The Shpiel ( January 9, 2008 )


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Jewish college students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Judaism -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish way of life -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
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Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, issue 1 (Feb. 13/26, 2006)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Issues also have Jewish calendar dates.
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Title from caption.
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"The Jewish newspaper at the University of Florida"--Masthead.
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University of Florida
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Material Information

The Shpiel
Alternate title:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Creation Date:
January 9, 2008
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Jewish college students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Students -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Judaism -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Jewish way of life -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville
29.665245 x -82.336097 ( Place of Publication )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, issue 1 (Feb. 13/26, 2006)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Issues also have Jewish calendar dates.
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
"The Jewish newspaper at the University of Florida"--Masthead.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: Vol. 1, issue 3 (Mar. 21/Apr. 3, 2006).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:

Full Text

VOLUME 5 Issue 1

2 Sh'vat 5768 14 Sh'vat 5768

January 9, 2008 January 21, 2008

Book Rocks Foreign

Policy V

SHPiEL staff writer
A book on American foreign policy
and Israel published by two professors
continues to spark controversy more
than six months after publication.
"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign
Policy," by University of Chicago
political science professor John
Mearsheimer and Harvard international
relations professor Stephen Walt caused
an uproar after it was first published in
September 2006. The authors' thesis,
that "the United States has been willing
to set aside its own security in order to
advance the interests of another state"
and that U.S. policy in the region is
largely the result of the work the Israel
Lobby, a "loose coalition of individuals


and organizations who actively work to
steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel
direction," precipitated enormous
debate. Arguing that such groups as the
American IsraelPublic Affairs Committee
had undue influence, Mearsheimer and
Walt said that misleading charges of
anti-Semitism and a "controlling debate"
at universities affects open discussion
of the Lobby.
The nearly 500-page work was called
anti-Semitic by some critics, such as
Harvard Law School professor Alan
Dershowitz. TheAnti-DefamationLeague
criticized the book as an "amateurish
and biased critique of Israel, American
Jews, and American policy." ADL
Director Abraham H. Foxman wrote "The
Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the
Myth of Jewish Control," in rebuttal.

The Kennedy School of Government
at Harvard, where Walt teaches, had
its logo removed and emphasized its
disclaimer in the book, saying that the
university valued academic freedom
but it wanted to make clear that it did
not take positions on works by faculty.
The book's appearance touched on a
range of sensitive topics. U.S. Rep. Eliot
L. Engel called Mearsheimer .and Walt
"dishonest so-called intellectuals...
entitled to their stupidity" that others
had the right to "expose...for being the
anti-Semites they are." On the other
side, ex-Ambassador Edward Peck wrote
that "The expected tsunami of rabid
responses...validated both the lobby's
existence and aggressive, pervasive

From Birthright

to Death: Trip

offers new


SHPiEL staff writer
Most organized trips to Israel, and
Birthright especially, visit the same
landmarks and do similar activities.
I could go on about how amazing my
Birthright experience was and expound
upon an itinerary that you already know
by heart. Instead, I'm going to narrow it
down to one event.
The military cemetery at Mount Hertzl
is an alarm clock for young American
Jews. Slowly wading through the graves,
my eyes darted from headstone to
headstone. I saw numbers like 19s and
20s and 21s. I did not want

the onk, Stu I.Mpaperin m. e country



The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1

Teaching Torah through

Stones and Theater

Percent of votes Obama received in

Percent of votes Huckabee received
in Iowa:

Number of Americans that
understand how a caucus works:

Consecutive years American
presidency will be ruled by two
families if Hillary is elected:

Days till Florida's primary:

Technical worth of Florida
Democrats vote in primary (by any.

Consecutive days Dennis Kucinich
has probably tripped oi mushrooms:

Percentage of Americans that
secretly wish Bill Richardson was
their grandpa:

Percentage of Florida Democrats
that should still take the primary
seriously and vote:










The SHPiEL does not guarantee that the information or statistics in this table are
either factual or accurate, and in fact we probably just made half of this crap up.
So please don't hold us accountable if you try to show off your new knowledge in
front of all your friends and someone calls you out on your idiocy.

Harerol sti nbltf

SHPiEL staff writer

Mr. Miller's song begins every
Saturday morning as the prayer before
the Torah reading is sung from the
It starts with slow, steady breathing
that whistles on the inhale.
His respiratory system eventually
relaxes as his head is tilted over the top
of his chair. Mr. Miller's snoring never
quite matched the pitch and pace of the
trope. But who could blame him?
The Torah reading is a couple
thousand years old tradition, which
attempts to reveal each week the
meaning of Judaism to its congregants.
Others simply take the opportunity to
get some holy sleep.
Most Jews attending synagogue in
America do not have a solid grasp of
Hebrew. And even if they do, a story
about nomads in a desert may still seem
irrelevant and outdated.
Storahtelling is a group that wants
to change that. As their web site
declares, the group is a "radical fusion
of storytelling, Torah, contemporary
performance art and traditional ritual
Storahtelling uses four methods to
reach out to the modern Jew in order to
share the meaning and significance of
the Torah in the 21st century.
"Shultime" includes all synagogue
rituals. "Showtime" denotes theatrical
adaptations of Jewish myths and rituals
for a popular audience. "Schooltime"
is a training program to spread the
message of Storahtelling to artists and
educators. And "RituaLab" is an updated
version of worship for a modern Jewish
The story of Storahtelling begins with
Amichai Lau-Lauvie, a teacher of Torah
for secular adults in Israel.
His ideas about popularizing Torah
came from his awareness of Jews' lack
of inspiration from such a rich text.

