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february 8, 2013 – february 14, 2013

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A STRAINED RELATIONSHIP PG. 8

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FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013


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Israel

Israeli Pride

GOOD NEWS MADE IN THE JEWISH STATE THIS PAST WEEK

RUSSIANS DRINK MORE ISRAELI COFFEE. Petah Tikva’s Strauss Group has bought out Russia’s Le CafĂŠ and Instanta and now has the third-largest market in Russia. Even before the acquisition, Strauss Coffee was the world’s fourth-largest coffee company, with approximately 6,250 employees. RANDOM SCREENING DETECTED AND CURED 24 EARLY CASES OF CANCER. When 1,000 apparently healthy Israelis of a median age of 48 were screened at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center for 11 of the most common cancers, 2.4 percent (24 individuals) were diagnosed with early-stage malignancies and treated successfully. CLIFF RICHARD IS RETURNING TO THE JEWISH STATE. The legendary UK pop star is scheduled to perform at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena on July 11. His previous visits include one in 1969 to film “His Landâ€? and another in 1988 for the 40th anniversary of the nation. RECORD NUMBER OF TREES PLANTED. The Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL) reported that a new record has been set this Tu B’shevat, as more than one million new saplings will have been planted in forests and parks nationwide over the week of Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. DESALINATION WILL SUPPLY 80 PERCENT OF DRINKING WATER. At CleanTech 2013, Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said, “Israel is emerging from times of crisis in the area of water into stability. We have not only continued what has started in the past to develop desalination plants, but we are now building new [plants] and have extended and developed those that already exist.â€? THE BEST RAINFALL IN 47 YEARS RECORDED. The rise in the level of the Kinneret so far this winter is the highest since records began being kept in 1966. Even before the late January storms, the water level was just two meters below the upper red line, at which point the Deganya dam has to be opened.

FASHION SERVES A PURPOSE. A new store opened last year by the Women’s Courtyard – a multicultural organization that provides support and assistance for young adult women in distress – offers great clothes while helping Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Bat Yam’s at-risk to find a place in the workforce.

ISRAELIS TO TAKE PART IN HUMAN BRAIN PROJECT. The European Commission has chosen the Human Brain Project as one of its flagship projects. Participating from Israel is a team of eight scientists from the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute of Science and Tel Aviv University.

This list courtesy Michael Ordman and verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com.

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upcoming events

“Women’s Heart Health” on Feb. 17 HADASSAH SPONSORS AWARENESS EVENT Staff Report

G

reater Atlanta Hadassah presents “Women’s Heart Health” – a program dedicated to raising awareness, empowering women and saving lives – on Sun., Feb. 17, at 2:15 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. In a special appearance announced in late January, Nancy Falchuk, the 24th Hadassah National President, will be speaking on a recent $10 million gift to fund a cardiac unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The generous donation of psychotherapist Irene Pollin, founder and chair of Sister to Sister (a 13-yearold organization devoted to preventing heart disease in women), will be used to create the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute. Beyond this exciting news, attendees of “Women’s Heart Health” will also hear the facts about women and coronary heart disease in the United States, including how Geor-

gia is ranked nationally. The program seeks to educate women on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack; also to be presented are ways to reduce the risk of developing this deadly disease Nanette and advances in heart Wenger, MD disease diagnosis, treatment, research and advocacy through Hadassah. Guests include keynote speaker Nanette Wenger, MD, Hadassah Life Member and professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine; and Marsha Hildebrand, RN and certified Take Shape for Life coach. Both women also proudly represent WomenHeart, a national patient-centered organization that focuses exclusively on women’s heart disease and provides education, support and hope to millions.

Wenger, a consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and recipient of the distinguished Achievement Award and Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, has been Marsha Hilderbrand, RN recognized with the James E. Bruce Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine, the AHA Physician of the Year Award and the designation of Georgia Woman of the Year for 2010. “Coronary heart disease is the major health risk for American women,” said Wenger. “Women must know that favorable lifestyle changes can decrease cardiac risk factors and prevent cardiovascular and coronary disease. Show your heart you care!”

Hildebrand, also a Hadassah Life

Member, is a WomenHeart Champion in addition to TSFL advocate. “This is very personal to me,” said Hildebrand. “I am a woman at risk for having a heart attack. I started out wanting to educate and protect myself against what I thought was the inevitable…[but] I am not reacting to illness; I refuse to be a victim of my genetics! “I inspire others to do the same. As a Hadassah Health Professional, I wanted to share what I learned about ‘Women and Heart Health and Wellness’ on a larger scale. My Hadassah sisters are working with me to make this happen.” The upcoming program is free and open to the community. Early attendees can take part in a silent auction, with proceeds going to support heart health education and cardiac research. Refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Hadassah office at (678) 443-296 or hadassah.org/atlanta.

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upcoming events

Emory’s Tenenbaum Lecture: “My Neighbourhood” Shows Hope in Israeli-Arab Conflict “When Arabic was a Jewish EXCLUSIVE FILM SCREENING AT EMORY ON FEB. 14 Language” PROF. STILLMAN TO SPEAK ON FEB. 13 BY Suzi Brozman

BY Suzi Brozman

AJT Contributor

T

oday, very few people think Jews and Arabs can converse in any language. It’s surprising to most, then, to find out that – for many centuries – the two groups not only communicated, but did so in Arabic. The fascinating story of Arabicspeaking Jewry will be the focus of the 2013 Tenenbaum Lecture on Wed., Feb. 13. Norman Stillman, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, will deliver the talk that will focus on a historical discussion of the time when Jews lived in large numbers in the Arab world.

As to why Jews eventually left Arab lands: This is an area Stillman has explored deeply in two of his many books, “The Jews of Arab Lands” and “Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times.” On Feb. 13, he will trace when, why and how the separation between Jews and Muslims took place – not in the last few years, as some might surmise, but as early as the 19th century.

University of Oklahoma Professor Norman Stillman PHOTO/courtesy Tam Institute of Jewish Studies

“The Jews spoke, wrote and thought in Arabic,” Stillman said. “Jews and Arabs lived together often in relative harmony for centuries.”

Indeed, Judeo-Arabic has the longest recorded history of any post-Talmudic Diaspora language – nearly 1,400 years – and was spoken across three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. Arabic in its Jewish form – written in Hebrew characters and with borrowed vocabulary from Hebrew and Aramaic – had by the 10th century become the vernacular of culture, intellect, business and law. Interestingly, though rabbinic works eventually were written in Hebrew, many religious texts continue to be made available in JudeoArabic. In his lecture, Stillman will trace this history as well as its effects on Jewish culture. Trained in Oriental Studies as a philologist and historian, the professor will cover wide swaths of Jewish language, literature and history as he brings this rich period of Jewish history to life.

World.”

Stillman is the Schusterman/ Josey Professor in Judaic History at the University of Oklahoma. An internationally recognized author on the history and culture of the Islamic world and on Sephardi and Mizrachi Jewry, he most recently served as executive editor of the awardwinning five-volume “Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic

The Tenenbaum Family Lectureship in Judaic Studies at Emory University honors the family of the late Meyer W. Tenenbaum of Savannah, Ga. The event is sponsored by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, The Hightower Fund, The Laney Graduate School, The Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Graduate Division of Religion, the Program in Linguistic, and the departments of History, MESAS, and Religion. Previous lecturers in the series have included Saul Friedlander, Leon Wieseltier, Jonathan Sarna, James Carroll, Michael Bar-Zohar, Deborah Lipstadt and others. Editor’s note: The Tenenbaum Lecture, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 13 at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum. Complimentary parking available in the University’s Fishburne Deck.

O

n Thurs., Feb. 14, Emory University will host a special screening of a film about a surprising kind of love. The documentary “My Neighbourhood” is a story of Palestinians and Israelis learning to put aside their animosities and cooperate to halt an injustice in an East Jerusalem neighborhood. Granted, the tangled situation in Jerusalem has little in common with Mr. Rogers’ friendly neighborhood, but Emory’s Center for Ethics – along with others dedicated to promoting the concept of Israelis and Palestinians able to live side-by-side in security and freedom – hope showing the film will help teach about the possibility of peace.

quently in the city and no one knows the ultimate resolution. After premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2012, “My Neighbourhood” has since been shown at numerous venues, along the way receiving rave reviews. This is the first time that the doc – directed and produced by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi and Julia Bacha and the latest production of filmmaker collective Just Vision – will be shown in Atlanta.

After the screening, there will be a discussion about the movie and increasingly urgent situation in East Jerusalem with guest speakers attorney Daniel “My Neighbourhood” follows Moham- Seidemann and med El Kurd through a trying conflict Suhad Babaa of around his East Jerusalem home. Just Vision. The PHOTO/Emily Smith former is himself an Israeli, founder/director of the Israeli NGO Ter The work tells restrial Jerusalem and the world’s the story of Mohammed El Kurd, an leading expert on geopolitical Jeru11-year-old Palestinian whose famsalem; the latter serves as his orgaily is forced by the courts to share nization’s community outreach and their home with Israeli settlers. The digital resources manager. residents begin peacefully protesting against the displacements, wanting to keep their homes.

Surprisingly, they are joined by a number of Israelis who are horrified at the actions of their government. In the process, a Jewish family develops a strong relationship with the El Kurd family, and the personal stories show that there’s more to the conflict than the anger and hatred usually depicted in reports from the region. The film then follows Mohammed as he comes of age in this tense and highly volatile atmosphere. It’s an unfinished account, as the threat of displacement and eviction recur fre-

The event is free and open to the public (no tickets are required to attend) and sponsored by Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life, Department of Political Science, Department of Middle East and South Asian Studies and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights.

Editor’s note: “My Neighbourhood” makes its Atlanta debut on Thurs., Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Emory Center for Ethics, 1531 Dickey Drive, Room 102.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

AJT Contributor

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according to arlene

Generation Gap DIFFERENT AGES ON DIFFERENT PAGES BY Arlene Appelrouth AJT Columnist

I

’ve wanted to take a trip with my daughter Michelle for some mother-daughter quality time. Last year, she said it would have to wait until she was no longer breastfeeding her daughter, but then Michelle’s work demands created another delay. She told me she was not sure when she would be able to get away. Michelle is one of those super women who juggles a career as a lawyer in addition to being a wife and mother to two young children. As for me – someone who came of age during the ’60s – I didn’t know many women who had both careers and families when I was growing up. The truth is, I came from a family that placed a higher priority on marriage than education. My grandmother had grown up in Poland, and she never had any formal education. Her children were not educated be-

yond high school, so she neither approved of nor understood my desire to get a college degree.

What’s more, she had no trouble expressing her opinion about this.

“Besser a kalla meidel vee a college maidel,” was how she put it. For those who do not understand Yiddish, what my grandmother said was this:

“Better a bride than a college girl.”

