice drive up to Kibbutz Shomrat where we all fell asleep. We ate dinner then proceeded to talk about our program, and get familiar with each other. After the evening activity we hung out in the rooms getting further acquainted. Day 2: We visited Akko after breakfast to paint low income government housing. Residents were extremely thankful and cooked us barekas and gave us sodas. Watching the graffiti filled walls turn into nicely painted ones was a special site to see. All the residents that walked by during our painting repeated "toda raba" constantly, which means thank you very much. After we painted the building we saw the old city and port of akko, a truly beautiful city. We ate kenaffi, which is an orange and sweet noodle cake. The city is surrounded by walls that date back to Napoleon so it was quite the scenery. After we saw the city, we went back to Shomrat where we had dinner and an evening activity. After the activity we explored the kibbutz. ! Day 3: We went to a community garden which needed a lot of tending to. Here we picked weeds, moved soil, and got rid of any garbage in the garden so they can begin planting for summer. Later,we went to Atlit, the detainment center for Jews in
1945 when there was mass immigration to Israel before it was a state, and Britain did not want this influx of people so they had to let them in gradually. It was amazing to learn about this camp since I had previously been unaware of it. We then went to the border of Lebanon and Israel at rosh hanikra and got to see the sun set over the Mediterranean. After Rosh Hanikra we went back to Shomrat where we had dinner, another nightly activity, and then walked the kibbutz. ! Day 4: We went into the Carmel forest which had been devastated by a forest fire almost a year prior. We helped create a buffer zone by cutting up dead brush, as well as the bottom 1/3 of trees so they won't catch fire again. After we cleaned up part of the forest we went to the Carmel memorial which was a memorial for all the lives lost in the forest fire. We then headed to a KKL/ JNF trail with beautiful scenery. KKL is the affiliate of JNF in Israel. We then headed back to shomrat where we had dinner and activity. After the activity I was visited by Liraz and Noffar, two girls from Nesher who taught a cooking class at FAU only two weeks before. ! Day 5: We went to Yokneam where we worked with lotem, which is an organization that helps make special needs access to nature. Here we removed trash from areas of the farm, as well as weeded the fields. Also we trimmed branches off some trees. We later visited a field outside Kvutzat Schiller picking clementines which would be donated to a soup kitchen with the organization Leket. We then traveled to Jerusalem where we went to the Kotel, and prayed.
After our time at the Kotel we checked into our Hotel Caesar. After dinner we had a Megillah reading, which is the story of Purim. We then had our night out on Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem, where everyone was dressed up for Purim. You will never understand the meaning of purim, until you experience it in Israel. ! Day 6: Bustan Hama'ayan where we helped move large stones in Ein Kerem which would help build terraces. After our time moving stones we went shopping in the shuk. After the shuk we walked to a Hasidic Shul for Shabbat services where everyone was dancing. We then walked back to the hotel had Shabbat dinner and group activities. ! Day 7: Shabbat morning we got to sleep in until 12 when we had a group activity before Lunch. We then had free time until 430 where i was visited by one of the soldiers from my birthright trip. It was great seeing him and catching up. We then had a wrap up session where we all talked about our experiences, followed by a havdallah service. We then went out to Ben-Yehuda for our last meal in Israel. We went to Burgers Bar where I had one of the best burgers of my life. We then headed to the airport to head back to the states. I really loved how all the projects were helping out the people of Israel and making it a better place. I know for sure, traveling to Israel and helping the different communities was the best spring break of my life.
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FAU plays host to Symposium on Israel By Jackie Klein This past week FAU was home to a conference devoted to the newest academic studies on Israel. The conference covered a wide range of topics including demographics, kibbutzim, art, linguistics, politics, and religion. Many of the presenters were sociologists with a couple of historians and artists thrown into the conference for good measure. The professors for the various academic universities throughout nation did not gather the attention of many other students. With its free admission, for students, it was hoped that there would be more students representing FAU. Primarily the demographic of attendees were participants in the life-long learning community. The lack of diversity in the participants who attended did not
change the quality of the program. Each presenter had plenty of quality information to share with our group. Professor Greenspan chaired the entire symposium as he has been doing for the previous three years. Professor Greenspan’s main themes that were shown throughout the conference were the perceived difference between the “image and the reality” in the State of Israel. All of the presenters spoke at one point about the thoughts that are held by the public in the Diaspora and what is the reality in Israel. The presentation about Kibbutz life and the presentation of Art of Israeli women were two of the most interesting topics, thy showed the diversity and “folk life” present in Israel. The inclusion of
Kibbutzim in the presentation demonstrated to the audience the presence that the communities still has in Israeli culture. Since my semester in Israel I’ve had a great affinity toward Israeli art; therefore, it was with great pleasure that I listened to the stories and explanations behind the art of Israeli women. There was an infinite amount of information to absorb at the symposium. As leaders of the Israel programming community on campus it is always important to have as much information at our fingertips to use for programming in the future. I can’t wait to find out what the topics will be for next year’s symposium.
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