The Only Student-Run Jewish Campus Newspaper in the Country, Right Here at the University of Florida


Giselle Mazur

Managing Editor
Joshua Fleet

News Editor
Ben Cavataro

Scene Editor
Douglas Sharf

Executive Advisor/Mentor
Rabbi Yonah Schiller

Web Director
Lori Finkel

Layout Editor
Jackie Jakob

Public Relations
Brittany Smaridge

Photo Editor
Jeremy Fields

National Affairs
Hilary D'Angelo
'- Corey Smith

Political Cartoonist
Jamie Caceres

He believed the biggest obstacle in
understanding and appreciating the
weekly Torah reading at services was the
language barrier.
Lau-Lauvie's first performance of
"Saturday Morning Live" was in November
1998. It included the original Hebrew
chanting in traditional Moroccan tunes,
animated English translation, and active
audience participation and music.
The excitement and interest in this
new programming led him to create
Storahtelling, a collaborative effort
between musicians and artists to infuse
energy back into synagogues.
In the past eight years, Storahtelling
has produced over 500 performances
and educational programs.
Its vision of art, dance, and music
as a representation of Jewish tradition
and culture has gained worldwide
Amichai and his organization are
viewed as groundbreaking pioneers,
steering a course for younger Jews to
connect to the stories of their ancestors
from thousands of years in the past.
Storahtelling is innovative and
progressive and could be the key to draw
a younger generation of Jews whose
detachment from their religion results
from its seemingly archaic messages.
Traditions established before the
Middle Ages are sometimes difficult to
connect with and the modern Jew can
become exasperated seeking meaning
under such circumstances.
Storahtelling is doing its part to
revive that connection by removing the
obscure mysteries of the Torah through
lively performance pieces. Such a goal
may be necessary if Judaism intends to
keep its chosen chanting.
One thing is definite: Mr. Miller
would have a difficult time sleeping
through a song and dance routine about
jealousy, murder, love, betrayal and
other universally human elements in the
Torah, which are often overlooked by
even the most alert synagogue-goer.

The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1 NEWS 3

book bashing backlash

Eliot Cohen of the Johns Hopkins
University School of Advanced International
Studies told the Washington Post that the
book and the paper it was based on are anti-
Semitic, and "fundamentally an attack on the
loyalty of American Jews." Cohen, speaking
about his son who serves in Iraq, said that
to "have anybody impugn my loyalty is just
The authors responded to the criticism,
writing that "both of us are philo-semites
and strongly support the existence of Israel"
and that they did not suggest the existence
of a "well-organized Jewish conspiracy"
(as suggested by some who compared
Mearsheimer and Walt to conspiracy
theorists) but instead as a "loose coalition
of individuals and organizations without a
central headquarters."
Scholars and foreign policy watchers

p, v Lv u l .t u, I Jl.Ult.ry
have yet to come to a conclusion. Even
those who have been critical of the Israeli
government in the past, such as Noam
Chomsky, were skeptical of Mearsheimer
and Walt's conclusions: "There are far more
powerful interests that have a stake in what
happens in the Persian Gulf region than
-does AIPAC, such as the oil companies, the
arms industry and other special interests
whose lobbying influence and campaign
contributions far surpass that of the much-
vaunted Zionist lobby."

A Whole New World:

Being Reform in an Orthodox home

SHPiEL contributing writer
It's only 9 p.m. when our wine glasses fill
up and a dozen thirsty Jews suddenly walk in
the door.
Thinking on my feet, I rummage through our
carefully labeled "meat" and "dairy" cupboards
for a sign of several more chalices. Sure enough,
I find some shiny glassware, completely
unacceptable to the average wine aficionado,
tucked away like a last-minute resort.
Being our first wine party of the semester,
it feels like a heroic feat as I deliver our guests
some of the finest Livingston Cellars Merlot this
side of Albertsons.
Out of my peripheral I see a figure with
familiar peyot danglyy sidecurls) lingering by our
newly cleaned kosher kitchen. My eyes become
fixated on my new orthodox roommate's brow,
which reddens at the sight of the empty bottle
in my left hand and the full glass of red in my
right. Emitting a Chewbacca-like cry, I know
something is wrong.
I had been caught red-handed literally
- and knew I needed to turn myself in. But what
exactly was my kashrut crime?
Growing up as a Reform Jew, there weren't
many ritualistic guidelines of which I needed
to be conscious. Eating a cheeseburger was
no sweat, take-out couldn't hold me down and
chicken cordon bleu whatever that is I could
scarf clean off my plate.
Consequently, in my new home a list of
kosher rules was stuck to the refrigerator; a
list I thoroughly scan before getting my eat on
every day.
According to the grapevine, wine that is
treif (non-kosher) cannot be served in glasses,
or else those glasses cannot be certified as
kosher again. This rule is one of the tiny, last-
minute amendments the powers made to the
kosher constitution, and one I still do not fully

