NEXT WEEK: SENIOR LIVING
VOL. XCIV NO. 16 | PASSOVER
APRIL 19, 2019 | 14 NISAN 5779
Passover 5779 JEWISH ATLANTA SHARES THOUGHTS ON WHAT ENSLAVES US AND WHAT SETS US FREE
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MICHAEL A. MORRIS
MANAGING PUBLISHER & INTERIM EDITOR KAYLENE LADINSKY
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Contributors This Week BOB BAHR CHANA SHAPIRO DAVE SCHECHTER JAN JABEN-EILON LAURIE AND DAVID WEINSTEIN MARCIA CALLER JAFFE DR. MARK L. FISHER PATRICE WORTHY RABBI DAVID GEFFEN RABBI JOAB EICHENBERG-EILON RACHEL FAYNE
THIS WEEK Darkness, Locusts and Frogs, Oh My! Why is this issue different from all others? It’s bigger, for starters. Our annual Passover issue is as crowded with food, festivity, introspection and excitement as the seder table we’ll enjoy this weekend. To set the holiday mood, we’ve asked community members their perspectives on what enslaves or limits us, what liberates or sets us frees. In addition, we take you around the world and community with a Unity Seder and an interfaith holiday comparison. We show you how some Atlanta Jews have created their own haggadot and offer a review of a new graphic novel giving a modern twist on the traditional Passover story. Looking back on the past, the AJT uncovers the tragic history of a longforgotten Passover in 1981 when Jewish Atlanta came together to support our neighbors in healing. From the City Too Busy to Hate to the Holy Land, we predict what next year in Jerusalem might look like following
the recent election. Take a look at our education section for tips about how to make sure your college choice is a good fit and to learn about a Russian poet at Georgia Tech who can’t hear, but certainly can appreciate the beauty of the creative word. In the arts, we profile an irreverent comedian who holds nothing back in an act resembling those of Vegas or the Catskills. We also interview the author of a new bestselling memoir coming to grips with her father’s secret life, and we review a new film about the horrors of Czarist Russia recently shown at Emory University. Talking about Emory, this issue includes the latest in the uproar over SJP propaganda flyers posted on campus doors, including those of Jewish students, and we pay tribute to Perry Brickman, who uncovered mistreatment of Jewish dental school students at Emory some 60 to 70 years ago. The struggles of our past shed light
at Passover and throughout the year on our personal and collective challenges and achievements. This holiday, we hope you take some time with your AJT reading the stories that make history come alive. ■
CONTENTS REFLECTIONS��������������������������������� 6 LOCAL NEWS���������������������������������� 8 ISRAEL NEWS������������������������������� 14 OPINION����������������������������������������� 22 PASSOVER������������������������������������� 26 EDUCATION����������������������������������� 54 ARTS������������������������������������������������ 57 CALENDAR������������������������������������� 64 COMMUNITY��������������������������������� 66 DINING�������������������������������������������� 73 BRAIN FOOD���������������������������������� 74 KEEPING IT KOSHER������������������ 75 OBITUARIES���������������������������������� 76 CLOSING THOUGHTS����������������� 80
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Edward Hope Smith, 14 years old, lived in the Kimberly Court housing projects at 4191 Cape St., and went missing July 25, 1979.
Alfred "Q" James Evans, 13 years old, lived at 255 Meadow Lake Dr. SE (road no longer exists) and went missing on July 25, 1979.
Milton Harvey, 14 years old, lived at 1396 Nash R. 16 and went missing on Sept. 4, 1979. His case is still considered unsolved.
Angel Latrice Lenair, 12 years old, lived at 1660 Stanton Rd. SW. Went missing on March 4, 1980. Her case is still considered unsolved.
LaTonya Yovette Wilson, 7 years old, attended Jones Elementary. Went missing on June 22, 1980. The case is still considered unsolved.
Eric Antonio Middlebrooks, 14 years old, moved to 345 Howell Dr., No. H-4 with foster parents Robert & Evelyn Miller in spring 1980.
Our Neighbors’ Affliction is Our Affliction On the eve of Passover in 1981, The Southern Israelite published a message headlined “Our Neighbors’ Affliction.” Atlanta’s weekly Jewish newspaper told its readers: “The matzoh reminds us not only of the harsh life of slavery under Pharaoh, but also of the afflictions Jews have Dave had to suffer over the cen- Schechter turies,” and then turned its attention to the present. “In Atlanta, the Jewish community and the city as a whole are faced with another affliction - the tragedy of the dead and missing children. Many from our community have generously donated time and money to help put an end to this tragedy. Because of our history, Jews have always felt an empathy for the affliction of our neighbors,” The Southern Israelite (renamed the Atlanta Jewish Times in 1987) said. Between July 1979 and May 1981, at least 29 black children, adolescents and young adults were killed, most by strangulation or asphyxiation. Police arrested 23-year-old Wayne Williams, who was convicted in the murder of two adults, and suspected by police in the child killings. Now 60 years old and still protesting his innocence, Williams is serving consecutive life sentences in prison. The announcement by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms that authorities will re-examine evidence (as opposed to re-opening the cases ) prompted a look back at the Jewish community’s response to that tragedy. “Our Neighbors’ Affliction,” was the title of a prayer written by Rabbi Herman J. Blumberg, director of the AJC’s New England division. That prayer included the following lines: Our hearts turn now to the Black people of the city of Atlanta. They have tasted 6 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar Qaddafi. the ‘Bread of Affliction’: The Southern Israelite on Oct. 19, The dark bondage of fear; 1979, published an in-depth look at Jewthe murder of children. Jewish tradition com- ish-black relations in Atlanta, concludmands responsibility for the ing with these words: “After listening to the diversity of opinion expressed within well-being of our neighbors. Atlanta’s children be- both the black and Jewish communities in recent weeks, this reporter could not come our children. Its danger is ours; its fear help but remember Gerald Cohen’s closing remarks to the Federation’s Delegate is ours. May we share a measure Assembly meeting, ‘It is the obligation of the grief, the anger and the of each Jew in his ordinary pursuits to frustration which dwells there. establish contacts to dispel tensions and A reading of The Southern Israelite fears. It must be done at all levels. We all and other sources from that period sug- know the story. We all share the burden.’” gests that while the Jewish community As Southeast regional director of the felt empathy and involved itself at vari- American Jewish Committee, William ous points, for the most part it had other Gralnick shouldered that burden. Gralconcerns. nick had a reputation for building bridgBy the late 1970s, Atlanta’s Jewish es across racial and ethnic lines, and as population, which had stagnated for sev- an expert on the Ku Klux Klan. eral decades after the 1915 lynching of Fifteen children between the ages Leo Frank, was approaching 27,500 and of 7 and 14 already had disappeared and expanding geographically. New congrega- been found dead when a boiler exploded tions were forming in Gwinnett and Cobb at the Bowen Homes daycare center on counties and a new Jewish Community Oct. 13, 1980, killing four children and an Center opened beyond Interstate 285. adult. “We were inches from a race riot There was because of the inconcern about stant assumption black-Jewish relait was connecttions fraying afed” to the child ter the mid-1960s killings, Gralnick American civil recalled. “That’s rights movement how tense the and the June 1967 city was.” Six-Day War in That tenIsrael. Atlantan sion followed Photos via atkid.weebly.com // Mug shot of Wayne Andrew Young him home. “One Williams taken after his arrest on June 21, 1981. resigned as U.S. night my wife Ambassador to the United Nations af- and I were going out. We had retained ter the State Dept. was misled about his a baby sitter. My oldest son, who was of meeting with an official of the Palestine Montessori age, stood at the screen door Liberation Organization. Southern Chris- crying, ‘Is the bad man going to come to tian Leadership Conference Co-founder get me while you’re out?’ Nothing any Rev. Joseph Lowery, of Atlanta, sang “We parent wants to deal with,” said Gralnick. Shall Overcome” with PLO leader Yasser A front-page headline in The SouthArafat in Lebanon. Rev. Hosea Williams, ern Israelite on Oct. 24, 1980, declared: another Atlantan, presented a Martin “Jewish community rallies to aid in Luther King Jr. “peace award” award to search for missing children.” This ap-
pears to have been the newspaper’s first mention of the story, 14 months after the first death. “Although a number of Jewish individuals have been involved in helping search” for missing black children, a greater effort was urged by Max Rittenbaum, president of the Atlanta Jewish Federation. “Our compassion and sympathies go to to the families of these children and we are determined to help get to the bottom of this tragedy,” Rittenbaum said. Jewish youth groups “all expressed a desire and willingness to cooperate in aiding families and children to prevent any further crimes and in searching for any leads to solve these mysterious disappearances,” Community Relations Council Chairman Larry Bogart said. Rabbi Alvin Sugarman urged congregants at The Temple “to participate in the reward fund, and talk to their friends in the black community to let them know that they did care and we are one community.” An editorial in that edition began, “No parent—indeed, no decent human being—can fail to be affected by tragic events which have rocked the Atlanta community.” “The dead and missing all happen to be black. For too long, these deaths and disappearances seem to have been treated as a ‘black tragedy,’ . . . or an ‘Atlanta problem.’ No longer. Tragedy does to recognize color differences. Nor does it stop at municipal boundaries,” read the editorial, likely written by editor and publisher Vida Goldgar. In February 1981, as the death toll passed 20, about 30 members of the local Israeli community participated in the search for missing children. Organized by Consul General Joel Arnon, they included consular staff, schlichim (emissaries) posted in Atlanta, Israeli professors and students. “We feel strongly that the Israeli community should help
The Southern Israelite April 17, 1981, page 12, “Our Neighbors’ Affliction”
the city of Atlanta in this tragic time,” a became director of the AJC’s Miami office.) “I remember it so vividly,” Frank spokesman told The Southern Israelite. The number of missing and mur- said. When he spoke to the Christian dered had reached 22 when the American Council, “Marc said that for a Jewish Jewish Committee’s Interreligious Affairs community that saw our babies thrown Commission met in Atlanta on March up in the air and shot like pigeons in the 9. A memorial service was led by Rabbi Holocaust, is there any doubt that we are Marc H. Tanenbaum, AJC’s national in- with you today, feeling your pain?” Rumor-mongering became such a ter-religious director, and Rabbi Judah problem that on May 1, Mintz of Congregation The Southern Israelite B’nai Torah, president of along with the Anti-Defthe Atlanta Rabbinical amation League and the Association. Atlanta Urban League Gralnick told the sponsored an advertiseAtlanta Constitution, ment cautioning against “This is the same prayer spreading information [Kaddish] that Jews say without determining its for their own departed, accuracy. and it is the same prayer The B’nai B’rith that is said every year on Achim Lodge planted a behalf of the Holocaust victims.” William Gralnick was director of tree in Israel as a memorial to the slain children. Two days earlier, on the American Jewish Committee a Saturday, Tanenbaum regional office in Atlanta until July The Southern Israelite’s 1981, when he became director May 8 edition published addressed the Christian of the AJC office in Miami. a photograph of Barry Council of Metropolitan Atlanta. Tanenbaum’s intention to attend Dreayer, president of the B’nai B’rith such an event on Shabbat upset Rabbis Achim Lodge, and Andrew Adler, vice Emanuel Feldman at Congregation Beth president, presenting aides to Atlanta Jacob and Marc Wilson at Congregation Mayor Maynard Jackson with a symbol of that tree. Shearith Israel, both of The last disappearwhom sent him critical ance was on May 22, letters beforehand. 1981. Williams was arTanenbaum replied rested soon after. to Feldman that he had In the summer “wrestled with my conthat followed, the Jewscience.” The organizish community coners “pleaded with me tinued its outreach. In to find a way to come one effort the Union of that would not violate American Hebrew Ormy religious principles, ganizations and the Nasince they felt that the Sherry Frank was associate tional Association for problems of black-Jewdirector of the American Jewish the Advancement of Colish relations and the Committee regional office in Atlanta during most of the ored People sponsored a anguished atmosphere missing-and-murdered case week’s vacation in Auin Atlanta over the murperiod; she succeeded Gralnick gust at the Reform moveder of 18 black children as director in July 1981. ment’s Camp Coleman required a message of in Cleveland, Ga., for some 250 black chilhealing which they felt I could bring.” At the time, Sherry Frank was associ- dren. The Southern Israelite reported on ate director of the AJC’s Atlanta office, hav- the key roles that were played by Rabbi ing come aboard in September 1980. (She Sugarman from The Temple and Atlanta became director in July 1981 when Gralnick Councilwoman Barbara Asher. ■
The Southern Israelite Oct. 24, 1980, page 1, “Jewish community rallies to aid” A jury found Wayne Williams guilty of murdering:
Timothy Hill, 13
Nathaniel Cater, 28
Larry Rogers, 20
Jimmy Ray Payne, 21
Michael McIntosh, 23
Police attributed these deaths to Williams (closed cases): Alfred Evans, 13 Yusef Bell, 9 Eric Middlebrooks, 14 Christopher Richardson, 12 Aaron Wyche, 10
Eddie Duncan, 21
John Porter, 28 William Barrett, 17 These cases remain open: Edward Smith, 14 Milton Harvey, 14 Jefferey Mathis, 10
Earl Terrell, 11
Missing person whose body was never found:
Clifford Jones, 13
Darron Glass, 10
Charles Stephens, 12
Deaths were initially part of the official investigation, but police found insufficient evidence to link to a serial killer or anyone else:
Anthony Carter, 9
Aaron Jackson, 9 Patrick Rogers, 16 Lubie Geter, 14 Terry Pue, 15 Patrick Baltazar, 11
Angel Lanier, 12 LaTonya Wilson, 7
Curtis Walker, 13 Jo Jo Bell, 15
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Betty Minsk and Rabbi Adam Starr support AJA's mission.
Shirley and Perry Brickman soak in the love from more than 300 attendees.
AJA Honors Brickmans Plus Three By Marcia Caller Jaffe The grand ballroom at the Dunwoody Country Club on April 8 hosted “horah circles” as the Atlanta Jewish Academy honored Shirley and Perry Brickman, along with special teachers and a volunteer. The A Kosher Touch van was in a prominent spot as it rolled out a bounteous family-style menu with dinner buffet stations to feed the crowd of 300. The golf tournament preceding the dinner was captained by Scott Steinberg, who miraculously dodged raindrops with 73 other players. Emcee and AJA Headmaster Rabbi Ari Leubitz recognized two outstanding teachers, Catherine Brand and Beth Intro, and Erica Katz, “Volunteer Extraordinaire.”
Brand, a science teacher, was praised for her work ethic, knowledge and ability to serve as a role model for students. “I would like to play poker with you because you wear your emotions on your sleeve,” Rabbi Leubitz said. Brand took the stage to express her appreciation and relate a low point in her career when her public school principal told her, after a master's degree and two years into her career, that she should seek another profession. “It was very painful. I wondered whether to quit,” she said. What a blessing that she didn’t. Intro, a 20-plus-year first-grade educator, said she loves being surrounded by pigtails and slimy, sticky hands. She challenged the audience to “Be more like a first grader. Be brave. Feel like you can save the world.
The Brickman siblings Lori Freeman, Teresa Finer and Jeff Brickman well-represented their honoree parents.
Get excited about newness. Notice when people need help. Give random hugs.” The 2019 Volunteer of the Year award went to Katz, who serves the school behind the scenes quietly through PTA duties, running the challah distribution and making the teachers feel special with kosher sushi, Sublime donuts and mini massages for Teacher Appreciation Week. “It’s not about the fanciest gym. A school is only as good as its teachers and staff,” she said. Son of the honorees, Jeff Brickman, spoke on behalf of himself and his two sisters, Lori Freeman and Teresa Finer. Earlier in the evening, he related that growing up in the Brickman household was “idyllic and the place to be.” He introduced dad Dr. Perry Brickman as somewhat akin to being head of the Masters Golf Tournament (concurrently being held in Augusta). When Perry took the podium he said, “I want kichel [sweet cookie/cracker] and chopped herring served here next year. That’s my 30 seconds because everyone really wants to hear Shirley.” Shirley, a Jewish version of Lucille Ball, did not disappoint. She joked, “I never played golf. I had things to do. I became a Navy Seal. I’d do my dives during the day, then go to Publix and make Pesach, … but what really matters is the man (Perry) who is walking right here beside me.” Leubitz said that Shirley “walks the walk and serves as my life coach. She always has advice on how to give diplomatic answers to my wife.” The Brickmans received a sculpture of a dove and olive branch representing peace, love, hope and victory, concepts they epitomize so well. ■
Chairman of the day’s golf tournament Scott Steinberg poses with wife Chanie and children, from left, Isabelle, Jordan and Sophie, who are AJA students. 8 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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Is Emory’s Statement on Flyers Enough? By Dave Schechter
incidents are on the rise on college campuses and throughout American society Emory University’s acknowledg- today,” Sterk said. “It is in that context ment of the “personal pain” that mock- of escalating intolerance that our Jewish eviction notices caused Jewish students students found the mock-eviction notices “is a step in the right direction,” but “falls — which incorrectly gave the impression that Emory endorsed the short of what is needed,” message on the flyers — on in the view of the Antitheir doors. Although JewDefamation League. ish students were not singled At issue is a flyer out, they and their families posted April 2 on dorjustifiably felt targeted, given mitory doors and at an the world in which we live.” off-campus residence by Emory administrapro-Palestinian students tors and staff have received and the university’s recomplaints and expressions sponse to the incident. of concern from the heads Emory President of national Jewish organizaClaire E. Sterk said April tions, the Atlanta offices of 12, “I have had the privilege of listening to the Mock eviction notice on Emory those organizations, local students' dorm room doors. Jewish agencies and clergy, concerns of a wide range of voices both within and beyond our and Jewish faculty, alumni, students, and Emory community. I have been deeply parents (some of the latter reportedly usmoved not only by what I’ve heard, but ing impolite language). In an April 14 statement to the Atlanalso by the personal pain shared by students — and by members of the wider ta Jewish Times, ADL Regional Director Jewish community — who feel threat- Allison Padilla-Goodman said: “Although the University’s most recent statement ened, afraid, and angry. “All of us are aware that anti-Semitic about the mock eviction notices is a step
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in the right direction and we appreciate A disclaimer at the bottom advised their recognition of the particular pain that the eviction notice was not real. and impact of these incidents to Jewish Emory’s Campus Life office later orstudents and the Jewish community, it dered the flyers removed because their falls short of what is needed. In advance distribution violated a policy against of an April 10th meeting with President posting on doors without student conSterk, ADL sent a letter outlining our con- sent. The management at the Emory cerns and expectations, and Point apartments also had we are disappointed that afthe flyers removed. ter meeting with and hearing An estimated 17 percent from the Jewish community of Emory’s undergraduate repeatedly over a 10-day peristudents and 10 percent of its od, the university has still not graduate students are Jewish, made a definitive statement according to the Hillel Interabout anti-Semitism, assured national website. there would be consequences A Jewish alum who Emory University for housing policy violations, asked what action the Emory or that student safety would President Claire E. Sterk Alumni Association was takbe a top priority,” Padilla-Goodman said. ing, saying that she and another alum “The issue at hand is conduct, not “want to make sure that it is known we expression, which invaded the privacy do not find this acceptable,” received the of student residences in violation of following response on April 15: “We apEmory policy. Indeed, university policy preciate that you and other alumni seek ensures all students a myriad of avenues to be thoroughly informed about this into express themselves. We look forward cident and support our Jewish students. to hearing the outcomes of their inves- I can confirm that there is a comprehentigation and plans for action steps, and sive review underway of the events that to working with the university’s admin- have taken place here on our campus, toistration and students to make sure that gether with planning for clear next steps. anti-Semitism has no place at Emory ... We’re asking our alumni for patience as moving forward.” our university leaders continue to work Sterk met April 10 with representa- through this issue and move through the tives of Jewish communal orinvestigation. At this point ganizations and rabbis. The we have not found that the AJT was told that students Jewish community was were not part of that meetspecifically targeted, but ing, but that Sterk has talked we acknowledge the hurt with Jewish students. and fear this incident has The flyers were posted caused. We are committed by Students for Justice in Palto the safety and security of estine as part of Israel Apartall of our students.” ADL Regional Director heid Week, which coincided Within days of the flywith Emory Israel Week Allison Padilla-Goodman ers appearing, a coalition of sponsored by Eagles for Israel. Atlanta Jewish organizations, including According to a webpage the univer- the ADL’s regional office, called on the sity created about the incident, “Emory’s university to impose “severe consequencOffice of Campus Life did not approve the es” on the perpetrators; the director of flyer content.” However, “The practice of Hillels of Georgia called April 5 for the SJP Campus Life ‘stamping’ flyers to indicate chapter to be put on probation for a year that they were from a recognized student and its university adviser removed; and organization or academic or adminis- SJP called April 5 for a boycott of several trative department is confusing and has campus Jewish organizations. been discontinued. It can convey, inacHillels of Georgia did not reply to questions posed by the AJT about Sterk’s curately, that Emory endorses particular April 12 statement and what response it political speech.” had received to its call for punishment of The official-looking notices advised: SJP. “We regret to inform you that your suite On April 15, SJP said on its Facebook is scheduled for demolition in three page, “We do not regret disseminating days.” The flyer said that “Palestinian the mock eviction notices, as it shed light homes are destroyed as part of the state on a reality that is often obfuscated, disof Israel’s ongoing attempts to ethnically missed, or ignored, and the notices initicleanse the region of its Arab inhabitated a conversation that has been overants and maintain an exclusively ‘Jewish’ whelmingly generative.” ■ character of the state.”
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Norm Coleman, chairman of the RJC, and Sen. David Perdue with Laurie and David Weinstein.
President Donald Trump touted his accomplishments in the U.S. and Israel.
Vice President Mike Pence addressed the room.
700 Jewish Republicans in Vegas for RJC Conference By Laurie and David Weinstein Over the weekend of April 5-7, more than 700 Jewish Republicans met in Las Vegas for the annual Republican Jewish Coalition [leadership meeting]. The conference began at sundown Friday with a glatt kosher Shabbat dinner, followed by speakers: Gov. Ron DeSantis, Fla., Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, Gov. Pete Ricketts, Neb., and Rep. David Kustoff, Tenn. The following morning, after breakfast, there were a number of speakers: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Lee Zeldin, N.Y., Rep. Billy Long, Mo., Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C. and school/student safety advocate Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
The highlight of the morning was when Norm Coleman, chairman of the RJC and former Minnesota senator, introduced President Donald J. Trump. The crowd went wild and everyone ran to the front of the room to take photos. President Trump’s speech highlighted his accomplishments for America, but mostly what he’s done for Israel. This included how he: recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital; moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; ended the Iran Nuclear Deal; recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights; withdrew the U.S. from the United Nations Human Rights Council; and signed into law the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits economic support of the Palestinian Authority. For the morning session, an additional 200 people were invited for standing-room-only behind the RJC members. President Trump introduced his son-in-law
and senior advisor Jared Kushner to the audience and was thanked for his contribution to the administration. He also recognized the SWAT officer who was wounded during response to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He also recognized two others who came to the rescue of a Druze officer at the Wall in Jerusalem. Awards were presented to all three men for their heroism. After a glatt kosher lunch break, the following speakers were introduced: Coleman, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch and Gov. Kristi Noem, both of S.D., Sen. Kevin Cramer, N.D., Rep. Denver Riggleman, Va., and Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Texas. Sen. David Perdue, Ga., introduced Vice President Mike Pence, who also received an enormous standing ovation. Four former Jewish Democrats spoke about why they became Republicans. They agreed Israel was the deciding factor in their change of party. They thanked President Trump for his role and support of Israel. Some humorous moments from the speakers included Coleman, who addressed all of President Trump’s accomplishments, and apropos of the upcoming of Passover, after each accomplishment, we all recited “Dayenu.” Graham spoke about the proposed “Green New Deal,” saying that without planes, trains, ships, cars, etc., “Every day will be Shabbat.” He received a standing ovation for that. Saturday evening, we were invited to another glatt kosher dinner, this time, with an Asian influence and an ice cream sundae bar for dessert. Sunday morning during breakfast, there was a panel discussion moderated by Coleman on national security and defense with Congressmen Michael Gallagher and Michael Waltz. ■ For more information about the RJC, contact the local Georgia chapter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie and David Weinstein attend the annual RJC leadership meeting in Las Vegas. 12 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Israel Consul General, was among the consuls general in attendance.
The band plays music before the community seder.
Fulton County Chairman John Eaves with guests of the Unity seder.
Janice Rothschild Blumberg, Miriam Strickman-Levitas and Craig StrickmanLevitas enjoy the Unity Seder.
Unity Seder Brings Diverse Crowd Together By Patrice Worthy The focus was on the immigrant community, at the American Jewish Committee’s second annual Unity Seder at The Temple. The four questions were read in 10 different languages by various consuls general, including those from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Germany. The crowd also heard stories from Syrian Habo Alo, and Venezuelan refugee Herla Isabel Alvarez. The idea was to make the event relevant and take a compassionate stance on issues of oppression and injustice facing the American public, said The Temple’s Senior Rabbi Peter Berg. “At this seder, in particular, we are hearing from the voices of immigrants,” Berg said. “This world is fractured, and
people sometimes don’t spend the time talking to people different than them.” The Unity Seder incorporates what was learned from its predecessor, the Black-Jewish Seder, Berg said. The AJC wanted to host a seder inclusive of the Atlanta community and invite a diverse group of people to the table. The various voices helped form conversations when each table was presented with questions to ask each other about giving of themselves, trusting G-d on their journey, and taking a risk. The highlight, Berg said, was getting to know someone you didn’t know before. “That’s what’s beautiful about our community: we come from all different parts of the world,” Rabbi Berg said. The food was also a reflection of the
diversity in Atlanta and featured cuisine from Latin American and Sephardic Jewish communities. After the reading of the haggadah, the Passover meal was served, which included yellow rice and black beans, dishes usually only eaten by Sephardic Jews during Passover, along with brisket and plantains. The attendees of the Unity Seder weren’t just ethnically diverse, but religiously diverse, a component Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said was key. The Passover story has universal themes and Eaves said it’s important all of Atlanta was invited to join in the spring ritual because the attendees are a microcosm of the Atlanta community. “The Unity Seder is an opportunity for people of all persuasions to reflect on
Passover,” Eaves said. “The story has universal themes that are relevant to anyone, Jewish or not.” The food was a part of the allure for Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Israel’s consul general, who was excited that so many people from the Atlanta community chose to participate in the seder. Shorer noted that her friend Detlev Rünger, consul general of Germany, who had never attended the Unity Seder, was present, along with Takashi Shinozuka, consul general of Japan. “It is very important the Atlanta community knows about Passover,” Shorer said. “It’s a very friendly and festive uniting. It’s important that Jews and Christians are together celebrating, because it’s uniting the community.” ■
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 13
News From Our Jewish Home
Rabbis and experts examine the Western Wall as part of the twice-yearly inspection.
