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Hadassah Chesed Award Recipients
Hadassah Greater Atlanta, in partnership with JumpSpark, honors 22 of Atlanta’s best and brightest young leaders with its annual Chesed Student Awards. Honorees are students in grades 7-12 from Atlanta synagogues, day schools, and Jewish community organizations.
AUGUST 1st at 2 pm Register for the free virtual ceremony and learn more about the award recipients at tinyurl.com/chesedawards.
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THIS WEEK Making the Grade Next week, school buses will again be a familiar sight on Atlanta’s streets. But so will mask-wearing by students, especially the youngest ones. Like last year, schools are opening their doors to in-person instruction. But with more teachers and older students vaccinated against COVID-19, there’s a loosening of health restrictions just a bit with desks a little closer, movement between classes and even some athletic activities resuming. Public schools are offering online classes, but teachers won’t have to divide their time between virtual and in-person. For the most part, there are designated teachers for those that choose online learning. The AJT’s Back to School issue offers the latest on area K-12 and college plans for the start of the academic year. Beyond the basics, we share how Hillels of Georgia is growing with new leaders and new houses. We introduce you to the new Atlanta Jewish Academy’s head of high school, a familiar face in Atlanta’s Jewish education circles. Correspondent Chana Shapiro talks about school uniforms at Jewish day
schools, including where to find them, and she seeks students’ opinions on wearing the prescribed duds. Teachers, parents and counselors weigh in on going back to school during a pandemic. And the AJT spotlights a Jewish Cub Scout pack that’s survived where similar groups have failed. In sports, you can learn the results of a baseball card estate auction, keep up with Jews in the Olympics and which Orthodox Jews were picked to play in the major leagues along with how they’ll work it around their specialized lifestyles. Our latest news stories include how Pfizer is beginning a third round of COVID vaccinations, a new Jewish director of FEMA under the Biden-Harris administration and Israel with new leadership. Then there are the anniversary celebrations: the 20th year of popular broadcaster Bert Weiss and the 25th of The Breman Museum. With school kicking into gear, not far behind are the Jewish high holidays. So next issue is dedicated to our synagogue guide and holiday recipes. Get your taste buds ready. ì
Cover image: Rendering of the proposed new and expanded Hillel House at the University of Georgia in Athens.
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NEWS Post-Netanyahu Government Still in Crisis By Jan Jaben-Eilon Explaining Israeli politics is always a challenge. But Times of Israel political correspondent Tal Schneider faced the task head-on in a Zoom meeting July 5 entitled “Israel’s (New) Political Landscape,” sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Schneider was introduced by Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeastern U.S., who was in Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel. Schneider tackled the subjects of Israel’s unique coalition politics, the instability of the current, post-Benjamin Netanyahu government, Israel’s relationship with the United States and the sticky question of whether there’s a two-state solution in Israel’s future. “We’re still in crisis,” Schneider told her mostly Atlanta audience. She was responding to a question posed by World Affairs Council President Charles Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. After four elections in two years, the 12-consecutiveyear premiership of Netanyahu has
World Affairs Council of Atlanta President Charles Shapiro questioned Times of Israel correspondent Tal Schneider (bottom), who was introduced by Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon.
finally ended, Schneider said, but the former prime minister has not disappeared. She called him the “most powerful leader of the opposition we’ve ever seen.” She described how the opposition under Netanyahu is doing everything
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it can to bring down the new government, including voting against bills his party proposed in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. In response to Shapiro’s repeated question, Schneider said she couldn’t predict whether the new government will survive its entire four-year term. Much depends on whether the coalition can pass a national budget this fall, she said. The country has plodded along, even during the pandemic, without a national budget for two years. “The conventional wisdom is if it passes a budget, it’s safe” until the end of its term, Schneider said. If the budget doesn’t pass, the government automatically falls and Israelis return to the voting booths for a fifth time in less than three years. The unusual eight-party coalition government composed of right-wing, center, left-wing and Arab parties was constructed based on its eagerness to replace a Netanyahu-led government. But Schneider said the new coalition partners agree on several other issues. She highlighted the importance the government places on improving Israel’s relationship with the United States. Unlike under Netanyahu, the new government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett believes the country should not publicly fight with the U.S. The Bennett government has stated that it doesn’t support a new international nuclear agreement with Iran that is now under consideration by President Joe Biden’s administration. The United States under former President Donald Trump pulled out of the first multi-national agreement
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett heads the post-Netanyahu government
with Iran, which had been approved when Barack Obama was president. Schneider pointed out, though, that Bennett recently appointed a new and surprising head of the National Security Council. Saying how she broke the news recently of Eyal Hulata’s appointment, Schneider said that the career Mossad operative thought the first agreement “was legit and the lesser of two evils. This is the person who goes with Bennett to the White House.” The new government has agreed not to make any decisions about solving the conflict with the Palestinians, Schneider said. She added that this took the questions of annexing part of the West Bank or a possible two-state solution off the government’s agenda. Schneider was asked, however, whether she thought the two-state solution was a viable resolution of the issue. Admitting that her view wasn’t common among Israelis, she said that Israel has already been “living in a onestate solution for years. The sooner we face this fact of life, the sooner we recognize this fact, the sooner we will have a fresh approach” to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Noting how traumatic the evacuation of settlers from Gaza was in 2005, she said she doesn’t see any willingness in the country to evacuate settlers from the West Bank. “It won’t change in my lifetime,” she concluded. ì Watch the discussion on YouTube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm_6cgPiGCU
COVID's Third Booster Shots Create Controversy By Bob Bahr The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put off, for now, any final recommendation about whether booster shots may be useful in controlling what are called “breakthrough” cases of the COVID virus.Those are cases that have developed in people who have already received a complete round of vaccinations. The federal agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, in a meeting coordinated at its Atlanta headquarters July 22, examined four small studies that showed from 16 to 80 percent of people with weakened immune systems didn’t have detectable levels of antibodies after receiving a two-shot regimen of the vaccine. On July 20, Johnson & Johnson, which produced a vaccine administered in a single shot, posted a study online that said that its vaccine is much less effective against the delta and the new lambda variant than against the original virus. Just a day after the CDC committee met, the Israel Health Ministry released a new study that indicated the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has only been 39 percent effective in recent weeks protecting against the delta variant. It did, however, provide significant protection against hospitalization and more severe forms of the virus. Faced with these new statistics, the CDC’s advisory committee declined to make a recommendation on booster shots and decided to leave that decision to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in July, executives of Pfizer and BioNTech said they were working on an updated version of the inoculation that targets variants of the disease. The delta variant, according the CDC, is responsible for 80 percent of the recent spike in cases around the country. Clinical trials of the new vaccine are said to be undergoing testing at Emory University and other locations. Dr. Harry Heiman runs the graduate public health program at Georgia State University and advises the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. He remains unconvinced about the need for additional inoculation. “Based on everything that we know today, we don’t need booster shots. We know that the current vaccines are holding up extremely well against all the variants for people who have been fully vaccinated. And I don’t think anyone knows if and when a booster shot will be needed.” The FDA and the CDC have also pushed back against the pressure to approve booster shots. In a joint statement issued earlier this month they said that Americans who had been fully vaccinated don’t need a
the state university system of Georgia who will soon be returning to classrooms for the fall semester. According to him, at present, none of them are required to be vaccinated for the COVID virus. “The critical question is, with school starting early Israel has become the first country to Vaccine manufacturers and government officials at public universities, whether allow the use of COVID booster shots. are divided about the need for booster shots. leadership both at the state the end of July to permit the use of vaccine and local level is going to put boosters. in place the kinds of policies and practices Health officials here seem much more that ensure the safety of students, faculty concerned about those who have not been and staff. There are a number of universities vaccinated at all. In Georgia’s Chattahooch- across the country that have appropriately ee County, not far from Columbus, recent mandated vaccines for the students coming statistics show only 15 percent of the resi- back. And that’s not something that the unidents have been fully vaccinated. During versity system of Georgia is doing.” the past two weeks the county has had the Nationally, as of July 22, the number of state’s highest number of new COVID infec- new cases across the country is up 55 pertions. cent, according to Johns Hopkins. As of July 20, about 60 percent of GeorIn Florida, new cases are just under gia residents have not been fully vaccinated, 6,500 a day, which is a 91 percent jump from according to Johns Hopkins University. the week before. Of those hospitalized, 97 Heiman is particularly concerned percent were unvaccinated as were 99 perabout the more than 340,000 students in cent of those who died. ì
Dr. Harry Heiman is most concerned about the hundreds of thousands of public university students in Georgia who are not required to have the COVID vaccine.
booster shot. “We continue to review any new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed.” In a recently published study in the British medical journal The Lancet, only 5 percent of 28,000 health care workers vaccinated against the COVID virus developed symptoms of the disease. Of that number, only 83 had to be admitted to a hospital and none died. But representatives of the two drug companies point to developments in Israel, which earlier in July became the first nation to allow booster shots for those with medical conditions that depress the immune system. Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s president for medical research and development, told the Reuters news agency that medical data from Israel showed less protection against the virus six months after the second shot. “It’s a small data set, but I think the trend is accurate. Six months out, given that delta is the most contagious variant we have seen, it can cause infections and mild disease.” He indicated that Pfizer and BioNTech would be submitting additional data by
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Rothenberg Picked for FEMA Post By Marcia Caller Jaffe Native Atlantan Jaclyn Rothenberg, 33, grew up in Dunwoody, attended The Epstein School, became a bat mitzvah at Temple Emanu-El, and went on to North Springs High School. Now she has been selected to serve as director of public affairs at FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) under the Biden-Harris administration, where she is responsible for communicating on behalf of the agency. There, the mission is to help elevate the various readiness and resiliency programs and promote equity in the workforce. “We want everyone to understand the role FEMA plays prior to, during and after a disaster, and how as an agency we are made up of some of the most hardworking people in government. I’ve only been on the job a few days, but I can promise Georgians that you are in the most capable hands with the leadership and workforce at this agency. Everyone I’ve met cares deeply about protecting people every day and especially in times of crises.”
Jaclyn Rothenberg was recently appointed director of public affairs for FEMA.
Rothenberg spoke of the impact of climate change. “This cannot continue to be overlooked when it comes to emergency management, and therefore we’re even
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I’ve learned from some of the best professionals in the industry and am eager to apply those practices to this role. Also note that public affairs is part of FEMA’s Office of External Affairs – together we’re a larger entity than Jacyln Rothenberg attended Fashion shot in yellow pantsuit: most federal govThe Epstein School, North Jacyln Rothenberg was featured ernment agenSprings High School and in Marie Claire magazine cies/units.” treasures her Georgia roots. January sporting her colorful pantsuit collection. Rothenberg’s maternal more committed under the administration’s leadership to drive the kind of sys- grandfather, a television producer, set the tem-based mitigation this nation needs to stage for high level politics. Gerald Rafmake our communities more resilient.” shoon, now 87 and living in D.C., was the No novice to the political arena, White House communications director Rothenberg now lives in Washington, under Jimmy Carter (1978-79). In doing so, D.C., with her dog Clinton. After attend- he was the first professional advertising ing George Washington University, she executive to join the White House staff. decided on a career in politics. Her re- She reminisced, “Growing up, I heard sume boasts integral roles on the staffs of countless stories from my grandfather’s Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bill de Blasio time on the campaign trail and at the in New York. White House, from Camp David peace Prior to joining the Biden-Harris adtalks to campaign jingles and slogans to ministration, she served as the Georgia personal conversations he shared with communications director for the Biden for President campaign and helped turn President Carter. My whole family has the state blue for the first time in 28 years. helped guide my career into the field, and On the campaign, Rothenberg led the we all have a shared passion on both my communications team through the gen- mother’s and father’s side to promote deeral election and served as a war room mocracy.” Parents are Janet Rafshoon and Alan Rothenberg. lead for the Georgia recount. She also held the role as trip direcThe style of the FEMA exec was touttor for principal travel for President Joe ed in a fashion magazine in January. She Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President said, “A friend pitched me to Marie Claire Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug earlier this year to discuss my fashion Emhoff and President Barack Obama. choices in which I highlighted my growShe joined the campaign after tak- ing pantsuit collection.” The article had a ing a leave of absence from her full-time collage of her colorful outfits and began: role as the senior communications advi“The bold look is a signature of the former sor to the First Lady of the City of New Biden 2020 Georgia Communications DiYork in the de Blasio administration and rector.” press-related roles for City Hall. She was On a more serious note, she concluda vice president with SKDKnickerbocker ed “Department of Homeland Security in New York, where she advised clients on communications and digital strategies. Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas is Jewish. Rothenberg served as a leader in Teneo I have not met him yet, but his story is strategy’s practice, developing digital and incredibly inspiring, and I look forward social media strategies for Fortune 500 to supporting him, the department, Adcompanies, and worked as a member of ministrator [Deanne] Criswell and FEMA Burson-Marsteller’s public affairs prac- in their missions. I don’t have a crystal ball for what the next five years will look tice. As a backdrop for FEMA, she recalled, like. What I know is that I’ll be working in “Working in New York City government, I politics and public service in some form. saw my fair share of emergencies from Sometimes I pinch myself because I truly snowstorms to public safety emergencies. love what I do and enjoy my profession.” ì
Morning Show Host Touted for Two Decades of Success By Marcia Caller Jaffe The longevity of the 53-year-old broadcast personality Bert Weiss was touted July 17. He was celebrated for his 20 engaging, hilarious and honest years of The Bert Show. For loyal early birds, with a heavy female audience, Weiss airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. to an estimated 1 million people a week. The radio personality has morphed and modernized with a diverse and young staff, social media, apps and podcasts. Thriving over two decades, staff, media, and selected friends and family gathered at 5Church Atlanta at the renovated Colony Square with an indoor/outdoor soiree. Born in Beverly Hills, Weiss began his professional career in San Diego where he was a research assistant and in the promotions department, working his way up to being a sidekick. He ultimately landed in Atlanta in March 2001, spreading his wings as the headliner. Staying on top of his game and expanding his reach, Weiss’ show syndicated in 2010 to 25 markets such as Nashville and New Orleans. As part of Cumulus Media for the past 16 years, Bert appeared on the cover of Atlanta magazine in 2005: “The Bert Show, Yes, It’s Tacky, But We Can’t Stop Listening.” Weiss keeps the show lively and unscripted with gossip, prank calls, true confessions, love triangles, comments on cheating hearts, and titillating high jinx. He is beloved because of his own “skin in the game” foibles, including his drinking, vasectomy and divorce. 5Church was elaborately decorated with large turquoise and smaller, graystriped balloon arches, monogrammed Bert Show pillows, and glowing table cubes. COVID was taken very seriously as guests had to pre-register their vaccine status earlier in the week and show proof at the door. Those without proof, were given an on-the-spot COVID test. Music blared and the indoor-outdoor setting allowed for the cool breeze on such a pleasant night. Outdoors, the photo-op stage light scripted “STAY SEXY.” A gracious wait staff served tuna tartar, truffled devil eggs, spanakopita, sliders and the like before the main dining area opened into a multi-level pasta bar. The inside and main stage area TVs played ongoing videos of Weiss’ antics, such as trying on an elegant wedding gown, wearing a fake pregnancy stomach pillow, and most importantly, scenes of his wellexecuted charity Bert’s Big Adventure. The organization started in 2003 and treats children from 5 to 12 who are chronically or
Audio producer K. Lee said that Weiss is an “awesome dude.”
Bert Weiss poses with Rett Thompson, a video producer, by the Stay Sexy sign outdoors at 5Church.
Scott Merlin, Weiss’ attorney, and Jessica Merlin state that Bert has remained humble and honest.
terminally ill with proven financial need to a five-day trip to Disney World, all expenses paid. “BBA” is estimated to have supported over 160 families in the United States. Families may receive a chartered flight to Orlando, park passes, the whole nine yards. For this, he was the recipient of an 11Alive Community Service Award. Camaraderie and emotion filled the room as Weiss mingled easily with guests. Friend Don Anthony said, “Bert is one of a kind. I put him high up on a shelf by himself.” Weiss’ attorney, both personal and professional, Scott Merlin, and wife Jessica Schwartz Merlin, a school counselor, have vacationed with Weiss. Scott said, “Bert is a phenomenal father. He is genuinely nice. Men like him are hard to come by. As accomplished as he is in the entertainment world, Bert is still modest, humble and easy to work with.” Audio producer K. Lee exclaimed, “Bert is one awesome dude!”
I thought the Saturday party was a sensational evening. I don’t really take the time to reflect on the success that the show has because it doesn’t feel over. I’m bad at that. But it felt fantastic to relive the past 20 years and embrace what this show has done over 20 years and how special and impactful it has been. ì
Videos rolled on screens of Weiss’ antics, like trying on a bridal gown.
Read our private convo with the star: AJT: What are your fav places to hang out? Weiss: Well, this is about to change. I’ve lived inside the perimeter for 20 years and I’m in the process of moving to Suwannee. I loved the BeltLine, but looking forward to spending time on the greenway. AJT: What are some surprises we might see in the future? Weiss: Life is one big surprise, isn’t it? Heck if I know what’s coming. AJT: To what do you owe your success? Weiss: Being vulnerable, authentic and hiring amazing, gifted people to be part of the staff. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 9
Atlanta Participates in ‘No Fear’ Rally in D.C. By Stephanie Nissani Over the past few months, American Jews have expressed increasing vulnerability and fear of attack in public places because of rising anti-Semitic violence stemming from the war between Israel and Gaza in May. In response, Jewish communities have come together to counter
war in May. One of the main organizers of the rally was Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. “Looking out at all of you today it becomes clear that instead of dividing us, the enemies of the Jewish people, whether from the right or the left, at home or abroad, they have instead united us,” the
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A rollicking journey set against the backdrop of the diamond and gold economic boom in South Africa. Filled with the who’s who of South African history, both Jewish and non-Jewish, this refreshing, light-hearted, albeit ﬁctional tale, blends historical characters and events into a thoroughly enjoyable, page-turning read that will resonate with anyone familiar with South African history, and with Jewish South African history in particular. Gavin Morris – Director The South African Jewish Museum
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Cheryl Dorchinsky holds a sign at‘No Fear’ Rally in D.C.
their discomfort with a strong showing of religious identity and unity. One such demonstration, attended by thousands, was “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People” July 11 on the National Mall outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. The gathering was co-sponsored and organized by over 100 Jewish and interfaith organizations, which funneled over 2,000 people to the rally. The pro-Israel organizations that co-sponsored and attended the event included The Jewish Federations of North America, the AntiDefamation League, American Jewish Committee and leading Republican and Democratic Jewish groups. They came together to promote awareness about the imminent threat to Jewish people across the U.S. following anti-Semitic violence in such cities as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, parts of Europe and Israel. Cheryl Dorchinsky, executive director of Americans United with Israel and Atlanta Israel Coalition, traveled to D.C. for the rally. In a phone interview with the AJT, she said that although it wasn’t an easy trek and the heat was challenging, it was wonderful to see the crowd. “The last big rally I experienced that invited many heads of organizations and individuals was the one in Atlanta, but this one was on a bigger scale.” The Atlanta rally she referenced was one of several demonstrations in Atlanta following the Israel-Gaza
Thousands participate in Washington D.C. rally.
A pride flag with a Star of David is waved beside Israel’s blue and white symbol.
younger Wiesel said at the rally, according to The Times of Israel. “Here we stand, a coalition of Jews and our allies from all backgrounds, all political beliefs, and all religious affiliations, who have come together to stand up to antisemitism. This coalition will not be silenced whether Jews are facing violence in Los Angeles, or Brooklyn, or Paris or Tel Aviv. It won’t be silent whether Jews are being attacked in our synagogues, on our streets, on our campuses, or on the floor of the House of Representatives.” Among the other speakers were the chairmen of opposing Jewish political groups: Former Sen. Norm Coleman for the Republican Jewish Coalition and
“No Fear Rally” drew thousands from Jewish and interfaith communities.
former Congressman Ron Klein of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. They took the stage together to address the gathering, according to The Times of Israel. TOI reported that Coleman said at the rally, “We stand united in the belief that each of us has a responsibility to call out antisemitism in the political arena, whether it is in our own party or whether it rears its ugly face on the other side of the aisle.” Klein said, “Antisemitism has no place in America or anywhere in the world,” and “From this day forward, we must continue to stand together in this fight.” Noticeably missing from the gathering were some left-leaning Jewish organizations such as J Street, T’ruah and Americans for Peace Now. They declined to co-sponsor the rally, partly because of the participation by right-wing organizations, including the Zionist Organization of America and StandWithUs, TOI reported. Despite the participation of partisan groups, Dorchinsky took a strong stance on the subject. “I want to make this clear: Israel is a human topic, not a political topic; being Jewish is a human topic and should not be tied to political issues.” Disclosure: AJT Editor-Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky is founder and president of Americans United with Israel. ì
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Breman’s ‘History With Chutzpah’ Gets Big Boost By Bob Bahr When the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum opens its 25th anniversary exhibition in September, it will be with a $400,000 gift from the Frances Bunzl Family Trust. The donation, believed the largest single gift in the institution’s history, will also be used to establish a special fund to develop future exhibitions at the museum. It’s a move that was described as “transformative” by Breman Executive Director Leslie Gordon, who announced the gift. “A dedicated exhibition fund has farreaching potential. It will allow the Breman to broaden its impact and welcome new and diverse audiences eager to experience engaging, interactive and pioneering exhibitions.” The 25th anniversary exhibit, which covers Jewish life in Georgia and Alabama over the past 300 years, is entitled “History With Chutzpah.” The exhibit has been in development since 2019 and will cover six broad themes that emphasize the “chutzpah,” or bold, decisive actions that have helped to build the Jewish South. Many of the items on display have come from the Breman’s Southern history archives, generally recognized today as one of the most extensive collections of its type in the country. But when the museum’s founding archivist Sandy Berman took over the collection in 1985, it was, as she described, a couple of cardboard boxes in an empty closet at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. One of the boxes contained the papers of Rabbi Harry Epstein, who retired in 1982 after serving Ahavath Achim Synagogue here for 54 years. The other box was filled with the Federation’s records.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is this Blue Horse, corporate symbol in 1930 of the Montag school supplies company.
