March 31, 2017 4 Nissan 5777 Volume 73, Issue 6
S o u t h e r n A r i z o n a ’ s A wa r d - W i n n i n g J e w i s h N e w s pa p e r
INSIDE Passover Features.... 14, 16 Arts & Culture.....................4, 11 Classifieds.............................. 14
DAVID J. DEL GRANDE
Federation ‘Together’............9 Local................2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13 National................................. 18 News Briefs........................... 17 Obituaries..............................26 Our Town...............................27 P.S..........................................23 Rabbi’s Corner.......................22 Synagogue Directory............ 12 World.................................... 20
Happy Passover 5777
Lecturer says Trump’s dealmaking could work in Middle East
AJP Staff Writer
hai Feldman, a professor of politics at Brandeis University, believes President Donald J. Trump could Shai Feldman broker a deal that ends the Arab/Israeli conflict, because the most contentious issues contradict a golden rule of negotiation. “In the Arab/Israeli conflict the devil is not in the details, in the Arab/Israeli conflict the devil is in the principles — the details are bridgeable,” said Feldman. Feldman prefaced his lecture at the University of Arizona earlier this month with an apology to skeptics of the current administration. With an unabashed dry wit, he assured the audience they would leave the event happier — or be convinced he should be institutionalized. He provided three reasons why Trump has a chance: Trump is radically different, and his approach would contrast with the attempts during the last three U.S. administrations; Trump’s inattention to details will be a plus; and Trump’s ability to market ideas could prove to be his greatest asset. Feldman was the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Jeffrey Plevan Memorial Lecture series presented by the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies on Tuesday, March 21. He’s the director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis, and the author of multiple books including his latest text, “Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking See Dealmaking, page 10
Ceramic lotus flower seder plate by Tucson artist Julie Szerina Stein
Lawyers see Passover, immigration link KORENE CHARNOFSKY COHEN Special to the AJP
assover is the time of freedom. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, we eat bitter herbs and dip karpas (vegetables) in salt water to recall our suffering and tears. We eat charoset, made with ground almonds, cinnamon and wine to recall the mortar used by Jewish slaves to make bricks in Egypt. But charoset also contains apples for sweetness, encouraging us to believe in the possibility of a brighter future. The seder leads us to discover our legacy of freedom. And it provides an opportunity to focus on welcoming immigrants — the strangers in our midst – just as we were strangers in Egypt. The Torah provides several teachings relevant to immigrants, but particularly at
March 31 ... 6:25 p.m.
April 7 ... 6:30 p.m.
Passover we recall the following: “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9) “When strangers reside with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I the Eternal am your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34) Tucson immigration lawyers Fred Klein and Maurice (Mo) Goldman say that working for freedom for others, acting with kindness and welcoming the stranger is gratifying work. Both say that being Jewish was a factor in deciding to specialize in immigration law. See Immigration, page 8
April 14 ... 6:35 p.m.
LOCAL Israeli Partnership2Gether delegates get inside look at Tucson community DAVID J. DEL GRANDE AJP Staff Writer
Photo: David J. Del Grande
osting the annual Partnership2Gether leadership mission in Tucson this year was ambitious and quite successful, says Oshrat Barel, director of the Weintraub Israel Center. Six partnership delegates from Israel, Tucson delegates and local community stakeholders spent a week, from Feb. 26-March 5, discussing the program, its strengths and ways to deepen the region-to-region relationship. Although the group’s schedule was grueling, and at times frustrating, the most difficult part was not having enough time, Barel says. The partnership among Tucson, Israel’s Hof Ashkelon region and the Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi began in 1996. This year there are 651 children taking part in its school twinning program, which pairs 15 Tucson classrooms with their Israeli counterparts. The local enterprise is part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether Peoplehood Platform, formerly known as Partnership 2000, a global initiative that connects Jewish and Israeli communities. The program links about 450 communities, creating a global network of more than 350,000 participants annually. Isaac Amar, Israel chair of the local partnership, says its annual leadership mission helps grow the partnership network as well as strengthen the bond between Tucson and Israel.
Tucsonan Goggy Davidowitz takes part in a Partnership2Gether teambuilding exercise at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Feb. 27.
“Shared conversations, meetings and discussions on issues that concern the two communities greatly contribute to the understanding of the mission, to strengthen the relationship and to create a real partnership between the two communities,” he says. Amar is a school principal in Rishon LeZion, so visiting Tucson Hebrew Academy and various Jewish afterschool programs in Tucson was a highlight of this year’s mission. “It warmed my heart to see children from the
community,” he says, “come to study Hebrew and Jewish identity,” especially after their regular academic day. Serving as a partnership chair gave him the opportunity to connect with Tucson’s Jewish community in meaningful way, he says. “It was a perfect experience of brotherhood.” Being involved in the decision making process for educational programs for children was both a challenge and an honor, he adds. Rebecca Crow, Tucson chair of the P2G program, says the relationships she’s helped develop are invaluable. “Together, over the last four years, we have brought the Partnership program to a point where it is truly a bridge connecting both communities and bringing benefits to both sides,” says Crow. The annual leadership mission helps committee members from Tucson and Israel see the positive impact of the partnership in real time, Crow says. “It also allows both committees to form meaningful relationships and expand our network; at the end of the week, we all feel like one big family.” Among the week’s highlights for committee members, she says, was visiting the school twinning participants. “The twinning program is one of the stars of our partnership effort, and seeing how much both the students and the teachers were impacted was amazing.” Crow says the partnership wants to further develop the school twinning program by adding a Tucson Fel-
The Rabbi Marcus Breger Memorial Lecture 2017 Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7pm • Free Tucson JCC • 3800 E. River Rd., Tucson, AZ
See Partnership2Gether, page 11
Prof. Ziony Zevit American Jewish University
It is commonly held that ancient Israelites believed that God was invisible. During the Israelites’ wanderings in the Sinai desert, the Bible notes that they were led by the divine presence which appeared to them as a pillar of fire. The Bible also mentions that Moses himself affirmed God’s invisibility. “The Lord spoke to you out of the fire; you heard the sound of words but perceived no shape—nothing but a voice” (Deut 4:12). He also noted that they “… saw no shape when the Lord your God spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire...” (Deut 4:15). The second of the Ten Commandments forbids making idolatrous images, but the biblical authors nonetheless often chided the Israelites for continuing to make and worship images. Moreover, the nations surrounding Israel knew what their gods looked like, and they commonly made images of these gods. But did the Israelites imagine the Divine appearance? In other words, did they think that God had a physical presence, a body? In this lecture Prof. Ziony Zevit will demonstrate that the ancient Israelites believed that God was not only visible to many, but also an image of his physical appearance.
For more information, call (520) 626-5758 or visit us at www.judaic.arizona.edu
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Wishing You a Sweet Pesach from our family to yours
Holocaust expert explores difference between religious hostility, anti-Semitism
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Peter Hayes speaks at the Holocaust History Center at the Jewish History Museum on March 13.
DAVID J. DEL GRANDE AJP Staff Writer
rom the Catholic Church, to occupied Europe and the United States, the world failed to prevent the Holocaust because they were too vested in their own interests, Peter Hayes, a former professor at Northwestern University, told about 40 people who packed the Holocaust History Center at the Jewish History Museum on March 13. “Everyone else always had something more important to do, and everyone else always had an interest that to them was more important than protecting Jews,” Hayes said. Hayes discussed some of the major factors that lead up to the Holocaust in his lecture, “The Holocaust: What Do We Need To Know Now?” He’s the author of 12 books including, “Why? Explaining the Holocaust,” which distills and answers the most common questions students and lecture attendees asked about the Holocaust throughout his career. W. W. Norton & Company published the book in January. He was a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., for 36 years,
teaching German and history. He specialized in the history of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and the role corporations played during the Third Reich. Hayes currently serves as chair of the academic committee for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Although Hayes’s new book addresses eight questions about the Holocaust, he focused on two central concerns during his lecture: Why were the Jews killed, and why didn’t, or couldn’t, anyone stop it? The hatred of Jews began with the rise of Christianity and was fundamentally rooted in this religious rivalry, he said. This animosity changed in complexity during the Enlightenment, influenced by philosophers like Voltaire — who were the embodiments of rational, modern thought, but weren’t necessarily religious — who believed Jews were too dedicated to tradition. But the birth of anti-Semitism was a response to the professional emancipation of Jews in Europe that developed in the early 19th century. Before the 1850s, Jews couldn’t practice law or hold political office. “When you had religious hostility to Jews — that could change, they could See Holocaust, page 12
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n the night of the second Passover seder 12 years ago, Amy Oestreicher’s parents had to ask their guests to leave their Connecticut home so they could take Oestreicher, then 18, to the hospital with a severe stomachache. She was rushed into surgery where her stomach exploded due to a blood clot, which doctors later hypothesized had been caused by an ulcer. Her lungs collapsed and she ended up in a coma for months. Just two weeks before that seder, she had disclosed to her mother that her voice teacher, a man who had promised to be her mentor, her godfather, someone she could trust, had been sexually molesting her. It took Oestreicher years to heal from the physical trauma of that surgery and the dozens of surgeries that followed, years before she was allowed even a single bite of food or a sip of water, and even longer to begin to heal from the emotional trauma. Today, she is a PTSD specialist, author, TEDx speaker, Huffington Post contributor, health advocate, actress and playwright, a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and, in her own words, “a survivor and ‘thriver.’” Oestreicher will be the keynote speaker at Tucson’s Take Back the Night event on Wednesday, April 12. Take Back the Night is an annual event celebrated around the world to speak out against sexual violence, raise awareness and support survivors. Oestreicher also will perform her one-woman musical, “Gutless and Grateful,” at Pima Community College West Campus on Thursday, April 13, in conjunction with a performance of “House of Hope” by Tucson’s Esperanza Dance Project. EDP, which seeks to raise awareness of childhood sexual violence and eradicate the secrecy and shame surrounding survivors, will also perform a short piece at Take Back the Night. Oestreicher says she connected with EDP Artistic Director Beth Braun through research she was doing for a full-length play about her life, in which she hopes to integrate multiple forms of art and movement. “I got such a beautiful note from Beth in response to my inquiry,” she told the AJP, and the two have been collaborating long-distance on choreography for the new show. “Amy Oestreicher is an unstoppable spirit, one of the most inspiring women I have ever come across,” says Braun, adding that during a year of emails and phone calls, there were several instances when both women were struck by the realization “that we were meant to meet and work together.” Oestreicher’s visit to Tucson will take place during Passover, and she says she returns often to the themes of the holiday, such as redemption and resilience, in her work. On that seder night 12 years ago, she notes, “like the Jews in Egypt, we left in haste,” with her family never
Amy Oestreicher performs ‘Gutless and Grateful’ at the Triad Theatre in New York in October 2012.
imagining they’d be gone for months, as they stayed by her side in the intensive care unit. When her parents finally did return home, she says, “it was very haunting, it was like coming back to Pompeii,” with food and wine still on the table – an image, she says, that prompted the new drama she is writing. Oestreicher is also working on a play based on the oral histories of her grandmother, a seamstress who survived Auschwitz because the Nazis relied on her to sew their uniforms. And, inspired by the role of Judaism in her own recovery, she’s created several keynote presentations that combine musical theatre, creative storytelling and leadership skill building, which she presents to religious groups, schools, synagogues and international conferences. “As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Judaism has always been a large part of my identity,” she says. “After trauma, it empowered me with the will to survive.” Take Back the Night will be held on April 12 from 4-9:30 p.m. at the City of South Tucson Municipal Complex, 1601 S. Sixth Ave. See facebook.com/TBTN. Tucson for more information. Esperanza Dance Project will perform “House of Hope,” followed by Amy Oestreicher’s “Gutless and Grateful,” on April 13 at 7 p.m. at Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre, West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. See esperanzadanceproject.com or amyoes.com/event/gutlessarizona for more information. AJP Executive Editor Phyllis Braun is Beth Braun’s sister-in-law and a member of the EDP board of directors.
