Atlanta Jewish Times, VOL. XCVIII NO. 15, August 15, 2022

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CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE ALLEN H. LIPIS BOB BAHR DAVE SCHECHTER DAVID OSTROWSKY DEBBIE DIAMOND EYTAN DAVIDSON JAN JABEN-EILON MARCIA CALLER JAFFE RABBI RUTH ROBYN SPIZMAN GERSON TIFFANY PARKS

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NEWS Taste of Atlanta Offers Local Foodies VIP Experience By Debbie Diamond Taste of Atlanta launched its 2022 season this summer with a new recipe for success — one that includes smaller, hyper-localized food and beverage events in popular neighborhoods throughout Atlanta, all for the price of an $85 VIP admission ticket. Events are planned throughout the summer and fall in Sandy Springs, Chamblee/Brookhaven and Midtown. “We decided to make some changes to enhance the experience of our attendees. We will continue to highlight the best restaurants in Atlanta while making the events smaller and more intimate as we move forward,” said Dale Gordon DeSena, founder and president of Taste of Atlanta, Inc. “Also, in the past, different ticket levels provided a set amount of food tastings, but this year we have simplified the process and attendees will be able to sample delicious food from as many restaurants and beverage vendors as they’d like for one price. They won’t have to reach for their wallets again,” she added. Now in its 21st year, Taste of Atlanta

Founder and president of Taste of Atlanta, Inc., Dale Gordon DeSena.

BMW, the title sponsor for all four events, gave away insulated drink tumblers to attendees.

Managing partners Derek and Lisa Dollar of Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails offered tasters their popular signature dish, spicy pastrami carpaccio.

held its first 2022 event, Taste Around Town Alpharetta, in late July, under the large pavilion at Union Hill Park. The fun-filled kickoff featured 24 of Alpharetta’s best restaurants and chefs, including Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, South Main Kitchen, Sankranti Restaurant, Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Bocado. More than 2,000 people attended the festive weekend event, which unfolded

over two days and three sessions and featured interactive chef demonstrations and live music. The event was produced by Taste of Atlanta in partnership with the City of Alpharetta and Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. From mouth-watering tomato tartines to tantalizing spicy rubbed beef carpaccio, a plethora of food options satisfied the varied tastebuds of participants. Cocktails and

alcohol-free beverages were just as plentiful, curated by a diverse array of vendors, including Tito’s, Tanqueray, Coke Zero Sugar, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. and IslandJon Vodka. “Best Taste” awards, voted on each night by attendees, went to Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar and Sankranti Restaurant. “We were thrilled to win the Taste Award,” said Kavitha Nimmagadda, owner

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South Main Kitchen prepared their fresh Tomato Tartines, a favorite among attendees, onsite at the event.

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A wide variety of beverages was served to complement the many restaurant offerings.

Owner Kevin John of IslandJon Vodka was busy all night, serving tropical drinks, as well as the label’s New Richey Reserve.

of Sankranti Restaurant. “In fact, we were happily surprised since we did not know any awards would be given. This was our first time participating, and we appreciate the support and exposure we received. We have a very nice community and are honored by this recognition,” she added. Up next for Taste of Atlanta is Food That Rocks, which will take place at City Springs later this summer, on Aug. 19 and 20, in partnership with the City of Sandy Springs and Visit Sandy Springs. Participating restaurants include The Select, NAM Kitchen, The General Muir, Tre Vele and Nowak’s. Taste Around Chamblee will take place on Sept. 23 and 24, in partnership with the City of Chamblee and Discover DeKalb. Many Brookhaven, Chamblee and DeKalb restaurants will participate in the event, to be held at Chamblee’s new City Hall green space. The Grand Tasting, held one night only, will take place on Oct. 20 at Epicurean Atlanta hotel in midtown Atlanta and showcase many of the best Atlanta restaurants and chefs. Since its inception, Taste of Atlanta has supported the local hospitality community, which has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. DeSena stressed that these events help build greater awareness and support for the chefs, restaurants and staff who work tirelessly to provide patrons with memorable food and drink experiences. As part of the company’s mis-

sion, Taste of Atlanta created a Culinary Job Bank for participating restaurants and culinary partners to fill open positions with job-eligible candidates. “When we talk with chefs and restaurants at this time, finding good employees is always at the top of their list of challenges. With an immense number of job opportunities available, Taste of Atlanta is committed to projects that inspire and encourage people to pursue meaningful careers in foodservice to help our restaurant communities be successful,” said DeSena. The company also showcases local nonprofit groups during each event. At the Alpharetta tasting, the Giving Kitchen, North Fulton Community Charities and Second Helpings Atlanta were all highlighted, and ticketholders were invited to bring canned goods or make a financial contribution to these worthwhile organizations. Taste of Atlanta has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s largest and best food and drink festivals, showcasing local culinary talent among established and new restaurants in communities in and around Atlanta. Oprah Magazine named Taste of Atlanta a “Top Food Festival Worth the Trip,” while Creative Loafing called it the “Best Food Festival or Event” for six years running. To find out more about the upcoming events or purchase tickets, please visit www.tasteofatlanta.com. ì

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NEWS

Atlanta’s Kosher Chinese Restaurant's New Ownership By Robert Garber Chai Peking, Atlanta’s only kosher Chinese restaurant, located inside the Kroger in Toco Hills, has new management for the first time since its founding over 25 years ago. On March 1, founder Reuven Michoel Robinson completed the transition of ownership to an employee of ten years, Mordechai Snyder, and his wife, Kimberly. “The way I looked at it,” said Snyder, “was that Reuven had grown this child, this daughter of his in the form of the restaurant for 25 years, built it, raised it, matured it. And we were the groom to the bride of the restaurant, to come and take responsibility for it.” Robinson seemed to agree with the sentiment. “I think it was a perfect shidduch,” he said, “I think it was a perfect marriage. Mordechai is very capable, very talented and, please G-d, they’ll do very well.” “As one of my friends pointed out,” Snyder added, assuring that the restaurant’s name would remain the same, “the ‘chai’ in ‘Chai Peking’ is included in my

Mordechai and Kimberly Snyder dressed as lo mein takeout for Purim. Their kids, Shaina, Joshua and Yoel went as soy sauce packets.

name. How could I change it, when I am Mordechai Peking?” Kimberly released an audible half-laugh, half-groan. “He’s very proud of that joke,” she said. The pair have committed to maintaining the same values the company has always had. The staff and the recipes remain the same. “When we purchased the restaurant,” Snyder said, “we did so with the intention of not making overt, dramatic changes.” What they have done is update and

add several systems on the logistics side. “We’ve introduced new technologies and new efficiencies to help make it better because one of the challenges the restaurant was experiencing over the pandemic was more demand than the restaurant could produce,” Snyder explained. By adding online ordering, offering delivery through DoorDash and reopening the hot bar for lunch specials, they’ve managed to take some of the pressure off. Snyder credits his wife with much of the

Shaina Snyder’s Lego Chinese restaurant, which she named in honor of her father’s wordplay.

success on that front. “She’s been absolutely instrumental in our digital transition,” he said. Meanwhile, Kimberly credits her husband’s hard work. “He works overnight sometimes,” she said, “he’s doing what it takes and I’m proud of him.” “My focus is 300 percent on the restaurant,” said Snyder, “to my wife’s chagrin at times. She’s been very supportive of me investing 16 to 18-hour-days or more, six days a week.” Both Snyder and his wife also often

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Shaina Snyder and her grandfather, Jack Snyder, work the front of the restaurant.

Kimberly Snyder working in the back of the restaurant. The kitchen and front together total only 326 square feet.

do prep work, clean and work the front of house, but they’re not alone in this effort — it’s a family affair. Snyder’s father, Jack Snyder, who got him started in the restaurant industry working in pizza shops he owned, was more than willing to join in. “I found out that he was buying this place, and I said, ‘y’know, we could make the circle complete,’ and I’ll come to work for you, and he liked the idea and said ‘that’s the best thing to happen since cream cheese on bagel,’” the elder Snyder recalled. The Snyders’ ten-year-old triplets can also often be found around the restaurant. “Sometimes they’ll be like now, where they’ll just be sitting on the computer,” Snyder said. “But there’ll also be times where they work behind the counter as well, and they help take orders and it’s been wonderful to see how they have taken ownership.” For Yoel, their oldest (by one minute), this ownership was taken literally. On the day of the handover, he turned to them and said, “I never dreamed that at 10 years old I could own a kosher Chinese restaurant!” Their youngest, Shaina, is also very committed. “I love helping my mom and dad work at the restaurant,” she said. “I always meet new friends there.” Meanwhile, Joshua, the middle child, has his heart in the perfect place for the job: his stomach. “I’m happy because I get delicious, free food for Shabbos!” he said. The triplets are also a large part of the reason for the Snyders’ commitment to the local Jewish community. When they were born, extremely premature

at 25 weeks, the couple had a religious reckoning, began keeping strictly kosher and became Orthodox. “It was life-altering,” said Snyder, “in every sense of the phrase.” This transition also began Snyder’s work as a mashgiach for Kroger, and his involvement with Chai Peking. A decade later, several events have marked the past year as another major turning point in the Snyders’ lives. The first was the death of Kimberly’s father, the first person they had told that they were looking into acquiring the restaurant. “He got, like, a sparkle in his eye,” Kimberly recalled. “And he said, ‘that’s the best news I think I’ve ever heard,’” said Michael. He died five days later. Then, almost a year afterwards, and just weeks after acquiring the restaurant, the family found out Kimberly was pregnant again. “Supposedly only one this time,” she joked. “It was very much a proverbial line in the sand,” said Snyder, “that we’ve now crossed into this next chapter of our life.” Amid a now-growing family, thoughts for the future of expanding to other locations in Atlanta and abroad and keeping up with the expanding catering side of the business, the Snyders have not forgotten the most important part of their restaurant: the community and the people they serve. “We’re grateful for our Atlanta following, and we’re humbled by our out-oftown following and the support we have from people,” Snyder says. “People come in from Israel and say, ‘I have to have Chai Peking.’ It’s humbling, every single time." ì

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Billboard Campaign Targets Antisemitism By Bob Bahr A national organization known for its aggressive use of outdoor advertising to raise awareness of rising antisemitism has brought its billboards to Atlanta. JewBelong, which is headquartered in New York City, bought its first billboard on Peachtree Road just north of Piedmont Hospital. The billboard went up ahead of the Peachtree Road Race, in time to be seen by the thousands of Atlantans who turned out for the race, along with the thousands of cars that have driven by each day since. Its message was simple and direct. In large, white letters on a bold, pink background it asked a provocative question: Can a billboard end antisemitism? No. But you’re not a billboard. JewBelong, which was founded nine years ago to promote greater participation and pride in Jewish life, particularly among youth, launched their campaign last summer with a $400,000 advertising buy in high-traffic locations in New York, including Times Square. One of the group’s founders, Archie Gottesman, sees the effort as an extension of the attempt to raise awareness in so many other social and political issues in American life. “We see so much effort being put into what I would call social justice issues, the effort to increase awareness of gun violence, racial equality, even autism, to bolster knowledge of that issue. And I don’t think antisemitism should be any different. If we want to shine a light on an injustice that’s occurring, we need to do that by provoking awareness and that’s exactly what this advertising does,” Gottesman said. Another billboard, next to the Sage Hill Shopping Center off Briarcliff Road — not far from the Jewish neighborhood clustered off Briarcliff and LaVista — also has a provocative message in pink and white. “If Atlanta is too busy to hate, why is there a swastika at my kid’s school?” it asks. The message has particular resonance for an Atlanta metro community that has seen a number of antisemitic incidents in public schools over the past several years. Just last month considerable controversy erupted over a new school emblem in Cobb County that bore a striking resemblance to the Nazi eagle. But Gottesman believes her campaign is not just about speaking out about discrimination. 10 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

The first billboard in the JewBelong campaign was launched in time for last month’s Peachtree Road Race.

JewBelong started its national billboard campaign against antisemitism last summer in New York City’s Times Square.

Archie Gottesman founded JewBelong to raise pride and participation in Jewish life.

Veteran advertising executive Joey Reiman was part of the committee that underwrote the local campaign.

“It’s like a sign of Jewish pride. That’s why we chose pink and white,” she says. “They’re very bold colors. They say, let’s go on the offense instead of constantly playing defense. So many times, Jews who have seen the billboards say it made them feel proud because they’re tired of the nonsense and angry that it’s happening.” There have been campaigns in San Francisco, Philadelphia, D.C., Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. All have been aided by a network of local supporters. In Atlanta, one of the local committee members is Joey Reiman, who has had a long and highly successful career in advertising and public relations. Reiman believes that campaigns like the one JewBelong has created pay off because they get the attention of mainstream media and cut through the clutter

of so much ineffective advertising. The billboards received prominent attention in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and at Fox5, the local Atlanta outlet for the national network. Reiman argues that relatively modest advertising budgets can produce big results. “Successful advertising happens not just when people drive by the billboard, it happens when it creates interest from other media,” he says. “Is the message a little edgy or aggressive? Yes. It needs to be to generate the media interest that expands the reach of your message and gives it real power.” The newly appointed Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Eytan Davidson, welcomed the new initiative. Davidson pointed out that last year antisemitic incidents in Georgia increased 133 percent and, if national

trends are any indication, the numbers could increase. “It is clear there is a heightened sense of awareness among the Jewish community that antisemitism has reached a dangerous level,” Davidson said. “While there is no silver bullet to stop antisemitism, there are and will continue to be new efforts to combat it, which is something this moment is calling for.” The campaign in Atlanta is expected to extend into the fall, with another 10 billboards to target additional high-traffic locations in the metropolitan area. For Gottesman, it’s all about fostering discussion. “Getting people’s attention, Jews and non-Jews, about antisemitism is very, very important. It’s a huge thing, actually, just getting them into the conversation.” ì


NEWS

Delta Air Lines Now Non-Stop ATL to Israel By Jan Jaben-Eilon It’s been a long decade, but the wait is almost over: beginning May 10, 2023, travelers will, once again, be able to fly directly from Atlanta to Tel Aviv via Delta Air Lines for the first time since August 2011. Many in the Atlanta Jewish community were disappointed when, after five-and-a-half years, direct, nonstop air service between the two cities was discontinued. Restarting the direct flights so that travelers did not have to fly to another U.S. city or via Europe to get to Israel had been “a top goal for the last three years,” said Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeastern U.S. She added that the consulate had been working with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and “many partners, friends and organizations who advocated for the direct flights.” “I am glad they saw value in reinstating the flights; there’s plenty of justification” for direct service from Atlanta, Sultan-Dadon added. Yael Golan, director of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism office for the Southern U.S., told the AJT that she has been working to bring back direct, nonstop flights between Atlanta and Tel Aviv for five years. She has been in her position since August 2017 and will complete her diplomatic tour on July 30, 2023. According to Golan, Israel is a top destination for travelers from North America. “We’re almost back to the 2019, pre-pandemic levels,” she said. “In June, there were more than 112,700 visitors from North America.” Golan attributes the decision to add flights to and from Atlanta to the success Delta has had with its flights to Israel from Boston, and to the “fact that they just got aircraft they were waiting for.” Delta plans to use the Airbus A350900 planes on the Atlanta-Tel Aviv route. Flights will depart Atlanta at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Israel at 9:15 a.m. the following day. Return flights will leave Tel Aviv at 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Atlanta at 5:55 p.m. When tickets went on sale initially during the last weekend of July, prices were not competitive with those of flights leaving other U.S. cities for Israel. But, as of Aug. 1, prices online changed dramatically. “As long as the prices remain competitive, more groups and individual travelers will come from the Southeast,” said Cheri Levitan, CEO of Israel-based Kenes Tours. And she’s not the only one predicting a surge of travel from Atlanta. In a statement released by Conexx Vice President

Beginning May 10, 2023, travelers will, once again, be able to fly directly from Atlanta to Tel Aviv via Delta Air Lines for the first time since August 2011.

David Adler said he would be willing to pay a premium to fly nonstop between Atlanta and Tel Aviv.

It’s been the goal of Anat SultanDadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeastern U.S., to restart nonstop flights between Atlanta and Israel.

Barry R. Swartz, “This now positions Conexx: America Israel Commercial Alliance, its members, Atlanta, and the Southeast, as a tier-one business destination, putting us on par with the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. We can now continue to build upon all the other regional advantages, including an award-winning business climate, the world’s busiest airport bringing the world to the South, an affordable and vibrant quality of life, a world class talent pool and a major connection hub to North and South America and the Caribbean.” In fact, Golan pointed to the afternoon departures from Atlanta as an indication that Delta anticipates travelers will come to the Atlanta hub from the West Coast. “I have asked about connectivity from Mexico, although they need a visa,” she said. Israel is a “cultural, historical and spiritual destination” for both individual travelers and groups, Golan told the AJT. “Israel is a bucket-list trip and people haven’t been traveling” the last few years because of the COVID pandemic, so there’s a lot of pent-up demand, she said.

Many Atlantans with family in Israel haven’t been waiting for flights directly from Atlanta. David and Eve Adler plan to travel to Israel in September, their third in the last year. “And we may or may not go at the end of the year as well,” said David. Their son, Jonathan, who made aliyah and now lives in Israel with his wife and four children, has made at least six round trips between Israel and North America in the past year, though some of those flights have been for business. Adler’s entire family flew round-trip twice in the last 12 months. “It’s not even about the [saving of] time,” David Adler said, in counting the advantages of direct flights. He noted that in the last few weeks his son lost his luggage on one flight and missed his connection on another. “With nonstop, you don’t have that” problem, he said. Adler admitted that he would be willing to pay a premium for nonstop services, “but it depends on what that premium is. I would happily pay a few hundred dollars more,” but that’s all. Adler recalls that before Delta ended

Jonathan Adler and his family in Israel are the main reasons parents David and Eve fly to Israel so often.

Israel is a “cultural, historical and spiritual destination” for both individual travelers and groups, according to Yael Golan, director of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism office in Atlanta.

