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12 adar – 18 adar 5773 vOL. LXXXVIII NO. 8
THE Weekly Newspaper Uniting the Jewish Community for Over 85 Years
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A Jewish Tour of Prague, pg. 14 Special Travel Section pg. 14 - 17
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Temima High School Announces Dates for “All-of-a-Kind Family”
ANNUAL PRODUCTION COMING MARCH 5 AND 6 AT GHA
Mark Zimmerman Celebrates 25 Years as Beth Shalom’s Rabbi NER TAMID DEDICATION SET FOR MARCH 2
n March 5 and 6, Temima, the Richard and Jean Katz High School for Girls, will present an original play – “Allof-a-Kind Family” – penned by the school’s own principal, Miriam Feldman. Based on the book series by Sidney Taylor, the work is described by Feldman herself as a “musical portrayal of our grandparents’ first encounter with America.” The show, which marks Temima’s 12th production in 15 years, tells a story set on the Lower East Side of 1920s New York. The audience is sure to laugh, cry and sing along with the Fineman family as they bring this time period to life. “An educational masterpiece, the play represents the heart and soul of this extraordinary school,” said Shulamith Klein, Temima co-president. “Mrs. Feldman spends endless hours of quality time with all of her students to transmit the timeless values and teachings of the Jewish tradition.” “All-of-a-Kind Family” will come to life at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy. Regular ticket prices are $22 for advance purchase and $26 at the door. Student tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door.
ongregation Beth Shalom and its spiritual leader, Rabbi Mark Zimmerman, are celebrating a milestone – the rabbi’s 25th anniversary as the Conservative Dunwoody synagogue’s rabbi.
To honor Zimmerman, the synagogue has commissioned artist Gary Rosenthal to design and create a ner tamid to be placed over the ark in the synagogue’s chapel. The congregants chose to dedicate such a piece – ner tamid is usually translated as “eternal flame” or “eternal light” – because of the “eternal guidance and light” that Rabbi Zimmerman has provided for the congregation for the past quarter-century.
Rabbi Mark Zimmerman
Founded in 1975 with 50 charter member families, Beth Shalom today is a congregation of 330 families; Rabbi Zimmerman has played a key role in this growth as well as in steering the synagogue toward more traditional observances. The dedication of the ner tamid in the rabbi’s honor will take place on the morning of March 2.
“As the Temima students build the props, make the costumes and paint the scenery, they are learning hands-on lessons in friendship, team-building and Jewish living in today’s world,” said Charlotte Marx, co-president of the Temima Board. For sponsorships and special seating, call Temima at (404) 315-0507. For more information on the school, visit temima.org.
Hillels of Georgia’s Campus SuperStar to Honor Betty and Alan Sunshine
SINGING COMPETITION FOR JEWISH COLLEGE STUDENTS STAFF REPORT
illels of Georgia will honor Betty and Alan Sunshine at the Campus SuperStar event, set for March 20 at the Buckhead Theater. The evening will include cocktails and light dinner starting at 6:30 p.m., with the show getting underway at 7:30.
Betty and Alan Sunshine
Hillels of Georgia has sponsored Campus SuperStar, an annual talent competition for students enrolled full-time at a Georgia college or university, for the past decade. Every year, eight talented finalists compete in an “American Idol”-style event, with the winner being awarded a grand prize of $5,000 and the title of 2013 Campus SuperStar.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Proceeds from the evening directly support Hillels of Georgia’s mission to engage and enrich the lives of the more than 6,000 Jewish students at Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, University of Georgia and other campuses in the state.
For more details, including ticket and sponsorship information, go to campussuperstar.org or call (404) 963-2548.
GOOD NEWS MADE IN THE JEWISH STATE THIS PAST WEEK ISRAEL’S TIGI WINS BEST CLEAN TECHNOLOGY IN MUNICH. The 2012 Munich Cleantech Conference awarded their very first MCC Venture Award to Israel’s TIGI. The company’s Honeycomb solar thermal collectors generate heat for space heating, domestic or industrial uses at extremely high efficiency. IS PRINTING YOUR DENTURES ON THE HORIZON? Compass3D, a leading provider of 3D Digital Solutions, has be-
gun offering Stratasys 3D Printing Solutions in Brazil. The Objet Eden 3D Printers from Stratasys – manufactured in Rehovot – can be used in conjunction with dental, orthodontics and guided implant products. ISRAELI SURFERS RESCUE EIGHT DROWNING CHILDREN. While in Hawaii, three Israeli surfers went to the aid of eight children, aged between 12 and 14, that had been swept out to sea.
Tzvika Elias, Yair Naftali and Gabi Liptz were hailed as heroes by the children’s parents. EARLYSENSE OFFERS PATIENT MONITORING ACROSS THE U.S. Israel’s EarlySense systems will now be distributed to hospitals across the United States. The innovative under-the-mattress sensors may soon be monitoring the vital signs of millions of Americans.
ISRAEL EXPORTS 60 MILLION FLOWERS TO EUROPE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY. It may have been a day of love and romance for those celebrating Valentine’s Day around the world, but it was a day of hard work for Israeli farmers. Israel exported some 60 million roses, orchids, Bonsai trees and other flowers to Europe this Valentine’s Day. SAMSUNG TO OPEN INNOVATION AND STRATEGY CENTER IN RAMAT GAN. Samsung’s new facility will focus on Israeli startup companies, Israeli research academia and venture capital funds investing in start-ups. The new center will be part of Global Samsung. THERE ARE MORE FEMALE LAWMAKERS IN ISRAEL THAN IN THE U.S. AND U.K. The 19th Israeli parliament will have a record number of women lawmakers, the most in Israel’s history. Women now comprise 23 percent of the Knesset – a higher percentage than in the U.S. Congress (18 percent) and the U.K. House of Commons (22 percent). NOW THEY CAN “MOOVIT” IN THE UK. Israel’s Moovit app for public transport information is now available in beta for the United Kingdom. Already operating in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, Moovit is the first public transport application to harness the power of the crowd using real-time user-generated information to improve public transport trip planning and navigation.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
ISRAEL ENJOYS THE “FRUITS” OF HER LABOR. Israel’s Noa Furman quoted the Torah in her statement to the UN Commission for Social Development: “We have moved from cultivating apples to designing Apple Computers and harvesting oranges to building Orange mobile phones.”
A CURE FOR GENETIC DEFORMITIES DISCOVERED. A team including researchers from Israel’s Technion has developed an innovative technique that they believe will cure deformities and blindness caused by ectodermal dysplasia, which affects seven out of every 10,000 babies born in the world. Via in-vitro experiments, damaged cells caused by mutant p63 genes can be greatly improved using a chemical substance called PRIMA-APR246. This list courtesy Michael Ordman and verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com.
from our readers
Hillelâ€™s Huge Role Not to be Omitted Dear Editor:
have a few corrections that I would like to make to Jamie Gottliebâ€™s â€œChallah for Hunger: Helping the Homeless, One Loaf at a Timeâ€? article that was published in the Feb. 1 issue of the Atlanta Jewish Times. As the PR for the Challah for Hunger chapter at the University of Georgia, I felt that it was my responsibility to add a few details so that the Atlanta Jewish community could get the full picture of everything that we do. Firstly, Challah for Hunger is a national organization, of which we are only a chapter. There are many chapters at universities all across the nation, and each chapter donates half of their proceeds to a local organization of their choice, with the other half going to the American Jewish World Serviceâ€™s Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund. However, since we are based in Athens â€“ which, according to ProsperousAthens.org, has the 8th highest poverty rate in Georgia â€“ we decided to keep 100 percent of our donations local. It is correct that Arielle Nooromid is the co-director of our chapter of Challah for Hunger, but [the article in question] failed to mention who she is co-directors with, a person whom our chapter would literally not exist without. Dana Berger, now a senior at UGA, is also co-director, and she helped co-found our chapter in 2010 along with Zack Feldberg, who has since graduated. Note that Dana, Zack and Staci Bregman â€“ who has also graduated but played a crucial role in helping our chapter grow and keeping it running, were pictured on the front page of the AJT.
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We also have many active board members and participants, and I wish I had room to name them, but to list a few of the many things they do: We have people who direct each shift (making dough to making sales), who run the ovens and who volunteer on Fridays to sell the challah. And in addition to the flavors mentioned, we sell many more, as well as even more flavors and colors for special occasions and holidays. Whatâ€™s more, we welcome any suggestions for new flavors. And while we would love to donate $1,280 to the Athens-area homeless shelters every month (as reported in the article), that is not realistic, as we only have Challah for Hunger every two weeks and thus unfortunately do not raise nearly that much. The actual amount that we raise varies per semester due to cost of supplies, but we estimate that on average, we raise around $400 per month. In the end, my main reason for writing this letter is to acknowledge the incredible role that Hillel at UGA plays in our Challah for Hunger chapter. They open their doors every other Thursday to let us make and bake the dough, hang out and study in between shifts, and Hillel also arranges for our baking supplies. The 10 challahs that we are able to contribute to Hillel for their Shabbat meal is just a small token of our appreciation for their generous help. Without Hillel, our chapter would have no home, so we are truly grateful for everything they do for us.
If anyone has any further questions or wants to know more about our chapter, they can like our page on Facebook (facebook.com/c4huga) or follow us on Twitter (@C4Huga). They can also contact us via email by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for helping us get the facts straight. Sincerely, Erin Horn
FEBRUARY 22 â–Ş 2013
While we appreciate the publicity of our organization, it is important to correct the facts. But it is more important to us that Hillel be recognized for everything they do, since they were unfortunately completely left out of Gottliebâ€™s article.
PR for UGA Challah for Hunger 5
according to arlene
Do What Has Heart and Meaning NOT JUST A FLIGHT OF FANCY BY Arlene Appelrouth AJT Columnist
emember my column about coping mechanisms? For those who don’t recall: I detailed how I ended up with TMJ – temperomandibular disorder – after I stopped rolling my eyes in reaction to the ridiculous and instead took up biting my tongue and gritting my teeth. In plain language: Yes, it was a less-obvious way to scoff, but I did it so much that my mouth began to hurt because I’d worked my jaw out of joint.
Well, there’s more to the story.
Because of the disorder and resulting pain, my dentist created an oral appliance for me to wear at night. That stopped me from grinding my teeth when I slept and it also eliminated most of my jaw problems, but I developed a side effect: My left ear started hurting and throbbing.
Now, I’m not one who likes to talk about (let alone complain) about physical symptoms, but the vagaries of aging are getting to me. Thus I ask your indulgence in hearing what’s on my mind, or I’ll never make my deadline for this week’s column. I called my dentist to report the side effect, and he recommended another dentist who specializes in treating TMJ. When I called to make the appointment with this new dentist, I learned his consultation fee would be $259 and not covered by insurance. Needless to say, after spending almost $300 on the appliance my regular dentist made, I wasn’t eager to incur more expense for my annoying problem. Still, I had to solve the issue, so I took matters into my own hands and pursued a different venue.
