NEXT ISSUE: BACK TO SCHOOL & COLLEGE
VOL. XCVI NO. 13
Pets and Senior Living
JULY 15, 2021 | 6 AV, 5781
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4 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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THIS WEEK Long Walk in the Park
Jewish Atlantans love their pets, as exemplified in the photo that graces our cover and others that fill many of our pages. The top three winners of the AJT’s sixth-annual pet photo contest are named within this issue along with a total of 25 of our top staff picks from a record 162 submissions. In addition to the pet contest, we have a handful of stories about pets and nearly the same number of articles about seniors, the other subject of discussion this week in your AJT. You can read about six rabbis and their special relationship with their pets and how one well-known symphony director cloned his dog. There’s a story on a celebrity YouTube pooch and another piece on pet portraits that capture a rendering of your beloved companion in charcoal and pastel. Plus an animal rescue service to give homeless pet owners a “paws” from caring for their furry family members while they get back on their feet. And a former soldier discusses her involvement with dogs through the Israel Defense Forces’ bomb detection canine unit. In our seniors section, we report on a controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s disease and talk with Jewish attorneys about creating and updating your will. The AJT also explores how the business of senior living facilities is rebounding post-COVID.
The son of a 100-year-old of Italian heritage commissioned a musical composition for his father’s centennial birthday. Our Lowdown is former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell and our dining story, Little Bear, is a restaurant named after the owner’s dog. News this week includes the grand opening of Illuminarium, Atlanta’s one-of-a-kind interactive entertainment facility and what’s on tap for the upcoming Neranenah, formerly the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. A political candidate for the Atlanta City Council shares his conflict with Clark Atlanta University over a pre-election forum scheduled during Rosh Hashanah. And Rabbi Adam Starr joined a religious Zionist delegation from the U.S. on a mission to Israel in which they advocated their ideology to the new president and cabinet members. Next issue, get ready for back to school and college ‘cause the summer’s going quick, and we’re already gearing up for the fall. ì Correction and Clarification: A story in the 6/30 AJT, “Honoring Former Israeli Consul General’s Passing,” incorrectly identified Lois Frank, who was former president of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and former president of the American Jewish Committee in Atlanta.
Cover image: The winner of our pet issue cover contest is 14-year-old Callie, a senior calico cat whose owner Greg Roques says, “meows for challah when we slice it every Friday.”
CONTENTS NEWS���������������������������������������������� 6 ISRAEL�����������������������������������������20 OPINION��������������������������������������22 PETS��������������������������������������������� 26 SENIOR LIVING��������������������������� 44 ART����������������������������������������������� 50 DINING����������������������������������������� 51 CALENDAR���������������������������������� 52 COMMUNITY������������������������������� 56 THE LOWDOWN�������������������������� 57 KEEP IT KOSHER������������������������ 58 BRAIN FOOD�������������������������������� 59 OBITUARIES�������������������������������� 60 CLOSING THOUGHTS���������������� 64 MARKETPLACE�������������������������� 66
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NEWS Surfside Disaster Hits Home
IDF National Rescue Unit members were thanked as they left Surfside. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/AFP) Aerial photo shows part of the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South Condo that collapsed in Surfside, Fla. Photo by Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
By Jan Jaben-Eilon Playing Jewish geography – figuring out who knows whom in the far-flung Jewish world – suddenly stopped being a game after the June 24 partial collapse of a 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami, Fla., suburb of Surfside. Inevitably, the tentacles of that tragedy reached into the Atlanta Jewish community. Relatives and friends of Atlantans were among the approximately 100 killed in the overnight disaster, as well as among those who miraculously survived.
Rabbi Yossi New lost a friend of more than 50 years and the man’s wife.
Weeks later, while not all the people thought to be in the collapsed Champlain Towers South had been accounted for, authorities reported no survivors had been 6 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
found since the day of the catastrophe. The seven members of Israel Defense Forces’ National Rescue Unit, who had arrived at the site three days after the building collapsed to assist in trying to locate survivors, went home. But the reverberations of the disaster continue to spread as the shock and loss are absorbed, both on the individual and communal level. The Jewish community is especially impacted. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Surfside is one of four cities that comprise the north end of Miami Beach, which is more than one-third Jewish. Several Jewish congregations, of all denominations, are located within blocks of the 40-year-old condo complex. On a personal level, a number of Atlantans and former Atlantans contacted by the AJT were not yet comfortable speaking about their losses, although social media was an outlet for some. For many, grief was delayed until the unstable half of the building that remained standing could be demolished to allow rescue workers to discover more bodies. Among those first uncovered subsequently in the piles of cement, steel and rubble were Tzvi and Ingrid “Itty” Ainsworth, 68 and 66 years old, respectively. The couple, who had moved to Florida about four years ago, are survived by seven children, many grandchildren and numerous close friends. Chabad of Cobb Rabbi Ephraim Silverman was a nephew. Although he declined
Betty and Jimmy Coiffman soon after the condo collapse with one of their granddaughters, Yael.
Wedding: Tzvi and Itty Ainsworth bookend a wedding couple at a family celebration.
NEWS to speak about his mother’s late sister, a close friend of the couple’s, Rabbi Yossi New, agreed to talk to the AJT from Sydney, Aus-
tralia, where the rabbi was in quarantine for two weeks before visiting his family in Melbourne. New, who is the regional director of Chabad of Georgia and the founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Tefillah in Sandy Springs, had known Tzvi Ainsworth for more than 50 years. Both men were born in Australia. “Although Tzvi was a few years older, I knew him when I was growing up,” New said. When New went to study in a yeshiva in Montreal, he contacted Ainsworth, who had married a local girl. The couple often invited New for Shabbat meals. New continued to visit the Ainsworths when they moved to Australia and later in Florida. “I spoke to him a week before he passed away,” New recalled. Knowing that New was about to visit Australia, Tzvi had asked him for a favor, to bring back to the United States the etz chayim, wooden poles of the Torah scroll that had been written for his grandfather years ago. Ainsworth’s mother had donated the Torah to Ainsworth’s synagogue in Florida. New noted that it took several days after the building collapsed for the Ainsworths’ bodies to be found. “It was eerie. In some of the pictures of the building, you can see their apartment. Half of it had collapsed, but in the half that was still there, you could see Tzvi’s jacket, tallis and tefillin on his chair in his office.” The couple had just celebrated the birth of another grandchild days earlier, and New said they had considered staying with one of their children the night of the condo’s collapse. Recalling his friends, New described Tzvi as “unassuming, very loyal, a good friend and devoted to Judaism. Itty had a charismatic, outgoing and warm-hearted personality
who would go out of her way to cheer people up.” Tzvi was also very devoted to his wife, who had chronic health issues. “He literally worshipped the ground she walked on.” The international ramifications of the building collapse reflect the fact that the Jewish people live all over the world. Former Atlantan Sara Nir lived with her two children in a ground-floor condo at Champlain Towers South. The Israeli native told CNN that she had been checking her emails when she heard knocking sounds. One of her daughters was in the shower, but Nir immediately ushered her children out of the building and told them to run. The three survived. The sister and brother-in-law of Atlantan Esther Lubel, who lived on the 10th floor of the ill-fated condo complex, also survived. Betty and Jimmy Coiffman had fortunately lived in the section of the building that didn’t collapse, although it was later demolished. Lubel said she awoke at 3 a.m. and saw the news about the 1:30 a.m. disaster on her telephone screen. From that moment until 6 a.m., Lubel said she stayed on the phone with her eldest sister “to make sure she was okay.” According to Lubel, the Coiffmans were night owls and were just closing the blinds on their condo windows when they heard what sounded like a thunderstorm and the building shook. They put on their tennis shoes, got dressed and grabbed his wallet and her purse and fled. “They went down the cracking stairs to the second floor and then to the garage where cars were flipped and there was water and rubble,” Lubel said. Rescuers helped them climb on top of cars and used a ladder to escape the crumbling building. “Our [Columbian] parents had been visiting until the Tuesday before the disaster,” said Lubel, who had also planned to visit at the time. The Coiffmans had rented the condo just two weeks before the collapse, to be near their daughter. “Now they won’t rent anywhere near the beach,” said Lubel, who expected to visit her parents in Colombia within days. Unlike Lubel’s family, the alumni of Camp Judaea mourned the loss of two of their own. In an announcement published on Facebook, the community stated, “We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of camp alumni and former camp staff Deborah Berezdivin and Ilan Naibryf, who were among the victims of the Surfside building collapse. … Deborah and Ilan were two very special young people who will always be part of the Camp Judaea family.” The daughter of Atlanta criminal defense attorney Esther Panitch declined to be interviewed for this story about her camp friends. Miriam and her friends were in Florida at the time for a funeral. Miriam had been staying in another part of the condo complex the night of the disaster. ì
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Legislators Vow to Rename Cynthia McKinney Parkway By Dave Schechter Expressing disgust with Cynthia McKinney, who recently accused “Zionists” of responsibility for the 9/11 terror attacks, two state legislators want her name removed from Georgia roadways. On June 28, the former six-term Democratic congresswoman from Georgia posted an image of the final piece being added to a puzzle that showed smoke billowing from the World Trade Center towers in New York City struck by hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001. McKinney’s comment read: “The Final Piece of the Puzzle . . .” The puzzle pieces read: “Zionists did it.” Democratic Rep. Mike Wilensky, the lone Jewish member of the General Assembly, told the AJT that when the legislature convenes in January, he and Republican Sen. Cecil Terrell “Butch” Miller will make their effort part of a larger bill dealing with the naming and renaming of roadways. “We are currently in discussion of what it will be changed to, whether it will be changed to another name or a road, but we are in agreement it won’t be anything partisan,” Wilensky said. “The goal right now is, we have until January to inform everybody of what has occurred, why it so bad. This isn’t ‘Oh, it could be interpreted as antisemitism.’ On a level of one to 10 of antisemitism, this is an 11, as horrible as it could be.” As of this writing, McKinney has not responded to AJT invitations to comment. The Cynthia McKinney Parkway was created by legislation signed into law May 1, 2000, by then-Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat. That designation covers state Highway 154 from Candler Road to state Highway 10 in DeKalb County, and a portion of Highway 10 from its intersection with Highway 154 to U.S. Highway 78 in DeKalb County. On 9/11, 19 members of the Islamist terror organization Al Qaeda hijacked four commercial airliners. Two were flown into the World Trade Center towers, one slammed into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., following a struggle between the hijackers and passengers. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks, as were more than 340 New York firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center towers. Despite evidence to the contrary, conspiracy theorists have continued to 8 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
The naming of Cynthia McKinney Parkway has become a controversial pollical issue.
Cynthia McKinney is a six-term Democratic congresswoman.
Mike Wilensky is a Democratic state representative.
Butch Miller is a Republican state senator.
Anat Sultan-Dadon is Israel’s consul general to the Southeast.
blame Jews, Israelis or Zionists. The assignment of such unfounded blame is considered antisemitic. McKinney’s 9/11 puzzle post is the latest in a litany about Jews, Israel or Zionists. According to the Anti-Defamation League, “McKinney has a history of using anti-Israel rhetoric, including accusing the pro-Israel lobby of sabotaging her political career and alleging that Israel [committed] genocide, apartheid and war crimes. She has repeatedly condemned U.S. support for Israel.” Anat Sultan-Dadon, Israel’s consul
general to the Southeast, responded on Twitter, calling McKinney’s comment, “An outrageous expression of #antisemitism. This is not merely an enraging blood libel. This is dangerous. No matter where you stand, such virulent hate must be unequivocally condemned by all.” The next day, Miller wrote on Twitter, “Cynthia McKinney’s comments are indefensible, as well as nuts. Next year, I’ll introduce legislation to change the name of the road in DeKalb that’s named for her because we refuse to honor those
who spew hate.” McKinney was elected in 1992 to represent the 11th Congressional District. She was re-elected in 1994, but after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the district’s borders to be unconstitutional, McKinney was elected in 1996 to represent the newly drawn 4th District. She was re-elected in 1998 and 2000, before losing the 2002 Democratic primary to Denise Majette. McKinney won the 4th District seat again in 2004 when Majette made an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid. McKinney was defeated by Hank Johnson in the 2006 Democratic primary. In 2008, she was the Green Party’s presidential candidate. The Cynthia McKinney Parkway is not the only road whose designation has been controversial. Another is the “James E. ‘Billy’ McKinney Highway,” a stretch of Interstate 285 between Interstate 20 and Interstate 75 in Cobb County, named for McKinney’s late father, who was a Democratic state representative. In 2002, he told an Atlanta television station that “Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S” and were responsible for his daughter’s primary loss. The Interstate 75 bridge over the Chattahoochee River is named the “Lester and Virginia Maddox Bridge.” Lester Maddox, the Democratic governor of Georgia from 1967-71, came to national prominence when he refused to serve Black customers at his Atlanta restaurant, The Pickrick, following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On one occasion, Maddox confronted would-be Black customers with a pickaxe handle; on another, with a pistol while customers wielded pickaxe handles, euphemistically called “Pickrick drumsticks.” Maddox later closed the restaurant rather than integrate, claiming that President Lyndon B. Johnson and communists had put him out of business. A portion of Highway 23 in Habersham County is named for Thomas E. Watson, an agrarian populist politician and publisher in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose newspaper inflamed passions against Jews during the 1913 murder trial of Leo Frank. Wilensky said of Cynthia McKinney Parkway, “Over time, maybe not this year, I’m going to look into those other roadways. Right now my goal is this one parkway.” ì
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Alterman Hails Return of Live Audiences By Dave Schechter The “pajama concerts” that pianist Joe Alterman posted online from his apartment were fine, up to a point, but the 32-year-old lives for a live audience. That explained the smile on Alterman’s face as he, along with drummer Justin Chesarek and bassist Kevin Smith, performed in May during the Virginia Highland Porchfest. “You have no idea how much I missed that. It was emotional being back on stage,” Alterman said. Even if it was the front porch of a cousin’s home, with people sitting on the lawn, standing on the sidewalk, or catching an earful as they walked past on the street. That also explains Alterman’s enthusiasm as Neranenah — the former Atlanta Jewish Music Festival — readies a lineup of in-person events. Alterman became executive director in 2019, succeeding AJMF founder Russell Gottschalk. The name Neranenah (from the Hebrew for “Come, let us sing together”) was announced in September. First up is a set of four programs the weekend of July 30-Aug. 1 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Rabbi Micah Lapidus, an accomplished musician and songwriter, as well as being the director of Jewish and Hebrew studies at The Davis Academy, will lead “The Wind-Down – A Community Musical Shabbat” July 30. The New York-based trio Duchess will perform selections from the Jewish American songbook July 31. Duchess — comprised of Hilary Gardner, Amy Cervini, and Melissa Stylianou – was to have performed during AJMF 2020. Alterman describes Duchess as being “like [Bill] Charlap meets Midge Maisel.” Jazz pianist Charlap and his trio opened the AJMF 2019 with an evening of music composed by Leonard Bernstein. “Midge Maisel” is the fictional Jewish lead character of the Amazon Prime series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” A showcase of teen musicians and bands is planned for the Aug. 1 afternoon. Alterman’s previously stated desire to add comedy to the bill will be met on the evening of Aug. 1 with a show featuring comedian Eddie Brill and comedienne Judy Gold, each of whom will perform a set and then join to engage the audience in a question-and-answer session. Tickets for the programs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center are available on the Neranenah website. Beginning this fall, the Byers Theatre at the Sandy Springs Performing 10 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Joe Alterman is executive director of Neranenah music festival.
Duchess includes Hilary Gardner, Amy Cervini and Melissa Stylianou.
Rabbi Micah Lapidus is director of Jewish and Hebrew studies at The Davis Academy.
Eddie Brill is a comedian appearing in Neranenah Aug. 1.
Comedienne Judy Gold will appear in a comedy show next month.
Mandolin master David Grisman will perform Oct. 7.
Michael Feinstein, a singer/pianist, is to appear in Neranenah.
Arts Center will be the venue for a series of four Neranenah events. Famed mandolin player David Grisman, who blends bluegrass, folk, and jazz into what he calls “dawg music,” will perform Oct. 7 with his trio. Alterman will host a holiday show Dec. 16 featuring his trio and other performers to be determined.
Singer and pianist Michael Feinstein will dip into the Jewish American songbook for a Jan. 13 show. Feinstein in 2007 founded The Great American Songbook Foundation to preserve and teach those compositions to a younger generation. On April 23, Neranenah plans an evening with the ATL Collective, possibly a reprise of an AJMF event featuring music associated with the legendary Chess Brothers' recording studio in Chicago. For the past 15 months, Neranenah has lived online. In addition to Alterman’s “pajama concerts,” there were weekly performances by local musicians and two editions of a series called “Neranenah Scholars.” The first set of conversations, called “Jews, Music & the American Dream,” featured pianist-songwriter-author-educator Ben Sidran. The second, titled “The Wandering Jew,” was with harmonica master-composer-teacher-producer Howard Levy. Neranenah, with an operating budget of $300,000, last year took on a managing director, Raychel Robbins, and is seeking a development director to focus
on fundraising. Busy as he is with Neranenah, Alterman makes time for two to three hours of practice daily, which is a good thing, as his personal performing schedule is filling up. After June shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Alterman’s schedule includes appearances at Birdland in New York City, Winter’s Jazz Club in Chicago, The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, Montana. These shows will include songs from Alterman’s fifth album, to be released Aug. 13 on the Ropeadope label. “The Upside of Down,” the first album he has not self-produced, which was recorded during shows in November 2019 and February 2020 at Birdland, will feature four of Alterman’s own compositions (including one with pianist Les McCann) and eight covers. The liner notes were written by McCann, Ramsey Lewis, and Ahmad Jamal, three keyboard masters that Alterman counts as friends and mentors.ì
Jewish Candidate Rejects Rosh Hashanah Forum By Dave Schechter A Jewish candidate for the Atlanta City Council says that he will not participate in a pre-election forum because the event is scheduled during Rosh Hashanah. Attorney Brandon Goldberg, a member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, is running for an at-large seat on the city council. The Clark Atlanta University forum, scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8, is being hosted by CAU’s political science department and the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy. Rosh Hashanah, the start of the year 5782 in the Jewish calendar, begins at sunset Sept. 6. The holiday is observed for one day in Israel, but two elsewhere. The holiday ends at sunset Sept. 8, which is 8:31 p.m. Goldberg announced his candidacy in September 2020, two months after filing candidacy papers with the city. “I presume,” Goldberg told the AJT, that organizers of the forum were unaware of the Jewish new year observance. “I think it’s a bit ridiculous now that they know that they don’t reschedule. It’s 2021. They should have checked the calendar.” “My hope is that as this situation becomes known publicly, that there’ll be pressure on them to change it and hopefully they will,” he said. He added that “the longer this goes, the less likely” is a date change. Goldberg shared with the AJT his exchange of emails with Tammy R. Greer, an assistant professor of political science. On June 11, Goldberg replied to Greer’s invitation, noting the conflict. “Therefore, I am unable to participate during the date and time selected,” he wrote. “As you know, there is a century-long tradition of HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and the Jewish community standing by each other and supporting each other. This tradition is critical to who I am and my vision for Atlanta’s future. I ask that you consider changing the date of this forum to allow for Jewish participation.” In her response the same day, Greer said, “We completely agree about our traditional relationship as communities.” However, because notifications for the event already had been sent, and to avoid disrupting the schedules of Clark Atlanta’s graduate students, the forum could not be rescheduled, she said. “How can we find compromise?” Greer asked. “Could you find a representative to come in your place since we really
ment. runoff between the two candidates receivThe incumbent ing the most votes will be Nov. 30. Michael Julian Bond Goldberg, 36, was a 2019 AJT “40 Unhas held the Post 1 der 40” selection. He is a graduate of Corat-large seat since nell University and the Emory University 2009. In addition to School of Law, and now works as an attorGoldberg, Bond is be- ney for a medical device company. ing challenged by AlGoldberg has held leadership posifred “Shivy” Brooks, tions in several community organizaa teacher; Todd A. tions. He served as co-chair of the AmeriGray, a diversity procan Jewish Committee’s regional ACCESS gram leader and forAtlanta, the young professionals’ division mer member of the of the American Jewish Committee, and is city ethics board; and on the steering committee of the AJC’s AtJereme Sharpe, a conlanta Black-Jewish Coalition. sultant. He has been district captain of the Goldberg told the Brandon Goldberg is running for an at-large Mid Fulton region of the Fulton County AJT that his top three seat on the Atlanta City Council. issue priorities are Democratic Party and a member of the public safety, housing Democratic Party of Georgia state comwant to ensure you and your platform are mittee. Goldberg is immediate past presirepresented? Or if you let me know what equity and economic recovery from the dent of the Stonewall Bar Association of time you will be able to participate, it may COVID-19 pandemic. All three at-large posts are elected Georgia, an organization of LGBTQ attorbe feasible to accommodate the High Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah by extend- citywide, but the city is divided into three neys. As his terms in some of these posisectors for purposes of electoral contests. ing the time of the forum.” tions were ending, “I was looking for the On June 13, Goldberg informed Greer: Goldberg lives in Midtown. Should no candidate receive a major- next way to be involved” and decided to “My Rabbi has advised me that Rosh Hashanah ends at 8:31pm on September 8. I ity of the votes cast in the Nov. 2 election, a run for the city council, he said. ì also need to account for the time it would take for me to make my way to my car, Shopping around for insurance? Don’t. travel to the University, park, and make During this difficult time, please my way to the specific venue. Barring trafknow that Siegel Insurance is working fic, I would not be able to join an event remotely to continue to serve the needs that begins any earlier than 9:30pm.” of our clients. On June 21 Greer replied: “The time is very late that you would be able to participate, which means that we would not be finished until close to 11pm. Is it possible for you to record a message for the forum or have someone from your campaign to represent you at the forum?” Goldberg responded the same day: “I would like to have an equal opportunity to interact with the Clark Atlanta community on the same stage and at the same time as the other candidates in my race. Therefore, a representative or recording is not possible.” Greer replied the next day: “We understand your position. We will continue to be in contact as the forum approaches. More specifically, I will be in touch at the beginning of July, at the earliest. Please continue to keep us in mind.” PERSONAL – COMMERCIAL – LIFE – Referring to the offer to send a camHEALTH – DISABILITY – LONG TERM CARE paign surrogate or a video presentation, Serving our community’s needs for over 50 years Goldberg told the AJT, “Frankly, that’s not good enough. When it comes to dual opwww.siegelinsurance.com portunity, it’s not just intent; it’s outcome.” If the event is not rescheduled “my 2987 Clairmont Road, Suite 425 • Atlanta, GA 30329 spot will be empty.” Phone: (404) 633-6332 • Toll Free: (888) 275-0553 At this writing, CAU has not respondAndy N. Siegel CPCU, CIC, AAI • Sheldon Berch ed to the AJT’s request for further comATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 11
Real Estate Moguls and One Savvy Rabbi By Marcia Caller Jaffe “We are back!” declared Intown Chabad Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman as he welcomed the crowd of more than 100 to the Jewish Business Network Real Estate Symposium “State of the Market in a Post Covid World.” After networking outside the Chabad center, just feet from the active Atlanta Beltline, attendees filled the room with open ears to glean the acres of wisdom dolled out by the varied panel: Sponsor David Weinstein of the Law Offices of David E. Weinstein; moderator A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress; Norman Radow, founder and CEO of RADCO Companies; Nathan Kaplan, partner with Kaplan Residential; and Nicholas Imerman, principal with Broadland Homes. Starting the program, Schusterman offered a L’Chayim for coming out of COVID. “We are back with people! COVID has changed us where we had to achieve a balance in our journey from day to day.” He noted that the week’s Torah portion was the longest, combining Matos and Masei in conflict: strength and flexibility, both important. Schusterman announced the upcoming Aug. 10-15 National Jewish Retreat to be
12 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Panelists A.J. Robinson, Nick Imerman, Nat Kaplan and Norman Radow applauded Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman’s success in real estate ventures.
held in Stone Mountain’s Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort with high-caliber speakers and the best in kosher dining. Schusterman got strong audience reaction when he revealed his affinity and accomplishments in real estate. “If I wasn’t a rabbi, I wouldn’t have done so badly in real estate, having negotiated four houses and a $9 million facility on the Beltline!” Robinson later concurred. The rabbi introduced Weinstein, whose marriage he had recently performed and who contributed pro-bono legal services to the culmination of the Beltline building.
