In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Oct. 19, 2007 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Elian II: The sequel

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Children in the foster care system face enough challenges without adding politics and ideology to the mix, never mind the C-word.


"Elian II," the sequel we hoped never to see, is what fathers' groups are calling a Miami case that once again highlights our confusion about paternal rights in child custody battles.

This time, the dispute revolves around a 5-year-old Cuban girl, her biological father in Cuba, her mentally unstable mother in the U.S., a passel of relatives, therapists, guardians ad litem, activist attorneys and, finally, a wealthy, influential Cuban-American foster family.

Elian and "E," as we'll call the girl, have similar stories. In Elian's case, the father wanted his boy returned to Cuba after the child's mother drowned en route to the U.S., but family members in the U.S. wanted him to grow up here. Few can have forgotten how then-Attorney General Janet Reno sent armed troops to remove Elian from his Miami home and return him to Cuba.

In E's case, the facts are a little muddier, but the principle is the same: Does the biological father, assuming he is fit, have a right to his own child? The answer should seem obvious: Not yes, but hell yes.

But what's obvious isn't always so. E is another tragic case in point.

There isn't enough space here to describe the many complications — and questionable behavior — in this sordid saga. In her recent ruling, for instance, Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen criticized "unprofessional conduct by certain members of the defense team and a general hostile environment in the courtroom."

Briefly, E was 2 when she came legally to the U.S. along with her mother, Elena Perez, a half-brother and a "stepfather," who agreed to marry Perez so that he could make the trip, according to Cohen's ruling. Perez had won a Cuban visa lottery that allows the winner, a spouse and minor children to emigrate to the U.S. under special parole authority.

The stepfather dumped Perez and the children immediately upon arrival, whereupon Perez began to unravel. When she attempted suicide in 2005, she lost custody of her kids to the state.

Both E and her half-brother were placed in temporary custody with a well-known Miami couple, Joe Cubas and his wife Maria. Cubas is a wealthy sports agent, both controversial and revered by many in the Cuban community for helping Cuban athletes defect and assume careers in American baseball leagues. Cubas also has worked with a Miami orphanage for abused children stuck in long-term foster care.

Among those he helped was E's half-brother, whom the Cubases have adopted.

The custody case has dragged on so long that E has bonded with the Cubases, who have a home in upscale Coral Cables, a swimming pool and a boat. Life is good, and few dispute that the Cubases have offered a stable, nurturing home to the two children.

By contrast, E's father, Rafael Izquierdo, is a poor farmer who lives with his common-law wife and another child in rural, central Cuba. He is generally regarded as hardworking, though as Cohen wrote in her ruling, he is a "somewhat passive and unsophisticated individual who approaches life in very simplistic and concrete terms."

Projecting our own values, it's easy to imagine that E would be materially better off in America. We'd all prefer to live among prosperity in a free country than in relative poverty under a communist dictatorship.

But that's not the point. We don't disenfranchise parents or deny children their natural parents, assuming they're fit, based on politics, income or material goods.

In fact, Cohen ruled last month that Izquierdo is a fit father and that E should go home with him. But child welfare officials want to keep her here and have spent $250,000 to that end, by The Miami Herald's estimate.

On Monday, state attorneys filed a notice of appeal to try to overturn Cohen's ruling, claiming that E's removal from the Cubases would be damaging to her.

Separating E from her foster family now may indeed cause emotional trauma for all involved. But it's hard to imagine under what circumstances a child would be given to foster parents over a fit biological parent who wants to raise her.

The sad truth is that E should have been put on a plane back to Cuba as soon as her mother was determined unfit.

E had a father then. She has one now.

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