NEXT ISSUE: GRADUATION & PROFESSIONALS
VOL. XCVI NO. 9
STAMPEDE TAKES LIVES LOCAL COMMUNITY REACTS TO MOUNT MERON TRAGEDY
MAY 15, 2021 | 4 SIVAN 5781
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THIS WEEK The Golden Years Being advanced in age doesn’t seem to stop those we spotlight in this week’s senior living issue. They certainly stand out from their peers and shatter any societal norms about the golden years. Take Donald Reisman, who at 93 still manages Atlanta warehouse properties daily. Then there’s Ed Rosenblatt, the 81-year-old DJ on our cover, spinning classic and oldie tunes at Somerby senior living community in Sandy Springs and on a new FM radio station that began during the pandemic. Not to mention playing four instruments. Also in this issue, we talk about endof-life care options, speak to a Jewish doula about her services and those who specialize in elder care about how COVID altered plans for current retirees. With Shavuot beginning next week, we explain the themes that have emerged from the holiday with many names, share how Atlanta is celebrating and offer a sweet recipe for you to sample. Rabbi David Geffen, a former Atlanta rabbi living in Jerusalem, retells how an Israeli rabbi and the president of Yale University became friends, centered around the nation’s first synagogue in Newport, R.I. History also is at the heart of an anthology of stories from Atlanta’s Jewish women
and girls about their pandemic experiences. We detail how The William Breman Jewish Home is loosening its COVID restrictions while it prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Meanwhile, The Jewish Home’s Auxiliary is awarding its first Lifetime Achievement Award to founding member Sandy Abrams and a proposed Holocaust museum in Sandy Springs is inspiring debate in the community. Another distinguished member of Jewish Atlanta’s senior community is our Lowdown, Nanette Wenger, an icon among women in health care. The AJT also advances a Jews of Color Shabbaton and covers the Israeli Chabad community’s vigil to those who died in the recent Lag B’Omer stampede in Israel. Don’t miss our sports coverage, including a Braves player who wears a Star of David, even though he’s not Jewish, and two brothers who are weightlifting champions with eyes on the Olympics. Also looking to the future, our next issue will honor a different type of senior –those in their final years of school – among those highlighted in our Graduation and Professionals issue. Because excelling in any area of education or business knows no age limits. ì
Cover photo: At 81, Ed Rosenblatt signs off his radio show with a tune on his ukulele.
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NEWS Sandy Springs Weighs In on Anne Frank Exhibit By Dave Schechter The current home of the “Anne Frank in the World: 1929-45” exhibit is above Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe in the Parkside Shops on Roswell Road just south of Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Six-tenths of a mile north, where Roswell Road crosses Mount Vernon Highway, is the City Springs campus and the gleaming building that houses the city’s government and performing arts center, fronted by the city green. The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, a taxpayer-supported state agency, hopes to relocate the Anne Frank exhibit to City Springs and a new home for that and other Holocaust education exhibits. A proposal before the city council would have the city expend an estimated $2.9 million to $3.3 million to erect an 8,300-square foot “cultural center” across from the entrance to the performing arts center. The Holocaust commission would lease about 7,000 square feet, more than 80 percent of the space, and make annual payments of $150,000 for 20 years, with an option for an additional 20 years. Possible uses
mentioned for the remaining space include a city-operated gallery and offices for Visit Sandy Springs and the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber. The city would be responsible for the building’s security and maintenance. Last September, the six-member city council unanimously approved a non-binding resolution in support of GCH and development at the site. Based on that action, the nonprofit Friends of the Georgia Holocaust Commission, Inc., began raising money to service a lease and fund exhibits. Thus far, $3 million has been raised, toward a goal of $5.5 million. The group’s fundraising letter says that it “is dedicated to the construction of a new, custom designed building and installation of interactive, state-of-the-art exhibits on the campus of Sandy Springs City Center.” The city council has received a flood of comments from taxpayers and other interested parties, representing a range of opinions about the project’s financing, location and necessity. At the May 4 council meeting, Mayor Rusty Paul said that no decision had been made and no date set for any votes. “We’ve got a lot of information that we’ve got to now digest,” Paul said. Chuck Berk and Sally Levine address Sandy Springs City Council on May 5.
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In an email to the AJT, Paul said: “This is a project mandated by the Georgia legislature and it’s going somewhere in Metro Atlanta. I believe Sandy Springs, with its robust Jewish community, is the ideal location for it. My predecessor, Eva Galambos, brought the exhibit to Sandy Springs more than a decade ago and it clearly needs updating. Her dedication to the exhibition is seen in her request that at her death any donations be directed to the ‘Anne Frank in the World’ exhibit.” Chuck Berk, a member of the boards of both GCH and its fundraising arm, told the city council’s May 4 meeting, “This is really a big deal. We’re not just moving the old exhibit. We’re planning seven world class exhibits. They deserve to be in a prominent location on the City Springs campus.” GCH’s offices also would be in the building. Fundraising material highlights an “interactive and more engaging” Anne Frank exhibit, with materials from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. One feature would be a full-scale replica of the rooms — measuring 46 square meters (approximately 500 square feet) — shared by Anne Frank, her parents, sister, and four other people from July 1942 to August 1944, until they were discovered by the Nazis. Frank died at age 15, on March 31, 1945, in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Another planned attraction would be
the high-tech “Dimensions in Testimony” presentation created by the USC Shoah Foundation, which allows visitors to ask questions to holographic images of Holocaust survivors, who respond with answers from their recorded interviews. “Witness to the Holocaust: WWII Veteran William Alexander Scott III at Buchenwald” would focus on the experiences of the African-American Army sergeant and photographer from Atlanta, who witnessed the liberation of the Buchenwald camp. “Georgia’s Connection to the Holocaust – What Did Georgians Know?” would include the voices of survivors and veterans who liberated concentration camps. “Americans and the Holocaust,” an exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, uses newspapers, magazines and other artifacts to show what Americans knew during that period. “Democracy in Action” would concentrate on moral issues raised by the Holocaust and ask visitors to “consider the responsibilities and obligations of citizens in a free and democratic country.” A planned Holocaust Memorial Garden outdoors would include a cutting from the chestnut tree that grew outside the building where Anne Frank hid, and a life-size statue of the girl whose diary is read worldwide. A bill passed by the General Assembly
A rendering of the proposed Sandy Springs Cultural Center provided by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.
in 2018 states that the commission “shall design, procure, and place in a prominent location a Georgia Holocaust Memorial to recognize and commemorate the millions of people, including six million Jews, murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators before and during World War.” Berk told the AJT that GCH executive director Sally Levine “prefers the ‘memorial’ be an educational and teaching tool, not just a stagnant item.” Already on the National Register of Historic Places is the Memorial to the Six Million at Greenwood Cemetery, south of Interstate 20 along Cascade Avenue. That
Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs
Holocaust memorial was erected in 1965 by Eternal-Life Hemshech, Inc., an organization of survivors and their families in Atlanta. Before COVID-19 forced its closure, the current Anne Frank exhibit annually received more than 7,000 visitors. The Holocaust commission sees the potential to welcome 25,000 to 30,000 visitors annually at City Springs. Among council members, Jody Reichel has been outspoken with her concerns. In
her April newsletter, Reichel wrote that, while supporting GCH’s mission, “I cannot support the use of taxpayer dollars on a Cultural Arts Center in Sandy Springs as it is currently presented. It has been brought to my attention that the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust can improve upon existing Anne Frank exhibits at The Breman Center and Kennesaw State University by using donated private money and would not require government funding. In my four years in office and my many years being an active member of our community, I have not heard my neighbors and constituents say they want taxpayer dollars to fund a cultural arts center. Rather, I regularly hear comments that they are interested in trails, parks, restaurants, retail shops, athletic space such as pickleball courts, sidewalks, and help with stormwater issues and smart development in the North End.” Two other potential sites have been considered for the project. The city already has spent $2 million on architectural design work and $1.8 million to purchase the site of a former automobile repair shop at Hildebrand Drive and Blue Stone Road. That is adjacent to the Heritage Sandy Springs museum and park. At an April 6 working session, a staff presentation to the city council showed the City Springs option with the lowest estimated construction cost, and noted access to existing services, including its parking structure. The Holocaust commission was created in 1986 by Gov. Joe Frank Harris and re-established by Gov. Zell Miller in 1991. The General Assembly made GCH a permanent agency in 1998, placing it under the secretary of state’s office. It later moved to the Department of Community Affairs, and last year to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. GCH was appropriated a total of $344,560 in the fiscal year 2021 amended
budget and the same amount for fiscal 2022. Its 15-member board is comprised of five appointees each by the governor, the speaker of the House, and the president of the Senate. According to its website, GCH annually provides Holocaust education training to more than 250 teachers, sponsors speaker programs that reach more than 20,000 Georgians, sends traveling exhibitions throughout the state, and records testimonies of Holocaust survivors and concentration camp liberators. Discussion of the project has included how a new GCH center would mesh with
Among Sandy Springs council members, Jody Reichel has been outspoken with her concerns about the project.
the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University (18 miles from Sandy Springs) and the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta (10 miles). According to a state budget document, putting GCH under the Board of Regents would “leverage operational efficiencies and eliminate duplicative services” with the Kennesaw State museum. In addition
to exhibits on the participation of Georgians in World War II, the Kennesaw State collection includes Holocaust educational and research materials, and oral histories. The Anne Frank exhibit had been housed at KSU and then at the old courthouse in Decatur before moving to Sandy Springs in 2010. Officials at the Kennesaw State museum declined to comment for this article. Adam Koplan, vice chair of The Breman Museum’s board, told the May 4 city council meeting that, as a nonprofit, “We do not and cannot advocate for any political position or particular use of city or any governmental funds.” Without taking a position on any real estate decision, Koplan said that The Breman “is currently in discussions” with the GCH and the Friends of the Georgia Holocaust Commission on “potential collaboration and support of the Holocaust education efforts the Commission plans to undertake in Sandy Springs, including the potential creation of an exhibition focusing on Georgia Holocaust survivors.” The Breman Museum’s permanent exhibit, “Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, 1933-1945,” traces the destruction of eastern Europe’s Jewish population. The Breman also is home to The Lillian and A.J. Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education, which provides teachers with educational materials, in-class speakers, and sponsors a Summer Institute on Teaching the Holocaust. The Breman maintains a roster of locally based Holocaust survivors who speak to groups, including school children, through the program “Bearing Witness: Unforgettable Stories from the Holocaust.” According to its annual report, the Breman received 28,100 visitors in fiscal year 2018-19. In letters to a GCH board member and the mayor, Jarvin Levison, president of The Breman Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the museum, expressed concern that the proposed facility would compete with the Breman for attendance — particularly by school students — and money, helping neither. Levison also wrote that, “Any memorial the state is creating should be located either at the State Capitol or somewhere nearby where numerous people from all over the state and visitors are more likely to see it and know that the state has taken a position. The state of Georgia should not be paying for a memorial to the Holocaust victims and have it located in Sandy Springs or any other similar community.” Note: Atlanta Jewish Times owner-publisher Michael Morris is a member of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust board and the “Friends of” GCH fundraising committee. Morris was not involved in the reporting of this story. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 7
Israeli Community Reacts to Mount Meron Tragedy By Stephanie Nissani Atlanta’s Israeli-Jewish community came together May 2 on the front lawn of the Chabad Israeli Center to remember the calamity that took place on Mount Meron during a recent Lag B’Omer celebration. On April 30, at least 45 people died and more than 150 injured in a stampede at a mass gathering to celebrate the holiday. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-
Memorial attendees lit candles in memory of those who died in the stampede.
yahu had declared May 2 a day of national mourning. The Dunwoody memorial event was orchestrated by the Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta and Rabbi Mendy Gurary, senior rabbi of the Chabad Israeli Center. The service began with opening remarks from Gurary as he read the names of the victims. It continued with Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeast, offering condolences, prayers
Memorial attendees lit candles in memory of those who died in the stampede.
for speedy recoveries and gratitude for Jews unifying worldwide and Torah lessons from Rabbi Yossi New, senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Tefillah. Gurary voiced his support, strength and prayers for those who died, lost family members, friends and neighbors “whose lives are forever changed.” He expressed the communal grief over the travesty and hopes that such an incident will never happen again. “Why is this happening to
Rabbi Mendy Gurary assists in lighting candles.
sulted] in a disaster.” She thanked the community for its support and finished with a strong message. “As always, our strength is in our unity.” Rabbi New said, “Obviously, there are no words or explanations." He continued with a story about one of the Israelis who lost his life and offered prayers for him and his family along with others who are recovering. The fatal stampede in Israel occurred
Rabbi Mendy Gurary addresses the community during the unity service.
Rabbi Yossi New lights a candle.
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the Jews in the moment of celebration?” Gurary asked. He explained, “…this is from G-d. We do not and cannot understand Gd’s ways.” The CIC rabbi continued with prayers for those currently hospitalized and fighting for their lives and welcomed Sultan-Dadon to share her thoughts. “A national day of mourning was declared and observed in Israel in the wake of one of the worst civilian tragedies the country has known.” She said that across the nation and in Israel, flags were lowered to half-mast to honor those killed in the deadly stampede. “Sadly the Jewish diaspora is with us also in mourning, some members of their own community who have perished in what was meant to be a celebration [re-
Deputy Consul General Alex Gandler leads prayers.
during the celebration of Lag B’Omer, which marks the 33rd day of the Omer period between Passover and Shavuot. It traditionally includes ritual prayers and lighting of a bonfire, an annual tradition at the foot of Mount Meron by the graves of second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar and other great rabbis. The Atlanta memorial included a poster of those who died along with a table filled with candles to light in their memory. Gurary ended the program by reciting the “Mi Sheberach” for speedy recovery for those injured. And Alex Gandler, deputy consul general read prayers with the rest of the community followed by the song, “Ani Ma’amin,” which means I Believe. ì
Atlanta Jews of Color Participate in National Shabbaton By Jan Jaben-Eilon
Baltimore-based psychologist and organizer, the Shabbaton also came at a good In an effort to provide a gathering time for the Atlanta Jews of Color Council space in which Jews of color can feel Inc., a partner of the Mischpacha Project. a sense of belonging, the Jews of Color Launched about six months ago by exMischpacha Project inaugurated the first ecutive director Victoria Raggs, AJCC was national Jews of Color Shabbaton, sched- created because there “was a real absence uled virtually for the weekend of May of representation for Jews of color,” she 14-16. said. A dream of Harriette Wimms, a “Instead, there were a lot of white Jews speaking for us,” she said. “The Jewish community still doesn’t have a good grasp of what it means to have real inclusion in the Jewish community. Most organizations have put out wonderful statements, but almost zero actionable change” has followed. Raggs suggested that the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, philanthropists and donors “should require that grantees make efforts to increase diversity,” including metrics that would measure inclusion. “Include Jews of color on staff or on the boards. Encourage Jews of color as participants,” Victoria Raggs started Atlanta Jews of Color Council she said. Inc. last year because “the Jewish community still Raggs, who has doesn’t have a good grasp of what it means to have lived in Atlanta for 18 real inclusion in the Jewish community.” years and whose chilThe Jews of Color Mishpacha Project launched the Shabbaton. dren attend Jewish day schools, said she decided to launch AJCC after the murder a year ago of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “There was a global shift in the mental outlook on racism worldwide, a realization that we needed to do better.” With a background as a paralegal and work as an advocate – as well as volunteer work with Congregation B’nai Torah – Raggs decided to step up and be a liaison for more inclusion. She pointed out that because of the outbreak of the pandemic last year, “we were stuck Harriette Wimms said she hopes the Shabbaton will in the house so long. I connect Jews of color around the world, including Israel. always wanted to do
this and realized, now I have the time.” Focusing on educating and empowering, Raggs’ goal is to “make sure there’s representation [of Jews of color] at all levels of executive leadership.” Thus, in addition to planning to start newsletters and podcasts, Raggs wants to start a leadership development program so that organizations wanting to diversify their staffs or boards can turn to AJCC to find qualified Jews of color to fill those positions. Raggs believes that the Shabbaton will empower Atlanta’s Jews of color. “My goal is to give Jews of color the opportunity to be in a community with each other. Usually, we are isolated in our various synagogues and we don’t know each other.” Too often, she added, “Jews of color have felt unwelcome, so many have opted out of the regular Jewish” community.
The Shabbaton also fulfills a dream of Wimms, bringing together individuals, communities and Jewish institutions from around the country. The weekend snowballed, starting off with 20 people responding to an invitation to build a Black-Jewish chavurah in Baltimore. Encouraged to expand and apply for greater funding, Wimms reported in mid-April that nearly 200 had registered for the weekend, with a goal of reaching 360. The weekend programming was to include not only prayer services across denominations, but also workshops. “I feel the Divine put this in my head,” said Wimms, a self-declared Jew by choice. “The virtual aspect is phenomenal. We hope to connect to Jews of color around the world, including Israel. But next year, we hope we can do this in person.” ì
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JWFA Unveils COVID Anthology by Atlanta Women, Girls By Jan Jaben-Eilon
clear that the pandemic was having an inordinate effect on women. Their experiences were not limited by COVID but were shaped by it.” Some of the writers were sick with the virus; some
on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. Last year, the Jewish Women’s “This project was a natural extenFund of Atlanta decided to memorision of what we explored through the alize the experience of Atlanta’s JewAgents of Change Training ish women and girls program,” said Rabbi Meduring the pandemic lissa Scholten-Gutierrez, with a collection of esmanager of the Jewish Camp says written by those Initiative at the Jewish Fedin the community. On eration of Greater Atlanta. May 20, during a vir“We found our own voices tual launch event, the and lifted one another up. group will unveil the We connected with diverse aptly named antholJewish women from across ogy “2020 Hindsight: Atlanta. A pivotal moment in “From a Jewish standhistory, through the point, there have been moeyes of Atlanta’s Jewments of intense challenge ish women and girls.” in 2020 that may have shakThe 49 essays en our faith, and other expechosen for the book riences where Judaism may focused not just on have anchored us and prothe experience of vided respite and solace,” living through the Scholten-Gutierrez said. pandemic, accord“This project was a unique opportunity “Ultimately, this project is to lift up the variety of unique ing to JWFA project about sharing and elevating experiences of Jewish women and JWFA project manager Dina Fuchs-Beresin manager Dina Fuchseven more women’s voices The new anthology “acts as a girls in this extraordinary year,” said Beresin. “It became said the book is “therapeutic, but not therapy.” time capsule and a literary way while remembering that Rabbi Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez. to document this singular part we are always connected to of history,” Julie Mokotoff said. one another in a deeper way for marriage was than we think. There is little impacted because she couldn’t date during the pandemic, in the world stronger than Jewish womFuchs-Beresin added. en united together.” A woman who was part of JWFA’s Scholten-Gutierrez, who is also Agents of Change Training cohort, clergy advisory chair for MACoM (Metwhich came up with the idea for the an- ro Atlanta Community Mikvah), said thology, described it as “deeply person- she contributed to the book because “I al and cathartic.” Julie Mokotoff said kept asking others [to contribute] and the book “is beautiful in its authentic- how could I keep asking people to do ity and diversity of perspective. It acts something I hadn’t done. And of course, as a time capsule and a literary way to I believed in what I was telling them, document this singular part of history.” that this project was a unique opportuFuchs-Beresin said JWFA pointedly nity to lift up the variety of unique exchose to publish the essays anonymousperiences of Jewish women and girls in ly. “We gave permission for people to be 7960 LANDOWNE DRIVE 310 RIVERHALL COURT this extraordinary year.” true and authentic. We wanted readSANDY SPRINGS, GA 30350 SANDY SPRINGS, GA 30350 Fuchs-Beresin expects readers will ers to focus on the stories, not on the 5 BEDS • 4 FB • 1 HB | $1,450,000 5 BEDS • 5 FB • 2 HB | $1,195,000 see pieces of themselves in some of the people.” Fuchs-Beresin noted how some stories, and she believes “there’s potenreaders may have wanted to Google the Beautiful Chattahoochee Riverfront Estate Home Beautifully Designed Estate Home with Exquisite tial to start a conversation beyond the names of the authors had they been Nestled in Privacy on a Quiet Cul-de-Sac with Craftsmanship and Master on Main in the Popular book.” disclosed. “Anonymity afforded them Gorgeous River Views and Master on Main! Swim/Tennis Neighborhood of Spalding Lake. She also noted that the book cona chance to be braver than they might tains a disclaimer that it does not serve have been.” as a substitute for therapy. “It’s theraMokotoff, who contributed her peutic, but not therapy,” she said. own essay, said the project “resonated The launch event, entitled The with me. I was fortunate to touch this Power of Women’s Voices, will include project at multiple points, including REALTOR® a panel, headlined by the author of the inception and discussions on how to 404-403-6561 C | 770-394-2131 O book’s forward, bestselling author Zoe bring it to reality. I participated in the Robin.Blass@HarryNorman.com Fishman. It will be a free event, but preblind selection process and discussed the artwork and images we wanted to registration is required. ì Harry Norman, REALTORS | 4848 Ashford Dunwoody Road | Atlanta, GA 30338 More details are available at https:// display. I will also promote” selling of The above information is believed accurate, but is not warranted. This offer subject to errors, omissions, prior sale and withdrawals without notice. If your home is currently listed, this is not intended as a solicitation the book. It will be available for order jwfatlanta.org/book.
