Page 1

SHATNER coming to atlanta’s dragon con PAGE 26



Designated Hewbrew: Ron Blomberg

Camp Barney TURNS 50 PAGE 23


AUGUST 16, 2013 – AUGUST 22, 2013


10 elul – 16 ELUL 5773 vOL. LXXXVIII NO. 33

THE Weekly Newspaper Uniting the Jewish Community for Over 85 Years


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from the publisher AND READERS

From the Publisher:

To the Editor:

The month of Elul is a time for retrospection. As such, we decided to take this paper and make it a special issue, remembering the history and contributions of Jewish Atlanta. We want to thank Chana Shapiro for all of her extra efforts and hard work putting together most of this issue. We could not have done this without her!

The increasing cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Israel is, indeed, wonderful news. But even Harold Kirtz admits it is not the key to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That will require a sea change in the attitudes and actions of the Palestinian leadership. The problem is not simply that they have not prepared the Palestinian people for the possibility of peace with Israel. Rather, both the Palestinian leadership and the leaders of the broader Moslem world have actively worked against the acceptance of Israel’s presence in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.

There is much to make us proud-more than we could include in this edition- and we believe that our future is even brighter. Readers of the AJT see that we are just as excited about Israel, as evidenced by the Israeli Pride feature published each week. Ironically, as proud as I am of our heritage and accomplishments, I am saddened by some of what is happening today with the double standards imposed upon Israel. It never ceases to amaze me the way two events can be so similar and yet looked upon so differently in society. First, Mexico has decided upon an early prison release for drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero. He was imprisoned for the kidnapping and murder of a Drug Enforcement Agent. U.S. officials are outraged at the release. The Obama Administration argues that a standard has been set—forty years in jail—so how dare they change it? What does that say about the law? How can such a terrorist be set free? Yet, this position is inconsistent, as the Obama Administration has forced Israel to release many terrorists from prison. The duplicitous justification is that Israel should be more lenient and think about the other countries it affects. However, in reality, this is the exact same case as the one in Mexico, but in greater number. So what happened to America’s concern with the letter of the law and war on terror? Second, Israel has been blamed for “blockading Gaza”. The world yells that the area is like a prison, it’s inhumane. Actually, Egypt just admitted to being the force blockading Gaza. So naturally, one would expect the same angry articles to ensue, attacking Egypt. Yet an antagonizing word is nowhere to be seen. It seems that the media and our current Administration apply an unfair double standard to Israel. I hope that we can all see through the negative propaganda and seek truth and justice for Israel.

Approximately 1.6 million people became refugees in the wake of an Arab-initiated war launched in an attempt to destroy Israel on the eve of her rebirth in 1948. Half of those people were Jews, thrust from their homes in North Africa and the Middle East in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. They were absorbed and uplifted by nascent Israel; their descendants comprise the majority of Israel’s population. In contrast, the descendants of the Arab refugees have been kept stateless and poor, denied citizenship in most Moslem countries and given little opportunity to better their lot in the West Bank and Gaza. They have been fed a steady diet of anti-Jewish invective and promised that they will return to the abandoned homes of their grandparents when Israel is destroyed. In the past, those who sought employment in Israel risked being labeled as collaborators (a capital offense). Today, Palestinians who work in enterprises such as Soda Stream find their livelihood threatened as Westerners (e.g., the European Union) buy into the BDS movement which aims to isolate and delegitimize Israel. While we all hope for true peace, we must face the reality that decades of propaganda cannot be rectified overnight. In addition, we need to acknowledge that true peace can only be achieved between equals, meaning that we need to make demands of the Palestinians as well as of Israel. If Arabs can have full citizenship rights in Israel, Jews who wish to live in areas of religious and historic significance to them should be able to have full citizenship rights in the new Palestinian state. The Palestinians should be expected to show good faith by ending incitement, showing Israel on Palestinian Authority maps, and beginning to build the infrastructure for a civil society in which the Palestinian people will truly be rehabilitated. Toby F. Block To the Editor: How refreshing to read your current article in the Jewish Times dated August 9, 2013, on the Zimmerman case. Thank you for writing an article for so many of us that feel the way you expressed so well. Thank you for representing a majority of Americans who do not get a chance to express ourselves in a meaningful and respectful way as you did. Thank you for presenting the case in a truthful and statistical manner. A Sandy Springs Reader

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

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Israeli Pride


THE BLIND TO SEE WITH THEIR FINGERTIPS. Bar-Ilan Professor Zeev Zalevsky has invented a bionic contact lens that receives electrical signals and transmits the encoded image to the wearer’s cornea. The image gets translated into a tactile sensation that can be interpreted visually. NY BAR MITZVAH BOY HELPS SAFED KIDS. Josh Wasserman has donated his 13th birthday gifts to establish a basketball team and renovate a new court for children living in a center for

new Ethiopian immigrants in northern Israeli city of Safed (Tzfat). HELPING BABIES BREATHE BETTER. Until now, infants’ inhalation masks have been miniature versions of adult ones – ill-fitting and unable to deliver medicine effectively. Now Israel’s Technion has made an infant-specific inhalation mask that even allows a pacifier to be stuck in the child’s mouth while he/she is wearing the mask. STOUDEMIRE APPLIES FOR ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP. Amar’e Stoudemire, the New York Knicks star, is seeking Israeli citizenship. Stoudemire came to Israel to help coach Canada’s basketball team in the recent Maccabiah games. He is also part owner of Israeli basketball club Hapoel Jerusalem.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

FACEBOOK “LIKES” ISREAL. Facebook is reportedly expanding its operations within the Jewish state in order to enhance its status as a favored platform for developers of applications and games. Facebook said that Israelis have developed five of its ten fastest growing games.




Apple Juice, Appelrouths, and Atlanta MOVING SOUTH TURNED OUT TO BE REALLY SMART DECISION finished his obligation to the US Navy. We hadn’t decided.

By Arlene Appelrouth AJT COLUMNIST


t was apple juice that brought the Appelrouths to Atlanta. Here’s why.

We were living on a naval base north of Chicago when it was time for our daughter’s first dental appointment. Having avoided refined sugar while being diligent about dental hygiene, I expected good news. He said my three-year-old required three root canals. I was shocked. My husband called his cousin Phil, an endodontist, to see if he could help us understand how this happened. After a few questions it was clear it was my fault. I frequently put her to sleep with a bottle of apple juice which causes teeth to rot. The mystery solved, Phil asked where we planned to settle after Dan

“I always regretted not settling in Atlanta after my army stint at Warner Robbins,” Phil said. “Call my army buddy in Atlanta. “He’s a cardiologist and probably knows if Atlanta could use a rheumatologist.”

The wheels were set in motion.

I wish I could say I was happy with the decision, but I wasn’t. I knew the public schools weren’t good. I didn’t want my children growing up sounding like Jimmy Carter. I heard southerners still argued about the Civil War and flew the Confederate flag. I was a native New Yorker and a graduate of the University of Florida. How could I move to a state whose football team was my alma mater’s biggest rival? Hershel Walker would have everyone rooting for the Dawgs.

None of that mattered.

What mattered was this: Atlanta was booming. Well-credentialed professionals willing to work hard could make it. Plus, we heard Atlanta had a warm, wonderful Jewish community. In July, 1977, we arrived in what was touted as the cultural center of the southeast. We had neither friends nor family in Atlanta. Dan was going to hang his shingle near Northside Hospital where he didn’t know any physicians. Every time I got into my car I got lost. It was mind-boggling to live where streets changed names without warning. Riverside became Dalrymple which became Spalding.

And all those Peachtree Streets.

I put a compass in my car. What a joke. The compass installed, I asked whether Dunwoody was north, south, east or west. “We don’t talk like that,” replied one driver who looked at me like I was from another planet, “you have to learn how the streets go.” Frustrated, I kept driving; and kept getting lost. I entered a racquetball tournament at the Jewish Community Center, on Peachtree Street. In a place flooded with ALTA tennis players, I was relieved to find other racquetball players. At the end of my game, a man asked for my phone number. He said he was watching me and thought his wife Bobbi and I would be well matched. I gave him my number and met his wife. Not only did we play great racquetball but we also became close friends.

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Atlanta wasn’t feeling so lonely.

One Sunday, when our family was picnicking at Zaban Park, we were thrilled to find Rabbi Don and Marilyn Tam. They were friends from Florida whom we had lost track of. Don worked at The Temple as an assistant rabbi at a time when Atlanta’s Jewish population was growing rapidly and needing new synagogues. We had yet to affiliate with a synagogue and were one of 20 families who chipped in $50 to hire a rabbi for the high holidays. Hundreds of unaffiliated Jews showed up and Temple Emanu-El

was born. My husband led services for the first six months until Rabbi Tam was available to become the founding rabbi. For years, during high holidays, Dan would serve as lay cantor, sharing the bimah with his friend, a popular rabbi at a fast growing congregation. By then, I was happier living in a place where both Dan and I were active and felt appreciated for what we had to give to this community. I always told everyone I knew I was a writer, even though at first I was mostly carpooling and trying to find my way around. One day I got a phone call from Carey Rosenthal, the husband of a woman I carpooled with. Active at the Jewish Community Center, he needed a writer for a documentary about the JCC preschool. I volunteered and began establishing my professional identity. Finally, Atlanta was beginning to feel like home. Our involvement with the Jewish community provided the warmth and connection we needed. We loved our new, growing synagogue. Our children played on sports teams at the JCC and loved JCC camps. They were campers first and counselors when they got older. During the 36 years we’ve lived here, Atlanta has grown into the cosmopolitan, world class city it was rumored to be in the 1970s. Just as there has been tremendous growth and development in Atlanta, I’m grateful for opportunities my family found here. My son David carried the Torch during the ’96 Olympics. Jed was Valedictorian of his 1994 Pace Academy class, and Michelle’s academic skills, honed at Westminster, earned her a competitive scholastic scholarship, granting her in-state tuition at the University of Texas where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Now I have a GPS and my children, who are regular nachas providers, don’t sound like Jimmy Carter. Atlanta was a good choice after all. About the writer Arlene Appelrouth earned a degree in newseditorial journalism from the University of Florida and her career as a writer and journalist spans a 50-year period; she currently studies memoir writing while working on her first book.





t was 1975, and I was standing in a long line at one of six checkout counters, staffed by six surly cashiers, at Waldbaum’s supermarket in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The morning had begun with a stalled elevator (we lived on the fifth floor of our apartment) and notification that the water was turned off for repairs. I had a hungry, four-year-old sitting on a raised seat of the baby carriage in which my one-year-old sat, nibbling a piece of old pretzel. She sat amidst two packages of Pampers, two cans of tomato soup, two boxes of macaroni, two bags of frozen green beans, two bunches of bananas, and two cans of mushroom pieces. I remember this clearly because it was the day that I finally decided, “I can’t take this anymore!” I was primed for a getaway, but to where? Zvi was offered a job in Atlanta. We arrived in July, 1976, and here’s what happened during our first week. Several women from our new synagogue, Ahavath Achim, brought us fruit baskets, and one man, Marvin Hirsch, gifted us with a huge pumpernickel he’d bought on a trip to New York. He figured we’d miss the great “Jewish” food of the Big Apple. The rebbitzen, Reva Epstein, and her friend, Sarah Alterman, rang the doorbell while I was neck-deep unpacking and also working on toilettraining our almost two-year old. I had a “potty” set up near the front door. Sara was sitting on it, banging a wooden spoon on a box. Halfunpacked cartons were all over the floor, and piles of underwear were stacked on the furniture where my visitors should have been invited to sit. Mrs. Epstein and Mrs. Alterman smiled knowingly, as they maneuvered through the mess. I couldn’t offer anything to eat or drink because I didn’t know where my dishes were and had no adult food in the house. Mrs. Epstein asked if I felt OK, because I kept rubbing my forehead while trying to be charming, praying they’d keep this little encounter a secret. I admitted that I had a splitting

headache. Mrs. Epstein forced me to sit on one of the underwear piles, took off her hat, and stood behind me, massaging my temples. Mrs. Alterman found an empty spot for the flowers and fruit they’d brought. Sara, experiencing success on her potty, got up, expecting approbation. She got it from both visitors, who clapped as only seasoned grandmothers do. Then they left. Doris Goldstein, a member of the Board, had taken Rachel to her house that morning. Rachel was happy to get away from the chaos. That afternoon Doris returned my daughter with a big supply of chocolate chip cookies. After a week of constant culture shock, I decided to splurge on a longdistance phone call to my best Brooklyn friend, Cheryl. I told her our car was parked in the driveway, one of our bathrooms had two sinks, and we had a backyard, in which there was a playhouse. I’d received a head massage from our rebbitzen, who’d applauded Sara’s potty achievement. I told her that neighbors kept knocking on our door, with house plants and advice. I’d driven to A & P, bought the kids ice cream and stopped at the library, and parked my car at each destination. Men offered to carry my heavy groceries, and cashiers called me “Ma’am.” People smiled at us and asked our daughters their names. When I dropped a book, a stranger ran to pick it up. Some people noticed the New York plates on our car and asked what part of New York we came from, and Rachel enjoyed answering, “We’re from Brooklyn. It’s really far away.” Cheryl had to agree: we weren’t in Brooklyn anymore. About the Writer Chana and her family came to Atlanta, intending to try it for a while. It’s been thirty-seven years, and they have no plans to leave. As it turned out, though, half of the people they now know are from New York, and she and Zvi have encountered quite a few surly cashiers. Yet, Chana remains hopeful that the gentility, manners and congeniality of 1976 south will rise again.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

