snh published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Jewish People Leave Tracks in the World of Skiing Through fashion, business, and sport, the Jewish people have made their mark on the world of skiing. Have you ever heard of “skijorking”? Picture water skiing on snow, and replace the boat with a horse. Harold Hirsch, born in 1907, specialized in skijoring on the Dartmouth College ski team. When the Great Depression hit, Hirsch returned and started a clothing business in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He began producing ski pants and jackets. For more than 40 years, Hirsch’s company, White Stag, were leaders in ski and outdoor apparel design. They produced the distinctive red waterproof parka for the National Ski, Winter Olympics jackets, and high-fashion skiwear created by Italian designer Emilio Pucci. Such winter fashions adorned the ski trails of Mount Snow in southern Vermont. Mark Fleischman and Robert Millman ran Mount Snow in 1973, dubbed at the time “the biggest ski area in the world.” Some other Jewish owned ski resorts include American Skiing Company, Vail Resorts, and Aspen Skiing Company. With ski resorts, come skiers. The Olympian representation of Jewish skiers, then, is no wonder. Three prominent Jewish Olympian skiers are Carrie Sheinberg, Laura Spector, and Jeremy Bloom. Carrie Sheinberg graced the scene as a slalom skier and, in 1989, was named to the US Ski Team. At age 21, she skied in the slalom at the 1994 Winter Olympics and was the top US finisher. Sheinberg won the US Alpine 1995 combined title, 1997 slalom titles, and the 1997 giant slalom at the US Alpine Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine. In 2010, Laura Spector, a Jewish American woman made her Olympic debut in Vancouver, competing in the women’s biathlon. The biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Jeremy Bloom is a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympian, eleven-time World Cup gold medalist and the youngest male snow skier to ever be inducted into the United States Skiing Hall of Fame. In 2005, he won a Ski ...continued on page 7 non-profit org. U.S. postage paid permit #2134 New Haven, CT SHALOM NEW HAVEN november - december 2013 / cheshvan - kislev - tevet 5774 Thanksgiving and Chanukah Together At Last It has been a difficult on and off rela- tionship. Their schedules never matched up, but their values were the same. Finally, in 2013, Thanksgiving and Chanukah overlap. And very few of us will ever see it happen again. Some are marking the special occurrence with a latke and turkey dinner, others are marking it with the whimsical name Thanksgivukah. Three years ago, Eli Lansey got curious about the history of the two holidays. A lot of math and a little research later, he came up with a historically accurate list of past and future dates when the two holidays will occur simultaneously. According to Wikipedia, from 18631938, Thanksgiving was traditionally celebrated on the last Thursday of November; from 1939-1941, it was on the fourth, third and third Thursdays for some of the country (“Democratic Thanksgiving”), and on the last Thursdays for other parts (“Republican Thanksgiving”); and from 1942 through now, it is generally celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The Jewish calendar drifts around 4.3 days later every 1000 years, but Lansey found these results: 2013 – Thanksgiving falls on the first day of Chanukah 1888 – Thanksgiving fell on the first day of Chanukah In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” however, thanksgivings were common since the “First Thanksgiving” in 1621 and have taken 1899 – Thanksgiving fell on the fourth day of Chanukah 1918 – Thanksgiving fell on the first night of Chanukah 2070 – Thanksgiving falls on the first night of Chanukah 2165 – Thanksgiving falls on the first night of Chanukah At some point the Jewish calendar will need to be corrected in order to keep Passover in the spring, but until then (or until they change the day we celebrate Thanksgiving), these dates are firm. To celebrate, here are eight reasons why Thanksgivukah is a great once-in-alifetime holiday for Jewish families in the United States: 1. Let us celebrate this union of values between country and religion that all families can be thankful for Together at Last ...continued on page 2 He Who Laughs is New Haven Bound What if Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac lived in contemporary Manhattan and God called on Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son? He Who Laughs, a new play by Ian Cohen, grapples with this scenario. Abraham becomes Alfred Wells, a passionately devout businessman with a personal relationship with the Almighty. His wife, Sheila, will stop at nothing to save their conflicted, video-game obsessed 17-year-old son, Zach (short for Isaac, meaning “he who laughs”). The play will receive a fully-staged workshop production by JCC Theaterworks Dec. 14-16, directed by Reuven Russell. “I felt that by putting Abraham, Isaac, and Sarah in my world, by creating real people, and by writing honestly and fearlessly, along with copious research, I would stumble onto the secret of The Akeda,” explains Cohen. “I knew that one day I’d write this play, not because I had an opinion about The Sacrifice of Isaac, but because I knew there had to be more to it.” Director Reuven Russell agrees, “Who doesn’t have questions about this event today? To simply say ‘it was a test’, or even ‘the ultimate test’ doesn’t seem like a complete answer. This was an epic event, with many levels of meaning. It’s exciting to explore the levels with this particular play.” JCC Cultural Arts Manager DeDe Jacobs-Komisar selected He Who Laughs as JCC Theaterwork’s first show because it “exemplifies the company’s mission of exploring what Jewish theater is and can be. Plays like He Who Laughs go deep He Who Laughs ...continued on page 2 Busy Start to the JCC Program Year Michael Bolton, pictured here with JCC receptionist Marge Bonito, returned to his JCC to treat fans to childhood memories featured in his memoir The Soul of it All on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Kid’s Run participants chased Benny the Bagel through obstacle courses on the JCC soccer fields before the annual Murray Lender 5K Bagel Run on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.