I went to college anyway. Once I had completed my undergraduate education, my grandmother attended my graduation, but during that visit – instead of asking what I planned to do – she was more interested in looking inside my kitchen cabinets. She didn’t like the quality of my pots. “I have some really good pots for you,” she told me. “Great,” I replied. When can I have them?”

Life at Home is the Key to IndependenceSM

“When you get married.”

“Babba,” I replied. “What if I don’t get married?” She was incredulous.

“Arlene,” she began in a tone I had never heard her use before, “if you don’t get married, those pots can rust.” A few years later, I got married and, as promised, got the pots. Then, when I gave birth to my daughter, I had intended to take three months of maternity leave and return to work, but that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. During the ’70s, the infrastructure for working mothers wasn’t what it is today. So I opted to stay home and become a freelance writer. The truth is, I spent most of my 30s driving my children to school and after-school activities. When I thought about returning to work, it was a challenge to update my resume. Carpooling did nothing to enhance it. I suppose I had interesting stories about my experiences and fantasized about writing a memoir on the politics of carpooling, but I never got beyond the table of contents. What a Makes

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Difference

30

Years

It’s been gratifying to me to watch my daughter achieve more balance in her life. I take pride that she has been able to create a loving family while simultaneously making a name for herself professionally. She works for the Department of Justice, in their anti-trust division. From what I read in the media, I know it’s the case, but it still boggles my mind to think my daughter’s head has been filled with facts about billion-dollar mergers. When I was raising young children, my negotiations had to do with swapping carpool days – most of the women had to see whether they were scheduled for an ALTA match. For the last eight months, she has been the lead attorney on a case she couldn’t talk about; in fact, she rarely is able to talk about her work. This time, I kept waiting to hear the case was over so we could plan a trip to New York.

Now, from what The Wall Street

Journal, The Washington Post and Reuters have been reporting, my mother-daughter bonding time may be on hold for a while longer. When the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev, Reuters referred to my daughter as the “legal heavyweight” who led the government in one big antitrust case and is now the lead attorney in this case. Oh, well. I’m proud of my daughter and what she is able to accomplish. But there’s no question that times have changed for women. The Backup Plan Because I hadn’t been able to schedule special time with my daughter, I decided to go on a cruise with my husband. When I found an itinerary that was leaving from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, I thought it would be a good idea to invite my mother, who lives in a retirement community in Florida. She had raved about two cruises she had taken last year with her boyfriend, and I knew she would enjoy being with us. Dan agreed, so I booked a room for us and another for my 89-year-old Mom. I shouldn’t have been surprised when she told me she wanted her boyfriend to come along, but I was. Surprised and disappointed – her boyfriend triggers a part of me that is critical and judgmental. I’d like to tell him to stop talking about himself. Everything he says irritates me. My mother told me most people don’t like her boyfriend, but she feels better about herself with a man by her side. Back in the ’60s, we had a saying that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. All I can say is, my mother – like my daughter – comes from a different generation than I do. I wonder how things will change for my twoand-a-half-year-old granddaughter. Arlene Appelrouth earned a degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Florida, and her career as a writer and journalist spans a 50-year period; she currently studies memoir writing while working on her first book.


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noga reports

The Next Four Years, More of the Same THOUGHTS AFTER ISRAEL’S ELECTIONS

BY NOGA GUR-ARIEH AJT Contributor

L

years old, so I obviously don’t remember much from the first 40 years of Israel’s existence. But from what I hear said by old(er) people, the current match is the worst one yet.

ast week, while I was casting my vote, it suddenly hit me: No matter which new parties rise and fall, when it comes to the global system, nothing in the next four years will change.

Our leaders don’t get along; at least, that is what the media tells us. I usually don’t believe everything I read in the paper, but this issue is consistently reported the very same way in all papers, and at this point, I have no choice but to believe it is true.

It wasn’t easy for me to decide to whom I would give my vote. It is only my second time voting for the Knesset, and it was important to me to have all the facts before I made my decision. To learn what I could, I spoke to a lot of people, even those with a political agenda far different than my own. I wanted to know the opinions of the people I know and love and also what the various parties have to offer that’s more believable than a pretty written agenda.

I am convinced: This match between Netanyahu and Obama will not grow into a friendship. They don’t like each other, and at times it seems as if they actually resent each other.

During my limited research, I had only one thing in mind – making a difference. That being said, I know I probably didn’t make any difference. I am merely one small voice, one that will not tilt the results either way. But I also know that the other option – staying at home and not voting – would be worse than voting for a party that may or may not live up to their promises to make a difference. That’s why on Jan. 22 at 1:27 p.m., I put an envelope in a blue box and went home with a smile on my face. The thought that followed me all day was that even if Netanyahu won again, it would probably be by a very small gap. The competition might be fiercer between his party (Ha’Likud Beiteinu) and the left-center block of parties (which, according to recent polls, has grown).

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

I also kept in mind that the former Labor party, Ha’Avoda, has changed leaders since the last election, and the same goes for HaBait HaYehudi (the “Jewish Home”). There is also Yesh Atid (“There Is a Future”), a new party established by one of our most famous journalists, Yair Lapid; this party ended up being the biggest surprise of the election by becoming 8 our second-most-represented party.

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s relationship has been portrayed by the media as less-than-friendly. PHOTO/Pete Souza/White House And beyond those, I read that a few minor parties – such as the liberal party Ale’ Yarok (“Green Leaf”); the driven-for-change party Eretz Hadasha (“New Country”); and the liberal-Orthodox party Am Shalem (“A complete, whole, nation”) – may get enough votes to seat two Knesset Members. Considering such diversity on the ballot, I felt that the election results would bring good news to Israel and that the next four years would bring change, even if not major revolution. That is, I felt that way until I remembered one thing. While the inner business here is greatly affected by the various parties comprising the Knesset, our business with the world (which is followed by the very unbalanced foreign media) is most affected by the person leading the Knesset, the face of Israel – our Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected last week for four more years in office. About two months before

he was re-elected, your president, Barack Obama, was also re-elected for four more years. As nations, Israel and the United States are more than allies; they are friends. This friendship has existed for decades, but in the past four years it’s seemed to come under some strain. And in the past year or so, it seemed as if the alliance between Israel and the U.S. was motivated solely by political and security concerns and that the “friendship” was gone. Our prime minister and your president are very talented people. They are both very skilled and are worthy of their respected positions. However, they both sometimes let their egos get in the way of performing their jobs to the best of their abilities – with their eyes and hearts fixed on the people’s best interests. In the past six decades, many Israeli prime ministers and American presidents have come and gone. Some were a perfect match; some did not quite get along. I am only 22

I don’t believe that tension will have much of an effect on the Israel-U.S. alliance because, as I said, it is based on a very strong security-strategic foundation. We are the only democracy in the Middle East, and our job is basically to prevent the area from being completely destroyed.

However, this lack of friendship, in my eyes, makes anything better than survival – that is, progress – more difficult to achieve. This alliance is not one of true cooperation, and it will stay this way for another four years. Today, I woke up to a reality that was different yet also more of the same. It is a rather pessimistic (though realistic) prediction, but since I am an optimist by nature, I believe that true change can still be made with baby steps in the right direction. I believe the minor shift in our Knesset will give way to larger transformations with time, and our friendship with the U.S. will return to its former days of glory. All it takes is a slip in an envelope and a true belief in change. Noga Gur-Arieh visited the U.S. to work at Camp Coleman after finishing her military service in the IDF. She is now back in Israel, working as a journalist.


AJT

eden’s garden

Please Don’t Stop Her Music NO MORE POLICING OF SELF-EXPRESSION BY EDEN FARBER AJT Columnist

I

wonder if Ofir Ben-Sheetrit, a 17 year-old Israeli girl, knew what she was getting into when she auditioned for Israel’s version of the singing competition show “The Voice.” If she did – Ofir, I salute you. After making it onto the show as a mere 12th grader and being named one of the strongest singers by the judges, you’d expect that she would be met with admiration, respect and appreciation for her talent and courage. But you’d be wrong. Instead, she was suspended from her school for violating the prohibition of kol isha, hearing women singing in public. Her punishment was due to complaints from parents at the school and a general fear of protecting the school’s name. So what’s the deal with this bit of halachic law? Technically, it is not a prohibition against the physical act of women singing; it is against men listening to women singing, lest they be aroused. Nowadays, there is even a movement for women to keep kol ish, meaning they would no longer listen to men sing by the very same reasoning. But in either case, the singer is not liable for a violation of the prohibition; it is the listener. Speaking specifically of kol isha, Rabbi Dov Linzer says oh-so eloquently:

the men of her community or to make a nasty name for her school (who have done just that to Ofir). No, this was purely to combine her love of Judaism with her love of the arts, and to give it to the world she loves so much.

“What I do know is that there is a Jewish community out there sending away a bat Torah, a proud and dedicated Jewish woman, because of her femininity – and that can’t happen anymore.”

In this instance, it seems to me kol isha is no longer a boundary used to protect men from women’s attractive physical characteristics or talents. Instead, it is a ploy to shut women up. It is a taboo that can be cited when convenient to get rid of females in the public eye. It is a device that can manipulate women back into the shadows of the pre-1920s housewife

role.

What does it mean to be a normal, religious and extraordinarily talented teenage girl who was suspended from her school because it was deemed a disgrace that she competed on a television show to share her talent and love of music to the world? It means to be in a community that wants girls to be neither seen nor heard. I don’t know how I’d handle this kind of rejection from a community I stood for. I don’t know how Ofir Ben Sheetrit handles it either.

Jewish community out there sending away a bat Torah, a proud and dedicated Jewish woman, because of her femininity – and that can’t happen anymore. Women cannot be hidden away in kitchens, and women as talented as Sheetrit cannot be expected to keep her gift to themselves if they don’t want to. That’s what it means to be liberated. And if someone decides to take a step outside onto the balcony to say “Hello, world!” the worst thing we can do is turn out our lights and lock our doors from them – because that’s not being a community. Atlanta’s Eden Farber, 15, was recognized in the Jewish Heritage National Poetry Contest of 2010 and has published op-eds and poetry in Modern Hippie Magazine and the NY Jewish Week’s Fresh Ink for Teens section.

What I do know is that there is a

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This is not a girl deciding to give up on her life’s opportunities and become a prostitute. This is a girl who loves the arts, is gifted in music and wants to share it with the world. And she has a right to, just as much as any other person on this earth. In an interview, she was quoted as saying: “I think the Torah wants us to find ways to be happy. The Torah wants music to make people happy, and I think it’s possible to do both, which is why I came to the show.” She quite obviously has no rebellious or anti-religious intentions. Her actions were not taken to spite

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FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

So if it’s as cut and dry as it seems to be – that the responsibility is not that of someone who sings but someone who listens – then why was Ofir blamed?

