Opening of Cincinnati Holocaust Humanity includes Dayton ties p. 2 David Moss designs Grace&After Meals Center in comic book form p. 22
THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
February 2019 Shevat/Adar I 5779 Vol. 23, No. 6
The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • Online at daytonjewishobserver.org
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID DAYTON, OHIO PERMIT NO. 59
Max Kohnop, Wright Memorial Public Library president, 1934-1976
S. Korea’s Talmud learning craze
In Seoul with a Talmudthemed book
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Observer’s new columnist, Mr. Mazel
The father Oakwood’s library
The Marvelous Mr. Mazel, Scott Halasz
Three congs. & PJ Library host singer/songwriter Feb. 22-24
Monthly Friday Night Shabbat Dinner with all your traditional favorites. Friday, Feb. 22, 5 p.m. $10 per person. R.S.V.P.
Learn. Monthly Diabetic Support Group. With Gem City Home Care’s Mara Lamb. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. R.S.V.P.
Schmooze. Join us for a free cup of coffee & hospitality at our Coffee House. Every Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free WiFi.
Call Wendy Archer for details at 937-837-5581 ext. 1269 5790 Denlinger Road • Dayton, Ohio 45426 • fvdayton.com PAGE 2
Beth Abraham Synagogue, Temple Beth Or, Temple Israel, and PJ Library will present Noah Aronson as their artist-in-residence over the weekend of Feb. 22-24 at all three congregations. An adjunct faculty member of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, the composer and performer is best known for his songs Am I Awake and Left Side of the Page, which comprises musical settings of Composer/performer Noah Aronson poetic selections from the Reform movement’s Mishkan Tefilah Prayer Book. service followed by a lunch-and-learn Aronson conducted the Manhattan session at noon, which is open to the HaZamir Choir from 2008 to 2010 and community. The cost is $10 per person. received his degree in jazz composition R.S.V.P. by Feb. 12 to Temple Israel at and piano from Berklee College of Mu496-0050. Temple Israel is located at 130 sic. He frequently serves on the faculty Riverside Dr. in Dayton. of Jewish music retreats. And at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, the He’ll bring his music to a community congregations’ religious schools will Shabbat service at Temple Beth Or, 5275 meet for a special session with Aronson Marshall Rd. in Washington Township, at Beth Abraham Synagogue, 305 Sugar at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. The Dayton Camp Circle in Oakwood. Jewish Chorale and Temple Beth Or The artist-in-residence program with Choir will also sing for the service. Aronson is funded primarily through a At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, Ar- Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Inonson will join Temple Israel’s Shabbat novation Grant.
Grand opening of Cincy’s Holocaust & Humanity Ctr. includes Dayton ties serves on the Holocaust & Humanity When the Nancy & David Wolf Center speaker’s bureau. Holocaust & Humanity Center opens at Established in 2000, the Holocaust & its new home — in Cincinnati’s Union Terminal on Sunday, Jan. 27 — Dayton’s Humanity Center’s new 12,000-squarefoot museum at Union survivor community will be wellTerminal is the site where an represented. estimated 70 percent of CinFollowing the 1 p.m. opening cinnati’s approximately 1,000 ceremony and ribbon cutting, Holocaust survivors arrived survivor Renate Frydman — the via train after World War II. Miami Valley’s longtime champion The center originally of Holocaust education — will opened on the Cincinnati discuss her book, Anschel’s Story: campus of Hebrew Union Determined To Survive, at 2 p.m. Renate Frydman College-Jewish Institute of Anschel’s Story is about her Religion and relocated to Rockwern late husband Anschel “Charlie” Frydman’s survival in Nazi-occupied Poland Academy in Kenwood in 2009. Grand opening programs are free and against nearly impossible odds. In the open to the public; timed tickets to the book, Frydman shares his recollections of how he stayed alive — first as a slave museum’s exhibits that day are available for purchase online in 15-minute laborer and then as a partisan fighter intervals from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets — when he was only a youth, after his parents and two sisters were murdered. are available on a limited basis the day of the opening; advanced purchases are Also participating in the opening suggested. will be Cheryl Hecht, daughter of the For tickets and more information, go late David Hochstein of Dayton, who to holocaustandhumanity.org. was rescued from Nazi Germany on — Marshall Weiss a Kindertransport to London. Hecht
IN THIS ISSUE Arts............................................26
O p i n i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 2
Calendar of Events.......................17
Re l i g i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
DAYTON Marshall Weiss
The father of Oakwood’s library ticle that says he (Kohnop) was By Marshall Weiss reelected as president,” Staley The Observer says. Until just a few years ago, if Kohnop joined the library visitors to Oakwood’s Wright board in 1933. Memorial Public Library “Someone from the Dayton ventured to the basement to Daily News staff, where he browse its video section, they worked, told him there was an would encounter a portrait of opening,” Staley says, “and beMax Kohnop on a wall above cause he was a resident of Oakhundreds of DVDs. But over the months leading wood, he would have a very easy time getting a seat on the up to the library’s 80th anniversary on Feb. 14, current staff board. He called library president Arthur Claggett, and says, have rediscovered Kohnop’s ‘The next thing I remember, I legacy as the “Father of the was a member of the board.’’’ Wright Library.” Only a year later, Kohnop was Kohnop served as president elected board president. of the Oakwood library board Staley holds a copy of a from 1934 to 1976, and contin1989 speech given by longtime ued on the board until 1981. A Oakwood librarian Thelma longtime editor of the Sunday Dayton Daily News — from 1939 Yakura, who noted, “If any man to 1964 — he brought to fruition could be said to be the father of Oakwood’s decades-old dream Wright Library, that man is Max Kohnop.” of its own library building. Oakwood’s library dates to He and his wife, Minnie, 1913, when the Oakwood Efwere among the very few Jews ficiency League to live in Oakcollected 100 wood going back ‘He was books and made to the 1920s. instrumental them available “He was hugely impactful in the planning for lending at a private home. to us,” says Kristi Three years Hale, director of of this gem.’ later, the collecWright Library, tion was housed which is named for siblings at what is now Harman School. Wilbur, Orville, and Katharine From 1923 until 1939, the Wright. “He was instrumental library was located in a small in the planning of this gem.” Tracy Staley, public relations wooden house at 45 Park Ave. According to Staley, Kohnop and community engagement guided the library through its specialist with the library, has greatest periods of growth, been researching the library’s history for its yearlong celebra- when its levy was passed in 1938 and the new building tion. She flips through a vast opened, and through expanscrapbook from the library’s sions in 1964 and 1972. early days. With all the materials she’s “You look through this book looked through, Staley gets the and every few pages it’s an arThe Adventures of
Bark Mitzvah Boy
For Little Purim in the first month of Adar,
we should have
c O 2019 Menachem
I’d prefer a mini knish myself.
sense that Kohnop staunchly supported the library staff. “He backed them up,” she says. “He was invested and supportive of the staff members and the work that they did. He was really proud of the collection of books that the library was able to curate over his time that he was here.” Because Kohnop served as president of the Oakwood library board, he became one of very few to get as close as anyone could to extremely guarded introvert and Oakwood resident Orville Wright. He already knew Wright from the days when he covered aviation. When a vacancy came open on the library board around 1937-38, someone suggested Orville Wright for the position. It was Kohnop who called Wright and asked him to join the board. Staley says Wright agreed to serve as vice president, with two conditions: that he would never be quoted in the newspaper, everything he said would be off the record; and that Wright would never have to preside over a meeting. “They had these board meetings that would last about 45 minutes and then end, and they’d go on for hours with Orville Wright telling all of these stories,” Staley says. “So he had a really interesting vantage point of history, both as a newspaper man and being on the board.” On Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m., the Wright Library will recreate the quirky opening dedication ceremony it held on that date in 1939. Continued on next page
From the editor’s desk
Digging into the history of Dayton’s Jewish community, I’ve found that for just about every rule, there’s an exception. And the exceptions often make for the most interesting parts of the story. An example is the Marshall very few Jews who lived in OakWeiss wood as far back as the 1920s, such as Max and Minnie Kohnop, featured in the story above. Jews were no more welcome in Oakwood than anyone else “other than of the Caucasian Race,” as deed restrictions of the time and place were often phrased. Even so, the Kohnops called Monteray Avenue in Oakwood their home for more than 50 years. Was this because of his position with the Dayton Daily News? Maybe. Were the Kohnops tokens? Possibly. Regardless of how they gained entry, Max couldn’t have made his impact on Oakwood without a few individuals who, at the very least, tolerated him because of his talents. And maybe, at the very best, a few who chose to stand down prejudice.
With Max Kohnop’s portrait at Oakwood’s Wright Memorial Public Library (L to R): Kate Chesar and Tracy Staley, library PR & community engagement specialists, and Kristi Hale, library director.
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prayer & play saturday, february 9 at 4pm Rabbi Sobo's house Call Temple to Rsvp Artist in Residence Weekend with
KICK-OFF COMMUNITY SHABBAT SERVICE Friday, February 22, 7:00pm at Temple Beth Or SHABBAT MORNING SERVICE FOLLOWED BY LUNCH & LEARN Saturday, February 23, 10:30am at Temple Israel COLLABORATIVE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL Sunday, February 24, 9:00am at Beth Abraham In collaboration with PJ Library and all local religious school programs
In collaboration with Beth Abraham, Temple Beth Or, and PJ Library, funding provided by a Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Innovation Grant.
torah on tap monday, february 25 6:00pm @ D20 BAR Temple Israel • www.tidayton.org • 937.496.0050 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton, OH 45405 A Reform Synagogue open to all who are interested in Judaism. Childcare provided during Friday services and Sunday school. PAGE 4
Continued from previous page “When they planned to have that ceremony, Orville Wright said the ceremony can only be 20 minutes,” Staley says. “Orville was insistent. They have about 200 people come to see the new library, they start this program, and according to Max, at about 20 minutes, the power went out.” People went home and came back with candles to complete the tour. According to a 1967 oral history with Kohnop for the University of Dayton, Orville was timing the ceremony with his stopwatch. “When the power went out,” Staley says, “Orville looked over at Max and said, ‘You did a fine job. Everything went along smoothly.’ Someone from Dayton Power and Light was here and was very embarrassed that the power went out.” For the ceremony recreation, a member of the Oakwood Historical Society will retell the story. When it comes to the part about the power outage, the library will dim its lights and everyone will receive an electric candle to turn on for the rest of the story. One of Kohnop’s granddaughters, Sandy Senser of Columbus, remembers her grandfather as very proud of the library. “When we would go visit, we would go to the library,” Senser, who grew up in Ashland, recalls. “Even now, whenever we’re down in that area, we always stop in the library.” Max and Minnie Kohnop moved to Dayton in 1922 when the Dayton Daily News hired him away from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Their first address here, listed in the 1923 Williams’ Dayton Directory, was 1207 E. Third St. From 1924 through 1926, they are listed as living in the then up-and-coming Jewish neighborhood of Dayton View. In 1927, the Kohnops are listed as residents of Monterey Avenue in Oakwood, where they would remain. Jews were generally not welcome to live in Oakwood until the late 1970s; they often faced discriminatory real estate restrictions. Even so, some Jews lived in Oakwood as far back as at least the 1920s. Senser doesn’t recall her grandparents talking about why they moved to Oakwood or about discrimination they may have faced there. “They kept kosher, they kept to themselves,” Senser says. “They were neighborly, they had good neighbors, but you just didn’t make a big deal about being Jewish. They would eat out, but they would only eat fish. I don’t recall going to shul with them, partly because Grandpa worked on Saturday, working on the Sunday edition. “He used to come home at 2 in the morning or something like that after the paper was put to bed. She (Minnie) always lit Shabbos candles, we celebrated the holidays.” Kohnop was president of Temple Israel and chaired its cemetery committee, president of Dayton’s B’nai B’rith Lodge 55, and a longtime member of the Jewish Federation board. He also edited the B’nai B’rith and Jewish Federation newsletters for decades. His wife died in 1982; he died in 1990. “That he was an integral part of this place is meaningful,” Staley says. “As a library that is open to all, we can look back at our history and see someone who was rare: who could possibly not have been welcome in this community.” With the library’s renovations complete and in time for its 80th anniversary celebrations, Hale, the library’s director, says she has found the perfect spot to display Kohnop’s portrait: on the main floor, near the service desk. For information about Wright Memorial Library’s 80th anniversary events, go to wrightlibrary.org.
Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss MWeiss@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 Contributors Scott Halasz Rabbi Haviva Horvitz Candace R. Kwiatek Rena Neiger Advertising Sales Executive Patty Caruso, email@example.com Proofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert Billing Jeri Kay Eldeen, JEldeen@jfgd.net 937-853-0372 Observer Advisor Martin Gottlieb Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Bruce Feldman President David Pierce Immediate Past Pres. Todd Bettman President Elect Joel Frydman Foundation Chair Dr. Heath Gilbert Treasurer Beverly Louis Secretary Dan Sweeny VP, Resource Dev. Mary Rita Weissman VP, Personnel Cathy Gardner CEO The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 23, No. 6. The Dayton Jewish Observer is published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459. Views expressed by guest columnists, in readers’ letters and in reprinted opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dayton Jewish Observer, The Dayton Jewish Observer Policy Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton or the underwriters of any columns. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut. The Dayton Jewish Observer Mission Statement To support, strengthen and champion the Dayton Jewish community by providing a forum and resource for Jewish community interests. Goals • To encourage affiliation, involvement and communication. • To provide announcements, news, opinions and analysis of local, national and international activities and issues affecting Jews and the Jewish community. • To build community across institutional, organizational and denominational lines. • To advance causes important to the strength of our Jewish community including support of Federation agencies, its annual campaign, synagogue affiliation, Jewish education and participation in Jewish and general community affairs. • To provide an historic record of Dayton Jewish life.
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In Hungary, political fight taints effort to bury Holocaust victims
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The ZAKA Divers Unit uses a special sonar device and integrated underwater camera to try to locate Holocaust victims’ bones from the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary on Jan. 15
when there is a danger to the dignity of the dead but forbids disturbing the remains of Jews in all but the most extreme circumstances. EMIH, for its part, described the retrieval mission as fulfilling the “major mitzvah of bringing the victims to burial.” But the core of EMIH’s dispute with Mazsihisz is not about halacha. Rather it is a fight over attitudes toward Hungary’s controversial government and its funding for Jewish groups, where EMIH clearly seems favored. “This fight over the Danube is part of the bigger fight,” Radnoti acknowledged. The two groups have clashed publicly recently over EMIH’s taking over of a state-funded Holocaust museum. The person tapped to head the museum, Maria Schmidt, is a right-wing historian who has been accused of distorting the Holocaust. In light of this, Mazsihisz criticized EMIH’s decision to head the House of Fates museum, which has not yet opened. “There is no way this museum will operate independently,” Radnoti said in explaining his group’s objections. But EMIH said it would have total discretion over the museum’s content. For those seeking unity among Jews, internal fights about the memory of the Holocaust are painful. But in Hungary, politics spilled over to disagreements about one of the fundamentals of being Jewish. Deri, who heads the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party in Israel, decided to wade into the fight and turn it into an interdenominational religious conflict with a statement that inaccurately Continued on Page 19
, N U F
OOD FEEL-GAL!” MUSIC a – Ente rt
Photos: Matthew Murphy
devolved into a vociferous By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA Relations between Hungary’s exchange that included even Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh two Jewish federation groups have deteriorated recently from Deri. The sweep “insults the calm stony silence to a full-blown and dignity of Jewish or nonrow. The fight between the Mazsi- Jewish dead people who may be found during the exploration,” hisz group, which is critical of Mazsihisz wrote a day after the the Hungarian government, scan. “Moreover it breaks halaand the Chabad-affiliated EMIH group, an advocate of the cha,” or Orthodox Jewish law, the federation group said in its government, is essentially over statement. government cooperation and Rabbi Zoltan Radnoti, the funding. chairman of the rabbinical It’s an understandably divicouncil of Mazsihisz, said any sive issue in a country with a bones found likely would be government often accused of from one of the thousands of encouraging antisemitic rhetonon-Jewish German, Soviet, ric. and local troops and civilians But in mid-Janaury, the fight who died in fighting along the veered away from politics and riverbank. spilled over into one of the “Come on,” he said, “the major dilemmas facing Eastern Danube is not a grave. It’s a European Jewish populations: fast-running river.” how to treat the remains of In 2016, Mazsihisz itself Holocaust victims. organized a Jewish burial for The dispute marks a new, bones that had been worrisome low in the internal fight, Both groups found in the Danube in 2011 amid renovaextending to include can cite tions on the foundaa core issue of the tions of Budapest’s Jewish faith. It raises principles Bridge. concerns as to the from halacha Margaret “We had a multidepths of division faith burial ceremoamong the 100,000 ny, with two priests and rabbis Jews living in Hungary — by far Central Europe’s largest Jew- from various denominations,” Radnoti said of the ceremony. ish community. The burial fight began with a “It’s true that these were likely Jews, but the truth is there is no sonar sweep Jan. 15 of the floor way of knowing for certain.” of the Danube River. CommisKoves said that most people sioned by EMIH’s leader, Rabbi killed in the Danube were Jews. Slomo Koves, it ended without He cited DNA testing on the meeting its aim of identifying bones of some of the thousands bones found in 2011. Of the 15 people identified from the of people that Nazi collaborabones, at least nine had Ashtors shot and dumped into the kenazi Jewish DNA, the tests river during the Holocaust. showed. But what started out as an Both groups can cite princiexample of innovative technology being used to bring dignity ples from halacha, which states that bones should be buried to unburied victims quickly
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Talmud-inspired learning craze sweeps S. Korea Tim Alper
every South Korean can recount. By Tim Alper, JTA “Jews account for just 0.2 percent of the SEOUL, South Korea — In 2014, Kim Hyeworld’s population, but 23 percent of Nobel kyung found herself staring into an educaPrize winners have been Jewish,” Seoul-based tional abyss. student Choi Jae-young related. “And despite The mother of two lives in study-mad all the time and money we spend on education, South Korea, a nation where parents fork over only one Korean has ever won a Nobel award. a combined $17 billion on private tutoring That irks many Koreans. It makes us want to every year. Children start early — 83 percent learn Jews’ secrets.” of 5-year-olds receive private education — and Some South Koreans think the key to unthe pace keeps intensifying until, at age 18, locking such “secrets” can be found in Jewish students take the dreaded eight-hour suneung approaches to education. university entrance exam. Flunk the suneung “Koreans don’t have to emulate Jewish belief and your job prospects could nosedive. Pass systems,” educational researcher Seol Dong-ju with flying colors and you may land a coveted said, “but we do need to copy the way Jews spot at a top-ranked university. teach their children.” “I hated the idea of sending my children The result is dozens of private chavrutato private academies, where teachers cram themed academies, with busy branches in major information into young heads with no thought cities throughout the country, catering to everyfor nurturing creativity,” Kim Hye-kyung said. one from toddlers to adults. Some make use of “When my kids were younger, I read them A South Korean woman and her child read Talmud-themed books at a Seoul Korean-language Talmudic texts, while others books or took them out instead of sending bookstore follow entirely secular curricula. them to academies. But as they grew older, I Kim Jung-wan, who directs one such academy — started worrying that their school results would suffer the educational path I’d been dreaming of. I thought the Havruta Culture Association — explains that South my heart was about to burst with joy.” as a result of my decisions.” Korea’s Jewish education quest is more than 40 years Most South Koreans have never met a Jew. Aside Kim Hye-kyung was in this quandary when, by old. It began in the mid-1970s, when Korean translafrom a small Chabad house in this capital city and a chance, she came across a book by a Korean author few informal groups of (mostly secular) Jewish expats, tions of Talmud-inspired stories by Rabbi Marvin about what for her was a novel study method. It was Tokayer, an American military chaplain stationed in South Korea’s Jewish community is virtually nonexchavruta, a method used by Talmud scholars in which Japan, first arrived in Seoul bookstores. pairs of students debate and ask one another questions istent. As such, South Koreans know next to nothing Tokayer’s stories were a runaway success. The about how Jews live, what they eat (and don’t eat) or based on ancient rabbinic texts. Talmud, the vast Hebrew and Aramaic compendium “When I read about chavruta, I immediately felt an what they believe. However, there is one fact about Jews that just about of first millennium law and lore, effectively went viral emotional connection,” Kim Hye-kyung said. “It was
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
THE WORLD Havruta Culture Association
in South Korea. In the decades since, hundreds of Korean versions of the Talmud have appeared, mostly deriving from English-language translations and commentaries. These range from picture storybooks for children to thicker, more ponderous volumes for adults. But South Korean Talmud fever also sparked a highbrow fascination with Jewish knowledge — one that has spawned all manner of remarkable publications, including a Koreanlanguage translation of the Haggadah, the book Jews read at the Passover Seder. And, as Kim Jung-wan ex- A chavruta-style adult learning session in South Korea plains, interest in the Talmud Associations, struck a memorandum of understanding eventually led Korean academics to explore how Jews with the Havruta Culture Association. The resulting study religious texts. They began to learn about yeshivas, academies that are devoted to Talmud scholar- partnership will see scores of regular schoolteachers learn how to initiate chavruta-style learning sessions. ship. South Korean consultants paid visits to some of “Many newfangled educational trends have come Israel’s busiest Talmud study centers. and gone here,” Lee Hyo-sang of the teachers’ fedWhat they discovered inside sent their hearts afluterations said. “Most fall out of fashion after about ter: vast halls resonating with the clamor of heated five years after failing to deliver on their proponents’ student discussion, with teachers’ voices nowhere to promises. But chavruta is different. It has a history that be heard. Pairs of Talmud students — chavruta comes goes back centuries. from a Hebrew root meaning friend or companion — “KFTA experts visited numerous chavruta acadlocked horns in lively debate over texts, parsing its emies and found that, rather than being overly quiet logic and debating a series of written questions posed like most typical Korean classrooms, they all thronged by teachers. with noisy discussion and debate. It’s a breakthrough For many South Korean thinkers, this was the in Korean classroom culture. It could find applications “secret” they had been after since the 1970s: a learning methodology that added dynamism to book-based in schools, households and even businesses.” Even preschoolers are getting in on the action. learning and removed the teacher as the focal point of Yoojung Kindergarten, a preschool in northern lessons. Seoul, recently added chavruta modules to its curricuKim Jung-wan’s own long chavruta journey began in 2001, when an academic acquaintance suggested he lum. Children listen to stories from the Talmud and use the Talmud as a teaching tool for his son, then just then embark on chavruta-style peer discussions. “We wanted to find a fun, lively classroom activa year old. ity that would promote creativity, but also help with “I kept exploring the subject. I was fascinated,” he moral education,” principal Jung Geum-sook said. said. Kim Jung-wan went on to study Hebrew at the “Chavruta seems to tick all of these boxes.” Israel Culture Center, an affiliate of the Embassy of Parents also believe they can play a part. As she Israel in Seoul. “Eventually I began attempting to translate parts of began to read more about the way Jewish scholars the original Talmudic text into Korean using the Schot- practice chavruta in yeshivas, Kim Hye-kyung started thinking of ways to adapt the same methodology at tenstein English-language translation as a reference,” home. he said. “This month, I am heading to a yeshiva in She began with family readings of picture storyIsrael, where I’ll study for a month. It wasn’t easy for books, encouraging her husband and children to ask a non-Jew like me to gain admission, but I managed one another chavruta-style questions at every step of somehow.” the way. In fact, most Orthodox yeshivas follow a policy of “It opened up a whole world of unexpressed tactfully dissuading non-Jews from pursuing Talmud study. South Korean academics, Tim Alper thoughts and feelings,” she said. “We discovered that the however, appear undaunted. questions we asked had no Skeptics urge caution, noting right or wrong answers. The that South Korean education whole process became both fads tend to come and go, espeenlightening and fun.” cially in the ultra-competitive Kim Hye-kyung has gone world of private academic instion to apply her home-chavruta tutions. Critics warn that while methodology to a range of secadvocates are currently singing ular subjects including math, chavruta’s praises on television languages and science, and has talk shows, the phenomenon ended up writing two popular may prove to be another flash manual-style books outlining in the pan. her methods. But the evidence suggests “Chavruta discussion-based otherwise. The methodology learning is even effective for is gaining mainstream accepchildren preparing for exams,” tance fast, moving from private she said. “It helps them form academies into conventional an emotional attachment to public classrooms. In Decemimpersonal-looking study ber, one of the largest teachers’ trade unions in the country, the A Korean-language translation of the Haggadah, materials that would otherwise bore them to tears.” Korean Federation of Teachers’ which Jews read at the Passover Seder
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On day of Women’s March, Linda Sarsour rejects Farrakhan’s antisemitism and defends BDS By Marcy Oster, JTA Linda Sarsour defended the legality of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel during her speech on stage Jan. 19 at the third Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Her critique of anti-BDS laws came hours after rejecting the antisemitic statements of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March movement, called herself “a proud Palestinian-American woman” in her remarks Jan. 19 and said that “there are no perfect leaders.” She said “the media can talk about any controversy they want” — a reference to claims of antisemitism among the movement’s leadership — “but the real controversy is in the White House.” “We will protect our constitutional right to boycott, divest and sanctions in this country,” Sarsour also said, a reference to pending legislation in the U.S. Senate to allow state and local governments to refuse to use the services of companies that boycott Israel.