Following this happy episode, I was
reassured by my roommate that if one
makes something treif by accident, just fess
up and fix it.
Making something treif is similar to a
one-night-stand: first comes regret, second
comes learning from ones mistakes and
lastly one tries to forget about it.
One of the great facets about my living
situation is that everything is clearly
labeled so even a shmegege like myself can
understand which food goes where. Since
I already used my "get out of Jewish guilt
for eternity free card" on the wine fiasco, I
now think twice before slicing cheese on the
"meat" cutting board.
After all of the food issues were sorted
out, I gradually became akin to the likes
of the self-proclaimed "Friends & Friends"
household, where one is sure to find a stash
of eclectic individuals, day in and day out.
Already the nights were filled with beating
drums and klezmer nigunim (tunes). By the
time the High Holy Days rolled around I didn't
know what to expect.
Sukkot presented an opportunity to utilize
our gigantic front yard to construct our very
first Sukkah. The massive edifice turned dog-
walking neighbors' heads but nevertheless
provided cover for our clear, dreamless nights
under the brilliant sky.
The journey continued with the
inaugural "Jews in the House," a Shabbat
celebration which brought over 60 people
together for an evening of prayer, dancing,
singing and of course, tasty kosher cuisine.
Never in my life had I felt such a sense
of harmony and contentment. The Jewish
tradition teaches that bringing people together
is a commandment. Now, my days are filled with
a constant stream of mitzvoth (commandments)
and a firm appreciation for kosher meat.







Holocaust survivor to retire from Congress)
U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D) announced that he would not run for
reelection in his California district in November. Lantos, 79, has spent
30 years in the House of Representatives and will retire following a
diagnosis of esophageal cancer.
Born in Hungary, Lantos was a Holocaust survivor and immigrated
to the United States, where he became an economics professor. In the
House, he represented parts of San Mateo and San Francisco counties
for 14 terms. As chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations he
used his position to act as an advocate for human rights. In 2006
Lantos was arrested with four other Democratic representatives at a
demonstration in front of Sudan's embassy in Washington to protest
the genocide in the Darfur region.
(Worid Jewish population rises}
The number of Jews worldwide grew by 200,000 from 2006,
according to the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jerusalem-
based think tank. In a 92-page document the group reported that the
2007 population was 13.2 million.
The number of Jews outside Israel dropped by 100,000, but the
loss was offset by a jump in Israel's Jewish population, which grew
by 300,000. About 41 percent of Jews now live in Israel.
[Miniseries ,on American Jews to be aired)
A six-hour documentary on American Jews from the early colonial
era to the present day will be aired on PBS. The series, written,
directed and produced by David Grubin, is set to play on three
Wednesdays-Jan 9, Jan. 16, and Jan. 23.
The story combines narrative and historical facts, with content
on the Jewish arrival in America (1654 in Manhattan, when a group
of Brazilian Jeiws were nearly expelled from then-New Amsterdam),
Jewish participation in the Civil Ward(7,000 Jews fought with the
Union, 3,000 for the Confederacy), and both anti-Semitism and
The documentary cost $3 million and took four years to make.
{Israel commits to settlement removal)
Ahead of talks with President George W. Bush on Jan. 9, spokesmen
for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reported that Israel was
prepared to commit to the "expeditious" removal of outposts in the
West Bank. Mark Regev, the spokesmen, said the new commitment
was an effort to adapt to changing conditions following November's
Annapolis conference.
Under-the 2003 U.S.-packed "road map to peace" Israel committed
to remove unauthorized settlements built after March 2001 and place
a freeze on new settlements. But the plans stalled after renewed
conflict between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Estimates on the number of such "wildcat" settlements, often
establishedby hard-right Israelis, number between two dozen and 50.
Regev offered no specific deadline for removing the settlements.
(Blacks, Jews pledge unity in New York)
Following a recent outbreak of anti-Semitic and racist incidents in
New York City, black and Jewish leaders pledged to work together
to combat prejudice.
The establishment of the Jewish Black Alliance in Brooklyn
followed the discovery of a noose at the office of a professor at
Columbia University and of a spray-painted swastika on a synagogue.
The group, headed by Orthodox Jew and state assemblyman Dov
Hikind, includes over two dozen politicians, rabbis, and community




I -~c


New Team, Old Tricks

SHPiEL staff writer

Ah, the Fake Punt. As courageous as
it is foolish. Usually used when a team
is down and needs some offense to get
riled up on yet another fourth down. It
also typically comes when a team is too
close to punt the ball or too far to kick a
field goal. If it works the coach is hailed
as a genius and his team gets those ever
coveted and elusive "style points." If
unsuccessful, whoever called that play
gets credit for the likely loss. Most
teams and coaches never execute a Fake
Punt in a season. But Florida isn't most
teams and Urban Meyer is certainly not
most coaches.
In the 2006 SEC Championship Game,
UF stunned everyone when they faked a
punt on fourth-and-10 from their own
15-yard line in the third quarter. This
one worked and got the team into good
field position for a fantastic Joey Ijjas
punt which buried Arkansas inside the
5-yard line. Florida went on the win the
game and later the National Title.
During the Capitol One Bowl it
became clear that, though the Gators
are not that same National Champion

team, Urban Meyer is the same coach.
Down by a touchdown at fourth-and-7
from inside their own 25-yard line in
the third quarter, the Gators got a much
needed first down from a fake punt.
The ensuing drive led to a game tying
Alas, the outcome would not be
the same as the last time Urban Meyer
called such an unforeseen play. Though
the Gators scored 35 points and caused
4 turnovers, the Michigan Wolverines
underdogs going into the game, beat
the Gators on January 1, 41-35.
Apparently the Gator defense stayed
in Gainesville for the New Year.
Actually, allowing 41 points means
they were a lot farther than 120 miles
away. And the score would've been
worse without the help of Mike Hart,
Michigan's star running back who hadn't
lost a fumble in over 1000 carries. He
fumbled twice on the goal line but the
Gators were only able to convert one of
these turnovers into a touchdown. The
Gators also scored off a Chad Henne
Still, for every time Tebow led the
team down the field, the Gator defense
let the Wolverines do the same thing.