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AJT

home & abroad

Goulash Runs in My Veins, Pt. II A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP by Esther Turan

For the Atlanta Jewish Times

In this second half of our author’s remarks, she contrasts her home nation of Hungary’s positive aspects with the ugly anti-Semitism still alive in the country.

P

aul Turan, my grandfather, was an intellectual. He was part of a group of very important mathematicians and

physicists from Hungary who, literally, were involved in changing the world.

came to understand how important they were and learned their remarkable stories.

There’s a good chance you’re familiar with some of my grandfather’s peers: They included John Neumann, Ede (Edward) Teller, Leo Szilard, Jenu Wigner and Paul Erdus.

It turns out their lives and stories are quite similar. Most of the men – in fact, all of them except my Grandfather and Erdus – emigrated to the United States before World War II. They were all brilliant and all a product of what I would characterize as a Hungarian Jewish intellectual background.

When I was a little girl, it was quite normal for these men – all geniuses – to spend time with me and my family. It was only later that I

In all candor, they needed to focus on their intellect – to stand out – because of the cultural isolation that became part of life in Eastern Europe in the 1930s. Problems started after Hungary adopted something called the “Numerus Clausus,” a series of draconian measures aimed at isolating the country’s Jewish community; specifically, limiting the number of Jewish students allowed to attend university. This measure forced my grandfather and his friends to become very competitive. The only way to survive under these conditions meant that you had to be good – in fact, exceptional – in your field of study. It’s such laws and other such conditions that were part of Hungary for years that fill my heart with hate for my country. I simply can’t tolerate the anti-Semitism that is part of Hungary’s past and, unfortunately, remains part of the country today. Don’t misunderstand me: The entire country isn’t filled with antiSemites. Sadly, though, there are many Hungarians who are filled with prejudice and are unwilling to love and care for people who aren’t exactly the same as they are. Anti-Semitism exists around the world, but I’m a Hungarian, and it bothers me that it’s present in my country. Hate speech really isn’t tolerated, but it’s common for people to always blame others for their problems and never take responsibility for their own actions.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

I have a hard time playing like everything is good and normal when it isn’t. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in Hungary, but it’s often hidden – we call it “salon anti-Semitism” – and it pops up in the media in the oddest ways. For instance, some bigots actually use the word “Jew” as a swear word.

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That’s about as bad as it gets. The good news is the country is also kind and loving and beautiful. It’s my home, warts and all, and it’s a land that will always be a major part of my life. Editor’s note: Esther Turan is a film producer at Moviebar Productions (movie-bar.net); additional input for this column provided by Julie Turan.


AJT

if you ask me

Op-Ed: Bring Terrorists to Justice ARGENTINA AND IRAN’S AGREEMENT For the Atlanta Jewish Times

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he families of 85 victims murdered in Argentina almost 19 years ago recently learned that those who were behind this act of terrorism are unlikely ever to face justice. The atrocity happened on July 18, 1994, when a van packed with fertilizer and fuel oil crashed into the headquarters of the Argentina Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires), demolishing it. In addition to the fatalities, some 300 were injured. The fact that this occurred just two years after 29 lives were lost in a similar attack at the Israeli embassy in the city indicated the existence of a concerted anti-Jewish, anti-Israel campaign of violence. It seems Argentina was viewed as a “soft” target. Indeed, after years of false leads, obfuscation and delays caused by a combination of corruption and simple incompetence, a new special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, issued a report. This document placed blame on Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shi’ite terrorist group, aided and financed by top Iranian officials. In 2007, the Argentinian government responded by issuing international arrest warrants for six Iranians named in the report – including the country’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi – and five of them were placed on Interpol’s “red” list. Iran has consistently refused to cooperate, and all of the men in question are still at large. Now, Argentina is switching gears. After a series of meetings between the country’s foreign minister and Iran’s over the course of several months, a deal was reached in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the establishment of an international “truth commission” to investigate the AMIA case. Its five members will be experts in international law from other countries and will be led, we are told, by a judge “with high moral standing and legal prestige.” Furthermore, the proceedings will accord with “the laws and regulations of both countries.” As part of the agreement, the Iranian suspects are to be questioned in Iran. Historically, such commissions set up to address conflicts in other

parts of the world have generally led to the dropping of criminal charges, and the same will likely happen here as well. So what lies behind the decision to create this commission? Iran and Argentina are major trading partners, and their leaders are eager to put the lethal bombing case behind them. Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announcing the agreement via twitter, insisted that “never will we allow the AMIA tragedy to be used as a chess piece in a game of faraway geopolitical interests”; presumably, she’s referencing the international effort to use economic pressure to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons capacity. His country’s economy in freefall, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that “accurate and impartial” investigations will enable “the expansion of ties between Iran and Argentina.” Besides increased trade, he also hopes to expand his country’s political influence in Latin America, where Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador already count Iran as an ally.

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This cozy Argentinean-Iranian arrangement to cover up the truth is scandalous. The very idea that a country strongly suspected of plotting terrorism is to participate in a “truth commission” investigating its own conduct is the height of absurdity. In practical terms, the commission will allow the perpetrators to evade justice; insult the memory of the victims; and affront both the Argentine judicial system and the sense of justice of the Argentinean people. It will hurt the effort to place the Tehran regime in diplomatic isolation and embolden Iran and the terror groups it supports to carry out similar crimes with impunity. There seems to be only one way to derail this perverse scheme: The agreement setting up the commission requires the approval of the parliaments of both countries. That Iran’s rubber-stamp parliament will concur is not in doubt. Might international outrage and wounded patriotism induce Argentina’s legislators to prevent this compromise with evil? Editor’s note: Lindsay Hirsch is the assistant regional director at the Atlanta office of the American Jewish Committee.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

BY LINDSAY HIRSCH

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AJT

food

Delightful Dinners and More from D’lish! DEBBIE LANSKY CATERS IN YOUR KITCHEN Staff Report

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he smell of freshly-baked challah; matzah ball soup just like Mama made it; the juiciest brisket you’ve ever had; an addictive creation known simply as “Munchie Cake” for dessert; and a sparkling clean kitchen afterwards.

That’s how Shabbat should be, and it’s also just what Debbie Lansky of D’lish Catering can bring it straight to your home. “Every Friday, I’m busy,” she said with a huge smile. “And I want every Friday to be full; I want to bring joy to others on Fridays.” By calling to schedule a week or more in advance, metro area clients can arrange to have Lansky come to their home, groceries in hand, and whip up a delicious meal. She can also prepare several meals in one visit so that some can be frozen, reheated and enjoyed later. By using fresh ingredients, expertise gained from growing up in a “food business” family (her father was a butcher and both brothers were chefs) and her own creativity and skill, Debbie makes several to-die-for dishes. Besides the aforementioned matzah ball soup, brisket and cake, she’s well-known for hot-and-sour borscht, minestrone and a tantalizing Mandarin chicken entrée, among others. And beyond that, she works with requests, too – Lansky operates on an “ask and you shall receive” basis, both in terms of cuisine and kosher preparation. For just the price of ingredients and an affordable hourly rate, everyone at the table can have a satisfied smile.

The chef will be thrilled.

“I love it; it’s such a lift!” Lansky said. “I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing, and I know that it’s going to make people happy. “The best thing is cooking and then having everyone say, ‘This is so fantastic!’” Editor’s note: Call (770) 313-4928 or email debraone9@gmail.com to place your order; gift certificates available.

Buckhead’s Modern: A Culinary Reawakening CREATIVE DISHES ENJOYED IN AMBIANCE Staff Report

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eclaiming its reputation for fine dining, Buckhead now boasts Modern, the first Atlanta establishment from renowned restaurateur Kane Xu.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

Executive chef Mark Alba, formerly of Canoe, Food Studio, PARISH Foods & Goods, Eno and Spice, brings his longtime familiarity with the area, having worked professionally in Atlanta since 1996. His prior work in Paces 88 American Bistro earned the restaurant an AAA four-diamond rating, as well as the attention of Esquire magazine.

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Modern offers both a regular menu and Alba’s prix-fixe menus of five-and seven-course tastings paired with wine. Dinner options include a cervena venison loin, long island duck and mushroom-and-duck confit risotto. The restaurant itself is divided into several sections; diners can choose from the main dining area or one of three private rooms – The Vista, The Chef’s Table or The Outlook. Each private room is suited to different sized groups and menus while maintaining the upscale flair of the restaurant. Editor’s note: Visit modernbuckhead.com for location, hours, detailed menu and more.


AJT

food

Does Arlene Eat to Live or Live to Eat? A BRILLIANT BRUNCH AT ALON’S BY RON FEINBERG Web Editor

B

efore dashing off to the airport for a recent trip, my wife Wendy and I took our niece Arlene to brunch. We love spending time with this bright, beautiful young woman who is so focused on work, family – and food!

wheat toast. Tasty, nutritious and oh-so healthy.

Most of us, of course, enjoy eating. It’s a sensual pleasure that can, and should be, a healthy part of life. That’s the case with Arlene, who manages to both eat to live and live to eat. It’s not stretching the truth to report that she has an ongoing love affair with food. When she’s not eating, she’s planning her next meal or reminiscing about a previous feast! So we were all excited to visit Alon’s, a European-style restaurant and bakery in Atlanta that features a vast array of artisan cheeses, breads, wines, pastries, cakes, cookies and specialty food items. Wendy and I discovered the place when it first opened in the Virginia Highland area of Atlanta several years ago. Back then, Alon Balshan was gaining fame in these parts as a pastry chef when he decided, along with his father Maurice, that it was time to open his own place. The rest, as they say, is history. Fortunately, part of that history was the opening of a second location in the suburbs to the north of the city. No more schlepping across the city for Sunday brunch!

Alon’s Bakery on Ashford Dunwoody Rd. other sweets.

Arlene managed to stay away from the sugary stuff while pushing the culinary envelope just a tad – smoked salmon and two poached eggs, drizzled with hollandaise sauce and topped with fried capers and baby arugula, all resting on a crispy potato latke. Just the sort of thing you’d expect your yiddishe mama to make! We

sat,

and

and chatted; then we ate and chatted some more. Glancing about, surrounded by others enjoying the day, the whisper of small talk blended euphonically with the sweet and savory smells of the nearby market. It was a little difficult to believe we were outside a strip shopping center and just a hundred yards or so from one of the largest shopping malls in the region. But that’s the magic of tasty food and good company. My hope is there’s a lot more of those things in all of our futures.

ate,

The selection is displayed in what seems to be a haphazard fashion, but my guess is there’s a sophisticated master plan to all the madness. Shoppers wonder about, free to stumble across culinary treats at a leisurely pace. Then, you can pack it all up and take your tasty treasures home or order up one of the day’s specialties and eat in a small dining area (or, better yet, outside on an expansive patio). That’s where Arlene, Wendy and I ended up for brunch after fussing about like kids in a very well-stocked candy store. The caramel banana French toast – custard-soaked brioche with caramel-poached bananas – was tempting, but I had images of my doctor wagging his finger at me and whispering that one ugly word: sugar.

