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February 10, 2013 1-4 pm Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta 5750 Windward Parkway Alpharetta, GA 30005

JANUARY 18 â–Ş 2013

From the bimah to the ballroom to the invitation and the celebration, our extraordinary expo experts will show you everything there is to know about lucky number 13!




Israeli Pride


TEL AVIV DOCTORS SHARP-SHOOT CANCER. Scientists at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv have isolated the cancer stem cells that fuel the growth of Wilms’ tumors – responsible for kidney cancer in children. They then used antibody medication to target specific molecules in those cells and destroy the tumors without harming any other cells. OBAMA’S STEP-GRANDMOTHER TREATED AT ISRAELI HOSPITAL IN GUINEA. The third wife of the U.S. President’s grandfather has just undergone emergency eye treatment at the “Shalom” La Paz Medical Center in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital runs the state-of-the-art medical center, and the local staff includes around 100 Israeli doctors.

run the largest water desalination facility in the United States. The plant will be constructed at Carlsabad, in San Diego County, Calif. and will produce up to 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day. ISRAEL’S FIRST CITY WILDLIFE PARK OPENS. “Gazelle Valley” is a 64-acre site in the Givat Mordechai, a southwestern neighborhood of Jerusalem. The valley

is to be turned into the Gazelle Urban Nature Park, preserving the small flock of wild mountain gazelle that live there. U.S.-ISRAELI MERGER IS A WIN-WIN DEAL. Israel’s Peer Medical has developed a video system and endoscope to help doctors detect more cancerous polyps and other risks. Peer has merged with Atlanta-based EndoChoice, which markets endoscopes. This ideal “mar-

riage” brings jobs to Atlanta and Israeli technology to the world. This list courtesy Michael Ordman and

HAREDI SOLDIERS RESCUE PALESTINIAN ARABS. Members of an ultra-Orthodox IDF battalion saved the lives of three Palestinian Arabs who were trapped in a car near Nablus in a swollen stream growing violent due to the stormy weather. A NATURAL HERBAL PESTICIDE DEBUTS. Israel’s EdenShield has discovered natural Negev herbs that insects cannot tolerate. The herbs are converted into solution and sprayed on the netting surrounding fruit and vegetables. SODASTREAM PROMOTES SUSTAINABILITY. The successful Israeli drink-maker SodaStream saves the customer hundreds of plastic bottles every year. In fact, SodaStream made a very clever advertisement which United Kingdom regulators banned for “denigrating plastic bottle makers.”

AN ISRAELI REGGAE VIOLINIST IS JAMMING AWAY. Michael Greilsammer bills himself as the world’s only Jewish reggae violinist, sings in French and plays music that is influenced by the rhythms of Bob Marley, Irish pubs, Gypsy camps and even the Arab street. He most recently performed at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. DESALINATION COMES TO SAN DIEGO. Israel’s IDE Technologies has won a $650-million contract to help build and

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

APHRODITE HAS GAS. Test drilling at Israel’s Aphrodite-2 exploration well in the offshore Ishai field – 100 miles west of Haifa – has discovered a gas layer of 49 feet. By late February, scientists will confirm if estimates of 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are accurate.



Chana’s Corner



like projects, and I’m not afraid to use tools. I hate to brag, but once – when I was 14 and changed the tires on my sister’s bike – my father called me “handy.” Therefore, it should surprise no one that I recently stood in line for nearly an hour at IKEA to take advantage of a special flat-pack sale. I returned home as the proud owner of the components of a pair of black laminate, pressed-wood bookcases. I confidently told my husband, Zvi, that this would be my personal project. I opened the first box and laid all the parts out, carefully setting the screws beside the boards they would join. I followed the instructions, and soon proudly showed Zvi a completed bookshelf, which tilted only slightly to the left.

He was relieved that I hadn’t hurt myself.

cautionary advice concerning my back and knees.

incidents to convince us that we needed help.

Then, heady with success, I started the second bookshelf, this time constructing it from memory. Everything went fine until I had to attach the top shelf – it didn’t fit, no matter how hard I tried to push it in place.

I planned to expend loads of calories as I spread the mulch to replenish our walking path. I started the project at 9 a.m. on a Sunday, filling our wheelbarrow with mulch and dutifully dumping it at strategic points, but I had to take a break after struggling for a couple of hours.

To that end, we hired Michael, an out-of-work chef who presented himself as our savior “Mr. Fixit.” We tried him out on a couple of small tasks, including painting a bathroom, and we were happy and relieved.

This, unfortunately, resulted in over-expanding two screw holes. Finally, I took the whole thing apart and started over again, diligently following the instructions. Although I had managed to warp the wood, I got it together at last. By the time Zvi and I moved the shelves into the playroom, I admitted that maybe I was a bit less “handy” than I thought. The Evidence Piles Up When our neighbor cut down a huge tree, I asked the workmen to dump the ground branches on our front lawn. Figuring I could use the exercise, I disregarded my husband’s

So far, that break has lasted a year. We’ve gotten used to the mulch pile, and I’m pleased that it provides sanctuary for countless rabbits and chipmunks. True, they’re rodents, but they’re the cute ones. And I guess I should mention the door we took off our spare bedroom – we removed it in order to move furniture, and we put the door in the carport for a few days. It somehow turned into a few months, and by the time we decided to reattach the door, it had a nice coating of black mold and a gash where one of our cars had bumped into it. So we got rid of the door. However, we were still cognizant of the human need for occasional privacy, so we hung a curtain in the spare bedroom doorway. Our occasional guests hardly ever complain about the invasive sounds and light from the rest of the house. However, after our nephew’s visit with his new bride, I moved door replacement higher on my “to-do” to list. And then, there’s the steel trellis in our backyard… Six years ago, a heavy wind blew it over, rendering one supporting side considerably shorter than the other. No problem: Zvi and I simply pushed the longer side further into the soil, though that meant that both sides were then equally too low. One could no longer walk under the trellis, but it was still able to support morning glories.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

That worked pretty well until hornets made a nest in one corner. My vigorous pummeling destroyed both the nest – and the trellis. The morning glories died and an unattractive abstract sculpture remained. One day, a man who collects scrap metal came by and left his number. You guessed it: I can’t find his card. A Hero in Handyman’s Clothing? 4

It didn’t take many more of these

Our kitchen needed repainting, and Michael agreed to do it. I still had the paint can, with a tiny bit of paint, from the original paint job, so Michael and I went to Sherwin Williams with the can. Sure enough, they were able to match the color, though they only had it in high gloss. Our kitchen walls were semigloss. But Michael assured me there was no problem, and I bought a gallon. Back at our house, he first dabbed the new color over all the smudges and scuffs. The sun shining in the window lit up the spots of high gloss paint. The same color definitely looked different in high gloss, and it wasn’t a good kind of different, but I was happy that the whole wall would be covered soon. Michael assured us that when the job was done, we’d have a perfect paint job, and we’d be thrilled with the shiny finish. When our helper left that evening, he said he’d complete the work the next day. We never saw Michael again. He left a message that his grandfather had died in Seattle. It’s been months, and he responds to neither his cell phone nor his e-mail. People who visit us ask about the glossy splotches, and I answer that I’m going to finish the paint job as soon as I have some free time. The can of high gloss is somewhere in the basement, along with the blackboard paint I once purchased. As an aside, I hear there’s a popular new production of Charles Dickens’ unfinished final novel. Come to think of it, everybody loves Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, and an unfinished Picasso just sold for a few million dollars. That said, I proudly join the ranks of the great writer, composer and artist. Let’s make it official: Ours is “The Unfinished House.” Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines.


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JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013




if you ask me


spised by those whose faith rose out of Judaism.


It is a curious phenomenon that Jews were punished for having the temerity to advocate the principles of justice and peace (in my eyes, essential for a religion based on humanism and human morality), became the subject for hostility, were declared to be “unjust” and “immoral” and subjected to genocide.

AJT Contributor

ewish history of the last two millennia, from the time when Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of Rome, is practically a lesson in martyrism. It is a chronicle of tragedies, intolerance, forced eviction and genocide. This is not to say that Jews alone have experienced such tragedies, but no other people – at least to my knowledge – were forced to become a wandering people like the Jews. And not only were we forced to move from most, if not all, countries in which we resided (including our own, Israel), but we were also not permitted to settle in other countries. We, the Jews, who provided the foundation for most of the world’s faiths, became abandoned and de-

were the plague. Either that or, as in the case of the Holocaust, they were the target of an extermination. All this taken into account, it is fitting and proper that we should not only remember the martyrdom of Jews but that we should also recognize their contributions to the development of any ethical and moral religion.

“Going forward, we must be careful lest we make the memory of the Holocaust an empty symbol, like so many other memorial days: a trophy placed on the shelf to gather dust, brought down once a year for a meaningless ritual.”