“As long as the prices remain competitive, more groups and individual travelers will come from the Southeast,” said Cheri Levitan, CEO of Israel-based Kenes Tours.

its nonstop flights in 2011, they were often oversold. In the last few years, he has either flown to Israel via New York or Paris, preferring the latter because it breaks up the long travel. However, “as I move toward retirement, and as I age, I am not going to want to rush through terminals” to make connecting flights, he said. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 11


NEWS

‘Kindness’ Added to Forsyth County Curriculum By Dave Schechter There will be something new in every Forsyth County public school classroom this year: a small, yellow plastic ark, with a coin slot — part of a partnership with Congregation Beth Israel to promote “Acts of Routine Kindness” (ARK). In Jewish terms, think of the ark as a pushke (the Yiddish word for tin can) used to collect tzedakah (commonly translated as charity, but derived from the Hebrew word for justice or righteousness). Forsyth County students and staff will be encouraged to drop coins into the arks and schools will select nonprofits to receive the funds. In addition, on each day of the 180-day school calendar, the Forsyth County school district will post “kindness inspirational messages” on its social media accounts, using the hashtag #ARK180Project. “The thinking is that kindness is a muscle that needs to be flexed and the more we flex the muscle of kindness we become kinder people,” said Rabbi Levi Mentz of Beth Israel, which is located in Cumming and is associated with Chabad of Forsyth, Dawson and Lumpkin counties. “The goal is to turn kindness into a routine, daily habit and to change the lives of both the person giving and receiving, therefore improving our world with positive and consistent action, and inspiring hope,” a statement from the school district said. The arks, which will be placed in every classroom, grades K-12, in each of 42 schools, “represent that we are all sailing in the same boat,” Jennifer Caracciolo, the district’s communications director, told the AJT. Serving 53,500 students, Forsyth County operates the fifth largest school district in the state, with 23 elementary, 11 middle and seven high schools, as well as a more vocationally-oriented high school. Caracciolo said that making kindness part of the curriculum will help the district’s students, whom she described as still “struggling” with the disruptions in their lives caused by the three-year COVID-19 pandemic. “We want them to be connected. They need to be connected,” with peers and trusted adults, she said. Mentz credited the idea of students beginning their day by focusing on kindness to the late Lubavictcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

12 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

The arks, which will be placed in every classroom, grades K-12, in each of 42 county schools, “represent that we are all sailing in the same boat,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, the district’s communications director. // Photo by Madelyn Oliver

This fall, each Forsyth County public school classroom will feature a small, yellow plastic ark, with a coin slot — part of a partnership with Congregation Beth Israel to promote “Acts of Routine Kindness” (ARK).

The ARK project began about a decade ago, with a Chabad rabbi in Johannesburg, South Africa, who distributed hundreds of thousands of the yellow charity boats. It was introduced in the United States several years ago by a Chabad rabbi in Connecticut. Last year, it was introduced at five schools in the El Paso Independent School District in Texas and this year will go district-wide. “It’s not about raising money. It’s about raising a generation of kind people,” Rabbi Levi Greenberg in El Paso told the lubavitch.org website. In addition to Forsyth County, the ARK project also will debut this fall in school districts in Waukesha, Wis., and St. Louis, Mo. “We want to have brilliant children. We want to have brilliant children that are mensches, that have a heart, that are caring, that are kind,” Mentz said. To do that, the oft-spoken idea of “random acts of kindness” must be transformed into “routine acts of kindness,” he

Rabbi Levi Mentz and his wife, Chaish Mentz, the codirector of Chabad of Forsyth and rebbetzin at Beth Israel. // Photos provided by Congregation Beth Israel.

said. “Kindness can’t be random, because then we leave a lot of people on the side.” In November 2021, the school district and Beth Israel planted 500 daffodil bulbs at the Forsyth County Arts and Learning (FoCAL) Center, in memory of the estimated 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust, part of a larger effort to plant such gardens around the world. Beth Israel, Chabad of Forsyth and the Forsyth County Schools also sponsored a March 2022 Holocaust remembrance event that featured Dr. Edith Eger, a Holocaust survivor and psychologist. A recording of the event is used by the district as part of its Holocaust curriculum. Funds raised through ticket sales helped purchase 3,300 plastic arks. Caracciolo said that the Forsyth district has partnered with Christian churches on other projects. The school district, whose student body is now majority-minority, reflects demographic changes in a county with a

history of racist activity. Caracciolo said that the Forsyth County student population today is 49 percent white, 27 percent Asian, 14 percent Hispanic, 5 percent African American and the remainder either of two or more races: native American or Hawaiian-Pacific Islander. There is a small, but steadily growing Jewish community in north Georgia, numbering perhaps a few thousand people. Congregation Beth Israel, established in 2016, now serves some 400 families in various ways. Groundbreaking for a synagogue and community center was held in August 2020. The ARK Project is just part of Mentz’s vision. “This is just the beginning of our work with this. Our mission is to bring kindness to the entire county,” he said, explaining that next steps could involve placing the yellow arks in government offices and in businesses. “All I can say is that in Forsyth County, there will be an explosion of kindness,” Mentz said. ì


NEWS

Initiative Names Top Ten Anti-Jewish Campuses By Debbie Diamond

“I think the most important way that more acceptable to voice Jew-hatred in parents can use our guide is to educate A recent article published on “stoppublic.” She believes themselves about the growing breadth campusjewhatred.org” written by Sara that these leaders and scope of campus Jew-hatred,” said Dogan reports on what it calls the “Top embolden antisem- Dogan. “The rise of groups such as SJP Ten Jew-Hating Colleges and Universiites and help them and the BDS movement is relatively reties.” Dogan’s articles are published on to create a false nar- cent, just in the past 15-20 years or so, Frontpage Mag, The Jewish Voice (New rative that opposing and I think many parents are not aware York) as well as the conservative notIsrael is part of a so- of how much the campus climate and for-profit organization called The David cial justice mission. discourse have changed on these issues Horowitz Center (formerly the Center for These representa- since they were in school.” Dogan stated that the initiative is the Study of Popular Culture). Accordtives are part of a ing to material released, researchers dug younger, left-wing not trying to specifically steer people through many accounts and news stories faction of the Dem- away from any particular campus, but of campus incidents across the country, ocratic party com- that parents and prospective students using resources like the Canary Mission monly known as should not go onto college campuses and the Amcha Initiative, to name the “the Squad.” Previ- blind to the facts. “When I describe the sites where they saw the worst patterns ous remarks made incidents that occur on college campusof antisemitism. by some of these es, I often find that people are shocked to The campuses named include Florimembers, including realize just how bad things have gotten,” da State University, Arizona State UniverUS Rep. Ilhan Omar she added. ì The full report, “The Top Ten Jew-Hatsity, the University of Michigan, Univerand Rashida Tlaib, New Haven’s local NBC affiliate news station said a local psychiatrist, sity of Chicago, Boston University, San have garnered wide- ing Colleges and Universities,” is available Dr. Gary Plotke, discovered the sign near Yale-New Haven Hospital. Francisco State University, Rutgers Unispread condemna- at www.stopcampusjewhatred.org/news/ versity, UCLA, the University of Houston tion from within top-ten-jew-hating-colleges-and-universitries illegitimate or organizing massive and outside of the Jewish community. ties. and the University of Minnesota. Following the report’s release, a boycott movements despite their much campaign was launched on social media more dismal record on human rights,” said Dogan. to target and “SJP has expose these been shown campuses. to promote During the ‘Jew hathree-week tred’ time initiative, and time “Stop Camagain but pus JewStop Campus Jew Hatred logo Top 1% of Coldwell Banker Internationally, Certified Negotiator, c o n t i n u es Hatred,” the Luxury, New Homes and Corporate Relocation Specialist Voted Favorite Jewish Realtor in AJT, Best of Jewish Atlanta to receive ads reached more than 250,000 individuals with their funding and support from colleges and message about the growing threat of anti- universities, even while promoting outsemitism at American universities. In ad- right hatred.” 2021 Dogan also cited what she called #1 Coldwell Banker Team in State dition, the Center called upon the federal the increasing radicalization of univergovernment to withdraw funds from the schools that they said continue to propa- sity departments and organizations that Pristine Low Maintenance Home with Master on Main gate “Jew-hatred” and propaganda. Ac- sponsor antisemitic speakers on campus cording to the report, ads garnered more and openly promote the Boycott, Divestthan 419,000 impressions and generated ment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on more than 25,000 visits to the full report. official websites and social media. The Artist’s own home with perfect studio/ The initiative has identified three organization found that when pro-Israel office/yoga room/playroom/hobbyroom speakers attempted to speak on some of key reasons behind what it considers these campuses, anti-Israel activists conthe rise in antisemitism on college campuses. The most significant factor, the ducted campaigns to delegitimize Israel. Private enclave of classic homes tucked Center says, is the growth of Students On the Center’s website, it mentions a into a quiet area of Buckhead for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which they concerted attempt to shut down dialogue say promotes a false narrative that Israel and debate — anything that would help Updated kitchen and baths,dramatic is an illegitimate “settler colonial” state “normalize” Zionism, permit pro-Israel two story great room, brick patio and views to be aired and generate support engaged in “ethnic cleansing.” The recourtyard for the Jewish state. port found that campuses with large and A third factor, according to the inistrong SJP chapters have higher levels of tiative, is the growing influence of antiantisemitism. mobile 404.290.0814 | office 404.252.4908 semitism on the political left. 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NEWS

Shmerling Volunteers on Ukrainian Border By Marcia Caller Jaffe Growing up in a Jewish household and attending the Epstein School, Brian Shmerling was instilled with values to make the world a better place. He stated, “One of my favorite Jewish traditions is the Passover Seder and its role in making the Jewish community aware of and advocating for oppressed or displaced people regardless of how different that marginalized community may be.” After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania (Modern Diplomatic History) and Temple Law School, Shmerling teamed up with an attorney co-worker and girlfriend Anita Davidson and her father Stuart, who while in Israel, met Gabi Chifu, the general directorate of social assistance and child protection from the Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly who also joined the group to handle logistics. In May the group flew to Bucharest, Romania and drove four hours to Isaccea, Romania, on the Ukrainian border. They stayed at a small hotel, located within a

Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Isaccea, Romania. // Photo Credit: Brian Shmerling

Red Cross tent set up on the Ukrainian side of the border crossing containing minimal supplies and amenities. // Photo Credit: Brian Shmerling

five-minute walk to the border crossing. Shmerling recounted, “Most people fleeing Odessa traveled across the Danube by ferry into Isaccea. There was a way to leave south-western Ukraine by land, but that required passing through Moldova, which is friendlier to Russian ambitions; and therefore, most refugees decided to cross at Isaccea.” A single ferry-barge went back and forth to and from Ukraine 24-hours a day. After five days in Isaccea, Shmerling

witnessed some Ukrainians leaving to head back home. He furthered, “I can’t speak to what their decision process was in leaving Romania, presumably they would rather be in their homeland or had determined that Romania didn’t have what they were looking for. ... It was more likely that those returning were situated better economically, and many had cars.” Shmerling described the refugee camp as a large intake area with picnic tables, cots, and play areas all meant to be a temporary stop for refugees. No one was there for more than one night. The volunteers arranged transportation for them. There was a food cart, veterinary services, clothing, toy distribution and an outdoor kitchen run by World Central Kitchen. Free food was available for volunteers, border agents and refugees from sun-up to sundown through WCK. Shmerling carried luggage, played soccer with kids, transported, and cooked for the refugees at the WCK. He said, “One day we bought enough food to feed 200 people. With Chifu’s insistence, we made fried chicken wings, French fries, borscht, and chicken stew with noodles. The other chefs thought it was amusing that Americans showed up and made fried chicken.” One day Shmerling ventured across the border to observe conditions in the nearest large city on the Ukrainian side, Izmail. He recalled,” The process for entering Ukraine was fairly easy.” There he met an American Baptist whose Ukrainian wife was Jewish. The man spoke of a small but dedicated Jewish community that survived the Holocaust and remained in Odessa, and also told us that the Odessa region of Ukraine had used Russian as their primary language since the Communist times. Although since the beginning of the war with Russia, citizens of Odessa relearned Ukrainian instead of Russian, as a way of reforming

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Volunteers waiting for a ferry of Ukrainian refugees to dock. Foreground from left to right: Brian Shmerling, Stuart Davidson, Anita Davidson, Dougie (last name unknown). //Photo Credit: Ryan Hancock

Stuart Davidson awaiting rescue after a van break down during a supply run. //Photo Credit: Brian Shmerling

their personal and national identities. Shmerling explained that not everyone had good intentions, “When the refugee center was initially set up, refugees were inundated by press and organizations trying to photograph people in their most vulnerable states. While some were sincere news outlets, many organizations were trying to get videos of helpless people to use for their own fundraising, while providing no help or assistance to the refugees at all. Refugees who were already in a severely emotional state, were being harassed. Thus, the people running the center put strict limits on what and where they could film or photograph. There were also widespread reports of Russian spies going to camps gathering information on refugees and volunteers.” Shmerling concluded, “The primary motivation for this trip came from our personal history of having family that emigrated from Eastern Europe and Russia, due to governmental and social discrimination and oppression against Jews. We all had some connection to the struggles that Ukrainians are facing due to geographically being in the way of the militaristic ambitions of a totalitarian nation.” ì For information on to get involved and assist refugee intake and transportation resources go to: http://youhub-association.ro.


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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 15


ISRAEL PRIDE

NEWS FROM OUR JEWISH HOME

Jay Leno addressing the crowd in the Hamptons on Sunday. //Photo credit: American Friends of United Hatzalah

Jay Leno Supports United Hatzalah This July in Westhampton, New York, over 150 people gathered to support Israel’s largest fully-volunteer emergency medical services organization, United Hatzalah. Together, the gathered crowd in Long Island raised more than $250,000 including three ambucycles for the lifesaving first response organization. The event was hosted by Alyssa and Michael Shabsels and featured high-profile guest speakers including comedian Jay Leno, a long-time supporter and board member of the organization. An additional inter-generational aspect of the evening took place when Leno

Today in Israeli History

himself regaled the crowd with stories of his own father’s community activities and how he instilled in Jay the idea of helping those in need which resulted in his support of United Hatzalah as well as other worthy endeavors. “Jay, a board member, came a long way to entertain the crowd and do what he does best, make people laugh,” Eli added. “He is a good friend and a big supporter and encourages others to make donations. Mark Gerson, the board chair helped present our award to Jay Leno for his recent support of Operation Orange Wings, our mission to assist those adversely affected by the war in Ukraine.” “This was a very emotional event for me,” said president and founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer who was in attendance during the event. “I have always had a close personal connection with the community here in the Hamptons. This has been true ever since I was very close with Harvey Kaylie who was of the pillars of the community here in the Hamptons, and who not only donated to United Hatzalah but helped me map out and form the organization. He was a mentor of mine and I have always been thankful for the support the community here has shown.”

Ribbon cutting opening. // Kobi Gideon/ GPO One of the new ER robots at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center guides a patient // Photo Credit: Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center

World’s Largest ER Opens in Israel With self-triage upon check-in and robots to help you find your way, the world’s largest emergency room opened in Israel on Thursday, July 28. The 8,000 square meter (86,000 square foot) facility, at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), was inaugurated by President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and philanthropist Sylvan Adams. The facility was designed for both regular emergency needs and a sudden influx of casualties from war and terror. There are 100 inpatient emergency beds, more than any

Aug. 19, 2003: A suicide bomber kills 23 people and injures more than 130 others by detonating an explosive packed with ball bearings on a bus in the Orthodox neighborhood of Shmuel Hanavi in central Jerusalem. Aug. 20, 1920: The first Hebrew medical journal in Palestine, Harefuah (Medicine), begins publishing on a quarterly schedule under the auspices of the Jewish Medical Association of Palestine. It is still published today.

Aug. 23, 1969: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, now a devout Muslim, urges war against Israel after the arson attack on Al-Aqsa mosque two days earlier. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation forms a month later.

The Al-Aqsa arson Aug. 21, 1969, extensively damaged this 12thcentury pulpit, known as the minbar of Saladin and photographed early in the 20th century.

The first governor of the Bank of Israel, David Horowitz (right), welcomes to his office David Rockefeller, the president of Chase Manhattan Bank, in March 1971. // By Fritz Cohen, Israeli Government Press Office

Soldiers erect a barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip as part of the disengagement.

Aug. 15, 2005: The day after the deadline for settlers to leave, soldiers and police start carrying out Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan for disengagement from the Gaza Strip, approved by the Knesset in February. Aug. 16, 1966: Operation Diamond, Israel’s plan to obtain a Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jet, succeeds when Iraqi pilot Munir Redfa lands at Hatzor Air Force Base for a $1 million bounty and other benefits. Aug. 17, 1949: The body of Theodor Herzl, buried in Vienna in 1904, is reburied with those of his wife and parents on the Jerusalem hill that now bears his name, fulfilling a directive in his will. Aug. 18, 2000: Archaeologist Claire Epstein, a London native who began working on digs during the War of Independence and discovered the culture of the Chalcolithic Period (4500 to 3300 B.C.E.) in the Golan, dies at 88 at Kibbutz Ginossar. 16 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

Aug. 21, 1969: A new immigrant from Australia, Denis Michael Rohan, sets fire to Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem by pouring kerosene through a keyhole and throwing in a lighted match. He enters an insanity plea and is deported. Aug. 22, 1952: The Development Corporation for Israel brings 22 American Jewish leaders to Israel on a 15-day American Champions of Israel Bonds mission, the first of its kind. The bonds are crucial to Israel’s economy.