I thought my ear pain might be
better addressed by a physician who specialized in the care of that body part, so instead of going to the second dentist, I booked an appointment with an otolaryngologist – an ear, nose and throat doctor, or ENT. “There’s good news and bad news,” he said after examining me. “The good news is your ears are in good shape. But the bad news is there’s nothing wrong with your ears, and I can’t help you.” This office visit was at least covered by my insurance, but it obviously didn’t help with my problem. All the ENT could do was advise that I listen to what my dentist originally suggested and go to the TMJ specialist. So, with ambivalent feelings, I booked the appointment. After filling out numerous questionnaires, listing chronic conditions and all the medications I take for them, I had a panoramic x-ray – this was the first time I ever stood up while having my teeth x-rayed. Next, when the dentist examined me, he had an assistant with him. With his fingers in my mouth, his comments to his assistant made me nervous: Not only was my jaw out of joint, but it apparently had actually caused my chin to move.
The doctor told his assistant to make a note that my teeth grinding caused verticular collapse of my face, then asked if I suffered from headaches.
“No I don’t,” I replied.
But when he told me how much treatment I needed and what it would cost, that did give me a headache. The doctor said the cost would be $4,000, due when the treatment began. My credit is good, and I qualified for an interest-free loan. Regardless, it seemed like a lot of money.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
“Why so expensive?” I asked.
His answer had to do with CT scans, additional x-rays, and time spent in his office. If only I could turn back the clock and just roll my eyes again, I thought. I went home aggravated. You can do a lot of things with $4,000. Sitting in a dental chair with someone else’s hands in your mouth while all types of measurements are
taken isn’t my idea of fun. And considering the news I’d just received, I needed to have some fun. So, to take my mind off this new medical reality, I powered up my laptop – Facebook is fun, I thought. I went online to check on what my friends were saying and saw that two of the friends I’ve made from writing retreats in Taos, N.M. had posted that they were on their way back to New Mexico.
“For what?” I wondered.
I made a phone call and was reminded there was a long weekend, beginning Feb. 14, to honor our writing teacher, Natalie Goldberg. Her new book, “The True Secret of Writing,” is about to be released, and several students wanted to celebrate this event and thank her for her dedication to teaching. I remembered that, when I received the email invitation to the event months ago, I had deleted it, ignoring it because of the high cost of going to Taos: There’s the airfare, the car rental and the cost of staying at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. In that moment, though – in a move that was perfectly logical to me – I told my husband Dan I was going to Taos for the weekend. I wanted to join the celebration. “I just need to use some money on something that will be fun and also have meaning,” I told him. That’s why I’m writing this column on the plane back from New Mexico. It was a wonderful and empowering weekend; not only did I have the pleasure of being with a community of writers, but the experience was a reminder of how important it is to do that which what has heart and meaning.
No matter what it cost.
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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FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
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if you ask me
Kelal Yisrael A CHALLENGE OF COLLECTIVE SURVIVAL BY Eugen Schoenfeld AJT Contributor
e all know that the basis of all Shabbat laws rose out of and was legitimated by the creation story, which tells us that G-d labored for six days but rested on the seventh. Therefore, we are instructed not to perform any kind of labor on the seventh day of our week.
But what is “labor”?
During the Talmudic period, the rabbis defined the Sabbath laws with great specificity in a tractate of Moed (the second Order of the Mishna); they classified as labor the 39 activities performed in the building of the Tabernacle as well as the acts that are subsumed under yetziot – the laws pertaining to the labor of carrying objects from private to public domain. For instance: It is not permitted on Shabbat to remove any object that is located in a private domain and carry it into public domain, or vice versa. And beyond that, the laws of yetziot also prohibit a person from walking more than 2,000 amos (about 2,500 feet) from his house on Shabbat, at which point he would cross the boundary, t’chum Shabbat. The Virtuous Man Who Must Walk on Shabbat
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Of course, conflicts arise in a system so complex as that of Shabbat law. To illustrate, I think back with great fondness and a deep sense of nostalgia to my life with my maternal grandparents in a small village in the midst of the Carpathian Mountains. Talamas was a tiny village of seven or eight Jewish families nestled in the valley between two clear streams, just a scant two-and-a-half miles from the next larger village, Huklivy, which had a more populous Jewish community as well as both the synagogue and the mikveh. In fact, all the institutions and persons necessary for Jewish life were there: The rabbi lived in Huklivy, as well as the shochet/moyel, kosher meat, the cheder and the Jewish cemetery.
During the week, my grandfather – Reb Avrohom – kept a small store that served the Ruthenian farmers. 8 Shabbat was truly the “day of rest”
for us, but nonetheless some labor had to be performed. For instance, the cow had to be cared for; after all, she is one of G-d’s creatures, and it is forbidden to cause her any pain, regardless of the holiness of the day.
and thus forbidden by Jewish law, there is this little door that, by the magic of the eruv, nullifies or at least reinterprets t h e l a w . H o w does it work?
“Most Jews today, faced with anitquated rules, become their own interpreters of halacha”
What’s more, all three of us – my grandfather in his bekishe, shtreimel and tallis; my grandmother in her white outfit; and myself – had to make the trek to the synagogue. And on the way, we were joined by other Jews from our village rushing to be in time for the Sabbath services. Now, my grandfather was an observant Chasidic Jew. He lived not only by the letter of the law but also believed himself to be committed to the spirit of the law. To him, for instance, being guided by the laws of Shabbat was the sine qua non to being enveloped by the spirit of Shabbat. But did he not violate the law of t’chum Shabbat when he walked to the synagogue – more than four times the permissible distance – on Saturdays? The “Small Doors” My fraternal grandmother liked to teach me Jewish wisdom through aphorism. “Remember, Naftuli,” she would tell me, “when you come to a gate and it is locked, look for the small door next to it; most often is open.” What she tried to teach me is that if something is forbidden by halachic law, there is always a way to reinterpret the law or, by some ritual performance or device, legalize the otherwise forbidden act. Indeed, these performances or devices – eruvim – are designed to alter the perception of reality and thus allow for circumvention of Shabbat laws. Take, for instance, the “solution” to t’chum Shabbat. While climbing the hill leading from Talamas to Huklivy was by any definition hard labor
E v ery Friday afternoon, my grandfather (and I, were it summertime) went to a designated place that marked t’chum Shabbat. There, we would create a hollow, place in it a boiled egg and a bilkeleh (basically, a small challah) and finally cover the hole with a stone. Then, all it took was the recitation of the appropriate blessings, and this hole in the ground assumed the status of my grandfather’s new home, thus allowing him and the whole family to walk an additional 2,000 amos from that spot! Now, does not such an eruv violate the intended spirit of the Sabbath as a day of rest? Of course it does! We had to expend a great amount of energy climbing the hills to and from that spot. Any of you readers would be utterly tired, as we were, after such a walk! Yes, the creative game underlying the eruv obfuscates the idea of the Sabbath as the day of rest from all labors. While the eruv alters the perception of reality by symbolically creating an imaginary new home, it does not shorten the distance and the labor of walking it. We have become skillful in using deductive logic to legalize the forbidden. We excel not in altering the law, even if it is dysfunctional; instead, we play the game of circumvention. A Fragmenting Identity Times have changed since the laws were enacted and so have the means and mode of production – that is, the nature of labor. Most of what we considered labor at the construction of the Tabernacle either is no longer necessary or has been replaced by new forms of labor.
For example, the making of fire
– which 3,000 years ago was an act of intense labor – is no longer so. Similarly, distances have shrunk by the use of technology, and travel is no longer is dependent on animals; therefore, we do not violate the animal’s right to have a day of rest. Still, instead of changing the laws, we found ways of circumventing it; say, by employing Shabbat goyim. And while the rabbis consider electricity to be fire and thereby not permissible to use in the home on Shabbat, today we have Shabbat electric switches and Shabbat elevators and escalators, the use of which is permissible by rabbinical interpretation. Thus, to me and to many other Jews, the ancient laws have become anachronisms. But by creating ways of their circumvention, are we not at the same time detracting from the spirit that they once represented? History teaches us that any system the outlived its functionality or usefulness must change; if it does not, it is destined for the dustbin. Today, the parking lots in Conservative and even Orthodox synagogues are filled with cars on Shabbat and High Holy Days, and the Shulchan Aruch laws are observed by no more than 8 percent of the population who identify themselves as Jewish. In short, most Jews today, faced with antiquated rules, become their own interpreters of halacha. They “pasken their own shaales,” as we used to say; they redefine laws and create their own versions, customs and ceremonies. But could not this process of individuation detroy our unity and collective identity? And so, we have come to a crossroad that demands that we redefine our behavioral requirements and find a common foundation upon which new norms – based on the ancient spirit but not the ancient laws – can be established. In that way, we can rebuild our collective identity. Otherwise, I am afraid that if we continue to follow the path underlying the idea of the eruvim, it will lead to the destruction of the kelal Yisrael. Eugen Schoenfeld is a professor and chair emeritus at Georgia State University and a Holocaust survivor.
if you ask me
According to Charlotte! A RESPONSE TO “GENERATION GAP”
n her column “Generation Gap” (“According to Arlene,” Feb. 8 AJT) Arlene Appelrouth told of how her mother and – to an even greater extent – her grandmother put marriage as the first priority for girls in their family, rather than encouraging them to be educated or go to college. I can say at least that my mother had different priorities and set a different standard. I suppose she was rather a “crackerjack” in that she was an exemplary merchant from the time she was old enough to go down to the store and help my grandfather, “Papa.” He had immigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe and settled in south Georgia, setting up shop in towns so small they were just dots on the map, like Nichols and Pierson. My maternal grandmother was what they now call a “stay-at-home mom” – she raised six children and canned foods while my grandfather peddled wares to the surrounding farmers – but she was obviously an educated woman with community concerns, having been a socialist activist in the Old Country. Her daughters grew up to be business owners like their father. My mother (the eldest daughter) graduated from Douglas A & M (which was a junior college for agriculture and merchandising) and then married, moved to Waycross, Ga. and opened both a ladies’ ready-to-wear store, The Fashion Shoppe, and a children’s store, The Cinderella Shop. Meanwhile, my Aunt Ida (the youngest of the six), under the tutelage of my mother, opened her own successful children’s store in Dothan, Ala. And my Aunt Seraphina sold accessories all over, had a wholesale company in the Atlanta Merchandise Mart and traveled the world buying merchandise. Finally, even in retirement, both my mother and Aunt Ida worked in a gift shop in the Naples hospital, and my mother continued to make and sell jewelry. It’s funny: Even when she was in her 90s, the first thing my mother noticed as I wheeled her into the Breman Jewish Home was the gift shop.
Indeed, from my experience, working women were a tradition in many Jewish families around this country. My motherin-law sold hats in a store in Chicago and worked as a volunteer in a local Jewish home for many years; my father’s sister (my aunt Mary) and her husband ran a huge ArmyNavy store in Augusta; and my first cousin took over my aunt and uncle’s ladies apparel store in Macon when my uncle was taken in a car accident.
school (and was encouraged to do so by my husband), and I went back to work after his death, making for myself a seco n d career trying to help w i t h homeless programs and related problems as an advocate from and to the Georgia House of Representatives. And even now as a retiree I work – as does Arlene – as a freelance writer, so that I can share thoughts that might inform and interest readers.
Thus, to me it seems strange that, as a first-generation Jewish woman, Arlene was not encouraged (rather, warned) to not prefer to educate herself and was discouraged from college and work. This marginalization seems to me a minority view in the Jewish community, based on what I’ve seen; almost all of my cousins are college graduates, teachers and more.
