Mourners find unexpected comfort minyans p. p. 1922 David Moss designs Grace After Meals in in virtual comic book form
THE DAYTON Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
April 2021 Nisan/Iyar 5781 Vol. 25, No. 8
The Miami Valley’s Jewish Monthly • daytonjewishobserver.org Mykhaylo Sahan
Telling their own stories Happy Pesach
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Through SlidingDors, children of Holocaust survivors learn skills to keep remembrance alive
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Three monthly drive-thrus for Temple Israel’s Jewish Cultural Festival Temple Israel’s three monthly Taste of the Jewish Cultural Festival programs will be set up as drive-thru events like this one in October
Helen Ostreicher Halcomb
Goldye Abby Kopmar
With the topsy-turvy year says. “We’re excited to partner we’ve had navigating the panagain with Evan’s Bakery, and demic, Temple Israel will bring they are providing challah for us a Purim celebration two us to sell at the event.” weeks after Passover. The Zombie Dogz food truck This will be the first of three will also be there, with “carmonthly Taste of the Jewish hops” taking and delivering Cultural Festival drive-thru orders. events the temple will present As part of the April drive-ththis year on Friday evenings ru, Temple Israel will also have Linda Novak Bonnie Parish instead of the full-day Sunday learning stations about the holifestival it has hosted each June. day of Purim, Reform Judaism, Temple Israel Music and Pro- and Temple Israel, a station to gram Director Courtney Cumpick up home activity kits and mings says it’s the congregagames for children, and one to tion’s way of navigating purchase festival the challenges of Covid. raffle tickets. “We decided to look The April 16 at some of the models event will also Jody Glasser of other festivals in the highlight the work Sobol area and what they have of the YWCA Daybeen able to do over this ton. Beth Abraham Synagogue year during Covid,” she “The story of Puwill honor seven women for says. “And we had done rim celebrates the their efforts on behalf of the a couple of drive-thru courageous nature Jewish and general communievents in the fall that of Queen Esther,” ties when it holds its Tenth Courtney Cummings people really seemed Cummings says. Women of Valor ceremony, to enjoy. It was a great chance “What better way to pay homstreaming live via StreamSpot, for people to see each other in age to that story than to do all Wednesday, May 5 at noon. Women of Valor 2021 honor- person, but with attendees stay- that we can to help lift up and ees are Phyllis Pavlofsky Allen, ing in their cars, going through support women in our comTara L. Feiner, Helen Ostreicher different stations, and everyone munity that are either fleeing wearing masks.” bad situations themselves, need Halcomb, Goldye Abby KopBecause of Covid restrictions, a little help to become more mar, Linda Novak, Bonnie Parthe temple cancelled last year’s independent, and a way for ish, and Jody Glasser Sobol. us to help show what women To access the StreamSpot link Jewish Cultural Festival. The Purim-focused event will can do in our communities and for the program, go to bethabbe held from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, the kinds of changes they can rahamdayton.org. April 16. make?” Why Purim? Cummings For its May 14 program, the Observer@25 issue says hamantashen, the beloved temple will focus on Shavuot The Dayton Jewish Observer pastries associated with the and dairy desserts such as ruwill celebrate its 25th anniverholiday, are a big draw. gelach that are associated with sary with a special May issue. “We’ve got our Temple Israel the holiday; on June 11, it will To purchase an ad to congratu- volunteer bakers — under the focus on Israel. late The Observer, contact Adappropriate physical distancing For details and to access a vertising Sales Executive Patty guidelines and additional safety festival bakery order form, go Caruso at firstname.lastname@example.org by precautions — making a whole to tidayton.org/festival. Friday, April 2. bunch of hamentashen,” she — Marshall Weiss
Happy Passover from The Dayton Jewish Observer PAGE 2
Arts & Culture.............................22 Calendar.............................17
Family Education......................21 Fo o d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0
O p i n i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 6 Re l i g i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
DAYTON Mykhaylo Sahan
Telling their own stories
Through SlidingDors, children of Holocaust survivors learn skills to keep remembrance alive
gether to celebrate the holidays, connection between Passover even if it wasn’t on the right and the SlidingDors project. date. “We have an obligation to “We could be at Passover a tell the story (of the Holocaust) her parents, Renate and the late survivor, says she finds meanweek later — we’ve done this,” so that it doesn’t happen again, Charles Frydman. ing in the international breakout Gordon said. “We all couldn’t like we keep retelling the story “Right now, I’m writing sessions with six second gens in get together, so we’d do it a of Passover,” he says. something that’s really more each group. week later. The Gordons are “The way I explained it to our about my legacy: this is who I “We share our parents’ known not to celebrate holidays local SlidingDors group is that I am, and because of them, and stories, but it’s also, how did it on the right day, because, as see it as when we come to (the) what I hope to pass down.” affect our Judaism? How was long as we can be together.” Passover (Seder) and the Ballad Doner and five other “second growing up in that kind of Scott Segalewitz, son of surof the Four Sons. It’s really close gens” from Dayton participate house such a part of it?” vivor Ira Segalewitz, notes the Continued on Page Five in SlidingDors, which has met Gordon recalls that her father each month since October for in- had only one photograph of his ternational Zoom family from before the Holomeetings. caust. Dayton second “Growing up, my Dad was so gens also meet obsessed with having (family) each month via pictures on the dining room Premier Retirement Living Zoom sessions wall. If you got on his wall, you facilitated by Day- were somebody. He never got ton JCRC Director enough pictures of his kids. He Marcy L. Paul. never got enough pictures of his “Our Holocaust grandsons.” survivors are dyFood didn’t go to waste in ing. Our objective the Gordon household, Helene is to keep their stories alive but remembers. to also focus on the next genera“He didn’t care what we tion because their stories need ate, but oh my God, if we left to be told as well: how they’ve something on our plate, it was lived their lives, the impact of the worst. And you appreciate their parents’ stories on their your ability to go to Hebrew own lives, and what legacy they school because he didn’t have want to share,” Paul says. that freedom.” Helene Gordon, whose late Gordon’s father also made father, Maurice Gordon, was a sure the whole family was to-
By Marshall Weiss The Observer Their parents didn’t talk about it when they were growing up. The children of Holocaust survivors didn’t talk about it with each other, either. Now, with markedly fewer Holocaust survivors each Yom Hashoah, an international program of the Jewish Agency for Israel is preparing second generation survivors to become the messengers. SlidingDors: Voices of the Second Generation is a project of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether Western Galilee Central Area Consortium. Through it, Dayton and 15 other communities in the central United States are partnered on programs that link them to each other, Israel’s Western Galilee, and Budapest, Hungary. “This isn’t easy,” Melinda Doner says. “I could talk for days about their stories,” she says of
‘We share our parents’ stories, but it’s also, how did it affect our Judaism?’
Bark Mitzvah Boy
From the editor’s desk
How you can tell you have a kosher dog . . . #92: He stops begging when you start bentching
b'chein b'chesed uvrachamim...
In the 1998 feature film Sliding Doors, Gwyneth Paltrow plays a woman whose fate depends on whether she catches a train or misses it. The premise inspired the name of the international Marshall project for children of Holocaust survivors in the story above. SlidingDors is a Weiss play on words that replaces the English word doors for the Hebrew word dor, which means generation. The program began in Budapest, Hungary with the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who wanted to know more from their parents about what happened. Because of the ravages of Communist rule after World War II, these young adults were only just finding out they were Jewish. One of the greatest gifts of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether program — which has expanded SlidingDors to have a global reach — is the personal bonds it builds among Jews who don’t always feel the connections of shared history and destiny. SlidingDors participants hope to meet for a trip to Hungary, Poland, and Israel.
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Beth Abraham, Dayton’s only Conservative synagogue, is enthusiastically egalitarian and is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. For a complete schedule of our programs, go to bethabrahamdayton.org.
2014 Phyllis Pavlofsky Allen • Tara L. Feiner Helen Ostreicher Halcomb • Goldye Abby Kopmar Community Volunteer Linda Novak • Bonnie Parish • Jody Glasser Sobol
Virtual Yom Hashoah Remembrance April 11
The Greater Dayton Yom Editor and Publisher Marshall Weiss Hashoah RememMWeiss@jfgd.net brance will be 937-610-1555 livestreamed at Contributors 4 p.m., Sunday, Scott Halasz April 11. This Candace R. Kwiatek year’s program Advertising Sales Executive will honor the Patty Caruso, email@example.com nine known area Holocaust surviProofreader Rachel Haug Gilbert vors along with student winners Billing Sheila Myers, SMyers@jfgd.net of the annual Max 937-610-1555 Group project entry in the May and Lydia 2019 Max May Memorial May Memorial Observer Advisor Holocaust Art Contest from Martin Gottlieb Holocaust Art and K12 Gallery and a Tejas class Writing Contest. Published by the Jewish Federation The observance is sponsored by the Yom Hasof Greater Dayton hoah Committee, a project of thePlease Jewish FederaDr. Heath Gilbert President join Bruce Feldman Immediate Past Pres. tion’s Jewish Community Relations Council and Mary Rita Weissman Pres. Elect/VP, Beth Abraham Synagogue Sisterhood the Holocaust Committee. Registration for the Personnel/Foundation Chair program is at jewishdayton.org/events. Secretary as we honor anBeverly Louis Treasurer
Dan Sweeny VP, Resource Development extraordinary group of Cathy women Gardner CEO Yom Ha’atzmaut for their commitment and dedication Please join Beth Abraham Synagogue Sisterhood as we honor The Dayton Jewish Observer, Vol. 25, Advocate for Individuals with Disabilities, Community Volunteer No. 8. The Dayton Jewish Observer is community celebration an extraordinary group of women for their commitment to the Jewish and general communities. published monthly by the Jewish Fed-
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Streaming live via StreamSpot, with link available at bethabrahamdayton.org Community Volunteer
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Rebecca Erbelding In Memorium: Carol Pavlofsky Community Leader, Mentor
A virtual tour and discussion of
Americans and the Holocaust,
the groundbreaking new exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, led by its curator, historian Rebecca Erbelding, Ph.D. Americans and the Holocaust examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and the persecution and murder of Jews in Europe during the 1930s and ’40s.