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lost family members. Some focused on their marriages or jobs, and “some were humorous,” Fuchs-Beresin said. One Orthodox woman wrote about how her potential
Jewish HomeLife to Mark 70th, Eases Restrictions By Nathan Posner The COVID pandemic initially hit hardest at elder-care facilities across the nation, with family members unable to visit as children waved to their grandparents through windows. With vaccinations now well underway and all adult Georgians eligible to receive the shots, restrictions have begun to relax. At The William Breman Jewish Home, family members have been meeting in person since March, and group activities have
Photo courtesy of Jewish HomeLife //
Resident Carol Cohn about to enter the first vaccine clinic Dec. 29.
begun to resume. Although there are still restrictions in place, progress is underway. “It’s a process of returning to ‘normal,’ but we are not quite there yet,” Harley Tabak, president and CEO of Jewish HomeLife, told the AJT. This process comes as JHL begins to cel-
ebrate its 70th anniversary, a yearlong celebration that will culminate with a gala in November highlighting the organization's leaders and community involvement. Family members have been able to visit the Jewish Home, JHL’s nursing home, since March. But recently new guidelines have allowed more access to residents. These changes are allowing JHL to expand visitation. “Now we are trying to change what ‘inside’ means in terms of visitation,” Tabak said. He expressed excitement over the expanded access. “Family members are able to have more days during the week that they can come in and visit their loved ones. They are not able yet to go into the residents’ rooms, and we are working on that, but the number of weekday visits (allowed) has increased. Residents have gone from dining in their rooms and having in-room activities, to small groups, so now people can do activities and eat in small groups.” The situation is slightly different in the assisted living community run by JHL, according to Shari Bayer, chief marketing and communication's officer. “In our assisted living community, it is not federally regulated, so people have been able to go into the residences since March. If family members have been vaccinated, they can go to their apartments, hug, and life gets closer to normal. “Here in the nursing home, they can have close contact if they have been vaccinated, but we are still keeping it in the common areas.” While vaccinated family members are not required to socially distance in the nursing home, those who haven’t received the vaccines are, although Tabak
said it hasn’t been an issue, as of yet. As the pandemic continues, JHL is still celebrating its 70th anniversary. The “70th Celebration Gala” in November will be the culmination of a year’s worth of events, as the community gathers to celebrate previous presidents of the organizations. In the meantime, there are several community-based programs helping to promote the anniversary. The William Breman Jewish Home entrance at the current location on Howell Mill, built in 1999. JHL is helping the community through their “Mitzvah will be placed outside in the brick garden Mondays.” It created a list of 70 mitzvahs while reaching out to organiza- on the Breman Home’s property. All of these tions, camps and b’nai mitzvah candidates efforts are meant to engage and recognize so they can register their mitzvah to be fea- those who have supported JHL on its long journey, Bayer said. “We’d like to thank the tured on JHL’s social channels, Bayer said. Residents are also contributing to a community for their support, not only durtime capsule, which will be buried, as well ing the pandemic, but for the past 70 years. as a decorative time capsule that will be We are honored to be the place that placed in the home’s history hall. In honor generations of Atlantans have come to of the anniversary, commemorative bricks rely on for high quality care for those are for sale that can be personalized and we most cherish.” ì
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Call (347) 764-8313 or visit www.hikon.org ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 11
AJC Honors Couple for Global Work By Bob Bahr The Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee honored Merle and David Horwitz with their annual Distinguished Advocate Award May 5. The award, part of a major fundraising effort by one of Atlanta’s most active community organizations, featured tributes to the couple from AJC representatives around the world. The award honorees were credited with working quietly and often behind the scenes to combat anti-Semitism around the world. Among the speakers for the virtual evening ceremony was Holly Huffnagle, who directs the AJC’s effort to fight prejudice against the Jewish community. She pointed out that often what is most challenging in her work is that almost half of ordinary Americans surveyed either don’t see anti-Semitism as an urgent problem or they don’t even know what the term antiSemitism means. But the most important aspect of the issue, she feels, is that it is a much more complex phenomenon than it once was. “It comes from different sources and it
The AJC award was presented by last year’s honorees, Melanie and Allan Nelkin.
takes different forms. But it also combines with internet and social media that allows all these forms of anti-Semitism. It reaches so many people. That’s one of our biggest challenges.” The AJC award honorees were also recognized for promoting cooperation between the European community, Israel and the United States. David Horwitz also served as
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Merle Horwitz with Pope Francis during an AJC trip to the Vatican.
chairman of the Joint Distribution Commit- scenes to combat anti-Semitism, promote tee Latin America and the Joint Distribution democratic values. Their belief in partnerCommittee Israel to support Jewish immi- ship and why we do it is what makes them gration and Jewish communal life. so deserving of this recognition.” The couple are immigrants from South The couple has also been active in their Africa where David Horwitz was president synagogue, Congregation Or Hadash in of the Cape Town Jewish Federation and Sandy Springs. The founding rabbis of the Merle was president of the local B’nai B’rith synagogue Analia Bortz and Mario Karpuj chapter before coming to the U.S. over 25 opened the AJC program on Zoom from Jeyears ago. rusalem, where they now make their home. Merle Horwitz serves on the board of Sherry Frank, as one of the original the AJC’s Project Interchange, the organiza- organizers of the congregation, has worked tion’s Transatlantic Institute and Africa In- closely with both rabbis and the award honstitute. orees. She admitted that the honorees have a In accepting the award, she said that she and her husband had “never done anything for recognition or personal gratification” and admitted “we are a bit embarrassed when we heard we were being chosen.” They were presented the award at their home by last year’s honorees, Melanie and Allan Nelkin. David Harris, national The AJC recognized the Horwitzes, particularly for AJC CEO, has come to know combating anti-Semitism and for their international work. the couple through their extensive international travel with him. He was particularly grateful for personal charm that is very genuine. what they have done for the organization. “They’re just so real and they have so “We reveal ourselves by the people we much compassion for the world. They have honor and by honoring my dear friends, AJC this real commitment to world Jewry that is Atlanta says a lot about itself and our orga- just amazing.” nizations values,” he said during the online Frank, the AJC’s Atlanta director for program. “They have a very, very deep Jewish many years, said in her video tribute to them soul and they have extraordinary passion.” that she especially values the way they supDov Wilker, regional director of AJC in port others. Atlanta, was particular appreciative of how “When you make their acquaintance, they have contributed to the group’s ongoing you immediately feel their heart. They are initiatives. true menches. They are beautiful. They are “They truly value how the AJC works the best.” ì behind the scenes, what we do behind the
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Jerusalem Leader Addresses Recent Violence By Jan Jaben-Eilon Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum credited Mayor Moshe Lion with quelling the violence that exploded in the city for a few days in April. Speaking to a Zoom audience in a virtual discussion April 28 co-sponsored by the Atlanta Israel Coalition and Americans United with Israel, the London-born politician said Lion met with faith and civil society leaders in East Jerusalem to reduce the tension in the city. Riots broke out in the city after police placed barricades around Damascus Gate in the Old City during Ramadan, where Palestinians usually gather after prayers as they break their fast. At the same time, a far-right Israeli group called Lehava staged a demonstration with hundreds of young Israelis chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Arabs get out,” not far away. Hassan-Nahoum called Lehava an “extreme fringe” group run by a “horrible man,” who, she said, “takes vulnerable youth and manipulates them and creates a vigilante force.” Israeli media say Lehava is led by Itamar Ben-Gvir, who heads the Religious Zionism Party, an electoral alliance that Prime
Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum called the Abraham Accords great accomplishments.
Mayor Moshe Lion quelled the recent violence in Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said. Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and Cheryl Dorchinsky discuss current events in Israel April 28.
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Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promoted and pushed into the Knesset in the recent election. In her opinion, Israeli police made a mistake in placing the barriers near Damascus Gate in the first place, but “I don’t think that’s the only problem.” She blamed Hamas – the ruling government in Gaza – with provoking the situation. She also pointed out that when there are changes, people react, and the Abraham Accords “completely changed the region.” She was referring to the normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan last year. As part of her responsibilities as deputy mayor, Hassan-Nahoum is in charge of foreign relations, international economic development and tourism. She is the co-founder and founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council. Calling the Abraham Accords the “greatest accomplishments,” she noted that both business and educational exchanges are also “happening between our countries.” Notably, in a rare rebuke of Israel by the UAE, the Gulf nation called on Israel to put an end to the violence during the battles between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem. Hassan-Nahoum, the mother of four, immigrated to Israel in 2001. She spent her childhood in Gibraltar, where her father served as both chief minister and mayor. Both her parents are of Jewish Moroccan background. After studying in London, she practiced law and became campaign director of World Jewish Relief, a British Jewish charitable group
that works with both Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The only British-born citizen currently holding a senior political role in Israeli politics, Hassan-Nahoum said that she preferred to focus on international issues rather than “more political issues like building and planning.” In answer to questions posed by participants or Cheryl Dorchinsky, executive director of the Atlanta Israel Coalition and Americans United with Israel, Hassan-Nahoum asserted that there’s a “good chance of fifth elections,” following the March elections, which have not produced a clear majority coalition. “The political situation,” she said, “is destabilizing. The country is really divided.” During the virtual conference, which was to be shown live on Facebook and YouTube as well, Hassan-Nahoum recommended that participants read a variety of news media, including The Jerusalem Post, the Times of Israel, the English editions of Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz as well as Israel Hayom. She was more scathing about social media, including TikTok. “Social media has become an echo chamber,” with people only listening to what they already believe. She also emphasized that Israel needs the support of Americans and Diaspora Jews. “Stand up and call yourselves Zionists,” she declared. But for those who want to visit the country, she recommends waiting a month because there are still existing restrictions because of the coronavirus. ì Atlanta Jewish Times editor, Kaylene Ladinsky, is founder and president of Americans United with Israel
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Atlanta’s Celeb Divorce Attorney on Gates’ Split By Marcia Caller Jaffe Randy Kessler, Atlanta divorce attorney to the stars, has been galloping on the media circuit, sharing expertise on the recent shocking announcement of the uncoupling of Melinda and Bill Gates. Kessler has been interviewed by CNN HLN, People magazine, Yahoo Finance and FOX 5 Atlanta, shedding light on the intricacies of high-profile divorces. Although he isn’t handling this one, Kessler’s list of those he has eiRandy Kessler advises ‘an ounce of prevention’ in mutual ther represented or opposed, reads like understanding and documentation entering into marriage. a Who’s Who in sports, entertainment but sharing more commonality in the way they were handled. and even politics, such as representing the wife of Sen. Ra“Neither resulted in a messy, public courtroom battle. phael Warnock recently in proceedings against him. Others Both used good attorneys who kept it private. Just like no two he has opposed are celebs Michael Jordan, Evander Holyfield, royal family divorces are alike, they still feel similar. Both Ludacris and Usher. Buckhead resident Cardi B and Cam couples understand the tremendous value in privacy and selfNewton are recent representees. determination so as not to let a judge, who may carry his/her Kessler is seen as calm, competent and willing to explore own biases and preconceived notions, decide their future.” ways to work things out, versus throwing plates in the “The In estimating legal fees for a Gates-like settlement, KesWar of the Roses.” sler proffered an extreme guess. “Even if the parties went Contrasting the Gates’ divorce versus Jeff Bezos’, Kessler to their lawyers and told them exactly how they wanted to alludes to them being as different as two unique snowflakes settle, the amount of detail, planning and paperwork, must
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16 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced their split.
have exceeded $100,000 per side, if not $1 million per side.” In terms of staying out of the public eye, Kessler suggests the option of transferring title to assets into the recipient’s name and declaring that each keeps what’s titled in their own name. “In this case, the parties will attempt to not publicly file the agreement and to secure copies with their lawyers and/ or elsewhere. Those documents will never be needed by the court unless one party accuses the other of non-compliance. The court may wish to privately preview the agreement to ensure it’s not beyond what it would normally allow. It’s rare that courts disallow or don’t approve settlement agreements. Recently in the Derek Chauvin divorce, the judge didn’t approve of the settlement, giving all assets to the wife, because that judge was concerned that there may be no money left for Chauvin’s victims who may sue him.” On “friendlier” workouts, Kessler said, “There’s almost always some ‘legal ping-pong.’ Our firm, known for being ready and able to go to trial if needed, probably 80 percentplus settle without a trial. Many firms focus more heavily on settlement, so the average may be even higher.” Kessler’s advice to amicable settlement: “Do all you can to explore that. Don’t ‘settle at all costs,’ but settlement in and of itself can be very valuable. It can save attorneys’ fees, emotional scars, and valuable time so that each can move on. For those couples with children, resolving matters out of court will almost always make it easier for them to co-parent or communicate better than if they bad-mouth partners in open court in a trial.” About the lack of prenup in the Gates case, Kessler mused, “Melinda Gates gave up spousal support. With the assets she will receive, there is likely no need for alimony. It’s not uncommon for very wealthy people not to have a renup. Prince died without a will! “Low-income people may actually need a prenup more than the wealthy; whatever assets each has is presumably more important to their survival. Neither Gates nor Bezos will be financially strained no matter the division of assets. The reasons for prenups vary. Some want to preserve one specific asset, while others may want to prove to their partner that they WILL be okay if there is a divorce.” Both sides in the Gates divorce used multiple law firms. Kessler concludes, “My step-grandfather, a furrier, used to say, ‘measure twice, cut once.’ Or ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Here it might have been a few pounds, or tons of prevention.” ì
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ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 17
NEWS FROM OUR JEWISH HOME Israeli Artist Upcycling Items into Keepsakes
Israeli dollmaker Nana Warszawski was commissioned during the pandemic to make a collection of figures in memory of a customer’s parents who had both died of COVID-19, within four days of each other, according to The Times of Israel. Warszawski produced 14 dolls for family members made from articles of clothing that had belonged to the client’s parents. “I’m not a therapist, I just make dolls,” Warszawski told The Times of Israel. “But there are some dolls that really enter my life. People tell me their stories and how can you ever Nana Warszawski of Project Creatures, her get tired of that? Jerusalem business And sometimes that upcycles fabric people come and and textiles into dolls bring me their and creatures. fabric and don’t tell me anything at all.” Warszawski sees her work as a way to reuse fabrics and textiles
Today in Israeli History May 15, 1947 The United Nations establishes its Special Committee on Palestine, which four months later recommends the partition of Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. May 16, 1916 Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s Charles Georges Picot complete the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement to divide the former Ottoman territories in the Middle East after World War I. Palestine falls under British control.
while giving biggest and best art exhibitions openthem new life, ing in 2021 around the world, accordbut continuing ing to The Times of Israel. The Tel Aviv the stories and exhibit is a joint collaboration of Stumemories asdio Kusama in Tokyo and the Gropius sociated with Bau in Berlin. them. When a The exhibit will include works child, teen or created by Kusama over the last 70 adult connects years, including drawing, painting, Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts // with the quirky, sculpture, installation, and cinema elfin doll made Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored and fashion. “Her entire oeuvre is Room — Love Forever,” part of for them, there’s mesmerizingly powerful, impressive an exhibit of her work coming no better satisand pleasurable at the same time,” to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. faction, Warszasaid Suzanne Landau, curator of the wski said. exhibition and the museum’s former director. The dolls start at 300 shekels ($90) for “The presentation of her retrospective at the customized work. Customers can also come Tel Aviv Museum of Art is definitely a unique to Warszawski’s Jerusalem studio and work event of historic magnitude.” Kusama is the on the doll with her. most tagged artist on social media, and she is widely seen as one of the most popular modJapanese Artist Gets Retrospective ern artists.
at Tel Aviv Museum
A large retrospective of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose work was recently featured at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, will be on display at two buildings of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in November. Over 200 pieces of her work will be featured during the exhibition, ranked one of the May 18, 1965 Syria hangs Israeli spy Eli Cohen in a public square in Damascus. Cohen, who had infiltrated the highest levels of Syrian society as businessman Kamel Amin Thaabet, was arrested in January. May 19, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson’s administration announces the first U.S. sale of warplanes to Israel. The A-4 Skyhawk light bomber enters service in Israel in 1968. May 20, 1948 The U.N. Security Council makes Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat, the mediator for peace efforts during Israel’s War of Independence. He arranges a truce in June but is assassinated in September. May 21, 1963 Zalman Shazar, a native of Belarus and former Knesset member for the Mapai party, is elected Israel’s third president, succeeding Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who died a month earlier during his third term in office.
Menachem Begin casts his ballot in the 1977 Knesset election, won by his Likud party.
May 17, 1977 Likud claims an upset victory in the Knesset election, putting Menachem Begin in a position to become prime minister and end three decades of leadership by Mapai (the predecessor of Labor) and its allies on the left. 18 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
May 22, 1970 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorists attack an Israeli school bus near the Lebanese border, killing eight children and four adults. May 23, 1969 Hanin Zoabi, a Balad member of the Knesset
Israel Plans to Reopen to Tourists This Month
Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen unveiled a four-part plan to reopen Israel to tourists April 27, including a global advertising campaign, flight incentives, and the reintroduction of large international events, acfrom 2009 to 2019, is born in Nazareth. She is the first Arab woman to win a Knesset seat as part of a predominantly Arab party. May 24, 1948 Inexperienced Israeli soldiers attack the Jordanianheld hilltop fortress at Latrun to relieve the siege of Jerusalem. Using outdated tactics without air support, the assault fails, and about 75 Israelis are killed.
cording to The Times of Israel. “We want to breathe oxygen back into the tourism economy of Israel, and Israel has the advantage as a healthy, vaccinated country,” FarkashHacohen said at the press conference last month. The plan is to allow vaccinated tourists and to target visitors specifically from the United Arab Emirates, United States and the United Kingdom, where there are a large
Flash 90 //
An El Al plane at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.
percentage of vaccinated populations. There is some contention over the rush to allow tours back, with the Health Ministry recommending the delay of the relaunch until June because of new COVID variants, particularly one from India. Part of the global advertising campaign to get tourists to come to Israel will include the slogan: “2020 Holy Moses, 2021 Holy Land.”
mayor from 1965 to 1993, is born in a Budapest suburb. Named after Theodor Herzl, he moves to Palestine with his family in 1934 to escape Nazism.
May 25, 2010 Jazz artist John Zorn hosts opening night of New York’s first Israeli Jazz Festival at The Stone, his venue. The five-day festi- Photo by Shervin Lainez val celebrates the many Israelis who Anat Cohen was one of have risen to the top of the world the featured performers at the inaugural Israeli jazz scene. Jazz Festival in New
May 28, 1999 The Israeli submarine Dakar, which disappeared with 69 sailors in January 1968, is discovered between Crete and Cyprus almost 9,800 feet beneath the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. May 29, 1911 Poet Leah Goldberg is born in Königsberg, Prussia, now Kaliningrad, Russia. She begins writing poetry around age 12 and is a published writer before she moves to Tel Aviv in 1935.
May 26, 1924 Congress passes York in May 2010. the 1924 ImMay 30, 1972 Three Japamigration Act, which nese Red Army terrorists hired by the Popular restricts immigration Front for the Liberation of Palestine kill 26 based on a nation’s people at the international airport in Lod. The percentage of U.S. resi- victims include 17 Christian pilgrims from dents in the 1890 cen- Puerto Rico. ì sus. Most Jewish newcomers are blocked, and Palestine becomes Items are provided a more popular destiby the Center for Israel nation. Education (israeled.org), The shattered school bus is May 27, 1911 Tedwhere you can find more searched after an ambush near the dy Kollek, Jerusalem’s details. Lebanese border May 22, 1970.
ISRAEL TRAVEL Prime Minister Failed to Form a Government By Jan Jaben-Eilon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had 28 days in which to form a majority coalition government. He failed to do that. Whether or not this is the beginning of the end of the Netanyahu era, however, is still unclear. Minutes bePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the fore midnight longest-serving leader in Israel’s history. May 4, Netanyahu returned the mandate he had received from President Reuven also failed, leading to the March elections, the Rivlin. Fewer than 24 hours later, Rivlin results of which ended in another stalemate. handed the mandate to Yair Lapid, the head Anshel Pfeffer, who writes for the Isof the Yesh Atid party, and the second largest raeli newspaper Haaretz, said it is “a bit in the Knesset after Netanyahu’s Likud party. The Israel Democracy Institute prepared this chart to illustrate premature” to say that the Netanyahu era is Lapid will now have 28 days, with a posthe complex system to creating a government in Israel. ending. However, if he is replaced as prime sible two-week extension, to succeed where Netanyahu failed: Forming a new government. If Lapid also fails, Israel will head to the polls again, the fifth election since spring 2019. Political pundits state that is what Netanyahu wants. Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett said a fifth election “The unity government is “The government is stronger than Yohanan Plesner said 70 percent of he remains the head would “simply destroy the country.” not a compromise – it is the just one person,” Dov Wilker said. Israelis polled believe the country of a transition govobjective,” Yair Lapid said. will have a fifth election this year. ernment, as he has over much of the last two years. minister, Pfeffer acknowledged that it would people advocating for Israel, will be an addi- er of the next government, even negotiating According to Yohanan Plesner, presito join a Netanyahu-led government. Enticed be a “massive event…a pivotal moment,” but tional item for people to consider.” dent of the Israel Democracy Institute, Indeed, in passing the mandate to Lapid, by the premiership, Bennett also wanted to it wouldn’t “be the end of Netanyahu by any “Our latest data indicates that most Israelis Rivlin addressed “fellow Israelis,” saying, “We avoid another election, which he told The account. He will not be resigning as leader of are skeptical about any government being have been caught in a maze – if not a politiTimes of Israel would “simply destroy the Likud. He will be greatly diminished, but he formed, with 70 percent thinking we’re headcal crisis – for some time now. But we must country.” He said he was willing to join a will do everything he possibly can to get back ed to fifth elections in the coming months.” not allow these difficulties to undermine our “broad emergency government…that will get into that office.” Israelis seem to be basing their predictions faith that we are on the right path and that the wheel out of the mud.” It is an office that Netanyahu has filled on experience. we can continue to build the sovereignty of The coalition is expected to include longer than any other Israeli, serving 15 years In the second election of 2019, after Nethe Israeli people here.” right-wing parties such as Bennett’s Yamina as prime minister. Dov Wilker, regional ditanyahu failed to cobble together a majority In accepting the mandate, Lapid wrote party, Yisrael Beytenu and the New Hope parrector of the American Jewish Committee in of the 120 members of the Knesset to form a that “after two years of an endless political ty, center parties such as Blue and White and Atlanta, pointed out in an email to the AJT, government, the mandate was handed over nightmare, Israeli society is reeling. The uniYesh Atid, as well as left-wing parties such as “Netanyahu’s time as prime minister has, to Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz. ty government is not a compromise – it is the Labor and Meretz. It is unclear whether any incredibly, spanned both the direct voting of Newspapers at that time started heralding objective.” Israeli Arab parties would help form the new PM (1996-1999) and the more traditional way the end of the Netanyahu era. Rivlin went so Putting together his coalition will still be government. (being the leader of Likud and being able to far as to call Netanyahu the “outgoing prime Negotiations between the disparate parform a coalition government). Should a gov- a challenge. According to Israeli press, Lapid minister.” But Gantz also failed to produce a will allow Naftali Bennett, chairman of the ties about the division of roles in the various ernment be formed without Bibi as prime coalition government and the country went right-wing Yamina party, to fill the prime ministries in the government had already minister,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickto its third election. minister’s seat for the first two years, then begun before Lapid received the mandate to name, “it would mark a shift. But the govThat election yielded a so-called unity rotate to Lapid – assuming the government form the next government. ì ernment is stronger than just one person. It government led by Netanyahu and Gantz, lasts that long. would also demonstrate the vibrancy of the focused on fighting the pandemic and resultBennett had been seen as the kingmakIsraeli democracy, which for students and ing economic chaos. But that government ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 19
BUSINESS Morrison Living Names National Liaison for Jewish Communities
The Packaged Good Merges with Solidarity Sandy Springs
Atlanta-based Morrison Living named Tracy Blazer its new national liaison for Jewish communities. Morrison Living told the AJT this is a unique role in senior living contract foodservice. Blazer will guide, assist and support Morrison Living Jewish community partners across the country to ensure they enhance the Jewish cultural experience for residents involving food. For instance, shifting from being kosher to kosher-style. Jewish culture and its perpetuation has become even more important to Tracy Blazer will help residents, Morrison Living reported. enhance the cultural experience for Jewish Blazer has been a regional director of operations residents in Morrison for Morrison for 21 years. and recently was promoted Living communities. to regional vice president in the West. She is married to a rabbi and was raised in a kosher home. She was recently promoted to regional vice president in the West division. Beginning her career as a dietitian, Blazer has been with parent company Compass Group for more than 25 years in a variety of roles. For Passover, Morrison Living offered a 12-page guide that has been used as a teaching tool for team members so they can learn more about the holiday, how to honor it and creatively celebrate it in our communities. Morrison has provided communities with more resources to help support residents in their faith and to celebrate key Jewish holidays. The new liaison role exemplifies the need to offer faith-based opportunities for seniors to follow their faith in their new home. It shows Morrison’s commitment to bringing cultural responsiveness to Jewish residents and their ability to celebrate heritage, holidays and history, Morrison reported.