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LOCAL Shinshinim hosts grateful for opportunity Mozart:
Symphony No. 36
Alpine Symphony Photo courtesy Naomi Weiner
Seated (L-R): Leah Avuno, Yoni Weiner, Bar Alkaher; standing: Téa, Tamir, Erin, Elana, Joshua, Jackie and Naomi Weiner
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Photo courtesy Oshrat Barel
f your heart longs to visit Israel, but time doesn’t allow, consider the opportunity to bring a vibrant piece of Israel to your home. The Shinshinim Young Ambassadors Program sends Israeli high school graduates to communities all over the world to work in Jewish educational and cultural institutions (see azjewishpost.com/2016/israeli-teen-emissaries-to-be-newest-link-in-tucson-israelchain/). Several local families have been hosting the first two of the program’s emissaries in Tucson, Bar Alkaher and Leah Avuno. Tamir and Naomi Weiner, with their two younger children, Yonatan, 17, and Téa, 15, hosted both Israeli teens at the start of the school year. “We found this to be a good cross-cultural experience for our kids,” says Tamir, “and a nostalgic one for me and Naomi.” Both Tamir and Naomi had spent years in Israel working with youth groups and benefiting from the support of host families. In all they spent nearly a decade living in Israel in the 1980s and ’90s. They say participating in the Shinshinim program allowed them to actively demonstrate their commitment to Israel. “While our big kids had visited Israel with teen programs,” says Naomi, “Yoni and Téa have not, so having both Shinshinim in our home allowed us to give them an ‘Israeli experience.’ Plus it was nice for our kids to have surrogate siblings around who are close to their own age.” Naomi explains that the young Israelis work really long hours in the community and don’t have a great deal of free time to go out and develop social connections. “Even though Leah and Bar are very mature at 18 and 19,” says Naomi, “they are still kids who are far from family and friends and their own country. They need
Friday, April 7, 7:30pm Sunday, April 9, 2pm
Shira Barel, left, and Leah Avuno
our support and to feel that they belong and are wanted. Providing them a supportive home was the important thing for us to offer them, especially given how much they enriched our family life.” Oshrat and Eli Barel, with their three children, Yuval (16), Ronnie (13) and Shira (6) are currently hosting Shinshinit Leah Avuno. Oshrat is the director of the Weintraub Israel Center and she administers the Shinshinim program in Tucson. Though the Barel family is Israeli, they are now into their fourth year of living in Tucson. Oshrat says that having an engaging and dynamic Israeli teen in their household has been a great benefit for her kids, especially for Shira, who has lived most of her life in Tucson. Demonstrating the successful integration of Leah into their family, Shira recently declared, “Now I have three sisters!” Kris and Ben Silverman, with their teens, Bernie (19), Max (17) and Sophie (13), have been hosting Shinshin Bar Alkaher in their home for the second part of his year in Tucson. Kris says that the See Shinshinim, page 12 March 31, 2017, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
COMMENTARY Is Trump owed an apology after the JCC bomb threat arrest? Is anybody? ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL JTA
Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
iterally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an IsraeliAmerican teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety. “[I] fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped [into] a frenzy for our own nefarious political aims” is how someone responded to the JTA story about the arrest. A colleague’s friend wrote, “And now people will have another excuse to not take anti-Semitism seriously.” The shock and anxiety inspired by news of the arrest were understandable. After all, anti-Semitic organizations and websites keep tallies of “false flag” antiSemitic attacks carried out by Jews in order to discredit the very idea that antiSemitism exists. (Such incidents are few and far between, and pale next to the actual tally of attacks on people and property, but never mind.) But the JCC bomb threat hoax wasn’t just an isolated swastika daubing — it
The American-Israeli teenager arrested on suspicion of making over 100 bomb threats to American JCCs leaves court in Rishon Lezion, Israel, March 23, 2017.
was an ongoing story affecting Jewish institutions in nearly every American Jewish community. It shaped a communal narrative that something ugly and insidious was happening out there. And it fueled a political crisis among most American Jewish organizations and the White House, with the former accusing the latter of taking too long to denounce
anti-Semitism and to comfort Jews traumatized by the bomb threats and at least two major cemetery desecrations. Coming almost as quickly as the expressions of anxiety was the political exploitation of the arrest. “The Ultimate Self-Hating Jew, a 19yr old Israeli-American, was behind the JCC bomb threats,” tweeted Marc Zell,
the co-chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel. “The US Jewish leadership owes @POTUS an apology.” David Bernstein at the Washington Post’s conservative Volokh Conspiracy posted in a blog: “[T]he fight against actual anti-Semitism and other forms of racism will likely have been dealt a blow because self-serving groups like the ADL chose to hype and politicize the threats without any idea of their actual origin.” Before we get too far into the rituals of finger-pointing, a few things are worth considering: First, JCCs and other Jewish institutions across the country, and the children and adults who use them, were traumatized by the string of some 150 bomb threats. It cost JCCs members and money, and diverted funds from programs to heighten security. That the main hoaxer allegedly was a Jewish guy living in Israel doesn’t erase three months of anguish. Second, it is a huge relief to Jewish institutions — and the community that relies upon them — that someone has been caught. Perhaps they can return to business as usual. Let’s give them their See Apology, page 7
Ohio State Hillel is anti-BDS, not anti-LGBT, and to say otherwise is an insult KYLE GERSMAN
JTA via The Forward
ast week, Ohio State University Hillel was accused of being anti-LGBT because it was forced to disassociate with a Jewish LGBT campus group,
B’nai Keshet, after the group decided to co-sponsor a fundraiser for queer refugees with Jewish Voice for Peace. I was shocked to hear this accusation and wanted to understand where it had come from and why. Being gay and Jewish, I’m fortunate to
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have a supportive community in my life at Ohio State University, which has allowed me to be active throughout campus as a university ambassador, a brother of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and a Morrill scholar for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to name a few. My engagement with OSU Hillel has absolutely made me feel more comfortable as a Jewish college student, especially amid rising anti-Semitic incidents across the country, and I have found an inclusive, welcoming community for LGBT Jews. But recently, this support has been under attack. I sat down with both friends supporting Hillel’s recent actions and with friends who feel Hillel has an anti-LGBT impact. After hearing about the issue from both perspectives, I feel it’s essential to correct some misconceptions. First, Hillel’s facilities and programs are open to everyone, and that includes individuals of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Hillel has had programming for the LGBT community for more than 20 years, including an annual Rainbow Seder for Passover. A. Rainbow. Seder. They have created a 160-plus page LGBT resource guide specifically to help staff welcome LGBT Jews and “celebrate
their identity with love, affirmation, and joy.” Students notice these efforts. If you’ve ever spent any time in Hillel, you quickly realize the volume of LGBT students who frequent the building, the staff members who feel comfortable openly belonging to the LGBT community, the number of LGBT programs that are hosted there, not to mention the giant pride flag hanging in the front office. Hillel’s support for our community is literally on display every day for all to see. B’nai Keshet funding wasn’t cut because it is a group that aims to provide a community to Jewish LGBT students. It was disqualified from receiving funding after going against national Hillel policy regarding use of Hillel funds for anti-Israel activity. In this case, B’nai Keshet was among the co-sponsors of a drag show fundraiser for LGBT refugees co-organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that the Anti-Defamation League calls “the leading anti-Zionist organization in the U.S. that seeks to steer public support away from Israel.” Both on campus and nationally, JVP is a major proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement against Israel. See Hillel, page 7
APOLOGY continued from page 6
moment of relief. Third, Jews didn’t do this to “themselves.” This was a criminal act by an individual. Blaming all members of a community for the act of an individual is a page out of the anti-Semitism playbook. Many Jewish groups did go too far, too fast in assuming the identity of the culprit (or culprits), pinning the threats on a political climate inspired by President Donald Trump. “We’ve never seen, ever, the volume of bomb threats that we’ve seen,” Oren Siegel, the director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said at a news conference following the arrest of the first suspect, Juan Thompson (a copycat motivated by some weird romantic grudge that appears to have had little to do with Jews). “White supremacists in this country feel more emboldened than they ever have before because of the public discourse and divisive rhetoric.” Bend the Arc, the liberal Jewish social justice group, was more explicit in blaming Trump. “In recent days, we have seen mani-
HILLEL continued from page 6
Frankly, the drag show itself sounds like a great event, and nobody disputes that supporting LGBT refugees is a wonderful cause. OSU Hillel’s decision was made because Hillel International has made it a matter of universal policy that it cannot give financial support to any campus groups that use their funds to push for BDS. This is not to say students from these groups are excluded from Hillel. Hillel’s facilities and programs are open to students of all political opinions. Hillel staff repeatedly met with B’nai Keshet and advised it not to co-sponsor the
festations of the hatred stirred up by President-elect Donald Trump throughout his campaign,” it wrote in a statement after the first wave of JCC bomb threats. “Trump helped to create the atmosphere of bigotry and violence that has resulted in these dangerous threats against Jewish institutions and individuals.” At this moment, we don’t know the motive of the Israeli suspect. But assuming this kid was dealing with personal demons and the JCC bomb threats can’t be pinned on typical anti-Semitic ideology, does this mean that the spike in hate crimes tallied in New York and elsewhere didn’t happen? Were these Jewish groups wrong to assume that anti-Semites were responsible for antiSemitism? Groups who pinned the bomb threats on an atmosphere that Trump “helped to create” certainly went too far, but does their lack of caution mean that Trump’s divisive campaign rhetoric should be forgiven? Should advocacy groups not have called out a campaign and an administration that has tolerated and encouraged the “alt-right” and habitually indulges in ethnically divisive rhetoric? Ann Coulter — asking “Has ANY anti-Trump story been true?” — joined the
chorus of those suggesting the arrest exonerated Trump, though exonerated of what is not clear. Jewish groups wanted a strong statement from the White House condemning the bomb threats and the cemetery vandalism not because he was the perpetrator or a Republican, but because he is the president of the United States. Issuing statements of condemnation and support is what presidents do, automatically and usually inconspicuously. Only Trump has seemed to take this task as an affront, somehow believing that to condemn hate crimes is to take responsibility for them. Others are saying that the arrest of a Jew in the bomb threats vindicates Trump’s comments last month suggesting that the threats were a “false flag” attack. According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Trump told a meeting of states’ attorney generals that “Sometimes it’s the reverse,” and attacks are made “to make people — or to make others — look bad.” Some took this to mean that Trump was suggesting a Jew was behind the attack, although more likely he was referring to a political enemy. Whatever he meant, he couldn’t have sounded more tone-deaf. Again, dozens of institutions
and hundreds of families were reeling from a series of bomb threats. As in his famous blowup in response to a question from a Jewish reporter about rising anti-Semitism, Trump made the events about him rather than the victims. The ADL and other Jewish groups have a tough PR challenge ahead of them: keeping the focus on acts of anti-Semitism by traditional enemies — white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the virulently anti-Israel far left — while acknowledging that one of the most extensive and public anti-Semitic acts of recent memory was carried out by a Jew. They’ll need to recast the narrative of resurgent anti-Semitism by omitting the wave of JCC bomb threats, but not at the expense of the victimized JCCs. As the American Jewish Committee put it in a statement, “This is a lesson in not leaping to assumption[s] about complex links between polarizing politics and anti-Semitic acts. But it does not dispel [the] age-old reality of antiSemitism.” And they’ll have to find a way to stay vigilant in a polarized and poisonous political era without being seen as the boys who cried wolf.
event because Hillel would have no alternative but to distance itself from the group. B’nai Keshet ignored the caution and carried on with JVP. Hillel has a clearly stated policy, Hillel warned B’nai Keshet, B’nai Keshet ignored the caution and Hillel followed through with its policy. And now B’nai Keshet is politicizing this move as anti-LGBT, despite the decision having nothing to do with the group’s mission or membership. Hillel would withdraw funding and affiliation from any group that uses its funds to support BDS. By making this decision, Hillel is not condemning Jews who support BDS or excluding students based on their views on Israel, it is simply saying you cannot use Hillel money for pro-BDS
programming. B’nai Keshet was created to be a place for LGBT Jews to come together and express shared values on being Jewish and LGBT, regardless of personal politics surrounding BDS. By aligning the group with JVP programming, B’nai Keshet’s current leaders, who are also founders of JVP on campus, politicized its membership for an issue outside of its mission. At a time when many other LGBT groups are incorporating pro-BDS language into their rallies and events, B’nai Keshet forced LGBT Jews to identify by its politics, even if it meant ultimately hurting its own membership by intentionally acting in a way that would cut ties with Hillel. It’s insulting not only to me but to the
entire OSU Hillel community for Hillel to be called anti-LGBT. When I sat down recently with members of the Hillel staff that are openly LGBT or strong allies, the pain in their voices about being vilified as homophobes was palpable. My friends at Hillel were some of the first people I came out to, and it hurts to see these individuals and this organization slandered for political gain. Regardless, I know that the Ohio State Hillel will continue to do programming to support its LGBT community, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
Andrew Silow-Carroll is JTA’s editor-in-chief.