Aug. 24, 1954: The Knesset passes the Bank of Israel Law on a 55-0 vote. The law, which goes into effect Dec. 1, sets up the Bank of Israel as the state’s central financial authority with 10 million pounds in initial capital. Aug. 25, 2004: Windsurfer Gal Fridman wins Israel’s first Olympic gold medal at the Summer Games in Athens and, having won bronze in Atlanta in 1996, thus becomes the first Israeli with multiple Olympic medals. Aug. 26, 1903: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the most widely distributed antisemitic publication in history, is first published in Znamya, a Russian newspaper. The Times of London proves it is a fraud in 1921.

other Israeli hospital, and this can be doubled in an emergency scenario. Special provision is made for psychiatric patients needing emergency care, and there’s a dedicated room for people who arrive after being subjected to sexual assault, where their needs can be met with extra sensitivity. Adams, a Canadian-Israeli who has funded several high-profile projects in Israel over recent years, donated $28 million to the hospital, which is naming the ER in his honor. He told The Times of Israel as the opening ceremony got underway: “Israel is already a leader on the world stage in medicine, with Israeli scientists and doctors bringing us some of the most important research, innovations and care solutions. So, it’s befitting that Israel should be a trailblazer when it comes to the provision of emergency care, and I’m proud this new facility will lead by example.” Aug. 27, 1892: The first passenger train arrives in Jerusalem from Jaffa. The 53-mile railroad, built by the Ottomans with Belgian rails and British coal, reduces the travel time from two days to four hours. Aug. 28, 1898: The Second Zionist Congress begins in Basel, Switzerland, with 400 delegates, nearly double the size of the First Zionist Congress. The newcomers include Theodor Herzl’s father and Chaim Weizmann. Aug. 29, 1967: The Fourth Arab League Summit convenes in Khartoum, Sudan. The summit ends Sept. 1 by declaring the famous “three nos”: no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel.

Israel Aerospace Industries built five Lavi prototypes before the program was halted.

Aug. 30, 1987: The Israeli Cabinet decides to end production of the Lavi fighter jet. The Lavi (“Young Lion”) was doomed by cost overruns and by an agreement not to sell the aircraft to other countries. Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.


ISRAEL NEWS Former Atlanta Couple Wins LGBTQ Legal Case in Israel By Jan Jaben-Eilon The religious status quo that has given Orthodox rabbinic authorities control over marriage and other family laws since the creation of the state of Israel has been weakened in the last few months — and a former Atlanta couple has played a role in one of those court decisions. In June, the Israeli government ruled that Neta Cohen and Meital Gutman, the parents of two children and former members of Congregation Bet Haverim in Atlanta, could both be recognized as the parents, rather than just Gutman, who had given birth to the children in the U.S. via sperm donation. According to an email sent by Amy Price to congregation members, “When they moved to Israel with their two boys, the government would not recognize both of them as their parents. This is despite both being on their birth certificates, which is all straight couples need to show to be recognized. They challenged the government in court and WON!!! They are the first LGBTQ family in Israel to be recognized using a birth certificate alone and future families who move will also only need to show a birth certificate, rather than needing to go through adoption or a court proceeding. They fought this discrimination against LGBTQ families for their family, and other children and future LGBTQ families, to create a more equal and welcoming society.” About a month later, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a non-biological parent who has been granted parenthood status by court order cannot be deprived of this status after the couple separates, according to an article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. The ruling was considered another success for LGBTQ parents. “Our ruling will convey a clear message that parenthood status conferred by the court is not just a cloak that the parents can doff after their couplehood has withered,” the ruling stated. “This is a fundamental act intended to protect the rights of both parents, as it protects the welfare of the child, with the entire arc of parental obligations involved.” Lawyers who represented the non-biological parents in two cases involving same-sex couples called the ruling “another important step on the way to full LGBTQ parenthood.” Notably, in his election campaign launch on Aug. 1, Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed to pass a civil marriage law and give legal status to single-sex families. Israeli elections for the next government are scheduled for Nov. 1. The country’s religious status quo was actually a political understanding between religious and secular political parties not to alter the agreement in relation to religious matters. This dictated, for instance, that marriages could only be conducted in rabbinical courts for Jews, and by the relevant religious authorities for members of other faiths, including Islam and Christianity. There is no civil marriage in Israel. This fact has led thousands of Israeli couples to marry outside the country over the decades, oftentimes close by, in Cyprus, returning to Israel with a foreign marriage certificate that would then be recognized by the Israeli government.

Former Congregation Beit Haverim members Neta Cohen and Meital Gutman won an important LGBTQ legal case in Israel. // Photo credit: Olly Bowman

But even this exception to the status quo has been toppled — by the COVID-19 pandemic, no less — in the past few weeks. Couples who planned to marry abroad but could not travel due to COVID restrictions wed through an online civil marriage service under the auspices of the state of Utah. An Israeli district court just ruled that the Israeli Interior Ministry is obligated to register those couples as married. This ruling was considered a de facto victory for advocates of civil marriage because it circumvents the political roadblock, making civil marriage available to

all Israelis domestically. However, the Orthodox political parties still object to civil marriage in the country because they believe that this would sanction interfaith marriages and other unions prohibited by Jewish law. Unlike most of the government coalitions that have been formed over the past decades, the current coalition does not include any of the ultra-Orthodox parties. But all of this could all change in the upcoming elections, depending on which parties receive the most votes and then agree to sit in a coalition with the other parties. ì

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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 17


SPORTS The Life of a Falcons Cheerleader On Sunday, Sept. 11, they will be arriving at Mercedes-Benz Stadium by 6:30 a.m., over six hours before the 1:00 p.m. kickoff David Ostrowsky is set to take place. The morning’s slate of activities will include practice drills, stretching and team speeches. Their workday won’t end until 4:30 p.m. — perhaps even later. Such is the itinerary that awaits not Atlanta Falcons players but the team’s

cheerleaders for their Week 1 showdown with the NFC rival New Orleans Saints. It is a jam-packed day for the organization’s cheerleading squad, a talented collection of dancers whose impeccably choreographed performances enhance the gameday experience for the packed house. But who, exactly, are the Falcons cheerleaders? After all, performing their craft in unity, the cheerleading team is often perceived as a collective unit whose members rarely garner individual accolades or attention. Behind the pom-poms and synchronized cheers are young adults leading ordinary lives, trying to balance their fulltime careers with parttime cheerleading jobs that entail far more than marathon Sundays throughout the fall. One such unsung member of the Falcons organization is Hannah W., from Greenville, S.C., who, by day, is pursuing her lifelong dream of being a professional dancer while working as a supply chain leader at Frito-Lay’s largest North American manufacturing site in Perry, Ga. The balancing act is nothing new for Hannah. Last decade, while pursuing her chemical engineering degree at the University of South Carolina (in addition to being an active member of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honors society), she was a fixture in the Carolina Girls Dance Team, dazzling massive outdoor crowds on postcard autumn Saturday afternoons while getting her first real taste of big-time football. (Even though she grew up in SEC country, there wasn’t a lot of football watching in her hockeycrazed household, she says.) “With practice and games and workouts, it pretty much equaled out to a parttime job,” says Hannah, whose primary dance pursuits as a

Meet the 2022 Falcons cheerleaders.

child involved theatrical and studio performances. “I was putting in 20-30 hours per week for the dance team on top of a full engineering course load. It was one of my big selling points when I was interviewing for jobs or internships. It would get a little hairy, I’m not going to lie, but it was worth it, for sure.” Her current gig for the Falcons is no less demanding. In addition to the daylong activities for Falcons home games — on game day, there are quite a few pregame appearances in suites and tailgate parties on top of the warm-ups — the cheer team makes multiple visits throughout the Atlanta community all week long. (With games hardly ever occurring on Saturdays, bar mitzvahs are one type of celebration the team has frequented.) And then there’s the regular practices and year-round workouts to stay in condition for her physically taxing parttime gig. “It’s a lot of hard work because we are constantly moving,” acknowledges Hannah. “We try never to stand still for very long because our angle is to keep fans engaged, keep them excited.” For Hannah, it’s the clock ticking down to kickoff, perhaps more so than the game itself, that she finds the most exciting. “That’s by far my favorite part of the day,” she says. “You’re typically on the 50-yard mark, right in the middle of the field, and they play the national anthem. It’s just a moment for us to stand on the field and really soak it in. It gives me chills every time. I’m going into my fourth season and I still get chills after every national anthem.”

Now a four-year veteran with the Atlanta Falcons, cheerleader Hannah W. looks forward to another successful season while navigating the challenges of supply chain management at her day job. 18 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

Hannah doesn’t take her job for granted. In the offseason, there’s a cutthroat selection process for the squad, as the pool of contenders is slowly winnowed down to a select few. While there’s one current member who had to audition eight times before securing a roster spot, Hannah herself wasn’t initially accepted during her first go-round back in 2018. “It was the first time in my life that I auditioned for something and didn’t get it right away,” says Hannah, who is entering her fourth year with the Falcons. “Trying to go pro and getting denied the first time was kind of that first real setback that I had to experience.” Certainly, being an NFL cheerleader isn’t easy, but neither is working in the supply chain industry at this time, particularly for a company that produces over 6 million cases of product a week. “It’s been interesting to work through the supply chain challenges that COVID presented,” Hannah says. “We’re slowly working our way through the supply chain outages. All of our data from the years past has been COVID-related. So, we’re kind of flying blind here at the moment. Learning how to navigate this completely new realm of demand and forecast has been an exciting challenge.” It may seem a stretch to draw parallels between the two vastly different professions, but while the skill sets pertaining to cheerleading and supply chain management may differ, there is some overlap between the respective cultures of the two organizations she works for, both of which she adores. “The Falcons organization is incredibly team-focused,” says Hannah. “They are very concerned about making sure their team feels welcome. They know that if their team feels welcome, we’re going to make fans feel welcome. It’s all about a family business, treating everyone like family.” ì


SPORTS

Seth Toporek Golfs for USA at Maccabiah Games By David Ostrowsky Seth Toporek knew it was time to visit Israel. Both his children, Zoe, 23, and Jack, 20, had been to the Holy Land not once but twice, while his close friend, Robert Alterman, had raved about his experience and another, Brian Seitz, had too. So, when Toporek, an avid golfer who currently serves as president of Southeastern Mortgage Solutions, Inc., learned that there was an opportunity to compete in this year’s Maccabiah Games for the USA golf team in the “Masters” division (ages 50-65), he jumped at the chance. More precisely, he flew down to West Palm Beach, Fla., last August to try out for team USA at the PGA National Golf Club, where, after a threeday competition in a soggy, inhospitable PGA course, the Sandy Springs resident cracked the Maccabiah roster, finishing fifth out of a field of 25 golfers. Eleven months later, he was finally touching down in Israel. “What an amazing two weeks!” Toporek exclaimed in reflecting upon his recent Maccabiah experience. “I was either playing golf and chilling with my teammates in the house that we rented or I was touring from sunup to sundown.” Indeed, when Toporek wasn’t helping USA golf edge the Australians for the gold medal in the “Masters” division, he was visiting sites such as Mahane Yehuda Market and Yad Vashem or spending Shabbat at the Western Wall amidst visitors from all walks of life. There were also trips to Masada and the Dead Sea. And, of course, Tel Aviv. Not to mention a high-level geopolitical discussion with renowned Israeli author Avi Melamed. But perhaps the experience that left him with the most indelible memory was a tour that put him within a tee shot of Syria. “We had a Jeep tour up in the Golan Heights with an armed military guide who lived on the kibbutz,” Toporek recalls. “We got to not only see the thriving citrus and other crops that the kibbutz was producing, but we went to the border with Syria. To be that close and to look into Syria, to hear what daily life is like so close to the border, to get a feel for the terrain. In one section, you had gorgeous citrus trees, apples, mangos, avocados, lemons, limes, oranges and peaches, and all kinds of things growing. And through a barbed wire fence on an adjoining piece of property there were landmines everywhere. It wasn’t the most comfortable

Golfer Seth Toporek enjoyed visiting Masada with his wife, Natalie, and children, Zoe and Jack, during his trip to Israel for the 2022 Maccabiah Games last month.

Toporek and his gold medal-winning USA Masters Golf teammates enjoy a moment together: Jeff Kaufman (Tampa, finished tied for fourth); Bryan Schewitz (Boca Raton, won the silver medal); Jeff Flax (Virginia Beach, won the bronze medal); Coach Sal Litvak (Los Angeles); Jeremy “JJ” Modell (Detroit, finished in eighth place); Toporek (Atlanta, finished sixth).

feeling, but it was a very real experience.” At times, Toporek says, the experience was more surreal, such as when he was filing into Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium during the opening ceremony in front of hundreds of American athletes and thousands of enthused fans, including his wife, Natalie, and their children. (While President Biden was in attendance, Toporek did not get to hear him speak.) As if the event wasn’t already meaningful enough, it wasn’t lost on anyone that it was merely a couple years ago, during the depths of the pandemic, that celebrating amid swarming crowds was simply unfathomable. As for the golf, which was played under sweltering conditions, Toporek remains content with his personal performance overall — one that left him with a sixth-place finish in his division. “After the first two days, I was disappointed, but not embarrassed,” says

Toporek, who, at 57, believes he is playing some of the best golf of his life. “I would have given myself a C or a C minus. Day Three, I would give myself an A, or even an A+. And Day Four, I would give myself a B. So, I think overall, I would grade my performance B minus. “I felt like I came through for the team, I came through for me. I think I hit the ball better than I scored every day. I wish my short game would have been a little better and I think I would have ultimately been very satisfied. I was definitely proud of my performance the last two days.” Now that he is stateside again, Toporek has his sights set on playing in the U.S. Senior Amateur, a United States Golf Association event to be held at the Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass., at the end of August. In order to qualify, he will need to finish with a top-five score at the upcoming tryouts, held at the Druid Hills

Country Club, in which over 100 players will be present. It’s a tall order, for sure, but with his recent string of successes in senior tournaments (in the 2020 Georgia Senior Amateur Championship, he finished tied for 26th before tying for 9th place this past spring in the Georgia Senior Match Play Championship), it’s quite possible that Toporek could represent his home club, The Standard Club, in New England later this summer. (This past June, he won The Standard Club Championship for the first time since 2005.) For now, he can take pride and having represented Sandy Springs on one of Israel’s most visible stages — even if it meant not getting to do everything that was on his ideal itinerary. “I would like to go back,” Toporek says. “What I would rather do is maybe have an activity for a couple hours but immerse myself more into the way of life there.” ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 19


BUSINESS Deborah Lauter Named Executive Director of TOLI

Audiologist Meryl Miller Opens Private Practice By Robert Garber

Deborah Lauter, a leading civil and human rights activist, has been named executive director of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI).

By AJT Staff Deborah Lauter, a leading civil and human rights activist, has been named executive director of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), based in Manhattan. Lauter brings a distinguished career in nonprofit and government service. In 2019, she was appointed to create and lead the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the first of its kind in the U.S. Prior to that, she served in leadership positions at the Anti-Defamation League for 18 years, including as senior vice president, where she oversaw the organization’s programs on civil rights as well as Holocaust and anti-bias education. “We are delighted that Deborah will join TOLI as executive director,” said Mark Berez, TOLI president. “She brings

passion, commitment and decades of experience to support our mission of Holocaust education for teachers and students. Deborah will provide strategic vision and leadership to develop and grow our programs in the coming years.” “I am honored and excited to lead TOLI at a time when there is a vital need for its programs,” Lauter said. “Holocaust education requires more than teaching historical facts; educators need the skills and a pedagogy to make lessons relevant to today’s students. At a time when knowledge of the Holocaust is diminishing and antisemitism, extremism and polarization are rising, I can think of no more important work for this next chapter of my career.” A native Californian who lived for a number of years in Atlanta, Lauter now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she is active in civic affairs.

because otherwise it’s very easy to be frustrated and to be disappointed by the process After six months of preparation, au- of hearing better because ‘hearing better’ is diologist Meryl Miller opened her own pri- different depending on the situation.” It’s important to vate practice in Sandy Miller to help bridge Springs this March. For that gap for people. “If over a decade, Miller people can’t commuworked with Audionicate, you watch how logical Consultants of heartbreaking it is for Atlanta, under the menthem and their famtorship of its founders, ily, that they can’t share Drs. Helena Solodar and stories and share conKadyn Williams. She nections the same way,” has also been actively she noted, warning that assisting the local Jewish many people are hesicommunity. tant to start seeing an Miller, who has audiologist. been providing month“The average perly services at Berman son waits 8-10 years Commons, recently befrom the time that they came the point person After six months of preparation, notice a hearing probon Congregation B’nai audiologist Meryl Miller opened lem to the time that they her own private practice in Torah’s T-Coil system Sandy Springs this March. do something about (a wire-loop perimeter installed beneath the floor that lets anyone it. When you wait that long your auditory wearing a receiver hear audio going into the system just can’t perform like it should,” she sound system), after another local audiolo- said. “Our auditory system is like any other gist, Rita Chaiken, passed the torch on to her. part of our brain, it really is use-it or lose-it. Miller has particular expertise in a You stimulate it or it just slowly loses steam.” Yet the initial stages of these issues are number of other recent technologies such as Earlens and the Lyric hearing device. Of the rarely easily noticeable, even by ENTs. “A lot latter, she noted, “Since their [Drs. Solodar of times the audiologist is spending more and Williams’] retirement I am the most ex- time with them than some of the other mediperienced provider of this device in the state.” cal professionals,” Miller said, “so sometimes Miller acknowledges that there may we see things or get to know family members be some misunderstanding about what she in a different way.” That part of it is personally meaningdoes and explains that audiologists can be seen as a clinical counterpart to ear, nose and ful for her. “I think part of the reason I’ve been successful in audiology is that I like to throat specialists (ENTs). “[For me], a lot of it is the counseling connect with people,” she said, “I find that’s aspect of it,” she said, “It’s helping people un- what brings meaning for me behind all of derstand the process and what’s going on, this.”