What’s more, all nations that accepted Jews to live in their midst have prospered economically and intellectually, but – regardless of such benefits that they bestowed on their hosts – they were frequently forced to depart as though they themselves

What It Is that We Should Remember Along these lines, the United Nations has set aside Jan. 22 as Holocaust Memorial Day. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a city that became the symbolic representative of the murder of millions of Jews in concentration camps by those who followed a mentally deranged leader who desired world domination. I say, let us also designate that day as a memorial day for Jews’ contribution to the world of culture, the spirit of justice and a moral philosophy designed to advance human knowledge and the betterment of human life.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

We have come to a point in history when most of the Holocaust witnesses are dying. This is, of course, a natural process, but keep in mind that shortly the world will be without witnesses to remind us of the inhumanity and atrocities that the collective id is capable of effecting upon life.


We must continue to remember the Holocaust as man’s capability to revert to an archaic state – governed by his base instinct of selfishness and leading to an abuse of power. The Shoah should be a constant reminder that, as noted psychoanalyst Erich Fromm cautioned, it is very easy to forget the principles of humanism, of justice and of freedom.

And going forward, we must be careful lest we make the memory of the Holocaust an empty symbol, like so many other memorial days: a trophy placed on the shelf to gather dust, brought down once a year for a meaningless ritual. Instead, we must actively and sincerely remember the past if we wish to improve our future – and especially if we wish to achieve a dream started by the sages and prophets of the same people who Hitler sought to destroy. This dream is of universal peace, of a time when we turn our swords into plowshares and the use of guns will become merely an historical memory. How Can a Dream Come True? Human beings face enough challenges: we must solve problems of health and of adequate sustenance without adding problems caused by hatred and the creation of destructive forces like those experienced during the Holocaust. We all seek a world of peace, a kind of world depicted in the legends of a Messianic age. This can be achieved by (in the words of Theodor Herzl, the great dreamer of a peaceful Israel): “Keeping the image of our dreams in our mind.” But it can only become a reality if we but adhere to the principles of freedom and justice and the elimination of pain. As a Jew and a Holocaust survivor, I must caution the world. If we wish to continue to exist as humans, we first must learn to act humanely and follow the dreams set forth by Jonah, Micah and Isaiah. Their teaching clearly cautions us that, for mankind to exist, we must adhere to the universal values of peace and justice. I would like to thank the hard working staff of the two agencies in Atlanta – The Georgia Commission for the Holocaust and the Breman Museum – for their continued effort to teach the lessons of the Holocaust. Eugen Schoenfeld is a professor and chair emeritus at Georgia State University, educational director of the Georgia Commission for the Holocaust and a Holocaust survivor.


if you ask me

Op-ed: When the Radicals Take Over LIVING THROUGH THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION BY Sherief Medhat

For the Atlanta Jewish Times

poor. And I can’t deny that they had plans about what to do if Mubarak’s regime fell and how to take advantage of such a situation.

In the Jan. 11 edition of the AJT, Sherief Medhat introduced himself by sharing the formative memories of his liberal and secular upbringing in an increasingly Muslim fundamentalist-controlled Egypt. For this second part of his ongoing series, he tells of his experience in the Egyptian Army during the 2011-12 revolution…

The subsequent Parliament elections were held from November 2011 through January 2012, and the Brotherhood, with the full support of the Islamic bloc, got 50 percent of the seats. It’s easy to see how this happened, considering 30 to 40 percent of Egypt’s population is illiterate and more than likely based their vote on the promise of food or other basic needs.

Editor’s note: Sherief Medhat is a dentist living in Smyrna, Ga. and originally from Cairo, Egypt. As part of his quest for greater understanding, he visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in 2012.

“Others were brainwashed, convinced by Brotherhood campaigns that they would go to hell if they did not comply. Here we can clearly see how Islam is used as a tool and not as a way of life!”

That was one of the hardest times of my life, mostly because I wasn’t convinced that we – fresh graduates – should go spend a year of our lives serving desk-bound superior officers while the country was in the throes of an unemployment crisis. To me, it seemed the army could make good use of and hire volunteers instead. Throughout my service, I always asked myself: “Did I spend five years in dental school to go get an officer his breakfast for a year?” Meanwhile, I knew we weren’t (and probably aren’t in the future) going to war because of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. After the revolution, the Islamists gradually came to dominate the media, as most of them were released from jail. The most noticeable new presence was that of the Muslim Brotherhood, who acted as some of the most powerful opposition during Mubarak’s regime. They decided instantly to start their own party under the name “Freedom and Justice Party.” Honestly, they were the most organized of the vying powers after the revolution. Even in years before, they had been popular, as their outward face was of an organization primarily concerned with helping the

Others were brainwashed, convinced by Brotherhood campaigns that they would go to hell if they did not comply. Here we can clearly see how Islam is used as a tool and not as a way of life! Still, the country was not finished moving in this dangerous direction. On June 24, Mohamed Morsi – Brotherhood member and chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party – won the Egyptian presidential runoff against Ahmed Shafik. No doubt this was accomplished using the same exact technique of “persuading” voters as was used in the parliamentary elections. Thankfully, the Brotherhood had been dealt a serious blow earlier in the month when the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the parliamentary elections had been held unconstitutionally and thus dissolved the parliament. It was a big loss, but since then Freedom and Justice has done whatever it takes to take over all the vital offices and ministries. Of course, Morsi being the president has helped a lot. While all of this was happening, we in the army had strict orders from Day One not to practice or talk politics under any conditions. That decree made us suspicious that there

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013


was called for compulsory military service in my birth nation of Egypt after I finished dental school in July 2011, six months after the so-called Egyptian revolution happened on Jan. 25 and the army took over.

might an under-the-table deal between the army and the Brotherhood, and I was further convinced when the army announced it wouldn’t ban Islamists from joining – that was a stark contrast from the policy during Mubarak’s regime, which never allowed such fundamentalists in the military.




“The Waffle Palace: Smothered, Covered & Scattered” THEATRE REVIEW BY SUZI BROZMAN

AJT Contributor


ver heard the phrase “smothered, covered and scattered”? If so, then you’re ready to head for the Horizon Theatre for its encore presentation of “The Waffle Palace.” Even if you’re not acquainted with the unique Southern institution that is Waffle House, you’ll probably enjoy this slice of Atlanta life, served up with humor, pathos and a big helping of self-directed insights. I’m happy to report that the play manages to be both hilarious and sad and comes with a side of serious drama. “From births to marriages, to police chases and lottery wins, anything can happen at 3 a.m. in the Waffle Palace.” That’s the official take offered up in a press release, which goes on to say that the play is inspired by reallife events and that the play’s writers let loose with a roller coaster of humor and imagination in which character John Pickett and his staff battle to keep their Midtown diner open against heavy odds. When the play first opened, executives at the real Waffle House were concerned – what image would the show convey? They must have been relieved when they saw it, because Waffle House is a corporate sponsor of this new production.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

That’s not to say that life in the “Waffle Palace” is a bed of roses, though; the staff and regular customers could generously be called “loony.” I can’t tell you how closely they reflect real customers of the allnight breakfast house, but I loved every second they spent onstage. If I knew I would find the genuine thing, I might even venture out at 3 a.m. That’s the witching hour when most of the action takes place in the play, and it might be fun to visit, observe and have a waffle (although I don’t think there’s a kosher Waffle House to be found). “What fascinated me is the sense of family,” said playwright Eddie Levi Lee. “When I go in, I really feel welcome. I belong. I leave a big tip because I feel obligated…they’re family.”


Lee explained that he and his co-

author, Larry Larson, talked about the characters and then let them write the play. “It’s about what family is and the different forms it can take, no matter how strange, how eccentric,” Lee said. “They can be included and loved in that family. Waffle House is an accepting place in the true sense of the word.” Seven actors play a total of 27 parts, with three playing only one part and the other four playing three or four parts each. And what parts they are: from a Nicaraguan immigrant named Esperanza Bernstein, to a couple of deer hunters who find Bigfoot while they’re out illegally hunting; a preacher wannabe; and the Palace’s owner, who can’t give in and sell his property no matter how bad business is. The focus of the “plot” is that same owner’s struggle to keep the restaurant afloat, but that storyline is almost superfluous. The play could hold its own as a variety of straight scenes, musical interludes and comedic bits coming in quick succession. For instance: There’s the drag queen that ends up leading the whole cast in a rousing chorus of one of the gospel tunes of her childhood. Then, there’s the Nicaraguan Christian (with some claim to Jewish blood), who’s the only person who has a Jewish song to share when the crew discovers that the funeral they’re conducting is for a Jewish woman who ate bacon everyday. I won’t spoil the scene by telling you what they sing; you’ll have to experience that for yourself. Meanwhile, the Devil comes down to Georgia to tempt the owner (played perfectly by Larson) into selling the diner. Also worth mentioning is the bit with a very upscale couple – a perfect parody of Buckhead gentry – that had me crying with laughter. In fact, all the characters are filled with enough truth to be believable – but at the same time, they all manage to be way over-the-top. Nevertheless, there are plenty of folk philosophy nuggets available for the taking: “Change is inevitable,”

Eddie Levi Lee’s “Waffle Palace” shows the zany late-night world of the 24-hour diner. PHOTOS/Horizon Theatre “You can’t take the good changes without the bad” and – in a more liberal twist – “A $4 breakfast is like a $10 whore. You’ve got to be scared what you’re going to get.” What you get in this two-hour show is a slice of life – not perhaps as you live it or even witness it, but real nonetheless. There’s both humor and distress to be found. As Eddie Levi Lee puts it: “There’s heightened realism – sometimes magic. I don’t think we’ve written a play that’s more fun than this.”