Despite being indoors, the newer Alon’s has the wide open feel of an outdoor market; one of those happening, high-energy spots you stumble upon across the pond and other exotic locales. It’s filled with salads and sandwiches, a variety of meat and fish dishes, specialty coffees, drinks, snacks and tasty treats – chocolates, gelato, freshly baked pastries and

Well then, how about the ricotta soufflé pancakes – fluffy ricotta pancakes made with spelt and served with Alon’s chocolate hazelnut sauce. Yummy, but filled with carbs. Yikes! So, Wendy and I settled for the all-American breakfast – a couple of eggs, home-fried potatoes with onions and bell peppers, served with

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

“No more schlepping across the city for Sunday brunch!”

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food

For the Atlanta Jewish Times

M

y grandfather was from Selma, Ala., and my grandmother was from Arkansas; not too shocking in these parts. My grandfather’s thick drawl, on the other hand, was the subject of curiosity in my hometown of Cincinnati. On more than one occasion, people would remark to him that they had never heard Hebrew spoken with a Southern accent.

a common thread is that we are both Ashkenazi. Meanwhile, Alyssa’s husband Ed, also born and bred on Long Island, has never heard of this, and she never hears the end of it. Then, there’s Ed’s father, who says “chal-ley” instead of “chal-lah.” Actually, he says “hchall-ey,” like he never left the shtetl, but that’s another story.

Every year, Atlanta is flooded with more transplants, bringing with them their dialect and, hopefully, Fast-fortheir love of ward to last corned beef. As weekend, when Chef Cyndi Sterne a Northerner I happened to who has called be at a friend’s Atlanta home house in New for 20 years, I’m not only interested Jersey and was getting teased for in Southern customs but also commy Midwestern twang. Our converpletely embrace Southern cooking sation quickly turned to regional and love to put my own twist on the pronunciations – the proverbial “toJewish classics. may-to” / “to-mah-to” controversy. Except, with a table full of Northern and Southern Jews, it’s “lath-kuh” vs. “lat-key.”

1 cup water ¾-cup milk 3 large eggs 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (melt a few extra tablespoons separately to grease the pan) ½-teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour Ingredients (for the filling) ½-package of light or regular cream cheese or 3 to 4 ounces of mascarpone (at room temperature) 2 teaspoons lemon zest 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (can also add ½-teaspoon almond extract)

3. Drain the ricotta in a strainer. Beat the cream cheese or mascarpone with the drained ricotta. To make a very smooth filling, use a food processor. 4. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, salt and sugar, then mix until well-combined. If the mixture is too wet or runny, add finely crushed shortbread or graham cracker crumbs for “cheesecake” blintzes. 5. To assemble the blintzes, have a serving dish and plate ready. Place blintz brown side-down on the plate. Place 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling down the center. Roll the blintz around the filling and place on the serving dish. 6. Repeat with remaining filling and blintzes. Top each with crème fraiche or thick Greek yogurt sweetened with a touch of agave or honey. Add a dollop of blueberry or blackberry preserves, if desired.

¼-teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons sugar 15-ounces part-skim ricotta cheese

My answer is “new Jewish cuisine,” and if that doesn’t suffice for the inquirer, I simply explain that I am a Jewish Paula Deen.

Editor’s note: Cyndi Sterne is the owner of Hal’s Kitchen, a destination in Brookhaven for hands-on cooking experiences customized for corporate team-building and private events. G ATLA For IN OVER more info, email cyndi@halskitchen. com.

Dinner Reservations Suggested

1989 Cheshire Bridge Rd. Altanta GA 30324

404-876-1380 alfredosatlanta.com

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2. Pour the wet into the dry and whisk everything together to make a smooth batter. Let the batter rest while you make the filling (15 to 30 minutes).

IO

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

Ingredients (for the blintzes)

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the water, eggs and butter.

REG

My friend Alyssa, born and bred on Long Island, says “blintz-ah” when referring to a single blintz. I grew up hearing “blintz-ah,” so we tried to figure out if anyone from Alyssa’s family was from the Midwest. The closest we came to finding

So where does that put my specialty? Funny, it’s the first question I get when people find out that I cook professionally.

In honor of Alyssa’s delicious “blintz-ah” soufflé, I have created a deconstructed blintz. Although I remember my mother making hundreds of chicken or cheese blintzes for sisterhood functions, there’s just too much pressure to make them perfectly perfect.

YEARS AL

IN E

BY Cyndi Sterne

Directions

IS

CHEF CYNDI STERNE BLENDS STYLES

Recipe: The Deconstructed “Blintz-ah”

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Culinary Cultures Combine

SE R V

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AJT

food

Fresh Flavor SANDY SPRINGS’ BEST MEDITERRANEAN MENU

Staff Report

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fresh, natural and authentic approach is what sets apart Flavor Café and Bakery from competitors.

Owner and chef Peter Teimori has created a friendly casual restaurant that serves up fare free of additives, preservatives and minimally processed. He is focused on making healthy food equally delicious that is organic and all- natural. Flavor serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and all three menus are equally substantial. For breakfast, there are classic pancakes and waffles, all sorts of omelets and scrambles, and a grab-and-go menu of breakfast sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, the cuisine has a more Mediterranean flair with kabobs, falafel, baba ghanoush and much more offered. For appetizers, the mirza ghasemi, a smoky rich

blend of roasted eggplant, tomato, onion and garlic olive oil ($7), is a unique choice and can be accompanied by hummus or flavored yogurt dip. There are also several salads, including a delightful pear gorgonzola salad. As for entrees, there are 15 to choose from, including options of meat, vegetarian and seafood. There are also two stews: a duck confit dish and fish of the day. Finally, there are special holiday menus for Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Flavor also caters parties and makes wedding cakes; call (404) 2557402 for more information. As the positive reviews pile up on Yelp! and UrbanSpoon, more discover this hidden gem in Sandy Springs. Visit Flavor Café & Bakery at 236 Johnson Ferry Rd. and flavorcafebakery.com.

Ippolito’s Steps Up Partnership with AJFF DISCOUNT PRICES WITH FILM FEST TICKETS Staff Report

With an increased number of screenings at a wider variety of theatres – including the legendary Lefont as well as the UA North Point Market 8, both in close proximity to

the two participating Ippolito’s – attendees can cash in on the savings either before or after their film by selecting from a choice of three courses and a complimentary glass of wine (starting at $42 per couple). The participating locations can be reached via (770) 922-0781 (Holcomb Bridge) and (404) 256-3546 (Sandy Springs). For more information about each of the restaurants, as well as The Bocce Room and the restaurant’s on-site and off-site catering menu, please visit Ippolitos’ website at ippolitos.net.

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% OFF

TOTAL CHECK

Excludes Alchohol, Max Discount $20 - Sun-Thurs Only. Not Valid with other offers. Tax & 18% Gratuity will be added pre-discount. Not valid on holidays. Expires March 8, 2013

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

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nown for their famous garlic rolls and made-fromscratch Italian classics, Ippolito’s neighborhood Italian restaurant is once again partnering with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. This year, the restaurant is offering a special “fixed-price menu” at both the Sandy Springs and Holcomb Bridge locations for those holding tickets for upcoming AJFF shows.

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AJT

food

Making Smarter Beef Choices, Passover and Beyond TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR food BY Elizabeth Friedly Assistant Editor

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lies in the final stages. Frequently, a grain-fed cow is stuffed with a concentrated mix of corn, soy, grains and other supplements, plus hormones and antibiotics to speed up growth.

urns out watching what you eat may involve watching your food’s diet as well!

Many claim that to refrain from these practices is not only more ethical but also results in tastier meat.

Although it may seem like common sense, not until recently have consumers begun to question what is fed to livestock and how it might affect the animals’ health. The verdict can be summarized thusly: If the cattle are healthier, so are we.

“You get the real taste of meat; it comes through without any of these added hormones or steroids,” said Swerdlow. And in addition to introducing their new line of grassfed angus, Griller’s Pride is already in full swing preparing for Passover. When asked about their most popular item for the holiday, Swerdlow laughed.

“You get the real taste of meat; it comes through without any of these added hormones or steroids.”

Taking this into account, Atlanta’s own kosher meat provider, Griller’s Pride, now debuts its own grassfed beef products to the public. Foodies and the health-conscious alike have responded with enthusiasm, said company president Peter Swerdlow.

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The road to offering such a product wasn’t entirely easy. Swerdlow has been working on securing a reliable source of American grass-fed beef, free of hormones, antibiotics and steroids, almost since he launched his delivery service.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

“Up until now it’s been almost impossible,” said Swerdlow. “We’ve always been able to get the beef from Uruguay or Mexico. However, that beef is very tough, just because of the way they’re reared.”

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But thanks to a source in California, Griller’s Pride can now offer a more desirable option. Much of the tenderness of the meat is attributed to the treatment methods, such as weaning calves more gradually and limiting the number of cattle per acre so as to avoid over-grazing. “The cattle don’t have to dig down and eat the scraps of the grass, which they often do with the South American product,” said Swerdlow. “That makes a huge difference.” Your typical “grain-fed” cattle eat grass as well, but the difference

“Briskets. In terms of meat, it’s brisket without a question,” Swerdlow said. “Passover is very big for us.” He encourages customers to place orders as soon as possible in order to secure prices. Griller’s Pride will also offer an online grocery department for a variety of products, including dried fruit, blintzes and matzah balls.

Swerdlow, a native of South Africa, shared about the Passover traditions of his homeland, how things differed and how they are comparable to those in the U.S. “It’s very, very similar,” said Swerdlow. “You know, in South Africa, we don’t have Thanksgiving – so for the South African Jewish community, [Passover] is the one time that all the family gets together. Everyone comes home…it’s a very familyoriented holiday.” No matter your style of celebration or your preference in beef, Griller’s Pride seeks to simplify shopping by offering home delivery and discounted items. Serving the Atlanta Jewish community for nine years, they want to help you stay both healthy and kosher in 2013. Editor’s note: Visit grillerspride.com or call (770) 454-8108.