The Packaged Good recently merged with Solidarity Sandy Springs. Founded by Sally Mundell in 2014 in honor of her husband Grover, The Packaged Good gives Left, Ilana Tolk, The Packaged Good co-president, with Jennifer children volunBarnes, Solidarity Sandy Springs founder, at the Prado teer opportunipantry. Right, Solidarity Sandy Springs volunteers. ties that teach them about giving back. When the pandemic hit, The Packaged Good was unable to provide in-person volunteer activities and started offering online education for children. Solidarity Sandy Springs started in March 2020 with Jennifer Barnes, realizing that residents of Sandy Springs were experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID 19 economic shutdown. Discovering similar missions, the two organizations merged, and The Packaged Good moved into the Solidarity of Sandy Springs location at the Prado. The merger offers more opportunities for children to volunteer through Solidarity of Sandy Springs and enables The Packaged Good volunteers to also help ensure that no one in Sandy Springs goes hungry.
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No Winners, Again, in International Hacker Challenge Thousands of hackers from dozens of countries participated in Cyber 2.0’s fourth hacker challenge April 21 with over 2 million attacks. But they all failed. The $ 100,000 prize will go to the company’s next challenge. Cyber 2.0 specializes in preventing the spread of cyberattacks in organizations. Participating in the challenge were thousands of hackers from around the world, including Israel, China, Belgium, India, England, A computer at the start of the France, and the U.S. challenge showing how much the During the challenge, Cyber 2.0 deployed computer was attacked at that time. a network of multiple computers, simulating an enterprise network. Hackers were given direct access to an insecure web server, located within the internal network. In addition, they received the sketch of the network in the challenge and the administrator passwords of all the computers.
Fogelman Properties Expands in Douglasville Fogelman Properties just acquired One Rocky Ridge, a 300-unit multifamily community in Douglasville, the company announced April 19. This is Fogelman’s fourth acquisition in Douglas County since 2019. Fogelman acquired One Rocky Ridge through a joint venture with New York-based DRA Advisors. Since 2003, the One Rocky Ridge will undergo extensive Fogelman-DRA partnership has acquired community upgrades, including enhancements 34 multifamily communities totaling more across common area amenities. than 11,000 apartment homes, with an aggregate value of more than $1.5 billion. Since the beginning of 2020, Fogelman and DRA Advisors have completed $160 million in investments and have a current joint venture holding totaling more than 4,600 apartment homes. Developed in 2003, One Rocky Ridge offers one, two and three-bedroom apartment units with monthly rental rates ranging from $950 to $1,400. The newly acquired property is 95 percent occupied and managed by Fogelman. One Rocky Ridge will undergo extensive community upgrades, including renovations to all in-unit kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms, as well as overall community enhancements across the common area amenities. Founded in 1963, Fogelman operates 94 multifamily communities totaling more than 28,000 apartment homes spread across 10 states in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest.
Farmers & Fishermen Purveyors Wins Awards Farmers & Fishermen Purveyors, a father and son business, has won a myriad of awards in their second year of business. Most recently, they were chosen as one of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s top 10 companies, earning the Top Workplaces 2021 award and ranking first in the category of employee appreciation. They also received the MVP (Most Valuable Provider) Award from Partnership Gwinnett, which serves the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, and won second place for home delivery in the 2021 Best of Jewish Atlanta’s Readers’ Choice Awards sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Times. The company also was featured recently on “Good Morning America.”
Ben and Kirk Halpern display Farmers & Fishermen Purveyors’ delivery boxes at their headquarters.
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Cristian Pache’s Jewish Roots The Braves already have one Jewish player in pitcher Max Field, who started the season opener. Some fans have noticed that another player on Nathan Posner the team may be Jewish, as Cristian Pache wears a gold Star of David around his neck. While Pache was not willing to discuss his private life, according to the Braves, the team spokesman was willing to confirm for the AJT that he wears it for his mother, who is Jewish. According to an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, done before joining the MLB, Pache said he was the second of three children of a factory worker and homemaker. Despite his choice of jewelry, Pache is a practicing Christian, according to his Instagram. The AJT was not able to confirm much else about his religious background, but he and his family are from the Dominican Republic, where there is a long Jewish history going back to the 13th century. The AJT spoke with Dr. Yehonatan Elazar-DeMota, originally from Miami, who leads Beth Midrash Eleazar, a Sephardi education center in the Caribbean. He’s an expert on the history of Jews in the Caribbean as well as the leader of two beth midrash Braves player Cristian Pache is a practicing schools in the Dominican Republic. Christian but wears a Jewish star. Pache was born in Santo Domingo, where a majority of the Dominican Republic’s Jewish population have historically lived. The city is part of the greater Jewish history in the Dominican Republic. “Sephardic Jews arrived during the Inquisition, during the colonial period, and established themselves in the capitol and the port,” Elazar-DeMota said. Records in the late 19th century show a Rabbi Raphael in Santo Domingo leading a Sephardic congregation in the region. Most of these families that were part of this community are buried in a now-neutral ceremony, where Jews are buried on the left where there are no crosses, but some have Jewish markings, Elazar-DeMota said. After Rabbi Raphael passed away, leaving the Jewish community without a leader, the community was led by Rabbi Henry Zvi Ucko. He was a refugee from the Nazis, part of the tens of thousands of visas offered with accompanying plots of land by Dominican Dictator Rafael Trujillo to those fleeing the Holocaust. Though Elazar-DeMota said only about 600 took the offer. Ucko was Ashkenazi, but he helped lead the Sephardi community and organized a congregation in Santo Domingo. While Pache may not practice the faith, the connection to the Jewish history of Santo Domingo, and the larger Dominican Republic, now have a place on the Atlanta Braves.
Weightlifting Brothers Get Gold By Nathan Posner Brothers Mitchell and Jeremy Marks got gold at the weightlifting state championships last month. Olympic weightlifting focuses on two different lifts: the “clean and jerk” and the “snatch,” both of which have competitors lift the weights completely over their heads. Mitchell, a freshman at Kennesaw State University and former student at The Epstein School, won in his weight class with a 97-kilogram (214 pound) snatch and 125-kilogram (275 pound) clean and jerk, the 222-kilogram (489 pound) total has qualified him for nationals. Jeremy, a high school student at Saint Francis School, won in his weight class of 96 kilograms (212 pounds) with a clean and jerk of 75 kilograms (165 pounds) and a snatch of 52 kilograms (115 pounds). Mitchell told the AJT that he enjoys the competition. “It’s a different Mark Mitchell competes at the way of working out than I was used Georgia state championships for to.” After Mitchell began competitive Olympic weightlifting in April. weightlifting, Jeremy followed suit. “I wanted a way to get strong, and
Mitchell started before me, and told me, ‘Oh, you’ve got to try this out,’ and I really loved it.” The two are coached by James Dantoni, with Mitchell working out three days a week with him and two days on his own. Dantoni told the AJT, “School always comes first, and we schedule around their testing.” But he also described the rigorous training they go through. “It is a very hard competition, like any Olympic sport; the training and attention to detail is grueling.” ì
Brothers Mark Mitchell, left, and Jeremy Mitchell, right, stand with their coach James Dantoni, center.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 23
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OPINION I Can Go Out, If I Want The subject line of the email read “POKER!” T h e r e could be no clearer signal that the time has come to emerge, Dave Schechter however hesiFrom Where I Sit tantly, from 15 months of relatively self-enforced isolation because of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. If a half-dozen or so double-vaxxed, roughly middle-aged guys feel comfortable sitting around a table for two or three hours, with libations and snacks, kibbitzing throughout, then things are getting better. I am not a skilled poker player. I constantly ask for a refresher on the rules of whatever variety of poker the dealer has chosen. I bluff tentatively or not at all. I usually donate to others’ winnings. All of which is irrelevant to enjoying the game. One year ago, I wrote in this space: “I miss knowing that I can go out as much as actually going out.” I was potentially immunocompromised and nearing a birthday that would move me into a second COVID-19 risk category as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In truth, I wasn’t that disturbed. “As an introvert and someone who writes from an office at home, being told to shelter in place felt like being told to keep calm and carry on,” I wrote. The headline atop that column — “Social Distancing Before It was Cool” — came from a line in a column in the Miami Herald by self-identified introvert Leonard Pitts Jr. “There is a spirited back and forth on social media these days between extroverts bouncing off walls and introverts discovering they had a superpower all this time and didn’t even know it,” Pitts wrote. A year and two injections of the Moderna vaccine later, I am adjusting to the idea that I can go out, if I want. In my last column, I discussed the anniversary weekend trip that Audrey and I enjoyed in the Columbus, Ga., area. Since then, the boys and I were among 20,000 fans at Atlanta United’s first home game this season. Attendance was limited to half of capacity in
the lower two sections of the MercedesBenz Stadium and physically distanced. The regular usher in our section, “Janet,” and I greeted each other with fist bumps. She spent much of the next two hours walking up and down the stairs holding a sign that reminded fans to keep their masks on when not eating or drinking. From what I observed, the vast majority of fans complied. Mercedes-Benz is an indoor space and, in such environments, I will continue to wear a mask, until the CDC recommends otherwise. According to the CDC, as of May 1, 34.9 percent of Georgians had received at least one dose of vaccine and 24.4 percent of its population had been fully vaccinated. Based on the rate at which Georgians were being vaccinated, the CDC estimated that it will be Feb. 6, 2022, until 50 percent of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated. You read that right. The “good news” is that Georgia no longer ranks last among the states in the percentage of its population fully vaccinated; Mississippi, Utah and Alabama trail. That is why, even with a vaccine said to be 95 percent effective at preventing sickness, I will carry a mask when, and if, I go out. In a recent article in The Atlantic magazine, a staff writer interviewed two of her colleagues, one an extrovert and the other an introvert, about how each viewed their pending return to social activity. I understood well what the introvert meant when she said: “I think small talk is the tax that God exacted for the privilege of human speech.” Pandemic life had to be more difficult for extroverts, who are energized by their interactions with other people. Now, as doors that have been closed are flung open, extroverts are looking forward to plunging back into the social milieu, while introverts hope they can regulate their exposure to situations in which they feel a lack of control. I welcome the return to Atlanta United games, to the poker table, to a meal or a cup of coffee with friends I have seen only on Zoom calls, and the pleasures that again are possible because of vaccines against a disease that should have taught all of us to value the time we spend alone — and the time we spend with others. ì
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, Egypt, Jordan and Israel all benefited somewhat from the bilateral peace treaties they signed. But those treaties did not produce warm relations between the signatories, nor did they have any effect on the Israel-Palestinian impasse. The problem is what it has always been. The Palestinian leaders are more interested in destroying the world’s only Jewish state than in building a state in which the people they govern could become productive citizens. The difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is strictly tactical. Hamas makes no pretense of being willing to negotiate and stages attacks against Israeli population centers. The PA talks of peace but urges its people to “violently resist the Occupation (sic),” rewarding those who answer the call by granting generous stipends to the murderers (and/or their families). Both Hamas and the PA insist that Israel must take in millions of Palestine refugees and give them the homes they claim their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents … lost when Arab violence failed to prevent Israel’s rebirth in the Jews’ ancestral homeland. Talk of a Two State Solution is meaningless, unless it is specified that the states will be a Palestinian state willing to co-exist, peacefully, with the nation-state of the Jews. The Palestinian leadership needs to take concrete steps to prove that they are sincere in this as-
piration. They need to work to stop the attacks (whether by “state actors” or “lone wolves”), negotiate on borders (realizing that Palestinians, not only Israel, will need to make concessions), actively work to reverse the anti-Jewish rhetoric they’ve been spewing for generations, and start building the infrastructure needed by a viable state. Toby F. Block, Atlanta
Letter to the editor, I recently had the good fortune to commune with the distinguished Mr. Rodney Mims Cook Jr., whose name is familiar to Atlanta families for its affiliation with the civil rights movement, among other accomplishments. I reached out to Mr. Cook Jr. with regard to the dedication plaque at the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station, specifically, about how that dedication plaque declares Jesus as The Christ, and details how the arch itself is modeled after the Roman Arch of Titus, which is famous for its relief of Romans sacking and pillaging The Temple in Jerusalem. I asked Mr. Cook Jr. why – in the metro area that saw the lynching of Leo Frank, the resurgence of the KKK and the subsequent rise of the ADL, the metro area that endured the bombing of The Temple, and which is still home to one of the largest populations of Jews in the United States – there is a monument and a dedication that celebrates the decima-
OPINION tion of the Holy of Holies and declares Jesus to be The Christ. For his part, Mr. Cook Jr. was the model of decorum and grace. He detailed his own experiences with injustice and spoke about the exhibits within the museum itself (there is a museum within the arch, which is currently closed due to COVID restrictions) that highlight some important moments in Atlanta’s Jewish history. (Certain exhibits were even assisted by The Bremen Museum). I am appreciative of these exhibits. It’s important that the rich (and sometimes harrowing) history of Jewish Georgia be told. But not every visitor to the arch is going to buy a ticket to the museum. All, however, will see the dedication declaring Jesus as The Christ, will learn how the arch is modeled after the Arch of Titus, and will read about how Western civilization owes itself and its accomplishments to the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. While it is inarguably true that ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt had immeasurable impacts on Western thought, it can easily be argued that other cultures and civilizations, including our own, made contributions equally as influential. The Bible, the Ten Commandments, the moral and ethical foundations to our laws and justice system, and even Jesus himself – the West owes all this and more to the influence of the Jews. And yet, society, schools, and even local monuments continue to focus on the achievements of those who conquered, enslaved and even murdered those who did not conform. History continues to be written by the victors, I suppose. For his part, Mr. Cook Jr. says the monument is a private one, and that the references to Jesus as Christ are appropriate, because the Gregorian calendar Westerners use, established by the Catholic Church, is based around the life of Jesus. My counterpoint that historians are now acknowledging that such a Christian-centric dating style is inappropriate and are switching from B.C./A.D. to B.C.E. and C.E. designations fell on very respectful, deaf ears. So will the dedication plaque at Millennium Gate, which declares Jesus The Christ, models itself after the tragedies we lament at Tisha B’Av, and declares that some of history’s most oppressive regimes are the ones to which America owes its greatness, be changed? Probably not. But the victory, fellow Jews, remains ours. Because ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt all fell. But we’re still here.
We still have a voice, and we still have a vote. And I’ll take my voice and my vote over a monument any day. L’chaim! Erin Miller, Marietta
Letter to the editor, A new scientific survey conducted by the University of Arkansas and described in Tablet magazine (3/29/21) reveals that the long-held belief by liberals that education reduces antisemitism is false; in fact, education in America increases antisemitism. (“Are Educated People More Antisemitic?” by Jay P. Greene, distinguished professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas; Albert Cheng, assistant professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas; and Ian Kingsbury, who received his doctorate from the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and is a fellow at the Empire Center for public policy in New York). Clearly the antisemitism that has infected American higher education for decades has had its desired effect. Professor Cary Nelson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in his widely acclaimed treatise, “Israel Denial: Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, & the Faculty Campaign Against the Jewish State” (2019) makes clear that on many campuses in America for a professor to fail to loudly and publicly condemn the existence of the only Jewish country in the world, Israel, is to strike the death knell to his or her career. In January 1942 at least half the men sitting around the conference table at Wannsee, Germany planning Auschwitz and the rest of the Final Solution of the Jews had doctoral degrees. Does the Arkansas survey, which makes clear that one becomes more antisemitic as one becomes more educated in America, foreshadow a similar group of “educated” individuals making similar decisions for Jews in America’s future? Richard Sherman, Margate, Fla.
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.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 25
SENIOR LIVING DJ Spins for Seniors
Marcia Caller Jaffe
F r o m American Bandstand’s Dick Clark to today’s DJ Khaled, party emcees and disc jockeys set the mood and bring groups together with memorable tunes, raps
and jives. At 81, Ed Rosenblatt is spinning music at both Somerby senior living community in Sandy Springs and on FM station Radio Recliner, where one can find his show “Windjammer.” He said, “I tend to play romance themes reminiscent of the music we heard in the '60s, '70s, and '80s and golden oldies.” Monthly on Wednesday evenings, Rosenblatt spins for residents, handing out singalong sheets. He also plays piano, harmonica, ukulele, and guitar. On Sun-
As a child, Ed Rosenblatt appeared as the boy on the label of his grandparents Tampa meat packing company for processed hot dogs and burgers.
DJ Windjammer ends each show playing “Sloop John B” on his ukulele.
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days, he performs at Somerside Memory Care at Somerby. “It’s so meaningful that many of these residents who may not interact at a high level are able to sing along with lyrics and tap their feet and fingers. Music we heard in our twenties and thirties stays in our memories forever.” Rosenblatt’s late wife lived in the Somerside facility. As a young child growing up in Tampa, Fla., he was not particularly musically inclined, but played 5-minute medleys on the two baby grand pianos at home. His real claim to fame was being recognized by appearing on package labels in grocery stores for his grandparents' Tampa meat processing plant. After attending the University of Florida, he spent the next two decades in Orlando. Rosenblatt still works as an independent contractor for SouthEast LINK, a Jewish- owned chemical supply company. It has many high-profile accounts such as Emory and Georgia state universities, the former Philips Arena (now State Farm Arena) and several of the Jewish day schools. He has 17 grandchildren from his blended family. On the Radio Recliner station, Rosenblatt is known as DJ Windjammer. Radio Recliner is a station run by DJs from senior living communities across the country to help those who may be room-bound to stay connected. It started during the pandemic. There are a variety of male and female disc jockeys each playing their own themes. Listeners can call in requests and view on their tablet or screen, where they can type in requests or call a flashing phone number. Rosenblatt introduces each song; and his signature sign-off is playing The
Kingston Trio’s “Sloop John B” on his ukulele. If one doesn’t catch the show live, it can be dialed back from a prerecording. Rosenblatt’s playlist typically includes The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, George Benson, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond and John Denver. Rosenblatt works out every day on the elliptical in the Somerby gym with Joan Baez and James Taylor on his phone. “How Sweet it Is,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Fire and Rain.” His other hobbies are saltwater deep sea fishing. “I read fiction by my favorite authors: Daniel Silva, Steve Berry, Nelson DeMille, Clive Cussler, Ken Follett, David Baldacci, all spy and mysteries. If I like the author, I read every book they ever wrote!” His main hobby is creating shell folk art. “My parents both did shell art, and shell displays with electric lights. Mother made shell dolls with hand-painted faces. They sold them in 1950s in my grandfather’s gift shop.” At Somerby Rosenblatt’s creations are on display and sell for $75 to $150. “These are made from very old shells which my brother saved from the west coast of Florida. When I moved into Somerby, I renewed the hobby. They were originally not made to sell.” Rosenblatt appeared in the March edition of Simply Buckhead magazine exemplifying the making of musical connections. He concluded, “OK, so I tell Jewish jokes in my show. Here’s one to end on: Mrs. Goldberg was in Miami Beach on a rocking chair out front of the hotel when her son called. “Mom, how are you?” “Vell, I’m feeling a little veak. I haven’t eaten in nine days.” “Why mom? That’s awful.” “Just in case my son should call me, I shouldn’t have food in my mouth.”ì
Reisman Still ‘Renting’ Strong By Marcia Caller Jaffe
Council. After finishing college and a stint in the Army at the end of World War II, he Anybody who is anybody in “old At- returned to Atlanta to run the family busilanta” real estate annals has crossed paths ness, which he changed to manufacturing with nonagenarian Donald Reisman, whose wooden dinette sets. family is fifth generation Ahavath Achim Reisman’s magic has always been Synagogue members and who will turn 94 knowing when to buy and sell. In 1969, he in July. He continues to plow straight ahead, sold his manufacturing plant to Erwin Zarunning his hundreds of thousands of ban’s National Service Industries (now Acusquare feet of warehouses off I-20 and Ful- ity). ton Industrial Boulevard. Son Bruce said, “I Reisman said, “Back then Zaban was take care of the back end of the operations, buying different businesses to please sharebut Dad is still ‘the brains’ and manages the holders – even an envelope company. Not day-to-day activities.” sure they knew what to do with them, but Reisman grew up on 8th Street, a block I moved to work for Haas & Dodd commerfrom Boys High, now Midtown (Grady) High cial real estate as an agent.” School. He recalled, “In those days we went In 1971, Reisman bought his first piece of commercial real estate at the corner of Northside Drive and 10th Street with three other investors (Stanley Stark, Ken Silberstein, and Elliot Berman). Fast forward to 2020, after purchasing and selling industrial warehouse buildings along with buying up parcels of raw land for 50 years in the Bankhead Highway-Northside Drive area. Competently, Reisman sold up-and-coming Atlanta BeltLine property for seven figures to a major developer. Reisman recalled, Donald Reisman established a fund in his wife “Having grown up in AtShirley’s memory enhancing media outreachlanta, I had knowledge of online participation at AA Synagogue. the Fulton Industrial Busihome for lunch, and the neighborhood ness District being developed in the late '70s dynamic was mostly Jewish families near and early '80s with warehouses built by sevParkway Drive.” His father A.G. invested in eral Jewish developers. The area reached its a cabinet shop after he sold his corner gro- peak in the late '80s and began slowly driftcery store, to craft cedar cabinets used as ing into a multitude of vacant warehouses closets. He passed away while Don was a by the 2000s.” junior at Emory University. For a Jewish kid As Atlanta became more attractive to at Emory, Donald was part of the “in crowd” large national and international corporaand elected president of the Interfraternity tions with Southern year-round weather conditions, Reisman began to a take a serious look at the Fulton Industrial area as investment potential, especially with Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport close by. He purchased his first warehouse in the Fulton Industrial area when the occupancy rate was 70 to 75 percent. “The square footage price was affordable by my standards. Today the warehouse space in the district is 98 percent full, and Warehouse: An example of a sprawling Reisman warehouse near I-20 with diverse tenants. the price per square foot nearly
Donald and Shirley Reisman were married 69 years. At Emory University, he was president of the Interfraternity Council.