Kyle Gersman, a third-year student at The Ohio State University from Akron, Ohio, is studying chemical engineering with a minor in studio art. A version of this essay appeared at Scribe, The Forward’s contributor network.
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Fred Klein (right) with Lievin Niyongabo at the Tucson's International Rescue Committee office. An immigrant from Burundi, Niyongabo is an Americorps VISTA volunteer at the IRC and also works as a caregiver. He was a university student in Namibia when his family got permission to resettle in the United States and plans to resume his studies.
IMMIGRATION continued from page 1
“Many Jews came here as refugees fleeing from persecution,” says Klein. “My grandparents worked to rescue family members from Europe during WWII.” Klein says he was inspired to help refugees during the late 1970s and ’80s when there was a refugee crisis in Indochina. The area came under communist rule and many people fled for their lives, including people who had worked with Americans in Indochina. When Thailand was inundated with refugees they forced many of them to go back to Cambodia. “This brought to mind the fact that more than 900 Jewish refugees aboard the German liner, St. Louis, were turned away from both Cuba and the U.S. in 1939,” says Klein. The ship returned to Europe where several countries took in refugees, but 532 people were trapped in Western Europe after the German invasion. Nearly half of them lost their lives. Klein and his wife, Patricia, became involved in refugee resettlement in Tucson. They helped individuals and families with setting up a household, learning English, finding work, enrolling in school and getting medical care. From 1984 to 2004, Klein held positions di-
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, March 31, 2017
recting refugee resettlement in Tucson for Catholic Community Services, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Episcopal Community Services and Lutheran Social Ministry of the Southwest. The Kleins took into their home a 20-yearold, Henry So, who had fled from Cambodia. He lived with them for 10 years, eventually obtaining a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona and becoming a civil engineer for the U.S. Navy. “He is still part of our family,” says Klein. “Passover enables us to preserve our religious beliefs and family traditions and to recall that Jews have carried out the seder even in secret during times of persecution such as the Spanish Inquisition,” says Klein. He met immigrants from the Soviet Union who said that matzah tasted so good because they never had it before coming to the United States. “The Passover story allows us to celebrate the United States as a haven for people; it embodies the ideals that were used in forming this country,” he says. Goldman says his family history was the inspiration for specializing in immigration law. His mother, Gloria, is the child of Holocaust survivors, and she came as a refugee from Germany with her parents who were liberated from concentration camps. “I grew up learning about the horrible
Photo courtesy Mo Goldman
conditions that my grandparents ple fleeing persecution because of race, endured in the 1940s,” says Goldman. religion, social group or political opin“My mother and her parents came to ion are among the most highly vetted the United States with not much more potential immigrants. The process can than their clothing. My grandparents take years and people go through mulworked hard so that my mother could tiple background checks. have more opportunities, and in turn For immigrants who are not refugees, my parents worked hard so I could get the legal route into the country also is a good education and have a good life.” very complicated and can take years. Goldman worked during summers in “The stringent immigration policies in his mother’s law office, (which opened our country pushes people to do things in Tucson in 1991), while he pursued a the wrong way, and is one reason why so journalism degree at Syracuse Univer- many people enter the country without sity. He saw people from other coun- documentation,” says Goldman. tries who were trying to find safety and “We have a broken system that needs build a better life. to be fixed,” says “Practicing imKlein. “There are migration law has even situations a public service where people are aspect and I realin the country leized I could help gally but for some people through reason don’t have the process,” says the documents to Goldman. He prove it. Most of got a J.D./M.B.A. the immigrants are degree from Hofgood people who stra University on contribute to this Long Island and country, and those opened his own who think of them immigration law as criminals, [that] practice in 2000 in is so odious and New York. In 2005 ugly.” he moved to TucKlein and Goldson and joined in man say those who a partnership with are concerned Gloria Goldman and Maurice (Mo) Goldman his mother, who about the plight of also specializes in immigration law. immigrants can make donations or vol“We learn a lot from the Torah and unteer through several organizations. from Passover about being strangers,” These include the International Rescue Goldman says. “Throughout our his- Committee, Refugee Focus, Catholic tory Jews have depended on others for Social Services, the Florence Immigrant help and survival, and we should be and Refugee Rights Project, the National Immigration Law Center and HIAS. leaders in helping others.” A lack of understanding regarding Goldman said that HIAS (formerly the issues, he says, has resulted in the the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), negative attitudes that many Americans a 135-year-old organization that helps refugees, helped his grandparents and have toward immigrants. his mother. “People need to be more cognizant of “We are not just a one type fits all sothe approach to the immigration issues ciety,” says Goldman. “All of the different in our country,” says Goldman. “Most religions, cultures, ethnicities make our people do not understand how compli- country unique. We can look at the U.S. cated the immigration laws are, and how and say we are dynamic because of our the process works.” differences and that is what makes our Recent bans on refugees entering our country great.” country are based on misleading inforKorene Charnofsky Cohen is a freelance writer mation, according to both lawyers. Peo- and editor in Tucson. LET ME PART THE SEA OF RED TAPE FOR YOU...HAPPY PESACH!
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DEALMAKING continued from page 1
in the Middle East,” which stems from a class Feldman and three of his colleagues teach together at Brandeis. He began his talk, “Israel and the U.S. in the Trump Era,” by highlighting five major campaign promises made by now President Trump: recommit to pressing security issues in the Middle East, destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS or Daesh), retract the United Nations’ Iran nuclear deal, demand proper financial support from nations that depend on the United States for security and restore the broken relationship between the U.S. and Israel, including moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bigger deal Trump spoke of would be to successfully end the Arab/Israeli conflict, Feldman said. “It’s quite ridiculous to try to talk about an administration 50 or 60 days after its inauguration,” said Feldman. “But so far, interestingly enough, the administration, and President Trump personally, has managed within 50 or 60 days, already, to walk back from most of these commitments.” As the crowd chuckled in response, Feldman said this policy-based retreat makes a lot of sense. “First of all, there is no dramatic change in the U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS yet,” he said. “There is some change in the sense that President Trump has authorized an increase in the numbers of soldiers on the ground, particularly in Syria. “But the reality is that the American strategy, to socalled degrade and defeat ISIS, was set in place by the Obama administration.” It’s unclear whether the reason for more U.S. troops in Syria is to topple Daesh, or prevent a violent confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds following their defeat, he explained. The greatest concern, for countries like Turkey, is not defeating Daesh, but who replaces them when they fall and how to assure this terror group doesn’t simply reconfigure. “ISIS is the No. 2 enemy of almost everybody in the Middle East, but it’s the No. 1 enemy of almost no one in the Middle East,” Feldman said. “So the reason why all this is taking so long, is because all the players have other worries.” The Trump administration has yet to tear up the nuclear accord with Iran, or scale back stateside security protections for nations like Saudi Arabia, Feldman said, but contrary to what many people understand, the shortfall between U.S. and Israel relations under former President Barack Obama was more ceremonial. “U.S./Israeli defense and intelligence cooperation have never been as close as they have been during the eight years of the Obama administration,” he said.
“What Obama has miserably failed [at] is to convey the emotional feeling of his commitment to Israel, and his attachment.” Conversely, Trump has already conveyed to Israelis and the American Jewish community that he is emotionally committed to Israel. “In reality, for now, except for that — nothing has changed,” Feldman said. Instead of taking a hardliner stance on settlement expansion, especially in the West Bank, President Trump has simply asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to slow the pace of further construction. The realities of the Middle East have a frustrating way of imposing themselves, which are far removed from “alternative facts,” he said. But Feldman lauded leaders like King Abdullah II of Jordan, who visited Trump in order to tutor the new president on the implications of relocating the American embassy in Israel, and other Middle East complexities. Feldman went on to praise Trump for creating a superb foreign and defense policy team in the White House — minus the resignation of Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, who stepped away from his position following an FBI investigation into his ties to Russia. Although he suspected Flynn would not last, Feldman admitted his prediction was off by 11 months. From Defense Secretary James Mattis to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump assembled a team of experienced leaders that are quite noteworthy, Feldman said, which is why there’s been a slight withdrawal from unrealistic policies regarding the Middle East. “This is a group of people that are highly professional, not ideological,” he said, “they live in reality, not ‘alternative facts.’” Robert and Elaine Clark have been attending the Center for Judaic Studies’ lectures all season. They were happy to hear Feldman say that everyone has a story, which you may not agree with, but must respect. The couple said they are unimpressed with the Trump administration so far. They find it disconcerting to have a president who can’t be bothered with details, or views politics, especially regarding foreign policy in the Middle East, in absolutes. “It appears as though our current president sees things in very black-and-white, and that may endear him to at least some of the more conservative elements of Israel,” Robert Clark said. “But there is no black-and-white, everything is grey,” Elaine Clark added, when politics is concerned. Whether it’s a case of showmanship or not, Robert Clark was relieved to hear someone talk about Trump’s ill-prepared appearance as an asset rather than a liability. “That’s always been a concern,” he said. “Most of us spend a lot of time preparing for whatever it is we are going to do.”
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ARTS & CULTURE / LOCAL Musical revue to celebrate ‘Stars of David’
UPCOMING EVENTS Photo courtesy Kevin Johnson
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Jeremy Vega and Liz Cracchiolo (standing), Kelli Workman and Dennis Tamblyn in ‘Stars of David’
Arizona Onstage Productions will present “Stars of David: A New Musical,” based on Abigail Pogrebin’s 2005 bestseller, subtitled “Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish,” April 15 and 16 at the Berger Performing Arts Center. The musical revue presents little known stories about some of the most famous Jews of our times, from Leonard Nimoy to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, featuring music and lyrics by more than a dozen different composers and lyricists, including Michael Feinstein and Marvin Hamlisch. The show combines songs with anecdotes from the book, such as Natalie Portman dishing about growing up on Long Island, explains Dolly Spalding, manager of Arizona Onstage Produc-
tions. Some of the songs and stories are funny and others, she says, are sad and poignant. Norman Lear is lampooned in a song called “The Book of Norman,” while a ditty about Gwyneth Paltrow is called “Who Knew Jew” because “she looks like Grace Kelly,” says Spalding. The song about Ginsburg, whose mother died the day before Ginsburg’s high school graduation, “makes me cry every time,” says Spalding. The show is directed by Arizona Onstage founder Kevin Johnson, with twotime Grammy-nominated local artist Hank Feldman as music director. For ticket information, visit arizonaonstage.org.
rate the recreational path, she says. They are also hoping to create a March of the Living cohort between the regions; participants would study together throughout the year and later meet in Poland and Israel. “Our partnership mission is to build a bridge between Tucson and our Partnership communities,” she says. “And there is no doubt, over the past few years, we have built the program to a point that both sides equally benefit.”
continued from page 2
lows initiative, which would send teachers from both countries to visit their counterparts. The group also wants to help expand the Coast to Coast Trail — a winding route that circles the Hof Ashkelon regional boundary — by offering visitors an opportunity to plant trees and deco-
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A reA C ongregAtions CONSERVATIVE
Congregation anshei israel
5550 E. Fifth St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 745-5550 Rabbi Robert Eisen, Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny • www.caiaz.org Daily minyan: Mon.-Thurs., 7:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 a.m.; Sun. & legal holidays, 8 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. / Mincha: Fri., 5:45 p.m. / Shabbat services: Sat., 9 a.m., followed by Kiddush; Tot Shabbat, 1st Fri., 5:45 p.m.; Family Service, 3rd Friday, 5:45 p.m.; Holiday services may differ, call or visit website. / Torah study: every Shabbat one hour before Mincha (call or visit website for times) / Talmud on Tuesday, 6 p.m. / Weekday Torah study group, Wed., 11 a.m. beverages and dessert provided.
Congregation Bet shalom 3881 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 • (520) 577-1171 Hazzan Avraham Alpert • www.cbsaz.org Services: Fri., 5:30 p.m. (followed by monthly dinners — call for info); Sat., 9:30 a.m.-noon, Shabbat Experience includes free break-out sessions for children and adults, followed by Kiddush lunch and discussion led by Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz and Dr. David Graizbord 12:30-1:30 p.m. / Daily services: Mon.-Fri. 8:15 a.m.; Sundays and legal holidays, 9 a.m.; Hagim 9:30 a.m.