Sunday, May 16, 10:30 a.m. via Zoom Register at bethabrahamdayton.org
305 Sugar Camp Circle Dayton, Ohio 45409 937•293•9520 www.bethabrahamdayton.org PAGE 4
eration of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit The parking lot of the Boonshoft Center for corporation, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, Jewish Culture and Education at 525 Versailles OH 45459. Dr. in Centerville will be the location for the expressed by columnists, in Community Yom Ha’Atzmaut Celebration,May 1-3 Wednesday, 7, Views 2014 readers’ letters, and in opinion pieces p.m., Sunday, April 18. do not necessarily reflect the opinion of 11:00drive-in a.m. Registration Entertainment for this year’s Israel Instaff or layleaders of The Dayton Jewish 11:30 a.m. Program and Luncheon dependence Day program will include musicians Observer or the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. Acceptance of advertisMarc Rossio and Grant ing neither endorses advertisers nor Halasz and comedy jugguarantees kashrut. gler/ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn. Beth Abraham Synagogue The Dayton Jewish Observer Kosher Israeli box Mission Statement 305 Sugarlunches Camp prepared Circle •byDayton, 45409 and champion To Ohio support, strengthen the Dayton Jewish community by provid(937) 293-9520 Rochel Simon will be ing a forum and resource for Jewish available with reservacommunity interests. tions in advance at JewishDayton.org/events. Goals The deadline for reservations is Wednesday, • To encourage affiliation, involvement April 14. The costWomen is $10 peroflunch andare includes and communication. Valor women who CARE: pita bread, falafel balls, hummus, Israeli salad, • To provide announcements, news, and tahiniWe chocolate chip bars. Children will also opinions and analysis and of local, national are collecting individually-wrapped healthy snacks and international activities and issues receive free 100% Israelireal-juice snacks and activity bags. boxes (no red coloring) affecting to be donated Jews and theto Jewish comPartners for the event are the JCC, Beth Abramunity. children. CARE House, an advocacy center for abused ham Synagogue, Beth Jacob Congregation, Day-
ton Hadassah, Hillel Academy, Temple Beth Or, and Temple Israel. For more information, contact Meryl Hattenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temples partner for 2-part series on sex trafficking The adult education committees of Temple Beth Or and Temple Israel will present a two-part virtual series about human trafficking in April and May. The first session, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 22, will be a discussion of Talia Carner’s novel The Third Daughter. The second session, 7 p.m., Thursday, May 20, will be a panel of frontline workers who seek to eradicate sex trafficking in the Miami Valley. Register at go.oncehub. com/AdultEducation.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
Telling their own stories
for school projects, when they people that were from his town spoke at their grandchildren’s and people from the DP camp.” schools, and when they expandDoner’s photovoice presentaed their speaking engagements tion is a work in progress. from there. Though difficult, “It’s just the strength from Continued from Page Three to my family because we are these survivors ultimately deboth sides of my family, the four boys and we sing the balcided they had an obligation to determination and strength lad every year, and my Dad has share their stories. and perseverance: those things it memorized. The SlidingDors second gens that they’ve instilled in us,” she “But one of the interpretaare now working on photovoice says. “I don’t have one clear-cut tions that I was taught years ago presentations, which JCRC Dithing.” is that the ballad represents the rector Marcy L. Paul describes “My biggest thing looking four generations removed from as “a method of understanding back,” Doner says, “is why an atrocity. When we’re lookthat brings individual stories didn’t I talk to my Dad? Why ing at the Jews leaving Egypt, to a community for collecdid I not push him to talk about the first generation removed tive learning. Each participant it? I just thought he would have wants to know everything takes or shares a photograph these horrible memories. When about it: why did and written story he did talk, he only talked about this happen? Tell that illustrates their his mother cooking and havme everything we own life as a second ing memories of his sisters and need to know. The gen.” such. So we left it at that. second generation The focus of “But looking back, I’m sorry removed tends to be Scott’s is a wooden that I didn’t sit down and say, angry about things: box his father ‘I want to hear from you.’ And how could they have constructed during if I listen to the tapes — we’re done this to us? The vocational training fortunate to have those tapes of third generation at a DP camp in Hal- his story — but I can’t do it now, isn’t quite sure what lein, Austria, along I can’t. It’s too hard. Because I to ask: something can’t ask him questions. That’s JCRC Dir. Marcy L. Paul with its contents. happened but it’s “When I was put- gone. I have to take it as it is. I so far in history it’s not even on ting that together as my story,” now know more because of it, my radar. Segalewitz says, “I looked at it because he did that, thankfully. “And when I look at that, and said, Dad learned so many But gosh. Looking back, I wish I I see the first gen Holocaust vocational things, and when we had that time again. I wish I had survivors, there are not a lot left. were growing up, he was the known to ask the questions of And so, it’s our job to continue kind of person that if somehim in a way that he could tell to tell the story: to tell these thing’s broken, you wouldn’t me, and I could then relate to stories so that we don’t get to call somebody to fix it — let’s more than just what I took at the a point where history repeats fix it ourselves. I think a lot of surface.” itself because we don’t continue that came from what he learned SlidingDors has its own talking about it.” in the DP camp. And as we con- private Facebook group where The SlidingDors project, tinue to grow up now, I’ve been members share their stories; it which originated with the doing the same thing. Doing includes an interactive map for Budapest Partnership2Gether this story helped me see that.” second gens to document their contingent, marks the first time On the first international parents’ journeys. Doner, Gordon, and Segalewitz session, Segalewitz learned that “I’ve been blown away by have participated in a program the parents of two other second this program,” Paul says. “There specifically for children of Holo- gens were at the same DP camp are so many stories, so much caust survivors. as his father. we are learning about ourselves They say that before Sliding“I think we’re going to find, and others. We encourage more Dors, they hadn’t talked with as we continue to talk about second gens to get involved. other second gens even inforthis, more similarities and more People are staying in touch with mally about what it’s been like connections to our parents,” he each other internationally and to be the child of survivors. says. “I know Dad wants to find domestically.” “It’s such a massive topic that no one really wants to sit down and dissect and talk about,” Doner says. As an adult, she transcribed tapes of her late father talking about his experiences for a book her mother published. But as a child, Doner says she never asked him about it. “You just assume he’s not telling us because it’s so horrible, that it hurt too much.” As adults, these second gens heard their parents share their stories of survival when grandchildren asked them questions A SlidingDors photovoice presentation by Scott Segalewitz
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Virtual author talk with Douglas Tallamy April 29, 7 p.m. Registration and details at wrightlibrary.org Event partner: Five Rivers MetroParks Are you reading this? So is the entire Jewish community. Contact Patty Caruso at firstname.lastname@example.org to advertise in The Observer.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
THE REGION Jane Kaufman
We Remember Them
Drug trafficking, money laundering ran through Tibor’s Kosher Meats, U.S. Attorney says
f all the Jewish holidays, Passover is the one most often observed. Traditionally, generations of families sit around tables retelling the journey from slavery to freedom; from sorrow to joy; from darkness to great light. Every time we tell this story, we rediscover hope. However, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have stayed shut in our own homes while a plague swirls outside. During the past year, families have suffered illness and death, often alone. Yet the Passover seder teaches us to hold onto our faith. Every year we tell this story, we rediscover hope, hidden in the recesses of our hearts and essential to our spiritual survival. In a pandemic year, we may not be able to choose who will be at our seder table. But we have learned how precious life is, what a blessing real friends are, and on seder night we can hold the precious awareness that we are all connected by history and an invisible web of humanity. May it be a Passover of comfort, hope and strength. Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Dayton is an endowment organization created to maintain our three Jewish cemeteries in perpetuity. Please join us as we strive to maintain the sanctity, care and integrity of these sacred burial grounds.
Preserving our Past Ensuring Our Future
Daytonjewishcemeteries.org Rgolden105@aol.com 525 Versailles Drive • Centerville, OH 45459 PAGE 6
Tibor’s Kosher Meats in University Heights was raided Sept. 22. Faces of law enforcement officers are intentionally blurred.
By Jane Kaufman, Cleveland Jewish News LLC received a $100,000 check on Sept. 9, 2019, “the A U.S. attorney’s office is attempting to seize holding company of Tibor’s Kosher Meats which was $2,197,323 in cash, houses, gold, a boat, a sports car, purchased by a relative of (Eyton) Senders” the followwatches, and other assets following a Sept. 22, 2020 ing day. raid at Tibor’s Kosher Meats in University Heights. On Sept. 9, 2019, the Cleveland Jewish News reported Also included in the raid were several homes in Beach- the sale of the business for an undisclosed amount to wood, Moreland Hills, and University Heights. Ilan Senders. Six properties are on the list — including four homes Eyton Senders, whose brother is Ilan Senders, “has in Greater Cleveland and two properties in Los Angeemerged as a partner (at Tibor’s),” DeBaggis wrote. les — along with a vacant parcel on South Green Road, “He and another relative established a Fifth Third a 1996 Porsche 911, a 2019 Nautique G25 Boat with (Bank) personal checking account and listed their octrailer, a Patek Philippe Rose men’s wristwatch, three cupations as co-owners or a butcher for Tibor.” Rolex men’s wristwatches, and a 1 Metalor kilogram As they set up bank accounts to launder money, Eygold bar. ton Senders and Balay repeatedly listed their address A 40-page complaint dated Feb. 17 seeking civil as 13493 Washington Blvd., in University Heights, forfeiture describes a pattern of activity in which Dank which is the address where Ilan Senders lives with his Vapes and Dankwoods — which manufacture and dis- parents, Toni Dee and Cary D. Senders, according to tribute THC cartridges in California — funneled funds court documents. That home was included in the Sept. through Tibor’s Kosher Meats. THC is the main active 22, 2020 raid. ingredient in cannabis. DeBaggis said the search of that home “revealed “The Major Crimes Task Force is conducting an various amounts of suspected marijuana, THC vape investigation of Eyton Senders and cartridges, THC edibles in a clear vacuJusten Balay and others who have been ‘Tibor’s is another um sealed pouch, (2) loaded handguns, involved in an interstate drug traffickand financial records and documents ing and money laundering operation,” entity in which for Tibor’s Kosher Meats.” U.S. Attorney Henry F. DeBaggis, II (Eyton) Senders is Rachel and Jason Zuchowski’s home wrote in his complaint seeking civil on Larchmont Drive in Beachwood using to launder forfeiture. “Tibor’s is another entity was also searched that day. According in which (Eyton) Senders is using to to social announcements in the CJN, his illicit drug launder his illicit drug proceeds. This Rachel Zuchowski is the sister of Eyton proceeds.’ business, similar to other businesses Senders and Ilan Senders, and Jason is listed in this affidavit, allows Senders a her husband. place to legitimize his ill-gotten gains.” “Various amounts of suspected marijuana, THC DeBaggis wrote that Senders, Balay, and others vape cartridges, scales, grinders and financial documanufactured and distributed more than 3.7 million ments for Tibor’s Kosher Meats and $39,108” were THC vape cartridges from California to various other found at the Zuchowski’s home, according to court states, including the Northern District of Ohio, from documents. July 2018 through July 2019. At 2543 S. Green Road in Beachwood, also owned “This is a conservative estimate,” DeBaggis wrote of by Rachel and Jason Zuchowski, the raid revealed “dry the number of cartridges distributed at an estimated cleaning receipts for (Eyton) Senders, and $2,158,215 value of $30 to $45 a piece. Dank Vapes online lists the U.S. currency located inside two safes that were seprice of cartridges at $25 each. creted inside the attic.” Tibor Rosenberg owned Tibor’s Kosher Meats since At 100 Mountain View Drive in Moreland Hills, pur1986. He sold the business to Sendies Boys Limited chased by one of Eyton Senders’ LLCs, federal agents LLC and executed a trade name assignment on Sept. spoke with a contractor on site who was in the midst of 11, 2019, according to the Ohio Secretary of State, the a full interior renovation costing more than $2 million. complaint states. The contractor had been paid $600,000 to date by Eyton According to the complaint, Sendies Boys Limited Senders, according to the documents.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
Among Greater Cleveland banks and businesses mentioned in the complaint is a Pepper Pike law firm. On Sept. 3, 2019, Wachter/Kurant LLC Trust was sent a wire transfer in the amount of $300,000 to an account at Key Bank. Mark Wachter, member at Wachter/Kurant LLC, told the Cleveland Jewish News March 16 he had not seen the civil forfeiture. He said his firm handled the initial sale, “where Senders purchased the butcher shop from Tibor. That’s about as much as I know about it.” Wachter said he “believed” that the firm handled the creation of LLCs for Eyton Senders as well. “This is a law firm,” reads a footnote in the complaint, “that has created several of the LLCs used by (Eyton) Senders.” Under a subheading of vehicle transactions in the complaint, DeBaggis wrote about the Porsche Eyton Senders leased from Shaker Auto Lease in Warrensville Heights. From June 2018 to February 2020, Eyton Senders paid his car lease in 25 monthly cash payments totaling $93,014.10, and were conducted in person by Senders or a relative, according to the complaint. On May 7, 2020, Eyton Senders paid off the car with a $120,000 wire transfer from Park East Investments LLC of Toms River, N.J., originating from a JP Morgan Chase bank account ending in No. 8827. The registered agent for Park East Investments LLC is a relative of Senders and the filing date of the LLC is Jan. 7, 2019, according to the complaint. “The bank account contained drug proceeds from Dank Vapes,” DeBaggis wrote, “Further this vehicle was titled to a relative of Senders to shield Senders as the true owner.” In addition, the complaint states “The financial activity described above is consistent with large scale money laundering operations.” Nineteen people and entities were put on notice that they are facing civil forfeiture, including Balay, Cary Senders, Eyton Senders, Ilan Senders, and Jason and Rachel Zuchowski. They each had 20 days to respond to the filing or risk automatic forfeiture. When contacted by the CJN March 16, Rachel and Jason Zuchowski said they had no comment. Balay’s attorney Victor Sherman of Victor Sherman PLC in Los Angeles told the CJN March 16 his client would respond to the civil forfeiture notice. The CJN was unsuccessful in reaching Cary Senders, Ilan Senders, or Eyton Senders. When contacted by the CJN March 15, Daniel Ball, public information officer at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland, said he could not comment on the case. “Unfortunately,” Ball said, “we are unable to comment on this case at this time.”
First Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 60 years
Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority
THE COMPASSIONATE CARE AND Still Ranked #1 Part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets scroll
By Philissa Cramer, JTA Digging for ancient relics, Israeli archaeologists uncovered a fragment of a scroll with a message seemingly designed for today: “Speak the truth to one another... And do not contrive evil against one another.” That commandment from God is inscribed on a fragment found in a dig organized by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Judean Desert. On March 16, the authority announced that the dig, which has been underway since 2017, has turned up a trove of artifacts, including the biblical fragments — the first Dead Sea Scrolls unearthed in 60 years — and an intact basket produced more than 10,000 years ago. Archaeologists have been exploring the Judean Desert’s caves since 1947, when a shepherd famously happened upon a set of second-century biblical fragments that became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. That discovery and others over the subsequent 15 years gave scholars a new understanding of how Jewish life and texts evolved over time. The newly discovered fragments, from Zechariah in the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, add to that understanding by, for example, showing that the name of God was written in Hebrew even as the text was largely in Greek. The relics were found in what is known as the “Cave of Horror,” a cave in the West Bank desert that can be accessed only by rappelling down a sheer rock face. Inside the cave were coins left behind by Jewish rebels who sought refuge there after the Bar Kochba Revolt, a failed insurgency against Roman rule nearly 2,000 years ago. The archaeologists also found the crude burial site for a child who appears to have died about 6,000 years ago.
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THE WORLD Oren Ben Hakoon
April 16 4pm to 7pm The first in a series of three drive-thru events this spring, featuring bite-sized pieces of the Jewish Cultural Festival! This month we will highlight the story of Purim, along with its customs, food, and special traditions. Even though this year has been a crazy one, we will proudly welcome people of all faiths to share a unique Jewish experience with us.
food & drinks
fresh baked hamentaschen & challah Temple’s Volunteer Bakery & Evans Bakery gourmet all-beef and veggie hot dogs Zombie Dogz
education & kids
Learn about the Purim story, Reform Judaism, Jewish humor, and Temple Israel’s history, plus special activity kits and games for kids
Win a Taste of Dayton package with 21 gift cards of $20+ to local destinations such as Meadowlark, Pasha Grill, Cherry House Cafe, Dorothy Lane Market, and Wheat Penny
Help us give back to our community with a donation from the YWCA’s wish list
more info at tidayton.org/festival 130 Riverside Drive • Dayton, OH 45405
Orthodox & secular Israelis are fighting over conversion. Why? The Israeli Supreme Court, Jerusalem
By Ben Sales, JTA In Israel, a Supreme Court ruling liberalizing Jewish conversion standards sparked a political crisis in the weeks before the country’s national election. A chief haredi Orthodox ally of Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “misguided (and) very troubling.” One of the prime minister’s top deputies went further, predicting that the ruling would “bring disaster upon us.” The country’s haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, chief rabbis also condemned it. Netanyahu’s liberal rivals, meanwhile, celebrated it as a first step toward broader reform. Religious freedom activists called it a historic breakthrough. In fact, the ruling is pretty small in scope: It says that non-Jews who already live in Israel, then convert under non-Orthodox auspices, are eligible for Israeli citizenship. In other words, the ruling applies only to a vanishingly small demographic: those who live in Israel, are not citizens, are not Jewish, then decide to become Jewish through Reform or Conservative conversion. Official figures are hard to come by, but that’s not many people at all. The ruling does not apply to Jewish Americans (or non-Jews) seeking to move to Israel. It does not apply to the millions of non-Jews in Israel who already are citizens. It does not apply to anyone in Israel who converts under Orthodox authority. So why is the ruling causing such consternation among haredi Israelis and their allies? Why do Orthodox leaders want to limit who the state recognizes as Jewish? Here are answers to those questions and more about the latest religious conflict to roil Israel.
It’s a question that has divided Jewish communities for centuries, and for the Jewish state it has become critical for a few reasons. Israel offers automatic citizenship to any Jew around the world, which of course requires the state to determine who is and isn’t a Jew. Israel has traditionally given citizenship to any applicant with one Jewish grandparent — the same definition Adolf Hitler used in the Holocaust. That doesn’t address Jewish converts, who often have no Jewish ancestry but choose to become Jewish. Israel’s government has generally defaulted to Orthodox Jewish requirements regarding religion because of a policy set by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who intended to preserve what he thought was a shrinking haredi minority after the Holocaust. In its earliest years, Israel granted citizenship to Orthodox converts only. In recent decades, however, American Jewish leaders, who represent communities that are mostly not Orthodox, have obtained Israeli recognition for Conservative and Reform converts as well. Since the 1980s, thanks to earlier Supreme Court decisions, Israel has granted citizenship to most Conservative and Reform converts from outside the country, though they still have to jump over a series of bureaucratic hurdles to prove their Judaism.
The ruling does not apply to Jewish Americans (or non-Jews) seeking to move to Israel.
Why are Israeli politicians fighting over Jewish conversion? For decades, Israel has sought to answer a difficult question: Who is a Jew?
If Israel encourages Jewish immigration, why would any of its leaders want to stop any Jews from becoming citizens? For Israeli leaders who seek to maintain a Jewish majority in the country, expanded Jewish immigration might sound like a good thing: More eligible Jews means more potential immigrants and, theoretically, more Jewish citizens. But while haredi Orthodox leaders may care about how many Jews are in Israel, they care more about what kind of Jews are in the country and who gets
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
THE WORLD Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
to control Jewish ritual. In other words, if masses of nonOrthodox Jews were to become Israeli citizens,, haredi Israelis would see it as a threat to their way of life, not a benefit to Israel as a whole. The haredim also generally believe that traditional religious observance is necessary for the continued survival of the Jewish people. They don’t believe Reform and Conservative Judaism are authentic forms of Judaism, thus don’t believe Reform or Conservative converts are real Jews, or that a marriage officiated by a Reform or Conservative rabbi is a legally Jewish marriage. So if a woman converted with a Reform rabbi, married in a Reform ceremony and had kids, for example, most haredi Israelis wouldn’t consider those kids Jewish. Were something like that to happen time and again, ultra-Orthodox Israelis worry that it would eventually become impossible to know who is and is not a Jew, according to Orthodox standards, in Israel. Do haredi politicians also fight the influence of Reform and Conservative Judaism within Israel? Yes. Because Israel doesn’t have separation of religion and state, certain Orthodox religious observances are
required by law. Buses and trains civil marriage and running public don’t run on Shabbat. Synagogues transit on Shabbat. Haredim make and religious seminaries receive up only a small part of Israel. state funding. But because haredi parties have And a government-funded almost always been part of Israeli Orthodox body called the Chief governing coalitions, they have Rabbinate administers marriage succeeded in stymieing most atlicenses, divorce, kosher certificatempts to reform the religious station and other aspects of religious tus quo, even though their voters life. are only a fraction of the electorate. In practice, that means that In 2014 and 2015, for example, interfaith, non-Orthodox and Israel’s governing coalition passed same-sex marriages performed a raft of secularizing legislation. in Israel aren’t recognized by the But the next coalition included government, and that indepenharedi parties and they promptly dent kosher certifiers face opposireversed all of the previous govtion to their work. ernment’s decisions on religion. Maintaining that system — Haredi Israelis understand Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef (L) and Chief that they’re in the minority, and Israel’s religious status quo — is Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau the top priority of Israel’s haredi that a growing number of secular political parties and their voters. Jews have become fed up with the How have Reform Jews and their This is partly because the system benOrthodox monopoly on religious issues. allies reacted to haredi attacks? And efits Orthodox Israelis directly, giving Advocates for religious freedom know what might happen next? funding to their schools and affording it, too. Haredi denigration, of course, is treprimacy to their observances in the That reality raises the stakes of every mendously insulting to non-Orthodox public square. Jews and their rabbis, who feel that their battle over religion and state — even That’s also why haredi politicians see form of Jewish belief and practice is no court decisions like this one that affect Reform Jews as an acute threat. Until only a handful of religious converts less legitimate than any other. recent years, secular Israelis haven’t already in the country. Yair Lapid, who heads the centrist cared about Orthodox control of certain Secular activists hope that such deciYesh Atid party, called a recent haredi aspects of government. sions will snowball into bigger victories political ad comparing Reform Jews to Non-Orthodox rabbis, by contrast, against the haredi establishment. And dogs anti-Semitic and “disgusting.” are actively pushing an alternative form haredi Israelis worry that if they give in Successive polls have shown that of Judaism that haredi rabbis see as on the small battles, they could lose the most Israelis support a liberalization of heretical. larger war. Israeli religious law, including allowing
This Passover, help us make it possible to celebrate another kind of freedom. Freedom from a pandemic. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the world, there’s reason for hope. And no country has offered more hope for what life might be like again than Israel, which has led the world in immunizing its people. Magen David Adom, Israel’s paramedic and Red Cross service, has played a major role in this success. MDA has treated tens of thousands of stricken Israelis, administered Covid tests to more than 4 million, and vaccinated Israel’s most vulnerable populations, including all its nursing home residents. When you support Magen David Adom, your gift has an immediate impact in helping Israelis — today and every day. Make a gift today. Pesach kasher v’sameach. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
A year of Covid lockdowns has revived Israel’s kibbutz movement By Linda Gradstein, JTA Last year, as Israelis endured lockdown after lockdown and the country’s Covid rates bounced from record low to high, Tal Eshkol and Uriel Ross began to question the urban life they had begun as a young couple. Like many of their peers, Eshkol and Ross were living in a small one-bedroom rental in Jaffa, the ancient city adjacent to Tel Aviv that has become trendy among young Israelis looking for relatively affordable rent in Israel’s coastal metropolis. But for years, Eshkol had wanted a change of scene, hoping to eventually move somewhere where she and Ross could enjoy a quieter pastoral lifestyle. In the fall, after months of being restricted to their 540-square-foot apartment, the couple decided they were done with city life. They applied to become members of Kibbutz Mevo Hama, a small communal farm two hours to the north, far from any city, with about 500 residents. Now, even as Israel reopens, having vaccinated most of its population, Eshkol and Ross are still making the move. And they’re planning to buy a house that’s nearly three times the size of their apartment. “I think this coronavirus time really challenged us regarding the type of life we want to have,” Eshkol, 33, said. “It showed us that you never know what’s going to happen. The whole world changed, and we decided to use this to create a positive change in our lives.” Covid, and the societal upheaval it sparked, has prompted a wave of Israelis to look again at living on a kibbutz, a rural way of life that was once seen as a
Farm equipment at Ein Hashlosha, a kibbutz on Israel's border with Gaza that’s seen an influx of young families
relic of Israel’s socialist past. Tens of thousands of Israelis have applied for membership in kibbutzim over the past year, according to Nir Meir, secretary general of the Kibbutz Movement, the umbrella group that includes most of Israel’s 279 kibbutzim. “During the pandemic, our kids were always in the apartment and they were looking for things to do,” said Aviv Sabadra, a software engineer whose family is in the process of moving from Yavne, a central Israeli city, to a kibbutz. “We were thinking about finding a place to raise our kids close to nature where they can be more independent, and this made our decision.” The first kibbutzim were founded more than a century ago, and in the years surrounding Israel’s establishment, the kibbutz movement was seen as a reflection of the spartan national ethos — producing physically-fit Jews living in cooperative communities.