AJT

food

My Low-Fat Greek Answer to Ho-Hum Yogurt ON DOC’S ORDERS, I SEARCH FOR A SUITABLE SWEET BY RON FEINBERG Web Editor

I

So eating has been a challenge recently, especially finding food that is both good for me and good-tasting. My most recent discovery is a little gift from Greece, a perfect solution for my long-standing addiction to ice cream and other sweets. Yogurt has been around forever. It’s one of those trendy things that have been a staple in Europe for years. In its simplest form, it’s bland and disgusting, a pasty concoction that tastes like puke. Many foodie purists continue downing such glop with only a few nuts and fresh fruit to provide a little punch; go figure! On this side of the pond, it’s typically gussied up with sugar and flavorings and has become almost as popular – especially in its frozen form – as ice cream. The problem is that manufacturers don’t know when to stop with the sugar. They’re making the yogurt sweet and tasty, all the better to grab our money. My concern (and yours, too) is that most popular brands are now filled with the stuff I’m trying to get away from. But here’s the good news: There are some decent options, supremely tasty and velvety smooth without all the sugary baggage. Fage (pronounced “fa-yeh�) would be at the top of my list, a product offered up by the gods of Greece. OK,

perhaps a little overstated (and by the way, there’s a brand actually called Greek Gods). Still, I love this stuff. It’s sort of like soft-serve ice cream (think Dairy Queen), except packed with nutritional value. It’s one of several new brands of Greek yogurt – the others that come readily to mind are Chobani and Oikos – which have been taking over shelf space in recent months at local specialty shops and markets across metro Atlanta. Greek, it would seem, is now the trendy way to go when thinking yogurt. There really is a difference; it mostly has to do with how the product is manufactured. Unlike the fruity stuff that’s filled with sugar and watery whey, Greek yogurt is strained. The finished product is solid, smooth, filled with protein and a sour taste.

Because you’ve had enough gefilte fish.

While the numbers – carbs, sugar and calories – shout that this is the way to go, the taste is tough for those of us with a sweet tooth. It’s a problem easily solved, though: Fage can be mixed with a wide assortment of goodies including jellies and jams, nuts and cereal for crunch, or honey or Splenda for additional sweetness.

FEBRUARY 8 â–Ş 2013

’ve been avoiding s u g a r , carbs and fat for the last several months in an attempt to regain my boyish figure and health. I never really paid that much attention to what I was eating, but obviously it was all loaded with the bad stuff – now bits of it are doing backstrokes in my blood, and my doctor says it’s time I change my diet.

In just minutes, the creamy lusciousness of the yogurt and the tasty sweetness of the mixes offer up a euphonic blend good enough for a god – a Greek god!     

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FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013


AJT

arts & Life

Get Gypsy-fied Q & A WITH OCCIDENTAL GYPSY’S SCOTTIE KULMAN by John McCurdy

Managing Editor

First of all, I doubt you’ve seen a group with such a diverse repertoire. If you can name another band that does a fantastic rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as well as a touching original instrumental inspired by the story of Holocaust survivor Rudolf Vrba – plus a bunch of other happening gypsy pop tunes in between – well, color me impressed. Secondly, it’s not often enough that listeners are treated to a tight vocal harmony, foot-stomping rhythm or mean fiddle. All these elements, this New England quintet incorporates beautifully, and each member brings their personal influences (which range from grunge to jazz) to the table.

AJT: By going to Berklee University, you’re pretty much making the decision that you want music to be your life, your career. At what point did you know that that was what you wanted?

Scottie Kulman and Occidental Gypsy come to Steve’s on Feb. 15. PHOTO/Tim Carter

Third and finally, this will be the first time Occidental Gypsy has played in Georgia, and – besides a performance at Blowin’ Smoke BBQ in Savannah the night after the Steve’s gig – the guys “don’t know” when they’ll be back. In other words, catch them while you can! The AJT chatted with frontman Scottie Kulman to learn a bit more about the band’s background, inspirations and approach. Atlanta Jewish Times: Take me back to your musical beginning. Scottie Kulman: The man who would have been my uncle – my mother’s brother – sadly passed away when he was 16. I’m actually named for him. One thing about [my namesake] that’s cool is that he played guitar. So there was this old dusty guitar, could barely tune it up but looked really cool, always sitting in the house. So growing up, I identified with him – saw pictures of him, heard stories about him – and [the guitar] was sort of what was left behind for me. It felt natural to pick it up.

SK: I guess you still wonder about it sometimes [laughs]. It’s definitely a long journey, but it’s my passion, and I feel blessed to know that for myself. I think there are a lot of people wandering the earth wondering what their life’s purpose, or their calling, is. So I’m incredibly blessed for knowing that at a really young age and sticking to it.

tal Gypsy Jazz Quartet.” It existed prior to my coming on board, and they pretty much stuck to Django [Reinhardt] tunes and doing covers of some songs as gypsy versions. Then, when I came on, the proposition became to make our own music and make a record. So that really helped us determine our sound and get started. AJT: Finally, what is it that you hope audience members feel and take away from the concert at Steve’s? SK: Well, I really hope they take away a t-shirt and a CD...[laughs]. In all seriousness, we pride ourselves on making sure that everyone leaves with a smile. That’s a big thing about

the music we play – it’s charming, upbeat, positive and energizing. It’s acoustic, so it’s easy on the ears, but it’s energized by the gypsy rhythms and excitement. It’s a really fun mix for people to enjoy, and – I don’t know if I can offer a moneyback guarantee [laughs] – but I do think that anyone who comes is really going to enjoy themselves. My plan is to have fun; we’ll be having fun on stage, and that energy should definitely translate to the audience. Editor’s note: Visit steveslivemusic. com for tickets to the Feb. 15 show; visit occidentalgypsy.com to sample or purchase the band’s new album, “Over Here.”

And in terms of going to school for it…coming from a Jewish family, everyone’s supposed to be a doctor or a lawyer [laughs], so the least I could do for my poor grandmother was go to college for music. But I don’t regret a moment of it; it was a great experience, not to mention I met the other guys in the band through school. AJT: I read the “origin story” of Occidental Gypsy on the website – how you and Brett [Feldman, on guitar] met on a park bench. So from there, in terms of meshing together and finding these different parts – it seems almost like it was meant to be. SK: It’s hard to call it: Chicken or egg, if it was meant to be or if it just worked out. It’s just one of those things that we’ll decide when we write our memoirs at the end of our lives, how it all worked out [laughs]. We’re definitely an interesting and eclectic mix of backgrounds and personalities, culturally and musically. I think that diversity really adds to our sound and our image. In terms of the changes, where the band started and where it’s gotten to, it’s quite different. We started out as a quartet, called the “Occiden-

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

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rust me: You want to see Occidental Gypsy at Steve’s Live Music on Fri., Feb. 15.

The first song I played on it was “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, and I was addicted from there.

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AJT

arts & life

“The Law in These Parts” AJFF REVIEW by Elizabeth Friedly Assistant Editor

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he Law in These Parts” is an investigative documentary by Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz on the legal evolution of the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite what dry connotations the terms “legal” or “law” often conjure, the film is as much about the intricate emotional and personal consequences of the words on paper. Alexandrowicz does not cast a favorable light on the leaders shaping the aforementioned policies in the Israeli government. A series of interviews with influential lawyers, judges and generals in power during the territories’ formative years, the work delves into the motivation and reasoning behind landmark decisions made . Subjects sit behind a lone wooden desk in an otherwise empty space, some visibly uncomfortable; each is a specimen under the microscope. We never see Alexandrowicz’s face, but we hear his voice, a shadowy presence on the other side of the conversation. At times simply bare, the green screen behind interviewees is alternately filled with footage of integral events projected onto the surface.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

In ways, “Law” feels like a commentary on the art of documentary-

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making itself. More than once, Alexandrowicz disrupts the narrative in order to remind the audience that it is just that, a constructed story. Filmmakers control what we see or don’t see. He reminds us of this by noting mid-film that, while he could have easily contacted one of the Palestinian women formerly on trial, he declined because it didn’t suit the purpose of his film. What’s more, the camera work doesn’t adhere to traditional boundaries. Filming doesn’t stop with the conclusion of an interview; it instead continues rolling before and after. We see the camera equipment, the subjects unhooking their mics, speaking about coffee plans and walking away.

AJFF Opening Gala Garners Hundreds VIP EVENT AT COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

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tormy weather and an active tornado watch didn’t stop folks from turning out for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala. Between live music courtesy the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival; a variety of delicious tastings cooked up by several great chefs Israeli and local; and the opportunity to bid in the silent auction for exclusive packages and items from many vendors; attendees had plenty of reasons to brave the rain. A special “red carpet” entrance area set an upscale showbiz mood from the moment guests walked into the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. VIPs enjoyed schmoozing, shopping and snacking in and around the Kessel D. Stelling Ballroom. Among the restaurants participating were Aja, Alma Cocina, Bistro Niko, Davio’s, Goldfish, Lison, Lure, Pricci and South City Kitchen. Highlights of the auction included many luxury hotel and resort stays; a trip to the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards; a Sonoma VIP Wine Experience; and a special VIP parking space at Lefont Theatre. The first screening of the Festival, “Hava Nagila: The Movie,” followed the reception. Guest speakers included the film’s director and producer, Roberta Grossman, and WABE 90.1 FM’s Lois Reitzes.

In fact, “Law” opens with silhouettes of the crew making last-minute changes to the set: an uninhabited chair and desk sitting silently in the center of the bustle. This is a powerful film, although highly divisive; “Law” makes its disapproval of the conflict known. Alexandrowicz has a very specific piece of the story to tell, focusing on the murky, dangerous complexities of politics. It isn’t a sunny perspective, but instead a gloomy, twisted portrait of the darkest parts of the dispute. Editor’s note: Visit ajff.org for a full schedule of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival movies.

AJFF Opening Gala VIPs pose on the “red carpet.” PHOTOS/John McCurdy


AJT

arts & life

Kosher Movies: Chronicle (2012) PRIVILEGE AND RESPONSIBILITY THAT COME WITH POWER by RABBI HERBERT COHEN AJT CONTRIBUTOR

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he unexpected violence at Newtown, Conn. sparked much controversy about legislating tougher gun control laws. And beyond that, there has been much discussion about mental illness and the role it plays in these nightmare scenarios involving children being murdered by a depressed or belligerent teenager. How can we identify the loner, the mentally unbalanced person, before he acts out his violent fantasies? The movie “Chronicle” doesn’t answer any such questions, but as a former high school principal for many years, I can tell you that the alienation and loneliness of Seattle high-school teenager Andrew Detmer depicted in this dark, disturbing, and profanityladen film ring true.

ing the video camera enables him to distance himself from the sordid life he is actually living and allows him to create his own reality. The crux of the film is the encounter of Andrew and his friends Matt and Steve with a strange substance that gives all of them telekinetic powers. At first, the use of these special gifts is a game, but they soon realize that it is a gift that can be used for good or bad; to create or to destroy; to help or to harm. Over time, Andrew becomes more isolated from everyone and hostile to those who make fun of him. Away from friends and family, he begins to see himself as an “apex predator,” someone who feels no guilt for using his power to inflict pain on those who

hurt him. He ultimately decides to steal and physically hurt other people to accomplish his personal goals, which to him are reasonable and just. As Andrew’s power grows, he uses it more to advance his own personal agenda, and people feel his wrath. Watching his transformation reminded me of the many people I have observed in positions of power. The best of such people work selflessly for the community with no personal agenda, while the worst see leadership and the power that goes along with it as an opportunity to seek payback, to control and to intimidate. It can be very scary for one who falls within their orbit. The Talmud tells us in many places that the possession of power brings with it responsibilities. The

classic example is King David: He does not seek kingship; rather, it is thrust upon him, and he struggles to leave a positive legacy. He is not perfect, but he tries to be loyal to G-d and beneficent to his subjects. All he wants is for his people to actualize their spiritual potential, to be all they can be. David understands that power may corrupt and that it is wise to temper power with an abiding sense of community responsibility. The truth is that power is neutral. It is our job to harness it for good. Rabbi Cohen, former principal of Yeshiva Atlanta, now resides in Beit Shemesh, Israel. Visit koshermovies. com for more of his Torah-themed film reviews.