Congregation ChoFetz Chayim/southwest torah institute 5150 E. Fifth St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 747-7780 Rabbi Israel Becker • www.tucsontorah.org Shabbat services: Fri., Kabbalat Shabbat 15 minutes before sunset; Sat. 9 a.m. followed by Kiddush. / Mincha: Fri., 1 p.m.; Sat., 25 minutes before sunset, followed by Shalosh Seudas, Maariv and Havdallah. Services: Sun., 8 a.m.; Mon. & Thurs., 6:50 a.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 7 a.m.; daily, 15 minutes before sunset. / Weekday Rosh Chodesh services: 6:45 a.m.
Congregation young israel/ChaBad oF tuCson 2443 E. Fourth St., Tucson, AZ 85719 • (520) 881-7956 Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, Rabbi Yudi Ceitlin • www.chabadoftucson.com Daily minyan: Sun. & legal holidays, 8:30 a.m.; Mon. & Thurs., 6:30 p.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 6:45 a.m. / Mincha & Maariv, 5:15 p.m. / Shabbat services: Fri. at candlelighting; Sat. 9:30 a.m. followed by Kiddush. Mincha, Maariv and Havdallah TBA.
ChaBad on river 3916 E. Ft. Lowell Road • (520) 661-9350 Rabbi Ram Bigelman • www.chabadonriver.com Shabbat services: Fri., Mincha at candlelighting time, followed by Maariv. / Sat., Shacharit service, 9:30 a.m. / Torah study: women, Tues., 10 a.m.; men, Thurs., 7 p.m.
ChaBad oro valley 1217 W. Faldo Drive, Oro Valley, AZ 85755 • (520) 477-8672 Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman • www.jewishorovalley.com Shabbat services: 3rd Fri., 5 p.m., Oct.-Feb., 6 p.m. March-Sept., all followed by dinner / Sat. Torah study followed by services, 10 a.m. Shabbat morning minyan, 1st Sat., 10 a.m., followed by Kiddush.
ChaBad sierra vista 401 Suffolk Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 • (520) 820-6256 Rabbi Benzion Shemtov • www.jewishsierravista.com Shabbat services: Sat., 10:30 a.m., bimonthly, followed by class explaining prayers. Visit website or call for dates.
REFORM CONGREGATION CHAVERIM 5901 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85711 • (520) 320-1015 Rabbi Stephanie Aaron • www.chaverim.net Shabbat services: Fri., 7 p.m. (no service on 5th Fri.); Family Shabbat, 1st Fri., 6 p.m. / Torah study: 2nd Sat., 9 a.m., followed by contemplative service,10 a.m.
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, March 31, 2017
Congregation Kol simChah
(Renewal) 4625 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 Mailing Address: 2732 S. Gwain Place, Tucson, AZ 85713 • (520) 296-0818 Shabbat services: 1st and 3rd Fri., 7:15 p.m.
Congregation m’Kor hayim 3888 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718 (Tucson Hebrew Academy) Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31806, Tucson, AZ 85751 • (520) 904-1881 Rabbi Helen Cohn • www.mkorhayim.org Shabbat services: 2nd and 4th Fri., 7 p.m. / Torah study, 2nd and 4th Sat., 9:30 a.m.
Congregation or Chadash 3939 N. Alvernon, Tucson, AZ 85718 • (520) 512-8500 Rabbi Thomas Louchheim, Cantor Janece Cohen www.orchadash-tucson.org Shabbat services: Fri., 6:30 p.m.; 1st Fri., Friday Night LIVE (Oct.-May); 2nd Friday, Tot Shabbat (Oct.-June), 6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. / Torah study: Sat.,8:30 a.m.
the institute For JudaiC serviCes and studies Mailing Address: 36789 S. Golf Course Drive, Saddlebrooke, AZ 85739 (520) 825-8175 • Rabbi Sanford Seltzer Shabbat services: Oct.-April, one Friday per month at 7 p.m. — call for details.
temple emanu-el 225 N. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85716 • (520) 327-4501 Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Rabbi Batsheva Appel • www.tetucson.org Shabbat services: Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. / Torah study: Sat., 8:30 a.m. except when there is a Rabbi’s Tish.
temple Kol hamidBar 228 N. Canyon Drive, Sierra Vista • (520) 458-8637 http://kolhamidbar.tripod.com Mailing address: P.O. Box 908, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636 Shabbat services: Fri., 7:30 p.m.
Beth shalom temple Center
1751 N. Rio Mayo (P.O. Box 884), Green Valley, AZ 85622 (520) 648-6690 • www.bstc.us Shabbat services: 1st and 3rd Fri., 7 p.m. / Torah study: Sat., 10 a.m.
Congregation etz Chaim (Modern Orthodox) 686 Harshaw Road, Patagonia, AZ 85624 • (520) 394-2520 www.etzchaimcongregation.org • Rabbi Gabriel Cousens Shabbat services: Fri., 18 minutes before sunset / Torah study: Sat., 9:30 a.m. handmaKer resident synagogue
2221 N. Rosemont Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85712 • (520) 881-2323 www.handmaker.com Shabbat services: Fri., 4:30 p.m., led by Lindsey O’Shea, followed by Shabbat dinner; Sat., 9:30 a.m., led by Mel Cohen and Dan Asia, followed by light Kiddush lunch.
seCular humanist Jewish CirCle www.secularhumanistjewishcircle.org Call Cathleen at 730-0401 for meeting or other information.
university oF arizona hillel Foundation 1245 E. 2nd St. Tucson, AZ 85719 • 624-6561 • www.arizona.hillel.org Shabbat services: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and alternative services two Fridays each month when school is in session. Dinner follows (guests, $8; RSVP by preceding Thurs.). Call for dates/times.
HOLOCAUST continued from page 3
convert; when you had Enlightenment hostility to Jews — that could change, they could abandon the old traditions, they could dress like everybody else and eat the same food as everybody else and so forth,” he said. “But the new teaching of anti-Semitism, when that word comes into existence — that is about saying, ‘They can never change and never be like you.’” Barry Kirschner, a board member at the Jewish History Museum, purchased two copies of Hayes’ new book following the lecture, and has done extensive research about family members who were killed during World War II. “And the idea of how to prevent this type of thing from ever happening again should be high on the agenda of every person of conscience,” he said. Education is a vital aspect of prevention in the long and short term of history, Kirschner said. He’s noticed a recent rise in authoritarian sentiment in politics and economics, so understanding how the Holocaust happened is timely. “The government of the United States is veering towards creation of a ‘we and them’ [mentality] and dehumanizing persons who are powerless, or have become powerless,” he said. “And many persons who call themselves leaders in these institutions are standing by and basically being complicit.”
SHINSHINIM continued from page 5
experience has been a real boon to their household: “We are an extremely busy family and yet having Bar stay with us made our lives fuller. We’ve increased the number of meals that we sit down to together and having Bar at our table has broadened our dinner conversations.” Kris says that having Bar in their home has rekindled their interest in Judaism and motivated them to visit Israel as a family this summer. “He’s even been tutoring me to help me brush up on my Hebrew,” she adds. Kris says that she has been impressed with Bar’s maturity, self-sufficiency and his well-spoken poise. “If Bar is a representative example of the kids that the program sends, then families thinking of doing this next year will find that it’s really easy.” The Weintraub Israel Center is looking for families who have room in their hearts and houses to host an Israeli teen for a minimum three-month commitment next year. The Shinshinim will have their own transportation. For more information, contact Oshrat Barel at 577-9393, ext. 132. Renee Claire is a freelance writer and editor in Tucson.
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Jennifer Cassius, Anita Feder and Patty Vallance recently formed Family Friends, LLC, an estate sales company. Family Friends aims to help families with the distribution and disposition of personal property, whether due to downsizing, a transition to alternative living arrangements or the loss of a loved one, “with an approach that combines respect, dignity and compassion,” says Cassius. The Greater Tucson Fire Foundation, which has worked with the Weintraub Israel Center, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and other partners to send local firefighters to Israel and bring Israeli fire and safety experts to Tucson to confer with local first responders, will receive a designated portion of the company’s sales commissions. These donations will help fund health and wellness initiatives for firefighters in Southern Arizona. As a teen, Feder suffered first, second and third degree burns in a work-related accident. Designating the fire foundation as Family Friends’ charity of choice reflects her commitment to giving back to local first responders. “They are there for all of us, we want to do this as a tangible way of saying, ‘Thank you,’” says Feder. Additionally, Family Friends donates perishables, prescription eyewear and items that are not considered saleable to local charities. Remaining unsold items are also donated to a variety of local charities, chosen by the families.
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Having lost both her parents at a young age, Vallance says she understands the importance of providing professional assistance during challenging times. She and her partners “all have been involved in social action projects and nonprofit causes to benefit our communities for decades. This is one more way that we can be of service, and it is our honor to do this.” For more information, visit estatesalestucson.com or call 545-7523.
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Seven new kids’ books, from seder guides to stories PENNY SCHWARTZ JTA
rom the wizardry of Harry Potter that echoes with Passover’s themes to a cartoon frog who wisecracks his way through the seder, this year’s new crop of Passover books for kids offers something for all ages and interests. The selection of fresh reads, including two familyfriendly Haggadahs, also includes an unusual Jewish immigrant tale set in rural Argentina and a heartwarming, intergenerational story about an aging grandfather and his devoted granddaughter. Choose one — or several — to educate and engage the young readers in your family for this Passover, the eight-day festival of freedom that begins with the first seder on the evening of April 10.
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Fans of Harry Potter will be in Hogwarts heaven this Passover. Moshe Rosenberg’s Haggadah draws on the parallels between the wizardry of the best-selling “Harry Potter” books and the seder guide. “From the concepts of slavery and freedom, to the focus on education, to the number four, Harry Potter and Passover share almost everything,” Rosenberg writes in the introduction. This is the second Jewish Harry Potter-themed book by Rosenberg, a rabbi and Judaic studies educator in New York. (The first was “Morality for Muggles: Ethics in the Bible and the World of Harry Potter.”) Traditionalists, take note: Rosenberg assures readers that every word of traditional Haggadah text, in Hebrew and in English translation, is included. Interspersed throughout is commentary, via the lens of J.K. Rowling’s characters, that takes on questions of freedom, evil and the Four Children. There’s even a Harry Potter-themed version of the popular seder song “Had Gadya,” (“One Small Goat”).
“The Family (and Frog!) Haggadah” By Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber, illustrations by Jackie Urbanovic Behrman House; all ages; $7.95 A wisecracking frog takes center stage in this kid-friendly Haggadah that is a complete guide to a fun-filled, informative, abbreviated seder that’s designed to be 30 minutes to an hour. The lively Haggadah, filled with photographs and illustrations, begins with a seder checklist and candle-lighting prayers and guides families through the mainstays of the seder, from the Passover story, to the Ten Plagues to welcoming Elijah the Prophet. Songs go from the traditional favorite “Dayenu” to “Take Me Out to the Seder.” An entertaining cartoon frog appears throughout with jokes and funny comments (“Hold on! I brought my hopmonica!”) that are sure to bring giggles and keep kids engaged.
“The Passover Cowboy” Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Gina Capaldi Apples and Honey Press; ages 4-8; $17.95 From the acclaimed Jewish children’s book writer Barbara Diamond Goldin (“The Best Hanukkah Ever,” “Journeys With Elijah”) comes an unlikely Passover story set in the Argentine countryside in the late 1800s. Jacob is a young Jewish boy whose Russian family immigrated to Argentina, but he doesn’t quite fit in. He makes a new friend, Benito, who helps him learn to ride horseback. Jacob works up the courage to invite his non-Jewish pal to his family’s seder, but Benito says he has farm chores to do. But Benito ends up coming after all, at just the right moment: when Jacob opens the door to welcome Elijah, just as a flock of chickens arrive, too. Benito helps round up the chickens and joins the seder. As the family welcomes its new friend, they learn from each other about the meaning of freedom — and Jacob’s mother and Benito also surprise him with a lasso and clothing he needs for an upcoming rodeo. Artist Gina Capaldi puts readers right in the action; kids will feel as if they are riding along on horseback with Jacob and Benito, and they’ll feel part of the family’s seder. An author’s note explains that in the 1880s, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived in Argentina. Goldin also poses a timely discussion question that asks families to imagine what it would be like to move to a new country.