Kibbutzim, according to Meir, were often placed on Israel’s borders, and young farmers doubled as soldiers. Kibbutz members also committed to a strict socialist ideology, eating meals in mass dining halls and raising children in collective homes where they lived apart from their parents. But by the 1980s, many kibbutzim had accumulated substantial debt, and young people wanted to make their own way in a country that was departing from its socialist roots and privatizing its economy. Eshkol’s parents were among those who left a kibbutz. Her father was raised on a kibbutz, and the couple lived on one as newlyweds, but her mother disliked the lifestyle. “My dad was excited about kibbutz values and community,” she said, “while my mom said it was too much of everyone being in everyone else’s business.” Facing a declining population and poor economic prospects, many kibbutzim privatized their factories and farms. They also built new housing developments on their grounds that were rented out to yuppie families who at times did not become members, allowing them to enjoy the kibbutz lifestyle with none of the perceived drawbacks of socialism. Those housing developments have driven a revival of kibbutz life over the past couple of decades, especially as home prices in Israel have skyrocketed. That revival has accelerated during the pandemic. In 2000, some 117,000 people lived on kibbutzim, according to Israeli government figures. This year, Meir said, they have a total population of 182,000 — larger than ever. He calls it “a huge renewal of the kibbutzim.”
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
April JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
miss Connect with us! Check out our events. For more information, check out our calendar at jewishdayton.org.
Tuesday, April 6 @ 7PM — The Food They Brought with Them: Jewish Immigration and the Culinary Experience with Dr. Judy Chesen Sunday, April 11 @ 10AM — Mitzvah Mission - St. Vincent de Paul & People and Paws Sunday, April 11 @ 1PM — Coming of Age Experiences: An on-line exhibit of photographs and stories Sunday, April 11 @ 4PM — Virtual Yom Hashoah Remembrance Tuesday, April 13 @ 7PM — CABS: Newark Minutemen with Author Leslie K. Barry Sunday, April 18 @ 1PM — Community Yom Ha'Atzmaut Celebration Sunday, April 18 @ 6:30PM — JCC Nature Hike at Holes Creek Park Thursday, April 22 @ NOON — CABS: Mothers and Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession . . . And Second Chances with Author Katherine Ellison Thursday, April 22 @ 5:40PM — JCRC Volunteer Night Dayton Location Sunday, April 25 @ 11AM — Recipes from Auschwitz with Author Dr. Alex Sternberg Sunday, April 25 @ 3PM — Dayton Junior Youth Group Campfire Wednesday, April 28 @ NOON — Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes: Sleep Matters Upcoming Reoccurring Event Tuesday, April 13 & 27 @ 1PM — JFS Connects 2.0
2021 FILM FEST OPENING NIGHT Tuesday, June 8 @ 7PM at the Dixie Twin Drive-In
7pm-Celebrate opening night of the film festival with DJ Butch Brown, order your boxed dinner in advance. The film A Picture of His Life will begin at 9pm. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Sunday, April 11 @ 4PM Check out page 15 for more information.
Mitzvah Mission – St. Vincent de Paul & People and Paws Sunday, April 11 @ 10AM - NOON
JFS is hosting another Drive Thru Mitzvah Mission! Prepare frozen, unbaked macaroni and cheese casseroles. Drive thru the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education (CJCE) with your frozen casseroles and donations of high need pet supplies. JFS will provide you with a sweet treat in return.
You can find the recipe for the macaroni and cheese and list of high need pet supplies at jewishdayton.org/events. If you have any questions, please contact Mindy Adams, 937-610-1555.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
April JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
Legacies, Tributes, & Memorials FEDERATION
UNITED JEWISH CAMPAIGN IN HONOR OF › The birth of Debbie and Bruce Feldman’s granddaughter Susan and Nathaniel Ritter › The special birthday of Cathy Gardner Susan and Joe Gruenberg CAROL PAVLOFSKY FUND IN MEMORY OF › Janie Zoldan Jamie Pavlofsky LINDA RUCHMAN MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR OF › The Bar Mitzvah of Benjamin Goldstein Julie Ruchman DAYTON JEWISH CHORALE › Cathy Gardner PJ LIBRARY IN HONOR OF › A speedy recovery for Susan Joffe Marcia and Ed Kress Will you walk alongside the <# of > individuals and families in Dayton who have committed to supporting a strong Jewish future? JEWISH FOUNDATION of GREATER DAYTON
Contact: Janese R. Sweeny, Esq. • firstname.lastname@example.org • 937-610-1555 • www.jewishdayton.org Be remembered forever by The Jewish Foundation of Greater Dayton with a gift in your will, trust retirement account, or life insurance policy.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes Sleep Matters with Dr. Jon Durrani, DO Wednesday, April 28 at NOON via Zoom Join Jewish Family Services for the first event in its annual Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes series. Dr. Jon Durrani, DO, from the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders, will talk to us about sleep and the critical role it plays in our physical and mental well-being. No cost. RSVP at jewishdayton.org/events
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES of GREATER DAYTON
HOLOCAUST PROGRAMMING FUND IN MEMORY OF › The parents of Jodi Phares Donna and Marshall Weiss RITA Z. AND MILTON A. MARKS BIKUR HAVERIM FUND IN HONOR OF › The special birthday of Cathy Gardner Susan and Joe Gruenberg JCC
CAROLE RABINOWITZ CAMP FUND IN MEMORY OF › Ed Hattenbach, Meryl Hattenbach’s father › Harley Ellman › Audrey Margolis Bernard Rabinowitz
JOAN & PETER WELLS CHILDREN & YOUTH FUND IN HONOR OF › A speedy recovery for Peter Wells Susan and Joe Gruenberg BEN AND DOROTHY HARLAN CHILDREN’S FUND IN MEMORY OF › Harley Ellman Marla and Stephen Harlan JFS
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES IN MEMORY OF › Hyla Weiskind Elaine and Joe Bettman › Claire Soifer Elaine and Joe Bettman › The parents of Jodi Phares Judy Schwartzman IN HONOR OF › The special birthday of DeNeal Feldman › The special birthday of Larry Glickler Susan & Joe Gruenberg FOUNDATION
JEREMY BETTMAN B’NAI TZEDEK YOUTH PHILANTHROPY FUND IN MEMORY OF › The parents of Jodi Phares › Marilyn Serelson Jean and Todd Bettman IN HONOR OF › The special birthday of DeNeal Feldman Jean and Todd Bettman
IN HONOR OF › Rabbi Bernard Barsky being recognized by the Jewish Theological Seminary for having served as a Rabbi for over 25 years › A speedy recovery for Heath Gilbert and family Beverly Louis
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
April JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
GET TO KNOW YOUR PJ NEIGHBORS! Meet The Cummings Family How many kids are in your family? 1
COMMUNITY ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
What are their ages? 4 How did you get involved in PJ Library? We were familiar with the program before getting pregnant and when we moved to Dayton, we signed up when Beckett was a baby. Do you have a funny or meaningful story about reading PJ Library books in your family? After reading Is It Rosh Hashanah Yet? a dozen or so times over a period of a few weeks, Chad and I found Beckett “reading” the book in his bed one night shortly after his bath. Almost every page in his version talked about apples and honey, but he got the “Rosh Hashanah is on its way” part correct. He was so proud of his “reading”skills and it brought us joy as well. What brought you to Dayton? How long have you lived here? I was born and raised in Dayton. After meeting Chad during my graduate studies in upstate New York, I convinced him to move to Ohio to be close to my family. We settled in the Cincinnati area in 2007 and then moved to Dayton in late 2016, shortly after Beckett was born. What do you love about Dayton? We love the close-knit community in Dayton and all of the friendships we have been able to make over the years.
Sunday, April 18 1-3PM @ the Boonshoft CJCE Parking Lot (525 Versailles Dr., Centerville 45459) Celebrate Israel's 73rd birthday with Dayton's Jewish Community! Featuring outdoor music from Marc Rossio and Grant Halasz, a kosher Israeli box lunch by Rochel Simon for $10, strolling entertainment with Comedy Juggler and Ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn, along with Israeli snacks and activity bags for kids! Join us for music, food and fun — all from the comfort of your car. LUNCH ORDERS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN APRIL 14 — lunches will not be available for purchase the day of the event. Lunches include: Pita bread Falafel Balls Hummus Israeli Salad Tahini Chocolate Chip Bars You will be able to pick up your boxed lunch upon entering the parking lot, and you will be directed to your parking spot. RSVP online at JewishDayton.org/events. Questions? Contact email@example.com Partnering with Beth Abraham Synagogue, Beth Jacob Congregation, Hadassah, Hillel Academy, JCRC, PJ Library, Temple Beth Or, & Temple Israel
What are you looking forward to this season? This season we are looking forward to getting outside, especially if there is snow to play in, and making new recipes and memories in the kitchen.