The late Frances Bunzl’s family trust gave The Breman Museum what is believed the largest gift in its history.
“History With Chutzpah,” The Breman Museum’s 25th anniversary exhibit, opens Sept. 19.
Among the highlights of the exhibit is Isidor Straus, born in Columbus, Ga., who later owned Macy’s department store in New York. He died with his wife on The Titanic in 1912. 12 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
During her 27 years as an archivist, Berman helped assemble many of the more than 250 documents, photographs, oral histories and artifacts that make up the museum’s anniversary exhibition. Helping to create “History With Chutzpah” has given Berman a deep sense of personal satisfaction, she said. “It’s one thing to collect and preserve. But the other part of the museum is that you bring it out of the darkness and you show it off and you show it to the people so that you can tell the stories about the history and the lives of everyone who came before them.” The exhibition, co-curated by The Breman’s founding director Jane Leavey, focuses on the lives of those famous and not-so-famous Jews who helped to make history, beginning with their arrival in Savannah in 1733. Among the stories that the exhibit tells is how a young Frances Hamburger Bunzl fled Nazi Germany and was fortunate enough to have relatives in America who were able to sign affidavits of support. Those documents made it possible for her to emigrate. She moved to Atlanta and became engaged to Walter Bunzl on the same day as Pearl Harbor was attacked, Dec. 7, 1941. Bunzl, who died in 2019 at the age of 99, also left $5.6 million shared between Jewish Family & Career Services and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. It’s believed that the bequest from the Bunzl Family Trust earlier this year was the largest gift that either organization ever received. ì A short preview of “History With Chutzpah” can be seen at www.thebreman.org/Exhibitions/Now-on-View/Eighteen-ArtifactsA-Story-of-Jewish-Atlanta
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BUSINESS Two Atlantan Cyclists Raise Funds for Chai Lifeline On July 29, Joshua Joel will join more than 600 bikers to ride a shared 60,000 miles as part of Bike4Chai 2021. Now in its 12th year, the annual cycling event raises funds for Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network Rachel Leff will participate in the Tour de Simcha Aug. 5. which provides social, practical, and financial assistance to children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses and their families. A week later, on Aug. 5, Rachel Leff will take part in Tour de Simcha 2021, which also benefits Chai Lifeline. “In second grade, one of my closest friends was diagnosed with leukemia,” Joel said. “Watching how Chai Lifeline jumped in to support his family during those years made a big impact on me. Later, another friend had a brain tumor, and I saw Chai Lifeline in action again. These special memories drive me to give back.”
This year’s one-day ride will feature two scenic but challenging route options of 80 or 103 miles. Cyclists will depart from Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, N.J, stopping at the gates of Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s summer camp for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Glen Spey, N.Y. There, the riders will be greeted by the campers, many of whom require wheelchairs, respirators, or other medical equipment to survive, before returning to Vernon for a finish line celebratory barbecue. In the Tour de Simcha, more than 100 women will clip in on their bikes and ride thousands of miles in the annual, all-women’s cycling event that will benefit children and families living with pediatric illness. Leff said, “Chai Lifeline gives these children opportunity after opportunity to experience something positive that will give them strength as they go through the struggles of their daily lives. However, throughout it all, the kids are the true inspiration!” Participants will embark from the Glen Spey campus of Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline’s flagship summer program for children with cancer, disabilities, and chronic illnesses. Riders will have the choice of either a 38 or 65-mile route along the scenic, rolling hills of the Catskills. They will finish at Camp Simcha Special, where they will be cheered on and celebrate their incredible achievement with the campers.
Piedmont Hospital Appoints Lila Hertz Board Chair
Lila Hertz is chair of Piedmont Hospital’s board of directors.
Lila Hertz has been appointed chair of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s board of directors. Hertz served as a member of the board of directors from 2003 to 2009, rejoining in 2019. She served on the Piedmont Healthcare Board of Directors from 2009 until 2018. She earned the Georgia Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013 for her work with Piedmont. Hertz is well known for her leadership and service to a variety of organizations and causes in Atlanta, particularly in the areas of health care and child welfare. In addition to her work at Piedmont, Hertz has served as board president of Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta; co-chair of the Jeffrey Fashion Cares fundraiser for 18 years (benefitting Komen and Atlanta AIDS Fund) and board chair for the Alliance Theatre. She has also supported Camp Twin Lakes by co-chairing special events
and fundraising. In addition to GHA, Hertz has been recognized with awards from other organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of Jewish Women. In 2017, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Atlanta Chapter, presented Lila and Doug Hertz with the Philanthropists of the Year Award. “Piedmont Healthcare has benefitted from Lila’s commitment, enthusiasm and leadership over the years,” said Dr. Patrick Battey, CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Lila’s dedication to the community is evident in all she does, and she is a true example of the Piedmont Promise of making a positive difference in every life she touches. We are thrilled to welcome her as the chair of the Piedmont Atlanta Board of Directors.” The Lila L. Hertz Surgical Lounge at Piedmont’s Marcus Tower is also named after her.
Sanjay Gupta Donates to Odyssey on Jeopardy! Hosting Jeopardy! Dr. Sanjay Gupta chose Odyssey camps as his featured charity, with $231,059 going to the education program. Executive Director Jeff Cohen said the money will be used by the organization to continue fulfilling its mission to its scholars. Jeopardy! matches the cumulative winnings of all contestants who compete, donating the proceeds to the charity of the guest host’s choice, according to its website. 14 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
BUSINESS Gupta is the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, reports health and medical news for all of CNN’s shows domestically and internationally, and regularly contributes to CNN. com. Odyssey’s slogan is: A Quest Hosting Jeopardy! Dr. Sanjay Gupta chose Odyssey for Knowledge | A Path to Colas his featured charity and donated $231,059. lege. It also bills itself as Atlanta’s alternative to summer camp. It works with public school students to help improve their school performance and instill a love for lifelong learning. Targeting Atlanta public school students in rising grades 1 to 12 from underserved communities, Odyssey offers an educational six-week summer camp experience for nearly 400 students, focusing on STEAM — science, technology, art, engineering, and math — through a curriculum grounded in project- based learning. Odyssey encourages students to embark upon a quest for knowledge and a journey toward higher education.
Beth Jacob Winner of Grant Congregation Beth Jacob in Atlanta is one of 35 synagogues in the U.S. and Canada to receive $100,000 in grants “in an effort to bring communities back to shul as more people are vaccinated” against COVID-19, according to the Orthodox Union. The OU received over 300 submissions across 34 states, from a range of synagogues. “The 35 winners chosen by the OU Grant Committee represented both outof-the-box thinking and opportunities that are more likely to rebuild and reaffirm the value of synagogue and community and therefore encourage congregants to
return for the long term,” the OU stated in a recent release. “The submissions represent a large depository of ideas and are available to any synagogue that could benefit from the innovative thinking. Ideas included hosting a communal kiddush celebration as a ‘make-up’ for missed milestones, a back-to-shul fair, and a communal parlor meeting project to truly understand the changed needs of congregants.”
Congregation Beth Jacob is among synagogues winning grants encouraging a return to shul.
CURE Honors Two Jewish Volunteers CURE Childhood Cancer recently bestowed Cindy Goldberg and Debbie Levinson with the new Lauren Zagoria Champion for Children Award to recognize their deep commitment to helping children with cancer. The Jewish volunteers were recognized for their “tireless commitment to raising funds to advance childhood cancer research," CURE stated in a July 1 release. “For more than 15 years, Goldberg and Levinson have passionately and compassionately educated the community about the tragedy of childhood cancer and the need for research. They have led fundraising campaigns with the annual Lauren’s Run and CURE Childhood Cancer Family Picnic event, which have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support innovative childhood cancer research.”
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BUSINESS Fintech South hosted more than 2,000 fintech leaders from around the world for three days of content and experiences designed to help drive business success and help business thrive in the “next normal.” A virtual Israel Pavilion was the home of innovative and cutting edge fintech technologies from the Startup Nation. The 17 Israeli companies are market leaders in such areas as artificial intelligence, machine learning, payments, automation, fraud, authentication, data intelligence and blockchain.
‘Great American Deli Schlep’ at General Muir Kristin Connor, CEO of CURE, with Cindy Goldberg, Debbie Levinson and Janis Zagoria.
CURE CEO Kristin Connor said, “In memory of Lauren Zagoria and in honor of all children fighting cancer, Cindy and Debbie are truly champions and deserve to be celebrated and honored with this special award. Their commitment to CURE has grown and expanded over the years, and they have truly made a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.” Founder of Lauren’s Run, Janis Zagoria, added that Goldberg and Levinson “are positive, committed women and CURE is lucky to have them as volunteers. This award is a way to honor both Lauren and to honor Cindy and Debbie.” Goldberg said, “When Janis asked me to help the first time, I said ‘yes’ and haven’t looked back. It is an honor to work with Janis and to continue this important work with CURE for the next family that needs help.” Levinson added, “Janis took a personal tragedy and has moved forward with dignity and grace to help other families. I plan to keep doing this as long as I can, because it’s a job I don’t want to give up.” Janis and Marvin Zagoria started Lauren’s Run at Zoo Atlanta in 1994 in memory of their daughter Lauren, who died after a courageous battle with neuroblastoma. To date, Lauren’s Run has raised over $4.4 million for childhood cancer research.
Israel Groups Hold Virtual Fintech Conference
Bikers meet at The General Muir as part of a cross-country “deli schlep” to raise hunger awareness.
Motorcyclists on a “Great American Deli Schlep” came through Atlanta last month, stopping at The General Muir in Emory Point, as part of an effort to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity. The Sabra Riders of Atlanta met organizer Steve Goode in Auburn, Ala. June 27 before the group convened June 30 at the Emory deli. The 75-day cross-country trek involved stops at 42 Jewish delis, starting in Goode’s native Chicago, and was to hit every state in the U.S. Goode was inspired to organize the schlep by a map of the country’s best Jewish delis compiled by The Nosher in 2018, according to The Times of Israel. The group also is working with the nonprofit Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger to raise awareness about the issue. Compiled by AJT Staff
Atlanta Developers Save Historic Landmarks By Robyn Spizman Gerson
Screenshot of Rahav Shalom-Revivo, Israel Ministry of Finance, right, in a fintech conference session moderated by James Spiro, CTech.
Conexx: America Israel Business Connector, the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast with the Israel Economic Mission in NYC (Ministry of Economy) and the Israel Export Institute hosted a delegation of 17 Israeli fintech companies at the virtual Fintech South 2021 conference last month. Produced by the Technology Association of Georgia, “Fintech South 2021 is a world-class virtual summit with its nexus in Atlanta, a global financial technology hub that is home to more than 200 fintech companies,” Conexx reported in a release. The top 15 public fintech companies in Georgia alone generate more than $100 billion in revenues, according to the release.
16 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
In late 2015, while touring a mostly abandoned street in south downtown Atlanta, Michael Garber and Benjamin McLoughlin shared a passion for historic real estate and urban revitalization. Over the next five years they worked on various intown Atlanta multifamily and commercial development projects with a focus on the redevelopment of existing properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods. In search of a dream project, a well-located historic boutique hotel with roots in Atlanta culture, in January of 2020 they merged their respective companies to form Canvas Companies, the goal of which is to create spaces that respond, cultivate and reflect the community. While reading local real estate news during the summer of 2020, the Canvas partners became aware of the historic Highland Inn, comprised of a 112-key boutique hotel, the Highland Inn Ballroom, a restaurant space and an adjacent 30,000-square-foot commercial building made up of local retailers and office space. They soon saw an opportunity to preserve the property for the neighborhood, while creating an enticing offer for the current owner to sell the property. Over several months, McLoughlin
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Benjamin McLoughlin and Michael Garber create a company to save historic landmarks.
built a relationship with the owner, and in February, Canvas closed on the transaction to purchase the property. The inn will soon morph into a flexible living concept – part boutique hotel, European hostel, and apartment – that offers a variety of housing accommodations: from a nightly hotel stay for those intown attending an event, fully furnished three- to sixmonth leases for those new to Atlanta or here for a work project, or full-time traditional rental housing for those looking for a walkable intown apartment with the feel of a boutique hotel. Canvas plans to start renovations toward the end of the year with completion 10 to 12 months later.
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Event 3 of 6 in our Mental Health Series for the Atlanta Community ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 17
NEWS FROM OUR JEWISH HOME Tel Aviv University Develops Nerve-Restoring Tech Researchers from Tel Aviv University recently announced the development of a sensor to help restore nerve function for injured or amputated Courtesy of Tel Aviv parts of the body. University // Research The sensor can illustration of nervebe implemented restoring function. anywhere in the body, connected to functioning nerves to help restore tactical sensation to the injured nerve. Each time the limb touches an object, the sensor is activated and sends a current to the functioning nerve, helping to recreate the sensation of touch, said biomedical engineer Dr. Ben Maoz, one of the lead researchers. “We tested our device on animal models, and the results were very encouraging. Next, we want to test the implant on larger models, and at a later stage, implant our sensors in the fingers of people who have lost the ability to sense touch. Restoring this ability can significantly
improve people’s functioning and quality of life, and more importantly, protect them from danger.” The device is also biocompatible, meaning that it can be used safely in the human body without maintenance and does not require batteries. Maoz hopes the invention will help those who have been injured. “Even if the wound can be healed and the injured nerve can be sutured, in many cases the sense of touch remains damaged. We decided to tackle this challenge together and find a solution that will restore tactile sensation to those who have lost it.”
Missing Section of First TempleEra Walls Raised in Jerusalem Excavations in Jerusalem have revealed a previously undiscovered portion of a defensive wall from the First Temple period that was breached by the Babylonians, according to The Times of Israel. While the biblical account of the destruction states that the Babylonians “tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side,” (2 Kings 25:10) this new section of the wall appears to have remained standing, partially, after the fall, the Times of Israel reported. The entire wall that surrounded Jerusa-
Today in Israeli History
ologists by Haredi Jews, based on claims that the site includes a Jewish cemetery.
July 31, 1962 — Right-wing politician Moshe Feiglin, who runs for Likud chairman three times and wins a Knesset seat in 2013, is born in Haifa. He enters politics after launching an organization to protest the Oslo Accords.
August 4, 1888 — Yitzhaq Shami, an early writer of modern Hebrew literature, is born to an Arabic-speaking father and a Ladinospeaking mother in Hebron. He fills his stories and poems with Arabs and Mizrahi Jews, a rarity for the period.
August 1, 2016 — Andre Hajdu, a prolific composer and ethnomusicologist, dies at 84 in Jerusalem. Hajdu was born in Hungary. He first visited Israel in 1966, moved to Jerusalem that year, and taught at the Tel Aviv Music Academy and Bar-Ilan University.
August 5, 1953 — Unit 101, an independent special forces section of the Israel Defense Forces, is launched with about 20 soldiers under the command of Ariel Sharon to provide a rapid, nimble response to terrorist attacks.
Andre Hajdu received the Israel Prize in 1997.
August 2, 1968 — Oil reaches Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea from Eilat on the Red Sea through a pipeline for the first time. The overland connection between Israel’s largest ports offers a crucial alternative to the Suez Canal. August 3, 1981 —An excavation in Jerusalem’s Area G, on the eastern side of the City of David, is suspended amid attacks on archae18 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
August 6, 2015 — Stage and screen actress Orna Porat dies at 91 in Tel Aviv. The former Irene Klein was a German Christian who moved to the Land of Israel with a Jewish British officer she met after World War II.
lem during this era can be reconstructed by historians and archeologists. The latter Yaniv Berman/ Israel Antiquities believe the Authority // The excavation wall was directors sitting on the constructed exposed section of the First in the late Temple-era protective wall on Jerusalem’s eastern perimeter. 8th or early 7th century B.C.E. “It seems like we have the run of the First Temple fortification,” said Dr. Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority. According to the co-directors of the excavation, Dr. Filip Vukosavović of the Ancient Jerusalem Research Center and the IAA’s Uziel and Ortal Chalaf, “the city wall protected Jerusalem from a number of attacks during the reign of the kings of Judah until the arrival of the Babylonians, who managed to break through it and conquer the city. The remains of the ruins can be seen in the archaeological excavations. However, not everything was destroyed, and parts of the walls, which stood and protected the city for decades and more, remain standing to this day.”
A new exhibition by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art placed sculptures outside, with the “Out of the Cube” exhibition that took place around the city of Tel Aviv between July 17-28, according to The Times of Israel. The artists created works inspired by their own surroundings, no matter Courtesy Yair Garbuz //Head the losculpture by Efrat Natan from cation, 1973, performance courtesy of the with the artist, for “Out of the Cube” exhibit exhibit from Tel Aviv Museum of Art. allowing urban residents to wander and see the works on their own time. The museum hoped the use of urban space for exhibition would expand the traditional viewing audience for sculpture work, as well as let viewers react both to the art and the environment in which it was placed. The exhibition took place throughout Tel Aviv in a number of neighborhoods.
August 7, 2002 — The Palestinian Authority Cabinet agrees to a truce proposed by Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer to withdraw the Israel Defense Forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem during the Second Intifada. August 8, 1984 — Hebrew linguist and lexicographer Avraham Even-Shoshan dies at 77 in Tel Aviv. From 1946 to 1958, he worked on the New Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, known since 2003 as the Even-Shoshan Dictionary. August 9, 2006 — Israel’s Security Cabinet approves an expansion of targets in the Second Lebanon War to achieve five goals, including the return of two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah at the start of the war in July. August 10, 1979 — Economist David Horowitz, the founder of the Bank of Israel, dies at 80. As the first director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Finance, he lobbied for the creation of a central bank and was named its first governor in 1954.
National Photo Collection of Israel Orna Porat is shown in 1957, the year she converted to Judaism.
New Israeli Art Exhibition Brought Art Outside
August 11, 2017 — Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal, an artisan candy maker from Poland recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest living man, dies in Haifa one month before his 114th birthday. August 12, 1991 — Yeruham Cohen, a soldier known for befriending Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, dies at 75. He was an intel-
ligence aide to Gen. Yigal Allon in 1948 when he met Nasser during truce negotiations in the Negev. August 13, 1942 — Nurit Hirsch, a musician and composer, is born Photo by Ilan Besor via in Tel Aviv. Wikimedia Commons// With Ehud In addition to composing the 1978 Eurovision winner, Manor’s lyrics, Nurit Hirsch wrote the she writes Isramusic for Israel’s first-ever el’s first Euroentry in the song contest, vision-winning “Ey-sham” in 1973. song, “A-Ba-NiBi,” performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta in 1978. August 14, 1910 — Nathan Alterman, a poet, journalist, translator, author and playwright, is born in Warsaw. He makes aliyah in 1925. His second book of poems, “The Joy of the Poor” in 1941, is considered his masterpiece. ìì Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.