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BUSINESS

Mobility Plus Opens New Alpharetta Location

Stern & Edlin Law Firm Changes Name

By Robert Garber

By Robbie Garber

Mobility Plus, a chain that sells in-home mobility equipment and services, will hold the grand opening of a new franchise location in Alpharetta on Aug. 31. Mary Block, who owns and will operate the new location, was a public-school teacher for over a decade. She hopes to bring that experience and a unique perspective to the new business. “We’re a full-scale mobility consultancy,” she said, “We provide free in-home consultations. We’ll go to our clients’ homes and do an assessment. There’s a national certification called ‘Age-Safe America,’ and I’m a certified Age America senior home safety specialist. “We also have a classroom space because I wanted to leverage my 16 years of public-school teaching experience. We will invite community partners like occupational therapists and physical therapists and gerontologists and home health care providers to give free informational classes to the community to help fill those gaps that I mentioned at the beginning.” This is a service only a few Mobility Plus locations across the country offer and, so far, the new location is the only one in Georgia to do so. But that’s not the only unique feature. Block has plans for the Alpharetta location to be the first to host a monthly book club. “All of the books will focus on topics relevant to aging or caretaking of our loved ones and they aren’t all going to be gloom and doom,” she says. “I think sometimes, in

Founded in the 1980’s, the previously named Stern & Edlin, a top Atlanta law firm focusing on divorce and family law cases, has changed its name to Stern Edlin Graham. The new name reflects the years of experience and commitment of firm partner Gary Graham. Graham, who followed From left to right, Firm Partners Gary Graham, Shiel Edlin, Carla the path of his father into law, was initially Stern, and Erik Chambers. invited to the firm by Edlin in 2000 after winning a case against the latter. He made what he has helped us to build over the last firm partner ten years later, the same year two decades, but also his leadership as we he was the winning trial and appellate at- look toward the future of the firm,” said torney in the precedent-setting divorce Founding Partner Shiel Edlin. “Gary truly is a link between the firm’s case Miller v. Miller - the past and our future, and first case in the state to eswe are thrilled to be able to tablish methods of valuing recognize his dedication to a professional business for our team and our clients in the purpose of equitable this way.” division. The new logo for Stern “I am honored that Graham has also Edlin Graham, with Shiel and Carla have put served as chair of the Fameach of their names. their faith in me to step up ily Law Section for both the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar As- to a leadership role in such a visible way,” sociation and is a Fellow of the American stated Graham. “It’s very important to me, Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, “As a to again thank them, obviously for hiring leader in the field of family law, Gary plays me, but for mentoring me and giving me an integral role in the future of our firm as the tools to help reach the point where I we continue to apply our vast legal knowl- am.” While Graham himself is the only edge and professionalism to benefit our cliequity partner of the firm who is not Jewents,” said Managing Partner Carla Stern. “Gary has been at our firm for more ish, he has ties to the Jewish community than 20 years, but the name change to through the firm, and his girlfriend of two Stern Edlin Graham is reflective of not only years is Jewish as well.

Owner Mary Block with her husband and kids. From left to right: Camille, Mary, Scott and Nicolas.

the aging space, we focus on the obligation of aging, like it’s burdensome, but especially as Jews it’s an honor to take care of those that we love that have lived these long, brilliant lives.” For Block, this is a truly personal endeavor. She recalled the time she had to check her father out of the hospital, only to have a little less than an hour to figure out where he would have to go for rehabilitation. “I think that was the ‘aha moment’ that there was a real lack of streamlined resources out there for most people,” Block said, noting her commitment to helping other families avoid the same ordeal. “If we all had the information ready to go, or we knew where to find it, before our loved one was ill and in an acute situation and being discharged from the hospital, gosh it would be so much easier.” The grand opening will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

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OPINION Telling a Friend ‘Thank You’ Before He Died A light went out the other day. A friend from college succumbed after a lengthy struggle with cancer. His demise was not Dave Schechter unexpected, From Where I Sit but word of his death rocked me nonetheless. In life, you meet a lot of people. Relatively few leave a mark on you. My friend did, pretty much from when we met, through the college soccer team that I wrote about and he played on. Even as a freshman, he exuded a low-key cool that I, as a senior, certainly did not. His lasting influence on me, these many years later, can be found in the music I enjoy. His collection of jazz records became my music appreciation class. Had he not shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for that music, I likely never would have developed an interest that I have nurtured for more than four decades. I digested the news of his passing, and with my eyes a bit wet and cloudy, retreated to my office and to articles needing my attention. I often listen to music while I write. Now it felt necessary. There was no question what I would play first. Listening to the Miles Davis album “Kind of Blue” always reminds me of the friend who introduced me to that and other recordings I once owned on vinyl and now have stored on my computer and phone. The piano was my friend’s musical forte, so the next selections were Oscar Peterson and McCoy Tyner. I’m not naive. At a certain age, the deaths of people you know and people you once knew come with greater frequency. Some you note in passing. Others give you a momentary pause. Some hurt. Even as his condition deteriorated, my friend demonstrated an admirable capacity to make the most of the time he had — a lesson for the rest of us. He continued, as he could, the work that made him a globally recognized expert in the field of freshwater science and conservation and relished exploration

22 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

of the wilds he enjoyed. The research he did, the solutions he conceived and the students he mentored were one way my friend cared for his chosen corner of the world. At his funeral, which I was able to watch online, the rabbi spoke of the comfort found in memories. In the days after I learned of my friend’s passing, I tapped a vein of memories, including his presence when my wife and I married. I often see on social media people who, as they mourn a loss, urge the rest of us to let those we care about know this while they live, rather than regretting having not done so when they are gone. I called my friend before our trip to Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend, but the risk to his health ruled out an inperson visit. Then, a few weeks ago, while we were running errands, something caused me to think of him. I stepped out of a store and called. We spoke for 15-20 minutes. He was in good humor, despite his discomfort, but up front about his prognosis. In the back of my mind was the awful thought that I did not know if we would speak again. I needed to tell him how much I appreciated the effect he had on me. He asked what I was referring to and I replied: the music. I joked that I cannot read a score, play a note, or discuss the finer points of a composition, but thanks to him, I know what I like. I told him about a recent jazz concert here in Atlanta, possibly the best I have heard anywhere, by a renowned New York-based trio of musicians on piano, bass and drums. And I reminded him of a cold, snowy Thanksgiving night many years ago, when he picked me up and we drove to a nearly empty club in Chicago for what felt like a private concert by a saxophone player he favored. A week or so before my friend died, I wrote his name at the top of a pad on my desk — a reminder to check in with him. Then a mutual friend contacted me with the sad news. Whatever pain I felt was balanced by tapping into memories, listening to the music he had turned me on to and knowing that, while he could hear it, I had told him, “Thank you.” ì


OPINION

Letters to the Editor The AJT welcomes your letters. 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 editor@atljewishtimes.com.

Disclamer to our readers: This section of the newspaper is a forum for our community to share thoughts, concerns and opinions as open letters to the community or directly to the newspaper. As a letter to the editor, we proof for spelling and grammatical errors only. We do not edit nor vet the information the letter contains. The individual signing the letter is accountable for what they share.

Letter to the editor,

Letter to the editor,

Mazal Tov Atlanta Jewish Times. As a person originally from Indiana I have always felt so lucky to be a part of the Atlanta Jewish community. Not many understand that there are several cities that may only have one synagogue and even then, it may only be open for the holidays “if” a rabbi is available. Here there are dozens, and even community centers, to network and meet other Jewish families. I enjoy my AJT newspaper, and I look forward to each issue. Over the recent years the transition of the content, timely news and graphics appeal makes our community newspaper, and adds one more reason that I am thankful to be a part of the Atlanta Jewish community. It was surprise to me when I read the news that the AJT was named by the American Jewish Press Association as Best Jewish Newspaper in America, and took second place for Best Website. Thank you for your hard work and contribution to our community. Paul Moskowitz, Atlanta

Regarding: “New State Law Restricts the Public Education System” -— July 31 Made a good law sound awful. What Public Education Restriction? The “Parents’ Bill of Rights” affirms a parent's right to direct their children’s moral and religious training, to review all classroom education material, to home school or enroll them in a private or religious school, to review report cards and attendance records, obtain information on requirements for promotion to the next grade and high school graduation, and order that no photographs, video or voice recordings of their children be permitted except for safety and security. There is no mention of book banning, a hysterical concern in your article. This law stresses that children belong to their parents, not the state. It simply gives parents the right to know what is being taught. Indoctrination with a political agenda does not “encourage discussion about controversial subjects” and has no place in a classroom. By law, California public schools must begin sex education in kindergarten. Critical race theory, 1619 Project, debasing the founding fathers. Never before was such lunacy part of school curriculum. Hence, this rational new law. Jay Starkman, Atlanta

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OPINION

Why I Joined the Fight Against Hate with ADL I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors and Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe. I am a second-generation AmeriEytan Davidson can-born Jew. Guest Contributor The fact that I am here at all is a miracle, given what my grandparents had to endure to survive. My heritage and experience are shared by millions around the world who have overcome extraordinary odds simply to exist. The awareness of this fact – and a drive to make change and seek justice – is what led me to join the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) as its new Southeast Regional Director. I have seen advances in civil rights during my lifetime. I have also witnessed a disturbing rise in authoritarian, even Fascist movements here and

abroad, and a coordinated effort to delegitimize the State of Israel that is antisemitic at its core. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to combat hate and promote equity and equality for all. Growing up in New York City, I was lucky to be part of a large, active Jewish community. When Natan Sharansky was freed from prison and allowed to leave the USSR, he visited my Jewish day school. In high school, I remember attending special school-wide assemblies to watch the historic peace ceremonies between Israel and the PLO, and later Israel and Jordan. There was hope, and my generation seemed to be the beneficiary. The world has since become increasingly more complex and dangerous, and antisemitism has been resurgent in a way I could never have imagined. According to the most recent ADL audit of antisemitic incidents, Georgia saw an increase of 133% - in 2021 compared to 2020. This is something that should concern us all. The ADL is the oldest and most

established organization fighting hate in the United States. Through the generations, we have adapted and innovated, and we continue to do so. Since we started monitoring hate groups and collecting data on antisemitic and other incidents of hate in the 1950s, we have seen trends – both positive and negative – that should make us all pay attention to the hate in our communities. Hate that threatens all of us. Unfortunately, hate has become normalized through social media and divisive turns in politics. ADL will continue to combat hate in all of its forms – through educational programming, incident monitoring, working with law enforcement to counter extremists, and through legislative advocacy so that we can pursue our mission – to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. We cannot do this work alone and will continue to foster partnerships to fulfill our mission. The Jewish community in Georgia is growing, diverse, and

vibrant. It is also vulnerable. This community will continue to grow and thrive only if we see each other as human beings and treat each other respectfully. The Jewish community is also deeply connected to other communities in Georgia, and we must continue to forge relationships, partnerships, and understanding across faiths, races, generations, and socioeconomic statuses. We all want to live in peace and safety, be part of families and communities, and provide for future generations. I have learned that achieving these goals takes hard work, and we all must do our part. The values of the ADL are courage, respect, collaboration, inclusion, integrity, credibility, and accountability. These values can guide our actions towards better outcomes for all. That is what the ADL stands for and I am proud to be a part of it. I welcome the chance to hear from you.ì Eytan Davidson is the ADL Southeast Regional Director.

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ARTS & CULTURE Marilyn Monroe Film Explores Star’s Nightmare Years “Blonde,” a new film about Marilyn Monroe that its director calls an “emotional nightmare fairytale,” gets its first public screening later Bob Bahr this month at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival. The Australian director of the fictionalized work, Andrew Dominik, based his retelling of the life of the Hollywood icon on a novel of the same title, published in 2000 by the acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates. The 84-year-old writer received Israel’s Jerusalem Prize at the Jerusalem International Book Fair three years ago, the same award that Arthur Miller, who married and converted Monroe in 1956, also received later in his life. In real life, Miller and Monroe’s blissful idealized romance climaxed during what is generally thought to be the happiest year of her decidedly troubled life. The dark Oates novel and presumably the new film, however, is filled with traumatic sexual experiences that the main character, Norma Jeane, lives through. They include scenes of sexual violence at the hands of an important Hollywood mogul and childhood sexual trauma. The violent recreation of these scenes in the novel have helped earn the movie, starring Cuban actress Ana de Armas, an NC-17 rating. It’s a designation, rarely used by the Motion Picture Association, which bars anyone under 17 from viewing the film. It is noteworthy that the rating was imposed even after Netflix executives demanded a reedit of the director’s explicit final cut. “It’s a demanding movie,” says Dominik. “If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office.” Like the book it’s based on, the film is said to end with a lurid series of romantic encounters with the President of the United States and his brother, capped by the actress’s dramatized assassination. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Monroe’s controversial death at the age of 36, on Aug. 4, 1962. Over the years, fact and fiction have become so intermingled in the public imagination that viewers could be led to believe that everything that happens in the film is true. But Oates described her novel as a “radically distilled ‘life’ of Marilyn Monroe,” as filtered through the author’s artistic imagination. It was a finalist for the Pulit26 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

The new film is based on the novel “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award when it was published over two decades ago.

Cuban actress Ana de Armas stars in a disturbing portrait of the Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.

The Monroe drama premieres the day after Rosh Hashanah.

zer Prize and the National Book award over two decades ago. Whether the film lives up to the novel’s literary reputation as a work that has something important to say about the price of fame is a judgment deferred. “Blonde” debuts Sept. 28 on Netflix, just following Rosh Hashanah. Ironically, it is the same day that observant Jews mark with a solemn fast to commemorate an ancient Jewish assassination.

In fact, much of Monroe’s professional career was shaped by Jewish men and women whom she encountered over the dozen-or-so years that she was in the public eye. Her first serious romantic relationship was with a Russian Jewish refugee, Iván Haidabura, who, as Johnny Hyde, created a highly successful career in Hollywood as the vice-president of the William Morris

Monroe converted to Judaism just before her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller.

talent agency. Although he was old enough to be her father, Haidabura became infatuated with the young star and did much to shape her early career as artfully as he oversaw the plastic surgery that reshaped her face and her body. And her first acting coach for eight years and the woman most influential in obsessively creating Monroe’s early screen persona was Natasha Lytess, who was born


ARTS & CULTURE

“Blonde” has been given an NC-17 rating because of its mature content.

Natalia Postman to a German Jewish family in Berlin. But it was only after Monroe fled Hol-

lywood and rebelled against the Hollywood studio system in 1954 that she made a life for herself among the Jewish artistic and

literary elite of New York. She moved in with Milton Greene (born Milton Greengold), a prominent

photographer, and his wife and started her own film production company with him and her new agent, Jay Kanter, one of Greene’s friends. She took acting lessons at the famed Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg and his wife Paula. They were Russian Jewish émigrés with whom she developed an inseparable relationship. After Monroe’s death, Paula Strasberg became the executor of her estate. And finally, in 1956, Monroe married the famous playwright Arthur Miller, who became, arguably, one of her most important artistic influences during the final six years of her life. Although she and Miller eventually lived almost separate lives, he wrote what is generally considered her greatest dramatic role for the 1961 film “The Misfits.” She plays Roslyn Taber, a just-divorced former burlesque dancer who befriends a pair of cowhands and spends several days with them as they round up wild horses in the Nevada desert. Miller wrote it, some thought, as a final gesture toward their life together, which had once offered so much joy. ì The film trailer can be viewed at www. youtube.com/watch?v=aIsFywuZPoQ

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ARTS & CULTURE

Neranenah & Breman Museum's Week of Performances By Bob Bahr

For the first time, two of Jewish Atlanta’s most important cultural institutions are joining forces to sponsor a week-long series of music and performance events. The Breman Museum, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and Neranenah, formerly known as the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, are jointly promoting “Side By Side” — five performances that will take place between Sunday, Aug. 21 and Aug. 28. Joe Alterman, the executive director of Neranenah, sees it as an important first step in an ongoing partnership. “We’ve done some collaborating in the past, but with this week of programming we’ve both contributed funds and shared in the marketing. And, of course, we’ll share in the revenues. We’re truly partners. It’s probably the biggest partnership we’ve had with pretty much anyone,” he said. To kick off the new series, Alterman will host the Atlanta premiere of a elebration Event Logo feature length documentary, “Live at Mr.

Eric Krasno and The Assembly appear in the Side By Side series at The Loft at Center Stage Theater on Saturday, Aug. 27. // Credit: Jake Cudek

Side by Side is an ambitious series of performances cosponsored by The Breman Museum and Neranenah.

Kelly’s,” at the Plaza Theater on Aug. 21 and perform with his jazz trio after the screening. The film chronicles the legendary Chicago nightclub and the jazz performances at the great London House restaurant there. Both of these important entertainment spots were owned by two Jewish brothers, George and Oscar Marienthal.

During the middle decades of the last century, they booked some of the greatest names in entertainment there and sometimes recorded their performances. At Mr. Kelly’s, singers like Barbra Streisand, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald were featured. At London House, jazz greats such as Oscar Peterson, Coleman Hawkins and Sarah Vaughn recorded

lce ebrate

performances. In the film, Ramsey Lewis, one of the most commercially successful jazz musicians of the time, reminisced with Alterman about all the great music that was created at the two nightspots. Now 87, but still going strong, Lewis believes that the two clubs played a significant role in helping to racially integrate America dur-

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ARTS & CULTURE

Side By Side will feature Ben and Leo Sidran at the Atlanta History Center on Thursday, Aug. 25.

Joe Alterman will introduce the documentary “Live at Mister Kelly’s” to open Side by Side on Sunday, Aug. 21 at the Plaza Theater.