“Passover Scavenger Hunt”
“A Different Kind of Passover”
Shanna Silva, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto Kar-Ben; ages 4-9; $17.99 hardcover, $7.99 paperback
Linda Leopold-Strauss, illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau Kar-Ben; ages 4-9; $17.99, hardcover, $7.99 paperback
Every year at the seder, Rachel’s Uncle Harry hides the afikomen. The kids have fun hunting for the special piece of matzah and get a prize for finding it. But there’s one problem: Uncle Harry always makes it too easy! In Shanna Silva’s lively story, Rachel takes over the job. She grabs her markers, scissors and a big piece of cardboard and creates a clever scavenger hunt with six rhyming clues to stump her cousins. Each clue reveals something related to the seder, from the charoset to the shank bone. In the end, the kids are left with a puzzle to solve that will lead them to Rachel’s perfect afikomen hiding place. Miki Sakamoto’s illustrations are bright and colorful and capture the fun as kids move picture frames, race around the house and crawl around closets looking for clues.
On the way to her grandparents’ house for the seder, a young girl named Jessica is busy practicing the Four Questions, in Hebrew, over and over. Jessica loves spending Passover with her grandparents, where everything is the same year after year — running up the stairs at their apartment, finding piles of blankets and pillows for the sleepover with her cousins, and enjoying the good smells emanating from the kitchen. But this year will be different because her grandfather just got home from the hospital and is too weak to come to the seder table. In this heartwarming intergenerational story, Jessica comes up with a plan for how Grandpa can still lead the seder, continuing the family tradition. Jeremy Tugeau’s large, expressive illustrations capture Jessica’s emotions of joy, disappoint-
ment and love she shares her with grandfather.
“How It’s Made: Matzah” By Allison Ofanansky, photographs by Aliyahu Alpern Apples & Honey Press; ages 5-8; $15.95 Kids get an up-close look at how matzah is made in this fascinating new book overflowing with stunning color photographs that bring to life small-batch, handmade matzah-making to factories that bake 35,000 pieces of matzah every day. Kids see the spiked rolling tool used to make the tiny holes in the matzah and get a peek inside the very hot ovens required for baking. Captions and explanatory text are informative but simple, making the photographs the stars of a wonderful book that will appeal both to kids and grownups. There are several Do It Yourself recipes and craft projects, including baking matzah, making a matzah cover and growing the greens for karpas, the symbolic vegetable eaten during the seder.
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PASSOVER The five (or so) habits of successful seder leaders EDMON J. RODMAN JTA
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hat kind of leadership style works best for a seder? During a period when we are experiencing a shake-up in national leadership, you may want to re-examine the relationship that exists between leader and participants at the Passover meal. Though seder leaders and participants are not elected, there is still a seder mandate that governs your relationship: Everyone present — the wise, the wicked, the simple, and even the one who does not know how to ask a question — are all involved in the evening’s proceedings. Attending a Passover seder remains an “extremely common practice” of American Jews, according to Pew Research Center, with approximately 70 percent participating. Despite its broad mandate, however, meaningful seders rarely function as true democracies. The seder is a complicated undertaking with symbolic foods, actions and storytelling, and on this night that is different from all others, the call is for an assertive leader who can guide a tableful of guests through a sea of ritual needs. Since Passover is an eight-day holiday of freedom, and the seder a celebration of the going out from Egypt, you may think the people are clamoring for a democratic free-form kind of dinner — from chanting the kiddush to singing “Chad Gadya.” But after leading a family seder for over 30 years, my experience has been that if I give everyone a free hand to comment and question, and the seder runs long, revolution erupts, with the guests vigorously chanting “When do we eat?” And if I try to rule the table with an iron kiddush cup, my poll numbers plummet, especially among the restless, 20-something contingent, who start texting madly under the table, presumably plotting a resistance. Defying typical political alignment, I have found that on the nights when the seder works — when most every question has been asked, and tradition and innovation have been shared — my style of leadership has fallen somewhere between being a benevolent dictator and a liberal talk show host. I say “benevolent dictator” because it is part of the leader’s job to find a way for everyone to retell the Passover story and ultimately exit the slavery of Egypt — even though they may not necessarily feel the need. Going around the table urging guests to share the reading is one way, and calling up guests beforehand to discuss and assign a specific section of the seder is another. Especially for whoever is going to lead the Four Questions — at our table, usually the youngest who can read Hebrew — it helps to ask them personally beforehand rather than springing the task on them on the night of
the seder. Such quiet lobbying helps reorient one from being an audience member into one, as the Haggadah says, who can see themselves as if they had left Egypt. As “liberal talk show host,” I get that the Haggadah is filled with questions that must be questioned as well. I once opened a seder by asking, “What does it mean when the Haggadah says: ‘Let all those who are hungry come and eat with us?’” Especially in a year such as this one, where even benign conversation is abuzz with politics, there are going to be varying responses, from the bitter, like maror, to the sweet, like charoset. At the time, you may not think that these opposing points of view are what binds a seder together, but recall that in the Haggadah, when the five rabbis are sitting in Bnei Brak telling and interpreting the story of the Exodus, each has something different to add, and it is the whole of their interpretations taken together that heightens our understanding of the text. Those not leading but participating in the seder, don’t think that you are off the hook in setting its tone. In his book “Keeping Passover,” Ira Steingroot points out that being a seder guest “doesn’t mean that you have to be the life of the party or a maven (authority), and you certainly do not want to monopolize the conversation, but you have a role to play in the drama of the seder.” In fact, it is your responses and feelings that determine whether everyone at the table makes it past the plague of ennui. To aid in that quest, be sure you are following along, asking questions and responding to the leader’s prompts. I have also learned that regardless of leadership style — some of us are like Moses pointing the way, others are more like Miriam, leading through interpretation and song — you will still need to do your homework. Whichever your style, Steingroot’s book is a great source, as well as “Passover: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration” by Dr. Ron Wolfson with Joel Lurie Grishaver, and “A Different Night, The Family Participation Haggadah,” by David Dishon and Noam Zion. Taking my own advice, a few nights before our first encounter with all things matzah each year, I go through See Habits, page 17
NEWS BRIEFS A Russian appeals court affirmed an expulsion order issued against an American rabbi working in Sochi. In its ruling Tuesday against Ari Edelkopf, the Krasnodar Court of Appeals accepted the determination of a Sochi tribunal that Edelkopf, who had been working as Chabad’s emissary to the city, was a threat to national security. Edelkopf has no further legal recourse and is legally obligated to leave the country in the near future, Interfax reported. Boruch Gorin, a senior spokesperson for Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, condemned the ruling Tuesday as “hostile.” For the first time “in the modern history of Russia, a rabbi is declared a ‘threat to national security,’” Gorin wrote on Facebook, adding that authorities have refused to divulge any details about the alleged threat. Gorin told Interfax the ruling was “Kafakesque” and “grounds for lawlessness.” Tuesday was “a dark day in the history of the Jews in Russia,” he wrote on Facebook. Edelkopf, a father of seven who grew up in the United States and lived in Israel before settling in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, has denied engaging in any activity that can reasonably be considered unsavory to authorities. The deportation comes amid a Russian crackdown on organizations with foreign funding. Edelkopf ’s permit to be in the country was revoked in December. He lost an appeal in regional court. The Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia condemned the deportation order when it was first issued.
Gorin told the French news agency AFP that this was “far from an isolated incident.” He added that at least seven rabbis have been forced to leave Russia in recent years for alleged immigration violations. Gorin said this was “an attempt to establish control” over Jewish communities in Russia, which he said are serviced by some 70 rabbis, about half of whom are foreign.
and as a way to discuss if we, too, were participating in slavery. This year to provoke discussion, before we open the door to Elijah, I plan on asking guests to imagine what would happen if the prophet, as we imagine him — a robed and perhaps turbaned man from the Middle East — was detained at airport customs?
continued from page 16
the Haggadah and annotate, searching for my afikomen: a way to connect the story of traveling from slavery to freedom to the lives of my guests. One year I held up a Passover chocolate bar and referred to it as “the bean of our affliction,” calling attention to the children who are sometimes exploited to harvest cacao beans
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foundation stone of a Jewish community center slated to cost nearly $5.3 million. Miguel Angel Mancera hailed the Jewish community’s decision to invest in the city. The mayor considers the decision to build the Kehila Ashkenazi in the Cuauhtemoc borough a sign of trust in the country’s growth, La Razon newspaper reported Tuesday. Mancera pointed out that the city’s constitution mentions the fight against anti-Semitism. In turn, the president of the Central Committee of the Jewish Community of Mexico, the country’s Jewish umbrella organization, cited the governmental support provided to carry out local projects. Last week, the Argentine Jewish watchdog Observatorio Web reported that the support expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January for President Donald Trump wanting to build a wall separating the United States and Mexico triggered an “alarming” wave of anti-Semitism online. Mexico is home to some 50,000 Jews, Latin America’s third largest Jewish community after Argentina and Brazil.
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emocratic and Republican congressional leaders tussled on the AIPAC stage on the final day of its policy conference over which party’s prescriptions were better for Israel. The display of partisanship on Tuesday morning, hours before pro-Israel activists headed to the Capitol to lobby for their issues, was an extraordinary moment for the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where bipartisan comity has always been a paramount aim. Equally as extraordinary, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read aloud a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to reaffirm support for the two-state solution signed virtually only by Democrats — and drafted by AIPAC’s rival, J Street, the Jewish Middle East policy group. The partisan splits illustrated the struggles of the lobbying giant as it seeks to reconcile increasingly divided notions of what it means to be pro-Israel. Traditionally, the final day of the conference features leaders of both parties saying that if they agree on little else, they agree on how to be pro-Israel — through working with AIPAC. But the opening speech by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was a jeremiad against the policies of former President Barack Obama that the Senate majority leader said had left the U.S.-Israel alliance frayed and Israel less secure. “We’ve got to rebuild our partnerships,” McConnell said. “The past eight years gave witness to a serial degrading of our alliances and partnerships all across the globe.” He said the Iran nuclear deal reached by Obama, which swapped sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program, had emboldened Iran, in part because Obama’s preoccupation with preserving the pact diminished the will to confront the Islamic Republic. McConnell said Iran needed concrete examples of how it would be penalized if it launched a weaponized nuclear program, and pledged to lead Congress in an authorization of force in that instance. He also pitched Trump’s proposal to increase the military budget, although the Kentucky lawmaker did not address
one of AIPAC’s three legislative asks — namely sustaining the budget for overall foreign assistance against Trump’s proposal to slash it by nearly a third. AIPAC has long argued that assistance to Israel, which Trump wants to maintain at current levels, should never be separated from foreign assistance. Foreign assistance is a positive way to project U.S. power, the lobby says, and helps open doors for Israel in countries that might otherwise be wary of ties with the Jewish state. Calling herself a “proud and vocal supporter of U.S. security assistance to Israel,” Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., noted that a crucial component of the David’s Sling missile defense system, scheduled to be deployed in Israel later this year, “was developed by Raytheon in my district of Tucson, Ariz.” McSally stressed the economic boost Arizona receives from Israeli defense purchases. She did not address the question of overall foreign assistance. Calls to sustain that assistance were central to the speeches of the Democratic leaders who spoke: Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader in the Senate, and Pelosi, the House minority leader. Pelosi cast support for foreign assistance as fulfilling a responsibility to Israel. “A strong America in the world is good for Israel,” she said. “I fiercely oppose proposals that would slash our State Department funding by 28 percent.” Both Democrats took shots at Trump’s alliance with leaders of the far right, including his appointment of Stephen Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart News, which he himself called a “platform” for the alt- or anti-establishment right. Schumer’s barbs aimed at Trump were implied. “There are some who would retreat from the world stage,” he said. “They even borrow from Charles Lindbergh.” The aviator led the World War II-era anti-Semitic America First movement; Trump has embraced “America First” as one of his slogans. Schumer joined a multitude of speakers, both Democrats and Republicans, who decried the Obama administration’s decision in its final days to allow a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlements. “The United States should have ve-
Photo courtesy AIPAC
toed Resolution 2334 in December and it should never use the United Nations as a forum to put pressure on Israel for any kind of agreement,” he said to thunderous applause. But where Schumer was uncharacteristically restrained in criticizing the new administration and defending the past one, Pelosi was robust. She denounced Trump’s presidential campaign for “hate speech that went unchallenged, an atmosphere that emboldened anti-Semites to desecrate Jewish cemeteries, white supremacists that feel emboldened and connected to the White House.” Pelosi, like other Democrats who spoke throughout the conference, emphasized two states as the preferred outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Republicans pulled support for two states from their platform last year, and Trump earlier this year said he was agnostic on the issue, ending 15 years of U.S. policy favoring the solution. But Pelosi took it a step further, taking out her phone to read out loud a letter sent last week asking Trump to reaffirm U.S. support for two states, emphasizing twice that the vast majority — 189 of its 191 signatories — were Democrats. Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate minority leader, at the AIPAC policy conWhat she left unmentioned was that J Street drafted ference, March 28, 2017. and lobbied for the letter; AIPAC did not have a position on it. “An Israel that recognizes the dignity and security of “I wanted you to hear it as written, not out of con- the Israelis and Palestinians.” text. I wanted to read it to you in the spirit of strong That line earned her moderate applause. support for a Jewish, secure and democratic Israel,” PeAIPAC has been trying, after years of its own tenlosi said, borrowing rhetoric J Street might easily use. sions with the Obama administration, to reassert its
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bipartisan profile and hold on to the ground between pro-Israel groups that appear to gravitate to the Democrats (J Street) or Republicans (the Zionist Organization of America). Its three legislative asks, while crafted to earn support from both parties, do not include mention of two states. (All speakers endorsed the legislative agenda, which in addition to sustaining foreign aid backed bills that would add non-nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose fines on businesses for cooperating with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.) The two-state notion persists in AIPAC policy. Its executive director, Howard Kohr, on Sunday evening envisioned “a Jewish state of Israel living side by side in security with a demilitarized Palestinian state.” But it is nowhere near front and center as it is with other centrist Jewish groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, each alarmed by erosion for support for the outcome among Republicans in the United States as well as in Israel’s government. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who leads the Union for Reform Judaism and was at the conference, said failing to robustly defend two states undercut AIPAC’s mission to combat BDS. “Without a strong commitment to two states, it’s pretty hard to work on BDS,” he said. “The only way you fight BDS” on campuses and in churches “is to say it is undermining the two-state solution.” AJP Executive Editor Phyllis Braun contributed to this report.