SMichigan sent
'their head coach
Lloyd .Carr into
retirement with Q *
his first bowl win
since 2002 when .'
his Wolverines ..
beat Freshman r .( '
Chris Leak and .
Coach Ron Zook
in his first year as
Gator head coach. .
Florida's loss
marks the third
consecutive year that, after recieving
the award, the Heisman winner lost
his bowl game. Troy Smith and Ohio
State lost last year in the title game and
Reggie Bush and USC lost in the title
game two years ago.
Bottom line, the Gators didn't play
like the defending national champs this
year. A quarter of the players actually
saw significant play-time last season.
But on the flip side, the team is
young on both offense and defense.
This was a rebuilding year. And most
programs would kill for a rebuilding
year like the Gators had this year.
The Gators ended their season 9-4

with the youngest Heisman winner in
the history of the award. And Tebow
will without a doubt be in the Heisman
race during his two remaining years
with a chance at becoming the first and
only repeat winner since Ohio State's
Archie Griffin.
Gator basketball is running strong
with only two losses and SEC play about
to begin but this team is also young.
Though additional national titles
seem unlikely this season, next year,
with a good portion of LSU's and USC's
players in the pros, the Gators are going
to be at the bottom of every team's list
of who they want to play.

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Mechanical Contractor, Inc.

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Proud Supporters of
Hillel at UF and The ShPiel

The SHPiEL: Volume 5, Issue 1

The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1


-Spring Welcome Week


Day Event:
Spread Your Seed
Time: 12pm-2pm
Location: Plaza of the Americas
Description: Join us in plaza of the
Americas for some delicious food
with your friends while we spend the
afternoon decorating small clay pots
and planting small trees that you can
take home.

Night Event:
Green Festival w/ Speil
Time: 6pm-9pm
Location: Hillel
Description: Come with your friends
and get your green on at Hillel
where speakers will be talking to us
about becoming more eco-friendly
while enjoying delicious munchies
around a hukkah!

Day Event:
Smooze at the Reitz
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: Collinade
Description: Come enjoy delicious pizza
and hang out with your friends!

Night Event:
Skatestation Funworks
Time: 9pm-llpm
Location: Skate station Funworks on
Newberry Rd.
Description: Come out for a night on
the town with your friends grade school
style where you can race on go carts,
skate, play mini golf, and much more.

January 23


January 24

Day Event:
Breakfast at Broward
Time: 11am-1pm
Location: Outside Broward Dorms
Description: Come enjoy a delicious
and free breakfast outside Broward
Hall complete with bagles and juice!

Night Event:
Swamp Social
Time: 10-2am
Location: Swamp Restaurant-

Friday, January 25

Gator Shabbat at Hillel and

Going Green with Guster's Gardner

Contributing writer

Indie rocker, environmental activist
and nice Jewish boy-what's not to love
about Adam Gardner?
Gardner, vocalist and guitarist of
Guster, is pioneering a movement to
reduce pollution from live concerts.
He educates young people on how
they can help by making small changes
in daily choices.
His non-profit organization, Reverb,
co-founded with his wife, Lauren
Sullivan, began with the idea to "start
with something small [and] make a
simple change." He described the idea
as getting "inertia moving."
Since its inception in 2004, Reverb
has partnered with over 43 touring
bands to lessen the impact of a live
concert. Reverb builds on the connection
between fans and musicians.
The organization finds positive
solutions to reducing their effect on
the environment, while keeping the
experience fun and interesting.
To date, Reverb has reached over
4.4 million fans, and its participating
artists include the Dave Matthews Band,
The Fray and Barenaked Ladies.
Participating events often set up an
eco-village at the concert, providing
a venue for organizations to educate
concert goers. Gardner explains the

"main goal [is to] educate and engage
fans into awareness and action." As an
example, a recent Guster tour ran on
bio-diesel and used solar-powered fans.
To further drive the message home,
they had someone making french fries
at the concert, then used the oil as fuel
to power a car.
Gardner's activism is not just
something he takes on tour. He's also
environmentally conscious at home.
The first time we met, he recommended
the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by
Michael Pollan. The book delves into
the process by which a meal ultimately
makes it to the table-from the origins
of the food to the impact the choices of
food make on the environment.
Gardner describes himself as a
"pseudo-vegetarian" and explains that
his choices have "more to do with being
low on the food chain."
In their home in Portland, Maine,
he and his wife try to keep their
carbon footprint-their impact on the
environment- as small as possible.
They often walk to work and buy their
food and other household items from
local growers and suppliers.
Gardner explains that small choices,
such as reusing shopping bags and
not using air conditioning, can have a
big impact. When painting their home,
the couple used low-VOC (Volatile
Organic Compounds) paint, which

is less harmful to human and
environmental health. They also
use aerators-on their sinks and
motion-sensor lights. Under their
kitchen sink, you'll find post-
consumer recycled paper towels
and non-toxic cleaning products.
Gardner said he tries to eat as
raw as possible in the summer
because it doesn't require energy
to cook the meal. He said another
benefit of eating raw foods is that
nutrients don't get cooked out of
the food. The previous night, Gardner
and his wife made gazpacho using all
locally grown vegetables.
Although it can be difficult to eat
locally grown food while on tour, the
band tries to make the best choices
they can to reduce waste and pollution.
While on tour, they ask for whole foods
and reusable water bottles.
Incidentally, the last time I saw
Guster in concert I noticed that all of
the water bottles.on stage were the non-
disposable variety.
At larger venues with an eco-village,
fans can often find jewelry made out
of recycled guitar strings. Gardner said
the idea is to take a look at waste and
ask, "Is this truly garbage, or can we use
it for something?"
Gardner's activism and drive to
educate fans is a strong example of
tikkun olam, or repairing the world.