The Food They Brought with Them: Jewish Immigration and the Culinary Experience
We want to learn about YOUR family! Our families are what makes the PJ Library program in Dayton so vibrant, and we want to showcase them! To participate, please contact Kate Elder, PJ Library Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
TUESDAY, APRIL 6 @ 7PM Restauranteurs who came as immigrants to this country will discuss their motivations with Judy Chesen for coming to America. They also will talk about what inspired them to embark on careers in the restaurant business.
Register at jewishdayton.org/events
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of GREATER DAYTON
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
April JEWISH FEDERATION of GREATER DAYTON & ITS AGENCIES
Jewish Community Center
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Sunday, April 25 @ 11AM-12PM, via Zoom. Recipes from Auschwitz: The Survival Stories of Two Hungarian Jews with Author Alex Sternberg No cost, RSVP required. Tuesday, April 13 @ 7PM via Zoom Author Leslie K. Barry, Newark Minutemen Based on a true 1930s story, Newark Minutemen tells an unforgettable tale about forbidden love, intrigue and a courageous man’s search for avenge. During the heart of the Great Depression, Yael Newman fatefully meets Krista Brecht, daughter of the German-American Nazi high command. When his affections turn real, his friends warn him against crossing the line. When Krista leaves for American Nazi summer camp in Long Island, New York, he swears to rescue her. But his mission becomes much more when he’s recruited by the Jewish mob and FBI to go undercover and fight the American Nazis who are taking over America.
Thursday, April 22 @ NOON via Zoom Katherine Ellison, Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession … And Second Chances Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession … and Second Chances takes readers on a wild tragicomic ride from the criminal courtrooms of California’s Silicon Valley to the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan to the deserts of Ethiopia. In delightful, insightful prose, Ellison reflects on her mistakes and her triumphs as she weaves together the stories of how her Pulitzer Prize-winning career almost ended before it began, how she nearly missed marrying the love of her life, and how she unwittingly got drawn into a stranger-than-fiction murder case. Rich in drama and self-reflection, replete with unique characters --including two bumbling hitmen, a rodeo-riding prosecutor, a flamboyant Beverly Hills defense attorney, and a charismatic stay-at-home mother-of-three who is keeping outrageous secrets-- Mothers & Murderers is a mashup of Fargo, Body Heat, and Eat, Pray, Love. It's guaranteed to make you laugh, cry – and think. 2 0 2 0 -
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JCC CULTURAL ARTS PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE BY COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS, COMMUNITY DONATIONS, OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL. OUR JCC CULTURAL ARTS AND BOOK SERIES RECEIVES FUNDS FROM AN OHIO ARTS COUNCIL SUSTAINABILITY GRANT.
You can purchase books through online retailers Or in person at Barnes and Noble on 725, across from the Dayton Mall (curbside pickup is available). For our full Cultural Arts & Book Series lineup and more, go to For questions or more information, contact Amy Dolph at email@example.com or by calling (937) 610-1555
Written by Dr. Alex Sternberg, Recipes from Auschwitz relates the once-marginalized story of Hungarian Jewry, among them the author’s parents—Olga Elek, a lovely, cultured woman born into comfort, and Marton Sternberg, an Orthodox Chassid who raised himself from poverty into business success. Sternberg highlights Olga’s optimism and determination, brought to life through the sharing of recipes between her and her fellow inmates to bolster their hope despite starvation and great personal loss. The book also details Marton’s deportation, his incarceration in Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Wüstegiersdorf following the extermination of his family, and the role his unshakeable faith played in his survival. Based on the personal testimony of Marton and Olga as collected by the Spielberg Shoah Tapes, as well as the author’s own intimate memories of his childhood around his parents’ dinner table, Recipes from Auschwitz stands testament to love, resilience, and courage. Dr. Sternberg will also be joined in our discussion by Dr. Zoltán Háberman, Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Social Science and Social Work at the Jewish Theological Seminary-University of Jewish Studies. DAY TO N
Jewish Community Center
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Jewish Community Relations Council
Thank you to our sponsors
Coming of Age Experiences: An on-line exhibit of photographs and stories Sunday, April 11 @ 1-2:30PM
In recent months, Dayton’s JCRC engaged participants from Dayton, Ohio, San Antonio, Texas, Budapest, Hungary, and the Western Galilee, Israel to explore their Coming of Age experiences, marking their transition from adolescence to adulthood. Participants included teens, young adults, and life-long learners. For some participants it was a recent moment and for others, it was filled with memories of a time past. Using PhotoVoice, an approach engaging community in collaborative social change, each participant created a photographic image and wrote a story of their own coming of age experience thus adding richness to our mosaic society. Join the participants as they share their Coming of Age projects. This program is funded through a World Religion Foundation Grant DAY TO N
JCRC Jewish Community Relations Council
Visit /events for more information and to register!
Even though we aren’t able to have A Night in Vegas in person this year – you’re still able to support the JCC through our Annual Raffle Ticket sales! Purchase one ticket for $10 or three tickets for $20. For information on the prizes and to purchase raffle tickets visit our website at jewishdayton.org/jewish-community-center/ THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
V I RT UA L
For our 2021 Virtual Yom Hasohah Program, we recognize and honor our Jewish Dayton Survivors who continue their legacy of education, service and leadership. Please join us as we share their impact and honor their stories on Sunday, April 11 at 4PM. RSVP online at jewishdayton.org/events
OF GREATER DAYTON
After struggling to escape through Luxembourg, France, over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain, next Portugal, the Canary Islands, finally arriving in my beloved America, I made myself numerous promises.
My most important and enduring legacy is my wonderful family. From my very young self as a survivor, together with my late husband, Charlie, a survivor who spent his teenage years struggling to stay alive in Poland, has emerged a family of more than 40 amazing humans, including 12 great-grandchildren that my husband never was privileged to meet. My legacy beyond my family is education. My goal has always been to increase understanding about a time when humanity suffered its worst blow, the Holocaust. I continue to share my story in schools, colleges, museums, and churches to stress that racism, hatred and bullying need to be diminished and not tolerated. I have ensured that Holocaust education materials are accessible to students and adults via three very important community resources: The Dayton Holocaust Resource Center, the Wright State University’s Charles and Renate Frydman Educational Resource Center, the video series Faces of the Holocaust, and the Holocaust exhibit Prejudice & Memory at the Museum of the United States Air Force.
Over and over I swore to myself during my escape, that if I ever came out alive, that I would devote my life to tell the world what terrible things the Nazis and their accomplices did to Jews and other helpless people in an effort to exterminate them. I swore to denouncing, by lectures and other means, the cynicism and silence of the world regarding the murdering Nazis, thereby seemingly ignoring and condoning the slaughter of innocent human beings because of their religious beliefs. I did this by lecturing at schools, churches, universities, contributing news articles, providing displays at museums, talks at organizational meetings, and donating items of interest supporting and demonstrating the horrors of Hitler’s designs to conquer all of Europe and create a hundred year German Reich with nothing but Aryans.
I will continue my legacy of education by speaking out in the face of racism and bullying whenever and wherever I can to ensure that we NEVER FORGET.
I have done as much as I possibly could to be a spokesperson for the millions of human beings that have been slaughtered for serving their G-d. At my age of 97, I will continue my oath of telling the world if these terrible happenings as long as my G-d wills it.
~ Renate Frydman
~ Robert Kahn During that horrific time, I went through Europe, Asia and the United States, and despite the unimaginable, there were good people. No matter their ethnic or religious background, the good people overshadowed the bad. I continue to believe in the good in people.
My legacy as a survivor is to continue to share my story to counter antisemitism and threats to our democracy. The Nazi’s used to say that Jews were parasites, but my legacy demonstrates the exact opposite - Jews are leaders in repairing the world. My legacy to never forget lives on in my children and grandchildren.
~ Larry Katz
~ Felix Garfunkel I feel it is very important to educate people about the Holocaust. It should stand as a constant reminder about what can happen when hate gets out of control. You must be motivated to stand up against hate and combat it at every turn. I am dedicated to sharing my story with my children, grandchildren and others – hate must never win. ~ Henry Guggenheimer
What will be my legacy as a survivor? As a survivor I would hope that my legacy would be: He was a Mensch. He loved his family, by encouraging cohesive & respectful relationships, He never lost hope, of better days to come, throughout the Holocaust, He persevered, no matter how long it took or how difficult the subject, He was an up-stander, (not a bystander) he spoke of his Holocaust experience to prevent repetition. ~ Ira Segalewitz
As a Holocaust survivor, I regularly shared my experiences with students in the hope that learning my story would lead them to an understanding and appreciation of all individuals despite their differences. My family escaped through Italy and were treated like long-lost family members by the Italians that shared their fruit, bread, and other items to help us survive. Memories of their generosity inspired me to pay it forward. ~ Aleksandar Svager
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
LETTER Democratic party moving away from supporting Israel Jonathan S. Tobin, in his January 2021 Observer opinion piece, Can the bipartisan consensus on Israel be revived?, appears to ignore some hard realities about a long-standing trend of the Democrat party moving away from supporting Israel. A quick DuckDuckGo search nets many articles describing the trend. The consensus based on Pew and Gallup polling appears to be that the trend dates back to 2008, with sharp drops since 2011. Article after article describes Barack Obama’s strong support for Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Palestinians and his open derision and shaming of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu as factors in the declining support. Author Matt Margolis describes Obama as “the most antisemitic president in history” in his bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. Dov Lipman, former 19th Knesset member, states to the Sun on Nov. 20, 2020, that Obama’s book A Promised Land “exhibits a flawed understanding of the region — which clearly impacted his policies as president…Mr. Obama was, in fact, anti-Israel,” and Lipman opines that Obama’s book “seeks to convince others to join him.” One has to wonder how far Biden, Obama’s self-described “wingman,” will stray from the Obama policies, particularly since Biden has appointed so many Obama returnees in key positions. In a short span of time, Biden has already snubbed Netanyahu by delaying his call to him following the election, and he has re-energized Iran and the Iran Nuclear Deal. Opponents believe the deal to be a phantom agreement with a dishonest partner that poses a permanent existential threat to Israel’s survival, which leaves little room for bipartisanship. Although some Democrat leaders appear to still offer strong support to Israel, the Democratic party is being pushed to the radical left by activists who are vehemently anti-Israel and are growing increasingly powerful within the party. The party leaders are rapidly placing them on sensitive committees and promoting them into positions of leadership. The pro-Israel members of the party appear impotent to resist the anti-Israel pressures. They may have to follow the antiIsrael forces or lose their backing —and that includes Biden. — Diann Bromberg, Spring Valley