Even though I earn no salary for my work, please know that if you are a reader of my words, this Jew-
“My mother always told me to use your mind and not your body”
ish woman – this bubbe – is busy continuing to share her experiences and knowledge with those who may care to explore any advice from my diverse experiences. In this busy, complex, ever-changing world, I offer you examples from my life. I reach out to all, but especially the young people – Jews and nonJews, women and men, young and old – because I want to participate in a conversation about important matters. So let’s talk about the values our young women espouse today and how what we do, what our forbearers taught us and what Judaism has to offer is of utmost importance in this constantly evolving world. No, we as a society don’t always appreciate the worth of women. But this bubbe’s “got your back!”
At least, I certainly hope Arlene’s story does not reflect a majority point of view among Jews about women and work. My mother always told me to “use your mind, not your body,” and she encouraged me to be a strong woman. I clearly recall her words: “You must go to college. In case something happens to your husband, you need to work.” Indeed, that was good advice, as my husband – like my father and the husbands of my Aunt. Ida and my Aunt Mary – all died early. But they were already competent businesswomen even before losing their beloveds. And today, my daughter is an executive for a national community development company in New York. I would guess that I am a bit older than Arlene, but I can say that almost all the women of my generation worked and were well-educated in addition to being homemakers and mothers. That’s why, in the here and now, I try to set an example for mein kindt – especially my granddaughters – as a woman who always worked, even if I took time off to raise my children.
Moreover, I went to graduate
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
BY Charlotte Marcus
Who Put the â€œSH!â€? in Vashti? A STORY WITH MORE TO SAY BY EDEN FARBER
appy Purim, everyone! The epic story that comes along with this holiday, Megillat Esther, the
Book of Esther, has always intrigued me â€“ itâ€™s like a Disney story times 10. It has all the ingredients: a damsel in distress, an evil Queen, a romance, innocent townsfolk who need to be
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saved, two almost comically foolish crooks, an action-packed battle, a male chauvinist pig and a happy family ending. With a tale so rich, there are a plethora of messages we can take away, Jewish concepts we can derive, food for thought we can ponder â€“ but what exactly are they? This being a column, not a tome, Iâ€™d like to focus on one particular character: Vashti, Queen of Persia. She has always interested me, since before my birth even; you see, my father still talks to this day about how he wanted to name me Vashti. Basically, she comes into the megillah when her husband requests that she make an appearance at his party and she refuses. Thus, she is immediately banished from her position as queen, and â€“ well, we donâ€™t ever hear what really happened to her. This woman being my almostnamesake, thatâ€™s not enough for me; I wanted to look into her more. Iâ€™ve discovered that although she only appears in the first chapter of the Purim reading, there is a lot of rabbinic liturgy that explores what various individuals think she was.
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Indeed, the first Midrash (or homiletic interpretation) that I encountered shocked me. It described Vashti as ugly, pimply and generally grotesque â€“ citing this as the real reason she did not appear before the King and his buddies. In other words, it wasnâ€™t because she did not want to come or that she respected herself too much to show; it was because it would be too humiliating to be seen as unattractive, a flaw that she worked so hard to mask. After all, what would her ruler-ship be if she was not perceived as physically glorious all the time? Other Midrashim also depict her as evil, vain and physically distorted. Thus, by the end, I was quite confused. I know that there is a lot to learn from Midrashim; much can be gained from the insight of biblical scholars and their discussions on texts. However, my conclusion is this: Their interpretation is not the only one, nor is it an objective one. There are many reasons why they might want to cast Vashti as an unsightly hag.
Perhaps the scholars wanted to
dismiss her so as to make room for Queen Esther, the main character of our Purim story; or perhaps they were afraid of this strong-willed woman and her disobedience. Or perhaps they feel guilty that we simply dispose of one of the few independent women who was not afraid to defy the status quo. Regardless, I believe that there is much that can be learned from temporarily putting this interpretation aside. As simple as it is to turn a complicated character like Vashti into a black-and-white creature, it does not help a person to glean all of the insights that her story can offer. Look at this woman who did not bow to what was wanted from her, who thought highly of herself when no one else did, who did not let an unfortunate marriage turn her into something she was not. She has a power within her that should be acknowledged â€“ nay, admired â€“ and not ignored or twisted. Of course, in the end, itâ€™s not Megillat Vashti; she is not the star of our show. Nevertheless, she offers a new perspective and a new story â€“ one that is worth hearing. Her refusal to be her husbandâ€™s drunk friendsâ€™ eye candy (at least, from a literary perspective) is significant because it was not simply a refusal. Her actions were a declaration of independence, one that also asked for liberty (insubordination to the will of drunkards) or death (exile from queenship). This is a declaration that we would never perceive if we only looked through the lens of the Midrashim. So, one may think it was Ahasuerus and his noblemen that shushed this strong-willed woman at the end of her story, but maybe it was really the Midrashim that put the â€œsh!â€? in Vashti. Atlantaâ€™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 Weekâ€™s Fresh Ink for Teens section.
from the editor
Now, Who Are We Cursing? HAVE FUN AND LEARN A BIT THIS PURIM! by RON FEINBERG
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Did I mention there will be drinking? The story of Purim is the stuff of fairy tales, a delightful yarn filled with good and evil and, if you happen to be Jewish, a really great ending. The players include a powerful king, Ahasuerus, and a really nasty guy, Haman; a hero, Mordechai, and a beautiful queen, Esther. Once upon a time the king got rid of his queen and picked a new wife. Meanwhile, the really bad guy gets really angry at our hero and orders that he and all his fellow Jews be killed. But our beautiful queen â€“ that would be Esther â€“ just so happens to be a cousin of our hero and, of course, a Jewess. The plot thickens. The king, with lots of help from Esther, learns that Mordechai has uncovered a plot to kill him, saving his life. He also learns that his queen is Jewish and the really evil guy, Haman, wants her cousin and all the other Jews in Persia slaughtered. Purim, by the way, means â€œlotsâ€? in Hebrew; as in, Haman decided to cast lots to figure out the day to kill the Jews. But back to the story: The king decides instead that Haman should be killed and that the Jews, if attacked, can defend themselves. They are, and they do! Really, this is all too detailed to make up. Also, itâ€™s pretty much all written down in the biblical Book of Esther, Megillat Esther, the last of the 24 books of the Jewish Bible to be canonized by the sages of the Great
Assembly. Itâ€™s also worth mentioning that Purim is a very sweet holiday â€“ and when I say sweet, I literally mean sweet! Hamantashen, a tasty cookie filled with any of a variety of goodies (poppy seeds, prunes, nuts, dates, cherries or chocolate to name a few favorite fillings) is traditionally eaten during the holiday. The cookie is named after Haman and, depending on what you read and who you believe, is shaped to resemble the three-cornered hat worn by the villain, the pyramidal pattern of dice used in parlor games of the day when our story played out, or â€“ and this is my all-time favorite explanation â€“ Hamanâ€™s ears! Yummy, right?
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Another tasty and good bit of news is that some of the Great Assemblyâ€™s fellow sages â€“ that would be the rabbis of the Talmud â€“ came up with a wonderful idea when trying to figure out how best to recall Esther, Mordechai and their heroic deeds. They decided Purim would be a grand time to have a party and get drunk. â€œA person,â€? the rabbis of the Talmud suggested, â€œis obligated to drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between â€˜cursed is Hamanâ€™ and â€˜blessed is Mordechai.â€™â€? Much has been written about this obligation, but thatâ€™s fodder for next yearâ€™s column on Purim. Meanwhile, hereâ€™s my recipe for a festive holiday: gin, tonic, three ice cubes and a wedge of lime. Enjoy and chag sameach.
FEBRUARY 22 â–Ş 2013
The festive holiday â€“ a bit of Mardi Gras with a very Jewish accent â€“ begins Saturday night (Feb. 23), and once again weâ€™ll be reading about a land far, far away and a beautiful queen who saved her people.
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Ahavath Achim Honors 125th Anniversary with Film Screening COMMUNITY CONGREGATES, CELEBRATES From Ahavath Achim Synagogue For the Atlanta Jewish Times
early 1,500 guests, congregants and newsmakers were on hand late last month to take part in Ahavath Achim’s spectacular 125th anniversary celebration. The crowd – which included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, City Councilman Michael Julian Bond and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens – was treated to a memorable evening filled with excitement, nostalgia, love and celebration. Attendees also got an up-close and personal glimpse of the synagogue’s future. “You could feel the electricity in the air,” said Robert Wildstein. “The evening provided invaluable momentum as we continue to build our future and create a vision for the next 125 years.” The highlight of the night was the premiere of “Reunion, Renewal,
Ruach!”, a documentary by Bobby Ezor. The film – narrated by Broadway star Tovah Feldshuh, written by Vincent Coppola and filmed by DeWitt Smith – traces Ahavath Achim’s illustrious history and its path forward into the 21st century in the form of interviews, archival photos and rare audio recordings.
Ahavath Achim’s current facilities are located on Peachtree Battle Ave.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses the crowd.
During the onehour screening, the audience responded with laughter, tears and applause as fading memories were brought to life. In her narration, Feldshuh used the voice and mannerisms of Golda Meir, the former Israeli prime minister, to sum up the evening:
From left to right, current assistant Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal, former spiritual leader Rabbi Arnold Goodman and current senior Rabbi Neil Sandler. “Some people love you, and some people love you and show up. You showed up.”
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Outside the Buckhead synagogue’s storied gold doors, spotlights added to a festive scene that included a number of classic cars, among them Manny Fialkow’s ’57 Thunderbird and ’65 Mustang, Bobby Ezor’s ’56 Corvette and Mark Cohen’s ’39 Buick Sedan. Meanwhile, a seven-piece orchestra – including AA’s own Scott Glazer on bass, Andy Margolis on drums and Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal on guitar – set a musical mood for another of the evening’s highlights: Craig Taubman treated everyone to his original arrangement of “Eits Chayim Hi,” performed by soloist Melissa Cohen and accompanied by violinist Karla Tievsky and pianist Alan Dynin. Additionally, Scott Kaplan and Valerie Habif did an outstanding job serving as co-masters of ceremony, and Cantor Robert Lieberman and the Ahavath Achim Choir led the congregation in song. At the conclusion of the film, Rabbi Arnold Goodman – AA’s spiritual leader from 1982 to 2002 – took center stage and offered up a powerful
More than 1,500 turned out to celebrate AA Synagogue’s simcha. PHOTOS/Gail Solomon sermon. Then AA senior Rabbi Neil Sandler closed the evening with the Shehecheyanu, the communal prayer of celebration. “It was an evening I will never forget,” said Carol Zaban Cooper. Afterwards, in Srochi Hall – its walls adorned by nearly 150 photographic composites spanning the decades – guests were offered cappuccino and desserts created Wendy Haber. Childhood faces of many past and current Atlanta leaders lined the room., and the crowd lingered for nearly two hours. “How wonderful to see representatives from so many of Atlanta’s synagogues sharing in our synagogue’s simcha,” said Bobby Ezor, the event’s chairman. “This is the way it should always be, one Jewish family.” Meanwhile, “Reunion, Renewal, Ruach!” will be featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting and submitted to a number of upcoming Jewish film festivals around the country. The film is also being considered for use as an educational tool in Jewish day schools and for newcomers to the Atlanta Jewish community.
