The Shpiel ( March 31, 2009 )


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The Shpiel
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Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel,
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
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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
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:


Material Information

The Shpiel
Alternate title:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. (some col.) ; 35 cm.
The Shpiel,
The Shpiel
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
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
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 65370113
lccn - 2006229065
lccn - 2006229065
System ID:

Full Text

6 Nisan 5769 19Nisan 5769 March 31, 2009 April 13,2009
0. ...
-, i *-, ,. 7 :.. r .. .. : .. .. '' .

Sweet Shul Alabama

SHPiEL staff writer

There are only 800 Jewish families
living in Gainesville, but this number
looks huge to the residents of Dothan,
That's why a new program at Temple
Emanu-El in Dotlian, is offering Jewish
families as much as $50,000 to move to
the mostly Christian city and expand its
Jewish population.
But, for all the money seekers out
there, this isn't something that will ever
be seen in Gainesville, according to
Rabbi David Kaiman, of local synagogue
B'Nai Israel.
Kaiman said although the Gainesville
Jewish community is small, there are

much smaller Jewish communities. He
said Dothan is one such community,
and the program is a creative solution
-to its problem.
"There are a lot of communities
that are very, very small," Kaiman said.
"And for them, it might be a way of
keeping their Jewish communities alive.
Compared to those communities, we are
much, much bigger."
B'Nai Israel is one of five synagogues
in Gainesville. Its conservative
congregation has an estimated 320
This looks gigantic next to the 55
families that are part of the Temple
Emanu-El congregation in Dothan.


New England now least religious

region in US, study finds

SHPiEL contributing writer

New England, a region historically
remembered as a haven for Puritans
and other immigrants fleeing religious
persecution, is now the least religious
region in the nation, according to a
national survey.
The study revealed that since
1990, the percentage of U.S. citizens
identifying with no religion has almost
doubled, rising to 15 percent last year.
New England has surpassed the
West Coast, with 22 percent of New
Englanders claiming no religion,

compared to 20 percent of West Coast
residents, according to the American
Religious Identification Survey. The
findings marked a near- tripling of
the unaffiliated population in New
David Hackett, associate professor
of religion at UF, said he believes this
trend in New England is more of a shift
away from organized religion than a
shift away from God.
"There is a new movement away
from organized religious churchgoing
and toward spiritual religious seeking,"



visit the new theshpiel.org


American religious landscape

shifting, evolving


Hackett said. "There are many people
who don't go to religious synagogue
but do believe in God. That's the larger
trend that has been going on since the
late 1960s and early 1970s toward
Hackett said he also believes
geographic mobility and changing
societal values have contributed to
this shift.
"There has been a shift toward a
more psychologically self-oriented way
of seeing the world," he said. "I don't
think that it's a movement away from
a religious understanding of the world,
but a move toward a more individual
One of the main factors researchers
are considering for this drop in
religious affiliation in New England
is the region's diminishing Roman
Catholic population. The area is now
36 percent Catholic compared to 50
percent in 1990, according to the
"Among the European-American
population, which is predominant
in New England, there has been a
defection for several reasons," Hackett
"The suburban Catholic Mass is more
impersonal, more distant, and more
institutional. That loss of intimacy
from pre-Vatican II Catholicism is a
Some of the decrease may be
attributed to controversies both within
the Catholic Church and in the outside
The Church lost a lot of its voice
during these turbulent political times
and recent religious controversies,"
said the Rev. David Ruchinski,
parochial vicar of St. Augustine Church
in Gainesville, located on W. University
Ruchinski said he does not, however,
think this decrease in religious
affiliation applies predominantly to
"I suspect that'if you looked at

other religious denominations, they're
probably experiencing the same kind
of thing," he said.
While Catholicism has decreased
among New Englanders, Latin
American immigrants have kept the
U.S. percentage of Catholics almost
level at 25 percent of the national
population, compared to 26 percent in
1990, according to the study.
"A lot of Latin American immigrants
are what we call 'cultural Catholics,'"
Ruchinski said. "They may or may not
go to church, but they will still identify
themselves as Catholic.",
After the first generation, Latin
Americans tend to become less
Catholic, largely due to a pressure
to assimilate into American culture,
Ruchinski said.
This movement away from
organized religion has not only affected
Catholics, but other denominations
as well. Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth,
associate director for Jewish student
life at UF Hillel, said. he believes part
of the shift is caused by a failure to
meet the needs of different religious
"I think each demographic, if you
break it apart, has very diverse needs.
In a synagogue, a lot of the leadership
is made up of senior citizens," Kaiser-
Blueth said.
"They tend to be less interested
in being agents for change within
the religion, and therefore the needs
of other kinds of religious members
such as younger people are not always
Whether this shift away from
religious affiliation in New England
and the U.S. as a whole is a transitory
phase or a more permanent trend
,remains to be seen.
"I think there's a lot of pioneering
efforts underway within the
religions. Especially within the Jewish
community, there has been a movement
of minyans to create supportive prayer
communities," Kaiser-Blueth said.
"Religion has evolved outside of
the synagogues."

"Not buying Jews,

project director


But, the number is growing, said 4
Robert Goldsmith, executive director I
of the Family Relocation Project. The
program has already brought one
family to Dothan and hopes to bring
19 more.
"We want to invigorate the Jewish LA
community so we don't whither out
and die," he said.
Goldsmith said the program aims of those a
to do that by getting young, Jewish approval p
families to relocate to Dothan. He He sai
said he feels Dothan is a vibrant program's
community and many families seem families t(
eager to move. their fam
"In the past 18 months, our is mostly
congregation has -grown from 43 whose kid
family units to 55," he said. "Dothan he said.
is growing and our Jewish community Kaiman
is not going to die. Our mantra is 'It's Gainesvill
not gonna happen here.'" it is stable
He said it is an extra bonus for of young p
the families that the program covers Kaiman
all relocation expenses and assists related tc
families in applying for financial aid students.
if needed. comprised
Goldsmith said he wanted to clarify the univer
that not all families will receive the city.
full amount of money for moving. The "We he
families that need financial aid will employee;
apply for it and can be awarded up to members
$50,000, he said. said. "I gu
"We're not buying Jews," he said. somewhat
"We reimburse them for their relocation Goldsn
expenses and get them financial aid if members
they qualify." enough y
The program is funded by donations problem
through the Blumberg Family Jewish community
Community Services, and 500 people presence
have applied, will draw
"The kind of family we want is "Really
looking for a safe and secure place said. "We
to raise their family and reinvigorate strong Jev
their Judaism," he said. Goldsn
One family that met these in the pr
qualifications was the Reed family,, succeed.
who moved to Dothan on Feb. 18 as on the p
the first and only family to relocate said is alr
through the program so far. Goldsmith "Our c
said there are 14 other families being out," he s,
considered for the program, and two work."


