Election Holds Little Hope for Florida Jews

Punishing Recession Has Many Thinking About Staying Home

Don’t Move Here: The large developments populated by many retirees and transplants are suffering from foreclosures and a stagnant real estate market.
Getty Images
Don’t Move Here: The large developments populated by many retirees and transplants are suffering from foreclosures and a stagnant real estate market.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published October 16, 2012, issue of October 19, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 6)

Marks lives here. Her roommate, Leah Rothschild, 30, doesn’t have a car or a credit card. Both work for the radical environmental magazine Earth First! Journal, affiliated with a movement known for civil disobedience against lumber and mining concerns.

There are more than a few young Jews among the 50 or so anarchists in Lake Worth. The anarchists here organize on environmental and immigrant rights issues, among others, and try to be self-sufficient.

“We believe in self-government, we believe in autonomy,” Rothschild said. “We want to be in control of our own lives.”

Rothschild is intense. She speaks in long anecdotes, tugging at a single braid hidden in her long black hair. She has a spiral tattoo on her shoulder and a stud in each nostril. Her father immigrated to the United States from Jerusalem as a child. He was laid off a decade ago from a corporate job, and now, at 75, he runs a flower shop. She doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to retire.

“In theory I’m pro-Obama, but Obama’s one of those mask-wearing presidents, like Clinton was,” Rothschild said, referring to Bill Clinton’s failure, in her eyes, to fulfill promises he made on environmental issues. Rothschild said she likely would not vote.

Another young Jewish Lake Worth anarchist was more direct about not voting. “The economic crisis has been created by Wall Street and corporate greed, with which both major presidential candidates are intimately tied,” wrote Audrey Paisley, 25, in an email. “I do not believe any of their rhetoric that says otherwise and I am disgusted by the whole charade.”


Sebastian Gordon stood in the empty parking lot of Temple Beth Tikvah. The hood of his pickup was open. His mother had died two weeks before, so he had come to synagogue to say Kaddish. Temple Beth Tikvah can usually pull together a minyan, though not always without calling in synagogue staff. But today more than a dozen men showed up for the lengthy morning service. Gordon was lucky.

At least, until he got back out to the parking lot and found his truck wouldn’t start. His nose was smudged with engine grease while he stood waiting for the mechanic on his landscaping crew to show up and help get the pickup going again.

Gordon moved here from Argentina 12 years ago, just before the 2001 economic collapse that sent middle-class Argentineans scavenging garbage dumps for food.

“I was feeling something really bad coming,” Gordon said of his decision to emigrate when he did. “I came here, and another crisis followed me.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.