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2014-08-29 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


August 29, 2014  RSS feed
Front Page

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Campaign kickoff to feature leadership awards, keynote from expert on Middle East, terrorism

Micah Halpern, a frequent analyst on network television and radio in the areas of terror, the Middle East and Muslim fundamentalism, will be keynote speaker on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. when the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties holds a community kickoff

Halpern will speak at Ruth Eckerd Hall as the federation begins its annual fundraising drive and presents Jewish Community Leadership Awards. The event provides an opportunity to jumpstart this year’s fundraising efforts that support growing and strengthening the Jewish community locally and overseas.

Cost to attend is $36.

The campaign kickoff has been dubbed, “Operation Protective Pledge,” a take off on “Operation Protective Edge,” the moniker Israel gave its incursion into Gaza.

“‘Operation Protective Pledge’ is a play on words to reflect how important the unfortunate situation in Israel is to us as a Jewish community and to impart that by supporting the Federation’s Annual Campaign, people are literally protecting the Jewish people locally, in Israel, and all around the world. By growing and strengthening Jewish community, we are ensuring the continuity of Jewish life and culture,” said Mark Segel, executive director of the Jewish Federation.

The event will inform the community on the latest regarding the unrest in Israel and to explore why the media covers the events the way that it does and what supporters of the Jewish homeland can do to help combat media bias.

The evening will also include presentation of the Yitzhak Rabin Awards for Distinguished Community Service, the Program of Distinction, and the Jewish Educator of Excellence as well as the Dr. Edward N. Ludin

Young Leadership Award.

“We have an entertaining and informative evening planned that will bring the community together in support of Israel and in recognition of our invaluable community leaders,” said Segel. “This is something folks will not want to miss.”

The speaker

Micah Halpern specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance for and impact upon Jewish communities here and in Israel.

A syndicated columnist, historian, educator and social and political commentator, he maintains The Micah Report ( a daily commentary offering perspective and insight on important national and international issues. For example, one recent column examined the links between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ISIS.

Halpern is also the author of the 2007 bestselling, book Thugs: How History’s Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World through Terror, Tyranny, and Mass Murder.

His face is familiar to viewers on CBS, FOX, MSNBC and contributed religious commentary for CNN and ABC. His expertise as a historian has been called upon for a PBS documentary on Herod and The History Channel’s film, Masada. Halpern is is also a regular commentator on Shalom TV. He lectures frequently, both in the United States and Israel, on issues relating to terror, foreign affairs, Israel and the Middle East, as well as wine history, and popular culture.

His essays, published in book form, heralded the millennium and are entitled On- Line with Israel at the Millennium: Insights into Life and Religion. Halpern also conducted a weekly radio program entitled This Week in History for Jerusalem Radio.

He has taught at Yale University, Brandeis University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a long-standing educator with Young Judaea. He has been invited for consultations in the White House with terror analysts and has addressed conferences sponsored by the Justice Department.

A native of Annapolis, MD, Halpern resides in New York City.

The awards

For more than 20 years the Federation has been presenting annual leadership awards and it will do so again at the kickoff event. As of presstime, the nomination and selection process had not been completed.

Last year’s winners were: Abby Sterensis, the Ludin Young Leadership Award; Barbara Baughman, Rabin Distinguished Community Service Award; Rabin Educator of Excellence, Debbie Marmon; and Program of Distinction, Art with Adelle at Menorah Manor.

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Ruth Eckerd Hall is located at 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater. Admission is $36 and reservations can be made online at or by calling the Federation at (727) 530-3223.

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