re in the final stages of the
d a key element to the
success is getting young
o move to Dothan and raise
ilies. Now, the community
comprised of older people
s have already moved away,

said that although the
e Jewish community is small,
because it has a good amount
people involved.
said this might loosely be
the University of Florida
While his congregation is
of families and not students,
sity also draws families to the

ive. a lot of professors and
s of the university that are
of our congregation," he
ess everything in this town is
connected to the school."
nith said the community
feel the program will bring
oung people to solve the
of their shrinking Jewish
y. He said he hopes the
of the new, young families
more families and children.
, it's all about the kids," he
want the kids to grow up in a
ish community."
nith said he has full confidence
)gram, and he is sure it -will
The community is dependent
program's success, which he
eady well on its way.
community isn't going to die
aid. "We're going to make this

Zahara Zahav

Managing Editor
Ben Cavataro

News Editor
Zak Bennett

Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ankita Rao

Sundry Editor
Elaine Wilson

Executive Advisor/Mentor
Giselle Mazur

Layout Editor
Jackie Jakob

Web Editor
Dan Feder

Chief Visionary
Faryn Hart

Photo Editor
Stephanie Shacter

Danielle Nichols



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


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SHPiEL staff writer

If both George Washington and John F. Kennedy
have visited your synagogue, chances are you go
to Touro. (
The nation's oldest temple has stood in Newport,
R.I., since Dec. 2, 1763 as a symbol of religious
Touro's founders came to America in hopes
of practicing freely. In 1790, George Washington
assured the congregation in a letter revered by
those at Touro that the United States would not
allow bigotry or persecution.
The synagogue has seen a rich cross section
of historical events. In 1776, the building was

occupied by British troops and used as a hospital.
In 1790, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson
visited to promote the Bill of Rights.
Tourno Synagogue Foundation is dedicated to
the preservation of the synagogue but pushes for
contemporary progress as well as recognition of
the past.
The foundation offer recognition such as
the Judge George Alexander Teitz Award to "an
individual or institution that best exemplifies the
contemporary commitment to the ideals of religious
and ethnic tolerance and freedom," according to
the synagogue's Web site. The foundation also
offers the Aaron and Rita Slom Scholarship for high
school seniors who write a reflective essay on the
significance of the George Washington Letter.

Touro Synagogue hosts Congregation Jeshuat
Israel and roughly 140 member families. The
synagogue is Orthodox and uses the Sephardic
liturgy. This temple has been recognized as a
historical landmark for its cultural significance,
but also for its architectural significance. The
synagogue was designed by Peter Harrison, whose
other works include Redwood Library and King's
Chapel. The building has striking details like 12
Ionic columns each carved from a single tree;
these columns are intended to represent the twelve
Several additions have been made to the area
surrounding the synagogue since its original
construction, including a campus to accommodate

Campus protesters

mark anti-Israel week

SHPiEL staff writer

The Fifth annual Israeli Apartheid
Week, commonly called LAW, took
place across the globe in cities and
campuses the first week of March.
The international series of events
aims to show opposition to Israeli
apartheid and to gain support for the
organization Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions for Palestine.
According to the BDS Web site's
statement, the goals of the movement
are for "full equality for Arab-Palestinian
citizens of Israel, an end to the
occupation and colonization of all Arab
lands including the Golan Heights, the
occupied West Bank with East Jerusalem
and the Gaza Strip and dismantling the
Wall, and the protection of Palestinian
refugees' Tight to return to their homes
and properties as stipulated in U.N.
resolution 194."
IAW is one of the most important
global events in the solidarity for
Palestine calendar, and ever since
it's 2005 launch in Toronto, it has
continuously grown in size.
In 2006, the organization expanded
to Montreal and Oxford, and in the
following year, five more locations
were added, including New York, which
brought IAW to the U.S. for the first time.
From 2007 to 2008, there was a huge
jump: With an addition of 19 locations,
the group claimed 24 total locations.
This year, IAW took place in a total
of 40 cities. In addition to existing
programs in Canada, England and
the U.S., the event now reaches South-
Africa, the West Bank, Mexico, Scotland
and Norway. Locations include Abu Dis,
Berkeley, Bir Zeit, Edinburgh, Edmonton,

Johannesburg, Oxford, Kalkilya,
San Francisco, Soweto, Tulkarm and
Washington, D.C.
The event's organizers are
"capitalizing on the fact that people
are horrified by the experience of the
black people in South Africa and by the
experiences of Jews in the Holocaust,"
said Orna Hollander, head of the
Canadian Center for Israel Activism in a
JerusalamPost interview. "Theanti-Israel
movement hopes to inspire opposition
to the State of Israel by applying the
labels of Apartheid and Holocaust to
the treatment of Palestinians by Israel."
This year the focus of IAW lectures
are the recent Israeli-Gaza conflict to
"further confirm the true 'nature of
Israeli. Apartheid," according to IAW
Web site. Other themes of IAW included
apartheid and the current context in
Palestine, boycott, divestment and
sanctions movement against Israeli
apartheid: lessons from South Africa,
Nakba and the right of return, and voices
for Palestine: resistance to racism and



{Bong Bust)

On March 26, about 15,000 water pipes were confiscated during a
factory raid in Haifa, Israel.
According to an AP article, the factory's 60-year owner was arrested.
Israel outlawed water pipes in early March. Hookahs, bongs and pipes
were a common marketplace item in shops all over Israel and are now
disappearing off the streets.
The narghilee," commonly called "hookah" in the West is an ancient
Indian tradition adopted by most Middle Eastern countries. Narghile
was a tradition of the higher-class people and royalty throughout
1600s. Now, it is extremely popular among young people in the
Haifa is a port city in the north region of Israel, which lies on the
M'editerranean Sea. Marijuana enters Israel through Lebanon, Egypt
and Gaza, although Lebanon and Gaza are less likely to be points of
drug entry due to recent conflicts.