Travel to Israel Getting Easier By Jan Jaben-Eilon For those Atlantans either brave enough or eager enough to travel to Israel despite rising COVID-19 numbers in both countries, the Israeli government has just simplified the application permit procedure for n o n -I s r a e l i citizens. Instead of emailing dozens of documents to an Israeli Alex Gandler is deputy consulate and consul general at the waiting for Consulate General of approvals, Israel to the Southeast. there’s now an online system for entry permits. “It is, at the moment, the only way to request entry to Israel,” said The deputy director of the Alex Gandler, Israel Ministry of Foreign deputy consul Affairs is Eyal Siso. general at the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast. The form, with links below, became available July 13 and can be assessed online through the Israeli government site. Applicants are instructed to submit the online form four weeks before their date of departure. According to the Israeli consulate website, the online form accepts applications from foreign citizens: • With a first-degree family member in Israel who is a citizen or permanent resident • Travelers with a parent who is an Israeli citizen • A foreign citizen married to an Israeli citizen or permanent resident • A foreign parent of a minor Israeli child, a lone soldier or a national service volunteer or one of their first-degree relatives • Students and yeshiva students • Applicants who want to travel to Israel to attend a funeral. The Israeli government intends for the online system to relieve the bureaucratic headaches on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the global pandemic struck last year, U.S. citizens have faced overwhelming – and sometimes impossible – hurdles to travel to Israel to visit relatives. Once vaccinated non-
Israelis with first-degree relatives in Israel were technically allowed into the country in April, the onslaught of permission requests overwhelmed consulates around the U.S. Gandler said he was suddenly required to consider every single non-Israeli applicant wanting permission to travel to Israel from his seven-state area. “We weren’t staffed for this,” he said. He told the AJT that he had been receiving dozens of emails a day plus phone calls. The deputy director general for consulate affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eyal Siso, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he was “cautiously optimistic” that the system would quickly improve the situation. “We are doing our best,” he said. “I know it will be better; it’s a question of how much better, how quickly.” This should be good news for Atlantans anxious to see relatives in Israel. Many have made travel reservations only to have to cancel or reschedule them because they hadn’t received the necessary permits to enter Israel in time. Notably, individual tourists wanting to travel to Israel are still not going to be allowed entry before September. Only small, organized tourist groups and students are permitted into the country if they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Testing is still required both before departing the U.S. and upon arrival in Israel. In fact, travelers must quarantine for 24 hours after arrival or until a negative PCR, or antibodies, test result is received, whichever comes first. Travelers from a growing list of countries, including Great Britain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, are being required to quarantine for a week upon arrival, even if they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Fines of as much as $1,500 will be charged to travelers who break quarantine. Travel to and from a few other countries, such as Brazil, South Africa and Russia, are totally banned. Indeed, COVID restrictions that had been relaxed the last couple of months in Israel have now been tightened again as the Delta variant of the coronavirus has spread. Israelis are being asked to again don their facemasks indoors, as well as being warned against non-essential international travel. In mid-July, Israel’s daily COVID infections surpassed 1,000 for the first time since March. The country is trying to avoid yet another total shutdown as its economy is still recovering from previous closures due to the pandemic.ì For instructions on the entry permits, visit the Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta, https://embassies.gov.il/atlanta/
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OPINION To Every Thing There is a Season Eating h o m e - g r ow n fruits and vegetables provides an undeniable sense of accomplishment. I prefer to work outdoors in the morning, Dave Schechter before the sun From Where I Sit rises over the tree line and the day’s heat sets in. I wear a green-and-yellow John Deere cap that reads “Farm Iowa,” next to an outline of the state where I went to college and began my career, and where my mother grew up. She and my youngest sister sent me the cap and a similarly emblazoned sweatshirt last year as birthday gifts. Every so often I call and give them a video tour of the crops. The tomato plants refuse to be bound by their cages and their vines have become intertwined. Their fruit has an aroma and taste superior to those stacked on grocery shelves. Along with adding flavor to our salads, and serving them with our basil leaves, tomato sandwiches are among my favorite “South-
ern” foods. We have harvested romaine lettuce, kale and collards planted over the winter. I am not a fan of kale or collards, though others here like the taste. The banana and bell peppers are coming in and, by the time this is published, the cucumbers hopefully will have appeared. The lone okra and eggplant have yielded little thus far. I worried — rightfully, it turned out — that shade from our monstrosity of a kiwi plant would limit the raspberries. The adjacent blueberries grew in decent numbers. An especially plentiful blackberry crop has been nibbled as snacks, baked into a pie, shared with friends (one of whom made jam), and frozen for future use. In truth, just as satisfying as consuming that produce has been watching its growth. Before planting the garden box, we turned and fertilized the soil and put down newspaper to retard the growth of weeds. We water and weed as necessary, but otherwise are pretty much hands off. It can be more challenging to adopt a similar approach with our adult children, ages 22, 28 and 30. Learning when to offer
advice and when to hold our tongues is a process. Our daughter uses a particularly colorful phrase when she feels we have stepped over her line. Her younger brothers have their ways of letting us know. With all the love we could muster, and certainly while making our share of mistakes, we did what we could to teach our children well, and to give them both roots and wings. Now, we may delight in their successes and ache for their disappointments — without reflexively reaching out to catch them when they fall. To varying degrees, they are “launched,” though our basement resembles a storage locker for toys, trophies, school projects, and other items that at some point must move with them or be discarded. They have heard, more than once, how I came home from work one day many years ago to discover that my parents, as they drove from Chicago to Des Moines, had deposited boxes marked with my name on the front yard, to the amusement of my housemates. Though the recent college graduate, now learning the ins and outs of the technical side of the film business, sometimes spends the night here, the nest has become
quieter. So, when we were all under one roof again on a recent weekend, the kids’ laughter and even the gibes they directed at each other were welcome sounds. This household has endured its share of oncological challenges the past couple of years, none so much as our middle child. After a difficult year, for him and for us, he — in the parlance of cancer patients — rang the bell, ending months of chemotherapy. The best news came in June, when his doctor said that tests showed him to be in remission. To reboot a life interrupted by disease and treatment, he moved out and relocated to another city. The lessons he has learned and the obstacles he has overcome at a relatively young age have given him added confidence to embrace change. Back in the garden, the berry harvest grows smaller by the day, just as the veggies are ripening. Another transition is underway. Before we became parents, we were just “us.” Now, for the most part, we are again. As our children build lives of their own, we have an opportunity to stretch our wings, to explore what that means and to write a new chapter in our lives.ì
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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 email@example.com.
Letter to the editor, There is an increasing number of Orthodox Jews falling down the QAnon rabbit hole and becoming followers of the conspiracy. Save the Children Israel on Telegram uses the actual charity’s logo but is a QAnon propaganda platform. The posts reproduce many of the same QAnon tropes available on English language QAnon channels: an evil cabal, children kidnapped and trafficked, insisting that 8 million children a year go missing. The channel explains how American convicted pedophiles can use Israel’s “right of return” as a loophole to avoid prosecution in the United States and make aliyah to Israel. On the QAnon Hebrew channel, they circulate comparable content you could find on the American channels. They promote the fallacy that doctors and childprotective services are ripping children away from their mothers. QAnon in Israel rekindles age- old conspiracy that circulated in the 1950s among Mizrahi families who alleged their healthy children were being stolen to be given to Ashkenazi families or killed for their blood. For decades 1,000 families lived with their doubts and deep distrust of Israeli authorities that there had been a systematic scheme to abduct the newborn babies from families of recent immigrants from Yemen and give them to childless Ashkenazi couples. This myth even existed in [this letter’s co-author] Yulie’s own family, after they immigrated from Tripoli, Libya, when two seemingly healthy children were pronounced dead at the hospital during a routine postnatal exam. Save the Children Israel identifies the usual boogeymen: George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Further, the channel alleges that former President Obama purchased his two daughters from Clinton’s underground trafficking network (whose underground tunnels exists throughout the D.C. area) since they also allege that Michelle Obama was not born female. The channel attacks Soros, the Pope, Tom Hanks, and many of the Hollywood targets, connecting them to Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. Unique to QAnon in Israel is the ad-
dition of several Israeli celebrities to help the channel resonate by adding local flavor, hip hop singer Momy Levi is accused of having sexually abused a boy of 11 ½, rock musician Aviv Geffen, the singer and poet Daniel Oz (son of Moshe), musician Amrani Brockman (for wearing a shirt with a logo that connects him to the pedophilic cabal) and even the popular TV show “Zehu Ze” for singing a song about pizza in season 3 episode 1. QAnon Israel supported Netanyahu and reiterated some of the most conspiratorial statements from former PM Netanyahu about how the social media companies colluded with his enemies and caused him to lose the recent Israeli election. The QAnon channel in Hebrew even suggested that Netanyahu refuse to leave the residence – before Bibi announced he wasn’t leaving for an additional two weeks. The existence of a QAnon Israel may have some of the same corrosive effects on Israel’s already brittle democracy, and religious leaders from within the Orthodox community need to disavow it before it grows out of control as it has in the United States.
rejected several Israeli proposals that would have led to the emergence of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine. The problem is that the Palestinian leaders are more interested in trying to replace Israel with a Muslim-majority state than in making any effort to build a Palestinian state. Many Israeli businesses in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (areas dubbed the “West Bank” by the Jordanians) employ Palestinians as well as Jews and serve both Jewish and Palestinian consumers. They should be lauded for showing that Jews and Palestinians can co-exist, a first step toward realizing the dream of Two States for Two Peoples, a Palestinian state living in peace with the nation-state of the Jews. Ben & Jerry’s announcement unfortunately supports the Palestinian leaders’ anti-normalization stance, which condemns Palestinians who join in Is-
raeli efforts to end the conflict. For the sake of peace-seekers in Israel, I hope Mr. Zinger will continue with business as usual while searching for a new business sponsor. I urge Israel’s supporters, worldwide, to boycott Ben & Jerry’s and protest its wrongheaded move that abets people working for Israel’s destruction. ì Toby F. Block, 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.
Mia Bloom of Atlanta and Yulie Maimon, Sandy Springs
Letter to the editor, Avi Zinger holds the Israel franchise producing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. His business is located in Be’er Tuvia, a moshav near Ashkelon (a city frequently targeted by missiles from Gaza). Ben and Jerry’s has announced that it will not renew the license, set to expire in December 2022, because the business sells its ice cream in Israeli communities located beyond the Green Line (which Ben & Jerry’s calls “Occupied Palestinian Territory”). In fact, the land in question was liberated from illegal Jordanian occupation in 1967 only after Jordan fired on Israeli-controlled western Jerusalem, thereby allying with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intention of destroying Israel and annihilating her people. Palestinian leaders, while condemning Israeli “occupation” of “Palestinian land,” have ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 21
BACK TO SCHOOL & COLLEGE Getting Ready for Back to Class Atlanta Jewish day schools expect to keep up with the trend of businessas-usual postCOVID – well, almost – when they swing Roni Robbins open their doors next month. Meanwhile, public schools may be some of the last holdouts, not changing much over the past school year in terms of options for learning. Except students who choose online learning may be taught by a different teacher than the ones at their school. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 12 to 15. But with young children still not eligible for the vaccine, Atlanta-area public schools are erring on the side of caution, offering virtual learning to those not comfortable returning face-to-face next month. The AJT helps Jewish Atlanta compare and contrast back to school this year to 2020. Some of the schools may be following their county’s health guidelines for safety protocols, while others turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of July 9, the latter is encouraging a return to in-person classroom instruction for K-12 schools, while promoting mask wearing by those age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated. The CDC also recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within the classroom. When distancing is not possible, “it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking,” the CDC states online in its latest school guidance about pandemic learning. Regardless of the mask policy at the school, the CDC also states that “passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems. … Schools should provide masks to those students who need them (including on buses), such as students who forgot to bring their mask or whose families are unable to afford them.”
The Epstein School Like last year, classes will begin at The Epstein School in a staggered schedule, with first through eighth grades re22 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Epstein School students Micah, Ryleigh Reese and Alexis Bank go back to school.
turning Aug. 10, kindergarten the next day and early childhood students Aug. 12. “Interest has been strong this year and we anticipate opening in the mid-400s with new inquiries continuing to come in every day,” said Head of School David Abusch-Magder. “Both last year and this year, our primary instructional model is in-person. Last year, our students were in-person from the beginning of the year, though students could opt to participate virtually. “Our multilayered COVID mitigation strategies were very effective throughout the year and included changes to our physical plant, our schedule, and our classrooms, as well as use of personal protective equipment and public health protocols. With the introduction of vaccines in 2021, and the lower case-numbers, we have been relaxing some strategies while maintaining others,” Abusch-Magder continued. “In planning for this year, we will again be following updated public health guidance. Our approach is designed to be dynamic and allows us to tighten or relax our mitigation strategies based on what is happening at school and in our area. Given the rise of case rates associated with the delta variant, we will be starting with more strategies in place than we’d originally planned. “Most of our students are not eligible for vaccination as the school year begins; when they become eligible for vaccination, and as case rates stabilize and fall, we anticipate being able to relax some mitigation strategies. We will begin school with unvaccinated students and
their teachers wearing masks indoors.” New this year, Epstein is bringing back team sports in grades six through eight, following CDC and local health guidelines, Abusch-Magder said. Also, spaces at Epstein that were enlarged last year to accommodate social distancing efforts are being rebuilt with walls reinstalled to return to their original configuration, the school reported.
apart as opposed to 6 feet, more closely resembling a pre-pandemic classroom.” In the lower school, there will be smaller classes with one teacher as opposed to larger classes with two teachers, Sarif said. AJA requires all students 12 and older, and faculty and staff, to show proof of vaccination prior to the first day of school. “Parents with proof of vaccination will have increased access to campus for opportunities specific to their child’s classroom or adult-only events.” For example, coffee chats, social events and the like, she said. “Unvaccinated parents may have limited access to the building and/or masks may be required when exposed to unvaccinated children.” In other AJA back-to-school news, EB Catering will be preparing lunches for any students who wish to purchase it. Michael Levine has been hired as a music teacher. There will be more outside teach-
Atlanta Jewish Academy Students at AJA will also have a staggered start back to school like last year with Early Childhood Development students returning Aug. 10 followed by middle school Aug. 12, the lower school Aug. 13 and high school Aug. 18. A total of 485 students are expected, said Executive Director Franeen Sarif. “Last year we were on campus with in-person learning for the whole year, with the option to be remote. The only difference was high school started after the chaggim [holiday] in October. This year everyone is starting around the same time within a week or so of one another and remote learning is not a longterm option.” In terms of health protocols, Sarif explained, “Students will socialize with students outside of their immediate classroom. Students will regain mobility throughout the building, traveling to the art room, music room, gym and the learning commons. “Student desks will be set up 3 feet
AJA hired new music teacher Michael Levine.
ing areas with several gazebos added and bus service is expanding to Dunwoody with an additional bus on the Toco route, including a drop-off stop Intown. New high school electives include art, photography, music, coding and Maimonides Moot Court, previously known as Moot Beit Din. Policy Debate is being added as a middle school elective and ECD students will have weekly yoga classes. Lastly, parents and students will continue their training in body safety awareness through the Be Seen and Heard body safety curriculum.
BACK TO SCHOOL & COLLEGE The Davis Academy When The Davis Academy resumes classes Aug. 16, it will welcome back almost 500 students to its lower school and middle school campuses with some of the same protective protocols as last year, according to Amy Shafron, head of school. Those protocols include mask-wear-
Amy Shafron leads The Davis Academy
for those who are vaccinated, reflecting the newest CDC recommendation for school settings.” Last year the large majority of Davis students were learning in-person throughout the school year. “This year we have eliminated the need for a Concurrent Learning option. We are excited that all of our students will get the socialization and peer experiences that come with learning together in person, moving between classrooms, mixed groupings for PE, recess and lunch, student choices for 5th–8th grade electives, team sports, after-school programs, and more." Shafron added, “Our policies and practices are now being revised for the start of this school year knowing that the risk of transmission within our community has been greatly reduced with the almost universal vaccination of our faculty, staff and eligible students. Through a parent survey last spring, reporting indicates almost universal vaccination of our parents as well.”
Torah Day School
Classes resume Aug. 17 for the TDS ing and healthy hygiene, “while also en- lower school and Aug. 18 for middle abling students to mix for classes and ac- school with a little over 330 students extivities such as recess and PE across their pected, according to Rabbi Meir Cohen, grade level and to participate in athletics, head of school. No remote learning will extra-curricular activities and bus trans- be offered this year. “All students will portation,” she said. need to be in-person.” “In consultation with the medical While COVID policies continue to experts on our Health and Safety Com- take shape, Cohen said the school is enmittee, we will continue to evaluate the couraged by its track record. variables as school gets underway, will “Thankfully, we seem to have a high adjust as warranted, and will again revise population of adults who have been vacthem once our younger students become cinated, and a low rate of transmission eligible for vaccinations, which we hope will come in the early fall.” The school expects it “may have to alternate our approach when we enter the winter months and as we monitor the potential spread of the delta variant, we are also very optimistic that as soon as students of all ages become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, we will return with Rabbi Meir Cohen is the head of Torah Day School. great spirit fully to every aspect of our full pre-pandemic Davis experience. At the in our local Toco Hills community and current time we expect that when school in the school community. This past year, reopens, those who are unvaccinated will the protocols worked well to keep COVID wear masks except when outdoors or from spreading throughout the school. when eating, and masks will be optional “Although we had some individual
students and staff members who were infected at different times throughout the year, we did not have a known case of student-to-student transmission, and only one teacher-to-student transmission. We also only had one forced closure due to COVID the entire year (two or more people in the school with COVID at the same time). So, the protocols worked to keep everyone safe and to keep school in the building virtually the entire year,” he said. “As we look towards next year, we have over 90% of our faculty/staff fully vaccinated, and a recent community survey seems to indicate that this rate is consistent with all the adults in our community (though we haven’t polled the parents directly yet). “When we ended the year, positivity rates were at a level that would have allowed many leniencies in protocols based on the models we built last year. The only concerns we have about abandoning all protocols is that the children under 12 have not had the opportunity to get vaccinated and that the delta variant seems to be more contagious, more deadly, and becoming the prevalent strain in the U.S. So, I don’t think we will have all the protocols we had in place last year with social dis-
tancing, strict bubbling, mask wearing indoors or close proximity outdoors, daily health screening form and temperature, quarantine until proven that the ‘cold’ is not COVID, etc.” Cohen continued, “We are currently discussing which protocols would make the most sense to keep our students safe while at the same time providing the type of school experience that is most beneficial to their academic, social, emotional and spiritual growth. It is a balance we are still deciding on.” Among the decisions still to be made are mask mandates, he said. “No, we are not requiring everyone to be vaccinated. We are strongly encouraging.”
The Weber School School begins Aug. 13 at The Weber School. Although the school hadn’t finalized plans for back to school by press time, it pointed to its progress in the 2020-21 academic year. “We have moved through a year that focused on student, faculty and staff safety with tremendous success,” Head of School Rabbi Ed Harwitz told the AJT in a prepared statement. “For the 2021-2022 school year, we
learn more than just core academic subjects; they learn about themselves, who they are, and what role they want to play in making our world a better place.
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The head of The Weber School is Rabbi Ed Harwitz.
have enrolled 260 students and plan to be a fully operational school with a full complement of curricular and co-curricular programs both on and off-campus. We plan to resume our legacy programming, including our all-school Shabbaton, grade trips and Global Immersion Experiences,” Harwitz stated. “All travel education is being expanded this year with two Cuba trips (one more than usual) and extended grade trips (I believe a day longer than in the past).” Meanwhile, the school is monitoring the global health environment, Harwitz said. “We remain in close collaboration with the Fulton County Board of Health and will implement on campus safety protocols that are recommended by FCBH at the time that school begins.”
As it prepares to return to class Aug. 5, Atlanta Public Schools has a new policy on mask wearing and modified its bell schedule to start and end school earlier. The Universal Mask Wearing protocol in all schools and buildings came after evaluating the health landscape, according to the district’s website. That included data on the delta variant and the status of vaccinations in its community. For instance, the FCBH reports that about 18 percent of APS’ eligible students are fully vaccinated and about 58 percent of district employees have indicated that they are fully vaccinated or plan to be, APS reported from its survey data. “The American Academy of Pediatrics 24 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
recommends that all students and school staff wear masks regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and the CDC recommends that all unvaccinated people wear a mask. Given our low vaccination rates and increasing community spread, the CDC acknowledges that universal masking would be appropriate.” APS will also continue to offer COVID-19 surveillance testing weekly with vaccines for students and staff available twice before school begins: • In partnership with Walgreens, APS will offer vaccines to families and staff at the Back to School Bash July 31. • Starting Aug. 9, APS will offer on-site vaccinations to staff and eligible students in middle and high schools with the FCBH.
Cobb County Schools resume Aug. 2 with both face-to-face and online learners. Online teachers will not be teaching faceto-face and virtual students simultaneously, according to a district press release. “The dedicated online Cobb educators will focus solely on the needs of their online students.” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said, “There are students and teachers who are thriving in the online learning environment. So, it is incumbent to us to provide the opportunities that allow each student to succeed. Although we are anticipating that most Cobb students will return to face-to-face in August, online learning will continue to be an option for Cobb students and families for the long-term.” Online learning will be provided through the new Cobb Online Learning Academy for online learners in grades six to 12; local school-based online learning for students in pre-K through fifth grade; Cobb Horizon Academy as an alternative school for online learners; and the Cobb Virtual Academy for part-time online learners. “While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet over, we do know uncertainty continues,” Ragsdale stated, as reported on the district website. “The District remains committed to keeping school doors open and students ‘learning everywhere.’” Families can learn what a typical day looks like for students enrolled in the Cobb Online Learning Academy with sample
schedules available online. “The balance between asynchronous (or independent) and synchronous (teacher-directed) learning will be tailored to support the specific needs of each school level,” according to the district release.
DeKalb County School District will be welcoming students back to in-person instruction Aug. 2, but the district will also offer virtual options that allow students to learn from virtual teachers from FLEX Academy, Georgia Virtual School or designated virtual teachers throughout the school district, according to its website. Parents had until July 2 to decide if they wanted the virtual option, which was a semester-long commitment. “There will be an opportunity to change your child’s learning option to inperson learning for second semester in November.” Some tips for parents when choosing their option included understanding that “virtual course offerings may be more limited than those available for students attending school in-person. … If a family chooses virtual learning, the students must fully engage in synchronous (live direct instruction led by a teacher) and asynchronous (online without real-time teacher-led instruction) learning. Daily attendance will be monitored.”
where students enroll in a permanent, full-time virtual school; and Fulton Virtual, where students remain enrolled in their current school and take advantage of virtual course offerings. Fulton Virtual enrollment is part-time with a maximum schedule of half of the school-day for high school students. Course offerings vary by grade level. School Superintendent Mike Looney noted July 22 the district’s plans to expand enrollment for the FAVE by 500 students to a total of 1,500. Families are asked to make a year-long commitment, he stressed. He said the strategies and structures that were in place at the end of last year will largely be the same, with some changes, such as mask requirements, temperature checks and quarantine protocols. Looney also stated the district would be ready to pivot and make adjustments if the data warrants. “The district’s default position is to have school in a face-to-face environment. However, the Closing Matrix, with different levels for potential outbreaks if needed, will remain in effect,” the district reported. While encouraging employees and students 12 years and older to get vaccinated, mask wearing remains optional except on school buses, according to CDC guidelines. The district will have mandatory procedures for reporting a confirmed positive case of COVID and follow a threepart quarantining strategy. “All quarantined students will receive asynchronous instruction. Teachers will communicate with quarantined students regularly. Students will be provided a block of 3 tutoring hours with a third-party partner. “Additionally, students will be invited to participate in extended day synchronous activities.” On a positive note, the district reported, “According to a voluntary employee vaccination survey, 81 percent of the over 9,500 FCS employees who responded are fully vaccinated.”
