Atlanta Jewish Times, Vol. XCIII No. 47, November 30, 2018

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NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 22 KISLEV 5779


Jewish Atlanta Shines its Light Artwork by Alyssa Medwed

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CONTACT INFORMATION GENERAL OFFICE 404.883.2130 The Atlanta Jewish Times is printed in Georgia and is an equal opportunity employer. The opinions expressed in the Atlanta Jewish Times do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Periodicals Postage Paid at Atlanta, Ga. POSTMASTER send address changes to Atlanta Jewish Times 270 Carpenter Drive Suite 320, Atlanta Ga 30328. Established 1925 as The Southern Israelite Phone: (404) 883-2130 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES (ISSN# 0892-33451) IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY SOUTHERN ISRAELITE, LLC 270 Carpenter Drive, Suite 320, Atlanta, GA 30328 © 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES Printed by Walton Press Inc. MEMBER Conexx: America Israel Business Connector American Jewish Press Association Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce Please send all photos, stories and editorial content to:

THIS WEEK Come Light the Menorah

In these cold days of December, we can look forward to the warmth of family and friends gathering to celebrate the Festival of Lights. We asked our staff, correspondents and members of the Atlanta Jewish community to share their views on Chanukah. They offered personal reflections on how they celebrate and what the holiday means in the context of the larger American experience. As is our annual tradition, we also spotlight the winners of our Chanukah art contest. And for your holiday table, we provide recipes for latkes and cran-raspberry chicken, in case you haven’t had your fill of cranberries from Thanksgiving. The two holidays fall so close this year – 10 days apart – it makes sense to combine their flavors. While Chanukah is the centerpiece of this issue, the news continues regardless of holiday schedules. We have a preview of the upcoming Dec. 4 runoff election for secretary of state and public service commission. If Lindy Miller nabs the PSC spot, she could be the first Jewish woman to win a statewide partisan race. In local community news, a measles outbreak in Orthodox circles in New York and New Jersey hits home, prohibiting unvaccinated children from attending their synagogue or other public gatherings. Atlanta’s Orthodox day schools are also considering precautionary measures. Also in this issue is a review of a new book about the Supreme Court, including how the high court is increasingly involved in politics. Between politics and holidays, this issue is packed with the people, places and foods that make this season so memorable in the Atlanta Jewish community.

CONTENTS REFLECTIONS ��������������������������������������������������������������� 4 LOCAL NEWS ���������������������������������������������������������������� 6 BUSINESS �������������������������������������������������������������������� 11 POLITICS ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 ISRAEL NEWS ������������������������������������������������������������ 14 OPINION ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 16 CHANUKAH ���������������������������������������������������������������� 20 ARTS ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 52 DINING �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 54 KEEPING IT KOSHER ���������������������������������������������� 55 CALENDAR ������������������������������������������������������������������ 56 COMMUNITY �������������������������������������������������������������� 59 BRAIN FOOD ��������������������������������������������������������������� 70 OBITUARIES ��������������������������������������������������������������� 72 CLOSING THOUGHTS ��������������������������������������������� 73 Corrections: In “Gulch Redevelopment on Track for Downtown” Nov. 22, Nancy Meister was identified as vice chair of the Atlanta Board of Education. Eshe P. Collins now holds that position. In “Experts Salute Stein, Emory and Middle East Studies” Nov. 16, a photo of five women misidentified Diane Rieger, Michaela Rosenblatt and Shlomit Ritz Finkelstein. Rieger was incorrectly quoted as saying Ken Stein retired three times, but it was she who retired twice. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 3

REFLECTIONS Chanukah: Always a Celebration in Atlanta As Atlanta Jewry approached the history of the holiday. In the Sunday Thanksgiving in the 1930s, a holiday schools, Hebrew schools, Arbeiterin shule which they enjoyed very much, the rab- (Yiddish) and at the Jewish Educational bis and educators in the city began think- Alliance, there were rabbis and educators ing about Chanukah. True, there had teaching all about the holiday. However, been a depression in the early 30s, but not all the city’s 750 Jewish children were now people had a little more money. They enrolled in these Jewish institutions. The late Professor Dawanted their children to envid Macarov reminded the joy Chanukah just a little bit community constantly that more. “the Zionists and pioneers In this era, Chanukah in Palestine were the Machas become the holiday of cabees of today.” might. We remember the Mr. World’s lesson folwarrior, Bar Kokhba. We lowed along traditional remember the Maccabees lines. “There are the heroic fighting to free themselves Maccabees, the five sons of from the Hellenists. We Mattathias. Under the leadrecall the Jews in Warsaw Rabbi David ership of the eldest brother, ghetto, who fought bravely. Geffen Judas, they rebelled against We honor the memory of the 550,000 Jews who fought in the U.S. the Syrian tyrant, and after many hardArmy and a similar number who fought fought battles, succeeded in driving out in the Red Army. We sometimes forget the Syrians and purifying the Temple.” that a million Jews fought in World War Our ancestors were fighters. Most AtlanII. Those people did their best to defeat ta children may have seen prize-fighters like Max Baer, but the veterans of World and destroy Hitler and the Nazi hordes. In 1933, the students of the Shearith War I were basically forgotten. A feminist even back then, Mr. World Israel Sunday Hebrew School were heard all over the south when they sang Cha- said, “Wouldn’t want the girls among nukah songs in Hebrew and English on you to feel that the boys can crow over WSB radio. That was a first for broadcast- you because the hero of this holiday is a man. For Chanukah has a heroine too, ing in Atlanta and in the South. A regular column in the Southern the martyr Hannah, who preferred to see Israelite was “Mr. World Talks to the her seven children killed before her very Children.” The author was Florence Roth- eyes rather than renounce Judaism.” Mr. schild who syndicated these regular fea- World also provided contests in which tures from New York. In 1934, two weeks to participate with students all over the before Chanukah, she wrote, “No doubt USA. I read that Ozna Tontack was a winall of you are very busy these days pre- ner one year and another year my aunt, paring the last of your Chanukah pres- Annette Geffen Raskas, won. Lighting the ents, helping mother polish up the Cha- candles, spinning the dreidels, singing nukah lamp and hunting for the dreidels Maoz Tzur and even Handel’s oratorio, “Judas Maccabaeus,” were discussed. you played with last year at this time.” The description of Chanukah in AtMr. World wanted the Jewish children in Atlanta to be reminded about lanta in 1937 provides us with a feeling

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of joy deeply experienced in those years before the fighting of War World II began. “Because of Chanukah’s early bow this year, visitors who came to the city for Thanksgiving holidays are remaining over the weekend and many are the attending parties and private affairs which will fête the guests of Atlanta.” The American holiday and the Jewish holiday joined together back then. You may recall how that happened a few years ago. After adult parties came the events for the younger set. “A number of children’s parties are scheduled for the Chanukah holidays giving the very young set an opportunity for social versatility. The Jewish Educational Alliance Chanukah party will be an outstanding event.” As the author of this piece noted “these Chanukah events will crown a week that promises an abundance of gaiety.” In 1937, the most exciting event, which was in its fifth year, was the Chanukah Ball of Congregation Or VeShalom, organized and directed by the Nessah Israel Sisterhood. The Ball was held at the Ansley Hotel, which stamped it as a most significant event. Members of the other synagogues and the Arbeiterin Yiddish organization made it a point to attend. The year of 1940 had a number of elements to it. David Ben Gurion was at a Zionist conference in New York working toward a Jewish state. When he spoke, he said “100,000 American Jewish youth should come to Palestine.” They would not only feel the impact of the country, but would help the pioneers till the land and also learn Hebrew. As you can imagine, it did not happen. His speech came just before Chanukah, so it did make some impact. Rabbi Harry Epstein was the only person in Atlanta who had lived in Palestine, but there is no evidence of an AA (Ahavath Achim Synagogue) member making aliyah then. Two of the oldest Atlantans I know both celebrated Chanukah at home and at Shearith Israel in the 1930s. I am not sure as to whether they sang on the radio. They are Esther Sloan Lewyn and Malcolm Minsk. Sure, there are others alive

who celebrated at the AA, Or VeShalom, and the Temple. Please notify me since I am developing a list. For Chanukah in 1940, Mrs. Nathan Maziar (z”l), Harry’s mother, was the president of the Shearith Israel Sisterhood. A Chanukah Fair was planned by the women to be held at the synagogue building on Washington Street on Dec. 29, 1940. “There was a small admission charged (think it was a dime).” From 4 to 8 the synagogue was filled with fun and many, many booths. One of the most interesting was a simulated trip to Palestine by ship and that was followed by what could be done there. The Tushia Bible Class lit the candles. Here are a few lines from a poem that was read: “We are G-d’s candles May our light shine brightly and true And light the way To liberty for Gentile and Jew.” The Chanukah issue of the Southern Israelite magazine published each month was filled with the most important stories and the most fascinating ads. Most of them carried a line such as “Chanukah Greetings.” In December 1940, one ad by a Jewish concern, “Muse’s,” truly left its impact. “Chanukah 1940 and the touch of fashion.” The major text read: “The fashion pendulum swings to Muse’s where the major touch of fashion meets the eye. Picturesque and refreshing is the selection ‘for him or her,’ refreshing labels that hang by more than a thread.” A large Chanukah menorah welcomed everyone as they entered the Jewish Educational Alliance on Capitol Avenue. There since 1911, the Alliance had been the center of the Jewish community. The Marcus Jewish Community Center continues that tradition in this modern era. May each of you have a “Joyous Chanukah – Chanukah Sameach.” ■ Rabbi David Geffen is a former Atlantan and Conservative rabbi living in Jerusalem.


LOCAL NEWS JNF Breakfast Speaker Serves Up ‘Seven Dirty Words’ By Dave Schechter New York Times columnist Bari Weiss remembers childhood Shabbat dinners, a “sacred time” when her family would sing “Shalom Aleichem” and pass around a blue-and-white box bearing the words Keren Kayemet LeYisrael. “My parents were very clear on where the money was going. Our tzedakah was going to plant trees in the land of Israel, a place I had heard a lot about but had yet to visit,” Weiss told the Jewish National Fund’s annual Jack Hirsch Memorial Breakfast on Nov. 27. And when the family spent a summer in Israel, 8-year-old Bari and her younger sister were ecstatic (thanks to some parental cleverness) to find two small trees, bearing signs with their names written in calligraphy, in a park near their Jerusalem apartment. “The craziest part of the story is that it wasn’t until I was like 20 years old that I realized that it wasn’t true,” Weiss joked, to laughter from an audience of 350 people. The breakfast honored the Horwitz and Zusman families for their contributions to JNF and Israel. David and Merle Horwitz were unable to attend, but the family was represented by their daughter, Ula Horwitz Zusman, her husband, Michael Zusman, and their children, Lev, Noa and Ziv. A native of Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, Weiss did not discuss the Oct. 27 massacre of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation. She focused, instead, on values, “the ones I believe we’re losing sight of and the ones I believe we need to recover if we want to build a Jewish future that can face the challenges of the 21st century.”

Photos by Jon Marks // The Zusman family (from left): Ziv, Lev, Ula, Michael and Noa Zusman.

They, and Ula's parents, Merle and David Horwitz, were honored at the event.

Referencing a book she is writing “about the virtues that have fallen out of fashion or favor in our culture,” Weiss offered her list of “seven dirty words in the Jewish world, … words that signify values that are not being inculcated in young people, topics that we assiduously avoid, and debates that we are too cowardly to have.” Topping Weiss’ list was “peoplehood,” the need for Jews to appreciate the rich legacy of their history, to think of themselves as one people, and focus


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on the Jewish future in the 21st century, rather than becoming mired in internal debates. “We need to bring Jewish peoplehood in a serious way,” she said. Next came “empathy,” particularly between American and Israeli Jews. The former must recognize that the latter live “in a region that could not be more different than our own,” Weiss said, requiring daily decisions about security. “It is violent and requires an embrace of power and force that most American Jews who have never shot a gun would be deeply uncomfortable with,” she said. “The lack of empathy can go in the other direction. It’s painfully obvious when Israeli leaders talk about American Jewish life as if it’s some pale ghost, some husk of a thing, when the values that we are so proud of, our pluralism, our inclusiveness, our tolerance, are denigrated as weakness,” she said. Adding “loneliness” to her list, Weiss praised Abraham, who “stood radically against the prevailing orthodoxy of his time,” and cited two lessons from his story: a “refusal to worship false idols and, two, the courage to be out of step with those around you.” Weiss might have been describing the reaction to her writings, pleasing neither end of the political spectrum. (“She

eschews political labels. She refuses to be categorized,” Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt said in introducing Weiss). “Jews in American politics today are a lot like Abraham. We are homeless and nomadic. The Jews are left out of the left, which tells us that we need to check our Zionism, our particularism, at the door of progressive spaces. And on the right, we are told that our commitment to universal ideals, to welcoming the stranger and the refugee makes us squishes,” Weiss said. “We need to be courageous enough to stand apart, to not bend toward the crowd, and not give in to groupthink. We should find strength and pride in this loneliness, in the reality of being an idolsmashing people,” she said. Fourth was the concept of “chosenness,” a subject that makes many Jews uncomfortable. Nonetheless, “Chosenness is absolutely fundamental to Judaism. It is foundational,” Weiss said. “It’s time to confront chosenness,” she said, to help answer such questions as what it means to be Jewish and whether chosenness can be based on something other than a belief in God. “The east, mizrach” was fifth. American Jews who view Israel through an


ish high school students should not be entering college defenseless. The bottom line is that we want to be raising and educating young Jews who are hard-headed about the challenges that Israel faces, but also open-hearted, who recognize the paradox in which Israel may be a David in the region, but a Goliath in the lives of the Palestinians,” Weiss said. Last on her list was “power,” which, historically, Jews did not possess. Today, though, Jews “have political and military power, especially in Israel, and here in the U.S. we have unimaginable social, financial and other power.” The question is how to use that influence, for which

Weiss offered herself as an example. “I get to go to work every day at the greatest newspaper in the world. … I get paid to debate the most pressing matters and ideas of the day and express my own. And I never, ever, check my Jewish or Zionist identity at the door of The New York Times or any other door of any room that I enter. My ancestors could not have dreamed of this reality. Part of the reason for it is that the existence of the state of Israel makes my life possible. It gives me confidence to walk through the world, and that has to do with Jewish power, and I think that’s something we need to talk more about.”■

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt (left), Lynn Oves, event chair (top), and Bari Weiss, keynote speaker.

Ashkenazic, European immigrant lens, miss that Israel is also, as Weiss put it, the Jews of Tunis, Algiers, Mosul and Cairo. Jews whose heritage is in the Middle East and North Africa make up more than half the population of Israeli Jews. “Their stories are essential, not just for understanding Israel, but for making the case that it is indigenous to the region. “Israel, we must insist, is not an alien outpost in a strange land,” as some critics suggest, but rather “a historic tikkun, a fixing, a return,” Weiss said. “The occupation” may have been the dirtiest word on Weiss’ list, but she insisted that American Jews “look in the mirror and confront the subjects that we have learned to avert our eyes from,” including Israel’s policies toward Palestinian Arabs. “This is challenging but it is absolutely crucial. … Keeping young Jews ignorant about the reality on the ground in the state of Israel is a recipe for disaster. There is another people that lives in the land of Israel. You might think that Israel’s occupation is justified, or you might think it is an existential threat, but the reality is there. And it is, at best, a tragedy. And to tell the story of modern Israel, leaving out their story, their claim, is to do a huge disservice to young Jews, the vast majority of whom naturally are on the political left,” she said. “Jewish schools, especially, have an obligation to figure out how to teach this, because JewATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 7


Measles Outbreak Has Atlanta Rabbis Concerned By Dave Schechter Concern about a measles outbreak affecting primarily Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel and in the New York-New Jersey area has spread to Atlanta. While no cases of the potentially-fatal disease are known to have been reported locally, some congregations and schools are taking steps to protect congregants and students. Rabbis interviewed by the Atlanta Jewish Times agreed that Jewish law, known as halacha, clearly supports requiring vaccinations. Schools are seeking new guidelines for navigating the protection of students while the state of Georgia allows an exception for vaccinations based on religious objections. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and even death. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.” While non-Orthodox Jews may be


less aware of the outbreak, “Anybody who’s not talking about it is being shortsighted,” said Rabbi Ari Leubitz, head of school at Atlanta Jewish Academy. The first to issue a statement locally appears to have been Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Beth Jacob Atlanta, who wrote a letter Nov. 16 to about 520-member families of the Orthodox synagogue. “My purpose in this letter is to state unequivocally that any child who is not vaccinated is prohibited from attending shul or any other public gathering sponsored by Beth Jacob,” Feldman wrote, using bold-faced type for emphasis. “Furthermore, parents of non-vaccinated children should inform others, including parents of classmates and playmates of their children, that their children are not vaccinated.” Feldman made clear who is responsible for the problem. “This outbreak is due primarily to a small minority of people who refuse to vaccinate their children, despite the overwhelming recommendations to do so from the medical community as well as halachic rulings by leading authorities that doing so is a religious obligation, and not vaccinating is a violation of several halachos. …

“It is not my intention, in so stating, to stigmatize anyone. Rather, it is to make a clear halachic statement in order to mitigate a potential public health hazard to our community. Our collective commitment in this area will help ensure that coming to Shul involves no risk of infection for us or our children,” he wrote. Rabbi Yitzchok Tendler, executive director of Beth Jacob, said that Feldman’s message was shared more than 3,000 times after being posted on Facebook. Feldman’s letter recognizes the frequency with which members of Beth Jacob and the wider Orthodox community travel to family events or visit relatives in Israel and the New York-New Jersey area. “It’s definitely being discussed,” Tendler said. “People are nervous.” Beth Jacob’s pre-school requires vaccination records, but because children in daycare during Shabbat services may come from non-member families, the congregation is working on a process for visitors. “In my extended circle … there’s very little discussion about this in terms of whether it’s appropriate not to immunize,” Leubitz said. Atlanta Jewish Academy has 475 students. “There’s absolutely no Jewish rationale for not immunizing your children,” unless a medical reason exists, he said. Leubitz wrote Nov. 19 to parents and staff: “Our office is completing an internal audit to verify all forms are present and current. Our audit thus far confirms that less than a handful of our students have filed for the religious exemption. While it has been our historical practice to accept unimmunized students with religious exemptions for vaccinations, this is now under legal review for the upcoming academic year.” Leubitz told the AJT that “of those families, they were informed … should they travel to a destination that currently is in an outbreak or should Atlanta come to a situation where the CDC calls it a local outbreak, they will be asked to stay home for up to 21 days or as long as health officials recommend,” he said. “I’m not judging or labeling anyone who’s made that decision” not to immu-

nize their children. My job as head of school is to make sure that every child is as safe as can possibly be,” Leubitz said. “Parents have called. Absolutely,” Rabbi Meir Cohen, head of school at Torah Day School Atlanta, told the AJT. Cohen said that a small number of Torah Day’s 340 students are not immunized. A policy change was issued Nov. 26. “Therefore, effective immediately, every child attending TDSA is required to be vaccinated for measles, unless they supply a medical exemption provided by their pediatrician certifying that vaccination for measles is medically contraindicated,” Cohen said in a letter to parents and staff. “The leadership team will continue to review our overall vaccine policy, which currently complies with Georgia law: each child either needs proof of vaccination or a certified exemption … We understand that there are families who will object to this policy, but we feel it represents a fair and balanced approach towards protecting all students,” Cohen wrote. In its latest report, the Atlanta-based CDC reported that 220 individual cases of measles had been confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Georgia was not one of those states. According to press reports, more than 120 confirmed cases have been reported in the New York-New Jersey area, more than half in Rockland County, N.Y., and the remainder in the borough of Brooklyn, and in Lakewood, N.J. Israel’s Ministry of Health recently reported more than 2,000 cases of measles this year, nearly 43 percent in Jerusalem, with significant numbers also in Beit Shemesh, Safed, and Bnei Brak. Thirty percent of the cases were children ages 1 to 4 years old, and nearly 20 percent ages 5 to 9. CNN reported earlier this month that the Ministry “believes that the disease was imported by tourists and visitors who infected an unvaccinated population, largely among the nation’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities.” The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Nov. 21 that “U.S. public health authorities say the current outbreak started when Haredi families visited Israel last Sukkot and brought the illness back to their communities.” The CDC has issued a level-one travel notice for Israel, cautioning that “Travelers to Israel should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.” ■


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Photo by Jennifer Sami // Meeting about the solar panel installation are Jared

Powers, CEO of the MJCCA, and Trey Gibbs of Hannah Solar.