{This week marks the 30-year anniversary of the peace
treaty signed between Israel and Egypt)

President Obama has made note of the significant event in hopes
that the two countries will always remember it is possible to live in
The peace treaty was signed March 26, 1979 in Washington, D.C
after a short war in which thousands of people died.
On the same day, a U.S.-Israeli Memorandum of Agreement was
signed. The agreement stated the U.S.'s commitments to Israel in
case the treaty was violated. It also stated the U.N.'s commitments
and the future military and economic aid to be given to Israel.
With conflict in the'air, the countries take a moment to remember
.the peace they needed.
On the day of the anniversary, President Shimon Peres spoke
with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to congratulate him on the
treaty's commitment, according to a Haaretz article.
President Mubarak said he has never considered changing Egypt's
policy toward peace with Israel, according to the article.


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E st l Answers to all your kosher
Ee r culinary questions


April 9 this year marks the feast of
Passover, a holiday which many of my
Jewish friends see as a time of uninspired
cuisine. "I beg to differ: in high school,
when days of consuming unleavened
bread left them craving more from their
food, I, along with the other gentile kids
at the lunch table, couldn't wait to learn
what new matzo innovations lay in their
lunch bag. The unveiling merited mixed
emotions; my Jewish friends practically
dreaded the matzo creation, whereas
the rest of us greatly anticipated the
day's unleavened variation. Cinnamon
and sugar matzo, matzo pizza, matzo
ball soup-everything was new and
Talking to those friends now, I
know our respective attitudes haven't
changed, but after taking a closer, look

at Passover dishes, I realize the flavors
and traditions aren't so novel to a
gentile like me.
Take the potato pancake-the basic
idea of fried tuber patties spanned
Europe from one side to the other, even
crossing the North Atlantic. Potato farls,
or potato bread, is made from mashed
potatoes, flour, butter and salt and is
fried in a pan, then cut into quarters.
This simple Irish dish, enjoyed by
my Irish-Catholic family, is not a far
cry from a traditional Jewish potato
Likewise, bread without yeast
because it was originally made in
haste calls to mind the simple form of
leavening through baking soda, as found
in soda bread. Whether preparing bread
in a hurry or making ends meet, each

quick, simple
method has
been yielding
starch for
T h i s
take a certain
pride in your
get creative
with your
matzo, and
maybe even
take an Irish
on your potato


Traditional Irish potato farls.

Photo courtesy of visualrecipes.com


Email your kosher cuisine questions to elaine@theshpiel.org.

Yiddish: Schlepping it through pop culture

SHPiEL contributing writer

While growing up in a Jewish
household, it's not uncommon to
have your mother tell you to wipe the
"schmutz" off your face. It's also highly
likely that you've heard people complain
about their "schmuck" of a boss.
However, for better or worse, these
Yiddish terms are no longer confined
to the Jewish community. Rather, they
frequently fall upon the public ear and

r -

0 p, 9,



are commonly used in culture today.
On March 16, comedian Jackie Mason
used the Yiddish word "schvartze" when
referring to newly elected President
Obama during one of his performances.
While some audience members had
no idea of the meaning of the word-
"schvartze" is a Yiddish slur for a black
person-others were quite outraged by
the derogatory remark.
Many times before Mason's
performance, Yiddish has been used in
pop culture without making headlines.
In fact, comedians both Jewish
and gentile, such as Robin
Williams and Sarah Silverman,
use Yiddish slang repeatedly
in their comedy without much
criticism. However, the line
seems to be drawn when the
word is being used against
someone in a negative tone
verses using the word in an
over-exaggerated and non-
slanderous manner.
B Nevertheless, the question
at large remains: How did the
trend of using Yiddish words
in particular come to surface
as a hot trend in the world of
Yiddish words are widely
used in pop culture and seem
to be getting more and more
popular. From words such
as "schlep" to "kvetch," Jews
j have influenced pop culture

once again. Much
like Madonna's
fascination with the
study of Kabbalah
in 1998, the use
of Yiddish phrases
here and there
has become an
increasingly popular

touchy issue.
Most entertainers
seem to only apply
derogatory Yiddish
phrases to their '".
performances, yet
it is a reasonable
question to ask if '
performers need
to tone down their
humor. In truth,
when a Jewish
entertainer refers to
Yiddish slang, the
audiences' opinions
on Jews are slightly
influenced. However,
others believe that
using Yiddish in
the entertainment Comedian Jackie M
industry is just for
fun and should be cor.
taken lightly.
No matter how you view the Yiddish
remarks, perhaps, while living as a
college student in times when money
is tight and employment is rare, a little

ason. Photo courtesy of www.jackiemason.

laughter could be the cure.
As the Yiddish proverb goes, "What
is soap to the body is laughter to the

A .'.7 7"--


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Shabbat Shilo: Dinner with Jewish radicals from the West Bank

SHPiEL staff writer

90 Shabbat
dinner with
Jewish settlers
from Palestinian
territories was
an unforgettable
knows Jewish
West Bank settlers
are rabid, armed racists who, more than
anything or anyone else, are the reason
why peace will never exist in Palestine.
Forget the war machine made up of
18-year-old boys, the money-sex-power-
starved political establishment, the
unfeeling coldness of Israeli women. To
be sure, these are all symptoms of the
same destructive delusion.
But, it is the settlers in the Palestinian
territories who destroy the most and are
the most deluded, and every clay, the
Western conscience is more hard-wired
to feel that behind all of Israel's moral
quandaries-her apartheids and her
holocausts-there is the insane smiling
face of the Israeli settler.
Today's world citizen, today's
college-graduate intellectual doesn't
merely believe this, he or she knows
this deep down in the marrow.
This, at least, has been my experience
since entering the academia of American
Before that, I was never really.
challenged by anyone about my views.
After leaving the sheltered confines of
private Jewish day-school education
when I was 11, I actually assumed that -
everyone else in the sane, moral and
free West agreed with me.
Middle school wasn't so bad. The