Fulton County Schools plan to offer three options for families regarding instruction for the upcoming academic school year when classes resume Aug. 9: Face-to-face instruction, Fulton Academy of Virtual Excellence, and Fulton Virtual, according to its website. Face-to-face instruction will be the default option for all students when Fulton County Schools return next month. FCS will have two virtual options: FAVE,
Gwinnett County Public Schools is returning to in-person learning Aug. 4 with a modified digital learning option available The decision to return to in-person learning takes into account students’ academic and social-emotional needs, im-
BACK TO SCHOOL & COLLEGE proving pandemic conditions (lower rates of infection), the availability of vaccinations for teachers and other school staff, and guidance from health experts and organizations, according to the district’s online magazine. “Plans for the fall reflect the district’s commitment to safety for its students and staff, with continued mitigation efforts such as the wearing of masks, provision of PPE [personal protective equipment], and strict cleaning regimens. “While all students will be scheduled for in-person instruction for the fall, the district will offer families the opportunity to opt out of in-person learning, allowing their children to participate in a modified digital learning option. This modified version —which will have digital students learning from digital teachers, some of whom may be at a different location including Gwinnett Online Campus — is intended to eliminate the need for teachers
to teach concurrently. The district suggested that parents contemplating the modified digital learning option for their children consider: • The decision to opt out of inperson instruction as a yearlong commitment. However, if a family later determines it is best for their child to return to in-person learning, there will be an opportunity at the end of the first semester. • Course offerings for digital learners may be more limited than those available for students attending school in-person. • Parents may opt out of in-person learning for one child if they feel it best serves that child and choose to have another child attend school in-person. ì More information is available on school district websites. And for the latest CDC guidance on COVID prevention in K-12 schools, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/
Georgia Colleges Return, In-Person By Nathan Posner As Georgia colleges prepare for a return to in-person classes next month, a variety of protocols and rules are being put in place to help keep administrators and students safe. Some schools are requiring students and faculty to be vaccinated for the fall semester, while others are asking that those that are unvaccinated wear masks when in contact with others. Students at Mercer University won’t be required to get the vaccine to attend classes when they resume Aug. 24, but the school is encouraging those not vaccinated to wear masks. That’s in contrast with Emory University, which is requiring students to be vaccinated to attend classes when they resume Aug. 25. Most of Georgia’s public schools are taking similar precautions and policies, with Georgia State University, the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech encouraging unvaccinated students to wear masks, but not requiring students to be vaccinated before attending classes. UGA students return Aug. 18 and Georgia Tech and Georgia State students, Aug. 23. Meanwhile, state guidelines from the University System of Georgia hold the same line, promoting masks for unvaccinated students while pushing students to get vaccinated if they haven’t yet. USG’s guidance is: “Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without wearing a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a face covering while inside campus facilities.” USG is encouraging schools to “return to normal” as vaccines have become easily accessible for students and faculty, and the pandemic has begun to recede. The emerging delta variant along with low vaccination rates in Georgia compared to the rest of the country, may present challenges to university administrators this fall as almost all students return to normal in-person classes for the first time since the pandemic began, USG stated online. The vast majority of Georgia colleges and universities had returned fully in-person during the spring semester, but some schools continued a portion of their courses online to space out students in closed spaces. Most colleges and universities will be maintaining the safety equipment they put in place during the pandemic, from plexiglass shields to on-campus testing facilities with continued testing for COVID-19, considering that some students remain unvaccinated. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 25
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Hillels in Georgia Expand, Welcome New Directors Hillels of Georgia is growing. One college got its first house; another bought a bigger one. And new directors were addStephanie Nissani ed to oversee future growth. The AJT captured the next step of growth at Georgia College & State University in the modest town of Milledgeville, Ga. It started in 2008 with a small group formed by Natalie Goodrich, who initiated “the small and mighty Hillel,” welcoming Jewish students into her home for Shabbat and holiday dinners. The newly purchased Hillel house is named after her. Flash-forward some years later. Karen Berman volunteered to become the Hillel faculty advisor at GCSU, where she is also chair of the theater and dance department. In a virtual interview with the AJT, she recalled, “We celebrated some holidays and hosted Jewish game nights, but often we didn’t have a space to meet. We had our lox and bagels ‘meet and greet’ at the theater department; …it wasn’t conducive. It was not the way to do things, considering that we have wonderful activities.” For more than 12 years, Berman spoke with the school’s president Steve Dorman about the necessity of a Hillel house. “He always asked me if I found a house.” Dorman was very supportive, she stressed. In fact, when Hillel encountered an anti-Semitic incident on campus, Berman countered with interfaith dinners twice a year, bringing together various cultures and religious backgrounds to
celebrate their holidays. “Dr. Dorman came to every one of those dinners. He was just so supportive and loved the wonderful things that I do for the Jewish students,” Berman said. Other events focused on Holocaust history, and she insisted on planting thousands of daffodils in memory of Jewish children who died in the Holocaust as part of the Am Yisrael Chai Daffodil Project with GCSU alum Mike Weinroth, who brings Holocaust exhibits to campus from The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. Preparing for her retirement from
tity away from home.” She finally caught a break when colleague Amy Pinney announced she was leaving her house near Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion and wanted Berman to take a look before it went on the market. After a couple of months and consultation with the school’s president and the college foundation office, the university put in the offer, though it was higher than they expected, Berman said. The house was purchased and renovated, but Berman knew she had to strategize on finding donors to cover the costs of the
Rendering of the proposed new and expanded Hillel House at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Georgia College Hillel students install a mezuzah on their newly purchased house.
helped arrange the lease agreement. “They were generous and made modifications to the house in order to make it safe and secure.” The students also received a $10,000 budget for furnishings inside the 1,500-square-foot house, such as for bean bags chairs, a flat screen TV, desks, and ping-pong tables. Hillel also collaborated with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s community security team. “We made our necessary arrangement and modifications to help secure the facility as well as estabGeorgia College new Hillel house in front of Members of Georgia College Hillel. lishing a positive partnership Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion. with GCSU’s police department,” Karp said. Once Berman retired, GCSU ExecuGCSU, Berman knew her mission wasn’t rent, food and various activities. Weinroth referred Berman to Hil- tive Director of Student Engagement Emcomplete; she wanted a Hillel house. “I was not going to stop giving. It was vital lels of Georgia CEO Elliot Karp and she ily Jarvis stepped in. Dorman asked her for the students to celebrate their iden- developed a PowerPoint presentation. “I to assume the role soon after she began showed him all the activities, art exhib- her student engagement position. “I was its, the house and everything I have di- eager for the chance to work directly with a student group and excited to exrected.” Weinberg Early Learning Center She stressed that there were about plore Jewish life, though I am not Jewish.” Our amazing early learning program strives to provide a warm, supportive, and In an interview with the new Hillel 200 Jewish students on campus. “We inspiring environment for each child (3 months- Pre-K)! We are located in have no support and no money,” Ber- advisor, Jarvis said that her mission for midtown! man said, adding that she often used her the upcoming years include making the Very limited spots available now! own money. “We had a tiny budget from house “a visible and supportive space for 2021-2022 School year starts August 16th! Jewish students” and using it as “an emschool, but it hardly paid for anything.” Nurturing Infant Program! Half-Day and Extended Day Programs! Karp said, “Dr. Berman has done a blem of Jewish students life at GCSU.” Play-based learning! Aside from the interfaith dinners yeoman’s job over a decade as the faculty Please call 404-872-8668, advisor, as a volunteer, to spearhead the initiated by Berman, Jarvis expressed visit www.the-temple.org/welc initiation at GCSU, shepherding several that “many participants return for subseor email us at firstname.lastname@example.org quent programs like our Israel Festival.” generations of students.” for more information. Abbie Frankel, president of GCSU’s Karp and Berman discussed budget. “We gave them a significant budget for Hillel, said “Emily has been such an unthe house and that’s when I started the believable blessing. … She truly cares negotiation on the house with the uni- about her students.” Frankel continued, “The house is versity’s foundation,” Karp recalled. He
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Elliot Karp addresses Hillel of GCSU during the dedication ceremony of the new house.
New UGA Director Jeremy Lichtig.
GCSU President Steve Dorman speaks at the dedication ceremony of the new Hillel house.
Karen Berman of Georgia College Hillel honored for being a long-time faculty advisor.
huge and before the house, they couldn’t always find a space to have Shabbat dinners or other activities. Many events had to be canceled or if students could not host Shabbat or a holiday dinner, it would simply be canceled.” Frankel believes that the house opens an array of opportunities. “We had to rely on if the
kitchen would be available for us, or if we ordered, we did not know where the food came from.” Now Hillel can cook in their kosher kitchen, host Shabbat and provide a safe space for students to study, she said. One of the distinct features of the new house is the mural of Jerusalem and
the school’s mascot painted by Artists 4 Israel. “This house is going to have so many great memories for generations to come.” Karp is also trying to buy a larger Hillel house for the University of Georgia. “We are in the process of raising funds for the renovations of a new house.” Still in their quiet phase of the fundraising effort, Hillels of Georgia is speaking to major donors and funders with particular interest in UGA and “the future vitality of Hillel,” he said, adding that the project could run into the five to seven-figure range in the future. The current house is 3,200 square feet and the new house will be 10,000 square feet, Karp said. “The new purchased house will be in front of the freshman hall. … Many freshmen who come into UGA might be a little frightened and thus this is a great home for them to land in.” Aside from the new Hillel house at UGA, the organization appointed new directors at UGA, Kennesaw State University and Emory University. Roey Shoshan left UGA Hillel to direct Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ southeast region with his former assistant Jeremy Lichtig assuming the reigns as the new director. Lichtig said in an interview with the AJT that his first goal in this new position is to “facilitate a successful transition back
to in-person programming and engaging freshmen and many sophomores on campus for the first time. To do this, it will be crucial to have an effective and devoted professional team. I am excited to have my colleague Mara Zeichner as my new assistant director and to welcome two new amazing staff members Hannah Margolis and Ruth Gal Gabriel to our Hillel at UGA staff team. I am confident they will each excel in their new roles and help propel Hillel at UGA forward. “Together we have a great combination of passion, commitment, institutional knowledge and new ideas. As director I am looking forward to creating an atmosphere of excitement and quality surrounding our work, where students and staff alike have a great time.” Hillels of Georgia is supported, in part, by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Karp said, “We are a beneficiary partner, and the Federation is a significant investor in the Hillels of Georgia, providing us with unrestricted funding as well as designating projects and grants.” That includes about $300,000 in grants for “unrestricted general purposes and programs,” along with $100,000 in grants in promoting the Onward Israel program for summer internships. ì
Choosing a Dentist for Your Child By: Lisa Shilman, DDS, Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
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As parents, we want our children to have a lifetime of healthy smiles, so choosing the right dentist is an important decision. When choosing a dentist for your child, keep in mind that pediatric dentists specifically specialize in treating children. Pediatric dentists double as kid experts. We are trained to treat even the littlest patients, making them feel comfortable and safe during their visit. At Dentistry for Children offices, we take our time to make sure that our patients are at ease before we start any treatments or cleanings. From entertainment-packed offices to specialized care, pediatric dentists at Dentistry for Children utilize kid-friendly techniques to understand the needs of little teeth. Children have unique dental needs that require specialized care and attention as they grow.
Just like the rest of their bodies, teeth are constantly moving and changing throughout childhood. Pediatric dentists can expertly address cavities in baby teeth, issues regarding thumb sucking or bottle feeding, and mouth protection for growing teeth when playing sports. As pediatric dentists, we are not only trained in treating children’s teeth, but we are also well-versed in children’s behavior. Pediatric dentistry offices have a trained pediatric dental team, including hygienists with extensive experience in seeing kids, to help your child feel at ease from start to finish during their visit. Additionally, most pediatric dentistry offices are trained to treat children with special needs. Pediatric dentists take an educational approach to prevention to teach patients how to take care of their teeth from a young age. Part of our approach at Dentistry for Children is to walk through the process with each patient, discuss tools and instruments during their visit, and observe them demonstrate how they will take care of their teeth. Involving the patient in the
cleaning or exam provides transparency in the process and eases the anxiety typically associated with going to the dentist. Pediatric dentists are here to establish a positive experience and set patients up to have healthy smiles for life. We are here to help your child feel good about their smile – and hopefully the dentist, too. We welcome kids from birth to young adulthood. Going to the dentist can be fun! About Dr. Shilman: Lisa Shilman, DDS, is a board-certified pediatric dentist with Dentistry for Children Georgia at their Roswell location. Dr. Shilman received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from New York University College of Dentistry and completed her pediatric residency at Maimonides Hospital. Dr. Shilman is fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, and enjoys gardening, cooking, and traveling in her free time. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shilman or one of our other pediatric dentists by visiting Dentistry4Children.com or calling 770-692-1000. PAID FOR BY DENTISTRY 4 CHILDREN
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Simcha Pearl Named Head of AJA High School Simcha Pearl has come a long way since 1997 when he launched the New Atlanta Jewish Community High School housed in a set of trailers not far from Perimeter College in Dunwoody. That makeshift educational experience expanded and became The Weber School in Sandy Springs, headed by Jan Jaben-Eilon Pearl. As schools reopen this fall, Pearl heads the Atlanta Jewish Academy’s high school, also in Sandy Springs. “I’m incredibly excited” about the new position, Pearl said. He added that it differs on several levels from his perch at Weber. First, he said he had no issues reporting to a supervisor, head of AJA Rabbi Ari Leubitz. In the seven years since Pearl left Weber, he taught Judaics for a while at The Davis Academy middle school and ran a project with Congregation Or VeShalom for its millennials, several of whom were Weber graduates. Unlike Weber, which is a pluralistic, trans-denominational Jewish high school, AJA is a kindergarten through 12th-grade Modern Orthodox school, founded in 2014 as the result of a merger between Greenfield Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva Atlanta. Greenfield had been founded in 1953 and was reportedly the first Jewish day school accred-
The Minsk Gymnasium at Atlanta Jewish Academy.
ited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Yeshiva, founded in 1971, was Atlanta’s oldest co-educational Jewish high school. The two schools consolidated onto a single campus in 2017. Pearl defines himself as a Modern Orthodox Jew, so he is looking forward to being in that environment. Weber had included unaffiliated Jewish students as well as those associated with the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements. Pearl said he saw the students divide into subcommunities for Jewish practices. “That became a socialization issue for the Modern Orthodox,” he explained. Some students kept kosher; some
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Simcha Pearl calls himself a “really good diagnostician.”
did not. “To be in a homogeneous school setting that’s committed to halacha, or Jewish values, is personally a nice experience for me,” he said. Although AJA has a long history, starting as two different schools, Pearl sees the school today in some ways like a startup. “From everyone I spoke to, the two schools operate as separate entities. There’s no consistent alignment between the two schools in their worldview Jewishly and how their practice is actualized. This high school is not Yeshiva Atlanta any longer. Now the school should become a K-12 thoughtful, Modern Orthodox system that’s exciting and bold. If I can move that along, that’s a dayenu [enough].” He says he sees himself as a “really good diagnostician. Before you do anything, you need to have a reason. It must be mission-driven. The mission will dictate what you’re going to do. You do a cost-benefit analysis. That’s how I grew as a leader of a school, being able to experiment. That’s what will happen here. But the first step is knowing the mission. It’s an anchor, and from there, there will be evolutionary change.” Pearl is no stranger to change. “You change or die,” he joked. His professional life started as a dentist. “That fed my family but didn’t feed my soul.” He began teaching part-time at first, along with his dentistry, and then went to Israel to become a Jerusalem Fellow at a program conducted by the Mandel Institute for Jewish Studies and the Department of Education at Hebrew University. He saw the experience as a place to “incubate ideas of how to do significant things in the Jewish world.” Joining the faculty at AJA “doesn’t feel like an existential gamble.” He is more than content with his new position at AJA. “You can do wonderful stuff without being head of school. For me, it’s completely the mission of the school.” For Atlanta, he said he wants to help grow the Jewish day school pie larger. “I’m proud and thrilled for Weber and I will be equally as proud and thrilled for AJA, which I see growing by leaps and bounds,” said Pearl. In fact, he is eager to be among the 80-plus AJA high school students and the entire educational environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, he wrote a psycho-thriller novel that focused on art history and psychology. “It was not Jewish,” Pearl said. He stressed that the writing experience was very isolating. A piano and accordion player, Pearl said he used the downtime during the pandemic to “learn how to play '50s rock music on the piano.” ì
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What to Wear to Day School School days are almost here, and the weeks of frayed jeans, flip flops and T-shirts with superhero pictures and clever sayings are Chana Shapiro quickly coming to an end. Parents of students who attend Atlanta’s Jewish elementary schools must make sure their children’s school garb conforms to specific dress codes. The five Jewish elementary schools in Atlanta have mandatory dress codes. The rules provide students with a range of clothing choices within general boundaries The Atlanta Jewish Academy, Chaya Mushka Elementary School, The Davis Academy, and The Epstein School stipulate that all school attire must carry the school logo; Torah Day School of Atlanta does not require uniform logos. Schools also differ in their choices of acceptable
Nine-year-old Raizel Isaacs models her new Chaya Mushka shirt.
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lects donations at the school and washes clothing before it is offered for resale. WhatsApp neighborhood and parent groups have become popular sources for used uniforms, as well. Educational Outfitters of Atlanta stocks new uniforms appropriate for all the Jewish day schools, and it is equipped to embroider and screen print logos on all items. The Nadav and Lia Flusberg are dress-code-ready for school at AJA. store offers a customized school apparel program and does all decoration and embroidery in- house. When asked to cite a popular dress code item, owner Mark Berger, a former Montessori school principal, notes that “Davis girls love the navy box pleat skirt!” Another option, according to AJA parent Julie Kaminsky, “Lands’ End is a popular brand which can provide logo applications Aliza and Hadassa Gavant in Torah Day pink. for dress code clothing. Online school uniform sources colors and styles, and in each school, these occasionally offer free logo colors and styles usually change or ex- application and frequently have special pand with more options as students move sales at the start of the school year.” to higher grades. Kaminsky, who managed the used There are long-standing rationales uniform sales for AJA for several years, for school dress code standards. Torah mentions that some brands, such as Day Admissions Director Leslee Morris French Toast – carried by many Atlanta asserts, “Uniforms in school are a success- stores – stock boys’ pants with reinforced ful way to control student competition in knees. Families can also find standard clothing.” blue and white shirts and navy and khaChaya Mushka grandparent Bernie ki skirts, jumpers and pants at Macy’s, Idov said he believes “School uniforms Walmart, JC Penney, Target and Costco, help students focus on studies rather than but these items come without school losuperficialities.” The Epstein School hand- gos. Families must arrange for logo applibook states that uniformity of dress teach- cations on their own. es “self-discipline and respect for policies It is possible to find used day school and rules and promotes school pride.” clothing at resale shops, and some of the Parents have many sources in Atlan- items have school logos of Jewish day ta for private school clothing. Some fami- schools. Girls’ apparel in prime condition lies pass down clothing among their own is much more plentiful than boys’ clothrelatives, and another method of recycling ing. Shirts for both sexes, skirts and jumpis the used clothing sales run by the indi- ers are relatively easy to find in desired vidual schools. AJA holds used uniform colors and sizes, but used boys’ slacks sales at private homes in Dunwoody, San- in excellent condition are scarce. Prices dy Springs and Toco Hills, where families at resale stores can be less than half the drop off items during the school year. price of on-sale new clothing, but caveat Epstein hosts used uniform sales emptor: Buyers must be careful with these three times a year, during its opening purchases because, unlike stores that sell Meet and Greet event and also on teach- new clothes, resale shops do not offer exer-parent conference days. Epstein col- changes or accept returns. ì
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Jewish Atlanta Says Return to Class a Must
As we inch closer to the beginning of a new school year, many Jewish Atlanta parents and teachers are considering what it means to return to the
classroom. If the past 1 ½ years has taught anything about the ways children learn, it’s that there is more than one way to deliver educational content effectively. Yet some Atlanta parents differ in their views on whether schooling remotely is right for their children, as opposed to attending school in-person. In the Atlanta area, most public-school
mode, Irina Schwartz, mother of three in Dunwoody, shared her family’s experience. “The struggle has been real for kids studying in a virtual environment and completely missing out on social interactions. This includes being able to read people’s facial expressions and understanding nonverbal cues.” Schwartz’s youngest son, who is in daycare, has been especially impacted by the negative effects of the mask-wearing and virtual protocols, experiencing significant speech delays. “The inability to read and see faces and mouths moving,” she expounded, “really hindered his ability to pick up language.” One of the concerns parents expressed to the AJT is how to make the transition back to school smooth, especially for those children who have not attended in-person
in Johns Creek. “I feel that kids thrive with routines. I also think some children pay better attention while being in the room with the teacher versus at home with distractions. Furthermore, allowing children to get out of the house will be healthy for the family unit.” According to a McKinsey & Company report, released in March, the majority of teachers polled said that the remote learning experienced over the past year is a poor substitute for being back in the classroom. Jane Sandler, the mother of two in Alpharetta, has a similar view. She said that while she appreciated the opportunity to keep her children at home during a raging pandemic, and all the fear that accompanied it, she wants them to return in-person to the classroom. “Having a full social life, developing interpersonal skills, and making new friends [in the school building]
Irina Schwartz with two of her children, Jacob and Lenni.
is just as vital as education for our children. Now is the time to go back to school,” she said. ì
Jane Sandler is the mother of two in Alpharetta.
districts and private schools are offering in-person instruction for the upcoming academic year. However, a remote option is also possible, and some schools are asking parents to make a semester-long commitment either way. Some parents and teachers interviewed for this article agreed that returning to faceto-face instruction is crucial. “I believe that it is vital for students to return to in-school learning for a multitude of reasons that are not solely based on academics,” said Amy Horowitz Sheridan, a fourth-grade teacher. “The social-emotional well-being of many students has been compromised by homebased learning.” Sheridan further explained that she spoke daily with students who felt disconnected and unable to socialize with their peers. “It was heartbreaking to witness these struggles,” she lamented. Elaborating further on the challenges of keeping kids in the remote-learning
Ula Zusman is a clinician at Jewish Family & Career Service.
classrooms in over a year. Ula Zusman, child and adolescent clinician at Jewish Family & Career Services, said “parents can help normalize both the anxiety and the excitement in-person attendance may evoke.” Zusman suggested reintroducing children to their social scene by allowing them to reacquaint themselves with their friends during the summer. In most Atlanta public schools, going back to school this year will be different from last year because teachers will be focusing solely on their in-person students, instead of splitting their attention between in-person and virtual. Students who choose to continue in the virtual environment will have an entirely different teacher dedicated solely to them too. “I do think returning to school is a positive,” says Janie Hortman, a staff associate therapist at The Summit Counseling Center
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Cubs promoting Pack 1818 at Dunwoody Fourth of July Festival and Parade.