The closing performance of the series features comedian Jessica Kirson at the Round Trip Brewing Company.

ing the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. Still, there was much prejudice to be overcome in the way Black performers were seen by the public. “Money can’t change the color of your skin,” Lewis said. “No matter how much money and fame you have, you’re still an African American person. And there are many people in this country who see you as African American, therefore they color you with their thoughts. They color you and their feelings and color you with what they think you’re about at that time.” Mr. Kelly’s, the Mairenthal brothers’ nightclub, also helped to facilitate a new conversation about race by presenting such Black comedians as Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor. In the film, show business historian Dan Pasternak says that laughter helped to change America. “It wasn’t just for laughs. It was a way of talking about America, talking about segregation and opening some people’s eyes. And even when comedy isn’t overtly political, in a way, it always has a kind of subversive quality to it,” he explained. The Side By Side events will be put on at different venues. At the Atlanta History Center, there will be an evening performance on Thursday, Aug. 25, with music historian and jazz pianist Ben Sidran and his son, Leo, who is also a musician. On Friday, Aug. 26, Rabbi Micah Lapidus, backed by the Hello, Goodbye and Peace Ensemble, will host a musical Shabbat celebration outdoors on the grounds of the historic Margaret Mitchell House on Peachtree Street. And, on Saturday night,

Aug. 27, the Loft at Center Stage Theater will be the scene of a performance by Grammy Award-winner Eric Krasno and The Assembly. The week of performances concludes on Sunday, Aug. 28, with the comedy of Jessica Kirson at Round Trip Brewing Company, in what was formerly an industrial area on Atlanta’s west side. The wide array of venues is a distinct departure for The Breman Museum, which usually presents its programming in the Jewish Federation building on Spring Street in Midtown, where its collection is housed. The Breman’s executive director, Leslie Gordon, views the programs as a way to shed that locationbased image. “We are definitely trying to have our name attached to things that are not in our space because the Jewish population isn’t just in one place. We want the Breman out there in different places. So we don’t want people to think if they aren’t in the building, they can’t experience The Breman.” Alterman feels that this may be the right time to explore the partnership and what it can do for the community. It’s a kind of test, as he sees it, and he’s hoping for the kind of support and financial success that can bring Neranenah and The Breman even closer together. “I’m really excited,” he says, “to see what comes next.” ì Tickets to Side By Side are available at www.neranenaharts.org/sidebyside. Tickets also at www.thebreman.org/Events/The-Breman-and-Neranenah-Present-Side-By-Side-ALive-Event-Series. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 29


ARTS & CULTURE

Designer Brings Landscapes to Life with Mosaics Carla Stein We r t h e i m e r combines her expertise in landscape architecture with a more recent passion for mosaics, creating patterns by arMarcia ranging small Caller Jaffe multicolored shards of stone, glass or tile. Drawing up landscape plans draws on her formal training while her mosaic work is largely self-taught. “One forces me to be a good listener, sensitive to the surrounding environment and to work with efficiency,” she explained. “The latter allows me to be silly, ignore rules and to also be sensitive to the surrounding environment. Both challenge my senses, emotions and creativity and require sensibility and thoughtfulness.” Wertheimer attended the University of Georgia, earning a BA in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. Later, after working in large architecture and engineer-

Carla Stein Wertheimer is a landscape designer who incorporates mosaics into her work.

Wertheimer enjoys participating in art fairs and festivals.

Wertheimer creates original mosaics from start to finish.

ing firms, she pivoted to a one-person office with more energy for personal interaction and diversity. Raising children, she opted for a flexible schedule, drawing garden designs for individual residences, teaching classes and consulting with plant nurseries. “Developing and enhancing landscapes, giving the earth new life and appreciating

patterns, colors, textures and forms are derived from the same seedling,” Wertheimer explained. “Landscape design is a type of art, combining intellect, experience, knowledge and creativity.” Her fondest memories growing up in Morningside are of her mother immersing her in art classes, museums, botanical gar-

dens, visiting festivals, flea markets and hidden gardens in Savannah. “I am fortunate that she saw a special talent and budding passion within me,” Wertheimer recalled. “Pursuing a career that combined the love of nature and art, a desire to create, while making the earth more beautiful seemed like a natural path. The connec-

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ARTS & CULTURE

The artist says that today’s homeowners opt for stones, fire pits and water features as family favorites.

Wertheimer gives each mosaic a unique style reminiscent of a place or a pet.

tion between art and nature is uncanny and, in my case, very deliberate.” Creative work led Wertheimer in many directions, mosaics being her latest passion. Art immersed in gardens has always intrigued her, especially reusing materials and recycling what others cast away. “I am inspired by all things beautiful and magical, sometimes surreal (angels, fairies, mermaids, seahorses) and sometimes more realistic (leaves, flowers, birdhouses, animals and keepsakes). My themes are usually whimsical, often with a childlike innocence,” she says. Breaking pottery, recycling glass and vintage china, repurposing beads and jewelry, finding treasures and trinkets at thrift stores are cathartic for her, Wertheimer says. She designs and assembles each original mosaic piece. People hand her their grandmother’s chipped china or discarded jewelry and ask her to create a keepsake. “A person who loves hummingbirds might hang several in a sunroom to remind them of spring,” she said. “Many want an

original piece of art reminiscent of a place or a pet that they love. Others just want a unique mosaic that brings joy. Brightening a room by adding art makes people happy or nostalgic. Many of my mosaic pieces are wall hangings. Some sit on a shelf, give life to a nondescript wall or house a plant.” Wertheimer also take inspiration from the forests of Georgia, Florida and the wildlife of the Gulf Coast. Many of her pieces are sold in galleries around Atlanta and the Panhandle. She shows her pieces at artist markets, holiday exhibits, farmers markets and festivals, though sporadically. If anything, the quarantines and lockdowns have created new customers for her personalized designs. “Today, people are much more thoughtful about how they spend their time and money by enhancing their outdoor spaces and staying home more to enjoy their surroundings,” she explained. “Having a landscape plan allows people to have future goals towards a personal place in which they will use and experience pride. Low-maintenance materials are the number one request. Colorful plants, stones, fire pits and water features have all become family favorites.” “My hopes are that we enjoy what we have, and not take anything for granted,” says Wertheimer, who recently received Ahavath Achim’s Cantor Isaac Goodfriend Award for supplying food and backpacks for needy public elementary school students. “The COVID years have helped me realize how fortunate I am to have a talent that can improve lives, provide places of calmness or solitude, to smell and experience our senses, or simply to enjoy being with friends and family. Seeing enjoyment in people when they install a landscape of their dreams or hang a piece of my artwork in their home are my most satisfying accomplishments.” ì

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ARTS & CULTURE

Susan Booth Is Leaving the Alliance Theatre By Bob Bahr After twenty-one years as the artistic director of the Alliance Theatre, Susan Booth is moving on to Chicago to take over the top job at the Goodman Theatre. During Booth’s lengthy tenure, the Alliance put on 85 world premieres and became a favored first stop for musicals destined to make it to Broadway. Six of the musical productions that debuted at the theater under her leadership went on to a Broadway run, including “The Color Purple,” which was adapted from the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Georgia-born Alice Walker. The popular production based on Walker’s novel was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and ran for three years on Broadway, from 2005 to 2008. A motion picture version of the musical is scheduled for release next year. Booth credits its success with helping to make the Alliance a favored venue for Broadwaybound tryouts. “You get one first chance to succeed, right? And ‘The Color Purple’ was ours. And our production staff delivered so

Susan Booth and her husband, Max Leventhal, oversaw the total rebuilding of the Alliance Theatre, completed in 2019.

Productions that originated at the Alliance Theatre during Booth’s tenure often made their way to Broadway. // Credit: Joe Mazza

“The Temple Bombing” was produced by the Alliance Theatre to commemorate The Temple’s 150th anniversary. // Photos by Greg Mooney, The Alliance Theatre

beautifully that the producers made sure that the word got around. If you want a theater that takes good care of you and will partner well with you, you should look at the Alliance.” Among the world premieres that Booth oversaw was the 2017 production of “The Temple Bombing,” based on Melissa Fay Greene’s book of the same name.

The staging recounted the events leading up to the 1958 bombing and its aftermath at The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, as The Temple in Midtown was then formally known. The play helped to commemorate the congregation’s 150th anniversary that year. It’s a production of which Booth says she is the most proud because it was the result of what she described as an “authentic community partnership.” “We were approached by representatives from The Temple who said, ‘we have a commemoration and we would like to figure out a way that it can resonate throughout our city and is embraced by the cultural community.’ Coincidentally, just as we were opening, there were a spate of synagogue attacks up and down the East Coast. And the fact that we could create a safe place in our city to talk about what that meant, meant the world to me. And it never would have happened if The Temple hadn’t approached us and said, ‘could we partner?’” Booth’s links to the Jewish community here include the renaming of the Alliance’s 200-seat experimental theater, the Hertz Stage, in honor of prominent Atlanta business leader and member of The Temple, Jennings Hertz. The theater’s National Graduate Playwriting Competition is supported by The Kendeda Fund, which is named for the three children of Diana and Arthur Blank — one of whom, Kenny Blank, took over the successful development of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival at about the same time as Booth began her work at the Alliance. Booth’s husband, Max Leventhal, who served as general manager of the Alliance Theatre from 2001 to 2012, has served as the president of the Board of

Directors of the AJFF. He also managed the $32-million 15-month-long extensive makeover of the theater at the Woodruff Arts Center, a project that was completed just over a year before the COVID pandemic began. Booth credits the experience she gained from steering the theater through the pandemic with inspiring a reevaluation of how she views the performer-audience relationship. “During the pandemic we have lost institutions and institutions that we had previously thought of as somehow untouchable are struggling,” she noted. “We need to listen to our audiences about how they want to gather and what is compelling to them to want to choose to be together. I feel like the pandemic reset the way we think about how we spend our time together.” The 59-year-old is returning to Chicago and the Goodman Theatre, the place where she launched her career and where she first met her husband after graduating from Northwestern University. When she officially begins her new position on Oct. 3, Booth will be the first woman to serve as its artistic director. The Goodman has long been recognized as the most important nonprofit theater in a city known for its enthusiastic support of the arts. Booth’s final production in Atlanta will be codirecting “Everybody,” by the young African American playwright Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, who was selected for the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2016. The play is a modern retelling of the 15th-century morality play “Everyman” — one of the first dramas in the English language. “Everybody” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2018 and runs from Sept. 2 to Oct. 2. ì

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ARTS & CULTURE

‘My Name Is Sara’ Tells Holocaust Story Set in Ukraine By Bob Bahr Sara Goralnick was only 13 when her mother sent her off with her younger brother, Moishe, in the hope of surviving the Nazi destruction of their Jewish community of Korets, close to the Ukrainian border with Poland. The town had long been a center of Jewish life, but after the German invasion of Poland the town and its Jewish ghetto were liquidated. As dramatized in the just-released film “My Name Is Sara,” which is being screened at the Tara Theater on Cheshire Bridge Road beginning Aug. 5, Sara sets out with her brother in September 1942, determined to survive. Survival, as her mother tells her in the film, “will be our revenge.” The key to Sara’s survival for two-and-a-half years was her successful ability to take on the identity of a gentile friend she had known in Korets. As she tells another Jewish child she encounters on the run, you will be tested by Ukrainians, who are wary of providing shelter for escaping Jews. She instructs the young girl in the words of the rosary, the Hail Mary prayer and how to make the sign of the cross during religious rites in the church. Sara Goralnick becomes Manya Romanchuk, a runaway without official documents who convinces the young farm family which takes her in that she is a gentile. She shares a family meal of roast pork as enthusiastically as she attends mass in the local Eastern

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“My Name Is Sara” tells the story of a Jewish teenager who survives the Holocaust on a farm in Ukraine.

Orthodox church. But this being Ukraine in World War II, Sara is never far from antisemitism. Ukrainian nationalists were often willing accomplices in the mass murder of more than a million Jewish residents during the Nazi invasion. The work of the Nazi killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen of the SS, and the murder of 33,000 Jews over a two-day period by German soldiers at Babi Yar, outside Kyiv, were all facilitated by Ukrainian paramilitary units. According to German historian Dieter Pohl, approximately 100,000 Ukrainians joined German police units, while others became guards at notorious concentration

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34 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

camps such as Treblinka. Sara’s brother, Moishe, who did not survive, was turned in to the Nazis in exchange for a four-pound bag of salt. But Sara, as played by the young Polish actress Zuzanna Surowy in her acting debut, has a steely sense of self-control and an instinctive ability to adapt that never deserts her. Only when she feels truly alone, as in a dream sequence during an afternoon nap in the forest or while hidden in the farm’s outhouse, do her youthful fears overcome her. Otherwise, despite living under the watchful eyes of the Nazis and the suspicious gaze of her extended adoptive family, her stony-faced acceptance of her role in this adopted world of Ukrainian peasants never wavers. It’s a simple premise and a familiar one that has been the basis of a number of previous Holocaust dramas. Director Steven Oritt, a successful documentary filmmaker making his debut with this feature film, befriended the real Sara before her death in 2018. He has transformed veteran screenwriter David Himmelstein’s script into a moving work of Sara’s personal triumph. Prior to its national release, “My Name Is Sara” was featured in over 50 film festivals, including the Miami Jewish Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best narrative film and the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Prize. The film was produced with the Shoah Foundation of the University of Southern California, which was founded by Steven Spielberg with the proceeds of his 1993 Academy Award-winning film, “Schindler’s List.” The executive producer, Mickey Shapiro, is the son of Sara Goralnick Shapiro. He was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany after World War II and grew up in Detroit, where he became a highly successful home builder and real estate developer, with over a thousand employees nationwide. Shapiro serves on the Shoah Foundation’s Board of Councilors and has endowed an annual residential fellowship and lecture program at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. His generous support for Holocaust education is a fitting reminder of the power of the words his mother heard when she first took flight — that survival, itself, can be a kind of revenge. “My historical knowledge,” he says, “coupled with my deep emotions, fuel my need to help ensure these events do not happen again.” ì


ARTS & CULTURE

Steel Artist Eric Strauss Forges Successful Art Career

Local steel artist Eric Strauss is known for his monumental, welded sculptures. Here he is pictured in his studio with the Gibbs Gate.

“Entwined Strength,” a 4,000-pound sculpture Strauss created from hot forged steel, is installed in Johns Creek.

Strauss in the studio with the horse he created for Sir Elton John, circa 1993.

Strauss is nearing the installation of this forged grapevine-inspired railing he created for the new Roo Mountain Vineyards in Ellijay, Ga.

E r i c Strauss is a powerhouse of steel, metal and fire. An accomplished artist, with many works on view around town, he grew up in Robyn Spizman Sandy Springs Gerson and attended Riverwood High School, then earned his BFA at Georgia Southern University and studied abroad in Cortona, Italy. It was at Riverwood that Strauss started welding, back in 1978. While in business school in 1983, he was reintroduced to welding in an assembly welding class at Georgia Southern; by the end of the semester, he had switched from the business school to the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. In 1991, five years out of art school, Strauss held a sold-out exhibit at the noted Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta. Sir Elton John purchased his first monumental horse sculpture in 1993. Strauss also spent a year forging a stainless steel, bronze, brass and glass memorial wall of Jerusalem for Congregation B’nai Torah; the Jewish Women’s Auxiliary commissioned another version of it for the lobby of the Jewish Tower. Several of his early sculptures are on view at the William Breman Jewish Home. “In the mid-90s, having solo exhibits in Santa Fe, N.M., influenced and changed my artistic blueprint,” Strauss recalled, “and, in 2006-2008, I had a traveling museum exhibit, consisting of 18 sculptures, with the Booth Western Art Museum. The exhibit would go on to win The Georgia Museum and Gallery Association’s top award, and my biggest achievement so far in my career. I have two monumental works in The Booth Museum’s permanent collection. Recently, spending the last two years forging my first public sculp-

ture for the City of Johns Creek has truly been a highlight of my career. I immersed myself in the horse, as it was not about capitalist gains, it was to see how far I could push myself as an artist. I wanted to build a monumental work, in my pure assemblage style, with all my tooling and experience I had gained doing commissioned works during the last 15 years.” Strauss is perhaps best known locally for his horse sculpture, installed in Johns Creek, which he titled “Entwined Strength.” Johns Creek Beautification approached Strauss, but “they had no funds, sculptural theme, just an existing sculpture pad in a roundabout,” he recalled. “The horse was born from living on a horse farm for 10 years, two miles from the roundabout. I had visions for forging a steel horse using my new technique and tooling. Johns Creek was the perfect opportunity to explore my new series.” Students from Centennial High School, under the guidance of Christopher Buechner, “photographed, videoed and documented the two-year build from the garden tour fundraiser, start-to-finish and installation. The photographs and footage will be used for a documentary on ‘Entwined Strength,’” Strauss said. In July, Strauss will participate in the Broadmoor Galleries summer art exhibit at the historic Broadmoor Hotel. “It will be my first gallery exhibit since 2009,” he says. “I am also preparing for my second exhibit at the Booth Western Art Museum in March 2023. My new works will be created with inspiration from various artists, musicians and world events.” There’s also no shortage of commissions and new clients. “I recently installed massive fireplace doors for my client in Miami,” Strauss said. “Carlota Estates is his five-star event facility he is building in Ellijay. I am also near the installation of Roo Mountain Vineyards, which will be one of the premier vineyards in all of North Georgia. Their

vineyard is in Ellijay and is 40 feet of heavily forged grapevine-inspired railing. I have various other requests, from koi pond art bridges, fireplaces, gates and two horses to go out in front of Carlota Estates that I am designing.” The artist is still dreaming big, even on a regional scale. “I would love to have work in the Atlanta Botanical Garden, design public art for Chastain Park and the Buckhead area,” Strauss says. “I want to expand my

regional footprint to more of a national one and secure representation and exhibits in the Southwest and Colorado, which are also heavy on my mind. One of my most important goals is to also get my new 501c nonprofit up and running. Ellijay Art and Beautification will be for bringing fine art and high-end architectural elements to North Georgia cities and parks. Placing public art would play a key role in this, too.” ì

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HEALTH & WELLNESS Infectious Disease Expert on Latest COVID-19 Variant By Robyn Spizman Gerson Perhaps you’re one of the fortunate few who has outrun COVID-19. Most likely, though, you’re one of the many now getting the new strain, whether you’re asymptomatic or totally under the weather. According to Dr. Richard Prokesch, a highly respected infectious disease expert, “Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not going away as we all hoped, and many are pretending by going back to pre-COVID behaviors. Georgia and 88 percent of the USA are seeing increased numbers of infected persons once again, a significant rise in hospitalizations and we are starting to see some increase in ICU admissions. It is not far-fetched to believe at this point that a good number of the population will get or have gotten infected with COVID-19, although many have been essentially asymptomatic.” With schools opening again, Prokesch finds it concerning that precautions have been reduced, as COVID-19 is very prevalent in the community. He advises continued masking, although he

does not think that it will be widely accepted. As with any transmissible infection, the basics of handwashing, good personal hygiene and cleaning are of paramount importance. Can you explain the difference between the many variants? Prokesch: One of the ways microorganisms survive in the environment is by mutating to avoid existing antibiotic treatments or environmental changes. COVID-19 has had multiple mutations over the span of the pandemic and very likely will continue to do so. The BA-5 variant is now the most prevalent mutation. It is extremely contagious, but all-in-all results in mild symptoms to no symptoms in most persons. The most common symptoms of BA-5 seem to be a sore throat and fatigue as opposed to the respiratory symptoms seen with previous strains. However, some people are still getting significantly sick with BA-5, with the resultant boost in admissions to hospitals as previously mentioned. Immunocompromised and unvaccinated

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Dr. Richard Prokesch is an infectious disease specialist with expert advice on COVID-19 precautions and treatment.