Adler – who, with Jeff Adler, is also the theatre’s co-founder and co-artistic/producing director – has directed the play with a feather-light touch, allowing real life to happen on stage. She keeps it funny enough to engage the audience both with laughter and song (and yes, the audience does sing along). By the way, “smothered, covered and scattered” refers to three of the many ways hash brown potatoes are served at Waffle House. If you haven’t tried them, they’re a real trip.

Lee truly likes Waffle House. He thinks it’s a special place.

Stop in for some with a waffle on your way to see the show!

“I like going there,” he said. “There’s some pretty off-the-wall humor, but the show is about people coming together and staying together.”

Editor’s note: For additional information, or to purchase tickets, call the Horizon Theatre at (404) 5847450 or visit

I have to agree. Director Lisa





Torah Day School of Atlanta’s 2013 Main Event, “Cirque du Simcha” will celebrate honorees Josh and Jodi Wittenberg and Susan Krohn as well as the school; offer up fantastic items via a silent auction; treat guests to gourmet desserts by Serafina Custom Design Catering; and showcase illusionist Thomas Clark, all in one evening (Sun., Jan. 27). Could the Ringling Bros. have pulled together so many exciting facets, benefited the cause of local Jewish education, paid tribute to such deserving community members and done it all with such ruach this? “I’m excited about seeing all the amazing elements come together that night, and seeing all the hard work that my team has put in pay off,” Yelena Hertzberg, event chairperson and TDSA parent, said. “They’ve worked so hard for countless hours to see this come together.” Hertzberg chaired last year’s Main Event – themed “Back to the Future” and a huge success in its own right – and came back for more this year. When she and the rest of the planning committee decided to eschew the traditional sit-down meal of honor, the idea of creating a circus atmosphere soon emerged. From there, Hertzberg used her event-planning experiences in Charlotte, N.C. – where she and her family previously lived – to pull in Serafina and Clark. Then came the selection of honorees, which practically fell into place by itself. “When we realized who we had selected to honor, we saw that it was a perfect, perfect fit for the theme,” Hertzberg said. “The Wittenbergs, they’re such a happy, joyous family…[and] Susan Krohn, she’s just an amazing, well-rounded person.” Rabbi David Kapenstein, TDSA executive director, concurs and further explains the roles of honorees, beginning with Josh and Jodi.

“The Wittenbergs have been in-

volved in the school for many years. Josh taught at the school several years ago, and Jodi has been on our board and also chairs our annual raffle. She’s involved in so many different aspects of our fundraising, and she’s very creative and one of our most reliable volunteers,” the rabbi said. Krohn, who will receive the 2013 Distinguished Educator Award, has been with the school since its inception in 1985. “Kids love her, stay in touch with her and invite her to their simchas: their son’s bris, their wedding, the different occasions in their lives,” Rabbi Kapenstein said. “She really does a fantastic job as a teacher in the school and is so respected by the staff as well.”

From left to right, Main Event honorees Susan Krohn, Jodi Wittenberg and Josh Wittenberg are in the circus spirit. PHOTO/courtesy TDSA

Still, as great as these three are, the TDSA students won’t get lost in the shuffle at the “Cirque,” either. The Boys Choir will open for Clark, who travels the East Coast performing for a variety of crowds. Each grade level will also be represented in the auction with themed gift baskets called “Class Treasures.” Plus, the kids themselves will be treated to their own “mini-Main Event” – which will feature a carnival-like atmosphere, prizes, cotton candy and magicians – one week prior to the adults’ version. In all, the week should be a blast for the Torah Day community, not to mention an excellent way to raise funds and continue to meet students’ programming, technology and resource needs. Rabbi Kapenstein reminds us, though, that this is first and foremost a simcha. “The event is going to be, from the minute you walk in, very celebrationoriented,” he said. “It’s going to be a very enjoyable evening: It will showcase the school and the honorees and make some money for the school at the same time.” Editor’s note: Visit tdsamainevent. com to purchase tickets, make auction donations or obtain more information. Alternatively, call Torah Day School at (404) 982-0800.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013


arnum & Bailey may have laid claim to the “Greatest Show on Earth” title, but what about “Greatest Fundraiser-Dinner-Honor”?



arts & life

Company J Brings You “Fiddler” SHOWS FROM JAN. 19 TO FEB. 3 From the MJCCA

For the Atlanta Jewish Times


ompany J at the MJCCA continues its season of theater classics with one of the most popular Broadway productions in history, “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical – based on the stories of the “Jewish Mark Twain,” Sholem Aleichem, and later adapted into a book by Joseph Stein and a show with lyrics and music by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock – runs from Jan. 19 to Feb. 3, 2013, and performances will take place at the Morris and Rae Frank Theatre (5342 Tilly Mill Rd. in Dunwoody). The tale is that of Tevye the milkman, his wife Golde and their daughters as well as Tevye’s struggle to hold on to tradition in the face of a changing world. Director Brian Kimmel oversees this interpretation of the masterpiece, which includes favorite musical theater numbers “Sunrise, Sunset,” “To Life,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Matchmaker” and many more.

“Whether this is your first time or your fiftieth, Tevye, Golde, and the other colorful characters of Anetevka will stay with you forever,” Kimmel said. “This production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is definitely the don’t-miss theater event of the season.” Besides the many standard showtimes (see for a full lisiting), this run will also include a “Sensory-Friendly” performance – for theater-goers with sensory sensitivity issues – on Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. and a “Sing-Along” performance – lyrics to be provided on a screen, karaoke-style – on Feb. 3, 10 a.m.

Company J will conclude its 2012-13 season with “Seussical, The Musical” (April 28 - May 5; intended for younger audiences) and “Legally Blonde” (August 1 – 11; Teen Summer Stock production). For tickets to “Fiddler,” go to or call (678) 812-4002.

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TOP: Company J’s “Fiddler on the Roof” stars (back, left to right) Paula Markovitz as Golde, Eric Rich as Fiddler, Barry Mann as Tevye, (front, left to right) Max Chambers as Perchik and Jo-Jo Steine as Hodel

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

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arts & life

Tevye & American Tradition WHY “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF� IS MORE THAN JUST ENTERTAINMENT BY charlotte marcus ajt Contributor

But both versions – for that matter, all iterations of “Fiddler� – trace their lineage back to the original story, “Tevye and His Daughters,� written in Yiddish in Tsarist Russia by Yakov Rabinowitz, better known by his penname Sholem Aleichem. Although at its heart a tale of shtetl life, the work was and remains an international favorite, having been put on in London, Melbourne, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and even Japan by professional and nonprofessional thespians alike. Its universal themes continue to teach lessons pertinent for current situations, as the historic concerns implied translate well for application to contemporary problems. Specifically, “Fiddler� speaks to us of prejudices involved in the timeless problem of intermarriage as well as the gulf between the “haves� and the “have-nots� – the rich and the poor (or, in this case, the widowed butcher and the overburdened milkman). And another major issue addressed is that which results when laws and strict religious dogmas conflict. Certainly in today’s world we are witnessing practices and prejudices among groups of people; we experience strife and discord, disagreements and hear arguments from diverse political parties. We see splits

We see and hear ideas from those of dissimilar factions, backgrounds, ages, places of origin and geographic locations. In short, we go through many of the same struggles of views, attitudes, questions and difficulties, as the characters do in Aleichem’s staple work.

a dry goods store in Brunswick, Ga. When the time came, my grandmother said to her eldest child – my mother – “Minnie, you go down to the store and help Papa.� Thus, my mother also became a merchant, later operating in Waycross, Ga., where I – the eldest of 13 Cohen grandchildren – was born. Such a family history is the primary reason I find special meaning in this classic story of “Fiddler on the Roof,� and why I am concerned for the Tevyes of today.