Western Wall Undergoes Passover Prep
Many members of Jewish Atlanta have gone and left their thoughts, desires and prayers on slips of paper inserted into the Kotel, but how many have ever thought about what happens when the wall fills up? As part of its twice-yearly inspection by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Western Wall was examined April 3, prior to Passover (and will be examined again before Rosh Hashanah). This year, there were more stone and plaster particles than normal, which were thoroughly removed along with debris brought by birds and other inhabitants. The lower section of the wall, which includes the original stones, suffers from corrosion, and this year many “husks” had to be removed, and the stones were then soaked in binding materials by experts using natural lime, the same material as the stones. This process reduces
Today in Israeli History April 19, 1977: President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy team meets to plan Middle East policy and agrees on five major points: A Geneva peace conference should be held by the end of the year; borders and the Palestinians are the toughest issues; the Soviet Union should try to moderate Arab views; no new arms sales should be agreed to; and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s resignation shouldn’t delay talks. There’s no evidence the administration ever considered that Menachem Begin would defeat Shimon Peres in the Israeli election the next month. April 20, 1799: A month into an expensive siege of the Turkish-held city of Acre, Napoleon issues a proclamation offering to hand over Palestine to the Jewish nation if France is successful in capturing it from the Turks. The proclamation aims to win the support of Palestine’s Jews, but evidence indicates that they feared the French and helped the 14 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
peeling and adds strength to the stones. The whole process is overseen by the Western Wall’s rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, alongside the Israel Antiquities Authority. Following the inspection, April 10, the pre-Passover note removal process took place. Notes are removed to make room for more, as thousands visit the wall each day, and each year millions of notes are left by visitors. In addition, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation accepts notes online, by mail and fax, which its employees insert into the wall. Again overseen by Rabinowitz, notes are scraped from between the stones and collected in bags. They are treated as “sacred objects,” according to the foundation, and are moved to the Mount of Olives, where they will later be buried. To see video of the notes being removed from the wall last year, visit www. bit.ly/2UYAW17.
A photo from Debbie Zimelman’s “Women on the Front Line.
of her life to capturing the images and stories of women in the Israel Defense Forces. Originally from the U.S., when Zimelman made aliyah 30 years ago, she was too old to enlist, but found another project that fit her skills. Her new book, “Women on the Front Lines,” features images she snapped during her time with 20 units of the military, including on 12-kilometer hikes, hunkering down in camouflaged bunkers. “It was the next best thing to being in the Army,” she said at her book launch event in Modiin. Many of the photographs are a combination of candid and posed, allowing the subjects’ body language to convey their feeling without too much direction, she explained to The Times of Israel. The book is the first of its kind allowed by the IDF, and she was often accompanied by at least one member of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. “All of the young women I interviewed and photographed said the Army was very empowering,” said Zimelman. “It gave me a taste of something I never experienced and helped me understand a lot more.”
Research into 3-D Tissue Printing Facilitated by Technion
Photographer Features ‘Women on the Front Lines’
Debbie Zimelman devoted five years
Synthetic organs? They’re a common trope in the realms of science fiction, but with ongoing research into the 3-D printing of human tissue with the help of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Turks fortify Acre. Napoleon withdrew his plague-ridden army in June and returned to Egypt.
on the Mavi Marmara, part of a six-ship flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza.
April 21, 2013: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announces on his way to Israel for the start of a five-nation tour of the Middle East that the United States will provide $10 billion in military aid to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to rising fears about Iran’s nuclear program. The bulk of the package, including V-22 Ospreys, defensive missiles, and KC-135 tanker planes, goes to Israel.
April 23, 1943: Mordechai Anielewicz, the commander of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) in the Warsaw Ghetto, writes his final message from a bunker at 18 Mila St. to recount the success of the ghetto uprising that began April 19, despite its certain defeat. “Jewish armed resistance and revenge are facts,” he writes to Yitzhak Zuckerman, who will read the letter at the Eichmann trial in 1961. “I have been witness to the magnificent, heroic fighting of Jewish men and women of battle.”
April 22, 2013: A high-level, threemember Israeli delegation visits Ankara, Turkey, for reconciliation talks with Turkey’s government under the auspices of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after President Barack Obama had brought the two nations together a month earlier. Relations between Israel and Turkey broke down after nine Turkish citizens were killed in May 2010 in an Israeli raid
April 24, 1903: In a meeting with Zionist leader Theodor Herzl, British Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain proposes the creation of a Jewish homeland in British colonial territory in East Africa. Known as the Uganda Proposal, the plan actually calls for Jewish settlement in Guas Ngishu plateau
This 3-D printer enables research at Technion into printing cells, tissues and potentially even organs.
in Haifa, those ideas may not be confined to books and movies for long. The institute set up a 3-D printing center specifically designed for the printing of cells, tissues and organs to further research the technology’s capabilities for medical uses, according to The Times of Israel. Bio printing is not new and has made massive strides in the last decade. It is a field of growing interest for researchers, doctors and engineers alike, and has the potential to fully replace or even improve upon damaged organs. The new EnvisionTEC 3D-Bioplotter printer, which costs upwards of $200,000, has the capability to translate complex information from tests such as CT scans into real-world applications, for example, measuring and duplicating the size and shape of a human ear. ■ Compiled by AJT staff in Kenya. Herzl, who earlier proposed Cyprus or El Arish in Sinai as temporary Jewish homes, sees the idea as an interim step toward the return to the Land of Israel. The Sixth Zionist Congress in 1903 accepts the plan; the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905 rejects it. April 25, 1920: Meeting in San Remo, Italy, to discuss the status of the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, the World War I victors adopt a resolution that accepts the Balfour Declaration, in which Britain promised in 1917 to support the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine. The same day, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George asks Herbert Samuel to serve as the first high commissioner for the British Mandate of Palestine. ■ Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (www.israeled.org), where you can find more details.
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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 15
ISRAEL NEWS After Israeli Election Comes the Dealmaking By Dave Schechter The problem with writing about Israeli politics is that predictions have a habit of being disproved even as they’re being published. Keeping that caveat in mind is important when pondering “what comes next” after the April 9 Knesset elections put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on track for a fifth term leading the country. Slightly more than 68 percent of eligible Israelis voted. Of the 39 parties listing candidates, 11 met the 3.25 percent vote threshold necessary to earn seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Netanyahu’s Likud party garnered sufficient votes to win 35 seats, as did the opposition Blue and White. What made this a victory for Netanyahu was the performance of rightwing and religious parties that might be Likud’s natural allies to form a majority bloc in the parliament. “Might” being the operative word. Netanyahu could confound the conventional wisdom by creating a some-
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Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images // Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu greets
supporters during his victory speech on April 10, 2019, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
what less right-wing “unity government” with Blue and White, though Israeli commentators think this the less likely option. In the new Knesset, two religious parties – Shas, representing Mizrachi Jews, and United Torah Judaism, representing the Ashkenazi – will hold 16 seats. The Union of Right-Wing Parties won five seats and Kulanu, an economyfocused party, won four seats.
Combined with Likud, they would form a bloc of 60 seats, one short of a majority. The wild card appears to be the five seats held by Yisrael Beiteinu, a secular nationalist party led by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Its support for drafting young ultra-Orthodox men into the Israel Defense Forces would be opposed by the religious parties. Notable in its absence from the Knesset will be the New Right party, formed by former Education Minister Naftali Bennett and former Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked, which fell short of the 3.25 percent threshold. If Netanyahu forms a right-wing/ religious majority, the opposition would be led by Blue and White, presuming that the individual parts of that party remain a whole. Also in opposition would be Labor, no longer a power in Israeli politics, with six seats, and Meretz, a left-wing party, with four seats. Separate in their opposition would be two groupings representing the interests of Arab citizens, Hadash-Ta’al, with six seats, and Ra’am-Balad, with four seats. The Central Elections Committee was to present certified results to President Reuven Rivlin on April 17. Parties joining a Netanyahu-led government will want something in return, including control of particular ministries. This can be a tricky business, akin to arranging the seating chart at a meal of family members who don’t always get along. If Netanyahu successfully divvies up the spoils, several important issues fill the “what next” category. What will the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East “grand plan” require of Israel and what will it offer Israel? There is little reason to think that re-
Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman leads wild card Yisrael Beiteinu, a secular nationalist party that holds five seats.
newed talks with the Palestinians will be a priority, given Netanyahu’s aversion to the two-state solution and the possibility that, whatever form the new government takes, there might not be sufficient votes to support such an agreement. What about Netanyahu’s pre-election talk of possibly annexing the settlement blocs in the West Bank? That might hinge on the Trump plan and who Netanyahu partners with in the Knesset. There likely would be greater support for annexation among rightwing and religious parties amid warnings from the left about international objections and perhaps a third intifada (Palestinian uprising). What about the future of egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall and the status of non-Orthodox movements? Netanyahu already has backed away from a Western Wall agreement because of pressure from the very religious parties that have increased their ranks in the Knesset. Then there are the pending indictments against Netanyahu in connection with three corruption cases. A pre-indictment hearing will be held by mid-July. There is no law requiring an indicted prime minister to step down (as there is for other Knesset members). One closely watched item will be whether a right-wing majority would advance legislation that would retroactively bar a sitting prime minister from being indicted. As it stands, Netanyahu – who has been prime minister since 2009, and from 1996 to ‘99 – is about three months away from becoming Israel’s longestserving premier, surpassing the tenure of Israel’s first, David Ben-Gurion. As the next Israeli government is sorted out, keep in mind the words of philosopher (and New York Yankees catcher) Lawrence “Yogi” Berra: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. ■
Elections Raise Issues of Term Limits, Peace Agreement By Patrice Worthy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's win in Israel’s recent election has many wondering what the future of the 70-year nation-state holds. Some predict Netanyahu’s Likud Party will become even more religiously stringent given the ultra-Orthodox control over the Law of Return affecting American Jewry, and the group’s exemption from military service. One of the issues that has come up since the election, especially among young Israeli voters, is the question of term limits, said Yuli Edelstein, the speaker of the Knesset and second in command under Netanyahu. “In town hall meetings and discussions, potential voters always raise the question of term limits, partially because the prime minister is finishing 10 years in the office and many ask, ‘Forever, or what’s going on?’” Edelstein said. “The idea isn’t a bad idea, but in the Israeli system it is a very bold interfering of internal party affairs. For one, I think before we start legislating for this, why don’t we legislate for internal primary elections in each party?” Another outcome of the election that is gaining attention is the makeup of Arabs in the Knesset. The 21st Knesset begins April 30, a government with Arabic parties holding much less power. Since the election the newspaper Haaretz reported “an exceptionally low turnout among the Arab voters,” 13 percent less than in 2015, which resulted in a loss of representation in the Knesset. However, leading up to the elections, the Arab parties lost seats because of a splitting into two factions, Edelstein said. In 2015 the four major Arab parties – Arab Movement for Renewal (Ta’al), Balad, the United Arab List (Ra’am) and the mixed Arab and Jewish Hadash Party – formed the Joint List. It was a smart political move resulting from the Knesset raising the threshold of votes needed to gain a seat from 2 to 3.25, legislation Edelstein said he was against. “I was opposed to that and, as the speaker of the Knesset, I didn’t vote with the coalition. I can’t vote for legislation that was trying to erase certain factions in the Knesset. The result was all the Arab factions united. I think ideologically it was a big problem, but the practical result was they had a strong faction.” This year things were different, he said. The parties broke into factions, Ra’am Balad and Hadash Ta’al, mainly due to a difference in ideology, which resulted in them losing seats even before the election took place, Edelstein explained. “The faction that stayed here was 13 seats, which was the third-largest faction in the Knesset,” he said. “Right now, they spilt again into two, so now they have less representation.” Representation matters, especially when a peace agreement is imminent, Neil Lazarus, political analyst and Middle East/Israel expert, said. He cited former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, stating, “both the Palestinians and Israel will pay a price.” He predicted Israel will give up Gaza, a territory he said is rife with internal conflict. As it stands Hamas troops are arresting Palestinians protesting the regime. And according to him, there are four reasons for the recent explosions of violence in Gaza: internal politics, the Israeli election, they have nothing to lose, and fear of the Trump campaign and what’s coming.
Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset and second in command under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with journalists in his office days before the election.
“The Palestinian Authority was set up as a part of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian government is opposed to Hamas,” Lazarus said. “Right now, it’s shaping up to be a people with two governments, and if Trump recognizes Gaza as an independent Palestinian state, that would be an advantage to Hamas.” One of the biggest questions on the table is if Israel is willing to give up land to the Palestinians. If Israel gave up Gaza, Israel would only be nine miles wide. And one of the biggest challenges is then dealing with the issue of refugees, Lazarus said. According the U.N. defi-
nition, a refugee is anyone who left the area, willingly or unwillingly, and their descendants. If the Palestinians get their way that means 5 million Palestinians in a two-state solution, which Lazarus said would result in a Palestinian/Palestinian situation. It’s an issue Edelstein said was not addressed during the Oslo Accords or Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal to the 1967 borders or the “Green Line.” Now, Edelstein believes it could turn into a serious problem. “The process was referred to as Gaza and Jericho first. We first give Gaza and Jericho to the Palestinians, and what happened next? … We won’t get to the issue of Jerusalem, we won’t get to the issue of refugees and won’t get to the issues of communities in Judea and Samaria. What happens next?” Edelstein asked “When we tell the Israelis ‘Let’s do it the nice way’ or ‘Let’s do it unilaterally,’ it doesn’t work. A couple more attempts like that and the majority of Israelis will say peace is not possible, let’s just shoot as many Palestinians as we can, and then it’s no peace and I’m not sure this a great situation to be in.” But Lazarus said age plays a significant role in the conflict. He says any 30-year-old on either side grew up thinking peace was possible, and a 25-year-old Israeli grew up with bus bombings. The real underlying issue is that it’s about real people, which many seem to forget, Lazarus said. “It’s about raw emotion and if you don’t get that, you don’t get what it’s about.” ■
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 17
Israeli Beresheet Crash Lands on the Moon While Israel hoped to become the third nation to successfully complete a moon landing ultimately a series of problems led to a crash landing on April 11 for the unmanned Beresheet spacecraft, Israel’s first lunar orbiter. In a live broadcast online, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remembered Israel’s history in space exploration and referenced Neil Armstrong’s iconic words in his brief introductory remarks. “We had great pride and great tragedy when the late Ilan Ramon perished in space. Today we are proud and happy beyond measure,” he said. “We can already say this: This is another step for humanity, and a huge step for the State of Israel.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted dozens of youngsters, ages 9 through 12 with an interest in science, in Beit Hanassi for a watch party. Engineers announced as the landing sequence began, and after the spacecraft passed the point of no return. And while the initial steps seemed to go off without a hitch (even including a selfie from Beresheet), after minutes of descent, the issues began to pile up.
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The Beresheet Spacecraft captured a selfie in space during its landing attempt April 11.
President Reuven Rivlin hosted students for a watch party.
Those issues included temporary loss of telemetry and main engines, and ultimately, communications failures in the final entry led to a crash landing as Beresheet attempted its final in a series of complex maneuvers to land in the Sea of Serenity. “We had a failure in the spacecraft; we were unable to land successfully,” a SpaceIL engineer said during the livestream. Rivlin shared his thoughts and his disappointment with the children he
hosted, but emphasized that this was the first of many steps in Israel’s future in space. “Yes, we are disappointed, but there is no doubt that our achievements and abilities – of our scientists and our country – are wonderful. … Our few resources got ‘Beresheet’ nearly to the moon. When we put our minds to it, we succeed,” he said. After launching Feb. 22, the spacecraft first began its lunar orbit on April 7, following a maneuver in which Beresheet
slowed from 5,280 miles per hour to 4,600 by turning around and propelling itself in the opposite direction — the spacetravel equivalent of tapping the brakes. Israel remains just the seventh nation to send a spacecraft to orbit the moon. The United States, Russia (then the USSR), Japan, China, India and the European Space Agency have sent probes to the moon, though all landing attempts have failed except those from the U.S. and Russia. Israel’s attempt is also the first time that a privately financed venture has landed —albeit unsuccessfully — on the moon’s surface. The spacecraft, which cost $100 million, was a combined effort between nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries and was almost entirely funded by philanthropic donations, according to The Times of Israel. Netanyahu made it clear that this would not be the last the world hears from Israeli lunar landings. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again,” he said. He predicted that within two to three years,” “A[n Israeli] spacecraft will land on the moon — whole.” ■ Compiled by AJT Staff
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 19
Zachary Baumel z’l Returns to His Beloved Home By Rabbi David Geffen On April 2, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly announced on television that the remains of Sgt. Zachary Baumel z’l, missing for 37 years, had been returned to his family in Jerusalem. As the week passed, we all learned that the Russians and the Syrians had assisted in discovering these remains buried in an unmarked grave near Damascus. Zachary was born in Brooklyn on Nov. 17, 1960. His parents were Yona z’l and Miriam Baumel. In 1970, the Baumel family made aliyah and settled in Kiryat Motzkin, a suburb of Haifa. Zachary attended a state religious grammar school where he lived and then dormed at the Noam High School in Pardes Chana. After graduating high school, he chose to do his military service in the Israel Defense Forces Hesder framework. This is a five-year commitment of religious studies and army service. Zachary went into the Armored Corps and became a tank commander. For his religious studies, Zachary attended Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon
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Shevut in the Gush Etzion area outside of Jerusalem. A good athlete, he had basketball skills and played on various teams. He also became a dorm counselor at the Yeshiva for students from abroad. All went well until the early summer of 1982. Having nearly completed his military service, he was called up to serve in the Lebanon War. As with many stories you have heard, he had been accepted to Hebrew University, and in the fall of 1982, he planned to begin his studies in the field of psychology. “June 11, 1982,” a newspaper report read, “just hours before the declaration of a ceasefire, Zack and the members of his tank moved into a battle zone near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub. 21 Israelis were killed in the fierce battles that day — many others injured. It was one of the worse days for the IDF in its history. When the battle was over, Zachary Baumel and his two tank mates, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz were missing.” Zachary’s mother, who is 90, still recalls her son’s last message. It was a postcard written shortly before the battle, in which he asked for a few personal items
Photo via Reuters/Ronen Zvulun // Zachary Baumel, a U.S.-born
Israeli soldier, was missing since a 1982 tank battle.
and assured his parents, “don’t worry, ev- remains in a cemetery outside of Damaserything is okay, but it looks like I won’t cus. After testing, it was proven that these be home for a while.” Then his parents' were Zachary Baumel's remains. Found with him were portions of his tzizit. Only worldwide search began. In the same way that individuals the then did the Israeli officials notify the world over tried to free Natan Sharansky, Baumel family. For Shabbat, I went the Baumel family travto the home of friends eled the world hoping living in Neve Daniel in to find a shred of evithe Gush Etzion area. dence. About 10 years They told me that they ago, one half of Zachahad been at the funeral ry's dog tag was passed through diplomatic at Mount Herzl. channels and given to Their son is in his parents. Unfortuthe tank commander nately, nothing more course and because he came out of that find. looked good when he We must remember was clean shaven, he that the Israel Defense was selected to be in Forces are committed the honor guard at the to never allow a soldier funeral. They showed to be lost, whether in me pictures of him captivity or missing in standing at attention action. behind Netanyahu, as When the Rushe spoke. Photo courtesy Miriam Baumel sians were in Syria for That young man Zachary Baumel several years providing was home for Shabbat. military assistance, the Minister of De- He explained to me that his commanding fense Avigdor Lieberman asked Netanya- officer gathered a number of the trainees hu to inform Russian President Vladimir together and explained that a portion of Putin, in one of their meetings, and see if them would be in the honor guard. Inihis forces could search for the three miss- tially, they were told that they would fire ing soldiers. their rifles in his memory. Then, they Since the Russians were working were informed that the family specificlosely with the Syrians because of the cally requested that not be done. various military operations, we now Truly, I cannot explain how deeply know that two years ago the remains of this touched me. It made me and all the four individuals found in Syrian graves population realize that the Israeli miliwere secretly brought to Israel and stud- tary forces will never permit a missing ied but the data did not match. soldier to be forgotten. Every one of our About six months ago, an Israeli soldiers is precious. May Zachary Bausecret service detail was permitted into mel’s memory be for an everlasting blessSyria. Tracing a lead, they dug up some ing. ■
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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 21
OPINION Election Outcome Was No Surprise; Surprises Begin cratic state cited in Israel’s Declaration of No one who has followed Israeli poliIndependence. tics can be surprised by the outcome of the We don’t know exactly where Netanyarecent elections. It was nearly a foregone hu will lead his next government, although conclusion that another right-wing governwe have some clues. The ultra-religious parment, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, would ties of Shas, United Torah Judaism and the follow the most recent government. Union of Right-Wing Parties are certain to The biggest surprises, in my mind, bargain for powerful positions in the govwere that the voters cast most of their balernment, for financial support for their lots for two major parties: the latest vercommunities and against any requirement sion of the Likud Party, and the newcomer, that their young people serve in the Israel Blue & White. Landing 71 of the 120 seats Jan Defense Forces. Combined, the three parin Knesset hasn’t happened since the 1990s. Jaben-Eilon ties represent 20 Knesset seats, which NeNo other party managed to capture double tanyahu needs to create a coalition government. digit seats this year. But there are already some potential glitches there. The other big surprise is that the popular Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naf- The current interior minister is Aryeh Deri of Shas. It’s tali Bennett weren’t able to win enough votes to make possible that the Israeli attorney general may not allow it back into the Knesset with their new party, the New him to keep that position because he is likely to be indicted on various charges. Ironically, Deri had been conRight. But now it’s time for the real surprises. It’s been 40 victed for bribery when he was interior minister in the years since the first Likud government was chosen to 1990s and was required to stay out of politics for seven lead the country. But this current Likud Party isn’t the years after completing his prison term in 2002. Speaking of indictments, Israeli Attorney General Likud Party of Menachem Begin, who signed a peace treaty with Egypt and gave up Israel’s hold of the Sinai Avichai Mandelblit announced prior to the election that Peninsula. It’s not even the Likud Party of his son, Benny he intends to indict Netanyahu in three separate cases Begin, who was essentially pushed out of the party a few of alleged corruption, including bribery, breach of trust and fraud. Mandelblit agreed, however, to delay a hearyears ago. It’s not even the Likud Party of President Reuven ing that precedes an actual indictment until after the Rivlin, who still speaks in terms of the Jewish and demo- election. That is expected by early July.
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In the aftermath of the election, interior minister Aryeh Deri of Shas is among Israel's politicians at risk of indictment along with Netanyahu.