ID-19, the protocol has not changed. The CDC recommends isolation of symptomatic persons for 5 days after the onset of symptoms or from testing positive. They also recommend masking for a total of 10 days, post the onset of symptoms. Fully vaccinated people that are asymptomatic but test positive do not need to isolate but should mask for at least 5 and preferably 10 days. What do people need to know about reinfection? Prokesch: If you are exposed to COVID and fully immunized you do not need to quarantine but should be watching closely for symptoms such as a sore throat, nasal congestion, fever, fatigue, etc. You should wear a mask and if possible, test in 5 days or so after the exposure. You should not travel 10 days after exposure if possible and if you must travel, definitely mask. Tell us about COVID and young children. Prokesch: Parents of young children, especially unvaccinated children, should continue to act as if the pandemic is still on-going (which it is). They should avoid crowds, especially indoors, and leave the young children home as much as possible. The children’s hospital in Atlanta has seen an increase in serious COVID-19 cases in the 3-month-and-under age group, which was not seen previously. As best we can tell, children that have been vaccinated are acting like the immunized adults with reduction in infections and, if infected, less severe symptoms. How long does your immunity last if you’ve gotten COVID? Prokesch: It is felt that if you are infected with COVID-19 you are likely immune to getting it again for 3-6 months, although that has not universally been

the case with the newer highly contagious variants. More observation will be needed to know for sure. Lately, I have seen numerous persons contracting COVID-19 when traveling. Again, I feel that is because of the laxity in precautions. Some of my flight attendant patients have related stories of passengers being ridiculed on a flight for wearing a mask. I would highly recommend continued masking in the airport and on the plane. You definitely can be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19 and transmit it, although the frequency of this happening is very difficult to study so it is not really known how often this happens. It is not clear if there are super spreaders at this point. How does the drug Paxlovid, which is being prescribed for some people, work? Prokesch: Paxlovid is an antiviral medication that can be thought of in a way like Tamiflu is to influenza. Studies have shown at least an 89 percent decrease in hospitalizations and deaths in those who were studied after taking it, predominantly immunocompromised patients or those older than 65. Currently, it is only approved for highrisk patients: the immunocompromised and people over 65 years old, but I think that was done because of the concern that there would not be enough drug to treat everyone that became COVID-19 infected. Speaking to many of the pharmacists in the Atlanta area, there is a lot of Paxlovid currently available and I am starting to believe that it should be given to anyone with moderate-severe symptoms after infection. Some people who have taken Paxlovid for the recommended five-day course have had a rebound of their COVID-19 symptoms, with President Biden being the most famous example. This phenomenon is currently being studied and not completely understood, but the current recommendations are to restart the five-day isolation period from the new onset of symptoms. On a final note, Prokesch says, “I personally have continued to take precautions with masking in situations where there are crowds, especially indoors. Whereas I had been not wearing a mask quite as much as I did previously, with the rise in the community again I have gone back to wearing a mask, often. Also, it is important to remain vaccinated getting boosters in a timely manner. I suspect that there will be new boosters available in the future with enhanced activity versus the newer variants.” ì Visit www.cdc.gov for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Dr. Levitas Releases Album After Surviving COVID By Robyn Spizman Gerson

a better time. I know surviving COVID has helped me to appreciate the fragility Since surviving COVID-19 in March of life. These ideas of the importance of 2020, Atlanta psychologist Tony Levitas love, staying in the light, not letting one’s thoughts go to the dark side and expressremains very grateful to be alive. “Mostly, I’m good, with only a few ing gratitude are a part of the sentiment lingering symptoms,” Levitas told the I’ve tried to convey in this album.” “The Shape AJT. “And I can do of My Soul,” for just about anyexample, is about thing I want to do. Levitas’s fight to In the hospital, survive and get they told me I was back home to his a goner and didn’t partner, Renee, expect to see me who saved his survive. My blood life by getting pressure dropped him to the hospito 80/40. My will tal when she did, to survive and live otherwise he is were strong and sure he wouldn’t the need to see my have made it. “Just loved ones fueled hearing her voice my fight to get out in my head and of the hospital and The songs on his new album, Levitas says, those of my loved come home.” “are an attempt to hold out hope for a better ones helped me A talented time. I know surviving COVID has helped me to appreciate the fragility of life. have the will to songwriter and musician, Levitas says, “I started writing fight,” he says. One of the worst parts about being an album actually in the hospital, with the first song titled ‘Not My Time To Die.’ in the hospital for him “was not being Over the next two years I began writing a allowed to have any visitors. There were number of songs, and there was a flour- many hours of just lying in a hospital bed ish of creative output. My very talented alone. I quickly became aware that if I let and good friend Eytan Davidson, played my thoughts go dark, it would be miseron this album with me, and he produced able. So, I came up with the three P’s: to the album. He is also a new regional di- try and stay positive, patient and present. rector of ADL. The title of the album is This really helped me to stay in the light, ‘Post Dystopian Love Songs.’ This title and I have shared this with my patients may have been a bit naive and prema- since, who seem to appreciate this. Many ture, as the day the album was released, of them have overflowing anxiety and dethe Supreme Court overturned Roe v. pression, not just from COVID, but from the last six years of political upheaval Wade.” The songs on his new album, Levitas and division. I’ve seen this dynamic tear says, “are an attempt to hold out hope for families and marriages apart.”

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Psychologist and musician Tony Levitas recently recovered from COVID-19. He shares his music to heal himself and inspire others.

While COVID has certainly impacted his life, Levitas is taking his own advice and turning his lessons into music to inspire others to forge ahead in spite of circumstances. He imparts these ideas to the patients he counsels every day in his work as a psychologist. “I’m still trying to come to grips with the trauma of surviving COVID and the

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turmoil in our world,” Levitas says. “I will always hold out hope for a better time and cherish those I love and try to be grateful every day for what I have.” Levitas’s newest album was released on all major music streaming platforms Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music or it is available at: tinyurl.com/Levitasalbum ì


ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 39


HEALTH & WELLNESS

Eating Disorders Among Males on the Rise By Marcia Caller Jaffe Marci Soran turned her son’s struggle with anorexia into a healing process, as well as a successful career helping others avoid the same ordeal. As executive director of EDIN, Education and Insight, she provides schools with resources that emphasize body positivity and mental wellness alongside early detection for teaching professionals and parents. Anorexia is on the upswing, especially among image-conscious young males, many of whom have been taught that it’s a “female disease.” But, according to one study, males represent 25 percent of anorexia nervosa cases and are at a higher risk of dying, in part because of a late diagnosis, since many assume males don’t have eating disorders. “A quick flip through a fashion magazine and social media reveals super-thin figures that society promotes as beautiful despite being unattainable by most,” Soran says. “While many can relate to worrying about their weight or having trouble with their own body image, the most affected groups are often young

40 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

Marci Soran drew on her background in marketing to create a new career in 2017 as executive director of EDIN.

Benny Soran’s eating disorder was diagnosed after his jogging obsession in high school. Today, at 23, he is a student at Cambridge University in England and says he never really liked running.

Benny and brother Ari attended The Epstein School. His family was instrumental in supporting Benny’s recovery.

women and, more recently, young men.” An eating disorder is a serious illness characterized by distress regarding weight or body shape, as well as irregular eating habits. Common types of eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, laxative abuse, purging, fasting and binge eating. Soran noted that the recent CO-

VID-19 pandemic has also played a role. “Eating disorders thrive in isolation. Since the onset of the pandemic, the rates have increased by 70+ percent. This is a crisis, and someone dies of an eating disorder every 52 minutes in the United States. Oftentimes it is unseen, as many physicians may not know what to recognize as symptoms,” Soran explained. Her own journey began with her son Benny’s jogging. An overachiever and A-student who was competitive and focused, he started running with his brother. By 17, he wasn’t interested in hanging out with friends; his focus was on training to run his second Chicago Marathon, Soran says. “He started dropping weight, running more, training for the LA Marathon and others. At his checkup junior year, the doctor was not concerned when he noticed Benny’s slow heart rate. The night before a race, Benny was very upset and anxious, yet he still finished in the top 2,000 of the 42,000 runners. Benny came to my husband and me thinking he had a problem. We decided to consult with a psychologist who asked if we had heard of orthorexia, a focus on eating ‘perfectly’ or ‘clean,’ which is increasing.” At high risk are males who are athletes competing in sports that tend to emphasize diet, appearance, size and weight. According to one study, among athletes who compete in weight-class sports such as wrestling, rowing or horseracing and aesthetic sports such as bodybuilding, gymnastics, swimming and diving, some 33 percent of male athletes are affected. Among female athletes in weight-class and aesthetic sports, disordered eating occurs at estimates of up to 62 percent. The Sorans found a treatment team composed of a dietician, psychologist and therapist. “Benny really wanted to

get better and was fully invested in his recovery,” Soran recalled. “He missed a good deal of his senior year of high school focusing on recovery. His wanting to get better, family support and the team were the reasons for a positive path forward. Benny did the work, and as a family, we did too. He learned how to cope and is doing great today. Of course, with mental health, it affects people in ebbs and flows. Benny has learned how to manage and, five years later, Benny knows himself well and revealed that he never even liked running. Today, Benny is 23 and completed his second year at the University of Cambridge in England, enjoys yoga and walking as his primary forms of exercise. … Recovery is not linear, and they may go forward and backwards.” These days, Soran concentrates on education and outreach. EDIN, which works with The Davis Academy, The Epstein School, The Weber School, MJCCA and many more, has pivoted from primary in-school talks to include online solutions for school staff. The organization is unveiling two new courses: one course, developed by Page Love of NutriFit sports in conjunction with the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, certifies high school coaches in identifying eating disorders and provides tools for next steps. Another, the Be Real/EDIN education course for teachers, counselors and school staff, was delivered more than 80 times last year through partner Be Real and will give continuing education credits for participation. EDIN remains close to its original goal of speaking to anyone who needs help, from younger kids to middle schoolers and older women, who may be struggling to accept their bodies. ì


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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Guiding Patients through High-Risk Pregnancies By Robyn Spizman Gerson From a very young age, Dr. Rachel Wilensky Shulman knew she wanted to be a doctor. The Sandy Springs native graduated from Woodward Academy and attended the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband, Brian. She returned to Atlanta for medical school and gynecology residency at Emory, then completed her fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) at University of California, San Francisco before returning to Atlanta once more and joining Georgia Perinatal Consultants in 2019. “Maternal fetal medicine doctors, or perinatologists,” Shulman explains, “have completed a residency in OBGYN and three additional years of fellowship training in ultrasound, genetics and management of high-risk pregnancies. I see pregnant patients who are admitted to the hospital with any variety of maternal, fetal, or obstetric complications and perform some procedures. I spend the majority of my day in the office performing ultrasounds and counseling pregnant people and their families. The most common indications for seeing an MFM are age, use of reproductive technology, multifetal gestations, underlying medical problems such as diabetes or hypertension, or abnormal ultrasound findings for the fetus (growth issues, structural anomalies, genetic problems for example).” She says that she went into gynecology — and MFM in particular — as an opportunity to serve other women. “I could not imagine a greater privilege than being

Dr. Rachel Wilensky Shulman is devoted to helping women with high-risk pregnancies.

Shulman with her husband, Brian, Hayes (20 months) and Rory (four-and-a-half).

involved in what many describe as the most meaningful time in their lives-pregnancy,” Shulman said. “Not to mention, it is one of the only ‘happy’ reasons people go to the hospital. I also liked the surgical aspect of the field and the high-paced nature of labor and delivery. Ultimately, I realized that the biggest impact I could make was not only delivering happy news, but also utilizing my expertise, support and guidance to ever so slightly

temper the devastating and scary moments my patients encounter.” Shulman encourages all women to address their childbearing goals early with their obstetrician. “There are so many ways to optimize outcomes before pregnancy by discussing things like fertility preservation, genetic screening, mental health and underlying medical comorbidities,” she counsels. As a wife and a mother of two, Shulman is no stranger to the topic. She is intimately familiar with the balancing act required to maintain both her career and home life. “Our boys are young now and my older son already knows what it means to be a doctor and that I go to work to ‘help moms and babies,’” she explained. “I want my children to know that there are many ways to help others and contribute to the community. I want them to know I love my job, but don’t like missing school events, first-day photographs and, sometimes, bedtime. Finding a worklife balance can be hard, but I have an incredibly supportive husband (with a different career) who helps support me in my work. I know my kids are happy and safe, and my husband is a fabulous father so I can use my time, knowledge and privilege to help my patients.” In addition to her patients, Shulman takes inspiration from her colleagues, “a collective group of outstanding individuals without whom I would not be who or where I am,” and her medical predecessors. “I am inspired by the early women in medicine for making the field accessible to me. I am eternally grateful to my parents and family for the support, resources and encouragement they provided. Every family who has trusted me throughout my career inspires me to be my best every day,” she said. “I want to take excellent care of my patients and be a present and happy mom and wife. I hope to always continue learning professionally and growing personally to achieve these goals.” Shulman is board-certified in OBGYN and MFM. She is a member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For more information, visit www.georgiaperinatal.com. ì

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Hepatitis Cases Rising in Children Cause Concern By Bob Bahr Physicians and public health clinicians have so far been unable to pinpoint the cause of an increase in the number of children suffering from an unusual form of hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver. When hepatitis develops, the liver is not able to filter out naturally occurring toxins in the body, which can circulate in the blood and reach the brain, where they can cause cognitive and behavioral changes. The liver may also not be able to produce proteins that help the blood clot, resulting in internal bleeding. The condition, which experts still say is rare, has been identified in some 900 children around the world since last October, according to the World Health Organization. About half of the cases have been in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, where there’s been a sharp spike in infections. Eighteen children have died and fewer than 50 have required liver transplants. So far, blood tests have not indicat-

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An increase in the number of hepatitis cases, a liver disease, particularly in children, has become a cause for concern. But Dr. Saul J. Karpen, of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, cautions against jumping to conclusions.

ed that the liver inflammation had been caused by any of the five known hepatitis viruses. But a recent study of patients in Birmingham, Ala. and Birmingham, England found that all nine children in the U.S. study and 27 of the 30 in the UK study had tested positive for human

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adenovirus type 41 (HAdV-F41), which is known to cause vomiting and diarrhea, but not hepatitis. The finding prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to recommend that doctors routinely test for the virus. In comments on the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Saul Karpen, a pediatric specialist in liver disease at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, wrote that despite the results there is “not yet convincing evidence of a causal link.” Karpen told the AJT that he believes further research is necessary. “There are also some major gaps in the associations between adenoviral infection and liver failure. There are many other viruses that are also found in these kids at the same time. None of the virus is seen in the liver of those that have been studied, that’s quite a big concern. So, it’s something that needs to be investigated. It’s definitely not something we need to say is settled science,” he said. Medical researchers have indicated that the adenovirus infection may have been helped along by what has been described as adeno-associated virus (AAV2). Studies in the UK that had not yet been reviewed prior to publication found the helper viruses to be present in the majority of children with severe, unexplained hepatitis. Part of the difficulty of pinpointing the cause of the outbreak, according to Karpen, is that doctors don’t always have a viral smoking gun, so to speak. “The frustrating part for this field of medical science is that more than half the time we don’t have a diagnosis. So, when there is a potential new diagnosis,

of course, people are interested. But we also have a critical eye because we know that viruses in children are rampant. I mean, the average kid gets six viruses a year,” he said. There’s also been some speculation that the COVID virus and the isolation that it has engendered, especially among children who have been kept out of school, may have played a role in the rise of new hepatitis cases. An article in a prominent British medical journal devoted to liver disease theorized that the coronavirus’s spike protein could have caused children’s immune systems to overreact and trigger a much more severe reaction to a relatively common virus. So far, however, the CDC has said that the coronavirus doesn’t appear to be a factor. (Keep in mind that there is a lag in statistical reporting.) Because so little is known for sure about these cases, the federal agency has cautioned parents to be aware of the symptoms of liver inflammation, which include a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, fever and a loss of appetite and to practice frequent handwashing to prevent infections. If infection is suspected, the agency advises parents to seek medical attention, as the condition can worsen quickly. So, while physicians like Karpen are concerned, they are not yet ready to ring the alarm bell for a new medical emergency. “It’s new. That’s number one,” Karpen said. “Meaning that people are starting to see some associations of a potential link with a relatively common virus. But we’re not sure yet whether or not it is causing it or if it’s just a bystander. So, I think using the word outbreak is not justified just yet.” ì


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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Dr. Ian Katz Takes on Varicose Veins Vein problems can manifest anywhere in the body where veins are located, but are usually located in the legs and feet. Varicose veins have a Tiffany Parks telltale look: knotted veins that can be seen on the surface of the skin. Often, people who develop vein disease feel that they have no choice but to live a life of embarrassment and pain. But Dr. Ian Katz, founder and director of the DeKalb Vein Center, urges his patients to seek help, because there is hope. “The vein system is like a highway. Veins have very thin walls. The inside of a vein has a mini-valve, just like a heart. When these valves become defective, blood backs up. This is called reflux, and that’s when the problems start,” Katz explained. For decades, Katz has used the most innovative practices to save his patients from a lifetime of painful vein ailments. He has been a general surgeon his entire career. In

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1975, he received his medical degree from the University of Miami and completed his residency at Georgia Baptist Hospital in 1981. It was during the ’90s that Katz’s patients started complaining to him about their legs. “Many of my patients really started complaining about tired, heavy legs and leg ulcers,” Katz recalled. For over 100 years, the only way to treat diseased veins was to do venous stripping, high ligation, or phlebectomy. “For example, venous stripping required surgery and involved pulling out the main saphenous vein and tributary veins,” Katz told the AJT. The big problem with venous stripping and older methods is that the veins frequently grew back, so people still suffered and exercising did little for advanced cases. Then, in the early 2000s, dermatologist Robert Weiss helped pioneer a procedure called venous closure, which cured 90 percent of vein issues. “Today we perform the venous closures. This method can be done using a gentle laser or gentle radiofrequency energy, ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, or

Dr. Ian Katz, founder and director of the DeKalb Vein Center, has used the most innovative practices to save his patients from a lifetime of painful vein ailments. What most people don’t know is that he also offers his services at a free clinic in DeKalb County.

glue,” Katz says. When people come to Katz’s office, they never see the assistant, only the doctor. After a consultation, Katz and his team quickly determine the best way to treat patients. He not only treats varicose veins, but also addresses restless leg syndrome, venous edema, venous ulcers and spider veins. Women, Katz says, are the most frequently affected by vein issues, but a lot of

men in their late 40s suffer from venous ulcers as well. “I do all procedures in the office with ultrasound technology, which offers less bruising, quicker healing and many times little to no sedation,” he says. Katz’s patients are happy with the quick healing time and their return to a much higher quality of life. He advises that the best way to maintain their vein health is to lose weight, wear compression socks and exercise. Katz sees his patients as his extended family. But what most people don’t know is that the doctor also offers his services at a free clinic in DeKalb County. “In the Jewish tradition, the best charity is one that nobody knows you do. It’s in my heart to serve. My sister is a pulmonologist and my father was a dentist. My father lost his entire family to the Holocaust,” Katz said. Katz and his wife, Sheri, a retired dentist, have been married for 48 years. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren and attended Congregation Shearith Israel. ì For more information, visit dekalbveincenter.com.