Overcoming the Odds But not all is negative in “Fiddler.� Portrayed too are the courage and dreams of humankind in the 1800s and, indeed, throughout the ages. Then – when the story was first written – and now in 2013, we admire immigrants who dream, like Tevye, of the “streets paved with gold.� There will always be newcomers who work, hope and pray for the right to the “American dream.� It begs the question: Are we – in the here and now, as we debate and face our own prejudices –encountering present-day “Tevyes� and telling them to leave their shtetls? Or will we greet them with the pledge, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,� those famous words at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

Now, perhaps, it will resonate with you and you will reflect on your past based on lessons learned from this classic. That should help create in you the appropriate feeling with which to welcome the refugees of our time. So, as we begin the new year, maybe you will accept new Americans with open arms. Maybe you will encourage them to follow their dreams as did Teyve and your own ancestors did. After all, the question is not if your family came from another nation, but where they came from.

A Lesson for Today

I wish you shalom alecheim – may peace be with you!

Sholem Alecheim – which translates to “peace be with you� – was the name selected by the prolific Rabinowitz, author of the Tevye stories. When you greet others with this common Hebrew phrase, recall his name and this story.

See you at the show!

Editor’s note: Charlotte Marcus writes from her home in Sandy Springs, Ga.

Because you’ve had enough gefilte fish.

My maternal grandfather and grandmother, as perhaps did yours, came searching for that welcome. After their arrival in the U.S., they lived in Nichols, Ga. (and then Pierson, Ga.), where they raised six children and eked out a living. In the early 1900s, my “Papa� drove a horse to pull his wagon, much as Tevye does in “Fiddler.� He traveled from farm to farm to sell pans and other wares to the farmers, then opened a small store, and finally ran

JANUARY 18 â–Ş 2013


ompany J’s performance of “Fiddler on the Roof� is set to debut at the MJCAA. This production will be a new rendition of the 1964 smash hit directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, starring Zero Mostel as Tevye the milkman and recognized with a special Tony Award in 1972 as the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

not just in the opinions of groups and individuals based on values, ideas or beliefs, but also between men and women, even husbands and wives and their children.




arts & life

“The Rabbi’s Cat”

“Simon and the Oaks”






f “The Rabbi’s Cat” were a drink, it would be a craft beer.

I know, I know – “a cartoon is like an alcoholic beverage?!” – but bear with me as I highlight the parallels between this animated film adaptation of Joann Sfar’s Frenchlanguage graphic novels and your favorite microbrew. First, it is not for kids, despite a colorful exterior. Much like craft beers have the most creative and striking labels in the store, “The Rabbi’s Cat” too has an enchanting aesthetic, one that might appeal to youngsters. However, there are a handful of scenes here that are simply not suitable (nor fully comprehensible) for the younger crowd, and the presentation in French with English subtitles makes some stretches of quick banter between characters difficult to follow for all but the fastest of readers.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

Anyway, back to the initial metaphor: “The Rabbi’s Cat” is further like a craft beer in that, much as an independent brewery will go out on a limb by incorporating unique, subtle or unexpected flavors in varied proportions, this movie has some beautiful themes and undertones to be appreciated by the observant and


open-minded viewer. The tale – of a cat that gains the power of speech by eating the pet parrot of his master, a rabbi – is one of many cultures meeting and blending in the setting of post-World War II Algeria. Here, Jews, Christians and Muslims; North Africans, Russians and Frenchmen; and man and animal come together, and while not everyone gets along, the conflicts and the resolutions thereof have much to say about diversity, tolerance and understanding. Finally, one more way in which this film is like a craft beer is that both can be immensely rewarding. Just as taking a risk on a lesserknown, out-there brew can result in the discovery of a new favorite, watching “The Rabbi’s Cat” will likely open your eyes to a few ideas and put a smile on your face. Traveling with Rabbi Sfar and his faithful companion on their episodic adventures – which include meeting up with a Sufi cousin and his singing donkey; receiving a mysterious cargo container that ends up containing a live human being searching for Jerusalem; and traveling across the horn of Africa in a Citroen half-track – is well worth the price of admission. Editor’s note: Visit for a full schedule of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival movies.



softhearted, fanciful child who is more interested in the adventures found between the pages than stereotypically masculine pursuits – Simon isn’t quite like the other boys, much to the chagrin of his workingman father. It’s a story we’ve heard told and retold in countless incarnations. And yet despite the initial smack of cliché, “Simon and the Oaks” unfolds to take a refreshingly complex and sometimes painful look at family and personal identity. Based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author Marianne Fredriksson, “Simon” is presented in two parts. The first takes place at the start of the Second World War, during Simon’s childhood (the young Simon portrayed by the adept and wonderfully sensitive Jonatan S. Wächterat). The second features Simon as a young adult (played by Bill Skarsgård) at the war’s closing. Although not necessarily present in the film, the war still serves as the catalyst for many of the significant events in Simon’s life. Growing up in the rural countryside of Sweden, Simon’s parents quickly come to terms with the fact their child’s intellect would be better served with a formal education. Upon arriving at the highbrow school, Simon becomes fast

friends with a fellow student, a Jewish boy named Isak. As the war progresses, both Isak’s home life and the country become increasingly volatile, to the point where it is decided that it would be best for him to stay with Simon’s family. This is the beginning of a lifelong bond between the two households, a congregation of multiple and sometimes-conflicting parental figures in the boys’ lives. One of the most poignant scenes is that wherein Simon attends the naming ceremony of Isak’s daughter. As the ceremony is carried out, Isak’s mother openly weeps, overcome with emotion at the sight of her granddaughter proudly accepted into Judaism, void of the fear and shame that burdened her own life. Although there are some flickers of romance, they are just that – brief glimpses – in a largely somber film. “Simon” has moments of great joy and vulnerability, but many of the characters find themselves consumed by doubt and insecurity. Simon’s reactions can be difficult to watch, though Skarsgård plays him with a convincing youthful petulance and unpredictability. The last third of the movie is full of suspense, as Simon confronts the secrets of his past. Masterfully shot over breathtaking locations and pared with an incredible soundtrack, “Simon and the Oaks” is a tumultuous, thoroughly moving experience.


arts & life

Kosher Movies: The Crucible (1996) TIMELESS THEMES IN MILLER’S CLASSIC WORK ajt contributor


n Israel, one of my jobs is teaching literature in an Israeli high school. A recent assignment was reading “The Crucible,” the celebrated Arthur Miller play that later was made into a movie (the screenplay for which was also written by Miller). When one of my students asked why we still read this play today, I responded that, although it deals with the Salem witch trials of the 1690s and originally was written as an allegory of Senator Joe McCarthy’s Committee on Un-American Activities of the 1950s, the play is still relevant today. Then, in a burst of creative energy, I Googled “movies about the McCarthy hearings” and discovered three dealing with the topic: the 1991 film “Guilty by Suspicion,” the 2005 film “Goodnight and Good Luck” and the 2007 documentary “Trumbo.” I downloaded the trailers for all three films onto my iPad and showed them to my students before we read the play. I asked them to identify the common thread between those films. The answer: They all address the issue of being true to oneself, about being a person of integrity, even at great personal cost. That is a topic of significance today as much as it was over 50 years ago, when “The Crucible” first appeared. The film adaptation’s opening scene shows teenage girls running in the forest at night, conjuring love potions to encourage the affections of young men in Salem. Their dancing is witnessed by the local preacher, who sees their wild behavior as witchcraft – the work of the devil – and this eventually leads to a myriad of false innuendos and false accusations, made in court about upright citizens, which unravel the bonds of community. A central figure in the story is Abigail Williams. She has had an affair

with John Proctor and thus wants to get rid of Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, who stands in her way. In fact, she rejoices when Elizabeth, along with many others, is singled out as a witch condemned to death for trafficking with the devil. With his wife gone, Proctor will be free to marry Abigail. Absorbed in her own selfish needs, she threatens her peers not to contradict her perjury, and they oblige. A number of innocent people are sentenced to death on the testimony of this group of girls, who have fabricated stories of devil-worshipping among the righteous pillars of

the town. Finally, to stop the hangings, Proctor is compelled to admit his own moral mistake, and he too is condemned to death. In a powerful, poetic scene on a windy day by the sea, John has a frank conversation with Elizabeth in which they finally communicate in an open and honest way with one another and confess their shortcomings as husband and wife. It is an emotional tableau of reconciliation that touches the heart and mind. In the end, Proctor values life and agrees to confess to Judge Danforth, the presiding judge in the witch trials. But there is a problem: Danforth wants Proctor’s signed confession to be posted on the church door for the entire community to see. That will blacken Proctor’s name forever. In an impassioned speech, John cries out, “How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!”