Prior to attending the march, Sarsour that morning told CNN’s New Day Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul that the Women’s March rejects antisemitic and homophobic statements by Farrakhan. “We unequivocally have rejected the comments made by Minister Farrakhan on LGBTQ communities and on Jewish communities. We have said multiple times on our statements at womensmarch.com, we unequivocally denounce transphobia and ask people to ask us directly and to read our statements and understand we have been doing this work before there was a Women’s March,” she said. “And our track records are very clear: That we have stood up for all communities. We are the first people on the front lines when there is a fight for justice in this country.” Sarsour noted her meeting earlier in the week with 13 rabbis from the New York area, after which nine of the rabbis endorsed her and the Women’s March. “What that proves is that we have been doing the work. We have been
ing and talked about issues of pain and trauma and historical trauma and trauma of black people in America. Muslims, refugees. So we will continue those conversations.” For the third year in a row, the main Women’s March was held in Washington and hundreds of sister marches were held across the country. According to reports there were fewer participants than in previous years, in part due to the accusations of antisemitism against the leadership of the march. Three of the speakers on the main stage Jan. 19 were the three Jewish womWomen’s March Organizers Linda Sarsour en named in January to the Women’s and Tamika Mallory on stage during the 3rd Women’s March, Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C. March steering committee: transgender rights activist Abby Stein; former Union learning and evolving as a movement, for Reform Judaism staffer April Baskin; and people have to understand that we and Jewish diversity activist Yavilah are trying to create a big tent of women McCoy. of all religious backgrounds, people of Marches not affiliated with the nacolor — people of different sexual orien- tional march also were held on Saturday tations, even people across the different in cities throughout the country. ideology,” Sarsour said. “We are a polarized nation, so we Editor’s note: The Dayton Women’s March went to the rabbis. We had a meetwas cancelled because of inclement weather. Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
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Israel-US test of Arrow 3 Chadian peacekeepers killed in Mali over missile defense system restoration of diplomatic relations with Israel in the west African nacalled ‘complete success’ tionAnofattack Mali that left 10 Chadian U.N.
JERUSALEM — Israel and the United States tested the Arrow 3 missile system, calling it a “complete success.” The test took place early on the morning of Jan. 22 at the Palmachim Air Base in central Israel. It was led by Israel Aerospace Industries in collaboration with the Israel Air Force, in cooperation with the American Missile Defense Agency. The Arrow 3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles from great distances and heights, and at higher speeds, such as outside the atmosphere. “The success of the test is an important milestone in the state of Israel’s operational capability to defend itself against future and existing existential threats in the region,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The test was planned in advance, but came less than two days after Israel struck several Iranian targets in Syria. In offering congratulations on the success of the test, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel has very strong defensive and offensive capabilities that are among the most advanced in the world.” Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s defense minister, made the remarks following a tour later in the day of the Israel Aerospace Industries plant where the Arrow missiles are being developed and produced. “We will continue to successfully develop the most advanced weapons systems in the world in order to ensure the security of the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel,” he said. — JTA
peacekeepers dead was in reaction to the visit to Chad by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group in Mali, called Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, claimed responsibility for the attack on a United Nations camp in northern Mali Jan. 20, shortly after Netanyahu and Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, announced that the two countries would reestablish diplomatic ties. The claim for the attack and the reason for it was relayed by the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency, which receives statements from the group, the French news agency AFP reported. In addition to the 10 killed peacekeepers, another 25 were injured. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chad’s president, Idriss Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the UN Deby, met on Jan. 20 in the capital N’Djamena and later announced the envoy for Mali, in a statement called resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries after more than 45 years the attack “vile and criminal.” He The U.N. Security Council later on Jan. 20 consaid the terrorists “arrived on several demned the attack and paid homage to the peacearmed vehicles.” keepers. “It demands a robust, immediate and concerted There are about 13,000 UN peacekeepers deployed response from all forces to annihilate the peril of terin Mali, to protect against violence by Islamist milirorism in the Sahel” region of Africa, the statement tias. — JTA said.
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YIVO conference finds new audience for Yiddish anarchism JTA
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Some 450 people attended a conference at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York on the history of Yiddish anarchism, Jan. 20
By Andrew Silow-Carroll, JTA and lexicographer Alexander Harkavy, NEW YORK — To the degree that and popular publications like Vahrheit you know anything about Yiddish (Truth), Freie Arbeiter Stimme (Free Voice anarchism, it probably boils down to of Labor) and Der Arbeiter Freund (The Emma Goldman. And even then you Worker’s Friend). are probably more familiar with GoldKenyon Zimmer of the University of man as an immigrant firebrand than for Texas at Arlington, Sunshine’s co-orgathe truly radical content of her political nizer, noted that by 1914, Freie Arbeiter philosophy. Stimme had a circulation of 30,000, or And by “you” of course I mean me, one-third that of the popular Forverts, the kind of person who showed up as a which had a more mainstream demoblank slate Jan. 20 at an all-day sympocratic socialist bent. sium on Yiddish anarchism held at the Zimmer also pointed out that Morris YIVO Institute for Jewish Research here. Sigman, president of the International What organizers figured might be a Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union from sparsely attended gathering of Yiddish1923 to 1928, identified as an anarchist ists and nostalgic radicals turned into a (as did Leon Moiseff, the chief engineer standing-room-only occasion for recallon the Manhattan Bridge). ing and rehabilitating an overlooked So what did these Yiddish anarchists political legacy on the Jewish left. actually believe? While anarchism “I told YIVO that has often been associmaybe 70 people would Unpopular views ated with violence and show up and sit down disorder, its followers got the Yiddish for an anarchist conappear to be a lot more, ference,” conference well, mainstream in their anarchists read co-organizer Spencer radicalism. Sunshine said. More Yes, they opposed out of Jewish than 450 people atthe idea of the state and immigrant history borders, and posited a tended. Sunshine assured society that organized attendees like me that we weren’t alone itself without authority. They rejected in our ignorance of the topic. Sunshine, communism and socialism because both, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on like capitalism, depended on a centralpost-1960 anarchism in the U.S., said the ized state. Jewish immigrant radicals were largely But a philosophy that sounds unrealignored by scholars and institutions istic and utopian was also matched by who wished that “the anarchists never a practical bent: Anarchists focused on existed.” smaller cooperative movements, like Nevertheless, the conference attracted labor unions, housing cooperatives, alalmost a minyan of scholars who have ternatives schools and the like. Moiseff’s been exploring the topic, often using the bridge still stands. material that had been gathering dust in As for the Jewish anarchists, Zimmer YIVO’s archives. said they shared a commitment to secuTheir subjects include once welllar Yiddish culture, militant atheism, known figures like poet David Edelstadt fighting antisemitism and rejecting the
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
THE WORLD immigrant history — none more unpopular than their rejection of Zionism. But that, he suggested, is also what makes them attractive to a younger generation of Jews on the far left, who he guessed (and audience reaction confirmed) made a up a good chunk of those in attendance. “Radical Jews who reject Zionism are probably interested in Yiddish anarchism because they are looking for a variety of historical alternatives which they can ransack for materials in their quest to build a new, radical, positive Jewish identity,” Sunshine said in his introduction. Such alternatives are scarce in a far left increasingly focused on anti-Zionism, he suggested. “I would guess that some of this (curiosity) is fueled by an exhaustion with the role of the anti-Zionist Jew, which unfortunately is the only Jewish identity that’s on offer in the radical left of today,” Sunshine said. “And while there is nothing wrong with this, it is a purely negative thing that has nothing positive to say about Jewish identity or tradition, and people who I think are firm anti-Zionists want to have an affirmative role about the Jewish people.” After the conference, I spent an evening reading up on anarchism while cable news murmured in the background. The federal government was still shut down and the executive and legislative branches couldn’t agree on a way out. The administration’s practice of separating families who crossed into the U.S. without papers appears to have been far larger and more chaotic than previInternational Institute of Social History ously reported. A report said hundreds of rural hospitals have closed or are at risk of closing because states chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility to more of their low-income residents. That kind of news suggests why a philosophy like Goldman’s will always remain seductive, and relevant. Anarchism, she wrote, “is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind.” Rather it stands for “individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.”
idea of a Jewish homeland — of any nationalism, for that matter. They also rejected the idea that Yiddishkeit (Jewishness) is defined merely by biology or descent — a principled pluralism that made it possible for a German, Yiddish-speaking gentile like Rudolf Rocker to become one of the leading Yiddish anarchist editors and organizers of his day. Anna Elena Torres, an assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of Chicago, spoke about the cultural contributions of the Yiddish anarchists, who left behind some 20 newspapers and a tradition of “svetshop” poetry that celebrated “bodily autonomy, a world without borders, a radical future and a world above and beyond the state.” Emma Goldman edited Mother Earth (1906-1917), an anarchist journal that published poems, stories and essays focused on women’s rights, birth control, and civil liberties. Like much of secular Yiddish culture, Yiddish anarchism began to fade after the 1920s, an inevitable victim of immigration quotas and assimilation in the United States, and later the destruction of European Yiddishland by the Nazis. Freie Arbeiter Stimme hung on until 1977, and aging anarchists mentored young radicals through the 1970s and ’80s. The symposium’s keynote speech was delivered by Anatole Dolgoff, whose parents, Sam and Esther, spent most of theirs lives in the radical movement. Sunshine noted how unpopular views got the Yiddish anarchists read out of Jewish
Yiddish anarchist Emma Goldman
Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor in chief of JTA.
Former Cleveland Clinic medical resident apologizes for antisemitic posts By Marcy Oster, JTA A former medical resident at the Cleveland Clinic who wrote scores of antisemitic social media posts apologized, saying “those words do not represent who I am and the principles I stand for today.” Lara Kollab, who attended medical school at a college associated with the Jewish community, said in the statement released on Jan. 4 and posted in a blog that “I wish sincerely and unequivocally to apologize for the offensive and hurtful language contained in those posts.” She said she visited Israel and the Palestinian territories every year as an adolescent and “became incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.” She said the antisemitic posts she wrote from 2011 to 2017 came because she had “difficulty constructively expressing my intense feelings about what I witnessed in my ancestral land.” The posts resurfaced at the end of December after being publicized by the controversial website Canary Mission, a secretive blacklist that hosts dossiers on anti-Israel student activists, professors and organizations, focusing primarily on North American universities. Canary Mission says that it “documents individuals and organizations that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses.” Critics have accused it of seeking to intimidate pro-Palestinian college students and stifle their activism with the threat of a blacklist. In April, a coalition of proIsrael students wrote to JTA that the website “is antithetical to our democratic and Jewish values, is counterproductive to our efforts and is morally reprehensible.” Israeli border control officers have used information from the site to bar activists from entering the country, according to Haaretz. Among Kollab’s posts that got the most attention was a tweet from 2012, when she was a medical student, which said: “hahha ewww.. ill purposely give all the yahood (Jews) the wrong meds….” Kollab had disabled all her
An antisemitic tweet from Lara Kollab in 2012, saved via screenshot by Canary Mission
social media accounts, but many of the posts and tweets were preserved in screenshot. Kollab worked at the Cleveland Clinic as a first-year resident from July 2018 to September 2018. The Clinic initially said early in a statement that Kollab no longer worked for the medical center but declined to offer a reason. It later revised the statement to note that Kollab was fired because of the social media post that threatened Jewish patients. “When we learned of the social media post, we took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave. Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September,” the statement said. It added that: “For first-year residents, multiple safeguards and direct supervision are required for patient care and prescribing medicine. In addi-
tion, there have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here.” Kollab said in her apology that “I matured into a young adult during the years I attended college and medical school, and adopted strong values of inclusion, tolerance, and humanity. I take my profession and the Hippocratic Oath seriously and would never intentionally cause harm to any patient seeking medical care.” She added that “I pray that the Jewish community will understand and forgive me.” Kollab attended medical school at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, which calls itself “the largest private university in the U.S. with Jewish roots.” In a tweet, the college said that it is “shocked that one of our graduates would voice statements that are antithetical to Touro and to the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath.”