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nitsa. Shrouded in a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke from wood fires — still the standard means of heating here — Bershad, population 13,000, features two rickety bridges over the polluted (and presently frozen) Dokhna River, roads traversed by Soviet-era clunkers and an utter absence of street lights. And like many far-flung Ukrainian towns, Bershad, too, has a small, aging Jewish population. The Jews persist here even though almost all of their relatives are living in the relative comfort of Israel or the United States. But there is more to Bershad than meets the eye. A closer look at its unique history and architecture reveals something incredible: Bershad is one of Europe’s last remaining shtetls. This town near the Moldavan border, with a Jewish population of 50, is a living testament to the Jewish community’s incredible survival story — one that has endured despite decades of communist repression, the Holocaust and the exodus of Russian-speaking Jews. Nowhere is the uniqueness of this Jewish community more evident than the Bershad synagogue, which was built from clay 200 years ago. Incredibly, Soviet authorities returned the white, two-story, tin-roofed building to the town’s Jewish community in 1946, shortly after the Red Army liberated present-day Ukraine from the grip of Nazi Germany and its allies. It was a highly unusual move in a secularist empire that under Joseph Stalin systematically nationalized property of faith communities and routinely persecuted Jews who insisted on practicing their religion. Coming on the heels of the Nazi genocide, this Soviet policy was a death blow to Jewish life throughout Ukraine’s countryside — once the home of thousands of shtetls — and severely limited it in the large cities. Yet “at a time where communist repression ended the existence of the few shtetls that by some miracle survived the Holocaust, the existence of a working synagogue in Bershad was the axis of communal life for this shtetl,” said Yefim Vygodner, 64. The town had a Jewish population of some 3,500 in the 1960s. Vygodner is the leader of Bershad’s Jewish community — and its youngest member. Over the decades, the relatively privileged status of Bershad Jews — Vygodner attributes it to a combination of luck, remoteness, resilience and friendly ties with non-Jewish neighbors — became most apparent on Passover and Yom Kippur, he said, because on those holidays Judaism came out of the home and into the synagogue. In an interview this month, Vygodner told JTA how, when he was a boy, his mother would send him to a makeshift matzah bakery that opened each year in front of the synagogue. In the weeks before Passover, the smell of baking matzah wafted along the shtetl’s
Photo: Cnaan Liphshiz
t first glance, this drab town 160 miles south of Kiev seems nearly identical to the settlements that dot the poverty-stricken district of Vin-
Bronia Feldman visits the synagogue of Bershad, March 9, 2017.
muddy streets, he recalled. “The baker would scoop out of the oven wavy, handmade matzah and wrap [it] up in paper for each client individually,” Vygodner said. “I didn’t even know that matzah was also mass produced.” Bronia Feldman, a jovial 79-year-old, recalled another scene from Jewish life in Bershad: Every Yom Kippur, her mother would take her to the square opposite the synagogue, where hundreds of Jews would gather to hear the shofar — the culmination of Judaism’s solemn Day of Atonement. “Those with sensitive jobs, teachers and doctors, didn’t go into the synagogue because they didn’t want to get in trouble,” Vygodner said of the communist years. “They just hung around the synagogue.” On Passover, though, “everyone ate matzah — doctors, teachers, engineers — everyone,” she said. Vygodner and Feldman’s accounts are highly unusual for Jews their age who grew up in the former Soviet Union, where Judaism was practiced in secret, if at all. The key to Bershad’s survival was its western location: In 1941, its region fell under the occupation of Romanian fascist troops, who were less methodical about murdering Jews than their German allies. They liquidated neighboring shtetls and turned Bershad, which in 1939 had a Jewish population of 5,000, into a central ghetto with 25,000 prisoners. Many perished, but 3,500 Bershad Jews survived. One of them is Alxander Zornitskiy, 83, a retired veterinarian and an author, who hid with his mother and two sisters as German soldiers killed 2,800 people in their nearby shtetl of Ternovka. With help from non-Jewish locals, the family made it to Bershad,
Photo: Cnaan Liphshiz
where they lived in crowded conditions and without enough food in one of the two-room wooden houses that made up the Jewish quarter. “The Romanians were cruel, but they didn’t shoot us,” he summarized. “Every street here reminds me of the Holocaust. But it’s also where I survived.” After the Holocaust, the consent — or at least silence — of Bershad’s non-Jews was crucial to maintaining the town’s Jewish spiritual life. “This is where centuries of coexistence played a role,” Vygodner said. Unlike their more intellectual coreligionists from big cities, he added, Bershad’s Jews were blue collar: metal workers, shoemakers, carpenters and fishermen, whose families for centuries had worked shoulder to shoulder with non-Jews. The matzah bakery closed in the 1980s. By 1989, Bershad’s Jewish community comprised 1,000 members — half its size from a decade earlier. Today, Bershad’s remaining Jews celebrate a communal seder at the synagogue organized by Chabad. They also come here year-round to receive food packages courtesy of the Christians for Israel charity group. Yakov Sklarsky, who owns the town’s only photo studio,
A house in the Jewish quarter of Bershad, Ukraine, March 9, 2017.
functions as rabbi most of the year. His credentials are his ability to sing and read, if not understand, Hebrew. The Torah scroll in the synagogue is not kosher. The shul itself, which Vygodner said functions more like a community center than a house of worship, rarely gets a minyan, the quorum of 10 men required for some prayer services in Orthodox Judaism. Its Star of David ceiling fresco remains, but its façade is peeling, revealing the clay and hay makeup of its walls. The women’s sec-
tion has been transformed into a storage area. Even so, it is one of the best-preserved buildings of the old shtetl, boasting a new tin roof and a fresh coat of white paint. Most of the houses that surround the synagogue, which is at the heart of Bershad’s Jewish quarter, are uninhabitable, left to disintegrate by Jewish owners who immigrated to Israel, the United States or Kiev, but were unable to sell the land in one of Ukraine’s poorest areas.
The yards are filled with junk and packs of stray dogs. Many of the houses have a front porch that Vygodner says was an amenity favored by shtetl Jews. Some even have mezuzah markings on the peeling paint of their door frames. But members of the Jewish community here, for their part, are not complaining. Feldman says she is happy to have a synagogue — an institution that few other towns of Bershad’s size can boast in Ukraine — and feels “lucky to have Yakov as our rabbi.” Despite the local pride Feldman, the last remaining Bershad Jew whose mother tongue is Yiddish, is contemplating leaving. “I have a sister in Ashdod, and I’m thinking of joining her,” she said of the Israeli city, adding that her main reason for staying is her daughter, Maya, who lives in Bershad. As for Vygodner, his son left for Israel five years ago. But he and his wife, Tamara, won’t be joining him anytime soon. “I don’t think Israel is holding its breath for me,” he said. “Besides, living here is an acquired taste and I’m set in my ways. I have my community here, my place.”
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RABBI’S CORNER Wooden bowl sparks priceless memories RABBI ROBERT EISEN
Congregation Anshei Israel
y first apartment was decorated in “early attic.” My grandmother was moving into a skilled nursing facility and her house needed to be cleaned out and sold. I was granted first pick of the contents of the attic. There were a number of little things that I quickly scooped up as my own. And there were the dishes neatly packed in well labeled boxes against one of the walls. Passover dishes — silver, crystal, fine china — service for 30 (the same exact set-up that my mother had in our house). So, I asked, “What about the dishes?” They were mine! As I went through the boxes that first year I was in my apartment and took out what I needed (service for one!), I came across a wooden bowl and a chopper — perfect for making the charoset (a mixture of chopped fruit and nuts meant to resemble mortar). I took the items out of the box and wondered about their origins. And this is where the story gets complicated. For some reason I always believed that those items were ones that my grandmother brought with her from Russia, which invested them with much more value than their primary use alone. I do not know where this belief began and at this point I cannot verify the story one way or another. But, in some ways, it does not matter. Over time, and once my children were old enough, I created a little ritual every year for the making of the charoset. The night before the first seder, immediately after the search for the chametz (any product made of or containing leaven or any leavening agent), we would clear off the counter, pull out the bowl and chopper, and, as I reminded myself and my kids of their origin, we would chop the apples and the nuts, pour in the wine and the cinnamon, and package it up for the
seder. The origins story was always meaningful to us. It gave us a sense of belonging, of being part of something greater than ourselves. Then one year, shortly after my mother’s house was sold, I “inherited” a few more Passover goods, including another wooden bowl and chopper. That next year was when I began to question the origins story. I couldn’t remember which bowl was which. Since that time I have repeatedly asked myself whether or not the story is true. Were the bowl and chopper from my grandmother really a remnant of a world that is a world away? Did I make it up? The truth of the matter is I really no longer care if the origins story is literally true or not. The truth that it provides me is that we are linked to something greater than ourselves … that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before … that we are dreaming the same dreams for health and happiness, renewal and redemption. This truth is what makes my observance of Passover what it is. Even if my grandmother did pick that bowl up in Cleveland before getting married and moving to Syracuse, that she touched it as she did, investing it with so many years of her own hopes and prayers, is good enough for me. And if I cannot remember which was my grandmother’s and which was my mother’s, “how much the more so.” We are taught: “In every generation we are to see ourselves as if we were among those that were redeemed from Egypt.” As long as we add our chapter to that story, we will have accomplished that goal. So I wish everyone a Kosher and Happy Passover … a holiday filled with your own stories of chopping bowls and cobwebbed attics … stories that will continue into the next generations … stories that provide us with the truths we need to make life so much more worth living.