The Ethics of the Fathers tell us that our most important possession is not our wealth or our knowledge, but rather our good name. More important than the priesthood or kingship is our reputation. John Proctor understands this well. He wonders aloud: “I have three children; how can I teach them to walk like men in the world?” If his name is besmirched, then how will his children regard him? Leaving them his farm or his wealth is meaningless if he cannot leave them his good name. A good reputation is a legacy that transcends the generations. Rabbi Cohen, former principal of Yeshiva Atlanta, now resides in Beit Shemesh, Israel. Visit koshermovies. com for more of his Torah-themed film reviews.


JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

BY rabbi herbert cohen



let it be read



t’s an old, old Borscht Belt joke, so let’s get it out of the way:

Q: What’s the thinnest book in the library? A: “The Encyclopedia of Jewish Sports Stars”! As the drummer hits a rim shot on his snare to accentuate the punch line, the audience groans. But thanks to a new book edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, that ancient chestnut might be dropped from comics’ repertoires. “Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame” collects essays on Jewish athletes ranging from 18thcentury British pugilist Daniel Mendoza through baseball front office wunderkind Theo Epstein and illuminates figures revered and reviled from quarterback Sid Luckman to chess wizard-turned-madman Bobby Fischer. The 50-plus stars profiled include such well-known names as Red Auerbach, Howard Cosell, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz and Sandy Koufax; as well as obscure figures like boxing cut-man Whitey Bimstein, Brooklynborn matador Sidney Franklin, pingpong guru Marty Reisman and martial arts sensei Harvey “Sifu” Sober. The dark side of Jewish involvement in sports is not left out, either, with essays on college basketball point shaver Jack Molinas and gambler Arnold Rothstein, whom F. Scott Fitzgerald portrayed as the “man who fixed the World Series,” in “The Great Gatsby.” Says Foer on the genesis of the project:

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

“It’s about the most fun thing I can think of to do in the world.” The editor of the political journal The New Republic, he has had a lifelong love of sports. “Like many Jewish men, it was a passion of mine,” he explained. “It felt good to indulge the obsession with this book.”

The essays in “Jewish Jocks” were contributed by an all-star team of 14 journalists and authors. Foer first

recruited Tracy – a colleague on The New Republic – and the two rounded up such literary talent as New Yorker editor David Remnick, “Freakonomics” co-author Stephen J. Dubner, New York Times columnist David Brooks, novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, Koufax biographer Jane Leavy and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger. Foer says getting the contributors was an easy task. “I believed it was the kind of thing if you asked authors to participate, they couldn’t resist,” he said. “As it turns out, that was the case. We talked about it with a few people in advance, and a lot of them we coldcalled, and it wasn’t very hard to get people to join up. We had very few people that we asked to join who rejected us. “For everyone involved, the project was a huge combination of fun and pleasure.” The essayists by a wide margin chose the athletes they wanted to write about. “Part of the pleasure of the project came when we called writers,” Foer said. “A lot of them had athletes they were interested in that we had never heard of before. That’s how we got a lot of obscure characters in the book. Like bullfighter Sidney Franklin – I had never heard of him until [author Tom Rachman] suggested him. [And] I didn’t know [Hollywood producer] Joel Silver was the inventor of ultimate Frisbee until Mark Oppenheimer proposed that project. Part of the reason the book had the

“Jewish Jocks” co-editors Frank Foer (left) and Marc Tracy have collected more than 50 essays on notable Jewish athletes. PHOTO/Len Small range of subject that it had is that our writers had their own obsessions they had an opportunity to pursue.” Despite the breadth of its subjects, there were a few people Foer regrets leaving out. “Abe Saperstein, founder of the Harlem Globetrotters, was a fairly important figure, and I regret not having him,” he said. “There were also some women – like figure skaters and lady golfer Amy Alcott, as well as some contemporary baseball players like Ryan Braun and Ian Kinsler – but it’s hard to write about people whose careers are in progress.” Many Atlantans might notice another notable omission: local product Ron Blomberg, baseball’s first designated hitter. “He is worthy of inclusion, and we were trying to get someone to write about him,” said Foer. “We tried to interest writers in him early on, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t materialize. The writers had other subjects they were more interested in writing about.” A native of Washington, D.C., where he still resides, Foer claims his own athletic experience is not especially distinguished. “I grew up playing soccer, and my parents later told me they would turn away when the ball came in my direction so they would not have to stare at the impending catastrophe,” he smiled. “Like many Jewish kids,

I tried to master with my mind the thing I could not master with my body, and so I’ve always had an intellectual interest in sports.” Of all the subjects profiled, Foer claims that Sandy Koufax was the most influential Jewish athlete of the 20th century. When Koufax chose not to pitch the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the action was applauded nationwide by Jews and gentiles alike. “What he did on that Yom Kippur was essentially validate Jewish existence in America,” Foer explained. “He begged off the assignment to start a crucial game, and instead of being met with jeers, he was applauded for placing his Jewishness over his team. The fact that this moment has gone down in history in a sort of mythological way sums up in a way why this country is different than any other country. “It’s the one place where Jews have been able to exist as themselves and have had genuine acceptance from the rest of the population.” On the other side of the coin, Foer thinks that Bobby Fischer was the most controversial inclusion. A onetime child prodigy who grew up to dominate his sport, Fischer later repudiated Judaism and fell into madness. Continued on next page


let it be read

Love Isn’t Just For Gentiles Q&A with Author Yael Levy

Admitting that it’s a “kind of a stretch to call chess a sport,” Foer said Fischer was included because he’s mentioned in older books about Jewish sports.


“Sports clubs were always very active in Eastern Europe, and chess was one of the activities they had. By some historic definition, chess is a Jewish sport,” Foer said. Taking things to a grander scale, he thinks that the basic ethos of the American Jewish sports experience has to do with innovation. “You have some athletes who make it big on natural gifts like [Hank] Greenberg, Sandy [Koufax] and Mark Spitz and then you have others who are shorter or slower, less physically gifted and compensate for that fact by using their brain,” Foer said. “When you add it up, you can see Jews have been great innovators in sports.” As for whether or not Jewish interest in the world of sports been an important factor in Jews’ integration into the general society, Foer says that although he’s not sure of its importance, he thinks sports definitely something Jews care about. “The reason Jews care about it is very interesting,” he explained. “On the one hand, there’s a long fascinating history about Jews and their relationship to the body. On the other hand, games were often looked on with ambivalence by Jews because they were played by gentiles, and participation seemed like a form of assimilation. And there are also anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews – that they’re bookish, that they’re unmanly. “[But] Zionism changed that by saying Jews should do strenuous things, that Jews should develop their bodies, form Jewish sports clubs. When you’re talking about sports, you’re talking about issues that dwell in very deep places in the Jewish psyche.” Editor’s note: “Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame” (published by Twelve) is available via amazon. com and



orking as an artist, journalist, wife and mother, Yael Levy has had a number of occupations throughout her lifetime. Her newest title, “Orthodox Jewish romance novelist,” is sure to raise some eyebrows.

very wise screenplay writer wrote on his blog: “Behind every good story is a love story.” I thought that was very true.

AJT: At one point in “Brooklyn Love,” a character is quoted as saying, “Love is for gentiles.” Could you talk a little about that line?

AJT: What was the process like when you started to consider writing romance?

YL: The initial draft took place in the late ‘80s, so it was from my generation [before it was changed and set in contemporary day]. It wasn’t about falling in love; it was about survival. We knew Holocaust survivors [because] they were our grandparents or our neighbors.

YL: I studied it [romance writing] like a Ph.D. student would study any other subject. I had mentorships with some of the top romance writers around the country: Brenda Novak, Monica McCarty, for example.

Formerly an illustrator in New York City, it was Levy’s move to Israel that forced her to consider a profession in writing. Having left all of her contacts in New York, she had little choice but to explore other options. At first it was simply as a means of expression; it was only by her mother’s encouragement that she sent in a piece to The Jerusalem Post. To Levy’s surprise, they not only published it, but asked if she could send more.

AJT: And I’m guessing you were intrigued? Yael Levy

From there, her love for the craft slowly broadened into creative fiction. She spoke with us to set the records straight about the romance genre, Orthodox portrayals in media and details on her new novel, “Brooklyn Love.” Atlanta Jewish Times: How did the idea for “Brooklyn Love” start to form? Yael Levy: Their editor asked for a piece about Orthodox Jewish dating, so I started playing around with a lot of different characters. I realized that there was no way I could do this in just one little article. I started to work on it constantly. I worked on it when my kids got up, after they went to sleep; it was like my whole universe. AJT: Are you or were you ever a fan of the romance genre? YL: I never saw myself as a romance writer. I was never really a romance reader; I just like good fiction. But a

I was hoping that by explaining my generation, where we were coming from, younger readers might get more of an understanding of why things are the way they are. AJT: Where does your writing fit into the romance landscape?