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
When Begin rejected Bibi’s good advice
Why Trump’s peace plan doesn’t matter
By Douglas Bloomfield By Jonathan S. Tobin to a plan weighted heavily in favor of The highly unanticipated Trump plan the Netanyahu government. In January , Israeli television broadfor Middle East peace has been delayed Palestinian Authority President Mah- cast a report about the details of the again to no one’s surprise or disappoint- moud Abbas repeatedly threatens to Middle East peace plan that the Trump ment. U.S. Ambassador David Friedman end security cooperation and economic administration is planning to unveil at said the Trump plan is “pretty much some point in the future. ties with Israel unless peace negotiacompleted” but not ready for unveilIf the report is correct, then the plan tions resume. He’s bluffing. He knows ing. Probably not until after the April 9 there can and will be no resumption any crafted by senior White House adIsraeli election. time soon, and security cooperation and viser and presidential son-in-law Jared To say expectations are low is overly economic ties with Israel are what keeps Kushner will be similar to those set forth optimistic. It’s the peace plan no one his and his Fatah faction in control of the by previous administrations and past wants. Prime Minister Benjamin NeIsraeli governments but which the PalesWest Bank in the face of Hamas threats. tanyahu and the Israeli right prefer the tinians repeatedly rejected. When Trump does get around to status quo. In fact, instead of ceding But most savvy observers aren’t unveiling his historic solution to the any land, the prime minister has been wasting much time speculating about Israeli-Palestinian conflict that conpressing the Trump administration in the peace plan. Few think there is any founded all his predecessors, I expect the person of White House national sechance this effort will succeed. Bibi will be smart enough to say what curity advisor, John Bolton, to recognize Trump wants to hear. But while the lack of progress toward Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan peace continues to be lamented by Bibi’s response won’t be the truth, Heights, a move certain to inflame reAmericans who foolishly blame Israel that the plan is dead on arrival. Instead gional tensions. for the impasse, developments that he will more likely take advice that he Netanyahu has made clear by his highlight progress toward Israel’s ecoonce gave Menachem Begin but which actions that he opposes Palestinian nomic integration into the region are far prime minister foolishly rejected: to statehood, which is the sine qua non for say little and let the other side take the more important than Kushner’s exercise peace with the Palestinians. in futility. blame for its demise. The emerging U.S. strategy involves The more important news coming Then, as now, it is unlikely the presigiving the Saudis, Egyptians and Jorout of the Middle East concerns the dent had bothered reading the peace danians a stake in drafting the plan so formation of the Eastern Mediterranean plan proffered in his name but had they will then sell — or impose — it on Gas Forum. The forum is a multilateral merely been briefed in outline form. their Palestinian brethren. They know Presidents Ronald Reagan and Trump group composed of Israel, Egypt, Jorthat’s a non-starter, but they also know had reputations for short attention spans dan, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, that’s what Trump and his trusty trio and disinterest in detail. But for Reagan, Greece and Italy. of Orthodox Jewish negotiators — two Its purpose is, in the words of the the plan was the work of experienced lawyers from his business days and his announcement issued by Egypt’s Peprofessionals and a respected secretary son-in-law — want. The views of all troleum Ministry, to, “create a regional of state. For Trump it is his son-in-law three are in line with if not to the right gas market that serves the interests of and a band of inexperienced amateurs. of Netanyahu. its members by ensuring supply and The Reagan Plan had been vetted The Palestinians know from bitter demand, optimizing resource developwith the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordaexperience that Trump holds them in ment, rationalizing the cost of infrastrucnians but kept secret from Israel until it such contempt that they can only come ture, offering competitive prices and was made public on Sept. 1, 1982. U.S. off worse than the current status quo improving trade relations, among other Ambassador Sam Lewis unveiled it for in the new plan. The PA isn’t even on Begin, who’d been vacationing in Naha- goals.” speaking terms with top administration riya, near the Lebanese border. The forum is part of an effort to harpolicymakers. ness the enormous bounty of offshore Begin was outraged and wanted to The peace camps on both sides have reject it outright immediately. His closest gas reserves in order to make the group been decimated and discouraged for so a regional energy hub. Much like the advisors tried to calm him down. long they barely exist; they only know EastMed Pipeline that some of the same I was at my desk as legislative direcwhatever Trump proposes can only be countries, including Israel, are building tor of AIPAC when the news came in, worse, given his well-established biases and my boss, Tom Dine, was on vacaas partners, the plans reflect changes in and ignorance. the global economy that have the potention. So was Israeli Ambassador Moshe Bibi is not religious, but he devoutly tial to enrich countries that used to be Arens, who was back in Israel. I called prays that Trump will pass over the thought of as lacking natural resources. his deputy at the Israeli embassy, Bibi April Israeli elections before unveiling But the real significance is that it Netanyahu, to compare notes and talk his deal of the century that will bring demonstrates that the integration of the about our responses. everlasting peace to the Middle East, as Jewish state into a regional and global We had both come to the same conhe has done for the Korean peninsula. clusion: Arafat and the PLO were bound network didn’t have to wait until the The PM is also praying that the elections to reject any American plan, so let them Palestinians finally decided to make will force Attorney General Avichai take the fall for killing the Reagan initia- peace. Mandelblit to delay announcing wheth- tive. Instead of saying yes or no, we The irony about these developments er he will indict Netanyahu in any of both felt — and that was AIPAC’s public is that the forum and the pipeline might three major corruption cases. actually tie Israel so closely to Egypt and position — it would be best to say, “the Continued on Page 27 Putting off the prosecutors is someother nations that it could restrict the thing Trump can relate to and that may be enough to keep his plan on the shelf. Releasing the plan before the election could make it an issue in the vote, and that will only doom it — if that’s not Send your letters (350 words max., thanks) to already pre-ordained — because Bibi’s base, the settlers, the national camp, and The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Dr. the religious are not just uninterested Dayton, OH 45459 • MWeiss@jfgd.net but sure to be adamantly opposed even
So, what do you think?
Jewish state’s flexibility and independence in international trade, especially with respect to marketing exports. It could also potentially create avenues where Israel might be pressured to make diplomatic or political concessions to its foes. Yet sabotaging the group’s economic interests for the sake of furthering the conflict would be against the interests of all the participants. That would be especially true of the Palestinian Authority, which is hungry for a new revenue source to support its corrupt government. The forum and pipeline fulfill what Israel’s founding generation considered its ultimate goal. The Jewish state is now an economic and strategic partner for neighbors that once sought its destruction. Economic advances don’t erase all of Israel’s problems. The anomalous situation in the West Bank — where Israel maintains security control while the Palestinian Authority provides selfgovernment for most Arabs — is viewed with disgust and frustration by both sides. But both Israelis and Palestinians know that peace is nowhere in sight. Kushner’s proposal reportedly calls for a two-state solution with a Palestinian state that would control 85 to 90 percent of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem. Israel would keep the major settlement blocs and overall control of the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan, and perhaps other countries, would jointly administer the sacred sites on the Temple Mount. The news about these terms set off a predictable flurry of reactions with the Palestinian Authority vowing never to accept anything less than a full retreat to the pre-June 1967 lines, though even that wouldn’t necessarily prompt recognition of Israel’s legitimacy. The parties to the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud also fired off releases denouncing any move to a two-state solution that would, they said, endanger Israel’s security. Netanyahu stayed silent about the report, as he has every previous discussion of Kushner’s efforts. If the Palestinians were willing to agree to peace on just about any terms that included Israel’s survival, it would provoke a political crisis for him. But he knows that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas isn’t capable of going along with Kushner’s plan or even more generous schemes. And as long as Hamas is in control of Gaza and presents a deadly threat to Abbas’s Fatah Party’s hold on the West Bank, the P.A. will be incapable of agreeing to any peace plan. Israel’s critics — and even many of its friends — think that the Jewish state is doomed unless this changes. In order Continued on Page 27
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
Highlights JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
RIGHT: Chris Rowlands teaches PJ Library
and Hillel about Beavers as part of our celebration of Tu B'Shevat. PHOTO CREDIT: Rachel Gilbert BELOW, RIGHT:
Winter Camp Shalom kicked back with spa activities. PHOTO CREDIT: Kortney Young BELOW: Rag dolls made at our
Mitzvah Mission on December 25. PHOTO CREDIT: Tara Feiner
Dr. Heath Gilbert presented how our eyes change as we age at the first of our Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes series. PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Dolph Be sure to join us for the next in the series: Lifting the Weight of the World Off Your Shoulders on Tuesday, March 5 at Beth Abraham. Joanna White, Director, Womanline and Chief Richard Biehl teach us about mindfulness and using chair stretches to reduce stress. THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER â&#x20AC;¢ FEBRUARY 2019
February events JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES INNOVATION GRANT APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE Applications for the 2019–2020 Innovation Grant cycle are now being accepted. Please contact Jodi Phares at 937-610-5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application. Completed applications are due April 1, with award announcements made in May.
MONDAY 4 EARLY CHILDHOOD Flower Sale Starts Plants will be available for pick up from the Boonshoft CJCE on May 8 and 9. Contact Shawna at email@example.com or 937-853-0376 for more information.
TUESDAY 12 JCC The Beat: Making Music @ the J 6:30PM @ Boonshoft CJCE A unique series for anyone who loves music. Rich Begel will facilitate this session learning and playing Klezmer music. The first of four interactive musical sessions. Musicians and listeners of all ages welcome! SATURDAY 16 GRADES 6–8 Junior Youth Group 7:30–9:30PM @ Scene75 (6196 Poe Ave, 45414) Join your friends for a night of laser tag and arcade games!
THURSDAY 14 ACTIVE ADULTS Dine Around 11:30AM–1PM @ Olive Garden (6722 Miller Ln., 45414) Join your friends for lunch; cost is on your own.
SUNDAY 17 JCC (AGES 10–12) Jr. Maccabi Day at the Columbus JCC 8:15AM–6:30PM Meet @ Boonshoft CJCE Compete in soccer, basketball, or swimming. $70, includes transportation from the Boonshoft CJCE to Columbus JCC. Register by January 25.
MONDAY 18 JCC (K–7 GRADE) Winter Camp Shalom 8:45AM–3:45PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Join your friends for a field trip to the Museum of the United States Air Force! $38 per child; extended care available.
FRIDAY–SUNDAY 22–24 BETH ABRAHAM, TEMPLE ISRAEL, TEMPLE BETH OR, PJ LIBRARY Artist in Residence Weekend with NOAH ARONSON Renowned musician and performer Noah Aronson visits Dayton to share his music and infectious spirit. This event has been made possible through funding provided by an Innovation Grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.
KICK-OFF COMMUNITY SHABBAT SERVICE
SATURDAY LUNCH & LEARN
SHABBAT MORNING SERVICE
9AM @ Beth Abraham Synagogue (305 Sugar Camp Cir, 45409) A special combined educational session for all youth, 12th grade & younger, to learn together, work on a mitzvah project, and interact with Noah, followed by a mini concert by Noah and the kids.
10:30AM @ Temple Israel (130 Riverside Dr., 45402) Enjoy Saturday services with Noah.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO RSVP (unless noted): 937-610-1555 www.jewishdayton.org
SATURDAY 9 (8PM) CHILDREN'S THEATRE & SUNDAY 10 (3PM) The Addams Family, Young@Part @ Stivers Centennial Theater (1313 E 5th St, 45402) In advance: $10 adults, $5 for children ages 4-11 At the door: $15 adults, $10 for children ages 4-11, children under 4 get in free
7PM @ Temple Beth Or (5275 Marshall Rd, 45429) Noah Aronson joins us as one community for an evening of collaborative worship featuring the Dayton Jewish Chorale and Temple Beth Or Choir.
RSVPs due at least 1 week before event. Events with no price listed are free.
TUESDAY 5 JCC Tuesdays @ the J: Texas Hold'em & Poker 6:30-8PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Become a card shark in preparation for A Night in Vegas on March 9! Teacher: Scott Halasz
MONDAY 25 YAD (AGES 21-35) Trivia with a Twist 6:30–9PM @ Dublin Pub (300 Wayne Ave., 45410) Join YAD for a fun evening of trivia. YAD has won in the past, so let's not break tradition! Cost of food and drink on your own.
NOON @ Temple Israel (130 Riverside Dr., 45405) Noah leads an innovative and musical educational session. $10 (vegetarian); RSVP by Feb. 12 to (937) 496-0050.
COLLABORATIVE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
WEDNESDAY 27 JCRC & JFS Critical Conversations: Handling The Emotional Burden of Rising Antisemitism 7–8:30PM @ Boonshoft CJCE Take part in a community-wide discussion of how we handle the emotional toll of rising antisemitism in our country, featuring a panel of local experts.
THURSDAY 28 FOUNDATION & JFS Applications Deadline: Residential Camp and Travel to Israel Scholarships Awards will be announced on March 22. Applications for College Scholarship and Interest Free Student Loans also available now; due March 22. If you have any questions, or would like to request an application, please contact Alisa Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 610-1796.
SEE YOU IN MARCH!
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
Announcements JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
Did YOU know?