Norman Radow and Adrian Grant chat prior to the main program.
Panelist Nick Imerman greeted networker Joey Galanti, who came to catch up with other “real estate guys.”
Weinstein spoke of high demand and changing supply in the real estate market before introducing the panel. Robinson represented the importance of downtown Atlanta with projects like The Gulch and The Stitch, and his executive background with Portman Holdings, Ltd. Radow, a New York Universityeducated attorney, came onto the real estate scene with the Four Seasons Hotel and 150 subLadies who came for learning and networking: Sophia sequent projects. Imerman’s Bibliowicz, Julia Kessler Imerman, Brooke Weinstein, single-family homes are known Dr. Nicole Ellerine, and Dena Schusterman. for their design and quality, and Kaplan is a third-generation real coming out of Florida; we started a pipeline estate exec whose downtown Centennial fund. We are doing a 55-plus project in Dallas, Park project Generation is now rebounding Ga., with no slopes for seniors [mobility]. at 50 percent occupancy after COVID closed “There are some negative factors like indown the jobsite. creased lumber prices, and a material shortRobinson evaluated post-COVID winage that can shut projects down.” Radow ners. “Warehouses, industrial and singlefamily are off the charts versus the more also spoke of other opportunities in organic harder-hit hotels and office space markets. rent growth, “Think of our project in Henry Remaining optimistic, compared to other County getting rents higher than Midtown.” The event closed with an audience cycles, they may be treading water, and yet question about “the elephant in the closet,” coming back without financial demise.” Atlanta’s scary crime reputation. Robinson Radow spoke of RADCO being an “optook that on, “This has always been a struggle portunity” company with 3,005 condo units now more prominently on the news. We “now bullish on multi-family.” He listed six came out of the 1980 child murders, and the market factors: ■ Pandemic: nothing like this has hap- demise of Underground Atlanta. Atlanta has a deep culture of blacks and whites getting pened in 102 years along at its core in a civic bond. [Crime] also ■ Global effect on the economy happens in the suburbs like the recent mur■ Unemployment at 14-15 percent der of the Kennesaw golf pro. All eyes are on ■ Unprecedented stimulus the next mayor with crime and public safety ■ Dropping interest rates ■ Eviction moratorium and correspond- being the main issues. Our city government ing legal issues, of which Radow said, officials have been neglectful.” Still, Robinson is optimistic. “It used “It makes no sense; landlords have to look at this as a ‘tax’ we have to pay to to be people came here for a job. Now it’s lifestyle and the density of multifamily and cover the losses.” infrastructure that leads to live, work, play, Kaplan noted that with increased pric- even walk to shul areas like the BeltLine, and es, those struggling to afford a home will go around dense areas of Cumberland, Perimback to apartment rentals. He spoke of mar- eter and Gwinnett.” Radow concluded, “Remember the big kets such as Charlotte and Avondale Estates. “There is so much capital out there, especially money comes at the end of the cycle.” ì
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Georgia’s Chabad Rabbis Unite for Regional Conferences By Chana Kornfeld Last month, the 28 Chabad shluchim, or agents, from across Georgia trekked to the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain for a packed two days of inspiration, study, strategizing and collaboration. A retreat such as this, which occurred June 20, is called a kinus, the Hebrew word for gathering. Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., organizes two mega kinusim every year: one in November for the thousands of Chabad rabbis from around the world and one in February for the Chabad rebbitzens. In addition to the global kinus, each state or region hosts their own kinus that focuses on the needs, growth and camaraderie in that particular area. For the first time, Chabad of Georgia hosted two regional kinus conferences for the shluchim and shluchot of Georgia. The women’s kinus took place at the Chabad at Emory in February and was followed by the men’s kinus in June. “A kinus is a time for the shluchim and shluchos to fill up their tanks,” said Rabbi Yossi New, regional director of Chabad of
Shluchim of Georgia came together in Stone Mountain.
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The inaugural regional conference in Stone Mountain was sponsored by community leaders and philanthropists Ian and Carol Ratner and boasted an array of workshops, furthering education classes, collaborative brainstorming, and gourmet meals. Ian Ratner participated in the event and addressed those gathered. “What a powerful group of professionals. I felt very optimistic about the future of Judaism in Atlanta seeing all this talent in one place.” The program last month focused on the exchange of ideas, inspiration on the Chabad mission and the learning of Torah. Rabbi Eli Nosson Silberberg, the Rosh Yeshiva (head) of the Chabad rabbinical seminary of Chicago, Ill., was a guest speaker and led the farbrengen, a Chassidic gathering of friends with the purpose of inspiring and uplifting those in attendance. Upon arrival, attendees were gifted with sleek hat boxes decorated with the Georgia kinus emblem, a nod to the traditional and trademark fedora that all Chabad rabbis don when dressed formally. The workshops opened with a panel of 10 local shluchim who shared ideas to strengthen the commitment to the mission of shlichus. As an agent of the Lubavitcher rebbe, of blessed memory, their mission is to fulfill his vision of bringing the light of G-dliness to the world. The rebbe set up an organized system of shlichus divided by regions and sub-regions with a corresponding hierarchy of management. A designated shliach was given the latitude to designate another shliach and so decades after the rebbe’s passing, he is still sending out shluchim by proxy, in greater numbers than ever before. The sessions June 20 were a mix of philosophical inspiration, practical Jewish law and business strategies interspersed with scrumptious meals, a professional picture and daily prayers. “It was inspiring to learn
with and from my colleagues,” said Rabbi Shlomo Sharfstein of Chabad of Downtown Universities. “I’m looking forward to the next kinus.” This year, Atlanta will be the home of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s annual National Jewish Retreat, a five-day stimulating experience of lectures, hands-on workshops, comedy shows, film screenings and more that promise to have attendees learning and laughing from dawn to dusk. Rabbi Efraim Mintz, executive director of JLI met with the Georgia shluchim during the conference to present this year’s retreat and the impact it can have on the Atlanta Jewish community. There were four new attendees at the conference this year as Chabad of Georgia has expanded its reach with four new centers opening last year. Chabad of Smyrna,
Table shot: The Chabad chasidic gathering included workshops, classes and collaboration.
Chabad of Buckhead and Brookhaven, Chabad of Rural Georgia and Chabad of Hall County have opened their doors with fresh, determined, and energetic new shluchim at their helms. Rabbi Chaim Markowitz of Chabad of Rural Georgia says he left the kinus “enthused and ready to strengthen and grow my shlichus.” “We’re not done hiring. Next year’s kinus will have additional new shluchim as Chabad continues to transform the Jewish landscape here in Georgia,” said Rabbi Isser New, Chabad of Georgia associate director and Kinus organizer. Recently, the Pew Research Center report has given statistical data to the impact that Chabad has on Jewish life in America. Thirty eight percent of U.S. Jews have been to a Chabad program and that number is growing. In Georgia, after two days of strategizing and inspiration, the Peach State shluchim are re-energized and ready to fulfill Chabad’s mission of reaching more Jews.ì Chana Kornfeld is the daughter of Chabad Regional Director Rabbi Yossi New and former women’s education director at Chabad of Sandy Springs.
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Rabbi Adam Starr Joins Communal Trip to Israel By Jan Jaben-Eilon
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Atlanta’s Rabbi Adam Starr is one of a couple dozen religious Zionist leaders from around the country participating in a mission to support Israel, one of the first such communal leadership trips since the COVID
Founded in 1913 as the American branch of World Mizrachi, the Religious Zionists of America serves as the umbrella organization for American supporters of Israel’s religious Zionist movement. Although Starr stressed that his “focus is to be there to support Israel” after the May
Naftali Bennett heads a coalition government composed of a unique set of political parties.
Rabbi Adam Starr hopes for a “spiritual boost” from his July trip to Israel.
pandemic struck both countries. Starr said that he hasn’t been to Israel since 2019, despite the fact that his two brothers and his in-laws live there. “It’s easier to get in the country with a mission or group,” he acknowledged days before leaving on his early-July flight. “They’re taking care of the technicalities,” he noted, referring to the Religious Zionists of America-Mizrachi organization. Starr is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ohr HaTorah, formerly Young Israel of Toco Hills. According to RZA, the goal of the mission is to urge the new Israeli government to “stay true to religious Zionist values, despite being part of a broad-based leadership coalition. We are very concerned that because of the broad-based coalition, traditionally religious Zionist parties cobbled together to lead the nation, our values may be under threat in order for the government to remain intact,” said RZA Executive Vice President Rabbi Ari Rockoff. “We are bringing a delegation of top North American communal leaders to drive the message to the prime minister and other cabinet members that they must hold true to these values if Israel is to continue its growth on the international stage,” Rockoff said. “While we are thrilled that Israel’s new president and prime minister spent significant time during their childhood in the United States and part of religious Zionist communities, we are concerned that as the majority of the government is left-leaning, it could severely impact the relationship with the North American Jewish community and the values we hold close.”
fighting with Gaza, he said he also looked forward to speaking with the new government and to “make sure religious Zionists are supported,” including “from a bipartisan perspective. This is essential to me.” Starr stated that “as an American, I support a diplomatically elected government of Israel. I respect the will of the people and I support the current government.” The new coalition government is unique in that it doesn’t include any ultraOrthodox parties, but does include an Arab Islamist party as well as a couple of leftleaning parties. Still, it’s headed by a religious Zionist prime minister Naftali Bennett and is composed of both right-wing and center parties, too. The fact that the coalition doesn’t include an ultra-Orthodox or haredi party has led to speculation that a plan to create an egalitarian section of the prayer area near the Western Wall, or Kotel, that had been agreed upon by the previous government, then canceled by the ultra-Orthodox parties, will be reenacted. Starr said that he “personally, as an individual, not as a member of any group” supports that plan. However, he also added that the “haredi sector is important and needs to be treated with respect.” Starr, who last fall also joined the Atlanta Jewish Academy high school Judaic studies faculty on a part-time basis, said he hopes to receive “a spiritual boost” from his visit to Israel. This is something he can share with his congregation, he said, and “continue the sacred, holy work that I do. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to go there.” ì
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Party Animals Roar at the Illuminarium By Marcia Caller Jaffe The recent opening of Illuminarium heralded in the regaling of one of the most exciting business-related and socially forward events since COVID put on the brakes. CEO Alan Greenberg and several other supporting investors celebrated June 30 the next day’s grand opening of the Illuminarium, a permanent structure in the Common Ground building on the Atlanta BeltLine. This immersive adventure combines techniques used in traditional motion picture production and virtual reality that allow visitors to experience filmed content like the initial offering Wild! (a safari) and later re-created worlds such as oceans and outer space, all without having to wear goggles or gear. The power of the music, background sounds and special effects are the pinnacle of creative technology. Greenberg is a seasoned global entrepreneur and founder of Greenberg News Networks, acquired by WebMD, and he is former publisher of Esquire magazine, among other leadership roles. Over the past few years, Greenberg has labored over the Illuminarium concept, which was inspired by great worldwide experiences like Team Lab in Tokyo, Atelier des Lumieres in Paris, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe and Yayoi Kusama’s displays. He emailed the AJT, “After three years of ideation, business development, filming (four trips to Africa) post-production, construction and operational planning, we are so proud to open the world’s first Illuminarium in Atlanta. July 1 we opened our doors to the world by bringing one of the most special experiences in the world … a grand Safari … to life!” On June 30, 500 guests were greeted by playful “human” giraffes and zebras on stilts posing for photo ops. All attendees were then transported on a safari, where water ebbed and rushed in on floor corners, birds cawed, the stars glittered in African night sky clarity, lanky giraffes whipped their majestic necks, and lion cubs joyfully played under mom’s supervision. Then poof, they were gone and replaced by new, better-thanNational Geographic scenes. Leaving out no detail, African percussive music sealed the atmosphere. During the reception, Bold Catering & Design, Proof of the Pudding and the inhouse Illuminarium catering teams ran delicious settings of companion menus aligned with the safari theme. Examples of stations were “Eat What Elephants Eat: All Vegan items - Cucumber Avocado, Spicy Shitake Mushrooms, Teriyaki Veggie Crunch” and a Serengeti grain bowl station with Ethiopian 18 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Drs. Steve Wertheim and Ramie Tritt congratulate CEO Alan Greenberg, center, on the July 1 Illuminarium grand opening.
Mindy Selig Shoulberg and daughter Casey cozied up to the zebras.
One investor, Steve Selig feels that the Illuminarium is a great asset to the city of Atlanta.
Michelle and Charlie Kauss pose with Gerry and Vicki Benjamin before entering the main Illuminarium space.
Matt Novak and Stephanie Blank pose in front of a Serengeti scene.
Sandy Bailey chatted with Illuminarium staff after waves “rushed” the floor at a Serengeti sunset.
PR guru Joel Babbitt and daughter Brooke “dug the scene.”
Herds of water buffalo and lions kicked up a lot of dust and sounds.
collard greens and potatoes lined up along ancient grains such as farro and quinoa. Walls fluttered with cascading butterflies and massive hippos swam whiskerclose nose-to-nose. The dessert display was house made marshmallows on sticks in versions such as s’mores and strawberry shortcake. Public relations guru Joel Babbitt remarked, “A lot of Jewish people have invest-
ed here. I hope it does well. It looks like they did their research, which is a good sign.” Daughter Brooke, 15, thought “it would be a fun place for parties.” Investor-real estate magnate Steve Selig said, “The Illuminarium is a wonderful addition to the city. It will be a major success for Atlanta. Everybody is going to want to come.” Selig’s granddaughter Casey Shoul-
berg, 18, exclaimed, “I have never before seen anything like this. It’s a fun new experience. I hope to bring my friends.” Mom Mindy Selig Shoulberg was equally impressed. The anterior party room adjacent to the main room housed another bar, where the walls and ceiling glittered as an ice palace then morphed into Chinatown and scenes stirring the imagination. Stephanie Blank, accompanied by recent Bucknell University graduate Matt Novak, glowed. “This is absolutely beautiful, levels above an IMAX feel,” Blank said. Dr. Steve Wertheim noted, “This is truly amazing. The photography is incredible. It’s ‘New York level entertainment’ premiering here in Atlanta.” Dr. Ramie Tritt, echoed, “This is nothing short of a phenomenal experience.” Also on hand were Calum Pearson, general manager of the future Las Vegas Illumiarium, and Eric Heacock, head of design and construction for Legends Global Attractions, one of developers. Erin and Moshe Lis of Added Touch Catering, enthusiastically relayed that their division, A Kosher Touch, would be the vendor for on-site kosher special events. Erin, said, “The contract was just inked. We are super excited!” Note that after Wild! completes its
course, new shows will run, beginning with Space Walk, undersea worlds, and surprises with celebrities. Guests left with a complimentary ticket to revisit the Illuminairum. Just yards out the back door, skateboarders and joggers loped by in a world far from the machinations on the inside. Welcome back, Atlanta! It seemed like a decade, and then it seemed like a mere blip on the social scene. And yes, there were hugs. ì
Marcia Jaffe was greeted by a stilted zebra and giraffe.
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NEWS FROM OUR JEWISH HOME
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology // A prototype of the new Israeli tuberculosis-detecting skin patch.
Israeli Nano-Patch Uses Smell to Detect TB A new Israeli-invented skin patch will help detect tuberculosis in the hopes of reducing the number of people who die from the disease due to a lack of diagnosis, according to The Times of Israel. The disease, which is responsible for over 1.4 million deaths a year, is easily transmitted through sneezing, coughing, and spitting, with each infected person passing it on to more than 10 people on average. While treatment is available, lack of easy testing makes diagnosing the disease difficult. While the World Health Organization has estimated that 60 million lives were saved through diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2019, about 3 million cases are missed annually. A research team from Technion-Israel
Institute of Technology has produced and tested a patch that gives a diagnosis an hour after it is attached to the skin. “The patch contains sensors made from nanoparticles, and what we’re doing is sensing changes in the smell pattern of the person, which can tell us with high accuracy whether or not they have tuberculosis,” Dr. Rotem Vishinkin told Times of Israel “Simplifying diagnosis is important for detecting cases and enabling people to be treated, and this is our focus,” Vishinkin added. He said he hoped the invention will help solve the problem of testing in less developed nations.
Israeli Nanotech Uses Body to Generate Power for Pacemakers
Facial Recognition Firm Raises $235M from Investors chombosan via iStock by Getty Images // Illustration of a pacemaker in the human body.
Today in Israeli History
death in 2006. A labor activist and World War II veteran, he serves seven Knesset terms.
July 15, 1965 — The Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin, warns Lebanon and Syria they will face consequences if they move forward with an Arab League-backed effort to divert the sources of the Jordan River.
July 18, 1999 — Folk-rock singer-songwriter Meir Ariel, known for his poetic lyrics, dies at age 57 of Mediterranean spotted fever. One of his most famous songs is “Jerusalem of Iron,” a response to “Jerusalem of Gold.” July 19, 1999 — Stella Levy, who commanded the IDF Women’s Corps from 1964 to 1970, dies. During her military service she oversaw the transit camps for new immigrants. She briefly served in the Knesset in 1981.
Manhattan School of Music Pinchas Zukerman tutors students through the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music.
July 16, 1948 — Grammy-winning classical musician and conductor Pinchas Zukerman is born in Tel Aviv. Zukerman plays violin and viola at his debut in New York in 1969 and launches his conducting career in London in 1970. July 17, 1906 — Yitzchak Ben-Aharon is born in Bukovina, Romania. He helps found Kibbutz Givat Haim and lives there until his 20 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
A new Israeli nanotechnology will harvest energy in the human body to help power medical devices such as pacemakers, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University. “In the future, we’ll make it possible for all sorts of medical devices in the body, including pacemakers, to run without batteries, and instead use mechanical energy transformed to electricity in the body,” Dr. Sharon Gilead, part of the team behind the innovation, told The Times of Israel. “It’s exciting, and will have real benefits for many people who currently need procedures every few years to remove their pacemaker and change the battery. This just won’t be necessary,” Gilead said. She believes the new innovation will allow for much smaller in-body technologies, without the need for built in batteries. “Batteries are small, but without any need for a battery, we’ll be able to make devices smaller and thinner,” she predicted.
July 20, 1951 — A Palestinian nationalist kills Jordan’s first king, Abdullah I, at the entrance to Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. He is succeeded by a grandson, Hussein, who signs a treaty with Israel 43 years later. July 21, 1973 — A Mossad team fatally shoots a Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki, in Lillehammer, Norway, in the mistaken belief that he is PLO official Ali Hassan Salameh, the 1972 Munich massacre’s mastermind. July 22, 1939 — Gila Almagor, the “queen of the Israeli cinema and theater,” is born in
Israeli firm AnyVision, a facial recognition technology firm, has raised $235 million from investors to speed up growth and development of its software, according to a
company statement. The investment places the firm’s value at over $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. The funding will help
YouTube screenshot // AnyVision has developed face recognition technology.
boost the adoption of AnyVision’s artificial intelligence-based facial recognition platform to flag potentially dangerous behavior and individuals. These new funds are “one of the largest funding rounds in the visual intelligence space in Western markets, underscoring the growing importance of AI, machine learning, and biometrics in transforming physical and perimeter security,” the statement read. Some are concerned with the use of the technology, as Microsoft pulled its investment from AnyVision last year out of fear the company may allow the technology to be used unethically..