Raising Asian Jewish kids in the U.S. has never been scarier By Melody Muhlrad On March 16, eight people were killed — including six women of Asian descent — at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area. The gunman has been identified as a 21-year-old White man from Woodstock, Ga. This horrifying shooting came at a time of alarming xenophobia and bigotry against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the start of Covid-19, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 1,900 percent in the United States, with women reporting 2.3 times more hate incidents than men. Experts have blamed this troubling uptick in Asian hate crimes, in part, on Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric, with the former president using damaging terms such as “China virus” and “kung flu” to refer to Covid-19. The details surrounding the Atlanta tragedy are continuing to develop, as more information regarding the victims and gunman are being released. Despite the fact that the majority of the victims were Asian women, the motivation behind the massacre is still to be determined. I am an Asian American Jewish woman living in Los Angeles. My parents emigrated from Taiwan in the 1970s, and my twin sister and I were born in Los Angeles in the 1980s. I converted to Judaism three years ago, before my second child was born, a decision that was many years in the making. My husband and I are raising our two Asian American Jewish preschool-aged children in Los Angeles. News reports surrounding the violence in Atlanta have been very careful in how they describe the shootings and the gunman’s motivations. The media has carefully parsed details of the victims, emphasizing that six of the eight victims were Asian (two were White) and seven of the victims were women (one was male). It is as if the fact that not all the victims were Asian, and
So, what do you think? PAGE 16
people are hated or victimized for their race and/or their religion? not all were female — even I’m embarrassed to admit though the overwhelming this, but my first reaction majority were Asian females about how best to protect my — should make the situation children from the hate they any less alarming. Even if this may experience was to flee. tragedy does not end up being Following my initial shock classified as a hate crime, it over the Atlanta shootings, is undoubtedly a hate-filled, I found myself dramatically violent attack aimed squarely proclaiming to my husband at Asian women. The media’s that I didn’t think the United couched and carefully chosen States was a safe place for our statements do a disservice to family anymore. Sure, it was how horrific the crime is. an extreme reaction to what When I first heard of the had happened, but perhaps shootings, I had just finished it was the “fight or flight” putting my two energetic reaction to fear that led me to young children to bed. As par- choose “flight.” ents of young children know, My husband and I have my day had been jam-packed talked about moving to a difwith preschool drop-off and ferent country — particularly pickup, meals, bath, bedtime to China or Taiwan, given that and so on, all amid the backI still have many extended drop of the pandemic. family members there. It’s an The moments of quiet idea we’ve addressed with after my kids fall asleep each more seriousness in the last day are precious to me — a year as Covid-19 has created reprieve from the chaos that more remote work environriddles my days. ments. I finally sat down to rest Now that antisemitism has when I noticed I had missed a hit an all-time high and Asian text message from my hushate crimes are increasing in band, who was still finishing the United States, perhaps it is up his work. He had sent me time to make this move? a Twitter link accompanied Upon further reflection, by the comment, “So scary, 8 however, I recognized that Asian women murdered in fleeing the country is not the ATL.” I stopped in my tracks. answer. In this dark time, I In complete disbelief, I had to am reminded of the Jewish read his description twice. I principle of tikun olam, repairquickly forwarded the link to ing the world — the idea being my sister, who had not heard that although the world is a the news, and she wrote back good place, God left us room sharing my shock and horror. to make improvements. As a mother of half-Asian I realized that the way to Jewish children, the tragedy in keep my children safe is to do Atlanta led me to fear for the my best to make the world a safety of my children. It’s the safer place for them. I’m still kind of fear that you not only figuring out what this means comprehend in your head, but for me, and I know this will be one that you physically feel a lifelong process. course through your veins. My But some of my ideas are children will grow up in a socontinuing to give tzedakah ciety where some people may to charities that are doing imhate them because of the color portant work to fight antisemiof their skin and others may tism and Asian hate, bringing hate them for their faith (and, awareness to these important of course, there are plenty issues, and continuing to stand who would hate them for both up against hateful rhetoric. reasons). For my children, I know it As a mother, I was left with will be important to educate two big questions: How do I them on their dual Asian and keep my children safe from the Jewish identities in order to hate that Asians and Jewish allow them to fully embrace people experience on a daily their multifaceted identities. basis in the United States? Our family has discussed And how do I best educate my the importance of visiting children about a society where China and Israel (when it is
Send letters (350 words max.) to The Dayton Jewish Observer, 525 Versailles Dr., Dayton, OH 45459 • MWeiss@jfgd.net
safe to travel again) in order to help teach them about the history of both their cultures, as well as to meet others that are both similar and different from them. My husband and I hope to raise them to be open-minded and to love who they are — and also to appreciate the differences of others. I only hope that this continual lifelong education will help them stand against the Asian and Jewish hate that they may encounter in their lifetimes. When reflecting on raising children amid this tragedy and rising hate crimes, I also found myself thinking about the names that my husband and I had chosen for my children, and the hopes that we had for them when they were born. Our 4-year old daughter, Ruth, is named after her great-grandmother Ruth. In the Bible, Ruth was a widow who loyally remained with her husband’s mother, even after her husband’s death, choosing to accept a life of poverty among people she admired. Ruth, who is famous for being the first woman in the Bible to convert to Judaism, utters the famous words, “Where you go I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:16).” Ruth is an example of loyalty, devotion and true friendship. Our 2-year-old son, Micah, was named after his great-grandfather Martin. In the Bible, Micah fearlessly denounced the evils that had filled his beloved land. As a prophet, he elaborates on what God expects from Israel: “He has told thee, man, what is good, and what God requires of thee: only to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Micah is an example of humility, kindness, and standing against evil. These are all qualities that we aim to impart on our children. My hope is that my husband and I can teach our children to be loyal to each part of their mixed identities, to be kind and humble toward others, to enjoy friendship with those who are different from them, and to have courage to stand up against any evil that they may encounter.
Views expressed by columnists, in readers’ letters, and in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of staff or layleaders of The Dayton Jewish Observer or the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all programs below are presented virtually unless listed otherwise. For the latest information, check with the organizations via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.
Beth Jacob Virtual Classes: Sundays, 2 p.m.: Conversions w. Rabbi Agar. Tuesdays, 7 p.m.: Weekly Parsha w. Rabbi Agar. Thursdays, 7 p.m.: Jewish Law w. Rabbi Agar. Email Tammy at bethjacob1@ aol.com. Temple Israel Virtual Classes: Mondays, noon: Coffee w. the Clergy. Wednesdays, 1 p.m.: Talmud & Mussar w. Rabbi Sobo. Saturdays, 9:15 a.m.: Torah Study w. Rabbi Sobo. For details, call 937-496-0050.
Children & Youths
Minutemen: Tues., April 13, 7 p.m. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/ cultural-arts-and-book-series. Katherine Ellison, Mothers & Murderers: Thurs., April 22, noon. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/ cultural-arts-and-book-series.
JCC’s Jewish Immigration & the Culinary Experience: W. Judy Chesen. Tues., April 6, 7 p.m. Register at jewishdayton. org/events. JFS Drive-Thru Mitzvah Mission: Sun., April 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Drop off at Boonshoft CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville. For info., contact Mindy Adams, 937-6101555. Partnership2Gether Coming of Age Experiences Online Exhibit: Photos & stories. Sun., April 11, 1 p.m. Register at jewishdayton.org/events.
JYG Campfire: Sun., April 25, 3 p.m. For info., contact Meryl Hattenbach, mhattenbach@jfgd. Virtual Community Yom net. Register at jewishdayton. Hashoah Remembrance: org/events. Sun., April 11, 4 p.m. Register at jewishdayton.org/events. Seniors JFS Connects 2.0: Temple Israel’s Drive-Thru Socialization & fellowship with JFS Social Worker Aleka Smith Taste of the Jewish Cultural via Zoom. Tues., April 13 & 27, Festival: Fri., April 16, 4-7 p.m. 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 1 p.m. Contact Aleka Smith, Info. at tidayton.org/festival. firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-6101775. Community Yom Ha’atzmaut Drive-In Celebration: Sun., JFS Head, Shoulders, Knees April 18, 1-3 p.m. Boonshoft & Toes, Sleep Matters: Wed., CJCE, 525 Versailles Dr., April 28, noon. Free. Register Centerville. Register by April 14 at jewishdayton.org/events. at jewishdayton.org/events.
JCC Virtual Cultural Arts & Book Series Leslie K. Barry, Newark
JCC Nature Hike @ Holes Creek Park: Sun., April
18, 6:30 p.m. Register at jewishdayton.org/events.
Temple Beth Or & Temple Israel Adult Ed.: Part One of virtual series about human trafficking, discussion of novel The Third Daughter by Talia Carner. Thurs., April 22, 7 p.m. Free. Register at go.oncehub. com/AdultEducation. JCRC Volunteer Night: Thurs., April 22, 5:40 p.m. For details, contact Megan Ullom, mullom@ jfgd.net.
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Partnership2Gether presents Recipes from Auschwitz w. author Alex Sternberg: Sun., April 25, 11 a.m. Register at jewishdayton.org/events.
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California approves ethnic studies curriculum that sparked debate among Jewish groups draft of the curriculum, which By Ben Sales, JTA schools are not required to use, After years of contention and revisions, California’s State for both excluding and discriminating against Jews. Board of Education approved On March 18, those a curriculum meant activists had mostly to guide the state’s positive reactions to schools in teaching the final draft, which ethnic studies, an includes sections about effort that sparked the American Jewish waves of criticism experience. from Jewish groups. “The model curricuThe Ethnic Studlum approved today by ies Model Curricuthe State Board of Edulum aims to teach cation is a vast improvestudents about the histories, experiCalifornia Governor ment over prior drafts and a win for everyone ences, contributions, Gavin Newsom who fought to remove and struggles of bigoted and discriminatory minority groups in the state. content about Jews and Israel,” Jewish activists had vesaid California State Assemhemently criticized the first blymember Jesse Gabriel, who chairs the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Not everyone was satisfied. Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel group StandWithUs, said she was “disappointed” in the vote and said the curriculum “is a model that can and should be changed before implementing ethnic studies in schools.” The American Jewish Committee also released a statement expressing disappointment, saying that revisions since the first draft were a “salve but ultimately not curative.” Jewish organizations in the state and beyond had pilloried the first draft, which was released in 2019, both for not discussing the American Jewish experience and for including antisemitic language as well as anti-Israel sections. The draft effectively endorsed the movement to boycott Israel, and also included a song lyric suggesting that Jews manipulated the press. Originally the curriculum focused on the Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American communities in California, and other minorContinued on Page 23
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Hannah Simone Dritz Hannah Simone Dritz, daughter of Michele and Jay Dritz, will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, April 17. She is the older sister of Jonah Dritz, granddaughter of Phyllis and Bob Dritz and Cindy and Rod Frilot, and the greatgranddaughter of Sophie Smith. She will be surrounded with the love of family and friends throughout the world as she celebrates this special occasion with a virtual ceremony at Temple Israel. Hannah is in seventh grade at The Miami Valley School and is involved in student government, theatre, and sports. In a year filled with pandemic isolation, Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah project focuses on coming together and supporting one another. The MVS motto is “Here We Become,” which the students model through their core values of integrity, celebration, grit, and kindness. To help support her fellow students, staff, and teachers, Hannah has been working with the school to bring together the MVS students to create a large-scale art project with that motto that will line the school walls as a reminder each day that “Here We Become”…together. Send lifecycles to MWeiss@jfgd.net.
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THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, worship schedules have been adjusted and some services are offered virtually instead. For the latest information, check with the organizations below via their websites, Facebook pages, and by calling them directly.