Three out of four members of Guster
are Jewish. The non-Jewish band
member, Joe Pisapia, explained that he
is the "token goy." I gave him my blue.
"Shalom" wristband so he wouldn't feel
left out of the tribe.
Although Gardner describes himself
as a "Bu-Jew," (short for Buddhist Jew)
he enjoys the family, food and fun of
Judaism, appreciates the tradition and
"knowing where you come from." His
favorite Jewish holiday is Passover,
because of the gathering of friends and
family and the focus on sharing a meal.
Gardner's side project, The Leevees,
is worth checking out. The music is
strong enough to stand on its own
without having to rest on the novelty of
the songs' Chanukah themes.

For more information on Reverb, visit
www. reverbrock. ora.







The SHPiEL: Volume 5, Issue 1


Territorial A Sandel

SHPiEL staff writer
The West Bank now has its very own
Romeo and Juliet story. In director Ari
Sandel's Oscar-winning short film, West
Bank Story, a young Israeli man, David,
and Palestinian woman, Fatima, fall
in love despite their families' feuding
falafel stands.
Oh, and the centuries-old adversity.
fuels the fire of forbidden love too.
West Bank Story is a musical comedy

that is pro-peace and even-handed with
a heavy influence from West Side Story.
An accomplished Israeli composer,
Yuval Ron, arranged the music blending
Arab and Israeli sounds, while giving it
a Broadway feel, which director Sandel
said was essential in accentuating the
The lyrics also give the movie a
certain flavor. Ben Newmark, playing
Jewish border patrol guard David,
agonizes over approaching the beautiful
Fatima singing, "If only I had a good

shpiel/ Then I could tell her how I
In the names of credibility and
balance, actors playing Israeli characters
were actually Israeli or Jewish, and
Palestinian characters were portrayed
by Muslims and Palestinians.
The film's dance numbers feature
Palestinian and Israeli styles, and for
every joke flung at one group, another
is shot at its counterpart.
West Bank Story has been screened
in many countries and has received an

overall positive response. Yet, some
controversy has arisen concerning
the portrayal of both ethnic groups.
Still, the film's aim is not to create an
accurate portrayal of the situation in
the Middle East but to show that Israelis
and Palestinians are actually similar to
one another and that peace is possible
in the region.
Director Ari Sandel was gracious
enough to answer a few questions
concerning the making of the film for
the SHPiEL over the phone:

Q: I know this film had been an idea of yours for some
time, and the project was shelved for five months-did
you feel strongly about a musical from its conception,
or did it bud into a West Side Story type film?
A: The idea was always to do a musical inspired by West Side Story
for sure. I didn't know how to attack the concept without making
it trite or trivial. Originally, it was about suicide bombers and it
just wasn't funny. That's why it got shelved for five months. But
from conception it was West Side Story-based.
Q: The songs, like the rest of the film, exhibit balance
between the two cultures with the styles of music and,
of course, lyrics. Did you choose Yuval Ron because of
his background, or did he hear about the project and
get on board of his own interest?
A: I found him and it was a good fit right off the bat. He is
very knowledgeable and there was no doubt he was right. I
interviewed a lot of composers, but once I found him, it was
Q: This film, despite controversy, has been greeted
with a lot of positive responses as is evidenced by your
awards. How does it feel to have won an Oscar and to
have had so many screenings?
A: It's amazing. It's fantastic, unexpected, and it's a wild ride.
You don't ever think of success as getting an Oscar or traveling
the world.

Q: I have heard some people have criticized the actress
who played Fatima because she is an Indian Muslim,
and this allegedly separates her from the issue. How do
you feel about such critiques?
A: If it were a documentary I could see it as a problem. Truth is,
it's hard to find a Palestinian actor in Los Angeles. I think part
of it is cultural. Most are 1st or 2nd generation immigrants and
it's not considered a legitimate career. When [actress] Noureen
came in she was very talented. Not only is she beautiful, but
she's been in a lot of comedies. She's got great comedic timing.
Originally I wanted a Palestinian actor but you have to ask
yourself: do you want great acting or a Palestinian actor? Not to
say that Palestinians aren't good actors, but they are just hard
to find in L.A., and you have to make sacrifices.
Q: I understand that to shoot domestically it is much
cheaper, but despite the economic setback would you
have chosen the West Bank to film?
A: Sure. I didn't have the resources, manpower, or connections
necessary, and you need connections in L.A., but I didn't want
to attach another hurdle. But sure, if I could do it again I would
film it over there.

Q: The topic of conflict in the Middle East is certainly
a point of interest for you. Can we expect more films
concerning such from you in the future?
A: Yeah, I think so. There are things I want to say still.

For more information be sure to visit www.westbankstory.com to watch the trailer, read more interviews, get cast bios, and listen to mp3s of selected tracks.

The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1

r -" a ;

A- '".


The Weissest Music Choices of 2008

SHPiEL staff writer

Though, a breath of fresh air could be
taken in after gems such as Radiohead's
"In Rainbows" and The Arcade Fire's
"Neon Bible" were released, restoring
every music fan's sanity, 2007 was an
atypical year in the world of music.
An entirely new generation of twelve-
year-olds could fist pump to "Don't
Stop Believing" (thanks Tony Soprano),
two or three Bjork albums were released
(about which no one really cared) and of
course, the unintelligible young Soulja
Boy showed us how to crank...himself?
Forget it all, 2007 is over and we can
look forward to the year 2008.