Marcus JCC Goes Solar

Join us at one of our free Upcoming Events: Friday Night Live

Friday, November 30 at 7:30pm

Our monthly Friday Night Live, a spirited musical Kabbalat Shabbat service and oneg reception, with a D'var Torah and socializing. It's a wonderful way to welcome Shabbat!

Family-friendly Chanukah Party Sunday, December 9 at 11am

Join us as we celebrate Chanukah with Latkes, Bounce House, Crafts, Sufganiyot, Games, Jerusalem Nail Spa, Face Painting Tzedakah Projects & more!

Scientists in Synagogues

Sunday, December 9 at 7:30pm

The Science of Doing Good, features a panel discussion on the ethics of philanthropy with Jay Kaiman – Marcus Foundation, Alicia Phillipp – Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, AJ Robinson – Central Atlanta Progress, and Jennifer Hill – ArtsBridge Foundation.

Ready or Not: Jewish Perspectives on End of Life Issues

Topic: "Having the Conversation: What Are Their Wishes? What Are Yours?" Wednesday, December 12, 7:30pm

The "Ready or Not" series continues with a condensed version of The Conversation Project, a national program which aims to "have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected." The session will be led by Dr. Marcia Jacobs and Denise McLaughlin. Congregation Shearith Israel is an egalitarian, Conservative synagogue devoted to spiritual and religious enrichment, Jewish education and community. At Shearith Israel, we closely follow Jewish tradition while having the insights of modern thought. For more than 100 years, we have served Atlanta by providing a rich environment for pursuing Jewish spirituality, learning, and friendship. Our congregation embraces its members and friends, and we look forward to having you join us for Shabbat or an upcoming event.


The Marcus JCC will soon have its first solar panels. As part of its ongoing green initiative, the MJCCA will be installing solar panels on the roof of the Besser Gymnastics Pavilion next year, said MJCCA CEO Jared Powers. The installation is made possible through an anonymous $50,000 donation that was facilitated by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The green building effort is also the result of a partnership between Solarize Atlanta, a community-based group purchasing campaign that makes solar energy more affordable and accessible to Atlanta residents, and Hannah Solar, which will install the panels. “We look forward to expanding this solar initiative and identifying additional high-impact opportunities for reducing operating costs and environmental impact,” Powers said. As the MJCCA continues to “green” its buildings, site and operations at the Zaban Park campus, it plans to implement further recommendations made by Solarize Atlanta to support and maintain environmental sustainability. The Solarize Atlanta program helps with the technical aspects of choosing solar panels and getting them installed. “The system that we will install … allows the building to use energy from the sun first before pulling in any additional grid energy to power the building,” said Hannah Solar’s Trey Gibbs. “There is no battery storage. The energy gets generated and consumed immediately afterward in real time. “The annual solar production will be approximately 30 percent of the building’s consumption,” Gibbs continued. “Three out of every 10 days are powered by the sun. The MJCCA should see a 30 percent reduction in its power bill, or $6,900 in savings annually."

“In addition to the MJCCA’s new solar installations, the agency will continue to assess its facilities to identify and implement energy, water and resource-efficient upgrades, and adopt additional bestmanagement practices for sustainability,” Powers said. “The MJCCA is committed to transforming how the agency operates, establishing the MJCCA as a strong environmental steward and leader in the community.” Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 67 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation nationally with about $1.1 billion in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Through its services and leadership on community issues, the Foundation received more than $144 million from donors last year and distributed more than $100 million in 2017 to support nonprofits throughout the region and beyond. This year, Charity Navigator named the Community Foundation a fourstar-rated nonprofit, its top distinction. ■

The MJCCA will have its first solar panels on the roof of its Besser Gymnastics Pavilion.

BUSINESS Power Couple Recognized by Babson College Husband and wife team, Sara Blakely and Jesse Itzler, were recognized by Babson College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs on Nov. 15. The college reported that the Atlanta residents have contributed significantly to the development of free enterprise throughout the world. They have four children. Blakely is founder and CEO of SPANX, a women’s lingerie company that revolutionized the way women dress. She was one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world and featured on the cover of Forbes magazine. In 2013, she signed the Giving Pledge to donate half of her wealth to benefit her larger mission of supporting women. In 2006, she created the Spanx by Sara Sara Blakely, CEO of SPANX, empowers women through her foundation. Blakely Foundation to empower women. To date, Blakely and Spanx have donated $25 million to support women through education and entrepreneurship. A former MTV rapper, Itzler co-founded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest prepaid private jet card company in 2001, which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. He partnered with Zico coconut water, which they sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2013. Itzler, a marathon runner, is a part owner of the Atlanta Hawks. A top business college and world leader in entrepreneurship, Babson is located in Wellesley, Mass. Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs falls under the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. Blank graduated from Babson. Nominations of world-class entrepreneurs celebrated by Babson total 110 since its inception. Through the academy, members have created millions of jobs around the world.

mission, artistic vitality, and stature among Atlanta’s arts nonprofits.” AJFF returns to screens for the annual festival Feb. 6, 2019. International films, events and lectures from AJFF guests bring together people from all walks of life through storytelling and the magic of film.

Atlanta United Worth $330 Million In 2018 alone, more than 1 million soccer fans swarmed Mercedes-Benz Stadium downtown to attend Atlanta United FC games. Now the most valuable team in Major League Soccer, Atlanta United is worth $330 million, according to Forbes magazine. A record-breaking 70,526 fans watched Atlanta United vs. New York City Football Club at the Audi MLS Cup on Nov. 12 in Atlanta. It was the largest crowd ever gathered for Atlanta United FC fans total more than 1 million. an MLS playoff game. Owner Arthur Blank was named 2018 Sports Executive of the Year in May. “Arthur’s vision, resolve and leadership in shaping and implementing a new F&B [Food & Beverage] experience for fans is deserving of great celebration,” Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Group, said on the Mercedes-Benz website. “We are proud of the experience we are delivering to our fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.” ■ Compiled by Logan C. Ritchie

Kleber Engages CertainTeed Roofing Atlanta-based marketing and public relations firm Kleber & Associates was selected as the agency of record by CertainTeed Roofing, a leading manufacturer of building products in the U.S. and Canada. Steve Kleber, president and founder of K&A, is a leader of Atlanta’s Jewish community whose firm has served the building industry for 30 years. Parent company CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain S.A., one of the largest and oldest manufacturing companies in the world. “We are excited for the opportunity to leverage our experience and specialization in the residential and commercial construction products industry to deliver strong advertising and public relations efforts for CertainTeed Roofing,” Kleber said. “We are looking forward to continuing a long and mutually beneficial relationship.” CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Penn., makes roofing, solar products, insulation, siding, gypsum and ceiling products.

AJFF Receives $50k Grant The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival reported it is having a stellar year. In addition to its decision to operate as a year-round cinematic arts organization, AJFF is anchored at the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center to accommodate larger audiences. And now, AJFF is being awarded $50,000 from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The year-long grant will supByers Theatre is the centerpiece of Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. port AJFF’s general operating expenses. The Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund is designed to provide unrestricted funding to support and maintain the mission of nonprofits in 23 counties of Greater Atlanta. Kenny Blank, AJFF executive director, said in a press release, “A milestone in the history of AJFF, this financial support represents an important endorsement of our ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 11

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Richard B Arno Financial Advisor FMB Advisors

A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

4151 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Suite 225 Atlanta, GA 30319 O: 770.879.8007 | M: 404.966.2030 Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2018 Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

Round Two, Time for a Runoff By Dave Schechter More than 3.8 million Georgians cast votes in the Nov. 6 general election for a new secretary of state and more than 3.5 million voted in the race for Public Service Commission District 3. And neither was settled. In both cases, the votes garnered by Libertarian candidates denied the Republican or Democrat a majority, forcing the major party candidates into a runoff election on Dec. 4. All registered voters are eligible to vote in the runoff, regardless of whether they voted in the mid-term. Absentee voters will need to fill out a new ballot. Early voting was scheduled from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30. Minus the draw of the gubernatorial election, turnout for the runoff likely will be a fraction of the mid-term. The secretary of state’s office reported that 61.4 percent of Georgia’s registered voters cast ballots in the mid-term. The greatest number of votes cast in any race, more than 3.93 million, was in the gubernatorial election, in which Republican Brian Kemp received 50.22 percent of the vote, against 48.83 percent for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who conceded on Nov. 16. Neither office at issue in the runoff usually generates public enthusiasm, but both play important roles in the lives of Georgians. In addition to business licensure and oversight, the secretary of state oversees the state’s elections, a contentious subject in the mid-term election, as Kemp did not step down from that office while running for governor.



Secretary of State

Secretary of State


Western University, Georgia State University Former member of Georgia state House


University of Georgia, Harvard Law School Former member U.S. House from Georgia’s 12th District

Republican Brad Raffensperger received 49.09 percent of the vote, Democrat John Barrow 48.67 percent, and Libertarian Smythe DuVal 2.23 percent. DuVal has endorsed Barrow. 12 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

POLITICS DEMOCRAT GA Public Service Commission


University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Kennedy School • Seeking to become first Jewish woman to win statewide vote • Board member, Congregation Shearith Israel The Public Service Commission regulates what Georgians pay for electricity and natural gas, as well as telecommunications. The most prominent issue before the PSC has been the contraction of two new reactors at the Plant Vogtle nuclear power station in Waynesboro, a project several years behind schedule and billions of dollars above its estimated cost. The five members of the PSC are elected statewide but each represents a district. District 3 is comprised of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Rockdale counties. Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton received 49.7 percent of the votes, Democrat Lindy Miller received 47.63 percent, and Libertarian Ryan Graham 2.67 percent. As of Nov. 20, Graham had not endorsed either Eaton or Miller. ■

REPUBLICAN GA Public Service Commission


University of Alabama, Georgia State University Incumbent seeking third sixyear term on PSC



News From Our Jewish Home

Alon Chen is Weizmann’s new president.

New President for Weizmann Institute Neuroscientist Alon Chen was appointed president of the Weizmann Institute of Science on Nov. 5, after 13 years with the science research organization. During his tenure, Chen was awarded an Alon Fellowship by the Israel Council for Higher Education, Israel’s highest award for scientists, the institute reported. Chen is the head of the Department of Neurobiology at Weizmann. He is director at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, and heads a joint Weizmann-Max Planck Lab for Experimental Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurogenetics.

Chen studies biological processes by which stress and anxiety develop in humans and animals. He plans to take office as the 11th president of Weizmann on Dec. 1, 2019, when current president Daniel Zajfman completes his term. Chen thanked Weizmann for “the opportunity to take the reins of this leading scientific institution, to continue to reach new heights of excellence and educational and scientific endeavor.”

Soccer fans are growing worldwide, and looking for an at-home experience.

Sports Tech Complex Coming to Israel Entrepreneur Oren Simanian launched an international sports tech innovation center to put Israeli sports tech

on the global map by 2020. Simanian’s goal is based on his own personal experience as an Israeli soccer referee, and in advance of the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, according to World Israel News. Simanian said demand for sports tech innovation is growing worldwide. Fan wants to experience their favorite athletes from the comfort of their homes. “The center is intended to connect the sports world and the financial and technological sector,” he said. Colosseum Sport was introduced at a three-day sports tech summit the company held at the Tel Aviv Stock exchange, which featured guest speakers such as NFL executive James Massing, head of strategic innovation at FC Barcelona Aitor Jimenez Villar and Nacho Martinez Trujillo, former LaLiga managing director.

can contribute to Africa’s development, prominent researchers at the university will join government officials from Nigeria, Senegal, Malawi and Liberia, the university reported. Tel Aviv University president Joseph Klafter is heading the Israeli delegation, announced Nov. 13. The Africa-Israel Forum plans to build an innovative agricultural bridge between the nations, encourage entrepreneurship and advance the role of technology in food insecure areas. Klafter noted Tel Aviv’s international reputation in the fields of research, teaching, and relationships with entrepreneurs. “Strengthening ties with Africa is important in establishing international relations [we] strive for, and I have no doubt that this will also contribute greatly to Israel’s status in Africa.” ■

Israel to Aid Africa in Agri-Tech Twenty business people, academics and policy makers set out to establish the Africa-Israel Forum to explore agri-tech, food security and innovation guided by Tel Aviv University. Focusing on areas in which Israel

Tel Aviv University president Joseph Klafter.

Today in Israeli History ing a stroke. Born David Gruen, he made aliyah from Poland in 1906 and rose to lead the Jewish Agency and the birth of the modern state of Israel. An estimated 100,000 people visit his coffin at the Knesset before his brief funeral two days later. He is buried in Sde Boker in the Negev beside his wife, Paula.

Photo from Yosef Olef’s “The Shattered Crown,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2008 // The Great Synagogue of Aleppo is in

ruins after a mob broke in Nov. 30, 1947, and destroyed Torah scrolls and badly damaged the thousand-year-old Aleppo Codex.

Nov. 30, 1947: The U.N. partition vote the previous day not only sparks violence between Jews and Arabs in the British Mandate for Palestine — the first phase of Israel’s War of Independence — but also leads to riots against Jewish communities in such cities as Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, Beirut and Aden. The leaders of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University declare a holy war against Zionists. Dec. 1, 1973: Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, dies at the Tel HaShomer-Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv at age 87 a few weeks after suffer14 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

A hot easterly wind stoked the Carmel forest fire in 2010.

Dec. 2, 2010: Israel’s deadliest forest fire begins in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa when a teenager discards a piece of charcoal from a water pipe outside the Druze village of Usfiyye. The fire consumes more than 8,000 acres and 5 million trees in four days and kills 44 people, including 37 prison service officers dispatched to help evacuate prisoners from the Damon prison.

Matityahu Shmulevitz (left, with beard) and fellow Lehi leader David Yellin stand outside the Acre prison after their pardon in February 1949.

Dec. 3, 1995: Matityahu Shmulevitz, who was a member of the underground Lehi (the Stern Gang) in the 1940s and served as the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Officer under Menachem Begin in the late 1970s, dies at age 75, one day after collapsing during a chess game in Tel Aviv. He was born in Lodz, Poland, and made aliyah with the Beitar youth group at age 17 in 1938. Dec. 4, 2004: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismisses five Shinui lawmakers from his Cabinet because of the secular party’s opposition to his proposed national budget. Shinui, whose name means “change,” is led by TV personality Tommy Lapid and is the third-largest party in the Knesset, with 15 seats after the 2003 elections.

Dec. 5, 1897: Gershom (Gerhard) Scholem is born in Berlin to an assimilated Jewish family. A Zionist from a young age, he makes aliyah in 1923, teaches at Hebrew University and becomes the preeminent scholar of Jewish mysticism. He publishes the groundbreaking book, “Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism,” in 1941. Dec. 6, 1867: Leo Motzkin, the chairman of the Zionist Executive from 1925 to 1933, is born to a traditional Jewish family in what is now Brovary, Ukraine. Motzkin becomes interested in Zionism after witnessing the 1881 pogrom in Kiev. He attends the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and advocates the Basel Program for a Jewish state. While devoting his life to Zionism, he also emphasizes the rights and protection of Diaspora Jews. ■

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details.


Photo courtesy of Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 // Knesset election ballots

at a polling station in Jerusalem, January 22, 2013.

Israeli Elections Will Be Held in 2019. The Question Is, When? By Jan Jaben-Eilon The current government’s term is scheduled to end in November 2019. But unlike in the United States, Israeli governments generally don’t fulfill their full four-year terms. No Israeli government has completed its four years since 1988. Israeli governments are based on coalitions of several parties adding up to at least 61 – in order to withstand a no-confidence vote in the 120-member Knesset. In the past couple of weeks, the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped to 61 members when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman quit his position and pulled his party, Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Our Home), and its six seats out of the government. Ostensibly, Lieberman resigned at that point because he claimed Israel should have declared a fullout war against Hamas in Gaza and didn’t. In truth, he needed a platform on which to try to rebuild his flailing party. Within days, sensing Netanyahu’s blood in the water, Education Minister Naftali Bennett threatened that if he wasn’t named defense minister, his party, Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home), would leave the government, dropping the number to 53. While Netanyahu managed to convince Bennett to remain in the government, the fact also remains that his government is tottering, and any coalition member could bring it down. Just a day later, Israeli police recommended that Interior Minister Arye Deri be charged with fraud, breach of trust, tax-related offenses, obstruction of justice, perjury and money laundering. Deri, who is chairman of the Shas party, had served as interior minister years before, and had been convicted of bribery and fraud and served 22 months in prison. Surveying the latest polls and his coalition partners, Finance Minister Moshe

Kahlon told members of his party Kulanu that he doesn’t believe the coalition will remain intact beyond March. News reports explain Netanyahu’s dilemma. Although public opinion polls have predicted strong election results for his party, Likud, for the past several months, recent surveys have shown him losing support because of the ceasefire with Hamas that his government approved. In addition, Israeli police have already recommended several indictments of Netanyahu. He wants to delay the election at least until May. Corruption indictments against him in several cases are expected in the first quarter of 2019, and he knows that the chances of his coalition members standing by him once he’s under indictment are slim. In Israel, while government ministers must resign their posts once indicted, it’s not clear whether the prime minister must do so. The last prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who was under investigation during the final months of his government, resigned before the actual indictments were filed. Bottom line is that with only 61 members of his coalition, Netanyahu is held hostage to any of the parties who might threaten to pull out of the government. Conversely, Netanyahu can find some excuse to break apart his coalition and bring the country to the polling stations. That’s what he did in his previous government. He got rid of two ministers when he wanted to stop legislation that would have negatively impacted his billionaire supporter, Sheldon Adelson. The Las Vegas casino owner started a free daily newspaper in Israel, Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), that has become the voice of the Netanyahu government and the largest circulation newspaper in the country. So, even if the election isn’t called immediately, it’s just a matter of time. ■ ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 15

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OPINION After Pittsburgh, Are You Comfortable Here?