By Chana Shapiro


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The Way We Were


WHEN ATLANTA BECAME OUR HOME ews have lived in Atlanta since the early 1800s. It all began when, for the most part, Ashkenazi peddlers from northern cities found farmers and townspeople here and across the South receptive to their merchandise.

Sephardic families began to arrive in the early 19th century, as well, and many of these “new” Southerners opened small businesses, sent for their relatives and began raising their children in the genteel, sunny south. In the latter part of the 19th century, Jews fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe also made their way to Atlanta. It wasn’t always easy to maintain their Jewish identity in the “Bible Belt”. So institutions were established, places where Jews could meet, play, study and pray. Holocaust survivors and, more recently, groups from Iran and the former Soviet Union have made Atlanta their home. Many of us recall when Atlanta’s Jewish community was much smaller, the houses of worship were fewer, and most everyone lived in “Jewish neighborhoods”. Many of the people sharing their stories here retain a true southern accent, fondly remember drinking “co-cola” on the front porches of their homes and know how to make barbecue and grits the right way. We hope you find their stories interesting, enlightening and, hopefully, entertaining.

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The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation (The Temple) is established.

Ahavath Achim Synagogue is established.

Rabbi David Marx is appointed Rabbi of the Temple, turning it from an Orthodox synagogue to classic Reform.






A City and Its Bagels



n these modern times of ‘here one day, gone the next’ overnight business fads and shaky economics, it’s comforting to know that certain staples endure. As one of Atlanta’s oldest continually running restaurants, Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli is rich in history and tradition and serves as a point of consistency in our ever-growing city. The company, originally named Goldberg & Son, started in 1972 as a small father-and-son-run Atlanta deli serving six varieties of authentic New York-style boiled bagels and one very popular Po’ Boy sandwich. The location was small but mighty, as a traditional New York deli can be difficult to find in the South. Current owners, Wayne Saxe and Howard Aaron both emigrated from South Africa to the U.S. at an early age. While they loved their new city and new surroundings, they also found themselves pining for the comforting, authentic cooking of their Jewish grandmothers back home. They searched all over Atlanta for those specific, special flavors of home until friends pointed them in the direction of Goldberg & Son, where they discovered bagels as delicious as those they grew up with in Johannesburg. Along with their discovery came an opportunity to make Goldberg & Son so much more. With Saxe’s background in accounting and Aaron’s expertise in food service, they formed a partnership that has proved pure magic. Renaming the restaurant Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli, they built a New York-style delicatessen empire that has blossomed to six deli locations around the metro area.

The famous Po’ Boys haven’t changed since 1972, either. Each Goldberg’s location prepares three or four dozen every morning, layering the salami, bologna, corned beef, turkey and mustard on freshbaked French bread.

Today, Goldberg’s is a mainstay in its founding city – so much so that the Atlanta Braves have chosen to partner with Goldberg’s in the creation of the Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Nearby, towers of handformed pastries proof in the kitchen before cooking, then appearing in the pastry case within hours. Every day, the Goldberg’s kitchen buzzes with the boiling of matzah balls, slicing of local produce and cracking of eggs.

Goldberg’s now boasts three additional locations at Hartsfield, including a partnership café with The New York Times located in Concourse E. Those perfect Goldberg’s bagels and famous Po’ Boys have remained, while the culinary options have expanded tenfold to offer a menu of New York City proportions.

“Food is our passion,” proclaims Saxe, who visits all of his restaurants regularly (airport locations included), keeping tabs on their operation and steps ahead of every potential snafu. And Aaron, who’s stationed at the Roswell Road location, keeps his hands in every nuance of inventory and food production.

When Saxe and Aaron took over Goldberg’s in 1992, they expanded the bagel offerings significantly. Today, more than 32 varieties – from salt, to asiago cheese, to double cinnamon – can be smeared with any of a dozen flavors of housemade cream cheeses, nova or hummus.

Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli may have expanded their menu and number of locations over the years, but importance of quality, the concentration on the customer—the ideals and values reminiscent of times past—remain and are its continuing recipe for not only great food but success as well.

Each location bakes more than 500 dozen bagels each day, and the Roswell Road location cooks up still more to send to Goldberg’s four outposts at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Using an Old World method, the handmade bagels are given a swift

boil and are then set on redwood boards, where they bask in a rotating, 500-degree oven until browned to an ideal crispness. And Aaron is known to get in on this process himself, turning bagels in the boiling vat or pouring seeds over the glistening rounds of dough.

Morris Rich starts M. Rich and Brothers, a dry goods store.

Congregation Sherith Israel is formed.

The Atlanta Jewish community reaches





AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Special for the AJT




Rick Halpern



hen I look back on my youth, growing up in Atlanta, I understand that I had so much to appre-


We had beautiful woods in the back of our house where I spent many years playing. I don’t ever remember telling my parents that I was “bored,” because all year long there were friends outside with whom I played sports. There were also “enterprises” that engaged us, like numerous failed drink stands, and a street newspaper (“The Wildwood Times”), which we produced one summer, and which people still talk about. I attended Morningside Elementary School from kindergarten through eighth grade. Because the school was roughly a mere mile from home, I have a hard time convincing my kids that I walked ten miles to school in the snow like my parents did. (I didn’t believe my parents, either!) Those were simpler times, to my young mind seemingly without the crises and threats we see in the news today. Yet, I do remember the air raid drills we had to practice during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I remember where I was when I heard that President Kennedy had been shot. Then came high school, and a new chapter began in my life.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Having been raised in the middle-to-upper-middle class, haimish, heavily Jewish Morningside area, I was sent across town to the more upper crust, Christian school experience of Westminster. To say it was a culture shock describes it perfectly.


The disparity between the two worlds in which I found myself is perfectly illustrated by the names of a neighborhood friend and a new schoolmate. At Morningside it was Alex Bromberg, and at Westminster it was Thomas Willingham Tift the Third. Growing up, my Jewish identity was fairly strong, with my dad setting the tone and modeling Jewish pride. He was an immigrant from Poland who became a financial and communal success here in the United States. His commitment to the Jewish community in Atlanta and Israel were acts from which he gained a lot of nachas. But, in my home, although we were heavily identified as cultural Jews, I had very little appreciation or knowledge of Judaism as a religion. To me, the Torah was a bunch of fairy tales. At Westminster, I was confronted with Christian theology through mandatory classes, Friday morning assemblies, annual Religious Emphasis Week, and day-to-day interactions with non-Jewish people around me. As a whole, the Christians I knew were wonderful people. It was the theology that I had difficulty with, especially when they claimed that our Isaiah and Jeremiah proved that their man was the Messiah. At that point in my life, I didn’t have Jewish knowledge or faith to fall back on, and I was at a loss to respond to their assertions.

Knowing that I did not believe what they held to be the “Truth,” but not understanding why I didn’t believe it, created a cognitive dissonance within me that troubled and provoked me for years. Eventually, I would undergo my own spiritual searching in college that took me from being indifferent to being an avowed atheist, to proving that there was a G-d while trying to disprove His existence to myself. Once I came to realize there was a G-d, my life was changed forever. In a sense, I have to thank my Westminster experience, where my Jewish soul was under siege, for driving me to be an Orthodox Jew today. I was a top wrestler at Westminster, even being selected as MVP. Just as I wrestled with opponents, I wrestled with finding my Jewish path. To process all of this, I determined to do something proactive beyond myself. In 1998, knowing that there must be other Jewish kids undergoing the same conflicts, confusion and lack of knowledge that troubled me, I created Torah Atlanta, a counter-missionary group. Though I’m no longer focused on its activities, the book that I wrote, “Choose Life,” and the counseling that I did, brought certain Jews out of Christianity and, at the same time,

helped to bring some healing to that confused teen in me. Today, I look back at my experiences growing up in Atlanta through the lens of being a father of five, proud to have raised them as well-educated, religiously observant young men and women. My life has been very mundane in many respects, yet an exciting adventure in others. I feel quite fortunate to be from the family I’m from, in the city I’m from, and hope to turn the conflicts and challenges of my own life into meaningful transformations in the lives of others. Among my other youth-focused projects, I am the director of The Halpern School, which offers life and career coaching for students and recent grads. One last story is an anecdote reflecting the great circle of life. One of my daughters, Chaya, who volunteered recently for the Friendship Circle, was paired with a special needs person. Of all of the families with whom she could have been matched, she got paired with the Rosenbergs, a family who used to live on my street growing up. When they found out who Chaya was, they went into their files, and made a copy of something they had kept for years and held dear: an old copy of “The Wildwood Times!” About the writer Rick Halpern’s commitment to Jewish outreach and in-reach has launched many projects in Atlanta and Israel.

The Jewish Educational Alliance is established.

Congregation Anshei Sphard is formed. Mary Phagan is found tragically murdered in National Pencil Factory, leading to Leo Frank’s conviction.

The Sephardic community forms Congregation Or V’Shalom.





Charlotte Glych Marcus


oysters and shrimp were trucked in and cooked along the riverbank.

Sara Carter


here shall we dine?” my friend, Jackie Metzel, and I frequently ask each other when we meet for dinner, lunch or brunch.


Some of my favorite memories include the steaming food, the delicious, fresh smells and the courteous gentleman who opened the oysters, which I delightedly consumed. We laughed and talked politics with fellow legislators and the locals from Savannah.


We typically agree that Canoe Restaurant, on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, is by far our very first choice. Canoe’s delicious food is great, but the ambiance and the natural beauty of the site - equally wonderful - can’t be beat.

I recall how I fixed a plate and served it to Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, Tom Murphy. Mr. Speaker, as we addressed him, was widely known at that time as the most influential politician of the day.

Canoe, located in Vinings on Paces Ferry, just after the bridge, brings back memories to many native Atlantans and longtime residents. They may still remember and relish the history and the site of Canoe when Vinings was a village and Atlanta was a town.

These days, I am served drinks and hor d’oeuvres on the grounds of Canoe, where I still love to listen to and watch the river flow by. As the river ripples and skips over the rocks, I think of times old and new. Decades, values, ideas and life may change, “but old man river . . . just keeps rollin’ along.”

I then decided to return to the South and chose Atlanta, since now I considered myself to be a “big city” girl. The Ford Foundation had just given a large monetary grant to the Southern Regional Council, which was headquartered in Atlanta, and this private agency hired me to use the grant to promote literacy in the South.

Jackie’s late husband, Gary, who was an AEPi at Emory, often took her to fraternity dances by the river at what was then Robinson’s Tropical Garden. Big bands played slow dancing music and the “Jitterbug,” which was the rage.