Perhaps the most anticipated release
in the upcoming year is that from
Dr. Dre, titled "Detox." Though the
production is likely to be excellent, Dr.
Dre's "I'm not going to talk about blunts
and cars anymore" shpiel puts a huge
damper on the excitement.
Remember when T.I tried to sway
from the path of unrighteousness? It
was called "ATL" and it was possibly the
worst film released this decade.
Another one to look out for is the new
album by The Mars Volta, "The Bedlam
in Goliath." The album was indirectly
inspired by the holiest of cities. That's
right, I'm taking about Jerusalem. On
a trip to the city, the band picked up
a Ouija board. Shortly thereafter, they

received strange messages and unlikely
incidents began occurring. Team
members quit, others went insane and
an album documenting the madness
will be available soon. "Soothsayer,"
the Ouija board, is now buried in an
undisclosed location.
Mike Jones is releasing an album
titled "Voice of the Streets" and Simple
Plan (who knew they were still around?)
is putting out an album as well. Please
disregard both.
However, the tenth studio album by
The Roots is set to drop sometime in
May and that will definitely be worth
checking out. After a successful U.S
tour and numerous performances at
prominent music festivals, The Roots

have decided to try a more electric, or
"synthy" sound, "the musical equivalent
of Blade Runner," said the band,
Surprises are always nice, and the
mid-December release by the Wu-Tang
Clan is exception. After the loss of
their charismatic lead vocalist, O.D.B,
it was questionable if the Clan could
ever bounce back. Bouncing back is
unlikely, but "8 Diagrams" is nothing to
be ashamed of.
RZA's production, Raekwon's verses,
and Method Man talking so much sh*t...
he's got halitosis. Clashes between
RZA's "hip hop hippie" persona and
typical Wu-Tang gang banging make for
an entertaining blend of melodic beats
and inventive lyrics.

71 .''.."
i~ld~~E~ rX+bl : NVu
01, 1 'N ik LAW-


I ,



The SHPiEL: Volume 5, Issue 1

sacrifice keeps matches from striking


to believe those numbers. I wanted
those numbers to signify battalions or
regiments. But no matter how hard I
wished, the average age of those buried
in the military cemetery of Mount Hertzl
is still 20.
Eight Israeli soldiers were given a
five'day leave to be with my Birthright
bus to hang out, make friends, teach
and learn. Just before we entered the
cemetery, the tour leader asked, "How
many of the soldiers here with us know
someone that was killed in war?" All
eight raised their hands. And these
weren't old men longing for a heroic
death on the battlefield that they know
- these were their friends and their
. As I walked, coming to terms with
people my age dying for their country, I
saw a funeral. The mourners engaged in
the common prayer for the dead- the
Mourner's Kaddish. I couldn't help but
say it with them. I turned and saw a

mother at her son's grave.
In University of Florida senior Joe
Eisenberg's account, the mother was
struggling to strike a match to light a
Yarzheit (memorial) candle because her
hands were shaking too much. One of
our soldiers offered her a lighter, but
her hands kept trembling. The soldier
finally lit the candle for her.
In a perfect world a parent would
never bury her child. Though, in a
perfect world there would be no use for
a military cemetery.
Each image my eyes found would
choke me up more than the one before.
I hadn't cried in years. I couldn't even
cry at my grandma's funeral, but I felt
tears for the first time since I could
Then, the hardest blow of all landed.
The eight soldiers gathered around a
grave, heads covered, faces sullen. They
were mourning the death of a friend
from their unit. One of the soldiers lit a
Yarzheit candle and the solemn Hebrew
prayer followed.

Mourners pay their respects at the Military Cemetary at Mount Herzl.

The worst part is knowing that
mourning a friend is not uncommon in
Israel: it's normal.
How is it normal? While the average
1&-21 year old American is skipping
class at college, smoking pot on the
couch or even working hard at a job
or in school, the common Israeli of the
same age is learning how to drive a tank
and disarm a man holding a knife up to
his throat.
Israelis don't go to college after high
school; they first go to the military
for two or three years. And they are
not fighting for oil or for whatever
else George W. Bush has our troops

senselessly dying. They are fighting and
dying so that the Jewish people can have
a tiny patch of land, smaller than New
Jersey, to call their home.
After the prayer of the eight Israeli
soldiers, I didn't know what the word
'perspective' meant anymore. I just knew
that one day not too far in the future I
needed to be part of something bigger.
Hopefully, through Birthright, more
and more young American Jews will
begin to understand the meaning of the
lives of our peers in Israel. And not just
because it's good to be informed, but
because in one way or another, it will
make them better people in the end.

'- TUN!

The grave of Theodore Herzl, the founder of Modern Zionism, rests atop Mount Herzel Cemetary.