My friend asked, “Do you idation, and 6.2 percent were feel comfortable here?” By classified as simple assault. “here,” he meant the United There were zero anti-JewStates. ish murders in the FBI’s 2017 In the eight days followreport. There will be at least 11 ing the Pittsburgh synagogue in its 2018 report. massacre, I had written severOne response to Charlotal articles and columns reacttesville, Pittsburgh and such ing to the tragedy, so my first statistics is to think of Ameriresponse was to answer as a ca as being on the verge of the Dave Jewish American. calamity that befell Germany Self-identifying as a Jew- Schechter in the 1930s, and have a suitFrom Where I Sit ish American is a slightly difcase packed, at least figurativeferent mindset than being an ly (though some may admit to American Jew (a matter of which word is making arrangements to leave). the noun and which the adjective). The other is to assert one’s Jewish idenNonetheless, my first reaction was as tity, as thousands did in Atlanta by attenda Jew. ing vigils and memorial services after the My friend, an ex-pat Brit who has lived Tree of Life tragedy, and by resolving to live in this country for 25 years, understands Jewish lives – individually defined – pubthe feeling of being part of a whole while licly, not hiding or retreating. feeling separate. He asked the question durSupport for such intention can be ing our regular Monday lunch at a popu- drawn from the significant number of nonlar spot in our neighborhood. We usually Jewish friends and allies who stood with begin with a discussion of the weekend’s Atlanta’s Jewish community at these events soccer games and then move into politics, in the week after Pittsburgh and such geseconomics and other topics. tures as students at the Marist School writYes, I replied, I do feel comfortable ing hundreds of letters of condolence to in this country, but I understand how their peers and staff at The Weber School. the slaughter of 11 innocent worshippers American children once were taught would cause any American Jew to pause be- that this country is a melting pot, a nation fore answering. in which identities – of race, religion, ethI am comfortable, but by no means nicity and culture – were subsumed by a Pollyannish. broader American identity. In the past 40 The killings in Pittsburgh were the to 50 years, that notion has been replaced result of unbridled hatred of Jews because by recognition that America is a mosaic, its they were Jews. Non-Jews cannot be expect- pieces held together by a common bond, ed to understand that feeling in the pit of the idea of America. the stomach Jews felt when they heard of I think of the nation’s motto – e plurithe slaughter inside the Tree of Life syna- bus unum; out of many, one – in terms of gogue. that mosaic. Fourteen months earlier, Jews were unDespite the demagoguery heard from nerved by the neo-Nazi march and rally in some quarters, America’s strength lies in Charlottesville, Va. Bookended, Pittsburgh citizens maintaining their unique cultures and Charlottesville were reminders that while also striving to achieve an ideal, alJews, while part of the American whole, beit one that continues to evolve. Jews are a also are separate – sometimes in their own vibrant part of this mosaic. minds, always in the minds of those conJewish life in America has not always sumed by hate. been comfortable. But even with the lure Just in time for this column, the Fed- of a modern Jewish homeland, and even as eral Bureau of Investigation released its current events test the communal mettle, 2017 hate crimes report, which is based on American Jews continue to nurture the information provided by local and state po- family tree planted in this soil nearly 400 lice agencies. years ago. ■ Religion was the motivating factor in 20 percent of the offenses. Jews, who are 2.3 percent of the population, were the target in 58.1 percent of those offenses. (Muslims were the targets in 18.7 percent.) Of the offenses targeting Jews, 41.4 percent involved “destruction/damage/ vandalism,” 18.3 percent were acts of intim-


Publisher's Note

our children today are making different decisions as compared to when I Our world, our lives, are changing at was their age, using different tools, and havan increasingly rapid rate. Here are some ing different outcomes that are significantly poignant examples. Horse and buggies were more broadly impacted. Let us add one more staggering factor. our civilization’s primary mode of transportation for about 600 years before the In 1800, the world population was 1 billion, invention of the automobile in 1885 (and the U.S. population, 5 million. In 1900, the subsequent commercialization in 1908). The world population grew by about 60 percent airplane was invented 18 years later in 1903 to 1.6 billion, while the U.S. population by 16 and was commercialized in the mid-1920s. times to about 80 million. Today, world popJet airplanes were introduced in 1939 by the ulation has grown an additional five times Germans in WWII. Finally, space travel first to about 7.7 billion and U.S. population has grown an additional four times occurred (by the Russians) on to about 325 million people April 12, 1961, with the first shut(slightly less than all of Europe tle launch (not coincidentally) in 1900). on April 12, 1981. After 600 years We are making ever so of horse and buggy, humans many more difficult and comwent from driving the first car plex decisions for ourselves to systematic flights into space and our families in not only a in less than 100 years. In anmore challenging technologiother example, computers were cal world, but an inconceivably invented in 1936. The first one more crowded world. Our perwas the size of a room and was Michael A. sonal decisions affect more peolimited to addition and subtrac- Morris ple and there are literally tens tion. In 1947 the transistor was Publisher of millions more people makinvented. This allowed for both the size of computers to be vastly reduced ing decisions that affect us. By virtue of the and for significantly more computations numbers alone, more people are making bad (enabling computers to do more than just decisions (and more are making good deciact as calculators). Personal computers were sions); more people are inventing new things introduced in the early 1970s, but it wasn’t every day and more drivers are creating until 1976 that Apple debuted a functional more traffic each morning. Because of techmulti-purpose computer for an individual. nology, more people are making decisions That first Apple computer was 1,000 times with a significantly deeper understanding of more powerful than every computer and the issues; and, many more people are makelectronic, combined, on any Apollo space- ing decisions with a superficial knowledge of craft. The iPhone, which debuted in 2007, is any topic quickly garnered by Google headmore than 10,000 times more powerful than lines. In any gathering, there will be more the first Apple computer. Therefore, over crazy people in the room, more definitions of the last 11 years, anyone on our planet with what crazy is, more opinions on how to solve an iPhone has had one million times more the problem, and more opinions on whether intellectual capacity at their fingertips than the problem was indeed solved. With this in mind, here is my 2,000-yearthe entire Apollo 8 space mission, which was the first manned mission to circumnavigate old Chanukah message: We have to learn to the moon in December 1968. work, live and play together. Time, populaWhat is the point of showcasing these tion and technology are all working against staggering advances in such a short period us in this arena. It’s always good to be right. of time? Consider the decisions that we need But increasingly so, it’s okay to have a difto make today compared to 1900 (120 years fering opinion and not be wrong. We have ago), or even a mere 50 (1968) years ago. The to gain more patience. We have to increase depth of the decision, the breadth of the de- the respect we have for others and their cision and the impact of the decision have opinions. We have to accept not getting our grown in direct proportion. How to raise way. Our sandbox is crowded, and we are our children; how to choose a profession; more intelligent today than the sum total how we consider health care; how we make of our ancestors. We must adapt to our new ethical decisions; how we make thousands of surroundings or the consequences will be every day decisions, too, is staggeringly dif- catastrophic. It all starts with each one of us ferent. making compromises, not daily, but continuAfter 500 years of relatively consistent ously. ■ needs and, what I would consider to be simple decision-making, our decisions are logarithmically more challenging than anyone could have predicted a mere 100 years ago; and I would argue, possibly more difficult to assess and accurately ever conclude. If you disagree, I will offer this thought. I believe ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 17

OPINION Letter to the editor: Response to: Keys to Countering BDS, published Nov. 9, 2018 Many excellent points were made at the event covered by this article. But I would like to focus on the remark that SodaStream’s relocation, favored by BDS activists, “ironically hurt Palestinians” who lost their jobs because of the move. The irony comes from the mistaken belief that those labeled “pro-Palestinian” work to improve the lives of Palestinians. Unfortunately, BDS proponents, and many other “pro-Palestinian” advocates, are actually just anti-Israel. They don’t seek a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Arab conflict and are quite happy to use the suffering of the Palestinians – much of it imposed by Palestinian and other Muslim leaders – as a propaganda point in efforts to delegitimize Israel. Thus, Palestinian leaders accuse Palestinians who work for Israeli businesses of “normalizing the occupation.” Instead of preparing their people to live in a Palestinian state co-existing peacefully with the nation-state of the Jews, the Palestinian leaders insist that all Jews would be excluded from the Palestinian state while also attempting to convert Israel into a Muslim-majority state, demanding that millions of Arabs (descendants of Arabs who fled the Arab-initiated 1948 war aimed at preventing Israel’s rebirth) be rehabilitated by Israel, rather than becoming citizens in the new Palestinian state. Toby F. Block, Atlanta ■

Letter to the editor: Georgia’s Next Secretary of State Must Safeguard Voting Rights A basic right in any democracy is the right to participate in that democracy. The key method of participation is by voting. The right and ability to vote are exceedingly important. Georgia has an important election run-off on Dec. 4 for secretary of state, the person who oversees elections. The Founding Fathers started an experiment in democracy, not a pure democracy, but a representative democracy, which means that people are elected to represent

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the larger society and guide and implement policies for that society. The experiment started with the vote given to land-owning white men. Over the last 150 years, we have seen the vote expand to all citizens – to non-landed white men, to women, to AfricanAmericans and other people of color, and to younger people. We now live in the time of the real promise of America with everyone at least 18 years of age having the right to vote. But now we must improve the ability of everyone to vote. Over the past half-dozen years, we have seen relentless attacks on the ability to vote. Chief among those who fought against the idea of universal suffrage was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who just ran for governor. His efforts have extended to many other states by reducing the number of early voting days, taking away the availability of the vote on Sundays, reducing the number of polling places, instituting voter ID laws that prevent citizens from using certain forms of ID. For example, some states refuse the use of student ID cards as identification or the use of other methods of showing ID. But sometimes karma has a way of rearing its head. The result of the Kansas election for governor was the defeat of Kobach. A female Democratic state legislator, Laura Kelly, defeated Kobach by six points. As [The New Yorker’s] Jane Mayer stated, “In the name of cracking down on voter fraud, a phenomenon that nonpartisan experts say is virtually nonexistent, Kobach, as secretary of state, blocked some 35,000 Kansans from registering to vote between 2013 and 2016. Ultimately, nine people were convicted as a result of his voter fraud dragnet, mostly older folks who were confused by the voting rules. Kobach went to court four times to defend the draconian voteridentification rules he tried to impose and lost each time.” The result of Kobach’s court losses should be a cautionary tale for Brad Raffensperger (R) and John Barrow (D), the candidates who are in the runoff for Georgia secretary of state. Under the previous Georgia secretary of state, there was a serious effort to stop many Georgians from voting. During 2017 alone, 668,000 names were purged from the voting rolls. However, only 200,000 left the state, died, or moved out of their district. At least 340,000 were removed for the apparent sin of not having voted in the last one or two elections. They were wrongly purged, and that effort disproportionately affected minority and low-income voters, some of whom vote less frequently. The next secretary of state must fight for the ability of every citizen to vote. It is imperative to our democracy. Without an easy ability to vote, we are unable to measure the true intent of the population. This is necessarily a Jewish issue. How many of our ancestors never had a right to vote? How many of our ancestors suffered greatly at having no say in who ruled over them? How many of our ancestors had no ability to change a ruling class that often allowed, advocated, or instigated harassment, anti-Semitism, pogroms and genocide? I urge ever reader to contact the candidate whom you support and insist that, if he wins, he must ensure and actively fight to enhance the ability of every Georgian to vote. Harold Kirtz, Atlanta ■ President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta

The AJT welcomes your letters. We want our readers to have an opportunity to engage with our community in constructive dialogue. If you would like your letter to be published, please write 200 words or less, include your name, phone number and email, and send it to 18 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

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6085 Barfield Rd NE, Suite 100 | Atlanta, GA | 30328 Tel: 770.457.6303 | Fax: 770.457.2823 | Twitter: @premierimageATL | Instagram: @PremierImageATL ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 16, 2018 | 19

CHANUKAH Thanks to Our Art Contest Participants Each year, the AJT invites community members to put marker to paper – or any other medium of choice – in honor of Chanukah. Students from across Atlanta lit up our inbox and, yes, even our mailbox, with their submissions. From the technicolor chanukiyah gracing this week's cover to the Chanukah collage made from the pages of this very paper, young artists paid homage to the Festival of Lights. Explore the imaginative creations of our young artists to help usher in the holiday spirit.

Beruriah Freedman

AJT Chanukah Collage Chaya Mushka Children’s House, Fourth Grade

Gabriella Schakett

Roots of Hannukah Atlanta Jewish Academy, Seventh Grad e 20 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES



Alyssa Medwed

Post-Pop Art Chanukah The Davis Academy, Second



11 & UNDER


Malachi Freedman

Amaya Sage Raidbard

Hannukah Happy Heards Ferry Elementary, First Grade

Hannukah Under the Sea Chaya Mushka Children’s House, Fourth Grade

Aryeh Yehuda Freedman

Devorah Melnick

Happy Chanukah! Torah Day School of Atlanta, Fourth Grade

Chanukah Craziness Toras Emes, Third Grade



Noah Swenson-Friedberg

Post-Pop Art Chanukah The Davis Academy, Second Grade

Sara Freedman

Mixed Media Torah Day School of Atlanta, Second Grade



Wishing you a Happy Chanukah Andy N. Siegel CPCU, CIC, AAI Adele Siegel Glasser, AAI Sheldon Berch

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Chana Antopolsky

Happy Chanukah Dreidel Chaya Mushka Children’s House, Pres choo


Yaniv Baron

Mixed Media The Epstein School, First Grade



Shayna Miriam Antopolsky

Happy Chanukah! Chaya Mushka Children’s House, Second Grade

Maya Stinson

Chanukkah is Great! River Eves Elementary, Second Grade


Dasha Borodovkaya

Happy Chanuka Paper Cut The Paideia School, Seventh Grade

Binny Schulgasser

Light the Night Torah Day School of Atlanta, Fifth Grade


Julia Moss

Peace Through Hanukkah Joy The Davis Academy, Sixth Grade

Eliana Berkowitz

Hannukiah The Weinstein School, Pre-K



Ami Graber

Chanukah is Coming Atlanta Jewish Academy, Fourth Grade

Happy Chanukah

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Atlantans Share Messages of Light The Atlanta Jewish Times invited local community members to shine their light in the pages of this year's Chanukah issue. Particularly during the dark times we have recently faced, we must embrace the meaning behind the Festival of Lights. As we light our candles each year, we are reminded of the oil that burned for eight days, clearing away the darkness. Read on for a variety of contributions, including advice, anecdotes and reflections about what Chanukah 2018 means to each writer.

By A.J. Robinson

By Chuck Berk

Hannukah 2018 has a particular special meaning in the wake of the Pittsburgh tragedy, growing anti-Semitism around the world, and the frequent conflicts along the Gazan border. It seems like Jews cannot escape conflict and hatred in any part of the world. But the Hannukah story of rededication of the second Temple and the legendary miracle of the eight days of burning oil is a message of how “resilient” the Jewish people were in Biblical times and how we, too, need to be resilient in response to today’s challenges. Many Jewish holidays are much more about an internal Jewish experience or an individual, personal practice, but much like Pesach, the meaning of Hannukah should be shared with the world. Thus, the tradition of placing one’s hannukiah in a front window or in a visible place as if to say ... “The Jewish people are here to stay, take heed of our message of religious freedom for all and our own resilience throughout the generations.” ■

As Jews, we are fortunate that our holidays help us reflect on our values, and remind us of our identity as a people and our responsibilities to our families and fellow men. The word Hanukkah, in Hebrew, means rededication, and this is a perfect time for us to step back, especially in these contentious political times, and think about rededicating ourselves to higher aspirations. We are faced every day with the perception that there is an erosion of time-honored values that are the foundation of a decent society. The flickering candles of Hanukkah remind us, as Jews, that we have an obligation to be a light unto the world. The illumination begins at home, by stressing the teachings, or “light,” of the Torah and doing mitzvahs, but we also have a duty to bring light to others who may walk in darkness. Many years ago, when Bonnie and I were living in New Jersey, our congregation distributed a Hanukkah brochure entitled “A Festival of Jewish Values.” It suggested discussing a different value each night and included a prayer for each: freedom, family, study of Torah, hope, charity, peace, brotherhood and faith. Our kids participated, sometimes under duress. But what’s interesting, now as adults with families, they pull out a copy of the brochure and do the same with their kids. Bonnie and I still have our Hanukkah brochure and when lighting our candles, we rededicate ourselves to the spirit of Hanukkah and those foundational values, which have not changed in our 50 years of marriage. ■

A.J. Robinson is president of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. He is also a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Chuck Berk is co-chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a member of the Georgia Holocaust Commission and former Southeast chairman of Israel Bonds.



By Mitchell Kaye The eternal message of Chanukah is that light can dispel darkness. Chanukah means rededication, as the Second Temple was rededicated with the kindling of the menorah. Chanukah also shares a linguistic root with chinuch, or education. The obvious link is that we must rededicate ourselves to Jewish education and our Jewish identities. One lesson that seems especially relevant today is that the answer to anti-Semitism is not assimilation. Attempts to assimilate in hopes of avoiding being targeted as a Jew didn’t work during the Spanish Inquisition towards Maranos, nor to those with even only one Jewish grandparent in Nazi Germany. It has not worked at any time in history. The answer to anti-Semitism is to be more knowledgeable in and proud of our Judaism. We are blessed to live in the United States with constitutionally protected freedom of religion. Public menorah lightings reaffirm this right and the victory of light over darkness. Another lesson is that we cannot and should not rely on others to protect us, physically or spiritually. Considered a major victory for religious freedom, the story of Chanukah was championed by a small group of freedom fighters, known as the Maccabees, who defeated the larger and more powerful wicked Greek Hellenists. Many righteous gentiles have helped the Jewish people over the years, and we should be grateful; however, to ultimately survive and thrive, we must protect ourselves. The tragedy in Pittsburgh is an unfortunate reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the United States. Over 2,100 years ago, the Maccabees fought these same battles. But in every tragedy comes a lesson, and, as we prepare for this year’s Chanukah, we are reminded that having no means to protect ourselves is no answer to those who seek our harm. Disarming the lawabiding through gun control has always been a recipe for more murder. Chanukah sameach! ■

By Jan Jaben-Eilon

By Meliss Jakubovic

Light is a metaphor for both life and death. Obviously, Chanukah candles offer illumination and cheeriness. Light, however, is also seen in yahrzeit candles and the bright white light that reportedly beckons those in near-death experiences. But Chanukah represents more than light from the candles that represent it. The holiday also embodies hope. Right now, so many of us need a dosage – or eight – of hope. So many of us feel like we’ve entered a dark time that reminds us of historical moments that we don’t want our people – or any people – to repeat. Never again. But we can’t give in to those dreaded feelings that drag us down and make us feel helpless and hopeless, those feelings that drain all energy for anything positive. For every disaster that has befallen us, we have rebounded. And maybe, just maybe, we have learned from those tragedies to hold on to our hope. Because if we do, perhaps we will have the energy and the will to ensure that those calamities that we so fear can be avoided altogether. So, Chanukah 2018, to me, means holding on to our hope. ■

Following several recent, horrific events, it is important to reflect on the abundance in your life. Focus on what you are grateful for, what you have (food, love, health, community....), those that support you in your endeavors, and those that surround you in your life. These are the beacons of light. When things get tough, it becomes even more paramount to send your energy to a place of comfort. I find comfort in knowing that I have the power to make changes in my own life and in the lives of others. A small act of kindness goes a long way, especially towards those who are most different from you, that may have less to offer than you do, and to those people whose paths may only cross with yours once. Leave something of yourself with them. We never know the impact we have on others, so make these moments positive and memorable. This Chanukkah, remember that you are in control of how much light you can spread across this earth. I encourage you to find a sliver of your day, today and every day, and dedicate it to making this place a brighter and more comfortable one for everyone who calls it home. Chag Sameach :) ■

Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist with both Israeli and U.S. citizenship.