kids around me were more concerned
with labels and logos and treating others
as steps on the social ladder than they
were with confronting the fabric of the
Jewish state.
And 9/11 certainly helped. For a
while there, it seemed like every one
was on "my" side. All Arabs were pegged
as soulless animals who would destroy
Us in a second if they had a chance, and
Israel and the Jews were part of that
High school, too, didn't amount to
much in the way of confrontation. In
the forever-red North Florida county of
my youth, most people believe Israel is
God's country, too, and that it definitely
belongs to the Jews (How else is Jesus
going to return to earth and convert us
all at once?).
College has definitely been a change
of pace. The tension on campus between
Jewish and Arab groups only gets thicker
with each new semester.
A prerequisite for discussion of
the Middle East is the notion that the
suffering of Palestinians is solely a
result of oppressive Israeli rule.
And one in seven American Apparel
hipsters wears a keffiyeh to show the
rest of the world that they hates human
suffering so much they are willing to
spend $20 to look like the late Yasser
Arafat-our generation's closest thing
to Gandhi.
Living for a few years in this
environment, my views only sort of
changed. I still believe in the necessity
of a Jewish state. I still believe Israel
is where such a state must be. I still
believe terrorism is terrorism rather
than a legitimate form of protest.
The only difference: I believe that
Palestinians are suffering; that Israel
has done a lot to cause such suffering

and that Israel could do infinitely more
to alleviate the situation.
But back to the gun-toting, bible-belt
racists of the region with whom I ate
dinner on Friday night.
Did they bear their horns or their
guns?, you ask. Did they make their
meal with the blood of a Palestinian
child? Did they propagandize you? Did
they radicalize you? Did they infect
you? Are you OK?
Well, to answer in succession: No
and no. Definitely not, that's disgusting.
Maybe a little. No. No. I think so.
Shabbat dinner with the family was,
honestly, one of the happiest, worldliest
experiences I've had in a while.
Finding a meal for Shabbat in
Jerusalem is an art and skill which I have
yet to master. Because of this, I went to
a synagogue on Friday night that sets
up anyone and everyone who needs it
with an open dinner table.
This week, there were something
like 10 needy people like me, but no
one in the congregation was offering.
The community leader repeated his
announcement four more times.
Someone came forward with space for
one. The announcement was called
again. And again. Finally, a man
approached saying he had room for
two. I quickly jumped on board.
The man spoke English, but not
very well. The young man taken in with
me didn't speak any English.. I knew it
would be an interesting night.
We walked up the street with our
host, his wife and his son, and we soon
arrived at a characteristically cramped
apartment in the Nachlaot neighborhood
of Jerusalem. Just inside the entrance
of the apartment was the foyer/dining/
living room. A table was pushed against
the wall so that there would be room to

walk around. The space was small, and
it turned out that there were three more
members of the family-two daughters
and another boy.
The apartment belonged to one of
the daughters. She's a student at Hebrew
University studying social work. One of
the sons is in Jerusalem at yeshivah.
The rest of the family was visiting from
the Israeli settlement of Shilo, which is
almost 30 miles from Jerusalem.
In the late 70s, the patriarch and
matriarch of this family helped found
Shilo, which is built next to the site of
a biblical city of the same name (that
Shilo was the capital and home of the
Temple for nearly 400 years before
ancient Jews picked up and moved over
to Jerusalem).
This family breathes, lives and
believes the settler ideology every day.
Israel was given to the Jews by God,
they say. It belongs to Jews still. Jews
must live there. And that's it.
I didn't experience any radicalism
on Friday night. I wasn't indoctrinated
or judged.
All I saw was a family of six ecstatic
to be together again in a tiny apartment
and equally happy to create space for
guests. All I-tasted was some soup and
chicken and rice. All I heard was six
people singing with all their souls the
same songs that Jews have been singing
for centuries on Friday nights. All I felt
was Jewish, clear headed, at peace,
grateful that such a space existed, and
sure that it was not because of these
people that this region is it at war.
Call me crazy.

Send your questions, comments or
concerns to our editor-in-exile, Josh Fleet
-Josh@theshpiel. org

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Rock out with your.parshah out

SHPiEL staff writer

For those of you who have a strong
Love for garage punk rock music and
the Torah and its teachings, "Patrick
V" comes to you like a heavenly
Patrick A has a weekly YouTube
video where he talks about the week's
parshah, weekly Torah portion. While
his message is clear, his image is a
little, well, "unorthodox" (some pun
Patrick is the lead singer of punk
music band called The Can Cans.
Though he is the only Jew in the band,
according to the band's Myspace.
page, Patrick studies Torah daily,
is never shy about his Judaism, and
although his songs are not overtly
religious, spiritual undertones creep
into the lyrics.
With a weekly YouTube video
series titled "Punk Torah," Patrick
talks about the parshah in a "punk"
way to gear it toward a younger
generation. Patrickputs an interesting
spin on the parshah, talking about
it in today's terms so that modern
youth can find connections to the
Torah's teachings.
But not everything is kosher with
Patrick. In his videos, Patrick argues
for the approval of tattoos by Jewish
standards, even referencing the
comedic pop-culture icon Mel Brooks
to make his case.
While Patrick brings up valid
points on this and other similar cases,

it seems
like his
is a little
to fit his
lifestyle PUNK TORAH
(the guy
has tattoos
on his
Patrick makes occasional
connections to the parshah that may
seem a little too far-fetched. In his
segment on Parshat Pekeduei, Patrick
relates the story of the parshah, which
is repeatedly read in the Torah, to a
Jodie Foster movie about aliens.
The connection works on a
superficial level, but it seems a
little awkward to be comparing the
actress's experiences in the movie
with aliens to the parshah.
This lone Jewish member of The
Can Cans attempts to bring the
ancient texts of the Torah into a more
modern, "hip" light with admirable
effort. The fact that Patrick plays
punk rock music while discussing
God seems a little shaky, but then
again, he wouldn't call it "Punk
Torah" without a reason.

Check out Patrick A's weekly Torah
segments at http://www.youtube.

Passover this year will be April 8 April 16 or Nissan 15
Nissan 22. Don't forget to sell your Chametz (not kosher for
Passover) and stock up on matzah.

If you're feeling a little hungry for the familiar during the fun-
filled week, try:
The SHPiEL's favorite Pesach Recipe:

' Kosher for Passover brownies!

250 grams margarine
(8.5 ounces)
350 grams baking
chocolate (12 ounces)
2 cups matzah meal
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder .
8 eggs .