About the writer Charlotte Glych Marcus, who has more entertaining life stories to tell, is busy writing her memoir.

grew up in Pensacola, Fla., a small city 70 miles from Mobile, Ala. In the mid-sixties, after college, I joined two of my girlfriends to live and work in Manhattan for a year.

In the 1960s, the Southern Regional Council was a welcoming and exciting place to hang out if you were involved in promoting civil rights. One recurring scene there made a lasting impression on me. A very old and dignified white lady, Miss Tillie, would appear from time to time and be seated in her special office, which was reserved for her in honor of her courage in stopping lynching in her home town.

The girls wore bobby socks and penny loafers, as their big skirts whirled and swirled under the moon. Other couples strolled along the river banks, holding hands in the romantic, rustic spot under the moonlight and twinkling stars.

Whenever she would hear that a lynching was about to occur, she would gather all the white ladies from prominent families and they would go to the place of the proposed lynching and just stand there. That was enough to stop it.

Years later, in the 1970s and ’80s, my husband Sydney and I went to parties for the Georgia legislature, which were sponsored by local folks and merchants from Savannah. Fresh

I also remember SRC’s Voter Education Project, headed by Vernon Jordan. He would send people all over the South to encourage and protect blacks

Sherith Israel Synagogue is erected on December 14th, 1929.

The Atlanta Jewish community reaches




who were trying to register to vote for the first time. You can imagine the danger into which these people were willing to put themselves.

This was a time when the office

staff would sometimes form a circle and sing, with much passion, “We Shall Overcome.” It was a bustling place because news reporters from all over the nation came there to get the real facts about what was happening in the South. I am grateful that I had a chance to do something concrete to improve people’s lives at this time in the history of our nation. The people there were passionately attached to making justice accessible to everyone, even if it meant putting their lives on the line. It is probably rare that one can live in an atmosphere like that day by day. The year there became a very special moment in the ongoing creation of who I am. About the writer Sara Carter enjoys a multi-faceted life as an educator, educational consultant, author and piano teacher.

Gone with the Wind premiers. Felix Frankfurter is elected first Jew in the U.S. Supreme Court. The British “White Paper” is issued, limiting immigration to Israel to 75,000 Jews per 5 years.

Congregation Beth Jacob is established.



AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013





Varda Liba Saul



y youth was a time of tremendous confusion. We were modest and humble, yet out there and noticeable. We never spoke about the Holocaust, but were very aware of the cold war through the media and table conversation. It felt scary, and yet we enjoyed life. I wouldn’t work through the conflicts to clarify my true identity until I became a grandmother. We lived in two worlds, the world of Torah and the world of secularism, and no one could tell where one ended and the other began. Shabbos was spent having an early dinner, driving to shul, returning home, waking the next morning in order to drive to shul and return home; yet at times watching Saturday morning cartoons and Howdy Doody, Officer Don’s Club, Skipper Ray McKay, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Buffalo Bob, and Sky King. We loved Elvis, Bobby Darren, Bobby Rydel, Connie Francis, Patsy Klein, Buck Owens, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Motown Faves, and others. Our ears made some people very famous and very rich, yet, many of them died too early due to exhaustion, chemical toxicity, and “nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.” We certainly started out behaving and dressing modestly, and then many of us took the route of “it’s cool to be naked.”

Our skirts got shorter and our sleeves fell off our arms. Things got tighter and curves became more noticeable. Our “bubbies’ clothing” was moved into antiquity, as did our old morals and ethics. Our kosher lives became mixed with trips to Mammy’s Shanty, Aunt Fanny’s Cabin, The Varsity, Lums, Zestos, Majestic, Yellow Jacket, Silver Spoon and Silver Skillet, Happy Herman’s, Dunk & Dine, Seven Steers, Howard Johnson’s, Hickory House, Jilly’s, Crossroads, Colonnade, The Ambassador, Fan and Bills, The Diplomat, The Regency Polaris … and these are just a foreshpeis! We Rollerdromed, Midnight Bowled, Drive-in Movied, Danced in the Streets, Halloweened, and Eastered with fuzzy ducklings, bunnies and junk candy. We Southeastern Faired, while A&P, Big Apple, Food Giant, and Winn Dixie became mere memories. Sherwood Forest was the exciting area in which to view the annual Xmas decorations, a must for every Jew during the Chanukah season. Shackelford Drug Store, Bells Five and Dime, McMahon’s Shoes, Highland Library all went the way of fictional cinematography, and only glimmers remain for those of us who actually sat at soda fountains, shopped till we dropped (for pennies), and found romance both inside and outside of novels.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

The Atlanta chapter of American Jewish Committee is formed.


The Antidefamation League opens offices in Atlanta.


Souped-Up Everything We drove Chevy Impalas, Ford Mustangs, Corvettes, Volkswagen Beetles and souped-up everything. Amiable gas station attendants met us with a windshield rag, new wipers, an oil stick, an air pump for tires and a gas pump to fill the tank. Service was great wherever we went. People smoked anywhere and anytime, with effective marketing by Marlboro, if you smoked on a horse; Winston, if you were literary; Salem, if you were cool; Camels if you were macho; and Lucky Strikes if you were into fine tobacco. You added a little cherry tobacco to your classy pipe, and if your friends really loved you, they tolerated your cigar. Women attended a simcha in peau de soir satin high heels (stilletos hadn’t made it to the scene, but were incubating), dyed to perfectly match their ensembles. They wore shoulder or wrist corsages, and a dyed or beaded purse completed the right look. Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson and Lester Maddox with his pick axe, were headliners and their activities were seldom absent from dinner-table chat. Yiddish was the language of choice, preventing the kinderlach from understanding what was not meant for young ears. It was the time of Broadview Plaza, Plaza Pharmacy and Theatre, Highland Theatre, Piedmont Drive In, Northeast Expressway Drive In, Ding Ho Downtown, Bluebird Buses, Trains with pullman and dining cars,

Morris Luggage, Beatles at the Stadium, Wayne Newton at the Domino Lounge, the Beach Boys at the Fox, Dick and Jerry Van Dyke as the Witt’s End Players. Dr. Frank Weitz made house calls; Drs. Lefkoff and Gershon shoved argyrol into the sinus cavities of anyone with clogged nasal passages. Leb’s had a pickle and sauerkraut aroma that didn’t conflict with anyone wanting a wedge of chocolate cream pie or strawberry cheesecake; it didn’t matter what was in the air, a Reuben, corned beef, or fried Salami-mit-eggs were all available on the spot. Simon Selig, Erwin Zaban, Sidney Feldman, Max and Herbert London and Nathan Lipson are a few of the people whose legacy of grants and funding are today the buildings, landmarks and opportunities for which the Jewish community still benefits. Families and businesses were complementary and supportive, rather than competitive. Lewis Textiles, Forsyth Fabrics, Dogwood Fabrics, LaFrance Fabrics, Herschell’s Fabrics, and ADAC were all in the same business and the owners got along. Dr. Billy Shatten sculpted many a nose and other body appendages, but who’s telling? Freddy Deland, the Progressive Club music arranger, came to my house to give piano lessons. Our pantries were stocked with Coca Cola, RC Cola, Moon Pies and Yoo Hoos; and Harry Baron, flavored

The Atlanta Jewish Community Center replaces The Jewish Educational Alliance.

The State of Israel is established, and immediately attacked by five Arab armies.




seltzer vendor, went from house to house to make certain that his products were available. Flowers came from either Canary Cottage or Forester’s Florist. Judaica was purchased in the Synagogue gift shops. I remember Putt Putt at its inception, the driving range, volleyball, kickball, dodge ball, mosaic art, paint-by-numbers, Indian beading, knitted afghans and rug-hooking. Our treats were Mallowmars, Hawaiian Punch with bees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Rock Candy, Butter Fingers, Charm Pops, Hunky’s, Eskimo Pies, Push Ups, and Chocolate Caramel Covered Pecan Turtles. Tic Tac Toe and Checkers were the primary games; secondaries were Career, Big Business, and paper dolls. We camped at either Rutledge or Blue Star. We lived through “teacher’s pet,” racism, bigoted teachers, detention and name-calling, often feeling degradation. It was all black and white – the movies, television, and the manner in which Atlantans saw one another. Table of Our Own At yom tov, we children had our own table, and no one could notice the kids getting “shika,” while the parents remained sedate. Manischewitz Concord, refluxing in the wee hours, was not as tasty as going down. We slept in the car while the maid was being driven home after the yom tov clean up. The family dined to-

gether; synagogued together and visited grandparents together. Children were seen, but were never part of the conversation. Cousins Sonny, Tommy, and Jack Rosing joined the family round-up at the Mama and Papa Saul homestead. Papa, from Sulsky, Latvia, Poland, was known for helping other Jews find parnassah and shidduchim. The Saul family reunion was gigantic and memorable; cousin Dorothy Rosenblum was famous for her poetry and family tree presentation, and the swan family crest was everywhere. Papa Jake, my maternal grandfather, the projectionist at the Rialto Theatre, treated me to every movie, free popcorn, soda, Hershey’s Almond Bars, Almond Mounds, Candy Covered Almonds, plus a stop at the Planter’s Peanut Shop a few doors down: these were “nutty times,” indeed! At Ahavath Achim, Bat Mitzvah necessitated years of Hebrew lessons and Jewish history classes with the incomparable Joseph Zelman and Leon Steinberg, respectively and respectfully. I’d heard parables, but the terms “metaphors, anomalies, similes, allegories, kabbalah, zodiac, Sefer Yitzirah,” weren’t part of our vocabularies then. The chanting was coached by Cantor Isaac Goodfriend, and those who heard him evoke Kol Nidre, actually felt the earth shift. Great Grandfather, Israel Pries, in a converted house which was a precursor of the Jewish Home, greeted us with love and peppermint can-

The Jewish Home opens. Israel Bonds opens an Atlanta office.

The Hebrew Academy opens.



dies, stashed in his old bureau drawer, adjacent to the standing radiator and metal-framed mattress bedding. In his nineties at the time, he had been a furrier.

My grandfather was home until his very last breath, and it didn’t matter what it took to provide care. I’m grateful that I was able to be with him to the very end.

He gave us fox-head stoles, which today seems repulsive, but were definitely fun then, as we dressed up and ran a restaurant in our upstairs playroom. It housed a large ship-to-shore free-standing, long-playing record machine and a radio that sounded like a duplicate from the Jodi Foster movie, “Contact.”

He’d say, “Gezunta dein beinah” and suck a plug out of my cheek from a kiss that came all the way from Poland.

Grandmother’s milchigs and gefilte fish were in one of my hands, while my other hand was (pretend) “spat” in, while hearing, “Tzoroki, mitvorim, tamadala,” as she tickled my arm, and laughed with all of her heart, “tamanistadali.” To this day, I am clueless as to what this meant; I just know that she loved me with every cell of her body and she was a haven and refuge to me

About the writer Varda Liba Saul, an author and former radio host, is an expert in nutrition and homeopathic healing.

My grandfather was in a hospital bed, receiving oxygen at home. I spent many nights as a companion to my grandmother. I had a choice of entertaining myself with either Lawrence Welk or the gold-scrolled Holy Scriptures book on the den coffee table (it was a den then and not a “family room”). When my grandmother died at the age of 100, I was asked what I would like as a memory of her, and I opted for the Holy Scriptures, as it had become my close companion over the years.

State of Israel Consulate opens in Atlanta.

Ahavath Achim dedicates their building on Peachtree Battle Avenue.

The Jewish Community Center opens in midtown.

The Temple is bombed, after Rabbi Rothschild supports the civil rights movement.



AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013





Ivan Millender



realize that times have changed with regard to dress. Atlanta is no longer a traditional southern city, but is now the Los Angeles of Dixie. I am a throwback to a bygone era, a living vestige of the way things used to be. I grew up in Dalton, and we would often go to Chattanooga on Sundays for dinner at The Green Room of the Read House Hotel. It was the nicest place in town to eat, and anybody who was anybody went there. We got dressed up: a coat and tie were de riguer for my dad and me. The Green Room was a classy, upscale dining experience, even if the food left something to be desired by todays’ standards. The tables, set with white linen, and leather-upholstered Hepplewhite mahogany dining chairs, were arranged in an Adams-style décor, with overhead crystal chandeliers and matching wall sconces; the room decorated in dark green, with ebony and white trim. A live string trio played classics to enhance the mood, mirroring the grandeur of the old Plaza Hotel in New York. The Green Room even trumped today’s Ritz Carlton!

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

The only thing I can remember in Atlanta that presented the same atmosphere was Saturday night at the Progressive Club, when even those of relatively modest means could dress up and spend an evening of dining, dancing and drinking (there were


real slot machines in the back room) and feel themselves to be aristocrats.

A coat and tie were required attire for chapter meetings in all fraternity houses in those days. Tuesday night was Chapter Meeting Night along the entire fraternity row, and this meant that one wore a coat and tie for dinner in the frat house, because the meeting commenced immediately after the meal.

We would come to Atlanta on Sunday morning to make a cemetery visitation before the High Holidays. Besides going to Greenwood, we went to Oakland Cemetery, where I have two grandfathers interred.

Additionally, coat and tie were required for dinner on Friday night, and a full, traditional Shabbat meal was served, with tables covered in white linens. Kiddush was always recited; in fact, the hamotzi blessing was recited in unison at every single lunch and dinner. I remember that members’ dates and friends, members of the faculty, parents and other invited Friday night dinner visitors were formally welcomed by the president of the fraternity prior to any announcements.

Shamos Clein of Ahavath Achim officiated on those Sundays at Oakland, and I remember his cordiality and reverence in conducting prayer; but just as important, his stately appearance in his three piece suit, starched white shirt and necktie. I thought he resembled an Oxford professor. Shamos Clein’s demeanor and personal standards added dignity and a sense of genuineness to our religious tradition. Rabbi Harry Epstein, whose own dignity and intelligence informed Ahavath Achim for decades, had the following insightful remark about casual dress at services: “Is this how you would dress if invited to the White House to meet the president? Surely, G-d in His house deserves the same standard.”

Dr.s Irving and Marvin Goldstein build Americana Hotel, first Atlanta hotel to integrate.


In a similar vein, the lifestyle on the college campus these days is quite different from the late ’50s and early ’60s when I attended Emory University. A perfect example of this difference is the fraternity house. In my day, even the fraternity houses adhered to certain traditions and etiquette which seem to have “gone with the wind.”

And, of course, the waiters and kitchen staff wore white coats when serving the food. It’s interesting that the food, while not kosher, never contained any pork or shellfish products! About the writer Ivan Millender has a private law practice and manages a high-quality classic music series at Ahavath Achim Synagogue.

Camp Barney Medintz opens. Zaban Park branch of Community Center opens.


The Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation is created.




Leonard Sherman



y paternal grandparents, Louis Sherman, born in Holland, and Annie Brody had six children: three boys and three girls. My father was the fourth child. My maternal grandparents were Esai Gerschow and Rebecca Kuniansky. Both Esai and Rebecca were from Georgia in Russia, so it was probably my destiny to be born in the American Georgia. Rebecca had two brothers who came to Atlanta before she did, Isadore and Jake Kuniansky. Isadore married Marjorie Bleich, and Jake married Esther Isenberg. They had four daughters, and my mother was number three. My grandfather’s sister, Ella, married Herschel Taratoot. These family names – Brody, Sherman, Kuniansky, Taratoot, Isenberg – are familiar to many Atlantans; but at one time, everyone knew them because these families are among those who “built” Jewish Atlanta and were at the forefront of Jewish life as we know it today. I’m a 100 percent native-born Atlantan, born to Benjamin and Ida Gershcow Sherman on March 24, 1941, at Crawford Long Hospital. Because I’m related to at least half of “old Atlanta,” it’s no surprise that I was delivered by my own cousin, Dr. Jack Bleich.

on Martin Street was the first Baskin Robbins ice cream store in Atlanta. I think his ice cream was better. Along with most of the other Jewish kids at that time, I attended the Jewish Alliance on Capitol Avenue, which was the predecessor of the MJCCA. My teacher was Bessie Bredow. I even remember the bus driver, Leo, and I bet a lot of other old-timers do too. My father was one of the founders of Ahavath Achim Synagogue and a big supporter of Rabbi Harry Epstein. I became a Bar Mitzvah on Washington Street in 1953, at just about the spot where home plate of the old stadium used to be. I went to grammar school (that’s what we used to call it) at Morningside Elementary and high school at Henry Grady High, which you could say was the original Jewish day school in Atlanta - we had a huge Jewish population. I graduated from Grady in 1958 and received my degree from Georgia State University in 1962. I married Linda Gerber from New Orleans in 1967, and it seems it was a good idea, because we are approaching 50 years together. About the writer Leonard Sherman plays and volunteers at the MJCCA and is co-chair of their Edgewise Series for retirees.

Temple Sinai is established as first new Reform congregation in a century.

Sam Massel is elected first Jewish mayor of Atlanta.

Yeshiva High School is founded.




AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

I used to tell our kids that my father’s ice cream “parlor” downtown




Marsha Strazynski



rowing up in Atlanta as a mid-century girl wasn’t People magazine worthy. In fact, People magazine didn’t exist. Life magazine, in huge 17 inch x 10 inch full-color size, was our weekly connection with the world at large. Memories of Morningside, where most Jewish families I knew lived, within five miles of Shearith Israel Synagogue, are sweet. Lenox Circle, Wildwood Road, Merton Road, Highland Avenue, Lenox Road, Cheshire Bridge Road, LaVista Road, Piedmont Road, and Peachtree Road were our stomping grounds. I spent so many days in the Holtz’s Lenox Circle house (where Charles Chips delivered the most divine tins of cookies and snacks), the Tenenbaum’s on Merton Road, and the Maslia’s off Shady Valley Drive, that even today, many of my dreams take place in those homes. My parents, Helen (Chaika), z”l, and John (Chaim) ,z”l, Gilmer were members of Shearith Israel, then Ahavath Achim, until we joined Beth Jacob when I was nine. Those were three of only six synagogues in Atlanta. Anshe S’fard and Or V’Shalom were on Highland Avenue, and The Temple was on Peachtree near WSBTV and the AJCC. I played with Hebrew Academy kids, children of other “Greener” immigrants who were my parents’ friends, and my neighborhood friends – all boys, with the exception of Jenice Holtz (now Cunningham), Mindy Holtz (now Rabinowitz) and later Robyn Glassman.

At the young age of eight, our par-

ents would drop Ruth Parzan and me off at the Plaza Drug Store Shopping Center. Ruth and I would go bowling for a couple of hours, then buy ice cream at the Plaza Drugs counter. Or, we’d get dropped at the AJCC for a swim, then walk to Zesto’s for an ice cream cone, swirl topped with chocolate, or we’d buy hamburgers from the Mizrachi women’s grill at the AJCC. We sat on the wall across from the colorful tiled AJCC sign, waiting for a pickup from my parents or older brother or sister. In the summer, many friends went to Camp Barney Medintz. I went to Camp AJECOMCE at Zaban Park. Those who didn’t go to camp rode bikes to Cheshire Bridge for candy and snacks from Happy Herman’s or rode to Piedmont Road through the Wildwood Road shortcut. Bebe Holtz, from across the street, sometimes took me swimming with her children at the Standard Club. That was a special treat. My parents were hard-working small-business people. Raised in Belarus, multilingual in Russian, Polish and Hebrew, they found each other as fellow survivors whose families were mostly wiped out, and they spent their war years as Belsky partisans. Like most survivors their age, they had no opportunity for formal education past grade school. Getting on their feet They came to Atlanta through the generosity of a relative married to Morris Newman. (We called them Bubby and Papa. They and their children were our only family, adopting my parents even before meeting them.) My parents lived with the Morrises for 18 months, and the Morrises put them on their feet. Most families in

rimeter Mall had not yet been built.

Atlanta had AfricanAmerican help, but Bubby and Papa’s maid was soon speaking Yiddish, it being the only language my parents and their little blond 18-monthold (my sister) spoke at the time. Jack and Rose Maziar, Pauline and Artie Streve, Sam and Charlotte Newman, and Sidney and Phyllis Newman, and Herman and Minnie Goldberg were like brothers and sisters to them, and they stayed close throughout their lives. We still share simchot with their children, our only cousins. My parents worked hard, six days a week in inner-city grocery stores. Later, after a stint in a liquor store on Georgia Avenue, while the old stadium was being built, and a venture building apartments off Roswell Road, my parents purchased Fred’s Deli on Highland Avenue, one of the few places to get kosher deli, fresh bagels, rye bread and challah. My high school friends followed their noses to my locker, where a corned beef sandwich and smelly deli pickle were my lunch. My friend, Frank Leff, z”l, my locker mate in those years, never complained. When Mom wasn’t too tired from working on her feet all day, she’d take me to Lenox Square. It was a small shopping center in those days, with an open ceiling between the two large department stores on either end, Rich’s and Davison’s. Rich’s was where Macy’s is now. Davison’s was where Bloomingdale’s is now. There were no extensions, food court, few boutiques or other stores. Phipps Plaza, Northlake Mall, and Pe-

In those days, my big sister, Carol Gilmer Draisen, sometimes took me downtown to Rich’s on the 30 LaVista Limited bus. I loved being schlepped along, but I’m not sure the feelings were mutual. At about age 13, my friends and I were allowed to take the bus downtown ourselves. Davison’s was the easiest to get to, but we could walk further into the heart of downtown to Rich’s if we were adventurous. I’d buy all kinds of schmattes with Mom and Dad’s Rich’s charge card. Of course, Mom would veto most of what I bought and I’d go back the next week to return most of it. School days I went to Morningside Elementary School for kindergarten and then to the Hebrew Academy for first through seventh grade. My parents’ Jewish observance eroded as they struggled to make a living, but my father was determined that my older brother, Steve, would be able to lein (read from the Torah) and be an educated kadesher (able to eventually say kaddish for his deceased parents). I believe this goal provoked my parents to figure out a way to get my brother to the Hebrew Academy, something they were not able to do for our oldest sister. Once Steve was there, it was easy enough (though not inexpensive) to send me, too. In first grade, the Hebrew Academy’s classes were held at Shearith Israel. I distinctly remember our drills of walking to a nearby University Drive home in case of a Cuban Missile hit, it

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Congregation Beth Shalom is formed.


Hillel comes to Atlanta campuses.


The Harry H. Epstein/Solomon Schecter School is founded.


The Jewish Vocational Services is created.




Laura Zaban Dinerman

IT WAS A TIME AND PLACE WHERE ‘EVERYONE KNEW EVERYONE’ Hebrew Academy classes moved to the Peachtree AJCC for the next two years. They had a bomb shelter – a vast improvement for safety. In November of 1963, I remember walking out to the carpool line of very somber parents the day President Kennedy was killed. No one came to my birthday party that weekend. We were a class of 22 kids that eventually dwindled to eight by the time we graduated. I knew no one in the older grades who were observant of the Sabbath. Only Beth Jacob’s Rabbi Emmanuel and Estelle Feldman’s children practiced that weird anomaly, but this changed, as the Jewish community in Atlanta exploded over the next 25 years. There was no Jewish full-day high school in Atlanta when I left the Academy. I went to Henry Grady High School, where my brother, sister and all the Jewish Morningside kids went. It was quite an adjustment for me, a sheltered Hebrew Academy girl from a class of eight, where everyone had two parents still married to each other. Our years were the last few where our strong group of Jewish kids connected to each other and were a huge component of the Grady population. I met other Jewish kids through BBYO at the AJCC. We spent Sundays in meetings and sports and had a full social life with Jewish kids from all over the city. I also attended a two-daya-week supplemental Jewish program, Hebrew High at the Hebrew Academy on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings. My friends and I loved learning from some of the great educators of

the time, including Dr. Ephraim Frankel, z”l; Dr. Sadell Sloan, z”l; Dr. Leon Spotts’ and Bernice Werzberger.

pick-up sticks and jack stones, and to Fred’s (Schwartz) Deli to buy pickles.