Meliss Jakubovic is an Israeli dance instructor.

Mitchell Kaye served five times in the Georgia House of Representatives. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 29

CHANUKAH By Rabbi Neil Sandler On Thanksgiving, we express gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy. Among those blessings is the good fortune to live in a country that is the greatest democracy in the world. Yet living in the United States of America is also a challenge today. We see divisions among the American people that feel unprecedented to us. Soon we will kindle our Chanukah menorahs. As we light them and offer the blessings, we might add these words this year: “May the light of these candles help to dispel the darkness we feel.” But words like those do not challenge each of us to actively make a difference to dispel that darkness. Many years ago, Shammai and Hillel disagreed about how to light the Chanukah menorah. Shammai insisted we ought to light eight candles the first evening of the holiday and decrease the number each evening thereafter. Hillel said that we must light additional candles each evening until the Chanukah menorah reaches the peak of its brightness on the final evening of the holiday. Why? Because, Hillel said, “We increase holiness and never diminish it.” Today we follow Hillel’s practice, and his words become prescriptive. As we look at our society today, we cannot only pray for change. We cannot only call on others to bring about change. We must “increase holiness and never diminish it.” We must actively participate in reparative acts that will create anew that “shining city on the hill.” Chag Urim Sameach – Happy Chanukah to all! ■ Neil Sandler is a rabbi at Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Buckhead.

Hannukah: Festival of Resistance By Rabbi Arnold M. Goodman Hannukkah celebrates resistance – resistance to religious suppression and to political oppression. It’s the holiday when we gather to light our candles enshrouded in the darkness of winter’s short days and long nights. In the aftermath of Pittsburgh, we are sadly reminded of the increase of anti-Semitic incidents even as we are painfully aware of anti-Semites lurking beyond our walls who are willing to take up arms to attack us physically. The tradition of adding candle to candle during the eight nights of the festival is a reminder that change does not come about in one fell swoop;


it is achieved through the contribution and participation of many individuals prepared to merge their talents and strengths to achieve a common goal. The shamash, as the enabling candle, symbolizes the power of each of us to add to the light, thereby furthering the struggle. The recent election demonstrated that each vote is an act of enablement, and when taken together, creates an engine of change. May Hannukah 5779 strengthen our resolve in the words immortalized by Peter, Paul and Mary not to let the light – the light in each of our hands – go out. From Jerusalem, my best wishes for a bright, festive and fulfilling celebration of our traditional Festival of Lights and of resistance. ■ Arnold M. Goodman served as the senior rabbi of Ahavath Achim Synagogue from 1982 to 2002 and is its senior rabbinic scholar. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

My Menorah By Dave Schechter My father’s mother brought us the menorah after a trip to Israel in the early 1960s. There are eight connected blue figures, each holding a spear with his right arm and an urn raised aloft with his left. Facing them is a single blue figure, its left arm resting on a shield and its right holding an urn. The Chanukah candles fit into the urns. The lettering on its base spells “Israel” in Hebrew. At some point, I claimed the menorah as my own and it has remained with me through early apartments, into marriage and starting a family and our kids growing up. Wax of various colors coats the menorah, the residue of a lifetime of Chanukahs. We have several in our home, but this is one is “my menorah.” This keepsake from childhood is a piece of metal weighing several pounds. It is not a piece of art, not fancy in design or elaborate in its adornment. This menorah is the kind of thing a tourist would buy and give to her grandchildren. We have numerous pieces of Judaica, some dating to our great-grandparents. These pieces are a physical connection to generations of family. A writer I know said of the Jews, we are the stories we tell about ourselves. This is the story of the menorah that my grandmother brought from Israel, that I claimed and have kept since. This is the menorah that we will light for eight nights, that will drip wax, and when the holiday is over, that we will put away, remembering the glow that bridges past and present. ■ Dave Schechter is a regular contributor to the AJT.

CHANUKAH By Rabbi Adam Starr Why is the holiday of Chanukah given the name “Chanukah”? The word Chanukah means a dedication, as we are celebrating the historic rededication of the Temple during second Temple times. The Temple in Jerusalem had been defiled by the Syrian Greeks for foreign worship until the Hasmonean Jews recaptured it, restoring the it and rededicating that space to the service of G-d as symbolized by the lighting of the Temple menorah. Happy ending, right? Not exactly. … The Temple ended up being destroyed only 200 years later and it remains in that state of destruction until this day. So why are we celebrating the rededication of our Temple that ended up getting destroyed shortly after anyway? That Temple that we are celebrating does not exist in our lives! The post-Temple rabbis who shaped the holiday of Chanukah were well aware of this fact, so they shifted the holiday’s observance from a Temple-based celebration to a homecentered observance. That is why the primary mitzvah of Chanukah is to light candles placed on a menorah in our home as a substitute for the candles lit in the Holy Temple. This shift in focus to the home teaches us that Chanukah is now a time to rededicate our homes to spaces that permeate with Jewish observances and values. As you light the Chanukah candles, reflect upon how you can further dedicate your home as a mini temple dedicated to Jewish life that permeates light to the world. ■ Adam Starr is the rabbi of Young Israel of Toco Hills.

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Grandpa’s Chanukah Gelt By Chana Shapiro My family always lit the first Chanukah candle together with our maternal grandparents and all our aunts, uncles and cousins. We turned down the electric lights, sang the Hebrew songs, then sat comfortably together, enjoying the glow from our menorot. Each of us lit our own menorah, and it was on Chanukah that my siblings and I first learned to use matches. I’m sure that people passing my grandparents’ front windows were awed by the amazing array of dancing light. Before we crowded around the table to enjoy my grandmother’s latkes, my grandfather ceremoniously gave each of his grandchildren a quarter. My grandfather explained that Chanukah gelt was the proper Jewish gift, and other goyishe items weren’t nearly as fine. While we dined, my grandfather told us stories about his life before coming to America. I treasured the quarter and the stories, and could have listened all night. These days, when I see foil-wrapped chocolate coins, stamped with a menorah imprint, I wonder if contemporary children know what the candy replaces. Does anyone else miss the old days of authenticity? Happy, Chanukah to all! May each of us experience miracles and illumination all year! ■ Chana Shapiro is a writer, educator and flea market junkie, currently co-writing the sequel to “Fruitfly Rabbi.” ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 31

CHANUKAH We Are the Light By Eric M. Robbins I had just touched down, returning from Israel when I heard about the synagogue massacre in my boyhood neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh. It was shattering to see the sweet, safe place of my childhood violated by a gunman targeting Jewish worshipers on Shabbat. It was heartbreaking to have personally known many of the victims. But the tragedy in Pittsburgh can never shake my belief in the healing and meaning we gather from each other when behave like community. And our Atlanta community did just that. As a community, we held 29 vigils. We conducted security consultation calls and worked with local police and the FBI to address community safety. More than 90 Jewish and 45 interfaith organizations came together to issue a statement condemning hate. We packed our synagogues for #SolidarityShabbat. A few weeks ago, I returned to Pittsburgh and the Tree of Life synagogue accompanied by the board chairs of Federation, MJCCA, and JF&CS to meet with Federation and Jewish leaders from around the country. Atlanta was the only city to send a trio of leaders, demonstrating what it means to us to show up as a community. Jeff Finkelstein, Pittsburgh Federation’s CEO, used the Hebrew word achdut (unity) to describe how his community is healing and moving forward. That’s my prayer for Atlanta, too. In the midst of Hanukkah, let us remember that the word unity is embedded in the word community, and let us always be reminded that when we stand together, we shine our very brightest lights. Chag sameach! ■ Eric M. Robbins is president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

By Rachel Wasserman Chanukah has always had special meaning for me because it often falls over my birthday. In fact, my bat mitzvah was Shabbos Chanukah! The most meaningful part of Chanukah for me is also the topic of my bat mitzvah speech, which I tearfully delivered on Dec. 11, 1993. In the haftarah of Shabbos Chanukah, we read: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” This reminds us, of course, of the Maccabees, who defeated the Greek army despite the fact that the odds were against them. In my bat mitzvah speech, I talked about an incident that had happened a year earlier, when I led a small group of students to stand up to a racist ballroom dancing school in Lexington, Ky., where I grew up. Ultimately, this small group of students turned into a bigger group of parents, which turned into an even bigger group of community members, who connected to anti-hate organizations and made real change happen in our own backyards. In dark days, it is often difficult to remember that each of us has the ability to bring light into this world. Whether it’s you acting alone or with a small group beside you, it does not take a mighty army to make positive changes that benefit all of us. This Chanukah, I hope we can all bring a little extra light into our lives, not only through the lighting of the menorah, but also through acts of loving-kindness, acceptance and peace. ■ Rachel Wasserman is executive director of the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta.

By Doug Weinstein This Chanukah takes place during a dark and difficult time for our country and community. But even as our Jewish community is facing a precipitous rise in acts against us, we have the lights of Chanukah to remind us that we have overcome worse environments and foes in our past. This year, each night of Chanukah brings with it ever-increasing light to cast away the darkness. Each night brings more and more joy into our world as we are surrounded by our family and friends. And each night will remind me of all the hope that I have that we will bring about a better and brighter future for our children if we just keep striving. ■ Doug Weinstein is a patent attorney at Cantor Colburn LLP. 32 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

CHANUKAH By Steve Kleber Hanukkah means dedication, and as we celebrate this festive holiday and remember the story, it renews our commitment to dedicate ourselves to help keep the right of religious freedom alive for all. The story of Hanukkah is the first recorded “fight” for religious freedom, and although it took place over 1,000 years ago, its message is still so very important and the conflicts surrounding our Jewish homeland remain just as relevant today. The Judaeans were ruled by the Syrian Greeks at the time and our ancestors practiced patience for their laws until the Syrian soldiers desecrated the holy Temple and its religious institutions. The Maccabees formed a small army – really a “band of fighters.” Even though very small in number, untrained in warfare and without real weapons, … they fought not for land; instead, to win their religious rights back. And in that victory, they demonstrated that “right” truly can win over “might.” When we celebrate Hanukkah, we think about how we, too, can help restore religious rights to all. The story tells of how the Maccabees could only find a small bit of pure oil to light the eternal flame, but “a great miracle happened” and the oil lasted eight days and nights … which reminds us of the patience that is still required in our society today. As long as we dedicate ourselves to use our freedom wisely and live by the teachings of Judaism, the miracle will never end. ■ Steve Kleber is president and founder of Kleber & Associates, president of the National Remodeling Foundation and the immediate past president of the Center for Kitchen and Bath Education and Research.


CHANUKAH By Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon What is Hanukkah really about? Many experience it as simply a Jewish substitute for Christmas – lights, gifts and food. Throughout history, the rabbis strove to focus on the divine rather than the secular, the oil miracle rather than the Maccabees’ victory. With the rise of Zionism, the focus shifted back to the political, equating ancient Jewish national aspirations with their modern manifestation. During a rabbi’s homily before a New Israel Fund ceremony honoring Richard and Phyllis Franco, my mind drifted to a Zionist Hanukkah song, ending with “No wonder befell us, we did not find any oil flask; we chiseled the rock till we bled – and there was light!” Human dedication and martyrdom, it implies, not divine intervention, will bring victory. The biblical Promise of the Land, the rabbi reminded us, is not unconditional. It must be deserved by following the moral precepts laid out in the Torah, including – but not limited to – caring for the poor, widows and orphans and not oppressing the stranger. Exiles and persecutions have been construed as punishment for failing to abide by these conditions. If we want to merit the renewal of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and unprecedented freedom and equality for most diaspora Jews, it is incumbent upon us – religious and secular alike – to protect democracy, equality, civil society and human rights in Israel, and to promote unity, civil discourse and mutual respect within Jewish communities worldwide and between them and other nations and faith traditions. May this be God’s will. Amen. ■ Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon, linguist and educator, teaches biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, formerly eTeacher Biblical.

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Photo by Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority // A lamp

adorned with an 8-branch menorah exposed in the excavations preparing the Sanhedrin Trail in the Galilee.

Miracles and Memory By Ken Stein and Rich Walter Perhaps more than any other Jewish holiday, Hanukkah has valuable significance and connection to both ancient Israel and the modern Jewish state. With its focus on Jewish self-determination in its own land, the holiday served as an inspiration to the founders of the state and its symbols still permeate Israeli society. Remembering the story, how we persevered, deepens the memory for the next generation. The holiday remains focused on the miracle of the oil lasting beyond its expiration. Hanukkah also emphasizes bringing light into the world. Focused on a miracle, it inextricably links Jewish survival with perseverance. Both within Israel and throughout the Diaspora, learning has been at the core of Jewish continuity. Telling the Hanukkah story provides inspiration for the constant inquiry that good education requires. Enlightenment instills hope. Miracles confirm aspirations. Sometimes unanticipated objectives are achieved. As educators, we light fires under students, open doors to inquiry, find wood to toss onto their fires to keep the hot coals burning. A letter from a thankful parent of a participant in our recent CIE/ISMI Teen Israel Leadership Seminar at Emory expressed it thusly, “Programs for our youth that encourage civic and intellectual engagement based on knowing facts and being informed are greatly important at this time when truth is under assault in our country. We found it especially comforting to know that Jewish pride in and support of the Jewish state, Israel, was being nurtured and fostered even at the moment Jews were being attacked in Pittsburgh.” We have survived because we took challenges and turned them into opportunities. A memorable Hanukkah to you and your family. ■ Ken Stein and Rich Walter are leaders of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel and the Center for Israel Education.

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At Chanukah, I am reminded of the Maccabees as they fought for the freedom of the Jewish people. At this time of increasing anti-Semitism, it is time for all Jews to join together, not by trying to make friends, but to try to reject and identify our enemies as the Maccabees did long ago. It is time to stop holding hands. It is time to use our energies to fight them. We can no longer win by just being nice. ■ Mike Leven is CEO and chairman of the Georgia Aquarium.


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CHANUKAH By Dr. Terry Segal Chanukah, for me, is always about family. But then, everything is about family. Each year when we light the candles, I experience an immediate overlay of the past, present, and future. I’m not sure if unconsciously Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol,” featured in the world out there, creeps into my inner world, but I become introspective. I recall the first Chanukah my dear husband and I shared as newlyweds, almost 35 years ago. I look at photos of my pregnant belly, in various stages, as we lit the candles, and first Chanukah celebrations with each of our three children as they arrived into the world. And the next generation began with the birth of our grandson, who is now old enough to graduate from the Velcro cloth flames to the real ones he can light himself. All of us light our individual menorahs. Grown children delight in the ones they made in preschool using tiles for the base and bolts as candle holders, with two bolts elevating the shamas. We have one menorah from Israel that our children bought for us when they were on Birthright, and a tiny one that my mother, of blessed memory, gifted to our youngest. Although they’re not birthday candles, each year when I light them, I make a wish. This year, more than ever, I wish for each of us, everywhere, to become the candles that carry light, that will light each other’s candles until the world is illuminated with love. Happy Chanukah! ■ Dr. Terry Segal is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a regular contributor to the AJT.


Banu Choshech Legaresh By Guy Tessler We came to drive away the darkness, says this Chanukah song. There is so much darkness around us with some of it aimed at our community and some of it aimed at others. However, many of us are focused on our miseries and totally ignore the others. In a time of populist rise, erosion of humanistic and democratic values, hostility towards the other – whoever this other may be – ALL Jews should carry the torch of light to combat darkness. If we stand on the sidelines and watch injustice, human suffering, tyranny and bigotry, we empower darkness. Let’s reclaim our role as repairers of the world! Happy Holidays! ■ Guy Tessler is president of Conexx: America Israel Business Connector.

CHANUKAH By Maayan Schoen

I was born on the first day of Chanukah, so it was natural for Chanukah to always be my favorite holiday. Likewise, the Maccabees have always been my favorite Jewish heroes. I want to take this opportunity to thank my many friends and family for your expressions of love and support this past year. I have had some serious challenges, and your kind words and actions have sustained me and my family. Just as the Chanukah lights increase in number and intensity each night, so has my gratitude to all of you for your love and friendship. May God continue to bless the Jewish people during this festive season. Am Yisrael Chai. ■

Recently, I emerged from the Maccabim Reut bus station in Modiin, hometown of those glorious Chanukah heroes of yore. I smiled, because even the public transportation in Israel celebrates our history. With their trials, the Maccabim turned a driving force – persecution – into a beautiful result – eight lights and 200 years of Jewish self-determination. Even with the rockets and the terror here, I am regularly strengthened by our facts-on-the-ground – our 6.5 million Jewish citizens. Just weeks ago, candles of the Pittsburgh vigil burned bright, instead of the light of the menorah in the Beit HaMikdash. History repeats itself. It’s easy to feel hopeless; but this time, it’s different. This time, we have Israel. Wherever in the world you may be, she keeps you. Our little country is the pure jar of oil, and against all odds we are still glowing. We will not melt in the Middle-Eastern sun. This time, our driving force is more than persecution. Israel is her own entity, with her own agendas. Berl Katznelson writes in “Revolution and Tradition” that “we cannot live” without two faculties – memory and forgetfulness. Our history is the shamash, and we will remember it. And we move forward. Technological innovation, humanitarianism, culture, identity and more drive us now. We have our own elected Jewish leader, and we have a nation full of betterequipped Maccabim. Just like Chanukah, our story today is a story of the people and of G-d’s miracles. It may not be recorded in Tanach, but it is one for the ages. ■

Perry Brickman, a retired oral surgeon, is past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Maayan Schoen is a graduate of Atlanta Jewish Academy who now studies in the Migdal Oz Beit Midrash for Women.