1. Melt margarine and chocolate in microwave or
double broiler.
2. Combine matza meal, salt, vanilla,
baking powder.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Pour margarine and chocolate mixture into eggs
and sugar mixture, and then beat together.
5. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Pour batter into greased 12-15 inch baking tray.
7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
- - -n mm









k I

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.................... T T


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Student production "Hair" will grow on you

SHPiEL staff writer

On April 3, the moon will be
in the seventh house and Jupiter
will align with Mars as the Florida
Players close out the dramatic
season with "Hair: The Tribal Love-
Rock Musical."
Set in 1968 New York City,
Central Park to be exact, a "tribe" of
hippies experience love and drugs,
protest the Vietnam War and debate
whether or not to dodge the draft.
Their story is framed by an age of
defiance set to powerful music.
"[Hair] is something that's
\,, hard to connect with, and that
made me want to do
it," said director
Jen .Shorstein.
"It's been an
for me and
the cast."
In order
to make
that difficult
connection and

develop the strong chemistry of the
"tribes" of the 60s era, Shorstein
assigned cast members online
research, gave them information on
astrology and soldiers in Vietnam
and even led discussions about
how cast members would feel if a
draft were imposed once more.
"We've been watching.
documentaries," said Shorstein,
who added that her cast also
participated in chemistry-building
activities. "We've played games in
character," she said.
The upcoming production of
"Hair" features a scene of full nudity
as cast members strip while burning
draft cards. To prepare for this
full commitment to character, cast
members engaged in yet another
group bonding activity. "We had a
relaxation exercise and got naked
in order to get comfortable with
each other," Shorstein said.
Aware of the controversial
nature of the play, Shorstein said
she is fully convinced that the final
product will reflect the hard work
and dedication of a cast that has

come to live in the music and the
movement. "We definitely have
a love-filled family," she said. "I
think that the audience will see it."
Cast member Jessica Manning
said she feels good about the
musical and about the response
the audience will give. She said
that while the play was written for
audiences more than 40 years ago,
she said she still believes the show
can have a powerful impact on
contemporary audiences.
"Even though people will be
taking away a different message,
people are going to come out of
the theater feeling something," she
Although "Hair" focuses on a
hippie commune living secluded
in the heart of 1960s New York
City, director Shorstein expressed
confidence that the students
involved have come to understand
the motives of the "tribe."
Tackling love, peace and war, the
actors have worked to understand
these themes as they relate to their
characters and themselves. Seeing

the production as a cry of "peaceful
defiance," Shorstein said she wants
to explore what the show means
today in a very different way.
"I'm really excited'...it's really
beautiful," she said. "Love, love,
love, that's all we have."

NBC's "Kings" a slick retelling of biblical David tale

SHPiEL staff writer

NBC's newest show to hit the air
premiered March 15, although it was
told the first time more than 2,000
years ago.
NBC's new drama, "Kings," is based
off the Biblical story of David and
The show takes place in the fictitious
kingdom of Gilboa, whose capital city
of Shiloh resembles a cleaner version
of New York City. The kingdom is ruled
by, the powerful King Silas Benjamin, a
ruthless yet occasionally compassionate
The story begins more or less with
David's defeat over Goliath. David
Shepherd, the allegorical reference
to David, is a soldier fighting against
the neighboring nation of Gath. When
King Benjamin's son is one of two
soldiers taken hostage, Gilboa's army
is commanded to sit back and wait
for further instructions rather than
rescuing the captive soldiers.
However, David feels it is necessary
to bring back the soldiers, who he
believes are being held in front of him
on the enemy lines. After rescuing the
two soldiers, David single-handedly
destroys a tank, and a snapshot is taken

of David standing triumphantly in front
of the destroyed tank, which is called
What follows is the beginning of
David Shepherd's rise to popularity
and good fortune within the kingdom
of Gilboa. Shepherd is named the
military's official spokesperson, and if
you know the historical tale of David,
you know Shepherd is being groomed
for what looks to be the usurpation of
King Benjamin. But only time will tell
who will end up king.
This show is riddled with biblical
allusions to the story of David. David
helps a mysterious passerby (who ends
up being a close worker of the king)
who touches Shepherd's forehead just
as the sun passes above them in one of
the most obvious cinematic allegorical
references I have ever seen. King
Benjamin also constantly states that he
is doing the work of God, and that the
vision he has is a clear sign from God
that he is the rightful king to rule the
nation and bring it into prosperity.
Despite the flurry of allegorical
allusions, creative and executive
producer Michael Green (who has helped
to produce the hit show "Heroes") states
that audiences should not take the
Biblical aspect of the story too literally.
The show draws inspiration from the

story of David, says Green, but it is not
an actual depiction of it.
Nevertheless, "Kings" comes off its
two hour premier looking relatively

strong. If you are a fan of "Heroes" or
similar dramas, then you might want to
consider giving this show a shot.

Pictured: (1-r) Sebastian Stan as Jack Benjamin, Allison Miller as Michelle Benjamin, Susanna
Thompson as Queen Rose Benjamin, lan McShane as King Silas Benjamin, Chris Egan as
David Shepherd -- NBC Photo: Andrew Eccles


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Political spotlight on Eric Cantor, a real-life Republican Jew

S H P .i E L

For those
who still believe
that Jewish
Republican is an
oxymoron, look
no further than
Eric Cantor.
Cantor represents the seventh
district of Virginia in the United States
House of Representatives and serves
as the House Republican whip, making
him responsible for soliciting votes and
for maintaining party discipline among
Republican House members.
As the second most powerful
Republican in the House, Cantor has
become a leader of the Republican effort
to oppose President Barack Obama's
policies that expand the size of the
federal government and to propose
new ideas that confront the current
problems that America faces.
Republican leaders are increasingly
relying on Cantor to promote Republican
ideas about the economy through press
conferences, interviews, speeches
and television .appearances. Because

Cantor s
rise to
prominence I
coincided .
with the
of Michael
Steele, an-
as the 4
National :
t h e
Party is "
better able to
characterize Cantor speaks on March 13
itself as a
party that is
inclusive of minorities. At 45, Cantor
also provides youthful energy to a party
that is trying to attract young voters.
Some political commentators
compare Eric Cantor to Newt Gingrich,
the former Speaker of the House who
led the effort to reform government, the
Congressional opposition to many of Bill
Clinton's policies, and the resurgence
of the Republican Party following the
1994 midterm elections.