More Than a Concert “SACRED RIGHTS, SACRED SONG” ON MARCH 10
BY RON FEINBERG
ost concerts are about music and performers and often amount to nothing more than a few hours of songs, singing and showmanship. That’s certainly not the case with “Sacred Rights, Sacred Song.” The Southeast regional premiere of the project, billed as a “concert of concern,” will be at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs on Sun., March 10. Organizers describe the innovative program as a musical happening to support religious pluralism in Israel. “It’s a musical social action experience to raise awareness,” s a i d Nancy Seifert Gorod, t h e project director for the local concert. “It’s very unique, both entertaining and informative.” “Sacred Rights, Sacred Song” is the brainchild of Fran Gordon, a Jewish communal activist and philanthropist. Gordon, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio and has a second home in Israel, came up with the idea to get Jews in America talking about both the character and the problems of the Jewish homeland. Her concern – and the concern of many others in the Diaspora – is that Jewish law in Israel is under the control of the ultra-Orthodox, a community that represents only a small minority in the country but has the final word on all issues dealing with religious tradition and rituals. Project supporters point out that Israel, despite being a modern democracy, is a land where Jewish women are arrested for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall; girls are tormented for wearing immodest dress; on certain buses, female passengers are told to sit in the rear; Conservative and Reform rabbis are barely recognized by the Israeli government; and liberal practice receives minimal state support.
One major battleground focusing
on the religious rights of women has coalesced around a group, Women of the Wall, which has gathered at the Kotel each month for the past 24 years. The women argue that all they want to do is pray, but the men controlling the Wall (all members of ultra-Orthodox sects) say women are prohibited from wearing certain religious garments – prayer shawls and tefillin – and holding a Torah. The issue has actually made its way to Israel’s Supreme Court, where the beliefs of the ultra-Orthodox were affirmed. It’s a ruling that, understandably, continues to be hotly debated in Israel and has caused somewhat of a rift between religious communities in the Jewish homeland and progress i v e groups in the U.S. “It’s incredible to attend one of these services [at the Wall],” said Cindy Lewis, the rebbetzin of Congregation Etz Chaim in East Cobb who, along with her husband Rabbi Shalom Lewis, has been in Israel for the last several months. She attends Women of the Wall services as a show of support.
and genres to be held Sun., March 10, 7 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive NW, Sandy Spring, 30327. Ticket options include $36 for concert and post-concert reception; $18 for general admission; and $9 for stu-
dents. For additional information, contact Nancy Seifert Gorod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit sacredrightssacredsong.org.
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“All these women want to do is daven; they just want to sing and raise their voices,” she said. “The Kotel, after all, is a historical site and should be open to everyone.” Next month’s concert will feature a choir organized by Kim Goodfriend, Arts and Culture Director of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, as well as other musicians from across metro Atlanta performing songs focusing on religious diversity and women’s rights. “The project addresses the issue of pluralism in an artful, musical way,” Gorod said. “And it involves our own community; just one more way to learn about the Jewish state. We love Israel, and that’s why we are having this discussion.” “Sacred Rights, Sacred Song” is a musical experience to support religious pluralism in Israel featuring original works spanning generations
MARCH 2, 5, 8, 10 Sung in Italian with Projected English Translations
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FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
A Jewish Tour of Prague CZECH CAPITAL IS LIVING HISTORY FILLED WITH MEMORIES AND LEGENDS BY RON FEINBERG Web Editor
ou’ve been to Israel; visited the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C.; even spent a few days in Amsterdam and seen the tiny annex where Anne Frank once hid from Nazis. What now? If you haven’t visited Eastern Europe, you might as well reach deep into your savings and go ahead and take that special trip you’ve been thinking about for years. And once there, trust me, you’ll want to visit Prague. The city is old in a warm and quaint sort of way – tree-lined boulevards and cobblestone streets are bordered by intimate cafes and stately mansions alike. And yet, everything is also new and vibrant. Like much of Eastern Europe, Prague was engulfed by World War II in the 1940s and later completely buried under the dusty gray cloak of Communism. But in 1989, a series of demonstrations in Prague and across Czechoslovakia – The Velvet Revolution – quickly led to the overthrow of the government. Only a year later, much of the region was toying with democracy and capitalism, opening its borders to investors and tourists. Bringing things to the present, Prague has become a jewel of a city once again, still filled with plenty of old-world charm but also gussied up a bit with new-world panache. Josefov, the Open-Air Museum
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
At first glance, the Jewish quarter here, Josefov, looks like much of the rest of the city – nicely aged and filled with tourists. A clock with Hebrew letters atop the Town Hall in the heart of the district, however, offers a hint that you’ve stumbled onto something special.
Josefov, once the center of Jewish life in Europe, is today a museum, memorial and remembrance of ancient traditions and recent tragedies. And it’s definitely worth a visit. The district, a few square blocks squeezed tightly between the Vltava River and the city’s Old Town Square, dates back to the 13th centu-
ry, when Jews were ordered to leave their homes and settle in the area. It now includes a town hall, ceremonial hall, museum, six synagogues, a remarkable cemetery and one aging but resilient world-class legend. Two of the synagogues are especially noteworthy. The Pinkas serves as a Holocaust memorial, its walls inscribed with the names of the 77,297 victims of the Nazis from Bohemia and Moravia. Tourists shuffle through the structure in silence, many taken with the artistic merits of the memorial, most horrified by the sheer numbers that fill the space. The Old-New Synagogue – one of the oldest shuls in the world still in use – is adorned with intricate stonework as well as aging and ancient bits of Judaica. The writer Franz Kafka, one of Prague’s most notable personalities, celebrated his bar mitzvah here, and the synagogue continues to hold Sabbath and holiday services to this day. Old-New is also linked to the legend of the golem, a supernatural being conjured up by Rabbi Judah Loew, the 16th-century Talmudic scholar and Jewish mystic known as the Maharal. The story goes that he created the monster to save the Jews of the quarter from anti-Semitic attacks, and a rumor persists that the golem remains hidden away in the synagogue’s attic, waiting to be awakened if the need ever rises again to protect the district’s residents. Loew himself is buried in the quarter’s cemetery, which is one of the most visited and interesting spots in the area. He shares the cemetery with tens of thousands of others, generations literally stacked atop one another: For hundreds of years, between the 15th and 18th centuries, Jews had access to no other burial sites in the region. Tombstones – some simple, others remarkably ornate, most covered with Hebrew names and text – rest uneasily in all sorts of positions. Many lean precariously, resting against one another; others have fallen and are covered by debris. Interestingly, the chaos comes together in a quietly poetic fashion; a sense of history and calm hovers lightly in the air. Indeed, it’s a small miracle that the cemetery remains at all; the site, Continued on next page
TOP: Josefov was once the center of Jewish life in Europe. Now it’s mostly a museum, filled with synagogues, cobble-stoned streets, an ancient cemetery and one world-class legend. BOTTOM: A Jewish Star and the Ten Commandments decorate the façade of one of the quarter’s six synagogues PHOTOS/Herb Wollner
Continued from previous page along with the synagogues and other points of interest in Josefov, purportedly still exist because Hitler wanted to create a museum to a people and culture he planned to destroy. A Past Storied and Tragic While shuls and other buildings in Prague went untouched during the war, and ritual objects – sefer Torahs, prayer books, kiddush cups and other types of Judaica – were being shipped to the city from across Europe, resident Jews were being rounded up and sent to a nearby village. Terezin, an hour’s drive northwest of Prague, was initially turned into a ghetto and then quickly morphed into a concentration camp. The place is often remembered for the artists, writers and musicians who were sent there and, most infamously, as the “show” camp opened to the International Red Cross so they and the world could see how “well” the Jews were being treated. In fact, the Nazis had orchestrated the visit, organizing bogus
concerts and soccer matches and filling up shop windows with food and other goods the inmates of Terezin would never enjoy. The truth is that thousands of Jews died at the camp of malnutrition and exposure, their bodies were cremated and the ashes later dumped into a nearby river, and thousands more were sent to die at Aushwitz, the Nazi death camp in southern Poland near Krakow. Of the 55,000 Jews who lived in Prague in the late 1930s, only about 5,000 remained alive when Russian forces liberated the city in 1945. There are even fewer Jews in Prague today – about 1,500 – but the community has actually grown in recent years. The Holocaust remains a melancholy presence in the area, drawing tourists – really, pilgrims – to what is left of the once-vibrant Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. But Josefov is also a vivid reminder of a distant past, when Jews lived and worked and prayed here. Find a quiet spot, and you can almost spot their shadows walking along the cobblestone streets, calling to one another in nearby stores, praying in the shuls. This was their home, after all, and their collective spirit remains part of this place.
The Jewish Quarter of Prague is a euphonic blend of aging buildings and memorable stories. Highlights include: 1. A ladder attached to the “Old-New” Synagogue leads up to an attic where, legend has it, the Golem waits to be called. 2. An image of the Golem, a supernatural being, was created to protect Jews from anti-Semitic attacks. 3. Josefov’s aging cemetery is filled with hundreds of tombstones, some simple, others remarkably ornate, most covered with Hebrew names and symbols. PHOTOS/Herb Wollner
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FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Eight Ways to Snag a Deal When Booking a Cruise WORK “THE SYSTEM” TO YOUR ADVANTAGE BY HOWARD S. MOSES
For the Atlanta Jewish Times
hinking about a cruise? You should know that while fares have risen over the past couple of years after dropping during the economic crisis, the average ticket price remains below the levels we saw before the downturn. And, as always, there are plenty of smart ways to save when booking. Here are some money-saving tips: 1. Book early - Many cruises can be booked as far as two years in advance. It also generally pays to be one of the first to lock in a cabin, particularly if you want a specific type of room, such as a suite or a specific location; as sailings fill up, lines raise rates on remaining cabins, and some categories become unavailable. You should have your fare locked
in at least six months before sailing. If the price drops before your final payment is due, many cruise lines will typically adjust your fare. 2. Book late - Although as a rule fares rise as sailing dates approach, cruise lines sometimes find themselves with a handful of unfilled cabins just before departure. In that case, the trend reverses and fares come down. It’s hit-or-miss, but if you’re super-flexible and can take off at the last minute, you’ll sometimes find ships with last-minute deals. At the same time, it should be noted that your stateroom selection is not going to be as good as if you had purchased well in advance. 3. Be flexible - Cruises are in hot demand during holiday periods, such as Christmas and New Year’s weeks. In general, take heed of the calendar and when kids are out of
school, such as during spring break weeks and summer; you’ll pay a higher rate during those periods. For the best deals, you have to look at off-peak dates, but you’re still going to pay a premium to sail on the biggest and newest ships.
The typical Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops in such places as Jamaica; Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; Belize; and Cozumel. The typical Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Nassau.
4. Consider a “repositioning” cruise - Lines periodically move ships from one cruising area to another, like from Alaska to the Caribbean. When they do, it results in a one-of-a-kind “repositioning” cruise between the two destinations. These often sell for far less on a per-day basis than traditional itineraries.
8. Look for low-priced group space - The Cruise Authority blocks off group space on ships more than a year in advance, when prices are low. As vessels fill and prices increase, we are able to offer a sometimes substantially lower fare to our clients; this is because we have a guaranteed number of cabins at a locked-in lower rate.