CONGREGATIONS Beth Abraham Synagogue Conservative Rabbi Joshua Ginsberg Cantor/Dir. of Ed. & Programming Andrea Raizen 305 Sugar Camp Circle, Oakwood. 937-293-9520. BethAbrahamDayton.org Beth Jacob Congregation Traditional Rabbi Leibel Agar Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. 7020 N. Main St., Dayton. 937-274-2149. BethJacobCong.org Temple Anshe Emeth Reform Rabbinic Intern Tzvia Rubens 320 Caldwell St., Piqua. Contact Steve Shuchat, 937-7262116, AnsheEmeth@gmail.com. ansheemeth.org Temple Beth Or Reform Rabbi Judy Chessin Asst. Rabbi/Educator Ben Azriel 5275 Marshall Rd., Wash. Twp. 937-435-3400. templebethor.com Temple Beth Sholom Reform Rabbi Haviva Horvitz 610 Gladys Dr., Middletown. 513-422-8313. templebethsholom.net Temple Israel Reform Senior Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz Rabbi/Educator Tina Sobo 130 Riverside Dr., Dayton. 937-496-0050. tidayton.org Temple Sholom Reform Rabbi Cary Kozberg 2424 N. Limestone St., Springfield. 937-399-1231. 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 9:30 a.m. 2001 Far Hills Ave. 937-643-0770. chabaddayton.com Yellow Springs Havurah Independent Antioch College Rockford Chapel. Contact Len Kramer, 937-572-4840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mourners find unexpected comfort in virtual minyans By Asaf Shalev, JTA As soon as New York state began recognizing same-sex marriages in 2011, Judith Trachtenberg married her partner of decades. They were the first such couple to be wed by a rabbi from their beloved synagogue, B’nai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was also around that time that Trachtenberg’s partner, Renie Rutchick, showed signs of what would later be diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Rutchick grew sicker, eventually developed cancer, and died in June, a few months into the pandemic. Becoming one of the few people to board a plane in those days, the 80-year-old Trachtenberg flew to St. Paul, Minn., Rutchick’s hometown, for the burial. She was far away from home, sanctuary doors were closed, and social distancing rules were in place — but Trachtenberg was not bereft of spiritual support. B’nai Jeshurun’s Rabbi Felicia Sol, who had officiated the couple’s wedding in New York, appeared on video to preside over the funeral and at least 250 people tuned in. “It was so moving that we could have Felicia there,” Trachtenberg said. “The use of Zoom turned out to be very warming and meaningful, and it allowed the funeral to be taped.” Since then, the bereaved professor of social work has been logging in to the synagogue’s virtual services every morning without fail. The required quorum of 10 Jews is always there, and Trachtenberg proceeds to recite the Jewish prayer for the dead known as the Mourner’s Kaddish. In person, worshippers recite the Kaddish in unison. Because of variable speeds of internet connections, however, it’s nearly impossible to produce the same effect online. What arises instead is a cacophony, voices popping in and out seemingly at random. The unusual sound, however, is easily recognizable as a recitation of the age-old prayer, and many have found equal comfort in this discordant rendition. “I don’t know if I would have gone to BJ every day,” Trachtenberg said, referring to her synagogue by its acronym.
Nisan/Iyar Candle Lightings Erev Pesach, March 27: 8:36 p.m. 1st Eve Pesach, March 28: 8:37 p.m. Shabbat, April 2/Seventh Eve Pesach: 7:44 p.m. Eighth Eve Pesach, April 3: 8:44 p.m. Shabbat, April 9: 7:51 p.m. Shabbat, April 16: 7:58 p.m. Shabbat, April 23: 8:05 p.m. Shabbat, April 30: 8:12 p.m.
Virtual Kaddish minyan hosted by My Jewish Learning, March 3
“But with Zoom, you don’t have the excuse to miss a day.” Typically, she said, it would have been hard to make a minyan or prayer quorum, but now as many as 80 people show up. Millennia in the making, Jewish mourning rituals are among the most foundational aspects of the religion. Grieving Jews can expect to be comforted in their homes during the shiva period by a stream of visiting family members and friends who come bearing food and uplifting tales of the deceased. The memory of the dead is kept alive for the next 11 months through the Kaddish, which is recited in physical proximity to at least nine other Jews. But the coronavirus, which has killed more than half a million people in the United States alone, has demanded a pause on traditional rituals. Initially it seemed like the only option was to grieve in isolation. The crisis engendered new rules to accommodate public health directives, but communities adapted to the temporary culture of quarantine and devised new modes of gathering and engagement. A particularly public example is what happened following the September death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Jewish Supreme Court justice and cultural icon. Hundreds of mourners gathered online to perform a virtual shemirah, the Jewish tradition of watching over a person’s body
for the period between death and burial. The initiative came from Kavod v’Nichum, a group that helps Jews engage with burial rituals. “In all that sadness (of the pandemic), we got even more sadness when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, and there was this spontaneous request for something that people could do,” David Zinner, the group’s executive director, said in a Zoom event marking the anniversary of the pandemic. Kavod v’Nichum gathered online comments from some 600 people during the virtual shemirah and put them into a word cloud. “The word cloud sort of gives you a little snapshot of what people were thinking and how they were feeling,” Zinner said. “It’s just an image of communal grief, but also communal support at the same time.” Most who have died during the past year were not celebrities like Ginsburg, of course, but the mourning of ordinary people has also taken new shapes. The website My Jewish Learning responded to the pandemic by establishing a daily Kaddish minyan. (The site is part of 70 Faces Media, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s parent company.) For almost a year now, 60 people or more from around the world participate by listening to a few minutes of spiritual guidance by a rotating set of rabbis and then reciting the prayer. Continued on Page 23
‘For a lot of people it became a community. People see each other day after day.’
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
Torah Portions April 10: Shemini (Lev. 9:1-11:47) April 17: Tazria-Metzora (Lev. 12:1-15:33,) April 24: Acharei-Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1-20:27)
Passover March 28-April 4 • 15-22 Nisan Eight-day festival celebrating the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Leavened bread products are not eaten.
Holocaust Remembrance Day April 8 • 26 Nisan Marked by memorials for those who perished in the Holocaust.
Israel Memorial Day April 14 • 2 Iyar Memorial Day for all who died serving Israel. Concludes with a siren blast as stars appear and Independence Day begins.
Israel Independence Day April 15 • 3 Iyar Celebrated by Jews around the world. Israel celebrates with parades, singing, dancing, and fireworks.
33rd Day of Omer April 30 • 18 Iyar The 33rd day of the Omer breaks up the seven weeks of semi-mourning between Passover and Shavuot. It marks the end of a plague among Rabbi Akiva’s students and a victory of Bar-Kokhba’s soldiers over the Romans 2,000 years ago. Celebrated with picnics and sports.
Your new favorite Passover pancakes Recipe and Photos by Joe Baur, The Nosher So you’ve gotten through the Seder meals and are looking for something easy and, dare I say, tasty to eat during Passover week? Look no further than chremslach (chremsl in the singular), better known as matzah meal pancakes, a lesser-known delicacy of Ashkenazi cuisine. You can find cousins throughout the Jewish culinary world. Sephardic Jews, for example, might be more familiar with bimuelos (Ladino for dumplings), a Chanukah or Passover treat also made with matzah meal batter. Chremslach are actually better than your typical batch of non-Passover pancakes. They’re what you actually want when you’re craving pancakes for breakfast. And if you have matzah meal left over from Passover, you can enjoy them after the holiday. There’s more substance than a typical, white-flour pancake. Chremslach are hearty yet moist, fluffy and tasty on their own in a way your average pancake just is not. The latter relies heavily on what you put on top of it, but chremslach can survive on their own. They’re nutty, but not too sweet. What you put on
top (fresh fruit, honey, cinnamon) are just complementary but not necessary. Recipe note: The batter should look chunky and have an obvious matzah meal smell both before you put it in the pan and once you serve them. I use a quarter cup of batter at a time, but you can use as much or as little as you like. Just be sure to keep an eye on the butter or olive oil in the pan. The chremslach will quickly absorb any liquid in the pan, so you’ll need to add more throughout to avoid burning. Store extra batter in a container in your refrigerator and use it within a week, which works out well for the week of Pesach, too.
4 eggs 1 cup Greek yogurt 3/4 cup milk (can also use your nondairy milk of choice) 2 Tbsp. honey Chremslach batter should look chunky 2 Tbsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. kosher salt 15 minutes to rest. 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar 4. Use a griddle, large-sized skillet or multiple 1 cup matzah meal skillets to cook as many as possible at once. Melt Butter or olive oil for the pan your butter or layer with olive oil over medium heat. Fresh fruit for serving Sprinkle a dash of water to test for a light sizzle to (optional) know the pan is ready. Powdered sugar, extra 5. Add about quarter cup of chremslach batter cinnamon, honey, or jam for to the skillet and shape them like pancakes. Add as serving (optional) many as you can fit onto your pan, but don’t overcrowd your pan. You’ll likely have to add more butter 1. Whisk eggs in a medior olive oil as you cook to avoid burning. um-sized bowl or pot and 6. After about three minutes, the first side should then add your yogurt, milk, be ready or close to ready. (Your next batch will likely honey, cinnamon, salt and cook faster.) When ready, flip your chremslach and sugar. Whisk after adding cook the other side until golden brown. You might each ingredient until comhave to press down lightly with a spatula if you’ve pletely blended built your chremslach too tall. 2. Slowly add in your mat7. Move your chremslach to a plate and layer with zah meal while stirring. fresh fruit of your choice (sliced bananas, blueberries, 3. Once everything is strawberries all go well with this dish). Top with a mixed together, set your pot fruit jam, a drizzle of honey, powdered sugar, and/or or bowl to the side for about Keep an eye on the butter or olive oil in the pan. You’ll need to add more throughout. an extra dash of cinnamon before serving.
THE DAYTON JEWISH OBSERVER • APRIL 2021
JEWISH FAMILY EDUCATION
The pinnacle of creation Considering Creation Commonly referred to as the “king of beasts,”the lion owes its royal nickname in part to a prominent crown-like mane, but even more to its status as an apex predator, one of a select few at the top of the world’s food chains.