, at an Advisory Council Meeeting in Richmond, Va. Photo courtesy of www.ericcantor.com

The comparison is not surprising
because Cantor has thoroughly studied
the history of Congress during the
Gingrich years, and Cantor has been in
frequent contact with Gingrich.
Pundits also cite Cantor's leadership
qualities and his ability to sustain party
loyalty as similar to those of Gingrich.
Cantor's leadership skills were on full
display when he was able to ensure
that every single. Republican in the

House voted against Obama's economic
stimulus plan, mirroring Gingrich's
successful effort in 1993 to unite
the Republican caucus and to resist
Clinton's attempts to raise taxes.
Because Republicans will need
effective leadership in order to gain
Congressional seats in the 2010 midterm
elections, Cantor will likely spearhead
the effort to return the Republicans to


How long it takes an average 5-year-
old to find the afikomen:

How long it takes that 5-year-old to
ask the four questions:

Average blood alcohol level at the end
of a seder:

Average number of family fights at the

Number of matzah-cream cheese -
:combos you can stand for a week:

Number of matzah crumbs you will
find in your hamper at the end of a

Fraction of Jews who trash or sell the

Fraction of Jews who know what
chametz is:

20 minutes

30 minutes









when a newspaper jUS

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 theshpiel@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: Most of the above information has been well researched. Some
was conceived while inebriated. We leave it up to you, oh dear, omniscient,
silly reader, to figure out what's what.


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Thinking Outside the Lox: The exodus of our time

"In every
genera -
tion, every
must feel as
if they per-
sonally had
come out of

When asked what the most impor-
tant or most celebrated holiday in
the Jewish year is, most people will
answer Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kip-
pur. Yes, Three-Day Jews come out
of the woodwork, but truth be told,
the Passover seder is actually the
most celebrated night of the Jewish
Passover is based on the story
of the exodus from Egypt, the dra-
matic story of how we left our time
as slaves behind to become a united
people with a new identity. And this
is actually the second time in two
months were we engage in this story,
the first was during the weekly Torah
cycle when we read the second book

of Moses.
So, I've been intently reading the
story of the emergence of the peo-
ple of Israel, and I've begun to think
- what, if any, are the parallels from
our story to the national story of the
American people unfolding now be-
fore our eyes today?

We know the Israelites were slaves
in need of saving, but can we also
assert that today we have become
slaves...to greed? To fear?
The country Obama was just sworn
in to lead is in worse shape than most
can remember, and although Obama

Throughout his campaign, Obama spoke a lot
about hope, bringing masses together with the
chant of "yes we can." Although the Israelites
were unprepared for Moses' call for a new life,
he too was offering change they could believe in.

Both stories have two protagonists
who emerge on the stage from out of
nowhere. We've all read of Obama's
fast ascent in the political world and
especially his unique childhood and
upbringing. Much of the same can be
said of Moses. Sent away by his Is-
raelite family in a desperate attempt
to save his life, Moses grows up in
Pharaoh's court only to escape when
faced with a looming crisis of iden-
tity. He later returns with God on
his side to rescue the Israelites from

gives every indication that he is up
for the challenge, he recognizes that
he alone cannot change the course of
Time and time again, Obama has
called on all of us to join the efforts
that lie ahead as he focuses on mak-
ing service a centerpiece of his ad-
Just like Obama, who deflects the
burdens and responsibilities by ask-
ing all of us to share in re-imagining
our world, Moses shares the story of

the exodus with the real protagonist -
the entire children of Israel. In order
to become free, the Israelites have to
imagine themselves as partners with
Moses, and ultimately, partners with

Throughout his campaign, Obama-
spoke a lot about hope, bringing
masses together with the chant of
"yes we can." Although the Israelites
were unprepared for Mosses' call for
a new life, he too was offering change
they could believe in. But, it took the,
Israelites a full generation to finally
shed their slave mentality. For many
of us, the mere presence of Obama
being sworn in as our 44th president
may have been enough to change our
outlook in life, and yet deep down in-
side, we have to know that the real
work still lies ahead.
Just as Moses encountered a bush
that was not being consumed, we are
called to turn our eye inward and see
the personal un-consuming bush in-
side ourselves. How we respond will
be up to us. But we all must respond.
It is our opportunity to feel as if we
too have come out of Egypt and final-
ly left the shackles of slavery behind

Promising the Holy Land: an

excuse for the Likud Party to,-aE
oppress the innocent? -


. A

* .
S ***

The fu- Revisionist Zionist parties in Israel
ture prime like Herut. Their 1999. charter called
minister in for the right to build settlements in
Israel, Benja- the West Bank. This charter does not
min Netanya- stop here in destroying the peace
hu, said that process.
he is ready Under the "Self Rule" section of
to negotiate the 1999 charter, it said "The Gov-
with the Pal- ernment of Israel flatly rejects the

estinians. I keep in mind that he and
his party, the Likud party, won their
seats in the Knesset by promising to
not recognize a Palestinian state.
Either Netanyahu changed his
mind over night, and thus he is not
representing the people who elected
him and lying by claiming to repre-
sent them now, or he didn't change,
and he is playing a nasty game of
It seems that the latter is true,
and Netanyahu is a liar.
With the rise of the right wing in
Israel, the question of their ideology
that they cannot recognize a Pales-
tinian state based on religious rea-
sons must be addressed directly. The
Likud party is the direct heir of older

estinian state in Jordan or even an-
nexing the Kingdom of Jordan itself
into the State of Israel.
The biggest joke is that Netan-
yahu will say he wants peace while
believing such things.
As a Muslim, I see the Holy Land
being written, or destined, for the
Sons of Israel during Prophet Moses'

The prophecy or the promise simply

means that the Israelites will live there;

it never, ever, justified injustice.