By Chana Shapiro Cub Scout Pack 1818, Atlanta’s Jewish Cub Scout group, continued to meet with a mix of virtual and COVID-compliant live events despite national scouting controversies and strict pandemic restrictions. Scoutmaster Adam Throne and a team of dedicated volunteer parents were determined to see the pack endure where other Jewish scout groups in the past have not. “I am in awe of how Adam kept the pack going,” said pack committee chair Phyllis Silverstein. “He would do a weekly pack Zoom program, and whether he had 10 kids or 2, he kept them engaged and having fun!” Pandemic programming included a streamed Pinewood Derby car race, a virtual interactive Chanukah party, and an annual banquet with an online trivia challenge. Most Cubs advanced in rank, earning required badges in whittling, outdoor cooking, and Duty to G-d, while also earning awards in electives, including swimming, moviemaking, and crafting instruments. Cubs even interacted on a streamed Zoom Camporee, and then camped with their families in their yards. Pack 1818 organizes den activities by age-group for kindergarten through fifth graders at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and other locations, such as the Dunwoody Nature Center. The pack includes families from Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Marietta/East Cobb, Alpharetta, Roswell, and Druid Hills/Brookhaven. Spring and fall overnight Camporees take place at Bert Adams Scout Camp. Cub families, including siblings, can experience all the event has to offer at family camping, such as scout skills, physical challenges, archery, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities, games, sports, and arts and crafts. Pack 1818 cooks and camps as a group and sometimes joins other packs for
activities. Silverstein talks about maintaining Pack 1818’s mission of community involve-
New Pack 1818 recruits and their families hike at Island Ford Park in the Chattahoochee River nature preserve.
ment during COVID. “The Pack worked hard to engage kids through interactivity and increased community awareness. Our families valued what the pack offered their children, when so many other things demanded their attention, and that we kept the core values of Jewish scouting alive.” She emphasized, “Although we get support from Boy Scouts of America headquarters and help from district contacts and regular roundtables, the actual work and planning is done by our committee and implemented by our invaluable volunteer leaders. Parents with outdoor skills help with camping; others set up the Pinewood Derby, organize and lead activities, and help at Cub Camp and the Dunwoody parade and festival.” Scouting events reinforce the heritage and traditions of Judaism and build the core character traits practiced in scouting: being
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Webelos den leader (and Eagle Scout) Ben Burnstein teaches his group how to light a fire.
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. When Pack 1818 camps, they celebrate Shabbat and Havdalah. The pack’s nature and service projects mirror Jewish teachings of tzedakah, charity and tikkun olam, repairing the world, Silverstein said. Throne, whose son is in the pack, stressed that Cub Scouts do not have to be MJCCA members to join. “There are boys’ and girls’ dens, and families are of different backgrounds, but all love the Jewish aspect. We presently have several Lions (kindergarteners) registered, and our largest group is the Arrow of Lights (fifth graders), the final Cub Scout year.” Pack 1818 membership is expected to increase in August, with events such as
Pack 1818 on Columbus, Ga., trip just before the COVID lockdown.
Scout Night at the Atlanta Braves Aug. 28. Throne, himself an Eagle Scout, said that scouting builds character and teaches skills and appreciation for the world, while helping others and being fun. “And who gets to build and race cars or sleep in a cavern in first grade? Scouts do!” Silverstein got into camping because of her twin daughter and son in Pack 1818. “After the first camping trip, which took me way out of my comfort zone, we were hooked. Scoutmaster Adam Throne is the kid whisperer! His passion is infectious and it’s one of the reasons I baked 20 challahs and delivered them with my own Cubs to Pack 1818 families for Scout Shabbat, and we did the same with pies on March 14, Pi Day. “I believe that the Scout oath and law
Pack 1818 and their families explore caves of Island Ford Park.
align with Jewish values, and experiential activities for Jewish children leave an imprint on them as they become adults.” Throne said, “Cubs wear their Pack 1818 T-shirts to den meetings and the Scout Class A uniform at formal and public events. Adult leaders wear uniforms as well. The outfits can be purchased at the Scout Shop at Circle 75 (near Truist Park/Braves stadium). We also have a lot of scouts who pass down their uniforms to siblings and friends. We affiliate with Troop 1818 scouts in grades six to 12, and most of our Cubs move up to Scouts.” An opening Pack 1818 Meet and Greet at the MJCCA is planned for 4 p.m. Aug. 15. RSVP at 1818Scouts@gmail.com or visit the pack website, www.pack1818 for programming updates. ì
Pack 1818 She Bears den attends swearingin of Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Onward Israel Sets Up Students with Internships By Nathan Posner Hillels of Georgia resumed its Onward Israel program this year, sending 32 students to Israel to immerse themselves in the culture while participating in internships during their six-week visit to the Jewish state. Students lived in apartments with Israelis and worked alongside them in their internships, enabling students to experience Israel in an “intimate” way, according to Elliot Karp, CEO of Hillels of Georgia. The program included a variety of trips, including visiting the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s partnership community of Yokneam and the kibbutz of a Hillel Israel fellow. Onward Israel goes beyond the typical Israel trip, with immersion in Israeli culture but also more personalized opportunities. Karp told the AJT, “The genius behind Onward Israel is the ability to provide students with a quality internship in their field of study or future career choice, while enabling them to live in
Students visit the Atlanta Community Adaptive Fitness Center in Ramat Gan, named for Atlantans’ generous support of the center.
an immersive fashion in Israel for six to eight weeks. They really learn more about Israeli society, culture and the Israeli people.” Students began the trip with a special welcome from outgoing University of Georgia Hillel Director Roey Shoshan, who planned a special dinner and night out for the students in Tel Aviv. Shoshan
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ish community next year. Students also visited the kibbutz of one of Hillel’s Israel fellows Elinoy Granot, who is serving at Kennesaw State University and Georgia Tech. Onward Israel students met members of the kibbutz and learned about its history. While the trips were a highlight of the program for many, it was only a small part of the overall experience students received. As Karp described, “They’re living like they’re residents and citizens in the state. So it’s a wonderful career-building and Jewish-identity Israel-building connection.” Onward Israel had been delayed for a year because of COVID, but Karp knew that the program would “be back
also organized a full day for students focusing on Atlanta’s connection to Israel, particularly through the Federation. The group visited the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled in Ramat Gan, a facility sponsored with the support of the Federation and many Jewish Atlanta donors, and heard from athletes Onward Israel students during a kibbutz visit. at the center. Center director Boaz Kramer said, “We were honored to host our first postCOVID visitors without masks and with lots of hugs! Where else but Atlanta would our first visitor be from? The relationship between the very special Jewish community of Atlanta and the Students during a night out in Tel Aviv. Israel Sport Center for the Disabled is making a difference.” in business this summer with a period Students went on to visit Yokneam, of quarantine and COVID testing, as rewhere they spent time with members of quired by the Israeli government.” The the Ethiopian Jewish community in the program was considered a success, with city. Later the same day, students spent Karp highlighting the opportunities it time with lone soldiers in the Israel Decreated. “The students work side-by-side fense Forces from Atlanta as well as fuwith Israelis in the internships and live ture shinshinim (young Israel emissarin communities with Israelis. It is a truly ies) from Atlanta’s partnership region immersive and amazing experience.” ì who will come to work in the Atlanta Jew-
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Decisions for Rising Seniors and Recent Grads Rising high school seniors are typically excited about their last year before college and the culmination of 12 years of primary education. Let’s take a look at issues to consider for graduating seniors and college
If accepted, you signed a contract stating that you will enroll with few exceptions. Your decision to go ED means that you have investigated the college as much as possible, and no question this is the college of your dreams. You will receive a response usually in December or early January and you can forget other applications. You are done! There is a disadvantage to applying Early Decision. You applied to other schools and even received a bigger scholarship, or your best friend got into one of your other options and they urge you to attend their college choice. Sorry, you and your parents and counselor signed a binding ED contract.
High School Seniors Your grades are good or excellent, but your test scores are disappointing for some of the colleges on your list. You wonder: Is it worth it to take the SAT or ACT since they are going to apply to test-optional colleges, about 1,500 schools? Yes, take the test for you may surprise yourself with a higher score than you anticipated. Furthermore, prepare for the test. When you apply to a specific college, try to find out how many students without scores were accepted compared to the number of students who submitted scores. If you are a good student, do you have a possibility of merit scholarships? The college may be test-optional but not so for merit money. No scores; no chance for a merit scholarship. There are testoptional colleges that still allow students who do not send scores to still be eligible for scholarships. In Georgia, if one applies to a public university, SAT/ACT scores are obligatory. Thus, if you apply to the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University and other public institutions in Georgia, your scores will be reviewed. Should you apply early action or early decision or only regular decision? Let’s look at the possibilities. Many colleges have early action deadlines, fewer institutions have one or two early decision options, and all have regular decision dates. Early action means applying by an October or November deadline. If you are accepted, you have until May 1 to decide. No penalty if you do not enroll. Or you may be deferred and put in with the spring decisions. If you are denied admission, the college is telling you that you will not be accepted this application year. So do not lose sleep over that institution. Early decision is a more difficult choice. Some colleges have an Early Decision 1 but also an Early Decision II with a later application deadline. If Early Decision is a viable option, study the previous year’s acceptance rate for that college.
Recent high school graduates going off to colleges also may be anxious about this new era in their lives. Some of their concerns are centered about meeting new classmates, whom their roommate will be the first year, will they be able to handle the college curriculum, did they make the right choice when selecting colleges, especially if they never visited the campus, and will the food be to their liking. If the college has Greek life, will they be invited to join? There are a host of other individual concerns for these soon- to-be-freshman.
Also gearing up for college is the administration. Their concerns include COVID-19 and making decisions to ensure a safe campus. Will they require all students to be vaccinated? What about the requirement to wear masks either indoors and/or outdoors? The decision often involves recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state laws and ongoing court decisions. Will colleges be requiring the administration, faculty, staff, custodial personnel and other employees of the college to wear masks? Need more to consider when on campus? Will all classes be in-person? How about online lectures? How did one react to online learning in high school? While life is returning more to normal, no one knows what to expect. Will a new strand of the virus invade our communities? In Israel, where our son and his family live in Binyomina, the COVID virus seemed quite distant. Then, all a sudden, about 45 high school students tested positive. Binyomina was in the news and the masks became common. So, at the start of the new academic year, students go back to high school or college with a lot of concerns, some questions from past years, but also new issues resulting from the pandemic. ì
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Emory Hillel's New Director
Rabbi Ilan Schwartz is new director of Emory University’s Hillel.
Rabbi Ilan Schwartz is the new executive director of Emory Hillel. “With the assistance of Hillel International we conducted a nationwide search and had several excellent candidates apply for the position,” explained Hillels of Georgia CEO Elliot Karp. “Rabbi Schwartz impressed our two search committee panels with his passion, commitment, experience, convictions and creativity. “Both our Hillel student leadership and board members found Rabbi
Schwartz to be committed to student engagement and empowerment as well as being dedicated to building a warm, welcoming, safe, diverse and inclusive Jewish community on campus.” Karp added that Schwartz “brings to Emory Hillel and Hillels of Georgia a great deal of Hillel experience and expertise as well as his personal passion and commitment to developing vibrant and dynamic Jewish life on campus for our Jewish students and the greater Emory community.” He comes to Emory Hillel having served Hillel at The Ohio State University since 2015 when he joined their staff as senior Jewish educator. He was promoted to assistant director of OSU Hillel in 2018. Schwartz was responsible for programs and initiatives advancing Hillel’s mission and vision, serving the more than 2,700 Jewish students on campus. He has a wealth of experience ranging from programming, leadership development, Jewish education and staff supervision and coaching to advocacy on behalf of Israel, combating antisemitism as well as fundraising and development experience, Hillels of Georgia reported. Schwartz grew up in Rockland County, N.Y. He attended college at both
Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he earned a bachelor’s in Talmud. The rabbi attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University and was ordained as a Conservative rabbi in 2015. Following his ordination, he committed to serve Hillel and Jewish college students as his career. Schwartz and his wife, Rebecca, have five sons.
$60M More to RootOne
to Israel on this scale seemed unlikely. But a partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel helped navigate Israel’s strict COVID rules and regulations. Registration has been robust, and most trips are sold out, according to a press release about the new grant. The initiative creates a pipeline connecting teens to Jewish experiences from high school to college. The Marcus Foundation, as a major supporter of Hillel, will help to streamline the connection between the two stages, according to the release.
Weber Student Enrichment
Bernie Marcus is chairman of The Marcus Foundation, which tripled its initial grant for teen travel to Israel.
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The Marcus Foundation gave an additional $60 million three-year grant to expand the RootOne teen Israel travel initiative. That is triple the $20 million the foundation gave in seed money in 2020. Launched last September by The Jewish Education Project, RootOne significantly lowers the cost of teen travel to Israel and provides meaningful pre-and post-trip learning experiences so teens connect with Jewish peers and form their own Jewish communities. This summer, more than 4,000 teens are on RootOne trips run by more than 20 teen organizations and summer camps; the largest trip providers are NCSY, BBYO, URJ, Ramah, USY, Young Judaea and several JCC camps. “This grant is our direct response to the studies saying teens’ connection to Israel is waning, or that Jewish identity among youth has declined,” said Bernie Marcus, chairman of The Marcus Foundation. “Especially as antisemitism on campuses and across the globe increases, we must develop a generation of proud Jews connected to Israel and the Jewish people. RootOne is designed to do exactly this. We hope other funders join our efforts to remake teen Israel travel at this critical time.” Even one month ago, summer travel
Starting this fall, The Weber School will launch the Office of Student Support and Enrichment. This newly created office will encompass two student service areas: Student Learning Support and Social-Emotional Support, featuring programs geared toward fostering healthy interactions between students and positive group dynamics. Jordan Crawford will lead the new initiative as director of Student Support and Enrichment. A certified school psychologist, Crawford brings extensive experience working with a diverse community of students at the high school and college levels. She will serve as a member of Weber’s senior leadership team, working closely with grade-level deans, the director of learning enrichment, academic content deans and classroom teachers to expand and enhance services that address the academic and social-emotional needs of our students. In collaboration with the deans of ninth and 10th grades and the dean of 11th and 12th grades, Crawford will design a new student orientation for the fall as well as an expanded peer leadership program. Other initiatives under development include grade-specific programming as well as education for students, faculty and parents on topics such
BACK TO SCHOOL & COLLEGE as mental health awareness and stress management. Leveraging her extensive background in psychological assessment, Crawford will help design individualized learning plans for students with diagnosed learning differences and will consult with faculty regarding effective strategies to support student growth and achievement.
GA Holocaust Educator Honored
Patrice Weaver was among Holocaust educators attending a training by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.
An educator with the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust in Sandy Springs, Patrice Weaver, was among 25 Holocaust educators from 12 U.S. states to receive the coveted 2021 Alfred Lerner Fellowship. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous selected 21 middle and high school teachers from 12 states and four educators at U.S.-based Holocaust centers as fellows who could delve into the complex history of the Holocaust as well as discuss new teaching techniques for introducing the subject into their classrooms. Weaver recently took part in the JFR’s Summer Institute, the Fellowship’s intensive five-day course, which was held virtually June 27 to July 1. The program is a high-level, intensive academic seminar in which participants attended lectures given by noted Holocaust scholars. The event is designed to allow participants to meet in small groups following each lecture, address the specific aspect of the Holocaust that is presented, share teaching concepts and develop approaches to introducing the subject matter to their students. Each participant comes from a region of the country where the JFR operates Holocaust Centers of Excellence in conjunction with a local Holocaust museum or center. “There are three main goals of our program, which include: providing teachers with graduate level courses on the Holocaust; pedagogical connections with other teachers and their curriculum so they learn what’s worked and what hasn’t; and to give them resources for the classroom,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 37
SPORTS Baseball Cards Sale Evokes Love of National Pastime One of the nation’s most extensive collections of historic baseball cards has sold at auction for $21.5 million. The sale of the collection, Bob Bahr which was advertised as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire some of the rarest baseball collectibles, belonged to Dr. Thomas Newman, a Jewish neurologist who started collecting over 30 years ago. He died earlier this year. The collection set record prices for cards from what collectors call the sports “golden era” from 1930 to 1960. A 387-page catalog of the sale lists hundreds of rarities that go back to 1887 and the beginnings of professional baseball in America. The descriptions of exceptional cards featuring such legends as Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb read like a history of baseball in the early 20th century. But the star of the nearly three-week online auction that ended July 10 was a mint
Marshall Fogel has one of the largest baseball memorabilia collections in the country
“I always had a dream that I would play for the Yankees, but I never was a good ballplayer. My parents who were immigrants from Eastern Dr. Thomas Newman and the $4.2 million baseball card. Europe discouraged me from playing condition 1933 Babe Ruth card issued by auctions this year. sports and emphasized education. the Goudey Gum Company in Cambridge, “This last year And then as I grew up, I realized that Mass. The small cardboard rectangle of Ruth and a half, in general, I kind of did play baseball, but not like swinging a bat against a bright yellow back- has been phenomenal the level I wanted to. So the baseball ground went for $4.2 million, a record. for the industry. The cards and memorabilia were a way I The success of the auction and the in- market is exploding. felt I could be in the game.” tense interest it generated did not surprise And because of all This Mickey Mantle card For Fogel, who grew up in an obJL Cohen, whose company Memory Lane the publicity this last from his first season in servant Orthodox home where tefilIncorporated has scheduled three large-scale year and a half and of 1952 sold for $2.12 million. lin were worn every day and Hebrew course, with the Dr. school was mandatory, baseball was a Newman collection, I feel that there’ll be a lot way of being more like his gentile friends in more interest. It’s been pretty amazing.” the neighborhood. Cohen, who grew up in a family of Jew“Baseball is the American pastime. You ish baseball fans in Brooklyn, has been sell- know, that’s not an exaggeration. It is our ing sports memorabilia for over 20 years. game. And it was kind of like Jews were wantMany of his best customers have also been ing to fit in. We wanted to be just like everyJews. one else. And baseball was one of the ways “There’s definitely a lot of Jewish people that they said to America, ‘You know, we’re that collect sports cards and memorabilia. I’ll part of this country. We are Americans, too.’” tell you that I have a lot of clients. In fact, that Today that dream that some Jews may would be if I was doing a checklist of the de- have had about fitting in is bringing unexmographic of the collector that would stand pected financial rewards. Among the sales at out. Jews who are between 30 to 60 years old Dr. Newman’s Memory Lane auction were like to collect.” several cards that were bought for over $1 Among his best friends is Marshall Fo- million each. gel, whose collection of thousands of items A black and white image of Babe Ruth of cards and memorabilia is said to rank just issued by the Sporting News in his rookie behind the one at the National Baseball Hall season of 1916 went for $1.45 million. A black of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. and white card of the New York Yankees’ Visitors to this year’s Major League Base- Lou Gehrig as a rookie in 1925 sold for $1.032 ball All-Star Game saw an exhibit of some of million. A rare card issued by Topps, which his prize possessions, like the uniform Joe packaged the card with a stick of bubble gum DiMaggio wore when he hit his last home during Mickey Mantle’s first season with the run in a World Series game in 1952 or the Yankees, was purchased for $2.12 million. bat Lou Gehrig used against the Philadelphia Even though prices are high and Dr. Athletics in 1932, when he hit four home runs Newman’s collection was exceptional, it’s during his first four at bats, a record that still doubtful that he would have parted with it if stands. Fogel keeps his three Mickey Mantle he were still alive, his widow Nancy told the cards, worth an estimated $10 million in a auction company. bank vault. “No one enjoyed collecting more than Girls & Boys 6th-12th Grade At 80, Fogel, a lawyer, considered col- Tom. He jokingly called his cards his ‘paper www.troop1818.com lecting another way to feel like he was in the babies,’ and spent almost every day attendmajor leagues, even thought he might not ing to his collection in one way or another. It JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER ever get to play there. gave him such pleasure.” ì
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Orthodox Players Believed First Drafted by MLB By Nathan Posner In an apparent first, Orthodox Jewish baseball players have been drafted into the MLB. While Sandy Koufax was remembered for sitting out a World Series game during Yom Kippur, these two draftees are believed to be the first-ever Orthodox players to play in the MLB. The two teenage players Jacob Steinmetz and Elie Kligman are expected to follow their religious beliefs as
an organization, we’ll have to work with his schedule to make sure he can maintain his schedule with his religion.” Steinmetz doesn’t expect to go straight to the majors, but told the JTA that he hopes to make it in “three, four years.” He didn’t believe a major league career was even possible until “a couple months back,” as he went through a growth spurt and was able to increase his fastball speed. Steinmetz has also gotten into contact
MLB.com via JTA/Times of Israel // Jacob Steinmetz is drafted for the MLB.