YL: I got bitten by it. I loved it. As a literary business, there’s a lot there. There’s so much good writing out there called “romance,” so much so that I’m working at a romance publishing house where I’m a “first reader.” I choose what goes on and what doesn’t.

YL: Well, I love romantic comedies. My next novel, “Starstruck,” is more of a romantic comedy. It’s probably more “PG-rated,” but it’s about the relationships. It’s not “Fifty Shades of Grey,” so I’m not expecting to be famous or anything [laughs].

AJT: What are your feelings on Orthodox representation in the media?

YL: I want them to think about their relationships and be honest about what’s going on. I also want to portray Orthodox people as human beings and not just caricatures in the media.

YL: All media – fiction and non-fiction – I can’t stand it. All the outlets, they drive me crazy. They make it out like the Orthodox community is this homogeneous group when it isn’t. They have very weird ideas that have nothing to do with reality, but it gets perpetuated by fiction writers and some non-fiction writers – most of whom have left – who have a bone to pick. It’s highlighting negative aspects or playing up to the stereotypes. They just give everybody what they want to hear. It’s not like Orthodox is perfect, but the questions I get it – it’s just not true. AJT: Which character do you most identify with? YL: I personally identify most with Rachel, the main character. I do identify the most with her, but she’s not me, that’s not my story.

I think, when it comes to sexuality, there’s a time and a place for it, but most of it is gratuitous. AJT: What do you hope readers take away from your novel?

For Orthodox people, I want them to wake up! The divorce rate is skyrocketing, and you can’t just get married like you did a generation ago. It doesn’t work. I’m not asking anyone who reads my book to come away with my perspectives. I just want people to engage in dialogue and to be open with each other. Editor’s note: “Brooklyn Love” is now available in ebook form through Crimson Romance (crimsonromance. com); it can also be found at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iTunes. Look for Yael’s next two books, “Starstruck” (March 2013) and “Touchdown” (Summer 2013).

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

Continued from previous page




Katherine  and  Jacob       Invites  You  for  Two  Special  Nights

Our 60th Bir thday

featuring Avner the Eccentric Saturday,  February  9,  2013     8:00  p.m. GHA 5200  Northland  Drive Atlanta,  GA  30342

$18/adult $10/child  (6  and  older) Children  5  and  under  Free Purchase  tickets  online:

The Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers from Morehouse College

JANUARY 18 â–Ş 2013

featuring  an  ‘I  Have  a  Dream’   reading  by  GHA  students


Saturday,  January  26,  2013     7:30  p.m.  at  GHA Free,  RSVP  Required  by  Jan.  23rd


tell & kvell

State Bar Honors Cary King



he bar mitzvah of Noah William Abramson of Johns Creek, Ga. was held Jan. 19, 2013 at Congregation Gesher L’Torah. Noah dedicated his service to the memory of his beloved Nana, Dorothy Walner Goodman. Noah is the son of Gary and Amy Abramson and the grandson of Joyce and Irving Kahn of Bayside, Wisc.; Jack and the late Dorothy Goodman of Dunwoody; and Joel and Marilyn Abramson of Scottsdale, Ariz. For his mitzvah project, Noah took photographs of Jewish gravestones at Greenwood Cemetery and added them to a website called Findagrave, a resource used by amateur genealogists to record family records and preserve history. He is in seventh grade at Autrey Mill Middle School. Noah is working towards his black belt in karate, plays percussion in the Autrey Mill band and has earned the rank of First Class in Troop 1818 of the Boy Scouts of America. He also enjoys cars, going to concerts, travel and collecting a wide variety of things.



tlanta native Cary S. King was honored by the State Bar of Georgia during its Mid-Year Meeting with the MarshallTuttle Award for his work with the Military Legal Assistance Program, which provides legal services to military and combat veterans throughout the state. Since the Military Legal Assistance Program began, help has been provided to more than 900 military service members and veterans throughout Georgia. Through its Continuing Legal Education programs, the Bar has also provided training for more than 500 lawyers seeking accreditation to practice before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. King is a former President of the Southeast Region of the Jewish National Fund and is a longtime member of Temple Sinai in Atlanta. He is currently the senior attorney in the firm of Jacobs & King and previously was senior partner with the firm of Slater & King for 17 years. Over the years, he has handled significant trial litigation, including many high-profile civil matters in state and federal courts. A member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Georgia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, King began his career as a partner in the firm of Shuster, King & King for 11 years. King graduated in 1963 from Georgia State University with a B.A. degree and in 1983 from John Marshall Law School. He also attended graduate school at Georgia State University and at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He and his wife, Sherry King – both 1959 graduates of Henry Grady High School – have five children and six grandchildren. The Marshall -Tuttle Award is named in honor and memory of Army Cpl. Evan Andrew Marshall – a soldier from Athens, Ga. who was killed in action in Iraq in 2008 – and U.S. Circuit Judge Elbert Parr Tuttle.

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JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013






By Rachel LaVictoire AJT Contributor


ad things happen. They come at different levels of severity and affect everyone in different ways, but they happen nonetheless. I mean this in the most matter-of-fact way. We lose loved ones, we make mistakes, we fall ill and we say the wrong things. Acknowledging the sadness in our lives shouldn’t be upsetting or hopeless, but rather comforting and motivational. Sounds a little strange, right? Obviously, it feels unnatural to be grateful for unhappiness. But I find it important to understand that every event – whether it’s big or small, positive or negative – inevitably impacts the entire course of our lives. This may seem somewhat trivial, but have you ever considered how your life would change if you woke up an hour before you normally do? It’s something that crosses my mind on a regular basis.

Think about it. If you wake up an hour earlier, maybe the traffic light patterns would be different and you’d hit more green lights. Maybe your normal barista at Starbucks wouldn’t be at work yet, so you’d meet someone new.

ing exactly 55 minutes at each sorority. Of those 55 minutes, probably 20 were used for presentations and cheers, leaving 35 minutes to talk to the current members. It was organized like speed dating, and when time was up, you left.

Or maybe because you have some extra time, you skip Starbucks and stop for a sit-down breakfast at the bagel shop.

Then, over the next few days, the PNMs (Potential New Members) ranked sororities, and the sororities ranked PNMs. Many girls were cut from their favorite sororities, and some were cut out entirely, vetoed by all seven.

The possibilities are endless, but the reality is that just by sleeping one hour less, you’re introducing yourself to a different world. I use the same reasoning with bad situations. Maybe it’s logical, or maybe it’s just crutch that I’ve trained myself to find comfort in; regardless, it works. Take, for example, the ever-so-relatable experience of college/Greek-life/ career decision-making. Specifically, I’ll use sorority recruitment because it’s everything that consumes my life right now; but you can substitute in plenty of other situations. This week, about 400 girls, myself included, rushed seven sororities. We went to all seven in two days, spend-

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times shabbat blessings Blessing for the Candles Baruch Arah A-do-nai,El-o-hei-nu Melech Haolam Asher Kid-shanu b’mitzvotav V’zivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of time and space. You hallow us with Your mitzvot and command us to kindle the lights of Shabbat.

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

Blessing for the Wine Baruch Atah A-do-nai, El-o-hei-nu Meelech Haolam, Borei p’ri hagafen


Praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessing for the Bread (Challah) Baruch Atah A-do-nai, El-o-hei-nu Melech haolam, Hamotzi Lechem min haaretz. Our Praise to You Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Friday, January 18, 2013 Light Candles at: 5:35 pm Shabbat, January 19, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 6:34 pm

Friday, January 25, 2013 Light Candles at: 5:42 pm Shabbat, January 26, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 6:40 pm Friday, February 1, 2013 Light Candles at: 5:49 pm Shabbat, February 2, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 6:47 pm Friday, February 8, 2013 Light Candles at: 5:56 pm Shabbat, February 9, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 6:53 pm

Obviously, failing to get a bid from your favorite sorority is not on the same level as losing a loved one or getting sick, but as a freshman college girl, it’s pretty devastating. And yet, missing out on one thing only leaves you with more time to do others. As cliché as it sounds, “when one door closes, another opens.” And it’s not just about the opportunity. Sure, it would be great if someone who got cut from a sorority moved on to become the president of some other club, but it’s also about the experience of being cut – about learning to recognize your own sadness, understanding what’s causing it and making choices to bring yourself happiness. In short, growth comes from what we are able to overcome, and what better example of this than the fleeing of the slaves from Egypt, which begins in this week’s Torah portion, Bo. G-d sends the last three plagues to the land of Egypt, and finally Pharaoh agrees to free the Jews. They leave in haste – so quickly that they eat unleavened bread, unable to wait for it to rise. When the Jews had fled, Moses spoke to the Israelites, saying: “Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for with a mighty hand, the Lord took you out of here, and therefore no leaven shall be eaten… And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘Because of this, the