However, the latest is that Netanyahu’s attorneys refuse to pick up evidence from the attorney general’s office until they are paid and the multi-millionaire Netanyahu has so far not been allowed by the courts to accept millions of dollars from friends and family that he wants to use to pay those attorneys. This could delay his hearing, which could delay actual indictments and a potential trial. In Israel, a prime minister isn’t required to resign until actual conviction, unlike other government ministers who must resign upon indictment. Netanyahu is the first sitting prime minister to be indicted. His predecessor, Ehud Olmert, resigned prior to his indictments, which led to his time in prison. It is widely believed that part of the coalition negotiations will require his partners to agree to pass legislation that would protect him from indictments while he is prime minister. And since there are no term limits on that job, Netanyahu could conceivably remain unindicted and prime minister for many years to come. So, Netanyahu’s potential indictment is a huge question mark sitting over the new government. Healthy democracies need a strong opposition for a real balance of power, and Blue & White, the largest opposition party, is an amalgamation of a politically disparate group of members who disagree on almost everything. How will party leader Benjamin Gantz keep the party on the same page? Another enormous question was raised by Netanyahu’s hail Mary days before the election in which he pledged to extend sovereignty over West Bank settlements, some of which currently are illegal by Israeli law. Already four Jewish U.S. Congressmen have warned against this move and nine American Jewish organizations have written an unprecedented letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to dissuade Netanyahu from fulfilling this campaign promise, stating that it would prevent any possible two-state solution. Trump is expected to release his promised peace plan after a new Israeli government is sworn in. What will it say? That’s another much-anticipated surprise awaiting us. ■
Netanyahu Wins Again – Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu and would proWhat a surprise I had vide him with their seats to when the election results form a right-wing coalition. were tallied. I predicted that Throughout the camLikud, Bibi’s party, would paign, Ganz was never able get 34 seats and Kahol Lato move any party to his van, Ganz’s party, would get side. The results were very 35. Actual number of seats of similar to 2015 when Nethe big parties was 35 each. tanyahu’s coalition, made All the other predictions on up of parties and Likud, my list were wrong. numbered 64. This election On Friday, April 12, I Rabbi David it was 67. People like myself am looking at the pictures Geffen worked our way through of every member of the new Knesset. There are a lot of new faces, the election season, hoping to see a party mostly because Kahol Lavan did so well moving from right to left. That did not with 35 seats, a large percentage first- happen, so it was fairly easy to predict a timers, so we citizens have to learn many Netanyahu victory. What has happened here in Israel is new names. Likud also brought a number of new MKs [Knesset Members] to that the parties to the right have become the fore because Likud Knesset members stronger as have the ultra-religious parhad retired, and Netanyahu had encour- ties (Ashkenazic and Sephardic). Moreaged certain Likud MKs to complete their over, studies here in Israel have shown that a portion of the new voters and service to Israel. When the pollsters first gave their people in their 20s have moved to the predictions, Ganz had a larger number right. Part of this has to do with the fact of seats, so it appeared to him a triumph that Israel is a capitalistic country, for over Bibi. Ganz was so excited that he gave the most part. While the left is still worka victory speech at midnight. He forgot to ing for a two-state solution, better social count the parties which were pledged to frameworks, better care for the poor, the
elderly and Holocaust survivors, that is not the agenda of these youngsters. I can say that because I am 80. What will this new Knesset mean for Israel’s future, in my opinion? First and foremost, there will be an attempt made to pass a law that a sitting prime minister cannot be indicted. The Israeli secular school’s system will be pushed by the new minister of education to load its curriculum with Jewish religious materials. This was begun several years ago, but I think it has been a failure. There will continue to be encouragement for “start-up” projects. For those who believe in the highest judiciary in the land making the major decisions concerning the laws of the land, they will not know what to do. Why? Because the Knesset will attempt to make the Supreme Court subservient to the duly elected governing legislative body. Since I know so much about the Israeli transportation system via my son, a key player in this field in Israel, I have a sad announcement to make to Israel and the world. The approach of the Israeli finance ministry, which pays for these budding train systems, will continue to be catastrophic, so 2022 or 2023 may see
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the gathered crowd before they watched the Beresheet attempt its landing.
the first light railway in Tel Aviv and new lines and extensions in Jerusalem. As I have said for years, we need American olim [immigrants], whose religious views are traditional-moderate or secular. Sadly, this won’t happen in my lifetime. But think how the Israeli Beresheet moon-lander made it from the USA to the moon’s surface. Sadly, it crashed a few meters before it was to land. I can tell you Israel will make it the next time. Any project which Israel thinks through carefully will succeed. ■ David Geffen is a native Atlantan and Conservative rabbi who lives in Jerusalem.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 23
OPINION Letter to the editor: Emory Students for Justice in Palestine The op-ed by Anthony Wong recently published in The Emory Wheel illustrates the difficulty in engaging in dialogue over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is futile to engage in dialogue when one side relies on lies to cloud the issue. Space limitations prevent me from a full refutation, but I will start with a few. First, is the statement that “EJSP deserves credit for starting a discussion.” There is no discussion here, but the real story, which deserves investigation, is how did Residence Life approve the posters in a non-transparent fashion, and did they not anticipate flyers would be posted on doors? The next few sentences [in the op-ed] refer to the “occupied Gaza strip.” Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005. Israel does not permit free movement of Gazans into Israel because of the state of war that exists between Israel and Hamas. The other border of Gaza is with Egypt, and Israel does not control this border. Much aid has been given to Gaza to house 60,000 people which has been used to build terror tunnels to burrow into Israel. Iran has sent international aid in the form of rockets and is willing to fight Israel all the way to the last Gazan. The next statement is a bit misleading as well: “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in refugee camps where their movement and access to aid are restricted, which is in violation of international humanitarian law.” Actually, the conditions of Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan are truly dire, and if Mr. Wong is really concerned about Palestinians, he should ask the governments of Lebanon and Jordan why the conditions for Palestinians are dire. It also illustrates that Mr. Wong does not care about the plight of the Palestinians but is more interested in attacking Israel. He uses the Palestinians as a tool. The real blooper of this column is “live in conditions that some even compare to those of Nazi Germany’s Jewish ghettos.” My grandparents were in the Warsaw ghetto and did not survive. The purpose of the ghettos was to kill as many Jews as possible through starvation and disease. The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has not recorded epidemics of typhus, tuberculosis and other diseases of overcrowd-
ing in Palestinian areas, and Palestinian life expectancy is at least equal if not superior to that of other Arab countries. In my line of work, I pursue a positive message of collaboration with Israeli scientists working on addressing unmet needs in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Instead of tearing down like Mr. Wong does, I strive to build up. I recognize the attraction of tearing things down, because it is a lot easier to tear down than to build up. Personally, I don’t hold much hope of Mr. Wong solving his Israeli and Jewish issues, but I write this column in the spirit of inquiry that Emory prides itself on. Jack Arbiser, co-president of Emory Hillel 1982, Atlanta
Letter to the editor: Article on Whole Foods Closing Whole Foods made a business decision to vacate the Briarcliff/Lavista location. While this closing means an inconvenience in obtaining kosher-cut fish, there’s a world of amazing kosher choices and variety nearby, especially for Passover, at The Spicy Peach and The Kosher Gourmet. Community members reevaluating their shopping options should visit these establishments. No one should be dismayed when a corporation – whether Whole Foods or the Fountain Oaks Kroger – chooses to eliminate a location or a department. These are corporate business decisions following the money. That’s why I prefer independent kosher establishments like The Kosher Gourmet, The Spicy Peach, and Griller’s Pride. With support and ongoing business, they will be successful and consistently available for my shopping needs. Support your independent, local kosher establishments! Marsha Londe, Atlanta
Letter to the editor: Harold Kirtz gave good advice to Congresswoman [Ilhan] Omar. I’d like to expand his suggestions a bit. Rep. Omar experienced life in a refugee camp and should be particularly touched by the fate of the Palestine refugees ¬– UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] designation– who’ve been kept in limbo for three generations. She should be asking Muslim countries to rescind their laws barring Palestine refugees from citizenship, restricting the professions they may pursue, and barring them from owning land. She should be calling on Palestinian leaders to negotiate on Israeli proposals for the founding of the first-ever Arab State of Palestine while building the infrastructure needed by a viable state. She should also ask that Mahmoud Abbas reverse his current position and grant citizenship to the refugees in the new state. Mr. Kirtz is absolutely correct that the new state must be willing to live peacefully, beside Israel. That will necessitate the leaders’ admitting to the refugees that they will not be given the homes they claim their forebears fled during Arab-initiated wars against Israel. (ie. Palestine refugees don’t have a right of return to Israel and should be given the choice of becoming citizens of the new Palestinian state or other Muslim countries.) Toby F. Block, Atlanta
The AJT welcomes your letters. We want our readers to have an opportunity to engage with our community in constructive dialogue. If you would like your letter to be published, please write 200 words or less, include your name, phone number and email, and send it to email@example.com. 24 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Publisher's Note My note this week is going to tic used by anti-Zionists. be short and focused on one point. Over the past 50 years I want the impact of my words to be or so, the Jewish fight for clear. self-preservation (as seen The eviction notices posted on in Holocaust denial, the Emory University’s campus earlier blood libel, or in this inthis month by Emory Students for stance, the random/wanJustice in Palestine said, “Palestinton genocidal destruction ian homes are destroyed as part of of Arab homes) has had the state of Israel’s ongoing attempt to argue against an adverto ethnically cleanse the region of Michael A. sary that has no use for its Arab habitants and maintain an Morris the boundary of fact to Publisher exclusively Jewish character of the prove its argument. state.” Students in the SJP The issue I have with this statement being organization are quite content makthe basis and rationale for posting these eviction ing up facts that sound good to supnotices is that every facet of this statement is cat- port their cause. That is not to say that egorically false. There is not a shred of factual truth in this statement. Unfortunately, the average reader of this posted notice will have no idea that the writers have just made up this statement in order to support their condemnation of Israel. The average reader will just assume the statement is accurate, or at least mostly accurate.
Israel hasn’t demolished hundreds of homes of convicted murderers, a known punishment written in law (the murderer is not punished by death). This law, however, is leagues away from ethnic cleansing or acts of genocide. Emory should consider being a leader in stopping the dissemination of false arguments posed as factual dialogue. The Jewish people understand that it is impossible to win a debate when the other side freely constructs facts to support their argument. The question in front of us is how to convince the rest of the world of this concept. ■
Smile SmileHappy Passover!
Mock eviction notice posted on Emory students’ dorm room doors.
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“Over the past 50 years or so, the Jewish fight for self-preservation has had to argue against an adversary that has no use for the boundary of fact to prove its argument.” I have a problem when people are having a debate and one side makes up facts, or outright lies, to prove a point. What is more frustrating is that the onlooker, with little knowledge, just assumes the debater is offering fact, maybe biased, opinionated facts in a worst-case scenario. Most people would not assume the basis for an argument is totally fabricated. This is not about free speech or even “free speech that I do not like.” This is about someone, or some organization, that is attempting to sway people’s opinion with a known false narrative and outright lies (not even “opinions I do not like.”) Universities need to safeguard free speech. Universities need to safeguard free dialogue of opinions. Universities should be wary of hate speech, violence-inciting speech, racist speech and the teaching, debate and dissemination of lies and fake information. I know there are people that believe the world is flat and that World War II and the Holocaust did not occur; but, these opinions, often purposely disguised as facts, are totally inaccurate and shouldn’t carry the same protection and freedoms as intellectual debate and free speech. Emory is confronted with a reoccurring tac-
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PASSOVER What Enslaves Us and What Sets Us Free For our Passover issue Jewish Atlanta shares their thoughts on what enslaves us and what sets us free. Some write about how these themes impact their communal lives. Others, their personal lives and seder experiences. Absorb their Passover wisdom here: By Mike Leven We are enslaved when we do not listen to others who may respond differently than ourselves. We are freed when we are willing to respond to others with tolerance for their different points of view. We are enslaved when we seek only our point of view even if it displays a selfish desire and may harm others. We are freed when we understand there may be another way to achieve our goals. We are freed when are able accomplish our wants and needs while not taking advantage of others. Passover is not for the Jewish people alone. The story of reaching for freedom is for all. Mike Leven is the CEO of the Georgia Aquarium and former vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
By Sherry Frank I love Passover — the food, the family, even the matzah for eight days. But most of all, the feminist activist in me loves making the story of the Exodus relevant in our times. The endless struggles from slavery to freedom, from oppression to liberation, from injustice to equality, are ever present and animate my haggadot and Passover table. In the midst of my advocacy on behalf of Soviet Jewry, I was thrilled in 1974 to learn about a special reading, “The Matzah of Hope,” to add to my haggadah. It was the beginning of my collecting new and inspiring Passover texts and engaging my family and friends in exciting discussions during our seder. In 1986, the American Jewish Committee and the Atlanta Black/Jewish Coalition began holding biennial seders. A new haggadah was created with historic and powerful readings from Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other luminaries. We spoke about racism, anti-Semitism, and other-isms that separate us and dehumanize us. Singing “Let My People Go” with my African-American sisters and brothers was awesome. My fondest memories are preparing materials for my women’s seders with the Ahavath Achim Synagogue Rosh Chodesh Group, NCJW [National Council of Jewish Women], my Black-Jewish Sisters Group and a special group of female interfaith leaders. As I prepared my haggadah this year for my Community Women’s Seder, cosponsored with NCJW and Congregation Or Hadash, I added current challenges that enslave us. These include the assault on women’s reproductive rights, gun violence, voter suppression, unjust treatment of refugees and immigrants, and a rise in hateful rhetoric and action in our country and world. As long as I am involved in the struggles against all forms of bigotry, violence and inequality, I will look forward to expressing my Jewish values and commitment to tikkun olam in words and prayers around my seder table in new and creative readings and haggadot. Sherry Z. Frank is a community activist and former head of AJC Atlanta.
By Chuck Berk I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to be born in and live in the USA, a country where we are liberated with few, if any barriers to succeed and live a worthwhile life. I’m reminded of a video I watched last year of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas being interviewed by the Library of Congress. When he was a young child, his father told him “Old man ‘can’t’ is dead”… teaching him that with a positive ‘can do’ attitude and hard work you can achieve anything. Recently a video was sent to me of a girl who was abandoned at birth by her parents … because she was born without legs. Another couple adopted her and raised her with the same ‘can do’ attitude, convincing her that there was nothing she “can’t” do. The result? Almost unbelievably, she became a championship gymnast. In today’s world there are far too many leaders who, in effect, enslave people by convincing them that they are victims and not free to succeed. We would have a much healthier society if everyone passed over that rhetoric, removed ‘can’t’ from their vocabularies and liberated themselves to find ways to succeed. Chuck Berk is a national Israel Bonds board member, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust member and co-chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition. 26 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
PASSOVER By Beth Gluck Each year, new and familiar faces gather around our Passover seder tables to hear the timeless story of freedom over oppression. At Jewish National Fund, our table has grown to include many who call Israel home and includes men and women, young and old, individuals of different ethnicities, from one side of the country to the other, and everyone in between. Perhaps just like your own seder table this year. The faces at our table have many stories: Orr was only 18 months old when his mother brought him to JNF’s horseback riding therapy center deep in the Negev desert, in search of urgent help. Suffering from cerebral palsy along with an extremely rare genetic condition, Orr was unable to sit up or hold his head upright. That is no longer the case. Riding therapy has had amazing effects. Today, 8-yearold Orr can sit in the saddle and hold his head up. His muscles are stronger because of the horse’s movement and his work staying aloft. The horse’s gait, along with Orr’s subsequent hip movement, help his brain “learn how to walk.” There is no way to fully measure the benefits horses provide, and it’s thanks to our donors that kids like Orr have great care. Two hundred individuals receive weekly treatment, totaling 10,000 sessions a year. There are many faces at our table, and many more will continue to appear as we move forward together with you, our partners in Israel. I extend my sincere wishes to you and your families for a very happy and healthy Passover. Beth Gluck is executive director of the Jewish National Fund of Greater Atlanta.
Celebrating Freedom in Tense Times By Eric M. Robbins It’s impossible to ignore the fact that anti-Semitism is on the rise around the globe. Fears once seen as “Europe’s problem” were stoked anew when the world’s oldest hatred found its way to my hometown of Pittsburgh this fall, and more recently, as local incidents aroused concern in Atlanta. The situation is concerning, but at Passover I remain profoundly joyful. My optimism rests on the incredible freedom we enjoy as Jews in America. Our freedom is expressed in the abundance of creative and traditional Passover seders happening here in Atlanta. There’s the Downtown Seder at City Winery that brought musicians, artists, Jews and non-Jews together. There are women’s seders, hunger seders, sober seders, even a unity seder where Jews and Muslims break matzah together. Once again at [Camp] Ramah Darom, hundreds of families from all over will enjoy communal seders and a chance to learn and explore Jewish life with top scholars and rabbis. At my seder, we use the Hartman Institute’s haggadah, “A Different Night,” and we have a tradition I love of writing our names and the date on the inside cover. It’s how we chronicle the names of our “tribe” and remember the ones no longer with us. As a ben chorin (free person) at Passover, I can express my Judaism without constraint. Yet I also know that I am never “free” of memory, or of the responsibility to care for my people, particularly when their freedoms are at stake. That is the precious gift America bestows on all of us. Have a sweet and meaningful Passover! Eric Robbins is president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 27
PASSOVER By Rabbi Ari Leubitz
By Rabbi Daniel Dorsch Imagine for a moment you are sitting down to your seder when your father lifts the table out from under you. “Hey? What did you do that for?” you ask. Immediately, however, instead of becoming angry, your father rejoices. You are told that because you have asked a true, authentic question – however mundane and ordinary it may have been – you have absolved the room from hearing the “Ma Nishtana.” This somewhat puzzling tale is recorded toward the end of the tractate of Pesachim of the Babylonian Talmud. Why, we wonder, did the sage Abaye’s question to his adopted father Rava cause him to rejoice and absolve the seder from “The Four Questions”? We take for granted that the simple act of asking a question when one does not understand what is happening is an act of liberation. Most of us, when we see a table being lifted up from under us, choose to endure rather than to challenge. We have become accustomed to being browbeaten with this response: “Because I said so,” or “Because that’s the way it is.” This story reminds us that this is not and has never been the Jewish way. For some who need a little help getting started, our haggadah presents four questions. Ideally though, it should be the dream of every Jewish parent to raise an inquisitive child who liberates them from the very text of their seder through their own intuition. As we enter our sedarim this year, I pray that all of our kinder grow up to be the kind, inquisitive, question-askers with a little chutzpah who will absolve us from reciting the “Ma Nishtana.” Daniel Dorsch is senior rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim.
Pesach is also known as z’man cheruteynu (a time of our redemption and liberation). Like many concepts in Judaism, the first thing that comes to my mind is “why is it relevant to our lives today?” We are not currently slaves, and most of us do not know anyone who was a slave, so how can we relate to the concept of freedom? To celebrate freedom, it is important to understand that from which we are free. In Shemot/Exodus 1:14 we read: “And they put hard work upon us … and made us work with rigor. And they made our lives bitter with hard work ...” To work with rigor ... we all do that every day, yes? So, what makes this concept of working with rigor any different than that which we do day in and day out? What has changed? Maimonides, when commenting on slavery, noted that “rigorous labor” is that which has no end or limit. There was no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. What can we learn from this idea of never-ending labor? Can we agree that labor with no end is not a good concept? Sadly though, I am not so sure that we are free from these bonds of servitude. We operate with a 24/6 work style. No matter where we are, what we are doing, we are reachable thanks to our smartphones, devices and laptops. I encounter people all day who are exhausted from the demands of life, the never-ending to-do lists, and they can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. On some level, we are all enslaved and have enslaved ourselves to our work and our lists. We bind ourselves with email and social media. We need to know what is happening in real time and must share what is happening in real time. Where is the time we need to recharge our own personal batteries, connect with our friends and family, to study, and to carve out some quiet time alone? This Pesach, I personally plan to take time to examine what is limiting me, enslaving me and weighing me down. It’s not just the tangible chametz that we can purge from our homes during Pesach, it is also the process of ridding ourselves of the unessential and complicated things in our lives. What needs to be true to make the time for ourselves and others and for us to be free mentally and physically from that which enslaves us in our lives? I envision a Pesach where we can each feel the spirit of z’man cheruteynu. May we give ourselves the permission to focus on our personal growth and that which is truly the most important to each of us. Wishing you and your family a Chag Kasher v’Sameach. Rabbi Ari Leubitz is head of the school of the Atlanta Jewish Academy.
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28 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
PASSOVER By Dr. Arnold Heller Passover is one of my favorite Jewish holidays because of the stirring tale of the 10 plagues, the subsequent Exodus, and the traditional foods that we consume to honor our deliverance from slavery under Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The haggadah presents the plagues as miraculous works of God. The Lord, of course, empowered the Hebrews to struggle against Pharaoh’s cruelty and treachery. In my opinion, the plagues are the world’s first successful application of political terror designed to bring about two transformative goals – freedom and deliverance. Whenever I share my perception at the seder table, people never quite process it. The word ‘plagues’ seems miraculous and appropriate; ‘political terror’ not really; okay, next reader and please pass the gefilte fish. Think about the final plague, the Angel of Death passing over the Hebrew homes to take the lives of all first-born Egyptian males. The Egyptian elite sent their children to the same school where Hebrew female slave cooks served them lunch that may have been spiked with a slow acting poison. This final plague, an act of revenge for the slaying of a generation of Jewish first-born males, save for Moses, left Egyptian parents wailing in the night. The Exodus – Moses’ parting the sea – has been explained by some as brilliantly working the tides. The Hebrews smartly walked across during low level – Pharaoh and the Egyptians arrived as the tide rose, arrogantly proceeded, and were deep-sixed. Whether the plagues were miraculous or 10 acts of ingenious political terror, they worked to free the Hebrews from bondage and, on seder night, we celebrate that deliverance. Thank God. Arnold Heller chairs the Atlanta-Ra’anana Sister City Committee. He is author of “Dues: The Coming of Allie Cohen.”
Happy Passover By Flora Rosefsky As someone who finds random signs that have a spiritual significance, I had a déjà vu moment when attending a recent trip to Israel with 26 family members. We arrived on Purim and returned a few weeks before Passover. Although not as slaves crossing the desert to reach the promised land, our son became our Moses and led the way from the Golan Heights in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, along with our Israeli guide, Liran. About 40 years ago, in 1977 I visited Israel on a UJA [United Jewish Appeal] Young Leadership family trip when our current “Moses” was 10 years old and daughters were ages 14, 12, and 6. This March, we returned with all eight grandchildren plus their parents, and other wonderful extended family members. What liberates us has been the close relationships we’ve had over the years with the core of our family unit, starting with my husband and followed by our children. By having a safe, unconditional loving environment at home — even with hardships that occur in this journey called life — we feel secure in whatever size house we have and feel free to pursue the gifts God has granted us. Whether the distance to travel takes 40 years in a barren desert or from one city to another, if we are fortunate enough to surround ourselves with family and people we love, and who love us in return, we are free to start and live life with a full heart and feel blessed. Dayenu. Flora Rosefsky is a Judaic-inspired visual artist with work in institutions and private collections in Atlanta. She’s a board member of Peach State Stitchers and is on Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s AAACTS [Action and Awareness to Abolish Child Trafficking for Sex] committee. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 29
PASSOVER By Jennifer Rivlin Many of us think of enslavement as coming from outside ourselves, from external forces, as the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians. This Passover, I invite us to consider the limits we encounter inside of ourselves and how the Jewish community can support personal liberation. After all, within our authentic selves lie our greatest gifts to heal the world! All of us are born into this world with curious minds, open hearts, and connection to life and humanity. As we grow, shame and praise mold our identities. We develop social selves that pursue socially-sanctioned rewards which, in 21st century America, are mostly about wealth, power, and material gain. As a result, our social self “enslaves” our authenticself with a whole host of self-limiting beliefs, judgments, and stories that trap many of us. These self-limiting beliefs and patterns keep us small, prevent us from following our hearts, and make it difficult to reach our full potential or experience true connection with others. There are many ways to wake up and begin the journey to freedom. A diverse, open and loving community can help by exposing people to different ideas, allowing questions about what is “true,” and welcoming authentic selves when they emerge! As board chair of Limmud Atlanta & Southeast, it is my commitment to continue building a diverse, open and loving Jewish community that encourages exploration, creativity and journeying to the freedom of the authentic self. Join us on the journey this Labor Day weekend at LimmudFest at Camp Ramah Darom, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Jennifer Rivlin is board chair of Limmud Atlanta & Southeast.
Pesach as a Reminder of “Let Those Who are Hungry Come and Eat” By Harold Kirtz The ethics of Pesach – let those who are hungry come and eat — is in one way simple to recite, yet not easy to accomplish. How can we offer our family and friends a meal that commemorates the passage from slavery to freedom, yet offer a contemporary approach to help those who have their own slavery to overcome? Our young grandchildren, who live out of town, will be at our home for the first night seder. We must make it both approachable and relevant to them at this young age to begin the education process of how to make the commemoration an ongoing joy and responsibility. “Passover Sticker Scenes” is one of a number of toys now on the market to help explain and prepare kids for seder. We will do our best to make this fun for them and assist them in understanding this is their heritage to embrace. On the sixth night of Pesach (April 24), we take a different tack by understanding the modern-day plagues that can afflict a community. JCRC [Jewish Community Relations Council], Ahavath Achim Synagogue, The Temple, Temple Sinai, Shearith Israel and numerous other Jewish and general community institutions will hold the ninth annual Hunger Seder. (Go to AA’s website to register – all are invited). We teach and learn about some of the causes and effects of hunger and food insecurity. We also study some of the ways to help combat this plague. This year’s theme is the impact that hunger and food insecurity has on nutrition and health. We are partnering with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Grady Hospital, and other food programs. Grady and the Food Bank have programs that work on creating a healthy, nutritious approach to overcoming the issue of hunger. Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal is again leading the Hunger Seder, and he will have lots of help from the planning committee and with facilitators who will make the seder as meaningful as possible. And any food left over will be delivered the next day for dinner at Trinity House, a residential program for men located downtown. Last year, a half dozen of us delivered food there and spent two hours (having another seder meal) and listening to the stories of people who are working hard to overcome years of difficulty in establishing themselves. A most meaningful way to commemorate the journey from slavery to freedom. Please join us. Harold Kirtz is president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta.
By Rabbi Avrohom Tkatch
BEST OF JEWISH ATLANTA
Many people think that freedom means to be able to do everything all the time. The reality is that every time a person makes a choice to do something, that choice is limiting the person from doing anything else. For example, if one chooses to go food shopping, they cannot go shoe shopping at that time. Freedom to do something is equally freedom to not be able to do something else. Part of becoming free will inevitably be limiting in some way. To achieve freedom, one needs a guide for direction to see what one should be free to do and what one should be free not to do. Continually choosing to do the ‘to do’ and avoiding the ‘not to do,’ one truly has freedom. With this freedom, one can live life with a clear sense of direction, meaning and purpose. When all of that is achieved, the person will feel the benefits of being free as well as happiness and satisfaction. The Mishnah in Avot teaches that the only free person is one who studies the Torah. The message is clear. Learning Torah gives a person direction and clarity. The Torah lays down in a very clear way what are the ‘to do’s and what are the ‘not to do’s. Through the study of Torah, one can understand the ways of God and be blessed with a clear direction of choices and enjoy the meaningful and happy life of true freedom. Rabbi Avrohom Tkatch is menahel of Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael of Atlanta.
30 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
SPONSORED CONTENT - Paid for by The Center for Kehilla Development.
Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, Founder Center for Kehila Development
A United Front
Married couple Rivka and Avrami Teitelbaum are eager to make a difference once Avrami completes the Center for Kehila development program.