By Perry Brickman


CHANUKAH By Dena Schusterman Standing in front of the towering outdoor menorah on a balmy December night, staring at the flames as they flicker and feeling the connection of my Atlanta Jewish community, I swell with pride. As I let the warmth spread through my body and take another glance at the flames, I look around and experience a slight chill; I wonder, am I experiencing a version of the fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? Am I celebrating the Maccabees' physical and spiritual win over the Hellenistic culture, when in reality we are all modern versions of Jewish Hellenists? Who among us on a cold Chanukah night is a modern-day zealot – Maccabee? Does anyone want to be one? Our modern world is one where we focus on the physical body with our worship of fitness, healthful food and the secular mind, with our world-class schools, publications and academia. Have we expanded the ancient colosseum’s majesty to include our whole blessed country, and ensconced ourselves in all its glory? And then I think, wait, what is the problem? And what was the problem in 165 B.C.E.? A tenet of my education is that the whole purpose of creation is to marry the physical and spiritual. If so, what was wrong with Hellenism and why were the Maccabees vociferously anti-Greek? The Greek culture is the prelude to our modern culture, one we happily partake in. So why the

grave discord that gave us the Chanukah narrative? There is a vital difference in today’s Judeo-American culture and the JudeoHellenism the Maccabees fought against. It is true that Greek culture was a universalist culture open and engaging to all. The ancient Greek aversion to Jewish practice and prohibition against certain Jewish edicts was unusual in Greek history. It is also true that a Jews’ ultimate purpose in this world is to live in it, partaking of the materialism and elevating it to the service of G-d. So, the Jews and ancient Greeks should have been able to get along. The Hellenists should have been able to take the best of both cultures and create an even more robust Judaism. Yet they did not, and they could not. Sure, they were smart! They were the philosophers of Aristotle and Plato. The Talmud tells about the beauty of the Greek language, intimating that it is the only other language for the Torah to be gracefully translated into. But it was this very thing, the Greek thinking, that was their downfall. The Greeks and their Jewish compatriots had a vital difference: reason. The ancient Greeks valued intellect, logic and rationality above all else. In other words, if they could not solve it, see it, weigh it, touch it, or feel it, it did not exist. As it were, this is the reason that now they do not exist. Faith. This is the staying power of the Jew.

Faith is believing in something beyond your comprehension; it is conviction in the face of uncertainty. Faith above reason is what separated the Jews from the ancient Greeks. How do I know with certainty that I would have been a Maccabee back then? That all of us standing in the square gazing up at the flames, swaying gently as we sing or humming the traditional Chanukah songs would have fallen on the side of Maccabee? Because standing in front of the menorah we celebrate a miracle. And to believe in miracles you have to have faith. So, this Chanukah, as I look around at my community huddled together, basking in the glow of the menorah light, I am cognizant that the battle between Hellenism (cynicism, apathy and skepticism) and the Maccabees (faith, optimism and conviction) still wages on. I am grateful that to win this battle in the modern day, I need not pick up a sword and shield or mount an elephant. All I need to do is absorb the message twinkling in the lights of the Chanukah menorah, and pay it forward. Keeping the faith. ■ Dena Schusterman is a founder of Chabad Intown, a Jewish educator, a founding director of both the Intown Jewish Preschool and the Intown Hebrew School and a regular contributor to the AJT.

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By Rabbi Russ Shulkes The Festival of Chanukah – even in 2018 – is an eight-day reminder of how Jewish life can deteriorate into dysfunction when we do not take a sense of pride in our Judaism and do not stand up and fight against those that actively seek our destruction. ■ Rabbi Russ Shulkes is executive director of Hillels of Georgia.

CHANUKAH What Chanukah 2018 Means to Me By Dr. Arnold Heller Chanukah = Freedom, Equality, Unity, Community, Strength. I am 72 years old, so I bring a long view to my love of Chanukah that started in childhood. Chanukah, to me, is historically and spiritually based on the concepts of freedom, equality, unity, community, and strength. Sixty-five years ago, in Hebrew School, I was thrilled to learn about the Maccabi freedom fighters who defeated their Greek occupiers. Jews uniting to win back their liberty made me feel special, that I could accomplish anything with enough courage and hard work. Freedom and unity produced feelings of community and strength among American Jews. My Union, N.J., elementary class had 20 Christian and six Jewish children, and at Christmas time, Chanukah fostered a sense of equality among us six Jews. We delighted in occasional envy shared by Christian peers that our holiday had eight days and we probably received more gifts. As an adult, husband, and father, I loved the Chanukah parties that my late wife, Sue, and I hosted at our Dunwoody home. The adults assisted “Latke Arnie’s” frying up six or seven dozen potato pancakes while our kids spun the dreidels on the dining room floor or opened up their gifts. Our people coming together to celebrate their holiday and teach children our glorious traditions – freedom, unity, community – is for me the most special quality of a holiday that Hebrew scholar Leon Spotts theorized was originally a war-delayed Sukkot. I conclude that for Chanukah 2018, we Americans should all enjoy a renewed sense of freedom and democracy and take pleasure in Israel’s security. ■ Dr. Arnold Heller is vice chair of the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission and chair of the Atlanta Ra’anana Sister City Committee. By Leah R. Harrison With the approach of Chanukah during days of still-diminishing daylight, it is within our power, each and every one of us, to think of ways, large and small, to illuminate the darkness. The moral imperatives of our faith provide countless concepts and deeds through which we can brighten our outlook and begin to repair our world. During this festival of lights, these are the kind of gifts we could bring to Atlanta, and to our greater community. Eight concepts for Tikkun Olam: - Give with a free and open heart. - Learn with an open mind. - Let go of anger or resentment. Understand that hate cannot counter hate. - Accept that there are viewpoints and opinions that differ from our own. - Be a steward of our environment. - Cultivate compassion and generosity. - Practice gratitude. - Mindfully resist judgment. Eight ways to repair our world: - Do something kind for people in need. Look them in the eye and treat them with dignity. - Listen to hear instead of respond. Truly try to understand the other. - Don’t let the light of their torches diminish your soul. Engender good will with kindness. - Build coalition and consensus. - Say no to plastic bags, always. Compost. Remember to bring along, and use, recyclable bags. - Welcome and open your hand to a stranger. - Understand that we have enough. Realize there are others who do not. - Learn that there are countless reasons for homelessness, poverty, addiction. Do what you can to help. As my rabbi once said, be righteous without self-righteousness, and be holy, but not holier than thou. Wishing you and your family a Chanukah filled with gratitude, appreciation and light. ■ Leah R. Harrison is a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta and a contributor and proofreader for the AJT.


CHANUKAH By Dov Wilker

By Rabbi Michael Bernstein

Chanukah is a time to celebrate the miracles that we have experienced as a Jewish community all over the world. The lighting of the candles illuminates the awesome experience of being Jewish that we are able to share with our family and friends. ■

Chanukah in America is often a reminder of how Jews live at the intersection of our different identities. On one hand, the essence of the holiday is about resistance to assimilation, maintaining distinctive practices and faith in the face of great pressures from the predominant culture. On the other, there is no other Jewish holiday that has become so thoroughly embedded in the American calendar, no bigger opportunity for Jews to feel like a part of a shared holiday season even if we know well that Chanukah is not the Jewish Christmas. That our ugly dreidel sweaters and wrapped gifts under the menorah are on the other side of the tinsel and evergreen curtain. While the clash of these two aspects of Chanukah might seem like an update of the Maccabees' war against the forces of Hellenism, I see the situation differently. Rather than a winner takes all struggle of the few against the many, the modern Chanukah is a chance to find the blessing in being Jewish at this time and in this place. To celebrate what it means to choose our identity and embrace what it means to be Jewish separate from resisting the push of persecution and the pull of assimilation. Finding these blessings is even more poignant this year, under the chilling shadow cast by the brutality in Pittsburgh and, in a less dramatic way, the increasing frequency of anti-Jewish, pro-Nazi provocations. Because neither abandoning our traditions nor backing away from public acceptance will keep us any safer. The only path forward is to affirm our distinctive ways with pride, while welcoming and building on the friendship and support of the wider community. In other words, celebrating all of the aspects of an American Chanukah. ■

Dov Wilker is the regional director for the American Jewish Committee.

By Shaindle Schmuckler Lighting the candles in my Chanukiah opens for me a moment to reflect on the miracle of my family and the privilege of being wife, mom, mom in love, and Savta. Basking in the glow of the candles reminds us to be worthy of our blessings. ■ Shaindle Schmuckler is an AJT columnist and has held a number of positions at the Marcus JCC over the past 38 years. She is also a child and family coach.

Michael Bernstein is the rabbi of Congregation Gesher L’Torah in Alpharetta.



CHANUKAH By Eti S. Lazarian As a child who grew up in Israel, Chanukah was never a BIG holiday. It was somewhere in between the biggest holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Passover, a.k.a. the holiday of the dreidels and the sufganiyot. If you were lucky, your mom found her way around the kitchen and you also got latkes once a year. I remember my first Chanukah when I moved to the U.S. I went to a huge Jewish/Persian party and got a present from everyone in the room. I was overwhelmed with love and attention and fell in love with this version of the holiday immediately. I mean, what’s not to like? Tons of food and people who shower you with gifts. It’s like a second birthday! But reflecting on Chanukah today, as a mother of three young girls who are easily influenced by consumerism, and this holiday being so close to Christmas, maybe we, as parents, are trying to keep our children’s attention away from it and shower them with gifts for eight days. Chanukah is the holiday of miracles! We, as a family unit, have decided that the best way to celebrate this holiday is to be someone else’s miracle and to do things for others that they would never expect. If it’s going to the children’s hospital


and reading a book to a child who is there by themselves or going to the elderly home and sharing a delicious meal with an elder, whose family members are too far to visit. This year we had our girls collect coats for children who are in need. So … what Chanukah means to me? It means light and love and happiness and trying to be a better person this year than last. Happy Chanukah, my friends! ■ Eti S. Lazarian is the owner of Spring Hall event venue.

By Harold Kirtz Hanukkah provides an eight-day experience of wonder and delight – the lighting of candles that, as taught by Hillel, adds light to the menorah each night. It is a wonderful message that we can add light – and meaning – with the advance of each day of the holiday. We should teach our children and grandchildren that each additional candle brings with it the idea that we can provide more and more meaning to our lives and to each project that we undertake. When the Jews lit the oil lamp in the Temple after the Maccabees recaptured it, they did not know how long the oil would last. But it lasted just as long as they needed it to last. We should rededicate our own efforts, whether or not we know the amount of effort we will need to accomplish our goals. Every year, Hanukkah reminds us that each additional step adds to the goals we wish to achieve. May we each be inspired to make the effort needed to reach our goals. ■ Harold Kirtz is president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta.



Thoughts From Your Friends at the AJT

By Kaylene Ladinsky

As someone who works every day making it a priority to be aware of the news, events and happenings within our community, I can say that Chanukah couldn’t have come at a better time this year. We all have memories of good times with our friends and families, as well as the history we remember every night for these eight nights each year. This holiday means so many different things to each of us. This year is different for me. I still have my memories, and, of course the history of the holiday is one that I will always cherish, but this year there’s something different. This year there is all of you. I have been with the AJT for more than eight years, working under several titles and performing many job duties, but I have never had the opportunity to be as intimate with your stories as I am now as interim editor. From my perspective, there has been an increasing anti-Semitic tone in the news, politics and organizations across the world. We all know that not so long ago our ancestors were fighting for their lives and freedom. Even though we have sensed this steady increase of aggressive behavior toward Jews around the world, many still would not believe that our past would ever haunt us again. Pittsburgh’s tragedy was a big pill to swallow and I am still choking on it; we all are. For all the stories that we publish, there are at least two more that never make it into print. There is just not enough real estate in the AJT for all the wonderful contributions of our community. As I started to receive your responses about Chanukah, I thought about what the holiday means to me. I recalled how our community made it through the recent events and our stories of all of you coming together, proving that Jewish Atlanta is a thriving kehillah full of movers and shakers who make a difference not only in our own community, but throughout the world. So, when I light my candles, sure, I will think of the great memories I have, and hold the story of the Maccabees dear, but my happiness this year will include being a part of all of you. Chag Sameach! ■ Kaylene Ladinsky is the managing publisher and interim editor at the AJT and founder and president of Americans United with Israel Corporation, based in Atlanta.

This Is How I Remember It By Deborah Herr Richter The folky melody of “Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah” plays lazily from the next room. Hot latkes cool on an oily paper towel, begging to be eaten with a dollop of homemade applesauce. These aren’t just any latkes. Shredded potato is blended with its South American cousin, yuca, for extra crunch. I wonder faintly if my cousins in Colombia will also be eating yuca frita tonight. When you have a twin sister and a brother who is only 16 months older than you, three separate chanukiyot are required to keep the family peace. Each one is as different in design as we are from each other. Our fists close tightly around individual shammashim and we recite the prayers in unison. My mom breaks out in song and 10 hands clap in time to “Maoz Tzur.” One candle is lit after the next until all three chanukiyot are ablaze, wax dripping onto the foil below. Three mostly-flat chests sink in one collective exhalation. Our quiet breaths carry one emotion after another: joy, wonder and love. Another year passes with the sinking of the candles. We didn’t know it then, but in two years, there will be one less family member crowding around the kitchen island. For now, five full hearts beat in time with the flickering of the light. ■ Deborah Herr Richter is creative and media director of the Atlanta Jewish Times. 44 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


CHANUKAH Freedom is Not to be Taken Lightly By Roni Robbins To me, Chanukah is symbolic of freedom. It’s the freedom of being an empty nester with a child able to study in Israel surrounded by our people. It’s the freedom veterans, like my father and father-in-law, fought and sacrificed to ensure, and that Israeli soldiers fight to preserve in the Holy Land encircled by enemies. But it’s a freedom that can be shattered, so easily, by those who wish to limit our religious rights, don’t agree with our beliefs, or are afraid of our power. As the primary Shabbat usher for Congregation Etz Chaim, I’m the main gatekeeper, ensuring that sanctity is protected for those praying within the sanctuary. My volunteer position took on heightened responsibility after Oct. 27. That’s when a gunman set on terror walked into the sanctuary of a Conser-


vative synagogue in Pittsburgh bearing a name eerily familiar to my shul’s, Tree of Life, and murdered 11 congregants. There, but for the grace of G-d, go … I always thought it was a great privilege to serve as usher and occasionally take the Kohen aliyah on Shabbat like the Jewish men who have always had that right. This is my second year of accepting the Kohen aliyah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. It means so much more to me because I grew up in a Conservative synagogue that resigned girls to Friday night and Sunday bat mitzvot – Shabbat was reserved for the boys – with a haftorah reading about inspirational women in the bible bearing no connection to the parshah of the week. This, despite being the valedictorian of my Hebrew School graduating class. In other words, it had nothing to do with intellect, only a malecentered tradition.

Standing on the bimah with a tallis these days, reciting the blessings before and after the first Torah reading, is not an evolution I take lightly. I kvell when my daughter tells me through WhatsApp how she wears her tallis regularly during Shabbat services in Jerusalem, trying to convince other girls to do the same. It makes me proud as a Jewish woman in today’s world that we have that right. But there’s also something to be said about peaceful assembly. So, for someone to jeopardize that freedom to practice religion as we’d like is a personal

affront. I will sacrifice my life protecting that freedom if I must. As my birthday is the third day of Chanukah, I get to light a double set of candles and at least wish on one. I pledge this new year of mine to appreciate more, to give back more, to love more, and not to let anyone through the doors I guard as usher who doesn’t value our long-fought Jewish freedom to practice as we choose in peace. ■ Roni Robbins is a seasoned, awardwinning journalist and associate editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times.




CHANUKAH By Brenda Gelfand Chanukah is one of my favorite holidays because it is the Festival of Lights and Miracles. I love all the wonderful traditions it incorporates – the lighting of the candles on the menorah for eight days, eating latkes and applesauce, spinning the dreidel, and most importantly, being with my beautiful family and friends. It also helps me believe in miracles – how one small oil lamp or menorah managed to last eight days instead of one. I wish everyone a very Happy Chanukah and many more miracles to come! ■ Brenda Gelfand is a senior account manager at the AJT.

By Michal Bonell The name Chanukah derives from the Hebrew verb,

‫חנך‬, meaning “to dedicate.” On Chanukah, the Maccabean Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple. To many, including myself, the traditions of Chanukah carry the feeling of comfort, of warmth, of family, light and hope. For those, like me, who have struggled, may this Chanukah bring each night of lighting the candles a step toward rebuilding, a step toward the light, a step toward REDEDICATING to living life to its fullest with great hope of refua shlema (full recovery). Chag sameach everyone! ■ Michal Bonell is a senior account manager at the AJT.

By Jodi Danis



Latkes and gelt. Dreidels and candles. Laughter and gifts. I cherish so many sweet images and joyful sounds from past Hanukkah celebrations with my husband and two boys. Debbie Friedman’s “The Latke Song,” and “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” at bedtime. Special pre-school presents and menorah art projects. Such is Hanukkah when you are raising Jewish children. But these days our house is much quieter and the presents far fewer; the gelt and latkes are in moderation due to increasing waistlines and slowing metabolisms; our books and songs are far less interactive and colorful. Such is Hanukkah as an empty nester. This year I held out hope that at least one of my boys – or rather, young men – would make it back to the nest to share in menorah lighting. But our oldest son often travels abroad for work, with a busy social life of his own; and the holiday starts so early this season that our youngest son won’t be home from college until well after the Festival of Lights has ended. So, what’s an empty nester to do for the holiday? Although I had been dreading this new chapter of life, my husband and I have adjusted (and enjoyed!) being “just the two of us again” and all the freedom that entails. Change is never easy, but change can be good too. Although I still miss the days of “Sammy Spider” and my boys squealing in delight, it has been refreshing to connect with other adults who share this same stage of life with us. So this Hanukkah, we will be lighting candles on the first night with our special, new havurah friends, and celebrating the last night by eating latkes with our dearest, old friends. Next week when I light the menorah, it will be in awe of the miracles and brightness in my own life, and joyful for the exciting new chapters awaiting all of us. Chag Urim Sameach! ■ Jodi Danis is an administrative assistant at the AJT.

CHANUKAH By Lloyd Stark This year, Chanukah 2018 means a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. We are moving way too fast during the year. It is a time to slow down and enjoy life! Take a minute to reflect on just how lucky we are and how grateful we should be for everything we have! ■ Lloyd Stark is an account manager at the AJT.