Announcing the Resilience Scholarship Fund
in memory of Dan Weckstein The Jewish Foundation is proud to announce a new fund in memory of Dan Weckstein. The Resilience Scholarship Fund was opened with donations from Dan’s family, friends, colleagues and students. While it is always a sad occasion to mourn the loss of someone so dear, Dan’s family decided to honor his legacy as a teacher, principal and coach by opening a scholarship fund. The fund provides scholarships to area teens who demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity, just as Dan did when he battled brain cancer for over three years. Despite the incredible hardship, Dan remained positive, humble and optimistic. In a video produced by some of his students before he passed away, Dan was quoted as saying “We stay positive, we stay resilient because of our attitude. We focus on the things we can control. We can control our attitude, we can control how we act around others, how we act when we’re by ourselves and that’s how we stay resilient and
positive.” It is this positive attitude and spirit of determination the Weckstein family hopes to encourage with the scholarship fund.
hygiene packages distributed to survivors of the deadly tsunami in Indonesia on December 22
These packages included blankets, towels, toothpaste, soap, and more. This was possible with the financial and volunteer support of JFNA and the JDC.
The Jewish Foundation is honored to work with Dan’s family in fulfilling their goals to provide Resilience Scholarships to honor Dan and all he stood for in the face of challenges. If you would like to donate, please go to jewishdayton. org/program/legacies-tributesmemorials or call us at 937-610-1555. If you have any further questions, please contact Janese R. Sweeny, Foundation Director, at email@example.com or 937-401-1542.
A Biss'l Mamaloshen Dekn
| DEK-en | verb: To cover, coat; to span.
Expressions with Dekn: 1 Di ku iz gefloygn ibern dakh un hot geleygt an ey! The cow flew over
the roof and laid an egg! (said in disbelief in response to a story that sounds far-fetched). 2 Az es regnt mit gold, shteyt der oreman untern dakh. When it rains gold, the pauper stands under the roof (i.e. even when he has the opportunity to make it rich, he doesn't take it). 3 Dos oybershte kleyd (klayd) fardekt di untershte layd. The [expensive nature of the] outer garment conceals the inner torment.
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION
OBSERVER ENDOWMENT FUND IN HONOR OF › Marshall Weiss, journalist and author extraordinaire Cindy and Larry Burick HOLOCAUST PROGRAMMING FUND IN HONOR OF › Melinda and Bill Doner’s new grandchild Helene Gordon › 90th birthday of Jack Rubenfeld Helene Gordon The Natarus Family IN MEMORY OF › David Hochstein Mark and Kathy Gordon PJ LIBRAY FUND IN HONOR OF › Cathy and Alan Brown’s new granddaughter Marcia and Ed Kress
THE RESILIENCE SCHOLARSHIP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Dan Weckstein Patricia Noel Millicent Townsley McIlvaine Realtors Mark and Sonja Smallwood JFS
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN HONOR OF › Shirlee and Dr. Ron Gilbert’s 65th wedding anniversary Helene Gordon and Joe Fodal FRIENDS DRIVE IN MEMORY OF › Shep Rosen Amy and Ed Boyle
CAROLE RABINOWITZ YOUTH JEWISH EXPERIENCE FUND IN HONOR OF › Happy Chanukah Bill Rabinowitz › Happy Chanukah Beth Rabinowitz › Happy Chanukah Judith Bernstein › Happy Chanukah Laurie Ryzenman › Speedy recovery John Minoughan › Speedy recovery Ken Pugar › Special birthday Judy Esmont › Bar Mitzvah of Oliver Saidel Bernard Rabinowitz IN MEMORY OF › Dan Weckstein › David Chesen › Shep Rosen › Norm Moss Bernard Rabinowitz BARBARA FLAGEL PLAYGROUND FUND IN MEMORY OF › Barbara Flagel Stephanie Serowitz
SAMMY’S RAINBOW BRIDGE FUND IN MEMORY OF › “Eliza Fuchsman” Dan, Janese, Leyton, Parker and Lily Sweeny
Would you like to honor or memorialize someone in your life, all while making a meaningful impact on the Jewish community? Consider making a donation to a Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton Fund. Tribute and memorial donations can be made for a variety of reasons, including: › Honoring someone’s memory › Celebrating a birthday or anniversary › Celebrating life cycle events such as births, b’nai mitzvot, & weddings › Recognizing achievements such as awards, promotions, honors, etc. Contact us at 937-610-1555 for more information.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
Upcoming events JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 8PM AND SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 3PM @ Stivers School for the Arts, Centennial Theater (1313 E 5th St, 45402) In advance: $10 adults | $5 children ages 4–11 At the door: $15 adults | $10 children ages 4–11 children under 4 get in free
Tickets available at jewishdayton.org or by calling 937-401-1553. JEWISH
Flower & Herb Sale Order through the month of February. Plants will be available for pick up from the Boonshoft CJCE on May 8 and 9. Flowers grown and provided by Furst the Florist. Annuals Perennials Flats Hanging Baskets Patio Pots Contact Shawna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-853-0376 for more information or to place your order today.
of G R E AT ER
DAY TO N
D I N N E R 201 9
P R ESIDEN TS
SAVE DATE t h e
JCC Early Childhood
FED ER ATI O N
Sunday, May 19 We hope to see you there. Invitation to follow. Seating is limited. Contact Juliet Glaser at email@example.com for more information.
JCC early childhood
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Classes
Chabad Jewish Learning Institute: Crime & Consequence, six Mondays, 7-9 p.m. beginning Feb. 4. $69 (scholarships available). 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. Chabaddayton.com or 643-0770 to register. Temple Beth Or Classes: Sat., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. & Sun., Feb. 17, 11 a.m.: Tanakh w. Rabbi Chessin. Sun., Feb. 3, 11:15 a.m.: Makor Adult Ed. w. Rabbi Ballaban. Thur., Feb. 14, 1:303:30 p.m.: Chai Mitzvah class. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. Temple Israel Classes: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.: Musar. Wednesdays, noon: Talmud. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.: Torah Study. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050. Tuesdays @ the J: Getting Ready for Vegas! Feb. 5, 6:308 p.m. Learn/sharpen skills for Texas Hold’em & Poker w. Scott Halasz. 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 6101555.
Temple Israel Ryterband Brunch Series: Sundays, 9:45 a.m. $7. Feb. 3: Rabbi Mark Washofsky, HUC-JIR, Would You Kill the Fat Man? Jewish Law Meets the Trolley Dilemma. Feb. 10: Dr. Mark Verman, WSU, Fulfilling the Jewish Commandment to Visit the Sick. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 4960050. Temple Israel Torah on Tap: Mon., Feb. 25, 6 p.m. D-20 Bar, 2144 E. Whipp Rd., Kettering. Discussion w. rabbi, first round of drinks on Temple Israel.
Temple Israel Prayer & Play: W. Rabbi Sobo. Sat., Feb. 9, 4-6 p.m. At Rabbi Sobo’s home. Havdalah, play, mac & cheese, craft/activity. For ages 6 and under and families. R.S.V.P. to 496-0050.
w. Rich Begel. Learning & playing klezmer. Tues., Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. R.S.V.P. to 6101555.
YAD Trivia @ Dublin Pub: Mon., Feb. 25, 6:30-9 p.m. 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton. For ages 21-35. Pay your own way. R.S.V.P. to Cheryl Carne, 6101778.
JFS Active Adults Dine Around: Thurs., Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m.: Lunch at Olive Garden, 6722 Miller Lane, Dayton. Pay your own way. R.S.V.P. to 6101555.
Chabad Sephardic Shabbat Dinner: Fri., Feb. 1, 5:30 p.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood. $25 adult, $7 child 3-12. R.S.V.P. to 643-0770 or chabaddayton.com. Temple Beth Or Soup Cook Off: Sat., Feb. 2, 6 p.m. Vote for your favorite from a variety of soups. $10 non cooks, $20 family. Free for cooks. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. Call Donna Brodnick, 435-3400 for info. JCC Children’s Theatre’s The Addams Family, Young@ Part: Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m. & Sun., Feb. 10, 3 p.m. Stivers Centennial Theater, 1313 E. 5th St., Dayton. In advance: $10 adults, $5 children 4-11. At door: $15 adults, $10 children 4-11. R.S.V.P. to 610-1555. Making Music @ the J: Interactive musical session
Yatar Israel Fundraising Presentation at Beth Jacob Congregation: Wed., Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. R.S.V.P. by Feb. 11, 274-2149. Beth Jacob Congregation Visiting Rabbi Shabbos Weekend: W. Rabbi Klatzkin. Fri., Feb. 15, 5:55 p.m.: candlelighting & service. Sat., Feb. 16, 9:30 a.m.: Morning services followed by kiddush lunch and class. 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Twp. R.S.V.P. for kiddush, 274-2149.
Junior Youth Group @ Scene75: Sat., Feb. 16, 7:309:30 p.m. Grades 6-8. 6196 Poe Ave., Dayton. R.S.V.P. to 610-
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Noah Aronson Artist-InResidence Weekend: Fri., Feb. 22, 7 p.m.: Community Shabbat Service at Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. Sat., Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m.: Shabbat Service at Temple Israel followed by lunch & learn at noon ($10, R.S.V.P. by Feb. 12 to 496-0050). 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. Sun., Feb. 24, 9 a.m.: Collaborative religious school at Beth Abraham Synagogue, 305 Sugar Camp Cir., Oakwood. Jewish Community Relations Council Critical Conversations: Handling The Emotional Burden of Rising Antisemitism. Wed., Feb. 27, 7 p.m. Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. Free. 610-1555.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
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THE MARVELOUS MR. MAZEL
Introducing new Observer columnist, The Marvelous Mr. Mazel, Scott Halasz As a newspaper reporter, I try to stick my nose for news wherever I can. But sometimes the news comes to me when I least expect it. Such was the case last week when I ran into Marni Flagel at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education. Always the proud mom, Marni updated me on her children. Aly Goldberg has started Iristify, an event and strategic networking solutions firm in Louisville. Named after the Greek goddess Iris, Aly’s focus is to help businesses that are working to repair the world. “All of my clients are
conversations Handling the Emotional Burden of Rising Antisemitism
either non-profits or missiondriven for-profits that have either created products that help people or use their success to give back to their communities,” Aly said.
Scott Halasz Andrew Flagel was named vice president for advancement and member engagement for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In this role, he’ll help promote the mission of AAC&U by leading strategic advancement and membership growth and development. He has spent more than 25 years working in higher education including as senior vice president at Brandeis University and dean and associate vice president at George Mason University.
Rabbi Ari Ballaban, assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Or, and director of Dayton’s Jewish Community Relations Council, presented his paper, The #Me Too Movement and ‘Your Momma’ Jokes in the Babylonian Talmud: Studying Sotah 42b in Light of Toxic and Hegemonic Masculinity at the Society of Jewish Ethics Annual Meeting in January, held in Louisville. Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children's Hospital, is one of the new board members of the Ohio Hospital Association. The association is a trade group that lobbies on behalf of hospitals. Feldman has been with Dayton Children's since 2012. Debbie Lieberman was recently elected as an officer to the County Commissioners of Ohio Board of Directors for 2019. She has been a Montgomery County commissioner since 2004. I'm excited to take over this column for Rachel Gilbert, who did a fantastic job spreading the good news about our community. Make sure to let me know what's going on in your family so I can include it in a future column.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
RELIGION Chabad Crime and Consequence course Chabad’s Jewish Learning Institute will present the six-week course, Crime and Consequence, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays beginning Feb. 4. The course explores Jewish perspectives on criminal convictions, sentencing, crime prevention, and rehabilitation. Tuition is $69 and includes a textbook. Scholarships are available. To register or for more information, go to chabaddayton.com or call 643-0770.
Beth Jacob to host Yatar Israel fundraiser Mireia Pons, PR and fundraising director of Yatar Israel, will lead a presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Beth Jacob Congregation, 7020 N. Main St., Harrison Township. Yatar Israel comprises combat volunteers from elite IDF commando units. The counterterrorism mobile ATV unit is a division of the Israeli Security Forces. R.S.V.P. for the presentation by Feb. 11 to 274-2149.
Overnight camp & travel to Israel scholarships available The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton is accepting applications for Jewish residential camp and travel to Israel scholarships. Applications are due by Thursday, Feb. 18. For more information and to receive an application, contact Alisa Thomas at athomas@jfgd. net or 610-1796.
Hungary Continued from Page Five labeled Mazsihisz as a “Reform” community. Mazsihisz does have many members of the Neolog stream, an endemic movement that is fairly liberal but far closer to Modern Orthodox streams than to either Reform or Conservative Judaism. “I was deeply shocked by the (Mazsihisz) statement, in which it used false pretenses to oppose, in violation of the Jewish conscience, bringing to burial the remains of the martyrs,” Deri wrote. “It is shocking and appalling that some are carrying out political score settling on the backs of those murdered in the Holocaust.” Radnoti said Deri’s characterization of Mazsihisz was “a disgusting form of character assassination.”