Special for the AJT

As we got older, we rode the “16 Noble” bus downtown to shop or go to the movies on Saturdays.

My siblings and I went to college. When my father passed away unexpectedly at 55 years old, my brother continued operating Fred’s Deli with my Mom. Eventually, Steve purchased Sal’s Deli at Briarcliff and LaVista.

There were ballet lessons with Ruth Mitchell, Brownies and Girl Scouts and Sunday school at The Temple. Sunday afternoons were most often spent at the Jewish Community Center on Peachtree, taking classes or hanging out with friends.

Mom became known as the “Momma” to everyone who shopped at Quality Kosher, its new name. Today, that store, now known as Kosher Gourmet, is one of the rare kosher privately owned grocery stores, a hamishe place to meet lots of fellow Jews, still operated by the one and only Steve Gilmer. My husband Mark and I were married at Beth Jacob almost 35 years ago. We have become religiously observant over the years and are blessed with raising our kids in that special, nurturing Jewish environment, with a solid foundational Jewish education, and Jewish university level schools in the U.S. and Israel. We have two grandchildren who can’t wait to get to shul on Shabbos morning, play a favorite make-believe game of “baby Moshe in the basket on the Nile,” and yet pretend to be Lightening McQueen or the Backyardigans on any other day. Atlanta has come a long way on so many levels since my childhood days on Lenox Circle, still a great place to call home. About the writer Marsha Strazynski brings many years of corporate PR experience to the MJCCA as Director of Marketing.

Our parents knew the parents of our friends, and often it was a second- or third-generation friendship. It seemed as if everyone knew everyone.


n 1951 my family moved from Brookhaven to our new home on Merton Road in Lenox Park where Max Kuniansky was developing home sites. In the fall of that year, I started attending kindergarten at Morningside Elementary School. While at Morningside, I made friends with girls and boys who became my lifelong companions. We walked to school and to Shackleford’s Drugstore for ice cream and candy, and when we were older, we went there for the latest lipstick or nail polish. We went to Haver’s (Faye Siegel’s parents) Five and Dime to spend our allowance on crayons,

There were three Jewish social clubs in Atlanta at that time: the Progressive Club, the Mayfair Club and the Standard Club. Because Jews were unwelcome at the established clubs in Atlanta, we started our own! Our parents’ social life was centered at these clubs, and they were the sites where we swam in the summer. That was where they ate with friends and where my mother and grandparents often played cards. About the writer Laura Zaban Dinerman applies her wisdom and valuable leadership skills throughout the Jewish community.

Congregation Etz Chaim is founded, first congregation outside Atlanta perimeter

Temple Emanuel is formed in Dunwoody

Congregation Bnai Torah in Sandy Springs is formed.




AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

was very scary to me as a six-year-old.




Kitty Jacobs



atherine Stock was born in Rome, Ga., but she’s become a true Atlanta icon. Her “never-say-die” attitude and cheerful volunteering make her a mentor and model for hundreds of others. Kitty met her husband, Harris Jacobs, at the University of Georgia, where she earned the title “Young Faithful” as she studied beside him in the Law library. Shortly after their marriage, Harris went into the army, urging Kitty to use the business skills she’d learned in college in order to earn enough money to join him in Germany, where he was stationed. She applied at Israel Bonds. “They asked me, ‘How’s your typing?’ I said, ‘Lousy’. They asked, ‘How’s your shorthand?’ I answered, ‘Lousy’. And they hired me!” We can imagine the interviewer, dazzled by the perspicacity of the adorable woman sitting before him: of course, Kitty got the job. Kitty and Harris set the bar for community involvement, dedicating countless hours to Israel Bonds, Hadassah, B’nai B’rith, the March of Dimes, the DeKalb County Community Relations Council, Congregation Ahavath Achim, and the Jewish Community Center. Harris’ presidency at the center (whose main branch was then on Peachtree Street) and her indefatigable work beside him, gave Kitty

responsibilities which earned her the title of “First Lady of Peachtree Street,” In 1986, she tirelessly worked her magic, convincing and cajoling others to fund and support the proposed Shirley Blumenthal Park, as the Jewish community expanded. In 1993, after 41 years of marriage, Harris, always active in sports programs at the Center, passed away. Kitty signed on to memorialize him with the Harris Jacobs Softball League, followed by the annual Harris Jacobs Dream Run, the brainchild of Larry Gordon.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Kitty’s outgoing personality perfectly suited her as a popular tour guide for Guidelines of Atlanta, where she worked for 38 years, and now she cheers everyone who shops at “the kosher Kroger” in Toco Hills, where she is a greeter. She happily gives out recipes and more.

others. One of my first projects was convincing my husband’s fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi, into having a piethrowing contest to raise money for cancer. I got the pies donated from Edwards Pie Company and invited the governor, Lester Maddox. He attended but wouldn’t let us throw a pie at him. Naturally, the last pie was for me! It was fun and exciting, and we raised lots of money that spring for the American Cancer Society.” Someone should write a book about “Ms. Kitty,” but we’ll have to do with these ‘Kitticisms’: “I gained weight to stretch out my wrinkles;”

Begun in 1994, generating funds for MJCCA scholarships, camps, sports and the developmentally disabled programs, the 2013 Run netted almost $27,000. But Kitty’s fulfilling wasn’t trouble-free.

“Harris used to say, ‘Kitty, when I’m gone, you’re going to buy a condo in Miami,’ but I have to keep busy here because I don’t like Miami!”


Two serious bouts of cancer and many other health challenges steered her in additional directions. She was appointed by Gov. Pierre Howard to the Georgia Commission for the Holocaust and served on the board of the Georgia Cancer Foundation. In the days when breast cancer was rarely discussed in public, Kitty’s mission was to visit other cancer patients. “I want others to know that cancer isn’t always a death sentence,” she says. Kitty’s a woman of dreams and action: “My one desire,” she says, “is to

Temple Beth David is formed in Snellville.


have a cancer survivor’s park in Atlanta. We have the money – all we need is the land.”

Congregation Bnei Israel is formed in Riverdale.


If you haven’t had your kiss today, now you know where to go! And if you have a few spare acres of land, Kitty still has a park to build. “When the new manager asked me to be a greeter, I told him, ‘If I’m gonna greet people, I have to give them something.’ I now reach out to everybody with a Hershey’s kiss and these words, ‘Have you had your kiss today?’ ”

Nu, what now? These days, Kitty Jacobs works her charm as a greeter at Toco Hill Kroger and is the face of The Harris Jacobs Dream Run.

Kitty seems to have an affinity for sweets… “In 1970, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38, and I thought it was the end. I decided that G-d spared me so that I could help

Temple Kehillat Chaim is formed in Roswell.

Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta is formed.





Alexander Avraham Idov



et’s talk about my Bubbie, Charlotte Estelle Arnold Idov Rich, who is the most unforgettable person in my life. She entertained us for decades with wonderful stories about her own parents and grandparents. Bubbie grew up in a Jewish neighborhood near Grant Park. She was one of six children, born in 1911 to Barney and Addie Lefkoff Arnold. She spent Saturdays in her father’s dry goods store, where her mother, who didn’t cook on the Sabbath, brought them cholent, which had been warming on the home stove since Friday night. Bubbie wandered the neighborhood all by herself, at one time disappearing from home at the age of three, and ending up at the family store. Her mother, who often let her children play outside, tried to find her, but didn’t panic because the area was considered safe. In those days, parents didn’t worry about letting their young children go outside to play without direct supervision. Bubbie used to tell us about her own grandparents. Her grandfather, Joseph Lefkoff, came to Atlanta from Russia to work as a tailor for The George Muse Men’s Clothing Company (my father, Bernie Idov, three generations removed, still has one of their beautifully made coats). Jewish Atlanta at that time was predominantly German, and Joseph had a hard time finding a wife, because the German Jews looked down on the Jews from Eastern Europe. He traveled to New York, where he was introduced, and married, Annie Kaplan (my Bubbie named her daughter, my Aunt JoAnne, after both Joseph and Annie).

her husbands passed away.

Bubbie’s grandparents had a cleaning lady who came to the house every Friday. Her grandfather was worried that this woman, when changing the sheets, would find their life savings, which he kept hidden under the mattress.

Why did I say that my Bubbie is my most unforgettable character? The song “My Yiddisha Mama” could have been written just about her. Her family was everything to her, and there was no sacrifice too great.

Every Friday afternoon, he rushed home from work to remove the money, but one Friday George Muse, his boss, walked into the tailoring area and saw that Joseph was missing.

She advised us, nurtured us, entertained us and, most of all, modeled how to weather serious problems and keep a positive, optimistic outlook. She lost two husbands, lived through the Depression, worked very hard to sustain her family, weathered serious illness and incapacitation in her later years, yet kept an active mind, sense of humor and great attitude all along.

He asked, “Where is Mr. Lefkoff?”

One of the other workers answered, “He’s not here. He goes home for a while every Friday afternoon.” Later that same day, Muse found Joseph working away. He asked Joseph why he left every Friday afternoon, and Joseph explained that he had to go home to remove his cash so that the cleaning lady wouldn’t find it. Muse said, “Come with me – now!” He took Joseph to the bank, where the first Lefkoff family bank account was opened. Welcome to America! Bubbie’s grandparents were part of her life well into her late teens, and I wish she’d told us even more about those days. We loved the continuing family saga, delivered with her wonderful southern accent and great humor. Bubbie’s American mother didn’t believe that women needed much formal education; however, her European father did. He also wanted her to be “cultured.” One time, when Bubbie’s mother was in the hospital, her father arranged for her to receive piano lessons (I think they planned to use the piano at the teacher’s home), but when her mother came out of the hospital, she cancelled the lessons. Bubbie loved to

sing; imagine if she could have accompanied herself on the piano! Bubbie really wanted to become a nurse, but her mother nixed that dream by honestly stressing that the only job of nurses at that time was emptying bed pans and performing other onerous tasks. Another life plan was necessary, so Bubbie studied hard. After graduation from Girls’ High, she found employment as a clerk at Southern Bell, where she became close friends with Sadie Idov, my great aunt. Through her, she met my paternal grandfather, Sadie’s brother. Bubbie did such good work that she was employed by Southern Bell, off and on, for more than 30 years, forced to go back to work twice when each of

Even in her late ’90s, she enjoyed being surrounded by family and much younger friends, told stories of the old days in Atlanta and served as the best role model anyone could have. As a kid, coming into the house before Shabbos, I would find her in our kitchen, cooking southern Jewish: collard greens, kasha, roast chicken and some kind of salad. My father is a great cook, and I love to cook, myself, but the aroma of my Bubbie’s simple food, greeting me every erev Shabbos, can never be duplicated. Is it the food she made, the stories she told, the love she extended? It’s all of them.

Torah Day School is established.

Congregation Beth Tefillah is founded.

Ner Hamizrach is formed in Toco Hills.

The Soviet Jews begin to arrive to Atlanta in large numbers.





AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Special for the AJT




Alan Minsk

FAMILIAR FACES AND PLACES MEAN THAT I’M ‘HOME’ Before playing on the Yeshiva basketball team (yes, Virginia, we had a team back then), I played basketball at the JCC and joined NCSY and BBYO. And I still remember visiting my grandmother, z”l, every Sunday on University near Shearith Israel until she passed away when I was seven (she’d be pleased to know that we still have her outdoor swing at my parents’ house).

emy (still tough to say GHA), where some of the other current parents were classmates of mine. I’m on the board with a few other alums, and it can get very surreal: shouldn’t our parents be here instead?! I live in a neighborhood with former classmates, and I even went to school with my dentist! It seems like a lot of oldtimers like me have decided that we want to remain Atlantans. I used to wonder why so many “outsiders” move here. It’s not New York, Chicago or Washington. We don’t have Disney, and we’re not on an ocean. We have had some decent sports teams, but they’re not Boston or Los Angeles.