Lord did this for me when I went out of Egypt.’ And it shall be to you as a sign upon your hand and as a remembrance between your eyes . . . And you shall keep this statute at its appointed time, from year to year (Exodus 13:3-10).” Obviously, the year-to-year occasion at which we keep this statute is the holiday of Passover. We eat maror to remind us of the clay that the slaves used, and we dip parsley in salt water to remind us of the tears that they shed. But such unpalatable cuisine begs the question: Why does G-d want to take us back to that place, that story of slavery and degradation, every year? Why must we remember? There are many reasons, and some are evident. We remember so that we may thank G-d; we remember so that we may be grateful of the life we have; and we remember so that we may believe in all the miracles that G-d performed. I think, though, that there is a logic that gets overlooked: We remember tragedy so that we can look at our lives now and understand that it’s possible to overcome even the greatest challenges. It’s difficult to be upset with the past if you’re content with your present, considering all that you did led you to where you are. It’s like G-d is saying, “Your people were once slaves, and now you are a success. Therefore, understand that any strife you encounter may also lead to peace.” 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 EmanuEl and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.


d’var torah

Parashat Bo MEANING BEHIND YOUR MEZUZAH BY rabbi brian glusman

MJCCA and the Atlanta Rabbinical Association

It’s a simple game – the person with the largest number of sightings wins – but it is also an exciting game, as we feel a strong sense of Jewish pride when we see a mezuzah displayed publicly. Hanging a mezuzah has, in some cases, even been inherited by nonJews. A few years ago, an article appeared in The New York Times about an apartment building in which the residents had once been predominantly Jewish but had long since changed to a variety of tenants of all backgrounds. Now, the people behind those doors are Catholic, Baptists, Episcopalians, Buddhists, and atheists, but notably, many have chosen to leave the mezuzahs in place. When one resident was asked why he chose to leave the mezuzah, he simply responded, “It’s good karma.” There are three primary reasons why we have mezuzahs on our doorposts. The first is because it is a commandment in the Torah; the mezuzah is there to remind us that our home embraces Jewish values and principles. All who enter our house are made aware of our ideals and traditions. The second reason is historical, as the mezuzah echoes the lessons of our Exodus from Egypt. In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, the Hebrews were commanded to sacrifice a lamb and place the blood on the doorposts of their homes. In doing so, the Hebrews had to publicly declare their faith and their loyalty to G-d. This reminds us that to be a Jew, one must have the courage and conviction to take a stand for what we believe. We must be willing to identify as Jews, even in places where that may be difficult or even dangerous. The third reason comes from a more modern interpretation of why we place a mezuzah on our doorposts, taught by Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of The Center for Learning and Leadership. It is a reason that

Considering that when we knock on someone’s door, we usually are met with the question, “Who is there?”, the rabbi said the mezuzah reminds us to ask ourselves that same question as we enter our own homes. In other words, it prompts one to ask the question, “Who am I?”

Am I defined by my job? Am I a loving spouse, parent and friend? Am I present for my family? Do I put my family first?

question and answer with, “I am here, I am home.” Editor’s note: Rabbi Brian Glusman is director of membership, outreach and engagement at the MJCCA and a member of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association.

May this be the year we are present and mentally there for those we love and cherish. When we walk into our homes, may we welcome and be welcomed. May we embrace and be embraced. May we reflect on the

Am I the employee, who is returning from a day at the office? Am I the CEO of a company? Am I the person coming home to pay bills and deal with the daily challenges that weigh me down? Or am I the loving spouse, parent, sibling, child or friend who is returning to a loving family? This is a challenging question. Rabbi Kula reflects on a period of time when he would enter the house, look through the mail, check phone messages, and finally say hello to his family – until finally his wife and children sat him down and explained that he was doing these tasks in the wrong order. It is tempting for all of us to define ourselves as a worker, as a billpayer, or as a person who needs to respond to our many Facebook friends instead of defining ourselves as a loving family member and caring friend. But fortunately, the mezuzah reminds us to assess who we are every time we enter our house or a loved one’s home. It is a vital question that should force us to remember what is important when we come home every day. Otherwise, if we don’t, the stressors of the day may stay with us mentally, though we may have left the office physically. In that case, we may be a spouse, friend and a parent in name, but emotionally we are not present. In addition to all this, keep in mind that the mezuzah is a physical part of the structure that we have connected to our lives and our home. We need to be reminded of its permanency. It is not enough to simply look at it and kiss it, but to reflect on its meaning, and this mitzvah signifies an important lesson in our lives. And so, in 2013, let us honestly answer the question the mezuzah presents: Who am I? Who is the person entering this house? How do I define myself?

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ne of our favorite family games to play while driving through a new neighborhood is “Who can find the most mezuzahs?”

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what’s happening WED., JAN. 23

“Fiddler on the Roof,” presented by Company J at the MJCCA. Opening performance Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.; more performances through Feb. 3. Tickets available via (678) 812-4002, box office or online: events/15056.

Tu B’Shvat Tasting Table, three-day event to enjoy a selection of fruits associated with the Land of Israel. Material on the environment & Tu B’shvat provided. Wed., Jan. 23, 1 p.m. Zaban Park. (678) 812-4161 or

Cancer Transitions Workshop, sixweek workshop to aide in active to post treatment. Sat., Jan. 19, 10 a.m. Free. Cancer Support Community. (404) 843-1880.

Famous Jewish Women You’ve Never Heard Of, event of Mt. Scopus Group of Greater Atlanta Hadassah with presenter Barbara Rosenblit. Wed., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m. Congregation Or VeShalom. RSVP to (404) 636-8582 or

Tu B’Shevat Seder, family-friendly seder; taste some new fruits and sing songs. Sat., Jan. 26, 5:30 p.m. Congregation Shearith Israel. Register online or email or

The Baal Shem Tones Concert, live music at the MJCCA. Mon., Jan. 28, 5 p.m. Free. Goodfriends Grill at Zaban Park. For more info, email brian.

Troika Balalaika in concert, acclaimed Russian folk band. Wed., Jan. 23, 8 p.m. $10/person. Tickets online at

MLK Jr. Program, including a reading of the “I Have a Dream” speech and a chorus performance by the Morehouse College Choraliers. Sat., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. Free. Greenfield Hebrew Academy. RSVP to mlk@

Israel Bonds invites you to an evening featuring Pinchas Landau, Israeli Economic and Political Analyst. Tues., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m. Congregation Gesher L’Torah. (770) 777-4009.

Family Movie Night, showing “The Lorax,” in support of CSI Youth with pizza, drinks and snacks for sale. Sat., Jan. 26. Congregation Shearith Israel. RSVP to marill@mindspring. com

Israel’s Economy: Prospects for 2013, American Israel Chamber of Commerce special Breakfast Briefing with economist Pinchas Landau. Wed., Jan. 30, 7:30 a.m. $15/AICC members, $20/non-members. Sutherland in Atlanta.

SUN, JAN. 20 OVS Men’s Club, first program. NFC Championship game party. BYOB, kosher only. Sun., Jan. 20, 3 p.m. Private residence. RSVP to office@ A Night at the Races, dinner in honor of Harold & Lora Schroeder and Dr. Jason and Leanne Kaplan, featuring games and music and more. Sun., Jan. 20. Congregation Ariel. (770) 390-9071. TUES., JAN 22 Adult Learning, a series of classes on a variety of topics. First in series Tues., Jan. 22, 7:15 p.m.; continues on following Tuesdays. $25/person. Etz Chaim. Register, (770) 973-0137. Challah Baking Evening with Chabad Women’s Circle. Tues., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. $12. Chabad of Cobb.

Live Music

THUR., JAN. 24 Grocery Coupon Workshop, with Valerie Hoff, 11 Alive anchor, moneysaving expert and DealPro. Thurs., Jan. 24, 11 a.m. $15/ members, $20/non-members. MJCCA. Private Home Tour, visit three exquisite private homes, the first featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle Magazine. For Breman Museum members only. Thurs., Jan. 24. rkatz@ FRI., JAN. 25 Shabbat Dinner & Tu B’Shevat Seder, after service. Celebrating our love for Israel and the environment. Fri., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. Congregation Etz

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SAT., JAN. 26 Family Concert, Mr. Greg’s Musical Madness. Sat., Jan. 26, 11 a.m. $10/ person. The Punchline Comedy Club. Tickets at

SUN., JAN. 27 Tu B’shevat Tree Planting, with Trees Atlanta. Tools and gloves provided. Sun., Jan. 27, 9:30 a.m. 897 St. Charles Ave. For info, (404) 982-0659 or Jewish War Veterans Lunch, buffet with guest speaker Representative Tom Price. Prepayment required, mailed by check. Sun., Jan. 27, 10 a.m. $8.50/person. More information at Israel Trip Info Meeting, for upcoming MJCCA trip, June 12-25. Sun., Jan. 27, 12 p.m. Zaban Park. Information and application forms via (678) 8124161 or brian.glusman@atlantajcc. org.