Haifa. She makes her stage debut at 17 and establishes herself as a leading lady during a long run at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theatre beginning in 1958.
based on her service in the Palmach, is born in Tel Aviv. She calls the books neither fiction nor history, but a “worm’s-eye view” of frontline trauma.
July 23, 2002 — On a 51-41 vote, the Knesset approves the Tal Law, an effort to address the growing problem of Haredi yeshiva students avoiding military service. The Supreme Court rules the law unconstitutional in 2012.
July 27, 1955 — Two Bulgarian MiG-15 fighter jets shoot down El Al Flight 402 en route from London to Israel after the Lockheed Constellation veers off course into Bulgarian airspace between Vienna and Istanbul.
July 24, 2013 — Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef (Sephardi) and David Lau (Ashkenazi) are appointed as Israel’s chief rabbis. Yosef’s father, Ovadia Yosef, was chief rabbi from 1973 to 1983. Lau’s father, Yisrael Meir Lau, was chief rabbi from 1993 to 2003.
July 28, 1923 — Mordechai Golinkin’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” in a movie theater marks the beginning of opera in the British Mandate of Palestine. His Palestine Opera stages 16 productions by 1945.
National Library of Israel Gila Almagor, shown in 1969, starred on stage, in film and on television and wrote novels.
July 25, 1992 — Aris San, who helped popularize the Greek sound in Israeli music and opened nightclubs across Israel, dies mysteriously in Budapest at age 52. His hybrid music, laika, set the stage for the rise of Mizrahi music. July 26, 1928 — Netiva Ben Yehuda, a writer acclaimed for a trilogy
July 29, 1891 — Bernhard Zondek, the obstetrician-gynecologist behind one of the first reliable pregnancy tests in 1928, is born in Wronke, Germany, now in Poland. He flees Nazi Germany in 1933 and reaches Palestine in 1934. July 30, 1992 — Tel Aviv native Yael Arad, 25, becomes the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal, taking the silver in judo in the halfmiddleweight (61-kilogram) class at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.
Israel First to Ban Fur Sales By Jan Jaben-Eilon Starting in December, Israel will be the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur, after already banning the production of fur in 1976, as other countries have also done. Although there will be exceptions for scientific research as well as educational and religious purposes, the ban – signed into law by the previous Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel – will prohibit the sale, importation and exportation of any items that contain real fur, including jackets and accessories. “Israel has just made history and put yet another nail in the cruel fur industry’s coffin,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is popping the cork on the champagne in celebration of this huge step toward a day when no animals are suffocated or skinned alive for collars and cuffs.” Moira Colley, press outreach manager of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in New York, suggested that the United Kingdom may soon follow Israel’s lead. In Israel, the religious fur items that will be exempted are shtreimel hats, said Jane Halevy Moreno, founder of International Anti-Fur Coalition. “There are wonderful synthetic fur shtreimels and we hope that soon enough ultra-Orthodox men in Israel and worldwide will all switch to fake fur shtreimels. We hope that this change will be led by religious leaders within the Jewish communities.” Israel is the first country to ban the sale of furs, said Halevy Moreno, because “we were the first ones to establish and introduce such a groundbreaking bill proposal,” referring to IAFC’s efforts. That was 12 years ago and since then, IAFC “never stopped believing and fighting for this achievement to finally take place.” IAFC received plenty of Israeli support in its efforts. PETA reported that the banning of fur sales received support from 86 percent of Israelis. “The Israeli public, fashion designers, politicians from all spectrums at the Knesset strongly supported this groundbreaking bill,” Halevy Moreno said. “The reason it took so long to outlaw the sale of fur was because of the strong pro-fur lobby that had constantly sabotaged all our efforts for years. We applaud the Israeli government for finally taking the historic leap towards making fur-for-fashion history. All animals suffer horrifically at the hands of this cruel and backwards industry. IAFC has claimed for years that ‘nothing is stronger than an
Photo by Ronen Machleb for IAFC // IAFC founder Jane Halevy Moreno, who lives in Israel, at an anti-fur demonstration.
idea whose time has come’.” Over the years, PETA has conducted a number of video investigations into the global fur industry. These investigations have revealed that animals on fur farms spend their lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages, according to PETA. “Fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods available, including neck-breaking, suffocation, poisoning and genital electrocution. Animals are still alive and struggling when workers hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them.” PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear.” PETA also noted that California banned the sale of new fur statewide in 2019, as have numerous top designers and retailers, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Giorgio Armani. Halevy Moreno said the fact that a whole country has outlawed the sale of fur “sends a strong message worldwide about the cruelty of fur. It sends a message that the 2021 status of fur is a status of ignorance, selfishness, arrogance, heartlessness. If such a bill was not that meaningful the world over, it would not have taken us 12 whole years to finally achieve this victory.” She also added that she is “proud” and “grateful” that Israel “chose moral justice, ethics and compassion over profits, political interests and greed. We believe that this choice will influence other locations worldwide.” Perhaps not surprisingly, Israel also has what is believed the highest percentage of vegans globally, with an estimated 5 percent to 8 percent of the entire population being vegan. In fact, according to The Jerusalem Post, Israel was third on the international food magazine Chef’s Pencil list of top countries for vegans in 2020, ranking behind Australia and the United Kingdom. ì
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OPINION Love and Salami Sticks As a child I had a severe dog allergy. I envied all of my friends with canine pets who lavished them with face licking love and frisbee retrievRabbi Shalom als. I had to be Lewis satisfied with miniature turtles and Purim carnival goldfish. As fate would have it, years later I began dating Cindy, who had a frisky, friendly Shih Tzu. When I would call on my future wife, I would pop a Benadryl just to be safe. As our relationship grew serious and the topic of marriage was discussed, I came to realize that her dog was a nonnegotiable part of the marital package. There was no debate. Bandit was unequivocally in. My status, however, was not so secure. I had some serious decisions to make knowing where I stood in the family pecking order. Fortunately, as
decided that perhaps the quickest way to a dog’s heart was through his stomach. And so, as a supplement to Ralston Purina and Kennel Ration, I would slip Bandit Shofar salami sticks and Muenster cheese (never together and always three hours apart), Ruffles with ridges and Triscuits. It worked. In time Bandit became increasingly warmhearted. He sat on my A Shih Tzu, a breed known for being hypoallergenic, allowed lap. Played with me a rabbi with allergies to exchange food for acceptance. and finally accepted me into the family. it turned out, Bandit was hypoallergenic In the interest of full disclosure and so, our marital plans could proceed. In my dotage, I became a dog owner. But Cindy wasn’t pleased with my culinary soon I came to realize that for Bandit I was bribes to gain endearment. Before I joined an interloper and affection was not forth- the mishpachah, Bandit never begged for coming. I wondered, “How do I get this table food. Now he did, to my wife’s andog to like me?” I pondered a strategy and noyance. I tried to defend what I had done in the name of shalom bayis [peace in the house], but also by pleading Bandit’s case. “Cin. His entire world stretches from the sidewalk to the back yard. Give him a Thank you for break. He’s never had a date. He’s never your Votes! been to a Broadway play. He’ll never see Paris. So let him at the very least enjoy more than just pellets of byproduct. What other joy out of life does he get?” Cindy understood and finally went along with his expanded cuisine. Not being a veteran dog owner, I still had things to learn beyond a pandering diet. I recall bending down to pick Bandit up and struggling repeatedly to lift him until I realized I was standing on his tail. Once elevated he did not complain nor
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bark harshly. No growl. He was forgiving and licked my cheeks. A learning experience. Still the pet-owning greenhorn, in our first year of marriage, I was preparing for the bedikat chametz [Search for leaven]. I scattered 10 pieces of bread throughout the downstairs for the pre-Pesach ritual. Gathering up the wooden spoon, candle, feather and bag, we began the search in the darkness, only to discover (echoes of Hansel and Gretel) that Bandit had gobbled up all the leavened morsels. Was he simply hungry or was he helping make our home Pesachdik? He never said, but I am inclined to believe the latter. Though never having attended Hebrew school nor a religious service, I suspect he had a Jewish neshama [soul]. He loved challah on Shabbos. Barked enthusiastically, “I Have a Little Dreidel” on Chanukah. And, I am embarrassed to say, wore a blue kippah with chin straps in our sukkah. Bandit was a gentle, lovely creature. He was a licker, a cuddler and was content just being stroked, fed and a member of the family. The sages teach that one who is content with what he has is indeed wealthy. Bandit was wealthy in the simple, modest delights he enjoyed. Alas, no one lives forever, and Bandit from one Sunday to the next rapidly declined. It was painful to watch. In but seven days, this playful, faithful companion of years deteriorated with heartbreaking speed. With tearful resolve, we came to the reluctant but necessary decision. In the vet’s office we stood over Bandit as he slowly left us. It was calm. It was quiet. It was peaceful. Perhaps now Bandit can see Paris. ì Rabbi Shalom Lewis is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta.
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Canine Staffers Demand Attention Bru and Coco had a bone to pick with me. I have written in this space about my wife, our daughter, and our two sons, leaving my canine asDave Schechter sistants feeling From Where I Sit aggrieved. As the senior partner, Bru remonstrated for the pair: “We’re here with you every day, all day. You talk to us. We let you know when there is a delivery truck outside or when another dog walks in front of the house. When you’re in the backyard, so are we. We let you know when it’s noon, so you don’t forget to feed us lunch, and when it is 6 p.m., so that you don’t forget to feed us dinner. We let you know every time we want to go out and every time we want to come in. We visit your office when you’re working, even when you have that music on. We let you know when Grandma comes home. So why don’t you write about us?” Bru had a point. Considering the hours we spend together, he and Coco deserve mention. By way of introduction, Bru is about 10-years-old, weighs 55 pounds, has a tan coat, and resembles a Black Mouth Cur, a Southern breed. Our daughter found him at the Atlanta Humane Society shelter and changed his name to Bru, as in the Boston Bruins hockey team. Bru lived with her during college in Asheville, but when she became a newspaper reporter in South Carolina, with an irregular schedule and a small apartment, he moved in with us. A couple of years later, our oldest son’s apartment mate came across an emaciated black-and-white puppy cowering in a parking lot. The owner listed on the tag did not want her back. Our son took her in and named her Coco. A couple of months later, she joined Bru in our home. Coco is a few years younger and weighs a few pounds less than her “cousin.” We are uncertain of Coco’s lineage, but her leaping ability makes us think that she is part circus animal. Our children may claim ownership, but Bru and Coco are on our payroll and “Grandma” says there is no way they will be separated. Growing up, I was scared of dogs. One of my brothers was bit by a German Shepherd. I feared being chased when I rode my bicycle. I flinched whenever a nearby dog barked. My wife, on the other hand, grew up
with dogs. Indeed, it was Beethoven, her family’s black miniature Schnauzer, who helped me get over my phobia. Maybe it was Beethoven’s size, coming up to my knees, that made him easy to like. When our kids were young, the subject of a dog came up. I agreed that maybe, at some point, we could get a dog.
Coco and Bru, Dave's assistants, during a 2018 staff meeting.
My wife sand-bagged me. She had gone to a pet shop, looking for plastic turtles to go along with a story she had written as a Hannukah gift for our nieces and nephews. I was at work when she called to tell me that she was holding the cutest gray miniature Schnauzer puppy. Tyvul — the Yiddish word for devil — was a Shabbos dog. When we lit candles on Friday night, Tyvul barked for his piece of challah. We loved Tyvul, from the day he arrived until the awful day when disease forced us to have him put down. We mourned Tyvul and so did Buttercup, the last survivor of successive pairs of cats that came from one of our daughter’s friends. It hardly seemed coincidental that Buttercup’s downturn coincided with Tyvul’s passing. For a time, we were pet-less. Bru arrived not long before I began working from home. Of late, he has become a little gray around the muzzle. So have I. For all the grousing I do about being their servant, I am grateful that Bru and Coco lend me their ears and provide a diversion from whatever work I should be doing. Probably because I promised to write about them, they have stayed out of my office and at present are sacked out on the living room couch, the one I put old bed sheets on, to keep it clean. I should tell Bru and Coco that I am allowed only so many words for this column, so some of what I’ve written about them will have to come out. But I won’t. This is their column. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 23
Letters to the Editor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter to the editor, You gotta hand it to Wendy Kalman. Despite unremitting evidence to the contrary, she and her legions of diaspora do-gooders continue to believe that if Jews just sit down with Palestinians at the table of brotherhood and if Israelis just make concessions, giving up this piece of land and withdrawing from that piece of territory and making a real honest-to-G-d, no-holds-barred effort to understand where Arabs are coming from, well everything will just be tickety-boo. So, like a dog worrying a bone, Ms. Kalman and her confreres continue to study the matter, participate in seminars, convene conferences, churn out editorials, think pieces, blog posts and position papers, hold symposia, put on colloquia, engage in endless peacebuilding and try to forge cross-cultural links, all in the transcendent hope that eventually, a durable, long-lasting peace will break out
24 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
between Israel and the Arabs. But if history is any indication, her efforts are likely to bear little fruit. Still, hope springs eternal, doesn’t it? Phillip Fine, Arad, Israel
Letter to the editor,
COVID-19 It has been common knowledge for years that all major developing countries have possessed the ability to conduct germ warfare. The Wuhan crisis is no exception. Was a virus created in the lab and deliberately leaked into the local wet markets for experimentation on the people of Wuhan? This is totally consistent with China’s poor record on civil rights and its complete lack of concern for all of the Chinese people. The virus created in Wuhan is by no means a poor reflection on all Asians, especially AsianAmericans. It is simply a reaffirmation of the Communist Chinese government’s inhuman
disdain for human life. They are the ones to blame. Now we, the American people, are required by our government to get the vaccine without being told what the short/long-term side effects are. This is inherently a violation of our civil rights. The one benefactor from the spread of the virus is the environment. Consider how working from home reduces the amount of carbon emissions caused by the automobile. Joe Bialek, Cleveland, Ohio
Letter to the editor: Rabbi [Laurence] Rosenthal’s column “Georgia Faith Leaders Ready to Act on Climate” in the AJT (June 30 June) raises the question, to what standards should we hold our rabbis? As Jews, we are part of a sacred community that has survived millennia, despite adversity. As a sacred community, we should demand intellectual honesty from our spiritual leaders. Using phrases such as “climate crisis,” “environmental justice,” and attaching clean energy to “injustices of the past,” all devolving into unrelated advocacy for [President Joe] Biden’s “American Jobs Act,” is political advocacy, not intellectual honesty nor spiritual leadership.
Having taken college geomorphology courses which were heavily invested in the role of ice ages and glaciers over geologic time, citing “46 [undefined] extreme weather events” in Georgia from 2010 to 2020 is offensive. Ten-year weather records, even if extreme, from one state mocks science. Barack Obama’s purchase of a seaside estate belies any imminent “crisis” about rising oceans. An intellectually honest discussion would have to include how “clean energy” itself might affect climate. Wind and solar power involve taking energy from the atmosphere. Atmospheric energy variations drive weather; changes may result in new “extreme weather events” that cause the rabbi such distress. Barry Kriegel, Atlanta
Disclamer to our readers: This section of the newspaper is a forum for our community to share thoughts, concerns and opinions as open letters to the community or directly to the newspaper. As a letter to the editor, we proof for spelling and grammatical errors only. We do not edit nor vet the information the letter contains. The individual signing the letter is accountable for what they share.
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Jewish Atlanta Pets of 2021
Our sixth-annual pet issue attracted far more submissions than ever before, a whopping 162 photos of Jewish Atlanta’s cutest, softest, furriest companions. You might say it was raining cats and dogs at the AJT. This past year during the pandemic, our pets were truly pampered, treated to more strolls in the park, belly rubs and overall attention. And there can never be enough photos of felines and pooches. Here you will find a sample of those the community shared, 25 of the AJT’s top picks, starting with the lucky winner on our cover, a 14-year-old calico named Callie who seems to enjoy Jewish traditions. The rest of the submissions will appear on our website. Besides our cover pet, a first-place winner will receive a $50 gift card and second and third place will receive $25 gift cards.
1st Place 2nd Place Lexi Lulu
1-year-old Miniature Schnoodle
1-year-old French Bulldog
David Saxe of Marietta
A sassy French Bulldog with an attitude problem. She can sit, lay down and fall asleep anywhere. L’Chaim!
4-year-old Red Nose Pitbull
Stacey Davis of Dunwoody
Lindsay Fried of East Lake
She is our COVID cutie! She was less than 3 pounds when we got her; now a little over 8 pounds. She loves playing with her human sisters Brynn and Ella.
Harper has the best comedic timing, whether an exasperated sigh at the perfect moment or leaving the room when we ask her a question, she keeps us laughing!
COVER WINNER Callie
Greg Roques of Dunwoody Indoor cat living her best life. Meows for challah when we slice it every Friday. 26 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
4 ½-year-old Maltese
Joyce Banner of Brookhaven A sweet Maltese, as smart and loving as he is adorable. He loves to dance on his hind legs, especially when he wants treats.
Angus O’Neil and Tiger Shark 3-year-old Sheltie and 5-year-old Tabby
Denise Adelman of Sandy Springs Angus O’Neil loves to swim and hike, but most of all, loves to play soccer. Tiger Shrak loves to give head butts to show his love.
1 year-old Golden Retriever
Joanne Birnbrey of Atlanta We recently discovered Munson was born with bad kidneys. He is in stage 4 renal failure, but of course he does not know it. He is so, so happy.
Harley - Janeen Blecker of Roswell 2 ½-year-old Chihuahua-Jack Russell Mix
Harley was adopted from the humane society in 2020, perfect timing for our soon-athome-all-the-time household. She greets you as if you have been gone for a month.
3-year-old Golden RetrieverBassett Hound Mix
Katie Busch of Brookhaven Adopted just before the pandemic, our little red devil saved us with the cutest personality, ears and stubby legs ever! He walks proudly with his tail and head held high.
16 to 17-year-old Chihuahua Mix
Rachel Cohen of Peachtree Corners Honey is a rescue and senior citizen who has about three teeth left. Even though she is probably almost 20 years old, she still gets zoomies.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 27
8 to 9-year-old Shih Tzu Mix
Rachel Cohen of Peachtree Corners A Shih Tzu mix rescued from animal control who shops at Bloomingdales and drinks Starbucks.
Lil Jack - Rachel Cohen of Peachtree Corners
11 to 12-year-old Chihuahua Mix Lil Jack is a rescue with a huge snaggle tooth obsessed with my mom. No matter how long my mom has been gone (one minute or one week) he will try to crawl into her skin.
3 ½-month-old Mixed Breed
Michelle Day of Sandy Springs Midnight is a spunky, rambunctious rescue who nuzzled her way into our hearts two months ago. We have her DNA; she is a true mutt. Midnight immediately knew how to fetch.
Zoe - Rachel Cohen of Peachtree Corners 4 to 5-year-old Poodle Mix
Zoe was abandoned at PetSmart and we took her in. Zoe is a 20-pound guard dog and protects the home from all possible intruders.
Anakin and Bella
12-year-old Miniature Australian Labrodoodles
Babz and Pete Fishman of Atlanta Littermates, they are licensed therapy dogs and love visiting senior residences and students on college campuses during exam time to alleviate stress!
28 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
2-year-old Japanese Spitz
Gary Friedlander of Sandy Springs Ari is super smart and loves to perform tricks! He enjoys running around outside, playing fetch and most of all, cuddling on the couch! Ari loves to walk around on two legs,
Patricia Ganger of Snellville Thomas is an affectionate and caring cat who loves to lick everyone! Even though he has singed his tail on the menorah twice, he still is obsessed with it each year!
9-year-old English Springer Spaniel Mix
Fredricka Kahn of Dunwoody Daisy is a rescue from Angels Among Us and provides love and laughter to us every day! She knows the best sleeping spots in every room.
6-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Michelle Geppert of Alpharetta Boston has never met a stranger. We couldn’t imagine our family without him.
Quinn Katler of Midtown The sweetest – and most naughty! – bundle of love that adores squirrels and loathes garbage trucks! She can be picked up by her tail without a whimper!
2-year-old Great Dane
Monica Maslia of Buckhead
Doozy - Martha Jo Katz of East Cobb
Gracie Jane loves homemade meals, gardening with mom and walks with dad. She can catch a toy in her mouth sitting stationary on the couch.
3-month-old Tabby Doozy is a rescue from Panama City, Fla. She has the M on her forehead that is a sign of tabby cats. Her coloring looks like my closet … black, white, grey and beige! ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 29
Lauren Olens of Chamblee The happiest 60-pound lapdog, Boba jumps through a hula hoop when I say “hoop.”
2 ½-year-old Border Collie Mix
Stacy Alexander Morris of Dunwoody Chance is the sweetest, most lovable pooch we’ve ever had! Adopting him right before the COVID-19 pandemic was a blessing!
3-year-old German Shepherd Mix
Shari Perkins of Roswell Rizzo loves to go on walks, go swimming and chase squirrels! Rizzo can open the refrigerator door!
Cody and Leila
15-year-old and 2-year-old
Ilene Rothstein of Lawrenceville Two of the sweetest, most loving cats. They provide me with emotional support.
1 ½-year-old Mixed Breed
Caroline and David Schiff of Brookhaven Kramer is an energetic rescue who loves to play, chase the ball and his favorite treats are ice cubes. Kramer does well with puppies all the way up to Great Danes.
30 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Honor That Special Animal in Your Life With
A PET CERTIFICATE
Plant a tree in Israel and send a beautiful, personalized tree certificate to honor the passing of a pet or celebrate new adoptions and rescues. Plant trees in Israel and show you care.