establishment of a Palestinian Arab time. This does not, in any way, mean
state west of the Jordan river." It's that the inhabitants there should be
on the Israeli Knesset Web site. simply kicked out without a moral
Were the writers smoking pot justification.
while writing. this stuff? Or do they The prophecy or the promise sim-
want to let the Palestinians have their ply means that the Israelites will live
state on Mars? there: it never, ever, justified injus-
Going back to Revisionist Zion- tice.
ism, some may suggest having a Pal- Historically, the prophecy that

the Holy Land is written for the Is-
raelites was not fulfilled by wrong
means, and the prophecy did meet
reality during a war time when their
enemy started the transgression and
the war.
The prophets, such as King Da-
vid and King Solomon, did not aban-
don their religion or the moral law
throughout that conflict.
The prophecy for the second com-
ing of the Israelites to the Holy Land
also never justified any injustice,
from any side.
In our modern times, I can't see
any religious or nationalist justifica-
tion for Netanyahu's idea for not rec-
ognizing the Palestinian state on the
Palestinian soil.
Did Prophet Moses stand against
discrimination in Egypt, only to en-
courage it in the Holy Land? No. The
future Israeli Prime Minister Netan-
yahui has neither Torah nor moral

Questions? Comments? Contact Khader
.at khader.abuelhaija@gmail.com


Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Bluth

m m




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Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie

SHPiEL staff writer

Earlier this month, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton proposed that the State
Department fund a multimillion dollar
scholarship program for Palestinian
students to help them attend Palestinian
and American universities.
If approved by Congress, the
program would launch for the 2010-11
school year. The,initiative came on the
heels of a $900 million allocation to the
Palestinian Authority announced by the
secretary lastweek.
It is unsettling, to say the least, that
in this time of deep economic hardship,
our country isgiving scholarship money
to foreign students while our own public
universities suffer from massive budget
cuts and downsizing. This isn't specific
to the Palestinian proposal. Instead, it's
an umbrella observation about the way
this country is run.
According to The New York Times,
UF recently cut 430 staff and faculty
positions, and according to the office of
University President Bernie Machen, the

university will see a budget cut of $72
million to $75 million in the coming
Now, I'm no mathematician, but that
does not seem like a step in a positive
direction for the educational future of
our country's youth. The idea of giving
money to needy countries is idealistic.
Under normal circumstances, I would
fully support the proposal, but now I
just don't understand how the State
Department can spend money on the
education of others and let our own
educations suffer.
With more families running out
of money, unable to afford to send
their kids to college, and with schools
accepting fewer applicants, how can
we expect to get out of this hole?
If the next generation of potential
college graduates is severely lacking
in numbers, we cannot expect our
economy to get the boost it needs.
American education has to be the top
And I am not alone in my thinking.
The following is a typical comment on a
Web posting of the Chronicle of Higher

Education's article on the proposal: "We
certainly do not owe anybody anything
and should take care of our own citizens
first. It is not just the Palestinians! It
is all international/foreign students
that receive endless supplies of money
to get an education on the American
soil. However, working native-born
parents have to pay for the big ticket
of education if they want their sons and
daughters to go to college."
I do fear that many of the negative
opinions on the proposal are fueled by
prejudice and hate. Many commented
that the money was sending terrorists
to school or that the scholarship money
should only go to women. This kind of
bigotry is also counterproductive to the
I am in no way saying that Palestinian
students do not deserve an education.
If we had the resources, I would love
to fund degrees that could lead to a
responsible and educated leadership
of what will inevitably become the
Palestinian state. However, I just can't
support this frivolous giving when our
own education system is collapsing..

End of Passover

Open Mic Night g


will pay off


SHPiEL staff writer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's
plan to give federal grant money to
support education for Palestinian
students-announced earlier this month
on a trip to Ramallah in the West Bank-
is an investment for the future.
The secretary's proposal is well
thought-out and wisely shows an
understanding of how education leads
to greater national security.
Clinton's Middle East Partnership
Initiative envisions about 10 U.S.
scholarships each year for academically
talented Palestinians who would
otherwise not be able to obtain a higher
The money would allow them to
study at universities in the Middle East
and in the United States.
An additional 25 "opportunity
grants" would be awarded for study at
U.S.-accredited institutions, according
to the State Department.
What do we get for our investment,
which is only a fraction of the amount
of money A.I.G. paid in bonuses to its
employees ($165 million) or Ala'ska's
infamous Bridge to Nowhere ($398
The students who participate in the
Initiative will return home with more
than just a degree and professional
Like the thousands of foreigners
educated in America in the past-
among them leaders Benazir Bhutto
of Pakistan-Palestinian recipients of
the scholarships would be more apt to
become partners for peace with the U.S.
and Israel.
With a better understanding of
American people and with' a broad
education, many will become bulwarks
against instability and radicalism in a
volatile region.
Notably, the U.S. already funds
thousands of Palestinians' education-
many through the Access English
Language Microscholarship Program,
which includes 4,000 Palestinian youth
among its 44,000 disadvantaged youth
participants ages 14-18 who receive a
high-quality secondary.education using
an American-style curriculum.
With nearly half of the population
in the Palestinian territories under the
age of 15, the U.S. should recognize
that education is just as much a part
of our Middle East national security
strategy as economic development,
military cooperation and diplomacy are.
Clinton's scholarship proposal shows
that recognition.


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Infectious Mushroom

SHPiEL staff writer

There was a giant blow-up mushroom
on stage.
The audience below jumped
repeatedly, one hand pumping the air
above their heads. They wore neon
lights in their hair, gas masks and pants
that could have fit four more people
Some half-naked teenagers waved an
Israeli flag to the beat and continued to
sport- their national pride through the
It was a hot Miami ,afternoon on
Saturday, March 28, and the Israeli
psychedelic-trance duo Infected
Mushroom was playing at the Ultra
Music Festival,
Since their debut in the Israeli trance
scene, the innovative Amit Duvedevani
and Erez Eisen have been ranked among
the top 10 trance DJs in the world.
From their roots in Israel to their
relocation in L.A., Infected Mushroom
has redefined themselves with each of
their six albums.
In the latest, Vicious Delicious of
2007, they sought to provide more
danceable music by incorporating hip-
hop and rock.
Knowing this background, I watched
with surprise as the crowd thinned out
after the one-man DJ ATB spun us into a

dizzy exhaustion with a perfectly timed
rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen
Infected mushroom began their set
with a song that was neither catchy nor
upbeat. After dancing and screaming
from the previous act, the crowd
seemed antsy as dark lyrics and somber
rhythms took over.
Jason, my friend and personal guide
to all things trance and electronic,
said they were actually very good, but
placed awkwardly in Saturday's lineup
between uncomplimentary shows.
So maybe it wasn't their fault. It
might have been the beating sun or the
stark music contrast or the fact that the
lines for a $5 bottle of water took a long
time to procure.
With the credentials that Infectious
Mushroom has acquired of playing for
millions live, incorporating drums and
vocals on stage and selling out clubs on
every tour the reception at Ultra did
not denote a failed performance.
It was clear that despite the
dampened enthusiasm, the band had
a devoted bunch of strung-out roadies
that moshed near the stage for the
entire hour and a half.
A visit to the Infected Mushroom
Web site forum tells me that others
pronounced the set "legendary" and
"the best yet."
For fans who have followed Infected