Beside every Center for Kehilla Development rabbi is a spouse who, like her husband, is deeply committed to leading by example By Noa Amouyal
When speaking with Yosef Platt, it is impossible to ignore how he looks at his wife, Racheli. When she talks, his face radiates pride and it’s clear he is listening to her every word. At one point when asked a question, with a shy, deferential smile, he points to Racheli and says, “You should ask her, she’s better at this than me.” The couple were discussing their union and how they hope, once Yosef completes his fifth and final year at The Center For Kehilla Development, they are eager to show members of their new community the beauty in strength of honoring shalom bayis, the Jewish notion of harmony in the home. “The Center for Kehilla Development has been a very fulfilling experience for both of us. It’s had a tremendous impact on our family, especially when it came to learning about building strength of character,” Racheli said, explaining the added value of the rabbinic program. The program, based in Jerusalem Ramat Eshkol neighborhood, has adopted many radical, outside-the-box approaches to rabbinical education. Where other than at the CKD can a
rabbi receive a curriculum that provides EMT training, social work and Dale Carnegie courses in addition to their traditional biblical scholarly studies? The diverse curriculum was crafted so that when these rabbis are placed in Jewish communities around the world, they are not just someone seen during Shabbat services, rather, they are to be effective year-round and in a variety of situations. Considering one the biggest problems plaguing communities is strife inside the home – 41 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce – having a rabbi who, along with his wife, can serve as a sounding board is critical. “Besides the agony, psychological scars and financial damage suffered by the divorcing spouses, there is often collateral damage, especially to children,” explained CKD’s dean, Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen. “Given the wealth of wisdom the Torah offers on how to create and maintain a thriving happy marriage, rabbinic couples can and should play a central role in resolving this crisis. So, the CKD provides rigorous training for its couples in this area.” What’s more, by educating the
wife as well, she is given an empowering platform to serve the community in her own right. For Racheli, this is a task she has taken to heart. “The most important thing is to work on yourself and lead by example,” she said. The couple strives to uphold the tenets of shalom bayis every day, as it not only provides the guidelines for a happy and healthy home but is critical to following halachah. “Shalom bayis is an extremely important ingredient to a Torah lifestyle. One’s character in that arena is directly related to one’s status in the next world. It’s a litmus test of judging one’s character, if you will,” Yosef said. CKD also helps these couples understand that marriage is a beautiful and awe-inspiring ritual – if followed properly. “I went into marriage thinking it’s a partnership, like a business deal. But Kelemen opened our eyes to deeper Torah wisdom. My attitude is now, ‘How am I’m going to make this person’s life the best it could possibly be?’ No strings attached. It will be impossible for anything to break this bond,” Avrami Teitelbaum said beaming, while sitting next to his wife, Rivka. Michal and Yehoshua Blumstein are also grateful for CKD’s training
with regard to child rearing as well. Yehoshua is also appreciative that they received this training at the same time and learned to grow together as a united front. “The fact that both of us are being taught the same thing at the same time is a big deal. If I was learning chinuch [training] and started telling her what to do, that would not work and it shouldn't work. It’s good that we grow and understand together. That makes things smoother. We’re on an even keel,” he said, as Michal looked on, nodding in agreement. So once their studies are complete, these families will get to work enriching and instilling family values in their communities. Certainly not an easy task. Ironically, though, advice on how to have a peaceful home and life is written in black and white in the Torah for all to see. CKD couples, then, are well-trained conduits for that valuable information. “People need to see a good, stable family. And the Torah explains how to do that,” said Yehuda and Ilanit Schor. “The main goal in CKD is to be there to help people be a good example. And, hopefully, people will be able to share what’s on their mind and we’ll always be there to listen.”
SPONSORED CONTENT - Paid for by The Center for Kehilla Development. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 31
PASSOVER By Susanne Katz
By Micah Lapidus
Occasionally I replay a conversation I had with my mother when I was 9 or 10 years old, living in Deerfield, Ill., and attending Sunday school each week. My mom asked if I wanted to attend mid-week classes to learn Hebrew. I turned down the opportunity, as I knew no one who spoke Hebrew at that time. I regret that decision to this day, as it limits my knowledge and understanding of text. When we moved to Atlanta in the early 1960s, my family joined The Temple. Rabbi Jacob Rothschild called me into his office one day and asked if I would partner with two other classmates to help lead a morning service each week. I accepted the invitation and came to the bimah to lead a weekly prayer. I heard the ark squeak as it opened and closed. I saw the sunlight pour through the stained-glass windows and I gazed up at the domed ceiling. I felt a spirituality that connected me to Judaism as I had never experienced previously, and that has been a bond to my Judaism ever since. It was when I attended services with my friends at Ahavath Achim that I realized that different synagogues had different customs and Judaism there looked a little different than what I knew. The idea of diversity in Judaism was new to me. I wanted to attend and experience services in all of Atlanta’s synagogues. At the Breman, I learn about history and faith and how they connect us to our ancestors and to our own identity. Our visitors learn about enslavement and liberation, about the Holocaust and freedom, about connection and contributions by Southern Jews. These are powerful stories and empowering lessons. We become more aware of our own Judaism and the Jewish world around us.
We are enslaved by narrow-mindedness, smallness of heart, all forms of hatred and cruelty, and a profound lack of compassionate imagination. We are liberated through love, through careful attention to our thoughts and actions, through relationships built on foundations of listening, respect, and shared purpose, and through the recognition of our shared humanity and humble participation in the grandeur of all God’s creation.
Susanne Katz is director of exhibitions for The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.
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Rabbi Micah Lapidus is the director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at the Alfred & Adele Davis Academy.
We Limit Ourselves By Jan Jaben-Eilon Most of our limitations, I believe, are self-imposed. Our frames of mind can limit or liberate us. That is not to say that we have control over much in our lives, but we do have control over how we respond to the challenges that arise in all of our lives. My favorite example of this is when I first became a runner. After running for just a few months, one day I actually ran eight miles. I recall saying to myself, “If you can run eight miles, you can run 26 miles!” Obviously, there’s no logical connection between the two. Except, just a few months later, I ran the Atlanta marathon. That leap of faith has served me well in life. When I’ve been faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I’ve reminded myself that I ran a marathon. And if I could run a marathon, I could do anything! Jan Jaben-Eilon is a contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.
By Shai Robkin This Pesach, I am thinking about collective liberation, about the idea that none of us is free until all of us are free. That sentiment is too rare these days, in this country, in Israel and in the world. I feel liberated through my work with the New Israel Fund, where I serve as the chair of the Atlanta Regional Council. NIF helps Israel live up to its founders’ vision of a society that ensures complete equality to all its inhabitants. During this holiday of liberation, I am particularly proud of the work that NIF has been undertaking to combat racism and protect minorities from discrimination. We work to advance a society in Israel that is truly shared among its residents, one in which every Israeli has an equal stake. This is why I am choosing to support a shared future for everyone in Israel. I refuse to be enslaved by racism, by division, by fear. I choose to find freedom in people, powered movements that draw out the best in people of all kinds to organize for us all. Organizations like Standing Together and Zazim that are supported by NIF and which organize Israelis from all backgrounds to take action on issues that affect everyone. And a soccer team called the Team of Equals, also an NIF project, which brings together children from East and West Jerusalem in order to combat the division and hostility between them and to advance a shared life in the city. This Pesach, I know that the work for collective liberation is ours to do and I am committed to doing my part. Join me. Shai Robkin is chair of the Atlanta Regional Council of the New Israel Fund.
By Rabbi Michoel Druin
By Doug Weinstein
When reflecting upon the question of what “What enslaves (limits) us and/or liberates (frees) us?” the answer can be one and the same. For example, the walls of one’s house can limit us but also free us from the dangers of the outside elements. Limitations are a necessity for our survival (like the walls of our house) and for the existence of a civil society. If we did not limit and make it illegal to steal, we would have a lawless society. This concept applies as well to our spiritual life. We as humans can very easily get stuck in the obsession with self. What I want – I think –I enjoy, etc. Even when performing acts of kindness, we can get stuck in the “it feels so good when you help another” so that this, too, is just another way to make “me” feel good. Hashem gave us a Torah and mitzvot so that we can be liberated from the obsession of self and realize that there is more to this world than doing what I want – I think – I enjoy. On Pesach, we celebrate our exodus from these limitations of self. Hashem didn’t just take us out of slavery. Rather he gave us the Torah and mitzvot so that we can act as a people who are freed from the limitation and “slavery” to our personal desires. May we all be blessed to appreciate this “freedom.”
Passover is about remembering that we were slaves once in Egypt, but we are now liberated and free. Or at least we hope we are. We Jews in the U.S. are fortunate to benefit from guarantees enshrined in the Bill of Rights and other unenumerated rights. We are free to practice our religion as we see fit, for example. Yet, we as a country are always striving for a more perfect union, and we all play a part in bringing that about. We have secured Franklin Roosevelt ’s outlined first and second freedoms: freedom of speech and expression and freedom to worship G-d in our own way. But we are still working on achieving his final two freedoms: Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. So long as people in our country lack access to basic medical care, they and we live in fear and want. When Nazis march with virtual, social impunity, and even sanction, in Charlottesville, we live in fear. Let’s all work toward making a more perfect union and freeing our fellow Americans from fear. Then, we will have made major steps toward freeing them and ourselves. Until then, some of us remain enslaved by fear.
Rabbi Michoel Druin is the head of school at Chaya Mushka Children’s House elementary and middle school.
Doug Weinstein is an intellectual property lawyer and a former board member of Democrats Abroad-Taiwan.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 33
PASSOVER The Freedom of Matzah By Rabbi Ian Werbin Matzah is a paradox. On the one hand, matzah symbolizes freedom. We recline while eating it, unlike the bitter herbs which symbolize slavery. Yet, matzah is the simplest product – just flour and water. How can that express freedom? To understand what freedom is, let us describe the opposite of freedom, which is dependence. A person who cannot survive the day without a cigarette is not a fully free man. He is restricted by the need for cigarettes. In order to attain our full measure of freedom, we first simplify our base “needs.” Therefore, the matzah symbolizes freedom as it is the simplest of all, consisting of nothing more than flour and water. The less our needs, the greater our freedom to do that which is right. My father, Samuel Werbin, of blessed memory, recently passed away. He exemplified the meaning of freedom by not being dependent on materialism as his primary source of happiness. He was known as a man of integrity and principle, and he loved giving to others, which he did generously. One of the last times we went out together, my dad, feeling very weak, asked me to drive him home. Earlier, I had mentioned that I wanted to buy a new watch. Just before arriving at his house, he requested that I continue driving past the house, which was odd since he wasn’t feeling well. After arriving at the shopping center that he directed me to, I realized that my dad had led me to a watch store. Despite his suffering, my dad used his limited energy and strength to give to another. As we eat the matzah on seder night, let us reflect that we are ‘resetting’ our base level of needs. In so doing, we become truly free, with the ability to act upon principles and do that which is right – the way Dad lived his life. Rabbi Ian Werbin is the outreach coordinator and part of the rabbinic staff at Congregation Beth Jacob.
By Harry Stern Pesach is a time of personal reflection: How fortunate we are in America and how personally blessed I am with a wonderful family. Simultaneously, I am riven by the growing national inequality and a seeming paralysis about any meaningful rectification. Our state and national leaders might heed Jeremy Northam’s summation in David Mamet’s play, “The Winslow Boy:” “What you do to the least of them, you do to me.” I find this holiday, that most symbolizes our flight from persecution and slavery, a time to reflect on the millions of Americans who are in need of a release from a more subtle bondage. To quote Bob Marley: “If we all ain’t got something, we ain’t got nothing.” Pesach is a time to remember our flight from oppression and give thought to those who are less fortunate. Harry Stern is a retired CEO of the Marcus JCC and serves on the board of the Atlanta Jewish Committee.
By Meliss Jakubovic In addition to being the Israeli folk dance guru of Atlanta, I run a successful online marketing agency. Being on social media daily has given me insight into how people effectively use these platforms to journal about their lives, inspire others, and cultivate business relationships. But I’ve also seen the ugly truth. On social media, most people cultivate an image of what they think the world should see. That practice, of dishonesty and not expressing what we truly feel, is what enslaves us. By openly discussing our hardships, we are peeling back the curtain that others hide behind. Honesty and vulnerability are freeing, not just for those of us speaking our truth but for the people hearing our words. So often, we think of ourselves as alone in our pain, so we lock it inside. By freeing our truth, we liberate ourselves and others, because we highlight the things that many of us are feeling but are too afraid to say. Sharing my story has changed my life and business. People who didn’t know me before suddenly had a clearer picture of who I am and could relate to my stories. They saw that it’s safe, comforting, and empowering to open up. On this Passover, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and free your truth. Finally say the “thank you,” “I’m sorry,” or “I love you” you’ve been too afraid to put out there. Be bold and share a story that will inspire others. You will gain support from eyes you never knew were watching. Meliss Jakubovic is an Israeli folk dancing instructor and choreographer.
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PASSOVER By Jeff Alperin
By Jody Pollack
At our seders, we recount the liberation of the Jewish people and their journey out of slavery and into the Promised Land. Their literal (and painstaking) journey to freedom brings to mind the metaphorical journeys of the clients of Jewish Family & Career Services: from hope and opportunity to empowered lives. Each of our clients travels a different road, each with its own twists, turns and traffic jams. Some seek escape from their own personal enslavement, whether from depression, addiction or an abusive spouse, and JF&CS is there with counseling, treatment and support. Others in our community may be overwhelmed caring for an older adult, and JF&CS is there with One Good Deed volunteers, support for caregivers and expert advice. Still others with intellectual or developmental disabilities live fuller, more meaningful lives because JF&CS is there. And if that weren’t enough – Dayenu! – JF&CS also provides free dental care to over 3,500 patients a year at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic; distributes 22,800 pounds of food to hungry Atlantans through its Kosher Food Pantry; ensures that 60 kids have a Jewish big brother or big sister as part of the PAL program; finds meaningful work for job seekers through its careers division; and the list goes on and on. Again and again, JF&CS is there, providing the roadside assistance that makes all our journeys a little easier. To learn more about the difference JF&CS is making in our community, or to support our mission, please visit jfcsatl.org Chag Sameach!
Having just returned from a trip to Israel for my grand-nephew’s bar mitzvah, I found myself in the unique position of making a two-week exodus to Israel and returning to my American homeland in mere hours of travel. To many, our visit to Israel from the U.S. may not seem like such a big deal: a long flight, a gathering of family, some sightseeing and then a longer flight home. But a sightseeing trip to the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv with Pesach approaching became a big deal. I was struck by the current exhibition, “Leaving, Never to Return: A Tribute to the Jews of Arab Countries and Iran.” It did more than enlighten us on the lives of the Jews in the Middle East during a 2,500-year period running through the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the Iranian Revolution in 1979. It highlighted their struggles to survive and integrate into those societies while maintaining our Jewish culture. It also described their ultimate exodus from their homelands after the formation of the State of Israel. Their exodus was, in reality, an expulsion; their passports were stamped “A Trip with No Return.” At one point, there were approximately 850,000 Jews living in the now Muslim countries that surround Israel. Today, only a few thousand Jews live there. We are all truly blessed. We live in a country where we have the freedom to make a temporary exodus to visit Eretz Yisrael and then return by choice – as often as we can. Chag Sameach. Shalom.
Jeff Alperin is board president of JF&CS.
Jody Pollack is executive director of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 35
By Rabbi Yehuda Levenson As Passover commences, one may wonder what can be gleaned from this holiday. Here is some food for thought. On Passover we celebrate the redemption from Egypt. What does that mean for us today in 2019? We aren’t slaves. Knowing the Torah is timeless requires us to take a deeper look into how being free applies to our lives. Freedom is commonly understood as doing whatever, whenever. This idea is flawed. It is not hard to find someone who has the ability to satisfy his every desire but isn’t happy. That’s because such a person does not understand the true meaning of freedom. For one to be happy, he must exercise self control. When an individual succumbs to his desires, he shows that he is a slave to his temptations. When a person controls his initial urge for a better long-term goal, then he has tasted true freedom. Take a person on a diet. When is he more free? When he eats as he pleases or when he resists the urge for a piece of cake for a larger goal? Of course, if he controls himself, he is freer than one who gives in! In conclusion, the message Passover conveys is to check inside ourselves to see who we serve. Either we serve God, or we serve our temptations. We all chase happiness and freedom, but who among us can say they have attained it? There is no greater feeling than exercising self control to do what is right. Yehuda Levenson is a rabbi of The Kollel Ner Hamizrach Atlanta.
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The New Jewish Exodus By Lewis Regenstein This Passover, it would not surprise me if some Jews left a place at their table for Elijah – Elijah Cummings that is, the House Democrat who chaired the recent hearings where President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, spilled the beans. Many Jews have traditionally been attracted to liberal, leftist and “progressive” causes and leaders, having voted for Democrats at rates of 70 to 79 percent in recent national elections. But there is now a movement afoot to make an “Exodus” (or “Jexodus” as some millennials call it) from the Democrat Party, prompted by its welcoming into its ranks anti-Semites, haters of Israel, and supporters of Louis Farrakhan. Not just low-ranking radicals like representatives Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), but until recently Deputy Democratic National Committee head Keith Ellison, a former associate of Farrakhan. Although President Trump has, among other things, moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, withdrawn from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, and has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, it is common for Democrats to compare Trump to Hitler, a soft form of Holocaust denial or trivialization that shows no understanding of either man. At the recent meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Vice President Pence proudly proclaimed Trump to be “the greatest friend of the Jewish people ever to sit in the Oval Office,” and Trump received wild applause attacking the Democrats for allowing “the scourge of anti-Semitism to take root” in their party. But liberals leaving the Democrat Party don’t have to become Trump supporters or even join the Republicans. Leaving is the main point, Dayenu! But if you do join the GOP, you will receive a warm welcome from the RJC’s Atlanta chapter co-chairs, Bonnie and Chuck Berk. And look what else you get as a bonus: policies that are pro-Israel, friendly to our community, and supportive of religious freedom, free enterprise, smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes, a rising stock market and record low unemployment, all of which are “good for the Jews.” Lewis Regenstein is an Atlanta writer and author.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 37
PASSOVER By Maayan Schoen We are the people of the book. We sit and study our Torah, and we get up and practice it. One day, a boy named Zach [Baumel] closed his book for the last time. He was leaving yeshiva to answer the call to the front lines in Operation Peace in the Galilee. An oleh [recently made aliyah] to Israel from Brooklyn, he had returned home once, but from that day it would be almost 40 years “in the desert” until the intelligence community and Russia could return him home again, to rest. At his overdue, improbable funeral [April 4], I stood next to the mother of one of the three boys kidnapped and murdered in 2014. I listened to our leaders, wondering how something could make me want to sing “Hallel” and wail “Tachanun” all at once. We felt G-d’s mighty hand and outstretched arm! Russia, once the enemy, returned an MIA Jew! But … he and so many others are gone. I left the cemetery of marble headstones for Jewish military heroes on a Jerusalem hill and now stand in a Polish forest with few grave markers for our murdered millions. This week, I am bearing witness to the Holocaust. My heart aches from what feels like a perpetual cycle of enslavement of our people to the curses of exile. Over seven tons of human ash, I sing “Hatikvah.” It’s not a cycle, I realize. It’s a spiral, coiling out to nationhood, G-d’s revealed hand, peace someday. The spiral is greater than us, something that perpetuates us. Soon we’ll open the book, the haggadah, and remember 210 years of Egyptian enslavement. Like then, we’ve passed a tough period. It’s the blink of a G-dly eyelash, the tale of the people of the book, and our return liberates me. I can’t wait to touch down soon.
A Refreshed World View By Margo Gold We’re all busy in some way or another and preoccupied with too many devices and screens. But there’s an antidote and she comes with a pony tail and pink and blue fingernails. This past week my 8-year-old granddaughter Izzy and I turned the pages of an art book featuring photos of outlying hospital buildings of Ellis Island, now in ruins but with haunting images telling the story of those detained there. We talked about what it must have been like to leave one’s home, travel across the ocean, knowing that America held freedom and opportunity and hope, yet how scary an experience it must have been for so many. Leaving what’s known and familiar and gathering courage to embrace a new future. So, too, the Israelites left slavery in Egypt and headed into an unknown, with trust in Moses and growing awe in God, who was yet to be more fully revealed. Spending time with Izzy was such a treat for me. To talk with a child, to see the world through their refreshing world vision, to remember that we all start from a state of innocence and then either have the good fortune – or not – to learn to appreciate the world and our environment, to respect that people are created in God’s image and to understand that our words and actions matter. Spending time with a child is liberating. It can be an exhilarating reset button for our outlook and for our own world view. Margo Gold is immediate past international president of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Maayan Schoen is a gradutate of Atlanta Jewish Academy who now studies in the Migdal Oz Beit Midrash for Women. By Marissa Rosenbloom I believe you are enslaved by thinking “inside the box.” Self-limitations, self-doubt, small ideas. For example, if you take a quick look at a box of matzah, you might only see nine separate pieces. But, if you look outside the box, you can discover all the things that can be created with those matzah pieces: matzah pizza, matzah brei, french toast matzah, matzah lasagna! To be liberated, don’t be limited by the measurements of a box, be freed by looking outside the box, where your options are limitless. Marissa Rosenbloom is executive director of The Packaged Good.
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PASSOVER Moses’ Omission – Our Presence By Rabbi Arnold M. Goodman At the burning bush, God said to Moses, “Come, therefore, I will send you to Pharaoh and you shall free my people …” (Exodus 3: 21). Yet except for one passing reference, Moses is not mentioned in the haggadah. Its text is clear, “the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt not by the hand of an angel and not by the hand of a surrogate (Moses?), but by the Holy One Himself. Moses, although God’s designated point man in the Exodus saga, who spoke to God face-to-face, was nonetheless mortal. He was born, he lived, and he died. There is, however, a relevant and significant message in the haggadah’s retelling of the Exodus. Moses was challenged and inspired by God to combat the injustice and immorality of slavery. He epitomizes all who sense God’s charge to confront and resist the ubiquitous forces of evil that abound in our world. Moses’ omission from the haggadah sensitizes us that it is the mission of mortals to fulfill, often anonymously, God’s vision of a world of justice and mercy. Thus, even if not specifically mentioned by name, let us bask in the satisfaction that, in a limited way, we have enabled humanity to take another small step toward the goal of a world liberated from poverty, homelessness, plague and conflict. It’s a tall order, but may our haggadah discussion, seder experience and Pesach celebration recommit us to God’s mandate to further Moses’ work of tikkun olam, to fashion a moral order where “justice wells up as water and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24) Rabbi Arnold Goodman is a senior rabbinic scholar and was senior rabbi of Ahavath Achim Synagogue from 1982 to 2002.
By Mitchell Adam Kaye “So that you remember the day you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life” (Deut 16:3). Every day we are commanded to remember this seminal event in Jewish history. Our exodus from Egypt and journey from slavery to freedom and birth of the Jewish nation culminated 50 days later as we stood at Mt. Sinai and received the Torah. All Jews, past, present and future, heard G-d speak to the Jewish nation of over 2 million people. This mass revelation, an unprecedented event in world history, has never been claimed by any other religion or people. G-d spoke to all of us but did not identify as the One who created heaven and earth, instead reminding us that “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” This emphasizes that He is a personal G-d, intimately involved in all our affairs at all times. Two other lessons are worth sharing. Both matzah and leavened bread are made of flour and water. One is permitted while the other is forbidden. The permitted is the humble “bread of affliction,” or poor man’s bread, while the dough of the forbidden ferments and rises, puffed up full of pride, arrogance and ego. Egypt, or Mitzraim in Hebrew, shares a linguistic root with the word metzarim, or limitations. In the holy tongue, there are no coincidences. The haggadah says that in every generation we must see ourselves as if we are departing from Egypt. Like matzah, we must flatten our egos in order to break out of our own personal Mitzraim and limitations. Only then can we properly receive the Torah and G-d’s bountiful blessings! Wishing a Zissen V’Kasher Pesach! May we all merit to celebrate “next year in Yerushalayim,” Ir HaKodesh, the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish people! Mitchell Kaye is a former state representative, a husband, father and grandfather. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 39
PASSOVER Free to Create My Place and Break the Chains of Expectations By Patrice Worthy In Israel I kept walking past a photo of Golda Meir. A photo of her with a slight grin, taking time out, I suppose, to ponder the world. Every time I saw the photo I stared at it. It resonated with me, not because she was the first female prime minister of Israel, though that’s what makes the photo poignant. In this particular photo, Golda Meir’s hair is pulled back and she is smoking a cigarette. Golda Meir governed an entire nation and she smoked with a plain head of hair. For many women, appearance and expectations are everything. A man in our lives is the pinnacle of completion, and too often the opinions of others override our own gut instincts and happiness. Expectations driven by race and gender norms shape our lives. Instead of following our dreams and finding ourselves, we do what everyone else has done out of fear of being ostracized. But one day I asked myself, what would life be like without the chains of expectations … expectations that had nothing to do with me? What if instead of shrinking, I expanded beyond those illusions? I asked and I put one foot in front of the other, no longer taking into consideration the wheelhouse of other people’s opinions and expectations of my race or gender. The truth is, it’s not easy, but I’m a freer woman for it. Free to have plain hair and a cigarette while I create my place in this world. Patrice Worthy is a correspondent for the Atlanta Jewish Times who recently returned from Israel.
It’s Liberating to Embrace Aging By Harley Tabak I just spent a week in Hawaii with my son and his young family, truly appreciating the adage that the greatest gift in life is having grandchildren. I’m fortunate to work in an organization that doesn’t fear aging but actually embraces every aspect of it. It is liberating to consider that the aging journey is something to be cherished. Consider the wisdom that comes with age; the freedom from workrelated obligations; the time for travel or learning new hobbies; and of course, grandchildren … joy without the responsibility of daily parenting. As a brand-new card-carrying member of the Medicare class, I do appreciate the fight. Medicine and technology to combat the effects of aging have never been better. We are living longer and healthier lives. For those of us who live in the business of caring for the elderly, it’s gratifying to see so many 95-year-olds still laughing and enjoying purposeful, meaningful lives. Conversely, it also helps us appreciate the challenge of so many adult children caring for a loved one who can’t remember what made them laugh. Different chapters may introduce financial, physical or cognitive limitations as we age. Not thinking about aging and preparing for it is actually what can enslave us later. Living longer means planning for 20 years post retirement, not 10. Making smart choices about living healthier now helps to minimize physical or cognitive changes later. And talking to our loved ones about how they want to live at the end of their lives gives peace of mind about honoring their wishes when they can’t remember or speak for themselves. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said “G-d is not in things of space but in moments of time.” By embracing aging instead of fearing it, we liberate ourselves to take full advantage of every moment we have left. Harley Tabak is president & CEO of Jewish Home Life Communities.
J. Pia Koslow Attorney at Law Mediator Guardian ad Litem
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J. Pia Koslow represents individuals in family law matters to include divorce, custody, child support and alimony modification actions, contempt actions and the preparation of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. She is trained as a Mediator, certified in the area of Collaborative law and serves as a Guardian Ad Litem to make recommendations regarding custody.
Once We Were Strangers, Too By Allison Padilla-Goodman At Pesach, we retell a story of oppression and rejoice in the beauty of freedom. The Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt is something we remember during the seven days of Passover, and our intention every day should be to part the water for others seeking refuge from oppression. ADL is partnering on a new initiative this Pesach, 2 for Seder, which builds a bridge of hope and creates understanding and unity across differences. It was created as a memorial for Joyce Fienberg, one of the 11 murdered in the Tree of Life synagogue, and encourages Jewish homes to open their seders to other communities. It is a simple grassroots activity aimed at fighting anti-Semitism by building bridges to neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. By expanding the Jewish tradition of discussion and learning, you create the opportunity to form lasting connections and foster understanding and awareness. And the most beautiful part: anyone can easily participate. You can read more at www.2forseder.org Migration is central throughout Jewish history and seeing our current struggles to protect and welcome refugees and migrants of all kinds begs us to remember: once we were strangers, too. By uniting across differences and learning about others’ oppression, we aim to close that gap of misunderstanding. We stand with immigrants and will continue to build the bridges in communities in hope for a better tomorrow. Allison Padilla-Goodman is director of the Southeast region of the Anti-Defamation League.