Wally and Ace
7-year-old and 4-year-old Boston Terriers
Susan and William Shields of Roswell Wally was a rescue from Rescue Ranch; Ace came from a family in Macon. Wally’s favorite pastime is jumping 6 feet to catch bumblebees. Ace enjoys holding a ball in his mouth and dribbling another.
4-year-old Long-Haired Chihuahua Mix
Jacob Shmukler of Oakhurst, Decatur Leonard is a San Francisco rescue who loves his new home in Georgia! He follows us around, makes everyone fall in love with him, and cheers when the Falcons score a TD!
Fast and Simple jnfusa.org/petcert 800.542.TREE (8733)
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 31
Pet Certificate Ad_2021_JNFUSA.indd 1
7/9/21 1:19 PM
Rabbis and Their Pets
The AJT asked a few of Atlanta’s rabbis known to have pets about the experience of owning a furry family member. They spoke about the joy and fulfillment their pet – in some cases more than one – brought to their personal and spiritual lives. Here are the questions we asked: 1 — Tell us a little about your pet. 2 — How long have you had your pet and what made you decide to get one? 3 — What has a pet added to your life? 4 — Are there Jewish values you believe align with having a pet? 5 — What's the best aspect of having a pet? Read on for the rabbis' answers.
Rabbi Josh Hearshen Rabbi, Congregation Or VeShalom
1 — In brief: Our dog is named Zahavah. She is 7 years old and is a mutt that has a lot of yellow lab in her. 2 — Pet decision: We have had Zahavah since 2014. Our older daughter Ayelet had wanted a dog for quite some time. When we were in Israel, she actually believed that she would ask for a dog at the Wall and she would be handed one right after as we were leaving. She was so sad afterwards when we were leaving sans dog. One night while I was meeting with conversion students, they told me their hobby was rescuing dogs. I jokingly said that we had been talking about a dog and Rabbi Josh Hearshen with wife Carrie, daughter they told me they had Ayelet, newborn Galit, and Zahavah. just rescued one that day. My wife came over to the synagogue that night to meet her and the next night she came to meet Ayelet – our younger daughter had not been born yet – and they hit it off. We had told Ayelet that a friend was just bringing her dog over to play. When Ayelet woke up the next morning, Zahava was in our room and we told her that we had adopted her. 3 — Additions to my life: Zahavah is a caring dog and has taught us to love more and to also look out for those who cannot look out for themselves. She also reminds us that having fun matters. 4 — Jewish values: We believe tzaar baalei chayim, treating animals with compassion and love. My wife Carrie loves to always remind me that we are required to feed the dog before we eat as she cannot feed herself. 5 — Best aspect: Seeing her interact with our daughters.
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Opal with Rabbi Josh Lesser and Alessandro.
Rabbi Joshua Lesser
Rabbi emeritus, Congregation Bet Haverim 1 — In brief: Here are some reflections on our pup Opal. We won the dog lottery when we adopted Opal, a Labrador and possibly a Whippet mix from the [Atlanta] Humane Society. 2 — Pet decision: My husband Alessandro and I had been looking to adopt a puppy for nearly a year, but the day of the 2016 election, I turned to my husband and said, “It’s time. We need some joy in our household.” When we arrived at the shelter, a new litter of puppies had just arrived. In a mix of brown puppies, there was this one cinnamon swirl cutie; she was the only female. With her brindle color, and my penchant for naming my previous dogs after jewels, we brought our Opal home. Imagine our delight to discover that she was born on the exact same day as our engagement. It was meant to be. Weighing in at 100 pounds, she is a sweet and loving dog that can be very protective of her daddies. Her worst habits are shedding more than any short-haired dog can, drooling profusely at the sight of any cooked food, and eating sticks. My husband is the one who spoils Opal with table scraps. He cannot resist her dramatic eyes. Whereas I am the one who is the disciplinarian, to whom she listens and obeys. 3 — Additions to my life: Opal has added so much love and joy, but during the pandemic she truly became a lifesaver for me. During the pandemic, I worked from home and so Opal was often by my side or at my feet. Just out of sight from the Zoom screen, she would be there waiting for me to pet her. During this, my insomnia increased and without the outlet of the gym, I started running outdoors at 4 in the morning. Opal became my running companion. Not only did I feel safe with her, the joy she had running was infectious. In many ways, she encouraged me. And we would return home, both ready to sleep a bit more before tackling the day. 4 — Jewish values: There is much debate in traditional halachah (Jewish law) about having dogs and pets, most of it concerning the prohibition of having an “evil dog,” whose definition varies but almost always includes a dog who bites. We are very fortunate that Opal is a source of much blessing and no evil. Instead, I am guided by the tradition mentioned in Talmud Berachot 40a that interprets the verse “I will give grass in your fields for your animal, and you shall eat and be satisfied.” (Deuteronomy 11:15) as a dictate to feed your animals first. But I would even expand this teaching as a directive to empathize with our pets’ needs so that we do not see ourselves as owners, but rather as guardians taking care of the well-being of these animals in our care. 5 — Best aspect: The best part of being a guardian to Opal is that she is a significant part of our family. She is silly, loving and playful, and during a time when there has been so much serious and challenging news, she brings delight and invites us — even demands us — to be in the present tending to her.
PETS Rabbi Shalom Lewis
Rabbi emeritus, Congregation Etz Chaim 1 — In brief: Jack is our Shih Tzu and he’s 13 1/2 years old, weighs 8 pounds, pretty grey hair. Jack has a sweet temperament and always likes to be near us. He will follow us from room to room. His favorite spot is the low living window where he can survey the front yard and watch the world pass by.
Rabbi Shalom Lewis and Jack
2 — Pet decision: This is the first dog that I have ever owned, but for Cindy, she has always had dogs. When Cindy and I were discussing marriage, I knew that unless I adopted her last dog Bandit, I would have remained single. Having a dog was part of the marital package. I knew where I stood in the pecking order.
3 — Additions to life: Jack has given us a sense of responsibility and what it means to express unconditional love. 4 — Jewish values: Jewish tradition has great respect for animals. One of the seven fundamental principles known as the Noahide laws is compassion for animals. A bold statement underscoring Judaism’s respect for all life. Tradition requires that we feed our pets before we feed ourselves.
ing 2020. The love she has shared with us, and everyone who meets her, has been so well worth it! 4 — Jewish values: Peaches reminds us every day what loyalty and love is all about. In a world that has struggled to see the holiness and humanity in the other, Peaches recognizes everyone and makes them feel welcome. Everyone is created in God’s image to Peaches. She also reminds us of the interdependence of the world. We all depend on one another and without each other, we will not survive. 5 — Best aspect: When she cuddles with us, licks us, and makes sure we are not alone, we know that there is plenty of hope and love to go around.
Rabbi Larry Sernovitz and Peaches
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5 — Best aspect: Always someone there to greet you after a long day at work. Inspiring source of love. Jack is a paragon of forgiveness. I’ve locked him in the basement accidentally. Kicked him in the dark accidentally. Left him outdoors on the deck in the chill of winter accidentally. But never is he vindictive. Nasty. Cold. He doesn’t pout nor storm away into another room. He is quick to forgive. Dogs can help prepare us for Yom Kippur. Though occasionally wronged, they quickly move on with a lick and a wagging tail. They are remarkable exemplars of loyalty, devotion and forgiveness.
Rabbi Larry Sernovitz Senior rabbi, Temple Kol Emeth
1 — In brief: Peaches is a 10-month-old Aussiedoodle. She came into our family just after the High Holy Days last year. 2 — Pet decision: When we were getting ready to move to Atlanta, we were in the middle of COVID. My kids never got to see Atlanta or to go house hunting. We bought our house after an iPad tour with our real estate agent. My kids wanted something in return, and asked for a puppy. Of course, they wanted to name her something that would connect with our new life in Georgia. So, they chose Peaches. 3 — Additions to life: Peaches is an Aussiedoodle and is a herding dog. She makes sure she is everywhere we are. She does not like to be alone and when you least expect it, she is there. That includes Peaches opening up the bathroom door! She was an instant friend and a perfect addition to our family. When we wake up and when we go to bed, Peaches is there with her tail wagging, her tongue out, bringing joy to a challeng-
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PETS Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner Senior rabbi, Temple Beth Tikvah
1— In brief : Duncan is a little bit golden lab, with a shepherd’s tail and bark — a lovely Holy mix. He was a rescue; he and his siblings were dumped on the side of a road in rural Missouri. Thankfully, someone found the litter and turned them over to an animal rescue group. When we adopted Duncan, he weighed maybe 3 pounds. He was so small. Sitting toward the back of his cage, he caught our attention, with his mascara rimmed eyes and sweet little bark. My daughter Zoe and I knew immediately that Duncan needed to come home with us. He turned out to be rather sickly; he had mange and almost died from double pneumonia, but he was a fighter. Today Duncan is 13 and while an old guy, still makes his presence known! 2 — Pet decision: Once the children came along, Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner and Duncan we always had pets. Goldfish, hamsters, hermit crabs and dogs. Animals bring companionship and comfort. They help a child learn responsibility, commitment and compassion. At the time when we adopted little Duncan, we had an older dog at home named George. He, too, was a rescue. We all adored George; he was the family dog. Duncan was a gift for our youngest child Zoe, who was then just entering eighth grade. She had been asking for her own pet for a number of years and we felt that she was old enough for the responsibility. George taught Duncan how to be a dog (since Duncan had no mother to teach him) and the kids learned so much by watching Duncan and George interact. 3 — Additions to life: Unconditional love! NO matter how rough the day might be, when you come home, that dog is so incredibly happy to see you. Sitting and stroking his fur calms the soul and makes everything else melt away. The miles and miles of walks keeps you fit, too! 4 — Jewish values: Having pets has certainly taught our children the Jewish value of tzaar baalei chayim, the compassionate treatment of animals. All of our children, now adults, have pets of their own. (We have four grand-dogs, all rescues, three of whom spent time with us during the pandemic.) Our children all engage in activities that focus on relieving suffering in the world – human and animal. Two practice veganism as their religious food ethic and they all strive to leave a softer footprint on the planet. Much of their way of being comes from their time learning from the pets they had growing up. When a pet becomes part of the family it brings everyone together and teaches love and kindness. There’s nothing better. As members of the family, the dogs all participated in all the holidays with us, sitting under the seder table. Duncan sits at the Shabbat table and waits for his challah, especially the homemade challah! They have attended Shabbat in the Park services with the family. As a rabbi, I have arranged special programs for people to learn mitzvot for caring for their animals and special days for bestowing blessings for their pets.
PETS Rabbi Mark Zimmerman Rabbi, Congregation Beth Shalom
1 — In brief: We have two rescue dogs: a) Older white dog is Rafi. He’s a rescue mixed poodle, around 9 years old. b) Brown dog is Coco (admittedly my favorite due to her sassy, playful personality). She’s a rescue mini goldendoodle; a beautiful dog that we ended getting when Linda saw her on a rescue list. When we applied to adopt her, she is such a gorgeous dog that 80 people applied for her that very same day. We somehow got in the top 10. And when the foster mom brought Coco over to “interview us,” the two dogs couldn’t stop playing with one another. So they were immediately sold on letting us adopt Coco. 1 — Pet decision: We have ALWAYS been dog people; and have always had at least one dog. We used to have a 70-pound standard Poodle, but now that we are a little older, we decided to “downsize” to the minis! 3 — Additions to life: Snuggling! All they care about is hugs and love. You are a rock star whenever you come home, and they always greet us with over-the-top joy! Both dogs make an excellent alarm system (oftentimes too excellent). 4 — Jewish values: Dogs give us unconditional love, ahavat chinam. Pikei Avot teaches that you always greet your fellow b’sever panim yafot, a cheerful disposition. That they always do, and I wish people always acted that way! We can learn a lot from dogs. Our dogs join us for dog-friendly Jewish activities like Tashlich down by the river. And we’ve brought them to our synagogue Alefbet Preschool to play with the kids on Pet Day. 5 — Best aspect: They love to “take us” on walks, play with our grandchildren, or enjoy a movie and popcorn with us on movie nights. ì Rabbi Mark Zimmerman, Rafi and Coco.
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Fink and Earl Bring Awareness to Mental Health In 2012, Jeff Fink drove to a Tennessee farm to adopt Earl, a golden retriever Fink credits with keeping him alive during his prolonged struggle with treatment-resistant depression
ing to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Fink has been compelled to speak about mental health to a variety of audiences, not just hospitals, rehabs and treatment Marcia centers. “If we want to normalize the converCaller Jaffe sation, we must reach and anxiety. people that aren’t Fink has used his knowledge and typically engaging in learned experiences to help others. He esthese conversations. tablished Go Fetch Wellness Foundation People often show up Inc., with a charitable goal of educating and to see Earl but will implementing programs to address mental leave an event with Jeff Fink and golden retriever Earl traveled the country Jeff Fink’s mission is to connect those suffering health challenges for individuals and coma new awareness of on hiking adventures and speaking engagements. from mental illness with exposure to animals. munities with limited financial resources. what it is like to have a Fink wants to minimize for others the type mental illness and the of suffering he has experienced and works with universities and businesses to bring loneliness and isolation. They can help you role animals can play to foster survival, condaily to engage in conversations about men- greater awareness to mental health issues in ‘get out of your head’ and reduce anxiety by nection and recovery.” a relatable way, with a focus on the human- encouraging movement.” tal health and well-being. Fink is a strong advocate for education, Go Fetch Wellness conveys hope and connection, compassion and kindness. He During the last eight years, Fink has animal connection. “Earl gave me purpose spoken to various groups, conducted semi- and facilitated healthy human connections. optimism while encouraging people to stresses the importance of listening to othnars and clinical trainings, and worked Dogs ‘bring people to you,’ which combats consider connecting with animals as an ers and supporting them in their struggles integral part of their mental wellness plan. with patience and understanding. He said, Fink shares his adventures and hardships “70 percent of U.S. households have pets, through social media and and a quarter of the popuhas been featured on several lation struggles with some platforms such as WebMD, form of mental illness. Why national mental health adare we not doing more to vocacy organizations, and connect people and pets to news outlets across the address the mental health country. Fink and Earl have crisis?” traveled the U.S. together During the pandemic, with their shared passion for Fink used the virtual world getting outdoors, hiking, huto coach and mentor individAUGUST 27–OCTOBER 22 man connection, advocacy, uals who were experiencing consulting and public speakTICKETS & INFORMATION ON depression, anxiety or other ing. mental health challenges, CALLANWOLDE.ORG Fink consults with proand expanded his focus to Earl in one of his puppy fessionals, including social work with individuals on the portraits, as Jeff Fink came workers, universities and autism spectrum. to know and love him, as businesses about a variety they now care for each other. The tables have turned of mental health topics, with on Earl, who has been fighta special focus on how aniing chronic illness since late mals can play a positive role in encouraging 2017. “Earl spent the first five years of his life difficult conversations and bringing people saving me, and now I fight daily to save him. together. He does not suggest that everyone No matter how sick, we care for each other, go out and get a pet, but encourages expo- overcome obstacles, and muster as much resure to animals to experience the positive silience as we can. Earl has been the inspiraimpact animals can have on one’s health tion behind my work.” and wellness. Fink is working on a book that will disIn 2017 Fink was selected as one of cuss his learned experiences, his struggles three individuals to be featured in a docu- for survival with Earl by his side, and his mentary with executive producer, star and hopes for the future for himself and those singer Demi Lovato. “Beyond Silence” gave struggling with mental illness. ì Season tickets come with $25 in savings this year! each individual a platform to share details of their individual struggles with mental For more information, visit Jeff@Gofetchillness and the efforts of each to enhance wellness.com and www.gofetchwellness.com. CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER knowledge and understanding while work980 BRIARCLIFF ROAD, ATLANTA, GA 30306 • (404) 872-5338 36 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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Yoel Levi Breeds a Super Dog W h e n famed conductor Yoel Levi returned from his many trips around the world, Ozzy was always there. For Ozzy, the German Bob Bahr shepherd who was Levi’s devoted companion for almost 15 years, Levi was more than just the distinguished performer with many of the world’s greatest orchestras. In the eyes of his four-footed friend, the former longtime music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was truly the world’s greatest star. “Every time I came back, it was like an earthquake shaking. I mean, the crying and the kissing and the jumping. It was incredible.” When Levi was only 4, he had had the same kind of a bond in Israel, where he grew up, with the family dog, another German shepherd named Wolf. Suddenly one day the dog disappeared. Now after all those years, it was like that animal had reappeared, the same
Barbra Streisand cloned her dog Sammie in 2018. Four-month-old Leo is a close copy of his father Ozzy, who was a beloved companion of Yoel Levi.
Yoel Levi as a child in Israel with his first dog, Wolf
spirit in a new body. Ozzy became, for him, not just a cherished loving family but a deeply intuitive soul mate. “He was attached to me in a way that no other dog was attached to me. He was not only my best friend, he could read my soul. He
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shared everything with me.” When Ozzy was 5, the family vet, sensing their special relationship, suggested that they take a sperm sample and preserve it cryogenically. Perhaps one day, the vet suggested, veterinary science might be able to recreate a dog with some of the almost mystical qualities Levi experienced with the animal. About a dozen years later, several years after the dog died, Levi called a friend, Carmen Battaglia, who lives in Alpharetta and is a top breeder of German shepherds. Battaglia, a board member of the American Kennel Club, is deeply involved in the AKC’s breeding program. He agreed to coordinate the costly process of creating a new puppy out of the longfrozen specimen. According to Battaglia, only about 2 percent of the 39,000 litters of AKC-registered German shepherds last year were born this way. Part of the reason, he said, is that its delicate process of artificial insemination depends on not just the skill of the veterinarian, but on good luck, as well. “Dogs have one of the most fragile reproductive systems in nature. Timing is critical. You can’t go too fast, but you have only 72 hours to produce a success. When you implant the fertilized egg in the dog, the placement has to be very precise.” In the last 15 years, veterinary science has come a long way in developing breeding programs that take advantage of new techniques and a greater knowledge of the genetics. In 2005, a team in South Korea created an exact clone of an Afghan hound that lived to be 10 years old. Today, there are commercial services in South Korea and in Texas that will create a biological copy of a dog for $50,000. Barbra Streisand, the famed entertainer, publicly acknowledged three years ago that she had two clones created from the DNA of Sammie, a pet that she had for 14 years. Later she wrote in The New York Times that she did it to “keep her with me in some
Ozzy, Yoel Levi’s companion for over 14 years.
way. It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep part of her alive, something that came from her DNA.” But the benefits of all these recent advances is not just confined to pets. Battaglia uses sophisticated databases that list the genetic characteristics of each AKC German shepherd to help breed better working dogs. These dogs are used in the military and contribute to national security. They also participate in search and rescue operations such as the one following the partial collapse of the condominium building in Surfside, Fla. According to Battaglia, the goal is a “super” dog. “These super German shepherds are 50 percent smarter, have a lower resting heartbeat that gives them greater tolerance for stress, which makes them more trainable and more able to do difficult jobs, and they are more resistant to disease.” From all these new technological advances, Levi now has a 4-month-old puppy named Leo that connects him to the long and mysterious relationship that he has had to German Shepherds since his childhood. “Leo is really like the reincarnation of his father in almost every aspect, and that’s what’s amazing, absolutely amazing, especially his behavior. When I take out my suitcase and begin packing for one of my trips, Leo jumps into the middle of it. He wants me to take him along.” For Levi, that’s a real super dog. ì
Paws Between Homes By Marcia Caller Jaffe Founded in 2019, Paws Between Homes is an Atlanta nonprofit animal rescue that provides temporary foster homes to the pets of people who lose their housing. Cole Thaler, Paws Between Homes’ board president, is a Jewish man who cites the Torah’s emphasis on animal welfare as informing the organization’s values. “Proverbs 12:10 teaches us that the righteous care for the needs of their animals.” Other Jewish members of the nonprofit’s steering committee include vice president Sarah Rosenberg, secretary Debra Berger, board memCole Thaler with his Sarah Rosenberg with ber Rachel Gilman Thompson and steering comdog Midnight. two foster kittens. mittee members Judy Landey and Samantha Findling. Thaler relates crowded local shelters by preventing the surrender of pets. that Paws Between Steering committee member Landey notes that the Homes receives several COVID-19 crisis has led to an uptick in calls and emails new calls for help each seeking help from Paws Between Homes. Her own dog week, and the numbers Leo was surrendered by his former owner to a rural shelare increasing. “I got a ter when Leo was 9 years old. “I was given no other inforcall from a woman who mation. It makes me wonder if an organization like Paws was sleeping in her car Between Homes could have been a solution for Leo’s forwith her dog and cat,” mer family. I’m just so thrilled he joined our family. It was he said. “The pets were important to me to rescue a dog who may have been overher only emotional suplooked in the shelter.” port, so she refused to move into a home without them.” When he told the woman that he found a foster home for her animals, she cried Judy Landey with her dog Leo. with relief. The founders of Paws Between Homes, many of whom have ties to local animal welfare and legal aid agencies, came together to patch a hole in Atlanta’s safety net. Fulton County courts process tens of thousands of eviction cases each year. Evictions often caste a household into a temporary period of instability, bouncing from extended-stay motel Debra Berger with her dog Sadie. to homeless shelter to sleeping outdoors or in a car. As a result of this upheaval, beloved family pets are often permanently surrendered to local animal shelters. When the family gets back on its feet, it’s too late to reclaim their pet. The volunteers who run Paws Between Homes believe that pets are part of the family, and that the crisis of homelessness should not include the forced loss of a cherished furry family member. While the pet is in foster care, Paws Between Homes provides all food, supplies and veterinary care. And when the family is ready to reunite with their pet, the nonprofit pays any pet deposit that the new landlord charges. The organization’s work also helps over-
Landey emphasized that Paws Between Homes has served over 60 pets with a small budget and no paid staff. Despite the challenges, she added, “I’m privileged to be a part of this much-needed organization that serves as a safety net for pets and people who care about them during times of housing instability.” A recent case (where the names have been changed) reads like this: “Rob Edmond* lost his job as a forklift operator at a North Georgia winery when COVID struck. The timing could not have been worse: Rob’s wife, Kelsey, had just discovered she was pregnant with the couple’s third child. The Edmonds stayed in their apartment for as long as they could stretch their small savings. But soon their electricity got cut off for nonpayment, they fell two months behind on rent, and their landlord demanded that they move out. The couple and their two sons packed up their belongings and moved in with a friend. But the friend drew the line at taking in the Edmonds’ three dogs. In desperation, Kelsey turned to the Internet, where she discovered Paws Between Homes. All three of the Edmonds’ dogs are now safely in foster homes. Ron recently found a new job, and the family is looking forward to reuniting with their dogs as soon as they save up for a security deposit.” ì To learn more about fostering for Paws Between Homes or to support the organization, visit PawsBetweenHomes.org.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 39
Artsy Rothman Inspired by Pets By Marcia Caller Jaffe Over two decades ago, Atlanta native Mitzi Canter Rothman took her daughter’s advice to paint a pet portrait as a gift. With a bachelor of fine arts/drawing and painting, Rothman had her pastels handy and rallied to the challenge. With dogs of her own: Iddie, Oliver, and sometimes granddogs Stretch and Genny, Rothman has since perfected how to best photograph her subjects for the reference images she needs for portraits that have pleased hundreds of animal owners from Florida and Ohio to West Virginia. Rothman said, “I have wonderful memories of capturing beagles, corgis, terriers, chihuahuas, labs, and everything in between. There’s Lola, Zorro, Edna, Pancake, Sarge, Sapphire, Winston, Bama, Millie, Rags and Roxie … ” A grandmother and resident of Decatur, Rothman is known for her interpretative style rendering her subjects with “wit and charm.” Note those words were coined at her booth at a festival when she was approached by a hippy, disheveled looking man who was mumbling “art speak” and noted that her
Holly and Poinsettia, two siblings in pastel. This is the second pair Mitzi Rothman did for the owner.
work captured pets with wit and charm. Her memory kicked in and she was jolted that he was her former professor. Particularly striking is her use of colored background papers ranging from mustard to scarlet and indigo. Some of her most poignant works are multiple family dogs in one view. Her cat portraits are known for capturing detached elegance and inscrutable attitudes. Rothman got her start by renting booths at festivals like Virginia-Highland, Inman Park and Congregation Or VeShalom’s An-
Mitzi Rothman did this Springer spaniel puppy after photographing in the sunlight.