Mushroom from its 1999 "The
Gathering" days, the change of pace
and style is fresh and exciting. Even
to my untrained ear, there was no
doubt that Duvedevani and Eisen
aim to rise to a new level with each
new phase of their career.
But for an afternoon without
shade, popsicles and a grooveable
beat, the giant mushroom seemed
less than infectious.

Check out the Israeli trance band
Infected Mushroom at http://www.

9 0 9

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Religion department gets axed in latest round of cuts

SHPiEL staff writer

Oren Shahar, third year religion
major at the University of Florida,
sported a homemade "Save Religion" t-
shirt while working at Hillel on March
The shirt" is not a reaction to an
uprising of. atheist activism but a
response to a proposal made by Paul
D'Anieri, dean of the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences. Shahar said The
Society of Academic Religious Studies
(S.0.A.R.S.) is selling the shirts for $5
each to help cover postage and paper
costs as they petition CLAS to revoke
a proposal that may drastically reduce
the religion program at UF. Even religion
professor Gwynn Kessler was spotted
wearing one.
--Recently, Florida Legislature advised
all public universities to plan for a
10 percent budget cut next year, and
UF President Bernie Machen asked all
college deans to submit budget cut

proposals that reflected this advice.
Paul D'Anieri, dean of CLAS, drew up
a proposal available on the CLAS Web
site that listed a "worst-case scenario"
solution. Shahar said he fears these
cuts will inevitably lead to the death
of the second oldest religious studies
program in the country.
"By cutting it down so small, the
risk is the [department] won't be able
to sustain itself,"' he said. "Next year
they'll be saying, 'Well the religion
department is so small, what's the point
of keeping it?'"
Taylor Sincich, third year religion
major and president of S.O.A.R.S., said
the cuts are based on quantitative data
such as the number of students in the
college, grant money and publishing
Vasudha Narayanan, Ph.D., professor
and interim chair of the department,
published a summary of the religion
program at UF that circulated among
students, faculty and staff. According
to the document, "the Department of

Religion has 15 tenured/tenure-track
faculty members, 36 graduate students,
103 majors, and 70 minors, with the
number of majors and minors increasing
dramatically in the last three years."
Sincich explained that the cuts
include reducing the number of faculty
members down to three, which means
layoffs for tenured professors who
should have job security.
"Firing faculty should not be an
option," Sincich said. "I think the idea is
that paying litigation fees from faculty
lawsuits is still less -than the sum of
their salaries."
He said that at other schools,
mandates ceasing new construction,
hiring freezes and across-the-board
salary reductions have been instituted
to save jobs. He has overheard a few
professors support the idea of salary
reductions, but none have stepped
forward to propose the idea. In his
opinion, there is an unspoken fear that
anyone who steps forward offering to
take a pay cut will be targeted for the

next round of layoffs.
Sincich, Shahar, and the 18 other
undergraduate and graduate students
who showed up for a meeting with Dean
D'Anieri at 8 a.m. on March 26 said they
are worried about the credibility of
their degrees. They fear that graduating
with a degree from a program that had
only three professors, or worse from
a program that was cancelled shortly
after they graduated, could hinder
future opportunities.
Shahar said the group was thankful
that the dean offered to meet with them
and answer questions, and he hopes
that their concerns will be taken into
consideration. In the end, it is just a
proposal, and President- Machen can
decide to make the cuts wherever he
sees fit.
Sincich said he hopes that the option
of cutting religion will not make the
final budget, but he advises students to
prepare for the worst.
"Graduate as fast as you can," he
said. "That's all I can tell you."

- 1 d

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Campus hostility lingers,

student looks for solution

SHPiEL contributing writer

After the escalation of violence in
the Gaza Strip, anti-Israel and pro-
Palestinian college organizations have
recently been increasingly violent and
At York University, a mob of students
shouting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel
slogans had to be escorted away from
the Hillel office by campus police,
according to a JTA article.
At New York University and the
University of Rochester, students
issued a series of statements that were
extremely critical of the Jewish state.
Akiva Tor, consul general of Israel
for the Pacific Northwest Region had to
cut a panel discussion about the conflict
in the Gaza Strip after pro-Palestinian
audience members heckled him at San
Jose State University.
Other colleges, such as the University
of California, Irvine and Berkeley
have also felt the impact of anti-Israel
But, at the University of Florida,
protests from both the Israeli and
Palestinian sides took place in
Turlington Plaza in mid-February, and
while each side clearly stated its view,
neither side acted in violence.
Hoping to avoid any sort -of
unnecessary violence or conflict,
Andrew Hecht, who is a freshman
political science and history major,

said he is trying to bring both sides
Hecht, who was raised Jewish,
witnessed the on-campus protests
between the Jewish Student Union and
Islam on Campus in February.
"You had both sides picketing for
the same thing: peace," Hecht said.
Hecht is trying to put together a
roundtable discussion between JSU and
Islam on Campus for the fall semester.
He'd like to put both organizations
in a room together-for as long as 24
hours-to push them into finding some
kind of solution or compromise to
the current issue between Israel and
He said that ideally, the event
would be open to the public and would
introduce the conflict in Gaza to inform
students of each side. Then the doors
would close after a couple hours to let
the two groups discuss privately.
Hecht's idea for this event goes as
far as sending footage to news stations
like CNN and Fox, but only if some kind
of conclusion is found.
"Politicians have been trying to find
a solution for years," he said. "It would
be educational if UF students could try
to find one."
Hecht thinks he doesn't know
enough about the conflict to propose
any kind of compromise, but he plans
on spending his summer reading up on
material to become educated on the

* -I