And every Jewish family in my father’s neighborhood had “a grocery store,” which begs the question how anyone could have made a living if there were so many of the same store.

I went astray for a few years, going to school “up north” at Brandeis and Georgetown Law School and working for a few years in a DC law firm. However, my heart was always in the south and, in fact, when I told my thenbosses I was returning to Atlanta after spending nine years in DC, the response was, “We knew you were going back to the South.” They say transparency is a good thing, right?

Mom was raised in Macon and moved to Atlanta when she and dad were married 53-years-ago. My older sister and I grew up in Toco Hills, and we walked to Congregation Beth Jacob every Shabbos morning (when we could wake up in time).

I came back in 1997, married my ashes chayil (a Northerner, but my parents love her anyway), Julie, in 2001, and now live three streets away from where I grew up, which happens to be just down the street from my Aunt Betty and Uncle Malcolm.

We went to the Hebrew Academy (then on North Druid Hills, now replaced by condos) and Yeshiva (when it was on Peachtree in the old JCC building). When both of your schools have been replaced by condos and shops, relocated to new sites, and have added names to their official school name (“Greenfield” to “Hebrew Academy” and “Atlanta” to “Yeshiva”), I guess you are an old-timer.

My parents live 15 minutes away, and we continue the tradition of Sunday visits with Bubbles and Zayde. My kids go to the Greenfield Hebrew Academy, play sports at the MJCCA, and we go to Beth Jacob. And they say you can’t go home again. I’ve been with my law firm, Arnall Golden Gregory, since my move back in 1997.

Special for the AJT


pparently, I’m an “oldtime” Atlantan, having been born 46-years-ago at Georgia Baptist Hospital; although it seems that as Atlanta has grown all those who have lived here for at least 10 years consider themselves old-timers. They have nothing on my father, Donald, or my uncles, Malcolm and Alvin, who were all born in Atlanta and who all went to Emory. My dad grew up near the old (Fulton County) Atlanta Stadium, and I still get a kick when he can tell me where every Russian Jewish family lived and how they played sports at the Alliance.

Common responses range from “good weather” to “not as expensive as some other cities” to “growing Jewish community” to “friendly.”

Atlanta has changed a lot.

I don’t remember when I first noticed the Darlington Apartment sign on Peachtree, which tallied the local population, but it wasn’t anywhere near its current figure. There are more people, more Jewish day schools, more kosher restaurants, more synagogues; more, more, and more.

My wife, in her infinite wisdom, reminds me, “You wanted to come back.” Home is where you feel comfortable. Atlanta’s changed all right, but despite its growth, I remain comfortable here. I’m home.

I guess we all get nostalgic and romanticize the past as we get older, but perhaps Atlanta has lost some of its southern charm. However, even though I travel quite a bit for work, there’s nowhere else I’d rather live.

Alan Minsk, a sports enthusiast, is an attorney and a member of the Greenfield Hebrew Academy Board of Directors.

About the writer

I’m now a parent at Hebrew Acad-

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Alfred and Adele Davis Academy is established.


Temple Shir Shalom is stablished in Duluth.

Congregation Ariel is founded in Dunwoody.

William Bremen Jewish Heritage Museum is established.



Atlanta’s Jewish population reaches





Paul Miller



hen I was one year old, my parents left New York and moved to Atlanta. It was during the Depression, and my father eventually borrowed $200 from his brother-inlaw to buy a grocery store on Houston Street. When we lived on Atlanta Avenue, we attended the “Little Shul,” Shearith Israel; Ahavath Achim was known as “the Big Shul.” Eventually we moved to Boulevard where I started school at James L. Keys. It was hard and often cruel. I was dyslexic and had ADD, and as a result of my inability to read, I spent my time sitting in the corner of the room wearing a dunce cap. No one had yet diagnosed dyslexia or ADD, and I was held back in first grade.

At O’Keefe Junior High the Jewish kids had to walk home through a tough mill neighborhood. In order to avoid getting beaten up, I stayed after school and listened to classical music with my teacher. I took a shop class and print shop, and I succeeded in both classes. My English teacher saw something in me, and she asked me and my girlfriend to manage the campaign of two candidates who were running for King Pat and Queen Patricia (Irish-named monarchs for the Irish-themed school pageant of the Irish-named school).

My second year of first grade was at Smiley School, where my teacher had the idea for our class to play Hohner Marine Band harmonicas. We eventually learned to play the classic southern music of Stephen Foster on our instruments, which cost each of us 25 cents.

We organized a great campaign, even presenting a mock radio promotion, and our candidates won.

Playing harmonica was something I could do just as well as my classmates. In third grade, our teacher square danced with the class, and because I was good at it, she asked me to help her demonstrate the steps.

At the University of Georgia, I moved into the AEPi frat house. One course, biology, was taught by a professor who used pictures and colorcoded terms. After each class, I returned to the frat house and opened the textbook to review the correct chapter.

In sixth grade, our teacher taught us a lot of songs, and we sang together as a chorus. Although I couldn’t stay in tune as a soloist, I was able to sing well with the group.

In high school I helped my brother, Alvin, memorize a Shakespearean soliloquy. I ended up memorizing all the lines, and it was then that I understood that I could learn.

I rewrote all my class lecture notes, corroborating them with the

information in the book. I labeled each day’s notes with the date, organized chronologically in a spiral notebook. After entering and correcting the day’s notes, I reread the entire series of classwork, reviewing it all from the first class and ending with the latest day’s lesson. Because I was easily distracted by the constant fraternity activity and noise, I went to sleep right after dinner, then woke and studied when the others slept. One of my fraternity brothers couldn’t get up in the morning, and I agreed to tutor him. Understanding biology well enough to teach it, I started tutoring other frat brothers. I received an “A” in that biology class, and did well with other science classes, including two semesters of Organic Chemistry. One time two pre-med students confronted me, “We have to make high grades in Organic Chemistry, and you’re messing up the curve!” they complained. In my second year, my brother, Donald, came to UGA to study pharmacy. This gave me the idea to become a pharmacist, too. By grilling Donald, I reinforced my own studies, and after graduation, both of us be-

The Selig Center houses Jewish Federation and Bremen Museum.

The Summer Olympics come to Atlanta.



came pharmacists. When I married Vivian Rosenfeld, she convinced me to join her at international folk dancing. We attended Fred Burke’s famous Israeli Folk Dance Retreat at Camp Blue Star, and the first night began in a big circle. Fred pulled me into the center. I loved it, and soon Vivian and I started teaching at the Jewish Community Center on Peachtree Street. We eventually worked up a routine with our children, Ann and Neal. We became known as The Miller Family Dancers, traveling throughout the South and having a lot of fun. Today, I’m a retired pharmacist. I ran a respected, successful pharmacy, where I was known for doing prescription compounding and running a home health center, known as Atlanta’s Surgical Department Store. My wife of 25 years, Meta, and I have 12 grandchildren and are busy all the time. I can still play the harmonica and have a lifetime love of music. I am always repairing or fixing something around our own and our children’s homes, and I exercise every day. I struggled and always had to work very hard, but never gave up, and I taught myself that I could learn. About the writer Paul Miller’s over-full retirement includes travel, exercise, and serving as Mr. Fixit for friends and family.

Havurat Lev Shalom is established. Congregation Shema Yisrael is founded.


AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Special for the AJT




Shaindle Schmuckler



was 11-years-old when my father and my uncle Joe bought a bungalow colony.

At first they only built six bungalows; but the location turned out to be close to the city (the trip took one-and-a-half -hours, allowing for a convenient visit to the Red Apple rest stop), soon becoming a very popular and sought after summer place. They expanded to eight bungalows. Within a few years the State of New York blessed the project with a major highway from the GW (that would be the George Washington Bridge to all of you who are not northerners by birth). Soon after the highway was completed, they were able to expand to 18 bungalows. Bungalow: is a small little summer place up in the Catskill mountains where families, sometimes three generations, living in very close cramped quarters , escaped the brutal New York city – in my case, the Bronx, heat.) Most bungalow colonies boasted a pool, a recreation building (I became a champion ping ponger), a small day camp to keep the kids busy and an open field. While their families enjoyed the comforts of the country, the men stayed home in the hot city to work, then schlepped the one-and-ahalf-hours up on the weekends and back on Sunday night or early Monday morning. Dad and Joe always said, “It’s all about location,” and their gamble had paid off.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013


So, in Atlanta, when my husband

Gene and I decided it was time to purchase a couple of small pieces of property, my priority was, you guessed it - location, location, location.

erty value to go up, not down. No riffraff in MY neighborhood. As it turns out, directly across from our small pieces of land there is a plan already on the books for beautiful, very large family structures to be built. That’s what I’m talking about.

We (by that I mean “I”) came up with a list of priorities for our rather expensive life-changing experience, and I do mean life-changing. First, it had to be close to our daughters. G-d forbid they would have to travel very far when they would visit. So the following are the priorities given to our efficient and accommodating agent: 1. Location: Close to the main entrance of the gated community we chose – the thought of my four girls, their husbands and children getting lost or tired or, heaven forbid, frustrated trying to find me and my husband, made me shiver. I certainly did not want them to shlep to find me. Hence, close to the main entrance was important. 2. Location: Shade from a beautiful hardwood tree. I hate shvitzing. 3. Location: In case of rain, sleet, snow, thunderstorms, hurricanes or twisters, I insisted that the property be close to the main road. The family could just drive by, wave and shout, “Hi, Mom! How’s it going, everything nice and quiet?” My cousin Ellie visits her parents and my parents, all of whom are on Long Island, N.Y. After visiting them, she often reports back to me; “all is well, all is quiet, no one is complaining.” 4. Location: Close to more expansive and more expensive properties. I plan for my prop-

Congregation Bnai Dorot is established.


5. Location: Having our name in back of the property made no sense to me. I want our name to be front and center and artistically beautiful, something we and our kids would be proud of. By the way, we decided on a rather elegant bronze nameplate, a true work of art. 6. Location: Feng shui is crucial. When I go to a restaurant, everyone knows to wait until I have chosen my seat. Call me crazy, but I must sit in a certain seat at the table in order to be comfortable. I don’t always know for sure which seat it will be in any given restaurant or home, and sometimes I have to actually try more than one seat to be sure. In addition, when we go out to dinner with daughter number three, (that would be my Marla) and her beloved hubby, he has the same issue. To date we have never fought over a seat; however, there’s always tomorrow. A few weeks ago we met with the agent representing the gated com-

Marcus Jewish Community Center opens new Zaban Park facility. Atlanta Jewish population reaches a booming 100,000.


munity in which we finally decided to invest. We found the perfect location. Mr. R went over the costs, (costs you wouldn’t believe, unless you checked it out yourself. I tell myself it is good for the economy) and the various options. We climbed into his golf cart to visit the sites that are available, given my requirements. We found quickly a perfect spot with a large beautiful hardwood tree, close to the road, even exceeding our expectations. There was even a sale going on. Not just any sale, but a special sale for members of a synagogue. Finally, we would get our reward for the various building funds to which we have contributed. There’s more! To the right of our property is a huge Walmart, to the left is Longhorn’s and a number of other restaurants, so the visit from friends and family would be well worth their while. Gene and I went home and finally agreed the site was perfect, so Mazal Tov to us! We now have our funeral and burial plots chosen and paid for. Even after ‘passing on’ our perfect location benefits our children! About the writer Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a staff member at the MJCCA.

Atlanta hosted the JCC Maccabi Games.