An extra happy month By Rabbi Haviva Horvitz Temple Beth Sholom, Middletown Have you ever looked closely at the month of February? What does it have to offer? It is the shortest month of the year with fewer than 30 days. It is usually cold and dark, and frequently depressing. It is the middle of the winter. We celebrate Presidents Day on the third Monday of the month, even though only four presidents (so far) were born in February: Ronald Reagan,
Perspectives William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington. In case you were wondering, the month with the greatest number of presidential births is October: John Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter. On the other hand, earlier in the month, on Feb. 2, there is the often-overlooked celebration of Groundhog Day. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, there was a Christian holiday called Candlemas Day when Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed in hopes of bringing blessings to their households for the remaining winter. After some time, it evolved into a day of weather prognostication as found in the following English folk song: If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight; If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go, Winter, and come not again.
The addition of an animal to in February, a Jewish leap year this tradition is believed to have adds a complete month, an adbeen introduced in Germany, ditional month of Adar. when the lore explained that if In the Talmud, Taanit 29a, the hedgehog saw his shadow it states: “When the month of on Candlemas Day, there would Adar enters, we increase in joy.” be six more weeks of bad And since Judaism is a weather. religion of happiness, when The hedgehog was replaced the time comes to add a month by the groundhog when Ger— which helps keep the lunar man settlers came calendar aligned to the United States with the seasons so and chose a more that the holidays fall local hibernating at the right time of animal. year — we add to It wasn’t until the happiest month 1886 that Groundof the year. hog Day appeared The Jewish leap in the local newspayear occurs seven per in Punxsutawtimes in a 19-year ney, Pa. cycle. The added Then, in 1993, month is called Adar Rabbi Haviva Horvitz a movie staring I and comes before Bill Murray came out called the “real” month of Adar (Adar Groundhog Day. It was about a II in leap years). cynical TV weatherman who Therefore, the festival of finds himself reliving the same Purim is celebrated on Adar 14 day over and over again when during Adar II, but there is a he goes on location to the small minor holiday, known as Purim town of Punxsutawney to film Katan (little Purim), which is a report about their annual celebrated on the 14th of Adar I. Groundhog Day. Laughter is the expression His predicament drives him of unbounded joy, the joy that to distraction until he sees a results from witnessing light way of turning the situation to issue from darkness, as is the his advantage. Imagine: what case with regard to the miracle would you do with a day you of Purim; the fear of the decree can relive until you “get it of Haman transforms into the right?” exuberant laughter of the festiAt Temple Beth Sholom in val of Purim. Middletown, we discussed a Another example of laughter similar idea at the beginning of in the Hebrew Bible is that of November, when we turned the the elderly Sarah learning that clocks back an hour. she will become pregnant. Her We gain an “extra” hour, so son’s name, Isaac, is derived what do we do with it? If you from the Hebrew word for could relive any hour, which laughter. hour would it be? If you could A Jewish leap year is reredo any hour, which would it ferred to as a shanah meuberet, a be? It was a great discussion. pregnant year. Since one of the However, in Judaism, we focuses of this issue of The Daydon’t do anything in a small ton Jewish Observer is marriage, way. it’s convenient that the month Rather than that extra hour for the marriage issue (Adar in November (which we’ll give I) comes before the month of back in March) or an extra day pregnancy (Adar II).
February • Shevat / Adar I A Jewish leap year On the Jewish calendar, months follow the cycle of the moon. However, there are approximately 12.4 lunar months in a solar year. The solution is a 19-year Jewish calendar cycle with a second month of Adar — Adar II — added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years.
Shabbat Candle Lightings February 1, 5:38 p.m. February 8, 5:47 p.m. February 15, 5:55 p.m. February 22, 6:03 p.m.
Torah Portions February 2 Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18) February 9 Terumah (Ex. 25:1-27:19) February 16 Tetzaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10) February 23 Ki Tissa (Ex. 30:11-34:35)
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen Mornings, Mon. & Thurs., 7:15 a.m.; Tues., Wed., Fri., 7:30 a.m. Evenings, Mon.-Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sun., 8:30 a.m. Sat. , 9 a.m.; Youth Service, 10:30 a.m. 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Saturdays 9:30 a.m., Sundays 8 a.m., Sunday through Friday, 7 p.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 274-2149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Sat., Jan. 26, 10 a.m. with Rabbinic Interm Eliza McCarroll 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Educator/Rabbi Ari Ballaban Fridays 7 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz See Web site for schedule. 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. thetemplebethsholom.com Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo First Friday each month 6 p.m. All other Fridays 6:30 p.m. Saturdays 10:30 a.m. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg Fridays 6 p.m. 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 399-1231. templesholomoh.com
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Chabad of Greater Dayton Rabbi Nochum Mangel Associate Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin Youth & Prog. Dir. Rabbi Levi Simon, Teen & Young Adult Prog. Dir. Rabbi Elchonon Chaikin. Beginner educational service Saturdays 9 a.m. adults, 10 a.m children. Sundays 9 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 643-0770. www.chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Services 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 10-noon. Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Cheryl Levine, 937-767-9293.
Wedding wisdom from our rabbis can only be achieved together.” By Rena Neiger Even so, he says, Genesis Special To The Observer gives a deceptively simple “It is not good for a perprescription for marriage: son to be alone” is the first “Therefore a man will statement in the Torah leave his father and about human nature, mother and cling Beth Abraham to his wife.” But Synagogue’s Rabbi it is the clinging Joshua Ginsberg to each other that says. is the hard work, “The Kabalah Ginsberg adds. teaches that two The Observer parts of the wedWonderful ding couple are plag Weddings asked Dayton-area rabbis to share words neshamata, or halfof wisdom they offer to souls, until they join in life engaged couples. partnership under the chupah “A relationship is bashert, or (wedding canopy) and become meant to be, not only because one soul in two bodies,” he you deeply love each other and says. “Hence, the bride circles delight in the privilege of givthe groom seven times, the ing to each other, but because number for wholeness which
you’re prepared to do the work of being married,” he says. “That includes listening, supporting and caring for each other with the humor and flexibility to appreciate and respect each other’s differences and individuality. It is important, therefore, that you and your partner be loving friends, or rayim ahuvim, a phrase found in the seven wedding blessings (sheva (L to R) Beth Abraham’s Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg, Temple Israel’s Rabbi Karen brachot). Bodney-Halasz, Temple Beth Or’s Rabbi Judy Chessin “Passion fades, but friendship, if we’re lucky, them.” they become insurmountable. endures. To have a friend for Likewise, Rabbi Judy ChesShe feels a strong sense of life, with whom you share sin of Temple Beth Or invites duty to counsel young couples the deepest experiences and couples to a series of counselon important issues including daily difficulties, is one of the ing sessions to plan the cerefertility and children. greatest blessings you can ever mony, but also to shed light on “This means genetic testing receive.” issues the couple will grapple for Jewish and non-Jewish dis“Love is love is love, and is eases,” she says. “Our meetings with, including family conflict, the backbone of a strong marorigins, and are an opporturiage, but it also takes comnity for them to ‘To have a friend for cultural differmunication and lots of other ences. engage seriskills to deal with issues when Chessin ously with each life, with whom you life becomes stressful,” says strives to inother and to share the deepest Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz of clude the courecognize that experiences and Temple Israel. ple’s parents, we’re invested Inviting couples to meet with in them as a daily difficulties, is but a wedding her before the big day, Bodney- couple, not just one of the greatest can be the first Halasz covers much ground in “stepping out” as individuals. multiple sessions that include point. I also ask them blessings you can HE HOPS OF AKWOOD homework and opportunities “I spend how we, the ever receive.’ to develop their communicaa lot of time congregation, AR ILLS VE tion skills — together. explaincan support Bodney-Halasz believes ing that this is their life and AYTON them, and what kinds of tradithese meetings help lay they must make decisions for tions they want to include in groundwork for a good relathemselves,” Chessin says. their wedding. It is important tionship, equipping the couple “Often, what parents want or for them to feel that the comWWW.THEFLOWERSHOPPE.COM to deal with problems before expect for their children isn’t munity is celebrating with what the children themselves want. Our meetings are often a jumping off point. Although it’s a ceremony and shouldn’t be a paradigm for life, it often is. Yes, it’s about the color of the flowers but also about the bigger issues like where will we live? Will we buy a house? How much will it cost? How many children do you want? Do you want a pet? How much input will our parents have in the choices we’re going to This two-story grand ballroom with make?” Couples must also figure historically inspired design features out who they are going to be is a truly unique space perfect for together religiously, Chessin says. receptions of 250-300 guests, but can “I do a lot of interfaith marriages, but with the underaccommodate 700 or more! standing that it is going to be a Jewish, not a Jewish-Christian wedding. Often, it is the Jewish Please contact us at 937-293-2841 ext. 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org partner who doesn’t underCarillon Historical Park • www.daytonhistory.org • 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, OH stand the pervasiveness of
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
moved to tears. Judaism and how it will impact that the chupah, with its abSometimes, Chessin says, sence of walls, represents the specifics they haven’t yet conit’s the bloopers that stick in sidered until our conversations. patriarch Abraham’s tent, with the mind. She remembers the hospitality at its core. “I give couples a wonderful moment when the glass didn’t The Jewish home should be list from a book of questions break under a groom’s foot, that one should ask before mar- open to others. Thus, marriage instead flying out and hitting a is not only for riage. It includes musician. the couple’s all kinds of catGinsberg says the moment personal benefit, egories ranging that remains etched in his mind but is also the from economis his own wedding, when his foundation from ics, lifestyle and which the family wife came down the aisle. habits: the kind “I was standing in front of operates to do of things couples for others and to the chupah in a kittel (ceremodon’t always make a difference nial white robe). Four cantorial know about one colleagues were angelically in the world. another. I encoursinging a version of Ani L’Dodi “Two people age them to read v’Dodi Li (I am my beloved’s come together, and talk together and my beloved is mine) as a share their and then come beautiful figure in white came strengths, and to me to discuss. toward me. She stopped before then share them The more they me and slowly began to circle with others,” he talk about exChabad’s Rabbi Nochum says. “A marriage me four times and then I circled pectations before Mangel her three times (a variation on is much more the wedding, the the bride circling seven times). than companionship, convebetter. We also go over Jewish We turned around together to nience, or two salaries. Rather, aspects of the ceremony and begin the ceremony. This was it combines what is best of the they decide what parts they the first of our shared Shemale and female, and together want to incorporate. A Reform hecheyanu moments — moments they form an edifice representceremony isn’t necessarily acof holiness cording to strict halacha (Jewish ing God.” He says that ‘We wish for a new and gratitude law). I let them make their own — that we a Jewish home choices. The ceremony often will hopefully expresses what their Jewish life should contain couple to create cherish together three elements: an everlasting together will look like in their forever.” Torah for the own home.” He says that soul, and bread Jewish home by Chabad’s Rabbi Nochum the rabbis of the and salt to sus- keeping God as Mangel says his advice to Talmud teach tain the couple the betrothed starts with the the partner at the us that making and commuHebrew words for man and a good marnity. woman. center, and as riage is harder The rabbis Ish is Hebrew for man, and the starting point than parting isha is Hebrew for woman. Both recall particuthe Red Sea. A larly memofor addressing words contain the Hebrew couple would letters aleph and shin, yet each rable wedconflict.’ do well to reword also has an extra letter. Ish dings, whether member what it includes the letter yud, and isha because of their says in our daily liturgy: “Who magical settings, or as Bodneyincludes the letter hey. in His goodness renews the When these two letters are re- Halasz says, when heirloom moved, it leaves only the aleph rings were exchanged under the acts of creation each and every day.” Ginsberg paraphrases this and shin remaining to form the chupah, with the couple relatword aish, the Hebrew word for ing the rings’ origins from close as, “Each new day offers the opportunity to begin again, find family members who were no fire. love again, and move forward.” longer alive. The guests were “Fire,” Mangel says, “has both positive and negative components. It can consume and destroy but can also cook and provide warmth. So how do we ensure that this fire doesn’t consume? We must add the yud and the hey, which together comprise the word (for) Hashem (God).” A marriage, Mangel says, needs Hashem at its core to provide a strong union and a higher purpose. If marriage is a godly commitment and a way to pass on Jewish tradition through the home and family, the result is a stronger relationship and a successful marriage. “The answer is right there in the Hebrew words,” he says. “We wish for a new couple to create an everlasting Jewish home by keeping God as the partner at the center, and as the starting point for addressing conflict.” Mangel explains to couples
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