MON., JAN. 28 Declare Your Freedom Rally, Allies of Israel, a pro-Israel student organization will hold a pro-America and proIsrael rally. Dr. Daniel Pipes will be the keynote speaker. Mon., Jan. 28, 12 p.m. University of New Orleans.

TUES., JAN. 29

WED., JAN. 30

FRI., FEB. 1 Scholar-in-Residence Weekend with Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, speaking on “Judaism for Busy Lives.” Begins with Shabbat service on Fri., Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m., with more events on Sat. and Sun. Temple Sinai. SAT., FEB. 2 Pianist Yefim Bronfman Concert, celebrating Schwartz Center’s 10th anniversary. Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m. Emory Schwartz Center for the Arts. For tickets, visit SUN., FEB. 3

Mahjong Tournament, benefitting Etz Chaim Preschool. Bring your 2012 Mahjong card; prizes awarded; beginners seminar available. Sun., Jan. 27, 12:45 p.m. $25/person. Congregation Etz Chaim. preschool_events_registration.aspx.

Blood Drive, make a donation appointment. Walk-ins welcome but appointments have priority. Sun., Feb. 3, 9 a.m. Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Make appointments at

L’Chaim Program: “Being Centered,” four panelists share their insights, includes breakout sessions on personal well-being topics. Sun., Jan. 27, 1:30 p.m. $10/person. The Carlton in Sandy Springs. RSVP to


Chosen Food, “Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity,” new exhibit opening. Sun., Jan. 27. The Breman Museum. (678) 222-3700.

Dunwoody Sunday Cycle, bike ride for all ages (10+) and abilities. First Sunday of each month, 2:30 p.m. Meet in front of Bruster’s in Dunwoody Village Parking Lot. or (770) 604-3803.

“Living with Integrity,” Navigating Everyday Ethical Dilemmas, the new JLI course. Six weeks beginning the final week of January. Various metro Chabad houses.



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Martin Eisler




Martin Eisler, age 90, Atlanta, died Jan. 10, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Dora Eisler, of blessed memory. Mr. Eisler was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 and survived the Holocaust. He immigrated in 1949 to the United States, where he owned and operated grocery stores, gift shops, a restaurant and a coin laundry. Survivors include his son, Sol Eisler, Atlanta; daughter, Hannah Medwin, California; daughter, Beverly Eisler, Atlanta; granddaughter, Stacy Coleman; and great-grandchildren: Ashley, Zach and Seth. Sign online guest book at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Jewish Tower, 3160 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327. A graveside service was held Fri., Jan. 11, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Hillel Norry officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.

Orange —

the new blu

and yellow and pink

Jacob L. Goldstein Jacob L. Goldstein, age 89, passed on Fri., Jan. 11, 2013. Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 13, at West View Cemetery. Mr. Goldstein was born in Milledgeville, Ga. in 1923 to parents Celia and Abe Goldstein. He attended Georgia Military High School and Georgia Military Junior College. He also attended the University of Georgia, graduating with a BBA degree. He served as a captain in Patton’s Third Army during World War II. He served for four years, receiving two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was associated with C. Goldstein and Sons (a department store and wholesale business) for more than 60 years, serving as president. He was co-founder and member of the Board of First Federal Savings and Loan of Milledgeville. Later he became chairman of the BB&T Bank Board. Mr. Goldstein was a board member of Temple Beth Israel in Macon, a former chairman of the Merchant’s Committee for the Chamber of Commerce, a past member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, a past president of Milledgeville Kiwanis Club (where he had perfect attendance for 52 years) and a past Lt. Governor of Kiwanis Club International. Mr. Goldstein was also a past State Drug Abuse chairman, a past president of the Georgia Military College Alumni Association, a former vice chair of the Georgia Military College Board of Trustees, an emeritus member of Georgia Military College Board of Trustees, a past president of Milledgeville County Club, a past member of the Baldwin County Industrial Authority, a past chairman of the Governor’s Private Industry Council, a past member of the Democratic State Committee, a former chairman of the Baldwin County Democratic Committee, a past director of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs and a past chairman of the Milledgeville Public Facilities Authority. Additionally, Mr. Goldstein chaired numerous charitable campaigns; was a member of the Masonic Order, Scottish Rite, Shrine and American Legion; a member of the Anti-Defamation League Board; an advisor to the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust; and a co-founder of Harriet’s Closet, which provides items for patients undergoing cancer treatment (just to mention a few of his many involvements). Mr. Goldstein was, however, very committed to GMC, for which he and his wife Maxine were recognized in 2005 for their legacy gift with the naming of the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts. His ongoing support and dedication to excellence continues to impact GMC in meaningful ways. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Harriet Goldstein Greenhut; his brother, I.M. “Sonny” Goldstein; and his sister, Mary G. Stone. Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Maxine Shapiro Goldstein; a daughter, Marcia Goldstein; grandchildren: Elysa Greenwald, Fred Stein, Melissa Greenhut and Scott Greenhut; and great-grandchildren: Ian Greenwald, Rachel Greenwald, Tovar Stein and Delaney Stein. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jacob L. Goldstein Scholarship Fund, c/o GMC 201 E. Greene St. Milledgeville, GA 31061; or to Harriet’s Closet c/o ORMC Foundation 811 N. Cobb St. Milledgeville, GA 31061. Visit to express tributes. Moores Funeral Home & Crematory had charge of arrangements.



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JEWISH PUZZLER by Kathi Handler (

Across 1. Spelt 5. Mauri Rose 10. Cass Elliott 14. Called to biblically 15. 100th of a shekel 16. Grain measure 17. Priestly bread 18. Chuppah happening 19. Comedian Sahl 20. Biblical weapons 22. Tay-Sachs carriers 23. Matriarchs 26. Seth’s boy 27. Pizza type 28. Hebrew letter set 30. Newswoman Barbara 34. Kosher fish must 35. Prayer for dew 36. Torah 37. Commandment word 38. Coquettish 39. Havdalah box 41. In addition 42. Zetz (Eng) 43. Singer novel 44. Actor Rod 47. Tefilin strap fabric 48. Shluf (Eng) 49. Handel hope (Eng) 50. Capp or Jolson 51. Koufax missiles 54. Sukkahs 56. Khazars’ homeland 57. Make the Tallis? 58. Sagan sightings? 62. Gnaw 63. Sage Akiva

64. Ma’ariv offering 65. Yeladim (Eng) 66. Delilah cut Samson’s 67. Actor Hackman Down 1. Paley’s network 2. Cheer 3. E. Lazarus specialty 4. Synagogue seats 5. Joey’s punk rockers 6. Parts of a NIS 7. Equipment for Greenstein 8. Greenberg stats 9. Moses’ aura 10. Jewish magazine 11. King of Judah 12. Bissel (Eng) 13. Garfunkle and Shamsky 21. Innovatitive painter 22. Olympiad Friedman 23. Makes the Tsimmes 24. Lady golfer 25. “The __”, Singer novel 27. Chaver (Eng) 29. Zeigfeld’s nickname 30. Manner 31. Elijah disciple 32. Jacob’s favorite 33. Breaks the second 35. Dreidel 38. Newman’s passion 39. Commandment word 40. Cholent holder 42. Agent 43. Actor Peter

45. Mechutanim (Eng) 46. Petrol 47. Sukkot decoration? 49. Neil Simon milieu 51. Rear 52. Babylonian Talmud editor 53. Broke the ninth? 54. Edomite mountain

55. Emulated the Chazzan 57. Soak 59. Dues 60. Possess 61. Gaza to Beer Sheva (dir)

Last week’s answers

Chess Puzzle of the Week by Jon Hochberg

Challenge: Black to move: Checkmate in 2 moves

Last week’s puzzle solution. 1) R g8 2) Q g7x

JANUARY 18 ▪ 2013

Jon Hochberg is a chess instructor who has been teaching in the Atlanta area for the last 6 years. Currently, Jon runs after school chess programs at several Atlanta schools, including The Epstein school. He always welcomes new students, and enjoys working with children who have no prior chess knowledge. Jon can be reached at to schedule private lessons.


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No. 3 January 18 The Atlanta Jewish Times  


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