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PASSOVER What Enslaves and What Liberates Us By Dr. Terry Segal Especially at this time of year, we recall the slavery of our ancestors. They endured physical and mental hardship at the hand of Pharaoh. These days, many people are enslaved by mental or physical illness, abusive relationships or poor decisions that have been made by others on their behalf. There are a number of people, however, who battle internal Pharaohs that are self-imposed. Stress, while not a person, is at the root of most major illnesses, and yet, it’s rarely seen as something that can be mitigated or controlled. We enslave ourselves and create imbalance when we don’t make proper food choices, ensure that we get adequate sleep, use toxic chemicals in our cosmetics, cleaning products and materials in and around our homes. Unhealthy relationships tax the physical and mental systems, as do negative self-talk and comparisons to others. What frees us is embracing our unique qualities as well as our quirks. If we honor the temple of our bodies, we don’t eat junk, limit our television viewing, shut down the computer, and keep electronics out of the bedroom. We monitor our bombardment of electromagnetic frequencies and set alarm clocks that urge us to stop and wind down in order to go to sleep at night, just as we do when it’s time to wake up in the morning. Taking a look at the sources of stress that exist in our bodies, minds, spirits and emotions, and working toward managing or eliminating them, can set us free. Terry Segal is a licenced marriage and family therapist who writes a regular column for the AJT.
By Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon
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Freedom! Liberation! How sweet is the sound! Barely liberated from Egyptian bondage, Hebrew slaves were longing for the life they had left behind. The French and the Communist revolutions sought to liberate people from exploitation by the rich and powerful, only to supplant them with tyranny. Some young people today reject the Western social order they consider oppressive for much harsher structures like radical Islam and white supremacy. The noble ideal of national liberation often transforms into denying it to others or it makes things worse for its proponents. The legendary hero Bar Kokhba, who led the most audacious Jewish revolt against Rome, in fact brought about 18 centuries of oppression and persecution of Jews. Freedom and bondage are not a zero-sum game. In our implicit social contract, we accept a complex mixture of restrictions and liberties. Freed from Egypt, the Hebrew slaves submit to a covenant with a higher power. A two-sided covenant. Divine protection and national fulfillment in exchange for walking in God’s ways, summed up “on one foot” as “What is hateful to you, you shall not do to another.” Freedom! Liberation! How sweet is the sound! Sweet indeed, as long as we do not forget that all of us are created in God’s image, man and woman, and of any nation, creed and orientation. Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon teaches biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, eTeacher Group Ltd. and he writes the AJT’s Yiddish Word of the Week. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 41
PASSOVER By Arlene Appelrouth
By Marcia Caller Jaffe This year my observance will be more on renewal and not on process. In the years with my young family, we enjoyed strictly kosher for Passover resorts from the Bahamas and the Ritz in Palm Beach to Innisbrook Golf Resort where French pastry chefs and champagne were de rigueur. It was a total pleasure with extended family, wonderful speakers, services on site and children’s programs. Since that idyllic time, Passover has been about the labor of switching out all the dishes and pots, cleaning (which is a good thing), and buying expensive, unhealthy food like bland gummy cereal, margarine and salad dressing from cottonseed oil. This Passover will be just as kosher for me, but done with fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, egg whites, and investments in a good bottle of UP balsamic vinegar, cherry preserves, pizza sauce, and Miller’s cheese. May we enjoy drilling down to basics and less about the cardboard tasting pancake mix. Oh yes, the Manischewitz chocolate cake, brownie mix, ketchup, and honey macaroons made the cut too. It pays to shop around and fret less. Marcia Caller Jaffe is a contributor to the AJT.
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I grew up not knowing the difference between Sukkos and Simchas Torah. During Passover, my mother bought a box of matzos and told me not to eat bread in school. One year my European born babba and zaida hosted a seder. My grandfather, Gershon, recited the Passover story in Yiddish. The words to “Chad Gadya” and “Dayenu” were transliterated and I loved the enthusiastic singing. But Passover had little meaning for me. In college, after studying comparative religion, I spent six months living in Israel, exploring different faces of Jewish identity. I married a man who loved everything about being Jewish: synagogue attendance after our traditional Friday night meal, celebrating holidays I never heard of. Dan and I agreed we would have a Jewish home, but I was “enslaved” by ignorance, marrying someone who loved practicing Judaism. It was the beginning of my Jewish education. Passover seders, when our children were too young to read, were educational and inclusive. Dan read a sentence at a time from the haggadah, and the pre-reading child would repeat the sentence. Passover was wonderful. Delicious, traditional food including homemade gefilte fish made by my friend Bobbi Perlstein, to mouthwatering trifles prepared by Jackie Granath, who just passed away. I loved the Passover recipes in a cookbook written by Norene Gilletz. Her chicken farfel kugel is still an annual favorite. What once enslaved me was ignorance. What has liberated me is the knowledge I gained over the years. Arlene Appelrouth is a contributor to the AJT.
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Thoughts From Your Friends at the AJT
By Kaylene Ladinsky
By Roni Robbins
What enslaves me? I wanted to dismiss the answer that was looming in my mind as if it was too simple. But after two days of pondering, I finally came to listen to the screaming voice that was saying, “The answer is … ME.” Sure, there are challenges and obstacles to achieve our goals, but I believe that anything is possible. We are fortunate enough to live in a time and a place in which we enjoy great freedom. I also believe that our abundant freedom can sometimes be that very thing that enslaves us. The world around us would label everything and attempt to make sure that each has its own place, its own rights and its own freedoms, whether it’s gender, religion, race, sexual preference, political party or picking sides in a fight. The world we live in wants us all to exercise our freedom to choose a side, make a distinction and fight for its rights. These labels can limit us to choose a side or restrict our beliefs and opinions to lean and gather to one side or the other, instead of just being free from the obligation of having to choose. I realize that it is part of the day-to-day life that our society presents us. The freedom to pick sides or stand for your right to be a part of a certain group or belief is bittersweet. I love and appreciate the freedom and liberties that we are afforded, but then we may feel enslaved by the labels those choices impose on us. Every day we wear labels that society has designated, whether on the forms we fill out or simply our job titles: female; Jewish; heterosexual; married; mother; interim editor; managing publisher and so many more. Don’t get me wrong, I proudly wear my labels each day, but for just eight days during this Passover, I wish I could be “set free,” wearing only my name and my mission.
Ah, the duality of liberation. On one hand, I’m blessed my children can spend time in Israel after all those wishes for next year in Jerusalem. On the other hand, I miss them and won’t be with them for the holiday. My daughter is finishing a nine-month workstudy program in Israel that allows her to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem with our rabbi and his family. My son will take advantage of the free Birthright Israel trip in May and see his sister before she returns home. Both are in college. As empty nesters, my husband and I are finally renovating our master bathroom and I like to joke that I’m going places. I recently returned from visiting the Catholic family with whom I grew up on Long Island, N.Y. They lived across the street then, but now most live in St. Louis, where I helped celebrate my surrogate mom’s 80th birthday. My real family has an Alaska cruise planned and two trips to spend time with my family in Asheville, N.C., this holiday. As with all good things, trips end and we must bid farewell. I could say I’m enslaved through my healthy lifestyle, my disciplined workouts or my job. But I choose these. It’s liberating to work in this industry in a different capacity, as associate editor, after being a reporter for 30 years. And I’m privileged to share my talents and do what I enjoy most – play with words. Life is short. My husband recently had several near-death experiences and lost his closest friend, who was our age. Changes your perspective. I’m hoping when I’m gone people will talk about my written words, my relationships, my motivation and inspiration. The ability to set that course and make those impressions, I can’t think of anything more liberating than that.
Kaylene Ladinsky, human being wanting to connect and relate to another.
Roni Robbins is the associate editor.
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PASSOVER The Freedom of Mobility By Deborah Herr Richter The bitter taste of maror on our tongues is an echo of the slavery our ancestors endured. Today, the ripples of oppression are still felt by many in a variety of ways. Like the Israelites who fled Egypt, I also uprooted my life in search of a new home. Unlike a people feeling persecution, I had the resources, the means and the previous experience of living in an unfamiliar place to help facilitate my move. For too many of us, however, the freedom of mobility is an accident of birth. Beyond this freedom to pass state lines or cross a country’s borders, I have the fundamental ability of movement. Throughout the slog of daily life, it is easy to overlook the basic gift of motion. When I do, I remember the elevator bank signage at the Tate museum in London: “Celebrate your ability to use the stairs and please give priority to those who need to use the lifts.” I am able to run, walk and even dance. Movement is more than a basic, bodily function, it is a celebration of our bodies’ freedom. Deborah Herr Richter is the creative and media director.
By Eddie Samuels This year’s first night of Passover overlaps with Good Friday, and just a few days after it ends, Ramadan begins, fun treats for those to see the differences and similarities in our traditions or who just enjoy the holiday atmosphere. And while the overlap could simply be an invitation to enjoy colorfully-dyed eggs in our matzah brei, it can also be an invitation to go beyond what feels comfortable. This year, let Passover be about going beyond what limits us, and in many cases that means going beyond our own ignorance and preconceptions. Let this joint holiday be a time for interfaith communication, discussion and education, and that doesn’t mean simply between Christians and Jews. Let Passover be a time when we recognize that we all have a lot more in common than we have separating us. Reach out to our Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu neighbors. Go learn from neighbors from every walk of life and don’t be afraid to ask questions and get answers that make you want to learn more. Education has always set us free, and with so much information available today, education can liberate us and unite us. Eddie Samuels is a staff writer.
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PASSOVER By Jen Evans
By Michal Bonell
As Passover is upon us, I have been reflecting on what freedom means to me. Freedom is a powerful word. It can mean different things to different people. To me, freedom is the right to speak out, think for yourself and stand up for your convictions. In a nutshell, to express yourself without persecution. So, what frees me? In the past 15 years or more it has been freeing for me to stand up for myself and truly commit to my beliefs. I have instilled this in my 19- and 20-year-old college children. My son “beats to his own drum” and my daughter is an advocate for justice and is an organizer of this year’s Athens Human Rights Festival. How proud I am that they are free to be able to express themselves and stand up for what they believe in, as well as stand up for those who may not have a voice. I have taught them how to stand up for themselves and express who they are and what they feel by leading by example. I love watching who they are becoming as adults. Love also frees me. Love for my children, family and friends. Love of my job, my home and my life. It freeing to be able to make my way in the world on my own. Love, sticking to my convictions and beliefs – these are freeing to me. Chag sameach!
We get so distracted by our daily responsibilities that we rarely take time to pause, acknowledge and be present. It is such a gift when you take the time to appreciate that which brings you peace and joy. Put the phone down, reply to the email(s) during work hours, don’t worry about the next thing you’re heading to. Enjoy the present and take notice of all the beauty and love around you. Michal Bonell is a senior account manager.
Jen Evans is the community relations director.
By Brenda Gelfand
By Lloyd Stark
Pesach celebrates one of the most important events in Jewish history – G-d’s redemption of the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt. I feel that it has many similarities to what is going on in our world today, which is trying to enslave or limit us by the uprising of anti-Semitism and racism. The Jewish people have always had to deal with beliefs by many that want to limit our freedom. It is a very scary thought that we are dealing with these issues now in our schools and synagogues, in Israel and around the world. It does liberate us to know that we were freed from slavery in Egypt and have and always will be able to overcome the prejudice that is happening now by remembering and making sure the horrific acts of the past will never happen to our Jewish society again! So, eight days of eating unleavened bread and the other traditions surrounding Passover is what I feel limits and liberates us to remember the past and rejoice the future!
My first memory of Passover was when I was 6 years old. We were sitting at a large dining room table. My great-grandfather was at the head of the table running the seder. I don’t remember a lot about that night, but I do remember my little sister sitting next to me and we just sat and waited to eat for what seemed like hours (it probably was hours!). Now that I look back, it was probably one of the happiest moments of my childhood. Just being with all my grandparents and cousins, all the food, all the laughter, it couldn’t get any better than that. 50 years later: Now that I have a family, I realize they are the reason I feel liberated. I feel like anything is possible. Whether I am right or wrong, happy or sad, up or down, my family is always there for me and I will never forget it! Happy Passover!
Brenda Gelfand is a senior account manager.
Lloyd Stark is an account manager.
Happy Passover! Rabbi Abi Nadoff Call: 844-MOHEL-ABI (844-664-3522) SimpleCircumcision.com 46 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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PASSOVER By Sonia Field The difference between enslavement and freedom has become such a hazy transitional space that we often don’t realize where on the spectrum we stand. We think we are free because we can do a, b and c, yet we feel enslaved because of x, y and z. This spectrum, however, has nothing to do with the actual demands of life; it is solely dependent on our mindset and our values. Jewish tradition teaches that true freedom is the ability to express who we really are. This ability of self-expression originates from within and is not a result of any outside influences. Humans were created and enabled to adapt to our surroundings to ensure physical survival; however, the way we adapt is up to us. Do we sacrifice our Judaism with hopes of “easier” survival, or do we fully embrace our Judaism with the realization that sacrificing it is not required after all? When I began working for the Atlanta Jewish Times, I came to appreciate Jewish Atlanta as our ideal niche. I also came to recognize that it isn’t the city itself, rather, it is the members of our tribe who live freely among us. Working alongside a team of people who celebrate freedom every day makes being free that much sweeter. Wishing everyone a koshern un freilichen Pesach, a kosher and joyous Passover, and may we all merit to experience the truest freedom now! Sonia Field is the community liaison.
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By Lilli Jennison What enslaves us is our past. My Grandpa was a Holocaust survivor; he always used to feel uncomfortable seeing men in kippot or women wearing Jewish star jewelry. He would say, “Why advertise it?” He lost most of his family simply because they were Jewish. Displaying our heritage today is a sign of pride, whereas before, it was perverted to be a sign of shame. What liberates us is community. I have always been involved in the Jewish community, from Sunday school at The Temple to The Weber School. I have been working at Congregation Etz Chaim going on four years and interning at the AJT. I tell everyone “if you look at my resume … you will know I am Jewish.” The Jewish community surrounds me and provides me with so many opportunities. My grandfather saw being Jewish as what enslaves us because during his time, it did. I see being Jewish as what frees us. I am proud to live in a community and a time that allows me to wear a Jewish star around my neck and my KSU Hillel shirt with Hebrew letters. Anti-Semitism has been prevalent throughout history, but so has the perseverance of the Jewish people. Passover is a holiday about slavery and freedom. The stories of our past are what remind us of what our limitations once were. We observe special holidays to pay our respects to our ancestors. There will always be things that limit you; the trick is to turn them into things that can free you. Lilli Jennison is an intern in the creative department.
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Writing Personalized Haggadot is Now the Tradition By Jan Jaben-Eilon In our do-it-yourself culture, it’s not surprising that there’s also DIY Judaism. Nowhere is that more apparent than in personalizing haggadot for Passover. Already for generations, Atlantans have been creating their own haggadot, the telling of the escape of the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt, which is the centerpiece of the Passover seder. “I was raised with my own family haggadah,” says Heather Blake, engagement director at Congregation Etz Chaim. “Some of it was written by hand and some on a typewriter, by my father. Now, as an adult, I’ve written my own. Dad’s were animated and interactive. I include a lot of songs, but I try to keep some of Dad’s traditions.” Passover is one Jewish holiday that seems to be religiously practiced by Jews, no matter which stream of Judaism they practiced in the past or practice today. The Passover seder is a tradition that includes matzah ball soup, matzot, bitter herbs, gefilte fish, (at least) four glasses of wine, and lots more food. The seder brings together families and friends for a lot of fun and
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The Needle table is set for the seder in a tent, along with the Needle Family Edition Haggadah (pictured right).
discussion, depending on the predominant age group around the table. This year, Karen Needle – an Etz Chaim member for 31 years – will have nearly 50 people around her seder table, which will be set up in a tent in her driveway. That is, unless the weather requires the 27 adults and 21 children to shuffle down into her basement for the enactment of the Needle Family Edition Haggadah. For years, Karen and Hank Needle have dropped sheets from the basement ceiling to make it look like tents in the desert, with big blankets and pillows in the center. When the Needles’ three children
freelancers who run the website would like to rewrite it in other languages, especially Hebrew, but that would require additional fundraising. The website is totally supported today through user donations. “We offer something free and it doesn’t feel right to charge for it since users are downloading their personal photos and content. They have the option of making their haggadot private. In fact, they have to agree to make it public,” she said. Haggadot.com is popular, Levinson said, because people are taking ownerwere young, they started making the sed- ship of their Jewish identity. “There’s er more kid-friendly. That required them more openness to making Judaism our to “whittle down the ‘thous’ and ‘thees’ own, and now there’s a lot more comfort from the Maxwell House haggadah” with the internet.” An Atlantan who uses Haggadot.com that many American Jews grew up using. Eventually the Needle family pulled to create her family’s personalized hagfrom various haggadot to create their gadah is Marsha Shrago, an Etz Chaim own haggadah, full of songs that Karen member since 1986. “Last year, I started Needle wrote. in January and worked at it. It’s not “One year it was Billy Joel songs, so in- something you can do tonight and have stead of ‘Uptown Girl,’ it was ‘Up the Nile,’ it ready for tomorrow,” she said. “What’s and instead of ‘Still Rock and Roll to Me,’ really nice about doing it online is that if it was ‘Still Bitter Herbs to Me,’” Needle you have different guests at your seder, recalled. A year later, the theme was the you can change if from year to year. And Sound of Pesach, with songs written to it’s easy to use.” “My Favorite Things,” among others. “The Shrago said her intention was to creadults thought it was wonderful, but the ate a haggadah with more questions than kids weren’t familiar with the music.” answers, such as “What has plagued you The point of creatthis year?” and let people ing their own haggaaround the table share dah, she explained, is their experiences. to “make it fun and not Personalized haggaso serious. The topic is dot can focus on current serious, and important social issues, like the ento tell, but it can be fun, vironment, immigrants too.” She pointed to a or refugees. That’s what tradition of the famSherry Frank has often ily whipping each other done with her haggadot. with green onions while She’s a veteran of haggasinging the “Dayeinu.” dah-writing, including “When we are able to some only for women. hold the seder outside, it She just wrote a hagEileen Levinson created is much easier to clean up gadah for the Women’s Haggadot.com after coming up from,” she added, laughing. Seder sponsored by the with the idea in grad school. For those who need a Atlanta chapter of the little bit of a push to personalize their hag- National Council of Jewish Women at gadot, there are now helpful websites that Congregation Or Hadash. Frank, who provide guidance, suggestions and organi- was chapter president in 1973 and took zational skills. This year, just in the city of the helm again this year, is already planAtlanta, there were more than 4,500 users ning next year’s Women’s Seder, along of the website Haggadot.com. “That doesn’t with co-hosts. include neighboring cities such as DecaWhether creating haggadot for ortur,” according to Eileen Levinson, creative ganizations of which she’s a member, or director of the website. She first launched writing one for her family, Frank said she a simpler version in 2011. The current ver- changes it “depending on the age of the sion, launched in 2015, is all based on an group around the table.” idea she had in graduate school. When creating a haggadah, Shrago Today there are more than 100,000 said, “It’s all about getting a hook. We all users of Haggadot.com, mostly in the know the story, but what makes it fun is United States, Canada and the United your telling your version. You have to get Kingdom. Levinson said her group of everyone to the table.” ■
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Graphic Novel Tells Haggadah Story with Modern Twist By Rabbi David Geffen This modern presentation of the ancient Exodus aims to bolster the younger generation’s connection with Judaism. “The vast majority of secular Jews in Israel attend a seder every year, as do a huge percentage of diaspora Jews,” writes David Olivestone, the translator of the new 169-page Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel published by Koren Publishers Jerusalem. “So maybe they will see or read something in this new haggadah which will pique their interest.” Let us travel together through the haggadah and we will encounter exciting illustrated moments that impact us in ways we had not realized in previous years. Early in the text, our guide, one little kid, is dressed in his quasi-Superman outfit with a matzah on his chest. He speaks for [Jordan] Gorfinkel, the creator; [Erez] Zadok, who painted the figures, and Olivestone, the translator. “We’re connecting a new generation to our living history, by illustrating the fully unabridged authentic text,” he says. Typically, we are led into the haggadah text by the invitation for anyone to
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AJT's weekly comic strip creator, Jordan B. Gorfinkel co-authored the "Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel."
“come and eat.” Gorfinkel introduces us to varied groups of seder attendants in this initial part of the haggadah.
The modern novel contains traditional elements found in haggadot, including an outline of the seder order and a breakdown of the seder, whose unique rendition includes characters that describe the symbolism of each item on the plate.
A hiker carrying her pack on her back joins; a young girl spinning a basketball, the whole world, on her finger. Also present is a hip-hop guitarist with a kippah. He puts that musical instrument down and then holds a Torah. He is next to a nattily dressed young man in a blue suit and a red tie. They sit down and start reading the haggadah. In the graphics, recalling the past, we see the four rabbis in Bnei Brak who “elaborate on the story of our rescue from Egypt.” We recognize the Jewish displaced persons after World War II, then the illegals in a tiny boat on the way to Eretz Yisrael. An American soldier is freeing a little Jewish boy, who is still garbed in a concentration camp suit striped from top to bottom. Now a real surprise: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel, key American leaders who were champions of freedom and supporters of the State of Israel, appear together. The two men walked hand in hand on the way to Selma, Ala. in the campaign to free African-Americans. I heard Heschel introduce King at The Rabbinical Assembly convention of Conservative rabbis in 1968. One of King’s key points, stressed that night, was that Israel was an “oasis of peace,” and Heschel always emphasized that Israel was the spiritual capital of the Jewish people. Three weeks later, on April 4, King was assassinated. Heschel marched with other leaders at the funeral procession in Atlanta. Lastly, among the seder attendees, the Ethiopian Jews finally freed, fly to
and deplane in Israel. In the Four Children illustration, a very smart girl is the “astute” child who knows all; the “rebellious” son, second child, does not want to have anything to do with this seder and runs to his room to bounce a basketball off the wall. His mother soothes him and returns him to the seder table. It is stressed again and again how the Jewish woman – and especially the Jewish mother – is a vibrant participant in the transmission of Judaism. The “innocent” child, a girl, asks “What is this?” and the father tells her how G-d rescued the Jewish people from the Egyptians. “The child who cannot even put his thoughts in words” must be shown how G-d rescued us. The mother captures the little boy’s interest in a childlike way by having 10 finger puppets representing the 10 plagues. Two well-known parts of the haggadah text are used to demonstrate what the march of the Jewish people has been through history. For “Dayenu,” starting with a Miriam-like figure holding her timbrel, there are 16 Jews in native costume from their varied homes. We can easily see where all our ancestors have resided throughout history. The final figure depicted in “Dayenu” is a female doctor. She is feeding her hungry child for she is a professional who makes sure her children experience her presence and benefit from her love of Judaism. On an enormous iPhone screen, the
A page from the "Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel" features Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, key American leaders who championed freedom and supported the State of Israel.
march through the Red Sea is depicted by Jewish people, ancient and modern. As you gaze at the faces on the screen, you will be surprised by some of the people Gorfinkel selected. Down the sides of the page are symbols of the different sections of this volume â€“ ancient, but new. When you reach the place in the haggadah of the designated symbol, it pops out on the page. This Passover, read, peruse, enjoy and catch the interesting symbolism of this unique haggadah. It can only enrich your seder! â–
Helpful graphics accompany the questions asked by the "astute child." ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 53
EDUCATION Georgia Tech Poet Has a Way with Words He Can’t Hear By Rachel Fayne Ilya Kaminsky is an internationally praised poet, winner of numerous honors and awards and, most recently, was named Georgia Tech’s Bourne Poetry Chair. He was raised in Odessa, Ukraine, the former Soviet Union. At 4 years old, Kaminsky lost most of his hearing following a misdiagnosis. He arrived in the United States in 1993. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of California. He recently received the 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. We asked Kaminsky about his background and career. The following interview has been edited for clarity and length. AJT: You began writing poetry in English? Kaminsky: I wrote verses in Russian for quite some time before we came to America. The question of English being my “preferred language for literature” would have been quite ironic back then, since none of us spoke English. But arriving in Rochester [N.Y.] was rather a lucky event. That place was a magical gift, it was like arriving to a writing colony, a Yaddo [N.Y. artist community] of sorts. There was nothing to do except for writing poetry! My father died in 1994, a year after our arrival to America. I understood right away that it would be impossible for me to write about his death in the Russian language. … I choose English because no one in my family or friends knew it; no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.
Photo by Cybele Knowles, courtesy of the University of Arizona Poetry Center // Ilya
Kaminsky is the new director of Poetry@Tech.
AJT: Has your language choice affected or influenced your writing? Kaminsky: I find English to be a more precise language, while there are more possibilities for sound work in Russian. In English, I write in lines. So the lines find their way on paper whether I overhear two boys insulting each other at the gas station, or see a gull cleaning her feet, or two old men playing dominoes on a hood of a car, or two young women kissing at the fish market. They become lines on receipts, on my hands, on a water bottle, on other people’s poems. Lines collect for years, but once in a while they discover that other lines are sexy and, well, the poems may come from that sort of a relationship. AJT: Compare the experience of being Jewish in America to the Soviet Union? Kaminsky: For me, it is cultural. I am a Soviet Jew. I left former USSR at 16, and that is the age at which people in that part of the world are quite formed in their outlooks on life. Of course, I can speak only for people of my generation who grew up in the 1990s and came of age watching their country fall apart and multiple ethnic conflicts flare up all along its perimeter. I am a Jew whose holy books are Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Babel and Grace Paley and I.B. Singer and Bernard
Kaminsky’s latest book, "Deaf Republic," was released March 5.