doubled, but few are available for purchase.” Reisman’s warehouses are occupied by a diverse group of local and international companies, engineering, recycling, a towel distributor, a manufacturer of foam inserts, a church servicing over 300 members, a studio where many famous rap stars record, and a trade show flooring company. “We
have 100 yards of AstroTurf for the NFL, and a studio where rap videos are shot.” His advice to anyone who has interest in real estate ownership is: “If you take care of your real estate, your real estate will take care of you.” Reisman explains this includes maintaining and updating the roof, office space, plumbing and other basics. He said he keeps his mind aware and body active by taking care of business along with Bruce. He reminisced, “I used to jog with Joe Barton and Moe Krinsky, way before jogging was popular. I enjoy an occasional vodka tonic (made in America like Tito’s) and spending time with family. My wife Shirley (of 69 years) and I had a lively social life dining out all over the city.” Shirley passed away in September and Reisman recently created the Shirley Reisman Media Outreach Fund at Ahavath Achim. The fund was established to enrich the Zoom online, daily minyan, Shabbat, holiday services and weekly classes experience by streaming with the best equipment. “The synagogue will eventually reopen, but the ability to participate online will be important to members near and far.” ì
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End of Life Doulas Support the Dying They may be called spiritual shepherds, midwives for the soul or guides for the end of life, but those who are trained to help prepare the terminally ill for their final journey in life call themselves doulas. Rita Kaufman is an end-oflife doula. For the last four years she has been at the bedside of Bob Bahr those in intensive care, spent time in hospice facilities and counseled clients during their final days at home, all in an effort to ease the physical and emotional pain that often accompanies the end of life. For those who have had had a good life, she want to provide a comfortable passing. “It is a calling to me. It’s a little bit hard for me to even say those kinds of words, but as a Jewish person I don’t know how else to describe it. I am drawn to this work. I’m deeply sensitive to it. It is very intimate. It allows me to be very nurturing because that is just who I am.” For 20 years Kaufman, who is a certified Aging Life Care manager, has owned and managed SeniorCare Options in Alpharetta. The firm helps to manage the care of seniors in declining health. But four years ago she became convinced that she could do more to assure the peaceful transition of those who were facing the end of life. So she began the lengthy certification process to become a death doula.
“I want to make sure that people have the best possible experience in their final hours. I only have this one opportunity. So I want to do the best I can.” Now as part of her professional services, she offers a program she calls The 11th Hour to comfort families who, with their loved ones, are facing some of life’s most difficult moEnd-of-life doulas offer a wide range of support Rita Kaufman decided to ments. services for those facing terminal illness. become an end-of-life doula “There is just something so to complete the work she powerful about supporting somebody at such does as a certified Aging Life Care manager. a tender time. And a lot of times it’s about supporting the family because the loved one is lying In 2003, Henry Ferskothere and they’re not really very responsive. But Weiss, a licensed clinical social the family doesn’t know what to do They’re in a worker, used the model of doulot of pain emotionally. So to be a strong support las who assist in the birth proand model the kind of behavior that’s appropricess at the beginning of life to ate is very important. There are just so many create another early program taboos and biases about death and dying and The use of end-of-life doulas has gained for life’s end. people don’t know what to do.” acceptance with more willingness to Today there are a number The idea of providing a training program talk about the process of dying. of such initiatives around the to assist those facing issues at the end of life country, some incorporating concepts taken from home health came from a conference in 1998 of The Jewish Board of Family care and nursing while others emphasizing more spiritual and and Children’s Services in New York. The result was The Doula psychological concerns. Since there are no licensing laws that Program to Accompany and Comfort. govern end- of-life doulas and the services are not covered by insurance, there are many different approaches to the practice. At the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in New York, the doula program is supported by a grant from a private foundation. Trained volunteers provide assistance in the Institute hospice program. Across the country in San Francisco, The Melaveh Project, named for the Hebrew word that means “one who accompanies,” offers assistance in the home as well as area hospices. End-of-life services are provided by volunteers under the guidance of a trained and certified doula. Herb Brosbe helps administer the program that uses volunteers for a limited set of end-of-life services. “We don’t identify our volunteers as end-of-life doulas, we do identify them as Jewish trained to give support and companionship during this process. We just do a lot of listening. And then we may ask questions to try to understand the person better. Our object is companionship and being present, which makes our volunteers incredibly approachable.” The growing acceptance of end-of-life services offered by doulas and those working with them owes much to the changes in attitudes about talking about death, which was once described as the last taboo. The influential work of Swiss American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the 1969 bestseller “On Death and Dying,” is seen as a classic that made talking about death more acceptable. As Kaufman sees it, we are more emotionally receptive today and more open to talk freely about our psychological and spiritual needs. It is what makes so satisfying what she describes as the journey she is on as a doula. “It’s tikkun olam. I want to leave the world a better place. But I’m not always thinking about how this makes make me a good Jew, but I do have that spiritual experience as I’m sitting there quietly with somebody, I’m having my own thoughts while they are having theirs.” ì
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Which End-of-Life Care is Right for You? As a chaplain and bereavement coordinator for Weinstein Hospice, Deanna Lawrence said she’s “shared and witnessed in many emoSusanne Katz tional, spiritual and life changing moments with our patients. “It’s not an easy decision to choose additional support through a palliative care program when one knows hospice may be the next step along their life’s journey. As hard as that decision is, we strive to provide additional support, knowledge, understanding and comfort, before the decision for hospice is near.”
for palliative care describes it: “patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information and choice.” Palliative care programs differ in rules for admittance, specialties and service offerings. The palliative care team at Weinstein Hospice helps communicate the illness and its progression to family members, provides emotional support to patients and caregivers, helps coordinate care between all providers, and makes referrals to community resources for assistance with social and practical needs. Weinstein Hospice, located in The William Breman Jewish Home and part of
Jewish HomeLife, consists of a director of palliative care, a nurse practitioner, and a member of the team to guide spiritual services. These professionals coordinate care with doctors, provide emotional support and manage symptoms, among other capabilities, according to Weinstein Hospice. Lawrence explained her role further. “Patients feel free and comfortable to speak to me about life’s challenges, changes and small triumphs because I try to promote a calming presence and listening support by meeting the patient and families where they are in times of acceptance and contemplation.” The hospice program offers palliative care to patients pursuing aggressive treatments for cancer, heart disease and lung disease, including chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions and hospital intervention, when needed. Patients who enroll in
Deanna Lawrence is bereavement coordinator at Weinstein Hospice.
Chompoo Suriyo/Shutterstock //
Elderly woman with her caregiver at home.
Hospice care focuses on people with advanced life-limiting illnesses who have a life expectancy measured in six months or less, and provides comfort and quality of life rather than a cure, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. NHPCO explains that palliative care is recommended, regardless of life expectancy, and the care can be provided in a senior’s own home and surroundings, hospital, nursing home or assisted living community, depending on the program. Palliative care is delivered alongside other treatments, services and primary care, the Virginia-based organization reports. This type of senior care focuses on quality of life and is essentially not having to do it on your own, having the best life for the longest possible period, according to NHPCO’s website. Or as the National Consensus Project 30 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
this palliative care program generally have a life expectancy of one year and will require hospice services within six months, Weinstein Hospice reports. Patients can be referred to this service in several ways, including a physician, other facilities and the JHL community. Once referred, the Weinstein team coordinates with the patient’s existing medical team to determine if he or she is appropriate for the services that can be provided. And once admitted, new patients are seen once every two weeks for the first month, then receive at least one visit a month, and more if needed or requested, according to Weinstein Hospice. Long-term patients who are considered very stable are seen about once every six weeks. Palliative care patients can be seen in their home or senior care and assisted living communities, the organization reports. The Weinstein Hospice palliative care team can also provide some services using telehealth visits as needed. The palliative care team works with other healthcare professionals to help maintain the highest quality of care possible for as long as possible, Weinstein Hospice states. They help families manage serious chronic illness and navigate and manage chronic symptoms, and they help the community become more knowledgeable about treatment options. Weinstein Hospice recommended a few questions to consider to choose the right care: ■ Do you have an end-stage primary diagnosis of cancer, cardiac disease or pulmonary disease? ■ Do you still wish to pursue aggressive treatments (such as hospitalizations, if necessary, chemotherapy, blood transfusions) and remain under the care of your physicians? ■ Do you currently have a primary care physician and/or referring physician? ■ Could your current needs adequately be managed on an outpatient basis with bi-weekly or bi-monthly visits and/or the use of telehealth services that operate on a Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, or are your needs much more urgent, requiring immediate assistance outside of those parameters? If you answered yes to these, Weinstein Hospice believes palliative care may be the right choice. ì For more information about Weinstein Hospice and Palliative Care, call Emily Fain, director of palliative care at 404-790-7792 or Weinstein Hospice at 404-351-1897.
Senior woman using videoconference for telehealth.
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Senior Care: It’s a Family Affair
Kadan Homecare founder, Linda Kadan, was one of the first homecare providers to see an emerging national trend that would revolutionize the need for senior care -- “the sandwich generation.” Today, “sandwichers” represent about half of
the country’s population. These Americans, who are generally between 40 and 59 years of age, are caring for children under 18 or providing some level of financial support to those over 18 while taking care of senior family members. For the sandwich generation, being the primary supplier of financial and emotional support for two generations is an ongoing and exhausting challenge. Kadan understands that caring for a beloved senior means plugging into the entire family structure, becoming a trusted and valuable resource for everyone. Linda knew early on that seniors’ desire for independence balanced with safety as they aged in place in their homes is a critical component of effective senior care. For more than 35 years and counting, that belief continues to center the Kadan experience as their expert caregivers deal with extended families, blended families and families spread over several states. “The family dynamic may have changed in the last three and a half decades but Kadan Homecare’s services have remained the rock that families of all types depend on in times of aging-related crises,” Linda says. Strengthening their family focus, Kadan is family-owned and operated. Linda’s daughter, Dina Kadan White, is on the company’s leadership team, overseeing business operations. Additionally, and important to note, the Kadan family has personal experience in working with caregivers for their own loved ones. They intimately understand what a stressful and emotional situation
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COVID Narrows Options for Golden Years For at least 40 years, people build their professional lives, raise children and send them to college, and put money aside for what Jan Jaben-Eilon is often called “the golden years,” when they can retire and fulfill some of their dreams. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has altered those aspirations in numerable ways for this generation of retirees. “Life is not quite what they had hoped it would be,” observed Debbi Dooley, geriatric care manager for more than 13 years at Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta. “Some feel thwarted or compressed. More people describe themselves as depressed.” On the other hand, she said, the pandemic has given “us an amazing appreciation of things we took for granted.” Certainly, not everyone 65 and older
has been affected in the same ways. Mary Sabel unexpectedly decided to retire last summer from her job as an architect. She lives in East Lake Commons in Decatur, a cohousing development in which the homes are close together on more than
an apartment in senior living. I have now decided to age in place here,” she said. So she’s renovating her home for the future. Others have seen the pandemic as a “wake-up call and decided maybe they need to get their estates in order,” stated
geriatric age group in the past year. “I have seen a couple of people deteriorate more precipitously than they imagined they would,” he said. “People with psychiatric or neuropsychiatric dementia have a significantly higher mortality rate. The
Mary Sabel credits her online studies, including of Zen and Mussar, for keeping her spirits up during the pandemic.
Nancy Kriseman said some people are really feeling deprived of taking cruises, going out to dinner with friends and seeing their grandchildren.
“The world is not as safe as we imagined it to be, which punctures through our denial,” said Dr. Bruce Rudisch.
gerontologist Nancy Kriseman. While many seniors may have “put off moving into a retirement home,” she sees an upcoming shift. “Clients have taken family members out of assisted living, but now may be thinking of moving them back in.” Indeed, Holbrook Decatur is “seeing a complete 180 in the amount of interest” from prospective residents, said Jennifer Frank, community relations director. “It’s like night and day compared to last year. The whole world has shifted from what they thought they were going to do.” A shift among this age group is not surprising, notes Dr. Bruce Rudisch, a geriatric psychiatrist. “Someone 75 to 80 has maybe 10 to 20 years left in life. If you lose 1 1/2 years, that’s a higher proportion of the remainder of your life than if you are a 40-year-old.” And, according to a study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, life expectancy has been shorted by 1.13 years to 77.48 as a result of the pandemic. The Princeton University and University of Southern California researchers said that that is the largest single-year decline in life expectancy in at least 40 years and is the lowest life expectancy estimated since 2003. Health researchers are not just looking at life expectancy, but also a concept called “life lost.” A February study conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that the most lost years were in the 55 to 75 group. Thus, it’s not surprising that Rudisch said he is seeing a lot more depression, suicide and substance abuse among the
data shows brain dysfunction and emotional strain have a big impact.” Some people are really feeling deprived of taking cruises, going out to dinner with friends and seeing their grandchildren, Kriseman noted. “There’s a tremendous feeling of disappointment.” She calls these “accumulated losses” that might have a long-term effect. Rudisch referred to one woman who had planned to travel during her retirement. “She’s aware that she has a window of time,” he said. Her parents deteriorated in their late 70s. “She’s experienced a sense of powerlessness,” he said. Sabel credits her study of Zen, Mussar (with Rabbi Josh Lesser), other mindfulness practices and online courses – and sticking with a schedule – for not suffering depression during the pandemic. She admitted, however, to experiencing “some anxiety prior to getting the vaccine.” In contrast to Sabel’s decision to retire last summer, Rudisch said that some people have decided to work longer because they can do so remotely, which reduces the stress of commuting, for instance. Certainly, perspectives on life have changed. “The world is not as safe as we imagined it to be, which punctures through our denial,” Rudisch added. People “need some denial to survive. COVID has been a real challenge to our protective denial systems. I think things will get better, but maybe not back to normal. There’s always a new normal.” ì
20 acres. For the last year or so, she has appreciated being able to walk around and see people, rather than be “isolated in
THE AUXILIARY OF THE WILLIAM BREMAN JEWISH HOME IS PROUD TO HONOR
In re�o�ni�on o� �er si�ni��an� �on�ri���ons o� �me an� �alen�s �o ��e A��iliary over so many years, an� in a��re�ia�on o� �er �ommi�men� as one o� o�r �o�n�in� Li�e�me Mem�ers� MAY 20 | 11 AM JewishHomeLife.org/auxiliary
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AgeWell Atlanta: Helping Jewish Atlanta’s older adults live their best lives
Paid for by AgeWell Atlanta
’m totally overwhelmed – I had no idea.” “This is so hard, no one talks about this until you’re in the middle of it.” “I’m just so sad – I hate seeing her like this.” “I’ve got my kids, now I’ve got my parents.” “She can’t drive anymore.” “I had to take his keys.” One of the most common calls the aging services experts at AgeWell Atlanta receive is from an adult tasked with the tremendous responsibility of caring for his or her aging parent. Doctors’ appointments. Transportation. Groceries. Socialization. Isolation. The new role in which adult children find themselves is beyond challenging. And, the emotional toll often gets put to the side. AgeWell Atlanta was created with a mission to enable older adults in the Jewish community to “Age Well” through improved independence, quality of life, and social connection. Through its centralized concierge platform, AgeWell Atlanta makes the process easier, less stressful, and most importantly, a happier, healthier, better life for those we love. With one call, individuals will be connected to a centralized concierge who will work to determine the best track for each family’s individual needs: care, housing, transportation, medical services, social programs, and customized plans to support
older adults and caregivers to provide maximum wellness – wherever they reside. “Atlanta is home to one of the fastest growing senior communities in the country. Most older adults prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, which increases the need for a coordinated system of care,” says Jennifer Curry, AgeWell Atlanta’s Information and Referral Manager/Concierge. AgeWell Atlanta is a collaborative partnership of four Atlanta Jewish agencies, each providing expert advice, guidance, and a unique depth of experience and offerings: geriatric care management and caregiver support groups at Aviv Older Adult Services of Jewish Family & Career Services; recreational and enriching programs for active, mature adults at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta; and residential communities and at-home care services at Jewish HomeLife. All of the partner agencies are designed to relieve some of the burden as well as offer caregivers a welcomed break. Funding is provided by Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta along with other generous gifts from the community. “The options for older adults can be overwhelming and confusing for caregivers,” states Curry. “This collaborative partnership provides a breadth of offerings to serve older adults all along the care
continuum.” It is important to remember, these are not simply “older adults,” or “seniors.” They’re mothers and fathers. Grandparents and dear friends. AgeWell Atlanta is here to help everyone navigate this new life cycle. For more information, please contact AgeWell Atlanta at 1-866-AGEWELL (1866-243-9355) which provides callers with free, detailed recommendations and a warm handoff to resources provided by the agency partners and other trusted organizations, based on the unique needs of each caller. For additional information and to learn more about upcoming social programs, visit agewellatl.org. AgeWell Atlanta partner agencies include: Aviv Older Adult Services of Jewish Family & Career Services helps aging individuals and their families navigate life transitions and changing circumstances. Whether you’re an older adult, spouse, or caregiver, our experienced and compassionate team will support you on your journey with resources and guidance. Jewish HomeLife’s network of residential communities and at-home care services support every stage of the aging journey,
from long term care, independent and assisted living to rehab, clinic, home care and hospice. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta offers opportunities for active, mature adults to live rich and full lives through a vast array of recreational and social activities, personal enrichment classes, health and fitness programs, Jewish learning classes, and more. Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta creates a thriving, caring and connected Jewish Atlanta where every Jew and their loved ones can access warm Jewish community, timeless Jewish wisdom, global Jewish peoplehood and Jewish ways to do good in the world. ■
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Auxiliary Honors Sandy Abrams
I’m okay. Delmar Gardens didn’t just take care of my mom and dad, they took care of me and turned the decision regarding my parents’ care and well-being into a positive experience.
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34 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
We properly screen prospective residents to keep our future and current residents safe.
E v e r y of the organization through our Jean A. May, The Auxil- Cohen Gift Shop and other popular fundiary of The Wil- raising events, such as Game Day.” liam Breman Abrams, a native of Brunswick, Jewish Home Ga., shared her admiration for what she holds a spring termed JHL’s diversified network. “People luncheon for do not realize how [blended] the homes its volunteers, are,” she said. “It’s not just Jewish. It’s nonmembers, staff sectarian. It is every race, creed and color. and donors. Stephanie Nissani The purpose It doesn’t matter. It’s probably one of the best in the country.” of the annual About receiving the award, she said, luncheon is to name the volunteer of the “I was stunned. I was shocked. This Lifeyear. This is the first year that luncheon time Achievement Award is the only one includes a Lifetime Achievement Award, that has ever been given.” honoring Sandy Abrams, vice chair of She further expounded on her comThe Auxiliary’s funmitment to the orgadraising, a foundnization. “My main ing member and goal was to be sure all-around Jewish that The Auxiliary HomeLife volunteer stayed functional. since 1986. Bringing in younger The annual people and making Auxiliary Awards sure that they know luncheon will be how important the held virtually May residents are to the 20 to honor Abrams’ home and to the accomplishments families,” she said. “I over a 35-year penever get tired of it. I riod. always look forward Abrams volunteered for numerto the meetings. We Sandy Abrams wins The Auxiliary’s ous organizations have dynamic offifirst Lifetime Achievement Award. in the JHL network, cers, which is great.” The Auxiliary holds an annual spring including The Coluncheon to honor a volunteer of the year. Auxiliary Manhen Home, Berman ager Cindy Cassano Commons and The Jewish Tower. said, “Many of the good works that Sandy Stephanie Wyatt, JHL chief develop- does are the gestures of a person who funment officer, said of the award-winner, damentally believes in giving back to our “Abrams has served Jewish life by living community. Sandy shows up, does the as an example of how to give back to your work, smiles and askes for nothing in recommunity. Whether it be by person- turn. ally delivering a card to a fellow Auxiliary “An Auxiliary member is a person member who may be under the weather to who feels a responsibility to care for othhelping fundraise for major events in supers. Our members are living examples of port of The Auxiliary and JHL.” people who embrace the commandment Abrams, a mother of three and a real ‘to honor thy Father and Mother.'" estate agent for 45 years, admits that there In addition, “‘Because we love, beis nothing she loves more than to serve her cause we care, because we are their chilJHL community. “It started years ago …. I dren’” is the Auxiliary motto,” Cassano went in and began fundraising, going to the various homes to entertain people dur- said. Abrams was chosen based on a recing the holidays and visiting the guests, ommendation from The Auxiliary board, staying in touch with the staff while makshe added. ing them feel wanted and appreciated.” Jody Goldstein, co-president of The Board members at JHL further exAuxiliary, will bestow the honor at the virplained the role of The Auxiliary. “Founded in 1986, The Auxiliary of The William tual event. For more information about The Breman Jewish Home provides social activities for residents, networking opportu- Auxiliary and to buy tickets for the spring nities through our events, such as learning luncheon, visit www.jewishhomelife.org/ canasta, and funds to support the mission ways-to-give/volunteer/auxiliary/. ì
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DINING Botica All Set for Hybrid Cuisine Known for his charismatic and warm personality, Chef Mimmo Alboumeh in January opened Botica (boh-teekah) specializing in Mexican and Marcia Spanish cuisine Caller Jaffe with homemade dressings, salsas, sauces, street-style tacos wrapped in a madefrom-scratch menu. Mimmo grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, Italy and Spain, and began his culinary career in Mexico. Some may remember his Red Pepper Taqueria on Piedmont Road at the Peachtree Road intersection. He also owned Maya Steaks & Seafood in Sandy Springs until 2017. In the Buckhead Brookwood condo’s former Watershed’s space, Botica has 5,000 square feet of lively open indoor and outdoor ambiance with banquettes and single seating for 180, a private dining room and 40 high-definition flat screen TVs. Accordion doors open from the bar to al fresco dining for 100 on the
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The croissant bread pudding is chefcrafted with caramel gelato.