TA \Ill'H I 'VI%,' i
(3 5-i J72 137. LS. IN,,1 '" '-1,06" TOLLL IREt

susawlellg@aol cou

36M0 NW 83Id Sm%"
(;ain-vilr. Fl. 32606

Tonya Blackman

Phone: (800) 258-2861
Fax: (877) 942-4135
e-mail: t.lackmm~ erievieffiee.om


Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily
reflect those of The SHPiEL. We encourage comments
from readers who possess all points of view. No,
really, we're interested in what you have to say. Feel
free to write a letter to the editor or you can contact
us with a column idea. Please send comments to

The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1

Thinking Outside the Lox with Rabbi Y

Jews-We Got A Problem

Jewbulicious, the new fruity
Jewish gum, is setting all sorts of
sales records. In its first week on the
shelves, distributors consistently sold
out of their stock of Jewbulicious.
What is it that separates Jewbulicious
from the rest of jaw chompin' fare?
As the label reads, you take just
three chews of Jewbuilcious and
not only do you get a mouthful of
flavor, you also become infused with
a rush of inspired, well balanced,
prideful Jewish identity that lasts for
Wouldn't that be nice?
The reality is there is no such
gum' or product that accomplishes
this. Instead there are conferences
attended by hundreds of Jewish
professionals (Jews working Jewish
jobs with other Jews) who are investing
time and energy trying to figure out
how to "foster meaningful Jewish
experiences" for the increasingly
disenfranchised millennial generation
of Jews...namely, you' The question
that all these professionals are stuck
on is: "How do we get more Jews to
care about being Jewish?"
The knee jerk, this-generation,
American Jewish response to this

question is: "Who cares?" Not so
many, relatively speaking. That's why
crazy money is being spent on these
conferences and their organizations
with the sole purpose of getting more
people to care. It's hard to compete
with the ever-pressing career path, the
parties, sports, going Green, and the
exploration that happen while you're
away at school. Who cares about little
ol'.Shlomo? He's not going to get you
a paid internship upon graduation, he
doesn't get high and he's not going to
get you laid.
But you 'are reading this
article, which means that maybe, on
some level, you already have Some
amount of concern for the Jewish
people. I guess the possibility exists
that my writing is so compelling,
so moving, that I would have your
attention even if I were discussing toe
fungus (next week's topic).
Putting aside the "Rabbi Yonah
factor," the reader of this article could
be placed in one of seven categories:

1) You are very Jewishly
identified and want to read yet
another article commenting
on Jewish life at UF
2) You are marginally involved/
interested, and this article is

something of a curiosity, and
you may pick up some Jewish
3) You were always taught that
rabbis have something to say
4) You are not Jewish, but all
your friends are, and you want
to stay current
5) You are Jewish but none
of your friends are, and you
hope no one sees you reading
the Jew paper
6) You are confused about
your identity and beliefs
but you are always open to
"getting some"
7) You pride yourself on not
being confused, and you are
either looking for validation
from or want to disagree with
an authority figure (me)

Leon Wieseltier, an author and
literary critic who often speaks his
mind. with staggering intelligence
and insight, accurately defines the
generation's Jewish ambivalence as a
problem of "Jewish literacy." '
As a whole, our current level
of knowledge of our tradition and
scholarship is equivalent to a second
grade reading level. But please don't
pout. This is not your fault. Rather,


it is the fault of
rabbis and all the
educators who
failed to raise
a generation of
inspired Jewish
lives. Don't get
mad either, not
all is lost.
It doesn't take
much to get on the fast track to Jewish
knowledge of world dominance.
Joking. Really, all that is involved in
turning the tides of ignorance is to
commit a half hour a week toward
Jewish learning. I personally can
hook you up with a sweet deal that
will land you however much time you
want a week or month with a rabbi or
educated Jew. No charge, no hassle,
no shame. I personally do this with
dozens of students a week, all from
different places on the list of the
"seven categories". Simply shoot me
an email at RavYonah@ufhillel.org or
IM me at YonahRabbi and we'll make
Jewish future happen together. Start
the semester inspired and make a
tangible addition to your life.

Questions? Comments? A topic you
want addressed? Hit up Rabbi Yonah at

Megachurch Christian Leader Ditches Fire

and Brimstone for Electric Guitars

this: 90,716
ar worshipers
cram the
t temp 1 e,
screaming to
the heavens for
the victory of
their army in battle; Budweisers in hand
and orange and blue paint dripping from
their cheeks. It's a Saturday and the
Gators are pulverizing the Seminoles.
Almost a fifth of that number
repeats this every Sunday at Lakewood
Church, a megachurch in Houston that
seeks to serve every person regardless
of background, economic status or
With the blaze of Hanukkah candles
and hum of holiday carols in the
air, I settled down for an episode of
Larry King Live in which the seasoned
man susses out the brains behind the
expansive Texas congregation.
The Rev. Joel Osteen and his wife,
Victoria, lead the fastest growing
ministry in the U.S. At Lakewood Church,

38,000 worshipers attend weekly
services. A television broadcast of that
service reaches 200 million homes in
the U.S. alone.
Osteen founded the church on
Mother's Day in 1959, and the services
were held in an abandoned feed store
in Houston. After Pastor John's death in
1999, his son Joel became pastor. Due to
the rapid expansion of the community
the church sought a new home in the
Summit Arena in of which the Houston
Rockets once competed and The Who
were performance pioneers in 1975.
Osteen and Victoria stand on the
stadium's stage rather than a pulpit,
and preach words of faith and victory
to the many loyal attendees. The couple
pass on practical irreligious advice for
life improvement and transformation.
A new-age message, along with
electric guitars and projector screens,
replace the fire and brimstone sermons
and stained glass windows of old. And
though their service attracts Jews,
Hindus and other followers, they
still call for the development of a
relationship with the "Son of God" and

for submission to his word.
Though the words of the blue-
eyed minister reach over 100 faithful
nations around the world, Osteen
has faced criticism for his lack of
theological training. He studied
television and radio communications
at- Oral Roberts University, a
charismatic Christian university in
Tulsa, Okla., for a semester before
returning to Houston where he
broadcast his father's sermons on
Osteen, a marketing man with
an positive message of victory and
peace, is a genius. He provides an
upbeat, optimistic service of hope and
encouragement rather than focusing
on eternal damnation and the punitive
God whose words blazes from the
mouths of many a Turlington regular.
It's promising to see another
charismatic influence with a fellowship
that could mirror those of Gandhi,
The Beatles, J.K. Rowling, and Oprah
Osteen provides another opiate for
those sick of hearing that even sneezing

is now sinful. He is a motivational
success because it seems he is fulfilling
his divine purpose making church
relevant and catering to a generation
that is not looking for theology.
I would like to say a Yashir koyech.
I do not need to like all musicians to
appreciate music and will continue to
enjoy my gefilte fish as I watch this
spokesman streaming across the globe.



