OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 6, 2014 JEWISH PRESS of TAMPA A PAGE 11 Bar Mitzvah Hillel open house Nov. 12 Jack Sheer (L-R) Lynn Chernin, Lion chair; Carol Jaffe, Lion of Judah Endowment Co-chair; Beth Gemunder, new Lion; Annette Bauman, new Lion, and Joyce H. Karpay. Karpay pinned Bauman and Jaffe pinned Gemunder. Lions of Judah hear story of escape from Iran, survival thanks to Jewish aid Jack Sheer, son of Jamie and Melinda Sheer of Carrollwood, will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa. Jack is a seventh grade student at Hillel Academy. Active in sports, he plays on all the Hillel Academy sports teams, as well as being a member of the Northwest Tampa Lacrosse team. Jack also enjoys spending time on the water and is an avid wake boarder. Jamie and Melinda Sheer will host a celebration at Congregation Schaarai Zedek on Saturday, Nov. 8. Hillel Academy of Tampa will hold an open house for prospective families with students from age 4 through the eighth grade on Wednesday, Nov.12 from 6-7:30 p.m. The academy accepts applications on a continuing basis but the emphasis will be on enrollment for the 2015-16 school year. Amy Wasser, head of school, and Cathy Grossman, admissions director, will discuss the benefits the academy offers to students from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade. Highlights of the school’s programs include the integration of technology throughout its academics; fine arts including the school’s partnership with Patel Conservatory; competitive and inter-mural sports; before and after school care; school clubs and a Judaics program. Families also will be able to tour the school’s campus. Wine and cheese will be served. Reservations are necessary by Nov. 10. Email Grossman at [email protected] or call (813) 963-2242. By PAULA ZIELONKA Special to the Jewish Press What would it be like being a teenager in a country with a scarcity of food, power shortages, and the inability to protest against government policies? What would it be like living in a city where yours Jewish property is considered impure and cursed although your family has lived there for 2,500 years? What would it be like if you could not read what you wanted, listen to music of famous (L-R) Newly endowed Lion of Judah Lynne Merriam, Rhoda composers, and were required Karpay and Bev Tannenbaum, who is Rhoda’s daughter. to wear a hajib and “look like a black crow,” even though you were not a Muslim? Then you have your life threatened and have to go into hiding because you defended a girl who was being bullied at school for not being a Muslim. At the Oct. 15 Lion of Judah luncheon at Ocean Prime, the women heard Dr. Sima Goel tell such a story, the story of her life, as described in her book, Fleeing the Hajib: A Jewish Woman’s Escape from Iran. The book begins with her idyllic childhood in her home in Shiraz, Iran, followed by a description of life there under the oppressive regime of the Shah, the difficulties experienced during the 1979 Iran-Iraq War, then the religious oppression under the Ayatollah Khomeni. Because her mother realized that she and her sisters would not be able to become Dr. Sima Goel, speaking at the Tampa Lion of Juwhat they wished and threats on Sima’s life, dah Luncheon, says one of her goals in writing a book about her life was to tell women their poher mother paid to have 17-year-old Sima tential is limitless. and her older sister, Farah, smuggled out of Iran to Pakistan. They were told by the able to have that freedom. I want teenagers smugglers that the journey would only take to read my book so that they will appreci20 minutes, but they had to walk through ate the life that they have in a free society. the desert for 20 hours, constantly afraid of I want my book to be a written document the smugglers and of what they might do to about the importance of freedom – of being in a place where I can walk down a street them. Although the book details their dangerous arm and arm with my husband.” At the luncheon, Lion of Judah Chair escape through the desert and the many difficulties that the sisters encountered when Lynn Chernin introduced two new Lions, friendless in Pakistan, Goel mainly de- Annette Bauman and Beth Gemunder, and scribed how the sisters eventually arrived led a small ceremony during which they in Montreal, Canada in 1983 using a forged received their Lion pins. Lions are those women who donate a minimum of $1,000 Turkish passport. Once there, they finally revealed that they in their own name to the Annual Campaign. In addition, Carol Jaffe, a former Lion were Jewish to a Canadian social worker who connected them with the Jewish Immi- chair and Lion of Judah Endowment cogrant Aid Society (JIAS). JIAS then helped chair, introduced three Lions, Rhoda Karthe sisters with housing, clothing, supplies, pay, Lynne Merriam, and Bev Tannenbaum, who have now endowed their Lion donation and jobs. After they reached Canada, other fam- at the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Founily members were smuggled out of Iran and dation (TOP). This endowment ensures that joined them there. Goel also discussed her their donation will continue in perpetuity. life in Canada – her family and her reasons To indicate that they have taken this step, for becoming a chiropractor – and about the the three women will now have a flame addsequence of events that led her to write the ed to their Lion pin. In addition, Shelly Walk, Tampa JCC & book. As Goel explained, she wants women to Federation co-president, spoke and Bev know, “One can do anything if you tap the Tannenbaum asked the Lions in attendance giant that lies within each of us.” Her book to match her increase of $1,000, describing is dedicated “…to those who will have to just what $1,000 can do for the individuals supported by the Tampa Jewish Federation. fight to have their voice heard.” As she told her son after he read a draft Editor’s Note: Paula Zielonka is a Lion of her book, “You are free to read whatever you want, but I had to risk my life to be of Judah. Fresh perspective • Decisive Proactive • Seeking solutions For the Kids! For the Future! Leadership in Learning! Dipa Shah owns and operates her law practice in Brandon. She lives in Valrico with her husband, Dr. Suketu Shah and their two boys who attend Hillsborough County Public Schools. The June Baumgardner Gelbart Lecture in Jewish Studies The USF College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Religious Studies present Nothing Islamic is Strange to Me: The Mindset of the Jewish Founding Fathers of Islamic Studies Presented by Noam Stillman Schusterman/Josey Professor of Judaic History at the University of Oklahoma Wednesday, November 5th - 7:00pm Marshall Student Center Oval Theatre USF Tampa Campus The speaker was made available by the AJS Distinguished Lectureship Program. Light reception to follow USF is pleased to host Noam Stillman, an internationally recognized authority on the history and culture of the Islamic world and on Sephardi and Oriental Jewry. Many of the founding fathers of Islamic Studies in the nineteenth century were German and Central European Jews who were products of both traditional Jewish and Classical Gymnasium educations. They totally transformed the tone of academic discourse vis-à-vis Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and set the modern scholarly agenda for the academic study of Islam in the broadest sense of a civilization for generations to come. Comparing it to their people’s historical experience in Christendom, some Jewish scholars saw it as a veritable “Golden Age,” and that notion took root in popular imagination. In this talk, Prof. Stillman will discuss the attitudes of some of these pioneering Jewish scholars together with personal reflections on three of his own teachers who were among the last great representatives of this scholarly tradition. Event is free and open to the public. If you would like to reserve a seat, please email [email protected] Parking: Pay by space in Crescent Hill Parking Facility. If reasonable accommodations for disability are required, please call 813-974-5712. This lecture is made possible by a generous grant from the June Baumgardner Gelbart Foundation.
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