I recall vividly a student in my school who always was absorbed in her own world, who had very little meaningful connection to her peers and who generally seemed depressed. About five years after she graduated, I read in the newspaper that she had been murdered. I never learned the details, but her tragic end was not surprising to me. She was the victim, not the perpetrator, but her social isolation set the stage for a turbulent future.

To those who interact with him in a pleasant way, Andrew is a decent guy; but under the quiet façade is an angry young man poised to do terrible things. To combat loneliness, the young man buys an expensive camera and takes it everywhere to record his life; he is obsessed with filming his day-to-day existence, which is very unhappy.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

The character of Detmer in “Chronicle” is even more disturbing, as we can actually trace the evolution of a high school loner into a fullfledged murderer.

His mother is dying of cancer, his father yells at him and beats him and the kids at school bully him. Us-

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AJT

education

GHA Hosts Breakfast to Honor B’not Sherut Supporters KFIR, NAHUM BRING ISRAEL TO LIFE FOR STUDENTS BY Leah Levy

AJT Contributor

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FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

he Greenfield Hebrew Academy recently hosted a breakfast to honor the supporters of the B’not Sherut program,

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which brings to the school young Israeli volunteers who have chosen to perform one or two years of national service in lieu of time in the IDF. These young women serve in many different capacities: working in education (including special edu-

cation and helping at-risk teens), ad- vious experience in the U.S. was a family trip when ministration and she was in middle law, medical asschool, but she sistance (includknew that she ing hospitals, gewanted to do a riatrics, nursing year of national homes and health service overseas. clinics), internal security, disad “And I wantvantaged commued Atlanta the nities, immigrant most because I assistance, enviheard it was a ronmental issues great community and other related Ateret Kfir (left) and Linor Nahum give and I felt like it non-profit organi- students at GHA a direct connection to was a good fit,” Israel. zations. Kfir said. PHOTO/courtesy GHA Then, after “You have to one year of serbe really detervice within Israel, the best of the mined to go overseas, because it’s a B’not Sherut may volunteer for an very long process, with all kinds of additional year of service in the Di- tests and interviews and preparaaspora countries. They extend their tions before you are accepted,” Natime of service and travel far from hum added. home and are a precious gift to the Sponsors of the program have communities they serve. been delighted with the accomplish GHA’s breakfast was attended by ments of the B’not Sherut. Stan Sunseveral of the sponsors who fund the shine knows how significant a task it highly successful program (now in its is to bring their love for Israel to life second year) as well as by staff mem- as Ateret and Linor do every day. bers and GHA’s own B’not Sherut, “Israel is the pivot point around Ateret Kfir and Linor Nahum. which worldwide Judaism revolves, “We can teach our children about and studying it is very different than Israel — and we do — but our B’not meeting it,” Sunshine said. Sherut teach them to live Israel,” said GHA Head of School Rabbi Dikla Birnbaum added, “Children Lee Buckman.“Of course, they do a who have never been there will think great deal to help our students and of Israel, and they’ll see Ateret and our school. They arrange special pro- Linor.” grams and fun activities; they tutor Ateret responded, “We try to students in Ivrit; and they help out bring happiness and spirit to everystudents, teachers, and staff. thing we do. We want to show them “But they do more [too]. They the other side of Israel, the side that don’t just come for a year and disap- doesn’t make the news.” pear from our lives; they keep that In addition to their work at GHA, connection, they make the kids feel the B’not Sherut are also leaders of like they have friends in Israel.” B’nei Akiva, a religious Zionist youth Kfir and Nahum have been close club whose local branch is headquarfriends since high school and were tered at the Young Israel of Toco delighted to have the opportunity to Hills. work together here in Atlanta. The Supporter Dr. Jay Cinnamon latter, from Shoham, completed her summed up the impact of the pair first year of service in Akko (Acre); both within the walls of GHA and she taught Jewish identity and val- without. ues in a secular elementary school in the mornings and worked with “They bring a spark, a love for Isat-risk youth in the afternoons. She rael and for the children; and that had never been to the United States love is incredibly powerful,” he said. before arriving last year and cheer- “You can’t get that from a textbook – fully credits her impressive English only from people.” skills to “high school classes and the movies.” Leah Levy is a paraprofessional at Kfir is from Petach Tikva and spent her first year of service in Jerusalem working with developmentally disabled teens. Her only pre-

GHA and the author of “The Waiting Wall,” a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for 2010.


AJT

education

Temple Kol Emeth Renames Initiative CONGREGATION HONORS SUZETTE COHEN For the Atlanta Jewish Times

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emple Kol Emeth (TKE) honored the life and contributions of longtime member and teacher Suzette Felsberg Cohen by re-naming its ecumenical outreach and adult education initiative in her memory. Rabbi Erin Boxt will serve as dean of students for the program.

of Shalom B’Harim in Dahlonega, where her husband Mitch Cohen serves as spiritual leader. Her other community activities included tutoring, leading trips to Israel with interfaith couples and leading a mother’s circle group of non-Jewish women raising Jewish children. “When she worked with the [New York-based] Jewish Outreach Institute,” said Mitch Cohen, “Suzette was instrumental in developing the mother’s circle groups here in Atlanta, which spread to other cities in the country.”

The curriculum for the Suzette Felsberg Cohen Outreach and Adult The idea Education Initiative includes introduction to Judaism classes, advanced Jewish study and interfaith education to illuminate and underscore an appreciation of Judaism and its customs for congregants, residents of Cobb County and the general community. The Initiative kicked off activities with a 12-student conversion program beginning on Jan. 15, which Suzette Cohen, OBM would have been Cohen’s 55th birthday. “Reaching out to the community and providing the services we feel that people need is very important to us,” said Rabbi Boxt of the core purpose of the initiative. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish or not Jewish – black, white or whatever, we’re all equal. “At TKE, we provide opportunities for people to connect spiritually to G-d and a community. Though our services are partly in Hebrew and follow a Jewish liturgy, we are extremely satisfied and comfortable with people who come in here to connect to us whether they’re Jewish or not, [and] this was also important to Suzette. Our congregation is 50 percent interfaith in some way, shape or form.” A graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Life, Cohen also received a master’s degree in Judaic Studies from the Siegel College of Jewish Studies. She served for many years as lead kindergarten teacher at both TKE in Marietta and Gesher L’Torah in Alpharetta.

Additionally, she was a member

for renaming the Initiative occurred when Rabbi Boxt and Rabbi Steven Lebow paid a condolence call to Cohen’s husband on the Sunday evening after she passed away.

“We were talking about the unbelievable influence Suzette has had on the community here in Atlanta, from her interfaith work to her Jewish educational work to the generations of children she had taught in kindergarten in our religious school here,” Mitch Cohen said. “She had such an amazing effect on our community, which was evident through the 60- plus people at her funeral and the dozen or so rabbis present. “As she was a member of our congregation and we were embarking on this brand-new adult education and outreach initiative it just seemed right.” Although he will not officially be a part of the initiative, Mitch hopes to one day teach classes in the program. Regardless, he believes that his wife’s energy, enthusiasm and commitment will be felt in the classes and the community. “It’s so sad because I don’t think she realized how many people she touched,” he explained.

Editor’s note: Contributions can be made to the Suzette Felsberg Cohen Outreach and Adult Education Initiative at Temple Kol Emeth, 1415 Old Canton Road, (770) 973-3533 or kolemeth.net.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

BY ALLEN RABINOWITZ

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FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013


AJT

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Kayla’s First Cut is for a Cause PRESCHOOLER DONATES HAIR IN MEMORY OF NEWTOWN VICTIMS

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pstein School preschooler Kayla Furie made her first-ever haircut special by donating her trimmed locks to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in memory of those lost on Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.

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Women’s Heart Health

Raising Awareness, Empowering Women, and Saving Lives

Movie Madness at Etz Chaim EVENT BENEFITS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

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he Department of Education at Congregation Etz Chaim will host its annual fundraiser on March 2, starting at 7:30 p.m in the synagogue’s Hammer-Tritt Social Hall. This year’s theme is “Movie Madness” – guests can come dressed as their favorite film star, nosh, dance and bid to support the kids! Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served at the event (ages 21 and up). Entertainment will be provided by DJ Neezy Entertainment by Ben Needle. Discount ticket prices are available for those ordering in advance; visit etzchaim.net/ preschool_events_registration.aspx or pick up an order form at the Etz Chaim main office to purchase. For more information or to sponsor the event, contact Debbie Deutsch via (770) 977-3384 or debbie@etzchaim.net.

Sunday, February 17, 2013 | 2:15 pm to 4:30 pm Congregation Beth Shalom | 5303 Winters Chapel Road | Atlanta

Come learn the FACTS... the next life you save may be your own! Heart Disease continues to be the #1 killer of all women in the U.S. Speakers: Nanette Wenger, MD

Prof. of Medicine in the Div. of Cardiology at the Emory Univ. School of Medicine

Marsha Hildebrand, RN WomenHeart Champion and a woman at risk for heart disease.

This program is FREE and open to the entire community! Refreshments will be served

Sponsored by Greater Atlanta Hadassah and Cong. Beth Shalom Sisterhood

RSVP to Hadassah | 678.443.2961 | atlanta@hadassah.org

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

TOP LEFT: Kayla Before TOP RIGHT: Kayla Getting the cut BOTTOM RIGHT: Kayla with her hair BOTTOM LEFT: Kayla After PHOTOS/courtesy Furie family

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AJT

MATZAH BALL SOUP FOR THE SOUL

Rules, Both Convenient and Questionable DO, THEN HEAR, THEN CHOOSE BY RACHEL LAVICTOIRE AJT Columnist

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ast week, as with many other times since I left for school in August, I was left with a decision to make by myself. It was nothing major. My sorority was hosting a “bonding” event to provide my pledge class an opportunity to get to know the Kappa Kappa Gamma sophomores. It was on a Wednesday night, starting at 8 p.m. Now, on Wednesdays my schedule is more than a little hectic. I have class from 10 a.m. to 11, from noon until 2:30 p.m. and again from 3 to 5:30. And on that particular Wednesday, I had a meeting at 6 in the evening, so it wasn’t until 6:30 that I started to walk back to my dorm. To protect myself from the whipping wind, I put my head down and shoved my hands deep into my pockets. The whole walk back, I was debating whether or not I would go to the event. My internal conflict went like this:

Yes: I love everyone I’ve met so far, so it will be fun. No: It’s really cold. Yes: There are so many girls I haven’t met yet, and I really should get to know some other people. No: I have no idea what time it will be over, and I still have homework to do tonight.