The SHPiEL: Volume 5, Issue 1

Film Junky James' Cinema Highlights of Winter Break

SHPiEL contributing writer

This winter saw the release of several great
and terrible movies, from which, via a
rigorous selection process involving but not
limited to Milk Duds, I have chosen the top
three moments of the holiday cinema season.

"No Country for Old Men": Tommy Lee
Jones gets frustratingly close to solving
a murder mystery when, in the midst
of a senior moment, he describes the
murderer's method without realizing it.

"No Country for Old Men" almost missed
the list due to its early release, but this
movie came so close to giving me a heart
attack just enough times that I was forced
to include it. Written and directed by Ethan
and Joel Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
delivers'a dark and suspenseful modern
% western filled w ith plenty of guns and gore.
A soon-to-be retired small-town sheriff
(Toimy Lee,.:one s. a brutally disturbing
villainn (Javier.Bardernm and a Texas trailer
parkee (Josh Brolini chase each other and
a lot of moneN across the desert while
bodies fall around. The trio gives superb
performances in one of 2007's best. If you
can't finrid it in a theatre, check out "No
Country for Old Men" when it's released
on DVD later this year.

"Juno": A girl gets "Knocked Up" by that kid from "Superbad"
who plays a guy who should have grown up to be the "40-
Year-Old Virgin," and Judd Apatow had nothing to do with
When "Juno" started I %as ivorried-the dialogue felt awkward
and the actors seemed uncomfortable with their characters,
but after a few minutes the awkwardness and discomfort faded
a\ad\ and "Juno" evolved into a funny movie about a very touchy
subject teen pregnancy.- I \as surprised by how emotional the
final third of "Juno" became and how well the film and cast
carried that emotion. This emotional depth elevates "Juno"
from another good comedy\ to a great movie.

. .. .

Honorable Mention:
"Enchanted"- All of
New York breaks into
an elaborate, well-
sung, and slightly
plausible song and
dance number in
Disney's real-world
Look, it's hard for
me to admit this, but
Disney actually made
a genuinely funny
live-action comedy.

"Sweei f I'
Thbe, of Fleet Street": Johnny Depp
sings a moving, heart-felt ballad to a straight-
edge razor which he intends to use to avenge his
dead wife. '..'
The upbeat yet.depressing arn of "Sweeny Todd"
lends itself-.tbTim Burton's dark and ironic style.
The cast.o-fie ery Tim Burton film returns covered
in bloo -'and performs as admirably as always.
Helena BonharnCarteris particularly noteworthy as
Mrs. LoyVett, Sweeney Todd's admirer and slightly
deranged voice, ofireason. Though the tunes can
sometimes seem discordant that discord really helps
set'"Todd's" sound apart from other musicals. The
more traditional music didn't impress me nearly as
much. Sweeney Todd gets big, bloody thumbs up
from me.

S- -- .,~~ .* -5-.-: ,- .r---, -- -- !.-.-
~~~~~~~~. ....... ...Jr. ........... -.~. : ~
. ..-.- "." -. ... -"- '

~~I ~-----""~---"~-'--**


The SHPiEL:Volume 5, Issue 1


Sunday Monda Tuesday Wednesday.Ts day Friday6Satu

Israel Student
Movie Night
UF Hillel
7 10 pm

/ I L" I / 1UI

Falafel on the Plaza
Plaza of the Americas
11 am 2 pm
Last Chance to catch
Lust, Caution
at the Hippodrome
7pm & 10 pm
Theatre Strike Force in:
"This is COLLEGE"
Constans Theater
8 pm

Last day of drop/add
The Side Bar
9 pm
Romance & Cigarettes
7 pm & 9 pm
The Dead Gu, pes~
at The Hippodrdone
8pm 3

Men's Basketball
Velveteen Pink
Market Street Pub
10:30 pm
Dan in Real Li
Reitz Union Aud ril
8pm & 10:30 p

Band of Brothers
Reitz Union Cinema
6 pm

3:10 to Yuma
Reitz Union Cinema
8pm & 10:30 p

Band of Brothers
Reitz Union Cinema
6 pm

3:10 to Yuma
Reitz Union Cinema
8pm & 10:3m m

Sinst Me!:
est of Hope Benefit
mmon Grounds
7 pm
Twilight Tuesdays
7 pm
Dr. Jack Kevorkian
O'Connell Center
8 pm

Falafel on the Plaza
Plaza of the Americas
11 am 2 pm

Sidewalk Fiction
The Side Bar
9 pm

Man in the Chair
7 pm & 9 pm
Shoot Em Up
Gator Nights
6:30 pm, 10:30 pm
& 11:45 pm


Men's Basketball
vs. Kentucky
Matt Hobbs &
Sidewalk Fiction
Market Street Pub

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
No Class
6:30 pm & 9:15 pm .
Eastern Promises Eastern Promises
Reitz Union Cinema Reitz Union Cinema
8pm & 10:30 pmn 8pm & 10:30 pmn

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