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HEALTH & WELLNESS

The Inspiring Transformation of Michael Toddings I hadn’t talked with Michael Toddings in over five years, so I was surprised when he invited me to meet with him over a drink at a loAllen H. Lipis cal store in the neighborhood. I responded that I would look forward to the get-together because Michael worked at Torah Day School as the financial accountant, and I always thought that he was very good at his job. I arrived a little early and waited for him. When he came in, I was astonished to see before me a totally different person. The guy had lost a significant amount of weight, his face was a little smaller and more oval than the round face I was used to seeing. And he had more hair than I remembered, which was totally white and very attractive. After saying hello, Michael gave me a huge hug and kissed me. I knew something was up, since I always treated Michael pro-

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fessionally. We took a seat outside, and the first thing I asked was the obvious: “How much weight have you lost?” He smiled and said, “in three years, I lost 97 lbs. I am a different person.” What surprised me the most after that tremendous weight loss result was what he said next. “I have you to thank for helping to make this happen,” he said. “You told me on many occasions at work that I was too heavy for the financial position I was in and I had to do something about it. Of course, the effort was all mine, but you gave me the push, the incentive to do something about it, and I am here today to thank you for inspiring me to make this happen.” We both got a drink and shuffled off to a private location where I could hear the whole story. Once we were settled, Michael gave me a present that was nicely wrapped and asked me to open it. I had no idea what it was, but I soon found out. The present was a very simple plastic frame that had Michael’s photo of himself after his weight loss, and behind it was a paper napkin with a lot of notes written on it. I could see that the photo was exactly what Michael looked like sitting next to me, but I had no

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idea about the napkin or the writing on it. I asked Michael to explain the napkin and he told me the following story. “You might remember that you were the Treasurer of Torah Day School about 12 years ago, and we worked closely together on the finances of the school. One day, several months after you and I were working together, you asked me to have lunch with you and we went to a local restaurant. At the restaurant, you mentioned a number of things that I should do to improve the financial position at the school and do it professionally. The napkin behind the picture is the napkin that I took notes on as we talked more than a decade ago. I kept that napkin all these years. I am now returning that napkin to you to show you how grateful I am for helping me improve my job and my life.” I was astonished that Michael kept the napkin and that he was thanking me for what he had done on his own. I looked at the writings on the napkin and, with the notes that were there, we could recall the various items that were mentioned. I told Michael at that meeting long, long ago that he had to document the cash procedure of the school, and the napkin had a red line through that note to indicate that he had completed that task. There was a note on improving the statement policy of the school, and to provide the policy to the Board of Trustees. It had a red line through it. There was a note to draft a letter to the organization providing a charity program the school had, and it had a redline through it. There were other notes: to get in touch with a building contractor and to get a build-out plan to potentially add classrooms to the school. However, Michael focused on one specific note when he said, “You told me that in dealing with parents about their tuition and other financial matters, always end your service by asking if the parents are satisfied. You told me that service satisfaction was critical” — and that, too, had a red line through it. He said, “I kept this napkin all these years to remind me how to do my job in the best way possible, and I have you to thank

for giving me the right way to do my job. As you can see, I followed your advice again and again. I am very grateful for the advice you gave me so long ago, and I never had a chance to say thank you. I am doing that today, and you have my photo and the napkin to remind you how grateful I was then and now.” When I asked about his personal situation, Michael said another thing that was inspiring. He said, “When I was 97 lbs. heavier, I had no romantic involvements. I had been divorced for many years and no one wanted to go out with me. Today, having lost 97 lbs., I am dating right now. I am 70 years old, and I am happy to have someone to be with regularly.” I didn’t want to pursue that issue any longer, but I could tell that he was a different guy, not just because of his weight loss, but also because of his attitude. I always liked Michael, but he was so improved in his outlook on life that I could only feel love for the guy for having turned his life around in so many ways. It was an inspiring story. We had a brief discussion about politics, and I mentioned that the vice president of the U.S. doesn’t seem to do much. I said there was one exception and that occurs when the president dies, like when Johnson became president after Roosevelt died. Then Michael said that had also occurred when another Johnson became president after Lincoln died. Then he said, “I don’t think it would be a good idea for any Johnson to be vice president. The odds are not that good.” We both broke up laughing and it showed how much fun it was to be with Michael. As we parted, Michael had one more very funny line to say. He said, “Look, when I started to get serious about losing weight, I started eating carrots. I thought the carrots would support a weight loss program, but I quickly discovered that carrots are composed of mostly sugar. The more carrots, the more sugar. I was not going to lose weight eating sugar. I threw away the carrots. I don’t eat them anymore.” It was clear that Michael was a much different person than he was years ago, an inspiration for all of us. ì


ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 49


CALENDAR

AUGUST 16-29 Jewish Spirituality and Mysticism — 8 p.m. A weekly class on Jewish spirituality, mysticism and how to apply it to your personal growth in a meaningful way, taught by Rabbi Hirshy. Visit https://bit.ly/3suZDkg for more information.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17 TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 Brain Health Bootcamp — 1 to 3 p.m. Virtual Brain Health Bootcamp every Tuesday will combine gentle physical exercise, including yoga and exercises to help reduce stress and anxiety, along with a full hour of brain exercises done in a nonstress and engaging way of learning. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3sr94RP.

Torah Study — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Rabbi Jordan each Wednesday either on Zoom or in-person at Congregation Dor Tamid and continue an in-depth look at the Book of Leviticus. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3srZsGj.

Jewish Genealogy Conference Sign Up — 1 to 2 p.m. Sign up at the MJCCA in the Kuniansky Family Center building for the 42nd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, which will be held virtually from Aug. 21 to 25. The JGS of Georgia will hold a free session to help participants register. For more information, visit https://bit. ly/3zOuKw4.

Significant Others of Addicts Support Group — 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Join Sally Anderson, MS, LPC for a free weekly support group for spouses, partners and/or significant others of those struggling with addiction. Visit https://bit.ly/3B5bABf for more information.

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Jewish Insights Series — 8 to 9 p.m. A weekly Zoom with discussion on a pertinent topic from the Torah’s weekly portion. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3699PaI.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 Money Smart: Building Your financial Future — 7 to 8 p.m. Join JF&CS and First Horizon Bank for a free webinar and learn how to build assets for a successful financial future with organized planning. For details, visit https://bit. ly/3OMOMeB.

SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well — 12 to 1 p.m. An inclusive weekly meetup for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3gxpDWP

ACTathon-Teen Activism Hackathon Atlanta — Friday, Aug. 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. High school juniors and up are invited to participate in this event, presented by the Israeli American Counsel. Develop a marketing and brand strategy, gain tools to fight antisemitism, work with your “company” to combine activism and innovation in your strategy, be mentored by field experts and present your strategy to judges for the chance to have it be nationally recognized. Registration $75. Visit https://bit.ly/3JlbjOu for more details. Temple Beth Tikvah Friday Night Services — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Join services online or in-person. Visit https://bit.ly/35XKJeJ for more information.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 20

MONDAY, AUGUST 22

Temple Beth Tikvah Saturday Services — 10 to 11:30 a.m. Join services online or in-person. Visit https:// bit.ly/3BbaS5n for more information.

In Your Time — 12 to 1:30 p.m. This is an open-ended process group for female-identified singles in their late-twenties to mid-thirties to work on developing an acceptance practice and learning how to embrace where we are in life. Cost is $35 a session. See https://bit. ly/3b95YwV for more information.

CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Torah Reading: Eikev Friday, August 19 (Av 22, 5782) light candles at 8:01 p.m. Saturday, August 20 (Av 23, 5782) Shabbat ends 8:57 p.m. Torah Reading: Re’eh Friday, August 26 (Av 29, 5782) light candles at 7:53 p.m. Saturday, August 27 (Av 30, 5782) Shabbat ends at 8:48 p.m.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23 SUNDAY, AUGUST 21

Uncoupling: Divorce Support Group in Atlanta — 5:30 to 7 p.m. A bimonthly group providing support, resources and a safe place to process and share experiences related to divorce and separation. Open to men and women of mixed ages. $35 per session. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3y96TH9.

Kabbalah & Coffee — 9:30 to 11 a.m. A weekly study series with Rabbi Ari Sollish. Discuss, explore and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching and learn how to apply these profound teachings to your daily life. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3LP4o11 Cub Club: Dry Ice STEAM Workshop — 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Cool down with Cub Club and Big Thinkers Science Exploration as we get up close with one of the most interesting substances in the laboratory, dry ice. Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Is it a gas? It’s one of the coolest ways to learn about physical changes. Join The Davis Academy as they experiment with this unique substance. Visit https://bit.ly/3Qc9C8l for more information.

Back to School/Shul Celebration — 11 to 1 p.m. Join Congregation Beth Shalom for end-of-summer fun for all ages! Open to the entire community. Complimentary pizza, salads and ice cream truck. Enjoy bounce houses, the Reptile Guy and more. Must register by Aug. 18. Visit https://bit.ly/3cYpahy for more information.

Everything They Touch Turns to SOLD!

Sisterhood “Chai” Tea — 2 p.m. Join Congregation Or VeShalom in kicking off the new year. Bring the mothers, daughters, granddaughters and other women in your lives. Refreshments will be served. Must RSVP by Aug. 15. For children under 12, the price is $18. Adult price is $36. Visit https://bit.ly/3QglUg9 for more information.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24 Jewish Genealogy Discussion Group — 1 to 2 p.m. A weekly discussion group of the seminars offered at the International Jewish Genealogy Conference held at the Lisa F. Brill Institute in the Kuniansky Family Center at the MJCCA. Registration at the International Conference is required for participation in the discussion group. For more information, visit https://bit. ly/3BvTbQf.

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lah and grape juice are served. Free and open to all! For more information, see https://bit.ly/3zYiysV.

Rosh Hashanah Art Contest 2022

We’re looking for a creative, colorful Rosh Hashanah illustration to be featured in Atlanta Jewish Times’ September 15 issue.

ome! c l e W s All Age er from n One Win roup: eG Each Ag Adult (15+) -14) & Child (0

Winners will recieve tickets to Zoo Atlanta! Deadline to submit is September 6th www.atlantajewishtimes.com/RH_ART_2022

NCJW Atlanta Section presents “The Post-Roe Monologues” — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. NCJW Atlanta Section, with co-sponsors The Temple and Congregation Shearith Israel, present “The Post-Roe Monologues: A Theatrical Snapshot of Our New Reality” at The Temple. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the Abortion Access Expo. Performance at 7 p.m., followed by a panel featuring Rabbi Peter Berg, Dr. Lisa Haddad, Andrea Young and moderated by Lindy Miller. Free, but registration required. See https://bit.ly/3zoQXiT for details.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 Knit and Crochet Group — 1 to 3 p.m. Join Dor Tamid on Zoom to socialize and crochet and knit beanies for premature babies from home. For more information, visit https:// bit.ly/34Ru9wp.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26 Shabbat, Me & Rabbi G at the JCC! — 5 p.m. on select Fridays, bring your children to the JCC for a Shabbat celebration featuring fun songs and blessings with Rabbi G! Chal-

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28 Mitzvot Auction — 6 to 8 p.m. Or VeShalom members are welcome to participate in High Holiday Services. Attend the Mitzvot Auction and Dinner to find out about available honors and prayers. Visit https:// bit.ly/3oJGLN5 for more information.

MONDAY, AUGUST 29 Daily Shofar at the JCC — 11 to 11:30 a.m. every day from Aug. 29 through Sept. 23. All are invited to listen as the shofar is sounded in the lobby of Main Street at 11 a.m. and in the Brill Family Fitness Center at 11:10 a.m. The blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn, is an important part of the Jewish High Holiday season. This special tradition of blowing the shofar in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah is to remind us to “wake up,” reflect on the past year and begin the spiritual preparation. Visit https://bit. ly/3cWBIWO for more information.

Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:

www.atlantajewishconnector.com

Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. In order to be considered for the print edition, please submit events three to four weeks in advance. Contact Administrative Coordinator Kyra Goldman for more information at Kyra@atljewishtimes.com. 52 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


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For Help, Call 404-883-2130 or email info@atlantajewishconnector.com ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 53


The Lowdown I Bet You Didn’t Know …

Eva Arkin

Atlanta is chock full of interesting “movers and shakers” — some bent on creativity, empire-building, activism and/or just plain having fun and living the good life. Lean in to hear some of the “off-the-cuff” remarks about what makes our spotlight, Eva Arkin, tick. After 12 years in OBGYN healthcare, Dr. Eva Arkin created a practice where women could be treated in a non-obstetric environment with full gynecologic care, Premier Care for Women. The child of Swedish immigrant parents, she was the first American in her family. “Growing up in Brooklyn, family life was simple but loving and warm, yet ‘European strict.’ Life came to a halt when my father died and left us alone, in debt, no life insurance and with a future unknown,” she recalled. Arkin picked the college that offered her the biggest scholarship: Johns Hopkins, then transferred to Emory. She took out student loans and served as chief resident while moonlighting in the emergency room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. In her private practice, she was the second female in OBGYN at Northside Hospital. Later, when she started her own practice, unable to afford staff, she performed every office role herself. The practice grew rapidly and now has 35+ employees. Arkin sold the business to Northside Hospital in 2015 and continues to work, being voted Top Doc by Atlanta Magazine several years in a row. She met and married her husband while he was her student, so to speak, going through rotations at Grady Hospital. The couple has three grown children, none of whom went into medicine. Arkin enjoys being “Aya” to her two grandsons. Read on to discover why you should never offer Arkin a carbonated drink — especially not on a yacht.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate, like Trader Joe’s Sugar-Free. I’m satisfied with tiny portions and know the danger of overeating. But I don’t deny myself. And ice cream … think of chocolate and coffee together. You are an adventure traveler? Most patients who come to my exam rooms are entertained with photographs from my hiking and/or biking trips: Iceland, Amalfi, Maine, Tucson — where we did 30 miles a day. Other interests? I enjoy cooking (find it relaxing) and run on the treadmill with Bobby Flay on the “Food Network.” I push myself in workouts to find my limits. I, myself, do not like red meat, BUT my brisket is a family favorite, made with Savannah’s Johnny Harris BBQ sauce. I volunteer at Temple Emanuel and find that important. You will not find me … On a boat. Big issues with motion illness. Also, I don’t ever drink carbonated beverages. I get intractable hiccups! I’m reading ... I have a rule: read a nonfiction bestseller, then a fiction bestseller, then a nonfiction. I love reading about Elite Endurance athletes. Most inspirational book: “The Impossible First” by Colin O’Brady. You had a famous neighbor. We were close to Ruth Westheimer (Dr. Ruth) in Washington Heights, alongside other immigrants. Her daughter and I went to the same small school, and our families often celebrated Jewish Holidays together. Back then, she was not yet a PhD; and I was shocked some years later to hear her sex therapy show on the radio. We still visit occasionally. My best advice … Never say, “Never” — as someone else has already done it; whatever “it” is; but you can do it better. Believe in yourself.

Reported by Marcia Caller Jaffe

54 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


SIMCHA SPOTLIGHT

Have something to celebrate? Share your simchas with us!

Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ... Share your news with the community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to submissions@atljewishtimes.com submissions@atljewishtimes.com..

ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 55


What's Jewish About...

Handbags

World-renowned haute couture handbag designer Judith Leiber changed fashion history forever. Following World War II, the Budapest-born entrepreneur came to America and took the fashion accessory industry by storm. Declared an artist by Geoffrey Beene and heralded as a fashion icon, Leiber was perhaps best known for the exclusive purses she fashioned for Presidential First Ladies. The AJT spoke with Ann Fristoe Stewart, director and curator of The Leiber Collection Museum and Sculpture Garden, to learn about the designer’s Jewish roots, life and legacy.