they head into the major leagues. Both will soon choose whether or not to play at a professional level or for college programs. Kligman is expected to choose the latter, his father told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. And Steinmetz expected to skip college for the pros, according to The Times of Israel. Steinmetz would be what is believed the first practicing Orthodox Jewish player to make it to the big leagues if he forgoes college at Fordham University. Steinmetz has been able to compete so far by visiting tournaments ahead of schedule to make arrangements, from setting up hotels and kosher meals to walking five miles to play on Shabbat. Steinmetz seems to have eased the worries of the Diamondbacks, who selected him in the third round, much higher than anticipated. Steinmetz, a 17-year-old pitcher from New York, has clocked pitches in the mid to high 90s. Kligman, an 18-year-old from Nevada, plays a variety of positions, including pitcher and shortstop, but has been moving towards catching, as of late. Steinmetz has, until now, been bringing kosher food with him, but hopes that the attention being placed on him will help ease being observant. With Phoenix believed to have a sizable Jewish community approaching 100,000, Steinmetz told JTA, “I know Arizona has a big Jewish community, so there’s going to [be] a bunch of kosher food. Once I start moving up … the plan is to either ship food there or bring my own food or however I do that. It shouldn’t be that difficult for me.” Diamondbacks Scouting Director Deric Ladnier told reporters that he isn’t worried about Steinmetz’ religious beliefs. “We loved his stuff, big arm; what we felt was one of the better curveballs in the draft. There were some things with regards to his religious background being an Orthodox Jew, we’re going to respect that. … As
with Kligman recently, once they started hearing about each other in the lead up to the draft, telling the JTA, “We obviously just heard about each other recently, when all this stuff started coming out, so we got in contact.” As Steinmetz received the call for the majors, family members and friends erupted in celebration, many wearing kippot. His religious observance was noted by commentators, who announced the draft picks, with MLB analyst Jonathan Mayo saying, “Mazal tov and B’Hatzlacha!” Both terms mean good luck. At only 17, there is a good chance Steinmetz will make the major leagues with his already fast speed. While neither of the new MLB picks have been asked to play on Team Israel, which is in Tokyo for the Olympics, both said they would be honored to receive the call. ì
Elie Kligman is a draft pick for the MLB.
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Israel Sends Baseball Team to Olympics
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Courtesy of Jewish National Fund // Israeli Olympic baseball team celebrates qualifying for the Tokyo games.
By Nathan Posner
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Israel will be sending a team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer for the first time in over 45 years, competing in baseball with a roster made up of Americans who have gained Israeli citizenship and Israeli-born players. The team, consisting of no active MLB players because of Olympic regulations, has become a phenomenon on the international baseball scene, coming in sixth place at their first World Baseball Classic in 2017. Over the past few months, the team has traveled around much of the United States, from Arizona to New York, playing college to club teams, as they prepare for Tokyo. Only six teams qualified for Olympics, including Japan, which automatically qualified for hosting the competition. Israel will be up against South Korea July 29 and the United States July 30 in the opening rounds. The competitors are baseball powerhouses that have professional national leagues, compared to Israel’s less than 1,000 players playing organized baseball, Israel team general manager Peter Kurz told The New York Times.
The team was only able to really emerge because of COVID as players were able to make aliyah to qualify for citizenship and the Olympics. The team of 24 players only has four native-born Israelis, with former MLB allstars alongside minor league and amateurs making up the roster. Before going to Tokyo, the team hoped to raise $1 million to help prepare as well as provide for uniforms, food and equipment. Baseball hasn’t been played at the Olympics since 2008, and the last time an Israeli sports team qualified for the Olympics was 1976 when Israel’s soccer team competed. With only six teams competing, there is a sizeable chance the underdog will receive a medal, although they will be up against nonMLB major league players as South Korea and Japan are allowing players in their national leagues to participate. The Israel team will rely heavily on the all-star power of second baseman Ian Kinsler. A 14-year veteran of the MLB, Kinsler won two Gold Glove awards and was a four-time all-star. He will be playing second base for the team at the July 29 game against South Korea. ì
All-Star Honors Hank Aaron
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron of Atlanta honored by MLB.
Before the start of this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Denver July 13, the MLB honored Hall of Famer Hank Aaron of Atlanta. With Aaron’s wife Billye in attendance, a video was played remembering Aaron’s career and life as well as his number 44 embedded into the grass at his right-field position. Billye was also presented with a number of items honoring her husband and received a standing ovation. Aaron’s number was also worn by players during workouts and the home run derby, though not during the AllStar Game itself. Aaron is recognized not only as one of baseball’s finest players, but also for his work in Atlanta and the civil rights movement. Later during the game, only one Atlanta Braves player started for the National League, with Freddie Freeman at first base for his fifth All-Star Game. And while Ronald Acuna Jr. was expected to play outfield, an injury put him out for the game and the rest of the regular season. Ozzie Albies came off the bench in the sixth inning and played second base. While the National League lost to the American League 5 to 2, both Freeman and Albies went 1 for 2, the only pair of National League teammates to get hits. The game was initially scheduled to take place in Atlanta, but it was moved after recent voting legislation was signed into law, which opponents say echoes Jim Crow era tactics and enables voter suppression. The Job Creators Network, formed by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, had tried to halt the move, suing the MLB, but the case was dismissed. JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz released a statement leading up to the game. “One city should never benefit from the unjustified hardship of another. Denver is benefitting from the All-Star Game after a terrible pandemic, but it shouldn’t be on the backs of Atlanta small businesses. The MLB chose to punish Atlanta small businesses in an act of reckless virtue-signaling. ...The dreams of thousands of Atlanta small businesses were real, and the sounds of those crashing dreams are equally real. ...This is a sad day for America’s pastime – a shameful day.”
ATL Mom Swims Across America Atlantan Vicki Bunke is honoring the life of her 14-year-old daughter Grace by swimming 14 open-water Swim Across America swims, the same number of swim meets Grace did before she could no longer swim. During her fight with cancer, Grace learned to love swimming and excelled at it, even earning a U.S. Paralympic Team swim cap. Her last request to her mother was to continue swimming for her when she no longer could, which Vicki now does as part of a team raising funds for pediatric cancer research. Grace died in 2018 due to osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. Her mother began swimming from Nantucket to Seattle in May, with numerous stops in between ending Oct. 2 in Atlanta. Grace’s fight against cancer and Vicki’s swimming are featured in the first two episodes of the docu-series “WaveMakers,” which aired on the Discovery Life channel this month. Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band-member John Driskell Hopkins, a friend of the Bunke family, wrote the theme song “I’ll Take You Home.” Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 11, and fought for nearly four years that included a partial leg amputation and a number of lung operations. “It’s usually parents who leave legacies for our
Grace Bunke and her mother Vicki, who is Swimming Across America in her daughter’s honor.
children,” Vicki Bunke said. “Grace left a legacy for us. She was the No. 1 fundraiser for pediatric research with Swim Across America before she passed away, and if she were here today, she would be swimming to fight this awful disease for others. It’s Grace’s spirit that brings us all together for this cause.” ì Compiled by Nathan Posner
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DINING Sweetgreen is Hearty, Healthy and Hip By Marcia Caller Jaffe Mostly millennials lit up social media in anticipation of Sweetgreen, the salad and grain bowl chain’s entrée into Atlanta. Opened last month in the Ponce City Market, avid fans had relished Sweet-
build-your-own, quickly prepared, easy takeout or eat in casual and app-oriented upbeat food. Sweetgreen was launched in 2007 by three college students who wanted to reimagine fast food and be community conscious. Amy Fingerhut, first vice president at CBRE, represented Sweetgreen in their Atlanta expansion. “I am from the D.C. suburbs where Sweetgreen was born. I was crazy fan since they opened store number 2 in Dupont Circle. When I was approached to represent them in 2015 The Shroomami Bowl we chose had roasted sesame tofu, portobello mushrooms, raw beets, cucumber, basil, kale, wild rice, with orange-hued miso sesame dressing.
green meals in Los Angeles, D.C. and other cities. Soon to open in Lenox Square and Colony Square, Sweetgreen goes head on with Flower Child, CAVA and smaller players such as Kale Me Crazy and Salata. All took up the gap left by COVID changes in hand-touching salad bars and fill the thriving market for fresh, healthy, local,
to open in Atlanta, I was beyond ecstatic, especially being so passionate about the concept (and that I eat salads every day). “We had a lot of starts and stops as LA jumped over Atlanta for expansion and some other markets; but by 2019 it was finally going to be Atlanta. There is always the rewarding feeling when you
Sweetgreen promoted a Naomi Osaka Bowl (top left) for the No. 1 women’s tennis player, along the efficient ordering line.
spicy broccoli, chickpeas, black lentils, almonds, sunflower seeds and avocado with two dressings to sample on the side: Pesto vinaigrette and Caesar, both of which were rich and still low fat. Then we split the Shroomami Bowl, equally yummy with roasted sesame tofu (our tofu was a bit oversalted), portobello mushrooms, raw beets, cucumber, basil, kale, wild rice, with orange-hued miso sesame dressing. Fun additions could be mint leaves or za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice. There are large portions with leftovers! Chicken and catfish are proteins which we eschewed, but looked appealing for those in those camps. Some Sweetgreen locations offer steelhead trout. What we would order next time: Veggie Caesar with roasted sweet poThe fresh veggie and fruit bins are lined up for easy viewing.
see a restaurant or retailer come to life in your hometown that you worked so hard to make happen, but this one felt just that little extra special." Note that Sweetgreen is not part of the Ponce City Market food court, which is limited to local vendors and not chain based. Thus, in an adjacent outdoor square, Sweetgreen has its own storefront next to the ever-popular Sephora cosmetics. Buzz words are sustainability, seasonability, watchful of allergies, made “in house” dressing, and the freshest of produce. Atlanta has unique peach-oriented offerings (a la peach+berry burrata.) The menu has categories: warm bowls, sides, salads, plates and beverages. Entrees start at $10.50 and man o man is it hard to chose! We went with a Warm Pesto Protein Bowl loaded with kale, wild rice,
tato Guacamole Greens with lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette Harvest Bowl with quinoa, apples, goat cheese, raw pecans and balsamic vinaigrette A side of rosemary focaccia looked inviting at $1.95, 230 calories. Carbs are also labeled. Every single item has calorie count. Beverages galore one would expect with such a hip menu: Pink Lady Apple Kombucha, Moon Goddess, hibiscus and jasmine green teas, sparkling waters. The app is user friendly and the customer is in the driver’s seat, easy to switch items, defer to allergies and substitutions, or build your own. For pickups, each order has a “shelf window time” for food safety that won’t lay around at room temp, and later a “consume time” (about three hours) from the pickup time for eating at home. Food precision restrictions are also made clear. Sweetgreen lists soy, nuts, dairy, gluten, meat and fish as those preferences (or lack thereof) noted on the app. ì
Sweetgreen has a spacious interior at Ponce City Market next to Sephora, separate from the food court.
Swe e t g r e e n is located at 650 North Avenue. I had no luck in calling and reaching a local connection. Calls were referred to texting to a central bot.
Photos by Diane Crow//
Sharon Lapin displays the scene she captured of her parents in their dining room, “Portrait of Rich and Gloria Lapin.”
Chai Style Art
Young Energy Imprints Her Designs on East Atlanta This millennial natural beauty is transforming light and breaking barriers on the top level of her Atlanta BeltLine home off Moreland Avenue. Sharon Lapin’s organic and youthful approach to art with color and fluidity encompasses her pottery, printMarcia making, encaustic work and larger scale paintings, many Caller Jaffe of Judaica and family scenes. Then there are her treatments of a Navajo rodeo and Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut. The next generation of Southern talent, Lapin graduated from Dunwoody High School before attending SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in Savannah and getting her degree in printmaking and painting at Georgia State University. She worked at Storehouse as accessory buyer and rug designer, produced catalogue shoots while learning about wardrobing and sets, leading to freelancing in commercial shoots. As a working artist, Lapin is proud to also still hold a career in the corporate television industry as a freelance teleprompter operator. Her main client is The Home Depot.
With respect for her subjects and a chockablock of media, well-thought-out ideas, Lapin is one to watch. Or even watch from behind, to see her lioness designs on the back of her hand-painted denim award-winning jackets. Join the tour of free spirits, wax, acrylic and Capoeira. Jaffe: How would you describe your own home? Lapin: We built this East Atlanta house in 2013. I let the art speak for itself around my accent hues of muted sea green, sage and mint. The focal point over the fireplace is my painting of a Navajo cowboy rodeo scene reflecting those colors. Of course, we have our own children’s art in the front entrance hallway. Jaffe: One of your mediums is denim jackets we see hanging in the hall. Lapin: During the pandemic when my children were home, it was too difficult to spend uninterrupted hours on larger canvas paintings. I came up with art on a smaller scale. I started hand painting on denim jackets and vests. After I made a few, I took commissions on them and sold quite a few. Instagram was great for this! (@lapincreative). Usually I would find vintage jackets or take my cli-
ent’s own denim jackets or vests and give them new life by painting an animal on the back. I like the idea of making an old garment new again because it is also very earth friendly. This project won me the Pentel [Arts] Spotlight award for the crafts category; and I did an Instagram takeover for their channel on Jan. 1. Currently six of my hand painted garments are at Arts Beacon Gallery. The rest have been sold for $85 to $125. The tiger is pretty cool. Jaffe: Your Judaica is very emotive. Lapin: “Pandemic Zoom Seder” for Passover seemed only natural. The sepia one is about the time I attended a bourekamaking demonstration at my former Hebrew teacher’s home while a podcast was also in progress. “Mah Jongg on the Back Porch” speaks for itself. “Preparing for the Mikveh” is very personal for me. After my 40th birthday, I reached for renewal by participating in the ritual immersion in the mikveh. Thus you see [Hebrew] cursive writing mikveh, the use of the Hebrew letter mem, and the number 40 numerology. For healing, you can envision any woman in motion as the light is breaking in yellow, red and blue tones as she leaves part of herself behind and re-emerges differently. In the broad sense of Judaica, my Kiddush cups are ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 43
The focal point of Lapin’s main level is her Navajo cowboy rodeo scene painting above the fireplace.
featured in The Museum Store at The Breman Museum. Jaffe: Another of your themes is love of family. Lapin: I did this “Portrait of Rich and Gloria Lapin” [this year]. Capturing my parents in their dining room by their Russian samovar. “Boys in the Bedroom.” was accepted into the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art “Metro Montage XXI” exhibition on exhibit through Sept. 5.
Lapin composed silkscreen prints on boards under encaustic wax allowing visibility through the layers. Prints like these were bought by top level clients such as Neiman Marcus and Hilton Hotels.
Jaffe: You are so multifaceted. What are some of the other treatments you have done? Lapin: Neiman Marcus purchased several of my square silkscreen prints on boards under encaustic wax as you peer through the layers. These range from $750 to $950 each. Other than the paintings, I have mono-prints on wood like the car in the studio layered with ink. Also I have done silkscreen prints like the Yuri Gagarin’s Soviet Cosmonaut stamp. Something very off-beat is our fun family experiments with fireworks resulting in colored smoke under a bowl, and then framed in our dining room.
“Mah Jongg on the Back Porch”- Sharon captured the detail in this ever-popular mahjong scene. (Courtesy of Lapin)
Especially emotive is Lapin’s very personal mikveh. After her 40th birthday, she reached for renewal by participating in the ritual immersion.
Lapin did this portrait of a friend “Jessica Joan Pinkstone and Bovine Pelvic Bone.”
44 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
CHAI STYLE Jaffe: What are some works of others that you display in your home? Lapin: At the front door, we have an Elizabeth Malpas composition of Korean Hwatu playing cards raised off the background in a shadow box. We have an original collage piece by artist Michael Jones, who recently exhibited work at Swan Coach House Gallery. And of all the photographs hanging on our walls, my absolute favorites are by photographer Ivette Spradlin. Jaffe: Why don’t you sign your work? Lapin: I don’t want my signature to distract from the content of my painting. Jaffe: You engage in a very unusual sport that is very hip BeltLine-ish. Lapin: I exercise with the Capoeira Training Club. It is an Afro-Brazilian martial art practiced worldwide with a very rich history that combines music, fighting and blocking techniques, acrobatics and dance. We meet in a historic 1922 church nearby in Grant Park. Lapin does cartwheels in her upstairs studio between the aisles of paintings. ì This large sepia-toned painting is Lapin’s interpretation of her attending a boureka demonstration at a former Hebrew teacher’s home while a podcast was recording. (Courtesy of Lapin) Lapin painted “Boys in the Bedroom.” She enjoys painting tigers and various symbols on denim vests and jackets.
In Lapin’s front entrance is this eclectic Elizabeth Malpas composition of Korean Hwatu playing cards raised off the background in a shadow box.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 45
JULY 29 – AUGUST 15
THURSDAY, JULY 29 #EndJewishHatred – 6 p.m. Join Cheryl 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 for link.
FRIDAY, JULY 30
Shabbat On the River w/Micah Lapidus & Hello, Goodbye & Peace Ensemble – 7:30 p.m. A part of the Neranenah Concert and Culture Series embedded in a Shabbat service, featuring some of the Atlanta Jewish community's most talented musicians. An evening of original music composed right here in Atlanta that’s inspiring and accessible to all. Somewhere between a campfire and an outdoor festival. Visit https:// bit.ly/3AKbcXY to purchase tickets.
SATURDAY, JULY 31 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. Visit https://bit.ly/34YpvJS for Zoom Link. Prayers and Popsicles – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Join Congregation Etz Chaim for Shabbat services followed by a nice popsicle or ice cream treat with Rabbi Daniel Dorsch. RSVP at https://bit.ly/3xuoBBz.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 1
An Evening of Comedy with Judy Gold & Eddie Brill – 7:30 p.m. Come to the Chattahoochee Nature Center to listen to the comedic stylings of Judy Gold and Eddie Brill. Purchase tickets by visiting the Neranenah Concert and Culture Series, https://bit.ly/2UswOaS. Outdoor Tot Shabbat – 11 to 11:30 a.m. Come join Temple Emanu-El of Atlanta outdoors for a Tot Shabbat. Registration and masks are required. Please bring a blanket to sit on. Visit https:// bit.ly/320hx1n to register. Duchess Performs the Jewish American Songbook – 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meet Duchess, a jazz vocal trio known for its tight harmonies and rhythmic experimentation. Hailing from New York, Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou charm audiences with their sure-footed choruses and carefree shows. Their musical performances channel the inspiration and tradition of the swing-era Boswell Sis-
Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:
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. 46 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
ters, all wrapped into a contemporary package. For Neranenah, Duchess will be performing a program of the Great Jewish American Songbook featuring tunes that were composed or made famous by Jewish artists. Visit https://bit. ly/3wteo70 to purchase tickets.
Hadassah Greater Atlanta Chesed Student Awards – 2 to 3 p.m. For 29 years, the Hadassah Chesed Student Awards program has honored one outstanding Jewish teen from every area Jewish day school, supplemental religious school, or educational group for his or her acts of chesed: loving-kindness and menschlichkeit. For the third year, it is partnering with JumpSpark, inviting the selected students to submit an essay detailing their leadership or community service involvement; two entries chosen to receive merit-based financial awards will be announced. The program will be virtual this year. For Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/2UzixcA.
Blood Drive – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Do the mitzvah of donating blood at Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s quarterly blood drive. Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Visit https://bit.ly/3hEsq1I to register. Teen Music Showcase – 12:30 p.m. Come hear emerging musicians from our own community as the Teen Music Showcase presents Neranenah! We have so many talented teens in the Atlanta Jewish community, but they don’t often get the opportunity to showcase their hard work in front of a live audience. Our goal is for teen musicians, bands and performers to have the chance to hone their craft, support one another, and share their music with our community. Live music acts (ages 13-19) including solo performers, duos and full bands are welcome. Visit https://bit.ly/3hStUEr to purchase tickets.