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By Cindy Sher, JUF News CHICAGO — My sister was married on a beautiful summer day many years ago. Those of us in the wedding party took pictures in a garden before the ceremony. As maid of honor, one of my duties was to hold up the train of her dress so it wouldn’t drag through the dirt. But there was a lot of dirt, and the dress was soiled despite my best efforts. She couldn’t see the grime, but her bridesmaids could, so I silently made eyes conveying my distress over the maid-ofhonor fail. I can’t keep a secret from my sister. So a minute later, nearly in tears, I blurted Cindy Sher’s wedding to Kurt Anderson out, “Um, look at your dress,” pointing other details in planning a wedding; I spend to the gray smudges on the bottom edge of the more time daydreaming about what comes next. gown. Take the wedding registry. I didn’t care wheth“Eh, oh well,” my super un-diva-like sister er we choose All-Clad or Calphalon pots and replied with a shrug. “We’re still getting marpans, nor could I tell you the difference between ried.” She recognized that petty wedding details the two. What I do care about is sharing joyous just didn’t matter. meals around the kitchen table with my future All these years later, despite the garden mishusband and, God willing, our children someday. hap, they’re happily married with a brood of And then there’s the décor. I was asked to post beautiful sons. some of my “dream wedding” pics on Pinterest, In American culture and the Jewish community, too, we get caught up in weddings. We pour which for me first meant signing up for Pinterest. Then I was supposed to envision “the look” of ridiculous sums of money into them — the averthe wedding — the colors, the flowers, down to age price tag for a wedding was $33,391 in 2017, the napkin rings. according to The Knot. When I picture the wedding, I don’t see napBut more than that one big day, it’s all the days kins. What I do see is my fiancé standing under after the wedding that count — it’s really about the chupah waiting for me with our loved the marriage. ones surrounding us. And the only Torah teaches us about the origins rings I care about are the ones we’ll of (what we now call) marriage in exchange to signify that I am his another more famous garden — the beloved and he is mine. Garden of Eden. For that’s where There’s an episode of Sex and God saw that “it is not good for the City in which Charlotte is marman to be alone (Gen. 2:18)” and ried for the second time after an created the first human couple, unhappy first marriage. During Adam and Eve. Marriage for them the second (Jewish) wedding, the — and for all the married couples Wonderful bride under the chupah, Miwho follow(ed) in their footsteps Weddings randa’s trips toast to the bride and groom down the aisle — was and is meant goes up in smoke, and Charlotte spills to ensure the survival of humanity and wine on her gown. help people find companionship and joy. When the bride cries to Carrie about all the Now the Garden of Paradise may be gone, but calamities, Carrie consoles her by reminding her our hopes for happy marriages endure. that her first wedding was picture-perfect, but the One of the Jewish wedding blessings we still marriage — not so much. say under the chupah (wedding canopy) reflects “I say the worse the wedding, the better the that hope: “Make these beloved companions marriage,” Carrie tells her friend. “(Y)ou have a as happy as were the first human couple in the wonderful man who loves you.” Garden of Eden.” Maybe it’s because I’m a little older than the That’s a tall order, and ought to take a lot more average bride — or maybe it’s some of my past energy than whether to have sushi or mini hot experiences that have led me to this place and dogs during the cocktail hour. helped me put the wedding day in perspective. Soon it will be my turn to get hitched. My fiancé and I are having fun planning the wedding Whatever it is, I won’t sweat the details; I’m not — so long as we remember not to take it too seri- going to fret over boutonnières, table numbers or the bustle on my dress staying bustled. Instead, ously. Like when we spent hours singing along (loud and off-key) to Motown, big band and pop I’m going to stay focused on what I’ve wanted for a very long time: a wonderful man who loves me, classics to select for our wedding playlist. Oh, to build a home with. and there were many buttercream cakes to be But maybe, just the same, we’ll skip the garden tasted —now that’s my version of paradise. pictures. But I’d never given thought to some of the
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
I don’t believe in God, but this is why I’m having an Orthodox wedding
Cnaan Liphshiz and his wife celebrate their 2013 civil wedding
By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA AMSTERDAM — My wife and I were married roughly 5,000 diapers ago, and she’s still waiting for me to propose. I know this because she reminds me every anniversary. To be clear, ours was no shotgun wedding. Iris and I were hitched in a civil marriage in Holland five years ago — two years before our first child arrived. But issues persist with my marriage proposal in 2013. Iris claims that I mumbled, over scrambled eggs, “So, like, do you want to get married or something?” But I think we had pancakes that day. What she’s owed, I guess, is one of those orchestrated productions involving playful deceit, an airplane banner and a seaside kneel to the sounds of a saxophone played by a hired musician who pops out of nowhere at exactly the right time along with two cameramen and a boom operator. But for a fuss-averse pragmatist like me, such affairs feel far too unnatural. Which is why it may seem a bit strange that I am arranging (if you can call it that: We have less than a week to go and no ring) a second wedding ceremony. This time it’s with a rabbi, chupah (wedding canopy), ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) — the whole shebang. And it’s all at my insistence. To be honest, it makes no sense to be doing it now, when we already have our hands full with two small children. Or at all. While we are both Jewish according to halacha, Jewish law, neither of us observes it. We don’t even believe in God, let alone what Orthodox Judaism says are His rules for matrimony.
But after some soul-searching over Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, I realized that my desire for a Jewish wedding is rooted in a growing uncertainty — that of belonging to a persecuted people whose own identity and place in Europe and Israel are being redefined rapidly. Essentially, I want to have an Orthodox wedding and a ketubah to guarantee our children’s eligibility for becoming card-carrying members of any stream of Judaism, and for remaining Israeli citizens. As things stand today, they already qualify as both even though their parents don’t have a ketubah, which in Judaism is optional anyway. In halacha, a man and woman technically need neither ketubah nor wedding ceremony to be husband and wife: cohabitation is enough to seal a marriage, although the practice was discouraged by the rabbis. Our kids can obtain Israeli passports because I am a citizen. And because my wife is Jewish according to halacha (her mother had an Orthodox conversion before my wife was born), our son and daughter meet the definition of who is a Jew under a matrilineal standard accepted by all streams. But amid radicalization in Orthodox circles in Israel and beyond, there seems to be little guarantee that this will be the case 20 years from now. Our ketubah may therefore shield our children from scrutiny and complications. In 2016, for example, an Orthodox rabbinical court in the Israeli city of Petach Tikvah retroactively declared a woman non-Jewish. She had undergone an Orthodox conversion overseen by Haskel LookContinued on next page
I realized that my desire for a Jewish wedding is rooted in a growing uncertainty.
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Continued from previous page stein, one of the most highly regarded Orthodox rabbis in North America. Nevertheless, the Chief Rabbinate has begun to treat all conversions performed in America as suspect, as JTA has reported. Amid this war among Orthodox rabbis, can anyone guarantee that hardliners won’t move to disqualify as Jews those who were born to converts? Or, for that matter, a Dutch Jew whose parents never bothered to get married in a Jewish ceremony? Consider the case of Yossi Fackenheim, the 39-year-old son of the late Holocaust survivor and Reform rabbi, Emil Fackenheim. In 2009, an Orthodox dayan (rabbinic judge) in Jerusalem retroactively declared null and void the younger Fackenheim’s Orthodox conversion to Judaism in Canada at the age of 2. The stated reason: The convert did not lead an Orthodox observant lifestyle. Fearing this radicalization, I want to make sure our son and daughter have documentation to escape such injustice, for example, if and when they choose to marry Jewishly. Deeper under the surface, though, there are other concerns driving me to retie the knot. In the eight years that have passed since I moved to the Netherlands, dark clouds have gathered over Western Europe, making it increasingly inhospitable to Jews. Against a backdrop of antisemitic conspiracy theories and smears, violence against Jews is making a huge comeback in this part of the world. In Amsterdam, where we
live and enrolled our children in a heavily guarded Jewish kindergarten, a Syrian asylum seeker last year vandalized a kosher restaurant while waving a Palestinian flag to protest President Donald Trump’s moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In Antwerp, where I sometimes spend Rosh Hashanah with my relatives, an Arab driver is believed to have tried to run over a Jew and his son while they were walking to synagogue earlier this year. In 2014, an Islamist allegedly murdered four people at the Brussels Jewish museum. In France, a jihadist killed a rabbi and four children at a Jewish school in 2012. Another Muslim fundamentalist murdered four Jews at a kosher store in 2015. And in 2014, gangs of rioters attacked at least nine synagogues in that country as payback for Israel’s war on Hamas. Even Britain, which many local Jews have long thought of as a safe haven, is seeing the resurgence of antisemitism, including inside the Labour Party under its populist far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. A future here is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine for our children, to whom I speak in Hebrew and whom I often sing to sleep by butchering Naomi Shemer’s Zionist song about Jerusalem, Yerushalaim shel Zahav. Israel must remain a fortress that’s open to them. By Israeli law, they are entitled to citizenship as my children even if they weren’t Jewish. But laws can be changed — and by the same group of people who are retroactively declaring people non-Jewish.
Granted, these are pretty somber motives for getting hitched. But after studying our ketubah with our rabbi, I feel entitled to some pessimism. “It’s basically a prenup,” the rabbi told me about the text written on parchment, which states the man is responsible for the woman’s well-being and specifies what alimony he’d pay her if he divorces her. “Nobody likes a prenup, so I don’t call it that. And it contains some rosy talk about the joys of marriage. But make no mistake, this document is about what happens if it all goes wrong.” Then there’s the fact that as Jews, we’re told to remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem when we wed. That’s why, traditionally, Jewish men break a glass under the chupah. Living as a Jew in Europe, a graveyard for 6 million Holocaust victims, destruction is never too far from my mind. Such pessimism also extends to Israel, where despite phenomenal successes and inspiring expressions of unity, polarization in society has joined neighborly hostility as a major threat to a viable future in a homeland for all Jews. Still, I think of our Jewish wedding also as acknowledgment and appreciation of the tremendous privileges with which I’ve been blessed and seek to preserve. The first is living with the best partner I could’ve hoped for. The second is our children’s place in the world’s only Jewish country. In joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and hopefully long after death do we part.
Granted, these are pretty somber motives for getting hitched.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION
Bashert in The Bible
The Bible: Wisdom Literature I met my future husband through a kipah-clad classmate at my Jesuit graduate school who mentioned a synagogue on a bus line. Don’t ask — it’s a long story filled with unexpected lucky coincidences. In other words, it was bashert. After all, there’s no doubt
Candace R. Kwiatek we each found our bashert, our soulmate, in that synagogue 40 years ago. Maybe it was bashert — divinely ordained — that we would meet. Perhaps fulfilling our destinies, our basherts, has depended in part on finding each other. Although most often used to mean soulmate, the Yiddish word bashert encompasses various notions: a fortuitous occurrence, good luck, even an inevitable result or fate. In the traditional view, bashert connotes destiny and divine providence, the notion that everything that happens in the universe is under God’s guidance and control. Foreordained soulmates or scripted destinies? “The fatalism implied…doesn’t sit well with Judaism’s emphasis on free will and responsibility for
actions,” writes Rabbi Julian Sinclair. This isn’t just a modern perspective; even the renowned medieval scholar Maimonides rejected such notions. “(M) any people err…with regard to many of the matters in which he is given free choice: e.g., whether he will marry a particular woman or acquire a sum of money through theft,” Maimonides writes. “God does not decree that we will perform any mitzvot…and God does not decree that we will perform any sins.” Moment magazine author Sala Levin wonders: “How much of our life’s path is God’s decree, and how much is the consequence of personal choice?” In response, I turn to the Book of Esther. Midway through the story, the covertlyJewish Queen Esther learns from her uncle, Mordechai, that the evil minister Haman is plotting to annihilate the kingdom’s Jews. Begging Esther to intercede with the king, Mordechai utters the famous line, “And who knows, but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Was it foreordained for Esther to be queen for this exact purpose? Whether luck, destiny, or divine providence, it’s bashert that Esther is in the right place at the right time to
make a difference. But what happens next, however, is in Esther’s hands. Bashert repeatedly plays a role in this tale. Queen Vashti is banished for disobedience, conveniently leaving an opening for Esther. Mordechai fortuitously overhears a plot against the king, giving warning, winning the king’s favor, and ultimately becoming the king’s viceroy. Haman builds a gallows for Mordechai, but it becomes his own destiny. Esther approaches the king uninvited, but fortunately finds favor in his eyes. Lucky coincidences or divinely ordained? Even the rabbis of the Talmud disagree. Clearly, however, had Esther and Mordechai not chosen to act using their own free will, the story would have ended much differently. Throughout the Bible we find abundant evidence of bashert in its many guises. Each instance challenges us to consider: Is life destined or is it chosen, or is it a bit of each? Adam and Eve’s destiny to work and watch the Garden of Eden seemed certain except for one small factor: God had commanded them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for it would lead to death. God was offering them the opportunity to choose, and in so doing, to take part in creating their destiny.