Chef Mimmo opened Botica with the cultural influence and cooking of his upbringing. His bold tattoos go with the wall décor.
2,000-square-foot covered patio, with heaters, fans and a ringside seat to people watch on Peachtree. The 1,500-square-foot bar is the centerpiece. Mimmo is proud that business is bustling. “It’s a blessing to employ 70 (45 front staff and 25 in the kitchen) during a pandemic. …. I
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36 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Botica can serve 600 on a nice brunch day. People watching is along Peachtree.
work 100 hours a week here. ‘If you own it, you live it’ is my philosophy.” When Mimmo talks about food, one can share his passion for it. Even down to the “migas” croutons, for which he greets the fresh ciabatta delivery at 5 a.m. to complement the grated Manchego cheese. Street corn accompanies a lot of dishes. “We boil it, then char grill. Off the cob, it doesn’t get stuck in the teeth!” What we sampled: Tuna tartar appetizer ($13): truffle oil, plantain chips, avocado. Green salad ($8): Generous portion of kale, spinach, migas, pickled onions, olives, goat cheese. Favorite dish: The $4 tacos (soft or yellow corn tortillas) are a great deal as shareable and hand-crafted. Falafel is omnipresent on the Atlanta scene, but this is exceptional. Mimmo said, “I have a lot of Jewish customers who are allergic to fava beans originating from the Syrian and Egyptian recipes. I use a more Israeli recipe starting with double A quality chickpeas soaked over two days then rinsed with baking soda and water with more ‘Jewish Spanish’ spices. One of my favorites is Spanish paprika.” Interestingly, Genesis 3:3 warns against the ingestion of fava like beans for those of Mediterranean origin. We also fought over the crispy fried fish taco with cabbage slaw and salsa cruda. Bigger plate: Wild salmon ($17), quinoa, corn, herb vinaigrette, kale, spinach. Going easy on the salt let the fish do the talking. Sides ($5): Generous portions of mac and cheese, street corn, mélange of mushrooms, cabbage slaw, Mexican rice, potatoes, poblano rice, black beans. Desserts are also made in house. Mimmo’s favorite is the croissant bread pudding with pineapple and salted caramel gelato. Ours was the light yet rich strawberry vanilla flan. Churros: Crispy dough with chocolate sauce round out the menu. The Fajita Skillet combo looked enticing for the next visit.
Wild salmon goes easy on the salt to let the flavor of the fish come through.
Tuna tartar is bold and bright with jalapeños and guacamole.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with bottomless mimosas. Mimmo said, “Above the basic brunch staples, I craft each recipe and look for ways to combine heart and passion. Our locally sourced grits with specialty cheeses and a hint of pablano peppers are popular. On a nice day Botica serves 600 for brunch. The regular menu is also served until 11 p.m. The restaurant’s art collection features whimsical pieces curated from Mexican artists. Mimmo’s favorite is Frida Kahlo, whose graphics he has brightly tattooed on his arms. Since each dish is individually crafted, the staff will accommodate food allergies. Note: A 20 percent service charge is added to each check. The restaurant is located at 1820 Peachtree Road with free parking behind the building. It is open every day 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. ì
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ART Yiddish Puppet-based Film at Emory Yi d d i s h seems to be making a recent comeback among the nation’s university students, a phenomenon that might amaze their predecesChana Shapiro sors. Past generations loved Yiddish, but undoubtedly did not equate the mama loshen (mother tongue) with languages studied in edifices of higher learning. “Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup” is an original Theater Emory puppet production, livestreaming from May 24 to June 5. The show adapts a 1935 children’s book of the same name by Yiddish writer Chaver Paver, who developed curricula for shules, Yiddishlanguage after-school programs. The book’s publisher, International Workers Order, was a New York City communist-affiliated mutual-aid society that ran these shules for children of Jewish working-class families during the Great Depression. Emory grad Jake Krakovsky adapted the script and directs the production. “This non-stereotypical shtetl image offers an alternative to romanticized myths about Yiddish speakers and their lives. The puppy and his family encounter labor struggles, peaceful protest, racism, police brutality, even an episode involving a terrible airborne disease. The stories also present secular Jews putting Jewish values into practice.” Krakovsky is an Atlanta actor, director, playwright and puppeteer who is a teaching associate working with professor Miriam Udel in a new seminar at Emory University, Yiddish Political Theater. They first met in 2014, as participants on a Theater
The 1935 children’s book “Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup” is the basis of the new puppet film.
Emory-hosted panel at which Krakovsky performed an excerpt from his one-act solo play “Yankl on the Moon,” based on a comic Yiddish folktale. “Professor Udel liked the play,” Krakovsky explained, “and I performed readings of it for her classes on Yiddish children’s literature. I first heard about the Labzik stories in a 2019 seminar series and admired her research on modern Yiddish kid lit, which she translated and presented in her book, “Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature.” We agreed that they would make a great puppet show.” At a Yiddish Book Center summer program, Krakovsky gained Yiddish language competency and a passion for Yiddish literature and culture. Subsequently, Udel and Krakovsky revisited the idea of a Labzik adaptation. Krakovsky presented the idea to Theater Emory, and Udel received support from the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and Emory German Studies department, who agreed to co-sponsor a new class, Yiddish Political Theater. Krakovsky adapted Paver’s Yiddish stories using Udel’s English translation for a bilingual puppet film, involving seminar stu-
Jake Krakovsky manipulates puppets made by Ryan Bradburn.
dents in the show’s production, narration and marketing. Krakovsky manipulates the film’s puppets, designed and fabricated by local artist Ryan Bradburn. The original Yiddish dialogue, with subtitles, is spoken by professional Yiddish actors, and student
Miriam Udel teaches Yiddish Political Theater seminar at Emory.
narrators voice Udel’s English translation. “It is uncanny how aptly these stories from 1935 speak to concerns of our time, and in lively language that our children can understand,” said Udel, associate professor of Yiddish language, literature and
Jake Krakovsky with central puppet film character Labzik.
culture in the German Studies department with a co-appointment in the Tam Institute. “Jake’s screenwriting skill and puppetry chops bring these fun, instructive stories to life.” In addition to being an Emory alum, Krakovsky has strong university roots. “My oldest and deepest link to Emory is my great-great-great uncle Rabbi Tobias Geffen. My grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, and a couple of first cousins are alumni.” In 1919, Rabbi Geffen convinced the Emory administration to enable religiously observant Jewish students, including his own children, to matriculate without penalty for missing classes on Jewish holy days or Shabbat. According to online sources, Geffen played a catalyst role, which led to today’s large Jewish enrollment. Perhaps the Yiddish Political Theater seminar is a result of Rabbi Geffen’s imprint on Emory 100 years ago. Watch a free screening of “Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup” at www.theater.emory.edu/ home/shows-events/current-season/labzik. html. The on-demand streaming video will be available from May 24 to June 5. ì
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New Film Aims to Rekindle Christian-Jewish Dialogue By Bob Bahr “Hope In The Holy Land,” a new documentary which debuts May 14, Israel Independence Day, seeks to broaden the dialogue between Christians and Jews about the future of Israel. The film was produced by two Christian Zionists with more than a decade of experience, leading pilgrimages to Israel and discussions about the role that Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian, play there. Justin Kron, one of the creators of the film, is particularly concerned about addressing the criticism of Israel in recent years among a number of mainline Protestant denominations. Kron is distressed by the way Israel’s relationship with Palestinians has been portrayed. “Within the Protestant community there is a growing skepticism towards Israel’s legitimacy, toward Israel’s perceived treatment of the Palestinian people. I think they see Israel more and more as a foreign colonialist movement that illegally stole land from the Arabs. And because of that there is less and less support for Israel.” The hope that is the subject of “Hope In The Holy Land” is what Kron sees as the important role that Palestinians can play when they recognize Israel’s right to exist and abandon what he sees of the “party line” of militant Palestinians in Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. “Hope resides in those courageous Palestinians who are willing to step across the line to love their neighbor, to see that the other is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and to be heard, when we see Israelis and Palestinians working together it gives us great hope. Until the majority of Palestinians agree that Israel has the right to exist, we are not going to see peace between the two peoples.” The film follows a California Evangelical religious leader, Todd Morehead, as he travels to Israel and the West Bank to sample a broad cross section of public opinion about the future prospects for peace. He concludes that Palestinian Christians, while they represent a minority with a problematic future, have an important role to play in changing the discussion about the future. “I believe that if Palestinian Christians recognize the Jewish roots of their faith and God’s plan for the future of Israel that would be the key for God to do
“Hope In the Holy Land” chronicles the visit to Israel and the West Bank by an American Christian Todd Morehead.
something extraordinary to heal the rift between the two peoples.” Kron, who has been working to finance and develop the film project since 2014, is hoping that it will help to defuse some of the heated rhetoric that has often characterized discussion about the Jewish state among religious leaders and their followers. “We definitely want to bring more light than heat to the subject. We think there is a polarization that comes with the subject. Christians on both sides of the issue need to be challenged to see what life is really like for those on the ground.” While the film represents a thoroughly Christian viewpoint, it was largely financed by the Philos Project, which is backed by Paul Singer, a wealthy Jewish Wall Street fund manager who has a deep commitment to Israel. The Philos Project works closely with Christian supporters of Israel to fund visits and internships there, to sponsor publications and projects like the documentary and to create a greater awareness of Israel among Christians here. In February, the Philos program sponsored a visit by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan to Charleston, S.C., and Montgomery, Ala., to learn more about African American history and religion in the South. It was Erdan’s first trip in this country as ambassador. The film has been welcomed by such prominent commentators as the Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevi who described
it as “beautiful, nuanced and morally sensitive.” It’s also been supported by David Gordis, the prominent Israeli historian and commentator who served as a consultant on the production. The documentary comes at a time of considerable uncertainty in both the Palestinian and Israel Arab communities. Mahmoud Abbas, who has been the autocratic leader of the Palestinians since 2006, recently abruptly canceled elections that were widely seen as a step toward a more democratic future for the West Bank.
Above, using outdoor advertising in Arabic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an extraordinary appeal to Arab voters in this year’s election. Left, the documentary promotes the idea that the key to peace lies in those Palestinians willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
In Israel, Arab political participation in the country’s recent election dropped significantly. The Arab Joint List, which had been the third-largest political bloc in the Knesset, lost three seats in this year’s election amid considerable apathy among Arab voters. Despite a strong campaign for their votes, including an unprecedented political appeal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there were at least 250,000 fewer Israeli Arabs who voted this time. ì
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 39
APRIL 27 – MAY 11 FRIDAY, MAY 14
ly/33aHQmd to register. Nextgen Jewish Innovation Leaders – 7:30 p.m. Israel Bonds Southeast New Leadership Council presents an intimate virtual discussion with NextGen Jewish innovation leaders. Hear their winning strategies, future vision and connection to Israel. Visit https://bit. ly/2QmfdQ4 for the Zoom Link.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 Rabbi’s 5K/1K Virtual Road Race: Live, Run & Prosper – All day until May 15. Log your run using the Just Move app and compete with other runners in a fun virtual experience that will feel like you are running real-time on race day. Since you can run anywhere, Temple Kol Emeth friends, family and alumni who no longer live locally can join in on the fun. Visit https://bit. ly/31VmQzp to register. Etz Chaim Rosh Chodesh Minyan – 7 a.m. Everyone is welcome at this women-led morning minyan service held in support of Women of the Wall, which is fighting for equal prayer rights for women in Israel. Receive the Zoom link at https://bit.ly/3bdOcGR. Running Around Jerusalem – 3 to 4 p.m. Running Around Jerusalem will take you on virtual guided tours through the iconic city of Jerusalem. Join creators Michael and Daniel live from Israel for this specially modified class for AgeWell Atlanta participants, where they will present and discuss some of their favorite clips, answer your questions about the beautiful Jerusalem scenery, and give you a peek behind the camera by revealing previously unpublicized backstories. This program will revolve around the theme of Jerusalem: Old vs. New. Visit https://bit.
Roses & Rose – 7 to 8 p.m. A women’s preShavuot flower workshop from Chabad of North Fulton with Joan of Flower Design By Joan Rubenstein. Indulge your palette with an assortment of delicious individual dairy treats, with some vegan and non-dairy options. Register at https://bit.ly/3tk1dUw.
hosting the playgroup for parents that welcomed babies during the pandemic to connect families who are going through the same experience. Register at https://bit.ly/3dPSeEP. Shavuot Sapphires: Crafting Judaica Jewels Microgrant Recipient – 4:30 to 6 p.m. Join Limmud Atlanta Jewish Educational Program Microgrant recipient Donna Bogatin as she leads you on an interactive exploration of Shavuot through jewelry making and discussion. Visit https://bit.ly/3dIByA8 to register. Creating an Environment of Change – 7 to 8:30 p.m. Join JF&CS Career Services for Creating an Environment of Change, an evening focused on evaluating your professional surroundings and positioning yourself for success. Register at https://bit.ly/3tHAfqN.
THURSDAY, MAY 13 Preserving Holocaust History: Collecting Artifacts and Eyewitness Testimony – 12 p.m. Join for an online program featuring representatives from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Institute for Holocaust Documentation who collect, preserve, and make accessible to the public the museum’s vast collection of record on the Holocaust. Visit https://bit.ly/3niQbxA to register.
YJP Women’s Flower Arranging Workshop – 7 to 9 p.m. We are excited to kick off YJP’s New Moon Women’s Circle with a flower arranging workshop — right in time for the holiday of Shavuot. Many have the custom to decorate their home with greenery and flowers in honor of this special holiday. Connect with other YJP Women over refreshments and wine while creating a beautiful masterpiece that you can bring home! Register at https://bit. ly/3tyDPmx
Pandemic Baby Play Group - 4 to 5 p.m. Parenting can be a challenge, especially when your baby was born during a global pandemic. PJ Library is
Virtual Shabbat Sing – 10 to 10:15 a.m. Shabbat songs, blessings and birthday celebration for young children and families with Rabbi Brian Glusman of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Visit https://bit.ly/39YBMB4 for Zoom Link. The Jews of Color Mishpacha Project and JoC Shabbaton – 1 p.m. The JOC Mishpacha Project and the 2021 National JOC Shabbaton: The National Jewish People of Color Shabbaton is its central event, carving space for Jews of Color, its families and allies together for spiritual and communal growth. A series of workshops are offered in advance of the Shabbaton as well to serve as resilience-fostering programming for JOCs. Register at https://bit. ly/3nbECbb.
SATURDAY, MAY 15 Story Time with Rabbi Jordan – 9:15 a.m. Join Rabbi Jordan Ottenstein from Congregation Dor Tamid for story time. Visit https://bit.ly/2PrDbsn to get the link to view at home. Tikkun Leil Shavuot – 6 p.m. to midnight. Join the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, with support from The Marcus Foundation, to commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The Jewish holiday of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, which is the symbol of our understanding of God’s will. As a sign of our eagerness to learn the word of God, there is a custom to study the night before the Torah was given. For more information, visit https://bit. ly/3vHnFs8.
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. 40 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Paula Shoyer, The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook – 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Let’s cook with “The Kosher Baker” herself, Paula Shoyer and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Shoyer will make a few delicious dishes just in time for Shavuot! Visit https://bit. ly/3gAWUkX to purchase a ticket.
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.
Tot Shabbat and more - 12 to 1 p.m. Kindergarteners and younger, join us outdoors in the Congregation Beth Shalom Alefbet Playground for Tot Shabbat. First grade and older, join us in our outdoor classroom for services. Visit https://bit.ly/3edyXxv for more information.
CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Bamidbar Friday, May 14, 2021, light candles at 8:14 p.m. Saturday, May 15, 2021, Shabbat ends at 9:14 p.m. Naso Friday, May 21, 2021, light candles at 8:19 p.m. Saturday, May 22, 2021, Shabbat ends at 9:20 p.m.
SUNDAY, MAY 16 The Tasting Card – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Jewish Family & Career Services Tasting has been a can’t-miss Atlanta tradition. Due to the ongoing pandemic, an in-person event will not be held this year. Instead, JF&CS is introducing The Tasting Card, which provides 20 percent off at dozens of caterers, restaurants and specialty food providers around the metro Atlanta area. The Tasting Card will be accessible via a smartphone app, which will reference nearby participating restaurants. Visit https://bit.ly/3sQBmDD for more information.
to examine classical and modern midrash (interpretations) related to the weekly Torah reading and draw lessons from Jewish wisdom about how to live and be our best selves today. All are welcome; no previous experience necessary. Visit https://bit.ly/35zg6tc to get Zoom Link.
alone. This online workshop presented by 18Doors offers a safe environment to work on creating your religious/cultural lives together. It is intended for seriously dating, engaged and newly married Jewish/interfaith couples who live in the Atlanta area. For more information visit https://bit.ly/33kkjPE.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19
Intown Shavuot Party! – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Join the Chabad Intown community for an outdoors Ice-Cream Party celebrating Shavuot and the giving of the Torah (over 3,300 year ago)! Gather at Chabad Intown on the BeltLine (outdoors) to hear the 10 Commandments followed by ice cream, snacks and a light dinner for the kids! The event is free. RSVP at https://bit.ly/3xckOZW.
Songs & Stories: Jewish Jazz – 4 to 5 p.m. Let singer and storyteller Gilda Solve transport you back in time with a special program featuring some of the most brilliant Jewish jazz composers ever! Learn stories that give insights into these beloved songs as Solve delves into favorites from Benny Goodman to Irving Berlin, Artie Shaw to Jerome Kern. Register at the MJCCA https:// bit.ly/3xhNYa5.
fects on innovation, entrepreneurship and consumer pricing. Visit https:// bit.ly/3sFwSzy to purchase tickets.
THURSDAY, MAY 20 The Power of Women’s Voices – 1 to 2 p.m. The official book launch of the Agents of Change Training anthology “2020 Hindsight: A pivotal moment in history, through the eyes of Atlanta’s Jewish women and girls.” Visit Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta for Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3sMDPyx. Hadassah Ketura Becoming the Jew I Am Today - 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. Hadassah Ketura - The Journey to Becoming the Jew I am Today! Featured panelists are Esther Low, from Lima, Peru, where she was a member of 1870 Synagogue and current member of Congregation Etz Chaim; Kalyn Davis, Jewish by choice and active member at Temple Sinai; Erin Mermelstein, native Atlantan, family law attorney and active member of Congregation Ariel and Jewish Woman’s Renaissance Project. The panel moderator will be Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B’nai Torah. To register, go to: https://bit.ly/3sEOsDx.
FRIDAY, MAY 21 Virtual Shabbat Sing – 10 to 10:15 a.m. Shabbat songs, blessings and birthday celebration for young children and families with Rabbi Brian Glusman of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Watch on Facebook. Get link by visiting https://bit.ly/39YBMB4.
SUNDAY, MAY 23
Raise Your Voice: A Kaleidoscope of Music and Arts – 1 to 2 p.m. An outdoor family-friendly, socially distanced communitywide concert and art festival at Temple Kol Emeth. There will be music, artist demonstrations, food trucks, The Butterfly Project and a virtual auction. Visit https://bit. ly/3ndsK8w for more information.
MONDAY, MAY 17 Lunch & Learn: Reading Torah with Rabbi Gottfried – 12 to 1 p.m. Join Your Jewish Bridge and Rabbi Pamela Gottfried from Congregation Bet Haverim
Ice Cream Social – 6 to 9:30 p.m. Over 3,300 years ago The Torah was given; it’s Shavuot, a time to celebrate the giving of the Torah and the timeless messages and wisdom it imparts. Come to Chabad Intown for and outdoor reading of The Ten Commandments and stay for an ice cream social and light dinner. Celebrate with other Young Jewish Professionals right on the BeltLine! RSVP at https://bit.ly/3vbRJMy. Couples & Conversation – Online – 8 to 9 p.m. Being part of an interfaith/Jewish/multi-faith/however-you-defineyourself couple can be challenging, but you don’t need to find the answers
Book discussion: A Bend in the Stars – 7:30 to 9 p.m. The Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood’s book group selection for May is “A Bend in the Stars,” by Rachel Barenbaum. This historical novel is set in 1914 in Russia at the onset of World War I, and features a strong heroine who must save her brother and her fiancé. CBS book group is open to members of the community. For a link to the Zoom meeting, visit https:// bit.ly/3xk1M46. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age – 8 to 9 p.m. Join the MJCCA Book Festival and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. From Standard Oil and the breakup of Ma Bell to today’s tech giants and Big Pharma, a searing look at monopolies in the U.S. and their ef-
Re-Discovering the Land of Israel with Atlanta Israel Coalition 10 a.m. -- The Atlanta Israel Coalition, in partnership with the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeastern U.S., the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and Herut. This week’s tour is The Artist Colony of Tzfat. Visit https://bit.ly/30g0eIP to register. The Artist Colony of Tzfat – 10 to 11 a.m. The Atlanta Israel Coalition, in partnership with the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeastern U.S., the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Herut, and the Evans Family Foundation, presents Re-Discovering the Land of Israel, a series of five virtual tours of Israel with tour guide David Sussman. The Artist Colony of Tzfat: Let’s walk the winding alleyways of this mystical city together as we tour the city of Kabbalah. We will visit important ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 41
synagogues, meet local artists, learn about Jewish mysticism from a leading rabbi, and delve into its history, both ancient and modern. Visit https://bit. ly/2RwrS3c to learn more.