What the Holidays Mean to Me By Jen Evans The holidays for me are a special time when I can relax and have quality time with my kids. They are 18 and 20 now, which makes it even more special that they want to hang out with me during this time of year. We get so wrapped up in our lives throughout the year, with work, school and extracurricular activities, that we forget what it means to take the time and slow down. During the holidays we cook together, talk about everything, play board games, watch movies and make each other laugh. It’s really neat to watch them enter adulthood with wide eyes and open minds. I have been a single mom for 10-plus years now and it is very important to me that the kids and I stay connected. This is the time that we connect the best — all three of us together having fun and being ourselves. We shop and decorate and buy each other small, but thoughtful gifts. This is my second holiday season with both of my parents being gone, so I cherish my little family all the more. Fondue has always been on the menu for our holiday dinner. It stretches out the meal and makes it fun and interactive. It’s also a good way to incorporate a vegan child and a carnivorous child, with something for everyone to nosh on. I am starting to tear up as I write this, so, on that note, I am wrapping it up at work and heading home to be with my wonderful kids. Happy holidays to everyone! Cheers! ■ Jen Evans is community liaison for the AJT. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 49


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As much time as my family spends running every weekday – to baseball practice, Hebrew lessons, board meetings, book club – on Jewish holidays we all stop to breathe and relax at home. The kids put a pause on sibling rivalry, if only for a few minutes. My husband and I put a pause on social media and work emails, if only for a few minutes. While one child sets the table, another climbs up into the cabinet to find the menorahs. One menorah from my childhood is a little wobbly and full of wax from last year’s candles. One menorah is made of colorful Lego blocks. Another is large and too awkward for standard menorah candles. We debate whether or not we can remember all of the blessings, and finally look them up in a book. This different kind of hubbub is at my table. It’s not the buzz of boys talking strategy on the way to a field or my oldest reciting Hebrew as we pull into synagogue. It’s their voices, singing prayers. Their little hands, fumbling with candles. Their faces, lit by glowing candlelight. To me, Chanukah is the bliss of being a parent of Jewish children. ■ Logan C. Ritchie is the mom of three children and staff writer of the AJT.

By Charlotte Morrison For the first nine years of my life, I attended The Davis Academy. Then in ninth grade, I switched to a Christian school. The switch was interesting, especially during the holiday season. Even though my family celebrates a non-religious Christmas, it was strange to see my entire school decorated with trees and wreaths. But this difference at my school made me become an educator on Judaism there. As one of only five Jewish kids in the high school, I see Hanukkah as a time where I get to share the traditions from my childhood with my peers. Every December at my school, we have an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” and for the past three years, I have worn my “Ugly Hanukkah Sweater,” instead, which everyone loves to see. Last year, I learned that my friends had never really learned much about Hanukkah, and even worse, had never eaten traditional Jewish food. This, to me, was shocking, and I knew that I had to be the one to teach my friends about some of the best parts about being Jewish. So, I decided to invite all my friends over to my house to have a little Hannukah party. I taught them how to play dreidel, we all lit the menorah together, and, of course, shared a meal of brisket, latkes and sufganiyot. We all had so much fun together, and I look forward to hosting another one again this year. ■ Charlotte Morrison is a senior at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School and an intern at the AJT.


ARTS Kaplan's Book Takes on Supreme Court David Kaplan’s new book, “The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on the Constitution,” reached bookseller’s shelves with almost perfect timing earlier this year. It was published on Sept. 4, the first day of the Bob contentious hearings into Bahr the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, to be the next Supreme Court justice. Its arrival was just in time to join the debate, which has been raging over the past several decades, on the proper role of the Court. Kaplan believes, as he puts it in his book, that “liberals and conservative alike blithely rely on the court to settle society’s toughest issues – at the expense of the two branches of government that are designed to be democratic.” The result is the same whether the


issue is a liberal one, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, or a 2000 decision that rewarded conservatives, Bush v. Gore, which made George W. Bush the 43rd president of the United States. Faced with a Congress that is often unable or unwilling to act, we turn, he believes, to a group of Supreme Court judges with a lifetime appointment, who answer to no one but themselves and who, in effect, make the law. With a law degree from New York University, Kaplan is a longtime observer of the workings of the Supreme Court. Previously, he wrote “The Accidental President” about the Bush-Gore election dispute on which the Emmy-winning 2008 HBO feature film, “Recount,” was based.

David Kaplan signs his new book about the Supreme Court at the Atlanta Press Club.

He worked more than 25 years for national news magazines, including 20 years at Newsweek, where he was the legal affairs editor and wrote lengthy profiles on Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and William Brennan. In addition to his career as an author, he is

an adjunct professor at NYU, where he teaches about journalism and ethics. His great-grandfather, Adolph Bergida, was a founder of New York City’s Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, a forerunner of the United Jewish Appeal. At a Nov. 15 Atlanta Press Club


“The Most Dangerous Branch” was published by Random House/Crown Publishing Group.

talk, Kaplan laid out his case that the Court in recent years has decided social issues best left to the legislative process, and has done so with a vengeance. “In truth, all the talk about judicial restraint is nonsense,” he told the Press Club. “In truth, everybody’s a judicial activist now. It just depends on which cases. Judicial activism is what the other guy does.” Last week’s hostile exchange between the president and Chief Justice John Roberts is yet another sign that the courts are becoming an even more contentious political battleground. With the recent appointment of conservatives such as Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and a clear conservative majority on the Court, he believes we are likely to see even more judicial activism. “I think you’re going to see an aggressiveness from this court that we have not seen from the conservatives in a generation. And of course,” he emphasized, “the irony is that it’s conservatives who’ve been screaming for a generation or longer about liberals not being able to achieve victories in the Congress and in state legislatures, and rushing to the court to win those rights.” There is already talk of challenging the power of the Supreme Court. A report last Sunday in The Huffington Post, a website with strong liberal credentials, describes recent thinking that would propose 18year term limits or that would increase the number of liberal justices by “packing” the Court, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to do in 1937. Neither idea is new, but as the Court increasingly wades into the political arena, there are likely to be attempts to limit its power. Anything seems possible in this newlyfound awareness of the power of the Supreme Court, but Kaplan’s thoughts are more modest. “I think the most realistic hope for the court,” he says, “is that it reins itself in for its own good.”

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The popular salmon salad boasts avocado, pecans, jalapenos and shallots.

Nowak’s warm brick interior was renovated by Tom Murphy. Blaiss visited 12 venues before choosing the North Highland locale.

Foodie Family Roots Catapult Nowak’s

Deliciousness before the entrée (clockwise from top left): Rice flour flash-fried artichokes, asparagus Parmesan, authentic Caesar salad (split in two portions).

By Marcia Caller Jaffe

Blaiss as a host: Reminiscent of Atlanta’s most vivacious and gracious hosts, like Pano Karatassos, who started by going from restaurant to restaurant and table to table to check on guests à la Harry Baron, who ran his Phipps Deli like a charmed Swiss clock. Blaiss greets entering guests, finds just the right table, and circles throughout the night to assure that everyone and everything is in good order. Therein lies the heartbeat of the successful restaurateur.

An ingénue on the midtown food scene, Nowak’s opened last May in one of the most sentimental of all Jewish neighborhoods, at 1397 Highland Avenue. Natives can recall the Alterman’s grocery across the street, and the cozy brick bones of Nowak’s was itself the 1960s Tenenbaum’s five and dime. The real story is owner/chef/maître d', young family man, Blaiss Nowak (son of the eponymous Buckhead classic, Hal’s "The Steakhouse") as he strikes out on his own with the achievable goal of serving quality spirits and homemade cuisine to the neighborhood. “Our focus is high quality steaks at affordable prices. But our menu extends to have something for everyone, ... pasta, dinner salads, burgers, fish, po' boys, … we want folks to say, ‘Honey, don’t cook tonight, let’s go to Nowak’s.’ Everything on the menu, except the ice cream, is homemade and mostly from our family recipes.” Jaffe: How did you get the “food bug”? Did you have any formal training? Nowak: At 12, I moved to Atlanta from New Orleans and attended GHA [Greenfield Hebrew Academy] for my bar mitzvah year. On to Riverwood High School, then a degree in hospitality management at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. After college I worked for two years for Dad at Hal’s. Growing up in a “foodie” family built the desire to one day run my own place.

Jaffe: What has been the biggest learning curve? Nowak: After taking a 20-year break from the restaurant business, I forgot how physically and mentally demanding this is. Don’t get me wrong, all business is hard, but the restaurant business takes a special breed.

Jaffe: Who did the décor? Nowak: I bought the restaurant from Tom Murphy when it was Morningside Kitchen. Tom totally renovated the space. I looked at 12 restaurants to purchase when we met. It had everything on my checklist: location, decor, parking, fabulous neighborhood and more.

Jaffe: You recently started Sunday brunch? Nowak: In October we launched our first Sunday Brunch buffet. It was amazing, with over 200 people, with very little advertising. The neighborhood thought it was beautifully done and the food was excellent. I think it will grow into a regu-


What we went crazy over:

The wine: Our server steered us to Zironda Ripasso, Corvina Veronese from Valpolicella, Italy… slipped down like silk; no sugary, earthy or tannin taste. Asparagus appetizer: Just the right crunch and size, ... topped with parmesan shavings. Artichoke hearts: Flash fried in rice flour, crispy without heaviness. Intense flavor, maybe a bit too much salt, but still a captured delicacy.

Luscious desserts ended the meal with profiteroles and a boozy layered tiramisu (rear).

Blaiss Nowak strives to be the favorite neighborhood “go to” for great food and cocktails. His New Orleans origins are showcased with white wine sauce, celery, tomatoes and onions on the American Gulf redfish (top left).

lar 400-plus Sunday brunch. Jaffe: Where do you like to eat out in Atlanta? Nowak: Glad you asked. Being born in New Orleans, and growing up with two fabulous cooks for parents, I am quite picky, another reason why I opened my own place. My favorite restaurants are Houston’s and Hal’s. Jaffe: What’s your favorite dessert and cocktail here? Nowak: Our rich chocolate profiterole, and my favorite cocktail is the Blaiss Haze! Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain liqueur, grapefruit and lemon juices. ■

Caesar salad: Homemade dressing zinged with garlic, lemon and pureed anchovies; large square, toasty croutons topped it off. Red fish: Our overall favorite, reminiscent of the French Quarter. The substantial American Gulf portion reigned in a light, but robust wine sauce alongside tomatoes, celery and onions. Cauliflower mash: Subbing for potatoes can be a good thing with a dash of cheddar and cream. Mushroom side: Surprisingly firm when left whole and plumped without much heat or jazz. Tiramisu: The boozy soaked layered ladyfingers were light as air. Our server: Energetic, accommodating, quick without rushing, attentive without being fussy, Nowak’s would do well to keep him happy. Cheers to Blaiss! May he thrive and bask in the success of one who knows his craft. Do we hear echoes of The Brickery? Nowak’s also accommodates vegetarians and gluten-free diners.

KEEPING IT KOSHER Cran-Raspberry Chicken Cook and prep: 1 hour Servings: 4 | Preference: Meat Difficulty: Medium Tart and sweet blend beautifully in this simple yet delicious dish.

Oven-Fried Potato Latkes Cook and prep: 40 minutes Servings: 6 Contains: Gluten Preference: Parve Difficulty: Easy Occasion: Chanukah Diet: Vegetarian, pescetarian Cuisines: Ashkenazi Latkes or crisp, onion-scented potato pancakes are a traditional Chanukah dish. Go to any Chanukah party and you’ll find an apron-clad Jewish mother or grandmother standing at the stove frying and doling them out, a tradition I loved and cherished until I became the poor mother who had to make them. Cooking short-order style, hot oil splattering all over the kitchen, children running underfoot – no thank you! Enter these oven-fried latkes. They’re no healthier, mind you, but just as good, half the mess and so much easier. Ingredients: 2 pounds russet potatoes 1 medium yellow onion, peeled (about the size of a baseball) 2 large eggs

Ingredients: 4 bone-in chicken breasts 2 tablespoons margarine (use soy-free, if needed) salt to taste pepper to taste 2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries 2/3 cup Kedem cranberry juice 1 tablespoon Gefen honey

In a large frying pan, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in the frying pan. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side (six to eight minutes if using regular chicken cutlets). Transfer chicken to a baking dish, a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, or an oven-to-tableware dish. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cranberries, cranberry juice, honey, lemon zest, corn starch and raspberry jam in a small saucepan. Mix all ingredients until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat and cover pot. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened and cranberries split and soften. Pour cran-raspberry mixture over chicken. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. ■ Recipe By: Rivky Kleiman Source: Family Table by Mishpacha magazine

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2 scant teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons Haddar Baking Powder 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup vegetable oil

Set racks in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel the potatoes, then coarsely grate them with the onion together in food processor or by hand using a box grater. Place potato mixture in a fine sieve and press down firmly with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Stir and repeat a few times with fresh paper towels until liquid is mostly drained. Transfer potato mixture to bowl and mix in eggs, salt, baking powder and flour. Fill two heavy, non-stick rimmed baking sheets with 1/2 cup oil each. Place pans in oven for 10 minutes to heat the oil. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove pans from oven. Drop batter by the 1/4-cupful onto baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Using the bottom of the measuring cup or a spoon, press down on pancakes to flatten just slightly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bottoms are crisp and golden. Carefully remove pans from oven and flip latkes. (Tongs are the best tool as a spatula may cause oil to splatter). Place pans back in oven and cook until latkes are crisp and golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Remove pans from oven and transfer latkes to large platter lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with sour cream or applesauce, if desired. Note: It is very important to use non-stick baking sheets, so the latkes don’t stick. ■

Duluth, GA 678-283-9787 Recipe by: Jenn Segal Source:

zest of 1 lemon (optional, but recommended) 2 tablespoons corn starch 2 tablespoons Tuscanini raspberry jam


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YITH Pre-Chanukah Shabbat Family Dinner – Young Israel of Toco

Grand Menorah Lighting – Virginia

Hills, 2056 Lavista Road, Atlanta, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Join friends and family for a pre-Chanukah Shabbat family dinner at YITH with a delicious menu, fun for the kids and adults. $18 adult members, $12 child members ages 3 to 10, $25 adult nonmembers, $15 child nonmembers ages 3-10, free for ages 2 and under. To register,


Vayeishev Friday, November 30, 2018, light candles at 5:11 p.m. Saturday, December 1, 2018, Shabbat ends at 6:09 p.m.. Mikeitz Friday, December 7, 2018, light candles at 5:10 p.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018, Shabbat ends at 6:09 p.m.

Highlands – Virginia Highlands, 1017 North Highland Ave., Atlanta, from 6 to 8 p.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Chanukah celebration with music balloons, dreidels, doughnuts, hot latkes and more. Free. For more information,


The PJ Havdalah – Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway NE, Marietta, from 6 to 7 p.m. Come in your PJ’s to say goodbye to Shabbat and hello to Chanukah. Crafts, story time and indoor s’mores. Ages 0 to 8 years old. Free and open to the community. To RSVP, at or email,

MON., DEC. 3–WED., DEC. 5

JCC Menorah Lighting – Marcus JCC,

“From Darkness to Light” – William


Annual OVS Hanukkah Bazaar – Congregation Or VeShalom, 1681 North Druid Hills Road NE, Brookhaven, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sisterhood’s annual Hanukkah Bazaar featuring authentic Sephardic burekas and sweets and numerous vendors to grab some great last-minute Hanukkah gifts. $3 per person. For more information,


Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, from 2 to 4 p.m. Join Conductor Juan Ramirez and Cantor Lauren Adesnik as members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Emanu-El Youth Choir perform a very special Vedem-inspired Chanukah concert, “From Darkness to Light.” This concert highlights inspiring music from the Holocaust, melodic Sephardic tunes and uplifting Chanukah favorites. $18 per person. For more information,

Chanukah Party – Congregation Dor Tamid, 11165 Parsons Road, Johns Creek, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Crafts, food, bazaar and lighting of the candles for the first night. Free. For more information,

Grand Menorah Lighting – Decatur – Decatur Square, 101 E Court, Decatur, from 4 to 6 p.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Chanukah celebration with music balloons, dreidels, doughnuts, hot latkes and more. Free. For more information,

5342 Tilly Mill Road, Atlanta, each day from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. Three days of Hanukah fun and celebration at the JCC. Each night will feature Hanukah songs with Rabbi Glusman, a performance and the lighting of the menorah. Complimentary sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and hot chocolate will be served. This event is free and open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. For more information,


Grand Menorah Lighting – Atlantic Station – Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Drive NW, Atlanta, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Chanukah celebration with music balloons, dreidels, doughnuts, hot latkes and more. Free. For more information,


Grand Menorah Lighting – Ponce City Market – Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Chanukah celebration with music balloons, dreidels, doughnuts, hot latkes and more. Free. For more information,

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Grand Menorah Lighting – The Forum on Peachtree Parkway, 5155 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners, from 6 to 7 p.m. Light the night at The Forum on Peachtree Parkway with the sights and sounds of Chanukah with live music, latkes, hot cocoa and gelt. Free online registration. $5 at the door. To register,

Community Chanukah Party – Temple Kehillat Chaim, 1145 Green Street,

NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 9 Roswell, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Join the Roswell and East Cobb Jewish communities in celebrating the fourth night of Chanukah. Menorah lighting, Chanukah music, kids’ crafts, sufganiyot and more. Free and open to the community. For more information and to RSVP,

hol and music. $18 to $36 per person. For more information,

GR8FUL: Where Chanukah and Gratitude Meet – Roswell River Landing, 245 Azalea Drive, Roswell, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. A Chanukah celebration presented by Jewish Women’s Connection of Atlanta and Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta featuring JWRP Trip Leader Ruchi Koval. Come out for the menorah lighting, wine and sweets. $18 per person.To register,

Scream’N Nuts, 5950 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Scream’n Nuts gives 20 percent back to Congregation Dor Tamid all day. Stop by and say you are from CDT. Enjoy lighting the 5th night of Chanukah at 7 p.m. with Rabbi Jordan at Congregation Dor Tamid. For more information,

Menorah Car Parade – Chabad Intown On The BeltLine, 730 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meet at Chabad on the BeltLine to get a menorah on your car and join us for an exciting ride around Atlanta. For more information,

YJP – Drinks and Dreidels Chanukah Party – Chabad Intown On The BeltLine, 730 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta, from 8 to 10 p.m. Join YJP for an upscale young adult Chanukah party with a cheese buffet, top- shelf alco-

gogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW, Atlanta, from 5 to 7 p.m. Light up the 7th night of Chanukah. Celebrate the festival of lights with music, arts and crafts, a glow game room and food. Free. For more information, Marc Silberstein, msilberstein@aasynagogue. org or 404-603-5748.


Grand Opening Celebration Chabad Intown on the BeltLine – Chabad

Giant Menorah Lighting at Marietta Square Glover Park – Glover Park, 50 Park Square, Marietta, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Celebrate Chanukah with a menorah lighting by Congregation Ner Tamid of Marietta/ West Cobb, led by Rabbi Joseph Prass. Featuring holiday music, free hot chocolate and jelly doughnuts. All are welcome. Please bring any gently worn children’s clothes. Your generosity will help their spring rummage sale. For more information,

Chanukah at the Governor’s Mansion – 1580 Spalding Drive, in Sandy Springs, from 3 to 4 p.m. For the 9th consecutive year, Atlanta’s Temple Emanu-El has been asked to represent Georgia’s Jewish citizens at this annual event. After a short celebration program and refreshments at Temple Emanu-El, buses will provide round trips from the temple to the Governor’s Mansion. Open to 100 participants. Registration closes on December 7 at 12 p.m. To register and for more information, www.templeemanuelatlanta. org.

Intown On The BeltLine, 730 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta, from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Grand opening celebration for its new location. Help paint the new outdoor mural, ribbon cutting ceremony, menorah lighting, welcoming the Torahs, food, activities for children, music, dancing and more. For more information, www.chabadintown. org/?s=grand+opening.