Yes: When I decided to be in a sorority, I knew it would be a time commitment, and it’s disrespectful to bail on people. No: Really, there are 49 freshman, so they won’t really notice if I’m not there. I picked up food to-go and went back to my room. I put my backpack down, opened up Hulu on my computer, put my food out and sat down in my chair – my decision was made, I wasn’t going back outside. Even with my mind made up, though, I had to survey my floor. I found 10 or so kids lounging around in one room, and I said to everyone, “Tell me it’s OK for me to not go to my sorority event tonight.” I know I’m 18, and I know it was a small decision, but the truth is that I struggle – as I imagine many do – with the ultimate paradox of growing up: I hate rules, but I’m scared of freedom. I don’t like being told what to do, but when I choose for myself, I crave the reassurance that someone agrees with me. Speaking of rules, this week’s Torah portion is called Mishpatim, which can be translated to mean either “sentences” or “laws.” It’s in this week’s parshah (the one before Moses receives the Torah) that G-d lays out 53 of the 613 commandments.

Some of the laws concern justice:

“One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death

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

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

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

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Friday, February 8, 2013 Light Candles at: 5:56 pm Shabbat, February 9, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 6:53 pm

Friday, February 15, 2013 Light Candles at: 6:03 pm Shabbat, February 16, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 7:00 pm Friday, February 22, 2013 Light Candles at: 6:09 pm Shabbat, February 23, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 7:06 pm Friday, March 1, 2013 Light Candles at: 6:15 pm Shabbat, March 2, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 7:11 pm

(Exodus 21:13).” Some, however, are more arbitrary: “The choicest of the first fruits of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Lord, your G-d. You shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19).” With these 53 laws, the Israelites are instructed on how to treat strangers, how to punish criminals, how to give sacrifices to G-d, etc. Many people first look to the nature of these mitzvahs: There are 23 laws detailing things to do and 30 commanding things not to do. More well-versed scholars, though, look at the mitzvot in three categories: mishpatim, chukkim and eidot. Mishpatim (“laws”) are considered to be the logical rules – the ones you would expect to exist in any society. These include punishment, the owning of a slave, and other judicial issues. Chukkim (“decrees”) are on the other end of the spectrum. These are the laws that some see as irrational and random, like the laws of keeping kosher. Finally, the eidot (“testimonials”) are those divine rules that have more of a logical reasoning. An example would be the law to eat matzah on Passover in order to remember our ancestors in Egypt. In these chapters in the Torah, G-d lays out law upon law, and when He is done, the Israelites say, “All that the Lord spoke we will do and we will hear (Exodus 24:7).” If you’ve begun to pick up on my analysis, then you might have noticed the abnormality in the Israelites saying they will “do” first and “hear” second. It seems more logical for people to hear a law, consider its validity and morality, and then decide to implement it. However, the Israelites do not respond as such. I suppose it’s possible to criticize them, to judge them as ignorant for blindly following laws that they may not agree with. I see it differently, though. I like to imagine that it’s actually a three-step process: Do, hear and then choose. As a “Reform” Jew, there are many laws that I don’t observe. I eat shrimp, use my phone on Saturdays, kiss boys and wear shorts. I’m proud to say, though, that all of those are

choices. I have recognized that, personally, I don’t feel more connected to G-d by passing on a formal lobster dinner, and I don’t think I distance myself from Judaism when I hug a boy good-bye.

I have, however, thought about it.

Today, Jews are very much divided with labels. We have the Chasidim, the Orthodox, the Modern Orthodox, the Conservative, the Reform, the Reconstructionist and Jews of many other denominations that I haven’t yet heard of. Each branch has defined a set of laws deemed significant, as well as a set of laws found culturally irrelevant. But I struggle with the rigidity; if you’re a “Reform” Jew who chooses to keep kosher, are you still Reform? If you’re “Conservative” but read your Nook on Shabbat instead of a physical book, are you still Conservative? Can an “Orthodox” Jew wear a t-shirt in the summer and still be Orthodox? It’s much easier to observe the laws in your own community – to do what everyone does and to avoid what everyone else avoids. What if, though, you tried to do, then hear, then choose? Observe a law, listen to the reactions, and ask yourself how you feel about your decision. Do you feel uncomfortable? Did someone get upset with you? Did someone praise you? Thus, choose: Is this a law you will abide? Rules make things easy. We’re told to, we do, G-d is happy. We’re told not to do, we don’t do, G-d is happy. But at 18 years old, living in a dorm room 600 miles away from the mouths that tell me what to do, easy routes rarely exist. My current rationalization is as follows: G-d is happy with me, so long as I am making an effort to connect – whether that’s praying at Friday night services or writing this article on Sunday. I have done and I have heard. And yet, as confident as I am with that decision, my instinct is to call every rabbi I know and ask, “Is that OK?” Rachel LaVictoire (rlavictoire@wustl. edu) is a graduate of the Davis Academy and Westminster High School.


AJT

d’var torah

Parashat Mishpatim THEM’S THE RULES

Temple Sinai and the Atlanta Rabbinical Association

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recall growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio and attending religious school at my synagogue. I didn’t much care, at the time, for the additional commitment on Sunday morning to anything referred to as “school,” and I frequently tried to persuade my parents that I did not need to attend any further.

The Torah itself brings us back to the moment when Moses, tired and hungry, brought the text from the heavens to the people. Year-in and year-out, we find ourselves staring not only at that physi-

Around the time that I hit the third grade, I adopted a new routine for my religious school attendance: I would spend the first half-hour or so in the classroom, enjoying snack and contributing to the weekly tzedakah collection. Then, I would begin to disrupt the flow of the class, almost always through talking with my neighbors, getting up out of my seat or offering responses to questions that, if not appropriate, at least generated a laugh from my classmates (and consternation from the teachers). Within a short amount of time of beginning such a disturbance, I would be invited to either sit in the hall for a few moments or I would be sent to the principal’s office. Thus, I slowly learned: Rules are not always something to which we look forward. They do not always serve as a comfort to us, and indeed we traditionally spend a large part of our childhood and adolescence challenging them. And we certainly do not look kindly upon being burdened with additional rules, especially not all at once. Nevertheless, in our Torah portion for this week, Mishpatim, Moses ascends Mount Sinai, G-d passes him the new rules and laws for the community and Moses brings them back down to an agreeable people. It would have been all of the Israelites against one man putting down new rules. How easy it would have been to overpower him, to throw him aside and continue living as they had been in the wilderness. Instead, they responded with one voice: “All the words which the Lord has spoken, we will do.” According to our tradition, Moses responded by immediately writ-

cal reminder of our commitment to the law handed down to our community, but we also read that law over and over again. And each and every Shabbat, we stand…we stand together at Sinai. We stand together, amidst G-d and the people – our people, the people of Israel. On this particular Shabbat, we stand and celebrate life

and joy, and also that an old man once climbed up a mountain, alone, and changed the world forever. Editor’s note: Rabbi Bradley Levenberg is a rabbi at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs and a member of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association.

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  

  

 



 





   

 

 



 



FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

BY Rabbi Bradley Levenberg

ing down the words of G-d. To this day, we keep in our midst a physical reminder of that Sinai moment: our Torah.



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AJT

what’s happening

Fri., Feb. 8

Splash into Shabbat, at MJCCA’s indoor pool; children will meet the swim teachers, play games and create a Shabbat craft. Fri., Feb. 8, 5 p.m. Free. MJCCA’s Zaban Park. brian.glusman@atlantajcc.org. Friday Night Fever, service followed by mystical insights and stories, bartender and cocktails. Fri., Feb. 8, 6 p.m. Free for members and nonmembers. Congregation Beth Tefillah. (404) 843-2464. CDT Fourth Grade Shabbat Dinner, all fourth grade students and parents with clergy. Bring side item of vegetable, dessert or drink. Fri., Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. Congregation Dor Tamid. RSVP to religiousschool@dortamid. com. CNT Scout Shabbat, patches will be given to all registered Scouts and Scouters; please wear uniforms. Fri., Feb. 8, 7 p.m. Congregation Ner Tamid. Registration info TBA. info@ mynertamid.org. Sat., Feb. 9 OVS Scout Shabbat, Saturday morning services and a celebration of Scoutmaster Josiah V. Benator’s 78 years of scouting. Sat., Feb. 9, 9:15 a.m. Congregation Or VeShalom. jvbenator@juno.com. Havdalah for the Sole with the MJCCA and the Total Health Fitness Department; an evening of foot massage, fun, and friends. Sat., Feb. 9, 7 p.m. $30/person. Treat Your Feet on Buford Highway. lora.sommer@ atlantajcc.org. GHA 60th Birthday Bash, with performer Avner the Eccentric, comedy and mime entertainment; dessert served afterwards. Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m. $18/adults, $10/children, free for ages 5 and under. tickets.ghacademy.org. Gala Dinner & Auction with honorees Nava & Ron Alkalay, Sherry Kornheiser, Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott and Hollee & Steven Parker. Sat., Feb. 9. Chabad of Cobb. (770) 565-4412.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

Sun., Feb. 10

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Arts and Crafts Fair, 10 percent of all purchases donated to Hadassah. Sun., Feb. 10, 12 p.m. Decatur Market and Gallery. For info, (404) 3250340 or mtscopushadassah@aol.com. Etz Aviv Hadassah’s Crazy Hats and Gloves Brunch, prizes for the wildest attire. Sun., Feb. 10, 12:30 p.m. $10 couvert. Private residence. (770) 3167076. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Expo, resource con-

necting parents with vendors. Sun., Feb. 10, 1 p.m. Alpharetta Marriott. Info at atlantapartyconnection.com. Chaya Mushka Children’s House Main Event, dinner, live and silent auction and open bar. Honoring Phil and Allison Cuba, Mandy Rubin and Tiran Avdar. Sun., Feb. 10, 6:30 p.m. Congregation Beth Tefillah. (404) 8432464. Hamantashen Party, Congregation Ariel Rosh Chodesh Ladies’ Night Out, making delicious hamantashen. Sun., Feb. 10, 7 p.m. $5/person. Private residence. RSVP to jsirota@hotmail.com “God’s Children” Film Viewing, purchase tickets for sold-out movie with the Ketura Group of Greater Atlanta Hadassah. Sun., Feb. 10, 8 p.m. $12/ person. LeFont Theater. For info or tickets, email sfparks@emory.edu. Mon., Feb. 11 JF&CS Job Fair, 75 positions available within Comcast. Mon., Feb. 11. JF&CS. For info: (678) 393-7736 or comcast.com/careers. Tues., Feb. 12 Sisterhood Baking, every Tuesday in February. Bakers get lunch for a buck and a chance to win a dozen burekas. Tues., Feb. 12. Place orders for burekas by emailing emmeyer1101@ gmail.com. “Got A Middle School Student?” learn about ALEF Fund Scholarships at an informal coffee chat for Dor Tamid parents. Tues., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Private residence. RSVP to (404) 917-2500, ext. 117 or rosearkin@weberschool.org. Wed., Feb. 13 “The Last of the Ethiopian Jews” lecture, ‘Reaching Their Dream of Living in the Holy Land’ by exhibition artist Ilan Ossendryver. Wed., Feb. 13, 7 p.m. $5/person. Free for ages under 12 or members. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. museum. ogelthorpe.edu. Tenenbaum Lecture, with speaker Professor Norman Stillman,“When Arabic was a Jewish Language.” Wed., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. Free to public. Michael C. Carlos Museum reception hall. (404) 633-1737. Thur., Feb. 14 Job Networking Meeting with speaker Judi Adams. Thurs., Feb. 14, 7 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom. (770) 399-5300.