Tell us about how Leiber got started making handbags. Judith Leiber was born Judit Pető in Budapest, Hungary in 1921. She escaped the Holocaust to the safety of a Swiss House when she was able to get her father a Swiss Schutzpass, a document that gave the bearer safe passage, now on view at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. After the war, she began making handbags at home and in a friend’s small factory. She married American soldier Gerson Leiber, emigrated to the U.S. in 1946 and in 1963 founded her own company, establishing herself as an industry leader of luxurious fashion and retiring in 1998. What’s most famous about Leiber’s handbags? Sold at exclusive boutiques worldwide, her handbags cost several thousand dollars and have become a status symbol for many women, including Presidential First Ladies, Hollywood celebrities and royalty. Movie stars, princesses, queens and First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Laura Bush carried them, and Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton had miniaudiéres fashioned as Millie and Socks, who reigned as America’s First Dog and First Cat. In 1994, Leiber received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her handbags are on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and many others. Tell us about Leiber’s childhood and Jewish background. In 1918, Judith’s Jewish parents, Emil and Helene, had fled Béla Kun’s Communist revolution, seeking safety in Vienna, the city where her mother had grown up and where her grandparents owned a successful ladies’ hat factory, Spitzer Hat Factory. The Petős returned to Budapest shortly before Judith’s birth, and her father Emil rebuilt his career as a commodities broker with a bank. Judy’s family was well-to-do, sophisticated and cultured. From a young age Judith and her sister Eva would admire their mother’s handbags, which their father bought during his business trips to Eastern Europe. Because of Hitler and the antisemitic atmosphere, including Hungarian laws increasingly restricting the civil and human rights of Jews, Hungarian Jews were prevented from working in certain professions, but were allowed a trade. Judith learned how to make a fine handbag from start to finish and by 1944 she had become the first woman master handbag designer. She said, “Hitler made me a handbag designer.” By March of 1944, Hungary was occupied by the Nazis and life became almost unbearable. Judith said, “Once the Nazis came to Hungary and occupied it, you couldn’t work. You couldn’t do anything ... we were lucky to be alive.” Two of her uncles were shot by the Danube when they ventured out and her father was taken off the streets and sent to a labor camp to dig trenches against the Russian tanks. Some of Judith’s relatives in France were sent to Auschwitz and many of Budapest’s Jews were herded into a ghetto where food ran short as the Soviets neared. A girlfriend of Judith’s had an uncle who worked in the Swiss Consulate and, through him, Judy was able to get a Swiss Pass for her father, giving him protection. A 16-year-old boy at the Swiss House, Thomas Baroth, recognized the typeface on the Swiss Pass protecting Judith’s father, found a typewriter with that same typeface and added “and family,” thus saving the entire family from certain death. Judith designed handbags in her head to keep sane as the bombs exploded all around her. “I tried to fall asleep by dreaming of making handbags,” she said. The owners of Pessel handbags had been deported and Judith and her father decided to sneak into the American Legation to see if they could get emigration papers. On their way, a shell exploded and Judith’s left arm was hit with shrapnel. The ghetto doctor said that she would never use her hand again, but her mother had heard of a Jewish surgeon who was able to remove the shrapnel and heal Judith’s wound, although the scar remained for the rest of her life to remind her. In February of 1945, the Russians liberated Hungary and the Leibers survived. Visit www.leibercollection.org for more information. By Robyn Spizman Gerson Photograph: Gordon Munro 56 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


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KEEPING IT KOSHER

JEWISH JOKE

Mango Chicken Summer Rolls

Cooking and Prep: 30 minutes Serves: 5 Contains: Nuts Preference: Meat Difficulty: Easy Diet: Gluten Free, Low Carb, No Refined Sugar Category: Shabbat, Appetizers

Ingredients (9)

Main ingredients: 10 spring roll rice paper wrappers 5 large romaine or butter lettuce leaves, torn in half 1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped (optional) 1 cup shredded purple cabbage 2 mangoes, sliced into long thin strips 2 avocadoes, sliced 2-3 radishes thinly sliced 1/2 cup chopped peanuts 16 oz. shredded cooked chicken

Hospitals Rabbi Levy had to spend time in a Catholic hospital. He became friends with the sister who was a nurse there. One day, she came into his room and noticed that the crucifix on the wall was missing. She asked him good-naturedly, “Rabbi, what have you done with the crucifix?” “Oh, sister,” chuckled Rabbi Levy, “I just figured one suffering Jew in this room was enough.”

Start Cooking

Prepare the Rice Paper Wrappers Pour warm water into a large bowl or 9-inch square or round baking pan. Dip 1 rice paper wrapper into warm water for 5-10 seconds, till it becomes pliable. Quickly remove from water, pat or shake wrapper slightly dry, and place flat onto a work surface, such as a large plastic or ceramic cutting board.

Filling and Rolling Place prepared rice wrapper on the work surface. Place halved lettuce leaf on the bottom one-third of rice paper; sprinkle with cilantro. Add some shredded cabbage, mango, avocado and radish on top of the lettuce leaf. Place chicken onto vegetables and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Do not overstuff the roll. Roll wrapper tightly by gently pulling up the bottom and rolling it over the filling, tucking in the sides as you go, similar to rolling a blintz. The wrapper should be very tightly rolled. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling ingredients. Slice in half on the bias when ready to serve. Serve with sweet chili sauce. Recipe by Naomi Nachman Source: www.kosher.com 58 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

YIDDISH WORD krank crank n. a person who is forever complaining about their health even if they seem to be perfectly well. A noisy hypochondriac. “Milton was whining about his teeth all day. Yesterday it was his hemorrhoids. Such a krank crank he is, I’m telling you, I can’t tell you.” From the Yiddish krank, meaning sickness. from Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times by Daniel Klein


BRAIN FOOD

Down Time

ACROSS

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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 59


OBITUARIES

Gerald Horowitz 83, Atlanta

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Gerald (Jerry) Horowitz, 83, of Atlanta, Ga., died peacefully on July 27th. Jerry was born on Feb. 21, 1939, to Dorothy and Moe Horowitz. Jerry, a native of Atlanta, graduated from Grady High School and attended Tulane University. At Tulane, he was awarded a BA in psychology. He was Student Council President, an AROTC Co. officer, LAGNIAPPES, member of Hillel Foundation, Sigma Alpha Mu President and Homecoming Chairman. In 1964, Jerry married Pearlann Gulden and together had two wonderful children, Scott and Michelle. Jerry was a consummate leader, not only in his field of work but also as a volunteer in all aspects of the community, both secular and Jewish. By 1961, he was employed by Johnson, Lane, Space, Smith & Co Financial Advisors, where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President. In 1986, Jerry was presented the Georgia Securities Dealers Association Industry Service award. In 1991, he was employed at Smith Barney Financial Advisors, where he later developed the Horowitz Wealth Management Group until his retirement. Jerry had a driving force within him, always striving to make the community a better place. His volunteer activities in the community had far-reaching positive effects. He was once described as a “pied piper in the philanthropic world leading all his admirers to do Tikkun Olam and making the world a better place for the next generation.” For this dedication to our community throughout his life, he received legions of honorary awards. This work culminated in him receiving the Greater Atlanta Jewish Federation's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Pearlann Gulden Horowitz; son, Scott, and daughter, Michelle; sister, Vivian Slotin of Savannah, Ga. and brother-in-law, Daniel Gulden (Candice); sister-in-law, Isabel Gulden of Atlanta, Ga. and a host of loving nieces and nephews. Funeral services took place at 1:00 pm, July 29 at Congregation Shearith Israel, 1180 University Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306. Shiva details announced at the funeral. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations on his behalf be sent to Emory Research on Alzheimer’s and related diseases through A Family Affair, W.B. Jewish Home, Weinstein Hospice or a charity of your choice. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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OBITUARIES

Judith Sapadin Lauter

Diane Stein Leroy

Judith (Judy) Sapadin Lauter of Atlanta, Ga., died peacefully at home July 26 on the eve of her 84th birthday. Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Ben and Sylvia Sapadin, brother Gerry Sapadin and husbands George Lauter and Kurt Solloway. Judy is survived by her sons, Jim Lauter and his wife Vicki and Mike Lauter and his wife Sherry; grandchildren, Amanda, Steven, Emily and Maddison and great grandchildren. Judy enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and will be missed by many. Services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice in Judy’s memory. Arrangements by Dressler’s, 770-451-4999.

Diane Stein Leroy, 75, of Alpharetta, Ga., died on July 28. Diane was born and raised in Atlanta and was a graduate of Northside High School. She attended the University of Missouri and, after completion of her studies, returned to her hometown. Diane spent much of her life involved in her local community, having been a member of Congregation Etz Chaim and serving children lunches as a cafeteria worker in the Cobb County School District — a job she enjoyed and was proud of. More recently, Diane was active in the Roswell Senior Community, which organized group hobbies, her favorite of which had to do with traveling and singing. Diane loved spending time with her family, especially her beloved grandchildren. Diane is survived by her children, Jason Leroy and Adriane Shapiro (Lee); her brother, Bert Stein; her sister, Amy Lutz (Ken); her grandchildren, Leah and Reece Shapiro and her dog, Mr. Pringles. Diane was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Humane Society of The United States. A graveside funeral was held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, with Rabbi Hayyim Kassorla officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s, 770-4514999.

84, Atlanta

75, Alpharetta

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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES AUGUST 15, 2022 | 61


OBITUARIES

Stephanie Maya

Rhina Shaffer Tuck

Stephanie Maya, 54, died on July 20, after fighting chronic late-stage Lyme disease for 17 years. Stephanie was born on March 2, 1968, in Philadelphia, Penn. She was raised as a young child, until the age of 5, by her beloved grandmother and grandfather, whom she lovingly called Babbi and Zaydee. She was a Cuban American Jew who spoke English, Spanish, Hebrew and Yiddish fluently. Stephanie, at a very early age, had a strong heartfelt desire to help those that needed help. This continued throughout her life and her professional career, by volunteering at homeless shelters, children’s hospitals, and her work with the United Way, along with spending time helping other charitable causes. On the day after her 25th birthday, Stephanie was hit by a drunk driver, suffering horrendous injuries and almost died. Her physical therapist said she would never walk again. Stephanie said, “Give me a new physical therapist” and did much more than walk again. Stephanie had to learn to write with her other hand and went on to earn two master’s degrees in two years. A Master of Public Health (MPH) in Community Medicine from the University of Washington Seattle and a Master of Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Washington Seattle. She also was a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She was a graduate of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute (NHLI) and is included in “Who’s Who Among Hispanic Americans.” Stephanie took two years off from her career to provide loving care for her grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, in her grandmother’s home and Stephanie cherished every minute of it, including her grandmother in everything she did and ensuring that her grandmother enjoyed the rest of her life to the fullest by taking her to events, dinners and the beach. Stephanie made significant contributions in the area of advising on chronic diseases with a concentration on special populations and vulnerable populations. She built and fostered network relationships between organizations and individuals, especially of children, families and caregivers and Latino communities. Stephanie had an eight-year illustrious career with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She advised and provided technical assistance and training in developing of the Chronic Disease Program in the States, U.S. Territories, and Nation Networks. She worked on programs to improve health care, which would also reduce racial and ethnic disparities. She also served on many national work groups on issues such as Healthy People 2000 and 2010, Managed Care, National Hispanic Health Agenda, Diversity and Migrant Health. She presented at many national and state conferences, among other speaking engagements, including the White House. Stephanie served as a National/International Media Spokesperson and Expert for the Centers for Disease Control on tobacco issues. She made major contributions towards studying and overseeing programs to reduce exposure of the health impacts of secondhand smoke and clinical interventions to reduce exposure of children to environmental tobacco smoke, and the overall impact of secondhand smoke on public health. Stephanie was always happy, upbeat, enjoyed life, was outgoing, kind and friendly to everyone. With her loveable personality she made friends easily, always cherished her friends and family and let them know it throughout her life. Stephanie enjoyed old movies, family movies, family TV, cultural events and travel. She loved all types of music, had an extensive playlist and could quickly memorize the lyrics to songs. Stephanie was a very good dancer and loved to dance for hours. Above all, she enjoyed helping people. Stephanie met her husband, Scott, in 2016 in Dunwoody, Ga., and they married in 2019. They lived together along with Stephanie’s little service dog, FiFi-Hope, who was the absolute love of her life and FiFi returned the love. Stephanie and FiFi were always together and were inseparable, ever since FiFi was born 10 years ago. Stephanie, Scott and FiFi enjoyed watching family TV shows, old classic movies on TCM and going for walks on nice days in the park. In 2007, Stephanie contracted Lyme disease, which went misdiagnosed for 5 years before it was finally diagnosed. Stephanie pushed through severe disabling symptoms with her can-do attitude and love for life to continue to enjoy life to its fullest. She will be missed by many. Stephanie is survived by her loving husband, Scott, and loving little service dog, FiFiHope, who Stephanie named FiFi-Hope as Stephanie always had Hope. Stephanie is also survived by her mother, Evita Maya, father, Solomon Maya and brother, Lonnie Maya. Memorial service and eulogy took place on July 22 by Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis and Rabbi Joshua Heller. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

Rhina Shaffer Tuck passed away peacefully after a brief illness on August 7. Born on Aug. 13, 1938, to Hyman Shaffer and Sarah Glustrom Shaffer in Atlanta, Ga., Rhina spent all of her life in Atlanta, except for a short stay in Rome, Ga. Rhina met Leon Tuck (‘zl), her husband of 64 years, at a BBYO basketball game and the rest was history. Rhina was a full-time mom to two wonderful sons before embarking on a career with Camp Judaea. The staff and campers became a second family to Rhina and Leon. Rhina was preceded in death by her husband, Leon (‘zl), and is survived by her sister, Sandra (Lance) Pittman, of Port Washington, N.Y. She is also survived by her children, Stuart (Helene) and Sam (Allyson); her beloved five grandchildren: Jonathan, Anna, Ilene, Leah and Nolan; and a number of nieces, nephews and their families. Rhina was known for her funny and honest commentary, which was always given with love. She had many groups of friends from different times in her life and enjoyed her frequent Grady High School get-togethers. Rhina also looked forward to her weekly mahjong games with close friends. But by far, her favorite pastime was spending time with and occasionally worrying about her five grandchildren. Her spunk and unfiltered wit will be missed by all who loved her. Funeral services were held at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Camp Judaea. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

54, Atlanta

62 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

83, Atlanta

Rita Tuvlin 83, Alpharetta

After a long illness, Rita Tuvlin of Alpharetta passed away just ten days shy of her 84th birthday and one month shy of her 60th wedding anniversary to her husband, Bernard. Spanning her life, Rita has been described as selfless, driven, unusually smart, an athletic tomboy and sports fan (especially of her beloved Braves and Falcons), ahead of her time, a beatnik, uninfluenced by trends, an avid reader, a sudoku master, a science teacher, a child counselor, a mother, a grandmother and a dear friend. During her many years at AJA (formerly the Hebrew Academy), she initially served as the science teacher and advocated for the pursuit of scientific exploration and discovery and influenced many children to later pursue careers in the field. After earning a master’s degree in social work from Georgia State University, she then moved into the role of middle school counselor, in which she directly affected the lives of many students and their families. Rita loved traveling the world with Bernie and attending all of his musical concerts over the years. She also got great pleasure from spending time at home with her family. She is already profoundly missed by those left to carry her memory: Her husband Bernie, her children Stephanie and Warren Lampert, Michael and Vickie Tuvlin and Jeffrey and Jennifer Tuvlin, as well her grandchildren, Danielle, Noah, Maddie, Andrew, Ethan, Jared, Jeremy and Hayden. She is also survived by her sister, Lois Galen, and loving nieces Patti Mobile and Robin Wenzel, all of Los Angeles, Calif. Rita’s impact is wide and deep with those who called her “family” extending throughout the city of Atlanta and across the country. Many people helped care for Rita throughout her illness and to them we are profoundly grateful. Rita’s funeral was officiated by Cantor Nancy Kassel of Temple Beth Tikvah with Shivas being led by Cantor Kassel and Rabbi Brad Levenberg of Temple Sinai. To view the service or to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com. The family requests that donations be made to The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University.

Obituaries in the AJT are written and paid for by the families; contact Editor and Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky at kaylene@atljewishtimes.com 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 editor@atljewishtimes.com.


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CLOSING THOUGHTS Between Loss and Love A friend recently lost a parent. We spoke near the end of the Shiva, and she explained that after she concluded the seven days of Rabbi Ruth mourning, she would be heading to a family wedding. “I know it is not kosher,” she explained, speaking to the custom of refraining from festivities after the death of a loved one, “but I feel like this is what my father would want.” She was leaning into her loss with a celebration of familial love. We exist between loss and love. The Jewish month of Av, which, this year overlaps with August, begins by heightening our sense of collective loss. The holiday of Tisha B’Av, on the ninth of Av, commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Tradi-

64 | AUGUST 15, 2022 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

tion has us fasting, sitting on the floor and refraining from basic social niceties. We are physically isolated and bereft in the here and now. We read the biblical book of Lamentations, which graphically describes the physical and metaphysical ravaging of the city and the relationship between God and the people of Israel. The unpleasant language and metaphors are unsettling. The Temple and its extraordinary beauty are gone, and so is our covenant with the divine. It is loss upon loss. And then, on the 15th of Av, less than a week later, we celebrate the holiday of Tu B’Av. The day, in ancient Israel, when matches were made, and love became a possibility. Loss often leaves us hopeless; choosing love, despite its potential for loss, is ultimately a hopeful act. And, in Jewish life, the two are rarely disconnected. At Jewish weddings, we break a glass and shout, “Mazal Tov.” The most traditional understanding of this tradi-

tion is that it recalls the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Because, even at our most joyful moment, when we commit ourselves to a long life with a beloved, we cannot forget how fragile life can be. My grandparents met at a dance for Jewish singles. Right after the fast of Yom Kippur, my grandfather drove across many miles of unpaved roads to attend this annual party; he hoped to find a match. As it says in the Mishnah, “There were no better (i.e., happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur since on these days the daughters of Israel/ Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards.” From the despair of Yom Kippur, a day in our tradition when we dwell on the limits of our mortality, my grandparents went forth and joyfully found each other. My grandparents had over 60 meaningful years together; but there was never guaranteed protection against heartbreak. The moment we

open ourselves to the joys of human love and connection, we inevitably make ourselves vulnerable to loss. Judaism does not shy away from the realities of tragedy and the toll they take on us. But, in its rhythms, it teaches us resilience, reminding us that even when we face loss we have the potential to embrace hope and the loving potential of human life. ì


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