MONDAY, AUGUST 2 AJFF Playback Interactive Film Contest – Join AJFF for the return of its interactive, bracket-style film contest, Playback: Reunion Edition. Two competing films will drop weekly for audiences to watch through the AJFF Virtual Cinema and vote for their favorite. The competition features a mix of eight films covering various topics and filmmaking styles, with a common theme of reconnection and reunion. Visit https://bit.ly/3yyAerm to purchase tickets.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 3 mAAc Meets – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join congregation Ahavath Achim Mature Active Adult Community (mAAc). 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 first Tuesday of the month on the topic “Finding our Footing in Prayer;” Rabbi Neil Sandler, the second and fourth Tuesdays on “Current Events in the Jewish World;” and Rabbi Sam Blustin, the third Tuesday on “Mussar of the Month: Living Well.” For Zoom link, visit https://bit.ly/2TOx0kp. 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.
CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Eikev Friday, July 30, 2021, light candles at 8:21 p.m. Saturday, July 31, 2021, Shabbat ends at 9:21 p.m. Re’eh Friday, August 6, 2021, light candles at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, August 7, 2021, Shabbat ends at 9:12 p.m. Shoftim Friday, August 13, 2021, light candles at 8:07 p.m. Saturday, August 14, 2021, Shabbat ends at 9:04 p.m.
discuss their anxieties about starting school and strategies to manage stress. Visit https://bit.ly/3B7Mlh8 to register. Toddler/Parent Play Group – 3 to 4:15 p.m. Parenting toddlers can be both challenging and rewarding, and these tiny humans don’t come with instruction manuals! Join Jewish Family & Career Services, Julie Rau, Sherri Cauthen and Ula Zusman and navigate toddlerhood. Light snacks will be served. Visit https://bit.ly/3xJYWVO to register.
viewer and book club facilitator Greg Changnon for one of Atlanta’s most interesting and thought-provoking book clubs. This group meets each month to discuss a critically acclaimed piece of literature. Visit https://bit.ly/36nfres for Zoom link. The book this month is “The Midnight Library,” By Matt Haig
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6 Shabbat Splash & Sing – 5 to 5:30p.m. Songs and blessings at the pool with Rabbi Brian Glusman at Marcus JCC of Atlanta in celebration of Shabbat. Available for those who have made pool reservations at https://bit. ly/35KqduQ.
IJA’s Jewish Summer Cinema II – 8 p.m. Treat yourself to a memorable experience with sunsets, gorgeous city views, great food, and fun Jewish films on the Intown Jewish Academy’s huge outdoor screen! Visit https://bit.ly/3wIQfti to RSVP.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 8 College Concerns for Parents of FirstYear Students – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Starting college can be nerve wracking. For many students, it is their first time living away from home and being truly independent. While the start of college is exciting, it’s normal to feel stress from this drastic life change. Join Jewish Family & Career Services and Be Well With Hillel counselor Susan Fishman, hosting a session with parents and guardians of incoming students to
MONDAY, AUGUST 9 MJCCA Literary Book Club – 7 to 8 p.m. Join the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution book re-
Judaic Needlework Meetings – 7 to 9 p.m. The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework is an international organization devoted to needlework traditions through the sharing of handcrafted items for both Jewish ritual and everyday cultural use. We are novice to experienced: quilters, crocheters, fiber artists, weavers, knitters, needlepointers, beaders, cross-stitchers and more. Our members enjoy workshops, lectures, tours, making projects, and needlework challenges throughout the year. Visit https://bit.ly/3d1vceB for more information. The Art of the Hebrew Letter – 8 to 9 p.m. Intown Jewish Academy’s Hands-On Mitzvah Series. It takes years to become a proficient sofer, a scribe trained to write Torah scrolls and other holy Jewish ritual items. Come and see up close how the Torah and mezuzah letters are written and try your hand at it as well, using the traditional feather quill on authentic parchment, guided by our expert Jewish scribe. They may look black and white, but the letters of the Hebrew alphabet contain deep secrets and meanings. Uncover the mystery of the ancient script. Plus, bring your mezuzahs to be examined and serviced, if
needed, and purchase new scrolls for your home. Visit https://bit.ly/3ifq5cz to register.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 10 mAAc Meets – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join congregation Ahavath Achim Mature Active Adult Community (mAAc). 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 first Tuesday of the month on the topic “Finding our Footing in Prayer;” Rabbi Neil Sandler will teach the second and fourth Tuesdays on “Current Events in the Jewish World;” and Rabbi Sam Blustin will teach the third Tuesday on “Mussar of the Month: Living Well.” For Zoom link, visit https://bit. ly/2TOx0kp.
FIDF Live – 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Moving stories, exclusive base visits, donor spotlights. Bringing the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces directly to you. Get more information at https:// bit.ly/2QP5xhn.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11 Uncoupling: a Divorced and Separated Support Group – 5 to 6:30 p.m. A bimonthly group providing support and resources, and a safe place to process and share experiences related to divorce and separation. Open to men and women of mixed ages. Issues explored are trust, rejection, custody, holidays, in-laws, infidelity, finances, communication, letting go, and what is brought up. Visit https://bit.ly/3v4As87 for more information.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12 Think Different – 8 to 9 p.m. Study what’s believed 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. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 47
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13 Back To School: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive – 12 to 1 p.m. After a year of isolation, quarantine and modified learning, parents and children are experiencing increased anxiety about going back to school. Jewish Family & Career Services’ licensed child therapists will share tips and strategies for parents to support their children’s resilience and successful re-entry back to school. Visit https://bit.ly/3raTM2o for more information.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 Outdoor Tot Shabbat – 11 to 11:30 a.m. Join Temple Emanu-El of Atlanta outdoors for a Tot Shabbat. Registration and masks are required. Please bring a blanket to sit on. Visit https://bit. ly/320hx1n to register.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15 Beth Shalom Open House – 2 to 3 p.m. Back to Shul Open House! Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun-filled time. Meet our community, enjoy a barbecue lunch, and see all that Congregation Beth Shalom has to offer. There will be activities for kids of all ages. Visit https://bit.ly/3xIk9zb for more information.
Rosh Hashanah Fest! – 3 to 5 p.m. Offering crafts, music, shofar learning/ blowing, holiday foods and more. Hosted by three URJ (Reform) congregations in the northern suburbs, Temple Beth Tikvah, Congregation Dor Tamid, and Temple Kehillat Chaim, and funded by a Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Making Jewish Places grant, Rosh Hashanah Fest will be a family-friendly and radically welcom48 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
ing outdoor festival open to anyone who wants to connect with Jewish life. Visit https://bit.ly/3kp285o for more information.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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). 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. Congregation Beth Shalom’s Virtual Services – Erev Shabbat, Fridays at
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
Atlanta Jewish War Veterans
In conversation with Lt. Col. Charles Lutin, U.S. Air Force.
Atlanta Jews of Color Council, Inc.
In conversation with Victoria Raggs, co-founder and executive director.
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? The Jewish War Veterans is the oldest Veterans Service Organization in the United States, founded in 1896. The Atlanta post, the 112th in the United States, has been active since 1920. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? The organization supports separation of religion and military service, as well as Boy Scout and Girl Scout activity at the national level. The organization has about 15,000 members at the national level, with about 200 active members and numerous patrons at the local Atlanta level. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? Helping all communities remember how Jewish War Veterans helped with fighting for our freedom and the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” for all citizens. How does your organization help the community? We maintain the practice of placing American flags at the gravesites of veterans interred at the local Jewish cemeteries at Memorial Day and Veterans Day, supporting veterans directly through outreach at the VA hospitals in Decatur and Dublin, Ga., and contributions to other veteran nonprofit organizations. Membership reached its high point regionally after World War II ended, when 3 percent of U.S. service members self-identified as Jews. A ladies’ auxiliary organization was active for years after World War II ended, but is currently inactive. Our members have knowledge on a wide range of military and historical topics, and are available for community speaking related to military matters. We are always interested to meet new veterans and those interested in becoming patrons at the local level.
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? AJOCC was founded just this year in response to the racial reckoning of America and the changing demographics of American Jewry. We’re a Jewish women-owned and led charity organization. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? We advocate for younger community members to have anti-racist curriculum, services and programming that’s considerate of the unique needs and experiences of Jews as a multiethnic/racial people so that every Jew can have equal access. Such curriculum should be developed for our day schools, summer camps, teen organizations, synagogues and rabbinical programs. It’s fundamental to our Jewish values and Jewish continuity. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? Our ambitious 10-year goal is to cultivate a transformative shared communal impact of anti-racism, which inspires, engages and fosters equity for all Jews, not just in Georgia, but internationally. How does your organization help the community? There is a need to address on the regional level that racial and ethnic Jewish minorities are marginalized and historically excluded. To that end, AJOCC helps the community by providing nuanced DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] consultancy through a Jewish lens, and cultivates intentional safe spaces for Jews of Color to show up authentically in their true identities. Effective change starts at the top, so we provide the framework and tools needed to move organizations toward adopting increasingly creative and collaborative models of leadership for a more equitable and racially conscious future.
Chabad Enrichment Center of Gwinnett In conversation with Yossi Lerman, rabbi and director. How long has your organization been in Atlanta? 20 years, from September 2001.
the process of hiring a rabbi and rebbetzin who will focus on the younger members of our community.
How do you cater to the younger members of the community? How does your organization help the community? We have a thriving Hebrew School and a bar and bat mitzvah program. We also have We are committed to providing every Jew of the area the opportunity to celebrate family-oriented holiday programs, including BBQ picnics and Shabbat dinners. the joy of being Jewish through programs that nurture connection, belonging, cultural fulfillment and spiritual growth, thus enriching the quality of Jewish life. Since opening our doors in 2001, we have become the center for Jewish connecWhere do you see your organization in 10 years? We are in the permitting stage of building a new 12,000-square-foot center. This tion for hundreds of families. Chabad of Gwinnett acts as a gentle magnet and a center will give us more opportunity and room to expand and grow. We are also in beacon of light, which draws Jews of all backgrounds closer to their Jewish roots. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 49
COMMUNITY Atlanta Jewish Groups Battle ‘Superwoman Complex’ By Jan Jaben-Eilon More than two decades ago, Jocelyn Schorvitz wrote her college senior year thesis on the “superwoman complex,” that towering expectation of oneself to be perfect and to handle anything that comes her way. Now she has created a program for women caregivers who may struggle with this condition, to be held at MACoM (Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah). Schorvitz is executive director of Atlanta’s unaffiliated mikvah in Sandy Springs. The Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta is providing a three-year $225,000 grant to MACoM and Jewish Family & Career Services to create POW! a Pragmatic Outlook for Women, “that will help women find a pragmatic approach to life,” Schorvitz explained. JWFA said it is their largest grant ever. Starting in October and lasting through May, the program will be open to primary caregivers who assist anyone besides themselves, whether children, parents or others. Additional cohorts will fol-
Brown noted that the two biggest issues the JWFA grant wanted to address were the “superwoman complex” and mental health, especially anxiety. JF&CS already provided a mental health first aid program for adults who work with youth. That program will be modified for women and teen girls, she said. In fact, JF&CS is designing a variety of curricula to break the stigmas Foyer of MACoM, the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah. Jocelyn Schorvitz wrote her associated with mental senior year thesis on the health challenges, with “superwoman complex.” a special emphasis on teenage girls. Brown said low. sions, after which participants will receive JWFA had asked for programming on so“The weight of caregiving often falls a gift certificate to immerse in the mikcial change. “If we can reach the younger on women’s shoulders,” Schorvitz said. vah, followed by once-a-month meetings. “There are a lot of programs on the spiritual side, but people need help to get through the process.” The program, created under this grant, starts with three two-hour ses-
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Schorvitz described the mikvah as a “place for healing and to mark transitions.” Especially after the past year plagued by the pandemic, during which women have taken on more responsibilities, Schorvitz saw a serious need for a program like POW! She wrote a letter of intent to submit a grant proposal, at the same time as Rebecca Brown, a clinical social worker at JF&CS, did as well. Brown is also the outreach and prevention social worker for the JF&CS Shalom Bayit (Peace at Home) program. JWFA Executive Director Rachel Wasserman recalled when the two applications were submitted. “They came in as separate proposals and our leadership proposed they do it together. They clearly all felt the need so deeply.” According to Schorvitz, MACoM was already aligned as an organization with JF&CS. “We had hoped to work with them, and the JWFA accelerated that idea. From the first conversation, there was beautiful synchronicity.” JF&CS will provide the therapists and trainers to facilitate the POW! participants. “Our leadership was blown away by the thoughtfulness, scope and depth of the grant proposal presented by JF&CS and MACoM, and we could not be more pleased to throw such major support behind this important initiative,” Wasserman said. The idea for the signature grant came out of JWFA’s 2020 community study, conducted by researchers at Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies. The study exposed the ongoing work-life balance challenges for both teens and working women, resulting in mental health struggles and an increase in anxiety and stress levels. And this was before the pandemic struck.
JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff called the multi-year grant “extraordinary.”
Programming will facilitate social change, said Rebecca Brown, a clinician at JF&CS.
generation, then we can hopefully make changes for the future,” she said. “If we start changing behavior for younger girls, that’s part of the social change piece.” Commenting about the JWFA grant, JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff said, “This extraordinary show of financial support from JWFA will enable us to create strategic programming and innovative resources geared specifically to meet the immediate needs of women and girls in Atlanta.” ì
COMMUNITY SIMCHA SPOTLIGHT
Baby Announcements Eli Joe Bledsoe Roger and Amy Bledsoe of Atlanta are proud to announce the birth of their son, Eli Joe Bledsoe, May 16, 2021. Weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and measuring 19 1/2 inches long, Eli has a sister Eva and grandparents Rick and Joan Blumenfeld of Sandy Springs and David and Robin Bledsoe of Roswell. Eli is a Hebrew name that means “high” or “elevated.” Eli also shares a namesake with his great, great- grandfather Eli Goldstein as well as his paternal great uncle Joe.
Have something to celebrate? Share your simchas with the
Gabrielle Mira Wilkins
Marissa and Brad Wilkins are overjoyed to announce the birth of their daughter, Gabrielle Mira Wilkins, March 26, 2021. “Gabi” is the sister of 2-year-old Jonah Shai Wilkins. The proud grandparents are Amanda and Al Shams of Sandy Springs and Ilene and Ron Wilkins of Orlando. The great-grandparents are Anita Reiter of Atlanta and Geraldine Kilberg of Orlando. Proud aunts and uncles are Samantha Shams and Brie, Jake, Christine, Ray, Nick, Shawn, Mark and Truman Wilkins. Gabi is named in memory of her great-grandmother Geralidine (Brad’s maternal bubbe) and her late great-grandfather Milton Kilberg (Brad’s maternal grandmother).
B’nai Mitzvah Notices
Temple Sinai May-June Abby Blate, daughter of Shira and Richard Blate Abram Blecker, son of Melissa and Ira Blecker Hunter Boze, son of Jamilyn and Scott Boze Alana Diamond, daughter of Margo and Doug Diamond Noah Eisenman, son of Jenifer and Brian Eisenman Mason Firestone, son of Shari and Jeff Firestone Noah Halpern, son of Robin and Andrew Halpern Samuel Kessler, son of Lindsay and Laurence Kessler Remy Rosenberg, daughter of Dana and Mike Rosenberg Judson Siegel, son of Cara Workman and Mark Siegel Gracie Sikora, daughter of Laura and Adam Sikora Isabella Stein, daughter of Dana and Joshua Stein Tyler Strauss, son of Honey and Steven Strauss Tyler and Gabrielle Swartz, children of Kimberly and Jonathan Swartz
Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ... Share your news with the community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 51
Do You Like Your School’s Dress Code?
Ilana and Eli Tanenbaum are not fans of stiff school uniform material.
By Chana Shapiro We asked students in Atlanta’s Jewish elementary schools about clothing, logos, personal touches, and what they’d change. Here’s what they say about life in uniform:
Avraham Antopolsky believes school uniforms help kids concentrate on schoolwork.
Avraham Tzvi Antopolsky 9 Years Old Chaya Mushka Elementary School I think a uniform’s a wonderful thing. Uniforms make sure that students do not have crazy things on their shirts and don’t wear random clothes to school. Some people might think that uniforms are the right thing to wear when we go on field trips, but that’s not their main purpose. If you think about it, we don’t go on that many field trips, but we wear our uniforms to identify ourselves every day. Uniforms also make a kiddush Hashem (Jewish students, who make a good impression, honor G-d). 52 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Ilana Tanenbaum 10 Years Old Torah Day School I think that we should have to be modest at school, like covering our elbows and knees. I don’t like that my friends and I all look alike and that we can’t express our own style. I think we should be able to wear what we want as long as it’s modest. I can express myself a bit by wearing fun earrings to school, and I am very happy that the girls can wear any dress code-colored skirts that don’t have to be made of stiff material like the boys’ pants. Eli Tanenbaum 12 Years Old Torah Day School I think there are pros and cons to everything. A pro to uniform clothing is that it’s easy to just put on basically the same outfit every day without putting thought into it. You don’t have to worry about buying the cool brands and latest things. The cons for me are that we have to wear uniform pants that just aren’t that comfortable, and on super-hot days, I wish I could wear shorts! Lauren Robinson 8 Years Old The Davis Academy I like wearing uniforms. It makes it easy to wake up and get dressed every morning before school. I also like that my friends also wear uniforms and we get to choose which colors we want. We wear white tops and navy bottoms for Shabbat. I like that we all wear the same color one day, and it makes it feel special to celebrate Shabbat together. Most days we get to pick which color top and
Sisters Lauren and Sadie Robinson approve of the special Shabbat dress code.
what color skirt or pants we wear. I usually like red top and navy skirt. But my friends choose other colors, too. Sadie Robinson 5 Years Old The Davis Academy I don’t like wearing only dress code clothes. I wish I could wear fancy dresses every day, but I am happy there is a uniform dress I can wear. We wear white on top and navy on bottom every Friday. It’s OK; it’s fun to match all my friends and my sister, too. I almost always wear a dress for my uniform, but my friends like the shirt and skirt or sometimes pants when it’s cold outside. Or shorts too. My shoes sometimes show my personality. If I would change anything, maybe wearing a dress on Friday. Izzy Steinberg 11 Years Old Atlanta Jewish Academy
Izzy Steinberg expresses her individuality, while adhering to the dress code
A dress code doesn’t bother me. Also, the limited amount of colors and items makes it easier to pick out an outfit. On Fridays, I take advantage of wearing specially-allowed clothes, JagSwag, and my favorite hoodies. I am disappointed that when I get a new shirt I want to show my friends, I can’t wear it to school. I stick with collars during school hours. It’s chill. I believe AJA wants us to wear uniforms so that we feel like a unified community. Also, when we are less focused on what we’re wearing, we focus more on school work and friendships. Otherwise, people may tend to show off fancier items and make other kids feel bad. I express my style through jewelry, shoes, socks, and hairstyles and through pins and keychains on my backpack. I carry my backpack through the hallways, like on a runway. No paparazzi, please! It would be great to wear anything we want on our birthdays. My dream birthday outfit, surprisingly, doesn’t include a collared shirt and the color khaki. No offense. Alexis Bank 8 Years Old The Epstein School I don’t mind the dress code. It’s easier for me because sometimes I have a hard time making a choice of what to wear. The worst thing about having a dress code is that it isn’t pink. I would change the dress code color and bring back the option of ruffles on some of the shirts. I miss the pretty ruffles; I mean, if I can’t have pink, at least it was fun and pretty with ruffles. I can still put fun accessories in my hair. Also, I can wear fun shoes that are rainbow, pink, sparkly, you know, pretty and girly. I also like my pink and sparkly backpack. Micah Bank 11 Years Old The Epstein School The school dress code isn’t my favorite. The clothes aren’t comfortable and I have to wear the same thing every day. Best thing about having a dress code is being able to choose my kippah and shoes. If I could change the dress code, I’d have no tucking in, no belt, comfortable shorts/ shirt. I don’t think it’s important to wear our school logo, because we don’t go on field trips, so it doesn’t matter. I can’t really express my individuality like the girls can because I can only choose my shoes and kippah.
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LAUREN BLASS, REALTOR® Sisters Alexis and Ryleigh Reese Bank long for more pink, while brother Micah wants more comfort.
Ryleigh Reese Bank 5 Years Old The Epstein School I am looking forward to wearing a uniform so I can match my brother and sister. I want to wear the same color that Alexis wears. Maybe Mommy will do matching hair for us, too! I want to wear my light-up sneakers, even if Alexis
doesn’t, because I don’t think she has the same shoes any more, but I wish she did. I will miss being able to wear all of my pretty dresses to school. I would like the uniforms to be pink dresses that are really soft like the one Mommy got me from our friend, Eldar. What’s a school logo? Can it be pink? ì
770-789-4464 Lauren.Blass@HarryNorman.com www.RobinBlass.com
Harry Norman, REALTORS Atlanta Perimeter Office 4848 Ashford Dunwoody Road | Atlanta, GA 30338 | 770-394-2131
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 53
OY VEY OY VEY! HAVE I GOT A PROBLEM...