Mitzi Rothman said of this painting of Jewel, “This beloved mixed breed just worked out nicely.”
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Penny, a beagle, is one of Rothman’s more recent works.
This dog and its owner were drawn for the Dachshund Festival Halloween contest.
nual Bazaar. She hung samples at boutiques and dog-centric places to get new commissions. She has done parrots on a branch, an occasional horse, and a handful of cats, and is especially keen on her canine subjects. She prefers to work from her own photos, enabling her to control the conditions. She said, “It’s best to get them in a ‘sit’ or ‘down’ position looking at the camera when I am at eye level. Dogs are normally curious and cooperative. Some even sit on my lap. Most are trained to sit and lie down, so it’s easy to fill the frame with a command to perk up, hearing jingled car keys. Some judge me as a pushover and totally misbehave.” (For out of towners, she will work from the owner’s photo). “For dogs, it is about their exuberance, steadfastness and genial vitality,” she mused. With the image to the left of her easel, she does not plan or sketch ahead of time. She just “hits the paper running,” starting with vine charcoal, graduating to pastels. If she doesn’t like how it’s going, she grabs another piece of paper and gets going. Rothman laments, “It can take around four to eight weeks to complete. On rare occasions, if I don’t feel like I can deliver something to
Rothman's own pets, Iddie and Oliver.
be proud to hang on the wall, … I return the deposit.” Rothman has enough fun episodes to fill a TV sitcom. Once she “photographed” two of the best posed corgis with no film in the camera. She has followed cats under tables and been on a deck with a seemingly perfectly mannered retriever whose owners neglected to reveal that he was a “biter.” She summarized, “Dogs climb in your lap while cats climb in the camera bag. I have been happy to have referrals from happy pet parents and repeat customers over the years when they had to sadly say ‘good-bye’ to a cherished pet and welcome a new one.” Rothman charges by the pet and the art comes unframed. “I’ve loved every minute of capturing people’s pets, but right now I am not taking on any new projects to get all caught up; and I am considering a switch from pastels to watercolor as a less messy new medium.” Some fortunate Rothman owners have her original drawings done with the child/owner alongside. ì Visit Rothman and learn about her artistry at www.mitzirothman.com.
Blu, the Back-talking Husky Mariya and Art Valdez live in Cumming, Ga., in a comfortable house with a large, fenced backyard where their huskies Blu and Chana Shapiro Luna play. Luna is happy doing her own thing, while Blu enjoys being a social media star. Mariya tells us, “Blu is a 9-year-old pedigree male husky, overflowing with personality. He came into my life as a new puppy and has been making everyone around him laugh ever since. Art and I rescued 5-yearold Luna, also a 100 percent husky, from Clayton County Humane Society in 2016. The two are inseparable. Blu follows Luna around and acts as her protector, behaving like a high-and-mighty older brother.” One day, in 2019, while Mariya was at work, Blu amused himself by chewing through his dog bed and scattering the stuffing all over the house. When Mariya came home, she raised her voice and asked, “Who did this?” In that moment, she heard something she’d never heard before from Blu. He talked back! His silly howls and highpitched response led Mariya to record Blu on her iPhone. Mariya explains, “It was so hilarious I had to capture the moment, and it was hard to be angry at such a goofball. I posted the video on social media to share with friends and family, and the video gained major traction. A viral company reached out, asking if they could help promote the video. Since then, Blu has become known as a zany and very popular ‘back-talker.’ His back-talking personality has gotten him featured on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ MTV’s ‘Ridiculousness,’ the New York Post, Viral Pet Company’s ‘The Dodo’ and ‘Daily Mail Animals,’ and several international networks, including Germany and Japan. His oh-soserious face has been featured on shirts and socks, and he even gets fan mail! “Blu is a social being; he loves spending time with other pups. He’s usually well-behaved, but he does get the occasional timeout at doggy daycare, Camp Bow Wow of Alpharetta., when he overdoes his “guarding” of Luna, and is too overbearing. The doggy daycare people can’t believe he’s 9 years old because he still has the wacky personality of a youngster,” Mariya continued. “Blu loves lying in the sun, which we find very odd for a husky, who you would expect to prefer cold weather. Blu and Luna enjoy checking out the geese at our neigh-
Blu mugging for the camera.
Blu is often overprotective of Luna.
Blu and Luna relaxing at home.
It’s fun to be a husky in the Valdez home.
borhood pond and greeting other pups in the hood. When their dog-friends walk by our fence, they give them loud howls to say ‘hello’!” Blu and Luna both have comfy beds in the Valdez master bedroom, but the huskies prefer to begin bedtime with their owners, who welcome their cuddles. “Blu loves to fall asleep at my feet and Luna sleeps between Art and me, with her head on the pillow, exactly like a human. They quietly migrate to their own beds, about an hour later, once we humans are asleep. “The pups even have their own ‘husky cantina’ in our house, where they eat their meals and find special treats. Besides his love for being a back-talker, Blu’s favorite activities include playing with his tennis ball, swimming in Lake Lanier, going to doggy camp with Luna, and snuggling with his ‘pawrents.’” Mariya, a senior marketing director for a Denver-based tech company, was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and Art, of Mexican descent, is from Chicago. Art is an independent real-
tor with his own brand dedicated to the couple’s love of dogs, www.agentdawg.com. T h e couple met in late 2012. Owners Mariya and Art Valdez with Blu and Luna. “We remained daughter, and we’re eager to see how he refriends until we became ‘official’ in 2015,” Mariya said. acts. Once the baby arrives, we wonder if Blu “In October of 2019, we tied the knot at Lake and Luna will prefer the nursery instead of Lanier Islands and had an incredible wed- their current sleeping accommodations.” ding, featuring traditions and music from Blu’s fans are waiting, too. As of early Ukraine, Mexico and Jewish culture. We June, Blu had more than 50,000 followwish Blu and Luna could have been with us, ers on Instagram: instagram.com/huskybut they would have definitely jumped into namedblu; more than 64,000 followers and Lake Lanier.” “We are expecting our first baby in July. 1.4 million likes on TikTok. One Tik Tok vidBlu dutifully participated in a social media eo received 6.3 million views: tiktok.com/@ gender reveal, with pink balloons around his collar to announce that we will have a
real_huskynamedblu, and 7,000 subscribers on YouTube. ì
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Paws to Honor Israel’s Four-Legged Defenders By JD Krebs They say that dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Atlantan Debbie Levy understands the value of honoring the dogs in our lives more than most. “I love dogs. They’re so incredibly loyal, and they truly are a person’s best friend. For Levy, the bond goes deeper than just a simple kinship between human and pet. Dogs literally helped her save lives when she served as a member of the Israel Defense Forces' bomb detection canine unit, Oketz. “We minimized the threat of terrorism by ensuring that the area was clear of explosives and weapons” she said. “It wasn’t always easy, but it was extremely rewarding work that kept Israel safe.” Levy, who grew up in a Zionist home that taught her the importance of Israel, felt that joining the IDF was her responsibility. “I went to summer camp in northern Israel, but my time there was cut short due to the Second Lebanon War,” she said. “Even as I was leaving, I always knew that I wanted to go back and defend Israel.” While most recent high school gradu-
ates in Atlanta were planning gap years in South America or preparing for college, Levy was determined to fulfill the commitment she made to return to Israel. After graduating from high school, Levy made aliyah and joined the IDF to contribute to and defend the land and people of Israel. She said JNF-USA’s affiliate Nefesh B’Nefesh played a major role in helping her settle into her new life in Israel. “They placed me on a kibbutz to prepare me for my Israel experience, which I loved,” she said. “They helped me deal with bureaucracy, assimilate into Israeli culture, and ultimately make my dream come true.” Once in the IDF, Levy trained for the elite bomb dog unit, which included six months of basic training, plus a six-month dog course. “My dog came with me everywhere,” she said. The training also resulted in a unique sleep schedule for the soldiers. “We had to train the dogs in the middle of the night, because it was too hot for them in the day,” Levy said. “We would work with them all night and then get as much sleep as we could during the day.”
Debbie Levy with her service dog, a Belgian Shepherd named Pariz.
Levy used the time to bond with her service dog, an energetic Belgian shepherd named Pariz. “She was so special! Pariz was just as much of a soldier as the rest of us. All of the dogs in the unit were.” After an honorable discharge from
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the IDF, Levy went back to focusing on her education, attending Georgia Tech to become an industrial engineer. While back in the states, Levy has remained active in JNFUSA, serving as a lay leader on the Atlanta JNFuture board, Atlanta board of directors, Atlanta Women for Israel steering committee, the Faculty Fellowship committee and as a Georgia Tech campus liaison. And while she is now pursuing a postcollege professional career, Levy has never forgotten the special bond she formed with Pariz. In fact, she recently honored her canine comrade with a JNF-USA Pet Certificate, symbolizing that a tree had been planted in Israel in Pariz’s name. She also honored her current dog Ziggy. “JNF-USA is a huge part of my life,” Levy said. “It has helped me grow into the Zionist I am today, and I have been given the ability to become a modern-day pioneer even while living abroad.” ì JD Krebs is national communications associate for the Jewish National Fund-USA. To honor the pet in your life, visit jnf.org/petcert.
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SENIOR LIVING Lessons from Pandemic Reshaping Senior Living By Bob Bahr Senior living communities, among the most at-risk segment of Atlanta’s population during the COVID-19 pandemic have begun to rebound and even rebuild as the threat of infection recedes, according to local industry observers. The nonprofit Jewish HomeLife’s network of communities, which offers a full range of options from independent and assisted living to geriatric nursing and rehabilitative care, has seen new interest in their services in the past two months, according to chief operating officer Jeffrey Gopen. He said families are starting to express renewed confidence in communal living. “We were able to take many people that were on our long-term waiting list that had waited years because a waiting list was years long at that time. They were able to finally find an opportunity to move into the building.” As a result of the new interest, Gopen points out that occupancy rates in all of JHL’s facilities have started to climb again. “The skilled nursing home in the last four to eight weeks has begun to seriously rebound as far as new residents. The William Breman Jewish Home, which has 96 new beds, and where our census was down in percent of occupancy into the mid-60s during COVID and in the last two months has rebounded into the mid-80s with a significant increase in demand for short-stay rehab.” The same is true in the commercial sector of the market, which took a hit when families started moving the elderly back to care at home. Nonetheless, the demand for senior services and housing is on a long-term growth curve. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day and the number of seniors, according to
44 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Jeffrey Gopen, COO of Jewish HomeLife, was able to accommodate a long waiting list for space in his communities.
Scott Goldberg of Atlas Senior Living, which acquired three properties in Atlanta during the height of the pandemic.
CORSO Atlanta, a Village Park Senior Living property located at 3200 Howell Mill Road.
the census, is estimated to reach almost 95 million in the next 40 years. Those kinds of numbers have influenced Atlas Senior Living, which has an estimated $500 million invested in seven senior living communities in Atlanta and another 22 in other states. Atlas CEO and president Scott Goldberg said he believes that the company’s recent
success, as both a real estate investor and an operator of senior living communities, boils down to the reputation that it acquired during the early days of the pandemic. It was one of the first senior living communities in the country to offer rapid COVID testing, in house. Through a partnership with Assurance Scientific Laboratories, Atlas was able to perform testing for residents and employees quickly and with little risk. Moreover,
they were able to rapidly accommodate new residents that tested negative for the virus. Goldberg said he believes that the recent uptick in business can also be attributed to what he described as the “pent-up” demand for senior living options. “We operate a business model that operates on the principle that people need us. But for eight to 10 months through the heart of the pandemic, people weren’t moving into assisted living or memory care communities. Within the past few months, we’re the recipient of all this pent-up demand because people do need us. We’re very, very pleased that we’re starting to see that again.” In fact, Atlas was so confident in the long-term viability of its industry that in August 2020, with little good news about how the pandemic was affecting seniors, the company doubled down on its investment in Atlanta. It acquired three facilities in highly desirable locations in Buckhead, Marietta and Alpharetta and rebranded them as Legacy Ridge properties. According to Goldberg, that investment, too, is starting to pay off. “We knew it would be slow when we took over the occupancy. But all three of those communities were extremely low [occupancy rates.] And we have nothing but positive things to say about all three of those communities. And we’ve been able to significantly increase census each month. It constantly trends the right way and we’re pleased with that.” Later this month the company, which has grown rapidly in its eight-year history, is adding yet another property, its 30th, in St. Petersburg, Fla. As the rebounding marketplace continues this trend, the need for capable staffing increases in senior living communities. That, and the adjustments that the industry was already making to accommodate longer
SENIOR LIVING “The supply shortage for workers in senior living communities has worsened. The demand is as robust as ever. So it has put a lot of financial strain on companies that depend on the skilled nursing world. That comes in many, many forms; that comes in forms of sign-on The importance of socialization is reflected in the design of Corso Atlanta, which opens in the fall. bonuses; that comes in forms of increased regular pay referral bonuses using recruiters. It costs money to find good people. And we will never go back to normal as far as the need for increased protective equipment, sanitation supplies and the cost of that," said Gopen. Jewish HomeLife has begun to see life return to That hasn’t stopped more normal life after isolation during COVID. new investment in an Atlanta market that is relife and changing demands for new levels of portedly among the most competitive in the care, has increased business pressures. country. On a 9-acre site on Howell Mill Road For senior care executives such as Goin Buckhead, a new senior community is takpen, recently named Professional of the Year ing shape next door to JHL’s Jewish Home. by the Association of Jewish Aging Services, it The development, Corso Atlanta, has has meant more operating headaches in the cottages, bungalows and apartment homes post-COVID world.
that are strongly influenced by what is described as Parisian-inspired design. They have a French chef as a food consultant. It’s being marketed as an assisted and independent living community for the wealthy. Monthly charges begin at about $7,000, plus add-ons for additional This property in Buckhead was part of the Atlas services. Two of the pentSenior Living expansion in Atlanta. house apartments of about tion is just as important to someone’s health 1,600 square feet have alas their medication or the service levels that ready been leased for $15,000 a month. Among the new features of the commu- they may be receiving. That was a huge comnity is a state-of-the-art electronic medical ponent to keeping people healthy during COmonitoring system that is being built into VID, of keeping people engaged.” That realization, shaped by the comthe facility. It will allow families and health care providers to have real-time access to the pany’s experience over the past 1 ½ years, is changing needs of residents, including those what Gary said helped to influence the Corso project and to shape his company’s future. in a memory care community. “What we learned from the COVID exThe Corso project is scheduled to open later this year, which partially reflects the perience is that it takes good outdoor spaces; experience that developer Galerie Living has it takes good common spaces; and it takes the learned in its three existing Atlanta commu- integration of all those spaces together. You can’t just connect one space to the other with nities during the pandemic. Founder and CEO Tim Gary shares the a hallway. So our socialization model is quite key to successful senior living during COVID a new concept. This is the first of its kind in and after, “What we realized is that socializa- the country.” ì
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’m totally overwhelmed – I had no idea.” “This is so hard, no one talks about this until you’re in the middle of it.” “I’m just so sad – I hate seeing her like this.” “I’ve got my kids, now I’ve got my parents.” “She can’t drive anymore.” “I had to take his keys.” One of the most common calls the aging services experts at AgeWell Atlanta receive is from an adult tasked with the tremendous responsibility of caring for his or her aging parent. Doctors’ appointments. Transportation. Groceries. Socialization. Isolation. The new role in which adult children find themselves is beyond challenging. And, the emotional toll often gets put to the side. AgeWell Atlanta was created with a mission to enable older adults in the Jewish community to “Age Well” through improved independence, quality of life, and social connection. Through its centralized concierge platform, AgeWell Atlanta makes the process easier, less stressful, and most importantly, a happier, healthier, better life for those we love. With one call, individuals will be connected to a centralized concierge who will work to determine the best track for each family’s individual needs: care, housing, transportation, medical services, social programs, and customized plans to support
older adults and caregivers to provide maximum wellness – wherever they reside. “Atlanta is home to one of the fastest growing senior communities in the country. Most older adults prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, which increases the need for a coordinated system of care,” says Jennifer Curry, AgeWell Atlanta’s Information and Referral Manager/Concierge. AgeWell Atlanta is a collaborative partnership of four Atlanta Jewish agencies, each providing expert advice, guidance, and a unique depth of experience and offerings: geriatric care management and caregiver support groups at Aviv Older Adult Services of Jewish Family & Career Services; recreational and enriching programs for active, mature adults at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta; and residential communities and at-home care services at Jewish HomeLife. All of the partner agencies are designed to relieve some of the burden as well as offer caregivers a welcomed break. Funding is provided by Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta along with other generous gifts from the community. “The options for older adults can be overwhelming and confusing for caregivers,” states Curry. “This collaborative partnership provides a breadth of offerings to serve older adults all along the care
continuum.” It is important to remember, these are not simply “older adults,” or “seniors.” They’re mothers and fathers. Grandparents and dear friends. AgeWell Atlanta is here to help everyone navigate this new life cycle. For more information, please contact AgeWell Atlanta at 1-866-AGEWELL (1866-243-9355) which provides callers with free, detailed recommendations and a warm handoff to resources provided by the agency partners and other trusted organizations, based on the unique needs of each caller. For additional information and to learn more about upcoming social programs, visit agewellatl.org. AgeWell Atlanta partner agencies include: Aviv Older Adult Services of Jewish Family & Career Services helps aging individuals and their families navigate life transitions and changing circumstances. Whether you’re an older adult, spouse, or caregiver, our experienced and compassionate team will support you on your journey with resources and guidance. Jewish HomeLife’s network of residential communities and at-home care services support every stage of the aging journey,
from long term care, independent and assisted living to rehab, clinic, home care and hospice. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta offers opportunities for active, mature adults to live rich and full lives through a vast array of recreational and social activities, personal enrichment classes, health and fitness programs, Jewish learning classes, and more. Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta creates a thriving, caring and connected Jewish Atlanta where every Jew and their loved ones can access warm Jewish community, timeless Jewish wisdom, global Jewish peoplehood and Jewish ways to do good in the world. ■
1-866-AGEWELL (1-866-243-9355) | agewellatl.org Paid for by AgeWell Atlanta
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 45
Do You Need to Review Your Will? By Chana Shapiro In the biblical story about the patriarch Isaac’s two sons, the eldest Esau “sold” his property birthright to his younger brother Jacob in exchange for a pot of lentil stew. Later, Isaac mistakenly bestows his primary blessing on the younger son Jacob. Esau challenges his father, but Isaac can only give him a different blessing. No documents changed hands, yet these ancient rituals were binding, and they resulted in serious consequences further described in the Torah. In a world without lawyers, one’s word was binding. Attorneys Ira Leff, Barbara Katz and Ivan Millender agree about the inherent dangers of wills that have not been drafted by qualified lawyers. If challenged, spoken and handwritten promises made by persons of sound mind will not hold up. “People writing a will should not rely on a form from the internet or copied from another will,” recommends Millender, an estate attorney. “Use a lawyer who is proficient in writing wills, preferably one who knows the family structure, relationship issues and the assets involved. This includes insurance policies and future interests.” Katz, who often deals with wills, trusts and estate planning, says a will is crucial if a person owns property or has children. “The main points in a will are who will receive the estate (the beneficiaries) and who will administer the estate (the executor). It is necessary to name a successor executor, in case the primary executor is unable to serve. When making inheritance decisions, Katz suggests the option of a living trust, which can offer greater control than a will over who will benefit from your possessions. A trust is a legal arrangement in which your assets can be used by you during your life. You are your own trustee, and you can amend your trust as long as you’re alive. In your trust document, you name your successor trustee, who is responsible for distributing your assets to your beneficiaries after you die. “A trust eliminates probate, which is long and expensive. In addition to incurring attorney fees, the probate process can take an average of 18 months, delaying inheritance distribution.” Elder law attorney Leff assists families with incapacity planning in which the person making the will may be unable to monitor it personally. Leff oversees assigning powers of attorney and creating an Advance Health Care Di46 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Ivan Millender advises careful storage of a will.