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. For more information, https://bit. ly/3nGFJQC.
Community Services: Jewish Summer Cinema – 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and treat yourself to a memorable experience with sunsets, a huge outdoor screen, gorgeous city views, great food, and fun Jewish films on Intown Jewish Academy’s huge outdoor screen! Visit https://bit.ly/3gSCTqr to sign up.
MONDAY, MAY 24 Andrew McCarthy, Brat: An ’80s Story – 8 to 9 p.m. In his memoir “Brat: An ‘80s Story,” Andrew McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, "Brat" is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success. Visit MJCCA Book Festival In Your Living Room at https://bit. ly/3dKIGvZ to purchase tickets.
TUESDAY, MAY 25 Virtual Interview Workshop – 10 to 11 a.m. Join Jewish Family & Career Services for a free virtual Interviewing Workshop. Learn how to better prepare for an interview, understand the different types of interviews and what to do before, during and after the interview. Visit https://bit.ly/3tJc8YZ to register.
42 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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. 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.
appointment, email us at therapy@ jfcsatl.org or call 770-677-9474. 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. 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.
Synagogue Livestreaming Services:
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
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
The Temple Livestreaming Services – Find live streaming services here, www.the-temple.org. Please send Synagogue and Temple Streaming Services to diana@ atljewishtimes.com. Check the Atlanta Jewish Connector for updates: www.atlantajewishconnector.com. ì
CONNECTOR CHATTER Directory Spotlight www.atlantajewishconnector.com
Hebrew Order of David International (HOD)
In conversation with Andrea Fineman, director of communications How long has your organization been in Atlanta? In February 1968, 30 people attended a meeting to discuss the formation of a new Reform Jewish congregation in Atlanta. The following month, 145 families signed on as charter members and Temple Sinai was founded in Sandy Springs. Our congregation has steadily grown throughout the years and we proudly serve more than 1,600 families today. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? Temple Sinai provides many opportunities for people of every age and stage to engage in our community. Our youngest members are thriving in Temple Sinai Preschool, a creative Jewish environment with a focus on academics through play from infants to Pre-K. From Noar Sunday to our new Sinai Space video series, elementary aged students and families are engaged in Jewish learning across many platforms. Teens have connected through our HUB program to learn and socialize both in person and virtually during this year. Our ATID special interest group is very active with many social programs as well as social action and learning opportunities for young adults under 40. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? Temple Sinai continues to innovate each year. We strive to take our key priorities to the next level, creating a culture of belonging, building community beyond the walls of Temple Sinai, pursuing justice with a commitment to tikkun olam [repairing the world] and inspiring the value of engagement. We look forward to growing to meet and exceed the needs of our community. How does your organization help the community? Tzedek (social action) is one of Temple Sinai’s core values. Reflecting the Jewish tenet of tikkun olam, we are committed to encouraging congregational and individual participation in a wide range of local and global initiatives to better our world and assist people in need. This year we have focused on economic justice, civic engagement, racial equity and justice, and immigration and refugee reform. Our many volunteer efforts include partnering with Family Promise to host the homeless, collecting food for the Community Assistance Center and Solidarity Sandy Springs, volunteering to bring food to immigrant communities, encouraging all Temple Sinai members to vote, volunteering with the United Service Organization to support our military and much, much more.
In conversation with Jody Pollack, past president of HOD, a Jewish men’s fraternal organization and executive director of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival it sponsors. How long has your organization been in Atlanta? The Hebrew Order of David has had members living in Atlanta for well over 30 years but established our first lodge, Carmel, in 1999. HOD took over the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival from the B’nai Torah Brotherhood in 2015 and has been running it ever since. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? We are constantly working with the younger community to expose them to the idea of joining an organization that focuses on community service and maintaining Jewish ideals. HOD’s lodges are similar to the fraternal organizations they were exposed to in college in terms of being responsible for our “brethren” as well as the overall Jewish community and helping where we can. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? We are a growing organization. In 1999 there was one lodge in the U.S. There are now four in Atlanta, two in Houston, Texas, and lodges in Toronto, Boca Raton, Dallas and San Diego. We hope to open more lodges in the U.S. in the near future. How does your organization help the community? We help the community in some visible ways and quite a few behind-the-scenes methods. Our most visible event is, of course, the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival. We also recently purchased a van for JF&CS in honor of the late Alan Rubenstein, Grand Lodge president and one of the founders of HOD USA. In addition, we help serve at the Zaban Paradies Center shelter and donate to various Jewish and non-Jewish charities such as I-Care Atlanta, a local food bank.
Birthright Israel Foundation In conversation with Kate Smith, regional director for Atlanta. How long has your organization been in Atlanta? 10-plus years
young adults lives throughout Atlanta. Twenty-one years of Birthright Israel is only the beginning and soon we hope to take children of alumni!
How do you cater to the younger members of the community? Our alumni are active members on our Ambassador Council and Leadership Cabinet. They are serving on local nonprofit boards, kickstarting small businesses and speaking at live and local events. They are the reason we do what we do and their involvement in the community is because of the impact they’ve had on their Birthright Israel trip. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? The sky is the limit! I see us taking as many young adults to Israel as we can and continuing to impact thousands of
How does your organization help the community? When young adults return from their trip, they are inspired to continue their journey of Jewish self-discovery and learn more about Israel. They therefore turn to local Atlanta organizations and take on volunteer and leadership roles. We are connecting young adults to Israel. By doing so, we are helping them to forge strong relationships with their peers, build their Jewish identity, and foster community when they are in Israel and return.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 43
SHAVUOT Shavuot Festival of Weddings, Flowers, Sweet Treats By Flora Rosefsky From comparing Shavuot to a Jewish wedding to organizing Torah study sessions from midnight till dawn. And from planning dairy menus to reading about the first convert to Judaism, Shavuot is a multifaceted holiday with much depth and opportunity for creativity. The AJT elicited insights on the holiday from three rabbis spread among Atlanta’s geographic and denominational spectrum. One of the core rituals of Shavuot is to continue learning Torah and other Jewish texts. For that reason, Shavuot secures its place as one of the most important Torah pilgrimage festivals celebrated on the Jewish calendar. Rabbi Larry Sernovitz of Temple Kol Emeth said we are to remember that “we too received the Torah at Sinai and every year we renew that covenant between G-d and the Jewish people.” Sernovitz compared dairy foods to Torah, being as “sweet as honey on the tongue.” Think cheesecake and blintzes. The Jewish people are unique in the world in how the revelation or receiving the Torah came to them as one large community, not only as individuals, said Rabbi Joshua Hearshen of Congregation Or VeShalom. The AJT also learned from Rabbi Binyomin Friedman of Congregation Ariel that although there is no biblical instruction to celebrate the anniversary of the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai, a number of customs arose that gave Shavuot the identity recognized today. Just as the barren Mount Sinai burst forth with vegetation as the Torah was given, it is customary to decorate synagogues with flowers. One traditional interpretation is that “it took a while for the Jews to integrate the newly introduced laws of kosher,” Friedman said. “Therefore, they didn’t eat meat in the days following the giving of the Torah. We commemorate that decision by eating dairy dishes,” he said. He believes the most outstanding custom is to spend the entire night engrossed in Torah study in anticipation of the anniversary of receiving the Torah on the morning of Shavuot, including the Sephardic tradition of reading a ketubah, Jewish wedding contract, during the holiday’s synagogue service.
Marriage Contract Hearshen explained how the Sephardic community, having so many con44 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Rabbi Larry Sernovitz is the senior rabbi at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta.
Rabbi Joshua Hearshen leads Congregation Or VeShalom in Brookhaven.
nections to the mystic world, took one of the many paradigms for the relationship between the Jewish people and G-d, wife and husband respectively, and expressed a marriage motif during Shavuot. Symbolically, the Torah was the wedding gift from G-d to the Jewish people and also the terms of the marriage, the ketubah. It is Sephardic tradition to create special ketubot to be read on Shavuot. The most famous ketubah is by Israel Najara of Tzfat (1550 – 1625). “While that text tries to mirror the ketubot from our marriages, it waxes poetic a great deal more and provides more mysticism than our mundane marriage contracts,” Hearshen said. It is dated the sixth of Sivan 2448, which is the date of Shavuot. At OVS, the ketubah text is read on Shavuot when
Rabbi Binyomin Friedman is senior rabbi of Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody.
Rabbi Sernovitz studying Torah with his son Sam, preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah.
the ark is opened, while preparing to take out the Torah scrolls, he said. In modern times, weddings are generally avoided between Passover, when the counting of the Omer begins and Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day, Hearshen said. The Omer is the period between Passover and Shavuot. “This leaves us with just over two weeks of acceptable days for weddings. Those days are close to Shavuot and so we tend to see, in a nonCOVID world, a large amount of weddings from Lag B’Omer until the day before Shavuot,” he said.
A Name or Two Friedman said that the day G-d presented the Israelites with Torah at Mount Sinai, after they left Egypt, Shavuot Torah Study with TKE congregants. coincides exactly with the Prior to COVID, Torah study often took place festival of Shavuot. Besides its in the homes of Kol Emeth members. historical connection to the Exodus, the holiday is clearly crop to ripen, and bring it to the temple, linked to the agricultural rhythms of Isacknowledging G-d for His beneficence rael, where crops are planted in the early in granting us this new crop. Only after winter and are ready for harvest in the bringing this Omer of barley may we eat spring around Passover time, he said. of the new crop,” Friedman said. Shavuot came to be called the FesThe Torah continues to tell the Jewtival of Weeks in its connection to the ish people to count 49 days. On the 50th, counting of the Omer. The Torah states they are to bring to the temple two loaves that on the second day of Passover, “we of bread that they have baked from the are to go out into the field and harvest now-harvested wheat crop. The day is to omers (omer is a measure) worth of barbe celebrated as the Festival of Shavuot ley, usually being the first winter planted or Weeks because it comes at the end
Rabbi Larry Sernovitz holds one of Kol Emeth’s Torah scrolls.
“Shavuot,” by Flora Rosefsky, is a paper cutout collage from her Ritual Series.
of the seven weeks of counting. In addition, Shavuot has two other names and identities: Chag Habikurim, Festival of First Fruits, recognizing the biblical commandments of the first fruit offering of barley. And Zman Matan Torateinu, the Time of the Giving of our Torah, which has become the primary focus of Shavuot because of living without a Temple in Jerusalem, Friedman said.
First Convert to Judaism Besides reading from Torah, Sernovitz said another Shavuot custom is to read the Ten Commandments but also from the Book of Ruth, where first fruits, such as the springtime harvesting of barley and wheat, are mentioned.
“Another rationale for Ruth being read is its connection to Torah and faith,” he said. After Ruth’s husband dies, she becomes very close to her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth tells Naomi, “Your people shall be my people, and your G-d my G-d.” (Ruth 1:16). By accepting Judaism, Torah and G-d into her life, Ruth becomes the first convert to Judaism. Sernovitz noted that Ruth and her new husband Boaz become the great-grandparents to King David. As tradition teaches, the Messiah is believed to descend from the line of David. “Greatness can not only come from those born into the Jewish people, but also for those who choose Judaism,” Sernovitz said. “This is why it is so important to embrace those who choose Judaism as well as those who marry a Jewish partner and then reside among the Jewish people.” He also shared how the Jewish mystics, the Kabbalists, would teach that a special time occurs in the middle of the night on Shavuot. “We study until the early morning as a tikkun, an apology, for the Israelites sleeping late on the morning of the revelation at Mt. Sinai.” According to the Kabbalistic story, the skies will open up for a brief moment where G-d favorably answers any prayer, Sernovitz said. “Whether or not this is true, even in moments of darkness, Judaism provides the light and just enough strength to rise above whatever comes our way. Stay up a little later; look up into the sky, and cast up your hopes, dreams and prayers. Maybe, just maybe, your prayers will be answered.”
Burning the Midnight Oil Congregation Ariel will have study groups and classes, especially in the days before Shavuot. Ariel is hosting 24 hours of online Torah May 12-13 from noon until midnight in a communitywide, nonstop virtual learning experience called Torah Atlanta. On Shavuot May 17, starting at 12:30 a.m., there will be studying in groups until dawn. No knowledge of Hebrew is necessary. At dawn, a holiday service and reading of the Ten Commandments will conclude the event. The Atlanta Rabbinic Association also is holding a communitywide Evening of Learning, also known as Tikkun
Leil Shavuot, May 16. To learn what Jewish Atlanta has planned for Shavuot, visit the Atlanta Jewish Connector, www.atlantajewishconnector.com. And be sure to have a slice of cheesecake or some cheese and fruit handy if you get hungry attending an all-night study session! Here’s a recipe to try for such a purpose.
speed – combine cheese, sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, eggs and salt. Try not to whisk any air into the custard. Pour into chilled crust. Place cheesecake into oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the center of cake is just a bit jiggly. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on
Israeli Cheesecake To make an authentic Israeli cheesecake, I chose the soft and creamy givina levana (white cheese)recipe of Israeli American celebrity chef Jamie Geller. With consistency like a thick yogurt, it mixed easily with the other ingredients. Crust 2 cups graham cracker crumbs or cookie crumbs ½ cup melted butter 5 tablespoons sugar
Custard 1½ pounds givina levana 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream ½ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 whole eggs Pinch of kosher or sea salt Zest of one lemon
Photo by Flora Rosefsky //
An Israeli style cheesecake uses givina levana, a special white cheese imported from Israel.
Preheat oven to 350F. Preparing the crust: Mix crumbs, butter and sugar together. Reserve half the mixture for topping cheesecake. Press remaining crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan. Chill the crust while making the filling. Preparing the custard: Either by hand or in a mixer at low
top of cake and bake for additional 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack open the door. Allow cheesecake to cool in hot oven for 30 minutes. Put in refrigerator for several hours or overnight before serving. I added fresh raspberries around the cake’s top. ì Source: Jamie Geller, jamiegeller.com.
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Hebron Rabbi Spoke on Shavuot in 1773 Newport Here is a piece I first wrote 40 years ago (unbelievable). The story once known, now forgotten. The date was May 28, 1773, the first day of Shavuot 5533. The place: the Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I. The rabbi who delivered the sermon was a visitor from Hebron, Palestine. The synagogue was filled for the holiday, not only with the members of Congregation Yeshuat Israel (initially called Nefutse Yisrael), but also the governor, a number of judges and the well-known minister Reverend Ezra Stiles. He recorded in his diary that [Rabbi Haim Isaac] Carigal looked quite imposing. “He was dressed in his furr(sic) cap, scarlet robe, green silk damask vest, and a chintz undervest – girt with a sash or Turkish girdle, besides the alb (talit) with tzizith.” Carigal’s sermon, timed by Stiles' watch, was 47 minutes long, and it was given in Spanish, most probably Ladino with Hebrew interspersed. “His oratory, elocution and gestures were fine and oriental,” Stiles wrote. “It was very animated.” Such a sermon would normally have gone the way of many sermons – spoken never recorded. But the Jews of Newport were so fascinated by it they wanted to see it translated and printed in English. One member of the congregation, Abraham Lopez, prepared the translation and later in 1773 it was printed by the Newport Mercury and sold throughout the city, thus becoming the first sermon to be preached and published in the U.S. Carigal was born in Hebron in 1729 and was ordained in 1749. In 1754, already a married man, he initiated his career as a “messenger of God” from the holy land. He began his first 11-year venture by traveling throughout the Middle East and the Caribbean islands. At each stop, he collected money for the schools of Hebron and for the city’s poor. Arriving in Curacao in 1762, he was asked to remain and to serve as rabbi for the community. In that capacity, he instituted a program of religious education and even established a “talmudic academy.” Carigal also checked the imported kosher meat, invoiced as “smoke sassangers” and “peackle Jewish beeff” when it arrived
Rabbi David Geffen
46 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
The Touro Synagogue, built in 1963, is America’s oldest synagogue.
from New York. He arrived in the New England seaport of Newport just before Purim in 1773. One of the first to hear of Carigal’s arrival was Rev. Stiles, a Christian Hebraist of note. As a student of the holy tongue, Stiles was always anxious to meet rabbinic visitors to the city and improve his knowledge of the Hebrew language. A few years later when Stiles became president of Yale College, he also taught Hebrew at the school. He insisted that his students learn the Psalms in Hebrew. He reminded them “when you arrive in heaven, you will hear the Psalms in the original language. As your teacher, I would be most embarrassed if you could not understand what the angels were singing.” When in March 1773, Stiles heard that “a Hebrew rabbi from the holy land” had arrived, the minister made sure to be in the synagogue for Purim services so he could meet the guest. In his definitive work on the Touro Synagogue, professor Melvin Urofsky quoted Stiles’ description of Carigal at the Purim service. “There I saw Rabbi Carigal I judge aet. about 45, lately from the city of Hebron, the Cave of Macpelah in the Holy Land. He was one of the two persons that stood by the Chasan(Chazan) at the Taubau or Reading Desk while the Book of Esther was read. He was dressed in a red garment with the usual Phylacteries and habiliments, the white silk Surplice; he wore a high brown furr Cap, had a long Beard.” Stiles noted in this fashion: “He has the appearance of an ingenious & sensible man.” The rabbi struck his Christian observer as an “ingenious and sensible man, learned and truly modest far more so than I ever saw a Jew.” The two became fast friends and met on many occasions for a variety of discussions. The 19th cen-
Rabbi Haim Isaac Carigal of Hebron and Yale University President Ezra Stiles.
tury Christian historian Hannah Adams, in her book “The History of the Jews,” indicated that Stiles met with Carigal “for the purpose of acquiring pronunciation of Hebrew, of ascertaining the meaning of ambiguous in the original of the Old Testament, of conversing on past events relating to this extraordinary, as recorded in sacred history, and of tracing its future destiny by the light of prophecy.” Carigal was in Adam’s words, Stiles’ "Chocham Rabbi.” For the holiday of Shavuot, it was decided by Aaron Lopez, leader of the town’s Jews, that Carigal should give the sermon. Christian notables, including the Gov. Joseph Wanton, judges [Peter] Oliver and [Robert] Auchmuty, and Stiles were invited so that they could see Newport Jewry putting its best foot forward. Rabbi Carigal’s Shavuot sermon dealt with themes such as sin, study and the restoration of the holy land. Since it was Shavuot, the time of the giving of the Torah, there was a marked emphasis in the sermon on the need for study at home and in the synagogue. He strongly emphasized that the observance of the law was destined to restore the Jewish people to its homeland: “Let us have a firm belief in the innumerable prophecies that predict our restoration.” God would bring about the return, he stressed, when His people obeyed His moral law in their commercial dealings, in study and in loving their neighbors as themselves. Carigal concluded with the belief that in time, all the world will accept the ethical monotheism of Judaism and the “one voice:” In that day the Messiah might appear “daily, probably within the next forty years at least.” According to Urofsky, “Carigal used no notes, but spoke extemporaneously. As he later told Stiles, he worked it out in his head and ‘sealed’ it there. At the urging of
Stiles and others, Carigal wrote it out in Spanish and then it was translated into English.” After five months in Newport, Carigal sailed to Surinam and then to the isle of Barbados, where he became the congregational rabbi in 1774. During the next three years, he corresponded with Stiles in Hebrew. One particular letter sent by Stiles in 1775 contained a moving description of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and concluded with the famous dictum, “The day is with the Lord.” After settling into his post, Carigal felt that he was financially secure enough to bring his wife and children from Hebron to Barbados. Sadly, he had not seen them for over nine years. But before he could realize this goal, he contracted a disease and died in 1777. He was buried in the cemetery of Bridgetown, Barbados. Stiles, who had become the president of Yale College, wrote Lopez of Newport in 1781 that “the affectionate respect I bear to the memory of Rabbi Carigal has made me wish that his picture might be deposited in the library of this college.” Lopez agreed. More than 250 years have passed, but Rabbi Carigal of Hebron's impact on colonial America and on Jewish history remains. His sermon can be read, since it was reprinted in 1976 to mark the bicentennial of the United States of America. You can visit the Touro synagogue in Newport, preserved in a most pristine fashion. Carigal’s presence in Newport and his sermon provided an important spiritual link for this tiny American Jewish community. ì David Geffen is a former Atlantan and Conservative rabbi living in Jerusalem.
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Tickets On Sale Now In this stirring cross-cultural musical, a young immigrant couple finds romance on the streets of 1919 Winnipeg, as they battle for a better life amidst violent social upheaval. Ukrainian laborer Stefan is instantly smitten with Rebecca, a Jewish suffragette, who sparks his interest in political reform. As their religious differences raise the ire of their families, the would-be Romeo and Juliet lovers confront ugly racial and anti-immigrant prejudice, while a dramatic workers’ strike threatens to bring the city to a standstill.
Enjoy a pre-recorded Q&A panel with the filmmakers of Stand! • Actor Marshall Williams (Glee) • Actress Laura Slade Wiggins (Shameless) • Juno-award-winning Writer/ Composer Danny Schur
This inclusive tale features inspiring tunes under the direction of Robert Adetuyi (Stomp the Yard, Bring It On), anchored by standout performances from Glee alum Marshall Williams and Atlanta actress Laura Slade Wiggins of Shameless.
