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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.


 

March 27, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Film showing, ballgame to celebrate Israel independence


A scene from the documentary film, ‘Beneath the Helmet: from high school to the homefront,‘ which will be shown at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater. A scene from the documentary film, ‘Beneath the Helmet: from high school to the homefront,‘ which will be shown at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater. Two celebrations of the 67th anniversary of Israel’s Independence will he held in Pinellas County next month – one rather solemn, paying tribute to those who defend and die for Israel’s freedom, and one a fun day at the ballpark.

Here is what is on tap for those who want to participate in either or both events:

Film showing in Clearwater

On Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. the Federation and the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis invite the Jewish community to view the film Beneath the Helmet: from High School to Homefront, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1325 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater.

Community rabbis will lead a ceremony commemorating the birth of Israel as an independent nation on April 23, 1948, then at 7:30 p.m. those attending will be among the first to view the film, produced by Jerusalem

University. Refreshments will be served. There is no charge to attend.

The film is described as a coming-of-age story, which follows the journey of five Israeli high school graduates who are drafted into the army to defend their country. At the age of 18, away from their homes, families and friends these young men undergo a demanding, inspiring journey, revealing the core of who they are and who they want to be.

From the creators of the PBS-featured documentary film Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference, Beneath the Helmet illustrates how these young men and women are defending not only their homes, but also the values of peace, equality, opportunity, democracy, religious tolerance and women’s rights.

Following the film there will be a representative from the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center available for discussions. Lone soldiers are individuals who leave their home country to join the Israel Defense Forces. They are called lone soldiers because they do not have the benefit of family in Israel for support during their military service.

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was founded in 2009 by a group of former lone soldiers aware and concerned with the needs and struggles of the more than 5,700 lone soldiers serving in the IDF. The Lone Soldier Center is the first and only organization solely dedicated to meeting all of the physical and social needs of lone soldiers.

The Lone Soldier Center currently operates all over Israel, with centers in: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva.

Michael Levin made aliyah from Philadelphia in 2002 and joined the Paratroopers. In the summer of 2006, he was given leave to visit his family in the US. Two weeks into his trip, war broke out on Israel’s northern border when Hezbollah ambushed an IDF patrol, killing five reservists and kidnapping Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev while wounded. When Israel crossed the border in an attempt to rescue them, Hezbollah began its assault on Israel, launching thousands of rockets at the communities of northern Israel.

Levin cut short his vacation and flew back to Israel to serve with his unit and died on Aug. 1, 2009 in an intense firefight with Hezbollah forces.

His memory and courage live on in the thousands of lone soldiers who continue down the path he set – to make aliyah, serve in the IDF and to build a life in Israel.

Tziki Aud worked for 27 years at the Jewish Agency supporting new immigrants to Israel, in particular lone soldiers. He and Levin became close over the course of Levin’s service. Michael related to Aud a dream that one day there would be a center for lone soldiers to go to, where they could receive meals, support, and advice throughout their army service. With this background, it did not take much work for the community of lone soldiers to convince Aud to help us open the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

There is no charge for general admission to the Yom HaAtzmaut ceremony and film showing. Donations to the Lone Soldier Center are encouraged and sponsored seating is also available. For more information contact Beth Shalom at (727) 531-1418.

Party at the Trop

The Jewish community is invited to celebrate Jewish Heritage Day when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees on Sunday, April 19. Gates to Tropicana Field will open at 11 a.m. and the first pitch is set for 1:10 p.m.

The event is being organized through the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties.

Attendees are invited to come early and visit the baseball history museum inside the Trop that has an area dedicated to Jews in baseball. They are also encouraged to being signs celebrating Israel’s Independence.

Prior to the start of the game, the Tampa Jewish War Veterans Post color guard will present colors on the field for the singing of the National Anthem.

Members of the Tampa Bay Cantorial Society will be leading the stadium in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.

Ticket purchases for the special event include a choice of Rays Jewish Heritage Day t-shirt or a Rays Jewish Heritage Day kippah. The Rays have made available special seating on the TBT Party Deck priced at $20 for groups of 10 or more and $25 for individuals. This package has a $40 retail value.

To take advantage of the offer, tickets must be purchased online at: www.raysbaseball.com/jewishheritage using password: 2shalom. The deadline for purchase is April 10th. Group tickets can be purchased by calling Bob Windheim of the Rays at (727) 825-3220.

Any questions should be directed to the Jewish Federation at (727) 530-3223.


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