Barbara Katz suggests the option of creating a trust.
Ira Leff mentions including an in terrorem clause in a will.
rective, as well as naming primary and successor executors. He stresses being meticulous with the complete names of each beneficiary, because when making
specific gifts to people or organizations, names can change over time. Leff also advises his clients to make a plan for the disposal of assets if the primary beneficiary (for example, a spouse) dies before you. There should be instructions of how to treat any prior gifts, loans and charitable bequests made while you are living. Katz mentions that the Georgia state-mandated advance directive for health care can include organ donation, autopsy concerns, and the decision of cremation or burial. In the case of a desire to be buried in Israel, Katz suggests a statement in the directive: “I direct my heir to use funds from my estate to send my body to Israel for burial.” She clarifies, “This kind of declaration is a stated desire in one’s will, but it may not be fol-
An ethical will by 12th century physicianscholar Moses Maimonides offers guidance about fear of G-d and gratitude for life.
Moses Maimonides is known for his teachings such as this one about charity.
lowed. In the advance directive, it is binding; it is secured.” Leff and Millender agree that a will should be reviewed at least every five years. In Georgia, you can write a will once you reach the age of 14. “While it is not necessary for most people to prepare a will that early,” Leff said, “it is critical to create a will once you have children.” Katz explained, “There are two reasons for a will review. First, you may want to modify something in your will. For example, you may want to change the person who inherits your menorah, or both of the people appointed as executor have died and you need someone new. Second, a change is necessary if the person making the will has gotten married or had a child after signing their first will and the will did not mention this possibility.” The attorneys agree that there is no
such thing as an ironclad or unbreakable will. “Anyone can challenge a will,” Katz said. “They may not be successful, but they will have embroiled the estate in needless litigation, perhaps for years. Eventually, there may be an adjustment or compromise.” Leff added, “The typical bases for contesting a will are undue influence – pressure can take the form of deception, harassment, threats, or isolation – incompetency or fraud. Many wills contain an in terrorem clause, which discourages challenges. For example, if a mother leaves 40 percent of her estate to each of two daughters and 20 percent to her son, he has an incentive to challenge the will and might say that his mother was suffering from dementia when she signed the document. The in terrorem clause would say that the son loses his 20 percent share if he challenges the will and then loses the challenge, leaving him
SENIOR LIVING with nothing.” The three attorneys mention situations the will’s executor must handle,
to a minor; at what age should children receive inheritances; how should money be spent for children’s care and welfare; and lifetime gifts to children. In the case of a trust, he stresses appointing a reliable trustee. When it comes to afterdeath decisions, such as where to bury the deceased, Millender said, “None of our health care decisions or burial/ The biblical story of Esau, right, verbally selling his birthright to brother Jacob. cremation decisions is affected such as when a substantial sum of mon- by our will. Our specified health care ey is left to a young person who may not agent in the advance health care direchave the maturity to handle the legacy tive, usually our next of kin, has comwisely. Leff suggested, “It may not make plete discretion over the disposition sense to leave assets to a disabled spouse, of the bodily remains. Funeral wishes since doing so will affect his or her abil- should be written out and arranged in ity to qualify for Medicaid assistance.” the advance health care directive, which Millender addressed situations in goes into effect immediately upon death. a will that cover minors. These include: The will is most often opened and read who is the guardian of minors; who is after the funeral. With Jews, this can be to be conservator of assets belonging more than a week after burial, following
shivah.” Leff offered, “If you instruct your health care agent to bury you in Israel, and he or she refuses to do so, other family members can use the advance health care directive and go to court to have the agent removed. Before finalizing your directive, clarify your wishes with your health care agent, and name a reliable successor. If you are unsure that the agents will honor your wishes, remove the decision from them and clearly state your wishes in the directive itself.” Millender added, “A will should be kept in a safe deposit box. Someone, perhaps the executor, should have a key so that the box can be opened without going to court to get an order. This can avoid family trouble about the terms of the will or the unfortunate destruction of the will." While we cannot rule from the grave, one way to affect future generations is by creating an ethical will. For thousands of years Jews have recorded their advice, expectations and hopes by imparting their values in writing. In the 1926 volume “Hebrew Ethical Wills,” compiler Israel Abrams includes heartfelt letters written by Jewish sages to their children. An example of such a
letter is from the late-12th century scholar and physician Moses Maimonides. His “Gate of Instruction” begins with guidance about fear of G-d and gratitude for life. It continues with moral instruction, including these passages: “Reject death and evil; choose life and good, for free choice is given to you. The perfection of the body, good health, is an antecedent to the perfection of the soul. Conduct yourselves with gravity and decency. Be in the company of the great and learned, but behave modestly in their presence. Stand by your words, let not a legal contract be more binding than your verbal promise. Have pity for the poor and sorrow-stricken. Eat to live and ban excess. Honor your wives.” Attorney Leff wrote an ethical will many years ago when his children were small. “In it I explained that living an observant lifestyle was very important to me, and it was my hope that the kids would be educated at Orthodox schools and encouraged to live a committed life. I have never written one for a client because it is a very personal document, not a legal document.” Leff, Katz and Millender all consider an ethical will to be an enduring link to future generations, beyond a physical legacy. ì
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Mario’s 100th Musical Birthday By Marcia Caller Jaffe Buckhead resident Mario Foah turned 100 in March followed by the extraordinary experience of having his talented son and daughter-in-law arrange a commissioned musical composition in his honor in mid June. Many moving parts came together to arrive at “Un Pasto con Luciana e Mario” (“A Meal with Luciana and Mario”) inspired by the Italian love of food in three movements: Primo, Secondo e Dolce (First course, main and dessert). Mario grew up in Naples, exposed to music starting at age 6 when his mother Luciana sang “La Boheme” and “Madame Butterfly” operas around the house. Music continued to surround the family as Mario’s uncle Enrico Leide, a cellist and the first conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1920 to 1930. Mario’s Sephardic maternal grandfather Lazzaro Leide was the head rabbi of Naples, circa 1906, and he traveled around Sicily, Senigallia, and southern Italy performing Jewish ceremonies. Mario said, “I myself do not play an instrument, but I am musically educated. I found the birthday concert moving and was pleased to have this honor late in life but had to reach to 100 get it!” Three years ago Robert and Honora Foah commissioned Maestro Lucas Richman to write a piece in honor of Mario and his late wife Luciano, Robert’s mother. It is a double concerto for violin and cello soloists, plus orchestra. Robert stated, “COVID put a damper on all activities, but three years ago Honora and I went to Italy for three weeks to introduce Lucas to the two families – mom’s side and dad’s side. Mom from Rome, dad from Naples.
48 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Musicians performing the commissioned piece are: Kenn Wagner, violin; Daniel Schene, piano; and David Schepps, cello.
Mario Foah poses in Atlanta with Maestro Lucas Richman who went to Italy to visit the families for inspiration.
“Lucas is a world-renowned conductor and composer and studied with Leonard Bernstein for 12 years. He is also my dear friend and mentor.” Grammy Award winning (and Jewish), Richman is now conductor of the Bangor (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, has performed in Jerusalem, served for many years as conductor of the Knoxville (Tenn.) Symphony Orchestra, and created several well-known movie musical scores. Lucas, after visiting the Foah family abroad, decided that since the Italian culture revolves around the kitchen table, he
entitled the piece after meal courses. Since they could not yet gather an orchestra because of COVID, he wrote a piano reduction of the orchestral score that can be played as a trio for violin, cello and piano. The orchestra version should premiere next year. Robert elaborated, “Lucas was eager for Mario to hear the piece, especially as we are all coming out of quarantine. Honora and I organized a gathering at our house. The first two days were rehearsals; the third day was a private performance for eight people plus dad, and the fourth day was a recording session.” Mario said, “I so much enjoyed the event and was honored to have meaningful old friends like Yoel Levi, former ASO director, and Dr. Benedict Benigno, world renown physician, present.” Honora Foah is a multimedia artist. She is currently developing a cycle of seven Frequency Operas entitled Recombinant DNA, which explore different frequency spectra through two lenses – science and myth. Dahlan Robert Foah is the president of Visioneering International, Inc. He has combined his talents in music and the visual arts emerging technologies to become one of the founding members of the audiovisual/multimedia industry. As a principal audiovisual consultant to the United Nations, Foah brought a powerful artistic sensibility combined with financial management skills to exhibitions, visitors’ centers and World’s Fair pavilions as well as productions and installations for corporate clients. He began his working partnership with Honora in 1989. In terms of secrets to longevity, Mario is happy to share wisdom. He came from a family of five sons. Now the four (ages 88, 90 and 93) remaining brothers talk every day from Rome, Naples, Milan and Atlanta.
Honora and Robert Foah pulled together the entire project, culminating in the home concert.
Robert Foah dedicated the concert to his parents Mario and Luciana enjoying life in Naples.
Mario ran an Italian food import business on which he still keeps a pulse, but recently turned over operations to his younger son. Mario shared his secrets to aging well. “I take very few medications, mostly a few vitamins. I never snack. I eat three meals a day in small portions. Of course, we have longevity genes, but my diet is low in meat, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and pasta. I have a little wine when company is over. I only enjoy red wine from Italy and never drink by myself!” ì
Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Approved By Bob Bahr For the first time in its history, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for Alzheimer’s that it describes as a disease-modifying therapy. In clinical trials at Emory University and elsewhere around the country the medication has been shown to slow the progression of the disease and not just treat its symptoms. The new drug, called Aduhelm by its manufactures Biogen and Eisai, is also known as Aducanumab. Approval of the new drug is the first action since 2003 to officially release a new treatment for the devastating disease.But tests have shown that it can cause swelling or hemorrhaging in the brain and, because of that, use of the drug must be accompanied by MRI scans. Dr. Allan Levey directs the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which took part in the clinical trials for Aduhelm. He is concerned that the medication might be harmful. “I am most concerned that we need to be very judicious about how the medication is prescribed. There is a significant chance of it doing harm. And if it’s not used really safely and consciously, it’s going to do harm. And so that, to me, is the biggest issue.” According to Levey, a professor of neurology and head of that Emory Medical School department, the drug has been shown to work only in those patients who are at a very specific stage in the progression of the disease. “There is no evidence at all that it will work in people that have moderate or advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This is clearly only in a very narrow window where people have symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and where experts can do this extra testing that is necessary.” Members of Congress are also concerned about how the drug was approved by the federal agency. On June 30, Congress announced that two congressional committees will hold hearings on the FDA’s action, which has sharply divided Alzheimer researchers in the medical community. The FDA approval of the drug June 7 occurred despite the objections of many knowledgeable experts and the government agency’s own independent scientific review panel. However, notwithstanding the controversy, patient advocacy groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association, led by its CEO Harry Johns, welcomed the news of the treatment. “This is the first FDA-approved drug that delays declines due to Alzheimer’s disease. This means individuals may have more time to actively participate in daily life, have sustained independence and hold on to memories longer.” The new medication targets what are called amyloids, tangles of protein plaques that develop in the brain of those with the disease, according to a press release about the FDA drug approval. “The clinical trials for Aduhelm were the first to show that a reduction in these plaques – a hallmark finding in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s – is expected to lead to a reduction in the clinical decline of this devastating form of dementia,” the press release stated. FDA labeling was especially broad, until amended on July 8 with new restrictions that could limit its use. The label previously said only that it is “for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease” and gave no warning of “contraindications” or
A year’s supply of Aduhelm, the new Alzheimer’s drug, costs $56,000.
Dr. Allan Levey heads Emory University’s Alzheimer’s research program.
conditions that might not warrant the use of the drug. Even more controversial is the cost of the drug, which was set by the manufacturers at $4,312 for each individual infusion or about $56,000 for a year’s supply. Pricing of the drug also is expected to be investigated by Congress. Estimates by the Kaiser Family Foundation show that even if the new drug was given to only those in the early stages of the disease, the cost to Medicare, which pays for most Alzheimer medications, could come to $29 billion. That is almost 80 percent of what Medicare spent in 2019 for all drugs prescribed by a doctor, KFF reported. According to Levey that means whoever gets the new drug and whoever doesn’t may be a decision made not just by doctors but by insurers, the final payers. “I think payers are going to be obviously playing a
Because of the dangers in taking the drug Aduhelm, periodic brain scans are required.
critical role in determining what the actual practical use is. Payers are going to, hopefully, put some limits on those who they will pay to get the medication.” Still, Levey sees the development of the new drug – as controversial as it is – as an indication that government spending is beginning to encourage new approaches to treating the disease. He points to the passage 10 years ago of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act that has led to what he described as great progress in developing many promising new therapies. “There’s been tremendous growth in the Alzheimer’s research enterprise in this country from less than $5 million to over $3 billion a year. This is only the beginning of what’s going to be really far more effective medications than this one.” ì
ART AJFF Film Examines Gay Parenting in Israel By Bob Bahr “Double Income, Kids,” a documentary about gay parenting in Israel was the virtual screening selection of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in June, during the last days of Gay Pride Month. It was co-sponsored by SOJOURN (Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity), and Out On Film, the LGBT film festival here. The feature-length documentary, which was originally produced as a student film by a German filmmaker living in Israel, follows a gay male couple who have decided to become parents of twins. The filmmaker, Hendrik Schafer, who has lived in Tel Aviv for the last seven years, said in comments prepared for the original release of the film in 2019 that he was struck by what he described as “the deep longing” of many gay men to become fathers in Israel. Schafer found that attitude to be at odds with the assumption he developed as a gay man in Germany that he would be childless his entire life. “In Tel Aviv I was confronted by a very different assumption. Over and over again, I heard gay men clearly expressing their desire to become fathers at some point in their lives. It seemed being gay was not to the exclusion of beginning a family unit, to the contrary.” The film follows a gay couple living in Tel Aviv as they plan for the birth of two children by a surrogate mother in Portland, Oregon, 7,000 miles away from the Israeli city. The
“Double Income, Kids” is partially about the personal issues that occur when family members in Israel are gay.
pregnancy, with all its legal and medical issues, has been handled by an international surrogacy agency, so the film is largely a sympathetic examination of the personal issues involved with gay parenting. It generally avoids the considerable controversy in 2016 and 2017 within Israel, while the film was being made, over surrogacy for same-sex couples. The issue came to a head in 2018 when Israel’s parliament, with the determined support of ultra-Orthodox political parties, denied access to surrogacy to same-sex couples and single men, while at the same time supporting it for single women and heterosexual couples. "Double Income, Kids” was the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s offering for Gay Pride Month.
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The film looks at how the two gay male parents confront the challenges of a twin birth.
The decision by members of the Israel parliament came despite the fact that the country gives broad legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gays are allowed to serve in the military. Out Magazine describes Tel Aviv as “the gay capital of the Middle East,” and an American Airlines survey called it among the world’s top gay travel destinations. Since “Double Income, Kids” premiered in 2019, the Israel Supreme Court has decided in a unanimous opinion that the law banning same-sex surrogacy is discriminatory. In February of 2020, the court ruled that gays and lesbians and single men should have access to surrogacy services that are provided by the government. It gave the government a year to right that wrong. On July 11, the high court again ruled that banning surrogacy for same sex couples and single men was unconstitutional and gave the legislators another six months to change the law. A large number of gay men and others who want children have relied on international surrogacy agencies to work out the complex medical and legal process of finding a female surrogate and an egg donor and seeing the pregnancy through to a successful conclusion. The fee that is mentioned in the film for these services is 600,000 Israeli shekels or about $185,000, a considerable sum in a country where recent estimates of the average yearly income is about $36,000. The high price of the arrangements was cited in an article in the leading Israel newspaper Haaretz that gay male couples often opt for surrogate twin births, to avoid the cost of going through the considerable cost of another pregnancy. How the two men come up with the money and, in fact, many other personal details of their everyday lives, remain unexamined in the film. But “Double Income, Kids” is less concerned with looking at the complex political and societal issues of gay parenting than how the process works out in the lives of the two men in the film and their respective families. For Schafer, the director, who spent over 1 ½ years making the film, the long process of seeing how the two men choose to become fathers presented him with a different way of confronting his own life as a gay man. “At first I wondered if this stance was a denial of homosexuality as “biological destiny” and an attempt to alleviate pressure and to find acceptance among their families. And yet this confrontation has left me wondering if perhaps there is a different answer, perhaps the longing for fatherhood is a very human one, which I have simply repressed.” ì “Double Income, Kids” is available dekkoo.com
DINING A Chef and His Eponymous Dog Open Little Bear By Marcia Caller Jaffe Older Atlantans will remember the Jewish enclave around the old Braves Stadium and Capitol Avenue before the flight to the suburbs in the 1950s. Fast forward to 70 years later, a graduate of The Westminster School Jarrett Stieber opening an off-beat Jewishaccented restaurant serving Szechuan food. “We opened Little Bear in February 2020, weeks before the COVID shutdown. We have playful, relevant food. Fine dining without the pomp, pretense or price point. All of the fresh produce is sourced from local farms, and that drives everything,” Stieber said. “Currently we’re mixing together Jewish and Chinese food, but the goal is to make a creative dynamic menu in an approachable setting.” Little Bear is named after Stieber’s dog, Fernando, who is a big fluffy Great Pyrenees, whom many compare to a small bear. This Summerhill neighborhood has rows of charming multi-leveled wood-sided homes painted in light blues and whites just blocks off the central business district where Little Bear is located. Stieber recalled, “I picked Summerhill because I wanted to take a calculated risk on a less oversaturated part of town with a younger, adventurous clientele base nearby. The old, gorgeous buildings full of character were a major selling point, instead of a boring new development.” Summerhill neighbor and Airbnb entrepreneur Andy Bibliowicz reported that Summerhill has transitioned into “what it was meant to be, back in the days of Turner Field and the Olympics, bringing good food, drink and positive communal spaces to the neighborhood. With restaurants like Little Bear defining what an amazing food experience the neighborhood has (what feels like overnight) changed into a fun meeting place.” Stieber grew up in Atlanta. His paternal grandparents were “foodie types,” but he wasn’t inspired to cook until he watched Emeril Lagasse on TV. At 15, he started working in restaurants and never looked back. He went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu, but credits 99 percent of what he’s learned from working in the industry. “I enjoyed fine dining around Atlanta like Pura Vida back in the day, Holeman and Finch before there was even an off-menu burger, Abattoir, Empire State South under Ryan Smith (the world renown Staplehouse). Little Bear is inspired by my favorite restaurants in food cities like Montreal, San Francisco, D.C., Chicago – small corner lot type of restaurants, limited seating and a tiny staff. Casual but technical, comfortable but sophisticated. Before Little Bear, I ran a pop-up Eat Me Speak Me.”
Jarrett Stieber loved watching cooking shows. His goal with Little Bear is playful relevant food.
Caesar gefilte is not exactly as the name implies but uses dry scallion seasoning to add the zip.
Favorite dish: Ripe heirloom tomatoes are dressed with olives, basil vinegar, and yibin yacai sauce.
Stieber’s dog Fernando is the eponymous restaurant name as he is often compared to a small bear.
based on seasonality. Their fried rice is super popular. Here are some other eclectic menu choices based on the night we dined: Gefilte Caesar: head lettuce, dried scallion seasoning, cured egg yolk, benne, egg noodle croutons. Mala Matzo Carrots in dan dan sauce Root vegetables - Stieber Balls: shaved root was sanctioned with dill and changes the menu depending on vegetables, buttzimmes, umami powder. what’s seasonally enticing. termilk, chervil, Although the food is not kosher, Stieber mustard greens, aromatic spicy broth. experimented with a Passover seder plate Carrots in dan dan sauce: pecans, dill, special. He recalled, “It was mostly non-Jews tzimmes, umami powder. ordering it, but we had a few Jewish guests Heirloom tomatoes with rye bread: who said they enjoyed it as a ‘fun riff’ on gremola, yibin yaci sauce, basil vinegar, nostalgic food. $32 for the large meat version d’avignon radish, olives. (half of an entire flank steak) and $25 for the Xinjiang fried chicken is prepared with large vegetation version (roasted carrots). Manischewitz wine. Both came with matzo balls and suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut), horseradish chili crisp, From the bar, cocktails such as limon‘strange flavor’ pecan charoset, soft boiled cello highballs, seven wine choices, six beers pastrami egg, brined green garlic / scallion and ales. and bitter herbs.” Eating at Little Bear is certainly an exHe further extols his secret to a great perience like no other, but don’t go expecting matzo ball. “Actually season the damn thing! traditional Jewish dishes, despite the names Most just don’t put enough salt! We use gar- on the menu. ì lic/ginger paste, lots of Chinese 5 Spice and quality local eggs. I like a texture in the midLittle Bear, located at 71 Georgia Avenue, dle like a fluffy cannon ball.” seats 30 and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Little Bear’s menu changes frequently, Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 51
CALENDAR WEDNESDAY, JULY 14 Talmud Class with Dr. Sam Kessler – 5 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue for a Talmud class led by Dr. Samuel Kessler as he leads a journey through the spiritual mind and rabbinic process that gave us the Jewish lives we have today. No prior Talmudic learning is necessary! Visit https://bit. ly/3jaKcum to register.