Mitzvot and Miracles Family Chanukah Party – Congregation Beth Shalom, 5303 Winter Chapel Road, Dunwoody, from 7 to 8 p.m. Gilner Religious School Singers will lead participants in Chanukah songs, Alefbet Preschool will feature a silent auction, and a dairy Chanukah dinner will be served. $10 per adult, $7 per child ages 5 to 12, children under 5 are free. No fee for party without dinner. For more information, ■

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


Scream’N Nuts and CDT celebrate the 5th night of Chanukah –

Sparks of Light – Ahavath Achim Syna-


“Light It Up with Epstein” Hanukkah Festival – The Epstein School Tritt Family Gymnasium, 335 Colewood Way, NW, Sandy Springs, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friends and family in the community are invited to enjoy a morning filled with celebrating, dancing, latkes, art projects, candle rolling, Chanukah stories, balloon animals, Circus Camp performers and more. Free. To RSVP, www.epsteinatlanta. org/lightitup.

Chanukah Palooza – Temple Kehillat Chaim, 1145 Green St., Roswell, from 12 to 2 p.m. Annual fundraiser for the Mitzner Family Religious School of Temple Kehillat Chaim. The afternoon begins with a Chanukah sing-along in the sanctuary, followed by lunch, a raffle, silent auction, games, vendors and crafts. $5 per ticket. Kids under 3 eat free. For more information, www.

Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. Please contact community liaison, Jen Evans, for more information at

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Such a Catch:


Tech Savvy and Back in Town By Rachel Fayne Sid Scheck, 49, may work in financial technology as his day job, but he has a pretty unusual side career. Sid operates his own YouTube channel, where he focuses primarily on reviewing products, likely quite the conversation starter on dates. Although Sid moved back to town in January of last year, he made Atlanta his home in the 90s and early 2000s as well. Now that he’s back in the city, we think Sid is Such a Catch, so let him tell you a little bit about himself. AJT: What are you looking for in a partner? Scheck: I am looking for a partner and best friend. Someone that I can have excellent communication with. Someone who is affectionate. Someone who is physically fit and if they like hikes, that is a plus. I am a sports fan, so it would be nice to have a best friend to cheer with.

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AJT: What do you think/have been told are your best qualities? Scheck: I am very caring and will bend over backwards for anyone I care about. I often think about making others happy before I think of myself. I am reliable, creative and think outside the box. AJT: How do you spend your spare time? Scheck: I work on building my YouTube channel doing reviews on products. On the weekends, I enjoy hiking. I work out four to five days a week as well as swim. AJT: What is your guilty pleasure? Scheck: I enjoy eating sweets, doing my YouTube videos, listening to a variety of music, hiking and watching some reality shows. AJT: What are some things that are most important in your life? Why are they valuable to you? Scheck: First and most important is my family, as I am very close with them. They are there to support me through the ups and downs. Next are good quality friends you can count on, that you can share lifetime experiences with and confide in when you need to talk. I also really enjoy my company I work for. ■

Atlanta Jewish Times "Such a Catch" Column If you’re interested in this catch or want to be featured as a catch yourself, email Rachel Fayne at



Women’s Shelter Renamed to Recall Family Roots By Logan C. Ritchie Now open for its 35th season, Rebecca’s Tent women’s shelter in Morningside has a new name to honor its founders. It was a remarkably cold winter in 1983 when Helen and Frank Spiegel, members of Congregation Shearith Israel, established a seasonal shelter for homeless women. Both German immigrants, Helen’s family escaped Kristallnacht thanks to the generosity of neighbors who helped them relocate to Boston, Mass. At age 17, Frank was sent to the United States by his family and relocated to Georgia through The Jewish Agency in order to learn a trade. When they died, Helen in 2017 and Frank in May 2018, the Spiegel children, Elizabeth, Mark and Walter, provided substantial support to the recently-renamed Rebecca’s Tent Spiegel Women’s Shelter at Shearith Israel. “They were our light and the reason we got this shelter off the ground,” said Gillian Gansler, the shelter’s executive committee chair.

The shelter has a new name and logo.

Rebecca’s Tent is located in the quiet part of Morningside, steps away from busy N. Highland Avenue. Executive Director Tasho Wesley said, “For over 30 years, we have seen the need for shelter, hot meals, job coaching and MARTA cards.” More than 1,000 women have received help from Rebecca’s Tent, a night shelter that accepts only working women or those who are in job training. Open from November to March, from evening to early morning seven days a week, Rebecca’s Tent offers a safe

place to sleep, freshly prepared meals, shower and laundry facilities, and toiletries. Year-round, women can access job training, counseling and community support at the shelter, according to Gansler. The shelter’s mission is to enable homeless women to obtain permanent housing on a sustainable basis. Women of all races, religions and backgrounds are welcome. “We wrap resources around the women to be loving and supportive. At the same time, they get resources to sustain themselves in housing and employment. Sometimes it’s a need to reunite with family, or a guest is waiting for resources, or escaping domestic violence,” Gansler said. Wesley added: “There are many reasons for women becoming homeless. Sometimes the cause is surprise expenses related to the cost of medical care for

a serious illness. Perhaps a job is lost because a company has changed locations and is no longer near a MARTA station or bus stop. Many homeless women are educated, working people whose lives have taken a wrong turn.” Wesley emphasized the need for community volunteers and involvement. “We depend on volunteers to assist with job skills, including resume writing and mock interviews; those with backgrounds in budgeting or finance; hospital workers to talk about healthcare; and people who can serve dinner.” Families are encouraged to cook for shelter guests, serve dinner and stay to play board games. Children in elementary school and older are welcome to volunteer with an adult. Easily accessible, Rebecca’s Tent wish list items can be fulfilled from Amazon. ■ For more information, visit

Frank and Helen Spiegel at the shelter’s 30th anniversary celebration. 60 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


Magician and high school junior Ari Isenberg wants a career combining acting and filmmaking. He currently uses cards to entertain audiences.

Teenager Ari Isenberg performs with flaming magic at the Galloway School.

Ari Isenberg: Magician, Filmmaker, Actor – and Teenager In a professional video he created gia High School Association’s One Act for the “Tower of Talent” fundraiser for Play State Championships. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on the City Springs stage, Ari Isenberg demonMarcia: You are weaving in acting, strated the card manipulation skills he photography and videography with your has mastered since he began performing magic experiences. How does that work? magic 11 years ago at age 6. In the threeAri: I love to perform and make minute video, Ari locates and displays people happy, whether it’s just to give my cards that appear from a randomly shuf- friends a break at school or to brighten fled deck, each one exactly matching a someone’s day who isn’t feeling well or number he recites as part of a compelling who isn’t in a good place. All of my instory about the importance terests are related, and Galof the fundraising event. loway is very supportive, Not only did Ari, a juwhether I’m doing a solo nior at The Galloway School, magic show for our school’s perform the magic, he also Fall Fun Fest or performing created the video, combinas part of the theater group. ing skills he acquired as a filmmaker and actor into a Marcia: How do mensingle, captivating perfortors and networks of magimance. cians connect? The Tower of Talent Marcia Ari: The magic commuvideo is far from Ari’s first Caller Jaffe nity is very supportive, especharitable use of his magical cially of young magicians. skills. In connection with his bar mitzvah I’ve attended magic conventions in sevweekend in 2015, Ari organized a magic eral cities, where I’ve met some fantastic benefit show with three professional ma- professional magicians who I now congicians he befriended, raising more than sider real friends. I was very fortunate $6,000 for two charities, including the to be picked as a “Star of Tomorrow” at Blonder Family Department for Devel- the Society of American Magicians’ conopmental Disabilities at the Marcus Jew- vention in 2015, and I now work behind ish Community Center of Atlanta. Ari’s the scenes at Magi-Fest, one of the largest grandfather was Jerry Blonder, for whom magic conventions in the country, in CoJerry’s Habima Theatre is named. lumbus, Ohio. Ari has also repeatedly donated magic performances for My Sister’s House Marcia: What’s your coolest trick? (a homeless shelter) and Amy’s Holiday Ari: Actually, I shy away from the Party (benefiting children and families word “trick” because I think it’s a negain need), and recently gave his time to en- tive word that incites an audience to put tertain guests at a holiday party for the up its guard in fear of being fooled or MARR Addiction Treatment Center. deceived. I prefer the word “experience.” I caught up with Ari recently, after One of my favorite experiences was perhe had finished performing in Galloway’s forming Houdini’s famous “metamorproduction of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth phosis” illusion, where I was handcuffed, Night,” which won first place at the Geor- tied up in a bag, and locked inside a

wooden crate. Then, I instantly changed places with my cousin on stage! Marcia: How will this play out in college and your 10-year plan? Ari: I hope to major in some combination of acting, filmmaking and photography. Long term, I want to write my own shows and perform in more close-

up, intimate settings. Marcia: Given your love of acting, do you have any favorite lines from your recent performance in “Twelfth Night”? Ari: As the great Count Malvolio says, “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” ■



Happy Chanukah

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The Weber School’s upstairs walls were lined with supportive notes from Peace by Piece partner, Marist School.

800 Handwritten Messages Sent to Weber Students of The Weber School were showered with handwritten notes of empathy and encouragement from the Marist School following the mass shooting at Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pa. Marist School is a partner in Peace by Piece, a community effort to sustain interfaith dialogue and understanding among Jews, Catholics and Muslim high school students. Marist history teacher Brendan Murphy hand delivered the letters on Nov. 1. Murphy is consistently recognized as a strong supporter of the Jewish community. He has been commended by the Anti-Defamation League and Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Eight hundred messages, such as “We stand with you and will work for justice,” and “I am sickened and saddened that you continue to deal with hateful acts,” were hung in Weber hallways. ■ Compiled by AJT Staff

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Notes offered empathy, stating: “I am sickened … you continue to deal with this.”


Photos by Beth Intro Photography // Above: AJA students and their families. Inset: Photos of the

Tree of Life synagogue victims with their names and info about them.

Jaguar Jems Host Light in the Dark Concert The Jaquar Jems of the Atlanta Jewish Academy recently hosted a Light in the Dark Concert to commemorate those who lost their lives in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. The Jaguar Jems are a group of eighth-grade students dedicated to spreading kindness, advised by middle school teacher Anna Lefkoff. About 75 students and their families attended the Nov. 17 event, joining together to honor those who lost their lives at the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pitts-

burgh last month. Eighth-grade students Dov Karlin, Ayla Cohen and Jemima Schoen began the event with a Havdalah prayer. The students also gathered in a circle and each recited a quote about the power of light. After students spoke, they lit their candle and spread the light around to all the guests at the event. The candle lighting was a symbol of the strength and solidarity of the com-

munity. The concert featured music from AJA parents Hillel Glazer and Marc Miller. At the culmination of the event, everyone sang together the Bill Withers song “Lean on Me.” Lefkoff said, “It was beautiful to see the school and students come together to show strength and solidarity while commemorating the Pittsburgh tragedy.” ■

Eighth graders Eva Beresin, Ayla Cohen and Josh Shulman starting the candle lighting.

Hillel Glazer, one of the musicians. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 63


Chai Decatur Establishes Presence in Untapped Area By Logan C. Ritchie When Rabbi Avremi and Bracha Slavaticki relayed plans to open a new Jewish facility in Decatur, friends in Sandy Springs had mixed reactions. While some were enthusiastic about the prospect of blasting Jewish energy into the area, others were stumped about the location. “Decatur is not a place that likes big buildings and institutions, it is familyand community-oriented,” the Chabad rabbi said in a phone interview. “Our feeling is that there’s room – and a need – for Decatur to have its own Jewish presence.” Decatur and Avondale Estates, located directly east on College Avenue, are tight-knit communities with a population of around 1,500 Jews, according to the rabbi. “We have been received very warmly and enthusiastically by both the local population and government officials at Decatur’s city hall,” Bracha Slavaticki wrote in an email to the AJT. An urban community, Decatur streets tout bike lanes and encourage eco-friendly commuting. Children walk to school and residents use MARTA to

Bracha Slavaticki of Chai Decatur reads Chanukah books to children at Little Shop of Stories. Avremi and Bracha Slavaticki are the founders of Chai Decatur. They have three children.

commute to midtown and downtown, rather than sit in traffic on busy DeKalb Avenue, a main corridor of Intown Atlanta. As the founders of Chai Decatur, the Slavatickis have a vision for a one-stop Jewish shop. While building Jewish community through Shabbat dinners, events, religious services, and networking, they plan to secure a permanent location during the next six to eight months.

“Our vision is to offer every single Jewish service in Decatur: A synagogue, Jewish preschool, holiday programming and more. No one should leave the city for anything [Jewish],” Avremi Slavaticki said. Chai Decatur joined Little Shop of Stories, a beloved children’s book store in Decatur Square, for a Chanukah book event on Nov. 18. They are also working with PJ Library to bring programming to the area. Next, Chai Decatur plans to hold Tots Shabbat on Friday, Dec. 14, at Deca-

tur Recreation Center and, in February, is hosting 100 residents for dinner at an event dubbed Shabbat 100. “Lots of locals are excited about Chai Decatur and have helped with seed money. Eventually, we will be locally funded,” the rabbi said. He spent his childhood in Antwerp, Belgium, and has lived around the world. His wife hails from New Orleans, La. They have three children under the age of five who attend Chaya Mushka preschool in Sandy Springs. ■

Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem // U.S. Ambassador to Israel David

Friedman, right, and Israel's Communications Minister Ayoub Kara unveil the Israel Post and U.S. Postal Service joint stamp for Chanukah (inset) at the American Center in Jerusalem on Oct. 16.

Israel and U.S. Postal Service Jointly Issue Chanukah Stamp A new Chanukah stamp was issued last month by the U.S. Postal Service and the Israel Post at a joint ceremony at America’s oldest congregation, the 254-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I. The Forever stamp with the image of a Chanukah menorah was created through papercutting, “a Jewish art form that dates at least to the Middle Ages,” Postal Service Judicial Officer Gary Shapiro said in a release. “This work of art celebrating the Jewish Festival of Lights will travel on millions of letters and packag64 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

es, throughout America and around the world.” Behind the menorah is an ancient oil jug representing the heart of the Chanukah miracle, the sacred oil meant to last one day that burned for eight. On each side of the design are two broken oil jugs and two dreidels. The plant twining along the sides is a pomegranate. The fruit and flowers can be seen in the twisting branches. Israel Post issued the stamps in a sheet of 15, while the Postal Service issued a sheet of 20 stamps. ■



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Mazel Tov

Isaacson – Berch Engagement Lisa and Richard Isaacson are thrilled to announce the engagement of their daughter, Ilene Brooke, to Louis Ryan Berch, son of Staci and Bruce Sokol and Linda and Sheldon Berch, all of Atlanta. Ilene is the granddaughter of JoAnn Jacobs and the late Joseph Marvin Jacobs, and Carol and Larry Isaacson, all of Atlanta. Louis is the grandson of Maury Isenberg Gerson and the late Stanley Gerson, and Lois Berch and the late Leonard Berch, all of Atlanta. Ilene and Louis will be married in February 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Villa Christina in ... you guessed it ... Atlanta!

Jeter-Karol Wedding Dr. Leslie A. Jeter and Dr. Richard J. Karol announce the simcha of their marriage, which takes place at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta in December 2018. Rabbi Daniel Dorsch of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta will officiate. The maid of honor will be Elana Karol, Richard’s daughter, and the best man will be Joshua Karol, Richard’s son. Leslie is the daughter of Elizabeth Burt and George Jeter, formerly of Columbus, Ga. She is a certified registered nurse anesthetist working in Atlanta. Richard is the son of Marcia and Berton Karol, formerly of Atlanta, and works as an emergency department physician.

Jacobson-Mann Birth Leah Jacobson and William Mann on the birth of their daughter. Tsofia Dafna was born Nov. 9 in Los Angeles. Grandparents are Gloria and Ed Jacobson of Decatur and Ivan and Judy Mann of Birmingham.



Congratulations Analia Bortz BBC 100 Women has announced its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2018. Among them is Rabbi Analia Bortz, 51, of Argentina. Now a rabbi at Congregation Or Hadash, she is an author, doctor and bioethicist dedicated to the holistic treatment of women struggling with infertility.

Birth Announcements

Nicole and Jared Smith on the birth of their daughter, Liliana Faye Smith, on Aug. 21 Erinn and Mitchell Silver on the birth of their son, Gramm Eli Silver, on Sept. 24

B’nai Mitzvah

Ellie Widis, the daughter of Bill and Wendy Widis, on Nov. 17 Naomi Kleber, the daughter of Dori and David Kleber, on Nov. 24

Have something to celebrate? Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ...

