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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

'Second wives' activist fights lifelong alimony

By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo





Growing movement seeks uniformity --- and justice


JewishWorldReview.com |

cORT LAUDERDALE— (MCT) Debbie Leff Israel believes in sharing — but not to the point of turning over part of her paycheck to her fiance's former wife.

That's why the Weston, Fla., woman says she has held off marrying her beloved: She doesn't want to financially support his ex-wife.

"The current Florida laws stand in the way of me being happily married," she wrote on the Florida Alimony Reform website to explain why she has become an activist fighting permanent alimony — what her fiance has been ordered to pay, even in his retirement.

Israel, who teaches math at Broward College, helped start the Florida Second Wives Club as a way to fight what she considers the unfairness of judges' giving lifetime alimony to some first wives — and then a second wife's income sometimes being used to support the first.

"Instead of enjoying a happy marriage," she recently wrote on floridaalimonyreform.com, "I feel sad and frustrated. I am a mathematics professor, so I suppose my brain is wired for balance. I do not see balance in a situation where laws that are supposedly intended to help families are actually preventing a new, happy family from fully and legally materializing."

Under Florida law, a judge can look at the finances of the paying ex, usually a former husband, if his ex-wife requests more alimony. If he has fewer expenses because a new spouse is helping pay, then a judge can rule he can pay more alimony — if the ex-wife's request for more money is justified, Fort Lauderdale family law attorney Barry Finkel said.

"That doesn't seem fair to me," Israel said.


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She has become a leader in Florida Alimony Reform, which largely had been made up of men paying support to ex-wives for the rest of their lives unless the women remarry. The group unsuccessfully tried to get a bill to end permanent alimony passed during the last legislative session, and is now planning to introduce a new one when the Legislature meets next year.

"Debbie has been instrumental in getting women to join the alimony-reform movement," said FAR volunteer Hector Torres, of Pembroke Pines, who testified earlier this year before a state legislative committee in support of alimony reforms. "She is very dedicated to the cause and has done a terrific job in educating women about the unfairness (to both men and women) of the current laws."

Israel has even taped videos to place on YouTube of second wives who feel the current state law gives preferential treatment to first wives, Torres said.

Today, most divorces in the United States still involve some sort of alimony, but often it's awarded for a set time to help a spouse retrain for work and become self-supporting, according to those who work in family law practices. Statistics on alimony are hard to get: the Tallahassee-based Office of the State Courts Administrator keeps statistics on child support but not alimony.

"I think it's safe to say it's a small minority of people and a small minority of cases," said South Florida lawyer David Manz, immediate past chairman of the Florida Bar family-law section.

Finkel said Florida law has become fairer with reforms that took effect last summer, requiring judges to find "documented exceptional circumstances" for a spouse to get permanent alimony if the marriage lasted seven years or less and "clear and convincing evidence" for permanent alimony for spouses in longer marriages of up to 17 years. Judges must also rule that no other form of alimony would be "fair and reasonable" in giving permanent alimony.

Florida legislators have been concerned about protecting older homemakers, who are mostly women and have been raising families rather than working for pay. Unless they get alimony, they often have no income.

But what can be unfair is that judges' rulings widely vary in divorce cases with similar situations, Finkel said. "There are inconsistencies in rulings," he said.

Israel and other members of the alimony reform movement want more uniformity and justice.

Permanent alimony sometimes hurts the very people it's supposed to protect by giving them a lifetime of income without their needing to try to succeed in a new career, Israel said.

She opted not to get permanent alimony when she divorced, but rather agreed to a set time. It was healthier, Israel said. Otherwise, "a person can be tethered until death" to an ex-spouse, she said.

"I believe permanent alimony permanently attaches you," Israel said.

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