50 Years of Fun



amp Barney Medintz (CBM) is getting ready to welcome more than 600 former campers, friends, and family for its 50th anniversary celebration the weekend of August 23-25. While there will be plenty of time for reminiscing, weekend plans also include a CBM-style Shabbat dinner and services, a campfire, havdallah, and a talent show or “Sabbath Concert.” Attendees will be staying in camper cabins and also at nearby hotels. Those taking part in the family day on Saturday will have an assortment of activities to keep them busy or can spend the day relaxing and schmoozing with camp friends. Organizers have also scheduled some special time for kids-only programming. The weekend will include a sneakpeek at a special exhibit that examines the genesis of CBM, a look at its founders and details about CBM’s rich tradition of strengthening Jewish identity while helping campers bond with one another and the environment.

first summer there were facilities to accommodate 240 campers and 100 staff members, mostly from the Atlanta Jewish Community. Fifty years later, more than 1,200 campers from more than 26 states and 11 countries attend the 540-acre North Georgia Mountain retreat. Steven Cadranel, CBM alum and MJCCA President, is anticipating a wonderful weekend. “Camp Barney Medintz has been instrumental in shaping the lives of so many Jewish young people during the past 50 years,” he said. “This event will celebrate the Camp’s lasting impact and also look forward to the great things in store as Camp Barney continues to foster in its campers a connection to their Jewish identify and a love of the great outdoors.” Want to go? It’s not too late to register. For more information or to register for Camp Barney Medintz’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, visit www. or contact Lora Sommer at or call (678) 812-4078.

Registered attendees range in age from six-weeks-old (new son of two enthusiastic alumni) to those in their ‘70s. Four of CBM’s directors are also planning to attend: Barton Schachter, Larry Melnick, Steve Mendel and the current Camp Director, Jim Mittenthal.

During the past year, volunteer co-chairs and CBM alumni, Ronnie Goldman, Gail Goldstein Heyman, Debbie Medintz Jacobs and Maury Shapiro, have worked with more than 80 CBM alumni to plan the celebratory weekend. Dedicated on May 26, 1963, the residential summer camp of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta was a dream come true for Atlanta’s Jewish Community. That

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

The directors will be recognized at a 50th Dedication Ceremony on Saturday afternoon for their service to the MJCCA and Camp Barney Medintz.




Remembering Ron Blomberg


Special for the AJT


ver the course of an eight-year major league baseball career, native Atlantan Ron Blomberg had almost 1,500 plate appearances. But on April 6, 1973, Blomberg’s first at bat in the season opener in Boston’s Fenway Park between his Yankees and the home town Red Sox propelled the “Boomer” into the record books. It was not for a big hit – in fact he drew a base on balls against Luis Tiant – but rather for his announced position. With that appearance, the Druid Hills High School product became the first Designated Hitter (DH) to ever step up to the plate in a regular season big league game. Boomer made the most of the opportunity, his walk with the bases loaded driving in the first RBI by a DH. Although garnering a base hit in his second appearance, it was not enough – the BoSox beat their hated rivals 15-5. “Even though I screwed up the game in 1973,” he says with a laugh, “I’m still proud of it. It’s great to be part of the his-

tory of the game of baseball.” The DH was a controversial change, adopted by the American League before the season to boost offense by taking the bat out of the hands of weak-hitting pitchers. The team owners hoped this surge in run production would increase the average attendance of games in a pitchingstrong era. Blomberg, who admits to “bleeding Yankee blue,” says that the Bronx Bombers were always his favorite major league team. He was excited when the Yankees drafted him as the first overall pick of the 1967 amateur draft. “I was signed out of Druid Hills H.S. when I was 17,” he remembers. “I was called up at 21.” “It was the most incredible feeling in the world,” he remembers. “To a 21-year-old playing in the big stadium where Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford had played it was like going to heaven. That’s what I dreamed would happen and I was very, very lucky in my life to be able to reach my dream.

“It was incredible,” he exclaims. “Drafted number one by the Yankees, go to the city with the largest Jewish population in the country. They took extremely good care of me. I was part of their family. I was very, very proud to be a Jew and playing in front of all these people. I had it made.” While growing up in Atlanta, his family attended Congregation Ahavath Achim. Though he now lives in Roswell, he says he often spends the High Holidays in New York, where he goes to services at synagogues in either Riverdale in the Bronx or on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, depending upon his schedule in the city. He calls his parents “great role models.” Blomberg also counts Sandy Koufax as both a role model and a friend. “I did not know Sandy then,” he says of the great lefthander who retired before Blomberg was drafted, “but I know Sandy now, and I see him once a year or so.” Although a collection of injuries ended his playing career when he was only 30, Blomberg has kept close to the game in a number of ways. He does a number of speaking engagements for the Yankees, as well as the “Talkin’ Baseball” radio show on New York sports-talk radio station WFAN. He has done radio/televi-

Hosted by:

Hosted by: Emory Hillel

Blomberg’s autobiography, “Designated Hebrew,” has sold over 46,000 copies and was chosen by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 25 sports books of 2007. All proceeds from the book have been donated to a number of Jewish organizations. Perhaps his proudest achievement is his involvement with the New Jersey Y Camp. Located in the Poconos Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania, the camp is the nation’s largest Jewish sleep away camp, drawing 4,000 campers from across the country. “A lot of my campers have my book and they read it, they do book reports on it. I am a sports hero to these kids, someone they look up to. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a role model for Jewish kids.” Though he last played a major league game 35 years ago, the “Boomer” says he has very few regrets. “I had a wonderful time,” Blomberg explains. “But because of injuries I did not live up to my potential. I had the greatest time in the world; I was in the greatest city in the world. I was on the greatest team in the world. I was living out my fantasy, and today I’m still living out my fantasy because I’m helping out so many kids.”

EntEr our

Emory Hillel

The Jerusalem Festival is a festival of recognition, education andFestival celebration of the history The Jerusalem is a festival of recof Jerusalem, the people and the Land of Israognition, education and celebration of el, celebrating their contributions to the world. the history of Jerusalem, the people and We share many common principles including the Landvalues of Israel, theirJerusacondemocratic andcelebrating a call for Peace. the of world. We share many lemtributions stands asto a site historical significance including democratic for common the world’sprinciples three major religions: Christivalues and a call for Peace. anity, Islam, and Judaism. It is a city that has become home to people from many different faiths, traditions, ethnic groups, festivals lending to Sukkot is one and of the pilgrimage Jerusalem’s distinct character. in which the Jewish nation descended

sion commentary work for the Braves as well.

Sukkah Contest

1st Place Prize $500.00 2nd Place Prize $250.00, 3rd Place Prize $100.00

thE ShadowboxErS ComEdian JErry FarbEr FrEE admiSSion

upon Jerusalem for joyous celebration

Sukkot is one of the pilgrimage festivals in with music and dance. In ancient Israel, which the Jewish nation uplifted Jerusalem of thecelebration Nations were invited to join withalljoyous through music andin the holiday festivities. would like were to dance. In ancient Israel, allWe of the Nations invite you to come celebrate Sukkot invited to join in the holiday festivities. Weand experience a bityou of to thecome ancient cultureSukof would like to invite celebrate kotIsrael and experience bit of the culture of Israel with us onaSeptember 22, 2013 withfrom us on September 22, 2013 from 1:00 1:00 - 7:00pm with Kosher food, - 7:00pm Kosher food, music, music,with demonstrations, talks,demonstraart and tions, talks, art and much, much more....

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

much, much more....


& ChaitunES ChaiTunes, emory’s Jewish Capella Group Emory ahillEl Singing quartEt

To To register register for for the the Sukkah Sukkah contest contest call call Sheri Sheri 404-375-9055 404-375-9055 Or Or email email

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BLASS & SOLOMON ENGAGEMENT The Atlanta Jewish Times congratulates Lauren Jessica Blass, daughter of Robin and David Blass, and Joshua Harry Solomon, son of Susan and Richard Solomon of Sandy Springs on their May engagement. Blass graduated with Bachelor’s deNG13017 Gaucher WalkRun AdF_Layout 1 gree from Indiana University and

is currently working as a realtor at Coldwell Banker in Dunwoody. Solomon graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland and is currently employed by Booker Promotions. The couple plans to marry in January of 2014 at The Ritz7/19/13 2:22 PM Page 1 Carlton Buckhead.

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Gaucher Disease is a debilitating genetic disease affecting 1 in 10 Ashkenazi Jews. It can be painful…even fatal. Your help allows us to provide invaluable education and support.










William Shatner’s Sheakspearian Past

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he Ontario-based Stratford Festival, formerly known as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, is recognizing William Shatner with this year’s Legacy Award. A native to Canada, Shatner is a former member of the theater company, performing from 1954 to 1957. He will be the third recipient of the Legacy award, preceded by actors Christopher Plummer and Dame Maggie Smith. A fundraising gala will be held Oct. 21 in Toronto where the award will be presented. In the meantime, Shatner will be visiting our own city of Atlanta for the 27th annual Dragon Con over Labor Day weekend. He will be appearing at a number of sci-fi, fantasy and general fan culture conventions, breaking his self-imposed boycott of said events. He says he has come to terms with the high demand and the reality of just how many Trekkies had been neglected. Raised in Canada, Shatner comes from a long line of Jews on both sides of his family, largely originating from Easter Europe. The name Shatner is an Anglicized version of his paternal grandfather’s surname “Shattner.” As a child, Shatner was raised in Conservative Judaism and belonged to a Conservative synagogue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Harrison Ford Takes Bruce Willis’s Job


n a dramatic, well-publicized turn of events, Harrison Ford will be replacing Bruce Willis in the upcoming action installment, “The Expendables 3.” The movie’s writer and star, Sylvester Stallone bashed Willis over Twitter, calling Willis both “greedy and lazy.” The new role marks only one of many projects for Ford, now 71, appearing in the upcoming sci-fi film, “Ender’s Game” and Jackie Robinson biopic “42.” When he’s not filming blockbusters, Ford has been seen chatting with the likes of former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton about global conservation issues at this May’s Conservation International’s (IC) Gala Dinner. Ford has been a board member of the IC for more than 20 years and continues to help raise awareness. Ford was born to mother Dorothy Nidelman and John William Ford, and has a younger brother, Terence Ford. His maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, immigrated to America from Minsk, Belarus. At first interested in radio work, Ford was discovered by George Lucas when the director hired him to build cabinets in his home.



Quick, Before the Boredom Sets In!

Retaining a fresh perspective on life and studies in the new year

AJT Columnist


o, here we are: mid-August. Summer days are coming to an end. Kids are unpacking suitcases, packing up backpacks, and trying to remember how to live on minimal hours of sleep. Now, some people find these weeks of transition to be some of the most grueling weeks of the year. I, however, thrive on it. Sure, the first day of school isn’t “fun” for anyone—you’re tired, you don’t know what to expect, and of course there’s always the possibility of getting lost and eventually having to interrupt class and walk your blush-red self all the way to the only seat in the back of the room. But at the end of that first day, after having a quick glimpse into the upcoming semester, that’s when I start to enjoy myself. Everything is fresh. After that first day of classes, I can go the office supply store and binge on notebooks that have never been written in, binders that have never been spilled on, and pens that have never been clicked. I can walk into class the next day with a perfect attendance record and the same grade as everyone else in my class. I set goals; I work hard; and I plan ahead. With stress at a minimum and novelty at its peak, I can enjoy my classes, and still spend time sharing summer stories with friends. But then—no matter how many times I tell myself, “not this year”—things begin their decline. One justifiable class skip becomes two, and then four. Hours of sleep gets smaller, and as a result, so does attention span. Work gets harder, procrastination more routine, and eventually we all succumb to monotony and a general disdain for everything school-related. And the way I see it, Torah study follows a similar pattern: an unfortunate decline from enthusiasm to monotony. Maybe something—a school course or a personal matter—motivates you to start learning and it’s all new and important and thought-provoking. Then, slowly “life” gets in the way and your plans to study get shuffled to the bottom of the your to-do list. Or maybe your story is more similar to that of my own: I started my Torah studies at a young age. Sure, I was excited about the sacred

text, but not because it was sacred. I was interested in the stories: a king fights a war, a groom gets deceived, and a man saves animals from a flood. I grew tired of it not because of stress, but simply because of the repetition. But in writing these articles, I’ve learned the extreme difference between repetitive and comprehensive. In this week’s parshah, Ki Teitzei, nothing particularly “exciting” happens—certainly nothing that would have caught my attention as a child. Instead, this week’s parshah is simply a list of 78 new commandments from G-d, more commandments than in any other Torah portion. Most of us have heard of them, and maybe even read them, but in the spirit of a new year and freshly motivated minds, I think it’s a good time to take another look at some of the mitzvot we may have looked over in the midst of a monotonous study session.