They’re not for everyone, as they’re often longer than typical voyages and feature unique itineraries with lots of sea days and few port calls. But the prices can be stunningly low – sometimes less than $50 per person per day.
In addition to fare savings, shipboard credit or prepaid gratuities often are included. The only catch: Unsold group space is taken back by the cruise line four to six months before sailing. This means that hunting for group space isn’t a way to snag a lastminute deal – the strategy works best when booking four to six months in advance.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
5. Consider step- The “Crystal Serenity” of Crystal Cruises ping up to a prePHOTO/courtesy the Cruise mium or deluxe Authority line - It may seem counterintuitive, Also, don’t be put off but these days some of the best by the term “group.” You’re not deals are available on the premium sailing with an alumni club or the lines, including Seabourn and Hollocal Kiwanis chapter; you’ll just land America. Both are a marked be booking with other travelers step-up from mass-market lines who like a good value, and chancsuch as Carnival. es are you’ll never meet the other group guests or even distinguish them from other passengers. 6. Take advantage of “Wave Season” incentives - Cruise lines often roll out short-term book- My advice to make the most of ing incentives during the first few your vacation experience is to conmonths of the year to lock in busi- tact a local agency which offers exness, everything from onboard perienced and knowledgeable travel credits to spa treatments, to a free consultants. These professionals can dinner for two in a specialty res- guide you throughout the booking taurant. process.
7. Go Western - Assuming you want to go to the Caribbean (it’s still the most-visited destination by cruise ships) you’ll often get a better price if you opt for a Western Caribbean itinerary as opposed to the Eastern Caribbean. It’s a quirk of supply and demand, as cruisers today favor Eastern Caribbean trips.
While price is certainly important, getting the most from your vacation is the key. Editor’s note: Howard S. Moses is President of The Cruise Authority in Marietta; visit the-cruise-authority. com for more info.
Atlanta-Based Company Helps Simplify Your Trip PARK ‘N FLY FOR SPRING BREAK
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For the Atlanta Jewish Times
ith spring break right around the corner and warm weather quickly approaching, it’s no wonder everyone is hustling to finalize vacation plans. Students have been daydreaming of the beach since the holidays, and all you can think about is, “Where has February gone?”
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business & finance
Israeli Economist Shares Insight with Atlanta LANDAU SPEAKS AT AICCSE EVENT by AL SHAMS
AJT Contributor in the region.
sraeli economist Pinchas Landau was the featured speaker at the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region’s recent function. Southland law firm partner Mike Voynick and Brad Young with State of Israel Bonds sponsored the event. The guest of honor focused his remarks on the Jewish State’s economic prospects for the coming year. Here are some of Landau’s key points from the day – of interest are the steps Israel has taken to deal with its economic challenges and how similar issues are being handled today in the U.S. • Fiscal Policy - In the Jewish State, this key issue is not left to the whims of politicians; instead, it is in effect “outsourced” to a group of professional economists. Meanwhile, the U.S. is currently mired in constant political haggling regarding budgets, deficits, tax policy and entitlements, all of it largely driven by well-financed special interest groups. • Monetary Policy - Stanley Fischer, a U.S.-educated economist, currently serves as Israel’s central banker. He is widely admired around the world for his sensible, independent approach to Israel’s policy of monetary growth.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Fischer will be retiring soon, and there is much debate over his successor. Whoever is appointed will have “big shoes to fill,” and will have a major impact on the country’s future growth.
• Structural Reform - During periods of crisis, the affected parties showed effective leadership and cooperation to initiate pension and tax reform. Also, the labor market has seen major changes. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, approximately 500,000 highly educated and trained Jews immigrated to Israel. In many areas, they possessed technical and scientific skills superior to their Western counterparts, and
“This will be a game-changer for the country,” Landau said.
combining these talents with the opportunities of the capitalist system has resulted in enormous economic growth, especially in the high-tech sector. And what’s more, Israel has seen significant improvement in the percent of citizens participating in the labor market at the same time as an increase in the skill level required to work; in effect, a double-barrel boon. Unfortunately for the U.S., here many skilled jobs are being exported, and new jobs most often show up in low-paying service sectors. • Financial Sector - Through his influence of the country’s central bank, Fischer has been able to keep financial institutions under control. Banks have been guided towards sensible leverage and avoiding risky ventures. That contrasts starkly, of course, with the enormous short-term focus and misallocation of banking assets in the U.S. during the past 10 years. • Capital Market Reform - As a result of the aforementioned conditions, Israel has been able to develop broad and deep capital markets. This has allowed many companies to be financed with funds internal to the country. During the last 20 years, Israel has gone from being a worldwide debtor to its private sector being a net creditor. This has allowed the corporate and individual sectors to make investments within and outside the country at a time when much of the world is short of capital. Simultaneously, the government of Israel continues to borrow from abroad to finance a variety of infrastructure programs. These improvements – which can only be undertaken by the government – lead to huge gains in the productivity and efficiency of the economy.
Used wisely, debt can result in a country raising its economic efficiency and, hence, its living standards. In an excellent example, a young U.S. borrowed extensively from Europe to finance the development of canals, ports, bridges and railroads. • Pragmatism - In general, Israel’s leaders have been driven by what works for the country and what is in the citizens’ best interest. Such practice has yielded far better results than adhering to a fixed ideology or catering to special-interest groups. As a whole, the last 15 to 20 years have brought Israel enormous growth in living standards as a result of sensible pro-growth policies and strong, effective leadership, and these factors should continue to benefit Israel in the future. • Potential Concerns - Some economists are concerned that because Israel’s entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have enjoyed great success, their appetite for further gains and risks has diminished. Another concern is that the country will sell its R&D intellectual property and not fully capitalize on its wealth creation potential through the manufacture of goods and services. To temper these concerns, Landau considers the fact that Israel – among all advanced countries – devotes a greater percent of its resources toward medical research, medical devices and biotechnology. This promises to be a sector that might well lead to great wealth creation while not requiring a vast amount of physical assets. • Energy - Several years ago, Israel found huge reserves of natural gas in its offshore waters. Within a few years, the country will become energy independent and could become an energy exporter to others
He thinks this could even lead to an enormous capital surplus for the country, but those would be funds that he knows must be invested wisely. In summary, Landau highlighted how Israel has accomplished and contributed much in its short history. The pace only has quickened during the past two decades, and the next 20 years look to be very exciting and very rewarding. Editor’s note: To read more of Pinchas Landau’s views on Israel and the economy, visit jerusalemview. blogspot.com.
More on Pinchas Landau
orn and educated in London, Landau has called Israel home since 1976. He is widely considered one of Israel’s leading independent analysts on economic and financial matters. Since 1996, he has written and published a newsletter, “The Landau Report”, which is widely followed by financial leaders in the U.S., England, and Europe. The report examines major factors underlying business and investment trends in Israel. Prior to becoming an independent consultant in 1997, he was a prominent financial journalist. In the 1980s, he wrote for The Jerusalem Post and then the Hebrew-language business paper Globes beginning in 1990. Over the years, he has written numerous in-depth reports and opinion pieces for The Wall Street Journal, Barrons and The Economist, among many other publications, and has also authored several books.
Bringing Justice to Georgia TZEDEKGEORGIA’S FIGHT FOR EQUALITY BY ELIZABETH FRIEDLY Assistant Editor
Simply put, tzedek means “justice.” Called by the words of Proverbs 31:9 – “Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy” – members of Georgia’s 18 Reform congregations will arrive early on the morning of Feb. 27 to meet one-on-one with state representatives. “I think that there are several parts to fulfilling the mitzvah of tikkun olam [repairing the world],” said TzedekGeorgia Co-Chair Jeff Willard. “One of them certainly is giving charity, another is actually directly helping the poor, but then the third is [what] the Torah tells us in Proverbs 31:9. “So it’s definitely telling us to speak up, not just to do charity and not just to work in soup kitchens, but really to do all three.” Although currently promoting political progress in Georgia, Willard began his career in New Jersey; it was there that he worked as regional co-chair for the URJ’s social action committee. Willard decided to continue his work after moving to Georgia in the form of TzedekGeorgia.
such as gun control, healthcare or environmental rights – will remain central focuses in future efforts by TzedekGeorgia. “Really what the national [movement] is doing on that level, we’re doing on a state level,” explained Willard. “All of the bills we’re lobbying on, we’re lobbying for something. The only one that we’re lobbying against is being able to bring guns into a house of worship.”
As a new group, Willard hopes to
see TzedekGeorgia continue to grow over the years. Individuals can join for free, and no experience is required. “We are a Reform group, but we are open to all Jews who have a passion for social justice,” said Willard. “Bringing social justice to Georgia, that’s our goal. That’s what our mission is.” Editor’s note: To join TzedekGeorgia, please send your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to email@example.com.
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“I think it’s very important that there is a Reform Jewish voice at our state capital and that that voice expresses the positions of the URJ,” said Willard. Willard is quick to point out that, while advocates operate under the umbrella of the URJ and TzedekGeorgia, they are all acting as individuals. This means to say that each member will represent themselves, not their congregations.
Hot-topic issues for the URJ –
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ong have religiously affiliated organizations dedicated time to helping the underprivileged, but this time TzedekGeorgia is taking their efforts directly to the state capital. One of Georgia’s newest activist groups and a project of The Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) Southern Region Social Action Committee, these inspired individuals seek to lobby Georgia legislature on behalf of human rights.
Hebrew Charter Schools? NO MATCH FOR A SIDDUR CEREMONY BY Rabbi Lee Buckman Head of School, GHA
very few weeks, I receive an email from a panicked parent about the threat of Hebrew charter schools open-
ing here in Atlanta. With day school tuition rising, how can a parent refuse a no-cost option like a charter school?
After all, although no religious education is permitted, children can learn the modern Hebrew language in an environment that presents some Israeli culture…and it’s free. Recently, I was reminded of a powerful response to that question: Chagigat HaSiddur. It’s a momentous, emotional event; excited students nervously anticipate it for months beforehand. This past Friday, our own GHA first graders experienced this joy of receiving their first siddur. During the ceremony, the children could hardly contain themselves, and the memory is undoubtedly one that they’ll speak about and cherish through adulthood.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
It is important to learn about and study our tradition, but it’s even more important to feel it and love it with a community of friends, and that’s why this ceremony is so powerful. It captures a child’s heart, not just her or his mind.
children; we integrate the heart with the mind. We embrace children with the love, warmth and joy of Judaism. We provide moments of transcendence – not just at their siddur ceremonies but, every day – that integrate one’s identity as a Jew, a mensch, a lover of Israel and a speaker of Hebrew. At GHA, students don’t just learn about Torah and Israel and G-d; they experience ahavat Torah (the love of Torah), ahavat ha’aretz (the love of Israel), ahavat Yisrael (the love of the Jewish people) and ahavat Hashem (the love of G-d). We provide a Jewish context for Jewish living through which the Hebrew calendar and holidays are experienced, celebrated and lived.
First graders Yael Mainzer and Natalie Grosswald admire their new siddurim. PHOTO/courtesy GHA
And given the Constitutional limitations, no Hebrew charter school can provide such fertile ground to cultivate and nourish the soul and heart of children. Chaim Nachman Bialik once wrote, “the beit midrash is the incubator of our people’s soul.” He had it right.