Malamud and great Medieval Jewish poets of Spain, and Bialik and Amichai and Kafka and Edmond Jabès and many other great Jewish authors of past and present. In Odessa, being Jewish was, of course, also the question of language. Odessa Russian is very Yiddish-influenced language; it is quite different from Russian in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Isaak Babel is the major writer who wrote in that language. As a child I first found Babel’s book on the kitchen table. That was before I wrote poems, or really even read books much, and finding it, I realized that the language my parents spoke, which was different from the language officials at my school spoke, was something that could be in a book. In addition to that, being Jewish in the former USSR is quite different than being Jewish in this country. Here, it is a religion. There, it is an ethnicity identified in your passport. But even if somehow (which was the case for many people) in your passport it says that you are Russian, your neighbors still look you in the face and see exactly who you are. And when they hit you, they aim directly in your face. It is a very different world. AJT: Has teaching with little to no hearing ever presented hurdles? Kaminsky: I read lips. Over the years, I learned how to do it quite well. There is simply no other choice, so one adapts. AJT: You’re also the new director of Poetry@Tech. Kaminsky: Our goal is to provide access to the craft of poetry by bringing programs that hinge on diversity and foster understanding and community building through the arts. This year alone we brought a famous poet from Belarus and a legendary poet who is also an award-winning human rights activist. We are bringing a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur “Genius” Prize winner next year. There are various other forms of public programming. For instance, we brought U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to local schools this spring.
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We had a poet who lives in Hollywood come and speak about poetry and films. We had another poet speak about poetry and politics and another poet came to give a lecture on metaphors. Additionally, Poetry@Tech also publishes Terminus, a literary magazine which does incredible work to publish such authors as Pulitzer Prize winners Vijay Seshadri, Billy Collins and Tyehimba Jess, among many other accomplished poets. Such Atlanta poets as Theresa Davis and Katie Chaple, among others, have collaborated with Poetry@Tech to create outreach programs in Atlanta communities. As a part of this program, we also offer workshops at Positive Impact [Health Centers], bringing poetry to those living with HIV/AIDS. Finally, in addition to Poetry@Tech, LMC [School of Literature Music and Communications] is also the home to Atlanta Review, the oldest existing journal in the American South to publish international literature. AJT: Your newest book, “Deaf Republic,” deals with, among others, some modern political themes in a unique setting. Where did the inspiration come from? Kaminsky: I did not have hearing aids until I was 16. As a deaf child, I experienced my country as a nation without sound. I heard USSR fall apart with my eyes. Walking through the city, I watched the people; their ears were open all the time, they had no lids. I was interested in what the sounds might be like. The whooshing. The hissing. The whistle. The sound of keys turning in the lock, or water moving through the pipes two floors above us. I could easily notice how the people around me spoke to each other with their eyes without realizing it. But what if the whole country was deaf like me? So that whenever a policeman’s commands were uttered, no one could hear? I liked to imagine that. Through “Deaf Republic,” the townspeople teach each other sign language (illustrated in the book) as a way to coordinate, while remaining unintelligible to the government. Although this book is a fable, in the center of it you will find a young man shot by police in the open street lying for hours on the pavement behind a police tape. As Americans we seem to keep pretending that history is something that happens elsewhere, a misfortune that befalls other people. But history is lying there in the middle of our street, right behind the yellow police tape showing us who we are. ■
College Decision Time Could Be Difficult do they have to wait for the Applications to colleges fancier rooms? Are the livseemed to be sent long ago. ing facilities co-ed by floors, For high school seniors who wings or single-sex? applied Early Decision and Extracurricular Activiwere accepted, the decisionties: Assuming you do not making is over. Those stuneed to study all the time, dents had to accept the ED what activities are available contract that if they were and to your liking? Is it difaccepted, they would enroll ficult to gain entry to those in the fall of 2019. Their activities? College is a place decision-making was com- Dr. Mark L. where you can explore. Inpleted unless extraordinary Fisher terested in an activity you circumstances occurred. However, most seniors have until haven’t been involved in before? Perhaps May 1 to make a decision, as that is the you never had the activity in your high National Candidate’s Reply Date. Stu- school. Athletics: Have you been involved in dents who were accepted to only one college have no choices to ponder. Yet, there high school sports? Are you regarded as are many seniors that need to make a a possibility for college sports? Have you choice, by the reply date, for they have been in contact with a particular coach? Can you be a walk-on? Or, what club athbeen accepted by more than one college. One day the student chooses Col- letics are there on campus that you can lege A, the next College B, then College C. play? Is it easy to get tickets to the colSome ask this writer to choose for them. lege’s football games? Cost of Attendance: Finances are Just tell them either A, B or C. Sorry, I can’t make the decision for you. I will not a major topic these days. The cost of atbe attending the college. You, the student, tending any college is huge compared will be learning and living at that college. to years ago. Students, in many cases, I can, however, help the student learn are graduating college with debts from $20,000 to $25,000 or more. Parents how to make the decision. One suggestion is to visit your top should be talking about the financial astwo choices, now that there is less pres- pects of each college. There are two types of aid: needsure because you have been accepted. You will visit the campus more relaxed based and merit-based. The latter is mostthan the first time you set foot there. Ar- ly awarded on grades and test scores. But range to attend a class or classes. Maybe there are financial awards not only for you can sleep in the dorms overnight, athletics but for departmental awards. certainly talk to students, chat with a Some private colleges are giving merit professor in your intended major, and scholarships that one might not expect. Of course, families have, hopefully, filed visit the Hillel. At this point in your pre-college ca- the FAFSA [Free Application for Federal reer, write down the questions you have Student Aid]. In Georgia, you have the that have not been previously addressed. HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships for public colleges in the state and to a lesser Why is this college a good fit for you? Academics: Are the academics what extent for private colleges in Georgia. Then, there are the need-based you desire? Will the competition be over your head? Or, is the competition what awards based on the ability of the famyou want? How strong is your intended ily to pay, which, of course, stems from major? Can you double major? What is FAFSA or the College Profile required by the average class size as a freshman and some colleges. In our discussion, when a in your possible major? Do you like large family is awarded aid by more than one classes or smaller classes? Which size college, the award letter has to be careclass will promote your learning and suc- fully studied. How much is scholarship, cess in the classroom? Do the students and how much is loan or work-study? brag about the professors? Are many How much of your need is being covclasses taught by graduate students or ered? Perhaps, 60 percent or 80 percent teaching assistants? or 100 percent. While most scholarships Campus: Is the campus reason- or loans are from the college, there are ably well-maintained? Facilities in good some outside funds. For our readers, one shape or falling apart? Classrooms and such example is the Jewish Educational science lab updated? What about one’s Loan Fund (JELF). living quarters? At one time, there were Can a family talk to the financial only dormitories. Then came suites like aid office at a college to plead their case apartments. Where can freshman live or for more money? Yes, but they first need
to have the facts that will better explain their FAFSA results. Are there outstanding circumstances, such as a recent job loss, medical situation, or caring for an older adult which was not accounted for on the FAFSA? Jews On Campus: What do you want Jewishly? For some, that is a major question. Do you want a reasonable Jewish population? How active are the Jewish students in Jewish activities? Is the Hillel or Chabad popular? How active is the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox or other such groups? Are there Jewish fraterni-
ties and sororities on campus? Are there Sabbath services? For those concerned, is there a kosher meal plan? Are Jewish students excused for classes on Jewish holidays? Is there a BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement on campus? Are there anti-Israel demonstrations? Anti-Semitism on campus? These are just a few of the Jewish concerns. ■ Mark Fisher is a college and career consultant at Fisher Educational Consultants, www.fishereducationalconsultants.com, and a consultant for the College Planning Institute, www.GotoCPI.com.
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Photos courtesy of The Davis Academy
The Grasshopper, along with all of James’ newly found insect friends — the Ladybug, Centipede, Earthworm, Spider, and Glowworm — reassure James that his parents are with him in everything that [he is] and in everywhere that [he is].
James, alone in the orphanage, sings the hopeful ballad “On Your Way Home” to the Ladybug, who appeared on his bed. In the song, James shares his longing and hope that he will find a new home and family to love him after suffering the tremendous loss of his parents.
The Davis Academy Presents ‘James and the Giant Peach’
56 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Students from The Davis Academy from The Mechina, kindergarten prep program to the eighth grade, gave four performances last month of “James and the Giant Peach, JR.” The audience included students, family, friends, alumni, and members of the Greater Atlanta community. Under the direction of Kendrick Phillips, director of visual and performing arts, 150 cast and crew members brought the Roald Dahl classic to life in The Davis Academy Rosenberg Performing Arts Theatre. “James and the Giant Peach” is a tale of courage, self-discovery, acceptance, family and friendship. It is a tale of what it truly means to be “living our values (spirit, community, wisdom, righteousness, respect) every day”. “James’ journey and discovery of hidden strengths and character values mirrors our Davis core values and is the perfect conduit for our children to put into action what they learn each day,” Phillips said. “James is a resilient young boy full of hope who has suffered a tre-
mendous loss. He makes the best of what he has while dreaming of a brighter future. Along his journey from losing family, to finding family, to choosing family, he realizes he has the power to change his situation and live a more fruitful life surrounded by those who share his values, moral compass, and positive, compassionate disposition.” In this performance, the importance of family and friendships is emphasized along with the themes of love and loss and how maintaining good relationships with your friends can help overcome many of life’s challenges and difficult situations. As James’ story unfolded, audience members witnessed firsthand the pertinence of friendship, creative problem solving, and appreciating people for their unique characteristics. In addition to the performances March 17-19, the cast and crew also gave three outreach shows featuring highlights and songs from the musical at Shabbat Sing at the Marcus JCC, F.L. Stanton Elementary School, and at a Little Acorns event at Avalon. ■
Spiker and Sponge celebrate their fortune from making James chop down the Giant Peach from their garden tree and selling the rights to Hollywood agents, reporters, and the Ladies’ Garden Guild.
Ladahlord and the full “James and the Giant Peach” company sing the opening number “Right Before Your Eyes” in which the audience will “marvel as magic is on display.”
‘Black Boychik’ Sarge Leaves Us Laughing
By Marcia Caller Jaffe [the old actor] versus Benghazi.” Billed by the Marcus JCC as an “adult” comedian, it took the audience some time to adjust to what they were experiencing. A throwback to the raunchy older Jewish comedians such as Buddy Hackett and Shecky Greene (whom Sarge said he just spoke to for a new joke), Sarge was an equal opportunity offender. Holding back no “F” words, it could have been Vegas or Grossinger’s, but he won over Dunwoody. Sarge performed two shows, at 5 and 7 p.m., on the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre stage April 7. Sarge was all about his aging Florida parents, bathroom humor, balancing his ethnicity and especially the topic of why Jewish holidays are so morose and unpleasant. “At Pesach time, goyim are painting eggs, eating chocolate bunnies and confessing to a pedophile in a booth, while we are talking about plagues with vermin and eating ceiling tile [matzah].” Although he said he would not talk about politics, he listed Mike Pence as one of the plagues. A musical prodigy as a child, Steve Pickman was born to an Orthodox Jewish woman and a black man in 1961. Adopted by a white Jewish couple from Long Island, he trudged through years of addiction. After hitting rock bottom, he got sober and rose through the competitive world of stand up comedy. Today he is a husband, father and mentor to thousands as he volunteers with recovery facilities, including Jewish ones. To much applause he announced that he had just lost 104 pounds by going to the Duke University program and learning to “not let high caloric food speak to me. … Rugalach and Rice Krispies treats beckon me; pears do not.” His most topical pun was that his grandfather paid Julliard $500,000 so he could be admitted on the non-existent badminton team there. He actually did attend Julliard in New York, as well as Emory University. A fan, Ron Lipsitz, said, “Sarge is reminiscent of Don Rickles with rapidfire Yiddish-flavored verbal bullets, straightforward ‘in-your-face.’ Occasionally insulting and off-color, Sarge is nevertheless topical, consistently funny, and his carefully prepared presentation reflects a keen intellect with a spot-on understanding of human nature. His skill on the piano is a bonus.” Laughing from the second row, Lynne Greenfield said, “My husband Tom and I were both blown away by his
“As a child I went to fat camp, bath camp, … and played with Etch-a-Sketch, Lite-Brite and an Easy Bake Oven with a lightbulb so I could never eat the food.” “Please tell the Atlanta Jewish Times readers that I played 'Hatikvah,' 'Adon Olom,' 'Dayenu,' 'I Had a Little Dreidel,' so you don’t bury my story in the back with the deli ads and obits.” He did indeed play those and more fantastic tunes ranging from “Danny Boy” to “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Photo via iamsarge.com // Born in Florida to a Jewish mother and black
father, Steve 'Sarge' Pickman is the 'Black Boychik.'
incredible musical ability. He is a piano genius! The one-man show was hilarious from beginning to end.” Here are some of his stories and zingers (that we can print):
cushion on the curbs, etc.” “My mother gets things confused. She wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because of the debacle with ‘Ben Gazzara’
“Only a backwoods Jewish audience from Dunwoody would request ‘Danny Boy.’ This is so far out in the suburbs we might have just played in Tennessee.” ■ Sarge’s book is a must and an easy read. “Black Boychik: The Hilarious, True Story of a Fat, Mixed-Race Jew Crack Addict who Somehow Becomes a Comedian. Go Figure.” Available on Amazon.
“I love that the Atlanta Jewish Times is here watching the show. The earlier show was covered by the Muslim Sentinel, so it was all totally different.” “Both my black and Jewish relatives were slaves on both sides, so you can’t do anything more to me.” “My black side shoplifts, but my Jewish side dictates only wholesale.” “Don’t worry about political correctness with blackface. Say you saw me perform tonight in beige face.” “I was so bad at math during school that I thought trigonometry was undercooked pork.” “I was impressed with security in Israel. I have just returned from six shows there. They assigned me Jewish Navy Seals; but in the water they only go in up to their knees with Jewish splashing. I love landing in Tel Aviv and seeing the combination of a yamulkie, tallis and a bazooka!” “I urged my parents, 91 and 85, to move to Florida since they were always falling. I felt there were more seniors here already falling to make a softer ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 57
Russian Drama Recalls Passover From Turbulent Time By Bob Bahr A new Russian film recently shown at Emory University is a reminder that personal and communal survival, as much as the Passover theme of freedom, was on the minds of those who celebrated the holiday under the brutal anti-Semitic rule of the Czars in the Russian empire of the 19th and early 20th centuries. “Smile Upon Us, Lord” is a filmed play based on a production by Moscow’s famed Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre, which has had outstanding reviews of performances in London and New York. It tells the story of how an elderly stonecutter, Efraim Dudak, and two of his friends, travel from their shtetl in rural Lithuania, then a Russian province, to the capital, Vilnius, to try to save his son from Czarist justice. The dangerous trip, which is as much about the journey as it is the object of the journey, is undertaken when the old man learns that his son is to be tried for the attempted assassination of the Czar’s governor. Over half of the Jews of the world lived in Russia at this time when Jewish life was particularly harsh. Pogroms were frequent events and the holiday of Passover often became as much about giving thanks for another year of life than a festival about divinely inspired freedom. “Smile Upon Us, Lord” is set at about the same time as the infamous Kishinev massacre. In what is now the Republic of Moldova, that began on Easter Sunday in 1903, just a week before Passover. In a rampage that made headlines in many newspapers of the time, 49 Jews were killed, 500 were injured, scores of Jewish women were raped by gangs armed with knives and hatchets, more than 1,500 Jewish homes were damaged, and 2,000 Jews were left homeless. Three years ago, Steven J. Zipperstein, a prominent scholar of Jewish history at Emory University, delivered the Tenenbaum Lecture about the massacre and its importance during the last century. The far-reaching consequences of the pogrom were said to have breathed new life into the young Zionist movement. In Palestine the massacre spurred on such Russian immigrants as David Ben-Gurion and others of his generation to create a network of settlements and kibbutzim where Jews would be able to defend themselves against attacks from the outside. The pogrom inspired new waves of Jewish immigration to America and increased the radicalization of a new generation of Russian Jews. 58 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
“Smile Upon Us Lord” is a filmed stage play set among the Jews of Lithuania in Czarist Russia more than a century ago.
One of those Jews who was then radicalized is the son of the stonecutter in “Smile Upon Us, Lord.” The filmed stage play is based upon the work of the famed Jewish Lithuanian novelist, Grigory Kanovich, who explores the precarious nature of life then and now. The director of the production, Rimas Tuminas, who is also Lithuanian and grew up with Jews, but is not Jewish, has been quoted as saying that the message of the play is a universal one. “Now the world is dangerously balanced between war and peace. In the play, characters undertake a journey at a very unstable time. Their world is not unbalanced, it’s horrifying, and the characters feel both its rising madness and approaching calamity. A natural human intention to develop something useful is replaced by a sudden urge to destroy.” But Tuminas has made a work that resonates with personal, human emotion too. The drama is built on this line from the play that speaks to the separation that develops between parent and children as they age. “Wherever we traverse, wherever we go,” Ephraim says during the play, “We are for our children. And our children are traversing and going further and further away from us.” Still Ephraim and his companions travel the road to Vilnius in a horse-drawn wagon with its immense load of furniture, perhaps symbolic of the burdens from their past that they carry from the shtetl to the big city. The film, which was produced by Stage Russia in Moscow, has been screened at a number of AMC and Regal theaters around the country. Owners have been exploring how to make their theaters, in a sense, cultural centers as well as venues for the latest superhero blockbusters. Taking advantage of the flexibility of digital projection equipment and the networking inherent in web-based distribution, they are bringing some of the world’s greatest theatrical and musical performances to the nation’s movie theaters at affordable prices. “Smile Upon Us, Lord” may yet smile upon us, again, in Atlanta. ■
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 59
‘Inheritance’ Looks at Modern Identity By Bob Bahr Dani Shapiro’s new memoir, “Inheritance,” which examines her discovery at the age of 54 that her very Orthodox father was not her father, has been a runaway bestseller. It is the current selection of the Temple Sinai Book Club, has inspired the popular podcast “Family Secrets,” and has been optioned by Hollywood. The book tells how a seemingly innocent decision to take a popular DNA test unlocked a search for the true story of her birth and her subsequent upbringing as an Orthodox Jew. I touched base with Shapiro during a brief time out from her whirlwind schedule as both a writer and a literary celebrity. AJT: Why do you think your book resonates so profoundly with readers? Shapiro: My story and hopefully the way that I’ve written it has tapped into a very specific moment in time. We’re living in a really interesting moment that has to do with secrecy and privacy and anonymity and identity and things that affect us all. My story really keys into a
The success of "Inheritance" has established its author as a literary celebrity. It is the current selection of the Temple Sinai Book Club.
Dani Shapiro, who grew up as an Orthodox Jew, was always troubled by the fact that she didn’t "look Jewish."
lot of ways from inside an experience of someone having gone through such a restructuring of identity. AJT: How has the writing of this book, and the discovery that your bio-
logical father is not Jewish affected your Jewish identity? Shapiro: I was always told that I didn’t look Jewish and I always knew that and kind of grappled with that. I thought I understood it at times and thought I didn’t understand it at times, but I never stopped to consider how much that was affecting my sense of belonging in the Jewish community. I had the sense of not belonging or otherness, especially when I was in the Orthodox world of my father. Once I understood that, it was liberating for me regarding my own profound sense of Jewishness. I feel more Jewish now than I ever have in my whole life because I now understand what I didn’t understand and so it’s not standing in the way of me and my Jewish identity. AJT: When you were born into a very Orthodox Jewish world more than 50 years ago, your conception came about through what was then not very traditional science. There seems to be an irony here that has had an enormous influence on your life. Shapiro: I haven’t spoken of this before, but it is something that really came to me as quite a thunderbolt. At some point while I was writing “Inheritance,” I was thinking back to my bat mitzvah. I insisted on becoming a bat mitzvah. I insisted on it. It’s not something that was part of my father’s Orthodox world. I didn’t need to do that. My father, I think as a way of maybe challenging me, said, “Fine, since you can’t read from the Torah on your bat mitzvah, you can learn and recite the entire book of Ruth.” It’s about conversion and identity,
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“Whither thou goest, I go” and so forth, I mean. I thought about that, you know, all those years later. Conscious or not, there it is. I mean as a writer, one thing I have long understood, and I’ve always told my students when I’m teaching is that just because a metaphor is not conscious doesn’t mean it’s not a metaphor. In fact, it’s a better metaphor when it’s not conscious. I would say that my bat mitzvah was quite a metaphor for the circumstances of my life. AJT: This book seems so intimate. It’s almost like you’re saying: My life is an open book. Is your life an open book? Shapiro: I don’t feel that my life is an open book. I never have felt that my life is an open book, despite the fact that I’ve written 10 books. And so that’s to the first point, but it seems that we are culturally in a moment where secrecy is becoming something understood as toxic. And that’s not good for people. Which is a different subject than privacy. I really want to make that distinction. This podcast that I started in February called “Family Secrets” has exploded in its popularity and I think the reason for that is because it’s sort of shining a light on something that was secret, something that was kept in the dark out of shame or out of fear and often in the name of love. I’m seeing a lot of relief in the sharing of something that was secret. That’s OK. You’re just a human being just like me. ■ Dani Shapiro will speak at a free event at 7:15 p.m. June 27 at the Georgia Center for the Book at the Decatur Public Library.
Roya and Kamy Deljou on the staircase. Kamy recalls that the spiral staircase and open spaces were one of the reasons they bought the house.
Photos by Duane Stork // The “Whirling Dervish” was created by Kamy as a mixed media encaustic.
His own work is also on the walls at Rumi’s Kitchen on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.
Chai Style Home
The couple poses by Kamy’s original creation ESHGH, “love,” in Farsi. It is mixed media with resin and diamond dust.
Persian Art Impresario Conducts in Sandy Springs The sprawling Deljou house is a mélange of styles entine’s gift for Roya. I took her photo in Batumi, (the relating the Guggenheim Museum with its white circu- second largest city in the country of Georgia [Adjara], lar structures and open spiral stairs infused with canary known as the Las Vegas of the Black Sea) and was incages and art textures that create a family oasis. spired by her love of butterflies to incorporate 3D wings Artist, entrepreneur, co-founder of Deljou Art on top of the image, coated with clear resin. I also craftGroup/publishing house, Persian-born ed a heart piece entitled ESHGH (“love,” in Kamy has carved out a niche like no other Farsi) on art board with resin and diamond with his 85,000-square-foot showroom off dust for Roya’s birthday. Chattahoochee Avenue, with a staff of 127 The “Whirling Dervish” in our enartists, framers, designers and marketing trance is three months old. It’s mixed mestaff, as well as state of the art equipment. dia with beeswax. Encaustic and resin are “What motivates me is creating immy newest media. My process of creation pactful art that helps artists become reevolved from my Persian culture and the spected professionals.” Exotic wife Roya people I love. The hardest part is choosing keeps physically and mentally in shape as a which pieces to put up in our home because personal trainer and yoga instructor. Some Marcia at Deljou Art Group, we represent over 100 portion of that goes into being Kamy’s Caller Jaffe artists on an exclusive basis. Each has a calming muse and elegant hostess. spectacular unique eye. If I had enough Kamy, who is most confident in Prada, celebrates wall space, I’d have a piece from everyone we represent! his artistic fiery wonderland one wall at a time. Take the tour: Marcia: What inspired you to buy this home 22 years ago? Marcia: What here is your own work and how do Kamy: Love at first sight. The freestanding staircase you go about creating it? is a masterpiece by Kemp Mooney, a renowned architect. Kamy: My most recent creation was this year’s ValWe also liked the 36-foot-high ceilings, large win-
dows, open and wall space for our art collections, an atypical floor plan which is suitable for our lifestyle of hosting. Having the opportunity to create the Shiraz garden in the backyard was “icing on the cake.” Marcia: Describe your décor? Kamy: The house was in line with our personality, character and uplifting values. Furniture and accessories are great reflections of who we are, and don’t necessarily represent any style or era. Call it “Deljou’s Style.” Marcia: What Israeli artists do you collect? Kamy: Most of our sculptures are by Israelis: Tolla Inbar, Mark Bronson, Ruth Bloch and Jonathan Darmon. This nail torso is by Israeli Niso Maman.
Marcia: Share your journey from Iran. Kamy: I graduated from Shiraz, Iran’s Pahlavi University (Now Shiraz University) in economics and business management before moving to the United States in 1980 to validate the term “land of opportunity.” Soon after, I discovered the need for a liaison between artists and galleries, art consultants and designers. This is why, along with my two older brothers Nasser and Daniel, we ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 61
ARTS The metal fan backed chairs surround the Italian eat-in kitchen table.
Kamy custom-designed this round dining room table out of birch with a base of steel. All chairs are upholstered differently. Ballerina sculpture by Ruth Block. Fish painting by T.L. Lange. The background is a western view to the pool. Chandelier by Lighting Loft.
started Graphic DuJour that is now Deljou Art Group. Why Atlanta? In life not everything we do is by choice, but how we manage and adapt is. Atlanta has been a great home to us. I picked Atlanta because my brothers were here, and the future held that I would meet Roya. We are now well-established and surround ourselves with family, great friends and colleagues.
Marcia: What are the most unusual pieces you have? Kamy: “The Bait” by Volker Kuhn. I bought this for Roya to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Another is from Craig Alan's world famous series “Populus.” I adore this piece for multiple reasons. Craig is an amazing human being, and I am mesmerized by his style and creativity.
Marcia: You are one of the largest local art dealers. What goes on in your office/gallery/warehouse? Kamy: Deljou Art Group is a platform, community and space for artists to become professional painters, blossom, get trained and excel. We support artists by providing art direction, publishing, framing, printing, and consulting. We are a one stop shop.
Marcia: How are you involved in communitydriven efforts? Kamy: We focus on funding for educational facilities and students like supporting SmallWorldFilms, and founding “Undo Starving Artists” (USA) a nonprofit that challenges the misconception that one can’t successfully make a living creating art. The Button Art Project was conceived to celebrate the 200-
The Deljous entertain outdoors in their glittery Shiraz garden. 62 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Kamy enjoys open spaces and this rope climbing sculpture by Tolla Inbar entitled “Aspiration.”
ARTS Roya relaxes in front of the Cantoni cocktail table in the formal living room with dog Charlie. Background “Green Queen” by T. L. Lange.