AJT

MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE A BLESSING

Gladys Pollack

89, OF ATLANTA

Gladys Pollack of Atlanta died on Jan. 28, 2013. Gladys was born in Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 25, 1923 to Joseph and Sadie Grebler. She graduated from Girls High and started her career writing advertising copy for a Brooklyn-based radio station. She met Morris Pollack at a Halloween dance in 1943, and the couple married shortly thereafter, in 1944. Morris passed away in 1982. Gladys was the mother of three children: Laura Katz of Sacramento, Calif.; Elliot, who passed away in 2002; and Jody of Norcross, Ga. She was the grandmother to Andy Katz, a pediatrician in Sacramento; Amy Kenigsberg, owner of a marketing company in Ma’ale Shomrom, Israel; Cindy Pollack, Software Consultant in Norcross; and Rebecca Pollack, a student at Georgia Southern University. She was great-grandmother to Juliet Katz of Sacramento and Gilad, Matan and Sammy Kenigsberg in Israel. Gladys took evening college classes and progressed from a city clerk to an assistant accountant for the City of New York, managing the books for daycare centers throughout Manhattan. She retired to New Jersey in 1978. After Morris passed, she went to visit Laura in Houston and there met and married Abe Frankfort. They had 10 good years of marriage until Abe passed. Gladys moved to Atlanta in 2000 and lived at the Jewish Tower. She was the “Sunshine Lady” and made her mark in the community. She had her time on the big screen when she was asked to participate in the filming of a trailer for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. She wore her trademark rainbow sweater and said “I made it myself” when asked if the films being featured were any good. Gladys looked at her life like chapters in a book. There was the student Gladys, the young wife, the mother, the city worker, the retiree, the widow, the newlywed the second time around, and the grandmother and great-grandmother. She took on life headfirst and accepted and overcame all challenges. She was a feisty free spirit who did what she wanted when she wanted and on her terms. She was an awesome role model and will be sorely missed. The family greatly appreciates all the prayers and good wishes. Donations can be made to Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, yourtoolsforliving.org/donate. A graveside service was held Jan. 30, 2013 at Mt. Golda Cemetery in Huntington, N.Y. Sign online guestbook at edressler.com. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.

Norman A. Weitz Norman A. Weitz was born on Oct. 24, 1919 to Rebecca and Israel David Weitz of Savannah, Ga. The family moved to Atlanta in 1935, at which point Norman began to work for his father’s dress business while attending Boy’s High School. Norman married Mitzi Hirsch of Atlanta in 1940, and the couple had a wonderful 64 years of marriage until her passing in 2004. After proudly serving his country in the Pacific during World War II, Norman returned to Atlanta and started Carla Gay Dress Company, which he ran until his retirement in 1982. Family was very important to him, as he was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Norman had a passion for golf and fishing and was a gentleman in all respects with kindness and compassion toward all he knew. Norman is survived by his devoted children: Carla (Arthur) Silver, Jill (Jeff) Vantosh, Brad (Debbie) Weitz and Greg (Aletta) Weitz; grandchildren: Lance, Ryan and Darren Silver, Beth (Kenny Richards) Vantosh, Aaron (Katherine) Vantosh, Travis (Carol) Weitz, Taylor Weitz, Mari (Spencer) Krane and Davis Weitz; and great-grandchildren: Ansley and Hannah Cate Silver, Max Van Richards and Libba Weitz. The family cannot express how much they appreciate the love and kindness of his devoted caregiver over the past seven years, Peter Nganga. An online guestbook is available at edressler.com. Donations can be made to The William Breman Jewish Home, 3150 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, wbjh. org; Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, aasynagogue.org; or the charity of your choice. Graveside service was held at 1 p.m., Tues., Jan. 29, 2013 at Greenwood Cemetery with Rabbi Neil Sandler officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

93, OF ATLANTA

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JEWISH PUZZLER by David Benkof

Across 1. Country in N. Africa 4. Purim mo. often - but not in 2013 7. Was indebted to a Shylock 11. Month before Nisan 12. Former Portland mayor Katz 13. Sesame snack 15. City east of Tel Aviv 17. Gazillions 18. “___ l’dodi v’dodi li” (“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”) 19. On edge 21. Ben ___ Chai (Sephardi halachist) 22. “Halachic ___” (Soloveitchik essay) 23. They’re used to make shtreimels 24. Give the show ___: criticize harshly 27. Hermon or Sinai: Abbr. 28. Biblical enemy of Israel 30. Nightclub singer Lane 33. He created Ben-Canaan 36. Tractate about daily sacrifices 38. Street ___ (believability) 39. “Help me ___ Wan Kenobi - You’re my only hope!” (Carrie Fisher line in “Star Wars”) 40. Columbia U. historian Baron 41. Kind of Orthodox Jew 43. ___ B’rith Youth Organization 45. ___ Broflovski (Jewish lad on “South Park”)

46. Barris and Schumer 48. UAL competitor 50. Alain’s girlfriend 51. Narrow shoe size 53. ___ Ba’Omer 56. Brooks of “Young Frankenstein” 58. Shep ___ (Beam with pride) 60. Alma mater of former Sen. George Allen 61. “Am ___?” (“Have you been waiting for me?”) 64. Morning prayer 66. Actress Lake (“Hairspray”) 67. Arguments against 68. Havdalah liquid, often 69. “Flee, bee!” 70. ___ Hasharon 71. Evian water?

Leaf” 10. Movie buff’s collection 11. Colorful artist Yaacov 12. Anti-nuke scientist Mordechai 14. Like Jews from E. Europe 16. Hair piece? 20. ___ Suf (The Red Sea)

25. Israel critic Buchanan 26. State with about 6,000 Jews 27. Steak order 28. Jordan and Syria (but not Egypt) are part of it 29. Rub out

Last week’s answers

Down 1. Conservative rabbi and rabbinic trainer Lewittes 2. 1987 Tony-winning actress for “Broadway Bound” 3. Elijah of Vilna, for short 4. ___ London, socialist Jew elected to Congress 5. Songs for Sills 6. Shofar sources 7. Raised-eyebrow remarks 8. She served in WWII 9. Walter Matthau’s costar and director in “A New

CARE GIVER CNA cert. seeking elderly or childcare pos. 20 yrs of exp incl. kosher hit. Excellent, reputable ref. within Jewish community. Call Kim 404-771-7114

FEBRUARY 8 ▪ 2013

Certified CNA w/ 12 yrs experience caring for elderly. Excellent references available. Melanie Roberts 678-683-7050

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30. “Hogan’s Heroes” exclamation 31. Bric-a-___ 32. Torah portion about the splitting of the Red Sea 34. Reiner and Morrow 35. Solomon ___ Gabirol 37. Anonymous John or Jane 42. 601, one way 44. Stern and Mizrahi 47. “Thirtysomething” actor Olin 49. Prepare for HaMotzi 51. “Gesundheit!” prompter 52. Lend ___ (assist) 53. 1969 Medicine Nobelist Salvador ___ 54. ___ Malkeinu (“Our Father, Our King”) 55. Old City’s Dung ___ 56. Israel’s largest yeshiva 57. Roth and Cohen 59. Yiddish writer Sholem 62. Bout outcome, briefly 63. A-U linkup 65. Astonishment

Nurse’s-Aid/Sitter, qualified in various skills, avail. night or day. Excellent references- Drives. Call Barbara 770-709-1875

BEACH FRONT SALE OR SWAP Beachfront Hotel Sale or Swap Opportunity in Brazil. City: Florianópolis/SC $6mil. Contact marimonteiro@me.com +1 (706) 248-0895 (www.hotelcanasvieras.com.br)

LEGAL NOTICE TO DEBTORS AND CREDITORS GEORGIA, FULTON COUNTY All creditors of the Estate of Muriel Louise Ray, late of Fulton County, Georgia, deceased, are hereby notified to render in their demands to the undersigned according to law, and all persons indebted to said Estate are required to make immediate payment Articles of Incorporation Notice is given that the Articles of Incorporation which wil incorporate Worldshop USA, Inc. will be delivered to the Secretary of State for filing in accordance with the Georgia Business Corporation Code (O.C.G.A. 14-2-202). The initial registered office of the corporation will be 3650 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Unit #128, Atlanta, GA. 30319. and its initial registered agent is Eliad Shwartz


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WellStar Medical Group welcomes new practices to East Cobb! FAmily medicine And GeRiATRic medicine Whitney denton, m.d. H Shravantika Reddy, m.d. Johnson Square | 1523 Johnson Ferry Road | Building 1523 Suite 150 | marietta, GA 30062 | 678-403-4660

FAmily medicine, inTeRnAl medicine And PediATRicS Waldon Garriss, m.d., m.S., FAAP, FAcP mitzi Rubin, m.d., FAAFP 3939 Roswell Road | marietta GA 30062 | 770-973-2272

PediATRicS Amy cooper, m.d., m.P.H., m.S. eva montgomery-mcGuire, m.d., FAAP Susan Staviss, m.d., FAAP 3939 Roswell Road | marietta GA 30062 770-578-2868

cARdiovASculAR medicine mindy Gentry, m.d. michael Hardee, md Harvey Sacks, m.d. 1010 Johnson Ferry Road | marietta, GA 30068 770-424-6893

PulmonARy medicine

FEBRUARY 8 â–Ş 2013

morohunfolu Akinnusi, m.d. H mark Schlosberg, m.d. 3939 Roswell Road | Suite 110 | marietta, GA 30062 770-422-1372

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770-956-STAR H wellstar.org

All practices accepting new patients and most insurance plans.

No. 6 February 8 The Atlanta Jewish Times  

AtlantaJewishTimes

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