Detail from Eliezer and Rebekah at the Well, Gustave Doré, 1866
It was predictable, perhaps even inevitable that Abraham’s servant Eliezer would find the perfect wife for Isaac among his father’s kinsmen who shared history and values. But there was no guarantee the woman would be willing; the text is clear that Rebekah was given a chance to choose. As for Isaac, he apparently delighted in Rebekah as his soulmate, for the text atypically asserts that he loved her. In Egypt, Joseph reassured his formerly jealous, scheming brothers, saying, “Now you, you intended me harm, but God intended it for good, in order to bring about the present result — to keep many people alive.” Was divine providence solely responsible for Joseph’s
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Literature to share Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris by Anne Nelson. France takes centerstage in this page-turning nonfiction story about Suzanne Spaak, a wealthy Brussels-born Catholic ultimately recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Not long after she and her family moved to France, the Nazis occupied Paris and she joined the resistance, keeping her work secret from her family. Saving Jewish children from deportation became her life’s purpose because “it is imperative to do something.” Just months before the liberation of Paris, she was captured and ultimately executed. A National Jewish Book Award Finalist. Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, translated from Norwegian. Part teen romance, part historical fiction, Almost Autumn creates an authentic picture of the little-told history of the last months of the Nazi occupation of Norway. The present-tense narration, ordinary details, and multiple points of view keep the pace moving as a sense of doom builds. This young adult novel is most impactful with some background knowledge about the Holocaust. Don’t miss the author’s connection to the tale in her afterword. Haunting and well worth reading.
survival, elevation to the position of Egypt’s chief minister, and reunification with his family? If his success was divinely guaranteed, what was the point of his many good decisions along the way? Moses was destined to be God’s partner in liberating the Israelites from Egypt, but was destiny enough? The many instances of free will choices that altered the course of events suggests not. After all, destiny couldn’t dictate the midwives’ refusal to kill Israelite baby boys, his mother’s resolve to protect him in a floating ark, an Egyptian princess’ decision to rescue the Hebrew child, or even Moses’ affirmative response to God’s call at the burning bush. Naomi returned to the land of Judah together with Ruth, who fortuitously found herself gleaning in the fields of Boaz. Just lucky? Or preordained? Either way, their destinies ultimately depended on Boaz’s willingness to serve as Naomi’s redeemer and Ruth’s willingness to marry. In the end, we don’t have any control over the bashert in our lives, whether we understand it as luck, fate, or divine providence. But how we respond to it, the Bible teaches, is in our control. It turns out much of our life’s path is a consequence of personal choices. It’s a sobering thought.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
Amos Oz’s fiction is forever; reality left his politics behind Mark Neiman
The author of 40 books, including 14 novels, and hundreds of articles and essays — many of which delved into the messy politics of the Middle East — Oz was Israel’s first great man of letters, an old-school public intellectual in a brand new nation with many jobs to fill — from the brawny to the brainy. Those patriarchs and matriarchs made the saying “next year in Jerusalem” both a reality and redundancy. With little natural background, they willed themselves to become equal parts poets, farmers and soldiers. Oz was a living embodiment of those multiple duties. After his mother’s suicide, which occurred the year before his Bar Mitzvah, he came of age on a kibbutz and fought in two of Israel’s wars. He then pub-
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lished acclaimed novels such as My Michael and Black Box, as well as the literary memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, that captured the finer points of domestic Israeli life, the yearnings and sexual passions, and the madness of a people who reinvented themselves so soon after nearly being annihilated en masse. Long before Netflix’s Fauda or the inexplicably sabraaccented Wonder Woman, Oz, through the 45 languages in which his novels were translated, introduced the world to Israelis in all of their rambunctious, high-strung, pattering essence — the kibbutz kibitzers, the brave sabra boys, the Mizrahi misfits, the lost European intellectuals trying to scrape
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Robert Frederick Blum, Two Idlers, 1888–89, oil on canvas. National Academy of Design, New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts
T H E WA L L S T R E E T J O U R N A L
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin speaks at a memorial service for novelist Amos Oz in Tel Aviv, Dec. 31
out a life of the mind in a barren desert. Without the wizardry of Amos Oz, many around the world would have had no knowledge of Israeli society, no feel for its people, no sense that they were more real than Jews from, well, Oz. And Israelis would not have known how they appeared in the imagination of one of their own. The Start-up Nation had to start somewhere, and Oz was not only there at the beginning, he also captured the mood, rhythms and sorrow of its people for nearly every decade of Israel’s existence. But there was more. Israelis related to Oz not only as a storyteller, but also as unofficial statesman. He was one of the
founders of Peace Now. Indeed, he was among the first, almost immediately after the euphoria of the Six-Day War, to attribute a doomsday prophesy to the capturing of Arab land. In his writings and public statements, Oz spoke of a moral corruption that could only be corrected by a two-state solution. No longer was he a mere fiction writer; he had become the conscience of a nation and a pesky activist in its political culture. Beyond advocating for Palestinian justice, Oz blamed Israel’s government for not making Palestinian statehood a reality. For a time, many Israelis — especially those who identified with the left-wing, social democratic Labor and Meretz parties — joined Oz in
For America: Paintings from the National
W Frederick Carl Frieseke, Hollyhocks, painted by 1911, oil on canvas, 25 1/2 × 32 in. National Academy of Design, New York. Courtesy American Federation of Arts
By Thane Rosenbaum, JTA The young nation of Israel has witnessed in recent years a dwindling of its founding generation — from the passing of statesmen like Shimon Peres to the death in December of novelist and political activist Amos Oz. Oz was 79; Israel is but 70. Oz was old enough to witness Israel’s fight for independence, and now his death turns the page on yet another chapter of its improbable resurrection — with an old language that became new again. Oz had a lot to do with that. He imbued Hebrew with a literary style and gave it a novelistic voice, finding new ways to maneuver the aleph and bet so that a once purely liturgical language suddenly possessed a richly lyrical descriptive power.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • FEBRUARY 2019
promoting an idealized view of Palestinian intentions and a self-flagellating opinion of Israeli policy. But now, so many years after the failed Oslo Accords, with multiple wars in Gaza and Lebanon, ISIS and Hezbollah in Syria, a nuclear Iran, and intifadas of the suicide-bombing, mortar-throwing, car-ramming, knife-stabbing and incendiary kite-flying variety, Israelis have largely abandoned the aspirations of Peace Now. The vision for Israel that Oz helped pioneer had suddenly become anachronistic, a byproduct of a bygone, hope-filled era. The hardened reality of Palestinian rejectionism, violence and incitement left many Israelis cynical and contemptuous of Oz’s misspent idealism. Sephardic, Russian and Orthodox Israelis formed their own political movements that mowed over the humanistic kibbutzniks and Peace Now advocates like a political bulldozer. In response, some of Oz’s later books dealt with issues of betrayal, fanaticism and zealotry — as if he was taking on his critics, Palestinians, and even himself. But no one would have expected what Oz told a German interviewer in the summer of 2014 when asked about Israel’s military conduct during the Gaza War, and the killing of Palestinian civilians standing shoulder to shoulder with Hamas terrorists: “What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap, and starts shooting machine-gun fire into your nursery? What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?” The founder of Peace Now, who never gave up on the dream, gazed at Gaza not with the romanticism of a novelist but through the eyes of a protective father. And to the surprise of many, despite the civilian dead, he acknowledged Israel’s true moral dilemma and the tragic dimensions of this theatre of war. An insistence on peace — that it must come “Now”! — is not a sustainable political strategy when peacemakers are nowhere to be found and martyrs are aplenty. Thane Rosenbaum, a novelist, essayist and law professor, is the author of The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, Elijah Visible, The Stranger Within Sarah Stein and, most recently, How Sweet It Is!
Bloomfield Continued from Page 12 ball is in Jordan’s court,” since Jordan was at the time the “other side” speaking for the Palestinians. Bibi told me he passed that advice to Begin, through Arens, who I understood shared his view. Begin didn’t like that idea, I was told by others also meeting with him. He wanted to nip it in the proverbial bud. Ehud Olmert, a future prime minister, later told me that he advised Begin, “If you feel you have to say no, coat it with as much sugar as possible.” Begin overruled that, Olmert told me, because the PM wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding of his position. He paid twice for his bluntness. First when Reagan’s hapless national security advisor, William Clark, tried to get Congress to retaliate by cutting aid to Israel it had already ap-
proved. Republican senators killed the move in a closeddoor meeting of the Appropriations Committee. Secretary of State George Shultz was out of the country at the time, and when contacted by senators told them he opposed Clark’s move. But by then Begin, in his anger and haste, had been blamed for creating more unnecessary friction (hard feelings over the AWACS fight the year before still festered) in an already troubled relationship with the Reagan administration. I suspect Bibi Netanyahu learned an important lesson from Menachem Begin and the Reagan peace plan. When faced with a presidential proposal he opposes, I expect Bibi will follow the good advice Begin rejected: Don’t say no when the other guy will do it for you. Douglas Bloomfield is a columnist based in Washington, D.C.
Tobin Continued from Page 12
to wish away unpleasant and uncomfortable facts about the Palestinians being formally willing to give up their century-old war on the Jewish state, some of us engage in magical thinking about Israeli concessions that would only embolden its foes (as was the case with Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005), providing a formula for solving an insoluble problem. Time is not supposed to be on Israel’s side. We are constantly told that if drastic and dangerous measures are not implemented, the Jewish state is lost. But as the news about the pipeline and the forum indicates, Israel is getting stronger, not weaker, in spite of its inability to force the Palestinians to make peace. To note this doesn’t mean that everything is perfect or
that Israel shouldn’t seek to lessen points of conflict with the Palestinians. But the emphasis on a political solution where none is possible is counterproductive. The only path toward coexistence is via economic cooperation that the gas initiatives and other measures represent. Seen in that context, Trump and Kushner might do better to keep their plan — however well-intentioned — permanently on the shelf and instead focus on promoting development that would help the Palestinians shake loose their dependence on Fatah patronage. Israel’s progress in integrating its economy into the region not only didn’t have to wait for the Palestinians to give up their war; it provides the best and perhaps the only path to peace. Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS— Jewish News Syndicate.
OBITUARIES Ronald (Ron) Bressler died on Dec. 24 at Brookdale of Englewood with his devoted wife of 61 years, Irene Bressler, by his side. He is survived by his children, Dawn Bressler Kaye (Dr. Jack Kaye) of Annandale, Va., Kevin (Karen) Bressler of Dayton, and Andrew (Shellie) Bressler, of Washington, D.C.; nine grandchildren, Rebecca, Hannah (Daniel), Allison, Kaitlin, Korinne, Brooke, Ava, Adam, and Casey. He was a graduate of Northern Illinois University and did graduate work at Loyola University of Chicago. He is an Army veteran who served during the Korean War, and he had a long career as a sales professional. He was born in Chicago in 1932 and was the youngest child of Harry and Clara Bressler. He came to the Dayton area in 1960 and lived in Englewood since 1962. He enjoyed following sports and politics, and was an avid consumer of newspapers, books (especially about World War II), and television news. For many years, Mr. Bressler and his family were members of Temple Israel, where all three of his children had their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and confirmations. Mr. Bressler had been made a lifetime associate member of Hadassah. Interment was at David’s Cemetery, Kettering. Donations may be made to the American Heart Association or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
David Hochstein, age 95, of Dayton, passed away Dec. 28 at Miami Valley Hospital after a sudden accident. Mr. Hochstein was the owner and founder of Hochstein Custom Furs in Oakwood for 50 years. He was a Holocaust survivor, member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and longtime member of Beth Abraham Synagogue. Mr. Hochstein is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Clara; daughter and sonin-law, Cheryl and Steven Hecht of Cincinnati; son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Jane Hochstein of Dayton; five grandchildren, Shana (Marc) Brafman, Sam (Erika) Hecht, Scott (Laura) Hochstein, Robert (Laura Suzanne) Hochstein, Jodie (Jeffrey) Damrauer;
nine great-grandchildren, Peter Hecht, Maya and Jacob Brafman, Cooper, Aubrey, Felicity and Levi Hochstein, Gabriel and Shira Damrauer; other relatives and many friends. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue or the Holocaust and Humanity Center of Cincinnati (holocaustandhumanity.org) in Mr. Hochstein’s memory. Fred G. Scheuer, age 93 of Dayton, passed away Jan. 13 at Miami Valley South. Mr. Scheuer was born in Germany and emigrated to Israel in 1939. He served in the Haganah during the founding of the state. He moved to Dayton in 1955, retired as director
of International Technical Training for NCR, and was a member of Beth Abraham Synagogue. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Ruth. Mr. Scheuer is survived by his children and their spouses, Edna and Gerald Willis of Florida, Eliot and Marylyn Scheuer of Wisconsin, Elaine and Matt Arnovitz of Dayton; sister, Oda Kissinger of Israel; grandchildren, Stephen and Michael Arnovitz, Jason and Elisheva Scheuer. Interment was at Beth Abraham Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Beth Abraham Synagogue in Mr. Scheuer’s memory.
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