The art deco gold hand and scarlet and lime chairs front the dancing fireplace.
year anniversary of Gwinnett County. I’m also taking part in Gwinnett’s Art Brigade to create a platform for artists to gain recognition through public art.
items. My lush green display here is sumac, garlic, hyacinth, vinegar, samanu (wheat germ pudding), apple, fish, mirror, candle and coins.
Marcia: Persians love to party. How do you set up for that? Kamy: Open door and welcoming guests always is a backbone of Persian culture. Roya is an amazing cook and hostess. “We are blessed to celebrate MANY occasions: Jewish, Persian and American holidays.
Marcia: What’s it like living with someone so creative? Roya: No two days are the same, I can tell you that! He has opened my eyes to seeing things so differently around me – whether it’s related to art, people, cultures or the world. He brings a creative eye to everything he does, and it’s so much fun to see how he experiences the world. From fashion and style to architecture and design, he’s brought color and zest into my life as have our two daughters. Marcia: Based on the Kuhn piece (shown below left), you’re glad you took “The Bait.” ■
Marcia: How do you celebrate the Persian equinox /New Year? Roya: Our New Year begins the second spring starts. This year it was March 20 at 5:58 p.m. We celebrated with the family and set the table with symbolic
Above center: Kamy created this three-dimensional butterfly creation for Roya on Valentine’s Day. Below: In the music room, “The Marriage Trap” by Volker Kuhn, which Kamy acquired for their 10th anniversary. Note that the woman is being tempted to “take the bait.”
This life-sized metal goat statue is forefront to four T.L. Lange paintings. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 63
CALENDAR SUNDAY, APRIL 21
for public engagement. Free. For more information, and to register, www.bit. ly/2GbNj1e or email email@example.com.
Diamond Family Religious School Open House – Temple Emanu-El, 1580 Spalding Drive, Atlanta, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Diamond Family Religious School invites all parents of children from pre-K to 12th grade to spend Sunday morning with them and experience the program firsthand. Tour the school, talk to parents and teachers and meet the clergy and the principal. Free. For more information and to register, www.bit.ly/2Hj5hRp.
CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Pesach: Friday, April 19, 2019, light candles at 7:54 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2019, Shabbat ends at 8:51 p.m. Sunday, April21, 2019, Yontiff ends at 8:52 p.m. Pesach: Thursday, April 25, 2019, light candles at 7:58 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019, light candles at 7:59 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019, Shabbat ends at 8:57 p.m. through fifth grade. Free. To register, www.revvedupkids.org/events.
the Holocaust. Free. For more information, www.bit.ly/2KlU19e.
Hunger Walk – The Home Depot Back-
MONDAY, APRIL 22
Magical Mondays – William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. For children ages 6 to 12 years old and their families. Do you want to learn some magic? This summer at the Breman you’ll have your chance. Every week a staff member or a visiting guest magician will perform and teach magic that you can do using items you have around the house. By summer’s end you’ll be a regular Houdini. Free for members, regular admission for nonmembers. For more information, www.bit.ly/2FRA3yP.
SUNDAY, APRIL 28
Personal Safety and Self-Defense Workshop for Kids – Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway NE, Marietta, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Protect your child from predators! Join us for this event, hosted by Revved Up Kids and sponsored by the Phillip Michael Silverman Memorial Endowment Fund. Event is for kids in kindergarten
yard, 1 Backyard Way, Atlanta, from 1 to 4 p.m. Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and represent as the Jewish community comes together to end hunger and raise funds for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and local anti-hunger organizaions. To register and for more information, www.bit.ly/2VcvcNR.
MONDAY, APRIL 29
Earth Day @ MJCCA – Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get your hands dirty during activities and speaking events that will help you appreciate the environment we all share! Activities include container gardening, earth-based art and a plant-based cooking class. $25 for members, $30 for the community.
Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony – Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. All are invited to a Holocaust commemoration ceremony featuring guest speaker, Pamela Sampson, who wrote, “No Reply: A Jewish Child Aboard the MS St. Louis and the Ordeal That Followed.” The program will also include readings, memorial prayers, and the lighting of six torches in memory of those who perished in
JELF Young Professionals Happy Hour – Bogartz Food Artz, 227 Sandy Springs Place NE, Sandy Springs, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Network and socialize, meet new people and learn more about a great organization that very likely helped people you know get to college the interest-free way. Free. For more information, www.bit.ly/2I9G5gJ.
Israeli Elections Analysis with the New Israel Fund – Congregation Shearith Israel, 1180 University Drive, Atlanta, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Join NIF for a special evening conversation and analysis of Israel’s elections results from Israeli expert Mikhael Manekin, director of NIF grantee The Alliance for Israel’s Future, and Libby Lenkinski, NIF’s vice presdient
TUESDAY, APRIL 30
Pasta Making – Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta, from 7 to 9 p.m. Whether it’s fresh fish and olives from Sicily or rustic flavors from a Tuscan village, Italian cooking is as varied as the country it comes from. The program will include making a chopped salad, pumpkin ravioli, fettuccine with pesto, goat cheese tortellini, and hazelnut truffles. $50 for members, $65 for the community. For more information and to register, www.bit.ly/2Z05rmj.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1
Metulla Hadassah “Discovering and Liberating Dachau” – Congregation Beth Shalom, 5303 Winters Chapel Road, Dunwoody, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Featuring Hilbert "Hibby" Margol, whose story was featured in the “American Witnesses” exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibit highlights Americans who saw firsthand evidence of Nazi atrocities, presenting their oral and written testimonies with photographs and film. $5 per person at the door. For more information, www.bit.ly/2D2FXeE.
Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Program – Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway NE, Marietta, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. This program has been organized and will be led by teens from the Catholic Church of St. Ann and Etz Chaim, who are part of the Interfaith Holocaust Fellowship. Etz Chaim welcomes its friends from St. Ann’s to observe Yom HaShoah together. Yom HaShoah candles will be distributed. Refreshments will be served. Free. For more information, www.bit.ly/2WZ7W6m. ■
Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:
Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. In order to be considered for the print edition, please submit events two weeks in advance. Contact community relations director, Jen Evans, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. 64 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Happy Passover COMMUNITY SEDERS FRIDAY, APRIL 19
First Night Passover Seder – Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway NE, Marietta, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. First night seder led by Rabbi Daniel and Amy Dorsch. Open to the community. $36 per adult 21 and older, $24 for ages 13 to 20, $18 per child and $18 additional per family for non-synagogue members. For questions, contact Marty Gilbert at email@example.com or call 770-973-0137. To register, www.bit.ly/2TWqg2Z.
Annual Seder Led by Rabbi Lebow – Temple Kol Emeth, 1415 Old Canton Road, Marietta, from 6 to 8 p.m. This interactive seder will have you singing, praying and laughing with all your TKE friends. Dogwood Catering will have all your favorite Pesach dishes to enjoy. $40 per adult. For more information, www.bit.ly/2OFpZvH.
Community Seder – Congregation Bet Haverim, 2074 LaVista Road, Atlanta, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Join the synagogue on the first night of Pesach as it gathers for its CBH Community Seder. All are invited, but encouraged to reserve seats, as they fill up quickly and seats are limited. To register, www.bit.ly/2CEslpM. 40s Plus Passover Seder – Chabad Intown On The BeltLine, 730 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta, from 7:15 to 11 p.m. If you are unmarried and like fine wine, this seder is for you. $50 per person, which includes dinner, drinks, matzah and all the haroset you can eat. A minimum of 40 reservations are needed to conduct this seder. For more information and to register, www.chabadintown.org/40s-passover-seder.
Community Passover Seder – Chabad of North Fulton, 10180 Jones Bridge Road, Alpharetta, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Enjoy the Holiday of Freedom with your family at an inspirational seder complete with original hand baked shmurah matzah, four cups of exquisite kosher wine, and a gourmet Passover dinner. $50 per adult. $25 per child. For more information and to register, www.chabadnf.org.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20
Community Passover Seder – Congregation B’nai Israel, 1633 GA-54, Jonesboro, from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy an interactive seder, buffet-style meal catered by Broadway Diner, festive songs, stories and much more. $30 for CBI members, $40 for nonmembers and $20 for children 10 and younger. For reservations, www.bit.ly/2UdUvTc.
Passover Second Night Seder – Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive, Atlanta, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Read the haggadah with Rabbi Sam and enjoy a family style meal. Families, singles and couples are welcome to attend this intergenerational, congregation-
APRIL 19-MAY 1
wide event. For pricing and more information, www.bit.ly/2FtpVLk.
TKC Family Passover Seder – Temple Kehillat Chaim, 1145 Green St., Roswell, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Join Rabbi Jason Holtz and his family for the second night of Passover, including music, games, arts and crafts, storytelling and a delicious dinner. Special youth programming by the Institute of Southern Jewish Life fellow Hannah Klegon. For pricing and more information, www.kehillatchaim.org/passover-seder.
2nd Night Seder – Temple Emanu-El, 1580 Spalding Drive, Atlanta, from 6 to 9 p.m. Led by their clergy and open to the public. $25 for children 13 and younger. $35 for adults. For more information and to register, www.bit.ly/2FBZep5.
Temple Beth Tikvah Community Seder – Temple Beth Tikvah, 9955 Coleman Road, Roswell, from 6 to 9 p.m. Participate in the retelling of the Exodus from Egyptian slavery, through readings and songs from the haggadah. A kosher farmto-table Passover meal will be served. For pricing and more information, www.bit. ly/2U9xccG.
Second Seder Shaarei Shamayim – Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, 1600 Mt. Mariah Road NE, Atlanta, from 7:15 to 11 p.m. Please join them for their second community seder. It will begin immediately after the service. $32 per adult, $18 per child. For more information, www.bit.ly/2uIPjHM. Congregation Dor Tamid's Annual Second Night Seder – The Standard Club, 5230 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek, from 5:30 to 8 :30 p.m. $36 for members, $18 for member child, $40 nonmember, $24 nonmember child. For more information, www.bit.ly/2uWkAXW.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23
HAMSA Sober Seder – Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive, Atlanta, from 7 to 9 p.m. Anyone in recovery, people who support them and their allies are invited for the festive meal, friendship and celebration. $10 per person, which includes a full seder including dinner and dessert. To register, www.bit.ly/2U6J0wc.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
9th Annual Hunger Seder – Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW, Atlanta, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Hunger, Nutrition and Health.” During the meal you will hear stories about hunger in the Atlanta community and learn more about becoming an advocate for change. $36 per person includes a fully catered, kosher meal. To register, www.bit.ly/2UeP6dS. at 8:51 p.m ■
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 65
Making Sense of Israeli Elections As Israelis try to decipher the recent election results, the New Israel Fund will host a conversation April 29 on the implications and a look at the path ahead. A panel of experts, including AJT freelancer Dave Schechter, will discuss what lies ahead for Israeli democracy and explore which issues will define the struggle for equality and democracy in the new Knesset. Panelists include Mikhael Manekin, Israeli director of The Alliance for Israel’s Future, and Libby Lenkinski, New Israel Fund's vice president for public engagement, in conversation with Schechter. NIF advances and defends democracy in Israel. The organization is credited with building Israeli progressive civil society and has provided more than $300 million to more than 900 organizations since its inception in 1979. NIF doesn’t support or oppose any candidate or political party for election. “We look at the big picture and share the most important stories about issues that affect Israelis from all walks of life,” the organization reports. The event, 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Shearith Israel, involves these panelists:
Libby Lenkinski is NIF’s vice president of public engagement.
Libby Lenkinski represents NIF, where she leads all aspects of the organization’s public efforts in the United States, including communications, digital, programs, events, leadership, community partnerships and engagement, New Generations and fellowships. Prior to joining NIF, Libby lived and worked in the Israeli non-profit field for almost a decade.
Dave Schechter writes for the AJT about such subjects as Israel and politics.
Mikhael Manekin is director of The Alliance for Israel’s Future.
Mikhael Manekin is an IsraeliAmerican Orthodox activist and strategist based in Jerusalem. He represents The Alliance for Israel’s Future, a consortium of donors and organizations focused on building new, progressive political leadership in Israel. Through the Alliance, Manekin established the Shutafut fellowship, a yearlong program for up-and-coming progressive leaders from diverse backgrounds to deepen political analysis and skills. Shutafut is rapidly becoming a catalyst for political change on the municipal and national levels. 66 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Dave Schechter became a newspaper reporter in the late 1970s in the Midwest and then a local television assignment manager. Moving to Israel, Schechter joined CNN as Jerusalem bureau producer. A few years later, he returned to the U.S. and worked for the network in Atlanta. He served on the national news desk for more than 26 years including as weekend national editor, Southeast region editor, and senior national editor. For the past five years, he has been freelancing. He writes a regular column and in-depth articles for the AJT and writes for other Jewish and secular publications. ■ You can learn more about NIF at www. nif.org.
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Interfaith families attend a Chanukah party hosted by InterfaithFamily/Atlanta.
Atlanta area couples attend a Shabbat celebration at Industrious with InterfaithFamily/Atlanta.
‘Radical Welcome’ in Action More than a year after stepping off The Front Porch, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is moving forward on a new set of priorities for community impact. One of those priorities is to cultivate a climate of “radical welcome” in all our Jewish places. That commitment to be radically welcoming also means thinking more openly and creatively about the ways we engage with and embrace interfaith families. Two Federation partnership events are squarely focused on the challenges of becoming a radically welcoming community. “Changing our community culture means being open to doing things differently,” said Eric Robbins, Federation’s president and CEO. “Only 13 percent of interfaith respondents to the 2016 Community Study strongly agreed that they feel part of a Jewish community in Greater Atlanta. We can do better! To effectively engage all Jews and their loved ones, we must create ongoing opportunities for frank discussion among our community leaders, and our interfaith families.”
The Interchange: A Modern Look at Interfaith Engagement On April 29 and 30 Federation, in partnership with InterfaithFamily/Atlanta, will convene The Interchange, an event targeting Jewish professionals, clergy and community leaders who want to sharpen their tool kit for techniques and strategies to engage interfaith families. This will be the largest gathering in the Southeast of professionals and clergy who work in the interfaith space, with attendees coming from the local area and as far away as Philadelphia, Boston, Ann Arbor and Denver. The Interchange opens on Monday evening April 29 with a keynote address featuring Archie Gottesman, the irreverent creator of JewBelong, an organization with a fresh take on welcoming all people to Judaism. Gottesman playfully calls herself the “co-chief-rebrander-of-Judaism,” and her agenda is to make Judaism meaningful, accessible and open to anyone, whether Jewish or not. Following the keynote, former CNN broadcast journalist Daryn Kagan, who is in an interfaith marriage, will introduce a storytelling session, plus Q & A, about the realities and challenges facing kids, parents and grandparents in interfaith families. The Interchange will kick into high gear on Tuesday with a full-day agenda from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Selig Center. In addition to panels and facilitated workshops, the event will feature a Marketplace of Ideas, where local organizations can share their most promising initiatives for radical welcome. Organizations and individuals attending The Interchange will learn about grant opportunities to support innovative work on inclusion and welcome. Federation has raised $100,000 in funding for proposals in this area. Potential applicants must attend both days of The Interchange to apply. For registration information and the full schedule for The Interchange, visit www.jewishatlanta.org/the-interchange.
Ecosystem Meetings: Weaving Community by Building Relationships We know that the work we are doing on radical welcome cannot be done by a single organization. That’s why we plan to convene our community with regular quarterly meetings of Atlanta’s Jewish Ecosystem. Last month at Congregation Or Hadash, many of the Jewish community leaders and volunteers who participated in The Front Porch gathered for a morning of networking and conversation about what we mean when we talk about radical welcome and inclusion. “The Ecosystem meeting was planned and implemented by a diverse group of people from 11 different Atlanta Jewish organizations. We call them Ecosystem Weavers, and they’ve been empowered to steer these meetings,” said Amy Glass, a director in Federation’s Community Planning and Impact department. “In the spirit of doing things differently, we intentionally opened the meeting with networking and encouraged everyone to introduce themselves to someone they don’t already know,” she said. “Gathering together provides us the opportunity to build authentic and impactful relationships within our Jewish ecosystem of professionals, lay leaders and their loved ones. When we know and trust one another we are able to lay the groundwork for future collaboration and collective impact,” said Gabrielle Adler, of Moishe House, one of the Ecosystem Weavers. In mid-May there will be another meeting open to the professional community that will continue the work on radical welcome with skill building workshops. An August Ecosystem meeting is planned to take a first dive into another Front Porch priority, making more Jewish places in Atlanta. Atlanta is proud to be on the forefront of this groundbreaking work to build new pathways for Jewish engagement that include all Jews and their loved ones. To learn more about the Federation’s new “radical welcome” priorities, visit www.jewishatlanta.org. ■ 68 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
The Light of Passover – An Interfaith Perspective By Bob Bahr For the past 15 years the Unity Atlanta Church in Norcross has been my temporary home during the High Holidays. The church readily makes available its large and comfortable sanctuary for the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays for Shema Yisrael – The Open Synagogue, which I help to lead. We leave our prayerbooks out on tables in the lobby between the two holidays and when their church events conflict with ours, they reschedule them. The relationship has deepened and endured over the years despite all the changes we have both experienced and the construction of a completely new church building. So, after 15 years, it was with a deep sense of gratitude that I accepted the invitation this year to co-lead two Sunday morning church services at the end of March. Increasingly in America we connect across the religious divide at this time of the year. Many cities have ecumenical seders and invitations to exchange greetings between religious faiths that otherwise go their separate ways. But Unity’s invitation made it clear that I would not be there just to say “hello.” I was invited to share, as best I could, in the welcome of the uniquely American denomination that has honored during the 140 years of its history an openness to other faiths, including mine. When I finally rose to speak to speak, I was reminded not of what sets us apart at this time of year when we celebrate our respective holidays, but what brings us together. The two holidays neatly coincide with each other on this year’s calendar. They celebrate in their own unique way, new possibilities. As Jews, we celebrate freedom and the rebirth of our people after the slavery of Egypt. We are called to contemplate not only the joys of being free, but the responsibilities as well. Christians likewise celebrate new life and renewal. We do all this surrounded by the first flowers of spring, the new blossoms of the trees, the robin red breasts and the bluebirds of happiness. Passover and Easter are two holidays that take place when the earth is coming alive with new growth and renewed energy in an abundance of light. We all welcome the warming rays of the sun during this month as we emerge from the shadows of winter. In the sacred writings of Judaism there is an appreciation of light, also, for the spiritual power that it offers. There is the mystical interpretation of the power of the first light that is spoken of in the opening verses of the Book of Genesis. Perhaps that is the same sort of dazzling light that Moses reflects back to the Israelites after his 40 days on Mount Sinai and after his conversations with G-d in the Tent of Meeting. So powerful is the light that he must cover his face in public. So as a welcoming gesture, the church structured its entire service that Sunday around an appreciation of light, in all its forms. In the guided meditation that morning I spoke of how we can imagine ourselves as standing in light that not only comes from the electrical fixtures in the ceiling, but from the heavens as well. And so, I suggested to the congregants at Unity that through our sacred texts we are reminded that the light
Bob Bahr spoke about spiritual light in Judaism at the Unity Atlanta Church in Norcross.
Rev. Jennifer Sachs of Unity and Bob Bahr offer a blessing over the congregation’s financial contributions.
of G-d is not just something that exists to facilitate creation, but that it is a blessing that G-d has bestowed on the world for good. We are reminded in the words of the prophet, Micah, of the responsibilities that the new light of this season of renewal brings to us. Simply and concisely stated, Micah, the prophet of righteousness, speaks to each of us when he asks, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your G-d?” The challenge Micah presents to us, I suggested to the congregants at Unity, was how both our congrega-
tions could walk, shoulder to shoulder, upright, out of darkness into light. To stand up against the forces of darkness that are everywhere in this world. The challenge to us is no different today than it was in Micah’s time more than 2,500 years ago. As I was reminded again that morning, the possibilities to walk together and to share the blessings of light in this season of light have never been greater. ■ Bob Bahr is a board member of the Atlanta Interfaith Leaders Forum and writes regularly for the Atlanta Jewish Times.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 69
COMMUNITY Meet the Press
Chana Shapiro Draws Inspiration from Teachers By Roni Robbins Chana Shapiro doesn’t blend easily into a crowd. From the hippie multicolored petals and dots covering her 23-yearold station wagon to her red curls and I-never-met-a-stranger attitude, she’s no wallflower. But if it wasn’t for her parents and teachers, she probably wouldn’t be as creative and hands-on as she is. As a child growing up in the Midwest, including small towns, she won writing and art contests. Among them, she won $10 for a “Letter to Santa” contest sponsored by an Effingham, Ill., radio station. Her English and arts teachers recognized her talent and pushed her. “It was always a teacher who said you need to do more, so I tried. I probably became a teacher because I knew that a teacher can make a big difference.” Shapiro taught middle school English and art in New York, earning two master’s degrees in English and education before moving to Atlanta in 1976. She taught English at The Epstein School
70 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
the Purim spoof for for six years. Later, about a decade. Simishe became program lar to the classic “Seindirector at the Atlanta feld” sketch based on a Jewish Community TV show about nothCenter and then filled ing, Shapiro’s columns the same role at Conpresent a slice of life. gregation Beth Jacob. When she experiences Her longevity in or hears something inAtlanta’s Jewish comteresting, it becomes a munity, combined column topic. “Really with her knack for funny and surprising writing, (often humorthings happen to evously and tongue-inerybody,” she said. cheek), about her life’s Her columns have adventures, makes Chana Shapiro is known for her exposed her tendency her one of AJT’s go-to collections, including the Statue of sources. Not to men- Liberty, and her art projects, such as the to stockpile arts and decorative plates in the background. crafts items, collect tion her annual Purim versions of the Statue of Liberty and her spoof, a reader favorite. Shapiro started writing for the AJT hobby as a flea market junkie. “If you need in the 1980s. Before the internet, she anything, I’ve got it.” But don’t make the hand-delivered her first article about a mistake of labeling Shapiro a packrat. Just local artist to then-editor Vida Goldgar, to set the record straight, “My house is not a who greeted her with feet propped on her mess. I’m very organized with everything.” She credits her parents for her DIY desk smoking a cigarette. Shapiro has been writing her col- attitude. “I grew up with the mantra, ‘If umn once a month for some 30 years, and you can do it yourself, why pay someone
else to do it?’ and ‘If something needs to be done, and you are the only one who can do it, leap to do it.’” Her parents also instilled in her a love of reading. “I probably memorized the books they read me. I basically taught myself how to read.” She also developed a penchant for drawing by sketching in the books she read. “My fastidious mother never said, ‘Don’t draw in books.’ I was always reading and writing and making things.” Once upon a time, Shapiro also illustrated her columns. One of her most popular ones, picked up by several publications, was the slumber party to celebrate her 40th birthday. “We watched the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and ate junk food. It struck people as an unusual thing to do.” In addition to her columns, Shapiro and co-author, Meta Miller, recently finished “The Rabbi’s in Trouble,” the sequel to their 2015 “Fruitfly Rabbi,” (available on Amazon), previously featured at the Book Festival of the MJCCA. The question remains: Will we see a book of her columns in the future? Anything’s possible. ■
Brickmans Make Lasting Impact By Marcia Caller Jaffe Last week, Atlanta Jewish Academy honored Shirley and Perry Brickman for their decades of support and goodwill to the community. Susan Moray, AJA’s chief advancement officer, explained the choice. “We have selected Shirley and Perry Brickman as honorees this year. They exemplify all that is good in this world. They are the kind of people that we teach our students to emulate. Shirley and Perry have had a lifelong commitment to Jewish education, Jewish values, philanthropy and community.” The Brickmans are known for their involvement in Congregation Young Israel of Toco Hills and Congregation Beth Jacob, as well as dozens of top-level roles they have undertaken. Equally important are their modest lifestyle and sense of humor. In 2012 Perry made international headlines by uncovering anti-Semitism during his dental training at Emory University. Below he details how he expands that dramatic tale into his new book. Perry said, “We are very excited to have been chosen as honorees. "When I was president of the [Jewish] Federation [of Greater Atlanta] (1990 to 1992), Noah Levine (associate director) and David Sarnat (executive director) labeled me the ‘education president’ because that was where I concentrated my major efforts. In retirement I have served on the board of AJA and do the best I can to encourage friends to direct their tzedakah to Jewish education.” Learn what makes these octogenarians a “couple of valor.” Marcia: Were you surprised to be selected as honorees? Shirley: We were actually at a basketball game at the new Minsk Gymnasium and were asked to come to the office where they told us. We were so honored. Since childhood we have been involved in Jewish education and have served on several school boards. We love the energy just walking into a school and seeing children fluent in Hebrew and immersed in Zionism. Marcia: You’ve both been honored twice by Israel Bonds along with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, United Hatzalah, B’nai B’rith, Anti-Defamation League, Alpha Omega (the Jewish dental fraternity). You received the Jewish National Fund Community Service Award, and Perry helped start the Jewish Break-
Shirley and Perry Brickman have been married for 63 years.
Perry Brickman was featured on an AJT cover in 2001 for Kosher Day at Turner Field.
Brickman’s new book is releasing soon on Amazon.
fast Club, which the Atlanta Jewish Times subsequently took over. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Perry: My family. Shirley and I are going on 64 years of marriage. She worked in my office all day every day. We are a close-knit family and thrilled that our children keep in close touch and live with Jewish values.
city was at that time. Jewish law graduates could not get jobs in the big firms. They, like dentists, had to start their own practices. Jewish MDs could not get into the big hospitals. It was a WASPish world. After the Emory apology, I was speaking around the country, and folks would line up to “pull the scab off” and relate their own experiences with anti-Semitism.
Marcia: How does one rear children who carry on these values? Shirley: We set the stage early on as parents with young children. They needed to watch us practice “tzedakah”… start with the "Blue Box," support the city, needy families, Israel. … Adulthood is too late to start.