Get Your Tickets and More Info at AJFF.org/Selects ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 47
COMMUNITY JCPA Shined Spotlight on Atlanta By Jan Jaben-Eilon Atlantans could be excused if they thought the late April national conference of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs was just a local event. After all, a predominance of Atlanta civil rights leaders, faith leaders and activists were highlighted and served on panels at the annual – although virtual – conference. But they would be wrong. JCPA is a network of more than 125 community relations councils and federations and 16 national organizations which represent, among others, four denominations of American Judaism. However, since the conference focused on racial justice, relations between Jews and Blacks, and criminal justice reform, it was obvious that Atlanta – long the epicenter of the civil rights movement – would be overrepresented. So, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young; founder of the Black Jewish Coalition of Atlanta Sherry Frank; The Temple’s Rabbi Lydia Medwin and Ebenezer Baptist Church Rev. John Vaughn also spoke. Not incidentally, Georgia’s first Black
Former Mayor Andrew Young and Sherry Frank spoke about the long-term relationships between the Black and Jewish communities in Atlanta.
senator Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist, was also interviewed in a segment of the conference. Lois Frank, a former JCPA board chair and the current cochair of the JCPA task force on strengthening relationships with Black communities, introduced the senator. “Atlanta is a model in so many ways,” Frank told the AJT.
In 1982, members of Atlanta’s Black and Jewish communities joined together to campaign for the renewal of the Voting Rights Act. The relationship between the two communities was periodically rocky over the decades, most recently when the initial mission statement of the Black Lives Matter movement criticized Israel over its treatment
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“We only need to look at the attacks on voting rights and civil disobedience to understand the need for the [Black and Jewish] communities to work together,” Sherry Frank said.
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48 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
of Palestinians. Frank said that reference was later eliminated. Referring to the Black and Jewish communities, she added, “We’ve never lost our connections.” Repeatedly mentioned throughout the two-day conference was the late Congressman John Lewis, who made voting rights a lifelong effort. As states around the country – including Georgia – pass new laws that many say restrict the right to vote, Warnock stressed the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the full voting protections of the original, biparti-
san Voting Rights Act of 1965. The bill was last reauthorized by Congress in 2006 but constrained by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. Just as important as that bill, Warnock underscored the need for Congress to pass For the People Act, known as H.R. 1, which was written to expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limit partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal office holders. There is “no more important moral work than to defend the right to vote,” Warnock told JCPA conference participants. In the film, “Shared Legacies,” which premiered at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival last year, Frank called Atlanta, “the cradle of the civil rights movement." In the discussion following a screening of the film at the conference, Frank pointed out that “we only need to look at the [current] attacks on voting rights and civil disobedience to understand the need for the [Black and Jewish] communities to work together.” Shari Rogers, a conference panelist who directed the film, said, “We have achieved a lot, but we have a long way to go.” During the conference, JCPA released a Jewish “call to action” to end “mass incarceration and criminalization.” The paper concluded by saying, “As a Jewish community, we must act in accordance with our history, teachings and traditions to transform our criminal justice systems.” Medwin, director of congregational engagement and outreach at The Temple, and Vaughn, executive pastor of Ebenezer Baptist, spoke about the Multifaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration, which was created to leverage the power of faith leaders and communities to “demand and act for an end to mass incarceration on the local and national level.” The priorities of EMI are threefold: to shift the narrative to include the faith values of forgiveness and redemption; to increase the engagement of the faith communities; and to continue to engage the faith communities in policy changes. Medwin charged that the U.S. is addicted to incarceration. “Lives literally depend on the work we do,” she said. Atlanta is one of six U.S. regions EMI is focused on. The others are the New York City metropolitan area; Little Rock, Ark.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Dallas, Texas; and the Los Angeles area. According to Frank, JCPA was focused on criminal justice reform even before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. “This is a new civil rights” effort, she said. ì
Going Fishing in Decatur
By Chana Shapiro
on shelves, tables, cubbies and walls. They don’t swim, but are all full of life. At a Piedmont Park Arts Festival in the 1980s, Ayal was intrigued by Nashville artist Mary Klein’s impressionist fish paintings, and she bought one. Ayal says, “When I saw her fish paintings, I was immediately a fan; then I decided to become a collector.” Ayal purchased several more pieces of Klein’s fish art, and her living room is now a mini-Mary Klein gallery, dominated by a show-stopping trout-like image, regally displayed over the fireplace. The large-scaled (literally and figuratively) artwork includes a Klein hallmark, a polychrome, hand-crafted wooden frame, an integral part of most of her fish paintings. Ayal’s first Klein purchase was modestly sized and modestly priced; over time, as Ayal became a serious collector, the paintings increased in size, along with the cost. Another stunning piece of fish art is
Retired Atlanta potter Judi Ayal loves nature. A visit to her crafts-filled home is often followed by a leisurely stroll along a nearby marsh habitat. During the walk,
Mary Klein’s fish painting has an integrated polychrome frame.
a massive hand-painted ceramic bowl by Jerry Chappelle, a friend of Ayal’s. The decorative bowl has pride of place on a table in the center of the living room. Ayal tells the AJT, “Jerry and his wife Kathy are prominent Southern potters at Happy Valley Pottery in Watkinsville, Ga. They live on a combination farm and artist commune.” The Chappelles own a gallery and run popular glassblowing and pottery studios, and frequent visitors, like Judi and her family, often become close friends. In addition to the sentimental value of the hand-painted bowl, Ayal is aware that a large-sized Chappelle ceramic, with custom glazed fish artwork, is a valuable piece of art pottery. Displayed prominent-
Jerry Chappelle’s large bowl is an example of collectable ceramic art.
This stapler is a favorite gift from Ayal’s sister.
Judi Ayal holds a sun-bleached fish carcass.
Ayal shares her pleasure in the surrounding foliage and wildlife, so it’s no wonder that her condo is filled with huge plants and lots of animals. Dwelling among the indoor greenery are a herd of elephants, a crocodile, countless hens and roosters, birds, and fantastical Maurice Sendak monsters. The flora are alive; the fauna are not. Talking about the most numerous species of her menagerie, the fish, Ayal describes pieces in her collection and the people who created the finned creatures
The Fish Wall features the craft of several makers.
ly, it is not off-limits, encouraging people to get close in order to appreciate the skillful handwork. Speaking of sentimental attachments, Ayal points to a treasure of slight monetary value. The quirky, utilitarian fish-shaped stapler is not handmade like Ayal’s other aquatic denizens, yet it is a favorite. “It’s from my sister Jane,” Ayal explains. “Jane knew I’d get a kick out of it.” Illinois wood carver S.D. Meadows, another of Ayal's favorite makers, is a prolific and easily recognizable folk artist. Every Meadows piece, from masks made out of machine parts to tiny carved birds, bears this message: “Created by God through the hand of S.D. Meadows.” Ayal’s collection of Meadows’ water dwellers includes a school of small spotted sardines and a large, wheeled fish toy. Some of Meadows’ brightly painted generic fish float on independent pedestals, while others swim in groups. All are exuberantly decorated and amusing. “I met Meadows and bought a few of his carved fish at a Slovin Folk [Fest] in the mid-1990s,” Ayal said. She stopped by his booth every year after that, to see what he was working on. “I have a lot of his work. The most unusual piece is a carved fish covered with all kinds of metal hardware.” Ayal is so fond of Meadows’ work, she has given lucky friends and family his playful fish as gifts. Ayal’s home showcases many artists and craftspeople whose works of paint, clay and wood are examples of great skill and ingenuity. When asked if she would consider selling or trading any of these handmade fish, Ayal answers, “I never ask or try to find out the dollar value of my collection, because I would never sell a single piece.” ì
S.D. Meadows’ fish are brightly painted and amusing. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 49
Tribute to Leon Eplan By Jodi Lox Mansbach
emerge from his office with a big grin having uncovered another docLeon and Madalyne’s front ument and ready with another stoporch at One Barksdale in Ansley ry. The piles began to take over the Park was where so much of the magroom as he brought out one project ic happened. It was on that front after another and I shook my head porch that I met some of my closest in amazement as significant pieces friends, mentors and future project of Atlanta’s history emerged. collaborators after I moved to AtIf you ever needed a variance lanta in the summer of 1996. It was for a building project in Atlanta, on that front porch where we talked you know Leon’s work. Atlanta’s about Atlanta’s Jewish community Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU), and other projects critical to the city a model of civic participation creand the region. And it was on that ated during his tenure with [former] front porch where I first learned Mayor Maynard Jackson, was his about the profession of urban planbrainchild and to me represents ning. what was so special about Leon as To say that those conversations a planner and as a person. As those and the Eplan family had an impact who knew him could attest, Leon on me is an understatement. Leon is could talk. But he also understood Photos courtesy of Jodi Mansbach// the reason I became an urban planbetter than anyone that our city is ner at the age of 40. There was no Leon Eplan, known for Atlanta’s city planning, at better for listening to people in the one more passionate about the pro- the Atlanta History Center before the pandemic. community and giving voice to evfession and about Atlanta than Leon, eryone. He created a system of civic and I never tired of learning from him. engagement that lives on today in our city and that honors So when Leon needed help sorting through his personal our city as a collection of neighborhoods, celebrates both our and professional papers, I was more than happy to help. All differences and our shared experiences. Leon understood and I remember about the summer of 2008 is piles. Leon would lived the practice of what we now call placemaking, light years
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A young Leon Eplan with Atlanta map.
before it was a buzzword. And there was so much more. Leon also understood that transportation in a city like Atlanta should be about more than cars. He was integral to the creation and planning of the MARTA system and was proud that he convinced the engineers to put the airport station in the airport and not a shuttle bus ride away and locate the Decatur station in the square and not on the outskirts. He actively promoted high-speed rail between Atlanta and Chattanooga and a streetcar on the Clifton Corridor. Leon was a proponent of the 1996 Olympics and worked to bring attention to how it should provide some benefit for lower wealth neighborhoods. Leon’s leadership in brokering an agreement that created Freedom Parkway made sure that many beloved intown neighborhoods were not destroyed. The list goes on and on and the piles grew and grew. There was a pile for his continuing work with AZA alumni and correspondence with lifelong friends throughout the Southeast. He was devoted to Boys High, now Grady High School, and the alumni association’s support to current students with financial need for college scholarships. Later in life, when Leon lived at the Renaissance [on Peachtree], he delighted in introducing me to other Boys High alums we would frequently see in the dining room, and there were still more papers and more stories. I would go on after that summer of 2008 to get my master’s in city and regional planning at Georgia Tech, to work for the City of Atlanta and for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. It is no coincidence that when I joined Federation in 2017, we landed on the name The Front Porch for our significant visioning and planning process. It’s on the front porch where we dream, talk about possibilities and also consider our history. On the front porch, like at One Barksdale, where we gather as a community and share our perspectives. Leon taught me and so many others to value being on the front porch and for that I am – and we should all be – forever grateful. Jodi Lox Mansbach was the Federation’s chief impact officer until recently becoming principal of Living Playgrounds, a design collective. ì Jodi Lox Mansbach
I Bet You Didn’t Know …
Atlanta is chock full of interesting movers and shakers, some bent on creativity, empire building, activism or just plain having fun and living the good life. Lean in to hear some of the off-the-cuff remarks about what makes our senior spotlight Dr. Nanette Wenger tick. Wenger is professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. She is a consultant to the Emory Heart & Vascular Center and founding consultant of Emory Women’s Heart Center. Wenger chaired the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute conference on Cardiovascular Health and Disease in Women. She also chaired the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Rehabilitation of Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases and co-chaired the guideline panel on cardiac rehabilitation for the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. With a longstanding interest in geriatric cardiology, Wenger is a past president of the Society of Geriatric Cardiology and was editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology for more than 15 years. She has authored or co-authored over 1,600 scientific and review articles and book chapters. Wenger was elected a member of Emory’s 175 history makers during Emory’s first 175 years and is listed in “Best Doctors in America.” Last year, she was included in The Hill’s “100 Women Who Have Helped Shape America” between Elizabeth Warren and Edith Wharton. With too many prestigious awards to list here, Wenger counts her three daughters and six grandchildren among her greatest achievements alongside a cadre of worldwide “academic daughters” she has mentored. “I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Grady’s patients and hospital.” In addition to serving as president of two Hadassah chapters, she was president of the Jewish Educational Loan Fund, and the former Atlanta Bureau of Jewish Education, carving the pathway for future female leadership. At 91, having just traded her Jaguar for a Tesla, she said, “I love driving it, while saving the environment.” Wenger loves to cook, entertain and makes an authentic chicken cacciatore. Explore things close to her heart.
Jaffe: What are you reading? Wenger: “Dangerous Melodies,” which shows political, social, cultural influences in what’s acceptable in music. There is always music in my house plus season tickets to the ASO [Atlanta Symphony Orchestra] for over a half century.
Jaffe: Most people don’t know that … Wenger: I love to knit and needlepoint. Currently working on a 3-foot-wide [Jean-BaptisteCamille] Corot landscape scene.
Jaffe: What lesson have you learned from the lockdown? Wenger: How to adapt and evolve. Spent hours teaching on Zoom and doing patient care remotely.
Jaffe: Secret to longevity… Wenger: The commitment to give back and goals to achieve keep me alert and involved.
Jaffe: How did you spend your 90th birthday in 2020? Wenger: Zoom calls across continents with my “academic daughters” and women in cardiology who presented me with a bound volume of my memorable photos is among my most treasured possessions.
Jaffe: Favorite vacay? Wenger: I’ve circled the globe four times. Galapagos [Islands] was my favorite.
Jaffe: One thing people don’t understand about heart disease … Wenger: I hope my legacy is in teaching the distinctive issues regarding prevention, diagnosis and treatment in women. Reported by Marcia Caller Jaffe ATLANTA ATLANTA JEWISH JEWISH TIMES TIMES JULY MAY 12, 15, 2019 2021 || 51 51
SIMCHAS SIMCHA SPOTLIGHT
Sophie Loghman Kaufman and Michael Kaufman of Atlanta announce the birth of their son George Emerson Kaufman March 26, 2021. The proud grandparents are Alison and Jeff Kaufman of Atlanta and Nooshin and Mo Loghman of Dunwoody. George is named in honor of his late grandfather George Benjamin Kaufman.
Sadie Ganz, daughter of Rebecca and Jonathan Ganz, became a bat mitzvah April 17, 2021, at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs with her parents, her sister Eleanor and immediate family in attendance. Other friends and family joined via Zoom. Sadie is a seventh grader at The Davis Academy. Her proud grandparents are Carol and Charles Ganz of Atlanta, and Carole and Paul Klein of West Palm Beach, Fla. Carol and Charles are members of Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs. For Sadie’s mitzvah project, she worked with The Jaffa Institute, a non-profit organization in Jaffa, Israel. Sadie raised money for their Building Better Bridges program, which promotes a peaceful and accepting community of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Sadie was inspired to help this organization because of an interfaith program she experienced at The Davis Academy that had a meaningful impact on her. During this program, students at Davis and a nearby Presbyterian private school learned about each other’s religions and how to appreciate their differences. Nathan Hayes Krapf became a bar mitzvah April 24, 2021. He is the son of Veronica and Glen Krapf and younger brother to Ethan. Natan Ari’s grandparents are Paulette Faber and the late Herbert Krapf of Savannah, Ga., Billie Harp of Gadsden, Ala., and Ron and Jeannine Benefield of Dothan, Ala. Nathan is a seventh grader at Elkins Pointe Middle School. His mitzvah project is raising money for banning puppy mills. He has raised $500 for his effort.
Wedding Announcement B’nai Mitzvah Shane Karl Blaiss celebrated his bar mitzvah at Congregation B’nai Torah during the virtual Shabbat service Feb. 27, 2021. Shane is the son of Carly Blaiss Haynes and Adam and Stacy Blaiss, all of Alpharetta. Shane is in the seventh grade at Atlanta Academy of Roswell. He is the oldest brother of Henry, Abigail and Jared. Shane’s grandparents are Lynne and William Lipsitz of Marietta, Terry and Dr. Michael Blaiss of Roswell, and Jan and Terry Tenenbaum of Dunwoody. His mitzvah project was raising money and sending books for the African Library Project Foundation. Shane enjoys reading, math, video games, summer sleepaway camp at Ramah Darom, and he is a proficient Rubik’s Cuber.
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Jacob Schwartz, son of Eddie and Marla Schwartz of Sandy Springs, Ga. (formerly of South Euclid, Ohio), and Lindsay Duncan, daughter of Chris and Lisa Duncan of Augusta, Ga., were married March 20, 2021. The bride is the granddaughter of Horace (of blessed memory) and Anne Duncan of Athens, Ga., Linda and Jim Jarrard of Athens, Ga., and Jim Ahl of Rutledge, Ga. Lindsay earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and works for Music Matters Productions. The groom is the grandson of Lawrence and Rose Schwartz and Ernie Kay and Dorothy Samuels (all of blessed memory). Jacob earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and works for Global Healthcare Exchange. A small group of family and close friends gathered for a socially distanced ceremony and reception at the Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Ga. The ceremony was officiated by Jacob’s cousin Alyse Smith. The couple mini-mooned in a Blue Ridge, Ga., mountaintop cabin and expect to honeymoon in the near future. They live in Peachtree Corners.
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KEEPING IT KOSHER Dairy Crepes with Mushroom-Cheese Filling Start to finish: 35 minutes Servings: 8 Preference: Dairy Difficulty: Easy Occasion: Shavuot Diet: Vegetarian, pescatarian Crepes 1 cup flour 1 cup milk 4 eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons oil Mushroom Filling 1 medium onion, diced 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced 1/2 pound cottage cheese 8 ounces shredded cheese 3/4 teaspoon salt Dash of paprika
The Land of Opportunity Three Jewish immigrants on a ship to America reach Ellis Island. They agree to reunite in 20 years to see how they all fared in the land of opportunity. When they meet again, Silverman said, "When I arrived, I had no idea how I’d make a living. So I looked up Silvermans in the phone book and actually found a distant relative. He was in the silver business and he took me on. Now I have a house in the city and another in the mountains. Baruch Hashem, I can’t complain. How about you, Goldstein?" "Believe it or not, same story. I found a relative in the gold business, worked hard … and became a partner. Today I live on the top floor of a building I own, and Baruch Hashem, my grandchildren don’t worry how they’ll pay for college. How about you, Taylor?" "I too had no idea how I’d make a living. Despite my name, I never trained as a tailor and it sounded like a lot of work for not a lot of money. So I went to shul and prayed. I pleaded, God, if you make me a prosperous man, I promise to make you my partner.’” "Nu? So what happened?" "What do you mean, what happened? You never heard of Lord & Taylor?" Source: Modified from Accidental Talmudist.
For crepes: Mix flour and milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Grease and preheat large skillet. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons batter into skillet. When underside is set, turn over. Repeat with remaining batter.
YIDDISH WORD OF THE MONTH Alter Kockamamie
For mushroom filling: Sauté onions and add mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes.
n. The nonsequential, somewhat nonsensical conversations of senior
Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Cook until cheese melts.
“I went over there for the gin rummy game and it was pure alter
To serve: Fill blintz with 1 1/2 tablespoons filling and roll up. Serve warm with your favorite topping. Source: Modified from Nitra Ladies Auxiliary recipe in “The Heimishe Kitchen” Nitra cookbook.
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citizens with faulty hearing and short-term memory loss. kockamamie from her: ‘What’s your name, you know, the one whose daughter, … somebody’s daughter. … Whew, somebody needs a shower. Or is that the soup?” Source: Modified from “Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times” by Daniel Klein.
“The Shtisel Family Tree” By: Yoni Glatt, email@example.com Difficulty Level: Easy (if you watch Shtisel) 1
BRAIN FOOD ACROSS
1. Shtisel patriarch 7. Daughter of 1-Across 11. Anthony Fauci's org. 14. Eggs partner, at times 15. Shoresh 16. Glass or Gershwin 17. "Doctor Who" broadcaster 18. " ___ boy!" 19. Iver or Jovi 20. Son of 1-Across 22. Niece of 1-Across 24. Son of 1-Across 28. Israeli diplomat Danny 29. Sidekick to both Jafar and Aladdin 30. Condescending person 33. Like a movie referencing itself 34. Eggs concoction 37. Michael who plays 20-Across 39. "All Things Considered" org. 40. Granddaughter of 1-Across 42. 20-Across is gifted at it 45. Mother of 1-Across 46. Playful talk 48. Cousin of Dwight on "The Office" 51. Fisher of "The Great Gatsby" 53. CREF's partner 54. Carry with effort 56. Daughter-in-law of 1-Across 59. Last name of 7, 60, and 75- Across 60. Son-in-law of 1-Across 62. Rowing blade
63. Rocking sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana 65. The magic word 70. Geneticist's letters 71. E.M.T. part: Abbr. 72. Peruvian livestock 73. Some Nintendos 74. Daughter-in-law of 1-Across 75. Grandson of 1-Across
31. Israeli brigade 32. Ending for pay or schnozz 35. Bit of time 36. Amsterdam bloom 38. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" star Vardalos 41. Many ATM deposits 42. "___ goes to the runner" (baseball rule) 43. Legit 44. ___ Asar 45. Brooks and Torme 47. Ultimate degree 48. Program using ".doc" files, for short 49. There are four of them worldwide 50. 40-Across portrayer and fiances of 75-Across 52. Abstract artist Jean 55. Chayil preceder 57. Go for a job 58. Instrument for Yo-Yo Ma 60. "Spotlight" actor Schreiber 61. Israeli singer star Ziv 64. "Love" in Mexico 66. "That's ___ in elephant" 67. Doc bloc, for short 68. "My Gal" of song 69. Ge'ula to the Rova dir.
1. The Concorde, for short 2. "Dream on!" 3. "Nod" or "mod" attachment 4. Place to study 70-Across 5. Imprison, old style 6. Dolenz of the Monkees 7. Anti-___ boots (sci-fi footwear) 8. Little bit 9. Babe 10. Country with more than one Great Synagogue 11. Little bit 12. 1950 Asimov classic 13. Grandson-in-law of 1-Across 21. "Y" pluralized 23. "___ Said" (Neil Diamond hit) 24. Shtisel setting, so to speak 25. Improvise jazz-style 26. Bob who heads Disney 27. It's highly unlikely these letters are part of your email address (if you're under 30) 28. Oppenheimer project
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75 Years Ago// May 10, 1946 Shearith Israel’s religious school will be hosting an elaborate Parent’s Day program. Saul Feldman will open the program with a prayer, after which Sarah Belle Edelstein will give the welcoming address. Some of Jewish Atlanta’s war veterans will present silk flags to the synagogue in a ceremony. Some of the students will perform “Mother’s Day,” a play appropriate for the event.