Oy Vey! Have I Got a Pro lem
ng. Hi, Rachel, daughter Toby is smoki covered that my teenage dis ly ent rec t I tha ss, be tre to dis To my I always wanted , which adds to my pain. her She did not confide in me ered dreams. ... I was in att Sh her anything. Sigh. tell can s uny kid ntl ose rte wh r mothe I needed; I inadve she had borrowed that ing eth a som ing for see g n kin bee s room loo s worse. She ha ide a drawer. But it get ins ked ist, tuc rap ot” the “lo the her to d covere when I reached out nths, and to my shock, y to therapist for several mo ist have a responsibilit oking! Doesn’t the therap sm y’s Tob out ab all ew she kn for her health? ng something harmful tell me if my child is doi ht Mom. Please advise a distraug Dear Mom, Your pain is real and excruciating. As a mother, you are worried about Toby’s health. Your fear combined with the pain of being shut out by Toby in favor of a virtual stranger is a lot of suffering to carry. So, what’s a mom to do? I would recommend the tried-and-true approach that may sound frayed: Quality Time seems to be the main ingredient that parenting experts harp on in this generation. By deepening your relationship with Toby through spending special time together, hopefully she will want to turn to you when the need arises. In addition, leading therapists recommend the 90/10 approach with teenagers: 90 percent positive interaction and only 10 percent of negative communication, when necessary. Naturally, even when you criticize, your words should be gentle and loving. Toby should know that you are always there for her, willing to hear whatever is in her heart. And she should feel secure that no matter what she says or does, your love is unconditional and eternal. As a seasoned parent, you probably know all of this. But sometimes it is helpful to remind yourself, especially during a painful and shocking revelation. Regarding the fact that Toby confided in her therapist and not you, as hard as that is to swallow, I believe there is justification from the therapist’s side in maintaining confidentiality. There are strict rules that differ in each state regarding confidentiality. In general, if a therapist is worried that a client can harm herself or others, s/he is obligated to reveal the information so that everyone stays safe. However, since smoking is not an immediate danger, it is understandable that the therapist did not disclose the information to you. It would have been helpful if the therapist had lain down the rules of disclosure with you, the parents, and the client at the onset of therapy. Then you would have known what to expect. As difficult as this situation is, if a teen thinks that therapy is a place where her private confidence will be shared with her parents, the therapy has no chance of helping. Also, even though a parent wants to know when her child is engaging in these types of behaviors, it may not necessarily help the situation. Many teens experiment with different substances. Hopefully, if there is a healthy parent-child relationship, the teen will come to a place where she will want to share with the parent directly. If you feel that Toby is working with a qualified therapist, try to relax and allow the process to unfold. Therapists work to help teens consider the impact of their behavior. If the therapy is successful, hopefully Toby will be encouraged to make healthy choices in every aspect of her life. Raising children, especially today, is harder than ever. Yet, remember that when the night is darkest, dawn is about to burst forth and flood the world with light. Take heart. With your love, Toby will thrive and hopefully be a source of nachas to you. And with sincere efforts, your mother-daughter bond will become richer and stronger as the years go by. Wishing you success, Rachel
A Tip Avraham, a college pizza delivery boy arrived at the house of Larry Weiss. After giving the pizza to him, Larry asked, “What is the usual tip?” “Well,” replied Avraham, “this is my first trip here, but the other guys say if I get a quarter out of you, I’ll be doing great.” “Is that so?” snorted Larry. “Well, just to show them how wrong they are, here’s $5.” “Thanks,” Avraham replied, “I’ll put this in my school fund.” “What are you studying in school?” asked Larry. Avraham smiled. “Applied psychology.” Source: Chabad Lubavitch, Rochester, N.Y.
YIDDISH WORD OF THE MONTH Ivy-Fashtupn v. Pushing one’s child to get into an Ivy League college. “All Abby thinks about is getting her little Ezra into Yale, so it’s ivy-fashtupn time from dawn ‘til dusk.” Victims of ivy-fashtupn are sometimes as young as 5 years old, and their families apply to elite “pre-Ivy” kindergartens to the tune of $50,000 a year. For this, the student may carry a six-figure college loan well into middle age. Directly from the Yiddish fashtupn, meaning to push or shove.
Atlanta Jewish Times Advice Column Got a problem? Email Rachel Stein, a certified life coach, at oyvey@ atljewishtimes.com describing your problem in 250 words or less. We want to hear from you and get helpful suggestions for your situation at the same time! 54 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Source: “Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times,” by Daniel Klein.
“Biblical Disney Hits”
By: Yoni Glatt, firstname.lastname@example.org Difficulty Level: Easy 1
21 23 27
22 25 30
1. Beats it 7. Ogled 11. Has too much, for short 14. Kind of sweatshirt 15. Like Israel compared to Egypt or Saudi Arabia 16. Bust a rhyme 17. 2009 Disney hit sung by Moshe during year 39 in the dessert? 19. Like many ETS in movies 20. Was a ganev 21. Yarmulke for an angel? 22. Song, in Israel 23. 1992 Disney hit sung by Jonathan to David? 26. A lot of Switz. 29. "So far," on a quarterly pay stub: Abbr. 30. Amy, to Jo or Beth 31. The "A" of B.A. 33. Words before "Rock", in a Simon & Garfunkel hit 36. Storage area, for some 39. 1989 Disney hit sung by Jethro? 42. Country that wasn't exactly building a lot of shuls in the 16th century 43. Steroids-Era star Sammy 44. "What ___ thinking?!" 45. Blasting caps? 46. Abbr. in "Spice and Spirit" 48. Prevalent instrument in "Who Can It Be Now?" (or Shlock Rock's "Modeh Ani Now") 49. 2010 Disney hit sung by Joseph?
55. Animals that cause issues for Jews 56. Yisrael preceder 57. Very fast 61. Ewan will be playing him again, for short 62. 2016 Disney hit sung by Ruth to Naomi? 64. NFL receiver Bryant 65. "Take ___ empty stomach" (prescription direction) 66. Word with self or high 67. Hebron to Arad dir. 68. Aloe woman 69. Tzedek of note, in Jerusalem
18. "Those were ___!" 22. Lift on the slopes 24. "I'll do ___ you will" 25. Part of Caesar's boast, in English 26. Almanac illustrations 27. Sprung thing 28. What a good chess player does 32. Wasp wounds 34. Cow call 35. Where the most notable 4-Down was from 37. "Casablanca" character 38. 409, in Roman numerals 40. Suspicious of 41. Bulldoze, in London 47. Longtime Celtic Robert 49. Devices made obsolete by smartphones 50. Feelings 51. Popular steak cut 52. Sadat Assassinated for making peace with Israel 53. Upper Galilee Kibbutz with a girl's name 54. Country between Libya and Italy 58. Court stance 59. Disney leader Bob 60. Israel's Iron one saves lives 62. Carpool lane Abbr. 63. Hi- or low- quality
1. Party or book collection 2. Manning, for many years or Rivers, for only one 3. Tony who had much less success than Manning or Rivers 4. Meeting someone under 85 with this name might be concerning 5. Hit Stephen King adaptation with James Caan 6. One of three needed for men at Wimbledon 7. Coen or Hawke 8. Red-and-white road sign 9. Sign up, in London 10. It's used to make blue tzitzit strings 11. Groups of people who know the The AJT apologizes for publishing errors score? in our recent crossword puzzles dated 12. StarKist alternative June 30 and July 15. 13. Architectural topper
"False Gods" SOLUTION 1
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D O D
Americans United with Israel hosted a rally at the Georgia World Congress Center Aug. 14 to support Israel. Consul General Opher Aviran, along with Congressman Tom Price and Rabbi Neil Sandler, will be attending, among other supporters. Kaylene Rudy, the founder of the organization, said in a statement, “We hope to bring you a voice of strength and support from the citizens of the Greater Atlanta area and nationwide.”
10 Years Ago// July 29, 2011 The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has promoted a new member to its team. The new staff addition is Erica Rabhan, who previously held positions with the young adult and women’s campaigns, and will be serving as a professional to the National Young Leadership Cabinet. Rabhan said she always wanted to serve the community in this way and now she has a chance to do so with the support of the Federation.
H O M E
C O N
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of terrorism, holding a moment of silence. “Our fathers came to the Olympics in peace and came back to Israel in coffins.” Former President Jimmy Carter paid a visit and offered his condolences to the long-grieved families. At 48, Steve Steinman fulfilled his dream of leaving a carved legacy behind. He completed his sculpture in time for the ‘96 Centennial Olympics, where millions will be able to view his work at the Buckhead MARTA station. Steinman has long been dedicated to learning and installing vivid panels using curvilinear shapes and hard-edged geometric forms. Kaylene Rudy (now Ladinsky), founder of Americans United with Israel, which held a rally to support Israel.
50 Years Ago //July 23, 1971 Charles Quetta, a prominent Jewish journalist, died during the attempted coup at the palace of King Hassan II of Morocco. The attempted coup to overtake the Moroccan government was plotted by Libyan and Syrian insurgents. If the revolution had been successful, there was fear it would jeopardize the lives of over 50,000 Jews living in Morocco and “the West Mediterranean may have been opened to Soviet penetration.”
25 Years Ago// July 26, 1996 The Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation has been awarded a “citation of excellence” by Sixteen children whose parents died during the 1972 Olympics Massacre in Munich, the Society of American Registered Architects. The proposal of the building was submitGermany, arrived at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. They were the children of track ted by architect Gerald Epstein, who supervised and designed the building. The award coaches and athletes. They came to the Olympics to remind the world of the devastation hangs in the foyer inside the Federation’s building. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 55
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Nancy Geller, 87, of Atlanta, formerly of Miami, passed away July 23, 2021. Nancy was a woman who fully engaged in all life had to offer. She loved her family passionately. When her children were young, she was a full-time wife and mother who cared for her family with a home-cooked meal every night, bike rides with her children, and regular date nights with her husband Andy. As her children grew up, she started a career as a residential realtor, and thrived. Thirty years ago, she and Andy moved from Miami to Atlanta to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They divided their time between Atlanta and Highlands, N.C., traveled around the world, and took their children and grandchildren on 14 consecutive annual family vacations. Nancy is predeceased by her husband Andrew Geller, her parents Arnold and Lucille Seeder, and her sister and brother-in-law Judy and Shale Baskin. Survivors include her children Margo Geller, Matthew Geller and his wife Doris, and David Geller and his wife Heidi, and her nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. The funeral was held July 26 at The Temple, 1589 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30309 followed by burial at Crest Lawn Memorial Park, with Rabbi Loren Lapidus officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the Atlanta Food Bank. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999. Sign online guestbook at www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com.
Marvin Allen Rachelefsky 72, Atlanta
Dr. Marvin Allen Rachelefsky, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle passed away July 24, 2021, at the age of 72 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Marvin was born June 22, 1949, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Edith and Louis Rachelefsky. He was a practicing neurologist for over 35 years and a founding partner of Northwest Neurology Associates. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College. On March 26, 1972, Marvin married his high school sweetheart, Paula (Milner), and together they raised three children in Atlanta. A talented neurologist, he used humor to support patients and in our time of grief, we will remember his truly great, bad jokes. Marvin never missed an opportunity to make someone laugh. An avid runner, cyclist, hiker, golfer, and scuba diver, Marvin loved the great outdoors and traveled the world with his family, always finding a great adventure on foot, on wheels or underwater. A passionate baseball fan, he was a longtime Atlanta Braves season ticket holder, but always remained faithful to his hometown New York Yankees. Marvin and his family were members at Temple Sinai since the 1980s. He was deeply committed to his Jewish community and the role of Judaism in his life. He regularly participated in Torah study, synagogue trips and many other events with Temple Sinai. He leaves a devoted wife Paula (Milner); three children Lance (Gavin Andrews) of Brookline, Mass., Ian of Atlanta, and Sara (Chris Casper) of Cumming, Ga.; and five grandchildren Stellan, Elsa, Jaxton, Sadie and Chloe. He also leaves behind his brother Gary, sister-in-law Gail, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive, Sandy Springs, Ga., or Weinstein Hospice, c/o Jewish HomeLife at 3150 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. A graveside service was held July 27, 2021, at Arlington Memorial Park. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Alexander Everett Rudnitsky 90, Alpharetta
Alexander Everett Rudnitsky, 90, of Alpharetta, aka Al Rudy and lovingly known as “Big Al,” “Big Pop,” and “Rudy,” passed away peacefully July 10, 2021, after a challenging battle with Alzheimer’s disease and severe dementia. Rudy was born to Rose and Zavel (Sam) Rudnitsky June 4, 1931, in Philadelphia. After graduating Bartram High School, he went on to play quarterback for Penn State University’s freshman team under coach Joe Paterno. To avoid the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the National Guard. Luck, however, was not on his side; despite never having gone through basic training, Rudy’s guard unit was called up for active duty June 25, 1950. Al fought in over a dozen battles, and was even captured and lined up under a tree with 21 others awaiting execution. He was saved by the South African Air Force, which struck nearby targets, forcing his captors to abandon their plans, allowing Al and his fellow soldiers to escape. Commended for his action and services performed above and beyond the call of duty, Al received four Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, two soldier medals, combat jump wings, a combat infantryman’s badge, seven battle stars, and a commendation medal. Of the 225 men in his unit sent to Korea, Al was one of only 20 to come home.
Upon returning home, Al was set up on a blind date with Bernice Pitesky, of whom he was so smitten that he proposed later that same night. Within a year, they were married. They shared a love for Atlantic City, so much that they later relocated to nearby Marven Gardens with their daughters Su and Sharon for 10 years. They later moved to Hollywood, Fla., and ultimately followed his daughter Sharon to Atlanta. Decades after his service, Al was part of a group of veterans who fought to build support and funding to dedicate a Korean War Veterans Memorial to honor those who served in what has been referred to as the “forgotten war.” The memorial was ultimately created and opened in the summer of 1995 in Washington, D.C. He spoke throughout Florida and Georgia to Veterans of Foreign Wars groups, synagogues, and other organizations about the Korean War and his experiences as part of it. A lifelong Mason and member of the Masonic Lodge of Atlantic County, N.J., Rudy taught classes to incoming members and also served as a mentor to troubled youth in Atlantic City in the '60s and '70s. After moving to Atlanta in 2004, Al spent time working and volunteering at The William Bremen Jewish Home and the North Fulton Community Charities Food Bank. Al was preceded in death in 2002 by his loving wife of 49 years Bernice and in 1983, by his half-sister Ruth Taxin. Al is survived by two daughters Su and Sharon (Mark); three granddaughters Jordan (Scott), Ally (Max) and Madison (Spencer); and three great-grandchildren Nace, Remi and Benjamin. Please consider a gift card fund donation for Aberdeen Place Hospice (any amount). This donation will be distributed into gift cards and awarded each monthly to individual staff and nurses who serve the needs of hospice patients. The fund will be in Al Rudy’s memory. Checks payable to Sharon Moskowitz, 145 Jade Cove Circle, Roswell 30075 or Venmo @Sharon – Moskowitz . Reference it “The RUDY tzedakah card.” Donations may also be made in Al’s memory to All About Cats Rescue, allaboutcatsrescue.org, or Korean War Veterans Memorial, koreanwarvetsmemorial.org. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
JF&CS Gave Me My Son Back. With your support, Rebecca’s nine-year-old son overcame debilitating depression and is now flourishing. But many more families need help. Join us and give to our Annual Campaign. Change starts with you.
Donate today at jfcsatl.org/donate ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES JULY 31, 2021| 57
Jacob A. Spanier 91, Atlanta
Dr. Jacob A. Spanier, age 91, beloved husband of 67 years, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, born in Flushing, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1929, died at home among family in Atlanta, in the pre-dawn hours July 13, 2021. Dr. Spanier was a co-founder of Northside Hospital, served as chairman of the obstetrics department and later as chairman of Northside Hospital itself. He also served as a member of the Fulton County Hospital Authority from 1990 until his retirement from medicine in 2014. Credited with successfully delivering over 14,000 children during 50 years of tireless dedication, he was known for the purity of his focus on his patients and his overwhelming generosity of spirit. A graduate of the University of South Carolina (B.S. 1951) and the Medical College of South Carolina (M.D. 1955), after completing an internship at Charleston’s Medical University Hospital, he entered active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, he served as medical officer to a mobile construction battalion and later as medical officer USMC recruit depot, Parris Island, S.C. Following honorable discharge in 1957, he moved to Atlanta, where from 1958-1961 he completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Grady Memorial/Emory Hospital. In 1961, he entered private practice and joined the hospital staff of Georgia Baptist, and shortly thereafter helped found and began a lifelong association with Northside Hospital. In local business, he distinguished himself as a director 1980-1992 of First American Bank where he oversaw the bank’s ultimate acquisition by First Union. Known for his intelligence, kindness and humility, Dr. Spanier always managed to see the good in people and his sense of humor served him well even until the last day of his remarkable life. Notwithstanding the indelible loss of son Jonathan Spanier (1962-2010) he is survived by his wife Harriet Spanier; his daughters Beth Spanier and Amy Spanier; his grandson Michael Winston and wife Rachel; and three great-grandchildren Victoria, Naomi and Ezra Winston. Graveside services were held July 15. Donations in Jacob’s memory may be made to the Israel Defense Forces and the Atlanta Humane Society. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999. For more information, visit www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com.
Mildred Wachter 101, Atlanta
Mildred Wachter, 101, of Atlanta, formerly of Memphis, passed away July 15, 2021. She was a friend of all, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who built her world around her family. She was a longtime student of art and an accomplished painter. Mildred is predeceased by her husband Morris Wachter and her first husband Edward M. Fortas. She is survived by her children Paul (Jan) Wachter of Atlanta, Gary (Lynne) Wachter of Denver, and Denise (Earl) Levith of Zichron Yaacov, Israel; her grandchildren Eric (Miriam), Jeff (Amanda), Dana (Merlin), Edward, Jenny, Reuben, Levi and Gabi; and great-grandchildren Joshua, Daniel, Alana, Jacob, Mika and Lenox. The funeral was held July 19 with Rabbi Daniel Dorsch of Congregation Etz Chaim officiating. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999 Visit www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com to sign the online guestbook. DEATH NOTICE: Sharon Ann Applebaum, 79, of Charleston, S.C. (formerly of Atlanta) passed away June 9, 2021. Funeral services were held on June 11. 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. 58 | JULY 31, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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CLOSING THOUGHTS Making Up for Lost Time This summer in Atlanta, we are making up for lost time. For some, that means summer camp and bug spray, for others it is gathering for Rabbi Ruth the simchas that we delayed. For me, it meant hugging my parents. In November 2019, my parents came to spend Thanksgiving at my home. They live in Canada where Thanksgiving is a fairly minor holiday that takes place in October. But in 2019, my son and his girlfriend were coming to our home, and because the relationship was quite serious, we invited her mother along as well. So despite the fact that they don’t really go in for the whole turkey and sweet potatoes midday meal, my parents wanted in on this special gathering. It was glorious but not extraordinary. A few days of cooking together, puzzles, gardening and endless eating, lots of
meaningful family time. As always, we hugged before they returned to Canada, but none of us expected 20 months to pass before it would happen again. During COVID’s hold on life, my extended family experienced many moments that normally would have brought us together. There were several funerals; my son got engaged and married; my nephew became bar mitzvah; my daughter returned from a gap year in Israel and went off to college; there were hospitalizations; a new baby cousin; my aunt and my brother had milestones birthdays; and both my parents turned 80. But all of this was on Zoom and so there were no hugs. Even as things began to ease up in Atlanta this past spring, the possibility of hugging my parents remained murky. During COVID the border between the United States and Canada was closed and there was a lockdown well into the summer. For a long time, I wondered when or if I would hug them again. I know I am fortunate; unlike many, my parents made it through the worst of the infectious plague. And I relished the
frequent shared Shabbat Zoom dinners, Zoom family happy hours and even the Zoom seders. But I wanted to see them in person, not in two-dimensional, 45-minute slots. So we took a chance that the restrictions in Canada, far more comprehensive than those in the United States, would loosen, and vaccines would be administered. We planned for a visit in July. In the end, things shifted enough to make it all possible. So two weeks ago, we stood hugging in our foyer. When the initial embraces ended, I asked my parents if they wanted to turn in for the night after a long day of travel. “No,” my mother answered, “I just want to visit.” And so we did for nearly two weeks. I thought I might fixate on all that had been lost in nearly two years of forced separation. I thought I might focus on the changes that were inevitable when you have not seen the other for quite some time. There were changes, and recognition of loss. But for the most part my attention was on the mundane things.
Heading to the mountains, we took in glorious vistas, cooked and ate fantastic meals, photographed small animals and bright flowers. Traveling together by car, we filled our time singing Canadian sea shanties my father and I grew up on. We watched some TV, but spent many more hours drinking beer and doing word puzzles, often arguing about answers. And for no good reason whatsoever, whenever we passed through tunnels (which we did a fair bit) we yelled “weeeee” and laughed. During the worst of COVID, I made do, despite the isolation and the Zoom. I learned that I’m more of an introvert than I had realized. I was lucky; I had a job, and my health and the health of my loved ones. Though I struggled at times, I kept my sanity by keeping a daily gratitude list that often highlighted the growth of the herbs in my planter, time spent drawing, a good workout and the myriad of other things that made up daily life. And like all of us, there were things I missed; like my parents and the chance to do regular things together like hug and to visit. ì
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