Indeed, Chagigat HaSid Yes, day dur is about the school education GHA first-graders’ older siblings hold a pure, unadulgiant tallit over the heads of their brothers is costly. I do not terated excitethe and sisters at the recent Chagigat HaSid- minimize ment that chilsacrifices that dur. dren feel about families need PHOTO/courtesy GHA being able to to make to send read Hebrew their children and connect to G-d with their person- to a quality school like GHA, and I alized siddur. And that, I say, is why know that alternatives are tempting. Hebrew charter schools are no match However, what we offer is priceless. for it. With all the forces that attempt to In our particular case, what dis- lure children away from their Jewtinguishes GHA from other types of ish roots, the battle for the heart and schools is not just that we immerse emotions of our children is the most children in the texts, culture, lan- critical one of all. And that battle is guage, history and heritage of our won at Greenfield Hebrew Academy. people. It’s that we create an emotional bond with Judaism for our
Life at Home is the Key to IndependenceSM
Davis Academy’s Rabbi Lapidus is Pardes’ New President STRENGTHENING THE TIES STAFF REPORT
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abbi Micah Lapidus, the Davis Academy’s Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies, has been installed as president of Pardes: Day Schools of Reform Judaism. In this position, Rabbi Lapidus will work with Reform day schools throughout the United States and Canada to collaborate with the Union for Reform Judaism.
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The Davis Academy, which is the largest Reform day school in the U.S., has a history of leadership in the Reform day school movement. Davis lay leaders and past presidents Carol Nemo, Jan Epstein and Harriet Zoller have also served in Pardes.
Davis Volunteers at AIPAC Event
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Over the course of the evening, the volunteers welcomed approximately 1,000 guests to the event. Many attendees commented on how inspiring, uplifting and exciting it was to see the future leaders of the Jewish community.
From left to right, Davis students Charlie Rinzler, Justin Cobb, David Antonino, Noah Weiser, Sophia Gurin, Joshua Gurin, Taylor Herold and Hannah Prass PHOTO/courtesy the Davis Academy
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FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
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avis Academy middle school students volunteered at the annual AIPAC Community Event. Behind the scenes, they assisted in preparing several hundred tables and later greeted guests at the door and assisted with registration.
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arts & life
Atlanta Opera Brings “La Traviata” Starting March 2 CLASSIC STORY OF TRAGEDY AND LOVE Staff Report
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Atlanta Jewish Times: How did you get interested in opera?
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the It’s just something I’ve connected new blue, with later in my life. I think as you and yellow, mature, if you really love music –
In “La Traviata,” Violetta is the mistress of a baron, but she accidentally gets swept away by someone else. That man’s father steps in, says that this is not the thing to do, so she leaves and goes back to the baron. The man she fell for goes berserk, but by the time he gets back to her and figures everything out… A REG
Jerry Rosenberg: On the recommendation of a coworker, my wife and I came to a 2006 production of “Turandot,” and we loved it. I can’t say we’ve been to every performance since then, but I can say we’ve made the majority of them; we have season tickets. Orange —
JR: It’s one of those operas that has been around historically for a long time. The soprano in it, who plays Violetta – let’s just say we got really lucky. [Dunleavy] has had incredible critical acclaim. And that’s another great thing: Sometimes you’re as interested in seeing the people, the singers that will perform, as you are for the opera.
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The Atlanta Jewish Times spoke with Atlanta Opera board member Jerry Rosenberg to hear more about the draw of this art form and “La Traviata.”
AJT: What aspects of this next show, “La Traviata,” are you most excited about?
Also performing will be Atlantabased singers Maria McDaniel (Flora Bervoix), Brent Davis (Baron Douphol), Wesley Morgan (Gastone), and Jason Hardy (Marquis d’Obigny). Soprano Ashley Curling will be making her professional debut in the role of Annina, and world-renowned conductor, Joseph Rescigno, will be conducting.
But I’ve discovered now that you don’t have to be totally comfortable with it; you don’t have to know everything about it and talk to the opera buffs about it – but I can say I love the performance, I love the story.
The show will feature soprano Mary Dunleavy in her Atlanta Opera debut, singing the role of the high-spirited Violetta. Dunleavy has received critical acclaim for her “effortless” and “nuanced” portrayal of the role in more than 65 productions.
and I mean music music, not the kind my grandchildren and my sons listen to [laughs] – but if you really enjoy music and you grow up with it through your generation…I know I could not have connected with opera as a younger man, because it wasn’t an art form that I was comfortable with.
SE R V
he Atlanta Opera’s next production, “La Traviata,” debuts March 2 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Successive shows of this classic love story follow on March 5, 8 and 10.
arts & life
Kosher Movies: The African Queen (1951) G-D IS THE TRUE MATCHMAKER by RABBI HERBERT COHEN AJT Contributor
n my spare time, I have been known to serve as a volunteer matchmaker for an international website. As a volunteer, I can choose which age group on which to focus, and although I try to help people of all ages, I especially like working with the over-40 crowd. This is a challenging group in that I find the over-40 singles are perceived very negatively. Many view the dating pool as consisting of people who are confused, commitment-phobic, unrealistic in their expectations or possessing of a selfish streak. And while there may be a grain of truth in such stereotypes, I have found that, in most cases, these people simply have not yet found their destined one. Therefore, I research the site and try to find a suitable match – and sometimes happily succeed.
Also noteworthy is their honest self-appraisal. Neither has illusions about the other, nor does either long for a younger love. They live in the moment and want every minute to count, and this approach to life is captured exquisitely in the final scene of the film: Charlie asks a German ship captain to marry Rose and him when they are about to be hung for spying. The captain concludes the ceremony, then declares, “By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution.” What happens next defies description; suffice it to say, the loving couple
lives happily ever after. But surely not all matches are so fated; indeed, in Jewish tradition, the Talmud tells us that making a match is like splitting the Red Sea – a miracle of major proportions. As a matchmaker, I can never predict why two people ultimately will connect emotionally. I just make a calculated guess and leave the rest up to G-d. “The African Queen” provides several examples of such providence taking over to produce positive results: Rain comes to free a boat entangled in a swamp, makeshift torpedoes hit a target without being launched by a
human being. We are shown that we can do our best, but to be successful, G-d has to intervene. In the end, what underpins my volunteer work is the belief that it takes more than just physical attraction to bond a couple. There has to be an intellectual connection as well. Moreover, there has to be a feeling of a shared spiritual destiny. Therefore, on the client’s profile page, I pay closer attention to selfdescriptions than I do to dimensions of height and weight. Proverbs teaches us that “beauty is vain”; it passes, and then we are left with who we really are. Rabbi Cohen, former principal of Yeshiva Atlanta, now resides in Beit Shemesh, Israel. Visit koshermovies. com for more of his Torah-themed film reviews.
The idea that love begins after 40 is given cinematic reality in the classic film “The African Queen,” starring a mature Humphrey Bogart playing Charlie Allnut and Katherine Hepburn playing Rose, a Christian missionary. The two characters become acquainted by happenstance, as it is Allnut’s job to deliver mail and supplies to the remote African village where Rose is stationed. Meanwhile, World War I rages on with Germany. When a contingent of German soldiers invades and sets fire to the British missionaries’ village, Rose’s brother (also a missionary) becomes despondent and commits suicide, but Charlie volunteers to take Rose to safety.
Surviving treacherous rapids and the gunfire of German troops, they bond through shared adversity. What emerges from their mutual trials is the revelation that Charlie and Rose share a common humanity, an innate honesty and a positive attitude towards life. And they are vastly different from their public personas: Charlie is not the proverbial drunken sailor, nor is Rose the conventional missionary.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
And so begins their dangerous journey on Charlie’s boat, the African Queen. The pair come from different worlds, but destiny has thrown them together, and what begins as an adversarial relationship eventually morphs into love as they share perilous adventures together.
arts & life
Just Joking, Jerry
75TH BIRTHDAY PARTY & “KOSHER WEINER ROAST” ON MARCH 2
by john mccurdy
ne could say Jerry Farber likes jokes. Listen to this guy wax poetic:
“Laughter is what G-d gave us to reward us and to ward off what will happen in every life; that is, tragedies and sadness,” he said, then cracked a grin. “And if we don’t laugh, we might as well just join the Tea Party.” As for how the laughter comes about, Farber keeps it, well, kinda kosher. You won’t find any fart references or “F” bombs here, but he’s got no qualms with poking fun, even at himself. And so, to celebrate his 75th birthday, he’s going to have a bunch of friends come to his club – Jerry Farber’s Side Door – and talk bad about him. “I’ve had roasts before, but this one’s going to be about the underbelly of my life,” Farber smiled. “There’s eight roasters, and everybody involved, they’ve known me for 40 years or more – through the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.” The shindig’s set for March 2, doors at 7:30 p.m. Seating’s limited, so if this sounds like your cup of tea (can’t imagine what that’d taste like), visit jerryfarbessidedoor. squarespace.com.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
No lies: Jerry’s first show was his
own bar mitzvah. “The entertainment was so bad…” he remembers. “No, really, we had a bad band. My mom said, ‘Jerry, do something.’ So I got up, emceed, told jokes. “My friends liked it, the older ones acted like they liked it, and we all agreed it was better than what the band was doing.”
Jerry dropped out of school at the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill and went to work for a while with his father, a clothing manufacturer. He got his “mojo working” pretty quickly, though, and moved to Atlanta, where he tinkled the keys and told some jokes at gentlemen’s clubs to get his start.
A three-week stint at the old Inspired by Lark and Dove Want to see something funny? such a successon Roswell Road ful debut, Farturned into a 12ber took to showyear stay that biz from that moment on. Already a helped him establish a following and pretty good piano player, he was soon get on his feet financially. Eventualplaying gigs at country clubs in and ly, he felt ready to open his own spot; around his native Greensboro, N.C. thus, Jerry Farber’s Place on Pharr “I remember thinking, ‘I’d really Road was born. like to do this. The hours are great, It was there that he broke ground people all want to shake your hand, – helping to introduce the world to and I know how to do it…’” he says. the likes of the Indigo Girls, Jeff “Now, 60 or 70 years later, it’s the Foxworthy, Brett Butler and Yakov same joy.” Smirnoff, not to mention being the The road was not always easy. first nightclub in the country to go
non-smoking – but he unfortunately almost went broke, too. “It was a scary moment,” he says of his joint’s closing. “I was young middle-aged. But because I had a reputation, agents picked me up, and I did work all over the East Coast. And I really liked it; I liked it a lot.” Farber lived the traveling life for the next 20-plus years, and though he was never gone more than two or three weeks at a time, it wasn’t until his son was born in 2000 that he started seriously contemplating putting his roots back down in Atlanta. Still, it took a good friend – the late Johnny Esposito – introducing Farber to Tommy Lambros, owner of the Landmark Diner and its adjacent bar space, to get the ball rolling. From there, another close pal of Jerry’s, Bobby Ezor, took over the renovations and presented the key as one heck of a Chanukah present in 2010. Today, the Side Door rocks with laughs and good tunes Wednesday through Sunday and also offers a great event space. Find out more, view the upcoming bill and buy tickets at jerrfarberssidedoor.squarespace.com. “I’ve found a way to make the club work,” Jerry says. “I have this child, who’s everything to me, and good friends. And that’s all you need.”
food for thought
You Are What You Eat
BREMAN MUSEUM BRINGS “CHOSEN FOOD” TO ATLANTA BY Elizabeth Friedly Assistant Editor
For these reasons, the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is now featuring a new special exhibit, “Chosen Food,” which opened to the public in January. The exhibit originated at the Jewish History Museum of Maryland.
natives’ stories or taking a simulated whiff of traditional Jewish ingredients. Stepping through the full-sized recreation of a kosher kitchen, Frilingos cites kosher practices as the “original conscious eating.” This theme continues in the exhibit’s discussions on the future and the way in which values of Judaism translate into more ethical eating.
