Bar Mitzvah

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
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
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.
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
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
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 &
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
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.