Candace R. Kwiatek Having at one time inhabited five continents, the lion symbolized kingship as far back as ancient Sumer more than 7,000 years ago. Despite its preeminence in the animal world, however, the lion is not the pinnacle of creation. “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: cattle, creeping things, and wild beasts of every kind.’ And it was so. God made wild beasts of every kind and cattle of every kind, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. And God saw how good this was. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man (adam, humankind) in our image, according to our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.’ And God created man (ha-adam, the human) in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and
female He created them. God blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.’ “God said, ‘See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the breath of life, (I give) all the green plants for food.’ And it was so. And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (Gen. 1:24-31).” In a few words, the Torah captures the bare bones of the explosion of diverse animal life on land. It doesn’t presume to offer a timeline or evolutionary history, except to say that untold land animals of all kinds preceded humans, whose design was singular and distinctive, and a step removed from that of the animals. “Let the earth bring forth…” highlights the key feature of land’s living creatures: inextricably linked to the earth where all must breathe, eat, reproduce, and move in ways fitting to their environments. With little fanfare, God made land animals from the same template as those of the sea and air. Ruled by nature, they
Adam naming the animals, etching by G. Scotin and J. Cole after H. Gravelot and J.B. Chatelain, 1743.
creep, they graze, they stalk. It’s a world in which the lion is the king of beasts, and it is good. Then God proposes the creation of human beings, the pinnacle of creation, made directly by “us…in our image, in our likeness.” Various commentators suggest God is using the “royal we” or speaking to the angels. But context suggests a more compelling explanation: God is speaking to the animals, proposing a wholly new creature that will combine elements of both the heavens and the earth. Its uniqueness is captured by the threefold use of the Hebrew bara, created sui generis, without compare. Certainly humans are the ‘likeness’ of animals in their
physicality and nature, necessary for life on earth. Interpretations of ‘the image of God’ are more varied, however. Some suggest it means conscience and free will, others speech and intellect, and still others spirituality or a soul. These theories notwithstanding, the text is quite clear. Throughout the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible), as well as in ancient Near East literature and culture, images of gods — whether monuments, statues, or living beings — are not gods themselves but rather embodiments of their essence, reminders of their authority or signals of their presence. Until the Bible, the only human described as the image of a god was the ruling king, but Genesis upends this, declar-
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Literature to share The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York by Daniela Weil. In 1654, an unexpected turn of events landed the first Jews in New York. Among them was Asser Levy who, less than a year later, was at the forefront of the fight for religious, civil, and political rights. Levy’s story is told through imagined diary entries, based on historical documents and expert interviews for historical accuracy, accompanied by maps, documents, and related photos. Engaging, historically accurate, and packed with information, historical fiction doesn’t get better than this. Highly recommended for the target middle-grades audience as well as adults. The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland. As more Americans use DNA testing to seek lost relatives, understand medical conditions, or build family trees, untold — and often unwanted — secrets are being unearthed. By weaving together individual stories, scientific explanations, and social and bioethical issues, Copeland offers a thoughtful overview of the challenges presented by DNA genealogy testing and how they might guide thinking and discussion about family, origins, and identity.
ing all humans are like kings, equally fashioned in God’s image. Thus, theologian Peter Enns concludes, “The phrase ‘image of God’ is not about what makes us human. It is about humanity’s unique role in being God’s kingly representatives in Creation.” Echoing God’s role in the universe, humans’ royal role is to bring order to the world by mastering the earth and ruling over all living creatures, not as the king of beasts or an apex predator, but as a monarch with divinely-inspired integrity and — as the biblical text suggests — a desire for goodness. This notion that humans are “to rule over nature is in stark contrast to the pagan worldview, according to which nature ruled over man,” observes biblical commentator Dennis Prager. And yet, if humans don’t rule over nature, he concludes, nature will inevitably rule over them, enslaving them not only to the vicissitudes of the physical world, but also to the same instincts, desires, and passions as all animal life, with no escape. In our focus on what divine qualities make us intrinsically transcendent, we miss the moral of Genesis. To be fully human, truly “in God’s image,” we must rule not only other living creatures, but also our own selves.
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A tale of Jewish mobsters fighting Nazis... in New Jersey By Dan Pine, j. The Jewish News of Northern California Once upon a time in America, it was OK to punch Nazis. In the years before World War II, many German Americans had sworn allegiance to Hitler. Goose-stepping down Main Street, waving swastika banners, sending their kids to Nazi summer camps in upstate New York, the German American Bund was an insidious domestic force in the 1930s. As novelist Leslie K. Barry learned, not everyone took it lying down. In New Jersey, for example, the FBI, the Jewish mob, and some tough-asnails Jewish boxers formed the Newark Minutemen. Their mission: Deliver knockout blows to the neighborhood Nazis, with a larger goal of disrupting their effectiveness at gaining sympathizers. Barry grew up hearing stories about her late Uncle Harry and his amateur boxing days during the Depression. Only years later did she learn from her mother that Harry Levine was also a member of the Newark Minutemen. That family lore is how her The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Leslie K. Barry via Zoom, 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 13. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/ cultural-arts-and-book-series.
debut novel, Newark Minutemen, was born. “My mom came from a big immigrant Jewish family,” Barry said, “and she told a zillion stories. We were totally aware that (Harry) was a Golden Gloves boxer. But at (mom’s) 90th birthday party, people remembered when Harry used to go out and beat up the Nazis.” She discovered there had existed a vast network of coastto-coast Nazi sympathizers and many members of the Bund. Their leader, German-born U.S. citizen Fritz Kuhn, plotted to turn the United States into a satellite of Hitler’s Nazi empire. A 1939 rally held in Madison Square Garden drew some 22,000 American Nazis and sympathizers. A 2017 documentary film by Marshall Curry stressed that this rally happened not in Berlin, but in New York City. Barry also learned that Newark mobster Abner “Longie” Zwillman teamed up with the FBI to harass the Nazis by any means necessary. For that, Zwillman recruited local Jewish boxers such as Nat Arno and Barry’s uncle to throw a monkey wrench into Nazi activities. If wrenches weren’t available, maybe they used iron bars. Barry could have written an authoritative history of the
period. Instead, she chose to fictionialize it, creating a main character, Yael, a streetwise boxer whose father had been murdered by Nazi toughs, and his improbable love interest, Krista, the German American daughter of a local Nazi leader who comes to question her father’s fascist ideology. “I chose fiction Leslie K. Barry because my vision was Titanic,” she said, referring to the classic hit 1997 film. “I always wanted to make it as true as possible, but I thought it would be more blockbuster if you layered in the love story.” Blockbuster is the right term, as Barry has sold the film rights to her book, and the project is in development. She said Newark became the locus of Minutemen activity because it was a bubbling American melting pot, with many Jews and German Americans living in close proximity. Philip Roth’s speculative novel The Plot Against America also was set in mid-20th-century Newark, and it too explored issues relating to Jews and the growth of pro-Nazi sentiment in
Barry could have written an authoritative history of the period. Instead, she chose to fictionalize it...
the United States. Barry said government officials approached Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky during that time. “They said to him, ‘The U.S. government can’t do anything about this Nazi Party rising in America. We need your help.’ Lansky said, ‘You don’t need to pay us; you just need to look the other way.’” Lansky then asked Zwillman to organize what became the Newark Minutemen. Though Barry’s story is set in the 1930s, she hopes her book’s message rings a few contemporary bells. In a time when torch-bearing neo-Nazis and armed right-wing hooligans have cruised U.S. cities spoiling for a fight, the novel’s presentday resonance in terms of social unrest and politics is hard to miss. “I am very sensitive to what’s
going on now, when people lose confidence and question the people in charge and look for answers elsewhere,” she said. “(In the 1930s) we were poor, there was no food on the table, nothing was working. We were looking for answers. That’s the parallel for today, we don’t know what to believe. This problem with divisiveness and not knowing what to believe is frightening.” She said Jewish values are her rock. “It’s an easy and important (foundation) to project onto the way we live. It goes deep in me and was a message I wanted to get across (in the novel): You don’t just stand by and do nothing.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s true crime thriller
At the outset of Katherine Ellison’s career in journalism 30 years ago, she accidentally libeled someone as guilty of planning a murder even though the woman wasn’t charged with a crime in that murder trial. The woman ended up suing Ellison and her newspaper for $11 million. Years later, as the case was still making its way through the judicial system, it came out that the woman Ellison had libeled did, in fact, plot the murder. Ellison will guide us through her true-crime psychological thriller, Mothers & Murderers: A True Story Of Love, Lies, Obsession...And Second Chances as part of the JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series.
The Jewish News Hour with The Dayton Jewish Observer’s Marshall Weiss PAGE 22
Ellison is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. It was her drive to restore her journalistic reputation that led her to report from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. “This is my story,” Ellison explains. “But it’s also the story of anyone who ever failed so terribly, she thought she’d never recover but came back stronger than before.” — Marshall Weiss The JCC Cultural Arts & Book Series presents Katherine Ellison via Zoom, noon, Thursday, April 22. Free. Register at jewishdayton.org/program/cultural-arts-and-book-series.
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Continued from Page 19 One of those rabbis is Sari Laufer of Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles, a Reform congregation. “You can’t actually go to your local synagogue and pack in in that same way,” she said. “And so we have been learning how to virtually pack the room and having an address to do it. For a lot of people it became a community. People see each other day after day.” That’s been the case for David Aronson, a 61-year-old software developer who lives in suburban Chicago and lost his father at the start of the pandemic to an unrelated illness. Aronson was apprehensive at first about doing the mourning ritual online as rabbis in the Conservative movement, his denomination, did not all agree that a virtual gathering could count for the quorum required to say Kaddish — a question most were answering for the first time. But that feeling disappeared once Aronson made sure that he could see and hear the required number of people on screen at the same time. “We are able to enter into a holy space via the Zoom minyan,” Aronson said. “We have made a minyan out of what we had. It is incredibly meaningful.” Keeping his father’s memory at the front of his mind has helped Aronson become the kind of person he wants to be. “My father was the most outgoing person I have ever seen. He would open up to complete
strangers. For the longest time I was the complete opposite of that,” he said. But Aronson realized something that helped him emulate this trait. “I saw that being outgoing was not just for my benefit,” he said. “It was also for the other person.” Dvora Rotenberg, a Canadian, has continued bearing witness to Aronson’s grief and that of other online mourners long after the formal period of bereavement for her own deceased father has ended. “I don’t say Kaddish anymore, but I am there every day just because it’s like a family and a home,” said Rotenberg, who logs in from Ottawa. “This is where I found my comfort and it’s always on my calendar now. I especially love how Rabbi Menachem Creditor sings on Wednesdays. Powerful and gentle.” The many positive experiences raises the question of what will happen once the pandemic subsides. Laufer said many rabbis are talking about returning to physical rituals while continuing to incorporate some virtual elements. “There is the reality that I can sign on for about 15 minutes a day. I don’t have to get in my car, I don’t have to sort of plan it out, I can block out that time and connect with the community,” the Los Angeles rabbi said. “I love synagogue, I work in a synagogue. But...we have to figure out ways to balance the need to be in person with the reality that we have these tools and this ability to create community in a different way.”
California ethnic studies curriculum Continued from Page 18 ity groups, including the state’s Sikh and Armenian communities, also protested their exclusion from the first draft. Members of the public sent in 57,000 comments about the first draft, and Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed concern about it as well. Jewish organizations lobbied to revise the draft, submitting lesson plans about American Jewish identity as well as about the experience of Mizrahi Jews, or Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Those lessons, as well as others focusing on other minority communities, were included in the draft that was approved March 18. In addition, the anti-Israel and antisemitic content was removed from the later drafts.
Jewish groups still advocated for changing the curriculum, calling for the section on Mizrahi Jews to be moved to the section on Asian Americans, among other revisions. Other Jews objected to the very premise of the curriculum, arguing that the curriculum advances a political agenda rather than fostering inclusion. Meanwhile, the revised draft also met protest from the original authors of the curriculum, who disavowed the project in February because they said it “silenced the voices of ethnic studies teachers/educators, who are all from racially and politically underrepresented groups.” But some of the Jewish activists that had denounced earlier versions of the curriculum appeared to embrace this one for
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including American Jews in a discussion of the state’s minorities. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish advocacy group, said it was “encouraged” by the revisions. “For too long in our classrooms, Jewish identity has been flattened and distorted to that of a White religious minority, taking little note of our global peoplehood, history, diversity and oppression,” said Tyler Gregory, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council. “The just-approved model curriculum, while not perfect, addresses the major concerns our community identified nearly two years ago.”
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