Remnants of “Old Country” kitchens.
Jewish community members and nonJews alike will find new things to learn from the many facets of “Chosen Food.” While members of the Jewish community might be more familiar with the historical or cultural pieces, according to Frilingos, there are more than just simple facts to be gained.
“The Breman was interested in bringing this down,” said Exhibitions Manager Timothy Frilingos, “because this is an exhibit about food. But more specifically because we know Visitors can sit down at the “dining room [not only] how table.” important food PHOTOS/Elizabeth Friedly is in the Jewish community, but also how important it is in Southern “For Jews, it’s an opportunity for culture. So we thought this would be them to come together and share a good way to tie that together.” their stories about food,” said Frilin The “Chosen Food” displays tell gos. “Almost every section is a jumpthe story of the Jewish American ing off point for people – to talk about identity through choices in food. The their favorite deli that might not be tale is a complex one, consisting of around anymore, to talk about the multiple parts and perspectives. favorite things they share at the Guests are first invited to take an holidays, talk about the favorite uninteractive quiz on dishes and their cle who used to tell the best stories perceived “Jewishness.” The exhibit around the dinner table. It’s really a as a whole explores the past, present place to come with a couple generations and talk about your food tradiand future of Jewish dining. tions.” Sections guide the visitor from the private to the public spheres – from intimate holiday meals to the rise of “Chosen Food” is on display at The the deli. It details the experience of Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, early Jewish immigrants as well as Sunday through Friday, until May modern-day families. Museum-goers 27. For additional information, incan readily interact with the exhib- cluding ticket prices, visit thebreit, whether sitting down at a dining man.org. room table and listening to Atlanta
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ood speaks volumes about a culture; it’s something we as humans universally gather around. Culinary choices reflect our economics, values, fashions and general ways of life.
MATZAH BALL SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Everlasting Light CONSISTENCIES AMONG THE TURMOIL BY RACHEL LAVICTOIRE AJT Columnist
his week, my alarm woke me at the following times: 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 8:50 a.m., 11 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. Come Saturday, I slept until 2:30 p.m. On Mondays, I have class from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but on Thursdays, I just have one class – Management 100 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. And on Wednesdays, I’m away from my dorm from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., though on Tuesdays, I spend almost my whole day here. I mention these scheduling details to highlight the inconsistencies that fill my life. Some days, I’m overwhelmed with things to do; other days I’m bored. Some days, I get too much sleep, and on other days, not enough. I’m sure you too experience variation. All this change and the emotional swings that can come with it move about from hour-to-hour and sometimes even minute-to-minute. This past Friday, for example, I woke up at 8:20 a.m. after having gone to bed at 3:30 the night before. At the first sound of my alarm, I was angry and hit the snooze button. I was back asleep in 30 seconds. Five minutes later, the chime went
off again, and this time I was filled with more of a determined frustration. I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth and put in my contacts. I threw on some comfy clothes and a light layer of makeup. I packed my bag, went to the dining hall, and immediately unpacked it. I was in a frenzy that left me with a racing heart, frazzled brain and eyes that darted from study sheet to study sheet. At 9:54 a.m., I threw everything back in my bag and walked over to my exam. With a deep breath, I put my bag in a cubby and tried to relax. I then spent the next hour-and-a-half jumping between confidence and frustration as I shuffled through 50 multiple choice questions. Finally, at 11:30, I was overcome with relief – it was over. The rest of the day continued in a similarly up-and-down fashion: By noon I was bored, but 50 minutes later I beamed with joy at the sight of a good grade. I was engaged during my management class, then annoyed while setting up for a concert. At last, I went back to my dorm around 4 p.m. Exhaustion from sleep deprivation kicked in, and I took a nap for over two hours.
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
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
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. Blessing for the Wine Baruch Atah A-do-nai, El-o-hei-nu Meelech Haolam, Borei p’ri hagafen Praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessing for the Bread (Challah) Baruch Atah A-do-nai, El-o-hei-nu Melech haolam, Hamotzi Lechem min haaretz. Our Praise to You Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Friday, 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 Friday, March 8, 2013 Light Candles at: 6:21 pm Shabbat, March 9, 2012 Shabbat Ends: 7:17 pm
I suppose there are some people who thrive off of an ever-changing schedule, who enjoy spontaneity and variation; but that’s not me. I like schedules and lists. I like to know what’s happening on any given day and prepare for it accordingly. Obviously, though, many things happen in our lives that are out of our control.
Torah and built a sanctuary. And only a short while before all this, the Israelites lives were filled with turmoil and agonizing manual labor.
Now, they are a people united under one G-d, with laws, leaders and purpose. Their lives have changed completely, and although the change is obviously for the better, G-d recognizes that it may still be unsetting.
“I suppose there are some people who thrive off an everchanging schedule, who enjoy spontaneity and variation; that’s not me”
In a comic and somewhat random way, I tend to link this chaos with the “blob,” a very large inflatable balloon that has become a staple of summer camp water play. It works thusly: Camper A sits on one end of it and waits patiently while Camper B climbs up a nearby ladder and then jumps on the balloon and sends Camper A for a short but fun flight. It’s that brief time in the air that often reminds me of life’s unpredictability. The instant your body is thrown from the blob, you instinctively start thrashing about – your legs flail aimlessly, and your arms swing in circles in an effort to keep your body in a vertical position as you hope to avoid a belly flop into the lake. It’s like you’re trying to grab onto nothing, praying that, in that split second, something will save you from an embarrassing smack and a tomato-colored stomach. We do this, in a manner of speaking, every day: You may not realize it, but each of us swings our arms in circles, searching for consistencies to keep us sane. Maybe you eat the same thing for breakfast everyday or go to the gym at the same time. Maybe you call your best friend, or maybe you just take time to scroll through your Pinterest for some “you” time. In this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, G-d recognizes that human need for consistency. In the portions preceding, the Israelites fled from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, wandered through Sinai, were given the Ten Commandments, received the
Thus, the parsha begins with G-d’s instruction to Moses: “And you shall command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle lamps continually. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the dividing curtain that is in front of the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set it up before the Lord from evening to morning; it shall be an everlasting statue for their generations, from the children of Israel” (Exodus 27: 20-21). This light is kindled forever – in times of war and in times of peace, in times of loss and in times of celebration. And while it’s no longer a physical light, today it can still be found in the warmth of the Jewish people. We can all take solace knowing that, no matter what emotion we are consumed with at any given time, we have people in our lives to rely on – a rabbi, a teacher, a best friend. They’re all part of our community, our everlasting light. Rachel LaVictoire (rlavictoire@wustl. edu) is a graduate of the Davis Academy and Westminster High School, recipient of the prestigious Nemerov Writing and Thomas H. Elliott Merit scholarships at Washington University of St. Louis and an active member of Temple Emanu-El and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
Parashat Tetzaveh RECLAIMING MISSING PARTS OF THE WHOLE BY RABBI ELANA ERDSTEIN PERRY
Temple Sinai and the Atlanta Rabbinical Association
he Torah portion this week, Tetzaveh, focuses on the advent of the priesthood of Aaron and his sons. The passages provide a detailed description of the vestments of the priests as well as an equally detailed description of the ritual for ordination.
speak only in heterosexual terms, rendering homosexual members invisible? Is our programming oriented only toward couples and families, leaving singles to feel excluded? We need not be priests to examine ourselves and the way we represent
our communities. If we neglect to include anyone, we invalidate our sacred purpose. So let us all be students of Aaron. Let us be inclusive, exemplifying a pursuit of peace, demonstrating a love of others and helping to draw more people near to the Torah.
Editor’s note: Rabbi Elana Erdstein Perry is a rabbi at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs and a member of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association.
These lengthy accounts reflect the importance of the priestly role, the high status they held in the community and the respect they received from the Israelites. Of course, being that the priests were symbolic exemplars of piety and virtue, one might think that the Torah would devote a little more time to describing their character – but we learn virtually nothing about the inner qualities necessary for Aaron to serve as a priest. At least in Pirkei Avot 1:12 we find some clues about such qualities. The text states:
“Be a student of Aaron, loving and pursuing peace, loving people, and drawing them near to the Torah.”
Both the duties the biblical priests performed and the clothing they wore for such duties had to be meticulous. In fact, the midrash of Ecclesiastes Rabbah states that if even one letter were missing from the inscription on Aaron’s garment, his garment would be invalid (7:2); this suggests that he could not complete his sacred tasks without the full inclusion of all whom he represented. In other words, in order for Aaron to assume his priestly role, it was imperative that every single member of the community be counted and recognized. Perhaps this is why Pirkei Avot encourages us to be more like Aaron; perhaps this is a spirit of inclusivity from which all of us can learn. Do we, in our own congregations and institutions, ensure that all members of our communities are recognized and included in the fold? For example, are our facilities fully accessible to people with disabilities?
Does our institutional language
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
Aaron apparently possessed these noble traits and passed them on to his disciples. The question now, then, is how does the priestly position promote peace, love, and engagement with Torah?
Sun., Feb. 22
AJS Unplugged, dinner and a timely Jewish themed discussion with Atlanta Jewish Singles. Sun., Feb. 22, 7 p.m. Private residence. meetup.com/ Atlanta-Jewish-Singles/events/. Sat., Feb. 23 Purim on Piedmont, a Purim celebration for young adults, ages 21 to 35; drinks, hamantaschen, dancing, door prizes and more. Sat., Feb. 23, 10 a.m. Free. The Gold Room. Info via (678) 812-4055 or email@example.com. Men in Motion Show Opening, Moving in the Spirit’s 10th anniversary, joined by Emory dancers blending contemporary and hip-hop. Sat., Feb. 23, 6 p.m. $12/adults, $6/ages 13 and under. Free for ages under 3. Tickets available via movinginspirit.org OVS Purim Palooza, celebration with music and hamantashen; includes performance by The 4th Ward AfroKlezmer Orchestra. Sat., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. $15/members, $20/non-members, $10/under 13. Congregation Or VeShalom. (404) 633-1737 or office@ orveshalom.org. “Charlotte’s Web” Opening presented
by the Alliance Theater; a twist on a classic with circus stunts and acrobatics. Opening night Sat., Feb. 23, 7 p.m.; 12 performances through March 10. $35/adults, $20/kids. Tickets via (404) 733-5000 or alliancetheatre.org/charlotte.
Megillah Reading & Costume Parade, “Megillat Texter.” Prizes awarded for costumes. Sat., Fri. 23, 7:30 p.m. Congregation Shearith Israel. 404873-1743.