Marcia: So what’s next for you? Perry: I serve on the boards of Jewish schools and organizations, as well as being actively involved with Emory and the
Marcia: How do you view dentistry as a profession after over four decades? Perry: As an oral surgeon in Decatur, I started at a good time. I had wonderful partners: Ed Green, Charles Rosenberg, and Harvey Silverman in Georgia Oral Surgery Associates. We had wonderful patients not bound by insurance dictates. We went way beyond tooth extraction into trauma cases and jaw reconstruction. Marcia: Certainly, one of your legacies will be “The Buhler Years” exposé, where you uncovered quotas and mistreatment of Jewish students at Emory Dental School from 1948 until 1961. Perry: I have been all over the country sharing my documentary “From Silence to Recognition.” Basically, Emory took a small quota of Jewish dental students (2 or 3 percent), then flunked out 65 percent. When I brought this to the Emory administration in 2012, they were speechless; and a formal, sincere, and complete apology was forthcoming. They followed the traditional “Yom Kippur forgiveness” formula of acknowledging what was done, why one is sorry and what the behavior will be in the future. Remember what the mood of the
The Brickmans were honored recently by Atlanta Jewish Academy for their community service.
University of Tennessee dental schools. I am an audio and video and photography enthusiast and still enjoy producing documentaries. My new nonfiction book, “Extracted,” will be out soon (Amazon, Barnes & Noble) where we go deeply into archives beyond Emory to uncover antiSemitism in American higher education. Marcia: Spill the beans. What’s your given name? What’s the “S” preceding Perry? Perry: My Chattanooga parents named me “Stanley!” ■
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COMMUNITY SIMCHA SPOTLIGHT
Engagement Announcement Scheinfeld – Bock
Dr. Novy and Mark Scheinfeld, of Atlanta, announce the engagement of their daughter, Dr. ZoAnna (Zoey) Scheinfeld to Martin (Marty) Bock, son of Candy Haskins and David and Debi Bock, also of Atlanta. Zoey and Marty attended Walton High School in Marietta. Zoey received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia in 2010, her master’s in biology from Georgia State University in 2011, and her doctorate in dental medicine from the Medical College of Georgia in 2015. She returned to Atlanta to practice dentistry with her mother and sister, Dr. Hanna Orland, in Sandy Springs and Chamblee. Marty graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in 2009. He worked for Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity before graduating from the University of Virginia for law school in 2015. He is a commercial real estate attorney at Troutman Sanders.
Zoey is the granddaughter of the late Robert and Sophie Scheinfeld of Atlanta, along with the late James and Pearl Novy of Minnesota. Marty is the grandson of Leonard and Barbara Bock, the late Sidney and Dorothy Haskins, William Weiller and the late Margaret Weiller, all of Atlanta. Zoey and Marty plan to marry in May of 2020 in Atlanta.
Engagement Announcement Minkowicz – Popack
Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz of Alpharetta and Devora Leah Popack of Denver, Colo., announced their engagement on Monday, April 15, 2019. Hirshy Minkowicz, the rabbi at Chabad of North Fulton, is the son of Rabbi Leima and Shoshana Minkowicz of Crown Heights, N.Y. Devora Leah Popack is the daughter of Rabbi Yisroel Meir and Chana Elka Popack, Chabad leaders in Denver. Following the wedding, Devora will join the Chabad of North Fulton leadership team.
David Skid Promoted at Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley today announced that David Skid, a financial advisor in its Atlanta wealth management office, has been promoted to managing director. Skid is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Planner. David, who has been with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management since 2006, is a native of Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University with a bachelor’s in accountancy. He holds a master’s in taxation and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Georgia State University.
Have something to celebrate? Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ...
Share it with your community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org. 72 | APRIL 19, 2019 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Il Giallo offers many dishes with adaptations and substitutions for Passover, including cauliflower, branzino with mushrooms, salmon and chicken.
Sandy Springs’ il Giallo Offers Passover Options By Eddie Samuels In response to constant demand since its opening, the ever-popular il Giallo Osteria & Bar in Sandy Springs is offering Passover options on its menu this year for those who don’t keep glattkosher. “Over the past 3 1/2 years during Passover, a lot of guests have asked them if they’d consider having matzah available instead of bread or make a matzah ball soup,” said Debbie Rosen of The Rosen Group, which represents the restaurant. “The community has really embraced Chef Jaime [Adams] and he really wanted to try to accommodate those requests.” The Passover menu will include a specific three-course meal made up of dishes specifically suited to the dietary needs of the Jewish community. For $39, the rotating menu is: Friday: Matzah ball soup; grilled salmon, asparagus, arugula, parsley and celery leaves salad; panna cotta. Saturday: Matzah ball soup; roasted chicken breast, broccolini, potato kugel; ice cream, matzah toffee. Sunday: Matzah ball soup; beef short rib, roasted spring vidalia onion, cauliflower puree; haroset. Monday: Chopped liver, matzah crackers; pan-roasted halibut, Yukon potatoes, blistered cherry tomatoes; panna cotta. Tuesday: Chopped liver, matzah crackers; grilled salmon, toasted quinoa,
zucchini, roasted peppers; ice cream, matzah toffee. Wednesday: Chopped liver, matzah crackers; slow-roasted smoked brisket, braised cabbage; haroset. Thursday: Matzah ball soup; lamb chops, quinoa, caramelized carrots and vidalia onion; panna cotta. Friday: Matzah ball soup; roasted chicken breast, Yukon potatoes; blistered cherry tomatoes; ice cream, matzah toffee. Saturday: Chopped liver, matzah crackers; slow-roasted smoked brisket, arugula, celery leaves salad; salsa verde; haroset.
kale, tomato, $10 Cavolfiore: oven charred cauliflower, salsa verde, $8 Cavoletti di Bruxelles: roasted brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, balsamic vinegar, $9 Tonno: spice rubbed and grilled rare tuna, broccolini, smoky roasted pepper purée, $29 Pesce intero: whole roasted fish, ca-
pers, lemon, evoo, $29 per pound. Salmon: grilled Big Green Egg short smoked salmon, pickled beets, arugula, fennel blood orange vinaigrette, $24 Pollo alla romana: roasted Springer Mountain Farms chicken breast, roasted peppers, tomato, evoo, smashed, $19 Scallopina di vitello: pounded veal tenderloin, roasted cauliflower, lemon, caper, white wine, $26 ■
In addition to the special menu, matzah will be available as a replacement for bread and Adams has been preparing his matzah ball soup recipe. Some classic il Giallo favorites will also be available with modifications for Passover. “He really is the most accommodating chef. He’s always willing to take requests for this or that,” Rosen said. “He always says, ‘If I have it in house, I’m happy to make it.’” Dishes that can be modified for Passover, upon request, include: Lacinato kale and arugula: honey apple cider vinaigrette, North Georgia apples, gorgonzola, $12. Caesar salad: romaine hearts, grana, anchovies, salted or white, $11. Broccolini: garlic, calabrese pepper, shaved pecorino, $8 Cavolo nero: garlic sautéed lacinato ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 73
BRAIN FOOD Getting Ready for Passover By: Yoni Glatt, email@example.com Difficulty Level: Medium 1
1. Distrusting sort 6. Luxury Swiss watch 10. Charoset ingredient 14. Chant in the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” 15. The first “A” of A.A. Milne 16. Aseret ___ Teshuvah (repentance time) 17. Elizabeth or Ashley 18. Jr. preceder 19. What many do at a Seder 20. What many do before Passover 23. Portman’s “V for Vendetta” co-star 24. Marlins’ locale, briefly 25. CBS show produced by Jerry Bruckheimer 28. What many do before Passover 34. Sinai or Habayit preceder 35. Lahren of Fox News 36. Ring advantage 37. Above 39. Amazon voice-activated assistants 42. Lie adjacent 43. Buy more Time? 45. “It’s the end of the world ___...” 47. Parseghian of Notre Dame 48. What many do before Pass-
11. The Beatles’ “___ Mine” 12. PBS funder 13. Karem or Gedi 21. Lake ___, Nevada 22. She said “Don’t be humble... you’re not that great.” 25. Many an overseas contact, for Jews 26. Impervious to bugs 27. 1987 Beatty- Hoffman bomb 28. Relatives of flats 29. Weak, as a brew 30. Pressed 31. Alternative to HBO 32. Drum kit part 33. Yam, in Hebrew 38. Invigorate, with “up” 40. ___ Kosh B’Gosh 41. Alfred Nobel, for one 44. 1993 standoff site 46. Forgoes DOWN 49. Cheered (for) 1. Partner of van. 50. Word preceding dog or pie 2. What annoying fans may do 51. Like some birds 3. Wall St. fixture 55. Stein and Stiller 4. “___ Huckabees” 56. A gait 5. Get in touch 57. What “poh” means 6. Reckless 58. Ahi, e.g. 7. Burn balm 59. Another name for Esau 8. Actress Zuniga of “Spaceballs” 60. Take away 9. Where one might hear elevator 61. Football’s Dawson music off an elevator 62. Disney simian 10. Noah of “The Librarian” 63. Ink
over 52. “Danny and the Dinosaur” author Hoff 53. Trigonometry abbr. 54. 610, to Caesar 55. What many do before Passover...as an alternative to 20, 28 and 48-Across 61. When many a seder ends 64. What many do during the course of a seder 65. Pianist’s practice piece 66. Abba of Israel 67. Parsha Kedoshim follower 68. Those who have more than four cups at a seder, maybe 69. Charoset ingredient 70. Make like a bubbie to a grandchild 71. Bamboozles
LAST WEEK’S SOLUTION 1
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■ Students in area synagogues and day schools were selected to receive the Hadassah Chesed Student Awards. Recipients were: Erica Fox, Staci Covin, Dana Berg, Danielle Friedman, Eric Bernath, Jean Shure, Yochai Robkin, Nicole Rosner, Julie
25 Years Ago// April 22, 1994
■ The bat mitzvah ceremony of Alison Rebecca Marsh of Dunwoody was held on March 27 at Temple Emanu-El. Alison is the daughter of Gary and Sherry Marsh, and the granddaughter of William and Cecile Waronker and Martin and Marilyn Marsh. Alison dedicated her service to the memory of her uncle, Scott Marsh.
■ The bat mitzvah of Sarah Rose Chanin of Marietta was held on April 17 at Temple Beth Tikvah. Sarah is the daughter of Eric and Pam Chanin, and the granddaughter of Bert and Jeanne Smokler and the late Evelyn Chanin. Sarah dedicated her service in honor of her grandparents and in memory of her grandmother, Evelyn Chanin.
15 Years Ago// April 23, 2004
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Fishman, Shayne Walsey, Matthew Haynor, Melissa Adelman, Ben Savage, Ditza Israeli, Claire Scheer, Josh Vexler, Caroline Shemtov and Joel Orgel. ■ Temple Kol Emeth was the first in Atlanta to designate a Hebrew class that focused on students with learning disabilities. Janice Alper, executive director of Jewish Educational Services, hoped to match students throughout the community with the same abilities and ages in special classes that appealed to all of their senses to reinforce their skills. 50 Years Ago// April 18, 1969 ■ Dr. and Mrs. Milton H. Freedman and Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Harris of Atlanta cordially invited their friends and family to attend the b’not mitzvah of their daughters, Jane and Toby on Friday, April 18 at Ahavath Achim Synagogue. ■ The Cultural Arts Committee of the Atlanta Jewish Community Center announced the opening of an unusually exciting exhibition of prints, drawings and paintings by Dorothy Hamilton on April 21. Mrs. Hamilton’s work has been exhibited in New York, England and Africa. The public was invited to attend the opening reception where Mrs. Hamilton appeared as the guest of honor.
KEEPING IT KOSHER Jewish Joke of the Week
Passover Updates from the Atlanta Kosher Commission Honey: Georgia Honey Farm and Blue Ridge Honey Company certified by the AKC are acceptable for Passover.
A Passover Story
Tahini dip: The OU certified a special Passover production of Sonny & Joe’s Tahini Dip which is a kitniot product. These containers are labeled with an OU sticker that states “approved for those who eat kitniot on Passover.” Some of the Passover tahini dip containers were mistakenly labeled with a plain OUP without specifying that the product is kitniot. This is a kitniot product.
A little boy once returned home from Hebrew school and his father asked, “What did you learn today?” He answered, “The rabbi told us how Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt.” “How?” The boy said “Moses was a big strong man and he beat Pharaoh up. Then, while Pharaoh was down, Moses got all the people together and ran towards the sea. When he got there, he has the Corps of Engineers build a huge pontoon bridge. Once the people got on the other side, they blew up the bridge while the Egyptians were trying to cross.” The father was shocked. “Is that what the rabbi taught you?” The boy replied, “No, but you’d never believe the story he DID tell us!”
Creamer: Kroger Half & Half certified by the AKC is kosher for Passover. Makeup: Beautycounter cosmetics are chometz-free and usable for Passover. For more information, please contact rebecca. firstname.lastname@example.org. Wine: The OU certifies Bianco Azzuro Moscato Wine from Lishi Welner Wines in Israel. This product is labeled with a plain OU and it is not certified for Passover. Even the bottles that have the letters “OUP” as part of the production code are not certified for Passover. Avocado oil: The AKC Quick Shopping Guide listed 100% Pure Avocado Oil (with OU) as acceptable for Passover; this is the case for one brand only: Chosen Foods. The brand name was inadvertently left off the Quick Shopping Guide. Shank bone: Supermarkets sometimes give out non-kosher shank bones. Shank bones should only be used if they have proper kosher seals on the packaging. Over-the-counter medications: Check with your rabbi for Passover medicine guidelines. The following are a few OTC products that may contain chometz: Advil Cold & Sinus Liqui-Gels Advil Film-Coated Tablets and Caplets Advil Liqui-Gels Advil Migraine Liquid Filled Capsules Advil PM Liqui-Gels Children’s Allegra Allergy 12-Hour Tablets Benefiber Healthy Shape Benefiber Powder Clarinex RediTabs Claritin Chewable Tablets Gas-X 180mg Oral Gas-X Ultra Strength 180mg Capsules Zyrtec Allergy Liquid Gels Passover food orders are available from the following vendors: For All Occasions and More catering: 770-823-6677 Griller’s Pride: 770-454-8108 The Kosher Gourmet: 404-636-1114 For more information about kosher for Passover items, consult the AKC Passover Quick Shopping List and the 2019 Pesach Guide, www.kosheratlanta.org. The AKC can also be reached at 404-634-4063, email@example.com.
Yiddish Word of the Week shmáte Shmáte שמאטע, a rag (pron. shmáh-tay). Pl. shmátes שמאטעס, rags (pron. shmáh-tess). Probably from the Polish szmata, (pron. shmáta), same meaning. By analogy - worn out garment, any garment or anything useless or worthless. The range of meanings is best illustrated through anecdotes. Any clothes: “Hon, we are going to be late for the flight. Come on, pack up your shmátes and let’s go.” This is not necessarily pejorative: “You should see her closet full of the top line designer shmátes!” Shabby clothes: “Your clothes are such old shmátes, even Goodwill won’t take them!” Head gear: Sometimes used for head scarves worn by pious Jewish women: “Did your sister get religion or is she making a fashion statement? Yesterday I saw her, she had a shmáte on her head!” Washcloth: “What a mess! Here’s a shmáte, wipe the table clean!” And, tongue-in-cheek: Cleaning lady to matron: “Ma’am, where’s the shmáte?” Matron: “He took the paper and went to work…” Garment industry: Jewish immigrants often started out buying and selling used clothing items, a.k.a. the “shmáte business.” The term was carried over to the retail and wholesale garment industry in general. Original science: As their wealth and status rose, many shifted to higher status professions. At a party, when people introduced themselves as psychologist, sociologist, cardiologist, etc., one of those who remained in the old trade proudly declared “… and I am a shmatologist!” Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon, PhD, teaches Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, eTeacher Group Ltd. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 75
Renae Erber Goldberg 71, Atlanta
Renae Erber Goldberg passed away on April 14, 2019. She was born in Atlanta in 1947 to Mary Karlick Erber (obm) and Leo Erber (obm). A proud second-generation native of Atlanta, Renae leaves behind her loving husband of 49 years, Edward, her adoring children Cari and Jonathan Newman, and her beloved grandchildren, Aviv and Gavri Newman. An only child, Renae will also be missed by her large extended family in Atlanta, Florida, New York, Massachusetts and Israel, and by her familyby-marriage, which she adopted as her own, including siblings-in-law Herb and Phyllis Goldberg and Sandy and Norma Goldberg. Renae was a graduate of Henry Grady High School and Dekalb College, and she attended the University of Tennessee. A consummate people-person and an incredible organizer, she worked as office administrator for several businesses and nonprofits in the Atlanta area, and as a founder and board member of Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs. Renae was a talented graphic design artist and entrepreneur, starting and running a successful typesetting and graphic design business. As a family cook, Renae filled many a satisfied belly with her home-cooked food and baked goods. She loved nurturing and caring for others, whether it was with her sublime carrot casserole at countless holiday meals or her patient, attentive ear in a conversation with a friend. Renae brought her larger-than-life personality into every room she entered, blending charm, class, and a terrific sense of humor. Renae and her husband Eddie took great pleasure in raising their daughter, building homes, and traveling to more than 50 countries, eventually retiring to Charleston for several years, where her husband was raised.
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Her greatest joys were her relationship with her daughter and being savta to her grandchildren; the love they felt for each other was immediate, deep, and sustaining. Donations may be made to Congregation B’nai Torah Congregant Support Fund, the American Cancer Society, Winship Cancer Institute, or the charity of your choice. A graveside service was held Tuesday, April 16 at Arlington Memorial Park. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Eugene “Gene” Oberdorfer II 86, Dahlonega
Eugene “Gene” Oberdorfer II, age 86, passed away March 31, 2019. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Saralyn Bonowitz Oberdorfer; children, Mike Oberdorfer of Suwanee, Julie Oberdorfer (Steven) Leibel of Dahlonega, Robin Oberdorfer (Stacy Kottman of Dahlonega; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Don Oberdorfer, Jr. of Washington, D.C. Gene was born in Atlanta in 1932 to Donald Sr. and Dorothy Bayersdorfer Oberdorfer. After attending Druid Hills High School, he graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a degree in business. Gene was a lifelong Carolina supporter, Alumni Association board member and avid Tarheel basketball fan. He supported UNC-Chapel Hill causes such as Zeta Beta Tau chapter and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. In 1953, he married Saralyn, his college sweetheart, and joined Oberdorfer Insurance Associates, a family-owned independent agency founded in 1921. Gene enjoyed a successful career at OIA, earning his Certified Property & Casualty Underwriter and Associate in Risk Management and serving as a leader in national and local insurance agent associations. In the 1970s, Gene became OIA president and led the firm to rapid growth through innovation, providing commercial insurance for many prominent businesses and public entities, including Home Depot and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. After selling the agency, Gene retired in 1994 to Dahlonega and Longboat Key, Fla., where he and his wife were active supporters of education and the arts. Throughout his adult life, Gene believed in giving back and was an active community leader. He was a founding member of Temple Sinai, active member of The Temple, and with Saralyn, developed an independent living program for adults with developmental disabilities that became the Jewish Family & Career Services Independent Living program. Aside from his business acumen and community leadership, Gene was known for his gregarious, ‘never met a stranger’ personality and his generosity and devotion to family and friends. He loved tennis, playing from childhood into his early 80s, and was an active tennis member at The Standard Club. Gene lived with dementia and Parkinson’s disease during the last six years, but continued to enjoy fresh air and music. A memorial service celebrating Gene’s life was held Sunday, April 14 at the H.M. Patterson & Son – Arlington Chapel in Sandy Springs. There was visitation with the family with a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations in Gene’s memory can be made to Annandale Village, a community for developmentally disabled adults in Suwanee, www.annandale.org.
Bari Siegel 67, Atlanta
Bari Siegel, age 67, of Atlanta, died April 13, 2019. Born in Bennettsville, S.C., Bari was a graduate of the University of Tampa and worked as an elementary school teacher for Fulton County Schools. She was known for being caring, compassionate and generous, and she touched the lives of many people, including her students. Bari was loved by all who knew her. She had a passion for summer traveling, shopping, and her family. Survivors include her daughter, Alexis
OBITUARIES Frank; mother, Patricia Siegel; sister, Donna Siegel; brother-in-law, Don Neuendorff; nephew and niece, Matthew and Kelly Hussey, along with many cousins. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to charity of your choice. A graveside service was held Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Mary Cohen Steinberg 95, Augusta
Mary Cohen Steinberg of Augusta passed away on April 7, 2019, at the age of 95, after a lengthy illness. Mary was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on January 19, 1924, the first child of Ethel and Henry Cohen. She graduated from James Madison High in Brooklyn in 1941 and Adelphi College in Garden City in 1945. After college, she worked for J. Walter Thompson in New York City, at the time the largest advertising agency in the world. Her budding career was cut short when one of her cousins in Augusta set her up on a blind date with Maurice Steinberg, an attorney and World War II naval officer. Less than 10 months after their first date, they married, and Mary moved to Augusta. While moving from New York to Augusta in 1947 was a definite culture shock, Mary immersed herself in her new hometown and went on to spend more than 70 productive, happy years in Augusta. She was a superb and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. For most of her adult life, Mary focused on a broad range of charitable activities. She served as president of the local chapters of Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters, as well as the Parent Teacher Association of her children’s elementary school. She also served on the boards of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and others. In addition to her many leadership positions, she was a frequent hands-on volunteer at the Adas Yeshurun Synagogue, the Golden Harvest Food Bank, and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The mayor of Augusta asked her to serve on the Augusta Human Relations Commission. She and Maurice were the first recipients of a community-wide humanitarian award. She was recognized as the woman of the year or volunteer of the year by many organizations. When her youngest child left for college, Mary returned to graduate school in psychology. In her early 50s she restarted her career in psychoeducational testing of children. She had a gentle, reassuring manner that immediately put young children at ease. She and Maurice loved to travel, particularly in their later years. They traveled to Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Japan and China. They covered many countries of Western Europe, including France, Italy and England. They traveled throughout Scandinavia and also went to Hawaii and Mexico. They also enjoyed annual vacation getaways to Hilton Head, S.C., and Cashiers, N.C. Mary was predeceased by her parents, Ethel and Henry Cohen; her husband Maurice; her son Henry; her brother Michael Cohen; and her grandson Joshua Redd. She is survived by her children, Stephen (Joan) Steinberg, Barry Steinberg, and Lynn (Lewis) Redd; her grandchildren, Andrew (Ann) Steinberg, Jacob Redd, Jordan Redd, and Hannah Redd; and great-grandson, Emmitt Steinberg. She is also survived by her sister and best friend, Randy Siegelson, and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service was held April 8, 2019, at Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Adas Yeshurun Synagogue, the American Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice. ■
זיכרונה לברכה Obituaries in the AJT are written and paid for by the families; contact Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-883-2130, ext. 100, for details about submission, rates and payments. Death notices, which provide basic details, are free and run as space is available; send submissions to email@example.com. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 77
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CLOSING THOUGHTS Passover Prep: A Cautionary Tale As newlyweds, Zvi and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. The place was small; however, it had a long, wide entrance hall. There was plenty of room for three end-to-end folding tables. We were able to invite — and seat — Zvi’s entire New York family and a few friends at a seder at Chana our place. Not only was it Shapiro our first big gathering, but it was the first time either of us had been responsible for preparing and leading our own seder. Even though I was a first-year teacher and did everything in my power to come to work no matter what, I decided to use three of my five “personal” days to clean, shop and cook for Pesach. For three days, from sunrise to well past midnight, while Zvi did the heavy lifting (he actually took the stove apart, in order to clean it!) and studied the haggadah to make the seders authentic and fun, I shopped, mopped, swept, scrubbed, laundered and dusted. Then
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I chopped, mixed, broiled, roasted, fried and baked. On the evening of the second prep day, when Zvi and I did the final search for chametz, we were proud that our place was pristine and welcoming. On the day of the seder, I worked hard to make sure the food was outstanding, the seder plate was perfect and the table setting was beautiful. I even washed a couple of windows. It was sundown at last! It was chilly that year, and Zvi laid our guests’ coats carefully on our bed. After a few minutes of amiable chatting, we took our seats. Zvi sat at the head, and we read our haggadot together. When the appropriate time came, everyone was more than ready for the festive meal, and Zvi and I served my homemade soup. I don’t remember what happened after that. I woke up the next day at two in the afternoon. Once the soup had been served, I went into the bedroom to change my
shoes. Apparently, I collapsed and fell onto the bed, on top of the coats. At first, folks assumed I was in the bathroom, but after the soup bowls had been cleared and the meal was about to progress, people began to worry. What had happened to me? Should Zvi manage the rest of the meal? Volunteers went into the kitchen to assess the situation and Zvi looked for me. He found me sound asleep, shoeless, sprawled (unattractively) on top of the coats. What should he do? My compassionate husband tiptoed out of the room and assumed full responsiblity as official host as well as seder leader. Zvi needn’t have worried about waking me. After the seder ended and guests helped to put everything away and tidied the place, they headed to the bedroom to retrieve their coats. I was told that, at first, an attempt was made to gently roll me off each garment, one at a time, but it became clear that I was impervious to jostling, pulling or pushing. Two dozen coats were removed from under me, while I remained peacefully in dreamland. I succeeded in making up for all the hours devoted to seder preparation,
managing to sleep non-stop for almost 16 hours. When I woke up, I was startled to see daylight streaming in the window. I leapt out of bed and found my husband calmly reading in his favorite chair. He seemed to be in a pretty good mood, considering that I had been absent for half of our Bronx voyage into and out of Egypt. “Have a nice rest?” he asked. “Why did you let me sleep?” I shouted. “I’m totally humiliated! I’ll never live this down! Now your family hates me, and our friends think I’m weak and pitiful!” “The food was delicious, people said they loved the seder, and everybody knows you knocked yourself out!” And that’s the truth. I sure did. Lesson learned. Zvi and I have hosted scores of Pesach seders since then. A guest occasionally dozes off during the experience, but I’ve never again missed singing every verse of “Chad Gadya” … with gusto. Our family wishes each of you a liberating and joyful Pesach. Chag Kasher v’Sameach! ■
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The Jewish Early Childhood Council of Atlanta Wishes You A Joyous Passover!
JECCA supports the highly competent professional leaders and educators who shape your child’s first educational experiences in metro Atlanta’s Jewish early childhood programs!
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Additional JECCA schools: The Epstein School and Atlanta Jewish Academy ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES APRIL 19, 2019 | 83
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Passover 5779: Jewish Atlanta Shares Thoughts on What Enslaves Us and What Sets Us Free