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ARIZONA JEWISH POST, March 31, 2017
P.S. Local people, places, travels and simchas
Before Ruth Kolker embarked on a Portrait of India tour, her friend, Tucson philanthropist Neelam Sethi, sent her off with the charge: “Open yourself up to the colors, sounds and smells of my country.” From Jan. 24 – Feb. 13, that’s exactly what Ruth, her husband, Ron, and fellow travelers Caren and Tom Newman did. Their voyage began in Delhi and ended in Mumbai. A highlight was a visit to the historic Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 in Kochi’s (formerly Cochin) Jew Town, this house of prayer is the oldest functioning synagogue in the former British Commonwealth. No photos were allowed in the small, ornate, Portuguesestyle Sephardic synagogue, which has a floor made of Chinese hand-painted tiles, with no two tiles alike. Judaic shops and other merchants lined the street around the synagogue. Only a handful of Jews are left in this southwestern coastal city in the state of Kerala, as most immigrated to Israel in the mid-1950s. In fact, the Cochin Heritage Center at Moshav Nevatim in Israel’s Negev desert was founded in 1995 by former Cochin residents. Other unforgettable memories and impressions: - In Varanasi, Hindu pilgrims come to cremate their dead and worship the holy River Ganges. The sacred goats, cows and dogs roam freely along the river where the cremations take place. On a sunset boat ride, the Tucsonans witnessed the spiritual ceremony of putting the Mother Ganges to sleep. - In Agra, the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum Shah Jahan built to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. - It was wedding season in India, with ceremonies continuing for days. - The street congestion, with what seemed like no lanes, cars beeping and going in all directions, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and animals. - In Mumbai, the sight of laundry being washed outside next to beautiful, modern, high-rise buildings. As Neelam forecast, the foursome
Tu B’Shevat tree planting Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of Trees, fell on Saturday, Feb. 11. In celebration of the holiday, on Sunday, Feb.19, some members of a Tucson havurah (“fellowship”) planted an olive tree at Mission Garden. Mission Garden is a project of the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, whose goal is to recreate and preserve the cultural heritage and historic landscape in the area at the foot of Sentinel Peak. Their plan is to have a garden representing each of the cultural groups and time periods of our community’s 4,100-year history. This longtime havurah includes Jan Wezelman and David Bartlett, Bonnie Sedlmayr-Emerson and Randy Emerson, Barbara and Gerry Goldberg, Vicki and Phil Pepper, Anna and Myron Rottenstein, and Lee and Earl Surwit. (Terry Holpert and Alan Stein recently moved to California.) The group shares Shabbats, holidays, lifecycle events and participates in tikkun olam (“repairing the world”), such as painting beads at Ben’s Bells and undertaking this tree planting activity.
Photo courtesy Ron Kolker
Caren and Tom Newman and Ruth and Ron Kolker at the Spice Route Restaurant in New Delhi, India
Photo courtesy Mission Garden
Special to the AJP
had many memories to take home from this land of passionate, warm people and fascinating sites.
With “A” Mountain in the background, planters (L-R) Jan Wezelman, David Bartlett, Lee Surwit, Phil Hall (volunteer/guide), Barbara Goldberg, Anna Rottenstein and Gerry Goldberg (Not pictured: Earl Surwit)
“Get on the bus”
Photo courtesy Diane Harland
Talya Fanger-Vexler at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Have bus will travel. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Northwest Division and Hadassah Southern Arizona co-sponsored another field trip to a Southern Arizona destination. On Wednesday, March 8, 40 participants boarded a bus headed to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, where they took a guided tour of the 750-year-old ruin. As they traveled to the Queen Creek Olive Mill for lunch, Anne Lowe, Hadassah president, spoke to the group about olives and the first fruits of the Bible. They enjoyed this lovely outing,
complete with bus “commercials” – one about the Joint Distribution Committee presented by Phyllis Gold, director of the Jewish Federation Northwest; the other highlighting Hadassah through videos. Some of the attendees were Deanna Bertrand, Marti Cohen, Diane Harland, Linda Kunsberg, David Lowe, Honey and Murray Manson, Ellen and Leon Williams, Kitty Wu and Talya Fanger-Vexler.
Time to share I’m all ears. Keep me posted at the Post – 319-1112. L’shalom. March 31, 2017, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
COMMUNITY CALENDAR The calendar deadline is Tuesday, 10 days before the issue date. Our next issue will be published April 14, 2017. Events may be emailed to email@example.com, faxed to 319-1118, or mailed to the AJP at 3822 E. River Road, #300, Tucson, AZ 85718. For more information, call 319-1112. See Area Congregations on page 12 for additional synagogue events.
Men’s Mishnah club with Rabbi Israel Becker at Cong. Chofetz Chayim. Sundays, 7:15-8 a.m.; Mondays and Thursdays, 6:15-6:50 a.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 6:15-7 a.m.; Saturdays, call for time. 747-7780 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chabad of Sierra Vista men’s tefillin club with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, first Sundays, 9 a.m., at 401 Suffolk Drive. 820-6256 or jewishsierravista.com. “Too Jewish” radio show with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon on KVOI 1030 AM (also KAPR and KJAA), Sundays at 9 a.m. Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley bagel breakfast and Yiddish club, first Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Members, $7; nonmembers, $10. 648-6690 or 399-3474. Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society, second Sundays, 1-3 p.m. at the Tucson J. Contact Barbara Stern Mannlein at 7310300 or the J at 299-3000. Tucson J presents Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Just for Kids free series, Sundays, 2 p.m., April 23 and May 21. 299-3000. Cong. Anshei Israel parent-tot class (9-24 months), Mondays, 9-11 a.m., facilitated by Gabby Erbst. Mandatory vaccination policy. Contact Lynne Falkow-Strauss at 745-5550, ext. 229. Temple Emanu-El mah jongg, Mondays at 10 a.m. 327-4501. Jewish Federation-Northwest chair yoga with a Jewish flair taught by Bonnie Golden. Mondays, 10-11 a.m. $7 per class or $25 for four. 505-4161 or email@example.com. Cong. Anshei Israel mah jongg, Mondays, 10 a.m.-noon. All levels, men and women. Contact Evelyn at 885-4102 or esigafus@aol. com. Cong. Or Chadash Mondays with the Rabbi. Mondays, noon-1:15 p.m. April 3 and 24:
Friday / March 31 5:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Shabbat Under the Stars service on the Rabbi Arthur Oleisky Courtyard patio, welcoming Shabbat and the CAI USY Midbar Kinnus. 745-5550.
Saturday / April 1 NOON: Cong. Anshei Israel "Read It & Meet" book club discusses "The Black Widow" by Daniel Silva. Call Rayna at 887-8358. 5 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel "Live Your Shabbat" Shabbat immersion program for youth and their families. Playground time for all ages is followed by Mincha, then Third Meal (pizza) with the congregation, and Havdallah. Includes singing, freeform dancing. 745-5550. 6:30-8 PM: Tucson J Chocolate Seder. Learn about Passover. $3 In advance, $5 at the door
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, March 31, 2017
ONGOING "Creating a Culture of Dialogue on Israel." Bring lunch. 512-8500.
Talmud on Tuesday with Rabbi Robert Eisen, Tuesdays, 6 p.m. 745-5550.
Cong. Anshei Israel women’s study group led by Rabbi Robert Eisen. First Mondays, noon. Discussion based on “The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the Torah.” Bring dairy lunch; beverages and dessert provided. Contact Helen at 299-0340.
Tucson J Israeli folk dance classes. Tuesdays. Beginners, 7:30 p.m.; intermediate, 8:15 p.m.; advanced, 9 p.m. Taught by Lisa Goldberg. Members, $5; nonmembers, $6. 2993000.
grandchildren, young or adult, with special needs, third Wednesdays at 7-8:30 p.m. at Tucson J. Contact Joyce Stuehringer at 2995920. Jewish Federation-Northwest Kibbitz & Schmear open house with bagels and coffee, Thursdays, 10-11:30 a.m. 505-4161. Cong. Bet Shalom Lunch and Learn with Cantor Avraham Alpert, Thursdays, noon-1 p.m. at Eli’s Deli. 577-1171.
Shalom Tucson business networking group, second Wednesday of month, 7:30-9 a.m., at the Tucson J. Contact Ori Parnaby at 2993000, ext. 241, or concierge@jewishtucson. org.
Tucson J canasta group. Players wanted. Thursdays, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Instruction available and a beginners’ table every week. Call Rhoda at 886-4334.
Jewish sobriety support group meets Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. at Cong. Bet Shalom. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cong. Anshei Israel gentle chair yoga with Lois Graham, Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Members of Women’s League, $6 per class; nonmembers, $8 per class. Contact Evelyn at 885-4102 or email@example.com.
Tucson J “Keep Tucson Warm” knitting group creates afghans for local shelter. All skill levels. Yarn donations welcome. Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon in the art gallery. Contact Tanya at 299-3000, ext. 147.
“Along the Talmudic Trail” for men (18-40) at Southwest Torah Institute, Mondays, 7 p.m. 747-7780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple Emanu-El Talmud study with Dr. Eliot Barron. Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m. One-time $18 materials fee. 327-4501.
Spouse Bereavement Group, cosponsored by Widowed to Widowed, Inc. at the Tucson J, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Contact Marvin at 8852005 or Tanya at 299-3000, ext. 147.
Chabad of Sierra Vista women’s class with Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, last Wednesdays, noon-2 p.m., 401 Suffolk Drive. 820-6256 or jewishsierravista.com.
Jewish History Museum gallery chats. 15-minute programs led by community members. First and third Fridays, 11:30 a.m. April 7, Marc David Pinate, production director of Borderlands Theatre, will present "Reckoning with Forced Removal." 670-9073.
JFCS Holocaust Survivors group meets Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon. Contact Raisa Moroz at 795-0300.
Lunch and learn with Cantor Avraham Alpert of Cong. Bet Shalom, Wednesdays, noon-1 p.m. at the Tucson J. 299-3000.
Jewish Federation-Northwest PJ Library story time with volunteer Daphna Lederman. First Tuesdays, 10-11 a.m. 505-4161.
Jewish Federation-Northwest mah jongg, Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. 505-4161.
Tucson J current events discussion, Mondays, noon-1:30 p.m. Members, $1; nonmembers, $2. Lunch, bring or buy, 11:30 a.m. 2993000, ext. 147. Cong. Bet Shalom yoga. Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. $5. 577-1171.
Tucson J social bridge. Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon-3 p.m., year round. Drop-ins welcome. Meets in library on second floor. 2993000. Northwest Knitters create hand-stitched items for donation in the Jewish community. Meets at Jewish Federation Northwest Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. RSVP to judithgfeldman@ gmail.com or call 505-4161.
(space permitting). RSVP at 299-3000.
Sunday / April 2 7AM-11AM: Tucson J Tikkun Olam community Volunteer Day at Pio Decimo Center, 848 S. 7th Ave. Help paint the facility. Snacks and drinks provided. To sign up, contact Ori Parnaby at 2993000, ext. 241 or email@example.com. 10 AM-2:30 PM: Darkanyu Tucson Jewish Montessori open house, in conjunction with addition of toddler program for ages 1-3. Open house includes activities, refreshments and jumping castle. 5150 E. Fifth St. Contact Esther Becker at 7902784 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 9 AM-10:30 AM: Temple Emanu-El and Tucson Hebrew Academy "Great Matzah Bake." Make and bake your own matzah and learn about Passover, at Temple Emanu-El. All ages. Register at 327-4501 or tetucson.org.
Chabad Tucson lunch and learn with Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin, Wednesdays, 12:15 p.m. at Eli’s Deli. info@ChabadTucson.com. Weintraub Israel Center Shirat HaShirim Hebrew Choir, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., at the Tucson J. Learn to sing in Hebrew. Contact Rina Paz at 304-7943 or email@example.com. Jewish mothers/grandmothers special needs support group for those with children/
11 AM: Cong. Chaverim Annual Chocolate Seder. Learn about Passover. Free. 320-1015. 11 AM: JFCS presents "To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona" at Cong. Bet Shalom. Survivors featured in book will read excerpts and answer questions, and coeditors Rick Fenwick and Raisa Moroz will speak. RSVP to Moroz at 795-0300, ext. 2214 or rmoroz@ jfcstucson.org.
Monday / April 3 6:30 PM: Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework meeting, at Jewish Federation-Northwest. Contact Barbara Esmond at 299-1197 or brealjs@ gmail.com.
Tuesday / April 4 10:30 AM-NOON: Integral Jewish Meditation with Brian Yosef Schacter-Brooks. Visit
“Biblical Breakthroughs with Rabbi Becker” at the Southwest Torah Institute. Fridays, noon, for men and women. 747-7780 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Beth Shalom Temple Center of Green Valley Women's History Month multi-media art presentation, through April 20. 648-6690. Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center, open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Friday noon-3 p.m. 564 S. Stone Ave. Adults, $7; members and students, free. No admission charge on Saturdays. 670-9073. Jewish History Museum exhibition, "Fluid Identities: New Mexican Crypto Jews in the Late 20th Century," at 564 S. Stone Ave., through May 31. 670-9073. torahofawakening.com. NOON: Jewish Federation-Northwest lunch and learn, "The Fascinating Story and Significance of Shmurah Matzah," with Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin of Chabad Tucson, at Jewish Federation Northwest. Kosher meat deli lunch $10. RSVP at 505-4161 or email@example.com. 2:30 PM: Brandeis National Committee spring event at Café a la C'Art, at Tucson Museum of Art, 150 Main Ave, benefiting BNC scholarship fund. Includes installation of officers, gourmet hors d'oeuvres and dessert. $25.Tours of museum (with admission fee) available at 1:30 p.m. Bring toiletries for Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse. RSVP to Marianne Taussig at 2992322 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-5 PM: Jewish History Museum community conversation on "Elements of Genocide," in the Holocaust History Center, 564 Stone
Ave. 670-9073. 7-8:15 PM: Temple Emanu-El Practical Judaism Model Seder. Rabbi Batsheva Appel explains how to conduct a traditional Seder at home, and the history and meaning behind the rituals. $10. RSVP at 327-4501.