Chabad of Gwinnett’s Purim in the Ballpark, dress up as a true fan; includes prizes for every costume, dinner, comedy shpiel, music and multimedia megillah reading. Sun., Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m. $15/advance, $18/at door, $12/ages under 10. Cultural Arts & Community Center on College St. RSVP at chabadofgwinnett.org.
Sun., Feb. 24 PurimPALOOZA Parade and Magic Show, a Purim program including crafts, costume parade, a magic show by “Howie the Great” and the book launch for “The Purim Superhero” by Elizabeth Kushner. Sun., Feb. 24, 10 a.m. Free. Info via (678) 812-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teen Open Mic Night, part of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, hosted by No Komment. Sun., Feb. 24, 5 p.m. Steve’s Live Music. steveslivemusic.com.
Purim Open House featuring the Chaverim Band and refreshments. Sun., Feb. 24, 2 p.m. The Carlton on Mt. Vernon Hwy. fredglus@comcast. net.
Chabad Israeli Center Purim, fun for the whole family. Sun., Feb. 24, 12 p.m. $15/at door, $10/in advance. Mad Mad Whirled. Registration at cicatlanta.com/purim.
Purim Seudah Hoedown. Sun., Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m. (deadline to RSVP is Feb. 19). $36/adults, $15/kids. Age 5 and under free. Congregation Beth Tefillah. RSVP via (404) 843-2464 x104 or chabadga.com.
Sports Purim, buffet dinner and themed entertainment including mini-golf, crafts and more. Sun., Feb. 24, 5 p.m. $10/person, $36/family (of five). Chabad of Cobb. RSVP at
Purim Schpiel & Raffle, “Humorous Hollywood Squares” with dinner. Schpiel participants will be “auctioned off” at the beginning of the evening. Sun., Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. $25
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includes dinner; $12 for schpiel only. Congregation Shearith Israel. 404873-1743. Wed., Feb. 27 “Get on the Write Track,” with The Atlanta Writer’s Academy, hosted by the MJCCA in partnership with award-winning and published instructors on writing fundamentals. Wed., Feb. 27, 7:15 p.m. Free. Brill Rooms 184/186. RSVP to atlantawritersacademy.com. “The Odd Couple” Performance, from Shearith Israel Shelther and Fabrefaction Theatre, raising funds to serve Atlanta’s homeless women. Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m. $25/person. Fabrefaction Theatre Company Blackbox. Tickets at sishelter.org. “Unstoppable” Overcoming Crisis Lecture, guest speaker Jarryd Wallace’s inspirational story of overcoming a major life crisis. Part of Chabad lecture series. Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Chabad Enrichment Center of Gwinnett. (678) 595-0196. Thurs., Feb. 28 Author and Book Discussion, “The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler. Thurs., Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. $8/ members, $13/non-members. MJCCA. Tickets via (678) 812-4005 or atlantajcc.org/bookfestival. “Through the Eyes of Her Father” Exhibit Opening, presented by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, from Kennesaw State University as part of “Anne Frank in the World.” Thur., Feb. 28. Free and open to public. Parkside Shopping Center on Roswell Rd. (770) 206-1558. Fri., March 1 Art, Writing and Music Contest Deadline, from the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Submit entries by Mar. 1. Division I: grades 6-8, Division II: grades 9-12. Info at holocaust.georgia.gov/art-writing-andmusic-contest. Sat., March 2 Families Center Stage, presented by Cartoon Network and North Highland; festival tickets include admission to “Charlotte’s Web.” Sat., March 2, 2 p.m. $38/adults, $25/children. Woodruff Arts Center Galleria. Tickets and info at alliancetheatre. org/familiescenterstage. Etz Chaim Movie Madness, benefiting the Etz Chaim Department of Education, featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dancing and silent auction. Sat., March 2, 7:30 p.m. Congregation Etz Chaim’s Hammer-Tritt Social Hall. Register online at etzchaim.net/preschool_events_registration.aspx.
MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE A BLESSING
Erin Rachel Diamond 27, OF MARIETTA
Erin Rachel Diamond, 27, of Marietta, passed away on Feb. 15, 2013. She is preceded in death by her grandfathers, Jack Phillips and Isadore Diamond. She is survived by her mother, Felicity Diamond; her father, Jeff Diamond; her sister, Dara Diamond; her grandparents, May Phillips and Lorraine Diamond; and many nieces and nephews – although she had a special love for her niece Brooke. She was an accomplished pianist and a registered nurse at DeKalb Medical Center. She graduated from Kennesaw State University Nursing School. Erin had a great love of animals, particularly dogs. She had a generous heart and an equally generous spirit. The amount of lives she touched is immeasurable. Please sign the online guestbook at edressler. com. Services were held at Temple Kol Emeth on Feb. 19, 2013; internment followed at Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Angels Among Us Pet Rescue at angelrescue.org. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.
Fryer, Sharon Fryer Oxman and Laurie and Dan Mayfield; cousins: Jenny Fryer, Susie and Isaac Cohen, Jeffrey and Samantha Oxman, Maya and Pearl Cohen, Brittany Long and Timothy Gaunt; and his beloved dog, Stella Blue. Donations can be made to the Susan R. Fryer Library Memorial Fund at Egleston Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 1405 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Sign online guestbook at edressler.com. Graveside service was held Mon., Feb. 18, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Crest Lawn Cemetery with Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.
Frances Clark Eizenstat WIFE TO STUART EIZENSTAT
Frances Clark Eizenstat was born 68 years ago in the Boston suburb of Everett, Mass. She was the loving wife of 45 years of Stuart Eizenstat; the mother of two surviving children, Jay Eizenstat and Brian Eizenstat; and grandmother to seven grandchildren (Menachem, Bracha, Eli Kalmon, Michal, Yitzchock, Julia and Caroline). She was a role model for women balancing professional accomplishments and non-profit leadership and a loving friend, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. She combined a life of professional accomplishment focused on the disadvantaged in the U.S. and on Jews in distress around the world (especially in the former Soviet Union) with a deep commitment to Judaism, to the State of Israel, to her myriad friends (each of whom felt she was their best friend) and to her family. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Brandeis University (1965), where her deep affection and ties to the State of Israel began; she spent part of her junior year there in the Hiatt program. Years later, Fran took her two children, Jay and Brian, for extended summer stays in Israel. She obtained a masters degree in Social Work from Boston College (1967); and then, mid-career and with two teenage boys, earned a second masters degree, an MBA from George Washington, with an “A” average. During her professional career, which spanned several decades, she worked in a variety of jobs focused on helping low-income Americans achieve the American dream. Her roles included working in the Model Cities program (1968-70) in Atlanta and the Children’s Defense Fund with Marion Wright Edelman in Washington; leading the White House Conference on Families (1979-81), where she helped shape federal programs to strengthen low-income families; and, after earning her MBA, serving as a Housing Manager in the low-income housing section at FNMA. Even with all of these professional achievements, it was in the non-profit voluntary sector that she made an greater mark. As Vice President of the Atlanta chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Fran developed the first screening program for Tay Sachs disease (a malady particularly affecting children of Ashkenazi Jewish women) which served as a model for the nation and prevented countless tragedies. Later, as Vice Chair and Presidentelect of NCJW, she was recognized as one of the outstanding young leaders in Atlanta. Additionally, she was selected for the prestigious Leadership Atlanta program in 1976. Sign online guestbook at jewishfuneralcare.com. Funeral services were held Mon., Feb. 18, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Interment followed at Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.
Jesse Morgan Fryer
Jesse Morgan Fryer, born March 12, 1997, passed away on Sat., Feb. 16, 2013. Jesse was a sophomore at Milton High School. He was an avid reader, drummer and gamer. He enjoyed his summers at French Wood Festival for the Performing Arts, where he studied stagecraft and lighting. An enthusiastic fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and Los Angeles Dodgers, Jesse also had a great love of music. He is survived by parents, Rhonda and Keith Fryer; brother, Jacob Fryer; and sisters Hillary Fryer and Melissa Fryer Maldin and brother-in-law Keith Maldin. Jesse is also survived by grandparents, Jane Fryer and Jo Ann and Russell Britt; aunts and uncles, Linda and Matt
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
SON OF RHONDA AND KEITH FRYER
JEWISH PUZZLER by David Benkof
Across 1. Game at Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian Hotel and Casino 6. Consumer protection agcy. 9. Hoopster from L.A. 14. 27-Across uses one when conducting 15. “___ wagon, bound for market....” 16. Wear away 17. Sage attributed with the authorship of the Zohar 20. Stiller’s comedy partner 21. “Back ___ hour” (shop sign) 22. K-O bridge 23. Claim of rights 25. Whence Reb Nachman 27. Pianist and conductor Daniel 31. “Saturday Night Live” episode, essentially 35. Carte opener 36. “Funny ___” 37. “You look like you could use ___” 38. Bean named for a capital 40. Poet and playwright Sachs 42. 60% of CMXX 43. Old sailor 45. Actress Skye of “Gas Food Lodging” 47. Only word spoken in Mel Brooks’s “Silent Movie” 48. Memoirist immigrant Mary 49. Radicals who fought for Zionism pre-statehood 51. ___ Lakish (gemara personality who used to be a gladiator)
53. Bundle 54. Actress Charlotte ___ 57. Prophet 59. With 9-Down, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” director 62. First Hebrew couple 66. Writer Levi (“The Periodic Table”) 67. She raised Cain 68. A chorus line? 69. Kind of approval 70. How sashimi is served 71. Comedian Soupy
27. Hobby wood 28. “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” visitor 29. ___ Beit Shemesh (Jerusalem suburb) 30. Beitar ___ 32. The Jerusalem of Lithuania 33. Part of ILGWU
34. Just managing, with “by” 37. “We, the Living” novelist 39. ___ Hu (song at the seder) 41. Singer-songwriter Lisa 44. It isn’t repeated 46. Listens to a recruiter 49. Naomi of “Jerusalem of
Down 1. Morley Safer’s network 2. Chicago’s Jewish mayor 3. Break ___ (go into sudden death) 4. Hair dressing 5. Nocturnal noise 6. TV host Saget 7. Part of BBYO 8. Cy Coleman musical about a circus pioneer 9. See 59-Across 10. Apparent path of the sun 11. Former Senator Herb from Wisconsin 12. Certain cheese 13. Bridle attachment 18. Cop’s apprehension 19. Bat ___ (Coastal city) 24. Achy after a workout 26. Hardly The Fonz
Gold” 50. Talmud 52. Galilee, e.g. 54. Bewitched 55. ___-cadabra 56. Conservative Cantor? 58. Prominent voice in the gemara 60. One kind of Torah 61. ___ Five (Orthodox students who sued their Ivy League college) 63. Jeremy Ben-___ (Executive director of J Street) 64. “___ Jewish Agenda” 65. “Rumor ___ It...” (2005 Rob Reiner movie)
Last week’s answers
Chess Puzzle of the Week by Jon Hochberg
Challenge: White to move: Checkmate in 3 moves
Last puzzle’s solution. 1) Rg7+, Kf8 2) d7#
Jon Hochberg is a chess instructor who has been teaching in the Atlanta area for the last 6 years. Currently, Jon runs after school chess programs at several Atlanta schools. He always welcomes new students, and enjoys working with children who have no prior chess knowledge. Jon can be reached at Jonhochberg@gmail.com to schedule private lessons.
FEBRUARY 22 ▪ 2013
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