Share it with your community with free AJT simcha announcements. Email them to ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 67


Dear CIC, You must be a very capable, warm and giving person to be entrusted by your parents with such . ew our cr ander-in-chief of m m co a weighty responsibility. Often, we don’t look for e m d te r. in ea k to w lly appo comfortable cloa Dear Rachel, parents unilatera a y s m ay , extra jobs. They entail hard work and pushing w gs al in t bl no . si s te e re ough it’ ding vo As the eldest of th to adulthood, th truly has the deci in s l ur el ourselves to our limits, and who wants heavyw yo , n ily tio m si em fa po g rdin they se d this ey, got along. But out anything rega I have maintaine ffr ab e Je d ak duty exertion? Yet, when challenges land on our an m to na ay on D si , blings is a deci able if my dear si Whenever there er is m shoulders, responsible people soldier up and set as e. ite nc qu ly, si te be n’t ever media Perhaps it would ained their rivalry antennae rose im st y su M . ve out to accomplish the feat, hurdles notwithstander ha ov d e an m g co fightin d me to to have been born my mother aske n he ing. And once we’ve scaled the peak, we are filled w ly nt ce re e The clincher cam ng my way. lli ro . with a sense of accomplishment and satisfacm rly or be st m t so en me min uss,” she informed and I sniffed an im sc r. di he to tion. ot nt e ca th ifi to om gn ot M si .” e fo “I have something d I agreed on that I shifted from on So, CIC, how can you help your querulous estate. Daddy an to the floor, and r d spect.” ou re re be of d or am an cl ut t ng ec ar ri ex My he hes with ca will be the is w ou y “y siblings get along? May I suggest the following? m d, pt ne d ce to ac an in hale d Jeff to “When I die,” Mom left. After all, she’s “I want Dayna an e . ng tim ui Sit down with Dayna and Jeffrey individually of in ty nt t en co pu pl re s y ickl she ha ed befo k her head and qu paused and sniff assure Mom that oo re sh d e and explain how important it was to your parsh an , in ts p gh m ou ju to oken th I nodded, ready Sensing my unsp ! an ri ents that they learn to put aside their differna ge on na as no no re ing a g to stop. There is hearty, despite be lin bb . ences and act like family. Ask them if there is ua op sq st h to is em e ol th m fo o of aling their at will help the tw I gulped. “I want her hand up, sign d th an an d, anything you can do to facilitate the process. pl a ue in ith nt w co e me up “There’s more,” sh g you, Ruth, to co tin us tr Surely, they will care to provide satisfaction to I’m g! air on m al get eate a for siblings not to who said I can cr s, de si their beloved parents on high, even if the task Be ? re he parent grow close.” d rave. Who’s the an , nt seems insurmountable. ra , am ng re lo sc t e lonely night no WAIT! I wanted to Perhaps you can provide the meeting ths later. And on burden on me! on m is e th t re th pu t remembering ly n’ on do ed cle? Please Mom pass arted, suddenly t, st d en grounds for weekly dinners or get-togethers. m an s er ar ild st w d be d oon an To our shock an the glistening m at w Spending pleasant time together can be a do in w d e in th m rough red, my after, I stared th ent. But, I wonde es pr great way to bond and engender closeness. e th e lik e ish. is no tim Mom’s fervent w myself that there d de If that attempt is ineffective and they in m ? re I at , fe gh rculean Heaving a huge si complish this he ac I continue to rip each other to shreds, can you do OW H s: circle spinning in wild arrange for a meeting including the three of Sincerely, f (CIC) you and your rabbi? Often a wise and objecmmander-In-Chie An Unwilling Co tive third party can assist in ways that someone subjective cannot. In our Torah, the value of peace is paramount, and honoring your parents ranks high up there, as well. Ruth, you’re a devoted daughter, sister, and praiseworthy Jew. May Hashem help you to successfully fulfill your dear parents’ heartfelt request. Wishing you strength and courage. With admiration, Rachel Stein ■

Atlanta Jewish Times Advice Column Got a problem? Email Rachel Stein at oyvey@atljewishtimes. com, describing your problem in 250 words or less. We want to hear from you and get helpful suggestions for your situation at the same time! Identifying details will be changed upon request. 68 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


BRAIN FOOD And When It’s Dry and Ready… By: Yoni Glatt, Difficulty Level: Medium 1

















50 54 57



58 63











1. Doughnut filling 4. “Man on the Moon” band









28 31




24 27

















26 29








7. Nickname for Steve Rogers 10. Coolers, for short 13. ___ L’Tzedek

14. Muhammad whose grandson had a Bar Mitzvah 15. Latke liquid 16. Bulls in boxscores 17. Hibernation site 18. When the 17th of Tammuz falls out some years 20. Squared cracker that’s a hexagon? 21. ___ Zemirot 23. Some calendars have two 24. It’s used to walk the dog? 25. Sefardic cousin of cholent 27. NYC airport recently overhauled 28. Aired Seinfeld, say 29. Cooperative interactions 32. Location question (answered two ways in this puzzle) regarding the events alluded to by a dreidel 33. “___ shorts!” (Bart Simpson) 35. Hatzalah letters 37. Notable ancestor of the Maccabees 39. Emerald Isle 42. Screen that blips 45. Rugrats character that observes Chanukah 46. Company that collapsed in 2001 47. Rink surface 48. Certifies by oath 51. Flight stat. 52. Dimes and agorot, e.g. 54. Achilles’ victim in “The Iliad”

56. Fashion lines 58. Author ___ Stanley Gardner 59. It comes at the end of the year 62. Comedy duo Key & ___ 64. Made like the Giants, for most of the season 68. Ancestry 69. ___ ante (raise) 70. The “Last Jedi”, maybe 71. Former prime minister born “Mabovich” 72. Stiffly formal 73. Play dreidel


1. A Maccabee 2. Sports venue 3. Notable agricultural sheva 4. Shofar provider 5. Oscar winner Kazan 6. Setting of the Maccabee rebellion, in modern day terms 7. Like the Maccabees 8. Suffers from a plague 9. Tissue layer 10. Adam Sandler, e.g. 11. Wife of Rabbi Menachem (Mendel) 12. A Maccabee 19. (Ageless) hockey wonder Jaromir 22. It barely mentions the events of Chanukah 24. All-too-agreeable fellows




























23 26 29





















20 24



























































































































18 21


























48 51




59 62




Kennedy was assassinated 30 years ago. Kennedy was shot on Nov. 22, 1963. Following the assassination, Atlanta’s synagogues held special memorial services, and rabbis spoke about the tragedy in their Shabbat sermons. ■ The bat mitzvah of Lea Anne Kunis of Atlanta took place on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Congregation Shearith Israel. Lea is the daughter of Rabbi Mark and Estee Kunis. She is the granddaughter of Sidney and Harriette Kunis of Hallandale, Fla., and of Cantor Martin and Sylvia Vogel of Los Angeles, Calif.

Atlantans recall where they were when former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

25 Years Ago // November 26, 1993 ■ In the Nov. 26 Issue, Atlantans recalled where they were when President John F. 70 | NOVEMBER 30, 2018 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES





Remember When




15 Years Ago // November 28, 2003 ■ Nearly 80 members of Atlanta’s Jewish community traveled to Israel Nov. 9-20 as part of a mission sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Atlanta. Participants also attended the United Jewish Communities’ General Assembly, which included a march of more than 4,000 Americans and Canadians through the streets of Jerusalem. ■ The AJT featured Jethro Solomon, who was selected by Maccabi USA Sports for Israel to play on the USA Junior Maccabi basketball team at the Maccabi Pan American Games. At the time, Solomon was a junior at Riverwood High School. The games began Dec. 27 in Santiago, Chile.

26. TV’s Science Guy 28. Emeritus: Abbr. 30. Supporter of arms, for short 31. Actor McKellen who has played a Nazi and a Holocaust survivor 34. Word before Shamayim or Hashem 35. Bana of Munich 36. ___ Hach (Bnei Akiva Israel trip) 38. 1 or 66, abbr. 40. Caramel-filled chocolate candy 41. ___’acte (play break) 43. Narc’s org. 44. What Matisyahu might have felt when he rebelled 46. Donkey, in Berlin 49. “Time flies,” with “fugit” 50. Kind of movie glasses 53. 19-Down, e.g. 55. Human body’s 50,000,000,000,000 or so 57. YK month, often 58. K-12, in education 59. Tree that’s an anagram of legend Brooks 60. One can be told for “Shalom Bayit” 61. College, to an Aussie 63. TLV posting 65. Kosher label with an extra caveat 66. Word with “jet” or “water” 67. Sons of Haman

50 Years Ago // November 29, 1968 ■ Popular author, William Bradford Huie, was the guest speaker at the Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award Dinner on Sunday, Dec. 1. The famed writer is the author of 16 books, including “The Execution of Private Slovik,” “The Revolt of Mamie Stover” and “The Americanization of Emily.” The 1968 award recipient was Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild, the spiritual leader of the Temple. ■ Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lasansky of Atlanta announce the birth of a daughter, Susan Beth, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Georgia Baptist Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Jacob of Skokie, Ill., and Mrs. Alex Lasansky of Brooklyn.

BRAIN FOOD Jewish Jokes of the Week No Chanukah Tree?

Chanukah Stamps, Please.

Admiring the Christmas trees displayed in his neighbor’s windows, Peter asks his father, “Daddy, can we have a Chanukah tree?” “What? No, of course not,” his father says. “Why not?” Peter asks. Bewildered, his father replies, “Because the last time we had dealings with a lighted bush we spent 40 years in the wilderness.”

Mary goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Chanukah cards, and she says to the cashier, “May I have 50 Chanukah stamps?” The cashier says, “What denomination?” Miriam says, “Oy vey, has it come to this? OK, give me six Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform.”

Jokes provided by David Minkoff

Yiddish Word of the Week shkóyekh Shkóyekh* – “More power to you!” An expression of recognition for a job well done, used primarily to greet a person having performed a ritual role in synagogue worship services, such as the ritual recitation from the Torah or an aliyah (reciting the blessings before and after the Torah recitation). From the Hebrew ‫ יִ ַשר כ ַֹח‬yisshár kóach, literally, “may [your] strength be upright.”

Mixed-Up Menorah How many common words of 5 or more letters can you spell using the letters on the menorah? Every answer must use the shamash letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one word will use all 7 letters and have a direct Chanukah connection. Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer and 3 points for a Chanukah-related word that uses all 7 letters. Rating: 6 = Good; 10 = Excellent; 15 = Genius

Probably inspired by a midrash* arguing that G-d approved of Moses’ smashing of the Tablets of the Law when he saw the people worshipping the golden calf. The midrash links the words ‘ashér ‫“( ֲא ֶׁשר‬that”) and yisshár ‫[“( יִ ַּׁשר‬may it] be upright/ strong”). A Sephardic equivalent is chazáq uvarúkh – ‫וברּוְך‬ ָ ‫[“ ָחזָ ק‬may to be] strong and blessed.” The customary response to both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic greetings is barukh tihyeh ‫– ָּברּוְך ִּת ְהיֶ ה‬ “[be] strong and blessed. “ *Alternative pronunciation: shkóyach, shkóyakh, yáshar kóach, yásher kóyekh (Yiddish pronunciation of the Hebrew ‫ יִ ַּׁשר ּכ ַֹח‬yisshár kóach) **Reish Lakish said: “[In the words “I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets] that (‘asher ‫ ) ֲא ֶׁשר‬you smashed,” [God] intended to say [to Moses:] “May your strength be upright (yisshár ‫)יִ ַּׁשר‬ that (‘asher ‫ ) ֲא ֶׁשר‬you smashed [them].” Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Bava Batra 14b. Rabbi Joab Eichenberg-Eilon, PhD, teaches Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, eTeacher Group Ltd.









Complete the challenges and color in the candles! Upload your photo to win a special prize at ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2018 | 71


Leo Phaff

96, Albany, N.Y.

Leo Phaff, 96, of Albany, N.Y., passed away Nov. 19, 2018, at the Eddy Village Green in Cohoes, N.Y. Leo was born in Albany, the first child of Morris and Fanny Phaff. He was a graduate of Albany High School and received his degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1943. After serving in World War II, Leo returned to Albany, launched National Business Promotions, and married his love, Ruth Rosenfeld. Leo was a unique pillar of the Albany Jewish community, constantly volunteering for causes, including the Albany Jewish Community Council, Israel Bonds and his synagogue, Tifereth Yisrael. Shortly after Ruth and Leo wed, the synagogue merged with another conservative shul, Sons of Israel, forming the new Temple Israel. In the early 1950s, through the efforts of Leo, his father and others in the synagogue, a large lot at 600 New Scotland Avenue was purchased, and the present-day Temple Israel was built. For its dedication in 1956, a procession of rabbis and Torah scrolls, one carried by Leo, made their way up New Scotland Avenue, from Partridge Street to the congregation’s new home. To provide children with a year-round Jewish learning experience, the synagogue purchased a 250-acre parcel of land in East Berne, which became Camp Givah, a Hebrew-speaking day camp. Leo served twice as president of Temple Israel and spearheaded countless fundraising initiatives to ensure the durability of the temple and its education center. In the early 1960s, Leo worked tirelessly with others to launch a Solomon Schechter day school in Albany, The Hebrew Academy of the Capital District, later known as Bet Shraga. Decade after decade, well into his 80s, Leo continued to raise money for Israel Bonds, The Hebrew Academy, Temple Israel, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York and a special project for the survival of a community newspaper, The Jewish World of Albany. He sat on the boards of the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation and was vice president of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association. He was honored at memorable gatherings by The Hebrew Academy, B’nai B’rith, Maimonides Hebrew Day School, State of Israel Bonds, and Temple Israel. Leo is survived by his sister, Ann Hirsch of Ponce Inlet, Fla., and by his six children: David Phaff (Debbie) of Albany, N.Y.; Stephen Phaff (Gale) of Telz Stone, Israel; Ellen Phaff Shein of Herzliya, Israel; Dori Phaff (Dan Raviv) of Washington, D.C.; Judy Phaff Ledger (Lindsay) of Atlanta; and Wendy Phaff of Queens, N.Y.; as well as 19 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Leo was predeceased by his “beautiful bride,” Ruthie (z’’l), who passed away on Aug. 22, 2017. Funeral services were held at Temple Israel in Albany, Nov. 21. Burial followed at the Temple Israel Cemetery.

Irving “Sonny” May Shlesinger 89, Atlanta


With sadness, the family of Irving “Sonny” Shlesinger announces his passing, Nov. 22, 2018, having lived a full life of 89 years. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised as a teenager in Washington, D.C., a 1951 graduate of Washington & Lee University, he received a post-graduate degree with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He began his career as a stockbroker in Washington before moving to Atlanta to work for Dittler Brothers, later becoming a senior executive and eventually co-owner of the company. After retirement, Sonny became president of The Standard Club, where he negotiated the sale of the Buckhead facility and subsequent relocation to Duluth. He was a phenomenal athlete. He played varsity tennis in college, and it was a lifelong passion. On a lark, he and his doubles partner from college entered the men’s over 60 national tournament and reached the quarter-finals. A self-taught golfer with a swing that would make every golf professional cover his eyes, Sonny would routinely shoot in the 70s and once went two years without losing a ball. He founded and ran a golf tournament benefitting AID Atlanta for 10 years. He was loved by all and universally known for stating his honest opinion – whether good or bad. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvia and Milton; his beloved son, Jay; and his stepson, Daniel Zacks. He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce, who never left his side during his struggles over the past year; his son, John, and wife Sara; and grandchildren, Abby and Michael, all of Atlanta. Additionally, he is survived by his stepchildren, Andrew Zacks (Denise Leadbetter) of Oakland, Calif.; Tammy Zacks of Atlanta; and Debbie Robbins (Cliff) of Greenwich, Conn., as well as their children, Aaron (Britany); Adam and Joseph Zacks; Michael and Mark Keller; Madelaine, Olivia and Simon Zacks; and Dylan, David and Reid Robbins. A special thank you goes out to the Weinstein Hospice and his beloved caregivers, Tammeshia Christie, Pauleen Simon, Judie Lea and Vince Anderson. Services were held at The Temple on Nov. 25, followed by a private family internment. The family received friends Nov. 25-26. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Weinstein Hospice, The Temple or the charity of your choice. ■


Commitment In 1973, I was overweight and way out of shape. I was 35 years old and out of breath with even a little bit of exercise. I heard about jogging and thought it might help me. The aerobics revolution was just in its infancy, and I knew virtually nothing about it. I was working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Bob Forrestal was the head attorney, and in terrific shape. One day we started talking about running and he suggested that I read the book, “Aerobics.” I did, and it got me to started jogging. I became a small part of the running revolu- Allen tion. At first, I jogged 100 Lipis yards and stopped, out of breath. Eventually, I was able to run and walk one mile to the community pool in the summer. To jog properly, I bought a pair of running shoes. I used those shoes for four years, from 1974 through 1977, when

I finished my first Peachtree Road Race. I started with those shoes walking a hundred yards and was too tired to continue. Then I tried running a mile in those shoes and never finished the run. Gradually, I started running a mile, then 1.5 miles, then two miles and eventually ran three miles on a regular basis, all with those running shoes. In 1975, I continued my 2- to 3-mile run, and I heard about the Peachtree Road Race, just then beginning, and ending at Five Points in downtown Atlanta. In late 1976, I decided to train for the 1977 Peachtree Road Race, and those shoes and other shoes, by then, were part of my training three to five times a week. I got stronger over time. When I decided that I was going to run the 1977 race, I started reading serious books about jogging. I planned the schedule for six months beginning in

January and stuck with it. Gradually I got up to five miles, and on the longest run I ran seven miles: up Lavista Road to Northlake, then down Briarcliff Road, then to home. It was invigorating to do it, and I was losing weight all along the way. I started at about 230 pounds and by the Peachtree Road Race I was 182 pounds. When I finished that race, the 1977 Peachtree Road Race shirt was the best piece of clothing I ever wore. I put it on proudly along with the 2,000 others. Yes, 2,000 runners were the entire group running back then. For several years afterwards, I ran the race and got a shirt to prove it. It was very exciting to run that distance without stopping. The run for the Peachtree Road Race was then quite easy for me, and I made it without stopping. While I still have these shirts, I can’t wear them. I tried to put one on recently, but I couldn’t get into it. They’re way too small. I think they will only fit one thigh. Even though they’re too small, they represent a symbol of great accomplishment

for me, a four-year and beyond graduate degree in commitment, in exercise, in growth, and in determination to succeed. Of course, for each race, I didn’t jog very fast and finished at the back of the runners, but I didn’t care. I ran the 1977 race start to finish, ran up heartbreak hill at Piedmont Hospital and passed some woman near the finish line, who was a quarter-mile ahead of me. That 1977 shirt is testament to going beyond what you think you’re capable of and succeeding. No one knows the memory that’s in that shirt but me, and why should they? It doesn’t matter to them. But for me, it was a part of my life not just for the day I earned it, but for all the years I devoted to getting it. If only I had that commitment on so many other things in my life. Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to put that shirt on again. The bottom line: The value of a thing is measured by the effort you put into getting it. The diploma is merely the recognition of the effort it took to get there. ■



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Mixed-Up Menorah How many common words of 5 or more letters can you spell using the letters on the menorah? Every answer must use the shamash letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one word will use all 7 letters and have a direct Chanukah connection. Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer and 3 points for a Chanukah-related word that uses all 7 letters. Rating: 5 = Good; 8 = Excellent; 12 = Genius Glatt’s Jewish SpellingYoni Bees by Yoni Glatt JEWISH SELLING BEE


How many common words of 5 or more letters can you spell using the letters in the hive? Every answer must use the center letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one word will use all 7 letters and have a direct Chanukah connection.

How many common words of 5 or more letters can you spell using the letters in the hive? Every answer must use the center letter at least once. Letters may be reused in a word. At least one word will use all 7 letters and have a direct Chanukah connection.

Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer, and 3 points for a Chanukah related word that uses all 7 letters.

Proper names and hyphenated words are not allowed. Score 1 point for each answer, and 3 points for a Chanukah related word that uses all 7 letters.

Rating: 6=Good; 10= Excellent; 15= Genius

Rating: 5=Good; 8= Excellent; 12= Genius

Common Answers to the Mixed-Up Menorahs Yes, there are more words in the dictionary that can work, but these are the most common:

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Page 71: Chanukah Answer – CHANUKIAH Other words: Chachka, Chain, Chanukah (or any various spelling), Chick, Chihuahua, China, Chink, Chinuch, Chunk, Cinch, Haiku, Kahuna, Khaki, Unchic, Unchain

windows. doors. siding.


Here is a list of some common words (Yes, we know there are more words in the dictionary that can work, but these words are the most common):

Page 74: Chanukah Answer – DOUGHNUT Other words: Dough, Hotdog, Hound, Nought, Ought, Outthought, Though, Thought, Tooth, Tough, Unhood

Here is a list of some common words (Yes, we know there are more words in the dictionary that can work, but these words are the most common): Chanukah Answer- CHANUKIAH Other words: Chachka, Chain, Chanukah (or any various spelling), Chick, Chihuahua, China, Chink, Chinuch, Chunk, Cinch, Haiku, Kahuna, Khaki, Unchic, Unchain Questions/comments- email Yoni at

Chanukah Answer- DOUGHNUT. Other words: Dough, Hotdog, Hound, Nought, Ought, Outthought, Though, Thought, Tooth, Tough, Unhood Questions/comments- email Yoni at



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