Women honored for volunteerism, inspiration

The 28 honored with the Women of Distinction awards May 15 represented a wide swath of the Pinellas-Pasco Jewish community. There was a pilot, a surgeon, a licensed HAM operator, a graphic designer, nurses, teachers, inventors. One business owner gives dance lessons, another operates a candy store. Between them they have 55 children, 47 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. What […]

At age 87, Dr. Ruth still talking frankly about sex

There were giggles and some blushing as the 4-foot, 7-inch, Dr. Ruth Westheimer stood atop what she called a “bar mitzvah box” to see over the lectern on the bima of Temple B’nai Israel to talk about her life, Judaism and of course, S-E-X. Known worldwide as simply Dr. Ruth, the 87-year-old grandmother spoke at the annual Women of Distinction […]

Israel birthday: time for joy, remembrance

For those who love Israel, it was an evening of remembering and rejoicing. The combined Yom Hazikaron commemoration and Israel Independence Day celebration was held Thursday, May 12 at Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties along with the Pinellas Board of Rabbis. The event featured music, food and […]

Just a nosh…

Itzhak Perlman cancels North Carolina concert over transgender bathroom law Itzhak Perlman, the acclaimed Israel-born violinist, has canceled a concert with the North Carolina Symphony over the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law. Perlman announced Tuesday, May 17 that he would cancel the concert, 24 hours before he was due to perform in the state capital, Raleigh. “As my fans know, […]

Sheldon Adelson appeals to Republican Jewish leaders to support Trump

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Sheldon Adelson asked other Republican Jewish leaders to back Donald Trump. The Associated Press obtained an email Adelson sent to more than 50 members of the Republican Jewish Coalition in which he asks them to support Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Adelson, a casino magnate and major backer of pro-Israel causes, says he is convinced Trump […]

Melania Trump: Attacks on Jewish reporter went ‘too far’ but her fans were ‘provoked’

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Melania Trump said critics who deluged a reporter with anti- Semitic abuse went too far, but also said the reporter “provoked” the onslaught with her critical profile of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s wife. “I don’t control my fans,” Melania Trump told DuJour, a lifestyle magazine in an article posted Tuesday, May 17, “but I don’t agree […]

The finest form of flattery

I’ve always been a tad fascinated by fads. On June 14, I will openly walk into an opportunity to imitate a trend going on in the world around us, but this time, rather than following fashion (remember banana clips? Aquanet? Stirrup pants?) I will engage in a more intellectual trend, as we re-envision our Federation’s annual meeting as a “FED […]

Accused would-be Florida synagogue bomber pleads not guilty

(JTA) – James Medina, a convert to Islam from Hollywood, pleaded not guilty in federal court May 16 to the charge that he plotted to bomb a Miami-area synagogue. Medina, 40, was arrested by the FBI on April 29 while approaching the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center with what he believed was a bomb. He was furnished with the real looking […]

Beating health scares, Jonathan Sarna seals status as rock star Jewish historian

WALTHAM, MA – When Jonathan Sarna was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1999 at the age of 44, it changed his life. Already a highly regarded historian at Brandeis University, Sarna was in the midst of writing his seminal study of American Jewish history when he realized with alarm that he might never finish it. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatment […]

2 vacationing Hasidic Jews drown in Miami-area beach accident

(JTA) – Two Hasidic Jews from New York drowned May 17 in a riptide that pulled five people into the ocean at a South Florida beach. Yitzchak Rosenberg, owner of Certified Lumber and developer of several properties in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, died near Miami, the Orthodox news site Vos Iz Neias reported. Chaim Parnes, a diamond dealer who […]