1. “If a man has two wives-one beloved and the other despised-and they bear him sons, the beloved one and the despised one, and the firstborn son is from the despised one. Then it will be, on the day he [the husband] bequeaths his property to his sons, that he will not be able to give the son of the beloved [wife] birthright precedence over the son of the despised [wife]-the [real] firstborn son” (Deuteronomy 21:15-16). 2. “You shall not despise an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not despise an Egyptian, for you were a sojourner in his land” (Deuteronomy 23:8). 3. “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, nor shall he be subjected to anything associated with it. He shall remain free for his home for one year and delight his wife, whom he has taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5).

I chose these for a few reasons, but my decision mostly came down to the fact that I certainly didn’t remember them. I’ve probably skimmed over them year after year, but with a fresh set of eyes, they’re each extremely interesting. Take the first one for example. Why is such a commandment even necessary? Is it right to instruct a father on which of his firstborn sons to

give a birthright? Why is it that a man would be encouraged to keep a “despised” wife rather than simply divorce her? The truth is, I could write different pieces on each of these three commandments so long as I keep a fresh mind. So, I’m going to use this article as a public testament: this year, I will strive to hold onto my interest in academia and my passion for Torah study; and when my enthusiasm starts to dwindle, I will go back and read this article. I’m leaving this piece open ended. Before monotony kicks in, spend some time thinking about these three commandments; talk about them with your friends. Try to harness your passion and motivation, and if yours begins to dwindle later, come back and read it again.

About the Writer

Rachel LaVictoire (rlavictoire@wustl. edu) is a graduate of the Davis Academy and Westminster High School, recipient of the prestigious Nemerov Writing and Thomas H. Elliott Merit scholarships at Washington University of St. Louis and an active member of Temple Emanu-El and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. She was recently named to the board of St. Louis Hiullel.

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Sun., Aug. 18

7:15 p.m. Temple BethTikvah.

Dress for Less, “Hadassah Day” at Irina’s Boutique; shop and enjoy complimentary kosher refreshments. Sun., Aug. 18, 10 a.m. Irina’s Boutique on Briarcliff Rd. (404) 325-0340.

Camp Barney Medintz 50th Anniversary Celebration, weekend festivities begin with a traditional campstyle Shabbat dinner in the dining hall followed by Shabbat services in the Zaban Chapel. Fri., Aug. 23 to 25. $150/weekend, $80/Saturday only, $50/child Saturday. Camp Barney. (678) 812-4000.

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45th Annual High Holyday Mitzvot ,Auction & Brunch. Sun., Aug. 18, 10:30 a.m. Congregation Or VeShalom. (404) 633-1737.

High Holiday

Grillin’ & Chillin’ Festival, BBQ and bake sale, water inflatables, wine tasting, live music and more. Sun., Aug. 18, 12 p.m. $5/person, Free for children under 2 years old. Ahavath Achim Synagogue.


Enlightening perspectives, inspiring stories, interactive Q&A and more! $18 per individual ticket or $36 per family, free for students and Beth Jacob Members (Ticket price covers Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) Beth Jacob Atlanta - Heritage Hall 1855 LaVista Road Atlanta, GA 30329 Register online at or by calling 404-633-0551

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BBYO Connect Kickoff Pool Party, for 6th- through 8th-graders. Sun., Aug. 18, 4 p.m. $10 by Aug. 12, $15 after. MJCCA’s Zaban Park. stacie.

Tues., Aug. 20

17th-Annual AICCSE Professional Seminar, “Accelerating SoutheastIsrael Growth” with keynote speaker Shai Robkin. Tues., Aug. 20, 7:30 a.m. $90/Chamber member, $100/ non-member; price includes luncheon. Selig Center.

Thurs., Aug. 22

Go Eat Give: Destination Malaysia, escape to South East Asia for an evening of cultural learning, delicious curries, and entertainment - including guest speaker, Fabian De Rozario. A portion of proceeds benefits the nonprofit Go Eat Give. BYOB. Thurs., Aug. 22, 7 p.m. $35/person. Malaya Restaurant. Tickets, Teen Community Service at Hammond Glen Senior Community, join TCS for an afternoon of fun and bingo with assisted living home residents; teens will earn one-and-a-half community service hours. Pre-registration required. Thurs., Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. Hammond Glen on Hammond Glen Dr. amy.helman-darley@

Fri., Aug. 23

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Dive Into Shabbat - Intown, the MJCCA’s poolside Shabbat celebration at a new location, featuring the Congregation Bet Haverim Chorus. Fri., Aug. 23, 5 p.m. Free, open to the community. Emory Student Activity and Academic Center.


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Open Door Shabbat, join TBT for a nosh with wine, cheese and snacks followed by service. Fri., Aug. 23,

Sat., Aug. 24

Garden Grilling Class, “Creative Containers” make containers for growing herbs to amp up traditional grilling recipes before football season. Sat., Aug. 24, 10 a.m. Free. All Pike Nursery locations.

Mon., Aug. 26

Sweeten the New Year - Dunwoody, MJCCA family program featuring froyo, songs, activities, crafts and prizes for kids. Mon., Aug. 26, 6 p.m. Attendance free and open to all; 20 percent discount on purchases. Yogli Mogli at 2090 Dunwoody Club Drive. An Evening with “Harmony,” an intimate conversation with the creative team behind the show and a special performance by the Alliance Theatre cast. Mon., Aug. 26, 7 p.m. $18/Breman Museum members, $25/nonmembers. Breman Museum. (678) 222-3700.

Wed., Aug. 28

Soul Trip to New York, Chabad of Georgia rabbis lead the way on visits to important Jewish sites. Wed., Aug. 28. New York City. More information and RSVP at chabadga/soultrip2013. Sweeten the New Year - East Cobb, MJCCA family program featuring froyo, songs, activities, crafts and prizes for kids. Mon., Aug. 26, 6 p.m. Attendance free and open to all; 20 percent discount on purchases. Yogli Mogli at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road.

Sat., Aug. 31

Annual Selichot Program & Service, “Sources and the Writing of History: You Tell the Story,” presented by Dr. Ken Stein, Emory University. Exploring new sources and what they reveal about Egyptian President Sadat’s ‘77 trip to Jerusalem. Sat., Aug. 31, 9:15 p.m. Congregation Or Hadash. Info, (404) 250-3338.


may their memories be a blessing

Steven Franco 53, OF ATLANTA

Steven Richard Franco, 53, of Atlanta, died Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. Steven, a native of Atlanta, graduated from The Galloway School before attending The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a B.S. in civil engineering. His lifelong career was with A M Franco Engineers, a firm founded by his late father. He was a devoted family man and loyal to his many friends. He loved spending time with both his close friends and relatives, especially his nieces and nephew. Steve always had a twinkle in his eye and the uncanny ability to make people laugh and feel right at home. He will always be remembered for that barrel of a laugh and his huge heart. There were no strangers to Steve Franco. He led a full, fun filled life. Steve was very active in and committed to his synagogue, Congregation Or VeShalom, where he served on The Board of Directors. He was instrumental in the formation of Andee’s Army, a foundation established for supporting children with brain injuries, and served on their board as well. Steve passed peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer. He was so grateful for the care and support provided by the staff at Atlanta Cancer Care. Survivors include his wife, Cathy Shure Franco; mother, Marjorie V. Franco; brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Susan Franco; sister and brother-in-law, Sylvia and Bryan Lavine; nieces, Ilana Lavine, Caroline and Elizabeth Franco; and nephew, Carter Franco. He was preceded in death by his father Aaron M. Franco. He loved his two dogs, Mike and Buster. Sign the online guest book at A graveside service was held at Greenwood Cemetery, Wed., Aug. 7, 2013 at 11 a.m. with Rabbi Hayyim Kassorla officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Congregation Or VeShalom, 1681 North Druid Hills Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta.

Jerome Frank OF DUNWOODY

Jerome Norman Frank, of Dunwoody, died Friday, August 9, 2013. Survivors include his wife, Muriel Frank; children: Stephen Frank, Atlanta; Paula and Avraham Steiner, Israel, and Brian Frank, Atlanta; grandchildren: Alexandra, Arielle, Arad, Stav, Hod and Lahav. Sign online guestbook at http:// In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth Shalom, 5303 Winters Chapel Rd Atlanta, GA 30360. A graveside service will be held Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Mark Zimmerman officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta (770) 451-4999

Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 9:15 pm Congregation Or Hadash 7460 Trowbridge Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Dr. Ken Stein is Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History, Political Science, and Israel Studies at Emory University. He is the Director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and President of the Center for Israel Education. He is also the author of Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, Routledge, 1999.

For more information please call (404) 250-3338.

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

What do the sources tell us about why Egyptian President Sadat went to Jerusalem in November 1977? Conventional wisdom has it that he wanted Sinai back and was fed up with waiting for the other Arabs to join a Middle East Peace conference. And perhaps he wanted neither the PLO nor the Soviet Union involved as the Carter administration wanted? Could other newly discovered sources reveal that there were other significant motivations? What might they be? Come read the sources, draw your own conclusions.


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JEWISH PUZZLER by David Benkof

AUGUST 16 ▪ 2013

Across 1. 1945 news, in headlines 6. Walk unsteadily 10. Emulate Groucho Marx 14. Slack-jawed one 15. Erstwhile Modern Orthodox organization 16. WCs 17. “Pick ___ of Cotton” 18. ___ Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism 20. “Children of a Lesser God” Oscar-winner 22. Group of latkes 23. Have the need for Bikur Cholim 24. Body blow 27. It can be sat 30. “The ___ Game” (Adler-Ross musical) 32. Drudge of the Internet 35. ___ Ziona (city in central Israel) 37. Sammy ___, Jr. (black-Jewish performer) 38. Throat-clearing sound 39. Tribal historian 41. Head of the Sanhedrin 42. Mother of the Hebrews 44. Cries of delight 45. A son of Seth in Genesis 46. Former Disney Exec. Michael 48. Aish HaTorah founder Weinberg 50. Indignation 51. Abbr. on a TV remote 53. Tushes


56. She managed Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign 60. Exclusive neighborhood that includes TAU 63. Billy Crystal at some Oscars 64. Literally, “skyward” 65. Word that losers look for? 66. Water falls 67. AZA is part of it 68. Flair 69. Frank and Meara Down 1. Designer of the fountain in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square 2. Yiddish grandmas 3. Some psychedelic designs 4. Mayor of Toronto, 19982003 5. Like some births 6. Cause of a cold 7. Theory of Relativity, e.g. 8. It’s north of Libya 9. “Goodbye Columbus” author Roth 10. ___-Sang-Ruby Union Institute 11. Baby’s first word 12. ___ Grant (Ed Asner role) 13. “Salad” ingredient? 19. Freed soldier Shalit 21. ___ out a living

24. Certain Indonesian 25. Smashing Pumpkins song “Why ___ Tired” 26. Grounds 28. Israel’s first “First Lady” Weizmann 29. Jordanian, for example 31. Former Southern California Congresswoman

Making atlantans funnier since 1990 32. It’s often a double parsha with Matot 33. Not ___ out of place (unruffled) 34. Antisesquipedalian 36. Area near Greenwich Village 40. Old Russian rulers 43. Likud predecessor 47. Pawn-shop deal

49. The “c” in etc. 52. Nitpick 54. Poisonous protein in the castor bean 55. Bit of Arthur Miller 56. Historian Baron of Columbia University 57. Westchester County Congresswoman Lowey 58. 1948, for example 59. Moses who said Germans “hate the peculiar faith of the Jews less than their peculiar noses” 60. ___ Zalman 61. It’s between Sask. and B.C. 62. Barry Manilow hit

Last week’s answers






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Atlanta Jewish Times No. 33, 8/16/2013