JULY 14 - JULY 28 grammar and a well-rounded basic vocabulary. Students set the pace of the program, and we will proceed as fast or as slow as the majority of the class requests. We might take two years to complete … maybe more … perhaps less! For Zoom link, visit https://bit. ly/3xJqCty.
#EndJewishHatred – 6 p.m. Join Chery Dorchinsky, Elliot Friedland and Alicia Post on Clubhouse to discuss such issues as advocacy, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. This is a place to learn strategies and more. Visit https://bit. ly/3fmEpyw to get link.
munity during Drawing from the Well, SOJOURN’s inclusive weekly meetup for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies. Participants gather in community to discuss and connect around resources from Torah Queeries, Mussar teachings, holidays and happenings in the world. For Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/34YpvJS.
SATURDAY, JULY 17 Tisha B’Av Program – 8:30 p.m. Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and other tragedies that befell the Jewish people. We will read The Book of Lamentations: Megillat Eicha and learn from our clergy. Sponsored by Congregation Etz Chaim and Congregation Beth Tikvah. RSVP at https://bit.ly/36cu2JD.
Book group: “Odessa, Odessa” – 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Join the Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood book group for a discussion of our July selection, “Odessa, Odessa,” by Barbara Artson, the story of two brothers who leave Odessa to escape persecution, one going to America and the other to Israel. Our meeting will take place on Zoom. If you are not a member of CBS Sisterhood and need the Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/3A9ctHN. Biblical Hebrew Class – 7:30 to 9 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue every Wednesday for Biblical Hebrew Class led by Hebrew instructor Jim Dricker. In this class, we will cover all aspects of
The Art of Love – 8 to 9:30 p.m. Rekindling the spark with insights into family relationships with Sarah Karmely and the Chabad of North Fulton. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/3AwbPEJ.
THURSDAY, JULY 15 Significant Others of Addicts Support Group – 1 to 2 p.m. Join counselor Sally Anderson and Jewish Family & Career Services for a weekly free support group for spouses, partners and/or significant others of those struggling with addiction. This group is intended to help those in an intimate relationship with a person who has or had an issue with alcohol or other substances. Register at https://bit.ly/3t53zr5.
Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:
Resurrection of the Dead – 8 p.m. A new three-part online series on radical eternal life drawn from classic and spiritual Jewish wisdom. Death, by all accounts, signals the end of the life of the body—life as we know it. But is it possible for the body to live again? Will those who have passed rise from the dust and rejoin the living? Join Intown Jewish Academy for a powerful exploration of the resurrection of the dead in Jewish thought. Visit https://bit. ly/3qyThiE to register. Think Different – 8 to 9 p.m. Study the single most transformative Jewish spiritual text written in the last three centuries with master Tanya teacher Rabbi Ari Sollish and Chabad Intown. Register at https://bit.ly/2MGGxq1.
FIDF Live – 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Moving stories, exclusive base visits, donor spotlights. Bringing the men and women of the IDF directly to you. Get more information at https://bit.ly/2QP5xhn.
FRIDAY, JULY 16 Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. In order to be considered for the print edition, please submit events three to four weeks in advance. Contact community relations director Diana Cole for more information at Diana@atljewishtimes.com. 52 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well – 12 to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the magic of inclusive com-
Tisha B’Av Observance – 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. Join Congregation Or VeShalom for Havdalah and Aicha services for Tisha B’Av service. For Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/3AzT7ff.
SUNDAY, JULY 18 Tisha B’Av Observance – 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Shacharit and Tisha B’Av services with speaker Manuela Bornstein and Congregation Or VeShalom. Register at https://bit.ly/3wslXei. Kabbalah & Coffee – 9:30 to 11 a.m. Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching and learn how to apply these profound teachings to your daily life. This ongoing class from Intown Jewish Academy probes the esoteric through a unique program of English text-based study. No prior Kabbalistic experience required. Remember: The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup and Kabbalah in your “kop” (head in Yiddish)! For more information, https://bit.ly/3kN0vMO.
MONDAY, JULY 19 Talking Heads – 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Talking Heads is a lively group discussion from the MJCCA of current topics, including, but not limited to, issues in the news, politics and social trends. The group is moderated by volunteer Ed Feldstein, but group members rotate as the leader, who picks the topic and discussion questions. All are encouraged to participate and give their
thoughts and opinions on the topic of the day. Visit https://bit.ly/3AaiLH8 to register.
CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Devarim Friday, July 16, 2021, light candles at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, Shabbat ends at time 9:30 p.m. Va’etchanan Friday, July 23, 2021, light candles at time 8:26 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, Shabbat ends at time 9:25 p.m.
first Tuesday of the month on the topic, “Finding our Footing in Prayer;” Rabbi Neil Sandler will teach on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month on the topic, “Current Events in the Jewish World;” and Rabbi Sam Blustin will teach on the third Tuesday of the month on the topic, “Mussar of the Month: Living Well.” For Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/2TOx0kp.
Young Adults Happy Hour – 7:30 to 9 p.m. Join Congregation Etz Chaim for happy hour at Pontoon Brewing, 8601 Dunwoody Place, Building 500, Sandy Springs, 30350. Cool off with a nice cold beer and enjoy spending time together in person. Visit https://bit.ly/3w2aVfy for more information.
A Life of Meaning – 12 to 1 p.m. A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path. Join Temple Beth Tikvah in welcoming Rabbi Oren Postrel, who will be teaching the class. RSVP at https://bit.ly/3x7mwe7.
A Cultural Journey into the Western Galilee – 9 p.m. Join Jewish National FundUSA’s Go North West and Arts & Entertainment task forces for a virtual tour of the Western Galilee. Led by Michal Shiloah Galnoor, we will meet local artists, small business owners, and experience the sights and sounds of this magnificent region. Learn about our Western Galilee Tourist Information Center in Akko, which is the gateway to the entire area and instrumental in fostering co-existence between Arabs and Jews. Visit https://bit.ly/3doGJVp for Zoom link.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
mAAc Meets – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s Mature Active Adult Community. Every Tuesday, one of our rabbis will begin the class with a one-hour discussion. The second hour of the class will be led by another member of the group. Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal will teach on the
FRIDAY, JULY 23 SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well – 12 to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the magic of inclusive community during Drawing from the Well, SOJOURN’s inclusive weekly meetup for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies. Participants gather in community to discuss and connect around resources from Torah Queeries, Mussar teachings, holidays and happenings in the world. For Zoom link, https://bit.ly/34YpvJS
SUNDAY, JULY 25
TUESDAY, JULY 20 Virtual Interview Workshop – 10 to 11 a.m. Join Jewish Family & Career Services for a virtual interviewing workshop. Learn how to better prepare for an interview, understand the different types of interviews, and what to do before, during and after the interview. In this workshop, we’ll be: Tackling difficult interview moments. Learning how to answer common interview questions. Covering the do’s and don’ts of salary negotiation. Developing a thank you note template. Visit https://bit. ly/3w5M4Ye to register.
air; celebrate with other young Jewish professionals all night long. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/3Awb7Hz.
Eating In & Eating Out: Our Relationship with Food – 4 to 5 p.m. Join American Friends of Rabin Medical Center with Robert Siegel (former senior host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” for 31 years) interviewing Mark Bittman (food author and journalist; special advisor, food policy, Columbia University), Ruth Reichl (six-time James Beard Award winner, former editorin-chief, Gourmet magazine), Mark Fachler and Monica Klausner (cofounders, Veestro). Register at https:// bit.ly/2TNMPbg.
Sisterhood Book Club – 8 p.m. Join the Congregation Or VeShalom Sisterhood Book Club on Zoom for a discussion of “Camp Girls” by Iris Krasnow. “Camp Girls” is a nostalgic, inspiring memoir with a universal message on the importance of long-term friendship. Krasner powerfully demonstrates that camp is more than a place or a collection of activities. Visit https://bit. ly/2UDsYM2 for Zoom link.
White Party – 8 p.m. Celebrate the end of summer and the Jewish holiday of love with Atlanta’s Young Jewish Professionals at YJP’s Annual White Party! Dress in your best white summer outfit; coupled or single, love is in the
Kabbalah & Coffee – 9:30 to 11 a.m. Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching and learn how to apply these profound teachings to your daily life. This ongoing class from Intown Jewish Academy probes the esoteric through a unique program of English text-based study. No prior Kabbalistic experience required. Remember: The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup and Kabbalah in your “kop” (head in Yiddish)! For more information, https:// bit.ly/3kN0vMO.
MONDAY, JULY 26 A Life of Meaning – 12 to 1 p.m. A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path. Join Temple Beth Tikvah in welcoming Rabbi Oren Postrel, who will be teaching the class. RSVP at https://bit.ly/3x7mwe7. Veteran Training – 12 to 1 p.m. Join the Jewish Fertility Foundation for a virtual fertility buddy veteran training. Visit https:// bit.ly/3quS4bO to register. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 53
TUESDAY, JULY 27
American Red Cross Blood Drive – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The American Red Cross and blood banks throughout the country have seen blood supplies significantly dwindle. Every 2 seconds someone needs blood and your donation can make sure that happens. Help support our community and assist in restocking our blood supply. Your donation of a single pint of blood can save up to three lives. Donate blood at Congregation B’nai Torah. Register at https://bit.ly/2SYONoO.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28 Talmud Class with Dr. Sam Kessler – 5 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue for a Talmud class led by Dr. Samuel Kessler as he leads a journey through the spiritual mind and rabbinic process that gave us the Jewish lives we have today. No prior Talmudic learning is necessary. Bring an open mind and a genuine interest in how our spiritual ancestors walked and thought through the world. Visit https://bit.ly/3jaKcum to register. JNF Reading Series: Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People – 7 to 8 p.m. Join Jewish National Fund-USA IsraelCast host Steven Shalowitz and author Ben Freeman for a live Q&A session about his book, “Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People.” Inspired by his experiences with LGBTQ+ pride, Freeman aims to educate, inspire and empower Jewish people to reject the shame of antiSemitism imposed on Jews by the nonJewish world, as well as non-Jewish perceptions of what it means to be a Jew. “Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People” empowers our nation to begin the pro54 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
cess of defining their own identities as proud Jews through Jewish experience, Jewish history and Jewish values. Register for the series by visiting https:// bit.ly/2ULGqOa.
JF&CS - Telehealth Counseling Services – Now offering telehealth options via phone or videoconference for current and new clients to help our community during this crisis. For more information about our therapy services or to make a telehealth appointment, email us at email@example.com or call 770-6779474. JF&CS - Telehealth Older Adult Services – Aviv Older Adult staff are there to help provide resources, care plans and support for you and your family. Call AgeWell at 1-866-AGEWELL (1-866-243-9355) to find out how they can help. For more information, www.bit.ly/2wo5qzj.
Community Services: Anti-Defamation League – The Coronavirus Surfaces Fear, Stereotypes and Scapegoating: A blog post from ADL to help provide accurate information, explore emotions and, most importantly, play a role in reducing stereotyping and scapegoating. To read more, www.bit.ly/3dp5a3t.
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Resources – The unsettling, fast-moving and unpredictable world of life with COVID-19 is upon us. As we’re all discovering, a worldwide pandemic disrupts everyone on an unprecedented scale. For updates and more information, www.bit.ly/3ahrNVM. Please send Community Service Opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JF&CS - Emergency Financial Assistance – JF&CS is here to provide emergency aid for individuals and families. Please call 770-677-9389 to get assistance. For more information, www.bit.ly/2wo5qzj.
Congregation Etz Chaim – Erev Shabbat Musical, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Shabbat morning services at 9:30 a.m. Join in for weekly livestream Shabbat services. To join, www.bit.ly/3gWL02s. Congregation Or Hadash – Shabbat services Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday morning services at 9:15 a.m. Minyan Sunday and Tuesday mornings. To participate and get Zoom link, www. or-hadash.org. Congregation Shearith Israel – Daily and Shabbat services will continue at regular times through Zoom. They are counting participants in these Zoom services as part of a minyan, allowing members to recite full prayer services including Mourner’s Kaddish. To participate via phone, dial 929-205-6099 and then enter the meeting code 404 873 1743. To be a part of services, visit the Zoom link, www.bit.ly/2wnFWlD. Temple Beth David — Kabbalat Shabbat services every Friday at 7:30 p.m. Shabbat morning service and Torah Study every Saturday at 11 a.m. on our YouTube channel, (https://www. youtube.com/channel/UC2GcbAI_ HdLRSG5hhpi_8Cw).
Atlanta Community Food Bank Text for Help SMS Function –The ACFB’s mission to provide nutritious food to the people who need it has reached a major milestone toward access to food for all. The Text for Help is ‘findfood’ (no space). Responses will include a list of three different nearby pantries and their contact information. For more information, www.acfb.org. Israeli American Council – IAC @ Home brings you the most innovative content online while helping build a national community with Israel at heart. With activities for kids, teens, young professionals and adults, you can stay connected to Hebrew, Israeli and Jewish heritage, online activism and to one another. IAC @Home lets you enjoy a coastto-coast community right from your own home. For more information, www.israeliamerican.org/home.
Congregation Beth Shalom’s Virtual Services – Erev Shabbat, Fridays at 6:30 p.m., Shabbat service, Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. Zoom minyan Sunday at 9:30 a.m. For more information, www. bethshalom.net.
Temple Beth Tikvah Livestreaming Services – Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays at 10 a.m. To join on Facebook, www. facebook.com/TempleBethTikvah/ or www.bit.ly/2ZlCvrr. Temple Kol Emeth Services – Shabbat services on Fridays at 8 p.m. View our services on www.kolemeth.net or www.facebook.com/Temple Kol Emeth-Marietta, GA.
Synagogue Livestreaming Services: Ahavath Achim Synagogue – Shabbat evening services at 6:30 p.m. Shabbat morning services at 9:30 a.m. To watch and for more information, www.bit. ly/38dS4Ed.
Temple Sinai Livestream Services – Temple Sinai has live Shabbat services on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. For more information and to view services, www.bit.ly/2BXRfTF. The Temple Livestreaming Services – Find live streaming services here, www.the-temple.org. Please send Synagogue and Temple Streaming Services to email@example.com. Check the Atlanta Jewish Connector for updates: www.atlantajewishconnector.com. ì
CONNECTOR CHATTER Directory Spotlight www.atlantajewishconnector.com
Breman Jewish Heritage Museum
In conversation with David Schendowich, director of marketing and communications.
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum has been in Atlanta for 25 years. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? We have museum programs, events and exhibitions that portray Jewish history, culture and the arts. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? A cultural center offering programs, events, exhibitions, and classes that highlight Jewish contributions to arts, culture and history to a diverse audience. How does your organization help the community? We offer Holocaust education, a comprehensive archive of Southern Jewish history, exhibitions and programs, genealogy, and serve as a social center and meeting space.
The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University Danielle Pitrone, communications coordinator.
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies was established in 1999 to bring together students and scholars to engage in the interdisciplinary exploration of Jewish civilization and culture. A generous founding endowment was provided by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which led to the naming of the Institute after Rabbi Donald A. Tam, rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell. Today, the Tam Institute is a leading center for research and teaching in Jewish studies, with strengths in areas such as Hebrew Bible and the Jewish textual tradition, modern Judaism, Jewish ethnography, medieval (especially Mediterranean) Jewish history, modern (especially American and Eastern European) Jewish history, Holocaust studies, Hebrew and Yiddish literatures, and Israel studies. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? TIJS offers an undergraduate major and minor that give students a strong foundation in the historical, religious, and cultural dimensions of the Jewish experience across the ancient, medieval and modern periods. The major also requires competency in a Jewish language such as Hebrew or Yiddish. In addition, Jewish studies faculty work in several departments with graduate students on the M.A. and Ph.D. level, and TIJS offers graduate fellowships a graduate certificate program, which allows these students to certify an expertise in the field of Jewish studies. TIJS offers both undergraduate and graduate students a wide range of grants that support travel and research, study abroad, intensive language study, and internships in Jewish studies. TIJS engages with the broader community through public events, most notably the Tenenbaum Family Lecture Series in Jewish Studies and the Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild Memorial Lecture, which bring distinguished visiting scholars to campus. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? Now in its 21st year, TIJS is experiencing an exciting period of growth with the addition of new faculty members in the areas of Jews in Islamic Civilizations; History, Society and Culture of Modern Israel; and Modern Jewish Religious Cultures. We anticipate adding one more faculty line in the coming year. How does your organization help the community? Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this academic year most of our course offerings were held online. Online courses are a hybrid of live and pre-recorded content to accommodate for different time zones, as we have students located all over the country and internationally. Additionally, we have moved our public programs online. In fall 2020, we held three public lectures via Zoom: A book release celebration for professor Miriam Udel’s “Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature;” the annual Rothschild Lecture on the topic of American Jews, whiteness, and the contemporary movement for racial justice; and a lecture on the birth of Yiddish magazines in America. Despite the challenges of the current pandemic, we have found that our online programs have allowed us to reach a large audience of viewers who are anxious for intellectual engagement and Jewish studies content.
JELF - Jewish Educational Loan Fund In conversation with Myriam Angel, development and alumni associate. How long has your organization been in Atlanta? Where do you see your organization in 10 years? 145 years! We’re actually one of the oldest, continually operating nonprofit organiza- It’s pretty simple; we want to be lending more money to more students, increasing tions in the state of Georgia. our impact across the region that we serve. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? JELF believes that money should never stand between a student and their education. This is why we provide interest-free loans specifically to help students succeed. In 2020 alone, JELF has helped over 115 Jewish students from Atlanta working towards earning their degrees. Our student recipients attend a wide range of accredited colleges, graduate schools, or degree-granting vocational programs across the U.S.
How does your organization help the community? JELF believes that the more students who can graduate without high-interest debt loans, the more successful members of society they can be. JELF recipients are always thankful for the Jewish community who stood by them and drives them to want to give back. We now have recipients living all over the world who continue to be involved and give back to help their fellow Jews.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 55
COMMUNITY Awesome Ashtrays in Buckhead was born. From that moment, I went to thrift stores every weekend, sometimes traveling as much as 100 miles in one day. Fortunately, I was working for the State of Wisconsin at the time, and my job required a lot of traveling!” Stifel eventually got bored collecting cigarette cases, so she expanded her search to anything that held cigarettes, including cigarette boxes, cigarette dispensers and smoking sets. At a citywide garage sale, she bought a walnut cigarette box with a glass lid for $3, and Lois Stifel’s collection began by an impulsive purchase in 1995.
By Chana Shapiro Lois Stifel lives in a light-filled condo that contains a private museum. Displayed are more than 2,000 ashtrays, providing a history of the United States of the 20th century through examples of ashtrays, a cultural icon. Stifel once had almost 6,000 ashtrays and related items, such as cigarette boxes, three-piece smoking sets and advertising art, but today she concentrates on rare, unusual or exuberantly quirky ashtrays. Stifel, who is downsizing her vast collection, has made major donations to prominent American museums, where her contributions are part of permanent Americana or glassware collections. These include ashtrays that were once ubiquitous, found in every smoker’s home, as well as one-off ashtrays that are works of art. Outstanding examples include ashtrays made by famous American glass companies such as Fostoria and Blenko, known for their decorative and utilitarian products, especially midcentury items in proprietary colors and designs. Stifel was once a serious collector in a different field of Americana, but she never considered collecting smoking-related items. In fact, she stopped smoking in 1985, 10 years before she became interested in cigarette accoutrements. In May 1995, Stifel, who was living in Madison, Wisc., took a walk in Sauk City with a friend. They entered a resale shop, and non-smoking Lois came across a cigarette case for $2. “To this day, I have no idea why I bought it, but a collection 56 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Patented, rare, figural ashtray depicts a towed, in-flight aircraft refueler.
Baby shoes were a common decoration on mid-century family ashtrays.
Iconic guns are portrayed on ashtrays, including a famous Colt pistol, patented in 1836. This is one section of Stifel’s ashtray museum room.
Highly collectible art deco ashtray from the 1930s.
This figural ashtray could accommodate two dozen cigarettes around the edge.
the seller talked her into purchasing a matching ashtray for $1. “I tossed both items into the back of my car,” she joked, “and months later I discovered that I had purchased a mid-century Higgins Glass smoking set worth several hundred dollars.” Stifel decided that ashtrays were far more interesting and more affordable than cigarette cases, and the diverse styles of ashtrays appealed to her interest in 20th century Americana. For a time, Stifel also collected ephemera pertaining to cigarette smoking, such as posters, magazine ads, sheet music, and promotional items given away by tobacco companies. “I began picking up anti-smoking information, as well, eventually creating a database for everything I had collected. I backed it all up on a floppy disk and optimistically named it ‘Smithsonian,’ because I always dreamt of donating my collection to a museum.” Stifel has no favorites, but she appreciates “cross-collectables,” which are ashtrays sought by collectors with different interests. She points to Iron Fireman, a metal ashtray that depicts a robot shoveling coal into a furnace. It would be of interest to collectors of metal ashtrays; 1930s art deco ashtrays; machine age art; or 3D figurative promotional art. Stifel notes, “On eBay, Iron Fireman sells for up to $700, depending on its condition. The one I have is the same as one in the National Museum of American History.” More than 20 years after visiting the resale shop in Sauk City, it was time to make her dream come true, yet Stifel found no single museum that could house large sections of her extensive collection. Stifel had once lived and worked in Durham, N.C., so her first donations were to Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Thousands of items from her collection have been divided among other museums, too, including the Division of Political History of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of American History, and The Museum of American Glass in Weston, W.V. As a respected researcher and knowledgeable collector, Stifel is currently co-writing a book with the Museum of American Glass, called “Glass Ashtrays of the 20th Century.” ì
I Bet You Didn’t Know …
Atlanta is chock full of interesting movers and shakers, some bent on creativity, empire building, activism or just plain having fun and living the good life. Lean in to hear some of the off-the-cuff remarks about what makes Sam Massell tick. From 1970 to 1974, Massell was the 53rd Atlanta mayor. He is the first Jewish and the last white mayor in the city’s history. A lifelong Atlanta resident, Massell had successful careers in real estate brokerage, elected office, tourism and association management. Among other achievements, his mayoral administration is credited with establishing the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, the Omni Coliseum (the first enclosed arena in Atlanta), and Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta, without adding higher ad valorem taxes. After leaving full-time public service, Massell entered the tourism business and operated in Buckhead under the name “Your Travel Agent Sam Massell.” He is a Certified Travel Counselor and a former president of the Travel Industry Association of Georgia. Massell recently retired as founding president of the Buckhead Coalition, an association of business executives. He is in the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau Hospitality Hall of Fame; International Civil Rights Walk of Fame; Georgia State University Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame, Georgia
Trend magazine Most Influential Georgians Hall of Fame, and Georgia Municipal Association Municipal Government Hall of Fame. Charles McNair wrote a 304-page biography of Massell entitled “Play It Again, Sam: The Notable Life of Sam Massell, Atlanta’s First Minority Mayor,” which was published in 2017. A relative “second time around newlywed,” Sam stays relevant and in the public eye. Read on to see how he sold a dead tree for $10,000.