Wednesday / April 5 6 PM: University of Arizona College of Humanities German Studies department presents Holocaust survivor Leslie Schwartz, at the Tucson J. Talk includes showing of the film "The Mühldorf Death Train." Free. 621-7385.
Thursday / April 6 10 AM: Jewish Federation-Northwest Kibbitz and Schmear Pesach Edition, with Northwest Tucson Jewish community chaplain Pinchas Zohav, at Jewish Federation Northwest. Free. Tzedakah contributions welcomed. 505-4161 or email@example.com. 4:30 PM: Cong. Or Chadash Holiday art workshop, with Ann Lapidus. Create a hand-painted wine glass or bowl for your Passover table. $20. RSVP by April 3 to 512-8500. 6:30 PM: University of Arizona Cancer Center lecture series presents “Diet and Cancer: What’s a Person to Eat?” with Cyndi Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., associate director of Cancer Prevention and Control, University of Arizona Cancer Center; director, Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, at the Tucson J. Call 299-3000.
Friday / April 7
11:30 AM-1 PM: Tucson J fundraising luncheon with Pamela Schuller, inclusion advocate and comedian, benefiting the community special abilities initiative. $36. Tickets at 299-3000 or tucsonjcc.org/special/ 5 PM: Temple Emanu-El Tot Kabbalat Pesach Shabbat service and dinner (kosher chicken and sides; vegetarian option available), for families with preschool-age children, followed by dessert on the playground. Adults, $10; children under 12 free. RSVP at 327-4501. 5:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel Tot Shabbat service, followed at 6:15 p.m. by Shabbat dinner. $25 per family (2 adults and up to 4 children); additional adults $10. RSVP by April 3 to Kim at 7455550, ext. 224 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 7:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El "Simply Shabbat" service, exploring the prayers, songs, rituals and
traditions of the Reform Friday evening Shabbat service, with Q&A instead of a sermon. 327-4501
Saturday / April 8 9:30 AM: Temple Emanu-El Shabbat No'ar breakfast, followed at 10 a.m. by Youth and Adult Morning Service with Project Ezra and the 3rd grade. Rabbi's Tish follows at noon. Bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share. Free. 327-4501. 10 AM: Cong. Or Chadash Tot Shabbat for families with children ages birth to second grade. Story, snack, music, art and craft activities. 512-8500. NOON: Temple Emanu-El Rabbi's Tish. Torah study and dairy/vegetarian potluck. 327-4501.
Sunday / April 9 8:30-10 AM: Cong. Or Chadash pre-Passover pancake breakfast. $5. 512-8500. 9 AM-NOON: Cong. Anshei Israel Religious School Passover family workshop, "All Four Children: Everyone Has a Place at the Table." After Minyan, parents may join Rabbi Eisen 9:3010-30 a.m. for "Building a Seder," then join their children to explore the meaning of the Seder prayers. Inclusion advocate and comedian Pam Schuller will speak. Free, open to all youth and their families. RSVP by April 5 to Kim at 745-5550, ext. 224. 9:30-10:30 AM: Cong. Anshei Israel Adult Education Kollel: Passover. "Building a Seder," with Rabbi Robert Eisen. Free. RSVP by April 5 to Michelle at 745-5550, ext. 225. 5-8 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel "Fun-Raiser" at Sweet Tomatoes, 6202 E. Broadway. Sweet Tomatoes donates 15% of sales generated by CAI when you present a special flyer available at CAI office or caiaz.org. 745-5550.
Monday / April 10 7 AM: Cong. Anshei Israel Erev Passover Minyan service with Siyum for First Born. For complete holiday schedule, call 745-5550 or visit caiaz.org.
6:30 PM: Chabad Tucson Seder led by Rabbi's Yossie Shemtov and Yehuda Ceitlin. Adults, $45; children, $25. RSVP at chabadtucson.com or 8817956. 7 PM: Chabad Oro Valley Seder, at El Conquistador Golf and Tennis, 10555 N. La Canada Dr. $45 for one; $90 for two; $115 for family. RSVP at jewishorovalley.com.
Tuesday / April 11 10 AM: Cong. Or Chadash Passover service. 512-8500. 6 PM: Temple Emanu-El 2nd Night Passover Seder, with Rabbi Samuel Cohon, with song, story, celebration and kosher-for-Passover dinner (vegetarian option available). Temple members, $45; nonmembers, $55; full-time students/active military, $35; children ages 4-12, $15; ages 3 and under, free with parents or grandparents. RSVP at 327-4501. 6:45 PM: Cong. Anshei Israel 2nd Night Seder. Members, $45; ages 4-12, $30. Nonmembers, $55, ages 4-12, $40. College/military, $37. RSVP by April 4 at caiaz.org or call Debra at 745-5550, ext. 242.
Wednesday / April 12 7 PM: Temple Emanu-El class, "The Holiest Places on Earth, Part IV." Rabbi Samuel Cohon discusses his sabbatical journey to holy sites sacred to all major religions, in Australia, Easter Island, Peru and more. 327-4501.
Friday / April 14 10:30-NOON: Jewish History Museum Genealogy Program drop-in research session, with Joel Alpert. 564 S. Stone Ave. 670-9073. 5:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El Shabbat Passover hike and service, at Saguaro National Monument East. Easy stroll to Mica picnic area, 1.4 miles round trip. Bring a Passover picnic dinner. 3274501.
Saturday / April 15
6 PM: Cong. Or Chadash First Night Seder. Members, $42;ages 5-13, $36. Nonmembers, $60; ages, 5-13, $40. RSVP at 512-8500.
9:30 AM: Temple Emanu-El Passover Festival morning service. For full holiday schedule, call 327-4501 or visit tetucson.org.
6 PM: JPride Seder at private home in central Tucson. Attendance limited to 20 people. RSVP to email@example.com by April 5 with names and number of guests, return email and phone number. Meat and vegetarian options. Suggested donation, $18.
11:30 AM-2:30 PM: Secular Humanist Jewish Circle Seder. Humanist Hagaddah includes stories of ancient and modern people who have made their way to freedom, plus singing and lunch, at Atria, Campana Del Rio, 1550 E. River Rd. Members $25; nonmembers $35. RSVP by
Sunday / April 16 2 PM: Temple Emanu-El Sunday Salon at the Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave. Free. 327-4501.
UPCOMING Thursday / April 20
6 PM: JFSA Men's Night Out with former Chicago Cubs outfielder Adam Greenberg. Dinner, beer and presentation of 2017 MENtor award to Ron Weintraub, at the Tucson J. $36. Register at jfsa.org/mensnightout, kgraham@ jfsa.org or 577-9393, ext. 1118.
Friday / April 21
5:45 PM: Anshei Israel Family Shabbat Israel Night. Service followed by Israeli-style dinner at 7 p.m., with Israeli dancing and trivia bowl. $25, family (2 adults and up to 4 children); adults 13 and over, $10. RSVP for dinner by April 14 to Kim at 745-5550, ext. 224 or at caiaz.org. 9:30 PM: Temple Emanu-El Downtown Shabbat at the Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave., with Rabbi Samuel Cohon, soloist Lindsey O'Shea and the Armon Bizman Band. 327-4501.
Sunday / April 23
7-11:30 AM: Tucson J and Tucson Medical Center 3rd Annual Tucson Family Triathlon, at the Tucson J. Early-bird registration through March 31: Ages 17 and under, $15; adults $20; family (2 adults, 4 children) $55. April 1-19: Ages 17 and under, $20; adults $25; family $65. Benefits Shyann Kindness Project. Register at 299-3000 or tucsonjcc.org. 5:15 PM: JFCS of Southern Arizona Celebration of Caring, honoring Kathryn Unger, with author and CNN analyst David Gregory. Registration and reception, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. $150. Tickets at jfcstucson.org.
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6 PM: Temple Emanu-El "Passover Experience Extraordinaire" with Janos Wilder at the Carriage House. Kosher Passover meal with Rabbi Samuel Cohon; vegetarian option available. $225 per person; $400, couple. RSVP by April 5 at 327-4501.
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Ruth Segall Steinberg, 89, died Feb. 19, 2017 in Philadelphia. Survivors include her husband of almost 68 years, Morris; children, Diane (David) of Teaneck, N.J., Howard (Alla) of Tucson, and Edward (Ilene) of Philadelphia; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Services and interment were held in Pennsylvania. Memorial donations may be made to Hadassah or the charity of your choice.
Gerald Nathanson, 80, died March 22, 2017. Mr. Nathanson was born in Detroit, Mich. He was the founder and/or CEO of Midland Sales, Jefferson Wards, JM Fields, McCrory and Pay N Save, many of which were multibillion dollar businesses. He ended his business career as the owner/CEO of Tattoo Manufacturing in Tucson, which grew to be the world's largest manufacturer of temporary tattoos before selling the company to a private equity firm six years ago. He had a long history in Jewish philanthropy as a founder of his temple in Midland, Mich., chairman of the Men's Division at Jewish Federation in Miami and member of the board of Jewish Federation in Miami. He started a high school in Israel, where he was active in fundraising, and supported the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Leaf fund which helps families in need. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Thelma; children, Joyce Sinclair, Sharon Shi and Rick and Stephanie Nathanson; sister, Beverly Kruger; and nine grandchildren. Graveside services were held at East Lawn Cemetery, with Rabbi Yossie Shemtov officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Leaf program.
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OUR TOWN B’not mitzvah
MADISON REGINA BALLIS, daughter of Tami and Mark Ballis, will celebrate becoming a bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 1 at Temple Emanu-El. She is the granddaughter of Sheila and Hal Rimer of Palm Desert, Calif. Maddie attends Esperero Canyon Middle School. For her mitzvah project, Maddie has created special events at Casa de los Niños, such as a birthday bash for 12- to 18-year-olds, and participated as chef for the day at Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.
DARKAYNU, Tucson’s Jewish Montessori preschool, will add a toddler program (ages 1-3) for the coming school year. The school is also adding special enrichment workshops in art, music and gymnastics for students ages 3-6. For more information, visit darkanyutucson.com or contact Esther Becker at 7902784.
ALMA HERNANDEZ, daughter of Consuelo and Daniel Hernandez, will celebrate becoming a bat mitzvah on Saturday, April 8 at Congregation Chaverim. Alma is a second-year graduate student at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She is also the Jewish Community Relations Council coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. She has been involved with the UA Hillel Foundation, was a Glass Leadership Institute Fellow with the Anti-Defamation League and was president of CatPac Wildcats for Israel. She sings in the choir at Chaverim and volunteers at several local organizations.
INVISIBLE THEATRE will present its 2016 Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award to playwright Kathleen Clark. The award was established in 1988 as a tribute to Goldie Klein, mother of IT's artistic director, Susan Claassen. Clark’s “Let’s Live a Little” opens at IT on April 19.
People in the news LORI RIEGEL, MJEd, has been selected to present her doctoral research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education 2017 Student Research Conference and the 2017 Joint Conference on Research in Jewish Education, co-hosted by the Network for Research in Jewish Education and the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry. This is Riegel’s third time presenting at the Harvard conference. She is a Ph.D. candidate in educational leadership in a joint program of Lesley University and Hebrew College and will receive a certificate in Jewish Educational Leadership from Hebrew College in June.
In focus Dining Out in the Northwest
More than 30 people joined the Jewish Federation Northwest Division on Tuesday, March 21 at Guadalajra Grill at 7360 N. Oracle Road. “We crammed into a long table — split about evenly between young families and couples/seniors/individuals” for an evening of “good old fashioned mingling,” says Sarah Chen, associate director of the Northwest Division.
(L-R): Adam and Dana Goldstein, Esta Goldstein, Rhoda Kaplan, Jake and Sherry Jacobson, Helen Mittleman, Anne Lowe, Steve Malkielski, Phyllis Gold (director, Jewish Federation Northwest Division) Jeff and Sue Penfil, Nolan, Hugh and Rena Shifren, Corey and Jen Schumer
Young families with children contributed to the “joyful ruckus,” says Jewish Federation Northwest Division Associate Director Sarah Chen.
March 31, 2017, ARIZONA JEWISH POST
ARIZONA JEWISH POST, March 31, 2017