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Israel and Temple Beth Israel on May 14, as a prelude to the Southeastern Region of Hadassah Conference due to convene in Macon May 16 at the Dempsey Hotel. The regional meeting brings together members from the 17 chapters in the region for a variety of meetings, workshops, and to hear from speakers. The closing luncheon will highlight the 50th anniversary of the Hadassah Medical Organization and the 10th anniversary of Hadassah’s move to the medical center at Ein Karem. Dr. Leon H. Spotts, executive director of the Atlanta Bureau of Jewish Education, will present a major project report at the bureau’s annual meeting to be held May 18 at the AJCC. The bureau currently sponsors such activities as the Atlanta High School of Jewish Studies, the Adult Institute, a special education class, and a youth study tour in Israel.
Rabbi Tzvi Porath sent a letter to the presidents of all B’nai Birth lodges in District 5, outlining plans for a district office. Porath wrote, “It will be the function of my office to guide and train Jewish youth The inside of Congregation Sherah to accept their responsibility as Jews and members of their com25 Years Ago // May 17, 1996 Israel is seen in a recent picture. munity with dignity and understanding.” Rabbi Porath pointed out Some Atlanta Jews are enjoying a side order of Jewish studies with their the special need in the Southern communities, where the Jewish lunch. A “Lunch and Learn” meeting combines the weekday lunch hour population is small, to bring together three or four small towns and organize a chapter for with Jewish study, allowing participants a break in their hectic workday to focus on spiritual the Jewish youth living in them. nourishment. The groups, which have gained steady popularity within the past 10 years, appeal to Jews of different upbringings and backgrounds. Rabbi Binyomin Friedman, the host 50 Years Ago// May 14, 1971 The Macon chapter of Hadassah will hold Hadassah Sabbaths at both Congregation Sherah of a local meeting, estimates that about 100 Atlanta Jews a week visit the sessions. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 55
OBITUARIES Abraham Besser
Beatrice Reisman Blass
Abraham (Abe) Besser was born Dec. 26, 1925, in a little town of Krzepice, Poland. A survivor of the Holocaust, he was the youngest of seven children to the parents of Rifka Rotbard Besser and Wolfe Hirsch Besser. His siblings were Hela Lask, Lola Klug, Sophie Scheinfeld and Blanch Snitzer, and two brothers Ario Besser and Myer Besser. As the youngest of his family (16 years old), his father sent him to provide hard labor with the Nazis in lieu of his sisters being taken by them. Through several years of hard labor, including walking in the snow with no shoes, he rejoiced at looking up to find American planes dropping flyers, announcing that the Americans had landed. A natural entrepreneur, Abe founded a cab company in Berlin to serve the American soldiers and he was able to immigrant to the United States when he was 24 years old. Upon arrival in New Orleans, he literally kissed the ground in thanks. Abe was sponsored by the Rosenthal Sheet Metal Company. He paid his debt back over three years and went to night school to learn English. Abe began his career by building apartment complexes and shopping centers throughout north Atlanta and developed much of north Fulton. A well-known philanthropist in Atlanta with a deep love and devotion to Israel, he contributed to almost every Jewish organization, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Of his many philanthropic endeavors, he sponsored the Holocaust programming at The Breman Museum and was one of the founders of the Holocaust Memorial at Greenwood Cemetery. This memorial has been listed on the register of historical sites. Abe’s love and devotion to his family is well exhibited by the Besser Holocaust Memorial Garden on the premises of the Marcus Jewish Community Center. He planned and executed the outdoor memorial to the 6 million who perished in the Holocaust. He envisioned this memorial to his family and community as a living tribute for future generations to remember the Holocaust. He is also the benefactor of the Besser Gymnastics Pavilion at the MJCCA, as well as numerous programs at Jewish Family & Career Services. He is preceded in death by his previous wives Caroline Gurin and Judy Adelman. Abe is survived by his loving and devoted wife Marlene Gelernter Besser; his nieces and nephews Morray and Susan Scheinfeld, Harry Scheinfeld (Janie), Regina Karp (Jerry), Isaac and Peggy Klug, Mark and Dr. Novy Scheinfeld, and Ronnie Scheinfeld; grand nieces and nephews Ryan and Jenna Scheinfeld, Alene Mosher, Nathan and Afton Scheinfeld, Emily Scheinfeld, Sheldon and Robin Karp, Lisa Karp Rose, Adam and Elissa Klug, Michael and Kate Klug, Bradley Klug and fiancée Jenna Sobel, ZoAnna and Marty Bock, Hanna and Keith Orland, Robert Scheinfeld, Kimberly and Isaac Jones, and Joanna and Steven Kelley; and 14 great grand nieces and nephews. Abe is also survived by his stepchildren Spencer Gelernter, Denise Gelernter, Sidney and Michele Gelernter, and Andy and Margie Gelernter; and his six Gelernter grand-stepchildren Alex, Melanie, Kenzie, Marc, Lindsey and Eli. Graveside services were held April 29 at Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of the Jewish organizations in Atlanta that meant so much to Abe. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Beatrice (Bea) Reisman Blass, born May 9, 1918, passed away peacefully in her home April 27, 2021. Bea was affectionately known as “Grandma,” “Mama,” “BB” and “Ms. B.” She was a member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue Sisterhood and Hadassah. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting and making doll clothes by hand for her granddaughter’s baby dolls. BB’s favorite activity was playing bridge and baking the best brownies in town. She attended study group at the synagogue when she was able and loved water aerobics at the Piedmont Health Center. She enjoyed eating at The White House Restaurant and she held court at Goldbergs on Sundays for brunch for whoever chose to attend. She believed in taking vitamin C every day and had the wrinkle-free face to prove it. She was a firm believer in washing your hands, even before COVID. Most of all, BB loved being with her family. She will be missed by them deeply! May she rest in peace. Bea was preceded in death by her husband Saul Blass, and her parents Annie Bernath and A.G. Reisman. She is survived by her children Dr. Allen (Betty) Blass and Charlotte (Allen) Kaminsky; five grandchildren Terri (Rodney) Cohen, Sharon (Nathan) Popky, Naomi (Karl) Blass, Dr. Mitchell Blass, and Dr. Benjamin (Kathleen) Blass; and 10 great-grandchildren Allison, Erin and Sara Cohen; Sam and Rachel Popky; Brittany and Will Pestcoe; and David, Andrew and Joshua Blass. She is also survived by her sister Rose Reisman Berman and brother Donald Reisman, and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral was held April 28 at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Neil Sandler officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Jewish HomeLife, or the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
56 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Dolla Epstein 86, Alpharetta
Dolla “Dolly” Epstein, 86, of Alpharetta, Ga., passed away April 30, 2021. Dolly was born Nov. 8, 1934, to the late Samuel and Sophie Brill in Philadelphia, Pa. Dolly was a graduate of Overbrook High School. Soon after, she met the love of her life Howard Lee Epstein. They have been happily married for 68 years. They were blessed to have and nurture four loving children. She loved her family, creating a home filled with love, support and joy. Dolly was a dedicated wife, caring mother and nurturing grandmother. Dolly enjoyed watching old movies, reading a good book, gardening, shopping, but most of all, talking to her girls daily. The moments and memories with her will be cherished forever. Along with her dear parents, Dolly is preceded in death by her sister Leah Grossman. She is survived by her devoted husband Howard Lee Epstein; daughters Debbie Warshaw (Stuart), Aileen Sitero (Max), Pennie Pentland (Russ), and Sharon Pineda (George); grandchildren Lee (Olga) and Drew Warshaw, Jake and Sam Sitero, Andrew Pentland, Samantha, Sydney, and Madison Pineda; and many grandpuppies and grandkitties. A celebration of Dolly’s life will be hosted by her daughters May 29 at a private venue. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Dolly’s memory to the Arthritis Foundation.
Page Varner Martin 81, Atlanta
Page Varner Martin, 81, passed away peacefully April 27, 2021, after a short battle with cancer. Page was a proud native Atlantan and the eldest daughter of Dr. John and “Teddy” Varner. She was a true Southern lady with a drawl that would make you think of sweet tea and Southern charm. Forever known as “the most beautiful person” many had ever laid eyes on, Page loved to tell stories of growing up on Peachtree Battle Avenue, spending time at “The Farm” on Davis Drive with all of her Davis family cousins and being a part of the Atlantans that supported the civil rights era. Page was a graduate of Northside High School and Georgia State University. She had a love and a gift for gardening in which she earned the title of “the Orchid Whisperer” by her many family and friends. Page also was a history buff and ancestry fanatic who loved to trace both her Episcopalian and Jewish family lineage throughout history. She was as proud to be the debutant granddaughter of Dr. E.C. Davis, who started Crawford Long Hospital, as she was to be the first person in her family to convert to Judaism when she married Sam in 1959. In 1983 Page moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and spent the next 38 years enjoying the beach, a second marriage, her beloved pups Critter, Lily and Missy, and most of all her Sea Walk neighbors and dear friends in Ponte Vedra Beach. In December, Page was diagnosed with liver cancer. She moved back to Atlanta to spend time with her family and friends as she bravely fought the disease. Although much too short, her family is so grateful to have had the last few months caring for, laughing with and making new memories with Page. She is predeceased by her first and second husbands Sam Frankel of Atlanta and Henry Martin of Liverpool, England. She is survived by her children David (Saundie) Frankel, Elaine Diamond, and Evelyn “Bo” (Brian) Lefkoff; grandchildren Sara Diamond, Emily Diamond, Carter Lefkoff and Zoe Frankel; brothers John (Maribet) Varner and Fulton (Serene) Varner; sister Helene Strahan; and beloved sister-in-law Jackie Frankel Kanfer. In addition, Page leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews that she adored. Graveside services for Page were held May 2 at Arlington Cemetery in Atlanta with Rabbi Ron Segal officiating. Memorial donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy or the Atlanta Humane Society. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com.
Jarrod Sean Mendel 40, Dunwoody
Jarrod Sean Mendel, 40, of Dunwoody, passed away suddenly May 1, 2021. A fifth- generation Atlantan, he was born July 13, 1980, at Northside Hospital. Jarrod graduated from Walton High School in 1998, where he played on the varsity tennis team. He then went on in 2002 to the University of Georgia, where he was a member of Tau Epsilon Phi (like his late grandfather, Jerry Mendel) and became a “Double Dawg” after graduating from the UGA School of Law in 2005. An avid reader and podcast enthusiast, Jarrod was known for his work ethic, humor and commitment to family. He loved attending trivia and burger nights with friends and always made time for those he loved. Jarrod thoroughly enjoyed his career as an attorney, starting as a clerk for a Superior Court judge and continuing in several private practices until finding his niche with McGuireWoods. His dedication to service extended from his work to supporting local and national causes important to his family, including Jewish Family & Career Services and March of Dimes. Jarrod was also a dedicated Georgia Bulldogs fan, something he and his wife of 12 years, Greer, both shared a love for. But above all, he was a wonderful and dedicated father to Jack and Amelie, who each possess the very best pieces of their father. Jarrod was considered a true mensch and will be remembered for his kindness, easygoing nature, quick wit and his quiet work to ensure those around him felt loved and protected. He continually demonstrated a loyalty to his family and friends that will remain his legacy for years to come. May his memory be for a blessing and may those close to Jarrod continue to honor him in their everyday lives. Jarrod is preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Jerry Mendel and maternal
grandparents Bertram and Jennie Blum, all of blessed memory. Jarrod is survived by his devoted wife Greer Pasmanick Mendel; his beloved children Jack (4 1/2 years old) and Amelie (3 years old); his loving parents Richard and Muriel Mendel; brother Matt Mendel (Rebecca), sister Jennifer Sheldon (Tripp) and newborn nephew Wilson, of Chapel Hill, N.C. Also, deeply mourning Jarrod’s passing are his grandmother Joanne Mendel, in-laws Robert and Vicky Pasmanick and family, and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Lindsay Press 62, Atlanta
Lindsay Warren Press (aka Preston Lindsay), a popular caricaturist in metro Detroit and Atlanta, Ga., died March 25 at age 62. Born in Detroit, Mr. Press graduated from Southfield-Lathrup High School in Lathrup Village, Mich., and studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he majored in advertising and graphic design. After leaving CCS, his passion became caricatures, which he created for guests at weddings, corporate events, festivals, cruises and bar and bat mitzvah parties. He was well known in the Greater Atlanta area, especially in Marietta and Alpharetta, and with his skill in advertising and graphic arts, he designed the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Guide to Jewish Atlanta, as well as menus and logos for Atlanta-area businesses. In addition to caricatures, Mr. Press was talented in the art of origami. He loved animals and was known to have many pet cats over the years. His hero was statesman Benjamin Franklin, with whom he shared a birthday. Mr. Press had many friends in the Atlanta area, where he moved about a dozen years ago. He will be remembered for his quick wit, joy for life and incredible talent. The son of the late Barbara and Sam “Red” Press and predeceased by brother Evan Scott Press, Lindsay Press is survived by three sisters Heidi Press (Randy) Carr of Commerce Township, Mich., Robin Press Wojta of Madison Heights, Mich., and Melissa Press (Tim) Downey of Berkley, Mich.; a brother, Jeremy Press of Troy, Mich.; and three nieces, three nephews, several grand-nieces and grand-nephews. A Celebration of Life in memory of Mr. Press will be held at 2 p.m. May 16, 2021, at Boulan Park, Shelter 2 in Troy. Rabbi Brent Gutmann of Temple Kol Ami will lead a brief service. Guests are encouraged to bring caricatures and artwork drawn by Mr. Press for a display. Attendees will have an opportunity to reminisce about Mr. Press. COVID protocols will be observed, and guests should wear masks. Everyone is welcome. To further honor the memory of Mr. Press, donations may be sent to Michigan Humane (formerly Michigan Humane Society), 30300 Telegraph Road. Suite 220, Bingham Farms, Mich. 48025-4507, 866-MHUMANE, Michiganhumane.org or The Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network, 6555 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, Mich 48322, 248-5922687, firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MAY 15, 2021 | 57
Gerry Simon Sands 83, Glen Allen, Va.
Gerald Simon Sands passed away April 12, 2021, in Glen Allen, Va., at the age of 83. On Nov. 24, 1937, in Savannah, Ga., Gerry was born to David Sands and Eva Levine Sands. As a kid, he enjoyed working with his hands, from weaving shrimp nets and painting figurines to constructing buildings and cars with his erector set. Friendly and outgoing, Gerry graduated from Benedictine Military School and attended Georgia Institute of Technology. He served in the United States Coast Guard for six years. One of his favorite duties was working the ship deck, where he enjoyed listening to the radio broadcasts from far away countries and continents. He completed his studies at Armstrong College and the University of Georgia, graduating from the latter in 1960 with a degree in mathematics. Having envisioned a future as a teacher, his plans took a turn when a campus advisor encouraged him to interview for a computer systems design position at E. I. DuPont. He landed the job and began a 42- year career across four states, multiple manufacturing plants and countless business trips. Gerry discovered his perfect match and in 1964 he married Dianne Goldstein of Greensboro, Ga. In between raising a son and a daughter, he spent his time refinishing furniture, building home additions, dabbling in photography (he converted a closet into a dark room) and keeping up with the latest tech. Upon retirement from DuPont, Gerry enjoyed working for the Social Security Advisory Council, helping retirees navigate and understand the intricacies of the program. He achieved regular status at his neighborhood Starbucks, where the barista would have his drink waiting for him upon arrival. Gerry could be seen zipping around town in his Prius, listening to Apple podcasts. He also took up wood carving and, the self-described animaldisliker, fell in love with a stray tabby and became cat dad to his beloved Rex. Gerry is survived by his wife Dianne of Glen Allen, Va.; daughter Robyn Sands of New York, N.Y.; son Mark Sands of Richmond, Va.; grandson Eastwood Strilka of New York, N.Y.; sister Brenda Sands Novak of Atlanta; and his cat Rex of Glen Allen, Va.
Louis M. Speert 97, Atlanta
Louis M. Speert, 97, of Atlanta, passed away April 28, 2021. Lou was born in Baltimore, Md., July 6, 1923, to parents Nathan Speert and Yetta Dubowitz Speert. He married his longtime friend and love Fay Sykes in 1949 and together they had two sons. He was an Army veteran of War World II, serving in the South Pacific and Japan. During his service, he facilitated the safe return of our troops back to America. Lou was a self-made entrepreneur in the home improvement industry and operated a successful company for 40 years. He was a sports lover and a great man. Lou loved people and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his lovely wife of 72 years Fay Speert; sons Jay Speert (Terry) and Mark Speert (Laura); sister Marion Boyar; and many nieces and nephews. A private ceremony honoring Lou’s life will be held at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Atlanta Humane Society.
Max Isaac Sweeting 23, Atlanta
Max Isaac Sweeting passed away April 27, 2021, at age 23 in Atlanta, surrounded by his beloved family. Max attended the Amit Gar’inim School at The Davis Academy from kindergarten through eighth grade. He later graduated from Centennial High School and continued at Riverwood High School through age 22. Max was not only a student at these schools, but he taught many of his classmates and teachers the true meaning of compassion, how to create genuine friendships with those who have cognitive and physical differences and how to persevere and remain joyful through extreme adversity. In addition, Max could always be counted on to bring a dose of levity to any situation with his amazing sense of humor and quick wit. Despite the many challenges he faced, Max lived his life to the absolute fullest. He loved to play golf, a passion he acquired from his father, and was a three-time gold medalist in the Georgia Special Olympics Golf Skills Challenge. He was a huge NASCAR fan and attended numerous races. Through the incredible work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Max was able to meet and spend time with his favorite driver Jeff Gordon, as well as many other drivers that he admired. Max also enjoyed playing softball in the North Metro Miracle League until he “retired” to focus on his true love of golf. And no one was better with directions or the weather than Max. He could remember how to get anywhere, tell you when you’d made a wrong turn and recite the weather forecast any time he was in the car. Max was an incredible big brother and did everything he could to show his younger sisters Mia and Liza that he loved them. From making sure they were okay when the three of them attended school together, to having them to push him around the house on a toy car, to driving them around the neighborhood in his electric Jeep, Max made sure the three of them had plenty of bonding time. He is preceded in death by his grandfathers Willie Sweeting and Richard Orgel. Max is survived by his parents Jill and Seth Zimmerman and David and Lisa Sweeting; his sisters Mia and Liza Zimmerman; grandparents Ann Sweeting, Phil and Lenora Portnoy and Terry Orgel; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, whom he loved dearly. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Share and Care Cockayne Syndrome & TTD Network, Weinstein Hospice or Make-A-Wish Foundation. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
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 | MAY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
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CLOSING THOUGHTS Rags, Buttons and Aluminum Foil Join the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, with support from the Marcus Foundation, to commemorate the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai
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Long ago, when I was in high school, my friend Carol and I befriended Joseph, a cute Hungarian immigrant who worked with Chana Shapiro the maintenance crew. One day, we spotted him relaxing in the courtyard, and we joined him. Carol took a handful of tissues out of her purse to wipe the bench before we sat down. “Americans!” Joseph exclaimed. “You’re so wasteful!” He pulled a handkerchief from his backpack and cleaned the seat for us. “I’ll wash this and use it again,” he stated. “You kids love to buy stuff that you can throw away. I don’t.” Joseph’s outburst shocked us. “We though you liked us,” I whined. “I like you a lot,” Joseph smiled. “I just don’t understand you.” When I got engaged, the most useful gift from my bridal shower was a gigantic box of rags. I loved all the beautiful presents, but my practical and thrifty mother and Aunt Shirley surprised me with a gift I used for decades. The kitchen of our first New York apartment had an under-sink leaky pipe. The building’s “super” finally got tired of tinkering and decided to replace it. Naturally, a flood ensued. “Quick, get towels!” Mr. Flamini commanded. My new towels? Who was he kidding? Soon the water was totally absorbed by remnants of flannel nightgowns, stained dish towels and old underwear. As I watched my father’s discolored undershirts in action, I admired the practical penny-pinching of family members who grew up during The Great Depression. As he gathered his tools, Mr. Flamini, a man of few words, offered these: “Good girl!” Clearly, he appreciated someone half his age who owned rags and knew how to use them. Another family gift was a trio of glass gefilte fish jars filled with buttons. When old garments were turned into rags or cut up for doll clothes, my grandmother and mother carefully removed the buttons of every size, material and color. Many of them are examples of mid-20th century
whimsy and exuberance. I have done a lot of sewing over the years, and I haven’t yet purchased a button. My mother considered disposables to be wasteful and a sign of sloth. Therefore, caring for and washing real dishes was part of proper kitchen management and self-respect. Upon their return from a trip to Chicago, my parents phoned to tell us they were home safely. In those days, expensive long-distance calls from St. Louis to New York were brief. “What are Roz and Lou like?” I asked. “Smart. Funny. Good cooks. We had supper with them.” “Did they go to a lot of trouble?” “We ate on paper plates. Then they threw them away and gave us clean ones for dessert. What a waste!” I wish my mother had met Steve, for whom the phrase “single-use” perfectly described one of the circles of his personal hell. Steve was a math teacher in the Manhattan school where I taught English. Three of the staff kept kosher: school counselor Rena, Steve and I. For lunch, we often sat together in the faculty workroom and ate food we brought from home. Steve had a sandwich every day, meticulously wrapped in aluminum foil. After lunch, he rinsed the foil and folded it. He brought the foil home after school for use the following day and was proud that he extended the life of each piece to a full week. Rena and I were not fans of his parsimony, but we learned to respect it because reusing the foil, and everything else possible, was part of his family’s master plan. “We’re saving money for a house on Staten Island,” he reminded us, whenever we joked about his frugality. I heard that Steve’s family did eventually buy a house. I don’t know if reusing aluminum foil added much to their nest egg, and one might call it obsessive, but I admire his consistent rejection of wastefulness. Recycling is now widespread. It’s essential. Sometimes it’s mandatory. I can’t help getting nostalgic pleasure knowing that my box of rags and jars of buttons, Joseph’s handkerchief and Steve’s aluminum foil were way ahead of the curve, before it was a curve. ì
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