Jaffe: If I could have another talent, it would be … Massell: Playing snare drums. I got kicked out of the band in high school and need to start over.
Jaffe: I was star stuck meeting: Massell: Dorothy Lamour. I then realized that Atlanta has just as many beautiful women here already.
Jaffe: My most exotic vacation was: Massell: Las Brisas, in private pools, private sunshine. I was swimming nude when an earthquake happened. Could have been washed down the mountain naked.
Jaffe: The last time I danced: Massell: Last night Sandra and I took a step or two … “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.”
Jaffe: My guilty pleasure: Massell: Sex, but people don’t like to talk about it. Never have gotten over calories in ice cream; not any calories in sex though.
Jaffe: The best advice I gave my kids Massell: “Two heads are better than one, even if one is a cabbage head” was told to me by grandfather Sol Rubin.
Jaffe: One fun thing people don’t know about me is… Massell: I have a bundle of wit I haven’t used.
Jaffe: If they made a movie of my life, I would choose to play the lead: Massell: Martin Sheen knows how to play a politician and has charisma.
Jaffe: My wife would say I am too… Massell: My Jewish genes push me into “help mode” all the time, even when not needed.
Jaffe: My favorite cocktail is … Massell: Chopin Vodka martini, olive on the side … hard to come by. Purely deluxe.
Jaffe: Looking back, the best real estate deal I ever made was …
Massell: Selling a dead tree for $10,000 to an outdoor sign company where the Shepherd Center is now. They paid me instead of me paying [to have it removed]. Reported by Marcia Caller Jaffe
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 57
KEEPING IT KOSHER Pretzel Hot Dog Skewers
Start to finish: 20 minutes Servings: 6 Preference: Meat Difficulty: Easy Category: Appetizers
The Hearing Test Maurice and Sarah were getting old, and Maurice felt his wife was losing her hearing.
Skewers Hot dogs, sliced into 1-inch pieces Facon (vegetarian bacon) Pretzel bites, halved Barbecue rub 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon salt Thread the components onto a skewer, beginning with a pretzel bite half, then the very edge of the facon, then a hot dog slice. Weave the facon over the hot dog slice and add another pretzel bite half. Weave the facon over the pretzel bite and add another hot dog slice. Finally, weave the facon over the hot dog slice and secure with a third pretzel bite half. Mix together the barbecue rub ingredients and sprinkle over the completed skewers, coating liberally. Grill or broil until slightly charred and caramelized. Recipe by: Esty Wolbe, creative and comical leader of the 27,000-member strong Facebook group “I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes” and host of the Kosher.com show “Easy Does It.” Source: Kosher.com
He decided to stage a test. One day, as Sarah read the paper, he stood a distance behind her chair and said, in a conversational voice, “Can you hear me?” Silence. He moved towards her. He was now 6 feet away. “Can you hear me?” Still silence. Finally, he moved directly behind her chair and bent over, just inches from her ear. “Can you hear me?” Sarah replied, “For the third time, Maurice, yes I can!” Source: Chabad Lubavitch, Rochester, N.Y.
YIDDISH WORD OF THE MONTH Yiddishe Pooch n. A dog who has learned and responds to commands in Yiddish. “Daisy is a Yiddishe pooch. Tell her to go kibbitz (make wisecracks and give advice) and she chews other dogs’ ears off. Not literally, of course.” Yiddishe pooches are for real; New Yorkers can even attend Yiddish dog training seminars in Central Park. Yiddishe means Jewish. Source: “Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times” by Daniel Klein.
58 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
By: Yoni Glatt, firstname.lastname@example.org Difficulty Level: Manageable 1
20 22 27 28
44 49 53 64
50 43 47
46 41 49
1. Umpire's call 5. Certain British nobles 10. Monkeys and such 14. Israeli singing star Haza 15. Yutz 16. Part of a three piece suit 17. Inspiring sight for many Holocaust survivors coming to America 20. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" villain 21. Innocent one 22. Toys with likenesses of Gal Gadot and Scarlett Johansson 27. Distinctive group belief 28. Solo of cinema 29. Airplane speed numbers or some razors 31. Kind of cloth 32. Emily of the "A Quiet Place" movies 34. Basic web code 35. Those with connections 36. "Ode on a ___ Urn" (Keats poem) 38. Apple apps use it 39. Bob Dylan or Harrison Ford 42. Actor Morales always in crosswords 43. Peter Pan dog 44. CBS drama set in D.C. 47. Forbidden inks in Judaism 49. Third Commandment sin alluded to by 17, 22, and 41-Across?
52. "L'cha" follower 54. Abodes 55. Women unlikely to be seen in synagogue 58. "Midnight in Paris" actor Wilson 59. "Awww, ___ you sweet!" 60. "... Give or take" 61. Ensnare 62. Geeks 63. Hannity of note
26. ___ Esreh (prayer) 27. Wallach or Manning 30. Classic Mercedes models 32. "Just a minute," in texts 33. River of Scotland 36. Insurance giant which featured Europe and Eddie Money in commercials 37. Do or die time in some baseball games 40. 1969 moon event DOWN 41. Luxor and Bellagio 1. Help letters 45. Omar who said "Israel has 2. At the back of a boat hypnotized the world" 3. Most major league sports teams 46. Made an oath 4. What one might do before or 47. Be popular on Twitter after the 9th of Av 48. Mgrs.' helpers 5. Old McDonald's refrain 49. Suggestion 6. "And now, without further ___" 50. 49-day period in Judaism 7. Rabbi Isaac Alfasi aka The ___ 51. Unpolluted 8. Texted "ha ha" 52. ___ Equis (beer) 9. Risk for a beekeeper 53. Have deed to 10. 49-Across is one, b'Ivrit 56. Code-cracking org. 11. Flawlessness 57. Shem to Noah 12. Guinness World Records suffix 13. Pig's place 18. Israeli arms 19. "The Wizard of Oz" author Frank 22. "And step on it!" 23. Bruin or Penguin, e.g. 24. Notable doctor of 2020 25. "Am I right?" sentence ender, to Brits
LAST ISSUE’S SOLUTION 1
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paint war. Instead, the campers wrote songs about the AJCC and met with previous campers who are now a part of the staff, such as Elena Goldberg, who said that “it was a mini history lesson,” and former camper Phillip Silverman.
10 Years Ago// July 15, 2011 The William Breman Jewish Home was honored for “its commitment to quality Partnership for Patients and its journey in cultural Preceding the Olympics in Atlanta, some Atlanta rabbis developed a change,” by the Georgia Medical Care Foundation. The award is small, bimonthly campaign called the ULS (Use Less Stuff) to protect bestowed upon the Breman Home for its commitment to bring all aspects of our environment. Jews will come together to “preserve everyone together in small neighborhoods, allowing residents to use Camp Isidore Alterman celebrated the world” from garbage, like “kosher hot dog wrappers, ripped maps the kitchen area as if it were a small neighborhood. Breman Home its 50th anniversary at Zaban Park. and Coca-Cola cans.” The rabbis made biblical references to protecting endeavors to achieve comfort and greatness by assigning the staff nature, especially when interfered with by humans. to specific neighborhoods, instead of rotating, promoting a sense of family and bond between staff and residents. 50 Years Ago// July 16, 1971 The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has been sending Jewish young adults on a 10-day Birthright Israel trip that created an extraordinary bond among Jewish Americans. The problem is that the bond did not last since everyone came from different cities across the U.S. The Federation set aside funds to create buses of Atlanta young Jewish adults in Israel to build the relationships within Atlanta participants. 25 Years Ago// July 19, 1996 Camp Isidore Alterman, a day camp of the Atlanta Jewish Community Center, celebrated its 50th anniversary at Zaban Park. The kids were having fun beyond the typical
A committee of 15 chairs nominated the new members of the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation Women's Division. The event will take place July 27 and invitations have been distributed. The year-round Women's Division leadership for the Federation’s fundraising campaign. The event will be hosted at the home of Mrs. Saul Becker. Professor Nahman Avigad disclosed the latest excavation revealed in the Jewish quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. The discovery was of “a column base of two yards wide” The column was used in a temple rather than a palace during 73 to 74 B.C.E. Avigad recalled that the revelation has a nexus to King Herod, ruler of Judea. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 59
OBITUARIES Jill Chaliff
Marcy Jo Mantler Ford
Jill Chaliff, 85, of Suwanee, Ga., passed away peacefully in her home June 24, 2021, with her family by her side. Jill was born in 1935 in the Bronx, N.Y. alongside her beloved twin brother Jack who preceded her in death. Jill is survived by three children and their spouses: Michael Chaliff (Marla), Susan Moskowitz (Neil) and Joanne Cole (Timothy). She is also survived by six grandchildren: Jason Chaliff, Pamela Margolis (Alex), Jake Moskowitz, Ryan Chaliff (Erica), Carly Moskowitz and Savannah Cole. Jill was a wonderful mother, friend, tennis player and mahjong player. She loved her dog, enjoyed musical theater and dancing. Jill was often described as a firecracker. She was always active and forever looked 20 years younger than her age. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Atlanta Humane Society.
Marcy Jo Mantler Ford died June 25, 2021, at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital due to complications after surgery. She was born Aug. 10, 1951, in Atlanta to Marshall Mantler and Nancy Mantler Thal. Marcy attended Stephens College in Missouri and graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with her bachelor of arts in English and double minor in psychology and French. Later, she received her master’s degree in education from the University of West Georgia. Marcy met the love of her life Daniel Ford and they married in 1987. They had two children, Irish twins Morgan and Edward. She started her own catering business in Buckhead. For over a decade, her business flourished, and people fell in love with what she did. Once moving to Sharpsburg, Marcy touched even more lives by being an art and substitute teacher for 14 years and following her children from school to school. After leaving the school system, she began her next adventure as a Publix Apron’s chef for 10 years. Marcy was the epitome of what it means to live your life. She was a mother, wife, friend, chef, gardener, dancer, writer, educator and avid reader. You knew her presence by her witty sense of humor accompanied with her fun laugh, which was as big as the room. She referred to her home as a beacon of love. Marcy once said in one of her many writings, “I teach so I can learn, I surround myself with positive upbeat people who have huge sense of humor. I pray and I believe. I eat healthy foods and exercise. I plant seeds and watch them grow. I listen and I watch, and I run away from those who try to capture my spirit. I enjoy each day to its fullest. I know it will never come again, and I must never take this time for granted. My legacy will be a marriage of love and respect, two well-mannered and well-adjusted children, and a home filled with love. Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Happiness is the greatest revenge’ and he is right.” She is survived by husband Dan; children Morgan and Edward Ford; several sisters, brothers, in laws, nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will take place in the near future. If you would like to make a donation in Marcy’s honor, please contribute to the Central Library of the Coweta Public Library System and remember to love one another each day.
85, Suwanee, Ga.
Jack Merlin Epstein 78, Ellicott City, Md.
Jack Merlin Epstein, 78, of Ellicott City, Md., formerly of Atlanta, passed away June 29, 2021, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Jack was born on June 25, 1943, in Atlanta, the son of Joseph Epstein and Sunny Merlin Epstein. He attended Henry Grady High School and the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the AEPi fraternity. Following his graduation in 1965, Jack served as a special vehicle mechanic in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. The proud Yellow Jacket worked as an engineer for The Coca-Cola Company for several years before moving to Miami to work at Sea Isle, Inc., with his father-in-law. In 1975, Jack and the family relocated to Maryland, where he started Hill’s Gourmet Gifts and later, Chesapeake Sales, a confectionary brokerage he ran until his retirement in 2017. Jack enjoyed traveling, playing bridge and working on model trains. Following his retirement, he volunteered with the Assist Our Kids program through Howard County Public Schools, and loved spending time with and caring for his grandchildren. He was an active member of Temple Isaiah in Columbia, Md., and the Merlin Family Circle. Jack was predeceased by his first wife Judi Kross Epstein, his parents Joe and Sunny Merlin Epstein, and his sister Ellen Schoeman. He is survived by his wife Lesley Greenberg; his sons Michael Epstein (Melissa Hammer), Adam Epstein (Amanda) and Marc Epstein; his brother and sister-in-law Sandy Epstein and Elizabeth Appley; his stepchildren Danny Greenberg (Lori), Michael Greenberg (Tamar) and Jessica Bowman (Jason); 10 grandchildren; two nieces; two nephews, his large extended family, and many dear friends. Funeral services were held July 1 in Columbia, Md., and the family sat shiva at the family home in Ellicott City, Md. Donations may be made in Jack’s memory to Hadassah.
Obituaries in the AJT are written and paid for by the families; contact Editor and Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky at email@example.com or 404-883-2130, ext. 100, for details about submission, rates and payments. Death notices, which provide basic details, are free and run as space is available; send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 60 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
70, Sharpsburg, Ga.
David Samuel Friedman 86, Atlanta
David Samuel Friedman, named for his grandfather, was born May 12, 1935, in Memphis, Tenn. to the late Marion and Edith Friedman. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Michael J. Friedman, and his nephew Michael S. Friedman. Survivors include his wife Shirley; brother Les Friedman (Diana); daughters Marla Davis (Mitchell) and Sheila Cranman (Kevin); daughter-in-law Emy Friedman; grandchildren Alyssa Strube (Gavin), Jennifer Sunkin (Jesse Braddell), Alex Friedman, Katherine Cranman and Caroline Cranman; great grandsons Joshua Strube and Adam Friedman; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Raised in Memphis, he graduated from Central High School; studied at Vanderbilt University and graduated from New York University; worked at Alexander’s in New York; and returned home to Memphis with his own store, David’s. In 1966, he and his wife Shirley bought Falkoff’s Men’s Shop in Sikeston, Mo. He loved running his own business and treated every customer like he wanted to be treated with personal customer service. David and Shirley worked in the store and served the community with Falkoff’s Men's Shop until they retired in 2012. He taught himself how to sew and prioritized customer service, including full-service alterations. You didn’t walk out if it didn’t fit and make you look good. Clients came from great distances, seeking the variety of products and the can-do commitment to find what the customers wanted. In Sikeston, he was active in community service. In 1996, the Sikeston Chamber of Commerce, for which he served various roles including president in 1976-77, named him Citizen of the Year. He was the recipient of the first annual Small Business of the Year Award. In 2011, the chamber recognized David and Shirley for their outstanding service to the Sikeston-Miner area. He was involved with the Jaycees; B’nai Israel Synagogue in Cape Girardeau, Mo.; and maintained membership at Baron Hirsch Congregation and Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis. In 2015, David and Shirley relocated to Atlanta to be closer to their daughter Sheila
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and her family. David enjoyed attending events with his granddaughters at school and sporting events. He was a volunteer with the Jewish Family & Career Service’s One Good Deed until he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019, when One Good Deed provided a volunteer for him. The family extends gratitude to excellent caregivers Dian Maxwell-Schillingford, Melvern Kidd, Juanique Carrington, and, as David called her, Sergeant Belinda Hill. Donations may be made in his memory to the National Brain Tumor Society, Weinstein Hospice of Jewish HomeLife, or a charity of your choice. Graveside services were held July 8 at Beth Sholom Memorial Gardens in Memphis. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 61
Phillip Shusterman 82, Atlanta Atlanta Born ~ Atlanta Owned ~ Atlanta Managed
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Phillip Shusterman, devoted husband, father and grandfather, passed away July 1, 2021, at the age of 82 in his home in Atlanta. Born in Detroit, Mich., in 1939, Phil lost his father at a very young age and worked in his family’s business in Detroit until he moved his family to Atlanta in 1969, where he managed men’s clothing stores until he retired. In retirement, Phil enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves and many different game shows. He was also active in the Atlanta Jewish bowling league. Phil was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Rose. He is survived by his wife Phyllis of 58 years; his sons Jeffrey (Dawna) and Michael (Min); his grandchildren Erica and Jacob; his sister Sandy Klain; and many nieces and nephews. A graveside funeral was held July 5 at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
DEATH NOTICE Helen Scherrer-Diamond Outreach Coordinator
Edward Dressler, Owner
Marc Kranz, 77, died July 6, 2021. He was husband of Temple Sinai member Barbara Kranz and cousin of Rabbi Phil (Nancy) Kranz. A graveside service in memory and honor of Marc’s life was held July 8. Marc is survived by children Rodney (Emily) Kranz and Lori (Zinovi) Levitan; four grandchildren Aidan and Jacob Levitan and Evan and Hannah Kranz; brother Harry (Glenda) Kranz, their daughters and families; brothers-in-law Alan (Ann) Blum and Ron (Kay) Blum and their families.
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62 | JULY 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
SUMMER BLOCK PARTY July 30 and 31 FREE live music • street party • kidz zone • food trucks
the revivalists (sat.) collective soul (fri.) rick springfield (fri.)
Better than Ezra • Jagged Edge • Amy Ray Band Baylee Littrell • Saleka • Hunter Callahan • Revel in Romance Celebrating Brookhaven’s Reopening When: July 30 (3-11 p.m.) and 31 (noon-11 p.m.) Where: Brookhaven MARTA Station parking lot and along Dresden Drive and Apple Valley Road More announcements to come!
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 15, 2021| 63
CLOSING THOUGHTS My Life with Unresponsive Pets One afternoon when my brother Aaron and I were kids, our father took us fishing in a lake near our house while our Chana Shapiro mother stayed home with our little sister Nancy. If we caught a fish, we planned to throw it back, unless it was big enough to eat. We couldn’t bear sacrificing perfectly good worms (which didn’t deserve to die). So our mother gave us little pieces of bologna in a glass jar to use as bait. After a long wait with our poles in the water, Aaron felt a slight tug, and he found a tiny silver fish hooked on the end of his line. Our father was about to toss the fish back, but we kids wanted to keep Finny (Aaron named him) as a pet. Our father benevolently emptied the bologna into the lake, scooped water into the jar, and dropped Finny in. On the way home, we picked up a container of fish food, and Aaron
and I took turns carrying Finny in the unlidded jar. When we got home, we pleaded our case, our little sister was thrilled, and our mother agreed to keep Finny overnight. She half-filled a big jar with sink water for his sleepover, cautioning us not to overfeed him. The next day Aaron took Finny to his third grade classroom, where the teacher cavalierly plopped our one-day pet into the class aquarium. Miraculously, Finny didn’t infect the other fish, and they all got along swimmingly(!). The next year, we turned our attention to chickens. As we walked through town with our mother, Aaron and I spotted adorable baby chicks in the pet store window. Try as she might, Mom could only drag us away from those chicks by agreeing to purchase two of them. Soon, my brother and I came home with a cardboard box holding our new pets. Alas, after a three-day attempt to interact with the chicks indoors in a makeshift cage, changing poop paper proved onerous, and our pets refused to concentrate on learning tricks. We re-
located our pets to our backyard, where they prospered and soon became fullfledged chickens. Ruby Reprogel (yes, her real name), who lived down the block from us, raised chickens and sold eggs. Miss Ruby encouraged us to try our own home business, but, at this point, we saw our pair as two slightly amusing fowl who ate our garbage and defecated all over the back yard. We were not eager to start an egg-generating business; we just wanted to sanitize and reclaim our back yard. Unlike our earlier (although admittedly short-lived) attachment to Finny, we had never truly bonded with our chickens. Our mother took us and our pets to Miss Ruby, who happily accepted our gift. I have to believe that the chickens were happy, too. My brother, sister and I often rode our bikes to the library. One day, on a dirt road shortcut, we spotted a large turtle making its way across our path. It stopped and receded into its shell. We waited a bit for it to come out, and finally we decided to bring it home on the way back, if it was still there. Our plan worked. We put our li-
brary books in my basket, and managed to find and pick up the turtle (most likely traumatized), still hiding inside its shell. We nested it in Aaron’s basket amidst a bunch of leaves. At home, our mother refused to touch our new pet and made us scour our hands with cleanser and change our clothes. Aaron, a devoted football fan, named our reptilian pet Yelberton Abraham Turtle after the legendary National Football League quarterback, Yelberton Abraham Tittle. My siblings and I visited “Y.A.”(as he came to be called) in our basement several times a day, where we fed him and watched him do almost nothing. When Aaron and I both left home, six years after we found him, Y. A. was doing fine. Our sister Nancy moved to Boston and gave him to Aaron’s friend Chucky. Turtles can live to be 150. Y.A.’s probably turtlemiddle-aged now, and if he sticks to his healthy diet of water, salad and bugs, I’m sure he’ll make it. When we moved to New York, acknowledging my experience with nonresponsive pets, a friend gave me a pet rock. ì
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